The excerpt represents the core issue or deciding factor on which you must meditate, and is drawn from Father Goriot by Honore de Balzac:|
"You would like to know who I really am, what I was, and what I
do now," Vautrin went on. "You want to know too much, youngster.
Come! come! keep cool! You will hear more astonishing things than
that. I have had my misfortunes. Just hear me out first, and you
shall have your turn afterwards. Here is my past in three words.
Who am I? Vautrin. What do I do? Just what I please. Let us
change the subject. You want to know my character. I am good-
natured to those who do me a good turn, or to those whose hearts
speak to mine. These last may do anything they like with me; they
may bruise my shins, and I shall not tell them to 'mind what they
are about'; but, nom d'une pipe, the devil himself is not an