Félicité Robert de La Mennais

La Mennais, Félicité Robert de, known as Lamennais

French cleric and political theorist (1782-1854). Autograph letter signed. La Chênaie [Plesder, Ille-et-Vilaine]. 8vo. 3 pp. on bifolium. With autograph address panel. In French.
3.500 € (86118/BN57029)

Long and important political letter to his close friend Charles Louis Alexandre Coriolis d'Espinouse from the immediate aftermath of the July Revolution that had led to the abdication of Charles X on 2 August 1830. Lamennais anxiously awaits news about the well-being of Coriolis and other friends in Paris, reporting that in Plesder everything "went very smoothly" and that "apart from the colour of the flag, it does not look as if anything has changed". Nevertheless, the revolution was necessary and just to him, affirming that the Bourbons "deserved their defeat" and that "this defeat is without return", as freedom "is the right and the ability to defend oneself against any arbitrary or oppressive will".

Lamennais expresses his hope that this principle "will prevail in the government we are about to be given", fearing that despotism will return otherwise: "Clearly, the victors are already divided among themselves. In the depths of their souls, some would like a pure and simple republic, others something similar to Bonaparte's despotism. If the latter obtain a few important concessions, war will begin the next day, and they will push each other, as they did in England, to persecution and perhaps proscription". Therefore, he calls for a strong constitutional monarchy that would reduce the "so-called king" to "a mere dummy". In Lamennais' view, the greatest danger to the constitutional monarchy to be instituted is politcal lethargy: "Then all those, whoever they may be, who have common interests, can and should, if they have any courage and wisdom, organize themselves without ulterior motives, publicly and legally to defend these interests. But to do so, they must not isolate themselves, park themselves, so to speak, and make a foolish and disastrous honor of being nothing and meddling in nothing". He closes with a religious invocation of political strength and wisdom: "The firm man who does not let himself be dominated by illusions never abandons himself. He turns his back on the past, and walks headlong into the future to take his place. God grant that this may be understood". - Lamennais probably feared for his friend Charles Louis Alexandre Coriolis d'Espinouse (1770-1841) as a current or former partisan of Charles X. After all, the marquess was the author of a eulogy for Charles's oldest son Charles-Ferdinand d'Artois, who had been assassinated by a Bonapartist in 1820, and of a panegyric for the 1824 coronation of the Charles X that was published in 1825. - Well preserved..

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La Mennais, Félicité Robert de, known as Lamennais

French cleric and political theorist (1782-1854). Autograph letter signed. N. p. 8vo. 1 p. on bifolium. With autograph address.
1.000 € (91632/BN60953)

To the lawyer and politician Isaac-Jacob Adolphe Crémieux, responding to the question whether his 1843 publication "Amschaspands et Darvands" ever was "the subject of legal proceedings" - which had not been the case: "Vous désirez savoir si l'ouvrage que j'ai publié, il y a dix ans, sous le titre Amschaspands et Darvands, a été l'objet de poursuites judiciaires. Non, jamais, et quiconque a lu ce livre sait parfaitement que le parquet, même sous Louis-Philippe, ne pouvait seulement en avoir la pensée".

- The title of the book refers to Zoroastrianism: Amahraspands or Amesha Spenta are the seven great divine entities emanating from Ahura Mazda, while darvand denotes the unrighteous. - Minor stains..

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La Mennais, Félicité Robert de, known as Lamennais

French cleric and political theorist (1782-1854). Autograph letter signed. La Chênaie [Plesder, Ille-et-Vilaine]. 8vo. 1 p. and 2 lines on bifolium. With autograph address panel.
2.500 € (91633/BN60954)

Important political letter to the mathematician, physicist, astronomer, and politician François Arago, congratulating him on his re-election in the 1834 French legislative election, "a true victory for France", and discussing pressing political matters. Lamennais writes that he saw in Arago a trustworthy republican ally, otherwise he would not have made dangerous statements, such as describing the reign of Louis-Philippe as a tyranny and predicting the end of "despotism". In his opinion, the most important project of the opposition was electoral reform, although not politicians but "thousands of petitioners" should demand it, since "petitions have not yet been forbidden", while "it is forbidden to associate to defend one's rights".

Finally, he warns Aragon not to trust the opposition members Charles Beslay and his like-named father, as their businesses are "dependent on the government". He also alleges that Beslay, who "does not enjoy a high reputation of integrity", only "escaped the Assizes" due to an illegal intervention by the Minister of Justice Jean-Charles Persil - a piece of information that Arago is instructed to treat with discretion. - François Arago (1786-1853) was on the height of his scientific career as director of the Paris Observatory and perpetual secretary of the Academy of Science when he was first elected deputy in 1831 as part of the Republican opposition to Louis-Philippe. Following the Revolution of 1848, Arago briefly held several ministerial positions in the provisionary government. During his brief term as Minister of the Navy and the Colonies, Arago achieved the abolition of slavery in the French colonies on 27 April 1848. Faced with another undemocratic ruler in 1852, Arago refused to take the required oath of allegiance to Napoleon III and offered to resign as astronomer at the Bureau des Longitudes. The Emperor declined to accept Arago's resignation and made an exception for him. - With tears from breaking the seal..

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La Mennais, Félicité Robert de, known as Lamennais

French cleric and political theorist (1782-1854). Autograph letter signed. N. p. 8vo. ½ p. on bifolium. With autograph address and red wax seal.
400 € (91658/BN60979)

To Edmond Laporte in Paris, probably an autograph collector, apologizing that he can only send him this "simple letter", which nevertheless should count as a token of his good will: "Je regrette, Monsieur, de ne pouvoir vous envoyer que ce simple billet. Il vous prouvera du moins la bonne volonté de celui qui vous prie d'agréer l'expression cordiale de ses sentiments". - With the stamp of an autograph collection underneath the address panel. Traces of folds.

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La Mennais, Félicité Robert de, known as Lamennais

French cleric and political theorist (1782-1854). Autograph letter signed. [Postmarked: Paris. 8vo. 1 page on bifolium with integral address panel.
120 € (91718/BN61040)

To Monsieur Gaubert with apologies for making him wait for a servant called Victor, who would be taken into service, and a new appointment for the meeting: "Je regrette beaucoup, cher Docteur, de vous avoir fait attendre le petit domestique que vous voulez bien prendre à votre service. Ce retard a tenu à des circonstances que je ne pouvais prévoir. Mais demain, à 2 heures, Victor sera chez vous, et je crois être sûr que vous aurez lieu d'être content de lui [...]". - Counter-leaf with a small tear due to opening of the letter; some brownstaining from glue residue.

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