morning (in the trench).
I hope that when you think of me you will have in mind all those who have left everything behind: their family, their surroundings, their whole social environment; all those of whom their nearest and dearest think only in the past, saying, ‘We had once a brother, who, many years ago, withdrew from this world, we know nothing of his fate.’ Then I, feeling that you too have abandoned all human attachment, will walk freely in this life, closed to all ordinary relations.
I don’t regret my new rank; it has brought me many troubles but a great deal of experience, and, as a matter of fact, some ameliorations.
So I want to continue to live as fully as possible in this moment, and that will be all the easier for me if I can feel that you have brought yourself to the idea that my present life cannot in any way be lost.
I did not tell you enough what pleasure the Revues Hebdomadaires gave me. I found some extracts from that speech on Lamartine which I am passionately fond of. Circumstances led this poet to give to his art only the lowest place. Life in general closed him round, imposing on his great heart a more serious and immediate task than that which awaited his genius.