Study Guide

The Red and the Black Part 2, Chapter 7

By Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle)

Part 2, Chapter 7

An Attack of Gout

  • The Marquis de La Mole tells Julien to go buy a new blue suit to wear around the house. It's only when he's wearing this suit that the marquis is able to treat him as an equal. When he's wearing his priest's black robes, the Marquis can't help but feel like they're different.
  • The marquis is confined to his bed by an attack of gout. Julien visits him and entertains him with the story of how he came to fight a duel in Paris.
  • The marquis gives Julien more and more responsibilities. He soon finds out that his financial advisors have been swindling him and hiding money from him. The marquis gives Julien the generous sum of 3,000 francs for helping him.
  • When the marquis tries to give Julien another gift, Julien declines. This impresses the marquis.
  • The marquis sends Julien to do some business in England. While there, Julien makes friends with a Russian nobleman named Prince Korasoff.
  • Julien wants to meet some famous English philosopher, but then finds out that the guy is in jail for speaking his mind.
  • When he gets back to France, the marquis scolds him for some political remarks he made to some foreign diplomats. Julien says that it wouldn't be good enough to make boring chitchat with these people. He had to say something substantial.
  • The marquis gives Julien a special medal to wear around his neck whenever he's acting as the youngest son of the marquis' friend. When he's not wearing it, he'll just be the marquis' secretary.
  • That'll help the marquis decide how to behave toward him. But to be sure, he wants Julien to know that this doesn't make him a nobleman. It's all just temporary.
  • Monsieur Valenod from Verrières visits the de La Mole house as the newly elected mayor of his town. It looks like he beat out Monsieur de Rênal for the job.
  • As a joke, Julien recommends a local imbecile for a posting in Verrières. The marquis agrees that it would be a good joke and gives the man the position.
  • Only later does Julien realize that he has kept a good, honorable man from getting the position. He feels guilty for toying with people's futures.