Publisher: Joseph-Geneviève, Le Comte de Puisaye
Date Published: 
Binding: No binding
PUISAYE (Joseph of). Signed letter “Joseph cte D.P.” addressed to the General Jean-Victor MOREAU. S.l., [probably 1793, and not on 19 Sept. 1796 as indicated by an old note]. 1 p. 1/2 folios, letter cut into two with the folding and repaired on the back but almost separated. Age toned paper with chipping and on the edges and a couple of small tears with one affecting the letter in the date. Nice hand-written letter. Condition otherwise very good.
The count Joseph of PUISAYE (1755-1827) was one of the burning defenders of the royalist cause. Outlaw, he took refuge in 1793 in the forests at Rennes, where it reorganized bands of chouans. Then he shared his activity between London and the continent, organized landing of Quiberon in June 1795 as well as many military operations.
English translation of ALS by Puisaye...
"No, Monsieur the General, at least as I like to believe it (as far as I think), the fame of your new post will not at all dazzle you you and will not diminish the feelings of attachment to your King that you were not afraid of demonstrating in the most difficult (trying) circumstances. Ah! If this generosity feeling in your heart were to be extinguished for an instant, I would say to you, look back into the past, you will see there the bloody shadow of a respectable and unfortunate father fallen victim of the assassins who you now serve... If you listen closely? You will hear the cries for vengeance that he (your father) raises right to you, they (the cries) are the certain (very) expression of the pain that he feels in seeing you support the bloody side that has just murdered him...... ah! Moreau, Change your cypresses for lauriers and hasten to nurture them under the flag of honour and duty to merit the tribute of estimation and recognition that a generous monarch offers you. There will not be, I dare to assure you in his name, a greater dear joy, than that of you working for his throne and authority. Telling you the means to render this exercise an infallible success is absolutely useless; you have them (the means) in hand. Use them with your characteristic intelligence, and count on speedy good fortune and the conservation for the recognition of your Sovereign, rather than for a horde of scoundrels who just wait only to destroy you the moment you cease to be useful to them. Discretion above all.
Joseph Cte de P.
P.S. Render services that prove to me that we can count on you, and you will know me (see me) soon."
Fascinating content. A somewhat sycophantic entreaty to turn Moreau to the Royalist side. The dating appears to have been written right after what the bio on Moreau in Wikipedia bio calls his "distinguished retreat." There is also no evidence it was ever received by Moreau. If it was received unsolicited, why on earth would Moreau not have destroyed such a dangerous invitation?
The timing on the part of the Count is odd. As a result of the British disasters in 1795 he was somewhat out of favour with many Royalists. One also wonders if the letter was perhaps a retroactive attempt to discredit Moreau. (i.e. manufactured evidence...) In 1797, Moreau drew the ire of Royalists for exposing one of his friends/colleagues as a traitor. Moreau himself became a target for suspicion. Fascinating and more questions about this letter I am sure!
Very Good. Item #3521