Study Guide

The Red and the Black Part 2, Chapter 25

By Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle)

Part 2, Chapter 25

The Mistress of Virtue

  • Julien gets back to Paris and tells the Marquis de La Mole all about his meeting with the duke. The marquis seems really agitated by what he hears, but Julien couldn't care less. He's more interested in fulfilling his plot to get Mathilde to love him again.
  • Julien then visits Count Altamira, whose friend used to flirt with the woman whom Julien is going to court (to make Mathilde jealous). The woman's name is Madame de Fervaques, and Julien needs to inside scoop if he's going to win her over.
  • Julien goes to dinner with the de La Moles for the evening. Later that night, Madame de Fervaques enters the house for a visit. He makes sure to sit near her. He finds out that she plans on going to the opera that night, so he finds a way of getting a box at the show near hers.
  • Seeing Julien happy that night, Mathilde wonders again whether she really loves him. Basically, she loves him whenever he proves he can be happy without her. Go figure.
  • She expects Julien to come pleading to her, but he never pays her any attention.
  • As we learn, it takes every ounce of strength in Julien's body to keep him from breaking down and blubbering in front of Mathilde about how much he misses her.