However, he does not balk; he never balks. He obeys like the comrades. Oh! how queer he is at times, with his air of a tired and submissive dog! When, Madame being out, there comes a dealer with a bill, a poor man with his poverty, a messenger who wants a tip, you ought to see Monsieur. Monsieur is really a comical sight. He fumbles in his pockets, gropes about, blushes, apologizes, and says, with a sorrowful face:
"Why, I have no change about me. I have only thousand-franc bills. Have you change for a thousand francs? No? Then you will have to call again."
Thousand-franc bills, he, who never has a hundred sous about him. Even his letter-paper Madame keeps locked in a closet, of which she holds the key, and she gives it out to him sheet by sheet, grumbling:
"Thank you, but you use a tremendous amount of paper. To whom, then, can you be writing that you use so much?"
The only thing that they reproach him with, the only thing that they do not understand, is the undignified weakness in consequence of which he allows himself to be led in this way by such a shrew. For no one is ignorant of the fact—indeed, Madame shouts it from the house-top—that Monsieur and Madame are no longer anything to each other. Madame, who has some internal