The Lesser Bourgeoisie

Author: Honore de Balzac


To Constance-Victoire.

Here, madame, is one of those books which come into the mind,
whence no one knows, giving pleasure to the author before he can
foresee what reception the public, our great present judge, will
accord to it. Feeling almost certain of your sympathy in my
pleasure, I dedicate the book to you. Ought it not to belong to
you as the tithe formerly belonged to the Church in memory of God,
who makes all things bud and fruit in the fields and in the

A few lumps of clay, left by Moliere at the feet of his colossal
statue of Tartuffe, have here been kneaded by a hand more daring
than able; but, at whatever distance I may be from the greatest of
comic writers, I shall still be glad to have used these crumbs in
showing the modern Hypocrite in action. The chief encouragement
that I have had in this difficult undertaking was in finding it
apart from all religious questions,—questions which ought to be
kept out of it for the sake of one so pious as yourself; and also
because of what a great writer has lately called our present
"indifference in matters of religion."

May the double signification of your names be for my book a
prophecy! Deign to find here the respectful gratitude of him who
ventures to call himself the most devoted of your servants.

De Balzac.


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Chicago: Honore de Balzac, "Dedication," The Lesser Bourgeoisie, trans. Marriage, Ellen in The Lesser Bourgeoisie Original Sources, accessed June 17, 2024,

MLA: de Balzac, Honore. "Dedication." The Lesser Bourgeoisie, translted by Marriage, Ellen, in The Lesser Bourgeoisie, Original Sources. 17 Jun. 2024.

Harvard: de Balzac, H, 'Dedication' in The Lesser Bourgeoisie, trans. . cited in , The Lesser Bourgeoisie. Original Sources, retrieved 17 June 2024, from