SCENES FROM A COURTESAN'S LIFE
by Honore de Balzac
Translated by James Waring
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.
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