Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/301

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mansion of the banker you meet tjiesame filth, and come in contact with the inexorable. The result of it all, for a girl like me, is that she is conquered in advance, wherever she may go and whatever she may do. The poor are the human manure in which grow the harvests of life, the harvests of joy which the rich reap, and which they misuse so cruelly against us. They pretend that there is no more slavery. Oh ! what nonsense ? And what are domestics, then, if not slaves? Slaves in fact, with all that slavery involves of moral vileness, inevitable corruption, and hate-engendering rebellion. Servants learn vice in the houses of their masters. Entering upon their duties pure and innocent, — some of them, — they are quickly made rotten by contact with habits of depravity. They see nothing but vice, they breathe nothing but vice, they touch nothing but vice. Consequently, from day to day, from minute to minute, they get more and more used to it, being defenceless against it, being obliged, on the contrary, to serve it, to care for it, to respect it. And their revolt arises from the fact that they are powerless to satisfy it, and to break down all the obstacles in the way of its natural expansion. Oh! it is extraordinary. They demand of us all the virtues, complete resig- nation, all the sacrifices, all the heroisms, and only those vices that flatter the vanity of the masters, and which yield them a profit. And all