What to tell you about myself? I am not stiff, I have ... I don’t know what. Bromide of potassium has calmed me and given me eczema on the middle of my forehead.
Abnormal things are going on inside me. My psychic depression must relate to some hidden cause. I feel old, used up, disgusted with everything, and others bore me as I do myself.
However, I am working, but without enthusiasm: as one does a stint, and perhaps it is the work that makes me ill, for I have undertaken a senseless book.
I lose myself in the recollections of my childhood like an old man ... I do not expect anything further in life than a succession of sheets of paper to besmear with black. It seems to me that I am crossing an endless solitude to go I don’t know where. And it is I who am at the same time the desert, the traveller, and the camel.
I spent the afternoon today at the funeral of Amedee Achard. The Protestant ceremonies were as inane as if they had been Catholic. All Paris and the reporters were there in force!
Your friend, Paul Meurice, came a week ago to ask me to “do the Salon” in le Rappel. I declined the honor, for I do not admit that anyone can criticise an art of which he does not know the technique! And then, what use is so much criticism!
I am reasonable. I go out every day, I exercise, and I come home tired, and still more irritated, that is the good I get out of it. In short, your troubadour (not very troubadourish) has become a sad bonehead.
It is in order not to bore you with my complaints that I write so rarely to you now, for no one has a livelier sense than I of my unbearableness.
Send me Flamarande; that will give me a little air.
I embrace you all, and especially you, dear master, so great, so strong, and so gentle. Your Cruchard, who is more and more cracked, if cracked is the right word, for I perceive that the contents are escaping.
Then you are quite ill, dear old fellow? I am not worried about it, since it concerns only nerves and rheumatisms, and I have lived seventy years with all that nuisance in my body, and I am still healthy. But I am sad to know that you are bored, suffering, and your spirit turned to darkness as it necessarily is when one is ill.
I was sure that a moment would come when someone would prescribe walking to you. All your illness comes from the lack of exercise, a man of your strength and your complexion ought to have lived an athletic life.
Don’t sulk then about the very wise order that condemns you to an hour’s walk each day.
You fancy that the work of the spirit is only in the brain, you are very much mistaken, it is also in the legs.
Tell me that two weeks of this regime has cured you. It will happen, I am sure of it.