English CBSE Class 10 NCERT Footprints without Feet Chapter 7 The Necklace Line by Line Explanation and Meaning of Difficult Words
She was one of those pretty, young ladies, born as if through an error of destiny, into a family of clerks.
|Destiny||Fate, Providence, Luck|
|Error of destiny||Unfortunately, Unluckily|
She was a beautiful young lady. Unfortunately she was born in a family in which people did the job of clerks.
She had no dowry, no hopes, no means of becoming known, loved, and married by a man either rich or distinguished; and she allowed herself to marry a petty clerk in the office of the Board of Education.
|Become known||Become famous|
|Distinguished||Famous, Eminent, Well known|
|Petty||Low rank, Unimportant|
She did not have any savings of money or any hope. She did not have any method to become famous or earn love of anyone. She had no opportunity to marry a rich or famous or well-known person. So she had to marry a low rank clerk who worked in the office of Board of Education.
She was simple, but she was unhappy. She suffered incessantly, feeling herself born for all delicacies and luxuries.
|Delicacies||Better things, Pleasures|
She was a simple lady but she was unhappy. She continuously suffered. She felt that she deserved all the comforts and pleasures in her life.
She suffered from the poverty of her apartment, the shabby walls and the worn chairs. All these things tortured and angered her.
|Worn Chairs||Old chairs|
|Tortured||Made unhappy, Distressed|
She was living in a poor apartment that had dirty walls and old chairs. She felt very sad and angry because of all these things.
When she seated herself for dinner opposite her husband who uncovered the tureen with a delighted air, saying, “Oh! the good potpie! I know nothing better than that…,” she would think of elegant dinners, of shining silver; she thought of the exquisite food served in marvellous dishes.
|Uncover||Remove the cover|
|With a delighted air||Happily|
When she and her husband sat at the dining table for dinner, her husband would happily remove cover of the serving bowl. He would appreciate the potpie ( a dish) and that it was the best dish known to him. Then she would dream of stylish dinners and of silver bowls. She would think of superb food served in excellent plates.
She had neither frocks nor jewels, nothing. And she loved only those things. She had a rich friend, a schoolmate at the convent, who she did not like to visit — she suffered so much when she returned. She wept for whole days from despair and disappointment.
She did not have good cloths or jewellery and she liked these things. One of her friends was rich. They had studied in the same convent school. She did not like to go to her friend. She felt very sad when she came back to her own house. She would weep for many days because of hopelessness and disappointment.
One evening her husband returned elated bearing in his hand a large envelope. “Here,” he said, “here is something for you.” She quickly drew out a printed card on which were inscribed these words:
|Drew out||Took out|
One evening when his husband returned home, he was very happy. He was holding a large envelop in his hand. He said to her that there was something for her. She quickly took out a printed card from the envelope. Following words were written on it:
The Minister of Public Instruction
Madame George Ramponneau
ask the honour of M. and Mme Loisel’s company. Monday
evening, January 18, at the Minister’s residence.
The minister of Public Instruction and Madam George Ramponneau invite Mr. and Mrs. Loisel on Monday evening, January 18, at the residence of Minister.
Instead of being delighted, as her husband had hoped, she threw the invitation spitefully upon the table murmuring, “What do you suppose I want with that?”
|Murmur||Speak in low voice|
Her husband had hoped that she would be happy to receive the invitation. But she threw the invitation insultingly on the table. She asked her husband what he imagined or wanted her to do with that invitation.
“But, my dearie, I thought it would make you happy. You never go out, and this is an occasion, and a fine one! Everybody wishes one, and it is very select; not many are given to employees. You will see the whole official world there.”
|My dearie||My dear|
Her husband told, he thought that the invitation would make her happy. You never go anywhere out of the house and this is a good occasion. Everybody wants to go there. But the invitation is given to selected employees only. You will meet all the officers there.
She looked at him with an irritated eye and declared impatiently, “What do you suppose I have to wear to such a thing as that?”
|Impatiently||Quickly, Without thinking|
She looked at him angrily. She quickly said what he thought she would wear on such an occasion. [She wants to say that she does not have good dress]
He had not thought of that; he stammered, “Why, the dress you wear when we go to the theatre. It seems very pretty to me…” He was silent, stupefied, in dismay, at the sight of his wife weeping. He stammered, “What is the matter? What is the matter?”
He had not thought about that. He spoke with hesitation. You have a dress that you wear when we go to the theatre. It looks beautiful to me. His wife started crying. He became silent. He was shocked and disappointed when his wife started weeping. He hesitatingly asked her what the reason was.
By a violent effort, she had controlled her vexation and responded in a calm voice, wiping her moist cheeks, “Nothing. Only I have no dress and consequently I cannot go to this affair. Give your card to some colleague whose wife is better fitted out than I.”
With a great effort she controlled her anger. She wiped tears from her cheeks. She answered in a calm voice that she did not have any good dress and therefore she cannot go to this party. She said that he should give the card to his colleague whose wife had better dress to wear.
He was grieved, but answered, “Let us see, Matilda. How much would a suitable costume cost, something that would serve for other occasions, something very simple?”
He became sad but replied her. He said to Matilda to discuss about the cost of a suitable dress. A very simple dress which will be suitable for other occasions also.
She reflected for some seconds thinking of a sum that she could ask for without bringing with it an immediate refusal and a frightened exclamation from the economical clerk.
|Refusal||Denial, Saying no|
|Economical||Miser, One who spends less|
She thought for some time about the amount she should ask. She was thinking about an amount that would not frighten and surprise the miser clerk. An amount which he will not be able to immediately refuse.
Finally she said, in a hesitating voice, “I cannot tell exactly, but it seems to me that four hundred francs ought to cover it.”
|Ought to cover||Should be enough|
|Franc||Currency of France|
Finally she said with lot of hesitation that she cannot tell the exact amount. But I think that four hundred franc should be sufficient to buy a dress.
He turned a little pale, for he had saved just this sum to buy a gun that he might be able to join some hunting parties the next summer, with some friends who went to shoot larks on Sunday.
|Lark||A type of bird|
Colour of his face became yellow because he had saved exactly the same amount. He wanted to buy a gun from this amount so that he can go with his friends for hunting during next summer season. His friends used to go for hunting larks on every Sunday.
Nevertheless, he answered, “Very well. I will give you four hundred francs. But try to have a pretty dress.”
However he said that he will give her four hundred francs. He asked her to buy a beautiful dress.
The day of the ball approached and Mme Loisel seemed sad, disturbed, anxious. Nevertheless, her dress was nearly ready. Her husband said to her one evening, “What is the matter with you? You have acted strangely for two or three days.”
|Day of the ball||Day of the party|
The day of the party came closer. Mrs. Loisel appeared sad, upset and worried. However her dress was almost ready. One evening her husband asked why she was behaving strangely for last two or three days. What was the reason for her strange behaviour.
And she responded, “I am vexed not to have a jewel, nothing to adorn myself with. I shall have such a poverty-stricken look. I would prefer not to go to this party.”
|Poverty stricken look||Looks of a poor person|
She replied that she was sad because she did not have any jewellery. I do not have anything to look beautiful. I will have looks of a poor person. I would not like to go to this party.
He replied, “You can wear some natural flowers. In this season they look very chic.” She was not convinced. “No”, she replied, “there is nothing more humiliating than to have a shabby air in the midst of rich women.”
|Look very chick||Look very beautiful|
|Midst of||In the middle of, Among|
He replied that she can wear some natural flowers. In this season flowers look very beautiful. She did not agree. She said that it was very insulting to look like a poor and old fashioned person among rich ladies.
Then her husband cried out, “How stupid we are! Go and find your friend Mme Forestier and ask her to lend you her jewels.” She uttered a cry of joy. “It is true!” she said. “I had not thought of that.”
|Lend||To give on loan|
Then her husband exclaimed loudly that they were really stupid. He asked her to meet her friend Mrs. Forestier. She should request Mrs. Forestier to give her jewellery on loan. She shouted with joy. She said it was true that she had not thought about this idea.
The next day she took herself to her friend’s house and related her story of distress. Mme Forestier went to her closet, took out a large jewel-case, brought it, opened it, and said, “Choose, my dear.”
The next day she went to house of her friend. She narrated her problem to her friend. Mrs. Forestier went to her almira and brought a large jewelry box. She opened it and asked Matilda to choose jewelry from it.
She saw at first some bracelets, then a collar of pearls, then a Venetian cross of gold and jewels of admirable workmanship. She tried the jewels before the glass, hesitated, but could neither decide to take them nor leave them.
Matilda looked at many jewelry. These were of very good quality. One by one she wore these jewelry and looked in the mirror. She could not decide which of these she should take or not to take any of them.
Then she asked, “Have you nothing more?” “Why, yes. Look for yourself. I do not know what will please you.”
Then hesitatingly Matilda asked Mrs. Forestier if she had more jewelry. Mrs. Forestier replied that she can herself search in the jewel box. She did not know which jewelry Matilda would like.
Suddenly she discovered, in a black satin box, a superb necklace of diamonds. Her hands trembled as she took it out.
Suddenly, in a black box made of satin cloth, she found an excellent necklace of diamond. Her hands were shaking when she took it out.
She placed it about her throat against her dress, and was ecstatic. Then she asked, in a hesitating voice, full of anxiety, “Could you lend me this? Only this?” “Why, yes, certainly.”
|Lend||To give on loan|
Matilda placed the necklace near her throat and her dress. She looked in the mirror and she felt very happy. Then in very hesitating voice and full of eagerness she asked Mrs. Forestier if she could give only that necklace on loan. She said yes, she can surely lend.
She fell upon the neck of her friend, embraced her with passion, then went away with her treasure.
Matilda put her head on the shoulder of Forestier and hugged her. Then she went to his home with the necklace.
The day of the ball arrived. Mme Loisel was a great success. She was the prettiest of all — elegant, gracious, smiling and full of joy. All the men noticed her, asked her name, and wanted to be presented.
On the day of the party Mrs. Loisel was very successful. She was the most beautiful woman in the party. She was the most stylish, courteous and was very happy. Every man noticed her, praised her, asked her name and wanted to meet her.
She danced with enthusiasm, intoxicated with pleasure, thinking of nothing but all this admiration, this victory so complete and sweet to her heart.
|Enthusiasm||Passion, Zeal, Energy|
|Intoxicated||Extremely happy, Slightly out of control|
She danced with lot of passion. She was so happy that she was slightly out of control. She thought of only appreciations she received. She thought of this as a complete victory. She liked the part very much.
She went home towards four o’clock in the morning. Her husband had been half asleep in one of the little salons since midnight, with three other gentlemen whose wives were enjoying themselves very much.
|Went home||Stopped participating|
She stopped participating in activities around four in the morning. Her husband was half asleep in one of the rooms. Three other men were also sleeping in that room whose wives were enjoying the party very much.
He threw around her shoulders the modest wraps they had carried whose poverty clashed with the elegance of the ball costume. She wished to hurry away in order not to be noticed by the other women who were wrapping themselves in rich furs.
|Clashed||Not matching, Opposite|
|Fur||Coat made of hair and skin of animal|
He put a shawl around her shoulder. They had brought this simple cover with them. The shawl was not matching with the stylish dress of the party. She wanted to go away quickly without being seen by other women. Other women had covered themselves with expensive coats made of fur.
Loisel detained her, “Wait,” said he. “I am going to call a cab.” But she would not listen and descended the steps rapidly. When they were in the street, they found no carriage; and they began to seek for one, hailing the coachmen whom they saw at a distance.
Loisel tried to stop her and told that he would call a cab. But she did not listen to him and climbed down the steps quickly. When they had reached the street, they did not find any car [A carriage driven by horse]. They began to search for a car. The called the coachman [Driver of carriage] who was very far from them.
They walked along toward the river, hopeless and shivering. Finally they found one of those old carriages that one sees in Paris after nightfall.
They walked along the river. They were shivering and had no hope of finding a car. Finally they found an old carriage which is normally found in the night at Paris.
It took them as far as their door and they went wearily up to their apartment. It was all over for her. And on his part, he remembered that he would have to be at the office by ten o’clock.
The car took them right up to door of their house. Very tired, they went into their house. The party was over for her, she wanted to sleep for the whole day. He remembered that he would need to go to his office by ten in the morning.
She removed the wraps from her shoulders before the glass, for a final view of herself in her glory. Suddenly she uttered a cry. Her necklace was not around her neck.
She removed the shawl from her shoulder and stood before the mirror. She wanted to have a final look at her beautiful image. Suddenly she started shouting. The necklace was not around her neck.
Loisel already half undressed, asked, “What is the matter?” She turned towards him excitedly. “I have — I have — I no longer have Mme Forestier’s necklace.” He arose in dismay, “What! How is that? It is not possible.”
Loisel had changed half of his clothes. He asked her what the matter was. She looked at him and told that she did not have Mrs. Forestier’s necklace. He got up with a shock. He said how that could happen, it was not possible.
And they looked in the folds of the dress, in the folds of the cloak, in the pockets, everywhere. They could not find it.
|Cloak||A type of coat|
They looked in the folds of dress and in the folds of coat, in pockets and everywhere. They could not find the necklace.
He asked, “You are sure you still had it when we left the Minister’s house?” “Yes, I felt it as we came out.”
He asked if she was sure that the necklace was with her when they came out of the house of minister. She said yes, she had felt (touched) it.
“But if you had lost it in the street, we should have heard it fall. It must be in the cab.”
“Yes, it is possible. Did you take the number?”
“No. And you, did you notice what it was?”
He said if the necklace had fallen in the street, we should have heard the sound of fall. That means the necklace is in the car. She said yes it is possible and asked if he had noted number of the car. None of them had noted the number of car.
They looked at each other utterly cast down. Finally Loisel dressed himself again. “I am going,” he said, “over the track where we went on foot, to see if I can find it.”
And he went. She remained in her evening gown, not having the force to go to bed.
|Cast down||Worried, Depressed|
The looked at other. They were extremely worried. Finally Loisel put on his dress once again. He said that he was going on the same route where they had walked. He wanted to find the necklace. She remained seated in her night gown. She did not have the courage to sleep.
Toward seven o’clock her husband returned. He had found nothing. He went to the police and to the cab offices, and put an advertisement in the newspapers, offering a reward.
Around seven o’ clock, her husband came back to house. He could not find necklace. He went to police and office of the cars to lodge a complaint. He gave advertisement in newspaper. He offered a reward for any one who found it.
She waited all day in a state of bewilderment before this frightful disaster. Loisel returned in the evening, his face pale; he had discovered nothing.
She waited at home throughout the day. She was very much shocked due to this horrible disaster. Loisel came back home in the evening. His face was yellow. He had not found anything.
He said, “Write to your friend that you have broken the clasp of the necklace and that you will have it repaired. That will give us time.” She wrote as he dictated.
He asked her to write to her friend that hook of the necklace was broken and that she will get it repaired. This will give us some time. She wrote as per his dictation.
At the end of a week, they had lost all hope. And Loisel, older by five years, declared, “We must replace this jewel.”
After seven days they had lost all hopes of finding the necklace. Loisel had started looking five years older in just these seven days. He declared that they should replace the jewelry. [They should buy a new necklace and give it to Mrs. Forestier]
In a shop of the Palais-Royal, they found a chaplet of diamonds, which seemed to them exactly like the one they had lost. It was valued at forty thousand francs. They could get it for thirty-six thousand.
In the shop named Palais-Royal they found a necklace of diamonds. This necklace looked exactly like the necklace they had lost. Its cost was forty thousand francs. But they could buy for thirty-six thousand francs
Loisel possessed eighteen thousand francs, which his father had left him. He borrowed the rest. He made ruinous promises, took money from usurers and the whole race of lenders.
|Usurer||Who lends money at high interest|
Loisel had eighteen thousand francs. This amount his father had left for him when he died. He borrowed the remaining amount. He made disastrous promises. He borrowed money at very high interest rate from usurers and every other moneylender.
Then he went to get the new necklace, depositing on the merchant’s counter thirty-six thousand francs.
He went to buy the new necklace. He paid thirty-six thousand francs at the counter of shopkeeper and bought the necklace.
When Mme Loisel took back the jewels to Mme Forestier, the latter said to her in a frigid tone, “You should have returned them to me sooner, for I might have needed them.”
|Latter||Opposite of former|
Mrs. Loisel took the new jewelry to Mrs. Forestier. Mrs. Forestier told in a bitter voice that she should have returned the jewelry earlier. Because I might have needed it.
Mme Forestier did not open the jewel-box as Mme Loisel feared she would. What would she think if she should perceive the substitution? What should she say? Would she take her for a robber?
|Substitution||Replacement, Not original|
Mrs. Forestier did not open the jewelry box. Mrs. Loisel had a fear that she will open the box. Mrs. Loisel was thinking what Mrs. Forestier would say if she recognized that it was another necklace. Would she consider Mrs. Loisel a thief?
Mme Loisel now knew the horrible life of necessity. She did her part, however, completely, heroically. It was necessary to pay this frightful debt. She would pay it.
|Heroically||Like a brave person|
Mrs. Loisel now understood the difficult life of needy people. She played her role like a brave person. It was necessary to return the horrible debt. She was determined to pay it back.
They sent away the maid, they changed their lodgings; they rented some rooms in an attic.
|Lodging||Place where one stays|
|Attic||Room on upper floor|
They removed the maid. They changed their place of staying. They took rooms on upper floor of a house on rent. [This was done to save money]
She learned the odious work of a kitchen. She washed the dishes. She washed the soiled linen, their clothes and dishcloths, which she hung on the line to dry; she took down the refuse to the street each morning and brought up the water, stopping at each landing to catch her breath.
|Odious||Unpleasant, Not liked|
|Soiled linen||Dirty clothes|
|Dishcloths||Cloths used in kitchen|
She learned to do unpleasant works of kitchen. She herself washed utensils. She washed the dirty cloths and clothes used in kitchen. She hung these clothes on a string to dry. Every morning she took the garbage of the house up to the street. She brought water up to their house. She would stop at each landing of stair to take some breath.
And, clothed like a woman of the people, she went to the grocer’s, the butcher’s and the fruiterer’s, with her basket on her arm, shopping, haggling to the last sou of her miserable money.
|Sou||A currency of France of small value|
She wore clothes like an ordinary woman. She herself went to different shops to buy things for the house. She had a basket in her arm. While shopping she used to bargain the smallest amount of money.
The husband worked evenings, putting the books of some merchants in order, and nights he often did copying at five sous a page. And this life lasted for ten years. At the end of ten years, they had restored all.
Her husband did some extra work in the evening. He used to arrange books for a shopkeeper in the evening. In the night he used to copy some papers for five sous ( smaller denomination of franc, just like paise to rupee) per page. They lived this style of life for ten years. After ten years everything became as before. Means they had paid back the debt.
Mme Loisel seemed old now. She had become a strong, hard woman, the crude woman of the poor household. Her hair badly dressed, her skirts awry, her hands red, she spoke in a loud tone, and washed the floors with large pails of water.
Mrs. Loisel looked very old now. She had now become a rough and tough woman. She looked like a rough woman of a poor house. Her hair were combed in a bad manner. Her dresses were unusual. Her hands had become hard and red. She spoke loudly. She still used to wash floor of her house with lot of water.
But sometimes, when her husband was at the office, she would seat herself before the window and think of that evening party of former times, of that ball where she was so beautiful and so flattered.
But sometimes, when her husband was in his office, she used to sit before a window. She used to think about the evening party she had earlier gone to. She used to think about the party where she looked so beautiful and everybody appreciated her.
How would it have been if she had not lost the necklace? Who knows? How singular is life, and how full of changes! How small a thing will ruin or save one!
|Ruin||To destroy. To spoil|
If she had not lost the necklace, her life would have been different. Everyone needs to face problems life alone, nobody supports. Life is full of changes. Even a small incidence can spoil or improve the life.
One Sunday as she was taking a walk in the Champs-Elysees to rid herself of the cares of the week, she suddenly perceived a woman walking with a child.
|Get rid of||To remove|
One Sunday she was taking a walk in Champs-Elysees. She was taking the walk to remove the feeling of having done hard work during the week. She suddenly recognized a woman who was walking with a child.
It was Mme Forestier, still young, still pretty, still attractive. Mme Loisel was affected. Should she speak to her? Yes, certainly. And now that she had paid, she would tell her all. Why not?
She was Mrs. Forestier. She was still looking young, beautiful and attractive. Mrs. Loisel was impressed. After a bit of thought, she decided to speak to her. Because she had already returned the necklace to her so she wanted to tell her the complete story.
She approached her. “Good morning, Jeanne.” Her friend did not recognise her and was astonished to be so familiarly addressed by this common personage.
|Common personage||Unknown person|
She went near to her and said good morning Jeanne.[The first name of Mrs. Forestier was Jeanne]. Mrs. Forestier did not recognize her. Mrs. Forestier was surprised that an unknown person was addressing her by her first name. Which meant that she knew Mrs. Forestier.
She stammered, “But, Madame — I do not know — you must be mistaken—” “No, I am Matilda Loisel.” Her friend uttered a cry of astonishment, “Oh! my poor Matilda! How you have changed!”
|Must be mistaken||Making a mistake|
Mrs. Forestier said Madam, I do not know you. Probably you are making a mistake. She replied that it was not a mistake, she was Matilda Loisel. Now Mrs. Forestier was surprised. She told that Matilda had changed a lot.
“Yes, I have had some hard days since I saw you; and some miserable ones — and all because of you …” “Because of me? How is that?”
Matilda replied that she had gone through some difficult and horrible time because of her. Mrs. Forestier asked why that was because of her.
“You recall the diamond necklace that you loaned me to wear to the Minister’s ball?”
“Yes, very well.”
“Well, I lost it.”
“How is that, since you returned it to me?”
Matilda asked Mrs. Forestier to recall that she had loaned a necklace to her. She wanted to wear that at the party of Minister. Mrs. Forestier said she remembers it. Matilda told that she had lost it. Mrs. Forestier said that she had returned it to her.
“I returned another to you exactly like it. And it has taken us ten years to pay for it. You can understand that it was not easy for us who have nothing. But it is finished and I am decently content.”
Matilda told that she returned exactly the same necklace. And it had taken them ten years to repay the loan. She requested Mrs. Forestier to understand that it was very difficult for them who did not have money. But now the loan has been repaid. I am nicely satisfied about it.
Mme Forestier stopped short. She said, “You say that you bought a diamond necklace to replace mine?” “Yes. You did not perceive it then? They were just alike.”
|Stop short||Suddenly stop|
Mrs. Forestier suddenly stopped Matilda from speaking more. Mrs. Forestier asked Matilda if she had bought a diamond necklace to replace her necklace. Matilda asked if she recognized it or not. They were exactly similar.
And she smiled with proud and simple joy. Mme Forestier was touched and took both her hands as she replied, “Oh! My poor Matilda! Mine were false. They were not worth over five hundred francs!”
|Was touched||Was grateful, Impressed|
Mrs. Forestier smiled with pride and simple happiness. Mrs. Forestier was so impressed that she took both hand of Mrs. Loisel into her hands and said my necklace had false diamonds. Value of my necklace was less than five hundred francs