。， "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.
"Are your vintages all finished?" said Monsieur de Bonfons to Grandet."Yes, all of them," said the old man, rising to walk up and down theroom, his chest swelling with pride as he said the words, "all ofthem." Through the door of the passage which led to the kitchen he sawla Grande Nanon sitting beside her fire with a candle and preparing tospin there, so as not to intrude among the guests.。，
Monsieur Grandet thus obtained that modern title of nobility which ourmania for equality can never rub out. He became the most imposingpersonage in the arrondissement. He worked a hundred acres ofvineyard, which in fruitful years yielded seven or eight hundredhogsheads of wine. He owned thirteen farms, an old abbey, whosewindows and arches he had walled up for the sake of economy,--ameasure which preserved them,--also a hundred and twenty-seven acresof meadow-land, where three thousand poplars, planted in 1793, grewand flourished; and finally, the house in which he lived. Such was hisvisible estate; as to his other property, only two persons could giveeven a vague guess at its value: one was Monsieur Cruchot, a notaryemployed in the usurious investments of Monsieur Grandet; the otherwas Monsieur des Grassins, the richest banker in Saumur, in whoseprofits Grandet had a certain covenanted and secret share.Although old Cruchot and Monsieur des Grassins were both gifted withthe deep discretion which wealth and trust beget in the provinces,they publicly testified so much respect to Monsieur Grandet thatobservers estimated the amount of his property by the obsequiousattention which they bestowed upon him. In all Saumur there was no onenot persuaded that Monsieur Grandet had a private treasure, somehiding-place full of louis, where he nightly took ineffable delight ingazing upon great masses of gold. Avaricious people gathered proof ofthis when they looked at the eyes of the good man, to which the yellowmetal seemed to have conveyed its tints. The glance of a manaccustomed to draw enormous interest from his capital acquires, likethat of the libertine, the gambler, or the sycophant, certainindefinable habits,--furtive, eager, mysterious movements, which neverescape the notice of his co-religionists. This secret language is in acertain way the freemasonry of the passions. Monsieur Grandet inspiredthe respectful esteem due to one who owed no man anything, who,skilful cooper and experienced wine-grower that he was, guessed withthe precision of an astronomer whether he ought to manufacture athousand puncheons for his vintage, or only five hundred, who neverfailed in any speculation, and always had casks for sale when caskswere worth more than the commodity that filled them, who could storehis whole vintage in his cellars and bide his time to put thepuncheons on the market at two hundred francs, when the littleproprietors had been forced to sell theirs for five louis. His famousvintage of 1811, judiciously stored and slowly disposed of, broughthim in more than two hundred and forty thousand francs.。， "Perhaps you made the cousin notice it?"
The notary, sitting in his corner, looked calmly at the abbe, sayingto himself: "The des Grassins may do what they like; my property andmy brother's and that of my nephew amount in all to eleven hundredthousand francs. The des Grassins, at the most, have not half that;besides, they have a daughter. They may give what presents they like;heiress and presents too will be ours one of these days."At half-past eight in the evening the two card-tables were set out.Madame des Grassins succeeded in putting her son beside Eugenie. Theactors in this scene, so full of interest, commonplace as it seems,were provided with bits of pasteboard striped in many colors andnumbered, and with counters of blue glass, and they appeared to belistening to the jokes of the notary, who never drew a number withoutmaking a remark, while in fact they were all thinking of MonsieurGrandet's millions. The old cooper, with inward self-conceit, wascontemplating the pink feathers and the fresh toilet of Madame desGrassins, the martial head of the banker, the faces of Adolphe, thepresident, the abbe, and the notary, saying to himself:--"They are all after my money. Hey! neither the one nor the other shallhave my daughter; but they are useful--useful as harpoons to fishwith."。， "That's true," said Grandet, "but your loaves weigh six pounds;there'll be some left. Besides, these young fellows from Paris don'teat bread, you'll see."
After ordering the meals for the day with his usual parsimony, thegoodman, having locked the closets containing the supplies, was aboutto go towards the fruit-garden, when Nanon stopped him to say,--"Monsieur, give me a little flour and some butter, and I'll make a/galette/ for the young ones."。， May your name, that of one whose portrait is the noblest ornament