Alexis Clairaut (1713-1765)

Chronologie de la vie de Clairaut (1713-1765)

6 avril 1753 (2) : Clairaut (Paris) écrit à Richardson :
Dear Sir

All the favours I have receiv'd of you during my stay in your country [cf. 18 novembre 1752 (1)], have laid on me to many obligations, no to write you some words of acknowledgement after my arrival at home. Tho' I confess, a very great respect for your occupations would perhaps have hinder'd me from that design, if you had not yourself incouraged me by your obliging invitation. I comply then very gladly at once with your proposition and my inclination and assure you in all sincerity that it is impossible to be more sensible, than I am, of your goodness ans politesse and more desirous to show you my gratitude and the greatest regard with which I am, dear Sir, your most humble and obedient servant Clairaut.

Paris 6 of April 1753

When you'll see Mr Speaker [Arthur Onslow] I beseech you to recall me in his memory. I have been extreamly flatter'd of his kindness, and very sorry to have so little enjoy'd the honour of his company. Another favour I beg of you is to inform me how does Ms Byron, as well as Sr Ch. Grandison [(Richardson 53-54) en préparation]. I am anxious about his duel, and would fain have been his second had I know the Rendez vous.

If you intend to honour me with an answer my direction is as follows
A Monsieur
Monsieur Clairaut de l'Academie royale des sciences
Rue du Cocq S[ain]t Jean

[Adresse] Angleterre / To Mr Richardson / in Salisbury Court / Fleet Street / London (Smithsonian Institution Libraries, MSS 348A SCDIRB).
Le même jour, Clairaut adresse une lettre au président de la Royal Society (cf. 6 avril 1753 (1)).

Cette lettre marque le début d'une relation entre les deux hommes, centrée autour de la traduction de (Richardson 53-54) par l'abbé Prévost (cf. Prévost).

La réponse de Richardson est perdue.

Clairaut réécrit à Richardson le 17 juin (cf. 17 juin 1753 (1)).

Richardson est romancier, mais aussi imprimeur de la Chambre des communes.

Le Speaker de la Chambre des communes est alors Arthur Onslow (1691-1768), depuis 1727 et jusqu'en 1761, remplacé par Sir John Cust à partir du 17 novembre 1761, puis par John Paterson à partir du 15 février 1765 jusqu'en 1768 (Namier 85, vol. 1, p. 537 ; vol. 3, p. 226).
  • Namier (Lewis), The House of Commons : 1754-1790, 3 vol., London, 1985.
  • Richardson (Samuel), The History of Sir Charles Grandison in a series of letters, London, 1753-1754 [18 novembre 1752 (1)] [Plus].
Courcelle (Olivier), « 6 avril 1753 (2) : Clairaut (Paris) écrit à Richardson », Chronologie de la vie de Clairaut (1713-1765) [En ligne], [Notice publiée le 8 décembre 2010].