"I'd rather be called sentimental than frozen meat," Fanny blurted. Paul knew she referred to Clara, and he smiled.
"Do you say such nasty things about me?" he laughed.
"No, my duck," the hunchback woman answered, lavishly tender. She was thirty-nine. "No, my duck, because you don't think yourself a fine figure in marble and us nothing but dirt. I'm as good as you, aren't I, Paul?" and the question delighted her. (10.270-10.272)
No one seems to have it in for haughty women more than other women. Even though Paul is every bit as proud as Clara, he loves to pretend like he's very humble. We think that Paul's actually at his proudest when he's trying to convince others that he's not. It's mind-bending, we know.