The Works of Honoré de Balzac A Woman of Thirty; Madame Firmiani; Gobseck; La Grande Bretecache; A Study of Woman; Another Study of Woman - Vol. 2

By Honoré de Balzac | Go to book overview

your uncle, because you do not wish to lose your chance of succeeding to the title.

The Marquise took refuge in her room, and in her mind passed a pitiless verdict upon her husband.

"His stupidity is really beyond anything!


IV
THE FINGER OF GOD

BETWEEN the Barrière d'Italie and the Barrière de la Santé, along the boulevard which leads to the Jardin des Plantes, you have a view of Paris fit to send an artist or the tourist, the most blasé in matters of landscape, into ecstasies. Reach the slightly higher ground where the line of boulevard, shaded by tall, thick-spreading trees, curves with the grace of some green and silent forest avenue, and you see spread out at your feet a deep valley populous with factories looking almost countrified among green trees and the brown streams of the Bièvre or the Gobelins.

On the opposite slope, beneath some thousands of roofs packed close together like heads in a crowd, lurks the squalor of the Faubourg Saint-Marceau. The imposing cupola of the Panthéon, and the grim melancholy dome of the Val-duGrace, tower proudly up above a whole town in itself, built amphitheater-wise; every tier being grotesquely represented by a crooked line of street, so that the two public monuments look like a huge pair of giants dwarfing into insignificance the poor little houses and the tallest poplars in the valley. To your left behold the observatory, the daylight, pouring athwart its windows and galleries, producing such fantastical strange effects that the building looks' like a black spectral skeleton. Further yet in the distance rises the elegant lantern tower of the Invalides, soaring up between the bluish pile of the Luxembourg and the gray towers of SaintSulpice. From this standpoint the lines of the architecture are blended with green leaves and gray shadows, and change every moment with every aspect of the heavens, every altera-

-112-

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The Works of Honoré de Balzac A Woman of Thirty; Madame Firmiani; Gobseck; La Grande Bretecache; A Study of Woman; Another Study of Woman - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface iii
  • A Woman of Thirty *
  • I - Early Mistakes 1
  • II - A Hidden Grief 69
  • III - At Thirty Years 89
  • IV - The Finger of God 112
  • V - Two Meetings 125
  • VI - The Old Age of A Guilty Mother 174
  • Madame Firmiani *
  • Gobseck *
  • La Grande Bretêche *
  • A Study of Woman *
  • Another Study of Woman *
  • Another Study of Woman 1
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