From Marie to Pauline - May 9 , 1877.

From Marie to Pauline. (Fragments.)

May 9, 1877

Alençon, May 9, 1877

I'm going to leave you soon, dear Pauline, for I am doing noth­ing but letters this morning, and so Louise, who just came in, was saying: "This room is soon going to be like a notary's office!"

As for myself, I think it looks like a chapel instead; my May- altar is so pretty it's running competition to the one at Notre- Dame. It's really something to arrange a May-altar in this house, Mamma is too difficult, more difficult than the Blessed Virgin! It has to have hawthorn branches reaching up to the ceiling, walls covered in greens, etc., etc. . . .

Thérèse is filled with admiration. Each morning, she comes here to make her prayer, leaping with joy. If you only knew how full of mischief she is, and yet not silly. I am full of admiration for this little "bouquet." All at home devour her with kisses; she's just a poor little martyr! However, she's so accustomed to caresses that she hardly pays any attention to them; and so when Céline sees how indifferent she is, she tells her in a tone of reproach: "One would say that all these caresses are Mademoiselle's due." You should see Thérèse's face!

On Sunday, she was reciting a little fable she knows by heart. It is incredible the facility she has for learning. But most interesting of all is when she gives you, with gestures, the sermon of "pov'mère Na!". . .when she tells us, with a hopeless gesture, her "ni son ni motte," which never comes to an end.

Sometimes she attends Céline's classes and she grasps imme­diately the explanations I'm giving. You can see her little imagi­nation constantly at work. She has a remarkable intelligence. The other day, I was saying to her: "Poor little Patira." Céline, who is always asking questions even when she knows things well, asked what Patira meant, and Thérèse answered immediately: "It's a little girl who isn't happy."

Just now she was on the balcony and was looking very pensively at the street leading to the train station. I asked her what she was thinking about: "Ah! I'm thinking it is this way that petit Paulin returns from Le Mans!" So you see the little baby isn't forgetting you either.

Last week, she was playing with a little friend and when the lat­ter asked her in fun for news about her mother, her father, the whole family, the poor little girl thought she had to answer, and do you know what she said? "Mamma has a bruise here (meaning her illness), and Papa has a bruise on his ear." I told this to Mamma in front of Thérèse, and the poor little darling began to sob. She is very sensitive; when she's said a word too many, or when she's made a mistake, she notices it immediately and, to make up for it, the poor baby has recourse to tears, and she asks for pardons which never end. We tell her she's forgiven but in vain. She goes on crying just the same.

How innocent is a little child, how darling, how good! I'm not surprised that God loves them more than adults; they're much more lovable


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