Translated by Albert M. C. McMaster, A. E. Henderson, Mme. Quesada and Others
were somewhat astonished at his appearance. He was solidly built, rather short and had a resolute, determined air, rather unpolished and without those distinguishing marks of intellect and social position. But his hands were delicate and supple, and beautiful shadows encircled his eyes.
He received visitors with the graciousness of the courteous head of a department, who resigns himself to listen to demands, allowing them to talk as he smiled faintly, and nonplussing them by his calmness.
How chilling was this first interview to young enthusiasts who had listened to Zola unfolding in lyric formula audacious methods, or to the soothing words of Daudet, who scattered with prodigality striking, thrilling ideas, picturesque outlines and brilliant synopses. Maupassant's remarks, in têtes-à-têtes, as in general conversation, were usually current commonplaces and on ordinary time-worn topics. Convinced of the superfluousness of words, perhaps he confounded them all in the same catego