I told you, didn’t I, that I was working over the fairy play? I am doing now a description of the races and I have cut out all that seemed to me hackneyed. Raphael Felix didn’t seem to me eager to become acquainted with it. Problem!
All the papers cite as a proof of my depravity, the episode of the Turkish woman, which they misrepresent, naturally; and Sarcey compares me to Marquis de Sade, whom he confesses he has not read!
All that does not upset me at all. But I wonder what use there is in printing my book?
Your old troubadour is being jumped on in an unheard of manner. Those people who have read my novel are afraid to talk to me of it lest they compromise themselves or out of pity for me. The more indulgent declare I have made only pictures and that both composition and plan are quite lacking.
Saint-Victor, who puffs the books of Arsene Houssaye, won’t write articles on mine, finding it too bad. There you are. Theo is away, and no one, absolutely no one takes my defense.
Another story: yesterday Raphael and Michel Levy listened to the reading of the fairy play. Applause, enthusiasm. I saw the moment during the reading in which the contract was going to be signed. Raphael so well understood the play that he gave me two or three excellent criticisms. I found him in other ways a charming boy. He asked me until Saturday to give me a definite answer. Then a little while ago, a letter (very polite) from the aforesaid Raphael in which he declares that the fairy play would entail expenses that would be too much for him.
Ditched again. I must look elsewhere. Nothing new at the Odeon.
Sarcey has published a second article against me.
Barbey d’Aurevilly claims that I dirty a stream by washing myself in it (sic). All that does not bother me at all.
My comrade, it is finished, the article shall go tomorrow. I address it to whom? Answer by telegram. I have a mind to send it to Girardin. But perhaps you have a better idea, I really don’t know the importance and the credit of the various papers. Send me a suitable name and address by telegram; I have Girardin’s.
I am not content with my prose, I have had the fever and a sort of sprain for two days. But we must make haste. I embrace you.
Dear master, good as good bread,
I have just sent you by telegraph this message: “To Girardin.” La Liberte will publish your article, at once. What do you think of my friend Saint-Victor, who has refused to write an article about it because he finds “the book bad”? you have not such a conscience as that, have you?