It was due to his teaching that George Sand obtained her definite ideas about Catholicism, or rather against it. She was decidedly its adversary, because she held that the Church had stifled the spirit of liberty, that it had thrown a veil over the words of Christ, and that it was the obstacle in the way of holy equality. What she owed specially, though, to Lamennais was another lesson, of quite another character. Lamennais was the man of the nineteenth century who waged the finest battle against individualism, against "the scandal of the adoration of man by man."
 Compare Brunetiere, _Evolution de la poesie lyrique_, vol. i. p. 310.
Under his influence, George Sand began to attach less importance to the personal point of view, she ceased applying everything to herself, and she discovered the importance of the life of others. If we study this attentively, we shall see that a new phase now commenced in the history of her ideas. Lamennais was the origin of this transformation, although it is personified in another man, and that other man, was named Pierre Leroux.
What a strange mystery it is, among so many other mysteries, that of one mind taking possession of another mind. We have come into contact with great minds which have made no impression on us, whilst other minds, of secondary intelligence, perhaps, and it may be inferior to our own, have governed us.
By the side of a Lamennais, this Pierre Leroux was a very puny personage. He had been a compositor in a printing works, before founding the _Globe_. This paper, in his hands, was to become an organ of Saint-Simonism. He belonged neither to the _bourgeois_ nor to the working-class. He was Clumsy, not well built, and had an enormous shock of hair, which was the joy of caricaturists. He was shy and awkward, in addition to all this. He nevertheless appeared in various _salons_, and was naturally more or less ridiculous. In January, 1840, Beranger writes: "You must know that our metaphysician has surrounded himself with women, at the head of whom are George Sand and Marliani, and that, in gilded drawing-rooms, under the light of chandeliers, he exposes his religious principles and his muddy boots." George Sand herself made fun of this occasionally. In a letter to Madame d'Agoult, she writes:
"He is very amusing when he describes making his appearance in your drawing-room of the Rue Laffitte. He says: `I was all muddy, and quite ashamed of myself. I was keeping out of sight as much as possible in a corner. _This lady_ came to me and talked in the kindest way possible. She is very beautiful.'"
 _Correspondance_: To Madame d'Agoult, October 16, 1837/.
There are two features about him, then, which seem to strike every one, his unkemptness and his shyness. He expressed his ideas, which were already obscure, in a form which seemed to make them even more obscure. It has been said wittily that when digging out his ideas, he buried himself in them. Later on, when he spoke at public meetings, he was noted for the nonsense he talked in his interminable and unintelligible harangues.