The Red and the Black: A Chronicle of the Nineteenth Century

By Stendhal; Catherine Slater | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 20
The Japanese vase

His heart does not understand to begin with how acute is his unhappiness; he is more disturbed than moved. But as his reason gradually returns, he feels the depth of his misfortune. All the pleasures of life are destroyed for him, he can only feel the sharp prickings of despair tearing him apart. But what is the use of talking of physical pain? What pain felt by the body alone can be compared with this?

JEAN PAUL*

DINNER was being announced; Julien only just had time to dress. In the drawing-room he found Mathilde, who was earnestly entreating her brother and M. de Croisenois not to go and spend the evening at Suresnes with the Maréchale de Fervaques.

No one could have been more charming and more amiable towards them. After dinner Messrs de Luz, de Caylus and several of their friends turned up. It looked as if Mlle de La Mole's resumption of the cult of sisterly affection went hand in hand with that of the strictest propriety. Although the weather was delightful that evening, she insisted on not going out into the garden; she wanted everyone to stay by the couch where Mme de La Mole was settled. The blue sofa was the focus of the group, as in winter.

Mathilde had taken against the garden, or at any rate it seemed utterly boring to her: it was linked with the memory of Julien.

Unhappiness dulls the mind. Our hero was inept enough to come over to the little wicker chair which had witnessed such brilliant triumphs in the past. Today no one said a word to him: his presence was as good as unnoticed, or worse. Those of Mlle de La Mole's friends who were stationed near him at the foot of the sofa made a point of turning their backs to him, or at least that was how it struck him.

It's exactly like falling from favour at Court, he reflected.

-377-

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The Red and the Black: A Chronicle of the Nineteenth Century
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction ix
  • Note on the Text xxiv
  • Further Reading xxv
  • A Chronology of Stendhal (marie-Henri Beyle) xxvii
  • Publisher''s Note 2
  • Book One 3
  • Chapter 1- A Small Town 3
  • Chapter 2- A Mayor 7
  • Chapter 3- Care of the Poor 11
  • Chapter 4- Father and Son 17
  • Chapter 5- Striking a Bargain 21
  • Chapter 6- Boredom 29
  • Chapter 7- Elective Affinities 37
  • Chapter 8- Minor Events 48
  • Chapter 9- An Evening in the Country 56
  • Chapter 10- A Generous Heart and a Meagre Fortune 64
  • Chapter 11- In the Evening 68
  • Chapter 12- A Journey 73
  • Chapter 13- Openwork Stockings 80
  • Chapter 14- A Pair of English Scissors 85
  • Chapter 15- The Crowing of the Cock 89
  • Chapter 16- The Day After 93
  • Chapter 17- First Deputy 98
  • Chapter 18- A King in Verrières 103
  • Chapter 19- Thinking Brings Suffering 116
  • Chapter 20- Anonymous Letters 125
  • Chapter 21- Dialogue with a Master 129
  • Chapter 22- Modes of Behaviour in 1830 143
  • Chapter 23- The Woes of a Civil Servant 156
  • Chapter 24- A Capital City 170
  • Chapter 25- The Seminary 177
  • Chapter 26- The World or What the Rich Man Lacks 185
  • Chapter 27- First Experience of Life 195
  • Chapter 28- A Procession 199
  • Chapter 29- First Promotion 206
  • Chapter 30- A Man of Ambition 221
  • Book Two 239
  • Chapter 1- Pleasures of the Countryside 239
  • Chapter 2- Entry into Society 250
  • Chapter 3- The First Steps 258
  • Chapter 4- The Hôtel de la Mole 262
  • Chapter 5- Sensitivity and a Great Lady''s Piety 275
  • Chapter 6- A Matter of Accent 278
  • Chapter 7- An Attack of Gout 285
  • Chapter 8- What Decoration Distinguishes a Man? 293
  • Chapter 9- The Ball 303
  • Chapter 10- queen Marguerite 312
  • Chapter II- The Power of a Young Lady 320
  • Chapter 12- Might He Be a Danton? 324
  • Chapter 13- A Plot 330
  • Chapter 14- A Young Lady''s Thoughts 339
  • Chapter 15- Is It a Plot? 345
  • Chapter 16- One O''Clock in the Morning 350
  • Chapter 17- An Old Sword 357
  • Chapter 18- Cruel Moments 362
  • Chapter 19- The Opera Bouffe 368
  • Chapter 20- The Japanese Vase 377
  • Chapter 21- The Secret Memorandum 383
  • Chapter 22- The Discussion 389
  • Chapter 23- The Clergy, Forests and Freedom 397
  • Chapter 24- Strasburg 406
  • Chapter 25- The Ministry of Virtue 413
  • Chapter 26- Propriety in Love 420
  • Chapter 27- The Best Positions in the Church 424
  • Chapter 28- Manon Lescaut 428
  • Chapter 29- Boredom 432
  • Chapter 30- A Box at the Opera Bouffe 436
  • Chapter 31- Frightening Her 441
  • Chapter 32- The Tiger 446
  • Chapter 33- The Infernal Torment of Weakness 451
  • Chapter 34- A Man of Intelligence 457
  • Chapter 35- A Storm 464
  • Chapter 36- Sorry Details 469
  • Chapter 37- A Keep the Tomb of a Friend Sterne 476
  • Chapter 38- A Powerful Man 481
  • Chapter 39- Politicking 488
  • Chapter 40- Tranquility 493
  • Chapter 41- The Trial 497
  • Chapter 42 504
  • Chapter 43 510
  • Chapter 44 515
  • Chapter 45 523
  • Explanatory Notes 530
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