Full online text of The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant. Other short stories by Guy de Maupassant also available along with many others by classic and. The Necklace, a Short Story by Guy de Maupassant. Guy de Maupassant. Guy de Maupassant's short story "The Necklace". ("La parure") was first published in the Paris newspaper Le Gaulois on February
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GUY DE MAUPASSANT. The Necklace. She was one of those pretty and charming girls who are sometimes, as if by a mistake of destiny, born in a family of. She was one of those pretty and charming girls who are sometimes, as if by a mistake of destiny, born in a family of clerks. She had no dowry, no expectations, . The Necklace. BY Guy de Maupassant. She was one of those pretty and charming girls born, as though fate had blundered over her, into a family of artisans.
All the men stared at her, asked her name, tried to be introduced. You never go out, and this is such a fine opportunity. Thereafter Madame Loisel knew the horrible existence of the needy. When they were finally in the street, they could not find a cab, and began to look for one, shouting at the cabmen they saw passing in the distance. That's impossible! Loisel held her back. In front of the mirror, she took off the clothes around her shoulders, taking a final look at herself in all her glory.
He had found nothing. He went to the police, to the newspapers to offer a reward, to the cab companies, everywhere the tiniest glimmer of hope led him.
She waited all day, in the same state of blank despair from before this frightful disaster. Loisel returned in the evening, a hollow, pale figure; he had found nothing. It will give us time to look some more. The next day they took the box which had held it, and went to the jeweler whose name they found inside. He consulted his books. And so they went from jeweler to jeweler, looking for an necklace like the other one, consulting their memories, both sick with grief and anguish.
In a shop at the Palais Royal, they found a string of diamonds which seemed to be exactly what they were looking for.
It was worth forty thousand francs.
They could have it for thirty-six thousand. So they begged the jeweler not to sell it for three days. And they made an arrangement that he would take it back for thirty-four thousand francs if the other necklace was found before the end of February. Loisel had eighteen thousand francs which his father had left him. He would borrow the rest. And he did borrow, asking for a thousand francs from one man, five hundred from another, five louis here, three louis there.
He gave notes, made ruinous agreements, dealt with usurers, with every type of money-lender. He compromised the rest of his life, risked signing notes without knowing if he could ever honor them, and, terrified by the anguish still to come, by the black misery about to fall on him, by the prospect of every physical privation and every moral torture he was about to suffer, he went to get the new necklace, and laid down on the jeweler's counter thirty-six thousand francs.
When Madame Loisel took the necklace back, Madame Forestier said coldly:.
To the relief of her friend, she did not open the case. If she had detected the substitution, what would she have thought? What would she have said? Would she have taken her friend for a thief? From then on, Madame Loisel knew the horrible life of the very poor. But she played her part heroically.
The dreadful debt must be paid. She would pay it. They dismissed their maid; they changed their lodgings; they rented a garret under the roof. She came to know the drudgery of housework, the odious labors of the kitchen. She washed the dishes, staining her rosy nails on greasy pots and the bottoms of pans. She washed the dirty linen, the shirts and the dishcloths, which she hung to dry on a line; she carried the garbage down to the street every morning, and carried up the water, stopping at each landing to catch her breath.
And, dressed like a commoner, she went to the fruiterer's, the grocer's, the butcher's, her basket on her arm, bargaining, insulted, fighting over every miserable sou.
Each month they had to pay some notes, renew others, get more time. Her husband worked every evening, doing accounts for a tradesman, and often, late into the night, he sat copying a manuscript at five sous a page. At the end of ten years they had paid off everything, everything, at usurer's rates and with the accumulations of compound interest. Madame Loisel looked old now.
She had become strong, hard and rough like all women of impoverished households. With hair half combed, with skirts awry, and reddened hands, she talked loudly as she washed the floor with great swishes of water. But sometimes, when her husband was at the office, she sat down near the window and thought of that evening at the ball so long ago, when she had been so beautiful and so admired.
What would have happened if she had not lost that necklace? Who knows, who knows? How strange life is, how fickle! How little is needed for one to be ruined or saved! Madame Loisel felt emotional.
Should she speak to her? Yes, of course. And now that she had paid, she would tell her all. Why not? The other, astonished to be addressed so familiarly by this common woman, did not recognize her. She stammered:. And it has taken us ten years to pay for it. It wasn't easy for us, we had very little.
But at last it is over, and I am very glad. Guy de Maupassant. He stammered: He stuttered: What's the matter? At last she answered hesitantly: However, he said: One evening her husband said to her: I had not thought of that.
Madame Forestier went to her mirrored wardrobe, took out a large box, brought it back, opened it, and said to Madame Loisel: She kept asking: But I don't know what you like. Then she asked anxiously, hesitating: Loisel held her back.
She turned towards him, panic-stricken. That's impossible! I touched it in the hall at the Ministry. That's probably it. Did you take his number? And you, didn't you notice it? She wrote as he dictated. And Loisel, who had aged five years, declared: When Madame Loisel took the necklace back, Madame Forestier said coldly: And this life lasted ten years. It was Madame Forestier, still young, still beautiful, still charming. She went up to her. She stammered: You must have made a mistake.
How can that be? You brought it back. They were very similar. Madame Forestier, deeply moved, took both her hands. Mine was an imitation! It was worth five hundred francs at most! If you liked this story, please share it with others: Boule de Suif. Maupassant's short masterpiece following the journey of a group of civilians during the Franco-Prussian war.
Mademoiselle Fifi. A group of bored Prussian soldiers amuse themselves destructively while holed up in a French chateau.
You're intimate enough with her to do that. Madame Forestier went to a wardrobe with a mirror, took out a large jewel box, brought it back, opened it and said to Madame Loisel:. She saw first some bracelets, then a pearl necklace, then a Venetian gold cross set with precious stones, of admirable workmanship.
She tried on the ornaments before the mirror, hesitated and could not make up her mind to part with them, to give them back. She kept asking:. Suddenly she discovered, in a black satin box, a superb diamond necklace, and her heart throbbed with an immoderate desire.
Her hands trembled as she took it. She fastened it round her throat, outside her high-necked waist, and was lost in ecstasy at her reflection in the mirror. She threw her arms round her friend's neck, kissed her passionately, then fled with her treasure. The night of the ball arrived. Madame Loisel was a great success. She was prettier than any other woman present, elegant, graceful, smiling and wild with joy.
All the men looked at her, asked her name, sought to be introduced. All the attaches of the Cabinet wished to waltz with her. She was remarked by the minister himself. She danced with rapture, with passion, intoxicated by pleasure, forgetting all in the triumph of her beauty, in the glory of her success, in a sort of cloud of happiness comprised of all this homage, admiration, these awakened desires and of that sense of triumph which is so sweet to woman's heart.
She left the ball about four o'clock in the morning. Her husband had been sleeping since midnight in a little deserted anteroom with three other gentlemen whose wives were enjoying the ball. He threw over her shoulders the wraps he had brought, the modest wraps of common life, the poverty of which contrasted with the elegance of the ball dress. She felt this and wished to escape so as not to be remarked by the other women, who were enveloping themselves in costly furs.
But she did not listen to him and rapidly descended the stairs. When they reached the street they could not find a carriage and began to look for one, shouting after the cabmen passing at a distance. They went toward the Seine in despair, shivering with cold. At last they found on the quay one of those ancient night cabs which, as though they were ashamed to show their shabbiness during the day, are never seen round Paris until after dark. It took them to their dwelling in the Rue des Martyrs, and sadly they mounted the stairs to their flat.
All was ended for her. As to him, he reflected that he must be at the ministry at ten o'clock that morning.
She removed her wraps before the glass so as to see herself once more in all her glory. But suddenly she uttered a cry. She no longer had the necklace around her neck! They looked among the folds of her skirt, of her cloak, in her pockets, everywhere, but did not find it.
He went out. She sat waiting on a chair in her ball dress, without strength to go to bed, overwhelmed, without any fire, without a thought.
He went to police headquarters, to the newspaper offices to offer a reward; he went to the cab companies--everywhere, in fact, whither he was urged by the least spark of hope.
That will give us time to turn round. The next day they took the box that had contained it and went to the jeweler whose name was found within. He consulted his books. Then they went from jeweler to jeweler, searching for a necklace like the other, trying to recall it, both sick with chagrin and grief. They found, in a shop at the Palais Royal, a string of diamonds that seemed to them exactly like the one they had lost. It was worth forty thousand francs. They could have it for thirty-six.
So they begged the jeweler not to sell it for three days yet.
And they made a bargain that he should buy it back for thirty-four thousand francs, in case they should find the lost necklace before the end of February.
Loisel possessed eighteen thousand francs which his father had left him. He would borrow the rest.
He did borrow, asking a thousand francs of one, five hundred of another, five louis here, three louis there. He gave notes, took up ruinous obligations, dealt with usurers and all the race of lenders. He compromised all the rest of his life, risked signing a note without even knowing whether he could meet it; and, frightened by the trouble yet to come, by the black misery that was about to fall upon him, by the prospect of all the physical privations and moral tortures that he was to suffer, he went to get the new necklace, laying upon the jeweler's counter thirty-six thousand francs.
She did not open the case, as her friend had so much feared. If she had detected the substitution, what would she have thought, what would she have said? Would she not have taken Madame Loisel for a thief? Thereafter Madame Loisel knew the horrible existence of the needy. She bore her part, however, with sudden heroism. That dreadful debt must be paid. She would pay it. They dismissed their servant; they changed their lodgings; they rented a garret under the roof. She came to know what heavy housework meant and the odious cares of the kitchen.
She washed the dishes, using her dainty fingers and rosy nails on greasy pots and pans. She washed the soiled linen, the shirts and the dishcloths, which she dried upon a line; she carried the slops down to the street every morning and carried up the water, stopping for breath at every landing.
And dressed like a woman of the people, she went to the fruiterer, the grocer, the butcher, a basket on her arm, bargaining, meeting with impertinence, defending her miserable money, sou by sou. Her husband worked evenings, making up a tradesman's accounts, and late at night he often copied manuscript for five sous a page. At the end of ten years they had paid everything, everything, with the rates of usury and the accumulations of the compound interest.
Madame Loisel looked old now. She had become the woman of impoverished households--strong and hard and rough. With frowsy hair, skirts askew and red hands, she talked loud while washing the floor with great swishes of water. But sometimes, when her husband was at the office, she sat down near the window and she thought of that gay evening of long ago, of that ball where she had been so beautiful and so admired. What would have happened if she had not lost that necklace?