Page:Voltaire - Œuvres complètes Garnier tome36.djvu/547

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S’il faut donc, monsieur, que les comédiens italiens persistent dans leur opiniâtreté à faire jouer leur parodie, je demande seulement, dans les circonstances présentes, qu’on se règle suivant l’ancienne méthode, très-sagement établie pour ne pas ruiner les comédiens français, c’est-à-dire qu’on attende l’expiration du cours des premières représentations de Sémiramis, interrompu par le voyage de Fontainebleau, et qui va se reprendre dans quelques semaines. Je compte être à Paris dans ce temps-là, et vous y remercier de vos bontés.


1926. — À M. LE CHEVALIER DE FALKENER[1].
Lunéville, à la cour de Lorraine, ce 5 novembre 1748.

Dear sir, your letter has afforded me the most sensible satisfaction for when my friendship for you began, it was a bargain for life. Time that alters all things, and chiefly my poor tattered body, has not altered my sentiments.

You acquaint me you are a husband and a father, and I hope you are an happy one. It behooves a secretary to a great general, to marry a great officer’s daughter and really, I am transported with joy to see the blood of Marlborough, mixed with that of my dearest Falkener. I do present your lady with my most humble respects, and I kiss your child.

You are a lusty husband, and I, a weak bachelor, as much unhealthy as when you save me, but some twenty years older. Yet I have a kind of conformity with you : for if you are attached to a hero, so I am in the retinue of another, though not so intimately as you are. My king has appointed me one of the ordinary gentleman of his chamber : Gentilhomme ordinaire de sa chambre. Your post is more honourable and profitable ; yet I am satisfied with mine, because if it gives not a great income, it leaves me at my full liberty, which I prefer to kings.

The king of Prussia would once have given me one thousand pounds sterling per annum to live at his court and I did not accept of the bargain, because the court of a king is not comparable to the house of friend. I have lived these twenty years since with the same friends and you know what power friendship gets over a tender soul, and over a philosophical one.

I find a great delight in opening my heart to you, and in

  1. Éditeurs, de Cayrol et François.