。， They were able to examine Charles at their leisure without fearing todisplease the master of the house. Grandet was absorbed in the longletter which he held in his hand; and to read it he had taken the onlycandle upon the card-table, paying no heed to his guests or theirpleasure. Eugenie, to whom such a type of perfection, whether of dressor of person, was absolutely unknown, thought she beheld in her cousina being descended from seraphic spheres. She inhaled with delight thefragrance wafted from the graceful curls of that brilliant head. Shewould have liked to touch the soft kid of the delicate gloves. Sheenvied Charles his small hands, his complexion, the freshness andrefinement of his features. In short,--if it is possible to sum up theeffect this elegant being produced upon an ignorant young girlperpetually employed in darning stockings or in mending her father'sclothes, and whose life flowed on beneath these unclean rafters,seeing none but occasional passers along the silent street,--thisvision of her cousin roused in her soul an emotion of delicate desirelike that inspired in a young man by the fanciful pictures of womendrawn by Westall for the English "Keepsakes," and that engraved by theFindens with so clever a tool that we fear, as we breathe upon thepaper, that the celestial apparitions may be wafted away. Charles drewfrom his pocket a handkerchief embroidered by the great lady nowtravelling in Scotland. As Eugenie saw this pretty piece of work, donein the vacant hours which were lost to love, she looked at her cousinto see if it were possible that he meant to make use of it. Themanners of the young man, his gestures, the way in which he took uphis eye-glass, his affected superciliousness, his contemptuous glanceat the coffer which had just given so much pleasure to the richheiress, and which he evidently regarded as without value, or even asridiculous,--all these things, which shocked the Cruchots and the desGrassins, pleased Eugenie so deeply that before she slept she dreamedlong dreams of her phoenix cousin.
"I am willing; c-c-comes t-t-to sixty th-th-thousand. Very good,"continued Grandet, without stuttering: "two thousand poplars fortyyears old will only yield me fifty thousand francs. There's a loss. Ihave found that myself," said Grandet, getting on his high horse."Jean, fill up all the holes except those at the bank of the river;there you are to plant the poplars I have bought. Plant 'em there, andthey'll get nourishment from the government," he said, turning toCruchot, and giving a slight motion to the wen on his nose, whichexpressed more than the most ironical of smiles.。， "Don't you ever take walks?"
The most important room on the ground-floor of the house was a largehall, entered directly from beneath the vault of the porte-cochere.Few people know the importance of a hall in the little towns of Anjou,Touraine, and Berry. The hall is at one and the same time antechamber,salon, office, boudoir, and dining-room; it is the theatre of domesticlife, the common living-room. There the barber of the neighborhoodcame, twice a year, to cut Monsieur Grandet's hair; there the farmers,the cure, the under-prefect, and the miller's boy came on business.This room, with two windows looking on the street, was entirely ofwood. Gray panels with ancient mouldings covered the walls from top tobottom; the ceiling showed all its beams, which were likewise paintedgray, while the space between them had been washed over in white, nowyellow with age. An old brass clock, inlaid with arabesques, adornedthe mantel of the ill-cut white stone chimney-piece, above which was agreenish mirror, whose edges, bevelled to show the thickness of theglass, reflected a thread of light the whole length of a gothic framein damascened steel-work. The two copper-gilt candelabra whichdecorated the corners of the chimney-piece served a double purpose: bytaking off the side-branches, each of which held a socket, the mainstem--which was fastened to a pedestal of bluish marble tipped withcopper--made a candlestick for one candle, which was sufficient forordinary occasions. The chairs, antique in shape, were covered withtapestry representing the fables of La Fontaine; it was necessary,however, to know that writer well to guess at the subjects, for thefaded colors and the figures, blurred by much darning, were difficultto distinguish.。， "What is it?" asked Eugenie, putting into her coffee the two littlebits of sugar weighing less than half an ounce which the old miseramused himself by cutting up in his leisure hours. Madame Grandet, whodid not dare to put the question, gazed at her husband.