Title: The Beggar
Date Read: 12th January 2009
Available Online?: YES
Briefly: Nicholas Toussaint hasn’t had a lot of luck in his life. Discovered abandoned in a ditch when he was a baby, Nicholas was destined to live his early life as an orphan. Then, age fifteen, Nicholas’ legs were crushed by a carriage forcing him onto use crutches for the rest of his life. Lame, and without any prospects for the future, the only option left for Nicholas, is to beg his way around the local villages.
Afterthoughts: Wow, if you’re up for reading a story to cheer to yourself up then for the love of God don’t pick this one. It’s sad, depressing and ultimately heartbreaking – definitely not a ‘feel good’ kind of story. However if you’re in search of a story that exudes literary power and emotion; or you’re looking to see whether Maupassant can turn his magical pen to anything other than humour, then this is very much the story for you. In this respect the story is rather magnificent.
Notable Quote: ‘He lived like the beasts of the field. He was in the midst of men, yet knew no one, loved no one, exciting in the breasts of the peasants only a sort of careless contempt and smoldering hostility. They nicknamed him “Bell,” because he hung between his two crutches like a church bell between its supports.’
*Story read as part of my Devouring De Maupassant reading challenge.