Lot n° 190
4000 - 5000
Result with fees
: 3 954EUR
L.A., [Paris June 20, 1804], to his sister Pauline BEYLE in Grenoble; 8 pages in-4 with address (small tear from broken seal, repaired, with tiny lack of text; trace of tab).
Very beautiful and long letter to her beloved sister of advice on love, and on laughter, with a great development on the knowledge of man.
"My dear little one, it has been a long time since I wrote to you. [...] are you still bored.
You wouldn't be so bored if you knew a little more about the world. My good
Pauline, when we cannot change our position without getting lost, we must stay where we are, and once we are convinced that we must stay there, we must try to make it as bearable as possible, and even have fun. The Sacrifice is not as great as you think. Every position has its pains.
You wish, no doubt, to be in Paris with your family in the world. But here there is no family. A mother, a father, are not troublesome for their children, but they also do not love them. Everything is conventional. [...] In the alternative of being loved by those who love us, or of not being loved at all, I would prefer love. Perfection is undoubtedly between two but it is very rare, where to find it? It would be necessary to have perfectly reasonable people and how many are there?
I hope that you work a little and that this will have distracted you, unless your boredom comes from some secret passion". He promises the "deepest secrecy", if it is about one of the young men of Grenoble... "In any case, never forget that my father has aroused envy and that we will be treated more severely than others. Especially having the misfortune to have aroused the jealousy of my uncle [Romain
Gagnon] who would be believed to be a relative". And he reports a discussion with
André Mallein, and the attitude of the latter towards Pauline: "You had that evening on your head a veil like that pretty mezzaro of the Genoese which gives a softly afflicted air to the head, you were perhaps a little, so that he formed the sweetest image of you. I saw that this image had struck him. Your turn expressed in his eyes the sweetest character of a woman, this tender affliction, this soft simpathy which makes one say to oneself (confusedly) she will share my sorrows, she is good, simple. It doesn't take so much to make love arise, he kept talking about your sweetness. I would not like however that it made you tender. It is not necessary for your happiness that you marry a man of whom you would be in love. Here is the reason. All love ends, however violent it may have been, and the most violent more quickly than the others. After love comes disgust, nothing more natural, so we flee from each other for a while. That is fine, but [if] one is married? one is obliged to be together, one is [surprised] to find nothing but boredom in a thousand little things that used to make one happy. A young man of my acquaintance loved a young lady and was a riamato, in the little games this lady used to steal his handkerchief, it was charming, she did it a few days ago the young man found it of the last beast, they will not see each other of one year and then they will be friends, they will remember with pleasure the time when they liked each other. If on the contrary they lived together they would have seen each other every hour of the day. The woman's vanity would have been hurt, the man annoyed and they would have hated each other to death all their lives. Instead of marrying for reason one is never irritated, because one finds more or less what one was counting on. There is a false reason proffered by all the fools of the world, who use it to blame people of spirit; but there is a true reason that must be known because it makes life happy. In general, all evil comes from ignoring the truth.
All sadness, all sorrow from having expected from men what they are not able to give you. Think about this my dear Pauline and write to me often as you think about the hazard. [...] I think I have discovered that all your passions, ladies, are reduced to vanity, I want to push this opinion and if I find it true, you will not make me do any more foolishness".
Then he adds to his letter an essay entitled Knowledge of Man. "You must try to be reasonable, that is to say, always be ready to give in when the events that you will see, or of which you will be certain, will prove you wrong. This is what distinguishes women of spirit from the Caillettes, who only repeat some little nonsense hung on the hazard of the men of their society. These women are undecorable. A reasonable woman, on the contrary, can go from the worst tone to the best in eight days". He wants to copy for Pauline some observations by recommending: "Do not communicate these observations. I don't want to have the reputation of making them, because then we would be in a bad way.
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