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     He was grieved, but answered, “Let us see, Matilda. How much would a suitable costume cost, something that could be used for other occasions, something very simple?”
     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. Finally she said, in a hesitating voice, “I cannot tell exactly, but it seems to me that 400 francs ought to cover it.”
Matilda's husband couldn't take it when his wife cried and requested to return the party invitation to someone. He didn't want her to cry or miss the party. As a result, he asked Matilda how much a good, simple dress, which she could wear for other occasions, would cost.
Matilda had not expected her husband to make such a quick offer. In fact, it was a pleasant surprise for her, and so she thought of the offer for some time. She was fully aware that her husband could not afford to buy expensive clothes for her. At the same time, she didn't want to lose out on her husband's offer, so she considered the amount of money she could ask him for her outfit for a while. She realised that asking for a large sum of money would cause her husband to reject his offer, so she asked for 400 francs to buy a nice dress for the party. Currently, 32,806.97 Indian rupees are equal to 400 francs.
Meaning of difficult words:
GrieveRefers to sorrow or sadness
Economical Using only the minimum and avoiding extravagance
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). The Necklace - Guy De Maupassant (pp 39-45). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.