Lot n° 204
3000 - 4000
Result with fees
: 3 900EUR
L.S. "Voltaire" with autograph addition, Colmar April 5, 1754, to R.P. de MENOU in Nancy; the letter is dictated to his secretary Alessandro COLLINI; 2 pages in-4, address with red wax seal of arms.
On the unauthorized publication of his letters.
"My reverend Father, M. le Préteur de Strasbourg has not yet found our so-called printed letters which are very rare: but Mme de POMPADOUR let me know that they were given to her and that the King saw them. For me, who lives in the deepest solitude, and who has not spoken for six months, I cannot know exactly how much these letters are falsified. I never make copies of my own, and I burn all those I receive, except for business letters. You are no doubt aware that there were copies made in Nancy, either printed or handwritten. You can feel, my reverend
Father, how unpleasant this must be for you and for me. This infidelity which has been done to both of us, is an insult to the beauty of your character and the decency of your state; and it does me a great disservice, which my confidence in you and my tender esteem should not have attracted. You know much better than I do how your wisdom and kindness can repair the betrayal you have been subjected to. If I dared to propose my idea to you, I would beg you to write me only an ostensible word, by which you would complain in general about the wrong done to both of us, not only by publishing our letters, but by publishing them so altered.
I submit my opinion to your lights; I will not take any decision without your orders, and I trust blindly in the uprightness of your heart, and in the feelings with which you have been kind enough to honor me"... He adds in his hand the final formula: "your very humble and obedient servant Voltaire".
Correspondence (Pléiade), t. IV, n° 3744.
Return to catalogue