Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/46

This page has been validated.
40
A CHAMBERMAID'S DIARY.

"Perhaps Mademoiselle must have truffles?"

Without showing anger, but with a stiff and haughty air, I replied:

"Why, you know, I have eaten truffles. Not everybody here can say as much."

That shut her up.

Meantime the gardener-coachman was filling his mouth with big pieces of bacon and examining me stealthily. I cannot say why, but this man has an embarrassing look, and his silence troubles me. Although he is no longer young, I am astonished at the suppleness and elasticity of his movements; the undulations of his loins are reptilian. Let me describe him in greater detail. His stiff, grizzled hair, his low forehead, his oblique eyes, his prominent cheek-bones, his broad, strong jaw, and his long, fleshy, turned-up chin, give him a strange character that I cannot define. Is he a simpleton? Is he a rascal? I cannot tell. Yet it is curious that this man holds my attention as he does. After a time this obsession lessens and disappears. And I realize that this is simply another of the thousands and thousands of tricks of my excessive, magnifying, and romantic imagination, which causes me to see things and people as too beautiful or as too ugly, and which compels me to make of this miserable Joseph a being superior to the stupid countryman, to the heavy peasant that he really is.