From Mme Martin to Pauline - April 1873.

From Mme Martin to Pauline

April 1873

...Marie does nothing but talk about you. If she says two words, one of them is for her “Little Paulin.” She’s always asking me what time it is; then she tells me what you’re doing.

She was so happy with your little letter that she sang this morning. We thought she was cured, but unfortunately she’s not. She still has a fever, and we don’t know exactly when it will be over. This illness is very long, and my poor Marie has a great need for patience. She eats nothing and drinks only broth every two hours. The doctor let’s her have some vermicelli and I made some for her, but she couldn’t eat it. Her father went to catch some fish for her. She wanted some very much, but was only able to try a mouthful. Deep down, I was happy about this because I was afraid it would make her sick.

I’m very upset to see my Marie sick for such a long time and then also to be deprived of my little Pauline, because I don’t think you’ll be able to come for three or four weeks. But, be brave, four weeks will pass quickly. Then, all of us will be so happy. Your father is very pleased with you, and he says you’re very sensible.

Marie asks that you take all the letters that are in her cabinet for the second course and give them to your aunt. Also, cover her atlas, put it in her cabinet and be as careful as possible, as well as the pictures that are in her style notebook. She also wants you to help yourself to her notebook to write down your expenses, but nothing else. She asks for her “tatting” (a type of lace that is made with little shuttles)cotton and her crochet hook. Send these to me by Monsieur Romet. Finally, she wants me to tell you that tomorrow we’re going to make you a pretty black hat decorated with moiré ribbon and a pretty feather.

There, I think I’ve given you all her messages. But no, she still insists that I ask you if you still have the same place in the refectory and in the dormitory? I’m at her side while I’m writing you. She has an endless number of things to tell you! Though I must finish…. If I listened to her, I’d be here writing all night!

Goodbye, my “Little Paulin”, I’ll see you soon.


© Society of St. Paul / Alba House

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