Lot n° 60
8000 - 10000
Result with fees
: 12 400EUR
FLAUBERT Gustave (1821-1880).
L.A., [Croisset] Sunday morning [August 9, 1846], to Louise COLET; 4 pages in-4.
Very beautiful and long love letter at the beginning of their liaison.
"Child, your madness carries you away - Calm down, you are irritated with yourself, with life. I told you that I had more reason than you. Do you also believe that I am not to be pitied. Save your cries. They tear me. - What do you want to do? Can I leave everything and go live in Paris. It is impossible. If I were completely free, I would go - yes, because you being there I would not have the strength to go into exile, a project of my youth and which one day I will accomplish. For I want to live in a country where no one loves me, nor knows me, where my name does not make anyone tremble, where my death or my absence does not cost a tear. I have been loved too much, you see, you love me too much. I am satiated with tenderness and I still want it, alas! - you tell me that it is a banal love that I needed. I didn't need any or yours, because I can't dream of one more complete, more whole, more beautiful - it's now ten o'clock, I've just received your letter and sent mine, the one I wrote last night. - As soon as I get up I write to you again without knowing what I'm going to say - you can see that I'm thinking of you - don't be angry with me when you don't receive any letters from me. It's not my fault. Those days are when I think of you perhaps the most. You're afraid I'll get sick, dear Louise, people like me may get sick, but they don't die. I have had all sorts of illnesses and accidents, horses killed under me, cars poured over, and I have never been skinned. I am made to live old, and to see everything perish around me and in me. I have already attended a thousand internal funerals. - My friends leave me one after the other - they get married, leave, change - hardly if we recognize each other and if we find something to say to each other. What irresistible inclination has pushed me towards you? I saw the abyss, for a moment I understood the abyss, then the dizziness carried me away. How not to love you, you, so sweet, so good, so superior, so loving, so beautiful. I remember your voice when you spoke to me on the evening of the fireworks. It was an illumination for us and like the flaming inauguration of our love - your home looks like one I had in Paris for almost two years, rue de l'est 19. When you pass by, look at the second one. From there too the view stretched over Paris, in the summer, at night I looked at the stars, and in the winter at the luminous fog of the great city that rose above the houses. One could see, as from your place, gardens, roofs, the surrounding coasts. When I entered your house, it seemed to me that I was back in my past and that I had returned to one of those beautiful and sad twilights of the year 1843 when I was sniffing the air at my window, full of boredom and death in my soul. If I had known you then! why did it not happen. I was free, alone, without parents or mistress because I never had one. You will believe that I am lying. I have never said anything more exact and here is the reason. The grotesqueness of love has always prevented me from indulging in it. I have sometimes wanted to please women, but the idea of the strange profile I must have had in those moments made me laugh so much that all my will melted under the fire of the inner irony that sang in me the hymn of bitterness and derision. Only with you I have not yet laughed at myself. Also when I see you so serious so complete in your passion, I am tempted to shout to you: But no, but no, you are mistaken, take care, not with this one! Heaven made you beautiful - devoted - intelligent, I would like to be other than I am to be worthy of you. I would like to have the organs of the heart more new. Ah! don't revive me too much, I would blaze like the straw. You are going to believe that I am selfish, that I am afraid of you, well yes, I am terrified of your love because I feel that it devours one another - you especially - you are like Uggolin in his prison. You eat your own flesh to satisfy his hunger. - One day, if I write my memoirs, the only thing I will write well, if I ever get around to it, your place will be there, and what a place! for you have made a wide breach in my existence. I had surrounded myself with a stoic wall. One of your glances carried it away like a ball and chain. - Yes, often I seem to hear behind me the rustle of your dress on my carpet. I shudder and turn around at the sound of my door that the wind moves as if you were entering, I see your beautiful white forehead. Do you know that you have a sublime forehead - too beautiful even to be kissed - a pure and high forehead, all shining with what it contains. Are you going back to Phidias [the sculptor Pradier]? In this good workshop where I saw you for the first time in the middle of marbles and ancient plasters"... He will find a pretext to go and find Louise in Mantes: "But in
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