Marmirolo, July 17, 1796
I got your letter, my beloved; it has filled my heart with joy. I am grateful to you for the trouble you have taken to send me news; your health should be better to-day — I am sure you are cured. I urge your strongly to ride, which cannot fail to do your good.
Ever since I left you, I have been sad. I am only happy when by your side. Ceaselessly I recall your kisses, your tears, your enchanting jealousy; and the charms of the incomparable Joséphine keep constantly alight a bright and burning flame in my heart and senses. When, free from every worry, from all business, shall I spend all my moments by your side, to have nothing to do but to love you, and to prove it to you? I shall send your horse, but I am hoping that you will soon be able to rejoin me. I thought I loved you some days ago; but, since I saw you, I feel that I love you even a thousand times more. Ever since I have known you, I worship you more every day; which proves who false is the maxim of La Bruyère that “Love comes all at once.” Everything in nature has a regular course, and different degrees of growth.
Ah! pray let me see some of your faults; be less beautiful, less gracious, less tender, and, especially less kind; above all never be jealous, never weep; your tears madden me, fire my blood. Be sure that it is no longer possible for me to have a thought except for you, or an idea of which you shall not be the judge.
Have a good rest. Haste to get well. Come and join me, so that, at least, before dying, we could say — “We were happy for so many days!!”
Millions of kisses, and even to Fortuné, in spite of his naughtiness.