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Fruitfulness by Émile Zola
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Translated and edited by

Ernest Alfred Vizetelly


"FRUITFULNESS" is the first of a series of four works in which M. Zola
proposes to embody what he considers to be the four cardinal principles
of human life. These works spring from the previous series of The Three
Cities: "Lourdes," "Rome," and "Paris," which dealt with the principles
of Faith, Hope, and Charity. The last scene in "Paris," when Marie,
Pierre Froment's wife, takes her boy in her arms and consecrates him, so
to say, to the city of labor and thought, furnishes the necessary
transition from one series to the other. "Fruitfulness," says M. Zola,
"creates the home. Thence springs the city. From the idea of citizenship
comes that of the fatherland; and love of country, in minds fed by
science, leads to the conception of a wider and vaster fatherland,
comprising all the peoples of the earth. Of these three stages in the
progress of mankind, the fourth still remains to be attained. I have
thought then of writing, as it were, a poem in four volumes, in four
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