Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/299

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nothing. "Wishing to avoid scandal, they tolerated horrors of â– which they feigned ignorance. And the costs kept running on.

Fortunately, when I was at the very depth of my ennui, I was delighted by the entrance into the establishment of a little friend, Clemence, whom I called Clecle, and whom I had known in a place where I had worked in the Rue de I'Universite. Clecle was a charming pink blonde, extremely gay and lively, and very fly. She laughed at every- thing, accepted everything, and was contented everywhere. Devoted and faithful, she knew but one pleasure, — that of being useful to others. Vicious to the marrow of her bones, her vice had nothing repugnant about it, it was so gay, artless, and natural. She bore vice as a plant bears flowers, as a cherry-tree bears cherries. Her pretty, bird-like chatter sometimes made me forget my feeling of weariness, and put to sleep my tend- ency to rebel. Our two beds were next to each other; and one night she told me, in a funny sort of whisper, that she had just had a place in the house of a magistrate at Versailles.

" Fancy, there were nothing but animals in the den, — cats, three parrots, a monkey, and two dogs. And they all had to be taken care of. Nothing was good enough for them. We were fed on old scraps, the same as in this box here. But they had what was left over of the poultry; they had cream, and