Parisians in the Country

Parisians in the Country

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Parisians in the Country by Honoré de Balzac

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Parisians in the Country

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Book Excerpt

. He lived the life of a sovereign, or, better still, of a journalist; in fact, he was the perambulating "feuilleton" of Parisian commerce.

His name was Gaudissart; and his renown, his vogue, the flatteries showered upon him, were such as to win for him the surname of Illustrious. Wherever the fellow went,--behind a counter or before a bar, into a salon or to the top of a stage-coach, up to a garret or to dine with a banker,--every one said, the moment they saw him, "Ah! here comes the illustrious Gaudissart!"[*] No name was ever so in keeping with the style, the manners, the countenance, the voice, the language, of any man. All things smiled upon our traveller, and the traveller smiled back in return. "Similia similibus,"--he believed in homoeopathy. Puns, horse-laugh, monkish face, skin of a friar, true Rabelaisian exterior, clothing, body, mind, and features, all pulled together to put a devil-may-care jollity into every inch of his person. Free-handed and easy-going, he might be recognized at once as t

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