The excerpt represents the core issue or deciding factor on which you must meditate, and is drawn from The Vicar of Tours by Honore de Balzac:|
putting his snuff-box on the mantelpiece with an air and manner that
alarmed the vicar.
Birotteau was so bewildered by the upsetting of all his ideas, by the
rapidity of events which found him defenceless, by the ease with which
his friends were settling the most cherished matters of his solitary
life, that he remained silent and motionless as if moonstruck,
thinking of nothing, though listening and striving to understand the
meaning of the rapid sentences the assembled company addressed to him.
He took the paper Monsieur Caron had given him and read it, as if he
were giving his mind to the lawyer's document, but the act was merely
mechanical. He signed the paper, by which he declared that he left