Auguste Saint-Claire was not very pleased in the “big world”, and the reason for this was that he himself liked the one who liked him most. That’s why he always went to meet one, but he tried to avoid the other. Pride and pride were the chief of his qualities. Although, for the sake of justice, we note that respect for someone else’s opinion was common for Saint Clair. Everything that was recognized as weakness, he learned to hide carefully. Light recognized him, as a narcissist indifferent and unresponsive. He did not believe in friendship. At the same time, Saint-Claire himself was pleasant in communication, and did not let his companion get bored, and his own shortcomings harmed him alone.
Another advantage of Saint-Clair could be considered his attentiveness to women, in general, he generally preferred to talk with beautiful ladies, rather than with men. The subject of Saint-Cleyar’s passion, and it was generally known, was the Countess Matilda
de Courcy – a pretty young widow. His visits to this lady were distinguished by a rare constancy.
One day the girl went to take medicinal water and our hero did not hesitate to go after him.
After another meeting, Saint-Claire was especially happy. He frankly and truly rejoiced that de Courcy had chosen him, and truly admired her.
The same evening, he went to a meeting of bachelors, among whom was the acquaintance of Alfonso de Themin. In the conversation young people were solving an important issue for people in the situation: how to achieve the love of a pretty woman. In their endeavors to bring out a comprehensive formula, they are trying to identify those moments that allow to be liked and to achieve all. Saint-Claire narrates his point of view on this matter.
Temin notices that the main thing is appearance and taste in clothes. Citing an example, he recalls the Countess de Courcy, which was once bewitched by a certain gentleman named Masigny. This gentleman, as he said, was a complete fool, but he was able to captivate the smartest of women. Continuing, he notices that it is the pleasant
appearance that is the main and decisive trump card.
Saint-Claire could not hide the fury, especially recalled the gift of this Masigny, which de Courcy so carefully kept. Every evening, when the beautiful countess was splitting out the boutonniere, she invariably put it in this vase.
At this time, from Theodore Neville arrives. The conversation is interrupted, and the newcomer talks about the customs of this country. Saint-Claire goes to himself and is very much going through the facts that have become known to him. Onr reasoned that the countess, the one he so deified, is in fact an ordinary woman, the same as many others, and therefore his thoughts that he loved this perfection for life, were a mere delusion. He is suffering for a long time, but still, goes on a date.
This time the woman is very affectionate and tries in every possible way to please her chosen one. Among other things, she gave Saint-Clair a watch with her own image. St. Clair melts and again believes that we love and are desired.
The morning comes and there is no trace of his joy. He sees the ill-fated vase and realizes that this gift is dear to his lover. Even the portrait on the watch that she gave – this is the work of the artist, whom this same Masigny introduced to her.
Saint-Claire begins to doubt the decision to marry a girl when she is out of mourning. With these thoughts, he wanders thoughtfully along the street and meets de Themina. Annoyed Saint-Clair himself starts a quarrel with an empty seat. Themin does not stand up and causes our hero to duel.
The evening comes and St. Clair tries to look cheerful, which causes suspicions of the Countess.
He starts a conversation that solves the question of who more often becomes a victim of deception in feelings – a woman or a man. The woman suddenly begins to talk about her joke over Masigny, who was deeply in love with her. Like that, he sent her his confession of love, and in the evening she asked her cousin to read it aloud, only without names. Everyone laughed at the style, only Masini himself was beaten. At this time, Saint Clair realizes that he was deceived: the countess never loved Masini. He confesses to the woman in everything, and they are again happy. The countess even breaks this ill-fated vase.
The next day comes and St. Clair dies in a duel, killed by the Dark One.
For three years the countess does not want to see anyone and does not come out. Her cousin returns, which takes her to the island. However, de Courcy can no longer live and after three months she dies.