Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/45

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

nervous, with an evil grimace on his lips which stretch from ear to ear, and a devious gait, the sly movements of a sacristan. Such are my two companions.

No dining-room for the servants. We take our meals in the kitchen, at the same table where, during the day, the cook does her dirty work, carves her meats, cleans her fish, and cuts up her vegetables, with fingers fat and round as sausages. Really, that is scarcely proper. The fire in the stove renders the atmosphere of the room stifling; odors of old grease, of rancid sauces, of continual fryings, circulate in the air. While we eat, a kettle in which the dogs' soup is boiling exhales a fetid vapor that attacks your throat and makes you cough. One almost vomits. More respect is shown for prisoners in their cells and dogs in their kennels.

We had bacon and cabbage, and stinking cheese; for drink, sour cider. Nothing else. Earthen plates, with cracked enamel, and which smell of burnt grease, and tin forks, complete this pretty service.

Being too new in the house, I did not wish to complain. But neither did I wish to eat. Do further damage to my stomach, no, thank you!

"Why don't you eat?" asked the cook.

"I am not hungry."

I uttered this in a very dignified tone; then Marianne grunted: