I’ll have you know that I am a woman of great faith and virtue. I will not flatter you or seduce you. But I will never judge you, either in private life or in public. God knows I have all the qualities a high-minded and virtuous woman should have. I trust myself with your good, and I will do my duty. God will make me ever chaste, my hand always in the bosom of Christ. Amen.”
He paused and spoke to the priest, and then, walking to her, he called out to him:
“Who is it that has called hither?”
The other made no answer, but went on from the door. As he went, an hour passed, and the priest was silent.
At dinner we sat opposite as often as was convenient. The table being crowded with people to which he was accustomed, it was impossible for him without feeling like a drunken sailor. He was much irritated when they refused the bread offered to him by the cook, and said he would refuse it himself. He ate with great pleasure, but then he would be too hungry to say anything further. At length his hostess came and served him.
During dinner he was very witty. During the supper he would say:
“The wine and dessert come; we’ll have a little chat.”
This conversation was always a comfort to them.
Before leaving his room he often asked me to give him the housekeeper’s word of honor, that if any of the boys should leave the house he would send them away.
He was very particular with me. If, when I got into the bed, or came into my room, he said:
“Have you any work?”
My answer was always this:
“No, there’s nothing I can do: I am going to bed.”
I never left his chamber without having at least one little conversation.
When we were walking I sometimes asked him for his advice regarding a girl who was not as charming as his daughter. He was always happy to give advice, which was always well-founded, but always with more than just a passing glance. It was a very natural quality in him, which I did not find in his daughters.
He was an excellent cook. When we became acquainted, he had a very good appetite, and ate the best dishes in the house, making us laugh when we heard that he could do them better
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