Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/21

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cold, calculating, vicious wickedness. The tranquil and cruel way in which she looked at you, searching soul and flesh, was almost enough to make you blush.

She escorted me into a little reception-room, and at once left me, saying that she was going to notify Monsieur, that Monsieur wished to see me before I should begin my service.

"For Monsieur has not seen you," she added. "I have taken you, it is true, but then it is necessary that you please Monsieur."

I inspected the room. It was extremely clean and orderly. The brasses, the furniture, the floor, the doors, thoroughly polished, waxed, varnished, shone like mirrors. No clap-trap, no heavy hangings, no embroidered stuffs, such as are seen in certain Paris houses; but serious comfort, an air of rich decency, of substantial country life, regular and calm. But my! how tiresome it must be to live here!

Monsieur entered. Oh! the queer man, and how he amused me! Fancy a little old man, looking as if he had just stepped out of a band-box, freshly shaven, and as pink as a doll. Very erect, very sprightly, very inviting, in fact, he hopped about, in walking, like a little grasshopper in the fields. He saluted me, and then asked, with infinite politeness:

"What is your name, my child?"