The excerpt represents the core issue or deciding factor on which you must meditate, and is drawn from Sarrasine by Honore de Balzac:|
almost like Madame du Barry's; her face, although overshadowed by a
large cap, seemed only the daintier therefor, and the powder was very
becoming to her. She smiled graciously at the sculptor. Sarrasine,
disgusted beyond measure at finding himself unable to speak to her
without witnesses, courteously seated himself beside her, and
discoursed of music, extolling her prodigious talent; but his voice
trembled with love and fear and hope.
" 'What do you fear?' queried Vitagliani, the most celebrated singer
in the troupe. 'Go on, you have no rival here to fear.'
"After he had said this the tenor smiled silently. The lips of all the
guests repeated that smile, in which there was a lurking expression of