The Ball at Sceaux
Honoré de Balzac
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Young Emilie de Fontaine is considering what she would prefer in a husband. At nineteen she is the darling of her relatives and tyrannizes ruthlessly over them. Having decided that she will settle for nothing less than the son of a peer of France, she treats her admirers with scorn. She is intrigued by a handsome young man she sees at the ball but is unable to discover his identity.