Honoré de Balzac (French pronunciation: [ɔ.nɔ.ʁe d(ə) bal.zak] ; 20 May 1799 – 18 August 1850) was a French novelist and playwright. His magnum opus was a sequence of short stories and novels collectively entitled, La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the 1815 fall of Napoleon.
A friend, in speaking to you of a young woman, says: "Good family, well bred, pretty, and three hundred thousand in her own right." You have expressed a desire to meet this charming creature. Usually, chance interviews are premeditated. And you speak with this object, who has now become very timid. YOU.—"A delightful evening!" SHE.—"Oh! yes, sir." You are allowed to become the suitor of this young person. THE MOTHER-IN-LAW (to the intended groom).—"You can't imagine how susceptible the dear girl is of attachment." Meanwhile there is a delicate pecuniary question to be discussed by the two families. YOUR FATHER (to the mother-in-law).—"My property is valued at five hundred thousand francs, my dear madame!" YOUR FUTURE MOTHER-IN-LAW.—"And our house, my dear sir, is on a corner lot." A contract follows, drawn up by two hideous notaries, a small one, and a big one. Then the two families judge it necessary to convoy you to the civil magistrate's and to the church, before conducting the bride to her chamber. Then what?... Why, then come a crowd of petty unforeseen troubles, like the following:
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