Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/328

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

tern and

severe image of Joseph before my eyes, the motion- less image of Joseph outlining itself in the distance against a dark and choppy background, traversed by white masts and red yards.

To-day, Sunday, I paid a visit in the afternoon to Joseph's room. The two dogs follow me eagerly. They seem to be asking me where Joseph is. A little iron bed, a large cupboard, a sort of low commode, a table, two chairs, all in white-wood, and a porte-manteau, which a green lustring curtain, running on a rod, protects from the dust, — these constitute the furnishings. Though the room is not luxurious, it is extremely orderly and clean. It has something of the rigidity and austerity of a monk's cell in a convent. On the white-washed walls, between the portraits of Deroulfede and General Mercier, holy pictures imframed, — Vir- gins, an Adoration of the Magi, a Massacre of the Innocents, a view of Paradise. Above the bed a large crucifix of dark wood, serving as a holy-water basin, and barred with a branch of consecrated box.

It is not very delicate, to be sure, but I could not resist my violent desire to search everyT^here, in the hope, vague though it were, of discovering some of Joseph's secrets. Nothing is mysterious in this room, nothing is hidden. It is the naked chamber of a man who has no secrets, whose life is pure, exempt from complications and events. The