Letter from George Sand to Michel de Bourges : “You cannot understand why, how, and how much I love you.” - George Sand - Living Letters
George Sand, under her famous male pen name, has not only been a woman ahead of her time in writings, but she has also been in marital matters. Married to Casimir Dudevant, she obtained a divorce thanks to her famous lawyer, Michel de Bourges, whom she inevitably fell in love with.
Title: Letter from George Sand to Michel de Bourges : “You cannot understand why, how, and how much I love you.”
Description: George Sand, under her famous male pen name, has not only been a woman ahead of her time in writings, but she has also been in marital matters. Married to Casimir Dudevant, she obtained a divorce thanks to her famous lawyer, Michel de Bourges, whom she inevitably fell in love with.
Original Language: French
Provenance: George Sand, Letters of George Sand
Transcript: January 23, 1837
If I was cultivating other loves, I would not have violated my pride by going and humiliating myself in tears before you. If I no longer loved you, I would not have put up with the indignity of the complaints that are building up against me. If I had not had my heart broken, I would have known to contain my tears - that perhaps barely had an effect on yours and that seemed to me only to cause you irritation. If I had been able to forget you, I would have done, for the love I have for you is a martyr and will only ever cause me trouble and pain. If it was enough to know oneself loved in order to reciprocate the same and if, knowing oneself being loved very little, we all of a sudden acquired the strength to overcome it and forget, it is certain that I would love others rather than you and certain that I would no longer love you.
It is not because of the love you had for me that I loved you. How many others have loved me more who have not just made me look up from my books! It is not because of the beautiful words that you know how to say to women; I have certainly met other fine talkers who have not only distracted my ear. It is not because I relied on the happiness or glory, or only on affection. I despise false goods, and I knew when giving myself to you that the river of the world would still separate us. I knew that those who are ambitious only love for an hour a day and that love is a day in their lives. I loved you because I like you, because no one else can please me. I love you because when I imagine greatness, wisdom, strength and beauty, it is your image that appears before me, because your name is the only one that makes me shiver and the memory of you is the only one that does not disappear like a shadow from my memory. And it’s not that you deserve this adoration, you’re no better than me; for the additional talents and strengths you have, you have less in terms of wisdom and philosophy.
Even if you have more sympathy with men, you have less trade with God, if you have more mercy and in return you have less constancy and devotion, then no, you are not as great as you seem, we are brothers, and I have measured you from head to toe.