Excerpt: ...to-morrow and cross to Croisic. If you are on the jetty you can see her." So saying, he sealed his letter and departed for Les Touches. That which, above all, terrified the baroness was to see a sentiment attaining, by the force of its own instinct, to the clear-sightedness of practised experience. Calyste's letter to Beatrix was such as the Chevalier du Halga, with his knowledge of the world, might have dictated. XIII. DUEL BETWEEN WOMEN Perhaps one of the greatest enjoyments that small minds or inferior minds can obtain is that of deceiving a great soul, and laying snares for it. Beatrix knew herself far beneath Camille Maupin. This inferiority lay not only in the collection of mental and moral qualities which we call talent, but in the things of the heart called passion. At the moment when Calyste was hurrying to Les Touches with the impetuosity of a first love borne on the wings of hope, the marquise was feeling a keen delight in knowing herself the object of the first love of so charming a young man. She did not go so far as to wish herself a sharer in the sentiment, but she thought it heroism on her part to repress the capriccio, as the Italians say. She thought she was equalling Camille's devotion, and told herself, moreover, that she was sacrificing herself to her friend. The vanities peculiar to Frenchwomen, which constitute the celebrated coquetry of which she was so signal an instance, were flattered and deeply satisfied by Calyste's love. Assailed by such powerful seduction, she was resisting it, and her virtues sang in her soul a concert of praise and self-approval. The two women were half-sitting, half lying, in apparent indolence on the divan of the little salon, so filled with harmony and the fragrance of flowers. The windows were open, for the north wind had ceased to blow. A soothing southerly breeze was ruffling the surface of the salt lake before them, and the sun was glittering on the sands of the shore. Their souls were as...
Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850): Der französische Schriftsteller gilt als Begründer des soziologischen Realismus. Mit seinem Hauptwerk, dem unvollendeten Zyklus 'La Comédie Humaine' versucht er in über 80 Bänden, die Gesellschaft seiner Zeit darzustellen. Balzac, am 20. Mai 1799 in Tours als Sohn eines Rechtsanwalts geboren, wandte sich allerdings erst nach dem Abbruch seines Jura-Studiums an der Pariser Sorbonne der Literatur zu. Zunächst verfasste er jedoch wenig erfolgreich unter verschiedenen Pseudonymen Romane. Ebenso scheiterte er als Verleger, mit seiner Druckerei ging er Bankrott. Erst sein historischer Roman 'La dernier Chouan' bringt 1829 den Durchbruch. Fünf Monate vor seinem Tod am 18. August 1850 heiratet Balzac Eveline Hanska, mit der er bereits viele Jahre Briefkontakt pflegte.