From Marist Studies
Yvert to Colin, Paris, 31 October 1840
Translation Jessie Munro, checked Madeleine le Jeune, 9/12/2006
- Very Reverend Father
- Your children arrived in Paris in perfect health, on Thursday during the night but I’ve only been able to see them this morning because I spent the whole day yesterday away from my hotel dispatching our packages. Good M. Séon whom the good Virgin is sending me in your stead during our long voyage, greeted me with all the affection of a father. As for M. Roulleaux, he is really happy and is delighting in the fact he is not going to be parted from me again; I feel for this dear friend the same bonds of friendly attachment.
- Before acquainting you with the affairs of the mission, I must, very kind Father, thank you with whole-hearted gratitude for the boundless goodness you ceaselessly shower down on me. I want to pour out this heart of mine on the fatherly bosom you have opened to me. Could one even believe, my worthy and loving Superior, that the latest arrival in your dear family views himself already as the beloved youngest son of the house? I imagined myself having first place in your affections, the most loved and most loving. It would take nothing less than a firm no in your own hand, written in very black ink, underscored and even repeated three times in order for me to believe to the contrary. No doubt it would take much to convince a sceptic, who could very well advance more reasons still, seeing that he has not taken any vow of obedience according to rule. But am I not this prodigal child, or else are you not this good mother whose bonds are even closer to that child she has had more trouble raising?
- All our purchases have been completed and our 42 crates and bales have gone off to Le Havre last night at the reasonable cost of 4 francs per 100 kilos or 200 pounds by ordinary mail. They wanted 6 francs to send via Boulogne. This is already a big saving without taking into account the saving we will make for the freight from France to England by opting for the Le Havre route. It has been a big mistake sending things in the past via Boulogne. In fact it is what I’ve always thought and heard from the mouth of M. Emile Franque and M. Lenormand with whom I had a very interesting conversation last Wednesday. My little trip out to Le Havre took only 40 hours return. And as regards the itinerary to be followed by the good fathers and brothers coming after us, I will write to you from Boulogne, and everything will be for the best. As for the vanguard of your mighty battalion, it will set off on Tuesday morning for Boulogne to arrive there at 9 o’clock the next morning. As soon as possible there will be an embarkation en masse of three men, with the consignments already there. The consignments from Paris and Caen for shipping via Le Havre will be collected by Father Séon, leader of the first expedition, and from London you will receive by the first mail all the information you were requesting.
- In brief, Very Reverend Father, all the expenses incurred in Paris in completing our shipments do not quite amount to the sum of 8000 francs, including the costs of packaging, which are quite considerable. That is the sum I had been given as a budget limit in Lyon. We must rejoice in everything that has been achieved and well achieved, but this has been largely due to the active and tireless cooperation of M. Marc, M. Poisson’s friend, to whom we owe much. This gentleman has shown himself to be very selfless in helping with all our multiple projects. I will keep until a letter I’ll write from London information about our three supply firms: M. Marc in Paris, M. Emile Franque at Le Havre, and the person whom we will choose in London. I’ll also inform you as to the vessel in question, in consultation with M. Lenormand (of course I shall include here only information obtained on this subject). I have also been able to take away with me an excellent recipe for writing ink and the same gentleman has made me a gift, for the bishop, of two little works of art painted on parchment. One of them is an Assumption.
- Don’t let’s forget that the printing will certainly require the services of two brothers with M. Roulleaux and me; plus another brother later on for the binding. This is indispensable at the outset, and I venture to say even for several years. So please send if possible more than a dozen more of these good brothers, to bring the number up to 15.
- The strictest economy has been adhered to so far; we have only to carry on in the same manner.
- I am, Very Reverend father, with deepest respects and most tender affection,
- Your very humble and obedient son,
- (aspiring Marist brother)
- My respects to all in your loving family, to good Fr Poupinel, excellent Fr Giraud etc.
- Paris, 31 Oct. 1840
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