Unmasking the Bourgeoise

Juliette's Love Letter

A Love Story




Real Life



 Friday, 8 p.m. (1835).
If I were a clever woman, my gorgeous bird, I could describe to you 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, 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 resplendent; I leave that 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 cannot reiterate it too often; I can never express it as much as I feel it.
I recognize you, in all the beauty that surrounds me - in form, in color, in perfume, in harmonious sound; all of these mean you to me. You are superior to them all. You are not only the solar spectrum with the seven luminous colors, but the sun himself, that illumines, warms, and revivifies the whole world! That is that you are, and I am the lowly woman who adores you.

Your Juliette.
If you are coming to fetch me as you lead me to expect, I shall see you very soon now. I have never longed more ardently for you. Lanvin has just come. I will tell you about it when I see you.

Juliette, over the course of her lifetime had written over 25,000 correspondence to Victor Hugo. She wrote everywhere--from her box at the theater, from a chance cafe, or from a friend's house. For her tender scribbles (as she calls them), any scrap of paper would serve, even an envelope or the margin of a newspaper; and for instrument a pencil, a blackened pin, even a steel pen.

Of the forms of letters, she takes little heed. No lexicon is needed to say that one loves. A woman in the throes of passion does not worry about grammar. Juliette is of that opinion, and that is why her early letters aer so full of charm. They exhale the perfume of love, and also its timidity.

Her letters were not merely a means of gving vent to her feelings, they seemed to her the only occupation fit for a sweetheart worthy of the name, when the lover was absent or delayed. When her heart feels an immense void, she filled that void and beguile that desire that she took up the habit of writing to him.