Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/455

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keep me by appealing to my sentiments and to my interest. She offered to increase my vages, and to give me a fine room on the second floor. But, finding me determined, she had to be resigned.

" I have become so accustomed to you now," sha sighed. ' ' Ah ! I have no luck. ' '

But it was much worse when, a week later^ Joseph came, in his turn, to explain that, being too old and tired, he could no longer continue his service, and must seek the rest that he needed.

"You, Joseph?" cried Madame. "You, too? It is not possible. A curse must have fallen on the Priory. Everybody abandons me; everything abandons me."

Madame wept. Joseph wept. Monsieur wept. Marianne wept.

"You take with you all our regrets, Joseph."

Alas ! he took not only regrets ; he took also the silver service.

Once away, I was much perplexed. I had no- scruple about enjoying Joseph's money, the stolen- money, — no, it was not that, — where is the money^ that is not stolen? — but I feared lest my feeling might prove only a fleeting curiosity. Joseph had acquired over me, over my mind as well as my flesh, an ascendency that perhaps would not last. And perhaps it was only a momentary perversion of my senses. There were moments, too, when I asked myself if it was not my imagination, carried