We have had some terrible storms: lightning struck in our garden; and our stream, the Indre, has become like a torrent in the Pyrenees. It is not unpleasant. What a fine summer! The grain is seven feet high, the wheat fields are sheets of flowers. The peasant thinks that there are too many; but I let him talk, it is so lovely! I go on foot to the stream, I jump, all boiling hot, into the icy water. The doctor says that is madness. I let him talk, too; I am curing myself while his patients look after themselves and croak. I am like the grass of the fields: water and sun, that is all I need.
Are you off for the Pyrenees? Ah! I envy you, I love them so! I have taken frantic trips there; but I don’t know Luchon. Is it lovely, too? You won’t go there without seeing the Cirque of Gavarnie, and the road that leads there, will you? And Cauterets and the lake of Gaube? And the route of Saint-Sauveur? Heavens! How lucky one is to travel and to see the mountains, the flowers, the cliffs! Does all that bore you?
Do you remember the editors, the theatrical managers, the readers and the public when you are running about the country! As for me, I forget everything as I do when Pauline Viardot is singing.
The other day we discovered, about three leagues from here, a wilderness, an absolute wilderness of woods in a great expanse of country, where not one hut could be seen, not a human being, not a sheep, not a fowl, nothing but flowers, butterflies and birds all day. But where will my letter find you? I shall wait to send it to you till you give me an address!
I have been here since Sunday evening, dear master, and no happier than at Croisset, even a little less so, for I am very idle. They make so much noise in the house where we are that it is impossible to work. Moreover, the sight of the bourgeois who surround us is unendurable. I am not made for travelling. The least inconvenience disturbs me. Your old troubadour is very old, decidedly! Doctor Lambron, the physician of this place, attributes my nervous tendencies to the excessive use of tobacco. To be agreeable I am going to smoke less; but I doubt very much if my virtue will cure me!
I have just read Dickens’s Pickwick. Do you know that? There are superb passages in it; but what defective composition! All English writers are the same; Walter Scott excepted, all lack a plot. That is unendurable for us Latins.
Mister ***** is certainly nominated, as it seems. All the people who have had to do with the Odeon, beginning with you, dear master, will repent of the support that they have given him. As for me, who, thank Heaven, have no more connection with that establishment, I don’t give a whoop.
As I am going to begin a book which will exact much reading, and since I don’t want to ruin myself in books, do you know of any dealer in Paris who would rent me all the books that I designated?