Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/434

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


ound but one



sincere desire, — the fierce desire for money, which gives to these ridiculous mountebanks something even more odious and grim than their ridiculous- ness. That is the only thing that makes of these poor phantoms living human creatures.

There I knew Monsieur Jean, he too a psycholo- gist and a moralist, a moralist of the servants' hall, a psychologist of the ante-room, scarcely more of a parvenu in his way, or more of a ninny, than he who reigned in the salon. Monsieur Jean emptied chamber- vessels ; M. Paul Bourget emptied souls. Between the servants' ,hall and the salon there is not such a distance of servitude as we think. But, since I have put Monsieur Jean's photograph in the bottom of my trunk, let his memory remain, similarly buried, in the bottom of my heart, under a thick layer of oblivion.

It is two o'clock in the morning. My fire is go- ing out, my lamp is smoking, and I have no more wood or oil. I am going to bed. But there is too much fever in my brain; I shall not sleep. I shall dream of him who is on the way to me. I shall dream of what is to happen to-morrow. Outside, the night is calm and silent. A sharp, cold air is hardening the ground, beneath a sky sparkling with stars. And somewhere in this night Joseph is on his way. Through space I see him, — yes, really, I see him, serious, dreaming, enormous, in his