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She was one of those pretty and charming girls, born, as if by an accident of fate, into a family of clerks. With no dowry, no prospects, no way of any kind of being met, understood, loved, and married by a man both prosperous and famous, she was finally married to a minor clerk in the Ministry of Education. page 551
How much would a suitable outfit cost—one you could wear for other affairs too—something very simple?My, but you’re silly! Go see your friend Mme. Forestier,6 and ask her to lend you some jewelry. You and she know each other well enough for you to do that.”
She would dream of great reception halls hung with old silks, of fine furniture filled with priceless curios, and of small, stylish, scented sitting rooms just right for the four o’clock chat with intimate friends, with distinguished and sought-after men whose attention every woman envies and longs to attract.
“But, my dear, I thought you’d be thrilled to death. You never get a chance to go out, and this is a real affair, a wonderful one! I had an awful time getting a card. Everybody wants one; it’s much sought after, and not many clerks have a chance at one. You’ll see all the most important people there.”
The day of the party arrived. Mme. Loisel was a sensation. She was the prettiest one there, fashionable, gracious, smiling, and wild with joy. All the men turned to look at her, asked who she was, begged to be introduced. All the Cabinet officials wanted to waltz with her. The minister took notice of her.
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