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Anne

simone_remy in melkam

March 13 1790 sad little letter to father plus reply

Matton p 61
March 13 1790
My very Dear Father
I clearly see that it is easier for me to pass you my news than for you to send me yours. My business is the excuse for my silence and I hadn’t expected you to punish me by writing less, because I have written to you through the medium of my journal [see Revs no 7] I am overcome by weariness and hardship;
I am only making money for my bookseller. I learn that I have been counterfeited in Provence and in the Languedoc and I feel more and more that my enterprise is beyond my powers. Since, for the last six months, I have spent every penny, more than a hundred louis, to pay off my debts, acquire a domicile, furniture and furnishings, at the very least be kind enough to let me know that you are not among my enemies, and join the ranks of those who encourage me. I have received some wonderfully worthy letters from Linguet, Lameth, Aiguillon and even more illustrious members of the National Assembly. I’m not asking for news from Guise, but send me your own news. There are many times when, in spite of the compliments from a multitude of people who tell me I write with the arrows of Hercules, I find myself as unhappy and as lonely as Philoctetes on the isle of Lemnos. My bookseller assures me that he has sent copies of my journal to you and my brother. I embrace you a thousand times.
Jean-Nicolas’s reply
March 18
No, my son, I am not and never could be an enemy to you; you could not suspect it other than in the frenzy of your imagination or your despair. I am, and will always be, your friend, your best friend. Your mother is my other half in this feeling, because for the last fifteen days both she and my conscience have been urging me to write to you, I haven’t found the time owing to my poor health and the numerous difficulties of my work.
I am pleased to see you more affected by the correspondence and friendship of Dubucquoi than by so many worthy testimonies, which are, however, useful for encouraging you in your great work. If all that is missing for your satisfaction is my ‘bravo’, then receive it; it is a long time since I said it to you quietly, as a father should.
As long as you have a father, a mother, brothers and sisters your comparison with Philoctetes will be wrong, I have more grounds to fear becoming like him than you, if I am left only with my anxieties and worries.
To me, the isle begins to be quite deserted, or, what is worse, it seems to be inhabited only by the monkeys, serpents, tigers and rapacious birds which infest our swamp of l’Oise
Your Father, Desmoulins                

Comments

Poor dear <3 thanks so much for translating and posting this!
Thanks - I thought I'd try and post the most personal first - but they just lead you on to more research because now I really want to look in Revs 7 where he clearly writes/talks about his family. But I haven't got it! Is it online? Do you know what it says?
Also I sometimes suspect he was more like J-N than he would ever have admitted!