Reference > The Library > Helen Rex Keller > Reader’s Digest of Books

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
H. R. Keller.  The Reader’s Digest of Books.
Samuel Brohl and Company
Victor Cherbuliez (1829–1899)
Samuel Brohl and Company, a novel, by Victor Cherbuliez (1879). One of the most entertaining productions of a writer who excels in delicate comedy, and has given readers an agreeable change from the typical “French novel”; though it has little substance or thought. The action occurs during the year 1875, in Switzerland and France. Samuel Brohl, a youth of lowest origin, is bought by Princess Gulof, who educates him, and then makes him nominally her secretary. He tires of her jealous tyranny and runs away, assuming the name and history of Count Larinski. Antoinette Moriaz, an heiress of romantic notions, who undervalues the love of honest Camille Langis because “there is no mystery about him,” supposing Samuel to be the Polish hero he impersonates, thinks she has found the man she wants at last. Madame de Lorcy, her godmother and Camille’s aunt, suspects “Count Larinski” of being an adventurer; and is finally helped to prove it by the Princess, Samuel’s former mistress, who recounts to Antoinette how she bought him of his father for a bracelet, which bracelet Samuel has given the girl as a betrothal gift. Disillusionized, she breaks with Samuel, saying pathetically, “The man I loved was he whose history you related to me” (i.e., Count Larinski). Camille visits Samuel to get back Antoinette’s letters and gifts, contemptuously refuses a challenge, and buys the keepsakes for 25,000 francs. The bargain concluded, Samuel theatrically thrusts the bank-notes into a candle flame, and repeats his challenge. In the resulting duel, Camille is left for dead by Samuel, that picturesque scamp fleeing to America. Camille recovers, and eventually his devotion to Antoinette meets its due reward.  1

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