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Balzac begins by stating that marriage is not an institution of nature and observing that marriage operates differently in different societies. These comments were made by someone in the presence of Napoleon, and Bazac says they made a ‘profound impression upon the author of this book.” Balzac seems centered on the issues of ADULTERY, which I capitalize as he does in his text. He claims that marriage is “generally modified by adultery” and that the number of unhappy homes is greater than the happy homes. He talks of perhaps writing a satire upon marriage wherein a husband and wife find themselves in love with each other for the first time after 27 years of marriage.