Suddenly, you see your favorite author or artist at their most vulnerable, using their poetic talents to praise the object of their affections. I found this love letter that I absolutely adore, by one of my favorite French authors, Honoré de Balzac. He clearly employs all his writerly gifts to praise his lover, Ewelina Hańska, a Polish countess who wrote him an anonymous letter after reading his books. This began what turned out to be a decades-long correspondence. They met in person not long after (while she was married to another, a man much older than her), and became lovers. When her husband died, she was finally able to marry Balzac, but he died only 5 months after their union. At least she had these beautiful, beautiful words to look back on. Take a look below.
I am nearly mad about you, as much as one can be mad: I cannot bring together two ideas that you do not interpose yourself between them. I can no longer think of nothing but you. In spite of myself, my imagination carries me to you. I grasp you, I kiss you, I caress you, a thousand of the most amorous caresses take possession of me. As for my heart, there you will always be — very much so. I have a delicious sense of you there. But my God, what is to become of me, if you have deprived me of my reason? This is a monomania which, this morning, terrifies me. I rise up every moment say to myself, ‘Come, I am going there!’ Then I sit down again, moved by the sense of my obligations. There is a frightful conflict. This is not a life. I have never before been like that. You have devoured everything. I feel foolish and happy as soon as I let myself think of you. I whirl round in a delicious dream in which in one instant I live a thousand years. What a horrible situation! Overcome with love, feeling love in every pore, living only for love, and seeing oneself consumed by griefs, and caught in a thousand spiders’ threads. O, my darling Eva, you did not know it. I picked up your card. It is there before me, and I talked to you as if you were here. I see you, as I did yesterday, beautiful, astonishingly beautiful. Yesterday, during the whole evening, I said to myself ‘She is mine!’ Ah! The angels are not as happy in Paradise as I was yesterday!