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Showing: 41-50 results of 108

CHAPTER I On a cold morning in December, towards the close of the year 1612, a young man, whose clothing betrayed his poverty, was standing before the door of a house in the Rue des Grands-Augustine, in Paris. After walking to and fro for some time with the hesitation of a lover who fears to approach his mistress, however complying she may be, he ended by crossing the threshold and asking if Maitre Francois Porbus were within. At the affirmative... more...

CHAPTER I. A BEDROOM OF THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY On a winter's night, about two in the morning, the Comtesse Jeanne d'Herouville felt such violent pains that in spite of her inexperience, she was conscious of an approaching confinement; and the instinct which makes us hope for ease in a change of posture induced her to sit up in her bed, either to study the nature of these new sufferings, or to reflect on her situation. She was a prey to cruel... more...

THE FIRM OF NUCINGEN You know how slight the partitions are between the private rooms of fashionable restaurants in Paris; Very's largest room, for instance, is cut in two by a removable screen. This Scene is not laid at Very's, but in snug quarters, which for reasons of my own I forbear to specify. We were two, so I will say, like Henri Monnier's Prudhomme, "I should not like to compromise her!" We had remarked the want of solidity in the... more...

ALMAE SORORI In the year 1308 few houses were yet standing on the Island formed by the alluvium and sand deposited by the Seine above the Cite, behind the Church of Notre-Dame. The first man who was so bold as to build on this strand, then liable to frequent floods, was a constable of the watch of the City of Paris, who had been able to do some service to their Reverences the Chapter of the Cathedral; and in return the Bishop leased him... more...

THE ELIXIR OF LIFE One winter evening, in a princely palace at Ferrara, Don Juan Belvidero was giving a banquet to a prince of the house of Este. A banquet in those times was a marvelous spectacle which only royal wealth or the power of a mightly [sic] lord could furnish forth. Seated about a table lit up with perfumed tapers, seven laughter-loving women were interchanging sweet talk. The white marble of the noble works of art about them stood... more...


THE DUCHESSE OF LANGEAIS In a Spanish city on an island in the Mediterranean, there stands a convent of the Order of Barefoot Carmelites, where the rule instituted by St. Theresa is still preserved with all the first rigor of the reformation brought about by that illustrious woman. Extraordinary as this may seem, it is none the less true. Almost every religious house in the Peninsula, or in Europe for that matter, was either destroyed or... more...

THE DESERTED WOMAN In the early spring of 1822, the Paris doctors sent to Lower Normandy a young man just recovering from an inflammatory complaint, brought on by overstudy, or perhaps by excess of some other kind. His convalescence demanded complete rest, a light diet, bracing air, and freedom from excitement of every kind, and the fat lands of Bessin seemed to offer all these conditions of recovery. To Bayeux, a picturesque place about six... more...

I. ALL ELECTIONS BEGIN WITH A BUSTLE Before beginning to describe an election in the provinces, it is proper to state that the town of Arcis-sur-Aube was not the theatre of the events here related. The arrondissement of Arcis votes at Bar-sur-Aube, which is forty miles from Arcis; consequently there is no deputy from Arcis in the Chamber. Discretion, required in a history of contemporaneous manners and morals, dictates this precautionary word.... more...

INTRODUCTION In hardly any of his books, with the possible exception of Eugenie Grandet, does Balzac seem to have taken a greater interest than in Le Medecin de Campagne; and the fact of this interest, together with the merit and intensity of the book in each case, is, let it be repeated, a valid argument against those who would have it that there was something essentially sinister both in his genius and his character. Le Medecin de Campagne... more...

THE COMMISSION IN LUNACY In 1828, at about one o'clock one morning, two persons came out of a large house in the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore, near the Elysee-Bourbon. One was the famous doctor, Horace Bianchon; the other was one of the most elegant men in Paris, the Baron de Rastignac; they were friends of long standing. Each had sent away his carriage, and no cab was to be seen in the street; but the night was fine, and the pavement dry.... more...