Summary (Masterplots: Revised Category Edition, European Fiction Series)
Juan Guillen was a highwayman of Villanueva. When Vicenta, his youngest daughter, was ruined, she went away to Valencia, where she married Antonio Fort, a grocer. Francisco, Juan’s eldest son, became a priest and changed his name to Fray Jose de Calasanz de Villanueva. Juan Fort, son of Vicenta, became a priest and was called Father Vicente de Valencia. He later became Cardinal Fort. Isabel, Vicenta’s daughter, married a soldier, Carlos Moncada. Isabel and Carlos became the parents of Caesar Moncada and of Laura, later the Marchesa of Vaccarone.
Defying family tradition, Caesar rebelled at the idea of becoming a cleric. He attended various schools but cared little for the subjects taught there. Convinced that he had a definite mission in life, he set about preparing himself for it. Academic subjects did not enter into his plans. At school in Madrid, he met Ignacio Alzugaray, who became his lifelong and intimate friend. He also met Carlos Yarza, a Spanish author employed in a bank in Paris, and through him Caesar became interested in financial speculation. Caesar developed a system, which he could explain only vaguely, to use in playing the stock market, but he had no money at the time with which to try it out.
Caesar and his sister Laura went to Rome, where Laura became popular in fashionable society. Caesar, however, cared little for social functions, art, and the historical relics of ancient Rome. After a time, he did meet some important...
(The entire section is 1215 words.)
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