We embrace you.
G. S. Maurice Saturday evening.
Here I am back again in my nest, and almost cured from a bad fever which attacked me in Paris, the day before my departure.
Really your old troubadour has had ridiculous health for six months. March and April have been such stupid months for him. It makes no difference, however, for he is recovering again, and is seeing once more the trees and the grass grow, it is always the same thing and that is why it is beautiful and good. Maurice has been touched by the friendship that you have shown him; you have seduced and ravished him, and he is not demonstrative.
He and his wife,—who is not at all an ordinary woman,—desire absolutely that you come to our house this year, I am charged to tell you so very seriously and persistently if need be And is that hateful grip gone? Maurice wanted to go to get news of you; but on seeing me so prostrated by the fever, he thought of nothing except packing me up and bringing me here like a parcel. I did nothing except sleep from Paris to Nohant and I was revived on receiving the kisses of Aurore who knows now how to give great kisses, laughing wildly all the while; she finds that very funny.
And the novel? Does it go on its way the same in Paris as in Croisset? It seems to me that everywhere you lead the same hermitlike existence. When you have the time to think of friends, remember your old comrade and send him two lines to tell him that you are well and that you don’t forget him.
I am worried at not having news from you, dear master. What has become of you? When shall I see you?
My trip to Nohant has fallen through. The reason is this: my mother had a little stroke a week ago. There is nothing left of it, but it might come on again. She is anxious for me, and I am going to hurry back to Croisset. If she is doing well towards the month of August, and I am not worried, it is not necessary to tell you that I shall rush headlong towards your home.
As regards news, Sainte-Beuve seems to me very ill, and Bouilhet has just been appointed librarian at Rouen.
Since the rumours of war have quieted down, people seem to me a little less foolish. My nausea caused by the public cowardice is decreasing.
I went twice to the Exposition; it is amazing. There are splendid and extraordinary things there. But man is made to swallow the infinite. One would have to know all sciences and all arts in order to be interested in everything that one sees on the Champ de Mars. Never mind; someone who had three entire months to himself, and went every morning to take notes, would save himself in consequence much reading and many journeys.
One feels oneself there very far from Paris, in a new and ugly world, an enormous world which is perhaps the world of the future. The first time that I lunched there, I thought all the time of America, and I wanted to speak like a negro.