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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Athénaïs Michelet1   16 November 1872

Paris

16 Nov 72

Monsieur

Après la lettre de mon mari, que depuis si longtemp il désirait vous écrire,2 je ne me sens le droit de prendre la plume que pour vous remercier du bon souvenir que vous m’avez gardé et de l’envoi de la petite brochure.—3 Mes bons amis, les chats ne sont pas contents. C’est la seconde fois que je les quitte et sans savoir quand je les retrouverai.—4

Mon mari qui a pris toutes ses forces pour vous écrire, a été tout le mois d’octobre profondément malade. J’ai veillé, j’ai lutté contre la nature qui semble aimer autant à détruire qu’à créer.— Aujourd’hui, je garde cette amélioration acquise si péniblement avec un soin jaloux; j’y mets tous mes instans.—

Cela fait tomber la plume des doigts. Je ne sais la reprendre que pour vous dire encore ma respectueuse et vive sympathie | A Michelet.

Footnotes

For a translation of this letter, see Correspondence vol. 20, Appendix I.
See letter from Jules Michelet, 15 November 1872.
The pamphlet has not been identified, but may have concerned cats (see letter to Athénaïs Michelet, 23 May 1872; see also letter from Athénaïs Michelet, 26 June 1872).
Michelet was working on a book on cats (see letter from Athénaïs Michelet, 17 May 1872).

Translation

From Athénaïs Michelet1   16 November 1872

Paris

16 Nov 72

Sir

After my husband’s letter to you, which he has wanted to write for so long,2 I feel I only have the right to take up the pen in order to thank you for remembering me so kindly and for sending the little pamphlet.—3 My good friends the cats are not happy. This is the second time I have left them without knowing when I shall return to them again.—4

My husband, who used up all his strength writing to you, has been seriously ill all through the month of October. I have stood by, I have struggled against nature who seems to enjoy destruction as much as creation.— Today I am guarding that improvement, gained with such difficulty, with jealous care; I am devoting my every moment to it.—

That makes the pen fall from one’s fingers. I am only able to take it up again in order to reiterate my respectful and lively sympathy | A Michelet.

Footnotes

For a transcription of this letter in its original French, see p. 509.
See letter from Jules Michelet, 15 November 1872.
The pamphlet has not been identified, but may have concerned cats (see letter to Athénaïs Michelet, 23 May 1872; see also letter from Athénaïs Michelet, 26 June 1872).
Michelet was working on a book on cats (see letter from Athénaïs Michelet, 17 May 1872).

Summary

The Michelets are ill and dispirited.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-8629
From
Michelet, A. M.
To
Darwin, C. R.
Sent from
Paris
Source of text
DAR 171: 172
Physical description
4pp (French)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8629,” accessed on 24 March 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-8629

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