The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 378 pages of information about The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters.

As for me, I embrace you tenderly and beg you to keep well.

G. Sand

CLXX.  TO GEORGE SAND Croisset, Wednesday evening...1870

What has become of you, dear master, of you and yours?  As for me, I am disheartened, distressed by the folly of my compatriots.  The hopeless barbarism of humanity fills me with a black melancholy.  That enthusiasm which has no intelligent motive makes me want to die, so as not to see it any longer.

The good Frenchman wants to fight:  (1) because he thinks he is provoked to it by Prussia; (2) because the natural condition of man is savagery; (3) because war in itself contains a mystic element which enraptures crowds.

Have we returned to the wars of races?  I fear so.  The terrible butchery which is being prepared has not even a pretext.  It is the desire to fight for the sake of fighting.

I bewail the destroyed bridges, the staved-in tunnels, all this human labor lost, in short a negation so radical.

The Congress of Peace is wrong at present.  Civilization seems to me far off.  Hobbes was right:  Homo homini lupus.

I have begun Saint-Antoine, and it would go perhaps rather well, if I did not think of the war.  And you?

The bourgeois here cannot contain himself.  He thinks Prussia was too insolent and wants to “avenge himself.”  Did you see that a gentleman has proposed in the Chamber the pillage of the duchy of Baden!  Ah! why can’t I live among the Bedouins!

CLXXI.  TO GUSTAVE FLAUBERT, at Croisset Nohant, 26 July, 1870

I think this war is infamous; that authorized Marseillaise, a sacrilege.  Men are ferocious and conceited brutes; we are in the half as much of Pascal; when will come the more than ever!

It is between 40 and 45 degrees in the shade here.  They are burning the forests; another barbarous stupidity!  The wolves come and walk into our court, and we chase them away at night, Maurice with a revolver and I with a lantern.  The trees are losing their leaves and perhaps their lives.  Water for drinking is becoming scarce; the harvests are almost nothing; but we have war, what luck!

Farming is going to nought, famine threatens, poverty is lurking about while waiting to transform itself into Jacquerie; but we shall fight with the Prussians.  Malbrough s’en va-t-en guerre!

You said rightly that in order to work, a certain lightness was needed; where is it to be found in these accursed times?

Happily, we have no one ill at our house.  When I see Maurice and Lina acting, Aurore and Gabrielle playing, I do not dare to complain for fear of losing all.

I love you, my dear old friend, we all love you.

Your troubadour,

G. Sand

CLXXII.  TO GEORGE SAND Croisset, Wednesday, 3 August, 1870

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The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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