A good while elapsed before I heard anything more of Armand, but, on the other
hand, I was constantly hearing of Marguerite.
I do not know if you have noticed, if once the name of anybody who might in the
natural course of things have always remained unknown, or at all events
indifferent to you, should he mentioned before you, immediately details begin to
group themselves about the name, and you find all your friends talking to you
about something which they have never mentioned to you before. You discover
that this person was almost touching you and has passed close to you many
times in your life without your noticing it; you find coincidences in the events
which are told you, a real affinity with certain events of your own existence. I was
not absolutely at that point in regard to Marguerite, for I had seen and met her, I
knew her by sight and by reputation; nevertheless, since the moment of the sale,
her name came to my ears so frequently, and, owing to the circumstance that I
have mentioned in the last chapter, that name was associated with so profound a
sorrow, that my curiosity increased in proportion with my astonishment. The
consequence was that whenever I met friends to whom I had never breathed the
name of Marguerite, I always began by saying:
"Did you ever know a certain Marguerite Gautier?"
"The Lady of the Camellias?"
"Oh, very well!"
The word was sometimes accompanied by a smile which could leave no doubt
as to its meaning.
"Well, what sort of a girl was she?"
"A good sort of girl."
"Is that all?"
"Oh, yes; more intelligence and perhaps a little more heart than most."
"Do you know anything particular about her?"
"She ruined Baron de G."
"No more than that?"