-room, I was
prepared, to -the extent of these uncertain and sum- mary impressions, for something peculiar. But I must confess that I had no idea of that which really avaited me.
Madame was writing letters at a little jewel of a desk. A large skin of white astrachan served as a carpet for the room. On the cream silk walls I was astonished to see engravings of the eighteenth century, more than licentious, almost obscene, not very far from the very old enamels representing re- ligious scenes. In a glass cabinet a quantity of old jewels, ivories, miniature snuff-boxes, and gallant little Saxon porcelains, deliciously fragile. On a table, toilet articles, very rich, of gold and silver. A little yellow dog, a ball of silky and shiny hair, was asleep on a long chair, between two mauve silk cushions.
Madame said to me :
" Celestine, is it not? Ah! I do not like that name at all. I will call you Mary, in English. Mary, you will remember ? Mary, yes ; that is more suitable."
That is in the order of things. We servants have not a right even to a name of our own, because in all the houses there are daughters, cousins, dogs, and parrots that have the same name that we have.
" Very well, Madame," I answered.
' ' Do you know English, Mary ? ' '