Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/73

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67
A CHAMBERMAID'S DIARY.

eyes, bordered with red circles, are bloodshot, and her ignoble mouth makes of her every smile a grimace. Rose introduces me:

"Madame Gouin, I bring you the new chambermaid at the Priory."

The grocer observes me attentively, and I notice that her eyes fasten themselves upon my waist with an embarrassing obstinacy. She says in a meaningless voice:

"Mademoiselle is at home here. Mademoiselle is a pretty girl. Mademoiselle is a Parisienne, undoubtedly?"

"It is true, Madame Gouin, I come from Paris."

"That is to be seen; that is to be seen directly. One need not look at you twice.—I am very fond of the Parisiennes; they know what it is to live. I too served in Paris, when I was young. I served in the house of a midwife in the Rue Guenegaud,—Madame Tripier. Perhaps you know her?"

"No."

"That makes no difference. Oh! it was a long time ago. But come in, Mademoiselle Célestine."

She escorts us, with ceremony, into the back shop, where four other domestics are already gathered about a round table.

"Oh! you will have an anxious time of it, my poor young woman," groaned the grocer, as she offered me a chair. "It is not because they do