The Wandering Jew — Volume 08 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 101 pages of information about The Wandering Jew Volume 08.
his defeat gayly enough.  Thus, to give an idea of the differences of the count and Adrienne, before, as he would say laughingly, he had made himself her accomplice, he had always opposed (from other motives than those alleged by Madame de Saint-Dizier) Adrienne’s wish to live alone and in her own way; whilst Rodin, on the contrary, by investing the young girl’s resolve on this subject with an ideal grandeur of intention, had acquired a species of influence over her.  M. de Montbron, now upwards of sixty years of age, had been a most prominent character during the Directory, Consulate, and the Empire.  His prodigal style of living, his wit, his gayety, his duels, his amours, and his losses at play, had given him a leading influence in the best society of his day; while his character, his kind-heartedness, and liberality, secured him the lasting friendship of nearly all his female friends.  At the time we now present him to the reader, he was still a great gambler; and, moreover, a very lucky gambler.  He had, as we have stated, a very lordly style; his manners were decided, but polished and lively; his habits were such as belong to the higher classes of society, though he could be excessively sharp towards people whom he did not like.  He was tall and thin, and his slim figure gave him an almost youthful appearance; his forehead was high, and a little bald; his hair was gray and short, his countenance long, his nose aquiline, his eyes blue and piercing, and his teeth white, and still very good.

“The Count de Montbron,” said Georgette, opening the door.  The count entered, and hastened to kiss Adrienne’s hand, with a sort of paternal familiarity.

“Come!” said M. de Montbron to himself; “let us try to discover the truth I am in search of, that we may escape a great misfortune.”

CHAPTER VIII.

The confession.

Mdlle. de Cardoville, not wishing to betray the cause of the violent feelings which agitated her, received M. de Montbron with a feigned and forced gayety.  On the other hand, notwithstanding his tact and knowledge of the world, the count was much embarrassed how to enter upon the subject on which he wished to confer with Adrienne, and he resolved to feel his way, before seriously commencing the conversation.  After looking at the young lady for some seconds, M. de Montbron shook his head, and said, with a sigh of regret:  “My dear child, I am not pleased.”

“Some affair of the heart, or of hearts, my dear count?” returned Adrienne, smiling.

“Of the heart,” said M. de Montbron.

“What! you, so great a player, think more of a woman’s whim than a throw of the dice?”

“I have a heavy heart, and you are the cause of it, my dear child.”

“M. de Montbron, you will make me very proud,” said Adrienne, with a smile.

“You would be wrong, for I tell you plainly, my trouble is caused by your neglect of your beauty.  Yes, your countenance is pale, dejected, sorrowful; you have been low-spirited for the last few days; you have something on your mind, I am sure of it.”

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The Wandering Jew — Volume 08 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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