From Marie Guérin to Céline - July 24, 1892.

From Marie Guérin to Céline - July 24, 1892. 

Sunday 24th July 1892.

Dear little Céline,

You asked me to write you amusing letters, and I fear you will not be fully satisfied. It would appear then that your Mimi (Marie herself) is not in a cheerful mood. Take no notice, she is not sad, but appetite comes with eating.

Let us begin with the customary news: we arrived in good health (in La Musse on 23rd July for a month’s holiday), however our first day was filled playing an extremely easy [l v°] game. It was just a question of who would win the prize, for all we had to was let ourselves be driven and invaded by the wretched pain that was sitting in our heads, to be crowned with laurels. It was I who had the honour of winning!!! Those who sleep, dine, they say, and I obeyed and followed this proverb… At seven o’clock, I was in the pretty little blue room on the second floor in the grip of a violent headache. Meanwhile about twenty little rabbits were performing a dance in the small valley near Madam’s alley. Apparently it had been a long while since there had been a similar soirée in La Musse. These sort are very inoffensive!... This evening I hope to at least attend the entertainment that the gentlemen rabbits will provide.        

Now that I have given you news about both the rabbits and the inhabitants of La Musse, I’m going to tell you how Mr. Tom’s journey went. First at the station [2r°] as I was holding him by the chain, he took the liberty of jumping up at all the gentlemen who passed by. Very often there were those who would walk by with their hands behind their backs, and my Tom liked nothing more than to put his great cold muzzle into the fine white gentlemen’s hands. What happened next?... Very surprised by the feeling of cold, the people would quickly withdraw their hands, wipe them on their fine clothes, and look around them looking half-wild. Spotting Tom, they recognized the culprit, but a quick glance from the dog’s head to mine meant that it was I who would receive their withering looks!!!... Getting him into his compartment was no trouble, Papa simply pointed his finger at his box, and he climbed in without further fuss. From time to time when the train [2v°]stopped, we could hear our musician singing his scales. Well, in a word, our dog is becoming civilized. He followed the carriage from Bonneville to La Musse, but from time to time, we could hear ferocious barking, and it was my Tom wanting to mount into the carriage. In short, he’s a very amusing travelling companion who loves being made a fuss of.  

The Miss de Fayets have left… Mass was very miserable without them. I saw nobody but Miss Cocagne with her pointy nose and icy stare. The dear priest (Father Bernadin Chilard, Parish Priest of the church of Saint Sébastien of Morsent, near Evreux. He had been a military chaplain - Crimea, Italy, the Rhine) has let his beard grow, which alters him enormously.

Farewell, my dear little Céline, I send all my love to you all. Papa and Mama do the same.

Your little sister,


We received my aunt’s letter which said that my uncle had quite a good day. We are very pleased with this good news.

[l r°tv] I have written as best I can, but it’s still not neat. As an excuse I will say this is strongly glazed paper; it doesn’t soak up the ink, or else you have to press excessively hard, which makes the letter messy. Secondly, this paper is so glazed that it’s impossible to scratch or erase anything out. Forgive me, I couldn’t do any better.

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