Another Study of Woman by Honoré de Balzac and Ellen Marriage


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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Another Study of Woman, by Honore de Balzac

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net


Title: Another Study of Woman

Author: Honore de Balzac

Translator: Ellen Marriage and Clara Bell

Release Date: July 17, 2005 [EBook #1714]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ANOTHER STUDY OF WOMAN ***




Produced by Dagny; and John Bickers





ANOTHER STUDY OF WOMAN

BY

HONORE DE BALZAC



Translated by

Ellen Marriage and Clara Bell




DEDICATION

To Leon Gozlan as a Token of Literary Good-fellowship.




ANOTHER STUDY OF WOMAN




At Paris there are almost always two separate parties going on at
every ball and rout. First, an official party, composed of the persons
invited, a fashionable and much-bored circle. Each one grimaces for
his neighbor's eye; most of the younger women are there for one person
only; when each woman has assured herself that for that one she is the
handsomest woman in the room, and that the opinion is perhaps shared
by a few others, a few insignificant phrases are exchanged, as: "Do
you think of going away soon to La Crampade?" "How well Madame de
Portenduere sang!" "Who is that little woman with such a load of
diamonds?" Or, after firing off some smart epigrams, which give
transient pleasure, and leave wounds that rankle long, the groups thin
out, the mere lookers on go away, and the waxlights burn down to the
sconces.

The mistress of the house then waylays a few artists, amusing people
or intimate friends, saying, "Do not go yet; we will have a snug
little supper." These collect in some small room. The second, the real
party, now begins; a party where, as of old, every one can hear what
is said, conversation is general, each one is bound to be witty and to
contribute to the amusement of all. Everything is made to tell, honest
laughter takes the place of the gloom which in company saddens the
prettiest faces. In short, where the rout ends pleasure begins.

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