ORVIEDO (PRINCESS D’), was for a time one of the most curious notabilities of the Second Empire. At the command of her mother, the Duchesse de Combeville, she married the Prince in ignorance of the source of his regal fortune, estimated at three hundred millions of francs (twelve millions sterling). It was said that for twenty years the Prince had appropriated the lion’s share of every great piece of financial rascality on the Bourses of France and Spain. After his sudden death from a stroke of apoplexy, the Princess shut up the great house in the Rue Saint-Lazare and retired with a maid to three rooms on the second floor, where she lived the life of a recluse. From thenceforth she lived solely for deeds of charity on a colossal scale. During five years she founded the St. Mary’s Infant Asylum, the St. Joseph’s Orphan Asylum, an Asylum for the aged at Chatillon, a hospital in the suburbs of Paris, and an institution known as L’Oeuvre du Travail, in which were boarded three hundred waifs and strays from the streets of Paris. On these foundations, and on other charities, she spent in five years over a hundred millions of francs. For some time Saccard assisted her in a disinterested way in carrying out her schemes, and later he rented from her the premises in which he started the Universal Bank. As time went on, the Princess seemed to be swayed more and more by the desire of restitution to the poor of the uttermost remnants of her husband’s fortune. In the end, when she had divided it all, she retired to a convent of Carmelites, walled off from the world. L’Argent.
OZIL, a pointsman at the junction for Dieppe, between the tunnel and the station of Malaunay. He was in love with Flore, who for a time seemed to encourage him. He was dismissed from his post on account of grave negligence caused by Flore, who distracted his attention in order that he might allow the Havre express to dash into a train loaded with ballast. The accident was only averted by a new automatic signalling apparatus. La Bete Humaine.
PACHE, a soldier in the 106th regiment of the line, in the squad of Corporal Jean Macquart. He brought from his native village strong religious principles, and was in the regular habit of saying his prayers outside his tent. The example of his companions, however, made him a bad soldier, and during the battle of 1st September, 1870, he left the ranks, and took refuge in a tavern. After the capitulation of Sedan, he was imprisoned along with his regiment on the promontory of Iges. Moved by famine, he concealed some bread from his companions; but having been denounced by Chouteau, he refused to share the spoil, and was murdered by Lapoulle, who stabbed him with a knife. La Debacle.
PAILLOT, a farmer in the neighbourhood of Montsou. Germinal.
PALETTE (LA MERE), a poultry-seller at the Central Markets in Paris. Le Ventre de Paris.