The Alkahest, by Honoré de Balzac


To Madame Josephine Delannoy nee Doumerc.

Madame, may God grant that this, my book, may live longer than I, for then the gratitude which I owe to you, and which I hope will equal your almost maternal kindness to me, would last beyond the limits prescribed for human affection. This sublime privilege of prolonging life in our hearts for a time by the life of the work we leave behind us would be (if we could only be sure of gaining it at last) a reward indeed for all the labor undertaken by those who aspire to such an immortality.

Yet again I say — May God grant it!


Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:05