must have seemed utterly insignificant and "excellent fooling."

She had the Opera from her windows and an Olympic circus at every cross-road. Paris was certainly _en fete_. In the evenings it was just as lively. There were the Clubs, and there were no less than three hundred of these. Society women could go to them and hear orators in blouses proposing incendiary movements, which made them shudder deliciously. Then there were the theatres. Rachel, draped in antique style, looking like a Nemesis, declaimed the _Marseillaise_. And all night long the excitement continued. The young men organized torchlight processions, with fireworks, and insisted on peaceably-inclined citizens illuminating. It was like a Nationial Fete day, or the Carnival, continuing all the week.

must have seemed utterly insignificant and

All this was the common, everyday aspect of Paris, but there were the special days as well to break the monotony of all this. There were the manifestations, which had the great advantage of provoking counter-manifestations. On the 16th of March, there was the manifestation of the National Guard, who were tranquil members of society, but on the 17th there was a counter-manifestation of the Clubs and workingmen. On such days the meeting-place would be at the Bastille, and from morning to night groups, consisting of several hundred thousand men, would march about Paris, sometimes in favour of the Assembly against the Provisional Government, and sometimes in favour of the Provisional Government against the Assembly. On the 17th of April, George Sand was in the midst of the crowd, in front of the Hotel de Ville, in order to see better. On the 15th of May, as the populace was directing its efforts against the Palais Bourbon, she was in the Rue de Bourgogne, in her eagerness not to miss anything. As she was passing in front of a _cafe_, she saw a woman haranguing the crowd in a very animated way from one of the windows. She was told that this woman was George Sand. Women were extremely active in this Revolution. They organized a Legion for themselves, and were styled _"Les Vesuviennes_." They had their clubs, their banquets and their newspapers. George Sand was far from approving all this feminine agitation, but she did not condemn it altogether. She considered that "women and children, disinterested as they are in all political questions, are in more direct intercourse with the spirit that breathes from above over the agitations of this world."[42] It was for them, therefore, to be the inspirers of politics. George Sand was one of these inspirers. In order to judge what counsels this Egeria gave, we have only to read some of her letters. On the 4th of March, she wrote as follows to her friend Girerd: "Act vigorously, my dear brother. In our present situation, we must have even more than devotion and loyalty; we must have fanaticism if necessary." In conclusion, she says that he is not to hesitate "in sweeping away all that is of a _bourgeois_ nature." In April she wrote to Lamartine, reproaching him with his moderation and endeavouring to excite his revolutionary spirit. Later on, although she was not of a very warlike disposition, she regretted that they had not, like their ancestors of 1793, cemented their Revolution at home by a war with the nations.

must have seemed utterly insignificant and

[42] _Correspondance:_ To the Citizen Thore, May 28, 1848.

must have seemed utterly insignificant and

"If, instead of following Lamartine's stupid, insipid policy," she then wrote, "we had challenged all absolute monarchies, we should have had war outside, but union at home, and strength, in consequence of this, it home and abroad."[43] Like the great ancestors, she declared that the revolutionary idea is neither that of a sect nor of a party. "It is a religion," she says, "that we want to proclaim." All this zeal, this passion and this persistency in a woman is not surprising, but one does not feel much confidence in a certain kind of inspiration for politics after all this.

[43] _Correspondance:_ To Mazzini, October 10, 1849.

My reason for dwelling on the subject is that George Sand did not content herself with merely looking on at the events that were taking place, or even with talking about them with her friends. She took part in the events, by means of her pen. She scattered abroad all kinds of revolutionary writings. On the 7th of March, she published her first _Letter to the People_, at the price of a penny, the profits of which were to be distributed among working-men without employment. After congratulating these great and good people on their noble victory, she tells them they are all going to seek together for the truth of things. That was exactly the state of the case. They did not yet know what they wanted, but, in the mean time, while they were considering, they had at any rate begun with a revolution. There was a second _Letter to the People_, and then these ceased. Publications in those days were very short-lived. They came to life again, though, sometimes from their ashes. In April a newspaper was started, entitled _The Cause of the People_. This was edited almost entirely by George Sand. She wrote the leading article: _Sovereignty is Equality_. She reproduced her first _Letter to the People_, gave an article on the aspect of the streets of Paris, and another on theatrical events. She left to her collaborator, Victor Borie, the task of explaining that the increase of taxes was an eminently republican measure, and an agreeable surprise for the person who had to pay them. The third number of this paper contained a one-act play by George Sand, entitled _Le Roi attend_. This had just been given at the Comedie-Francaise, or at the Theatre de la Republique, as it was then called. It had been a gratis performance, given on the 9th of April, 1848, as a first national representation. The actors at that time were Samson, Geffroy, Regnier, Anais, Augustine Brohan and Rachel. There were not many of them, but they had some fine things to interpret.

In George Sand's piece, Moliere was at work with his servant, Laforet, who could not read, but without whom, it appears, he could not have written a line. He has not finished his play, the actors have not learnt their parts, and the king is impatient at being kept waiting. Moliere is perplexed, and, not knowing what to do, he decides to go to sleep. The Muse appears to him, styles him "the light of the people," and brings to him all the ghosts of the great poets before him. AEschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Shakespeare all declare to him that, in their time, they had all worked towards preparing the Revolution of 1848. Moliere then wakes up, and goes on to the stage to pay his respects to the king. The king has been changed, though. "I see a king," says Moliere, "but his name is not Louis XIV. It is the people, the sovereign people. That is a word I did not know, a word as great as eternity."

We recognize the democrat in all this. _Le Roi_ _attend_ may be considered as an authentic curiosity of revolutionary art. The newspaper announced to its readers that subscriptions could be paid in the Rue Richelieu. Subscribers were probably not forthcoming, as the paper died a natural death after the third number.

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