The excerpt represents the core issue or deciding factor on which you must meditate, and is drawn from The Secrets of the Princesse de Cadignan by Honore de Balzac:|
triumph flicker on her lips, a smile such as the monkeys wear after
playing a sly trick--if monkeys smile.
"Ah! I have him," thought she; and, indeed, she had him fast.
"But you are--" he said, raising his fine head and looking at her with
eyes of love.
"Virgin and martyr," she replied, smiling at the commonness of that
hackneyed expression, but giving it a freshness of meaning by her
smile, so full of painful gayety. "If I laugh," she continued, "it is
that I am thinking of that princess whom the world thinks it knows,
that Duchesse de Maufrigneuse to whom it gives as lovers de Marsay,
that infamous de Trailles (a political cutthroat), and that little