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Lemoine, A. Corinne; Or, Italy. I Italian as Author Il secolo che muore, vol. II Italian as Author Il secolo che muore, vol. See: O'Brien, Edward J. Hoeper, Jeffrey D. Percy Bolingbroke St. Elme-Marie See: Caro, E. King, Eleanor E. Augustus O. Lane, John, Mrs. I, to English as Author of introduction, etc.
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English as Contributor Leighton, Mrs. English as Author Amadis of Gaul, Vol. See: L. Opere di Alessando Manzoni, vol. Meyer, L. Milhau, M. A Heroic Comedy in Five Acts. Moore, Thomas, Dangerous Connections, v. English as Translator Moraes, Anselmo de Supplemento ao n. Those crises wer 2 CONC e initially averted, but issues remained unsettled.
Edward was heart 2 CONC broken, as he was so very fond of her. Edward was ly 2 CONC ing through his teeth. Montfort introduce 2 CONC d a new strategy to warfare; he established a reserve command to be co 2 CONC mmanded by him, plus he introduced the concept of the night march. Royalist forces outnumbered the reb 2 CONC els by some with some 10, men. Henry fled to the Priory. Lewes resulted in know 2 CONC n dead one of every five men. A full amnesty was proclaimed for all rebels. He spent much of his reign reforming roy 2 CONC al administration and common law.
He suppressed corruption in the administration of justic 2 CONC e and passed legislation allowing feudal barons and the crown to colle 2 CONC ct revenues from properties willed to the church. While some historians have pr 2 CONC aised him for his contribution to the law, others have criticized hi 2 CONC m for his uncompromising attitude toward his nobility. In retaliation for this savagery 2 CONC , an Assassin with a poisoned dagger stabbed him three times, but hi 2 CONC s life was saved by his wife's prompt action of sucking the poison fro 2 CONC m the wounds, and by his vigorous constitution which resisted whateve 2 CONC r poison remained in his system.
Wallace was captured and executed in En utilisant ces derniers, vous acceptez l'utilisation des cookies. En savoir plus Fermer. In such spells, supposing reasonable facility of composition and mechanical power in the hand to keep going all the time, an enormous amount can of course be accomplished. A thousand words an hour is anything but an extraordinary rate of writing, and fifteen hundred by no means unheard of with persons who do not write rubbish. The references to this subject in Balzac's letters are very numerous; but it is not easy to extract very definite information from them.
It would be not only impolite but incorrect to charge him with unveracity. But the very heat of imagination which enabled him to produce his work created a sort of mirage, through which he seems always to have regarded it; and in writing to publishers, editors, creditors, and even his own family, it was too obviously his interest to make the most of his labor, his projects, and his performance. Even his contemporary, though elder, Southey, the hardest-working and the most scrupulously honest man of letters in England who could pretend to genius, seems constantly to have exaggerated the idea of what he could perform, if not of what he had performed in a given time.
Now, "La Confidence des Ruggieri" fills, in the small edition, eighty pages of nearer four hundred than three hundred words each, or some thirty thousand words in all. Nobody in the longest of nights could manage that, except by dictating it to shorthand clerks. But in the very context of this assertion Balzac assigns a much longer period to the correction than to the composition, and this brings us to one of the most curious and one of the most famous points of his literary history.
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Some doubts have, I believe, been thrown on the most minute account of his ways of composition which we have, that of the publisher Werdet. But there is too great a consensus of evidence as to his general system to make the received description of it doubtful. According to this, the first draft of Balzac's work never presented it in anything like fulness, and sometimes it did not amount to a quarter of the bulk finally published.
This being returned to him from the printer in "slip" on sheets with very large margins, he would set to work on the correction; that is to say, on the practical rewriting of the thing, with excisions, alterations, and above all, additions. A "revise" being executed, he would attack this revise in the same manner, and not unfrequently more than once, so that the expenses of mere composition and correction of the press were enormously heavy so heavy as to eat into not merely his publisher's but his own profits , and that the last state of the book, when published, was something utterly different from its first state in manuscript.
And it will be obvious that if anything like this was usual with him, it is quite impossible to judge his actual rapidity of composition by the extent of the published result. He knew Victor Hugo, but certainly not at this time intimately; for as late as the letter in which he writes to Hugo to come and breakfast with him at Les Jardies with interesting and minute directions how to find that frail abode of genius is couched in anything but the tone of a familiar friendship.
The letters to Beyle of about the same date are also incompatible with intimate knowledge. Nodier after some contrary expressions he seems to have regarded as most good people did regard that true man of letters and charming tale-teller; while among the younger generation Theophile Gautier and Charles de Bernard, as well as Goslan and others, were his real and constant friends. In the first place he was too busy; in the second he would not have been at home there. He was, however, aided in the task of creation by the ladies already spoken of, who were fairly numerous and of divers degrees.
The most constant, after his sister Laure, was that sister's schoolfellow, Madame Zulma Carraud, the wife of a military official at Angouleme and the possessor of a small country estate at Frapesle, near Tours. At both of these places Balzac, till he was a very great man, was a constant visitor, and with Madame Carraud he kept up for years a correspondence which has been held to be merely friendly, and which was certainly in the vulgar sense innocent, but which seems to me to be tinged with something of that feeling, midway between love and friendship, which appears in Scott's letters to Lady Abercorn, and which is probably not so rare as some think.
Madame de Berny, another family friend of higher rank, was the prototype of most of his "angelic" characters, but she died in He knew the Duchesse d'Abrantes, otherwise Madame Junot, and Madame de Girardin, otherwise Delphine Gay; but neither seems to have exercised much influence over him. It was different with another and more authentic duchess, Madame de Castries, after whom he dangled for a considerable time, who certainly first encouraged him and probably then snubbed him, and who is thought to have been the model of his wickeder great ladies.
And it was comparatively early in the thirties that he met the woman whom, after nearly twenty years, he was at last to marry, getting his death in so doing, the Polish Madame Hanska. About his life, without extravagant "pudding" of guesswork or of mere quotation and abstract of his letters, it would be not so much difficult as impossible to say much; and accordingly it is a matter of fact that most lives of Balzac, including all good ones, are rather critical than narrative.
Balzac was always a considerable traveler; indeed if he had not been so his constitution would probably have broken down long before it actually did; and the expense of these voyagings though by his own account he generally conducted his affairs with the most rigid economy , together with the interruption to his work which they occasioned, entered no doubt for something into his money difficulties. He would go to Baden or Vienna for a day's sight of Madame Hanska; his Sardinian visit has been already noted; and as a specimen of others it may be mentioned that he once journeyed from Paris to Besancon, then from Besancon right across France to Angouleme, and then back to Paris on some business of selecting paper for one of the editions of his books, which his publishers would probably have done much better and at much less expense.
Still his actual receipts were surprisingly small, partly, it may be, owing to his expensive habits of composition, but far more, according to his own account, because of the Belgian piracies, from which all popular French authors suffered till the government of Napoleon the Third managed to put a stop to them. He also lived in such a thick atmosphere of bills and advances and cross-claims on and by his publishers, that even if there were more documents than there are it would be exceedingly difficult to get at facts which are, after all, not very important.
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He never seems to have been paid much more than pounds for the newspaper publication the most valuable by far because the pirates could not interfere with its profits of any one of his novels. And to expensive fashions of composition and complicated accounts, a steady back-drag of debt and the rest, must be added the very delightful, and to the novelist not useless, but very expensive mania for the collector. Balzac had a genuine taste for, and thought himself a genuine connoisseur in, pictures, sculpture, and objects of art of all kinds, old and new; and though prices in his day were not what they are in these, a great deal of money must have run through his hands in this way.
He calculated the value of the contents of the house, which in his last days he furnished with such loving care for his wife, and which turned out to be a chamber rather of death than of marriage, at some 16, pounds. But part of this was Madame Hanska's own purchasing, and there were offsets of indebtedness against it almost to the last. In short, though during the last twenty years of his life such actual "want of pence" as vexed him was not due, as it had been earlier, to the fact that the pence refused to come in, but only to imprudent management of them, it certainly cannot be said that Honore de Balzac, the most desperately hard worker in all literature for such time as was allotted him, and perhaps the man of greatest genius who was ever a desperately hard worker, falsified that most uncomfortable but truest of proverbs--"Hard work never made money.
Perhaps no writer except Voltaire and Goethe earlier made such a really European reputation; and his books were of a kind to be more widely read by the general public than either Goethe's or Voltaire's. In England Balzac liked the literature but not the country, and never visited England, though I believe he planned a visit this popularity was, for obvious reasons, rather less than elsewhere.
The respectful vogue which French literature had had with the English in the eighteenth century had ceased, owing partly to the national enmity revived and fostered by the great war, and partly to the growth of a fresh and magnificent literature at home during the first thirty years of the nineteenth in England.
But Balzac could not fail to be read almost at once by the lettered; and he was translated pretty early, though not perhaps to any great extent. It was in England, moreover, that by far his greatest follower appeared, and appeared very shortly. There was no copying or imitation; the lessons taught by Balzac were too much blended with those of native masters, such as Fielding, and too much informed and transformed by individual genius.
Some may think--it is a point at issue not merely between Frenchmen and Englishmen, but between good judges of both nations on each side--that in absolute veracity and likeness to life, in limiting the operation of the inner consciousness on the outward observation to strictly artistic scale, Thackeray excelled Balzac as far as he fell short of him in the powers of the seer and in the gigantic imagination of the prophet.
But the relations of pupil and master in at least some degree are not, I think, deniable. So things went on in light and in shade, in homekeeping and in travel, in debts and in earnings, but always in work of some kind or another, for eighteen years from the turning point of But, as a rule, he was thinking too much of his own work and his own principles of working to enter very thoroughly into the work of others.
His politics, those of a moderate but decided Royalist and Conservative, were, as has been said, intelligent in theory, but in practice a little distinguished by that neglect of actual business detail which has been noticed in his speculations. At last, in the summer of , it seemed as if the Rachel for whom he had served nearly if not quite the full fourteen years already, and whose husband had long been out of the way, would at last grant herself to him.
He was invited to Vierzschovnia in the Ukraine, the seat of Madame Hanska, or in strictness of her son-in-law, Count Georges Mniszech; and as the visit was apparently for no restricted period, and Balzac's pretensions to the lady's hand were notorious, it might have seemed that he was as good as accepted.
But to assume this would have been to mistake what perhaps the greatest creation of Balzac's great English contemporary and counterpart on the one side, as Thackeray was his contemporary and counterpart on the other, considered to be the malignity of widows. What the reasons were which made Madame Hanska delay so long in doing what she did at last, and might just as well, it would seem, have done years before, is not certainly known, and it would be quite unprofitable to discuss them.
But it was on the 8th of October that Balzac first wrote to his sister from Vierzschovnia, and it was not till the 14th of March that, "in the parish church of Saint Barbara at Berditchef, by the Count Abbe Czarski, representing the Bishop of Jitomir this is as characteristic of Balzac in one way as what follows is in another a Madame Eve de Balzac, born Countess Rzevuska, or a Madame Honore de Balzac or a Madame de Balzac the elder" came into existence.
It does not appear that Balzac was exactly unhappy during this huge probation, which was broken by one short visit to Paris. The interest of uncertainty was probably much for his ardent and unquiet spirit, and though he did very little literary work for him, one may suspect that he would not have done very much if he had stayed at Paris, for signs of exhaustion, not of genius but of physical power, had shown themselves before he left home.
But it is not unjust or cruel to say that by the delay "Madame Eve de Balzac" her actual baptismal name was Evelina practically killed her husband. These winters in the severe climate of Russian Poland were absolutely fatal to a constitution, and especially to lungs, already deeply affected. At Vierzschovnia itself he had illnesses, from which he narrowly escaped with life, before the marriage; his heart broke down after it; and he and his wife did not reach Paris till the end of May.
Less than three months afterwards, on the 18th of August, he died, having been visited on the very day of his death in the Paradise of bric-a-brac which he had created for his Eve in the Rue Fortunee--a name too provocative of Nemesis--by Victor Hugo, the chief maker in verse as he himself was the chief maker in prose of France. He was buried at Pere la Chaise. The after-fortunes of his house and its occupants were not happy: but they do not concern us.
In person Balzac was a typical Frenchman, as indeed he was in most ways. From his portraits there would seem to have been more force and address than distinction or refinement in his appearance, but, as has been already observed, his period was one ungrateful to the iconographer. His character, not as a writer but as a man, must occupy us a little longer. For some considerable time--indeed it may be said until the publication of his letters--it was not very favorably judged on the whole. They seem to have given him, personally, a very unnecessary annoyance, and indeed he was always rather sensitive to criticism.
This kind of stupid libel will never cease to be devised by the envious, swallowed by the vulgar, and simply neglected by the wise. But Balzac's peculiarities, both of life and of work, lent themselves rather fatally to a subtler misconstruction which he also anticipated and tried to remove, but which took a far stronger hold. He was represented--and in the absence of any intimate male friends to contradict the representation, it was certain to obtain some currency --as in his artistic person a sardonic libeler of mankind, who cared only to take foibles and vices for his subjects, and who either left goodness and virtue out of sight altogether, or represented them as the qualities of fools.
The second was possibly due to Balzac's odd notions of "business being business. With the first of these charges he himself, on different occasions, rather vainly endeavored to grapple, once drawing up an elaborate list of his virtuous and vicious women, and showing that the former outnumbered the latter; and, again, laboring with that curious lack of sense of humor which distinguishes all Frenchmen but a very few, and distinguished him eminently to show that though no doubt it is very difficult to make a virtuous person interesting, he, Honore de Balzac, had attempted it, and succeeded in it, on a quite surprising number of occasions.
The fact is that if he had handled this last matter rather more lightly his answer would have been a sufficient one, and that in any case the charge is not worth answering. It does not lie against the whole of his work; and if it lay as conclusively as it does against Swift's, it would not necessarily matter. To the artist in analysis as opposed to the romance-writer, folly always, and villainy sometimes, does supply a much better subject than virtuous success, and if he makes his fools and his villains lifelike and supplies them with a fair contrast of better things, there is nothing more to be said.
He will not, indeed, be a Shakespeare, or a Dante, or even a Scott; but we may be very well satisfied with him as a Fielding, a Thackeray, or a Balzac. As to the more purely personal matter I own that it was some time before I could persuade myself that Balzac, to speak familiarly, was a much better fellow than others, and I myself, have been accustomed to think him.
But it is also some time since I came to the conclusion that he was so, and my conversion is not to be attributed to any editorial retainer.
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Self-centered and self-absorbed Balzac no doubt was; he could not have lived his life or produced his work if he had been anything else. And it must be remembered that he owed extremely little to others; that he had the independence as well as the isolation of the self-centered; that he never sponged or fawned on a great man, or wronged others of what was due to them. The only really unpleasant thing about him that I know, and even this is perhaps due to ignorance of all sides of the matter, is a slight touch of snobbishness now and then, especially in those late letters from Vierzschovnia to Madame de Balzac and Madame Surville, in which, while inundating his mother and sister with commissions and requests for service, he points out to them what great people the Hanskas and Mniszechs are, what infinite honor and profit it will be to be connected with them, and how desirable it is to keep struggling engineer brothers-in-law and ne'er-do-well brothers in the colonies out of sight lest they should disgust the magnates.
But these are "sma' sums, sma' sums," as Bailie Jarvie says; and smallness of any kind has, whatever it may have to do with Balzac the man, nothing to do with Balzac the writer. He resembles, I think, Goethe more than any other man of letters--certainly more than any other of the present century--in having done work which is very frequently, if not even commonly, faulty, and in yet requiring that his work shall be known as a whole.
His appeal is cumulative; it repeats itself on each occasion with a slight difference, and though there may now and then be the same faults to be noticed, they are almost invariably accompanied, not merely by the same, but by fresh merits. As has been said at the beginning of this essay, no attempt will be made in it to give that running survey of Balzac's work which is always useful and sometimes indispensable in treatment of the kind. But something like a summing up of that subject will here be attempted because it is really desirable that in embarking on so vast a voyage the reader should have some general chart--some notes of the soundings and log generally of those who have gone before him.
There are two things, then, which it is more especially desirable to keep constantly before one in reading Balzac--two things which, taken together, constitute his almost unique value, and two things which not a few critics have failed to take together in him, being under the impression that the one excludes the other, and that to admit the other is tantamount to a denial of the one.
These two things are, first, an immense attention to detail, sometimes observed, sometimes invented or imagined; and secondly; a faculty of regarding these details through a mental lens or arrangement of lenses almost peculiar to himself, which at once combines, enlarges, and invests them with a peculiar magical halo or mirage.
Defoe is not more circumstantial in detail of fact than Balzac; Richardson is hardly more prodigal of character-stroke. Yet a very large proportion of these characters, of these circumstances, are evidently things invented or imagined, not observed. And in addition to this the artist's magic glass, his Balzacian speculum, if we may so say for none else has ever had it , transforms even the most rigid observation into something flickering and fanciful, the outline as of shadows on the wall, not the precise contour of etching or of the camera.
It is curious, but not unexampled, that both Balzac himself when he struggled in argument with his critics and those of his partisans who have been most zealously devoted to him, have usually tried to exalt the first and less remarkable of these gifts over the second and infinitely more remarkable.
Balzac protested strenuously against the use of the word "gigantesque" in reference to his work; and of course it is susceptible of an unhandsome innuendo. But if we leave that innuendo aside, if we adopt the sane reflection that "gigantesque" does not exceed "gigantic," or assert as constant failure of greatness, but only indicates that the magnifying process is carried on with a certain indiscriminateness, we shall find none, I think, which so thoroughly well describes him. The effect of this singular combination of qualities, apparently the most opposite, may be partly anticipated, but not quite.
Those who would range Balzac in point of such artistic veracity on a level with poetical and universal realists like Shakespeare and Dante, or prosaic and particular realists like Thackeray and Fielding, seem not only to be utterly wrong but to pay their idol the worst of all compliments, that of ignoring his own special qualifications. The province of Balzac may not be--I do no think it is--identical, much less co-extensive, with that of nature.
But it is his own--a partly real, partly fantastic region, where the lights, the shades, the dimensions, and the physical laws are slightly different from those of this world of ours, but with which, owing to the things it has in common with that world, we are able to sympathize, which we can traverse and comprehend. Every now and then the artist uses his observing faculty more, and his magnifying and distorting lens less; every now and then he reverses the proportion.
Some tastes will like him best in the one stage; some in the other; the happier constituted will like him best in both. This specially Balzacian quality is, I think, unique. By this I do not of course mean that Balzac did not write in verse: we have a few verses of his, and they are pretty bad, but that is neither here nor there.
The difference between Balzac and a great poet lies not in the fact that the one fills the whole page with printed words, and the other only a part of it--but in something else. It might be possible to coast about it, to hint at it, by adumbrations and in consequences. But it is better and really more helpful to face the difficulty boldly, and to say that Balzac, approaching a great poet nearer perhaps than any other prose writer in any language, is distinguished from one by the absence of the very last touch, the finally constituting quiddity, which makes a great poet different from Balzac.
Now, when we make this comparison, it is of the first interest to remember--and it is one of the uses of the comparison, that it suggests the remembrance of the fact--that the great poets have usually been themselves extremely exact observers of detail. It has not made them great poets; but they would not be great poets without it. Balzac does, and from this very accumulation he manages to derive that singular gigantesque vagueness --differing from the poetic vague, but ranking next to it--which I have here ventured to note as his distinguishing quality.
He bewilders us a very little by it, and he gives us the impression that he has slightly bewildered himself. But the compensations of the bewilderment are large. For in this labyrinth and whirl of things, in this heat and hurry of observation and imagination, the special intoxication of Balzac consists. Every great artist has his own means of producing this intoxication, and it differs in result like the stimulus of beauty or of wine. Those persons who are unfortunate enough to see in Balzac little or nothing but an ingenious piler-up of careful strokes--a man of science taking his human documents and classing them after an orderly fashion in portfolio and deed-box--must miss this intoxication altogether.
In part, no doubt, and in great part, the work of Balzac is dream- stuff rather than life-stuff, and it is all the better for that. What is better than dreams? But the coherence of his visions, their bulk, their solidity, the way in which they return to us and we return to them, make them such dream-stuff as there is all too little of in this world.
If it is true that evil on the whole predominates over good in the vision of this "Voyant," as Philarete Chasles so justly called him, two very respectable, and in one case very large, though somewhat opposed divisions of mankind, the philosophic pessimist and the convinced and consistent Christian believer, will tell us that this is at least not one of the points in which it is unfaithful to life.
If the author is closer and more faithful in his study of meanness and vice than in his studies of nobility and virtue, the blame is due at least as much to his models as to himself. If he has seldom succeeded in combining a really passionate with a really noble conception of love, very few of his countrymen have been more fortunate in that respect.
If in some of his types--his journalists, his married women, and others--he seems to have sacrificed to conventions, let us remember that those who know attribute to his conventions such a power if not altogether such a holy influence that two generations of the people he painted have actually lived more and more up to his painting of them. And last of all, but also greatest, has to be considered the immensity of his imaginative achievement, the huge space that he has filled for us with vivid creation, the range of amusement, of instruction, of after a fashion edification which he has thrown open for us all to walk in.
But it has coherence and it has design; nor shall we find anything exactly to parallel it.
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All others yield in bulk; all in a certain concentration and intensity; none even aims at anything like the same system and completeness. Not a volume of it, for all that failure to reach the completest perfection in form and style which has been acknowledged, can be accused of thinness, of scamped work, of mere repetition, of mere cobbling up. Every one bears the marks of steady and ferocious labor, as well as of the genius which had at last come where it had been so earnestly called and had never gone away again.
It is possible to overpraise Balzac in parts or to mispraise him as a whole. But so long as inappropriate and superfluous comparisons are avoided and as his own excellence is recognized and appreciated, it is scarcely possible to overestimate that excellence in itself and for itself. He stands alone; even with Dickens, who is his nearest analogue, he shows far more points of difference than of likeness.
His vastness of bulk is not more remarkable than his peculiarity of quality; and when these two things coincide in literature or elsewhere, then that in which they coincide may be called, and must be called, Great, without hesitation and without reserve.
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The original French titles are followed by their English equivalents. Literal translations have been followed, excepting a few instances where preference is shown for a clearer or more comprehensive English title. In such cases the first translation is from the Saintsbury edition copyrighted in and that is the title referred to in the personages following most of the stories. We have added other title translations of which we are currently aware for the readers' convenience. Lost IllusionsI. Lost IllusionsII. Un Grand homme de province, 2e p.
Gaudissart II. Poor RelationsI. Poor RelationsII. Marcas Z. This is not so difficult as the public might imagine. Few works conduce to much vanity; much labor conduces to great diffidence.