The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters

CCVII. To George Sand Sunday, January, 1872

At last I have a moment of quiet and I can write to you. But I have so many things to chat with you about, that I hardly know where to begin: (1) Your little letter of the 4th of January, which came the very morning of the premiere of Aisse, moved me to tears, dear well-beloved master. You are the only one who shows such delicacies of feeling.

The premiere was splendid, and then, that is all. The next night the theatre was almost empty. The press, in general, was stupid and base. They accused me of having wanted to advertise by INSERTING an incendiary tirade! I pass for a Red (sic). You see where we are!

The management of the Odeon has done nothing for the play! On the contrary. The day of the premiere it was I who brought with my own hands the properties for the first act! And on the third performance I led the supernumeraries.

Throughout the rehearsals they advertised in the papers the revival of Ruy Blas, etc., etc. They made me strangle la Baronne quite as Ruy Blas will strangle Aisse. In short, Bouilhet’s heir will get very little money. Honor is saved, that is all.

I have had Dernieres Chansons printed. You will receive this volume at the same time as Aisse and a letter of mine to the Conseil municipal de Rouen. This little production seemed too violent to le Nouvelliste de Rouen, which did not dare to print it; but it will appear on Wednesday in le Temps, then at Rouen, as a pamphlet.

What a foolish life I have been leading for two and a half months! How is it that I have not croaked with it? My longest nights have not been over five hours. What running about! What letters! and what anger! — repressed — unfortunately! At last, for three days I have slept all I wanted to, and I am stupefied by it.

I was present with Dumas at the premiere of Roi Carotte. You can not imagine such rot! It is sillier and emptier than the worst of the fairy plays of Clairville. The public agreed with me absolutely.

The good Offenbach has had another failure at the Opera-Comique with Fantasio. Shall one ever get to hating piffle? That would be a fine step on the right path.

Tourgueneff has been in Paris since the first of December. Every week we have an engagement to read Saint-Antoine and to dine together. But something always prevents and we never meet. I am harassed more than ever by life and am disgusted with everything, which does not prevent me from being in better health than ever. Explain that to me.

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