Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/120

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tainly, but so sad, so sad! And maniacs, too! Never a smile on their faces, never a sign of joy in their garments, which were always black. The colonel had had a lathe put in at the top of the house, and there, all day long, he turned egg cups out of box-wood, or else those oval balls, called "eggs," which housewives use in mending stockings. Madame drew up petition after petition, in order to obtain a tobacco-shop. And the two daughters, saying nothing, doing nothing, one with a duck's beak, the other with a rabbit's face, yellow and thin, angular and faded, dried up on the spot, like two plants lacking everything,—soil, water, sunshine. They bored me enormously. At the end of eight months I left them, in a moment of rashness which I have regretted.

But then! I heard Paris breathing and living around me. Its breath filled my heart with new desires. Although I did not go out often, I had admired with a prodigious astonishment the streets, the shop-windows, the crowds, the palaces, the brilliant equipages, the jeweled women. And, when, at night, I went to bed in the sixth story, I envied the other domestics of the house, and their pranks which I found charming, and their stories which left me in a state of marvelous surprise. Though I remained in the house but a short time, I saw there, at night, in the sixth story, all sorts of debaucheries, and took my part in them with the