Madame des Grassins, mother of a son twenty-three years of age, cameassiduously to play cards with Madame Grandet, hoping to marry herdear Adolphe to Mademoiselle Eugenie. Monsieur des Grassins, thebanker, vigorously promoted the schemes of his wife by means of secretservices constantly rendered to the old miser, and always arrived intime upon the field of battle. The three des Grassins likewise hadtheir adherents, their cousins, their faithful allies. On the Cruchotside the abbe, the Talleyrand of the family, well backed-up by hisbrother the notary, sharply contested every inch of ground with hisfemale adversary, and tried to obtain the rich heiress for his nephewthe president.。，
。， /Frippe/ is a word of the local lexicon of Anjou, and means anyaccompaniment of bread, from butter which is spread upon it, thecommonest kind of /frippe/, to peach preserve, the most distinguishedof all the /frippes/; those who in their childhood have licked the/frippe/ and left the bread, will comprehend the meaning of Nanon'sspeech.
。， In order that he might make a becoming first appearance before hisuncle either at Saumur or at Froidfond, he had put on his most eleganttravelling attire, simple yet exquisite,--"adorable," to use the wordwhich in those days summed up the special perfections of a man or athing. At Tours a hairdresser had re-curled his beautiful chestnutlocks; there he changed his linen and put on a black satin cravat,which, combined with a round shirt-collar, framed his fair and smilingcountenance agreeably. A travelling great-coat, only half buttoned up,nipped in his waist and disclosed a cashmere waistcoat crossed infront, beneath which was another waistcoat of white material. Hiswatch, negligently slipped into a pocket, was fastened by a short goldchain to a buttonhole. His gray trousers, buttoned up at the sides,were set off at the seams with patterns of black silk embroidery. Hegracefully twirled a cane, whose chased gold knob did not mar thefreshness of his gray gloves. And to complete all, his cap was inexcellent taste. None but a Parisian, and a Parisian of the upperspheres, could thus array himself without appearing ridiculous; noneother could give the harmony of self-conceit to all these fopperies,which were carried off, however, with a dashing air,--the air of ayoung man who has fine pistols, a sure aim, and Annette.
In 1816 the best reckoners in Saumur estimated the landed property ofthe worthy man at nearly four millions; but as, on an average, he hadmade yearly, from 1793 to 1817, a hundred thousand francs out of thatproperty, it was fair to presume that he possessed in actual money asum nearly equal to the value of his estate. So that when, after agame of boston or an evening discussion on the matter of vines, thetalk fell upon Monsieur Grandet, knowing people said: "Le PereGrandet? le Pere Grandet must have at least five or six millions.""You are cleverer than I am; I have never been able to find out theamount," answered Monsieur Cruchot or Monsieur des Grassins, wheneither chanced to overhear the remark.。， Grandet looked at his daughter and exclaimed gaily,--