From Mme Martin to her brother Isidore CF 10 - July 14, 1864

From Mme Martin to her brother

July 14, 1864

I received your letter and it made me very happy. I’m very glad you’re coming in September. You’ll be here for the baptism of your little niece Marie-Hélène. Here, already, is her name even before she’s born. Marie will be godmother with Monsieur J as the godfather; he is 45 years old.

I have my father’s portrait and yours above the mantelpiece. They came out perfectly and, above all, they’re a good likeness. Pauline, though, doesn’t recognize you. She says, “There’s Grandpa and the other one, he’s a priest.” That’s what she calls you. If only that were true! I would willingly give up my share of the inheritance for you to be a good priest, but that will never be. Oh well, we’ve seen such great miracles, but none would be greater!

It seems you’re still thinking of Mademoiselle X? I think you’re foolish…. I can’t stop thinking about it. You’re going to hurt yourself, either with her or with someone else, because you only consider the superficial things, beauty and wealth, without worrying about the qualities that make a husband happy or the faults that cause him grief and ruin. You know all that glitters is not gold. The main thing is to look for a good woman whose interests center on the home, who is not afraid of dirtying her hands with work, who devotes time to her appearance only as much as she has to, and who knows how to raise children to work and be holy. A woman like that would scare you; she would not be brilliant enough in the eyes of the world. But sensible people would love her better even if she had nothing, rather than another woman with a dowry of fifty thousand francs and who lacked these qualities. Oh well, we’ll speak of that later.


© Society of St. Paul / Alba House

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