The Chartreuse of Parma

By Stendhal; Edmund Gosse | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXVIII

So rapidly have events followed one on the other, that we have had no time to give any sketch of the comical race of courtiers that swarmed at the Parmesan court, and indulged in the strangest comments on the incidents we have been relating. In that country, the qualifications necessary to enable some small sprig of nobility, with his yearly income of two or three thousand francs, to figure in black stockings at the prince’s levers was, first and foremost, that he never should have read Rousseau or Voltaire; this condition is not difficult of fulfilment- In the second place, it was essential to be able to refer with emotion to the sovereign’s cold, or to the last case of mineralogical specimens sent him from Saxony. If, besides all this, our gentleman religiously attended mass every day of his life, and if he could reckon two or three fat monks among his intimate friends, the prince would condescend to speak to him once in every year, either a fortnight before, or a fortnight after, the first of January. This endowed the person so honoured with great importance in his own parish, and the tax-collector dared not worry him overmuch, if he should happen to fall into arrears with the annual tax of one hundred francs imposed on his modest property.

Signor Gonzo was a sorry wight of this description, an individual of very noble birth, and who, besides his own small fortune, held, thanks to the credit of the Marchese Crescenzi, a magnificent post which brought him in the princely sum of one hundred and fifty francs a year. This gentleman might have dined at home if he had chosen. But he had a mania. He was never happy and easy in his mind unless he was sitting in the room of some great personage who said

-518-

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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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