Random Quote #49 topic: zola-dictionary, A Zola Dictionary; the Characters of the Rougon-Macquart Novels of Emile Zola, Patterson, J. G

ORVIEDO (PRINCESS D'), was for a time one of the most curious
notabilities of the Second Empire. At the command of her mother, the
Duchesse de Combeville, she married the Prince in ignorance of the
source of his regal fortune, estimated at three hundred millions of
francs (twelve millions sterling). It was said that for twenty years
the Prince had appropriated the lion's share of every great piece of
financial rascality on the Bourses of France and Spain. After his sudden
death from a stroke of apoplexy, the Princess shut up the great house
in the Rue Saint-Lazare and retired with a maid to three rooms on the
second floor, where she lived the life of a recluse. From thenceforth
she lived solely for deeds of charity on a colossal scale. During five
years she founded the St. Mary's Infant Asylum, the St. Joseph's Orphan
Asylum, an Asylum for the aged at Chatillon, a hospital in the suburbs
of Paris, and an institution known as _L'Oeuvre du Travail_, in which
were boarded three hundred waifs and strays from the streets of Paris.
On these foundations, and on other charities, she spent in five years
over a hundred millions of francs. For some time Saccard assisted her
in a disinterested way in carrying out her schemes, and later he rented
from her the premises in which he started the Universal Bank. As time
went on, the Princess seemed to be swayed more and more by the desire
of restitution to the poor of the uttermost remnants of her husband's
fortune. In the end, when she had divided it all, she retired to a
convent of Carmelites, walled off from the world. L'Argent.


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