Pierre Grassou

Pierre Grassou

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Pierre Grassou by Honoré de Balzac

Published:

1845

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Pierre Grassou

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Translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley

Book Excerpt

moment the artist, who ate his bread with that patient, resigned air that tells so much, heard and recognized the step of a man who had upon his life the influence such men have on the lives of nearly all artists,--the step of Elie Magus, a picture-dealer, a usurer in canvas. The next moment Elie Magus entered and found the painter in the act of beginning his work in the tidy studio.

"How are you, old rascal?" said the painter.

Fougeres had the cross of the Legion of honor, and Elie Magus bought his pictures at two and three hundred francs apiece, so he gave himself the airs of a fine artist.

"Business is very bad," replied Elie. "You artists have such pretensions! You talk of two hundred francs when you haven't put six sous' worth of color on a canvas. However, you are a good fellow, I'll say that. You are steady; and I've come to put a good bit of business in your way."

"Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes," said Fougeres. "Do you know Latin?"

"No."

"Well, it means that the Greeks never propose

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