Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/411

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him ridiculous in the eyes of his friends. They did not confess to each other the bitterness of their feelings, finding it simpler to charge their dissensions to the score of love.

Every year, in the middle of June, they started for the country, Madame having, it seems, a mag- nificent chiteau in Touraine. The personnel was re-enforced with a coachman, two gardeners, a second chambermaid, and some barnyard-scullions. There were cows, peacocks, hens, and rabbits. How delightful ! William told me the details of their country life with a bitter and grumbling ill- humor. He did not like the country; the fields, the trees, and the flowers made him tired. Nature was endurable to him only with bar-rooms, race- tracks, bookmakers, and jockeys. He was exclusively Parisian.

" Do you know anything more stupid than a chestnut tree? " he often said to me. " Take Edgar, for instance ; he is a chic man, a superior man; does he like the country? "

I became enthusiastic :

" Oh ! but the flowers in the broad lawns ! And the little birds! "

"William sneered:

" The flowers? They are pretty only on hats and in the millinery shops. And the little birds? Oh, don't talk about them! They prevent you from sleeping in the morning. They sound like bawling