The Chartreuse of Parma

By Stendhal; Edmund Gosse | Go to book overview

describe it, their flavour. She told herself that Napoleon, in his desire to win the affections of the Italian people, would certainly take Fabrizio for his aide-de-camp!” He’s lost to me!” she exclaimed, weeping. “I shall never see him again! He will write to me, but what can I be to him ten years hence?”

While she was in this frame of mind she made a trip to Milan, in the hope of obtaining more direct news of Napoleon, and possibly further news of Fabrizio. Though she did not admit it, her eager soul was growing very weary of the monotony of her country life. “I do not live there,” said she to herself. “I only keep myself from dying.” She shuddered at the thought of the powdered heads she must behold every day—her brother, her nephew Ascanio, and their serving-men; what would her trips on the lake be without Fabrizio? The affection that bound her to the marchesa was her only consolation. But for some time past her intimacy with Fabrizio’s mother, who was older than herself, and had no future outlook, had brought her less satisfaction.

Such was the Countess Pietranera’s peculiar position. Now that Fabrizio was gone, she expected but little future happiness, and she hungered for consolation and for novelty. When she reached Milan she developed a passionate fondness for the opera then in fashion. She shut herself up alone for long hours at a stretch in her old friend’s, General Scotti’s, box at the Scala. The men whose acquaintance she sought, in the hope of obtaining news of Napoleon and his army, struck her as coarse and vulgar. When she came home at night she would extemporize on her piano till three o’clock in the morning. One evening she went to the Scala, and was sitting in a box belonging to one of her lady friends, whither she had gone to try and gather news from France. The Minister of Parma, Count Mosca, was presented to her. He was an agreeable man, who spoke of France and of Napoleon in a manner which made her heart thrill afresh with hope and fear. The following day she returned to the same box. The clever statesman returned also, and during the whole of the performance she talked to him, and found

-97-

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The Chartreuse of Parma
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • De Stendhal and la Chartreuse v
  • Life of Stendhal xxiii
  • Author’s Introduction xxv
  • Contents xxix
  • The Chartreuse of Parma xxxi
  • Chapter I - Milan in 1796 1
  • Chapter II 15
  • Chapter III 36
  • Chapter IV 53
  • Chapter V 73
  • Chapter VI 96
  • Chapter VII 136
  • Chapter VIII 155
  • Chapter IX 171
  • Chapter X 181
  • Chapter XI 189
  • Chapter XII 213
  • Chapter XIII 227
  • Chapter XIV 253
  • Chapter XV 274
  • Chapter XVI 291
  • Chapter XVII 308
  • Chapter XVIII 323
  • Chapter XIX 343
  • Chapter XX 360
  • Chapter XXI 385
  • Chapter XXII 406
  • Chapter XXIII 424
  • Chapter XXIV 446
  • Chapter XXV 466
  • Chapter XXVI 486
  • Chapter XXVII 503
  • Chapter XXVIII 518
  • The Portraits of Stendhal *
  • The Portraits of Stendhal 539
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