''[...] He laughed quietly, at an inward vision of Védrine among his enamels and his sculptures, calm, proud, and self-assured, wondering without anger at the non-appearance of the public. But Madame Astier did not laugh. That splendid first floor empty for the last two years! In the Rue Fortuny! A magnificent situation—a house in the style of Louis XII.—a house built by her son! Why, what did people want? The same people, doubtless, who did not go to Védrine. Biting off the thread with which she had been sewing, she said:[...]''.