Letter from Mrs. Martin CF 164
To his daughter Pauline
My dear Pauline,
July 16 1876.
I sent you, yesterday, the photograph of Céline as well as that of Thérèse; I knew you wanted them very much, that's why I wanted to bring the time forward so that you could see them before the holidays.
I have just received a letter from Lisieux; my sister-in-law announces her arrival for August 5; she intends to take you to her house, you and Marie. This annoys me, I confess, I only give in reluctantly, only to please them. I would much rather keep you with me.
I often think of you, my Pauline, it seems to me that you always have a migraine, it distresses me extremely; but I console myself by thinking that there are only a fortnight to wait for your arrival.
I am looking forward as usual to going to Le Mans; nothing delights me like that, it's my greatest happiness and to say that if you don't go back to the boarding school next year, I won't have the opportunity to make this trip again! Finally, everything must end in this world, the pleasure as well as the pain, so all you have to do is resign yourself. Yet I have great difficulty in doing so, especially today; I am overwhelmingly sad, like the heat; I also believe that she has something to do with it.
This morning, at Mass, I couldn't pray and I said to myself that if I was a nun at the Visitation, I would still have to pray; so, this thought helped me to react. It seems to me that one is not sad like that when one is a nun; First of all, we have fewer worries, and I'm over my head.
Mary no longer made any mystery about what the Jesuit Father told her during the retreat; she ended up confiding in me more than you had told me. I am very happy with her.
M. de C., our neighbour, was buried yesterday, which had a great effect on Louise. She cannot understand how one can die "when one is so happy on earth!" I believe that she would willingly sacrifice her share of Paradise in order to be eternally, here below, as happy as the rich, whom she imagines in perfect happiness. No matter how much I tell her that they are no more so than the others, she doesn't want to believe it.
I regret having entrusted the two photographs to M. Vital, I fear that he will make you wait for them. Celine is not well, she half closes one eye; it has been repeated three times, as well as Thérèse, who is not for that any better done. The poor little girl was afraid of the photographer. She, who always smiles, made the "lippe" as when the tears are about to come; I had to reassure her.
The girl asks every day if Pauline will be back soon. Yes, she will be back soon, but going to Lisieux doesn't make me happy! I believe that if your uncle and your aunt knew how upset I am, they wouldn't ask us for these separations, and we would go and see each other, every year, as was agreed.
Marie is delighted to have you soon; it's true that she hardly has any distractions; then she gets bored of everything, she doesn't like people. I suggested that she go and hear music at the Promenades, she doesn't want to, she prefers to write to her Pauline.
I am finishing, for here comes your grandmother; we're going to sit down to table presently, then take a little walk I don't know where.
I'll pick you up on Tuesday, August 1; in the meantime, I embrace you with affection.