From one of the founders of political journalism

Autograph letter signed (‘Linguet’) to the Parisian banker Perregaux.

Brussels, 29 April 1787.

4to bifolium, pp. 4, the last bearing the address and postal mark; neatly written in brown ink; creases where folded, traces of red wax seal, good.


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An interesting letter from Linguet, one of the founders of political journalism who crossed swords with the philosophes, economists, politicians, and slavery abolitionists. Exiled on numerous occasions and imprisoned in the Bastille, he was guillotined in 1794.

Linguet begins his letter with reference to Chétien de Lamoignon, a relative of Malesherbes, who had just been appointed Garde de Sceaux and who subsequently attempted to reform the justice system. Recalling that Lamoignon is a friend of Madame Perregaux, Linguet writes: ‘Je crois me rappeler que Ch. de Lam. est de ses amis; je la félicite de la proposition de ce magistrat, et je me félicite moi-même; je n’ai jamais eu de liaisons directes avec lui; mais il est connu pour un homme honnête, éclairé et ferme: je ne puis qu’avoir à m'applaudir de voir à la tête de la justice un ministre de ce caractère.’

After discussing financial business with his banker, Linguet then appears to refer to projected reforms by Emperor Joseph II, writing, ‘Les réformes vraiment utiles projettées par l’Empereur, honorées de la contradiction dans nos Etats. Je ne sais pas ce que en arrivera(?) mais je chante du fond du coeur ... avec Blondel La paix, la paix, mes bons amis’, this last line being a quote from André Grétry’s popular comic opera of 1784, Richard Coeur-de-lion.

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