There was another service, too, which Michel had rendered to George Sand. He had pleaded for her in her petition for separation from her husband, and she had won her case.
Ever since George Sand had taken back her independence in 1831, her intercourse with Dudevant had not been disagreeable. She and her husband exchanged cordial letters. When he came to Paris, he made no attempt to stay with his wife, lest he should inconvenience her. "I shall put up at Hippolyte's," he says in his letter to her. "I do not want to inconvenience you in the least, nor to be inconvenienced myself, which is quite natural." He certainly was a most discreet husband. When she started for Italy, he begs her to take advantage of so good an opportunity for seeing such a beautiful country. He was also a husband ready to give good advice. Later on, he invited Pagello to spend a little time at Nohant. This was certainly the climax in this strange story.
During the months, though, that the husband and wife were together, again at Nohant, the scenes began once more. Dudevant's irritability was increased by the fact that he was always short of money, and that he was aware of his own deplorable shortcomings as a financial administrator. He had made speculations which had been disastrous. He was very credulous, as so many suspicious people are, and he had been duped by a swindler in an affair of maritime armaments. He had had all the more faith in this enterprise because a picture of the boat had been shown him on paper. He had spent ninety thousand francs of the hundred thousand he had had, and was now living on his wife's income. Something had to be decided upon. George Sand paid his debts first, and the husband and wife then signed an agreement to the effect that their respective property should be separated. Dudevant regretted having signed this afterwards, and it was torn up after a violent scene which took place before witnesses in October, 1835. The pretext of this scene had been an order given to Maurice. In a series of letters, which have never hitherto been published, George Sand relates the various incidents of this affair. We give some of the more important passages. The following letter is to her half-brother Hippolyte, who used to be Casimir's drinking companion.
"My friend, I am about to tell you some news which will reach you indirectly, and that you had better hear first from me. Instead of carrying out our agreement pleasantly and loyally, Casimir is acting with the most insane animosity towards me. Without my giving him any reason for such a thing, either by my conduct or my manner of treating him, he endeavoured to strike me. He was prevented by five persons, one of whom was Dutheil, and he then fetched his gun to shoot me. As you can imagine, he was not allowed to do this.
"On account of such treatment and of his hatred, which amounts to madness, there is no safety for me in a house to which he always has the right to come. I have no guarantee, except his own will and pleasure, that he will keep our agreement, and I cannot remain at the mercy of a man who behaves so unreasonably and indelicately to me. I have therefore decided to ask for a legal separation, and I shall no doubt obtain this. Casimir made this frightful scene the evening before leaving for Paris. On his return here, he found the house empty, and me staying at Dutheil's, by permission of the President of La Chatre. He also found a summons awaiting him on the mantelshelf. He had to make the best of it, for he knew it was no use attempting to fight against the result of his own folly, and that, by holding out, the scandal would all fall on him. He made the following stipulations, promising to adhere to them. Duthell was our intermediary. I am to allow him a pension of 3,800 francs, which, with the 1,200 francs income that he now has, will make 5,000 francs a year for him. I think this is all straightforward, as I am paying for the education of the two children. My daughter will remain under my guidance, as I understand. My son will remain at the college where he now is until he has finished his education. During the holidays he will spend a month with his father and a month with me. In this way, there will be no contest. Dudevant will return to Paris very soon, without making any opposition, and the Court will pronounce the separation in default."
 Communicated by M. S. Rocheblave.
The following amusing letter on the same subject was written by George Sand to Adolphe Duplomb in the _patois_ peculiar to Berry:
"You have been misinformed about what took place at La Chatre. Duthell never quarrelled with the Baron of Nohant-Vic. This is the true story. The baron took it into his head to strike me. Dutheil objected. Fleury and Papet also objected. The baron went to search for his gun to kill every one. Every one did not want to be killed, and so the baron said: `Well, that's enough then,' and began to drink again. That was how it all happened. No one quarrelled with him. But I had had enough. As I do not care to earn my living and then leave _my substance_ in the hands of the _diable_ and be bowed out of the house every year, while the village hussies sleep in my beds and bring their fleas into my house, I just said: `I ain't going to have any more of that,' and I went and found the big judge of La Chatre, and I says, says I: `That's how it is.' And then he says, says he: `All right.' And so he unmarried us. And I am not sorry. They say that the baron will make an appeal. I ain't knowin'. We shall see. If he does, he'll lose everything. And that's the whole story."