Random Quote #53 topic: zola-dictionary, A Zola Dictionary; the Characters of the Rougon-Macquart Novels of Emile Zola, Patterson, J. G

MOURET (SERGE), born 1841, son of Francois Mouret. La Fortune des

He was a young man of nervous temperament and of somewhat delicate
health. Educated at Plassans, he took his degree at the college there,
and it was intended that he should go to Paris to study for the bar. The
state of his health caused his departure to be delayed, and meantime he,
like his mother, fell under the influence of Abbe Faujas. Ultimately he
decided to abandon the study of the law in order to become a priest, and
against the wishes of his father he entered the Seminary at Plassans. La
Conquete de Plassans.

After being ordained to the priesthood he was appointed cure of Les
Artaud, a small village in Provence, to whose degenerate inhabitants
he ministered with small success. From his parents he had inherited
the family taint of the Rougon-Macquarts, which in him took the form of
morbid religious enthusiasm bordering on hysteria. Brain fever resulted,
and bodily recovery left the priest without a mental past. Dr. Pascal
Rougon, his uncle, in the hope of saving his reason, removed him to
Paradou, the neglected demesne of a ruined mansion, where he left him in
the care of Albine, the keeper's niece. Here Serge slowly recovered
his health, though the memory of his past was gone, and his mental
development was that of a boy. In that enchanted garden, lush with
foliage and with the scent of flowers, the drama of life unfolded, and
Serge, loving Albine, and oblivious of his vows unwittingly broke them.
A chance meeting with Brother Archangais, and a glimpse of the
world outside the Paradou, recalled to Serge the recollection of his
priesthood, and, filled with horror, he tore himself from Albine and
returned to his cure of souls. A fierce struggle between love and duty
followed, but in the end the Church conquered, and Albine was left to
die, while Serge threw himself even more feverishly than before into the
observances of his faith. La Faute de l'Abbe Mouret.

Sent later to Saint-Eutrope, at the bottom of a marshy gorge, he was
cloistered there with his sister Desiree. He showed a fine humility,
refusing all preferment from his bishop, waiting for death like a holy
man, averse to remedies, although he was already in the early stage of
phthisis. Le Docteur Pascal.


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