The Secrets of the Princesse de Cadignan - Honore de Balzac - Страница 1 из 81


Produced by John Bickers, and Dagny
THE SECRETS OF THE PRINCESSE DE CADIGNAN
By Honore De Balzac
Translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley
DEDICATION
To Theophile Gautier
THE SECRETS OF THE PRINCESSE DE CADIGNAN
CHAPTER I. THE LAST WORD OF TWO GREAT COQUETTES
After the disasters of the revolution of July, which destroyed so many
aristocratic fortunes dependent on the court, Madame la Princesse de
Cadignan was clever enough to attribute to political events the total
ruin she had caused by her own extravagance. The prince left France
with the royal family, and never returned to it, leaving the princess in
Paris, protected by the fact of his absence; for their debts, which
the sale of all their salable property had not been able to extinguish,
could only be recovered through him. The revenues of the entailed
estates had been seized. In short, the affairs of this great family were
in as bad a state as those of the elder branch of the Bourbons.
This woman, so celebrated under her first name of Duchesse de
Maufrigneuse, very wisely decided to live in retirement, and to make
herself, if possible, forgotten. Paris was then so carried away by the
whirling current of events that the Duchesse de Maufrigneuse, buried in
the Princesse de Cadignan, a change of name unknown to most of the new
actors brought upon the stage of society by the revolution of July, did
really become a stranger in her own city.
In Paris the title of duke ranks all others, even that of prince;


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