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    Sale 7590

    Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books

    4 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 87

    ALEXANDER II (1818-1881), Emperor of Russia. Autograph letter (unsigned) to his mistress, Catherine Dolgorukova, n.p. [St Petersburg], 7/19 & 8/20 January 1868, 'à 7¼h. du soir ... à 11h. du matin ... A 3½h. après midi', numbered '8', in French with a few passages in Russian), 8 pages, 8vo, two bifolia with the imperial cipher in blind (a few marks in pencil).

    Price Realised  

    ALEXANDER II (1818-1881), Emperor of Russia. Autograph letter (unsigned) to his mistress, Catherine Dolgorukova, n.p. [St Petersburg], 7/19 & 8/20 January 1868, 'à 7¼h. du soir ... à 11h. du matin ... A 3½h. après midi', numbered '8', in French with a few passages in Russian), 8 pages, 8vo, two bifolia with the imperial cipher in blind (a few marks in pencil).

    Catherine's reply to his letter has filled Alexander with joy: 'Elle m'a rendu à la vie et je t'aime plus que jamais et me sens heureux de t'aimer ... tout se concentre pour moi en toi. Tu es ma vie, ma consolation, mon courage, ma joie, mon bonheur!'; her sulk ('bouderie') at an inadvertent slight on his part had reduced him to despair; at midnight he adds that he is now filled with desire ('rage') and eagerness to see her the next day -- the wedding supper they have just attended fills him with envy, 'nous aurions voulu nous voir à la place du jeune couple, qui à l'heure qu'il est se prépare à s'occuper de bingerle, mais certes pas ni avec autant d'amour ni avec autant de jouissance que nous savons le faire'. His over-heated imagination affords him only a poor night's sleep, and he resumes the next morning 'J'avais le sang tellement en mouvement et j'éprouvais une telle râge de faire bingerle avec toi, que j'ai passé une très mauvaise nuit'. He has just attended the funeral of a former minister of war [Vasily Andreyevich Dolgorukov (1804-1868)], which has given him dark thoughts; but he comforts himself with the thought of his spiritual union with Catherine; his only anxiety is an injury to her leg caused by an over-vigorous 'bingerle'.

    'Bingerle' is the characteristic code-word of the correspondence for the couple's sexual union.


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