Duc Georges de Maufrigneuse, a young man of eighteen, handsome as
Antinous, poor as Job, who was expected to obtain great successes, and
for whom his mother desired, above all things, to find a rich wife.
Perhaps this hope was the secret of the intimacy she still kept up
with the marquise, in whose salon, which was one of the first in
Paris, she might eventually be able to choose among many heiresses for
Georges' wife. The princess saw five years between the present moment
and her son's marriage,--five solitary and desolate years; for, in
order to obtain such a marriage for her son, she knew that her own
conduct must be marked in the corner with discretion.
The princess lived in the rue de Miromesnil, in a small house, of
which she occupied the ground-floor at a moderate rent. There she made
the most of the relics of her past magnificence. The elegance of the
great lady was still redolent about her. She was still surrounded by
beautiful things which recalled her former existence. On her chimney-