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Victor Hugo on Balzac’s Death

How Honoré de Balzac died:

La Comedie Humaine by Balzac

The Death of Balzac
By Victor Hugo

On the 18th of August, 1850, my wife, who had been during the day to see Mme. de Balzac, told me that Balzac was dying. I hurried to him.

M. de Balzac had been suffering for eighteen months from hypertrophy of the heart. After the revolution of February he went to Russia, and there married. Some days before his departure I met him in the boulevard. He was then complaining, and breathing noisily. In May, 1850, he returned to France, married, rich, and dying! When he arrived, his legs were already swollen. Four doctors held a consultation. One of them, M. Louis, told me on the 6th of July, “He has not six weeks to live.” It is the same disease that killed Frederic Soulie.

On August 18th my uncle, General Louis Hugo, was dining with me. As soon as the table was…

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