Maupassant, “L’Épreuve” (1889)

Bondel and his wife are a querulous couple but on the whole get along tolerably enough. This time they argue about adultery, and whether men can or cannot be blind to their wives’ affairs. Blondel’s wife alludes to his inability to see. Hubristically, he thinks himself infallible in that regard, but decides to put his wife to the test (L’Épreuve), by rejoining her with a man she’d stopped talking to a long time before. When he does so, he realizes that, well, they’d been lovers.

L’Écho de Paris, 13 juillet 1889, L’Inutile Beauté, 1890

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