French Short-Story Writer and Novelist
Guy de Maupassant, fully Henri Rene Albert Guy de Maupassant
French Short-Story Writer and Novelist
Anguish of suspense made men even desire the arrival of enemies.
Conversation. What is it? A Mystery! It's the art of never seeming bored, of touching everything with interest, of pleasing with trifles, of being fascinating with nothing at all. How do we define this lively darting about with words, of hitting them back and forth, this sort of brief smile of ideas which should be conversation?
I did not love her; I did not even know her. And for all that, I was touched and conquered. I wanted to save her, to sacrifice myself for her, to commit a thousand follies! Strange thing! How does it happen that the presence of a woman overwhelms us so? Is it the power of her grace which enfolds us? Is it the seduction of her beauty and youth, which intoxicates one like wine? 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?
I was going to open his mouth and addressed the girl, when someone touched my shoulder. I turned, startled, and saw an ordinary-looking man, young or old, who looked at me sadly. - I want to talk, he said. I made ??a face he saw no doubt, for he added: - It is important. I got up and followed him to the other end of the boat: - 'Sir,' he said, when winter approaches with the cold, rain and snow, your doctor tells you every day: Keep up the horny feet, keep you chills, colds, bronchitis, pleurisy. So you take every precaution, you wear flannel, thick coat, big shoes, which does not prevent you always spend two months in bed. But when spring comes with its leaves and flowers, warm breezes and enervating, his exhalations fields who bring you vague unrest, tenderness without cause, there is no one who comes to say, Sir, beware Love! It is lurking everywhere you lurks on every corner, all his tricks are strained, all sharp weapons, all its sham prepared! Beware of love! ... Beware of love! It is more dangerous than the common cold, bronchitis and pleurisy! He does not forgive, and is committed to everyone nonsense irreparable. Yes, sir, I say that every year, the government should put on the walls of large posters with the words: Back in the spring. French citizens, beware of love, the same is written on the door of the house: Beware of the paint! - Well, since the government does not do it, I replaced, and I tell you: Beware of love, he is telling you pinch, and it is my duty to warn you as warns, Russia, one from whose nose freezes. I stood amazed at this particular strange, and taking a dignified: Well, sir, you seem to meddle in what does not concern you much. He made ??a sudden movement, and said: - Oh! sir! sir! if I see a man will drown in a dangerous place, so it must be left to perish?
Let us protest and let us be angry, let us be indignant, or let us be enthusiastic, Schopenhauer has marked humanity with the seal of his disdain and of his disenchantment.
Put black on white.
The matter had to be Settled Immediately, without delaying another day, for at times He felt too imperious year Need for instant solutions, which is all the weak are capable of, given their inability to sustain year effort of will.
Any government has as much of a duty to avoid war as a ship's captain has to avoid a shipwreck.
Do we see the hundred thousandth part of what exists? Look, here is the wind, which is the greatest force of nature, which knocks men, and blows down buildings, uproots trees, raises the sea into mountains of water, destroys cliffs and casts great ships onto the breakers, the wind which kills, which whistles, which sighs, which roars, - have you seen, and can you see it? There are, though.
I entered literary life as a meteor, and I shall leave it like a thunderbolt.
I was hard hit. I wanted to ask this little girl to marry me. If we had passed eight days together, I should have done so! How weak and incomprehensible a man sometimes is!
Life is a slope. As long as you're going up you're always looking towards the top and you feel happy, but when you reach it, suddenly you can see the road going downhill and death at the end of it all. It's slow going up and quick going down.
She realized for the first time that two people can never reach eachothers? deepest feelings and instincts, that they spend their lives side by side, linked it may be, but not mingled, and that each one's inmost being must go through life eternally alone.
The moon, which was in her last quarter and was inclining all to one side, seemed fainting in the midst of space, so weak that she was unable to wane, forced to stay up yonder, seized and paralyzed by the severity of the weather. She shed a cold, mournful light over the world, that dying and wan light which she gives us every month, at the end of her period.
A boat with an awning and Containing four women: towards em cam slowly downstream. The woman at the oars was small, lean, and past her prime. She wore her hair pinned up inside an oilskin hat. Opposite her a big blond dressed in a man's jacket was lying on her back at the bottom of the boat with a foot resting on the thwart on Either side of the oarswoman. The blond was smoking a cigarette and With Each jerk of the oars her bosom and belly quivered. At the very stern of the boat under the awning two beautiful, tall, slender girls, one blonde and the other brunette, sat with Their arms round each other 's waists watching Their two companions. A shout Went up from La Grenouillere: Aye-aye ! Lesbos! And Suddenly a wild clamor broke out. In the terrifying scramble to see, Were glasses knocked over and people started climbing on the tables. Everyone Began to chant Lesbos! Lesbos! Lesbos! The words merged into a wave Suddenly howl before starting up again, rising into the air, filling the plain beyond, resounding in the dense foliage of the tall surrounding trees and echoing in the distance as if Aimed at the sun itself . - Guy Maupassant , A Parisian Affair and Other Stories
At first no one spoke. Boule de Suif dared not even raise her eyes. She felt at once indignant with her neighbors, and humiliated at having yielded to the Prussian into whose arms they had so hypocritically cast her.
Do women feel anything more keenly than curiosity? No, they will go to any lengths to find out, to know, to feel, what they have always dreamed of! Once their excited curiosity has been aroused, women will stoop to anything, commit any folly, take any risks. They stop at nothing. I am speaking of women who are real women, who operate on three different levels. Superficially cool and rational, they have three secret compartments: the first is constantly full of womanly fret and anxiety; the second is a sort of innocent guile, like the fearsome sophistry of the self-righteous; and the last is filled with an engaging dishonesty, a charming deviousness, a consummate duplicity, with all those perverse qualities in fact that can drive a foolish, unwary love to suicide, but which by others may be judged quite delightful.
I go to bed, and I wait for sleep as a man might wait for the executioner. I wait for its coming with dread, and my heart beats and my legs tremble, while my whole body shivers beneath the warmth of the bedclothes, until the moment when I suddenly fall asleep, as a man throws himself into a pool of stagnant water in order to drown. I do not feel this perfidious sleep coming over me as I used to, but a sleep which is close to me and watching me, which is going to seize me by the head, to close my eyes and annihilate me.
If I could, I would stop the passage of time. But hour follows on hour, minute on minute, each second robbing me of a morsel of myself for the nothing of tomorrow. I shall never experience this moment again.
Life seemed to have stopped short; the shops were shut, the streets deserted. Now and then an inhabitant, awed by the silence, glided swiftly by in the shadow of the walls. The anguish of suspense made men even desire the arrival of the enemy.
She was a sweet girl but not really pretty, a rough sketch of a woman with a little of everything in her, one of those silhouettes which artists draw in three strokes on the tablecloth in a caf‚ after dinner, between a glass of brandy and a cigarette. Nature sometimes turns out creatures like that.
A man forced to spend his life without ever having the right, without ever finding the time, to shut himself up all alone, no matter where, to think, to reflect, to work, to dream? Ah! my dear boy, a key, the key of a door which one can lock — this is happiness, mark you, the only happiness!
The great artists are those who impose their peculiar illusion on the rest of mankind.