The Autographes des Siècles bookstore has been specializing in the sale of autographed letters and manuscripts for many years. Autographed letter signed to Hélène Berthelot. "I could not resist the call of these climates, of which I carry within me the nostalgia like an ailment. One does not heal from the ailment of being born an islander. "Dear Friend, My thoughts precede me across the seas.
I want to tell you how alive and close they are. Four and a half years of distance have only made me more aware of the affections that I hold dear to the best of myself. This one has simply grown with life, with time, as if I had not moved away. Your letters, delivered by different messengers, have been sweet to me and I have found you there similar to yourself.
To you, I would have confided often, more than it is in my nature to do so, if correspondence were not so unreliable between China and France. I loved the intuition you had to send me these images of your interior one day. In thought, I often sought the intimacy of your welcome and the comforting friendship of your husband. In a recognized corner, among things whose beauty is familiar to me, I waited for you in the company of my friends the cats. Must I also tell you that I stole, a year ago, photographs of you in the garden, found at Générale Dan's?
The photograph at the well and the one at the bush are the ones that reveal you best to me. I have often heard about your official or social life in Paris. Fatigues and smiles: you have always managed them with grace.
I recently wrote to your husband. I have heard a lot about him in Tokyo, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I will be in Paris a little later than I told him: June 7.
[I plan to embark in New York on May 28]. My temporary address: at Mr.Dormoy, 5, avenue Alphonse XIII. My first visit will be to you.
I will stop for a few days in Washington where I have some people to see. I am returning from a tiring, but wonderful, voyage in the South Seas.) And I am resting a few days in this island, in the middle of the Pacific, from where I am writing to you.I could not resist the call of these climates, of which I carry within me the nostalgia like an ailment. One does not heal from the ailment of being born an islander, and I naively believe that a man has missed out on life when he has not been able, at 30, to secure enough financial independence to spend the rest of his life at sea, on a ship of his own. I was infinitely sorry to learn in Tokyo that Claudel was arriving in June and that I would not find him in Paris. I counted on it absolutely, on the basis of news announcing his departure in September. It is a great disappointment for me, because my affection for Claudel is deep and, if there are those for whom I feel authorized to keep silent, I have sometimes made, and am ready to make, a long journey to go talk to him for a moment, man to man. I wished today that I could do so at length, after my long exile and my long silence. Simply tell him, if my letter reaches you in time, that my attachment remains as alive, and that I have lived as he knew me, in this country of China that he knew, and where he knows that the concept of time does not exist. Dear Friend, is it true that I return from so far away? Tanned skin, burnt face, and a lot of good humor: I bring all that back. It is a great comfort for me to think of the friendship that I will find again with you and with your husband. On the other hand, life has hardened me against men: may I one day find a use for this hardness against those who will disappoint me too much.
I cannot help but think with emotion that I will soon call you from Paris to ask for a time to see you. With all my heart, a thousand good wishes to both of you. Your husband has given me a proof of attachment that deeply touches me. He tried the impossible for me, and it is enough that he found the time to think of me in the midst of his current occupations.
I recognize his personal influence in the unexpected firmness of Briand's politics. I ask him only one thing now, which I hope is possible.
He is a better judge of it than I am, who can only judge of the importance that I attach to it. But above all, I ask him, as I ask you, to keep all confidence and all friendship for me. Consult our manuscripts The Autographes des Siècles Gallery specializes in the sale and expertise of autographed letters and manuscripts of the great personalities of past centuries.
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About us All the items offered are originals, the authenticity of which we guarantee. Our invoices serve as proof of authenticity for the items sold.However, at your request, we can provide a certificate of authenticity, for an additional fee.