We are leaving, Lina and I, on Saturday morning, and up to then we shall be on the move. If you wanted to come to dine with us Friday at Magny’s at six o’clock, at least we could say farewell. You should be free at nine o’clock, for we go to bed with the chickens in order to leave early the next day. What do you say?
I love you with all my heart.
CCXCIII. TO GUSTAVE FLAUBERT
Friend, I shall come at your call as soon as you say to me, “I have finished.”
I love you, and I embrace you.
My poor, dear, old fellow,
I learn only today in a letter from that dear, lazy soul of a Tourgueneff, about the misfortune which has come to your niece. Is it then irreparable? Her husband is very young and intelligent, can’t he begin over again, or take a position that will give him a living? They have no children, they do not need millions to live on, young and well as they both are. Tourgueneff tells me that your property has been affected by this failure. If it is affected merely you will bear this serious annoyance philosophically. You have no vices to satisfy, nor ambitions to appease. I am sure that you will accommodate your life to your resources. The hardest thing for you to bear, is the chagrin of that young woman who is as a daughter to you. But you will give her courage and consolation, it is the moment to be above your own worries, in order to assuage those of others. I am sure that as I write, you have calmed her mind and soothed her heart. Perhaps, too, the disaster is not what it seems at the first moment. There will be a change for the better, a new way will be found, for it is always so, and the worth of men is measured according to their energy, to the hopes which are always a sign of their force and intelligence. More than one has risen again bravely. Be sure that better days will come and tell them so continually, for it is true. Your moral and physical welfare must not be shaken by this rebuff. Think of healing those whom you love, and forget yourself. We shall be thinking of you, and we shall be suffering for you; for I am keenly affected at seeing that you have a new subject of sadness amidst your spleen.
Come, dear splendid old fellow, cheer up, do us a new successful novel, and think of those who love you, and whose hearts are saddened and torn by your discouragements. Love them, love us, and you will find once more your strength and your enthusiasm.
We all embrace you very tenderly. Do not write if it bores you, say to us only, “I am well, and I love you.”