I am working still on my play, I don’t at all know if it is worth anything and don’t worry about it. I shall be told that when it is finished, and if it does not seem interesting I shall lock it up. It will have amused me for six weeks, that is the most certain thing for us about our profession.
Plauchut is the joy of the salons! happy old man! always content with himself and with others; that makes him as good as an angel, I forgive him all his graces.
You were happy at hearing the Diva Paulita, we had her, with Iphigenie, for two weeks in Nohant last autumn. Ah! yes, there is beauty and grandeur! Try to come to see us before going to Croisset, you would make us happy.
We all love you and all my dear world embraces you with a great good heart.
Your old troubadour always,
Dear good master,
Here I am back again in my solitude! But I shall not remain in it long, for, in a short month, I shall go to spend three weeks on the Righi, so as to breathe a bit, to relax myself, to deneurasthenize myself! It is a long time since I took the air, I am tired. I need a little rest. After that I shall start at my big book which will take at least four years. It will have that good quality!
Le Sexe faible which was accepted at the Vaudeville Carvalho, was returned to me by the said Vaudeville and returned also by Perrin, who thinks the play off-color and unconventional. “Putting a cradle and a nurse on the French stage!” Think of it! Then, I took the thing to Duquesnel who has not yet (naturally) given me any answer. How far the demoralization which the theatres bring about extends! The bourgeois of Rouen, my brother included, have been talking to me of the failure of le Candidat in hushed voices (sic) and with a contrite air, as if I had been taken to the assizes under an accusation of forgery. Not to succeed is A crime and success is the criterion of well doing. I think that is grotesque in a supreme degree.
Now explain to me why they put mattresses under certain falls and thorns under others? Ah! the world is funny, and it seems chimerical to me to want to regulate oneself according to its opinion.
The good Tourgueneff must be now in Saint Petersburg; he sent me a favorable article on Saint-Antoine from Berlin. It is not the article, but he, that has given me pleasure. I saw him a great deal this winter, and I love him more and more. I saw a good deal of father Hugo who is (when the political gallery is absent) a charming, good fellow.
Was not the fall of the Broglie ministry pleasing to you? Very much so to me! but the next! I am still young enough to hope that the next Chamber will bring us a change for the better. However?