PROUST, Marcel. Autograph letter signed to Lucien Daudet, n.p. [Paris], n.d. [after 3 June 1915], referring to a problem that Lucien has mentioned, 'Je ne veux pas enfreindre votre défense et vous parler de ce que vous me dites, mais cela me préoccupe beaucoup', and encouraging him to publish what he has written on Rome; continuing that the announcement referring to [the death of] Countess Mniszech reminds him of Lucien sending him bogus invitations from Countess Potocki, and that he recently and unaccountably received invitations and notices from people he does not even know, 'De cette liste de hautes noms je ne connais personne, en dehors de la Beaumont dont je vous ai parlé l'autre jour ... Donc mystère'; in the 3rd volume of Swann Lucien will find that a single unforeseen alliance is enough to bring into play the whole 'casus foederis' and to roll out all these names. Proust reminisces at length on the ramifications of various aristocratic Polish families, and Madame Mniszech's relationship to Balzac's Madame Hanska, also on names remembered from his childhood, and anticipates the connection in his next volume between Madame de Villeparisis, the Beaulaincourts or Chaponays, and the Guermantes; although this part is already printed he is going to conduct further research. He has written to Léon Daudet, who has sent him his Hors du Joug Allemand, but forgot to tell him that he has composed for him a pastiche of Wagner, quoting a few lines from the libretto ('assez traduction d'Ernst'):
'Gentille enfant, qui cherche noise,
Jamais cheval ni rossignol
Ne connut. Ici jadis
Établie par les Runes.
Très saint tresor,
Vierge et pur,
Par von Mumm fut surpris',
with a postscript speculating further about Polish names, 12 pages, 8vo.
Daudet notes that Proust refers to long ago practical jokes (about invitations) which Proust disliked. Alfred Ernst, the French musical critic, had translated the Ring and the Mastersingers. Proust's verse makes fun of Léon Daudet's bizarre claim that Hermann von Mumm, the manufacturer of champagne, was a well-known spy who had taken the plans of the Soissons mushroom beds where all sorts of munitions and provisions had been concealed in anticipation of the war. Kolb, XIV, 145; Cahiers, V (XIV).