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lamps. After that they were shown the meters by which the

source:Supplements and supplements networkedit:lawtime:2023-11-29 23:57:46

Aurelien de Seze had taken upon himself the _role_ of confidant to this soul that he had allotted to himself. He took his _role_ very seriously, as was his custom in all things. He became the young wife's director in all matters of conscience. The letters which he wrote to her have been preserved, and we know them by the extracts and the analysis that Monsieur Rocheblave has given us and by his incisive commentaries of them.[4] They are letters of guidance, spiritual letters. The laic confessor endeavours, before all things, to calm the impatience of this soul which is more and more ardent and more and more troubled every day. He battles with her about her mania of philosophizing, her wish to sift everything and to get to the bottom of everything. Strong in his own calmness, he kept repeating to her in a hundred different ways the words: "Be calm!" The advice was good; the only difficulty was the following of the advice.

lamps. After that they were shown the meters by which the

[4] "George Sand avant George Sand," by S. Rocheblave (_Revue de Paris_, December 15, 1894).

lamps. After that they were shown the meters by which the

Gradually the professor lost his hold on his pupil, for it seems as though Aurore were the first to tire. Aurelien finally began to doubt the efficacy of his preaching. The usual fate of sentiments outside the common order of things is that they last the length of time that a crisis of enthusiasm lasts. The best thing that can happen then is that their nature should not change, that they should not deteriorate, as is so often the case. When they remain intact to the end, they leave behind them, in the soul, a trail of light, a trail of cold, pure light.

lamps. After that they were shown the meters by which the

The decline of this platonic _liaison_ with Aurelien de Seze dates from 1828. Some grave events were taking place at Nohant about this time. For the last few years Casimir had fallen into the vices of certain country squires, or so-called gentlemen farmers. He had taken to drink, in company with Hippolyte Chatiron, and it seems that the intoxication peculiar to the natives of Berry takes a heavy and not a gay form. He had also taken to other bad habits, away from home at first, and later on under the conjugal roof. He was particularly partial to the maid-servants, and, the day following the birth of her daughter, Solange, Aurore had an unpleasant surprise with regard to her husband. From that day forth, what had hitherto been only a vague wish on her part became a fixed idea with her, and she began to form plans. A certain incident served as a pretext. When putting some papers in order, Aurore came upon her husband's will. It was a mere diatribe, in which the future "deceased" gave utterance to all his past grievances against his _idiotic_ wife. Her mind was made up irrevocably from this moment. She would have her freedom again; she would go to Paris and spend three months out of six there. She had a young tutor from the south of France, named Boucoiran, educating her children. This Boucoiran needed to be taken to task constantly, and Baronne Dudevant did not spare him.[5]

[5] An instance of her disposition for lecturing will be seen in the following curious letter sent by George Sand to her friend and neighbour, Adolphe Duplomb. This letter has never been published before, and we owe our thanks for it to Monsieur Charles Duplomb.

"Are you so very much afraid of me, my poor Hydrogene? You expect a good lecture and you will not expect in vain. Have patience, though. Before giving you the dressing you deserve, I want to tell you that I have not forgotten you, and that I was very vexed on returning from Paris, to find my great simpleton of a son gone. I am so used to seeing your solemn face that I quite miss it. You have a great many faults, but after all, you are a good sort, and in time you will get reasonable. Try to remember occasionally, my dear Plombeus, that you have friends. If I were your only friend, that would be a great deal, as I am to be depended on, and am always at my post as a friend, although I may not be very tender. I am not very polite either, as I speak the truth plainly. That is my characteristic, though. I am a firm friend nevertheless, and to be depended on. Do not forget what I have said now, as I shall not often repeat this. Remember, too, that happiness in this world depends on the interest and esteem that we inspire. I do not say this to every one, as it would be impossible, but just to a certain number of friends. It is impossible to find one's happiness entirely in one's self, without being an egoist, and I do not think so badly of you that I imagine you to be one. A man whom no one cares for is wretched, and the man who has friends

is afraid of grieving them by behaving badly. As Polyte says, all this is for the sake of letting you know that you must do your best to behave well, if you want to prove to me that you are not ungrateful for my interest in you. You ought to get rid of the bad habit of boasting that you have adopted through frequenting young men as foolish as yourself. Do whatever your position and your health allow you to do, provided that you do not compromise the honour or the reputation of any one else. I do not see that a young man is called upon to be as chaste as a nun. But keep your good or bad luck in your love affairs to yourself. Silly talk is always repeated, and it may chance to get to the ears of sensible people who will disapprove. Try, too, not to make so many plans, but to carry out just one or two of them. You know that is why I quarrel with you always. I should like to see more constancy in you. You tell Hippolyte that you are very willing and courageous. As to physical courage, of the kind that consists in enduring illness and in not fearing death, I dare say you have that, but I doubt very much whether you have the courage necessary for sustained work, unless you have very much altered. Everything fresh delights you, but after a little time you only see the inconveniences of your position. You will scarcely find anything without something that is annoying and troublesome, but if you cannot learn to put up with things you will never be a man.

"This is the end of my sermon. I expect you have had enough of it, especially as you are not accustomed to reading my bad handwriting. I shall be glad to hear from you, but do not consider your letter as a State affair, and do not torment yourself to arrange well-turned phrases. I do not care for such phrases at all. A letter is always good enough when the writer expresses himself naturally, and says what he thinks. Fine pages are all very well for the schoolmaster, but I do not appreciate them at all. Promise me to be reasonable, and to think of my sermons now and then. That is all I ask. You may be very sure that if it were not for my friendship for you I should not take the trouble to lecture you. I should be afraid of annoying you if it were not for that. As it is, I am sure that you are not displeased to have my lectures, and that you understand the feeling which dictates them.

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