From Marie Guérin to Mme La Néele - May 10 (?), 1894.

From Marie Guérin to Mme La Néele - May 10 (?), 1894. 

Dear little Jeanne,

I thank you for sending the little apron. I will give you my errands to run again another time; it is of exquisite taste and everyone likes it. I am constantly being complimented on it. Céline and I have been spending our days at Mrs. De Cornière and Mrs. Mommers’ to make twelve big white banners strewn with lilies for the feast of [lv°] Joan of Arc (great feast day on Tuesday 8th May). They are six metres fifty centimeters long. We had a lot of work on our hands I can tell you, and we spent two days on them. On the first day, I took my little white apron which received all kinds of compliments. The next day, as I had received the blue one, I was eager to wear it, and there was another wave of compliments. They both made many people envious.

On Tuesday evening I was at the feast of Joan of Arc which was splendid. The illumination was magnificent and then after the ceremony there was the setting ablaze of the cathedral, which simply consisted of several Bengal lights. All the prie-dieu in the church of St. Pierre had been removed and replaced with chairs from other parishes. Despite this, there was a dreadful scramble in the church. I thought that the parish priest was going to be obliged to come down from the pulpit, such was the crush. The nave and aisles weren’t wide enough, the ladies were obliged to sit in the choir, people sat wherever they could find space. We had very good seats; first Alexandre saved us a few seats, then as Céline was on the committee (Committee constituted between 17th and 21st April, according to the newspaper ‘Le Normand’) there were some places reserved for young ladies and mothers. I sat with the mothers. The committee looked charming; they were wearing very simple but very light-coloured clothes. [2v°] Opposite the committee, on the right, sat all the officers. The standard is magnificent but so heavy that the young ladies whose mission it was to carry it were obliged to abandon this honour, and it was a priest who carried it. The collection in the nave was taken by N. Janson and Miss Lerebours the printer. Nelly was wearing a red silk sash, a blue skirt and a white hat; the national colours. In the aisles I couldn’t tell you who took the collection. As for those who were supposed to collect at the doors, they were obliged not to on account of the immense crowd. Many houses had put up bunting, ours and Céline’s among others. All our windows had a string of little lights on them then our flag. It looked really festive.

I hope, dear little Jeanne, that you will be pleased with all the details I’ve given you. As for our health, [lr°tv] Grandmama has been so-so these last few days, I am still well, but despite this “well” I will be very happy to see my doctor, my constipation yields to no remedy.

I send you my love and kisses and the whole family does the same. Give my love to my doctor for me.

Your little sister