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Ms A 37v

[37v°] almost every day of the year before my First Communion. My efforts were crowned with success and I was always first. If I lost my place accidentally by forgetting one single word, my sadness was shown by the bitter tears I shed, [5] which Father Domin didn’t know how to stop. He was very much pleased with me (not when I was crying), and used to call me his little doctor because my name was Thérèse. Once, a student who followed me did not know the catechism question to ask of her companion. Father Domin, having made the rounds of all the students in vain, came back to me and said he was going to see if I [10] deserved my place as first. In my profound humility this was what I was waiting for; and rising with great assurance I said everything that was asked of me, to the great astonishment of everybody. After my First Communion, my zeal for catechism continued until my leaving boarding school. I succeeded very well in my studies, was almost always [15] first, and my greatest successes were history and composition. All my teachers looked upon me as a very intelligent student, but it wasn’t like that at Uncle’s house where I was taken for a little dunce, good and sweet, and with right judgment, yes, but incapable and clumsy.

I am not surprised at this opinion which Uncle and Aunt [20] had of me, and no doubt still have, for I hardly ever spoke, being very timid. When I wrote anything, my terrible scrawl and my spelling, which was nothing less than original, did not make much of an impression on anyone. In the little tasks of sewing, embroideries, and others, I succeeded well, it is true, in the estimation of my teachers; but the stiff and clumsy way I held my work justified the poor opinion they had of me. I look upon this as a grace: God, wanting my heart for



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