The Country Doctor

By Honoré de Balzac; J. A. Muenier et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV.
THE CONFESSION OF THE COUNTRY DOCTOR.

"I WAS born," resumed the doctor, "in a small town in Languedoc, where my father had lived for some time; and there my childhood was passed. When eight years old, I was sent to a school at Sorrèze, which I did not leave until I went to finish my education in Paris. My father's youth had been wild and prodigal, but his wasted patrimony was replaced by a fortunate marriage, and by the slow savings of a provincial life, where more pride is felt in the possession of money than in the spending of it, and where the natural ambitions of men die out or turn to avarice, in default of generous nutriment. Becoming rich, and having but one son, he wished to transmit to me the cold experience he had gained in exchange for his vanished illusions, -- last and noble error of old men, who vainly strive to bequeath their virtues and their prudence to children who are enamoured of life and in haste to enjoy it. This desire on the part of my father led him to lay down a plan for my education of which, in the end, I became a victim. He carefully concealed from me the real value of his property, and condemned me, in my own interests, to suffer during my best years the privations and anxieties of a young man eager to acquire his independence; he wished to instil into me the virtues of

-219-

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The Country Doctor
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • List of Illustrations *
  • Chapter I - The Country and the Man 1
  • Chapter II - O'Er Hill and Dale 84
  • Chapter III - The Napoleon of the People 160
  • Chapter IV - The Confession of the Country Doctor 219
  • Chapter V - Elegies 268
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