CHATEAUBRIAND (François-René de). 2 autograph...

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CHATEAUBRIAND (François-René de). 2 autograph...

CHATEAUBRIAND (François-René de). 2 autograph letters, Vallée-aux-Loups 14 and [26] April 1812, to the duchess of Duras; 4 pages and 2 pages and a half in-8.
About Moses and Natalie de Noailles. Val de loup April 14.
"You are a very kind sister, but you cannot make me not be what I am, that is to say, the most careless of men in matters of business. Me! to tell you the story of my foolishness in fortune! I know very well about the great debts; they are all paid for by the new edition of the Itinerary. But I still have a dozen thousand francs in a bookseller's [Nicolle's] bankruptcy, which are notes that come in at different times and which have to be paid by borrowing again; this bothers me a lot at times. But I will cut this short next winter, if I cannot do otherwise, by printing the Abencerage at my peril. As for the Tragedy [Moses], there are four acts written. I will start on the fifth to finish it, after which I will begin the story. I will leave Moyse to sleep until October and I will put the finishing touches to it in the autumn, so that it will be finished this winter... You have been instructed in everything you asked for. The two lottery tickets will be taken, thanks to the Adriene, who is taking great pains over it, and who, I swear to you, is a very distinguished and ill-judged person. I have not heard a word about her pregnancy, but it is true that she has looked ill to me of late. As for the great friend [Mme de Berenger], there is no doubt about her condition. As she is tall, she carries her second life very well. Rue Cérutti [Natalie de Noailles] grumbles, dreams, is half mad, but she no longer torments me. And I am becoming so heavy, so stupid, so sleepy, that yesterday I cried with despair. I am in danger of becoming a fool. Perhaps I would do well to leave for China, that would distract me? ...] An attachment to life and beyond". (CG II 562)
Sunday [26 April ?] "Don't joke like that any more, dear sister, and don't tell me that people write you horrors about me, when you cannot show me the letter straight away. It leaves me with a head full of ghosts. Besides, as I don't speak ill of anyone, it is quite simple that they should say something about me. The wicked are respected. This joke of my enemy's, if it is one, seems to me very bad. I beg her not to worry about me any more than I worry about her. There is an old saying that when a dog drowns everyone throws a stone at him: that is my story. But if I am to be drowned, it does not make those who attack me in concert with the police any more noble for it. Say what you will to the rest. I will not see you if it frightens you. As I am not likely to remain in France for long, the sacrifice will be less painful for me. My exile will only begin earlier. As for Mde de B., I am not very happy with her fiddling. I will tell her so. As for Mde de N[oailles], I must give up her signature, and even all signatures. I will do as I have done up to now. Let's leave it all alone. Your letter has caused me great pain".... (CG II 563). Provenance: Sale of La duchesse de Duras et ses amis, Chateaubriand (24 October 2013, n° 40)
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