Five minutes’ interview and that’s all
the inconvenience. Paris,
You are sad, poor friend and dear master; it was you of whom I thought on learning of Duveyrier’s death. Since you loved him, I am sorry for you. That loss is added to others. How we keep these dead souls in our hearts. Each one of us carries within himself his necropolis.
I am entirely undone since your departure; it seems to me as if I had not seen you for ten years. My one subject of conversation with my mother is you, everyone here loves you. Under what star were you born, pray, to unite in your person such diverse qualities, so numerous and so rare?
I don’t know what sort of feeling I have for you, but I have a particular tenderness for you, and one I have never felt for anyone, up to now. We understood each other, didn’t we, that was good.
I especially missed you last evening at ten o’clock. There was a fire at my wood-seller’s. The sky was rose color and the Seine the color of gooseberry sirup. I worked at the engine for three hours and I came home as worn out as the Turk with the giraffe.
A newspaper in Rouen, le Nouvelliste, told of your visit to Rouen, so that Saturday after leaving you I met several bourgeois indignant at me for not exhibiting you. The best thing was said to me by a former sub-prefect: “Ah! if we had known that she was here ... we would have ... we would have ...” he hunted five minutes for the word; “we would have smiled for her.” That would have been very little, would it not?
To “love you more” is hard for me—but I embrace you tenderly. Your letter of this morning, so melancholy, reached the bottom of my heart. We separated at the moment when many things were on the point of coming to our lips. All the doors between us two are not yet open. You inspire me with a great respect and I do not dare to question you.
I have not yet read my play. I have still something to do over. Nothing pressing. Bouilhet’s play goes admirably well, and they told me that my little friend Cadol’s [Footnote: Edward Cadol, a dramatic author and a friend of Maurice Sand.] play would come next. And, for nothing in the world, do I want to step on the body of that child. That puts me quite a distance off and does not annoy me—nor injure me at all. What style! Luckily I am not writing for Buloz.
I saw your friend last evening in the foyer at the Odeon. I shook hands with him. He had a happy look. And then I talked with Duquesnel about the fairy play. He wants very much to know it. You have only to present yourself when ever you wish to busy yourself with it. You will be received with open arms.