La Maréchale d’Aubemer, Nouvelle du XVIIIème Siècle, or The Widow of Field Marshal d’Aubemer: A Novella of the 18th Century, posthumously published in 1867, is a novel by the author and memoirist Madame de Boigne, born Adélaïde d’Osmond (1781-1866). Mine is the first English translation, available here for the first time anywhere.
In Chapter 15, the final chapter, the Maréchale pays a significant visit to her notary.
THE WIDOW OF FIELD MARSHAL D’AUBEMER: A NOVELLA OF THE 18TH CENTURY
An Old-Fashioned Notary
A week of waiting had crept by when Mme d’Aubemer addressed a banal question to a new arrival in the drawing room: “What news?”
“One talks of nothing but Henri d’Estouteville’s wedding.”
“Really!” said the Maréchale, smilingly. “That seems premature to me.”
“Not so much, if it’s to be next week. In any case, you are better informed than I, since I see that you are in the know. Nonetheless, when I was congratulating the Marquis, he told me that they’re leaving on Thursday for Caen, where the wedding will take place. I haven’t seen Henri.”
The Maréchale had difficulty disguising her confusion; a few moments later the post brought a letter from Gudule. After announcing her satisfaction at finding her grandfather out of danger, she recounted the strange note she had received on the day of her departure from Magnanville, and admitted to no longer being able to bear the uncertainty into which it had plunged her. She enjoined her aunt to shine a light on this cause of her unhappiness and to put an end to the thousand and one conjectures that were running through her mind one after another and that had almost rendered her mad. Monday was drawing to a close. Offering some unforeseen business as a pretext, the Maréchale was on the road to Paris the next morning, quite determined to obtain some clarification. As chance would have it, she met M Chevreux1 as she was arriving. She had him summoned. He had hardly entered her sitting room when she said, “Tell me, I beg you, what you know of Henri d’Estouteville’s supposed wedding!”