Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/396

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â– whose firmness did not exclude insolence: "I really ask Madame's pardon; Madame is mistaken. And, if Madame is not content " . . . Then they insisted no further, and that was the end of it. Never in my life have I met masters having less authority over their servants, or such ninnies ! Really, one is not to be led by the nose as they â– were.

It is necessary to do William this justice, — that he had kno^wn ho^w to put things on a good footing in the box. "William had a passion that is common among servants, — the passion for the races. He kne^w all the jockeys, all the trainers, all the book- makers, and also some very sporty gentlemen, barons and viscounts, -who sho^wed a certain friend- ship for him, kno^wing that he had astonishing tips from time to time. This passion, ■whose mainte- nance and satisfaction require numerous suburban excursions, does not harmonize -with a restricted and sedentary calling, like that of a valet de chambre. No-w, William had regulated his life in this ■way; after breakfast, he dressed and ■went out. Ho^w chic he ■was in his black and ■white check pantaloons, his highly-polished shoes, his putty- colored overcoat, and his hats! Oh! William's hats, hats the color of deep ■water, in ■which skies, trees, streets, rivers, crowds, hippodromes, suc- ceeded one another in prodigious reflections! He came back just in time to dress his master, and