Our letters crossed. I begged you and I beg you again not to come Christmas Eve, but the night before so as to join in the revels the next night, the Eve, that is to say, the 24th. This is the program: we dine promptly at six o’clock, we have the Christmas tree and the marionettes for the children, so, that they can go to bed at nine o’clock. After that we chatter, and sup at midnight. But the diligence gets here at the earliest at half past six, and we should not dine till seven o’clock, which would make impossible the great joy of our little ones who would be kept up too late. So you must start Thursday 23d at nine o’clock in the morning, so that everyone may be perfectly comfortable, so that everyone may have time to embrace everyone else, and so that no one may be interrupted in the joy of your arrival on account of the imperious and silly darlings.
You must stay with us a very long time, a very long time, we shall have some more follies for New Year’s day, and for Twelfth Night. This is a crazy happy house and it is the time of holiday after work. I am finishing tonight my year’s task. Seeing you, dear old well-beloved friend, would be my recompense: do not refuse me.
Plauchut is hunting today with the prince, and perhaps will not return till Tuesday. I am writing him to wait for you till Thursday, you will be less bored on the way. I have just written to Girardin to complain.
We hoped to have a word from you this morning. This sudden cold is so severe, I dreaded it for your trip. We know you got to Chateauroux all right. But did you find a compartment, and didn’t you suffer on the way? Reassure us.
We were so happy to have you with us that we should be distressed if you had to suffer for this winter escapade. All goes well here and all of us adore one another. It is New Year’s Eve. We send your share of the kisses that we are giving one another.
I have had so much proof to correct that I am stupefied with it. I needed that to console me for your departure, troubadour of my heart, and for another departure also, that of my drudge of a Plauchmar—and still another departure, that of my grand-nephew Edme, my favorite, the one who played the marionettes with Maurice. He has passed his examinations for collector and goes to Pithiviers--unless by pull, we could get him as substitute at La Chatre.
Do you know M. Roy, the head of the management of the domains? If by chance the princess knew him and would be willing to say a word to him in favor of young Simonnet? I should be happy to owe her this joy for his family and this economy for his mother who is poor. It appears that it is very easy to obtain and that no rule opposes it. But one must have pull; a word to the princess, a line from M. Roy and our tears would change to joy.