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:|
need to be cemented by a few little crimes. When two friends are
liable to kill each other reciprocally, and see a poisoned dagger in
each other's hand, they present a touching spectacle of harmony, which
is never troubled, unless, by chance, one of them is careless enough
to drop her weapon.
So, eight days later, a little dinner such as are given to intimates
by verbal invitation only, during which the doors are closed to all
other visitors, took place at Madame d'Espard's house. Five persons
were invited,--Emile Blondet and Madame de Montcornet, Daniel
d'Arthez, Rastignac, and the Princesse de Cadignan. Counting the
mistress of the house, there were as many men as women.