Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/158

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he breathed with greater difficulty, and then a dry cough shook his chest.

"You see, Monsieur Georges," I said to him, with all the gentleness of a maternal reproach, "you are wilfully making yourself sick. You will listen to nothing. And all will have to be begun over again. Great progress we shall make in this way! Be good, I beg of you! And, if you were very nice, do you know what you would do? You would go to bed directly."

He withdrew his hand, stretched out on the long chair, and, as I replaced beneath his head the cushions that had slipped down, he sadly sighed:

"After all, you are right; I ask your pardon."

"You have not to ask my pardon. Monsieur Georges; you have to be quiet."

"Yes, yes," he exclaimed, his eyes fixed on the spot in the ceiling where the lamp made a circle of moving light. "I was a little mad … to have dreamed for a moment that you could love me,—me who have never had love,—me who have never had anything but suffering. Why should you love me? It would cure me to love you. Since you have been here beside me, and since the beginning of my desire for you; since you have been here with your youth, and your freshness, and your eyes, and your hands,—your little silky hands, whose attentions are the gentlest of caresses; since the time I began to dream of you alone,—I have felt