The author has lied here

From the Duc de Saint-Simon’s Memoires:

The memoirs of M. de La Rouchefoucauld appeared, and my father was curious to see there the affairs of his time.

(There follows one of Saint-Simon’s typically convoluted matters of honor and intrigue, all aimed at making the elder Saint-Simon look a liar, etc.)

My father felt so vividly the brutality of this slander that he launched himself at a pen and put in the margin: “The author has lied here.”  Not content with what he had just done, he went to the bookseller, whom he had to track down first since the work was not sold publicly at its first appearance. He asked to see his copies – begged, promised, threatened and did it all so effectively that he got him to show them.  At once he took up a pen and added the same marginal note to all of them.  You can imagine the astonishment of the bookseller – and that he was not long in informing M. de La Rouchefoucauld of what had just happened to his copies.  You can believe as well that the latter was outraged at this.  This caused a great stir at the time …

 

Il parut des Mémoires de M. de La Rochefoucauld; mon père fut curieux d’y voir les affaires de son temps.

……

Mon père sentit si vivement l’atrocité de la calomnie, qu’il se jeta sur une plume et mit à la marge: L’auteur en a menti. Non content de ce qu’il venait de faire, il s’en alla chez le libraire qu’il découvrit, parce que cet ouvrage ne se débitait pas publiquement dans cette première nouveauté. Il voulut voir ses exemplaires, pria, promit, menaça et fit si bien qu’il se les fit montrer. Il prit aussitôt une plume et mit à tous la même note marginale. On peut juger de l’étonnement du libraire, et qu’il ne fut pas longtemps sans faire avertir M. de La Rochefoucauld de ce qui venait d’arriver à ses exemplaires. On peut croire aussi que ce dernier en fut outré. Cela fit grand bruit alors …

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s