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This was in 1835, at the most brilliant moment of Michel's career. It was when he was taking part in the trial of the accused men of April. After the insurrections of the preceding year at Lyons and Paris, a great trial had commenced before the Chamber of Peers. We are told that: "The Republican party was determined to make use of the cross-questioning of the prisoners for accusing the Government and for preaching Republicanism and Socialism. The idea was to invite a hundred and fifty noted Republicans to Paris from all parts of France. In their quality of defenders, they would be the orators of this great manifestation." Barb'es, Blanqui, Flocon, Marie, Raspail, Trelat and Michel of Bourges were among these Republicans. "On the 11th of May, the revolutionary newspapers published a manifesto in which the committee for the defence congratulated and encouraged the accused men. One hundred and ten signatures were affixed to this document, which was a forgery. It had been drawn up by a few of the upholders of the scheme, and, in order to make it appear more important, they had affixed the names of their colleagues without their authorization. Those who had done this then took fright, and attempted to get out of the dangerous adventure by a public avowal. In order to save the situation, two of the guilty party, Trelat and Michel of Bourges, took the responsibility of the drawing up of the manifesto and the apposition of the signatures upon themselves. They were sentenced by the Court of Peers, Trelat to four years of prison and Michel to a month." This was the most shocking inequality, and Michel could not forgive Trelat for getting such a fine sentence.
 Thureau Dangin, Histoire de la Monarchie de Juillet, II. 297.
What good was one month of prison? Michel's career certainly had been a very ordinary one. He hesitated and tacked about. In a word, he was just a politician. George Sand tells us that he was obliged "to accept, in theory, what he called the necessities of pure politics, ruse, charlatanism and even untruth, concessions that were not sincere, alliances in which he did not believe, and vain promises." We should say that he was a radical opportunist. To be merely an opportunist, though, is not enough for ensuring success. There are different ways of being an opportunist. Michel had been elected a Deputy, but he had no role to play. In 1848, he could not compete with the brilliancy of Raspail, nor had he the prestige of Flocon. He went into the shade completely after the coup d'etat. For a long time he had really preferred business to politics, and a choice must be made when one is not a member of the Government.
It is easy to see what charmed George Sand in Michel. He was a sectarian, and she took him for an apostle. He was brutal, and she thought him energetic. He had been badly brought up, but she thought him simply austere. He was a tyrant, but she only saw in him a master. He had told her that he would have her guillotined at the first possible opportunity. This was an incontestable proof of superiority. She was sincere herself, and was con-
sequently not on her guard against vain boasting. He had alarmed her, and she admired him for this, and at once incarnated in him that stoical ideal of which she had been dreaming for years and had not yet been able to attribute to any one else.
This is how she explained to Michel her reasons for loving him. "I love you," she says, "because whenever I figure to myself grandeur, wisdom, strength and beauty, your image rises up before me. No other man has ever exercised any moral influence over me. My mind, which has always been wild and unfettered, has never accepted any guidance. . . . You came, and you have taught me." Then again she says: "It is you whom I love, whom I have loved ever since I was born, and through all the phantoms in whom I thought, for a moment, that I had found you." According to this, it was Michel she loved through Musset. Let us hope that she was mistaken.
A whole correspondence exists between George Sand and Michel of Bourges. Part of it was published not long ago in the Revue illustree under the title of Lettres de lemmze. None of George Sand's letters surpass these epistles to Michel for fervent passion, beauty of form, and a kind of superb impudeur. Let us take, for instance, this call to her beloved. George Sand, after a night of work, complains of fatigue, hunger and cold: "Oh, my lover," she cries, "appear, and, like the earth on the return of the May sunshine, I should be reanimated, and would fling off my shroud of ice and thrill with love. The wrinkles of suffering would disappear from my brow, and I should seem beautiful and young to you, for I should leap with joy into your iron strong arms. Come, come, and I shall have strength, health, youth, gaiety, hope. . . . I will go forth to meet you like the bride of the song, `to her well-beloved.'" The Well-beloved to whom this Shulamite would hasten was a bald-headed provincial lawyer who wore spectacles and three mufflers. But it appears that his "beauty, veiled and unintelligible to the vulgar, revealed itself, like that of Jupiter hidden under human form, to the women whom he loved."
We must not smile at these mythological comparisons. George Sand had, as it were, restored for herself that condition of soul to which the ancient myths are due. A great current of naturalist poetry circulates through these pages. In Theocritus and in Rousard there are certain descriptive passages. There is an analogy between them and that image of the horse which carries George Sand along on her impetuous course.
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George Sand, Some Aspects of Her Life and Writings -by- Rene Doumic