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From Marie Guérin to Jeanne La Néele – October 26, 1891.

From Marie Guérin to Jeanne La Néele – October 26, 1891.

Lisieux, 26th October 91 Dear little Jeanne, The laboratory assistant has been permitted to change roles for a few days to that of secretary to Madam (Mrs. Guérin. Marie explains at the end of her letter that she was helping Céline in the photography laboratory). Madam is not demanding, the ex-laboratory assistant is assigned only the letters of little importance but they are most delightful and charming. That is why, dear little reader, you will not see the beautifully formed letters of an experienced and dear hand but the handwriting of your little [1 v°] Scribbler. Among all the fine titles I enumerated at the beginning of this letter, there is one that does me justice and of which I boast: it is the honour of being a school mistress. My little pupil is charming (Marthe Lahaye, five years old), she is making remarkable progress day by day. We are managing to do dictations, copying, grammatical analyses, sums, two pages of writing each time and as much almost fluent reading. At the end of ten good marks I give her a prize; today I gave her a parachute which was a big hit with Jean especially. The dear little boy was so happy that he asked me for permission to play with it without tearing it. It was a very difficult promise to make for a little vandal. Are you sufficiently up to date on the subject of my pupil? What a newspaper this is on the subject of a five year-old baby. What will it be like when I have nephews and nieces!... I shall be obliged to hand in my resignation as a secretary; I won’t need four pages but a fistful of writing paper. Mama has asked me to tell you that she was very happy to receive such good news from you. She also had a very good day yesterday, and today, to rest from her weariness, she is keeping to her bed. She got up this afternoon for two or three hours.

I have no news from Lisieux to tell you, however one thing has arisen: Ferdinand has a little girl who was baptised yesterday and who today has gone somewhere near Vire to one of her aunts’. We received a baptism box. The poor Colombe family is still in [2 v°] a state of worry. Mrs. Boyer (née Alice Colombe, a cousin of the doctor who had recently died) has quite a serious throat infection that she probably contracted going to see Mr. Colombe. The news is better today, it is hoped that there will be no added complications. Imagine what anxiety they must be in. Poor Aurélie whom we met this morning seemed very sad. I’m leaving you, my dear little Jeanne, on a sad note. What can I tell you that will change the course of your thoughts? I’ll recount the project of some amateur photographers who approached a Newspaper director and proposed filling the pages with their works by putting in the Local News section for example the portraits of the victims of suicide or of drowning whose sad ends are recounted. They are seeking an associate… Would your husband not like to change horses mid-stream for such a fine opportunity as this?... If so contact a certain laboratory assistant called Marie. [1 r° tv] We send you both all our love.

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