ROUGON (SIDONIE), born 1818, daughter of Pierre Rougon. La Fortune des
She married at Plassans an attorney's clerk, named Touche, and together
they went to Paris, setting up business in the Rue Saint-Honore, as
dealers in fruit from the south of France. The venture was unsuccessful,
and the husband soon disappeared. At the rise of the Second Empire,
Sidonie was thirty-five; but she dressed herself with so little care and
had so little of the woman in her manner that she looked much older. She
carried on business in lace and pianos, but did not confine herself
to these trades; when she had sold ten francs worth of lace she would
insinuate herself into her customer's good graces and become her man of
business, attending attorneys, advocates, and judges on her behalf. The
confidences she everywhere received put her on the track of good strokes
of business, often of a nature more than equivocal, and it was she who
arranged the second marriage of her brother Aristide. She was a
true Rougon, who had inherited the hunger for money, the longing for
intrigue, which was the characteristic of the family. La Curee.
In 1851 she had a daughter by an unknown father. The child, who was
named Angelique Marie, was at once sent to the Foundling Hospital by her
mother, who never made any inquiry about her afterwards. Le Reve.
She attended the funeral of her cousin, Claude Lantier, the artist.
Arrived at his house, "she went upstairs, turned round the studio,
sniffed at all its bare wretchedness, and then walked down again with a
hard mouth, irritated at having taken the trouble to come." L'Oeuvre.
"After a long disappearance from the scene, Sidonie, weary of the shady
callings she had plied, and now of a nunlike austerity, retired to
the gloomy shelter of a conventual kind of establishment, holding the
purse-strings of the Oeuvre du Sacrament, an institution founded with
the object of assisting seduced girls, who had become mothers, to secure
husbands." Le Docteur Pascal.