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her feelings that was far from natural to a character like hers. But it was sad to see the change—to see her transformed from the blithe, thoughtless child, romping with her cat and dog, eager after flowers and sweetmeats and gay shops, to the sad, listless girl, who noticed so little, and seemed always brooding over a secret sorrow. She would sit for hours, her hands lying idle in her lap, her eyes far away over the distant green hills, while the fresh, soft air, laden with all the sweet scent of Summer flowers, kissed her face; and yet she saw nothing—nothing outward at least_only the kind, handsome face of the man who filled her every thought.
Marcelline bustled about, and tried to be very brisk and cheerful, but her heart ached to see the child so silent and forlorn.
“ Tiens ! petite,” she would say, quite sharply; "it is not like that one gets through life-always moping and fretting. There are more men in the world than
one. Bah! If he did not think of me, I should be too proud to break my heart about him. I would rather dress St. Catherine's hair than run after a man who did not care for me."
So the kind soul thought to stimulate the child's pride into forgetting her sorrow.
" Leave me," answered Dolores, the colour flushing into her cheeks. "If I am sad, I do not ask consolation or pity from you.”
“Do not be angry with poor Marcelline, petite chérie ; she only wants to see you
to-day, and we will go on the Quai, and see the fine young soldiers.”
"I care not for the soldiers—I hate Frenchmen !—and the market is stupid. But I will go to the church, and you can leave me there until you return."
“The church, the church,—always the church! Petite, if you were of our religion, the good priests would soon make a reli
gieuse of you. Ah! what a pretty little sister, with the great black hood and the long, ugly dress !"
“I wish I was one,” replied Dolores.
“La, la!” cried Marcelline. “Wait until you have got over your moping fit, and some fine young fellow comes along and wants to marry you, and we shall see then whether you are still so eager to become a religieuse. No, no, no, my child, leave that to the old and ugly ones, who have no pretty faces, and no dots to get husbands for them.”
“I shall never marry,” cried Dolores, indignantly.
“Ah! never is a long time, chérie. We shall see, we shall see. Go and put on your hat, if you will really go to the church, while I run and see that Jeanneton does not spoil the goûter.”
And she went off into the kitchen, where she found Jeanneton ruminating with a saucepan in her hand.
“ Tiens !" she called out, in her brisk voice, that made the old woman jump, “it is not by standing in the middle of the kitchen and looking at the things that the work advances.”
“Peste !" retorted her factotum, “thou wouldst have done well, thou, to drive the poor negroes; it's always go on, go on, go on-one must not stop a moment to get up again if one fell. I was thinking— "
"Ah! it's bad to think,” said Marcelline, sarcastically. “People who have to earn their bread should never waste their time like that. It's only fine ladies and savants who have to do with that foolishness."
“I was thinking,” persisted Jeanneton, “that it's very strange what has come to Mam'selle all this Summer.”
“Ah! if that was all that thinking did for thee !" answered Marcelline, contemptuously.
“But other times she went about singing like a bird; even I could hear her, and she was always in and out of the kitchen wanting this and that, and laughing at everything, like a giddy one. Now she is silent and sad. I see her from the window sitting out on the grass under the appletrees, looking as if she saw something a long way off, and not even taking notice of poor Fidélio, who walks on his hind legs to please her.”
“Thou seest a great deal, for thou seest what is not,” returned Marcelline, angrily. “One cannot always remain a child ; if Mademoiselle is a little triste sometimes, the saints know it is dull enough.”
“The Cure's brother has not been a long time,” said Jeanneton, nodding her head shrewdly.
“Oh! it is that which thou seest when thou lookst into the saucepans !" said Marcelline, irately. “Do thy work, my girl, and leave thinking to thy betters,” and she brisked off in not the best humour in the world.