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DEDICATION

To Mademoiselle Sophie Surville,

It is a true pleasure, my dear niece, to dedicate to you this book, the subject and details of which have won the approbation, so difficult to win, of a young girl to whom the world is still unknown, and who has compromised with none of the lofty principles of a saintly education. Young girls are indeed a formidable public, for they ought not to be allowed to read books less pure than the purity of their souls; they are forbidden certain reading, just as they are carefully prevented from seeing social life as it is. Must it not therefore be a source of pride to a writer to find that he has pleased you?

God grant that your affection for me has not misled you. Who can tell? --the future; which you, I hope, will see, though not, perhaps.


Your uncle,
De Balzac.





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