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