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Modeste Mignon

by Honoré de Balzac

Modeste Mignon, a young provincial woman of romantic temperament, imagines herself to be in love with the famous Parisian poet Melchior de Canalis, whose works have filled her with passion. She corresponds with him, but he is unmoved by her attentions. Canalis invites his secretary Ernest de la Brière to deal with the matter. Ernest replies to Modeste in Canalis' name; a dangerous intrigue ensues, which sees Ernest appear in Modeste's home town disguised as Canalis. [Translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley.]

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