From that moment he got better and better. The consul had us driven in his carriage to an hotel. Chopin rested there a week, at the end of which the same vessel which had conveyed us to Spain brought us back to France. When we left the hotel at Barcelona the landlord wished to make us pay for the bed in which Chopin had slept, under the pretext that it had been infected, and that the police regulations obliged him to burn it.
Stay at Marseilles (from march to may, 1839) as described
Chopin’s and Madame Sand’s letters.—His state of health.—
Compositions and their publication.—Playing the organ at A
funeral service for Nourrit.—An excursion to Genoa.—Departure
As George Sand and her party were obliged to stop at Marseilles, she had Chopin examined by Dr. Cauviere. This celebrated physician thought him in great danger, but, on seeing him recover rapidly, augured that with proper care his patient might nevertheless live a long time. Their stay at Marseilles was more protracted than they intended and desired; in fact, they did not start for Nohant till the 22nd of May. Dr. Cauviere would not permit Chopin to leave Marseilles before summer; but whether this was the only cause of the long sojourn of the Sand party in the great commercial city, or whether there were others, I have not been able to discover. Happily, we have first-hand information— namely, letters of Chopin and George Sand—to throw a little light on these months of the pianist-composer’s life. As to his letters, their main contents consist of business matters— wranglings about terms, abuse of publishers, &c. Here and there, however, we find also a few words about his health, characteristic remarks about friends and acquaintances, interesting hints about domestic arrangements and the like—the allusion (in the letter of March 2, 1839) to a will made by him some time before, and which he wishes to be burned, will be read with some curiosity.
An extract or two from the letter which George Sand wrote on March 8, 1839, to Francois Rollinat, launches us at once in medias res.