Study Guide

The Red and the Black Part 1, Chapter 30

By Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle)

Part 1, Chapter 30

An Ambitious Man

  • Father Pirard travels to Paris to meet with the Marquis de La Mole. He asks Pirard if he'd consider leaving the priesthood to become his personal assistant. The salary is generous, but Pirard declines. He suggests Julien Sorel as an alternative. The marquis agrees.
  • Julien gets the letter asking him to come to Paris immediately. He travels to the bishop's house to say he's leaving. He says goodbye to his friend Fouqé too.
  • Before leaving, he rides back to Verrières and buys a ladder. He brings the ladder back to the de Rênal house and uses it to sneak up into Madame de Rênal's bedroom. She is shocked to see him, but also happy. The two of them spend the night together and he waits a long time before leaving.
  • While they talk, he realizes that the five hundred francs from Paris was not from her.
  • When he finally leaves, some servants hear him and start shooting, thinking he's a burglar. He escapes, though.