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From Mme Martin to Mme Guérin CF 88 - March 9, 1873.

 

From Mme Martin to Mme Guérin

March 9, 1873

I’m taking advantage of a quiet moment to answer your last letter. For two weeks I’ve been so busy and so unhappy that I’ve had no rest either day or night. My little girl is sick. She has enteritis03 and I’m afraid of losing her. However, she’s always happy. As soon as she has a little moment of relief, she laughs heartily. In spite of this, her face has changed. Since Thursday, I find her very pale, and yet she’s not lost weight.

I’d have a lot of things to tell you if I had a little more time, but I’m all alone looking after the little one who’s sleeping at the moment, so I’m hurrying as much as possible.

I want, though, to amuse you by telling you about a costume ball given by Madame Y, and that made quite a stir in Alençon. Everybody is talking about it. It was magnificent, admirable, without equal! Ever since Alençon has existed, no one has ever seen anything like it.

Madame Y was Queen and had a gold crown with a veil studded with stars. Madame O represented la Folie (allegoric character symbolising a lively cheerfulness and extravagance, represented by the figure of a woman, whose costume is decorated with sleighbells and who shakes a small puppet).  She wore a dress of yellow Indian fabric that was too tight and made her look completely ridiculous. When she saw herself in this getup and noticed the richness of the other women’s costumes, she didn’t know where to hide herself.

I know all these details through some people who attended the much talked about ball, which lasted until five o’clock in the morning. To end it, there was a splendid dinner, after which all the guests went to bed.

They had to shore up the floor of the drawing rooms, or else the dancers would have fallen into the room below. I forgot to tell you that these drawing rooms were decorated with garlands of flowers and branches of ivy. It’s a shame to go to so much trouble and spend so much money to make a laughingstock of yourself.

I leave you now, my dear sister. I haven’t time to write anymore. I wanted to cheer you up a little, and yet my heart is barely up to it, I assure you.

Pray to God that He keeps my little Thérèse for me. I still have a little hope because she’s not so sick as to not be cured. Tell Jeanne and Marie to pray for their little cousin. God hears the prayers of children.

 

 © Society of St. Paul / Alba House

 

 

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