Then we shall go to your house, the day you wish. My chief talk with you will be to listen to you and to love you with all my heart. I shall bring what I have “On the stocks.” That will give me courage, as they say here, to read to you my embryo. If I could only carry the sun from Nohant. It is glorious.
I embrace and bless you.
On reaching Paris I learn sad news. Last evening, while we were talking—and I think that we spoke of him day before yesterday—my friend Charles Duveyrier died, a most tender heart and a most naive spirit. He is to be buried tomorrow. He was one year older than I am. My generation is passing bit by bit. Shall I survive it? I don’t ardently desire to, above all on these days of mourning and farewell. It is as God wills, provided He lets me always love in this world and in the next.
I keep a lively affection for the dead. But one loves the living differently. I give you the part of my heart that he had. That joined to what you have already, makes a large share. It seems to me that it consoles me to make that gift to you. From a literary point of view he was not a man of the first rank, one loved him for his goodness and spontaneity. Less occupied with affairs and philosophy, he would have had a charming talent. He left a pretty play, Michel Perrin.
I travelled half the way alone, thinking of you and your mother at Croisset and looking at the Seine, which thanks to you has become a friendly goddess. After that I had the society of an individual with two women, as ordinary, all of them, as the music at the pantomime the other day. Example: “I looked, the sun left an impression like two points in my eyes.” Husband: “That is called luminous points,” and so on for an hour without stopping.
I shall do all sorts of errands for the house, for I belong to it, do I not? I am going to sleep, quite worn out; I wept unrestrainedly all the evening, and I embrace you so much the more, dear friend. Love me more than before, because I am sad.
Have you a friend among the Rouen magistrates? If you have, write him a line to watch for the name Amedee Despruneaux. It is a civil case which will come up at Rouen in a few days. Tell him that this Despruneaux is the most honest man in the world; you can answer for him as for me. In doing this, if the thing is feasible, you will do me a personal favor. I will do the same for any friend of yours.
I send you my friend Despruneaux in person. If you know a judge or two,—or if your brother could give him a word of support, do arrange it, I kiss you three times on each eye.