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Lot n° 36

BERLIOZ Hector (1803-1869).

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L.A.S. "H. Berlioz", 17 May [1845], to Alfred de VIGNY; 2 1/4 pages in-8. Very beautiful letter congratulating Vigny on his election to the Académie française. The beginning of the letter evokes the evening of May 13 for the benefit of Marie Dorval: "Admire my misfortune! It turns out that our two singers were grotesque!... the public booed them! they are friends of mine!" He cannot therefore, as he had promised, give an account of the performance: "It is impossible for me to enter the literary domain through this back door. Armand [Bertin] would not have allowed me any more than he allows Janin to set foot on my land. Pity me for not being able to say what I feel so strongly, my admiration for your works and in particular for Chatterton "... He adds a long postscript: "P.S. I have not yet congratulated you on the chair that has just fallen on your head. It brings in 16 to 18 hundred francs a year! And then, all things considered, it is not absolutely dishonorable! There are other great poets who have had to suffer this accident like you. An academician is not required to be more stupid than another man (to parody the word of your Quaker) and if you, Hugo, Lamartine and Chateaubriant want to take the trouble to rub your fellow-members firmly, perhaps you will manage to coat them with a little spirit, poetic feeling and love of art. Farewell, farewell, all is for the best in the best of the possible academies"... Vigny wrote Berlioz's name at the top of the letter. Correspondance générale, t. III, p. 247. Ph. de Flers, Th. Bodin, L'Académie française au fil des lettres, p. 204-207.

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