You ask me what I am doing now: I have done, since I left Paris, an article on Mademoiselle de Flaugergues, which will appear in l’Opinion nationale with a work by her; an article for le Temps on Victor Hugo, Bouilhet, Leconte de Lisle and Pauline Viardot. I hope that you will be pleased with what I said about your friend; I have done a second fantastic tale for the Revue des Deux Mondes, a tale for children. I have written about a hundred letters, for the most part to make up for the folly or to soften the misery of imbeciles of my acquaintance. Idleness is the plague of this age, and life is passed in working for those who do not work. I do not complain. I am well! every day I plunge into the Indre and into its icy cascades, my sixty-eight years and my whooping-cough. When I am no longer useful nor agreeable to others, I want to go away quietly without saying Ouf! or at least, not saying anything except that against poor mankind, which is not worth much, but of which I am part, not being worth perhaps very much myself.
I love you and I embrace you. My family does too, Plauchut included. He is going to travel with us.
When we are somewhere for several days I shall write to you for news.
In the letter I received from you at Luchon a month ago, you told me that you were packing up, and then that was all. No more news! I have permitted myself to assume, as the good Brantome would say, that you were at Cabourg! When do you return? Where do you go then? To Paris or to Nohant? A question.
As for me, I am not leaving Croisset. From the 1st to the 20th or 25th of September I shall have to go about a bit on business. I shall go to Paris. Write then to rue Murillo.
I should like very much to see you: (1) to see you; (2) to read you Saint-Antoine, then to talk to you about another more important book, etc., and to talk about a hundred other things privately.
My old troubadour,
Here we are back again at home, after a month passed, just as you said, at Cabourg, where chance more than intention placed us. We all took wonderful sea baths, Plauchut, too. We often talked of you with Madame Pasca who was our neighbor at table, and had the room next us. We have returned in splendid health, and we are glad to see our old Nohant again, after having been glad to leave it for a little change of air.
I have resumed my usual work, and I continue my river baths, but no one will accompany me, it is too cold. As for me, I found fault with the sea for being too warm. Who would think that, with my appearance and my tranquil old age, I would still love excess? My dominant passion on the whole is my Aurore. My life depends on hers. She was so lovely on the trip, so gay, so appreciative of the amusements that we gave her, so attentive to what she saw, and curious about everything with so much intelligence, that she is real and sympathetic company at every hour. Ah! how unliterary I am! Scorn me but still love me.