Before the reader – “a recent story, compiled on the basis of genuine letters of its participants.”
Young Edmond R ***, the son of a large-scale well-to-do peasant, is taken to the city and placed as pupils to the artist, Mr. Parangon. The shyness of the young villager is called in the city untidy, his festive peasant clothing is considered unfashionable, “some works” are considered shameful, and the owners never make them themselves, and they force him, because although he is not a servant, but obedient and complaisant, he complains he is in a letter to his elder brother Pierre.
But gradually Edmond gets used to city life. The cousin of the hostess, the charming Mademoiselle Manon, who ruled the house in the absence of Mrs. Parangon, at first
Inconspicuously, Edmond falls in love with Mademoiselle Manon; he dreams of marrying her. His desire coincides with the plans of Mr. Parangon, for Manon is his mistress and expects a child from him. Having married her to a village simpleton, Mr. Parangon expects to continue to use the girl’s disposition. Mr. Gode, with whom Parangon introduces Edmond, is doing everything to speed up the wedding.
Returns Mrs. Parangon; her beauty and charm produce an indelible impression on Edmond.
The sister of Edmond Jursuil comes to town; Mrs. Parangon takes her into custody and interferes with her aunt, the venerable Mrs. Canon. Seeing that Edmond was fascinated by Mademoiselle Manon, Tienetta, on instructions from Mrs. Parangon, reveals to him the secret of this girl’s relationship with Mr. Parangon. “What a nativity of the city!” – Edmond is indignant.
However, his anger passes quickly: he feels that he can not part with a city that both loves and hates. And
Edmond goes to the village to visit his parents. There he casually seduces his cousin Laura. The free-thinker and libertine Godet, who became Edmond’s best friend, advises him to take revenge on Mr. Parangon: be consoled with his wife. But for the time being Edmond reveres before Lady Parangon.
Mrs. Parangon does not object to Edmond having a “reserved love” for her, for she is sure that she will be able to keep him within the proper borders. “Unlimited respect”, which Edmond feeds to the “ideal of beauty” – Mrs. Parangon, gradually turns into love.
Manon has a son, and Mr. Parangon takes him to the village. Edmond admits that he is married to Manon. Mrs. Parangon forgives the cousin and lavishes her caresses and attention, as well as Jursyuli and Tienetge. Manon is imbued with the ideals of virtue and does not want to renew his previous relationship with Mr. Parangon. “True happiness lies only in a pure conscience, in an unblemished heart,” she declares. With the assistance of Ms. Parangon, Tienetta makes peace with her parents and marries Mr. Loiseau. Yursyul together with Mrs. Canon is sent to Paris to improve her upbringing.
Learning that Edmond deceived Laura, Manon wrote an angry letter to Godet, accusing him of “corrupting” Edmond, and dying. Before her death, she conjures her husband to beware of the friendship with Godet and the charm of her cousin, Mrs. Parangon.
Mrs. Parangon goes to Paris – tell Yursyuli about the grief that befell her brother. Edmond is saddened – at first by the death of his wife, then by separation from Mrs. Parangon. Laura is born a child Edmond – daughter Loretta. “What a sweet name is a father, a lucky elder, you’ll wear it without remorse, for me, natural joys, in the very source, are poisoned with crime! ..” Edmond writes enviously to his brother, who married a modest village girl and who is waiting to be added family
Gode enters with Laura into a criminal bond and takes it for maintenance. Using the absence of Mrs. Parangon, he introduces Edmond into the society of girls “free from prejudice” and inspires him with dangerous sophistries that cast him “into the abyss of unbelief and debauchery.” Godet admits that he “seduced Edmond”, but only because he “wished him happiness.” having mastered the lessons of his mentor, Edmond in her letters to Mrs. Parangon dares to open her passion for her. Mrs. Parangon does not like her husband who constantly changes her, she lives her life for a long time, but nevertheless she wants to keep the relationship clean with Edmond: “We’ll expel the brother from our relations everything that looks like lovers’ relationships.” I’m your sister… “She also warns Edmon of the corrupting influence of Godet.
Edmond has a passion for Ms. Parangon. Unhappy woman, whose heart has long been filled with love for a daring villager, tries to resist their mutual attraction. “It’s easier for me to die than to lose respect for you…” she writes to Edmond. Godet cynically advises his ward to master the “charming touchy”: in his opinion, a victory over her will drive out of his heart an absurd reverence for woman’s virtue and drain his “village slobbery”; defeating Mrs. Parangon, he will become “the prettiest moth, fluttering in the colors of love.” And then the burned-out Edmond commits violence against Mrs. Parangon. A few days an unhappy victim is between life and death. When she finally regains consciousness, she irretrievably removes Edmond from herself. At the hour of the day she has a daughter, Edme Colette, born. A letter comes from Mrs. Kanon – Yursyul is kidnapped! She “did not lose her chastity, but she lost her innocence…” Edmond rushes to Paris, causes the Marquess abuser to duel, injures him, but, after satisfying his thirst for revenge, immediately bandages his opponent’s wound. While Edmond is hiding, Mrs. Parangon acts as his intercessor before the marquis’ family. As a result, the old count promises Edmons his patronage, he is received in the light, and the ladies, delighted with his beauty, rush to order his portraits.
Edmond remains in Paris. At first he does not like the city with his vanity, but gradually he gets used to the metropolitan life and begins to find in it an inexplicable charm. Acting on Edmond’s mind, Godet extinguishes his religious feelings. “A natural person knows no other good than his own benefit and safety, he sacrifices everything around him, it is his right, this is the right of all living beings,” Godet instructs his young friend.
Yursyuli has a son, the Marquis wants to legitimize him, marrying her even against the will of the family. Yursyul rejects his proposal, but agrees to give the baby for the parenting of the Marquis. The old count quickly married his son to a wealthy heiress.
The former contenders for Yursyul’s hand refuse it, fearing that her adventure will be publicized. Raging against his sister, Edmond tries to keep her on the path of honesty, but he goes headlong into entertainment, attends the accessible maidens of the lowest poshib. Godet, who has “some kinds” of Edmond, reproaches a friend: “a person who has overcome prejudices” should not lose his head and indulge in meaningless pleasures.
The kidnapper of Jurassulie represents Edmond to his young wife, and she orders him his portrait. Soon they become lovers. Gode endorses this connection: a young aristocrat can be useful for Edmond’s career.
Yursyul falls in love with a certain Laguash, “a man without means and without any merit” and fled with him from home. Having achieved his, the scoundrel immediately throws it. Having tasted the fruits of debauchery, Yursyul agrees to become the custodian of the marquis still in love with her. Moreover, she asks for this consent of his wife and even offers to share with her the money that her lover gives. The perverted Marquise is delighted with the ingenuity and cynicism of the recent village. Instructed by Godet, Yursyul becomes an expensive courtesan and fun for the sake of seducing his own brother. Edmond is shocked.
Yursyul reaches the extreme point of the fall: ruined and disgraced by one of her rejected lovers, she marries a water-carrier. Outraged Edmond kills Laguash – the main, in his opinion, the culprit of the sister’s misfortunes.
Edmond descends: he lives in the attic, visits disgusting dens. In one of these institutions he meets Yursyul. The water-carrier threw it, it finally mired in the lowest debauchery and in addition caught up with the bad disease. On the advice of Godet Edmond puts her in a shelter.
Finally, in a spasmodic manner, Edmond also gets bogged down in low debauchery. With difficulty Gode found him trying to cheer him up. “Take up your art again and renew your connection with Mrs. Parangon,” he advises.
Edmona falls in love with a young courtesan Zephyrus. When she marries the wealthy elder Trismegistus, she hopes to use his fortune for the benefit of her lover. Soon Zephyra informs her husband that she is expecting a child from Edmond; Mr. Trismegistus is ready to recognize the future baby. Touched by Zephyra takes the path of virtue, and although her soul is full of love for Edmond, she remains faithful to her noble spouse. Wishing the blessings of the former lover, she persuades him to connect with his loving Mrs. Parangon, who was recently widowed. Late: Godet finds a wife for Edmond – an abominable but rich old woman, and, having parted with Laura, marries her no less ugly granddaughter. Having married, both women make wills in favor of their husbands.
Mrs. Parangon, having found Yursyul, takes her from the orphanage. Zefira has a son; she meets Mrs. Parangon.
Under the guise of treatment, Godet poisoned his wife and wife Edmond. Accused of the murder, Edmond and Godet resist those who appeared to arrest them; Edmond accidentally wounded Zephyre.
At the trial, Godet, wishing to save a friend, takes all the blame on himself. He is sentenced to death, and Edmond to ten years of hard labor and chopping off his hand.
The widowed Marquis again invites Yursyuli to marry him to legitimize his son. With the approval of Mrs. Parangon, Yursyul accepts the offer. Edmond, who has served his sentence, eludes his friends waiting for him and starts to wander: he visits the graves of his parents, he admires his brother’s children from afar. Seeing Yursyul in the coach of the Marquis, he decides that his sister has again embarked on the path of vice, and stamps it. Learning about his tragic mistake, Edmond comes to despair. There is a rumor that he is no longer alive.
Suddenly, in the church of the village where the brother of Edmond Pierre lives, a picture appears: a man who looks like an ill-fated Edmond, stabs a woman, surprisingly reminiscent of Jursyul. Nearby there are two more women, resembling Zephyra and Mrs. Parangon. “Who could bring this picture, if not the Wicked himself?” inquires Pierre.
The daughter of Mrs. Parangon and the son of Zephyra are married by mutual inclination. Zephyra receives Edmond’s penitential letter: “Blame me, O you all, those who loved me, abhor my feelings!” Despise the shadow of a man who has survived himself, and above all, find out that all the losses recently incurred by him occurred not through his fault, but were the result of his former immorality. ” Repentant Edmond calls to protect children, whose appearance was connected with crime. alas, his warning was belated: two incompetent sons were born from the incestuous relationship between Edme-Colette and Zephyren.
Responding to the call of Mrs. Parangon, the mutilated Edmond is to her former lover, and they, at last, are combined by a legal marriage.
But Edmond’s happiness is short: soon he falls under the wheels of the carriage, in which Yursyuli’s son and his young wife are traveling, and dies in terrible torments. After him, the inconsolable mistress of Parangon dies.
“The crime does not go unpunished.” Manon, as well as Mr. Parangon, were punished with a painful disease, the Gode’s punishment was even more severe, the right hand of God punished Yursyul, the person who loved him most afflicted the man she loved, Edmond himself, rather weak than criminal, received his business; the Marquis and his first wife fell under the blows of the scourge of a fighter angel. “God is just.”
Faced with a deadly disease, Zephyrin dies. Learning that her husband was her brother at the same time, Edme-Colette died, entrusting the children to Uncle Pierre.
Fulfilling the last will of Mrs. Parangon and Zephyra, Pierre builds an exemplary village for descendants of the genus P ***. “Considering how disastrous for morality stay in the city”, the founders of the village forever forbid members of the family R *** to live in the city.