Random Quote #58 topic: zola-dictionary, A Zola Dictionary; the Characters of the Rougon-Macquart Novels of Emile Zola, Patterson, J. G

MACQUART (ANTOINE), born 1789, son of Macquart the smuggler and
Adelaide Fouque; was drawn in the conscription in 1809. On his return
to Plassans, he found that his half-brother Pierre had sold the family
property and had appropriated the proceeds. Being a confirmed drunkard,
he was averse from work of any kind, but in order to support himself
he learned the trade of basket-making. In 1826 he married Josephine
Gavaudan, a market-woman, whom he afterwards allowed to support him.
They had three children, Lisa, Gervaise, and Jean. His wife died in
1850, and soon after his daughter Gervaise and his son Jean, who had
assisted to keep him in idleness, ran off. He had a bitter ill-will
towards his brother Pierre Rougon, and, chiefly with a view to his
annoyance, expressed strong Republican principles. For the same reason
he took every opportunity of teaching these principles to his young
nephew Silvere Mouret. After the _Coup d'Etat_ he took an active
share in the agitation which resulted in a Republican rising. When the
Insurgents left Plassans, he remained with a few men to overawe the
inhabitants. He and his whole band were, however, taken prisoners by
the citizens under the leadership of Pierre Rougon. He was assisted to
escape by Madame Felicite Rougon, who promised him a sum of money on
condition that he would bring about an attack on the Town Hall by
the Republicans. He did so the same night, and an ambush having
been prepared by the Rougons, a number of lives were sacrificed. He
thereafter left the country. La Fortune des Rougon.

Some time afterwards he returned to France, and bought a small house
at Les Tulettes, about three leagues from Plassans. He fitted up his
establishment by degrees, and even became possessed of a horse and trap.
Where the money came from no one knew, but it was believed that his
brother Pierre Rougon was keeping him. Notwithstanding this, he had
great ill-will towards the Rougons, and lost no opportunity of annoying
them. Partly with this object, and partly at the instigation of Abbe
Fenil, who wished to be revenged on Abbe Faujas, he contrived the escape
of Francois Mouret from the asylum at Les Tulettes; as result, Mouret
returned to Plassans, and setting fire to his house, caused the death of
Abbe Faujas, himself perishing in the flames. La Conquete de Plassans.

Macquart lived to an old age at Les Tulettes, though he increasingly
gave way to drunkenness. His relations with the Rougons were friendly,
but he was hated by Felicite on account of his knowledge of the origin
of the family fortune. At eighty-four years of age he was still healthy,
but his flesh was so saturated with alcohol that it seemed to be
preserved by it. One day, as he was sitting helpless with drink and
smoking his pipe, he set fire to his clothes, and his body, soaked as
it was with ardent spirits, was burned to the last bone. Felicite Rougon
chanced to enter the house just as the conflagration began, but she
did nothing to stop it, and went silently away. The combustion was so
complete that there was nothing left to bury, and the family had to
content itself with having masses said for the repose of the dead. When
Macquart's will was opened, it was found that he had left all his money
for the erection of a magnificent tomb for himself, with weeping angels
at the head and foot. Le Docteur Pascal.


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