MUSSET (Alfred de).

Lot 49
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MUSSET (Alfred de).
Autograph letter signed to Arsène Houssaye, (s.l.) 4 August 1851. 4 pages in-8.
Remarkable and rare letter on the theatre, which was reproduced in facsimile by Arsène Houssaye in the first volume of his Confessions, published in 1885 (he reproduces only the last 13 lines).
He explains to his friend "I told Mr. Daresme yesterday that I was hesitating to do my reading and here is the reason for my hesitation: it is that I saw, from a statement of receipts, that it was not Marianne's fault that she had been interrupted and consequently sacrificed (you know as well as I do that one is worth the other). A play put aside for 10 or 12 days at the 15th performance is forgotten, i.e. lost. This little play of mine was the one that the critics had the best reception. It did not displease the public. Neither literarily nor financially do I believe that it deserved its fate.
I have just taken about as much trouble to arrange Barberine as to write a new play. I have added almost an entire act, which was not done. So you understand that it costs me to lose my work again. You cannot, you say, make commitments, and besides, the more or less support that the theatre gives to a play is a completely ad libitum thing. So this is what I thought. If you are not unfavourably inclined towards me, you must agree to give me some proof of it. I do not claim to be played four times a week, but I could be played less than twice in a fortnight. If, on the contrary, you have against me and my play the memory of some difficulties which occurred last January (and in which I acknowledged that I was wrong) you will understand that I must abstain. But you will allow me to add that this is to remember for a long time an agreed-upon wrong, and to bear a rather strong grudge against both my name and my purse (...)".
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