Beatrix

Beatrix

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Beatrix by Honoré de Balzac

Published:

1845

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Beatrix

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Book Excerpt

m the hammer of the architect, the brush of the plasterer, nor have they staggered under the weight of added stories. All retain their primitive characteristics. Some rest on wooden columns which form arcades under which foot-passengers circulate, the floor planks bending beneath them, but never breaking. The houses of the merchants are small and low; their fronts are veneered with slate. Wood, now decaying, counts for much in the carved material of the window-casings and the pillars, above which grotesque faces look down, while shapes of fantastic beasts climb up the angles, animated by that great thought of Art, which in those old days gave life to inanimate nature. These relics, resisting change, present to the eye of painters those dusky tones and half-blurred features in which the artistic brush delights.

The streets are what they were four hundred years ago,--with one exception; population no longer swarms there; the social movement is now so dead that a traveller wishing to examine the town (as beau

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