Lot n° 192
20000 - 25000
Result with fees
: 35 100EUR
14 L.A.S. or L.A. (mostly signed with fancy names, 2 "H. Beyle"), 1830-1835, to Mlle Sophie DUVAUCEL (one to her mother); 52 pages on 28 ff. in-8 or in-4, mounted on tabs on laid paper in a volume in-4, jansenist binding, garnet morocco, ribbed spine, red morocco lining with gilt filleting, bordeaux moiré silk endpapers, lined case (G. Mercier Sr. de son père, 1929).
Beautiful and often long letters, spiritual, gallant and literary correspondence, to the daughter-in-law of Cuvier.
[Sophie DUVAUCEL (1789-1867) was the daughter-in-law of the naturalist Georges Cuvier, with whom her mother had remarried. She used to do the honors of her father-in-law's salon in the Jardin des Plantes, which Stendhal evokes with pleasure in his Souvenirs d'égotisme. Courted by Stendhal's friend Sutton Sharpe, she finally married in 1833 Admiral Alexandre
Ducrest de Villeneuve.]
This very beautiful correspondence delivers interesting confidences of Stendhal on himself, on his novels Le Rouge et le Noir and Lucien Leuwen, on the character of Julien
Sorel, on his former mistress Alberthe de Rubempré called "Madame Azur" (who also had for lovers Delacroix and Mérimée), the countess of Sainte-Aulaire, whose salon he frequented at the French embassy in Rome (that he took as a model for his short story A social position, 1832). He also evokes his friends, notably Astolphe de CUSTINE and Prosper MÉRIMÉE, and his love for BYRON. We can give here only a glimpse of it.
1830. [January], signed "Tombouctou". He gave her at her doorman's the volume I of the Memoirs and Travels of A. de CUSTINE: "It is the trip to Italy and the one that suits best these pretty French souls for whom it would be necessary to write with the colors of the rainbow. Whatever the faults of M. de Custine, he is not a charlatan, he is not a vaudevillian running after the point, he paints true, three small qualities quite rare. He is 18 years old in the volume [...], he is sometimes a child. His great defect is to be afraid of the public, which, with all due respect, is only a stutterer dying of boredom and putting impossible conditions to its amusement". He ends with an anecdote concerning the King of Naples. -Sunday [March 7]. "The man with the shivers and the Etruscan jug, your favorite [Mérimée] gave this morning an article on Lord Byron in which there is more philosophy and truth than in 1830 numbers of the Globe. I am forced to agree, in spite of the envy he inspires in me since you find him so beautiful". He also evokes from Mérimée "the story of the sublime brigand Rondino [...] That is exactly true. The man with the shivers has rather diminished the beauty of Rondino's character. He has taken away some of his impetus". He welcomes the nomination of Chevreul to the Museum: "It is a new conquest for me to try. How to go about it? My country tastes have been dreaming since last night of the charms of a home in the Garden with the prospect of green trees even in the middle of winter. But I will never be flat enough to please 7 out of 13 people [...] The most gentle men, when they have been subjected to my acquaintance for 6 months, would give 6 francs to see me fall into a hole full of mud, just as I am preparing to enter a salon. However, I don't hate anyone and I adore Rossini, Napoleon, Lord
Byron, all the witty people I have spoken to". - March 23], signed "H. Beyle". "My weakness is at your feet, Mademoiselle, I find myself very well there, because they are pretty, and although you are on the side of virtue, you are not sad. On Saturday at 6 o'clock I will appear at the Jardin des Plantes to eat and not to talk. So I will not be an embarrassment to you, no matter how full of Cant the guests are. I feel very comfortable not talking anymore. This is a new ridicule of the French. They are wrong, according to me, to find this character amusing.
But after all, once the animal has been admitted under this definition, what could be more ridiculous than to find it lovable when it does not speak?
I explain this not by the hioid bone or by the animal named Lalouate that the newspapers have always taken for the Luette; but by the exception that the Mistress of the house believes that one makes for her". He quotes a charitable trait of the duchess of Montebello, announces the publication of a brochure of Chateaubriand.... He finally alludes to the academic reception of LAMARTINE (April 1st) : "Will M. de Lamartine know how to write in prose ? A poor diplomat cannot speak about anything, not even about the life of M.
Daru. One says that he is made minister in Greece.
So much the better; we will go to see him there. Get married and go on the trip. I will dress as
Harlequin with a bat, I will make fun of everything that exists and of many other things, and whatever your virtue, I will make you smile"... - [March], signed "Cotonet".
"For a long time, Miss, the conve
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