The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters

CCLXXVIII. To George Sand Croisset, Tuesday, 26th March, 1874

Dear good master,

Here I am back again in my solitude! But I shall not remain in it long, for, in a short month, I shall go to spend three weeks on the Righi, so as to breathe a bit, to relax myself, to deneurasthenize myself! It is a long time since I took the air, I am tired. I need a little rest. After that I shall start at my big book which will take at least four years. It will have that good quality!

Le Sexe faible which was accepted at the Vaudeville Carvalho, was returned to me by the said Vaudeville and returned also by Perrin, who thinks the play off-color and unconventional. “Putting a cradle and a nurse on the French stage!” Think of it! Then, I took the thing to Duquesnel who has not yet (naturally) given me any answer. How far the demoralization which the theatres bring about extends! The bourgeois of Rouen, my brother included, have been talking to me of the failure of le Candidat in hushed voices (sic) and with a contrite air, as if I had been taken to the assizes under an accusation of forgery. NOT TO SUCCEED IS A CRIME and success is the criterion of well doing. I think that is grotesque in a supreme degree.

Now explain to me why they put mattresses under certain falls and thorns under others? Ah! the world is funny, and it seems chimerical to me to want to regulate oneself according to its opinion.

The good Tourgueneff must be now in Saint Petersburg; he sent me a favorable article on Saint-Antoine from Berlin. It is not the article, but he, that has given me pleasure. I saw him a great deal this winter, and I love him more and more. I saw a good deal of father Hugo who is (when the political gallery is absent) a charming, good fellow.

Was not the fall of the Broglie ministry pleasing to you? Very much so to me! but the next! I am still young enough to hope that the next Chamber will bring us a change for the better. However?

Ah, confound it! how I want to see you and talk a long time with you! Everything is poorly arranged in this world. Why not live with those one loves? The Abbey of Theleme [Footnote: Cf. Rabelais’ Gargantua.] is a fine dream, but nothing but a dream. Embrace warmly the dear little girls for me, and entirely yours.

R. P. Cruchard

More Cruchard than ever. I feel like a good-for-nothing, a cow, damned, antique, deliquescent, in short calm and moderate, which is the last term in decadence.

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