Yesterday I signed the final proof for Saint-Antoine. ...But the aforesaid old book will not be published until the first of April (like an April fool trick?) because of the translations. It is finished, I am not thinking any more about it! Saint-Antoine is relegated, as far as I am concerned, to the condition of a memory! However I do not conceal from you that I had a moment of great sadness when I looked at the first proof. It is hard to separate oneself from an old companion!
As for le Candidat, it will be played, I think, between the 2oth and the 25th of this month. As that play gave me very little trouble and as I do not attach great importance to it, I am rather calm about the results of it.
Carvalho’s leaving irritated and disturbed me for several days. But his successor Cormon is full of zeal. Up to now I have nothing but praise for him, as for all the others in fact. The people at the Vaudeville are charming. Your old troubadour, whom you picture agitated and always angry, is gentle as a lamb and even good natured! First I made all the changes that they wanted, and then they put back the original text. But of my own accord I have cut out what seemed to me too long, and it goes well, very well. Delannoy and Saint-Germain have excellent wigs and play like angels. I think it will be all right.
One thing vexes me. The censorship has ruined the role of a little legitimist ragamuffin, so that the play, conceived in the spirit of strict unpartisanship, has now to flatter the reactionaries: a result that distresses me. For I don’t want to please the political passions of anyone, no matter who it may be, having, as you know, an essential hatred of all dogmatism, of all parties.
Well, the good Alexander Dumas has made the plunge! Here he is an Academician! I think him very modest. He must be to think himself honored by honors.
Everything is going well, and you are satisfied, my troubadour. Then we are happy here over your satisfaction and we are praying for success, and we are waiting impatiently Saint-Antoine so as to read it again. Maurice has had a cold which attacks him every other day. Lina and I are well, little girls superlatively so. Aurore learns everything with admirable facility and docility; that child is my life and ideal. I no longer enjoy anything except her progress. All my past, all that I have been able to acquire or to produce, has no value in my eyes unless it can profit her. If a certain portion of intelligence and goodness was granted to me, it is so that she may have a greater share. You have no children, be therefore a litterateur, an artist, a master; that is logical, that is your compensation, your happiness, and your strength. And do tell us that you are getting on, that seems to us the main thing in life.—And keep well, I think that these rehearsals which make you go to and fro are good for you.