Letters of Two Brides/Chapter XXXIII

Letters of Two Brides by Honore de Balzac
Chapter XXXIII: MME. DE L'ESTORADE TO MME. DE MACUMER

My child,—If ever you become a mother, you will find out that it is impossible to write letters during the first two months of your nursing. Mary, my English nurse, and I are both quite knocked up. It is true I had not told you that I was determined to do everything myself. Before the event I had with my own fingers sewn the baby clothes and embroidered and edged with lace the little caps. I am a slave, my pet, a slave day and night.

To begin with, Master Armand-Louis takes his meals when it pleases him, and that is always; then he has often to be changed, washed, and dressed. His mother is so fond of watching him sleep, of singing songs to him, of walking him about in her arms on a fine day, that she has little time left to attend to herself. In short, what society has been to you, my child—our child—has been to me!

I cannot tell you how full and rich my life has become, and I long for your coming that you may see for yourself. The only thing is, I am afraid he will soon be teething, and that you will find a peevish, crying baby. So far he has not cried much, for I am always at hand. Babies only cry when their wants are not understood, and I am constantly on the lookout for his. Oh! my sweet, my heart has opened up so wide, while you allow yours to shrink and shrivel at the bidding of society! I look for your coming with all a hermit's longing. I want so much to know what you think of l'Estorade, just as you no doubt are curious for my opinion of Macumer.

Write to me from your last resting-place. The gentlemen want to go and meet our distinguished guests. Come, Queen of Paris, come to our humble grange, where love at least will greet you!