The Chartreuse of Parma

By Stendhal; Edmund Gosse | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXI

ABOUT a year before the period of her misfortunes, the duchess had made acquaintance with a strange being. One day, when, as they say in that country, “aveva la luna,” she had betaken herself, quite unexpectedly, toward evening, to her country house on the hill overlooking the Po, at Sacca, beyond Colorno. She delighted in making improvements in the place; she loved the huge forest that crowns the hill and grows close up to the house. She was having paths cut through it to various picturesque spots.

“You’ll be carried off by brigands, fair lady,” said the prince to her one day. “A forest where you are known to walk can not possibly remain deserted.” The prince cast an eye on the count, whose jealousy he was always trying to kindle.

“I have no fears, Most Serene Highness,” replied the duchess, with an air of innocence. “When I walk about in my woods, I reassure myself with the thought that I have never done any one any harm; therefore, who should there be to hate me?” The remark struck the hearers as a bold one; it recalled the insulting language employed by the Liberals of the country, a most impudent set of people.

On the day of which we speak, the duchess was reminded of the prince’s remark by the sight of a very poorly dressed man, who was following her, at a distance, through the trees. In the course of her walk she made an unexpected turn, which brought her so close to the stranger that she was frightened. Her first impulse was to call to her gamekeeper, whom she had left about a thousand paces off, in the flower-garden, close to the house. But the stranger had time to approach her, and cast himself at her feet. He was

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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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