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First great adventure

22 juin 2020


In the flow of this new world for Julien, he thought he discovered an honest man; he was a surveyor, his name was Gros, and he passed for Jacobin. Julian, having vowed never to say anything that seemed false to himself, was forced to stick to his suspicion of Mr. Gros. He received from Vergy large packages of themes. He was advised to see his father often, he complied with this sad necessity. In a word, he was repairing his reputation quite well, when one morning he was quite surprised to wake up with two hands closing his eyes.

Hence the success of the small farmer Julien. She found sweet pleasures, all shining with the charm of novelty, in the sympathy of this noble and proud soul. Madame de RĂȘnal soon forgave her extreme ignorance, which was one more grace, and the harshness of her ways, which she managed to correct. She found it worth listening to her, even when talking about the most common things, even when it was about a poor dog crushed, as he was crossing the street, by the cart of a trotting peasant. The sight of this pain gave her husband a big laugh as she watched Julien's beautifully arched black eyebrows twitch. Generosity, nobility of soul, humanity seemed to her little by little to exist only in this young abbot. She had for him alone all the sympathy and even admiration that these virtues excite in well-born souls.

A water saw consists of a shed on the bank of a stream. The roof is supported by a framework that bears on four large wooden pillars. At an elevation of eight or ten feet, in the middle of the shed, a saw can be seen going up and down, while a very simple mechanism pushes a piece of wood against it. A wheel set in motion by the stream drives this double mechanism; the saw that goes up and down, and the one that gently pushes the piece of wood towards the saw, which cuts it into boards.

The tax collector, the man of indirect taxation, the gendarmerie officer and two or three other public officials arrived with their wives. They were followed by a few rich liberals. Dinner was announced. Julian, already very ill-disposed, came to think that, on the other side of the dining room wall, there were poor prisoners, on whose meat portion they had perhaps scratched to buy all the tasteless luxury they wanted to stun him.

But the lady at the counter had noticed the charming figure of this young country bourgeois, who, stopped three steps from the stove, with his small package under his arm, gazed at the bust of the king, made of beautiful white plaster. This young lady, a great Franc-Comtoise, very well made, and put as it is necessary to make a point of a coffee, had already said twice, in a small voice that tried to be heard only from Julien: Monsieur! Monsieur! Julien met big blue eyes, very tender, and saw that it was him we were talking to.

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