I embrace you warmly.
Your old troubadour.
CCXIV. TO GEORGE SAND
Dear good master,
Can you, for le Temps, write on Dernieres Chansons? It would oblige me greatly. Now you have it.
I was ill all last week. My throat was in a frightful state. But I have slept a great deal and I am again afloat. I have begun anew my reading for Saint-Antoine.
It seems to me that Dernieres Chansons could lend itself to a beautiful article, to a funeral oration on poetry. Poetry will not perish, but its eclipse will be long and we are entering into the shades.
Consider if you have a mind for it and answer by a line.
My troubadour, I am thinking of what you asked me to do and I will do it; but this week I must rest. I played the fool too much at the carnival with my grandchildren and my great-nephews.
I embrace you for myself and for all my brood.
CCXVI. TO GEORGE SAND
What a long time it is since I have written to you, dear master. I have so many things to say to you that I don’t know where to begin. Oh! how horrid it is to live so separated when we love each other.
Have you given Paris an eternal adieu? Am I never to see you again there? Are you coming to Croisset this summer to hear Saint-Antoine?
As for me, I can not go to Nohant, because my time, considering my straitened purse, is all counted; but I have still I a full month of readings and researches in Paris. After that I am going away with my mother: we are in search of a companion for her. It is not easy to find one. Then, towards Easter I shall be back at Croisset, and shall start to work again at the manuscript. I am beginning to want to write.
Just now, I am reading in the evening, Kant’s Critique de la raison pure, translated by Barni, and I am freshening up my Spinoza. During the day I amuse myself by looking over bestiaries of the middle ages; looking up in the “authorities” all the most baroque animals. I am in the midst of fantastic monsters.
When I have almost exhausted the material I shall go to the Museum to muse before real monsters, and then the researches for the good Saint-Antoine will be finished.
In your letter before the last one you showed anxiety about my health; reassure yourself! I have never been more convinced that it was robust. The life that I have led this winter was enough to kill three rhinoceroses, but nevertheless I am well. The scabbard must be solid, for the blade is well sharpened; but everything is converted into sadness! Any action whatever disgusts me with life! I have followed your counsels, I have sought distractions! But that amuses me very little. Decidedly nothing but sacrosanct literature interests me.