The imbecilities of the Republic surpass those of the Empire. Are they playing under all this some abominable comedy? Why such inaction?
Ah! how sad I am. I feel that the world is going by.
We are living at Le Chatre. Nohant is ravaged by smallpox with complications, horrible. We had to take our little ones into the Creuse, to friends who came to get us, and we spent three weeks there, looking in vain for quarters where a family could stay for three months. We were asked to go south and were offered hospitality; but we did not want to leave the country where, from one day to another, one can be useful, although one hardly knows yet in what way to go at it.
So we have come back to the friends who lived the nearest to our abandoned hearth; and we are awaiting events. To speak of all the peril and trouble there is in establishing the Republic in the interior of our provinces would be quite useless. There can be no illusion: everything is at stake, and the end will perhaps be orleanism. But we are pushed into the unforeseen to such an extent that it seems to me puerile to have anticipations; the thing to do is to escape the next catastrophe.
Don’t let’s say that it is impossible; don’t let’s think it. Don’t let’s despair about France. She is going through expiation for her madness, she will be reborn no matter what happens. We shall perhaps be carried away, the rest of us. To die of pneumonia or of a bullet is dying just the same. Let’s die without cursing our race!
We still love you, and we all embrace you.
Don’t you receive my letters, then? Write to me I beg you, one word only: I am well. We are so worried!
They are all well in Paris.
We embrace you.
I received your letter of the 15th this morning; what a cruel thorn it takes from my heart! One gets frantic with anxiety now when one does not receive answers. Let us hope that we can talk soon and tell all about our absence from each other. I too have had the good fortune not to lose any of my friends, young or old. That is all the good one can say. I do not regret this Republic, it has been the greatest failure of all! the most unfortunate for Paris, the most unsuitable in the provinces. Besides, if I had loved it, I should not regret anything; if only this odious war might end! We love you and we embrace you affectionately. I shall not hurry to go to Paris. It will be pestilential for some time to come.