I love you, and I embrace you, as does every one of my brood.
Your old troubadour
Don’t be worried about me, my Polycarp. I have nothing serious, a little grippe, and this right arm which hardly moves but which electricity will cure. One thinks that it is an effort.
I am much more worried about you, although you are ten times as strong as I am, but your morale is affected whereas mine takes what comes, in a cowardly way, if you like, but there is perhaps a philosophy in knowing how to be cowardly rather than angry.
Do write to me, tell me that you are going out of doors, that you are walking, that you are better.—I have finished going over the proofs of Flamarande. That is the most boring part of the task.
I shall send you the book when it is published. I know that you do not like to read bit by bit.
I am a little tired; however, I want to begin something else. Since it is not warm enough to go out, I get bored with not having anything on the stocks. Everything is going well in the nest, except for a few colds. Spring is so peevish this year! At last the pale sun will become the dear Phoebus-Appolo with the shining hair, and all will go well.
Aurore is getting so big that one is surprised to hear her laugh and play like a child, always good, and tender, the other is always very funny and facetious.
Tell us of yourself and always love us as we love you.
Your old troubadour
You leave me without news of you? You say that you prefer to be forgotten, rather than to complain ceaselessly, as it is very useless and since you will not be forgotten; complain then, but tell us that you are alive and that you still love us.
As you are much nicer, the more surly you are, I know that you are not rejoicing over the death of poor Michel. For me, it is a great loss in every way, for he was absolutely devoted to me and proved it all the time by his care and services without number.
We are all well here. I am better since it is not cold any more, and I am working a great deal. I am also doing many water colors, I am reading the Iliad with Aurore, who does not like any translation except Leconte de Lisle’s, insisting that Homer is spoiled by approximate renderings.
The child is a singular mixture of precocity and childishness. She is nine years old and so large that one would think her twelve. She plays dolls with passion, and she is as literary as you or I, meanwhile learning her own language which she does not yet know.
Are you still in Paris in this lovely weather? Nohant is now streaming with flowers, from the tips of the trees to the turf; Croisset must be even prettier, for it is cool, and we are struggling with a drought that has now become chronic in Berry. But if you are still in Paris, you have that beautiful Pare Monceau under your eyes where you are walking, I hope, since you have to. Life is at the price of walking!