Ursula - Honore de Balzac - Страница 1 из 309


URSULA
By Honore De Balzac
Translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley
DEDICATION
To Mademoiselle Sophie Surville,
It is a true pleasure, my dear niece, to dedicate to you this
book, the subject and details of which have won the
approbation, so difficult to win, of a young girl to whom the
world is still unknown, and who has compromised with none of
the lofty principles of a saintly education. Young girls are
indeed a formidable public, for they ought not to be allowed
to read books less pure than the purity of their souls; they
are forbidden certain reading, just as they are carefully
prevented from seeing social life as it is. Must it not
therefore be a source of pride to a writer to find that he has
pleased you?
God grant that your affection for me has not misled you. Who can tell?
--the future; which you, I hope, will see, though not, perhaps.
Your uncle,
De Balzac.
URSULA
CHAPTER I. THE FRIGHTENED HEIRS
Entering Nemours by the road to Paris, we cross the canal du Loing, the
steep banks of which serve the double purpose of ramparts to the fields
and of picturesque promenades for the inhabitants of that pretty little
town. Since 1830 several houses had unfortunately been built on the
farther side of the bridge. If this sort of suburb increases, the place
will lose its present aspect of graceful originality.
In 1829, however, both sides of the road were clear, and the master of
the post route, a tall, stout man about sixty years of age, sitting one


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