How I Would Open My Letters, As A Frenchman And The Son Of A Man With High Hopes

Ah! my friend, please think of my hardships

Ah! My friend, please think of my hardships! Why should my friends d’coeur begrudge me five louis, when five louis would do so much?

I am thinking of moving my boats after all, dear Phronsie.

Do not tell Papa!—He thinks I am sitting for an examination for the Navy, but you know such a career could only disgust me. I hope to live my life in such a fashion that I shall never have to behold a Prussian, even if it is only to fire a cannon at him.

I have seen Le Bon Marché, and found it both novel and vulgar. Does this surprise you, Marie-Madeleine? And yet I remain steadfast in the opinion that only the vulgar can be truly novel, that the true man of refinement (or woman—see, I have not forgotten your last reply) must not flinch at the indelicate, the gross, yes, even the distasteful, if one prizes at all originality of thought.

Marcellin! My heart’s own!

My dear Phronsie, you must know how deeply it pains me to hear you like talk like a tradesman. I will move my boats when it suits me, and not according to whatever o’clock it is, or to benefit the guild of boatswains.

I cannot agree that the work is rushed. Rapid, yes, and without fuss or unnecessary retouch, but rushed?—never. The speed follows the form, and not the other way round. What always makes me so unhappy in the Louvre

Eugenié! Pah!

Will no one think of my hardships?

I recently had occasion to find myself at F______, near B______, in the situation of L_______.

It is my belief that most of Paris is determined to impede my progression in life. What other conclusion is there, when a mere 100 livres stand between myself and perfect happiness.

Dearest Phronsie! It will give you no end of pleasure, as indeed it did me, to hear what that fellow Léandre has done with my boats. Only listen!—

Oh, Papa!—Still he dreams of a revanche. What a fury it would put him in, to know we are even contemplating a visit to Lorraine! And yet I am determined to see the Moselle!

My dear Phronsie, I have at last struck upon a scheme for my boats which shall please everyone. Only listen, and do not tell Papa, who will be terribly cross to learn I have not given up my boats, as I promised him only last Assomption—

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