At last they found on the quay one of those old night cabs that one sees in Paris only after dark, as if they were ashamed to show their shabbiness during the day. They were dropped off at their door in the Rue des Martyrs, and sadly walked up the steps to their apartment. It was all over, for her. And he was remembering that he had to be back at his office at ten o'clock. In front of the mirror, she took off the clothes around her shoulders, taking a final look at herself in all her glory.
But suddenly she uttered a cry. She no longer had the necklace round her neck! I no longer have Madame Forestier's necklace. They looked in the folds of her dress, in the folds of her cloak, in her pockets, everywhere. But they could not find it. It must be in the cab.
They stared at each other, stunned. At last Loisel put his clothes on again. She remained in her ball dress all evening, without the strength to go to bed, sitting on a chair, with no fire, her mind blank. Her husband returned at about seven o'clock. 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? And now that she had paid, she would tell her all.
The other, astonished to be addressed so familiarly by this common woman, did not recognize her. 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. At last she answered hesitantly: 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: But I don't know what you like. Then she asked anxiously, hesitating: Loisel held her back.
She turned towards him, panic-stricken. I touched it in the hall at the Ministry. 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.
She had no clothes, no jewels, nothing. And these were the only things she loved; she felt that she was made for them. She had longed so eagerly to charm, to be desired, to be wildly attractive and sought after. She had a rich friend, an old school friend whom she refused to visit, because she suffered so keenly when she returned home.
She would weep whole days, with grief, regret, despair, and misery.
- The Necklace--Guy de Maupassant ()!
- The Necklace - Wikipedia.
O ne evening her husband came home with an exultant air, holding a large envelope in his hand. Swiftly she tore the paper and drew out a printed card on which were these words:. Instead of being delighted, as her-husband hoped, she flung the invitation petulantly across the table, murmuring:. You never go out, and this is a great occasion.
I had tremendous trouble to get it.
Short Stories: The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant
Every one wants one; it's very select, and very few go to the clerks. You'll see all the really big people there. She looked at him out of furious eyes, and said impatiently: He stopped, stupefied and utterly at a loss when he saw that his wife was beginning to cry. Two large tears ran slowly down from the corners of her eyes towards the corners of her mouth. But with a violent effort she overcame her grief and replied in a calm voice, wiping her wet cheeks:.
Only I haven't a dress and so I can't go to this party. Give your invitation to some friend of yours whose wife will be turned out better than I shall. What would be the cost of a suitable dress, which you could use on other occasions as well, something very simple? She thought for several seconds, reckoning up prices and also wondering for how large a sum she could ask without bringing upon herself an immediate refusal and an exclamation of horror from the careful-minded clerk.
He grew slightly pale, for this was exactly the amount he had been saving for a gun, intending to get a little shooting next summer on the plain of Nanterre with some friends who went lark-shooting there on Sundays. I'll give you four hundred francs. But try and get a really nice dress with the money. The day of the party drew near, and Madame Loisel seemed sad, uneasy and anxious. Her dress was ready, however. One evening her husband said to her:. I would almost rather not go to the party. For ten francs you could get two or three gorgeous roses.
You know her quite well enough for that. Madame Forestier went to her dressing-table, took up a large box, brought it to Madame Loisel, opened it, and said:. First she saw some bracelets, then a pearl necklace, then a Venetian cross in gold and gems, of exquisite workmanship. She tried the effect of the jewels before the mirror, hesitating, unable to make up her mind to leave them, to give them up. She kept on asking:.
Suddenly she discovered, in a black satin case, a superb diamond necklace; her heart began to beat covetousIy. Her hands trembled as she lifted it. She fastened it round her neck, upon her high dress, and remained in ecstasy at sight of herself. She flung herself on her friend's breast, embraced her frenziedly, and went away with her treasure. The day of the party arrived. Madame Loisel was a success. She was the prettiest woman present, elegant, graceful, smiling, and quite above herself with happiness. All the men stared at her, inquired her name, and asked to be introduced to her.
All the Under-Secretaries of State were eager to waltz with her. The Minister noticed her. She danced madly, ecstatically, drunk with pleasure, with no thought for anything, in the triumph of her beauty, in the pride of her success, in a cloud of happiness made up of this universal homage and admiration, of the desires she had aroused, of the completeness of a victory so dear to her feminine heart. She left about four o'clock in the morning.
Since midnight her husband had been dozing in a deserted little room, in company with three other men whose wives were having a good time. He threw over her shoulders the garments he had brought for them to go home in, modest everyday clothes, whose poverty clashed with the beauty of the ball-dress. She was conscious of this and was anxious to hurry away, so that she should not be noticed by the other women putting on their costly furs. But she did not listen to him and rapidly descended-the staircase. When they were out in the street they could not find a cab; they began to look for one, shouting at the drivers whom they saw passing in the distance.
They walked down towards the Seine, desperate and shivering. At last they found on the quay one of those old nightprowling carriages which are only to be seen in Paris after dark, as though they were ashamed of their shabbiness in the daylight. It brought them to their door in the Rue des Martyrs, and sadly they walked up to their own apartment.
It was the end, for her. As for him, he was thinking that he must be at the office at ten. She took off the garments in which she had wrapped her shoulders, so as to see herself in all her glory before the mirror. But suddenly she uttered a cry. The necklace was no longer round her neck! They searched in the folds of her dress, in the folds of the coat, in the pockets, everywhere.
They could not find it. They stared at one another, dumbfounded. At last Loisel put on his clothes again. And he went out. She remained in her evening clothes, lacking strength to get into bed, huddled on a chair, without volition or power of thought.