From Mme Martin to her brother Isidore CF 29 - March 2, 1868.


From Mme Martin to her brother

March 2, 1868

Tell my father that we’re eagerly awaiting his arrival, above all little Hélène, who, every time she returns from class, asks if her grandpa has arrived. Léonie is very worried about her little cousin. She made our lives miserable yesterday. All morning long she had it in her head to leave for Lisieux, and she wouldn’t stop crying. We had no peace until her father got angry and told her she couldn’t go. The two oldest girls pester me every day, wanting to know how much time remains until summer vacation, when we go to see you….

If you’re satisfied with the maid I sent you, try to keep her because it’s very difficult to find a good one. It’s not always high wages that assure the loyalty of household help; they need to feel that we love them. We must be friendly towards them and not too formal. When people are good-hearted, one is sure they’ll serve with affection and devotion. You know that I can be very sharp; however, all the household help I’ve ever had loved me, and I’ve kept them as long as I wanted.

The one I have at the moment would be sick if she had to go away. I’m sure if she were offered 200 francs more she still wouldn’t want to leave. It’s true that I don’t treat my servants any differently than my children.

If I tell you this, it’s not to offer myself as an example. I assure you, I’m not thinking that, because everybody tells me I don’t know how to treat servants. Madame X, in particular, but what do you want, I could never act like her; I won’t even try.

© Society of St. Paul / Alba House


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