Gobseck - Honore de Balzac - Страница 1 из 84


GOBSECK
By Honore De Balzac
Translated By Ellen Marriage
DEDICATION
To M. le Baron Barchou de Penhoen.
Among all the pupils of the Oratorian school at Vendome, we are, I
think, the only two who have afterwards met in mid-career of a
life of letters--we who once were cultivating Philosophy when by
rights we should have been minding our De viris. When we met, you
were engaged upon your noble works on German philosophy, and I
upon this study. So neither of us has missed his vocation; and
you, when you see your name here, will feel, no doubt, as much
pleasure as he who inscribes his work to you.--Your old
schoolfellow,
1840 De Balzac.
GOBSECK
It was one o'clock in the morning, during the winter of 1829-30, but in
the Vicomtesse de Grandlieu's salon two persons stayed on who did not
belong to her family circle. A young and good-looking man heard the
clock strike, and took his leave. When the courtyard echoed with the
sound of a departing carriage, the Vicomtesse looked up, saw that no one
was present save her brother and a friend of the family finishing their
game of piquet, and went across to her daughter. The girl, standing by
the chimney-piece, apparently examining a transparent fire-screen,
was listening to the sounds from the courtyard in a way that justified
certain maternal fears.
"Camille," said the Vicomtesse, "if you continue to behave to young


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