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Documents associated with: Baudelaire, Charles
Record 10 of 17

System Number: 13547
Date: 10 October 1863
Author: Charles Baudelaire[1]
Place: Paris
Recipient: JW
Place: London
Repository: Published[2]
Document Type: ALS


[7, Lindsey Row,[3]
Battersea Bridge
Chelsea
London.]

10 Octobre 1863.

Cher Monsieur,

Un de mes meilleurs et de mes plus vieux amis, M. Félix Nadar[4], va à Londres, dans le but, je crois, de raconter au public les aventures qu'il a courues avec son grand ballon[5], et aussi, je présume, pour faire partager au public anglais ses convictions relativement à un nouveau mécanisme qui doit être substitué au ballon[6]

Vous savez que nous avions un peu causé de lectures et des chances que j'aurais pu trouver d'être écouté à Londres. Je vous en prie, gratifiez Nadar de tous les conseils et de toutes les indications dont vous m'auriez fait cadeau à moi-même; en deux mots, tout ce que vous ferez pour M. Nadar, j'en mettrai le souvenir dans mon coeur. D'ailleurs vous le verrez et vous saurez l'apprécier vous-même.

Présentez mes amitiés à Legros[7], et n'oubliez pas de montrer à Nadar vos merveilleuses eaux-fortes[8]. Je devine tout le plaisir qu'il en ressentira.

Veuillez agréer, cher Monsieur, l'assurance de mes meilleurs sentiments.

Charles Baudelaire

Voulant aussi lui donner une lettre pour M. A. Swinburne[9], j'ai profité de l'occasion pour exprimer à ce dernier tout mon repentir de mon oubli et de mon apparente ingratitude[10].

C. B.

À Paris,
22, rue d'Amsterdam.
À Honfleur,
rue de Neubourg.
À Bruxelles.
Je ne sais pas encore à quelle adresse.


This document is protected by copyright.


Translation:

My dear Sir,

One of my best and oldest friends, M. Felix Nadar, is going to London, with the object, I believe, of telling the public about the adventures he has had with his large balloon, and also, I imagine, to share with the English public his convictions relating to a new mechanism which should replace the balloon.

You know that we spoke a little about lectures and the opportunities that I might have had to be heard in London. I beg you to allow Nadar to benefit from the all the advice and indications which you would have offered to me; in a word, I shall store up in my heart everything that you do for Nadar. You will meet him in any case and will be able to appreciate him yourself.

Give my greetings to Legros, and do not forget to show your wonderful etchings to Nadar. I know how pleased he will be to see them.

Yours most truly / Charles Baudelaire

Wanting also to give him a letter for M. A. Swinburne, I have taken the opportunity to express to the latter all my regrets at my forgetfulness and apparent ingratitude.

In Paris, 22, rue d'Amsterdam. In Honfleur, rue de Neubourg. In Brussels, I do not yet know what address.


Notes:

1.  Charles Baudelaire
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), poet and critic [more].

2.  Published
Jacques Crépet (ed.), Oeuvres Complètes de Charles Baudelaire. Correspondance Générale, vol. 4, Paris, 1948, pp. 199-200, no. 792. The letter was not delivered; see below.

3.  7 Lindsey Row
This address is given in brackets in Crépet's transcription, and may represent the address on a cover or envelope.

4.  Nadar
Nadar (1820-1910), né Félix Tournachon, photographer, caricaturist and writer [more]. It appears that Nadar forgot to present his letters of introduction, and found them forty years later (Crépet, op. cit., pp. 200-01, n. 3).

5.  grand ballon
The first ascent of the Géant took place on 9 October.

6.  ballon
Nadar was a fore-runner in the field of aeronautics, and at the age of 88 followed with passionate interest the flights of Santos-Dumont and Wilbur Wright (see Crépet, op. cit., p. 200, n. 1).

7.  Legros
Alphonse Legros (1837-1911), painter, etcher and art teacher [more].

8.  eaux-fortes
In the previous year, Baudelaire had praised JW's work in etching ('Peintres et Aquafortistes' and 'L'Eau-forte est à la mode', L'Art Romantique, 1862, pp. 115 and 466).

9.  Swinburne
Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909), poet and critic [more]. His letter to Swinburne, written on the same day, is published in Crépet, op. cit., pp. 197-98, no. 791. Neither it, nor Baudelaire's letter to JW, were ever delivered. Rather than write direct to Swinburne, on 22 March 1864, Baudelaire told H. Fantin-Latour that he had reminded Nadar about the letter, and would send Swinburne's address to Nadar (ibid., pp. 226-27, no. 809).

10.  ingratitude
Swinburne had sent Baudelaire a copy of his anonymous but favourable review of Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du Mal in the Spectator, September 1862. Baudelaire had not thanked him for it.