Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/198

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respects his masters, without servility, and seems to be devoted to them, without ostentation. He does not sulk at his work, even when it is most repulsive. He is ingenious; he knows how to do everything, even the most difficult and different things, not a part of his regular work. He treats the Priory as if it were his own, watches it, guards it jealously, defends it. He drives away the poor, the vagrant, and the unfortunate, sniffing and threatening like a bull-dog. He is a type of the old-time servant, of the domestic of the days before the revolution. Of Joseph they say in the neighborhood: "There is nobody like him. A pearl!" I know that they try to get him away from the Lanlaires. From Louviers, from Elbeuf, from Rouen, he receives the most flattering offers. He refuses them, and does not boast of having refused them. Oh, no, indeed! He has been here for fifteen years, and he considers this house as his own. As long as they want him, he will stay. Madame, suspicious as she is, and seeing evil everywhere, places a blind confidence in him. She, who believes in nobody, believes in Joseph, in Joseph's honesty, in Joseph's devotion.

"A pearl! He would throw himself into the fire for us," she says.

And, in spite of her avarice, she overwhelms him with petty generosities and little gifts.

Nevertheless, I distrust this man. He disturbs