From Marie to Mme Guérin - June 22, 1878

From Marie to Mrs. Guérin. 22nd June 1878

22nd June

Dear Aunt,

You may be thinking that I am writing to let you know when we are to return, but I’m not; we must stay in Paris for so long that I hardly dare tell you until when. However I must! Well, we won’t see our dear Lisieux again until next Monday. We have been given the whole week to visit the capital; we were [1v°] free to refuse but the temptation was so attractive that we succumbed! And what are you going to think at present? That we have a very generous father, don’t we, and moreover a very indulgent aunt for not scolding her nieces for being so carefree!

To think that you have had Thérèse with you for a week and to leave her for such a long time, is this not too much an abuse of your kindness?

In any case Aunt forgive us this once, I can assure you that we will never have the opportunity to do it again.

What can I tell you that’s new today? So much is new for [2 r°] us that I could spend the night talking without having said anything, so I will keep the details for later and only tell you what’s important. Should I tell you my impressions of Paris? You know them already.

In the presence of so many wonders, I am left dizzy, dazzled, and stupefied; you could easily believe you were in the time of the fairies if there were any left… But also how noisy, how tumultuous this great city is! It’s nice staying here for a while but I think that staying here forever would be tiring. Even if we take carriages, we still have to walk and wear ourselves out to see something. In any case, we have already done so much walking that I think I will soon be able to name every monument as ably as the Parisians [2v°] themselves. I think I know everything at the end of the day and the following day I know nothing again!

Yesterday we went to see the uncle from Ivry (Ambroise Guérin, Isidore’s uncle on his mother’s side), he seemed happy we visited; he offered Pauline and myself a rosebud each. Papa has never seen him so amiable. He found he had changed very much since the last time he saw him; he is despondent, and suffering. Since the death of his wife (Julienne Guérin‑Savary, who died on 21/3/1878) he hasn’t been able to get on top of things. I felt very sorry for this poor uncle, I would have liked to console him. When he talked about his wife he had tears in his eyes, I didn’t think that at that age people could feel so sorrowful. His niece is with him, my uncle knows her well, she’s the one whose wedding he saw when he was very little (Adélaïde Morel‑Guérin, daughter to Théodore Guérin and Marguerite‑Charlotte Rousse). She seemed very dedicated to him, and this poor uncle doesn’t appear to be able to cope without her. I believe that if he didn’t have anybody, he wouldn’t live long.

We went to see Alphonsine again yesterday, because Papa had promised her we would, believing we’d be leaving this week. I passed on all your messages, dear Aunt, and she appeared most flattered, tasking me to pass on her warmest [2v°tv] wishes to you.

Goodbye, dear Aunt, I am sending you and my uncle the best part of my affection and gratitude.

Your little niece


[1r°tv] I mustn’t forget Papa and Pauline’s messages. They are both thinking of you and have asked me to send their best wishes to you and my uncle, and to Mr. and Mrs. Fournet, and Mr. and Mrs. Maudelonde.

As for our five little sisters and cousins, we send them all affectionate kisses and we are looking forward to seeing them very much.

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