The excerpt represents the core issue or deciding factor on which you must meditate, and is drawn from An Old Maid by Honore de Balzac:|
gold mine to work in the monotonous lives of these personages, the
observant and distrustful chevalier thought he recognized in the
worthy woman a far more extended sentiment; namely, the joy caused by
the triumph of self-interest. Instantly he turned to examine Athanase,
and detected him in the significant silence of deep meditation.
Presently, a look cast by the young man on Mademoiselle Cormon carried
to the soul of the chevalier a sudden gleam. That momentary flash of
lightning enabled him to read the past.
"Ha! the devil!" he said to himself; "what a checkmate I'm exposed
Monsieur de Valois now approached Mademoiselle Cormon, and offered his