From Marie Guérin to Céline - September 16, 1894.



From Marie Guérin to Céline - September 16, 1894.

Pretty little Céline,

     I’m sending you all the photographs so that dear Mother can choose the one that best reminds her of her little Marie. As for the large ones, with both of us on them, yesterday evening we received those that were missing to make up the half-dozen. I’m sending them as well so that dear Mother can choose. Take the opportunity to help yourself, for it is only right that you should have a picture of your pretty little shell.

     Yesterday evening, Papa was a little sadder, but he didn’t weep and this morning he is fine. To make him laugh, I chose among my talents the one where I mimic everyone, and you know how funny I am, and how well I ape people. I [l v°] copied Father Baillon’s voice (Extraordinary confessor at the Carmel from 1892-1908, and also chaplain of La Providence in Lisieux. Thérèse would also mimic the intonation of this confessor who had a way of asking his penitents “raigrettez-vous?” LT 232.) all evening; everyone had me talk like him, and we couldn’t stop bursting out laughing.

I am really very cheerful since we met in the visiting room. I see you are happy and this is enough for me, I am no longer heart-broken. Only you would do well to pray for my nerves to be steady instead of in a whirl. I am no doubt the one lying on the bad mattress, and you on the good one, because I can’t sleep.

   This evening I’m going to bring out the magic lantern and Jeanne Denis is going to come, she has never seen one before. I’m also going to send for the poem on our trip, (Eccentric journey to the Andes Cordillera). Would you at the same time mind sending me a little note explaining whether the slides of the journey should be turned towards the gelatin facing the light, I’m afraid it will melt. 

While I was at the Carmel yesterday, J. Denis came to see me. She brought me her slides. First she wanted to take a picture of Father Duchemin’s nephew (it is his little nephew, she told us); but the little lad moved about too much. Then she wanted to take her dog and its kennel, but she only exposed it for 4 seconds and it was under a tree. So we perceive the shape of the dog and its kennel, but it didn’t come out well. I think 8 to 10 seconds is needed under a tree. If I’m wrong, tell me in your little note. The shot is very blurred.

       Francis is currently in consultation with Joseph de Cornière who since Wednesday has been suffering from colonial fever again. Dr. de [2v°] Cornière asked Francis for a thorough examination. Apparently the de Cornière family can’t believe you have joined the Carmel. They didn’t think you had that vocation, neither did Joseph, and he said so to papa yesterday. That is why he was so surprised when he was told. But the general cry among everyone is about me, as I must be so upset. I am the one people pity the most, so papa replied that I am no more upset than he is. With that, Joseph said he had noticed that I was excessively gutsy at La Musse. Apparently as soon as he arrived home from La Musse, this is what he said to his parents about me. Can you tell me what I did that was so gutsy over there? – That a poor little sissy should become gutsy in a day is quite surprising.

I’m sending you the surprise I made with Mama, only they are in very modest dishes… I forgot to tell you that Mama has taken a vow of poverty. That is why the dishes are so lovely.

[2v°tv] I eat you up with kisses. Give lots of love to dear Mother for me and tell all the community that they don’t know what a precious treasure they have possessed for 2 days. You have to have lived five years with this pretty little treasure to know her.

Your little darling


We are going to Fervaques this afternoon (The Pottier’s residence, very near Lisieux). Am I keeping you sufficiently up to date with the news?

[lr°tv] Nature is full of nonsense. Today the Carmelites are holding a big feast in honour of a very big trial that God sends us. It’s quite surprising.

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