Pierrette

Pierrette

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Pierrette by Honoré de Balzac

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Pierrette

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Book Excerpt

, so faithfully does it picture the manners and customs, the surroundings and the heartiness of her noble old land, where a sort of melancholy reigns, hardly to be defined; caused, perhaps, by the aspect of life in Brittany, which is deeply touching. This power of awakening a world of grave and sweet and tender memories by a familiar and sometimes lively ditty, is the privilege of those popular songs which are the superstitions of music,--if we may use the word "superstition" as signifying all that remains after the ruin of a people, all that survives their revolutions.

As he finished the first couple, the singer, who never took his eyes from the attic curtain, saw no signs of life. While he sang the second, the curtain stirred. When the words "Receive these flowers" were sung, a youthful face appeared; a white hand cautiously opened the casement, and a girl made a sign with her head to the singer as he ended with the melancholy thought of the simple verses,--"Alas! your fleeting honors will fade as they."

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