The most precious judgment pronounced on George Sand is by one who was at once a true woman and a great poet. Mrs. Elizabeth Barrett Browning saw in her the “large-brained woman and large-hearted man...whose soul, amid the lions of her tumultuous senses, moans defiance and answers roar for roar, as spirits can”; but who lacked “the angel’s grace of a pure genius sanctified from blame.” This is from the sonnet to George Sand, entitled “A Desire.” In another sonnet, likewise addressed to George Sand and entitled “A Recognition,” she tells her how vain it was to deny with a manly scorn the woman’s nature...while before
The world thou burnest in a poet-fire,
We see thy woman-heart beat evermore
Through the large flame. Beat purer, heart, and higher,
Till God unsex thee on the heavenly shore
Where unincarnate spirits purely aspire!
End of volume I.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
remarks preliminary to the list of Chopin’s works.
List of Chopin’s published works
The loves of celebrities.—Various accounts of Chopin and George Sand’s first meeting.—Chopin’s first impression of her.—A comparison of the two characters.—Portrayals of Chopin and George sand.—Her power of pleasing.—Chopin’s publications in 1837 and 1838.—He plays at court and at concerts in Paris and Rouen.—Criticism.
The loves of famous men and women, especially of those connected with literature and the fine arts, have always excited much curiosity. In the majority of cases the poet’s and artist’s choice of a partner falls on a person who is incapable of comprehending his aims and sometimes even of sympathising with his striving. The question “why poets are so apt to choose their mates, not for any similarity of poetical endowment, but for qualities which might make the happiness of the rudest handicrafts-man as well as that of the ideal craftsman” has perhaps never been better answered than by Nathaniel Hawthorne, who remarks that “at his highest elevation the poet needs no human intercourse; but he finds it dreary to descend, and be a stranger.” Still, this is by no means a complete solution of the problem which again and again presents itself and challenges our ingenuity. Chopin and George Sand’s