Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/145

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But understand me well ; what I specially want is youth, grace, gaiety, life. In my house it is these things that are most lacking. I have two very devoted servants, but they are old and sad, and possessed of manias. Georges cannot endure them. And I myself, with my old white head and my perpetual wearing of mourning,—I feel that I am an affliction to him. And, what is worse still, I feel also that I often am unable to hide from him my apprehensions. Oh! I know that this, perhaps, is not exactly the role for a young girl like you, beside so young a boy as Georges; for he is only nineteen! The world undoubtedly will find something to say about it. But I care not for the world; I care only for my sick grandchild, and I have confidence in you. You are a good woman, I suppose?"

"Oh! yes, Madame," I cried, certain in advance of being the sort of saint of whom this disconsolate grandmother was in search, for the salvation of her child.

"And he, the poor little one, my God! In his condition! In his condition, you see, he needs, more than sea-baths perhaps, the continual companionship of a pretty face, a fresh young laugh, something to drive from his mind the idea of death, some one to give him confidence in life. Will you undertake it?"

"I accept, Madame," I answered, moved to the