The excerpt represents the core issue or deciding factor on which you must meditate, and is drawn from The Marriage Contract by Honore de Balzac:|
stop at effects and never hark back to causes. Paul had one of those
essentially confiding natures, without ill-feelings, but also without
foresight. His weakness proceeded far more from his kindness, his
belief in goodness, than from actual debility of soul.
Natalie was sad and thoughtful, for she knew not what to do without
her mother. Paul, with that self-confident conceit which comes of
love, smiled to himself at her sadness, thinking how soon the
pleasures of marriage and the excitements of Paris would drive it
away. Madame Evangelista saw this confidence with much satisfaction.
She had already taken two great steps. Her daughter possessed the
diamonds which had cost Paul two hundred thousand francs; and she had