Friday 8 p.m.
If only I were a clever woman, I could describe to you my gorgeous bird, how you unite in yourself the beauties of form, plumage, and song!
I would tell you that you are the greatest marvel of all ages, and I should only be speaking the simple truth. But to put all this into suitable words, my superb one, I should require a voice far more harmonious than that which is bestowed upon my species – for I am the humble owl that you mocked at only lately, therefore, it cannot be.
I will not tell you to what degree you are dazzling and to the birds of sweet song who, as you know, are none the less beautiful and appreciative.
I am content to delegate to them the duty of watching, listening and admiring, while to myself I reserve the right of loving; this may be less attractive to the ear, but it is sweeter far to the heart.
I love you, I love you. my Victor; I can not reiterate it too often; I can never express it as much as I feel it.
I recognise you in all the beauty that surrounds me in form, in colour, in perfume, in harmonious sound: all of these mean you to me. You are superior to all. I see and admire – you are all!
You are not only the solar spectrum with the seven luminous colours, but the sun himself, that illumines, warms, and revivifies! This is what you are, and I am the lowly woman that adores you.
Juliette Drouet, French actress, to Victor Hugo, French writer, some time in 1835. She wrote passionate and lyrical love letters to Hugo for over 50 years.
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