Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/432

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eyes ! ' '



I -walked on, utterly irresolute and stupefied, repeating to myself with stupid obstinacy :

"Yes, indeed, it is life; it is life."

For more than an hour, in front of the door, I paced up and down the sidewalk, hoping that William might come in or go out. I saw the gro- cer enter, a little milliner with two big band-boxes, and the delivery-man from the Louvre ; I saw the plumbers come out, and I know not who or what else, — shades, shades, shades. I did not dare to go into the janitor's lodge in the next house. The janitress undoubtedly would not have received me well. And what would she have said to me? Then I went away for good, still pursued by the irritating refrain:

"It is life."

The streets seemed to me intolerably sad. The passers-by made upon me the impression of spectres. When I saw in the distance a hat shin- ing on a gentleman's head, like a light-house in the night, like a gilded cupola in the sunshine, my heart leaped. But it was never William. In the lowering, pewter-colored sky, no hope was shining.

I returned to my room, disgusted with every- thing.

Ah! yes, the men! Be they coachmen, valets, dudes, priests, or poets, they are all the same. Low-lived wr