Albert Savarus by Honoré de Balzac

By Honoré de Balzac

« Un lac est plein d’amour ! » s’écrie Rosalie en ouvrant sa fenêtre sur « los angeles belle nappe d’eau » des Rouxey. « Ils se sont aimés devant des lacs ! » Ils, c’est le couple d’amants que forment Albert, jeune avocat parisien exilé à Besançon, et Francesca, une belle duchesse italienne. Rosalie s’est juré de les désunir. Albert Savarus est une histoire d’amour et de fureur, mais comme toujours chez Balzac, l. a. ardour s’inscrit dans le réel : le mariage bute sur l. a. différence de classe et de fortune, les belles promesses ne résistent pas à l’épreuve du temps, le romantisme se fracasse sur l. a. politique. Cruelle désillusion pour qui voulait posséder l’absolu ! N’est-ce pas ce que Balzac pressent pour lui-même en 1842, un des moments les plus amers de sa vie ? En créant l’émouvant personnage d’Albert, son double, miné par l’attente et l’usure du désir, il espère exorciser un destin redouté. Préface, notes et file de Jacqueline Milhit.

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If instigated by Publius Clodius, nothing unusual; that is how the villain operates. If both—that is to say, if the situation was such as to arouse the populace spontaneously, and ringleaders of riot were ready and armed—was it not a clear + case of the Commonwealth herself calling on the Consuls and appealing to the Senate for succor? Actually, it was both; that is plain. Nobody denies that the price of grain was acutely high, that the commodity was in extremely short supply, that there was a widespread fear not only of high prices for a long while to come but of downright famine.

And my country! Words can hardly express the love, the joy of her. The sight of Italy, the populous towns, the landscape, the countryside, the crops, the beauty of our city, the kindness of her people, the dignity of the Commonwealth, the majesty of you, the people! Yes, formerly I used to enjoy all these things as much as any man. But all of them are better relished when missed than when continually sampled, just as a man who has recovered from a serious illness appreciates good health more than one who has never been sick.

The people flocked to the temple of Concord, where Consul Metellus had convoked the Senate. Now if this was a genuine movement, springing from + public distress and hunger, then surely it was the duty of the Consuls to take the matter up and of the Senate to come to a conclusion. If, on the other hand, the price of grain was a pretext, and Clodius was the agitator, stirring up the riot, were we not all bound to try to take the wind out of the madman's sails? [12] Or perhaps it was both. Perhaps hunger roused the people and he came up like a swelling on an ulcer.

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