Your old troubadour,
I am writing to my friend General Ferri Pisani, whom you know, who has charge at Chateauroux, to reserve you a carriage which will be waiting for you on the 12th, at the station, at twenty minutes past three. You must leave Paris at ten minutes past nine o’clock by the express. Otherwise the trip is too long and stupid. I hope that the general will come with you, if there is any decision contrary to your promise send him a telegram to Chateauroux so that he shall not wait for you. He usually comes on horseback.
We are looking forward impatiently to seeing you.
Your old troubadour
It is only five days since we parted, and I am missing you like the devil. I miss Aurore and all the household down to Fadette. Yes, that is the way it is, one is so happy at your house! you are so good and so interesting.
Why can’t we live together, why is life always so badly arranged? Maurice seems to me to be the type of human happiness. What does he lack? Certainly, he is no more envied by anyone than by me.
Your two friends, Tourgueneff and Cruchard philosophized about that from Nohant to Chateauroux, very comfortably borne along in your carriage at a smart pace by two horses. Hurrah for the postillions of La Chatre! But the rest of the trip was horrid because of the company we had in our car. I was consoled for it by strong drink, as the Muscovite had a flask full of excellent brandy with him. We both felt a little heavy hearted. We did not talk, we did not sleep.
We found here the barodetien folly in full flower again. On the heels of this affair has developed during the last three days, Stoppfel! another bitter narcotic! Oh! Heavens! Heavens! what a bore to live in such times! How wise you are live so far from Paris!
I have begun my readings again, and, in a week I shall begin my excursions hereabouts to discover a countryside that may serve for my two good men. After which, about the 12th or the 15th, I shall return to my house at the water-side. I want very much, this summer, to go to Saint Gervais, to bleach my nose and to strengthen my nerves. For ten years I have been finding a pretext for doing without it. But it is high time to beautify myself, not that I have any pretensions at pleasing and seducing by my physical graces, but I hate myself too much when I look in my mirror. The older one grows, the more care one should take of oneself.
I shall see Madame Viardot this evening, I shall go early and we will talk of you.
When shall we meet again, now? How far Nohant is from Croisset!
Yours, dear good master, all my affection.