The Chartreuse of Parma

By Stendhal; Edmund Gosse | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIX

GENERAL FABIO CONTI’S ambition, goaded to madness by the difficulties that had arisen in the way of the Prime Minister, Count Mosca, and which seemed to threaten his fall, had driven him into violent scenes with his daughter. Perpetually and angrily he told her that she would ruin his prospects unless she made up her mind to choose a husband at last. She was past twenty; it was high time she should come to some decision. An end must be put, once for all, to the cruel state of isolation in which her unreasonable obstinacy placed him, and so forth.

Delia’s first object, when she took refuge in her aviary, had been to escape from her father’s constant ill-humour. The only means of access to the room was by climbing a small and very inconvenient staircase, a serious obstacle to the governor’s gouty feet.

For the past few weeks, Clelia’s soul had been so stormtossed, she was so puzzled, herself, to know what she ought to desire, that without actually giving her father her word, she had almost drifted into an engagement. In one of his fits of rage the general had exclaimed that he would thrust her into the gloomiest convent in Parma, and leave her there to fret her heart out until she condescended to make a choice.

“You know that our family, old though it is, can not command more than six thousand francs a year, whereas the Marchese Crescenzi’s income amounts to over a hundred thousand crowns. Every soul at court gives him the character of being the kindest of men; he is a very good-looking fellow, young, high in the prince’s favour, and I say that nobody but a mad woman would refuse his suit. If this refusal had been your first, I could have endured it, but this is

-343-

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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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