From Mme Martin to Mme Guérin CF 66 - May 29, 1871.


From Mme Martin to Mme Guérin

May 29, 1871

When I received your letter last week, I was in bed with violent headaches that lasted two days. It was impossible for me to stand up. I was happy not to be on my way to Lisieux. What would you have done with me? Finally, now I’m very well in body, but not in spirit, especially this morning. Everything that’s happening in Paris fills my soul with sadness. I just learned of the death of the Archbishop and sixty-four priests who were shot yesterday by the Communards (members of the short-lived 1871 Paris Commune formed in the wake of the Franco-Prussian War, the result of an uprising after France was defeated. They were in power from March 26 through May 28). I’m very, very distressed by it.

I’m also worried about my brother. It even causes me heartache. It’s like a nightmare that follows me everywhere. I see he’s pushing himself too hard for his drug business (in May 1870 Isidore added a wholesale drug business to the pharmacy) and working like a slave without earning anything. This worries me terribly. I want so much to see you happy. You have so many expenses in your home! It seems to me that if I had to manage a house like yours, I’d lose my head over it, and what’s more, another child is on the way! God has gone to the wrong house because I, who lost my last little girl, would be so happy to have another child. But no, I won’t have any more! Now it’s useless to wish for it. I’ll never get over the death of my little Thérèse (Mélanie-Thérèse). Quite often it keeps me awake at night.

How I regret not being able to lend you money right now. We’re not receiving one cent in income from the Railroad and Crédit Foncier stocks (due to the Franco-Prussian War, shares fell on the stock exchange). Regarding the last one, my husband went to see Monsieur Lindet (a banker from Alençon) who told him to kiss it goodbye, that due to recent events it was pretty much lost. Oh well, what can you do? When this storm has passed, we’ll pick up the pieces that are left and find a way to live with less.

If my brother can take out a loan for a year, it’s almost certain that we’ll be in a position to loan him money then. It won’t be long before we receive seven thousand francs from a company, and perhaps we’ll receive more. I’m still making a little Alençon lace. We receive orders for weddings from all over. There are – and always will be – rich people. It’s because of these that, if we are ruined, I hope to still be able to earn my living in the lace business.


 © Society of St. Paul / Alba House

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