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The Elixir of Life - Honore de Balzac

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THE ELIXIR OF LIFE

BY

HONORE DE BALZAC



Translated By
Clara Bell & James Waring



TO THE READER

At the very outset of the writer's literary career, a friend,
long since dead, gave him the subject of this Study. Later on he
found the same story in a collection published about the
beginning of the present century. To the best of his belief, it
is some stray fancy of the brain of Hoffmann of Berlin; probably
it appeared in some German almanac, and was omitted in the
published editions of his collected works. The Comedie Humaine is
sufficiently rich in original creations for the author to own to
this innocent piece of plagiarism; when, like the worthy La
Fontaine, he has told unwittingly, and after his own fashion, a
tale already related by another. This is not one of the hoaxes in
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