Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/372

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This wa.s my ambition. Many times I had built marvelous futures on an old man's fancy, and now this paradise that I had dreamed of was before me, smiling, calling me. By an inexplicable irony of life, by an imbecile contradiction, the cause of â– which I cannot understand, I squarely refused this good fortune which I had wished for so many times, and which at last presented itself.

"An old rake! Oh! no! Besides, men are too. disgusting to me, — the old, the young, all of them."

For a few seconds Mme. Paulhat-Durand stood in amazement. She had not expected this sally. Re- suming her severe and dignified air, which placed so great a distance between the correct bourgeoise that she wished to be and the bohemian girl that I am, she said:

"Ah! Mademoiselle, what do you think, then? What do you take me for? What are you imagining?"

" I imagine nothing. Only I repeat that I have had enough of men."

" Do you really know of whom yea are speaking? This gentleman. Mademoiselle, is a very respect- able man. He is a member of the Society of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul. He has been a royalist deputy. ' '

I burst out laughing.

" Yes, yes, of course