A Party (Maupassant)

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A Party
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A notary, passionate about music, accidentally attended an artist's housewarming party in Paris, where he was mistaken for a servant and participated in the chaotic preparations before losing consciousness.

Maître Saval, a notary from Vernon, was an avid music lover and often hosted musical evenings in his town. One day, he decided to attend a first night performance at a big theatre in Paris.

Maître Saval — narrator; notary from Vernon; bald, stoutish, wears gold eyeglasses; passionate about music; naive, easily influenced.

After the show, he wandered around Montmartre, hoping to meet some famous artists. He eventually met a painter named Romantin at a café and was invited to his housewarming party.

Romantin — talented painter; tall, young, friendly; enjoys hosting parties; has a tumultuous relationship with his girlfriend Matilda.

At Romantin's studio, Maître Saval helped him prepare for the party, even though he was dressed in his evening attire.

The air of Paris is like no other air in the world. There is something exhilarating, exciting, intoxicating about it that makes a man want to dash about and do all sorts of things.

However, Romantin's girlfriend, Matilda, arrived unexpectedly and was furious about the party.

Matilda — Romantin's girlfriend; emotional, jealous, and easily upset; eventually reconciles with Romantin after a heated argument.

Romantin managed to calm her down and took her home, leaving Maître Saval alone at the studio.

Guests started arriving, and Maître Saval was mistaken for a servant due to his attire. He tried to explain his situation, but the guests found his story amusing and made him the center of attention. As the night went on, Maître Saval became increasingly intoxicated and eventually passed out.

Heavens above, don’t you know how to sweep? Now, watch me.

The next morning, he woke up in a strange bed with no clothes and an angry concierge demanding he leave. He had to wait for Romantin to return and explain the situation before he could finally leave the studio. From that day on, whenever music was discussed in his drawing room, Maître Saval declared painting to be an inferior art.