the Carmel
From Mme Martin to her brother Isidore Guérin CF 15 – 7 November 1865.

GUERIN Zélie, Mrs. Louis Martin
GUERIN Isidore


Letter from Mrs. Martin to her brother Isidore CF 15
7 November 1865.
My father sent us your letter and he hastened to send you the money you need under this cover, so that you do not go to MD [Mr. and Mrs. D. were lace traders in Paris and placed their orders with manufacturers. This is how Ms. Martin was in business relations with them regarding Point d'Alençon] who, we know, is still very embarrassed, despite the 3 francs that we lent him. Business has not been brilliant for three months and if this continues, we will have to abandon the profession!
You will have your box of linen within two weeks. She's the finest worker in town who worked for you. I'm sorry to see that you need it so badly, if I had known that, you would have received it sooner. It's kind of my fault and yours too. I'll tell you frankly that we weren't happy with you, you didn't deign to write to us, that mortified us a bit, I thought you didn't care much about us
Let's talk about something else: I'm completely disenchanted, I saw you at Le Mans [Mr. Guérin, having given up his medical studies, was looking to buy a pharmacy in Lisieux belonging to the Fournets. He will marry their daughter Céline] and I made a point of going to pay you little visits from time to time; it would have been a charm in my laborious and monotonous existence.
But what do you want, you have to give up everything; I have never had pleasure in my life, no, never what is called pleasure. My childhood, my youth were as sad as a shroud, because, if my mother spoiled you, for me, you know, she was too severe; she, although so good, did not know how to take me, so I suffered a lot from my heart.
Now, I am certainly not unhappy, happier than I was; However, I have many concerns that other women do not have in my situation. It's that rascal from Point d'Alençon who makes my life difficult: when I have too many orders, I am a slave of the worst slavery; when it doesn't work and I see myself worth twenty thousand francs on my hands, costing me, and workers that I had such difficulty finding who have to be sent to other manufacturers [These workers, as we know, worked at home and brought back their piece of lace on Thursday of each week], there is a bit of cause for torment, so I have nightmares! Finally, what to do? We must resign ourselves and come to terms with this as bravely as possible.
But here's another problem: you want to go seventy leagues from here [in Lisieux, 274 km] !... So, I say goodbye to you forever, we will hardly see each other again except in the other world, because, never in my poor life, which, I believe, will not last long, will I have the time to go see you. You will have no more time than me, we will only speak to each other by letters, and when I want to see you, I will look at your portrait, which is a very poor consolation.
If, by chance, you can be absent for two days to come and see us, there will be, on both sides, as much pain as pleasure; When the distances that separate you are this great, the separation is very painful. Instead, if you had set your sights on Le Mans, just being able to say to yourself: “If I want to, in two hours I can see it!” » is enough to calm you down. And the poor sister of Le Mans, how much she wanted it! I even had dreams of happiness which perhaps would never have come true. I said to myself: “Louis might want us to move to Le Mans when we retire from business. »
Finally, this must not make you go astray, you must place yourself where you believe you can create a good situation for yourself; you will have a wife and children who will fill the void and who will make you forget the others, to a certain point. If I didn't have my husband and my children, it wouldn't matter to me if you went far away; if you go to Africa, I will follow you there; my father would also come and I would take care of your house as best as I could. I am going to say a prayer to the Blessed Virgin and to Saint Joseph so that the pharmacist in Le Mans can make a decision, if it is for your happiness.
I end my letter with a heart full of sadness.
My father is doing well, as are all of us, except little Hélène, who has had a fever for several days.

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