certain content in chattering, at night, for hours, with Marianne and Joseph,—this strange Joseph–who does not go out any more, and seems to find pleasure in remaining with us. The idea that Joseph perhaps is in love with me,—well, that flatters me. Yes, indeed, I have got to that point. And then I read, and read,—novels, novels, and more novels. I have reread Paul Bourget. His books do not excite my enthusiasm as they used to. In fact, they tire me, and I consider them false and superficial. They are conceived in that state of soul which I know well from having experienced it when, dazzled and fascinated, I came in contact with wealth and luxury. I am all over it to-day, and these things no longer astonish me. They still astonish Paul Bourget. Oh! I would not be so silly now as to go to him for psychological explanations, for I know better than he what there is behind a parlor portière and under a lace dress.
A thing to which I cannot get accustomed is the receiving of no letters from Paris. Every morning, when the carrier comes, I feel a sort of laceration in my heart at realizing that I am so abandoned by everybody; and it is in this way that I can best measure the extent of my solitude. In vain have I written to my old comrades, and especially to Monsieur Jean, urgent and disconsolate letters; in vain have I implored them to pay