I. Under the city elms
Abbot Lanten, the rector of the theological seminary in the city of ***, wrote to Monsignor Cardinal Archbishop a letter in which he bitterly complained to the abbot Gitrel, the teacher of spiritual eloquence. Through the aforementioned Gitrel, which disgraces the good name of the clergyman, Mrs. Worms-Clavlen, the wife of the prefect, acquired vestments, which she kept for three hundred years in the sacristy of the church of the Luzans, and let loose on the upholstery of the furniture, from which it can be seen that the teacher of eloquence does not differ either in the severity of morals or in perseverance beliefs. Meanwhile, the abbot Lanten knew that this unworthy shepherd was going to claim the episcopal rank and the empty Turku chair at that moment. Needless to say, the rector of the seminary – ascetic, ascetic, theologian and the best preacher of the diocese – himself would not refuse to take on his shoulders the burden of heavy episcopal duties.
Abbot Gitrel really did see the Prefect of Worms-Clavlen and his wife, whose main sin was that they were Jews and Masons. A friendly relationship with a representative of the clergy flattered the Jewish official. For all his humility, the abbot was on his mind and knew the value of his reverence. She was not so great – the episcopal order.
In the city there was a party that openly called the abbot Lantenya a shepherd worthy of occupying an empty Turkuite pulpit. Since the city *** had the honor of giving Bishop Turkuen, the believers agreed to part with the rector for the benefit of the diocese and the Christian homeland. The problem was only a stubborn general, Cartier de Chalmo, who did not want to write to the minister of cults, with whom he was on good terms, and put in a word for the challenger. The general agreed that the abbot Lanten was an excellent shepherd, and if he were a military man, a fine soldier would come out of him, but the old soldier never asked the government for anything and now he was not going to ask. So the poor abbot, devoid of fanning, like all fanatics, had no choice but to indulge in pious meditation and pour out bile and vinegar in conversations with Mr. Berger, teacher of the philological faculty. They understood each other perfectly, for though Mr. Berger did not believe in God, he was a clever and disappointed person in life. Deceived in his ambitious hopes, bound himself by marriage with a real meager, unable to become pleasant to his fellow citizens, he found pleasure in the fact that he was gradually trying to become unpleasant for them.
Abbot Gitrel – obedient and respectful child of his Holiness the pope – did not lose time and unobtrusively brought to the attention of Prefect Worms-Clavlen that his rival Abbe Lanten is disrespectful not only in relation to his spiritual superiors, but even in relation to the prefect himself, whom he can not forgive neither belonging to the Freemasons, nor of Jewish origin. Of course, he repented of what he had done, which, however, did not stop him thinking about the next wise moves and promising to himself that, as soon as he got the title of prince of the church, he would become irreconcilable with secular power, Freemasons, principles of free thinking, republic and revolution. – The struggle around the Turku department was very serious. Eighteen applicants sought episcopal vestments; the president and the pontifical nuncio had their own candidates, the bishop of the city had his own. Abbot Lanten managed to get the support of General Cartier de Chalmo, who enjoys great respect in Paris. So the abbot of Gitrel, behind whose back is only the Jewish prefect, has lagged behind in this race.
II. Willow Mannequin
Mr. Berger was not happy. He had no honorary titles and was unpopular in the city. Of course, as a true scholar our philologist despised honors, but still felt that it was much more beautiful to despise them when they had you. Mr. Bergeret dreamed of living in Paris, meeting with the metropolitan academic elite, arguing With her, publishing in the same journals and surpassing all, for he was aware that he was intelligent. But he was unrecognized, poor, his wife was poisoned by his wife, who believed that her husband was a brainy and insignificant person whose presence she had to endure. Berger was a “Aeneid”, but he was never in Italy, he devoted his life to philology, but he had no money for books, and his office, already small and uncomfortable, shared with the willow dummy the wife on which she tried on her skirts.
Dejected by the unattractiveness of his life, Mr. Berger was indulging in the sweet dreams of a villa on the shore of a blue lake, of a white terrace where one could plunge into a serene conversation with selected colleagues and disciples among the myrtle streamers that streamed the divine fragrance. But on the first day of the new year, fate struck a humble Latinist with a crushing blow. Returning home, he found his wife with his beloved disciple, Mr. Roux. The unequivocal nature of their posture meant that Mr. Berger grew horns. At the first moment, the newly minted cuckold felt that he was ready to kill the wicked adulterers at the scene of the crime. But considerations of a religious and moral order superseded the instinctive vampirism, and disgust with a powerful wave flooded the flame of his anger. Mr. Bergere silently left the room. From this moment, Mrs. Bergere was plunged into the infernal abyss, unfolded under the roof of her house. A deceived husband does not flock to kill an unfaithful spouse. He just fell silent. He deprived Ms. Berger of the pleasure of seeing her faithful rampaging, demanding explanations, proceeding with bile… After in the deathly silence the iron bed of the Latinist was placed in the... office, Mrs. Bergere realized that her life as a sovereign landlady of the house was over, for the husband has excluded the fallen spouse from the external and internal world. Just canceled. A mute testimony to the coup was the new maid who was brought to the house by Mr. Berger: a village cattlemaid, who knew how to cook only a broth with bacon, who understood only the common language that drank vodka and even alcohol. A new servant entered the house like death. The unfortunate Mrs. Berger did not bear silence and loneliness. The apartment seemed to her a crypt, and she fled from it to the salons of urban gossips, where she sighed heavily and complained about her tyrant husband. Eventually the local society became firmly convinced that Mrs. Bergere is a poor thing, and her husband is a despot and a debaucher who keeps the family hunger for the sake of satisfying their dubious whims. But at home there was a dead silence, a cold bed and an idiot maid…
And Mrs. Bergere could not resist: she bowed her proud head of the representative of the glorious family of Pouilly and went to her husband to put up. But Mr. Berger was silent. Then, driven to desperation, Mrs. Bergere announced that she was taking her youngest daughter with her and leaving the house. Hearing these words, Mr. Berger realized that his wise calculation and perseverance had achieved the desired freedom. He did not say anything, only bent his head in agreement.
III. Amethyst Ring
Ms. Berger, as she said, and did – left the family hearth. And she would have left a good memory in the city if she had not compromised herself on the eve of her departure with an ill-considered act. Having come with a farewell visit to Ms. Lakarel, she found herself alone in the living room with the owner of the house, who used the reputation of a merry fellow, a warrior and a keen kisser in the city. To maintain his reputation at the proper level, he kissed all the women, girls and girls who met him, but did it innocently, for he was a moral person. This is exactly how Mr. Lacarel kissed Mrs. Ferrer, who took a kiss for her declaration of love and passionately responded to him. It was at this very moment that Madame Lacarel came into the living room.
Mr. Berger did not know sadness, for he was finally free. He was absorbed in the arrangement of a new apartment to his liking. The terrifying maid servant received a calculation, and her place was taken by the virtuous Mrs. Bournish. She led the creature to the Latinist’s house, who became his best friend. One morning, Mrs. Bournish put the owner of a puppy of uncertain breed at the feet. While Mr. Bergere climbed on a chair to reach for the book from the top shelf of the rack, the doggie settled comfortably in the chair. Mr. Berger fell from a stiffened chair, and the dog, despising the peace and comfort of the chair, rushed to save him from a terrible danger and, in solace, lick in the nose. So the Latinist acquired a loyal friend. To top it all off, Mr. Berger got the coveted place of an ordinary professor. The joy was clouded only by the cries of the crowd under his windows, which, knowing that a professor of Roman law sympathizes with a Jew, condemned by a military tribunal, demanded the blood of a venerable latinist. But soon he was spared from provincial ignorance and fanaticism, for he received a course not anywhere but at the Sorbonne.
While the Berger family was developing the events described above, the abbot Gitrell did not lose time. He took a very active part in the fate of the chapel of the Belfi Mother of God, which, according to the abbot, was miraculous, and earned the respect and favor of the Duke and the Duchess of Brese. Thus, the teacher of the seminary became necessary to Ernst Bonmon, the son of the Baroness de Bonmont, who with all his heart strove to be received at the house de Brese, but his Jewish origin prevented this. Persistent young man entered with an ingenious abbot deal: Bishopric in exchange for the family of de Bres.
So the clever abbot Gitrell became Monsignor Gitrel, Bishop of Tourcoeur. But the most striking thing is that he kept his word given to himself at the very beginning of the struggle for episcopal vestments, and blessed the congregation of his diocese, who refused to pay exorbitant taxes imposed on them by the government, on resistance to the authorities.
IV. Mr. Berger in Paris
Mr. Berger arrived in Paris with his sister Zoe and daughter Polina. He received a chair at the Sorbonne, his article in defense of Dreyfus was published in Figaro, among honest people of his quarter he earned the fame of a man who broke away from his brotherhood and did not go after the defenders of the sword and the sprinkler. Mr. Bergereau hated falsifiers, which, it seemed to him, was permissible for a philologist. For this innocent weakness the newspaper of the Rights immediately declared him a German Jew and an enemy of the fatherland. Mr. Berger was philosophical about this insult, for he knew that these miserable people had no future. With all his being this modest and honest man longed for change. He dreamed of a new society in which everyone would receive the full price for their work. But, as a true sage, Mr. Bergere understood that he would not be able to see the kingdom of the future, since all changes in the social system, like in the system of nature, are slow and almost imperceptible. Therefore, a person should work on creating the future in the same way that carpenters work on trellises – without looking. And his only instrument is a word and a thought, unarmed and naked.