Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/70

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stay with him out of devotion. But he knows life. He knows those who love him, who care for him with disinterestedness, who coddle him. No one need think that he is stupid as certain persons pretend,—Madame Lanlaire at the head, who says things about us. It is she, on the contrary, who is evil-minded, Mademoiselle Célestine, and who has a will of her own. Depend upon it!"

Upon this eloquent apology for the captain, we arrive at the church.

The fat Rose does not leave me. She obliges me to take a chair near hers, and begins to mumble prayers, to make genuflections and signs of the cross. Oh! this church! With its rough timbers that cross it and sustain the staggering vault, it resembles a barn; with the people in it, coughing, hawking, running against benches, and dragging chairs around, it seems also like a village wine-shop. I see nothing but faces stupefied by ignorance, bitter mouths contracted by hatred. There are none here but wretched creatures who come to ask God to do something against somebody. It is impossible for me to concentrate my thoughts, and I feel a sort of cold penetrating me and surrounding me. Perhaps it is because there is not even an organ in this church. Queer, isn't it? but I cannot pray without an organ. An anthem on the organ fills my chest, and then my stomach; it completely restores me, like love. If I could always hear the strains of