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Love Letters

Posted by Suz King on November 7, 2009 at 3:07 PM


Background


Voltaire (1694-1778), French author andphilosopher, wrote this passionate letter to his sweetheart while inprison. At the age of nineteen Voltaire was sent as an attache to theFrench Ambassador to the Netherlands. It was there that he fell in lovewith Olympe Dunover, the poor daughter of a lower-class women. Theirrelationship was not approved of by either the ambassador of Olympe'smother and Voltaire was soon imprisoned to keep them apart.

Shortly after, Voltaire managed to escape by climbing out of the window.


The Hague 1713


I am a prisoner here in the name of the King; they can take my life,but not the love that I feel for you. Yes, my adorable mistress,to-night I shall see you, and if I had to put my head on the block todo it.

For heaven's sake, do not speak to me in such disastrous terms as youwrite; you must live and be cautious; beware of madame your mother asof your worst enemy. What do I say? Beware of everybody; trust no one;keep yourself in readiness, as soon as the moon is visible; I shallleave the hotel incognito, take a carriage or a chaise, we shall drivelike the wind to Sheveningen; I shall take paper and ink with me; weshall write our letters.

If you love me, reassureyourself; and call all your strength and presence of mind to your aid;do not let your mother notice anything, try to have your pictures, andbe assured that the menace of the greatest tortures will not prevent meto serve you. No, nothing has the power to part me from you; our loveis based upon virtue, and will last as long as our lives. Adieu, thereis nothing that I will not brave for your sake; you deserve much morethan that. Adieu, my dear heart!


Arout

(Voltaire)


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