Random Quote #27 topic: zola-dictionary, A Zola Dictionary; the Characters of the Rougon-Macquart Novels of Emile Zola, Patterson, J. G
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AUBRY (SEVERINE), youngest daughter of a gardener in the employment of
Grandmorin. Her mother died when she was in infancy, and she was only
thirteen when she lost her father also. President Grandmorin, who was
her godfather, took charge of her, and brought her up with his daughter
Berthe. The two girls were sent to the same school at Rouen, and spent
their holidays together at Doinville. Ignorant and facile, Severine
yielded to the designs of the old President, who subsequently arranged
a marriage for her with Roubaud, an employee of the Western Railway
Company. For three years the couple lived happily, but a moment of
forgetfulness, a trifling lie which she neglected to sustain, revealed
everything to Roubaud. In an accession of jealous fury he forced his
wife to become his accomplice in the murder of Grandmorin, and it
was she who threw herself across the limbs of the President while her
husband struck the fatal blow. Suspicions fell upon the Roubauds,
and indeed the truth was known to M. Camy-Lamotte, but political
considerations made it desirable that the character of President
Grandmorin should not be publicly discussed, and the inquiry into the
murder was dropped. The domestic relations between the Roubauds were
becoming more and more strained, and Severine became entirely enamoured
of Jacques Lantier. In order to free herself from her husband, she
persuaded Lantier to murder Roubaud and fly with her to America. The
arrangements were completed when Lantier was seized with one of the
homicidal frenzies to which he was subject, and it was Severine herself
who fell under his knife instead of their intended victim. La Bete
Humaine.



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