In the original it was a comedy in five acts; but this was revamped and reduced to three acts by M. d'Ennery, before its presentation at the Gymnase Theatre, August 24, 1851. It was then re-christened Mercadet, and took its place as a 12mo brochure in the "Theatrical Library" in the same year. It is of interest to note that the play was not presented till over a year subsequent to Balzac's death.
G.H. Lewes was author of the version which, according to a popular story, was written and rehearsed between Saturday and Monday. The original, with the full title of Mercadet ou Le Faiseur was not acted till after the death of Balzac, when it was reduced to three acts by D'Ennery and given with success at Le Gymnase. Everybody knows that Browning wrote a number of plays.