Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
Sylvain Pons is an ugly man who has no family except one cousin, Monsieur de Marville, a rich and influential government official. As a result of his connection, Cousin Pons, as the de Marvilles calls him, is able to dine out at a rich man’s home at least once a week. These opportunities satisfy one of Pons’s two pleasures in life, a delight in good food well served. Pons’s job as conductor of the orchestra at a ballet theater and his series of private music pupils provide him the money to live and to satisfy his other delight in life, collecting works of art.
By the time he is in his sixties, Pons has built up a collection worth more than one million francs, though neither he nor anyone else realizes that it is so valuable. Pons’s only friend is a musician in his orchestra, an old German named Schmucke. The two men live together in an apartment filled with Pons’s art treasures. Their lives are extremely simple; the portress at the house, Madame Cibot, cooks for them and cleans the apartment, and their work keeps them busy most of the time. The only flaw in their existence, as Schmucke sees it, is the fact that Pons goes out to dinner once a week and sometimes twice.
Even that flaw is remedied when Madame de Marville, the wife of Pons’s cousin, grows tired of having the old man in her home and makes her attitude obvious to him. He then begins eating all of his meals at home with Schmucke. Pons, however, is too fond of dining out on...
(The entire section is 1328 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of Cousin Pons Summary. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!