“The History of Chevalier de Grieux and Manon Lescaut” Prevost in summary

The story takes place in the era of the Regency, when the mores of French society were extremely free. With the cheerful and frivolous regent Philippe of Orleans in France, immediately began the reaction to the “lean” spirit that reigned under the elderly king. French society sighed more freely and gave vent to the thirst for life, fun, pleasure. In his work, the abbot of Prevost treats the theme of fatal, all-consuming love.

At the behest of the writer, the story is written in the name of the Chevalier de Grieux. At the age of seventeen, the young man finishes the course of the philosophical sciences in Amiens. Thanks to his origin, brilliant abilities and attractive appearance, he has people with him and acquires in the seminary a true devoted friend – Tiberge, who is several years older than our hero. Originating from a poor family, Tiberzh is forced to take a priesthood and stay in Amiens to study the theological sciences. De Grieux, however, having passed

the exams with distinction, was going to return to his father to continue his studies at the Academy. But fate decreed otherwise. On the eve of parting with the city and farewell to a friend, the young man meets on the street a beautiful stranger and starts a conversation with her. It turns out that the girl’s parents decided to give her to the monastery in order to curb her penchant for pleasures, so she is looking for a way to regain her freedom and will be grateful to someone who will help her in this. De Grieux is defeated by the charm of a stranger and readily offers his services. After some reflection, young people find no other way but to flee. The plan is simple: they have to deceive the vigilance of the escort, who is supervising Manon Lescaut, and go straight to Paris, where, at the request of both lovers, a wedding will immediately take place. Tiberge, dedicated to the mystery of a friend, does not approve of his intentions and tries to stop de Grier, but it’s too late: the young man is in love and ready for the most decisive actions. Early in the morning he takes the carriage to the hotel where
Manon stopped, and the fugitives leave the city. The desire to be married was forgotten in Saint-Denis, where the lovers transgressed the laws of the church and became spouses, not hesitating at all.

In Paris, our heroes rent furnished rooms, de Grieux, full of passion, and to think about how sad his father is at his absence. But one day, after returning home earlier than usual, de Grieux learns about the treason of Manon. A well-known farmer, M. de B.., who lived in the neighborhood, is probably not the first time that he has visited a girl in his absence. The shocked young man, having just come to himself, hears a knock at the door, opens and falls into the arms of his father’s lackeys, who are ordered to take the prodigal son home. In the carriage the poor fellow is lost in conjecture: who betrayed him, from where did his father know the place of his stay? At home, his father tells him that M. de B.., having tied a close acquaintance with Manon and finding out who her lover is, decides to get rid of the rival and in a letter to her father informs about the lazy way of life of the young man, making it clear that steep measures are necessary. Thus, Mr. B… He gives de Grieu’s father a treacherous and self-serving service. The Cavalier de Grieux faints from what he has heard, and when he wakes up, he begs his father to let him go to Paris to his beloved, since it can not be that Manon has betrayed him and gave his heart to another. But the whole six months the young man has to spend under the strict supervision of the servants, the father, seeing the son in unceasing anguish, supplies him with books that a little help to calm the rebellious soul. All the feelings of a lover are reduced to the alternation of hatred and love, hope and despair – depending on how the image of the lover is drawn to him. One day Tiberezh visits a friend, cleverly flatter his good nature and inclines to the idea of ​​giving up worldly delights and taking tonsure. Friends go to Paris, and de Grieu begins to study theology. He shows extraordinary zeal, and soon he is already congratulated on his future dignity. In Paris, our hero spent about a year, not trying to find anything about Manon; it was difficult at first, but the constant support of Tiberge and his own thoughts contributed to the victory over himself. The last months of schooling proceeded so calmly that it seemed a little more – and this captivating and insidious creature will forever be forgotten. But after the exam at the Sorbonne, “greeted with glory and showered with congratulations,” de Grier unexpectedly visits Manon. The girl was eighteen, she became even more dazzling in her beauty. She begs to forgive her and return her love, without which life is meaningless. Touching repentance and vows of loyalty softened the heart of de Grieux, immediately forgot about his life plans, the desire for fame, wealth – in short, about all the blessings worthy of contempt,

Our hero again follows Manon, and now the haven of lovers is Chaillot, a village near Paris. For two years of communication with B… Manon managed to draw out of him about sixty thousand francs, which young people intend to live comfortably for several years. This is the only source of their existence, since the girl is not from a noble family and she can not expect any more money from anywhere, de Gris does not hope for the support of his father, because he can not forgive him for his relationship with Manon. The trouble comes suddenly: the house burned down in Chaillot, and during the fire the chest with money disappeared. Poverty is the lesser of the trials awaiting de Grieux. Manon can not be expected to be in trouble: she is too fond of luxury and pleasure to sacrifice them. Therefore, in order not to lose his beloved, he decides to hide from her the loss of money and take them for the first time from Tiberge.

Manon introduces the lover to his brother, who serves in the King’s guard, and Mr. Lesco persuades de Grieux to try his luck at the gambling table, promising, on his part, to teach him all the necessary tricks and tricks. With all aversion to deception, the cruel necessity compels the young man to agree. An exceptional dexterity so quickly increased his fortune that a month or two later in Paris a furnished house was taken and a carefree, lush life began. Tiberezh, constantly visiting a friend, tries to reason with him and warn against new misfortunes, as he is sure that dishonestly acquired wealth will soon disappear without a trace. The fears of Tiberzh were not in vain. The servants, from whom the incomes did not hide, took advantage of the credulity of the owners and robbed them. The ruin leads the lovers into despair, but even more horror inspires de Grieux offer of brother Manon. He talks about Mr. de G… M.., an old sweetheart who pays for his pleasures, sparing no money, and Lesko advises his sister to apply to him for maintenance. But the cunning Manon comes up with a more interesting enrichment option. Old red tape invites the girl to dinner, at which she promises to give her half of the annual maintenance. The charming woman asks if she can bring her younger brother to dinner, and, after receiving consent, rejoices. As soon as at the end of the evening, having already transferred money, the old man started talking about his love impatience, the girl with the “brother” blew away like a wind. Mr. de G… M… realized that he had been fooled, and had secured the arrest of both scammers. De Grieux ended up in the prison of Saint-Lazare, where he suffers terribly from humiliation; the young man has not been able to think about anything for a whole week, except for his dishonor and disgrace, which he brought upon the whole family. The absence of Manon, the anxiety about her fate, the fear of never seeing her again was the main subject of the sad contemplation of the prisoner. When de Grieux finds out that his beloved is in the Shelter, he becomes enraged and decides to escape from prison. With the assistance of Mr. Lesko, our hero is at liberty and begins to seek ways to liberate his beloved. Pretending to be a foreigner, he asked the gatekeeper of the Shelter about the order there, and also asked to characterize the authorities. Learning that the chief has an adult son, de Grieux meets with him and, hoping for his support, tells straight through the whole history of his relationship with Manon. Mr. de T… is touched by the frankness and sincerity of a stranger, but the only thing he can do for him, – it’s fun to see a girl; all the rest is not in his power. The joy of meeting lovers who experienced a three-month separation, their endless tenderness to each other touched the servant of the Shelter, and he wished to help the unfortunate. After consulting with de T. about the details of the escape, de Grieux releases the next day Manon, and the shelter guard remains with him in the servants.

The same night, brother Manon dies. He robbed one of his friends at the card table, and he asked to lend him half the amount lost. The quarrel on this matter passed into a most violent quarrel and subsequently into murder. Young people arrive in Chaillot. De Grieux is concerned about finding a way out of lack of money, and before Manon he pretends that he is not constrained by means. The young man arrives in Paris and once again asks for money from Tiberge, And, of course, receives them. From a devoted friend, de Grieux went to Mr. T., who was very happy to see the guest and told him the continuation of the story of the kidnapping of Manon. Everyone was amazed to learn that such a beautiful woman decided to flee with a servant minister. But what you will not do for the sake of freedom! So de Grier is beyond suspicion and he has nothing to fear. Mr. de T., having learned the place of stay of lovers, often visits them,

Once in Shayo young GM comes, the son of the worst enemy, that old libertine who imprisoned our heroes. M. de T. assured de Grieux, who was already seized by the sword, that this is a very sweet, noble youth. But later, Grieu is convinced of the opposite. GM Jr. falls in love with Manon and invites her to quit her lover and live with him in luxury and contentment. The son is superior to his father’s generosity, and, not being able to withstand the temptation, Manon surrenders and moves to live with GM De T., shocked by the perfidy of his friend, advises de Grier to take revenge on him. Our hero asks the Guards to arrest GM on the street in the evening and hold him until the morning, while in the meantime he surrenders to the joys of Manon in the liberated bed. But the footman, who accompanied GM, informs the old man GM about what happened. He immediately turns to the police, and lovers again find themselves in prison. Father de Grieu is seeking the release of his son, and Manon expects either life imprisonment, or exile to America. De Grieux begs his father to do something to mitigate the sentence, but receives a strong refusal. The youth does not care where to live, if only to Manon, and he goes with the exiles to New Orleans. Life in the colony is wretched, but our heroes only find peace of mind here and turn their thoughts to religion. Deciding to marry, they admit to the governor that they deceived everyone before, appearing as spouses. To this the governor replies that the girl should marry his nephew, who has long been in love with her. De Grier injures his opponent in a duel and, fearing revenge of the governor, flees the city. Manon follows him. On the way the girl falls ill. Rapid breathing, convulsions, pallor-all indicated that the end of her suffering was approaching.

For three months the young man was bedridden with a serious illness, his dislike for life did not weaken, he constantly called for death. But still the healing has come. In New Orleans appears Tiberge. A faithful friend takes de Grier to France, where he finds out about the death of his father. The expected meeting with his brother completes the narrative.

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“The History of Chevalier de Grieux and Manon Lescaut” Prevost in summary