Une Vie, A Piece of String and Other Stories
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