Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/442

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larvffi. Like voluntary prisoners) they have vol- untarily shut themselves up in the jail of these in- hospitable -walls. All that constitutes the joy of life, the smile of a house, they repress as some- thing superfluous. Against everything that could excuse their -wealth, and pardon their human useless- ness, they guard as they would guard against filth. They let nothing fall from their parsimonious table to satisfy the hunger of the poor; they let nothing fall from their dry hearts to relieve the pain of the suffering. They even economize in making pro- vision for their own happiness. And should I pity them? Oh! no. It is justice that has overtaken them. In stripping them of a portion of their , goods, in giving air to the buried treasures, the good thieves have restored equilibrium. What I regret is that they did not leave these two malefi- cent beings totally naked and miserable, more destitute than the vagabond •who so often begged at their door in vain, sicker than the abandoned creature dying by the roadside, ■within two steps of this hidden and accursed wealth."

This idea of my masters, -with -wallets on their backs, having to drag their lamentable rags and their bleeding feet over the stony. highways, and to stand with outstretched hands at the implacable threshold of the evil-minded rich, enchanted me, and filled me -with gaiety. But my gaiety became more direct, and more intense, and more hateful,