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Cousin Betty
Honore de Balzac

Page 1 of 914


COUSIN BETTY 

PART I 

THE PRODIGAL FATHER 

One day, about the middle of July 1838, one of the carriages, then
lately introduced to Paris cabstands, and known as /Milords/, was
driving down the Rue de l'Universite, conveying a stout man of middle
height in the uniform of a captain of the National Guard. 

Among the Paris crowd, who are supposed to be so clever, there are
some men who fancy themselves infinitely more attractive in uniform
than in their ordinary clothes, and who attribute to women so depraved
a taste that they believe they will be favorably impressed by the
aspect of a busby and of military accoutrements. 

The countenance of this Captain of the Second Company beamed with a
self-satisfaction that added splendor to his ruddy and somewhat chubby

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