Excerpt from Cousin Pons, And, Old Goriot Now, he was even more desperate as a collector and fan cier of bibelots than he was as a speculator; and while the one mania was nearly as responsible for his pecuniary trou bles and his need to overwork himself as the other, it cer tainly gave him more constant and more comparatively harm less satisfactions. His conisseurship has, of course, been questioned - one conisseur would be thing if he did t question the competence of ather, if t of all others. It seems certain that Balzac frequently bought things for what they were t; and probable that his own acquisitions went, in his own eyes, through that succession of stages which Charles Lamb (a sort of Cousin Pons in his way too) de scribed inimitably. His pictures, like John Lamb's, were apt to begin as Rafaels and end as Carlo Marattis. Balzac, too, like Pons, was even more addicted to bric-d-brac than to art proper; and after many vicissitudes, he and Madame Hanska seem to have succeeded in getting together a very considerable, if also a very miscellaneous and unequal, col lection in the house in the Rue du Paradis, the contents of which were dispersed in part (though, I believe, the Roths child who bought it, bought most of them too) t many years ago. Pons, indeed, was too poor, and probably too queer, to indulge in one fancy which Balzac had, and which, I think, all collectors of the bler and more poetic class have, though this number may t be large. Balzac liked to have new beautiful things as well as old - to have beau tiful things made for him. He was an unwearied customer, though t an uncomplaining one, of the great jeweller Froment Meurice, whose tardiness in carrying out his be hests he pathetically upbraids in more than one extant letter. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art techlogy to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.