[Paul Lacroix ('P. L. Jacob, bibliophile'), French author.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Paul Lacrois | bibliophile Jacob') to Lamartine, calling on him to prevent a 'massacre des monumens', the destruction of ' les châteaux royaux et les Tuileries'.

Author: 
Paul Lacroix [pseudonyms 'P. L. Jacob, bibliophile' and 'Bibliophile Jacob'] (1806-1884), French novelist, historian and journalist, Librarian of the Arsenal Library, Paris [Alphonse de Lamartine]
Publication details: 
No place or date {perhaps after the Revolution of 1848?].
£250.00
SKU: 23607

3pp, 12mo. Bifolium. In good condition, lightly aged, with stub from mount adhering to second leaf. From the celebrated manuscript collection of Richard Monckton Milnes (Baron Houghton). The salutation is to 'Monsieur', but Lamartine is named as recipient in the text of the letter (see below). It begins: 'Monsieur, | Permettez moi de faire appel à votre grand coeur de citoyen et de poète. | La République française doit vouloir que le peuple comprenne, aime et respecte les arts.' He complains that two government decrees have condemned to death 'les châteaux royaux et les Tuileries!' He boasts that he raised 'le premier cri d'indignation', when, in the reign of Louis Philippe, 'une consiration d'architectes intéressés allait mettre le marteau dans les bâtiments de la Bibliotheque du Roi', and that it was saved as a result. He tells him, 'au nom de notre gloire nationale', that it is his responsibility 'de sauver les Tuileries, Versailles, Fontainebleau, etc'. The royal castles seem to him designed to be made into museums. The Tuileries and the Louvre 'ne peuvent avoir d'autre destination que de rassembler les grandes collections d'art qui font la richesse et l'honneur du pays'. He addresses him directly, stating that he, 'qui etes Lamartine', will place the arts 'sous la sauvegarde des lettres', by opposing 'un massacre des monumens'. He concludes by suggesting that if the Parthenon had existed in the time of Homer, he would have accepted 'la noble mission de proteger le temple de Minerve et l'oeuvre de Phidias'.