Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/89

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suddenly abandoning his metaphysical heights, he asked:

"And what are sweet-briers worth this year? "

"Sweet-briers, Monsieur Lanlaire? Well, this year, taking them as they come, sweet-briers are worth twenty-two francs a hundred. It is a little dear, I know; but I cannot get them for less; really I cannot."

Like a generous man, who despises considerations of money. Monsieur interrupted the old man, who was getting ready to justify himself by explanations.

"It is all. right, father Pantois. It is agreed. Do I ever haggle with you? In fact, instead of twenty-two francs, I will pay you twenty-five for your sweet-briers."

"Ah! Monsieur Lanlaire, you are too good!"

"No, no; I am just. I am for the people, I am; for labor, don't you know?"

And, with a blow on the table, he went higher still.

"No, not twenty-five,—thirty, father Pantois. I will pay you thirty francs, do you hear that?"

The good man lifted his poor eyes to Monsieur, in astonishment and gratitude, and stammered:

"I hear very well. It is a pleasure to work for you. Monsieur Lanlaire. You know what work is, you do."

Monsieur put an end to these effusions.