The Honor of the Name HTML version

Chapter 5
The abode of the Baron d'Escorval, that brick structure with stone trimmings which was
visible from the superb avenue leading to Sairmeuse, was small and unpretentious.
Its chief attraction was a pretty lawn that extended to the banks of the Oiselle, and a small
but beautifully shaded park.
It was known as the Chateau d'Escorval, but that appellation was gross flattery. Any petty
manufacturer who had amassed a small fortune would have desired a larger, handsomer,
and more imposing establishment.
M. d'Escorval--and it will be an eternal honor to him in history--was not rich.
Although he had been intrusted with several of those missions from which generals and
diplomats often return laden with millions, M. d'Escorval's worldly possessions consisted
only of the little patrimony bequeathed him by his father: a property which yielded an
income of from twenty to twenty-five thousand francs a year.
This modest dwelling, situated about a mile from Sairmeuse, represented the savings of
ten years.
He had built it in 1806, from a plan drawn by his own hand; and it was the dearest spot
on earth to him.
He always hastened to this retreat when his work allowed him a few days of rest.
But this time he had not come to Escorval of his own free will.
He had been compelled to leave Paris by the proscribed list of the 24th of July--that fatal
list which summoned the enthusiastic Labedoyere and the honest and virtuous Drouot
before a court-martial.
And even in this solitude, M. d'Escorval's situation was not without danger.
He was one of those who, some days before the disaster of Waterloo, had strongly urged
the Emperor to order the execution of Fouche, the former minister of police.
Now, Fouche knew this counsel; and he was powerful.
"Take care!" M. d'Escorval's friends wrote him from Paris.
But he put his trust in Providence, and faced the future, threatening though it was, with
the unalterable serenity of a pure conscience.