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Ursula by Honore de Balzac (transl. Katharine Prescott Wormeley)

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of her godfather was laid upon her shoulder, causing her the most
horrible distress, an indefinable sensation. "You must obey the dead,"
he said, in a sepulchral voice. "Tears," said Ursula, relating her
dreams, "fell from his white, wide-open eyes."

The third time the vision came the dead man took her by the braids of
her long hair and showed her the post master talking with Goupil and
promising money if he would remove Ursula to Sens. Ursula then decided
to relate the three dreams to the Abbe Chaperon.

"Monsieur l'abbe," she said, "do you believe that the dead reappear?"

"My child, sacred history, profane history, and modern history, have
much testimony to that effect; but the Church has never made it an
article of faith; and as for science, in France science laughs at the

"What do YOU believe?"

"That the power of God is infinite."

"Did my godfather ever speak to you of such matters?"

"Yes, often. He had entirely changed his views of them. His
conversion, as he told me at least twenty times, dated from the day
when a woman in Paris heard you praying for him in Nemours, and saw
the red dot you made against Saint-Savinien's day in your almanac."

Ursula uttered a piercing cry, which alarmed the priest; she
remembered the scene when, on returning to Nemours, her godfather read
her soul, and took away the almanac.

"If that is so," she said, "then my visions are possibly true. My
godfather has appeared to me, as Jesus appeared to his disciples. He
was wrapped in yellow light; he spoke to me. I beg you to say a mass
for the repose of his soul and to implore the help of God that these
visions may cease, for they are destroying me."

She then related the three dreams with all their details, insisting on
the truth of what she said, on her own freedom of action, on the
somnambulism of her inner being, which, she said, detached itself from
her body at the bidding of the spectre and followed him with perfect
ease. The thing that most surprised the abbe, to whom Ursula's
veracity was known, was the exact description which she gave of the
bedroom formerly occupied by Zelie at the post house, which Ursula had
never entered and about which no one had ever spoken to her.

"By what means can these singular apparitions take place?" asked
Ursula. "What did my godfather think?"

"Your godfather, my dear child, argued my hypothesis. He recognized
the possibility of a spiritual world, a world of ideas. If ideas are
of man's creation, if they subsist in a life of their own, they must
have forms which our external senses cannot grasp, but which are
perceptible to our inward senses when brought under certain
conditions. Thus your godfather's ideas might so enfold you that you
would clothe them with his bodily presence. Then, if Minoret really
committed those actions, they too resolve themselves into ideas; for
all action is the result of many ideas. Now, if ideas live and move in
a spiritual world, your spirit must be able to perceive them if it
penetrates that world. These phenomena are not more extraordinary than
those of memory; and those of memory are quite as amazing and
inexplicable as those of the perfume of plants--which are perhaps the
ideas of the plants."

"How you enlarge and magnify the world!" exclaimed Ursula. "But to
hear the dead speak, to see them walk, act--do you think it possible?"

"In Sweden," replied the abbe, "Swedenborg has proved by evidence that
he communicated with the dead. But come with me into the library and
you shall read in the life of the famous Duc de Montmorency, beheaded
at Toulouse, and who certainly was not a man to invent foolish tales,
an adventure very like yours, which happened a hundred years earlier
at Cardan."

Ursula and the abbe went upstairs, and the good man hunted up a little
edition in 12mo, printed in Paris in 1666, of the "History of Henri de
Montmorency," written by a priest of that period who had known the

"Read it," said the abbe, giving Ursula the volume, which he had
opened at the 175th page. "Your godfather often re-read that passage,
--and see! here's a little of his snuff in it."

"And he not here!" said Ursula, taking the volume to read the passage.

"The siege of Privat was remarkable for the loss of a great number
of officers. Two brigadier-generals died there--namely, the
Marquis d'Uxelles, of a wound received at the outposts, and the
Marquis de Portes, from a musket-shot through the head. The day
the latter was killed he was to have been made a marshal of
France. About the moment when the marquis expired the Duc de
Montmorency, who was sleeping in his tent, was awakened by a voice
like that of the marquis bidding him farewell. The affection he
felt for a friend so near made him attribute the illusion of this
dream to the force of his own imagination; and owing to the
fatigues of the night, which he had spent, according to his
custom, in the trenches, he fell asleep once more without any
sense of dread. But the same voice disturbed him again, and the
phantom obliged him to wake up and listen to the same words it had
said as it first passed. The duke then recollected that he had
heard the philosopher Pitrat discourse on the possibility of the
separation of the soul from the body, and that he and the marquis
had agreed that the first who died should bid adieu to the other.
On which, not being able to restrain his fears as to the truth of
this warning, he sent a servant to the marquis's quarters, which
were distant from him. But before the man could get back, the king
sent to inform the duke, by persons fitted to console him, of the
great loss he had sustained.

"I leave learned men to discuss the cause of this event, which I
have frequently heard the Duc de Montmorency relate: I think that
the truth and singularity of the fact itself ought to be recorded
and preserved."

"If all this is so," said Ursula, "what ought I do do?"

"My child," said the abbe, "it concerns matters so important, and
which may prove so profitable to you, that you ought to keep
absolutely silent about it. Now that you have confided to me the
secret of these apparitions perhaps they may not return. Besides, you
are now strong enough to come to church; well, then, come to-morrow
and thank God and pray to him for the repose of your godfather's soul.
Feel quite sure that you have entrusted your secret to prudent hands."

"If you knew how afraid I am to go to sleep,--what glances my
godfather gives me! The last time he caught hold of my dress--I awoke
with my face all covered with tears."

"Be at peace; he will not come again," said the priest.

Without losing a moment the Abbe Chaperon went straight to Minoret and
asked for a few moments interview in the Chinese pagoda, requesting
that they might be entirely alone.

"Can any one hear us?" he asked.

"No one," replied Minoret.

"Monsieur, my character must be known to you," said the abbe,
fastening a gentle but attentive look on Minoret's face. "I have to
speak to you of serious and extraordinary matters, which concern you,
and about which you may be sure that I shall keep the profoundest
secrecy; but it is impossible for me to do otherwise than give you
this information. While your uncle lived, there stood there," said the
priest, pointing to a certain spot in the room, "a small buffet made
by Boule, with a marble top" (Minoret turned livid), "and beneath the
marble your uncle placed a letter for Ursula--" The abbe then went on
to relate, without omitting the smallest circumstance, Minoret's
conduct to Minoret himself. When the last post master heard the detail
of the two matches refusing to light he felt his hair begin to writhe
on his skull.

"Who invented such nonsense?" he said, in a strangled voice, when the
tale ended.

"The dead man himself."

This answer made Minoret tremble, for he himself had dreamed of the

"God is very good, Monsieur l'abbe, to do miracles for me," he said,
danger inspiring him to make the sole jest of his life.

"All that God does is natural," replied the priest.

"Your phantoms don't frighten me," said the colossus, recovering his

"I did not come to frighten you, for I shall never speak of this to
any one in the world," said the abbe. "You alone know the truth. The
matter is between you and God."

"Come now, Monsieur l'abbe, do you really think me capable of such a
horrible abuse of confidence?"

"I believe only in crimes which are confessed to me, and of which the
sinner repents," said the priest, in an apostolic tone.

"Crime?" cried Minoret.

"A crime frightful in its consequences."

"What consequences?"

"In the fact that it escapes human justice. The crimes which are not
expiated here below will be punished in another world. God himself
avenges innocence."

"Do you think God concerns himself with such trifles?"

"If he did not see the worlds in all their details at a glance, as you
take a landscape into your eye, he would not be God."

"Monsieur l'abbe, will you give me your word of honor that you have
had these facts from my uncle?"

"Your uncle has appeared three times to Ursula and has told them and
repeated them to her. Exhausted by such visions she revealed them to
me privately; she considers them so devoid of reason that she will
never speak of them. You may make yourself easy on that point."

"I am easy on all points, Monsieur Chaperon."

"I hope you are," said the old priest. "Even if I considered these
warnings absurd, I should still feel bound to inform you of them,
considering the singular nature of the details. You are an honest man,
and you have obtained your handsome fortune in too legal a way to wish
to add to it by theft. Besides, you are an almost primitive man, and
you would be tortured by remorse. We have within us, be we savage or
civilized, the sense of what is right, and this will not permit us to
enjoy in peace ill-gotten gains acquired against the laws of the
society in which we live,--for well-constituted societies are modeled
on the system God has ordained for the universe. In this respect
societies have a divine origin. Man does not originate ideas, he
invents no form; he answers to the eternal relations that surround him
on all sides. Therefore, see what happens! Criminals going to the
scaffold, and having it in their power to carry their secret with
them, are compelled by the force of some mysterious power to make
confessions before their heads are taken off. Therefore, Monsieur
Minoret, if your mind is at ease, I go my way satisfied."

Minoret was so stupefied that he allowed the abbe to find his own way
out. When he thought himself alone he flew into the fury of a choleric
man; the strangest blasphemies escaped his lips, in which Ursula's
name was mingled with odious language.

"Why, what has she done to you?" cried Zelie, who had slipped in on
tiptoe after seeing the abbe out of the house.

For the first and only time in his life, Minoret, drunk with anger and
driven to extremities by his wife's reiterated questions, turned upon
her and beat her so violently that he was obliged, when she fell half-
dead on the floor, to take her in his arms and put her to bed himself,
ashamed of his act. He was taken ill and the doctor bled him twice;
when he appeared again in the streets everybody noticed a great change
in him. He walked alone, and often roamed the town as though uneasy.
When any one addressed him he seemed preoccupied in his mind, he who
had never before had two ideas in his head. At last, one evening, he
went up to Monsieur Bongrand in the Grand'Rue, the latter being on his
way to take Ursula to Madame de Portenduere's, where the whist parties
had begun again.

"Monsieur Bongrand, I have something important to say to my cousin,"
he said, taking the justice by the arm, "and I am very glad you should
be present, for you can advise her."

They found Ursula studying; she rose, with a cold and dignified air,
as soon as she saw Minoret.

"My child, Monsieur Minoret wants to speak to you on a matter of
business," said Bongrand. "By the bye, don't forget to give me your
certificates; I shall go to Paris in the morning and will draw your
dividend and La Bougival's."

"Cousin," said Minoret, "our uncle accustomed you to more luxury than
you have now."

"We can be very happy with very little money," she replied.

"I thought money might help your happiness," continued Minoret, "and I
have come to offer you some, out of respect for the memory of my

"You had a natural way of showing respect for him," said Ursula,
sternly; "you could have left his house as it was, and allowed me to
buy it; instead of that you put it at a high price, hoping to find
some hidden treasure in it."

"But," said Minoret, evidently troubled, "if you had twelve thousand
francs a year you would be in a position to marry well."

"I have not got them."

"But suppose I give them to you, on condition of your buying an estate
in Brittany near Madame de Portenduere,--you could then marry her

"Monsieur Minoret," said Ursula, "I have no claim to that money, and I
cannot accept it from you. We are scarcely relations, still less are
we friends. I have suffered too much from calumny to give a handle for
evil-speaking. What have I done to deserve that money? What reason
have you to make me such a present? These questions, which I have a
right to ask, persons will answer as they see fit; some would consider
your gift the reparation of a wrong, and, as such, I choose not to
accept it. Your uncle did not bring me up to ignoble feelings. I can
accept nothing except from friends, and I have no friendship for you."

"Then you refuse?" cried the colossus, into whose head the idea had
never entered that a fortune could be rejected.

"I refuse," said Ursula.

"But what grounds have you for offering Mademoiselle Ursula such a
fortune?" asked Bongrand, looking fixedly at Minoret. "You have an
idea--have you an idea?--"

"Well, yes, the idea of getting her out of Nemours, so that my son
will leave me in peace; he is in love with her and wants to marry

"Well, we'll see about it," said Bongrand, settling his spectacles.
"Give us time to think it over."

He walked home with Minoret, applauding the solicitude shown by the
father for his son's interests, and slightly blaming Ursula for her
hasty decision. As soon as Minoret was within his own gate, Bongrand
went to the post house, borrowed a horse and cabriolet, and started
for Fontainebleau, where he went to see the deputy procureur, and was
told that he was spending the evening at the house of the sub-prefect.
Bongrand, delighted, followed him there. Desire was playing whist with
the wife of the procureur du roi, the wife of the sub-prefect, and the
colonel of the regiment in garrison.

"I come to bring you some good news," said Bongrand to Desire; "you
love your cousin Ursula, and the marriage can be arranged."

"I love Ursula Mirouet!" cried Desire, laughing. "Where did you get
that idea? I do remember seeing her sometimes at the late Doctor
Minoret's; she certainly is a beauty; but she is dreadfully pious. I
certainly took notice of her charms, but I must say I never troubled
my head seriously for that rather insipid little blonde," he added,
smiling at the sub-prefect's wife (who was a piquante brunette--to use
a term of the last century). "You are dreaming, my dear Monsieur
Bongrand; I thought every one knew that my father was a lord of a
manor, with a rent roll of forty-five thousand francs a year from
lands around his chateau at Rouvre,--good reasons why I should not
love the goddaughter of my late great-uncle. If I were to marry a girl
without a penny these ladies would consider me a fool."

"Have you never tormented your father to let you marry Ursula?"


"You hear that, monsieur?" said the justice to the procureur du roi,
who had been listening to the conversation, leading him aside into the
recess of a window, where they remained in conversation for a quarter
of an hour.

An hour later Bongrand was back in Nemours, at Ursula's house, whence
he sent La Bougival to Minoret to beg his attendance. The colossus
came at once.

"Mademoiselle--" began Bongrand, addressing Minoret as he entered the

"Accepts?" cried Minoret, interrupting him.

"No, not yet," replied Bongrand, fingering his glasses. "I had
scruples as to your son's feelings; for Ursula has been much tried
lately about a supposed lover. We know the importance of tranquillity.
Can you swear to me that your son truly loves her and that you have no
other intention than to preserve our dear Ursula from any further

"Oh, I'll swear to that," cried Minoret.

"Stop, papa Minoret," said the justice, taking one hand from the
pocket of his trousers to slap Minoret on the shoulder (the colossus
trembled); "Don't swear falsely."

"Swear falsely?"

"Yes, either you or your son, who has just sworn at Fontainebleau, in
presence of four persons and the procureur du roi, that he has never
even thought of his cousin Ursula. You have other reasons for offering
this fortune. I saw you were inventing that tale, and went myself to
Fontainebleau to question your son."

Minoret was dumbfounded at his own folly.

"But where's the harm, Monsieur Bongrand, in proposing to a young
relative to help on a marriage which seems to be for her happiness,
and to invent pretexts to conquer her reluctance to accept the money."

Minoret, whose danger suggested to him an excuse which was almost
admissible, wiped his forehead, wet with perspiration.

"You know the cause of my refusal," said Ursula; "and I request you
never to come here again. Though Monsieur de Portenduere has not told
me his reason, I know that he feels such contempt for you, such
dislike even, that I cannot receive you into my house. My happiness is
my only fortune,--I do not blush to say so; I shall not risk it.
Monsieur de Portenduere is only waiting for my majority to marry me."

"Then the old saw that 'Money does all' is a lie," said Minoret,
looking at the justice of peace, whose observing eyes annoyed him so

He rose and left the house, but, once outside, he found the air as
oppressive as in the little salon.

"There must be an end put to this," he said to himself as he re-
entered his own home.

When Ursula came down, bring her certificates and those of La
Bougival, she found Monsieur Bongrand walking up and down the salon
with great strides.

"Have you no idea what the conduct of that huge idiot means?" he said.

"None that I can tell," she replied.

Bongrand looked at her with inquiring surprise.

"Then we have the same idea," he said. "Here, keep the number of your
certificates, in case I lose them; you should always take that

Bongrand himself wrote the number of the two certificates, hers and
that of La Bougival, and gave them to her.

"Adieu, my child, I shall be gone two days, but you will see me on the

That night the apparition appeared to Ursula in a singular manner. She
thought her bed was in the cemetery of Nemours, and that her uncle's
grave was at the foot of it. The white stone, on which she read the
inscription, opened, like the cover of an oblong album. She uttered a
piercing cry, but the doctor's spectre slowly rose. First she saw his
yellow head, with its fringe of white hair, which shone as if
surmounted by a halo. Beneath the bald forehead the eyes were like two
gleams of light; the dead man rose as if impelled by some superior
force or will. Ursula's body trembled; her flesh was like a burning
garment, and there was (as she subsequently said) another self moving
within her bodily presence. "Mercy!" she cried, "mercy, godfather!"
"It is too late," he said, in the voice of death,--to use the poor
girl's own expression when she related this new dream to the abbe. "He
has been warned; he has paid no heed to the warning. The days of his
son are numbered. If he does not confess all and restore what he has
taken within a certain time he must lose his son, who will die a
violent and horrible death. Let him know this." The spectre pointed to
a line of figures which gleamed upon the side of the tomb as if
written with fire, and said, "There is his doom." When her uncle lay
down again in his grave Ursula heard the sound of the stone falling
back into its place, and immediately after, in the distance, a strange
sound of horses and the cries of men.

The next day Ursula was prostrate. She could not rise, so terribly had
the dream overcome her. She begged her nurse to find the Abbe Chaperon
and bring him to her. The good priest came as soon as he had said
mass, but he was not surprised at Ursula's revelation. He believed the
robbery had been committed, and no longer tried to explain to himself
the abnormal condition of his "little dreamer." He left Ursula at once
and went directly to Minoret's.

"Monsieur l'abbe," said Zelie, "my husband's temper is so soured I
don't know what he mightn't do. Until now he's been a child; but for
the last two months he's not the same man. To get angry enough to
strike me--me, so gentle! There must be something dreadful the matter
to change him like that. You'll find him among the rocks; he spends
all his time there,--doing what, I'd like to know?"

In spite of the heat (it was then September, 1836), the abbe crossed
the canal and took a path which led to the base of one of the rocks,
where he saw Minoret.

"You are greatly troubled, Monsieur Minoret," said the priest going up
to him. "You belong to me because you suffer. Unhappily, I come to
increase your pain. Ursula had a terrible dream last night. Your uncle
lifted the stone from his grave and came forth to prophecy a great
disaster in your family. I certainly am not here to frighten you; but
you ought to know what he said--"

"I can't be easy anywhere, Monsieur Chaperon, not even among these
rocks, and I'm sure I don't want to know anything that is going on in
another world."

"Then I will leave you, monsieur; I did not take this hot walk for
pleasure," said the abbe, mopping his forehead.

"Well, what do you want to say?" demanded Minoret.

"You are threatened with the loss of your son. If the dead man told
things that you alone know, one must needs tremble when he tells
things that no one can know till they happen. Make restitution, I say,
make restitution. Don't damn your soul for a little money."

"Restitution of what?"

"The fortune the doctor intended for Ursula. You took those three
certificates--I know it now. You began by persecuting that poor girl,
and you end by offering her a fortune; you have stumbled into lies,
you have tangled yourself up in this net, and you are taking false
steps every day. You are very clumsy and unskilful; your accomplice
Goupil has served you ill; he simply laughs at you. Make haste and
clear your mind, for you are watched by intelligent and penetrating
eyes,--those of Ursula's friends. Make restitution! and if you do not
save your son (who may not really be threatened), you will save your
soul, and you will save your honor. Do you believe that in a society
like ours, in a little town like this, where everybody's eyes are
everywhere, and all things are guessed and all things are known, you
can long hide a stolen fortune? Come, my son, an innocent man wouldn't
have let me talk so long."

"Go to the devil!" cried Minoret. "I don't know what you ALL mean by
persecuting me. I prefer these stones--they leave me in peace."

"Farewell, then; I have warned you. Neither the poor girl nor I have
said a single word about this to any living person. But take care--
there is a man who has his eye upon you. May God have pity upon you!"

The abbe departed; presently he turned back to look at Minoret. The
man was holding his head in his hands as if it troubled him; he was,
in fact, partly crazy. In the first place, he had kept the three
certificates because he did not know what to do with them. He dared
not draw the money himself for fear it should be noticed; he did not
wish to sell them, and was still trying to find some way of
transferring the certificates. In this horrible state of uncertainty
he bethought him of acknowledging all to his wife and getting her
advice. Zelie, who always managed affairs for him so well, she could
get him out of his troubles. The three-per-cent Funds were now selling
at eighty. Restitution! why, that meant, with arrearages, giving up a
million! Give up a million, when there was no one who could know that
he had taken it!--

So Minoret continued through September and a part of October
irresolute and a prey to his torturing thoughts. To the great surprise
of the little town he grew thin and haggard.



An alarming circumstance hastened the confession which Minoret was
inclined to make to Zelie; the sword of Damocles began to move above
their heads. Towards the middle of October Monsieur and Madame Minoret
received from their son Desire the following letter:--

My dear Mother,--If I have not been to see you since vacation, it
is partly because I have been on duty during the absence of my
chief, but also because I knew that Monsieur de Portenduere was
waiting my arrival at Nemours, to pick a quarrel with me. Tired,
perhaps, of seeing his vengeance on our family delayed, the
viscount came to Fontainebleau, where he had appointed one of his
Parisian friends to meet him, having already obtained the help of
the Vicomte de Soulanges commanding the troop of cavalry here in

He called upon me, very politely, accompanied by the two
gentlemen, and told me that my father was undoubtedly the
instigator of the malignant persecutions against Ursula Mirouet,
his future wife; he gave me proofs, and told me of Goupil's
confession before witnesses. He also told me of my father's
conduct, first in refusing to pay Goupil the price agreed on for
his wicked invention, and next, out of fear of Goupil's malignity,
going security to Monsieur Dionis for the price of his practice
which Goupil is to have.

The viscount, not being able to fight a man sixty-seven years of
age, and being determined to have satisfaction for the insults
offered to Ursula, demanded it formally of me. His determination,
having been well-weighed and considered, could not be shaken. If I
refused, he was resolved to meet me in society before persons
whose esteem I value, and insult me openly. In France, a coward is
unanimously scorned. Besides, the motives for demanding reparation
should be explained by honorable men. He said he was sorry to
resort to such extremities. His seconds declared it would be wiser
in me to arrange a meeting in the usual manner among men of honor,
so that Ursula Mirouet might not be known as the cause of the
quarrel; to avoid all scandal it was better to make a journey to
the nearest frontier. In short, my seconds met his yesterday, and
they unanimously agreed that I owed him reparation. A week from
to-day I leave for Geneva with my two friends. Monsieur de
Portenduere, Monsieur de Soulanges, and Monsieur de Trailles will
meet me there.

The preliminaries of the duel are settled; we shall fight with
pistols; each fires three times, and after that, no matter what
happens, the affair terminates. To keep this degrading matter from
public knowledge (for I find it impossible to justify my father's
conduct) I do not go to see you now, because I dread the violence
of the emotion to which you would yield and which would not be
seemly. If I am to make my way in the world I must conform to the
rules of society. If the son of a viscount has a dozen reasons for
fighting a duel the son of a post master has a hundred. I shall
pass the night in Nemours on my way to Geneva, and I will bid you
good-by then.

After the reading of this letter a scene took place between Zelie and
Minoret which ended in the latter confessing the theft and relating
all the circumstances and the strange scenes connected with it, even
Ursula's dreams. The million fascinated Zelie quite as much as it did

"You stay quietly here," Zelie said to her husband, without the
slightest remonstrance against his folly. "I'll manage the whole
thing. We'll keep the money, and Desire shall not fight a duel."

Madame Minoret put on her bonnet and shawl and carried her son's
letter to Ursula, whom she found alone, as it was about midday. In
spite of her assurance Zelie was discomfited by the cold look which
the young girl gave her. But she took herself to task for her
cowardice and assumed an easy air.

"Here, Mademoiselle Mirouet, do me the kindness to read that and tell
me what you think of it," she cried, giving Ursula her son's letter.

Ursula went through various conflicting emotions as she read the
letter, which showed her how truly she was loved and what care
Savinien took of the honor of the woman who was to be his wife; but
she had too much charity and true religion to be willing to be the
cause of death or suffering to her most cruel enemy.

"I promise, madame, to prevent the duel; you may feel perfectly easy,
--but I must request you to leave me this letter."

"My dear little angel, can we not come to some better arrangement.
Monsieur Minoret and I have acquired property about Rouvre,--a really
regal castle, which gives us forty-eight thousand francs a year; we
shall give Desire twenty-four thousand a year which we have in the
Funds; in all, seventy thousand francs a year. You will admit that
there are not many better matches than he. You are an ambitious girl,
--and quite right too," added Zelie, seeing Ursula's quick gesture of
denial; "I have therefore come to ask your hand for Desire. You will
bear your godfather's name, and that will honor it. Desire, as you
must have seen, is a handsome fellow; he is very much thought of at
Fontainebleau, and he will soon be procureur du roi himself. You are a
coaxing girl and can easily persuade him to live in Paris. We will
give you a fine house there; you will shine; you will play a
distinguished part; for, with seventy thousand francs a year and the
salary of an office, you and Desire can enter the highest society.
Consult your friends; you'll see what they tell you."

"I need only consult my heart, madame."

"Ta, ta, ta! now don't talk to me about that little lady-killer
Savinien. You'd pay too high a price for his name, and for that little
moustache curled up at the points like two hooks, and his black hair.
How do you expect to manage on seven thousand francs a year, with a
man who made two hundred thousand francs of debt in two years? Besides
--though this is a thing you don't know yet--all men are alike; and
without flattering myself too much, I may say that my Desire is the
equal of a king's son."

"You forget, madame, the danger your son is in at this moment; which
can, perhaps, be averted only by Monsieur de Portenduere's desire to
please me. If he knew that you had made me these unworthy proposals
that danger might not be escaped. Besides, let me tell you, madame,
that I shall be far happier in the moderate circumstances to which you
allude than I should be in the opulence with which you are trying to
dazzle me. For reasons hitherto unknown, but which will yet be made
known, Monsieur Minoret, by persecuting me in an odious manner,
strengthened the affection that exists between Monsieur de Portenduere
and myself--which I can now admit because his mother has blessed it. I
will also tell you that this affection, sanctioned and legitimate, is
life itself to me. No destiny, however brilliant, however lofty, could
make me change. I love without the possibility of changing. It would
therefore be a crime if I married a man to whom I could take nothing
but a soul that is Savinien's. But, madame, since you force me to be
explicit, I must tell you that even if I did not love Monsieur de
Portenduere I could not bring myself to bear the troubles and joys of
life in the company of your son. If Monsieur Savinien made debts, you
have often paid those of your son. Our characters have neither the
similarities nor the differences which enable two persons to live
together without bitterness. Perhaps I should not have towards him the
forbearance a wife owes to her husband; I should then be a trial to
him. Pray cease to think of an alliance of which I count myself quite
unworthy, and which I fell I can decline without pain to you; for with
the great advantages you name to me, you cannot fail to find some girl
of better station, more wealth, and more beauty than mine."

"Will you swear to me," said Zelie, "to prevent these young men from
taking that journey and fighting that duel?"

"It will be, I foresee, the greatest sacrifice that Monsieur de
Portenduere can make to me, but I shall tell him that my bridal crown
must have no blood upon it."

"Well, I thank you, cousin, and I can only hope you will be happy."

"And I, madame, sincerely wish that you may realize all your
expectations for the future of your son."

These words struck a chill to the heart of the mother, who suddenly
remembered the predictions of Ursula's last dream; she stood still,
her small eyes fixed on Ursula's face, so white, so pure, so beautiful
in her mourning dress, for Ursula had risen too to hasten her so-
called cousin's departure.

"Do you believe in dreams?" said Zelie.

"I suffer from them too much not to do so."

"But if you do--" began Zelie.

"Adieu, madame," exclaimed Ursula, bowing to Madame Minoret as she
heard the abbe's entering step.

The priest was surprised to find Madame Minoret with Ursula. The
uneasiness depicted on the thin and wrinkled face of the former post
mistress induced him to take note of the two women.

"Do you believe in spirits?" Zelie asked him.

"What do you believe in?" he answered, smiling.

"They are all sly," thought Zelie,--"every one of them! They want to
deceive us. That old priest and the old justice and that young scamp
Savinien have got some plan in their heads. Dreams! no more dreams
than there are hairs on the palm of my hand."

With two stiff, curt bows she left the room.

"I know why Savinien went to Fontainebleau," said Ursula to the abbe,
telling him about the duel and begging him to use his influence to
prevent it.

"Did Madame Minoret offer you her son's hand?" asked the abbe.


"Minoret has no doubt confessed his crime to her," added the priest.

Monsieur Bongrand, who came in at this moment, was told of the step
taken by Zelie, whose hatred to Ursula was well known to him. He
looked at the abbe as if to say: "Come out, I want to speak to you of
Ursula without her hearing me."

"Savinien must be told that you refused eighty thousand francs a year
and the dandy of Nemours," he said aloud.

"Is it, then, a sacrifice?" she answered, laughing. "Are there
sacrifices when one truly loves? Is it any merit to refuse the son of
a man we all despise? Others may make virtues of their dislikes, but
that ought not to be the morality of a girl brought up by a de Jordy,
and the abbe, and my dear godfather," she said, looking up at his

Bongrand took Ursula's hand and kissed it.

"Do you know what Madame Minoret came about?" said the justice as soon
as they were in the street.

"What?" asked the priest, looking at Bongrand with an air that seemed
merely curious.

"She had some plan for restitution."

"Then you think--" began the abbe.

"I don't think, I know; I have the certainty--and see there!"

So saying, Bongrand pointed to Minoret, who was coming towards them on
his way home.

"When I was a lawyer in the criminal courts," continued Bongrand, "I
naturally had many opportunities to study remorse; but I have never
seen any to equal that of this man. What gives him that flaccidity,
that pallor of the cheeks where the skin was once as tight as a drum
and bursting with the good sound health of a man without a care? What
has put those black circles round his eyes and dulled their rustic
vivacity? Did you ever expect to see lines of care on that forehead?
Who would have supposed that the brain of that colossus could be
excited? The man has felt his heart! I am a judge of remorse, just as
you are a judge of repentance, my dear abbe. That which I have
hitherto observed has developed in men who were awaiting punishment,
or enduring it to get quits with the world; they were either resigned,
or breathing vengeance; but here is remorse without expiation, remorse
pure and simple, fastening on its prey and rending him."

The judge stopped Minoret and said: "Do you know that Mademoiselle
Mirouet has refused your son's hand?"

"But," interposed the abbe, "do not be uneasy; she will prevent the

"Ah, then my wife succeeded?" said Minoret. "I am very glad, for it
nearly killed me."

"You are, indeed, so changed that you are no longer like yourself,"
remarked Bongrand.

Minoret looked alternately at the two men to see if the priest had
betrayed the dreams; but the abbe's face was unmoved, expressing only
a calm sadness which reassured the guilty man.

"And it is the more surprising," went on Monsieur Bongrand, "because
you ought to be filled with satisfaction. You are lord of Rouvre and
all those farms and mills and meadows and--with your investments in
the Funds, you have an income of one hundred thousand francs--"

"I haven't anything in the Funds," cried Minoret, hastily.

"Pooh," said Bongrand; "this is just as it was about your son's love
for Ursula,--first he denied it, and now he asks her in marriage.
After trying to kill Ursula with sorrow you now want her for a
daughter-in-law. My good friend, you have got some secret in your

Minoret tried to answer; he searched for words and could find nothing
better than:--

"You're very queer, monsieur. Good-day, gentlemen"; and he turned with
a slow step into the Rue des Bourgeois.

"He has stolen the fortune of our poor Ursula," said Bongrand, "but
how can we ever find the proof?"

"God may--"

"God has put into us the sentiment that is now appealing to that man;
but all that is merely what is called 'presumptive,' and human justice
requires something more."

The abbe maintained the silence of a priest. As often happens in
similar circumstances, he thought much oftener than he wished to think
of the robbery, now almost admitted by Minoret, and of Savinien's
happiness, delayed only by Ursula's loss of fortune--for the old lady
had privately owned to him that she knew she had done wrong in not
consenting to the marriage in the doctor's lifetime.



The following day, as the abbe was leaving the altar after saying
mass, a thought struck him with such force that it seemed to him the
utterance of a voice. He made a sign to Ursula to wait for him, and
accompanied her home without having breakfasted.

"My child," he said, "I want to see the two volumes your godfather
showed you in your dreams--where he said that he placed those
certificates and banknotes."

Ursula and the abbe went up to the library and took down the third
volume of the Pandects. When the old man opened it he noticed, not
without surprise, a mark left by some enclosure upon the pages, which
still kept the outline of the certificate. In the other volume he
found a sort of hollow made by the long-continued presence of a
package, which had left its traces on the two pages next to it.

"Yes, go up, Monsieur Bongrand," La Bougival was heard to say, and the
justice of the peace came into the library just as the abbe was
putting on his spectacles to read three numbers in Doctor Minoret's
hand-writing on the fly-leaf of colored paper with which the binder
had lined the cover of the volume,--figures which Ursula had just

"What's the meaning of those figures?" said the abbe; "our dear doctor
was too much of a bibliophile to spoil the fly-leaf of a valuable
volume. Here are three numbers written between a first number preceded
by the letter M and a last number preceded by a U."

"What are you talking of?" said Bongrand. "Let me see that. Good God!"
he cried, after a moment's examination; "it would open the eyes of an
atheist as an actual demonstration of Providence! Human justice is, I
believe, the development of the divine thought which hovers over the
worlds." He seized Ursula and kissed her forehead. "Oh! my child, you
will be rich and happy, and all through me!"

"What is it?" exclaimed the abbe.

"Oh, monsieur," cried La Bougival, catching Bongrand's blue overcoat,
"let me kiss you for what you've just said."

"Explain, explain! don't give us false hopes," said the abbe.

"If I bring trouble on others by becoming rich," said Ursula,
forseeing a criminal trial, "I--"

"Remember," said the justice, interrupting her, "the happiness you
will give to Savinien."

"Are you mad?" said the abbe.

"No, my dear friend," said Bongrand. "Listen; the certificates in the
Funds are issued in series,--as many series as there are letters in
the alphabet; and each number bears the letter of its series. But the
certificates which are made out 'to bearer' cannot have a letter; they
are not in any person's name. What you see there shows that the day
the doctor placed his money in the Funds, he noted down, first, the
number of his own certificate for fifteen thousand francs interest
which bears his initial M; next, the numbers of three inscriptions to
bearer; these are without a letter; and thirdly, the certificate of
Ursula's share in the Funds, the number of which is 23,534, and which
follows, as you see, that of the fifteen-thousand-franc certificate
with lettering. This goes far to prove that those numbers are those of
five certificates of investments made on the same day and noted down
by the doctor in case of loss. I advised him to take certificates to
bearer for Ursula's fortune, and he must have made his own investment
and that of Ursula's little property the same day. I'll go to Dionis's
office and look at the inventory. If the number of the certificate for
his own investment is 23,533, letter M, we may be sure that he
invested, through the same broker on the same day, first his own
property on a single certificate; secondly his savings in three
certificates to bearer (numbered, but without the series letter);
thirdly, Ursula's own property; the transfer books will show, of
course, undeniable proofs of this. Ha! Minoret, you deceiver, I have
you-- Motus, my children!"

Whereupon he left them abruptly to reflect with admiration on the ways
by which Providence had brought the innocent to victory.

"The finger of God is in all this," cried the abbe.

"Will they punish him?" asked Ursula.

"Ah, mademoiselle," cried La Bougival. "I'd give the rope to hang

Bongrand was already at Goupil's, now the appointed successor of
Dionis, but he entered the office with a careless air. "I have a
little matter to verify about the Minoret property," he said to

"What is it?" asked the latter.

"The doctor left one or more certificates in the three-per-cent

"He left one for fifteen thousand francs a year," said Goupil; "I
recorded it myself."

"Then just look on the inventory," said Bongrand.

Goupil took down a box, hunted through it, drew out a paper, found the
place, and read:--

"'Item, one certificate'-- Here, read for yourself--under the number
23,533, letter M."

"Do me the kindness to let me have a copy of that clause within an
hour," said Bongrand.

"What good is it to you?" asked Goupil.

"Do you want to be a notary?" answered the justice of peace, looking
sternly at Dionis's proposed successor.

"Of course I do," cried Goupil. "I've swallowed too many affronts not
to succeed now. I beg you to believe, monsieur, that the miserable
creature once called Goupil has nothing in common with Maitre Jean-
Sebastien-Marie Goupil, notary of Nemours and husband of Mademoiselle
Massin. The two beings do not know each other. They are no longer even
alike. Look at me!"

Thus adjured Monsieur Bongrand took notice of Goupil's clothes. The
new notary wore a white cravat, a shirt of dazzling whiteness adorned
with ruby buttons, a waistcoat of red velvet, with trousers and coat
of handsome black broad-cloth, made in Paris. His boots were neat; his
hair, carefully combed, was perfumed--in short he was metamorphosed.

"The fact is you are another man," said Bongrand.

"Morally as well as physically. Virtue comes with practice--a
practice; besides, money is the source of cleanliness--"

"Morally as well as physically," returned Bongrand, settling his

"Ha! monsieur, is a man worth a hundred thousand francs a year ever a
democrat? Consider me in future as an honest man who knows what
refinement is, and who intends to love his wife," said Goupil; "and
what's more, I shall prevent my clients from ever doing dirty

"Well, make haste," said Bongrand. "Let me have that copy in an hour,
and notary Goupil will have undone some of the evil deeds of Goupil
the clerk."

After asking the Nemours doctor to lend him his horse and cabriolet,
he went back to Ursula's house for the two important volumes and for
her own certificate of Funds; then, armed with the extract from the
inventory, he drove to Fontainebleau and had an interview with the
procureur du roi. Bongrand easily convinced that official of the theft
of the three certificates by one or other of the heirs,--presumably by

"His conduct is explained," said the procureur.

As a measure of precaution the magistrate at once notified the
Treasury to withhold transfer of the said certificates, and told
Bongrand to go to Paris and ascertain if the shares had ever been
sold. He then wrote a polite note to Madame Minoret requesting her

Zelie, very uneasy about her son's duel, dressed herself at once, had
the horses put to her carriage and hurried to Fontainebleau. The
procureur's plan was simple enough. By separating the wife from the
husband, and bringing the terrors of the law to bear upon her, he
expected to learn the truth. Zelie found the official in his private
office and was utterly annihilated when he addressed her as follows:--

"Madame," he said; "I do not believe you are an accomplice in a theft
that has been committed upon the Minoret property, on the track of
which the law is now proceeding. But you can spare your husband the
shame of appearing in the prisoner's dock by making a full confession
of what you know about it. The punishment which your husband has
incurred is, moreover, not the only thing to be dreaded. Your son's
career is to be thought of; you must avoid destroying that. Half an
hour hence will be too late. The police are already under orders for
Nemours, the warrant is made out."

Zelie nearly fainted; when she recovered her senses she confessed
everything. After proving to her that she was in point of fact an
accomplice, the magistrate told her that if she did not wish to injure
either son or husband she must behave with the utmost prudence.

"You have now to do with me as an individual, not as a magistrate," he
said. "No complaint has been lodged by the victim, nor has any
publicity been given to the theft. But your husband has committed a
great crime, which may be brought before a judge less inclined than
myself to be considerate. In the present state of the affair I am
obliged to make you a prisoner--oh, in my own house, on parole," he
added, seeing that Zelie was about to faint. "You must remember that
my official duty would require me to issue a warrant at once and begin
an examination; but I am acting now individually, as guardian of
Mademoiselle Ursula Mirouet, and her best interests demand a

"Ah!" exclaimed Zelie.

"Write to your husband in the following words," he continued, placing
Zelie at his desk and proceeding to dictate the letter:--

"My Friend,--I am arrested, and I have told all. Return the
certificates which uncle left to Monsieur de Portenduere in the
will which you burned; for the procureur du roi has stopped
payment at the Treasury."

"You will thus save him from the denials he would otherwise attempt to
make," said the magistrate, smiling at Zelie's orthography. "We will
see that the restitution is properly made. My wife will make your stay
in our house as agreeable as possible. I advise you to say nothing of
the matter and not to appear anxious or unhappy."

Now that Zelie had confessed and was safely immured, the magistrate
sent for Desire, told him all the particulars of his father's theft,
which was really to Ursula's injury, but, as matters stood, legally to
that of his co-heirs, and showed him the letter written by his mother.
Desire at once asked to be allowed to go to Nemours and see that his
father made immediate restitution.

"It is a very serious matter," said the magistrate. "The will having
been destroyed, if the matter gets wind, the co-heirs, Massin and
Cremiere may put in a claim. I have proof enough against your father.
I will release your mother, for I think the little ceremony that has
already taken place has been sufficient warning as to her duty. To
her, I will seem to have yielded to your entreaties in releasing her.
Take her with you to Nemours, and manage the whole matter as best you
can. Don't fear any one. Monsieur Bongrand loves Ursula Mirouet too
well to let the matter become known."

Zelie and Desire started soon after for Nemours. Three hours later the
procureur du roi received by a mounted messenger the following letter,
the orthography of which has been corrected so as not to bring
ridicule on a man crushed by affliction.

To Monsieur le procureur du roi at Fontainebleau:

Monsieur,--God is less kind to us than you; we have met with an
irreparable misfortune. When my wife and son reached the bridge at
Nemours a trace became unhooked. There was no servant behind the
carriage; the horses smelt the stable; my son, fearing their
impatience, jumped down to hook the trace rather than have the
coachman leave the box. As he turned to resume his place in the
carriage beside his mother the horses started; Desire did not step
back against the parapet in time; the step of the carriage cut
through both legs and he fell, the hind wheel passing over his
body. The messenger who goes to Paris for the best surgeon will
bring you this letter, which my son in the midst of his sufferings
desires me to write so as to let you know our entire submission to
your decisions in the matter about which he was coming to speak to me.

I shall be grateful to you to my dying day for the manner in which
you have acted, and I will deserve your goodness.

Francois Minoret.

This cruel event convulsed the whole town of Nemours. The crowds
standing about the gate of the Minoret house were the first to tell
Savinien that his vengeance had been taken by a hand more powerful
than his own. He went at once to Ursula's house, where he found both
the abbe and the young girl more distressed than surprised.

The next day, after the wounds were dressed, and the doctors and
surgeons from Paris had given their opinion that both legs must be
amputated, Minoret went, pale, humbled, and broken down, accompanied
by the abbe, to Ursula's house, where he found also Monsieur Bongrand
and Savinien.

"Mademoiselle," he said; "I am very guilty towards you; but if all the
wrongs I have done you are not wholly reparable, there are some that I
can expiate. My wife and I have made a vow to make over to you in
absolute possession our estate at Rouvre in case our son recovers, and
also in case we have the dreadful sorrow of losing him."

He burst into tears as he said the last words.

"I can assure you, my dear Ursula," said the abbe, "that you can and
that you ought to accept a part of this gift."

"Will you forgive me?" said Minoret, humbly kneeling before the
astonished girl. "The operation is about to be performed by the first
surgeon of the Hotel-Dieu; but I do not trust to human science, I rely
only on the power of God. If you will forgive us, if you ask God to
restore our son to us, he will have strength to bear the agony and we
shall have the joy of saving him."

"Let us go to the church!" cried Ursula, rising.

But as she gained her feet, a piercing cry came from her lips, and she
fell backward fainting. When her senses returned, she saw her friends
--but not Minoret who had rushed for a doctor--looking at her with
anxious eyes, seeking an explanation. As she gave it, terror filled
their hearts.

"I saw my godfather standing in the doorway," she said, "and he signed
to me that there was no hope."

The day after the operation Desire died,--carried off by the fever and
the shock to the system that succeed operations of this nature. Madame
Minoret, whose heart had no other tender feeling than maternity,
became insane after the burial of her son, and was taken by her
husband to the establishment of Doctor Blanche, where she died in

Three months after these events, in January, 1837, Ursula married
Savinien with Madame de Portenduere's consent. Minoret took part in
the marriage contract and insisted on giving Mademoiselle Mirouet his
estate at Rouvre and an income of twenty-four thousand francs from the
Funds; keeping for himself only his uncle's house and ten thousand
francs a year. He has become the most charitable of men, and the most
religious; he is churchwarden of the parish, and has made himself the
providence of the unfortunate.

"The poor take the place of my son," he said.

If you have ever noticed by the wayside, in countries where they poll
the oaks, some old tree, whitened and as if blasted, still throwing
out its twigs though its trunk is riven and seems to implore the axe,
you will have an idea of the old post master, with his white hair,--
broken, emaciated, in whom the elders of the town can see no trace of
the jovial dullard whom you first saw watching for his son at the
beginning of this history; he does not even take his snuff as he once
did; he carries something more now than the weight of his body.
Beholding him, we feel that the hand of God was laid upon that figure
to make it an awful warning. After hating so violently his uncle's
godchild the old man now, like Doctor Minoret himself, has
concentrated all his affections on her, and has made himself the
manager of her property in Nemours.

Monsieur and Madame de Portenduere pass five months of the year in
Paris, where they have bought a handsome house in the Faubourg Saint-
Germain. Madame de Portenduere the elder, after giving her house in
Nemours to the Sisters of Charity for a free school, went to live at
Rouvre, where La Bougival keeps the porter's lodge. Cabirolle, the
former conductor of the "Ducler," a man sixty years of age, has
married La Bougival and the twelve hundred francs a year which she
possesses besides the ample emoluments of her place. Young Cabirolle
is Monsieur de Portenduere's coachman.

If you happen to see in the Champs-Elysees one of those charming
little low carriages called 'escargots,' lined with gray silk and
trimmed with blue, and containing a pretty young woman whom you admire
because her face is wreathed in innumerable fair curls, her eyes
luminous as forget-me-nots and filled with love; if you see her
bending slightly towards a fine young man, and, if you are, for a
moment, conscious of envy--pause and reflect that this handsome
couple, beloved of God, have paid their quota to the sorrows of life
in times now past. These married lovers are the Vicomte de Portenduere
and his wife. There is not another such home in Paris as theirs.

"It is the sweetest happiness I have ever seen," said the Comtesse de
l'Estorade, speaking of them lately.

Bless them, therefore, and be not envious; seek an Ursula for
yourselves, a young girl brought up by three old men, and by the best
of all mothers--adversity.

Goupil, who does service to everybody and is justly considered the
wittiest man in Nemours, has won the esteem of the little town, but he
is punished in his children, who are rickety and hydrocephalous.
Dionis, his predecessor, flourishes in the Chamber of Deputies, of
which he is one of the finest ornaments, to the great satisfaction of
the king of the French, who sees Madame Dionis at all his balls.
Madame Dionis relates to the whole town of Nemours the particulars of
her receptions at the Tuileries and the splendor of the court of the
king of the French. She lords it over Nemours by means of the throne,
which therefore must be popular in the little town.

Bongrand is chief-justice of the court of appeals at Melun. His son is
in the way of becoming an honest attorney-general.

Madame Cremiere continues to make her delightful speeches. On the
occasion of her daughter's marriage, she exhorted her to be the
working caterpillar of the household, and to look into everything with
the eyes of a sphinx. Goupil is making a collection of her "slapsus-
linquies," which he calls a Cremiereana.

"We have had the great sorrow of losing our good Abbe Chaperon," said
the Vicomtesse de Portenduere this winter--having nursed him herself
during his illness. "The whole canton came to his funeral. Nemours is
very fortunate, however, for the successor of that dear saint is the
venerable cure of Saint-Lange."


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

Bouvard, Doctor
Scenes from a Courtesan's Life

The Member for Arcis

Estorade, Madame de l'
Letters of Two Brides
The Member for Arcis

Kergarouet, Comte de
The Purse
The Ball at Sceaux

Lupeaulx, Clement Chardin des
The Muse of the Department
Eugenie Grandet
A Bachelor's Establishment
A Distinguished Provincial at Paris
The Government Clerks
Scenes from a Courtesan's Life

Marsay, Henri de
The Thirteen
The Unconscious Humorists
Another Study of Woman
The Lily of the Valley
Father Goriot
Jealousies of a Country Twon
A Marriage Settlement
Lost Illusions
A Distinguished Provincial at Paris
Letters of Two Brides
The Ball at Sceaux
Modeste Mignon
The Secrets of a Princess
The Gondreville Mystery
A Daughter of Eve

Mirouet, Ursule (see Portenduere, Vicomtesse Savinien de)

Nathan, Madame Raoul
The Muse of the Department
Lost Illusions
A Distinguished Provincial at Paris
Scenes from a Courtesan's Life
The Government Clerks
A Bachelor's Establishment
Eugenie Grandet
The Imaginary Mistress
A Prince of Bohemia
A Daughter of Eve
The Unconscious Humorists

Portenduere, Vicomte Savinien de
The Ball at Sceaux
Scenes from a Courtesan's Life

Portenduere, Vicomtesse Savinien de
Another Study of Woman

Ronquerolles, Marquis de
The Imaginary Mistress
The Peasantry
A Woman of Thirty
Another Study of Woman
The Thirteen
The Member for Arcis

Rouvre, Marquis du
The Imaginary Mistress
A Start in Life

Rouvre, Chevalier du
The Imaginary Mistress

Rubempre, Lucien-Chardon de
Lost Illusions
A Distinguished Provincial at Paris
The Government Clerks
Scenes from a Courtesan's Life

Schmucke, Wilhelm
A Daughter of Eve
Scenes from a Courtesan's Life
Cousin Pons

Serizy, Comtesse de
A Start in Life
The Thirteen
A Woman of Thirty
Scenes from a Courtesan's Life
Another Study of Woman
The Imaginary Mistress

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

Vandenesse, Marquise Charles de
Cesar Birotteau
The Ball at Sceaux
A Daughter of Eve

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