Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/427

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•which seizes you, shakeB you, excites you, and forces you to cry out and shower insults. Under the influence of this fit of madness, I had heaped outrages upon Madame. I had reproached her with her father, -with her mother, and with the imbecile falsehood of her life ; I had treated het as one does not treat a prostitute ; I had spat upon her husband. And this frightens me, when I thiak of it. I feel ashamed of these sudden descents into baseness, of these filthy intoxications, in which my reason so often staggers, and which impel me to violence and murder. Why did I not kill her that day? Why did I not strangle her? I do not know. God knows, however, that I am not wicked. To-day I see again this poor woman, in my mind's eye; I see again her sad and disorderly life, with her coward, her dismal coward, of a husband. And I feel an immense pity for her; and I would like her to have strength enough to leave him and be happy.

After the terrible scene I hurried down to the servants' "hall. William was mildly polishing the silverware, and smoking a Russian cigarette.

"What is the matter with you? " asked he, in the most tranquil fashion in the world.

"I must go away; I must quit the box to-night," I gasped.

I could scarcely speak.

" What! you are going? " exclaimed William, without the least emotion. " And why? "