Guy de Maupassant (1850 to 1893) is always listed among great short story writers. His many short stories deal with real life in Paris among ordinary people. I have previously posted on his novella, Pierre Et Jean (1888) which I greatly enjoyed and admired.
Guy De Maupassant was a very successful and highly productive writer. He wrote six short novels, over 200 short stories and a vast amount of journalism. He was a protege of Gustav Flaubert. Guy De Maupassant made a very good amount of money from his writings. He served in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. For ten years after the war he was a civil service clerk. Flaubert, who knew his mother, encouraged him to pursue his literary interests. One of his first short stories, about a prostitute during the Franco-Prussian, war was proclaimed a masterpiece by Flaubert and was hugely popular. From the success of this De Maupassant began a career as a professional writer. Through Flaubert he became friends with Zola and Turgenev. (I will post soon on the story set in the Franco-Prussian War, "Duex Amis" (Two Friends-some of his works even when translated are still commonly referred to by their French titles)
"A Father's Confession" (I read this online and the date of the story and the translators name are not given-my guess is the story was written around 1880) opens at end of a funeral procession for a man who enjoyed a long life free from any blame in the eyes of society. He had become affluent through hard work as an attorney and thrift. He was respected and respectable in every way and eye. His son was a counselor general and his daughter had married an attorney and moved in the best social circles. His wife of many years whom he always treated royally had died a few years before. His children were very distraught over his passing having loved him as wonderful father.
The father had left instructions that his will should be opened as soon as his coffin had been placed in the ground and that only his children were to be present at the reading. Upon the opening of the sealed in wax envelope with the will inside the son finds a letter from his father. What they read in this letter will shake him and his sister to their cores: