Father Goriot - Honore de Balzac - Страница 1 из 380

By Honore De Balzac
Translated by Ellen Marriage
To the great and illustrious Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, a token
of admiration for his works and genius.
Mme. Vauquer (_nee_ de Conflans) is an elderly person, who for the past
forty years has kept a lodging-house in the Rue Nueve-Sainte-Genevieve,
in the district that lies between the Latin Quarter and the Faubourg
Saint-Marcel. Her house (known in the neighborhood as the _Maison
Vauquer_) receives men and women, old and young, and no word has ever
been breathed against her respectable establishment; but, at the same
time, it must be said that as a matter of fact no young woman has been
under her roof for thirty years, and that if a young man stays there for
any length of time it is a sure sign that his allowance must be of the
slenderest. In 1819, however, the time when this drama opens, there was
an almost penniless young girl among Mme. Vauquer's boarders.
That word drama has been somewhat discredited of late; it has been
overworked and twisted to strange uses in these days of dolorous
literature; but it must do service again here, not because this story is
dramatic in the restricted sense of the word, but because some tears may
perhaps be shed _intra et extra muros_ before it is over.
Will any one without the walls of Paris understand it? It is open to
doubt. The only audience who could appreciate the results of close

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