This title comprises two of the titles that are part of the Parisian Life (Scènes de la Vie de Privée) subseries of La Comédie Humaine. They are published in the years 1834 and 1846, respectively. The titles are:
- L'illustre Gaudissart (The Illustrious Gaudissart) 
- Esquisse d'Homme d'Affaires d'Après Nature (A Man of Business)
L'illustre Gaudissart (The Illustrious Gaudissart) (subtitle is Les Parisiens en Province-Première Histoire or Parisians in the Countryside - First Story) is a fun short story about Gaudissart, who is a very successful commercial travelling salesmen. While in Vouvray he encounters some unexpected turns of events. He might have met his match at last.
In Esquisse d'Homme d'Affaires d'Après Nature (A Man of Business), Balzac deals with the fine art of collecting debts as it was practiced in the Paris in the 1830s. It is useful to have a thorough knowledge of a number of other works of Balzac as many characters are culled from them.