I embrace you warmly.
Your old troubadour.
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.
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.