Your note of this morning reassures me a little. But that of last night had absolutely upset me.
I beg you to give me very frequent news of your dear mother-in-law.
Embrace her for me and believe that I am
Your very devoted
Beginning with the middle of next week, about Wednesday
I shall be at Croisset.
Saturday morning, 3d June, 1876.
You had prepared me, my dear Maurice, I wanted to write to you, but I was waiting till you were a little freer, more alone. Thank you for your kind thought.
Yes, we understood each other, yonder! (And if I did not remain longer, it is because my comrades dragged me away.) It seemed to me that I was burying my mother the second time. Poor, dear, great woman! What genius and what heart! But she lacked nothing, it is not she whom we must pity.
What is to become of you? Shall you stay in Nohant? That good old house must seem horribly empty to you! But you, at least, are not alone! You have a wife...a rare one! and two exquisite children. While I was with you, I had, over and above my grief, two desires: to run off with Aurore and to kill M. Marx.[Footnote: A reporter for le Figaro.] There you have the truth, it is unnecessary to make you see the psychology of the thing. I received yesterday a very sympathetic letter from good Tourgueneff. He too loved her. But then, who did not love her? If you had seen in Paris the anguish of Martine![Footnote: George Sand’s maid.] That was distressing.
Plauchut is still in Nohant, I suppose. Tell him that I love him because I saw him shed so many tears.
And let yours flow, my dear friend, do all that is necessary not to console yourself,—which would, moreover, be impossible. Never mind! In a short time you will feel a great joy in the idea alone that you were a good son and that she knew it absolutely. She used to talk of you as of a blessing.
And when you shall have rejoined her, when the great-grand-children of the grandchildren of your two little girls shall have joined her, and when for a long time there shall have been no question of the things and the people that surround us,—in several centuries,— hearts like ours will palpitate through hers! People will read her books, that is to say that they will think according to her ideas and they will love with her love. But all that does not give her back to you, does it? With what then can we sustain ourselves if pride desert us, and what man more than you should have pride in his mother!
Now dear friend, adieu! When shall we meet now? How I should feel the need of talking of her, insatiably!
Embrace Madam Maurice for me, as I did on the stairway at Nohant, and your little girls.