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: The two stories of /Les Rivalites/ are more closely connected than it was always Balzac's habit to connect the tales which he united under a common heading. Not only are both devoted to the society of Alenconâa town and neighborhood to which he had evidently strong, though it is not clearly known what, attractionsânot only is the Chevalier de Valois a notable figure in each; but the community, imparted by the elaborate study of the old /noblesse/ in each case, is even greater than either of these ties could give. Indeed, if instead of /Les Rivalites/ the author had chosen some label indicating the study of the /noblesse qui s'en va/, it might almost have been preferable. He did not, however; and though in a man who so constantly changed his titles and his arrangements the actual ones are not excessively authoritative, they have authority.