Translated by Joseph Walker McSpadden
racters speak, he distinguishes their voices, and we ourselves distinguish them in the dialogue. The growling of Vautrin, the hissing of La Gamard, the melodious tones of Madame de Mortsauf still linger in our ears. For such intensity of evocation is as contagious as an enthusiasm or a panic.
There is abundant testimony going to show that with Balzac this evocation is accomplished, as in the mystic arts by releasing it, so to speak, from the ordinary laws of life. Pray note in what terms M. le Docteur Fournier, the real mayor of Tours, relates incidents of the novelist's method of work, according to the report of a servant employed at the chateau of Sache: "Sometimes he would shut himself up in his room and stay there several days. Then it was that, plunged into a sort of ecstasy and armed with a crow quill, he would write night and day, abstaining from all food and merely contenting himself with decoctions of coffee which he himself prepared." [Brochure of M. le Docteur Fournier in regard to the statu