Well, well, your health has come back in spite of you, since you are sleeping all night. The sea air forces you to live and you have made progress, you have given up a work that would not have made a success. Do something more of earth earthy, which would reach everybody. Tell me what price they would sell Croisset for if they are obliged to sell it. Is it a house and garden, or is there a farm and grounds! If it is not beyond my means I might buy it and you should spend the rest of your life there. I have no money, but I should try to shift a little capital. Answer me seriously, I beg of you; if I can do it, it shall be done.
I have been ill all the summer, that is to say, that I have suffered continually, but I have worked all the more not to think of it. In fact they are to put on Villemer and Victorine at the Theatre Francais again. But there is nothing now in preparation. I do not know at what time in the autumn or winter I shall have to go to Paris. I shall find you there ready and courageous, shan’t I? If you have made, through goodness and devotion, as I think, a great sacrifice for your niece, who, in truth, is your real daughter, you will forget all about it and will begin your life again as a young man. Is one old when one does not choose to be? Stay at the seaside as long as you can. The important thing is to patch up the physical machine. Here with us it is as warm as in midsummer. I hope that you still have the sun down there. Study the life of the mollusc! They are creatures better endowed than one thinks, and, for my part, I should love to take a walk with Georges Pouchet! Natural history is the inexhaustible source of agreeable occupations for even those who seek only amusement in it, and if you actually attacked it you would be saved. But you must by all means save yourself, for you are somebody, and you cannot drop out of the running, as can a mere ruined grocer. We all embrace you with our best love.
So you are there in Paris, and have you left your apartment at the rue Murillo? You are working? Good luck and good courage! The old man is coming to the top again! I know that they are rehearsing Victorine at the Theatre Francais; but I don’t know whether I shall go to see that revival. I have been so ill all the summer and I am still suffering so much with intestinal trouble, that I do not know if I shall ever be strong enough to move in winter. Well, we shall see. The hope of finding you there will give me courage; that is not what will be lacking, but, since I passed my seventieth birthday, I have been very much upset, and I do not yet know if I shall get over it. I cannot walk any more, I who used to love to be on my feet so much, without risking atrocious pains. I am patient with these miseries, I work all the more, and I do water-colors in my hours of recreation.