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Ms A 42r

[42r°] in spite of my twelve and a half years, and I remember the joy I had putting on some pretty sky-blue ribbons Aunt had given me for my hair; I also recall having confessed at Trouville even this childish pleasure which seemed to be a sin to me. I had an [5] experience one evening that surprised me very much.

Marie [Guérin] , who was almost always ailing, often whimpered; and then Aunt babied her, giving her all kinds of endearing names, but my dear little cousin continued her crying and said she had a headache. I, who had a headache almost every day and didn’t complain, wanted [10] to imitate Marie. So one evening, sitting in an armchair in the corner of the parlor, I set about the business of crying. Soon Jeanne and Aunt hurried over to me, asking me what was the matter. I answered like Marie: “I have a headache.” It seemed that complaining didn’t suit me, for I was unable to convince them that a headache would [15] make me cry; instead of babying me, they spoke to me as to an adult, and Jeanne scolded me for lacking confidence in Aunt, for she was convinced something was bothering my conscience. Getting nowhere for all my trouble, I made the resolution never to imitate others again, and I understood the fable about “The donkey and the pet dog.” I was the donkey that saw the caresses [20] the little dog was getting; he came and placed his clumsy hoof on the table to get his share of kisses. Although I didn’t get the blows of the cudgel like the poor animal, I did get what I deserved and this cured me for life of any desire to attract attention. The one effort I had made was far too costly!

The following year, that of my dear Marie’s departure for Carmel, Aunt invited me again but this time all alone, and I was so much out of my element that


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