Everything is going on well at our house, my troubadour. The children are beautiful, we adore them; it is warm, I adore that. It is always the same old story that I have to tell you and I love you as the best of friends and comrades. You see that is not new. I have a good and strong impression of what you read to me; it seemed to me so beautiful that it must be good. As for me, I am not sticking to anything. Idling is my dominant passion. That will pass, what does not pass, is my friendship for you.
Our affectionate regards.
I have sawed wood hard for six weeks. The patriots won’t forgive me for this book, nor the reactionaries either! What do I care! I write things as I feel them, that is to say, as I think they are. Is it foolish of me? But it seems to me that our unhappiness comes exclusively from people of our class. I find an enormous amount of Christianity in Socialism. There are two notes which are now on my table.
“This system (his) is not a system of disorder, for it has its source in the Gospels, and from this divine source, hatred, warfare, the clashing of every interest, can not proceed! for the doctrine formulated from the Gospel, is a doctrine of peace, union and love.” (L. Blanc).
“I shall even dare to advance the statement that together with the respect for the Sabbath, the last spark of poetic fire has been extinguished in the soul of our rhymesters. It has been said that without religion, there is no poetry!” (Proudhon).
A propos of that, I beg of you, dear master, to read at the end of his book on the observance of the Sabbath, a love-story entitled, I think, Marie et Maxime. One must know that to have an idea of the style of les Penseurs. It should be placed on a level with Le Voyage en Bretagne by the great Veuillot, in Ca et La. That does not prevent us from having friends who are great admirers of these two gentlemen.
When I am old, I shall write criticism; that will console me, for I often choke with suppressed opinions. No one understands better than I do, the indignation of the great Boileau against bad taste: “The senseless things which I hear at the Academy hasten my end.” There was a man!
Every time now that I hear the chain of the steam-boats, I think of you, and the noise irritates me less, when I say to myself that it pleases you. What moonlight there is tonight on the river!
I am writing to you at Croisset in any case, because I doubt if you are in Paris during this Toledo-like heat; unless the shade of Fontainebleau has kept you. What a lovely forest, isn’t it? but it is especially so in winter, without leaves, with its fresh moss, which has chic. Did you see the sand of Arbonne? There is a little Sahara there which ought to be lovely now.