Secrecies of the princess of Cadignan
the Secrecies of the princess of Cadignan is a Nouvelle of Honore de Balzac, published in the newspaper the Press in 1839 under the title a Parisian princess , then published in volume in volume XI of the Furne edition of the Human Comedy . It belongs to Scènes of Parisian life .
It is one of most interesting the Etudes of women . One finds important figures of the Balzac world there, in particular the eternal dandies: Eugene de Rastignac, Maxime de Trailles, the marchioness of Espard. But this world there plays a game much more subtle than that of the living rooms to the intrigue petty. It is about a play of seduction particularly refined. Through the loves of the princess, one also discovers in a new light very serious Daniel d' Arthez, wise adviser of the coterie which surrounded Lucien de Rubempré in lost Illusions and which pushed it to work to become a true writer. Here, the poor wretch of Arthez which lived in a Chambre of good became an estimable writer. If it did not reach glory yet, it is already recognized, attends the best world, and it has a political position.
SynopsisWithdrawn from the world at thirty six years, the princess of Cadignan (otherwise called duchess of Maufrigneuse) is literally a devourer of fortunes and men. The list of his/her lovers is interminable. She joined together them besides in album which she presents to her friendly the marchioness of Espard, only person with which she has relations. In an access of confidence, the two women mutually acknowledge themselves never not to have met a true love, that which would be appropriate for their fundamental innocence .
The marchioness of Espard then proposes with the princess to make him meet a phenomenon: Daniel d' Arthez precisely. D' Arthez is now baron, he inherited a family fortune which could push it with prodigality. But the writer remained also serious and frugal that it was it at the time of his great misery, it continues to work with its writings, and it is the object of friendly mocking remarks on behalf of Rastignac and of Flying bridges because it saw with a vulgar woman that it does not respect. D' Arthez does not know anything the refined love of the great ladies, and yet it would be easy for him to allure. But there is in him a timidity which stops it. The princess of Cadignan thus will undertake to allure this pure heart by drowning it in an avalanche of lies (its secrecies), from where he arises that it was victim of her mother and thousand misfortunes. Soon allured, intimidated, and taken in the nets of the princess for whom Michel Chrestien, friend of Arthez, died literally of love, the writer tests a passion without terminal for this so skilful woman so much so that it defends it with the face of the world. The princess precisely sent it to a supper where it knows that one will calumniate it (or to say the truth on it, one does not know exactly). And at this point in time the princess is caught with her own trap and fall in love with Daniel d' Arthez.
The last sentence of the text is a pirouette: is this a outcome? Yes for people of spirit; not for those which want all to know . There one saw an allusion to the loves of Cordélia de Castellane with Chateaubriand. (of Arthez is also statesman)
In a letter with Mrs Hanska, Balzac summarizes its news thus: It is the largest moral comedy which exists. It is the cluster of lies by which a 37 year old woman, the duchess of Maufrigneuse, become princess of Cadignan by succession, manages to be made take for holy, virtuous, an modest young girl by her fourteenth admirer (...) the chief of work is to have shown the lies like right, necessary and to justify them by the love.
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