Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Deputy of Arcis by Honore de Balzac

Part 8 out of 8

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.9 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

the Chamber; and if Monsieur de Sallenauve is not here by that time,
the ministry expects to annul it."

"It is infamous," said Monsieur de Camps, "and I have a great mind to
go to the president of the Chamber, and tell him how matters are."

"I would have asked you to do so at the risk of my husband suspecting
my interference, but one thing restrained me. Monsieur de Sallenauve
particularly desires that Monsieur Gaston's mental condition be not
made public."

"It is evident," said Madame de Camps, "that do defend him in any way
would go against his wishes. After all, the decision against him in
the Chamber is very doubtful, whereas Monsieur Gaston's madness, if
mentioned publicly, would never be forgotten."

"But I have not told you the worst so far as I am concerned," said
Madame de l'Estorade. "Just before dinner my husband imparted to me an
absolutely Satanic desire of his--order, I might call it."

"What was it?" asked Madame de Camps, anxiously.

"He wishes me to go with him to the Chamber to-morrow,--to the gallery
reserved for the peers of France,--and listen to the discussion."

"He is actually, as you say, losing his head," cried Monsieur de
Camps; "he is like Thomas Diafoirus, proposing to take his fiance to
enjoy a dissection--"

Madame de Camps made her husband a sign which meant, "Don't pour oil
on the fire." Then she asked the countess whether she had tried to
show M. de l'Estorade the impropriety of that step.

"The moment I began to object," replied the countess, "he was angry,
and said I must be very anxious to keep up our intimacy with 'that
man' when I rejected such a natural opportunity to show publicly that
the acquaintance was at an end."

"Well, my dear, you will have to go," said Madame de Camps. "The peace
of your home before everything else! Besides, considering all things,
your presence at the discussion may be taken as a proof of kindly

"For sixteen years," remarked Monsieur de Camps, "you have ruled and
governed in your home; and here, at last, is a revolution which
cruelly overturns your power."

"Ah, monsieur, I beg you to believe that that sovereignty--which I
always sought to conceal--I never used arbitrarily."

"As if I did not know that!" replied Monsieur de Camps, taking Madame
de l'Estorade's hand and pressing it affectionately. "I am,
nevertheless, of my wife's opinion: you will have to drink this cup."

"But I shall die of shame in listening to the ministerial infamies; I
shall feel that they are cutting the throat of a man whom two words
from me could save."

"True," said Monsieur de Camps, "and a man, too, who has done you a
vast service. But you must choose: do you prefer to bring hell into
your home, and exasperate the unhealthy condition of your husband's

"Listen to me, dearest," said Madame de Camps. "Tell Monsieur de
l'Estorade that I want to go to this session, and ask him for a
permit; don't yield the point to any objections. I shall then be there
to take care of you, and perhaps protect you from yourself."

"I did not dare ask it of you," replied Madame de l'Estorade. "We
don't usually invite friends to see us commit bad actions; but since
you are so kind as to offer, I can truly say I shall be less wretched
if you are with me. Now good-bye; I don't want my husband to find me
out when he comes home. He is dining with Monsieur de Rastignac,
where, no doubt, they are plotting for to-morrow."

"Yes, go; and I will write you a note in the course of an hour, as if
I had not seen you, asking you to get me a permit for to-morrow's
session, which I am told will be very interesting."

"To be reduced to conspiracy!" cried Madame de l'Estorade, kissing her

"My dear love," said Madame de Camps, "they say the life of a
Christian is a struggle, but that of a woman married in a certain way
is a pitched battle. Have patience and courage."

So saying, the two friends separated.

The next day, about two o'clock, Madame de l'Estorade, accompanied by
her husband and Madame Octave de Camps, took their places in the
gallery reserved for the members of the peerage. She seemed ill, and
answered languidly the bows and salutations that were addressed to her
from all parts of the Chamber. Madame de Camps, who was present for
the first time in the parliamentary precincts, made two observations:
first, she objected strongly to the slovenly costume of a great many
of the "honorable gentlemen"; and she was also amazed at the number of
bald heads she looked down upon from the gallery. Monsieur de
l'Estorade took pains to point out to her all the notabilities
present: first, the great men whom we need not mention, because their
names are in everybody's memory; next, the poet Canalis, whose air she
thought Olympian; d'Arthez, who pleased her by his modesty and absence
of assumption; Vinet, of whom she remarked that he was like a viper in
spectacles; Victorin Hulot, a noted orator of the Left Centre. It was
some time before she could accustom herself to the hum of the various
conversations, which seemed to her like the buzzing of bees around
their hive; but the thing that most amazed her was the general aspect
of this assemblage of legislators, where a singular _laisser-aller_
and a total absence of dignity would never have led her to suppose she
was in the hall of the representatives of a great people.

It was written that on this day no pain or unpleasantness should be
spared to Madame de l'Estorade. Just before the sitting began, the
Marquise d'Espard, accompanied by Monsieur de Ronquerolles, entered
the peers' gallery and took her seat beside the countess. Though
meeting constantly in society, the two women could not endure each
other. Madame de l'Estorade despised the spirit of intrigue, the total
lack of principle, and the sour, malevolent nature which the marquise
covered with an elegant exterior; and the marquise despised, to a
still greater degree, what she called the _pot-au-feu_ virtues of
Madame de l'Estorade. It must also be mentioned that Madame de
l'Estorade was thirty-two years old and her beauty was still undimmed,
whereas Madame d'Espard was forty-four, and, in spite of the careful
dissimulations of the toilet, her beauty was fairly at an end.

"You do not often come here, I think," said Madame d'Espard, after the
usual conventional phrases about the _pleasure_ of their meeting had

"I never come," replied Madame de l'Estorade.

"And I am most assiduous," said Madame d'Espard.

Then, pretending to a sudden recollection, she added,--

"Ah! I forgot; you have a special interest, I think, on this occasion.
A friend of yours is to be _judged_, is he not?"

"Yes; Monsieur de Sallenauve has been to our house several times."

"How sad it is," said the marquise, "to see a man who, Monsieur de
Ronquerolles tells me, had the making of a hero in many ways, come
down to the level of the correctional police."

"His crime so far," said Madame de l'Estorade, dryly, "consists solely
in his absence."

"At any rate," continued the marquise, "he seems to be a man eaten up
by ambition. Before his parliamentary attempt, he made, as you
doubtless know, a matrimonial attempt upon the Lantys, which ended in
the beautiful heiress of that family, into whose good graces he had
insinuated himself, being sent to a convent."

Madame de l'Estorade was not much surprised at finding that this
history, which Sallenauve had told her as very secret, had reached the
knowledge of Madame d'Espard. The marquise was one of the best
informed women in Paris; her salon, as an old academician had said
mythologically, was the Temple of Fame.

"I think the sitting is about to begin," said Madame de l'Estorade;
fearing some blow from the claws of the marquise, she was eager to put
an end to the conversation.

The president had rung his bell, the deputies were taking their seats,
the curtain was about to rise. As a faithful narrator of the session
we desire our readers to attend, we think it safer and better in every
way to copy _verbatim_ the report of the debate as given in one of the
morning papers of the following day.

Chamber of Deputies.

In the chair, M. Cointet (vice-president).

(Sitting of May 28.)

At two o'clock the president takes his seat.

M. the Keeper of the Seals, M. the minister of the Interior, M.
the minister of Public Works, are on the ministerial bench.

The minutes of the last session are read, approved, and accepted.

The order of the day is the verification of the powers and the
admission of the deputy elected by the arrondissement of

_The President_.--M. the reporter, from the Committee on the
elections of the department of the Aube, has the floor.

_The Reporter_.--Gentlemen, the singular and regrettable situation
in which Monsieur de Sallenauve has placed himself has not
terminated in the manner that was hoped and expected last week.
The period of delay expired yesterday; Monsieur de Sallenauve
continues to absent himself from your sittings, and no letter has
reached M. le president asking for further leave of absence. This
indifference to the functions which Monsieur de Sallenauve
appeared to have solicited with so much eagerness [slight
agitation on the Left] would be, in any case, a grave mistake; but
when connected with an accusation that seriously compromises the
deputy elect, it must be regarded as altogether unfortunate for
his reputation. [Murmurs on the Left. Approbation from the
Centre.] Compelled to search for the solution of a difficulty
which may be said to be without precedent in parliamentary annals,
your committee, in the adoption of suitable measures, finds itself
divided into two very distinct opinions. The minority whom I
represent--the committee consisting of but three members--thinks
that it ought to submit to you a resolution which I shall call
radical, and which has for its object the cutting short of the
difficulty by returning the question to its natural judges. Annul
_hic et nunc_ the election of Monsieur de Sallenauve, and send him
back to the voters by whom he was elected and of whom he is so
unfaithful a representative. Such is one of the solutions I have
the honor to present to you. [Agitation on the Left.] The
majority, on the contrary, are of opinion that the will of the
electors cannot be too highly respected, and that the faults of a
man honored by their confidence ought not to be discussed until
the utmost limits of forbearance and indulgence have been passed.
Consequently your committee instruct me to suggest that you grant
to Monsieur de Sallenauve a further delay of fifteen days [murmurs
from the Centre; "Very good! very good!" from the Left]; being
satisfied that if after that delay Monsieur de Sallenauve does not
present himself or give any other sign of existence, it will be
sufficient proof that he has thrown up his election, and the
Chamber need not be dragged on his account into irritating and
useless debates. [Murmurs of various kinds.]

M. le Colonel Franchessini, who during the foregoing speech was
sitting on the ministers' bench in earnest conversation with the
minister of Public Works, here demanded the floor.

_The President_.--M. de Canalis has already asked for it.

_M. de Canalis_.--Gentlemen, M. de Sallenauve is one of those bold
men who, like myself, are convinced that politics are not
forbidden fruit to any form of intellect, and that in the poet, in
the artist, as well as in the magistrate, the administrator, the
lawyer, the physician, and the property-holder, may be found the
stuff that makes a statesman. In virtue of this community of
opinion, M. de Sallenauve has my entire sympathy, and no one can
be surprised to see me mount this tribune to support the proposal
of the majority of your committee. I cannot, however, agree to
their final conclusion; and the idea of our colleague being
declared, without discussion, dismissed from this Chamber through
the single fact of his absence, prolonged without leave, is
repugnant to my reason and also to my conscience. You are told:
"The absence of M. de Sallenauve is all the more reprehensible
because he is under the odium of a serious accusation." But
suppose this accusation is the very cause of his absence--["Ha!
ha!" from the Centre, and laughter.] Allow me to say, gentlemen,
that I am not, perhaps, quite so artless as Messieurs the laughers
imagine. I have one blessing, at any rate: ignoble interpretations
do not come into my mind; and that M. de Sallenauve, with the
eminent position he has filled in the world of art, should seek to
enter the world of politics by means of a crime, is a supposition
which I cannot admit _a priori_. Around a birth like his two
hideous spiders called slander and intrigue have every facility to
spread their toils; and far from admitting that he has fled before
the accusation that now attacks him, I ask myself whether his
absence does not mean that he is now engaged in collecting the
elements of his defence. [Left: "Very good!" "That's right."
Ironical laughter in the Centre.] Under that supposition--in my
opinion most probable--so far from arraigning him in consequence
of this absence, ought we not rather to consider it as an act of
deference to the Chamber whose deliberations he did not feel
worthy to share until he found himself in a position to confound
his calumniators?

_A Voice_.--He wants leave of absence for ten years, like
Telemachus, to search for his father. [General laughter.]

_M. de Canalis_.--I did not expect so poetical an interruption;
but since the memory of the Odyssey has been thus evoked, I shall
ask the Chamber to kindly remember that Ulysses, though disguised
as a beggar and loaded with insults, was yet able to string his
bow and easily get the better of his enemies. [Violent murmurs from
the Centre.] I vote for leave of absence for fifteen days, and
that the Chamber be again consulted at the expiration of that

_M. le Colonel Franchessini_.--I do not know if the last speaker
intended to intimidate the Chamber, but, for my part, such
arguments have very little power upon me, and I am always ready to
send them back whence they came. [Left: "Come! come!"]

_The President_.--Colonel, no provocations!

_M. le Colonel Franchessini_.--I am, however, of the opinion of
the speaker who preceded me; I do not think that the delinquent
has fled to escape the accusation against him. Neither that
accusation, nor the effect it will produce upon your minds, nor
even the quashing of his election would be able at this moment to
occupy his mind. Do you wish to know what M. de Sallenauve is
doing in England? Then read the English papers. For the last week
they have rung with the praises of a new prima donna who has just
made her first appearance at the London opera-house. [Violent
murmurs; interruption.]

_A Voice_.--Such gossip is unworthy of this Chamber!

_M. le Colonel Franchessini_.--Gentlemen, being more accustomed to
the frankness of camps than to the reticence of these precincts, I
may perhaps have committed the impropriety of thinking aloud. The
preceding speaker said to you that he believed M. de Sallenauve
was employed in collecting his means of defence; well, I do not
say to you "I believe," I tell you I _know_ that a rich stranger
succeed in substituting his protection for what which Phidias, our
colleague, was bestowing on his handsome model, an Italian woman
--[Fresh interruption. "Order! order!" "This is intolerable!"]

_A Voice_.--M. le president, silence the speaker!

Colonel Franchessini crosses his arms and waits till the tumult

_The President_.--I request the speaker to keep to the question.

_M. le Colonel Franchessini_.--The question! I have not left it.
But, inasmuch as the Chamber refuses to hear me, I declare that I
side with the minority of the committee. It seems to me very
proper to send M. de Sallenauve back to his electors in order to
know whether they intended to send a deputy or a lover to this
Chamber--["Order! order!" Loud disturbance on the Left. The tumult

M. de Canalis hurries to the tribune.

_The President_.--M. le ministre of Public Works has asked for the
floor; as minister of the king he has the first right to be heard.

_M. de Rastignac_.--It has not been without remonstrance on my
part, gentlemen, that this scandal has been brought to your
notice. I endeavored, in the name of the long friendship which
unites me to Colonel Franchessini, to persuade him not to speak on
this delicate subject, lest his parliamentary inexperience,
aggravated in a measure by his witty facility of speech, should
lead him to some very regrettable indiscretion. Such, gentleman,
was the subject of the little conversation you may have seen that
he held with me on my bench before he asked for the floor; and I
myself have asked for the same privilege only in order to remove
from your minds all idea of my complicity in the great mistake he
has just, as I think, committed by condescending to the private
details he has thought fit to relate to this assembly. But as,
against my intention, and I may add against my will, I have
entered the tribune, the Chamber will permit me, perhaps,
--although no ministerial interest is here concerned,--to say a
few words. [Cries from the Centre: "Go on!" "Speak!"]

M. le ministre then went on to say that the conduct of the absent
deputy showed contempt for the Chamber; he was treating it lightly
and cavalierly. M. de Sallenauve had asked for leave of absence;
but how or where had he asked for it? From a foreign country! That
is to say, he began by taking it, and then asked for it! Did he
trouble himself, as is usual in such cases, to give a reason for
the request? No; he merely says, in his letter to your president,
that he is forced to absent himself on "urgent business,"--a very
convenient excuse, on which the Chamber might be depopulated of
half its members. But, supposing that M. de Sallenauve's business
was really urgent, and that he thought it of a nature not to be
explained in a letter that would necessarily be made public, why
had he not written confidentially to the president, or even
requested a friend in some responsible position, whose simple word
would have sufficed, to assure the Chamber of the necessity of the
deputy's absence without requiring any statement of private

At this point M. de Rastignac's remarks were interrupted by a
commotion in the corridor to the right. Several deputies left
their seats; others jumped upon the benches, apparently
endeavoring to see something. The minister, after turning to the
president, from whom he seemed to be asking an explanation, went
back to the ministerial bench, where he was immediately surrounded
by a number of the deputies of the Centre, among whom, noticeable
for the vehemence of his gestures, was M. le procureur-general
Vinet. Groups formed in the audience chamber; the sitting was, in
fact, informally suspended.

After a few moments' delay M. le president rings his bell.

_The Ushers_.--Take your seats, gentlemen.

The deputies hasten on all sides to do so.

_The President_.--M. de Sallenauve has the floor.

M. de Sallenauve, who, during the few moments that the sitting was
interrupted by his entrance, has been talking with M. de Canalis
and M. d'Arthez, goes to the tribune. His manner is modest, but he
shows no sign of embarrassment. Every one is struck by his
resemblance to the portraits of one of the most fiery of the
revolutionary orators.

_A Voice_.--It is Danton--without the small-pox!

_M. de Sallenauve_.--[Profound silence.] Gentlemen, I do not
misjudge my parliamentary value; I know that the persecution
directed apparently against me personally is, in point of fact,
aimed at the political opinions I have the honor to represent.
But, however that may be, my election seems to have been viewed by
the ministry as a matter of some importance. In order to oppose
it, a special agent and special journalists were sent to Arcis;
and a humble employe under government, with a salary of fifteen
hundred francs, was dismissed, after twenty years of faithful and
honorable service, for having aided in my success. [Loud murmurs
from the Centre.] I thank my honorable interrupters, feeling sure
that their loud disapprobation is given to this strange dismissal,
which is not open to the slightest doubt. [Laughter on the Left.]
As for me, gentlemen, who could not be dismissed, I have been
attacked with another weapon,--sagacious calumny, combined with my
fortunate absence--

_The Minister of Public Works_.--Of course the government sent you
out of the country.

_M. de Sallenauve_.--No, Monsieur le ministre. I do not attribute
my absence to either your influence or your suggestions; it was
necessitated by imperious duty, and it had no other instigation or
motive. But, as to the part you have really taken in the
denunciation set on foot against me, I am about to tell the facts,
and the Chamber will consider them. [Close attention.] The law, in
order to protect the independence of the deputy, directs that no
criminal prosecution can be begun against a member of the national
representation without the preliminary consent of the Chamber;
this fact has been turned with great adroitness against me. If the
complaint had been laid before the magistrates, it could not have
been admitted even for an instant; it is simply a bare charge, not
supported by evidence of any kind; and I have never heard that the
public authorities are in the habit of prosecuting citizens on the
mere allegation of the first-comer. We must therefore admire the
subtlety of mind which instantly perceived that, by petitioning
you for leave to prosecute, all the benefits of the accusation,
politically speaking, would be obtained without encountering the
difficulty I have mentioned in the courts. [Excitement.] Now, to
what able parliamentary tactician must we ascribe the honor of
this invention? You know already, gentleman, that it is due
ostensibly to a woman, a peasant-woman, one who labors for her
living; hence the conclusion is that the peasant-women of
Champagne have an intellectual superiority of which, up to this
time, neither you nor I were at all aware. [Laughter.] It must be
said, however, that before coming to Paris to lodge her complaint,
this woman had an interview with the mayor of Arcis, my opponent
on the ministerial side in the late election. From this conference
she obtained certain lights. To which we must add that the mayor,
taking apparently much interest in the charge to be brought
against me, agreed to pay the costs, not only of the
peasant-woman's trip to Paris, but also those of the village
practitioner by whom she was accompanied. [Left: "Ha! ha!"] This
superior woman having arrived in Paris, with whom did she
immediately communicate? With the special agent sent down to Arcis
by the government to ensure the success of the ministerial
candidate. And who drew up the petition to this honorable Chamber
for the necessary authority to proceed to a criminal prosecution?
Not precisely the special ministerial agent himself, but a
barrister under his dictation, and after a breakfast to which the
peasant- woman and her adviser were invited in order to furnish the
necessary information. [Much excitement. "Hear! hear!"]

_The Minister of Public Works from his seat_.--Without discussing
the truth of these statements, as to which I have personally no
knowledge, I affirm upon my honor that the government is
completely ignorant of the proceedings now related, which it
blames and disavows in the most conclusive manner.

_M. de Sallenauve_.--After the formal declaration which I have had
the good fortune to evoke it would ill become me, gentlemen, to
insist on tracing the responsibility for this intrigue back to the
government. But what I have already said will seem to you natural
when you remember that, as I entered this hall, the minister of
Public Works was in the tribune, taking part, in a most unusual
manner, in a discussion on discipline wholly outside of his
department, and endeavoring to persuade you that I had conducted
myself towards this honorable body with a total want of reverence.

The minister of Public Works said a few words which did not reach
us. Great disturbance.

_M. Victorin Hulot_.--M. le president, have the goodness to
request the minister of Public Works not to interrupt the speaker.
He can answer.

_M. de Sallenauve_.--According to M. le comte de Rastignac, I
showed essential disrespect to the Chamber by asking, in a foreign
country, for leave of absence, which it was obvious I had already
taken before making my request. But, in his extreme desire to find
me to blame, the minister lost sight of the fact that at the time
I left France the Chamber had not met, no president existed, and
therefore in making my request at that time to the president of
this assembly I should simply have addressed a pure abstraction.
[Left: "True!"] As for the insufficiency of the motives with which
I supported my request, I regret to have to say to the Chamber
that I cannot be more explicit even now; because in revealing the
true cause of my absence I should betray the secret of an
honorable man, and not my own. I did not conceal from myself that
by this reticence I exposed my proceedings to mistaken
interpretations,--though I certainly did not expect it to give
rise to accusations as burlesque as they are odious. [Much
excitement.] In point of fact, I was so anxious not to neglect any
of the duties of my new position that I did precisely what the
minister of Public Works reproaches me for not doing. I selected a
man in a most honorable position, who was, like myself, a
repository of the secret I am unable to divulge, and I requested
him to make all necessary explanations to the president of this
Chamber. But, calumny having no doubt worked upon his mind, that
honorable person must have thought it compromising to his name and
dignity to do me this service. The danger to me being now over, I
shall not betray his prudent incognito. Though I was far indeed
from expecting this calculating selfishness, which has painfully
surprised and wounded me, I shall be careful to keep this betrayal
of friendship between myself and his own conscience, which alone
shall reproach him for the wrong he has done me.

At this moment a disturbance occurred in the peers' gallery; a
lady had fainted; and several deputies, among them a physician,
left the hall hastily. The sitting was momentarily suspended.

_The President_.--Ushers, open the ventilators. It is want of air
that has caused this unfortunate accident. M. de Sallenauve, be
good enough to resume your speech.

_M. de Sallenauve_.--Two words, gentleman, and I have finished. I
think the petition to authorize a criminal prosecution has already
lost something of its weight in the minds of my least cordial
colleagues. But I have here a letter from the Romilly
peasant-woman, my relation, duly signed and authenticated,
withdrawing her charge and confirming all the explanations I have
just had the honor to give you. I might read this letter aloud to
you, but I think it more becoming to place it in the hands of M. le
president. ["Very good! very good!"] As for my illegal absence, I
returned to Paris early this morning, and I could have been in my
seat at the opening of the Chamber; but, as M. de Canalis has told
you, I had it much at heart not to appear in this hall until I
could disperse the cloud which has so strangely appeared around my
reputation. It has taken me the whole morning to obtain these
papers. And now, gentlemen, you have to decide whether a few
hours' delay in taking his seat in this Chamber justifies you in
sending a colleague back to his electors. But after all, whatever
is done, whether some persist in thinking me a forger, or a
libertine, or merely a negligent deputy, I feel no anxiety about
the verdict of my electors. I can confidently assert that after a
delay of a few weeks I shall return to you.

_Cries on all sides_.--The vote! the vote!

On leaving the tribune M. de Sallenauve receives many

_The President_.--I put to vote the admission of M. de Sallenauve
as the deputy elected by the arrondissement of Arcis.

Nearly the whole Chamber rises and votes the admission; a few
deputies of the Centre alone abstain from taking part in the

M. de Sallenauve is admitted and takes the oath.

_The President_.--The order of the day calls for the reading of
the Address to the Throne, but the chairman of the committee
appointed to prepare it informs me that the document in question
cannot be communicated to the Chamber before to-morrow. Nothing
else being named in the order of the day, I declare this sitting

The Chamber rose at half-past four o'clock.


Note.--"The Deputy of Arcis," of which Balzac wrote and published
the first part in 1847, was left unfinished at his death. He
designated M. Charles Rabou, editor of the "Revue de Paris," as
the person to take his notes and prepare the rest of the volume
for the press. It is instructive to a student of Balzac to see how
disconnected and out of proportion the story becomes in these
later parts,--showing plainly that the master's hand was in the
habit of pruning away half, if not more, of what it had written,
or--to change the metaphor and give the process in his own
language--that he put _les grands pots dans les petits pots_, the
quarts into the pint pots. "If a thing can be done in one line
instead of two," he says, "I try to do it."

Some parts of this conclusion are evidently added by M. Rabou, and
are not derived from Balzac at all,--especially the unnecessary
reincarnation of Vautrin. There is no trace of the master's hand
here. The character is made so silly and puerile, and is so out of
keeping with Balzac's strong portrait, which never weakens, that
the translator has thought best, in justice to Vautrin, to omit
all that is not absolutely necessary to connect the story.


The following personages appear in other stories of the Human Comedy.

Arthez, Daniel d'
A Distinguished Provincial at Paris
Letters of Two Brides
The Secrets of a Princess

Beauvisage (tenant)
The Gondreville Mystery

Beauvisage, Phileas
Cousin Betty

Bixiou, Jean-Jacques
The Purse
A Bachelor's Establishment
The Government Clerks
Modeste Mignon
Scenes from a Courtesan's Life
The Firm of Nucingen
The Muse of the Department
Cousin Betty
A Man of Business
Gaudissart II.
The Unconscious Humorists
Cousin Pons

Blondet, Virginie
Jealousies of a Country Town
The Secrets of a Princess
The Peasantry
A Distinguished Provincial at Paris
Another Study of Woman
A Daughter of Eve

Brandon, Lady Marie Augusta
The Lily of the Valley
La Grenadiere

Bridau, Joseph
The Purse
A Bachelor's Establishment
A Distinguished Provincial at Paris
A Start in Life
Modeste Mignon
Another Study of Woman
Pierre Grassou
Letters of Two Brides
Cousin Betty

Cadine, Jenny
Cousin Betty
The Unconscious Humorists

Camps, Octave de
Madame Firmiani

Camps, Madame Octave de
Madame Firmiani
The Government Clerks
A Woman of Thirty
A Daughter of Eve

Canalis, Constant-Cyr-Melchior, Baron de
Letters of Two Brides
A Distinguished Provincial at Paris
Modeste Mignon
The Magic Skin
Another Study of Woman
A Start in Life
The Unconscious Humorists

Carigliano, Duchesse de
At the Sign of the Cat and Racket
A Distinguished Provincial at Paris
The Peasantry

Chargeboeuf, Melchior-Rene, Vicomte de
The Muse of the Department

Chocardelle, Mademoiselle
A Prince of Bohemia
A Man of Business
Cousin Betty

Cinq-Cygne, Laurence, Comtesse (afterwards Marquise de)
The Gondreville Mystery
The Secrets of a Princess
The Seamy Side of History

Cointet, Boniface
Lost Illusions
The Firm of Nucingen

Collin, Jacques
Father Goriot
Lost Illusions
A Distinguished Provincial at Paris
Scenes from a Courtesan's Life

Ursule Mirouet

Estorade, Louis, Chevalier, then Vicomte and Comte de l'
Letters of Two Brides

Estorade, Madame de l'
Letters of Two Brides
Ursule Mirouet

Estorade, Armand de l'
Letters of Two Brides

Fontanon, Abbe
A Second Home
The Government Clerks

Franchessini, Colonel
Father Goriot

Gaston, Marie
La Grenadiere
Letters of Two Brides

Giguet, Colonel
The Gondreville Mystery

Gobseck, Sarah Van
Cesar Birotteau
The Maranas
Scenes from a Courtesan's Life

Gondreville, Malin, Comte de
The Gondreville Mystery
A Start in Life
Domestic Peace

The Gondreville Mystery

Goujet, Abbe
The Gondreville Mystery

A Start in Life
The Gondreville Mystery

Hauteserre, D'
The Gondreville Mystery

A Man of Business

Hulot, Victorin
Cousin Betty

Keller, Francois
Domestic Peace
Cesar Birotteau
Eugenie Grandet
The Government Clerks

Keller, Madame Francois
Domestic Peace
The Thirteen

La Bastie la Briere, Madame Ernest de
Modeste Mignon
Cousin Betty

Lanty, Comte de

Lanty, Comtesse de

Lanty, Marianina de

Lanty, Filippo de

La Roche-Hugon, Martial de
Domestic Peace
The Peasantry
A Daughter of Eve
The Middle Classes
Cousin Betty

Lenoncourt-Givry, Duc de
Letters of Two Brides
Cousin Betty

Marest, Frederic
A Start in Life
The Seamy Side of History

Marion (of Arcis)
The Gondreville Mystery

Marion (brother)
The Gondreville Mystery

Letters of Two Brides

Maufrigneuse, Duchesse de
The Secrets of a Princess
Modeste Mignon
Jealousies of a Country Town
The Muse of the Department
Scenes from a Courtesan's Life
Letters of Two Brides
Another Study of Woman
The Gondreville Mystery

Maufrigneuse, Georges de
The Secrets of a Princess
The Gondreville Mystery

Maufrigneuse, Berthe de
The Gondreville Mystery

Michu, Francois
The Gondreville Mystery
Jealousies of a Country Town

Michu, Madame Francois
The Gondreville Mystery

Montriveau, General Marquis Armand de
The Thirteen
Father Goriot
Lost Illusions
A Distinguished Provincial at Paris
Another Study of Woman

Nucingen, Baronne Delphine de
Father Goriot
The Thirteen
Eugenie Grandet
Cesar Birotteau
Melmoth Reconciled
Lost Illusions
A Distinguished Provincial at Paris
The Commission in Lunacy
Scenes from a Courtesan's Life
Modeste Mignon
The Firm of Nucingen
Another Study of Woman
A Daughter of Eve

Letters of Two Brides

Rastignac, Eugene de
Father Goriot
A Distinguished Provincial at Paris
Scenes from a Courtesan's Life
The Ball at Sceaux
The Commission in Lunacy
A Study of Woman
Another Study of Woman
The Magic Skin
The Secrets of a Princess
A Daughter of Eve
The Gondreville Mystery
The Firm of Nucingen
Cousin Betty
The Unconscious Humorists

Rastignac, Laure-Rose and Agathe de
Father Goriot
Lost Illusions

Restaud, Ernest de

Restaud, Madame Ernest de

Restaud, Felix-Georges de

Rhetore, Duc Alphonse de
A Bachelor's Establishment
A Distinguished Provincial at Paris
Scenes from a Courtesan's Life
Letters of Two Brides
Albert Savarus

Ronquerolles, Marquis de
The Imaginary Mistress
The Peasantry
Ursule Mirouet
A Woman of Thirty
Another Study of Woman
The Thirteen

Saint-Hereen, Comtesse Moina de
A Woman of Thirty
A Daughter of Eve

Sallenauve, Comtesse de
Letters of Two Brides

Sarrasine, Ernest-Jean

Modeste Mignon
Cousin Betty
Cousin Pons
The Unconscious Humorists

A Man of Business

Tillet, Ferdinand du
Cesar Birotteau
The Firm of Nucingen
The Middle Classes
A Bachelor's Establishment
Melmoth Reconciled
A Distinguished Provincial at Paris
The Secrets of a Princess
A Daughter of Eve
Cousin Betty
The Unconscious Humorists

Trailles, Comte Maxime de
Cesar Birotteau
Father Goriot
Ursule Mirouet
A Man of Business
The Secrets of a Princess
Cousin Betty
The Unconscious Humorists

Troubert, Abbe Hyacinthe
The Vicar of Tours

The Gondreville Mystery

Vien, Joseph-Marie

The Middle Classes
Cousin Pons

Vinet, Olivier
Cousin Pons
The Middle Classes


Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest