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Autograph letter by a Prussian lady to Francesco Algarotti (1712-64)

Autograph letter by a Prussian lady to Francesco Algarotti (1712-64), influential essayist, scientist, poet, art advisor and collector, whom Voltaire called ‘the Swan of Padua’

Algarotti, Francesco (1712-64), influential essayist, philosopher, scientist, poet and art collector ennobled by Frederick the Great. Confidential autograph letter in French written to Algarotti by a close lady friend from the Prussian Court at the height of the Seven Years' War, dated : Berlin, 2 December [1762] 4 pages in ink in a neat, legible hand surrounded by a pretty blue stencilled ornamental border. The writer knows Algarotti well from the time when he served as Prussian Court Chamberlain ten years' earlier before leaving for Italy for health reasons. She sharply criticizes Algarotti for pandering to princes to maintain their favour : 'You are very careful to give important presents to Princes, I think there is nothing so low and so ridiculous'; she also refers to his fragile health : ' I am annoyed that the bad weather has obliged you to leave the country, .I imagine this is beneficial to your health.' She refers to mutual art dealings, telling Algarotti that she is displeased with him for contacting someone in Potsdam :' I don't know what he is about, but I am annoyed that you have sent him word that you have authorized me to make prices for the pictures . he will pester me for reductions and I don't like giving largesse with my friends ' properties' (referring to his pictures); it is some time ago that you promised me some of your works, but you are not too much troubled about keeping you word to me'. (Algarotti was art adviser to Augustus the Strong of Saxony and to Frederick the Great of Prussia). The letter ends on a personal note : 'Our carnival will begin quite late this year . My nonsense amuses you . I am very much annoyed that I cannot offer you some today.' She encourages her correspondant to get married : ' believe me you would do well to marry, in a few years from now you will be very happy to have a companion at home, for one cannot always be working; you will tell me perhaps that you are free to take a mistress home with you . but I am rather suspicious about the feeling of all your paid mistresses.moreover this is just my advice to you, but remember I have given you some that was very good.'
Autograph letter from Prussian lady to Francesco Algarotti (1712-64)

Autograph letter from Prussian lady to Francesco Algarotti (1712-64), influential essayist, philosopher, scientist, poet and art collector. Voltaire’s ‘Swan of Padua’

Algarotti, Francesco, count (1712-64), Essayist, philosopher, scientist, poet and art collector whom Voltaire called 'the Swan of Padua'. Autograph letter in French written to him in Italy by a lady friend from the temporary Prussian Court of Frederick the Great at the height of the Seven Years' War, dated: Magdeburg, 17 February 1762. 2 pages. The writer knows Algarotti well from the time when he lived in Berlin as Prussian chamberlain ten years' earlier; she mentions an unsuccessful attempt on the king's life by an officer imprisoned at Breslau, the death of the Empress Elizabeth of Russia 'exactly at the time when when our enemies believed that they only had to strike the last blow in order to annihilate us (Miracle of the House of Brandenburg), refers to impending peace negociations - 'political news I can send you is that the truce is assured, between the Russians and us, the prisoners released without exchange on either side.' , the first fruit of this good fortune will be our return to Berlin, perhaps Austria will consent to an honourable peace, otherwise we shall wage war on more equal terms and finally Frederick the Great will not lose a sou from his magazine. To my joy, it is possible that the English, far from abandoning us, will make greater efforts, inspite of the war with Spain;' the writer asks Algarotti to send some flowers from Italy for Princess Wilhelmina of Prussia, the king's sister, 'to the value of 3 gold ducats' which she will arrange to be paid from Augsburg . Algarotti was highly regarded by Frederick the Great who admired his encyclopaedic knowledge and taste, and paid for his epitaph 2 years later.