The artist Théodore de Sommervieux falls in love with Augustine Guillaume, the daughter of a conservative cloth merchant, whose house of business on the Rue Saint-Denis in Paris is known by sign of the Cat and Racket. Théodore, a winner of the Prix de Rome and a knight of the Legion of Honor, is famous for his interiors and chiaroscuro effects in imitation of the Dutch School. He makes an excellent reproduction of the interior of the Cat and Racket, which is exhibited at the Salon alongside a strikingly modern portrait of Augustine. The affair blossoms with the help of Madame Guillaume's younger cousin Madame Roguin, who is already acquainted with Théodore. The lovers become engaged, somewhat against the best wishes of Augustine's parents, who had originally intended her to marry Monsieur Guillaume's clerk Joseph Lebas. In 1808 Augustine marries Théodore at the local church of Saint-Leu; on the same day her elder sister Virginie marries Lebas.