The Necklace

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  • I was a pretty girl when I was younger, All of the boys wanted to get to know me and I then married a Minor clerk of education. I would always feel guilty for having grown up with such luxuries, so much so that I would dream of great receptions halls hung with old silks, filled with fine furniture and crammed with priceless curios. I would dream of fashionable dinner parties, of gleaming silverware and of beautiful tapestries devouring the walls.
  • But one day an opportunity arrived. My husband came in with an envelope . "Look," he said, "I've got something for you!" I then excitedly tore open the envelope and saw the words that were printed on the card, "The Minister of Education and Madame Ramponneau request the pleasure of the company of Monsieur and Madame Loisel at the Ministry on the evening of Monday, January the 18th." I was not pleased with it at all. I tossed it scornfully on the desk and said: " What good is that to me ?" The reason behind this behavior was that this Ball would be fancy, too fancy for my closet so I wouldn't have anything to wear.
  • Thankfully my husband is a kind man and proposed "I'll give you four hundred francs. But try and get a really nice dress with the money." And I was delighted with this news. Once I got the dress, I instantly knew that I needed to get a necklace that would match it. My husband didn't want us to spend any more money , but proposed the idea, "Go and see Madame Forestier and ask her to lend you some jewels. You know her quite well enough for that.". This was a great idea! I was able to find a beautiful, amazing diamond necklace.
  • when the day of the ball arrived, I was in for a surprise. I was the prettiest woman present, elegant, graceful, smiling, and quite above myself with happiness. I danced madly, ecstatically, bathing in the triumph of my beauty and success. Although it did come to an end at about four in the morning, my husband and I encountered a problem. As I took off my garments, I couldn't find the necklace so I let out a cry."What's the matter with you?" asked my husband, I turned towards him in the utmost distress. "I . . . I . . . I've no longer got Madame Forestier's necklace. . . ."
  • We searched in the folds of my dress, coat, pockets, everywhere. We could not find it. We even went to the length of checking the ball and the mansion by retracing my steps but still, nothing. By the end of the week, and nothing turned up, we decided to replace the necklace. It cost us 36,000 francs, and we would have to work a long while to pay it off, I had to know the heavy work of the house, the hateful duties of the kitchen. I washed the plates, dirty linen, the shirts, and dish-cloths. I went to the fruiterer, to the grocer, to the butcher, fighting for every wretched halfpenny of my money. My husband worked in the evenings at putting straight a merchant's accounts.
  • That life lasted ten years. I looked old now. My hair was badly done, my skirts were awry, my hands were red. One Sunday, as I had gone for a walk along the Champs-Elysees, I caught sight suddenly of Madame Forestier. I decided to go up to her and chat. Although she didn't recognize me at first she was eventually very happy to see me. I then told her about the necklace, "I brought you another one just like it. And for the last ten years, we have been paying for it." Madame Forestier had halted. "You say you bought a diamond necklace to replace mine?Oh, my poor Mathilde! But mine was imitation. It was worth at the very most five hundred francs! . "
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