International Short Stories: French

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INTERNATIONAL SHORT STORIES

COMPILED BY
FRANCIS J. REYNOLDS
FRENCH

1910

FRENCH STORIES

A PIECE OF BREAD By Francois Coppee

THE ELIXIR OF LIFE By Honore de Balzac

THE AGE FOR LOVE By Paul Bourget

MATEO FALCONE By Prosper Merimee

THE MIRROR By Catulle Mendes

MY NEPHEW JOSEPH By Ludovic Halevy

A FOREST BETROTHAL By Erckmann-Chatrian

ZADIG THE BABYLONIAN By Francois Marie Arouet de Voltaire

ABANDONED By Guy de Maupassant

THE GUILTY SECRET By Paul de Kock

JEAN MONETTE By Eugene Francois Vidocq

SOLANGE By Alexandre Dumas

THE BIRDS IN THE LETTER-BOX By Rene Bazin

JEAN GOURDON’S FOUR DAYS By Emile Zola

BARON DE TRENCK By Clemence Robert

THE PASSAGE OF THE RED SEA By Henry Murger

THE WOMAN AND THE CAT By Marcel Prevost

GIL BLAS AND DR. SANGRADO By Alain Rene Le Sage

A FIGHT WITH A CANNON By Victor Hugo

TONTON By A. Cheneviere

THE LAST LESSON By Alphonse Daudet

CROISILLES By Alfred de Musset

THE VASE OF CLAY By Jean Aicard

A PIECE OF BREAD

BY FRANCOIS COPPEE

The young Due de Hardimont happened to be at Aix in Savoy, whose waters he
hoped would benefit his famous mare, Perichole, who had become wind-broken
since the cold she had caught at the last Derby,—and was finishing his
breakfast while glancing over the morning paper, when he read the news of
the disastrous engagement at Reichshoffen.

He emptied his glass of chartreuse, laid his napkin upon the restaurant
table, ordered his valet to pack his trunks, and two hours later took the
express to Paris; arriving there, he hastened to the recruiting office and
enlisted in a regiment of the line.

In vain had he led the enervating life of a fashionable swell—that was
the word of the time—and had knocked about race-course stables from the
age of nineteen to twenty-five. In circumstances like these, he could not
forget that Enguerrand de Hardimont died of the plague at Tunis the same
day as Saint Louis, that Jean de Hardimont commanded the Free Companies
under Du Guesclin, and that Francois-Henri de Hardimont was killed at
Fontenoy with “Red” Maison. Upon learning that France had lost a battle on
French soil, the young duke felt the blood mount to his face, giving him a
horrible feeling of suffocation.

And so, early in November, 1870, Henri de Hardimont returned to Paris with
his regiment, forming part of Vinoy’s corps, and his company being the
advance guard before the redoubt of Hautes Bruyères, a position fortified
in haste, and which protected the cannon of Fort Bicêtre.

It was a gloomy place; a road planted with clusters of broom, and broken

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