Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/98

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growing more defiant as I became less severe, he exclaimed, with easy gestures:

"Well, what? Madame? And what of her? I care nothing for Madame. I do not intend that she shall annoy me. I have enough of her. I am over my head in Madame."

I declared gravely:

"Monsieur is wrong. Monsieur is not just. Madame is a very amiable woman."

He gave a start.

"Very amiable? She? Ah! Great God! But you do not know, then, what she has done? She has spoiled my life. I am no longer a man; I am nothing at all. I am the laughing-stock of the neighborhood. And all on account of my wife. My wife? She … she … she is a hussy,—yes, Célestine, a hussy … a hussy … a hussy."

I gave him a moral lecture. I talked to him gently, hypocritically boasting of Madame's energy and order and all her domestic virtues. At each of my phrases he became more exasperated.

"No, no. A hussy! A hussy!"

However, I succeeded in calming him a little. Poor Monsieur! I played with him with marvelous ease. With a simple look I made him pass from anger to emotion. Then he stammered:

"Oh! you are so gentle, you are! You are so