Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/303

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to describe something base and ignoble, cry out in our presence, with a disgust that casts us so violently outside the pale of humanity: "He has the soul of a domestic; that is the sentiment of a domestic." Then what do you expect us to become in these hells? Do these mistresses really imagine that I should not like to wear fine dresses, ride in fine carriages, have a gay time with' lovers, and have servants of my own? They talk to us of devotion, of honesty, of fidelity. Why^ but it would choke you to death, my little chippies !

Once, in the Rue Cambon . . . how many of these places I have had ! . . . the masters were marrying their daughter. They gave a grand re- ception in the evening, at which the wedding- presents were exhibited, — enough of them to fill a furniture-van. By way of jest I asked Baptiste, the valet de chambre :

" Well, Baptiste, and you? What is your present? "

" My present? " exclaimed Baptiste, with a shrug of his shoulders.

" Yes, tell me, what is it? " *

" A can of petroleum lighted under their bed. That is my present."

It was a smart answer. Moreover, this Baptiste was an astonishing man in politics.

" And yours, Celestine? " he asked, in his turn.