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Chopin's Letter of 3 August 1849

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To Wojciech Grzymala
Chaillot, Friday, 3 August [1849]


You would not believe how I long to see you for just one hour; but I can't ask you to crawl out of your hole, for, although it is not 200, but only about a score of the Democratic Society who have been ordered to leave (and not one whom I have even known), still, it is a delicate matter, if you are afraid.

As for my personal affair, there are many details which I cannot make fit in, either with magnetism, or with lying or hallucinations (Miss St.), or with the honesty of Mme Étienne.  It is even possible que la chose a été faite après coup.  About that there is a lot to tell;  among other things, that another anonymous letter was sent to me, which I gave into the writer's hands.  I have not spoken a word about the whole matter with Mme Étienne, and shall not do so, though it is a week ago tomorrow.   The letter may have been given to her 3 days before; as I was not in the house, and she was here, I could have had it just as well without as with a clairvoyant.  All the more, as various conversations coincide!!  There is kindheartedness there, - but what showing off!  I wish I could see you.

Clésinger brought Solange here, without money, and after a 10-day journey in the heat with the baby and wetnurse, at a moment when everyone is fleeing from here to the country!  Where his brains are, I don't know!!  No head; or rather, a very nasty head!  De Rozières is not here; she is at the waters in Belgium with Mme Grille. Sol, therefore, goes about looking for a lodging.  He wants to find something near Chaillot;  it's amazing, what a fool he is!

Except Franch. and Herbeault, everyone is out of town. Mme Obreskow is in St. Germain, she always comes to see me on Mondays. I drink Bonnes water.  My sister still has no permit.  Later it will be useless, for his vacation will be over. I gasp, cough and am drowsy;  I do nothing, I want nothing.  That Alexis sticks in my head.

Your
CH


Expert opinions
30 October 1848
28 July 1849
 

Image of the hardcover:  Chopin in 1833, a lithograph by Engelmann after a drawing by Pierre-Roch Vigneron.  Source:  Bibliothèque nationale de France / Gallica.

SOURCE:

Letter n° 287 in
Chopin's Letters
,
"collected by Henryk Opienski and translated from the original Polish and French by E.L. Voynich" (New York, 1932).

Emphasis in bold by
Icons of Europe


ALEXIS:

As stated in "CHOPIN and The Swedish Nightingale" (page 77), the clairvoyant 'Alexis Somnambul' did exist.  His real name was Alexis Didier (1824-1886).

A new book on his 'magnetic sleepwalking' theory was published in 2003.