Long Autograph Letter Signed from Sylvain Van de Weyer, Belgian Minister to the Court of St James, to 'Mr. Martin' [Sir Theodore Martin], writing at length, including personal reminiscences, about his friend Baron Stockmar. With engraved portrait .

Sylvain Van de Weyer (1802-1874), Belgian Minister to the Court of St James [Sir Theodore Martin (1816-1909), Scottish lawyer and author; Christian Friedrich (1787-1863), Baron Stockmar]
Publication details: 
On letterhead of New Lodge, Windsor Forest. 18 September 1872.
SKU: 13574

10pp., 12mo. In very good condition, on lightly-aged paper, and still attached to leaves removed from an album. He begins by informing Martin that he has perused his 'admirable article' about Stockmar with 'delight': 'I have read it three times most attentively, as you will see by some marginal marks. He praises the article's 'high moral and religious tone, so perfectly consonant with my old & revered friend's character'. After further praise of Martin he turns to Stocckmar, beginning by attributing the 'duration of Stockmar's influence' to 'the principle which he laid down in one of my numerous confidential conversations with him: "If you are consulted by Princes to whom you are attached, give your opinion truthfully, boldly, without reserve or reticence. Should your opinion not be palatable, do not, to please or conciliate them, deviate for a moment from what you think the truth. You may in consequence be some time out of favour, treated with neglect or coldness. Never mind it, and, when they come back (for back they will come if you remain honest and firm), never complain of the treatment you have received, never try to make them own how right you were, and how wrong they have been. It must be enough for you that they should, for their good and the good of the country, act upon the principles the soundness of which is thus acknowledged!"' He gives an assessment, praising Stockmar's character highly, of why Stockmar had 'such a permanent influence upon men so different in so many respects as Lord Aberdeen, Lord Melbourne, the Duke of Wellington, Lord Palmerston, Sir Robert Peel, &c. [...] How many instances I could quote of the support given by him to men that he disliked the most But the time for such revelations is not come.' He continues with yet more praise of his friend's character, concluding 'to know him was to love him'. Accompanying the letter is an engraved portrait of Stockmar by F. Holl, from a painting by F. Winterhalter in the possession of Queen Victoria, published by Smith, Elder & Co. in 1874. It is in very good condition, with light aging to the extremities. Van de Weyer was a connoisseur, bibliophile and anglophile: he was Vice-President of the London Library from 1848 to his death, and his eldest son was educated at Eton.