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de Bargeton's servant, and learning the hour, made a hasty toilet and hurried downstairs. Hotel accommodation is a blot on the civilization of Paris; for with all its pretensions to elegance, the city as yet does not boast a single inn where a well-to-do traveler can find the surroundings to which he is accustomed at home.To Lucien's just-awakened, sleep-dimmed eyes, Louise was hardly recognizable in this cheerless, sunless room, with the shabby window-curtains, the comfortless polished floor, the hideous furniture bought second-hand, or much the worse for wear.Lucien, traveling post for the first time in his life, was horrified to see pretty nearly the whole sum on which he meant to live in Paris for a twelvemonth dropped along the road.
The first call that you pay will make it clear to you that I am right; indeed, knowing Paris as I do, I can tell you beforehand that you will no sooner enter the Marquise's salon than you will be in despair lest she should find out that you are staying at the Gaillard-Bois with an apothecary's son, though he may wish to be called M. "You will have rivals here, women far more astute and shrewd than Amelie; they will not fail to discover who you are, where you are, where you come from, and all that you are doing.
You have counted upon your incognito, I see, but you are one of those women for whom an incognito is out of the question. There are the deputies from the Charente coming up for the opening of the session; there is the Commandant in Paris on leave.
The eyes note and compare before the heart has time to revise the swift involuntary judgment; and the contrast between Lucien and Chatelet was so abrupt that it could not fail to strike Louise.
Towards six o'clock that evening, when dinner was over, Mme.
The sleeping damsel was roused, and to her he expressed his wish to speak with her mistress. de Bargeton had scarcely time to dress before he came back again. du Chatelet roused the lady's curiosity, for she had kept her journey a profound secret, as she thought. "I have risked a reprimand from headquarters to follow you," he said, as he greeted her; "I foresaw coming events. "I can see plainly that you love Lucien," he continued, with an air of tender resignation. The fact that your husband has gone to the Escarbas looks like a separation.
But if I lose my post for it, YOU, at any rate, shall not be lost." "What do you mean? "You must love indeed if you can act thus recklessly, and disregard the conventions which you know so well. d'Espard's salon, or any other salon in Paris, will not be closed to you as soon as it is known that you have fled from Angouleme, as it were, with a young man, especially after the duel between M. Under such circumstances a gentleman fights first and afterwards leaves his wife at liberty. de Rubempre your love and your countenance; do just as you please; but you must not live in the same house.The dinner, sent in from a neighboring restaurant, fell far below the provincial average, both in quantity and quality; the essential goodness of country fare was wanting, and in point of quantity the portions were cut with so strict an eye to business that they savored of short commons.In such small matters Paris does not show its best side to travelers of moderate fortune. Some change had come over Louise, he thought, but he could not explain it. Events had occurred while he slept; for reflection is an event in our inner history, and Mme. About two o'clock that afternoon, Sixte du Chatelet made his appearance in the Rue de l'Echelle and asked for Albertine.Be very certain first that he for whom you will have given up so much will always be worthy of your sacrifices and appreciate them. d'Espard is the more prudish and particular because she herself is separated from her husband, nobody knows why.The Navarreins, the Lenoncourts, the Blamont-Chauvrys, and the rest of the relations have all rallied round her; the most strait-laced women are seen at her house, and receive her with respect, and the Marquis d'Espard has been put in the wrong.de Bargeton, standing by the window thinking over the position, chanced to see the elderly dandy drive away.A few moments later Lucien appeared, half awake and hastily dressed." "Allow me to find suitable furnished lodgings for you," suggested Chatelet; "that way of living is less expensive than an inn.You will have a home of your own; and, if you will take my advice, you will sleep in your new rooms this very night." "But how did you know my address? "Your traveling carriage is easily recognized; and, besides, I was following you.Many a woman is so extravagant a worshiper that she must always see the god in her idol; but there are yet others who love a man for his sake and not for their own, and adore his failings with his greater qualities. The travelers were set down before daybreak at the sign of the Gaillard-Bois in the Rue de l'Echelle, both so tired out with the journey that Louise went straight to bed and slept, first bidding Lucien to engage the room immediately overhead.Lucien slept on till four o'clock in the afternoon, when he was awakened by Mme.