The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters

CCLXXXIII. To Gustave Flaubert Nohant, 5th November, 1874

What, my Cruchard, you have been ill? That is what I feared, I who live in the woes of indigestion and yet hardly work at all, I am disquieted at your kind of life, the excess of intellectual expenditure and the seclusion. In spite of the charm that I have proved and appreciated at Croisset, I fear for you that solitude where you have no longer anyone to remind you that you must eat, drink and sleep, and above all walk. Your rainy climate makes you keep to the house. Here, where it does not rain enough, we are at least hustled out of doors by the beautiful warm sun and that Phoebus invigorates us, while our Phoebus-Apollo murders us.

But I am always talking to you as to a Cruchard philosophic and detached from his personality, to a Cruchard fanatical about literature and drunk with production. When, then, shall you be able to say to yourself: Lo! this is the time for rest, let us taste the innocent pleasure of living for life’s sake, of watching with amazement the agitations of others and of not giving to them anything except the excess of our overflow. It does one good to ruminate over what one has assimilated in life, sometimes without attention and without discrimination.

Old friendships sustain us and all at once they distress us. I have just lost my poor blind Duvernet, whom you have seen at our house. He expired very quietly without suspecting it and without suffering. There is another great void about us and my nephew, the substitute, has been nominated for Chateauroux. His mother has followed him.

So we are all alone. Happily we love one another so much that we can live like that, but not without regret for the absent ones. Plauchut left us yesterday to return at Christmas. Maurice is already at work preparing a splendid performance of marionettes for us. And you, if you are in Paris, won’t you come to keep the Christmas Eve revels with us? You will have finished your rehearsals, you will have had a success, perhaps you will be in the mood to return to material life, eating truffles?

Tell us about yourself, do not be ill, always love your old troubadour and his people who love you too.

G. Sand

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