VOLTAIRE, François-Marie Arouet dit (1694-1775). Lettre autographe signée "Voltaire gentilhomme de la chambre du roy de france" à Richard Rolt (1724-1770), située et datée "Postdam 1, august 1750". 2 page in-4 (sur un double feuillet (241 x 182 mm). Encre sur papier. Suscription: "to Mr R. Rolt D at mr Harborne Portugal Street Par la hollande Londres". (Papier légèrement sali et jauni, cachet en partie brisé.) Provenance: vente Kendall Hazeldine (Sotheby's, Londres le 11 février 1914, lot n° 180) -- Ancienne collection Tronc-Jeanson.
VOLTAIRE LOUE LA CONSTITUTION BRITANNIQUE ET ATTEND DE LIRE L'OUVRAGE DE RICHARD ROLT, An impartial Representation of the conduct of the several powers of Europe engaged in the late general war... (Londres: 1749-1750).
"I have received at Postdam, the obligent letter you directed to Paris; but I have not yet received the favour of your book. The wisdom that shines in yr letter, raised in me, more and more, the desire to read that performance [...] Tis yr duty to love, to praise, the form of the British Government; but do not believe we blame it in France. The situation of our country, the genius of our nation and many other reasons, have submitted us to the monarchik power, mitigated by the amiable mildness of our manners rather than by your laws [...] As to the task of writting a true and complete history of the late war, tis an heavy burthen. I hope you are wel informd of all the transactions pass'd in yr contry. All the secrets of the back-stairs at yr court, are not secret in a few years. Each party spies, discovers and exagerates the intrigues and the fault of the opposite party, and from the shok of so many flints some flashes of truth may shoot and enlighten the mind of a wise historian, but in other countries state misterys lay hid under a curtain that few men are able to remove. My office of the crown's historian entitled me to the communication of all letters writ to ministers. Yet, I am not satisfied with so good materials, and I must hunt again after my favorite game, truth, in foreign countries [...]." Voltaire. Correspondance. Édition Theodore Besterman. Vol. III. Paris: Gallimard, 1975, lettre 2620, pp. 206-207.
[On joint:] -- Un portrait de Voltaire gravé par Alix d'après Garneray (310 x 210 mm).