RACINE Jean (1639-1699).

Lot 171
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Estimation :
12000 - 15000 EUR
Result with fees
Result : 15 157EUR
RACINE Jean (1639-1699).
L.A.S. "Racine", Paris October 27 [1682], to his brother-in-law Antoine RIVIÈRE, comptroller of the salt store at La Ferté-Milon; 2 pages and a quarter in-8, address (small hole by broken seal removing some letters, trace of mitre on the 1st page affecting some beginnings of lines). Touching family letter before the birth of his niece and goddaughter Marie-Catherine Rivière. [Racine remained very attached to his sister Marie and his parents in La Ferté-Milon. It is there that he sent his daughter, Anne dite Nanette, born three months earlier on July 29, 1682; the two other children, Jean-Baptiste and Marie-Catherine (four and two years old), are with him in Paris and play with larks sent by Antoine Rivière. The Rivières are waiting in their turn for a child: it will be Marie-Catherine known as Manon, that Racine will hold on the baptismal font with his cousin Vitart. One of the plagues of the time is the passage of the people of war, that the villagers are obliged to lodge; Racine will use his relations to try to exempt from this chore his brother-in-law (who was a doctor of the hospital and controller of the salt storehouse), as well as the nurse to whom he will remain faithful to the point of naming her in his will]. "I am greatly obliged to you, Sir, for the honor you do me in wanting me to hold your child. I will go to La Ferté Milon for this purpose as soon as I know that my sister has given birth. I am leaving tomorrow to go to Fontainebleau, where I will be only seven or eight days. I beg you to send my compliments to my cousin Vitart and to tell her how happy I am to be her companion. If the weather allows it, I will take my wife, who is also very eager to see her daughter. I am much obliged to my cousin Regnaut for his kindness in having some regard for our nurse during the passages of the people of war. I beg you to tell him that I recommend her to him with all my heart, and that I will be extremely grateful for what he will do for her. For you, if you are inconvenienced on this subject, I beg you to tell me, because I will spare neither my steps nor my care to exempt you as much as I can. There are cities where the doctor is always exempt as a hospital doctor. Inform yourself of this gently and without making a fuss. For perhaps I could have you give this exemption for all time in this capacity. Know how it is done either at Chasteauthierry or at Crespy. Farewell, Sir, I wish my sister a happy birth. My wife kisses her hands and yours too. Tomorrow she will bring her children to Melun where she will stay for four or five days while I am in Fontainebleau. Our children thank you for your kindness. It has been a great joy for them. But I would like you not to send us so many goods at the same time"... OEuvres complètes (Bibl. de la Pléiade), t. II, p. 464. Provenance : M. PACQUENOT (de Soissons), great-grand-nephew of Racine by his wife (inscription p. 4). Ph. de Flers, Th. Bodin, L'Académie française au fil des lettres, p. 68-71.
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