Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/16

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The Memoires du Comte de M—— (the writer was then known as the Comte de Moré) has become a rare book, and appears to have been unknown to many of the historians and biographers whose writings relate to the War of Independence and the actors concerned in it. That the book is rare and rather valuable is due to the "book-maniacs," who have snapped-up every available copy, not on account of any interest in the book or its author, but because of—the printer! A certain young man had persuaded his relatives to set him up in business as a printer, but in a little over a year he contrived to lose more than 150,000 francs. He threw up the business in disgust, and resolved to make his living by the pen. To prove that he was better fitted to compose with the pen than with the "stick," it needs but to cite his name,—Honore de Balzac! Even a book which had the honour of proceeding from the novelist's unprofitable press has acquired a fictitious value.

Both as the Chevalier de Pontgibaud and the Marquis de Moré, the author had