The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters

XXIV. To Gustave Flaubert Paris, 10 November, 1866

On reaching Paris I learn sad news. Last evening, while we were talking — and I think that we spoke of him day before yesterday — my friend Charles Duveyrier died, a most tender heart and a most naive spirit. He is to be buried tomorrow. He was one year older than I am. My generation is passing bit by bit. Shall I survive it? I don’t ardently desire to, above all on these days of mourning and farewell. It is as God wills, provided He lets me always love in this world and in the next.

I keep a lively affection for the dead. But one loves the living differently. I give you the part of my heart that he had. That joined to what you have already, makes a large share. It seems to me that it consoles me to make that gift to you. From a literary point of view he was not a man of the first rank, one loved him for his goodness and spontaneity. Less occupied with affairs and philosophy, he would have had a charming talent. He left a pretty play, Michel Perrin.

I travelled half the way alone, thinking of you and your mother at Croisset and looking at the Seine, which thanks to you has become a friendly GODDESS. After that I had the society of an individual with two women, as ordinary, all of them, as the music at the pantomime the other day. Example: “I looked, the sun left an impression like two points in my eyes.” HUSBAND: “That is called luminous points,” and so on for an hour without stopping.

I shall do all sorts of errands for the house, for I belong to it, do I not? I am going to sleep, quite worn out; I wept unrestrainedly all the evening, and I embrace you so much the more, dear friend. Love me MORE than before, because I am sad.

G. Sand

Have you a friend among the Rouen magistrates? If you have, write him a line to watch for the NAME Amedee Despruneaux. It is a civil case which will come up at Rouen in a few days. Tell him that this Despruneaux is the most honest man in the world; you can answer for him as for me. In doing this, if the thing is feasible, you will do me a personal favor. I will do the same for any friend of yours.

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