"Here," said Grandet to Nanon, seeing that she looked quite pale, "asit is Eugenie's birthday, and you came near falling, take a littleglass of ratafia to set you right."。， "Child!" said Madame Grandet, looking at her daughter.
Now if you wish to understand the mutual amazement of the provincialparty and the young Parisian; if you would clearly see the brilliancewhich the traveller's elegance cast among the gray shadows of the roomand upon the faces of this family group,--endeavor to picture to yourminds the Cruchots. All three took snuff, and had long ceased torepress the habit of snivelling or to remove the brown blotches whichstrewed the frills of their dingy shirts and the yellowing creases oftheir crumpled collars. Their flabby cravats were twisted into ropesas soon as they wound them about their throats. The enormous quantityof linen which allowed these people to have their clothing washed onlyonce in six months, and to keep it during that time in the depths oftheir closets, also enabled time to lay its grimy and decaying stainsupon it. There was perfect unison of ill-grace and senility aboutthem; their faces, as faded as their threadbare coats, as creased astheir trousers, were worn-out, shrivelled-up, and puckered. As for theothers, the general negligence of their dress, which was incompleteand wanting in freshness,--like the toilet of all country places,where insensibly people cease to dress for others and come to thinkseriously of the price of a pair of gloves,--was in keeping with thenegligence of the Cruchots. A horror of fashion was the only point onwhich the Grassinists and the Cruchotines agreed.。， "If no one stops them, they will pillage Saumur for you, nephew. Whenyou have finished, we will go into the garden; I have something totell you which can't be sweetened."
。， "Monsieur has come from the capital?" asked Madame des Grassins.Monsieur Charles,--such was the name of the son of Monsieur Grandet ofParis,--hearing himself addressed, took a little eye-glass, suspendedby a chain from his neck, applied it to his right eye to examine whatwas on the table, and also the persons sitting round it. He ogledMadame des Grassins with much impertinence, and said to her, after hehad observed all he wished,--
"Nanon," he said, going into the passage, "put out that fire and thatcandle, and come and sit with us. Pardieu! the hall is big enough forall."。， "Surely his nephew ought not to go without a glass of /eau sucree/?Besides, he will not notice it."
。， This nervous excitement in a nature hitherto, to all appearance, calmand cold, reacted on Madame Grandet; she looked at her daughter withthe sympathetic intuition with which mothers are gifted for theobjects of their tenderness, and guessed all. In truth the life of theHungarian sisters, bound together by a freak of nature, could scarcelyhave been more intimate than that of Eugenie and her mother,--alwaystogether in the embrasure of that window, and sleeping together in thesame atmosphere.
"Can I help you?" cried Nanon, hearing him hammer on the stairs."No, no! I'm an old hand at it," answered the former cooper.At the moment when Grandet was mending his worm-eaten staircase andwhistling with all his might, in remembrance of the days of his youth,the three Cruchots knocked at the door.。， "Will you do me the honor to take my arm, madame?" said the abbe."Thank you, monsieur l'abbe, but I have my son," she answered dryly."Ladies cannot compromise themselves with me," said the abbe."Take Monsieur Cruchot's arm," said her husband.