ROBESPIERRE (Maximilien de). Autograph letter... - Lot 18 - Osenat

Lot 18
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ROBESPIERRE (Maximilien de). Autograph letter... - Lot 18 - Osenat
ROBESPIERRE (Maximilien de). Autograph letter signed "Robespierre" TO GEORGES-JACQUES DANTON. Paris, February 15 [1793]. 3/4 p. in-folio. RARISSIVE MEETING OF THE TWO MEN WHO "RECEIVED THE POWER TO INCARCERATE THE REVOLUTION" (Mona Ozouf). "My dear Danton, if, in the only misfortunes that can shake a soul like yours, the certainty of having a tender and devoted friend can offer you some consolation, I present it to you. I love you more than ever and until death. In this moment I am you. Do not close your heart to the accents of the friendship which feels all your sorrow. Let us mourn together our friends; and let us FEEL THE EFFECTS OF OUR DEEP PAIN TO THE SHOOTINGS who are the authors of our public and private misfortunes. My friend, I had addressed this language to you from my heart, in Belgium [Danton was then on a mission there with other conventioneers]. I would have already been to see you, if I had not respected the first moments of your just affliction. Embrace your friend..." Robespierre still uses the traditional calendar here, in which 1793 is indeed "year 2 of the Republic", founded in September of the previous year. TO DANTON IN MOURNING FOR HIS WIFE. The tribune was extraordinarily attached to his wife Gabrielle, and received a terrible blow when, on a mission outside Paris for the Convention, he learned that she had died in childbirth in his absence (February 10, 1793): he returned hastily, and had her dug up to have her face molded by the sculptor Deseine, in order to preserve her features forever. EXTRAORDINARY DECLARATION OF FRIENDSHIP AT THE TIME THEIR RIVALITY BEGAN AND THEIR DISAGREEMENTS EXPANDED, especially on the subject of war and factions. After many twists and turns, Robespierre and his followers would impeach Danton and have him guillotined on April 5, 1794. "Did they ever love each other? They were too different for that. Robespierre had no body, Danton never stopped using it: his corpulence, his ugliness, his excesses [...]. On the one hand asceticism, on the other instinct. One was the theoretician of the Revolution, the other his henchman and his enchanter [...]. Danton will be the first of the two to be tortured by Robespierre's vengeance. And, fatally, the latter will follow him three months later by Danton's remorse. Let there be no mistake, these two are also fighting for power" (Emmanuel de Waresquiel, in his preface to Loris Chavanette's book, Danton et Robespierre, Paris, Passés composés, 2021). The only letter from Robespierre to Danton that has been preserved No epistolary trace has survived between the two men, except for this letter and a letter from Danton addressed to Robespierre on August 14, 1792, inviting him to participate in the meetings of the Council of Justice that he had formed. This letter was included in the exhibition La Révolution française held at the Bibliothèque nationale from January to March 1928. Provenance: former collections of Alfred MORRISON (1891, vol. V, p. 282, no. 2); Arthur MEYER (Paris, Drouot, Francisque Lefrançois et Noël Charavay experts, June 3-6, 1924, no. 129/autographs-3°, with reproduction p. 43); Christian Lazard. Maximilien et Augustin de Robespierre, Correspondance (Œuvres complètes, vol.III, under the aegis of the Société des études robespierristes), Paris, F. Alcan, 1926, p. 160. - This letter is cited in all biographies of both Danton and Robespierre, and is also included in Le Cahier rouge des plus belles lettres de la langue française (Paris, Grasset, 2017).
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