An introduction became inevitable, however, when Sand moved into rooms below those shared by Liszt and his mistress, Countess Marie d'Agoult, at the Hotel de France, not far from Chopin's apartment at 38 rue de la Chaussee d'Antin. Mme Sand had therefore to be included in the small soiree at Chopin's on 5 November. Franz, Marie and George arrived together. Chopin, fragile and charming, with his aquiline nose, long, tapering fingers and aristocratic manner, found himself greeting a small (less than five foot tall) dark- haired woman clearly older (by six years) than he, who wore - as he had been warned to expect - trousers.
It was an exceptionally relaxed evening. Chopin clowned about gently for his guests, trying not to be appalled by Sand, who puffed away at her cigar, philosophised madly, and addressed all alike in the second person singular. Tea was served.
Later both Chopin and Liszt played. The latter exuded his usual virile charm, but in deference to the assembled company, Sand did not take her accustomed position, crouched in an ecstatic ball under the piano. She became, instead, especially when Chopin performed, cool and aloof, the detached observer. It was a role played for his benefit, but Chopin did not know that yet. "I have made the acquaintance of a great celebrity: Mme Dudevant, known by the name of George Sand," he wrote home to his family in Poland. "Her appearance is not to my liking and doesn't please me at all"Reuse content