The Chartreuse of Parma

By Stendhal; Edmund Gosse | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXIV

THE duchess arranged the most delightful evenings at the palace, where so much gaiety had never been seen before. Never did she make herself more attractive than during this winter, in spite of the fact that she was living: in circumstances of the greatest danger. Nevertheless, through all this critical time she never gave a thought of sadness, save on one or two occasions, to the strange alteration which had taken place in Fabrizio. The young prince used to come very early to his mother’s pleasant evening parties, and she never failed to say to him:

“Do go and attend to your government duties! I am certain there are more than a score of reports lying on your table, waiting for a ‘yes’or ‘no’from you, and I do not choose to have it said all over Europe that I am trying to turn you into a ‘Roi fainéant,’so that I may reign in your stead.”

These remarks always suffered from the drawback of being dropped at the most inopportune moment—that is to say, just when his Highness had overcome his natural shyness and was enjoying himself very much, acting some charade. Twice a week there were parties in the country, to which the princess, on the plea of reconquering the affections of his people for the young sovereign, invited the prettiest women of the middle class. The duchess, who was the soul of the merry court, was in hopes that these fair ladies, who all looked with an eye of mortal jealousy on the success of their fellow bourgeois, Rassi, would make the prince acquainted with some of that minister’s endless rascalities. For, among other childish notions, the prince claimed to possess a moral ministry.

-446-

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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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