Lot n° 215
400 - 500 EUR
Result with fees
VALLÈS Jules (1832-1885)
L.A.S. "JV", [London 1871], to a friend engraver; 6 and a half pages in-12 filled with small handwriting.
Poignant letter of exile after the failure of the Commune.
[After the Commune, Vallès fled to Belgium and took refuge in London; he was sentenced to death in absentia in July 1872.]
He doesn't miss Paris with "the smell of curdled blood" and its trees that "must smell of scorch and crime! Great cemetery of federates! - When I left the barricade of Belleville on May 28th, broken, desperate, all covered in red, splashed by twenty wounded, I thought I was going to die, and I picked up what saliva I had left to spit it in the faces of those who were to kill me; but I swore to myself, if I survived by a miracle, not to return to this Paris that had not been able to win! I escaped death, the stake, the agony! I am free, free and happy. I will return to France only for the day of battle, if there is one; and may the bullets spare me, after having done my work, I will leave. You see that exile is not very heavy for me!" Then he talks of his work and plans: "I sketched a play, started a David Copperfield in my own way, that is, continued the will of a joker. The other day I felt like making a diary", at 6 pence; he explains the contents, the illustrations, and he asks his friend to find him collaborators... There are many friends of Félix who have a lot of talent as a drawer and who know in Paris those who do... "I have inherited - if there are no losses, I will have my 4 francs a day, about ! not more; but it's a white shirt, rye bread, a window on a suburb or on a field ! La Rue earned me that; it was one of its readers who made this will" . He ends sadly: "Is it true that a young man named Martin who was my commensal at
Laveur was shot instead of me? Oh! those eight days!"
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