La Comédie Humaine of Honoré de Balzac - Vol. 18

La Comédie Humaine of Honoré de Balzac - Vol. 18

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La Comédie Humaine of Honoré de Balzac - Vol. 18

La Comédie Humaine of Honoré de Balzac - Vol. 18

Read FREE!

Excerpt

During the last Opera-ball of 1824, many masks were attracted by the beauty of a young man who was walking through the corridors and about the foyer with the air of a person in quest of a woman whom unforeseen circumstances had kept at home. The secret of this gait and manner, partly lagging, partly hurried, is known only to old women and loungers emeriti. In that immense rendezvous, the crowd takes little note of the crowd; interests are so intense that idleness itself is preoccupied.

The young dandy was so absorbed in his restless search that he did not notice his own success; at any rate he paid no attention to the soft words, the admiring surprise, the spicy jests, the lively exclamations of certain masks. Though his beauty classed him among those exceptional persons who come to the masked balls of the Opera in search of adventure, and who seem to await it as they awaited a lucky throw at roulette when Frascati was alive, he seemed, one might think, almost vulgarly sure of his evening. Perhaps he was the hero of one of those mysteries with three . . .

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