Balzac's Diminishing Salary

When Balzac was a young novelist and just becoming famous, a publisher wanted to publish his latest novel. The publisher was carrying with him 3000 francs to offer to Balzac as payment. When he came to Balzac's neighbourhood, he saw that the novelist was living in a very poor area. The publisher then said to himself, "I can easily give him only 2000 francs."

As the publisher came close to Balzac's place, he said, "Balzac is living in a tiny, dark place. I will be able to give him 1000 francs. Since he is so poor, I am sure he will be more than satisfied."

When the publisher entered into the room, he saw that Balzac was very, very simple. He thought, "I am certain he will accept if I offer him only 300 francs." The publisher was right. He bought Balzac's latest manuscript for only 300 francs!

That book, La Dernière Fée, became extremely famous. The publisher was such a rogue! He was carrying 3000 francs with him. But when he saw that Balzac was living in a very poor area, and in a tiny apartment that was simpler than the simplest, he brought the price down ten-fold. He bought La Dernière Fée for 300 francs!