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From Marie Martin to Mme Guérin - August 25, 1877.


From Marie to Mrs. Guérin.

25th August 1877.

See ‘Correspondance Familiale’, Appendix, pp. 440‑441 (hand-written copy lost).

I have sad news to tell you, Mama is much worse, her illness is making frightening progress, and we notice it every day. She passes awful nights, she suffers so much that she has to get up every quarter of an hour, as she’s unable to stay in bed.

The least little noise gives her terrible fits, even though we speak very softly, and walk barefoot so that she can’t hear anything, her sleep is so light that the slightest noise wakes her.

She has been less agitated for the last two days, her pain is less sharp, less acute that at the beginning of the week, because on Monday and Tuesday she didn’t know what would become of her. Her suffering was atrocious, we couldn’t find a way of relieving her, and no treatment could calm her.

This very sharp pain is now giving way to extreme weakness. She can’t be heard to moan anymore, she hasn’t the strength, and we can hardly hear her when she speaks. It’s only by watching her lips move that we can understand what she says. She was weak yesterday, but today, it’s even worse.

Last night she had a hemorrhage, which has further increased her weakness. Papa was on his feet all night; he was extremely worried. – Fortunately the hemorrhage didn’t last long, apparently it’s so dangerous!

I hope that mama will regain a little strength and that she won’t always be as weak as today. She suffers a lot less, it’s true, but this weakness frightens me; when she’s asleep, you would think she’s not alive anymore, that’s the impression she gives.

Do you think, aunt, that this weakness will last long? I think it would soon pass if she could eat something, but everything hurts her; two or three cups of broth, that’s all she eats and we count ourselves lucky when she can keep them down!

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