The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters

XCIX. To George Sand Tuesday

Dear master,

You cannot imagine the sorrow you give me! In spite of the longing I have, I answer “no.” Yet I am distracted with my desire to say “yes.” It makes me seem like a gentleman who cannot be disturbed, which is very silly. But I know myself: if I go to your house at Nohant, I shall have a month of dreaming about my trip. Real pictures will replace in my brain the fictitious pictures which I compose with great difficulty. All my house of cards will topple over.

Three weeks ago because I was foolish enough to accept an invitation to dinner at a country place nearby, I lost four days (sic). What would it be on leaving Nohant? You do not understand that, you strong Being! I think that you will be a little vexed with your old troubadour for not coming to the baptism of the two darlings of his friend Maurice? The dear master must write to me if I am wrong, and to give me the news!

Here is mine! I work immoderately and am absolutely ENCHANTED by the prospect of the end which begins to be visible.

So that it may arrive more quickly, I have made the resolution to live here all winter, probably until the end of March. Even admitting that everything goes perfectly, I shall not have finished all before the end of May. I don’t know anything that goes on and I read nothing, except a little of the French Revolution, after my meals, to aid digestion. I have lost my former good habit of reading every day in Latin. Therefore I don’t know a word of it any more! I shall polish it up again when I am freed from my odious bourgeois, and I am nowhere near it.

My only excitement consists in going to dine on Sundays at Rouen with my mother. I leave at six o’clock, and I am home at ten. Such is my life.

Did I tell you that I had a visit from Tourgueneff? How you would love him!

Sainte-Beuve gets along. Anyway, I shall see him next week when I am in Paris for two days, to get necessary information What is the information about? The national guard!!!

Listen to this: le Figaro not knowing with what to fill its columns, has had the idea of saying that my novel tells the life of Chancellor Pasquier. Thereupon, fear of the aforesaid family, which wrote to another part of the same family living in Rouen, which latter has been to find a lawyer from whom my brother received a visit, so that . . . in short, I was very stupid not to “get some benefit from the opportunity.” Isn’t it a fine piece of idiocy, eh?

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