Letter to Jacques Truelle(?)

[shortly after 30 June 1919]   

   My dear Jacques,

   I am only writing you a few lines so unwell am I today (after having been ill for a month without interruption). But as (after having hidden from the whole world, and even my brother, that I have come to live at Jacques Porel's house, because I've been suffering so much from household removals that I could neither receive visitors or write so no one comes), I have only told a few rare friends (two perhaps), I want you to know. But above all I don't want you to think it in any way a duty of friendship to come at night in such a remote quarter of town, to which I can't even have you brought by Célèste's brother-in-law because his motor car is broken down and the workmen who could repair it are on strike! To give you some idea of my fear of seeing anybody, my friend of twenty five years Robert de Billy wrote me that he was in Paris, avenue Malakoff (that is to say only a few steps away from me). So I didn't reply to him for fear that he would come and he never knew that he was my neighbour. The same goes for Mme de Noailles who wrote to me at the same time. Yesterday I received a letter from Mme Hennessey addressed to the Ritz which was forwarded on to Bd Haussmann, not knowing my address (which I believe to be quite temporary). All this is to say that if, after dinner, you are ever passing near to 8-bis rue Laurent-Pichard while I am still here, to come up and see your friend in the knowledge of the pleasure you would be giving him.

    Your friend,
   Marcel Proust.

I'm sending these few lines by pneumatique because I see letters are taking 9 days and pneus, alas, often 3 days.

Possibly to the diplomat Jacques Truelle. See http://www.museedeslettres.fr/public/


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