184590Letters of Two Brides — DedicationHonore de Balzac

  To George Sand

  Your name, dear George, while casting a reflected radiance on my
  book, can gain no new glory from this page. And yet it is neither
  self-interest nor diffidence which has led me to place it there,
  but only the wish that it should bear witness to the solid
  friendship between us, which has survived our wanderings and
  separations, and triumphed over the busy malice of the world. This
  feeling is hardly likely now to change. The goodly company of
  friendly names, which will remain attached to my works, forms an
  element of pleasure in the midst of the vexation caused by their
  increasing number. Each fresh book, in fact, gives rise to fresh
  annoyance, were it only in the reproaches aimed at my too prolific
  pen, as though it could rival in fertility the world from which I
  draw my models! Would it not be a fine thing, George, if the
  future antiquarian of dead literatures were to find in this
  company none but great names and generous hearts, friends bound by
  pure and holy ties, the illustrious figures of the century? May I
  not justly pride myself on this assured possession, rather than on
  a popularity necessarily unstable? For him who knows you well, it
  is happiness to be able to sign himself, as I do here,

                                                    Your friend,
                                                         DE BALZAC.

PARIS, June 1840.