Lot n° 23
3000 - 4000
BOILEAU-DESPRÉAUX Nicolas (1636-1711).
L.A.S. "Despreaux", [early January 1698], to Reverend Father
BOUHOURS; 2 pages in-4, address with remnants of red wax stamps.
Beautiful letter on his Epistles.
[In January 1698, Boileau publishes new Epistles (X, XI and XII) with a Preface where he disavows the surreptitious edition of Epistle XII "on the Love of God", the "miserable Epistle in verse, that some impertinent person made print, and that one wants to make pass my Work on the Love of God". Boileau feared the judgment of the Jesuits, of which Bouhours was a member. The letter seems to be unpublished, and precedes by a few days another letter to Bouhours of January 1698 (OEuvres complètes, Bibl. de la Pléiade, p. 803)] "I have seen my reverend Father only yesterday the miserable Printed work that the Scoundrels put in the world under my name and I had a horrible grief. This is what made me hasten the publication of my three Epistles which will appear next Friday with a Preface where I wash my head of these Maroons".
He is surprised that Father Bouhours thought that he could not respect the memory of Father Cheminais: "You know very well that I have many enemies who seek only to do me business. They are the ones who have probably printed this false piece which is not in fact my work [...] and which is composed only of a few incomplete pieces that I have been heard to recite. I therefore ask your Fathers to suspend their judgment until they have seen my true work. As for the false piece, it is miserable peddlers who carry it into the houses and the King himself cannot prevent this disorder. How therefore could I prevent it"...
Return to catalogue