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Volume I.

Volume II.

Volume III.

Volume IV.

Volume V.

Volume VI.

Volume VII.

Volume VIII.

Volume IX.

Volume X.

Volume XI.

Volume XII.

Volume XIII.

Contents of the 13 Volumes (180 Stories)

     Volume I.

A Study by Pol. Neveux

Boule De Suif
Two Friends
The Lancer's Wife
The Prisoners
Two Little Soldiers
Father Milon
A Coup D'etat
Lieutenant Lare's Marriage
The Horrible
Madame Parisse
Mademoiselle Fifi
A Duel
     Volume II.

The Colonel's Ideas
Mother Sauvage
The Mustache
Madame Baptiste
The Question of Latin
A Meeting
The Blind Man
A Family Affair
Beside Schopenhauer's Corpse

     Volume III.

Miss Harriet
Little Louise Roque
The Donkey
The Dispenser of Holy Water
The Parricide
The Patron
The Door
A Sale
The Impolite Sex
A Wedding Gift
The Relic

     Volume IV.

The Moribund
The Gamekeeper
The Story of a Farm Girl
The Wreck
Theodule Sabot's Confession
The Wrong House
The Diamond Necklace
The Marquis De Fumerol
The Trip of the Horla
The Wolf
The Inn

     Volume V.

Monsieur Parent
Queen Hortense
Mademoiselle Pearl
The Thief
Clair De Lune
Waiter, a "Bock"
In the Spring
A Queer Night in Paris

     Volume VI.

That Costly Ride
Useless Beauty
The Father
My Uncle Sosthenes
The Baroness
Mother and Son
The Hand
A Tress of Hair
On the River
The Cripple
A Stroll
The Log
Julie Romaine
The Rondoli Sisters
	   Volume VII.

The False Gems
Yvette Samoris
A Vendetta
My Twenty-five Days
"The Terror"
Legend of Mont St. Michel
A New Year's Gift
Friend Patience
The Maison Tellier
My Wife
The Unknown
The Apparition

     Volume VIII.

The Kiss
The Legion of Honor
The Test
Found on a Drowned Man
The Orphan
The Beggar
The Rabbit
His Avenger
My Uncle Jules
The Model
A Vagabond
The Fishing Hole
The Spasm
In the Wood
All over
The Parrot
A Piece of String

     Volume IX.

Madame Husson's Rosier
The Adopted Son
A Coward
Old Mongilet
The First Snowfall
Sundays of a Bourgeois
A Recollection
Our Letters
The Love of Long Ago
Friend Joseph
The Effeminates
Old Amable

     Volume X.

The Christening
The Farmer's Wife
The Devil
The Snipe
The Will
Walter Schnaff's Adventure
At Sea
The Son
That Pig of a Morin
Saint Anthony
Lasting Love
A Normandy Joke
Father Matthew
     Volume XI.

The Umbrella
Belhomme's Beast
The Accursed Bread
The Dowry
The Diary of a Mad Man
The Mask
The Penguins Rock
A Family
An Artifice
Simon's Papa

     Volume XII.

The Child
A Country Excursion
Rosalie Prudent
A Sister's Confession
A Dead Woman's Secret
A Humble Drama
Mademoiselle Cocotte
The Corsican Bandit
The Grave

     Volume XIII.

Old Judas
The Little Cask
A Widow
The Englishmen of Etretat
A Fathers Confession
A Mother of Monsters
An Uncomfortable Bed
A Portrait
The Drunkard
The Wardrobe
The Mountain Pool
A Cremation
Madame Hermet
The Magic Couch



Anguish of suspense made men even desire the arrival of enemies
Dependent, like other emotions, on surroundings
Devouring faith which is the making of martyrs and visionaries
Freemasonry made up of those who possess
Great ones of this world who make war
I am learning my trade
Insolent like all in authority
Legitimized love always despises its easygoing brother
Like all women, being very fond of indigestible things
Presence of a woman, that sovereign inspiration
Spirit of order and arithmetic in the business house
Subtleties of expression to describe the most improper things
Thin veneer of modesty of every woman
Thrill of furious and bestial anger which urges on a mob to massacre


Chronic passion for cleaning
Greatest shatterer of dreams who had ever dwelt on earth
Hardly understand at all those bellicose ardors
Key of a door
Kiss of the man without a mustache
Let us be indignant, or let us be enthusiastic
Muscles of their faces have never learned the motions of laughter
Resisted that feeling of comfort and relief
Unconscious brutality which is so common in the country
What is sadder than a dead house


Did wrong in doing her duty
Don't talk about things you know nothing about
Impenetrable night, thicker than walls and empty
Love is always love, come whence it may
My God!  my God!" without believing, nevertheless, in God
Pines, close at hand, seemed to be weeping
Preserved in a pickle of innocence
She was an ornament, not a home


The warm autumn sun was beating down on the farmyard.  Under the grass,
which had been cropped close by the cows, the earth soaked by recent
rains, was soft and sank in under the feet with a soggy noise, and the
apple trees, loaded with apples, were dropping their pale green fruit in
the dark green grass.

The servant, Rose, remained alone in the large kitchen, where the fire
was dying out on the hearth beneath the large boiler of hot water.  From
time to time she dipped out some water and slowly washed her dishes,
stopping occasionally to look at the two streaks of light which the sun
threw across the long table through the window, and which showed the
defects in the glass.

The fowls were lying on the steaming dunghill; some of them were
scratching with one claw in search of worms, while the cock stood up
proudly in their midst.  When he crowed, the cocks in all the neighboring
farmyards replied to him, as if they were uttering challenges from farm
to farm.

Neither could there be any scruples about an unequal match between them,
for in the country every one is very nearly equal; the farmer works with
his laborers, who frequently become masters in their turn, and the female
servants constantly become the mistresses of the establishments without
its making any change in their life or habits.

Is it not rather the touch of Love, of Love the Mysterious, who seeks
constantly to unite two beings, who tries his strength the instant he has
put a man and a woman face to face?


Calling all religious things "weeper's wares"
Everyone has his share
How much excited cowardice there often is in boldness
Love has no law
People do not think as they speak, and do not speak as they act
Rage of a timid man
She saw that he would yield on every point


As he had never enjoyed anything, he desired nothing
Do you know how I picture God?
Don't know what to say, for I am always terribly stupid at first
Hotel bed: Who has occupied it the night before?
Irresistible force of mutual affection
Isn't for the fun of it, anyhow!
Love must unsettle the mind
Machine for bringing children into the world
Moments of friendly silence
One cannot both be and have been
Only by going a long distance from home
Sadness of existences that have had their day
Well-planned disorder
When did you lie, the last time or now?


A sceptical genius has said: "God made man in his image and man has
returned the compliment."  This saying is an eternal truth, and it would
be very curious to write the history of the local divinity of every
continent as well as the history of the patron saints in each one of our
provinces.  The negro has his ferocious man-eating idols; the polygamous
Mahometan fills his paradise with women; the Greeks, like a practical
people, deified all the passions.

Pierre Letoile was silent.  His companions were laughing.  One of them
said: "Marriage is indeed a lottery; you must never choose your numbers.
The haphazard ones are the best."--Another added by way of conclusion:
"Yes, but do not forget that the god of drunkards chose for Pierre."

No noise in the little park, no breath of air in the leaves; no voice
passes through this silence.  One ought to write at the entrance to this
district: 'No one laughs here; they take care of their health.'

"Listen, Jacques.  He has forbidden me to see you again, and I will not
play this comedy of coming secretly to your house.  You must either lose
me or take me."--"My dear Irene, in that case, obtain your divorce, and I
will marry you."--"Yes, you will marry me in--two years at the soonest.
Yours is a patient love."


"Do you know the people who live in the little red cottage at the end of
the Rue du Berceau?"--Madame Bondel was out of sorts.  She answered: "Yes
and no; I am acquainted with them, but I do not care to know them."

It seems that he had led a bad life, that is to say, he had squandered a
little money, which action, in a poor family, is one of the greatest
crimes.  With rich people a man who amuses himself only sows his wild
oats.  He is what is generally called a sport.  But among needy families
a boy who forces his parents to break into the capital becomes a good-
for-nothing, a rascal, a scamp.  And this distinction is just, although
the action be the same, for consequences alone determine the seriousness
of the act.

"Why; you are just the same as the others, you fool!"  That was indeed
bravado, one of those pieces of impudence of which a woman makes use when
she dares everything, risks everything, to wound and humiliate the man
who has aroused her ire.  This poor man must also be one of those
deceived husbands, like so many others.  He had said sadly: "There are
times when she seems to have more confidence and faith in our friends
than in me."  That is how a husband formulated his observations on the
particular attentions of his wife for another man.  That was all.  He had
seen nothing more.  He was like the rest--all the rest!

He awaited he knew not what, possessed with that vague hope which
persists in the human heart in spite of everything.  He awaited in the
corner of the farmyard in the biting December wind, some mysterious aid
from Heaven or from men, without the least idea whence it was to arrive.
A number of black hens ran hither and thither, seeking their food in the
earth which supports all living things.  Ever now and then they snapped
up in their beaks a grain of corn or a tiny insect; then they continued
their slow, sure search for nutriment.


Full of that common sense which borders on stupidity
Let them respect my convictions, and I will respect theirs
Love that is sacred--not marriage!
Mediocrities and the fools always form the immense majority
Night-robe of streams and meadows
Only being allowed to read religious works or cook-books
Poetry did not seem to be the strong point
Purgatory and paradise according to the yearly income
She went through life in a mood of perpetual discontent
So stupid and they pretend they know everything
Spend his time quietly regretting the past
The tomb is the boundary of conjugal sinning
When we love, we have need of confession
World has made laws to combat our instincts


"I heard 'birr!  birr!' and a magnificent covey rose at ten paces from
me.  I aimed.  Pif!  paf!  and I saw a shower, a veritable shower of
birds.  There were seven of them!"--And they all went into raptures,
amazed, but reciprocally credulous.

She was still smiling as she looked at him; she even began to laugh; and
he lost his head trying to find something suitable to say, no matter
what.  But he could think of nothing, nothing, and then, seized with a
coward's courage, he said to himself: 'So much the worse, I will risk
everything,' and suddenly, without the slightest warning, he went toward
her, his arms extended, his lips protruding, and, seizing her in his
arms, he kissed her.

My elder sons never loved me, never petted me, scarcely treated me as a
mother, but during my whole life I did my duty towards them, and I owe
them nothing more after my death.  The ties of blood cannot exist without
daily and constant affection.  An ungrateful son is less than, a
stranger; he is a culprit, for he has no right to be indifferent towards
his mother.


I held my tongue, and thought over those words.  Oh, ethics!  Oh, logic!
Oh, wisdom!  At his age!  So they deprived him of his only remaining
pleasure out of regard for his health!  His health!  What would he do
with it, inert and trembling wreck that he was?  They were taking care of
his life, so they said.  His life?  How many days?  Ten, twenty, fifty,
or a hundred?  Why?  For his own sake?  Or to preserve for some time
longer the spectacle of his impotent greediness in the family.

But all at once one envelope made me start.  My name was traced on it in
a large, bold handwriting; and suddenly tears came to my eyes.  That
letter was from my dearest friend, the companion of my youth, the
confidant of my hopes; and he appeared before me so clearly, with his
pleasant smile and his hand outstretched, that a cold shiver ran down my
back.  Yes, yes, the dead come back, for I saw him!  Our memory is a more
perfect world than the universe: it gives back life to those who no
longer exist.

But she shook with rage, and got up one of those conjugal scenes which
make a peaceable man dread the domestic hearth more than a battlefield
where bullets are raining.


Monsieur Saval, who was called in Mantes "Father Saval," had just risen
from bed.  He was weeping.  It was a dull autumn day; the leaves were
falling.  They fell slowly in the rain, like a heavier and slower rain.
M. Saval was not in good spirits.  He walked from the fireplace to the
window, and from the window to the fireplace.  Life has its sombre days.
It would no longer have any but sombre days for him, for he had reached
the age of sixty-two.  He is alone, an old bachelor, with nobody about
him.  How sad it is to die alone, all alone, without any one who is
devoted to you!

He pondered over his life, so barren, so empty.  He recalled former days,
the days of his childhood, the home, the house of his parents; his
college days, his follies; the time he studied law in Paris, his father's
illness, his death.  He then returned to live with his mother.  They
lived together very quietly, and desired nothing more.  At last the
mother died.  How sad life is!  He lived alone since then, and now, in
his turn, he, too, will soon be dead.  He will disappear, and that will
be the end.  There will be no more of Paul Saval upon the earth.  What a
frightful thing!  Other people will love, will laugh.  Yes, people will
go on amusing themselves, and he will no longer exist!  Is it not strange
that people can laugh, amuse themselves, be joyful under that eternal
certainty of death?  If this death were only probable, one could then
have hope; but no, it is inevitable, as inevitable as that night follows
the day.


How I understood them, these who weak, harassed by misfortune, having
lost those they loved, awakened from the dream of a tardy compensation,
from the illusion of another existence where God will finally be just,
after having been ferocious, and their minds disabused of the mirages of
happiness, have given up the fight and desire to put an end to this
ceaseless tragedy, or this shameful comedy.

Suicide!  Why, it is the strength of those whose strength is exhausted,
the hope of those who no longer believe, the sublime courage of the
conquered!  Yes, there is at least one door to this life we can always
open and pass through to the other side.  Nature had an impulse of pity;
she did not shut us up in prison.  Mercy for the despairing!

If genius is, as is commonly believed, a sort of aberration of great
minds, then Algernon Charles Swinburne is undoubtedly a genius.

Great minds that are healthy are never considered geniuses, while this
sublime qualification is lavished on brains that are often inferior but
are slightly touched by madness.

If you wish to read the entire context of any of these quotations, select a short segment and copy it into your clipboard memory--then open the appropriate eBook and paste the phrase into your computer's find or search operation.

These quotations were collected from the short stories of Maupassant by David Widger while preparing etexts for Project Gutenberg. Comments and suggestions will be most welcome.

--And many thanks for your persistence in reading all the way to the end of this page.        D.W.