Love in a Mask by Honoré de Balzac

LOVE IN A MASK

or IMPRUDENCE

and HAPPINESS

A Hitherto Unpublished Novel

by

HONORÉ DE BALZAC

Translated by

ALICE M. IVIMY

Copyright, 1911

A NOTE

Balzac, in gratitude to the Duchesse de Dino for her friendship and unfailing kindness to him, one day presented her with the story of “L’Amour Masque” (Love in a Mask) in his own handwriting. The duchess was one of the few French aristocrats who in Balzac’s time welcomed untitled authors to their salons, and her library boasted many such offerings from the literary men of her day. She placed Balzac’s unpublished book on her shelves by the side of similarly unpublished poems by Alfred de Musset, and stories by Eugene Sue and others. The Balzac manuscript was incased in a finely tooled binding of great richness and beauty, bearing the ex libris of the ducal family. For more than half a century the manuscript remained where the duchess had placed it. Then her son, M. Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord, the present Duc de Dino, made it a present to his friend, the learned Lucien Aubanel. By him it was given to M. Gillequin, with the suggestion that it be published, and it accordingly appeared in print for the first time in March, 1911. The Duc de Dino, in a letter written to M. Gillequin on this occasion, guaranteed the history of the volume which for so long had been one of the treasured possessions of his family.

THE PUBLISHERS.

Table of Contents

Chapter I

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