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Ms A 41v

[41v°] impassable walls. But finally I ended up by recognizing the sad reality: Pauline is lost to me, almost in the same manner as if she were dead. She always loved me, prayed for me, but in my eyes my dear Pauline had become a saint who was no longer able to understand the things [5] of earth. And the miseries of her poor Thérèse, if she were aware of them, would only astonish her and prevent her from loving her Thérèse as much as she did. Besides, even when I would have desired to confide my thoughts to her as at Les Buissonnets, I could not have done so, for the visits at the Carmel were only for Marie. Céline and I had permission to come only at the end, just to [10] have the time to break our heart.

And so, in reality, I had only Marie, and she was indispensable to me, so to speak. I told my scruples only to her and was so obedient that my confessor never knew my ugly malady. I told him just the number of sins Marie permitted me to confess, not one more, and could pass [15] as being the least scrupulous soul on earth in spite of the fact that I was scrupulous to the highest degree. Marie knew, then, everything that went on in my soul, and she knew my desires for Carmel. I loved her so much I couldn’t live without her. Aunt invited us to come every year, each in our turn, to her place at Trouville, and I should have [20] loved going there, but with Marie! When I didn’t have her with me, I was very much bored. Once I did enjoy going there, however, and it was the year of Papa’s trip to Constantinople. To give us a little distraction (we were sad when we knew Papa was so far away), Marie sent us, Céline and me, to the seashore for two weeks. I enjoyed myself very much because I was with my Céline. Aunt provided us with all the amusements possible: donkey rides, fishing for eels, etc. I was still very much a child

 


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