Nevertheless, though Hostein accepted "Le Faiseur," he announced that his clients preferred melodrama to comedy, and that, in order to fit it for his "theatre de boulevard," the play would require modifications which would completely change its character.
It was read and accepted by the Comedie Francaise on August 17th, 1848, under the name of "Le Faiseur"; and when Balzac returned to Russia at the end of September, he asked his friend Laurent-Jan to take charge of the comedy during his absence.
"Le Faiseur" or "Mercadet" was then offered to the Theatre Historique, and Balzac already saw in imagination his sister and his two nieces attending the first night's performance, decked out in their most elegant toilettes.
"I do not say that the evil is as deep as that," replied Sallenauve; "perhaps, after all, we are simply a faiseur, using the word, be it understood, in the sense of a meddler, one who wants to have his finger in everything." "Ah! monsieur, but suppose we are the ablest politician in the country."
In this way, "Mercadet le Faiseur" was acted a year after Balzac's death, and "Les Petits Bourgeois" and "Le Depute d'Arcis" were published, the latter being finished, according to Balzac's wish, by Charles Rabou.
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.
The Premiere Edition of the Theatre Complet was published in a single duodecimo volume from the press of Giraud & Dagneau in 1853. It contained: Vautrin, Les Ressources de Quinola, Pamela Giraud, and La Maratre. All prefaces were omitted. Mercadet was not given with them in this printing, but appeared in a separate duodecimo, under the title of Le Faiseur, from the press of Cadot, in 1853.
At this time, however, Balzac had in his portfolio a play quite ready to be acted one which had several times changed its title, being called by its author successively "Mercadet," "Le Speculateur," and "Le Faiseur."
"Yes," answered the stranger, "I once wrote a play called 'Hamlet." "You were courageous with such an original before you," said Faubourg, severely. "Yes," said the stranger, "the original was very good, but I think," he added modestly, "that I improved upon it." "Encore un faiseur de paradoxes!" murmured Faubourg to himself in disgust.
Not so his antagonist, who on October 7th, 1848, after Balzac had returned to Russia, demanded immediate payment; and four days afterwards applied to the Tribunal of the Seine for an order that the debt should be paid from the future receipts of "Le Faiseur," which was at that time in rehearsal at the Theatre Francais.