by Honore de Balzac
Translated by Ellen Marriage
To Madame Emile Girardin.
One of the few drawing-rooms where, under the Restoration, the
Archbishop of Besancon was sometimes to be seen, was that of the
Baronne de Watteville, to whom he was particularly attached on account
of her religious sentiments.
A word as to this lady, the most important lady of Besancon.
Monsieur de Watteville, a descendant of the famous Watteville, the
most successful and illustrious of murderers and renegades--his
extraordinary adventures are too much a part of history to be related
here--this nineteenth century Monsieur de Watteville was as gentle and
peaceable as his ancestor of the /Grand Siecle/ had been passionate
and turbulent. After living in the /Comte/ (La Franche Comte) like a
wood-louse in the crack of a wainscot, he had married the heiress of