Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/186

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security of his mind, and even the very form of his personality. At the bottom of all these recollections, amid this host of figures among whom he wanders, a phantom of himself, he finds nothing to work upon but filth, - that is, suffering. He laughs often, but his laugh is forced. This laugh does not come from joy found or from hope realized, and it shows the bitter grimace of rebellion, the hard and contracted curve of sarcasm. Nothing is more sorrowful and ugly than this laugh; it burns and withers. It would have been better, perhaps, if I had wept. And then, I do not know. And then, zut! Come what will.

But nothing comes at all, - never anything. And I cannot accustom myself to that. It is this monotony, this absolute fixity in life, that is the hardest thing; for me to endure. I should like to go away from here. Go away? But where and how? I do not know, and I stay.

Madame is always the same; distrustful, methodical, severe, rapacious, without an impulse, without a caprice, without a particle of spontaneity, without a ray of joy upon her marble face. Monsieur has resumed his habits, and I imagine, from certain sullen airs, that he has a spite against me because of my severity; but his spites are not dangerous. After breakfast, armed and gaitered,