By George Sand and Gustave Flaubert, A.L. McKenzie

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The contact of my personality will not have changed them, it will not be myself that I shall love in them. And it is thus, truly, that the ideal which one does not dream of grasping, fixes itself in one because it remains ITSELF. That is all the secret of the beautiful, of the only truth, of love, friendship, of art, of enthusiasm, and of faith. Consider it, you will see. That solitude in which you live would be delicious to me in fine weather. In winter I find it stoical, and am forced to recall to myself that you have not the moral need of locomotion AS A HABIT.

You must tell me when you have the time. XXXIX. TO GUSTAVE FLAUBERT Paris, 8 December, 1866 You ask me what I am doing? Your old troubadour is content this evening. He has passed the night in redoing a second act which did not go properly and which has turned out well, so well that my directors are delighted, and I have good hopes of making the end effective—it does not please me yet, but one must pull it through. In short, I have nothing to tell you about myself which is very interesting. When one has the patience of an ox and the wrist broken from crushing stones well or badly, one has scarcely any unexpected events or emotions to recount.

Art is not made to paint the exceptions, and I feel an unconquerable repugnance to putting on paper something from out of my heart. I even think that a novelist HASN'T THE RIGHT TO EXPRESS HIS OPINION on any subject whatsoever. Has the good God ever uttered it, his opinion? That is why there are not a few things that choke me which I should like to spit out, but which I swallow. Why say them, in fact! The first comer is more interesting than Monsieur Gustave Flaubert, because he is more GENERAL and therefore more typical.

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