From Isidore Guérin to Mme Martin - January 7, 1876.

From Isidore Guérin to Mme Martin - January 7, 1876.

Lisieux, 7th January 1876.

Dear sister

I can at last take up my pen and reply to your lovely letters, and thank you for the fine and lovely things you sent us and for your sincere wishes for our prosperity. Rest assured that we reciprocate and that we wholly return the affection and the wishes you sent us. We never forget you in our prayers, no more than you do us in yours. You have your tribulations as we have ours and our destiny is not to be happy here below. We have at last finished our inventory; it’s a thankless, hard and tiring task, during which your hair turns grey with all the worries that go through your mind, awaiting a negative result. [1v°] This year however, as we have made 21 000 f. (francs) more than other years, I was hoping for a profit of around 2000 f. The profit amounts to 2 500 f. net in fact, because I must tell you that a while ago, I don’t even know if I didn’t mention this to you when you came to Lisieux (from 14th to 18th August 1875), we noticed we had made an error in our inventories by omitting to note down the interest from the personal capital we had invested. Now until today we have only lost 5000 f. at most. We have exceeded the infamous figure of 100 000 f. since this year we have made 115 000. If we can increase this further, we will make profits that won’t be subject to a single expense. We presume that 200 000 f., a figure we will attain one day, will leave us with a net profit of 10 000 f.. I can tell you I am calmer since we started the novena (Novena of Communions on the first Friday of the month), my hassles are much less black and despite everything I am quietly confident about the future. Here are some reasons that give me hope. Before undertaking the Drugstore [2r°] I went to Paris as you remember and sought counsel from Our Lady of Victories. Since then, we have had all sorts of pitfalls from which, very fortunately, we have escaped. The Trials that people wanted to hold against us were aborted or ended well. We were burnt down and lost nothing, on the contrary the difficulties gradually lifted and our premises have been better than before. Those are my principal reasons. The day before yesterday, sadness oppressed me more than usual, so I prayed to St. Joseph and opened the book of psalms at random, and this is what I read: “The blameless spend their days in the Lord’s care, and their inheritance will endure forever. In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty, etc... etc. I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread (Ps. 36:18‑19, 25) etc., etc.” Since that day I have felt comforted. After all, we have every right to hope because our business is growing. But I can assure you that when worry invades me, I am less saddened with my lot than with that of poor Maudelonde (his brother-in-law and associate), because it was for the most part I who sought to set up this business and create a position [2v°] for him. Well I’m going to work as hard as possible and I hope that next year will be even better than this one. Everything else is going well; the pharmacy is still bringing in fine profits. In a few days I will send you the interest you are due and I shall take advantage of the opportunity to thank Louis once more for all the kindness he has shown me and I pray that God will repay him and his family for this. Tell Marie that I’m very pleased with her and with her pretty little letters. To repay her, she will come and see us in Lisieux and her visit will do us good like last time. Tell Léonie I am pleased with the progress she has made and that I hope she will try even harder to be a good girl. Give the other little poppets our love, and I send you and Dear Louis my most affectionate and tender wishes.

Your devoted brother.

I. Guérin

I regret that you didn’t take any wine from [2v°tv] Mr. Lecourt. The wine you bought is not well looked-after and you shall have bad wine. If you want passable wine you have to spend 160 fr. That which you bought is fine to drink straight away.

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