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Chopin did not care much for Nohant. In the first place, he only liked the country for about a fortnight at a time, which is very much like not caring for it at all. Then what made him detest the country were the inhabitants. Hippolyte Chatiron was terrible after he had been drinking. He was extremely effusive and cordial.
In the winter they first lived in the Rue Pigalle. George Sand used to receive Pierre Leroux, Louis Blanc, Edgar Quinet, Etienne Arago, and many other men. Chopin, who was not very intellectual, felt ill at ease amongst all these literary men, these reformers, arguers and speechifiers. In 1842, they emigrated to the Square d'Orleans. There was a sort of little colony established there, consisting of Alexandre Dumas, Dantan the caricaturist, the Viardots, Zimmermann, and the wife of the Spanish consul, Madame Marliani, who had attracted them all there. They took their meals together. It was a regular phalinstery, and Chopin had very elegant tastes!
We must give George Sand credit for looking after him with admirable devotion. She certainly went on nursing her "invalid," or her "dear skeleton," as she called him, but her infatuation had been over for a long time. The absolute contrast of two natures may be attractive at first, but the attraction does not last, and, when the first enthusiasm is over, the logical consequence is that they become disunited. This was what Liszt said in rather an odd but energetic way. He points out all that there was "intolerably incompatible, diametrically opposite and secretly antipathetic between two natures which seemed to have been mutually drawn to each other by a sudden and superficial attraction, for the sake of repulsing each other later on with all the force of inexpressible sorrow and boredom." Illness had embittered Chopin's character. George Sand used to say that "when he was angry he was terrifying." He was very intelligent, too, and delighted in quizzing people for whom he did not care. Solange and Maurice were now older, and this made the situation somewhat delicate. Chopin, too, had a mania for meddling with family matters. He quarrelled one day with Maurice. Another day George Sand was annoyed with her son-in-law Clesinger and with her daughter Solange, and Chopin took their side. This was the cause of their quarrel; it was the last drop that made the cup of bitterness overflow.
The following is a fragment of a letter which George Sand sent to Grzymala, in 1847: "For seven years I have lived with him as a virgin. If any woman on earth could inspire him with absolute confidence, I am certainly that woman, but he has never understood. I know, too, that many people accuse me of having worn him out with my violent sensuality, and others accuse me of having driven him to despair by my freaks. I believe you know how much truth there is in all this. He himself complains to me that I am killing him by the privations I insist upon, and I feel certain that I should kill him by acting otherwise."
 Communicated by M. Rocheblave.
It has been said that when Chopin was at Nohant he had a village girl there as his mistress. We do not care to discuss the truth of this statement.
It is interesting to endeavour to characterize the nature of this episode in George Sand's sentimental life. She helps us herself in this. As a romantic writer she neglected nothing which she could turn into literature. She therefore made an analysis of her own case, worked out with the utmost care, and published it in one of her books which is little read now. The year of the rupture was 1847, and before the rupture had really occurred, George Sand brought out a novel entitled Lucrezia Floriani. In this book she traces the portrait of Chopin as Prince Karol. She denied, of course, that it was a portrait, but contemporaries were not to be deceived, and Liszt gives several passages from Lucrezia Floriani in his biography of the musician. The decisive proof was that Chopin recognized himself, and that he was greatly annoyed.
As a matter of fact, there was nothing disagreeable about this portrait. The following fragments are taken from it: "Gentle, sensitive, exquisite in all things, at the age of fifteen he had all the charms of youth, together with the gravity of a riper age. He remained delicate in body ind mind. The lack of muscular development caused him to preserve his fascinating beauty. . . . He was something like one of those ideal creatures which mediaeval poetry used for the ornamentation of Christian temples. Nothing could have been purer and at the same time more enthusiastic than his ideas. . . . He was always lost in his dreams, and had no sense of reality. . . ." His exquisite politeness was then described, and the ultra acuteness and nervosity which resulted in that power of divination which he possessed. For a portrait to be living, it must have some faults as well as qualities. His delineator does not forget to mention the attitude of mystery in which the Prince took refuge whenever his feelings were hurt. She speaks also of his intense susceptibility. "His wit was very brilliant," she says; "it consisted of a kind of subtle mocking shrewdness, not really playful, but a sort of delicate, bantering gaiety." It may have been to the glory of Prince Karol to resemble Chopin, but it was also quite creditable to Chopin to have been the model from which this distinguished neurasthenic individual was taken.
Prince Karol meets a certain Lucrezia Floriani, a rich actress and courtesan. She is six years older than he is, somewhat past her prime, and now leading a quiet life. She has done with love and love affairs, or, at least, she thinks so. "The fifteen years of passion and torture, which she had gone through, seemed to her now so cruel that she was hoping to have them counted double by the supreme Dispenser of our trials." It was, of course, natural that she should acknowledge God's share in the matter. We are told that "implacable destiny was not satisfied," so that when Karol makes his first declaration, Lucrezia yields to him, but at the same time she puts a suitable colouring on her fall. There are many ways of loving, and it is surely noble and disinterested in a woman to love a man as his mother. "I shall love him," she says, kissing the young Prince's pale face ardently, "but it will be as his mother loved him, just as fervently and just as faithfully. This maternal affection, etc. . . ." Lucrezia Floriani had a way of introducing the maternal instinct everywhere. She undertook to encircle her children and Prince Karol with the same affection, and her notions of therapeutics were certainly somewhat strange and venturesome, for she fetched her children to the Prince's bedside. "Karol breathed more freely," we are told, "when the children were there. Their pure breath mingling with their mother's made the air milder and more gentle for his feverish lungs." This we shall not attempt to dispute. It is the study of the situation, though, that forms the subject of Lucrezia Floriani. George Sand gives evidence of wonderful clear-sightedness and penetration in the art of knowing herself.
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George Sand, Some Aspects of Her Life and Writings -by- Rene Doumic