The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters

CXCVI. To Gustave Flaubert, at Croisset Nohant, 8 September, 1871

As usual our letters have crossed; you should receive today the portraits of my little grandchildren, not pretty at this period of their growth, but with such beautiful eyes that they can never be ugly.

You see that I am as disheartened as you are and indignant, alas! without being able to hate either the human race or our poor, dear country. But one feels too much one’s helplessness to pluck up one’s heart and spirit. One works all the same, even if only turning napkin rings, as you say: and, as for me, while serving the public, I think about it as little as possible. Le Temps has done me the service of making me rummage in my waste basket. I find there the prophecies that the conscience of each of us has inspired in him, and these little returns to the past ought to give us courage; but it is not at all so. The lessons of experience are of no use until too late.

I think that without subvention, the Odeon will be in no condition to put on well a literary play such as Aisse, and that you should not let them murder it. You had better wait and see what happens. As for the Berton company, I have no news of it; it is touring the provinces, and those who compose it will not be reengaged by Chilly, who is furious with them.

The Odeon has let Reynard go, an artist of the first rank, whom Montigny had the wit to engage. There really is no one left at the Odeon, as far as I know. Why don’t you consider the Theatre Francais?

Where is the Princess Mathilde? At Enghien, or in Paris, or in England? I am sending you a note which you must enclose in the first letter that you have occasion to write to her.

I cannot go to see you, dear old man, and yet I had earned one of those happy vacations; but I cannot leave the HOME, for all sorts of reasons too long to tell and of no interest, but inflexible. I do not know even if I shall go to Paris this winter. Here am I so old! I imagine that I can only bore others and that people cannot endure me anywhere except at home. You absolutely must come to see me with Tourgueneff, since you are planning to go away this winter; prepare him for this abduction. I embrace you, as I love, and my world does too.

G. Sand

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:54