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Louis Lambert
Honore de Balzac

Page 1 of 210


Louis Lambert was born at Montoire, a little town in the Vendomois,
where his father owned a tannery of no great magnitude, and intended
that his son should succeed him; but his precocious bent for study
modified the paternal decision.  For, indeed, the tanner and his wife
adored Louis, their only child, and never contradicted him in

At the age of five Louis had begun by reading the Old and New
Testaments; and these two Books, including so many books, had sealed
his fate.  Could that childish imagination understand the mystical
depths of the Scriptures? Could it so early follow the flight of the
Holy Spirit across the worlds? Or was it merely attracted by the
romantic touches which abound in those Oriental poems! Our narrative
will answer these questions to some readers. 

One thing resulted from this first reading of the Bible: Louis went
all over Montoire begging for books, and he obtained them by those

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