DEDICATIONTo His HighnessPrince Alfonso Serafino di Porcia.
Allow me to place your name at the beginning of anessentially Parisian work, thought out in your houseduring these latter days. Is it not natural that I should offeryou the flowers of rhetoric that blossomed in your garden,watered with the regrets I suffered from home-sickness,which you soothed, as I wandered under the boschettiwhose elms reminded me of the Champs-Elysees? Thus,perchance, may I expiate the crime of having dreamed ofParis under the shadow of the Duomo, of having longedfor our muddy streets on the clean and elegant flagstonesof Porta-Renza. When I have some book to publish whichmay be dedicated to a Milanese lady, I shall have thehappiness of finding names already dear to your oldItalian romancers among those of women whom we love,and to whose memory I would beg you to recall yoursincerely affectionateDE BALZAC. July 1838.