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TO THE SAME. - Alexis de Tocqueville, Memoir, Letters, and Remains of Alexis de Tocqueville, vol. 2 
Memoir, Letters, and Remains of Alexis de Tocqueville. Translated from the French by the translator of Napoleon’s Correspondence with King Joseph. With large Additions. In Two Volumes (London: Macamillan, 1861). 2 vols.
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TO THE SAME.
Cannes, December 30, 1858.
Forgive me, my dear friend, for not having sooner answered your letter of the 14th. . . . The newspapers have led me into a long, fatiguing, and depressing correspondence. There is nothing in having to tell people, who think you very ill, that you never were better. But when one has to explain fifty times over, that without being, as the newspapers announce, very ill, one is ill, at last one becomes out of spirits, and almost doubts whether they may not have told the truth.
Since my last letter things have gone on improving. In many respects I seem to be in health. I sleep in general well; I eat well; my strength has so far returned that, by making two excursions of it, I can ramble among the mountains for three hours a day. The weather is usually magnificent. Yet I must confess that I think more of the seriousness of my disease than I did when I arrived, though my state was then so painful, that I can scarcely imagine anything worse. What alarms me is, that, after all, the irritation in the bronchial tubes still continues, and as I cannot take the most appropriate remedies, I do not see my way. My physician assures me that I shall be cured. But who can tell what he really thinks? And I doubt whether a physician’s predictions are worth more than an astrologer’s.
I now come, my dear friend, to the principal subject of your letter. I assure you, with perfect truth, that I did not want any proof that if you were not with me before now, you were kept away by insurmountable obstacles. I add, my dear and good friend, that not only I have not expected you, not only am not in the least hurt, but from the bottom of my heart I most sincerely entreat you not to come. I know you thoroughly, and it is therefore that I love you. I can judge the state of your mind better than you can. I know that if you were here you would live in a state of anxiety and agitation, which I could not avoid perceiving.
That would give you pain, and to see you suffering would destroy my pleasure in your society. We must be governed by circumstances—they are changed, though your affection is unaltered. The crisis, the worst I think that I ever experienced, is past. My strength is returning. I can employ myself indoors and out-of-doors. It is true that I cannot set to work seriously, but I can read, even by candle-light, which was not the case a fortnight ago. Conversation is scarcely necessary to me, for I am condemned to silence. My brother, as I mentioned before, is with me and will stay for some time. And, lastly, my wife, about whom I was so long uneasy, is better. She is able to resume the immense place in my life which, as you know, belongs to her.
TO M. LANJUINAIS.
Cannes, February 7, 1859.
My dear Friend,
I make use of the first beginning of convalescence, to resume my intercourse with you. It is long since I have written to you, and I assure you that it was absolutely impossible. Oh, my dear Lanjuinais, what a horrible January I have passed! Only the wretch who has had to endure those four weeks can imagine them. Excuse me the relation of my sufferings. I try to avoid thinking of them. Now, with God’s help, I am really convalescent. Did I not still feel extremely feeble, I should call myself well.
Though that weakness prevents my writing at any length to my friends, it does not diminish my affection for them, or my desire that they will not forget me in this crisis of my life, and that they will frequently write to me. Prudence forbids my reading, or speaking, or in fact writing. My thoughts are at times so gloomy, that I am ready to burst into tears. Beg, therefore, all those whom you know take an interest in me, to be charitable enough to write; they will give me the only intellectual pleasure I have left.
In your last letter, you tell me that you have at last bought an estate.* The news pleased me, as also the situation of your new property. But you have not described it. Pray do so; I shall take great interest in it. I end, for my hand and my head are fatigued.
Ever yours, from my heart.
[*]Saint Frambaut, near La Suze, in the department of Sarthe.