Part I, Chapters 1-4
• Eduard, a wealthy baron, is introduced. He and his gardener discuss the improvements to Eduard's property.
• Charlotte, Eduard's wife, is introduced.
• Eduard tells his wife of his concerns for his friend, the Captain, who is recently unemployed. Eduard describes the Captain.
• Eduard proposes the Captain come to stay in his and Charlotte's household.
• Charlotte relates her and Eduard's history together and makes gentle protestations of all the sacrifices she has made for the sake of meeting Eduard's wishes in all things.
• Charlotte expresses her aversion for Eduard's proposal of bringing the Captain to live with them.
• Eduard's character and history are further examined, with the material point being that he tends to get whatever he wants.
• Charlotte confesses to Eduard that she too wants another person to come live with them: her niece Ottilie.
• Charlotte describes how her daughter Luciane responds to the...
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