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Thus, though his manners were unctuous and soft outwardly, MonsieurGrandet's nature was of iron. His dress never varied; and those whosaw him to-day saw him such as he had been since 1791. His stout shoeswere tied with leathern thongs; he wore, in all weathers, thickwoollen stockings, short breeches of coarse maroon cloth with silverbuckles, a velvet waistcoat, in alternate stripes of yellow and puce,buttoned squarely, a large maroon coat with wide flaps, a blackcravat, and a quaker's hat. His gloves, thick as those of a gendarme,lasted him twenty months; to preserve them, he always laid themmethodically on the brim of his hat in one particular spot. Saumurknew nothing further about this personage. name brand wigs

Only six individuals had a right of entrance to Monsieur Grandet'shouse. The most important of the first three was a nephew of MonsieurCruchot. Since his appointment as president of the Civil courts ofSaumur this young man had added the name of Bonfons to that ofCruchot. He now signed himself C. de Bonfons. Any litigant so ill-advised as to call him Monsieur Cruchot would soon be made to feel hisfolly in court. The magistrate protected those who called him Monsieurle president, but he favored with gracious smiles those who addressedhim as Monsieur de Bonfons. Monsieur le president was thirty-threeyears old, and possessed the estate of Bonfons (Boni Fontis), worthseven thousand francs a year; he expected to inherit the property ofhis uncle the notary and that of another uncle, the Abbe Cruchot, adignitary of the chapter of Saint-Martin de Tours, both of whom werethought to be very rich. These three Cruchots, backed by a goodlynumber of cousins, and allied to twenty families in the town, formed aparty, like the Medici in Florence; like the Medici, the Cruchots hadtheir Pazzi. ebony wigs

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Madame des Grassins, mother of a son twenty-three years of age, cameassiduously to play cards with Madame Grandet, hoping to marry herdear Adolphe to Mademoiselle Eugenie. Monsieur des Grassins, thebanker, vigorously promoted the schemes of his wife by means of secretservices constantly rendered to the old miser, and always arrived intime upon the field of battle. The three des Grassins likewise hadtheir adherents, their cousins, their faithful allies. On the Cruchotside the abbe, the Talleyrand of the family, well backed-up by hisbrother the notary, sharply contested every inch of ground with hisfemale adversary, and tried to obtain the rich heiress for his nephewthe president.

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This secret warfare between the Cruchots and des Grassins, the prizethereof being the hand in marriage of Eugenie Grandet, kept thevarious social circles of Saumur in violent agitation. WouldMademoiselle Grandet marry Monsieur le president or Monsieur Adolphedes Grassins? To this problem some replied that Monsieur Grandet wouldnever give his daughter to the one or to the other. The old cooper,eaten up with ambition, was looking, they said, for a peer of France,to whom an income of three hundred thousand francs would make all thepast, present, and future casks of the Grandets acceptable. Othersreplied that Monsieur and Madame des Grassins were nobles, andexceedingly rich; that Adolphe was a personable young fellow; and thatunless the old man had a nephew of the pope at his beck and call, sucha suitable alliance ought to satisfy a man who came from nothing,,aman whom Saumur remembered with an adze in his hand, and who had,moreover, worn the /bonnet rouge/. Certain wise heads called attentionto the fact that Monsieur Cruchot de Bonfons had the right of entry tothe house at all times, whereas his rival was received only onSundays. Others, however, maintained that Madame des Grassins was moreintimate with the women of the house of Grandet than the Cruchotswere, and could put into their minds certain ideas which would lead,sooner or later, to success. To this the former retorted that the AbbeCruchot was the most insinuating man in the world: pit a woman againsta monk, and the struggle was even. "It is diamond cut diamond," said aSaumur wit. wigs with headbands

The oldest inhabitants, wiser than their fellows, declared that theGrandets knew better than to let the property go out of the family,and that Mademoiselle Eugenie Grandet of Saumur would be married tothe son of Monsieur Grandet of Paris, a wealthy wholesale win

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