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Showing: 1-10 results of 108

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...

CHAPTER I. JUDAS The autumn of the year 1803 was one of the finest in the early part of that period of the present century which we now call "Empire." Rain had refreshed the earth during the month of October, so that the trees were still green and leafy in November. The French people were beginning to put faith in a secret understanding between the skies and Bonaparte, then declared Consul for life,—a belief in which that man owes part of... more...

I. EARLY MISTAKES It was a Sunday morning in the beginning of April 1813, a morning which gave promise of one of those bright days when Parisians, for the first time in the year, behold dry pavements underfoot and a cloudless sky overhead. It was not yet noon when a luxurious cabriolet, drawn by two spirited horses, turned out of the Rue de Castiglione into the Rue de Rivoli, and drew up behind a row of carriages standing before the newly opened... 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...


INTRODUCTION I have sometimes wondered whether it was accident or intention which made Balzac so frequently combine early and late work in the same volume. The question is certainly insoluble, and perhaps not worth solving, but it presents itself once more in the present instance. L'Illustre Gaudissart is a story of 1832, the very heyday of Balzac's creative period, when even his pen could hardly keep up with the abundance of his fancy and the... more...

PROLOGUE Certain persons have reproached the Author for knowing no more about the language of the olden times than hares do of telling stories. Formerly these people would have been vilified, called cannibals, churls, and sycophants, and Gomorrah would have been hinted at as their natal place. But the Author consents to spare them the flowery epithets of ancient criticism; he contents himself with wishing not to be in their skin, for he would be... more...

THE FAIR IMPERIA The Archbishop of Bordeaux had added to his suite when going to the Council at Constance quite a good-looking little priest of Touraine whose ways and manner of speech was so charming that he passed for a son of La Soldee and the Governor. The Archbishop of Tours had willingly given him to his confrere for his journey to that town, because it was usual for archbishops to make each other presents, they well knowing how sharp are... more...

SARRASINE I was buried in one of those profound reveries to which everybody, even a frivolous man, is subject in the midst of the most uproarious festivities. The clock on the Elysee-Bourbon had just struck midnight. Seated in a window recess and concealed behind the undulating folds of a curtain of watered silk, I was able to contemplate at my leisure the garden of the mansion at which I was passing the evening. The trees, being partly... more...

PREFACE   This little Parisian silhouette in prose was written by Balzac to be the first chapter of a new series of the "Comedie Humaine" that he was preparing while the first was finishing. Balzac was never tired. He said that the men who were tired were those who rested and tried to work afterwards. "A Street of Paris and its Inhabitant" was in its author's mind when Hetzel, engaged in collecting a copy for the work entitled "Le Diable... more...