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Etude de Femme [translated for the New York Saturday Press]

Balzac, Honore de. "Etude de Femme [translated for the New York Saturday Press]." New-York Saturday Press. 10 Mar. 1860: 1.
short fiction

The narrator, Horace, recounts a letter mix-up that reveals the true character of a woman in his society. The Marchioness de Listomere is described as a perfect lady of society; composed, intelligent, attractive but not too beautiful. When she receives a love letter from the young Eugene Rastignac by accident (it was meant for another woman), she is at first quietly flattered while pretending to scold, and then when the truth is revealed, she falls ill with a nervous disorder.