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Scenes from a Courtesans Life - Honore de Balzac

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SCENES FROM A COURTESAN'S LIFE

by Honore de Balzac

Translated by James Waring

PREPARER'S NOTE

  Note: The story of Lucien de Rubempre begins in the Lost Illusions
  trilogy which consists of Two Poets, A Distinguished Provincial at
  Paris, and Eve and David.

DEDICATION

To His Highness
Prince Alfonso Serafino di Porcia.

  Allow me to place your name at the beginning of an essentially
  Parisian work, thought out in your house during these latter days.
  Is it not natural that I should offer you the flowers of rhetoric
  that blossomed in your garden, watered with the regrets I suffered
  from home-sickness, which you soothed, as I wandered under the
  boschetti whose elms reminded me of the Champs-Elysees? Thus,
  perchance, may I expiate the crime of having dreamed of Paris
  under the shadow of the Duomo, of having longed for our muddy
  streets on the clean and elegant flagstones of Porta-Renza. When I
  have some book to publish which may be dedicated to a Milanese
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