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Chopin's Letter of 3 August 1849

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.


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.


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


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.