Study Guide

The Red and the Black Part 1, Chapter 26

By Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle)

Part 1, Chapter 26

The World, or What the Rich Man is Missing

  • When lunchtime comes at the seminary, everyone is curious about Julien. They're impressed that he can already read and speak Latin.
  • Julien doesn't realize that during these days, he receives several letters that Father Pirard throws into a fire because he doesn't like the passion in them. Maybe they're from Madame de Rênal.
  • One day, one of these letters says farewell forever. Again, Julien never receives it.
  • Julien's friend Fouqé bribes his way into the seminary and asks Julien why he never goes out.
  • Julien has meanwhile gotten himself a reputation as a free thinker, which is a horrible thing inside the seminary.
  • Julien finally becomes aware of just how closely people watch one another in adult society. He spends the next few months trying to change his appearance and body language, but he can't stop looking like a freethinker.
  • One day, Father Pirard calls on Julien and confronts him with the card he took from Besançon with the café waitress' name on it. The card also contains instructions about how Julien can secretly meet with this girl.
  • It looks bad, but Julien says he never acted on the card, since it can be proven that he's never left the sight of the seminary priests. Pirard agrees, but still says it was a bad idea to keep this card, since it suggests that Julien still thinks about romantic meetings with girls.