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Refined, effeminate and decadent, Aramis combines the mild manners of the priest with the firm resolve and ruthless determination of the courtier.

An accomplished politician, steeped in intrigue and mystery, it is never made quite clear why Aramis is living the simple life of a military man. He is the most secretive of the Three Musketeers, and to the last we do not discover either his real name or his origins.

By manners and education a nobleman, he has acquiantances in the highest political circles - although all of those he manages to pass off as romantic liasons rather than the risky royalist plots that they really are.

The lace handkerchief is his most obvious emblem - an ephemeral veil of pure white over the murky depths of cynicism. Stil, you can't help but love him, so well has Dumas characterised this many-faceted figure.

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