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Title: Frederick Chopin, as a Man and Musician — Volume 2
Author: Niecks, Frederick
Language: English
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Frederick Chopin as a Man and Musician, Volume 2 (of 2)

Frederick Niecks

Third Edition (1902)






THE loves of famous men and women, especially of those connected
with literature and the fine arts, have always excited much
curiosity. In the majority of cases the poet's and artist's
choice of a partner falls on a person who is incapable of
comprehending his aims and sometimes even of sympathising with
his striving. The question "why poets are so apt to choose their
mates, not for any similarity of poetical endowment, but for
qualities which might make the happiness of the rudest
handicrafts-man as well as that of the ideal craftsman" has
perhaps never been better answered than by Nathaniel Hawthorne,
who remarks that "at his highest elevation the poet needs no
human intercourse; but he finds it dreary to descend, and be a
stranger." Still, this is by no means a complete solution of the
problem which again and again presents itself and challenges our
ingenuity. Chopin and George Sand's case belongs to the small
minority of loves where both parties are distinguished
practitioners of ideal crafts. Great would be the mistake,
however, were we to assume that the elective affinities of such
lovers are easily discoverable On the contrary, we have here
another problem, one which, owing to the higher, finer, and more
varied factors that come into play, is much more difficult to
solve than the first. But before we can engage in solving the
problem, it must be properly propounded. Now, to ascertain facts
about the love-affairs of poets and artists is the very reverse
of an easy task; and this is so partly because the parties
naturally do not let outsiders into all their secrets, and partly
because romantic minds and imaginative litterateurs are always
busy developing plain facts and unfounded rumours into wonderful
myths. The picturesqueness of the story, the piquancy of the
anecdote, is generally in inverse proportion to the narrator's
knowledge of the matter in question. In short, truth is only too
often most unconscionably sacrificed to effect. Accounts, for
instance, such as L. Enault and Karasowski have given of Chopin's
first meeting with George Sand can be recommended only to those
who care for amusing gossip about the world of art, and do not
mind whether what they read is the simple truth or not, nay, do
not mind even whether it has any verisimilitude. Nevertheless, we
will give these gentlemen a hearing, and then try if we cannot
find some firmer ground to stand on.

L. Enault relates that Chopin and George Sand met for the first
time at one of the fetes of the Marquis de C., where the
aristocracy of Europe assembled--the aristocracy of genius, of
birth, of wealth, of beauty, &c.:--

  The last knots of the chaine anglaise had already been untied,
  the brilliant crowd had left the ball-room, the murmur of
  discreet conversation was heard in the boudoirs: the fetes of
  the intimate friends began. Chopin seated himself at the
  piano. He played one of those ballads whose words are written
  by no poet, but whose subjects, floating in the dreamy soul of
  nations, belong to the artist who likes to take them. I
  believe it was the Adieux du Cavalier...Suddenly, in the
  middle of the ballad, he perceived, close to the door,
  immovable and pale, the beautiful face of Lelia. [FOOTNOTE:
  This name of the heroine of one of her romances is often given
  to George Sand. See Vol. I., p. 338.] She fixed her passionate
  and sombre eyes upon him; the impressionable artist felt at
  the same time pain and pleasure...others might listen to him:
  he played only for her.

  They met again.

  From this moment fears vanished, and these two noble souls
  understood each other...or believed they understood each

Karasowski labours hard to surpass Enault, but is not like him a
master of the ars artem celare. The weather, he tells us, was
dull and damp, and had a depressing effect on the mind of Chopin.
No friend had visited him during the day, no book entertained
him, no musical idea gladdened him. It was nearly ten o'clock at
night (the circumstantiality of the account ought to inspire
confidence) when he bethought himself of paying a visit to the
Countess C. (the Marquis, by some means, magical or natural, has
been transformed into a Countess), this being her jour fixe, on
which an intellectual and agreeable company was always assembled
at her house.

  When he ascended the carpet-covered stairs [Unfortunately we
  are not informed whether the carpet was Turkey, Brussels, or
  Kidderminster], it seemed to him as if he were followed by a
  shadow that diffused a fragrance of violets [Ah!], and a
  presentiment as if something strange and wonderful were going
  to happen to him flashed through his soul. He was on the point
  of turning back and going home, but, laughing at his own
  superstition, he bounded lightly and cheerfully over the last

Skipping the fine description of the brilliant company assembled
in the salon, the enumeration of the topics on which the
conversation ran, and the observation that Chopin, being
disinclined to talk, seated himself in a corner and watched the
beautiful ladies as they glided hither and thither, we will join
Karasowski again where, after the departure of the greater number
of the guests, Chopin goes to the piano and begins to improvise.

  His auditors, whom he, absorbed in his own thoughts and
  looking only at the keys, had entirely forgotten, listened
  with breathless attention. When he had concluded his
  improvisation, he raised his eyes, and noticed a plainly-
  dressed lady who, leaning on the instrument, seemed to wish to
  read his soul with her dark fiery eyes. [Although a severe
  critic might object to the attitude of a lady leaning on a
  piano as socially and pictorially awkward, he must admit that
  from a literary point of view it is unquestionably more
  effective than sitting or standing by the door.] Chopin felt
  he was blushing under the fascinating glances of the lady
  [Bravo! This is a master-touch]; she smiled [Exquisite!], and
  when the artist was about to withdraw from the company behind
  a group of camellias, he heard the peculiar rustling of a silk
  dress, which exhaled a fragrance of violets [Camellias,
  rustling silks, fragrance of violets! What a profusion of
  beauty and sweetness!], and the same lady who had watched him
  so inquiringly at the piano approached him accompanied by
  Liszt. Speaking to him with a deep, sweet voice, she made some
  remarks on his playing, and more especially on the contents of
  his improvisation. Frederick listened to her with pleasure and
  emotion, and while words full of sparkling wit and
  indescribable poetry flowed from the lady's eloquent lips
  [Quite a novel representation of her powers of conversation],
  he felt that he was understood as he had never been.

All this is undoubtedly very pretty, and would be invaluable in a
novel, but I am afraid we should embarrass Karasowski were we to
ask him to name his authorities.

Of this meeting at the house of the Marquis de C.--i.e., the
Marquis de Custine--I was furnished with a third version by an
eye-witness--namely, by Chopin's pupil Adolph Gutmann. From him I
learned that the occasion was neither a full-dress ball nor a
chance gathering of a jour fixe, but a musical matinee. Gutmann,
Vidal (Jean Joseph), and Franchomme opened the proceedings with a
trio by Mayseder, a composer the very existence of whose once
popular chamber-music is unknown to the present generation.
Chopin played a great deal, and George Sand devoured him with her
eyes. Afterwards the musician and the novelist walked together a
long time in the garden. Gutmann was sure that this matinee took
place either in 1836 or in 1837, and was inclined to think that
it was in the first-mentioned year.

Franchomme, whom I questioned about the matinee at the Marquis de
Custine's, had no recollection of it. Nor did he remember the
circumstance of having on this or any other occasion played a
trio of Mayseder's with Gutmann and Vidal. But this friend of the
Polish pianist--composer, while confessing his ignorance as to
the place where the latter met the great novelist for the first
time, was quite certain as to the year when he met her. Chopin,
Franchomme informed me, made George Sand's acquaintance in 1837,
their connection was broken in 1847, and he died, as everyone
knows, on October 17, 1849. In each of these dates appears the
number which Chopin regarded with a superstitious dread, which he
avoided whenever he could-for instance, he would not at any price
take lodgings in a house the number of which contained a seven--
and which may be thought by some to have really exercised a fatal
influence over him. It is hardly necessary to point out that it
was this fatal number which fixed the date in Franchomme's

But supposing Chopin and George Sand to have really met at the
Marquis de Custine's, was this their first meeting?

[FOONOTE: That they were on one occasion both present at a party
given by the Marquis de Custine may be gathered from Freiherr von
Flotow's Reminiscences of his life in Paris (published in the
"Deutsche Revue" of January, 1883, p. 65); but not that this was
their first meeting, nor the time when it took place. As to the
character of this dish of reminiscences, I may say that it is
sauced and seasoned for the consumption of the blase magazine
reader, and has no nutritive substance whatever.]

I put the question to Liszt in the course of a conversation I had
with him some years ago in Weimar. His answer was most positive,
and to the effect that the first meeting took place at Chopin's
own apartments. "I ought to know best," he added, "seeing that I
was instrumental in bringing the two together." Indeed, it would
be difficult to find a more trustworthy witness in this matter
than Liszt, who at that time not only was one of the chief
comrades of Chopin, but also of George Sand. According to him,
then, the meeting came about in this way. George Sand, whose
curiosity had been excited both by the Polish musician's
compositions and by the accounts she had heard of him, expressed
to Liszt the wish to make the acquaintance of his friend. Liszt
thereupon spoke about her to Chopin, but the latter was averse to
having any intercourse with her. He said he did not like literary
women, and was not made for their society; it was different with
his friend, who there found himself in his element. George Sand,
however, did not cease to remind Liszt of his promise to
introduce her to Chopin. One morning in the early part of 1837
Liszt called on his friend and brother-artist, and found him in
high spirits on account of some compositions he had lately
finished. As Chopin was anxious to play them to his friends, it
was arranged to have in the evening a little party at his rooms.

This seemed to Liszt an excellent opportunity to redeem the
promise which he had given George Sand when she asked for an
introduction; and, without telling Chopin what he was going to
do, he brought her with him along with the Comtesse d'Agoult. The
success of the soiree was such that it was soon followed by a
second and many more.

In the foregoing accounts the reader will find contradictions
enough to exercise his ingenuity upon. But the involuntary tricks
of memory and the voluntary ones of imagination make always such
terrible havoc of facts that truth, be it ever so much sought and
cared for, appears in history and biography only in a more or
less disfigured condition. George Sand's own allusion to the
commencement of the acquaintance agrees best with Liszt's
account. After passing in the latter part of 1836 some months in
Switzerland with Liszt and the Comtesse d'Agoult, she meets them
again at Paris in the December of the same year:--

  At the Hotel de France, where Madame d'Agoult had persuaded me
  to take quarters near her, the conditions of existence were
  charming for a few days. She received many litterateurs,
  artists, and some clever men of fashion. It was at Madame
  d'Agoult's, or through her, that I made the acquaintance of
  Eugene Sue, Baron d'Eckstein, Chopin, Mickiewicz, Nourrit,
  Victor Schoelcher, &c. My friends became also hers. Through me
  she got acquainted with M. Lamennais, Pierre-Leroux, Henri
  Heine, &c. Her salon, improvised in an inn, was therefore a
  reunion d'elite over which she presided with exquisite grace,
  and where she found herself the equal of all the eminent
  specialists by reason of the extent of her mind and the
  variety of her faculties, which were at once poetic and
  serious. Admirable music was performed there, and in the
  intervals one could instruct one's self by listening to the

To reconcile Liszt's account with George Sand's remark that
Chopin was one of those whose acquaintance she made at Madame
d'Agoult's or through her, we have only to remember the intimate
relation in which Liszt stood to this lady (subsequently known in
literature under the nom de plume of Daniel Stern), who had left
her husband, the Comte d'Agoult, in 1835.

And now at last we can step again from the treacherous quicksand
of reminiscences on the terra firma of documents. The following
extracts from some letters of George Sand's throw light on her
relation to Chopin in the early part of 1837:--

  Nohant, March 28, 1837.

  [To Franz Liszt.]...Come and see us as soon as possible. Love,
  esteem, and friendship claim you at Nohant. Love (Marie
  [FOOTNOTE: The Comtesse d'Agoult.]) is some what ailing,
  esteem (Maurice and Pelletan [FOOTNOTE: The former, George
  Sand's son; the latter, Eugene Pelletan, Maurice's tutor.])
  pretty well, and friendship (myself) obese and in excellent

  Marie told me that there was some hope of Chopin. Tell Chopin
  that I beg of him to accompany you; that Marie cannot live
  without him, and that I adore him.

  I shall write to Grzymala personally in order to induce him
  also, if I can, to come and see us. I should like to be able
  to surround Marie with all her friends, in order that she also
  may live in the bosom of love, esteem, and friendship.

[FOOTNOTE: Albert Grzymala, a man of note among the Polish
refugees. He was a native of Dunajowce in Podolia, had held
various military and other posts--those of maitre des requites,
director of the Bank of Poland, attache to the staff of Prince
Poniatowski, General Sebastiani, and Lefebvre, &c.--and was in
1830 sent by the Polish Government on a diplomatic mission to
Berlin, Paris, and London. (See L'Amanach de L'Emigration
polonaise, published at Paris some forty years ago.) He must not
be confounded with the publicist Francis Grzymala, who at Warsaw
was considered one of the marechaux de plume, and at Paris was
connected with the Polish publication Sybilla. With one exception
(Vol. I., p. 3), the Grzymala spoken of in these volumes is
Albert Grzymala, sometimes also called Count Grzymala. This
title, however, was, if I am rightly informed, only a courtesy
title. The Polish nobility as such was untitled, titles being of
foreign origin and not legally recognised. But many Polish
noblemen when abroad assume the prefix de or von, or the title
"Count," in order to make known their rank.]

  Nohant, April 5, 1837.

  [To the Comtesse d'Agoult.]...Tell Mick....[FOOTNOTE:
  Mickiewicz, the poet.] (non-compromising manner of writing
  Polish names) that my pen and my house are at his service, and
  are only too happy to be so; tell Grzy. ..., [FOOTNOTE:
  Gryzmala] whom I adore, Chopin, whom I idolatrise, and all
  those whom you love that I love them, and that, brought by
  you, they will be welcome. Berry in a body watches for the
  maestro's [FOOTNOTE: Liszt's] return in order to hear him play
  the piano. I believe we shall be obliged to place le garde-
  champetre and la garde nationals of Nohant under arms in order
  to defend ourselves against the dilettanti berrichoni.

  Nohant, April 10, 1837.

  [To the Comtesse d'Agoult.] I want the fellows, [FOOTNOTE:
  "Fellows" (English) was the nickname which Liszt gave to
  himself and his pupil Hermann Cohen.] I want them as soon and
  as LONG as possible. I want them a mort. I want also Chopin
  and all the Mickiewiczs and Grzymalas in the world. I want
  even Sue if you want him. What more would I not want if that
  were your fancy? For instance, M. de Suzannet or Victor
  Schoelcher! Everything, a lover excepted.

  Nohant, April 21, 1837.

  [To the Comtesse d'Agoult.] Nobody has permitted himself to
  breathe the air of your room since you left it. Arrangements
  will be made to put up all those you may bring with you. I
  count on the maestro, on Chopin, on the Rat, [FOOTNOTE:
  Liszt's pupil, Hermann Cohen.] if he does not weary you too
  much, and all the others at your choice.

Chopin's love for George Sand was not instantaneous like that of
Romeo for Juliet. Karasowski remembers having read in one of
those letters of the composer which perished in 1863: "Yesterday
I met George Sand...; she made a very disagreeable impression
upon me." Hiller in his Open Letter to Franz Liszt writes:--

  One evening you had assembled in your apartments the
  aristocracy of the French literary world--George Sand was of
  course one of the company. On the way home Chopin said to me
  "What a repellent [antipathische] woman the Sand is! But is
  she really a woman? I am inclined to doubt it."

Liszt, in discussing this matter with me, spoke only of Chopin's
"reserve" towards George Sand, but said nothing of his "aversion"
to her. And according to this authority the novelist's
extraordinary mind and attractive conversation soon overcame the
musician's reserve. Alfred de Musset's experience had been of a
similar nature. George Sand did not particularly please him at
first, but a few visits which he paid her sufficed to inflame his
heart with a violent passion. The liaisons of the poet and
musician with the novelist offer other points of resemblance
besides the one just mentioned: both Musset and Chopin were
younger than George Sand--the one six, the other five years; and
both, notwithstanding the dissimilarity of their characters,
occupied the position of a weaker half. In the case of Chopin I
am reminded of a saying of Sydney Smith, who, in speaking of his
friends the historian Grote and his wife, remarked: "I do like
them both so much, for he is so lady-like, and she is such a
perfect gentleman." Indeed, Chopin was described to me by his
pupil Gutmann as feminine in looks, gestures, and taste; as to
George Sand, although many may be unwilling to admit her perfect
gentlemanliness, no one can doubt her manliness:--

  Dark and olive-complexioned Lelia! [writes Liszt] thou hast
  walked in solitary places, sombre as Lara, distracted as
  Manfred, rebellious as Cain, but more fierce [farouche], more
  pitiless, more inconsolable than they, because thou hast found
  among the hearts of men none feminine enough to love thee as
  they have been loved, to pay to thy virile charms the tribute
  of a confiding and blind submission, of a silent and ardent
  devotion, to suffer his allegiance to be protected by thy
  Amazonian strength!

The enthusiasm with which the Poles of her acquaintance spoke of
their countrywomen, and the amorous suavity, fulness of feeling,
and spotless nobleness which she admired in the Polish composer's
inspirations, seem to have made her anticipate, even before
meeting Chopin, that she would find in him her ideal lover, one
whose love takes the form of worship. To quote Liszt's words:
"She believed that there, free from all dependence, secure
against all inferiority, her role would rise to the fairy-like
power of some being at once the superior and the friend of man.
"Were it not unreasonable to regard spontaneous utterances--
expressions of passing moods and fancies, perhaps mere flights of
rhetoric--as well-considered expositions of stable principles,
one might be tempted to ask: Had George Sand found in Chopin the
man who was "bold or vile enough" to accept her "hard and clear"
conditions? [FOOTNOTE: See extract from one of her letters in the
preceding chapter, Vol. I., p. 334.]

While the ordinary position of man and woman was entirely
reversed in this alliance, the qualities which characterised them
can nevertheless hardly ever have been more nearly diametrically
opposed. Chopin was weak and undecided; George Sand strong and
energetic. The former shrank from inquiry and controversy; the
latter threw herself eagerly into them. [FOOTNOTE: George Sand
talks much of the indolence of her temperament: we may admit this
fact, but must not overlook another one--namely, that she was in
possession of an immense fund of energy, and was always ready to
draw upon it whenever speech or action served her purpose or
fancy.] The one was a strict observer of the laws of propriety
and an almost exclusive frequenter of fashionable society; the
other, on the contrary, had an unmitigated scorn for the so-
called proprieties and so-called good society. Chopin's manners
exhibited a studied refinement, and no woman could be more
particular in the matter of dress than he was. It is
characteristic of the man that he was so discerning a judge of
the elegance and perfection of a female toilette as to be able to
tell at a glance whether a dress had been made in a first-class
establishment or in an inferior one. The great composer is said
to have had an unlimited admiration for a well-made and well-
carried (bien porte) dress. Now what a totally different picture
presents itself when we turn to George Sand, who says of herself,
in speaking of her girlhood, that although never boorish or
importunate, she was always brusque in her movements and natural
in her manners, and had a horror of gloves and profound bows. Her
fondness for male garments is as characteristic as Chopin's
connoisseurship of the female toilette; it did not end with her
student life, for she donned them again in 1836 when travelling
in Switzerland.

The whole of Chopin's person was harmonious. "His appearance,"
says Moscheles, who saw him in 1839, "is exactly like his music
[ist identificirt mit seiner Musik], both are tender and

[FOOTNOTE: I shall not attempt to translate this word, but I will
give the reader a recipe. Take the notions "fanciful," "dreamy,"
and "enthusiastic" (in their poetic sense), mix them well, and
you have a conception of schwarmerisck.]

A slim frame of middle height; fragile but wonderfully flexible
limbs; delicately-formed hands; very small feet; an oval, softly-
outlined head; a pale, transparent complexion; long silken hair
of a light chestnut colour, parted on one side; tender brown
eyes, intelligent rather than dreamy; a finely-curved aquiline
nose; a sweet subtle smile; graceful and varied gestures: such
was the outward presence of Chopin. As to the colour of the eyes
and hair, the authorities contradict each other most thoroughly.
Liszt describes the eyes as blue, Karasowski as dark brown, and
M. Mathias as "couleur de biere." [FOOTNOTE: This strange
expression we find again in Count Wodzinski's Les trois Romans de
Frederic Chopin, where the author says: "His large limpid,
expressive, and soft eyes had that tint which the English call
auburn, which the Poles, his compatriots, describe as piwne (beer
colour), and which the French would denominate brown."] Of the
hair Liszt says that it was blonde, Madame Dubois and others that
it was cendre, Miss L. Ramann that it was dark blonde, and a
Scotch lady that it was dark brown. [FOOTNOTE: Count Wodzinski
writes: "It was not blonde, but of a shade similar to that of his
eyes: ash-coloured (cendre), with golden reflections in the
light."] Happily the matter is settled for us by an authority to
which all others must yield--namely, by M. T. Kwiatkowski, the
friend and countryman of Chopin, an artist who has drawn and
painted the latter frequently. Well, the information I received
from him is to the effect that Chopin had des yeux bruns tendres
(eyes of a tender brown), and les cheveux blonds chatains
(chestnut-blonde hair). Liszt, from whose book some of the above
details are derived, completes his portrayal of Chopin by some
characteristic touches. The timbre of his voice, he says, was
subdued and often muffled; and his movements had such a
distinction and his manners such an impress of good society that
one treated him unconsciously like a prince. His whole appearance
made one think of that of the convolvuli, which on incredibly
slender stems balance divinely-coloured chalices of such
vapourous tissue that the slightest touch destroys them.

And whilst Liszt attributes to Chopin all sorts of feminine
graces and beauties, he speaks of George Sand as an Amazon, a
femme-heros, who is not afraid to expose her masculine
countenance to all suns and winds. Merimee says of George Sand
that he has known her "maigre comme un clou et noire comme une
taupe." Musset, after their first meeting, describes her, to whom
he at a subsequent period alludes as femme a l'oeil sombre, thus:-

  She is very beautiful; she is the kind of woman I like--brown,
  pale, dull-complexioned with reflections as of bronze, and
  strikingly large-eyed like an Indian. I have never been able
  to contemplate such a countenance without inward emotion. Her
  physiognomy is rather torpid, but when it becomes animated it
  assumes a remarkably independent and proud expression.

The most complete literary portrayal of George Sand that has been
handed down to us, however, is by Heine. He represents her as
Chopin knew her, for although he published the portrait as late
as 1854 he did not represent her as she then looked; indeed, at
that time he had probably no intercourse with her, and therefore
was obliged to draw from memory. The truthfulness of Heine's
delineation is testified by the approval of many who knew George
Sand, and also by Couture's portrait of her:--

  George Sand, the great writer, is at the same time a beautiful
  woman. She is even a distinguished beauty. Like the genius
  which manifests itself in her works, her face is rather to be
  called beautiful than interesting. The interesting is always a
  graceful or ingenious deviation from the type of the
  beautiful, and the features of George Sand bear rather the
  impress of a Greek regularity. Their form, however, is not
  hard, but softened by the sentimentality which is suffused
  over them like a veil of sorrow. The forehead is not high, and
  the delicious chestnut-brown curly hair falls parted down to
  the shoulders. Her eyes are somewhat dim, at least they are
  not bright, and their fire may have been extinguished by many
  tears, or may have passed into her works, which have spread
  their flaming brands over the whole world, illumined many a
  comfortless prison, but perhaps also fatally set on fire many
  a temple of innocence. The authoress of "Lelia" has quiet,
  soft eyes, which remind one neither of Sodom nor of Gomorrah.
  She has neither an emancipated aquiline nose nor a witty
  little snub nose. It is just an ordinary straight nose. A good-
  natured smile plays usually around her mouth, but it is not
  very attractive; the somewhat hanging under-lip betrays
  fatigued sensuality. The chin is full and plump, but
  nevertheless beautifully proportioned. Also her shoulders are
  beautiful, nay, magnificent. Likewise her arms and hands,
  which, like her feet, are small. Let other contemporaries
  describe the charms of her bosom, I confess my incompetence.
  The rest of her bodily frame seems to be somewhat too stout,
  at least too short. Only her head bears the impress of
  ideality; it reminds one of the noblest remains of Greek art,
  and in this respect one of our friends could compare the
  beautiful woman to the marble statue of the Venus of Milo,
  which stands in one of the lower rooms of the Louvre. Yes, she
  is as beautiful as the Venus of Milo; she even surpasses the
  latter in many respects: she is, for instance, very much
  younger. The physiognomists who maintain that the voice of man
  reveals his character most unmistakably would be much at a
  loss if they were called upon to detect George Sand's
  extraordinary depth of feeling [Innigkeit] in her voice. The
  latter is dull and faded, without sonority, but soft and
  agreeable. The naturalness of her speaking lends it some
  charm. Of vocal talent she exhibits not a trace! George Sand
  sings at best with the bravura of a beautiful grisette who has
  not yet breakfasted or happens not to be in good voice. The
  organ of George Sand has as little brilliancy as what she
  says. She has nothing whatever of the sparkling esprit of her
  countrywomen, but also nothing of their talkativeness. The
  cause of this taciturnity, however, is neither modesty nor
  sympathetic absorption in the discourse of another. She is
  taciturn rather from haughtiness, because she does not think
  you worth squandering her cleverness [Geist] upon, or even
  from selfishness, because she endeavours to absorb the best of
  your discourse in order to work it up afterwards in her works.
  That out of avarice George Sand knows how never to give
  anything and always to take something in conversation, is a
  trait to which Alfred de Musset drew my attention. "This gives
  her a great advantage over us," said Musset, who, as he had
  for many years occupied the post of cavaliere servente to the
  lady, had had the best opportunity to learn to know her
  thoroughly. George Sand never says anything witty; she is
  indeed one of the most unwitty Frenchwomen I know.

While admiring the clever drawing and the life-like appearance of
the portrait, we must, however, not overlook the exaggerations
and inaccuracies. The reader cannot have failed to detect the
limner tripping with regard to Musset, who occupied not many
years but less than a year the post of cavaliere servente. But
who would expect religious adherence to fact from Heine, who at
all times distinguishes himself rather by wit than
conscientiousness? What he says of George Sand's taciturnity in
company and want of wit, however, must be true; for she herself
tells us of these negative qualities in the Histoire de ma Vie.

The musical accomplishments of Chopin's beloved one have, of
course, a peculiar interest for us. Liszt, who knew her so well,
informed me that she was not musical, but possessed taste and
judgment. By "not musical" he meant no doubt that she was not in
the habit of exhibiting her practical musical acquirements, or
did not possess these latter to any appreciable extent. She
herself seems to me to make too much of her musical talents,
studies, and knowledge. Indeed, her writings show that, whatever
her talents may have been, her taste was vague and her knowledge
very limited.

When we consider the diversity of character, it is not a matter
for wonder that Chopin was at first rather repelled than
attracted by the personality of George Sand. Nor is it, on the
other hand, a matter for wonder that her beauty and power of
pleasing proved too strong for his antipathy. How great this
power of pleasing was when she wished to exercise it, the reader
may judge from the incident I shall now relate. Musset's mother,
having been informed of her son's projected tour to Italy, begged
him to give it up. The poet promised to comply with her request:
"If one must weep, it shall not be you," he said. In the evening
George Sand came in a carriage to the door and asked for Madame
Musset; the latter came out, and after a short interview gave her
consent to her son's departure. Chopin's unsuccessful wooing of
Miss Wodzinska and her marriage with Count Skarbek in this year
(1837) may not have been without effect on the composer. His
heart being left bruised and empty was as it were sensitised (if
I may use this photographic term) for the reception of a new
impression by the action of love. In short, the intimacy between
Chopin and George Sand grew steadily and continued to grow till
it reached its climax in the autumn of 1838, when they went
together to Majorca. Other matters, however, have to be adverted
to before we come to this passage of Chopin's life. First I shall
have to say a few words about his artistic activity during the
years 1837 and 1838.

Among the works composed by Chopin in 1837 was one of the
Variations on the March from I Puritani, which were published
under the title Hexameron: Morceau de Concert. Grandes variations
de bravoure sur la marche des Puritains de Bellini, composees
pour le concert de Madame la Princesse Belgiojoso au benefice des
pauvres, par M.M. Liszt, Thalberg, Pixis, H. Herz, Czerny, et
Chopin. This co-operative undertaking was set on foot by the
Princess, and was one of her many schemes to procure money for
her poor exiled countrymen. Liszt played these Variations often
at his concerts, and even wrote orchestral accompaniments to
them, which, however, were never published.

Chopin's publications of the year 1837 are: in October, Op. 25,
Douze Etudes, dedicated to Madame la Comtesse d'Agoult; and in
December, Op. 29, Impromptu (in A flat major), dedicated to
Mdlle. la Comtesse de Lobau; Op. 30, Quatre Mazurkas, dedicated
to Madame la Princesse de Wurtemberg, nee Princesse Czartoryska;
Op. 31, Deuxieme Scherzo (B flat minor), dedicated to Mdlle. la
Comtesse Adele de Furstenstein; and Op. 32, Deux Nocturnes (B
major and A flat major), dedicated to Madame la Baronne de
Billing. His publications of the year 1838 are: in October, Op.
33, Quatre Mazurkas, dedicated to Mdlle. la Comtesse Mostowska;
and, in December, Op. 34, Trois Valses brillantes (A flat major,
A minor, and F major), respectively dedicated to Mdlle. de Thun-
Hohenstein, Madame G. d'Ivri, and Mdlle. A. d'Eichthal. This last
work appeared at Paris first in an Album des Pianistes, a
collection of unpublished pieces by Thalberg, Chopin, Doehler,
Osborne, Liszt, and Mereaux. Two things in connection with this
album may yet be mentioned--namely, that Mereaux contributed to
it a Fantasia on a mazurka by Chopin, and that Stephen Heller
reviewed it in the Gazette musicale. Chopin was by no means
pleased with the insertion of the waltzes in Schlesinger's Album
des Pianistes. But more of this and his labours and grievances as
a composer in the next chapter.

There are also to be recorded some public and semi-public
appearances of Chopin as a virtuoso. On February 25, 1838, the
Gazette musicale informs its readers that Chopin, "that equally
extraordinary and modest pianist," had lately been summoned to
Court to be heard there en cercle intime. His inexhaustible
improvisations, which almost made up the whole of the evening's
entertainment, were particularly admired by the audience, which
knew as well as a gathering of artists how to appreciate the
composer's merits. At a concert given by Valentin Alkan on March
3, 1838, Chopin performed with Zimmermann, Gutmann, and the
concert-giver, the latter's arrangement of Beethoven's A major
Symphony (or rather some movements from it) for two pianos and
eight hands. And in the Gazette musicale of March 25, 1838, there
is a report by M. Legouve of Chopin's appearance at a concert
given by his countryman Orlowski at Rouen, where the latter had
settled after some years stay in Paris. From a writer in the
Journal de Rouen (December 1, 1849) we learn that ever since this
concert, which was held in the town-hall, and at which the
composer played his E minor Concerto with incomparable
perfection, the name of Chopin had in the musical world of Rouen
a popularity which secured to his memory an honourable and
cordial sympathy. But here is what Legouve says about this
concert. I transcribe the notice in full, because it shows us
both how completely Chopin had retired from the noise and strife
of publicity, and how high he stood in the estimation of his

  Here is an event which is not without importance in the
  musical world. Chopin, who has not been heard in public for
  several years; Chopin, who imprisons his charming genius in an
  audience of five or six persons; Chopin, who resembles those
  enchanted isles where so many marvels are said to abound that
  one regards them as fabulous; Chopin, whom one can never
  forget after having once heard him; Chopin has just given a
  grand concert at Rouen before 500 people for the benefit of a
  Polish professor. Nothing less than a good action to be done
  and the remembrance of his country could have overcome his
  repugnance to playing in public. Well! the success was
  immense! immense! All these enchanting melodies, these
  ineffable delicacies of execution, these melancholy and
  impassioned inspirations, and all that poesy of playing and of
  composition which takes hold at once of your imagination and
  heart, have penetrated, moved, enraptured 500 auditors, as
  they do the eight or ten privileged persons who listen to him
  religiously for whole hours; every moment there were in the
  hall those electric fremissements, those murmurs of ecstasy
  and astonishment which are the bravos of the soul. Forward
  then, Chopin! forward! let this triumph decide you; do not be
  selfish, give your beautiful talent to all; consent to pass
  for what you are; put an end to the great debate which divides
  the artists; and when it shall be asked who is the first
  pianist of Europe, Liszt or Thalberg, let all the world reply,
  like those who have heard you..."It is Chopin."

Chopin's artistic achievements, however, were not unanimously
received with such enthusiastic approval. A writer in the less
friendly La France musicale goes even so far as to stultify
himself by ridiculing, a propos of the A flat Impromptu, the
composer's style. This jackanapes--who belongs to that numerous
class of critics whose smartness of verbiage combined with
obtuseness of judgment is so well-known to the serious musical
reader and so thoroughly despised by him--ignores the spiritual
contents of the work under discussion altogether, and condemns
without hesitation every means of expression which in the
slightest degree deviates from the time-honoured standards. We
are told that Chopin's mode of procedure in composing is this. He
goes in quest of an idea, writes, writes, modulates through all
the twenty-four keys, and, if the idea fails to come, does
without it and concludes the little piece very nicely (tres-
bien). And now, gentle reader, ponder on this momentous and
immeasurably sad fact: of such a nature was, is, and ever will be
the great mass of criticism.



In a letter written in 1837, and quoted on p. 313 of Vol. I.,
Chopin said: "I may perhaps go for a few days to George Sand's."
How heartily she invited him through their common friends Liszt
and the Comtesse d'Agoult, we saw in the preceding chapter. We
may safely assume, I think, that Chopin went to Nohant in the
summer of 1837, and may be sure that he did so in the summer of
1838, although with regard to neither visit reliable information
of any kind is discoverable. Karasowski, it is true, quotes four
letters of Chopin to Fontana as written from Nohant in 1838, but
internal evidence shows that they must have been written three
years later.

We know from Mendelssohn's and Moscheles' allusions to Chopin's
visit to London that he was at that time ailing. He himself wrote
in the same year (1837) to Anthony Wodzinski that during the
winter he had been again ill with influenza, and that the doctors
had wanted to send him to Ems. As time went on the state of his
health seems to have got worse, and this led to his going to
Majorca in the winter of 1838-1839. The circumstance that he had
the company of Madame Sand on this occasion has given rise to
much discussion. According to Liszt, Chopin was forced by the
alarming state of his health to go to the south in order to avoid
the severities of the Paris winter; and Madame Sand, who always
watched sympathetically over her friends, would not let him
depart alone, but resolved to accompany him. Karasowski, on the
other hand, maintains that it was not Madame Sand who was induced
to accompany Chopin, but that Madame Sand induced Chopin to
accompany her. Neither of these statements tallies with Madame
Sand's own account. She tells us that when in 1838 her son
Maurice, who had been in the custody of his father, was
definitively entrusted to her care, she resolved to take him to a
milder climate, hoping thus to prevent a return of the rheumatism
from which he had suffered so much in the preceding year.
Besides, she wished to live for some time in a quiet place where
she could make her children work, and could work herself,
undisturbed by the claims of society.

  As I was making my plans and preparations for departure [she
  goes on to say], Chopin, whom I saw every day and whose genius
  and character I tenderly loved, said to me that if he were in
  Maurice's place he would soon recover. I believed it, and I
  was mistaken. I did not put him in the place of Maurice on the
  journey, but beside Maurice. His friends had for long urged
  him to go and spend some time in the south of Europe. People
  believed that he was consumptive. Gaubert examined him and
  declared to me that he was not. "You will save him, in fact,"
  he said to me, "if you give him air, exercise, and rest."
  Others, knowing well that Chopin would never make up his mind
  to leave the society and life of Paris without being carried
  off by a person whom he loved and who was devoted to him,
  urged me strongly not to oppose the desire he showed so a
  propos and in a quite unhoped-for way.

  As time showed, I was wrong in yielding to their hopes and my
  own solicitude. It was indeed enough to go abroad alone with
  two children, one already ill, the other full of exuberant
  health and spirits, without taking upon myself also a terrible
  anxiety and a physician's responsibility.

  But Chopin was just then in a state of health that reassured
  everybody. With the exception of Grzymala, who saw more
  clearly how matters stood, we were all hopeful. I nevertheless
  begged Chopin to consider well his moral strength, because for
  several years he had never contemplated without dread the idea
  of leaving Paris, his physician, his acquaintances, his room
  even, and his piano. He was a man of imperious habits, and
  every change, however small it might be, was a terrible event
  in his life.

Seeing that Liszt--who was at the time in Italy--and Karasowski
speak only from hearsay, we cannot do better than accept George
Sand's account, which contains nothing improbable. In connection
with this migration to the south, I must, however, not omit to
mention certain statements of Adolph Gutmann, one of Chopin's
pupils. Here is the substance of what Gutmann told me. Chopin was
anxious to go to Majorca, but for some time was kept in suspense
by the scantiness of his funds. This threatening obstacle,
however, disappeared when his friend the pianoforte-maker and
publisher, Camille Pleyel, paid him 2,000 francs for the
copyright of the Preludes, Op. 28. Chopin remarked of this
transaction to Gutmann, or in his hearing: "I sold the Preludes
to Pleyel because he liked them [parcequ'il les. aimait]." And
Pleyel exclaimed on one occasion: "These are my Preludes [Ce sont
mes Preludes]." Gutmann thought that Pleyel, who was indebted to
Chopin for playing on his instruments and recommending them,
wished to assist his friend in a delicate way with some money,
and therefore pretended to be greatly taken with these
compositions and bent upon possessing them. This, however, cannot
be quite correct; for from Chopin's letters, which I shall quote
I presently, it appears that he had indeed promised Pleyel the
Preludes, but before his departure received from him only 500
francs, the remaining 1,500 being paid months afterwards, on the
delivery of the manuscript. These letters show, on the other
hand, that when Chopin was in Majorca he owed to Leo 1,000
francs, which very likely he borrowed from him to defray part of
the expenses of his sojourn in the south.

[FOOTNOTE: August Leo, a Paris banker, "the friend and patron of
many artists," as he is called by Moscheles, who was related to
him through his wife Charlotte Embden, of Hamburg. The name of
Leo occurs often in the letters and conversations of musicians,
especially German musicians, who visited Paris or lived there in
the second quarter of this century. Leo kept house together with
his brother-in-law Valentin. (See Vol. I., p. 254.)]

Chopin kept his intention of going with Madame Sand to Majorca
secret from all but a privileged few. According to Franchomme, he
did not speak of it even to his friends. There seem to have been
only three exceptions--Fontana, Matuszynski, and Grzymala, and in
his letters to the first he repeatedly entreats his friend not to
talk about him. Nor does he seem to have been much more
communicative after his return, for none of Chopin's
acquaintances whom I questioned was able to tell me whether the
composer looked back on this migration with satisfaction or with
regret; still less did they remember any remark made by him that
would throw a more searching light on this period of his life.

Until recently the only sources of information bearing on
Chopin's stay in Majorca were George Sand's "Un Hiver a Majorque"
and "Histoire de ma Vie." But now we have also Chopin's letters
to Fontana (in the Polish edition of Karasowski's "Chopin") and
George Sand's "Correspondance," which supplement and correct the
two publications of the novelist. Remembering the latter's
tendency to idealise everything, and her disinclination to
descend to the prose of her subject, I shall make the letters the
backbone of my narrative, and for the rest select my material

Telling Chopin that she would stay some days at Perpignan if he
were not there on her arrival, but would proceed without him if
he failed to make his appearance within a certain time, Madame
Sand set out with her two children and a maid in the month of
November, 1838, for the south of France, and, travelling for
travelling's sake, visited Lyons, Avignon, Vaucluse, Nimes, and
other places. The distinguished financier and well-known Spanish
statesman Mendizabal, their friend, who was going to Madrid, was
to accompany Chopin to the Spanish frontier. Madame Sand was not
long left in doubt as to whether Chopin would realise his reve de
voyage or not, for he put in his appearance at Perpignan the very
next day after her arrival there. Madame Sand to Madame Marliani,
[FOOTNOTE:  The wife of the Spanish politician and author, Manuel
Marliani. We shall hear more of her farther on.] November, 1838:-

  Chopin arrived at Perpignan last night, fresh as a rose, and
  rosy as a turnip; moreover, in good health, having stood his
  four nights of the mail-coach heroically. As to ourselves, we
  travelled slowly, quietly, and surrounded at all stations by
  our friends, who overwhelmed us with kindness.

As the weather was fine and the sea calm Chopin did not suffer
much on the passage from Port-Vendres to Barcelona. At the latter
town the party halted for a while-spending some busy days within
its walls, and making an excursion into the country-and then took
ship for Palma, the capital of Majorca and the Balearic Isles
generally. Again the voyagers were favoured by the elements.

  The night was warm and dark, illumined only by an
  extraordinary phosphorescence in the wake of the ship;
  everybody was asleep on board except the steersman, who, in
  order to keep himself awake, sang all night, but in a voice so
  soft and so subdued that one might have thought that he feared
  to awake the men of the watch, or that he himself was half
  asleep. We did not weary of listening to him, for his singing
  was of the strangest kind. He observed a rhythm and
  modulations totally different from those we are accustomed to,
  and seemed to allow his voice to go at random, like the smoke
  of the vessel carried away and swayed by the breeze. It was a
  reverie rather than a song, a kind of careless divagation of
  the voice, with which the mind had little to do, but which
  kept time with the swaying of the ship, the faint sound of the
  dead water, and resembled a vague improvisation, restrained,
  nevertheless, by sweet and monotonous forms.

When night had passed into day, the steep coasts of Majorca,
dentelees au soleil du matin par les aloes et les palmiers, came
in sight, and soon after El Mallorquin landed its passengers at
Palma. Madame Sand had left Paris a fortnight before in extremely
cold weather, and here she found in the first half of November
summer heat. The newcomers derived much pleasure from their
rambles through the town, which has a strongly-pronounced
character of its own and is rich in fine and interesting
buildings, among which are most prominent the magnificent
Cathedral, the elegant Exchange (la lonja), the stately Town-
Hall, and the picturesque Royal Palace (palacio real). Indeed, in
Majorca everything is picturesque,

  from the hut of the peasant, who in his most insignificant
  buildings has preserved the tradition of the Arabic style, to
  the infant clothed in rags and triumphant in his "malproprete
  grandiose," as Heine said a propos of the market-women of
  Verona. The character of the landscape, whose vegetation is
  richer than that of Africa is in general, has quite as much
  breadth, calm, and simplicity. It is green Switzerland under
  the sky of Calabria, with the solemnity and silence of the

But picturesqueness alone does not make man's happiness, and
Palma seems to have afforded little else. If we may believe
Madame Sand, there was not a single hotel in the town, and the
only accommodation her party could get consisted of two small
rooms, unfurnished rather than furnished, in some wretched place
where travellers are happy to find "a folding-bed, a straw-
bottomed chair, and, as regards food, pepper and garlic a
discretion." Still, however great their discomfort and disgust
might be, they had to do their utmost to hide their feelings;
for, if they had made faces on discovering vermin in their beds
and scorpions in their soup, they would certainly have hurt the
susceptibilities of the natives, and would probably have exposed
themselves to unpleasant consequences. No inhabitable apartments
were to be had in the town itself, but in its neighbourhood a
villa chanced to be vacant, and this our party rented at once.

Madame Sand to Madame Marliani; Palma, November 14, 1838:--

  I am leaving the town, and shall establish myself in the
  country: I have a pretty furnished house, with a garden and a
  magnificent view, for fifty francs per month. Besides, two
  leagues from there I have a cell, that is to say, three rooms
  and a garden full of oranges and lemons, for thirty-five
  francs PER YEAR, in the large monastery of Valdemosa.

The furniture of the villa was indeed of the most primitive kind,
and the walls were only whitewashed, but the house was otherwise
convenient, well ventilated--in fact, too well ventilated--and
above all beautifully situated at the foot of rounded, fertile
mountains, in the bosom of a rich valley which was terminated by
the yellow walls of Palma, the mass of the cathedral, and the
sparkling sea on the horizon.

Chopin to Fontana; Palma, November 15, 1838:--

[FOOTNOTE: Julius Fontana, born at Warsaw in 1810, studied music
(at the Warsaw Conservatoire under Elsner) as an amateur and law
for his profession; joined in 1830 the Polish insurrectionary
army; left his country after the failure of the insurrection;
taught the piano in London; played in 1835 several times with
success in Paris; resided there for some years; went in 1841 to
Havannah; on account of the climate, removed to New York; gave
there concerts with Sivori; and returned to Paris in 1850. This
at least is the account we get of him in Sowinski's "Les
Musiciens polonais et slaves." Mr. A. J. Hipkins, who became
acquainted with Fontana during a stay which the latter made in
London in 1856 (May and early part of June), described him to me
as "an honourable and gentlemanly man." From the same informant I
learned that Fontana married a lady who had an income for life,
and that by this marriage he was enabled to retire from the
active exercise of his profession. Later on he became very deaf,
and this great trouble was followed by a still greater one, the
death of his wife. Thus left deaf and poor, he despaired, and,
putting a pistol to one of his ears, blew out his brains.
According to Karasowski he died at Paris in 1870. The
compositions he published (dances, fantasias, studies, &c.) are
of no importance. He is said to have published also two books,
one on Polish orthography in 1866 and one on popular astronomy in
1869. The above and all the following letters of Chopin to
Fontana are in the possession of Madame Johanna Lilpop, of
Warsaw, and are here translated from Karasowski's Polish edition
of his biography of Chopin. Many of the letters are undated, and
the dates suggested by Karasowski generally wrong. There are,
moreover, two letters which are given as if dated by Chopin; but
as the contents point to Nohant and 1841 rather than to Majorca
and 1838 and 1839, I shall place them in Chapter XXIV., where
also my reasons for doing so will be more particularly stated. A
third letter, supposed by Karasowski to be written at Valdemosa
in February, I hold to be written at Marseilles in April. It will
be found in the next chapter.]

  My dear friend,--I am at Palma, among palms, cedars, cactuses,
  aloes, and olive, orange, lemon, fig, and pomegranate trees,
  &c., which the Jardin des Plantes possesses only thanks to its
  stoves. The sky is like a turquoise, the sea is like lazuli,
  and the mountains are like emeralds. The air? The air is just
  as in heaven. During the day there is sunshine, and
  consequently it is warm--everybody wears summer clothes.
  During the night guitars and songs are heard everywhere and at
  all hours. Enormous balconies with vines overhead, Moorish
  walls...The town, like everything here, looks towards
  Africa...In one word, a charming life"!

  Dear Julius, go to Pleyel--the piano has not yet arrived--and
  ask him by what route they have sent it.

  The Preludes you shall have soon.

  I shall probably take up my quarters in a delightful monastery
  in one of the most beautiful sites in the world: sea,
  mountains, palm trees, cemetery, church of the Knights of the
  Cross, ruins of mosques, thousand-year-old olive trees!...Ah,
  my dear friend, I am now enjoying life a little more; I am
  near what is most beautiful--I am a better man.

  Letters from my parents and whatever you have to send me give
  to Grzymala; he knows the safest address.

  Embrace Johnnie. [FOOTNOTE: The Johnnie so frequently
  mentioned in the letters to Fontana is John Matuszynski.] How
  soon he would recover here!

  Tell Schlesinger that before long he will receive MS. To
  acquaintances speak little of me. Should anybody ask, say that
  I shall be back in spring. The mail goes once a week; I write
  through the French Consulate here.

  Send the enclosed letter as it is to my parents; leave it at
  the postoffice yourself.



George Sand relates in "Un Hiver a Majorque" that the first days
which her party passed at the Son-Vent (House of the Wind)--this
was the name of the villa they had rented--were pretty well taken
up with promenading and pleasant lounging, to which the delicious
climate and novel scenery invited. But this paradisaic condition
was suddenly changed as if by magic when at the end of two or
three weeks the wet season began and the Son-Vent became

  The walls of it were so thin that the lime with which our
  rooms were plastered swelled like a sponge. For my part I
  never suffered so much from cold, although it was in reality
  not very cold; but for us, who are accustomed to warm
  ourselves in winter, this house without a chimney was like a
  mantle of ice on our shoulders, and I felt paralysed. Chopin,
  delicate as he was and subject to violent irritation of the
  larynx, soon felt the effects of the damp.

  We could not accustom ourselves to the stifling odour of the
  brasiers, and our invalid began to ail and to cough.

  From this moment we became an object of dread and horror to
  the population. We were accused and convicted of pulmonary
  phthisis, which is equivalent to the plague in the prejudices
  regarding contagion entertained by Spanish physicians. A rich
  doctor, who for the moderate remuneration of forty-five francs
  deigned to come and pay us a visit, declared, nevertheless,
  that there was nothing the matter, and prescribed nothing.

  Another physician came obligingly to our assistance; but the
  pharmacy at Palma was in such a miserable state that we could
  only procure detestable drugs. Moreover, the illness was to be
  aggravated by causes which no science and no devotion could
  efficiently battle against.

  One morning, when we were given up to serious fears on account
  of the duration of these rains and these sufferings which were
  bound up together, we received a letter from the fierce Gomez
  [the landlord], who declared, in the Spanish style, that we
  held a person who held a disease which carried contagion into
  his house, and threatened prematurely the life of his family;
  in consequence of which he requested us to leave his palace
  with the shortest delay possible.

  This did not cause us much regret, for we could no longer stay
  there without fear of being drowned in our rooms; but our
  invalid was not in a condition to be moved without danger,
  especially by such means of transport as are available in
  Majorca, and in the weather then obtaining. And then the
  difficulty was to know where to go, for the rumour of our
  phthisis had spread instantaneously, and we could no longer
  hope to find a shelter anywhere, not even at a very high price
  for a night. We knew that the obliging persons who offeredto
  take us in were themselves not free from prejudices, and that,
  moreover, we should draw upon them, in going near them, the
  reprobation which weighed upon us. Without the hospitality of
  the French consul, who did wonders in order to gather us all
  under his roof, we were threatened with the prospect of
  camping in some cavern like veritable Bohemians.

  Another miracle came to pass, and we found an asylum for the
  winter. At the Carthusian monastery of Valdemosa there was a
  Spanish refugee, who had hidden himself there for I don't know
  what political reason. Visiting the monastery, we were struck
  with the gentility of his manners, the melancholy beauty of
  his wife, and the rustic and yet comfortable furniture of
  their cell. The poesy of this monastery had turned my head. It
  happened that the mysterious couple wished to leave the
  country precipitately, and--that they were as delighted to
  dispose to us of their furniture and cell as we were to
  acquire them. For the moderate sum of a thousand francs we had
  then a complete establishment, but such a one as we could have
  procured in France for 300 francs, so rare, costly, and
  difficult to get are the most necessary things in Majorca.

The outcasts decamped speedily from the Son-Vent. But before
Senor Gomez had done with his tenants, he made them pay for the
whitewashing and the replastering of the whole house, which he
held to have been infected by Chopin.

And now let us turn once more from George Sand's poetical
inventions, distortions, and exaggerations, to the comparative
sobriety and trustworthiness of letters.

Chopin to Fontana; Palma, December 3, 1838:--

  I cannot send you the MSS. as they are not yet finished.
  During the last two weeks I have been as ill as a dog, in
  spite of eighteen degrees of heat, [FOOTNOTE: That is,
  eighteen degrees Centigrade, which are equal to about sixty-
  four degrees Fahrenheit.] and of roses, and orange, palm, and
  fig trees in blossom. I caught a severe cold. Three doctors,
  the most renowned in the island, were called in for
  consultation. One smelt what I spat, the second knocked whence
  I spat, the third sounded and listened when I spat. The first
  said that I would die, the second that I was dying, the third
  that I had died already; and in the meantime I live as I was
  living. I cannot forgive Johnnie that in the case of bronchite
  aigue, which he could always notice in me, he gave me no
  advice. I had a narrow escape from their bleedings,
  cataplasms, and such like operations. Thanks to Providence, I
  am now myself again. My illness has nevertheless a pernicious
  effect on the Preludes, which you will receive God knows when.

  In a few days I shall live in the most beautiful part of the
  world. Sea, mountains...whatever you wish. We are to have our
  quarters in an old, vast, abandoned and ruined monastery of
  Carthusians whom Mend [FOOTNOTE: Mendizabal] drove away as it
  were for me. Near Palma--nothing more wonderful: cloisters,
  most poetic cemeteries. In short, I feel that there it will be
  well with me. Only the piano has not yet come! I wrote to
  Pleyel. Ask there and tell him that on the day after my
  arrival here I was taken very ill, and that I am well again.
  On the whole, speak little about me and my manuscripts. Write
  to me. As yet I have not received a letter from you.

  Tell Leo that I have not as yet sent the Preludes to the
  Albrechts, but that I still love them sincerely, and shall
  write to them shortly.

  Post the enclosed letter to my parents yourself, and write as
  soon as possible.

  My love to Johnnie. Do not tell anyone that I was ill, they
  would only gossip about it.

[FOOTNOTE: to Madame Dubois I owe the information that Albrecht,
an attache to the Saxon legation (a post which gave him a good
standing in society) and at the same time a wine-merchant (with
offices in the Place Vendome--his specialty being "vins de
Bordeaux"), was one of Chopin's "fanatic friends." In the letters
there are allusions to two Albrechts, father and son; the
foregoing information refers to the son, who, I think, is the T.
Albrecht to whom the Premier Scherzo, Chopin's Op. 20, is

Chopin to Fontana; Palma, December 14, 1838:--

  As yet not a word from you, and this is my third or fourth
  letter. Did you prepay? Perhaps my parents did not write.
  Maybe some misfortune has befallen them. Or are you so lazy?
  But no, you are not lazy, you are so obliging. No doubt you
  sent my two letters to my people (both from Palma). And you
  must have written to me, only the post of this place, which is
  the most irregular in the world, has not yet delivered your

  Only to-day I was informed that on the ist of December my
  piano was embarked at Marseilles on a merchant vessel. The
  letter took fourteen days to come from that town. Thus there
  is some hope that the piano may pass the winter in the port,
  as here nobody stirs when it rains. The idea of my getting it
  just at my departure pleases me, for in addition to the 500
  francs for freight and duty which I must pay, I shall have the
  pleasure of packing it and sending it back. Meanwhile my
  manuscripts are sleeping, whereas I cannot sleep, but cough,
  and am covered with plasters, waiting anxiously for spring or
  something else.

  To-morrow I start for this delightful monastery of Valdemosa.
  I shall live, muse, and write in the cell of some old monk who
  may have had more fire in his heart than I, and was obliged to
  hide and smother it, not being able to make use of it.

  I think that shortly I shall be able to send you my Preludes
  and my Ballade. Go and see Leo; do not mention that I am ill,
  he would fear for his 1,000 francs.

  Give my kind remembrances to Johnnie and Pleyel.

Madame Sand to Madame Marliani; Palma, December 14, 1838:--

  ...What is really beautiful here is the country, the sky, the
  mountains, the good health of Maurice, and the radoucissement
  of Solange. The good Chopin is not in equally brilliant
  health. He misses his piano very much. We received news of it
  to-day. It has left Marseilles, and we shall perhaps have it
  in a fortnight. Mon Dieu, how hard, difficult, and miserable
  the physical life is here! It is beyond what one can imagine.

  By a stroke of fortune I have found for sale a clean suite of
  furniture, charming for this country, but which a French
  peasant would not have. Unheard-of trouble was required to get
  a stove, wood, linen, and who knows what else. Though for a
  month I have believed myself established, I am always on the
  eve of being so. Here a cart takes five hours to go three
  leagues; judge of the rest. They require two months to
  manufacture a pair of tongs. There is no exaggeration in what
  I say. Guess about this country all I do not tell you. For my
  part I do not mind it, but I have suffered a little from it in
  the fear of seeing my children suffer much from it.

  Happily, my ambulance is doing well. To-morrow we depart for
  the Carthusian monastery of Valdemosa, the most poetic
  residence on earth. We shall pass there the winter, which has
  hardly begun and will soon end. This is the sole happiness of
  this country. I have never in my life met with a nature so
  delicious as that of Majorca.

  ...The people of this country are generally very gracious,
  very obliging; but all this in words...

  I shall write to Leroux from the monastery at leisure. If you
  knew what I have to do! I have almost to cook. Here, another
  amenity, one cannot get served. The domestic is a brute:
  bigoted, lazy, and gluttonous; a veritable son of a monk (I
  think that all are that). It requires ten to do the work which
  your brave Mary does. Happily, the maid whom I have brought
  with me from Paris is very devoted, and resigns herself to do
  heavy work; but she is not strong, and I must help her.
  Besides, everything is dear, and proper nourishment is
  difficult to get when the stomach cannot stand either rancid
  oil or pig's grease. I begin to get accustomed to it; but
  Chopin is ill every time that we do not prepare his food
  ourselves. In short, our expedition here is, in many respects,
  a frightful fiasco.

On December 15, 1838, then, the Sand party took possession of
their quarters in the monastery of Valdemosa, and thence the next
letters are dated.

Chopin to Fontana; "Palma, December 28, 1838, or rather
Valdemosa, a few miles distant from Palma":--

  Between rocks and the sea, in a great abandoned Carthusian
  monastery, in one of the cells with doors bigger than the
  gates in Paris, you may imagine me with my hair uncurled,
  without white gloves, pale as usual. The cell is in the shape
  of a coffin, high, and full of dust on the vault. The window
  small, before the window orange, palm, and cypress trees.
  Opposite the window, under a Moorish filigree rosette, stands
  my bed. By its side an old square thing like a table for
  writing, scarcely serviceable; on it a leaden candlestick (a
  great luxury) with a little tallow-candle, Works of Bach, my
  jottings, and old scrawls that are not mine, this is all I
  possess. Quietness...one may shout and nobody will hear...in
  short, I am writing to you from a strange place.

  Your letter of the 9th of December I received the day before
  yesterday; as on account of the holidays the express mail does
  not leave till next week, I write to you in no great hurry. It
  will be a Russian month before you get the bill of exchange
  which I send you.

  Sublime nature is a fine thing, but one should have nothing to
  do with men--nor with roads and posts. Many a time I came here
  from Palma, always with the same driver and always by another
  road. Streams of water make roads, violent rains destroy them;
  to-day it is impossible to pass, for what was a road is
  ploughed; next day only mules can pass where you were driving
  yesterday. And what carriages here! That is the reason,
  Julius, why you do not see a single Englishman, not even an
  English consul.

  Leo is a Jew, a rogue! I was at his house the day before my
  departure, and I told him not to send me anything here. I
  cannot send you the Preludes, they are not yet finished. At
  present I am better and shall push on the work. I shall write
  and thank him in a way that will make him wince.

  But Schlesinger is a still worse dog to put my Waltzes
  [FOOTNOTE: "Trois Valses brillantes," Op. 34.] in the Album,
  and to sell them to Probst [FOOTNOTE: Heinrich Albert Probst
  founded in 1823 a music-shop and publishing-house at Leipzig.
  In 1831 Fr. Kistner entered the business (Probst-Kistner),
  which under his name has existed from 1836 down to this day.
  In the Chopin letters we meet Probst in the character of
  Breitkopf and Hartel's agent.] when I gave him them because he
  begged them for his father in Berlin. [FOOTNOTE: Adolf Martin
  Schlesinger, a music-publisher like his son Maurice Adolph of
  Paris, so frequently mentioned in these letters.] All this
  irritates me. I am only sorry for you; but in one month at the
  latest you will be clear of Leo and my landlord. With the
  money which you receive on the bill of exchange, do what is
  necessary. And my servant, what is he doing? Give the portier
  twenty francs as a New Year's present.

  I do not remember whether I left any debts of importance. At
  all events, as I promised you, we shall be clear in a month at
  the latest.

  To-day the moon is wonderful, I never saw it more beautiful.

  By the way, you write that you sent me a letter from my
  people. I neither saw nor heard of one, and I am longing so
  much for one! Did you prepay when you sent them the letter?

  Your letter, the only one I have hitherto received, was very
  badly addressed. Here nature is benevolent, but the people are
  thievish. They never see any strangers, and therefore do not
  know what to ask of them. For instance, an orange they will
  give you for nothing, but ask a fabulous sum for a coat-

  Under this sky you are penetrated with a kind of poetical
  feeling which everything seems to exhale. Eagles alarmed by no
  one soar every day majestically over our heads.

  For God's sake write, always prepay, and to Palma add always

  I love Johnnie, and I think it is a pity that he did not
  altogether qualify himself as director of the children of some
  benevolent institution in some Nuremberg or Bamberg. Get him
  to write to me, were it only a few words.

  I enclose you a letter to my people...I think it is already
  the third or fourth that I send you for my parents.

  My love to Albrecht, but speak very little about me.

Chopin to Fontana; Valdemosa, January 12, 1839:--

  I send you the Preludes, make a copy of them, you and Wolf;
  [FOOTNOTE: Edouard Wolff] I think there are no mistakes. You
  will give the transcript to Probst, but my manuscript to
  Pleyel. When you get the money from Probst, for whom I enclose
  a receipt, you will take it at once to Leo. I do not write and
  thank him just now, for I have no time. Out of the money which
  Pleyel will give you, that is 1,500 francs, you will pay the
  rent of my rooms till the New Year, 450 francs and you will
  give notice of my giving them up if you have a chance to get
  others from April. If not it will be necessary to keep them
  for a quarter longer. The rest of the amount, or 1,000 francs,
  you will return from me to Nougi. Where he lives you will
  learn from Johnnie, but don't tell the latter of the money,
  for he might attack Nougi, and I do not wish that anyone but
  you and I should know of it. Should you succeed in finding
  rooms, you could send one part of the furniture to Johnnie and
  another to Grzymala. You will tell Pleyel to send letters
  through you.

  I sent you before the New Year a bill of exchange for Wessel;
  tell Pleyel that I have settled with Wessel.

  [FOOTNOTE: The music-publisher Christian Rudolph Wessel, of
  Bremen, who came to London in 1825. Up to 1838 he had Stodart,
  and from 1839 to 1845 Stapleton, as partner. He retired in
  1860, Messrs. Edwin Ashdown and Henry Parry being his
  successors. Since the retirement of Mr. Parry, in 1882, Mr.
  Ashdown is the sole proprietor. Mr. Ashdown, whom I have to
  thank for the latter part of this note, informs me that Wessel
  died in 1885.]

  In a few weeks you will receive a Ballade, a Polonaise, and a

  Until now I have not yet received any letters from my parents.

  I embrace you.

  Sometimes I have Arabian balls, African sun, and always before
  my eyes the Mediterranean Sea.

  I do not know when I shall be back, perhaps as late as May,
  perhaps even later.

Madame Sand to Madame Marliani; Valdemosa, January 15, 1839:--

  ...We inhabit the Carthusian monastery of Valdemosa, a really
  sublime place, which I have hardly the time to admire, so many
  occupations have I with my children, their lessons, and my

  There are rains here of which one has elsewhere no idea: it is
  a frightful deluge! The air is on account of it so relaxing,
  so soft, that one cannot drag one's self along; one is really
  ill. Happily, Maurice is in admirable health; his constitution
  is only afraid of frost, a thing unknown here. But the little
  Chopin [FOOTNOTE: Madame Marliani seems to have been in the
  habit of calling Chopin "le petit."  In another letter to her
  (April 28, 1839) George Sand writes of Chopin as votre petit.
  This reminds one of Mendelssohn's Chopinetto.] is very
  depressed and always coughs much. For his sake I await with
  impatience the return of fine weather, which will not be long
  in coming. His piano has at last arrived at Palma; but it is
  in the clutches of the custom-house officers, who demand from
  five to six hundred francs duty, and show themselves

  ...I am plunged with Maurice in Thucydides and company; with
  Solange in the indirect object and the agreement of the
  participle. Chopin plays on a poor Majorcan piano which
  reminds me of that of Bouffe in "Pauvre Jacques." I pass my
  nights generally in scrawling. When I raise my nose, it is to
  see through the sky-light of my cell the moon which shines in
  the midst of the rain on the orange trees, and I think no more
  of it than she.

Madame Sand to M. A. M. Duteil; Valdemosa, January 20, 1839:--

  ...This [the slowness and irregularity of the post] is not the
  only inconvenience of the country. There are innumerable ones,
  and yet this is the most beautiful country. The climate is
  delicious. At the time I am writing, Maurice is gardening in
  his shirt-sleeves, and Solange, seated under an orange tree
  loaded with fruit, studies her lesson with a grave air. We
  have bushes covered with roses, and spring is coming in. Our
  winter lasted six weeks, not cold, but rainy to a degree to
  frighten us. It is a deluge! The rain uproots the mountains;
  all the waters of the mountain rush into the plain; the roads
  become torrents. We found ourselves caught in them, Maurice
  and I. We had been at Palma in superb weather. When we
  returned in the evening, there were no fields, no roads, but
  only trees to indicate approximately the way which we had to
  go. I was really very. frightened, especially as the horse
  refused to proceed, and we were obliged to traverse the
  mountain on foot in the night, with torrents across our legs.

Madame Sand to Madame Marliani; Valdemosa, February 22, 1839:--

  ...You see me at my Carthusian monastery, still sedentary, and
  occupied during the day with my children, at night with my
  work. In the midst of all this, the warbling of Chopin, who
  goes his usual pretty way, and whom the walls of the cell are
  much astonished to hear.

  The only remarkable event since my last letter is the arrival
  of the so much-expected piano. After a fortnight of
  applications and waiting we have been able to get it out of
  the custom-house by paying three hundred francs of duty.
  Pretty country this! After all, it has been disembarked
  without accident, and the vaults of the monastery are
  delighted with it. And all this is not profaned by the
  admiration of fools-we do not see a cat.

  Our retreat in the mountains, three leagues from the town, has
  freed us from the politeness of idlers.

  Nevertheless, we have had one visitor, and a visitor from
  Paris!--namely, M. Dembowski, an Italian Pole whom Chopin
  knew, and who calls himself a cousin of Marliani--I don't know
  in what degree.

  ...The fact is, that we are very much pleased with the freedom
  which this gives us, because we have work to do; but we
  understand very well that these poetic intervals which one
  introduces into one's life are only times of transition and
  rest allowed to the mind before it resumes the exercise of the
  emotions. I mean this in the purely intellectual sense; for,
  as regards the life of the heart, it cannot cease for a

This brings us to the end of the known letters written by Chopin
and Madame Sand from Majorca. And now let us see what we can find
in George Sand's books to complete the picture of the life of her
and her party at Valdemosa, of which the letters give only more
or less disconnected indications. I shall use the materials at my
disposal freely and cautiously, quoting some passages in full,
regrouping and summing-up others, and keeping always in mind--
which the reader should likewise do--the authoress's tendency to
emphasise, colour, and embellish, for the sake of literary and
moral effect.

Not to extend this chapter too much, I refer the curious to
George Sand's "Un Hiver a Majorque" for a description of the
"admirable, grandiose, and wild nature" in the midst of which the
"poetic abode" of her and her party was situated--of the grandly
and beautifully-varied surface of the earth, the luxuriant
southern vegetation, and the marvellous phenomena of light and
air; of the sea stretching out on two sides and meeting the
horizon; of the surrounding formidable peaks, and the more
distant round-swelling hills; of the eagles descending in the
pursuit of their prey down to the orange trees of the monastery
gardens; of the avenue of cypresses serpentining from the top of
the mountain to the bottom of the gorge; of the torrents covered
with myrtles; in short, of the immense ensemble, the infinite
details, which overwhelm the imagination and outvie the poet's
and painter's dreams. Here it will be advisable to confine
ourselves to the investigation of a more limited sphere, to
inspect rather narrow interiors than vast landscapes.

As the reader has gathered from the preceding letters, there was
no longer a monastic community at Valdemosa. The monks had been
dispersed some time before, and the monastery had become the
property of the state. During the hot summer months it was in
great part occupied by small burghers from Palma who came in
quest of fresh air. The only permanent inhabitants of the
monastery, and the only fellow-tenants of George Sand's party,
were two men and one woman, called by the novelist respectively
the Apothecary, the Sacristan, and Maria Antonia. The first, a
remnant of the dispersed community, sold mallows and couch-grass,
the only specifics he had; the second was the person in whose
keeping were the keys of the monastery; and the third was a kind
of housekeeper who, for the love of God and out of neighbourly
friendship, offered her help to new-comers, and, if it was
accepted, did not fail to levy heavy contributions.

The monastery was a complex of strongly-constructed, buildings
without any architectural beauty, and such was, its circumference
and mass of stones that it would have been easy to house an army
corps. Besides the dwelling of the superior, the cells of the lay-
brothers, the lodgings for visitors, the stables, and other
structures, there were three cloisters, each consisting of twelve
cells and twelve chapels. The most ancient of these cloisters,
which is also the smallest, dates from the 15th century.

  It presents a charming coup d'oeil. The court which it
  encloses with its broken-down walls is the ancient cemetery of
  the monks. No inscription distinguishes these tombs...The
  graves are scarcely indicated by the swellings of the turf.

In the cells were stored up the remains of all sorts of fine old
furniture and sculpture, but these could only be seen through the
chinks, for the cells were carefully locked, and the sacristan
would not open them to anyone. The second cloister, although of
more recent date, was likewise in a dilapidated state, which,
however, gave it character. In stormy weather it was not at all
safe to pass through it on account of the falling fragments of
walls and vaults.

  I never heard the wind sound so like mournful voices and utter
  such despairing howls as in these empty and sonorous
  galleries. The noise of the torrents, the swift motion of the
  clouds, the grand, monotonous sound of the sea, interrupted by
  the whistling of the storm and the plaintive cries of sea-
  birds which passed, quite terrified and bewildered, in the
  squalls; then thick fogs which fell suddenly like a shroud and
  which, penetrating into the cloisters through the broken
  arcades, rendered us invisible, and made the little lamp we
  carried to guide us appear like a will-o'-the-wisp wandering
  under the galleries; and a thousand other details of this
  monastic life which crowd all at once into my memory: all
  combined made indeed this monastery the most romantic abode in
  the world.

  I was not sorry to see for once fully and in reality what I
  had seen only in a dream, or in the fashionable ballads, and
  in the nuns' scene in Robert le Diable at the Opera. Even
  fantastic apparitions were not wanting to us. [FOOTNOTE: "Un
  Hiver a Majorque," pp. 116 and 117.]

In the same book from which the above passage is extracted we
find also a minute description of the new cloister; the chapels,
variously ornamented, covered with gilding, decorated with rude
paintings and horrible statues of saints in coloured wood, paved
in the Arabic style with enamelled faience laid out in various
mosaic designs, and provided with a fountain or marble conch; the
pretty church, unfortunately without an organ, but with wainscot,
confessionals, and doors of most excellent workmanship, a floor
of finely-painted faience, and a remarkable statue in painted
wood of St. Bruno; the little meadow in the centre of the
cloister, symmetrically planted with box-trees, &c., &c.

George Sand's party occupied one of the spacious, well-
ventilated, and well-lighted cells in this part of the monastery.
I shall let her describe it herself.

  The three rooms of which it was composed were spacious,
  elegantly vaulted, and ventilated at the back by open
  rosettes, all different and very prettily designed. These
  three rooms were separated from the cloister by a dark passage
  at the end of which was a strong door of oak. The wall was
  three feet thick. The middle room was destined for reading,
  prayer, and meditation; all its furniture consisted of a large
  chair with a praying-desk and a back, from six to eight feet
  high, let into and fixed in the wall. The room to the right of
  this was the friar's bed-room; at the farther end of it was
  situated the alcove, very low, and paved above with flags like
  a tomb. The room to the left was the workshop, the refectory,
  the store-room of the recluse. A press at the far end of the
  room had a wooden compartment with a window opening on the
  cloister, through which his provisions were passed in. His
  kitchen consisted of two little stoves placed outside, but
  not, as was the strict rule, in the open air; a vault, opening
  on the garden, protected the culinary labours of the monk from
  the rain, and allowed him to give himself up to this
  occupation a little more than the founder would have wished.
  Moreover, a fire-place introduced into this third room
  indicated many other relaxations, although the science of the
  architect had not gone so far as to make this fire-place

  Running along the back of the rooms, on a level with the
  rosettes, was a long channel, narrow and dark, intended for
  the ventilation of the cell, and above was a loft in which the
  maize, onions, beans, and other simple winter provisions were
  kept. On the south the three rooms opened on a flower garden,
  exactly the size of the cell itself, which was separated from
  the neighbouring gardens by walls ten feet high, and was
  supported by a strongly-built terrace above a little orange
  grove which occupied this ledge of the mountain. The lower
  ledge was covered with a beautiful arbour of vines, the third
  with almond and palm trees, and so on to the bottom of the
  little valley, which, as I have said, was an immense garden.

  The flower garden of each cell had all along its right side a
  reservoir, made of freestone, from three to four feet in width
  and the same in depth, receiving through conduits placed in
  the balustrade of the terrace the waters of the mountain, and
  distributing them in the flower garden by means of a stone
  cross, which divided it into four equal squares.

  As to this flower garden, planted with pomegranate, lemon, and
  orange trees, surrounded by raised walks made of bricks which,
  like the reservoir, were shaded by perfumed arbours, it was
  like a pretty salon of flowers and verdure, where the monk
  could walk dry-footed on wet days.

Even without being told, we should have known that the artists
who had now become inmates of the monastery were charmed with
their surroundings. Moreover, George Sand did her utmost to make
life within doors comfortable. When the furniture bought from the
Spanish refugee had been supplemented by further purchases, they
were, considering the circumstances, not at all badly off in this
respect. The tables and straw-bottomed chairs were indeed no
better than those one finds in the cottages of peasants; the sofa
of white wood with cushions of mattress cloth stuffed with wool
could only ironically be called "voluptuous"; and the large
yellow leather trunks, whatever their ornamental properties might
be, must have made but poor substitutes for wardrobes. The
folding-beds, on the other hand, proved irreproachable; the
mattresses, though not very soft, were new and clean, and the
padded and quilted chintz coverlets left nothing to be desired.
Nor does this enumeration exhaust the comforts and adornments of
which the establishment could boast. Feathers, a rare article in
Majorca, had been got from a French lady to make pillows for
Chopin; Valenciennes matting and long-fleeced sheep skins covered
the dusty floor; a large tartan shawl did duty as an alcove
curtain; a stove of somewhat eccentric habits, and consisting
simply of an iron cylinder with a pipe that passed through the
window, had been manufactured for them at Palma; a charming clay
vase surrounded with a garland of ivy displayed its beauty on the
top of the stove; a beautiful large Gothic carved oak chair with
a small chest convenient as a book-case had, with the consent of
the sacristan, been brought from the monks' chapel; and last, but
not least, there was, as we have already read in the letters, a
piano, in the first weeks only a miserable Majorcan instrument,
which, however, in the second half of January, after much
waiting, was replaced by one of Pleyel's excellent cottage

[FOOTNOTE: By the way, among the many important and unimportant
doubtful points which Chopin's and George Sand's letters settle,
is also that of the amount of duty paid for the piano. The sum
originally asked by the Palma custom-house officers seems to have
been from 500 to 600 francs, and this demand was after a
fortnight's negotiations reduced to 300 francs. That the
imaginative novelist did not long remember the exact particulars
of this transaction need not surprise us. In Un Hiver a Majorque
she states tha the original demand was 700 francs, and the sum
ultimately paid about 400 francs.]

These various items collectively and in conjunction with the
rooms in which they were gathered together form a tout-ensemble
picturesque and homely withal. As regards the supply of
provisions, the situation of our Carthusians was decidedly less
brilliant. Indeed, the water and the juicy raisins, Malaga
potatoes, fried Valencia pumpkins, &c., which they had for
dessert, were the only things that gave them unmixed
satisfaction. With anything but pleasure they made the discovery
that the chief ingredient of Majorcan cookery, an ingredient
appearing in all imaginable and unimaginable guises and
disguises, was pork. Fowl was all skin and bones, fish dry and
tasteless, sugar of so bad a quality that it made them sick, and
butter could not be procured at all. Indeed, they found it
difficult to get anything of any kind. On account of their non-
attendance at church they were disliked by the villagers of
Valdemosa, who sold their produce to such heretics only at twice
or thrice the usual price. Still, thanks to the good offices of
the French consul's cook, they might have done fairly well had
not wet weather been against them. But, alas, their eagerly-
awaited provisions often arrived spoiled with rain, oftener still
they did not arrive at all. Many a time they had to eat bread as
hard as ship-biscuits, and content themselves with real
Carthusian dinners. The wine was good and cheap, but,
unfortunately, it had the objectionable quality of being heady.

These discomforts and wants were not painfully felt by George
Sand and her children, nay, they gave, for a time at least, a new
zest to life. It was otherwise with Chopin. "With his feeling for
details and the wants of a refined well-being, he naturally took
an intense dislike to Majorca after a few days of illness." We
have already seen what a bad effect the wet weather and the damp
of Son-Vent had on Chopin's health. But, according to George
Sand, [FOOTNOTE: "Un Hiver a Marjorque," pp. 161-168. I suspect
that she mixes up matters in a very unhistorical manner; I have,
however, no means of checking her statements, her and her
companion's letters being insufficient for the purpose. Chopin
certainly was not likely to tell his friend the worst about his
health.] it was not till later, although still in the early days
of their sojourn in Majorca, that his disease declared itself in
a really alarming manner. The cause of this change for the worse
was over-fatigue incurred on an excursion which he made with his
friends to a hermitage three miles [FOOTNOTE: George Sand does
not say what kind of miles] distant from Valdemosa; the length
and badness of the road alone would have been more than enough to
exhaust his fund of strength, but in addition to these hardships
they had, on returning, to encounter a violent wind which threw
them down repeatedly. Bronchitis, from which he had previously
suffered, was now followed by a nervous excitement that produced
several symptoms of laryngeal phthisis. [FOOTNOTE: In the
Histoire de ma Vie George Sand Bays: "From the beginning of
winter, which set in all at once with a diluvian rain, Chopin
showed, suddenly also, all the symptoms of pulmonary affection."]
The physician, judging of the disease by the symptoms that
presented themselves at the time of his visits, mistook its real
nature, and prescribed bleeding, milk diet, &c. Chopin felt
instinctively that all this would be injurious to him, that
bleeding would even be fatal. George Sand, who was an experienced
nurse, and whose opportunities for observing were less limited
than those of the physician, had the same presentiment. After a
long and anxious struggle she decided to disregard the strongly-
urged advice of the physician and to obey the voice that said to
her, even in her sleep: "Bleeding will kill him; but if you save
him from it, he will not die," She was persuaded that this voice
was the voice of Providence, and that by obeying it she saved her
friend's life. What Chopin stood most in need of in his weakness
and languor was a strengthening diet, and that, unfortunately,
was impossible to procure:--

  What would I not have given to have had some beef-tea and a
  glass of Bordeaux wine to offer to our invalid every day! The
  Majorcan food, and especially the manner in which it was
  prepared when we were not there with eye and hand, caused him
  an invincible disgust. Shall I tell you how well founded this
  disgust was? One day when a lean chicken was put on the table
  we saw jumping on its steaming back enormous Mattres Floh,
  [FOOTNOTE: Anglice "fleas."] of which Hoffmann would have made
  as many evil spirits, but which he certainly would not have
  eaten in gravy. My children laughed so heartily that they
  nearly fell under the table.

Chopin's most ardent wish was to get away from Majorca and back
to France. But for some time he was too weak to travel, and when
he had got a little stronger, contrary winds prevented the
steamer from leaving the port. The following words of George Sand
depict vividly our poor Carthusian friends' situation in all its

  As the winter advanced, sadness more and more paralysed my
  efforts at gaiety and cheerfulness. The state of our invalid
  grew always worse; the wind wailed in the ravines, the rain
  beat against our windows, the voice of the thunder penetrated
  through our thick walls and mingled its mournful sounds with
  the laughter and sports of the children. The eagles and
  vultures, emboldened by the fog, came to devour our poor
  sparrows, even on the pomegranate tree which shaded my window.
  The raging sea kept the ships in the harbours; we felt
  ourselves prisoners, far from all enlightened help and from
  all efficacious sympathy. Death seemed to hover over our heads
  to seize one of us, and we were alone in contending with him
  for his prey.

If George Sand's serenity and gaiety succumbed to these
influences, we may easily imagine how much more they oppressed
Chopin, of whom she tells us that--

  the mournful cry of the famished eagle and the gloomy
  desolation of the yew trees covered with snow saddened him
  much longer and more keenly than the perfume of the orange
  trees, the gracefulness of the vines, and the Moorish song of
  the labourers gladdened him.

The above-quoted letters have already given us some hints of how
the prisoners of Valdemosa passed their time. In the morning
there were first the day's provisions to be procured and the
rooms to be tidied--which latter business could not be entrusted
to Maria Antonia without the sacrifice of their night's rest.
[FOOTNOTE: George Sand's share of the household work was not so
great as she wished to make the readers of Un Hiver a Majorque
believe, for it consisted, as we gather from her letters, only in
giving a helping hand to her maid, who had undertaken to cook and
clean up, but found that her strength fell short of the
requirements.] Then George Sand would teach her children for some
hours. These lessons over, the young ones ran about and amused
themselves for the rest of the day, while their mother sat down
to her literary studies and labours. In the evening they either
strolled together through the moonlit cloisters or read in their
cell, half of the night being generally devoted by the novelist
to writing. George Sand says in the "Histoire de ma Vie" that she
wrote a good deal and read beautiful philosophical and historical
works when she was not nursing her friend. The latter, however,
took up much of her time, and prevented her from getting out
much, for he did not like to be left alone, nor, indeed, could he
safely be left long alone. Sometimes she and her children would
set out on an expedition of discovery, and satisfy their
curiosity and pleasantly while away an hour or two in examining
the various parts of the vast aggregation of buildings; or the
whole party would sit round the stove and laugh over the
rehearsal of the morning's transactions with the villagers. Once
they witnessed even a ball in this sanctuary. It was on Shrove-
Tuesday, after dark, that their attention was roused by a
strange, crackling noise. On going to the door of their cell they
could see nothing, but they heard the noise approaching. After a
little there appeared at the opposite end of the cloister a faint
glimmer of white light, then the red glare of torches, and at
last a crew the sight of which made their flesh creep and their
hair stand on end--he-devils with birds' heads, horses' tails,
and tinsel of all colours; she-devils or abducted shepherdesses
in white and pink dresses; and at the head of them Lucifer
himself, horned and, except the blood-red face, all black. The
strange noise, however, turned out to be the rattling of
castanets, and the terrible-looking figures a merry company of
rich farmers and well-to-do villagers who were going to have a
dance in Maria Antonia's cell. The orchestra, which consisted of
a large and a small guitar, a kind of high-pitched violin, and
from three to four pairs of castanets, began to play indigenous
jotas and fandangos which, George Sand tells us, resemble those
of Spain, but have an even bolder form and more original rhythm.
The critical spectators thought that the dancing of the Majorcans
was not any gayer than their singing, which was not gay at all,
and that their boleros had "la gravite des ancetres, et point de
ces graces profanes qu'on admire en Andalousie." Much of the
music of these islanders was rather interesting than pleasing to
their visitors. The clicking of the castanets with which they
accompany their festal processions, and which, unlike the broken
and measured rhythm of the Spaniards, consists of a continuous
roll like that of a drum "battant aux champs," is from time to
time suddenly interrupted in order to sing in unison a coplita on
a phrase which always recommences but never finishes. George Sand
shares the opinion of M. Tastu that the principal Majorcan
rhythms and favourite fioriture are Arabic in type and origin.

Of quite another nature was the music that might be heard in
those winter months in one of the cells of the monastery of
Valdemosa. "With what poesy did his music fill this sanctuary,
even in the midst of his most grievous troubles!" exclaims George
Sand. I like to picture to myself the vaulted cell, in which
Pleyel's piano sounded so magnificently, illumined by a lamp, the
rich traceries of the Gothic chair shadowed on the wall, George
Sand absorbed in her studies, her children at play, and Chopin
pouring out his soul in music.

It would be a mistake to think that those months which the
friends spent in Majorca were for them a time of unintermittent
or even largely-predominating wretchedness. Indeed, George Sand
herself admits that, in spite of the wildness of the country and
the pilfering habits of the people, their existence might have
been an agreeable one in this romantic solitude had it not been
for the sad spectacle of her companion's sufferings and certain
days of serious anxiety about his life. And now I must quote a.
long but very important passage from the "Histoire de ma Vie":--

   The poor great artist was a detestable patient. What I had
   feared, but unfortunately not enough, happened. He became
   completely demoralised. Bearing pain courageously enough, he
   could not overcome the disquietude of his imagination. The
   monastery was for him full of terrors and phantoms, even when
   he was well. He did not say so, and I had to guess it. On
   returning from my nocturnal explorations in the ruins with my
   children, I found him at ten o'clock at night before his
   piano, his face pale, his eyes wild, and his hair almost
   standing on end. It was some moments before he could
   recognise us.

   He then made an attempt to laugh, and played to us sublime
   things he had just composed, or rather, to be more accurate,
   terrible or heartrending ideas which had taken possession of
   him, as it were without his knowledge, in that hour of
   solitude, sadness, and terror.

   It was there that he composed the most beautiful of those
   short pages he modestly entitled "Preludes." They are
   masterpieces. Several present to the mind visions of deceased
   monks and the sounds of the funeral chants which beset his
   imagination; others are melancholy and sweet--they occurred
   to him in the hours of sunshine and of health, with the noise
   of the children's laughter under the window, the distant
   sound of guitars, the warbling of the birds among the humid
   foliage, and the sight of the pale little full-blown roses on
   the snow.

   Others again are of a mournful sadness, and, while charming
   the ear, rend the heart. There is one of them which occurred
   to him on a dismal rainy evening which produces a terrible
   mental depression. We had left him well that day, Maurice and
   I, and had gone to Palma to buy things we required for our
   encampment. The rain had come on, the torrents had
   overflowed, we had travelled three leagues in six hours to
   return in the midst of the inundation, and we arrived in the
   dead of night, without boots, abandoned by our driver, having
   passed through unheard-of dangers. We made haste,
   anticipating the anxiety of our invalid. It had been indeed
   great, but it had become as it were congealed into a kind of
   calm despair, and he played his wonderful prelude weeping. On
   seeing us enter he rose, uttering a great cry, then he said
   to us, with a wild look and in a strange tone: "Ah! I knew
   well that you were dead!"

   When he had come to himself again, and saw the state in which
   we were, he was ill at the retrospective spectacle of our
   dangers; but he confessed to me afterwards that while waiting
   for our return he had seen all this in a dream and that, no
   longer distinguishing this dream from reality, he had grown
   calm and been almost lulled to sleep while playing the piano,
   believing that he was dead himself. He saw himself drowned in
   a lake; heavy and ice-cold drops of water fell at regular
   intervals upon his breast, and when I drew his attention to
   those drops of water which were actually falling at regular
   intervals upon the roof, he denied having heard them. He was
   even vexed at what I translated by the term imitative
   harmony. He protested with all his might, and he was right,
   against the puerility of these imitations for the ear. His
   genius was full of mysterious harmonies of nature, translated
   by sublime equivalents into his musical thought, and not by a
   servile repetition of external sounds. His composition of
   this evening was indeed full of the drops of rain which
   resounded on the sonorous tiles of the monastery, but they
   were transformed in his imagination and his music into tears
   falling from heaven on his heart.

Although George Sand cannot be acquitted of the charge of
exaggerating the weak points in her lover's character, what she
says about his being a detestable patient seems to have a good
foundation in fact. Gutmann, who nursed him often, told me that
his master was very irritable and difficult to manage in
sickness. On the other hand, Gutmann contradicted George Sand's
remarks about the Preludes, saying that Chopin composed them
before starting on his journey. When I mentioned to him that
Fontana had made a statement irreconcilable with his, and
suggested that Chopin might have composed some of the Preludes in
Majorca, Gutmann maintained firmly that every one of them was
composed previously, and that he himself had copied them. Now
with Chopin's letters to Fontana before us we must come to the
conclusion that Gutmann was either under a false impression or
confirmed a rash statement by a bold assertion, unless we prefer
to assume that Chopin's labours on the Preludes in Majorca were
confined to selecting, [FOOTNOTE: Internal evidence suggests that
the Preludes consist (to a great extent at least) of pickings
from the composer's portfolios, of pieces, sketches, and
memoranda written at various times and kept to be utilised when
occasion might offer.] filing, and polishing. My opinion--which
not only has probability but also the low opus number (28) and
the letters in its favour--is that most of the Preludes, if not
all, were finished or sketched before Chopin went to the south,
and that a few, if any, were composed and the whole revised at
Palma and Valdemosa. Chopin cannot have composed many in Majorca,
because a few days after his arrival there he wrote: from Palma
(Nov. 15, 1838) to Fontana that he would send the Preludes soon;
and it was only his illness that prevented him from doing so.
There is one statement in George Sand's above-quoted narrative
which it is difficult to reconcile with other statements in "Un
Hiver a Majorque" and in her and Chopin's letters. In the just-
mentioned book (p. 177) she says that the journey in question was
made for the purpose of rescuing the piano from the hands of the
custom-house officers; and in a letter of January 15, 1839, to
her friend Madame Marliani (quoted on p. 31), which does not
contain a word about adventures on a stormy night, [They are
first mentioned in the letter of January 20, 1839, quoted on p.
32.] she writes that the piano is still in the clutches of the
custom-house officers. From this, I think, we may conclude that
it must have taken place after January 15. But, then, how could
Chopin have composed on that occasion a Prelude included in a
work the manuscript of which he sent away on the lath? Still,
this does not quite settle the question. Is it not possible that
Chopin may have afterwards substituted the new Prelude for one of
those already forwarded to France? To this our answer must be
that it is possible, but that the letters do not give any support
to such an assumption. Another and stronger objection would be
the uncertainty as to the correctness of the date of the letter.
Seeing that so many of Chopin's letters have been published with
wrong dates, why not also that of January 12? Unfortunately, we
cannot in this case prove or disprove the point by internal
evidence. There is, however, one factor we must be especially
careful not to forget in our calculations--namely, George Sand's
habitual unconscientious inaccuracy; but the nature of her
narrative will indeed be a sufficient warning to the reader, for
nobody can read it without at once perceiving that it is not a
plain, unvarnished recital of facts.

It would be interesting to know which were the compositions that
Chopin produced at Valdemosa. As to the Prelude particularly
referred to by George Sand, it is generally and reasonably
believed to be No. 6 (in B minor). [FOOTNOTE: Liszt, who tells
the story differently, brings in the F sharp minor Prelude. (See
Liszt's Chopin, new edition, pp. 273 and 274.)] The only
compositions besides the Preludes which Chopin mentions in his
letters from Majorca are the Ballade, Op, 38, the Scherzo, Op.
39, and the two Polonaises, Op. 40. The peevish, fretful, and
fiercely-scornful Scherzo and the despairingly-melancholy second
Polonaise (in C minor) are quite in keeping with the moods one
imagines the composer to have been in at the time. Nor is there
anything discrepant in the Ballade. But if the sadly-ailing
composer really created, and not merely elaborated and finished,
in Majorca the superlatively-healthy, vigorously-martial,
brilliantly-chivalrous Polonaise in A major, we have here a
remarkable instance of the mind's ascendency over the body, of
its independence of it. This piece, however, may have been
conceived under happier circumstances, just as the gloomy Sonata,
Op. 35 (the one in B flat minor, with the funeral march), and the
two Nocturnes, Op. 37--the one (in G minor) plaintive, longing,
and prayerful; the other (in G major) sunny and perfume-laden--
may have had their origin in the days of Chopin's sojourn in the
Balearic island. A letter of Chopin's, written from Nohant in the
summer of 1839, leaves, as regards the Nocturnes, scarcely room
for such a conjecture. On the other hand, we learn from the same
letter that he composed at Palma the sad, yearning Mazurka in E
minor (No. 2 of Op. 41).

As soon as fair weather set in and the steamer resumed its.
weekly courses to Barcelona, George Sand and her party hastened
to leave the island. The delightful prospects of spring could not
detain them.

  Our invalid (she says) did not seem to be in a state to stand
  the passage, but he seemed equally incapable of enduring
  another week in Majorca. The situation was frightful; there
  were days when I lost hope and courage. To console us, Maria
  Antonia and her village gossips repeated to us in chorus the
  most edifying discourses on the future life. "This consumptive
  person," they said, "is going to hell, first because he is
  consumptive, secondly, because he does not confess. If he is
  in this condition when he dies, we shall not bury him in
  consecrated ground, and as nobody will be willing to give him
  a grave, his friends will have to manage matters as well as
  they can. It remains to be seen how they will get out of the
  difficulty; as for me, I will have Inothing to do with it,--
  Nor I--Nor I: and Amen!"

In fact, Valdemosa, which at first was enchanting to them, lost
afterwards much of its poesy in their eyes. George Sand, as we
have seen, said that their sojourn was I in many respects a
frightful fiasco; it was so certainly as far as Chopin was
concerned, for he arrived with a cough and left the place
spitting blood.

The passage from Palma to Barcelona was not so pleasant as that
from Barcelona to Palma had been. Chopin suffered much from
sleeplessness, which was caused by the noise and bad smell of the
most favoured class of passengers on board the Mallorquin--i.e.,
pigs. "The captain showed us no other attention than that of
begging us not to let the invalid lie down on the best bed of the
cabin, because according to Spanish prejudice every illness is
contagious; and as our man thought already of burning the couch
on which the invalid reposed, he wished it should be the worst."
[FOOTNOTE: "Un Hiver a Majorque," pp. 24--25.]

On arriving at Barcelona George Sand wrote from the Mallorquin
and sent by boat a note to M. Belves, the officer in command at
the station, who at once came in his cutter to take her and her
party to the Meleagre, where they were well received by the
officers, doctor, and all the crew. It seemed to them as if they
had left the Polynesian savages and were once more in civilised
society. When they shook hands with the French consul they could
contain themselves no longer, but jumped for joy and cried "Vive
La France!"

A fortnight after their leaving Palma the Phenicien landed them
at Marseilles. The treatment Chopin received from the French
captain of this steamer differed widely from that he had met with
at the hands of the captain of the Mallorquin; for fearing that
the invalid was not quite comfortable in a common berth, he gave
him his own bed. [FOOTNOTE: "Un Hiver a Majorque," p. 183.]

An extract from a letter written by George Sand from Marseilles
on March 8, 1839, to her friend Francois Rollinat, which contains
interesting details concerning Chopin in the last scenes of the
Majorca intermezzo, may fitly conclude this chapter.

  Chopin got worse and worse, and in spite of all offers of
  service which were made to us in the Spanish manner, we should
  not have found a hospitable house in all the island. At last
  we resolved to depart at any price, although Chopin had not
  the strength to drag himself along. We asked only one--a first
  and a last service--a carriage to convey him to Palma, where
  we wished to embark. This service was refused to us, although
  our FRIENDS had all equipages and fortunes to correspond. We
  were obliged to travel three leagues on the worst roads in a
  birlocho [FOOTNOTE: A cabriolet. In a Spainish Dictionary I
  find a birlocho defined as a vehicle open in front, with two
  seats, and two or four wheels. A more detailed description is
  to be found on p. 101 of George Sand's "Un Hiver a
  Marjorque."] that is to say, a brouette.

  On arriving at Palma, Chopin had a frightful spitting of
  blood; we embarked the following day on the only steamboat of
  the island, which serves to transport pigs to Barcelona. There
  is no other way of leaving this cursed country. We were in
  company of 100 pigs, whose continual cries and foul odour left
  our patient no rest and no respirable air. He arrived at
  Barcelona still spitting basins full of blood, and crawling
  along like a ghost. There, happily, our misfortunes were
  mitigated! The French consul and the commandant of the French
  maritime station received us with a hospitality and grace
  which one does not know in Spain. We were brought on board a
  fine brig of war, the doctor of which, an honest and worthy
  man, came at once to the assistance of the invalid, and
  stopped the hemorrhage of the lung within twenty-four hours.

  From that moment he got better and better. The consul had us
  driven in his carriage to an hotel. Chopin rested there a
  week, at the end of which the same vessel which had conveyed
  us to Spain brought us back to France. When we left the hotel
  at Barcelona the landlord wished to make us pay for the bed in
  which Chopin had slept, under the pretext that it had been
  infected, and that the police regulations obliged him to burn

Chapter XXII.


As George Sand and her party were obliged to stop at Marseilles,
she had Chopin examined by Dr. Cauviere. This celebrated
physician thought him in great danger, but, on seeing him recover
rapidly, augured that with proper care his patient might
nevertheless live a long time. Their stay at Marseilles was more
protracted than they intended and desired; in fact, they did not
start for Nohant till the 22nd of May. Dr. Cauviere would not
permit Chopin to leave Marseilles before summer; but whether this
was the only cause of the long sojourn of the Sand party in the
great commercial city, or whether there were others, I have not
been able to discover. Happily, we have first-hand information--
namely, letters of Chopin and George Sand--to throw a little
light on these months of the pianist-composer's life. As to his
letters, their main contents consist of business matters--
wranglings about terms, abuse of publishers, &c. Here and there,
however, we find also a few words about his health,
characteristic remarks about friends and acquaintances,
interesting hints about domestic arrangements and the like--the
allusion (in the letter of March 2, 1839) to a will made by him
some time before, and which he wishes to be burned, will be read
with some curiosity.

An extract or two from the letter which George Sand wrote on
March 8, 1839, to Francois Rollinat, launches us at once in
medias res.

  At last we are in Marseilles. Chopin has stood the passage
  very well. He is very weak here, but is doing infinitely
  better in all respects, and is in the hands of Dr. Cauviere,
  an excellent man and excellent physician, who takes a paternal
  care of him, and who answers for his recovery. We breathe at
  last, but after how many troubles and anxieties!...Write to me
  here to the address of Dr. Cauviere, Rue de Rome, 71.

  Chopin charges me to shake you heartily by the hand for him.
  Maurice and Solange embrace you. They are wonderfully well.
  Maurice has completely recovered.

Chopin to Fontana; Marseilles, March 2, 1839:--

  You no doubt learned from Grzymala of the state of my health
  and my manuscripts. Two months ago I sent you from Palma my
  Preludes. After making a copy of them for Probst and getting
  the money from him, you were to give to Leo 1,000 francs; and
  out of the 1,500 francs which Pleyel was to give you for the
  Preludes I wrote you to pay Nougi and one term to the
  landlord. In the same letter, if I am not mistaken, I asked
  you to give notice of my leaving the apartments; for were this
  not done before April, I should be obliged to retain them for
  the next quarter, till July.

  The second batch of manuscripts may have now reached you; for
  it must have remained a long time at the custom-house, on the
  sea, and again at the custom-house.

  I also wrote to Pleyel with the Preludes that I give him the
  Ballade (which I sold to Probst for Germany) for 1,000 francs.
  For the two Polonaises I asked 1,500 francs for France,
  England, and Germany (the right of Probst is confined to the
  Ballade). It seems to me that this is not too dear.

  In this way you ought to get, on receiving the second batch of
  manuscripts, from Pleyel 2,500 francs, and from Probst, for
  the Ballade, 500 or 600 francs, I do not quite remember, which
  makes altogether 3,000 francs.

  I asked Grzymala if he could send me immediately at least 500
  francs, which need not prevent him from sending me soon the
  rest. Thus much for business.

  Now if, which I doubt, you succeed in getting apartments from
  next month, divide my furniture amongst you three: Grzymala,
  Johnnie, and you. Johnnie has the most room, although not the
  most sense, judging from the childish letter he wrote to me.
  For his telling me that I should become a Camaldolite, let him
  take all the shabby things. Do not overload Grzymala too much,
  and take to your house what you judge necessary and
  serviceable to you, as I do not know whether I shall return to
  Paris in summer (keep this to yourself). At all events, we
  will always write one another, and if, as I expect, it be
  necessary to keep my apartments till July, I beg of you to
  look after them and pay the quarterly rent.

  For your sincere and truly affectionate letter you have an
  answer in the second Polonaise. [FOOTNOTE: See next foot-
  note.] It is not my fault that I am like a mushroom that
  poisons when you unearth and taste it. I know I have never in
  anything been of service to anyone, but also not of much to

  I told you that in the first drawer of my writing-desk near
  the door there was a paper which you or Grzymala or Johnnie
  might unseal on a certain occasion. Now I beg of you to take
  it out and, WITHOUT READING IT, BURN IT. Do this, I entreat
  you, for friendship's sake. This paper is now of no use.

  If Anthony leaves without sending you the money, it is very
  much in the Polish style; nota bene, do not say to him a word
  about it. Try to see Pleyel; tell him I have received no word
  from him, and that his pianino is entrusted to safe hands.
  Does he agree to the transaction I proposed to him?

  The letters from home reached me all three together, with
  yours, before going on board the vessel. I again send you one.

  I thank you for the friendly help you give me, who am not
  strong. My love to Johnnie, tell him that I did not allow
  them, or rather that they were not permitted, to bleed me;
  that I wear vesicatories, that I am coughing a very little in
  the morning, and that I am not yet at all looked upon as a
  consumptive person. I drink neither coffee nor wine, but milk.
  Lastly, I keep myself warm, and look like a girl.

Chopin to Fontana; Marseilles, March 6, 1839:--

  My health is still improving; I begin to play, eat, walk, and
  speak, like other men; and when you receive these few words
  from me you will see that I again write with ease. But once
  more of business. I would like very much that my Preludes
  should be dedicated to Pleyel (surely there is still time, for
  they are not yet printed) and the Ballade to Robert Schumann.
  The Polonaises, as they are, to you and to Kessler. If Pleyel
  does not like to give up the dedication of the Ballade, you
  will dedicate the Preludes to Schumann.

  [FOOTNOTE: The final arrangement was that Op. 38, the
  "Deuxieme Ballade," was dedicated to Robert Schumann; Op. 40,
  the "Deux Polonaises," to Julius Fontana; the French and the
  English edition of Op. 28, "Vingt-quatre Preludes," to Camille
  Pleyel, and the German editon to J. C. Kessler.]

  Garczynski called upon me yesterday on his way back from Aix;
  he is the only person that I have received, for I keep the
  door well shut to all amateurs of music and literature.

  Of the change of dedication you will inform Probst as soon as
  you have arranged with Pleyel.

  From the money obtained you will give Grzymala 500 francs, the
  rest, 2,500 francs, you will send me as soon as possible.

  Love me and write.

  Pardon me if I overwhelm you too much with commissions, but do
  not be afraid, these are not the last. I think you do
  willingly what I ask you.

  My love to Johnnie.

Chopin to Fontana; Marseilles, March 10, 1839:--

  Thanks for your trouble. I did not expect Jewish tricks from
  Pleyel; but if it is so, I beg of you to give him the enclosed
  letter, unless he makes no difficulties about the Ballade and
  the Polonaises. On the other hand, on receiving for the
  Ballade 500 francs from Probst, you will take it to
  Schlesinger. If one has to deal with Jews, let it at least be
  with orthodox ones. Probst may cheat me still worse; he is a
  bird you will not catch. Schlesinger used to cheat me, he
  gained enough by me, and he will not reject new profit, only
  be polite to him. Though a Jew, he nevertheless wishes to pass
  for something better.

  Thus, should Pleyel make the least difficulties, you will go
  to Schlesinger, and tell him that I give him the Ballade for
  France and England for 800 francs, and the Polonaises for
  Germany, England, and France for 1,500 francs (should he not
  be inclined to give so much, give them for 1,400, 1,300, and
  even for 1,200 francs). If he mentions the Preludes, you may
  say that it is a thing long ago promised to Pleyel--he wished
  to be the publisher of them; that he asked them from me as a
  favour before my departure from Paris--as was really the case.
  You see, my very dear friend, for Pleyel I could break with
  Schlesinger, but for Probst I cannot. What is it to me if
  Schlesinger makes Probst pay dearer for my manuscripts? If
  Probst pays dear for them to Schlesinger, it shows that the
  latter cheats me, paying me too little. After all, Probst has
  no establishment in Paris. For all my printed things
  Schlesinger paid me at once, and Probst very often made me
  wait for money. If he will not have them all, give him the
  Ballade separately, and the Polonaises separately, but at the
  latest within two weeks. If he does not accept the offer, then
  apply to Probst. Being such an admirer of mine, he must not
  pay less than Pleyel. You will deliver my letter to Pleyel
  only if he makes any difficulties.

  Dear me! this Pleyel who is such an adorer of mine! He thinks,
  perhaps, that I shall never return to Paris alive. I shall
  come back, and shall pay him a visit, and thank him as well as

  I enclose a note to Schlesinger, in which I give you full
  authority to act in this matter.

  I feel better every day; nevertheless, you will pay the
  portier these fifty francs, to which I completely agree, for
  my doctor does not permit me to move from here before summer.

  Mickiewicz's "Dziady" I received yesterday. What shall you do
  with my papers?

  The letters you will leave in the writing-desk, and send the
  music to Johnnie, or take it to your own house. In the little
  table that stands in the anteroom there are also letters; you
  must lock it well.

  My love to Johnnie, I am glad he is better.

Chopin to Fontana; March 17, 1839:--

  I thank you for all your efforts. Pleyel is a scoundrel,
  Probst a scape-grace. He never gave me 1,000 francs for three
  manuscripts. Very likely you have received my long letter
  about Schlesinger, therefore I wish you and beg of you to give
  that letter of mine to Pleyel, who thinks my manuscripts too
  dear. If I have to sell them cheap, I would rather do so to
  Schlesinger than look for new and improbable connections. For
  Schlesinger can always count upon England, and as I am square
  with Wessel, he may sell them to whomsoever he likes. The same
  with the Polonaises in Germany, for Probst is a bird whom I
  have known a long time. As regards the money, you must make an
  unequivocal agreement, and do not give the manuscripts except
  for cash. I send you a reconnaissance for Pleyel, it
  astonishes me that he absolutely wants it, as if he could not
  trust me and you.

  Dear me, this Pleyel who said that Schlesinger paid me badly!
  500 francs for a manuscript for all the countries seems to him
  too dear! I assure you I prefer to deal with a real Jew. And
  Probst, that good-for-nothing fellow, who pays me 300 francs
  for my mazurkas! You see, the last mazurkas brought me with
  ease 800 francs--namely, Probst 300 francs, Schlesinger 400,
  and Wessel 100. I prefer giving my manuscripts as formerly at
  a very low price to stooping before these...I prefer being
  submissive to one Jew to being so to three. Therefore go to
  Schlesinger, but perhaps you settled with Pleyel.

  Oh, men, men! But this Mrs. Migneron, she too is a good one!
  However, Fortune turns round, I may yet live and hear that
  this lady will come and ask you for some leather; if, as you
  say, you are aiming at being a shoemaker. I beg of you to make
  shoes neither for Pleyel nor for Probst.

  Do not yet speak to anyone of the Scherzo [Op. 39]. I do not
  know when I shall finish it, for I am still weak and cannot

  As yet I have no idea when I shall see you. My love to
  Grzymala; and give him such furniture as he will like, and let
  Johnnie take the rest from the apartments. I do not write to
  him, but I love him always. Tell him this, and give him my

  Wodzinski still astonishes me.

  When you receive the money from Pleyel, pay first the
  landlord's rent, and send me immediately 500 francs. I left on
  the receipt for Pleyel the Op. blank, for I do not remember
  the following number.

Madame Sand to Madame Marliani; Marseilles, April 22, 1839:--

  ...I was also occupied with the removal from one hotel to
  another. Notwithstanding all his efforts and inquiries, the
  good doctor was not able to find me a corner in the country
  where to pass the month of April.

  I am pretty tired of this town of merchants and shopkeepers,
  where the intellectual life is wholly unknown; but here I am
  still shut up for the month of April.

Further on in the letter, after inviting Madame Marliani and her
husband to come to Nohant in May, she proceeds thus:--

  He [M. Marliani] loves the country, and I shall be a match for
  him as regards rural pleasures, while you [Madame Marliani]
  will philosophise at the piano with Chopin. It can hardly be
  said that he enjoys himself in Marseilles; but he resigns
  himself to recover patiently.

The following letter of Chopin to Fontana, which Karasowski
thinks was written at Valdemosa in the middle of February, ought
to be dated Marseilles, April, 1839:--

  As they are such Jews, keep everything till my return. The
  Preludes I have sold to Pleyel (I received from him 500
  francs). He is entitled to do with them what he likes. But as
  to the Ballades and Polonaises, sell them neither to
  Schlesinger nor to Probst. But whatever may happen, with no
  Schonenberger [FOOTNOTE: A Paris music-publisher] will I have
  anything to do. Therefore, if you gave the Ballade to Probst,
  take it back, even though he offered a thousand. You may tell
  him that I have asked you to keep it till my return, that when
  I am back we shall see.

  Enough of these...Enough for me and for you.

  My very life, I beg of you to forgive me all the trouble; you
  have really been busying yourself like a friend, and now you
  will have still on your shoulders my removal. I beg Grzymala
  to pay the cost of the removal. As to the portier, he very
  likely tells lies, but who will prove it? You must give, in
  order to stop his barking.

  My love to Johnnie, I will write to him when I am in better
  spirits. My health is improved, but I am in a rage. Tell
  Johnnie that from Anthony as well as from me he will have
  neither word nor money.

  Yesterday I received your letter, together with letters from
  Pleyel and Johnnie.

  If Clara Wieck pleased you, that is good, for nobody can play
  better than she does. When you see her give her my
  compliments, and also to her father.

  Did I happen to lend you Witwicki's songs? I cannot find them.
  I only ask for them in case you should chance to have them.

Chopin to Fontana; Marseilles, March 25 [should no doubt be April
25], 1839:--

  I received your letter, in which you let me know the
  particulars of the removal. I have no words to thank you for
  your true, friendly help. The particulars were very
  interesting to me. But I am sorry that you complain, and that
  Johnnie is spitting blood. Yesterday I played for Nourrit on
  the organ, you see by this that I am better. Sometimes I play
  to myself at home, but as yet I can neither sing nor dance.

  Although the news of my mother is welcome, its having been
  originated by Plat...is enough to make one consider it a

  The warm weather has set in here, and I shall certainly not
  leave Marseilles before May, and then go somewhere else in the
  south of France.

  It is not likely that we shall soon have news from Anthony.
  Why should he write? Perhaps to pay his debts? But this is not
  customary in Poland. The reason Raciborski appreciates you so
  much is that you have no Polish habits, nota bene, not those
  Polish habits you know and I mean.

  You are staying at No. 26 [Chaussee d'Antin]. Are you
  comfortable? On what floor, and how much do you pay? I take
  more and more interest in these matters, for I also shall be
  obliged to think of new apartments, but not till after my
  return to Paris.

  I had only that letter from Pleyel which he sent through you--
  it is a month ago or more. Write to the same address, Rue et
  Hotel Beauveau.

  Perhaps you did not understand what I said above about my
  having played for Nourrit. His body was brought from Italy and
  carried to Paris. There was a Requiem Mass for his soul. I was
  asked by his friends to play on the organ during the

  Did Miss Wieck play my Etude well? Could she not select
  something better than just this etude, the least interesting
  for those who do not know that it is written for the black
  keys? It would have been far better to do nothing at all.
  [FOOTNOTE: Clara Wieck gave a concert in Paris on April 16,
  1839. The study in question is No. 5 of Op. 10 (G flat major).
  Only the right hand plays throughout on black keys.]

  In conclusion, I have nothing more to write, except to wish
  you good luck in the new house. Hide my manuscripts, that they
  may not appear printed before the time. If the Prelude is
  printed, that is Pleyel's trick. But I do not care.
  Mischievous Germans, rascally Jews...! Finish the litany, for
  you know them as well as I do.

  Give my love to Johnnie and Grzymaia if you see them.--Your


One subject mentioned in this letter deserves a fuller
explanation than Chopin vouchsafes. Adolphe Nourrit, the
celebrated tenor singer, had in a state of despondency, caused by
the idea that since the appearance of his rival Duprez his
popularity was on the wane, put an end to his life by throwing
himself out of a window at Naples on the 8th of March, 1839.
[FOOTNOTE:  This is the generally-accepted account of Nourrit's
death. But Madame Garcia, the mother of the famous Malibran, who
at the time was staying in the same house, thought it might have
been an accident, the unfortuante artist having in the dark
opened a window on a level with the floor instead of a door. (See
Fetis: Biographie universelle des Musiciens.)] Madame Nourrit
brought her husband's body to Paris, and it was on the way
thither that a funeral service was held at Marseilles for the
much-lamented man and singer.

Le Sud, Journal de la Mediterranee of April 25, 1839, [FOOTNOTE:
Quoted in L. M. Quicherat's Adolphe Nourrit, sa vie, son talent,
son caractere] shall tell us of Chopin's part in this service:--

  At the Elevation of the Host were heard the melancholy tones
  of the organ. It was M. Chopin, the celebrated pianist, who
  came to place a souvenir on the coffin of Nourrit; and what a
  souvenir! a simple melody of Schubert, but the same which had
  so filled us with enthusiasm when Nourrit revealed it to us at
  Marseilles--the melody of Les Astres. [FOOTNOTE: Die gestirne
  is the original German title of this song.]

A less colourless account, one full of interesting facts and free
from conventional newspaper sentiment and enthusiasm, we find in
a letter of Chopin's companion.

Madame Sand to Madame Marliani; Marseilles, April 28, 1839:--

  The day before yesterday I saw Madame Nourrit with her six
  children, and the seventh coming shortly...Poor unfortunate
  woman! what a return to France! accompanying this corpse, and
  she herself super-intending the packing, transporting, and
  unpacking [charger, voiturer, deballer] of it like a parcel!

  They held here a very meagre service for the poor deceased,
  the bishop being ill-disposed. This was in the little church
  of Notre-Dame-du-Mont. I do not know if the singers did so
  intentionally, but I never heard such false singing. Chopin
  devoted himself to playing the organ at the Elevation, what an
  organ! A false, screaming instrument, which had no wind except
  for the purpose of being out of tune. Nevertheless, YOUR
  LITTLE ONE [votre petit] made the most of it. He took the
  least shrill stops, and played Les Astres, not in a proud and
  enthusiastic style as Nourrit used to sing it, but in a
  plaintive and soft style, like the far-off echo from another
  world. Two, at the most three, were there who deeply felt
  this, and our eyes filled with tears.

  The rest of the audience, who had gone there en masse, and had
  been led by curiosity to pay as much as fifty centimes for a
  chair (an unheard-of price for Marseilles), were very much
  disappointed; for it was expected that he would make a
  tremendous noise and break at least two or three stops. They
  expected also to see me, in full dress, in the very middle of
  the choir; what not? They did not see me at all; I was hidden
  in the organ-loft, and through the balustrade I descried the
  coffin of poor Nourrit.

Thanks to the revivifying influences of spring and Dr. Cauviere's
attention and happy treatment, Chopin was able to accompany
George Sand on a trip to Genoa, that vaga gemma del mar, fior
delta terra. It gave George Sand much pleasure to see again, now
with her son Maurice by her side, the beautiful edifices and
pictures of the city which six years before she had visited with
Musset. Chopin was probably not strong enough to join his friends
in all their sight-seeing, but if he saw Genoa as it presents
itself on being approached from the sea, passed along the Via
Nuova between the double row of magnificent palaces, and viewed
from the cupola of S. Maria in Carignano the city, its port, the
sea beyond, and the stretches of the Riviera di Levante and
Riviera di Ponente, he did not travel to Italy in vain. Thus
Chopin got at last a glimpse of the land where nine years before
he had contemplated taking up his abode for some time.

On returning to Marseilles, after a stormy passage, on which
Chopin suffered much from sea-sickness, George Sand and her party
rested for a few days at the house of Dr. Cauviere, and then set
out, on the 22nd of May, for Nohant.

Madame Sand to Madame Marliani; Marseilles, May 20, 1839:--

  We have just arrived from Genoa, in a terrible storm. The bad
  weather kept us on sea double the ordinary time; forty hours
  of rolling such as I have not seen for a long time. It was a
  fine spectacle, and if everybody had not been ill, I would
  have greatly enjoyed it...

  We shall depart the day after to-morrow for Nohant. Address
  your next letter to me there, we shall be there in eight days.
  My carriage has arrived from Chalon at Arles by boat, and we
  shall post home very quietly, sleeping at the inns like good




The date of one of George Sand's letters shows that the
travellers were settled again at Nohant on the 3rd of June, 1839.
Dr. Papet, a rich friend of George Sand's, who practised his art
only for the benefit of the poor and his friends, took the
convalescent Chopin at once under his care. He declared that his
patient showed no longer any symptoms of pulmonary affection, but
was suffering merely from a slight chronic laryngeal affection
which, although he did not expect to be able to cure it, need not
cause any serious alarm.

On returning to Nohant, George Sand had her mind much exercised
by the question how to teach her children. She resolved to
undertake the task herself, but found she was not suited for it,
at any rate, could not acquit herself of it satisfactorily
without giving up writing. This question, however, was not the
only one that troubled her.

  In the irresolution in which I was for a time regarding the
  arrangement of my life with a view to what would be best for
  my dear children, a serious question was debated in my
  conscience. I asked myself if I ought to entertain the idea
  which Chopin had formed of taking up his abode near me. I
  should not have hesitated to say "no," had I known then for
  how short a time the retired life and the solemnity of the
  country suited his moral and physical health. I still
  attributed his despair and horror of Majorca to the excitement
  of fever and the exces de caractere of that place. Nohant
  offered pleasanter conditions, a less austere retreat,
  congenial society, and resources in case of illness. Papet was
  to him an enlightened and kind physician. Fleury, Duteil,
  Duvernet, and their families, Planet, and especially Rollinat,
  were dear to him at first sight. All of them loved him also,
  and felt disposed to spoil him as I did.

Among those with whom the family at Nohant had much intercourse,
and who were frequent guests at the chateau, was also an old
acquaintance of ours, one who had not grown in wisdom as in age,
I mean George Sand's half-brother, Hippolyte Chatiron, who was
now again living in Berry, his wife having inherited the estate
of Montgivray, situated only half a league from Nohant.

  His warmth of manner, his inexhaustible gaiety, the
  originality of his sallies, his enthusiastic and naive
  effusions of admiration for the genius of Chopin, the always
  respectful deference which he showed to him alone, even in the
  inevitable and terrible apres-boire, found favour with the
  eminently-aristocratic artist. All, then, went very well at
  first, and I entertained eventually the idea that Chopin might
  rest and regain his health by spending a few summers with us,
  his work necessarily calling him back to Paris in the winter.

  However, the prospect of this kind of family union with a
  newly-made friend caused me to reflect. I felt alarmed at the
  task which I was about to undertake, and which I had believed
  would be limited to the journey in Spain.

In short, George Sand presents herself as a sister of mercy, who,
prompted by charity, sacrifices her own happiness for that of
another. Contemplating the possibility of her son falling ill and
herself being thereby deprived of the joys of her work, she
exclaims: "What hours of my calm and invigorating life should I
be able to devote to another patient, much more difficult to
nurse and comfort than Maurice?"

The discussion of this matter by George Sand is so characteristic
of her that, lengthy as it is, I cannot refrain from giving it in

  A kind of terror seized me in presence of a new duty which I
  was to take upon me. I was not under the illusion of passion.
  I had for the artist a kind of maternal adoration which was
  very warm, very real, but which could not for a moment contend
  with maternal love, the only chaste feeling which may be

  I was still young enough to have perhaps to contend with love,
  with passion properly so called. This contingency of my age,
  of my situation, and of the destiny of artistic women,
  especially when they have a horror of passing diversions,
  alarmed me much, and, resolved as I was never to submit to any
  influence which might divert me from my children, I saw a
  less, but still possible danger in the tender friendship with
  which Chopin inspired me.

  Well, after reflection, this danger disappeared and even
  assumed an opposite character--that of a preservative against
  emotions which I no longer wished to know. One duty more in my
  life, already so full of and so overburdened with work,
  appeared to me one chance more to attain the austerity towards
  which I felt myself attracted with a kind of religious

If this is a sincere confession, we can only wonder at the height
of self-deception attainable by the human mind; if, however, it
is meant as a justification, we cannot but be surprised at the
want of skill displayed by the generally so clever advocate. In
fact, George Sand has in no instance been less happy in defending
her conduct and in setting forth her immaculate virtuousness. The
great words "chastity" and "maternity" are of course not absent.
George Sand could as little leave off using them as some people
can leave off using oaths. In either case the words imply much
more than is intended by those from whose mouths or pens they
come. A chaste woman speculating on "real love" and "passing
diversions," as George Sand does here, seems to me a strange
phenomenon. And how charmingly naive is the remark she makes
regarding her relations with Chopin as a "PRESERVATIVE against
emotions which she no longer wished to know"! I am afraid the
concluding sentence, which in its unction is worthy of Pecksniff,
and where she exhibits herself as an ascetic and martyr in all
the radiance of saintliness, will not have the desired effect,
but will make the reader laugh as loud as Musset is said to have
done when she upbraided him with his ungratefulness to her, who
had been devoted to him to the utmost bounds of self-abnegation,
to the sacrifice of her noblest impulses, to the degradation of
her chaste nature.

George Sand, looking back in later years on this period of her
life, thought that if she had put into execution her project of
becoming the teacher of her children, and of shutting herself up
all the year round at Nohant, she would have saved Chopin from
the danger which, unknown to her, threatened him--namely, the
danger of attaching himself too absolutely to her. At that time,
she says, his love was not so great but that absence would have
diverted him from it. Nor did she consider his affection
exclusive. In fact, she had no doubt that the six months which
his profession obliged him to pass every year in Paris would,
"after a few days of malaise and tears," have given him back to
"his habits of elegance, exquisite success, and intellectual
coquetry." The correctness of the facts and the probability of
the supposition may be doubted. At any rate, the reasons which
led her to assume the non-exclusiveness of Chopin's affection are
simply childish. That he spoke to her of a romantic love-affair
he had had in Poland, and of sweet attractions he had afterwards
experienced in Paris, proves nothing. What she says about his
mother having been his only passion is still less to the point.
But reasoning avails little, and the strength of Chopin's love
was not put to the test. He went, indeed, in the autumn of 1839
to Paris, but not alone; George Sand, professedly for the sake of
her children's education, went there likewise. "We were driven by
fate," she says, "into the bonds of a long connection, and both
of us entered into it unawares." The words "driven by fate," and
"entered into it unawares," sound strange, if we remember that
they apply not to a young girl who, inexperienced and confiding,
had lost herself in the mazes of life, but to a novelist skilled
in the reading of human hearts, to a constantly-reasoning and
calculating woman, aged 35, who had better reasons than poor
Amelia in Schiller's play for saying "I have lived and loved."

After all this reasoning, moralising, and sentimentalising, it is
pleasant to be once more face to face with facts, of which the
following letters, written by Chopin to Fontana during the months
from June to October, 1839, contain a goodly number. The rather
monotonous publishing transactions play here and there again a
prominent part, but these Nohant letters are on the whole more
interesting than the Majorca letters, and decidedly more varied
as regards contents than those he wrote from Marseilles--they
tell us much more of the writer's tastes and requirements, and
even reveal something of his relationship to George Sand. Chopin,
it appears to me, did not take exactly the same view of this
relationship as the novelist. What will be read with most
interest are Chopin's directions as to the decoration and
furnishing of his rooms, the engagement of a valet, the ordering
of clothes and a hat, the taking of a house for George Sand, and
certain remarks made en passant on composers and other less-known


  ...The best part of your letter is your address, which I had
  already forgotten, and without which I do not know if I would
  have answered you so soon; but the worst is the death of
  Albrecht. [FOOTNOTE: See p.27 foot-note 7.]

  You wish to know when I shall be back. When the misty and
  rainy weather begins, for I must breathe fresh air.

  Johnnie has left. I don't know if he asked you to forward to
  me the letters from my parents should any arrive during his
  absence and be sent to his usual address. Perhaps he thought
  of it, perhaps not. I should be very sorry if any of them
  miscarried. It is not long since I had a letter from home,
  they will not write soon, and by this time he, who is so kind
  and good, will be in good health and return.

  I am composing here a Sonata in B flat minor, in which will be
  the Funeral March which you have already. There is an allegro,
  then a "Scherzo" in E flat minor, the "March," and a short
  "Finale" of about three pages. The left hand unisono with the
  right hand are gossiping [FOOTNOTE: "Lewa reka unisono z
  prawa, ogaduja po Marszu."] after the March. I have a new
  "Nocturne" in G major, which will go along with the Nocturne
  in G minor, [FOOTNOTE: "Deux Nocturnes," Op.37.] if you
  remember such a one.

  You know that I have four new mazurkas: one from Palma in E
  minor, three from here in B major, A flat major, and C sharp
  minor. [FOOTNOTE: Quatre mazurkas, Op. 41.] They seem to me
  pretty, as the youngest children usually do when the parents
  grow old.

  Otherwise I do nothing; I correct for myself the Parisian
  edition of Bach; not only the stroke-makers' [FOOTNOTE: In
  Polish strycharz, the usual meaning of which is "brickmaker."
  Chopin may have played upon the word. A mistake, however, is
  likewise possible, as the Polish for engraver is sztycharz.]
  (engravers') errors, but, I think, the harmonic errors
  committed by those who pretend to understand Bach. I do not do
  it with the pretension that I understand him better than they,
  but from a conviction that I sometimes guess how it ought to

  You see I have praised myself enough to you.

  Now, if Grzymata will visit me (which is doubtful), send me
  through him Weber for four hands. Also the last of my Ballade
  in manuscript, as I wish to change something in it. I should
  like very much to have your copy of the last mazurkas, if you
  have such a thing, for I do not know if my gallantry went so
  far as to give you a copy.

  Pleyel wrote to me that you were very obliging, and have
  corrected the Preludes. Do you know how much Wessel paid him
  for them? It would be well to know this for the future.

  My father has written to me that my old sonata has been
  published by Haslinger, and that the Germans praise it.
  [FOOTNOTE: There must have been some misunderstanding; the
  Sonata, Op. 4, was not published till 1851.]

  I have now, counting those you have, six manuscripts; the
  devil take them if they get them for nothing. Pleyel did not
  do me any service with his offers, for he thereby made
  Schlesinger indifferent about me. But I hope this will be set
  right, f wrote to ask him to let me know if he had been paid
  for the piano sent to Palma, and I did so because the French
  consul in Majorca, whom I know very well, was to be changed,
  and had he not been paid, it would have been very difficult
  for me to settle this affair at such a distance. Fortunately,
  he is paid, and very liberally, as he wrote to me only last

  Write to me what sort of lodgings you have. Do you board at
  the club?

  Woyciechowski wrote to me to compose an oratorio. I answered
  him in the letter to my parents. Why does he build a sugar-
  refinery and not a monastery of Camaldolites or a nunnery of
  Dominican sisters!


  I give you my most hearty thanks for your upright, friendly,
  not English but Polish soul.

  Select paper (wall-paper) such as I had formerly, tourterelle
  (dove colour), only bright and glossy, for the two rooms, also
  dark green with not too broad stripes. For the anteroom
  something else, but still respectable. Nevertheless, if there
  are any nicer and more fashionable papers that are to your
  liking, and you think that I also will like them, then take
  them. I prefer the plain, unpretending, and neat ones to the
  common shopkeeper's staring colours. Therefore, pearl colour
  pleases me, for it is neither loud nor does it look vulgar. I
  thank you for the servant's room, for it is much needed.

  Now, as to the furniture: you will make the best of it if you
  look to it yourself. I did not dare to trouble you with it,
  but if you will be so kind, take it and arrange it as it ought
  to be. I shall ask Grzymala to give money for the removal. I
  shall write to him about it at once. As to the bed and writing-
  desk, it may be necessary to give them to the cabinet-maker to
  be renewed. In this case you will take the papers out of the
  writing-desk, and lock them up somewhere else. I need not tell
  you what you ought to do. Act as you like and judge what is
  necessary. Whatever you may do will be well done. You have my
  full confidence: this is one thing.

  Now the second.

  You must write to Wessel--doubtless you have already written
  about the Preludes. Let him know that I have six new
  manuscripts, for which I want 300 francs each (how many pounds
  is that?). If you think he would not give so much, let me know
  first. Inform me also if Probst is in Paris. Further look out
  for a servant. I should prefer a respectable honest Pole. Tell
  also Grzymala of it. Stipulate that he is to board himself; no
  more than 80 francs. I shall not be in Paris before the end of
  October--keep this, however, to yourself.

  My dear friend, the state of Johnnie's health weighs sometimes
  strangely on my heart. May God give him what he stands in need
  of, but he should not allow himself to be cheated...However,
  this is neither here nor there. The greatest truth in the
  world is that I shall always love you as a most honest and
  kind man and Johnnie as another.

  I embrace you both, write each of you and soon, were it of
  nothing more than the weather.--Your old more than ever long-



  According to your description and that of Grzymala you have
  found such capital rooms that we are now thinking you have a
  lucky hand, and for this reason a man--and he is a great man,
  being the portier of George's house--who will run about to
  find a house for her, is ordered to apply to you when he has
  found a few; and you with your elegant tact (you see how I
  flatter you) will also examine what he has found, and give
  your opinion thereon. The main point is that it should be
  detached, if possible; for instance, a little hotel. Or
  something in a courtyard, with a view into a garden, or, if
  there be no garden, into a large court-yard; nota bene, very
  few lodgers--elegant--not higher than the second story.
  Perhaps some corps de logis, but small, or something like
  Perthuis's house, or even smaller. Lastly, should it be in
  front, the street must not be noisy. In one word, something
  you judge would be good for her. If it could be near me, so
  much the better; but if it cannot be, this consideration need
  not prevent you.

  It seems to me that a little hotel in the new streets--such as
  Clichy, Blanche, or Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, as far as Rue des
  Martyrs--would be most suitable. Moreover, I send you a list
  of the streets where Mr. Mardelle--the portier of the Hotel
  Narbonne, Rue de la Harpe, No. 89, which belongs to George--
  will look for a house. If in your leisure time you also looked
  out for something in our part of the town, it would be very
  nice. Fancy, I don't know why, but we think that you will find
  something wonderfully good, although it is already late.

  The price she wishes to pay is from 2,000 to 2,500 francs, you
  might also give a couple of hundred francs more if anything
  extra fine should turn up. Grzymala and Arago promised to look
  out for something, but in spite of Grzymala's efforts nothing
  acceptable has thus far been found. I have written to him that
  he should employ you also in this business of mine (I say of
  MINE, for it is just the same as if it were mine). I shall
  write to him again to-day and tell him that I have asked you
  to give your help and use all your talents. It is necessary
  that there should be three bedrooms, two of which must be
  beside each other and one separated, for instance, by the
  drawing-room. Adjoining the third there will be required a
  well-lighted cabinet for her study. The other two may be
  small, this one, the third, also not very large. Besides this
  a drawing-room and dining-room in proportion. A pretty large
  kitchen. Two rooms for the servants, and a coal-cellar. The
  rooms must of course have inlaid floors, be newly laid, if
  possible, and require no repairs. But a little hotel or a
  separate part of a house in a court-yard looking into a garden
  would be most desirable. There must be tranquillity,
  quietness, no blacksmith in the neighbourhood. Respectable
  stairs. The windows exposed to the sun, absolutely to the
  south. Further, there must be no smoke, no bad odour, but a
  fine view, a garden, or at least a large court. A garden would
  be best. In the Faubourg St. Germain are many gardens, also in
  the Faubourg St. Honore. Find something quickly, something
  splendid, and near me. As soon as you have any chance, write
  immediately, don't be lazy; or get hold of Grzymala, go and
  see, both of you, take et que cela finisse. I send you a plan
  of the arrangement of the apartments. If you find something
  like this, draw the plan, or take it at once, which will be
  better than letting it slip out of your hands.

  Mr. Mardelle is a decent man, and no fool, he was not always a
  portier. He is ordered to go and see you whenever he finds
  anything. You must also on your part be on the look-out, but
  let us keep that between us. I embrace you and Johnnie also.
  You will have our true gratitude when you find a house.

  [a diagram of the apartments is inserted here in the letter.]

  |        |          |               |          |                 |
  | Study  | Bedroom. | Drawing room. | Bedroom. | Servants’ room. |
  |        |          |               |          |                 |
  |                   |               |                            |
  |                   | Dining room   |                            |
  |                   |               |                            |
  |                   |               |                            |
  |                   |     Lobby     |                            |
  |                   |               |                            |

  Pas de voisinage, surtout blacksmith, nor anything that
  belongs to him. For God's sake I beg of you take an active
  interest in the matter, my dear friend!


  I thank you for all your kind actions.

  In the anteroom you will direct the grey curtains to be hung
  which were in my cabinet with the piano, and in the bedroom
  the same that were in the bedroom, only under them the white
  muslin ones which were under the grey ones.

  I should like to have a little press in my bedroom, unless
  there be not room enough, or the drawing-room be too bare
  between the windows.

  If the little sofa, the same which stood in the dining-room,
  could be covered with red, with the same stuff with which the
  chairs are covered, it might be placed in the drawing-room;
  but as it would be necessary to call in the upholsterer for
  that, it may be difficult.

  It is a good thing that Domaradzki is going to be married, for
  surely he will give me back the 80 francs after the wedding. I
  should like also to see Podczaski married, and Nakw.
  (Nakwaska), and Anthony also. Let this remain between this
  paper, myself, and you.

  Find me a valet. Kiss Madame Leo (surely the first commission
  will be the more pleasant to you, wherefore I relieve you of
  the second if you will do the first).

  Let me know about Probst, whether he is in Paris or not. Do
  not forget Wessel. Tell Gutmann that I was much pleased that
  he asked for me at least once. To Moscheles, should he be in
  Paris, order to be given an injection of Neukomm's oratorios,
  prepared with Berlioz's "Cellini" and Doehler's Concerto. Give
  Johnnie from me for his breakfast moustaches of sphinxes and
  kidneys of parrots, with tomato sauce powdered with little
  eggs of the microscopic world. You yourself take a bath in
  whale's infusion as a rest from all the commissions I give
  you, for I know that you will do willingly as much as time
  will permit, and I shall do the same for you when you are
  married--of which Johnnie will very likely inform me soon.
  Only not to Ox, for that is my party.


  My dear friend,--In five, six, or seven days I shall be in
  Paris. Get things prepared as quickly as possible; if not all,
  let me find at least the rooms papered and the bed ready.

  I am hastening my arrival as the presence of George Sand is
  necessary on account of a piece to be played. [FOOTNOTE:
  "Cosima." The first representation, at the Comedie Francaise,
  did not take place until April, 1840.] But this remains
  between us. We have fixed our departure for the day after to-
  morrow; thus, counting a few days for delay, we shall see each
  other on Wednesday or Thursday.

  Besides the different commissions I gave you, especially that
  in the last letter about her house, which after our arrival
  will be off your shoulders--but till then, for God's sake, be
  obliging--besides all this, I say, I forgot to ask you to
  order for me a hat from my Duport in your street, Chaussee
  d'Antin. He has my measure, and knows how light I want it and
  of what kind. Let him give the hat of this year's shape, not
  too much exaggerated, for I do not know how you are dressing
  yourself just now. Again, besides this, call in passing at
  Dautremont's, my tailor's, on the Boulevards, and order him to
  make me at once a pair of grey trousers. You will yourself
  select a dark-grey colour for winter trousers; something
  respectable, not striped, but plain and elastic. You are an
  Englishman, so you know what I require. Dautremont will be
  glad to hear that I am coming. Also a quiet black velvet
  waistcoat, but with very little and no loud pattern, something
  very quiet but very elegant. Should he not have the best
  velvet of this kind, let him make a quiet, fine silk
  waistcoat, but not too much open. If the servant could be got
  for less than 80 francs, I should prefer it; but as you have
  already found one, let the matter rest.

  My very dear friend, pardon me once more for troubling you,
  but I must. In a few days we shall see each other, and embrace
  for all this.

  I beg of you, for God's sake, do not say to any Poles that I
  am coming so soon, nor to any Jewess either, as I should like
  to reserve myself during the first few days only for you,
  Grzymala, and Johnnie. Give them my love; to the latter I
  shall write once more.

  I expect that the rooms will be ready. Write constantly to me,
  three times a day if you like, whether you have anything to
  say or not. Before leaving here I shall once more write to


  You are inappreciable! Take Rue Pigal [Pigalle], both houses,
  without asking anybody. Make haste. If by taking both houses
  you can diminish a little the price, well; if not, take them
  for 2,500 francs. Do not let them slip out of your hands, for
  we think them the best and most excellent. SHE regards you as
  my most logical and best--and I would add: the most splenetic,
  Anglo-Polish, from my soul beloved--friend.


  The day after to-morrow, Thursday, at five o'clock in the
  morning, we start, and on Friday at three, four, certainly at
  five o'clock, I shall be in Rue Tronchet, No. 5. I beg of you
  to inform the people there of this, I wrote to Johnnie to-day
  to retain for me that valet, and order him to wait for me at
  Rue Tronchet on Friday from noon. Should you have time to call
  upon me at that time, we would most heartily embrace each
  other. Once more my and my companion's most sincere thanks for
  Rue Pigalle.

  Now, keep a sharp look-out on the tailor, he must have the
  clothes ready by Friday morning, so that I can change my
  clothes as soon as I come. Order him to take them to Rue
  Tronchet, and deliver them there to the valet Tineau--if I
  mistake not, that is his name. Likewise the hat from Dupont,
  [FOOTNOTE: In the preceding letter it was Duport] and for that
  I shall alter for you the second part of the Polonaise till
  the last moment of my life. Yesterday's version also may not
  please you, although I racked my brains with it for at least
  eighty seconds.

  I have written out my manuscripts in good order. There are six
  with your Polonaises, not counting the seventh, an impromptu,
  which may perhaps be worthless--I do not know myself, it is
  too new. But it would be well if it be not too much in the
  style of Orlowski, Zimmermann, or Karsko-Konski, [FOOTNOTE:
  Chopin's countryman, the pianist and composer Antoine Kontski]
  or Sowinski, or other similar animals. For, according to my
  reckoning, it might fetch me about 800 francs. That will be
  seen afterwards.

  As you are such a clever man, you might also arrange that no
  black thoughts and suffocating coughs shall annoy me in the
  new rooms. Try to make me good. Change, if you can, many
  episodes of my past. It would also not be a bad thing if I
  should find a few years of great work accomplished. By this
  you will greatly oblige me, also if you would make yourself
  younger or bring about that we had never been born.--Your old





Although Chopin and George Sand came to Paris towards the end of
October, 1839, months passed before the latter got into the house
which Fontana had taken for her. This we learn from a letter
written by her to her friend Gustave Papet, and dated Paris,
January, 1840, wherein we read:--

  At last I am installed in the Rue Pigalle, 16, only since the
  last two days, after having fumed, raged, stormed, and sworn
  at the upholsterers, locksmith, &c., &c. What a long,
  horrible, unbearable business it is to lodge one's self here!

  [FOOTNOTE: In the letter, dated Paris, October, 1839,
  preceding, in the George Sand "Correspondance," the one from
  which the above passage is extracted, occur the following
  words: "Je suis enfin installee chez moi a Paris." Where this
  chez moi was, I do not know.]

How greatly the interiors of George Sand's pavilions in the Rue
Pigalle differed from those of Senor Gomez's villa and the cells
in the monastery of Valdemosa, may be gathered from Gutmann's
description of two of the apartments.

[FOOTNOTE: I do not guarantee the correctness of all the
following details, although I found them in a sketch of Gutmann's
life inspired by himself ("Der Lieblings-schuler Chopin's", No. 3
of "Schone Geister," by Bernhard Stavenow, Bremen, 1879), and
which he assured me was trustworthy. The reasons of my scepticism
are--1, Gutmann's imaginative memory and tendency to show himself
off to advantage; 2, Stavenow's love of fine writing and a good
story; 3, innumerable misstatements that can be indisputably
proved by documents.]

Regarding the small salon, he gives only the general information
that it was quaintly fitted up with antique furniture. But of
George Sand's own room, which made a deeper impression upon him,
he mentions so many particulars--the brown carpet covering the
whole floor, the walls hung with a dark-brown ribbed cloth
(Ripsstoff), the fine paintings, the carved furniture of dark
oak, the brown velvet seats of the chairs, the large square bed,
rising but little above the floor, and covered with a Persian rug
(Teppich)--that it is easy to picture to ourselves the tout-
ensemble of its appearance. Gutmann tells us that he had an early
opportunity of making these observations, for Chopin visited his
pupil the very day after his arrival (?), and invited him at once
to call on George Sand in order to be introduced to her. When
Gutmann presented himself in the small salon above alluded to, he
found George Sand seated on an ottoman smoking a cigarette. She
received the young man with great cordiality, telling him that
his master had often spoken to her of him most lovingly. Chopin
entered soon after from an adjoining apartment, and then they all
went into the dining-room to have dinner. When they were seated
again in the cosy salon, and George Sand had lit another
cigarette, the conversation, which had touched on a variety of
topics, among the rest on Majorca, turned on art. It was then
that the authoress said to her friend: "Chop, Chop, show Gutmann
my room that he may see the pictures which Eugene Delacroix
painted for me."

Chopin on arriving in Paris had taken up his lodgings in the Rue
Tronchet, No. 5, and resumed teaching. One of his pupils there
was Brinley Richards, who practised under him one of the books of
studies. Chopin also assisted the British musician in the
publication, by Troupenas, of his first composition, having
previously looked over and corrected it. Brinley Richards
informed me that Chopin, who played rarely in these lessons,
making his corrections and suggestions rather by word of mouth
than by example, was very languid, indeed so much so that he
looked as if he felt inclined to lie down, and seemed to say: "I
wish you would come another time."

About this time, that is in the autumn or early in the winter of
1839, Moscheles came to Paris. We learn from his diary that at
Leo's, where he liked best to play, he met for the first time
Chopin, who had just returned from the country, and whose
acquaintance he was impatient to make. I have already quoted what
Moscheles said of Chopin's appearance--namely, that it was
exactly like [identificirt mit] his music, both being delicate
and dreamy [schwarmerisch]. His remarks on his great
contemporary's musical performances are, of course, still more
interesting to us.

  He played to me at my request, and now for the first time I
  understand his music, and can also explain to myself the
  enthusiasm of the ladies. His ad libitum playing, which with
  the interpreters of his music degenerates into disregard of
  time, is with him only the most charming originality of
  execution; the dilettantish harsh modulations which strike me
  disagreeably when I am playing his compositions no longer
  shock me, because he glides lightly over them in a fairy-like
  way with his delicate fingers; his piano is so softly breathed
  forth that he does not need any strong forte in order to
  produce the wished-for contrasts; it is for this reason that
  one does not miss the orchestral-like effects which the German
  school demands from a pianoforte-player, but allows one's self
  to be carried away, as by a singer who, little concerned about
  the accompaniment, entirely follows his feeling. In short, he
  is an unicum in the world of pianists. He declares that he
  loves my music very much, and at all events he knows it very
  well. He played me some studies and his latest work, the
  "Preludes," and I played him many of my compositions.

In addition to this characterisation of the artist Chopin,
Moscheles' notes afford us also some glimpses of the man. "Chopin
was lively, merry, nay, exceedingly comical in his imitations of
Pixis, Liszt, and a hunchbacked pianoforte-player." Some days
afterwards, when Moscheles saw him at his own house, he found him
an altogether different Chopin:--

  I called on him according to agreement with Ch. and E., who
  are also quite enthusiastic about him, and who were
  particularly struck with the "Prelude" in A flat major in 6/8
  time with the ever-recurring pedal A flat. Only the Countess
  O. [Obreskoff] from St. Petersburg, who adores us artists en
  bloc, was there, and some gentlemen. Chopin's excellent pupil
  Gutmann played his master's manuscript Scherzo in C sharp
  minor. Chopin himself played his manuscript Sonata in B flat
  minor with the Funeral March.

Gutmann relates that Chopin sent for him early in the morning of
the day following that on which he paid the above-mentioned visit
to George Sand, and said to him:--

  Pardon me for disturbing you so early in the morning, but I
  have just received a note from Moscheles, wherein he expresses
  his joy at my return to Paris, and announces that he will
  visit me at five in the afternoon to hear my new compositions.
  Now I am unfortunately too weak to play my things to him; so
  you must play. I am chiefly concerned about this Scherzo.

Gutmann, who did not yet know the work (Op. 39), thereupon sat
down at Chopin's piano, and by dint of hard practising managed to
play it at the appointed hour from memory, and to the
satisfaction of the composer. Gutmann's account does not tally in
several of its details with Moscheles'. As, however, Moscheles
does not give us reminiscences, but sober, business-like notes
taken down at the time they refer to, and without any attempt at
making a nice story, he is the safer authority. Still, thus much
at least we may assume to be certain:--Gutmann played the
Scherzo, Op. 39, on this occasion, and his rendering of it was
such as to induce his master to dedicate it to him.

Comte de Perthuis, the adjutant of King Louis Philippe, who had
heard Chopin and Moscheles repeatedly play the latter's Sonata in
E flat major for four hands, spoke so much and so
enthusiastically about it at Court that the royal family, wishing
"to have also the great treat," invited the two artists to come
to St. Cloud. The day after this soiree Moscheles wrote in his

  Yesterday was a memorable day...at nine o'clock Chopin and I,
  with Perthuis and his amiable wife, who had called for us,
  drove out to St. Cloud in the heaviest showers of rain, and
  felt so much the more comfortable when we entered the
  brilliant, well-lighted palace. We passed through many state-
  rooms into a salon carre, where the royal family was assembled
  en petit comite. At a round table sat the queen with an
  elegant work-basket before her (perhaps to embroider a purse
  for me?); near her were Madame Adelaide, the Duchess of
  Orleans, and ladies-in-waiting. The noble ladies were as
  affable as if we had been old acquaintances...Chopin played
  first a number of nocturnes and studies, and was admired and
  petted like a favourite. After I also had played some old and
  new studies, and been honoured with the same applause, we
  seated ourselves together at the instrument--he again playing
  the bass, which he always insists on doing. The close
  attention of the little circle during my E flat major Sonata
  was interrupted only by the exclamations "divine!"
  "delicious!" After the Andante the queen whispered to a lady-
  in-waiting: "Would it not be indiscreet to ask them to play it
  again?" which naturally was equivalent to a command to repeat
  it, and so we played it again with increased abandon. In the
  Finale we gave ourselves up to a musical delirium. Chopin's
  enthusiasm throughout the whole piece must, I believe, have
  infected the auditors, who now burst forth into eulogies of
  us. Chopin played again alone with the same charm, and called
  forth the same sympathy as before; then I improvised...

  [FOOTNOTE: In the "Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik" of November 12,
  1839, we read that Chopin improvised on Grisar's "La Folle,"
  Moscheles on themes by Mozart. La Folle is a romance the
  success of which was so great that a wit called it une folie
  de salon. It had for some years an extraordinary popularity,
  and made the composer a reputation.]

To show his gratitude, the king sent the two artists valuable
presents: to Chopin a gold cup and saucer, to Moscheles a
travelling case. "The king," remarked Chopin, "gave Moscheles a
travelling case to get the sooner rid of him." The composer was
fond of and had a talent for throwing off sharp and witty
sayings; but it is most probable that on this occasion the words
were prompted solely by the fancy, and that their ill-nature was
only apparent. Or must we assume that the man Moscheles was less
congenial to Chopin than the artist? Moscheles was a Jew, and
Chopin disliked the Jews. As, however, the tempting opportunity
afforded by the nature of the king's present to Moscheles is
sufficient to account for Chopin's remark, and no proofs
warranting a less creditable explanation are forthcoming, it
would be unfair to listen to the suggestions of suspicion.

George Sand tells us in the "Histoire de ma Vie" that Chopin
found his rooms in the Rue Tronchet cold and damp, and felt
sorely the separation from her. The consequence of this was that
the saintly woman, the sister of mercy, took, after some time,
pity upon her suffering worshipper, and once more sacrificed
herself. Not to misrepresent her account, the only one we have,
of this change in the domestic arrangements of the two friends, I
shall faithfully transcribe her delicately-worded statements:--

  He again began to cough alarmingly, and I saw myself forced
  either to give in my resignation as nurse, or to pass my life
  in impossible journeyings to and fro. He, in order to spare me
  these, came every day to tell me with a troubled face and a
  feeble voice that he was wonderfully well. He asked if he
  might dine with us, and he went away in the evening, shivering
  in his cab. Seeing how he took to heart his exclusion from our
  family life, I offered to let to him one of the pavilions, a
  part of which I could give up to him. He joyfully accepted. He
  had there his room, received there his friends, and gave there
  his lessons without incommoding me. Maurice had the room above
  his; I occupied the other pavilion with my daughter.

Let us see if we cannot get some glimpses of the life in the
pavilions of the Rue Pigalle, No. 16. In the first months of
1840, George Sand was busy with preparations for the performance
of her drama Cosima, moving heaven and earth to bring about the
admission of her friend Madame Dorval into the company of the
Theatre-Francais, where her piece, in which she wished this lady
to take the principal part, was to be performed. Her son Maurice
passed his days in the studio of Eugene Delacroix; and Solange
gave much time to her lessons, and lost much over her toilet. Of
Grzymala we hear that he is always in love with all the beautiful
women, and rolls his big eyes at the tall Borgnotte and the
little Jacqueline; and that Madame Marliani is always up to her
ears in philosophy. This I gathered from George Sand's
Correspondance, where, as the reader will see presently, more is
to be found.

George Sand to Chopin; Cambrai, August 13, 1840:--

  I arrived at noon very tired, for it is 45 and 35 leagues from
  Paris to this place. We shall relate to you good stories of
  the bourgeois of Cambrai. They are beaux, they are stupid,
  they are shopkeepers; they are the sublime of the genre. If
  the Historical Procession does not console us, we are capable
  of dying of ennui at the politeness which people show us. We
  are lodged like princes. But what hosts, what conversations,
  what dinners! We laugh at them when we are by ourselves, but
  when we are before the enemy, what a pitiable figure we
  selves, make! I am no longer desirous to see you come; but I
  aspire to depart very quickly, and I understand why you do not
  wish to give concerts. It is not unlikely that Pauline Viardot
  may not sing the day after to-morrow, for want of a hall. We
  shall, perhaps, leave a day sooner. I wish I were already far
  away from the Cambresians, male and female.

  Good night! I am going to bed, I am overcome with fatigue.

  Love your old woman [votre vieille] as she loves you.

From a letter written two days later to her son, we learn that
Madame Viardot after all gave two concerts at Cambrai. But
amusing as the letter is, we will pass it over as not concerning
us here. Of another letter (September 20,1840), likewise
addressed to her son, I shall quote only one passage, although it
contains much interesting matter about the friends and visitors
of the inmates of the pavilions of the Rue Pigalle, No. 16:--

  Balzac came to dine here the day before yesterday. He is quite
  mad. He has discovered the blue rose, for which the
  horticultural societies of London and Belgium have promised a
  reward of 500,000 francs (qui dit, dit-il). He will sell,
  moreover, every grain at a hundred sous, and for this great
  botanic production he will lay out only fifty centimes.
  Hereupon Rollinat asked him naively:--

  "Well, why, then, do you not set about it at once?"

  To which Balzac replied:

  "Oh! because I have so many other things to do; but I shall
  set about it one of these days."

Stavenow, in Schone Geister (see foot-note, p. 70), tells an
anecdote of Balzac, which may find a place here:--

  One day Balzac had invited George Sand, Chopin, and Gutmann to
  dinner. On that occasion he related to them that the next day
  he would have to meet a bill of 30,000 francs, but that he had
  not a sou in his pocket. Gutmann asked what he intended to do?
  "Well," replied Balzac, "what shall I do? I wait quietly.
  Before to-morrow something unexpected may turn up, and give me
  the means to pay the sum." Scarcely had he said this when the
  door bell rang. The servant entered and announced that a
  gentleman was there who urgently wished to speak with M.

  Balzac rose and left the room. After a quarter of an hour he
  came back in high spirits and said:

  "The 30,000 francs are found. My publisher wishes to bring out
  a new edition of my works, and he offers me just this sum."

  George Sand, Chopin, and Gutmann looked at each other with a
  smile, and thought--"Another one!"

George Sand to her son; Paris, September 4, 1840:--

  We have had here great shows of troops. They have fione the
  gendarme and cuisse the national guardsman. All Paris was in
  agitation, as if there were to be a revolution. Nothing took
  place, except that some passers-by were knocked down by the

  There were places in Paris where it was dangerous to pass, as
  these gentlemen assassinated right and left for the pleasure
  of getting their hands into practice. Chopin, who will not
  believe anything, has at last the proof and certainty of it.

  Madame Marliani is back. I dined at her house the day before
  yesterday with the Abbe de Lamennais. Yesterday Leroux dined
  here. Chopin embraces you a thousand times. He is always qui,
  qui, qui, me, me, me. Rollinat smokes like a steam-boat.
  Solange has been good for two or three days, but yesterday she
  had a fit of temper [acces de fureur]. It is the Rebouls, the
  English neighbours, people and dogs, who turn her head.

In the summer of 1840 George Sand did not go to Nohant, and
Chopin seems to have passed most of, if not all, the time in
Paris. From a letter addressed to her half-brother, we learn that
the reason of her staying away from her country-seat was a wish
to economise:--

  If you will guarantee my being able to pass the summer at
  Nohant for 4,000 francs, I will go. But I have never been
  there without spending 1,500 francs per month, and as I do not
  spend here the half of this, it is neither the love of work,
  nor that of spending, nor that of glory, which makes me

George Sand's fits of economy never lasted very long. At any
rate, in the summer of 1841 we find her again at Nohant. But as
it is my intention to treat of Chopin's domestic life at Nohant
and in Paris with some fulness in special chapters, I shall now
turn to his artistic doings.

In 1839 there appeared only one work by Chopin, Op. 28, the
"Preludes," but in the two following years as many as sixteen--
namely, Op. 35-50. Here is an enumeration of these compositions,
with the dates of publication and the dedications.

[FOOTNOTE: Both the absence of dedications in the case of some
compositions, and the persons to whom others are dedicated, have
a biographical significance. They tell us of the composer's
absence from Paris and aristocratic society, and his return to

The "Vingt-quatre Preludes," Op. 28, published in September,
1839, have a twofold dedication, the French and English editions
being dedicated a son ami Pleyel, and the German to Mr. J. C.
Kessler. The publications of 1840 are: in May--Op. 35, "Sonate"
(B flat minor); Op. 36, "Deuxieme Impromptu" (F sharp minor); Op.
37, "Deux Nocturnes" (G minor and G major); in July--Op. 42,
"Valse" (A flat major); in September--Op. 38, "Deuxieme Ballade"
(F major), dedicated to Mr. R. Schumann; in October--Op. 39,
"Troisieme Scherzo" (C sharp minor), dedicated to Mr. A. Gutmann;
in November--Op. 40, "Deux Polonaises" (A major and C minor),
dedicated to Mr. J. Fontana; and in December--Op. 41, "Quatre
Mazurkas" (C sharp and E minor, B and A flat major), dedicated to
E. Witwicki. Those of 1841 are: in October--Op. 43, "Tarantelle"
(A flat major), without any dedication; and in November--Op. 44,
"Polonaise" (F sharp minor), dedicated to Madame la Princesse
Charles de Beauvau; Op. 45, "Prelude" (C sharp minor), dedicated
to Madame la Princesse Elizabeth Czernicheff; Op. 46, "Allegro de
Concert" (A major), dedicated to Mdlle. F. Muller; Op. 47,
"Troisieme Ballade" (A flat major), dedicated to Mdlle. P. de
Noailles; Op. 48, "Deux Nocturnes" (C minor and F sharp minor),
dedicated to Mdlle. L. Duperre; Op. 49, "Fantaisie" (F minor),
dedicated to Madame la Princesse C. de Souzzo; and Op. 50, "Trois
Mazurkas" (G and A flat major, and C sharp minor), dedicated to
Mr. Leon Smitkowski.

Chopin's genius had now reached the most perfect stage of its
development, and was radiating with all the intensity of which
its nature was capable. Notwithstanding such later creations as
the fourth "Ballade," Op. 52, the "Barcarolle," Op. 60, and the
"Polonaise," Op. 53, it can hardly be said that the composer
surpassed in his subsequent works those which he had published in
recent years, works among which were the first three ballades,
the preludes, and a number of stirring polonaises and charming
nocturnes, mazurkas, and other pieces.

However, not only as a creative artist, but also as an executant,
Chopin was at the zenith of his power. His bodily frame had
indeed suffered from disease, but as yet it was not seriously
injured, at least, not so seriously as to disable him to
discharge the functions of a musical interpreter. Moreover, the
great majority of his compositions demanded from the executant
other qualities than physical strength, which was indispensable
in only a few of his works. A writer in the "Menestrel" (April
25, 1841) asks himself the question whether Chopin had progressed
as a pianist, and answers: "No, for he troubles himself little
about the mechanical secrets of the piano; in him there is no
charlatanism; heart and genius alone speak, and in these respects
his privileged organisation has nothing to learn." Or rather let
us say, Chopin troubled himself enough about the mechanical
secrets of the piano, but not for their own sakes: he regarded
them not as ends, but as means to ends, and although mechanically
he may have made no progress, he had done so poetically. Love and
sorrow, those most successful teachers of poets and musicians,
had not taught him in vain.

It was a fortunate occurrence that at this period of his career
Chopin was induced to give a concert, and equally fortunate that
men of knowledge, judgment, and literary ability have left us
their impressions of the event. The desirability of replenishing
an ever-empty purse, and the instigations of George Sand, were no
doubt the chief motive powers which helped the composer to
overcome his dislike to playing in public.

"Do you practise when the day of the concert approaches?" asked
Lenz. [FOOTNOTE: Die grossen Pianoforte-Virtusen unstrer Zeit, p.
36.] "It is a terrible time for me," was Chopin's answer; "I
dislike publicity, but it is part of my position. I shut myself
up for a fortnight and play Bach. That is my preparation; I never
practise my own compositions." What Gutmann told me confirms
these statements. Chopin detested playing in public, and became
nervous when the dreaded time approached. He then fidgeted a
great deal about his clothes, and felt very unhappy if one or the
other article did not quite fit or pinched him a little. On one
occasion Chopin, being dissatisfied with his own things, made use
of a dress-coat and shirt of his pupil Gutmann. By the way, the
latter, who gave me this piece of information, must have been in
those days of less bulk, and, I feel inclined to add, of less
height, than he was when I became acquainted with him.

Leaving the two concerts given by Chopin in 1841 and 1842 to be
discussed in detail in the next chapter, I shall now give a
translation of the Polish letters which he wrote in the summer
and autumn of 1841 to Fontana. The letters numbered 4 and 5 are
those already alluded to on p. 24 (foot-note 3) which Karasowski
gives as respectively dated by Chopin: "Palma, November 17,
1838"; and "Valdemosa, January 9, 1839." But against these dates
militate the contents: the mention of Troupenas, with whom the
composer's business connection began only in 1840 (with the
Sonata, Op. 35); the mention of the Tarantelle, which was not
published until 1841; the mention (contradictory to an earlier
inquiry--see p. 30) of the sending back of a valet nowhere else
alluded to; the mention of the sending and arrival of a piano,
irreconcilable with the circumstances and certain statements in
indisputably correctly-dated letters; and, lastly, the absence of
all mention of Majorca and the Preludes, those important topics
in the letters really from that place and of that time.
Karasowski thinks that the letters numbered 1, 2, 3, and 9 were
of the year 1838, and those numbered 6, 7, and 8 of the year
1839; but as the "Tarantelle," Op. 43, the "Polonaise," Op. 44,
the "Prelude," Op. 45, the "Allegro de Concert," Op. 46, the
third "Ballade," Op. 47, the two "Nocturnes," Op. 48, and the
"Fantaisie," Op. 49, therein mentioned, were published in 1841, I
have no doubt that they are of the year 1841. The mention in the
ninth letter of the Rue Pigalle, 16, George Sand's and Chopin's
abode in Paris, of Pelletan, the tutor of George Sand's son
Maurice, and of the latter's coming to Paris, speaks likewise
against 1838 and for 1841, 1840 being out of the question, as
neither George Sand nor Chopin was in this year at Nohant. What
decides me especially to reject the date 1839 for the seventh
letter is that Pauline Garcia had then not yet become the wife of
Louis Viardot. There is, moreover, an allusion to a visit of
Pauline Viardot to Nohant in the summer of 1841 in one of George
Sand's letters (August 13, 1841). In this letter occurs a passage
which is important for the dating both of the fifth and the
seventh letter. As to the order of succession of the letters, it
may be wrong, it certainly does not altogether satisfy me; but it
is the result of long and careful weighing of all the pros and
cons. I have some doubt about the seventh letter, which, read by
the light of George Sand's letter, ought perhaps to be placed
after the ninth. But the seventh letter is somewhat of a puzzle.
Puzzles, owing to his confused statements and slipshod style,
are, however, not a rare thing in Chopin's correspondence. The
passage in the above-mentioned letter of George Sand runs thus:
"Pauline leaves me on the 16th [of August]; Maurice goes on the
17th to fetch his sister, who should be here on the 23rd."

  [I.] Nohant [1841].

  My very dear friend,--I arrived here yesterday, Thursday. For
  Schlesinger [FOOTNOTE: The Paris music-publisher.] I have
  composed a Prelude in C sharp minor [Op. 45], which is short,
  as he wished it. Seeing that, like Mechetti's [FOOTNOTE: The
  Vienna music-publisher.] Beethoven, this has to come out at
  the New Year, do not yet give my Polonaise to Leo (although
  you have already transcribed it), for to-morrow I shall send
  you a letter for Mechetti, in which I shall explain to him
  that, if he wishes something short, I will give him for the
  Album instead of the mazurka (which is already old) the NEW
  prelude. It is well modulated, and I can send it without
  hesitation. He ought to give me 300 francs for it, n'est-ce
  pas? Par-dessus le marche he may get the mazurka, only he must
  not print it in the Album.

  Should Troupenas, [FOOTNOTE: Eugene Troupenas, the Paris music-
  publisher.] that is, Masset, [FOOTNOTE: Masset (his daughter,
  Madame Colombier, informed me) was the partner of Troupenas,
  and managed almost the whole business, Troupenas being in weak
  health, which obliged him to pass the last ten winters of his
  life at Hyeres.] make any difficulties, do not give him the
  pieces a farthing cheaper, and tell him that if he does not
  wish to print them all--which I should not like--I could sell
  them at a better price to others.

  Now of something else.

  You will find in the right-hand drawer of my writing-desk (in
  the place where the cash-box always is) a sealed parcel
  addressed to Madame Sand. Wrap this parcel in wax-cloth, seal
  it, and send it by post to Madame Sand's address. Sew on the
  address with a strong thread, that it may not come off the wax-
  cloth. It is Madame Sand who asks me to do this. I know you
  will do it perfectly well. The key, I think, is on the top
  shelf of the little cabinet with the mirror. If it should not
  be there, get a locksmith to open the drawer.

  I love you as an old friend. Embrace Johnnie.--Your


  [2.] Nohant [1841].

  Thanks for forwarding the parcel. I send you the Prelude, in
  large characters for Schlesinger and in small characters for
  Mechetti. Clip the MS. of the Polonaise to the same size,
  number the pages, and fold it like the Prelude, add to the
  whole my letter to Mechetti, and deliver it into Leo's own
  hands, praying him to send it by the first mail, as Mechetti
  is waiting for it.

  The letter to Haslinger [FOOTNOTE: The Vienna music-
  publisher.] post yourself; and if you do not find Schlesinger
  at home leave the letter, but do not give him the MS. until he
  tells you that he accepts the Prelude as a settlement of the
  account. If he does not wish to acquire the right of
  publication for London, tell him to inform me of it by letter.
  Do not forget to add the opus on the Polonaise and the
  following number on the Prelude--that is, on the copies that
  are going to Vienna.

  I do not know how Czerniszewowa is spelt. Perhaps you will
  find under the vase or on the little table near the bronze
  ornament a note from her, from her daughter, or from the
  governess; if not, I should be glad if you would go--they know
  you already as my friend--to the Hotel de Londres in the Place
  Vendome, and beg in my name the young Princess to give you her
  name in writing and to say whether it is Tscher or Tcher. Or
  better still, ask for Mdlle. Krause, the governess; tell her
  that I wish to give the young Princess a surprise; and inquire
  of her whether it is usual to write Elisabeth and
  Tschernichef, or ff. [FOOTNOTE: Chopin dedicated the Prelude,
  Op. 45, to Mdlle. la Princesse Elisabeth Czernicheff.]

  If you do not wish to do this, don't be bashful with me, and
  write that you would rather be excused, in which case I shall
  find it out by some other means. But do not yet direct
  Schlesinger to print the title. Tell him I don't know how to
  spell. Nevertheless, I hope that you will find at my house
  some note from them on which will be the name....

  I conclude because it is time for the mail, and I wish that my
  letter should reach Vienna without fail this week.

  [3.] Nohant, Sunday [1841].

  I send you the Tarantella [Op. 43]. Please to copy it. But
  first go to Schlesinger, or, better still, to Troupenas, and
  see the collection of Rossini's songs published by Troupenas.
  In it there is a Tarantella in F. I do not know whether it is
  written in 6/8 or 12/8 time. As to my composition, it does not
  matter which way it is written, but I should prefer it to be
  like Rossini's. Therefore, if the latter be in 12/8 or in C
  with triplets, make in copying one bar out of two. It will be
  thus: [here follows one bar of music, bars four and five of
  the Tarantella as it is printed.] [FOOTNOTE: This is a
  characteristic instance of Chopin's carelessness in the
  notation of his music. To write his Tarantella in 12/8 or C
  would have been an egregious mistake. How Chopin failed to see
  this is inexplicable to me.]

  I beg of you also to write out everything in full, instead of
  marking repeats. Be quick, and give it to Leo with my letter
  to Schubert. [FOOTNOTE: Schuberth, the Hamburg music-
  publisher.] You know he leaves for Hamburg before the 8th of
  next month, and I should not like to lose 500 francs.

  As regards Troupenas, there is no hurry. If the time of my
  manuscript is not right, do not deliver the latter, but make a
  copy of it. Besides this, make a third copy of it for Wessel.
  It will weary you to copy this nasty thing so often; but I
  hope I shall not compose anything worse for a long time. I
  also beg of you to look up the number of the last opus--
  namely, the last mazurkas, or rather the waltz published by
  Paccini [FOOTNOTE: Pacini, a Paris music-publisher. He
  published the Waltz in A flat major, Op. 42, in the summer of
  1840, if not earlier.]--and give the following number to the

  I am keeping my mind easy, for I know you are willing and
  clever. I trust you will receive from me no more letters
  burdened with commissions. Had I not been with only one foot
  at home before my departure you would have none of these
  unpleasantnesses. Attend to the Tarantella, give it to Leo,
  and tell him to keep the money he may receive till I come
  back. Once more I beg of you to excuse my troubling you so
  much. To-day I received the letter from my people in Poland
  you sent me. Tell the portier to give you all the letters
  addressed to me.


  My dear friend,--As you are so good, be so to the end. Go to
  the transport commission-office of Mr. Hamberg et Levistal
  successeurs de Mr. Corstel fils aine et Cie, rue des Marais
  St. Martin, No. 51, a Paris, and direct them to send at once
  to Pleyel for the piano I am to have, so that it may go off
  the next day. Say at the office that it is to be forwarded par
  un envoy [sic] accelere et non ordinaire. Such a transport
  costs of course far more, but is incomparably quicker. It will
  probably cost five francs per cwt. I shall pay here. Only
  direct them to give you a receipt, on which they will write
  how many cwts. the piano weighs, when it leaves, and when it
  will arrive at Chateauroux. If the piano is conveyed by
  roulage [land-transport]--which goes straight to Toulouse and
  leaves goods only on the route--the address must not be a la
  Chatre, [FOOTNOTE: Instead of "la Chatre" we have in
  Karasowski's Polish book "la Chatie," which ought to warn us
  not to attribute all the peculiar French in this letter to
  Chopin, who surely knew how to spell the name of the town in
  the neighbourhood of the familiar Nohant.] but Madame
  Dudevant, a Chateauroux, as I wrote above. [FOOTNOTE: "Address
  of the piano: Madame Dudevant, a Chateauroux. Bureau Restant
  chez M. Vollant Patureau." This is what Chopin wrote above.]
  At the last-mentioned place the agency has been informed, and
  will forward it at once. You need not send me the receipt, we
  should require it only in case of some unforeseen reclamation.
  The correspondent in Chateauroux says that PAR LA VOYE
  ACCELERE [SIC] it will come from Paris in four days. If this
  is so, let him bind himself to deliver the piano at
  Chateauroux in four or five days.

  Now to other business.

  Should Pleyel make any difficulties, apply to Erard; I think
  that the latter in all probability ought to be serviceable to
  you. Only do not act hastily, and first ascertain how the
  matter really stands.

  As to the Tarantella, seal it and send it to Hamburg. To-
  morrow I shall write you of other affairs, concerning
  Troupenas, &c.

  Embrace Johnnie, and tell him to write.


  Thanks for all the commissions you have executed so well. To-
  day, that is on the 9th, I received the piano and the other
  things. Do not send my little bust to Warsaw, it would
  frighten them, leave it in the press. Kiss Johnnie for his
  letter. I shall write him a few lines shortly.

  To-morrow I shall very likely send back my old servant, who
  loses his wits here. He is an honest man and knows how to
  serve, but he is tiresome, and makes one lose one's patience.
  I shall send him back, telling him to wait for me in Paris. If
  he appears at the house, do not be frightened.

  Latterly the weather has been only so-so.

  The man in Chateauroux was waiting three days for the piano;
  yesterday, after receiving your letter, I gave orders that he
  should be recalled. To-day I do not yet know what kind of tone
  the piano has, as it is not yet unpacked; this great event is
  to take place to-morrow. As to the delay and misunderstanding
  in sending it, do not make any inquiries; let the matter rest,
  it is not worth a quarrel. You did the best you could. A
  little ill-humour and a few days lost in expectation are not
  worth a pinch of snuff. Forget, therefore, my commissions and
  your transaction; next time, if God permits us to live,
  matters will turn out better.

  I write you these few words late at night. Once more I thank
  you, most obliging of men, for the commissions, which are not
  yet ended, for now comes the turn of the Troupenas business,
  which will hang on your shoulders. I shall write to you on
  this subject more fully some other time, and to-day I wish you
  good night. But don't have dreams like Johnnie--that I died;
  but rather dream that I am about to be born, or something of
  the sort.

  In fact, I am feeling now as calm and serene as a baby in
  swaddling-clothes; and if somebody wished to put me in leading-
  strings, I should be very glad--nota bene, with a cap thickly
  lined with wadding on my head, for I feel that at every moment
  I should stumble and turn upside down. Unfortunately, instead
  of leading-strings there are probably awaiting me crutches, if
  I approach old age with my present step. I once dreamt that I
  was dying in a hospital, and this is so strongly rooted in my
  mind that I cannot forget it--it is as if I had dreamt it
  yesterday. If you survive me, you will learn whether we may
  believe in dreams.

  And now I often dream with my eyes open what may be said to
  have neither rhyme nor reason in it.

  That is why I write you such a foolish letter, is it?

  Send me soon a letter from my people, and love your old


  [6.] Nohant [1841].

  Thanks for your very kind letter. Unseal all you judge

  Do not give the manuscripts to Troupenas till Schubert has
  informed you of the day of publication. The answer will very
  likely come soon through Leo.

  What a pity that the Tarantella is gone to Berlin, for, as you
  know from Schubert's letter, Liszt is mixed up in this
  monetary affair, and I may have some unpleasantness. He is a
  thin-skinned Hungarian, and may think that I do not trust him
  because I directed that the manuscripts should not be given
  otherwise than for cash. I do not know, but I have a
  presentiment of a disagreeable mess. Do not say anything about
  it to the ailing Leo; go and see him if you think it
  necessary, give him my compliments and thanks (although
  undeserved), and ask pardon for troubling him so much. After
  all, it is kind of him to take upon him the forwarding of my
  things. Give my compliments, also to Pleyel, and ask him to
  excuse my not writing to him (do not say anything about his
  sending me a very inferior piano).

  I beg of you to put into the letter-box at the Exchange
  yourself the letter to my parents, but I say do it yourself,
  and before 4 o'clock. Excuse my troubling you, but you know of
  what great importance my letter is to my people.

  Escudier has very likely sent you that famous album. If you
  wish you may ask Troupenas to get you a copy as if it were for
  me; but if you don't wish, say nothing.

  [FOOTNOTE: Leon Escudier, I suppose. The brothers Marie and
  Leon Escudier established a music business in the latter part
  of the fourth decade of this century; but when soon after both
  married and divided their common property, Marie got their
  journal "La France Musicale" and Leon the music-business. They
  wrote and published together various books on music and

  Still one more bother.

  At your leisure transcribe once more this unlucky Tarantella,
  which will be sent to Wessel when the day [of publication] is
  known. If I tire you so much with this Tarentella, you may be
  sure that it is for the last time. From here, I am sure you
  will have no more manuscript from me. If there should not be
  any news from Schubert within a week, please write to me. In
  that case you would give the manuscript to Troupenas. But I
  shall write him about it.

  [7.] Nohant [1841], Friday evening.

  My dear Julius,--I send you a letter for Bonnet; read, seal,
  and deliver it. And if in passing through the streets in which
  you know I can lodge, you find something suitable for me,
  please write to me. Just now the condition about the staircase
  exists no longer. [FOOTNOTE: Chopin felt so much stronger that
  high stairs were no longer any objection to lodgings.] I also
  send you a letter to Dessauer [FOOTNOTE: Joseph Dessauer, a
  native of Prague, best known by his songs. He stayed in Paris
  in 1833, and afterwards settled in Vienna. George Sand
  numbered him among her friends.] in answer to his letter which
  Madame Deller sent me from Austria. He must already be back to
  Paris; be sure and ask Schlesinger, who will be best able to
  inform you of this.

  Do not give Dessauer many particulars about me; do not tell
  him that you are looking for rooms, nor Anthony either, for he
  will mention it to Mdlle. de Rozieres, and she is a babbler
  and makes the least thing a subject for gossip. Some of her
  gossipings have already reached me here in a strange way. You
  know how great things sometimes grow out of nothing if they
  pass through a mouth with a loose tongue. Much could be said
  on this head.

  As to the unlucky Tarantella, you may give it to Troupenas
  (that is, to Masset); but, if you think otherwise, send it by
  post to Wessel, only insist on his answering at once that he
  has received it. The weather has been charming here for the
  last few days, but my music--is ugly. Madame Viardot spent a
  fortnight here; we occupied ourselves less with music than
  with other things.

  Please write to me whatever you like, but write.

  May Johnnie be in good health!

  But remember to write on Troupenas's copy: Hamburg, Schubert;
  Wessel, London.

  In a few days I shall send you a letter for Mechetti in
  Vienna, to whom I promised to give some compositions. If you
  see Dessauer or Schlesinger, ask if it is absolutely necessary
  to pay postage for the letters sent to Vienna.--I embrace you,



  Nohant, Sunday [1841].

  What you have done you have done well. Strange world! Masset
  is a fool, so also is Pelletan. Masset knew of Pacini's waltz
  and that I promised it to the "Gazette" for the Album. I did
  not wish to make any advances to him. If he does not wish them
  at 600 francs, with London (the price of my USUAL manuscripts
  was 300 francs with him)--three times five being fifteen--I
  should have to give so much labour for 1,500 francs--that
  cannot be. So much the more as I told him when I had the first
  conversation with him that it might happen that I could not
  let him have my things at this price. For instance, he cannot
  expect that I should give him twelve Etudes or a new Methode
  de Piano for 300 francs. The Allegro maestoso ["Allegro de
  Concert," Op. 46] which I send you to-day I cannot give for
  300 francs, but only for 600 francs, nor the "Fantasia" [Op.
  49], for which I ask 500 francs. Nevertheless, the "Ballade"
  [the third, Op. 47], the Nocturnes ["Deux Nocturnes," Op. 48],
  and Polonaise [F sharp minor, Op. 44], I shall let him have at
  300 francs, for he has already formerly printed such things.
  In one word, for Paris I give these five compositions for
  2,000 francs. If he does not care for them, so much the
  better. I say it entre nous--for Schlesinger will most
  willingly buy them. But I should not like him to take me for a
  man who does not keep his word in an agreement. "Il n'y avait
  qu'une convention facile d'honnete homme a honnete homme."
  therefore, he should not complain of my terms, for they are
  very easy. I want nothing but to come out of this affair
  respectably. You know that I do not sell myself. But tell him
  further that if I were desirous of taking advantage of him or
  of cheating him, I could write fifteen things per year, but
  worthless ones, which he would buy at 300 francs and I would
  have a better income. Would it be an honest action?

  My dear friend, tell him that I write seldom, and spend but
  little. He must not think that I wish to raise the price. But
  when you yourself see my manuscript flies, [FOOTNOTE: An
  allusion to his small, fine writing.] you will agree with me
  that I may ask 600 francs when I was paid 300 francs for the
  Tarantella and 500 for the Bolero.

  For God's sake take good care of the manuscripts, do not
  squeeze, dirty, or tear them. I know you are not capable of
  doing anything of the sort, but I love my WRITTEN TEDIOUSNESS
  [NUDY, tediousness; NUTY, notes] so much that I always fear
  that something might happen to them.

  To-morrow you will receive the Nocturne, and at the end of the
  week the Ballade and Fantasia; I cannot get my writing done
  sooner. Each of these things you will transcribe; your copies
  will remain in Paris. If copying wearies you, console yourself
  with thinking that you are doing it for THE REMISSION OF YOUR
  SINS. I should not like to give my little spider-feet to any
  copyist who would daub coarsely. Once more I make this
  request, for had I again to write these eighteen pages, I
  should most certainly go wrong in my mind.

  I send you a letter from Hartel.

  Try to get another valet instead of the one you have. I shall
  probably be in Paris during the first days of November. To-
  morrow I will write to you again.


  On reading your letter attentively, I see that Masset does not
  ask for Paris. Leave this point untouched if you can. Mention
  only 3,000 francs pour les deux pays, and 2,000 francs for
  Paris itself if he particularly asks about it. Because la
  condition des deux pays is still easier, and for me also more
  convenient. If he should not want it, it must be because he
  seeks an opportunity for breaking with me. In that case, wait
  for his answer from London. Write to him openly and frankly,
  but always politely, and act cautiously and coolly, but mind,
  not to me, for you know how much loves you your...

  [9.] Nohant [1841].

  My dear friend,--You would be sure to receive my letters and
  compositions. You have read the German letters, sealed them,
  and done everything I asked you, have you not? As to Wessel,
  he is a fool and a cheat. Write him whatever you like, but
  tell him that I do not intend to give up my rights to the
  Tarantella, as he did not send it back in time. If he
  sustained losses by my compositions, it is most likely owing
  to the foolish titles he gave them, in spite of my directions.
  Were I to listen to the voice of my soul, I would not send him
  anything more after these titles. Say as many sharp things to
  him as you can.

  [FOOTNOTE: Here are some specimens of the publisher's
  ingenious inventiveness:--"Adieu a Varsovie" (Rondeau, Op. 1),
  "Hommage a Mozart" (Variations, Op. 2), "La Gaite"
  (Introduction et Polonaise, Op. 3), "La Posiana" (Rondeau a la
  Mazur, Op. 5), "Murmures de la Seine" (Nocturnes, Op. 9), "Les
  Zephirs" (Nocturnes, Op. 15), "Invitation a la Valse" (Valse,
  Op. 18), "Souvenir d'Andalousie" (Bolero, Op. 19), "Le banquet
  infernal" (Premier Scherzo, Op. 20), "Ballade ohne Worte"
  [Ballad without words] (Ballade, Op. 23), "Les Plaintives"
  (Nocturnes, Op. 27), "La Meditation" (Deuxieme Scherzo, Op.
  31), "Il lamento e la consolazione" (Nocturnes, Op. 32), "Les
  Soupirs" (Nocturnes, Op. 37), and "Les Favorites" (Polonaises,
  Op. 40). The mazurkas generally received the title of
  "Souvenir de la Pologne."]

  Madame Sand thanks you for the kind words accompanying the
  parcel. Give directions that my letters may be delivered to
  Pelletan, Rue Pigal [i.e., Pigalle], 16, and impress it very
  strongly on the portier. The son of Madame Sand will be in
  Paris about the 16th. I shall send you, through him, the MS.
  of the Concerto ["Allegro de Concert"] and the Nocturnes [Op.
  46 and 48].

These letters of the romantic tone-poet to a friend and fellow-
artist will probably take the reader by surprise, nay, may even
disillusionise him. Their matter is indeed very suggestive of a
commercial man writing to one of his agents. Nor is this feature,
as the sequel will show, peculiar to the letters just quoted.
Trafficking takes up a very large part of Chopin's Parisian
correspondence; [FOOTNOTE: I indicate by this phrase
comprehensively the whole correspondence since his settling in
the French capital, whether written there or elsewhere.] of the
ideal within him that made him what he was as an artist we catch,
if any, only rare glimmerings and glimpses.



The concert which Chopin gave in 1841, after several years of
retirement, took place at Pleyel's rooms on Monday, the 26th of
April. It was like his subsequent concerts a semi-public rather
than a public one, for the audience consisted of a select circle
of pupils, friends, and partisans who, as Chopin told Lenz, took
the tickets in advance and divided them among themselves. As most
of the pupils belonged to the aristocracy, it followed as a
matter of course that the concert was emphatically what Liszt
calls it, "un concert de fashion." The three chief musical papers
of Paris: the "Gazette Musicale," the "France Musicale," and the
"Menestrel" were unanimous in their high, unqualified praise of
the concert-giver, "the king of the fete, who was overwhelmed
with bravos." The pianoforte performances of Chopin took up by
far the greater part of the programme, which was varied by two
arias from Adam's "La Rose de Peronne," sung by Mdme. Damoreau--
Cinti, who was as usual "ravissante de perfection," and by
Ernst's "Elegie," played by the composer himself "in a grand
style, with passionate feeling and a purity worthy of the great
masters." Escudier, the writer of the notice in the "France
Musicale," says of Ernst's playing: "If you wish to hear the
violin weep, go and hear Ernst; he produces such heart-rending,
such passionate sounds, that you fear every moment to see his
instrument break to pieces in his hands. It is difficult to carry
farther the expression of sadness, of suffering, and of despair."

To give the reader an idea of the character of the concert, I
shall quote largely from Liszt's notice, in which he not only
sets forth the merits of the artists, but also describes the
appearance of the room and the audience. First, however, I must
tell a pretty anecdote of which this notice reminds me. When
Liszt was moving about among the audience during the intervals of
the concert, paying his respects here and there, he came upon M.
Ernest Legouve. The latter told him of his intention to give an
account of the concert in the "Gazette Musicale." Liszt thereupon
said that he had a great wish to write one himself, and M.
Legouve, although reluctantly, gave way. When it came to the ears
of Chopin that Liszt was going to report on the concert, he
remarked: "Il me donnera un petit royaume dans son empire" (He
will give me a little kingdom in his empire).

[FOOTNOTE: Since I wrote the above, M. Legouve has published his
"Soixante ans de Souvenirs," and in this book gives his version
of the story, which, it is to be hoped, is less. incorrect than
some other statements of his relating to Chopin: "He [Chopin] had
asked me to write a report of the concert. Liszt claimed the
honour. I hastened to announce this good news to Chopin, who
quietly said to me: "I should have liked better if it had been
you." "What are you thinking of my dear friend! An article by
Liszt, that is a fortunate thing for the public and for you.
Trust in his admiration for your talent. I promise you qu'il vous
fera un beau royaume.'--'Oui, me dit-il en souriant, dans son

These few words speak volumes. But here is what Liszt wrote about
the concert in the "Gazette musicale" of May 2, 1841:--

  Last Monday, at eight o'clock in the evening, M. Pleyel's
  rooms were brilliantly lighted up; numerous carriages brought
  incessantly to the foot of a staircase covered with carpet and
  perfumed with flowers the most elegant women, the most
  fashionable young men, the most celebrated artists, the
  richest financiers, the most illustrious noblemen, a whole
  elite of society, a whole aristocracy of birth, fortune,
  talent, and beauty.

  A grand piano was open on a platform; people crowded round,
  eager for the seats nearest it; they prepared to listen, they
  composed them-selves, they said to themselves that they must
  not lose a chord, a note, an intention, a thought of him who
  was going to seat himself there. And people were right in
  being thus eager, attentive, and religiously moved, because he
  for whom they waited, whom they wished to hear, admire, and
  applaud, was not only a clever virtuoso, a pianist expert in
  the art of making notes [de faire des notes], not only an
  artist of great renown, he was all this and more than all
  this, he was Chopin...

  ...If less eclat has gathered round his name, if a less bright
  aureole has encircled his head, it is not because he had not
  in him perhaps the same depth of feeling as the illustrious
  author of "Conrad Wallenrod" and the "Pilgrims," [FOOTNOTE:
  Adam Mickiewicz.] but his means of expression were too
  limited, his instrument too imperfect; he could not reveal his
  whole self by means of a piano. Hence, if we are not mistaken,
  a dull and continual suffering, a certain repugnance to reveal
  himself to the outer world, a sadness which shrinks out of
  sight under apparent gaiety, in short, a whole individuality
  in the highest degree remarkable and attractive.

  ...It was only rarely, at very distant intervals, that Chopin
  played in public; but what would have been for anyone else an
  almost certain cause of oblivion and obscurity was precisely
  what assured to him a fame above the caprices of fashion, and
  kept him from rivalries, jealousies, and injustice. Chopin,
  who has taken no part in the extreme movement which for
  several years has thrust one on another and one against
  another the executive artists from all quarters of the world,
  has been constantly surrounded by faithful adepts,
  enthusiastic pupils, and warm friends, all of whom, while
  guarding him against disagreeable contests and painful
  collisions, have not ceased to spread abroad his works, and
  with them admiration for his name. Moreover, this exquisite,
  altogether lofty, and eminently aristocratic celebrity has
  remained unattacked. A complete silence of criticism already
  reigns round it, as if posterity were come; and in the
  brilliant audience which flocked together to hear the too long
  silent poet there was neither reticence nor restriction,
  unanimous praise was on the lips of all.

  ...He has known how to give to new thoughts a new form. That
  element of wildness and abruptness which belongs to his
  country has found its expression in bold dissonances, in
  strange harmonies, while the delicacy and grace which belong
  to his personality were revealed in a thousand contours, in a
  thousand embellishments of an inimitable fancy.

  In Monday's concert Chopin had chosen in preference those of
  his works which swerve more from the classical forms. He
  played neither concerto, nor sonata, nor fantasia, nor
  variations, but preludes, studies, nocturnes, and mazurkas.
  Addressing himself to a society rather than to a public, he
  could show himself with impunity as he is, an elegiac poet,
  profound, chaste, and dreamy. He did not need either to
  astonish or to overwhelm, he sought for delicate sympathy
  rather than for noisy enthusiasm. Let us say at once that he
  had no reason to complain of want of sympathy. From the first
  chords there was established a close communication between him
  and his audience. Two studies and a ballade were encored, and
  had it not been for the fear of adding to the already great
  fatigue which betrayed itself on his pale face, people would
  have asked for a repetition of the pieces of the programme one
  by one...

An account of the concert in La France musicale of May 2, 1841,
contained a general characterisation of Chopin's artistic
position with regard to the public coinciding with that given by
Liszt, but the following excerpts from the other parts of the
article may not be unacceptable to the reader:--

  We spoke of Schubert because there is no other nature which
  has a more complete analogy with him. The one has done for the
  piano what the other has done for the voice...Chopin was a
  composer from conviction. He composes for himself, and what he
  composes he performs for himself...Chopin is the pianist of
  sentiment PAR EXCELLENCE. One may say that Chopin is the
  creator of a school of pianoforte-playing and of a school of
  composition. Indeed, nothing equals the lightness and
  sweetness with which the artist preludes on the piano, nothing
  again can be placed by the side of his works full of
  originality, distinction, and grace. Chopin is an exceptional
  pianist who ought not to be, and cannot be, compared with

The words with which the critic of the Menestrel closes his
remarks, describe well the nature of the emotions which the
artist excited in his hearers:--

  In order to appreciate Chopin rightly, one must love gentle
  impressions, and have the feeling for poetry: to hear Chopin
  is to read a strophe of Lamartine....Everyone went away full
  of sweet joy and deep reverie (recueillement).

The concert, which was beyond a doubt a complete success, must
have given Chopin satisfaction in every respect. At any rate, he
faced the public again before a year had gone by. In the Gazette
Musicale of February 20, 1842, we read that on the following
evening, Monday, at Pleyel's rooms, the haute societe de Paris et
tous les artistes s'y donneront rendez-vous. The programme of the
concert was to be as follows:--

  1. Andante suivi de la 3ieme Ballade, par Chopin.

  2. Felice Donzella, air de Dessauer.

  3. Suite de Nocturnes, Preludes et Etudes, par Chopin.

  4. Divers fragments de Handel, chante par Madame Viardot-

  5. Solo pour Violoncello, par M. Franchomme.

  6. Nocturne, Preludes, Mazurkas et Impromptu.

  7. Le Chene et le Roseau, chante par Madame Viardot-Garcia,
  accompagne par Chopin.

Maurice Bourges, who a week later reports on the concert, states
more particularly what Chopin played. He mentions three mazurkas
in A flat major, B major, and A minor; three studies in A flat
major, F minor, and C minor; the Ballade in A flat major; four
nocturnes, one of which was that in F sharp minor; a prelude in D
flat; and an impromptu in G (G flat major?). Maurice Bourges's
account is not altogether free from strictures. He finds Chopin's
ornamentations always novel, but sometimes mannered (manierees).
He says: "Trop de recherche fine et minutieuse n'est pas
quelquefois sans pretention et san froideur." But on the whole
the critique is very laudatory. "Liszt and Thalberg excite, as is
well known, violent enthusiasm; Chopin also awakens enthusiasm,
but of a less energetic, less noisy nature, precisely because he
causes the most intimate chords of the heart to vibrate."

From the report in the "France musicale" we see that the audience
was not less brilliant than that of the first concert:--

  ...Chopin has given in Pleyel's hall a charming soiree, a fete
  peopled with adorable smiles, delicate and rosy faces, small
  and well-formed white hands; a splendid fete where simplicity
  was combined with grace and elegance, and where good taste
  served as a pedestal to wealth. Those ugly black hats which
  give to men the most unsightly appearance possible were very
  few in number. The gilded ribbons, the delicate blue gauze,
  the chaplets of trembling pearls, the freshest roses and
  mignonettes, in short, a thousand medleys of the prettiest and
  gayest colours were assembled, and intersected each other in
  all sorts of ways on the perfumed heads and snowy shoulders of
  the most charming women for whom the princely salons contend.
  The first success of the seance was for Madame George Sand. As
  soon as she appeared with her two charming daughters [daughter
  and cousin?], she was the observed of all observers. Others
  would have been disturbed by all those eyes turned on her like
  so many stars; but George Sand contented herself with lowering
  her head and smiling...

This description is so graphic that one seems to see the actual
scene, and imagines one's self one of the audience. It also
points out a very characteristic feature of these concerts--
namely, the preponderance of the fair sex. As regards Chopin's
playing, the writer remarks that the genre of execution which
aims at the imitation of orchestral effects suits neither
Chopin's organisation nor his ideas:--

  In listening to all these sounds, all these nuances, which
  follow each other, intermingle, separate, and reunite to
  arrive at one and the same goal, melody, do you not think you
  hear little fairy voices sighing under silver bells, or a rain
  of pearls falling on crystal tables? The fingers of the
  pianist seem to multiply ad infinitum; it does not appear
  possible that only two hands can produce effects of rapidity
  so precise and so natural...

I shall now try to give the reader a clearer idea of what
Chopin's style of playing was like than any and all of the
criticisms and descriptions I have hitherto quoted can have done.
And I do this not only in order to satisfy a natural curiosity,
but also, and more especially, to furnish a guide for the better
understanding and execution of the master's works. Some, seeing
that no music reflects more clearly its author's nature than that
of Chopin, may think that it would be wiser to illustrate the
style of playing by the style of composition, and not the style
of composition by the style of playing. Two reasons determine me
to differ from them. Our musical notation is an inadequate
exponent of the conceptions of the great masters--visible signs
cannot express the subtle shades of the emotional language; and
the capabilities of Chopin the composer and of Chopin the
executant were by no means coextensive--we cannot draw
conclusions as to the character of his playing from the character
of his Polonaises in A major (Op. 40) and in A flat (Op. 53), and
certain movements of the Sonata in B flat minor (Op. 35). The
information contained in the following remarks is derived partly
from printed publications, partly from private letters and
conversations; nothing is admitted which does not proceed from
Chopin's pupils, friends, and such persons as have frequently
heard him.

What struck everyone who had the good fortune to hear Chopin was
the fact that he was a pianist sui generis. Moscheles calls him
an unicum; Mendelssohn describes him as "radically original"
(Gruneigentumlich); Meyerbeer said of him that he knew no
pianist, no composer for the piano, like him; and thus I could go
on quoting ad infinitum. A writer in the "Gazette musicale" (of
the year 1835, I think), who, although he places at the head of
his article side by side the names of Liszt, Hiller, Chopin, and-
-Bertini, proved himself in the characterisation of these
pianists a man of some insight, remarks of Chopin: "Thought,
style, conception, even the fingering, everything, in fact,
appears individual, but of a communicative, expansive
individuality, an individuality of which superficial
organisations alone fail to recognise the magnetic influence."
Chopin's place among the great pianists of the second quarter of
this century has been felicitously characterised by an anonymous
contemporary: Thalberg, he said, is a king, Liszt a prophet,
Chopin a poet, Herz an advocate, Kalkbrenner a minstrel, Madame
Pleyel a sibyl, and Doehler a pianist.

But if our investigation is to be profitable, we must proceed
analytically. It will be best to begin with the fundamental
technical qualities. First of all, then, we have to note the
suppleness and equality of Chopin's fingers and the perfect
independence of his hands. "The evenness of his scales and
passages in all kinds of touch," writes Mikuli, "was unsurpassed,
nay, prodigious." Gutmann told me that his master's playing was
particularly smooth, and his fingering calculated to attain this
result. A great lady who was present at Chopin's last concert in
Paris (1848), when he played among other works his Valse in D
flat (Op. 64, No. 1), wished to know "le secret de Chopin pour
que les gammes fussent si COULEES sur le piano." Madame Dubois,
who related this incident to me, added that the expression was
felicitous, for this "limpidite delicate" had never been
equalled. Such indeed were the lightness, delicacy, neatness,
elegance, and gracefulness of Chopin's playing that they won for
him the name of Ariel of the piano. The reader will remember how
much Chopin admired these qualities in other artists, notably in
Mdlle. Sontag and in Kalkbrenner.

So high a degree and so peculiar a kind of excellence was of
course attainable only under exceptionally favourable conditions,
physical as well as mental. The first and chief condition was a
suitably formed hand. Now, no one can look at Chopin's hand, of
which there exists a cast, without perceiving at once its
capabilities. It was indeed small, but at the same time it was
thin, light, delicately articulated, and, if I may say so, highly
expressive. Chopin's whole body was extraordinarily flexible.
According to Gutmann, he could, like a clown, throw his legs over
his shoulders. After this we may easily imagine how great must
have been the flexibility of his hands, those members of his body
which he had specially trained all his life. Indeed, the
startlingly wide-spread chords, arpeggios, &c., which constantly
occur in his compositions, and which until he introduced them had
been undreamt-of and still are far from being common, seemed to
offer him no difficulty, for he executed them not only without
any visible effort, but even with a pleasing ease and freedom.
Stephen Heller told me that it was a wonderful sight to see one
of those small hands expand and cover a third of the keyboard. It
was like the opening of the mouth of a serpent which is going to
swallow a rabbit whole. In fact, Chopin appeared to be made of

In the criticisms on Chopin's public performances we have met
again and again with the statement that he brought little tone
out of the piano. Now, although it is no doubt true that Chopin
could neither subdue to his sway large audiences nor successfully
battle with a full orchestra, it would be a mistake to infer from
this that he was always a weak and languid player. Stephen
Heller, who declared that Chopin's tone was rich, remembered
hearing him play a duet with Moscheles (the latter's duet, of
which Chopin was so fond), and on this occasion the Polish
pianist, who insisted on playing the bass, drowned the treble of
his partner, a virtuoso well known for his vigour and brilliancy.
Were we, however, to form our judgment on this single item of
evidence, we should again arrive at a wrong conclusion. Where
musical matters--i.e., matters generally estimated according to
individual taste and momentary impressibility alone--are
concerned, there is safety only in the multitude of witnesses.
Let us, therefore, hear first what Chopin's pupils have got to
say on this point, and then go and inquire further. Gutmann said
that Chopin played generally very quietly, and rarely, indeed
hardly ever, fortissimo. The A flat major Polonaise (Op. 53), for
instance, he could not thunder forth in the way we are accustomed
to hear it. As for the famous octave passages which occur in it,
he began them pianissimo and continued thus without much increase
in loudness. And, then, Chopin never thumped. M. Mathias remarks
that his master had extraordinary vigour, but only in flashes.
Mikuli's preface to his edition of the works of Chopin affords
more explicit information. We read there:--

  The tone which Chopin brought out of the instrument was
  always, especially in the cantabiles, immense (riesengross),
  only Field could perhaps in this respect be compared to him. A
  manly energy gave to appropriate passages overpowering effect--
  energy without roughness (Rohheit); but, on the other hand,
  he knew how by delicacy--delicacy without affectation--to
  captivate the hearer.

We may summarise these various depositions by saying with Lenz
that, being deficient in physical strength, Chopin put his all in
the cantabile style, in the connections and combinations, in the
detail. But two things are evident, and they ought to be noted:
(1) The volume of tone, of pure tone, which Chopin was capable of
producing was by no means inconsiderable; (2) he had learnt the
art of economising his means so as to cover his shortcomings.
This last statement is confirmed by some remarks of Moscheles
which have already been quoted--namely, that Chopin's piano was
breathed forth so softly that he required no vigorous forte to
produce the desired contrasts; and that one did not miss the
orchestral effects which the German school demanded from a
pianist, but allowed one's self to be carried away as by a singer
who takes little heed of the accompaniment and follows his own

In listening to accounts of Chopin's style of playing, we must
not leave out of consideration the time to which they refer. What
is true of the Chopin of 1848 is not true of the Chopin of 1831
nor of 1841. In the last years of his life he became so weak that
sometimes, as Stephen Heller told me, his playing was hardly
audible. He then made use of all sorts of devices to hide the
want of vigour, often modifying the original conception of his
compositions, but always producing beautiful effects. Thus, to
give only one example (for which and much other interesting
information I am indebted to Mr. Charles Halle), Chopin played at
his last concert in Paris (February, 1848) the two forte passages
towards the end of the Barcarole, not as they are printed, but
pianissimo and with all sorts of dynamic finesses. Having
possessed himself of the most recondite mysteries of touch, and
mastered as no other pianist had done the subtlest gradations of
tone, he even then, reduced by disease as he was, did not give
the hearer the impression of weakness. At least this is what Mr.
Otto Goldschmidt relates, who likewise was present at this
concert. There can be no doubt that what Chopin aimed at chiefly,
or rather, let us say, what his physical constitution permitted
him to aim at, was quality not quantity of tone. A writer in the
"Menestrel" (October 21, 1849) remarks that for Chopin, who in
this was unlike all other pianists, the piano had always too much
tone; and that his constant endeavour was to SENTIMENTALISE the
timbre, his greatest care to avoid everything which approached
the fracas pianistique of the time.

Of course, a true artist's touch has besides its mechanical also
its spiritual aspect. With regard to this it is impossible to
overlook the personal element which pervaded and characterised
Chopin's touch. M. Marmontel does not forget to note it in his
"Pianistes Celebres." He writes:--

  In the marvellous art of carrying and modulating the tone, in
  the expressive, melancholy manner of shading it off, Chopin
  was entirely himself. He had quite an individual way of
  attacking the keyboard, a supple, mellow touch, sonorous
  effects of a vaporous fluidity of which only he knew the

In connection with Chopin's production of tone, I must not omit
to mention his felicitous utilisation of the loud and soft
pedals. It was not till the time of Liszt, Thalberg, and Chopin
that the pedals became a power in pianoforte-playing. Hummel did
not understand their importance, and failed to take advantage of
them. The few indications we find in Beethoven's works prove that
this genius began to see some of the as yet latent possibilities.
Of the virtuosi,

Moscheles was the first who made a more extensive and artistic
use of the pedals, although also he employed them sparingly
compared with his above-named younger contemporaries. Every
pianist of note has, of course, his own style of pedalling.
Unfortunately, there are no particulars forthcoming with regard
to Chopin's peculiar style; and this is the more to be regretted
as the composer was very careless in his notation of the pedals.
Rubinstein declares that most of the pedal marks in Chopin's
compositions are wrongly placed. If nothing more, we know at
least thus much: "No pianist before him [Chopin] has employed the
pedals alternately or simultaneously with so much tact and
ability," and "in making constantly use of the pedal he obtained
des harmonies ravissantes, des bruissements melodiques qui
etonnaient et charmaient." [FOOTNOTE: Marmontel: "Les Pianistes

The poetical qualities of Chopin's playingare not so easily
defined as the technical ones. Indeed, if they are definable at
all they are so only by one who, like Liszt, is a poet as well as
a great pianist. I shall, therefore, transcribe from his book
some of the most important remarks bearing on this matter.

After saying that Chopin idealised the fugitive poesy inspired by
fugitive apparitions like "La Fee aux Miettes," "Le Lutin
d'Argail," &c., to such an extent as to render its fibres so thin
and friable that they seemed no longer to belong to our nature,
but to reveal to us the indiscreet confidences of the Undines,
Titanias, Ariels, Queen Mabs, and Oberons, Liszt proceeds thus:--

  When this kind of inspiration laid hold of Chopin his playing
  assumed a distinctive character, whatever the kind of music he
  executed might be--dance-music or dreamy music, mazurkas or
  nocturnes, preludes or scherzos, waltzes or tarantellas,
  studies or ballades. He imprinted on them all one knows not
  what nameless colour, what vague appearance, what pulsations
  akin to vibration, that had almost no longer anything material
  about them, and, like the imponderables, seemed to act on
  one's being without passing through the senses. Sometimes one
  thought one heard the joyous tripping of some amorously-
  teasing Peri; sometimes there were modulations velvety and
  iridescent as the robe of a salamander; sometimes one heard
  accents of deep despondency, as if souls in torment did not
  find the loving prayers necessary for their final deliverance.
  At other times there breathed forth from his fingers a despair
  so mournful, so inconsolable, that one thought one saw Byron's
  Jacopo Foscari come to life again, and contemplated the
  extreme dejection of him who, dying of love for his country,
  preferred death to exile, being unable to endure the pain of
  leaving Venezia la bella!

It is interesting to compare this description with that of
another poet, a poet who sent forth his poetry daintily dressed
in verse as well as carelessly wrapped in prose. Liszt tells us
that Chopin had in his imagination and talent something "qui, par
la purete de sa diction, par ses accointances avec La Fee aux
Miettes et Le Lutin d'Argail, par ses rencon-tres de Seraphine et
de Diane, murmurant a son oreille leurs plus confidentielles
plaintes, leurs reves les plus innommes," [FOOTNOTE: The
allusions are to stories by Charles Nodier. According to Sainte-
Beuve, "La Fee aux Miettes" was one of those stories in which the
author was influenced by Hoffmann's creations.] reminded him of
Nodier. Now, what thoughts did Chopin's playing call up in Heine?

  Yes, one must admit that Chopin has genius in the full sense
  of the word; he is not only a virtuoso, he is also a poet; he
  can embody for us the poesy which lives within his soul, he is
  a tone-poet, and nothing can be compared to the pleasure which
  he gives us when he sits at the piano and improvises. He is
  then neither a Pole, nor a Frenchman, nor a German, he reveals
  then a higher origin, one perceives then that he comes from
  the land of Mozart, Raphael, and Goethe, his true fatherland
  is the dream-realm of poesy. When he sits at the piano and
  improvises I feel as though a countryman from my beloved
  native land were visiting me and telling me the most curious
  things which have taken place there during my
  absence...Sometimes I should like to interrupt him with
  questions: And how is the beautiful little water-nymph who
  knows how to fasten her silvery veil so coquettishly round her
  green locks? Does the white-bearded sea-god still persecute
  her with his foolish, stale love? Are the roses at home still
  in their flame-hued pride? Do the trees still sing as
  beautifully in the moonlight?

But to return to Liszt. A little farther on than the passage I
quoted above he says:--

  In his playing the great artist rendered exquisitely that kind
  of agitated trepidation, timid or breathless, which seizes the
  heart when one believes one's self in the vicinity of
  supernatural beings, in presence of those whom one does not
  know either how to divine or to lay hold of, to embrace or to
  charm. He always made the melody undulate like a skiff borne
  on the bosom of a powerful wave; or he made it move vaguely
  like an aerial apparition suddenly sprung up in this tangible
  and palpable world. In his writings he at first indicated this
  manner which gave so individual an impress to his virtuosity
  by the term tempo rubato: stolen, broken time--a measure at
  once supple, abrupt, and languid, vacillating like the flame
  under the breath which agitates it, like the corn in a field
  swayed by the soft pressure of a warm air, like the top of
  trees bent hither and thither by a keen breeze.

  But as the term taught nothing to him who knew, said nothing
  to him who did not know, understand, and feel, Chopin
  afterwards ceased to add this explanation to his music, being
  persuaded that if one understood it, it was impossible not to
  divine this rule of irregularity. Accordingly, all his
  compositions ought to be played with that kind of accented,
  rhythmical balancement, that morbidezza, the secret of which
  it was difficult to seize if one had not often heard him play.

Let us try if it is not possible to obtain a clearer notion of
this mysterious tempo rubato. Among instrumentalists the "stolen
time" was brought into vogue especially by Chopin and Liszt. But
it is not an invention of theirs or their time. Quanz, the great
flutist (see Marpurg: "Kritische Beitrage." Vol. I.), said that
he heard it for the first time from the celebrated singer Santa
Stella Lotti, who was engaged in 1717 at the Dresden Opera, and
died in 1759 at Venice. Above all, however, we have to keep in
mind that the tempo rubato is a genus which comprehends numerous
species. In short, the tempo rubato of Chopin is not that of
Liszt, that of Liszt is not that of Henselt, and so on. As for
the general definitions we find in dictionaries, they can afford
us no particular enlightenment. But help comes to us from
elsewhere. Liszt explained Chopin's tempo rubato in a very
poetical and graphic manner to his pupil the Russian pianist
Neilissow:--"Look at these trees!" he said, "the wind plays in
the leaves, stirs up life among them, the tree remains the same,
that is Chopinesque rubato." But how did the composer himself
describe it? From Madame Dubois and other pupils of Chopin we
learn that he was in the habit of saying to them: "Que votre main
gauche soit votre maitre de chapelle et garde toujours la mesure"
(Let your left hand be your conductor and always keep time).
According to Lenz Chopin taught also: "Angenommen, ein Stuck
dauert so und so viel Minuten, wenn das Ganze nur so lange
gedauert hat, im Einzelnen kann's anders sein!" (Suppose a piece
lasts so and so many minutes, if only the whole lasts so long,
the differences in the details do not matter). This is somewhat
ambiguous teaching, and seems to be in contradiction to the
preceding precept. Mikuli, another pupil of Chopin's, explains
his master's tempo rubato thus:--"While the singing hand, either
irresolutely lingering or as in passionate speech eagerly
anticipating with a certain impatient vehemence, freed the truth
of the musical expression from all rhythmical fetters, the other,
the accompanying hand, continued to play strictly in time." We
get a very lucid description of Chopin's tempo rubato from the
critic of the Athenaeum who after hearing the pianist-composer at
a London matinee in 1848 wrote:--"He makes free use of tempo
rubato; leaning about within his bars more than any player we
recollect, but still subject to a presiding measure such as
presently habituates the ear to the liberties taken." Often, no
doubt, people mistook for tempo rubato what in reality was a
suppression or displacement of accent, to which kind of playing
the term is indeed sometimes applied. The reader will remember
the following passage from a criticism in the "Wiener
Theaterzeitung" of 1829:--"There are defects noticeable in the
young man's [Chopin's] playing, among which is perhaps especially
to be mentioned the non-observance of the indication by accent of
the commencement of musical phrases." Mr. Halle related to me an
interesting dispute bearing on this matter. The German pianist
told Chopin one day that he played in his mazurkas often 4/4
instead of 3/4 time. Chopin would not admit it at first, but when
Mr. Halle proved his case by counting to Chopin's playing, the
latter admitted the correctness of the observation, and laughing
said that this was national. Lenz reports a similar dispute
between Chopin and Meyerbeer. In short, we may sum up in
Moscheles' words, Chopin's playing did not degenerate into
Tactlosigkeit [lit., timelessness], but it was of the most
charming originality. Along with the above testimony we have,
however, to take note of what Berlioz said on the subject:
"Chopin supportait mal le frein de la mesure; il a pousse
beaucoup trap loin, selon moi, l'independance rhythmique."
Berlioz even went so far as to say that "Chopin could not play
strictly in time [ne pouvait pas jouer regulierement]."

Indeed, so strange was Chopin's style that when Mr. Charles Halle
first heard him play his compositions he could not imagine how
what he heard was represented by musical signs. But strange as
Chopin's style of playing was he thinks that its peculiarities
are generally exaggerated. The Parisians said of Rubinstein's
playing of compositions of Chopin: "Ce n'est pas ca!" Mr. Halle
himself thinks that Rubinstein's rendering of Chopin is clever,
but not Chopinesque. Nor do Von Bulow's readings come near the
original. As for Chopin's pupils, they are even less successful
than others in imitating their master's style. The opinion of one
who is so distinguished a pianist and at the same time was so
well acquainted with Chopin as Mr. Halle is worth having. Hearing
Chopin often play his compositions he got so familiar with that
master's music and felt so much in sympathy with it that the
composer liked to have it played by him, and told him that when
he was in the adjoining room he could imagine he was playing

But it is time that we got off the shoals on which we have been
lying so long. Well, Lenz shall set us afloat:--

  In the undulation of the motion, in that suspension and unrest
  [Hangen und Bangen], in the rubato as he understood it, Chopin
  was captivating, every note was the outcome of the best taste
  in the best sense of the word. If he introduced an
  embellishment, which happened only rarely, it was always a
  kind of miracle of good taste. Chopin was by his whole nature
  unfitted to render Beethoven or Weber, who paint on a large
  scale and with a big brush. Chopin was an artist in crayons
  [Pastellmaler], but an INCOMPARABLE one! By the side of Liszt
  he might pass with honour for that master's well-matched wife
  [ebenburtige Frau, i.e., wife of equal rank]. Beethoven's B
  flat major Sonata, Op. 106, and Chopin exclude each other.

One day Chopin took Lenz with him to the Baronne Krudner and her
friend the Countess Scheremetjew to whom he had promised to play
the variations of Beethoven's Sonata in A flat major (Op. 26).
And how did he play them?

  Beautifully [says Lenz], but not so beautifully as his own
  things, not enthrallingly [packend], not en relief, not as a
  romance increasing in interest from variation to variation. He
  whispered it mezza voce, but it was incomparable in the
  cantilena, infinitely perfect in the phrasing of the
  structure, ideally beautiful, but FEMININE! Beethoven is a man
  and never ceases to be one!

  Chopin played on a Pleyel, he made it a point never to give
  lessons on another instrument; they were obliged to get a
  Pleyel. All were charmed, I also was charmed, but only with
  the tone of Chopin, with his touch, with his sweetness and
  grace, with the purity of his style.

Chopin's purity of style, self-command, and aristocratic reserve
have to be quite especially noted by us who are accustomed to
hear the master's compositions played wildly, deliriously,
ostentatiously. J. B. Cramer's remarks on Chopin are significant.
The master of a bygone age said of the master of the then
flourishing generation:--

  I do not understand him, but he plays beautifully and
  correctly, oh! very correctly, he does not give way to his
  passion like other young men, but I do not understand him.

What one reads and hears of Chopin's playing agrees with the
account of his pupil Mikuli, who remarks that, with all the
warmth which Chopin possessed in so high a degree, his rendering
was nevertheless temperate [massvoll], chaste, nay, aristocratic,
and sometimes even severely reserved. When, on returning home
from the above-mentioned visit to the Russian ladies, Lenz
expressed his sincere opinion of Chopin's playing of Beethoven's
variations, the master replied testily: "I indicate (j'indique);
the hearer must complete (parachever) the picture." And when
afterwards, while Chopin was changing his clothes in an adjoining
room, Lenz committed the impertinence of playing Beethoven's
theme as he understood it, the master came in in his shirt-
sleeves, sat down beside him, and at the end of the theme laid
his hand on Lenz's shoulder and said: "I shall tell Liszt of it;
this has never happened to me before; but it is beautiful--well,
declamatoirement)?" The italics in the text, not those in
parentheses, are mine. I marked some of Chopin's words thus that
they might get the attention they deserve. "Tell me with whom you
associate, and I will tell you who you are." Parodying this
aphorism one might say, not without a good deal of truth: Tell me
what piano you use, and I will tell you what sort of a pianist
you are. Liszt gives us all the desirable information as to
Chopin's predilection in this respect. But Lenz too has, as we
have seen, touched on this point. Liszt writes:--

  While Chopin was strong and healthy, as during the first years
  of his residence in Paris, he used to play on an Erard piano;
  but after his friend Camille Pleyel had made him a present of
  one of his splendid instruments, remarkable for their metallic
  ring and very light touch, he would play on no other maker's.

  If he was engaged for a soiree at the house of one of his
  Polish or French friends, he would often send his own
  instrument, if there did not happen to be a Pleyel in the

  Chopin was very partial to [affectionnait] Pleyel's pianos,
  particularly on account of their silvery and somewhat veiled
  sonority, and of the easy touch which permitted him to draw
  from them sounds which one might have believed to belong to
  those harmonicas of which romantic Germany has kept the
  monopoly, and which her ancient masters constructed so
  ingeniously, marrying crystal to water.

Chopin himself said:--

  When I am indisposed, I play on one of Erard's pianos and
  there I easily find a ready-made tone. But when I feel in the
  right mood and strong enough to find my own tone for myself, I
  must have one of Pleyel's pianos.

From the fact that Chopin played during his visit to Great
Britain in 1848 at public concerts as well as at private parties
on instruments of Broadwood's, we may conclude that he also
appreciated the pianos of this firm. In a letter dated London,
48, Dover Street, May 6, 1848, he writes to Gutmann: "Erard a ete
charmant, il m'a fait poser un piano. J'ai un de Broadwood et un
de Pleyel, ce qui fait 3, et je ne trouve pas encore le temps
pour les jouer." And in a letter dated Edinburgh, August 6, and
Calder House, August 11, he writes to Franchomme: "I have a
Broadwood piano in my room, and the Pleyel of Miss Stirling in
the salon."

Here, I think, will be the fittest place to record what I have
learnt regarding Chopin's musical taste and opinions on music and
musicians, and what will perhaps illustrate better than any other
part of this book the character of the man and artist. His
opinions of composers and musical works show that he had in a
high degree les vices de ses qualites. The delicacy of his
constitution and the super-refinement of his breeding, which put
within his reach the inimitable beauties of subtlest tenderness
and grace that distinguish his compositions and distinguished his
playing, were disqualifications as well as qualifications. "Every
kind of uncouth roughness [toutes les rudesses sauvages] inspired
him with aversion," says Liszt. "In music as in literature and in
every-day life everything which bordered on melodrama was torture
to him." In short, Chopin was an aristocrat with all the
exclusiveness of an aristocrat.

The inability of men of genius to appreciate the merit of one or
the other of their great predecessors and more especially of
their contemporaries has often been commented on and wondered at,
but I doubt very much whether a musician could be instanced whose
sympathies were narrower than those of Chopin. Besides being
biographically important, the record of the master's likings and
dislikings will teach a useful lesson to the critic and furnish
some curious material for the psychological student.

Highest among all the composers, living and dead, Chopin esteemed
Mozart. Him he regarded as "the ideal type, the poet par
excellence." It is related of Chopin--with what truth I do not
know--that he never travelled without having either the score of
"Don Giovanni" or that of the "Requiem" in his portmanteau.
Significant, although not founded on fact, is the story according
to which he expressed the wish that the "Requiem" should be
performed at his funeral service. Nothing, however, shows his
love for the great German master more unmistakably and more
touchingly than the words which on his death-bed he addressed to
his dear friends the Princess Czartoryska and M. Franchomme: "You
will play Mozart together, and I shall hear you." And why did
Chopin regard Mozart as the ideal type, the poet par excellence?
Liszt answers: "Because Mozart condescended more rarely than any
other composer to cross the steps which separate refinement from
vulgarity." But what no doubt more especially stirred
sympathetic chords in the heart of Chopin, and inspired him with
that loving admiration for the earlier master, was the sweetness,
the grace, and the harmoniousness which in Mozart's works reign
supreme and undisturbed--the unsurpassed and unsurpassable
perfect loveliness and lovely perfection which result from a
complete absence of everything that is harsh, hard, awkward,
unhealthy, and eccentric. And yet, says Liszt of Chopin:--

  His sybaritism of purity, his apprehension of what was
  commonplace, were such that even in "Don Giovanni," even in
  this immortal chef-d'oeuvre, he discovered passages the
  presence of which we have heard him regret. His worship of
  Mozart was not thereby diminished, but as it were saddened.

The composer who next to Mozart stood highest in Chopin's esteem
was Bach. "It was difficult to say," remarks Mikuli, "which of
the two he loved most." Chopin not only, as has already been
mentioned, had works of Bach on his writing-table at Valdemosa,
corrected the Parisian edition for his own use, and prepared
himself for his concerts by playing Bach, but also set his pupils
to study the immortal cantor's suites, partitas, and preludes and
fugues. Madame Dubois told me that at her last meeting with him
(in 1848) he recommended her "de toujours travailler Bach,"
adding that that was the best means of making progress.

Hummel, Field, and Moscheles were the pianoforte composers who
seem to have given Chopin most satisfaction. Mozart and Bach were
his gods, but these were his friends. Gutmann informed me that
Chopin was particularly fond of Hummel; Liszt writes that Hummel
was one of the composers Chopin played again and again with the
greatest pleasure; and from Mikuli we learn that of Hummel's
compositions his master liked best the Fantasia, the Septet, and
the Concertos. Liszt's statement that the Nocturnes of Field were
regarded by Chopin as "insuffisants" seems to me disproved by
unexceptionable evidence. Chopin schooled his pupils most
assiduously and carefully in the Nocturnes as well as in the
Concertos of Field, who was, to use Madame Dubois's words, "an
author very sympathetic to him." Mikuli relates that Chopin had a
predilection for Field's A flat Concerto and the Nocturnes, and
that, when playing the latter, he used to improvise the most
charming embellishments. To take liberties with another artist's
works and complain when another artist takes liberties with your
own works is very inconsistent, is it not? But it is also
thoroughly human, and Chopin was not exempt from the common
failing. One day when Liszt did with some composition of Chopin's
what the latter was in the habit of doing with Field's Nocturnes,
the enraged composer is said to have told his friend to play his
compositions as they were written or to let them alone. M.
Marmontel writes:--

  Either from a profound love of the art or from an excess of
  conscience personelle, Chopin could not bear any one to touch
  the text of his works. The slightest modification seemed to
  him a grave fault which he did not even forgive his intimate
  friends, his fervent admirers, Liszt not excepted. I have many
  a time, as well as my master, Zimmermann, caused Chopin's
  sonatas, concertos, ballades, and allegros to be played as
  examination pieces; but restricted as I was to a fragment of
  the work, I was pained by the thought of hurting the composer,
  who considered these alterations a veritable sacrilege.

This, however, is a digression. Little need be added to what has
already been said in another chapter of the third composer of the
group we were speaking of. Chopin, the reader will remember, told
Moscheles that he loved his music, and Moscheles admitted that he
who thus complimented him was intimately acquainted with it. From
Mikuli we learn that Moscheles' studies were very sympathetic to
his master. As to Moscheles' duets, they were played by Chopin
probably more frequently than the works of any other composer,
excepting of course his own works. We hear of his playing them
not only with his pupils, but with Osborne, with Moscheles
himself, and with Liszt, who told me that Chopin was fond of
playing with him the duets of Moscheles and Hummel.

Speaking of playing duets reminds me of Schubert, who, Gutmann
informed me, was a favourite of Chopin's. The Viennese master's
"Divertissement hongrois" he admired without reserve. Also the
marches and polonaises a quatre mains he played with his pupils.
But his teaching repertoire seems to have contained, with the
exception of the waltzes, none of the works a deux mains, neither
the sonatas, nor the impromptus, nor the "Moments musicals." This
shows that if Schubert was a favourite of Chopin's, he was so
only to a certain extent. Indeed, Chopin even found fault with
the master where he is universally regarded as facile princeps.
Liszt remarks:--

  In spite of the charm which he recognised in some of
  Schubert's melodies, he did not care to hear those whose
  contours were too sharp for his ear, where feeling is as it
  were denuded, where one feels, so to speak, the flesh
  palpitate and the bones crack under the grasp of anguish. A
  propos of Schubert, Chopin is reported to have said: "The
  sublime is dimmed when it is followed by the common or the

I shall now mention some of those composers with whom Chopin was
less in sympathy. In the case of Weber his approval, however,
seems to have outweighed his censure. At least Mikuli relates
that the E minor and A flat major Sonatas and the "Concertstuck"
were among those works for which his master had a predilection,
and Madame Dubois says that he made his pupils play the Sonatas
in C and in A flat major with extreme care. Now let us hear Lenz:-

  He could not appreciate Weber; he spoke of "opera,"
  "unsuitable for the piano" [unklaviermassig]! On the whole,
  Chopin was little in sympathy with the GERMAN spirit in music,
  although I heard him say: "There is only ONE SCHOOL, the

Gutmann informed me that he brought the A flat major Sonata with
him from Germany in 1836 or 1837, and that Chopin did not know it
then. It is hard enough to believe that Liszt asked Lenz in 1828
if the composer of the "Freischutz" had also written for the
piano, but Chopin's ignorance in 1836 is much more startling. Did
fame and publications travel so slowly in the earlier part of the
century? Had genius to wait so long for recognition? If the
statement, for the correctness of which Gutmann alone is
responsible, rests on fact and not on some delusion of memory,
this most characteristic work of Weber and one of the most
important items of the pianoforte literature did not reach
Chopin, one of the foremost European pianists, till twenty years
after its publication, which took place in December, 1816.

That Chopin had a high opinion of Beethoven may be gathered from
a story which Lenz relates in an article written for the
"Berliner Musikzeitung" (Vol. XXVI). Little Filtsch--the talented
young Hungarian who made Liszt say: "I shall shut my shop when he
begins to travel"--having played to a select company invited by
his master the latter's Concerto in E minor, Chopin was so
pleased with his pupil's performance that he went with him to
Schlesinger's music-shop, asked for the score of "Fidelio," and
presented it to him with the words:--"I am in your debt, you have
given me great pleasure to-day, I wrote the concerto in a happy
time, accept, my dear young friend, the great master work! read
in it as long as you live and remember me also sometimes." But
Chopin's high opinion of Beethoven was neither unlimited nor
unqualified. His attitude as regards this master, which
Franchomme briefly indicated by saying that his friend loved
Beethoven, but had his dislikes in connection with him, is more
fully explained by Liszt.

  However great his admiration for the works of Beethoven might
  be, certain parts of them seemed to him too rudely fashioned.
  Their structure was too athletic to please him; their wraths
  seemed to him too violent [leurs courroux lui semblaient trop
  rugissants]. He held that in them passion too closely
  approaches cataclysm; the lion's marrow which is found in
  every member of his phrases was in his opinion a too
  substantial matter, and the seraphic accents, the Raphaelesque
  profiles, which appear in the midst of the powerful creations
  of this genius, became at times almost painful to him in so
  violent a contrast.

I am able to illustrate this most excellent general description
by some examples. Chopin said that Beethoven raised him one
moment up to the heavens and the next moment precipitated him to
the earth, nay, into the very mire. Such a fall Chopin
experienced always at the commencement of the last movement of
the C minor Symphony. Gutmann, who informed me of this, added
that pieces such as the first movement of the Moonlight Sonata (C
sharp minor) were most highly appreciated by his master. One day
when Mr. Halle played to Chopin one of the three Sonatas, Op. 31
(I am not sure which it was), the latter remarked that he had
formerly thought the last movement VULGAR. From this Mr. Halle
naturally concluded that Chopin could not have studied the works
of Beethoven thoroughly. This conjecture is confirmed by what we
learn from Lenz, who in 1842 saw a good deal of Chopin, and
thanks to his Boswellian inquisitiveness, persistence, and
forwardness, made himself acquainted with a number of interesting
facts. Lenz and Chopin spoke a great deal about Beethoven after
that visit to the Russian ladies mentioned in a foregoing part of
this chapter. They had never spoken of the great master before.
Lenz says of Chopin:--

  He did not take a very serious interest in Beethoven; he knew
  only his principal compositions, the last works not at all.
  This was in the Paris air! People knew the symphonies, the
  quartets of the middle period but little, the last ones not at

Chopin, on being told by Lenz that Beethoven had in the F minor
Quartet anticipated Mendelssohn, Schumann, and him; and that the
scherzo prepared the way for his mazurka-fantasias, said: "Bring
me this quartet, I do not know it." According to Mikuli Chopin
was a regular frequenter of the concerts of the Societe des
Concerts du Conservatoire and of the Alard, Franchomme, &c.,
quartet party. But one of the most distinguished musicians living
in Paris, who knew Chopin's opinion of Beethoven, suspects that
the music was for him not the greatest attraction of the
Conservatoire concerts, that in fact, like most of those who went
there, he considered them a fashionable resort. True or not, the
suspicion is undeniably significant. "But Mendelssohn," the
reader will say, "surely Chopin must have admired and felt in
sympathy with this sweet-voiced, well-mannered musician?"
Nothing, however, could be farther from the truth. Chopin hated
Mendelssohn's D minor Trio, and told Halle that that composer had
never written anything better than the first Song without Words.
Franchomme, stating the case mildly, says that Chopin did not
care much for Mendelssohn's music; Gutmann, however, declared
stoutly that his master positively disliked it and thought it
COMMON. This word and the mention of the Trio remind me of a
passage in Hiller's "Mendelssohn: Letters and Recollections," in
which the author relates how, when his friend played to him the D
minor Trio after its completion, he was favourably impressed by
the fire, spirit, and flow, in one word, the masterly character
of the work, but had some misgivings about certain pianoforte
passages, especially those based on broken chords, which,
accustomed as he was by his constant intercourse with Liszt and
Chopin during his stay of several years in Paris to the rich
passage work of the new school, appeared to him old-fashioned.
Mendelssohn, who in his letters repeatedly alludes to his
sterility in the matter of new pianoforte passages, allowed
himself to be persuaded by Hiller to rewrite the pianoforte part,
and was pleased with the result. It is clear from the above that
if Mendelssohn failed to give Chopin his due, Chopin did more
than apply the jus talionis.

Schumann, however, found still less favour in the eyes of Chopin
than Mendelssohn; for whilst among the works which, for instance,
Madame Dubois, who was Chopin's pupil for five years, studied
under her master, Mendelssohn was represented at least by the
Songs without Words and the G minor Concerto, Schumann was
conspicuous by his total absence. And let it be remarked that
this was in the last years of Chopin's life, when Schumann had
composed and published almost all his important works for
pianoforte alone and many of his finest works for pianoforte with
other instruments. M. Mathias, Chopin's pupil during the years
1839-1844, wrote to me: "I think I recollect that he had no great
opinion of Schumann. I remember seeing the "Carnaval," Op. 9, on
his table; he did not speak very highly of it."  In 1838, when
Stephen Heller was about to leave Augsburg for Paris, Schumann
sent him a copy of his "Carnaval" (published in September, 1837),
to be presented to Chopin. This copy had a title-page printed in
various colours and was most tastefully bound; for Schumann knew
Chopin's love of elegance, and wished to please him. Soon after
his arrival in Paris, Heller called on the Polish musician and
found him sitting for his portrait. On receiving the copy of the
"Carnaval" Chopin said: "How beautifully they get up these things
in Germany!" but uttered not a word about the music. However, we
shall see presently what his opinion of it was. Some time,
perhaps some years, after this first meeting with Chopin, Heller
was asked by Schlesinger whether he would advise him to publish
Schumann's "Carnaval."  Heller answered that it would be a good
speculation, for although the work would probably not sell well
at first, it was sure to pay in the long run. Thereupon
Schlesinger confided to Heller what Chopin had told him--namely,
that the "Carnaval" was not music at all. The contemplation of
this indifference and more than indifference of a great artist to
the creations of one of his most distinguished contemporaries is
saddening, especially if we remember how devoted Schumann was to
Chopin, how he admired him, loved him, upheld him, and idolised
him. Had it not been for Schumann's enthusiastic praise and
valiant defence Chopin's fame would have risen and spread, more
slowly in Germany.

"Of virtuoso music of any kind I never saw anything on his desk,
nor do I think anybody else ever did," says Mikuli.. This,
although true in the main, is somewhat too strongly stated.
Kalkbrenner, whose "noisy virtuosities [virtuosites tapageuses]
and decorative expressivities [expressivites decoratives]" Chopin
regarded with antipathy, and Thalberg, whose shallow elegancies
and brilliancies he despised, were no doubt altogether banished
from his desk; this, however, seems not to have been the case
with Liszt, who occasionally made his appearance there. Thus
Madame Dubois studied under Chopin Liszt's transcription of
Rossini's "Tarantella" and of the Septet from Donizetti's "Lucia
di Lammermoor."  But the compositions of Liszt that had Chopin's
approval were very limited in number. Chopin, who viewed making
concessions to bad taste at the cost of true art and for the sake
of success with the greatest indignation, found his former friend
often guilty of this sin. In 1840 Liszt's transcription of
Beethoven's "Adelaide" was published in a supplement to the
Gazette musicale. M. Mathias happened to come to Chopin on the
day when the latter had received the number of the journal which
contained the piece in question, and found his master furious,
outre, on account of certain cadenzas which he considered out of
place and out of keeping.

We have seen in one of the earlier chapters how little Chopin
approved of Berlioz's matter and manner; some of the ultra-
romanticist's antipodes did not fare much better. As for Halevy,
Chopin had no great opinion of him; Meyerbeer's music he heartily
disliked; and, although not insensible to Auber's French esprit
and liveliness, he did not prize this master's works very highly.
Indeed, at the Italian opera-house he found more that was to his
taste than at the French opera-houses. Bellini's music had a
particular charm for Chopin, and he was also an admirer of

The above notes exemplify and show the truth of Liszt's remark:--

  In the great models and the master-works of art Chopin sought
  only what corresponded with his nature. What resembled it
  pleased him; what differed from it hardly received justice
  from him.




Chopin's life from 1843 to 1847 was too little eventful to lend
itself to a chronologically progressive narrative. I shall,
therefore, begin this chapter with a number of letters written by
the composer during this period to his friend Franchomme, and
then endeavour to describe Chopin's mode of life, friends,
character, &c.

The following fascicle of letters, although containing less about
the writer's thoughts, feelings, and doings than we could wish,
affords nevertheless matter of interest. At any rate, much
additional light is thrown on Chopin's pecuniary circumstances
and his dealings with his publishers.

Impecuniosity seems to have been a chronic state with the artist
and sometimes to have pressed hard upon him. On one occasion it
even made him write to the father of one of his pupils, and ask
for the payment of the fees for five lessons (100 francs). M.
Mathias tells me that the letter is still in his possession. One
would hardly have expected such a proceeding from a grand
seigneur like Chopin, and many will, no doubt, ask, how it was
that a teacher so much sought after, who got 20 francs a lesson,
and besides had an income from his compositions, was reduced to
such straits. The riddle is easily solved. Chopin was open-handed
and not much of an economist: he spent a good deal on pretty
trifles, assisted liberally his needy countrymen, made handsome
presents to his friends, and is said to have had occasionally to
pay bills of his likewise often impecunious lady-love. Moreover,
his total income was not so large as may be supposed, for
although he could have as many pupils as he wished, he never
taught more than five hours a day, and lived every year for
several months in the country. And then there is one other point
to be taken into consideration: he often gave his lessons gratis.
From Madame Rubio I learned that on one occasion when she had
placed the money for a series of lessons on the mantel-piece, the
master declined to take any of it, with the exception of a 20-
franc piece, for which sum he put her name down on a subscription
list for poor Poles. Lindsay Sloper, too, told me that Chopin
declined payment for the lessons he gave him.

Chopin's business experiences were not, for the most part, of a
pleasant nature; this is shown as much by the facts he mentions
in his letters as by the distrust with which he speaks of the
publishers. Here are some more particulars on the same subject.
Gutmann says that Chopin on his return from Majorca asked
Schlesinger for better terms. But the publisher, whilst
professing the highest opinion of the composer's merit, regretted
that the sale of the compositions was not such as to allow him to
pay more than he had hitherto done.  [FOOTNOTE: Chopin's letters
show that Gutmann's statement is correct. Troupenas was Chopin's
publisher for some time after his return from Majorca.] Stephen
Heller remembered hearing that Breitkopf and Hartel, of Leipzig,
wrote to their Paris agent informing him that they would go on
publishing Chopin's compositions, although, considering their by
no means large sale, the terms at which they got them were too
high. Ed. Wolff related to me that one day he drove with his
countryman to the publisher Troupenas, to whom Chopin wished to
sell his Sonata (probably the one in B flat minor). When after
his negotiations with the publisher Chopin was seated again in
the carriage, he said in Polish: "The pig, he offered me 200
francs for my Sonata!" Chopin's relations with England were even
less satisfactory. At a concert at which Filtsch played, Chopin
introduced Stephen Heller to Wessel or to a representative ofthat
firm, but afterwards remarked: "You won't find them pleasant to
deal with." Chopin at any rate did not find them pleasant to deal
with. Hearing that Gutmann was going to London he asked his pupil
to call at Wessel's and try to renew the contract which had
expired. The publisher on being applied to answered that not only
would he not renew the contract, but that he would not even print
Chopin's compositions if he got them for nothing. Among the
pieces offered was the Berceuse. With regard to this story of
Gutmann's it has, however, to be stated that, though it may have
some foundation of fact, it is not true as he told it; for Wessel
certainly had published the Berceuse by June 26, 1845, and also
published in the course of time the five following works. Then,
however, the connection was broken off by Wessel. Chopin's
grumblings at his English publisher brings before us only one
side of the question. The other side comes in view in the
following piece of information with which Wessel's successor, Mr.
Edwin Ashdown, favoured me:--"In 1847 Mr. Wessel got tired of
buying Chopin's works, which at that time had scarcely any sale,
and discontinued the agreement, his last assignment from Chopin
(of Op. 60, 61, and 62) being dated July 17, 1847." Wessel
advertised these works on September 26, 1846.

Although in the first of the following letters the day, month,
and year when it was written are not mentioned, and the second
and third inform us only of the day and month, but not of the
year, internal evidence shows that the first four letters form
one group and belong to the year 1844. Chopin places the date
sometimes at the head, sometimes at the foot, and sometimes in
the middle of his letters; to give it prominence I shall place it
always at the head, but indicate where he places it in the

Chateau de Nohant, near La Chatre, Indre [August 1, 1844].

  Dearest [Cherissime],--I send you [FOOTNOTE: In addressing
  Franchomme Chopin makes use of the pronoun of the second
  person singular.] the letter from Schlesinger and another for
  him. Read them. He wishes to delay the publication, and I
  cannot do so. If he says NO, give my manuscripts to Maho
  [FOOTNOTE: See next letter.] so that he may get M. Meissonnier
  [FOOTNOTE: A Paris music-publisher. He brought out in the
  following year (1845) Chopin's Op. 57, Berceuse, and Op. 58,
  Sonate (B minor). The compositions spoken of in this and the
  next two letters are Op. 55, Deux Nocturnes, and Op. 56, Trois
  Mazurkas.] to take them for the same price, 600 francs, I
  believe that he (Schlesinger) will engrave them. They must be
  published on the 20th. But you know it is only necessary to
  register the title on that day. I ask your pardon for
  troubling you with all these things. I love you, and apply to
  you as I would to my brother. Embrace your children. My
  regards to Madame Franchomme.--Your devoted friend,

       F. Chopin.

  A thousand compliments from Madame Sand.

  Chateau de Nohant, Indre, August 2 [1844].

  Dearest,--I was in great haste yesterday when I wrote to you
  to apply at Meissonnier's through Maho IF SCHLESINGER REFUSES
  my compositions. I forgot that Henri Lemoine [FOOTNOTE: A
  Paris music-publisher.] paid Schlesinger a very high price for
  my studies, and that I had rather have Lemoine engrave my
  manuscripts than Meissonnier. I give you much trouble, dear
  friend, but here is a letter for H. Lemoine, which I send  to
  you. Read it, and arrange with him. He must either publish the
  compositions or register the titles on the 20th of this month
  (August); ask from him only 300 francs for each, which makes
  600 francs for the two. Tell him he need not pay me till my
  return to Paris if he likes. Give him even the two for 500
  francs if you think it necessary. I had rather do that than
  give them to Meissonnier for 600 francs, as I wrote to you
  yesterday without reflecting. If you have in the meantime
  already arranged something with M., it is a different matter.
  If not, do not let them go for less than 1,000 francs. For
  Maho, who is the correspondent of Haertel (who pays me well)
  might, knowing that I sell my compositions for so little in
  Paris, make me lower my price in Germany. I torment you much
  with my affairs. It is only in case Schlesinger persists in
  his intention not to publish this month. If you think Lemoine
  would give 800 francs for the two works, ask them. I do not
  mention THE PRICE to him so as to leave you complete freedom.
  I have no time to lose before the departure of the mail. I
  embrace you, dear brother--write me a line.--Yours devotedly,


  My regards to Madame. A thousand kisses to your children.

  Nohant, Monday, August 4 [1844].

  Dearest,--I relied indeed on your friendship--therefore the
  celerity with which you have arranged the Schlesinger affair
  for me does not surprise me at all. I thank you from the
  bottom of my heart, and await the moment when I shall be able
  to do as much for you. I imagine all is well in your home--
  that Madame Franchomme and your dear children are well--and
  that you love me as I love you.--Yours devotedly,

       F. CH.

  Madame Sand embraces your dear big darling [fanfan], and sends
  you a hearty grasp of the hand.

  Chateau de Nohant, September 20, 1844.

  Dearest,--If I did not write you before, it was because I
  thought I should see you again this week in Paris. My
  departure being postponed, I send you a line for Schlesinger
  so that he may remit to you the price of my last manuscripts,
  that is to say, 600 francs (100 of which you will keep for
  me). I hope he will do it without making any difficulty about
  it--if not, ask him at once for a line in reply (without
  getting angry), send it to me, and I shall write immediately
  to M. Leo to have the 500 francs you had the kindness to lend
  me remitted to you before the end of the month.

  What shall I say? I often think of our last evening spent with
  my dear sister. [FOOTNOTE: His sister Louise, who had been on
  a visit to him.] How glad she was to hear you! She wrote to me
  about it since from Strasburg, and asked me to remember her to
  you and Madame Franchomme. I hope you are all well, and that I
  shall find you so. Write to me, and love me as I love you.
  Your old

       [A scrawl.]

  A thousand compliments to Madame. I embrace your dear
  children. A thousand compliments from Madame Sand.


  I send you also a receipt for Schlesinger which you will give
  up to him for the money only. Once more, do not be vexed if he
  makes any difficulties. I embrace you.


  August 30, 1845.

  Very dear friend,--Here are three manuscripts for Brandus,
  [FOOTNOTE: Brandus, whose name here appears for the first time
  in Chopin's letters, was the successor of Schlesinger.] and
  three for Maho, who will remit to you Haertel's price for them
  (1,500 francs). Give the manuscripts only at the moment of
  payment. Send a note for 500 francs in your next letter, and
  keep the rest for me. I give you much trouble, I should like
  to spare you it--but--but----.

  Ask Maho not to change the manuscripts destined for Haertel,
  because, as I shall not correct the Leipzig proofs, it is
  important that my copy should be clear. Also ask Brandus to
  send me two proofs, one of which I may keep.

  Now, how are you? and Madame Franchomme and her dear children?
  I know you are in the country--(if St. Germain may be called
  country)--that ought to do you all infinite good in the fine
  weather which we continue to have. Look at my erasures! I
  should not end if I were to launch out into a chat with you,
  and I have not time to resume my letter, for Eug. Delacroix,
  who wishes much to take charge of my message for you, leaves
  immediately. He is the most admirable artist possible--I have
  spent delightful times with him. He adores Mozart--knows all
  his operas by heart.

  Decidedly I am only making blots to-day--pardon me for them.
  Au revoir, dear friend, I love you always, and I think of you
  every day.

  Give my kind regards to Madame Franchomme, and embrace the
  dear children.

  September 22, 1845.

  Very dear friend,--I thank you with all my heart for all your
  journeys after Maho, and your letter which I have just
  received with the money. The day of the publication seems to
  me good, and I have only to ask you again not to let Brandus
  fall asleep on my account or over my accounts.

  Nohant, July 8, 1846.

  Very dear friend,--It was not because I did not think of it
  that I have not written to you sooner, but because I wished to
  send you at the same time my poor manuscripts, which are not
  yet finished. In the meantime here is a letter for M. Brandus.
  When you deliver it to him, be so kind as to ask him for a
  line in reply, which you will have the goodness to send to me;
  because if any unforeseen event occurs, I shall have to apply
  to Meissonnier, their offers being equal.

  My good friend,--I am doing my utmost to work, but I do not
  get on; and if this state of things continues, my new
  productions will no longer remind people either of the
  WARBLING OF LINNETS [gazouillement des fauvettes] [FOOTNOTE:
  This is an allusion to a remark which somebody made on his
  compositions.] or even of BROKEN CHINA [porcelaine cassee]. I
  must resign myself.

  Write to me. I love you as much as ever.

  A thousand kind regards to Madame Franchomme, and many
  compliments from my sister Louise. I embrace your dear


  Madame Sand begs to be remembered to you and Madame

  Chateau de Nohant, near La Chatre, September 17, 1846.

  Very dear friend,--I am very sorry that Brandus is away, and
  that Maho is not yet in a position to receive the manuscripts
  that he has so often asked me for this winter. One must
  therefore wait; meanwhile I beg you will be so kind as to go
  back AS SOON as you judge it possible, for I should not now
  like this to be a long business, having sent my copy to London
  at the same time as to you. Do not tell them this--if they are
  CLEVER tradesmen [marchands habiles] they may cheat me like
  honest people [en honnetes gens]. As this is all my present
  fortune I should prefer the affair to turn out differently.
  Also have the kindness not to consign my manuscripts to them
  without receiving the money agreed upon, and send me
  immediately a note for 500 francs in your letter. You will
  keep the rest for me till my arrival in Paris, which will take
  place probably in the end of October. I thank you a thousand
  times, dear friend, for your good heart and friendly offers.
  Keep your millions for me till another time--is it not already
  too much to dispose of your time as I do?

  [Here follow compliments to and friendly enquiries after
  Franchomme's family.]

  Madame Sand sends you a thousand compliments and desires to be
  remembered to Madame Franchomme.


  I shall answer Madame Rubio. [FOOTNOTE: Nee Vera de
  Kologriwof, a pupil of Chopin's and teacher of music in Paris;
  she married Signor Rubio, an artist, and died in the summer of
  1880 at Florence.] If Mdlle. Stirling [FOOTNOTE: A Scotch lady
  and pupil of Chopin's; I shall have to say more about her by-
  and-by. Madame Erskine was her elder sister.] is at St.
  Germain, do not forget to remember me to her, also to Madame

This will be the proper place to mention the compositions of the
years 1842-47, about the publication of many of which we have
read so much in the above letters. There is no new publication to
be recorded in 1842. The publications of 1843 were: in February--
Op. 51, Allegro vivace, Troisieme Impromptu (G flat major),
dedicated to Madame la Comtesse Esterhazy; in December--Op. 52,
Quatrieme Ballade (F minor), dedicated to Madame la Baronne C. de
Rothschild; Op. 53, Huitieme Polonaise (A flat major), dedicated
to Mr. A. Leo; and Op. 54, Scherzo, No. 4 (E major), dedicated to
Mdlle. J. de Caraman. Those of 1844 were: in August--Op. 55, Deux
Nocturnes (F minor and E flat major), dedicated to Mdlle. J. H.
Stirling; and Op. 56, Trois Mazurkas (A minor, A flat major, and
F sharp minor), dedicated to Mdlle. C. Maberly. Those of 1845: in
May--Op. 57, Berceuse (D flat major), dedicated to Mdlle. Elise
Gavard; and in June--Op. 58, Sonate (B minor), dedicated to
Madame la Comtesse E. de Perthuis. Those of 1846: in April--Op.
59, Trois Mazurkas (A minor, A flat major, and F sharp minor);
and in September--Op. 60, Barcarole (F sharp major), dedicated to
Madame la Baronne de Stockhausen; Op. 61, Polonaise-Fantaisie (A
flat major), dedicated to Madame A. Veyret; and Op. 62, Deux
Nocturnes (B major and E major), dedicated to Mdlle. R. de
Konneritz. Those of 1847: in September--Op. 63, Trois Mazurkas (B
major, F minor, and C sharp minor), dedicated to Madame la
Comtesse L. Czosnowska, and Op. 64, Trois Valses (D flat major, C
sharp minor, and A flat major), respectively dedicated to Madame
la Comtesse Delphine Potocka, Madame la Baronne Nathaniel de
Rothschild, and Madame la Baronne Bronicka; and lastly, in
October--Op. 65, Sonate (G minor), pour piano et violoncelle,
dedicated to Mr. A. Franchomme.

From 1838 to 1846 Chopin passed regularly every year, with the
exception of 1840, three or four months at Nohant. The musical
papers announced Chopin's return to town sometimes at the
beginning of October, sometimes at the beginning of November. In
1844 he must either have made a longer stay at Nohant than usual
or paid it a visit during the winter, for in the "Gazette
musicale" of January 5, 1845, we read: "Chopin has returned to
Paris and brought with him a new grand Sonata and variantes.
These two important works will soon be published."

[FOOTNOTE: The new Sonata here mentioned is the one in B minor,
Op. 58, which was published in June, 1845. As to the other item
mentioned, I am somewhat puzzled. Has the word to be taken in its
literal sense of "various readings," i.e., new readings of works
already known (the context, however, does not favour this
supposition), or does it refer to the ever-varying evolutions of
the Berceuse, Op. 57. published in May, 1845, or, lastly, is it
simply a misprint?]

George Sand generally prolonged her stay at Nohant till pretty
far into the winter, much to the sorrow of her malade ordinaire
(thus Chopin used to style himself), who yearned for her return
to Paris.

According to Liszt, the country and the vie de chateau pleased
Chopin so much that for the sake of enjoying them he put up with
company that did not please him at all. George Sand has a
different story to tell. She declares that the retired life and
the solemnity of the country agreed neither with Chopin's
physical nor with his moral health; that he loved the country
only for a fortnight, after which he bore it only out of
attachment to her; and that he never felt regret on leaving it.
Whether Chopin loved country life or not, whether he liked George
Sand's Berry friends and her guests from elsewhere or not, we may
be sure that he missed Paris and his accustomed Paris society.

"Of all the troubles I had not to endure but to contend against,
the sufferings of my malade ordinaire were not the least," says
George Sand. "Chopin always wished for Nohant, and never could
bear it." And, speaking of the later years, when the havoc made
in Chopin's constitution by the inroads of his malady showed
itself more and more, she remarks: "Nohant had become repugnant
to him. His return in the spring still filled him with ecstatic
joy for a short time. But as soon as he began to work everything
round him assumed a gloomy aspect."

Before we peep into Chopin's room and watch him at work, let us
see what the chateau of Nohant and life there were like. "The
railway through the centre of France went in those days [August,
1846] no further than Vierzon," [FOOTNOTE: The opening of the
extension of the line to Chateauroux was daily expected at that
time.] writes Mr. Matthew Arnold in an account of a visit paid by
him to George Sand:--

  From Vierzon to Chateauroux one travelled by an ordinary
  diligence, from Chateauroux to La Chatre by a humbler
  diligence, from La Chatre to Broussac by the humblest
  diligence cf. all. At Broussac diligence ended, and PATACHE
  began. Between Chateauroux and La Chatre, a mile or two before
  reaching the latter place, the road passes by the village of
  Nohant. The chateau of Nohant, in which Madame Sand lived, is
  a plain house by the roadside, with a walled garden. Down in
  the meadows not far off flows the Indre, bordered by trees.

The Chateau of Nohant is indeed, as Mr. Matthew Arnold says, a
plain house, only the roof with its irregularly distributed
dormars and chimney-stacks of various size giving to it a touch
of picturesqueness. On the other hand, the ground-floor, with its
central door flanked on each side by three windows, and the seven
windowed story above, impresses one with the sense of

Liszt, speaking of a three months' stay at Nohant made by himself
and his friend the Comtesse d'Agoult in the summer of 1837--i.e.,
before the closer connection of George Sand and Chopin began--
relates that the hostess and her guests spent the days in reading
good books, receiving letters from absent friends, taking long
walks on the banks of the Indre, and in other equally simple
occupations and amusements. In the evenings they assembled on the
terrace. There, where the light of the lamps cast fantastic
shadows on the neighbouring trees, they sat listening to the
murmuring of the river and the warbling of the nightingales, and
breathing in the sweet perfume of the lime-trees and the stronger
scent of the larches till the Countess would exclaim: "There you
are again dreaming, you incorrigible artists! Do you not know
that the hour for working has come?" And then George Sand would
go and write at the book on which she was engaged, and Liszt
would betake himself to the old scores which he was studying with
a view to discover some of the great masters' secrets. [FOOTNOTE:
Liszt. "Essays and Reisebriefe eines Baccalaureus der Tonkunst."
Vol. II., pp. 146 and 147 of the collected works.]

Thus was Nohant in quiet days. But the days at Nohant were by no
means always quiet. For George Sand was most hospitable, kept
indeed literally open house for her friends, and did so
regardless of credit and debit. The following passage from a
letter written by her in 1840 from Paris to her half-brother
Hippolyte Chatiron gives us a good idea of the state of matters:-

  If you will guarantee my being able to pass the summer at
  Nohant for 4,000 francs, I will go. But I have never been
  there without spending 1,500 francs per month, and as I do not
  spend here the half of this, it is neither the love of work,
  nor that of spending, nor that of GLORY, which makes me stay.
  I do not know whether I have been pillaged; but I am at a loss
  how to avoid it with my nonchalance, in so vast a house, and
  so easy a kind of life as that of Nohant. Here I can see
  clearly; everything is done under my eyes as I understand and
  wish it. At Nohant--let this remain between us--you know that
  before I am up a dozen people have often made themselves at
  home in the house. What can I do? Were I to pose as a good
  manager [econome] they would accuse me of stinginess; were I
  to let things go on, I should not be able to provide for them.
  Try if you can find a remedy for this.

In George Sand's letters many glimpses may be caught of the life
at Nohant. To some of them I have already drawn the reader's
attention in preceding chapters; now I shall point out a few

  George Sand to Madame Marliani; Nohant, August 13, 1841:--

  I have had all my nights absorbed by work and fatigue. I have
  passed all my days with Pauline [Viardot] in walking, playing
  at billiards, and all this makes me so entirely go out of my
  indolent character and lazy habits that, at night, instead of
  working quickly, I fall stupidly asleep at every
  line....Viardot [Louis Viardot, the husband of Pauline] passes
  his days in poaching with my brother and Papet; for the
  shooting season has not yet begun, and they brave the laws,
  divine and human. Pauline reads with Chopin whole scores at
  the piano. She is always good-natured and charming, as you
  know her.

  George Sand to Mdlle. Rozieres: Nohant, October 15, 1841:--

  Papet is in the depths of the forests; in "Erymanthe" at
  least, hunting the wild boar. Chopin is in Paris, and he has
  relapsed, as he says, into his triples croches

  George Sand to Mdlle. Rozieres; Nohant, May 9, 1842:--

  Quick to work! Your master, the great Chopin, has forgotten
  (that for which he nevertheless cares a great deal) to buy a
  beautiful present for Francoise, my faithful servant, whom he
  adores, and he is very right.

  He begs of you therefore to send him, IMMEDIATELY, four yards
  of lace, two fingers broad at least, within the price of ten
  francs a yard; further, a shawl of whatever material you like,
  within the price of forty francs....This, then, is the superb
  present which your HONOURED MASTER asks you to get for him,
  with an eagerness worthy of the ardour which he carries into
  his gifts, and of the impatience which he puts into little

Charles Rollinat, a friend of George Sand's, the brother of one
of George Sand's most intimate and valued friends, Francois
Rollinat, published in "Le Temps" (September 1, 1874) a charming
"Souvenir de Nohant," which shows us the the chateau astir with a
more numerous company:--

  The hospitality there [he writes] was comfortable, and the
  freedom absolute. There were guns and dogs for those who loved
  hunting, boats and nets for those who loved fishing, a
  splendid garden to walk in. Everyone did as he liked. Liszt
  and Chopin composed; Pauline Garcia studied her role of the
  "Prophete"; the mistress of the house wrote a romance or a
  drama; and it was the same with the others. At six o'clock
  they assembled again to dine, and did not part company till
  two or three o'clock in the morning.
  Chopin rarely played. He could only be prevailed upon to play
  when he was sure of perfection. Nothing in the world would
  have made him consent to play indifferently. Liszt, on the
  contrary, played always, well or badly.

[FOOTNOTE: Charles Rollinat, a younger brother of Francois, went
afterwards to Russia, where, according to George Sand (see letter
to Edmond Plauchut, April 8, 1874), he was for twenty-five years
"professeur de musique et haut enseignement, avec une bonne place
du gouvernement." He made a fortune and lost it, retaining only
enough to live upon quietly in Italy. He tried then to supplement
his scanty income by literary work (translations from the
Russian). George Sand, recalling the days of long ago, says: "Il
chantait comme on ne chante plus, excepte Pauline [Viardot-

Unfortunately, the greater portion of M. Rollinat's so-called
Souvenir consists of "poetry WITHOUT truth." Nevertheless, we
will not altogether ignore his pretty stories.

One evening when Liszt played a piece of Chopin's with
embellishments of his own, the composer became impatient and at
last, unable to restrain himself any longer, walked up to Liszt
and said with his ENGLISH PHLEGM:--

  "I beg of you, my dear friend, if you do me the honour to play
  a piece of mine, to play what is written, or to play something
  else. It is only Chopin who has the right to alter Chopin."

  "Well! play yourself!" said Liszt, rising from his seat a
  little irritated,

  "With pleasure," said Chopin.

  At that moment a moth extinguished the lamp. Chopin would not
  have it relighted, and played in the dark. When he had
  finished his delighted auditors overwhelmed him with
  compliments, and Liszt said:

  "Ah, my friend, you were right! The works of a genius like you
  are sacred; it is a profanation to meddle with them. You are a
  true poet, and I am only a mountebank."

  Whereupon Chopin replied: "We have each our genre."

M. Rollinat then proceeds to tell his readers that Chopin,
believing he had eclipsed Liszt that evening, boasted of it, and
said: "How vexed he was!" It seems that the author felt that this
part of the story put a dangerously severe strain on the
credulity of his readers, for he thinks it necessary to assure
them that these were the ipsissima verba of Chopin. Well, the
words in question came to the ears of Liszt, and he resolved at
once to have his revenge.

Five days afterwards the friends were again assembled in the same
place and at the same time. Liszt asked Chopin to play, and had
all the lights put out and all the curtains drawn; but when
Chopin was going to the piano, Liszt whispered something in his
ear and sat down in his stead. He played the same composition
which Chopin had played on the previous occasion, and the
audience was again enchanted. At the end of the piece Liszt
struck a match and lighted the candles which stood on the piano.
Of course general stupefaction ensued.

  "What do you say to it?" said Liszt to his rival.
  "I say what everyone says; I too believed it was Chopin."
  "You see," said the virtuoso rising, "that Liszt can be Chopin
  when he likes; but could Chopin be Liszt?"

Instead of commenting on the improbability of a generous artist
thus cruelly taunting his sensitive rival, I shall simply say
that Liszt had not the slightest recollection of ever having
imitated Chopin's playing in a darkened room. There may be some
minute grains of truth mixed up with all this chaff of fancy--
Chopin's displeasure at the liberties Liszt took with his
compositions was no doubt one of them--but it is impossible to
separate them.

M. Rollinat relates also how in 184-, when Chopin, Liszt, the
Comtesse d'Agoult, Pauline Garcia, Eugene Delacroix, the actor
Bocage, and other celebrities were at Nohant, the piano was one
moonlit night carried out to the terrace; how Liszt played the
hunting chorus from Weber's Euryanthe, Chopin some bars from an
impromptu he was then composing; how Pauline Garcia sang Nel cor
piu non mi sento, and a niece of George Sand a popular air; how
the echo answered the musicians; and how after the music the
company, which included also a number of friends from the
neighbouring town, had punch and remained together till dawn. But
here again M. Rollinat's veracity is impugned on all sides.
Madame Viardot-Garcia declares that she was never at Nohant when
Liszt was there; and Liszt did not remember having played on the
terrace of the chateau. Moreover, seeing that the first
performance of the Prophete took place on April 16, 1849, is it
likely that Madame Pauline Garcia was studying her part before or
in 1846? And unless she did so she could not meet Chopin at
Nohant when she was studying it.

M. Rollinat is more trustworthy when he tells us that there was a
pretty theatre and quite an assortment of costumes at the
chateau; that the dramas and comedies played there were
improvised by the actors, only the subject and the division into
scenes being given; and that on two pianos, concealed by
curtains, one on the right and one on the left of the stage,
Chopin and Liszt improvised the musical part of the
entertainment. All this is, however, so much better and so much
more fully told by George Sand (in Dernieres Pages: Le Theatre
des Marionnettes de Nohant) that we will take our information
from her. It was in the long nights of a winter that she
conceived the plan of these private theatricals in imitation of
the comedia dell' arte--namely, of "pieces the improvised
dialogue of which followed a written sketch posted up behind the

  They resembled the charades which are acted in society and
  which are more or less developed according to the ensemble and
  the talent of the performers. We had begun with these. By
  degrees the word of the charade disappeared and we played
  first mad saynetes, then comedies of intrigues and adventures,
  and finally dramas of incidents and emotions. The whole thing
  began by pantomime, and this was of Chopin's invention; he
  occupied the place at the piano and improvised, while the
  young people gesticulated scenes and danced comic ballets. I
  leave you to imagine whether these now wonderful, now charming
  improvisations quickened the brains and made supple the legs
  of our performers. He led them as he pleased and made them
  pass, according to his fancy, from the droll to the severe,
  from the burlesque to the solemn, from the graceful to the
  passionate. We improvised costumes in order to play
  successively several roles. As soon as the artist saw them
  appear, he adapted his theme and his accent in a marvellous
  manner to their respective characters. This went on for three
  evenings, and then the master, setting out for Paris, left us
  thoroughly stirred up, enthusiastic, and determined not to
  suffer the spark which had electrified us to be lost.

To get away from the quicksands of Souvenirs--for George Sand's
pages, too, were written more than thirty years after the
occurrences she describes, and not published till 1877--I shall
make some extracts from the contemporaneous correspondence of
George Sand's great friend, the celebrated painter Eugene
Delacroix. [FOOTNOTE: Lettres de Eugene Delacroix (1815 a 1863)
recucillies et publiees par M. Philippe Burty. Paris, 1878.] The
reader cannot fail to feel at once the fresh breeze of reality
that issues from these letters, which contain vivid sketches full
of natural beauties and free from affectation and striving after

  Nohant, June 7, 1842.

  ...The place is very pleasant, and the hosts do their utmost
  to please me. When we are not assembled to dine, breakfast,
  play at billiards, or walk, we are in our rooms, reading, or
  resting on our sofas. Now and then there come to you through
  the window opening on the garden, whiffs of the music of
  Chopin, who is working in his room; this mingles with the song
  of the nightingales and the odour of the roses. You see that
  so far I am not much to be pitied, and, nevertheless, work
  must come to give the grain of salt to all this. This life is
  too easy, I must purchase it with a little racking of my
  brains; and like the huntsman who eats with more appetite when
  he has got his skin torn by bushes, one must strive a little
  after ideas in order to feel the charm of doing nothing.

  Nohant, June 14, 1842.

  ...Although I am in every respect most agreeably
  circumstanced, both as regards body and mind, for I am in much
  better health, I have not been able to prevent myself from
  thinking of work. How strange! this work is fatiguing, and yet
  the species of activity it gives to the mind is necessary to
  the body itself. In vain did I try to get up a passion for
  billiards, in which I receive a lesson every day, in vain have
  I good conversations on all the subjects that please me, music
  that I seize on the wing and by whiffs, I have felt the need
  of doing something. I have begun a Sainte-Anne for the parish,
  and I have already set it agoing.

  Nohant, June 22, 1842.

  ...Pen and ink certainly become more and more repugnant to me.
  I have no more than you any event to record. I lead a monastic
  life, and as monotonous as it well can be. No event varies the
  course of it. We expected Balzac, who has not come, and I am
  not sorry. He is a babbler who would have destroyed this
  harmony of NONCHALANCE which I am enjoying thoroughly; at
  intervals a little painting, billiards, and walking, that is
  more than is necessary to fill up the days. There is not even
  the distraction of neighbours and friends from the environs;
  in this part of the country everyone remains at home and
  occupies him self with his oxen and his land. One would become
  a fossil here in a very short time.

  I have interminable private interviews with Chopin, whom I
  love much, and who is a man of a rare distinction; he is the
  most true artist I have met. He is one of the few one can
  admire and esteem. Madame Sand suffers frequently from violent
  headaches and pains in her eyes, which she tries to master as
  much as possible and with much strength of will, so as not to
  weary us with what she suffers.

  The greatest event of my stay has been a peasants' ball on the
  lawn of the chateau with the best bagpipers of the place. The
  people of this part of the country present a remarkable type
  of gentleness and good nature; ugliness is rare here, though
  beauty is not often seen, but there is not that kind of fever
  which is observable in the peasants of the environs of Paris.
  All the women have the appearance of those sweet faces one
  sees only in the pictures of the old masters. They are all
  Saint Annes.

Amidst the affectations, insincerities, and superficialities of
Chopin's social intercourse, Delacroix's friendship--we have
already seen that the musician reciprocated the painter's
sentiments--stands out like a green oasis in a barren desert.
When, on October 28, 1849, a few days after Chopin's death,
Delacroix sent a friend a ticket for the funeral service of the
deceased, he speaks of him as "my poor and dear Chopin." But the
sincerity of Delacroix's esteem and the tenderness of his love
for Chopin are most fully revealed in some lines of a letter
which he wrote on January 7, 1861, to Count Czymala [Grzymala]:--

  When I have finished [the labours that took up all his time],
  I shall let you know, and shall see you again, with the
  pleasure I have always had, and with the feelings your kind
  letter has reanimated in me. With whom shall I speak of the
  incomparable genius whom heaven has envied the earth, and of
  whom I dream often, being no longer able to see him in this
  world nor to hear his divine harmonies.

  If you see sometimes the charming Princess Marcelline
  [Czartoryska], another object of my respect, place at her feet
  the homage of a poor man who has not ceased to be full of the
  memory of her kindnesses and of admiration for her talent,
  another bond of union with the seraph whom we have lost and
  who, at this hour, charms the celestial spheres.

The first three of the above extracts from Delacroix's letters
enable us to form a clear idea of what the everyday life at
Nohant was like, and after reading them we can easily imagine
that its monotony must have had a depressing effect on the
company-loving Chopin. But the drawback was counterbalanced by an
advantage. At Paris most of Chopin's time was occupied with
teaching and the pleasures of society, at Nohant he could devote
himself undisturbed and undistracted to composition. And there is
more than sufficient evidence to prove that in this respect
Chopin utilised well the quiet and leisure of his rural

Few things excite the curiosity of those who have a taste for art
and literature so much as an artist's or poet's mode of creation.
With what interest, for instance, do we read Schindler's account
of how Beethoven composed his Missa Solemnis--of the master's
absolute detachment from the terrestrial world during the time he
was engaged on this work; of his singing, shouting, and stamping,
when he was in the act of giving birth to the fugue of the Credo!
But as regards musicians, we know, generally speaking, very
little on the subject; and had not George Sand left us her
reminiscences, I should not have much to tell the reader about
Chopin's mode of creation. From Gutmann I learned that his master
worked long before he put a composition to paper, but when it was
once in writing did not keep it long in his portfolio. The latter
part of this statement is contradicted by a remark of the better-
informed Fontana, who, in the preface to Chopin's posthumous
works, says that the composer, whether from caprice or
nonchalance, had the habit of keeping his manuscripts sometimes a
very long time in his portfolio before giving them to the public.
As George Sand observed the composer with an artist's eye and
interest, and had, of course, better opportunities than anybody
else to observe him, her remarks are particularly valuable. She

  His creation was spontaneous and miraculous. He found it
  without seeking it, without foreseeing it. It came on his
  piano suddenly, complete, sublime, or it sang in his head
  during a walk, and he was impatient to play it to himself. But
  then began the most heart-rending labour I ever saw. It was a
  series of efforts, of irresolutions, and of frettings to seize
  again certain details of the theme he had heard; what he had
  conceived as a whole he analysed too much when wishing to
  write it, and his regret at not finding it again, in his
  opinion, clearly defined, threw him into a kind of despair. He
  shut himself up in his room for whole days, weeping, walking,
  breaking his pens, repeating and altering a bar a hundred
  times, writing and effacing it as many times, and recommencing
  the next day with a minute and desperate perseverance. He
  spent six weeks over a single page to write it at last as he
  had noted it down at the very first.

  I had for a long time been able to make him consent to trust
  to this first inspiration. But when he was no longer disposed
  to believe me, he reproached me gently with having spoiled him
  and with not being severe enough for him. I tried to amuse
  him, to take him out for walks. Sometimes, taking away all my
  brood in a country char a bancs, I dragged him away in spite
  of himself from this agony. I took him to the banks of the
  Creuse, and after being for two or three days lost amid
  sunshine and rain in frightful roads, we arrived, cheerful and
  famished, at some magnificently-situated place where he seemed
  to revive. These fatigues knocked him up the first day, but he
  slept. The last day he was quite revived, quite rejuvenated in
  returning to Nohant, and he found the solution of his work
  without too much effort; but it was not always possible to
  prevail upon him to leave that piano which was much oftener
  his torment than his joy, and by degrees he showed temper when
  I disturbed him. I dared not insist. Chopin when angry was
  alarming, and as, with me, he always restrained himself, he
  seemed almost to choke and die.

A critic remarks in reference to this account that Chopin's mode
of creation does not show genius, but only passion. From which we
may conclude that he would not, like Carlyle, have defined genius
as the power of taking infinite pains. To be sure, the great
Scotchman's definition is inadequate, but nothing is more false
than the popular notion that the great authors throw off their
works with the pleasantest ease, that creation is an act of pure
enjoyment. Beethoven's sketch-books tell a different story; so do
also Balzac's proof-sheets and the manuscripts of Pope's version
of the Iliad and Odyssey in the British Museum. Dr. Johnson
speaking of Milton's MSS. observed truly: "Such reliques show how
excellence is acquired." Goethe in writing to Schiller asks him
to return certain books of "Wilhelm Meister" that he may go over
them A FEW TIMES before sending them to the press. And on re-
reading one of these books he cut out one third of its contents.
Moreover, if an author writes with ease, this is not necessarily
a proof that he labours little, for he may finish the work before
bringing it to paper. Mozart is a striking instance. He has
himself described his mode of composing--which was a process of
accumulation, agglutination, and crystallisation--in a letter to
a friend. The constitution of the mind determines the mode of
working. Some qualities favour, others obstruct the realisation
of a first conception. Among the former are acuteness and
quickness of vision, the power of grasping complex subjects, and
a good memory. But however varied the mode of creation may be, an
almost unvarying characteristic of the production of really
precious and lasting artwork is ungrudging painstaking, such as
we find described in William Hunt's "Talks about Art":--"If you
could see me dig and groan, rub it out and start again, hate
myself and feel dreadfully! The people who do things easily,
their things you look at easily, and give away easily." Lastly
and briefly, it is not the mode of working, but the result of
this working which demonstrates genius.

As Chopin disliked the pavilion in the Rue Pigalle, George Sand
moved with her household in 1842 to the quiet, aristocratic-
looking Cite (Court or Square) d'Orleans, where their friend
Madame Marliani arranged for them a vie de famille. To get to the
Cite d'Orleans one has to pass through two gateways--the first
leads from the Rue Taitbout (close to the Rue St. Lazare), into a
small out-court with the lodge of the principal concierge; the
second, into the court itself. In the centre is a grass plot with
four flower-beds and a fountain; and between this grass plot and
the footpath which runs along the houses extends a carriage
drive. As to the houses which form the square, they are well and
handsomely built, the block opposite the entrance making even
some architectural pretensions. Madame Sand's, Madame Marliani's,
and Chopin's houses, which bore respectively the numbers 5, 4,
and 3, were situated on the right side, the last-mentioned being
just in the first right-hand corner on entering from the out-
court. On account of the predilection shown for it by artists and
literary men as a place of abode, the Court d'Orldans has not
inaptly been called a little Athens. Alexander Dumas was one of
the many celebrities who lived there at one time or other; and
Chopin had for neighbours the famous singer Pauline Viardot-
Garcia, the distinguished pianoforte-professor Zimmermann, and
the sculptor Dantan, from whose famous gallery of caricatures, or
rather charges, the composer's portrait was not absent. Madame
Marliani, the friend of George Sand and Chopin, who has already
repeatedly been mentioned in this book, was the wife of Manuel
Marliani, Spanish Consul in Paris, author, [FOOTNOTE: Especially
notable among his political and historical publications in
Spanish and French is: "Histoire politique de l'Espagne moderne
suivie d'un apercu sur les finances." 2 vols. in 8vo (Paris,
1840).] politician, and subsequently senator. Lenz says that
Madame Marliani was a Spanish countess and a fine lady; and
George Sand describes her as good-natured and active, endowed
with a passionate head and maternal heart, but destined to be
unhappy because she wished to make the reality of life yield to
the ideal of her imagination and the exigences of her

Some excerpts from a letter written by George Sand on November
12, 1842, to her friend Charles Duvernet, and a passage from Ma
Vie will bring scene and actors vividly before us:--

  We also cultivate billiards; I have a pretty little table,
  which I hire for twenty francs a month, in my salon, and
  thanks to kind friendships we approach Nohant life as much as
  is possible in this melancholy Paris. What makes things
  country-like also is that I live in the same square as the
  family Marliani, Chopin in the next pavilion, so that without
  leaving this large well-lighted and sanded Court d'Orleans, we
  run in the evening from one to another like good provincial
  neighbours. We have even contrived to have only one pot
  [marmite], and eat all together at Madame Marliani's, which is
  more economical and by far more lively than taking one's meals
  at home. It is a kind of phalanstery which amuses us, and
  where mutual liberty is much better guaranteed than in that of
  the Fourierists...

  Solange is at a boarding-school, and comes out every Saturday
  to Monday morning. Maurice has resumed the studio con furia,
  and I, I have resumed Consuelo like a dog that is being
  whipped; for I have idled on account of my removal and the
  fitting up of my apartments...

  Kind regards and shakes of the hand from Viardot, Chopin, and
  my children.

The passge [sic: passage] from Ma Vie, which contains some
repetitions along with a few additional touches, runs as follows:-

  She [Madame Marliani] had fine apartments between the two we
  [George Sand and Chopin] occupied. We had only a large planted
  and sanded and always clean court to cross in order to meet,
  sometimes, in her rooms, sometimes in mine, sometimes in
  Chopin's when he was inclined to give us some music. We dined
  with her at common expense. It was a very good association,
  economical like all associations, and enabled one to see
  society at Madame Marliani's, my friends more privately in my
  apartments, and to take up my work at the hour when it suited
  me to withdraw. Chopin rejoiced also at having a fine,
  isolated salon where he could go to compose or to dream. But
  he loved society, and made little use of his sanctuary except
  to give lessons in it.

Although George Sand speaks only of a salon, Chopin's official
residence, as we may call it, consisted of several rooms. They
were elegantly furnished and always adorned with flowers--for he
loved le luxe and had the coquetterie des appartements.

[FOOTNOTE: When I visited in 1880 M. Kwiatkowski in Paris, he
showed me some Chopin relics: 1, a pastel drawing by Jules
Coignet (representing Les Pyramides d'Egypte), which hung always
above the composer's piano; 2, a little causeuse which Chopin
bought with his first Parisian savings; 3, an embroidered easy-
chair worked and presented to him by the Princess Czartoiyska;
and 4, an embroidered cushion worked and presented to him by
Madame de Rothschild. If we keep in mind Chopin's remarks about
his furniture and the papering of his rooms, and add to the above-
mentioned articles those which Karasowski mentions as having been
bought by Miss Stirling after the composer's death, left by her
to his mother, and destroyed by the Russians along with his
letters in 1861 when in possession of his sister Isabella
Barcinska--his portrait by Ary Scheffer, some Sevres porcelain
with the inscription "Offert par Louis Philippe a Frederic
Chopin," a fine inlaid box, a present from one of the Rothschild
family, carpets, table-cloths, easy-chairs, &c., worked by his
pupils--we can form some sort of idea of the internal
arrangements of the pianist-composer's rooms.]

Nevertheless, they exhibited none of the splendour which was to
be found in the houses of many of the celebrities then living in
Paris. "He observed," remarks Liszt, "on this point as well as in
the then so fashionable elegancies of walking-sticks, pins,
studs, and jewels, the instinctive line of the comme il faut
between the too much and the too little."  But Chopin's letters
written from Nohant in 1839 to Fontana have afforded the reader
sufficient opportunities to make himself acquainted with the
master's fastidiousness and good taste in matters of furniture
and room decoration, above all, his horror of vulgar gaudiness.

Let us try to get some glimpses of Chopin in his new home.
Lindsay Sloper, who--owing, no doubt, to a great extent at least,
to the letter of recommendation from Moscheles which he brought
with him--had got permission from Chopin to come for a lesson as
often as he liked at eight o'clock in the morning, found the
master at that hour not in deshabille, but dressed with the
greatest care. Another early pupil, M. Mathias, always fell in
with the daily-attending barber. M. Mathias told me also of
Chopin's habit of leaning with his back against the mantel-piece
while he was chatting at the end of the lesson. It must have been
a pretty sight to see the master in this favourite attitude of
his, his coat buttoned up to the chin (this was his usual style),
the most elegant shoes on his small feet, faultless exquisiteness
characterising the whole of his attire, and his small eyes
sparkling with esprit and sometimes with malice.

Of all who came in contact with Chopin, however, no one made so
much of his opportunities as Lenz: some of his observations on
the pianist have already been quoted, those on the man and his
surroundings deserve likewise attention. [FOOTNOTE: W. von Lenz:
"Die Grossen Pianoforte-Virtuosen unserer Zeit."]  Lenz came to
Paris in the summer or autumn of the year 1842; and as he wished
to study Chopin's mazurkas with the master himself, he awaited
impatiently his return from Nohant. At last, late in October,
Lenz heard from Liszt that Chopin had arrived in town; but Liszt
told him also that it was by no means an easy thing to get
lessons from Chopin, that indeed many had journeyed to Paris for
the purpose and failed even to get sight of him. To guard Lenz
against such a mishap, Liszt gave him a card with the words
"Laissez passer, Franz Liszt" on it, and advised him to call on
Chopin at two o'clock. The enthusiastic amateur was not slow in
availing himself of his artist friend's card and advice. But on
reaching his destination he was met in the anteroom by a male
servant--"an article of luxury in Paris, a rarissima avis in the
house of an artist," observes Lenz--who informed him that Chopin
was not in town. The visitor, however, was not to be put off in
this way, and insisted that the card should be taken in to
Chopin. Fortune favours the brave. A moment after the servant had
left the room the great artist made his appearance holding the
card in his hand: "a young man of middle height, slim, thin, with
a careworn, speaking face and the finest Parisian tournure."
Lenz does not hesitate to declare that he hardly ever met a
person so naturally elegant and winning. But here is what took
place at this interview.

  Chopin did not press me to sit down [says Lenz], I stood as
  before a reigning sovereign. "What do you wish? a pupil of
  Liszt's, an artist?"  "A friend of Liszt's. I wish to have the
  happiness of making, under your guidance, acquaintance with
  your mazurkas, which I regard as a literature. Some of them I
  have already studied with Liszt."  I felt I had been
  imprudent, but it was too late. "Indeed!" replied Chopin, with
  a drawl, but in the politest tone, "what do you want me for
  then?  Please play to me what you have played with Liszt, I
  have still a few minutes at my disposal"--he drew from his
  fob an elegant, small watch--"I was on the point of going out,
  I had told my servant to admit nobody, pardon me!"

Lenz sat down at the piano, tried the gue of it--an expression at
which Chopin, who was leaning languidly on the piano and looking
with his intelligent eyes straight in his visitor's face, smiled--
and then struck up the Mazurka in B flat major. When he came to
a passage in which Liszt had taught him to introduce a volata
through two octaves, Chopin whispered blandly:--

  "This TRAIT is not your own; am I right?  HE has shown it you--
  he must meddle with everything; well! he may do it, he plays
  before THOUSANDS, I rarely before ONE. Well, this will do, I
  will give you lessons, but only twice a week, I never give
  more, it is difficult for me to find three-quarters of an
  hour."  He again looked at his watch. "What do you read then?
  With what do you occupy yourself generally?"  This was a
  question for which I was well prepared. "George Sand and Jean
  Jacques I prefer to all other writers," said I quickly. He
  smiled, he was most beautiful at that moment. "Liszt has told
  you this. I see, you are initiated, so much the better. Only
  be punctual, with me things go by the clock, my house is a
  pigeon-house (pigeonnier). I see already we shall become more
  intimate, a recommendation from Liszt is worth something, you
  are the first pupil whom he has recommended to me; we are
  friends, we were comrades."

Lenz had, of course, too imaginative a turn of mind to leave
facts in their native nakedness, but this tendency of his is too
apparent to need pointing out. What betrays him is the wonderful
family likeness of his portraits, a kind of vapid esprit, not
distantly related to silliness, with which the limner endows his
unfortunate sitters, Chopin as well as Liszt and Tausig. Indeed,
the portraits compared with the originals are like Dresden china
figures compared with Greek statuary. It seems to me also very
improbable that so perfect a gentleman as Chopin was should
subject a stranger to an examination as to his reading and
general occupation. These questions have very much the appearance
of having been invented by the narrator for the sake of the
answers. However, notwithstanding the many unmistakable
embellishments, Lenz's account was worth quoting, for after all
it is not without a basis of fact and truth. The following
reminiscences of the lively Russian councillor, although not
wanting in exaggerations, are less open to objections:--

  I always made my appearance long before my hour and waited.
  One lady after another came out, one more beautiful than the
  other, on one occasion Mdlle. Laure Duperre, the daughter of
  the admiral, whom Chopin accompanied to the staircase, she was
  the most beautiful of all, and as straight as a palm; to her
  Chopin has dedicated two of his most important Nocturnes (in C
  minor and F sharp minor, Op. 48); she was at that time his
  favourite pupil. In the anteroom I often met little Filtsch,
  who, unfortunately, died too young, at the age of thirteen, a
  Hungarian and a genius. He knew how to play Chopin! Of Filtsch
  Liszt said in my presence at a soiree of the Comtesse
  d'Agoult: "When the little one begins to travel, I shall shut
  up my shop" (Quand le petit voyagera, je fermerai boutique). I
  was jealous of Filtsch, Chopin had eyes only for him.

How high an opinion the master had of this talented pupil appears
from his assertion that the boy played the E minor Concerto
better than he himself. Lenz mentions Filtsch and his playing of
the E minor Concerto only in passing in "Die grossen Pianoforte-
Virtuosen unserer Zeit," but devotes to them more of his leisure
in an article which appeared in the Berliner Musikzeitung (Vol.
XXVI.), the amusing gossip of which deserves notice here on
account of the light thrown by some of its details on Chopin's
ways and the company he received in his salon. On one occasion
when Filtsch had given his master particular satisfaction by a
tasteful rendering of the second solo of the first movement of
the E minor Concerto, Chopin said: "You have played this well, my
boy (mon garcon), I must try it myself."  Lenz relates that what
now followed was indescribable: the little one (der Kleine) burst
into tears, and Chopin, who indeed had been telling them the
story of his artist life, said, as if speaking to himself, "I
have loved it! I have already once played it!"  Then, turning to
Filtsch, he spoke these words: "Yours is a beautiful artist
nature (une belle nature d'artiste), you will become a great
artist."  Whilst the youthful pianist was studying the Concerto
with Chopin, he was never allowed to play more than one solo at a
time, the work affecting too much the feelings of the composer,
who, moreover, thought that the whole was contained in every one
of the solos; and when he at last got leave to perform the whole,
an event for which he prepared himself by fasting and prayers of
the Roman Catholic Church, and by such reading as was pointed out
by his master, practising being forbidden for the time, Chopin
said to him: "As you have now mastered the movement so well, we
will bring it to a hearing."

The reader must understand that I do not vouch for the strict
correctness of Lenz's somewhat melodramatic narrative; and having
given this warning I shall, to keep myself free from all
responsibility, simply translate the rest of what is yet to be

  Chopin invited a party of ladies, George Sand was one of them,
  and was as quiet as a mouse; moreover, she knew nothing of
  music. The favoured pupils from the highest aristocracy
  appeared with modest demeanour and full of the most profound
  devotion, they glided silently, like gold-fishes in a vase,
  one after another into the salon, and sat down as far as
  possible from the piano, as Chopin liked people to do. Nobody
  spoke, Chopin only nodded, and shook hands with one here and
  there, not with all of them. The square pianoforte, which
  stood in his cabinet, he had placed beside the Pleyel concert
  grand in the salon, not without the most painful embarras to
  him. The most insignificant trifle affected him; he was a noli
  me tangere. He had said once, or rather had thought aloud: "If
  I saw a crack more in the ceiling, I should not be able to
  bring out a note." Chopin poured the whole dreamy, vaporous
  instrumentation of the work into his incomparable
  accompaniment. He played without book. I have never heard
  anything that could be compared to the first tutti, which he
  played alone on the piano. The little one did wonders. The
  whole was an impression for all the rest of one's life. After
  Chopin had briefly dismissed the ladies (he loved praise
  neither for himself nor for others, and only George Sand was
  permitted to embrace Filtsch), he said to the latter, his
  brother, who always accompanied the little one, and me: "We
  have yet to take a walk." It was a command which we received
  with the most respectful bow.

The destination of this walk was Schlesinger's music-shop, where
Chopin presented his promising young pupil with the score of
Beethoven's "Fidelio":--

  "I am in your debt, you have given me much pleasure to-day. I
  wrote the Concerto in happier days. Receive, my dear little
  friend, this great master-work; read therein as long as you
  live, and remember me also sometimes." The little one was as
  if stunned, and kissed Chopin's hand. We were all deeply
  moved, Chopin himself was so. He disappeared immediately
  through the glass door on a level with the Rue Richelieu, into
  which it leads.

A scene of a very different nature which occurred some years
later was described to me by Madame Dubois. This lady, then still
Mdlle. O'Meara and a pupil of Chopin's, had in 1847 played,
accompanied on a second piano by her master, the latter's
Concerto in E minor at a party of Madame de Courbonne's. Madame
Girardin, who was among the guests, afterwards wrote most
charmingly and eulogistically about the young girl's beauty and
talent in one of her Lettres parisiennes, which appeared in La
Presse and were subsequently published in a collected form under
the title of "Le Vicomte de Launay." Made curious by Madame
Girardin's account, and probably also by remarks of Chopin and
others, George Sand wished to see the heroine of that much-talked-
of letter. Thus it came to pass that one day when Miss O'Meara
was having her lesson, George Sand crossed the Square d'Orleans
and paid Chopin a visit in his apartments. The master received
her with all the grace and amiability he was capable of. Noticing
that her pardessus was bespattered with mud, he seemed to be much
vexed, and the exquisitely-elegant gentleman (l'homme de toutes
les elegances ) began to rub off with his small, white hands the
stains which on any other person would have caused him disgust.
And Mdlle. O'Meara, child as she still was, watched what was
going on from the corner of her eye and thought: "Comme il aime
cette femme!" [FOOTNOTE: Madame A. Audley gives an altogether
incorrect account of this incident in her FREDERIC CHOPIN. Madame
Girardin was not one of the actors, and Mdlle. O'Meara did not
think the thoughts attributed to her.]

Whenever Chopin's connection with George Sand is mentioned, one
hears a great deal of the misery and nothing or little of the
happiness which accrued to him out of it. The years of tenderness
and devotion are slurred over and her infidelities, growing
indifference, and final desertion are dwelt upon with undue
emphasis. Whatever those of Chopin's friends who were not also
George Sand's friends may say, we may be sure that his joys
outweighed his sorrows. Her resoluteness must have been an
invaluable support to so vacillating a character as Chopin's was;
and, although their natures were in many respects discordant, the
poetic element of hers cannot but have found sympathetic chords
in his. Every character has many aspects, but the world is little
disposed to see more than one side of George Sand's--namely, that
which is most conspicuous by its defiance of law and custom, and
finds expression in loud declamation and denunciation. To observe
her in one of her more lovable attitudes of mind, we will
transport ourselves from Chopin's to her salon.

Louis Enault relates how one evening George Sand, who sometimes
thought aloud when with Chopin--this being her way of chatting--
spoke of the peacefulness of the country and unfolded a picture
of the rural harmonies that had all the charming and negligent
grace of a village idyl, bringing, in fact, her beloved Berry to
the fireside of the room in the Square d'Orleans.

  "How well you have spoken!" said Chopin naively.

  "You think so?" she replied. "Well, then, set me to music!"
  Hereupon Chopin improvised a veritable pastoral symphony, and
  George Sand placing herself beside him and laying her hand
  gently on his shoulder said: "Go on, velvet fingers [courage,
  doigts de velour]!"

Here is another anecdote of quiet home-life. George Sand had a
little dog which was in the habit of turning round and round in
the endeavour to catch its tail. One evening when it was thus
engaged, she said to Chopin: "If I had your talent, I would
compose a pianoforte piece for this dog." Chopin at once sat down
at the piano, and improvised the charming Waltz in D flat (Op.
64), which hence has obtained the name of Valse du petit chien.
This story is well known among the pupils and friends of the
master, but not always told in exactly the same way. According to
another version, Chopin improvised the waltz when the little dog
was playing with a ball of wool. This variation, however, does
not affect the pith of the story.

The following two extracts tell us more about the intimate home-
life at Nohant and in the Court d'Orleans than anything we have
as yet met with.

  Madame Sand to her son; October 17, 1843:--

  Tell me if Chopin is ill; his letters are short and sad. Take
  care of him if he is ailing. Take a little my place. He would
  take my place with so much zeal if you were ill.

  Madame Sand to her son; November 16, 1843:--

  If you care for the letter which I have written you about her
  [Solange], ask Chopin for it. It was for both of you, and it
  has not given him much pleasure. He has taken it amiss, and
  yet I did not wish to annoy him, God forbid! We shall all see
  each other soon again, and hearty embraces [de bonnes
  bigeades] [FOOTNOTE: Biger is in the Berry dialect "to kiss."]
  all round shall efface all my sermons.

In another of George Sand's letters to her son--it is dated
November 28, 1843--we read about Chopin's already often-mentioned
valet. Speaking of the foundation of a provincial journal,
"L'Eclaireur de l'Indre," by herself and a number of her friends,
and of their being on the look-out for an editor who would be
content with the modest salary of 2,000 francs, she says:--

  This is hardly more than the wages of Chopin's domestic, and
  to imagine that for this it is possible to find a man of
  talent! First measure of the Committee of Public Safety: we
  shall outlaw Chopin if he allows himself to have lackeys
  salaried like publicists.

Chopin treated George Sand with the greatest respect and
devotion; he was always aux petits soins with her. It is
characteristic of the man and exemplifies strikingly the delicacy
of his taste and feeling that his demeanour in her house showed
in no way the intimate relation in which he stood to the mistress
of it: he seemed to be a guest like any other occasional visitor.
Lenz wishes to make us believe that George Sand's treatment of
Chopin was unworthy of the great artist, but his statements are
emphatically contradicted by Gutmann, who says that her behaviour
towards him was always respectful. If the lively Russian
councillor in the passages I am going to translate describes
correctly what he heard and saw, he must have witnessed an
exceptional occurrence; it is, however, more likely that the bad
reception he received from the lady prejudiced him against her.

Lenz relates that one day Chopin took him to the salon of Madame
Marliani, where there was in the evening always a gathering of

  George Sand [thus runs his account of his first meeting with
  the great novelist] did not say a word when Chopin introduced
  me. This was rude. Just for that reason I seated myself beside
  her. Chopin fluttered about like a little frightened bird in
  its cage, he saw something was going to happen. What had he
  not always feared on this terrain? At the first pause in the
  conversation, which was led by Madame Sand's friend, Madame
  Viardot, the great singer whose acquaintance I was later to
  make in St. Petersburg, Chopin put his arm through mine and
  led me to the piano. Reader! if you play the piano you will
  imagine how I felt!  It was an upright or cottage piano [Steh-
  oder Stutzflugel] of Pleyel's, which people in Paris regard as
  a pianoforte. I played the Invitation in a fragmentary
  fashion, Chopin gave me his hand in the most friendly manner,
  George Sand did not say a word. I seated myself once more
  beside her. I had obviously a purpose. Chopin looked anxiously
  at us across the table, on which was burning the inevitable

  "Are you not coming sometime to St. Petersburg," said I to
  George Sand in the most polite tone, "where you are so much
  read, so highly admired?"

  "I shall never lower myself by visiting a country of slaves!"
  answered George Sand shortly.

  This was indecorous [unanstandig] after she had been uncivil.

  "After all, you are right NOT to come," I replied in the same
  tone; "you might find the door closed!  I was thinking of the
  Emperor Nicholas."

  George Sand looked at me in astonishment, I plunged boldly
  into her large, beautiful, brown, cow-like eyes. Chopin did
  not seem displeased, I knew the movements of his head.

  Instead of giving any answer George Sand rose in a theatrical
  fashion, and strode in the most manly way through the salon to
  the blazing fire. I followed her closely, and seated myself
  for the third time beside her, ready for another attack.

  She would be obliged at last to say something.

  George Sand drew an enormously thick Trabucco cigar out of her
  apron pocket, and called out "Frederic! un fidibus!"

  This offended me for him, that perfect gentleman, my master; I
  understood Liszt's words: "Pauvre Frederic!" in all their

  Chopin immediately came up with a fidibus.

  As she was sending forth the first terrible cloud of smoke,
  George Sand honoured me with a word:

  "In St. Petersburg," she began, "I could not even smoke a
  cigar in a drawing-room?"

  "In NO drawing-room have I ever seen anyone smoke a cigar,
  Madame," I answered, not without emphasis, with a bow!

  George Sand fixed her eyes sharply upon me--the thrust had
  gone home!  I looked calmly around me at the good pictures in
  the salon, each of which was lighted up by a separate lamp.
  Chopin had probably heard nothing; he had returned to the
  hostess at the table.

  Pauvre Frederic!  How sorry I was for him, the great artist!
  The next day the Suisse [hall-porter] in the hotel, Mr.
  Armand, said to me: "A gentleman and a lady have been here, I
  said you were not at home, you had not said you would receive
  visitors; the gentleman left his name, he had no card with
  him."  I read: Chopin et Madame Sand. After this I quarrelled
  for two months with Mr. Armand.

George Sand was probably out of humour on the evening in
question; that it was not her usual manner of receiving visitors
may be gathered from what Chopin said soon after to Lenz when the
latter came to him for a lesson. "George Sand," he said, "called
with me on you. What a pity you were not at home!  I regretted it
very much. George Sand thought she had been uncivil to you. You
would have seen how amiable she can be. You have pleased her."

Alexander Chodzko, the learned professor of Slavonic literature
at the College de France, told me that he was half-a-dozen times
at George Sand's house. Her apartments were furnished in a style
in favour with young men. First you came into a vestibule where
hats, coats, and sticks were left, then into a large salon with a
billiard-table. On the mantel-piece were to be found the
materials requisite for smoking. George Sand set her guests an
example by lighting a cigar. M. Chodzko met there among others
the historian and statesman Guizot, the litterateur Francois, and
Madame Marliani. If Chopin was not present, George Sand would
often ask the servant what he was doing, whether he was working
or sleeping, whether he was in good or bad humour. And when he
came in all eyes were directed towards him. If he happened to be
in good humour George Sand would lead him to the piano, which
stood in one of the two smaller apartments adjoining the salon.
These smaller apartments were provided with couches for those who
wished to talk. Chopin began generally to prelude apathetically
and only gradually grew warm, but then his playing was really
grand. If, however, he was not in a playing mood, he was often
asked to give some of his wonderful mimetic imitations. On such
occasions Chopin retired to one of the side-rooms, and when he
returned he was irrecognisable. Professor Chodzko remembers
seeing him as Frederick the Great.

Chopin's talent for mimicry, which even such distinguished actors
as Bocage and Madame Dorval regarded with admiration, is alluded
to by Balzac in his novel "Un Homme d'affaires," where he says of
one of the characters that "he is endowed with the same talent
for imitating people which Chopin, the pianist, possesses in so
high a degree; he represents a personage instantly and with
astounding truth."  Liszt remarks that Chopin displayed in
pantomime an inexhaustible verve drolatique, and often amused
himself with reproducing in comical improvisations the musical
formulas and peculiar ways of certain virtuosos, whose faces and
gestures he at the same time imitated in the most striking
manner. These statements are corroborated by the accounts of
innumerable eye and ear-witnesses of such performances. One of
the most illustrative of these accounts is the following very
amusing anecdote. When the Polish musician Nowakowski [FOOTNOTE:
He visited Paris in 1838, 1841, and 1846, partly for the purpose
of making arrangements for the publication of his compositions,
among which are Etudes dedicated to Chopin.] visited Paris, he
begged his countryman to bring him in contact with Kalkbrenner,
Liszt, and Pixis. Chopin, replying that he need not put himself
to the trouble of going in search of these artists if he wished
to make their acquaintance, forthwith sat down at the piano and
assumed the attitude, imitated the style of playing, and mimicked
the mien and gestures, first of Liszt and then of Pixis. Next
evening Chopin and Nowakowski went together to the theatre. The
former having left the box during one of the intervals, the
latter looked round after awhile and saw Pixis sitting beside
him. Nowakowski, thinking Chopin was at his favourite game,
clapped Pixis familiarly on the shoulder and said: "Leave off,
don't imitate now!"  The surprise of Pixis and the subsequent
confusion of Nowakowski may be easily imagined. When Chopin, who
at this moment returned, had been made to understand what had
taken place, he laughed heartily, and with the grace peculiar to
him knew how to make his friend's and his own excuses. One thing
in connection with Chopin's mimicry has to be particularly noted-
-it is very characteristic of the man. Chopin, we learn from
Liszt, while subjecting his features to all kinds of
metamorphoses and imitating even the ugly and grotesque, never
lost his native grace, "la grimace ne parvenait meme pas a

We shall see presently what George Sand has to say about her
lover's imitative talent; first, however, we will make ourselves
acquainted with the friends with whom she especially associated.
Besides Pierre Leroux, Balzac, Pauline Viardot-Garcia, and others
who have already been mentioned in the foregoing chapters, she
numbered among her most intimate friends the Republican
politician and historian Louis Blanc, the Republican litterateur
Godefroy Cavaignac, the historian Henri Martin, and the
litterateur Louis Viardot, the husband of Pauline Garcia.

[FOOTNOTE:  This name reminds me of a passage in Louis Blanc's
"Histoire de la Revolution de 1840" (p. 210 of Fifth Edition.
Paris, 1880). "A short time before his [Godefroy Cavaignac's]
end, he was seized by an extraordinary desire to hear music once
more. I knew Chopin. I offered to go to him, and to bring him
with me, if the doctor did not oppose it. The entreaties
thereupon took the character of a supplication. With the consent,
or rather at the urgent prayer, of Madame Cavaignac, I betook
myself to Chopin. Madame George Sand was there. She expressed in
a touching manner the lively interest with which the invalid
inspired her; and Chopin placed himself at my service with much
readiness and grace. I conducted him then into the chamber of the
dying man, where there was a bad piano. The great artist
begins...Suddenly he is interrupted by sobs. Godefroy, in a
transport of sensibility which gave him a moment's physical
strength, had quite unexpectedly raised himself in his bed of
suffering, his face bathed in tears. Chopin stopped, much
disturbed; Madame Cavaignac, leaning towards her son, anxiously
interrogated him with her eyes. He made an effort to become self-
possessed; he attempted to smile, and with a feeble voice said,
'Do not be uneasy, mamma, it is nothing; real childishness...Ah!
how beautiful music is, understood thus!'  His thought was--we
had no difficulty in divining it--that he would no longer hear
anything like it in this world, but he refrained from saying

Friends not less esteemed by her than these, but with whom she
was less intimate, were the Polish poet Mickiewicz, the famous
bass singer Lablache, the excellent pianist and composer Alkan
aine, the Italian composer and singing-master Soliva (whom we met
already in Warsaw), the philosopher and poet Edgar Quinet,
General Guglielmo Pepe (commander-in-chief of the Neapolitan
insurrectionary army in 1820-21), and likewise the actor Bocage,
the litterateur Ferdinand Francois, the German musician Dessauer,
the Spanish politician Mendizabal, the dramatist and journalist
Etienne Arago, [FOOTNOTE: The name of Etienne Arago is mentioned
in "Ma Vie," but it is that of Emmanuel Arago which occurs
frequently in the "Corrcspcndance."] and a number of literary and
other personages of less note, of whom I shall mention only
Agricol Perdiguier and Gilland, the noble artisan and the
ecrivain proletaire, as George Sand calls them.

Although some of George Sand's friends were also Chopin's, there
can be no doubt that the society which gathered around her was on
the whole not congenial to him. Some remarks which Liszt makes
with regard to George Sand's salon at Nohant are even more
applicable to her salon in Paris.

  An author's relations with the representatives of publicity
  and his dramatic executants, actors and actresses, and with
  those whom he treats with marked attention on account of their
  merits or because they please him; the crossing of incidents,
  the clash and rebound of the infatuations and disagreements
  which result therefrom; were naturally hateful to him [to
  Chopin]. For a long time he endeavoured to escape from them by
  shutting his eyes, by making up his mind not to see anything.
  There happened, however, such things, such catastrophes
  [denouements], as, by shocking too much his delicacy,
  offending too much his habits of the moral and social comme-il-
  faut, ended in rendering his presence at Nohant impossible,
  although he seemed at first to have felt more content [plus de
  repif] there than elsewhere.

These are, of course, only mere surmises, but Liszt, although
often wrong as to incidents, is, thanks to his penetrative
genius, generally right as to essences. Indeed, if George Sand's
surroundings and Chopin's character and tastes are kept in view
nothing seems to be more probable than that his over-delicate
susceptibilities may have occasionally been shocked by
unrestrained vivacity, loud laughter, and perhaps even coarse
words; that his uncompromising idealism may have been disturbed
by the discordance of literary squabbles, intrigues, and business
transactions; that his peaceable, non-speculative, and non-
argumentative disposition may have been vexed and wearied by
discussions of political, social, religious, literary, and
artistic problems. Unless his own art was the subject, Chopin did
not take part in discussions. And Liszt tells us that Chopin not
only, like most artists, lacked a generalising mind [esprit
generalisateur], but showed hardly any inclination for
aesthetics, of which he had not even heard much. We may be sure
that to Chopin to whom discussions of any kind were distasteful,
those of a circle in which, as in that of George Sand, democratic
and socialistic, theistic and atheistic views prevailed, were
particularly so. For, notwithstanding his bourgeois birth, his
sympathies were with the aristocracy; and notwithstanding his
neglect of ritual observances, his attachment to the Church of
Rome remained unbroken. Chopin does not seem to have concealed
his dislike to George Sand's circle; if he did not give audible
expression to it, he made it sufficiently manifest by seeking
other company. That she was aware of the fact and displeased with
it, is evident from what she says of her lover's social habits in
Ma Vie. The following excerpt from that work is an important
biographical contribution; it is written not without bitterness,
but with hardly any exaggeration:--

  He was a man of the world par excellence, not of the too
  formal and too numerous world, but of the intimate world, of
  the salons of twenty persons, of the hour when the crowd goes
  away and the habitues crowd round the artist to wrest from him
  by amiable importunity his purest inspiration. It was then
  only that he exhibited all his genius and all his talent. It
  was then also that after having plunged his audience into a
  profound recueillement or into a painful sadness, for his
  music sometimes discouraged one's soul terribly, especially
  when he improvised, he would suddenly, as if to take away the
  impression and remembrance of his sorrow from others and from
  himself, turn stealthily to a glass, arrange his hair and his
  cravat, and show himself suddenly transformed into a
  phlegmatic Englishman, into an impertinent old man, into a
  sentimental and ridiculous Englishwoman, into a sordid Jew.
  The types were always sad, however comical they might be, but
  perfectly conceived and so delicately rendered that one could
  not grow weary of admiring them.

  All these sublime, charming, or bizarre things that he knew
  how to evolve out of himself made him the soul of select
  society, and there was literally a contest for his company,
  his noble character, his disinterestedness, his self-respect,
  his proper pride, enemy of every vanity of bad taste and of
  every insolent reclame, the security of intercourse with him,
  and the exquisite delicacy of his manners, making him a friend
  equally serious and agreeable.

  To tear Chopin away from so many gdteries, to associate him
  with a simple, uniform, and constantly studious life, him who
  had been brought up on the knees of princesses, was to deprive
  him of that which made him live, of a factitious life, it is
  true, for, like a painted woman, he laid aside in the evening,
  in returning to his home, his verve and his energy, to give
  the night to fever and sleeplessness; but of a life which
  would have been shorter and more animated than that of the
  retirement and of the intimacy restricted to the uniform
  circle of a single family. In Paris he visited several salons
  every day, or he chose at least every evening a different one
  as a milieu. He had thus by turns twenty or thirty salons to
  intoxicate or to charm with his presence.



George Sand, although one of the cleverest of the literary
portrayers who have tried their hand at Chopin, cannot be
regarded as one of the most impartial; but it must be admitted
that in describing her deserted lover as un homme du monde par
excellence, non pas du monde trop officiel, trop nombreux, she
says what is confirmed by all who have known him, by his friends,
foes, and those that are neither. Aristocratic society, with
which he was acquainted from his earliest childhood, had always a
great charm for him. When at the beginning of 1833, a little more
than two years after his arrival in Paris, he informed his friend
Dziewanowski that he moved in the highest society--among
ambassadors, princes, and ministers--it is impossible not to see
that the fact gives him much satisfaction. Without going so far
as to say with a great contemporary of Chopin, Stephen Heller,
that the higher you go in society the greater is the ignorance
you find, I think that little if any good for either heart or
mind can come from intercourse with that section of the people
which proudly styles itself "society" (le monde). Many
individuals that belong to it possess, no doubt, true nobility,
wisdom, and learning, nay, even the majority may possess one or
the other or all of them in some degree, but these qualities are
so out of keeping with the prevailing frivolity that few have the
moral courage to show their better nature. If Chopin imagined
that he was fully understood as an artist by society, he was
sadly mistaken. Liszt and Heller certainly held that he was not
fully understood, and they did not merely surmise or speak from
hearsay, for neither of them was a stranger in that quarter,
although the latter avoided it as much as possible. What society
could and did appreciate in Chopin was his virtuosity, his
elegance, and his delicacy. It is not my intention to attempt an
enumeration of Chopin's aristocratic friends and acquaintances,
but in the dedications of his works the curious will find the
most important of them. There, then, we read the names of the
Princess Czartoryska, Countess Plater, Countess Potocka,
Princesse de Beauvau, Countess Appony, Countess Esterhazy, Comte
and Comtesse de Perthuis, Baroness Bronicka, Princess
Czernicheff, Princess Souzzo, Countess Mostowska, Countess
Czosnowska, Comtesse de Flahault, Baroness von Billing, Baron and
Baroness von Stockhausen, Countess von Lobau, Mdlle. de Noailles,
&c. And in addition to these we have representatives of the
aristocracy of wealth, Madame C. de Rothschild foremost amongst
them. Whether the banker Leo with whom and his family Chopin was
on very friendly terms may be mentioned in this connection, I do
not know. But we must remember that round many of the above names
cluster large families. The names of the sisters Countess Potocka
and Princesse de Beauvau call up at once that of their mother,
Countess Komar. Many of these here enumerated are repeatedly
mentioned in the course of this book, some will receive
particular attention in the next chapter. Now we will try to get
a glimpse of Chopin in society.

Madame de Girardin, after having described in one of her "Lettres
parisiennes" (March 7, 1847) [FOOTNOTE: The full title of the
work is: "Le Vicomte de Launay--Lettres parisiennes par Mdme.
Emile de Girardin." (Paris: Michel Levy freres.)] with what
success Mdlle. O'Meara accompanied by her master played his E
minor Concerto at a soiree of Madame de Courbonne, proceeds thus:-

  Mdlle. Meara is a pupil of Chopin's. He was there, he was
  present at the triumph of his pupil, the anxious audience
  asked itself: "Shall we hear him?"

  The fact is that it was for passionate admirers the torment of
  Tantalus to see Chopin going about a whole evening in a salon
  and not to hear him. The mistress of the house took pity on
  us; she was indiscreet, and Chopin played, sang his most
  delicious songs; we set to these joyous or sad airs the words
  which came into our heads; we followed with our thoughts his
  melodious caprices. There were some twenty of us, sincere
  amateurs, true believers, and not a note was lost, not an
  intention was misunderstood; it was not a concert, it was
  intimate, serious music such as we love; he was not a virtuoso
  who comes and plays the air agreed upon and then disappears;
  he was a beautiful talent, monopolised, worried, tormented,
  without consideration and scruples, whom one dared ask for the
  most beloved airs, and who full of grace and charity repeated
  to you the favourite phrase, in order that you might carry it
  away correct and pure in your memory, and for a long time yet
  feast on it in remembrance. Madame so-and-so said: "Please,
  play this pretty nocturne dedicated to Mdlle. Stirling."--The
  nocturne which I called the dangerous one.--He smiled, and
  played the fatal nocturne. "I," said another lady, "should
  like to hear once played by you this mazurka, so sad and so
  charming." He smiled again, and played the delicious mazurka.
  The most profoundly artful among the ladies sought expedients
  to attain their end: "I am practising the grand sonata which
  commences with this beautiful funeral march," and "I should
  like to know the movement in which the finale ought to be
  played." He smiled a little at the stratagem, and played the
  finale, of the grand sonata, one of the most magnificent
  pieces which he has composed.

Although Madame Girardin's language and opinions are fair
specimens of those prevalent in the beatified regions in which
Chopin delighted to move, we will not follow her rhapsodic eulogy
of his playing. That she cannot be ranked with the connoisseurs
is evident from her statement that the sonata BEGINS with the
funeral march, and that the FINALE is one of the most magnificent
creations of the composer. Notwithstanding Madame Girardin's
subsequent remark that Chopin's playing at Madame de Courbonne's
was quite an exception, her letter may mislead the reader into
the belief that the great pianist was easily induced to sit down
at the piano. A more correct idea may be formed of the real state
of matters from a passage in an article by Berlioz (Feuilleton du
Journal des Debats, October 27, 1849) in which the supremacy of
style over matter is a little less absolute than in the lady's
elegant chit-chat:--

  A small circle of select auditors, whose real desire to hear
  him was beyond doubt, could alone determine him to approach
  the piano. What emotions he would then call forth! In what
  ardent and melancholy reveries he loved to pour out his soul!
  It was usually towards midnight that he gave himself up with
  the greatest ABANDON, when the big butterflies of the salon
  had left, when the political questions of the day had been
  discussed at length, when all the scandal-mongers were at the
  end of their anecdotes, when all the snares were laid, all the
  perfidies consummated, when one was thoroughly tired of prose,
  then, obedient to the mute petition of some beautiful,
  intelligent eyes, he became a poet, and sang the Ossianic
  loves of the heroes of his dreams, their chivalrous joys, and
  the sorrows of the absent fatherland, his dear Poland always
  ready to conquer and always defeated. But without these
  conditions--the exacting of which for his playing all artists
  must thank him for--it was useless to solicit him. The
  curiosity excited by his fame seemed even to irritate him, and
  he shunned as far as possible the nonsympathetic world when
  chance had led him into it. I remember a cutting saying which
  he let fly one evening at the master of a house where he had
  dined. Scarcely had the company taken coffee when the host,
  approaching Chopin, told him that his fellow-guests who had
  never heard him hoped that he would be so good as to sit down
  at the piano and play them some little thing [quelque petite
  chose]. Chopin excused himself from the very first in a way
  which left not the slightest doubt as to his inclination. But
  when the other insisted, in an almost offensive manner, like a
  man who knows the worth and the object of the dinner which he
  has given, the artist cut the conversation short by saying
  with a weak and broken voice and a fit of coughing: "Ah!
  sir...I have...eaten so little!"

Chopin's predilection for the fashionable salon society led him
to neglect the society of artists. That he carried the odi
profanum vulgus, et arceo too far cannot for a moment be doubted.
For many of those who sought to have intercourse with him were
men of no less nobility of sentiment and striving than himself.
Chopin offended even Ary Scheffer, the great painter, who admired
him and loved him, by promising to spend an evening with him and
again and again disappointing him. Musicians, with a few
exceptions. Chopin seems always to have been careful to keep at a
distance, at least after the first years of his arrival in Paris.
This is regrettable especially in the case of the young men who
looked up to him with veneration and enthusiasm, and whose
feelings were cruelly hurt by the polite but unsympathetic
reception he gave them:--

  We have had always a profound admiration for Chopin's talent
  [writes M. Marmontel], and, let us add, a lively sympathy for
  his person. No artist, the intimate disciples not excepted,
  has more studied his compositions, and more caused them to be
  played, and yet our relations with this great musician have
  only been rare and transient. Chopin was surrounded, fawned
  upon, closely watched by a small cenacle of enthusiastic
  friends, who guarded him against importunate visitors and
  admirers of the second order. It was difficult to get access
  to him; and it was necessary, as he said himself to that other
  great artist whose name is Stephen Heller, to try several
  times before one succeeded in meeting him. These trials
  ["essais"] being no more to my taste than to Heller's, I could
  not belong to that little congregation of faithful ones whose
  cult verged on fanaticism.

As to Stephen Heller--who himself told me that he would have
liked to be more with Chopin, but was afraid of being regarded as
intrusive--Mr. Heller thinks that Chopin had an antipathy to him,
which considering the amiable and truly gentlemanly character of
this artist seems rather strange.

If the details of Karasowski's account of Chopin's and
Schulhoff's first meeting are correct, the Polish artist was in
his aloofness sometimes even deficient in that common civility
which good-breeding and consideration for the feelings of others
demand. Premising that Fetis in telling the story is less
circumstantial and lays the scene of the incident in the
pianoforte-saloon of Pleyel, I shall quote Karasowski's version,
as he may have had direct information from Schulhoff, who since
1855 has lived much of his time at Dresden, where Karasowski also

  Schulhoff came when quite a young man and as yet completely
  unknown to Paris. There he learned that Chopin, who was then
  already very ailing and difficult of access, was coming to the
  pianoforte-manufactory of Mercier to inspect one of the newly-
  invented transposing pianofortes. It was in the year 1844.
  Schulhoff seized the opportunity to become personally
  acquainted with the master, and made his appearance among the
  small party which awaited Chopin. The latter came with an old
  friend, a Russian Capellmeister [Soliva?]. Taking advantage of
  a propitious moment, Schulhoff got himself introduced by one
  of the ladies present. On the latter begging Chopin to allow
  Schulhoff to play him something, the renowned master, who was
  much bothered by dilettante tormentors, signified, somewhat
  displeased, his consent by a slight nod of the head. Schulhoff
  seated himself at the pianoforte, while Chopin, with his back
  turned to him, was leaning against it. But already during the
  short prelude he turned his head attentively towards Schulhoff
  who now performed an Allegro brillant en forme de Senate (Op.
  I), which he had lately composed. With growing interest Chopin
  came nearer and nearer the keyboard and listened to the fine,
  poetic playing of the young Bohemian; his pale features grew
  animated, and by mien and gesture he showed to all who were
  present his lively approbation. When Schulhoff had finished,
  Chopin held out his hand to him with the words: "Vous etes un
  vrai artiste, un collegue!" Some days after Schulhoff paid the
  revered master a visit, and asked him to accept the dedication
  of the composition he had played to him. Chopin thanked him in
  a heart-winning manner, and said in the presence of several
  ladies: "Je suis tres flatte de l'honneur que vous me faites."

The behaviour of Chopin during the latter part of this
transaction made, no doubt, amends for that of the earlier. But
the ungracious manner in which he granted the young musician
permission to play to him, and especially his turning his back to
Schulhoff when the latter began to play, are not excused by the
fact that he was often bothered by dilettante tormentors.

The Paris correspondent of the Musical World, writing immediately
after the death of the composer, describes the feeling which
existed among the musicians in the French capital, and also
suggests an explanation and excuse. In the number of the paper
bearing date November 10, 1849, we read as follows:--

  Owing to his retired way of living and his habitual reserve,
  Chopin had few friends in the profession; and, indeed, spoiled
  from his original nature by the caprice of society, he was too
  apt to treat his brother-artists with a supercilious hauteur,
  which many, his equals, and a few, his superiors, were wont to
  stigmatise as insulting. But from want of sympathy with the
  man, they overlooked the fact that a pulmonary complaint,
  which for years had been gradually wasting him to a shadow,
  rendered him little fit for the enjoyments of society and the
  relaxations of artistic conviviality. In short, Chopin, in
  self-defence, was compelled to live in comparative seclusion,
  but we wholly disbelieve that this isolation had its source in
  unkindness or egotism. We are the more inclined to this
  opinion by the fact that the intimate friends whom he
  possessed in the profession (and some of them were pianists)
  were as devotedly attached to him as the most romantic of his
  aristocratic worshippers.

The reasoning does not seem to me quite conclusive. Would it not
have been possible to live in retirement without drawing upon
himself the accusation of supercilious hauteur? Moreover, as
Chopin was strong enough to frequent fashionable salons, he
cannot have been altogether unable to hold intercourse with his
brother-artists. And, lastly, who are the pianist friends that
were as devotedly attached to him as the most romantic of his
aristocratic worshippers? The fact that Chopin became
subsequently less social and more reticent than he had been in
his early Paris days, confined himself to a very limited number
of friends and families, and had relations of an intimate nature
with only a very few musicians, cannot, therefore, be
attributable to ill-health alone, although that too had, no
doubt, something to do with it, directly or indirectly. In short,
the allegation that Chopin was "spoiled by the caprice of
society," as the above-quoted correspondent puts it, is not only
probable, but even very likely. Fastidious by nature and
education, he became more so, partly in consequence of his
growing physical weakness, and still more through the influence
of the society with which, in the exercise of his profession and
otherwise, he was in constant contact. His pupils and many of his
other admirers, mostly of the female sex and the aristocratic
class, accustomed him to adulation and adoration to such an
extent as to make these to be regarded by him as necessaries of
life. Some excerpts from Liszt's book, which I shall quote here
in the form of aphorisms, will help to bring Chopin, in his
social aspect, clearly before the reader's eyes:--

  As he did not confound his time, thought, and ways with those
  of anyone, the society of women was often more convenient to
  him in that it involved fewer subsequent relations.

  He carried into society the uniformity of temper of people
  whom no annoyance troubles because they expect no interest.

  His conversation dwelt little on stirring subjects. He glided
  over them; as he was not at all lavish of his time, the talk
  was easily absorbed by the details of the day.

  He loved the unimportant talk [les causeries sans portee] of
  people whom he esteemed; he delighted in the childish
  pleasures of young people. He passed readily whole evenings in
  playing blind-man's-buff with young girls, in telling them
  amusing or funny little stories, in making them laugh the mad
  laughter of youth, which it gives even more pleasure to hear
  than the singing of the warbler. [FOOTNOTE: This, I think,
  must refer to the earlier years of Chopin's residence in

  In his relations and conversations he seemed to take an
  interest in what preoccupied the others; he took care not to
  draw them out of the circle of their personality inorder to
  lead them into his. If he gave up little of his time, he, to
  make up for it, reserved to himself nothing of that which he

  The presence of Chopin was, therefore, always heartily welcome
  [fetee]. Not hoping to be understood [devine], disdaining to
  speak of himself [de se raconter lui-meme], he occupied
  himself so much with everything that was not himself that his
  intimate personality remained aloof, unapproached and
  unapproachable, under this polite and smooth [glissant]
  surface where it was impossible to get a footing.

  He pleased too much to make people reflect.

  He hardly spoke either of love or of friendship.

  He was not exacting like those whose rights and just demands
  surpass by far what one would have to offer them. The most
  intimate acquaintances did not penetrate to this sacred recess
  where, withdrawn from all the rest of his life, dwelt the
  secret motive power of his soul: a recess so concealed that
  one scarcely suspected its existence.

  Ready to give everything, he did not give himself.

The last dictum and part of the last but one were already quoted
by me in an earlier chapter, but for the sake of completeness,
and also because they form an excellent starting-point for the
following additional remarks on Chopin's friendships, I have
repeated them here. First of all, I venture to make the sweeping
assertion that Chopin had among his non-Polish friends none who
could be called intimate in the fullest sense of the word, none
to whom he unbosomed himself as he did to Woyciechowski and
Matuszynski, the friends of his youth, and Grzymala, a friend of
a later time. Long cessation of personal intercourse together
with the diverging development of their characters in totally
unlike conditions of life cannot but have diminished the intimacy
with the first named. [FOOTNOTE: Titus Woyciechowski continued to
live on his estate Poturzyn, in the kingdom of Poland.] With
Matuszyriski Chopin remained in close connection till this
friend's death. [FOOTNOTE: Karasowski says in the first volume of
his Polish biography of Chopin that Matuszynski died on April 20,
1842; and in the second that he died after Chopin's father, but
in the same year--that is, in 1844.] How he opened his whole
heart to Grzymala we shall see in a subsequent chapter. That his
friendship with Fontana was of a less intimate character becomes
at once apparent on comparing Chopin's letters to him with those
he wrote to the three other Polish friends. Of all his
connections with non-Poles there seems to be only one which
really deserves the name of friendship, and that is his
connection with Franchomme. Even here, however, he gave much less
than he received. Indeed, we may say--speaking generally, and not
only with a view to Franchomme--that Chopin was more loved than
loving. But he knew well how to conceal his deficiencies in this
respect under the blandness of his manners and the coaxing
affectionateness of his language. There is something really
tragic, and comic too, in the fact that every friend of Chopin's
thought that he had more of the composer's love and confidence
than any other friend. Thus, for instance, while Gutmann told me
that Franchomme was not so intimate with Chopin that the latter
would confide any secrets to him, Franchomme made to me a similar
statement with regard to Gutmann. And so we find every friend of
Chopin declaring that every other friend was not so much of a
friend as himself. Of Chopin's procedures in friendship much may
be learned from his letters; in them is to be seen something of
his insinuating, cajoling ways, of his endeavours to make the
person addressed believe himself a privileged favourite, and of
his habit of speaking not only ungenerously and unlovingly, but
even unjustly of other persons with whom he was apparently on
cordial terms. In fact, it is only too clear that Chopin spoke
differently before the faces and behind the backs of people. You
remember how in his letters to Fontana he abuses Camille Pleyel
in a manner irreconcilable with genuine love and esteem. Well, to
this same Camille Pleyel, of whom he thus falls foul when he
thinks himself in the slightest aggrieved, he addresses on one
occasion the following note. Mark the last sentence:--

  Dearest friend [Cherissime],--Here is what Onslow has written
  to me. I wished to call on you and tell you, but I feel very
  feeble and am going to lie down. I love you always more, if
  this is possible [je vous aime toujours plus si c'est


  [FOOTNOTE: To the above, unfortunately undated, note, which
  was published for the first time in the Menestrel of February
  15, 1885, and reprinted in "Un nid d'autographes," lettres
  incites recueillies et annotees par Oscar Comettant (Paris: E.
  Dentu), is appended the following P.S.:--"Do not forget,
  please, friend Herbeault. Till to-morrow, then; I expect you

  La Mara's Musikerbriefe (Leipzig: Breitkopf and Hartel)
  contains likewise a friendly letter of Chopin to Camille
  Pleyel. It runs thus:

  "Dearest friend,--I received the other day your piano, and
  give you my best thanks. It arrived in good tune, and is
  exactly at concert-pitch. As yet I have not played much on it,
  for the weather is at present so fine that I am almost always
  in the open air. I wish you as pleasant weather for your
  holidays. Write me a few words (if you find that you have not
  sufficiently exercised your pen in the course of the day). May
  you all remain well--and lay me at the feet of your mother and
  sister.--Your devoted, "F. CHOPIN."

  The date given by La Mara is "Monday [May 20, 1842], Nohant,
  near La Chatre, Indre." This, however, cannot be right, for
  the 20th of May in 1842 was a Friday.]

And, again, how atrociously he reviles in the same letters the
banker Leo, who lends him money, often takes charge of his
manuscripts, procures payment for them, and in whose house he has
been for years a frequent visitor. Mr. Ch. Halle informed me that
Chopin was on particularly good terms with the Leos. From
Moscheles' diary we learn that the writer made Chopin's
acquaintance at the banker's house. Stephen Heller told me that
he met Chopin several times at Leo's, and that the Polish
composer visited there often, and continued to go there when he
had given up going to many other houses. And from the same
informant I learned also that Madame Leo as well as her husband
took a kindly interest in Chopin, showing this, for instance, by
providing him with linen. And yet Leo, this man who does him all
sorts of services, and whose smiling guest he is before and
after, is spoken of by Chopin as if he were the most "despicable
wretch imaginable"; and this for no other reason than that
everything has not been done exactly as he wished it to be done.
Unless we assume these revilings to be no more than explosions of
momentary ill-humour, we must find Chopin convicted of duplicity
and ingratitude. In the letters to Fontana there are also certain
remarks about Matuszynski which I do not like. Nor can they be
wholly explained away by saying that they are in part fun and in
part indirect flattery of his correspondent. It would rather seem
that Chopin's undoubtedly real love for Matuszynski was not
unmixed with a certain kind of contempt. And here I must tell the
reader that while Poles have so high an opinion of their nation
in comparison with other nations, and of their countrymen with
other countrymen, they have generally a very mean opinion of each
other. Indeed, I never met with a Pole who did not look down with
a self-satisfied smile of pity on any of his fellow-countrymen,
even on his best friend. It seems that their feeling of
individual superiority is as great as that of their national
superiority. Liszt's observations (see Vol. I., p. 259) and those
of other writers (Polish as well as non-Polish) confirm mine,
which else might rightly be supposed to be based on too limited
an experience. To return to Matuszynski, he may have been too
ready to advise and censure his friend, and not practical enough
to be actively helpful. After reading the letters addressed to
them one comes to the conclusion that Fontana's and Franchomme's
serviceableness and readiness to serve went for something in his
appreciation of them as friends. At any rate, he did not hesitate
to exploiter them most unconscionably. Taking a general view of
the letters written by him during the last twelve years of his
life, one is struck by the absence of generous judgments and the
extreme rareness of sympathetic sentiments concerning third
persons. As this was not the case in his earlier letters, ill-
health and disappointments suggest themselves naturally as causes
of these faults of character and temper. To these principal
causes have, however, to be added his nationality, his originally
delicate constitution, and his cultivation of salon manners and
tastes. His extreme sensitiveness, fastidiousness, and
irritability may be easily understood to derive from one or the
other of these conditions.

George Sand's Ma Vie throws a good deal of light on Chopin's
character; let us collect a few rays from it:--

  He [Chopin] was modest on principle and gentle [doux] by
  habit, but he was imperious by instinct, and full of a
  legitimate pride that did not know itself.

  He was certainly not made to live long in this world, this
  extreme type of an artist. He was devoured by the dream of an
  ideal which no practical philosophic or compassionate
  tolerance combated. He would never compound with human nature.
  He accepted nothing of reality. This was his vice and his
  virtue, his grandeur and his misery. Implacable to the least
  blemish, he had an immense enthusiasm for the least light, his
  excited imagination doing its utmost to see in it a sun.

  He was the same in friendship [as in love], becoming
  enthusiastic at first sight, getting disgusted, and correcting
  himself [se reprenant] incessantly, living on infatuations
  full of charms for those who were the object of them, and on
  secret discontents which poisoned his dearest affections.

  Chopin accorded to me, I may say honoured me with, a kind of
  friendship which was an exception in his life. He was always
  the same to me.

  The friendship of Chopin was never a refuge for me in sadness.
  He had enough of his own ills to bear.

  We never addressed a reproach to each other, except once,
  which, alas! was the first and the last time.

  But if Chopin was with me devotion, kind attention, grace,
  obligingness, and deference in person, he had not for all that
  abjured the asperities of his character towards those who were
  about me. With them the inequality of his soul, in turn
  generous and fantastic, gave itself full course, passing
  always from infatuation to aversion, and vice versa.

  Chopin when angry was alarming, and as, with me, he always
  restrained himself, he seemed almost to choke and die.

The following extracts from Liszt's book partly corroborate,
partly supplement, the foregoing evidence:--

  His imagination was ardent, his feelings rose to violence,--
  his physical organisation was feeble and sickly! Who can sound
  the sufferings proceeding from this contrast? They must have
  been poignant, but he never let them be seen.

  The delicacy of his constitution and of his heart, in imposing
  upon him the feminine martyrdom of for ever unavowed tortures,
  gave to his destiny some of the traits of feminine destinies.

  He did not exercise a decisive influence on any existence. His
  passion never encroached upon any of his desires; he neither
  pressed close nor bore down [n'a etreint ni masse] any mind by
  the domination of his own.

  However rarely, there were nevertheless instances when we
  surprised him profoundly moved. We have seen him turn pale
  [palir et blemir] to such a degree as to assume green and
  cadaverous tints. But in his intensest emotions he remained
  concentrated. He was then, as usually, chary of words about
  what he felt; a minute's reflection [recueillement] always hid
  the secret of his first impression...This constant control
  over the violence of his character reminded one of the
  melancholy superiority of certain women who seek their
  strength in reticence and isolation, knowing the uselessness
  of the explosions of their anger, and having a too jealous
  care of the mystery of their passion to betray it

Chopin, however, did not always control his temper. Heller
remembers seeing him more than once in a passion, and hearing him
speak very harshly to Nowakowski. The following story, which Lenz
relates in "Die grossen Pianoforte-Virtuosen unserer Zeit," is
also to the point.

  On one occasion Meyerbeer, whom I had not yet seen, entered
  Chopin's room when I was getting a lesson. Meyerbeer was not
  announced, he was king. I was playing the Mazurka in C (Op.
  33), printed on one page which contains so many hundreds--I
  called it the epitaph of the idea [Grabschrift des Begriffs],
  so full of distress and sadness is the composition, the
  wearied flight of an eagle.

  Meyerbeer had taken a seat, Chopin made me go on.

  "This is two-four time," said Meyerbeer. Chopin denied this,
  made me repeat the piece, and beat time aloud with the pencil
  on the piano--his eyes were glowing.

  "Two crotchets," repeated Meyerbeer, calmly.

  Only once I saw Chopin angry, it was at this moment. It was
  beautiful to see how a light red coloured his pale cheeks.

  "These are three crotchets," he said with a loud voice, he who
  spoke always so low

  "Give it me," replied Meyerbeer, "for a ballet in my opera
  ("L'Africaine," at that time kept a secret), I shall show it
  you then."

  "These are three crotchets," Chopin almost shouted, and played
  it himself. He played the mazurka several times, counted
  aloud, stamped time with his foot, was beside himself. But all
  was of no use, Meyerbeer insisted on TWO crotchets. They
  parted very angrily. I found it anything but agreeable to have
  been a witness of this angry scene. Chopin disappeared into
  his cabinet without taking leave of me. The whole thing lasted
  but a few minutes.

Exhibitions of temper like this were no doubt rare, indeed,
hardly ever occurred except in his intercourse with familiars
and, more especially, fellow-countrymen--sometimes also with
pupils. In passing I may remark that Chopin's Polish vocabulary
was much less choice than his French one. As a rule, Chopin's
manners were very refined and aristocratic, Mr. Halle thinks they
were too much so. For this refinement resulted in a uniform
amiability which left you quite in the dark as to the real nature
of the man. Many people who made advances to Chopin found like M.
Marmontel--I have this from his own mouth--that he had a
temperament sauvage and was difficult to get at. And all who came
near him learned soon from experience that, as Liszt told Lenz,
he was ombrageux. But while Chopin would treat outsiders with a
chilly politeness, he charmed those who were admitted into his
circle both by amiability and wit. "Usually," says Liszt, "he was
lively, his caustic mind unearthed quickly the ridiculous far
below the surface where it strikes all eyes." And again, "the
playfulness of Chopin attacked only the superior keys of the
mind, fond of witticism as he was, recoiling from vulgar
joviality, gross laughter, common merriment, as from those
animals more abject than venomous, the sight of which causes the
most nauseous aversion to certain sensitive and delicate
natures." Liszt calls Chopin "a fine connoisseur in raillery and
an ingenious mocker." The testimony of other acquaintances of
Chopin and that of his letters does not allow us to accept as
holding good generally Mr. Halle's experience, who, mentioning
also the Polish artist's wit, said to me that he never heard him
utter a sarcasm or use a cutting expression.

Fondness of society is a characteristic trait in Chopin's mental
constitution. Indeed, Hiller told me that his friend could not be
without company. For reading, on the other hand, he did not much
care. Alkan related to me that Chopin did not even read George
Sand's works--which is difficult to believe--and that Pierre
Leroux, who liked Chopin and always brought him his books, might
have found them any time afterwards uncut on the pianist's table,
which is not so difficult to believe, as philosophy and Chopin
are contraries. According to what I learned from Hiller, Chopin
took an interest in literature but read very little. To Heller it
seemed that Chopin had no taste for literature, indeed, he made
on him the impression of an uneducated man. Heller, I must tell
the reader parenthetically, was both a great reader and an
earnest thinker, over whom good books had even the power of
making him neglect and forget mistress Musica without regret and
with little compunction. But to return to Chopin. Franchomme
excused his friend by saying that teaching and the claims of
society left him no time for reading. But if Chopin neglected
French literature--not to speak of other ancient and modern
literatures--he paid some attention to that of his native
country; at any rate, new publications of Polish books were
generally to be found on his table. The reader will also remember
that Chopin, in his letters to Fontana, alludes twice to books of
poetry--one by Mickiewicz which was sent him to Majorca, the
other by Witwicki which he had lost sight of.

Indeed, anything Polish had an especial charm and value for
Chopin. Absence from his native country so far from diminishing
increased his love for it. The words with which he is reported to
have received the pianist Mortier de Fontaine, who came to Paris
in 1833 and called on him with letters of introduction, are
characteristic in this respect: "It is enough that you have
breathed the air of Warsaw to find a friend and adviser in me."
There is, no doubt, some exaggeration in Liszt's statement that
whoever came to Chopin from Poland, whether with or without
letters of introduction, was sure of a hearty welcome, of being
received with open arms. On the other hand, we may fully believe
the same authority when he says that Chopin often accorded to
persons of his own country what he would not accord to anyone
else--namely, the right of disturbing his habits; that he would
sacrifice his time, money, and comfort to people who were perhaps
unknown to him the day before, showing them the sights of the
capital, having them to dine with him, and taking them in the
evening to some theatre. We have already seen that his most
intimate friends were Poles, and this was so in the aristocratic
as well as in the conventionally less-elevated circles. However
pleasant his relations with the Rothschilds may have been--
indeed, Franchomme told me that his friend loved the house of
Rothschild and that this house loved him, and that more
especially Madame Nathaniel Rothschild preserved a touching
remembrance of him [FOOTNOTE: Chopin dedicated to Madame la
Baronne C. Rothschild the Waltz, Op. 64, No. 2 (Parisian
Edition), and the Ballade, Op. 52.]--they can have been but of
small significance in comparison with the almost passionate
attachment he had to Prince Alexander Czartoryski and his wife
the Princess Marcelline. And if we were to compare his friendship
for any non-Polish gentleman or lady with that which he felt for
the Countess Delphine Potocka, to whom he dedicated two of his
happiest inspirations in two very different genres (the F minor
Concerto, Op. 21, and the D flat major Waltz, Op. 64, No. I), the
result would be again in favour of his compatriot.
There were, indeed, some who thought that he felt more than
friendship for this lady; this, however, he energetically denied.

[FOOTNOTE: Of this lady Kwiatkowski said that she took as much
trouble and pride in giving choice musical entertainments as
other people did in giving choice dinners. In Sowinski's
Musiciens polonais we read that she had a beautiful soprano voice
and occupied the first place among the amateur ladies of Paris.
"A great friend of the illustrious Chopin, she gave formerly
splendid concerts at her house with the old company of the
Italians, which one shall see no more in Paris. To cite the names
of Rubini, Lablache, Tamburini, Malibran, Grisi, Persiani, is to
give the highest idea of Italian singing. The Countess Potocka
sang herself according to the method of the Italian masters."]

But although Chopin was more devoted and more happy in his Polish
friendships, he had beloved as well as loving friends of all
nationalities--Germans, English, and even Russians. That as a
good Pole he hated the Russians as a nation may be taken for
granted. Of his feelings and opinions with regard to his English
friends and the English in general, information will be
forthcoming in a subsequent chapter. The Germans Chopin disliked
thoroughly, partly, no doubt, from political reasons, partly
perhaps on account of their inelegance and social awkwardness.
Still, of this nation were some of his best friends, among them
Hiller, Gutmann, Albrecht, and the Hanoverian ambassador Baron
von Stockhausen.

[FOOTNOTE:  Gutmann, in speaking to me of his master's dislike,
positively ascribed it to the second of the above causes. In
connection with this we must, however, not forget that the
Germans of to-day differ from the Germans of fifty years ago as
much socially as politically. Nor have the social characters of
their neighbours, the French and the English, remained the same.]

Liszt has given a glowing description of an improvised soiree at
Chopin's lodgings in the Rue de la Chaussee d'Antin--that is, in
the years before the winter in Majorca. At this soiree, we are
told, were present Liszt himself, Heine, Meyerbeer, Nourrit,
Hiller, Delacroix, Niemcewicz, Mickiewicz, George Sand, and the
Comtesse d'Agoult. Of course, this is a poetic licence: these men
and women cannot have been at one and the same time in Chopin's
salon. Indeed, Hiller informed me that he knew nothing of this
party, and that, moreover, as long as he was in Paris (up to
1836) there were hardly ever more numerous gatherings at his
friend's lodgings than of two or three. Liszt's group, however,
brings vividly before us one section of Chopin's social
surroundings: it shows us what a poetic atmosphere he was
breathing, amidst what a galaxy of celebrities he was moving. A
glimpse of the real life our artist lived in the early Paris
years this extravagant effort of a luxuriant imagination does not
afford. Such glimpses we got in his letters to Hiller and
Franchomme, where we also met with many friends and acquaintances
with less high-sounding names, some of whom Chopin subsequently
lost by removal or death. In addition to the friends who were
then mentioned, I may name here the Polish poet Stephen Witwicki,
the friend of his youth as well as of his manhood, to whom in
1842 he dedicated his Op. 41, three mazurkas, and several of
whose poems he set to music; and the Polish painter Kwiatkowski,
an acquaintance of a later time, who drew and painted many
portraits of the composer, and more than one of whose pictures
was inspired by compositions of his friend. I have not been able
to ascertain what Chopin's sentiments were with regard to
Kwiatkowski, but the latter must have been a frequent visitor,
for after relating to me that the composer was fond of playing in
the dusk, he remarked that he heard him play thus almost all his
works immediately after they were composed.

As we have seen in the chapters treating of Chopin's first years
in Paris, there was then a goodly sprinkling of musicians among
his associates--I use the word "associates" advisedly, for many
of them could not truly be called friends. When he was once
firmly settled, artistically and socially, not a few of these
early acquaintances lapsed. How much this was due to the force of
circumstances, how much to the choice of Chopin, is difficult to
determine. But we may be sure that his distaste to the
Bohemianism, the free and easy style that obtains among a
considerable portion of the artistic tribe, had at least as much
to do with the result as pressure of engagements. Of the
musicians of whom we heard so much in the first years after his
coming to Paris, he remained in close connection only with one-
namely, with Franchomme. Osborne soon disappeared from his
circle. Chopin's intercourse with Berlioz was in after years so
rare that some of their common friends did not even know of its
existence. The loosening of this connection was probably brought
about by the departure of Hiller in 1836 and the quarrel with
Liszt some time after, which broke two links between the
sensitive Pole and the fiery Frenchman. The ageing Baillot and
Cherubini died in 1842. Kalkbrenner died but a short time before
Chopin, but the sympathy existing between them was not strong
enough to prevent their drifting apart. Other artists to whom the
new-comer had paid due homage may have been neglected, forgotten,
or lost sight of when success was attained and the blandishments
of the salons were lavished upon him. Strange to say, with all
his love for what belonged to and came from Poland, he kept
compatriot musicians at a distance. Fontana was an exception, but
him he cherished, no doubt, as a friend of his youth in spite of
his profession, or, if as a musician at all, chiefly because of
his handiness as a copyist. For Sowinski, who was already settled
in Paris when Chopin arrived there, and who assisted him at his
first concert, he did not care. Consequently they had afterwards
less and less intercourse, which, indeed, in the end may have
ceased altogether. An undated letter given by Count Wodziriski in
"Les trois Romans de Frederic Chopin," no doubt originally
written in Polish, brings the master's feelings towards his
compatriot, and also his irritability, most vividly before the

  Here he is! He has just come in to see me--a tall strong
  individual who wears moustaches; he sits down at the piano and
  improvises, without knowing exactly what. He knocks, strikes,
  and crosses his hands, without reason; he demolishes in five
  minutes a poor helpless key; he has enormous fingers, made
  rather to handle reins and whip somewhere on the confines of
  Ukraine. Here you have the portrait of S...who has no other
  merit than that of having small moustaches and a good heart.
  If I ever thought of imagining what stupidity and charlatanism
  in art are, I have now the clearest perception of them. I run
  through my room with my ears reddening; I have a mad desire to
  throw the door wide open; but one has to spare him, to show
  one's self almost affectionate. No, you cannot imagine what it
  is: here one sees only his neckties; one does him the honour
  of taking him seriously....There remains, therefore, nothing
  but to bear him. What exasperates me is his collection of
  little songs, compositions in the most vulgar style, without
  the least knowledge of the most elementary rules of harmony
  and poetry, concluding with quadrille ritornelli, and which he
  calls Recueil de Chants Polonais. You know how I wished to
  understand, and how I have in part succeeded in understanding,
  our national music. Therefore you will judge what pleasure I
  experience when, laying hold of a motive of mine here and
  there, without taking account of the fact that all the beauty
  of a melody depends on the accompaniment, he reproduces it
  with the taste of a frequenter of suburban taverns
  (guinguettes) and public-houses (cabarets). And one cannot say
  anything to him, for he comprehends nothing beyond what he has
  taken from you.

Edouard Wolff came to Paris in 1835, provided with a letter of
introduction from Chopin's master Zywny; [FOOTNOTE: See Vol. I.,
p. 31.] but, notwithstanding this favourable opening of their
acquaintanceship, he was only for some time on visiting terms
with his more distinguished compatriot. Wolff himself told me
that Chopin would never hear one of his compositions. From any
other informant I would not have accepted this statement as
probable, still less as true. [FOOTNOTE: Wolff dedicated in 1841
his Grand Allegro de Concert pour piano still, Op. 59, a son ami
Chopin; but the latter never repaid him the compliment.]  These
remarks about Wolff remind me of another piece of information I
got from this pianist-composer a few months before his death--
namely, that Chopin hated all Jews, Meyerbeer and Halevy among
the rest. What Pole does not hate the Jews? That Chopin was not
enamoured of them we have seen in his letters. But that he hated
Meyerbeer is a more than doubtful statement. Franchomme said to
me that Meyerbeer was not a great friend of Chopin's; but that
the latter, though he did not like his music, liked him as a man.
If Lenz reports accurately, Meyerbeer's feelings towards Chopin
were, no doubt, warmer than Chopin's towards Meyerbeer. When
after the scene about the rhythm of a mazurka Chopin had left the
room, Lenz introduced himself to Meyerbeer as a friend of the
Counts Wielhorski, of St. Petersburg. On coming to the door,
where a coupe was waiting, the composer offered to drive him
home, and when they were seated said:--

  I had not seen Chopin for a long time, I love him very much. I
  know no pianist like him, no composer for the piano like him.
  The piano lives on nuances and on cantilena; it is an
  instrument of intimacy [ein Intimitalsinstrument], I also was
  once a pianist, and there was a time when I trained myself to
  be a virtuoso. Visit me when you come to Berlin. Are we not
  now comrades? When one has met at the house of so great a man,
  it was for life.

Kwiatkowski told me a pretty story which se non vero is certainly
ben trovato. When on one occasion Meyerbeer had fallen out with
his wife, he sat down to the piano and played a nocturne or some
other composition which Chopin had sent him. And such was the
effect of the music on his helpmate that she came and kissed him.
Thereupon Meyerbeer wrote Chopin a note telling him of what had
taken place, and asking him to come and see their conjugal
happiness. Among the few musicians with whom Chopin had in later
years friendly relations stands out prominently, both by his
genius and the preference shown him, the pianist and composer
Alkan aine (Charles Henri Valentine), who, however, was not so
intimate with the Polish composer as Franchomme, nor on such easy
terms of companionship as Hiller and Liszt had been. The
originality of the man and artist, his high aims and unselfish
striving, may well have attracted Chopin; but as an important
point in Alkan's favour must be reckoned the fact that he was
also a friend of George Sand's. Indeed, some of the limitations
of Chopin's intercourse were, no doubt, made on her account.
Kwiatkowski told me that George Sand hated Chopin's Polish
friends, and that some of them were consequently not admitted at
all and others only reluctantly. Now suppose that she disliked
also some of the non-Polish friends, musicians as well as others,
would not her influence act in the same way as in the case of the

But now I must say a few words about Chopin and Liszt's
friendship, and how it came to an end. This connection of the
great pianists has been the subject of much of that sentimental
talk of which writers on music and of musical biography are so
fond. This, however, which so often has been represented as an
ideal friendship, was really no friendship at all, but merely
comradeship. Both admired each other sincerely as musicians. If
Chopin did not care much for Liszt's compositions, he had the
highest opinion of him as a pianist. We have seen in the letter
of June 20, 1833, addressed to Hiller and conjointly written by
Chopin and Liszt, how delighted Chopin was with Liszt's manner of
playing his studies, and how he wished to be able to rob him of
it. He said on one occasion to his pupil Mdlle. Kologrivof
[FOOTNOTE: Afterwards Madame Rubio.]: "I like my music when Liszt
plays it." No doubt, it was Liszt's book with its
transcendentally-poetic treatment which induced the false notion
now current. Yet whoever keeps his eyes open can read between the
lines what the real state of matters was. The covert sneers at
and the openly-expressed compassion for his comrade's whims,
weaknesses, and deficiencies, tell a tale. Of Chopin's sentiments
with regard to Liszt we have more than sufficient evidence. Mr.
Halle, who arrived in Paris at the end of 1840, was strongly
recommended to the banker Mallet. This gentleman, to give him an
opportunity to make the acquaintance of the Polish pianist,
invited both to dinner. On this occasion Mr. Halle asked Chopin
about Liszt, but the reticent answer he got was indicative rather
of dislike than of anything else. When in 1842 Lenz took lessons
from Chopin, the latter defined his relations with Liszt thus:
"We are friends, we were comrades." What he meant by the first
half of the statement was, no doubt: "Now we meet only on terms
of polite acquaintanceship." When the comradeship came to an end
I do not know, but I think I do know how it came to an end. When
I asked Liszt about the cause of the termination of their
friendship, he said: "Our lady-loves had quarrelled, and as good
cavaliers we were in duty bound to side with them." [FOOTNOTE:
Liszt's words in describing to me his subsequent relation with
Chopin were similar to those of Chopin to Lenz. He said: "There
was a cessation of intimacy, but no enmity. I left Paris soon
after, and never saw him again."] This, however, was merely a way
to get rid of an inconvenient question. Franchomme explained the
mystery to me, and his explanation was confirmed by what I
learned from Madame Rubio. The circumstances are of too delicate
a nature to be set forth in detail. But the long and short of the
affair is that Liszt, accompanied by another person, invaded
Chopin's lodgings during his absence, and made himself quite at
home there. The discovery of traces of the use to which his rooms
had been put justly enraged Chopin. One day, I do not know how
long after the occurrence, Liszt asked Madame Rubio to tell her
master that he hoped the past would be forgotten and the young
man's trick (Junggesellenstuck) wiped out. Chopin then said that
he could not forget, and was much better as he was; and further,
that Liszt was not open enough, having always secrets and
intrigues, and had written in some newspapers feuilleton notices
unfavourable to him. This last accusation reminds one at once of
the remark he made when he heard that Liszt intended to write an
account of one of his concerts for the Gazette musicale. I have
quoted the words already, but may repeat them here: "Il me
donnera un petit royaume dans son empire" (He will give me a
little kingdom in his empire). In this, as in most sayings of
Chopin regarding Liszt, irritation against the latter is
distinctly noticeable. The cause of this irritation may be
manifold, but Liszt's great success as a concert-player and his
own failure in this respect [FOOTNOTE: I speak here only of his
inability to impress large audiences, to move great masses.] have
certainly something to do with it. Liszt, who thought so
likewise, says somewhere in his book that Chopin knew how to
forgive nobly. Whether this was so or not, I do not venture to
decide. But I am sure if he forgave, he never forgot. An offence
remained for ever rankling in his heart and mind.

From Chopin's friends to his pupils is but one step, and not even
that, for a great many of his pupils were also his friends;
indeed, among them were some of those who were nearest to his
heart, and not a few in whose society he took a particular
delight. Before I speak, however, of his teaching, I must say a
few words about a subject which equally relates to our artist's
friends and pupils, and to them rather than to any other class of
people with whom he had any dealings.

  One of his [Chopin's] oddities [writes Liszt] consisted in
  abstaining from every exchange of letters, from every sending
  of notes; one could have believed that he had made a vow never
  to address letters to strangers. It was a curious thing to see
  him have recourse to all kinds of expedients to escape from
  the necessity of tracing a few lines. Many times he preferred
  traversing Paris from one end to the other in order to decline
  a dinner or give some slight information, to saving himself
  the trouble by means of a little sheet of paper. His
  handwriting remained almost unknown to most of his friends. It
  is said that he sometimes deviated from this habit in favour
  of his fair compatriots settled at Paris, of whom some are in
  possession of charming autographs of his, all written in
  Polish. This breach of what one might have taken as a rule may
  be explained by the pleasure he took in speaking his language,
  which he employed in preference, and whose most expressive
  idioms he delighted in translating to others. Like the Slaves
  generally, he mastered the French language very well;
  moreover, owing to his French origin, it had been taught him
  with particular care. But he accommodated himself badly to it,
  reproaching it with having little sonority and being of a cold

  [FOOTNOTE: Notwithstanding his French origin, Chopin spoke
  French with a foreign accent, some say even with a strong
  foreign accent. Of his manner of writing French I spoke when
  quoting his letters to Franchomme (see Vol. I., p. 258).]

Liszt's account of Chopin's bizarrerie is in the main correct,
although we have, of course, to make some deduction for
exaggeration. In fact, Gutmann told me that his master sometimes
began a letter twenty times, and finally flung down the pen and
said: "I'll go and tell her [or "him," as the case might be]



As Chopin rarely played in public and could not make a
comfortable living by his compositions, there remained nothing
for him but to teach, which, indeed, he did till his strength
forsook him. But so far from regarding teaching as a burden, says
his pupil Mikuli, he devoted himself to it with real pleasure. Of
course, a teacher can only take pleasure in teaching when he has
pupils of the right sort. This advantage, however, Chopin may
have enjoyed to a greater extent than most masters, for according
to all accounts it was difficult to be received as a pupil--he by
no means gave lessons to anyone who asked for them. As long as he
was in fair health, he taught during the season from four to five
hours a day, in later years only, or almost only, at home. His
fee for a lesson was twenty francs, which were deposited by the
pupil on the mantelpiece.

Was Chopin a good teacher? His pupils without exception most
positively affirm it. But outsiders ask: How is it, then, that so
great a virtuoso has not trained players who have made the world
ring with their fame? Mr. Halle, whilst pointing out the fact
that Chopin's pupils have not distinguished themselves, did not
wish to decide whether this was owing to a deficiency in the
master or to some other cause. Liszt, in speaking to me on this
subject, simply remarked: "Chopin was unfortunate in his pupils--
none of them has become a player of any importance, although some
of his noble pupils played very well." If we compare Liszt's
pianistic offspring with Chopin's, the difference is indeed
striking. But here we have to keep in mind several considerations-
-Chopin taught for a shorter period than Liszt; most of his
pupils, unlike Liszt's, were amateurs; and he may not have met
with the stuff out of which great virtuosos are made. That Chopin
was unfortunate in his pupils may be proved by the early death of
several very promising ones. Charles Filtsch, born at
Hermannstadt, Transylvania (Hungary), about 1830, of whom Liszt
and Lenz spoke so highly (see Chapter XXVI.), died on May 11,
1845, at Venice, after having in 1843 made a sensation in London
and Vienna, both by the poetical and technical qualities of his
playing. In London "little Filtsch" played at least twice in
public (on June 14 at the St. James's Theatre between two plays,
and on July 4 at a matinee of his own at the Hanover Square
Rooms), repeatedly in private, and had also the honour to appear
before the Queen at Buckingham Palace. J. W. Davison relates in
his preface to Chopin's mazurkas and waltzes (Boosey & Co.) a
circumstance which proves the young virtuoso's musicianship.
"Engaged to perform Chopin's second concerto in public, the
orchestral parts not being obtainable, Filtsch, nothing dismayed,
wrote out the whole of them from memory." Another short-lived
great talent was Paul Gunsberg. "This young man," Madame Dubois
informed me, "was endowed with an extraordinary organisation.
Chopin had made of him an admirable executant. He died of
consumption, otherwise he would have become celebrated." I do not
know in which year Gunsberg died. He was still alive on May 11,
1855. For on that day he played with his fellow-pupil Tellefsen,
at a concert given by the latter in Paris, a duet of Schumann's.
A third pupil of Chopin prematurely snatched away by death was
Caroline Hartmann, the daughter of a manufacturer, born at
Munster, near Colmar, in 1808. She came to Paris in 1833, and
died the year after--of love for Chopin, as Edouard Wolff told
me. Other authorities, however, ascribe the sad effect to a less
romantic cause. They say that through persevering study under the
direction of Chopin and Liszt she became an excellent pianist,
but that the hard work brought on a chest complaint to which she
succumbed on July 30, 1834. The GAZETTE MUSICALE of August 17,
1834, which notices her death, describes her as a pupil of Liszt,
Chopin, and Pixis, without commenting on her abilities. Spohr
admired her as a child. But if Chopin has not turned out
virtuosos of the calibre of Tausig and Hans von Bulow, he has
nevertheless formed many very clever pianists. It would serve no
purpose except that of satisfying idle curiosity to draw up a
list of all the master's ascertainable pupils. Those who wish,
however, to satisfy this idle curiosity can do so to some extent
by scanning the dedications of Chopin's works, as the names
therein to be found--with a few and mostly obvious exceptions--
are those of pupils. The array of princesses, countesses, &c.,
will, it is to be hoped, duly impress the investigator. Let us
hear what the illustrious master Marmontel has to say on this

  Among the pianist-composers who have had the immense advantage
  of taking lessons from Chopin, to impregnate themselves with
  his style and manner, we must cite Gutmann, Lysberg, and our
  dear colleague G. Mathias. The Princesses de Chimay,
  Czartoryska, the Countesses Esterhazy, Branicka, Potocka, de
  Kalergis, d'Est; Mdlles. Muller and de Noailles were his
  cherished disciples [disciples affectionnees]. Madame Dubois,
  nee O'Meara, is also one of his favourite pupils [eleves de
  predilection], and numbers among those whose talent has best
  preserved the characteristic traditions and procedures
  [procedes] of the master.

Two of Chopin's amateur and a few more of his professional pupils
ought to be briefly noticed here--first and chiefly of the
amateurs, the Princess Marcelline Czartoryska, who has sometimes
played in public for charitable purposes, and of whom it has
often been said that she is the most faithful transmitter of her
master's style. Would the praise which is generally lavished upon
her have been so enthusiastic if the lady had been a professional
pianist instead of a princess? The question is ungracious in one
who has not had the pleasure of hearing her, but not unnaturally
suggests itself. Be this as it may, that she is, or was, a good
player, who as an intimate friend and countrywoman thoroughly
entered into the spirit of her master's music, seems beyond

[FOOTNOTE: "The Princess Marcelline Czartoryska," wrote Sowinski
in 1857 in the article "Chopin" of his "Musicien polonais," "who
has a fine execution, seems to have inherited Chopin's ways of
procedure, especially in phrasing and accentuation. Lately the
Princess performed at Paris with much success the magnificent F
minor Concerto at a concert for the benefit of the poor." A
critic, writing in the Gazette Musicale of March 11, 1855, of a
concert given by the Princess--at which she played an andante
with variations for piano and violoncello by Mozart, a rondo for
piano and orchestra by Mendelssohn, and Chopin's F minor
Concerto, being assisted by Alard as conductor, the violoncellist
Franchomme, and the singers Madame Viardot and M. Fedor--praised
especially her rendering of the ADAGIO in Chopin's Concerto. Lenz
was the most enthusiastic admirer of the Princess I have met
with. He calls her (in the Berliner Musikzeitung, Vol. XXVI) a
highly-gifted nature, the best pupil [Schulerin] of Chopin, and
the incarnation of her master's pianoforte style. At a musical
party at the house of the Counts Wilhorski at St. Petersburg,
where she performed a waltz and the Marche funebre by Chopin, her
playing made such an impression that it was thought improper to
have any more music on that evening, the trio of the march
having, indeed, moved the auditors to tears. The Princess told
Lenz that on one occasion when Chopin played to her this trio,
she fell on her knees before him and felt unspeakably happy.]

G. Chouquet reminded me not to omit to mention among Chopin's
pupils Madame Peruzzi, the wife of the ambassador of the Duke of
Tuscany to the court of Louis Philippe:--

  This virtuosa [wrote to me the late keeper of the Musee of the
  Paris Conservatoire] had no less talent than the Princess
  Marcelline Czartoryska. I heard her at Florence in 1852, and I
  can assure you that she played Chopin's music in the true
  style and with all the unpublished traits of the master. She
  was of Russian origin.

But enough of amateurs. Mdlle. Friederike Muller, now for many
years married to the Viennese pianoforte-maker J. B. Streicher,
is regarded by many as the most, and is certainly one of the most
gifted of Chopin's favourite pupils. [FOOTNOTE: She played
already in public at Vienna in the fourth decade of this century,
which must have been before her coming to Paris (see Eduard
Hanslick, Geschichte des Concertwesens in Wien, p. 326). Marriage
brought the lady's professional career to a close.] That the
composer dedicated to her his Allegro de Concert, Op. 46, may be
regarded as a mark of his love and esteem for her. Carl Mikuli
found her assistance of great importance in the preparation of
his edition of Chopin's works, as she had received lessons from
the master for several years, and, moreover, had had many
opportunities of hearing him on other occasions. The same
authority refers to Madame Dubois (nee O'Meara) [FOOTNOTE: A
relation of Edward Barry O'Meara, physician to the first Napoleon
at St. Helena, and author of "Napoleon in Exile."] and to Madame
Rubio (NEE Vera de Kologrivof) as to "two extremely excellent
pianists [hochst ausgezeichnete Pianistinnen] whose talent
enjoyed the advantage of the master's particular care." The
latter lady was taught by Chopin from 1842 to 1849, and in the
last years of his life assisted him, as we shall see, by taking
partial charge of some of his pupils. Madame Dubois, who studied
under Kalkbrenner from the age of nine to thirteen, became then a
pupil of Chopin, with whom she remained five years. It was very
difficult to obtain his consent to take another pupil, but the
influence of M. Albrecht, a common friend of her father's and
Chopin's, stood her in good stead. Although I heard her play only
one or two of her master's minor pieces, and under very
unfavourable circumstances too--namely, at the end of the
teaching season and in a tropical heat--I may say that her suave
touch, perfect legato, and delicate sentiment seemed to me to
bear out the above-quoted remark of M. Marmontel. Madame Dubois,
who is one of the most highly-esteemed teachers of the piano in
Paris, used to play till recently in public, although less
frequently in later than in earlier years. And here I must
extract a passage from Madame Girardin's letter of March 7, 1847,
in Vol. IV. of "Le Vicomte de Launay," where, after describing
Mdlle. O'Meara's beauty, more especially her Irish look--"that
mixture of sadness and serenity, of profound tenderness and shy
dignity, which you never find in the proud and brilliant looks
which you admire in the women of other nations "--she says:--

  We heard her a few hours ago; she played in a really superior
  way the beautiful Concerto of Chopin in E flat minor [of
  course E minor]; she was applauded with enthusiasm. [FOOTNOTE:
  Chopin accompanied on a second piano. The occasion was a
  soiree at the house of Madame de Courbonne.] All we can say to
  give you an idea of Mdlle. O'Meara's playing is that there is
  in her playing all that is in her look, and in addition to it
  an admirable method, and excellent fingering. Her success has
  been complete; in hearing her, statesmen were moved...and the
  young ladies, those who are good musicians, forgave her her

As regards Chopin's male pupils, we have to note George Mathias
(born at Paris in 1826), the well-known professor of the piano at
the Paris Conservatoire, [FOOTNOTE: He retired a year or two
ago.] and still more widely-known composer of more than half-a-
hundred important works (sonatas, trios, concertos, symphonic
compositions, pianoforte pieces, songs, &c.), who enjoyed the
master's teaching from 1839 to 1844; Lysberg (1821-1873), whose
real name was Charles Samuel Bovy, for many years professor of
the piano at the Conservatoire of his native town, Geneva, and a
very fertile composer of salon pieces for the piano (composer
also of a one-act comic opera, La Fills du Carillonneur),
distinguished by "much poetic feeling, an extremely careful form,
an original colouring, and in which one often seems to see pass a
breath of Weber or Chopin"; [FOOTNOTE: Supplement et Complement
to Fetis' Biographie universelle des Musiciens, published under
the direction of Arthur Pougin.] the Norwegian Thomas Dyke Acland
Tellefsen (1823-1874), a teacher of the piano in Paris and author
of an edition of Chopin's works; Carl Mikuli (born at Czernowitz
in 1821), since 1858 artistic director of the Galician Musical
Society (conservatoire, concerts, &c.), and author of an edition
of Chopin's works; and Adolph Gutmann, the master's favourite
pupil par excellence, of whom we must speak somewhat more at
length. Karasowski makes also mention of Casimir Wernik, who died
at St. Petersburg in 1859, and of Gustav Schumann, a teacher of
the piano at Berlin, who, however, was only during the winter of
1840-1841 with the Polish master. For Englishmen the fact of the
late Brinley Richards and Lindsay Sloper having been pupils of
Chopin--the one for a short, the other for a longer period--will
be of special interest.

Adolph Gutmann was a boy of fifteen when in 1834 his father
brought him to Paris to place him under Chopin. The latter,
however, did not at first feel inclined to accept the proposed
trust; but on hearing the boy play he conceived so high an idea
of his capacities that he agreed to undertake his artistic
education. Chopin seems to have always retained a thorough belief
in his muscular pupil, although some of his great pianist friends
thought this belief nothing but a strange delusion. There are
also piquant anecdotes told by fellow-pupils with the purpose of
showing that Chopin did not care very much for him. For instance,
the following: Some one asked the master how his pupil was
getting on, "Oh, he makes very good chocolate," was the answer.
Unfortunately, I cannot speak of Gutmann's playing from
experience, for although I spent eight days with him, it was on a
mountain-top in the Tyrol, where there were no pianos. But
Chopin's belief in Gutmann counts with me for something, and so
does Moscheles' reference to him as Chopin's "excellent pupil";
more valuable, I think, than either is the evidence of Dr. A. C.
Mackenzie, who at my request visited Gutmann several times in
Florence and was favourably impressed by his playing, in which he
noticed especially beauty of tone combined with power. As far as
I can make out Gutmann planned only once, in 1846, a regular
concert-tour, being furnished for it by Chopin with letters of
introduction to the highest personages in Berlin, Warsaw, and St.
Petersburg. Through the intervention of the Countess Rossi
(Henriette Sontag), he was invited to play at a court-concert at
Charlottenburg in celebration of the King's birthday. [FOOTNOTE:
His part of the programme consisted of his master's E minor
Concerto (2nd and 3rd movements) and No. 3 of the first book of
studies, and his own tenth study.] But the day after the concert
he was seized with such home-sickness that he returned forthwith
to Paris, where he made his appearance to the great astonishment
of Chopin. The reader may perhaps be interested in what a writer
in the Gazette Musicale said about Chopin's favourite pupil on
March 24, 1844:--

  M. Gutmann is a pianist with a neat but somewhat cold style of
  playing; he has what one calls fingers, and uses them with
  much dexterity. His manner of proceeding is rather that of
  Thalberg than of the clever professor who has given him
  lessons. He afforded pleasure to the lovers of the piano
  [amateurs de piano] at the musical SOIREE which he gave last
  Monday at M. Erard's. Especially his fantasia on the
  "Freischutz" was applauded.

Of course, the expression of any individual opinion is no
conclusive proof. Gutmann was so successful as a teacher and in a
way also as a composer (his compositions, I may say in passing,
were not in his master's but in a light salon style) that at a
comparatively early period of his life he was able to retire from
his profession. After travelling for some time he settled at
Florence, where he invented the art, or, at least, practised the
art which he had previously invented, of painting with oil-
colours on satin. He died at Spezzia on October 27, 1882.

[FOOTNOTE: The short notice of Gutmann in Fetis' Biographie
Universelle des Musiciens, and those of the followers of this by
no means infallible authority, are very incorrect. Adolfo
Gutmann, Riccordi Biografici, by Giulio Piccini (Firenze:
Guiseppe Polverini, 1881), reproduces to a great extent the
information contained in Der Lieblingsschuler Chopin's in
Bernhard Stavenow's Schone Geister (Bremen: Kuhlmann, 1879), both
which publications, eulogistic rather than biographical, were
inspired by Gutmann.]

Whatever interest the reader may have taken in this survey of
Chopin's pupils, he is sure to be more deeply interested by the
account of the master's manner and method of teaching. Such an
account, which would be interesting in the case of any remarkable
virtuoso who devoted himself to instruction, is so in a higher
degree in that of Chopin: first, because it may help us to solve
the question why so unique a virtuoso did not form a single
eminent concert-player; secondly, because it throws still further
light on his character as a man and artist; and thirdly, because,
as Mikuli thinks may be asserted without exaggeration, "only
Chopin's pupils knew the pianist in the fulness of his unrivalled
height." The materials at my disposal are abundant and not less
trustworthy than abundant. My account is based chiefly on the
communications made to me by a number of the master's pupils--
notably, Madame Dubois, Madame Rubio, M. Mathias, and Gutmann--
and on Mikuli's excellent preface to his edition of Chopin's
works. When I have drawn upon other sources, I have not done so
without previous examination and verification. I may add that I
shall use as far as possible the ipsissima verba of my

  As to Chopin's method of teaching [wrote to me M. Mathias], it
  was absolutely of the old legato school, of the school of
  Clementi and Cramer. Of course, he had enriched it by a great
  variety of touch [d'une grande variete dans l'attaque de la
  touche]; he obtained a wonderful variety of tone and NUANCES
  of tone; in passing I may tell you that he had an
  extraordinary vigour, but only by flashes [ce ne pouvait etre
  que par eclairs].

The Polish master, who was so original in many ways, differed
from his confreres even in the way of starting his pupils. With
him the normal position of the hand was not that above the keys
c, d, e, f, g (i.e., above five white keys), but that above the
keys e, f sharp, g sharp, a sharp, b (I.E., above two white keys
and three black keys, the latter lying between the former). The
hand had to be thrown lightly on the keyboard so as to rest on
these keys, the object of this being to secure for it not only an
advantageous, but also a graceful position:--

[FOOTNOTE: Kleczynski, in Chopin: De l'interpretation de ses
oeuvres--Trois conferences faites a Varsovie, says that he was
told by several of the master's pupils that the latter sometimes
held his hands absolutely flat. When I asked Madame Dubois about
the correctness of this statement, she replied: "I never noticed
Chopin holding his hands flat." In short, if Chopin put his hands
at any time in so awkward a position, it was exceptional;
physical exhaustion may have induced him to indulge in such
negligence when the technical structure of the music he was
playing permitted it.]

  Chopin [Madame Dubois informed me] made his pupils begin with
  the B major scale, very slowly, without stiffness. Suppleness
  was his great object. He repeated, without ceasing, during the
  lesson: "Easily, easily" [facilement, facilement]. Stiffness
  exasperated him.

How much stiffness and jerkiness exasperated him may be judged
from what Madame Zaleska related to M. Kleczynski. A pupil having
played somewhat carelessly the arpeggio at the beginning of the
first study (in A flat major) of the second book of Clementi's
Preludes et Exercices, the master jumped from his chair and
exclaimed: "What is that? Has a dog been barking?" [Qu'est-ce?
Est-ce un chien qui vient d'aboyer?] The rudeness of this
exclamation will, no doubt, surprise. But polite as Chopin
generally was, irritation often got the better of him, more
especially in later years when bad health troubled him. Whether
he ever went the length of throwing the music from the desk and
breaking chairs, as Karasowski says, I do not know and have not
heard confirmed by any pupil. Madame Rubio, however, informed me
that Chopin was very irritable, and when teaching amateurs used
to have always a packet of pencils about him which, to vent his
anger, he silently broke into bits. Gutmann told me that in the
early stages of his discipleship Chopin sometimes got very angry,
and stormed and raged dreadfully; but immediately was kind and
tried to soothe his pupil when he saw him distressed and weeping.

  To be sure [writes Mikuli], Chopin made great demands on the
  talent and diligence of the pupil. Consequently, there were
  often des lecons orageuses, as it was called in the school
  idiom, and many a beautiful eye left the high altar of the
  Cite d'Orleans, Rue St. Lazare, bedewed with tears, without,
  on that account, ever bearing the dearly-beloved master the
  least grudge. For was not the severity which was not easily
  satisfied with anything, the feverish vehemence with which the
  master wished to raise his disciples to his own stand-point,
  the ceaseless repetition of a passage till it was understood,
  a guarantee that he had at heart the progress of the pupil? A
  holy artistic zeal burnt in him then, every word from his lips
  was incentive and inspiring. Single lessons often lasted
  literally for hours at a stretch, till exhaustion overcame
  master and pupil.

Indeed, the pupils were so far from bearing their master the
least grudge that, to use M. Marmontel's words, they had more for
him than admiration: a veritable idolatry. But it is time that
after this excursion--which hardly calls for an excuse--we return
to the more important part of our subject, the master's method of

  What concerned Chopin most at the commencement of his
  instruction [writes Mikuli] was to free the pupil from every
  stiffness and convulsive, cramped movement of the hand, and to
  give him thus the first condition of a beautiful style of
  playing, souplesse (suppleness), and with it independence of
  the fingers. He taught indefatigably that the exercises in
  question were no mere mechanical ones, but called for the
  intelligence and the whole will of the pupil, on which account
  twenty and even forty thoughtless repetitions (up to this time
  the arcanum of so many schools) do no good at all, still less
  the practising during which, according to Kalkbrenner's
  advice, one may occupy one's self simultaneously with some
  kind of reading(!).

  He feared above all [remarked Madame Dubois to me] the
  abrutissement of the pupils. One day he heard me say that I
  practised six hours a day. He became quite angry, and forbade
  me to practise more than three hours. This was also the advice
  of Hummel in his pianoforte school.

To resume Mikuli's narrative:--

  Chopin treated very thoroughly the different kinds of touch,
  especially the full-toned [tonvolle] legato.

  [FOOTNOTE: Karasowski says that Chopin demanded absolutely
  from his pupils that they should practise the exercises, and
  especially the scales in major and minor, from piano to
  fortissimo, staccato as well as legato, and also with a change
  of accent, which was to be now on the second, now on the
  third, now on the fourth note. Madame Dubois, on the other
  hand, is sure she was never told by her master to play the
  scales staccato.]

  "As gymnastic helps he recommended the bending inward and
  outward of the wrist, the repeated touch from the wrist, the
  extending of the fingers, but all this with the earnest
  warning against over-fatigue. He made his pupils play the
  scales with a full tone, as connectedly as possible, very
  slowly and only gradually advancing to a quicker TEMPO, and
  with metronomic evenness. The passing of the thumb under the
  other fingers and the passing of the latter over the former
  was to be facilitated by a corresponding turning inward of the
  hand. The scales with many black keys (B, F sharp, and D flat)
  were first studied, and last, as the most difficult, C major.
  In the same sequence he took up Clementi's Preludes et
  Exercices, a work which for its utility he esteemed very

  [FOOTNOTE: Kleczynski writes that whatever the degree of
  instruction was which Chopin's pupils brought with them, they
  had all to play carefully besides the scales the second book
  of Clementi's Preludes et Exercices, especially the first in A
  flat major.]

  According to Chopin the evenness of the scales (also of the
  arpeggios) not merely depended on the utmost equal
  strengthening of all fingers by means of five-finger exercises
  and on a thumb entirely free at the passing under and over,
  but rather on a lateral movement (with the elbow hanging quite
  down and always easy) of the hand, not by jerks, but
  continuously and evenly flowing, which he tried to illustrate
  by the glissando over the keyboard. Of studies he gave after
  this a selection of Cramer's Etudes, Clementi's Gradus ad
  Parnassum, Moscheles' style-studies for the higher development
  (which were very sympathetic to him), and J. S. Bach's suites
  and some fugues from Das wohltemperirte Clavier. In a certain
  way Field's and his own nocturnes numbered likewise with the
  studies, for in them the pupil was--partly by the apprehension
  of his explanations, partly by observation and imitation (he
  played them to the pupil unweariedly)--to learn to know, love,
  and execute the beautiful smooth [gebundene] vocal tone and
  the legato.

  [FOOTNOTE: This statement can only be accepted with much
  reserve. Whether Chopin played much or little to his pupil
  depended, no doubt, largely on the mood and state of health he
  was in at the time, perhaps also on his liking or disliking
  the pupil. The late Brinley Richards told me that when he had
  lessons from Chopin, the latter rarely played to him, making
  his corrections and suggestions mostly by word of mouth.]

  With double notes and chords he demanded most strictly
  simultaneous striking, breaking was only allowed when it was
  indicated by the composer himself; shakes, which he generally
  began with the auxiliary note, had not so much to be played
  quick as with great evenness the conclusion of the shake
  quietly and without precipitation. For the turn (gruppetto)
  and the appoggiatura he recommended the great Italian singers
  as models. Although he made his pupils play octaves from the
  wrist, they must not thereby lose in fulness of tone.

All who have had the good fortune to hear Chopin play agree in
declaring that one of the most distinctive features of his style
of execution was smoothness, and smoothness, as we have seen in
the foregoing notes, was also one of the qualities on which he
most strenuously insisted in the playing of his pupils. The
reader will remember Gutmann's statement to me, mentioned in a
previous chapter, that all his master's fingering was calculated
for the attainment of this object. Fingering is the mainspring,
the determining principle, one might almost say the life and
soul, of the pianoforte technique. We shall, therefore, do well
to give a moment's consideration to Chopin's fingering,
especially as he was one of the boldest and most influential
revolutionisers of this important department of the pianistic
art. His merits in this as in other respects, his various claims
to priority of invention, are only too often overlooked. As at
one time all ameliorations in the theory and practice of music
were ascribed to Guido of Arezzo, so it is nowadays the fashion
to ascribe all improvements and extensions of the pianoforte
technique to Liszt, who more than any other pianist drew upon
himself the admiration of the world, and who through his pupils
continued to make his presence felt even after the close of his
career as a virtuoso. But the cause of this false opinion is to
be sought not so much in the fact that the brilliancy of his
artistic personality threw all his contemporaries into the shade,
as in that other fact, that he gathered up into one web the many
threads new and old which he found floating about during the
years of his development. The difference between Liszt and Chopin
lies in this, that the basis of the former's art is universality,
that of the latter's, individuality. Of the fingering of the one
we may say that it is a system, of that of the other that it is a
manner. Probably we have here also touched on the cause of
Liszt's success and Chopin's want of success as a teacher. I
called Chopin a revolutioniser of fingering, and, I think, his
full enfranchisement of the thumb, his breaking-down of all
distinctions of rank between the other fingers, in short, the
introduction of a liberty sometimes degenerating into licence,
justifies the expression. That this master's fingering is
occasionally eccentric (presupposing peculiarly flexible hands
and a peculiar course of study) cannot be denied; on the whole,
however, it is not only well adapted for the proper rendering of
his compositions, but also contains valuable contributions to a
universal system of fingering. The following particulars by
Mikuli will be read with interest, and cannot be misunderstood
after what has just now been said on the subject:--

  In the notation of fingering, especially of that peculiar to
  himself, Chopin was not sparing. Here pianoforte-playing owes
  him great innovations which, on account of their expedience,
  were soon adopted, notwithstanding the horror with which
  authorities like Kalkbrenner at first regarded them. Thus, for
  instance, Chopin used without hesitation the thumb on the
  black keys, passed it even under the little finger (it is
  true, with a distinct inward bend of the wrist), if this could
  facilitate the execution and give it more repose and evenness.
  With one and the same finger he took often two consecutive
  keys (and this not only in gliding down from a black to the
  next white key) without the least interruption of the sequence
  being noticeable. The passing over each other of the longer
  fingers without the aid of the thumb (see Etude, No. 2, Op.
  10) he frequently made use of, and not only in passages where
  the thumb stationary on a key made this unavoidably necessary.
  The fingering of the chromatic thirds based on this (as he
  marked it in Etude, No. 5, Op. 25) affords in a much higher
  degree than that customary before him the possibility of the
  most beautiful legato in the quickest tempo and with a
  perfectly quiet hand.

But if with Chopin smoothness was one of the qualities upon which
he insisted strenuously in the playing of his pupils, he was by
no means satisfied with a mere mechanical perfection. He advised
his pupils to undertake betimes thorough theoretical studies,
recommending his friend, the composer and theorist Henri Reber as
a teacher. He advised them also to cultivate ensemble playing--
trios, quartets, &c., if first-class partners could be had,
otherwise pianoforte duets. Most urgent, however, he was in his
advice to them to hear good singing, and even to learn to sing.
To Madame Rubio he said: "You must sing if you wish to play"; and
made her take lessons in singing and hear much Italian opera--
this last, the lady remarked, Chopin regarded as positively
necessary for a pianoforte-player. In this advice we recognise
Chopin's ideal of execution: beauty of tone, intelligent
phrasing, truthfulness and warmth of expression. The sounds which
he drew from the pianoforte were pure tone without the least
admixture of anything that might be called noise. "He never
thumped," was Gutmann's remark to me. Chopin, according to
Mikuli, repeatedly said that when he heard bad phrasing it
appeared to him as if some one recited, in a language he did not
know, a speech laboriously memorised, not only neglecting to
observe the right quantity of the syllables, but perhaps even
making full stops in the middle of words. "The badly-phrasing
pseudo-musician," he thought, "showed that music was not his
mother-tongue, but something foreign, unintelligible to him," and
that, consequently, "like that reciter, he must altogether give
up the idea of producing any effect on the auditor by his
rendering." Chopin hated exaggeration and affectation. His
precept was: "Play as you feel." But he hated the want of feeling
as much as false feeling. To a pupil whose playing gave evidence
of nothing but the possession of fingers, he said emphatically,
despairingly: "METTEZ-Y DONc TOUTE VOTRE AME!" (Do put all your
soul into it!)

[FOOTNOTE: "In dynamical shading [im nuanciren]," says Mikuli,
"he was exceedingly particular about a gradual increase and
decrease of loudness." Karasowski writes: "Exaggeration in
accentuation was hateful to him, for, in his opinion, it took
away the poesy from playing, and gave it a certain didactic

  On declamation, and rendering in general [writes Mikuli], he
  gave his pupils invaluable and significant instructions and
  hints, but, no doubt, effected more certain results by
  repeatedly playing not only single passages, but whole pieces,
  and this he did with a conscientiousness and enthusiasm that
  perhaps he hardly gave anyone an opportunity of hearing when
  he played in a concert-room. Frequently the whole hour passed
  without the pupil having played more than a few bars, whilst
  Chopin, interrupting and correcting him on a Pleyel cottage
  piano (the pupil played always on an excellent grand piano;
  and it was enjoined upon him as a duty to practise only on
  first-class instruments), presented to him for his admiration
  and imitation the life-warm ideal of the highest beauty.

With regard to Chopin's playing to his pupils we must keep in
mind what was said in foot-note 12 on page 184. On another point
in the above quotation one of Madame Dubois's communications to
me throws some welcome light:--

  Chopin [she said] had always a cottage piano [pianino] by the
  side of the grand piano on which he gave his lessons. It was
  marvellous to hear him accompany, no matter what compositions,
  from the concertos of Hummel to those of Beethoven. He
  performed the role of the orchestra most wonderfully [d'une
  facon prodigieuse]. When I played his own concertos, he
  accompanied me in this way.

Judging from various reports, Chopin seems to have regarded his
Polish pupils as more apt than those of other nationalities to do
full justice to his compositions. Karasowski relates that when
one of Chopin's French pupils played his compositions and the
auditors overwhelmed the performer with their praise, the master
used often to remark that his pupil had done very well, but that
the Polish element and the Polish enthusiasm had been wanting.
Here it is impossible not to be reminded of the contention
between Chopin on the one hand and Liszt and Hiller on the other
hand about the possibility of foreigners comprehending Polish
national music (See Vol. 1., p. 256). After revealing the mystery
of Chopin's tempo rubato, Liszt writes in his book on this

  All his compositions have to be played with this sort of
  balancement accentue et prosodie, this morbidezza, of which it
  was difficult to seize the secret when one had not heard him
  often. He seemed desirous to teach this manner to his numerous
  pupils, especially to his compatriots, to whom he wished, more
  than to others, to communicate the breath of his inspiration.
  These [ceux-ci, ou plutot celles-la] seized it with that
  aptitude which they have for all matters of sentiment and
  poesy. An innate comprehension of his thought permitted them
  to follow all the fluctuations of his azure wave.

There is one thing which is worth inquiring into before we close
this chapter, for it may help us to a deeper insight into
Chopin's character as a teacher--I mean his teaching repertoire.
Mikuli says that, carefully arranged according to their
difficulty, Chopin placed before his pupils the following
compositions: the concertos and sonatas of Clementi, Mozart,
Bach, Handel, Scarlatti, Dussek, Field, Hummel, Ries, Beethoven;
further, Weber, Moscheles, Mendelssohn, Hiller, Schumann, and his
own works. This enumeration, however, does not agree with
accounts from other equally authentic sources. The pupils of
Chopin I have conversed and corresponded with never studied any
Schumann under their master. As to the cultivation of Beethoven,
it was, no doubt, limited. M. Mathias, it is true, told me that
Chopin showed a preference for Clementi (Gradus ad Parnassum),
Bach, Field (of him much was played, notably his concertos), and
naturally for Beethoven, Weber, &c.--Clementi, Bach, and Field
being always the composers most laid under contribution in the
case of debutants. Madame Rubio, on the other hand, confined
herself to stating that Chopin put her through Hummel, Moscheles,
and Bach; and did not mention Beethoven at all. Gutmann's
statements concerning his master's teaching contain some positive
evidence with regard to the Beethoven question. What he said was
this: Chopin held that dementi's Gradus ad Parnassum, Bach's
pianoforte fugues, and Hummel's compositions were the key to
pianoforte-playing, and he considered a training in these
composers a fit preparation for his own works. He was
particularly fond of Hummel and his style. Beethoven he seemed to
like less. He appreciated such pieces as the first movement of
the Moonlight Sonata (C sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 2). Schubert was
a favourite with him. This, then, is what I learned from Gutmann.
In parenthesis, as it were, I may ask: Is it not strange that no
pupil, with the exception of Mikuli, mentions the name of Mozart,
the composer whom Chopin is said to have so much admired? Thanks
to Madame Dubois, who at my request had the kindness to make out
a list of the works she remembers having studied under Chopin, we
shall be able to form a pretty distinct idea of the master's
course of instruction, which, to be sure, would be modified
according to the capacities of his pupils and the objects they
had in view. Well, Madame Dubois says that Chopin made her begin
with the second book of Clementi's Preludes et Exercices, and
that she also studied under him the same composer's Gradus ad
Parnassum and Bach's forty-eight preludes and fugues. Of his high
opinion of the teaching qualities of Bach's compositions we may
form an idea from the recommendation to her at their last meeting-
-already mentioned in an earlier chapter--to practise them
constantly, "ce sera votre meilleur moyen de progresser" (this
will be your best means to make progress). The pieces she studied
under him included the following ones: Of Hummel, the Rondo
brillant sur un theme russe (Op. 98), La Bella capricciosa, the
Sonata in F sharp minor (Op. 81), the Concertos in A minor and B
minor, and the Septet; of Field, several concertos (the one in E
flat among others) and several nocturnes ("Field" she says, "lui
etait tres sympathique"); of Beethoven, the concertos and several
sonatas (the Moonlight, Op. 27, No. 2; the one with the Funeral
March, Op. 26; and the Appassionata, Op. 57); of Weber, the
Sonatas in C and A flat major (Chopin made his pupils play these
two works with extreme care); of Schubert, the Landler and all
the waltzes and some of the duets (the marches, polonaises, and
the Divertissement hongrois, which last piece he admired sans
reserve); of Mendelssohn, only the G minor Concerto and the Songs
without Words; of Liszt, no more than La Tarantelle de Rossini
and the Septet from Lucia ("mais ce genre de musique ne lui
allait pas," says my informant); and of Schumann, NOTHING.

Madame Streicher's interesting reminiscences, given in Appendix
III., form a supplement to this chapter.



WE now come to the catastrophe of Chopin's life, the rupture of
his connection with George Sand. Although there is no lack of
narratives in which the causes, circumstances, and time of this
rupture are set forth with absolute positiveness, it is
nevertheless an undeniable fact that we are not at the present
moment, nor, all things well considered, shall be even in the
most distant future, in a position to speak on this subject
otherwise than conjecturally.

[FOOTNOTE: Except the letter of George Sand given on p. 75, and
the note of Chopin to George Sand which will be given a little
farther on, nothing, I think, of their correspondence has become
public. But even if their letters were forth-coming, it is more
likely than not that they would fail to clear up the mystery.
Here I ought, perhaps, to reproduce the somewhat improbable story
told in the World of December 14, 1887, by the Paris
correspondent who signs himself "Theoc." He writes as follows: "I
have heard that it was by saving her letters to Chopin that M.
Alexandre Dumas won the friendship of George Sand. The anecdote
runs thus: When Chopin died, his sister found amongst his papers
some two hundred letters of Madame Sand, which she took with her
to Poland. By chance this lady had some difficulties at the
frontier with the Russian custom-house officials; her trunks were
seized, and the box containing the letters was mislaid and lost.
A few years afterwards, one of the custom-house officials found
the letters and kept them, not knowing the name and the address
of the Polish lady who had lost them. M. Dumas discovered this
fact, and during a journey in Russia he explained to this
official how painful it would be if by some indiscretion these
letters of the illustrious novelist ever got into print. 'Let me
restore them to Madame Sand,' said M. Dumas. 'And my duty?' asked
the customs official. 'If anybody ever claims the letters,'
replied M. Dumas, 'I authorise you to say that I stole them.' On
this condition M. Dumas, then a young man, obtained the letters,
brought them back to Paris, and restored them to Madame Sand,
whose acquaintance he thus made. Madame Sand burnt all her
letters to Chopin, but she never forgot the service that M. Dumas
had rendered her."]

I have done my utmost to elucidate the tragic event which it is
impossible not to regard as one of the most momentous crises in
Chopin's life, and have succeeded in collecting besides the
material already known much that is new; but of what avail is
this for coming to a final decision if we find the depositions
hopelessly contradictory, and the witnesses more or less
untrustworthy--self-interest makes George Sand's evidence
suspicious, the instability of memory that of others. Under the
circumstances it seems to me safest to place before the reader
the depositions of the various witnesses--not, however, without
comment--and leave him to form his own conclusions. I shall begin
with the account which George Sand gives in her Ma Vie:--

  After the last relapses of the invalid, his mind had become
  extremely gloomy, and Maurice, who had hitherto tenderly loved
  him, was suddenly wounded by him in an unexpected manner about
  a trifling subject. They embraced each other the next moment,
  but the grain of sand had fallen into the tranquil lake, and
  little by little the pebbles fell there, one after
  another...All this was borne; but at last, one day, Maurice,
  tired of the pin-pricks, spoke of giving up the game. That
  could not be, and should not be. Chopin would not stand my
  legitimate and necessary intervention. He bowed his head and
  said that I no longer loved him.

  What blasphemy after these eight years of maternal devotion!
  But the poor bruised heart was not conscious of its delirium.
  I thought that some months passed at a distance and in silence
  would heal the wound, and make his friendship again calm and
  his memory equitable. But the revolution of February came, and
  Paris became momentarily hateful to this mind incapable of
  yielding to any commotion in the social form. Free to return
  to Poland, or certain to be tolerated there, he had preferred
  languishing ten [and some more] years far from his family,
  whom he adored, to the pain of seeing his country transformed
  and deformed [denature]. He had fled from tyranny, as now he
  fled from liberty.

  I saw him again for an instant in March, 1848. I pressed his
  trembling and icy hand. I wished to speak to him, he slipped
  away. Now it was my turn to say that he no longer loved me. I
  spared him this infliction, and entrusted all to the hands of
  Providence and the future.

  I was not to see him again. There were bad hearts between us.
  There were good ones too who were at a loss what to do. There
  were frivolous ones who preferred not to meddle with such
  delicate matters; Gutmann was not there.

  I have been told that he had asked for me, regretted me, and
  loved me filially up to the very end. It was thought fit to
  conceal this from me till then. It was also thought fit to
  conceal from him that I was ready to hasten to him.

Liszt's account is noteworthy because it gives us the opinion of
a man who knew the two principal actors in the drama intimately,
and had good opportunities to learn what contemporary society
thought about it. Direct knowledge of the facts, however, Liszt
had not, for he was no longer a friend either of the one or the
other of the two parties:--

  These commencements, of which Madame de Stael spoke,
  [FOOTNOTE: He alludes to her saying: En amour, il n'y a que
  des commencemens.] had already for a long time been exhausted
  between the Polish artist and the French poet. They had only
  survived with the one by a violent effort of respect for the
  ideal which he had gilded with its fatal brilliancy; with the
  other by a false shame which sophisticated on the pretension
  to preserve constancy in fidelity. The time came when this
  factitious existence, which succeeded no longer in galvanising
  fibres dried up under the eyes of the spiritualistic artist,
  seemed to him to surpass what honour permitted him not to
  perceive. No one knew what was the cause or the pretext of the
  sudden rupture; one saw only that after a violent opposition
  to the marriage of the daughter of the house, Chopin abruptly
  left Nohant never to return again.

However unreliable Liszt's facts may be, the PHILOSOPHY of his
account shows real insight. Karasowski, on the other hand, has
neither facts nor insight. He speaks with a novelist's confidence
and freedom of characters whom he in no way knows, and about whom
he has nothing to tell but the vaguest and most doubtful of
second-hand hearsays:--

  The depressed invalid became now to her a burden. At first her
  at times sombre mien and her shorter visits in the sick-room
  showed him that her sympathy for him was on the decrease;
  Chopin felt this painfully, but he said nothing...\The
  complaints of Madame Sand that the nursing of the invalid
  exhausted her strength, complaints which she often gave
  expression to in his presence, hurt him. He entreated her to
  leave him alone, to take walks in the fresh air; he implored
  her not to give up for his sake her amusements, but to
  frequent the theatre, to give parties, &c.; he would be
  contented in quietness and solitude if he only knew that she
  was happy. At last, when the invalid still failed to think of
  a separation from her, she chose a heroic means.

By this heroic means Karasowski understands the publication of
George Sand's novel Lucrezia Floriani (in 1847), concerning which
he says the story goes that "out of refined cruelty the proof-
sheets were handed to him [Chopin] with the request to correct
the misprints." Karasowski also reports as a "fact" that

  the children of Madame Sand [who, by the way, were a man of
  twenty-three and a woman of eighteen] said to him [Chopin],
  pointing to the novel: "M. Chopin, do you know that you are
  meant by the Prince Karol?"...In spite of all this the
  invalid, and therefore less passionate, artist bore with the
  most painful feeling the mortification caused him by the
  novel...At the beginning of the year 1847 George Sand brought
  about by a violent scene, the innocent cause of which was her
  daughter, a complete rupture. To the unjust reproaches which
  she made to him, he merely replied: "I shall immediately leave
  your house, and wish henceforth no longer to be regarded by
  you as living." These words were very welcome to her; she made
  no objections, and the very same day the artist left for ever
  the house of Madame Sand. But the excitement and the mental
  distress connected with it threw him once more on the sick-
  bed, and for a long time people seriously feared that he would
  soon exchange it for a coffin.

George Sand's view of the Lucrezia Floriani incident must be
given in full. In Ma Vie she writes as follows:--

  It has been pretended that in one of my romances I have
  painted his [Chopin's] character with a great exactness of
  analysis. People were mistaken, because they thought they
  recognised some of his traits; and, proceeding by this system,
  too convenient to be sure, Liszt himself, in a Life of Chopin,
  a little exuberant as regards style, but nevertheless full of
  very good things and very beautiful pages, has gone astray in
  good faith. I have traced in Prince Karol the character of a
  man determined in his nature, exclusive in his sentiments,
  exclusive in his exigencies.

  Chopin was not such. Nature does not design like art, however
  realistic it may be. She has caprices, inconsequences,
  probably not real, but very mysterious. Art only rectifies
  these inconsequences because it is too limited to reproduce

  Chopin was a resume of these magnificent inconsequences which
  God alone can allow Himself to create, and which have their
  particular logic. He was modest on principle, gentle by habit,
  but he was imperious by instinct and full of a legitimate
  pride which was unconscious of itself. Hence sufferings which
  he did not reason and which did not fix themselves on a
  determined object.

  Moreover, Prince Karol is not an artist. He is a dreamer, and
  nothing more; having no genius, he has not the rights of
  genius. He is, therefore, a personage more true than amiable,
  and the portrait is so little that of a great artist that
  Chopin, in reading the manuscript every day on my writing-
  desk, had not the slightest inclination to deceive himself, he
  who, nevertheless, was so suspicious.

  And yet afterwards, by reaction, he imagined, I am told, that
  this was the case. Enemies (I had such about him who call
  themselves his friends; as if embittering a suffering heart
  was not murder, enemies made him believe that this romance was
  a revelation of his character. At that time his memory was, no
  doubt, enfeebled: he had forgotten the book, why did he not
  reread it!

  This history is so little ours! It was the very reverse of it
  There were between us neither the same raptures [enivrements]
  nor the same sufferings. Our history had nothing of a romance;
  its foundation was too simple and too serious for us ever to
  have had occasion for a quarrel with each other, a propos of
  each other.

The arguments advanced by George Sand are anything but
convincing; in fact, her defence is extremely weak. She does not
even tell us that she did not make use of Chopin as a model. That
she drew a caricature and not a portrait will hardly be accepted
as an excuse, nay, is sure to be regarded as the very head and
front of her offending. But George Sand had extraordinarily naive
notions on this subject, notions which are not likely to be
shared by many, at least not by many outside the fraternities of
novelists and dramatists. Having mentioned, in speaking of her
grand-uncle the Abbe de Beaumont, that she thought of him when
sketching the portrait of a certain canon in Consuelo, and that
she had very much exaggerated the resemblance to meet the
requirements of the romance, she remarks that portraits traced in
this way are no longer portraits, and that those who feel
offended on recognising themselves do an injustice both to the
author and themselves. "Caricature or  idealisation," she writes,
"it is no longer the original model, and this model has little
judgment if it thinks it recognises itself, if it becomes angry
or vain on seeing what art or imagination has been able to make
of it." This is turning the tables with a vengeance; and if
impudence can silence the voice of truth and humanity, George
Sand has gained her case. In her account of the Lucrezia Floriani
incident George Sand proceeds as usual when she is attacked and
does not find it more convenient simply to declare that she will
not condescend to defend herself--namely, she envelops the whole
matter in a mist of beautiful words and sentiments out of which
issues--and this is the only clearly-distinguishable thing--her
own saintly self in celestial radiance. But notwithstanding all
her arguments and explanations there remains the fact that Liszt
and thousands of others, I one of them, read Lucrezia Floriani
and were not a moment in doubt that Chopin was the prototype of
Prince Karol. We will not charge George Sand with the atrocity of
writing the novel for the purpose of getting rid of Chopin; but
we cannot absolve her from the sin of being regardless of the
pain she would inflict on one who once was dear to her, and who
still loved her ardently. Even Miss Thomas, [FOOTNOTE: In George
Sand, a volume of the "Eminent Women Series."] who generally
takes George Sand at her own valuation, and in this case too
tries to excuse her, admits that in Lucrezia Floriani there was
enough of reality interwoven to make the world hasten to identify
or confound Chopin with Prince Karol, that Chopin, the most
sensitive of mortals, could not but be pained by the inferences
which would be drawn, that "perhaps if only as a genius he had
the right to be spared such an infliction," and that, therefore,
"one must wish it could have appeared in this light to Madame
Sand." This is a mild way of expressing disapproval of conduct
that shows, to say the least, an inhuman callousness to the
susceptibilities of a fellow-being. And to speak of the
irresistible prompting of genius in connection with one who had
her faculties so well under her control is downright mockery. It
would, however, be foolish to expect considerateness for others
in one who needlessly detailed and proclaimed to the world not
only the little foibles but also the drunkenness and consequent
idiocy and madness of a brother whose family was still living.
Her practice was, indeed, so much at variance with her profession
that it is preposterous rather to accept than to doubt her words.
George Sand was certainly not the self-sacrificing woman she
pretended to be; for her sacrifices never outlasted her
inclinations, they were, indeed, nothing else than an abandonment
to her desires. And these desires were the directors of her
reason, which, aided by an exuberant imagination, was never at a
loss to justify any act, be it ever so cruel and abject. In
short, the chief characteristic of George Sand's moral
constitution was her incapacity of regarding anything she did
otherwise than as right. What I have said is fully borne out by
her Ma Vie and the "Correspondance," which, of course, can be
more easily and safely examined than her deeds and spoken words.

And now we will continue our investigations of the causes and
circumstances of the rupture. First I shall quote some passages
from letters written by George Sand, between which will be
inserted a note from Chopin to her. If the reader does not see at
once what several of these quotations have to do with the matter
under discussion, he will do so before long.

  Madame Sand to Madame Marliani; Nohant, September 1, 1846:--

  It is exceedingly kind of you to offer me shelter [un gîte].
  We have still our apartments in the Square Saint-Lazare
  [Square d'Orleans], and nothing would prevent us from going

  Chopin to Madame Sand; Tuesday 2 1/2 [Paris, December 15,

  [FOOTNOTE: The date is that of the postmark. A German
  translation of the French original (in the Imperial Public
  Library at St. Petersburg) will be found in La Mara's

  Mademoiselle de Rozieres has found the piece of cloth in
  question (it was in the camail-carton of Mdlle. Augustine),
  and I sent it at once last night to Borie, [Victor Borie a
  publicist and friend of George Sand] who, as Peter was told,
  does not yet leave to-day. Here we have a little sun and
  Russian snow. I am glad of this weather for your sake, and
  imagine you walking about a great deal. Did Dib dance in last
  night's pantomime? May you and yours enjoy good health!

       Your most devoted,


  For your dear children.

  I am well; but I have not the courage to leave my fireside for
  a moment.

  Madame Sand to Madame Marliani; Nohant, May 6, 1847:--

  Solange marries in a fortnight Clesinger, the sculptor, a man
  of great talent, who is making much money, and can give her
  the brilliant existence which, I believe, is to her taste. He
  is very violently in love with her, and he pleases her much.
  She was this time as prompt and firm in her determination as
  she was hitherto capricious and irresolute. Apparently she has
  met with what she dreamt of. May God grant it!

  As regards myself, the young man pleases me also much and
  Maurice likewise. He is little civilised at first sight; but
  he is full of sacred fire and for some time past, since I
  noticed him making advances, I have been studying him without
  having the appearance of doing so...He has other qualities
  which compensate for all the defects he may have and ought to

  ...Somebody told me of him all the ill that can be said of a
  man [on making inquiries George Sand found that Clesinger was
  a man "irreproachable in the best sense of the word"].

  M. Dudevant, whom he has been to see, consents. We do not know
  yet where the marriage will take place. Perhaps at Nerac,
  [FOOTNOTE: Where M. Dudevant, her whilom husband, resided.] in
  order to prevent M. Dudevant from falling asleep in the
  eternal to-morrow to the province.

  Madame Sand to Mazzini; Nohant, May 22, 1847:--

  I have just married and, I believe, well married my daughter
  to an artist of powerful inspiration and will. I had for her
  but one ambition--namely, that she should love and be loved;
  my wish is realised. The future is in the hand of God, but I
  believe in the duration of this love and this union.

  Madame Sand to Charles Poncy; Nohant, August 9, 1847:--

  My good Maurice is always calm, occupied, and lively. He
  sustains and consoles me. Solange is in Paris with her
  husband; they are going to travel. Chopin is in Paris also;
  his health has not yet permitted him to make the journey; but
  he is better.

The following letter, of an earlier date than those from which my
last two excerpts are taken, is more directly concerned with

  Madame Sand to Gutmann; Nohant, May 12, 1847:--

  Thanks, my good Gutmann, thanks from the bottom of my heart
  for the admirable care which you lavish on him [Chopin]. I
  know well that it is for him, for yourself, and not for me,
  that you act thus, but I do not the less feel the need of
  thanking you. It is a great misfortune for me that this
  happens at a moment like that in which I find myself. Truly,
  this is too much anxiety at one time! I would have gone mad, I
  believe, if I had learned the gravity of his illness before
  hearing that the danger was past. He does not know that I know
  of it, and on account, especially, of the embarras in which he
  knows I find myself, he wishes it to be concealed from me. He
  wrote to me yesterday as if nothing had taken place, and I
  have answered him as if I suspected as yet nothing. Therefore,
  do not tell him that I write to you, and that for twenty-four
  hours I have suffered terribly. Grzymala writes about you very
  kindly a propos of the tenderness with which you have taken my
  place by the side of him, and you especially, so that I will
  tell you that I know it, and that my heart will keep account
  of it seriously and for ever...

  Au revoir, then, soon, my dear child, and receive my maternal
  benediction. May it bring you luck as I wish!

  George Sand.

  [FOOTNOTE: This letter, which is not contained in the
  "Correspondance," was, as far as I know, first published in
  "Die Gegenwart" (Berlin, July 12, 1879)]

If all that George Sand here says is bona fide, the letter proves
that the rupture had not yet taken place. Indeed, Gutmann was of
opinion that it did not take place till 1848, shortly before
Chopin's departure for England, that, in-fact, she, her daughter,
and son-in-law were present at the concert he gave on February
16, 1848. That this, however, was not the case is shown both by a
letter written by George Sand from Nohant on February 18, 1848,
and by another statement of Gutmann's, according to which one of
the causes of the rupture was the marriage of Solange with
Clesinger of which Chopin (foreseeing unhappiness which did not
fail to come, and led to separation) did not approve. Another
cause, he thought, was Chopin's disagreements with Maurice Sand.
There were hasty remarks and sharp retorts between lover and son,
and scenes in consequence. Gutmann is a very unsatisfactory
informant, everything he read and heard seemed to pass through
the retort of his imagination and reappear transformed as his own

A more reliable witness is Franchomme, who in a letter to me
summed up the information which he had given me on this subject
by word of mouth as follows:--

  Strange to say [chose bizarre], Chopin had a horror of the
  figure 7; he would not have taken lodgings in a house which
  bore the number 7; he would not have set out on a journey on
  the 7th or 17th, &c. It was in 1837 that he formed the liaison
  with George Sand; it was in 1847 that the rupture took place;
  it was on the 17th October that my dear friend said farewell
  to us. The rupture between Chopin and Madame Sand came about
  in this way. In June, 1847, Chopin was making ready to start
  for Nohant when he received a letter from Madame Sand to the
  effect that she had just turned out her daughter and son-in-
  law, and that if he received them in his house all would be
  over between them [i.e., between George Sand and Chopin]. I
  was with Chopin at the time the letter arrived, and he said to
  me, "They have only me, and should I close my door upon them?
  No, I shall not do it!" and he did not do it, and yet he knew
  that this creature whom he adored would not forgive it him.
  Poor friend, how I have seen him suffer!

Of the quarrel at Nohant, Franchomme gave the following account:-
-There was staying at that time at Nohant a gentleman who treated
Madame Clesinger invariably with rudeness. One day as Clesinger
and his wife went downstairs the person in question passed
without taking off his hat. The sculptor stopped him, and said,
"Bid madam a good day"; and when the gentleman or churl, as the
case may be, refused, he gave him a box on the ear. George Sand,
who stood at the top of the stairs, saw it, came down, and gave
in her turn Clesinger a box on the ear. After this she turned her
son-in-law together with his wife out of her house, and wrote the
above-mentioned letter to Chopin.

Madame Rubio had also heard of the box on the ear which George
Sand gave Clesinger. According to this informant there were many
quarrels between mother and daughter, the former objecting to the
latter's frequent visits to Chopin, and using this as a pretext
to break with him. Gutmann said to me that Chopin was fond of
Solange, though not in love with her. But now we have again got
into the current of gossip, and the sooner we get out of it the

Before I draw my conclusions from the evidence I have collected,
I must find room for some extracts from two letters, respectively
written on August 9, 1847, and December 14,1847, to Charles
Poncy. The contents of these extracts will to a great extent be a
mystery to the reader, a mystery to which I cannot furnish the
key. Was Solange the chief subject of George Sand's lamentations?
Had Chopin or her brother, or both, to do with this paroxysm of

After saying how she has been overwhelmed by a chain of chagrins,
how her purest intentions have had a fatal issue, how her best
actions have been blamed by men and punished by heaven as crimes,
she proceeds:--

  And do you think I have reached the end? No, all I have told
  you hitherto is nothing, and since my last letter I have
  exhausted all the cup of life contains of tribulation. It is
  even so bitter and unprecedented that I cannot speak of it, at
  least I cannot write it. Even that would give me too much
  pain. I will tell you something about it when I see you...I
  hoped at least for the old age on which I was entering the
  recompense of great sacrifices, of much work, fatigue, and a
  whole life of devotion and abnegation. I asked for nothing but
  to render happy the objects of my affection. Well, I have been
  repaid with ingratitude, and evil has got the upper hand in a
  soul which I wished to make the sanctuary and the hearth of
  the beautiful and the good. At present I struggle against
  myself in order not to let myself die. I wish to accomplish my
  task unto the end. May God aid me! I believe in Him and
  hope!...Augustine  has suffered much, but she has had great
  courage and a true feeling of her dignity; and her health,
  thank God, has not suffered.

  [FOOTNOTE: Augustine Brault was according to the editor of the
  Correspondance a cousin of George Sand's; George Sand herself
  calls her in Ma Vie her parent, and tells us in a vague way
  how her connection with this young lady gave occasion to
  scandalous libels.]

The next quotation is from the letter dated Nohant, December 14,
1847. Desirez is the wife of Charles Poncy, to whom the letter is

  You have understood, Desirez and you, you whose soul is
  delicate because it is ardent, that I passed through the
  gravest and most painful phase of my life. I nearly succumbed,
  although I had foreseen it for a long time. But you know one
  is not always under the pressure of a sinister foresight,
  however evident it may be. There are days, weeks, entire
  months even, when one lives on illusions, and when one
  flatters one's self one is turning aside the blow which
  threatens one. At last, the most probable misfortune always
  surprises us disarmed and unprepared. In addition to this
  development of the unhappy germ, which was going on unnoticed,
  there have arisen several very bitter and altogether
  unexpected accessory circumstances. The result is that I am
  broken in soul and body with chagrin. I believe that this
  chagrin is incurable; for the better I succeed in freeing
  myself from it for some hours, the more sombre and poignant
  does it re-enter into me in the following hours...I have
  undertaken a lengthy work [un ouvrage de longue haleine]
  entitled Histoire de ma Vie...However, I shall not reveal the
  whole of my life...It will be, moreover, a pretty good piece
  of business, which will put me on my feet again, and will
  relieve me of a part of my anxieties with regard to the future
  of Solange, which is rather compromised.

We have, then, the choice of two explanations of the rupture:
George Sand's, that it was caused by the disagreement of Chopin
and her son; and Franchomme's, that it was brought about by
Chopin's disregard of George Sand's injunction not to receive her
daughter and son-in-law. I prefer the latter version, which is
reconcilable with George Sand's letters, confirmed by the
testimony of several of Chopin's friends, and given by an honest,
simple-minded man who may be trusted to have told a plain
unvarnished tale.

[FOOTNOTE: The contradictions are merely apparent, and disappear
if we consider that George Sand cannot have had any inclination
to give to Gutmann and Poncy an explanation of the real state of
matters. Moreover, when she wrote to the former the rupture had,
according to Franchomme, not yet taken place.]

But whatever reason may have been alleged to justify, whatever
circumstance may have been the ostensible cause of the rupture,
in reality it was only a pretext. On this point all agree--
Franchomme, Gutmann, Kwiatkowski, Madame Rubio, Liszt, &c. George
Sand was tired of Chopin, and as he did not leave her
voluntarily, the separation had to be forced upon him. Gutmann
thought there was no rupture at all. George Sand went to Nohant
without Chopin, ceased to write to him, and thus the connection
came to an end. Of course, Chopin ought to have left her before
she had recourse to the "heroic means" of kicking him,
metaphorically speaking, out of doors. But the strength of his
passion for this woman made him weak. If a tithe of what is
rumoured about George Sand's amorous escapades is true, a lover
who stayed with her for eight years must have found his capacity
of overlooking and forgiving severely tested. We hear on all
sides of the infidelities she permitted herself. A Polish friend
of Chopin's informed me that one day when he was about to enter
the composer's, room to pay him a visit, the married Berrichon
female servant of George Sand came out of it; and Chopin, who was
lying ill in bed, told him afterwards that she had been
complaining of her mistress and husband. Gutmann, who said that
Chopin knew of George Sand's occasional infidelities, pretended
to have heard him say when she had left him behind in Paris: "I
would overlook all if only she would allow me to stay with her at
Nohant." I regard these and such like stories, especially the
last one, with suspicion (is it probable that the reticent artist
was communicative on so delicate a subject, and with Gutmann, his
pupil and a much younger man?), but they cannot be ignored, as
they are characteristic of how Chopin's friends viewed his
position. And yet, tormented as he must have been in the days of
possession, crushed as he was by the loss, tempted as he
subsequently often felt to curse her and her deceitfulness, he
loved and missed George Sand to the very end--even the day before
his death he said to Franchomme that she had told him he would
die in no other arms but hers (que je ne mourrais que dans ses

If George Sand had represented her separation from Chopin as a
matter of convenience, she would have got more sympathy and been
able to make out a better case.

  The friendship of Chopin [she writes in Ma Vie] has never been
  for me a refuge in sadness. He had quite enough troubles of
  his own to bear. Mine would have overwhelmed him; moreover, he
  knew them only vaguely and did not understand them at all. He
  would have appreciated them from a point of view very
  different from mine.

Besides Chopin's illnesses became more frequent, his strength
diminished from day to day, and care and attendance were
consequently more than ever needful. That he was a "detestable
patient" has already been said. The world takes it for granted
that the wife or paramour of a man of genius is in duty bound to
sacrifice herself for him. But how does the matter stand when
there is genius on both sides, and self-sacrifice of either party
entails loss to the world? By the way, is it not very selfish and
hypocritical of this world which generally does so little for men
of genius to demand that women shall entirely, self-denyingly
devote themselves to their gifted lovers? Well, both George Sand
and Chopin had to do work worth doing, and if one of them was
hampered by the other in doing it, the dissolution of the union
was justified. But perhaps this was not the reason of the
separation. At any rate, George Sand does not advance such a
plea. Still, it would have been unfair not to discuss this
possible point of view.

The passage from the letter of George Sand dated September 1,
1846, which I quoted earlier in this chapter, justifies us, I
think, in assuming that, although she was still keeping on her
apartments in the Square d'Orleans, the phalanstery had ceased to
exist. The apartments she gave up probably sometime in 1847; at
any rate, she passed the winter of 1847-8, for the most part at
least, at Nohant; and when after the outbreak of the revolution
of 1848 she came to Paris (between the 9th and 14th of March),
she put up at a hotel garni. Chopin continued to live in his old
quarters in the Square d'Orldans, and, according to Gutmann, was
after the cessation of his connection with George Sand in the
habit of dining either with him (Gutmann) or Grzymala, that is to
say, in their company.

It is much to be regretted that no letters are forthcoming to
tell us of Chopin's feelings and doings at this time. I can place
before the reader no more than one note, the satisfactory nature
of which makes up to some extent for its brevity. It is addressed
to Franchomme; dated Friday, October 1, 1847; and contains only
these few words:--

  Dear friend,--I thank you for your good heart, but I am very
  RICH this evening. Yours with all my heart.

In this year--i.e., 1847--appeared the three last works which
Chopin published, although among his posthumous compositions
there are two of a later date. The Trois Mazurkas, Op. 63
(dedicated to the Comtesse L. Czosnowska), and the Trois Valses,
Op. 64 (dedicated respectively to Madame la Comtesse Potocka,
Madame la Baronne de Rothschild, and Madame la Baronne Bronicka),
appeared in September, and the Sonata for piano and violoncello,
Op. 65 (dedicated to Franchomme), in October. Now I will say of
these compositions only that the mazurkas and waltzes are not
inferior to his previous works of this kind, and that the sonata
is one of his most strenuous efforts in the larger forms. Mr.
Charles Halle remembers going one evening in 1847 with Stephen
Heller to Chopin, who had invited some friends to let them hear
this sonata which he had lately finished. On arriving at his
house they found him rather unwell; he went about the room bent
like a half-opened penknife. The visitors proposed to leave him
and to postpone the performance, but Chopin would not hear of it.
He said he would try. Having once begun, he soon became straight
again, warming as he proceeded. As will be seen from some remarks
of Madame Dubois's, which I shall quote farther on, the sonata
did not make an altogether favourable impression on the auditors.

The name of Madame Dubois reminds me of the soiree immortalised
by a letter of Madame Girardin (see the one of March 7, 1847, in
Vol. IV. of Le Vicomte de Launay), and already several times
alluded to by me in preceding chapters. At this soiree Chopin not
only performed several of his pieces, but also accompanied on a
second piano his E minor Concerto which was played by his pupil,
the youthful and beautiful Mdlle. Camille O'Meara. But the
musical event par excellence of the period of Chopin's life with
which we are concerned in this chapter is his concert, the last
he gave in Paris, on February 16, 1848. Before I proceed with my
account of it, I must quote a note, enclosing tickets for this
concert, which Chopin wrote at this time to Franchomme. It runs
thus: "The best places en evidence for Madame D., but not for her
cook." Madame D. was Madame Paul Delaroche, the wife of the great
painter, and a friend of Franchomme's.

But here is a copy of the original programme:--


     Trio by Mozart, for piano, violin, and violoncello,
     performed by MM. Chopin, Alard, and Franchomme.

     Aria, sung by Mdlle. Antonia Molina di Mondi.

     Nocturne,  |
                |--composed and performed by M. Chopin.
     Barcarole, |

     Air, sung by Mdlle. Antonia Molina di Mondi.

     Etude,     |
                |--composed and performed by M. Chopin.
     Berceuse,  |


     Scherzo, Adagio, and Finale of the Sonata in G minor, for
     piano and violoncello, composed by M. Chopin, and performed
     by the author and M. Franchomme.

     Air nouveau from Robert le Diable, composed by M. Meyerbeer,
     sung by M. Roger.

     Preludes,  |
     Mazurkas,  |--composed and performed by M. Chopin.
     Valse,     |

     Accompanists:--MM. Aulary and de Garaude.

The report of "M. S." in the Gazette musicale of February 20,
1848, transports us at once into the midst of the exquisite,
perfume-laden atmosphere of Pleyel's rooms on February 16:--

  A concert by the Ariel of pianists is a thing too rare to be
  given, like other concerts, by opening both wings of the doors
  to whomsoever wishes to enter. For this one a list had been
  drawn up: everyone inscribed thereon his name: but everyone
  was not sure of obtaining the precious ticket: patronage was
  required to be admitted into the holy of holies, to obtain the
  favour of depositing one's offering, and yet this offering
  amounted to a louis; but who has not a louis to spare whep
  Chopin may be heard?

  The outcome of all this naturally was that the fine flower of
  the aristocracy of the most distinguished women, the most
  elegant toilettes, filled on Wednesday Pleyel's rooms. There
  was also the aristocracy of artists and amateurs, happy to
  seize in his flight this musical sylph who had promised to let
  himself once more and for a few hours be approached, seen, and

  The sylph kept his word, and with what success, what
  enthusiasm! It is easier to tell you of the reception he got,
  the transport he excited, than to describe, analyse, divulge,
  the mysteries of an execution which was nothing analogous in
  our terrestrial regions. If we had in our power the pen which
  traced the delicate marvels of Queen Mab, not bigger than an
  agate that glitters on the finger of an alderman, of her liny
  chariot, of her diaphanous team, only then should we succeed
  in giving an idea of a purely ideal talent into which matter
  enters hardly at all. Only Chopin can make Chopin understood:
  all those who were present at the seance of Wednesday are
  convinced of this as well as we.

  The programme announced first a trio of Mozart, which Chopin,
  Alard, and Franchomme executed in such a manner that one
  despairs of ever hearing it again so well performed. Then
  Chopin played studies, preludes, mazurkas, waltzes; he
  performed afterwards his beautiful sonata with Franchomme. Do
  not ask us how all these masterpieces small and great were
  rendered. We said at first we would not attempt to reproduce
  these thousands and thousands of nuances of an exceptional
  genius having in his service an organisation of the same kind.
  We shall only say that the charm did not cease to act a single
  instant on the audience, and that it still lasted after the
  concert was ended.

  Let us add that Roger, our brilliant tenor, sang with his most
  expressive voice the beautiful prayer intercalated in Robert
  le Diable by the author himself at the debut of Mario at the
  Opera; that Mdlle. Antonia de Mendi [a niece of Pauline
  Viardot's; see the spelling of her name in the programme], the
  young and beautiful singer, carried off her share of bravos by
  her talent full of hope and promise.

  There is a talk of a second concert which Chopin is to give on
  the 10th of March, and already more than 600 names are put
  down on the new list. In this there is nothing astonishing;
  Chopin owed us this recompense, and he well deserves this

As this report, although it enables us to realise the atmosphere,
is otherwise lacking in substance, we must try to get further
information elsewhere. Happily, there is plenty at our disposal.

  Before playing the violoncello sonata in public [wrote Madame
  Dubois to me], Chopin had tried it before some artists and
  intimate friends; the first movement, the masterpiece, was not
  understood. It appeared to the hearers obscure, involved by
  too many ideas, in short, it had no success. At the last
  moment Chopin dared not play the whole sonata before so
  worldly and elegant an audience, but confined himself to the
  Scherzo, Adagio, and Finale. I shall never forget the manner
  in which he executed the Barcarole, that adorable composition;
  the Waltz in D flat (la valse au petit chien) was encored
  amidst the acclamations of the public. A grande dame who was
  present at this concert wished to know Chopin's secret of
  making the scales so flowing on the piano [faire les gammes si
  coulees stir le piano]. The expression is good, and this
  limpidity has never been equalled.

Stephen Heller's remark to me, that Chopin became in his last
years so weak that his playing was sometimes hardly audible, I
have already related in a preceding chapter. There I have also
mentioned what Mr. Charles Halle' told me--namely, that in the
latter part of his life Chopin often played forte passages piano
and even pianissimo, that, for instance, at the concert we are
speaking of he played the two forte passages towards the end of
the Barcarole pianissimo and with all sorts of dynamic finesses.
Mr. Otto Goldschmidt, who was present at the concert on February
16, 1848, gave some interesting recollections of it, after the
reading of a paper on the subject of Chopin, by Mr. G. A.
Osborne, at one of the meetings of the Musical Association (see
Proceedings, of the Musical Association for the year 1879-80):--

  He [Chopin] was extremely weak, but still his playing--by
  reason of that remarkable quality which he possessed of
  gradation in touch--betrayed none of the impress of weakness
  which some attributed to piano playing or softness of touch;
  and he possessed in a greater degree than any pianoforte-
  player he [Mr. Goldschmidt] had ever heard, the faculty of
  passing upwards from piano through all gradations of tone...It
  was extremely difficult to obtain admission, for Chopin, who
  had been truly described as a most sensitive man--which seemed
  to be pre-eminently a quality of artistic organisations--not
  only had a list submitted to him of those who ought to be
  admitted, but he sifted that list, and made a selection from
  the selected list; he was, therefore, surrounded by none but
  friends and admirers. The room was beautifully decorated with
  flowers of all kinds, and he could truly say that even now, at
  the distance of thirty years, he had the most vivid
  recollection of the concert...The audience was so enraptured
  with his [Chopin's] playing that he was called forward again
  and again.

In connection with what Mr. Goldschmidt and the writer in the
Gazette musicale say about the difficulty of admission and a
sifted list, I have to record, and I shall do no more than
record, Franchomme's denial. "I really believe," he said to me,
"that this is a mere fiction. I saw Chopin every day; how, then,
could I remain ignorant of it?"

To complete my account of Chopin's last concert in Paris, I have
yet to add some scraps of information derived from Un nid
d'autographes, by Oscar Comettant, who was present at it, and,
moreover, reported on it in Le Siecle. The memory of the event
was brought back to him when on looking over autographs in the
possession of Auguste Wolff, the successor of Camille Pleyel, he
found a ticket for the above described concert. As the concert so
was also the ticket unlike that of any other artist. "Les lettres
d'ecriture anglaise etaient gravees au burin et imprimees en
taille-douce sur de beau papier mi-carton glace, d'un carre long
elegant et distingue." It bore the following words and figures:--

                  SOIREE DE M. CHOPIN,
                   20, Rue Rochechouart,
           Le mercredi 16 fevrier 1848 a 8 heures 1/2.
         Rang....Prix 20 francs....Place reservee.

M. Comettant, in contradiction to what has been said by others
about Chopin's physical condition, states that when the latter
came on the platform, he walked upright and without feebleness;
his face, though pale, did not seem greatly altered; and he
played as he had always played. But M. Comettant was told that
Chopin, having spent at the concert all his moral and physical
energy, afterwards nearly fainted in the artists' room.

In March Chopin and George Sand saw each other once more. We will
rest satisfied with the latter's laconic account of the meeting
already quoted: "Je serrai sa main tremblante et glacee. Je voulu
lui parler, il s'echappa." Karasowski's account of this last
meeting is in the feuilleton style and a worthy pendant to that
of the first meeting:--

  A month before his departure [he writes], in the last days of
  March, Chopin was invited by a lady to whose hospitable house
  he had in former times often gone. Some moments he hesitated
  whether he should accept this invitation, for he had of late
  years less frequented the salons; at last--as if impelled by
  an inner voice--he accepted. An hour before he entered the
  house of Madame H...

And then follow wonderful conversations, sighs, blushes, tears, a
lady hiding behind an ivy screen, and afterwards advancing with a
gliding step, and whispering with a look full of repentance:
"Frederick!" Alas, this was not the way George Sand met her
dismissed lovers. Moreover, let it be remembered she was at this
time not a girl in her teens, but a woman of nearly forty-four.

The outbreak of the revolution on February 22, 1848, upset the
arrangements for the second concert, which was to take place on
the 10th of March, and, along with the desire to seek
forgetfulness of the grievous loss he had sustained in a change
of scene, decided him at last to accept the pressing and
unwearied invitations of his Scotch and English friends to visit
Great Britain. On April 2 the Gazette musicale announced that
Chopin would shortly betake himself to London and pass the season
there. And before many weeks had passed he set out upon his
journey. But the history of his doings in the capital and in
other parts of the United Kingdom shall be related in another



Before we inquire into the doings and sufferings of Chopin in
England and Scotland, let us take a general survey of his life-
work as a composer. We may fitly do so now; as at the stage of
his career we have reached, his creative activity had come to a
close. The last composition he published, the G minor Sonata for
piano and violoncello, Op. 65, appeared in October, 1847; and
among his posthumous compositions published by Fontana there are
only two of later date--namely, the mazurkas, No. 2 of Op. 67 (G
minor) and No. 4 of Op. 68 (F minor), which came into existence
in 1849. Neither of these compositions can be numbered with the
master's best works, but the latter of them is interesting,
because it seems in its tonal writhings and wailings a picture of
the bodily and mental torments Chopin was at the time enduring.

A considerable number of the master's works I have already
discussed in Chapters III., VIII., and XIII. These, if we except
the two Concertos, Op. II and 21 (although they, too, do not rank
with his chefs-d'oeuvre), are, however, for us of greater importance
biographically, perhaps also historically, than otherwise. It is
true, we hear now and then of some virtuoso playing the Variations,
Op. 2, or the Fantasia on Polish airs, Op. 13, nay, we may hear even
of the performance of the Trio, Op. 8; but such occurrences are of
the rarest rarity, and, considering how rich musical literature is
in unexceptionable concert-pieces and chamber compositions, one
feels on the whole pleased that these enterprising soloists and
trio-players find neither much encouragement nor many imitators.
While in examining the earlier works, the praise bestowed on them
was often largely mixed with censure, and the admiration felt for
them tempered by dissatisfaction; we shall have little else than
pure praise and admiration for the works that remain to be
considered, at least for the vast majority of them. One thing,
however, seems to me needful before justice can be done to the
composer Chopin: certain prejudices abroad concerning him have to
be combated. I shall, therefore, preface my remarks on particular
compositions and groups of compositions by some general

It is sometimes said that there are hardly any traces of a
development in the productions of Chopin, and that in this
respect he is unlike all the other great masters. Such an opinion
cannot be the result of a thorough and comprehensive study of the
composer's works. So far from agreeing with those who hold it, I
am tempted to assert that the difference of style between
Chopin's early and latest works (even when juvenile compositions
like the first two Rondos are left out of account) is as great as
that between Beethoven's first and ninth Symphony. It would be
easy to classify the Polish master's works according to three and
even four (with the usual exceptions) successive styles, but I
have no taste for this cheap kind of useless ingenuity. In fact,
I shall confine myself to saying that in Chopin's works there are
clearly distinguishable two styles--the early virtuosic and the
later poetic style. The latter is in a certain sense also
virtuosic, but with this difference, that its virtuosity is not
virtuosity for virtuosity's sake. The poetic style which has
thrown off the tinsel showiness of its predecessor does not,
however, remain unchanged, for its texture becomes more and more
close, and affords conclusive evidence of the increasing
influence of Johann Sebastian Bach. Of course, the grand master
of fugue does not appear here, as it were, full life-size, in
peruke, knee-breeches, and shoe-buckles, but his presence in
spite of transformation and attenuation is unmistakable. It is,
however, not only in the closeness and complexity of texture that
we notice Chopin's style changing: a striving after greater
breadth and fulness of form are likewise apparent, and, alas!
also an increase in sombreness, the result of deteriorating
health. All this the reader will have to keep in mind when he
passes in review the master's works, for I shall marshal them by
groups, not chronologically.

Another prejudice, wide-spread, almost universal, is that
Chopin's music is all languor and melancholy, and, consequently,
wanting in variety. Now, there can be no greater error than this
belief. As to variety, we should be obliged to wonder at its
infiniteness if he had composed nothing but the pieces to which
are really applicable the epithets dreamy, pensive, mournful, and
despondent. But what vigour, what more than manly vigour,
manifests itself in many of his creations! Think only of the
Polonaises in A major (Op. 40, No. 1) and in A flat major (Op.
53), of many of his studies, the first three of his ballades, the
scherzos, and much besides! To be sure, a great deal of this
vigour is not natural, but the outcome of despair and maddening
passion. Still, it is vigour, and such vigour as is not often to
be met with. And, then, it is not the only kind to be found in
his music. There is also a healthy vigour, which, for instance,
in the A major Polonaise assumes a brilliantly-heroic form. Nor
are serene and even joyous moods so rare that it would be
permissible to ignore them. While thus controverting the so-
called vox Dei (are not popular opinions generally popular
prejudices?) and the pseudo-critics who create or follow it, I
have no intention either to deny or conceal the Polish master's
excess of languor and melancholy. I only wish to avoid vulgar
exaggeration, to keep within the bounds of the factual. In art as
in life, in biography as in history, there are not many questions
that can be answered by a plain "yea" or "nay. It was, indeed,
with Chopin as has been said of him, "his heart was sad, his mind
was gay. "One day when Chopin, Liszt, and the Comtesse d'Agoult
spent the after-dinner hours together, the lady, deeply moved by
the Polish composer's playing, ventured to ask him "by what name
he called the extraordinary feeling which he enclosed in his
compositions, like unknown ashes in superb urns of most
exquisitely-chiselled alabaster? "He answered her that--

  her heart had not deceived her in its melancholy saddening,
  for whatever his moments of cheerfulness might be, he never
  for all that got rid of a feeling which formed, as it were,
  the soil of his heart, and for which he found a name only in
  his mother-tongue, no other possessing an equivalent to the
  Polish word zal [sadness, pain, sorrow, grief, trouble,
  repentance, &c.]. Indeed, he uttered the word repeatedly, as
  if his ear had been eager for this sound, which for him
  comprised the whole scale of the feelings which is produced by
  an intense plaint, from repentance to hatred, blessed or
  poisoned fruits of this acrid root.

After a long dissertation on the meaning of the word zal, Liszt,
from whose book this quotation is taken, proceeds thus:--

  Yes, truly, the zal colours with a reflection now argent, now
  ardent, the whole of Chopin's works. It is not even absent
  from his sweetest reveries. These impressions had so much the
  more importance in the life of Chopin that they manifested
  themselves distinctly in his last works. They little by little
  attained a kind of sickly irascibility, reaching the point of
  feverish tremulousness. This latter reveals itself in some of
  his last writings by a distortion of his thought which one is
  sometimes rather pained than surprised to meet. Suffocating
  almost under the oppression of his repressed transports of
  passion, making no longer use of the art except to rehearse to
  himself his own tragedy, he began, after having sung his
  feeling, to tear it to pieces.

Read together with my matter-of-fact statements, Liszt's
hyperbolical and circumlocutional poetic prose will not be
misunderstood by the reader. The case may be briefly summed up
thus. Zal is not to be found in every one of Chopin's
compositions, but in the greater part of them: sometimes it
appears clearly on the surface, now as a smooth or lightly-
rippled flow, now as a wildly-coursing, fiercely-gushing torrent;
sometimes it is dimly felt only as an undercurrent whose presence
not unfrequently becomes temporarily lost to ear and eye. We
must, however, take care not to overlook that this zal is not
exclusively individual, although its width and intensity are so.

  The key-note [of Polish songs] [says the editor and translator
  into German of an interesting collection of Folk-songs of the
  Poles][FOOTNOTE: Volkslieder der Polen. Gesammelt und
  ubersetzt von W. P. (Leipzig,1833).] is melancholy--even in
  playful and naive songs something may be heard which reminds
  one of the pain of past sorrows; a plaintive sigh, a death-
  groan, which seems to accuse the Creator, curses His
  existence, and, as Tieck thinks, cries to heaven out of the
  dust of annihilation:

                     "What sin have I committed?"

  These are the after-throes of whole races; these are the pains
  of whole centuries, which in these melodies entwine themselves
  in an infinite sigh. One is tempted to call them sentimental,
  because they seem to reflect sometimes on their own feeling;
  but, on the other hand, they are not so, for the impulse to an
  annihilating outpouring of feeling expresses itself too
  powerfully for these musical poems to be products of conscious
  creativeness. One feels when one hears these songs that the
  implacable wheel of fate has only too often rolled over the
  terrene happiness of this people, and life has turned to them
  only its dark side. Therefore, the dark side is so
  conspicuous; therefore, much pain and poetry--unhappiness and

The remarks on Polish folk-music lead us naturally to the
question of Chopin's indebtedness to it, which, while in one
respect it cannot be too highly rated, is yet in another respect
generally overrated. The opinion that every peculiarity which
distinguishes his music from that of other masters is to be put
to the account of his nationality, and may be traced in Polish
folk-music, is erroneous. But, on the other hand, it is
emphatically true that this same folk-music was to him a potent
inspirer and trainer. Generally speaking, however, Chopin has
more of the spirit than of the form of Polish folk-music. The
only two classes of his compositions where we find also something
of the form are his mazurkas and polonaises; and, what is
noteworthy, more in the former, the dance of the people, than in
the latter, the dance of the aristocracy. In Chopin's mazurkas we
meet not only with many of the most characteristic rhythms, but
also with many equally characteristic melodic and harmonic traits
of this chief of all the Polish dances.

Polish national music conforms in part to the tonality prevailing
in modern art-music, that is, to our major and minor modes; in
part, however, it reminds one of other tonalities--for instance,
of that of the mediaeval church modes, and of that or those
prevalent in the music of the Hungarians, Wallachians, and other
peoples of that quarter.

[FOOTNOTE: The strictly diatonic church modes (not to be
confounded with the ancient Greek modes bearing the same names)
differ from each other by the position of the two semitones: the
Ionian is like our C major; the Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian,
Mixolydian, Aeolian. &c., are like the series of natural notes
starting respectively from d, c, f, g, a, &c. The characteristic
interval of the Hungarian scale is the augmented second (a, b, c,
d#, e, f, g#, a).]

The melodic progression, not always immediate, of an augmented
fourth and major seventh occurs frequently, and that of an
augmented second occasionally. Skips of a third after or before
one or more steps of a second are very common. In connection with
these skips of a third may be mentioned that one meets with
melodies evidently based on a scale with a degree less than our
major and minor scales, having in one place a step of a third
instead of a second. [FOOTNOTE: Connoisseurs of Scotch music, on
becoming acquainted with Polish music, will be incited by many
traits of the latter to undertake a comparative study of the
two.] The opening and the closing note stand often to each other
in the relation of a second, sometimes also of a seventh. The
numerous peculiarities to be met with in Polish folkmusic with
regard to melodic progression are not likely to be reducible to
one tonality or a simple system of tonalities. Time and district
of origin have much to do with the formal character of the
melodies. And besides political, social, and local influences
direct musical ones--the mediaeval church music, eastern secular
music, &c.--have to be taken into account. Of most Polish
melodies it may be said that they are as capricious as they are
piquant. Any attempt to harmonise them according to our tonal
system must end in failure. Many of them would, indeed, be
spoiled by any kind of harmony, being essentially melodic, not
outgrowths of harmony.

[FOOTNOTE: To those who wish to study this subject may be
recommended Oskar Kolberg's Piesni Ludu Polskiego (Warsaw, 1857),
the best collection of Polish folk-songs. Charles Lipinski's
collection, Piesni Polskie i Ruskie Luttu Galicyjskiego, although
much less interesting, is yet noteworthy.]

To treat, however, this subject adequately, one requires volumes,
not pages; to speak on it authoritatively, one must have studied
it more thoroughly than I have done. The following melodies and
snatches of melodies will to some extent illustrate what I have
said, although they are chosen with a view rather to illustrate
Chopin's indebtedness to Polish folk-music than Polish folk-music

[11 music score excerpts illustrated here]

Chopin, while piquantly and daringly varying the tonality
prevailing in art-music, hardly ever departs from it altogether--
he keeps at least in contact with it, however light that contact
may be now and then in the mazurkas.

[FOOTNOTE: One of the most decided exceptions is the Mazurka, Op.
24, No. 2, of which only the A fiat major part adheres frankly to
our tonality. The portion beginning with the twenty-first bar and
extending over that and the next fifteen bars displays, on the
other hand, the purest Lydian, while the other portions, although
less definite as regards tonality, keep in closer touch with the
mediaeval church smode [sic: mode] than with our major and

Further, he adopted only some of the striking peculiarities of
the national music, and added to them others which were
individual. These individual characteristics--those audacities of
rhythm, melody, and harmony (in progressions and modulations, as
well as in single chords)--may, however, be said to have been
fathered by the national ones. As to the predominating
chromaticism of his style, it is not to be found in Polish folk-
music; although slight rudiments are discoverable (see Nos. 6-12
of the musical illustrations). Of course, no one would seek there
his indescribably-exquisite and highly-elaborate workmanship,
which alone enabled him to give expression to the finest shades
and most sudden changes of gentle feelings and turbulent
passions. Indeed, as I have already said, it is rather the
national spirit than the form which manifests itself in Chopin's
music. The writer of the article on Polish music in Mendel's
Conversations-Lexikon remarks:--

  What Chopin has written remains for all times the highest
  ideal of Polish music. Although it would be impossible to
  point out in a single bar a vulgar utilisation of a national
  theme, or a Slavonic aping of it, there yet hovers over the
  whole the spirit of Polish melody, with its chivalrous, proud,
  and dreamy accents; yea, even the spirit of the Polish
  language is so pregnantly reproduced in the musical diction as
  perhaps in no composition of any of his countrymen; unless it
  be that Prince Oginski with his polonaises and Dobrzynski in
  his happiest moments have approached him.

Liszt, as so often, has also in connection with this aspect of
the composer Chopin some excellent remarks to offer.

  He neither applied himself nor exerted himself to write Polish
  music; it is possible that he would have been astonished to
  hear himself called a Polish musician.

  [FOOTNOTE: Liszt decidedly overshoots here the mark, and does
  so in a less degree in the rest of these observations. Did not
  Chopin himself say to Hiller that he wished to be to his
  countrymen what Uhland was to the Germans? And did he not
  write in one of his letters (see p. 168): "You know how I wish
  to understand, and how I have in part succeeded in
  understanding, our national music"?]

  Nevertheless, he was a national musician par excellence...He
  summed up in his imagination, he represented in his talent, a
  poetic feeling inherent in his nation and diffused there among
  all his contemporaries. Like the true national poets, Chopin
  sang, without a fixed design, without a preconceived choice,
  what inspiration spontaneously dictated to him; it is thus
  that there arose in his music, without solicitation, without
  effort, the most idealised form of the emotions which had
  animated his childhood, chequered his adolescence, and
  embellished his youth...Without making any pretence to it, he
  collected into a luminous sheaf sentiments confusedly felt by
  all in his country, fragmentarily disseminated in their
  hearts, vaguely perceived by some.

George Sand tells us that Chopin's works were the mysterious and
vague expression of his inner life. That they were the expression
of his inner life is indeed a fact which no attentive hearer can
fail to discover without the aid of external evidence. For the
composer has hardly written a bar in which, so to speak, the
beating of his heart may not be felt. Chopin revealed himself
only in his music, but there he revealed himself fully. And was
this expression of his inner life really "mysterious and vague"?
I think not! At least, no effusion of words could have made
clearer and more distinct what he expressed. For the
communications of dreams and visions such as he dreamt and saw,
of the fluctuating emotional actualities such as his sensitive
heart experienced, musical forms are, no doubt, less clumsy than
verbal and pictorial ones. And if we know something of his
history and that of his nation, we cannot be at a loss to give
names and local habitations to the impalpable, but emotionally
and intellectually-perceptible contents of his music. We have to
distinguish in Chopin the personal and the national tone-poet,
the singer of his own joys and sorrows and that of his country's.
But, while distinguishing these two aspects, we must take care
not to regard them as two separate things. They were a duality
the constitutive forces of which alternately assumed supremacy.
The national poet at no time absorbed the personal, the personal
poet at no time disowned the national. His imagination was always
ready to conjure up his native atmosphere, nay, we may even say
that, wherever he might be, he lived in it. The scene of his
dreams and visions lay oftenest in the land of his birth. And
what did the national poet dream and see in these dreams and
visions? A past, present, and future which never existed and
never will exist, a Poland and a Polish people glorified. Reality
passed through the refining fires of his love and genius and
reappeared in his music sublimated as beauty and poetry. No other
poet has like Chopin embodied in art the romance of the land and
people of Poland. And, also, no other poet has like him embodied
in art the romance of his own existence. But whereas as a
national poet he was a flattering idealist, he was as a personal
poet an uncompromising realist.

The masterpieces of Chopin consist of mazurkas, polonaises,
waltzes, etudes, preludes, nocturnes (with which we will class
the berceuse and barcarole), scherzos and impromptus, and
ballades. They do not, however, comprise all his notable
compositions. And about these notable compositions which do not
rank with his masterpieces, either because they are of less
significance or otherwise fail to reach the standard of requisite
perfectness, I shall first say a few words.

Chopin's Bolero, Op. 19, may be described as a Bolero a la
polonaise. It is livelier in movement and more coquettish in
character than the compositions which he entitles polonaises, but
for all that its physiognomy does not on the whole strike one as
particularly Spanish, certainly not beyond the first section of
the Bolero proper and the seductive strains of the Pililento, the
second tempo of the introduction. And in saying this I am not
misled by the points of resemblance in the rhythmical
accompaniment of these dances. Chopin published the Bolero in
1834, four years before he visited Spain, but one may doubt
whether it would have turned out less Polish if he had composed
it subsequently. Although an excellent imitator in the way of
mimicry, he lacked the talent of imitating musical thought and
character; at any rate, there are no traces of it in his works.
The cause of this lack of talent lies, of course, in the strength
of his subjectivism in the first place, and of his nationalism in
the second. I said the Bolero was published four years before his
visit to Spain. But how many years before this visit was it
composed? I think a good many years earlier; for it has so much
of his youthful style about it, and not only of his youthful
style, but also of his youthful character--by which I mean that
it is less intensely poetic. It is not impossible that Chopin was
instigated to write it by hearing the Bolero in Auber's "La
Muette de Portici" ("Masaniello"), which opera was first
performed on February 28, 1828. These remarks are thrown out
merely as hints. The second composition which we shall consider
will show how dangerous it is to dogmatise on the strength of
internal evidence.

Op. 16, a lightsome Rondeau with a dramatic Introduction, is,
like the Bolero, not without its beauties; but in spite of
greater individuality, ranks, like it, low among the master's
works, being patchy, unequal, and little poetical.

If ever Chopin is not Chopin in his music, he is so in his
Variations brillantes (in B flat major) sur le Rondeau favori:
"Je vends des Scapulaires" de Ludovic, de Herold et Halevy, Op.
12. Did we not know that he must have composed the. work about
the middle of 1833, we should be tempted to class it with the
works which came into existence when his individuality was as yet
little developed. [FOOTNOTE: The opera Ludovic, on which Herold
was engaged when he died on January 19, 1833, and which Halevy
completed, was produced in Paris on May 16, 1833. From the German
publishers of Chopin's Op. 12 I learned that it appeared in
November, 1833. In the Gazette musicale of January 26, 1834, may
be read a review of it.] But knowing what we do, we can only
wonder at the strange phenomenon. It is as if Chopin had here
thrown overboard the Polish part of his natal inheritance and
given himself up unrestrainedly and voluptuously to the French
part. Besides various diatonic runs of an inessential and purely
ornamental character, there is in the finale actually a plain and
full-toned C flat major scale. What other work of the composer
could be pointed out exhibiting the like feature? Of course,
Chopin is as little successful in entirely hiding his
serpentining and chromaticising tendency as Mephistopheles in
hiding the limp arising from his cloven foot. Still, these
fallings out of the role are rare and transient, and, on the
whole, Chopin presents himself as a perfect homme du monde who
knows how to say the most insignificant trifles with the most
exquisite grace imaginable. There can. be nothing more amusing
than the contemporary critical opinions regarding this work,
nothing more amusing than to see the at other times censorious
Philistines unwrinkle their brows, relax generally the sternness
of their features, and welcome, as it were, the return of the
prodigal son. We wiser critics of to-day, who, of course, think
very differently about this matter, can, nevertheless, enjoy and
heartily applaud the prettiness and elegance of the simple first
variation, the playful tripping second, the schwarmerische
melodious third, the merry swinging fourth, and the brilliant

From Chopin's letters we see that the publication of the
Tarantelle, Op. 43, which took place in the latter part of 1841,
was attended with difficulties and annoyances. [FOOTNOTE: Herr
Schuberth, of Leipzig, informed me that a honorarium of 500
francs was paid to Chopin for this work on July 1, 1841. The
French publisher deposited the work at the library of the
Conservatoire in October, 1841.] What these difficulties and
annoyances were, is, however, only in part ascertainable. To turn
from the publication to the composition itself, I may say that it
is full of life, indeed, spirited in every respect, in movement
and in boldness of harmonic and melodic conception. The
Tarantelle is a translation from Italian into Polish, a
transmutation of Rossini into Chopin, a Neapolitan scene painted
with opaque colours, the south without its transparent sky, balmy
air, and general brightness. That this composition was inspired
by impressions received from Rossini's Tarantella, and not from
impressions received in Italy (of which, as has already been
related, he had a short glimpse in 1839), is evident. A
comparison of Chopin's Op. 43 with Liszt's glowing and
intoxicating transcription of Rossini's composition may be
recommended as a study equally pleasant and instructive. Although
not an enthusiastic admirer of Chopin's Tarantelle, I protest in
the interest of the composer and for justice's sake against
Schumann's dictum: "Nobody can call that beautiful music; but we
pardon the master his wild fantasies, for once he may let us see
also the dark sides of his inner life."

The Allegro de Concert, Op. 46, which was published in November,
1841, although written for the pianoforte alone, contains,
nevertheless, passages which are more distinctly orchestral than
anything Chopin ever wrote for the orchestra. The form resembles
somewhat that of the concerto. In the first section, which
occupies the place of the opening tutti, we cannot fail to
distinguish the entrances of single instruments, groups of
instruments, and the full orchestra. The soloist starts in the
eighty-seventh bar, and in the following commences a cadenza.
With the a tempo comes the first subject (A major), and the
passage-work which brings up the rear leads to the second subject
(E major), which had already appeared in the first section in A
major. The first subject, if I may dignify the matter in question
with that designation, does not recur again, nor was it
introduced by the tutti. The central and principal thought is
what I called the second subject. The second section concludes
with brilliant passage-work in E major, the time--honoured shake
rousing the drowsy orchestra from its sweet repose. The hint is
not lost, and the orchestra, in the disguise of the pianoforte,
attends to its duty right vigorously. With the poco rit. the
soloist sets to work again, and in the next bar takes up the
principal subject in A minor. After that we have once more
brilliant passage-work, closing this time in A major, and then a
final tutti. The Allegro de Concert gives rise to all sorts of
surmises. Was it written first for the pianoforte and orchestra,
as Schumann suspects? Or may we make even a bolder guess, and
suppose that the composer, at a more advanced age, worked up into
this Allegro de Concert a sketch for the first movement of a
concerto conceived in his younger days? Have we, perhaps, here a
fragment or fragments of the Concerto for two pianos which
Chopin, in a letter written at Vienna on December 21, 1830, said
he would play in public with his friend Nidecki, if he succeeded
in writing it to his satisfaction? And is there any significance
in the fact that Chopin, when (probably in the summer of 1841)
sending the manuscript of this work to Fontana, calls it a
Concerto? Be this as it may, the principal subject and some of
the passage-work remind one of the time of the concertos; other
things, again, belong undoubtedly to a later period. The tutti
and solo parts are unmistakable, so different is the treatment of
the pianoforte: in the former the style has the heaviness of an
arrangement, in the latter it has Chopin's usual airiness. The
work, as a whole, is unsatisfactory, nay, almost indigestible.
The subjects are neither striking nor important. Of the passage-
work, that which follows the second subject contains the most
interesting matter. Piquant traits and all sorts of fragmentary
beauties are scattered here and there over the movement. But
after we have considered all, we must confess that this opus adds
little or nothing to the value of our Chopin inheritance.

[FOOTNOTE: In justice to the composer I must here quote a
criticism which since I wrote the above appeared in the Athenaum
(January 21, 1888):--"The last-named work [the Allegro de
Concert, Op. 46] is not often heard, and is generally regarded as
one of Chopin's least interesting and least characteristic
pieces. Let us hasten to say that these impressions are
distinctly wrong; the executive difficulties of the work are
extremely great, and a mere mastery of them is far from all that
is needed. When M. de Pachmann commenced to play it was quickly
evident that his reading would be most remarkable, and in the end
it amounted to an astounding revelation. That which seemed dry
and involved became under his fingers instinct with beauty and
feeling; the musicians and amateurs present listened as if
spellbound, and opinion was unanimous that the performance was
nothing short of an artistic creation. For the sake of the
composer, if not for his own reputation, the pianist should
repeat it, not once, but many times." Notwithstanding this
decided judgment of a weighty authority--for such everyone will,
without hesitation, acknowledge the critic in question to be--I
am unable, after once more examining the work, to alter my
previously formed opinion.]

As a further confirmation of the supposed origin of the Allegro
de Concert, I may mention the arrangement of it for piano and
orchestra (also for two pianos) by Jean Louis Nicode.

[FOOTNOTE: Nicode has done his work well so far as he kept close
to the text of Chopin; but his insertion of a working-out section
of more than seventy bars is not justifiable, and, moreover,
though making the work more like an orthodox first movement of a
concerto, does not enhance its beauty and artistic value.]

To the Sonata in B flat minor, Op. 35 (published in May, 1840),
this most powerful of Chopin's works in the larger forms, Liszt's
remark, "Plus de volonte que d'inspiration," is hardly
applicable, although he used the expression in speaking of
Chopin's concertos and sonatas in general; for there is no lack
of inspiration here, nor are there traces of painful, unrewarded
effort. Each of the four pieces of which the sonata consists is
full of vigour, originality, and interest. But whether they can
be called a sonata is another question. Schumann, in his playful
manner, speaks of caprice and wantonness, and insinuates that
Chopin bound together four of his maddest children, and entitled
them sonata, in order that he might perhaps under this name
smuggle them in where otherwise they would not penetrate. Of
course, this is a fancy of Schumann's. Still, one cannot help
wondering whether the composer from the first intended to write a
sonata and obtained this result--amphora coepit institui;
currente rota cur urceus exit?--or whether these four movements
got into existence without any predestination, and were
afterwards put under one cover. [FOOTNOTE: At any rate, the march
was finished before the rest of the work. See the quotation from
one of Chopin's letters farther on.] With all Schumann's
admiration for Chopin and praise of this sonata, it appears to me
that he does not give Chopin his due. There is something gigantic
in the work which, although it does not elevate and ennoble,
being for the most part a purposeless fuming, impresses one
powerfully. The first movement begins with four bars grave, a
groan full of pain; then the composer, in restless, breathless
haste, is driven by his feelings onward, ever onward, till he
comes to the lovely, peaceful second subject (in D flat major, a
real contrast this time), which grows by-and-by more passionate,
and in the concluding portion of the first part transcends the
limits of propriety--VIDE those ugly dissonances. The connection
of the close of the first part with the repetition of this and
the beginning of the second part by means of the chord of the
dominant seventh in A flat and that in D flat with the suspended
sixth, is noteworthy. The strange second section, in which the
first subject is worked out, has the appearance rather of an
improvisation than of a composition. After this a few bars in 6/4
time, fiercely wild (stretto) at first, but gradually subsiding,
lead to the repeat in B flat major of the second subject--the
first subject does not appear again in its original form. To the
close, which is like that of the corresponding section in the
first part (6/4), is added a coda (2/2) introducing the
characteristic motive of the first subject. In the scherzo, the
grandest movement and the climax of the sonata, the gloom and the
threatening power which rise to a higher and higher pitch become
quite weird and fear-inspiring; it affects one like lowering
clouds, rolling of thunder, and howling and whistling of the wind-
-to the latter, for instance, the chromatic successions of chords
of the sixth may not inappropriately be likened. The piu lento is
certainly one of the most scherzo-like thoughts in Chopin's
scherzos--so light and joyful, yet a volcano is murmuring under
this serenity. The return of this piu lento, after the repeat of
the first section, is very fine and beneficently refreshing, like
nature after a storm. The Marche funebre ranks among Chopin's
best-known and most highly-appreciated pieces. Liszt mentions it
with particular distinction, and grows justly eloquent over it. I
do not altogether understand Schumann's objection: "It is still
more gloomy than the scherzo," he says, "and contains even much
that is repulsive; in its place an adagio, perhaps in D flat,
would have had an incomparably finer effect." Out of the dull,
stupefied brooding, which is the fundamental mood of the first
section, there rises once and again (bars 7 and 8, and 11 and 12)
a pitiable wailing, and then an outburst of passionate appealing
(the forte passage in D flat major), followed by a sinking
helplessness (the two bars with the shakes in the bass),
accompanied by moans and deep breathings. The two parts of the
second section are a rapturous gaze into the beatific regions of
a beyond, a vision of reunion of what for the time is severed.
The last movement may be counted among the curiosities of
composition--a presto in B flat minor of seventy-five bars, an
endless series of triplets from beginning to end in octaves. It
calls up in one's mind the solitude and dreariness of a desert.
"The last movement is more like mockery than music," says
Schumann, but adds, truly and wisely--

  and yet one confesses to one's self that also out of this
  unmelodious and joyless movement a peculiar dismal spirit
  breathes upon us, who keeps down with a strong hand that which
  would revolt, so that we obey, as if we were charmed, without
  murmuring, but also without praising, for that is no music.
  Thus the sonata concludes, as it began, enigmatically, like a
  sphinx with a mocking smile.

J. W. Davison, in the preface to an edition of Chopin's mazurkas,
relates that Mendelssohn, on being questioned about the finale of
one of Chopin's sonatas (I think it must have been the one before
us), said briefly and bitterly, "Oh, I abhor it!" H. Barbedette
remarks in his "Chopin," a criticism without insight and
originality, of this finale, "C'est Lazare grattant de ses ongles
la pierre de son tombeau et tombant epuise de fatigue, de faim et
de desespoir." And now let the reader recall the words which
Chopin wrote from Nohant to Fontana in the summer of 1839:--

  I am composing here a Sonata in B flat minor, in which will be
  the funeral march which you have already. There is an Allegro,
  then a Scherzo, in E flat minor, the March, and a short Finale
  of about three pages. The left hand unisono with the right
  hand are gossiping after the March [ogaduja po Marszu].

The meaning of which somewhat obscure interpretation seems to be,
that after the burial the good neighbours took to discussing the
merits of the departed, not without a spice of backbiting.

The Sonata in B minor, Op. 58, the second of Chopin's notable
pianoforte sonatas (the third if we take into account the
unpalatable Op. 4), made its appearance five years later, in
June, 1845. Unity is as little discernible in this sonata as in
its predecessor. The four movements of which the work consists
are rather affiliated than cognate; nay, this may be said even of
many parts of the movements. The first movement by far surpasses
the other three in importance: indeed, the wealth of beautiful
and interesting matter which is here heaped up--for it is rather
an unsifted accumulation than an artistic presentation and
evolution--would have sufficed many a composer for several
movements. The ideas are very unequal and their course very jerky
till we come to the second subject (D major), which swells out
into a broad stream of impassioned melody. Farther on the matter
becomes again jerky and mosaic-like. While the close of the first
part is very fine, the beginning of the second is a comfortless
waste. Things mend with the re-entrance of the subsidiary part of
the second subject (now in D flat major), which, after being
dwelt upon for some time and varied, disappears, and is followed
by a repetition of portions of the first subject, the whole
second subject (in B major), and the closing period, which is
prolonged by a coda to make the close more emphatic and
satisfying. A light and graceful quaver figure winds with now
rippling, now waving motion through the first and third sections
of the scherzo; in the contrasting second section, with the
sustained accompaniment and the melody in one of the middle
parts, the entrance of the bright A major, after the gloom of the
preceding bars, is very effective. The third movement has the
character of a nocturne, and as such cannot fail to be admired.
In the visionary dreaming of the long middle section we imagine
the composer with dilated eyes and rapture in his look--it is
rather a reverie than a composition. The finale surrounds us with
an emotional atmosphere somewhat akin to that of the first
movement, but more agitated. After eight bold introductory bars
with piercing dissonances begins the first subject, which, with
its rhythmically differently-accompanied repetition, is the most
important constituent of the movement. The rest, although finely
polished, is somewhat insignificant. In short, this is the old
story, plus de volonte que d'inspiration, that is to say,
inspiration of the right sort. And also, plus de volonte que de

There is one work of Chopin's to which Liszt's dictum, plus de
volnte que d'inspiratio, applies in all, and even more than all
its force. I allude to the Sonata (in G minor) for piano and
violoncello, Op. 65 (published in September, 1847), in which
hardly anything else but effort, painful effort, manifests
itself. The first and last movements are immense wildernesses
with only here and there a small flower. The middle movements, a
Scherzo and an Andante, do not rise to the dignity of a sonata,
and, moreover, lack distinction, especially the slow movement, a
nocturne-like dialogue between the two instruments. As to the
beauties--such as the first subject of the first movement (at the
entrance of the violoncello), the opening bars of the Scherzo,
part of the ANDANTE, &c.--they are merely beginnings, springs
that lose themselves soon in a sandy waste. Hence I have not the
heart to controvert Moscheles who, in his diary, says some
cutting things about this work: "In composition Chopin proves
that he has only isolated happy thoughts which he does not know
how to work up into a rounded whole. In the just published sonata
with violoncello I find often passages which sound as if someone
were preluding on the piano and knocked at all the keys to learn
whether euphony was at home." [FOOTNOTE: Aus Moscheles' Leben;
Vol. II., p. 171.] An entry of the year 1850 runs as follows:
"But a trial of patience of another kind is imposed on me by
Chopin's Violoncello Sonata, which I am arranging for four hands.
To me it is a tangled forest, through which now and then
penetrates a gleam of the sun." [FOOTNOTE: Ibid., Vol. II., p.
216.] To take up after the last-discussed work a composition like
the Grand Duo Concertant for piano and violoncello, on themes
from "Robert le Diable," by Chopin and A. Franchomme, is quite a
relief, although it is really of no artistic importance. Schumann
is right when he says of this DUO, which saw the light of
publicity (without OPUS number) in 1833:14 [FOOTNOTE: The first
performance of Meyerbeer's "Robert le Diable" took place at the
Paris Opera on November 21, 1831.] "A piece for a SALON where
behind the shoulders of counts and countesses now and then rises
the head of a celebrated artist." And he may also be right when
he says:--

  It seems to me that Chopin sketched the whole of it, and that
  Franchomme said "yes" to everything; for what Chopin touches
  takes his form and spirit, and in this minor salon-style he
  expresses himself with grace and distinction, compared with
  which all the gentility of other brilliant composers together
  with all their elegance vanish into thin air.

The mention of the DUO is somewhat out of place here, but the
Sonata, Op. 65, in which the violoncello is employed, naturally
suggested it.

We have only one more work to consider before we come to the
groups of masterpieces in the smaller forms above enumerated. But
this last work is one of Chopin's best compositions, and in its
way no less a masterpiece than these. Unfettered by the scheme of
a definite form such as the sonata or concerto, the composer
develops in the Fantaisie, Op. 49 (published in November, 1841),
his thought with masterly freedom. There is an enthralling
weirdness about this work, a weirdness made up of force of
passion and an indescribable fantastic waywardness. Nothing more
common than the name of Fantasia, here we have the thing! The
music falls on our ears like the insuppressible outpouring of a
being stirred to its heart's core, and full of immeasurable love
and longing. Who would suspect the composer's fragility and
sickliness in this work? Does it not rather suggest a Titan in
commotion? There was a time when I spoke of the Fantasia in a
less complimentary tone, now I bow down my head regretfully and
exclaim peccavi. The disposition of the composition may be thus
briefly indicated. A tempo di marcia opens the Fantasia--it forms
the porch of the edifice. The dreamy triplet passages of the poco
a poco piu mosso are comparable to galleries that connect the
various blocks of buildings. The principal subject, or
accumulation of themes, recurs again and again in different keys,
whilst other subjects appear only once or twice between the
repetitions of the principal subject.

The mazurkas of Chopin are a literature in themselves, said Lenz,
and there is some truth in his saying. They may, indeed, be
called a literature in themselves for two reasons--first, because
of their originality, which makes them things sui generis; and
secondly, because of the poetical and musical wealth of their
contents. Chopin, as I have already said, is most national in the
mazurkas and polonaises, for the former of which he draws not
only inspiration, but even rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic
motives from his country's folk-music. Liszt told me, in a
conversation I had with him, that he did not care much for
Chopin's mazurkas. "One often meets in them with bars which might
just as well be in another place." But he added, "And yet as
Chopin puts them, perhaps nobody else could have put them." And
mark, those are the words of one who also told me that when he
sometimes played half-an-hour for his amusement, he liked to
resort to Chopin. Moscheles, I suspect, had especially the
mazurkas in his mind when, in 1833, [FOOTNOTE: At this time the
published compositions of Chopin were, of course, not numerous,
but they included the first two books of Mazurkas, Op. 6 and 7.]
he said of the Polish master's compositions that he found "much
charm in their originality and national colouring," and that "his
thoughts and through them the fingers stumbled over certain hard,
inartistic modulations." Startling progressions, unreconciled
contrasts, and abrupt changes of mood are characteristic of
Slavonic music and expressive of the Slavonic character. Whether
they ought to be called inartistic or not, we will leave time to
decide, if it has not done so already; the Russian and other
Slavonic composers, who are now coming more and more to the
front, seem to be little in doubt as to their legitimacy. I
neither regard Chopin's mazurkas as his most artistic
achievements nor recommend their capriciousness and
fragmentariness for general imitation. But if we view them from
the right stand-point, which is not that of classicism, we cannot
help admiring them. The musical idiom which the composer uses in
these, notwithstanding their capriciousness and fragmentariness,
exquisitely-finished miniatures, has a truly delightful piquancy.
Yet delightful as their language is, the mazurkas have a far
higher claim to our admiration. They are poems--social poems,
poems of private life, in distinction from the polonaises, which
are political poems. Although Chopin's mazurkas and polonaises
are no less individual than the other compositions of this most
subjective of subjective poets, they incorporate, nevertheless, a
good deal of the poetry of which the national dances of those
names are the expression or vehicle. And let it be noted, in
Poland so-called civilisation did not do its work so fast and
effectually as in Western Europe; there dancing had not yet
become in Chopin's days a merely formal and conventional affair,
a matter of sinew and muscle.

It is, therefore, advisable that we should make ourselves
acquainted with the principal Polish dances; such an
acquaintance, moreover, will not only help us to interpret aright
Chopin's mazurkas and polonaises, but also to gain a deeper
insight into his ways of feeling and seeing generally. Now the
reader will become aware that the long disquisitions on Poland
and the Poles at the commencement of this biography were not
superfluous accessories. For completeness' sake I shall preface
the description of the mazurka by a short one of the krakowiak,
the third of the triad of principal Polish dances. The informants
on whom I shall chiefly rely when I am not guided by my own
observations are the musician Sowinski and the poet Brodzinski,
both Poles:

  The krakowiak [says Albert Sowinski in chant polonais] bubbles
  over with esprit and gaiety; its name indicates its origin. It
  is the delight of the salons, and especially of the huts. The
  Cracovians dance it in a very agitated and expressive manner,
  singing at the same time words made for the occasion of which
  they multiply the stanzas and which they often improvise.
  These words are of an easy gaiety which remind one strangely
  of the rather loose [semi-grivoises] songs so popular in
  France; others again are connected with the glorious epochs of
  history, with the sweet or sad memories which it calls up, and
  are a faithful expression of the character and manners of the

Casimir Brodzinski describes the dance as follows:--

  The krakowiak resembles in its figures a simplified polonaise;
  it represents, compared with the latter, a less advanced
  social state. The boldest and strongest takes the position of
  leader and conducts the dance; he sings, the others join in
  chorus; he dances, they imitate him. Often also the krakowiak
  represents, in a kind of little ballet, the simple course of a
  love-affair: one sees a couple of young people place
  themselves before the orchestra; the young man looks proud,
  presumptuous, preoccupied with his costume and beauty. Before
  long he becomes meditative, and seeks inspiration to improvise
  verses which the cries of his companions ask for, and which
  the time beaten by them provoke, as well as the manoeuvre of
  the young girl, who is impatient to dance. Arriving before the
  orchestra after making a round, the dancer generally takes the
  liberty of singing a refrain which makes the young girl blush;
  she runs away, and it is in pursuing her that the young man
  displays all his agility. At the last round it is the young
  man who pretends to run away from his partner; she tries to
  seize his arm, after which they dance together until the
  ritornello puts an end to their pleasure.

As a technical supplement to the above, I may say that this
lively dance is in 2/4 time, and like other Polish dances has the
rhythmical peculiarity of having frequently the accent on a
usually unaccented part of the bar, especially at the end of a
section or a phrase, for instance, on the second quaver of the
second and the fourth bar, thus:--

[Here, the author illustrates with a rhythm diagram consisting of
a line of notes divided in measures: 1/8 1/16 1/16 1/8 1/8 | 1/8
1/4 1/8 | 1/8 1/16 1/16 1/8 1/8 | 1/8 1/4 dot]

Chopin has only once been inspired by the krakowiak--namely, in
his Op. 14, entitled Krakowiak, Grand Rondeau de Concert, a
composition which was discussed in Chapter VIII. Thus much of the
krakowiak; now to the more interesting second of the triad.

  The mazurek [or mazurka], whose name comes from Mazovia, one
  of our finest provinces, is the most characteristic dance-tune
  --it is the model of all our new tunes. One distinguishes,
  however, these latter easily from the ancient ones on account
  of their less original and less cantabile form. There are two
  kinds of mazureks: one, of which the first portion is always
  in minor and the second in major, has a romance-like
  colouring, it is made to be sung, in Polish one says "to be
  heard" (do sludninin); the other serves as an accompaniment to
  a dance, of which the figures arc multiplied passes and
  coiuluiles. Its movement is in time, and yet less quick than
  the waltz. The motive is in dotted notes, which must be
  executed with energy and warmth, but not without a certain

Now the mazurka is generally written in 3/4-time; Chopin's are
all written thus. The dotted rhythmical motive alluded to by
Sowinski is this, or similar to this--

[Another rhythm diagram: 1/8 dot 1/16 1/4 1/4 | 1/8 dot 1/16 1/2]

But the dotted notes are by no means de rigueur. As motives like
the following--

[Another rhythm diagram: 1/4 1/2 | 1/8 1/8 1/4 1/4 | triplet 1/4
1/4 | triple 1/8 1/8 1/8 1/8]

are of frequent occurrence, I would propose a more comprehensive
definition--namely, that the first part of the bar consists
mostly of quicker notes than the latter part. But even this more
comprehensive definition does not comprehend all; it is a rule
which has many exceptions. [FOOTNOTE: See the musical
illustrations on pp. 217-218.] Le Sowinski mentions only one
classification of mazurkas. Several others, however, exist.
First, according to the district from which they derive--mazurkas
of Kujavia, of Podlachia, of Lublin, &c.; or, secondly, according
to their character, or to the purpose or occasion for which they
were composed: wedding, village, historical, martial, and
political mazurkas. And now let us hear what the poet Brodzinski
has to say about the nature of this dance:-

  The mazurek in its primitive form and as the common people
  dance is only a kind of krakowiak, only less lively and less
  sautillant. The agile Cracovians and the mountaineers of the
  Carpathians call the mazurek danced by the inhabitants of the
  plain but a dwarfed krakowiak. The proximity of the Germans,
  or rather the sojourn of the German troops, has caused the
  true character of the mazurek among the people to be lost;
  this dance hap become a kind of awkward waltz.

  With the people of the capital the real dances of the country
  are disfigured not only by the influx of foreigners, but
  especially also by the unfortunate employment of barrel-
  organs....It is this instrument which crushes among the people
  the practice of music, and takes the means of subsistence from
  the village fiddler, who becomes more and more rare since
  every tavern-keeper, in buying a barrel-organ, easily puts an
  end to all competition. We see already more and more disappear
  from our country sides these sweet songs and improvised
  refrains which the rustic minstrels remembered and repeated,
  and the truly national music gives way, alas! to the themes
  borrowed from the operas most in vogue.

  The mazurek, thus degenerated among the people, has been
  adopted by the upper classes who, in preserving the national
  allures, perfected it to the extent of rendering it, beyond
  doubt, one of the most graceful dances in Europe. This dance
  has much resemblance with the French quadrille, according to
  what is analogous in the characters of the two nations; in
  seeing these two dances one might say that a French woman
  dances only to please, and that a Polish woman pleases by
  abandoning herself to a kind of maiden gaiety--the graces
  which she displays come rather from nature than from art. A
  French female dancer recalls the ideal of Greek statues; a
  Polish female dancer has something which recalls the
  shepherdesses created by the imagination of the poets; if the
  former charms us, the latter attaches us.

  As modern dances lend themselves especially to the triumph of
  the women, because the costume of the men is so little
  favourable, it is noteworthy that the mazurek forms here an
  exception; for a young man, and especially a young Pole,
  remarkable by a certain amiable boldness, becomes soon the
  soul and hero of this dance. A light and in some sort pastoral
  dress for the women, and the Polish military costume so
  advantageous for the men, add to the charm of the picture
  which the mazurek presents to the eye of the painter. This
  dance permits to the whole body the most lively and varied
  movements, leaves the shoulders full liberty to bend with that
  ABANDON which, accompanied by a joyous laisser-aller and a
  certain movement of the foot striking the floor, is
  exceedingly graceful.

  One finds often a magic effect in the animated enthusiasm
  which characterises the different movements of the head--now
  proudly erect, now tenderly sunk on the bosom, now lightly
  inclined towards the shoulder, and always depicting in large
  traits the abundance of life and joy, shaded with simple,
  graceful, and delicate sentiments. Seeing in the mazurek the
  female dancer almost carried away in the arms and on the
  shoulders of her cavalier, abandoning herself entirely to his
  guidance, one thinks one sees two beings intoxicated with
  happiness and flying towards the celestial regions. The female
  dancer, lightly dressed, scarcely skimming the earth with her
  dainty foot, holding on by the hand of her partner, in the
  twinkling of an eye carried away by several others, and then,
  like lightning, precipitating herself again into the arms of
  the first, offers the image of the most happy and delightful
  creature. The music of the mazurek is altogether national and
  original; through its gaiety breathes usually something of
  melancholy--one might say that it is destined to direct the
  steps of lovers, whose passing sorrows are not without charm.

Chopin himself published forty-one mazurkas of his composition in
eleven sets of four, five, or three numbers--Op. 6, Quatre
Mazurkas, and Op. 7, Cinq Mazurkas, in December, 1832; Op. 17,
Quatre Mazurkas, in May, 1834; Op. 24, Quatre Mazurkas, in
November, 1835; Op. 30, Quatre Maazurkas, in December, 1837; Op.
33, Quatre Mazurkas, in October, 1838; Op. 41, Quatre Mazurkas,
in December, 1840; Op. 50, Trois Mazurkas, in November, 1841; Op,
56, Trois Mazurkas, in August, 1844; Op. 59, Trois Mazurkas, in
April, 1846; and Op. 63, Trois Mazurkas, in September, 1847. In
tne posthumous works published by Fontana there are two more
sets, each of four numbers, and respectively marked as Op. 67 and
68. Lastly, several other mazurkas composed by or attributed to
Chopin have been published without any opus number. Two mazurkas,
both in A minor, although very feeble compositions, are included
in the editions by Klindworth and Mikuli. The Breitkopf and
Hartel edition, which includes only one of these two mazurkas,
comprises further a mazurka in G major and one in B flat major of
1825, one in D major of 1829-30, a remodelling of the same of
1832--these have already been discussed--and a somewhat more
interesting one in C major of 1833. Of one of the two mazurkas in
A minor, a poor thing and for the most part little Chopinesque,
only the dedication (a son ami Rmile Gaillard) is known, but not
the date of composition. The other (the one not included in
Breitkopf and Hartel's, No. 50 of Mikuli's and Klindworth's
edition) appeared first as No. 2 of Noire Temps, a publication by
Schott's Sohne. On inquiry I learned that Notre Temps was the
general title of a series of 12 pieces by Czerny, Chopin,
Kalliwoda, Rosenhain, Thalberg, Kalkbrenner, Mendelssohn,
Bertini, Wolff, Kontski, Osborne, and Herz, which appeared in
1842 or 1843 as a Christmas Album. [FOONOTE: I find, however,
that Chopin's Mazurka was already separately announced as "Notre
Temps, No. 2," in the Monatsberichte of February, 1842.] Whether
a Mazurka elegante by Fr, Chopin, advertised in La France
Musicale of April 6, 1845, as en vente au Bureau de musique, 29,
Place de la Bourse, is identical with one of the above-enumerated
mazurkas I have not been able to discover. In the Klindworth
edition [FOOTNOTE: That is to say, in the original Russian, not
in the English (Augener and Co.'s) edition; and there only by the
desire of the publishers and against the better judgment of the
editor.] is also to be found a very un-Chopinesque Mazurka in F
sharp major, previously published by J. P. Gotthard, in Vienna,
the authorship of which Mr. E. Pauer has shown to belong to
Charles Mayer.

[FOOTNOTE: In an article, entitled Musical Plagiarism in the
Monthly Musical Record of July 1, 1882 (where also the mazurka in
question is reprinted), we read as follows:--"In 1877 Mr. E.
Pauer, whilst preparing a comprehensive guide through the entire
literature of the piano, looked through many thousand pieces for
that instrument published by German firms, and came across a
mazurka by Charles Mayer, published by Pietro Mechetti
(afterwards C. A. Spinal, and entitled Souvenirs de la Pologne. A
few weeks later a mazurka, a posthumous work of F. Chopin,
published by J. Gotthard, came into his hands. At first, although
the piece 'struck him as being an old acquaintance,' he could not
fix the time when and the place where he had heard it; but at
last the Mayer mazurka mentioned above returned to his
remembrance, and on comparing the two, he found that they were
one and the same piece. From the appearance of the title-page and
the size of the notes, Mr. Pauer, who has had considerable
experience in these matters, concluded that the Mayer copy must
have been published between the years 1840 and 1845, and wrote to
Mr. Gotthard pointing out the similarity of Chopin's posthumous
work, and asking how he came into possession of the Chopin
manuscript. Mr. Gotthard replied,'that he had bought the mazurka
as Chopin's autograph from a Polish countess, who, being in sad
distress, parted, though with the greatest sorrow, with the
composition of her illustrious compatriot.' Mr. Pauer naturally
concludes that Mr. Gotthard had been deceived, that the
manuscript was not a genuine autograph, and 'that the honour of
having composed the mazurka in question belongs to Charles
Mayer.' Mr. Pauer further adds: 'It is not likely that C. Mayer,
even if Chopin had made him a present of this mazurka, would have
published it during Chopin's lifetime as a work of his own, or
have sold or given it to the Polish countess. It is much more
likely that Mayer's mazurka was copied in the style of Chopin's
handwriting, and after Mayer's death in 1862 sold as Chopin's
autograph to Mr. Gotthard.'"]

Surveying the mazurkas in their totality, we cannot but notice
that there is a marked difference between those up to and those
above Op. 41. In the later ones we look in vain for the beautes
sauvages which charm us in the earlier ones--they strike us
rather by their propriety of manner and scholarly elaboration; in
short, they have more of reflective composition and less of
spontaneous effusion about them. This, however, must not be taken
too literally. There are exceptions, partial and total. The
"native wood-notes wild" make themselves often heard, only they
are almost as often stifled in the close air of the study.
Strange to say, the last opus (63) of mazurkas published by
Chopin has again something of the early freshness and poetry.
Schumann spoke truly when he said that some poetical trait,
something new, was to be found in every one of Chopin's mazurkas.
They are indeed teeming with interesting matter. Looked at from
the musician's point of view, how much do we not see that is
novel and strange, and beautiful and fascinating withal? Sharp
dissonances, chromatic passing notes, suspensions and
anticipations, displacements of accent, progressions of perfect
fifths (the horror of schoolmen), [FOOTNOTE: See especially the
passage near the close of Op. 30, No. 4, where there are four
bars of simultaneous consecutive fifths and sevenths.] sudden
turns and unexpected digressions that are so unaccountable, so
out of the line of logical sequence, that one's following the
composer is beset with difficulties, marked rhythm picture to us
the graceful motions of the dancers, and suggest the clashing of
the spurs and the striking of heels against the ground. The
second mazurka might be called "the request." All the arts of
persuasion are tried, from the pathetic to the playful, and a
vein of longing, not unmixed with sadness, runs through the
whole, or rather forms the basis of it. The tender commencement
of the second part is followed, as it were, by the several times
repeated questions--Yes? No? (Bright sunshine? Dark clouds?) But
there comes no answer, and the poor wretch has to begin anew. A
helpless, questioning uncertainty and indecision characterise the
third mazurka. For a while the composer gives way (at the
beginning of the second part) to anger, and speaks in a defiant
tone; but, as if perceiving the unprofitableness of it, returns
soon to his first strain. Syncopations, suspensions, and
chromatic passing notes form here the composer's chief stock in
trade, displacement of everything in melody, harmony, and rhythm
is the rule. Nobody did anything like this before Chopin, and, as
far as I know, nobody has given to the world an equally minute
and distinct representation of the same intimate emotional
experiences. My last remarks hold good with the fourth mazurka,
which is bleak and joyless till, with the entrance of A major, a
fairer prospect opens. But those jarring tones that strike in
wake the dreamer pitilessly. The commencement of the mazurka, as
well as the close on the chord of the sixth, the chromatic
glidings of the harmonies, the strange twirls and skips, give a
weird character to this piece.

The origin of the polonaise (Taniec Polski, Polish dance), like
that of the, no doubt, older mazurka, is lost in the dim past.
For much credit can hardly be given to the popular belief that it
developed out of the measured procession, to the sound of music,
of the nobles and their ladies, which is said to have first taken
place in 1574, the year after his election to the Polish throne,
when Henry of Anjou received the grandees of his realm. The
ancient polonaises were without words, and thus they were still
in the time of King Sobieski (1674-96). Under the subsequent
kings of the house of Saxony, however, they were often adapted to
words or words were adapted to them. Celebrated polonaises of
political significance are: the Polonaise of the 3rd of May,
adapted to words relative to the promulgation of the famous
constitution of the 3rd of May, 1791; the Kosciuszko Polonaise,
with words adapted to already existing music, dedicated to the
great patriot and general when, in 1792, the nation rose in
defence of the constitution; the Oginski Polonaise, also called
the Swan's song and the Partition of Poland, a composition
without words, of the year 1793 (at the time of the second
partition), by Prince Michael Cleophas Oginski. Among the Polish
composers of the second half of the last century and the
beginning of the present whose polonaises enjoyed in their day,
and partly enjoy still, a high reputation, are especially notable
Kozlowski, Kamienski, Elsner, Deszczynski, Bracicki, Wanski,
Prince Oginski, Kurpinski, and Dobrzynski. Outside Poland the
polonaise, both as an instrumental and vocal composition, both as
an independent piece and part of larger works, had during the
same period quite an extraordinary popularity. Whether we examine
the productions of the classics or those of the inferior
virtuosic and drawing-room composers, [FOOTNOTE: I should have
added "operatic composers."] everywhere we find specimens of the
polonaise. Pre-eminence among the most successful foreign
cultivators of this Polish dance has, however, been accorded to
Spohr and Weber. I said just now "this dance," but, strictly
speaking, the polonaise, which has been called a marche dansante,
is not so much a dance as a figured walk, or procession, full of
gravity and a certain courtly etiquette. As to the music of the
polonaise, it is in 3/4 time, and of a moderate movement (rather
slow than quick). The flowing and more or less florid melody has
rhythmically a tendency to lean on the second crotchet and even
on the second quaver of the bar (see illustration No. 1, a and
b), and generally concludes each of its parts with one of certain
stereotyped formulas of a similar rhythmical cast (see
illustration No. 2, a, b, c, and d). The usual accompaniment
consists of a bass note at the beginning of the bar followed,
except at the cadences, by five quavers, of which the first may
be divided into semiquavers. Chopin, however, emancipated himself
more and more from these conventionalities in his later poetic

[Two music score excerpts here, labeled No. 1 and No. 2]

  The polonaise [writes Brodzinski] is the only dance which
  suits mature age, and is not unbecoming to persons of elevated
  rank; it is the dance of kings, heroes, and even old men; it
  alone suits the martial dress. It does not breathe any
  passion, but seems to be only a triumphal march, an expression
  of chivalrous and polite manners. A solemn gravity presides
  always at the polonaise, which, perhaps, alone recalls neither
  the fire of primitive manners nor the gallantry of more
  civilised but more enervated ages. Besides these principal
  characteristics, the polonaise bears a singularly national and
  historical impress; for its laws recall an aristocratic
  republic with a disposition to anarchy, flowing less from the
  character of the people than from its particular legislation.
  In the olden times the polonaise was a kind of solemn
  ceremony. The king, holding by the hand the most distinguished
  personage of the assembly, marched at the head of a numerous
  train of couples composed of men alone: this dance, made more
  effective by the splendour of the chivalrous costumes, was
  only, strictly speaking, a triumphal march.

  If a lady was the object of the festival, it was her privilege
  to open the march, holding by the hand another lady. All the
  others followed until the queen of the ball, having offered
  her hand to one of the men standing round the room, induced
  the other ladies to follow her example.

  The ordinary polonaise is opened by the most distinguished
  person of the gathering, whose privilege it is to conduct the
  whole file of the dancers or to break it up. This is called in
  Polish rey wodzic, figuratively, to be the leader, in some
  sort the king (from the Latin rex). To dance at the head was
  also called to be the marshal, on account of the privileges of
  a marshal at the Diets. The whole of this form is connected
  with the memories and customs of raising the militia
  (pospolite), or rather of the gathering of the national
  assemblies in Poland. Hence, notwithstanding the deference
  paid to the leaders, who have the privilege of conducting at
  will the chain of dancers, it is allowable, by a singular
  practice made into a law, to dethrone a leader every time any
  bold person calls out odbiianego, which means retaken by force
  or reconquered; he who pronounces this word is supposed to
  wish to reconquer the hand of the first lady and the direction
  of the dance; it is a kind of act of liberum veto, to which
  everyone is obliged to give way. The leader then abandons the
  hand of his lady to the new pretender; every cavalier dances
  with the lady of the following couple, and it is only the
  cavalier of the last couple who finds himself definitively
  ousted if he has not the boldness to insist likewise upon his
  privilege of equality by demanding odbiianego, and placing
  himself at the head.

  But as a privilege of this nature too often employed would
  throw the whole ball into complete anarchy, two means are
  established to obviate this abuse--namely, the leader makes
  use of his right to terminate the polonaise, in imitation of a
  king or marshal dissolving a Diet, or else, according to the
  predominating wish, all the cavaliers leave the ladies alone
  in the middle, who then choose new partners and continue the
  dance, excluding the disturbers and discontented, which
  recalls the confederations employed for the purpose of making
  the will of the majority prevail.

  The polonaise breathes and paints the whole national
  character; the music of this dance, while admitting much art,
  combines something martial with a sweetness marked by the
  simplicity of manners of an agricultural people. Foreigners
  have distorted this character of the polonaises; the natives
  themselves preserve it less in our day in consequence of the
  frequent employment of motives drawn from modern operas. As to
  the dance itself, the polonaise has become in our day a kind
  of promenade which has little charm for the young, and is but
  a scene of etiquette for those of a riper age. Our fathers
  danced it with a marvellous ability and a gravity full of
  nobleness; the dancer, making gliding steps with energy, but
  without skips, and caressing his moustache, varied his
  movements by the position of his sabre, of his cap, and of
  his tucked-up coat-sleeves, distinctive signs of a free man
  and warlike citizen. Whoever has seen a Pole of the old school
  dance the polonaise in the national costume will confess
  without hesitation that this dance is the triumph of a well-
  made man, with a noble and proud tournure, and with an air at
  once manly and gay.

After this Brodzinski goes on to describe the way in which the
polonaise used to be danced. But instead of his description I
shall quote a not less true and more picturesque one from the
last canto of Mickiewicz's "Pan Tadeusz":--

  It is time to dance the polonaise. The President comes
  forward; he lightly throws back the fausses manches of his
  overcoat, caresses his moustache, presents his hand to Sophia:
  and, by a respectful salute, invites her for the first couple.
  Behind them range themselves the other dancers, two and two;
  the signal is given, the dance is begun, the President directs

  His red boots move over the green sward, his belt sends forth
  flashes of light; he proceeds slowly, as if at random: but in
  every one of his steps, in every one of his movements, one can
  read the feelings and the thoughts of the dancer. He stops as
  if to question his partner; he leans towards her, wishes to
  speak to her in an undertone. The lady turns away, does not
  listen, blushes. He takes off his cap, and salutes her
  respectfully. The lady is not disinclined to look at him, but
  persists in being silent. He slackens his pace, seeks to read
  in her eyes, and smiles. Happy in her mute answer, he walks
  more quickly, looking proudly at his rivals; now he draws his
  cap with the heron-feathers forward, now he pushes it back. At
  last he puts it on one side and turns up his moustaches. He
  withdraws; all envy him, all follow his footsteps. He would
  like to disappear with his lady. Sometimes he stops, raises
  politely his hand, and begs the dancers to pass by him.
  Sometimes he tries to slip dexterously away, changing the
  direction. He would like to deceive his companions; but the
  troublesome individuals follow him with a nimble step, entwine
  him with more and more tightened loops. He becomes angry; lays
  his right hand on his sword as if he wished to say: "Woe to
  the jealous!" He turns, pride on his countenance, a challenge
  in his air, and marches straight on the company, who give way
  at his approach, open to him a passage, and soon, by a rapid
  evolution, are off again in pursuit of him.

  On all sides one hears the exclamation: "Ah! this is perhaps
  the last. Look, young people, perhaps this is the last who
  will know how to conduct thus the polonaise!"

Among those of Chopin's compositions which he himself published
are, exclusive of the "Introduction et Polonaise brillante" for
piano and violoncello, Op. 3, eight polonaises--namely: "Grande
Polonaise brillante" (in E flat major), "precedee d'un Andante
spianato" (in G major), "pour le piano avec orchestre," Op. 22;
"Deux Polonaises" (in C sharp minor and E flat minor), Op. 26;
"Deux Polonaises" (in A major and C minor), Op. 40; "Polonaise"
(F sharp minor), Op. 44; "Polonaise" (in A flat major), Op. 53;
[FOOTNOTE: This polonaise is called the "eighth" on the title-
page, which, of course, it is only by including the "Polonaise,"
Op. 3, for piano and violoncello.] and "Polonaise-Fantaisie" (in
A flat major), Op. 61. The three early polonaises posthumously-
published by Fontana as Op. 71 have already been discussed in
Chapter VIII. Other posthumously-published polonaises--such as
the Polonaise in G sharp minor, to be found in Mikuli's edition,
and one in B flat minor of the year 1826, first published in the
supplement of the journal "Echo Muzyczne"--need not be considered
by us. [FOOTNOTE: Both polonaises are included in the Breitkopf
and Hartel edition, where the one in G sharp minor bears the
unlikely date 1822. The internal evidence speaks against this

Chopin's Polonaises Op. 26, 40, 53, and 61 are pre-eminently
political, they are the composer's expression of his patriotic
feelings. It is not difficult to recognise in them proud memories
of past splendours, sad broodings over present humiliations,
bright visions of a future resurrection. They are full of martial
chivalry, of wailing dejection, of conspiracy and sedition, of
glorious victories. The poetically-inferior Polonaise, Op. 22, on
the other hand, while unquestionably Polish in spirit, is not
political. Chopin played this work, which was probably composed,
or at least sketched, in 1830, [FOOTNOTE: See Vol. I., Chapter
xiii., pp. 201, 202.] and certainly published in July, 1836, for
the first time in public at a Paris Conservatoire concert for the
benefit of Habeneck on April 26, 1835; and this was the only
occasion on which he played it with orchestral accompaniments.
The introductory Andante (in G major, and 6/8 time), as the
accompanying adjective indicates, is smooth and even. It makes
one think of a lake on a calm, bright summer day. A boat glides
over the pellucid, unruffled surface of the water, by-and-by
halts at a shady spot by the shore, or by the side of some island
(3/4 time), then continues its course (f time), and finally
returns to its moorings (3/4). I can perceive no connection
between the Andante and the following Polonaise (in E flat major)
except the factitious one of a formal and forced transition, with
which the orchestra enters on the scene of action (Allegro molto,
3/4). After sixteen bars of tutti, the pianoforte commences,
unaccompanied, the polonaise. Barring the short and in no way
attractive and remarkable test's, the orchestra plays a very
subordinate and often silent role, being, indeed, hardly missed
when the pianoforte part is. played alone. The pronounced bravura
character of the piece would warrant the supposition that it was
written expressly for the concert-room, even if the orchestral
accompaniments were not there to prove the fact. A proud bearing,
healthful vigour, and sprightly vivacity distinguish Chopin on
this occasion. But notwithstanding the brave appearance, one
misses his best qualities. This polonaise illustrates not only
the most brilliant, but also the least lovable features of the
Polish character--ostentatiousness and exaggerated rhetoric. In
it Chopin is discovered posturing, dealing in phrases, and
coquetting with sentimental affectations. In short, the composer
comes before us as a man of the world, intent on pleasing, and
sure of himself and success. The general airiness of the style is
a particularly-noticeable feature of this piece of Chopin's
virtuosic period.

The first bars of the first (in C sharp minor) of the two
Polonaises, Op. 26 (published in July, 1836), fall upon one's ear
like a decision of irresistible, inexorable fate. Indignation
flares up for a moment, and then dies away, leaving behind
sufficient strength only for a dull stupor (beginning of the
second part), deprecation, melting tenderness (the E major in the
second part, and the closing bars of the first and second parts),
and declarations of devotion (meno mosso). While the first
polonaise expresses weak timidity, sweet plaintiveness, and a
looking for help from above, the second one (in E flat minor)
speaks of physical force and self-reliance--it is full of
conspiracy and sedition. The ill-suppressed murmurs of
discontent, which may be compared to the ominous growls of a
volcano, grow in loudness and intensity, till at last, with a
rush and a wild shriek, there follows an explosion. The thoughts
flutter hither and thither, in anxious, helpless agitation. Then
martial sounds are heard--a secret gathering of a few, which soon
grows in number and in boldness. Now they draw nearer; you
distinguish the clatter of spurs and weapons, the clang of
trumpets (D flat major). Revenge and death are their watchwords,
and with sullen determination they stare desolation in the face
(the pedal F with the trebled part above). After an interesting
transition the first section returns. In the meno mosso (B major)
again a martial rhythm is heard; this time, however, the
gathering is not one for revenge and death, but for battle and
victory. From the far-off distance the winds carry the message
that tells of freedom and glory. But what is this (the four bars
before the tempo I.)? Alas! the awakening from a dream. Once more
we hear those sombre sounds, the shriek and explosion, and so on.
Of the two Polonaises, Op. 26, the second is the grander, and the
definiteness which distinguishes it from the vague first shows
itself also in the form.

A greater contrast than the two Polonaises, Op. 40 (published in
November, 1840), can hardly be imagined. In the first (in A
major) the mind of the composer is fixed on one elating thought--
he sees the gallantly-advancing chivalry of Poland, determination
in every look and gesture; he hears rising above the noise of
stamping horses and the clash of arms their bold challenge
scornfully hurled at the enemy. In the second (in C minor), on
the other hand, the mind of the composer turns from one
depressing or exasperating thought to another--he seems to review
the different aspects of his country's unhappy state, its sullen
discontent, fretful agitation, and uncertain hopes. The manly
Polonaise in A major, one of the simplest (not easiest)
compositions of Chopin, is the most popular of his polonaises.
The second polonaise, however, although not so often heard, is
the more interesting one, the emotional contents being more
varied, and engaging more our sympathy. Further, the pianoforte,
however fully and effectively employed, cannot do justice to the
martial music of the one, while its capacities are well suited
for the rendering of the less material effect of the other. In
conclusion, let me point out in the C minor Polonaise the chafing
agitation of the second part, the fitful play between light and
shade of the trio-like part in A flat major, and the added
wailing voice in the recurring first portion at the end of the
piece. [FOOTNOTE: In connection with the A major Polonaise, see
last paragraph on next page.]

If Schiller is right in saying "Ernst ist das Leben, heiter ist
die Kunst," then what we find in the Polonaise (in F sharp
minor), Op. 44 (published in November, 1841), cannot be art. We
look in vain for beauty of melody and harmony; dreary unisons,
querulous melodic phrases, hollow-eyed chords, hard progressions
and modulations throughout every part of the polonaise proper. We
receive a pathological rather than aesthetical impression.
Nevertheless, no one can deny the grandeur and originality that
shine through this gloom. The intervening Doppio movimento, tempo
di Mazurka, sends forth soft beneficent rays--reminiscences of
long ago, vague and vanishing, sweet and melancholy. But there is
an end to this as to all such dreams. Those harassing,
exasperating gloomy thoughts (Tempo di Polacca) return. The sharp
corners which we round so pleasantly and beautifully in our
reconstructions of the past make themselves only too soon felt in
the things of the present, and cruelly waken us to reality and
its miseries.

The Polonaise, Op. 53 (in A flat major; published in December,
1843), is one of the most stirring compositions of Chopin,
manifesting an overmastering power and consuming fire. But is it
really the same Chopin, is it the composer of the dreamy
nocturnes, the elegant waltzes, who here fumes and frets,
struggling with a fierce, suffocating rage (mark the rushing
succession of chords of the sixth, the growling semiquaver
figures, and the crashing dissonances of the sixteen introductory
bars), and then shouts forth, sure of victory, his bold and
scornful challenge? And farther on, in the part of the polonaise
where the ostinato semiquaver figure in octaves for the left hand
begins, do we not hear the trampling of horses, the clatter of
arms and spurs, and the sound of trumpets? Do we not hear--yea,
and see too--a high-spirited chivalry approaching and passing?
Only pianoforte giants can do justice to this martial tone-
picture, the physical strength of the composer certainly did not

The story goes that when Chopin played one of his polonaises in
the night-time, just after finishing its composition, he saw the
door open, and a long train of Polish knights and ladies, dressed
in antique costumes, enter through it and defile past him. This
vision filled the composer with such terror that he fled through
the opposite door, and dared not return to the room the whole
night. Karasowski says that the polonaise in question is the last-
mentioned one, in A flat major; but from M. Kwiatkowski, who
depicted the scene three times, [FOOTNOTE: "Le Reve de Chopin," a
water-colour, and two sketches in oils representing, according to
Chopin's indication (d'apres l'avis de Chopin), the polonaise.]
learned that it is the one in A major, No. 1 of Op. 40, dedicated
to Fontana.

I know of no more affecting composition among all the productions
of Chopin than the "Polonaise-Fantaisie" (in A flat major), Op.
61 (published in September, 1846). What an unspeakable,
unfathomable wretchedness reveals itself in these sounds! We gaze
on a boundless desolation. These lamentations and cries of
despair rend our heart, these strange, troubled wanderings from
thought to thought fill us with intensest pity. There are
thoughts of sweet resignation, but the absence of hope makes them
perhaps the saddest of all. The martial strains, the bold
challenges, the shouts of triumph, which we heard so often in the
composer's polonaises, are silenced.

  An elegiac sadness [says Liszt] predominates, intersected by
  wild movements, melancholy smiles, unexpected starts, and
  intervals of rest full of dread such as those experience who
  have been surprised by an ambuscade, who are surrounded on all
  sides, for whom there dawns no hope upon the vast horizon, and
  to whose brain despair has gone like a deep draught of Cyprian
  wine, which gives a more instinctive rapidity to every
  gesture, a sharper point to every emotion, causing the mind to
  arrive at a pitch of irritability bordering on madness.

Thus, although comprising thoughts that in beauty and grandeur
equal--I would almost say surpass-anything Chopin has written,
the work stands, on account of its pathological contents, outside
the sphere of art.

Chopin's waltzes, the most popular of his compositions, are not
poesie intime like the greater number of his works. [FOOTNOTE:
Op. 34, No. 2, and Op. 64, No. 2, however, have to be excepted,
to some extent at least.] In them the composer mixes with the
world-looks without him rather than within--and as a man of the
world conceals his sorrows and discontents under smiles and
graceful manners. The bright brilliancy and light pleasantness of
the earlier years of his artistic career, which are almost
entirely lost in the later years, rise to the surface in the
waltzes. These waltzes are salon music of the most aristocratic
kind. Schumann makes Florestan say of one of them, and he might
have said it of all, that he would not play it unless one half of
the female dancers were countesses. But the aristocraticalness of
Chopin's waltzes is real, not conventional; their exquisite
gracefulness and distinction are natural, not affected. They are,
indeed, dance-poems whose content is the poetry of waltz-rhythm
and movement, and the feelings these indicate and call forth. In
one of his most extravagantly-romantic critical productions
Schumann speaks, in connection with Chopin's Op. 18, "Grande
Valse brillante," the first-published (in June, 1834) of his
waltzes, of "Chopin's body and mind elevating waltz," and its
"enveloping the dancer deeper and deeper in its floods." This
language is altogether out of proportion with the thing spoken
of; for Op. 18 differs from the master's best waltzes in being,
not a dance-poem, but simply a dance, although it must be
admitted that it is an exceedingly spirited one, both as regards
piquancy and dash. When, however, we come to Op. 34, "Trois
Valses brillantes" (published in December, 1838), Op. 42, "Valse"
(published in July, 1840), and Op. 64, "Trois Valses" (published
in September, 1847), the only other waltzes published by him, we
find ourselves face to face with true dance-poems. Let us tarry
for a moment over Op. 34. How brisk the introductory bars of the
first (in A flat major) of these three waltzes! And what a
striking manifestation of the spirit of that dance all that
follows! We feel the wheeling motions; and where, at the
seventeenth bar of the second part, the quaver figure enters, we
think we see the flowing dresses sweeping round. Again what
vigour in the third part, and how coaxingly tender the fourth!
And, lastly, the brilliant conclusion--the quavers intertwined
with triplets! The second waltz (in A minor; Lento) is of quite
another, of a more retired and private, nature, an exception to
the rule. The composer evidently found pleasure in giving way to
this delicious languor, in indulging in these melancholy thoughts
full of sweetest, tenderest loving and longing. But here words
will not avail. One day when Stephen Heller--my informant--was at
Schlesinger's music-shop in Paris, Chopin entered. The latter,
hearing Heller ask for one of his waltzes, inquired of him which
of them he liked best. "It is difficult to say which I like
best," replied Heller, "for I like them all; but if I were
pressed for an answer I would probably say the one in A minor."
This gave Chopin much pleasure. "I am glad you do," he said; "it
is also my favourite." And in an exuberance of amiability he
invited Heller to lunch with him, an invitation which was
accepted, the two artists taking the meal together at the Cafe
Riche. The third waltz (in F major; Vivace) shows a character
very different from the preceding one. What a stretching of
muscles! What a whirling! Mark the giddy motions of the melody
beginning at bar seventeen! Of this waltz of Chopin's and the
first it is more especially true what Schumann said of all three:
"Such flooding life moves within these waltzes that they seem to
have been improvised in the ball-room." And the words which the
same critic applies to Op. 34 may be applied to all the waltzes
Chopin published himself--"They must please; they are of another
stamp than the usual waltzes, and in the style in which they can
only be conceived by Chopin when he looks in a grandly-artistic
way into the dancing crowd, which he elevates by his playing,
thinking of other things than of what is being danced." In the A
flat major waltz which bears the opus number 42, the duple rhythm
of the melody along with the triple one of the accompaniment
seems to me indicative of the loving nestling and tender
embracing of the dancing couples. Then, after the smooth
gyrations of the first period, come those sweeping motions, free
and graceful like those of birds, that intervene again and again
between the different portions of the waltz. The D flat major
part bubbles over with joyousness. In the sostenuto, on the other
hand, the composer becomes sentimental, protests, and heaves
sighs. But at the very height of his rising ardour he suddenly
plunges back into that wild, self-surrendering, heaven and earth-
forgetting joyousness--a stroke of genius as delightful as it is
clever. If we do not understand by the name of scherzo a fixed
form, but rather a state of mind, we may say that Chopin's
waltzes are his scherzos and not the pieces to which he has given
that name. None of Chopin's waltzes is more popular than the
first of Op. 64 (in D flat major). And no wonder! The life, flow,
and oneness are unique; the charm of the multiform motions is
indescribable. That it has been and why it has been called valse
au petit chien need here only be recalled to the reader's
recollection (see Chapter XXVI., p. 142). No. 2 (in C sharp
minor); different as it is, is in its own way nearly as perfect
as No. 1. Tender, love-sick longing cannot be depicted more
truthfully, sweetly, and entrancingly. The excellent No. 3 (in A
flat major), with the exquisite serpentining melodic lines, which
play so important a part in Chopin's waltzes, and other beautiful
details, is in a somewhat trying position beside the other two
waltzes. The non-publication by the composer of the waltzes which
have got into print, thanks to the zeal of his admirers and the
avidity of publishers, proves to me that he was a good judge of
his own works. Fontana included in his collection of posthumous
compositions five waltzes--"Deux Valses," Op. 69 (in F minor, of
1836; in B minor, of 1829);. and "Trois Valses," Op. 70 (in G
flat major, of 1835; in F minor, of 1843; in D flat major, of
1830). There are further a waltz in E minor and one in E major
(of 1829). [FOOTNOTE: The "Deux Valses melancoliques" (in F minor
and B minor), ecrits sur l'album de Madame la Comtesse P., 1844
(Cracow: J. Wildt), the English edition of which (London: Edwin
Ashdown) is entitled "Une soiree en 1844," "Deux Valses
melancoliques," are Op. 70. No. 2, and Op. 69, No. 2, of the
works of Chopin posthumously published by Fontana.] Some of these
waltzes I discussed already when speaking of the master's early
compositions, to which they belong. The last-mentioned waltz,
which the reader will find in Mikuli's edition (No. 15 of the
waltzes), and also in Breitkopf and Hartel's (No. 22 of the
Posthumous works), is a very weak composition; and of all the
waltzes not published by the composer himself it may be said that
what is good in them has been expressed better in others.

We have of Chopin 27 studies: Op. 10, "Douze Etudes," published
in July, 1833; Op. 25, "Douze Etudes," published in October,
1837; and "Trois nouvelles Etudes," which, before being
separately published, appeared in 1840 in the "Methode des
Methodes pour le piano" by F. J. Fetis and I. Moscheles. The
dates of their publication, as in the case of many other works,
do not indicate the approximate dates of their composition.
Sowinski tells us, for instance, that Chopin brought the first
book of his studies with him to Paris in 1831. A Polish musician
who visited the French capital in 1834 heard Chopin play the
studies contained in Op. 25. And about the last-mentioned opus we
read in a critical notice by Schumann, who had, no doubt, his
information directly from Chopin: "The studies which have now
appeared [that is, those of Op. 25] were almost all composed at
the same time as the others [that is, those of Op. 10] and only
some of them, the greater masterliness of which is noticeable,
such as the first, in A flat major, and the splendid one in C
minor [that is, the twelfth] but lately." Regarding the Trois
nouvelles Etudes without OPUS number we have no similar
testimony. But internal evidence seems to show that these weakest
of the master's studies--which, however, are by no means
uninteresting, and certainly very characteristic--may be regarded
more than Op. 25 as the outcome of a gleaning. In two of Chopin's
letters of the year 1829, we meet with announcements of his
having composed studies. On the 2Oth of October he writes: "I
have composed a study in my own manner"; and on the 14th of
November: "I have written some studies." From Karasowski learn
that the master composed the twelfth study of Op. 10 during his
stay in Stuttgart, being inspired by the capture of Warsaw by the
Russians, which took place on September 8, 1831. Whether looked
at from the aesthetical or technical point of view, Chopin's
studies will be seen to be second to those of no composer. Were
it not wrong to speak of anything as absolutely best, their
excellences would induce one to call them unequalled. A striking
feature in them compared with Chopin's other works is their
healthy freshness and vigour. Even the slow, dreamy, and elegiac
ones have none of the faintness and sickliness to be found in not
a few of the composer's pieces, especially in several of the
nocturnes. The diversity of character exhibited by these studies
is very great. In some of them the aesthetical, in others the
technical purpose predominates; in a few the two are evenly
balanced: in none is either of them absent. They give a summary
of Chopin's ways and means, of his pianoforte language: chords in
extended positions, wide-spread arpeggios, chromatic progressions
(simple, in thirds, and in octaves), simultaneous combinations of
contrasting rhythms, &c--nothing is wanting. In playing them or
hearing them played Chopin's words cannot fail to recur to one's
mind: "I have composed a study in my own manner." Indeed, the
composer's demands on the technique of the executant were so
novel at the time when the studies made their first public
appearance that one does not wonder at poor blind Rellstab being
staggered, and venting his feelings in the following uncouthly-
jocular manner: "Those who have distorted fingers may put them
right by practising these studies; but those who have not, should
not play them, at least not without having a surgeon at hand." In
Op. 10 there are three studies especially noteworthy for their
musical beauty. The third (Lento ma non troppo, in E major) and
the sixth (Andante, in E flat minor) may be reckoned among
Chopin's loveliest compositions. They combine classical
chasteness of contour with the fragrance of romanticism. And the
twelfth study (Allegro con fuoco, in C minor), the one composed
at Stuttgart after the fall of Warsaw, how superbly grand! The
composer seems to be fuming with rage: the left hand rushes
impetuously along and the right hand strikes in with passionate
ejaculations. With regard to the above-named Lento ma non troppo
(Op. 10, No. 3), Chopin said to Gutmann that he had never in his
life written another such beautiful melody (CHANT); and on one
occasion when Gutmann was studying it the master lifted up his
arms with his hands clasped and exclaimed: "O, my fatherland!"
("O, me patrie!") I share with Schumann the opinion that the
total weight of Op. 10 amounts to more than that of Op. 25. Like
him I regard also Nos. 1 and 12 as the most important items of
the latter collection of studies: No. 1 (Allegro sostenuto, in A
flat major)--a tremulous mist below, a beautiful breezy melody
floating above, and once or twice a more opaque body becoming
discernible within the vaporous element--of which Schumann says
that "after listening to the study one feels as one does after a
blissful vision, seen in a dream, which, already half-awake, one
would fain bring back": [FOOTNOTE: See the whole quotation, Vol.
I., p. 310.] and No. 12 (in C minor, Allegro molto con fuoco), in
which the emotions rise not less than the waves of arpeggios (in
both hands) which symbolise them. Stephen Heller's likings differ
from Schumann's. Discussing Chopin's Op. 25 in the Gazette
musicale of February 24, 1839, he says:--

  What more do we require to pass one or several evenings in as
  perfect a happiness as possible? As for me, I seek in this
  collection of poesy (this is the only name appropriate to the
  works of Chopin) some favourite pieces which I might fix in my
  memory rather than others. Who could retain everything? For
  this reason I have in my note book quite particularly marked
  the numbers 4, 5, and 7 of the present poems. Of these twelve
  much-loved studies (every one of which has a charm of its own)
  these three numbers are those I prefer to all the rest.

In connection with the fourth, Heller points out that it reminds
him of the first bar of the Kyrie (rather the Requiem aeternam)
of Mozart's Requiem. And of the seventh study he remarks:--

  It engenders the sweetest sadness, the most enviable torments;
  and if in playing it one feels one's self insensibly drawn
  towards mournful and melancholy ideas, it is a disposition of
  the soul which I prefer to all others. Alas! how I love these
  sombre and mysterious dreams, and Chopin is the god who
  creates them.

This No. 7 (in C sharp minor, lento), a duet between a HE and a
SHE, of whom the former shows himself more talkative and emphatic
than the latter, is, indeed, very sweet, but perhaps, also
somewhat tiresomely monotonous, as such tete-a-tete naturally are
to third parties. As a contrast to No. 7, and in conclusion--
leaving several aerial flights and other charming conceptions
undiscussed--I will yet mention the octave study, No. 10, which
is a real pandemonium; for a while holier sounds intervene, but
finally hell prevails.

The genesis of the Vingt-quatre Preludes, Op. 28, published in
September, 1839, I have tried to elucidate in the twenty-first
chapter. I need, therefore, not discuss the question here. The
indefinite character and form of the prelude, no doubt,
determined the choice of the title which, however, does not
describe the contents of this OPUS. Indeed, no ONE name could do
so. This heterogeneous collection of pieces reminds me of nothing
so much as of an artist's portfolio filled with drawings in all
stages of advancement--finished and unfinished, complete and
incomplete compositions, sketches and mere memoranda, all mixed
indiscriminately together. The finished works were either too
small or too slight to be sent into the world separately, and the
right mood for developing, completing, and giving the last touch
to the rest was gone, and could not be found again. Schumann,
after expressing his admiration for these preludes, as well he
might, adds: "This book contains morbid, feverish, and repellent
matter." I do not think that there is much that could justly be
called repellent; but the morbidity and feverishness of a
considerable portion must be admitted.

  I described the preludes [writes Schumann] as remarkable. To
  confess the truth, I expected they would be executed like the
  studies, in the grandest style. Almost the reverse is the
  case; they are sketches, commencements of studies, or, if you
  will, ruins, single eagle-wings, all strangely mixed together.
  But in his fine nonpareil there stands in every piece:--
  "Frederick Chopin wrote it." One recognises him by the violent
  breathing during the rests. He is, and remains, the proudest
  poet-mind of the time.

The almost infinite and infinitely-varied beauties collected in
this treasure-trove denominated Vingt-quatre Preludes could only
be done justice to by a minute analysis, for which, however,
there is no room here. I must content myself with a word or two
about a few of them, picked out at random. No. 4 is a little poem
the exquisitely-sweet languid pensiveness of which defies
description. The composer seems to be absorbed in the narrow
sphere of his ego, from which the wide, noisy world is for the
time being shut out. In No. 6 we have, no doubt, the one of which
George Sand said that it occurred to Chopin one evening while
rain was falling, and that it "precipitates the soul into a
frightful depression."30 [FOOTNOTE: See George Sand's account and
description in Chapter XXI., p. 43.] How wonderfully the
contending rhythms of the accompaniment, and the fitful, jerky
course of the melody, depict in No. 8 a state of anxiety and
agitation! The premature conclusion of that bright vivacious
thing No. 11 fills one with regret. Of the beautifully-melodious
No. 13, the piu lento and the peculiar closing bars are
especially noteworthy. No. 14 invites a comparison with the
finale of the B flat minor Sonata. In the middle section (in C
sharp minor) of the following number (in D flat major), one of
the larger pieces, rises before one's mind the cloistered court
of the monastery of Valdemosa, and a procession of monks chanting
lugubrious prayers, and carrying in the dark hours of night their
departed brother to his last resting-place. It reminds one of the
words of George Sand, that the monastery was to Chopin full of
terrors and phantoms. This C sharp minor portion of No. 15
affects one like an oppressive dream; the re-entrance of the
opening D flat major, which dispels the dreadful nightmare, comes
upon one with the smiling freshness of dear, familiar nature--
only after these horrors of the imagination can its serene beauty
be fully appreciated. No. 17, another developed piece, strikes
one as akin to Mendelssohn's Songs without Words. I must not omit
to mention No. 21, one of the finest of the collection, with its
calming cantilena and palpitating quaver figure. Besides the set
of twenty-four preludes, Op. 28, Chopin published a single one,
Op. 45, which appeared in December, 1841. This composition
deserves its name better than almost anyone of the twenty-four;
still, I would rather call it an improvisata. It seems
unpremeditated, a heedless outpouring when sitting at the piano
in a lonely, dreary hour, perhaps in the twilight. The quaver
figure rises aspiringly, and the sustained parts swell out
proudly. The piquant cadenza forestalls in the progression of
diminished chords favourite effects of some of our more modern
composers. The modulation from C sharp minor to D major and back
again (after the cadenza) is very striking and equally beautiful.

It can hardly be said, although Liszt seemed to be of a different
opinion, that Chopin created a new type by his preludes--they are
too unlike each other in form and character. On the other hand,
he has done so by his four scherzos--Op. 20 (in B minor),
published in February, 1835; Op. 31 (B flat minor), published in
December, 1837; Op. 39 (C sharp minor), published in October,
1840; and Op. 54 (in E major), published in December, 1843. "How
is 'gravity' to clothe itself, if 'jest' goes about in dark
veils?" exclaims Schumann. No doubt, scherzo, if we consider the
original meaning of the word, is a misnomer. But are not
Beethoven's scherzos, too, misnamed? To a certain extent they
are. But if Beethoven's scherzos often lack frolicsomeness, they
are endowed with humour, whereas Chopin's have neither the one
nor the other. Were it not that we attach, especially since
Mendelssohn's time, the idea of lightness and light-heartedness
to the word capriccio, this would certainly be the more
descriptive name for the things Chopin entitled SCHERZO. But what
is the use of carping at a name? Let us rather look at the
things, and thus employ our time better. Did ever composer begin
like Chopin in his Premier Scherzo, Op. 20? Is this not like a
shriek of despair? and what follows, bewildered efforts of a soul
shut in by a wall of circumstances through which it strives in
vain to break? at last sinking down with fatigue, dreaming a
dream of idyllic beauty? but beginning the struggle again as soon
as its strength is recruited? Schumann compared the second
SCHERZO, Op. 31, to a poem of Byron's, "so tender, so bold, as
full of love as of scorn." Indeed, scorn--an element which does
not belong to what is generally understood by either
frolicsomeness or humour--plays an important part in Chopin's
scherzos. The very beginning of Op. 31 offers an example.

[FOOTNOTE: "It must be a question [the doubled triplet figure A,
B flat, d flat, in the first bar], taught Chopin, and for him it
was never question enough, never piano enough, never vaulted
(tombe) enough, as he said, never important enough. It must be a
charnel-house, he said on one occasion." (W. von Lenz, in Vol.
XXVI. of the Berliner Musikzeitung.)]

And then, we do not meet with a phrase of a more cheerful nature
which is not clouded by sadness. Weber--I mention his name
intentionally--would, for instance, in the D flat major portion
have concluded the melodic phrase in diatonic progression and
left the harmony pure. Now see what Chopin does. The con anima
has this mark of melancholy still more distinctly impressed upon
it. After the repetition of the capricious, impulsively-
passionate first section (in B flat minor and D flat major)
follows the delicious second, the expression of which is as
indescribable as that of Leonardo da Vinci's "La Gioconda." It is
a pondering and wondering full of longing. In the deep, tender
yearning, with the urging undercurrent of feeling, of the C sharp
minor portion, the vague dreaming of the preceding portion of the
section grows into wakefulness, and the fitful imagination is
concentrated on one object. Without continuing the emotional or
entering on a formal analysis of this scherzo, I venture to say
that it is a very important composition, richer and more varied
in emotional incidents than the other works of Chopin which bear
the same name. More than to any one of the master's scherzos, the
name capriccio would be suitable to his third "Scherzo," Op. 39,
with its capricious starts and changes, its rudderless drifting.
Peevishness, a fierce scornfulness, and a fretful agitation, may
be heard in these sounds, of jest and humour there is nothing
perceptible. At any rate, the curled lip, as it were, contradicts
the jesting words, and the careless exterior does not altogether
conceal the seething rage within. But with the meno mosso (D flat
major) come pleasanter thoughts. The hymn-like snatches of
sustained melody with the intervening airy interludes are very
lovely. These are the principal features, to describe all the
whims is of course impossible. You may call this work an
extravaganza, and point out its grotesqueness; but you must admit
that only by this erratic character of the form and these
spasmodic movements, could be expressed the peculiar restiveness,
fitfulness, and waywardness of thought and feeling that
characterise Chopin's individuality. To these unclassical
qualities--for classical art is above all plastic and self-
possessed--combined as they are with a high degree of refinement
and delicacy, his compositions owe much of their peculiar charm.
The absence of scorn distinguishes the fourth "Scherzo," Op. 54,
from the other three; but, like them, although less closely
wrapped, it wears dark veils. The tripping fairy steps which we
find in bars 17-20 and in other places are a new feature in
Chopin. As to the comparative value of the work, it seems to me
inferior to its brothers. The first section is too fragmentary to
give altogether satisfaction. One is hustled from one phrase to
another, and they are as unlike each other as can well be
imagined. The beauty of many of the details, however, must be
acknowledged; indeed, the harmonic finesses, the melodic cunning,
and rhythmical piquancy, are too potent to be ignored. The
resting-place and redeeming part of this scherzo is the sweetly-
melodious second section, with its long, smooth, gently and
beautifully-curved lines. Also the return to the repetition of
the first section is very interesting. This scherzo has the
appearance of being laboured, painfully hammered and welded
together. But as the poet is born, not made-which "being born" is
not brought about without travail, nor makes the less desirable a
careful bringing-up--so also does a work of art owe what is best
in it to a propitious concurrence of circumstances in the natal

The contents of Chopin's impromptus are of a more pleasing nature
than those of the scherzos. Like the latter they are wayward, but
theirs is a charming, lovable waywardness. The composer's three
first impromptus were published during his lifetime: Op. 29 in
December, 1837; Op. 36 in May, 1840; and Op. 51 in February,
1843. The fourth impromptu ("Fantaisie-Impromptu"), Op. 66, is a
posthumous publication. What name has been more misapplied than
that of impromptu? Again and again we meet with works thus
christened which bear upon them the distinct marks of painful
effort and anxious filing, which maybe said to smell of the mid-
night lamp, and to be dripping with the hard-working artificer's
sweat. How Chopin produced the "Impromptu," Op. 29 (in A flat
major), I do not know. Although an admired improviser, the
process of composition was to him neither easy nor quick. But be
this as it may, this impromptu has quite the air of a
spontaneous, unconstrained outpouring. The first section with its
triplets bubbles forth and sparkles like a fountain on which the
sunbeams that steal through the interstices of the overhanging
foliage are playing. The F minor section is sung out clearly and
heartily, with graces beautiful as nature's. The song over, our
attention is again attracted by the harmonious murmuring and the
changing lights of the water. The "Deuxieme Impromptu," Op. 36
(in F sharp major), is, like the first, a true impromptu, but
while the first is a fresh and lusty welling forth of joy amidst
the pleasures of a present reality, this is a dreamy lingering
over thoughts and scenes of the imagination that appear and
vanish like dissolving views. One would wish to have a programme
of this piece. Without such assistance the D major section of the
impromptu is insignificant. We want to see, or at least to know,
who the persons that walk in the procession which the music
accompanies are. Some bars in the second half of this section
remind one of Schumann's "Fantasia" in C. After this section a
curious transition leads in again the theme, which first appeared
in F sharp major, in F major, and with a triplet accompaniment.
When F sharp major is once more reached, the theme is still
further varied (melodically), till at last the wondrous, fairy-
like phrase from the first section brings the piece to a
conclusion. This impromptu is inferior to the first, having less
pith in it; but its tender sweetness and euphony cannot be
denied. The idle forgetfulness of the more serious duties and the
deep miseries of life in the enjoyment of a dolce far niente
recalls Schubert and the "Fantasia," Op. 78, and other works of
his. In the "Troisieme Impromptu" (in G flat major), Op. 51, the
rhythmical motion and the melodical form of the two parts that
serpentine their lines in opposite directions remind one of the
first impromptu (in A flat), but the characters of these pieces
are otherwise very unlike. The earlier work is distinguished by a
brisk freshness; the later one by a feverish restlessness and
faint plaintiveness. After the irresolute flutter of the relaxing
and enervating chromatic progressions and successions of thirds
and sixths, the greater steadiness of the middle section, more
especially the subdued strength and passionate eloquence at the D
flat major, has a good effect. But here, too, the languid,
lamenting chromatic passing and auxiliary notes are not wanting,
and the anxious, breathless accompaniment does not make things
more cheerful. In short, the piece is very fine in its way, but
the unrelieved, or at least very insufficiently relieved,
morbidezza is anything but healthy. We may take note of the plain
chord progressions which intervene in the first and last sections
of the impromptu; such progressions are of frequent occurrence in
Chopin's works. Is there not something pleonastic in the title
"Fantaisie-Impromptu?" Whether the reader may think so or not, he
will agree with me that the fourth impromptu (in C sharp minor),
Op. 66, is the most valuable of the compositions published by
Fontana; indeed, it has become one of the favourites of the
pianoforte-playing world. Spontaneity of emotional expression and
effective treatment of the pianoforte distinguish the Fantaisie-
Impromptu. In the first section we have the restless, surging,
gushing semiquavers, carrying along with them a passionate,
urging melody, and the simultaneous waving triplet accompaniment;
in the second section, where the motion of the accompaniment is
on the whole preserved, the sonorous, expressive cantilena in D
flat major; the third section repeats the first, which it
supplements with a coda containing a reminiscence of the
cantilena of the second section, which calms the agitation of the
semiquavers. According to Fontana, Chopin composed this piece
about 1834. Why did he keep it in his portfolio? I suspect he
missed in it, more especially in the middle section, that degree
of distinction and perfection of detail which alone satisfied his
fastidious taste.

Among Chopin's nocturnes some of his most popular works are to be
found. Nay, the most widely-prevailing idea of his character as a
man and musician seems to have been derived from them. But the
idea thus formed is an erroneous one; these dulcet, effeminate
compositions illustrate only one side of the master's character,
and by no means the best or most interesting. Notwithstanding
such precious pearls as the two Nocturnes, Op. 37, and a few
others, Chopin shows himself greater both as a man and a musician
in every other class of pieces he has originated and cultivated,
more especially in his polonaises, ballades, and studies. That,
however, there is much to be admired in the class now under
consideration will be seen from the following brief comments on
the eighteen nocturnes (leaving out of account the one of the
year 1828 published by Fontana as Op. 72, No. 1, and already
discussed in an earlier chapter) which Chopin gave to the world--
Op. 9, Trois Nocturnes, in January, 1833; Op. 15, Trois
Nocturnes, in January, 1834; Op. 27, Deux Nocturnes, in May,
1836; Op. 32, Deux Nocturnes, December, 1837; Op. 37, Deux
Nocturnes, in May, 1840; Op. 48, Deux Nocturnes, in November,
1841; Op. 55, Deux Nocturnes, in August, 1844; and Op. 62, Deux
Nocturnes, in September, 1846. Rellstab remarked in 1833 of the
Trois Nocturnes, Op. 9, that Chopin, without borrowing directly
from Field, copied the latter's melody and manner of
accompaniment. There is some truth in this; only the word "copy"
is not the correct one. The younger received from the elder
artist the first impulse to write in this form, and naturally
adopted also something of his manner. On the whole, the
similitude is rather generic than specific. Even the contents of
Op. 9 give Chopin a just claim to originality; and the Field
reminiscences which are noticeable in Nos. 1 and 2 (most
strikingly in the commencement of No. 2) of the first set of
nocturnes will be looked for in vain in the subsequent ones.

  Where Field smiles [said the above-mentioned critic], Chopin
  makes a grinning grimace; where Field sighs, Chopin groans;
  where Field shrugs his shoulders, Chopin twists his whole
  body; where Field puts some seasoning into the food, Chopin
  empties a handful of Cayenne pepper...In short, if one holds
  Field's charming romances before a distorting concave mirror,
  so that every delicate expression becomes a coarse one, one
  gets Chopin's work...We implore Mr. Chopin to return to

Now, what remains of this statement after subtracting prejudices
and narrow-mindedness? Nothing but that Chopin is more varied and
passionate than Field, and has developed to the utmost some of
the means of expression used by the latter. No. 1 (in B flat
minor) of Op. 9 is pervaded by a voluptuous dreaminess and
cloying sweetness: it suggests twilight, the stillness of night,
and thoughts engendered thereby. The tone of sentiment and the
phraseology of No. 2 (in E fiat major) have been made so common
by fashionable salon composers that one cannot help suspecting
that it is not quite a natural tone--not a tone of true feeling,
but of sentimentality. The vulgar do not imitate the true and
noble, but the false and ostentatious. In this piece one breathes
drawing-room air, and ostentation of sentiment and affectation of
speech are native to that place. What, however, the imitations
often lack is present in every tone and motion of the original:
eloquence, grace, and genuine refinement.

[FOOTNOTE: Gutmann played the return of the principal subject in
a way very different from that in which it is printed, with a
great deal of ornamentation, and said that Chopin played it
always in that way. Also the cadence at the end of the nocturne
(Op. 9, No. 2) had a different form. But the composer very
frequently altered the ornamentions of his pieces or excogitated
alternative readings.]

The third is, like the preceding nocturne, exquisite salon music.
Little is said, but that little very prettily. Although the
atmosphere is close, impregnated with musk and other perfumes,
there is here no affectation. The concluding cadenza, that
twirling line, reads plainly "Frederic Chopin." Op. 15 shows a
higher degree of independence and poetic power than Op. 9. The
third (in G minor) of these nocturnes is the finest of the three.
The words languido e rubato describe well the wavering
pensiveness of the first portion of the nocturne, which finds its
expression in the indecision of the melodic progressions,
harmonies, and modulations. The second section is marked
religiose, and may be characterised as a trustful prayer,
conducive to calm and comfort. The Nocturnes in F major and F
sharp major, Op. 15, are more passionate than the one we just now
considered, at least in the middle sections. The serene, tender
Andante in F major, always sweet, and here and there with touches
of delicate playfulness, is interrupted by thoughts of impetuous
defiance, which give way to sobs and sighs, start up again with
equal violence, and at last die away into the first sweet, tender
serenity. The contrast between the languid dreaming and the fiery
upstarting is striking and effective, and the practical musician,
as well as the student of aesthetics, will do well to examine by
what means these various effects are produced. In the second
nocturne, F sharp major, the brightness and warmth of the world
without have penetrated into the world within. The fioriture flit
about as lightly as gossamer threads. The sweetly-sad longing of
the first section becomes more disquieting in the doppio
movimento, but the beneficial influence of the sun never quite
loses its power, and after a little there is a relapse into the
calmer mood, with a close like a hazy distance on a summer day.
The second (in D flat major) of Op. 27 was, no doubt, conceived
in a more auspicious moment than the first (in C sharp minor), of
which the extravagantly wide-meshed netting of the accompaniment
is the most noteworthy feature. [FOOTNOTE: In most of the pieces
where, as in this one, the left-hand accompaniment consists of an
undulating figure, Chopin wished it to be played very soft and
subdued. This is what Gutmann said.] As to the one in D flat,
nothing can equal the finish and delicacy of execution, the flow
of gentle feeling, lightly rippled by melancholy, and spreading
out here and there in smooth expansiveness. But all this
sweetness enervates; there is poison in it. We should not drink
in these thirds, sixths, &c., without taking an antidote of Bach
or Beethoven. Both the nocturnes of Op. 32 are pretty specimens
of Chopin's style of writing in the tender, calm, and dreamy
moods. Of the two (in B major and A flat major) I prefer the
quiet, pellucid first one. It is very simple, ornaments being
very sparingly introduced. The quietness and simplicity are,
however, at last disturbed by an interrupted cadence, sombre
sounds as of a kettle-drum, and a passionate recitative with
intervening abrupt chords. The second nocturne has less
originality and pith. Deux Nocturnes (in G minor and G major),
Op. 37, are two of the finest, I am inclined to say, the two
finest, of this class of Chopin's pieces; but they are of
contrasting natures. The first and last sections of the one in G
minor are plaintive and longing, and have a wailing
accompaniment; the chord progressions of the middle section glide
along hymn-like. [FOOTNOTE: Gutmann played this section quicker
than the rest, and said that Chopin forgot to mark the change of
movement.] Were it possible to praise one part more emphatically
than another without committing an injustice, I would speak of
the melodic exquisiteness of the first motive. But already I see
other parts rise reproachfully before my repentant conscience. A
beautiful sensuousness distinguishes the nocturne in G major: it
is luscious, soft, rounded, and not without a certain degree of
languor. The successions of thirds and, sixths, the semitone
progressions, the rocking motion, the modulations (note
especially those of the first section and the transition from
that to the second), all tend to express the essential character.
The second section in C major reappears in E major, after a
repetition of part of the first section; a few bars of the latter
and a reminiscence of the former conclude the nocturne. But let
us not tarry too long in the treacherous atmosphere of this Capua-
-it bewitches and unmans. The two nocturnes (in C minor and F
sharp minor) which form Op. 48 are not of the number of those
that occupy foremost places among their companions. Still, they
need not be despised. The melody of the C minor portion of the
first is very expressive, and the second has in the C sharp minor
portion the peculiar Chopinesque flebile dolcezza. In playing
these nocturnes there occurred to me a remark of Schumann's, made
when he reviewed some nocturnes by Count Wielhorski. He said, on
that occasion, that the quicker middle movements which Chopin
frequently introduces into his nocturnes are often weaker than
his first conceptions, meaning the first portions of the
nocturnes. Now, although the middle parts in the present
instances are, on the contrary, slower movements, yet the
judgment holds good; at least, with respect to the first
nocturne, the middle part of which has nothing to recommend it
but the effective use of a full and sonorous instrumentation, if
I may use this word in speaking of one instrument. The middle
part of the second (f, D flat, Molto piu lento), however, is much
finer; in it we meet again, as we did in some other nocturnes,
with soothing, simple chord progressions. When Gutmann studied
the C sharp minor nocturne with Chopin, the master told him that
the middle section (the Molto piu lento, in D flat major) should
be played as a recitative: "A tyrant commands" (the first two
chords), he said, "and the other asks for mercy." Regarding the
first nocturne (in F minor) of Op. 55, we will note only the
flebile dolcezza of the first and the last section, and the
inferiority of the more impassioned middle section. The second
nocturne (in E flat major) differs in form from the other
nocturnes in this, that it has no contrasting second section, the
melody flowing onward from begining to end in a uniform manner.
The monotony of the unrelieved sentimentality does not fail to
make itself felt. One is seized by an ever-increasing longing to
get out of this oppressive atmosphere, to feel the fresh breezes
and warm sunshine, to see smiling faces and the many-coloured
dress of Nature, to hear the rustling of leaves, the murmuring of
streams, and voices which have not yet lost the clear, sonorous
ring that joy in the present and hope in the future impart. The
two nocturnes, Op. 62, seem to owe their existence rather to the
sweet habit of activity than to inspiration. At any rate, the
tender flutings, trills, roulades, syncopations, &c., of the
first nocturne (in B major), and the sentimental declarations and
confused, monotonous agitation of the second (in E major), do not
interest me sufficiently to induce me to discuss their merits and

One day Tausig, the great pianoforte-virtuoso, promised W. von
Lenz to play him Chopin's "Barcarolle," Op. 60 (published in
September, 1846), adding, "That is a performance which must not
be undertaken before more than two persons. I shall play you my
own self (meinen Menschen). I love the piece, but take it up only
rarely." Lenz, who did not know the barcarolle, thereupon went to
a music-shop and read it through attentively. The piece, however,
did not please him at all; it seemed to him a long movement in
the nocturne-style, a Babel of figuration on a lightly-laid
foundation. But he found that he had made a mistake, and, after
hearing it played by Tausig, confessed that the virtuoso had
infused into the "nine pages of enervating music, of one and the
same long-breathed rhythm (12/8), so much interest, so much
motion, and so much action," that he regretted the long piece was
not longer. And now let us hear what remarks Tausig made with
regard to the barcarolle:--

  There are two persons concerned in the affair; it is a love-
  scene in a discrete gondola; let us say this mise en scene is
  the symbol of a lovers' meeting generally. This is expressed
  in the thirds and sixths; the dualism of two notes (persons)
  is maintained throughout; all is two-voiced, two-souled. In
  this modulation here in C sharp major (superscribed dolce
  sfogato), there are kiss and embrace! This is evident! When,
  after three bars of introduction, the theme, lightly rocking
  in the bass solo, enters in the fourth, this theme is
  nevertheless made use of throughout the whole fabric only as
  an accompaniment, and on this the cantilena in two parts is
  laid; we have thus a continuous, tender dialogue.

Both Lenz's first and last impressions were correct. The form of
the barcarolle is that of most of Chopin's nocturnes--consisting
of three sections, of which the third is a modified repetition of
the first--only everything is on a larger scale, and more worked
out. Unfortunately, the contrast of the middle section is not
great enough to prevent the length, in spite of the excellence of
the contents, from being felt. Thus we must also subscribe to the
"nine pages of enervating music." Still, the barcarolle is one of
the most important of Chopin's compositions in the nocturne-
style. It has distinctive features which decidedly justify and
make valuable its existence. Local colouring is not wanting. The
first section reminded me of Schumann's saying that Chopin in his
melodies leans sometimes over Germany towards Italy. If properly
told, this love-laden romance cannot fail to produce effect.

Of the pieces that bear the name "Berceuse," Chopin's Op. 57
(published in June, 1845) is the finest, or at least one of the
finest and happiest conceptions. It rests on the harmonic basis
of tonic and dominant. The triad of the tonic and the chord of
the dominant seventh divide every bar between them in a brotherly
manner. Only in the twelfth and thirteenth bars from the end (the
whole piece contains seventy) the triad of the subdominant comes
forward, and gives a little breathing time to the triad of the
tonic, the chord of the dominant having already dropped off.
Well, on this basis Chopin builds, or let us rather say, on this
rocking harmonic fluid he sets afloat a charming melody, which is
soon joined by a self-willed second part. Afterwards, this melody
is dissolved into all kinds of fioriture, colorature, and other
trickeries, and they are of such fineness, subtlety, loveliness,
and gracefulness, that one is reminded of Queen Mab, who comes--

    In shape no bigger than an agate-stone
    On the fore-finger of an alderman.
    Drawn with a team of little atomies
    Athwart men's noses as they lie asleep;
    Her waggon-spokes made of long spinners' legs,
    The cover of the wings of grasshoppers;
    The traces of the smallest spider's web;
    The collars of the moonshine's watery beams;
    Her whip of cricket's bone; the lash of film;
    Her waggoner a small grey-coated gnat.

[FOOTNOTE: Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, I., iv., 59-68]

But who does not know the delightful description of the fairy in
her hazel-nut coach, and the amusing story of her frolics and
pranks? By-and-by the nimble motions of the colorature become
slower, and finally glide into the original form of the melody,
which, however, already after the third bar comes to a stand-
still, is resumed for a short phrase, then expires, after a long-
drawn chord of the dominant seventh, on the chord of the tonic,
and all is rest and silence. Alexandre Dumas fils speaks in the
"Affaire Clemenceau" of the "Berceuse" as--

  this muted music [musique en sourdine] which penetrated little
  by little the atmosphere and enveloped us in one and the same
  sensation, comparable perhaps to that which follows a Turkish
  bath, when all the senses are confounded in a general
  apaisement, when the body, harmoniously broken, has no longer
  any other wish than rest, and when, the soul, seeing all the
  doors of its prison open, goes wherever it lists, but always
  towards the Blue, into the dream-land.

None of Chopin's compositions surpass in masterliness of form and
beauty and poetry of contents his ballades. In them he attains, I
think, the acme of his power as an artist. It is much to be
regretted that they are only four in number--Op. 23, published in
June, 1836; Op. 38, in September, 1840; Op. 47, in November,
1841; and Op 52, in December, 1843. When Schumann reviewed the
second ballade he wrote: "Chopin has already written a piece
under the same title, one of his wildest and most individual
compositions." Schumann relates also that the poems of Mickiewicz
incited Chopin to write his ballades, which information he got
from the Polish composer himself. He adds significantly: "A poet,
again, might easily write words to them [Chopin's ballades]. They
move the innermost depth of the soul." Indeed, the "Ballade" (in
G minor), Op. 23, is all over quivering with intensest feeling,
full of sighs, sobs, groans, and passionate ebullitions. The
seven introductory bars (Lento) begin firm, ponderous, and loud,
but gradually become looser, lighter, and softer, terminating
with a dissonant chord, which some editors have thought fit to
correct. [FOOTNOTE: For the correctness of the suspected note we
have the testimony of pupils--Gutmann, Mikuli, &c.] Yet this
dissonant E flat may be said to be the emotional key-note of the
whole poem. It is a questioning thought that, like a sudden pain,
shoots through mind and body. And now the story-teller begins his
simple but pathetic tale, heaving every now and then a sigh.
After the ritenuto the matter becomes more affecting; the sighs
and groans, yet for a while kept under restraint, grow louder
with the increasing agitation, till at last the whole being is
moved to its very depths. On the uproar of the passions follows a
delicious calm that descends like a heavenly vision (meno mosso,
E flat major). But this does not last, and before long there
comes, in the train of the first theme, an outburst of passion
with mighty upheavings and fearful lulls that presage new
eruptions. Thus the ballade rises and falls on the sea of passion
till a mad, reckless rush (presto con fuoco) brings it to a
conclusion. Schumann tells us a rather interesting fact in his
notice of the "Deuxieme Ballade" (in F major), Op. 38. He heard
Chopin play it in Leipzig before its publication, and at that
time the passionate middle parts did not exist, and the piece
closed in F major, now it closes in A minor. Schumann's opinion
of this ballade is, that as a work of art it stands below the
first, yet is not less fantastic and geistreich. If two such
wholly dissimilar things can be compared and weighed in this
fashion, Schumann is very likely right; but I rather think they
cannot. The second ballade possesses beauties in no way inferior
to those of the first. What can be finer than the simple strains
of the opening section! They sound as if they had been drawn from
the people's storehouse of song. The entrance of the presto
surprises, and seems out of keeping with what precedes; but what
we hear after the return of the tempo primo--the development of
those simple strains, or rather the cogitations on them--
justifies the presence of the presto. The second appearance of
the latter leads to an urging, restless coda in A minor, which
closes in the same key and pianissimo with a few bars of the
simple, serene, now veiled, first strain. The "Troisieme Ballade"
(in A flat major), Op. 47, does not equal its sisters in
emotional intensity, at any rate, not in emotional
tumultuousness. On this occasion the composer shows himself in a
fundamentally caressing mood. But the fine gradations, the
iridescence of feeling, mocks at verbal definition. Insinuation
and persuasion cannot be more irresistible, grace and affection
more seductive. Over everything in melody, harmony, and rhythm,
there is suffused a most exquisite elegance. A quiver of
excitement runs through the whole piece. The syncopations,
reversions of accent, silences on accented parts of the bar
(sighs and suspended respiration, felicitously expressed), which
occur very frequently in this ballade, give much charm and
piquancy to it. As an example, I may mention the bewitching
subject in F major of the second section. The appearances of this
subject in different keys and in a new guise are also very
effective. Indeed, one cannot but be struck with wonder at the
ease, refinement, and success with which Chopin handles here the
form, while in almost every work in the larger forms we find him
floundering lamentably. It would be foolish and presumptuous to
pronounce this or that one of the ballades the finest; but one
may safely say that the fourth (in F minor), Op. 52, is fully
worthy of her sisters. The emotional key-note of the piece is
longing sadness, and this key-note is well preserved throughout;
there are no long or distant excursions from it. The variations
of the principal subject are more emphatic restatements of it:
the first is more impressive than the original, the second more
eloquently beseeching than either of them. I resist, though with
difficulty, the temptation to point out in detail the interesting
course of the composer's thoughts, and proceed at once to the
coda which, palpitating and swelling with passion, concludes the
fourth and, alas! last ballade.

We have now passed in review not only all the compositions published
by Chopin himself, but also a number of those published without his
authorisation. The publications not brought about by the master
himself were without exception indiscretions; most of them, no
doubt, well meant, but nevertheless regrettable. Whatever Fontana
says to the contrary in the preface to his collection of Chopin's
posthumous works, [FOOTNOTE: The Chopin compositions published by
Fontana (in 1855) comprise the Op. 66- 74; the reader will see them
enumerated in detail in the list of cur composer's works at the end
of this volume.] the composer unequivocally expressed the wish that
his manuscripts should not be published. Indeed, no one acquainted
with the artistic character of the master, and the nature of the
works published by himself, could for a moment imagine that the
latter would at any time or in any circumstances have given his
consent to the publication of insignificant and imperfect
compositions such as most of those presented to the world by his
ill-advised friend are. Still, besides the "Fantaisie-Impromptu,"
which one would not like to have lost, and one or two mazurkas,
which cannot but be prized, though perhaps less for their artistic
than their human interest, Fontana's collection contains an item
which, if it adds little value to Chopin's musical legacy, attracts
at least the attention of the lover and student of his music-namely,
Op. 74, Seventeen Polish Songs, composed in the years 1824-1844, the
only vocal compositions of this pianist-composer that have got into
print. The words of most of these songs are by his friend Stephen
Witwicki; others are by Adam Mickiewicz, Bogdan Zaleski, and
Sigismond Krasinski, poets with all of whom he was personally
acquainted. As to the musical settings, they are very unequal: a
considerable number of them decidedly commonplace--Nos. 1, 5, 8, and
also 4 and 12 may be instanced; several, and these belong to the
better ones, exceedingly simple and in the style of folk-songs--
No. 2 consists of a phrase of four bars (accompanied by a pedal bass
and the tonic and dominant harmonies) repeated alternately in G
minor and B flat major; and a few more developed in form and of a
more artistic character. In the symphonies (the preludes,
interludes, &c.) of the songs, we meet now and then with
reminiscences from his instrumental pieces. In one or two cases one
notices also pretty tone-painting--for instance, No. 10, "Horseman
before the Battle," and No. 15, "The return Home" (storm). Among the
most noteworthy are: the already-described No. 2; the
sweetly-melancholy No. 3; the artistically more dignified No. 9; the
popular No. 13; the weird No. 15; and the impressive, but, by its
terrible monotony, also oppressive No. 17 ("Poland's Dirge"). The
mazurka movement and the augmented fourth degree of the scale (Nos.
2 and 4) present themselves, apart from the emotional contents, as
the most strikingly-national features of these songs. Karasowski
states that many songs sung by the people in Poland are attributed
to Chopin, chief among them one entitled "The third of May."

I must not conclude this chapter without saying something about
the editions of Chopin's works. The original French, German, and
English editions all leave much to be desired in the way of
correctness. To begin with, the composer's manuscripts were very
negligently prepared, and of the German and the English, and even
of the French edition, he did not always see the proofs; and,
whether he did or not, he was not likely to be a good proof-
reader, which presupposes a special talent, or rather
disposition. Indeed, that much in the preparation of the
manuscripts for the press and the correction of the proofs was
left to his friends and pupils may be gathered both from his
letters and from other sources. "The first comprehension of the
piece," says Schumann, in speaking of the German edition of the
Tarantella, "is, unfortunately, rendered very difficult by the
misprints with which it is really swarming." Those who assisted
Chopin in the work incident to publication--more especially by
copying his autographs--were Fontana, Wolff, Gutmann, and in
later years Mikuli and Tellefsen.

Here I may fitly insert a letter written by Chopin to Maurice
Schlesinger on July 22, 1843 (not 1836, as La Mara supposes),
which has some bearing on the subject under discussion. The
Impromptu spoken of is the third, Op. 51, in G flat major:--

  Dear friend,--In the Impromptu which you have issued with the
  paper [Gazette musicals] of July 9, there is a confusion in
  the paging, which makes my composition unintelligible. Though
  I cannot at all pretend to taking the pains which our friend
  Moscheles bestows on his works, I consider myself, however,
  with regard to your subscribers, in duty bound to ask you on
  this occasion to insert in your next number an erratum:--

                   Page 3--read page 5.
                   Page 5--read page 3.

  If you are too busy or too lazy to write to me, answer me
  through the erratum in the paper, and that shall signify to me
  that you, Madame Schlesinger, and your children are all well.
  --Yours very truly, July 22 [1843].

The first complete edition of Chopin's works was, according to
Karasowski, [FOOTNOTE: More recently the same firm brought out
the works of Chopin edited by Jean Kleczynski.] that published in
1864, with the authorisation of the composer's family, by
Gebethner and Wolff, of Warsaw. But the most important editions--
namely, critical editions--are Tellefsen's (I mention them in
chronological order), Klindworth's, Scholtz's, and Breitkopf and
Hartel's. Simon Richault, of Paris, the publisher of the first-
named edition, which appeared in 1860, says in the preface to it
that Tellefsen had in his possession a collection of the works of
Chopin corrected by the composer's own hand. As to the
violoncello part of the Polonaise, it was printed as Franchomme
always played it with the composer. The edition was also to be
free from all marks of expression that were not Chopin's own.
Notwithstanding all this, Tellefsen's edition left much to be

  My friend and fellow-pupil, Thomas Tellefsen [writes Mikuli],
  who, till Chopin's last breath, had the happiness to be in
  uninterrupted intercourse with him, was quite in a position to
  bring out correctly his master's works in the complete edition
  undertaken by him for Richault. Unfortunately, a serious
  illness and his death interrupted this labour, so that
  numerous misprints remained uncorrected.

  [FOOTNOTE: Mikuli's spelling of the name is Telefsen, whereas
  it is Tellefsen on the Norwegian's edition of Chopin's works,
  in all the dictionaries that mention him, and in the
  contemporary newspaper notices and advertisements I have come

  [FOOTNOTE: I do not know how to reconcile this last remark
  with the publisher's statement that the edition appeared in
  1860 (it was entered at Stationers' Hall on September 20,
  1860), and Tellefsen's death at Paris in October, 1874.]

Klindworth's edition, the first volume of which appeared in
October, 1873, and the last in March, 1876, at Moscow (P.
Jurgenson), in six volumes, is described on the title-page as
"Complete works of Fr. Chopin critically revised after the
original French, German, and Polish editions, carefully corrected
and minutely fingered for pupils." [FOOTNOTE: This edition has
been reprinted by Augener & Co., of London.] The work done by
Klindworth is one of the greatest merit, and has received the
highest commendations of such men as Liszt and Hans von Bulow.
Objections that can be made to it are, that the fingering,
although excellent, is not always Chopinesque; and that the
alteration of the rhythmically-indefinite small notes of the
original into rhythmically-definite ones, although facilitating
the execution for learners, counteracts the composer's intention.
Mikuli holds that an appeal to Chopin's manuscripts is of no use
as they are full of slips of the pen--wrong notes and values,
wrong accidentals and clefs, wrong slurs and 8va markings, and
omissions of dots and chord-intervals. The original French,
German, and English editions he regards likewise as unreliable.
But of them he gives the preference to the French editions, as
the composer oftener saw proofs of them. On the other hand, the
German editions, which, he thinks, came out later than the Paris
ones, contain subsequently-made changes and improvements.
[FOOTNOTE: Take note, however, in connection with this remark, of
Chopin's letter of August 30, 1845, on pp. 119-120 of this
volume.] Sometimes, no doubt, the Paris edition preceded the
German one, but not as a rule. The reader will remember from the
letters that Chopin was always anxious that his works should
appear simultaneously in all countries, which, of course, was not
always practicable. Mikuli based his edition (Leipzig: Fr.
Kistner), the preface to which is dated "Lemberg, September,
1879," on his own copies, mostly of Parisian editions, copies
which Chopin corrected in the course of his lessons; and on other
copies, with numerous corrections from the hand of the master,
which were given him by the Countess Delphine Potocka. He had
also the assistance of Chopin's pupils the Princess Marcelline
Czartoryska and Madame Friederike Streicher (nee Muller), and
also of Madame Dubois and Madame Rubio, and of the composer's
friend Ferdinand Hiller. Mikuli's edition, like Klindworth's, is
fingered, and, as the title-page informs us, "for the most part
according to the author's markings." Hermann Scholtz, who edited
Chopin's works for Peters, of Leipzig, says in the preface (dated
"Dresden, December, 1879") that his critical apparatus consisted
of the original French, German, and English editions, various
autographs (the Preludes, Op. 28; the Scherzo, Op. 54; the
Impromptu, Op. 51; the Nocturnes, Op. 48; the Mazurka, Op. 7, No.
3, and a sketch of the Mazurka, Op. 30, No. 4), and three volumes
of Chopin's compositions with corrections, additions, and marks
of expression by his own hand, belonging to the master's pupil
Madame von Heygendorf (nee von Konneritz). In addition to these
advantages he enjoyed the advice of M. Mathias, another pupil of
Chopin. The critically-revised edition published (March, 1878--
January, 1880) by Breitkopf and Hartel was edited by Woldemar
Bargiel, Johannes Brahms, Auguste Franchomme, Franz Liszt (the
Preludes), Carl Reinecke, and Ernst Rudorff. The prospectus sets
forth that the revision was based on manuscript material
(autographs and proofs with the composer's corrections and
additions) and the original French and German editions; and that
Madame Schumann, M. Franchomme, and friends and pupils of the
composer had been helpful with their counsel. Breitkopf and
Hartel's edition is the most complete, containing besides all the
pianoforte solo and ensemble works published by the composer
himself, a greater number of posthumous works (including the
songs) than is to be found in any other edition. Klindworth's is
a purely pianoforte edition, and excludes the trio, the pieces
with violoncello, and the songs. The above enumeration, however,
does not exhaust the existing Chopin editions, which, indeed, are
almost innumerable, as in the last decade almost every publisher,
at least, almost every German publisher, has issued one--among
others there are Schuberth's, edited by Alfred Richter, Kahnt's,
edited by S. Jadassohn, and Steingraber's, edited by Ed. Mertke.
[FOOTNOTE: Among earlier editions I may mention the incomplete
OEuvres completes, forming Vols. 21-24 of the Bibliotheque des
Pianistes, published by Schonenberger (Paris, 1860).] Voluminous
as the material for a critical edition of Chopin's works is, its
inconclusiveness, which constantly necessitates appeals to the
individual taste and judgment of the editor, precludes the
possibility of an edition that will satisfy all in all cases.
Chopin's pupils, who reject the editing of their master's works
by outsiders, do not accept even the labours of those from among
their midst. These reasons have determined me not to criticise,
but simply to describe, the most notable editions. In speaking of
the disputes about the correctness of the various editions, I
cannot help remembering a remark of Mendelssohn's, of which
Wenzel told me. "Mendelssohn said on one occasion in his naive
manner: 'In Chopin's music one really does not know sometimes
whether a thing is right or wrong.'"



CHOPIN arrived in London, according to Mr. A. J. Hipkins, on
April 21, 1848.

[FOOTNOTE: The indebtedness of two writers on Chopin to Mr.
Hipkins has already been adverted to in the Preface. But his
vivid recollection of Chopin's visit to London in this year, and
of the qualities of his playing, has been found of great value
also in other published notices dealing with this period. The
present writer has to thank Mr. Hipkins, apart from second-hand
obligations, for various suggestions, answers to inquiries, and
reading the proof-sheets of this chapter.]

He took up his quarters first at 10, Bentinck Street, but soon
removed to the house indicated in the following letter, written
by him to Franchomme on May 1, 1848:--

  Dearest friend,--Here I am, just settled. I have at last a
  room--fine and large--where I shall be able to breathe and
  play, and the sun visits me to-day for the first time. I feel
  less suffocated this morning, but all last week I was good for
  nothing. How are you and your wife and the dear children? You
  begin at last to become more tranquil, [FOOTNOTE: This, I
  think, refers to some loss Franchomme had sustained in his
  family] do you not? I have some tiresome visits; my letters of
  introduction are not yet delivered. I trifle away my time, and
  VOILA. I love you, and once more VOILA.

  Yours with all my heart.

  My kindest regards to Madame Franchomme.
       48, Dover Street.
  Write to me, I will write to you also.

Were Chopin now to make his appearance in London, what a stir
there would be in musical society! In 1848 Billet, Osborne,
Kalkbrenner, Halle, and especially Thalberg, who came about the
same time across the channel, caused more curiosity. By the way,
England was just then heroically enduring an artistic invasion
such as had never been seen before; not only from France, but
also from Germany and other musical countries arrived day after
day musicians who had found that their occupation was gone on the
Continent, where people could think of nothing but politics and
revolutions. To enumerate all the celebrities then congregated in
the British Metropolis would be beyond my power and the scope of
this publication, but I must at least mention that among them was
no less eminent a creative genius than Berlioz, no less brilliant
a vocal star than Pauline Viardot-Garcia. Of other high-priests
and high-priestesses of the art we shall hear in the sequel. But
although Chopin did not set the Thames on fire, his visit was not
altogether ignored by the press. Especially the Athenaeum (H. F.
Chorley) and the Musical World (J. W. Davison) honoured
themselves by the notice they took of the artist. The former
journal not only announced (on April 29) his arrival, but also
some weeks previously (on April 8) his prospective advent,
saying: "M. Chopin's visit is an event for which we most heartily
thank the French Republic."

In those days, and for a long time after, the appreciation and
cultivation of Chopin's music was in England confined to a select
few. Mr. Hipkins told me that he "had to struggle for years to
gain adherents to Chopin's music, while enduring the good-
humoured banter of Sterndale Bennett and J. W. Davison." The
latter--the author of An Essay on the Works of Frederic Chopin
(London, 1843), the first publication of some length on the
subject, and a Preface to, or, to be more precise, a Memoir
prefixed to Boosey & Co.'s The Mazurkas and Valses of F. Chopin-
-seems to have in later years changed his early good opinion of
the Polish master.

[FOOTNOTE: Two suggestions have been made to me in explanation of
this change of opinion: it may have been due to the fear that the
rising glory of Chopin might dim that of Mendelssohn; or Davison
may have taken umbrage at Chopin's conduct in an affair relative
to Mendelssohn. I shall not discuss the probability of these
suggestions, but will say a few words with regard to the last-
mentioned matter. My source of information is a Paris letter in
the Musical World of December 4, 1847. After the death of
Mendelssohn some foreign musicians living in Paris proposed to
send a letter of condolence to Mrs. Mendelssohn. One part of the
letter ran thus: "May it be permitted to us, German artists, far
from our country, to offer," &c. The signatures to it were:
Rosenhain, Kalkbrenner, Panofka, Heller, Halle, Pixis, and Wolff.
Chopin when applied to for his signature wrote: "La lettre venant
des Allemands, comment voulez-vous que je m'arroge le droit de la
signer?" One would think that no reasonable being could take
exception to Chopin's conduct in this affair, and yet the writer
in the Musical World comments most venomously on it.]

The battle fought in the pages of the Musical World in 1841
illustrates the then state of matters in England. Hostilities
commenced on October 28 with a criticism of the Mazurkas, Op. 41.
Of its unparalleled nature the reader shall judge himself:--

  Monsieur Frederic Chopin has, by some means or other which we
  cannot divine, obtained an enormous reputation, a reputation
  but too often refused to composers of ten times his genius. M.
  Chopin is by no means a putter down of commonplaces; but he
  is, what by many would be esteemed worse, a dealer in the most
  absurd and hyperbolical extravagances. It is a striking satire
  on the capability for thought possessed by the musical
  profession, that so very crude and limited a writer should be
  esteemed, as he is very generally, a profound classical
  musician. M. Chopin does not want ideas, but they never extend
  beyond eight or sixteen bars at the utmost, and then he is
  invariably in nubibus...the works of the composer give us
  invariably the idea of an enthusiastic school-boy, whose parts
  are by no means on a par with his enthusiasm, who WILL be
  original whether he CAN or not. There is a clumsiness about
  his harmonies in the midst of their affected strangeness, a
  sickliness about his melodies despite their evidently FORCED
  unlikeness to familiar phrases, an utter ignorance of design
  everywhere apparent in his lengthened works...The entire works
  of Chopin present a motley surface of ranting hyperbole and
  excruciating cacophony. When he is not THUS singular, he is no
  better than Strauss or any other waltz compounder...such as
  admire Chopin, and they are legion, will admire these
  Mazurkas, which are supereminently Chopin-ical; that do NOT

Wessel and Stapleton, the publishers, protested against this
shameful criticism, defending Chopin and adducing the opinions of
numerous musicians in support of their own. But the valorous
editor "ventures to assure the distinguished critics and the
publishers that there will be no difficulty in pointing out a
hundred palpable faults, and an infinitude of meretricious
uglinesses, such as, to real taste and judgment, are
intolerable." Three more letters appeared in the following
numbers--two for (Amateur and Professor) and one against
(Inquirer) Chopin; the editor continuing to insist with as much
violence as stupidity that he was right. It is pleasant to turn
from this senseless opposition to the friends and admirers of the
master. Of them we learn something in Davison's Essay on the
Works of F. Chopin, from which I must quote a few passages:--

  This Concerto [the E minor] has been made known to the
  amateurs of music in England by the artist-like performance of
  Messrs. W. H. Holmes, F. B. Jewson, H. B. Richards, R.
  Barnett, and other distinguished members of the Royal Academy,
  where it is a stock piece...The Concerto [in F minor] has been
  made widely known of late by the clever performance of that
  true little prodigy Demoiselle Sophie Bohrer....These charming
  bagatelles [the Mazurkas] have been made widely known in
  England through the instrumentality of Mr. Moscheles, Mr.
  Cipriani Potter, Mr. Kiallmark, Madame de Belleville-Oury, Mr.
  Henry Field (of Bath), Mr. Werner, and other eminent pianists,
  who enthusiastically admire and universally recommend them to
  their pupils...To hear one of those eloquent streams of pure
  loveliness [the nocturnes] delivered by such pianists as
  Edouard Pirkhert, William Holmes, or Henry Field, a pleasure
  we frequently enjoyed, is the very transcendency of delight.

  [FOOTNOTE: Information about the above-named pianists may be
  found in the musical biographical dictionaries, with three
  exceptions-namely, Kiallmark, Werner, and Pirkhert. George
  Frederick Kiallmark (b. November 7, 1804; d. December 13,
  1887), a son of the violinist and composer George Kiallmark,
  was for many years a leading professor in London. He is said
  to have had a thorough appreciation and understanding of
  Chopin's genius, and even in his last years played much of
  that master's music. He took especial delight in playing
  Chopin's Nocturnes, no Sunday ever passed without his family
  hearing him play two or three of them.--Louis Werner (whose
  real name was Levi) was the son of a wealthy and esteemed
  Jewish family living at Clapham. He studied music in London
  under Moscheles, and, though not an eminent pianist, was a
  good teacher. His amiability assured him a warm welcome in
  society.--Eduard Pirkhert died at Vienna, aged 63, on February
  28, 1881. To Mr. Ernst Pauer, who is never appealed to in
  vain, I am indebted for the following data as well as for the
  subject--matter of my notice on Werner: "Eduard Pirkhert, born
  at Graz in 1817, was a pupil of Anton Halm and Carl Czerny. He
  was a shy and enormously diligent artist, who, however, on
  account of his nervousness, played, like Henselt, rarely in
  public. His execution was extraordinary and his tone
  beautiful. In 1855 he became professor at the Vienna
  Conservatorium." Mr. Pauer never heard him play Chopin.]

After this historical excursus let us take up again the record of
our hero's doings and sufferings in London.

Chopin seems to have gone to a great many parties of various
kinds, but he could not always be prevailed upon to give the
company a taste of his artistic quality. Brinley Richards saw him
at an evening party at the house of the politician Milner Gibson,
where he did not play, although he was asked to do so. According
to Mr. Hueffer, [FOOTNOTE: Chopin in Fortnightly Review of
September, 1877, reprinted in Musical Studies (Edinburgh: A. & C.
Black, 1880).] he attended, likewise without playing, an evening
party (May 6) at the house of the historian Grote. Sometimes ill-
health prevented him from fulfilling his engagements; this, for
instance, was the case on the occasion of a dinner which Macready
is said to have given in his honour, and to which Thackeray, Mrs.
Procter, Berlioz, and Julius Benedict were invited. On the other
hand, Chopin was heard at the Countess of Blessington's (Gore
House, Kensington) and the Duchess of Sutherland's (Stafford
House). On the latter occasion Benedict played with him a duet of
Mozart's. More than thirty years after, Sir Julius had still a
clear recollection of "the great pains Chopin insisted should be
taken in rehearsing it, to make the rendering of it at the
concert as perfect as possible." John Ella heard Chopin play at
Benedict's. Of another of Chopin's private performances in the
spring of 1848 we read in the Supplement du Dictionnaire de la
Conversation, where Fiorentino writes:

  We were at most ten or twelve in a homely, comfortable little
  salon, equally propitious to conversation and contemplation.
  Chopin took the place of Madame Viardot at the piano, and
  plunged us into ineffable raptures. I do not know what he
  played to us; I do not know how long our ecstasy lasted: we
  were no longer on earth; he had transported us into unknown
  regions, into a sphere of flame and azure, where the soul,
  freed from all corporeal bonds, floats towards the infinite.
  This was, alas! the song of the swan.

The sequel will show that the concluding sentence is no more than
a flourish of the pen. Whether Chopin played at Court, as he says
in a letter to Gutmann he expected to do, I have not ascertained.
Nor have I been able to get any information about a dinner which,
Karasowski relates, some forty countrymen of Chopin's got up in
his honour when they heard of his arrival in London. According to
this authority the pianist-composer rose when the proceedings
were drawing to an end, and many speeches extolling him as a
musician and patriot had been made, and spoke, if not these
words, to this effect: "My dear countrymen! The proofs of your
attachment and love which you have just given me have truly moved
me. I wish to thank you, but lack the talent of expressing my
feelings in words; I invite you therefore to accompany me to my
lodgings and to receive there my thanks at the piano." The
proposal was received with enthusiasm, and Chopin played to his
delighted and insatiable auditors till two o'clock in the
morning. What a crush, these forty or more people in Chopin's
lodgings! However, that is no business of mine.

[FOOTNOTE: After reading the above, Mr. Hipkins remarked: "I
fancy this dinner resembled the dinner which will go down to
posterity as given by the Hungarians of London to Liszt in
[1886], which was really a private dinner given by Mrs.
Bretherton to fifteen people, of whom her children and mine were
four. NO Hungarians."]

The documents--letters and newspaper advertisements and notices--
bearing on this period of Chopin's life are so plentiful that
they tell the story without the help of many additions and
explanatory notes. This is satisfactory, for one grain of fact is
more precious than a bushel of guesses and hearsays.

  Chopin to Gutmann; London, 48, Dover Street, Piccadilly,
  Saturday, May 6, 1848:--

  Dear friend,--Here I am at last, settled in this whirlpool of
  London. It is only a few days since I began to breathe; for it
  is only a few days since the sun showed itself. I have seen M.
  D'Orsay, and notwithstanding all the delay of my letter he
  received me very well. Be so good as to thank the duchess for
  me and him. I have not yet made all my calls, for many persons
  to whom I have letters of introduction are not yet here. Erard
  was charming; he sent me a piano. I have a Broadwood and a
  Pleyel, which makes three, and yet I do not find time to play
  them. I have many visitors, and my days pass like lightning--I
  have not even had a moment to write to Pleyel. Let me know how
  you are getting on. In what state of mind are you? How are
  your people? With my people things are not going well. I am
  much vexed about this. In spite of that I must think of making
  a public appearance; a proposal has been made to me to play at
  the Philharmonic, [FOOTNOTE: "Chopin, we are told," says the
  Musical World of May 27, 1848, "was invited to play at the
  Philharmonic, but declined."] but I would rather not. I shall
  apparently finish off, after playing at Court before the Queen
  [chez la reine], by giving a matinee, limited to a number of
  persons, at a private residence [hotel particulier]. I wish
  that this would terminate thus. But these projects are only
  projects in the air. Write to me a great deal about yourself.
  --Yours ever, my old Gut.,


  P.S.--I heard the other evening Mdlle. Lind in La Sonnambula.
  [FOOTNOTE: Jenny Lind made her first appearance at Her
  Majesty's Theatre in the season 1848, on May 4, as Amina, in
  La Sonnambula. The Queen was present on that occasion. Pauline
  Garcia made her first appearance, likewise as Amina, at Covent
  Garden Theatre, on May 9.] It was very fine; I have made her
  acquaintance. Madame Viardot also came to see me. She will
  make her debuts at the rival theatre [Covent Garden], likewise
  in La Sonnambula. All the pianists of Paris are here. Prudent
  played his Concerto at the Philharmonic with little success,
  for it is necessary to play classical music there. Thalberg is
  engaged for twelve concerts at the theatre where Lind is [Her
  Majesty's, Haymarket]. Halle is going to play Mendelssohn at
  the rival theatre.

  Chopin to his friend Grzymala; Thursday, May 11, 1848:--

  I have just come from the Italian Opera, where Jenny Lind
  appeared to-day, for the first time, as Sonnambula, and the
  Queen showed herself for the first time to the people after a
  long retirement. [FOOTNOTE: Chopin must have begun this letter
  on the 4th of May, and dated it later on; for on the 11th of
  May Jenny Lind sang in La Figlia del Reggimento, and the
  presence of the Queen at the performance is not mentioned in
  the newspaper accounts of it. See preceding foot-note.] Both
  were, of course, of much interest to me; more especially,
  however, Wellington, who, like an old, faithful dog in a
  cottage, sat in the box below his crowned mistress. I have
  also made Jenny Lind's personal acquaintance: when, a few days
  afterwards, I paid her a visit, she received me in the most
  amiable manner, and sent me an excellent "stall" for the opera
  performance. I was capitally seated and heard excellently.
  This Swede is indeed an original from top to toe! She does not
  show herself in the ordinary light, but in the magic rays of
  an aurora borealis. Her singing is infallibly pure and sure;
  but what I admired most was her piano, which has an
  indescribable charm. "Your


Of Chopin's visit Jenny Lind-Goldschmidt had to the last years of
her life a most pleasing and vivid recollection. She sang to him
Polskas, [FOOTNOTE: Polskas are dances of Polish origin, popular
in Sweden, whose introduction dates from the time of the union of
the crowns of Sweden and Poland in 1587.] which delighted him
greatly. The way Madame Goldschmidt spoke of Chopin showed
unmistakably that he made the best possible impression upon her,
not only as an artist, but also as a man--she was sure of his
goodness, and that he could not but have been right in the Sand
affair, I mean as regards the rupture. She visited him when she
went in the following year (1849) to Paris.

In his letter to Gutmann, Chopin speaks of his intention to give
a matinee at a private house. And he more than realised it; for
he not only gave one, but two--the first at the house of Mrs.
Sartoris (nee Adelaide Kemble) and the second at the house of
Lord Falmouth. Here are two advertisements which appeared in the

  June 15, 1848:--

  Monsieur Chopin will give a Matinee musicale, at No. 99, Eaton
  Place, on Friday, June 23, to commence at 3 o'clock. A limited
  number of tickets, one guinea each, with full particulars, at
  Cramer, Beale & Co.'s, 201, Regent Street.

  July 3 and 4, 1848:--

  Monsieur Chopin begs to announce that his second Matinee
  musicale will take place on Friday next, July 7, at the
  residence of the Earl of Falmouth, No. 2, St. James's Square.
  To commence at half-past 3. Tickets, limited in number, and
  full particulars at Cramer, Beale & Co.'s, 201, Regent Street.

  The Musical World (July 8, 1848) says about these

  M. Chopin has lately given two performances of his own
  pianoforte music at the residence of Mrs. Sartoris (late Miss
  Adelaide Kemble), which seem to have given much pleasure to
  his audiences, among whom Mdlle. Lind, who was present at the
  first, seems to be the most enthusiastic. We were not present
  at either, and, therefore, have nothing to say on the subject.

  [FOOTNOTE: Of course, the above-quoted advertisements prove
  the reporter to be wrong in this particular; there was only
  one at the house of Mrs. Sartoris.]

From an account of the first matinee in the Athenaeum we learn
that Chopin played nocturnes, etudes, mazurkas, two waltzes, and
the Berceuse, but none of his more developed works, such as
sonatas, concertos, scherzos, and ballades. The critic tries to
analyse the master's style of execution--a "mode" in which
"delicacy, picturesqueness, elegance, and humour are blended so
as to produce that rare thing, a new delight"--pointing out his
peculiar fingering, treatment of scale and shake, tempo rubato,
&c. But although the critic speaks no less appreciatively of the
playing than of the compositions, the tenor of the notice of the
second matinee (July 15, 1848) shows that the former left
nevertheless something to be desired. "Monsieur Chopin played
better at his second than at his first matinee--not with more
delicacy (that could hardly be), but with more force and brio."
Along with other compositions of his, Chopin played on this
occasion his Scherzo in B flat and his Etude in C sharp minor.
Another attraction of the matinee was the singing of Madame
Viardot-Garcia, "who, besides her inimitable airs with Mdlle. de
Mendi, and her queerly-piquant Mazurkas, gave the Cenerentola
rondo, graced with great brilliancy; and a song by Beethoven,
'Ich denke dein.'"

[FOOTNOTE: No doubt, those Mazurkas by Chopin which, adapting to
them Spanish words, she had arranged for voice and piano. Hiller
wrote mostenthusiastically of these arrangements and her
performance of them.]

Mr. Salaman said, at a meeting of the London Musical Association
(April 5, 1880), in the course of a discussion on the subject of
Chopin, that he was present at the matinee at the house of Mrs.
Sartoris, and would never forget the concert-giver's playing,
especially of the waltz in D flat. "I remember every bar, how he
played it, and the appearance of his long, attenuated fingers
during the time he was playing. [FOOTNOTE: Their thinness may
have made them appear long, but they were not really so. See
Appendix III.] He seemed quite exhausted." Mr. Salaman was
particularly struck by the delicacy and refinement of Chopin's
touch, and the utmost exquisiteness of expression.

To Chopin, as the reader will see in the letter addressed to
Franchomme, and dated August 6th and 11th, these semi-public
performances had only the one redeeming point--that they procured
him much-needed money, otherwise he regarded them as a great
annoyance. And this is not to be wondered at, if we consider the
physical weakness under which he was then labouring. When Chopin
went before these matinees to Broadwood's to try the pianoforte
on which he was to play, he had each time to be carried up the
flight of stairs which led to the piano-room. Chopin had also to
be carried upstairs when he came to a concert which his pupil
Lindsay Sloper gave in this year in the Hanover Square Rooms. But
nothing brings his miserable condition so vividly before us as
his own letters.

  Chopin to Grzymala, London, July 18, 1848:--

  My best thanks for your kind lines and the accompanying letter
  from my people. Heaven be thanked, they are all well; but why
  are they concerned about me? I cannot become sadder than I am,
  a real joy I have not felt for a long time. Indeed, I feel
  nothing at all, I only vegetate, waiting patiently for my end.
  Next week I go to Scotland to Lord Torphichen, the brother-in-
  law of my Scottish friends, the Misses Stirling, who are
  already with him (in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh). He wrote
  to me and invited me heartily, as did also Lady Murray, an
  influential lady of high rank there, who takes an
  extraordinary interest in music, not to mention the many
  invitations I have received from various parts of England. But
  I cannot wander about from one place to another like a
  strolling musician; such a vagabond' life is hateful to me,
  and not conducive to my health. I intend to remain in Scotland
  till the 29th of August, on which day I go as far as
  Manchester, where I am engaged to play in public. I shall play
  there twice without orchestra, and receive for this 60
  [pounds]. The Alboni comes also, but all this does not
  interest me--I just seat myself at the piano, and begin to
  play. I shall stay during this time with rich manufacturers,
  with whom also Neukomm [FOOTNOTE: Karasowski has Narkomm,
  which is, of course, either a misreading or a misprint,
  probably the former, as it is to be found in all editions of
  his book.] has stayed. What I shall do next I don't know yet.
  If only someone could foretell whether I shall not fall sick
  here during the winter..."Your


Had Chopin, when he left Paris, really in view the possibility of
settling in London? There was at the time a rumour of this being
the case. The Athenaeum (April 8, 1848), in the note already
adverted to, said:--"M. Chopin is expected, if not already here--
it is even added to remain in England." But if he embraced the
idea at first, he soon began to loosen his grasp of it, and,
before long, abandoned it altogether. In his then state of health
existence would have been a burden anywhere, but it was a greater
one away from his accustomed surroundings. Moreover, English life
to be enjoyable requires a robustness of constitution,
sentimental and intellectual as well as physical, which the
delicately-organised artist, even in his best time, could not
boast of. If London and the rest of Britain was not to the mind
of Chopin, it was not for want of good-will among the people.
Chopin's letters show distinctly that kindness was showered upon
him from all sides. And these letters do not by any means contain
a complete roll of those who were serviceable to him. The name of
Frederick Beale, the publisher, for instance, is not to be found
there, and yet he is said, with what truth I do not know, to have
attached himself to the tone-poet.

[FOOTNOTE: Mr. Hipkins heard Chopin play at Broadwood's to Beale
the Waltzes in D flat major and C sharp minor (Nos. 1 and 2 of
Op. 64), subsequently published by Cramer, Beale and Co. But why
did the publisher not bring out the whole opus (three waltzes,
not two), which had already been in print in France and Germany
for nine or ten months? Was his attachment to the composer weaker
than his attachment to his cash-box?]

The attentions of the piano-makers, on the other hand, are duly
remembered. In connection with them I must not forget to record
the fact that Mr. Henry Fowler Broadwood had a concert grand, the
first in a complete iron frame, expressly made for Chopin, who,
unfortunately, did not live to play upon it.

[FOOTNOTE: For particulars about the Broadwood pianos used by
Chopin in England and Scotland (and he used there no others at
his public concerts and principal private entertainments), see
the List of John Broadwood & Sons' Exhibits at the International
Inventions Exhibition (1885), a pamphlet full of interesting
information concerning the history and construction of the
pianoforte. It is from the pen of A. J. Hipkins.]

A name one misses with surprise in Chopin's letters is that of
his Norwegian pupil Tellefsen, who came over from Paris to
London, and seems to have devoted himself to his master.
[FOOTNOTE: Tellefsen, says Mr. Hipkins, was nearly always with
Chopin.] Of his ever-watchful ministering friend Miss Stirling
and her relations we shall hear more in the following letters.

Chopin started for Scotland early in August, 1848, for on the 6th
August he writes to Franchomme that he had left London a few days

  Chopin to Franchomme; Edinburgh, August 6 [1848]. Calder
  House, August 11:--

  Very dear friend,--I do not know what to say. The best, it
  seems to me, is not even to attempt to console you for the
  loss of your father. I know your grief--time itself assuages
  little such sorrows. I left London a few days ago. I made the
  journey to Edinburgh (407 miles) in twelve hours. After having
  taken a day's rest in Edinburgh, I went to Calder House,
  twelve miles from Edinburgh, the mansion of Lord Torphichen,
  brother-in-law of Madame Erskine, where I expect to remain
  till the end of the month and to rest after my great doings in
  London. I gave two matinees, which it appears have given
  pleasure, but which, for all that, did not the less bore me.
  Without them, however, I do not know how I could have passed
  three months in this dear London, with large apartments
  (absolutely necessary), carriage, and valet. My health is not
  altogether bad, but I become more feeble, and the air here
  does not yet agree with me. Miss Stirling was going to write
  to you from London, and asks me to beg you to excuse her. The
  fact is that these ladies had many preparations to make before
  their journey to Scotland, where they intend to remain some
  months. There is in Edinburgh a pupil of yours, Mr. Drechsler,
  I believe.

  [FOOTNOTE: Louis Drechsler (son of the Dessau violoncellist
  Carl Drechsler and uncle of the Edinburgh violoncellist and
  conductor Carl Drechsler Hamilton), who came to Edinburgh in
  August, 1841, and died there on June 25,1860. From an obituary
  notice in a local paper I gather that he studied under
  Franchomme in 1845.]

  He came to see me in London; he appeared to me a fine young
  fellow, and he loves you much. He plays duets [fait de la
  musique] with a great lady of this country, Lady Murray, one
  of my sexagenarian pupils in London, to whom I have also
  promised a visit in her beautiful mansion. [FOOTNOTE: The wife
  of Lord (Sir John Archibald) Murray, I think. At any rate,
  this lady was very musical and in the habit of playing with
  Louis Drechsler.] But I do not know how I shall do it, for I
  have promised to be in Manchester on the 28th of August to
  play at a concert for 60 pounds. Neukomm is there, and,
  provided that he does not improvise on the same day [et pourvu
  qu'il ne m'improvise pas le meme jour], I reckon on earning my
  60 francs [he means, of course, "60 pounds"].

  [FOOTNOTE: Thinking that this remark had some hidden meaning,
  I applied to Franchomme for an explanation; but he wrote to me
  as follows: "Chopin trouvait que Neukomm etait un musicien
  ennuyeux, et il lui etait desagreable de penser que Neukomm
  pourrait improviser dans le concert dans lequel il devrait

  After that I don't know what will become of me. I should like
  very much if they were to give me a pension for life for
  having composed nothing, not even an air a la Osborne or
  Sowinski (both of them excellent friends), the one an
  Irishman, the other a compatriot of mine (I am prouder of them
  than of the rejected representative Antoine de Kontski--
  Frenchman of the north and animal of the south). [FOOTNOTE:
  "Frenchmen of the north" used to be a common appellation of
  the Poles.]

  After these parentheses, I will tell you truly that I know
  [FOOTNOTE: Here probably "not" ought to be added.] what will
  become of me in autumn. At any rate, if you get no news from
  me do not complain of me, for I think very often of writing to
  you. If you see Mdlle. de Rozieres or Grzymala, one or the
  other of them will have heard something--if not from me, from
  some friends. The park here is very beautiful, the lord of the
  manor very excellent, and I am as well as I am permitted to
  be. Not one proper musical idea. I am out of my groove; I am
  like, for instance, an ass at a masked ball, a chanterelle
  [first, i.e., highest string] of a violin on a double bass--
  astonished, amazed, lulled to sleep as if I were hearing a
  trait [a run or a phrase] of Bodiot [FOOTNOTE: That is,
  Charles Nicolas Baudiot (1773-1849), the violoncellist, at one
  time professor at the Conservatoire. He published a school and
  many compositions for his instrument.] (before the 24th of
  February), [FOOTNOTE: The revolution of February 24, 1848.] or
  a stroke of the bow of M. Cap [FOOTNOTE: This gentleman was an
  amateur player of the violoncello and other stringed
  instruments.] (after the June days). [FOOTNOTE: The
  insurrection of the Red Republicans on June 23-26, 1848.] I
  hope they are still flourishing, for I cannot do without them
  in writing. But another real question is, that I hope you have
  no friends to deplore in all these terrible affairs. And the
  health of Madame Franchomme and of the little children? Write
  me a line, and address it to London, care of Mr. Broadwood,
  33, Great Pulteney Street, Golden Square. I have here a
  perfect (material) tranquillity, and pretty Scotch airs. I
  wish I were able to compose a little, were it only to please
  these good ladies--Madame Erskine and Mdlle. Stirling. I have
  a Broadwood piano in my room, the Pleyel of Miss Stirling in
  my salon. I lack neither paper nor pens. I hope that you also
  will compose something, and may God grant that I hear it soon
  newly born. I have friends in London who advise me to pass
  there the winter.--But I shall listen only to my I do not know
  what [mon je ne sais quoi]; or, rather, I shall listen to the
  last comer--this comes often to the same thing as weighing
  well. Adieu dear, dear friend! My most sincere wishes to
  Madame Franchomme for her children. I hope that Rene amuses
  himself with his bass, that Cecile works well, and that their
  little sister always reads her books. Remember me to Madame
  Lasserve, I pray you, and correct my orthography as well as my

  The following words are written along the margin:--

  The people here are ugly, but, it would seem, good. As a
  compensation there are charming, apparently mischievous,
  cattle, perfect milk, butter, eggs, and tout ce qui s'en suit,
  cheese and chickens.

To save the reader from becoming confused by allusions in
Chopin's letters to names of unknown persons and places, I will
now say a few words about the composer's Scotch friends. The
Stirlings of Keir, generally regarded as the principal family of
the name, are said to be descended from Walter de Striveline,
Strivelyn, or Strivelyng, Lucas of Strivelyng (1370-1449) being
the first possessor of Keyr. The family was for about two
centuries engaged in the East India and West India trade.
Archibald Stirling, the father of the late baronet, went, as
William Fraser relates in The Stirlings of Keir, like former
younger sons, to Jamaica, where he was a planter for nearly
twenty-five years. He succeeded his brother James in 1831,
greatly improved the mansion, and died in 1847. When Chopin
visited Keir it was in the possession of William Stirling, who,
in 1865, became Sir William Stirling-Maxwell (his mother was a
daughter of Sir John Maxwell), and is well-known by his literary
works--Annals of the Artists of Spain (1848), The Cloister Life
of the Emperor Charles V. (1852), Velasquez (1855), &c. He was
the uncle of Jane Stirling and Mrs. Erskine, daughters (the
former the youngest daughter) of John Stirling, of Kippendavie
and Kippenross, and friends of Chopin. W. Hanna, the editor of
the Letters of Thomas Erskine of Linlathen, says that Jane
Stirling was a cousin and particular friend of Thomas Erskine.
The latter used in later life to regard her and the Duchess de
Broglie as the most remarkable women he had ever met:--

  In her later years she lived much in Paris, and counted among
  her friends there Ary Scheffer. In his "Christus Consolator,"
  this eminent artist has presented in one of the figures his
  ideal of female beauty, and was struck on being first
  introduced to Miss Stirling to find in her the almost exact
  embodiment of that ideal. She was introduced afterwards in
  many of his pictures.

In a letter addressed to Mrs. Schwabe, and dated February 14,
1859, we read about her:--

  She was ill for eight weeks, and suffered a great deal...I
  know you will feel this deeply, for you could appreciate the
  purity and beauty of that stream of love which flowed through
  her whole life. I don't think that I ever knew anyone who
  seemed more entirely to have given up self, and devoted her
  whole being to the good of others. I remember her birth like
  yesterday, and I never saw anything in her but what was
  lovable from the beginning to the end of her course.

Lindsay Sloper, who lived in Paris from 1841 to 1846, told me
that Miss Stirling, who was likewise staying there, took for some
time lessons from him. As she wished to become a pupil of Chopin,
he spoke to his master about her. Chopin, Lindsay Sloper said,
was pleased with her playing, and soon began to like her.

[FOOTNOTE: To the above I must append a cautionary foot-note. In
his account to me Lindsay Sloper made two mistakes which prove
that his memory was not one of the most trustworthy, and suggest
even the possibility that his Miss Stirling was a different
person from Chopin's friend. His mistakes were these: he called
Mrs. Erskine, who was with Miss Stirling in Paris, her aunt
instead of her sister; and thought that Miss Stirling was about
eighteen years old when he taught her. The information I shall
give farther on seems to show that she was older rather than
younger than Chopin; indeed, Mr Hipkins is of opinion that she
was in 1848 nearer fifty than forty.]

To her the composer dedicated his Deux Nocturnes, Op. 55, which
he published in August, 1844. It was thought that she was in love
with Chopin, and there were rumours of their going to be married.
Gutmann informed me that Chopin said to him one day when he was
ill: "They have married me to Miss Stirling; she might as well
marry death." Of Miss Jane Stirling's elder sister Katherine,
who, in 1811, married her cousin James Erskine, and lost her
husband already in 1816, Thomas Erskine says: "She was an
admirable woman, faithful and diligent in all duties, and
unwearied in her efforts to help those who needed her help." Lord
Torphichen, at whose residence (Calder House, twelve miles from
Edinburgh) Chopin passed much of his time in Scotland, was, as we
learn from the composer's letters, a brother-in-law of Miss
Stirling and Mrs. Erskine. Johnstone Castle (twelve miles from
Glasgow), where Chopin was also received as a guest, belonged to
the Houston family, friends of the Erskines and Stirlings, but, I
think, no relations. The death of Ludovic Houston, Esq., in 1862,
is alluded to in one of Thomas Erskine's letters.

But Chopin, while in Scotland, was not always staying in manors
and castles, now and then he was housed less aristocratically,
though perhaps not less, nay, probably more, comfortably. Such
humbler quarters he found at the house (10, Warriston Crescent)
of Dr. Lyschinski, a Pole by birth, and a refugee, who after
studying medicine in Edinburgh practised it there until a few
years ago when he removed to London. For the information which I
am now going to give I am indebted to Mrs. Lyschinski. Among
those who received Chopin at the Edinburgh railway station was
Dr. Lyschinski who addressed him in Polish. The composer put up
at an hotel (perhaps the London Hotel, in St. Andrew's Square).
Next day--Miss Paterson, a neighbour, having placed her carriage
at Chopin's disposal--Mrs. Lyschinski took him out for a drive.
He soon got tired of the hotel, in fact, felt it quite
unbearable, and told the doctor, to whom he had at once taken a
fancy, that he could not do without him. Whereupon the latter
said: "Well, then you must come to my house; and as it is rather
small, you must be satisfied with the nursery." So the children
were sent to a friend's house, and the nursery was made into a
bedroom for the illustrious guest, an adjoining bedroom being
prepared for his servant Daniel, an Irish-Frenchman. Unless the
above refers to Chopin's return to Scotland in September, after
his visit to Manchester, Mrs. Lyschinski confuses her
reminiscences a little, for, as the last-quoted letter proves, he
tarried, on his first arrival, only one day in Edinburgh. But the
facts, even if not exactly grouped, are, no doubt, otherwise
correctly remembered. Chopin rose very late in the day, and in
the morning had soup in his room. His hair was curled daily by
the servant, and his shirts, boots, and other things were of the
neatest--in fact, he was a petit-maitre, more vain in dress than
any woman. The maid-servants found themselves strictly excluded
from his room, however indispensable their presence might seem to
them in the interests of neatness and cleanliness. Chopin was so
weak that Dr. Lyschinski had always to carry him upstairs. After
dinner he sat before the fire, often shivering with cold. Then
all on a sudden he would cross the room, seat himself at the
piano, and play himself warm. He could bear neither dictation nor
contradiction: if you told him to go to the fire, he would go to
the other end of the room where the piano stood. Indeed, he was
imperious. He once asked Mrs. Lyschinski to sing. She declined.
At this he was astonished and quite angry. "Doctor, would you
take it amiss if I were to force your wife to do it?" The idea of
a woman refusing him anything seemed to him preposterous. Mrs.
Lyschinski says that Chopin was gallant to all ladies alike, but
thinks that he had no heart. She used to tease him about women,
saying, for instance, that Miss Stirling was a particular friend
of his. He replied that he had no particular friends among the
ladies, that he gave to all an equal share of his attention. "Not
even George Sand then," she asked, "is a particular friend?" "Not
even George Sand," was the reply. Had Mrs. Lyschinski known the
real state of matters between Chopin and George Sand, she
certainly would not have asked that question. He, however, by no
means always avoided the mention of his faithless love. Speaking
one day of his thinness he remarked that she used to call him mon
cher cadavre. Miss Stirling was much about Chopin. I may mention
by the way that Mrs. Lyschinski told me that Miss Stirling was
much older than Chopin, and her love for him, although
passionate, purely Platonic. Princess Czartoryska arrived some
time after Chopin, and accompanied him, my informant says,
wherever he went. But, as we see from one of his letters, her
stay in Scotland was short. The composer was always on the move.
Indeed, Dr. Lyschinski's was hardly more than a pied-a-terre for
him: he never stayed long, and generally came unexpectedly. A
number of places where Chopin was a guest are mentioned in his
letters. Mrs. Lyschinski thinks that he also visited the Duke of

At the end of August and at the end of September and beginning of
October, this idling was interrupted by serious work, and a kind
of work which, at no time to his liking, was particularly irksome
in the then state of his health.

The Manchester Guardian of August 19, 1848, contained the
following advertisement:--

  Concert Hall.--The Directors beg to announce to the
  Subscribers that a Dress Concert has been fixed for Monday,
  the 28th of August next, for which the following performers
  have already been engaged: Signora Alboni, Signora Corbari,
  Signer Salvi, and Mons. Chopin.

From an account of the concert in the same paper (August 30), the
writer of which declares the concert to have been the most
brilliant of the season, we learn that the orchestra, led by Mr.
Seymour, played three overtures--Weber's Ruler of the Spirits,
Beethoven's Prometheus, and Rossini's Barbiere di Siviglia; and
that Chopin performed an Andante and Scherzo, and a Nocturne,
Etudes, and the Berceuse of his own composition. With regard to
Chopin we read in this critique:--

  With the more instrumental portion of the audience, Mons.
  Chopin was perhaps an equal feature of interest with Alboni,
  as he was preceded by a high musical reputation. Chopin
  appears to be about thirty years of age. [FOOTNOTE: Chopin,
  says Mr. Hipkins, had a young look, although much wasted.] He
  is very spare in frame, and there is an almost painful air of
  feebleness in his appearance and gait. This vanishes when he
  seats himself at the instrument, in which he seems for the
  time perfectly absorbed. Chopin's music and style of
  performance partake of the same leading characteristics--
  refinement rather than vigour--subtle elaboration rather than
  simple comprehensiveness in composition--an elegant rapid
  touch, rather than a firm, nervous grasp of the instrument.
  Both his compositions and playing appear to be the perfection
  of chamber music--fit to be associated with the most refined
  instrumental quartet and quartet playing--but wanting breadth
  and obviousness of design, and executive power, to be
  effective in a large hall. These are our impressions from
  hearing Mons. Chopin for the first time on Monday evening. He
  was warmly applauded by many of the most accomplished amateurs
  in the town, and he received an encore in his last piece, a
  compliment thus accorded to each of the four London artists
  who appeared at the concert.

From the criticism of the Manchester Courier and Lancashire
General Advertiser (August 30, 1848), I cull the following

  We can, with great sincerity, say that he delighted us. Though
  we did not discover in him the vigour of Thalberg, yet there
  was a chasteness and purity of style, a correctness of
  manipulation combined with a brilliance of touch, and delicate
  sensibility of expression which we never heard excelled. He
  played in the second act [part]...and elicited a rapturous
  encore. He did not, however, repeat any part, but treated the
  audience with what appeared to be a fragment of great beauty.

Mr. Osborne, in a paper on Chopin read before the London Musical
Association, says:--

  On a tour which I made with Alboni, I met Chopin at
  Manchester, where he was announced to play at a grand concert
  without orchestra. He begged I should not be present. "You, my
  dear Osborne," said he, "who have heard me so often in Paris,
  remain with those impressions. My playing will be lost in such
  a large room, and my compositions will be ineffective. Your
  presence at the concert will be painful both to you and me."

Mr. Osborne told his audience further that notwithstanding this
appeal he was present in a remote corner of the room. I may add
that although he could absent himself from the hall for the time
Chopin was playing, he could not absent himself from the concert,
for, as the papers tell us, he acted as accompanist. The
impression which Chopin's performance on this occasion left upon
his friend's mind is described in the following few sad words:
"His playing was too delicate to create enthusiasm, and I felt
truly sorry for him."

Soon after the concert Chopin returned to Scotland. How many days
(between August 23 and September 7?) he remained in Manchester, I
do not know, but it is well known that while staying there he was
the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Salis Schwabe. To Mrs. Salis Schwabe, a
lady noted for her benevolence, Thomas Erskine addressed the
letter concerning Miss Jane Stirling a part of which I quoted on
one of the foregoing pages of this chapter. The reader remembers,
of course, Chopin's prospective allusions to the Manchester
concert in his letters to Franchomme (August 6, 1848) and
Grzymala (July 18, 1848).

About a month after the concert at which he played in Manchester,
Chopin gave one of his own in Glasgow. Here is what may be read
in the Courier of September 28 and previous days:--

  Monsieur Chopin has the honour to announce that his Matinee
  musicals will take place on Wednesday, the 27th September, in
  the Merchant Hall, Glasgow. To commence at half-past two
  o'clock. Tickets, limited in number, half-a-guinea each, and
  full particulars to be had from Mr. Muir Wood, 42, Buchanan

The net profits of this concert are said to have been 60 pounds.
Mr. Muir Wood relates:--

  I was then a comparative stranger in Glasgow, but I was told
  that so many private carriages had never been seen at any
  concert in the town. In fact, it was the county people who
  turned out, with a few of the elite of Glasgow society. Being
  a morning concert, the citizens were busy otherwise, and half-
  a-guinea was considered too high a sum for their wives and

No doubt Chopin's playing and compositions must have been to the
good Glasgow citizens of that day what caviare is to the general.
In fact, Scotland, as regards music, had at that period not yet
emerged from its state of primitive savagery. But if we may
believe the learned critic in the Glasgow Courier, Chopin's
matinee was numerously attended, and the audience, which
consisted of "the beauty and fashion, indeed of the very elite of
the West-end," thoroughly enjoyed the playing of the concert-
giver and the singing of Madame Adelasio de Margueritte who
assisted him. I think the reader will be interested by the
following specimen of criticism for more than one reason:--

  The performance was certainly of the highest order in point of
  musical attainment and artistic skill, and was completely
  successful in interesting and delighting everyone present for
  an hour and a half. Visited as we now are by the highest
  musical talent, by this great player and the other eminent
  composer, it must be difficult for each successive candidate
  for our patronage and applause to produce in sufficient
  quantity that essential element to success--novelty; but M.
  Chopin has proved satisfactorily that it is not easy to
  estimate the capabilities of the instrument he handles with so
  much grace and ingenuity, or limit the skill and power whose
  magic touch makes it pour forth its sublime strains to
  electrify and delight anew the astonished listener. M.
  Chopin's treatment of the pianoforte is peculiar to himself,
  and his style blends in beautiful harmony and perfection the
  elegant, the picturesque, and the humorous. We cannot at
  present descend to practical illustrations in proof of these
  observations, but feel persuaded we only express the feelings
  of all who attended yesterday when we say that the pianist
  produces, without extraordinary effort, not only pleasing, but
  new musical delights. Madame Adelasio has a beautiful voice,
  which she manages with great ease and occasional brilliancy.
  She sang several airs with much taste and great acceptance. We
  may mention that all the pieces were rapturously applauded,
  and the audience separated with expressions of the highest

Clearly this critic was not without judgment, although his
literary taste and skill leave much to be desired. That there
were real Chopin enthusiasts in Glasgow is proved by an effusion,
full of praise and admiration, which the editor received from a
correspondent and inserted on September 30, two days after the
above criticism. But, without indulging our curiosity further, we
will now take our leave of Glasgow and Glasgow critics.

On October 4, Chopin gave an evening concert in Edinburgh. Here
is the programme:--



            1. Andante et Impromptu.
            2. Etudes.
            3. Nocturne et Berceuse.
            4. Grande Valse Brillante.
            5. Andante precede d'un Largo.
            6. Preludes, Ballade, Mazurkas et Valses.

     To commence at half-past eight o'clock. Tickets,
     limited to number, half-a-guinea each. To be had, &c.

Mrs. Lyschinski told me that this concert was chiefly attended by
the nobility. Half-a-guinea had never been charged for admission
to a concert (which is probably overstating the case), and Chopin
was little known. Miss Stirling, who was afraid the hall might
not be filled, bought fifty pounds' worth of tickets. The piano
on which Chopin played (one sent by Broadwood, and used in
Glasgow as well as in Edinburgh) was afterwards sold for 30
pounds above the price. Thus, at any rate, runs the legend.

In the Edinburgh Courant, which contained on September 30 and on
other days an advertisement similar to the Glasgow one (with the
addition of a programme, consisting, however, only of the 1st,
2nd, 3rd, and 6th items of the one above given), there appeared
on October 7, 1848, a notice of the concert, a part of which may
find a place here:--

  This talented pianist gratified his admirers by a performance
  on Wednesday evening in the Hopetoun Rooms, where a select and
  highly fashionable audience assembled to welcome him on his
  first appearance in Edinburgh...Chopin's compositions have
  been too long before the musical portion of Europe, and have
  been too highly appreciated to require any comment, further
  than that they are among the best specimens of classical
  excellence in pianoforte music. Of his execution we need say
  nothing further than that it is the most finished we have ever
  heard. He has neither the ponderosity nor the digital power of
  a Mendelssohn, a Thalberg, or Liszt; consequently his
  execution would appear less effective in a large room; but as
  a chamber pianist he stands unrivalled. Notwithstanding the
  amount of musical entertainment already afforded the Edinburgh
  public this season, the rooms were filled with an audience
  who, by their judicious and well-timed applause, testified
  their appreciation of the high talent of Monsieur Chopin.

An Edinburgh correspondent of the Musical World, who signs
himself "M.," confirms (October 14, 1848) the statements of the
critic of the Courant. From this communication we learn that one
of the etudes played was in F minor (probably No. 2 of Op. 25,
although there are two others in the same key--No. 9 of Op. 10
and No. 1 of Trois Etudes without opus number). The problematical
Andante precede d'un Largo was, no doubt, a juxtaposition of two
of his shorter compositions, this title being chosen to vary the
programme. From Mr. Hipkins I learned that at this Chopin played
frequently the slow movement from his Op. 22, Grande Polonaise
preceded d'un Andante Spianato.

And now we will let Chopin again speak for himself.

Chopin to Grzymala; Keir, Perthshire, Sunday, October 1, 1848:--

  No post, no railway, also no carriage (not even for taking the
  air), no boat, not a dog to be seen--all desolate, desolate!
  My dearest friend,--Just at the moment when I had already
  begun to write to you on another sheet, your and my sister's
  letters were brought to me. Heaven be thanked that cholera has
  hitherto spared them. But why do you not write a word about
  yourself? and yet to you corresponding is much easier than to
  me; for I have been writing to you daily for a whole week
  already--namely, since my return from northern Scotland
  (Strachur [FOOTNOTE: A small town, eight miles south of
  Inveraray, in Argyleshire.])--without getting done. I know,
  indeed, that you have an invalid in Versailles; for Rozaria
  [FOOTNOTE: Mdlle. de Rozieres.] wrote to me that you had paid
  her a visit, and then in great haste had gone to an invalid in
  Versailles. I hope it is not your grandfather or grandchild,
  or one of your dear neighbours, the Rochanskis. Here one hears
  as yet nothing of cholera, but in London it appears already
  here and there.

  With your letter, which I received at Johnstone Castle, and in
  which you informed me that you had been with Soli [FOOTNOTE: I
  suppose Solange, Madame Clesinger, George Sand's daughter.] at
  the Gymnase Theatre, there came at the same time one from
  Edinburgh, from Prince Alexander Czartoryski, with the news
  that he and his wife had arrived, and that he would be very
  glad to see me. Although tired, I at once took the train and
  found them still in Edinburgh. Princess Marcelline was as kind
  as she always is to me. The intercourse with them reanimated
  me, and gave me strength to play in Glasgow, where the whole
  haute volee had gathered for my concert. The weather was
  magnificent, and the princely family had even come from
  Edinburgh with little Marcel, who is growing nicely, and sings
  already my compositions, yes, and even corrects when he hears
  someone making mistakes. It was on Wednesday afternoon, at 3
  o'clock, and the princely couple did me the kindness to accept
  along with me an invitation to a dinner at Johnstone Castle
  (by the way, twelve English miles from Glasgow) after the
  concert; in this way, then, I passed the whole day with them.
  Lord and Lady Murray and the old Lord Torphichen (who had come
  a distance of a hundred miles) drove also thither with us, and
  the next day all were quite charmed with the amiability of
  Princess Marcelline. The princely pair returned to Glasgow,
  whence, after a visit to Loch Tamen, [FOOTNOTE: There is no
  such loch. Could it possibly be Loch Lomond? Loch Leven seems
  to me less likely.] they wished to go back at once to London,
  and thence to the Continent. The Prince spoke of you with
  sincere kindness. I can very well imagine what your noble soul
  must suffer when you see what is now going on in Paris. You
  cannot think how I revived, how lively I became that day in
  the society of such dear countrymen; but to-day I am again
  very depressed. O, this mist! Although, from the window at
  which I write, I have before me the most beautiful view of
  Stirling Castle--it is the same, as you will remember, which
  delighted Robert Bruce--and mountains, lochs, a charming park,
  in one word, the view most celebrated for its beauty in
  Scotland; I see nothing, except now and then, when the mist
  gives way to the sun. The owner of this mansion, whose name is
  Stirling, is the uncle of our Scotch ladies, and the head of
  the family. I made his acquaintance in London; he is a rich
  bachelor, and has a very beautiful picture-gallery, which is
  especially distinguished by works of Murillo and other Spanish
  masters. He has lately even published a very interesting book
  on the Spanish school; he has travelled much (visited also the
  East), and is a very intelligent man. All Englishmen of note
  who come to Scotland go to him; he has always an open house,
  so that there are daily on an average about thirty people at
  dinner with him. In this way one has opportunities of seeing
  the most different English beauties; lately there was, for
  instance, for some days a Mrs. Boston here, but she is already
  gone. As to dukes, earls, and lords, one now sees here more of
  them than ever, because the Queen has sojourned in Scotland.
  Yesterday she passed close by us by rail, as she had to be at
  a certain time in London, and there was such a fog on the sea
  that she preferred to return from Aberdeen to London by land,
  and not (as she had come) by boat--to the great regret of the
  navy, which had prepared various festivities for her. It is
  said that her consort, Prince Albert, was very much pleased at
  this, as he becomes always sea-sick on board, while the Queen,
  like a true ruler of the sea, is not inconvenienced by a
  voyage. I shall soon have forgotten Polish, speak French like
  an Englishman, and English like a Scotchman--in short, like
  Jawurek, jumble together five languages. If I do not write to
  you a Jeremiad, it is not because you cannot comfort me, but
  because you are the only one who knows everything; and if I
  once begin to complain, there will be no end to it, and it
  will always be in the same key. But it is incorrect when I
  say: "always in the same key," for things are getting worse
  with me every day. I feel weaker; I cannot compose, not for
  want of inclination, but for physical reasons, and because I
  am every week in a different place. But what shall I do? At
  least, I shall save something for the winter. Invitations I
  have in plenty, and cannot even go where I should like, for
  instance, to the Duchess of Argyll and Lady Belhaven, as the
  season is already too far advanced and too dangerous for my
  enfeebled health. I am all the morning unable to do anything,
  and when I have dressed myself I feel again so fatigued that I
  must rest. After dinner I must sit two hours with the
  gentlemen, hear what they say, and see how much they drink.
  Meanwhile I feel bored to death. I think of something totally
  different, and then go to the drawing-room, where I require
  all my strength to revive, for all are anxious to hear me.
  Afterwards my good Daniel carries me upstairs to my bedroom,
  undresses me, puts me to bed, leaves the candle burning, and
  then I am again at liberty to sigh and to dream until morning,
  to pass the next day just like the preceding one. When I have
  settled down in some measure, I must continue my travels, for
  my Scotch ladies do not allow me--to be sure with the best
  intentions in the world--any rest. They fetch me to introduce
  me to all their relations; they will at last kill me with
  their kindness, and I must bear it all out of pure amiability.--



Chopin to Gutmann; Calder House, October 16, 1848 (twelve miles
from Edinburgh):--

  Very dear friend,--What are you doing? How are your people,
  your country, your art? you are unjustly severe upon me, for
  you know my infirmity in the matter of letter-writing. I have
  thought of you much, and on reading the other day that there
  was a disturbance at Heidelberg, I tried some thirty rough
  draughts [brouillons] in order to send you a line, the end of
  them all being to be thrown into the fire. This page will
  perhaps reach you and find you happy with your good mother.
  Since I had news from you, I have been in Scotland, in this
  beautiful country of Walter Scott, with so many memories of
  Mary Stuart, the two Charleses, &c. I drag myself from one
  lord to another, from one duke to another. I find everywhere,
  besides extreme kindness and hospitality without limit,
  excellent pianos, beautiful pictures, choice libraries; there
  are also hunts, horses, dogs, interminable dinners, and
  cellars of which I avail myself less. It is impossible to form
  an idea of all the elaborate comfort which reigns in the
  English mansions. The Queen having passed this year some weeks
  in Scotland, all England followed her, partly out of courtesy,
  partly because of the impossibility of going to the disturbed
  Continent. Everything here has become doubly splendid, except
  the sun, which has done nothing more than usual; moreover, the
  winter advances, and I do not know yet what will become of me.
  I am writing to you from Lord Torphichen's. In this mansion,
  above my apartment, John Knox, the Scotch reformer, dispensed
  for the first time the Sacrament. Everything here furnishes
  matter for the imagination--a park with hundred-year-old
  trees, precipices, walls of the castle in ruins, endless
  passages with numberless old ancestors--there is even a
  certain Red-cowl which walks there at midnight. I walk there
  my incertitude. [II y a meme un certain bonnet rouge, qui s'y
  promene a minuit. J'y promene mon incertitude.]

  Cholera is coming; there is fog and spleen in London, and no
  president in Paris. It does not matter where I go to cough and
  suffocate, I shall always love you. Present my respects to
  your mother, and all my wishes for the happiness of you all.
  Write me a line to the address: Dr. Lishinsky, [FOOTNOTE: The
  letter I shall next place before the reader is addressed by
  Chopin to "Dr. Lishinski." In an Edinburgh medical directory
  the name appeared as Lyszynski.] 10, Warriston Crescent,
  Edinburgh, Scotland.--Yours, with all my heart,


  P.S.--I have played in Edinburgh; the nobility of the
  neighbourhood came to hear me; people say the thing went off
  well--a little success and money. There were this year in
  Scotland Lind, Grisi, Alboni, Mario, Salvi--everybody.

From Chopin's letters may be gathered that he arrived once more
in London at the end of October or beginning of November.

Chopin to Dr. Lyschinski; London, November 3, 1848:--

  I received yesterday your kind words with the letter from
  Heidelberg. I am as perplexed here as when I was with you, and
  have the same love in my heart for you as when I was with you.
  My respects to your wife and your neighbours. May God bless

  I embrace you cordially. I have seen the Princess
  [Czartoryska]; they were inquiring about you most kindly.

  My present abode is 4, St. James's Place. If anything should
  come for me, please send it to that address.

  3rd November, 1848.

  Pray send the enclosed note to Miss Stirling, who, no doubt,
  is still at Barnton.

  [FOOTNOTE: In this case, as when writing to Woyciechowski,
  Matuszynski, Fontana, Franchomme and Gutmann, Chopin uses in
  addressing his correspondent, the pronoun of the second person
  singular. Here I may also mention the curious monogram on his
  seal: three C's in the form of horns (with mouthpieces and
  bells) intertwined.]

The following letter shows in what state of mind and body Chopin
was at the time.

Chopin to Grzymala; London, October [should be November] 17-18,

  My dearest friend,--For the last eighteen days, that is, since
  my arrival in London, I have been ill, and had such a severe
  cold in my head (with headache, difficult breathing, and all
  my bad symptoms) that I did not get out of doors at all. The
  physician visits me daily (a homoeopathist of the name of
  Mallan, the same whom my Scotch ladies have and who has here a
  great reputation, and is married to a niece of Lady
  Gainsborough). He has succeeded in restoring me so far that
  yesterday I was able to take part in the Polish Concert and
  Ball; I went, however, at once home, after I had gone through
  my task. The whole night I could not sleep, as I suffered,
  besides cough and asthma, from very violent headache. As yet
  the mist has not been very bad, so that, in order to breathe a
  little fresh air, I can open the windows of my apartments
  notwithstanding the keen cold. I live at No. 4, St. James's
  Street, see almost every day the excellent Szulczewski,
  Broadwood, Mrs. Erskine, who followed me hither with Mr.
  Stirling, and especially Prince Alexander [Czartoryski] and
  his wife.

  [FOOTNOTE: Charles Francis Szulczewski, son of Charles
  Szulczewski, Receiver General for the District of Orlow, born
  on January 18, 1814, was educated at the Military School at
  Kalisz, served during the War of 1831 in the Corps of
  Artillery under General Bem, obtained the Cross of Honour
  (virtuti militari) for distinguishing himself at Ostrolenka,
  passed the first years of his refugee life in France, and in
  1842 took up his residence in London, where, in 1845, he
  became Secretary of the Literary Association of the Friends of
  Poland. He was promoted for his services to the rank of Major
  in the Polish Legion, which was formed in Turkey under the
  command of Ladislas Zamoyski, and after the treaty of Paris
  (1856) the English Government appointed him to a post in the
  War Office. Major Szulczewski, who died on October 18, 1884,
  was an ardent patriot, highly esteemed not only by his
  countrymen, but also by all others who came in contact with
  him, numbering among his friends the late Lord Dudley Stuart
  and the late Earl of Harrowby.]

  Address your letters, please, to Szulczewski. I cannot yet
  come to Paris, but I am always considering what is to be done
  to return there. Here in these apartments, which for any
  healthy man would be good, I cannot remain, although they are
  beautifully situated and not dear (four and a half guineas a
  week, inclusive of bed, coals, &c.); they are near Lord
  Stuart's, [FOOTNOTE: Lord Dudley Cuotts Stuart, a staunch and
  generous friend of the Poles.] who has just left me. This
  worthy gentleman came to inquire how I felt after last night's
  concert. Probably I shall take up my quarters with him,
  because he has much larger rooms, in which I can breathe more
  freely. En tout cas--inquire, please, whether there are not
  somewhere on the Boulevard, in the neighbourhood of the Rue de
  la Paix or Rue Royale, apartments to be had on the first etage
  with windows towards the south; or, for aught I care, in the
  Rue des Mathurin, but not in the Rue Godot or other gloomy,
  narrow streets; at any rate, there must be included a room for
  the servant. Perhaps Franck's old quarters, which were above
  mine, at the excellent Madame Etienne's, in the Square No. 9
  (Cite d'Orleans), are unoccupied; for I know from experience
  that I cannot keep on my old ones during the winter. If there
  were only on the same story a room for the servant, I should
  go again and live with Madame Etienne, but I should not like
  to let my Daniel go away, as, should I at any time wish or be
  able to return to England, he will be acquainted with

  Why I bother you with all this I don't know myself; but I must
  think of myself, and, therefore, I beg of you, assist me in
  this. I have never cursed anyone, but now I am so weary of
  life that I am near cursing Lucrezia! [FOOTNOTE: George Sand.
  This allusion after what has been said in a previous chapter
  about her novel Lucrezia Floriani needs no further
  explanation.] But she suffers too, and suffers more because
  she grows daily older in wickedness. What a pity about Soli!
  [FOOTNOTE: I suppose Solange, Madame Clesinger, George Sand's
  daughter.] Alas! everything is going wrong in this world.
  Think only that Arago with the eagle on his breast now
  represents France!!! Louis Blanc attracts here nobody's
  attention. The deputation of the national guard drove
  Caussidier out of the Hotel de la Sablonniere (Leicester
  Square) from the table d'hote with the exclamation: "Vous
  n'etes pas francais!"

  Should you find apartments, let me know at once; but do not
  give up the old ones till then.--Your


The Polish Ball and Concert alluded to in the above letter
deserves our attention, for on that occasion Chopin was heard for
the last time in public, indeed, his performance there may be
truly called the swan's song.

The following is an advertisement which appeared in the DAILY
NEWS of November 1, 1848:--

  Grand Polish Ball and Concert at Guildhall, under Royal and
  distinguished patronage, and on a scale of more than usual
  magnificence, will take place on Thursday, the 16th of
  November, by permission of the Lord Mayor and Corporation of
  the City of London; particulars of which will be shortly
  announced to the public.

                             JAMES R. CARR, HONORARY SECRETARY.

The information given in this advertisement is supplemented in
one of November 15:--

  The magnificent decorations used on the Lord Mayor's day are,
  by permission, preserved. The concert will comprise the most
  eminent vocalists. Tickets (refreshments included), for a lady
  and gentleman, 21/-; for a gentleman, 15/-; for a lady, 10/6;
  to be had of, &c.

On the 17th of November the TIMES had, of course, an account of
the festivity of the preceding night:--

  The patrons and patronesses of this annual or rather perennial
  demonstration in favour of foreign claims on domestic charity
  assembled last night at Guildhall much in the same way as they
  assembled last year and on previous occasions, though
  certainly not in such numbers, nor in such quality as some
  years ago. The great hall was illuminated and decorated as at
  the Lord Mayor's banquet. The appearance was brilliant without
  being particularly lively.

Then the dancing, Mr. Adams' excellent band, the refreshment
rooms, a few noble Lords, the Lord Mayor, and some of the civic
authorities (who "diversified the plain misters and mistresses
who formed the majority"), the gay costumes of some Highlanders
and Spaniards, and Lord Dudley (the great lion of the evening)--
all these are mentioned, but there is not a word about Chopin. Of
the concert we read only that it "was much the same as on former
anniversaries, and at its conclusion many of the company
departed." We learn, moreover, that the net profit was estimated
at less than on former occasions.

The concert for which Chopin, prompted by his patriotism and
persuaded by his friends, lent his assistance, was evidently a
subordinate part of the proceedings in which few took any
interest. The newspapers either do not notice it at all or but
very briefly; in any case the, great pianist-composer is ignored.
Consequently, very little information is now to be obtained about
this matter. Mr. Lindsay Sloper remembered that Chopin played
among other things the "Etudes" in A flat and F minor (Op. 25,
Nos. 1 & 2). But the best account we have of the concert are some
remarks of one present at it which Mr. Hueffer quotes in his
essay on Chopin in "Musical Studies":--

  The people, hot from dancing, who went into the room where he
  played, were but little in the humour to pay attention, and
  anxious to return to their amusement. He was in the last stage
  of exhaustion, and the affair resulted in disappointment. His
  playing at such a place was a well-intentioned mistake.

What a sad conclusion to a noble artistic career!

Although Chopin was longing for Paris in November, he was still
in London in the following January.

Chopin to Grzymaia; London, Tuesday, January, 1849:--

  My dearest friend,--To-day I am again lying almost the whole
  day, but Thursday I shall leave the to me unbearable London.
  The night from Thursday to Friday I shall remain at Boulogne,
  and, I hope, go to bed on Friday night in the Place d'Orleans.
  To other ailments is now added neuralgia. Please see that the
  sheets and pillows are quite dry and cause fir-nuts to be
  bought; Madame Etienne is not to spare anything, so that I may
  warm myself when I arrive. I have written to Drozewski that he
  is to provide carpets and curtains. I shall pay the paper-
  hanger Perrichon at once after my arrival. Tell Pleyel to send
  me a piano on Thursday; let it be closed and a nosegay of
  violets be bought, so that there may be a nice fragrance in
  the salon. I should like to find a little poesy in my rooms
  and in my bedroom, where I in all probability shall lie down
  for a long time.

  Friday evening, then, I expect to be in Paris; a day longer
  here, and I shall go mad or die! My Scotch ladies are good,
  but so tedious that--God have mercy on us! They have so
  attached themselves to me that I cannot easily get rid of
  them; only Princess Marcelline [Czartoryska] and her family,
  and the excellent Szulczewski keep me alive. Have fires
  lighted in all rooms and the dust removed--perhaps I may yet
  recover.--Yours ever,


Mr. Niedzwiecki told me that he travelled with Chopin, who was
accompanied by his servant, from London to Paris.

[FOOTNOTE: Leonard Niedzwiecki, born in the Kingdom of Poland in
1807, joined the National Army in 1830, distinguished himself on
several battlefields, came in 1832 as a refugee to England, made
there a livelihood by literary work and acted as honorary
librarian of the Literary Association of the friends of Poland,
left about 1845 London for Paris and became Private Secretary,
first to General Count Ladislas Zamoyski, and after the Count's
death to the widowed Countess. M. Niedzwiecki, who is also
librarian of the Polish Library at Paris, now devotes all his
time to historical and philological research.]

The three had a compartment to themselves. During the journey the
invalid suffered greatly from frequent attacks of breathlessness.
Chopin was delighted when he saw Boulogne. How hateful England
and the English were to him is shown by the following anecdote.
When they had left Boulogne and Chopin had been for some time
looking at the landscape through which they were passing, he said
to Mr. Niedzwiecki: "Do you see the cattle in this meadow? Ca a
plus d'intelligence que les Anglais." Let us not be wroth at poor
Chopin: he was then irritated by his troubles, and always
anything but a cosmopolitan.



The physical condition in which we saw Chopin in the preceding
chapter was not the outcome of a newly-contracted disease, but
only an acuter phase of that old disease from which he had been
suffering more or less for at least twelve years, and which in
all probability he inherited from his father, who like himself
died of a chest and heart complaint. [FOOTNOTE: My authority for
this statement is Dr. Lyschinski, who must have got his
information either from Chopin himself or his mother. That
Chopin's youngest sister, Emilia, died of consumption in early
life cannot but be regarded as a significant fact.] Long before
Chopin went in search of health to Majorca, ominous symptoms
showed themselves; and when he returned from the south, he was
only partly restored, not cured.

  My attachment [writes George Sand in "Ma Vie"] could work this
  miracle of making him a little calm and happy, only because
  God had approved of it by preserving a little of his health.
  He declined, however, visibly, and I knew no longer what
  remedies to employ in order to combat the growing irritation
  of his nerves. The death of his friend Dr. Matuszynski, then
  that of his own father, [FOOTNOTE: Nicholas Chopin died on May
  3, 1844. About Matuszynski's death see page 158.] were to him
  two terrible blows. The Catholic dogma throws on death
  horrible terrors. Chopin, instead of dreaming for these pure
  souls a better world, had only dreadful visions, and I was
  obliged to pass very many nights in a room adjoining his,
  always ready to rise a hundred times from my work in order to
  drive away the spectres of his sleep and wakefulness. The idea
  of his own death appeared to him accompanied with all the
  superstitious imaginings of Slavonic poetry. As a Pole he
  lived under the nightmare of legends. The phantoms called him,
  clasped him, and, instead of seeing his father and his friend
  smile at him in the ray of faith, he repelled their fleshless
  faces from his own and struggled under the grasp of their icy

But a far more terrible blow than the deaths of his friend and
his father was his desertion by George Sand, and we may be sure
that it aggravated his disease a hundredfold. To be convinced of
this we have only to remember his curse on Lucrezia (see the
letter to Grzymala of November 17-18, 1848).

Jules Janin, in an obituary notice, says of Chopin that "he lived
ten years, ten miraculous years, with a breath ready to fly away"
(il a vecu dix ans, dix ans de miracle, d'un souffle pret a
s'envoler). Another writer remarks: "In seeing him [Chopin] so
puny, thin, and pale, one thought for a. long time that he was
dying, and then one got accustomed to the idea that he could live
always so." Stephen Heller in chatting to me about Chopin
expressed the same idea in different words: "Chopin was often
reported to have died, so often, indeed, that people would not
believe the news when he was really dead." There was in Chopin
for many years, especially since 1837, a constant flux and reflux
of life. To repeat another remark of Heller's: "Now he was ill,
and then again one saw him walking on the boulevards in a thin
coat." A married sister of Gutmann's remembers that Chopin had
already, in 1843-4, to be carried upstairs, when he visited her
mother, who in that year was staying with her children in Paris;
to walk upstairs, even with assistance, would have been
impossible to him.

  For a long time [writes M. Charles Gavard] Chopin had been,
  moving about with difficulty, and only went out to have
  himself carried to a few faithful friends. He visited them by
  no means in order that they might share his misery, on the
  contrary, he seemed even to forget his troubles, and at sight
  of the family life, and in the midst of the demonstrations of
  love which he called forth from everyone, he found new impulse
  and new strength to live.

  [FOOTNOTE: In a manuscript now before me, containing
  reminiscences of the last months of Chopin's life. Karasowski,
  at whose disposal the author placed his manuscript, copies
  LITERALY, in the twelfth chapter of his Chopin biography, page
  after page, without the customary quotation marks.]

Edouard Wolff told me that, in the latter part of Chopin's life,
he did not leave the carriage when he had any business at
Schlesinger's music-shop; a shopman came out to the composer, who
kept himself closely wrapped in his blue mantle. The following
reminiscence is, like some of the preceding ones, somewhat vague
with regard to time. Stephen Heller met Chopin shortly before the
latter fell ill. On being asked where he was going, Chopin
replied that he was on his way to buy a new carpet, his old one
having got worn, and then he complained of his legs beginning to
swell. And Stephen Heller saw indeed that there were lumps of
swelling. M. Mathias, describing to me his master as he saw him
in 1847, wrote: "It was a painful spectacle to see Chopin at that
time; he was the picture of exhaustion--the back bent, the head
bowed forward--but always amiable and full of distinction." That
Chopin was no longer in a condition to compose (he published
nothing after October, 1847), and that playing in public was
torture to him and an effort beyond his strength, we have already
seen. But this was not all the misery; he was also unable to
teach. Thus all his sources of income were cut off. From Chopin's
pupil Madame Rubio (nee Vera de Kologrivof) I learned that
latterly when her master was ill and could not give many lessons,
he sent to her several of his pupils, among whom was also Miss
Stirling, who then came to him only once a week instead of
oftener. But after his return from England Chopin was no longer
able to teach at all. [FOOTNOTE: "When languor [son mal de
langueur] took hold of him," relates Henri Blaze de Bury in
"Etudes et Souvenirs," "Chopin gave his lessons, stretched on a
sofa, having within reach a piano of which he made use for
demonstration."] This is what Franchomme told me, and he, in the
last years especially, was intimately acquainted with Chopin, and
knew all about his financial affairs, of which we shall hear more

As we saw from the letter quoted at the end of the last chapter,
Chopin took up his quarters in the Square d'Orleans, No. 9. He,
however, did not find there the recovery of his health, of which
he spoke in the concluding sentences. Indeed, Chopin knew
perfectly by that time that the game was lost. Hope showed
herself to him now and then, but very dimly and doubtfully.
Nothing proves the gravity of his illness and his utter
prostration so much as the following letters in which he informs
his Titus, the dearest friend of his youth, that he cannot go and
meet him in Belgium.

Chopin to Titus Woyciechowski; Paris, August 20, 1849:--

  Square d'Orleans, Rue St. Lazare, No 9.

  My dearest friend,--Nothing but my being so ill as I really am
  could prevent me from leaving Paris and hastening to meet you
  at Ostend; but I hope that God will permit you to come to me.
  The doctors do not permit me to travel. I drink Pyrenean
  waters in my own room. But your presence would do me more good
  than any kind of medicine.--Yours unto death,


  Paris, September 12, 1849.

  My dear Titus,--I had too little time to see about the permit
  for your coming here; [FOOTNOTE: As a Russian subject,
  Woyciechowski required a special permission from the Rusian
  authorities to visit Paris, which was not readily granted to
  Poles.] I cannot go after it myself, for the half of my time I
  lie in bed. But I have asked one of my friends, who has very
  great influence, to undertake this for me; I shall not hear
  anything certain, about it till Saturday. I should have liked
  to go by rail to the frontier, as far as Valenciennes, to see
  you again; but the doctors do not permit me to leave Paris,
  because a few days ago I could not get as far as Ville
  d'Avraye, near Versailles, where I have a goddaughter. For the
  same reason they do not send me this winter to a warmer
  climate. It is, then, illness that retains me; were I only
  tolerably well I should certainly have visited you in Belgium.

  Perhaps you may manage to come here. I am not egotistic enough
  to ask you to come only on my account; for, as I am ill, you
  would have with me weary hours and disappointments, but,
  perhaps, also hours of comfort, and of beautiful reminiscences
  of our youth, and I wish only that our time together may be a
  time of happiness.--Yours ever,


When Chopin wrote the second of the above letters he was staying
in a part of Paris more suitable for summer quarters than the
Square d'Orleans--namely, in the Rue Chaillot, whither he had
removed in the end of August.

  The Rue Chaillot [writes M. Charles Gavard] was then a very
  quiet street, where one thought one's self rather in the
  province than in the capital. A large court-yard led to
  Chopin's apartments on the second story and with a view of
  Paris, which can be seen from the height of Chaillot.

The friends who found these apartments for the invalid composer
made him believe that the rent was only 200 francs. But in
reality it was 400 francs, and a Russian lady, Countess
Obreskoff, [FOOTNOTE: Madame Rubio, differing in this one
particular from Franchomme, said that Chopin paid 100 francs and
Countess Obreskoff 200.] paid one half of it. When Chopin
expressed surprise at the lowness of the rent, he was told that
lodgings were cheap in summer.

This last story prompts me to say a few words about Chopin's
pecuniary circumstances, and naturally leads me to another story,
one more like romance than reality. Chopin was a bad manager, or
rather he was no manager at all. He spent inconsiderately, and
neglecting to adapt his expenditure to his income, he was again
and again under the necessity of adapting his income to his
expenditure. Hence those borrowings of money from friends, those
higglings with and dunnings of publishers, in short, all those
meannesses which were unworthy of so distinguished an artist, and
irreconcilable with his character of grand seigneur. Chopin's
income was more than sufficient to provide him with all
reasonable comforts; but he spent money like a giddy-headed,
capricious woman, and unfortunately for him had not a fond father
or husband to pay the debts thus incurred. Knowing in what an
unsatisfactory state his financial affairs were when he was
earning money by teaching and publishing, we can have no
difficulty in imagining into what straits he must have been
driven by the absolute cessation of work and the consequent
cessation of income. The little he had saved in England and
Scotland was soon gone, gone unawares; indeed, the discovery of
the fact came to him as a surprise. What was to be done?
Franchomme, his right hand, and his head too, in business and
money matters--and now, of course, more than ever--was at his
wits' end. He discussed the disquieting, threatening problem with
some friends of Chopin, and through one of them the composer's
destitution came to the knowledge of Miss Stirling. She cut the
Gordian knot by sending her master 25,000 francs. [FOOTNOTE: M.
Charles Gavard says 20,000 francs.] This noble gift, however; did
not at once reach the hands of Chopin. When Franchomme, who knew
what had been done, visited Chopin a few days afterwards, the
invalid lamented as on previous occasions his impecuniosity, and
in answer to the questions of his astonished friend stated that
he had received nothing. The enquiries which were forthwith set
on foot led to the envelope with the precious enclosure being
found untouched in the clock of the portiere, who intentionally
or unintentionally had omitted to deliver it. The story is told
in various ways, the above is the skeleton of apparently solid
facts. I will now make the reader acquainted with the hitherto
unpublished account of Madame Rubio, who declared solemnly that
her version was correct in every detail. Franchomme's version, as
given in Madame Audley's book on Chopin, differs in several
points from that of Madame Rubio; I shall, therefore, reproduce
it for comparison in a foot-note.

One day in 1849 Franchomme came to Madame Rubio, and said that
something must be done to get money for Chopin. Madame Rubio
thereupon went to Miss Stirling to acquaint her with the state of
matters. When Miss Stirling heard of Chopin's want of money, she
was amazed, and told her visitor that some time before she had,
without the knowledge of anyone, sent Chopin 25,000 francs in a
packet which, in order to conceal the sender, she got addressed
and sealed in a shop. The ladies made enquiries as to the
whereabouts of the money, but without result. A Scotch gentleman,
a novelist (Madame Rubio had forgotten the name at the time she
told the story, but was sure she would recall it, and no doubt
would have done so, had not her sudden death soon after
[FOOTNOTE: In the summer of 1880] intervened), proposed to
consult the clairvoyant Alexandre. [FOOTNOTE: Madame Rubio always
called the clairvoyant thus. See another name farther on.] The
latter on being applied to told them that the packet along with a
letter had been delivered to the portiere who had it then in her
possession, but that he could not say more until he got some of
her hair. One evening when the portiere was bathing Chopin's
feet, he--who had in the meantime been communicated with--talked
to her about her hair and asked her to let him cut off one lock.
She allowed him to do so, and thus Alexandre was enabled to say
that the money was in the clock in the portiere's room. Having
got this information, they went to the woman and asked her for
the packet. She turned pale, and, drawing it out of the clock,
said that at the time she forgot to give it to Chopin, and when
she remembered it afterwards was afraid to do so. The packet of
notes was unopened. Madame Rubio supposed that the portiere
thought Chopin would soon die and that then she might keep the
contents of the parcel.

[FOOTNOTE: After relating that an intimate friend of Chopin's
told Miss Stirling of the latter's straitened circumstances,
received from her bank-notes to the amount of 25,000 francs, and
handed them enclosed in an envelope to the master's portiere with
the request to deliver the packet immediately to its address,
Madame Audley proceeds with her story (which Franchomme's death
prevented me from verifying) thus: "Here, then, was a gleam of
light in this darkened sky, and the reassured friends breathed
more freely." "But what was my surprise," said M. Franchomme, from
whom I have the story, "when some time after I heard Chopin renew
his complaints and speak of his distress in the most poignant
terms. Becoming impatient, and being quite at a loss as to what
was going on, I said at last to him: "But, my dear friend, you
have no cause to torment yourself, you can wait for the return of
your health, you have money now!"--"I, money!" exclaimed Chopin;
"I have nothing."--"How! and these 25,000 francs which were sent
you lately?"--"25,000 francs? Where are they? Who sent them to
me? I have not received a sou!"--"Ah! really, that is too bad!"
Great commotion among the friends. It was evident that the money
given to the portiere had not arrived at its destination; but how
to be assured of this? and what had become of it? Here was a
curious enough fact, as if a little of the marvellous must always
be mingled with Chopin's affairs. Paris at that time possessed a
much run-after clairvoyant, the celebrated Alexis; they thought
of going to consult him. But to get some information it was
necessary to put him en rapport, directly or indirectly, with the
person suspected. Now this person was, naturally, the portiere.
By ruse or by address they got hold of a little scarf that she
wore round her neck and placed it in the hands of the
clairvoyant. The latter unhesitatingly declared that the 25,000
francs were behind the looking-glass in the loge. The friend who
had brought them immediately presented himself to claim them; and
our careful portiere, fearing, no doubt, the consequences of a
too prolonged sequestration, drew the packet from behind the
clock and held it out to him, saying: 'Eh bien, la v'la, vot'

Chopin, however, refused to accept the whole of the 25,000
francs. According to Madame Rubio, he kept only 1,000 francs,
returning the rest to Miss Stirling, whilst Franchomme, on the
other hand, said that his friend kept 12,000 francs.

During Chopin's short stay in the Rue Chaillot, M. Charles
Gavard, then a very young man, in fact, a youth, spent much of
his time with the suffering composer:--

  The invalid [he writes] avoided everything that could make me
  sad, and, to shorten the hours which we passed together,
  generally begged me to take a book out of his library and to
  read to him. For the most part he chose some pages out of
  Voltaire's Dictionnaire Philosophique. He valued very highly
  the finished form of that clear and concise language, and that
  so sure judgment on questions of taste. Thus, for instance, I
  remember that the article on taste was one of the last I read
  to him.

What M. Gavard says of how slowly, in pain, and often in
loneliness, the hours passed for Chopin in the spacious, rooms of
his lodgings in the Rue Chaillot, reminds me of a passage in
Hector Berlioz's admirable article on his friend in the Journal
des Debats (October 27, 1849):--

  His weakness and his sufferings had become so great that he
  could no longer either play the piano or compose; even the
  slightest conversation fatigued him in an alarming manner. He
  endeavoured generally to make himself understood as far as
  possible by signs. Hence the kind of isolation in which he
  wished to pass the last months of his life, an isolation which
  many people wrongly interpreted--some attributing it to a
  scornful pride, others to a melancholic temper, the one as
  well as the other equally foreign to the character of this,
  charming artist.

During his stay in the Rue Chaillot Chopin wrote the following
note and letter to Franchomme:--

  Dear friend,--Send me a little of your Bordeaux. I must take a
  little wine to-day, and have none. How distrustful I am! Wrap
  up the bottle, and put your seal on it. For these porters! And
  I do not know who will take charge of this commission.

  Yours, with all my heart.

  Sunday after your departure, September 17, 1849.

  Dear friend,--I am very sorry that you were not well at Le
  Mans. Now, however, you are in Touraine, whose sky will have
  been more favourable to you. I am less well rather than
  better. MM. Cruveille, Louis, and Blache have had a
  consultation, and have come to the conclusion that I ought not
  to travel, but only to take lodgings in the south and remain
  at Paris. After much seeking, very dear apartments, combining
  all the desired conditions, have been found in the Place
  Vendome, No. 12. Albrecht has now his offices there. Meara
  [FOOTNOTE: This is a very common French equivalent for
  O'Meara.] has been of great help to me in the search for the
  apartments. In short, I shall see you all next winter--well
  housed; my sister remains with me, unless she is urgently
  required in her own country. I love you, and that is all I can
  tell you, for I am overcome with sleep and weakness. My sister
  rejoices at the idea of seeing Madame Franchomme again, and I
  also do so most sincerely. This shall be as God wills. Kindest
  regards to M. and Madame Forest. How much I should like to be
  some days with you! Is Madame de Lauvergeat also at the sea-
  side? Do not forget to remember me to her, as well as to M. de
  Lauvergeat. Embrace your little ones. Write me a line. Yours
  ever. My sister embraces Madame Franchomme.

After a stay of less than six weeks Chopin removed from the Rue
Chaillot to the apartments in No. 12, Place Vendome, which M.
Albrecht and Dr. O'Meara had succeeded in finding for him. About
this time Moscheles came to Paris. Of course he did not fail to
inquire after his brother-artist and call at his house. What
Moscheles heard and thought may be gathered from the following
entry in his diary:-"Unfortunately, we heard of Chopin's critical
condition, made ourselves inquiries, and found all the sad news
confirmed. Since he has been laid up thus, his sister has been
with him. Now the days of the poor fellow are numbered, his
sufferings great. Sad lot!" Yes, Chopin's condition had become so
hopeless that his relations had been communicated with, and his
sister, Louisa Jedrzejewicz, [FOOTNOTE: The same sister who
visited him in 1844, passed on that occasion also some time at
Nohant, and subsequently is mentioned in a letter of Chopin's to
Franchomme.] accompanied by her husband and daughter, had lost no
time in coming from Poland to Paris. For the comfort of her
presence he was, no doubt, thankful. But he missed and deplored
very much during his last illness the absence of his old, trusted
physician, Dr. Molin, who had died shortly after the composer's
return from England.

The accounts of Chopin's last days--even if we confine ourselves
to those given by eye-witnesses--are a mesh of contradictions
which it is impossible to wholly disentangle. I shall do my best,
but perhaps the most I can hope for is to avoid making confusion
worse confounded.

In the first days of October Chopin was already in such a
condition that unsupported he could not sit upright. His sister
and Gutmann did not leave him for a minute, Chopin holding a hand
of the latter almost constantly in one of his. By the 15th of
October the voice of the patient had lost its sonority. It was on
this day that took place the episode which has so often and
variously been described. The Countess Delphine Potocka, between
whom and Chopin existed a warm friendship, and who then happened
to be at Nice, was no sooner informed of her friend's fatal
illness than she hastened to Paris.

  When the coming of this dear friend was announced to Chopin
  [relates M. Gavard], he exclaimed: "Therefore, then, has God
  delayed so long to call me to Him; He wished to vouchsafe me
  yet the pleasure of seeing you." Scarcely had she stepped up
  to him when he expressed the wish that she should let him hear
  once more the voice which he loved so much. When the priest
  who prayed beside the bed had granted the request of the dying
  man, the piano was moved from the adjoining room, and the
  unhappy Countess, mastering her sorrow and suppressing tier
  sobs, had to force herself to sing beside the bed where her
  friend was exhaling his life. I, for my part, heard nothing; I
  do not know what she sang. This scene, this contrast, this
  excess of grief had over-powered my-sensibility; I remember
  only the moment when the death-rattle of the departing one
  interrupted the Countess in the middle of the second piece.
  The instrument was quickly removed, and beside the bed
  remained only the priest who said the prayers for the dying,
  and the kneeling friends around him.

However, the end was not yet come, indeed, was not to come till
two days after. M. Gavard, in saying that he did not hear what
the Countess Potocka sang, acts wisely, for those who pretended
to have heard it contradict each other outright. Liszt and
Karasowski, who follows him, say that the Countess sang the Hymn
to the Virgin by Stradella, and a Psalm by Marcello; on the other
hand, Gutmann most positively asserted that she sang a Psalm by
Marcello and an air by Pergolesi; whereas Franchomme insisted on
her having sung an air from Bellini's Beatrice di Tenda, and that
only once, and nothing else. As Liszt was not himself present,
and does not give the authority for his statement, we may set it,
and with it Karasowski's, aside; but the two other statements,
made as they were by two musicians who were ear witnesses, leave
us in distressing perplexity with regard to what really took
place, for between them we cannot choose. Chopin, says M. Gavard,
looked forward to his death with serenity.

  Some days after his removal to the Place Vendome, Chopin,
  sitting upright and leaning on the arm of a friend, remained
  silent for a long time and seemed lost in deep meditation.
  Suddenly he broke the silence with the words: "Now my death-
  struggle begins" [Maintenant j'entre en agonie]. The
  physician, who was feeling his pulse, wished to comfort him
  with some commonplace words of hope. But Chopin rejoined with
  a superiority which admitted of no reply: "God shows man a
  rare favour when He reveals to him the moment of the approach
  of death; this grace He shows me. Do not disturb me."

M. Gavard relates also that on the 16th October Chopin twice
called his friends that were gathered in his apartments around
him. "For everyone he had a touching word; I, for my part, shall
never forget the tender words he spoke to me." Calling to his
side the Princess Czartoryska and Mdlle. Gavard, [FOOTNOTE: A
sister of M. Charles Gavard, the pupil to whom Chopin dedicated
his Berceuse.] he said to them: "You will play together, you will
think of me, and I shall listen to you." And calling to his side
Franchomme, he said to the Princess: "I recommend Franchomme to
you, you will play Mozart together, and I shall listen to you."
[FOOTNOTE: The words are usually reported to have been "Vous
jouerez du Mozart en memoire de moi."] "And," added Franchomme
when he told me this, "the Princess has always been a good friend
to me."

And George Sand? Chopin, as I have already mentioned, said two
days before his death to Franchomme: "She had said to me that I
would die in no arms but hers" [Elle n'avait dit que je ne
mourrais que dans ses bras]. Well, did she not come and fulfil
her promise, or, at least, take leave of her friend of many
years? Here, again, all is contradiction. M. Gavard writes:--

  Among the persons who called and were not admitted was a
  certain Madame M., who came in the name of George Sand--who
  was then much occupied with the impending representation of
  one of her dramas--to inquire after Chopin's state of health.
  None of us thought it proper to disturb the last moments of
  the master by the announcement of this somewhat late

Gutmann, on the other hand, related that George Sand came to the
landing of the staircase and asked him if she might see Chopin;
but that he advised her strongly against it, as it was likely to
excite the patient too much. Gutmann, however, seems to have been
by no means sure about this part of his recollections, for on two
occasions he told me that it was Madame Clesinger (George Sand's
daughter, Solange) who asked if it was advisable for her mother
to come. Madame Clesinger, I may say in passing, was one of those
in loving attendance on Chopin, and, as Franchomme told me,
present, like himself, when the pianist-composer breathed his
last. From the above we gather, at least, that it is very
uncertain whether Chopin's desire to see George Sand was
frustrated by her heartlessness or the well-meaning interference
of his friends.

During this illness of Chopin a great many of his friends and
acquaintances, in fact, too many, pressed forward, ready to be of
use, anxious to learn what was passing. Happily for the dying
man's comfort, most of them were not allowed to enter the room in
which he lay.

  In the back room [writes M. Gavard] lay the poor sufferer,
  tormented by fits of breathlessness, and only sitting in bed
  resting in the arms of a friend could he procure air for his
  oppressed lungs. It was Gutmann, the strongest among us, who
  knew best how to manage the patient, and who mostly thus
  supported him. At the head of his bed sat the Princess
  Marcelline Czartoryska: she never left him, guessing his most
  secret wishes, nursing him like a sister of mercy with a
  serene countenance, which did not betray her deep sorrow.
  Other friends gave a helping hand or relieved her, everyone
  according to his power; but most of them stayed in the two
  adjoining rooms. Everyone had assumed a part; everyone helped
  as much as he could: one ran to the doctors, to the
  apothecary; another introduced the persons asked for; a third
  shut the door on the intruders. To be sure, many who had
  anything but free entrance came, and called to take leave of
  him just as if he were about to start on a journey. This
  anteroom of the dying man, where every one of us hopelessly
  waited and watched, was like a guard-house or a camp.

M. Gavard probably exaggerates the services of the Princess
Czartoryska, but certainly forgets those of the composer's
sister. Liszt, no doubt, comes nearer the truth when he says that
among those who assembled in the salon adjoining Chopin's
bedroom, and in turn came to him and watched his gestures and
looks when he had lost his speech, the Princess Marcelline
Czartoryska was the most assiduous.

  She passed every day a couple of hours with the dying man. She
  left him at the last only after having prayed for a long time
  beside him who had just then fled from this world of illusions
  and sorrows....

After a bad night Chopin felt somewhat better on the morning of
the 16th. By several authorities we are informed that on this
day, the day after the Potocka episode, the artist received the
sacrament which a Polish priest gave him in the presence of many
friends. Chopin got worse again in the evening. While the priest
was reading the prayers for the dying, he rested silently and
with his eyes closed upon Gutmann's shoulder; but at the end of
the prayers he opened his eyes wide and said with a loud voice:

The Polish priest above mentioned was the Abbe Alexander
Jelowicki. Liszt relates that in the absence of the Polish priest
who was formerly Chopin's confessor, the Abbe called on his
countryman when he heard of his condition, although they had not
been on good terms for years. Three times he was sent away by
those about Chopin without seeing him. But when he had succeeded
in informing Chopin of his wish to see him, the artist received
him without delay. After that the Abbe became a daily visitor.
One day Chopin told him that he had not confessed for many years,
he would do so now. When the confession was over and the last
word of the absolution spoken, Chopin embraced his confessor with
both arms a la polonaise, and exclaimed: "Thanks! Thanks! Thanks
to you I shall not die like a pig." That is what Liszt tells us
he had from Abbe Jelowicki's own lips. In the account which the
latter has himself given of how Chopin was induced by him to
receive the sacrament, induced only after much hesitation, he

  Then I experienced an inexpressible joy mixed with an
  indescribable anguish. How should I receive this precious soul
  so as to give it to God? I fell on my knees, and cried to God
  with all the energy of my faith: "You alone receive it, O my
  God!" And I held out to Chopin the image of the crucified
  Saviour, pressing it firmly in his two hands without saying a
  word. Then fell from his eyes big tears. "Do you believe?" I
  asked him.--"I believe."--"Do you believe as your mother
  taught you?"--"As my mother taught me." And, his eyes fixed on
  the image of his Saviour, he confessed while shedding torrents
  of tears. Then he received the viaticum and the extreme
  unction which he asked for himself. After a moment he desired
  that the sacristan should be given twenty times more than was
  usually given to him. When I told him that this would be far
  too much, he replied: "No, no, this is not too much, for what
  I have received is priceless." From this moment, by God's
  grace, or rather under the hand of God Himself, he became
  quite another, and one might almost say he became a saint. On
  the same day began the death-struggle, which lasted four days
  and four nights. His patience and resignation to the will of
  God did not abandon him up to the last minute....

When Chopin's last moments approached he took "nervous cramps"
(this was Gutmann's expression in speaking of the matter), and
the only thing which seemed to soothe him was Gutmann's clasping
his wrists and ankles firmly. Quite near the end Chopin was
induced to drink some wine or water by Gutmann, who supported him
in his arms while holding the glass to his lips. Chopin drank,
and, sinking back, said "Cher ami!" and died. Gutmann preserved
the glass with the marks of Chopin's lips on it till the end of
his life.

[FOOTNOTE: In B. Stavenow's sketch already more than once alluded
to by me, we read that Chopin, after having wetted his lips with
the water brought him by Gutmann, raised the latter's hand,
kissed it, and with the words "Cher ami!" breathed his last in
the arms of his pupil, whose sorrow was so great that Count
Gryzmala was obliged to lead him out of the room. Liszt's account
is slightly different. "Who is near me?" asked Chopin, with a
scarcely audible voice. He bent his head to kiss the hand of
Gutmann who supported him, giving up his soul in this last proof
of friendship and gratitude. He died as he had lived, loving.]

M. Gavard describes the closing hours of Chopin's life as

  The whole evening of the 16th passed in litanies; we gave the
  responses, but Chopin remained silent. Only from his difficult
  breathing could one perceive that he was still alive. That
  evening two doctors examined him. One of them, Dr. Cruveille,
  took a candle, and, holding it before Chopin's face, which had
  become quite black from suffocation, remarked to us that the
  senses had already ceased to act. But when he asked Chopin
  whether he suffered, we heard, still quite distinctly, the
  answer "No longer" [Plus]. This was the last word I heard from
  his lips. He died painlessly between three and four in the
  morning [of October 17, 1849]. When I saw him some hours
  afterwards, the calm of death had given again to his
  countenance the grand character which we find in the mould
  taken the same day [by Clesinger], and still more in the
  simple pencil sketch which was drawn by the hand of a friend,
  M. Kwiatkowski. This picture of Chopin is the one I like best.

Liszt, too, reports that Chopin's face resumed an unwonted youth,
purity, and calm; that his youthful beauty so long eclipsed by
suffering reappeared. Common as the phenomenon is, there can be
nothing more significant, more impressive, more awful, than this
throwing-off in death of the marks of care, hardship, vice, and
disease--the corruption of earthly life; than this return to the
innocence, serenity, and loveliness of a first and better nature;
than this foreshadowing of a higher and more perfect existence.
Chopin's love of flowers was not forgotten by those who had
cherished and admired him now when his soul and body were parted.
"The bed on which he lay," relates Liszt, "the whole room,
disappeared under their varied colours; he seemed to repose in a
garden." It was a Polish custom, which is not quite obsolete even
now, for the dying to choose for themselves the garments in which
they wished to be dressed before being laid in the coffin
(indeed, some people had their last habiliments prepared long
before the approach of their end); and the pious, more especially
of the female sex, affected conventual vestments, men generally
preferring their official attire. That Chopin chose for his grave-
clothes his dress-suit, his official attire, in which he
presented himself to his audiences in concert-hall and salon,
cannot but be regarded as characteristic of the man, and is
perhaps more significant than appears at first sight. But I ought
to have said, it would be if it were true that Chopin really
expressed the wish. M. Kwiatkowski informed me that this was not

For some weeks after, from the 18th October onwards, the French
press occupied itself a good deal with the deceased musician.
There was not, I think, a single Paris paper of note which did
not bring one or more long articles or short notes regretting the
loss, describing the end, and estimating the man and artist. But
the phenomenal ignorance, exuberance of imagination, and audacity
of statement, manifested by almost every one of the writers of
these articles and notes are sufficient to destroy one's faith in
journalism completely and for ever. Among the offenders were men
of great celebrity, chief among them Theophile Gautier
(Feuilleton de la Presse, November 5, 1849) and Jules Janin
(Feuilleton du Journal des Debuts, October 22, 1849), the
latter's performance being absolutely appalling. Indeed, if we
must adjudge to French journalists the palm for gracefulness and
sprightliness, we cannot withhold it from them for
unconscientiousness. Some of the inventions of journalism, I
suspect, were subsequently accepted as facts, in some cases
perhaps even assimilated as items of their experience, by the
friends of the deceased, and finally found their way into
AUTHENTIC biography. One of these myths is that Chopin expressed
the wish that Mozart's Requiem should be performed at his
funeral. Berlioz, one of the many journalists who wrote at the
time to this effect, adds (Feuilleton du Journal des Debuts,
October 27, 1849) that "His [Chopin's] worthy pupil received this
wish with his last sigh." Unfortunately for Berlioz and this
pretty story, Gutmann told me that Chopin did not express such a
wish; and Franchomme made to me the same statement. must, [I
must, however, not omit to mention here that M. Charles Gavard
says that Chopin drew up the programme of his funeral, and asked
that on that occasion Mozart's Requiem should be performed.] Also
the story about Chopin's wish to be buried beside Bellini is,
according to the latter authority, a baseless invention. This is
also the place to dispose of the question: What was done with
Chopin's MSS.? The reader may know that the composer is said to
have caused all his MSS. to be burnt. Now, this is not true. From
Franchomme I learned that what actually took place was this.
Pleyel asked Chopin what was to be done with the MSS. Chopin
replied that they were to be distributed among his friends, that
none were to be published, and that fragments were to be
destroyed. Of the pianoforte school which Chopin is said to have
had the intention to write, nothing but scraps, if anything, can
have been found.

M. Gavard pere made the arrangements for the funeral, which,
owing to the extensiveness of the preparations, did not take
place till the 3Oth of October. Ready assistance was given by M.
Daguerry, the curate of the Madeleine, where the funeral service
was to be held; and thanks to him permission was received for the
introduction of female singers into the church, without whom the
performance of Mozart's Requiem would have been an impossibility.

  Numerous equipages [says Eugene Guinot in the Feuilleton du
  Siecle of November 4] encumbered last Tuesday the large
  avenues of the Madeleine church, and the crowd besieged the
  doors of the Temple where one was admitted only on presenting
  a letter of invitation. Mourning draperies announced a funeral
  ceremony, and in seeing this external pomp, this concourse of
  carriages and liveried servants, and this privilege which
  permitted only the elect to enter the church, the curious
  congregated on the square asked: "Who is the great lord [grand
  seigneur] whom they are burying?" As if there were still
  grands seigneurs! Within, the gathering was brilliant; the
  elite of Parisian society, all the strangers of distinction
  which Paris possesses at this moment, were to be found

Many writers complain of the exclusiveness which seems to have
presided at the sending out of invitations. M. Guinot remarks in
reference to this point:

  His testamentary executors [executrices] organised this
  solemnity magnificently. But, be it from premeditation or from
  forgetfulness, they completely neglected to invite to the
  ceremony most of the representatives of the musical world.
  Members of the Institute, celebrated artists, notable writers,
  tried in vain to elude the watch-word [consigne] and penetrate
  into the church, where the women were in a very great
  majority. Some had come from London, Vienna, and Berlin.

In continuation of my account of the funeral service I shall
quote from a report in the Daily News of November 2, 1849:--

  The coffin was under a catafalque which stood in the middle of
  the area. The semicircular space behind the steps of the altar
  was screened by a drapery of black cloth, which being
  festooned towards the middle, gave a partial view of the vocal
  and instrumental orchestra, disposed not in the usual form of
  a gradual ascent from the front to the back, but only on the
  level of the floor....

  The doors of the church were opened at eleven o'clock, and at
  noon (the time fixed for the commencement of the funeral
  service) the vast area was filled by an assembly of nearly
  three thousand persons, all of whom had received special
  invitations, as being entitled from rank, from station in the
  world of art and literature, or from friendship for the
  lamented deceased, to be present on so solemn and melancholy
  an occasion.

A trustworthy account of the whole ceremony, and especially a
clear and full report of the musical part of the service, we find
in a letter from the Paris correspondent of The Musical World
(November 10, 1849). I shall quote some portions of this letter,
accompanying them with elucidatory and supplementary notes:--

  The ceremony, which took place on Tuesday (the 30th ult.), at
  noon, in the church of the Madeleine, was one of the most
  imposing we ever remember to have witnessed. The great door of
  the church was hung with black curtains, with the initials of
  the deceased, "F. C.," emblazoned in silver. On our entry we
  found the vast area of the modern Parthenon entirely crowded.
  Nave, aisles, galleries, &c., were alive with human beings who
  had come to see the last of Frederick Chopin. Many, perhaps,
  had never heard of him before....In the space that separates
  the nave from the choir, a lofty mausoleum had been erected,
  hung with black and silver drapery, with the initials "F.C."
  emblazoned on the pall. At noon the service began. The
  orchestra and chorus (both from the Conservatoire, with M.
  Girard as conductor and the principal singers (Madame Viardot-
  Garcia, Madame Castellan, Signor Lablache, and M. Alexis
  Dupont)) were placed at the extreme end of the church, a black
  drapery concealing them from view.

  [FOOTNOTE: This statement is confirmed by one in the Gazette
  musicals, where we read that the members of the Societe des
  Concerts "have made themselves the testamentary executors of
  this wish"--namely, to have Mozart's Requiem performed. Madame
  Audley, misled, I think, by a dubious phrase of Karasowski's,
  that has its origin in a by no means dubious phrase of
  Liszt's, says that Meyerbeer conducted (dirigeait l'ensemble).
  Liszt speaks of the conducting of the funeral procession.]

  When the service commenced the drapery was partially withdrawn
  and exposed the male executants to view, concealing the women,
  whose presence, being uncanonical, was being felt, not seen. A
  solemn march was then struck up by the band, during the
  performance of which the coffin containing the body of the
  deceased was slowly carried up the middle of the nave...As
  soon as the coffin was placed in the mausoleum, Mozart's
  Requiem was begun...The march that accompanied the body to the
  mausoleum was Chopin's own composition from his first
  pianoforte sonata, instrumented for the orchestra by M. Henri

  [FOOTNOTE: Op. 35, the first of those then published, but in
  reality his second, Op. 4 being the first. Meyerbeer
  afterwards expressed to M. Charles Gavard his surprise that he
  had not been asked to do the deceased the homage of scoring
  the march.]

  During the ceremony M. Lefebure-Wely, organist of the
  Madeleine, performed two of Chopin's preludes [FOOTNOTE: Nos.
  4 and 6, in E and B minor] upon the organ...After the service
  M. Wely played a voluntary, introducing themes from Chopin's
  compositions, while the crowd dispersed with decorous gravity.
  The coffin was then carried from the church, all along the
  Boulevards, to the cemetery of Pere-Lachaise-a distance of
  three miles at least--Meyerbeer and the other chief mourners,
  who held the cords, walking on foot, bareheaded.

  [FOOTNOTE: Liszt writes that Meyerbeer and Prince Adam
  Czartoryski conducted the funeral procession, and that Prince
  Alexander Czartoryski, Delacroix, Franchomme, and Gutmann were
  the pall-bearers. Karasowski mentions the same gentlemen as
  pall-bearers; Madame Audley, on the other hand, names
  Meyerbeer instead of Gutmann. Lastly, Theophile Gautier
  reported in the Feuilleton de la Presse of November 5, 1849,
  that MM. Meyerbeer, Eugene Delacroix, Franchomme, and Pleyel
  held the cords of the pall. The Gazette musicale mentions
  Franchomme, Delacroix, Meyerbeer, and Czartoryski.]

  A vast number of carriages followed...

  [FOOTNOTE: "Un grand nombre de voitures de deuil et de
  voitures particulieres," we read in the Gazette musicals, "ont
  suivi jusqu'au cimetiere de l'Est, dit du Pere-Lachaise, le
  pompeux corbillard qui portait le corps du defunt. L'elite des
  artistes de Paris lui a servi de cortege. Plusieurs dames, ses
  eleves, en grand deuil, ont suivi le convoi, a pied, jusqu'au
  champ de repos, ou l'artiste eminent, convaincu, a eu pour
  oraisons funebres des regrets muets, profondement sentis, qui
  valent mieux que des discours dans lesquels perce toujours une
  vanite d'auteur ou d'orateur"]

  At Pere-Lachaise, in one of the most secluded spots, near the
  tombs of Habeneck and Marie Milanollo, the coffin was
  deposited in a newly-made grave. The friends and admirers took
  a last look, ladies in deep mourning threw garlands and
  flowers upon the coffin, and then the gravedigger resumed his
  work...The ceremony was performed in silence.

One affecting circumstance escaped the attention of our otherwise
so acute observer--namely, the sprinkling on the coffin, when the
latter had been lowered into the grave, of the Polish earth
which, enclosed in a finely-wrought silver cup, loving friends
had nearly nineteen years before, in the village of Wola, near
Warsaw, given to the departing young and hopeful musician who was
never to see his country again.

Chopin's surroundings at Pere-Lachaise are most congenial.
Indeed, the neighbourhood forms quite a galaxy of musical talent-
-close by lie Cherubini, Bellini, Gretry, Boieldieu, Bocquillon-
Wilhem, Louis Duport, and several of the Erard family; farther
away, Ignace Pleyel, Rodolphe Kreutzer, Pierre Galin, Auguste
Panseron, Mehul, and Paer. Some of these, however, had not yet at
that time taken possession of their resting-places there, and
Bellini has since then (September 15, 1876) been removed by his
compatriots, to his birthplace, Catania, in Sicily.

Not the whole of Chopin's body, however, was buried at Pere-
Lachaise; his heart was conveyed to his native country and is
preserved in the Holy Cross Church at Warsaw, where at the end of
1879 or beginning of 1880 a monument was erected, consisting of a
marble bust of the composer in a marble niche. Soon after
Chopin's death voluntary contributions were collected, and a
committee under Delacroix's presidence was formed, for the
erection of a monument, the execution of which was entrusted to
Clesinger, the husband of Madame Sand's daughter, Solange.
Although the sculptor's general idea is good--a pedestal bearing
on its front a medallion, and surmounted by a mourning muse with
a neglected lyre in her hand--the realisation leaves much to be
desired. This monument was unveiled in October, 1850, on the
anniversary of Chopin's death.

[FOOTNOTE: On the pedestal of the monument are to be read besides
the words "A. Frederic Chopin" above the medallion, "Ses amis"
under the medallion, and the name of the sculptor and the year of
its production (J. Clesinger, 1850), the following incorrect
biographical data: "Frederic Chopin, ne en Pologne a Zelazowa
Wola pres de Varsovie: Fils d'un emigre francais, marie a Mile.
Krzyzanowska, fille d'un gentilhomme Polonais.]

The friends of the composer, as we learn from an account in John
Bull (October 26, 1850), assembled in the little chapel of Pere-
Lachaise, and after a religious service proceeded with the
officiating priest at their head to Chopin's grave. The monument
was then unveiled, flowers and garlands were scattered over and
around it, prayers were said, and M. Wolowski, the deputy,
[FOOTNOTE: Louis Francois Michel Raymond Wolowski, political
economist, member of the Academie des Sciences Morales, and
member of the Constituante. A Pole by birth, he became a
naturalised French subject in 1834.] endeavoured to make a
speech, but was so much moved that he could only say a few words.

[FOOTNOTE: In the Gazette muticale of October 20, 1850, we read:
"Une messe commemorative a ete dite jeudi dernier [i.e., on the
17th] dans la chapelle du cimetiere du Pere-Lachaise a la memoire
de Frederic Chopin et pour l'inauguration de son monument

The Menestrel of November 3, 1850, informed its readers that in
the course of the week (it was on the 3Oth October at eleven
o'clock) an anniversary mass had been celebrated at the Madeleine
in honour of Chopin, at which from two to three hundred of his
friends were present, and that Franchomme on the violoncello and
Lefebure-Wely on the organ had played some of the departed
master's preludes, or, to quote our authority literally, "ont
redit aux assistants emus les preludes si pleins de melancolie de
I'illustre defunt."


We have followed Chopin from his birthplace, Zelazowa Wola, to
Warsaw, where he passed his childhood and youth, and received his
musical as well as his general education; we have followed him in
his holiday sojourns in the country, and on his more distant
journeys to Reinerz, Berlin, and Vienna; we have followed him
when he left his native country and, for further improvement,
settled for a time in the Austrian capital; we have followed him
subsequently to Paris, which thenceforth became his home; and we
have followed him to his various lodgings there and on the
journeys and in the sojourns elsewhere--to 27, Boulevard
Poissonniere, to 5 and 38, Chaussee d'Antin, to Aix-la-Chapelle,
Carlsbad, Leipzig, Heidelberg, Marienbad, and London, to Majorca,
to Nohant, to 5, Rue Tronchet, 16, Rue Pigalle, and 9, Square
d'Orleans, to England and Scotland, to 9, Square d'Orleans once
more, Rue Chaillot, and 12, Place Vendome; and, lastly, to the
Pere-Lachaise cemetery. We have considered him as a pupil at the
Warsaw Lyceum and as a student of music under the tuition of
Zywny and Elsner; we have considered him as a son and as a
brother, as a lover and as a friend, as a man of the world and as
a man of business; and we have considered him as a virtuoso, as a
teacher, and as a composer. Having done all this, there remains
only one thing for me to do--namely, to summarise the thousands
of details of the foregoing account, and to point out what this
artist was to his and is to our time. But before doing this I
ought perhaps to answer a question which the reader may have
asked himself. Why have I not expressed an opinion on the moral
aspect of Chopin's connection with George Sand? My explanation
shall be brief. I abstained from pronouncing judgment because the
incomplete evidence did not seem to me to warrant my doing so. A
full knowledge of all the conditions and circumstances. I hold to
be indispensable if justice is to be done; the rash and ruthless
application of precepts drawn from the social conventions of the
day are not likely to attain that end. Having done my duty in
placing before the reader the ascertainable evidence, I leave him
at liberty to decide on it according to his wisdom and charity.

Henri Blaze de Bury describes (in Etudes et Souvenirs) the
portrait which Ary Scheffer painted of Chopin in these words:--

  It represents him about this epoch [when "neither physical nor
  moral consumption of any kind prevented him from attending
  freely to his labours as well as to his pleasures"], slender,
  and in a nonchalant attitude, gentlemanlike in the highest
  degree: the forehead superb, the hands of a rare distinction,
  the eyes small, the nose prominent, but the mouth of an
  exquisite fineness and gently closed, as if to keep back a
  melody that wishes to escape.

M. Marmontel, with, "his [Chopin's] admirable portrait" by
Delacroix before him, penned the following description:--

  This is the Chopin of the last years, ailing, broken by
  suffering; the physiognomy already marked by the last seal [le
  sceau supreme], the look dreamy, melancholy, floating between
  heaven and earth, in the limbos of dream and agony. The
  attenuated and lengthened features are strongly accentuated:
  the relief stands out boldly, but the lines of the countenance
  remain beautiful; the oval of the face, the aquiline nose and
  its harmonious curve, give to this sickly physiognomy the
  stamp of poetic distinction peculiar to Chopin.

Poetic distinction, exquisite refinement, and a noble bearing are
the characteristics which strike one in all portraits of Chopin,
[FOOTNOTE: See Appendix IV.] and which struck the beholder still
more strongly in the real Chopin, where they were reinforced by
the gracefulness of his movements, and by manners that made
people involuntarily treat him as a prince...[FOOTNOTE: See my
description of Chopin, based on the most reliable information, in
Chapter XX.] And pervading and tincturing every part of the
harmonious whole of Chopin's presence there was delicacy, which
was indeed the cardinal factor in the shaping not only of his
outward conformation, but also of his character, life, and art-
practice. Physical delicacy brought with it psychical delicacy,
inducing a delicacy of tastes, habits, and manners, which early
and continued intercourse with the highest aristocracy confirmed
and developed. Many of the charming qualities of the man and
artist derive from this delicacy. But it is likewise the source
of some of the deficiencies and weaknesses in the man and artist.
His exclusiveness, for instance, is, no doubt, chargeable to the
superlative sensitiveness which shrank from everything that
failed to satisfy his fastidious, exacting nature, and became
more and more morbid as delicacy, of which it was a concomitant,
degenerated into disease. Yet, notwithstanding the lack of
robustness and all it entails, Chopin might have been moderately
happy, perhaps even have continued to enjoy moderately good
health, if body and soul had been well matched. This, however,
was not the case. His thoughts were too big, his passions too
violent, for the frail frame that held them; and the former grew
bigger and more violent as the latter grew frailer and frailer.
He could not realise his aspirations, could not compass his
desires, in short, could not fully assert himself. Here, indeed,
we have lit upon the tragic motive of Chopin's life-drama, and
the key to much that otherwise would be enigmatical, certainly
not explicable by delicacy and disease alone. His salon
acquaintances, who saw only the polished outside of the man, knew
nothing of this disparity and discrepancy; and even the select
few of his most intimate friends, from whom he was not always
able to conceal the irritation that gnawed at his heart, hardly
more than guessed the true state of matters. In fact, had not
Chopin been an artist, the tale of his life would have for ever
remained a tale untold. But in his art, as an executant and a
composer, he revealed all his strength and weakness, all his
excellences and insufficiencies, all his aspirations and
failures, all his successes and disappointments, all his dreams
and realities.

  Chopin [wrote Anton Schindler in 1841 [FOOTNOTE: Beethoven in
  Paris, p. 71] is the prince of all pianists, poesy itself at
  the piano...His playing does not impress by powerfulness of
  touch, by fiery brilliancy, for Chopin's physical condition
  forbids him every bodily exertion, and spirit and body are
  constantly at variance and in reciprocal excitement. The
  cardinal virtue of this great master in pianoforte-playing
  lies in the perfect truth of the expression of every feeling
  within his reach [dessen er sich bemeistern darf], which is
  altogether inimitable and might lead to caricature were
  imitatior attempted.

Chopin was not a virtuoso in the ordinary sense of the word. His
sphere was the reunion intime, not the mixed crowd of concert
audiences. If, however, human testimony is worth anything, we may
take it as proven that there never was a pianist whose playing
exercised a charm equal to that of Chopin. But, as Liszt has
said, it is impossible to make those who have not heard him
understand this subtle, penetrating charm of an ineffable poesy.
If words could give an idea of Chopin's playing, it would be
given by such expressions as "legerete impalpable," "palais
aeriens de la Fata Morgana," "wundersam und marchenhaft," and
other similar ones used with regard to it by men who may safely
be accepted as authorities.

As a pianist Chopin was sorely restricted by lack of physical
vigour, which obliged him often to merely suggest, and even to
leave not a little wholly unexpressed. His range as a composer
was much wider, as its limits were those of his spirit. Still,
Chopin does not number among those masterminds who gather up and
grasp with a strong hand all the acquisitions of the past and
present, and mould them into a new and glorious synthesis-the
highest achievement possible in art, and not to be accomplished
without a liberal share of originality in addition to the
comprehensive power. Chopin, then, is not a compeer of Bach,
Handel, Mozart, and Beethoven. But if he does not stand on their
level, he stands on a level not far below them. And if the
inferiority of his intellectual stamina prevented him from
achieving what they achieved, his delicate sensibility and
romantic imagination enabled him to achieve what they were
disqualified from achieving. Of universality there was not a
trace in him, but his individuality is one of the most
interesting. The artistico-historical importance of Chopin lies
in his having added new elements to music, originated means of
expression for the communication and discrimination of moods and
emotions, and shades of moods and emotions, that up to his time
had belonged to the realm of the unuttered and unutterable.
Notwithstanding the high estimation in which Chopin is held, it
seems to me that his importance for the development of the art is
not rated at its full value. His influence on composers for the
pianoforte, both as regards style and subject-matter, is
generally understood; but the same cannot be said of his less
obvious wider influence. Indeed, nothing is more common than to
overlook his connection with the main current of musical history
altogether, to regard him as a mere hors d'oeuvre in the musical
MENU of the universe. My opinion, on the contrary, is that among
the notable composers who have lived since the days of Chopin
there is not to be found one who has not profited more or less,
consciously or unconsciously, directly or indirectly, by this
truly creative genius. To trace his influence we must transport
ourselves back fifty or sixty years, and see what the state of
music then was, what composers expressed and what means of
expression they had at their disposal. Much that is now familiar,
nay, even commonplace, was then a startling novelty. The
appearance of Chopin was so wonderful a phenomenon that it
produced quite an electrical effect upon Schumann. "Come," said
Berlioz to Legouve in the first years of the fourth decade of
this century, "I am going to let you see something which you have
never seen, and someone whom you will never forget." This
something and someone was Chopin. Mendelssohn being questioned
about his enthusiasm for one of this master's preludes replied:
"I love it, I cannot tell you how much, or why; except, perhaps,
that it is something which I could never have written at all." Of
course, Chopin's originality was not universally welcomed and
appreciated. Mendelssohn, for instance, was rather repelled than
attracted by it; at any rate, in his letters there are to be
found frequent expressions of antipathy to Chopin's music, which
seemed to him" mannered "(see letter to Moscheles of February 7,
1835). But even the heartless and brainless critic of the Musical
World whose nonsense I quoted in Chapter XXXI. admits that Chopin
was generally esteemed by the "professed classical musicians,"
and that the name of the admirers of the master's compositions
was legion. To the early popularity of Chopin's music testify
also the many arrangements for other instruments (the guitar not
excepted) and even for voices (for instance, OEuvres celebres de
Chopin, transcrites a une ou deux voix egales par Luigi Bordese)
to which his compositions were subjected. This popularity was,
however, necessarily limited, limited in extent or intensity.
Indeed, popular, in the comprehensive sense of the word, Chopin's
compositions can never become. To understand them fully we must
have something of the author's nature, something of his delicate
sensibility and romantic imagination. To understand him we must,
moreover, know something of his life and country. For, as Balzac
truly remarked, Chopin was less a musician than une ame qui se
rend sensible. In short, his compositions are the "celestial echo
of what he had felt, loved, and suffered"; they are his memoirs,
his autobiography, which, like that of every poet, assumes the
form of "Truth and Poetry."




(VOL. I., p. 66.)

As yet it is difficult to speak with any degree of certainty of
the early musical history of Poland. Our general histories of
music have little or nothing to say on the matter, and a special
history exists neither in the Polish nor in any other language.
The Abbe Joseph Surzynski, who by his labours is endeavouring to
remove the reproach of indifference and ignorance now lying on
his countrymen in this respect, says: [FOOTNOTE: In the preface
to the Monumenta Musices sacra, selected works of the best
composers of classical religious music in Poland, published by
him. The first two parts of this publication, respectively issued
in 1885 and 1887, contain compositions by Thomas Szadek, Nicolas
Zielenski, G. G. Gorczycki, Venceslas, Szamotulski, and Sebastian
of Felsztyn.] "The compositions of our old masters are buried in
the archives and libraries--no one cares to make them known to
the public; many Polish musicians, not even supposing that these
compositions exist, are very far from believing that the authors
of these pieces deserve to be ranked with the best composers of
the Roman Catholic Church. Now, in studying these works, we find
in the century of Palestrina and Vittoria among our artists:
Marcin ze Lwowa (Martin Leopolita), Christopher Borek, Thomas
Szadek, Venceslas Szamotulski, and especially Zielenski and
Gomolka--distinguished masters who deserve to be known by the
friends of the musical art, either on account of their altogether
national genius, or on account of their inspiration and the
perfection of the forms which manifest themselves in their
compositions." One of the first illustrious names in the history
of music in Poland is the German Henry Finck, the chapel-master
of the Polish Kings, John Albert (1492-1501) and Alexander (1501-
1506). From the fact that this excellent master got his musical
education in Poland we may safely conclude--and it is not the
only fact which justifies our doing so--that in that country
already in the fifteenth century good contrapuntists were to be
found. The Abbe Surzynski regards Zielenski as the best of the
early composers, having been impressed both by the profound
religious inspiration and the classical form of his works. Of
Gomolka, who has been called the Polish Palestrina as Sebastian
of Felsztyn the Polish Goudimel, the Abbe remarks: "Among the
magnificent musical works of Martin Leopolita, Szadek, and
Zielenski, the compositions of Gomolka present themselves like
miniature water-colours, in which, nevertheless, every line,
every colour, betrays the painter of genius. His was a talent
thoroughly indigenous--his compositions are of great simplicity;
no too complicated combinations of parts, one might even say that
they are homophonous; nevertheless what wealth of thought, what
beauty of harmony, what profoundness of sentiment do we find
there! These simple melodies clothed in pure and truly holy
harmonies, written, as Gomolka said himself, not for the
Italians, but for the Poles, who are happy in their own country,
are the best specimens of the national style. "In speaking of the
early Polish church music I must not forget to mention the famous
College of the Roratists, [FOOTNOTE: The duties of these singers
were to sing Rorate masses and Requiem masses for the royal
family. Their name was derived from the opening word of the
Introit, "Rorate coeli."] the Polish Sistine Chapel, attached to
the Cracow Cathedral. It was founded in 1543 and subsisted till
1760. With the fifteenth of seventeen conductors of the college,
Gregor Gorczycki, who died in 1734, passed away the last of the
classical school of Polish church music. Music was diligently
cultivated in the seventeenth century, especially under the
reigns of Sigismund III. (1587-1632), and Wladislaw IV. (1632-
1648); but no purpose would be served by crowding these pages
with unknown names of musicians about whom only scanty
information is available; I may, however, mention the familiar
names of three of many Italian composers who, in the seventeenth
century, like many more of their countrymen, passed a great part
of their lives in Poland--namely, Luca Marenzio, Asprilio
Pacelii, and Marco Scacchi.



(VOL. I., p. 268.)

The first performance of a composition by Chopin at the Leipzig
Gewandhaus took place on October 27, 1831. It was his Op. 1, the
variations on La ci darem la mano, which Julius Knorr played at a
concert for the benefit of the Pension-fund of the orchestra, but
not so as to give the audience pleasure--at least, this was the
opinion of Schumann, as may be seen from his letter to Frederick
Wieck of January 4, 1832. Chopin relates already on June 5, 1830,
that Emilie Belleville knew his variations by heart and had
played them in Vienna. Clara Wieck was one of the first who
performed Chopin's compositions in public. On September 29, 1833,
she played at a Leipzig Gewandhaus concert the last movement of
the E minor Concerto, and on May 5, 1834, in the same hall at an
extra concert, the whole work and two Etudes. Further information
about the introduction and repetitions of Chopin's compositions
at the Leipzig Gewandhaus, is to be found in the statistical part
(p. 13) of Alfred Dorffel's Die Gewandhausconcerte.



(VOL. I., p. 290.)

Through a kind communication from Madame Schumann I have learned
that Wenzel's account does not quite agree with her diary. There
she finds written that her father, Friedrich Wieck, felt offended
because Chopin, for whose recognition in Germany he had done so
much, had not called upon him immediately after his arrival.
Chopin made his appearance only two hours before his departure,
but then did not find Wieck at home, for he, to avoid Chopin, had
gone out and had also taken his daughter Clara with him. When
Wieck returned an hour later, he found unexpectedly Chopin still
there. Clara had now to play to the visitor. She let him hear
Schumann's F sharp minor Sonata, two Etudes by Chopin, and a
movement of a Concerto by herself. After this Chopin played his E
flat major Nocturne. By degrees Wieck's wrath subsided, and
finally he accompanied Chopin to the post-house, and parted from
him in the most friendly mood.



(VOL. I., p. 309.)

When Rebecca Dirichlet came with her husband to Marienbad, she
learnt that Chopin did not show himself, and that his physician
and a Polish countess, who completely monopolised him, did not
allow him to play. Having, however, heard so much of his playing
from her brothers, she was, in order to satisfy her curiosity,
even ready to commit the bassesse of presenting herself as the
soeur de Messieurs Paul et Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. As she
humorously wrote a few days later: "The bassesse towards Chopin
has been committed and has completely failed. Dirichlet went to
him, and said that a soeur, &c.--only a mazurka--impossible, mal
aux nerfs, mauvais piano--et comment se porte cette chere Madame
Hensel, el Paul est marie? heureux couple, &c.--allez vous
promener--the first and the last time that we do such a thing."



(VOL. II., pp. 22-48.)

The Argosy of 1888 contains a series of Letters from Majorca by
Charles W. Wood, illustrated by views of Palma, Valdemosa, and
other parts of the island. The illustrations in the April number
comprise a general view of the monastery of Valdemosa, and views
of one of its courts and of the cloister in which is situated the
cell occupied by George Sand and Chopin in the winter of 1838-
1839. The cloister has a groined vault, on one side the cell
doors, and on the other side, opening on the court, doors and
rectangular windows with separate circular windows above them.
The letters have been republished in book form (London: Bentley
and Sons).


On Tempo Rubato.

(VOL. II., p. 101.)

An earlier practiser of the tempo rubato than the lady mentioned
by Quanz (see Vol. II., p. 101 of this work) was Girolamo
Frescobaldi, who speaks of this manner of musical rendering in
the preface to Il primo libra di Capricci fatti sopra diversi
sogetti et Arie in partitura (1624). An extract from this preface
is to be found in A. G. Ritter's Zur Geschichte des Orgelspiels,
Vol. I., p. 34. F. X. Haberl remarks in the preface to his
collection of pieces by Frescobaldi (Leipzig: Breitkopf and
Hartel): "A chief trait of Frescobaldi's genius is the so-called
tempo rubato, an absolute freedom in the employment of a quicker
and slower tempo."



(VOL. II., p. I7I.)

On page 175 of this volume I made an allusion to Spohr in
connection with Chopin's pupil Caroline Hartmann. To save the
curious reader trouble, I had better point out that the
information is to be found in Spohr's autobiography under date
Munster, near Colmar, March 26, 1816 (German edition, pp. 245-
250; English edition, pp. 229-232). Jacques Hartmann, the father
of Caroline, was a cotton manufacturer and an enthusiastic lover
of music. He had an orchestra consisting of his family and
employes. Spohr calls the father a bassoon-virtuoso; what he says
of the daughter will be seen in the following sentences: "His
sister and his daughter play the pianoforte. The latter, a child
eight years old, is the star of the amateur orchestra. She plays
with a dexterity and exactness that are worthy of admiration. I
was still more astonished at her fine ear, with which (away from
the piano) she recognises the intervals of the most intricate and
full dissonant chords which one strikes, and names the notes of
which they consist in their sequence. If the child is well
guided, she is sure to become one day an excellent artist."



(VOL. II., p. 177.)

The reader will be as grateful as I am for the following
interesting communications of Madame Peruzzi (nee Elise
Eustaphieve, whose father was Russian Consul-General to the
United States of America) about her intercourse with Chopin.

"I first met Chopin at the house of the American banker, Samuel
Welles, in Paris, where I, like every one present, was enchanted
listening to his mazurkas, waltzes, nocturnes, &c., which he
played on a wretched square piano. I lived as dame en chambre (a
very convenient custom for ladies alone), at a pension, or rather
a regular boarding-school, with rooms to let for ladies. The lady
of the house was acquainted with many of the musical people, and
I had a splendid American grand piano which was placed in the
large drawing-room of the establishment, so that I felt quite at
home, and there received Chopin, Liszt, and Herz (Miss Herz, his
sister, gave lessons in the school), and often played four-hand
pieces with them.

"My intimacy with Chopin began after my marriage. He often dined
with us, was very fond of my husband, and after dinner we were
not at home if any one else came, but remained at our two pianos
(Erard had sent me one), playing together, and I used to amuse
him by picking out of his music little bits that seemed like
questions for him to answer on the other piano. He lived very
near us, so we very often passed mornings at his house, where he
asked me to play with him all Weber's duets. This was delightful
to me, the more so, as he complimented me on my reading and
entering at first sight into the spirit of the music. He made me
acquainted with the beautiful duet of Moscheles, and was the
first with whom I played Hummel's splendid duet. He was a great
admirer of Weber. We frequently had morning concerts with double
quartet, and Chopin would very kindly turn the leaves for me. He
was particularly fond of doing so when I played Hummel's Septet,
and was so encouraging. Even when playing to him his own music,
he would approve some little thing not indicated and say, 'What a
good idea of yours that is!' My husband begged him to give me
lessons; but he always refused, and did give them; for I studied
so many things with him, among others his two concertos. The one
in E minor I once played accompanied by himself on a second
piano. We passed many pleasant evenings at Mr. and Madame Leo's
house, a very musical one. Madame Moscheles was a niece of
theirs. Chopin was fond of going there, where he was quite a pet.
He always appeared to best advantage among his most intimate
friends. I was one who helped to christen the Berceuse. You ask
me in what years I knew Chopin, 1838 is the date of the
manuscript in my collection which he gave me after I was married,
and the last notes of that little jewel he wrote on the desk of
the piano in our presence. He said it would not be published
because they would play it....Then he would show how they would
play it, which was very funny. It came out after his death, it is
a kind of waltz-mazurka [the Valse, Op. 69, No. I], Chopin's
intimate friend, Camille Pleyel, called it the story of a D flat,
because that note comes in constantly. One morning we took
Paganini to hear Chopin, and he was enchanted; they seemed to
understand each other so well. When I knew him he was a sufferer
and would only occasionally play in public, and then place his
piano in the middle of Pleyel's room whilst his admirers were
around the piano. His speciality was extreme delicacy, and his
pianissimo extraordinary. Every little note was like a bell, so
clear. His fingers seemed to be without any bones; but he would
bring out certain effects by great elasticity. He got very angry
at being accused of not keeping time; calling his left hand his
maitre de chapelle and allowing his right to wander about ad


YEARS 1839, 1840, AND 1841. (VOL. II., p. I77.)

In March, 1839, I went to Paris, accompanied by a kind aunt, who
was a highly-cultured musical connoisseur, animated by the wish
to get if possible lessons from Chopin, whose compositions
inspired me with enthusiasm. But he was from home and very ill;
indeed, it was feared he would not return to Paris even in the
winter. However, at last, at last, in October, 1839, he came. I
had employed this long time in making myself acquainted with the
musical world in Paris, but the more I heard, nay, even admired,
the more was my intention to wait till Chopin's return confirmed.
And I was quite right.

On the 30th of October, 1839, we, my kind aunt and I, went to
him. At that time he lived in Rue Tronchet, No. 5. Anxiously I
handed him my letters of introduction from Vienna, and begged him
to take me as a pupil. He said very politely, but very formally:
"You have played with applause at a matinee at the house of
Countess Appony, the wife of the Austrian ambassador, and will
hardly require my instruction." I became afraid, for I was wise
enough to understand he had not the least inclination to accept
me as a pupil. I quickly protested that I knew very well I had
still very, very much to learn. And, I added timidly, I should
like to be able to play his wondrously-beautiful compositions
well. "Oh!" he exclaimed, "it would be sad if people were not in
a position to play them well without my instruction." "I
certainly am not able to do so," I replied anxiously. "Well, play
me something," he said. And in a moment his reserve had vanished.
Kindly and indulgently he helped me to overcome my timidity,
moved the piano, inquired whether I were comfortably seated, let
me play till I had become calm, then gently found fault with my
stiff wrist, praised my correct comprehension, and accepted me as
a pupil. He arranged for two lessons a week, then turned in the
most amiable way to my aunt, excusing himself beforehand if he
should often be obliged to change the day and hour of the lesson
on account of his delicate health. His servant would always
inform us of this.

Alas! he suffered greatly. Feeble, pale, coughing much, he often
took opium drops on sugar and gum-water, rubbed his forehead with
eau de Cologne, and nevertheless he taught with a patience,
perseverance, and zeal which were admirable. His lessons always
lasted a full hour, generally he was so kind as to make them
longer. Mikuli says: "A holy artistic zeal burnt in him then,
every word from his lips was incentive and inspiring. Single
lessons often lasted literally for hours at a stretch, till
exhaustion overcame master and pupil." There were for me also
such blessed lessons. Many a Sunday I began at one o'clock to
play at Chopin's, and only at four or five o'clock in the
afternoon did he dismiss us. Then he also played, and how
splendidly but not only his own compositions, also those of other
masters, in order to teach the pupil how they should be
performed. One morning he played from memory fourteen Preludes
and Fugues of Bach's, and when I expressed my joyful admiration
at this unparalleled performance, he replied: "Cela ne s'oublie
jamais," and smiling sadly he continued: "Depuis un an je n'ai
pas etudie un quart d'heure de sante, je n'ai pas de force, pas
d'energie, j'attends toujours un peu de sante pour reprendre tout
cela, mais...j'attends encore." We always spoke French together,
in spite of his great fondness for the German language and
poetry. It is for this reason that I give his sayings in the
French language, as I heard them from him. In Paris people had
made me afraid, and told me how Chopin caused Clementi, Hummel,
Cramer, Moscheles, Beethoven, and Bach to be studied, but not his
own compositions. This was not the case. To be sure, I had to
study with him the works of the above-mentioned masters, but he
also required me to play to him the new and newest compositions
of Hiller, Thalberg, and Liszt, &c. And already in the first
lesson he placed before me his wondrously--beautiful Preludes and
Studies. Indeed, he made me acquainted with many a composition
before it had appeared in print.

I heard him often preluding in a wonderfully-beautiful manner. On
one occasion when he was entirely absorbed in his playing,
completely detached from the world, his servant entered softly
and laid a letter on the music-desk. With a cry Chopin left off
playing, his hair stood on end--what I had hitherto regarded as
impossible I now saw with my own eyes. But this lasted only for a

His playing was always noble and beautiful, his tones always
sang, whether in full forte, or in the softest piano. He took
infinite pains to teach the pupil this legato, cantabile way of
playing. "Il [ou elle] ne sait pas lier deux notes" was his
severest censure. He also required adherence to the strictest
rhythm, hated all lingering and dragging, misplaced rubatos, as
well as exaggerated ritardandos. "Je vous prie de vous asseoir,"
he said on such an occasion with gentle mockery. And it is just
in this respect that people make such terrible mistakes in the
execution of his works. In the use of the pedal he had likewise
attained the greatest mastery, was uncommonly strict regarding
the misuse of it, and said repeatedly to the pupil: "The correct
employment of it remains a study for life."

When I played with him the study in C major, the first of those
he dedicated to Liszt, he bade me practise it in the mornings
very slowly. "Cette etude vous fera du bien," he said. "Si vous
l'etudiez comme je l'entends, cela elargit la main, et cela vous
donne des gammes d'accords, comme les coups d'archet. Mais
souvent malheureusement au lieu d'apprendre tout cela, elle fait
desapprendre." I am quite aware that it is a generally-prevalent
error, even in our day, that one can only play this study well
when one possesses a very large hand. But this is not the case,
only a supple hand is required.

Chopin related that in May, 1834, he had taken a trip to Aix-la-
Chapelle with Hiller and Mendelssohn. "Welcomed there in a very
friendly manner, people asked me when I was introduced: 'You are,
I suppose, a brother of the pianist?' I answered in the
affirmative, for it amused me, and described my brother the
pianist. 'He is tall, strong, has black hair, a black moustache,
and a very large hand.'" To those who have seen the slightly-
built Chopin and his delicate hand, the joke must have been
exceedingly amusing.

On the 20th of April, 1840, Liszt, who had come back to Paris
after extended artistic tours, gave a matinee to an invited
audience in Erard's saloon. He played, as he did always, very
brilliantly, and the next morning I had to give a minute account
to Chopin of what and how he had played. He himself was too
unwell to be present. When I spoke of Liszt's artistic self-
control and calmness in overcoming the greatest technical
difficulties, he exclaimed: "Ainsi il parait que mon avis est
juste. La derniere chose c'est la simplicite. Apres avoir epuise
toutes les difficultes, apres avoir joue une immense quantite de
notes, et de notes, c'est la simplicite qui sort avec tout son
charme, comme le dernier sceau de l'art. Quiconque veut arriver
de suite a cela n'y parviendra jamais, on ne peut commencer par
la fin. II faut avoir etudie beaucoup, meme immensement pour
atteindre ce but, ce n'est pas une chose facile. II m'etait
impossible," he continued, "d'assister a sa matinee. Avec ma
sante ou ne peut rien faire. Je suis toujours embrouille avec mes
affaires, de maniere que je n'ai pas un moment libre. Que j'envie
les gens forts qui sont d'une sante robuste et qui n'ont rien a
faire! Je suis bien fache, je n'ai pas le temps d'etre malade."

When I studied his Trio he drew my attention to some passages
which now displeased him, he would now write them differently. At
the end of the Trio he said: "How vividly do the days when I
composed it rise up in my memory! It was at Posen, in the castle
surrounded by vast forests of Prince Radziwill. A small but very
select company was gathered together there. In the mornings there
was hunting, in the evenings music. Ah! and now," he added sadly,
"the Prince, his wife, his son, all, all are dead."

At a soiree (Dec. 20, 1840) he made me play the Sonata with the
Funeral March before a large assemblage. On the morning of the
same day I had once more to play over to him the Sonata, but was
very nervous. "Why do you play less well to-day?" he asked. I
replied that I was afraid. "Why? I consider you play it well," he
rejoined very gravely, indeed, severely. "But if you wish to play
this evening as nobody played before you, and nobody will play
after you, well then!"...These words restored my composure. The
thought that I played to his satisfaction possessed me also in
the evening; I had the happiness of gaining Chopin's approval and
the applause of the audience. Then he played with me the Andante
of his F minor Concerto, which he accompanied magnificently on
the second piano. The entire assemblage assailed him with the
request to perform some more of his compositions, which he then
did to the delight of all.

For eighteen months (he did not leave Paris this summer) I was
allowed to enjoy his instruction. How willingly would I have
continued my studies with him longer! But he himself was of
opinion that I should now return to my fatherland, pursue my
studies unaided, and play much in public. On parting he presented
me with the two manuscripts of his C sharp major and E major
studies (dedicated to Liszt), and promised to write during his
stay in the country a concert-piece and dedicate it to me.

In the end of the year 1844 I went again to Paris, and found
Chopin looking somewhat stronger. At that time his friends hoped
for the restoration of, or at least for a considerable
improvement in, his health.

The promised concert-piece, Op. 46, had to my inexpressible
delight been published. I played it to him, and he was satisfied
with my playing of it; rejoiced at my successes in Vienna, of
which he had been told, exerted himself with the amiability
peculiar to him to make me still better known to the musical
world of Paris. Thus I learned to know Auber, Halevy, Franchomme,
Alkan, and others. But in February, 1845,1 was obliged to return
to Vienna; I had pupils there who were waiting for me. On parting
he spoke of the possibility of coming there for a short time, and
I had quite made up my mind to return for another visit to Paris
in eighteen months, in order again to enjoy his valuable
instruction and advice. But this, to my deepest regret, was not
to be.

I saw Madame Sand in the year 1841 and again in the year 1845 in
a box in a theatre, and had an opportunity of admiring her
beauty. I never spoke to her.



A biography is incomplete without some account of the portraits
of the hero or heroine who is the subject of it. M. Mathias
regards as the best portrait of Chopin a lithograph by Engelmann
after a drawing by Vigneron, of 1833, published by Maurice
Schlesinger, of Paris. In a letter to me he writes: "This
portrait is marvellous for the absolutely exact idea it gives of
Chopin: the graceful fall of the shoulders, the Polish look, the
charm of the mouth." Continuing, he says: "Another good likeness
of Chopin, but of a later date, between the youthful period and
that of his decay, is Bovy's medallion, which gives a very exact
idea of the outlines of his hair and nose. Beyond these there
exists nothing, all is frightful; for instance, the portrait in
Karasowski's book, which has a stupid look." The portrait here
alluded to is a lithographic reproduction of a drawing by A.
Duval. As a rule, the portraits of Chopin most highly prized by
his pupils and acquaintances are those by A. Bovy and T.
Kwiatkowski. Madame Dubois, who likes Bovy's medallion best, and
next to it the portraits by Kwiatkowski, does not care much for
Ary Scheffer's portrait of her master, in whose apartments she
had of course frequent opportunities to examine it. "It had the
appearance of a ghost [d'un ombre], and was more pale and worn
than Chopin himself." Of a bust by Clesinger Madame Dubois
remarks that it does not satisfy those who knew Chopin. M.
Marmontel writes in a letter to me that the portrait of Chopin by
Delacroix in his possession is a powerful sketch painted in oil,
"reproducing the great artist in the last period of his life,
when he was about to succumb to his chest disease. My dear friend
Felix Barrias has been inspired, or, to be more exact, has
reproduced this beautiful and poetic face in his picture of the
dying Chopin asking the Countess Potocka to sing to him." Gutmann
had in his possession two portraits of his master, both pencil
drawings; the one by Franz Winterhalter, dated May 2, 1847, the
other by Albert Graefle, dated October 19, 1849. The former of
these valuable portraits shows Chopin in his decline, the latter
on his death-bed. Both seem good likenesses, Graefle's drawing
having a strong resemblance with Bovy's medallion.

[FOOTNOTE: The authorship alone is sufficient to make a drawing
by George Sand interesting. Madame Dubois says (in a letter
written to me) that the portrait, after a drawing of George Sand,
contained in the French edition of Chopin's posthumous works,
published by Fontana, is not at all a good likeness. Herr
Herrmann Scholtz in Dresden has in his possession a faithful copy
of a drawing by George Sand made by a nephew of the composer, a
painter living at Warsaw. Madame Barcinska, the sister of Chopin,
in whose possession the original is, spoke of it as a very good
likeness. This picture, however, is not identical with that
mentioned by Madame Dubois.]

The portrait by A. Regulski in Szulc's book can only be regarded
as a libel on Chopin, and ought perhaps also to be regarded as a
libel on the artist. Various portraits in circulation are
curiosities rather than helps to a realisation of the outward
appearance of Chopin. Schlesinger, of Berlin, published a
lithograph after a drawing by Maurir; and Schuberth, of Hamburg,
an engraving on steel, and Hofmeister, of Leipzig, a lithograph,
after I don't know what original. Several other portraits need
not be mentioned, as they are not from life, but more or less
fancy portraits based on one or more of the authentic
delineations. Bovy's medallion graces Breitkopf and Hartel's
Gesammtausgabe and Thematic Catalogue of the master's published
works. The portrait by Ary Scheffer may be seen lithographically
reproduced by Waldow in the German edition of Chopin's posthumous
works, published by Fontana. A wood-cut after the drawing by
Graefle appeared in 1879 in the German journal Die Gartenlaube.
Prefixed to the first volume of the present biography the reader
will find one of the portraits by Kwiatkowski, an etching after a
charming pencil drawing in my possession, the reproduction of
which the artist has kindly permitted. M. Kwiatkowski has
portrayed Chopin frequently, and in many ways and under various
circumstances, alive and dead. Messrs. Novello, Ewer & Co. have
in their possession a clever water-colour drawing by Kwiatkowski
of Chopin on his death-bed. A more elaborate picture by the same
artist represents Chopin on his death-bed surrounded by his
sister, the Princess Marcellince Czartoryska, Grzymala, the Abbe
Jelowicki, and the portrayer. On page 321 of this volume will be
found M. Charles Gavard's opinion of two portrayals of Chopin,
respectively by Clesinger and Kwiatkowski. In conclusion, I
recall to the reader's attention what has been said of the
master's appearance and its pictorial and literary reproductions
on pp. 65 and 246 of Vol. I. and pp. 100, 135, and 329 of Vol.




The original editions were three in number: the German, the
French, and the English (see p. 272). To avoid overcrowding, only
the names of the original German and French publishers will be
given in the following list, with two exceptions, however,--Op. 1
and 5, which were published in Poland (by Brzezina & Co., of
Warsaw) long before they made their appearance elsewhere.
[FOOTNOTE: What is here said, however, does not apply to Section
IV.] Some notes on the publication of the works in England are
included in these preliminary remarks.

In the list the publishers will be always placed in the same
order--the German first, and the French second (in the two
exceptional cases, Op. 1 and 5, they will be second and third).
The dates with an asterisk and in parentheses (*) are those at
which a copy of the respective works was deposited at the Paris
Bibliotheque du Conservatoire de Musique, the dates without an
asterisk in parentheses are derived from advertisements in French
musical journals; the square brackets [ ] enclose conjectural and
approximate dates and additional information; and lastly, the
dates without parentheses and without brackets were obtained by
me direct from the successors of the original German publishers,
and consequently are more exact and trustworthy than the others.
In a few cases where the copyright changed hands during the
composer's lifetime, and where unacquaintance with this change
might give rise to doubts and difficulties, I have indicated the

The publishing firms mentioned in the list are the following:--
Maurice Schlesinger, Brandus &Cie. (the successors of M.
Schlesinger), Eugene Troupenas & Cie., Joseph Meissonnier, Joseph
Meissonnier fils H. Lemoine, Ad. Catelin & Cie. (Editeurs des
Compositeurs reunis, Rue Grange Bateliere, No. 26), Pacini
(Antonio Francesco Gaetano), Prilipp & Cie. (Aquereurs d'une
partie du Fond d'lgn. Pleyel & Cie.), S. Richault (i.e., Charles
Simon Richault, to whom succeeded his son Guillaume Simon, who in
his turn was succeeded by his son Leon.--Present style: Richault
et Cie., Successeurs), and Schonenberger, all of Pans;-Breitkopf
& Hartel, Probst-Kistner (since 1836 Friedrich Kistner),
Friedrich Hofmeister, and C. F. Peters, of Leipzig;--Ad. M.
Schlesinger, Stern & Co.( from 1852 J. Friedlander; later on
annexed to Peters, of Leipzig), and Bote and Bock, of Berlin;--
Tobias Haslinger, Carl Haslinger quondam Tobias, and Pietro
Mechetti (whose widow was succeeded by C. A. Spina), of Vienna;--
Schuberth & Co., of Hamburg (now Julius Schuberth, of Leipzig);--
B. Schott's Sohne, of Mainz;--Andr. Brzezina & Co. and Gebethner
& Wolff, of Warsaw;--J. Wildt and W. Chaberski, of Cracow;--and
J. Leitgeber, of Posen.

From 1836 onward the course of the publication of Chopin's works
in England can be followed in the advertisement columns of the
Musical World. Almost all the master's works were published in
England by Wessel. On March 8, 1838, Messrs. Wessel advertised
Op. 1-32 with the exception of Op. 4, 11, and 29. This last
figure has, no doubt, to be read as 28, as the Preludes could
hardly be in print at that time, and the Impromptu, Op. 29, was
advertised on October 20, 1837, as OP. 28. With regard to Op. 12
it has to be noted that it represents not the Variations
brillantes sur le Rondo favori "Je vends des Scapulaires," but
the Grand Duo concertant for piano and violoncello, everywhere
else published without opus number. The Studies, Op. 10, were
offered to the public "revised with additional fingering by his
pupil I. [sic] Fontana." On November 18, 1841, Wessel and
Stapleton (the latter having come in as a partner in 1839)
advertised Op. 33-43, and subsequently Op. 44-48. On February 22,
1844, they announced that they had "the sole copyright of the
COMPLETE and entire works" of Chopin. On May 15, 1845, were
advertised Op. 57 and 58; on January 17, 1846, Op. 59; on
September 26, 1846, Op. 60, 61, and 62. The partnership with
Stapleton having in 1845 been dissolved, the style of the firm
was now Wessel & Co. Thenceforth other English publishers came
forward with Chopin compositions. On June 3, 1848, Cramer, Beale
& Co. advertised Chopin's "New Valses and Mazurkas for the
pianoforte"; and on the title-pages of the French edition of Op.
63, 64, and 65 I found the words: "London, Jullien et Cie." But
also before this time Wessel seems to have had competitors; for
on the title-page of the French edition of Op. 22 may be read:
"London, Mori et Lavenu," and on September 20, 1838, Robert Cocks
advertised "Five Mazurkas and Three Nocturnes." On September 23,
1848, however, Wessel & Co. call themselves sole proprietors of
Chopin's works; and on November 24, 1849, they call themselves
Publishers of the Complete Works of Chopin. Information received
from Mr. Ashdown, the present proprietor of the business, one of
the two successors (Mr. Parry retired in 1882) of Christian
Rudolph Wessel, who retired in 1860 and died in 1885, throws some
further light on the publication of Chopin's works in England. We
have already seen in a former part of this book (p. 117) that
Wessel discontinued to deal with Chopin after Op. 62. "Cramer,
Beale & Co.," writes Mr. Ashdown, "published the Mazurkas, Op.
63, and two only of the Waltzes, Op. 64; these, being non-
copyright in England, Mr. Wessel added to his edition, together
with the third waltz of Op. 64. The name of Jullien on the French
edition was probably put on in consequence of negotiations for
the sale of English copyright having been entered upon, but
without result." With the exception of Op. 12 and 65, Wessel
published all the works with opus numbers of Chopin that were
printed during the composer's lifetime. Cramer, Addison & Beale
published the Variations, Op. 12; Chappell, the Trois Nouvelles
Etudes; R. Cocks, the posthumous Sonata, Op. 4, and the
Variations stir un air allemand without opus number; and Stanley
Lucas, Weber & Co., the Seventeen Polish Songs, Op. 74. The
present editions issued by the successor of Wessel are either
printed from the original plates or re-engraved (which is the
case in about half of the number) from the old Wessel copies,
with here and there a correction.

Simultaneous publication was aimed at, as we see from Chopin's
letters, but the dates of the list show that it was rarely
attained. The appearance of the works in France seems to have in
most cases preceded that in Germany; in the case of the
Tarantelle, Op. 43, I found the English edition first advertised
(October 28, 1841). Generally there was approximation if not

                THE COMPOSER'S LIFETIME.

DATES                                           ORIGINAL
OF                                              GERMAN & FRENCH

1825.        OP.1. Premier Rondeau [C minor]    Brzezina.
             pour le piano. Dedie a Mme. de     A. M. Schlesinger.
             Linde.--Vol. I, pp. 52, 53-54,     M. Schlesinger
             55, 112;--Vol. II, p.87

[1830,       OP.2. La ci darem la mano [B flat   T. Haslinger
about March] major] varie pour le piano, avec    M. Schlesinger
(September   accompagnement d'orchestre.  Dedie
21, 1834.)  a Mr. Woyciechowski.--Vol. I., pp.
             53, 62, 95, 96, 97, 99, 100, 101,
             105, 112, 116-118, 120, 163, 241;
             Vol. II., p.87, 212

[1833 in     OP.3. Introduction et Polonaise     Mechetti
print.]      brillante [C major], pour piano     S. Richault
June, 1835)  et violincelle Dediee d Mr. Joseph
             Merk.--Vol.I., pp. 129, 200-201;
             --Vol. II., p. 87.

             Op.4. As this work was published
             posthumously, it had to be placed
             in Section III. Nevertheless, it
             differs from the works with which
             it is classed in one important
             respect--it was intended for
             publication by the composer himself,
             who sent it to Vienna in 1828.

[1827?]      Op.5. Rondeau a la Mazur [F major]    Brzezina.
May, 1836    pour le piano. Dediee a Mlle. la      Hofmeister.
             Comtesse Alexandrine de Moriolles.    Schonenberger.
             --Vol. I., pp. 54-55, 56, 112, 168;
             --Vol. II., p.87

Dec., 1832   Op.6. Quatre Mazurkas [F sharp minor  Probst-Kistner.
(Nov. 23,    C Sharp minor, E major, and E flat    M. Schlesinger.
1834.)       minor] pour le piano. Dediees a
             Mlle. la Comtesse Pauline Plater.
             --Vol. I., p. 268;--Vol. II, pp.231-

Dec.1832     Op.7. Cinq Mazurkas [B flat major,   Probst-Kistner
(Nov. 23,    A minor, F minor, A flat major, and  M. Schlesinger.
    1834.)   C major] pour le piano. Dediees a
             Mr. Johns.--Vol. I., pp.250,268,
             276 (No. 1);--Vol. II, pp. 231-232

March, 1833.) Op.8. Premier Trio [G minor] pour   Probst-Kistner
(Nov. 23,     piano, violon, et violoncelle.      M. Schlesinger
      1834.)  Dedie a Mr. le Prince Antonine
              Radziwill--Vol. I., pp. 62, 88,
              112, 113-115, 268;--Vol. II., p.

Jan. 1833.    Op.9. Trois Nocturnes (B flat       Probst-Kistner
(Nov. 23,     minor, E flamajor, and B major]     M. Schlesinger
      1834.)  pour le piano Dedies a Mme.
              Camille Pleyel--Vol.l.,268;
              --Vol. II., pp.87. 261-63

August, 1833.  Op.10.Douze Grandes Etudes [C major  Probst-Kistner
(July 6,1833.) A minor, E major, C sharp minor      M. Schlesinger
               G flat major, E flat minor, C        [who sold them
               major, F major, F minor, A flat      afterwards to
               major, E flat major, and C minor]    Lemoine].
               pour le piano. Dediees a Mr. Fr.
               Liszt.--Vol. I., p.201,268; Vol.
               II., p. 55 (No. 5), 251-254.

Sept., 1833   Op.11.Grand Concerto [E minor] pour  Probst-Kistner
(July 6,      le piano avec orchestre.  Dedie a    M. Schlesinger
1833.)        Mr. Fr. Kalkbrenner.--Vol. I., pp
              127, 146, 147, 150, 151, 152, 156,
              189, 195, 203-208, 210-212, 233, 240,
              241, 268, 281; Vol. II., pp. 16, 211

Nov., 1833    Op.12.Variations brillantes [B flat   Breitkopf & Hartel
(Jan.26,      major] pour le piano sur le Rondeau   M. Schlesinger
1834)         favori de Ludovic de Herold: "Je
              vends des Scapulaires." Dediees a
              Mlle. Emma Horsford.--Vol.I.,p.268;
              Vol. II., p.221.

May, 1834     Op.13.Grande Fantaisie [A major] sur  Probst-Kistner
(April,       des airs polonais, pour le piano      M. Schlesinger
1834)         avec orchestre.  Dediee a Mr. J.
              P. Pixis--Vol.I., pp. 112,116.
              118-120,132,152,197,268; Vol.
              II., p.212.

July, 1834.  Op.14 Krakowiak, Grand Rondeau de      Probst-Kistner
(June,       Concert [F major] pour le piano        M. Schlesinger
1834.)       avec orchestre. Deidie a Mme. la
             Princesse Adam Czartoryska.
             Vol. II., 233.

Jan., 1834   OP. 15. Trois Nocturnes [F major, F    Breitkopf &
[Copies      sharp major, and G minor] pour le      Hartel.
sent to      piano. Dedies a Mr. Ferd. Hiller.--    M. Schlesinger.
composer     Vol. II., pp. 87, 261, 263
already in

March,       OP. 16. Rondeau [E flat major] pour    Breitkopf &
1834.        le piano. Dedie a Mlle. Caroline       Hartel.
             Hartmann.--Vol. I., p. 269; Vol.       M. Schlesinger.
             II., p. 221.

May, 1834.   OP. 17. Quatre Mazurkas [B flat        Breitkopf &
             major, E minor, A flat major, and A    Hartel.
             minor] pour le piano, Dediees a Mme.   M. Schlesinger.
             Lina Freppa.--Vol. I., p. 268; Vol.
             II., 231-232, 234-239.

July, 1834.  OP. 18. Grande Valse [E fiat major]    Breitkopf &
(June,       pour le piano. Dediee a Mlle. Laura    Hartel.
1834.*)      Harsford [thus in all the editions,    M. Schlesinger
             but should probably be Horsford. See   [who sold it
             Op. 12.]--Vol. I., pp. 268, 273;       afterwards to
             Vol. II., 249.                         Lemoine].

March,       OP. 20. Premier Scherzo [B minor]      Breitkopf &
1835.        pour le piano. Dedie a Mr.             Hartel.
(Feb.,       T.Albrecht.--Vol. I., p. 294; Vol.     M. Schlesinger.
1835.*)      II., pp. 27,87, 256-257.

April,       OP. 21. Second Concerto [F minor]     Breitkopf and
1836.        pour le piano avec orchestre. Dedie   Hartel.
(Aug.,       a Mme. la Comtesse Delphine Potocka.  M. Schlesinger.
1836.)       --Vol. I., pp. 128, 131-132, 134,
             156, 163, 200, 203-210, 212, 241,
             294; II., p. 211.

Aug., 1836.  OP. 22. Grande Polonaise brillante    Breitkopf &
(July,       [E flat major], precedee d'un         Hartel.
1836.*)      Andante spianato, pour le piano avec  M. Schlesinger.
             orchestre. Dediee a Mme. la Baronne
             d'Est.--Vol. I., pp. 201-202, 295;
             Vol. II., pp. 239-243, 244.

June, 1836.  OP. 23. Ballade [G minor] pour le     Breitkopf &
(July,       piano. Dediee a Mr. le Baron de       Hartel.
1836.*)      Stockhausen.--Vol. I., pp. 294, 295   M. Schlesinger.
             Vol. II., pp. 87, 268-9.

Nov., 1835.  Op. 24 Quatre Mazurkas [G minor, C    Breitkopf &
(Jan.,       major, A flat major, and B flat       Hartel.
1836.)       minor]. Dediees a Mr. le Comte de     M. Schlesinger.
             Perthuis.-Vol. I., pp. 294,
             295; Vol. II., pp. 218 (No. 2), 231-
             2, 234 9.

Oct., 1837.  Op. 25 Douze Etudes [A flat major, F  Breitkopf &
(Oct.22,     minor, F major, A minor, E minor, G   Hartel.
1837.)       sharp minor, C sharp minor, D flat    M. Schlesinger
             major G flat major, B minor, A minor, [who sold the
             & C minor] pour le piano. Dediees &   copyright
             Mme. la Comtesse d'Agoult.--Vol. I.,  afterwards to
             pp. 276, 295, 310; Vol. II., pp. 15,  Lemoine].

July, 1836.  Op. 26. Deux Polonaises [C sharp      Breitkopf &
(July,       minor and E flat minor] pour le       Hartel.
1836.*)      piano. Dediees a Mr. J. Dessauer.--   M. Schlesinger.
             Vol. I., p. 295; Vol. II., pp. 239-
             244; 245-6.

May, 1836.   Op. 27. Deux Nocturnes [C sharp       Breitkopf &
(July,       minor and D flat major] pour le       Hartel.
1836.*)      piano. Dediees a Mme. la Comtesse     M. Schlesinger.
             d'Appony.-Vol. I., pp. 294, 295;
             Vol. II., pp. 87, 261, 263-4.

Sept.,       Op. 28. Vingt-quatre Preludes pour    Breitkopf &
1839.        le piano. Dediees a son ami Pleyel    Hartel.
(Sept.,      [in the French and in the English     Ad. Catelin et
1839.*)      edition; a Mr. J. C. Kessler in the   Cie.
             German edition. The French edition
             appeared in two books and without
             opus number].--Vol. II., pp. 20, 24,
             27, 28, 29-30, 30-31, 42-45, 50, 51,
             71, 72, 76, 77,

Jan., 1838.  Op. 29. Impromptu [A flat major]      Breitkopf &
(Dec.,       pour le piano. Dedie a Mile, la       Hartel.
1837.*)      Comtesse de Lobau.--Vol. II., pp.     M. Schlesinger.
             15, 259.

Jan., 1838.  Op. 30. Quatre Mazurkas [C minor, B   Breitkopf &
(Dec.,       minor, D flat major, and C sharp      Hartel.
1837.*)      minor] pour le piano. Dediees a Mme.  M. Schlesinger.
             la Princesse de Wurtemberg, nee
             Princesse Czartoryska.--Vol. II.,
             pp. 15, 231-2, 234-9.

Feb., 1838.  Op. 31. Deuxieme Scherzo [B flat      Breitkopf &
(Dec.,       minor] pour le piano. Dedie a Mile,   Hartel.
1837.*)      la Comtesse Adele de Fursienslein.    M. Schlesinger.
             --Vol. II., pp. 15, 87, 256, 257.

(Dec.,       OP. 32. Deux Nocturnes [B major and   A. M.
1837.*)      A flat major] pour le Piano. Dedies   Schlesinger.
             a Mme. la Baronne de Billing.--Vol.   M. Schlesinger.
             II., pp. 15, 87, 264.

Nov., 1838.  OP. 33. Quatre Mazurkas [G sharp      Breitkopf &
(Nov.,       minor, D major, C major, and B        Hartel.
1838.)       minor] pour le piano. Dediees a       M. Schlesinger.
             Mlle. la Comtesse Mostowska.--Vol.
             II., pp. 15, 231-2, 234-9.

Dec., 1838.  OP. 34. Trois Valses brillantes [A    Breitkopf &
(Jan.,       flat major, A minor, and F major]     Hartel.
1839.*)      pour le piano. Dediees [No. 1] a      M. Schlesinger.
             Mlle. deThun-Hohenstein; [No. 2] a
             Mme. G. d'Ivri; [No. 3] d Mile. A.
             d'Eichthal.--Vol. I., p. 200 (No.
             I); Vol. II., pp. 15, 30; 248, 249.

May, 1840.   OP. 35. Sonate [B flat minor] pour    Breitkopf &
(May,        le piano.--Vol. II., pp. 45, 62, 72,  Hartel.
1840.*)      77, 94, 225-8.                        Troupenas et

May, 1840.   OP. 36. Deuxieme Impromptu [F sharp   Breitkopf &
(May,        minor] pour le piano.--Vol. II., pp.  Hartel.
1840.*)      259-60.                               Troupenas et

May, 1840.   OP. 37. Deux Nocturnes [G minor and   Breitkopf &
(June,       G major] pour le piano.--Vol. II.,    Hartel.
1840.*)      p. 45, 62, 87, 261, 264.              Troupenas et

Sept.,       OP. 38. Deuxieme Ballade [F major]    Breitkopf &
1840.        pour le piano. Dediee a Mr. R.        Hartel.
(Sept.,      Schumann.--Vol. II., pp. 45, 50, 51,  Troupenas et
1840.*)      52,54,77,268,269.                     Cie.

Oct., 1840.  Op. 39. Troisieme Scherzo [C sharp    Breitkopf &
(Dec.,       minor] pour le piano. Dedie a Mr. A.  Hartel.
1840.*)      Gutmann.--Vol. II., pp. 45, 53, 72,   Troupenas et
             77, 256, 258.                         Cie.

Nov., 1840.  Op. 40. Deux Polonaises [A major and  Breitkopf &
(Dec.,       C minor] pour le piano. Dediees a     Hartel.
1840.*)      Mr. J. Fontana.--Vol. II., pp. 45,    Troupenas et
             50, 51, 52, 54, 77, 87, 94, 213 (No.  Cie.
             1), 239-244, 246, 247.

Dec., 1840.  Op. 41. Quatre Mazurkas [C sharp      Breitkopf &
(Dec.,       minor, E minor, B major, and A flat   Hartel.
1840.*)      major] pour le piano. Dediees a Mr.   Troupenas et
             E. Witwicki.--Vol. II., pp. 46 (No.   Cie.
             1), 62, 77, 231-2, 234-9.

July, 1840.  Op. 42. Valse [A flat major pour le   Breitkopf &
             piano,--Vol. II., pp. 77, 86, 248,    Hartel.
             249.                                  Pacini.

(1841. An    Op. 43. Tarantella [A flat major]     Schuberth & Co.
nounced in   pour le piano.--Vol. II., pp. 77,     Troupenas et Cie.
Monatsbe-    82-86, 222.
richte on Jan.
1,1842. Paid
for by the
publisher on
July 7, 1841.]
(Oct., 1841.*)

(Nov. 28,    Op.44. Polonaise [F sharp minor]      Merchetti.
1841.)       pour le piano. Dediee a Mme. la       M. Schlesinger.
             Princesse Charles de Beauvau.--Vol.
             II., pp. 77,80, 81,86,239-244,246.

(Nov. 28,    Op.45.  Prelude [C sharp minor] pour  Merchetti.
1841.)       piano. Dediee a Mlle. la Prin-        M. Schlesinger.
             cesse Elisabeth Czernicheff.--Vol.
             II., pp. 77, 80, 81, 256

Jan., 1842.  Op.46.  Allegro de Concert [A major]  Breitkopf & Hartel.
(Nov. 28,    pour le piano. Dedie a Mlle. F.       M. Schlesinger.
1841)        Muller--Vol. I., p. 202; Vol.II.,
             pp.77, 86, 87, 177, 223-5.

Jan. 1842    Op.47.  Troisieme Ballade [A flat     Breitkopf & Hartel.
(Nov. 28,    major] pour le piano. Dediee a        M. Schlesinger.
   1841)     Mlle. P. de Noailles.--Vol.II.,
             pp.77,87, 92, 268, 269-70.

Jan., 1842   Op.48. Deux Nocturnes [C minor        Breitkopf & Hartel.
(Nov. 28,    and F sharp minor] pour le piano.     M. Schlesinger.
1841)        Dediees a Mlle. L. Duperre--Vol.II.,
             pp. 77, 87, 88, 262, 265

Jan., 1842   Op.49.  Fantaisie [F minor] pour      Breitkopf & Hartel.
(Nov. 28,    le piano Dediee a Mme. la Princesse   M. Schlesinger.
     1841)   C. de Souzzo.--Vol. II., pp. 77,87,

[Sept.,1842.  Op.50.  Trois Mazurkas [G major,      Mechetti.
Announced     A flat major, and C charp minor]      M. Schlesinger.
in Monats-    pour le piano. Dediees a Mr. Leon
berichte.]    Szmitkowski--Vol.II., p.77,231-2,
(Nov.28,1841  234-9.
[not again
till June 5,
although the

Feb.,1843.    Op. 51. Allegro Vivace. Troisieme     Hofmeister.
(July 9,      Impromptu [G flat major] pour le      M. Schlesinger.
1843.)        piano. Dedie a Mme. la Comtesse

Feb., 1843.  Op. 52. Quatrieme Ballade [F minor]   Breitkopf &
(Dec. 24,    pour le piano. Dediee a Mme. la       Hartel.
1843.)       Baronne C. de Rothschild.--Vol. II.,  M. Schlesinger.
             pp. 77, 121, 268, 270.

Dec., 1843.  OP. 53. Huiticmc Polonaise [A flat    Breitkopf &
(Dec. 24,    major] pour le piano. Dediee a Mr.    Hartel.
1843.)       A. Leo.--Vol. II., pp. 77, 94, 97,    M. Schlesinger.
             121, 213, 239-244, 247.

Dec., 1843.  Op. 54. Scherzo No. 4 [E major] pour  Breitkopf &
(Dec. 24,    le piano. Dedie a Mlle. J. de         Hartel.
1843.)       Caraman.--Vol. II-, pp. 121, 256,     M. Schlesinger.

Aug. 1844.   Op. 55. Deux Nocturnes [F minor and   Breitkopf &
(Sept. 22,   E flat major] pour le piano. Dedies   Hartel.
1844.)       a Mlle. J. W. Stirling.--Vol. II.,    M. Schlesinger.
             p. 118, 121,262, 265-6.

Aug., 1844.  Op. 56. Trois Mazurkas [B major, C    Breitkopf &
(Sept. 22,   major, and C minor] pour le piano.    Hartel.
1844.)       Dediees a Mlle. C. Maberly.--Vol.      M. Schlesinger.
             II., pp. 118, 121-2, 231-2, 234-9.

May, 1845.   Op. 57. Berceuse [D flat major] pour  Breitkopf &
(June,       le piano. Dediee & Mlle. Elise        Hartel.
1845.*)      Gavard.--Vol. I., p. 119; Vol. II.,   J. Meissonnier.
             pp. 118, 122,267-8.

June, 1845.  Op.58.  Sonate [B minor] pour le      Breitkopf & Hartel
(June,       piano. Dediee a Mme.la Comtesse       J. Meissonnier.
1845*)       E. de Perthuis.--Vol. II., pp.
             118, 122, 228-9.

[Jan., 1846,  Op. 59. Trois Mazurkas [A minor,     Stern et Cie.
announced     A flat major, and F sharp minor]     Brandus et Cie.
in Monats-    pour le piano.--Vol.II.,pp. 122,
berichte.]    231-2, 234-9.

Dec., 1846   Op.60  Barcarolle [F sharp major]     Breitkopf & Hartel
(Sept.,      pour le piano. Dediee a Mme. la       Brandus et Cie.
1846)        Baronne de Stockhausen-Vol.II,
             pp.77, 122 266-7.

Dec., 1846.  Op.61   Polonaise-Fantaisie [A        Breitkopf & Hartel
(Sept.,      flat major] pour le piano.            Brandus et Cie.
1846.*)      Dediee a Mme. A.Veyret.--
             Vol.II., pp. 122, 239-244, 248

Dec., 1846.  Op. 62.  Deux Nocturnes [B major      Breitkopf & Hartel.
(Sept.,      and E major] pour le piano. Dedies     Brandus et Cie.
1846.*)      a Mlle. R. de Konneritz.--Vol. II.,
             pp. 122, 262, 266.

Sept.,       OP. 63. Trois Mazurkas [B major, F    Breitkopf &
1847.        minor, and C sharp minor] pour le     Hartel.
(Oct. 17,    piano. Dediees a. Mme. la Comtesse    Brandus et Cie.
1847)        L. Czosnowska.--Vol. II., pp. 122,
             205, 231-2, 234-9.

Sept.,       OP. 64. Trois Valses [D flat major,   Breitkopf &
1847.        C sharp minor, and A flat major]      Hartel.
(Oct. 17,    pour le piano. Dediees [No 1] a Mme.  Brandus et Cie.
1847)        la Comtesse Potocka; [No. 2] a Mme.
             la Baronne de Rothschild;
             [No. 3] a Mme. la Baronne Bronicka.--
             Vol. II., pp. 95, 122, 142 (No. 1),
             205, 248, 250-1, 387.

Sept.,       OP. 65. Sonate [G minor] pour piano   Breitkopf &
1847.        et violoncelle. Dediee a Mr. A.       Hartel.
(Oct. 17,    Franchomme.--Vol. II., pp. 122, 205,  Brandus et Cie.
1847)        206, 207, 211, 229.


[1833, in    Grand Duo concertant [E major] pour   M. Schlesinger.
print.]      piano et violoncelle sur des themes   A. M.
(July 6,     de Robert le Diable, par F. Chopin    Schlesinger.
1833.)       et A. Franchomme.--Vol. II., p. 230.

Aug. or      Trois Nouvelles Etudes [F. minor, A   M. Schlesinger.
Sept., 1840  flat major, and D flat major]. Etudes A. M.
[this is     de Schlesinger. Perfection de la
the date of  Methode des Moscheles et Fetis.--Vol.
the          II., p. 252.
of the

(July 25,    Variation VI. [Largo, E major, C]    T. Haslinger.
  1841.)     from the Hexameron: Morceau de       Troupenas et Cie.
             Concert. Grandes Variations de
             bravoure sur la Marche des
             "Puritains" de Bellini, composees
             pour le Concert de Mme. la Princesse
             Belgiojoso au benefice des pauvres,
             par MM. Liszt, Thalberg, Pixis, H.
             Herz, Czerny, and Chopin.--Vol. II.,
             pp. 14, 15.

[Feb., 1842,  Mazurka [A minor] pour piano, No.2   B. Schott's Sohne.
announced     of "Notre Temps."--Vol.II.,p.237
in Monats-

                   THE COMPOSER'S DEATH.

[May,        OP. 4. Sonate [C minor] pour le       C. Haslinger.
1851.]       piano. Dediee a Mr. Joseph Elsner.    S. Richault.
(May,        [This work was already in the hands
1851.*)      of the German publisher, T. Haslinger,
             in 1828.]--Vol. I., pp. 62,112,118;
             Vol. II., p. 63.

1855.        OP. 66-74 are the posthumous works    A. M.
             with opus numbers given to the world  Schlesinger.
             by Julius Fontana (publies sur fils.  J. Meissonnier
             manuscrits originaux avec
             autorisation de sa famille).--Vol.
             II., 270-1.

             OP. 66. Fantaisie-Impromptu [C
             sharp minor]. Composed about 1834.--
             Vol. II.. p. 261, 271.

             OP. 67. Quatre Mazurkas [G major
             (1835), G minor (1849), C major (1835),
             and A minor (1846).]--Vol. II.,
             p. 271.

             OP. 68. Quatre Mazurkas [C major
             (1830), A minor (1827), F major (1830),
             and F minor (1849).]--Vol. I., pp.
             112, 122 (No. 2).

             OP. 69. Deux Valses [F minor
             (1836), and B minor (1829).]--
             Vol. I., pp. 112, 122 (No. 2).

             OP. 70. Trois Valses [G flat major
             (1835), F minor (1843), and D flat major
             (1830).]--Vol. I., pp. 128, 200
             (No. 3).

             Op. 71. Trois Polonaises [D minor
             (1827), B flat major (1828), and F minor
             (1829).]--Vol. I., pp. 62 (Nos. 1
             and 2), 112, 121 (Nos. 1, 2, and 3),
             129 (No. 3).

             OP. 72. Nocturne [E minor (1827)];
             Marche funebre [C minor (1829)];
             et Trois Ecossaises [D major, G
             major, and D flat major (1830)].--
             Vol. I., pp. 62, 112, 121 (No. 1);
             112, 123 (No. 2); 202 (No. 3).

             OP. 73. Rondeau [C major] pour deux
             pianos (1828).--Vol. I., pp. 62,
             112, 116.

             OP. 74. Seventeen Polish Songs by
             Witwicki, Mickiewicz, Zaleski, &c.,
             for voice with pianoforte
             accompaniment. The German translation
             by Ferd. Gumbert. [The
             English translation of Stanley
             Lucas, Weber & Co.'s English
             edition is by the Rev. J.
             Troutbeck.]--Vol. II., p. 271-272.


[May,        Variations [E major] pour le piano    C. Haslinger.
1851.]       stir un air allemand. (1824?)         S. Richault.
             [although not published till 1851,
             this composition was already in 1830
             in T. Haslinger's hands).--Vol. I.:
             pp. 53, 55, 56.

             Mazurka [G major]. (1825.)--Vol. I.,  J. Leitgeber.
             p. 52; II., 236.                      Gebethner &
             Mazurka [B flat major (1825)].--Vol.
             I., p. 52; II., 236.

             Mazurka [D major (1829-30)].--Vol.
             I., PP--202-203; II., 236.

             Mazurka [D major (1832.--A
             remodelling of the preceding
             Mazurka)].--Vol. I., pp.
             202-203; II., 236.

             Mazurka [C major (1833)].--Vol. II.,  Gebethner &
             p. 236.                               Wolff.

             Mazurka [A minor. Dediee a son ami    Bote & Bock.
             Emile Gail'ard.--Vol. II, p. 236.

1858.        Valse [E minor].--Vol. II., p. 251.   B. Schott's
                                                   Gebethner &

1864.        Polonaise [G sharp minor]. Dediee     B. Schott's
             a Mme. Dupont.--Vol. I., p. 52 (see   Sohne.
             also Corrections and Additions, Vol.  Gebethner &
             I., p. VIII.                          Wolff.

1872.        Polonaise [G flat major]. Nothing     B. Schott's
             but the composer's autograph could    Sohne.
             convince one of the genuineness of
             this piece. There are here and there
             passages which have the Chopin ring,
             indeed, seem to be almost bodily
             taken from some other of his works,
             but there is also a great deal which
             it is impossible to imagine to have
             come at any time from his pen--the
             very opening bars may be instanced.

             Polonaise [B flat minor (1826)].--    Gebethner &
             Vol. I., pp. 52-53.                   Wolff.

             Valse [E major (1829)].-- Vol. I.,    Gebethner &
             pp. 112, 122.                         Wolff.
                                                   W. Chaberski.

             Souvenir de Paganini [A major].
             This piece, which I do not know, is
             mentioned in the list of the
             master's works given by Karasowski
             in the Polish edition of his life of
             Chopin. It was published in the
             supplement of the Warsaw Echo
             Muzyczne, where also the two
             preceding pieces first appeared.

             About a Mazurka in F sharp major,
             published under Chopin's name by J.
             P. Gotthard, of Vienna, see Vol.
             II., p. 237; and about Deux Valses
             melancoliques (F minor and B minor)
             ecrites sur l'Album de Mme. la
             Comtesse P. 1844, see Vol. II., p.

             La Reine des Songes, which appeared
             in the Paris Journal de Musique, No.
             8, 1876, is No. 1 of the Seventeen
             Polish Songs (transposed to B flat
             major) with French words by George
             Sand, beginning:

                 "Quand la lune se leve
                 Dans un pale rayon
                 Elle vient comme un reve,
                 Comme une vision."

             Besides this song, the letter-press,
             taken from George Sand's Histoire de
             ma Vie, is accompanied by two
             instrumental pieces, extracts from
             the last movement of the E minor
             Concerto and the Bolero, the latter
             being called Chanson de Zingara.

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