Melmoth Reconciled - Honore de Balzac - Страница 1 из 69


MELMOTH RECONCILED
By Honore De Balzac
Translated by Ellen Marriage
To Monsieur le General Baron de Pommereul, a token of the friendship
between our fathers, which survives in their sons.
DE BALZAC.
MELMOTH RECONCILED
There is a special variety of human nature obtained in the Social
Kingdom by a process analogous to that of the gardener's craft in the
Vegetable Kingdom, to wit, by the forcing-house--a species of hybrid
which can be raised neither from seed nor from slips. This product is
known as the Cashier, an anthropomorphous growth, watered by religious
doctrine, trained up in fear of the guillotine, pruned by vice, to
flourish on a third floor with an estimable wife by his side and an
uninteresting family. The number of cashiers in Paris must always be
a problem for the physiologist. Has any one as yet been able to state
correctly the terms of the proportion sum wherein the cashier figures as
the unknown _x_? Where will you find the man who shall live with wealth,
like a cat with a caged mouse? This man, for further qualification,
shall be capable of sitting boxed in behind an iron grating for seven
or eight hours a day during seven-eighths of the year, perched upon a
cane-seated chair in a space as narrow as a lieutenant's cabin on board
a man-of-war. Such a man must be able to defy anchylosis of the knee
and thigh joints; he must have a soul above meanness, in order to live
meanly; must lose all relish for money by dint of handling it. Demand


-10     пред. Страница 1 из 69 след.     +10