From Marie to Pauline - December 1, 1880.

From Marie to Pauline. 1st December 1880.

Lisieux 1st December 1880

Dear Pauline,

I was very happy to receive news from you. I see you were welcomed with open arms in your dear Alençon and I hope it was the same in Le Mans. When I saw that your letter had arrived this morning I assumed that you had written to me upon your return from Le Mans so I was expecting to find news about that long-awaited trip as well, you will tell me about it in person. I’m looking forward to it. What a lot of things you will have to tell me: we will spend much of the evening chatting again and that’s what saddens me for it gives you migraines. Yet it’s the best time of the day for talking [l v°] at our leisure; both of us are so calm and we get on so well. You know, it seems strange, especially in the evenings, not having you here; for the rest of the time I’m at Aunt’s as you know, and this distracts me a little and prevents me from thinking that I’m without you.

There is nothing new at Les Buissonnets, except that Louise isn’t getting brave. It’s laughable seeing her barricade and lock all her doors every evening. In fact, we are both taking so many precautions against thieves and robbers… that we have changed the little girls from the bedroom so that they may be in a safer place and can also lock their door. I’ve put them in Papa’s room, much to their joy.

Marie Guérin just came up behind me, and I feel I’ll not be too calm just now with this little ferret at my side. She’s returned from the Abbey, and since tomorrow, Thursday, [2 r°] is a holiday, I have to wait this evening until 7 o’clock for Léonie. And so I’m writing to you, seated at the desk of the drugstore in the midst of a continual coming-and-going.

Yesterday I went to singing practice: Mr. Ducellier came to listen to us for a few moments and when he noticed you weren’t there he asked me if you had a migraine. I told him you were on a trip he then recovered from his lapse of concentration and replied: “oh yes, that’s right… so she’s not ill.” He then convoked the dignitaries to a meeting on Sunday after Vespers at the sacristy. Try not to miss it this time! There will be another rehearsal on Friday and also on two days next week.

The novena that was supposed to be said at the chapel of Lourdes won’t take place: everybody is unavailable, some people choose one time, others another. Miss Guyon could only [2v°] go after nightfall; the Miss Primois’ suggested doing it in the morning, I asked for about 2 o’clock. In short, as no one was in agreement, we unanimously decided that the venture was impossible (These rehearsals and meetings were undoubtedly being held in preparation for 12th December when the Children of Mary in the Parish of Saint Pierre would be received. Although they were already members of the association at the Visitation convent of Le Mans, since 2nd July 1874 and 2nd February 1877 respectively), Marie and Pauline had enrolled anew in Lisieux).

It is time for me to leave you, dear little Pauline, for Léonie is going to arrive shortly. Pardon me for this scribbling, I’ve not been writing to you for half an hour and Thérèse has been disturbing me often for her letter. She wanted, at all costs, to send you a short note. She’s been pestering poor Aunt for ¾ of an hour to get some paper.

Don’t forget to give my best wishes to kind Miss Pauline and to Mr. Vital; also send my regards to the Miss Charpentiers. Give Papa an affectionate kiss and tell him to bring me the sheets that are at the pavilion so that we can have them bleached.

My aunt asked me to send you her love once on the first page, once on the second page, once on the third page and once on the fourth (tv) but as I don’t have the patience to interrupt myself in the middle of each page I’m sending you her message all at once. She also says don’t come back before Saturday because she is counting on having us all day on Friday which can’t happen if you’re here. Though don’t stay in Alençon because that would really catch us out.

Céline sends you lots of kisses and I, dear little sister, send you more kisses than all your relatives and friends put together because I love you, I love you more dearly than I know how to say.

Your little sister who is looking forward to seeing you very much.


Mrs. Maudelonde is the same, my uncle is in good health this week, he is even quite cheerful at meal times. He has played all sorts of tricks on poor Thérèse.

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