The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters

CLXXXVI. To George Sand. Croisset, Monday evening, two o’clock.

Dear master,

Why no letters? Haven’t you received mine sent from Dieppe? Are you ill? Are you still alive? What does it mean? I hope very much that neither you (nor any of yours) are in Paris, capital of arts, cornerstone of civilization, center of fine manners and of urbanity?

Do you know the worst of all that? IT IS THAT WE GET ACCUSTOMED TO IT. Yes! one does. One becomes accustomed to getting along without Paris, to worrying about it no longer, and almost to thinking that it exists no longer.

As for me, I am not like the bourgeois; I consider that after the invasion there are no more misfortunes. The war with Prussia gave me the effect of a great upheaval of nature, one of those cataclysms that happen every six thousand years; while the insurrection in Paris is, to my eyes, a very clear and almost simple thing.

What retrogressions! What savages! How they resemble the people of the League and the men in armor! Poor France, who will never free herself from the Middle Ages! who labors along in the Gothic idea of the Commune, which is nothing else than the Roman municipality. Oh! I assure you that my heart is heavy over it!

And the little reaction that we are going to have after that? How the good ecclesiastics are going to flourish again!

I have started at Saint-Antoine once more, and I am working tremendously.

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Last updated Friday, March 14, 2014 at 21:53