From Mme Martin to her brother Isidore CF 79 - May 1872.

From Mme Martin to her brother

May 1872

I’d very much like to know what you think of the terrible events predicted for this year, since it’s just the opposite of what we expected: the government is more assured than ever, everything seems to be going for the best, and it’s impossible to believe that anything tragic will happen, unless one is a prophet. Oh well, I’d like, though, to have a little idea of what to make of these things. I’m making enormous sacrifices to make sure I receive payment for my goods by the end of June.

Next Tuesday I’m going to send a flounce of lace (strip of lace attached by one edge used as a ruffle on dresses, shawls, veils, etc. - see here a big piece made by Zélie) costing three thousand francs to a very good company, but I won’t be paid until the end of July. If I ask for payment next month, I must give a 5% discount, which results in quite a noticeable loss. But what I dislike most is looking like we’re having financial difficulties because, if we act like that, we’ll be seen as a business without credit. You understand, then, that one can’t imagine my fear of a revolution.

However, my husband isn’t reassured, and I saw today that he wouldn’t mind hearing your opinion and knowing what you would do in our place. If then, you can write me a short note for Sunday, you’ll make me very happy. If you can write a long letter, it will make me feel even better.

Tuesday morning at five o’clock Louis left to go on a pilgrimage to Chartres (approximately 120 kilometers from Alençon) with six men from here. They’ve been back since yesterday. There were nearly twenty thousand people at the feet of the Madonna. Apparently it was magnificent, but there weren’t enough beds for everyone. They had to sleep on straw or in the church. Louis spent the night in the underground chapel, where Masses were said from midnight until noon the following day. He ate dinner with the priests from Alençon and those from the Pilgrimage. He told me they all seemed to believe that things would be settled amicably, with neither broken heads nor burned down houses. One of them claimed to know, from a completely reliable source, that the Church would soon triumph. May he be speaking the truth!


 © Society of St. Paul / Alba House

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