Samuel Brohl and Company eBook

Victor Cherbuliez
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 267 pages of information about Samuel Brohl and Company.

Mme. de Lorcy was a woman of about fifty years of age, who still possessed remains of beauty.  She had been a widow for long years, and never had thought of marrying again.  Although her wedded life had been a happy one, she considered that liberty is to be prized above all else; she employed hers in a most irreproachable manner.  She was self-possessed, even better acquainted with numbers than with dress, and managed her property herself, which was by no means a trifling thing to do.  Liking to make good use of her time, she thought to do it by busying herself in the affairs of others.  She had a real vocation for the profession of a consulting lawyer.  Usually her advice was sensible and judicious—­nothing better could be done than to follow it; only her clients complained that she pronounced her sentences with too little tenderness, without granting any appeal.  She was good, charitable, but lacked unction, and she had no sympathy with the illusions of others.  A German poet, in making his New-Year offerings, wishes that the rich may be kind-hearted, that the poor may have bread, that the ladies may have pretty dresses, that the men may have patience, that the foolish may get a little reason, and that sensible people may grow poetic.  Mme. de Lorcy was kind-hearted, she had pretty dresses and a great deal of reason; but her reason was wanting in poetry, and poetic people to whom she gave advice required a good deal of patience to listen to the end.  Those who permitted themselves to despise her counsel, and who were happy after their own fashion, incurred her lasting displeasure.  She obstinately asserted to them that their seeming happiness was all a deceit; that they had fastened a stone about their necks; and that, without appearing to do so, at the bottom of their hearts they bitterly repented.  She added, “It is not my fault; I told you, but you would not believe me.”

Mme. de Lorcy had an almost maternal affection for her nephew, M. Camille Langis.  Confident that he could not be otherwise than successful in a love-affair, she promised him that he should marry Mlle. Moriaz.  To be sure, he was rather young; but she had decided that the question of age made no difference, and that in all else there was a perfect fitness between the parties.  M. Langis hesitated a long time about declaring himself.  He said to Mme. de Lorcy:  “If she refuse me, I shall no longer be able to see her; and so long as I can see her, I am only half-wretched.”  It was Mme. de Lorcy who forced him to draw his sword and open the campaign, in which she was to act as second.  This campaign had not been a successful one.  Deeply wounded at the refusal, which she had in vain attempted to prevent, she was ready to force Mlle. Moriaz into compliance.  They made her believe, to pacify her, that the sentence was not definite, or at least that a period of grace would be granted to the condemned.  M. Langis set out for Hungary, and he had now returned.  In the mean time, Antoinette had refused two offers.  Mme. de Lorcy had inferred this to be a favourable omen for her projects.  Thus she felt annoyance mingled with anger on receiving the following letter from M. Moriaz: 

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Samuel Brohl and Company from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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