The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters

XVIII. To Gustave Flaubert Nohant, 28 September, 1866

It is agreed, dear comrade and good friend. I shall do my best to be in Paris for the performance of your friend’s play, and I shall do my fraternal duty there as usual; after which we shall go to your house and I shall stay there a week, but on condition that you will not put yourself out of your room. To be an inconvenience distresses me and I don’t need so much bother in order to sleep. I sleep everywhere, in the ashes, or under a kitchen bench, like a stable dog. Everything shines with spotlessness at your house, so one is comfortable everywhere. I shall pick a quarrel with your mother and we shall laugh and joke, you and I, much and more yet. If it’s good weather, I shall make you go out walking, if it rains continually, we shall roast our bones before the fire while telling our heart pangs. The great river will run black or grey under the window saying always, QUICK! QUICK! and carrying away our thoughts, and our days, and our nights, without stopping to notice such small things.

I have packed and sent by EXPRESS a good proof of Couture’s picture, signed by the engraver, my poor friend, Manceau. It is the best that I have and I have only just found it. I have sent with it a photograph of a drawing by Marchal which was also like me; but one changes from year to year. Age gives unceasingly another character to the face of people who think and study, that is why their portraits do not look like one another nor like them for long. I dream so much and I live so little, that sometimes I am only three years old. But, the next day I am three hundred, if the dream has been sombre. Isn’t it the same with you? Doesn’t it seem at moments, that you are beginning life without even knowing what it is, and at other times don’t you feel over you the weight of several thousand centuries, of which you have a vague remembrance and a sorrowful impression? Whence do we come and whither do we go? All is possible since all is unknown.

Embrace your beautiful, good mother for me. I shall give myself a treat, being with you two. Now try to find that hoax on the Celtic stones; that would interest me very much. When you saw them, had they opened the galgal of Lockmariaker and cleared away the ground near Plouharnel?

Those people used to write, because there are stones covered with hieroglyphics, and they used to work in gold very well, because very beautifully made torques [Footnote: Gallic necklaces.] have been found.

My children, who are, like myself, great admirers of you, send you their compliments, and I kiss your forehead, since Sainte-Beuve lied.

G. Sand

Have you any sun today? Here it is stifling. The country is lovely. When will you come here?

Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:08