From Marie Guérin to Jeanne La Néele – September 7, 1891.

From Marie Guérin to Jeanne La Néele – September 7, 1891.

September 7 (?), 1891.

Dear little lady La-Néele,
I am the faithful messenger

Bearing very happy tidings,

For the dear lady La-Néele,
Her Papa is swiftly coming

On Wednesday to have lunch with her.

Then will take the train for Bayeux,

To visit one of his nephews.

He’ll return that night to his Jeanne

To eat a delicious dinner. [1 v°]

He’ll then take the road to Lisieux

Where five pairs of eyes await him

Avid for some good tidings

Of Madame La Néele

Dear little Jeanne, I’m beginning to tire of talking in verse, however, you can be sure I put all my rhetoric into it, there are eight feet in all my lines. I’m not afraid of my dear brother-in-law checking, I’ve a clear conscience on that point. However I will readily admit that there is one line that lacks metrical rhythm. Seek and you shall find!! I only regret one thing and that is that I didn’t discover my poetic eloquence on a feast day [2 r°] or some anniversary… It would have had a certain raison d'être… well, one must take poets when they are in eloquent form. The moral of the story is this: Little lady La Néele should stay at home on Wednesday to host papa for lunch and dinner. In the afternoon she should give him leave for business in Bayeux with his cousin Ernest (Maudelonde (1862-1941), still a bachelor; he had bought Maître Sébire’s office in Bayeux). She could have taken advantage of this trip to visit Mrs. Tostain but the latter has arrived in La Musse this very day.
Dear little Jeanne, I must speak to you seriously now but this little bit of letter relates [2 v°] more to Francis.
I know that Papa wishes to hold a little night celebration on Sunday. Naturally if he has made this wish known to us it is because he wants us to organize it. We have already taken the initiative for the dinner. For the soirée we thought we would illuminate the whole little wood with Chinese lanterns. We already tried it once last year (28th April) and Papa found it charming. I therefore have all the lanterns I need for the illumination. I’m leaving the rest to Francis: five or six Bengal lights wouldn’t do the scene any harm. I’m therefore tasking you, my children, with this type of lighting.  
A few bangers wouldn’t hurt either but as Aunt Clémence will be attending this nocturnal celebration, we must avoid frightening our guests and [1 r° tv] making them run away. I’m therefore leaving the illumination to Francis, minus the Chinese lanterns of course because we have them. As he has an inventive mind I’m entrusting this to him…… Above all, not a word to Papa or Mama about the close of this letter. This celebration is a very big secret, they don’t know we are having a nocturnal celebration.
Farewell, dear little Jeanne, I send you all my love and thank Francis in advance. Give him a big kiss. P.T.O.

[1 r° tv] Whatever you do don’t forget the lovely basket of flowers…
[2 r° tv] Mama is much better and is now going down to the garden. Would Francis have the extreme kindness to bring us a box of HALF-PLATES.

Your little sister

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