Lisette inherited her mother's beauty and her father's patrician elegance. But, in addition, she possessed a most ingenuous mind and personality.
There was nothing in Lisette's childhood to indicate the path she would take in her later life. Her loving parents lavished every affection and gift upon this dear girl, and they employed a diligent and sympathetic governess who never spoke a harsh word to her precious ward, even in the event of misbehavior. By the time she was eighteen, she knew as much about punishment as she did about lovemaking, which is to say, nothing.
However, her destiny was being shaped by the grim fates who measure out and cut the thread of life for all mortals.
Nothing in Lisette Joyaux's early life foretold that she would become handsome, young Jacques Duverneuil's bride and then love-slave. Lisette Joyaux was born in the province of Normandy, in the little resort village of Piemonieux, and there she spent her girlhood.
This simple sentence tells everything and nothing about the naive young beauty. In order to comprehend the remarkable circumstances that occurred in the very first year of that seemingly fortuitous marriage, one must know what preceded it: Without that history, there would be only the most banal of stories to tell.
Lisette was born to affluent parents then in their mid-thirties. Her father, Daniel Joyaux, was a gentleman farmer who was left a considerable estate and fortune by his father, who had been a retired sea captain in the French merchant fleet. Daniel and his blond wife Amalie fell in love during their school days and married early.
But despite their passionate love for one another, fortune did not provide them with a child until after a dozen years of marriage, when they despaired of ever having offspring. One can understand, therefore, how they viewed the lovely Lisette as a gift from above.
Lisette inherited her mother's beauty and her father's patrician elegance. But, in addition, she possessed a most ingenuous mind and personality. And again, we may thank providence for measuring out precisely the ingredients that made Lisette what she was, for if she claimed more beauty or more sophistry, again there would be no story to relate.
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