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57
A CHAMBERMAID'S DIARY.

walking agreeable and sadness less burdensome. I know not why, but, under the influence of this blue and gold morning, I have something like gaiety in my heart.

We are about a mile from the church. The way leading to it is a pleasant one,—a little path winding between hedges. In spring it must be full of flowers, wild cherry trees, and the hawthorns that smell so good. I love the hawthorns. They remind me of things when I was a little girl. Otherwise the country is like the country everywhere else; there is nothing astonishing about it. It is a very wide valley, and then, yonder, at the end of the valley, there are hills. In the valley there is a river, on the hills there is a forest; all covered with a veil of fog, transparent and gilded, which hides the landscape too much to suit me.

Oddly enough, I keep my fidelity to nature as it is in Brittany. I have it in my blood. Nowhere else does it seem to me as beautiful; nowhere else does it speak better to my soul. Even among the richest and most fertile fields of Normandy I am homesick for the moors, and for that tragic and splendid sea where I was born. And this recollection, suddenly called up, casts a cloud of melancholy into the gaiety of this delightful morning.

On the way I meet women and women. With prayer-books under their arms, they, too, are going to mass,–cooks, chambermaids, and barn-yard