DELACROIX Eugène (1798-1863).

Lot 38
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DELACROIX Eugène (1798-1863).
L.A.S. "E. Delacroix", [forêt de Boixe] 8 October 1819, to Achille Piron, "employé des Postes, Hôtel des Postes" in Paris; 3 pages in-4, address (address crossed out with ink corrosions, repairs to corroded parts, on edges and to the small lack at the place of the seal).
Long letter to his friend about his stay in Charente at his sister Henriette de Verninac's, hunting, and his love of books and reading.
He pities his friend: "what detestable tricks: these Turks have no conscience... bah! yes... conscience to a Turk! [...] I deeply regretted that my absence prevented me from joining you to make them understand with a hard cane that we are no longer in the time of the Scapins and the Pantalons [...] Hurry up and get out of this bad situation: quickly throw them a large, well-built Norman, with square shoulders and taut hocks, whose nose, since they want it that way, is suitable for tearing up the cartridge. I see only too many of these big devils of poachers, of peasants of all colours, with their figures underneath and their cuddly airs. Not an open face that considers you: they all look like criminals who fear the blows of a stick"...
He hopes that Piron will soon be able to study Italian again: "Study consoles everything. Books are true friends, their silent conversation is free from quarrels and divisions. They make you work on yourself: and, a rare thing in discussions with flesh-and-blood friends, they gently insinuate their opinion, and make you taste reason, without you rebelling against its evidence and without you looking defeated in your own eyes. If the book is worthless, though with a specious exterior, a good mind is not deceived. If it is good, it is a priceless treasure, it is a constant delight. How many sorrows do books not make us forget, by the spectacle of virtuous men delivered to misfortune. How much they elevate us, by showing us their constancy and their great character. It surprises me to see so few people who read in this way. They seek in reading only to fill the emptiness of their minds. The lines pass before their eyes like food in a gullet, as long as they pass it is enough. As for me, I find passages in books that I would like to grasp with something other than my eyes: I feel so well what they tell me, I see so well those whom they paint, that I am indignant at the end against this silent page of a vile paper that has moved me so strongly and that remains alone in my hands and under my senses, instead of the beings that it made me review and that I loved, that I knew. So I grieve as I see the end of a book that interests me: I say an eternal farewell to friends. He will soon return to Paris and meet up with his friends, especially PIERRET who is looking after his sick father... "Here are already the first frosts which have yellowed the leaves of the vine. In the morning when I go out to hunt, a fog as thick as a cloud rises over the woods. One is all seized by a pleasant cold that wakes you up and revives you at the first rays of the sun. The dogs are afraid to enter the dew-covered bushes and come out all wet and bristly. These poor animals do their duty no less faithfully. When they have grasped the track, one sees them rushing about with inconceivable ardour: they run, they fly, they cross, they step on the nose which they have always stuck to the mud, sniffing hastily at the scent of the hare. This spectacle amuses me more than the hunt itself. It is not as boring as one might think when one has good dogs. Often they make us see two or three hares in less than half an hour. You only need to be cool and not in a hurry. Also the season in which we find ourselves is not favorable [for this] kind of hunting. It is really delightful in the spring and part of the summer, and then when the leaves have completely fallen. But unfortunately I will not enjoy it because I intend to leave at the latest on the 25th or 28th. [...] I can already see Paris in the near future: I cannot see without a sort of fear the winter I will spend there alone; for I will be a boy, and will return only with my nephew"... Lettres intimes (XVI, p. 86).
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