Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/354

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Generally she has something, no matter what, — eyes, a mouth, an undulation of the body, a bend- ing of the hips, or less than that, a movement of the arms, a coupling of the wrist, a freshness of skin, upon which others may rest their eyes without being offended. Even in the very old a certain grace almost always survives the deformations of the body, the death of sex, and the seamy flesh betrays some souvenir of what they formerly were. The Breton had nothing of the kind, and she was very young. Little, long-waisted, angular, with flat hips, and legs so short that it seemed as if she really called to mind those barbarian virgins, those snub-nosed saints, shapeless blocks of granite that have been leaning for centuries, in loneliness, on the inclined arms of Armorican Calvaries. And her face ? Ah ! the unfortunate ! An overhanging brow ; pupils so dim in outline that they seemed to have been rubbed with a rag ; a horrible nose, flat at the start, gashed with a furrow down the middle, and suddenly turning up at its tip, and opening into two black, round, deep, enormous holes, fringed with stiff hair. And over all this a gray and scaly skin, — the skin of a dead adder, a skin that, in the light, looked as if it had been sprinkled with flour. Yet the unspeakable creature had one beauty that many beautiful women would have envied, — her hair, magnificent, heavy, thick hair, of a resplen- dent red reflecting gold and purple. But, far from