Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/364

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being, or takes refuge on corporeal surfaces that are ordinarily destitute of any expression whatever. In this old lady the hardness of her soul, invisible in her eyes, in her mouth, in her forehead, in all the relaxed muscles of her flabby face, was exhib- ited prominently in her neck. Her neck was her real face, and this face was terrible.

Louise, obeying the old lady's command, had gone to the rear of the room. The desire to please gave her a really monstrous look and a discour- aging attitude. Scarcely had she placed herself in the light, when the lady cried :

"Oh! how ugly you are, my little one I "

And calling Mme. Paulhat-Durand to witness :

' ' Can there really be creatures on earth as ugly as this little one? "

Ever solemn and dignified, Mme. Paulhat- Durand answered:

" Undoubtedly she is not a beauty, but Mademoiselle is very honest."

"Possibly," replied the lady. "But she is too ugly. Such ugliness is in the last degree disagreeable. What? What did you say? "

Louise had not uttered a word. She had simply blushed a little, and lowered her head. Her dull eyes were surrounded with a red streak. I thought she was going to cry.

"Well, let us look into this," resumed the lady, whose fingers at this moment, furiously agitated,