Wednesday, Sept 2 1874
Dear Miss Lazarus,
You must excuse my very late answer to the letter which accompanied the gift of your book. -I was very far off- and ill- in Russia- and I came back to France only a few days ago. I have just finished the lecture of Alide- and though, generally speaking, I do not think it advisable to take celebrated modern men- especially poets and artists- as a subject for a novel- still I am truly glad to say that I have read your book with the liveliest interest: It is very sincere and very poetical at the same time; the life and spirit of Germany have no secret for you- and your characters are drawn with a pencil as delicate as it is strong.- I feel very proud of the approbation you give to my works- and of the influence you kindly attribute to them on your own talent: an author who writes as you do- is not a "pupil in art" any more; he is not far from being himself a master.
Believe me, my dear Miss Lazarus,
Yours very truly,