Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/418

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then? Do we



kill the cow that gives us milk, and the sheep that gives us wool? No, we milk the cow, and shear the sheep . . . skilfully . . . gently."

And he silently plunged into the mysteries of conservative politics.

Meanwhile Eugenie was prowling around the kitchen, amorous and flabby. She did her work mechanically, like a somnambulist, far from the people up-stairs, far from us, far from herself, with no eye for their follies or ours, and with silent words of sorrowful admiration always on her lips.

' ' Your little mouth, your little hands, your big eyes! "

All this often saddened me, — I don't know why, — saddened me to the point of tears. Yes, this strange house, in which all the beings in it, the silent old butler, William, and myself, seemed to me disquieting, empty, and dismal, like phantoms, sometimes filled me with unspeakable and oppressive melancholy.

The last scene that I witnessed was particularly droll.

One morning Monsieur entered the dressing-room at the moment when Madame was trying on a new corset in my presence, a frightful mauve satin corset with yellow flowerets and yellow silk lacings. Madame's taste will never choke her.

' ' What ? ' ' said Madame, in a tone of gay re- proach. "Is that the way one enters women's rooms, without knocking? "