HONORE DE BALZAC
Katharine Prescott Wormeley
To Madame Josephine Delannoy nee Doumerc.
Madame, may God grant that this, my book, may live longer than I,
for then the gratitude which I owe to you, and which I hope will
equal your almost maternal kindness to me, would last beyond the
limits prescribed for human affection. This sublime privilege of
prolonging life in our hearts for a time by the life of the work
we leave behind us would be (if we could only be sure of gaining
it at last) a reward indeed for all the labor undertaken by those
who aspire to such an immortality.
Yet again I say--May God grant it!
(THE HOUSE OF CLAES)