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Z. Marcas
Honore de Balzac

Page 1 of 54


I never saw anybody, not even among the most remarkable men of the
day, whose appearance was so striking as this man's; the study of his
countenance at first gave me a feeling of great melancholy, and at
last produced an almost painful impression. 

There was a certain harmony between the man and his name.  The Z.
preceding Marcas, which was seen on the addresses of his letters, and
which he never omitted from his signature, as the last letter of the
alphabet, suggested some mysterious fatality. 

MARCAS! say this two-syllabled name again and again; do you not feel
as if it had some sinister meaning? Does it not seem to you that its
owner must be doomed to martyrdom? Though foreign, savage, the name
has a right to be handed down to posterity; it is well constructed,
easily pronounced, and has the brevity that beseems a famous name.  Is
it not pleasant as well as odd? But does it not sound unfinished? 

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