[Le Général Fabvier, head of Greek army during War of Independence.] Autograph Letter Signed (‘Le G[énér]al. Fabvier’) to the Baron de Bourgoing, criticizing the King of Greece and putting forward an apocalyptic vision of the future of Europe.

Le Général Fabvier, head of Greek army during War of Independence. [Charles Nicolas Fabvier (1783-1855), Baron Fabvier], French Philhellene [Paul-Charles-Amable de Bourgoing (1761-1864), Baron]
Publication details: 
28 April 1842; Paris.
SKU: 23841

A ‘longue lettre’, written ‘à cœur ouvert’; an extraordinary document, in whose passionate and pessimistic Catholic conservatism - expressed in martial terms befitting a hero of Borodino - is to be found the roots of the Action Française. 4pp, 4to. Bifolium. 58 lines of neatly- and closely-written text (neater than the minimal examples on Google!). In good condition, lightly aged. Folded twice. Fabvier was the leader of the Greek regular army in the War of Indpendence, and in the latter part of this letter he expresses concerns over the future of his beloved Greece (‘ma chère Grèce’). He fears that its young king has misunderstood Mavrocordato’s instructions, and that his position will be undermined by the demands of the ‘jeunes têtes’ arriving each year from all over Europe. In attempting to please everyone, the king is increasing the influence of a country (England?) which for half a century has only sustained itself by sowing discord. This pessimistic assessment follows on from an extraordinary apocalyptic vision of the future of Europe, prompted by de Bourgoing’s gift to Fabvier of a copy of his recently-published ‘Tableau de l’état actuel et des progrès probables des chemins de fer de l’Allemagne et du continent européen, comparès avec ce qui existe et ce qui se prépare en France à cet égard’. Addressing himself to ‘mon cher Bourgoing’, Fabvier begins by explaining that he had wanted to read this ‘ouvrage sur les Chemins de Fer’ before thanking its author, but that he was delayed by important work for ‘notre Comité de Guerre’, and that when he sought out de Bourgoing he had gone. After the pleasure of many years of friendship, he hopes he may not be accused of negligence now, and proceeds to give his assessment of the work. Having perused it with care, he praises de Bourgoing’s ability in putting forward his vision of the beneficial effects of what he writes about (the movement of people ‘si rapides vers les relations nouvelles qui vont s’établir entre eux’), and concedes that the work reflects well on his character, but while sharing de Bourgoing’s desire for ‘une paix éternelle’, he cannot share his confidence. He is filled by anxiety over ‘ce redoublement d’ardeur pour les intérets materiels’, fearing that it will lead to ‘des chocs plus rudes que ceux qui ont fait gémir nos pêres’, and that the evils of the rivalries of the future will outdo those of the princes of the past, their mistresses and favourites. Having rejected the gospel’s teaching regarding the wealth of this world, it is hardly likely that the human race will by its own efforts achieve the peace it desires. How has France, he asks rhetorically, benefited from two long peaces, out of which have risen ‘deux Colosses’. The balance between the two is in the process of being disturbed, and one stands on the brink of the abyss. Its ruin will involve the whole world, and the other (England?), without its counterweight, will advance ‘avec sa masse compacte’: ‘le but est le même pour tous’ and ‘celui la serait érasé qui ne tiendrais pas d’une main ferme son bouclier audesusus du sa tete’. In all of this there is a single consolation: ‘Toutefois cet avenir encore obscur est dans la main de dieu.’ Apparently unpublished. SEE IMAGE OF LAST PAGE.