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     He had not thought of that; he mumbled, “Why, the dress you wear when we go to the theatre. It seems very pretty to me…” He was silent, stupefied, in dismay, at the sight of his wife weeping. He stammered, “What is the matter? What is the matter?”
     By a violent effort, she had controlled her vexation and responded in a calm voice, wiping her moist cheeks, “Nothing. Only I don't have a dress and therefore I cannot attend this event. Give your card to some colleague whose wife is better fitted out than me.”
As mentioned earlier, Matilda's husband was clueless as to why his wife behaved so weirdly, even after the cause of her anger was revealed. He still couldn't understand why his wife would consider an outfit to be a problem when she was given a opportunity to attend such a coveted party. Two reasons made him not understand Matilda's concerns about attending the party. Firstly, he was a man. Secondly, Matilda's husband was a man of simplicity and practicality, unlike his wife, who constantly yearned for opulent things in her life.
As a result, he calmly retorted to his wife that the outfit she had been wearing once when they went to a theatre show looked beautiful and great. But he was taken aback and upset when he saw her crying. He couldn't figure out what was making his wife weep, so he asked her the reason for it.
Despite her inability to control her tears, Matilda made an attempt to calm herself for a few moments, wiped her tears, and told her husband that she couldn't afford to attend the party because she didn't have any lovely dresses with her. As a result, she asked him to hand over the invitation to any of her husband's coworkers' wives who could dress better than her.
Meaning of difficult words:
StammerTo speak with difficulty
DismayA strong feeling of disappointment or sadness 
StupefyAstonish or shock
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.