The hours that I could give you, dear Master! Why, all the hours, now, by and by, and forever.
I am planning to go to Paris at the end of next week, the 14th or the 16th. Shall you be there still? If not, I shall go earlier.
But I should like it much better if you came here. We should be quieter, without callers or intruders! More than ever, I should like to have you now in my poor Croisset.
It seems to me that we have enough to talk about without stopping for twenty-four hours. Then I would read you Saint-Antoine, which lacks only about fifteen pages of being finished. However, don’t come if your cough continues. I should be afraid that the dampness would hurt you.
The mayor of Vendome has asked me “to honor with my presence” the dedication of the statue of Ronsard, which occurs the 23rd of this month: I shall go. And I should even like to deliver an address there which would be a protest against the universal modern flap-doodle. The occasion is good. But for the production of a really appropriate little gem, I lack the snap and vivacity.
Hoping to see you soon, dear master, your old troubadour who embraces you.
Your old troubadour has such a bad cough that a little bit more would be the last straw. On the other hand, they cannot get on without me at our house, and I cannot stay longer than next week, that is to say, the 15th or the 16th. If you could come next Thursday, the 13th, I should reserve the 13th, the 14th, even the 15th, to be with you at my house for the day for dinner, for the evening, in short, just as if we were in the country, where we could read and converse. I would be supposed to have gone away.
A word at once, I embrace you as I love you.
Have you promised your support to the candidacy of Duquesnel? if not, I should like to beg you to use to the utmost your influence to support my friend, Raymond Deslandes, as if he were
Your old troubadour,
Thursday, three o’clock, 13 June, 1872.
Answer me categorically, so that we may know what you will do.
I must write to you today. Sixty-eight years old. Perfect health in spite of the cough, which lets me sleep now that I am plunging daily in a furious little torrent, cold as ice. It boils around the stones, the flowers, the great grasses in a delicious shade. It is an ideal place to bathe.