Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/223

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

and he took from metal cases, inlaid â– with too precious stones, .cigarettes sumptuously rolled in gilt paper. But, heavy of limb and awkward of movement, he retained, in spite of everything, the unwieldy gait of the Auvergne peasants, his com- patriots. Too new in a too sudden elegance in which he did not feel at home, in vain did he study himself and the most perfect models of Parisian style ; he could not acquire that ease, that supple, delicate, and upright line which he saw in the young swells at the clubs, at the rafce-courses, at the theatres, and at the restaurants, and which he envied them with a most violent hatred. It astonished him, for, after all, he patronized only the most select furnishing houses, the most famous tailors, memorable shirt-makers, and what shoe- makers ! what shoemakers ! Examining himself in the glass, he threw insults at himself, in his despair.

" In vain do I cover myself with velvets, silks, and satin; I always look like a boor. There is always something that is not natural."

As for Madame Charrigaud, who previously had dressed very simply and with discreet taste, she, too, sported showy and stunning costumes, with hair too red, jewels too big, silks too rich, giving her the air of a laundry queen, the majesty of a Mardi-Gras empress. They made a great deal of sport of her, sometimes cruelly. Old co