Napoleon Series Archive 2010

Re: Et P-J Soufflot?
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By the by - the first issue of Carnet de la Sabretache contains a letter from Parquin to Sofflot, my translation of which appears below. It may be of some further assistance...


A Letter from Colonel Parquin

A translation of Une Lettre de Parquin in Carnet de la Sabretache, Vol. 1, No. 1, January 1893, pp. 27-28
English translation © Tim Mahon 2008

The recent publication of two new editions of Parquin’s Souvenirs, sought after for years, coupled with the even more recent centenary of our doyen capitaine Soufflot, brings a certain level of interest to the following letter, exchanged nearly fifty years ago between these two former officers of the 20th Chasseurs, whose situations have developed so differently.
Parquin’s work, written during his captivity, appeared in 1843.

Citadel of Doullens, 18th January 1844

My dear Soufflot,
I have only just thanked you for the free delivery you made to the editor of Progrès at Arras, and now I must ask you to do me the same service, if possible, in sending a small package containing two copies to M. Renard, mayor of the town of Bourbonne and inspector of the hot springs there. He will keep one of them for himself and the other is for M. Mangin, a doctor of medecine. These two gentlemen were extremely good towards me when I took the waters at Bourbonne and I am happy to be able to do them this small kindness.
Since you have allowed me to make use of you, my old friend, would you have the kindness to enquire of the English ambassador in Paris by what means I might send a copy of my Souvenirs to Lady Blessington and one to M. le comte d’Orsay in London – they are in lodgings together. As for the four examples still available to me, and for which I enclose the authorisation for you to claim them from M. Delachatre, be so kind as to have him inscribe each with “with the author’s compliments.”
My work has created quite a stir in the provinces – is it the same in Paris? The Progrès du Pas-de-Calais has published three articles in different editions, but has not held still at that – it has published two serials and announced a follow-on. You will appreciate this is an unexpected success for me, but the story of my love for Marguerite is told in full and signed Ch. Parquin – as if it was an extract from the celebrated A. Dumas. What an honour!
To finish my letter as I began it, and placing myself under extreme obligation to one of the administrators of the Grandes Messageries, I would ask M. Soufflot to send a package of ten copies that I wish to send to my daughter via the intermediary of M. Adam, proprietor of the Café Adam on the promenade de Broglie in Strasbourg. I am attaching the necessary herewith so the copies can be sent with haste. If the packet needs paying for, my daughter will deal with that in Strasbourg.
Au revoir, my old friend. You know I have asked your help for a long time now, for which I beg you to accept my apologies and my best regards
With heartfelt thanks

To M. Soufflot, chevalier of the Légion d’honneur, one of the adminstrators of the Messageries Royales, rue Notre-Dame-des-Victoires

LM: 11/10/2008

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