"'It's always the same story, every year the same enthusiastic inrush of beardless ambition from the provinces to Paris: an equal, indeed an increasing number of young men who leap forward, with high head and lofty heart, to their wooing of Fashion, the Princess Turandot of the Thousand and One Days to whom everyone would play Prince Calaf! But not one guesses the riddle and wins her. They all fall into the pit of misery, the mire of journalism, the morass of the book-trade. These mendicants go round like gleaners, picking up biographical articles, 'tartines', news-in-brief columns on the newspapers or else write books bespoken by the shrewd-minded pedlars of scrawl who prefer a piece of nonsense they can sell in a fortnight to a masterpiece which stays long on their hands. These caterpillars, squashed before they can turn into butterflies, live on shame and infamy: they're ready to bite or boost budding talent at the bidding of some pasha from the Constitutionnel, the Quotidienne or the Journal des Débats, on a hint from the publishers, at the request of a jealous colleague or often in return for a dinner. Those who get over the obstacles forget the squalor of their beginnings. I myself spent six months putting the best of my wit into some articles for a scoundrel who passed them off as his own and, on the strength of these samples, was put in charge of a feuilleton; he didn't take me on as a collaborator; he didn't even pay me five francs; and yet, when I meet him I'm obliged to shake hands with him.'
'But why?' Lucien asked with proud resentment.
'Because I may need to get a dozen lines into his feuilleton,' Lousteau coldly replied."
--Honoré de Balzac, Lost Illusions