"He hated the flowery manner of writing made fashionable by Chateaubriand, and which a hundred lesser authors had sedulously aped. Stendhal's aim was to set down whatever he had to say as plain and exactly as he could, without frills, rhetorical flourishes of picturesque verbiage. He said (probably not quite truly) that before starting to write he read a page of the CODE NAPOLEON in order to chasten his language. He eschewed description of scenery and the abundant metaphors which were popular in his day. The cold, lucid, self-controlled style increases the horror of the story he has to tell in LE ROUGE ET LE NOIR, and adds to its enthralling interest."
W. Somerset Maugham, Ten Novels and Their Authors.