Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/302

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this in return for contempt and wages ranging from thirty-five to ninety francs a month. No, it is too much ! Add that we live in perpetual distress of mind, in a perpetual struggle between the ephemeral semi-luxury of the places that we fill, and the anguish which the loss of these places causes us. Add that we are continually conscious of the wounding suspicions that follow us everywhere, — bolting doors, padlocking drawers, marking bottles, numbering cakes and prunes, and continually putting us to shame by invasive examination of our hands, our pockets, and our trunks. For there is not a door, not a closet, not a drawer, not a bottle, not an article, that does not cry out to us : "Thief! thief! thief!" And also the continuous vexation caused by that terrible inequality, that frightful disproportion in our destinies, which, in spite of familiarities, smiles, and presents, places between our mistresses and ourselves an impassable abyss, a whole world of sullen hatreds, suppressed desires, and future vengeances, — a disproportion which is rendered every minute more perceptible, more humiliating, more disgracing, by the caprices, and even by the kindnesses, of those beings that know no justice and feel no love, — the rich. Did you ever think for a moment of the mortal and legitimate hatred, of the murderous — yes, murderous — desires with which we must be filled when we hear one of our masters, in trying