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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 136 pages of information about The Wandering Jew Volume 04.

“The princess takes you into her service from to-day,” said the superior.

Florine made a movement of sorrowful surprise, and exclaimed:  “Me, mother! but—­”

“I asked her in your name, and you have only to accept,” answered the other imperiously.

“But, mother, I had entreated you—­”

“I tell you, that you accept the offer,” said the superior, in so firm and positive a tone that Florine cast down her eyes, and replied in a low voice:  “I accept.”

“It is in M. Rodin’s name that I give you this order.”

“I thought so, mother,” replied Florine, sadly; “on what conditions am I to serve the princess?”

“On the same conditions as those on which you served her niece.”

Florine shuddered and said:  “I am, then, to make frequent secret reports with regard to the princess?”

“You will observe, you will remember, and you will give an account.”

“Yes, my mother.”

“You will above all direct your attention to the visits that the princess may receive from the lady superior of the Sacred Heart.  You must try and listen—­for we have to preserve the princess from evil influences.”

“I will obey, my mother.”

“You will also try and discover why two young orphans have been brought hither, and recommended to be severely treated, by Madame Grivois, the confidential waiting-woman of the princess.”

“Yes, mother.”

“Which must not prevent you from remembering anything else that may be worthy of remark.  To-morrow I will give you particular instructions upon another subject.”

“It is well, mother.”

“If you conduct yourself in a satisfactory manner, and execute faithfully the instructions of which I speak, you will soon leave the princess to enter the service of a young bride; it will be an excellent and lasting situation always on the same conditions.  It is, therefore, perfectly understood that you have asked me to recommend you to Madame de Saint Dizier.”

“Yes, mother; I shall remember.”

“Who is this deformed young girl that accompanies you?”

“A poor creature without any resources, very intelligent, and with an education above her class; she works at her needle, but is at present without employment, and reduced to the last extremity.  I have made inquiries about her this morning; she has an excellent character.”

“She is ugly and deformed, you say?”

“She has an interesting countenance, but she is deformed.”

The superior appeared pleased at this information, and added, after a moment’s reflection:  “She appears intelligent?”

“Very intelligent.”

“And is absolutely without resources?”

“Yes, without any.”

“Is she pious?”

“She does not practice.”

“No matter,” said the superior to herself; “if she be intelligent, that will suffice.”  Then she resumed aloud.  “Do you know if she is a good workwoman?”

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