The excerpt represents the core issue or deciding factor on which you must meditate, and is drawn from The Alkahest by Honore de Balzac:|
absorbed her husband filled her with a vexation as keen as the beauty
of a rival might have caused. The struggle of woman against woman
gives to her who loves the most the advantage of loving best; but a
mortification like this only proved Madame Claes's powerlessness and
humiliated the feelings by which she lived. She was ignorant; and she
had reached a point where her ignorance parted her from her husband.
Worse than all, last and keenest torture, he was risking his life, he
was often in danger--near her, yet far away, and she might not share,
nor even know, his peril. Her position became, like hell, a moral
prison from which there was no issue, in which there was no hope.
Madame Claes resolved to know at least the outward attractions of this