I was carried away with delight, a week ago, at an encampment of Gypsies who had established at Rouen. This is the third time that I have seen them and always with a new pleasure. The great thing is that they excite the hatred of the bourgeois, although they are as inoffensive as sheep.
I appeared very badly before the crowd because I gave them a few sous, and I heard some fine words a la Prudhomme. That hatred springs from something very profound and complex. One finds it among all orderly people.
It is the hatred that one feels for the bedouin, for the heretic, the philosopher, the solitary, the poet; and there is a fear in that hate. I, who am always for the minority, am exasperated by it. It is true that many things exasperate me. On the day that I am no longer outraged, I shall fall flat as the marionette from which one withdraws the support of the stick.