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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.