Items filtered by date: March 2021

Thursday, 11 March 2021 06:40

Émilie to Maupertuis, 11 December 1737

Everyone’s telling me about your success and the way you lectured the Academy and the public [Maupertuis gave his public address to the Royal Academy of Sciences on 13 November] … But however sweet it is to me to hear the world sing your praises, and to pay you the tribute of admiration that I have offered you ever since we met, I can tell you that it would be even sweeter to hear of your success from your own lips. You should send your manuscript [The Shape of the Earth] to Cirey, where arguably we deserve to read it, and it’s hard having to wait until it’s printed. Monsieur de Voltaire, who loves and esteems you more than anyone, has asked me to beg you to do so …

In the hope of tempting you to Cirey, we can tell you that you’ll find here a rather handsome physics collection, telescopes … hills, from the tops of which you can appreciate a vast horizon, and a theatre, with troupes for tragedy and comedy. We would act Alzire or The Prodigal Son for you, because at Cirey we only put on plays that have been written here—that’s one of the principles of the troupe.

But it’s quite obvious we won’t see you at all, so do think of me on your Mount Tabor [Maupertuis lived on the outskirts of Paris at Mont Valérien]; remember the first time I arrived there; give my compliments to the Superior, whom I’d be charmed to meet again; drink to my health in the refectory and, wherever you may be, always remember that there is not a place on earth, or anywhere else for that matter, where you could possibly be more loved and wanted than at Cirey.

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