I am waiting until it is good weather to ask you to come to dine at Palaiseau with Goulard’s Sirenne, and some other Goulards of your kind and of mine. Up to now it has been frightfully cold and it is not worth the trouble to come to the country to catch a cold.
I have finished my novel, and you?
I kiss the two great diamonds which adorn your face.
The elder Goulard is my little Lambert, it seems to me that he is quite literary in that way.
Well, my dear friend, since you are going away, and as in a fortnight, I am going to Berry for two or three months, do try to find time to come tomorrow Thursday. You will dine with dear and interesting Marguerite Thuillier who is also going away.
Do come to see my hermitage and Sylvester’s. By leaving Paris, gare de Sceaux, at I o’clock, you will be at my house at 2 o’clock, or by leaving at 5, you will be there at 6, and in the evening you could leave with my strolling players at 9 or 10. Bring the copy. [Footnote: This refers to Monsieur Sylveitre, which had just appeared.] Put in it all the criticisms which occur to you. That will be very good for me. People ought to do that for each other as Balzac and I used to do. That doesn’t make one person alter the other; quite the contrary, for in general, one gets more determined in one’s moi, one completes it, explains it better, entirely develops it, and that is why friendship is good, even in literature, where the first condition of any worth is to be one’s self.
If you can not come—I shall have a thousand regrets, but then I am depending upon you Monday before dinner. Au revoir and thank you for the fraternal permission of dedication.
Don’t expect me at your house on Monday. I am obliged to go to Versailles on that day. But I shall be at Magny’s.
A thousand fond greetings from your
My good dear comrade,
Will you really be in Paris these next few days as you led me to hope? I leave here the 2nd. What good luck if I found you at dinner on the following Monday. And besides, they are putting on a play [Footnote: Les Don Juan de village.] by my son and me, on the 10th. Could I possibly get along without you on that day? I shall feel some emotion this time because of my dear collaborator. Be a good friend and try to come! I embrace you with all my heart in that hope.
The late Goulard,