Where are you to be found now? where are you nestled? As for me, I have just come from Auvergne with my whole household, Plauchut included. Auvergne is beautiful, above all it is pretty. The flora is always rich and interesting, the walking rough, the living accommodations poor. I got through it all very well, except for the elevation of two thousand meters at Sancy, which combining an icy wind with a burning sun, laid me flat for four days with a fever. After that I got into the running again, and I am returning here to resume my river baths till the frost.
There was no more question of any work, of any literature at all, than if none of us had ever learned to read. The local poets pursued me with books and bouquets. I pretended to be dead and was left in peace. I am square with them now that I am home, by sending a copy of something of mine, it doesn’t matter what, in exchange. Ah! what lovely places I have seen and what strange volcanic combinations, where we ought to have heard your Saint-Antoine in a setting worthy of the subject! Of what use are these pleasures of vision, and how are these impressions transformed later? One does not know ahead, and, with time and the easy ways of life, everything is met with again and preserved.
What news of your play? Have you begun your book? Have you chosen a place to study? Do tell me what is becoming of my Cruchard, the Cruchard of my heart. Write to me even if only a word! Tell me that you still love us as I love you and as all of us here love you.
On arriving here yesterday, I found your letter, dear good master. All is well with you then, God be praised!
I spent the month of August in wandering about, for I was in Dieppe, in Paris, in Saint-Gratien, in Brie, and in Beauce, hunting for a certain country that I had in mind, and I think that I have found it at last in the neighborhood of Houdan. But, before starting at my terrifying book, I shall make a last search on the road that goes from Loupe to Laigle. After that, good night.
The Vaudeville begins well. Carvalho up to now has been charming. His enthusiasm is so strong even that I am not without anxieties. One must remember the good Frenchmen who cried “On to Berlin,” and then received such a fine drubbing.
Not only is the aforesaid Carvalho content with the le Sexe faible, but he wants me to write at once another comedy, the scenario of which I have shown him, and which he would like to produce a year from now. I don’t think the thing is quite ready to be put into words. But on the other hand, I should like to be through with it before undertaking the story of my good men. Meanwhile, I am keeping on with my reading and note-taking.
You are not aware, doubtless, that they have forbidden Coetlogon’s play formally, because it criticised the empire. That is the censorship’s answer. As I have in the le Sexe faible a rather ridiculous general, I am not without forebodings. What a fine thing is Censorship! Axiom: All governments curse literature, power does not like another power.