Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/34

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ing. Her worst fault is that she awakens in you no sympathy,—that she is a woman in nothing. But she has regular features, pretty hair naturally blonde, and a beautiful skin; in fact, she has too much color, as if she were suffering from some internal malady. I know this type of woman, and I am not to be deceived by the brilliancy of their complexion. They are pink on the surface, yes, but within they are rotten. They cannot stand up straight, they cannot walk, they cannot live, except by the aid of girdles, trusses, pessaries, and a whole collection of secret horrors and complex mechanisms. Which does not prevent them from making a show in society. Yes, indeed, they are coquettish, if you please; they flirt in the corners, they exhibit their painted flesh, they ogle, they wiggle; and yet they are fit for nothing but preservation in alcohol. Oh! misfortune! One has but little satisfaction with them, I assure you, and it is not always agreeable to be in their service.

I do not know whether it is from temperament or from organic indisposition, but, judging from the expression of Madame's face, her severe gestures, and the stiff bending of her body, she cares nothing at all for love. She has the sharpness and sourness of an old maid, and her whole person seems dried up and mummified,—a rare thing with blondes. Not such women as Madame does beautiful music, like that of "Faust",—oh! that