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The False Gems
Transcript of The False Gems
-is a brief work of literature
- features a small cast of named characters, and focuses on a self-contained incident with the intent of evoking a "single effect" or mood
- 5 August 1850 – 6 July 1893
- considered one of the fathers of the modern short story
- a great French realist
GUY DE MAUPASSANT
The False Gems (a short story)
Guy De Maupassant
The False Gems
-depictions of contemporary life and society as it was, or is.
*Authors use depictions of everyday and banal activities and experiences, instead of a romanticized or similarly stylized presentation.
had met the young girl at a reception and had
fallen head over heels in love with her.
Monsieur Lantin, then chief clerk in the Department of the Interior, enjoyed a snug little salary of
The young girl was a perfect type of the
in whose hands every sensible young man dreams of one day intrusting his happiness.
Her simple beauty had the
charm of angelic modesty,
which constantly hovered about the
seemed to be the reflection of a pure and lovely soul.
He proposed to this young girl, and was accepted.
She governed his household with such
that they seemed to live in luxury.
most delicate attentions
on her husband,
And so great was her charm that is
after their marriage, Monsieur Lantin discovered that he
loved his wife even more
than during the first days of their honeymoon.
with only two of her tastes:
Her love for the theater, and her taste for imitation jewelry.
Her husband was obliged to accompany her, whether he wished it or not, to these entertainments which bored him excessively after his day's work at the office.
Monsieur Lantin begged his wife to request some lady of her acquaintance to accompany her, and to bring her home after the theatre.
She would examine the false gems with a passionate attention, as though they imparted some deep and secret joy.
Her husband frequently remonstrated with her, saying:
"My dear, as you cannot afford to buy real jewelry, you ought to appear adorned with your beauty and modesty alone, which are the rarest ornaments of your sex."
And she often persisted in passing a necklace around her husband's neck, and, laughing heartily, would exclaim: "How droll you look!" Then she would throw herself into his arms, and kiss him affectionately.
One evening, in winter, she had been to the opera, and returned home chilled through and through. The next morning she coughed, and
died of inflammation of the lungs.
Monsieur Lantin's despair was so great that his hair became white in one month. He wept unceasingly; his heart was broken as he remembered her smile, her voice, every charm of his dead wife.
He incurred some debts, and was soon reduced to absolute poverty.
Finding himself without a cent in his pocket and immediately the thought occurred to him of disposing of his wife's paste jewels.
The jeweler said:
"Sir, that necklace is worth from 12-15K francs; but I could not buy it, unless you can tell me exactly where it came from."
in Rue de la Paix
willing to take back for
The two men looked into each other's eyes--the widower speechless with astonishment; the jeweler scenting a thief. The latter broke the silence.
"Will you leave this necklace here for twenty-four hours?" said he; "I will give you a receipt."
His wife could not afford to purchase such a costly ornament. Certainly not.
But, then, it must have been a present!--a present!--a present, from whom? Why was it given her?
He wandered aimlessly through the streets, his mind in a state of dreadful confusion. He tried to reason, to understand.
Monsieur Lantin, observing them, said to himself: "The rich, indeed, are happy. With money it is possible to forget even the deepest sorrow. One can go where one pleases, and in travel find that distraction which is the surest cure for grief. Oh if I were only rich!"
He decided quickly, ran across the street, and rushed into the store.