The Diary of James Gallatin: The Diary of James Gallatin, Secretary to Albert Gallatin, 1813-1827

By James Gallatin | Go to book overview

APPENDIX II
LETTER FROM VOLTAIRE TO THE COMTE D'ARGENTAL

9 Février, 1761.

Voici la plus belle occasion, mon chef ange, d'exercer votre ministère céleste. Il s'agit du meilleur office que je puisse recevoir de vos bontés.

Je vous conjure, mon cher et respectable ami, d'employer tout votre crédit auprès de Monsieur le Duc de Choiseul; auprès de ses amis, s'il le faut après, de sa maîtresse, etc. etc. Et pourquoi ose-je vous demander tant d'appui, tant de zèle, tant de vivacité, et surtout un prompt succès? Pour le bien du service, mon cher ange: pour battre le Duc de Brunswick. M. Gallatin, Officier aux gardes Suisses, qui vous présentera ma très-humble réquête, est de la plus ancienne famille de Genève. Ils se font tuer pour nous de père en fils depuis Henri Quatre.

L'Oncle de celui-ci a été tué devant Ostende; son frère a été à la malheureuse et abominable journée de Rosbach, à ce que je crois; journée où les régiments suisses firent seuls leur devoir. Si ce n'est pas à Rosbach, c'est ailleurs; le fait est qu'il a été tué; celui-ci a été blessé. Il sert depuis dix ans; il a été aide-major; il veut l'être. Il faut des aides-major qui parlent bien l'allemand, qui soient actifs, intelligents; il est tout cela. Enfin vous saurez de lui précisément ce qu'il lui faut; c'est en général la permission d'aller vite chercher la mort à votre service. Faites-lui cette grâce et qu'il ne soit point tué, car il est fort aimable et il est neveu de cette Madame Calendrin que vous avez rue étant enfant. Madame sa mère est bien aussi aimable que Madame Calendrin.

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