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THE UNKINDEST CUT OF ALL. Is it a petty or a profound trouble? I knew not; it is profound for your sons-in-law or daughters-in-law, but exceedingly petty for you. "Petty! You must be joking; why, a child costs terribly dear!" exclaims a ten-times-too-happy husband, at the baptism of his eleventh, called the little last newcomer,—a phrase with which women beguile their families. "What trouble is this?" you ask me. Well! this is, like many... more...

If, reader, you have grasped the intent of this book,—and infinite honor is done you by the supposition: the profoundest author does not always comprehend, I may say never comprehends, the different meanings of his book, nor its bearing, nor the good nor the harm it may do—if, then, you have bestowed some attention upon these little scenes of married life, you have perhaps noticed their color— "What color?" some grocer will... more...

THE UNKINDEST CUT OF ALL. Is it a petty or a profound trouble? I knew not; it is profound for your sons-in-law or daughters-in-law, but exceedingly petty for you. "Petty! You must be joking; why, a child costs terribly dear!" exclaims a ten-times-too-happy husband, at the baptism of his eleventh, called the little last newcomer,—a phrase with which women beguile their families. "What trouble is this?" you ask me. Well! this is, like many... more...

Z. MARCAS I never saw anybody, not even among the most remarkable men of the day, whose appearance was so striking as this man's; the study of his countenance at first gave me a feeling of great melancholy, and at last produced an almost painful impression. There was a certain harmony between the man and his name. The Z. preceding Marcas, which was seen on the addresses of his letters, and which he never omitted from his signature, as the... more...

EL VERDUGO The clock of the little town of Menda had just struck midnight. At that moment a young French officer, leaning on the parapet of a long terrace which bordered the gardens of the chateau de Menda, seemed buried in thoughts that were deeper than comported with the light-hearted carelessness of military life; though it must be said that never were hour, scene, or night more propitious for meditation. The beautiful sky of Spain spread its... more...


CHAPTER I. PROLOGUE In the year 1800, toward the close of October, a foreigner, accompanied by a woman and a little girl, was standing for a long time in front of the palace of the Tuileries, near the ruins of a house recently pulled down, at the point where in our day the wing begins which was intended to unite the chateau of Catherine de Medici with the Louvre of the Valois. The man stood there with folded arms and a bowed head, which he... more...

CHAPTER I. THE FRIGHTENED HEIRS Entering Nemours by the road to Paris, we cross the canal du Loing, the steep banks of which serve the double purpose of ramparts to the fields and of picturesque promenades for the inhabitants of that pretty little town. Since 1830 several houses had unfortunately been built on the farther side of the bridge. If this sort of suburb increases, the place will lose its present aspect of graceful originality. In... more...

UNCONSCIOUS COMEDIANS Leon de Lora, our celebrated landscape painter, belongs to one of the noblest families of the Roussillon (Spanish originally) which, although distinguished for the antiquity of its race, has been doomed for a century to the proverbial poverty of hidalgos. Coming, light-footed, to Paris from the department of the Eastern Pyrenees, with the sum of eleven francs in his pocket for all viaticum, he had in some degree forgotten... more...

I. THE SAUVIATS In the lower town of Limoges, at the corner of the rue de la Vieille-Poste and the rue de la Cite might have been seen, a generation ago, one of those shops which were scarcely changed from the period of the middle-ages. Large tiles seamed with a thousand cracks lay on the soil itself, which was damp in places, and would have tripped up those who failed to observe the hollows and ridges of this singular flooring. The dusty walls... more...

I Early in the autumn of 1826 the Abbe Birotteau, the principal personage of this history, was overtaken by a shower of rain as he returned home from a friend's house, where he had been passing the evening. He therefore crossed, as quickly as his corpulence would allow, the deserted little square called "The Cloister," which lies directly behind the chancel of the cathedral of Saint-Gatien at Tours. The Abbe Birotteau, a short little man,... more...