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The Alkahest


Translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley (1830-1908).

Dedication: To Madame Josephine Delannoy nee Doumerc.

Madame, may God grant that this, my book, may live longer than I,
for then the gratitude which I owe to you, and which I hope will
equal your almost maternal kindness to me, would last beyond the
limits prescribed for human affection. This sublime privilege of
prolonging life in our hearts for a time by the life of the work
we leave behind us would be (if we could only be sure of gaining
it at last) a reward indeed for all the labor undertaken by those
who aspire to such an immortality. Yet again I sayŚMay God grant it!--De Balzac

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