An Old Maid - Honore de Balzac - Страница 1 из 189


AN OLD MAID
By Honore De Balzac
Translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley
DEDICATION
To Monsieur Eugene-Auguste-Georges-Louis Midy de la Greneraye
Surville, Royal Engineer of the Ponts at Chausses.
As a testimony to the affection of his brother-in-law,
De Balzac
AN OLD MAID
CHAPTER I. ONE OF MANY CHEVALIERS DE VALOIS
Most persons have encountered, in certain provinces in France, a number
of Chevaliers de Valois. One lived in Normandy, another at Bourges,
a third (with whom we have here to do) flourished in Alencon, and
doubtless the South possesses others. The number of the Valesian
tribe is, however, of no consequence to the present tale. All these
chevaliers, among whom were doubtless some who were Valois as Louis XIV.
was Bourbon, knew so little of one another that it was not advisable
to speak to one about the others. They were all willing to leave the
Bourbons in tranquil possession of the throne of France; for it was too
plainly established that Henri IV. became king for want of a male heir
in the first Orleans branch called the Valois. If there are any Valois,
they descend from Charles de Valois, Duc d'Angouleme, son of Charles
IX. and Marie Touchet, the male line from whom ended, until proof to
the contrary be produced, in the person of the Abbe de Rothelin. The
Valois-Saint-Remy, who descended from Henri II., also came to an end
in the famous Lamothe-Valois implicated in the affair of the Diamond


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