Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/149

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

of the time on the terrace, in the shelter of the tents, awaiting the bathing hour,—the hour of "the little dip in the sea," as M. Georges gaily called it. For he was gay, always gay; never did he speak of his illness, never of death. I really believe that in all those days he never once uttered the terrible word death. On the other hand, he was much amused by my chatter, provoking it if necessary; and I, confiding in his eyes, reassured by his heart, won by his indulgence and his grace, told him everything that came into my mind,—farces, follies, and songs. My little childhood, my little desires, my little misfortunes, and my dreams, and my rebellions, and my various experiences with ludicrous or infamous masters,—I told him all, without much masking of the truth, for, young though he was, and separated from the world, and shut up as he had always been, he nevertheless, by a sort of prescience, by a marvelous divination which the sick possess, understood life thoroughly. A real friendship, that his nature surely facilitated, and that his solitude caused him to desire, and, above all, that the intimate and constant care with which I delighted his poor moribund flesh brought about, so to speak, automatically, sprang up between us. I was happy to a degree that I cannot picture, and my mind gained in refinement by incessant contact with his.

M. Georges adored poetry. For entire hours, on