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VI

October 1.

Poor Monsieur! I believe that I was too sharp with him the other day, in the garden. Perhaps I went further than I should. He is such a simpleton that he imagines that he has given me serious offence, and that my virtue is impregnable. Oh! his humiliated, imploring looks, which never cease to ask my pardon!

Although I have become more teasing and agreeable, he says no more to me about the matter, and cannot make up his mind to try a new direct attack,—not even the classic device of a button to be sewed on a pair of pantaloons. A clumsy device, but one that does not often fail of its effect. My God! how many such buttons have I sewed on!

And yet it is plain that he desires me,—that he is dying of desire, more and more. The least of his words betrays a confession, an indirect confession of his desire; and what a confession! But he is also more and more timid; he is afraid to come to a decision. He fears that it might bring about a definite rupture, and he no longer trusts in my encouraging looks.

On one occasion, approaching me with a strange expression, with a sort of haggard look in his eyes, he said to me: