[PARIS, 4th Jan. 1840.]
MY VALUED FRIEND AND BENEFACTOR—Please answer me quite simply, Yes or No, whether it stands in your power—(would to God it were only your will !)—to increase the sum of my indebtedness to you by another fifty francs; which would make that sum exactly round, or rather, square. No doubt, with the present complexion of the debt itself I feel that this request of mine almost borders on effrontery ;—nevertheless Want not only teaches importunity, but also a certain grade of impudence, which you, however, will perhaps excuse more readily than any other man. To pay my rent, etc., I visited the pawn-shop yesterday with the last things we could spare, yet without being able to raise sufficient; so, as it is a matter of no more than exactly fifty francs cash, I am having recourse to yourself again (and for the last time). If you are able to round off an affirmative answer with the actual nervus rerum, you may easily imagine how welcome it will be to me.—Your
I found it impossible to bring this query past my lips yesterday. (1)
(1) Draft answer, on the reverse side: "4th Jan. 1840. I forward you, dear Friend, the 50 fr. you wish for—making 400 fr. in all—and will see what I find your Frau sister [Luise?] disposed to. with the best will, however, I cannat go beyond; as, to obviate any possible misunderstandings, I ought not to conceal from you.—Ever yours, E. A."