Alexis Clairaut (1713-1765)

Chronologie de la vie de Clairaut (1713-1765)

7 octobre 1753 (1) : Clairaut (Montigny) écrit à Richardson :
Dear Sir

I, this moment, receive the 2d edition of your work [début de (Richardson 53-54)], just as I finished the reading of the first. For not knowing that you, to soon, intended to honour me with that present, I would not send the copy to the translator before indulging my desire of reading it thoroughly I am the more glad to have done so, that I have as yet, no answer to abbé Prévost to whom I applied for this translation, and am afraid my letter has not reach his hands. I have ever since my last letter [perdue NDM] to you, have been in the country, in the seal of the gentleman whose covert you have made sue of to send me your books. If, within two or three days I have not answer of the said abbé, I'll write to him a second letter by a surer way (The place where he is now being very distant from any post office) but will keep the copy destined to him till my return to Paris, which cannot delayed long. I already told you, when in London, the pleasure I received from you first sheets, and the impatience I had to read the remainder.

My impatience has not be disappointed, I'll assure you, since I quitted any sort of occupation, dispersion and company till I had got quite […] the two volumes. I found that the interest grew as my advancing towards the end which I nevertheless feared to arrive at almost as my own. The grandeur and genius of Sr Ch[arles Grandison] are by far a better lessons of moral than any book I ever knew and the other […] [sic NDE] caracters are also so well drawn that one sees all the original in life. The scenes of the challenge and the conversion of Sr Hargrave with all their preambles have put me out of breath, as had already done the rape and rescuing of Miss Byron. The visit to Capt[ain] Anderson, the behaviour of Mrs Oldham and many like passages had charmed me too :but the anxieties of Miss Byron when Sr. Charles's sisters […] her about to know the [sic NDE] feeble of her heart, have act upon me as if I were a yong girl, i'm afraid for poor Miss Iervois [Jervois] and long to know Olivia. In fine […] [sic NDE] the whole has touched me beyond expression and I should teare you if I spoke of it as long as I could.

I wish there was in France a sufficient number of persons accoustumed to the English langue to taste your work in the original. For i'm afraid no translator will give the life that is in the original as it […] [sic NDE] necessary not to fine the [sic NDE] details languishing. The too hasty temper of our nation requires certainly some abbreviation in them but indeed I should be extremely a a loss how to find out the details to suppose. For they all of them pleased and instructed me. If abbé Prévost undertakes some contraction in it, I'll let you hear of it, and in the meantime, I remain with the greatest regard, dear Sir, your very humble and obedient servant and admirer Clairaut.

Montigny, Octob[er] the 7th 1753.

Pray my best compliments to your nephew whom I am very sorry not to have known when I had the happiness of y[ou]r company. He let me know of an indisposition from […] [sic NDE] which you was recovering. Let me hear as soon as possible whether you are in full health ; and if henceforth it is troublesome to you to write yourself, be assured I shall always be pleased with any way of hearing of a person, whose remembrance […] [sic NDE] is to dear to me. There is no occasion for answering me in the place where I am now, for I hope to be in town before the time of an answer.

I should be very glad to know whether […] [sic NDE] Miss Gervois's [Jervois] translation come not from a pretty female author I have seen at y[ou]r house.

[Adresse] Angleterre / To / Mr S. Richardson / in Salisbury Court Fleet Street / London (Boncompagni 94b).
Clairaut répond à une lettre perdue de Richardson.

La dernière pièce connue de leur correspondance remonte à la lettre de Richardson du 5 juillet (cf. 5 juillet 1753 (1)).

Clairaut est chez Daniel-Charles Trudaine de Montigny avec Réaumur et Mme Dupré de Saint-Maur (cf. 26 septembre 1751 (2)).

La réponse de Richardson est perdue.

Clairaut réécrit à Richardson le 25 décembre (cf. 25 décembre 1753 (1)).
  • NDE : Note de l'éditeur.
  • NDM : Note de moi, Olivier Courcelle.
Courcelle (Olivier), « 7 octobre 1753 (1) : Clairaut (Montigny) écrit à Richardson », Chronologie de la vie de Clairaut (1713-1765) [En ligne], [Notice publiée le 20 décembre 2010].