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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesAn Historical Mystery (the Gondreville Mystery) - Part 2 - Chapter 20. The Mystery Solved
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An Historical Mystery (the Gondreville Mystery) - Part 2 - Chapter 20. The Mystery Solved Post by :tripro Category :Long Stories Author :Honore De Balzac Date :May 2012 Read :1631

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An Historical Mystery (the Gondreville Mystery) - Part 2 - Chapter 20. The Mystery Solved

PART II CHAPTER XX. THE MYSTERY SOLVED

The late Marquis de Cinq-Cygne had used his savings, as well as those of his father and mother, in the purchase of a fine house in the rue de Faubourg-du-Roule, entailing it on heirs male for the support of the title. The sordid economy of the marquis and his parents, which had often troubled Laurence, was then explained. After this purchase the marquise, who lived at Cinq-Cygne and economized on her own account for her children, spent her winters in Paris,--all the more willingly because her daughter Berthe and her son Paul were now of an age when their education required the resources of Paris.

Madame de Cinq-Cygne went but little into society. Her husband could not be ignorant of the regrets which lay in her tender heart; but he showed her always the most exquisite delicacy, and died having loved no other woman. This noble soul, not fully understood for a period of time but to which the generous daughter of the Cinq-Cygnes returned in his last years as true a love as that he gave to her, was completely happy in his married life. Laurence lived for the joys of home. No woman has ever been more cherished by her friends or more respected. To be received in her house is an honor. Gentle, indulgent, intellectual, above all things simple and natural, she pleases choice souls and draws them to her in spite of her saddened aspect; each longs to protect this woman, inwardly so strong, and that sentiment of secret protection counts for much in the wondrous charm of her friendship. Her life, so painful during her youth, is beautiful and serene towards evening. Her sufferings are known, and no one asks who was the original of that portrait by Lefebvre which is the chief and sacred ornament of her salon. Her face has the maturity of fruits that have ripened slowly; a hallowed pride dignifies that long-tried brow.

At the period when the marquise came to Paris to open the new house, her fortune, increased by the law of indemnities, gave her some two hundred thousand francs a year, not counting her husband's salary; besides this, Laurence had inherited the money guarded by Michu for his young masters. From that time forth she made a practice of spending half her income and of laying by the rest for her daughter Berthe.

Berthe is the living image of her mother, but without her warrior nerve; she is her mother in delicacy, in intellect,--"more a woman," Laurence says, sadly. The marquise was not willing to marry her daughter until she was twenty years of age. Her savings, judiciously invested in the Funds by old Monsieur d'Hauteserre at the moment when consols fell in 1830, gave Berthe a dowry of eighty thousand francs a year in 1833, when she was twenty.

About that time the Princesse de Cadignan, who was seeking to marry her son, the Duc de Maufrigneuse, brought him into intimate relations with Madame de Cinq-Cygne. Georges de Maufrigneuse dined with the marquise three times a week, accompanied the mother and daughter to the Opera, and curvetted in the Bois around their carriage when they drove out. It was evident to all the world of the Faubourg Saint-Germain that Georges loved Berthe. But no one could discover to a certainty whether Madame de Cinq-Cygne was desirous of making her daughter a duchess, to become a princess later, or whether it was only the princess who coveted for her son the splendid dowry. Did the celebrated Diane court the noble provincial house? and was the daughter of the Cinq-Cygnes frightened by the celebrity of Madame de Cadignan, her tastes and her ruinous extravagance? In her strong desire not to injure her son's prospects the princess grew devout, shut the door on her former life, and spent the summer season at Geneva in a villa on the lake.

One evening there were present in the salon of the Princesse de Cadignan, the Marquise d'Espard, and de Marsay, then president of the Council (on this occasion the princess saw her former lover for the last time, for he died the following year), Eugene de Rastignac, under-secretary of State attached to de Marsay's ministry, two ambassadors, two celebrated orators from the Chamber of Peers, the old dukes of Lenoncourt and de Navarreins, the Comte de Vandenesse and his young wife, and d'Arthez,--who formed a rather singular circle, the composition of which can be thus explained. The princess was anxious to obtain from the prime minister of the crown a permit for the return of the Prince de Cadignan. De Marsay, who did not choose to take upon himself the responsibility of granting it came to tell the princess the matter had been entrusted to safe hands, and that a certain political manager had promised to bring her the result in the course of that evening.

Madame and Mademoiselle de Cinq-Cygne were announced. Laurence, whose principles were unyielding, was not only surprised but shocked to see the most illustrious representatives of Legitimacy talking and laughing in a friendly manner with the prime minister of the man whom she never called anything but Monsieur le Duc d'Orleans. De Marsay, like an expiring lamp, shone with a last brilliancy. He laid aside for the moment his political anxieties, and Madame de Cinq-Cygne endured him, as they say the Court of Austria endured de Saint-Aulaire; the man of the world effaced the minister of the citizen-king. But she rose to her feet as though her chair were of red-hot iron when the name was announced of "Monsieur le Comte de Gondreville."

"Adieu, madame," she said to the princess in a curt tone.

She left the room with Berthe, measuring her steps to avoid encountering that fatal being.

"You may have caused the loss of Georges' marriage," said the princess to de Marsay, in a low voice. "Why did you not tell me your agent's name?"

The former clerk of Arcis, former Conventional, former Thermidorien, tribune, Councillor of State, count of the Empire and senator, peer of the Restoration, and now peer of the monarchy of July, made a servile bow to the princess.

"Fear nothing, madame," he said; "we have ceased to make war on princes. I bring you an assurance of the permit," he added, seating himself beside her.

Malin was long in the confidence of Louis XVIII., to whom his varied experience was useful. He had greatly aided in overthrowing Decazes, and had given much good advice to the ministry of Villele. Coldly received by Charles X., he had adopted all the rancors of Talleyrand. He was now in high favor under the twelfth government he had served since 1789, and which in turn he would doubtless betray. For the last fifteen months he had broken the long friendship which had bound him for thirty-six years to our greatest diplomat, the Prince de Talleyrand. It was in the course of this very evening that he made answer to some one who asked why the Prince showed such hostility to the Duc de Bordeaux, "The Pretender is too young!"

"Singular advice to give young men," remarked Rastignac.

De Marsay, who grew thoughtful after Madame de Cadignan's reproachful speech, took no notice of these jests. He looked askance at Gondreville and was evidently biding his time until that now old man, who went to bed early, had taken leave. All present, who had witnessed the abrupt departure of Madame de Cinq-Cygne (whose reasons were well-known to them), imitated de Marsay's conduct and kept silence. Gondreville, who had not recognized the marquise, was ignorant of the cause of the general reticence, but the habit of dealing with public matters had given him a certain tact; he was moreover a clever man; he saw that his presence was embarrassing to the company and he took leave. De Marsay, standing with his back to the fire, watched the slow departure of the old man in a manner which revealed the gravity of his thoughts.

"I did wrong, madame, not to tell you the name of my negotiator," said the prime minister, listening for the sound of Malin's wheels as they rolled away. "But I will redeem my fault and give you the means of making your peace with the Cinq-Cygnes. It is now thirty years since the affair I am about to speak of took place; it is as old to the present day as the death of Henri IV. (which between ourselves and in spite of the proverb is still a mystery, like so many other historical catastrophes). I can, however, assure you that even if this affair did not concern Madame de Cinq-Cygne it would be none the less curious and interesting. Moreover, it throws light on a celebrated exploit in our modern annals,--I mean that of the Mont Saint-Bernard. Messieurs les Ambassadeurs," he added, bowing to the two diplomats, "will see that in the element of profound intrigue the political men of the present day are far behind the Machiavellis whom the waves of the popular will lifted, in 1793, above the storm,--some of whom have 'found,' as the old song says, 'a haven.' To be anything in France in these days a man must have been tossed in those tempests."

"It seems to me," said the princess, smiling, "that from that point of view the present state of things under your regime leaves nothing to be desired."

A well-bred laugh went round the room, and even the prime minister himself could not help smiling. The ambassadors seemed impatient for the tale; de Marsay coughed dryly and silence was obtained.

"On a June night in 1800," began the minister, "about three in the morning, just as daylight was beginning to pale the brilliancy of the wax candles, two men tired of playing at _bouillotte (or who were playing merely to keep others employed) left the salon of the ministry of foreign affairs, then situated in the rue du Bac, and went apart into a boudoir. These two men, of whom one is dead and the other has _one foot in the grave, were, each in his own way, equally extraordinary. Both had been priests; both had abjured religion; both were married. One had been merely an Oratorian, the other had worn the mitre of a bishop. The first was named Fouche; I shall not tell you the name of the second;(*) both were then mere simple citizens--with very little simplicity. When they were seen to leave the salon and enter the boudoir, the rest of the company present showed a certain curiosity. A third person followed them,--a man who thought himself far stronger than the other two. His name was Sieyes, and you all know that he too had been a priest before the Revolution. The one who _walked with difficulty was then the minister of foreign affairs; Fouche was minister of police; Sieyes had resigned the consulate.

(*) Talleyrand was still living when de Marsay related these circumstances.


"A small man, cold and stern in appearance, left his seat and followed the three others, saying aloud in the hearing of the person from whom I have the information, 'I mistrust the gambling of priests.' This man was Carnot, minister of war. His remark did not trouble the two consuls who were playing cards in the salon. Cambaceres and Lebrun were then at the mercy of their ministers, men who were infinitely stronger than they.

"Nearly all these statesmen are dead, and no secrecy is due to them. They belong to history; and the history of that night and its consequences has been terrible. I tell it to you now because I alone know it; because Louis XVIII. never revealed the truth to that poor Madame de Cinq-Cygne; and because the present government which I serve is wholly indifferent as to whether the truth be known to the world or not.

"All four of these personages sat down in the boudoir. The lame man undoubtedly closed the door before a word was said; it is even thought that he ran the bolt. It is only persons of high rank who pay attention to such trifles. The three priests had the livid, impassible faces which you all remember. Carnot alone was ruddy. He was the first to speak. 'What is the point to be discussed?' he asked. 'France,' must have been the answer of the Prince (whom I admire as one of the most extraordinary men of our time). 'The Republic,' undoubtedly said Fouche. 'Power,' probably said Sieyes."

All present looked at each other. With voice, look, and gesture de Marsay had wonderfully represented the three men.

"The three priests fully understood one another," he continued, resuming his narrative. "Carnot no doubt looked at his colleagues and the ex-consul in a dignified manner. He must, however, have felt bewildered in his own mind.

"'Do you believe in the success of the army?' Sieyes said to him.

"'We may expect everything from Bonaparte,' replied the minister of war; 'he has crossed the Alps.'

"'At this moment,' said the minister of foreign affairs, with deliberate slowness, 'he is playing his last stake.'

"'Come, let's speak out,' said Fouche; 'what shall we do if the First Consul is defeated? Is it possible to collect another army? Must we continue his humble servants?'

"'There is no republic now,' remarked Sieyes; 'Bonaparte is consul for ten years.'

"'He has more power than ever Cromwell had,' said the former bishop, 'and he did not vote for the death of the king.'

"'We have a master,' said Fouche; 'the question is, shall we continue to keep him if he loses the battle or shall we return to a pure republic?'

"'France,' replied Carnot, sententiously, 'cannot resist except she reverts to the old Conventional _energy_.'

"'I agree with Carnot,' said Sieyes; 'if Bonaparte returns defeated we must put an end to him; he has let us know him too well during the last seven months.'

"'The army is for him,' remarked Carnot, thoughtfully.

"'And the people for us!' cried Fouche.

"'You go fast, monsieur,' said the Prince, in that deep bass voice which he still preserves and which now drove Fouche back into himself.

"'Be frank,' said a voice, as a former Conventional rose from a corner of the boudoir and showed himself; 'if Bonaparte returns a victor, we shall adore him; if vanquished, we'll bury him!'

"'So you were there, Malin, were you?' said the Prince, without betraying the least feeling. 'Then you must be one of us; sit down'; and he made him a sign to be seated.

"It is to this one circumstance that Malin, a Conventional of small repute, owes the position he afterwards obtained and, ultimately, that in which we see him at the present moment. He proved discreet, and the ministers were faithful to him; but they made him the pivot of the machine and the cat's-paw of the machination. To return to my tale.

"'Bonaparte has never yet been vanquished,' cried Carnot, in a tone of conviction, 'and he has just surpassed Hannibal.'

"'If the worst happens, here is the Directory,' said Sieyes, artfully, indicating with a wave of his hand the five persons present.

"'And,' added the Prince, 'we are all committed to the maintenance of the French republic; we three priests have literally unfrocked ourselves; the general, here, voted for the death of the king; and you,' he said, turning to Malin, 'have got possession of the property of _emigres_.'

"'Yes, we have all the same interests,' said Sieyes, dictatorially, 'and our interests are one with those of the nation.'

"'A rare thing,' said the Prince, smiling.

"'We must act,' interrupted Fouche. 'In all probability the battle is now going on; the Austrians outnumber us; Genoa has surrendered; Massena has committed the great mistake of embarking for Antibes; it is very doubtful if he can rejoin Bonaparte, who will then be reduced to his own resources.'

"'Who gave you that news?' asked Carnot.

"'It is sure,' replied Fouche. 'You will have the courier when the Bourse opens.'

"Those men didn't mince their words," said de Marsay, smiling, and stopping short for a moment.

"'Remember,' continued Fouche, 'it is not when the news of a disaster comes that we can organize clubs, rouse the patriotism of the people, and change the constitution. Our 18th Brumaire ought to be prepared beforehand.'

"'Let us leave the care of that to the minister of police,' said the Prince, bowing to Fouche, 'and beware ourselves of Lucien.' (Lucien Bonaparte was then minister of the interior.)

"'I'll arrest him,' said Fouche.

"'Messieurs!' cried Sieyes, 'our Directory ought not to be subject to anarchical changes. We must organize a government of the few, a Senate for life, and an elective chamber the control of which shall be in our hands; for we ought to profit by the blunders of the past.'

"'With such a system, there would be peace for me,' remarked the ex-bishop.

"'Find me a sure man to negotiate with Moreau; for the Army of the Rhine will be our sole resource,' cried Carnot, who had been plunged in meditation.

"Ah!" said de Marsay, pausing, "those men were right. They were grand in this crisis. I should have done as they did"; then he resumed his narrative.

"'Messieurs!' cried Sieyes, in a grave and solemn tone.

"That word 'Messieurs!' was perfectly understood by all present; all eyes expressed the same faith, the same promise, that of absolute silence, and unswerving loyalty to each other in case the First Consul returned triumphant.

"'We all know what we have to do,' added Fouche.

"Sieyes softly unbolted the door; his priestly ear had warned him. Lucien entered the room.

"'Good news!' he said. 'A courier has just brought Madame Bonaparte a line from the First Consul. The campaign has opened with a victory at Montebello.'

"The three ministers exchanged looks.

"'Was it a general engagement?' asked Carnot.

"'No, a fight, in which Lannes has covered himself with glory. The affair was bloody. Attacked with ten thousand men by eighteen thousand, he was only saved by a division sent to his support. Ott is in full retreat. The Austrian line is broken.'

"'When did the fight take place?' asked Carnot.

"'On the 8th,' replied Lucien.

"'And this is the 13th,' said the sagacious minister. 'Well, if that is so, the destinies of France are in the scale at the very moment we are speaking.'"

(In fact, the battle of Marengo did begin at dawn of the 14th.)

"'Four days of fatal uncertainty!' said Lucien.

"'Fatal?' said the minister of foreign affairs, coldly and interrogatively.

"'Four days,' echoed Fouche.

"An eye-witness told me," said de Marsay, continuing the narrative in his own person, "that the consuls, Cambaceres and Lebrun, knew nothing of this momentous news until after the six personages returned to the salon. It was then four in the morning. Fouche left first. That man of dark and mysterious genius, extraordinary, profound, and little understood, but who undoubtedly had the gifts of a Philip the Second, a Tiberius and a Borgia, went at once to work with an infernal and secret activity. His conduct at the time of the affair at Walcheren was that of a consummate soldier, a great politician, a far-seeing administrator. He was the only real minister that Napoleon ever had. And you all know how he then alarmed him.

"Fouche, Massena and the Prince," continued de Marsay, reflectively, "are the three greatest men, the wisest heads in diplomacy, war, and government, that I have ever known. If Napoleon had frankly allied them with his work there would no longer be a Europe, only a vast French Empire. Fouche did not finally detach himself from Napoleon until he saw Sieyes and the Prince de Talleyrand shoved aside.

"He now went to work, and in three days (all the while hiding the hand that stirred the ashes of the Montagne) he had organized that general agitation which then arose all over France and revived the republicanism of 1793. As it is necessary that I should explain this obscure corner of our history, I must tell you that this agitation, starting from Fouche's own hand (which held the wires of the former Montagne), produced republican plots against the life of the First Consul, which was in peril from this cause long after the victory of Marengo. It was Fouche's sense of the evil he had thus brought about which led him to warn Napoleon, who held a contrary opinion, that republicans were more concerned than royalists in the various conspiracies.

"Fouche was an admirable judge of men; he relied on Sieyes because of his thwarted ambition, on Talleyrand because he was a great _seigneur_, on Carnot for his perfect honesty; but the man he dreaded was the one whom you have seen here this evening. I will now tell how he entangled that man in his meshes.

"Malin was only Malin in those days,--a secret agent and correspondent of Louis XVIII. Fouche now compelled him to reduce to writing all the proclamations of the proposed revolutionary government, its warrants and edicts against the factions of the 18th Brumaire. An accomplice against his own will, Malin was required to have these documents secretly printed, and the copies held ready in his own house for distribution if Bonaparte were defeated. The printer was subsequently imprisoned and detained two months; he died in 1816, and always believed he had been employed by a Montagnard conspiracy.

"One of the most singular scenes ever played by Fouche's police was caused by the blunder of an agent, who despatched a courier to a famous banker of that day with the news of a defeat at Marengo. Victory, you will remember, did not declare itself for Napoleon until seven o'clock in the evening of the battle. At midday the banker's agent, considering the day lost and the French army about to be annihilated, hastened to despatch the courier. On receipt of that news Fouche was about to put into motion a whole army of bill-posters and cries, with a truck full of proclamations, when the second courier arrived with the news of the triumph which put all France beside itself with joy. There were heavy losses at the Bourse, of course. But the criers and posters who were gathered to announce the political death of Bonaparte and to post up the new proclamations were only kept waiting awhile till the news of the victory could be struck off!

"Malin, on whom the whole responsibility of the plot of which he had been the working agent was likely to fall if it ever became known, was so terrified that he packed the proclamations and other papers in carts and took them down to Gondreville in the night-time, where no doubt they were hidden in the cellars of that chateau, which he had bought in the name of another man--who was it, by the bye? he had him made chief-justice of an Imperial court--Ah! Marion. Having thus disposed of these damning proofs he returned to Paris to congratulate the First Consul on his victory. Napoleon, as you know, rushed from Italy to Paris after the battle of Marengo with alarming celerity. Those who know the secret history of that time are well aware that a message from Lucien brought him back. The minister of the interior had foreseen the attitude of the Montagnard party, and though he had no idea of the quarter from which the wind really blew, he feared a storm. Incapable of suspecting the three ministers and Carnot, he attributed the movement which stirred all France to the hatred his brother had excited by the 18th Brumaire, and to the confident belief of the men of 1793 that defeat was certain in Italy.

"The battle of Marengo detained Napoleon on the plains of Lombardy until the 25th of June, but he reached Paris on the 2nd of July. Imagine the faces of the five conspirators as they met the First Consul at the Tuileries, and congratulated him on the victory. Fouche on that very occasion at the palace told Malin to have patience, for _all was not over yet_. The truth was, Talleyrand and Fouche both held that Bonaparte was not as much bound to the principles of the Revolution as they were, and as he ought to be; and for this reason, as well as for their own safety, they subsequently, in 1804, buckled him irrevocably, as they believed, to its cause by the affair of the Duc d'Enghien. The execution of that prince is connected by a series of discoverable ramifications with the plot which was laid on that June evening in the boudoir of the ministry of foreign affairs, the night before the battle of Marengo. Those who have the means of judging, and who have known persons who were well-informed, are fully aware that Bonaparte was handled like a child by Talleyrand and Fouche, who were determined to alienate him irrevocably from the House of Bourbon, whose agents were even then, at the last moment, endeavoring to negotiate with the First Consul."

"Talleyrand was playing whist in the salon of Madame de Luynes," said a personage who had been listening attentively to de Marsay's narrative. "It was about three o'clock in the morning, when he pulled out his watch, looked at it, stopped the game, and asked his three companions abruptly and without any preface whether the Prince de Conde had any other children than the Duc d'Enghien. Such an absurd inquiry from the lips of Talleyrand caused the utmost surprise. 'Why do you ask us what you know perfectly well yourself?' they said to him. 'Only to let you know that the House of Conde comes to an end at this moment.' Now Monsieur de Talleyrand had been at the hotel de Luynes the entire evening, and he must have known that Bonaparte was absolutely unable to grant the pardon."

"But," said Eugene de Rastignac, "I don't see in all this any connection with Madame de Cinq-Cygnes and her troubles."

"Ah, you were so young at that time, my dear fellow; I forgot to explain the conclusion. You all know the affair of the abduction of the Comte de Gondreville, then senator of the Empire, for which the Simeuse brothers and the two d'Hauteserres were condemned to the galleys,--an affair which did, in fact, lead to their death."

De Marsay, entreated by several persons present to whom the circumstances were unknown, related the whole trial, stating that the mysterious abductors were five sharks of the secret service of the ministry of the police, who were ordered to obtain the proclamations of the would-be Directory which Malin had surreptitiously taken from his house in Paris, and which he had himself come to Gondreville for the express purpose of destroying, being convinced at last that the Empire was on a sure foundation and could not be overthrown. "I have no doubt," added de Marsay, "that Fouche took the opportunity to have the house searched for the correspondence between Malin and Louis XVIII., which was always kept up, even during the Terror. But in this cruel affair there was a private element, a passion of revenge in the mind of the leader of the party, a man named Corentin, who is still living, and who is one of those subaltern agents whom nothing can replace and who makes himself felt by his amazing ability. It appears that Madame, then Mademoiselle de Cinq-Cygne, had ill-treated him on a former occasion when he attempted to arrest the Simeuse brothers. What happened afterwards in connection with the senator's abduction was the result of his private vengeance.

"These facts were known, of course, to Malin, and through him to Louis XVIII. You may therefore," added de Marsay, turning to the Princesse de Cadignan, "explain the whole matter to the Marquise de Cinq-Cygne, and show her why Louis XVIII. thought fit to keep silence."


ADDENDUM

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


Beauvisage
The Member for Arcis

Berthier, Alexandre
The Chouans

Bonaparte, Lucien
The Vendetta

Bordin
The Seamy Side of History
The Commission in Lunacy
Jealousies of a Country Town

Cinq-Cygne, Laurence, Comtesse (afterwards Marquise de)
The Secrets of a Princess
The Seamy Side of History
The Member for Arcis

Corentin
The Chouans
Scenes from a Courtesan's Life
The Middle Classes

Derville
Gobseck
A Start in Life
Father Goriot
Colonel Chabert
Scenes from a Courtesan's Life

Duroc, Gerard-Christophe-Michel
A Woman of Thirty

Espard, Jeanne-Clementine-Athenais de Blamont-Chauvry, Marquise d'
The Commission in Lunacy
A Distinguished Provincial at Paris
Scenes from a Courtesan's Life
Letters of Two Brides
Another Study of Woman
The Secrets of a Princess
A Daughter of Eve
Beatrix

Fouche, Joseph
The Chouans
Scenes from a Courtesan's Life

Giguet, Colonel
The Member for Arcis

Gondreville, Malin, Comte de
A Start in Life
Domestic Peace
The Member for Arcis

Gothard
The Member for Arcis

Goujet, Abbe
The Member for Arcis

Grandlieu, Duc Ferdinand de
The Thirteen
A Bachelor's Establishment
Modeste Mignon
Scenes from a Courtesan's Life

Granville, Vicomte de
A Second Home
Farewell (Adieu)
Cesar Birotteau
Scenes from a Courtesan's Life
A Daughter of Eve
Cousin Pons

Grevin
A Start in Life
The Member for Arcis

Hauteserre, D'
The Member for Arcis

Lefebvre, Robert
Cousin Betty

Lenoncourt, Duc de
The Lily of the Valley
Cesar Birotteau
Jealousies of a Country Town
Beatrix

Louis XVIII., Louis-Stanislas-Xavier
The Chouans
The Seamy Side of History
Scenes from a Courtesan's Life
The Ball at Sceaux
The Lily of the Valley
Colonel Chabert
The Government Clerks

Marion (of Arcis)
The Member for Arcis

Marion (brother)
The Member for Arcis

Marsay, Henri de
The Thirteen
The Unconscious Humorists
Another Study of Woman
The Lily of the Valley
Father Goriot
Jealousies of a Country Town
Ursule Mirouet
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
A Daughter of Eve

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

Maufrigneuse, Georges de
The Secrets of a Princess
Beatrix
The Member for Arcis

Maufrigneuse, Berthe de
Beatrix
The Member for Arcis

Michu, Francois
Jealousies of a Country Town
The Member for Arcis

Michu, Madame Francois
The Member for Arcis

Murat, Joachim, Prince
The Vendetta
Colonel Chabert
Domestic Peace
The Country Doctor

Navarreins, Duc de
A Bachelor's Establishment
Colonel Chabert
The Muse of the Department
The Thirteen
Jealousies of a Country Town
The Peasantry
Scenes from a Courtesan's Life
The Country Parson
The Magic Skin
The Secrets of a Princess
Cousin Betty

Peyrade
Scenes from a Courtesan's Life

Rapp
The Vendetta

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

Regnier, Claude-Antoine
A Second Home

Simeuse, Admiral de
Beatrix
Jealousies of a Country Town

Steingel
The Peasantry

Talleyrand-Perigord, Charles-Maurice de
The Chouans
The Thirteen
Letters of Two Brides
Gaudissart II.

Vandenesse, Comte Felix de
The Lily of the Valley
Lost Illusions
A Distinguished Provincial at Paris
Cesar Birotteau
Letters of Two Brides
A Start in Life
The Marriage Settlement
The Secrets of a Princess
Another Study of Woman
A Daughter of Eve

Varlet
The Gondreville Mystery
The Member for Arcis


(THE END)
Honore de Balzac's fiction/novel: Historical Mystery (The Gondreville Mystery)

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A Rough Shaking - Chapter 1. How I Came To Know Clare Skymer A Rough Shaking - Chapter 1. How I Came To Know Clare Skymer

A Rough Shaking - Chapter 1. How I Came To Know Clare Skymer
Chapter I. How I Came to know Clare SkymerIt was a day when everything around seemed almost perfect: everything does, now and then, come nearly right for a moment or two, preparatory to coming all right for good at the last. It was the third week in June. The great furnace was glowing and shining in full force, driving the ship of our life at her best speed through the ocean of space. For on deck, and between decks, and aloft, there is so much more going on at one time than at another, that I may well say she was
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An Historical Mystery (the Gondreville Mystery) - Part 2 - Chapter 16. Marthe Inveigled An Historical Mystery (the Gondreville Mystery) - Part 2 - Chapter 16. Marthe Inveigled

An Historical Mystery (the Gondreville Mystery) - Part 2 - Chapter 16. Marthe Inveigled
PART II CHAPTER XVI. MARTHE INVEIGLEDWhile the masters of Cinq-Cygne were waiting at Troyes for the opening of the trial before the Criminal court and vainly soliciting permission to see the prisoners, an event of the utmost importance had taken place at the chateau. Marthe returned to Cinq-Cygne as soon as she had given her testimony before the indicting jury. This testimony was so insignificant that it was not thought necessary to summon her before the Criminal court. Like all persons of extreme sensibility, the poor woman sat silent in the salon she kept company with Mademoiselle Goujet, in a
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