"In a word, have you never loved?" said Rudolph, looking steadfastly at Miss Dimpleton, to read the truth in her tell-tale face. "Loved! have I not loved M. Giraudeau, M. Cabrion, M. Germain, and you?" "And did you love them the same as you love me neither more nor less?"
"Oh, I cannot tell you that, exactly less, perhaps; for I had to habituate myself to the squint of M. Giraudeau, to the red beard and disagreeable jests of M. Cabrion, and the melancholy of M. Germain, for he was so very sad, poor young man: while you, on the contrary, pleased me instantly." "You will not feel angry, neighbor, if I speak to you as a friend?"
Sometimes the frankness of the grisette, and the remembrance of the large bolt, made him almost believe that she loved her neighbors merely as brothers or companions, and that Mrs. Pipelet had caluminated her; then again he smiled at his credulity, in thinking it probable that a girl so young, so pretty, so solitary, should have escaped the seductions of Giraudeau, Cabrion, and Germain.
M. Cabrion did, but then it was red, like his long beard, and I do not like those great beards; besides, he made himself so ridiculously conspicuous in the streets, and teased poor M. Pipelet so much. Now, M. Giraudeau, who was my neighbor before M. Cabrion, dressed well, and altogether had a very good appearance, but he squinted.