a sort of great tenderness, and also a sort of real regret at having to say to myself that never shall I see this disgusting personage again.
In this connection may I be permitted to offer here, humble though I am, my personal contribution to the biography of great men.
M. Paul Bourget was the intimate friend and spiritual guide of the Countess Fardin, in whose house last year I served as chambermaid. I had always heard it said that he alone knew, even to its subsoil, the complex soul of woman. And many times I had had the idea of writing to him, in order to submit to him this case of passional psychology. I had not dared. Do not be too much astonished at the gravity of such preoccupations. They are not usual among domestics, I admit. But in the salons of the countess they never talked of anything but psychology. It is an admitted fact that our mind is modeled on that of our masters, and that what is said in the salon is said also in the servants' hall. Unhappily we had not in the servants' hall a Paul Bourget, capable of elucidating and solving the cases of feminism that we discussed there. The explanations of Monsieur Jean himself were not satisfactory to me.
One day my mistress sent me to carry an "urgent" letter to the illustrious master. He handed me the reply himself. Then I made bold