Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/240

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ved, his eternal



poems; Frederic-Ossian Pinggleton turned his lyre-shaped easel against a piece of drapery, placed his heart-shaped palette upon a fragile piece of furniture, and the two, facing one another, stretched themselves, -with august poses of fatigue, upon a triple row of cushions, of the color of sea- weed."

" Hum! " said Mme. Tiercelet, with a slightly warning cough.

" No, not at all," said Kimberly, reassuringly; " it is not what you think."

And he continued:

" In the centre of the studio, from a marble basin in which the petals of roses were bathing, a violent perfume was rising. And on a little table long-stemmed narcissuses were dying, like souls, in a narrow vase whose neck opened into the calyx of a lily, strangely green and distorted."

" Impossible to forget," said the countess, in a quivering voice, so low that it could scarcely be heard.

And Kimberly, without stopping, went on with his narration:

' ' Outside, the street became more silent, because deserted. From the Thames came, muffled by the distance, the distracted voices of sirens, the gasping voices of marine boilers. It was the hour when the two friends, giving themselves over to dreaming, preserved an ineffable silence."