"However," observed the composer of ballads, who previously had opened his mouth only to gulp down whatever was put into it, "I know men of talent who actually commend the judgment of 'our good Parisians.' I myself have some reputation as a musician," he added modestly, "which at present I owe to no more than my little vaudeville tunes and the success of my quadrilles in the salons; but I fully expect to compete, in the near future, a requiem mass composed for the anniversary of Beethoven's death, which I believe will be better understood in Paris than anywhere else. Will monsieur do me the honor of coming to hear it?" he inquired of Andrea.
"Thank you," the count replied. "I am not endowed with organs requisite for the appreciation of French vocal music. But if you were dead, monsieur, and Beethoven had written the requiem, I should not fail to come and hear it."
- Honoré de Balzac