Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/436

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430
A CHAMBERMAID'S DIARY.

XVII

It is eight months since I have written a single line in this diary,—I have had something else to do and to think of,—and it is exactly three months since Joseph and I left the Priory, and established ourselves in the little café at Cherbourg, near the harbor. We are married; business is good; I like the trade; I am happy. Born by the sea, I have come back to the sea. I did not miss it, but it gives me pleasure, all the same, to find it again. Here one does not see the desolate landscapes of Audierne, the infinite sadness of its coasts, the magnificent horror of its beaches that howl so mournfully. Here nothing is sad; on the contrary, everything contributes to gaiety. There is the joyous sound of a military city, the picturesque movement and varied activity of a military harbor. Crowds in a hurry to enjoy between two periods of far-off exile; spectacles incessantly changing and diverting, in which I inhale that natal odor of coal tar and sea-weed which I love, although I never found it agreeable in my childhood. I have seen again the lads of my native province, now serving on State men-of-war. We have scarcely talked together, and I have not dreamed of asking them for news of my brother. It is so long ago! To