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The Muse Of The Department - Preface Post by :24HourCash Category :Long Stories Author :Honore De Balzac Date :May 2012 Read :3542

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The Muse Of The Department - Preface

THE MUSE OF THE DEPARTMENT
BY
HONORE DE BALZAC


Translated by James Waring


DEDICATION
To Monsieur le Comte Ferdinand de Gramont.

MY DEAR FERDINAND,--If the chances of the world of literature --_habent sua fata libelli_--should allow these lines to be an enduring record, that will still be but a trifle in return for the trouble you have taken--you, the Hozier, the Cherin, the King-at-Arms of these Studies of Life; you, to whom the Navarreins, Cadignans, Langeais, Blamont-Chauvrys, Chaulieus, Arthez, Esgrignons, Mortsaufs, Valois--the hundred great names that form the Aristocracy of the "Human Comedy" owe their lordly mottoes and ingenious armorial bearings. Indeed, "the Armorial of the Etudes, devised by Ferdinand de Gramont, gentleman," is a complete manual of French Heraldry, in which nothing is forgotten, not even the arms of the Empire, and I shall preserve it as a monument of friendship and of Benedictine patience. What profound knowledge of the old feudal spirit is to be seen in the motto of the Beauseants, _Pulchre sedens, melius agens_; in that of the Espards, _Des partem leonis_; in that of the Vandenesses, _Ne se vend_. And what elegance in the thousand details of the learned symbolism which will always show how far accuracy has been carried in my work, to which you, the poet, have contributed.


Your old friend,
DE BALZAC.

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