The cure went away; Mademoiselle Grandet went up to her father'ssecret room and spent the day there alone, without coming down todinner, in spite of Nanon's entreaties. She appeared in the evening atthe hour when the usual company began to arrive. Never was the oldhall so full as on this occasion. The news of Charles's return and hisfoolish treachery had spread through the whole town. But howeverwatchful the curiosity of the visitors might be, it was leftunsatisfied. Eugenie, who expected scrutiny, allowed none of the cruelemotions that wrung her soul to appear on the calm surface of herface. She was able to show a smiling front in answer to all who triedto testify their interest by mournful looks or melancholy speeches.She hid her misery behind a veil of courtesy. Towards nine o'clock thegames ended and the players left the tables, paying their losses anddiscussing points of the game as they joined the rest of the company.At the moment when the whole party rose to take leave, an unexpectedand striking event occurred, which resounded through the length andbreadth of Saumur, from thence through the arrondissement, and even tothe four surrounding prefectures.。，
God thus flung piles of gold upon this prisoner to whom gold was amatter of indifference, who longed for heaven, who lived, pious andgood, in holy thoughts, succoring the unfortunate in secret, and neverwearying of such deeds. Madame de Bonfons became a widow at thirty-six. She is still beautiful, but with the beauty of a woman who isnearly forty years of age. Her face is white and placid and calm; hervoice gentle and self-possessed; her manners are simple. She has thenoblest qualities of sorrow, the saintliness of one who has neversoiled her soul by contact with the world; but she has also the rigidbearing of an old maid and the petty habits inseparable from thenarrow round of provincial life. In spite of her vast wealth, shelives as the poor Eugenie Grandet once lived. The fire is neverlighted on her hearth until the day when her father allowed it to belighted in the hall, and it is put out in conformity with the ruleswhich governed her youthful years. She dresses as her mother dressed.The house in Saumur, without sun, without warmth, always in shadow,melancholy, is an image of her life. She carefully accumulates herincome, and might seem parsimonious did she not disarm criticism by anoble employment of her wealth. Pious and charitable institutions, ahospital for old age, Christian schools for children, a public libraryrichly endowed, bear testimony against the charge of avarice whichsome persons lay at her door. The churches of Saumur owe much of theirembellishment to her. Madame de Bonfons (sometimes ironically spokenof as mademoiselle) inspires for the most part reverential respect:and yet that noble heart, beating only with tenderest emotions, hasbeen, from first to last, subjected to the calculations of humanselfishness; money has cast its frigid influence upon that hallowedlife and taught distrust of feelings to a woman who is all feeling."I have none but you to love me," she says to Nanon.。， "A month!" thought Eugenie, her hand falling to her side. After apause she resumed the letter,--
He came at last to a decision, and returned to Saumur in time fordinner, resolved to unbend to Eugenie, and pet and coax her, that hemight die regally, holding the reins of his millions in his own handsso long as the breath was in his body. At the moment when the old man,who chanced to have his pass-key in his pocket, opened the door andclimbed with a stealthy step up the stairway to go into his wife'sroom, Eugenie had brought the beautiful dressing-case from the oakcabinet and placed it on her mother's bed. Mother and daughter, inGrandet's absence, allowed themselves the pleasure of looking for alikeness to Charles in the portrait of his mother.。， "How is Madame Grandet?"
"Hold your tongue, Cruchot! It's settled, all settled," cried Grandet,taking his daughter's hand and striking it with his own. "Eugenie, youwon't go back on your word?--you are an honest girl, hein?""Oh! father!--"。，
She then read the whole letter, which was as follows:。， "Well, my dear friend," said Madame d'Aubrion, entering the roomwithout noticing the president, "don't pay any attention to what poorMonsieur d'Aubrion has just said to you; the Duchesse de Chaulieu hasturned his head. I repeat, nothing shall interfere with themarriage--"
There Eugenie paused, and coldly returned the letter without finishingit.。， simple happiness of which you have shown me so sweet an image?"Tan, ta, ta--tan, ta, ti," sang Charles Grandet to the air of /Nonpiu andrai/, as he signed himself,--
"Ah, yes, indeed, my poor child!" said Madame des Grassins."What do you mean?" asked Eugenie and the cure together.。， "Cruchot, are you quite sure of what you are saying before you tell itto a mere child?"
， "Oh! it is too cold; let us have breakfast," answered Eugenie."Well, after breakfast, then; it will help the digestion. That fatdes Grassins sent me the pate. Eat as much as you like, my children,it costs nothing. Des Grassins is getting along very well. I amsatisfied with him. The old fish is doing Charles a good service, andgratis too. He is making a very good settlement of that poor deceasedGrandet's business. Hoo! hoo!" he muttered, with his mouth full, aftera pause, "how good it is! Eat some, wife; that will feed you for atleast two days."。， She then read the whole letter, which was as follows: