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Letter by Élisabeth Rocbert de la Morandière, dite Madame Bégon, on the subject of balls and the reaction of the curates, 27 December 1748, 18 January, 25 February, 6 March 1749.

The 27. [December 1748]

[...] I’ve news for you that martelle and his wife are learning to dance, in the hope of being invited to the balls that monsieur Bigot will be giving here. This is not all of it. landrieve is also learning and, in order to become accustomed to the high life, he is today giving a ball. The guests are madame vassan, martelle, dame deganne and dame decouagne, that fat-headed couagnette and her two married sisters. I have just been informed that madame varin is there too, which I can barely believe, she who is still in mourning for the loss of madame her mother. The ball is being given at the home of la poudrette where landriève lives. No doubt dancing partners will be there in numbers. There, you see, the behaviour I am talking about.[...]

The 18. [January 1749]

I’ve learned [...] that there is a grand celebration on the small hill at the house of monsieur duplessys [Faber]. I believe that all young ladies and women are invited and the young officers and cadets. I still do not know however if all of them will attend since monsieur de longueoil, whom you know, has made no promises to his daughters. I say this because he now has 3 waiting to be married. [...]

The 12. [February 1749]

There was a fancy supper last night at the house of Monsieur the Intendant, with all the ramesays, including ramesay’s wife and his daughter; there was a lot of dancing, till midnight, much to the pleasure of the young ramesay girl, not having been able to attend the ball on Sunday [...] I heard only today that madame duplessys [Faber] was quite displeased at the ball as it appears that the honour due to her daughters was not given, and she left, or at least made her annoyance known, around eleven at night, saying that she had had it with the disrespectful treatment of her. [...]

The 25. [February 1749]

There is some question today, Tuesday, of the sermon preached to the Ladies of the Holy Family. Madame feltz, who is the superior and who attended the ball like many others, was asked to withdraw [...]. That was the sum content of today’s sermon. It must be said, dear son, that all those who trouble themselves with such things are quite pleased, because most assuredly they have nothing better to do.

The 6. [March 1749]

[...] So there you are dear son, all I do know is that the priests have sent letters to all the Ladies of the holy family who attended the ball telling them that they must abstain from this for 3 months and do penance for the scandal they caused. I asked dechambeau to write one for mater just to frighten her. Belonging to the Good Death [Society], she should never have shown herself at the ball [...]

Source: Archives nationales du Québec, Centre de Québec, Journal de Madame Bégon, P2, P43, Rocbert de la Morandière, Elisabeth (Madame Bégon), Extract of letters regarding dances, 27 déc. 1748, 18 jan., 25 fév. et 6 mars 1749.

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