A Woman of Thirty - Honoré de Balzac
In this story heroine Julie is attending with her ailing father one of Napoleon’s reviews of his troops. It is after the debacle in Russia, but the Old Guard still knows how to put on a show. The lovely young girl is dazzled by Colonel Victor d’Aiglemont, a dashing young adjutant who gallops by. The father notices Julie’s fascination and shakes his head anxiously, knowing that the young man is unworthy of her.