From Marie Guérin to Céline – October 21, 1894

From Marie Guérin to Céline – October 21, 1894

21st October 1894

Dear little Céline,

I’m sending you my whole heart and all my wishes for a happy feast day with all my little presents. As for these, look not at the object but at my intention to bring you as much pleasure as possible. As for the 20 francs contained in this letter, I am giving them to you so that you can hand them to Pauline and my darling mother, but it is for your feast day that I am sending them to you. They are the 20 francs that mama will give me on her feast day and in case she doesn’t give them to me this year I am taking them as an advance out of grandma’s New Year gift.

Now, concerning the photographs, I desire only one thing, and that is to bring you pleasure. I spent a whole week on them and I still didn’t manage to obtain the result I’d hoped for. There’s a fault in the negative, as you can see, this scratch is on the gelatin, I did everything I could to remove it, crayon, red paint, but I only managed to reduce it. On seeing this, I started two, three other negatives, but in this rotten weather they are really very weak. No matter how much I reinforce them, they don’t make nice prints. I am sending you the one I find best. I also enlarged the portrait of my aunt, I was looking forward to giving it to you, but as the photograph is very old and not very well-defined, you can see the grain of the paper and that doesn’t make a good print.

Please forgive me for sending you the photograph of my uncle so badly stuck, the only time I could finish it was at 9 o’clock last night.

Darling Célin, you know how much I love you, and as the 21st Oct. has always been a great day of celebration for me, my ambition has always been to be the first to wish you a happy feast day. That’s why, if you remember, the first thing I would do, even before getting dressed would be to knock, knock on your door so that I’d be the first to wish my Célin a happy feast day.

This year, I think I’ve been beaten to it, however I don’t want to be the last, that’s why my letter will arrive in the morning. I will go to see you this afternoon at 3 o’clock; in honour of your feast day, you know, you must grant me a good talk. I’m sending little Thérèse’s feast-day presents, I’m still in the right octave, so it’s only half bad. Give her lots of kisses for me. Keep the biggest ones for yourself, your little


Give lots and lots of kisses to my darling Mother and my two big sisters.

I heard that my darling Mother was sick, I’ve had no news from her since Thursday. I hope she’s well now… I was however very upset to hear she was sick… The little stove that Martha has mentioned to you is not yours, it’s one that I bought her.