On returning to Marseilles, after a stormy passage, on which Chopin suffered much from sea-sickness, George Sand and her party rested for a few days at the house of Dr. Cauviere, and then set out, on the 22nd of May, for Nohant.
Madame Sand to Madame Marliani; Marseilles, May 20, 1839:—
We have just arrived from Genoa, in a terrible storm. The bad weather kept us on sea double the ordinary time; forty hours of rolling such as I have not seen for a long time. It was a fine spectacle, and if everybody had not been ill, I would have greatly enjoyed it...
We shall depart the day after to-morrow for Nohant. Address your next letter to me there, we shall be there in eight days. My carriage has arrived from Chalon at Arles by boat, and we shall post home very quietly, sleeping at the inns like good bourgeois.
JUNE TO OCTOBER, 1839.
George sand and Chopin’s return to Nohant.—State of his health.- -His position in his friend’s house.—Her account of their relationship.—His letters to Fontana, which, among many other matters, treat of his compositions and of preparations to be made for his and George Sand’s arrival in Paris.
The date of one of George Sand’s letters shows that the travellers were settled again at Nohant on the 3rd of June, 1839. Dr. Papet, a rich friend of George Sand’s, who practised his art only for the benefit of the poor and his friends, took the convalescent Chopin at once under his care. He declared that his patient showed no longer any symptoms of pulmonary affection, but was suffering merely from a slight chronic laryngeal affection which, although he did not expect to be able to cure it, need not cause any serious alarm.
On returning to Nohant, George Sand had her mind much exercised by the question how to teach her children. She resolved to undertake the task herself, but found she was not suited for it, at any rate, could not acquit herself of it satisfactorily without giving up writing. This question, however, was not the only one that troubled her.
In the irresolution in which I was for a time regarding the arrangement of my life with a view to what would be best for my dear children, a serious question was debated in my conscience. I asked myself if I ought to entertain the idea which Chopin had formed of taking up his abode near me. I should not have hesitated to say “no,” had I known then for how short a time the retired life and the solemnity of the country suited his