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:|
splendid virtues, d'Arthez obeyed this behest on the following day and
went to see Madame d'Espard, who received him with charming coquetry.
The marquise took very good care not to say a single word to him about
the princess, but she asked him to dinner on a coming day.
On this occasion d'Arthez found a numerous company. The marquise had
invited Rastignac, Blondet, the Marquis d'Ajuda-Pinto, Maxime de
Trailles, the Marquis d'Esgrignon, the two brothers Vandenesse, du
Tillet, one of the richest bankers in Paris, the Baron de Nucingen,
Raoul Nathan, Lady Dudley, two very treacherous secretaries of
embassies and the Chevalier d'Espard, the wiliest person in this
assemblage and the chief instigator of his sister-in-law's policy.