Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/270

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Monsieur was in the pilgrimages, —I don't know exactly what,— president, director, or something of that sort. He picked up pilgrims where he could, among the Jews, the Protestants, the vagabonds, even among the Catholics; and once a year he took these people to Rome, to Lourdes, to Paray-le-Monial, not without gaining notoriety and profit, of course. The pope didn't see through it, and religion triumphed. Monsieur occupied himself also with charitable and political works: "The League against Secular Education," "The League against Obscene Publications," "The Society of Amusing and Christian Libraries," "The Society for the Collection of Congregationist Sucking-Bottles for the Nursing of Working People's Children." And any number of others. He presided over orphan asylums, alumnæ, convents, clubs, employment-bureaus. He presided over everything. Oh! the trades that he had! He was a plump little man, very lively, very neat, very clean-shaven, whose manners, at the same time sugary and cynical, were those of a shrewd priest full of the devil. Sometimes the newspapers contained references to him and his works. Naturally, some of them extolled his humanitarian virtues and his high apostolic sanctity; others treated him as an old rascal and a dirty scoundrel. In the servants' hall we were much amused over these quarrels, although it is rather chic and flattering to be in the