The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters

XCVI. To Gustave Flaubert Nohant, 15 October, 1868

Here I am “ter hum” where, after having hugged my children and my grandchildren, I slept thirty-six hours at one stretch. You must believe that I was tired and did not notice it. I am waking from that animal-hibernation and you are the first person to whom I want to write. I did not thank you enough for coming to Paris for my sake, you who go about so little: and I did not see you enough either; when I knew that you had supped with Plauchut, [Footnote: Edmond Plauchut, a writer and a friend of George Sand.] I was angry at having stayed to take care of my sickly Thuillier, to whom I was of no use, and who was not particularly pleased about it. Artists are spoiled children and the best are great egoists. You say that I like them too well; I like them as I like the woods and the fields, everything, every one that I know a little and that I study continually. I make my life in the midst of all that, and as I like my life I like all that nourishes it and renews it. They do me a lot of ill turns which I see, but which I no longer feel. I know that there are thorns in the hedges, but that does not prevent me from putting out my hands and finding flowers there. If all are not beautiful, all are interesting. The day you took me to the Abbey of Saint-Georges I found the scrofularia borealis, a very rare plant in France. I was enchanted; there was much . . . in the neighborhood where I gathered it. Such is life!

And if one does not take life like that, one cannot take it in any way, and then how can one endure it? I find it amusing and interesting, and since I accept EVERYTHING, I am so much happier and more enthusiastic when I meet the beautiful and the good. If I did not have a great knowledge of the species, I should not have quickly understood you, or known you or loved you. I can have an enormous indulgence, perhaps banal, for I have had to practice it so much; but appreciation is quite another thing, and I do not think that it is entirely worn out in your old troubadour’s mind.

I found my children still very good and very tender, my two little grandchildren still pretty and sweet. This morning I dreamed, and I woke up saying this strange sentence: “There is always a youthful great first part in the drama of life. First part in mine: Aurore.” The fact is that it is impossible not to idolize that little one. She is so perfect in intelligence and goodness, that she seems to me like a dream.

You also, without knowing it, YOU ARE A DREAM . . . like that. Plauchut saw you once, and he adored you. That proves that he is not stupid. When he left me in Paris, he told me to remember him to you.

I left Cadio in doubt between good and average receipts. The cabal against the new management relaxed after the second day. The press was half favorable, half hostile. The good weather is against it. The hateful performance of Roger is also against it. So that we don’t know yet if we shall make money or not. As for me, when money comes, I say, “So much the better,” without excitement, and if it does not come, I say, “So much the worse,” without any chagrin. Money not being the aim, ought not to be the preoccupation. It is, moreover, not the real proof of success, since so many vapid or poor things make money.

Here I am with another play already underway, so as to keep my hand in. I have a novel also on the stocks, on the STROLLING PLAYERS. I have studied them a good deal this time without learning anything new. I already had the plot. It is not complicated and is very logical.

I embrace you tenderly as well as your little mother. Give me some sign of life. Does the novel get on?

G. Sand

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