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Massimilla Doni - Honore de Balzac

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Massimilla Doni

by Honore de Balzac

Translated by Clara Bell and James Waring


  To Jacques Strunz.

  MY DEAR STRUNZ:--I should be ungrateful if I did not set your name
  at the head of one of the two tales I could never have written but
  for your patient kindness and care. Accept this as my grateful
  acknowledgment of the readiness with which you tried--perhaps not
  very successfully--to initiate me into the mysteries of musical
  knowledge. You have at least taught me what difficulties and what
  labor genius must bury in those poems which procure us
  transcendental pleasures. You have also afforded me the
  satisfaction of laughing more than once at the expense of a self-
  styled connoisseur.

  Some have taxed me with ignorance, not knowing that I have taken
  counsel of one of our best musical critics, and had the benefit of
  your conscientious help. I have, perhaps, been an inaccurate
  amanuensis. If this were the case, I should be the traitorous
  translator without knowing it, and I yet hope to sign myself
  always one of your friends.
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