The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters

CXCVIII. To Gustave Flaubert Nohant, 16 September, 1871

Dear old friend,

I answered you day before yesterday, and my letter took such proportions that I sent it as an article to le Temps for my next fortnightly contribution; for I have promised to give them two articles a month. The letter a un ami does not indicate you by even an initial, for I do not want to argue against you in public. I tell you again in it my reasons for suffering and for hoping still. I shall send it to you and that will be talking with you again. You will see that my chagrin is a part of me, and that believing progress to be a dream does not depend on me. Without this hope no one is good for anything. The mandarins do not need knowledge and even the education of a limited number of people has no longer reason for existing unless there is hope of influence on the masses; philosophers have only to keep silent and those great minds on whom the need of your soul leans, Shakespeare, Moliere, Voltaire, etc. have no reason for existing and for expressing themselves.

Come, let me suffer! That is worth more than viewing INJUSTICE WITH A SERENE COUNTENANCE, as Shakespeare says. When I have drained my cup of bitterness, I shall feel better. I am a woman, I have affections, sympathies, and wrath. I shall never be a sage, nor a scholar.

I received a kind little note from the Princess Mathilde. Is she then again settled in Paris? Has she anything to live on from the effects of M. Demidoff, her late and I think unworthy husband? On the whole it is brave and good of her to return near to her friends, at the risk of new upsets.

I am glad that these little faces of children pleased you. I embrace you very much, you are so kind, I was sure of it. Although you are a mandarin, I do not think that you are like a Chinaman at all, and I love you with a full heart.

I am working like a convict.

G. Sand

Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:50