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:|
heart, old as it is, an innocence which has never been touched. Yes,
under all my experience, lies a first love intact,--just as I myself,
in spite of all my losses and fatigues, feel young and beautiful. We
may love and not be happy; we may be happy and never love; but to love
and be happy, to unite those two immense human experiences, is a
miracle. That miracle has not taken place for me."
"Nor for me," said Madame d'Espard.
"I own I am pursued in this retreat by dreadful regret: I have amused
myself all through life, but I have never loved."
"What an incredible secret!" cried the marquise.
"Ah! my dear," replied the princess, "such secrets we can tell to