Three hundred and thirty-six dinners at eighty-five centimes.
Three hundred and thirty-six suppers at fifty centimes.
Chocolate to those who are entitled to it.
How much profit can be made on the contract?
--_Valenod of Besançon_.
He saw in the distance the iron gilt cross on the door.
He approached slowly.
His legs seemed to give way beneath him.
"So here is this hell upon earth which I shall be unable to leave."
Finally he made up his mind to ring.
The noise of the bell reverberated as though through a solitude.
At the end of ten minutes a pale man,
clothed in black,
came and opened the door.
Julien looked at him,
and immediately lowered his eyes.
This porter had a singular physiognomy.
The green projecting pupils of his eyes were as round as those of a cat.
The straight lines of his eyebrows betokened the impossibility of any sympathy.
His thin lips came round in a semicircle over projecting teeth.
None the less,
his physiognomy did not so much betoken crime as rather that perfect callousness which is so much more terrifying to the young.
The one sentiment which Julien's rapid gaze surmised in this long and devout face was a profound contempt for every topic of conversation which did not deal with things celestial.
Julien raised his eyes with an effort,
and in a voice rendered quavering by the beating of his heart explained that he desired to speak to M. Pirard,
the director of the Seminary.
Without saying a word the man in black signed to him to follow.
They ascended two stories by a large staircase with a wooden rail,
whose warped stairs inclined to the side opposite the wall,
and seemed on the point of falling.
A little door with a big cemetery cross of white wood painted black at the top was opened with difficulty,
and the porter made him enter a dark low room,
whose whitewashed walls were decorated with two big pictures blackened by age.
In this room Julien was left alone.
He was overwhelmed.
His heart was beating violently.
He would have been happy to have ventured to cry.
A silence of death reigned over the whole house.
At the end of a quarter of an hour,
which seemed a whole day to him,
the sinister looking porter reappeared on the threshold of a door at the other end of the room,
and without vouchsafing a word,
signed to him to advance.
He entered into a room even larger than the first,
and very badly lighted.
The walls also were whitened,
but there was no furniture.
Only in a corner near the door Julien saw as he passed a white wooden bed,
two straw chairs,
and a little pinewood armchair without any cushions.
He perceived at the other end of the room,
near a small window with yellow panes decorated with badly kept flower vases,
a man seated at a table,
and covered with a dilapidated cassock.
He appeared to be in a temper,
and took one after the other a number of little squares of paper,
which he arranged on his table after he had written some words on them.
He did not notice Julien's presence.
The latter did not move,
but kept standing near the centre of the room in the place where the porter,
who had gone out and shut the door,
had left him.
Ten minutes passed in this way: the badly dressed man kept on writing all the time.
Julien's emotion and terror were so great that he thought he was on the point of falling.
A philosopher would have said,
"It is a violent impression made by ugliness on a soul intended by nature to love the beautiful."
The man who was writing lifted up his head.
Julien only perceived it after a moment had passed,
and even after seeing it,
he still remained motionless,
as though struck dead by the terrible look of which he was the victim.
Julien's troubled eyes just managed to make out a long face,
all covered with red blotches except the forehead,
which manifested a mortal pallor.
Two little black eyes,
calculated to terrify the most courageous,
shone between these red cheeks and that white forehead.
The vast area of his forehead was bounded by thick,
jet black hair.
"Will you come near,
yes or no?"
said the man at last,
Julien advanced with an uneasy step,
and at last,
paler than he had ever been in his life and on the point of falling,
stopped three paces from the little white wooden table which was covered with the squares of paper.
said the man.
Julien advanced still further,
holding out his hand,
as though trying to lean on something.
"You are certainly very late,"
said the man to him,
as he rivetted again on him that terrible gaze.
Julien could not endure this look.
Holding out his hand as though to support himself,
he fell all his length along the floor.
The man rang.
Julien had only lost the use of his eyes and the power of movement.
He heard steps approaching.
He was lifted up and placed on the little armchair of white wood.
He heard the terrible man saying to the porter,
"He has had an epileptic fit apparently,
and this is the finishing touch."
When Julien was able to open his eyes,
the man with the red face was going on with his writing.
The porter had disappeared.
"I must have courage,"
said our hero to himself,
"and above all,
hide what I feel."
He felt violently sick.
"If anything happens to me,
God knows what they will think of me."
Finally the man stopped writing and looked sideways at Julien.
"Are you in a fit state to answer me?"
said Julien in an enfeebled voice.
The man in black had half got up,
and was looking impatiently for a letter in the drawer of his pinewood table,
which opened with a grind.
He found it,
sat down slowly,
and looking again at Julien in a manner calculated to suck out of him the little life which he still possessed,
"You have been recommended to me by M. Chélan.
He was the best curé in the diocese;
he was an upright man if there ever was one,
and my friend for thirty years."
It's to M. Pirard then that I have the honour of speaking?"
said Julien in a dying voice.
replied the director of the seminary,
as he looked at him disagreeably.
The glitter of his little eyes doubled and was followed by an involuntary movement of the muscles of the corner of the mouth.
It was the physiognomy of the tiger savouring in advance the pleasure of devouring its prey.
"Chélan's letter is short,"
as though speaking to himself.
In the present time it is impossible to write too little."
He read aloud: --
"I recommend to you Julien Sorel of this parish,
whom I baptized nearly twenty years ago,
the son of a rich carpenter who gives him nothing.
Julien will be a remarkable worker in the vineyard of the Lord.
He lacks neither memory nor intelligence;
he has some faculty for reflection.
Will he persevere in his calling?
Is he sincere?"
repeated the abbé Pirard with an astonished air,
looking at Julien.
But the abbé's look was already less devoid of all humanity.
lowering his voice,
and resuming his reading: --
"I ask you for a stipend for Julien Sorel.
He will earn it by passing the necessary examinations.
I have taught him a little theology,
that old and good theology of the Bossuets,
and the Fleury's.
If the person does not suit you,
send him back to me.
The director of the workhouse,
whom you know well,
offers him eight hundred to be tutor to his children.
My inner self is tranquil,
thanks to God.
I am accustoming myself to the terrible blow,
'Vale et me ama.'"
The abbé Pirard,
speaking more slowly as he read the signature,
pronounced with a sigh the word,
"He is tranquil,"
"in fact his righteousness deserves such a recompense.
May God grant it to me in such a case."
He looked up to heaven and made the sign of the cross.
At the sight of that sacred sign Julien felt an alleviation of the profound horror which had frozen him since his entry into the house.
"I have here three hundred and twenty-one aspirants for the most holy state,"
said the abbé Pirard at last,
in a tone,
which though severe,
was not malicious;
"only seven or eight have been recommended to me by such men as the abbé Chélan;
so you will be the ninth of these among the three hundred and twenty-one.
But my protection means neither favour nor weakness,
it means doubled care,
and doubled severity against vice.
Go and lock that door."
Julian made an effort to walk,
and managed not to fall.
He noticed that a little window near the entrance door looked out on to the country.
He saw the trees;
that sight did him as much good as the sight of old friends.
"'Loquerisne linquam latinam?'" (Do you speak Latin?) said the abbé Pirard to him as he came back.
pater optime,'" (Yes,
excellent Father) answered Julien,
recovering himself a little.
But it was certain that nobody in the world had ever appeared to him less excellent than had M. Pirard for the last half hour.
The conversation continued in Latin.
The expression in the abbé's eyes softened.
Julien regained some self-possession.
"How weak I am,"
"to let myself be imposed on by these appearances of virtue.
The man is probably nothing more than a rascal,
like M. Maslon,"
and Julien congratulated himself on having hidden nearly all his money in his boots.
The abbé Pirard examined Julien in theology;
he was surprised at the extent of his knowledge,
but his astonishment increased when he questioned him in particular on sacred scriptures.
But when it came to questions of the doctrines of the Fathers,
he perceived that Julien scarcely even knew the names of Saint Jerome,
"As a matter of fact,"
thought the abbé Pirard,
"this is simply that fatal tendency to Protestantism for which I have always reproached Chélan.
and only too profound knowledge of the Holy Scriptures."
(Julien had just started speaking to him,
without being questioned on the point,
about the real time when Genesis,
has been written).
"To what does this never-ending reasoning over the Holy Scriptures lead to?"
thought the abbé Pirard,
"if not to self-examination,
that is to say,
the most awful Protestantism.
And by the side of this imprudent knowledge,
nothing about the Fathers to compensate for that tendency."
But the astonishment of the director of the seminary was quite unbounded when having questioned Julien about the authority of the Pope,
and expecting to hear the maxims of the ancient Gallican Church,
the young man recited to him the whole book of M. de Maistre "Strange man,
thought the abbé Pirard.
"Did he show him the book simply to teach him to make fun of it?"
It was in vain that he questioned Julien and endeavoured to guess if he seriously believed in the doctrine of M. de Maistre.
The young man only answered what he had learnt by heart.
From this moment Julien was really happy.
He felt that he was master of himself.
After a very long examination,
it seemed to him that M. Pirard's severity towards him was only affected.
the director of the seminary would have embraced Julien in the name of logic,
for he found so much clearness,
precision and lucidity in his answers,
had it not been for the principles of austere gravity towards his theology pupils which he had inculcated in himself for the last fifteen years.
"Here we have a bold and healthy mind,"
he said to himself,
"but corpus debile" (the body is weak).
"Do you often fall like that?"
he said to Julien in French,
pointing with his finger to the floor.
"It's the first time in my life.
The porter's face unnerved me,"
blushing like a child.
The abbé Pirard almost smiled.
"That's the result of vain worldly pomp.
You are apparently accustomed to smiling faces,
those veritable theatres of falsehood.
Truth is austere,
but is not our task down here also austere?
You must be careful that your conscience guards against that weakness of yours,
too much sensibility to vain external graces."
"If you had not been recommended to me,"
said the abbé Pirard,
resuming the Latin language with an obvious pleasure,
"If you had not been recommended by a man,
by the abbé Chélan,
I would talk to you the vain language of that world,
to which it would appear you are only too well accustomed.
I would tell you that the full stipend which you solicit is the most difficult thing in the world to obtain.
But the fifty-six years which the abbé Chélan has spent in apostolic work have stood him in poor stead if he cannot dispose of a stipend at the seminary."
After these words,
the abbé Pirard recommended Julien not to enter any secret society or congregation without his consent.
"I give you my word of honour,"
with all an honest man's expansion of heart.
The director of the seminary smiled for the first time.
"That expression is not used here,"
he said to him.
"It is too reminiscent of that vain honour of worldly people,
which leads them to so many errors and often to so many crimes.
You owe me obedience by virtue of paragraph seventeen of the bull Unam Eccesiam of St. Pius the Fifth.
I am your ecclesiastical superior.
To hear in this house,
my dear son,
is to obey.
How much money,
("So here we are,"
said Julien to himself,
"that was the reason of the
'my very dear son')."
"Write out carefully how you use that money.
You will have to give me an account of it."
This painful audience had lasted three hours.
Julien summoned the porter.
"Go and install Julien Sorel in cell No. 103,"
said the abbé Pirard to the man.
As a great favour he let Julien have a place all to himself.
"Carry his box there,"
Julien lowered his eyes,
and recognised his box just in front of him.
He had been looking at it for three hours and had not recognised it.
As he arrived at No. 103,
which was a little room eight feet square on the top story of the house,
Julien noticed that it looked out on to the ramparts,
and he perceived beyond them the pretty plain which the Doubs divides from the town.
"What a charming view!"
In speaking like this he did not feel what the words actually expressed.
The violent sensations which he had experienced during the short time that he had been at Besançon had absolutely exhausted his strength.
He sat down near the window on the one wooden chair in the cell,
and fell at once into a profound sleep.
He did not hear either the supper bell or the bell for benediction.
They had forgotten him.
When the first rays of the sun woke him up the following morning,
he found himself lying on the floor.
OR WHAT THE RICH LACK
I am alone in the world.
No one deigns to spare me a thought.
All those whom I see make their fortune,
have an insolence and hardness of heart which I do not feel in myself.
They hate me by reason of kindness and good-humour.
I shall die soon,
either from starvation or the unhappiness of seeing men so hard of heart.
He hastened to brush his clothes and run down.
He was late.
Instead of trying to justify himself Julien crossed his arms over his breast.
"Peccavi pater optime (I have sinned,
I confess my fault,
he said with a contrite air.
This first speech was a great success.
The clever ones among the seminarists saw that they had to deal with a man who knew something about the elements of the profession.
The recreation hour arrived,
and Julien saw that he was the object of general curiosity,
but he only manifested reserved silence.
Following the maxims he had laid down for himself,
he considered his three hundred and twenty-one comrades as enemies.
The most dangerous of all in his eyes was the abbé Pirard.
A few days afterwards Julien had to choose a confessor,
and was given a list.
what do they take me for?"
he said to himself.
"Do they think I don't understand what's what?"
Then he chose the abbé Pirard.
This step proved decisive without his suspecting it.
A little seminarist,
who was quite young and a native of Verrières,
and who had declared himself his friend since the first day,
informed him that he would probably have acted more prudently if he had chosen M. Castanède,
the sub-director of the seminary.
"The abbé Castanède is the enemy of Pirard,
who is suspected of Jansenism,"
added the little seminarist in a whisper.
All the first steps of our hero were,
in spite of the prudence on which he plumed himself,
as much mistakes as his choice of a confessor.
Misled as he was by all the self-confidence of a man of imagination,
he took his projects for facts,
and believed that he was a consummate hypocrite.
His folly went so far as to reproach himself for his success in this kind of weakness.
it is my only weapon,"
he said to himself.
"At another period I should have earned my livelihood by eloquent deeds in the face of the enemy."
Satisfied as he was with his own conduct,
Julien looked around him.
He found everywhere the appearance of the purest virtue.
Eight or ten seminarists lived in the odour of sanctity,
and had visions like Saint Theresa,
and Saint Francis,
when he received his stigmata on Mount _Vernia_ in the Appenines.
But it was a great secret and their friends concealed it.
These poor young people who had visions were always in the infirmary.
A hundred others combined an indefatigable application to a robust faith.
They worked till they fell ill,
but without learning much.
Two or three were distinguished by a real talent,
amongst others a student of the name of Chazel,
but both they and Julien felt mutually unsympathetic.
The rest of these three hundred and twenty-one seminarists consisted exclusively of coarse persons,
who were by no means sure of understanding the Latin words which they kept on repeating the livelong day.
Nearly all were the sons of peasants,
and they preferred to gain their livelihood by reciting some Latin words than by ploughing the earth.
It was after this examination of his colleagues that Julien,
during the first few days,
promised himself a speedy success.
"Intelligent people are needed in every service,"
he said to himself,
there is work to be done.
I should have been a sergeant under Napoleon.
I shall be a grand vicar among these future curés."
"All these poor devils,"
"manual labourers as they have been since their childhood,
have lived on curded milk and black bread up till they arrived here.
They would only eat meat five or six times a year in their hovels.
Like the Roman soldiers who used to find war the time of rest,
these poor peasants are enchanted with the delights of the seminary."
Julien could never read anything in their gloomy eyes but the satisfaction of physical craving after dinner,
and the expectation of sensual pleasure before the meal.
Such were the people among whom Julien had to distinguish himself;
but the fact which he did not know,
and which they refrained from telling him,
was that coming out first in the different courses of dogma,
which are taken at the seminary,
constituted in their eyes,
neither more nor less than a splendid sin.
Since the time of Voltaire and two-chamber Government,
which is at bottom simply distrust and personal self-examination,
and gives the popular mind that bad habit of being suspicious,
the Church of France seems to have realised that books are its real enemies.
It is the submissive heart which counts for everything in its eyes.
and rightly so,
any success in studies,
even sacred ones.
What is to prevent a superior man from crossing over to the opposite side like Sièyes or Gregory.
The trembling Church clings on to the Pope as its one chance of safety.
The Pope alone is in a position to attempt to paralyse all personal self-examination,
and to make an impression by means of the pompous piety of his court ceremonial on the bored and morbid spirit of fashionable society.
as he began to get some glimpse of these various truths,
which are none the less in total contradiction to all the official pronouncements of any seminary,
fell into a profound melancholy.
He worked a great deal and rapidly succeeded in learning things which were extremely useful to a priest,
extremely false in his own eyes,
and devoid of the slightest interest for him.
He felt there was nothing else to do.
"Am I then forgotten by the whole world,"
He did not know that M. Pirard had received and thrown into the fire several letters with the Dijon stamp in which the most lively passion would pierce through the most formal conventionalism of style.
"This love seems to be fought by great attacks of remorse.
All the better,"
thought the abbé Pirard.
"At any rate this lad has not loved an infidel woman."
One day the abbé Pirard opened a letter which seemed half-blotted out by tears.
It was an adieu for ever.
said the writer to Julien,
"Heaven has granted me the grace of hating,
not the author of my fall,
but my fall itself.
The sacrifice has been made,
not without tears as you see.
The safety of those to whom I must devote my life,
and whom you love so much,
is the decisive factor.
A just but terrible God will no longer see His way to avenge on them their mother's crimes.
Be just towards all men."
The end of the letter was nearly entirely illegible.
The writer gave an address at Dijon,
but at the same time expressed the hope that Julien would not answer,
or at any rate would employ language which a reformed woman could read without blushing.
aggravated by the mediocre nourishment which the contractor who gave dinners at thirteen centimes per head supplied to the seminary,
began to affect his health,
when Fouqué suddenly appeared in his room one morning.
"I have been able to get in at last.
I have duly been five times to Besançon in order to see you.
Could never get in.
I put someone by the door to watch.
Why the devil don't you ever go out?"
"It is a test which I have imposed on myself."
"I find you greatly changed,
but here you are again.
I have just learned from a couple of good five franc pieces that I was only a fool not to have offered them on my first journey."
The conversation of the two friends went on for ever.
Julien changed colour when Fouqué said to him,
"Do you know,
by the by,
that your pupils' mother has become positively devout."
And he began to talk in that off-hand manner which makes so singular an impression on the passionate soul,
whose dearest interests are being destroyed without the speaker having the faintest suspicion of it.
the most exalted devoutness.
She is said to make pilgrimages.
But to the eternal shame of the abbé Maslon,
who has played the spy so long on that poor M. Chélan,
Madame de Rênal would have nothing to do with him.
She goes to confession to Dijon or Besançon."
"She goes to Besançon,"
flushing all over his forehead.
said Fouqué in a questioning manner.
"Have you got any _Constitutionnels_ on you?"
"What do you say?"
"I'm asking if you've got any _Constitutionnels_?"
went on Julien in the quietest tone imaginable.
"They cost thirty sous a number here."
"Liberals even in the seminary!
assuming the abbé Maslon's hypocritical voice and sugary tone.
This visit would have made a deep impression on our hero,
if he had not been put on the track of an important discovery by some words addressed to him the following day by the little seminarist from Verrières.
Julien's conduct since he had been at the seminary had been nothing but a series of false steps.
He began to make bitter fun of himself.
In point of fact the important actions in his life had been cleverly managed,
but he was careless about details,
and cleverness in a seminary consists in attention to details.
he had already the reputation among his comrades of being a _strong-minded person._ He had been betrayed by a number of little actions.
He had been convicted in their eyes of this enormity,
_he thought and judged for himself_ instead of blindly following authority and example.
The abbé Pirard had been no help to him.
He had not spoken to him on a single occasion apart from the confessional,
and even there he listened more than he spoke.
Matters would have been very different if he had chosen the abbé Castanède.
The moment that Julien realised his folly,
he ceased to be bored.
He wished to know the whole extent of the evil,
and to effect this emerged a little from that haughty obstinate silence with which he had scrupulously rebuffed his comrades.
It was now that they took their revenge on him.
His advances were welcomed by a contempt verging on derision.
He realised that there had not been one single hour from the time of his entry into the seminary,
particularly during recreation time,
which had not resulted in affecting him one way or another,
which had not increased the number of his enemies,
or won for him the goodwill of some seminarist who was either sincerely virtuous or of a fibre slightly less coarse than that of the others.
The evil to repair was infinite,
and the task very difficult.
Julien's attention was always on guard.
The problem before him was to map out a new character for himself.
The moving of his eyes for example,
occasioned him a great deal of trouble.
It is with good reason that they are carried lowered in these places.
"How presumptuous I was at Verrières,"
said Julien to himself.
"I thought I lived;
I was only preparing for life,
and here I am at last in the world such as I shall find it,
until my part comes to an end,
surrounded by real enemies.
What immense difficulties,"
"are involved in keeping up this hypocrisy every single minute.
It is enough to put the labours of Hercules into the shade.
The Hercules of modern times is the Pope Sixtus Quintus,
who deceived by his modesty fifteen years on end forty Cardinals who had seen the liveliness and haughtiness of his whole youth.
"So knowledge is nothing here,"
he said to himself with disgust.
"Progress in doctrine,
in sacred history,
only seem to count.
Everything said on those subjects is only intended to entrap fools like me.
Alas my only merit consists in my rapid progress,
and in the way in which I grasp all their nonsense.
Do they really value those things at their true worth?
Do they judge them like I do.
And I had the stupidity to be proud of my quickness.
The only result of my coming out top has been to give me inveterate enemies.
who really knows more than I do,
always throws some blunder in his compositions which gets him put back to the fiftieth place.
If he comes out first,
it is only because he is absent-minded.
O how useful would one word,
just one word,
of M. Pirard,
have been to me."
As soon as Julien was disillusioned,
the long exercises in ascetic piety,
such as the attendances in the chapel five times a week,
the intonation of hymns at the chapel of the Sacré Cœur,
which had previously seemed to him so deadly boring,
became his most interesting opportunities for action.
Thanks to a severe introspection,
and above all,
by trying not to overdo his methods,
Julien did not attempt at the outset to perform significant actions (that is to say,
actions which are proof of a certain Christian perfection) like those seminarists who served as a model to the rest.
Seminarists have a special way,
even of eating a poached egg,
which betokens progress in the devout life.
The reader who smiles at this will perhaps be good enough to remember all the mistakes which the abbé Delille made over the eating of an egg when he was invited to breakfast with a lady of the Court of Louis XVI.
Julien first tried to arrive at the state of _non culpa_,
that is to say the state of the young seminarist whose demeanour and manner of moving his arms,
while in fact without any trace of worldliness,
do not yet indicate that the person is entirely absorbed by the conception of the other world,
and the idea of the pure nothingness of this one.
Julien incessantly found such phrases as these charcoaled on the walls of the corridors.
"What are sixty years of ordeals balanced against an eternity of delights or any eternity of boiling oil in hell?"
He despised them no longer.
He realised that it was necessary to have them incessantly before his eyes.
"What am I going to do all my life,"
he said to himself.
"I shall sell to the faithful a place in heaven.
How am I going to make that place visible to their eyes?
By the difference between my appearance and that of a layman."
After several months of absolutely unremitting application,
Julien still had the appearance of thinking.
The way in which he would move his eyes and hold his mouth did not betoken that implicit faith which is ready to believe everything and undergo everything,
even at the cost of martyrdom.
Julien saw with anger that he was surpassed in this by the coarsest peasants.
There was good reason for their not appearing full of thought.
What pains did he not take to acquire that facial expression of blindly fervent faith which is found so frequently in the Italian convents,
and of which Le Guerchin has left such perfect models in his Church pictures for the benefit of us laymen.
the seminarists were regaled with sausages and cabbage.
Julien's table neighbours observed that he did not appreciate this happiness.
That was looked upon as one of his paramount crimes.
His comrades saw in this a most odious trait,
and the most foolish hypocrisy.
Nothing made him more enemies.
"Look at this bourgeois,
look at this stuck-up person,"
they would say,
"who pretends to despise the best rations there are,
sausages and cabbage,
shame on the villain!
The haughty wretch,
he is damned for ever."
these young peasants,
who are my comrades,
find their ignorance an immense advantage,"
Julien would exclaim in his moments of discouragement.
"The professor has not got to deliver them on their arrival at the seminary from that awful number of worldly ideas which I brought into it,
and which they read on my face whatever I do."
Julien watched with an attention bordering on envy the coarsest of the little peasants who arrived at the seminary.
From the moment when they were made to doff their shabby jackets to don the black robe,
their education consisted of an immense and limitless respect for _hard liquid cash_ as they say in Franche-Comté.
That is the consecrated and heroic way of expressing the sublime idea of current money.
like the heroes in Voltaire's novels,
found their happiness in dining well.
Julien discovered in nearly all of them an innate respect for the man who wears a suit of good cloth.
This sentiment appreciates the distributive justice,
which is given us at our courts,
at its value or even above its true value.
"What can one gain,"
they would often repeat among themselves,
"by having a law suit with
'a big man?'"
That is the expression current in the valleys of the Jura to express a rich man.
One can judge of their respect for the richest entity of all --the government.
Failure to smile deferentially at the mere name of M. the Prefect is regarded as an imprudence in the eyes of the Franche-Comté peasant,
and imprudence in poor people is quickly punished by lack of bread.
After having been almost suffocated at first by his feeling of contempt,
Julien eventually experienced a feeling of pity;
it often happened that the fathers of most of his comrades would enter their hovel in winter evenings and fail to find there either bread,
chestnuts or potatoes.
"What is there astonishing then?"
Julien would say to himself,
"if in their eyes the happy man is in the first place the one who has just had a good dinner,
and in the second place the one who possesses a good suit?
My comrades have a lasting vocation,
that is to say,
they see in the ecclesiastical calling a long continuance of the happiness of dining well and having a warm suit."
Julien happened to hear a young imaginative seminarist say to his companion.
"Why shouldn't I become Pope like Sixtus Quintus who kept pigs?"
"They only make Italians Popes,"
answered his friend.
"But they will certainly draw lots amongst us for the great vicarships,
canonries and perhaps bishoprics.
M. P -- -- Bishop of Châlons,
is the son of a cooper.
That's what my father is."
in the middle of a theology lesson,
the Abbé Pirard summoned Julien to him.
The young fellow was delighted to leave the dark,
moral atmosphere in which he had been plunged.
Julien received from the director the same welcome which had frightened him so much on the first day of his entry.
"Explain to me what is written on this playing card?"
looking at him in a way calculated to make him sink into the earth.
"Amanda Binet of the Giraffe Café before eight o'clock.
Say you're from Genlis,
and my mother's cousin."
Julien realised the immense danger.
The spies of the abbé Castanède had stolen the address.
"I was trembling with fear the day I came here,"
looking at the abbé Pirard's forehead,
for he could not endure that terrible gaze.
Chélan told me that this is a place of informers and mischief-makers of all kinds,
and that spying and tale-bearing by one comrade on another was encouraged by the authorities.
Heaven wishes it to be so,
so as to show life such as it is to the young priests,
and fill them with disgust for the world and all its pomps."
"And it's to me that you make these fine speeches,"
said the abbé Pirard furiously.
"You young villain."
"My brothers used to beat me at Verrières,"
answered Julien coldly,
"When they had occasion to be jealous of me."
exclaimed M. Pirard,
almost beside himself.
Julien went on with his story without being in the least intimidated: --
"The day of my arrival at Besançon I was hungry,
and I entered a café.
My spirit was full of revulsion for so profane a place,
but I thought that my breakfast would cost me less than at an inn.
who seemed to be the mistress of the establishment,
took pity on my inexperience.
'Besançon is full of bad characters,'
she said to me.
'I fear something will happen to you,
If some mishap should occur to you,
have recourse to me and send to my house before eight o'clock.
If the porters of the seminary refuse to execute your errand,
say you are my cousin and a native of Genlis.'"
"I will have all this chatter verified,"
exclaimed the abbé Pirard,
unable to stand still,
and walking about the room.
"Back to the cell."
The abbé followed Julien and locked him in.
The latter immediately began to examine his trunk,
at the bottom of which the fatal cards had been so carefully hidden.
Nothing was missing in the trunk,
but several things had been disarranged.
he had never been without the key.
What luck that,
during the whole time of my blindness,
said Julien to himself,
I never availed myself of the permission to go out that Monsieur Castanède would offer me so frequently,
with a kindness which I now understand.
Perhaps I should have had the weakness to have changed my clothes and gone to see the fair Amanda,
and then I should have been ruined.
When they gave up hope of exploiting that piece of information for the accomplishment of his ruin,
they had used it to inform against him.
Two hours afterwards the director summoned him.
"You did not lie,"
he said to him,
with a less severe look,
"but keeping an address like that is an indiscretion of a gravity which you are unable to realise.
It may perhaps do you harm in ten years' time."
FIRST EXPERIENCE OF LIFE
The present time,
is the ark of the Lord;
cursed be he who touches it.
The reader will kindly excuse us if we give very few clear and definite facts concerning this period of Julien's life.
It is not that we lack facts;
quite the contrary.
But it may be that what he saw in the seminary is too black for the medium colour which the author has endeavoured to preserve throughout these pages.
Those of our contemporaries who have suffered from certain things cannot remember them without a horror which paralyses every other pleasure,
even that of reading a tale.
Julien achieved scant success in his essays at hypocritical gestures.
He experienced moments of disgust,
and even of complete discouragement.
He was not a success,
even in a a vile career.
The slightest help from outside would have sufficed to have given him heart again,
for the difficulty to overcome was not very great,
but he was alone,
like a derelict ship in the middle of the ocean.
"And when I do succeed,"
he would say to himself,
"think of having to pass a whole lifetime in such awful company,
gluttons who have no thought but for the large omelette which they will guzzle at dinner-time,
or persons like the abbé Castanède,
who finds no crime too black!
They will attain power,
at what cost.
"The will of man is powerful,
I read it everywhere,
but is it enough to overcome so great a disgust?
The task of all the great men was easy by comparison.
However terrible was the danger,
they found it fine,
and who can realise,
the ugliness of my surroundings?"
This moment was the most trying in his whole life.
It would have been so easy for him to have enlisted in one of the fine regiments at the garrison of Besançon.
He could have become a Latin master.
He needed so little for his subsistence,
but in that case no more career,
no more future for his imagination.
It was equivalent to death.
Here is one of his sad days in detail:
"I have so often presumed to congratulate myself on being different from the other young peasants!
I have lived enough to realise that _difference engenders hate_,"
he said to himself one morning.
This great truth had just been borne in upon him by one of his most irritating failures.
He had been working for eight days at teaching a pupil who lived in an odour of sanctity.
He used to go out with him into the courtyard and listen submissively to pieces of fatuity enough to send one to sleep standing.
Suddenly the weather turned stormy.
The thunder growled,
and the holy pupil exclaimed as he roughly pushed him away.
Everyone for himself in this world.
I don't want to be burned by the thunder.
God may strike you with lightning like a blasphemer,
like a Voltaire."
"I deserve to be drowned if I go to sleep during the storm,"
with his teeth clenched with rage,
and with his eyes opened towards the sky now furrowed by the lightning.
"Let us try the conquest of some other rogue."
The bell rang for the abbé Castanède's course of sacred history.
That day the abbé Castanède was teaching those young peasants already so frightened by their father's hardships and poverty,
that the Government,
that entity so terrible in their eyes,
possessed no real and legitimate power except by virtue of the delegation of God's vicar on earth.
"Render yourselves worthy,
by the holiness of your life and by your obedience,
of the benevolence of the Pope.
Be _like a stick in his hands_,"
"and you will obtain a superb position,
where you will be far from all control,
and enjoy the King's commands,
a position from which you cannot be removed,
and where one-third of the salary is paid by the Government,
while the faithful who are moulded by your preaching pay the other two-thirds."
Castanède stopped in the courtyard after he left the lesson-room.
"It is particularly appropriate to say of a curé,"
he said to the pupils who formed a ring round him,
"that the place is worth as much as the man is worth.
I myself have known parishes in the mountains where the surplice fees were worth more than that of many town livings.
There was quite as much money,
without counting the fat capons,
and a thousand and one pleasant details,
and there the curé is indisputably the first man.
There is not a good meal to which he is not invited,
Castanède had scarcely gone back to his room before the pupils split up into knots.
Julien did not form part of any of them;
he was left out like a black sheep.
He saw in every knot a pupil tossing a coin in the air,
and if he managed to guess right in this game of heads or tails,
his comrades would decide that he would soon have one of those fat livings.
A certain young priest,
who had scarcely been ordained a year,
had given a tame rabbit to the maidservant of an old curé,
and had succeeded in being asked to be his curate.
In a few months afterwards,
for the curé had quickly died,
he had replaced him in that excellent living.
Another had succeeded in getting himself designated as a successor to a very rich town living,
by being present at all the meals of an old,
and by dexterously carving his poultry.
like all young people,
exaggerated the effect of those little devices,
which have an element of originality,
and which strike the imagination.
"I must take part in these conversations,"
said Julien to himself.
When they did not talk about sausages and good livings,
the conversation ran on the worldly aspect of ecclesiastical doctrine,
on the differences of bishops and prefects,
of mayors and curés.
Julien caught sight of the conception of a second god,
but of a god who was much more formidable and much more powerful than the other one.
That second god was the Pope.
They said among themselves,
in a low voice,
and when they were quite sure that they would not be heard by Pirard,
that the reason for the Pope not taking the trouble of nominating all the prefects and mayors of France,
was that he had entrusted that duty to the King of France by entitling him a senior son of the Church.
It was about this time that Julien thought he could exploit,
for the benefit of his own reputation,
his knowledge of De Maistre's book on the Pope.
In point of fact,
he did astonish his comrades,
but it was only another misfortune.
He displeased them by expounding their own opinions better than they could themselves.
Chélan had acted as imprudently for Julien as he had for himself.
He had given him the habit of reasoning correctly,
and of not being put off by empty words,
but he had neglected to tell him that this habit was a crime in the person of no importance,
since every piece of logical reasoning is offensive.
Julien's command of language added consequently a new crime to his score.
By dint of thinking about him,
his colleagues succeeded in expressing the horror with which he would inspire them by a single expression;
they nicknamed him Martin Luther,
"because of that infernal logic which makes him so proud."
Several young seminarists had a fresher complexion than Julien,
and could pass as better-looking,
but he had white hands,
and was unable to conceal certain refined habits of personal cleanliness.
This advantage proved a disadvantage in the gloomy house in which chance had cast him.
The dirty peasants among whom he lived asserted that he had very abandoned morals.
We fear that we may weary our reader by a narration of the thousand and one misfortunes of our hero.
The most vigorous of his comrades,
wanted to start the custom of beating him.
He was obliged to arm himself with an iron compass,
and to indicate,
though by signs,
that he would make use of it.
Signs cannot figure in a spy's report to such good advantage as words.
All hearts were moved.
The presence of God seemed to have descended into these narrow Gothic streets that stretched in every direction,
and were sanded by the care of the faithful.
It was in vain that Julien pretended to be petty and stupid.
He could not please;
he was too different.
Yet all these professors,
he said to himself,
are very clever people,
men in a thousand.
Why do they not like my humility?
Only one seemed to take advantage of his readiness to believe everything,
and apparently to swallow everything.
This was the abbé Chas-Bernard,
the director of the ceremonies of the cathedral,
for the last fifteen years,
he had been given occasion to hope for a canonry.
he taught homiletics at the seminary.
During the period of Julien's blindness,
this class was one of those in which he most frequently came out top.
The abbé Chas had used this as an opportunity to manifest some friendship to him,
and when the class broke up,
he would be glad to take him by the arm for some turns in the garden.
"What is he getting at,"
Julien would say to himself.
He noticed with astonishment that,
for hours on end,
the abbé would talk to him about the ornaments possessed by the cathedral.
It had seventeen lace chasubles,
besides the mourning vestments.
A lot was hoped from the old wife of the judge de Rubempré.
who was ninety years of age,
had kept for at least seventy years her wedding dress of superb Lyons material,
embroidered with gold.
the abbé Chas would say,
and staring with amazement,
"that this material keeps quite stiff.
There is so much gold in it.
It is generally thought in Besançon that the will of the judge's wife will result in the cathedral treasure being increased by more than ten chasubles,
without counting four or five capes for the great feast.
I will go further,"
said the abbé Chas,
lowering his voice,
"I have reasons for thinking the judge's wife will leave us her magnificent silver gilt candlesticks,
supposed to have been bought in Italy by Charles the Bold,
Duke of Burgundy,
whose favourite minister was one of the good lady's ancestors."
"But what is the fellow getting at with all this old clothes business,"
"These adroit preliminaries have been going on for centuries,
and nothing comes of them.
He must be very suspicious of me.
He is cleverer than all the others,
whose secret aim can be guessed so easily in a fortnight.
He must have been suffering for fifteen years from mortified ambition."
Julien was summoned one evening in the middle of the fencing lesson to the abbé Pirard,
who said to him.
"To-morrow is the feast of Corpus Domini (the Fête Dieu) the abbé Chas-Bernard needs you to help him to decorate the cathedral.
Go and obey."
The abbé Pirard called him back and added sympathetically.
"It depends on you whether you will utilise the occasion to go into the town."
"Incedo per ignes,"
(I have secret enemies).
Julien went to the cathedral next morning with downcast eyes.
The sight of the streets and the activity which was beginning to prevail in the town did him good.
In all quarters they were extending the fronts of the houses for the procession.
All the time that he had passed in the seminary seemed to him no more than a moment.
His thoughts were of Vergy,
and of the pretty Amanda whom he might perhaps meet,
for her café was not very far off.
He saw in the distance the abbé Chas-Bernard on the threshold of his beloved cathedral.
He was a big man with a jovial face and a frank air.
To-day he looked triumphant.
"I was expecting you,
my dear son,"
he cried as soon as he saw Julien in the distance.
This day's duty will be protracted and arduous.
Let us fortify ourselves by a first breakfast.
We will have the second at ten o'clock during high mass."
"I do not wish,
said Julien to him gravely,
"to be alone for a single instant.
Deign to observe,"
showing him the clock over their heads,
"that I have arrived at one minute to five."
"So those little rascals at the seminary frightened you.
It is very good of you to think of them,"
said the abbé.
"But is the road less beautiful because there are thorns in the hedges which border it.
Travellers go on their way,
and leave the wicked thorns to wait in vain where they are.
And now to work my dear friend,
The abbé Chas was right in saying that the task would be arduous.
There had been a great funeral ceremony at the cathedral the previous day.
They had not been able to make any preparations.
They had consequently only one morning for dressing all the Gothic pillars which constitute the three naves with a kind of red damask cloth ascending to a height of thirty feet.
The Bishop had fetched by mail four decorators from Paris,
but these gentry were not able to do everything,
and far from giving any encouragement to the clumsiness of the Besançon colleagues,
they made it twice as great by making fun of them.
Julien saw that he would have to climb the ladder himself.
His agility served him in good stead.
He undertook the direction of the decorators from town.
The Abbé Chas was delighted as he watched him flit from ladder to ladder.
When all the pillars were dressed in damask,
five enormous bouquets of feathers had to be placed on the great baldachin above the grand altar.
A rich coping of gilded wood was supported by eight big straight columns of Italian marble,
but to reach the centre of the baldachin above the tabernacle involved walking over an old wooden cornice which was forty feet high and possibly worm-eaten.
The sight of this difficult crossing had extinguished the gaiety of the Parisian decorators,
which up till then had been so brilliant.
They looked at it from down below,
argued a great deal,
but did not go up.
Julien seized hold of the bouquets of feathers and climbed the ladder at a run.
He placed it neatly on the crown-shaped ornament in the centre of the baldachin.
When he came down the ladder again,
the abbé Chas-Bernard embraced him in his arms.
"Optime" exclaimed the good priest,
"I will tell this to Monseigneur."
Breakfast at ten o'clock was very gay.
The abbé Chas had never seen his church look so beautiful.
he said to Julien.
"My mother used to let out chairs in this venerable building,
so I have been brought up in this great edifice.
The Terror of Robespierre ruined us,
but when I was eight years old,
that was my age then,
I used to serve masses in private houses,
so you see I got my meals on mass-days.
Nobody could fold a chasuble better than I could,
and I never cut the fringes.
After the re-establishment of public worship by Napoleon,
I had the good fortune to direct everything in this venerable metropolis.
Five times a year do my eyes see it adorned with these fine ornaments.
But it has never been so resplendent,
and the damask breadths have never been so well tied or so close to the pillars as they are to-day."
"So he is going to tell me his secret at last,"
"Now he is going to talk about himself.
He is expanding."
But nothing imprudent was said by the man in spite of his evident exaltation.
"All the same he has worked a great deal,"
said Julien to himself.
"He is happy.
What a man!
What an example for me!
He really takes the cake."
(This was a vulgar phrase which he had learned from the old surgeon).
As the sanctus of high mass sounded,
Julien wanted to take a surplice to follow the bishop in the superb procession.
"And the thieves,
And the thieves,"
exclaimed the abbé Chas.
"Have you forgotten them?
The procession will go out,
but we will watch,
will you and I.
We shall be very lucky if we get off with the loss of a couple of ells of this fine lace which surrounds the base of the pillars.
It is a gift of Madame de Rubempré.
It comes from her great-grandfather the famous Count.
It is made of real gold,
added the abbé in a whisper,
and with evident exaltation.
"And all genuine.
I entrust you with the watching of the north wing.
Do not leave it.
I will keep the south wing and the great nave for myself.
Keep an eye on the confessional.
It is there that the women accomplices of the thieves always spy.
Look out for the moment when we turn our backs."
As he finished speaking,
a quarter to twelve struck.
Immediately afterwards the sound of the great clock was heard.
It rang a full peal.
These full solemn sounds affected Julien.
His imagination was no longer turned to things earthly.
The perfume of the incense and of the rose leaves thrown before the holy sacrament by little children disguised as St. John increased his exaltation.
Logically the grave sounds of the bell should only have recalled to Julien's mind the thought of the labour of twenty men paid fifty-four centimes each,
and possibly helped by fifteen or twenty faithful souls.
he ought to have thought of the wear and tear of the cords and of the framework and of the danger of the clock itself,
which falls down every two centuries,
and to have considered the means of diminishing the salary of the bell-ringers,
or of paying them by some indulgence or other grace dispensed from the treasures of the Church without diminishing its purse.
Julien's soul exalted by these sounds with all their virile fulness,
instead of making these wise reflections,
wandered in the realm of imagination.
He will never turn out a good priest or a good administrator.
Souls which get thrilled so easily are at the best only capable of producing an artist.
At this moment the presumption of Julien bursts out into full view.
Perhaps fifty of his comrades in the seminary made attentive to the realities of life by their own unpopularity and the Jacobinism which they are taught to see hiding behind every hedge,
would have had no other thought suggested by the great bell of the cathedral except the wages of the ringers.
They would have analysed with the genius of Bareme whether the intensity of the emotion produced among the public was worth the money which was given to the ringers.
If Julien had only tried to think of the material interests of the cathedral,
his imagination would have transcended its actual object and thought of economizing forty francs on the fabric and have lost the opportunity of avoiding an expense of twenty-five centimes.
While the procession slowly traversed Besançon on the finest day imaginable,
and stopped at the brilliant altar-stations put up by the authorities,
the church remained in profound silence.
There prevailed a semi-obscurity,
an agreeable freshness.
It was still perfumed with the fragrance of flowers and incense.
the deep solitude,
the freshness of the long naves sweetened Julien's reverie.
He did not fear being troubled by the abbé Chas,
who was engaged in another part of the building.
His soul had almost abandoned its mortal tenement,
which was pacing slowly the north wing which had been trusted to his surveillance.
He was all the more tranquil when he had assured himself that there was no one in the confessional except some devout women.
His eyes looked in front of him seeing nothing.
His reverie was almost broken by the sight of two well-dressed women,
one in the Confessional,
and the other on a chair quite near her.
He looked without seeing,
either by reason of some vague appreciation of his duties or admiration for the aristocratic but simple dress of the ladies,
that there was no priest in the Confessional.
"It is singular,"
"that if these fair ladies are devout,
they are not kneeling before some altar,
or that if they are in society they have not an advantageous position in the first row of some balcony.
How well cut that dress is!
He slackened his pace to try and look at them.
The lady who was kneeling in the Confessional turned her head a little hearing the noise of Julien's step in this solemn place.
Suddenly she gave a loud cry,
and felt ill.
As the lady collapsed and fell backwards on her knees,
her friend who was near her hastened to help her.
At the same time Julien saw the shoulders of the lady who was falling backwards.
His eyes were struck by a twisted necklace of fine,
which he knew well.
What were his emotions when he recognised the hair of Madame de Rênal?
It was she!
The lady who was trying to prevent her from falling was Madame Derville.
Julien was beside himself and hastened to their side.
Madame de Rênal's fall would perhaps have carried her friend along with her,
if Julien had not supported them.
He saw the head of Madame de Rênal,
pale and entirely devoid of consciousness floating on his shoulder.
He helped Madame Derville to lean that charming head up against a straw chair.
He knelt down.
Madame Derville turned round and recognised him.
she said to him,
in a tone of the most lively anger.
do not let her see you again.
The sight of you would be sure to horrify her.
She was so happy before you came.
Your conduct is atrocious.
Take yourself off if you have any shame left."
These words were spoken with so much authority,
and Julien felt so weak,
that he did take himself off.
"She always hated me,"
he said to himself,
thinking of Madame Derville.
At the same moment the nasal chanting of the first priests in the procession which was now coming back resounded in the church.
The abbé Chas-Bernard called Julien,
who at first did not hear him,
He came at last and took his arm behind a pillar where Julien had taken refuge more dead than alive.
He wanted to present him to the Bishop.
"Are you feeling well,
said the abbé to him,
seeing him so pale,
and almost incapable of walking.
"You have worked too much."
The abbé gave him his arm.
sit down behind me here,
on the little seat of the dispenser of holy water;
I will hide you."
They were now beside the main door.
We have still a good twenty minutes before Monseigneur appears.
Try and pull yourself together.
I will lift you up when he passes,
for in spite of my age,
I am strong and vigorous."
Julien was trembling so violently when the Bishop passed,
that the abbé Chas gave up the idea of presenting him.
"Do not take it too much to heart,"
"I will find another opportunity."
The same evening he had six pounds of candles which had been saved,
by Julien's carefulness,
and by the promptness with which he had extinguished them,
carried to the seminary chapel.
Nothing could have been nearer the truth.
The poor boy was extinguished himself.
He had not had a single thought after meeting Madame de Rênal.
THE FIRST PROMOTION
He knew his age,
he knew his department,
and he is rich.
Julien had not emerged from the deep reverie in which the episode in the cathedral had plunged him,
when the severe abbé Pirard summoned him.
"M. the abbé Chas-Bernard has just written in your favour.
I am on the whole sufficiently satisfied with your conduct.
You are extremely imprudent and irresponsible without outward signs of it.
up to the present,
you have proved yourself possessed of a good and even generous heart.
Your intellect is superior.
Taking it all round,
I see in you a spark which one must not neglect.
"I am on the point of leaving this house after fifteen years of work.
My crime is that I have left the seminarists to their free will,
and that I have neither protected nor served that secret society of which you spoke to me at the Confessional.
I wish to do something for you before I leave.
I would have done so two months earlier,
for you deserve it,
had it not been for the information laid against you as the result of the finding in your trunk of Amanda Binet's address.
I will make you New and Old Testament tutor.
Julien was transported with gratitude and evolved the idea of throwing himself on his knees and thanking God.
He yielded to a truer impulse,
and approaching the abbé Pirard,
took his hand and pressed it to his lips.
"What is the meaning of this?"
exclaimed the director angrily,
but Julien's eyes said even more than his act.
The abbé Pirard looked at him in astonishment,
after the manner of a man who has long lost the habit of encountering refined emotions.
The attention deceived the director.
His voice altered.
I am attached to you.
Heaven knows that I have been so in spite of myself.
I ought to show neither hate nor love to anyone.
I see in you something which offends the vulgar.
Jealousy and calumny will pursue you in whatever place Providence may place you.
Your comrades will never behold you without hate,
and if they pretend to like you,
it will only be to betray you with greater certainty.
For this there is only one remedy.
Seek help only from God,
to punish you for your presumption,
has cursed you with the inevitable hatred of your comrades.
Let your conduct be pure.
That is the only resource which I can see for you.
If you love truth with an irresistible embrace,
your enemies will sooner or later be confounded."
It had been so long since Julien had heard a friendly voice that he must be forgiven a weakness.
He burst out into tears.
The abbé Pirard held out his arms to him.
This moment was very sweet to both of them.
Julien was mad with joy.
This promotion was the first which he had obtained.
The advantages were immense.
To realise them one must have been condemned to pass months on end without an instant's solitude,
and in immediate contact with comrades who were at the best importunate,
and for the most part insupportable.
Their cries alone would have sufficed to disorganise a delicate constitution.
The noise and joy of these peasants,
well-fed and well-clothed as they were,
could only find a vent for itself,
or believe in its own completeness when they were shouting with all the strength of their lungs.
Now Julien dined alone,
or nearly an hour later than the other seminarists.
He had a key of the garden and could walk in it when no one else was there.
Julien was astonished to perceive that he was now hated less.
on the contrary,
had been expecting that their hate would become twice as intense.
That secret desire of his that he should not be spoken to,
which had been only too manifest before,
and had earned him so many enemies,
was no longer looked upon as a sign of ridiculous haughtiness.
in the eyes of the coarse beings who surrounded him,
a just appreciation of his own dignity.
The hatred of him sensibly diminished,
above all among the youngest of his comrades,
who were now his pupils,
and whom he treated with much politeness.
Gradually he obtained his own following.
It became looked upon as bad form to call him Martin Luther.
But what is the good of enumerating his friends and his enemies?
The whole business is squalid,
and all the more squalid in proportion to the truth of the picture.
And yet the clergy supply the only teachers of morals which the people have.
What would happen to the people without them?
Will the paper ever replace the cure?
Since Julien's new dignity,
the director of the seminary made a point of never speaking to him without witnesses.
These tactics were prudent,
both for the master and for the pupil,
but above all it was meant for a test.
The invariable principle of that severe Jansenist Pirard was this --"if a man has merit in your eyes,
put obstacles in the way of all he desires,
and of everything which he undertakes.
If the merit is real,
he will manage to overthrow or get round those obstacles."
It was the hunting season.
It had occurred to Fouqué to send a stag and a boar to the seminary as though they came from Julien's parents.
The dead animals were put down on the floor between the kitchen and the refectory.
It was there that they were seen by all the seminarists on their way to dinner.
They constituted a great attraction for their curiosity.
dead though it was,
made the youngest ones feel frightened.
They touched its tusks.
They talked of nothing else for a whole week.
which raised Julien's family to the level of that class of society which deserves respect,
struck a deadly blow at all jealousy.
He enjoyed a superiority,
consecrated by fortune.
the most distinguished of the seminarists,
made advances to him,
and always reproached him for not having previously apprised them of his parents' position and had thus involved them in treating money without sufficient respect.
A conscription took place,
from which Julien,
in his capacity as seminarist,
This circumstance affected him profoundly.
"So there is just passed for ever that moment which,
twenty years earlier,
would have seen my heroic life begin.
He was walking alone in the seminary garden.
He heard the masons who were walling up the cloister walls talking between themselves.
we must go.
There's the new conscription.
When _the other_ was alive it was good business.
A mason could become an officer then,
could become a general then.
One has seen such things."
"You go and see now.
It's only the ragamuffins who leave for the army.
Any one _who has anything_ stays in the country here."
"The man who is born wretched stays wretched,
and there you are."
is it true what they say,
that the other is dead?"
put in the third mason.
'_big men_' who say that,
The other one made them afraid."
"What a difference.
How the fortification went ahead in his time.
And to think of his being betrayed by his own marshals."
This conversation consoled Julien a little.
As he went away,
he repeated with a sigh:
"_Le seul roi dont le peuple a gardé la mémoire._"
The time for the examination arrived.
Julien answered brilliantly.
He saw that Chazel endeavoured to exhibit all his knowledge.
On the first day the examiners,
nominated by the famous Grand Vicar de Frilair,
were very irritated at always having to put first,
or at any rate second,
on their list,
that Julien Sorel,
who had been designated to them as the Benjamin of the Abbé Pirard.
There were bets in the seminary that Julien would come out first in the final list of the examination,
a privilege which carried with it the honour of dining with my Lord Bishop.
But at the end of a sitting,
dealing with the fathers of the Church,
an adroit examiner,
having first interrogated Julien on Saint Jerome and his passion for Cicero,
went on to speak about Horace,
Virgil and other profane authors.
Julien had learnt by heart a great number of passages from these authors without his comrades' knowledge.
Swept away by his successes,
he forgot the place where he was,
and recited in paraphrase with spirit several odes of Horace at the repeated request of the examiner.
Having for twenty minutes given him enough rope to hang himself,
the examiner changed his expression,
and bitterly reproached him for the time he had wasted on these profane studies,
and the useless or criminal ideas which he had got into his head.
"I am a fool,
You are right,"
said Julien modestly,
realising the adroit stratagem of which he was the victim.
This examiner's dodge was considered dirty,
even at the seminary,
but this did not prevent the abbé de Frilair,
that adroit individual who had so cleverly organised the machinery of the Besançon congregation,
and whose despatches to Paris put fear into the hearts of judges,
and even the generals of the garrison,
from placing with his powerful hand the number 198 against Julien's name.
He enjoyed subjecting his enemy,
Pirard the Jansenist,
to this mortification.
His chief object for the last ten years had been to deprive him of the headship of the seminary.
who had himself followed the plan which he had indicated to Julien,
devoted to his duties and devoid of intrigue,
but heaven in its anger had given him that bilious temperament which is by nature so deeply sensitive to insults and to hate.
None of the insults which were addressed to him was wasted on his burning soul.
He would have handed in his resignation a hundred times over,
but he believed that he was useful in the place where Providence had set him.
"I prevent the progress of Jesuitism and Idolatry,"
he said to himself.
At the time of the examinations,
it was perhaps nearly two months since he had spoken to Julien,
he was ill for eight days when,
on receipt of the official letter announcing the result of the competition,
he saw the number 198 placed beside the name of that pupil whom he regarded as the glory of his town.
This stern character found his only consolation in concentrating all his surveillance on Julien.
He was delighted that he discovered in him neither anger,
Julien felt a thrill some months afterwards when he received a letter.
It bore the Paris post-mark.
Madame de Rênal is remembering her promises at last,
A gentleman who signed himself Paul Sorel,
and who said that he was his relative,
sent him a letter of credit for five hundred francs.
The writer went on to add that if Julien went on to study successfully the good Latin authors,
a similar sum would be sent to him every year.
"It is she.
It is her kindness,"
said Julien to himself,
feeling quite overcome.
"She wishes to console me.
But why not a single word of affection?"
He was making a mistake in regard to this letter,
for Madame de Rênal,
under the influence of her friend,
was abandoning herself absolutely to profound remorse.
She would often think,
in spite of herself,
of that singular being,
the meeting with whom had revolutionized her life.
But she carefully refrained from writing to him.
If we were to talk the terminology of the seminary,
we would be able to recognise a miracle in the sending of these five hundred francs and to say that heaven was making use of Monsieur de Frilair himself in order to give this gift to Julien.
Twelve years previously the abbé de Frilair had arrived in Besançon with an extremely exiguous portmanteau,
according to the story,
contained all his fortune.
He was now one of the richest proprietors of the department.
In the course of his prosperity,
he had bought the one half of an estate,
while the other half had been inherited by Monsieur de la Mole.
Consequently there was a great lawsuit between these two personages.
M. le Marquis de la Mole felt that,
in spite of his brilliant life at Paris and the offices which he held at Court,
it would be dangerous to fight at Besançon against the Grand Vicar,
who was reputed to make and unmake prefects.
Instead of soliciting a present of fifty thousand francs which could have been smuggled into the budget under some name or other,
and of throwing up this miserable lawsuit with the abbé Frilair over a matter of fifty thousand francs,
the marquis lost his temper.
He thought he was in the right,
absolutely in the right.
if one is permitted to say so,
who is the judge who has not got a son,
or at any rate a cousin to push in the world?
In order to enlighten the blindest minds the abbé de Frilair took the carriage of my Lord the Bishop eight days after the first decree which he obtained,
and went himself to convey the cross of the Legion of Honour to his advocate.
M. de la Mole,
a little dumbfounded at the demeanour of the other side,
and appreciating also that his own advocates were slackening their efforts,
asked advice of the abbé Chélan,
who put him in communication with M. Pirard.
At the period of our story the relations between these two men had lasted for several years.
The abbé Pirard imported into this affair his characteristic passion.
Being in constant touch with the Marquis's advocates,
he studied his case,
and finding it just,
he became quite openly the solicitor of M. de la Mole against the all-powerful Grand Vicar.
The latter felt outraged by such insolence,
and on the part of a little Jansenist into the bargain.
"See what this Court nobility who pretend to be so powerful really are,"
would say the abbé de Frilair to his intimates.
M. de la Mole has not even sent a miserable cross to his agent at Besançon,
and will let him be tamely turned out.
None the less,
so they write me,
this noble peer never lets a week go by without going to show off his blue ribbon in the drawing-room of the Keeper of Seal,
whoever it may be.
In spite of all the energy of the abbé Pirard,
and although M. de la Mole was always on the best of terms with the minister of justice,
and above all with his officials,
the best that he could achieve after six careful years was not to lose his lawsuit right out.
Being as he was in ceaseless correspondence with the abbé Pirard in connection with an affair in which they were both passionately interested,
the Marquis came to appreciate the abbé's particular kind of intellect.
Little by little,
and in spite of the immense distance in their social positions,
their correspondence assumed the tone of friendship.
The abbé Pirard told the Marquis that they wanted to heap insults upon him till he should be forced to hand in his resignation.
In his anger against what,
in his opinion,
was the infamous stratagem employed against Julien,
he narrated his history to the Marquis.
Although extremely rich,
this great lord was by no means miserly.
He had never been able to prevail on the abbé Pirard to accept even the reimbursement of the postal expenses occasioned by the lawsuit.
He seized the opportunity of sending five hundred francs to his favourite pupil.
M. de la Mole himself took the trouble of writing the covering letter.
This gave the abbé food for thought.
One day the latter received a little note which requested him to go immediately on an urgent matter to an inn on the outskirts of Besançon.
He found there the steward of M. de la Mole.
"M. le Marquis has instructed me to bring you his carriage,"
said the man to him.
"He hopes that after you have read this letter you will find it convenient to leave for Paris in four or five days.
I will employ the time in the meanwhile in asking you to be good enough to show me the estates of M. le Marquis in the Franche-Comté,
so that I can go over them."
The letter was short: --
my good sir,
of all the chicanery of the provinces and come and breathe the peaceful atmosphere of Paris.
I send you my carriage which has orders to await your decision for four days.
I will await you myself at Paris until Tuesday.
You only require to say so,
to accept in your own name one of the best livings in the environs of Paris.
The richest of your future parishioners has never seen you,
but is more devoted than you can possibly think: he is the Marquis de la Mole."
Without having suspected it,
the stern abbé Pirard loved this seminary,
peopled as it was by his enemies,
but to which for the past fifteen years he had devoted all his thoughts.
M. de la Mole's letter had the effect on him of the visit of the surgeon come to perform a difficult but necessary operation.
His dismissal was certain.
He made an appointment with the steward for three days later.
For forty-eight hours he was in a fever of uncertainty.
Finally he wrote to the M. de la Mole,
and composed for my Lord the Bishop a letter,
a masterpiece of ecclesiastical style,
although it was a little long;
it would have been difficult to have found more unimpeachable phrases,
and ones breathing a more sincere respect.
intended as it was to get M. de Frilair into trouble with his patron,
gave utterance to all the serious matters of complaint,
and even descended to the little squalid intrigues which,
having been endured with resignation for six years,
were forcing the abbé Pirard to leave the diocese.
They stole his firewood,
they poisoned his dog,
Having finished this letter he had Julien called.
Like all the other seminarists,
he was sleeping at eight o'clock in the evening.
"You know where the Bishop's Palace is,"
he said to him in good classical Latin.
"Take this letter to my Lord.
I will not hide from you that I am sending you into the midst of the wolves.
Be all ears and eyes.
Let there be no lies in your answers,
but realise that the man questioning you will possibly experience a real joy in being able to hurt you.
I am very pleased,
at being able to give you this experience before I leave you,
for I do not hide from you that the letter which you are bearing is my resignation."
Julien stood motionless.
He loved the abbé Pirard.
It was in vain that prudence said to him,
"After this honest man's departure the Sacré-Cœur party will disgrace me and perhaps expel me."
He could not think of himself.
He was embarrassed by a phrase which he was trying to turn in a polite way,
but as a matter of fact he found himself without the brains to do so.
are you not going?"
"Is it because they say,
answered Julian timidly,
"that you have put nothing on one side during your long administration.
I have six hundred francs."
His tears prevented him from continuing.
"_That also will be noticed,_" said the ex-director of the seminary coldly.
"Go to the Palace.
It is getting late."
Chance would so have it that on that evening,
the abbé de Frilair was on duty in the salon of the Palace.
My lord was dining with the prefect,
so it was to M. de Frilair himself that Julien,
though he did not know it,
handed the letter.
Julien was astonished to see this abbé boldly open the letter which was addressed to the Bishop.
The face of the Grand Vicar soon expressed surprise,
tinged with a lively pleasure,
and became twice as grave as before.
struck with his good appearance,
found time to scrutinise him while he was reading.
This face would have possessed more dignity had it not been for the extreme subtlety which appeared in some features,
and would have gone to the fact of actually denoting falseness if the possessor of this fine countenance had ceased to school it for a single minute.
The very prominent nose formed a perfectly straight line and unfortunately gave to an otherwise distinguished profile,
a curious resemblance to the physiognomy of a fox.
Otherwise this abbé,
who appeared so engrossed with Monsieur Pirard's resignation,
was dressed with an elegance which Julien had never seen before in any priest and which pleased him exceedingly.
It was only later that Julien knew in what the special talent of the abbé de Frilair really consisted.
He knew how to amuse his bishop,
an amiable old man made for Paris life,
and who looked upon Besançon as exile.
This Bishop had very bad sight,
and was passionately fond of fish.
The abbé de Frilair used to take the bones out of the fish which was served to my Lord.
Julien looked silently at the abbé who was rereading the resignation when the door suddenly opened with a noise.
A richly dressed lackey passed in rapidly.
Julien had only time to turn round towards the door.
He perceived a little old man wearing a pectoral cross.
He prostrated himself.
The Bishop addressed a benevolent smile to him and passed on.
The handsome abbé followed him and Julien was left alone in the salon,
and was able to admire at his leisure its pious magnificence.
The Bishop of Besançon,
a man whose spirit had been tried but not broken by the long miseries of the emigration,
was more than seventy-five years old and concerned himself infinitely little with what might happen in ten years' time.
"Who is that clever-looking seminarist I think I saw as I passed?"
said the Bishop.
"Oughtn't they to be in bed according to my regulations."
"That one is very wide-awake I assure you,
and he brings great news.
It is the resignation of the only Jansenist residing in your diocese,
that terrible abbé Pirard realises at last that we mean business."
said the Bishop with a laugh.
"I challenge you to replace him with any man of equal worth,
and to show you how much I prize that man,
I will invite him to dinner for to-morrow."
The Grand Vicar tried to slide in a few words concerning the choice of a successor.
who was little disposed to talk business,
said to him.
"Before we install the other,
let us get to know a little of the circumstances under which the present one is going.
Fetch me this seminarist.
The truth is in the mouth of children."
Julien was summoned.
"I shall find myself between two inquisitors,"
He had never felt more courageous.
At the moment when he entered,
better dressed than M. Valenod himself,
were undressing my lord.
That prelate thought he ought to question Julien on his studies before questioning him about M. Pirard.
He talked a little theology,
and was astonished.
He soon came to the humanities,
"It was those names,"
that earned me my number 198.
I have nothing to lose.
Let us try and shine.
who was an excellent humanist himself,
At the prefect's dinner,
a young girl who was justly celebrated,
had recited the poem of the Madeleine.
He was in the mood to talk literature,
and very quickly forgot the abbé Pirard and his affairs to discuss with the seminarist whether Horace was rich or poor.
The prelate quoted several odes,
but sometimes his memory was sluggish,
and then Julien would recite with modesty the whole ode: the fact which struck the bishop was that Julien never deviated from the conversational tone.
He spoke his twenty or thirty Latin verses as though he had been speaking of what was taking place in his own seminary.
They talked for a long time of Virgil,
and the prelate could not help complimenting the young seminarist.
"You could not have studied better."
"your seminary can offer you 197 much less unworthy of your high esteem."
"How is that?"
said the Prelate astonished by the number.
"I can support by official proof just what I have had the honour of saying before my lord.
I obtained the number 198 at the seminary's annual examination by giving accurate answers to the very questions which are earning me at the present moment my lord's approbation.
it is the Benjamin of the abbé Pirard,"
said the Bishop with a laugh,
as he looked at M. de Frilair.
"We should have been prepared for this.
But it is fair fighting.
Did you not have to be woken up,
addressing himself to Julien.
"To be sent here?"
I have only been out of the seminary alone once in my life to go and help M. the abbé Chas-Bernard decorate the cathedral on Corpus Christi day.
said the Bishop.
it is you who showed proof of so much courage by placing the bouquets of feathers on the baldachin.
They make me shudder.
They make me fear that they will cost some man his life.
You will go far,
but I do not wish to cut short your brilliant career by making you die of hunger."
And by the order of the Bishop,
biscuits and wine were brought in,
to which Julien did honour,
and the abbé de Frilair,
who knew that his Bishop liked to see people eat gaily and with a good appetite,
even greater honour.
more and more satisfied with the end of his evening,
talked for a moment of ecclesiastical history.
He saw that Julien did not understand.
The prelate passed on to the moral condition of the Roman Empire under the system of the Emperor Constantine.
The end of paganism had been accompanied by that state of anxiety and of doubt which afflicts sad and jaded spirits in the nineteenth century.
My Lord noticed Julien's ignorance of almost the very name of Tacitus.
To the astonishment of the prelate,
Julien answered frankly that that author was not to be found in the seminary library.
"I am truly very glad,"
said the Bishop gaily,
"You relieve me of an embarrassment.
I have been trying for the last five minutes to find a way of thanking you for the charming evening which you have given me in a way that I could certainly never have expected.
I did not anticipate finding a teacher in a pupil in my seminary.
Although the gift is not unduly canonical,
I want to give you a Tacitus."
The prelate had eight volumes in a superior binding fetched for him,
and insisted on writing himself on the title page of the first volume a Latin compliment to Julien Sorel.
The Bishop plumed himself on his fine Latinity.
He finished by saying to him in a serious tone,
which completely clashed with the rest of the conversation.
if you are good,
you will have one day the best living in my diocese,
and one not a hundred leagues from my episcopal palace,
but you must be good."
Laden with his volumes,
Julien left the palace in a state of great astonishment as midnight was striking.
My Lord had not said a word to him about the abbé Pirard.
Julien was particularly astonished by the Bishop's extreme politeness.
He had had no conception of such an urbanity in form combined with so natural an air of dignity.
Julien was especially struck by the contrast on seeing again the gloomy abbé Pirard,
who was impatiently awaiting him.
"Quid tibi dixerunt (What have they said to you)?"
he cried out to him in a loud voice as soon as he saw him in the distance.
and repeat my Lord's own words without either adding or subtracting anything,"
said the ex-Director of the seminary in his harsh tone,
and with his particularly inelegant manners,
as Julien got slightly confused in translating into Latin the speeches of the Bishop.
"What a strange present on the part of the Bishop to a young seminarist,"
he ventured to say as he turned over the leaves of the superb Tacitus,
whose gilt edges seemed to horrify him.
Two o'clock was already striking when he allowed his favourite pupil to retire to his room after an extremely detailed account.
"Leave me the first volume of your Tacitus,"
he said to him.
"Where is my Lord Bishop's compliment?
This Latin line will serve as your lightning-conductor in this house after my departure."
successor meus tanquam leo querens quem devoret.
(For my successor will be to you,
like a ravening lion seeking someone to devour).
The following morning Julien noticed a certain strangeness in the manner in which his comrades spoke to him.
It only made him more reserved.
"is the result of M. Pirard's resignation.
It is known over the whole house,
and I pass for his favourite.
There ought logically to be an insult in their demeanour."
But he could not detect it.
On the contrary,
there was an absence of hate in the eyes of all those he met along the corridors.
"What is the meaning of this?
It is doubtless a trap.
Let us play a wary game."
Finally the little seminarist said to him with a laugh,
"Cornelii Taciti opera omnia (complete works of Tacitus)."
On hearing these words,
they all congratulated Julien enviously,
not only on the magnificent present which he had received from my lord,
but also on the two hours' conversation with which he had been honoured.
They knew even its minutest details.
From that moment envy ceased completely.
They courted him basely.
The abbé Castanède,
who had manifested towards him the most extreme insolence the very day before,
came and took his arm and invited him to breakfast.
By some fatality in Julien's character,
while the insolence of these coarse creatures had occasioned him great pain,
their baseness afforded him disgust,
but no pleasure.
Towards mid-day the abbé Pirard took leave of his pupils,
but not before addressing to them a severe admonition.
"Do you wish for the honours of the world,"
he said to them.
"For all the social advantages,
for the pleasure of commanding pleasures,
of setting the laws at defiance,
and the pleasure of being insolent with impunity to all?
Or do you wish for your eternal salvation?
The most backward of you have only got to open your eyes to distinguish the true ways."
He had scarcely left before the devotees of the _Sacré Cœur de Jésus_ went into the chapel to intone a Te Deum.
Nobody in the seminary took the ex-director's admonition seriously.
"He shows a great deal of temper because he is losing his job,"
was what was said in every quarter.
Not a single seminarist was simple enough to believe in the voluntary resignation of a position which put him into such close touch with the big contractors.
The abbé Pirard went and established himself in the finest inn at Besançon,
and making an excuse of business which he had not got,
insisted on passing a couple of days there.
The Bishop had invited him to dinner,
and in order to chaff his Grand Vicar de Frilair,
endeavoured to make him shine.
They were at dessert when the extraordinary intelligence arrived from Paris that the abbé Pirard had been appointed to the magnificent living of N. -- -- four leagues from Paris.
The good prelate congratulated him upon it.
He saw in the whole affair a piece of good play which put him in a good temper and gave him the highest opinion of the abbé's talents.
He gave him a magnificent Latin certificate,
and enjoined silence on the abbé de Frilair,
who was venturing to remonstrate.
The same evening,
my Lord conveyed his admiration to the Marquise de Rubempré.
This was great news for fine Besançon society.
They abandoned themselves to all kinds of conjectures over this extraordinary favour.
They already saw the abbé Pirard a Bishop.
The more subtle brains thought M. de la Mole was a minister,
and indulged on this day in smiles at the imperious airs that M. the abbé de Frilair adopted in society.
The following day the abbé Pirard was almost mobbed in the streets,
and the tradesmen came to their shop doors when he went to solicit an interview with the judges who had had to try the Marquis's lawsuit.
For the first time in his life he was politely received by them.
The stern Jansenist,
indignant as he was with all that he saw,
worked long with the advocates whom he had chosen for the Marquis de la Mole,
and left for Paris.
He was weak enough to tell two or three college friends who accompanied him to the carriage whose armorial bearings they admired,
that after having administered the Seminary for fifteen years he was leaving Besançon with five hundred and twenty francs of savings.
His friends kissed him with tears in their eyes,
and said to each other,
"The good abbé could have spared himself that lie.
It is really too ridiculous."
blinded as they are by the love of money,
were constitutionally incapable of understanding that it was in his own sincerity that the abbé Pirard had found the necessary strength to fight for six years against Marie Alacoque,
the _Sacré Cœur de Jésus_,
the Jesuits and his Bishop.
AN AMBITIOUS MAN
There is only one nobility,
the title of duke;
a marquis is ridiculous;
the word duke makes one turn round.
The Marquis de la Mole received the abbé Pirard without any of those aristocratic mannerisms whose very politeness is at the same time so impertinent to one who understands them.
It would have been a waste of time,
and the Marquis was sufficiently expeditious in big affairs to have no time to lose.
He had been intriguing for six months to get both the king and people to accept a minister who,
as a matter of gratitude,
was to make him a Duke.
The Marquis had been asking his Besançon advocate for years on end for a clear and precise summary of his Franche-Comté lawsuits.
How could the celebrated advocate explain to him what he did not understand himself?
The little square of paper which the abbé handed him explained the whole matter.
"My dear abbé,"
said the Marquis to him,
having got through in less than five minutes all polite formulae of personal questions.
"My dear abbé,
in the midst of my pretended prosperity I lack the time to occupy myself seriously with two little matters which are rather important,
my family and my affairs.
I manage the fortune of my house on a large scale.
I can carry it far.
I manage my pleasures,
and that is the first consideration in my eyes,"
as he saw a look of astonishment in the abbé Pirard's eyes.
Although a man of common sense,
the abbé was surprised to hear a man talk so frankly about his pleasures.
"Work doubtless exists in Paris,"
continued the great lord,
"but it is perched on the fifth story,
and as soon as I take anyone up,
he takes an apartment on the second floor,
and his wife starts a day at home;
the result is no more work and no more efforts except either to be,
or appear to be,
a society man.
That is the only thing they bother about,
as soon as they have got their bread and butter.
"For my lawsuits,
for every single one of them,
to put it plainly,
advocates who quarrel to death.
One died of consumption the day before yesterday.
Taking my business all round,
would you believe,
that for three years I have given up all hope of finding a man who deigns,
during the time he is acting as my clerk,
to give a little serious thought to what he is doing.
all this is only a preliminary.
"I respect you and would venture to add that,
although I only see you for the first time to-day,
I like you.
Will you be my secretary at a salary of eight hundred francs or even double.
I shall still be the gainer by it,
I swear to you,
and I will manage to reserve that fine living for you for the day when we shall no longer be able to agree."
The abbé refused,
but the genuine embarrassment in which he saw the Marquis suggested an idea to him towards the end of the conversation.
"I have left in the depths of my seminary a poor young man who,
if I mistake not,
will be harshly persecuted.
If he were only a simple monk he would be already _in pace_.
So far this young man only knows Latin and the Holy Scriptures,
but it is not impossible that he will one day exhibit great talent,
either for preaching or the guiding of souls.
I do not know what he will do,
but he has the sacred fire.
He may go far.
I thought of giving him to our Bishop,
if we had ever had one who was a little of your way of considering men and things."
"What is your young man's extraction?"
said the Marquis.
"He is said to be the son of a carpenter in our mountains.
I rather believe he is the natural son of some rich man.
I have seen him receive an anonymous or pseudonymous letter with a bill for five hundred francs."
it is Julien Sorel,"
said the Marquis.
"How do you know his name?"
said the abbé,
reddening at his question.
"That's what I'm not going to tell you,"
answered the Marquis.
replied the abbé,
"you might try making him your secretary.
He has energy.
He has a logical mind.
In a word,
it's worth trying."
said the Marquis.
"But would he be the kind of man to allow his palm to be greased by the Prefect of Police or any one else and then spy on me?
That is only my objection."
After hearing the favourable assurances of the abbé Pirard,
the Marquis took a thousand franc note.
"Send this journey money to Julien Sorel.
Let him come to me."
"One sees at once,"
said the abbé Pirard,
"that you live in Paris.
You do not know the tyranny which weighs us poor provincials down,
and particularly those priests who are not friendly to the Jesuits.
They will refuse to let Julien Sorel leave.
They will manage to cloak themselves in the most clever excuses.
They will answer me that he is ill,
that his letters were lost in the post,
"I will get a letter from the minister to the Bishop,
one of these days,"
answered the Marquis.
"I was forgetting to warn you of one thing,"
said the abbé.
"This young man,
though of low birth,
has a high spirit.
He will be of no use if you madden his pride.
You will make him stupid."
"That pleases me,"
said the Marquis.
"I will make him my son's comrade.
Will that be enough for you?"
Some time afterwards,
Julien received a letter in an unknown writing,
and bearing the Chélon postmark.
He found in it a draft on a Besançon merchant,
and instructions to present himself at Paris without delay.
The letter was signed in a fictitious name,
but Julien had felt a thrill in opening it.
A leaf of a tree had fallen down at his feet.
It was the agreed signal between himself and the abbé Pirard.
Within an hour's time,
Julien was summoned to the Bishop's Palace,
where he found himself welcomed with a quite paternal benevolence.
My lord quoted Horace and at the same time complimented him very adroitly on the exalted destiny which awaited him in Paris in such a way as to elicit an explanation by way of thanks.
Julien was unable to say anything,
simply because he did not know anything,
and my Lord showed him much consideration.
One of the little priests in the bishopric wrote to the mayor,
who hastened to bring in person a signed passport,
where the name of the traveller had been left in blank.
Before midnight of the same evening,
Julien was at Fouqué's.
His friend's shrewd mind was more astonished than pleased with the future which seemed to await his friend.
"You will finish up,"
said that Liberal voter,
"with a place in the Government,
which will compel you to take some step which will be calumniated.
It will only be by your own disgrace that I shall have news of you.
even from the financial standpoint,
it is better to earn a hundred louis in a good timber business,
of which one is his own master,
than to receive four thousand francs from a Government,
even though it were that of King Solomon."
Julien saw nothing in this except the pettiness of spirit of a country bourgeois.
At last he was going to make an appearance in the theatre of great events.
Everything was over-shadowed in his eyes by the happiness of going to Paris,
which he imagined to be populated by people of intellect,
full of intrigues and full of hypocrisy,
but as polite as the Bishop of Besançon and the Bishop of Agde.
He represented to his friend that he was deprived of any free choice in the matter by the abbé Pirard's letter.'
The following day he arrived at Verrières about noon.
He felt the happiest of men for he counted on seeing Madame de Rênal again.
He went first to his protector the good abbé Chélan.
He met with a severe welcome.
"Do you think you are under any obligation to me?"
said M. Chélan to him,
without answering his greeting.
"You will take breakfast with me.
During that time I will have a horse hired for you and you will leave Verrières without seeing anyone."
"Hearing is obeying,"
answered Julien with a demeanour smacking of the seminary,
and the only questions now discussed were theology and classical Latin.
He mounted his horse,
rode a league,
and then perceiving a wood and not seeing any one who could notice him enter,
he plunged into it.
he sent away the horse.
he entered the cottage of a peasant,
who consented to sell him a ladder and to follow him with it to the little wood which commands the _Cours de la Fidélité_ at Verrières.
"I have been following a poor mutineer of a conscript ...
or a smuggler,"
said the peasant as he took leave of him,
"but what does it matter?
My ladder has been well paid for,
and I myself have done a thing or two in that line."
The night was very black.
Towards one o'clock in the morning,
laden with his ladder,
He descended as soon as he could into the bed of the stream,
which is banked within two walls,
and traverses M. de Rênal's magnificent gardens at a depth of ten feet.
Julien easily climbed up the ladder.
"How will the watch dogs welcome me,"
"It all turns on that."
The dogs barked and galloped towards him,
but he whistled softly and they came and caressed him.
Then climbing from terrace to terrace he easily managed,
although all the grills were shut,
to get as far as the window of Madame de Rênal's bedroom which,
on the garden side,
was only eight or six feet above the ground.
There was a little heart shaped opening in the shutters which Julien knew well.
To his great disappointment,
this little opening was not illuminated by the flare of a little night-light inside.
he said to himself.
"This room is not occupied by Madame de Rênal.
Where can she be sleeping?
The family must be at Verrières since I have found the dogs here,
but I might meet M. de Rênal himself,
or even a stranger in this room without a light,
and then what a scandal!"
The most prudent course was to retreat,
but this idea horrified Julien.
"If it's a stranger,
I will run away for all I'm worth,
and leave my ladder behind me,
but if it is she,
what a welcome awaits me!
I can well imagine that she has fallen into a mood of penitence and the most exalted piety,
but after all,
she still has some remembrance of me,
since she has written to me."
This bit of reasoning decided him.
With a beating heart,
but resolved none the less to see her or perish in the attempt,
he threw some little pebbles against the shutter.
He leaned his long ladder beside the window,
and himself knocked on the shutter,
at first softly,
and then more strongly.
"However dark it is,
they may still shoot me,"
This idea made the mad adventure simply a question of bravery.
"This room is not being slept in to-night,"
"or whatever person might be there would have woken up by now.
So far as it is concerned,
no further precautions are needed.
I must only try not to be heard by the persons sleeping in the other rooms."
placed his ladder against one of the shutters,
climbed up again,
and placing his hand through the heart-shaped opening,
was fortunate enough to find pretty quickly the wire which is attached to the hook which closed the shutter.
He pulled this wire.
It was with an ineffable joy that he felt that the shutter was no longer held back,
and yielded to his effort.
I must open it bit by bit and let her recognise my voice.
He opened the shutter enough to pass his head through it,
while he repeated in a low voice,
"It's a friend."
He pricked up his ears and assured himself that nothing disturbed the profound silence of the room,
but there could be no doubt about it,
there was no light,
on the mantelpiece.
It was a very bad sign.
"Look out for the gun-shot,"
he reflected a little,
then he ventured to knock against the window with his finger.
He knocked harder.
I must finish it one way or another,
even if I have to break the window.
When he was knocking very hard,
he thought he could catch a glimpse through the darkness of something like a white shadow that was crossing the room.
At last there was no doubt about it.
He saw a shadow which appeared to advance with extreme slowness.
Suddenly he saw a cheek placed against the pane to which his eye was glued.
He shuddered and went away a little,
but the night was so black that he could not,
even at this distance,
distinguish if it were Madame de Rênal.
He was frightened of her crying out at first in alarm.
He heard the dogs prowling and growling around the foot of the ladder.
"It is I,"
he repeated fairly loudly.
The white phantom had disappeared.
"Deign to open to me.
I must speak to you.
I am too unhappy."
And he knocked hard enough to break the pane.
A crisp sound followed.
The casement fastening of the window yielded.
He pushed the casement and leaped lightly into the room.
The white phantom flitted away from him.
He took hold of its arms.
It was a woman.
All his ideas of courage vanished.
"If it is she,
what is she going to say?"
What were his emotions when a little cry gave him to understand,
that it was Madame de Rênal?
He clasped her in his arms.
She trembled and scarcely had the strength to push him away.
What are you doing?"
Her agonised voice could scarcely articulate the words.
Julien thought that her voice rang with the most genuine indignation.
"I have come to see you after a cruel separation of more than fourteen months."
leave me at once.
why did you prevent me writing to him?
I could then have foreseen this horror."
She pushed him away with a truly extraordinary strength.
"Heaven has deigned to enlighten me,"
she repeated in a broken voice.
"After fourteen months of unhappiness I shall certainly not leave you without a word.
I want to know all you have done.
I have loved you enough to deserve this confidence.
I want to know everything."
This authoritative tone dominated Madame de Rênal's heart in spite of herself.
who was hugging her passionately and resisting her efforts to get loose,
left off clasping her in his arms.
This reassured Madame de Rênal a little.
"I will take away the ladder,"
"to prevent it compromising us in case some servant should be awakened by the noise,
and go on a round."
"Oh leave me,
she cried with an admirable anger.
"What do men matter to me!
It is God who sees the awful scene you are now making.
You are abusing meanly the sentiments which I had for you but have no longer.
Do you hear,
He took away the ladder very slowly so as not to make a noise.
"Is your husband in town,
he said to her not in order to defy her but as a sheer matter of habit.
"Don't talk to me like that,
I beg you,
or I will call my husband.
I feel only too guilty in not having sent you away before.
I pity you,"
she said to him,
trying to wound his,
as she well knew,
This refusal of all endearments,
this abrupt way of breaking so tender a tie which he thought still subsisted,
carried the transports of Julien's love to the point of delirium.
is it possible you do not love me?"
he said to her,
with one of those accents that come straight from the heart and impose a severe strain on the cold equanimity of the listener.
She did not answer.
As for him,
he wept bitterly.
In fact he had no longer the strength to speak.
"So I am completely forgotten by the one being who ever loved me,
what is the good of living on henceforth?"
As soon as he had no longer to fear the danger of meeting a man all his courage had left him;
his heart now contained no emotion except that of love.
He wept for a long time in silence.
He took her hand;
she tried to take it away,
and after a few almost convulsive moments,
surrendered it to him.
It was extremely dark;
they were both sitting on Madame de Rênal's bed.
"What a change from fourteen months ago,"
and his tears redoubled.
"So absence is really bound to destroy all human sentiments."
"Deign to tell me what has happened to you?"
Julien said at last.
answered Madame de Rênal in a hard voice whose frigid intonation contained in it a certain element of reproach,
"were no doubt known in the town when you left,
your conduct was so imprudent.
Some time afterwards when I was in despair the venerable Chélan came to see me.
He tried in vain for a long time to obtain a confession.
One day he took me to that church at Dijon where I made my first communion.
In that place he ventured to speak himself -- --" Madame de Rênal was interrupted by her tears.
"What a moment of shame.
I confessed everything.
The good man was gracious enough not to overwhelm me with the weight of his indignation.
He grieved with me.
During that time I used to write letters to you every day which I never ventured to send.
I hid them carefully and when I was more than usually unhappy I shut myself up in my room and read over my letters."
"At last M. Chélan induced me to hand them over to him,
some of them written a little more discreetly were sent to you,
you never answered."
"I never received any letters from you,
Who can have intercepted them?
Imagine my grief until the day I saw you in the cathedral.
I did not know if you were still alive."
"God granted me the grace of understanding how much I was sinning towards Him,
towards my children,
towards my husband,"
went on Madame de Rênal.
"He never loved me in the way that I then thought that you had loved me."
Julien rushed into her arms,
as a matter of fact without any particular purpose and feeling quite beside himself.
But Madame de Rênal repelled him and continued fairly firmly.
"My venerable friend,
made me understand that in marrying I had plighted all my affections,
even those which I did not then know,
and which I had never felt before a certain fatal attachment ...
after the great sacrifice of the letters that were so dear to me,
my life has flowed on,
if not happily,
at any rate calmly.
Do not disturb it.
Be a friend to me,
my best friend."
Julien covered her hand with kisses.
She perceived he was still crying.
"Do not cry,
you pain me so much.
in your turn,
what you have been doing,"
Julien was unable to speak.
"I want to know the life you lead at the seminary,"
"And then you will go."
Without thinking about what he was saying Julien spoke of the numberless intrigues and jealousies which he had first encountered,
and then of the great serenity of his life after he had been made a tutor.
"It was then,"
"that after a long silence which was no doubt intended to make me realise what I see only too clearly to-day,
that you no longer loved me and that I had become a matter of indifference to you ...."
Madame de Rênal wrung her hands.
"It was then that you sent me the sum of five hundred francs."
said Madame de Rênal.
"It was a letter stamped Paris and signed Paul Sorel so as to avert suspicion."
There was a little discussion about how the letter could possibly have originated.
The psychological situation was altered.
Without knowing it Julien had abandoned his solemn tone;
they were now once more on the footing of a tender affection.
It was so dark that they did not see each other but the tone of their voices was eloquent of everything.
Julien clasped his arm round his love's waist.
This movement had its dangers.
She tried to put Julien's arms away from her;
at this juncture he cleverly diverted her attention by an interesting detail in his story.
The arm was practically forgotten and remained in its present position.
After many conjectures as to the origin of the five hundred francs letter,
Julien took up his story.
He regained a little of his self-control as he spoke of his past life,
which compared with what he was now experiencing interested him so little.
His attention was now concentrated on the final outcome of of his visit.
"You will have to go,"
were the curt words he heard from time to time.
"What a disgrace for me if I am dismissed.
My remorse will embitter all my life,"
he said to himself,
"she will never write to me.
God knows when I shall come back to this part of the country."
From this moment Julien's heart became rapidly oblivious of all the heavenly delights of his present position.
Seated as he was close to a woman whom he adored and practically clasping her in his arms in this room,
the scene of his former happiness,
amid a deep obscurity,
seeing quite clearly as he did that she had just started crying,
and feeling that she was sobbing from the heaving of her chest,
he was unfortunate enough to turn into a cold diplomatist,
nearly as cold as in those days when in the courtyard of the seminary he found himself the butt of some malicious joke on the part of one of his comrades who was stronger than he was.
Julien protracted his story by talking of his unhappy life since his departure from Verrières.
said Madame de Rênal to herself,
"after a year's absence and deprived almost entirely of all tokens of memory while I myself was forgetting him,
he only thought of the happy days that he had had in Verrières."
Her sobs redoubled.
Julien saw the success of his story.
He realised that he must play his last card.
He abruptly mentioned a letter he had just received from Paris.
"I have taken leave of my Lord Bishop."
you are not going back to Besançon?
You are leaving us for ever?"
answered Julien resolutely,
I am leaving a country where I have been forgotten even by the woman whom I loved more than anyone in my life;
I am leaving it and I shall never see it again.
I am going to Paris."
"You are going to Paris,
exclaimed Madame de Rênal.
Her voice was almost choked by her tears and showed the extremity of her trouble.
Julien had need of this encouragement.
He was on the point of executing a manœuvre which might decide everything against him;
and up to the time of this exclamation he could not tell what effect he was producing as he was unable to see.
He no longer hesitated.
The fear of remorse gave him complete control over himself.
He coldly added as he got up.
I leave you for ever.
May you be happy.
He moved some steps towards the window.
He began to open it.
Madame de Rênal rushed to him and threw herself into his arms.
So it was in this way that,
after a dialogue lasting three hours,
Julien obtained what he desired so passionately during the first two hours.
Madame de Rênal's return to her tender feelings and this overshadowing of her remorse would have been a divine happiness had they come a little earlier;
as they had been obtained by artifice,
they were simply a pleasure.
Julien insisted on lighting the night-light in spite of his mistress's opposition.
"Do you wish me then,"
he said to her "to have no recollection of having seen you.
Is the love in those charming eyes to be lost to me for ever?
Is the whiteness of that pretty hand to remain invisible?
Remember that perhaps I am leaving you for a very long time."
Madame de Rênal could refuse him nothing.
His argument made her melt into tears.
But the dawn was beginning to throw into sharp relief the outlines of the pine trees on the mountain east of Verrières.
Instead of going away Julien,
drunk with pleasure,
asked Madame de Rênal to let him pass the day in her room and leave the following night.
"And why not?"
"This fatal relapse robs me of all my respect and will mar all my life,"
and she pressed him to her heart.
"My husband is no longer the same;
he has suspicions,
he believes I led him the way I wanted in all this business,
and shows great irritation against me.
If he hears the slightest noise I shall be ruined,
he will hound me out like the unhappy woman that I am."
"Ah here we have a phrase of M. Chélan's,"
said Julien "you would not have talked like that before my cruel departure to the seminary;
in those days you used to love me."
Julien was rewarded for the frigidity which he put into those words.
He saw his love suddenly forget the danger which her husband's presence compelled her to run,
in thinking of the much greater danger of seeing Julien doubt her love.
The daylight grew rapidly brighter and vividly illuminated the room.
Julien savoured once more all the deliciousness of pride,
when he saw this charming woman in his arms and almost at his feet,
the only woman whom he had ever loved,
and who had been entirely absorbed only a few hours before by her fear of a terrible God and her devotion to her duties.
fortified by a year's persuasion,
had failed to hold out against his courage.
They soon heard a noise in the house.
A matter that Madame de Rênal had not thought of began to trouble her.
"That wicked Elisa will come into the room.
What are we to do with this enormous ladder?"
she said to her sweetheart,
"where are we to hide it?
I will take it to the loft,"
she exclaimed suddenly half playfully.
"But you will have to pass through the servants' room,"
said Julien in astonishment.
"I will leave the ladder in the corridor and will call the servant and send him on an errand."
"Think of some explanation to have ready in the event of a servant passing the ladder and noticing it in the corridor."
said Madame de Rênal giving him a kiss "as for you,
remember to hide under the bed pretty quickly if Elisa enters here during my absence."
Julien was astonished by this sudden gaiety --"So" he thought,
"the approach of a real danger instead of troubling her gives her back her spirits before she forgets her remorse.
Truly a superior woman.
that's a heart over which it is glorious to reign."
Julien was transported with delight.
Madame de Rênal took the ladder,
which was obviously too heavy for her.
Julien went to her help.
He was admiring that elegant figure which was so far from betokening any strength when she suddenly seized the ladder without assistance and took it up as if it had been a chair.
She took it rapidly into the corridor of the third storey where she laid it alongside the wall.
She called a servant,
and in order to give him time to dress himself,
went up into the dovecot.
Five minutes later,
when she came back to the corridor,
she found no signs of the ladder.
What had happened to it?
If Julien had been out of the house she would not have minded the danger in the least.
But supposing her husband were to see the ladder just now,
the incident might be awful.
Madame de Rênal ran all over the house.
Madame de Rênal finally discovered the ladder under the roof where the servant had carried it and even hid it.
"What does it matter what happens in twenty-four hours,"
"when Julien will be gone?"
She had a vague idea that she ought to take leave of life but what mattered her duty?
He was restored to her after a separation which she had thought eternal.
She was seeing him again and the efforts he had made to reach her showed the extent of his love.
"What shall I say to my husband,"
she said to him.
"If the servant tells him he found this ladder?"
She was pensive for a moment.
"They will need twenty-four hours to discover the peasant who sold it to you."
And she threw herself into Julien's arms and clasped him convulsively.
if I could only die like this,"
she cried covering him with kisses.
"But you mustn't die of starvation,"
she said with a smile.
I will first hide you in Madame Derville's room which is always locked."
She went and watched at the other end of the corridor and Julien ran in.
"Mind you don't try and open if any one knocks,"
she said as she locked him in.
"Anyway it would only be a frolic of the children as they play together."
"Get them to come into the garden under the window,"
"so that I may have the pleasure of seeing them.
Make them speak."
cried Madame de Rênal to him as she went away.
She soon returned with oranges,
biscuits and a bottle of Malaga wine.
She had not been able to steal any bread.
"What is your husband doing?"
"He is writing out the figures of the bargains he is going to make with the peasants."
But eight o'clock had struck and they were making a lot of noise in the house.
If Madame de Rênal failed to put in an appearance,
they would look for her all over the house.
She was obliged to leave him.
Soon she came back,
in defiance of all prudence,
bringing him a cup of coffee.
She was frightened lest he should die of starvation.
She managed after breakfast to bring the children under the window of Madame Derville's room.
He thought they had grown a great deal,
but they had begun to look common,
or else his ideas had changed.
Madame de Rênal spoke to them about Julien.
The elder answered in an affectionate tone and regretted his old tutor,
but he found that the younger children had almost forgotten him.
M. de Rênal did not go out that morning;
he was going up and downstairs incessantly engaged in bargaining with some peasants to whom he was selling potatoes.
Madame de Rênal did not have an instant to give to her prisoner until dinner-time.
When the bell had been rung and dinner had been served,
it occurred to her to steal a plate of warm soup for him.
As she noiselessly approached the door of the room which he occupied,
she found herself face to face with the servant who had hid the ladder in the morning.
At the time he too was going noiselessly along the corridor,
as though listening for something.
The servant took himself off in some confusion.
Madame de Rênal boldly entered Julien's room.
The news of this encounter made him shudder.
"You are frightened,"
she said to him,
"but I would brave all the dangers in the world without flinching.
There is only one thing I fear,
and that is the moment when I shall be alone after you have left,"
and she left him and ran downstairs.
thought Julien ecstatically,
"remorse is the only danger which this sublime soul is afraid of."
At last evening came.
Monsieur de Rênal went to the Casino.
His wife had given out that she was suffering from an awful headache.
She went to her room,
hastened to dismiss Elisa and quickly got up in order to let Julien out.
He was literally starving.
Madame de Rênal went to the pantry to fetch some bread.
Julien heard a loud cry.
Madame de Rênal came back and told him that when she went to the dark pantry and got near the cupboard where they kept the bread,
she had touched a woman's arm as she stretched out her hand.
It was Elisa who had uttered the cry Julien had heard.
"What was she doing there?"
"Stealing some sweets or else spying on us,"
said Madame de Rênal with complete indifference,
"but luckily I found a pie and a big loaf of bread."
"But what have you got there?"
said Julien pointing to the pockets of her apron.
Madame de Rênal had forgotten that they had been filled with bread since dinner.
Julien clasped her in his arms with the most lively passion.
She had never seemed to him so beautiful.
"I could not meet a woman of greater character even at Paris,"
he said confusedly to himself.
She combined all the clumsiness of a woman who was but little accustomed to paying attentions of this kind,
with all the genuine courage of a person who is only afraid of dangers of quite a different sphere and quite a different kind of awfulness.
While Julien was enjoying his supper with a hearty appetite and his sweetheart was rallying him on the simplicity of the meal,
the door of the room was suddenly shaken violently.
It was M. de Rênal.
"Why have you shut yourself in?"
he cried to her.
Julien had only just time to slip under the sofa.
On any ordinary day Madame de Rênal would have been upset by this question which was put with true conjugal harshness;
but she realised that M. de Rênal had only to bend down a little to notice Julien,
for M. de Rênal had flung himself into the chair opposite the sofa which Julien had been sitting in one moment before.
Her headache served as an excuse for everything.
While her husband on his side went into a long-winded account of the billiards pool which he had won at Casino,
to be sure a nineteen franc pool,"
She noticed Julien's hat on a chair three paces in front of them.
Her self-possession became twice as great,
she began to undress,
and rapidly passing one minute behind her husband threw her dress over the chair with the hat on it.
At last M. de Rênal left.
She begged Julien to start over again his account of his life at the Seminary.
"I was not listening to you yesterday all the time you were speaking,
I was only thinking of prevailing on myself to send you away."
She was the personification of indiscretion.
They talked very loud and about two o'clock in the morning they were interrupted by a violent knock at the door.
It was M. de Rênal again.
there are thieves in the house!"
"Saint Jean found their ladder this morning."
"This is the end of everything,"
cried Madame de Rênal,
throwing herself into Julien's arms.
"He will kill both of us,
he doesn't believe there are any thieves.
I will die in your arms,
and be more happy in my death than I ever was in my life."
She made no attempt to answer her husband who was beginning to lose his temper,
but started kissing Julien passionately.
"Save Stanislas's mother,"
he said to her with an imperious look.
"I will jump down into the courtyard through the lavatory window,
and escape in the garden;
the dogs have recognised me.
Make my clothes into a parcel and throw them into the garden as soon as you can.
In the meanwhile let him break the door down.
But above all,
I forbid you to confess,
it is better that he should suspect rather than be certain."
"You will kill yourself as you jump!"
was her only answer and her only anxiety.
She went with him to the lavatory window;
she then took sufficient time to hide his clothes.
She finally opened the door to her husband who was boiling with rage.
He looked in the room and in the lavatory without saying a word and disappeared.
Julien's clothes were thrown down to him;
he seized them and ran rapidly towards the bottom of the garden in the direction of the Doubs.
As he was running he heard a bullet whistle past him,
and heard at the same time the report of a gun.
"It is not M. de Rênal,"
"he's far too bad a shot."
The dogs ran silently at his side,
the second shot apparently broke the paw of one dog,
for he began to whine piteously.
Julien jumped the wall of the terrace,
did fifty paces under cover,
and began to fly in another direction.
He heard voices calling and had a distinct view of his enemy the servant firing a gun;
a farmer also began to shoot away from the other side of the garden.
Julien had already reached the bank of the Doubs where he dressed himself.
An hour later he was a league from Verrières on the Geneva road.
"If they had suspicions,"
"they will look for me on the Paris road."
THE PLEASURES OF THE COUNTRY
O rus quando ego te aspiciam?
"You've no doubt come to wait for the Paris mail,
said the host of an inn where he had stopped to breakfast.
"To-day or to-morrow,
it matters little,"
The mail arrived while he was still posing as indifferent.
There were two free places.
it's you my poor Falcoz,"
said the traveller who was coming from the Geneva side to the one who was getting in at the same time as Julien.
"I thought you were settled in the outskirts of Lyons,"
"in a delicious valley near the Rhône."
I am running away."
you are running away?
you Saint Giraud!
who look so virtuous,
committed some crime?"
said Falcoz with a smile.
"On my faith it comes to the same thing.
I am running away from the abominable life which one leads in the provinces.
I like the freshness of the woods and the country tranquillity,
as you know.
You have often accused me of being romantic.
I don't want to hear politics talked as long as I live,
and politics are hounding me out."
"But what party do you belong to?"
"To none and that's what ruins me.
That's all there is to be said about my political life --I like music and painting.
A good book is an event for me.
I am going to be forty-four.
How much longer have I got to live?
Fifteen --twenty --thirty years at the outside.
I want the ministers in thirty years' time to be a little cleverer than those of to-day but quite as honest.
The history of England serves as a mirror for our own future.
There will always be a king who will try to increase his prerogative.
The ambition of becoming a deputy,
the fame of Mirabeau and the hundreds of thousand francs which he won for himself will always prevent the rich people in the province from going to sleep: they will call that being Liberal and loving the people.
The desire of becoming a peer or a gentleman of the chamber will always win over the ultras.
On the ship of state every one is anxious to take over the steering because it is well paid.
Will there be never a poor little place for the simple passenger?"
"Is it the last elections which are forcing you out of the province?"
"My misfortune goes further back.
Four years ago I was forty and possessed 500,000 francs.
I am four years older to-day and probably 50,000 francs to the bad,
as I shall lose that sum on the sale of my chateau of Monfleury in a superb position near the Rhône.
"At Paris I was tired of that perpetual comedy which is rendered obligatory by what you call nineteenth-century civilisation.
I thirsted for good nature and simplicity.
I bought an estate in the mountains near the Rhine,
there was no more beautiful place under the heavens.
"The village clergyman and the gentry of the locality pay me court for six months;
I invite them to dinner;
I have left Paris,
I tell them,
so as to avoid talking politics or hearing politics talked for the rest of my life.
As you know I do not subscribe to any paper,
the less letters the postman brought me the happier I was.
"That did not suit the vicar's book.
I was soon the victim of a thousand unreasonable requests,
I wished to give two or three hundred francs a year to the poor,
I was asked to give it to the Paris associations,
that of Saint Joseph,
that of the Virgin,
I was then insulted in a hundred ways.
I was foolish enough to be upset by it.
I could not go out in the morning to enjoy the beauty of our mountain without finding some annoyance which distracted me from my reveries and recalled unpleasantly both men and their wickedness.
On the Rogation processions,
for instance whose chanting I enjoy (it is probably a Greek melody) they will not bless my fields because,
says the clergyman,
they belong to an infidel.
A cow dies belonging to a devout old peasant woman.
She says the reason is the neighbourhood of a pond which belongs to my infidel self,
a philosopher coming from Paris,
and eight days afterwards I find my fish in agonies poisoned by lime.
Intrigue in all its forms envelops me.
The justice of the peace,
who is an honest man,
but frightened of losing his place,
always decides against me.
The peace of the country proved a hell for me.
Once they saw that I was abandoned by the vicar,
the head of the village congregation,
and that I was not supported by the retired captain who was the head of the Liberals they all fell upon me,
down to the mason whom I had supported for a year,
down to the very wheel-wright who wanted to cheat me with impunity over the repairing of my ploughs.
"In order to find some support,
and to win at any rate some of my law suits I became a Liberal,
as you say,
those damned elections come along.
They asked me for my vote."
"For an unknown man?"
"Not at all,
for a man whom I knew only too well.
It was terribly imprudent.
From that moment I had the Liberals on my hands as well,
and my position became intolerable.
I believe that if the vicar had got it into his head to accuse me of assassinating my servant,
there would be twenty witnesses of the two parties who would swear that they had seen me committing the crime."
"You mean to say you want to live in the country without pandering to the passions of your neighbours,
without even listening to their gossip.
What a mistake!"
"It is rectified at last.
Monfleury is for sale.
I will lose 50,000 francs if necessary,
but I am over-joyed I am leaving that hell of hypocrisy and annoyance.
I am going to look for solitude and rustic peace in the only place where those things are to be found in France,
on a fourth storey looking on to the Champs-Elysées;
I am actually deliberating if I shall not commence my political career by giving consecrated bread to the parish in the Roule quarter."
"All this would not have happened under Bonaparte,"
said Falcoz with eyes shining with rage and sorrow.
but why didn't your Bonaparte manage to keep his position?
Everything which I suffer to-day is his work."
At this point Julien's attention was redoubled.
He had realised from the first word that the Bonapartist Falcoz was the old boyhood friend of M. de Rênal,
who had been repudiated by him in 1816,
and that the philosopher Saint-Giraud must be the brother of that chief of the prefecture of -- --who managed to get the houses of the municipality knocked down to him at a cheap price.
"And all this is the work of your Bonaparte.
An honest man,
and possessed of five hundred thousand francs however inoffensive he is,
cannot settle in the provinces and find peace there;
those priests and nobles of his will turn him out."
"Oh don't talk evil of him,"
"France was never so high in the esteem of the nations as during the thirteen years of his reign;
then every single act was great."
devil take him,"
replied the man of forty-four,
"was only great on his battle fields and when he reorganised the finances about 1802.
What is the meaning of all his conduct since then?
What with his chamberlains,
and his receptions in the Tuileries,
he has simply provided a new edition of all the monarchical tomfoolery.
It was a revised edition and might possibly have lasted for a century or two.
The nobles and the priests wish to go back to the old one,
but they did not have the iron hand necessary to impose it on the public."
that's just how an old printer would talk."
"Who has turned me out of my estate?"
continued the printer,
whom Napoleon called back by his Concordat instead of treating them like the State treats doctors,
simply seeing in them ordinary citizens,
and not bothering about the particular calling by which they are trying to earn their livelihood.
Should we be saddled with these insolent gentlemen today,
if your Bonaparte had not created barons and counts?
they were out of fashion.
Next to the priests,
it's the little country nobility who have annoyed me the most,
and compelled me to become a Liberal."
The conversation was endless.
The theme will occupy France for another half-century.
As Saint-Giraud kept always repeating that it was impossible to live in the provinces,
Julien timidly suggested the case of M. de Rênal.
you're a nice one,"
"He turned spider so as not to be fly,
and a terrible spider into the bargain.
But I see that he is beaten by that man Valenod.
Do you know that scoundrel?
He's the villain of the piece.
What will your M. de Rênal say if he sees himself turned out one of these fine days,
and Valenod put in his place?"
"He will be left to brood over his crimes,"
"Do you know Verrières,
heaven confound him!
Bonaparte and his monarchical tomfoolery rendered possible the reign of the Rênals and the Chélans,
which brought about the reign of the Valenods and the Maslons."
with its gloomy politics,
astonished Julien and distracted him from his delicious reveries.
He appreciated but little the first sight of Paris as perceived in the distance.
The castles in the air he had built about his future had to struggle with the still present memory of the twenty-four hours that he had just passed in Verrières.
He vowed that he would never abandon his mistress's children,
and that he would leave everything in order to protect them,
if the impertinence of the priests brought about a republic and the persecution of the nobles.
What would have happened on the night of his arrival in Verrières if,
at the moment when he had leant his ladder against the casement of Madame de Rênal's bedroom he had found that room occupied by a stranger or by M. de Rênal?
But how delicious,
had been those first two hours when his sweetheart had been sincerely anxious to send him away and he had pleaded his cause,
sitting down by her in the darkness!
A soul like Julien's is haunted by such memories for a lifetime.
The rest of the interview was already becoming merged in the first period of their love,
fourteen months previous.
Julien was awakened from his deep meditation by the stopping of the coach.
They had just entered the courtyard of the Post in the Rue Rousseau.
"I want to go to La Malmaison,"
he said to a cabriolet which approached.
"At this time,
Monsieur --what for?"
"What's that got to do with you?
Every real passion only thinks about itself.
That is why,
in my view,
passions are ridiculous at Paris,
where one's neighbour always insists on one's considering him a great deal.
I shall refrain from recounting Julien's ecstasy at La Malmaison.
in spite of those wretched white walls,
built this very year,
which cut the path up into bits?
as for posterity,
there was nothing to choose between Arcole,
and La Malmaison.
In the evening,
Julien hesitated a great deal before going to the theatre.
He had strange ideas about that place of perdition.
A deep distrust prevented him from admiring actual Paris.
He was only affected by the monuments left behind by his hero.
"So here I am in the centre of intrigue and hypocrisy.
Here reign the protectors of the abbé de Frilair."
On the evening of the third day his curiosity got the better of his plan of seeing everything before presenting himself to the abbé Pirard.
The abbé explained to him coldly the kind of life which he was to expect at M. de la Mole's.
"If you do not prove useful to him at the end of some months you will go back to the seminary,
but not in disgrace.
You will live in the house of the marquis,
who is one of the greatest seigneurs of France.
You will wear black,
but like a man who is in mourning,
and not like an ecclesiastic.
I insist on your following your theological studies three days a week in a seminary where I will introduce you.
Every day at twelve o'clock you will establish yourself in the marquis's library;
he counts on making use of you in drafting letters concerning his lawsuits and other matters.
The marquis will scribble on the margin of each letter he gets the kind of answer which is required.
I have assured him that at the end of three months you will be so competent to draft the answers,
that out of every dozen you hand to the marquis for signature,
he will be able to sign eight or nine.
In the evening,
at eight o'clock,
you will tidy up his bureau,
and at ten you will be free.
"It may be,"
continued the abbé Pirard,
"that some old lady or some smooth-voiced man will hint at immense advantages,
or will crudely offer you gold,
to show him the letters which the marquis has received."
"It is singular,"
said the abbé with a bitter smile,
"that poor as you are,
and after a year at a seminary,
you still have any of this virtuous indignation left.
You must have been very blind."
"Can it be that blood will tell,"
muttered the abbé in a whisper,
as though speaking to himself.
"The singular thing is,"
looking at Julien,
"that the marquis knows you --I don't know how.
He will give you a salary of a hundred louis to commence with.
He is a man who only acts by his whim.
That is his weakness.
He will quarrel with you about the most childish matters.
If he is satisfied,
your wages may rise in consequence up to eight thousand francs.
"But you realise,"
went on the abbé,
"that he is not giving you all this money simply on account of your personal charm.
The thing is to prove yourself useful.
If I were in your place I would talk very little,
and I would never talk about what I know nothing about.
said the abbé,
"I have made some enquiries for you.
I was forgetting M. de la Mole's family.
He has two children --a daughter and a son of nineteen,
eminently elegant --the kind of madman who never knows to-day what he will do to-morrow.
He has spirit and valour;
he has been through the Spanish war.
The marquis hopes,
I don't know why,
that you will become a friend of the young count Norbert.
I told him that you were a great classic,
and possibly he reckons on your teaching his son some ready-made phrases about Cicero and Virgil.
"If I were you,
I should never allow that handsome young man to make fun of me,
and before I accepted his advances,
which you will find perfectly polite but a little ironical,
I would make him repeat them more than once.
"I will not hide from you the fact that the young count de La Mole is bound to despise you at first,
because you are nothing more than a little bourgeois.
His grandfather belonged to the court,
and had the honour of having his head cut off in the Place de Grève on the 26th April,
on account of a political intrigue.
"As for you,
you are the son of a carpenter of Verrières,
and what is more,
in receipt of his father's wages.
Ponder well over these differences,
and look up the family history in Moreri.
All the flatterers who dine at their house make from time to time what they call delicate allusions to it.
"Be careful of how you answer the pleasantries of M. the count de La Mole,
chief of a squadron of hussars,
and a future peer of France,
and don't come and complain to me later on."
"It seems to me,"
"that I ought not even to answer a man who despises me."
"You have no idea of his contempt.
It will only manifest itself by inflated compliments.
If you were a fool,
you might be taken in by it.
If you want to make your fortune,
you ought to let yourself be taken in by it."
"Shall I be looked upon as ungrateful,"
"if I return to my little cell Number 108 when I find that all this no longer suits me?"
"All the toadies of the house will no doubt calumniate you,"
said the abbé,
"but I myself will come to the rescue.
Adsum qui feci.
I will say that I am responsible for that resolution."
Julien was overwhelmed by the bitter and almost vindictive tone which he noticed in M. Pirard;
that tone completely infected his last answer.
The fact is that the abbé had a conscientious scruple about loving Julien,
and it was with a kind of religious fear that he took so direct a part in another's life.
"You will also see,"
he added with the same bad grace,
as though accomplishing a painful duty,
"you also will see Madame the marquise de La Mole.
She is a big blonde woman about forty,
and even more insignificant.
She is the daughter of the old Duke de Chaulnes so well known for his aristocratic prejudices.
This great lady is a kind of synopsis in high relief of all the fundamental characteristics of women of her rank.
She does not conceal for her own part that the possession of ancestors who went through the crusades is the sole advantage which she respects.
Money only comes a long way afterwards.
Does that astonish you?
We are no longer in the provinces,
"You will see many great lords in her salon talk about our princes in a tone of singular flippancy.
As for Madame de la Mole,
she lowers her voice out of respect every time she mentions the name of a Prince,
and above all the name of a Princess.
I would not advise you to say in her hearing that Philip II.
or Henry VII.
They were kings,
a fact which gives them indisputable rights to the respect of creatures without birth like you and me.
added M. Pirard,
"we are priests,
for she will take you for one;
that being our capacity,
she considers us as spiritual valets necessary for her salvation."
"I do not think I shall be long at Paris."
but remember that no man of our class can make his fortune except through the great lords.
With that indefinable element in your character,
at any rate I think it is,
you will be persecuted if you do not make your fortune.
There is no middle course for you,
make no mistake about it;
people see that they do not give you pleasure when they speak to you;
in a social country like this you are condemned to unhappiness if you do not succeed in winning respect."
"What would have become of you at Besançon without this whim of the marquis de la Mole?
One day you will realise the extraordinary extent of what he has done for you,
and if you are not a monster you will be eternally grateful to him and his family.
How many poor abbés more learned than you have lived years at Paris on the fifteen sous they got for their mass and their ten sous they got for their dissertations in the Sorbonne.
Remember what I told you last winter about the first years of that bad man Cardinal Dubois.
Are you proud enough by chance to think yourself more talented than he was?
a quiet and average man like myself;
I reckoned on dying in my seminary.
I was childish enough to get attached to it.
Well I was on the point of being turned out,
when I handed in my resignation.
You know what my fortune consisted of.
I had five hundred and twenty francs capital neither more nor less,
not a friend,
scarcely two or three acquaintances.
M. de la Mole,
whom I had never seen,
extricated me from that quandary.
He only had to say the word and I was given a living where the parishioners are well-to-do people above all crude vices,
and where the income puts me to shame,
it is so disproportionate to my work.
I refrained from talking to you all this time simply to enable you to find your level a bit.
"One word more,
I have the misfortune to be irritable.
It is possible that you and I will cease to be on speaking terms.
"If the airs of the marquise or the spiteful pleasantries of her son make the house absolutely intolerable for you I advise you to finish your studies in some seminary thirty leagues from Paris and rather north than south.
There is more civilisation in the north,
he added lowering his voice,
I must admit that the nearness of the Paris papers puts fear into our petty tyrants.
"If we continue to find pleasure in each other's society and if the marquis's house does not suit you,
I will offer you the post of my curate,
and will go equal shares with you in what I get from the living.
I owe you that and even more,
he added interrupting Julien's thanks,
for the extraordinary offer which you made me at Besançon.
If instead of having five hundred and twenty francs I had had nothing you would have saved me."
The abbé's voice had lost its tone of cruelty,
Julien was ashamed to feel tears in his eyes.
He was desperately anxious to throw himself into his friend's arms.
He could not help saying to him in the most manly manner he could assume:
"I was hated by my father from the cradle;
it was one of my great misfortunes,
but I shall no longer complain of my luck,
I have found another father in you,
"That is good,
that is good,"
said the embarrassed abbé,
then suddenly remembering quite appropriately a seminary platitude "you must never say luck,
always say providence."
The fiacre stopped.
The coachman lifted up the bronze knocker of an immense door.
It was the Hôtel de la Mole,
and to prevent the passers by having any doubt on the subject these words could be read in black marble over the door.
This affectation displeased Julien.
"They are so frightened of the Jacobins.
They see a Robespierre and his tumbril behind every head.
Their panic is often gloriously grotesque and they advertise their house like this so that in the event of a rising the rabble can recognise it and loot it."
He communicated his thought to the abbé Pirard.
you will soon be my curate.
What a dreadful idea you have got into your head."
"Nothing could be simpler,"
The gravity of the porter,
and above all,
the cleanness of the the court,
struck him with admiration.
It was fine sunshine.
"What magnificent architecture,"
he said to his friend.
The hotel in question was one of those buildings of the Faubourg Saint-Germain with a flat façade built about the time of Voltaire's death.
At no other period had fashion and beauty been so far from one another.
ENTRY INTO SOCIETY
Ludicrous and pathetic memory: the first drawing-room where one appeared alone and without support at the age of eighteen!
the look of a woman sufficed to intimidate me.
The more I wished to please the more clumsy I became.
I evolved the most unfounded ideas about everything.
I would either abandon myself without any reason,
or I would regard a man as an enemy simply because he had looked at me with a serious air;
but all the same,
in the middle of the unhappiness of my timidity,
how beautiful did I find a beautiful day --_Kant_.
Julien stopped in amazement in the middle of the courtyard.
"Pull yourself together,"
said the abbé Pirard.
"You get horrible ideas into your head,
besides you are only a child.
What has happened to the nil mirari of Horace (no enthusiasm) remember that when they see you established here this crowd of lackeys will make fun of you.
They will see in you an equal who has been unjustly placed above them;
under a masquerade of good advice and a desire to help you,
they will try to make you fall into some gross blunder."
"Let them do their worst,"
said Julien biting his lip,
and he became as distrustful as ever.
The salons on the first storey which our gentlemen went through before reaching the marquis' study,
would have seemed to you,
as gloomy as they were magnificent.
If they had been given to you just as they were,
you would have refused to live in them.
This was the domain of yawning and melancholy reasoning.
They redoubled Julien's rapture.
"How can any one be unhappy?"
"who lives in so splendid an abode."
Finally our gentlemen arrived at the ugliest rooms in this superb suite.
There was scarcely any light.
They found there a little keen man with a lively eye and a blonde wig.
The abbé turned round to Julien and presented him.
It was the marquis.
Julien had much difficulty in recognising him,
he found his manner was so polite.
It was no longer the grand seigneur with that haughty manner of the abbey of Bray-le-Haut.
Julien thought that his wig had much too many hairs.
As the result of this opinion he was not at all intimidated.
The descendant of the friend of Henry III.
seemed to him at first of a rather insignificant appearance.
He was extremely thin and very restless,
but he soon noticed that the marquis had a politeness which was even more pleasant to his listener than that of the Bishop of Besançon himself.
The audience only lasted three minutes.
As they went out the abbé said to Julien,
"You looked at the marquis just as you would have looked at a picture.
I am not a great expert in what these people here call politeness.
You will soon know more about it than I do,
but really the boldness of your looks seemed scarcely polite."
They had got back into the fiacre.
The driver stopped near the boulevard;
the abbé ushered Julien into a suite of large rooms.
Julien noticed that there was no furniture.
He was looking at the magnificent gilded clock representing a subject which he thought very indecent,
when a very elegant gentleman approached him with a smiling air.
Julien bowed slightly.
The gentleman smiled and put his hand on his shoulder.
Julien shuddered and leapt back,
he reddened with rage.
The abbé Pirard,
in spite of his gravity,
laughed till the tears came into his eyes.
The gentleman was a tailor.
"I give you your liberty for two days,"
said the abbé as they went out.
"You cannot be introduced before then to Madame de la Mole.
Any one else would watch over you as if you were a young girl during these first few moments of your life in this new Babylon.
Get ruined at once if you have got to be ruined,
and I will be rid of my own weakness of being fond of you.
The day after to-morrow this tailor will bring you two suits,
you will give the man who tries them on five francs.
Apart from that don't let these Parisians hear the sound of your voice.
If you say a word they will manage somehow to make fun of you.
They have a talent for it.
Come and see me the day after to-morrow at noon ....
Go and ruin yourself ....
I was forgetting,
go and order boots and a hat at these addresses."
Julien scrutinised the handwriting of the addresses.
"It's the marquis's hand,"
said the abbé;
"he is an energetic man who foresees everything,
and prefers doing to ordering.
He is taking you into his house,
so that you may spare him that kind of trouble.
Will you have enough brains to execute efficiently all the instructions which he will give you with scarcely a word of explanation?
The future will show,
look after yourself."
Julien entered the shops indicated by the addresses without saying a single word.
He observed that he was received with respect,
and that the bootmaker as he wrote his name down in the ledger put M. de Sorel.
When he was in the Cemetery of Père La Chaise a very obliging gentleman,
and what is more,
one who was Liberal in his views,
suggested that he should show Julien the tomb of Marshal Ney which a sagacious statecraft had deprived of the honour of an epitaph,
but when he left this Liberal,
who with tears in his eyes almost clasped him in his arms,
Julien was without his watch.
Enriched by this experience two days afterwards he presented himself to the abbé Pirard,
who looked at him for a long time.
"Perhaps you are going to become a fop,"
said the abbé to him severely.
Julien looked like a very young man in full mourning;
as a matter of fact,
he looked very well,
but the good abbé was too provincial himself to see that Julien still carried his shoulders in that particular way which signifies in the provinces both elegance and importance.
When the marquis saw Julien his opinion of his graces differed so radically from that of the good abbé as he said,
"Would you have any objection to M. le Sorel taking some dancing lessons?"
The abbé was thunderstruck.
he answered at last.
"Julien is not a priest."
The marquis went up the steps of a little secret staircase two at a time,
and installed our hero in a pretty attic which looked out on the big garden of the hotel.
He asked him how many shirts he had got at the linen drapers.
intimidated at seeing so great a lord condescend to such details.
replied the marquis quite seriously,
and with a certain curt imperiousness which gave Julien food for thought.
get twenty-two more shirts.
Here are your first quarter's wages."
As he went down from the attic the marquis called an old man.
he said to him,
"you will serve M. Sorel."
A few minutes afterwards Julien found himself alone in a magnificent library.
It was a delicious moment.
To prevent his emotion being discovered he went and hid in a little dark corner.
From there he contemplated with rapture the brilliant backs of the books.
"I shall be able to read all these,"
he said to himself.
"How can I fail to like it here?
M. de Rênal would have thought himself dishonoured for ever by doing one-hundredth part of what the Marquis de la Mole has just done for me.
"But let me have a look at the copies I have to make."
Having finished this work Julien ventured to approach the books.
He almost went mad with joy as he opened an edition of Voltaire.
He ran and opened the door of the library to avoid being surprised.
He then indulged in the luxury of opening each of the eighty volumes.
They were magnificently bound and were the masterpiece of the best binder in London.
It was even more than was required to raise Julien's admiration to the maximum.
An hour afterwards the marquis came in and was surprised to notice that Julien spelt cela with two "ll" cella.
"Is all that the abbé told me of his knowledge simply a fairy tale?"
The marquis was greatly discouraged and gently said to him,
"You are not sure of your spelling?"
"That is true,"
said Julien without thinking in the least of the injustice that he was doing to himself.
He was overcome by the kindness of the marquis which recalled to him through sheer force of contrast the superciliousness of M. de Rênal.
"This trial of the little Franc-comtois abbé is waste of time,"
thought the marquis,
"but I had such great need of a reliable man."
"You spell cela with one
'l,'" said the marquis to him,
"and when you have finished your copies look the words whose spelling you are not sure of up in the dictionary."
The marquis sent for him at six o'clock.
He looked at Julien's boots with manifest pain.
"I am sorry for a mistake I made.
I did not tell you that you must dress every day at half-past five."
Julien looked at him but did not understand.
"I mean to say put on stockings.
Arsène will remind you.
To-day I will make your apologies."
As he finished the sentence M. de la Mole escorted Julien into a salon resplendent with gilding.
On similar occasions M. de Rênal always made a point of doubling his pace so as to have the privilege of being the first to pass the threshold.
His former employer's petty vanity caused Julien to tread on the marquis's feet and hurt him a great deal because of his gout.
"So he is clumsy to the bargain,"
he said to himself.
He presented him to a woman of high stature and of imposing appearance.
It was the marquise.
Julien thought that her manner was impertinent,
and that she was a little like Madame de Maugiron,
the wife of the sub-prefect of the arrondissement of Verrières when she was present at the Saint-Charles dinner.
Rendered somewhat nervous by the extreme magnificence of the salon Julien did not hear what M. de la Mole was saying.
The marquise scarcely deigned to look at him.
There were several men there,
among whom Julien recognised with an inexpressible pleasure the young bishop of Agde who had deigned to speak to him some months before at the ceremony of Bray-le-Haut.
This young prelate was doubtless frightened by the tender look which the timidity of Julien fixed on him,
and did not bother to recognise "the provincial."
The men assembled in this salon seemed to Julien to have a certain element of gloom and constraint.
Conversation takes place in a low voice in Paris and little details are not exaggerated.
A handsome young man with moustaches,
came in about half-past six.
He was very pale,
and had a very small head.
"You always keep us waiting" said the marquise,
as he kissed her hand.
Julien realised that it was the Count de la Mole.
From the very first he thought he was charming.
"Is it possible,"
he said to himself "that this is the man whose offensive jests are going to drive me out of the house."
As the result of scrutinising count Norbert,
Julien noticed that he was in boots and spurs.
"And I have got to be in shoes just like an inferior apparently."
They sat down at table,
Julien heard the marquise raising her voice a little and saying something severe.
Almost simultaneously he noticed an extremely blonde and very well developed young person who had just sat down opposite him.
Nevertheless she made no appeal to him.
Looking at her attentively he thought that he had never seen such beautiful eyes,
although they betokened a great coldness of soul.
Subsequently Julien thought that,
though they looked bored and sceptical,
they were conscious of the duty of being impressive.
"Madame de Rênal of course had very fine eyes" he said to himself,
"she used to be universally complimented on them,
but they had nothing in common with these."
Julien did not know enough of society to appreciate that it was the fire of repartee which from time to time gave their brilliancy to the eyes of Mademoiselle Mathilde (for that was the name he heard her called by).
When Madame de Rênal's eyes became animated,
it was with the fire of passion,
or as the result of a generous indignation on hearing of some evil deed.
Towards the end of the meal Julien found a word to express Mademoiselle de la Mole's type of beauty.
Her eyes are scintillating,
he said to himself.
Apart from her eyes she was cruelly like her mother,
whom he liked less and less,
and he ceased looking at her.
By way of compensation he thought Count Norbert admirable in every respect.
Julien was so fascinated that the idea never occurred to him of being jealous,
and hating him because he was richer and of nobler birth than he was himself.
Julien thought that the marquis looked bored.
About the second course he said to his son:
I ask all your good offices for M. Julien Sorel,
whom I have just taken into my staff and of whom I hope to make a man _si cella se peut_."
"He is my secretary,"
said the marquis to his neighbour,
"and he spells cela with two ll's."
Everybody looked at Julien,
who bowed to Norbert in a manner that was slightly too marked,
but speaking generally they were satisfied with his expression.
The marquis must have spoken about the kind of education which Julien had received for one of the guests tackled him on Horace.
"It was just by talking about Horace that I succeeded with the bishop of Besançon,"
said Julien to himself.
Apparently that is the only author they know.
From that instant he was master of himself.
This transition was rendered easy because he had just decided that he would never look upon Madamoiselle de la Mole as a woman after his own taste.
Since the seminary he had the lowest opinion of men,
and was not to be easily intimidated by them.
He would have enjoyed all his self-possession if the dining-room had been furnished with less magnificence.
as a matter of fact,
two mirrors each eight feet high in which he would look from time to time at the man who was speaking to him about Horace,
which continued to impress him.
His phrases were not too long for a provincial,
he had fine eyes whose brilliancy was doubled by his quavering timidity,
or by his happy bashfulness when he had given a good answer.
They found him pleasant.
This kind of examination gave a little interest to a solemn dinner.
The marquis signed to Julien's questioner to press him sharply.
"Can he possibly know something?"
Julien answered and thought out new ideas.
He lost sufficient of his nervousness,
not indeed to exhibit any wit,
for that is impossible for any one ignorant of the special language which is used in Paris,
but to show himself possessed of ideas which,
though presented out of place and ungracefully,
were yet original.
They saw that he knew Latin perfectly.
Julien's adversary was a member of the Academy Inscriptions who chanced to know Latin.
He found Julien a very good humanist,
was not frightened of making him feel uncomfortable,
and really tried to embarrass him.
In the heat of the controversy Julien eventually forgot the magnificent furniture of the dining-room.
He managed to expound theories concerning the Latin poets which his questioner had never read of anywhere.
Like an honest man,
he gave the young secretary all due credit for them.
As luck would have it,
they started a discussion on the question of whether Horace was poor or rich,
a good humoured and careless voluptuary who made verses to amuse himself,
like Chapelle the friend of Molière and de la Fontaine,
or a poor devil of a poet laureate who wrote odes for the king's birthday like Southey,
the accuser of Lord Byron.
They talked about the state of society under Augustus and under George IV.
At both periods the aristocracy was all-powerful,
while at Rome it was despoiled of its power by Maecenas who was only a simple knight,
it had in England reduced George IV practically to the position of a Venetian doge.
This discussion seemed to lift the marquis out of that state of bored torpor in which he had been plunged at the beginning of the dinner.
Julien found meaningless such modern names as Southey,
and George IV,
which he now heard pronounced for the first time.
But every one noticed that whenever the conversation dealt with events that had taken place in Rome and about which knowledge could be obtained by a perusal of the works of Horace,
Martial or Tacitus,
he showed an indisputable superiority.
Julien coolly appropriated several ideas which he had learnt from the bishop of Besançon in the historic conversation which he had had with that prelate.
These ideas were not the least appreciated.
When every one was tired of talking about poets the marquise,
who always made it a rule to admire whatever amused her husband,
deigned to look at Julien.
"Perhaps an educated man lies hid beneath the clumsy manners of this young abbé,"
said the Academician who happened to be near the marquise.
Julien caught a few words of what he said.
Ready-made phrases suited the intellect of the mistress of the house quite well.
She adopted this one about Julien,
and was very pleased with herself for having invited the academician to dinner.
"He has amused M. de la Mole" she thought.
THE FIRST STEPS
This immense valley,
filled with brilliant lights and so many thousands of men dazzles my sight.
No one knows me.
All are superior to me.
I lose my head.
_Poemi dell' av.
Julien was copying letters in the library very early the next day when Mademoiselle Mathilde came in by a little dummy door very well masked by the backs of the books.
While Julien was admiring the device,
Mademoiselle Mathilde seemed astonished and somewhat annoyed at finding him there: Julien saw that she was in curl-papers and had a hard,
and masculine expression.
Mademoiselle de la Mole had the habit of surreptitiously stealing books from her father's library.
Julien's presence rendered this morning's journey abortive,
a fact which annoyed her all the more as she had come to fetch the second volume of Voltaire's _Princess of Babylon_,
a worthy climax to one of the most eminently monarchical and religious educations which the convent of the Sacred Heart had ever provided.
This poor girl of nineteen already required some element of spiciness in order to get up an interest in a novel.
Count Norbert put in an appearance in the library about three o'clock.
He had come to study a paper so as to be able to talk politics in the evening,
and was very glad to meet Julien,
whose existence he had forgotten.
He was charming,
and offered him a ride on horseback.
"My father will excuse us until dinner."
Julien appreciated the us and thought it charming.
M. le Comte,"
"if it were a question of felling an eighty-foot tree or hewing it out and making it into planks I would acquit myself all right,
but as for riding a horse,
I haven't done such a thing six times in my life."
this will be the seventh,"
As a matter of fact,
Julien remembered the king of -- --'s entry into Verrières,
and thought he rode extremely well.
But as they were returning from the Bois de Boulogne he fell right in the middle of the Rue du Bac,
as he suddenly tried to get out of the way of a cabriolet,
and was spattered all over with mud.
It was lucky that he had two suits.
wishing to favour him with a few words at dinner,
asked him for news of his excursion.
Norbert began immediately to answer him in general terms.
"M. le Comte is extremely kind to me,"
"I thank him for it,
and I fully appreciate it.
He was good enough to have the quietest and prettiest horse given to me,
but after all he could not tie me on to it,
and owing to the lack of that precaution,
I had a fall right in the middle of that long street near the bridge.
Madame Mathilde made a futile effort to hide a burst of laughter,
and subsequently was indiscreet enough to ask for details.
Julien acquitted himself with much simplicity.
He had grace without knowing it.
"I prophesy favourably about that little priest,"
said the marquis to the academician.
"Think of a provincial being simple over a matter like that.
Such a thing has never been witnessed before,
and will never be witnessed again;
and what is more,
he describes his misfortune before ladies."
Julien put his listeners so thoroughly at their ease over his misfortune that at the end of the dinner,
when the general conversation had gone off on to another subject,
Mademoiselle Mathilde asked her brother some questions over the details of the unfortunate occurrence.
As she put numerous questions,
and as Julien met her eyes several times,
he ventured to answer himself,
although the questions had not been addressed to him,
and all three of them finished up by laughing just as though they had all been inhabitants of some village in the depths of a forest.
On the following day Julien attended two theology lectures,
and then came back to copy out about twenty letters.
He found a young man,
who though very carefully dressed,
had a mean appearance and an envious expression,
established near him in the library.
The marquis entered,
"What are you doing here,
he said severely to the new-comer.
"I thought --" answered the young man,
with a base smile.
you thought nothing of the kind.
This is a try-on,
but it is an unfortunate one."
Young Tanbeau got up in a rage and disappeared.
He was a nephew of the academician who was a friend of Madame de la Mole,
and intended to take up the profession of letters.
The academician had induced the marquis to take him as a secretary.
Tanbeau used to work in a separate room,
but having heard of the favour that was vouchsafed to Julien he wished to share it,
and he had gone this morning and established his desk in the library.
At four o'clock Julien ventured,
after a little hesitation,
to present himself to Count Norbert.
The latter was on the point of going riding,
and being a man of perfect politeness felt embarrassed.
he said to Julien,
"that you had better go to the riding school,
and after a few weeks,
I shall be charmed to ride with you."
"I should like to have the honour of thanking you for the kindness which you have shewn me.
added Julien very seriously,
"that I appreciate all I owe you.
If your horse has not been hurt by the reason of my clumsiness of yesterday,
and if it is free I should like to ride it this afternoon."
upon my word,
my dear Sorel,
you do so at your own risk and peril;
kindly assume that I have put forth all the objections required by prudence.
As a matter of fact it is four o'clock,
we have no time to lose."
As soon as Julien was on horseback,
he said to the young count,
"What must one do not to fall off?"
"Lots of things,"
bursting into laughter.
"Keep your body back for instance."
Julien put his horse to the trot.
They were at the Place Louis XVI.
you foolhardy youngster,"
said Norbert "there are too many carriages here,
and they are driven by careless drivers into the bargain.
Once you are on the ground their tilburies will run over your body,
they will not risk spoiling their horses' mouths by pulling up short."
Norbert saw Julien twenty times on the point of tumbling,
but in the end the excursion finished without misadventure.
As they came back the young count said to his sister,
"Allow me to introduce a dashing dare-devil."
When he talked to his father over the dinner from one end of the table to the other,
he did justice to Julien's courage.
It was the only thing one could possibly praise about his style of riding.
The young count had heard in the morning the men who groomed the horses in the courtyard making Julien's fall an opportunity for the most outrageous jokes at his expense.
In spite of so much kindness Julien soon felt himself completely isolated in this family.
All their customs seemed strange to him,
and he was cognizant of none of them.
His blunders were the delight of the valets.
The abbé Pirard had left for his living.
"If Julien is a weak reed,
let him perish.
If he is a man of spirit,
let him get out of his difficulties all alone,"
THE HÔTEL DE LA MOLE
What is he doing here?
Will he like it there?
Will he try to please?
If everything in the aristocratic salon of the Hotel de la Mole seemed strange to Julien,
that pale young man in his black suit seemed in his turn very strange to those persons who deigned to notice him.
Madame de la Mole suggested to her husband that he should send him off on some business on those days when they had certain persons to dinner.
"I wish to carry the experiment to its logical conclusion,"
answered the marquis.
"The abbé Pirard contends that we are wrong in crushing the self-respect of the people whom we allow around us.
_One can only lean on what resists_.
The only thing against this man is his unknown face,
apart from that he is a deaf mute."
"If I am to know my way about,"
said Julien to himself.
"I must write down the names of the persons whom I see come to the salon together with a few words on their character."
He put at the head of the list five or six friends of the house who took every opportunity of paying court to him,
believing that he was protected by a whim of the marquis.
They were poor dull devils.
But it must be said in praise of this class of men,
such as they are found to-day in the salons of the aristocracy,
that every one did not find them equally tame.
One of them was now allowing himself to be bullied by the marquis,
who was venting his irritation at a harsh remark which had been addressed to him by the marquise.
The masters of the house were too proud or too prone to boredom;
they were too much used to finding their only distraction in the addressing of insults,
to enable them to expect true friends.
except on rainy days and in rare moments of savage boredom,
they always showed themselves perfectly polite.
If the five or six toadies who manifested so paternal an affection towards Julien had deserted the Hotel de la Mole,
the marquise would have been exposed to long spells of solitude,
and in the eyes of women of that class,
solitude is awful,
it is the symbol of _disgrace_.
The marquis was charming to his wife.
He saw that her salon was sufficiently furnished,
though not with peers,
for he did not think his new colleagues were sufficiently noble to come to his house as friends,
or sufficiently amusing to be admitted as inferiors.
It was only later that Julien fathomed these secrets.
The governing policy of a household,
though it forms the staple of conversation in bourgeois families,
is only alluded to in families of the class of that of the marquis in moments of distress.
So paramount even in this bored century is the necessity of amusing one's self,
that even on the days of dinner-parties the marquis had scarcely left the salon before all the guests ran away.
Provided that one did not make any jests about either God or the priests or the king or the persons in office,
or the artists who enjoyed the favour of the court,
or of anything that was established,
provided that one did not praise either Béranger or the opposition papers,
or Voltaire or Rousseau or anything which involved any element of free speech,
provided that above all that one never talked politics,
one could discuss everything with freedom.
There is no income of a hundred thousand crowns a year and no blue ribbon which could sustain a contest against such a code of salon etiquette.
The slightest live idea appeared a crudity.
In spite of the prevailing good form,
and desire to please,
_ennui_ was visible in every face.
The young people who came to pay their calls were frightened of speaking of anything which might make them suspected of thinking or of betraying that they had read something prohibited,
and relapsed into silence after a few elegant phrases about Rossini and the weather.
Julien noticed that the conversation was usually kept alive by two viscounts and five barons whom M. de la Mole had known at the time of the emigration.
These gentlemen enjoyed an income of from six to eight hundred thousand francs.
Four swore by the _Quotidienne_ and three by the _Gazette de France_.
One of them had every day some anecdote to tell about the Château,
in which he made lavish use of the word _admirable_.
Julien noticed that he had five crosses,
the others as a rule only had three.
By way of compensation six footmen in livery were to be seen in the ante-room,
and during the whole evening ices or tea were served every quarter-of-an-hour,
while about midnight there was a kind of supper with champagne.
This was the reason that sometimes induced Julien to stay till the end.
Apart from this he could scarcely understand why any one could bring himself to take seriously the ordinary conversation in this magnificently gilded salon.
Sometimes he would look at the talkers to see if they themselves were not making fun of what they were saying.
"My M. de Maistre,
whom I know by heart,"
"has put it a hundred times better,
and all the same he is pretty boring."
Julien was not the only one to appreciate this stifling moral atmosphere.
Some consoled themselves by taking a great quantity of ices,
others by the pleasure of saying all the rest of the evening,
"I have just come from the Hôtel de la Mole where I learnt that Russia,
Julien learnt from one of the toadies that scarcely six months ago madame de la Mole had rewarded more than twenty years of assiduous attention by promoting the poor baron Le Bourguignon,
who had been a sub-prefect since the restoration,
to the rank of prefect.
This great event had whetted the zeal of all these gentlemen.
Previously there were few things to which they would have objected,
now they objected to nothing.
There was rarely any overt lack of consideration,
but Julien had already caught at meals two or three little short dialogues between the marquis and his wife which were cruel to those who were seated near them.
These noble personages did not conceal their sincere contempt for everyone who was not sprung from people who were entitled to ride in the carriages of the king.
Julien noticed that the word crusade was the only word which gave their face an expression of deep seriousness akin to respect.
Their ordinary respect had always a touch of condescension.
In the middle of this magnificence and this boredom Julien was interested in nothing except M. de la Mole.
He was delighted to hear him protest one day that he had had nothing to do with the promotion of that poor Le Bourguignon,
it was an attention to the marquise.
Julien knew the truth from the abbé Pirard.
The abbé was working in the marquis's library with Julien one morning at the eternal de Frilair lawsuit.
said Julien suddenly,
"is dining every day with madame la marquise one of my duties or a special favour that they show to me?"
"It's a special honour,"
replied the scandalised abbé.
who has been cultivating the family for fifteen years,
has never been able to obtain so much for his M. Tanbeau."
"I find it,
the most painful part of my employment.
I was less bored at the seminary.
Some times I see even mademoiselle de la Mole yawn,
and yet she ought to be accustomed to the social charms of the friends of the house.
I am frightened of falling asleep.
As a favour,
obtain permission for me to go and get a forty sous' dinner in some obscure inn."
The abbé who was a true snob,
was very appreciative of the honour of dining with a great lord.
While he was endeavouring to get Julien to understand this point of view a slight noise made them turn round.
Julien saw mademoiselle de la Mole listening.
She had come to fetch a book and had heard everything.
She began to entertain some respect for Julien.
"He has not been born servile,"
"like that old abbé.
how ugly he is."
At dinner Julien did not venture to look at mademoiselle de la Mole but she was kind enough to speak to him.
They were expecting a lot of visitors that day and she asked him to stay.
The young girls of Paris are not at all fond of persons of a certain age,
especially when they are slovenly.
Julien did not need much penetration to realise that the colleagues of M. le Bourguignon who remained in the salon had the privilege of being the ordinary butt of mademoiselle de la Mole's jokes.
On this particular day,
whether or not by reason of some affectation on her part,
she proved cruel to bores.
Mademoiselle de la Mole was the centre of a little knot which used to form nearly every evening behind the marquise's immense arm-chair.
There were to be found there the marquis de Croisenois,
the comte de Caylus,
the vicomte de Luz and two or three other young officers,
the friends of Norbert or his sister.
These gentlemen used to sit down on a large blue sofa.
At the end of the sofa,
opposite the part where the brilliant Mathilde was sitting,
Julien sat in silence on a little,
rather low straw chair.
This modest position was envied by all the toadies;
Norbert kept his father's young secretary in countenance by speaking to him,
or mentioning him by name once or twice in the evening.
On this particular occasion mademoiselle de la Mole asked him what was the height of the mountain on which the citadel of Besançon is planted.
Julien had never any idea if this mountain was higher or lower than Montmartre.
He often laughed heartily at what was said in this little knot,
but he felt himself incapable of inventing anything analagous.
It was like a strange language which he understood but could not speak.
On this particular day Matilde's friends manifested a continuous hostility to the visitors who came into the vast salon.
The friends of the house were the favoured victims at first,
inasmuch as they were better known.
You can form your opinion as to whether Julien paid attention;
everything interested him,
both the substance of things and the manner of making fun of them.
"And there is M. Descoulis,"
"he doesn't wear a wig any more.
Does he want to get a prefectship through sheer force of genius?
He is displaying that bald forehead which he says is filled with lofty thoughts."
"He is a man who knows the whole world,"
said the marquis de Croisenois.
"He also goes to my uncle the cardinal's.
He is capable of cultivating a falsehood with each of his friends for years on end,
and he has two or three hundred friends.
He knows how to nurse friendship,
that is his talent.
He will go out,
just as you see him,
in the worst winter weather,
and be at the door of one of his friends by seven o'clock in the morning.
"He quarrels from time to time and he writes seven or eight letters for each quarrel.
Then he has a reconciliation and he writes seven or eight letters to express his bursts of friendship.
But he shines most brilliantly in the frank and sincere expansiveness of the honest man who keeps nothing up his sleeve.
This manœuvre is brought into play when he has some favour to ask.
One of my uncle's grand vicars is very good at telling the life of M. Descoulis since the restoration.
I will bring him to you."
I don't believe all that,
it's professional jealousy among the lower classes,"
said the comte de Caylus.
"M. Descoulis will live in history,"
replied the marquis.
"He brought about the restoration together with the abbé de Pradt and messieurs de Talleyrand and Pozzo di Borgo."
"That man has handled millions,"
"and I can't conceive why he should come here to swallow my father's epigrams which are frequently atrocious.
'How many times have you betrayed your friends,
my dear Descoulis?'
he shouted at him one day from one end of the table to the other."
"But is it true that he has played the traitor?"
asked mademoiselle de la Mole.
"Who has not played the traitor?"
said the comte de Caylus to Norbert,
"do you have that celebrated Liberal,
in your house.
What the devil's he come here for?
I must go up to him and speak to him and make him speak.
He is said to be so clever."
"But how will your mother receive him?"
said M. de Croisenois.
"He has such extravagant,
generous and independent ideas."
said mademoiselle de la Mole,
"look at the independent man who bows down to the ground to M. Descoulis while he grabs hold of his hand.
I almost thought he was going to put it to his lips."
"Descoulis must stand better with the powers that be than we thought,"
answered M. de Croisenois.
"Sainclair comes here in order to get into the academy,"
"See how he bows to the baron L -- --,
"It would be less base to kneel down,"
replied M. de Luz.
"My dear Sorel,"
"you are extremely smart,
but you come from the mountains.
Mind you never bow like that great poet is doing,
even to God the Father."
"Ah there's a really witty man,
M. the Baron Bâton,"
said mademoiselle de la Mole,
imitating a little the voice of the flunkey who had just announced him.
"I think that even your servants make fun of him.
What a name Baron Bâton,"
said M. de Caylus.
"What's in a name?"
he said to us the other day,
went on Matilde.
"Imagine the Duke de Bouillon announced for the first time.
So far as I am concerned the public only need to get used to me."
"Julien left the vicinity of the sofa."
Still insufficiently appreciative of the charming subtleties of a delicate raillery to laugh at a joke,
he considered that a jest ought to have some logical foundation.
He saw nothing in these young peoples' conversation except a vein of universal scandal-mongering and was shocked by it.
His provincial or English prudery went so far as to detect envy in it,
though in this he was certainly mistaken.
he said to himself,
"who has had to make three drafts for a twenty-line letter to his colonel would be only too glad to have written once in his whole life one page as good as M. Sainclair."
Julien approached successively the several groups and attracted no attention by reason of his lack of importance.
He followed the Baron Bâton from a distance and tried to hear him.
This witty man appeared nervous and Julien did not see him recover his equanimity before he had hit upon three or four stinging phrases.
Julien thought that this kind of wit had great need of space.
The Baron could not make epigrams.
He needed at least four sentences of six lines each,
in order to be brilliant.
"That man argues,
he does not talk,"
said someone behind Julien.
He turned round and reddened with pleasure when he heard the name of the comte Chalvet.
He was the subtlest man of the century.
Julien had often found his name in the _Memorial of St. Helena_ and in the portions of history dictated by Napoleon.
The diction of comte Chalvet was laconic,
his phrases were flashes of lightning --just,
If he talked about any matter the conversation immediately made a step forward;
he imported facts into it;
it was a pleasure to hear him.
he was a brazen cynic.
"I am independent,
he was saying to a gentleman with three stars,
of whom apparently he was making fun.
"Why insist on my having to-day the same opinion I had six weeks ago.
In that case my opinion would be my master."
Four grave young men who were standing round scowled;
these gentlemen did not like flippancy.
The comte saw that he had gone too far.
Luckily he perceived the honest M. Balland,
a veritable hypocrite of honesty.
The count began to talk to him;
people closed up,
for they realised that poor Balland was going to be the next victim.
although he was horribly ugly and his first steps in the world were almost unmentionable,
had by dint of his morals and his morality married a very rich wife who had died;
he subsequently married a second very rich one who was never seen in society.
in all humility,
an income of sixty thousand francs,
and had his own flatterers.
Comte Chalvet talked to him pitilessly about all this.
There was soon a circle of thirty persons around them.
Everybody was smiling,
including the solemn young men who were the hope of the century.
"Why does he come to M. de la Mole where he is obviously only a laughing stock?"
He approached the abbé Pirard to ask him.
M. Balland made his escape.
"there is one of the spies of my father gone;
there is only the little limping Napier left."
"Can that be the key of the riddle?"
"but if so,
why does the marquis receive M. Balland?"
The stern abbé Pirard was scowling in a corner of the salon listening to the lackeys announcing the names.
"This is nothing more than a den,"
he was saying like another Basil,
"I see none but shady people come in."
As a matter of fact the severe abbé did not know what constitutes high society.
But his friends the Jansenites,
had given him some very precise notions about those men who only get into society by reason of their extreme subtlety in the service of all parties,
or of their monstrous wealth.
For some minutes that evening he answered Julien's eager questions fully and freely,
and then suddenly stopped short grieved at having always to say ill of every one,
and thinking he was guilty of a sin.
Bilious Jansenist as he was,
and believing as he did in the duty of Christian charity,
his life was a perpetual conflict.
"How strange that abbé Pirard looks,"
said mademoiselle de la Mole,
as Julien came near the sofa.
Julien felt irritated,
but she was right all the same.
M. Pirard was unquestionably the most honest man in the salon,
but his pimply face,
which was suffering from the stings of conscience,
made him look hideous at this particular moment.
"Trust physiognomy after this,"
"it is only when the delicate conscience of the abbé Pirard is reproaching him for some trifling lapse that he looks so awful;
while the expression of that notorious spy Napier shows a pure and tranquil happiness."
The abbé Pirard,
had made great concessions to his party.
He had taken a servant,
and was very well dressed.
Julien noticed something strange in the salon,
it was that all eyes were being turned towards the door,
and there was a semi silence.
The flunkey was announcing the famous Barron Tolly,
who had just become publicly conspicuous by reason of the elections.
Julien came forward and had a very good view of him.
The baron had been the president of an electoral college;
he had the brilliant idea of spiriting away the little squares of paper which contained the votes of one of the parties.
But to make up for it he replaced them by an equal number of other little pieces of paper containing a name agreeable to himself.
This drastic manœuvre had been noticed by some of the voters,
who had made an immediate point of congratulating the Baron de Tolly.
The good fellow was still pale from this great business.
Malicious persons had pronounced the word galleys.
M. de la Mole received him coldly.
The poor Baron made his escape.
"If he leaves us so quickly it's to go to M. Comte's," said Comte Chalvet and everyone laughed.
Little Tanbeau was trying to win his spurs by talking to some silent noblemen and some intriguers who,
were all men of wit,
and were on this particular night in great force in M. de la Mole's salon (for he was mentioned for a place in the ministry).
If he had not yet any subtlety of perception he made up for it as one will see by the energy of his words.
"Why not sentence that man to ten years' imprisonment,"
he was saying at the moment when Julien approached his knot.
"Those reptiles should be confined in the bottom of a dungeon,
they ought to languish to death in gaol,
otherwise their venom will grow and become more dangerous.
What is the good of sentencing him to a fine of a thousand crowns?
He is poor,
so be it,
all the better,
but his party will pay for him.
What the case required was a five hundred francs fine and ten years in a dungeon."
"Well to be sure,
who is the monster they are speaking about?"
thought Julien who was viewing with amazement the vehement tone and hysterical gestures of his colleague.
At this moment the thin,
little face of the academician's nephew was hideous.
Julien soon learnt that they were talking of the greatest poet of the century.
Julien exclaimed half aloud,
while tears of generosity moistened his eyes.
"You little rascal,"
"I will pay you out for this."
"those are the unborn hopes of the party of which the marquis is one of the chiefs.
How many crosses and how many sinecures would that celebrated man whom he is now defaming have accumulated if he had sold himself --I won't say to the mediocre ministry of M. de Nerval --but to one of those reasonably honest ministries which we have seen follow each other in succession."
The abbé Pirard motioned to Julien from some distance off;
M. de la Mole had just said something to him.
But when Julien,
who was listening at the moment with downcast eyes to the lamentations of the bishop,
had at length got free and was able to get near his friend,
he found him monopolised by the abominable little Tanbeau.
The little beast hated him as the cause of Julien's favour with the marquis,
and was now making up to him.
"_When will death deliver us from that aged rottenness_,"
it was in these words of a biblical energy that the little man of letters was now talking of the venerable Lord Holland.
His merit consisted in an excellent knowledge of the biography of living men,
and he had just made a rapid review of all the men who could aspire to some influence under the reign of the new King of England.
The abbé Pirard passed in to an adjacent salon.
Julien followed him.
"I warn you the marquis does not like scribblers,
it is his only prejudice.
Know Latin and Greek if you can manage it,
the history of the Egyptians,
he will honour and protect you as a learned man.
But don't write a page of French,
especially on serious matters which are above your position in society,
or he will call you a scribbler and take you for a scoundrel.
How is it that living as you do in the hotel of a great lord you don't know the Duke de Castries' epigram on Alembert and Rousseau:
'the fellow wants to reason about everything and hasn't got an income of a thousand crowns'!"
"Everything leaks out here,"
"just like the seminary."
He had written eight or six fairly drastic pages.
It was a kind of historical eulogy of the old surgeon-major who had,
made a man of him.
"The little note book,"
said Julien to himself,
"has always been locked."
He went up to his room,
burnt his manuscript and returned to the salon.
The brilliant scoundrels had left it,
only the men with the stars were left.
Seven or eight very aristocratic ladies,
and of from thirty to thirty-five years of age,
were grouped round the table that the servants had just brought in ready served.
The brilliant maréchale de Fervaques came in apologising for the lateness of the hour.
It was more than midnight: she went and sat down near the marquise.
Julien was deeply touched,
she had the eyes and the expression of madame de Rênal.
Mademoiselle de la Mole's circle was still full of people.
She was engaged with her friends in making fun of the unfortunate comte de Thaler.
He was the only son of that celebrated Jew who was famous for the riches that he had won by lending money to kings to make war on the peoples.
The Jew had just died leaving his son an income of one hundred thousand crowns a month,
and a name that was only too well known.
This strange position required either a simple character or force of will power.
Unfortunately the comte was simply a fellow who was inflated by all kinds of pretensions which had been suggested to him by all his toadies.
M. de Caylus asserted that they had induced him to make up his mind to ask for the hand of mademoiselle de la Mole,
to whom the marquis de Croisenois,
who would be a duke with a hundred thousand francs a year,
was paying his attentions.
do not accuse him of having a mind,"
said Norbert pitifully.
Will-power was what the poor comte de Thaler lacked most of all.
So far as this side of his character went he was worthy of being a king.
He would take council from everybody,
but he never had the courage to follow any advice to the bitter end.
"His physiognomy would be sufficient in itself,"
mademoiselle de la Mole was fond of saying,
"to have inspired her with a holy joy."
It was a singular mixture of anxiety and disappointment,
but from time to time one could distinguish gusts of self-importance,
and above all that trenchant tone suited to the richest man in France,
especially when he had nothing to be ashamed of in his personal appearance and was not yet thirty-six.
"He is timidly insolent,"
M. de Croisenois would say.
The comte de Caylus,
and two or three moustachioed young people made fun of him to their heart's content without him suspecting it,
and finally packed him off as one o'clock struck.
"Are those your famous Arab horses waiting for you at the door in this awful weather?"
said Norbert to him.
it is a new pair which are much cheaper,"
said M. de Thaler.
"The horse on the left cost me five thousand francs,
while the one on the right is only worth one hundred louis,
but I would ask you to believe me when I say that I only have him out at night.
His trot you see is exactly like the other ones."
Norbert's remark made the comte think it was good form for a man like him to make a hobby of his horses,
and that he must not let them get wet.
He went away,
and the other gentleman left a minute afterwards making fun of him all the time.
thought Julien as he heard them laugh on the staircase,
"I have the privilege of seeing the exact opposite of my own situation.
I have not got twenty louis a year and I found myself side by side with a man who has twenty louis an hour and they made fun of him.
Seeing a sight like that cures one of envy."
 celebrated conjuror.