Cousin Pons | Honoré de Balzac | Literary Fiction | Talkingbook | English | 2/8



Chapter six of cousin paws by honoré de Balzac translated by ellen marriage this LibriVox recording is in the public domain recording by bruce pirie chapter 6 anyone passing along the Rue de Normandy might be pardoned for thinking that he was in some small provincial town grass runs to seed in the street everybody knows everybody else and the sight of a stranger is an event the houses date back to the reign of Henry the fourth when there was a scheme afoot for a quarter in which every Street was to be named after a French province and all should converge in a handsome square to which laugh Rawls should stand godmother the cut shade that Europe was a revival of the same idea history repeats itself everywhere in the world and even in the world of speculation the house in which the two musicians used to live is an old mansion with the courtyard in front and a garden at the back but the front part of the house which gives upon the street is comparatively modern built during the 18th century when the Marais was a fashionable quarter the friends lived at the back on the second floor of the old part of the house the whole building belongs to Monsieur Pierrot an old man of 80 who left matters very much in the hands of Monsieur and Madame sibo his porters for the past 26 years now as a porter cannot live by his Lodge alone the aforesaid Thibault had other means of gaining a livelihood and supplemented his 5% on the rental and his fagot from every cartload of wood by his own earnings as a tailor in time SIBO ceased to work for the master tailors he made a connection among the little trades people of the quarter and enjoyed a monopoly of the repairs renovations and fine drawing of all the coats and trousers in three adjacent streets the lodge was spacious and wholesome and boasted a second room where for the SIBO couple were looked upon as among the luckiest Porter's in the arrondissement SIBO small and stunted with a complexion almost olive colored by reason of sitting day in day out in turk fashion on a table level with the barred window made about twelve or fourteen francs a week he worked still though he was 58 years old but 58 is the porters golden age he is used to his Lodge he and his room fit each other like the shell and the oyster and he is known in the neighborhood madam SIBO sometime opener of oysters at the CAD Rambler after all the adventures which come on sought to the belle of an oyster bar left her post for love of SIBO at the age of 28 the beauty of a woman of the people is short-lived especially if she is planted espalier fashion at a restaurant door her features are hardened by puffs of hot air from the kitchen the color of the heel taps of customers bottles finished in the company of the waiters gradually filters into her complexion no Beauty is full blown so soon as the beauty of an oyster opener luckily from an AM SIBO lawful wedlock in a portress 'as life were offered to her just in time well she still preserved a comeliness of a masculine order slandered by rivals of the Rue de Normandy who called her a great lousy thing Madame SIBO might have sat as a model to Ruben's those flesh tints reminded you of the appetizing sheen on a patch of ECE butter but plump as she was no woman went about her work with more agility Madame SIBO had attained the time of life when women of her stamp are obliged to shave which is as much as to say that she had reached the age of 48 a Porter's wife with a mustache is one of the best possible guarantees of respectability and security that a landlord can have if dellacroix could have seen madame SIBO leaning proudly on her broom handle he would assuredly have painted her as Bologna strange as it may seem the circumstances of the sea both man and wife in the style of an indictment were one day to affect the lives of the two friends wherefore the chronicler as in duty bound must give some particulars as to the sea Beau's Lodge the house brought in about 8,000 francs for there were three complete sets of apartments back and front on the side nearest the Rue de Normandy as well as the three floors in the older mansion between the courtyard and the garden and a shop kept by a marine store dealer named Raymond lock which fronted on the street during the past few months this Raymond all had begun to deal in old curiosities and knew the value of Paul's collection so well that he took off his hat whenever the musician came in or went out a sue in the livre on eight thousand francs therefore brought in about four hundred francs to the sea Bose they had no rent to pay and no expenses for firing Siebels earnings amounted on an average to seven or eight hundred francs ad tips at new year and the pair had altogether an income of sixteen hundred francs every penny of which they spent for the sea bose lived and fared better than working people usually do one can only live once lassie beaux used to say she was born during the revolution you see and had never learned her catechism the husband of this portress with the unblinking tawny eyes was an object of envy to the whole fraternity for lassie beau had not forgotten the knowledge of cookery picked up at the cat Rambler so it had come to pass that the sea boughs had passed the prime of life and saw themselves on the threshold of old age without a hundred francs put by for the future well clad and well-fed they enjoyed among the neighbors it is true their respect due to 26 years of strict for if they had nothing of their own they hadn't nothing belonging to nobody else according to lassie beau who was a prodigal of negatives there wasn't never such a love of a man she would say to her husband do you ask why he might as well ask the reason of her indifference in matters of religion both of them were proud of a life lived in open day of the esteem in which they were held for six or seven streets roundabout and of the autocratic rule permitted to them by the proprietor proprietor they called him but in private they groaned because they had no money lying at interest sibo complained of pains in his hands and legs and his wife would lament that her poor dear SIBO should be forced to work at his age and indeed the day is not far distant when a porter after 30 years of such a life will cry shame upon the injustice of the government and clamor for the ribbon of the Legion of Honor every time that the gossip of the quarter brought news of such-and-such a servant maid left an annuity of three or four hundred francs after eight or ten years of service the Porter's lodges would resound with complaints which may give some idea of the consuming jealousies in the lowest walks of life in Paris Oh indeed it will never happen to the like of us to have our names mentioned in a will we have no luck but we do more than servants for all that we fill a place of trust we give receipts we are on the lookout for squalls and yet we are treated like dogs neither more nor less and that's the truth some fine fortune and some misfortune said SIBO coming in with a coat if I had left SIBO here in his Lodge and taken a place as a cook we should have our thirty thousand francs our debt interest cried Madame SIBO standing chatting with a neighbor her hands on her prominent hips but I didn't understand how to get on in life housed inside of a snug Lodge and firing found and want for nothing but that is all in 1836 when the friends took up their abode on the second floor they brought about a sort of revolution in the SIBO household it befell on this wise Schmucker like his friend Paul's usually arranged that the porter or the porters wife should undertake the cares of housekeeping and being both of one mind on this point when they came to live in the Rue de Normandie Madame SIBO became their housekeeper at the rate of 25 francs per month 12 francs 50 some teams for each of them before the year was out the emeritus portress reigned in the establishment of the two old bachelors as she reigned everywhere in the house belonging to Monsieur Poirot great-uncle of Madame la Comtesse Peppino their business was her business she called them my gentlemen and at last finding the pair of nutcrackers as mild as Lambs easy to live with and by no means suspicious perfect children in fact her heart the heart of a woman of the people prompted her to protect a door and serve them with such thorough devotion that she read them a lecture now and again and saved them from the impositions which swell the cost of living in Paris for 25 francs a month the two old bachelors inadvertently acquired a mother as they became aware of Madame C Beau's full value they gave her outspoken praises and thanks and little presence which strengthened the bonds of the domestic alliance Madame SIBO a thousand times preferred appreciation to money payments it is a well-known fact that the sense that one is appreciated makes up for a deficiency in wages and SIBO did all that he could for his wife's two gentlemen and ran errands and did repairs at half-price for them the second year brought a new element into the friendship between the lodge and the second floor and Schmucker concluded a bargain which satisfied his indolence and desire for a life without cares four-thirty super day or 45 francs per month Madame SIBO undertook to provide Moka with breakfast and dinner and pause finding his friends breakfast very much to his mind concluded a separate treaty for that meal only at the rate of 18 francs this arrangement which added nearly 90 francs every month to the takings of the porter and his wife made two inviolable beings of the lodgers they became angels cherubs divinities it is very doubtful whether the king of the French who is supposed to understand economy is as well served as the pair of nutcrackers used to be in those days for them the milk issued pure from the can they enjoyed a free perusal of all the morning papers taken by other lodgers later risers who were told if need be that the newspapers had not come yet Madame SIBO moreover kept their clothes their rooms and the landing as clean as a Flemish interior as for Schmucker he enjoyed unhoped-for happiness but am SIBO had made life easy for him he paid her about six francs a month and she took charge of his linen washing and mending altogether his expenses amounted to sixty-six francs per month for he spent fifteen francs on tobacco and sixty six francs multiplied by 12 produces the sum total of 792 francs add two hundred and twenty francs for rent rates and taxes and you have a thousand and twelve francs SIBO was schmucker's tailor his clothes cost him on average one hundred and fifty francs which further swells the total to the sum of twelve hundred on twelve hundred francs per annum this profound philosopher lived how many people in Europe whose one thought it is to come to Paris and live there will be agreeably surprised to learn that you may exist in comfort upon an income of twelve hundred francs in the Rue de Normandie in the Marais under the wing of a Madame SIBO Madame SIBO to resume the story was amazed beyond expression to see pongs good man returned at five o'clock in the evening such a thing had never happened before and not only so but her gentleman had given her no greeting had not so much as seen her well well SIBO said she to her spouse monsieur pause has come in for a million or gone out of his mind that is how it looks to me said SIBO dropping the coat sleeve in which he was making a dart in taylors language end of chapter 6 chapter 7 in polls by honoré de Balzac translated by ellen marriage this LibriVox recording is in the public domain recording by bruce pirie chapter 7 the savory odor of a stew pervaded the whole courtyard as poles returned mechanically home but MCO was dishing up schmucker's dinner which consisted of scraps of boiled beef from a little cook shop not above doing a little trade of this kind these morsels were fricasseed in brown butter with thin slices of onion until the meat and vegetables had absorbed the gravy and this true Porter's dish was browned to the right degree with that fricassee prepared with loving care for SIBO and Schmucker and accompanied by a bottle of beer and a piece of cheese the old German music master was quite content not King Solomon in all his glory be sure could dine better than Schmucker a dish of boiled beef fricasseed with onions scraps of sauteed chicken or beef and parsley or venison or fish served with a sauce of lassie Beau's own invention a sauce with which a mother might unsuspectingly eat her child such was schmucker's ordinary varying with the quantity and quality of the remnants of food supplied by boulevard restaurants to the cook shop in the Rue Bashara Schmucker took everything that good mon Tom's epode gave him and was content and so from day to day Goethe Mon Tom's abode cut down the cost of his dinner until it could be served for 20 sous it won't be long before I find out what is the matter with him poor dear said Madame SIBO to her husband for here is Monsieur schmucker's dinner all ready for him as she spoke she covered the deep earthenware dish with a plate and notwithstanding her age she climbed the stair and reached the door before Schmucker opened it to palms that is the matter mature mind good friend asked the German scared by the expression of pauses face I will tell you all about it but I have come home to have dinner with you tinner tinner cried Schmucker in ecstasy but it is impossible the old German added as he thought of his friends gastronomical tastes and at that very moment he caught sight of madame SIBO listening to the conversation as she had a right to do as his lawful housewife struck with one of those happy inspirations which only enlighten the friend's heart he marched up to the portress and drew her out to the stair head Montaigne's epode he said their good pulses fond of good things shoot go round two there Katrin pure and order a dainty little thinner but anchovies and macaroni and dinner for Legolas in fact what is that inquired la ceiba oh ah return Schmucker it is veal ala posh was gawrsh was he meant a nice fish and puddle of Porto want nice things their very best they have like go cats of rice and Schmoke pagan bear fur it and say noddings i will give you back the money tomorrow morning back when Schmucker radiant and rubbing his hands but his expression slowly changed to a look of bewildered astonishment as he heard pauses story of the troubles that had but just now overwhelmed him in a moment he tried to comfort palms by giving him a sketch of the world from his own point of view Paris in his opinion was a perpetual hurly-burly the men and women in it were whirled away by a tempestuous waltz it was no use expecting anything of the world which only looked at the outsides of things and not at their indiri ER for the hundredth time he related how that the only three pupils for whom he had really cared for whom he was ready to die the three who had been fond of him and even allowed him a little pension of nine hundred francs each contributing three hundred to the amount his favourite pupils had quite forgotten to come to see him and so Swift was the current of Parisian life which swept them away that if he called it their houses he had not succeeded in seeing them once in three years it is a fact however the truká had always thought fit to call on these great ladies at ten o'clock in the morning still his pension was paid quarterly through the medium of solicitors yet they are hearts of gold he concluded they are my little st. Cecilia's charming women montanta board and aware Madame de Fonteyn s and Mon Tom du da if I see them at all it is that de Jonge Elysee and they do not see me yet they are very fond of me and I might go to dine with them they would be there breezed to see me and I might go to their country houses but I would much rather be met mine friend bones because I can see him whenever I like and every day pause took schmucker's hand and grasped it between his own all that was passing in his inmost soul was communicated in that tight pressure and so for a while the friends that like two lovers meeting at last after a long absence kind here every day broke out shuka inwardly blessing Madame de ma feel for her hardness of heart look here we shall go prick up racking togethers depth I shall never show his tale here we shall go prick up racking to gathers for the full comprehension of those truly heroic words it must be confessed that shmoo cos ignorant some bric-a-brac was something of the densest it required all the strength of his friendship to keep him from doing heedless damage in the sitting room and study which did duty as a museum for pawns Schmucker wholly absorbed in music a composer for love of his art took about as much interest in his friends little trifles as a fish might take in a flower show at the Luxembourg supposing that it had received a ticket of admission a certain awe which he certainly felt for the marvels was simply a reflection of the respect which pose showed his treasures when he dusted them – pauses exclamations of admiration he was wont to reply with a yes it is fair pretty as a mother answers baby gestures with meaningless baby talk seven times since the friends had lived together poles had exchanged a good clock for a better one till at last he possessed a timepiece in Bulls first and best manner for bull had two matters as Raphael had three in the first he combined a beanie and copper in the second contrary to his convictions he sacrificed two tortoiseshell inlaid work in spite of pulses learnand dissertations Schmucker never could see the slightest difference between the Magnificent clock in Bulls first manner and its six predecessors but for pulsus sake Schumacher was even more careful among the chim cracks than Paul's himself so it should not be surprising that schmucker's sublime words comforted pulse in his despair for the shall go p– rica backing togethers men being interpreted i will put money into bric-a-brac if you will only dine here dinner is ready madam see beau announced with astonishing self-possession it is not difficult to imagine pulses surprised when he saw and relished the dinner and due to schmucker's friendship sensations of this kind that comes so rarely in a lifetime are never the outcome of the constant close relationship by which friend Bailey says to friend you are a second self to me for this too becomes a matter of use and won't it is only by contact with the barbarism of the world without that the happiness of that intimate life is revealed to us as a sudden glad surprise it is the outer world which renews the bond between friend and friend lover and lover all their lives long wherever two great souls are knit together by friendship or by love Paul's brushed away two big tears Schmucker himself wiped his eyes and though nothing was said the two were closer friends than before little friendly nods and glances exchanged across the table were like balm to paul's soothing the pain caused by the sand dropped in his heart by the president's wife as for Schmucker he rubbed his hands till they were sore for a new idea had occurred to him one of those great discoveries which caused a German no surprise unless they sprout up suddenly in a tooten brain frost bound by the awe and reverence due to sovereign Prince's mangoat balls began Schmucker I can guess what you mean you would like us both to dine together here every day if only I was rich enough to live like this every day began the good German in a melancholy voice but here Madame SIBO appeared upon the scene pulse had given her an order for the theatre from time to time and stood in consequence almost as high in her esteem and affection as her border Schmucker Lord love you said she for three francs and wine extra I can give you both such a dinner every day that you will be ready to lick the plates as clean as if they were washed it is a fact schmuck er remarked that the dentist at mon toms epode cooks for me are better as the messes they eat at their royal table in his eagerness Snuka usually so full of respect for the powers that be so far for brought himself as to imitate the irreverent newspapers which scoffed at the fixed-price dinners of royalty really said paul's very well I will try tomorrow and at that promise schmuck a spring from one end of the table to the other sweeping off tablecloth bottles and dishes as he went and hugged Paul's to his heart so might gas rushed to combine with gas not happiness cried he but I'm sumo was quite touched Monsieur is going to dine here every day she cried proudly that excellent woman departed downstairs again in ignorance of the event which had brought about this result entered her room like Yosef ax in William Tell set down the plates and dishes on the table with the bang and called aloud to her husband cebo run to the cafe turk for two small cups of coffee and tell the man at the stove that it is for me then she sat down and rested her hands on her massive knees and gazed out of the window at the opposite wall I will go tonight and see what ma'am Fontaine says she thought Madame Fontaine told fortunes on the cards for all the servants in the quarter of the Marais since these two gentlemen came here we have put two thousand francs in the Savings Bank two thousand francs in eight years what luck would it be better to make no profit out of Monsieur Paul's dinner and keep him here at home ma'am Fontaine's hen will tell me that three years ago Madame SIBO had begun to cherish a hope that her name might be mentioned in her gentleman's wills she had redoubled Raziel since that covetous thought heartily sprouted up in the midst of that so honest mustache paul's hitherto had dined abroad eluding her desire to have both of her gentlemen entirely under her management his troubadour collectors life had scared away certain vague ideas which hovered in less Siebels grain but now her shadowy projects assumed the formidable shape of a definite plan dating from that memorable dinner fifteen minutes later she reappeared in the dining room with two cups of excellent coffee flanked by a couple of tiny glasses of Kirschwasser long left Montaigne's epode cried Schmucker she have guessed right the diner out bemoaned himself a little while Schmucker met his lamentations with coaxing fondness like a home pigeon welcoming back a wandering bird then the pair set out for the theatre schmuck er could not leave his friend in the condition to which he had been brought by the camisoles mistresses and servants he knew pause so well he feared lest some cruel sad thought should seize on him at his conductors desk and undo all the good done by his welcome home to the nest and Schmucker brought his friend back on his arm through the streets at midnight a lover could not be more careful of his lady he pointed out the edges of the curbstones he was on the lookout whenever they stepped on or off the pavement ready with a warning if there was a gutter to cross Snuka could have wished that the streets were paved with cotton down he would have had a blue sky overhead and pulse should hear the music which all the angels in heaven were making for him he had won the lost province in his friends heart for nearly three months pulse and Schmucker dined together every day pulse was obliged to retrench at once for dinner at 45 francs a month and wine at 35 meant precisely 80 francs less to spend on bric-a-brac and very soon in spite of all that schmucko could do in spite of his little German jokes poles fell to regretting the delicate dishes the liqueurs the good coffee the table talk the insincere politeness the guests and the gossip and the houses where he used to dine on the wrong side of 60 a man cannot break himself of a habit of 36 years growth wine at a hundred and thirty francs per hogshead is scarcely a generous liquid in a gourmets every time that pulse raised it to his lips he thought with infinite regret of the exquisite wines in his entertainers cellars in short at the end of three months the cruel pangs which had gone near to break pulses sensitive heart had died away he forgot everything but the charms of society and languished for them like some elderly slave of a petticoat compelled to leave the mistress who to repeatedly deceives him in vain he tried to hide his profound and consuming melancholy it was too plain that he was suffering from one of the mysterious complaints which the mind brings upon the body a single symptom will throw light upon this case of nostalgia as it were produced by breaking away from an old habit in itself it is trifling one of the myriad nothings which are as rings in a coat of chainmail envelope in the sole in a network of iron one of the keenest pleasures of pulses old life one of the joys of the dinner table parasite at all times was the surprise the thrill produced by the extra dainty dish added triumphantly to the bill of fare by the mistress of a bourgeois house to give a festal air to the dinner pulsus stomach hankered after that gastronomical satisfaction Madame Cebu in the pride of her heart enumerated every dish beforehand a salt and savour once periodically recurrent had vanished utterly from daily life dinner proceeded without lip Lac aver as our grandsire has called it this lay beyond the bounds of schmucker's powers of comprehension poles had too much delicacy to grumble but if the case of unappreciated genius is hard it goes harder still with the stomach whose claims are ignored slighted affection a subject of which too much has been made is founded upon an illusory longing for if the creature fails love can turn to the Creator who has treasures to bestow but the stomach nothing can be compared to its sufferings for in the first place one must live Paul's thought wistfully of certain creams surely the poetry of cookery of certain white sauces masterpieces of the art of truffled chickens fit to melt your heart and above these in more than all these of the famous Rhine carp only known at Paris served with what condiments there were days when Paul's thinking upon count puppy nose cook with thigh aloud ah Sophie any passerby hearing the exclamation might have thought that the old man referred to a lost mistress but his fancy dwelt upon something rarer on a fat Rhine carp with a sauce thin in the sauce boat creamy upon the palate Athos that deserves the monty oum prize the conductor of the orchestra living on memories of past dinners grew visibly leaner he was pining away a victim to gastric nostalgia by the beginning of the fourth month towards the end of January 1845 pulses condition attracted attention at the theatre the flute a young man named William like almost all Germans and Schwab to distinguish him from all other Ville Helm's if not from all other Schwab's judged it expedient to open schmucker's eyes to his friends state of health it was the first performance of a piece in which buca's instruments were all required the old gentleman is failing said the flute there is something wrong somewhere his eyes are heavy and he doesn't be time as he used to do a tad Vilhelm Schwab indicating pause as he gloomily took his place that is always the vague if a man is sixty years old yet such mocker the Highland widow in the Chronicles of the Canongate sent her son to his death to have him beside her for 24 hours and SH mukha could have sacrificed poems for the sake of seeing his face every day across the dinner table everybody in the theater is anxious about him continued the flute and as the premiere doses Mademoiselle breeze too says he makes hardly any noise now when he blows his nose and indeed appeal like a blast of a horn used to resound through the old musicians bandana handkerchief whenever he raised it to that lengthy and cavernous feature the president's wife had more frequently found fault with him on that score than on any other I would get a good deal to amuse him said Schmucker he gets so dull Monsieur Paul's always seems so much above the like of us poor devils that upon my word I didn't dare to ask him to my wedding said villain Schwab I am going to be married how demanded Schmucker Oh quite properly returned Vilhelm Schwab taking schmucker's quaint inquiry for a job of which that perfect Christian was quite incapable come gentlemen take your places called palms looking round at his little army as the stage managers bell rang for the overture the piece was a dramatized fairy tale a pantomime called the devil's betrothed which ran for two hundred nights in the interval after the first act Vilhelm fob and mocha were left alone in the orchestra with the house at a temperature of 32 degrees real Muller tell me your history said Schumacher look here do you see that young man in the box yonder do you recognize him never a pip now that is because he is wearing yellow gloves and shines with all the radiance of riches but that is my friend Fritz Bruner out of Frankfurt on the main that used to come to see do bleh and sit beside you in the orchestra the same you would not believe he could look so different would you the hero of the promised story was a German of that particular type in which the somber irony of Goethe Smith esta Feliz is blended with a homely cheerfulness found in the romances of Auguste la Fontaine of Pacific memory but the predominating element in the compound of artlessness and guile of shopkeepers shrewdness and the studied carelessness of a member of the jockey club was that form of disgust which set a pistol in the hands of a young voter bored to death less by charlotta than by German princes it was a thoroughly German face full of cunning full of simplicity stupidity and courage the knowledge which brings weariness the worldly wisdom which the various child's trick leaves at fault the abuse of beer and tobacco all these were there to be seen in it and to heighten the contrast of opposed qualities there was a wild diabolical gleam in the fine blue eyes with the jaded expression dressed with all the elegance of a city man Fritz Brunner sat in full view of the house displaying a bald crown of the tint beloved by Titian and a few stray fiery red hairs on either side of it a remnant spared by debauchery and want that the prodigal might have a right to spend money with the hairdresser when he should come into his fortune a face once fair and fresh as the traditional portrait of Jesus Christ had grown harder since the advent of a red moustache a tawny beard lent it an almost sinister look the bright blue eyes had lost something of their clearness in the struggle with distress the countless courses by which a man sells himself and his honor in Paris had left their traces on his eyelids and carved lines about the eyes into which a mother once looked with a mother's rapture to find a copy of her own by God's hand this precocious philosopher this wizened youth was the work of a stepmother here with begins the curious history of a prodigal son of Frankfurt on the main the most extraordinary and astounding portent ever beheld by that well conducted if central city end of chapter 7 chapter 8 and Paul's by honoré de Balzac translated by ellen marriage this LibriVox recording is in the public domain recording by bruce pirie chapter 8 gideon Gruner father of the aforesaid Fritz was one of the famous innkeepers of Frankfurt a tribe who make law authorized incisions in travelers purses with the connivance of the local bankers an innkeeper and an honest Calvinist to boot he had married a converted Jew eighth and laid the foundations of his cross parity with the money she brought him when the Jew s died leaving a son Fritz 12 years of age under the joint guardianship of his father and maternal uncle a furrier at Leipzig head of the firm of Vilas & Company Brunner senior was compelled by his brother-in-law who was by no means as soft as his paltry to invest little Fritz's money a goodly quantity of currant coin of the realm with the house of a lesser child not a penny of it was he allowed to touch so by way of revenge for the Israelites pertinacity Brunner senior married again it was impossible he said to keep his huge hotel single-handed it needed a woman's eye and hand gideon Bruner's second wife was an innkeepers daughter a very pearl as he thought but he had had no experience of only daughters spoiled by father and mother the second madam Brunner behaved as German girls may be expected to behave when they are frivolous and wayward she Swan dird her fortune she avenged the first madame Brunner by making her husband as miserable a man as you could find in the compass of the free city of Frankfurt on the main where the millionaire's it is said are about to pass a law compelling womankind to cherish and obey them alone she was partial to all the varieties of vinegar commonly called Rhine wine in Germany she was fond of our tequila Pahlavi of horses and dress indeed the one expensive taste which she had not was a liking for women she took a dislike to little fritz and would perhaps have driven him mad if that young offspring of Calvinism and Judaism had not had Frankfurt for his cradle and the firm of villas at Leipzig for his guardian uncle Vilas however deep in his furs confined his guardianship to the safekeeping of Fritz's silver marks and left the boy to the tender mercies of this stepmother that hyena in women's form was the more exasperated against the pretty child the lovely Jewesses son because she herself could have no children in spite of efforts worthy of a locomotive engine a diabolical impulse prompted her to plunge her young stepson at 21 years of age into dissipations contrary to all German habits the wicked German hoped that English horses Rhine vinegar and kutas margaritas would ruin the juices child and shorten his days for when Fritz came of age uncle Vila has had handed over a very pretty fortune to his nephew but while roulette at Baden and elsewhere and boon companions fell Helm's fob among them devoured the substance accumulated by uncle Vilas the prodigal son himself remained by the will of Providence to point a moral two younger brothers in the free city of Frankfurt parents held him up as a warning and an awful example to their offspring to scare them into steady attendance in their cast-iron counting houses lined with silver marks but so far from perishing in the flower of his age Fritz Brunner had the pleasure of laying his stepmother in one of those charming little German cemeteries in which the tooten indulges his unbridled passion for horticulture and to the specious texts of honoring his dead and as the second Madame Brunner expired while the authors of her being were yet alive Brunner senior was obliged to bear the loss of the sums of which his wife had drained his coffers to say nothing of other ills which had cold upon a Herculean Constitution till at the age of 67 the innkeeper had wizened and shrunk as if the famous Borges poison had undermined his system for ten whole years he had supported his wife and now he inherited nothing the innkeeper was a second ruin of Heidelberg repaired continually it is true by travelers hotel bills much as the remains of the castle of Heidelberg itself are repaired to sustain the enthusiasm of the tourists who flocked to see so fine and well-preserved a relic of antiquity at Frankfurt the disappointment caused as much talk as a failure people pointed out Brunner saying see what a man may come to with a bad wife that leaves him nothing and a son brought up in the French fashion in Italy and Germany the French nation is the root of all evil the target for all bullets but the God pursuing his way for the rest see Lefranc de palma nas owed the wrath of the proprietor of the Grand Hotel de Island fell on others besides the travelers whose bills were swelled with his resentment when his son was utterly ruined Gideon regarding him as the indirect cause of all his misfortunes refused him bread and salt fire lodging and tobacco the force of the paternal malediction in a German and an innkeeper could no farther go whereupon the local authorities making no allowance for the father's misdeeds regarded him as one of the most ill-used persons in Frankfurt on the main came to his assistance fastened a quarrel on Fritz incur a dilemma and expelled him from the territory of the free city justice in Frankfurt is no whit wiser nor more humane than elsewhere albeit the city is the seat of the German diet it is not often that a magistrate traces back the stream of wrongdoing and misfortune to the holder of the urn from which the first beginnings trickled forth if Brunner forgot his son his son's friends speedily followed the old innkeepers example if the journalists the dandies and some few fair Parisians among the audience wondered how that German with the tragical countenance had cropped up on a first night to occupy a side box all to himself when fashionable Paris filled the house if these could have seen the history played out upon the stage before the prompters box they would have found it far more interesting than the transformation scenes of the devil's betrothed though indeed it was the two hundred thousandth representation of a sublime allegory performed a 4-time in Mesopotamia three thousand years before Christ was born Fritz be took himself on foot to Strasbourg and there found what the prodigal son of the Bible failed to find to it a friend and herein has revealed the superiority of Alsace where so many generous hearts beat to show Germany the beauty of a combination of gala quit and Teutonic solidity fill Hans fob but lately left in possession of a hundred thousand francs by the death of both parents opened his arms his heart his house his purse to Fritz as for describing Fritz's feelings when dusty down-on-his-luck and almost like a leper he crossed the Rhine and found a real 20 franc peace held out by the hand of a real friend that moment transcends the powers of the prose writer Pindar alone could give it forth to humanity in Greek that should rekindle the dying warmth of friendship in the world put the names of Fritz and vilhelm beside those of Damon and Pythias castor and pollux arrestees and Pilates do broy and PIM major Schmucker and Paul's and all the names that we imagined for the two friends of mono Matata for LaFontaine man of genius though he was has made of them two disembodied spirits they lack reality the two new names may join the illustrious company and with so much the more reason since that Vilhelm who had helped to drink Fritz's inheritance now proceeded with Fritz's assistance to devour his own substance smoking needless to say every known variety of tobacco the pair strange to relate squandered the property in the dullest stupidest most commonplace fashion in Strasburg brasseries in the company of ballet girls of the Strasburg theatres and little Alsace Ian's who had not a rag of a tattered reputation left every morning they would say we really must stop this and make up our minds and do something or other with the money that is left who Fritz would retort just one more day and tomorrow ah tomorrow in the lives of prodigal sons today is a prodigious cockscomb but tomorrow is a very poltroon taking freight at the big words of his predecessor today is the truculent captain of old world comedy tomorrow the clown of modern pantomime when the two friends had reached their last thousand frank note they took places in the mail coach styled royal and departed for Paris where they installed themselves in the attics of the Odell Duran in the Rue du myyy the property of one Graf formerly Gideon Bruner's head waiter Fritz found a situation as clerk in the Kellers Bank on graphs recommendation with a salary of 600 francs and a place as book keeper was likewise found for Vilhelm in the business of the fashionable tailor brother of graph of the Odell Duran who found the scantily paid employment for the pair of prada goals for the sake of old times and his apprenticeship at the hotel du holland these two incidents the recognition of a ruined man by a well-to-do friend and a German innkeeper interesting himself into penniless fellow countrymen gives no doubt an era of the improbability to the story but truth is so much the more like fiction since modern writers of fiction have been at such untold pains to imitate truth it was not long before Fritz a clerk with 600 francs and Wilhelm a bookkeeper with precisely the same salary discovered the difficulties of existence in a city so full of temptations in 1837 the second year of their abode Wilhelm who possessed a pretty talent for the flute entered pulses orchestra to earn a little occasional butter to put on his dry bread as to Fritz his only way to an increase of income lay through the display of the capacity for business inherited by a descendant of the Vilas family yet in spite of his assiduity in spite of abilities which possibly may have stood in his way his salary only reached the sum of 2,000 francs in 1843 penury that divine stepmother did for the two men all that their mothers had not been able to do for them poverty taught them thrift and worldly wisdom poverty gave them her grand ruff education the lessons which she drives with hard knocks into the heads of great men who seldom know a happy childhood Fritz and Vilhelm being but ordinary men learned as little as they possibly could in her school they dodged the blows shrank from her hard breasts and bony arms and never discovered the good fairy lurking within ready to yield to the caresses of genius one thing however they learned thoroughly they discovered the value of money and vowed to clip the wings of riches if ever a second fortune should come to their door this was the history which Phil Helms fob related in German had much greater length to his friend The Pianist ending with well Popish maka the rest is soon explained old Brunner is dead he left for millions he made an immense amount of money out of Baden railways though neither his son nor Monsieur graft with whom we Lodge had any idea that the old man was one of the original shareholders I am playing the flute here for the last time this evening that would have left some days ago but this was a first performance and I did not want to spoil my part gute my friend said Schmucker but who is deep right she is Madan was a graph the daughter of our host the landlord of the hotel Doolin I have loved Mademoiselle Amy these seven years she has read so many immoral novels that she refused all offers for me without knowing what might come of it she will be a very wealthy young lady her uncle's the tailor's in the Rue de Richelieu will leave her all their money Fritz is giving me the money we squandered at Strasbourg five times over he is putting a million francs in a banking house Monsieur Graf the tailor is adding another 500 thousand francs and Mademoiselle Emily's father not only allows me to incorporate her portion two hundred and fifty thousand francs with the capital but he himself will be a shareholder with as much again so the firm of Bruner Schwab and company will start with 2 Millions five hundred thousand francs Fritz has just bought fifteen hundred thousand francs worth of shares in the Bank of France to guarantee our account with them that is not all Fritz's fortune he has his father's house property supposed to be worth another million and he has let the Grand Hotel duolan already to a cousin of the grafts you look sad than you look at your friend from Marsh Walker who had listened with great interest can you be jealous of him I am jealous for Fritz's happiness said vilhelm does that face look as if it belonged to a happy man I am afraid of Paris I should like to see him do as I am doing the old tempter may awake again of our two heads his carries the less ballast his dress and the opera glass and the rest of it make me anxious he keeps looking at the larette's in the house oh if you only knew how hard it is to marry fritz he has a horror of going according as you say you would have to give him a drop into a family just as in England they give a man a drop into the next world during the uproar that usually marks the end of a first night the flute delivered his invitation to the conductor Paul's accepted gleefully and for the first time in three months Shuko saw a smile on his friends face they went back to the Rue de Normandy in perfect silence that sudden flash of joy had thrown a light on the extent of the disease which was consuming pause oh that a man so truly noble so disinterested so great in feeling should have such a weakness this was the thought that struck the stoic Schmucker dumb with amazement he grew woefully sad for he began to see that there was no help for it he must even renounce the pleasure of seeing his Goethe bonds opposite him at the dinner table for the sake of pulses welfare and he did not know whether he could give him up the mere thought of it drove him distracted meanwhile pulses proud silence and withdraw to the Mon 17s of the Rue de Normandie head as might be expected impressed the president not that she troubled herself much about her parasite now that she was freed from him she thought with her charming daughter that cousin paws had seen through her little ladies joke but it was otherwise with her husband the president camo soda marvel a short and stout man groan solemn since his promotion at the court admired Cicero preferred the Opera Comique to the Italians compared the actors one with another and followed the multitude step by step he used to recite all the articles in the ministerial astern Allah as if he were saying something original and in giving his opinion at the council board he paraphrased the remarks of the previous speaker his leading characteristics were sufficiently well known his position compelled him to take everything seriously and he was particularly tenacious of family ties like most men who are ruled by their wives the president asserted his independence in trifles in which his wife was very careful not to thwart him for a month he was satisfied with the president's commonplace explanations of Paula's disappearance but at last is struck him as singular that the old musician a friend of 40 years standing should first make them so valuable a present as a fan that belonged to Madame de Pompadour and then immediately discontinue his visits count Peppino had pronounced the trinket a masterpiece when its owner went to court the fan had been passed from hand to hand and her vanity was not a little gratified by the compliments it received others had dwelt on the beauties of the ten ivory sticks each one covered with delicate carving the lake of which had never been seen a Russian lady Russian ladies are apt to forget that they are not in Russia had offered her six thousand francs for the marvel one day at count Peppino's house and smiled to see it in such hands truth to tell it was a fan for a duchess it cannot be denied that poor cousin pauls understands rubbish of that sort said say theö the day after the bid rubbish cried her parent why government is just about to buy the late Monsieur Lacan say adieu some are ours collection for 300,000 francs and the state and the municipality of Paris between them are spending nearly a million francs over the purchase and repair of the Hotel de Cluny to house the rubbish as you call it such rubbish dear child he resumed is frequently all that remains of vanished civilisations an etruscan jar and a necklace which sometimes fetch forty and fifty thousand francs is rubbish which reveals the perfection of art at the time of the siege of Troy proving that the Etruscans were Trojan refugees in Italy this was the president's cumbrous way of joking the short fat man was heavily ironical with his wife and daughter the combination of various kinds of knowledge required to understand such rubbish Cecille he resumed is a science in itself called archeology archaeology comprehends architecture sculpture painting Goldsmith's work ceramics cabinet making a purely modern art lace tapestry in short human handiwork of every sort and description then cousin pulse is learned said Cecil ah by the by why is he never to be seen nowadays ask to the precedent he spoke with the air of a man in whom thousands of forgotten and dormant impressions have suddenly begun to stir and shaping themselves into one idea reach consciousness with a ricochet as sportsmen say he must have taken offence at nothing at all answered his wife I dare say I was not as fully sensible as I might have been of the value of the fan that he gave me I am ignorant enough as you know of you wanna serve as best pupils and you don't know whatto cried the president I know sure are and dahveed and grow and grilled a and Monsieur de for BAM is your terp and a case you ought not what sir demanded the lady gazing at her husband with the air of a Queen of Sheba to know a wat Oh when you see at my dear Watto as very much in fashion answered the president with meekness that told plainly how much he owed to his wife this conversation took place a few days before that night of first performance of the Devils betrothed when the whole Orchestra noticed how ill pulse was looking but by that time all the circle of dinner givers who were used to seeing pulses face at the tables and to send him on errands had begun to ask each other for news of him and uneasiness increased when it was reported by some who had seen him that he was always in his place at the theatre pulse had been very careful to avoid his old acquaintances whenever he met them in the streets but one day it so fell out that he met count Peppino the ex cabinet minister face-to-face in the bric-a-brac dealers shop in the new Bulevar Beaumarchais the dealer was none other than that money strong of whom pulse had spoken to the president one of the famous and audacious benders whose cunning enthusiasm leads them to set more and more value daily on their wares for curiosities they tell you are growing so scarce that they are hardly to be found at all nowadays ah my dear pause how comes it that we never see you now we miss you very much and madam Peppino does not know what to think of your desertion Monsieur Comte said the good man I was made to feel in the house of a relative that at my age one is not wanted in the world I have never had much consideration shown me but at any rate I had not been insulted I have never asked in thing of any man he broke out within artists pride I have often made myself useful in return for hospitality but I have made a mistake it seems I am indefinitely beholden to those who honor me by allowing me to sit at table with them my friends and my relatives well and good I have sent in my resignation as smell feast at home I find daily something which no other house has offered me a real friend the old artists power had not failed him with tone and gesture he put such bitterness into the words that the pure of France was struck by them he drew pulse aside come now my old friend what is it what has hurt you could you not tell me in confidence you will permit me to say that at my house surely you have always met with consideration you are the one exception said the artist and besides you are a great lord and a statesman do you have so many things to think about that would excuse anything if there were need for it the diplomatic skill that Peppino had acquired in the management of men and affairs was brought to bear upon pause till at length the story of his misfortunes in the president's house was drawn from him Peppino took up the victims cause so warmly that he told the story to Madame Peppino as soon as he went home and that excellent and noble natured woman spoke to the President on the subject at the first opportunity as Peppino himself likewise said a word or two to the president there was a general explanation in the family of Camus odom Avila camisole was not exactly master in his own house but this time his remonstrance was so well-founded in law and in fact that his wife and daughter were forced to acknowledge the truth they both humbled themselves and threw the blame on the servants the servants first bidden and then chidden only obtained pardon by a full confession which made it clear to the president's ma and that pulse had done rightly to stop away the president displayed himself before the servants in all his masculine and Magisterial dignity after the manner of men who are ruled by their wise he informed his household that they should be dismissed forthwith and forfeit any advantages which their long term of service in his house might have brought them unless from that time forward his cousin and all those who did him the honor of coming to his house were treated as he himself was at which speech Madeleine was moved to smile you have only one chance of salvation as it is continued the president go to my cousin make your excuses to him and tell him that you will lose your situations unless he forgives you for I shall turn you all away if he does not end of chapter 8 chapter 9 of cousin Paul's by honoré de Balzac translated by ellen marriage this LibriVox recording is in the public domain recording by bruce pirie chapter 9 next morning the president went out fairly early to pay a call on his cousin before going down to the court the apparition of monsieur na plays lead on the Marvel announced by madam C beau was an event in the House polls thus honored for the first time in his life saw reparation ahead at last my dear cousin said the president after the ordinary greetings at last I have discovered the cause of your retreat your behavior increases if that were possible my esteem for you they have but one word to say in that connection My servants have all been dismissed my wife and daughter are in despair they want to see you to have an explanation in all this my cousin there is one innocent person and he is an old judge you will not punish me will you for the escapade of a thoughtless child who wished to dine with the Peppino's especially when I come to beg for peace admitting that all the wrong has been on our side an old friendship of 36 years even supposed that there had been a misunderstanding has still some claims come sign a treaty of peace by dining with us tonight pulse involved himself in a diffuse reply and ended by informing his cousin that he was to sign a marriage contract to that evening how that one of the orchestra was not only going to be married but also about to fling his flute to the winds to become a banker very well tomorrow Madame la Comtesse Peppino has done me the honor of asking me cousin she was so kind as to write the day after tomorrow then Monsieur Brunner a German my first flutes future partner returns the compliment paid him today by the young couple you are such pleasant company that it is not surprising that people dispute for the honour of seeing you very well next Sunday within a week as we say at the courts on Sunday we are to dine with Monsieur Graff the flutes father-in-law very well on Saturday between now and then you will have time to reassure a little girl who has shed tears already over her fault God asks no more than repentance you will not be more severe than the Eternal Father with poor little Cecile pulse thus reached on his weak side a gain plunged into formulas more than polite and went as far as the stair head with the president an hour later the president's servants arrived in a troop on poor pulses second floor they behaved after the manner of their kind they cringed and fond they wept Madeleine took Monsieur Paul's aside and flung herself resolutely at his feet it is all my fault and Monsieur knows quite well that I love him here she burst into tears it was vengeance boiling in my veins Monsieur ought to throw all the blame of the unhappy affair on that we are all to lose our pensions Monsieur I was mad and I would not have the rest suffer for my fault I can see now well enough that fate did not make me for Monsieur I have come to my senses I aimed too high but I love you still Monsieur these 10 years I have thought of nothing but the happiness of making you happy and looking after things here what a lot Oh if Monsieur but knew how much I love him but Monsieur must have seen it through all my mischief-making if I were to die tomorrow what would they find a will in your favour Monsieur yes Monsieur in my trunk under my best things Madeleine had set a responsive chord vibrating the passion inspired in another may be unwelcome but it will always be gratifying to soft love this was the case with the old bachelor after generously pardoning Madeleine he extended his forgiveness to the other servants promising to use his influence with his cousin the president on their behalf it was unspeakably pleasant to pause to find all his old enjoyments restored to him without any loss of self-respect the world had come to pause he had risen in the esteem of his circle but SH mukha looked so downcast and dubious when he heard the story of the triumph that poles felt hurt when however the kind-hearted German saw the sudden change wrought in Ponce's face he ended by rejoicing with his friend and made a sacrifice of the happiness that he had known during those four months that he had had pause all to himself mental suffering has this immense advantage over physical ills when the cause is removed it ceases at once pause was not like the same man that morning the old man depressed and visibly failing had given place to the serenely contented pause who entered the president's house that October afternoon with the Marquis the pompadours fan in his pocket smoker on the other hand pondered deeply over this phenomenon and could not understand it your true stoic never can understand the core chair that dwells in a Frenchman pause was a born Frenchman of the Empire a mixture of eighteenth-century gallantry and that devotion to womankind so often celebrated in songs of the type of Paco pool athili so Luca was fain to bury his chagrin beneath the flowers of his German philosophy but a week later he grew so yellow that Madame SIBO exerted her ingenuity to call in the parish doctor the leech had fears of icterus and left Madame SIBO frightened half out of her wits by the Latin word for an attack of the jaundice meantime the two friends went out to dinner together perhaps for the first time in their lives for Schmucker it was a return to the fatherland for johan graph of the odell de huaah and his daughter Emily Wolfgang Graf the tale and his wife fritz Brunner and vilhelm Schwab were Germans and poles and the notary were the only Frenchmen present at the banquet the graphs of the Taylor's business owned a splendid house in the Rue de Richelieu between the ruin of Deputies Shaw and the Rue Villa do they had brought up their niece for Emily's father not without reason had feared contact with the very mixed society of an inn for his daughter the good Taylor Graf's who loved Amelia's that she had been their own daughter were giving up the ground floor of their great house to the young couple and here the bank of Bruner Schwab and company was to be established the arrangements for the marriage had been made about a month ago some time must elapse before fritz Bruner author of all this felicity could settle his deceased father's affairs and the famous firm of Taylor's had taken advantage of the delay to redecorate the first floor and to furnish it very handsomely for the bride and bridegroom the offices of the bank had been fitted into the wing which United a handsome business house with the hotel at the back between courtyard in garden on the way from the Rue de Normandy to the Rue de Richelieu puls drew from the obstructed Schmucker the details of the story of the modern prodigal son for whom death had killed the fatted innkeeper poles but newly reconciled with his nearest relatives was immediately smitten with a desire to make a match between Fritz Brunner and cecile de Marvel chance ordained that the notary was none other than Bertie a old Carlos's son-in-law and successor the sometimes second clerk with whom polls had been wont to dine ah Monsieur Bertie you here he said holding out a hand to his host of former days we have not had the pleasure of seeing you at dinner lately how is it we turned the notary my wife has been anxious about you we saw you at the first performance of the devil's betrothed and our anxiety became curiosity old folk are sensitive replied the worthy musician they make the mistake of being a century behind the times but how can it be helped it is quite enough to represent one century they cannot entirely belong to the century which sees them die ah said the notary with a shrewd luck one cannot run two centuries at once by the by continued pause drawing the young lawyer into a corner why do you not find someone for my cousin cecile de M'Vila ah why answered bow che in this century when luxury has filtered down to our very Porter's lodges a young fellow hesitates before uniting his lot with the daughter of a president of the Court of Appeal of Paris if she brings him only a hundred thousand francs in the rank of life in which Mademoiselle de mafias husband would take the wife was never yet known that did not cost her husband three thousand francs a year the interest on a hundred thousand francs would scarcely find her in pin money a bachelor with an income of fifty or twenty thousand francs can live on an entre soil he is not expected to cut any figure he need not keep more than one servant and all his surplus income he can spend on his amusements he puts himself in the hands of a good tailor and need not trouble any further about keeping up appearances farsighted mothers make much of him he is one of the kings of fashion in Paris but a wife changes everything a wife means a properly furnished house continued the lawyer she wants the carriage for herself if she goes to the play she wants a box while the bachelor has only a stalled to pay for in short a wife represents the whole of the income which the bachelor used to spend on himself suppose that husband and wife have thirty thousand francs a year between them practically the sometime bachelor is a poor devil who thinks twice before he drives at deshaun te bring children on the scene he is pinched for money at once now yes Monsieur and Madame de Marvel are scarcely turned 50 say feels expectations are bills that will not fall due for 15 or 20 years to come and no young fellow cares to keep them so long in his portfolio the young featherheads who are dancing the Polka with larette's that the job den Mabhida are soaked anchored with self-interest that they don't stand in need of us to explain both sides of the problem to them between ourselves I may say that Mademoiselle de Marvel scarcely sets hearts throbbing so fast but that their owners can perfectly keep their heads and they are full of these anti matrimonial reflections if any eligible young man in full possession of his senses and an income of twenty thousand francs happens to be sketching out a programme of marriage that will satisfy his ambitions Mademoiselle the Marvel does not altogether answer the description and why not asked the bewildered musician Oh said the notary well a young man nowadays may be as ugly as you and I my dear pulse but he is almost sure to have the impertinence to want 600,000 francs a girl of good family with width and good looks and good breeding flawless perfection in short then it will not be easy to marry her she will not be married so long as Monsieur and Madame de Marvel cannot make up their minds to settle Marvel on her when she marries if they had chosen she might have been the VIII contest puppy know by now but here comes Monsieur Bruner we are about to read the deed of partnership and the marriage contract and introductions over the relations made Paul's promised to sign the contract he listened to the reading of the documents and towards half-past five the party went into the dining room the dinner was magnificent as the city merchants dinner can be when he allows himself a respite from money-making graph of the hotel dieu aya was acquainted with the first provision dealers in Paris never had Paul snores Makkah fared so sumptuously the dishes were a rapture to think of Italian paced delicate of flavor unknown to the public smells fried as never smelt were fried before fish from Lake lemon with a real Genovese thought and a cream for plum pudding which would have astonished the London doctor who is said to have invented it it was nearly 10 o'clock before they rose from table the amount of wine German and French consumed at that dinner would amaze the contemporary dandy nobody knows the amount of liquor that a German can imbibe and yet keep calm and quiet to even have an idea of the quantity you must dine in Germany and watch bottle succeed to bottle like wave rippling after wave along the sunny shores of the Mediterranean and disappear as if the tooten possessed the absorbing power of sponges or sea sand perfect harmony prevails meanwhile there is none of the racket that there would be over the liquor in France the talk is as sober as a moneylenders extempore a speech countenances flush like the faces of the brides in frescoes by cornea source nor imperceptibly by just to say and reminiscences are poured out slowly while the smoke puffs from the pipes about half-past ten that evening pulse and Schmucker found themselves sitting on a bench out in the garden with the EX flute between them they were explaining their characters opinions and misfortunes with no very clear idea as to why or how they had come to this point in the thick of a potpourri of confidences Vilhelm spoke of his strong desire to see Fritz married expressing himself with vehement and vinous eloquence what do you say to this program for your friend Brunner cried Paul's in confidential tones a charming and sensible young lady of 24 belonging to a family of the highest distinction the father holds a very high position as a judge there will be a hundred thousand francs paid down and a million to come wait answered fob I will speak to Fritz this instant the pair watched Brunner and his friend as they walked round and round the garden again in the game they passed the bench sometimes one spoke sometimes the other pulse was not exactly intoxicated his head was a little heavy but his thoughts on the contrary seemed all the later he watched Fritz Brunner's face through the rainbow mist of fumes of wine and tried to read auguries favourable to his family before very long Schwab introduced his friend and partner to monsieur pawns fritz Brunner expressed his thanks for the trouble which clothes had been so good as to take in the conversation which followed the two old bachelors shuka and pawns extolled the estate of matrimony going so far as to say without any malicious intent that marriage was the end of man T and Isis punches and cakes were served in the future home of the betrothed couple the wine had begun to tell upon the honest merchants and the general hilarity reached its height when it was announced that Schwab's partner thought of following his example at two o'clock that morning schmuck and pause walked home along the boulevards philosophizing about the RISM as they went on the harmony pervading the arrangements of this our world below on the morrow of the banquet cousin we took himself to his fair cousin the president overjoyed poor dear noble soul to return good for evil surely he had attained to a sublime height as everyone will allow for we live in an age when the monty oum prize is given to those who do their duty by carrying out the precepts of the gospel ah said paul's to himself as he turned the corner of the rue de shwazaa they will lie under immense obligations to their parasite any man less absorbed in his contentment any man of the world any distrustful nature would have watched the president's wife and daughter very narrowly on this first return to the house but the poor musician was a child he had all the simplicity of an artist believing in goodness as he believed in beauty so he was delighted when they Thea lent her mother made much of him after all of vaudeville tragedies and comedies which had been played under the worthy man's eyes for 12 long years he could not detect the insincerity and grimaces of social comedy no doubt because he had seen too much of it anyone who goes into society in Paris and knows the type of woman dried up body and soul by a burning thirst for social position and a fierce desire to be thought virtuous anyone familiar with the sham piety and the domineering character of a woman whose word is law in her own house may imagine the lurking hatred she bore this husband's cousin whom she had wronged all the demonstrative friendliness of mother and daughter was lined with a formidable longing for revenge evidently postponed for the first time in ma the Marvel's life she had been put in the wrong and that in the sight of the husband over whom she terrorized and not only so she was obliged to be amiable to the author of her defeat you can scarce find a match for this position save in the hypocritical dramas which are sometimes kept up for years in the sacred College of Cardinals or in chapters of certain religious orders at 3 o'clock when the president came back from the law-courts polls had scarcely made an end of the marvelous history of his acquaintance Monsieur Frederick ruler say seal had gone straight to the point she wanted to know how afraid you equal honor was dressed how he looked his height and figured the color of his hair and eyes and when she had conjectured a distinguished heir for Frederick she admired his generosity of character think of his giving 500,000 francs to his companion in misfortune oh mama I shall have a carriage in the box at the Italian say seal grew almost pretty as she thought that all her mother's ambitions for her were above to be realized that the hopes which had almost left her were to come to something after all as for the president all that she said was my dear little girl you may perhaps be married within the fortnight all mothers with daughters of three and 20 addressed them as little girl still added the president in any case we must have time to make inquiries never will I give my daughter to just anybody as to inquiries said Paul's becchi is drawing up the deeds as to the young man himself my dear cousin you remember what you told me well he is quite 40 years old he is bald he wishes to find in family life a haven after a storm I did not dissuade him every man has his tastes one reason the more for a personal interview returned the president I am NOT going to give my daughter to a valetudinarian very good cousin you shall see my suitor in five days if you like for with your views a single interview would be enough say Ciel enter mother signified there sure Frederick is decidedly a distinguished amateur he begged me to allow him to see my little collection at his leisure you have never seen my pictures and curiosities come and see them he continued looking at his relatives you can come simply as two ladies brought by my friend Schmucker and make Monsieur Bruno's acquaintance without betraying yourselves Frederick need not in the least know who you are admirable cried the president the attention they paid to the once scorned parasite may be left to the imagination poor pawns that day became the crazy dance cousin the happy mother drowned her dislike in floods of joy her looks her smiles her words sent the old man into ecstasy's over the good that he had done over the future that he saw by glimpses was he not sure to find dinners such as yesterday's banquet or for the signing of the contract multiplied indefinitely by three in the houses of Brunner Schwab and Graf he saw before him a land of plenty a Vedic Ocana a miraculous succession of plaque aver of delicate surprise dishes of exquisite wines if cousin Palm Springs this through said the president addressing his wife after Klaus had departed we ought to settle an income upon him equal to his salary at the theater certainly said the lady and Cecile was informed that if the proposed suitor found favor in her eyes she must undertake to induce the old musician to accept a munificence in such bad taste next day the president went to belchy he was anxious to make sure of Monsieur Frederick burners financial position Bear Chi forewarned by Madame de Marvel had asked his new clients fob to come fob the banker was dazzled by the prospect of such a match for his friend everybody knows how deeply a German venerates social distinctions so much so that in Germany a wife takes her husband's official title and is the Frau Guinea haha the Frau wat and so forth Schwab therefore was as accommodating as a collector who imagines that he is cheating a dealer in the first place as they SEALs father as I shall make over my estate of marvel to my daughter as she wished the contract to be drawn up on the dole system in that case Monsieur Brunner would invest a million francs in land to increase the estate and by settling the land on his wife he would secure her and his children from any share in the liabilities of the bank bear che stroked his chin he is coming on well his Monsieur LeClair Zedong thought he when the due toll system had been explained to Schwab he seemed much inclined that way for his friend he had heard Fritz say that he wished to find some way of insuring himself against another lapsed into poverty there is a farm and pasture land worth twelve hundred thousand francs in the market at this moment remarked the president if we take up shares in the Bank of France to the amount of a million francs that will be quite enough to guarantee our account said Schwab Fritz does not want to invest more than two million francs in business he will do as you wish I am sure Monsieur LeClair zedong the president's wife and daughter were almost wild with joy when he brought home this news never Shirley did so rich a capture swim so complacently into the Nets of matrimony you will be Madame Brunner de Marvel said the parent addressing his child I will obtain permission for your husband to add the name to his and afterwards he can take out letters of naturalization if I should be a peer of France someday he will succeed me the five days were spent by Madame de ma vie alien preparations on the great day she dressed Sathya herself taking as much pains as the Admiral of the British fleet takes over the dressing of the pleasure yacht for Her Majesty of England when she takes a trip to Germany posts and SH mukha on their side clean swept and dusted pulses museum rooms and furniture with the agility of sailors cleaning down a man of war there was not a speck of dust on the carved wood not an inch of brass but it glistened the glasses of her the pastels obscured nothing of the work of Latour whose and Liat our illustrious painter of the chocolate girl miracles of an art alas so fugitive the inimitable luster of Florentine bronze took all the varying hues of the light the painted glass glowed with colour every line shawnette brilliantly every object through in its phrase in a harmony of masterpieces arranged by two musicians both of whom alike had attained to be poets end of chapter 9

1 thought on “Cousin Pons | Honoré de Balzac | Literary Fiction | Talkingbook | English | 2/8

  1. Cousin Pons | Honoré de Balzac | Literary Fiction | Talkingbook | English | 2/8
    6: [00:00:00] – Chapter 6
    7: [00:13:48] – Chapter 7
    8: [00:38:21] – Chapter 8
    9: [01:05:23] – Chapter 9

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