I am uneasy about Theo. I think that he is getting strangely old. He must be very ill, doubtless with heart trouble, don’t you think so? Still another who is preparing to leave me.
No! literature is not what I love most in the world, I explained myself badly (in my last letter). I spoke to you of distractions and of nothing more. I am not such a pedant as to prefer phrases to living beings. The further I go the more my sensibility is exasperated. But the basis is solid and the thing goes on. And then, after the Prussian war there is no further great annoyance possible.
And the Critique de la raison pure of the previously mentioned Kant, translated by Barni, is heavier reading than the Vie Parisienne of Marcelin; never mind! I shall end by understanding it.
I have almost finished the scenario of the last part of Saint Antoine. I am in a hurry to start writing. It is too long since I have written. I am bored with style!
And tell me more about you, dear master! Give me at once news of Maurice, and tell me if you think that the lady you know would suit us.
And thereupon I embrace you with both arms.
Your old troubadour always agitated, always as wrathful
No, dear friend, Maurice is almost well again but I have been tired, worn out with urgent work: finishing my novel, and correcting a mass of proof from the beginning. And then unanswered letters, business, no time to breathe! That is why I have not been able to write the article on Bouilhet, and as Nanon has begun, as they are publishing five numbers a week in le Temps, I don’t see where I shall publish that article very soon.
In the Revue des Deux Mondes, they don’t want me to write criticism; whoever is not, or was not of their circle, has no talent, and they do not give me the right to say the contrary.
There is, to be sure, a new review wide open to me, which is published by very fine people, but it is more widely read in other countries than in France, and you will find perhaps that an article in that would not excite comment. It is the Revue universelle directed by Amedee Marteau. Discuss that with Charles Edmond. Ask him if, in spite of the fact that Nanon is being published, he could find me a little corner in the body of the paper.
As for the companion, you may rest assured that I am looking for her. The one whom I had in view is not suitable, for she could not read aloud, and I am not sure enough of the others to propose them. I thought that your poor mother was too deaf to listen to reading, and to converse, and that it would be enough for her to have some one very gentle, and charming, to care for her, and to stay with her.
That is all, my dear old friend, it is not my fault, I embrace you with all my heart. For the moment that is the only thing that is functioning. My brain is too stupefied.