Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/224

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once humiliated and delighted by so much luxury and so much bad taste, avenged themselves by saying jestingly of this poor Victor Charrigaud: " Really, for an ironist, he has no luck." Thanks to fortunate manoeuvres, incessant diplo- macy, and more incessant platitudes, they were received into what they called — they too — real society, in the houses of Jewish bankers, Venezue- lan dukes, and vagrant arch-dukes, and in the houses of very old ladies, crazed over literature, panderism, and the Academy. They thought of nothing but cultivating and developing these new relations, and of acquiring others more desirable and more difficult of attainment, — others, others, and always others.

One day, to free himself from an obligation which he had stupidly assumed by accepting an invitation to the house of a friefid who was not a conspicuous personage, but whom he was not yet ready to drop, Charrigaud wrote him the following letter:

My Dear Old Friend :

We are disconsolate. Excuse us for not keeping our promise for Monday. But we have just received, for that very day, an invitation to dine at the Rothschilds. It is the first. You understand that we cannot refuse. It would be disastrous. Fortunately, I know your heart. Far from being angry with us, I am sure that you will share our joy and our pride.

Another day he was telling of the purc