The plot is as ingenious as it is extraordinary; the characters stand out vividly, and the style is masterfully terse and direct. The scene is set in the heart of the Carpathians, with Transylvania on one side, Wallachia on the other. Translated by R. Nisbet Bain.
"Really? Well, I hope you will enjoy yourself!"
The lady quitted him with a shrug. She knew that from that moment she would inherit a million less than her elder brother; but nevertheless she went to the theatre regularly every day, and never stirred from her box so long as there was any one on the stage who had a word to say.
The Lapussa family was of too recent an origin for the great world to take much notice of it, and the fame of its fabulous wealth went hand in hand with the rumour of a sordid avarice which was not a recommendable quality in the eyes of the true gentry. The Lapussas were, in fact, not of gentle blood at all, but simply rich. Madame Langai's elder brother, John, was notoriously the greatest bore in the town, whom nobody, from the members of his own family down to his coffee-house acquaintances, could endure for a moment. Only his father made much of him. For all his great wealth, he was very stingy and greedy; he even lent money at usury to his best friends. O