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She gives us warning that it is "a sad story and sorrowful truth" that she is telling us. She has herself the better role of the two naturally. It could not have been on that, account that Chopin' was annoyed. He was a Pole, and therefore doubly chivalrous, so that such an objection would have been unworthy of a lover. What concerns us is that George Sand gives, with great nicety, the, exact causes of the rupture. In the first place, Karol was jealous of Lucrezia's stormy past; then his refined nature shrank from certain of her comrades of a rougher kind. The invalid was irritated by her robust health, and by the presence and, we might almost say, the rivalry of the children. Prince Karol finds them nearly always in his way, and he finally takes a dislike to them. There comes a moment when Lucrezia sees herself obliged to choose between the two kinds of maternity, the natural kind and the maternity according to the convention of lovers.
The special kind of sentiment, then, between George Sand and Chopin, Just as between Lucrezia and Prince Karol, was just this: love with maternal affection. This is extremely difficult to define, as indeed is everything which is extremely complex. George Sand declares that her reason for not refusing intimacy with Chopin was that she considered this in the light of a duty and as a safeguard. "One duty more," she writes, "in a life already so full, a life in which I was overwhelmed with fatigue, seemed to me one chance more of arriving at that austerity towards which I felt myself being drawn with a kind of religious enthusiasm."
 Histoire de via vie.
We can only imagine that she was deceiving herself. To accept a lover for the sake of giving up lovers altogether seems a somewhat heroic means to an end, but also somewhat deceptive. It is certainly true that there was something more in this love than the attraction she felt for Musset and for Michel. In the various forms and degrees of our feelings, there is nothing gained by attempting to establish decided divisions and absolute demarcations for the sake of classifying them all. Among sentiments which are akin, but which our language distinguishes when defining them, there may be some mixture or some confusion with regard to their origin. Alfred de Vigny gives us in Samson, as the origin of love, even in man, the remembrance of his mother's caresses:
Il revera toujours a la chaleur du sein.
It seems, therefore, that we cannot apply the same reasoning, with regard to love, when referring to the love of a man or of a woman. With the man there is more pride of possession, and with the woman there is more tenderness, more pity, more charity. All this leads us to the conclusion that maternal affection in love is not an unnatural sentiment, as has so often been said, or rather a perversion of sentiment. It is rather a sentiment in which too much instinct and heredity are mingled in a confused way. The object of the education of feeling is to arrive at discerning and eliminating the elements which interfere with the integrity of it. Rousseau called Madame de Warens his mother, but he was a man who was lacking in good taste. George Sand frequently puts into her novels this conception of love which we see her put into practice in life. It is impossible when analyzing it closely not to find something confused and disturbing in it which somewhat offends us.
It now remains for us to study what influence George Sand's friendship with some of the greatest artists of her times had on her works. Beside Liszt and Chopin, she knew Delacroix, Madame Dorval, Pauline Viardot, Nourrit and Lablache. Through them she went into artistic circles. Some of her novels are stories of the life of artists. Les Maitres Mosaistes treats of the rivalry between two studios. La derniere Aldini is the story of a handsome gondolier who, as a tenor, turned the heads of patrician women. The first part of Consuelo takes us back to the singing schools and theatres of Venice in the eighteenth century, and introduces us to individuals taken from life and cleverly drawn. We have Comte Zustiniani, the dilettante, a wealthy patron of the fine arts; Porpora, the old master, who looks upon his art as something sacred; Corilla, the prima donna, annoyed at seeing a new star appear; Anzoleto, the tenor, who is jealous because he gets less applause than his friend; and above and beyond all the others Consuelo, good kind Consuelo, the sympathetic singer.
The theatres of Venice seem to be very much like those of Paris and of other places. We have the following sketch of the vanity of the comedian. "Can a man be jealous of a woman's advantages? Can a lover dislike his sweetheart to have success? A man can certainly be jealous of a woman's advantages when that man is a vain artist, and a lover may hate his sweetheart to have any success if they both belong to the theatre. A comedian is not a man, Consuelo, but a woman. He lives on his sickly vanity; he only thinks of satisfying that vanity, and he works for the sake of intoxicating himself with vanity. A woman's beauty is apt to take attention from him and a woman's talent may cause his talent to be thrown in the background. A woman is his rival, or rather he is the rival of a woman. He has all the little meannesses, the caprices, the exigences and the weak points of a coquette." Such is the note of this picture of things and people in the theatrical world. How can we doubt its veracity!
At any rate, the general idea that George Sand had of the artist was exactly the idea adopted by romanticism. We all know what a being set apart and free from all social and moral laws, what a "monster" romanticism made of the artist. It is one of its dogmas that the necessities of art are incompatible with the conditions of a regular life. An artist, for instance, cannot be bourgeois, as he is the exact opposite. We have Kean's speech in Dumas' drama, entitled Kean, or Disorder and Genius.
"An actor," he says, "must know all the passions, so that he may express them as he should. I study them in myself." And then he adds: "That is what you call, orderly! And what is to become of genius while I am being orderly?"
All this is absurd. The artist is not the man who has felt the most, but the man best gifted for imagining the various states of mind and feeling and for expressing them. We know, too, that an irregular life is neither the origin nor the stamp of extraordinary intellectual worth. All the cripples of Bohemian life prove to us that genius is not the outcome of that kind of life, but that, on the contrary, such life is apt to paralyze talent. It is very convenient, though, for the artist and for every other variety of "superior beings" to make themselves believe that ordinary morals are not for them. The best argument we can have against this theory is the case of George Sand. The artist, in her case, was eminently a very regular and hard-working bourgeois woman.
The art in which George Sand gave evidence of the surest taste was music. That is worthy of notice. In one of her Lettres d'un voyageur, she celebrates Liszt attacking the Dies irae on the Fribourg organ. She devotes another letter to the praise of Meyer-beer. She has analyzed the different forms of musical emotion in several of her books. One of the ideas dear to romanticism was that of the union and fusion of all the arts. The writer can, and in a certain way he ought, to produce with words the same effects that the painter does with colours and the sculptor with lines. We all know how much literature romantic painters and sculptors have put into their art. The romantic writers were less inclined to accord the same welcome to music as to the plastic arts. Theophile Gautier is said to have exclaimed that music was "the most disagreeable and the dearest of all the arts." Neither Lamartine, Hugo, nor any other of the great writers of that period was influenced by music. Musset was the first one to be impassioned by it, and this may have been as much through his dandyism as from conviction.
Fille de la douleur, Harmonie, Harmonie,
George Sand, who agreed with Musset, claimed for "the most beautiful of all the arts," the honour of being able to paint "all the shades of sentiment and all the phases of passion." "Music," she says, "can express everything. For describing scenes of nature it has ideal colours and lines, neither exact nor yet too minute, but which are all the more vaguely and delightfully poetical."
 Eleventh Lettre d'un voyageur: To Giacomo Meyerbeer.
As examples of music in literature we have George Sand's phrase, more lyrical and musical than picturesque. We have, too, the gentle, soothing strophes of Sully Prudhomme and the vague melody of the Verlaine songs: "De la musique avant toute chose." It would be absurd to exaggerate the influence exercised by George Sand, and to attribute to her an importance which does not belong to her, over poetical evolution. It is only fair to say, though, that music, which was looked upon suspiciously for so long a time by classical writers of sane and sure taste, has completely invaded our present society, so that we are becoming more and more imbued with it. George Sand's predilection for modern art is another feature which makes her one of us, showing that her tendencies were very marked for things of the present day.
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George Sand, Some Aspects of Her Life and Writings -by- Rene Doumic