I have been in Paris, or rather at Saint-Gratien, for three days. Day after tomorrow I leave the princess, and in a fortnight I shall make a little trip to Lower Normandy for the sake of literature. When we meet I shall talk a long time with you, if you are interested, about the terrible book that I am in the process of concocting. I shall have enough work in it to take me three or four years. Not less!
Don’t leave me so long without news. Give a long look for me at the little corner of the holy ground!...My regards to your dear wife, embrace the dear little girls and sincerely yours, my good Maurice,
Your old friend
My dear Maurice,
No! Erase Cruchard and Polycarp and replace those words by what you like.
The Public ought not to have all of us,—let us reserve something for ourselves. That seems to me more decent (quod decet). You do not speak of a complete edition? Ah! your poor dear mamma! How often I think of her! And what need I have of her! There is not a day when I do not say: “If she were there, I should ask her advice.”
I shall be at Croisset till the 8th or the 10th of May. So, my old fellow, when you wish to come there, you will be welcome. I embrace you all from the oldest to the youngest.
Cruchard for you,
Polycarp for the human race,
Gustave Flaubert for Literature