Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/147

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Our establishment at Houlgate was effected without incident, as our journey had been also. Everything was ready, when we arrived. We had only to take possession of the villa,—a roomy, elegant villa, full of life and gaiety, and separated from the beach by a broad terrace. covered with wicker-chairs and tents of many colors. A stone stairway, cut in the embankment, led to the sea, and against its lower steps sounded the music of the waves when the tide was coming in. M. Georges's room, on the ground floor, commanded an admirable view of the sea from large bay-windows. My own room—not the room of a servant, but that of a master—was opposite M. Georges's, across a passage-way, and was hung with light cretonne. From its windows one looked out into a little garden, where were growing some sorry-looking spindle-trees and some sorrier-looking rose-bushes. To express in words my joy, my pride, my emotion, and the pure and new elevation of mind that I felt at being thus treated and petted, admitted, like a lady, to comfort, to luxury, and to a share in that thing so vainly coveted which is called the family; to explain how, by a simple wave of the wand of that miraculous fairy, kindness, there came instantly an end to the recollection of my past humiliations and a conception of all the duties laid upon me by the dignity that belongs to a human being, and at last vouchsafed to me,—is quite beyond me. But I can