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    Chapter 8

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    Chapter 8
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    "My father has gone," thought Eugenie, who heard all that took place
    from the head of the stairs. Silence was restored in the house, and
    the distant rumbling of the carriage, ceasing by degrees, no longer
    echoed through the sleeping town. At this moment Eugenie heard in her
    heart, before the sound caught her ears, a cry which pierced the
    partitions and came from her cousin's chamber. A line of light, thin
    as the blade of a sabre, shone through a chink in the door and fell
    horizontally on the balusters of the rotten staircase.

    "He suffers!" she said, springing up the stairs. A second moan brought
    her to the landing near his room. The door was ajar, she pushed it
    open. Charles was sleeping; his head hung over the side of the old
    armchair, and his hand, from which the pen had fallen, nearly touched
    the floor. The oppressed breathing caused by the strained posture
    suddenly frightened Eugenie, who entered the room hastily.

    "He must be very tired," she said to herself, glancing at a dozen
    letters lying sealed upon the table. She read their addresses: "To
    Messrs. Farry, Breilmann, & Co., carriage-makers"; "To Monsieur
    Buisson, tailor," etc.

    "He has been settling all his affairs, so as to leave France at once,"
    she thought. Her eyes fell upon two open letters. The words, "My dear
    Annette," at the head of one of them, blinded her for a moment. Her
    heart beat fast, her feet were nailed to the floor.

    "His dear Annette! He loves! he is loved! No hope! What does he say to

    These thoughts rushed through her head and heart. She saw the words
    everywhere, even on the bricks of the floor, in letters of fire.

    "Resign him already? No, no! I will not read the letter. I ought to go
    away--What if I do read it?"

    She looked at Charles, then she gently took his head and placed it
    against the back of the chair; he let her do so, like a child which,
    though asleep, knows its mother's touch and receives, without awaking,
    her kisses and watchful care. Like a mother Eugenie raised the
    drooping hand, and like a mother she gently kissed the chestnut hair
    --"Dear Annette!" a demon shrieked the words in her ear.

    "I am doing wrong; but I must read it, that letter," she said. She
    turned away her head, for her noble sense of honor reproached her. For
    the first time in her life good and evil struggled together in her
    heart. Up to that moment she had never had to blush for any action.
    Passion and curiosity triumphed. As she read each sentence her heart
    swelled more and more, and the keen glow which filled her being as she
    did so, only made the joys of first love still more precious.

    My dear Annette,--Nothing could ever have separated us but the
    great misfortune which has now overwhelmed me, and which no human
    foresight could have prevented. My father has killed himself; his
    fortune and mine are irretrievably lost. I am orphaned at an age
    when, through the nature of my education, I am still a child; and
    yet I must lift myself as a man out of the abyss into which I am
    plunged. I have just spent half the night in facing my position.
    If I wish to leave France an honest man,--and there is no doubt of
    that,--I have not a hundred francs of my own with which to try my
    fate in the Indies or in America. Yes, my poor Anna, I must seek
    my fortune in those deadly climates. Under those skies, they tell
    me, I am sure to make it. As for remaining in Paris, I cannot do
    so. Neither my nature nor my face are made to bear the affronts,
    the neglect, the disdain shown to a ruined man, the son of a
    bankrupt! Good God! think of owing two millions! I should be
    killed in a duel the first week; therefore I shall not return
    there. Your love--the most tender and devoted love which ever
    ennobled the heart of man--cannot draw me back. Alas! my beloved,
    I have no money with which to go to you, to give and receive a
    last kiss from which I might derive some strength for my forlorn

    "Poor Charles! I did well to read the letter. I have gold; I will give
    it to him," thought Eugenie.

    She wiped her eyes, and went on reading.

    I have never thought of the miseries of poverty. If I have the
    hundred louis required for the mere costs of the journey, I have
    not a sou for an outfit. But no, I have not the hundred louis, not
    even one louis. I don't know that anything will be left after I
    have paid my debts in Paris. If I have nothing, I shall go quietly
    to Nantes and ship as a common sailor; and I will begin in the new
    world like other men who have started young without a sou and
    brought back the wealth of the Indies. During this long day I have
    faced my future coolly. It seems more horrible for me than for
    another, because I have been so petted by a mother who adored me,
    so indulged by the kindest of fathers, so blessed by meeting, on
    my entrance into life, with the love of an Anna! The flowers of
    life are all I have ever known. Such happiness could not last.
    Nevertheless, my dear Annette, I feel more courage than a careless
    young man is supposed to feel,--above all a young man used to the
    caressing ways of the dearest woman in all Paris, cradled in
    family joys, on whom all things smiled in his home, whose wishes
    were a law to his father--oh, my father! Annette, he is dead!

    Well, I have thought over my position, and yours as well. I have
    grown old in twenty-four hours. Dear Anna, if in order to keep me
    with you in Paris you were to sacrifice your luxury, your dress,
    your opera-box, we should even then not have enough for the
    expenses of my extravagant ways of living. Besides, I would never
    accept such sacrifices. No, we must part now and forever--

    "He gives her up! Blessed Virgin! What happiness!"

    Eugenie quivered with joy. Charles made a movement, and a chill of
    terror ran through her. Fortunately, he did not wake, and she resumed
    her reading.

    When shall I return? I do not know. The climate of the West Indies
    ages a European, so they say; especially a European who works
    hard. Let us think what may happen ten years hence. In ten years
    your daughter will be eighteen; she will be your companion, your
    spy. To you society will be cruel, and your daughter perhaps more
    cruel still. We have seen cases of the harsh social judgment and
    ingratitude of daughters; let us take warning by them. Keep in the
    depths of your soul, as I shall in mine, the memory of four years
    of happiness, and be faithful, if you can, to the memory of your
    poor friend. I cannot exact such faithfulness, because, do you
    see, dear Annette, I must conform to the exigencies of my new
    life; I must take a commonplace view of them and do the best I
    can. Therefore I must think of marriage, which becomes one of the
    necessities of my future existence; and I will admit to you that I
    have found, here in Saumur, in my uncle's house, a cousin whose
    face, manners, mind, and heart would please you, and who, besides,
    seems to me--

    "He must have been very weary to have ceased writing to her," thought
    Eugenie, as she gazed at the letter which stopped abruptly in the
    middle of the last sentence.

    Already she defended him. How was it possible that an innocent girl
    should perceive the cold-heartedness evinced by this letter? To young
    girls religiously brought up, whose minds are ignorant and pure, all
    is love from the moment they set their feet within the enchanted
    regions of that passion. They walk there bathed in a celestial light
    shed from their own souls, which reflects its rays upon their lover;
    they color all with the flame of their own emotion and attribute to
    him their highest thoughts. A woman's errors come almost always from
    her belief in good or her confidence in truth. In Eugenie's simple
    heart the words, "My dear Annette, my loved one," echoed like the
    sweetest language of love; they caressed her soul as, in childhood,
    the divine notes of the _Venite adoremus_, repeated by the organ,
    caressed her ear. Moreover, the tears which still lingered on the
    young man's lashes gave signs of that nobility of heart by which young
    girls are rightly won. How could she know that Charles, though he
    loved his father and mourned him truly, was moved far more by paternal
    goodness than by the goodness of his own heart? Monsieur and Madame
    Guillaume Grandet, by gratifying every fancy of their son, and
    lavishing upon him the pleasures of a large fortune, had kept him from
    making the horrible calculations of which so many sons in Paris become
    more or less guilty when, face to face with the enjoyments of the
    world, they form desires and conceive schemes which they see with
    bitterness must be put off or laid aside during the lifetime of their
    parents. The liberality of the father in this instance had shed into
    the heart of the son a real love, in which there was no afterthought
    of self-interest.

    Nevertheless, Charles was a true child of Paris, taught by the customs
    of society and by Annette herself to calculate everything; already an
    old man under the mask of youth. He had gone through the frightful
    education of social life, of that world where in one evening more
    crimes are committed in thought and speech than justice ever punishes
    at the assizes; where jests and clever sayings assassinate the noblest
    ideas; where no one is counted strong unless his mind sees clear: and
    to see clear in that world is to believe in nothing, neither in
    feelings, nor in men, nor even in events,--for events are falsified.
    There, to "see clear" we must weigh a friend's purse daily, learn how
    to keep ourselves adroitly on the top of the wave, cautiously admire
    nothing, neither works of art nor glorious actions, and remember that
    self-interest is the mainspring of all things here below. After
    committing many follies, the great lady--the beautiful Annette
    --compelled Charles to think seriously; with her perfumed hand among
    his curls, she talked to him of his future position; as she rearranged
    his locks, she taught him lessons of worldly prudence; she made him
    effeminate and materialized him,--a double corruption, but a delicate
    and elegant corruption, in the best taste.

    "You are very foolish, Charles," she would say to him. "I shall have a
    great deal of trouble in teaching you to understand the world. You
    behaved extremely ill to Monsieur des Lupeaulx. I know very well he is
    not an honorable man; but wait till he is no longer in power, then you
    may despise him as much as you like. Do you know what Madame Campan
    used to tell us?--'My dears, as long as a man is a minister, adore
    him; when he falls, help to drag him in the gutter. Powerful, he is a
    sort of god; fallen, he is lower than Marat in the sewer, because he
    is living, and Marat is dead. Life is a series of combinations, and
    you must study them and understand them if you want to keep yourselves
    always in good position.'"

    Charles was too much a man of the world, his parents had made him too
    happy, he had received too much adulation in society, to be possessed
    of noble sentiments. The grain of gold dropped by his mother into his
    heart was beaten thin in the smithy of Parisian society; he had spread
    it superficially, and it was worn away by the friction of life.
    Charles was only twenty-one years old. At that age the freshness of
    youth seems inseparable from candor and sincerity of soul. The voice,
    the glance, the face itself, seem in harmony with the feelings; and
    thus it happens that the sternest judge, the most sceptical lawyer,
    the least complying of usurers, always hesitate to admit decrepitude
    of heart or the corruption of worldly calculation while the eyes are
    still bathed in purity and no wrinkles seam the brow. Charles, so far,
    had had no occasion to apply the maxims of Parisian morality; up to
    this time he was still endowed with the beauty of inexperience. And
    yet, unknown to himself, he had been inoculated with selfishness. The
    germs of Parisian political economy, latent in his heart, would
    assuredly burst forth, sooner or later, whenever the careless
    spectator became an actor in the drama of real life.

    Nearly all young girls succumb to the tender promises such an outward
    appearance seems to offer: even if Eugenie had been as prudent and
    observing as provincial girls are often found to be, she was not
    likely to distrust her cousin when his manners, words, and actions
    were still in unison with the aspirations of a youthful heart. A mere
    chance--a fatal chance--threw in her way the last effusions of real
    feeling which stirred the young man's soul; she heard as it were the
    last breathings of his conscience. She laid down the letter--to her so
    full of love--and began smilingly to watch her sleeping cousin; the
    fresh illusions of life were still, for her at least, upon his face;
    she vowed to herself to love him always. Then she cast her eyes on the
    other letter, without attaching much importance to this second
    indiscretion; and though she read it, it was only to obtain new proofs
    of the noble qualities which, like all women, she attributed to the
    man her heart had chosen.

    My dear Alphonse,--When you receive this letter I shall be without
    friends; but let me assure you that while I doubt the friendship
    of the world, I have never doubted yours. I beg you therefore to
    settle all my affairs, and I trust to you to get as much as you
    can out of my possessions. By this time you know my situation. I
    have nothing left, and I intend to go at once to the Indies. I
    have just written to all the people to whom I think I owe money,
    and you will find enclosed a list of their names, as correct as I
    can make it from memory. My books, my furniture, my pictures, my
    horses, etc., ought, I think, to pay my debts. I do not wish to
    keep anything, except, perhaps, a few baubles which might serve as
    the beginning of an outfit for my enterprise. My dear Alphonse, I
    will send you a proper power of attorney under which you can make
    these sales. Send me all my weapons. Keep Briton for yourself;
    nobody would pay the value of that noble beast, and I would rather
    give him to you--like a mourning-ring bequeathed by a dying man to
    his executor. Farry, Breilmann, & Co. built me a very comfortable
    travelling-carriage, which they have not yet delivered; persuade
    them to keep it and not ask for any payment on it. If they refuse,
    do what you can in the matter, and avoid everything that might
    seem dishonorable in me under my present circumstances. I owe the
    British Islander six louis, which I lost at cards; don't fail to
    pay him--

    "Dear cousin!" whispered Eugenie, throwing down the letter and running
    softly back to her room, carrying one of the lighted candles. A thrill
    of pleasure passed over her as she opened the drawer of an old oak
    cabinet, a fine specimen of the period called the Renaissance, on
    which could still be seen, partly effaced, the famous royal
    salamander. She took from the drawer a large purse of red velvet with
    gold tassels, edged with a tarnished fringe of gold wire,--a relic
    inherited from her grandmother. She weighed it proudly in her hand,
    and began with delight to count over the forgotten items of her little
    hoard. First she took out twenty _portugaises_, still new, struck in
    the reign of John V., 1725, worth by exchange, as her father told her,
    five _lisbonnines_, or a hundred and sixty-eight francs, sixty-four
    centimes each; their conventional value, however, was a hundred and
    eighty francs apiece, on account of the rarity and beauty of the
    coins, which shone like little suns. Item, five _genovines_, or five
    hundred-franc pieces of Genoa; another very rare coin worth
    eighty-seven francs on exchange, but a hundred francs to collectors.
    These had formerly belonged to old Monsieur de la Bertelliere. Item,
    three gold _quadruples_, Spanish, of Philip V., struck in 1729, given
    to her one by one by Madame Gentillet, who never failed to say, using
    the same words, when she made the gift, "This dear little canary, this
    little yellow-boy, is worth ninety-eight francs! Keep it, my pretty
    one, it will be the flower of your treasure." Item (that which her
    father valued most of all, the gold of these coins being twenty-three
    carats and a fraction), a hundred Dutch ducats, made in the year 1756,
    and worth thirteen francs apiece. Item, a great curiosity, a species
    of medal precious to the soul of misers,--three rupees with the sign
    of the Scales, and five rupees with the sign of the Virgin, all in
    pure gold of twenty-four carats; the magnificent money of the Great
    Mogul, each of which was worth by mere weight thirty-seven francs,
    forty centimes, but at least fifty francs to those connoisseurs who
    love to handle gold. Item, the napoleon of forty francs received the
    day before, which she had forgotten to put away in the velvet purse.
    This treasure was all in virgin coins, true works of art, which
    Grandet from time to time inquired after and asked to see, pointing
    out to his daughter their intrinsic merits,--such as the beauty of the
    milled edge, the clearness of the flat surface, the richness of the
    lettering, whose angles were not yet rubbed off.

    Eugenie gave no thought to these rarities, nor to her father's mania
    for them, nor to the danger she incurred in depriving herself of a
    treasure so dear to him; no, she thought only of her cousin, and soon
    made out, after a few mistakes of calculation, that she possessed
    about five thousand eight hundred francs in actual value, which might
    be sold for their additional value to collectors for nearly six
    thousand. She looked at her wealth and clapped her hands like a happy
    child forced to spend its overflowing joy in artless movements of the
    body. Father and daughter had each counted up their fortune this
    night,--he, to sell his gold; Eugenie to fling hers into the ocean of
    affection. She put the pieces back into the old purse, took it in her
    hand, and ran upstairs without hesitation. The secret misery of her
    cousin made her forget the hour and conventional propriety; she was
    strong in her conscience, in her devotion, in her happiness.

    As she stood upon the threshold of the door, holding the candle in one
    hand and the purse in the other, Charles woke, caught sight of her,
    and remained speechless with surprise. Eugenie came forward, put the
    candle on the table, and said in a quivering voice:

    "My cousin, I must beg pardon for a wrong I have done you; but God
    will pardon me--if you--will help me to wipe it out."

    "What is it?" asked Charles, rubbing his eyes.

    "I have read those letters."

    Charles colored.

    "How did it happen?" she continued; "how came I here? Truly, I do not
    know. I am tempted not to regret too much that I have read them; they
    have made me know your heart, your soul, and--"

    "And what?" asked Charles.

    "Your plans, your need of a sum--"

    "My dear cousin--"

    "Hush, hush! my cousin, not so loud; we must not wake others. See,"
    she said, opening her purse, "here are the savings of a poor girl who
    wants nothing. Charles, accept them! This morning I was ignorant of
    the value of money; you have taught it to me. It is but a means, after
    all. A cousin is almost a brother; you can surely borrow the purse of
    your sister."

    Eugenie, as much a woman as a young girl, never dreamed of refusal;
    but her cousin remained silent.

    "Oh! you will not refuse?" cried Eugenie, the beatings of whose heart
    could be heard in the deep silence.

    Her cousin's hesitation mortified her; but the sore need of his
    position came clearer still to her mind, and she knelt down.

    "I will never rise till you have taken that gold!" she said. "My
    cousin, I implore you, answer me! let me know if you respect me, if
    you are generous, if--"

    As he heard this cry of noble distress the young man's tears fell upon
    his cousin's hands, which he had caught in his own to keep her from
    kneeling. As the warm tears touched her, Eugenie sprang to the purse
    and poured its contents upon the table.

    "Ah! yes, yes, you consent?" she said, weeping with joy. "Fear
    nothing, my cousin, you will be rich. This gold will bring you
    happiness; some day you shall bring it back to me,--are we not
    partners? I will obey all conditions. But you should not attach such
    value to the gift."

    Charles was at last able to express his feelings.

    "Yes, Eugenie; my soul would be small indeed if I did not accept. And
    yet,--gift for gift, confidence for confidence."

    "What do you mean?" she said, frightened.

    "Listen, dear cousin; I have here--" He interrupted himself to point
    out a square box covered with an outer case of leather which was on
    the drawers. "There," he continued, "is something as precious to me as
    life itself. This box was a present from my mother. All day I have
    been thinking that if she could rise from her grave, she would herself
    sell the gold which her love for me lavished on this dressing-case;
    but were I to do so, the act would seem to me a sacrilege." Eugenie
    pressed his hand as she heard these last words. "No," he added, after
    a slight pause, during which a liquid glance of tenderness passed
    between them, "no, I will neither sell it nor risk its safety on my
    journey. Dear Eugenie, you shall be its guardian. Never did friend
    commit anything more sacred to another. Let me show it to you."

    He went to the box, took it from its outer coverings, opened it, and
    showed his delighted cousin a dressing-case where the rich workmanship
    gave to the gold ornaments a value far above their weight.

    "What you admire there is nothing," he said, pushing a secret spring
    which opened a hidden drawer. "Here is something which to me is worth
    the whole world." He drew out two portraits, masterpieces of Madame
    Mirbel, richly set with pearls.

    "Oh, how beautiful! Is it the lady to whom you wrote that--"

    "No," he said, smiling; "this is my mother, and here is my father,
    your aunt and uncle. Eugenie, I beg you on my knees, keep my treasure
    safely. If I die and your little fortune is lost, this gold and these
    pearls will repay you. To you alone could I leave these portraits; you
    are worthy to keep them. But destroy them at last, so that they may
    pass into no other hands." Eugenie was silent. "Ah, yes, say yes! You
    consent?" he added with winning grace.

    Hearing the very words she had just used to her cousin now addressed
    to herself, she turned upon him a look of love, her first look of
    loving womanhood,--a glance in which there is nearly as much of
    coquetry as of inmost depth. He took her hand and kissed it.

    "Angel of purity! between us two money is nothing, never can be
    anything. Feeling, sentiment, must be all henceforth."

    "You are like your mother,--was her voice as soft as yours?"

    "Oh! much softer--"

    "Yes, for you," she said, dropping her eyelids. "Come, Charles, go to
    bed; I wish it; you must be tired. Good-night." She gently disengaged
    her hand from those of her cousin, who followed her to her room,
    lighting the way. When they were both upon the threshold,--

    "Ah!" he said, "why am I ruined?"

    "What matter?--my father is rich; I think so," she answered.

    "Poor child!" said Charles, making a step into her room and leaning
    his back against the wall, "if that were so, he would never have let
    my father die; he would not let you live in this poor way; he would
    live otherwise himself."

    "But he owns Froidfond."

    "What is Froidfond worth?"

    "I don't know; but he has Noyers."

    "Nothing but a poor farm!"

    "He has vineyards and fields."

    "Mere nothing," said Charles disdainfully. "If your father had only
    twenty-four thousand francs a year do you suppose you would live in
    this cold, barren room?" he added, making a step in advance. "Ah!
    there you will keep my treasures," he said, glancing at the old
    cabinet, as if to hide his thoughts.

    "Go and sleep," she said, hindering his entrance into the disordered

    Charles stepped back, and they bid each other good-night with a mutual

    Both fell asleep in the same dream; and from that moment the youth
    began to wear roses with his mourning. The next day, before breakfast,
    Madame Grandet found her daughter in the garden in company with
    Charles. The young man was still sad, as became a poor fellow who,
    plunged in misfortune, measures the depths of the abyss into which he
    has fallen, and sees the terrible burden of his whole future life.

    "My father will not be home till dinner-time," said Eugenie,
    perceiving the anxious look on her mother's face.

    It was easy to trace in the face and manners of the young girl and in
    the singular sweetness of her voice a unison of thought between her
    and her cousin. Their souls had espoused each other, perhaps before
    they even felt the force of the feelings which bound them together.
    Charles spent the morning in the hall, and his sadness was respected.
    Each of the three women had occupations of her own. Grandet had left
    all his affairs unattended to, and a number of persons came on
    business,--the plumber, the mason, the slater, the carpenter, the
    diggers, the dressers, the farmers; some to drive a bargain about
    repairs, others to pay their rent or to be paid themselves for
    services. Madame Grandet and Eugenie were obliged to go and come and
    listen to the interminable talk of all these workmen and country folk.
    Nanon put away in her kitchen the produce which they brought as
    tribute. She always waited for her master's orders before she knew
    what portion was to be used in the house and what was to be sold in
    the market. It was the goodman's custom, like that of a great many
    country gentlemen, to drink his bad wine and eat his spoiled fruit.

    Towards five in the afternoon Grandet returned from Angers, having
    made fourteen thousand francs by the exchange on his gold, bringing
    home in his wallet good treasury-notes which bore interest until the
    day he should invest them in the Funds. He had left Cornoiller at
    Angers to look after the horses, which were well-nigh foundered, with
    orders to bring them home slowly after they were rested.

    "I have got back from Angers, wife," he said; "I am hungry."

    Nanon called out to him from the kitchen: "Haven't you eaten anything
    since yesterday?"

    "Nothing," answered the old man.

    Nanon brought in the soup. Des Grassins came to take his client's
    orders just as the family sat down to dinner. Grandet had not even
    observed his nephew.

    "Go on eating, Grandet," said the banker; "we can talk. Do you know
    what gold is worth in Angers? They have come from Nantes after it? I
    shall send some of ours."

    "Don't send any," said Grandet; "they have got enough. We are such old
    friends, I ought to save you from such a loss of time."

    "But gold is worth thirteen francs fifty centimes."

    "Say _was_ worth--"

    "Where the devil have they got any?"

    "I went to Angers last night," answered Grandet in a low voice.

    The banker shook with surprise. Then a whispered conversation began
    between the two, during which Grandet and des Grassins frequently
    looked at Charles. Presently des Grassins gave a start of
    astonishment; probably Grandet was then instructing him to invest the
    sum which was to give him a hundred thousand francs a year in the

    "Monsieur Grandet," said the banker to Charles, "I am starting for
    Paris; if you have any commissions--"

    "None, monsieur, I thank you," answered Charles.

    "Thank him better than that, nephew. Monsieur is going to settle the
    affairs of the house of Guillaume Grandet."

    "Is there any hope?" said Charles eagerly.

    "What!" exclaimed his uncle, with well-acted pride, "are you not my
    nephew? Your honor is ours. Is not your name Grandet?"

    Charles rose, seized Pere Grandet, kissed him, turned pale, and left
    the room. Eugenie looked at her father with admiration.

    "Well, good-by, des Grassins; it is all in your hands. Decoy those
    people as best you can; lead 'em by the nose."

    The two diplomatists shook hands. The old cooper accompanied the
    banker to the front door. Then, after closing it, he came back and
    plunged into his armchair, saying to Nanon,--

    "Get me some black-currant ratafia."

    Too excited, however, to remain long in one place, he got up, looked
    at the portrait of Monsieur de la Bertelliere, and began to sing,
    doing what Nanon called his dancing steps,--

    "Dans les gardes francaises
    J'avais un bon papa."

    Nanon, Madame Grandet, and Eugenie looked at each other in silence.
    The hilarity of the master always frightened them when it reached its
    climax. The evening was soon over. Pere Grandet chose to go to bed
    early, and when he went to bed, everybody else was expected to go too;
    like as when Augustus drank, Poland was drunk. On this occasion Nanon,
    Charles, and Eugenie were not less tired than the master. As for
    Madame Grandet, she slept, ate, drank, and walked according to the
    will of her husband. However, during the two hours consecrated to
    digestion, the cooper, more facetious than he had ever been in his
    life, uttered a number of his own particular apothegms,--a single one
    of which will give the measure of his mind. When he had drunk his
    ratafia, he looked at his glass and said,--

    "You have no sooner put your lips to a glass than it is empty! Such is
    life. You can't have and hold. Gold won't circulate and stay in your
    purse. If it were not for that, life would be too fine."

    He was jovial and benevolent. When Nanon came with her spinning-wheel,
    "You must be tired," he said; "put away your hemp."

    "Ah, bah! then I shall get sleepy," she answered.

    "Poor Nanon! Will you have some ratafia?"

    "I won't refuse a good offer; madame makes it a deal better than the
    apothecaries. What they sell is all drugs."

    "They put too much sugar," said the master; "you can't taste anything
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