Original Short Stories — Volume 06 cover

Original Short Stories — Volume 06

Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893)

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ORIGINAL SHORT STORIES, VOLUME 6 (of 13) By Guy De Maupassant Translated by: ALBERT M. C. McMASTER, B.A. A. E. HENDERSON, B.A. MME. QUESADA and OthersVOLUME 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 ALEXANDRE THE LOG JULIE ROMAINE THE RONDOLI SISTERS THAT COSTLY RIDEThe household lived frugally on the meager income derived from the husband's insignificant appointments. Two children had been born of the marriage, and the earlier condition of the strictest economy had become one of quiet, concealed, shamefaced misery, the poverty of a noble family which in spite of misfortune never forgets its rank.Hector de Gribelin had been educated in the provinces, under the paternal roof, by an aged priest. His people were not rich, but they managed to live and to keep up appearances.At twenty years of age they tried to find him a position, and he entered the Ministry of Marine as a clerk at sixty pounds a year. He foundered on the rock of life like all those who have not been early prepared for its rude struggles, who look at life through a mist, who do not know how to protect themselves, whose special aptitudes and faculties have not been developed from childhood, whose early training has not developed the rough energy needed for the battle of life or furnished them with tool or weapon.His first three years of office work were a martyrdom.He had, however, renewed the acquaintance of a few friends of his family elderly people, far behind the times, and poor like himself, who lived in aristocratic streets, the gloomy thoroughfares of the Faubourg Saint Germain; and he had created a social circle for himself.Strangers to modern life, humble yet proud, these needy aristocrats lived in the upper stories of sleepy, old world houses. From top to bottom of their dwellings the tenants were titled, but money seemed just as scarce on the ground floor as in the attics...