By Celeste Mogador, Monique Fleury Nagem
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Extra resources for Memoirs of a Courtesan in Nineteenth-Century Paris (European Women Writers)
M. Vincent was nice to me the way G had been in the beginning, but like him, he was wasting his time. If he served me at the table, I would not eat. I was so miserable and became so hateful that I asked my mother to place me in apprenticeship. The next day she announced that the following Monday, I would enter the service of M. Grange, Rue du Temple. My heart was mortally grieved by the fact that I could be gotten rid of so promptly. I was already proud. I did not shed a tear. . That Monday my mother took me to see M.
They picked up a candle and went to inspect the shore of the canal. There was no trace of the struggle. I was taken back home and to my mother, who, knowing that I had gone to Mme Vincent’s, thought I had stayed there. I was ice cold and my teeth were chattering. The doctor said he feared typhoid fever. He was not wrong. I was sick for two months. Grief played a big part in my illness because now I had no doubt my mother was in love with M. Vincent. I went back to work, but to get home, I had to cross the canal.
Vincent followed us, and if my mother was leaving the neighborhood, it was mainly to separate him from all his female acquaintances. My hatred grew. I told myself, ‘‘If only he had been the one thrown into the canal! . ’’ I spied on his actions. I think he really loved my mother, but it was impossible for him to be faithful. My mother was excessively jealous. M. ’’ They would argue for a few days, but when they made up, I had lost just a little bit more of my mother’s aﬀection.