Tomorrow, your reverence, I shall go to dine at your house. I shall be at home every day at five o’clock, but you might meet some guys whom you dislike. You would much better come to Magny’s where you would find me alone, or with Plauchut, or with friends who are also yours.
I embrace you. I received today the letter which you wrote to me at Nohant.
I saw Levy today, I tested him at first; I saw that he would not give up his contract at any price. I then said to him many good things about the book and made the remark that he had gotten it very cheap. But he said to me, if the book is in two volumes, it will be 20,000 francs, that is agreed. So I suppose that you will have two volumes, won’t you?
However, I persisted and he said to me: If the book is a success, I shall not begrudge two or three thousand francs more. I said that you would not demand anything, that it was not your way of acting, but that for my part, I should insist for you without your knowledge, and he left me saying: Be easy, I don’t say no. Should the book succeed I will make the author profit by it.
That is all that I have been able to do now, but I will take it up again at the proper time and place. Leave that to me, I will return your contract. What day next week will you dine with me at Magny’s? I am a little weary.
You would be very kind to come to read at my house, we should be alone and one evening will be enough for the rest. Set the day, and at six thirty if that does not bother you. My stomach is beginning to suffer a little from Paris habits. Your troubadour who loves you,
The rest of the week will finish up Palaiseau, but Sunday if you like, I am free. Answer if you want Sunday at Magny’s at half past six.
CXIX. TO GUSTAVE FLAUBERT
Then Monday, I count on you, at half past six; but as I am going to Palaiseau, I may be a few minutes late or early. The first one at Magny’s must wait for the other. I am looking forward with pleasure to hearing the rest. Don’t forget the manuscript.
Your troubadour Thursday evening, 20 May, 1869.
CXX. TO GUSTAVE FLAUBERT Paris, 29 May, 1869
Yes, Monday, my dear good friend, I count on you and I embrace you.
I am off for Palaiseau and it is ten o’clock in the morning!
CXXI. TO GEORGE SAND
My prophecy is fulfilled; My friend X——has gained only ridicule with his candidacy. That serves him right. When a man of style debases himself to practical life, he loses caste and should be punished. And then, is it a question of politics, now! The citizens who are excited for or against the Empire or the Republic seem to me as useful as those who discuss efficacious or efficient grace. Politics are as dead as theology! They have had three hundred years of existence, that is quite enough.