My very dear father
Several days ago M Gelli should have given you, two France Libres, one Lanterne, thirty odd Reclamations en Faveur du Marquis de Saint-Hurugue and the Revolutions de Paris number nine. Did you not receive them?
I haven’t had a letter from you for eight days. You can always write to me at the Hotel de Pologne. I am also awaiting your response to the request I made for the sum of six louis so that I don’t owe money to my decorator. I am writing you this from Paris, where I have just arrived at the Hotel de Pologne, a pied a terre which I keep here.
I have been at Versailles, with Mirabeau for eight days now. We have become great friends; at least he calls me his dear friend. At one moment he holds my hands and gives me playful punches; next he is off to the assembly, in the entrance he regains his dignity and performs marvels; after that he returns to dine with excellent company and occasionally his mistress.
We drink the most excellent wines. I feel that his table, so exquisite and heavily laden is corrupting me. His bordeaux wines and maraschino have a price which I seek vainly to ignore, and it is the hardest thing in the world afterwards for me to regain my republican austerity and hatred of the aristocrats, whose crime is to hold such fabulous dinners.
I prepare the motions and Mirabeau calls this my initiation into grand affairs. It seems that when I recollect my position in Guise I must consider myself happy to have become the commensal and friend of Mirabeau; my work has been burnt by the Toulon Parliament, and I have the reputation of an excellent citizen and a good writer.
Right now my ‘Lanterne’ is creating the same sensation as La France Libre. Three days ago, being in the entrance to the States General, and someone having just called my name, I saw all the people and a number of the deputies of all three orders, look at me with a curiosity which was flattering to my pride and I could not stop myself from not feeling happy.
At one moment I find life an exquisite thing and a moment later I find it almost unbearable and this happens ten times a day. I have twenty errands to do, a philippique in my head, a motion at the printers and the second edition of my France Libre. Mirabeau is waiting for me this evening. Farewell. Take care of yourself, and don’t speak too badly of your son,