I am working like a madman, I am reading medicine, metaphysics, politics, everything. For I have undertaken a work of great scope, which will require a lot of time, a prospect that pleases me.
Ever since a month ago, I have been expecting Tourgueneff from week to week. The gout is delaying him still.
I don’t think that I shall go to Paris before February. My play is postponed on account of the difficulty of finding the chief actor. I am content about it, for the idea of leaving Nohant, my occupations, and the walks that are so lovely in this weather, didn’t look good to me at all; what a warm autumn and how good for old people! Two hours distant from here, we have a real wilderness, where, the next day after a rain, it is as dry as in a room, and where there are still flowers for me, and insects for Maurice. The little children run like rabbits in the heather which is higher than they are. Heavens! how good it is to be alive when all one loves is living and scurrying around one. You are the only black spot in my heart-life, because you are sad and don’t want to look at the sun. As for those about whom I don’t care, I don’t care either about the evils or the follies they can commit against me or against themselves. They will pass as the rain passes. The eternal thing is the feeling of beauty in a good heart. You have both, confound it! you have no right not to be happy.—Perhaps you ought to have had in your life the inclusion of the feminine sentiment which you say you have defied.— I know that the feminine is worth nothing; but, perhaps, in order to be happy, one must have been unhappy.
I have been, and I know enough about it; but I forget so well. Well, sad or gay, I love you and I am still waiting for you, although you never speak of coming to see us, and you cast aside the opportunity emphatically; we love you here just the same, we are not literary enough for you here, I know that, but we love, and that gives life occupation.
Is Saint-Antoine finished, that you are talking of a work of great scope? or is it Saint-Antoine that is going to spread its wings over the entire universe? It could, the subject is immense. I embrace you, shall I say again, my old troubadour, since you have resolved to turn into an old Benedictine? I shall remain a troubadour, naturally.
I am sending you two novels for your collection of my writings: you are not obliged to read them immediately, if you are deep in serious things.
The postman just now, at five o’clock, has brought your two volumes to me. I am going to begin Nanon at once, for I am very curious about it.