Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/123

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And, having poured me out a drink, she sat for an hour, with elbows on the table, and, in a drawling and lamenting voice, told me gloomy stories of sickness, of child-birth, of the death of her mother, of her father, and of her sister. With every minute her voice became thicker; her eyes moistened; and she repeated, as she licked her glass:

"You must not grieve like that. The death of your mamma,—oh! it is a great misfortune! But what do you expect? We are all mortal. Oh! my God! Oh! my poor little one!"

Then she suddenly began to weep and weep, and, while she wept and wept, she did not cease to wail:

"You must not grieve; you must not grieve."

At first it was a plaint; but soon it became a sort of frightful bray, which grew louder and louder. And her big belly, and her big breasts, and her triple chin, shaken by her sobs, heaved in enormous surges."

"Be still, then, Marianne," I said to her; "Madame might hear you, and come."

But she did not listen to me, and, crying louder than ever, exclaimed:

"Ah! what a misfortune! what a great misfortune!"

So that I too, my stomach turned by drink, and my heart moved by Marianne's tears, began to