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Letters by Élisabeth Rocbert de la Morandière, dite Madame Bégon, on the subject of heating and the risk of fire, 20 and 26 December 1748, 9 January, 1 March, 27 April 1749.

The 20 [December 1748].

[...] You know, my dear son, of my concerns during the intense cold weather spells, and that you are all that appeases me of my fears but today I have nothing and I must reassure myself in all event, and fortunately we have had but two or three minor fire scares in the chimneys. [...]

The 26 [December 1748].

[...] The fierce winds and the fires we must burn cause my heart to beat to the point of feeling ill; I see the weather and can only think, what if some accident were to occur. [...]

The 9 [January 1749].

It is cold, dear son, and there are northerly winds that make me fear a fire, since mr varin, our neighbour, has fireplaces and stoves everywhere and, as it costs him nothing to heat, the wood is not spared; you know of my weakness and my fear of this element. [...] but I no longer have you, dear son, and have no one else but my dear father who causes me constant concern which I cannot overcome; he is always as you have seen him [...], making fires and causing sparks whenever he wishes, and I am as a victim not daring to speak for fear of angering him.

The 1[st] March 1749.

[...] So many people living in two houses, so many fires going in all of the chambers, so much light on throughout the night; it is more than I need to cause me great worry.

The 27 [April 1749].

Following magnificent weather, dear son, the rain that has fallen for two days and a shifting of the winds have forced us to restart the fires, bigger than ever. Our poor little one is distressed; she says that wood is too costly to light such fires and that we would be rather foolish to remain in a country where all of the money goes towards keeping oneself warm; she is right. [...]

Source: Archives nationales du Québec, Centre de Québec, Journal de Madame Bégon, P2, P38; P2,P44; P2,P58; P2,P108; P2,P161, Rocbert de la Morandière, Elisabeth (Madame Bégon), Diary of Madame Bégon, 20 and 26 December 1748, 9 January, 1 March and 27 April 1749, 1748-1749.

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