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Gaudissart II - Honore de Balzac

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Translated By
Clara Bell and others


To Madame la Princesse Cristina de Belgiojoso, nee Trivulzio.


To know how to sell, to be able to sell, and to sell. People generally
do not suspect how much of the stateliness of Paris is due to these
three aspects of the same problem. The brilliant display of shops as
rich as the salons of the noblesse before 1789; the splendors of cafes
which eclipse, and easily eclipse, the Versailles of our day; the
shop-window illusions, new every morning, nightly destroyed; the grace
and elegance of the young men that come in contact with fair
customers; the piquant faces and costumes of young damsels, who cannot
fail to attract the masculine customer; and (and this especially of
late) the length, the vast spaces, the Babylonish luxury of galleries
where shopkeepers acquire a monopoly of the trade in various articles
by bringing them all together,--all this is as nothing. Everything, so
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