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Letter in a secretarial hand, dated January 17, 1774, at Ferney
. Addressed to Monsieur le Comte d'Argental [Charles Augustin Feriol], at the Quai d'Orsay, Paris. Single sheet with watermark, 12 1/4 x 7 5/8 inches (31 x 19.5 cm), folded to two leaves. These contain 2 1/2 pp. of closely written text, with the address on the verso of the last leaf, a trace of sealing wax remaining. Small section clipped from the blank margin of the address leaf, not affecting the text on either side, otherwise clean.
A lengthy letter with remarkable content, written by Voltaire from exile at Ferney. The recipient, the Comte D'Argental, was one of Voltaire's oldest friends and closest confidantes. He is greeted in this letter as "mon cher ange;" this was Voltaire's customary salutation in his letters to the Comte. The letter is chatty and intimate, discussing (among other matters) Beaumarchais, and the scandalous (though improbable) supposition that he poisoned his wives. He mentions La Harpe (with whom he had a famous quarrel and rapprochement), comments on the acting of his plays in France, and much else. This letter is not signed or initialled. A full translation is included.

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