Maurice’s love. Entomology has taken possession of him this year; he discovers marvels. Embrace your mother for me, and take good care of her. I love you with all my heart.
Dear good friend, I spent three weeks in Paris with my children, hoping to see you arriving or to receive a line from you which would tell me to come and embrace you. But you were head over heels and I respect these crises of work; I know them! Here am I back again in old Nohant, and Maurice at Nerac terminating by a compromise the law-suit which keeps him from his inheritance. His agreeable father stole about three hundred thousand francs from his children in order to please his cook; happily, although Monsieur used to lead this edifying life, I used to work and did not cut into my capital. I have nothing, but I shall leave the daily bread assured.
They write me that Villemer goes well. Little Aurore is as pretty as anything and does a thousand gracious tricks. My daughter Lina is always my real daughter The other is well and is beautiful, that is all that I ask of her.
I am working again; but I am not strong. I am paying for my energy and activity in Paris. That does not make any difference, I am not angry against life, I love you with all my heart. I see, when I am gloomy, your kind face, and I feel the radiant power of your goodness. You are a charm in the Indian summer of my sweet and pure friendships, without egoisms, and without deceptions in consequence.
Think of me sometimes, work well and call me when you are ready to loaf. If you are not ready, never mind. If your heart told you to come here, there would be feasting and joy in the family. I saw Sainte-Beuve, I am content and proud of him.
Good night, friend of my heart. I embrace you as well as your mother.
When I see how hard my old friend has to work in order to write a novel, it discourages my facility, and I tell myself that I write botched literature. I have finished Cadio; it has been in Buloz’ hands a long time. I am writing another thing,[Footnote: Mademoiselle Merquem.] but I don’t see it yet very clearly; what can one do without sun and without heat? I ought to be in Paris now, to see the Exposition again at my leisure, and to take your mother to walk with you; but I really must work, since I have only that to live on. And then the children; that Aurore is a wonder. You really must see her, perhaps I shall not see her long, If I don’t think I am destined to grow very old; I must lose no time in loving!
Yes, you are right, it is that that sustains me. This hypocritical fit has a rough disillusionment in store for it, and one will lose nothing by waiting. On the contrary, one will gain. You will see that, you who are old though still quite young. You are my son’s age. You will laugh together when you see this heap of rubbish collapse.