A landmark within the improvement of mental realism, Stendhal's masterpiece chronicles a tender man's struggles with the dualities of his nature. Julien Sorel, a tender dreamer from the provinces whose mind's eye is afire with Napoleonic beliefs, units off to make his fortune in Parisian society of recovery France. His encounters and reports alongside the best way incite consistent internal clash, drawing him from side to side among sincerity and hypocrisy, idealism and cynicism, humility and satisfaction, love and ambition.
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Did you wish to ﬁnd a needle, you had a longer voyage of discovery to make than Columbus himself. A piece of unentangled thread was out of the question. There were so many pieces of fashionable work, begun but never completed, lying higgledy-piggledy in that same workbox, that it might fairly be called the burialplace of fancy works cut off in their infancy. Let it not be supposed, however, that fancy alone was allowed to preside there. More than once, in the prying days of our youth, we have beheld, peeping out from under the lid, the toe end of a half-darned stocking, agreeably diversiﬁed with the unﬁnished fringe of an unwashed night-cap.
When she had got through a page to her no small satisfaction, she paused suddenly, and addressed us as follows:—“Now, Mr. P——, I’ve got you, and you shan’t escape. Don’t you remember that you promised to write down for me, in this album, one of your poetical effusions? Sit down, there’s a good man. Here’s the pen and everything. ” Thus were we, half ravenous with hunger, forced to sit down and write for one mortal hour with no redress, half of which time the literary young lady was looking over our shoulder to see how we got on, and the other half translating a French divine into her best English, and a square red book.
Brown sitting opposite one another at each side of the ﬁre. Here an unphilosophical intellect would jump at once to the conclusion that the report of their engagement is correct. I trust that your mind is too logical to be so hasty. At a single glance, like a great general, you mark their position, particularly observing whether the chairs 36 The Young Lady who is Engaged appear to have been hurriedly separated at your approach. These observations I shall suppose you to make while walking from the door up to the ﬁre-place.