And as it always happens in contests of cunning that a stupid person gets the better of cleverer ones, Helene--having realized that the main object of all these words and all this trouble was, after converting her to Catholicism, to obtain money from her for Jesuit institutions (as to which she received indications)-before parting with her money insisted that the various operations necessary to free her from her husband should be performed.
But she also speaks of the "tricks and over-reachings" practised by him, "who in great as well as in small things took a pleasure in being cleverer and more cunning than others, often when there was no advantage to be gained by it, and which was, 1 There is a vivid account in Mr Featherstonhaugh to Lord Palmerston, Havre, March 3, 1848, in The Letters of Queen Victoria (pop. ed., ii.
"Now who could decide whether he is really cleverer than all the others?" she asked herself, and passed in review all those whom Pierre most respected.
Cesare Borgia was a type of the adventurers with which the Italy of the Renaissance swarmed, but he was cleverer and more unscrupulous than his rivals.
If you were cleverer and more agreeable, I should prefer yours.