"My father has gone," thought Eugenie, who heard all that took placefrom the head of the stairs. Silence was restored in the house, andthe distant rumbling of the carriage, ceasing by degrees, no longerechoed through the sleeping town. At this moment Eugenie heard in herheart, before the sound caught her ears, a cry which pierced thepartitions and came from her cousin's chamber. A line of light, thinas the blade of a sabre, shone through a chink in the door and fellhorizontally on the balusters of the rotten staircase.。， Both fell asleep in the same dream; and from that moment the youthbegan to wear roses with his mourning. The next day, before breakfast,Madame Grandet found her daughter in the garden in company withCharles. The young man was still sad, as became a poor fellow who,plunged in misfortune, measures the depths of the abyss into which hehas fallen, and sees the terrible burden of his whole future life."My father will not be home till dinner-time," said Eugenie,perceiving the anxious look on her mother's face.
"Yes, but that's not the worst; the newspapers are all talking aboutit. Here, read that."。， "Nothing should be wasted," answered Grandet, rousing himself from hisreverie. He saw a perspective of eight millions in three years, and hewas sailing along that sheet of gold. "Let us go to bed. I will bid mynephew good-night for the rest of you, and see if he will takeanything."
"Ta, ta, ta, ta!" said Grandet; "I know what you want to say. You area good fellow; we will see about it to-morrow, I'm too busy to-day.Wife, give him five francs," he added to Madame Grandet as hedecamped.。， "Then my heart will be always there."
"Never ask such questions, my daughter," said Grandet. "What thedevil! do I tell you my affairs? Why do you poke your nose into yourcousin's? Let the lad alone!"。， Charles was too much a man of the world, his parents had made him toohappy, he had received too much adulation in society, to be possessedof noble sentiments. The grain of gold dropped by his mother into hisheart was beaten thin in the smithy of Parisian society; he had spreadit superficially, and it was worn away by the friction of life.Charles was only twenty-one years old. At that age the freshness ofyouth seems inseparable from candor and sincerity of soul. The voice,the glance, the face itself, seem in harmony with the feelings; andthus it happens that the sternest judge, the most sceptical lawyer,the least complying of usurers, always hesitate to admit decrepitudeof heart or the corruption of worldly calculation while the eyes arestill bathed in purity and no wrinkles seam the brow. Charles, so far,had had no occasion to apply the maxims of Parisian morality; up tothis time he was still endowed with the beauty of inexperience. Andyet, unknown to himself, he had been inoculated with selfishness. Thegerms of Parisian political economy, latent in his heart, wouldassuredly burst forth, sooner or later, whenever the carelessspectator became an actor in the drama of real life.
The carriage drove off. Nanon bolted the great door, let loose thedog, and went off to bed with a bruised shoulder, no one in theneighborhood suspecting either the departure of Grandet or the objectof his journey. The precautions of the old miser and his reticencewere never relaxed. No one had ever seen a penny in that house, filledas it was with gold. Hearing in the morning, through the gossip of theport, that exchange on gold had doubled in price in consequence ofcertain military preparations undertaken at Nantes, and thatspeculators had arrived at Angers to buy coin, the old wine-grower, bythe simple process of borrowing horses from his farmers, seized thechance of selling his gold and of bringing back in the form oftreasury notes the sum he intended to put into the Funds, havingswelled it considerably by the exchange.。， X
。， "In equity, if your brother's notes are negotiated--negotiated, do youclearly understand the term?--negotiated in the market at a reductionof so much per cent in value, and if one of your friends happening tobe present should buy them in, the creditors having sold them of theirown free-will without constraint, the estate of the late Grandet ishonorably released."
， "Eugenie," cried the mother, when Grandet was fairly gone, "I don'tknow which side of the bed your father got out of, but he is good-tempered this morning. Perhaps we shall come out safe after all?""What's happened to the master?" said Nanon, entering her mistress'sroom to light the fire. "First place, he said, 'Good-morning; happyNew Year, you big fool! Go and light my wife's fire, she's cold'; andthen, didn't I feel silly when he held out his hand and gave me a six-franc piece, which isn't worn one bit? Just look at it, madame! Oh,the kind man! He is a good man, that's a fact. There are some peoplewho the older they get the harder they grow; but he,--why he's gettingsoft and improving with time, like your ratafia! He is a good, goodman--"。， "Eugenie, be sure you don't cry," said her mother.