Strong as Death

Guy de Maupassant
Strong as Death

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Strong as Death, by Guy de
Maupassant (#20 in our series by Guy de Maupassant)
Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the
copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing
this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook.
This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project
Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do not change or edit the
header without written permission.
Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the
eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included is
important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how
the file may be used. You can also find out about how to make a
donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.
**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts**
**eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since
*****These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of
Title: Strong as Death
Author: Guy de Maupassant
Release Date: December, 2003 [EBook #4777] [Yes, we are more than
one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on March 17,

Edition: 10
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII

This eBook was produced by Dagny Wilson.

STRONG AS DEATH By Guy de Maupassant
Etext prepared by Dagny, [email protected] and John Bickers,
[email protected]




Broad daylight streamed down into the vast studio through a skylight in
the ceiling, which showed a large square of dazzling blue, a bright vista
of limitless heights of azure, across which passed flocks of birds in
rapid flight. But the glad light of heaven hardly entered this severe

room, with high ceilings and draped walls, before it began to grow soft
and dim, to slumber among the hangings and die in the portieres, hardly
penetrating to the dark corners where the gilded frames of portraits
gleamed like flame. Peace and sleep seemed imprisoned there, the
peace characteristic of an artist's dwelling, where the human soul has
toiled. Within these walls, where thought abides, struggles, and
becomes exhausted in its violent efforts, everything appears weary and
overcome as soon as the energy of action is abated; all seems dead after
the great crises of life, and the furniture, the hangings, and the portraits
of great personages still unfinished on the canvases, all seem to rest as
if the whole place had suffered the master's fatigue and had toiled with
him, taking part in the daily renewal of his struggle. A vague, heavy
odor of paint, turpentine, and tobacco was in the air, clinging to the
rugs and chairs; and no sound broke the deep silence save the sharp
short cries of the swallows that flitted above the open skylight, and the
dull, ceaseless roar of Paris, hardly heard above the roofs. Nothing
moved except a little cloud of smoke that rose intermittently toward the
ceiling with every puff that Olivier Bertin, lying upon his divan, blew
slowly from a cigarette between his lips.
With gaze lost in the distant sky, he tried to think of a new subject for a
painting. What should he do? As yet he did not know. He was by no
means resolute and sure of himself as an artist, but was of an uncertain,
uneasy spirit, whose undecided inspiration ever hesitated among all the
manifestations of art. Rich, illustrious, the gainer of all honors, he
nevertheless remained, in these his later years, a man who did not know
exactly toward what ideal he had been aiming. He had won the /Prix/ of
Rome, had been the defender of traditions, and had evoked, like so
many others, the great scenes of history; then, modernizing his
tendencies, he had painted living men, but in a way that showed the
influence of classic memories. Intelligent, enthusiastic, a worker that
clung to his changing dreams, in love with his art, which he knew to
perfection, he had acquired, by reason of the delicacy of his mind,
remarkable executive ability and great versatility, due in some degree
to his hesitations and his experiments in all styles of his art. Perhaps,
too, the sudden admiration of the world for his works, elegant, correct,
and full of distinctions, influenced his nature and prevented him from

becoming what he naturally might have been. Since the triumph of his
first success, the desire to please always made him anxious, without his
being conscious of it; it influenced his actions and weakened his
convictions. This desire to please was apparent in him in many ways,
and had contributed much to his
Continue reading on your phone by scaning this QR Code

 / 97
Tip: The current page has been bookmarked automatically. If you wish to continue reading later, just open the Dertz Homepage, and click on the 'continue reading' link at the bottom of the page.