Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/27

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pride—had fewer "advantages" than I. Though I am not what is called pretty, I am better; without conceit I may say that I have an atmosphere, a style, which many society women and many women of the demi-monde have often envied me. A little tall, perhaps, but supple, slender, and well-formed, with very beautiful blonde hair, very beautiful deep-blue eyes, an audacious mouth, and, finally, an original manner and a turn of mind, very lively and languishing at once, that pleases men. I might have succeeded. But, in addition to the fact that, by my own fault, I have missed some astonishing opportunities, which probably will never come to me again, I have been afraid. I have been afraid, for one never knows where that will lead you. I have rubbed against so many miseries in that sphere of life; I have received so many distressing confidences. And those tragic calvaries from the Depot to the Hospital, which one does not always escape! And, for a background to the picture, the hell of Saint-Lazare! Such things cause one to reflect and shudder. Who knows, too, whether I should have had, as woman, the same success that I have had as chambermaid? The particular charm which we exercise over men does not lie solely in ourselves, however pretty we may be. It depends largely, as I have had occasion to know, on our environment, on the luxury and vice of our surroundings, on our mistresses