Lot n° 185
600 - 800
PRÉVOST-PARADOL Anatole (1829-1870) essayiste et journaliste politique libéral [AF 1865, 37e f].
MANUSCRIT autograph signed " Prévost-Paradol ", Éloge de Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, ; 39 pages large in-fol. bound in half red basane (small lack at one corner of the binding).
Manuscript of the very first work of the future academician.
This eulogy of Bernardin de Saint-Pierre won the prize of eloquence awarded by the Académie française on August 19, 1852, when the young Prévost-Paradol was just leaving the École normale. In announcing the results of the prize, Villemain recognized "study and talent, these two guarantees of the future".
The manuscript, written in brown ink on the front of large sheets, shows erasures and corrections; it was signed later. Presented anonymously, among 24 other candidates, it carries for epigraph, taken from the preamble of L'Arcadie: "All physics is in religious feelings and all religion in monuments of nature".
Prévost-Paradol retraces the life of BERNARDIN DE SAINT-PIERRE and studies his work at length. Let us quote the conclusion: " Bern. de St Pierre suffered from injustice and was always the enemy of violence; he saw a society collapse which he could accuse of a part of its evils and he nourished until the end only conciliatory designs and beneficent chimeras. This very tolerance was his crime in the judgment of narrow minds and hotheaded hearts. Some still do not forgive him for having been too respectful towards religion, others for not having repudiated reason and insulted philosophy; some for having attacked abuses, others, for having pointed them out with too much patience. And these so opposite reproaches, which for an impartial judge become a unanimous praise, are his most beautiful titles in the eyes of the friends of wisdom and equity.
Provenance: Ludovic HALÉVY (half-brother of Prévost-Paradol, who was the natural son of Léon Halévy), who wrote the title page, with his bookplate.
The booklet of his Discourse on the prices of virtue, December 9, 1869, is enclosed.
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