Vautrin

Vautrin

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Vautrin by Honoré de Balzac

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Vautrin

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Book Excerpt

like him! I am sure he is beloved. Do not contradict me, dear aunt; Fernand still lives; if not, then the duke has broken faith, and I know he values too highly the virtues of his race to disgrace them.

Mademoiselle de Vaudrey But are not honor and a husband's vengeance dearer to him than his faith as a gentleman?

The Duchess Ah! You make me shudder.

Mademoiselle de Vaudrey You know very well, Louise, that pride of race is hereditary with the Montsorels, as it is with the Montemarts.

The Duchess I know it too well! The doubt cast upon his child's legitimacy has almost crazed him.

Mademoiselle de Vaudrey You are wrong there. The duke has a warm heart, and a cool head; in all matters that concern the sentiments on which they live, men of that temper act promptly in carrying out their ideas.

The Duchess But, dear aunt, do you know at what price he has granted me the life of Fernand? Haven't I paid dearly for the assurance that his days were not to be shortened? If I had

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