Lot n° 81
4000 - 5000
FLAUBERT Gustave (1821-1880).
3 L.A.S. "Gve Flaubert" (the 1st signed with an initials), 1866- 1870, to Ernest FEYDEAU; 1, 2, and 3 pages in-8 on blue paper.
Friendly and literary letters, the last one on the war of 1870.
[The novelist and journalist Ernest FEYDEAU (1821-1873) was a great friend of Flaubert; a former employee at the Stock Exchange, he documented Flaubert for L'Éducation sentimentale. He will be the father of the vaudevillist]
Nuit de Dimanche [November 1866 ?], congratulating Feydeau for the birth of his daughter Valentine. "There is in Béranger our great national poet (the one that Gustave Planche compared to Horace) a song for this purpose of congratulating the father of a newly born little girl. I am, this evening, too tired to extract it from its volume. - But look for it & sing it to yourself, for me. You have been very kind to tell me this news. Since the event pleases you, it pleases me. Ah, my poor old man, when Miss Feydeau is old enough to inspire me with dishonest feelings, I will no longer be in a position to prove them to her...
Paris, Wednesday morning [December 29, 1869]. "My good man, I warn you that I went to your house a dozen days ago. The house was closed & the bell broken. I shouted in vain at your door [...] I was very busy with the retouching of the Féerie [Le Château des cœurs] - which I thought I had received for a moment - and which is, again, refused - then I read all the insults poured out on my book [L'Éducation sentimentale], which form a nice pile. At present, I am arriving from Nohant and in a short time I will return to Croisset for a month...
Thursday evening [September 1870]. "My dear fellow, You will receive by the same mail one hundred francs that I sent you in a loaded letter. I have a hundred left, from which I will take 50 francs tomorrow to buy a revolver. After that, with the grace of God! You tell me to borrow, unhappy man, but from whom? In a while the richest people will perhaps go begging! Before having the visit of the Prussians we have that of the Poor, by bands of 10 to 30 men, which are renewed all day. - They make threats! Your friend is not willing to be gentle. After having almost gone mad, I became enraged. - & whatever happens I will remain a fool. One does not receive such showers on the brain with impunity! - Anyway, it's getting better. I am, at present, up. All is not finished. - & Fortune is changeable. Paris may be burned but the Prussians will be beaten there - in great numbers. This evening we have such good news that I do not want to believe it. What is certain is that the army of the Loire is not a joke. Fifty thousand men have passed through Rouen in the last two days. - The national guard of Rouen, leaves next Saturday pr X. I am submerged by a black melancholy. - What a future! what immense stupidity! what derision! oh Progress! - & we were accused of being pessimists! The winter will be very nice - in "my locality". Do you feel the beauty of Badinguet? I find him unique. I am a lieutenant, I have a militia & I exercise my men! All this makes me vomit with disgust - when I don't cry with rage! The worst thing is that we deserve our fate & that the Prussians are right - or, at least, have been right.
Farewell, try to have courage. [...] Ah! my house is in a nice state! because I did not tell you that I am sheltering all my relatives from Champagne. - Fourteen people to feed, for a quarter of an hour! & in a fortnight a few thousand poor people will shake the gate of my garden. - No matter! it is necessary to be philosophical & to joke all the same! Candide is a beautiful book "....
Correspondence (Pléiade), t. III, p. 571; t. IV, p. 147 and 238.
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