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Remerciment des Imprimeurs À Monseigneur le Cardinal Mazarin (1649).


Thanks from the Printers to My Lord the Cardinal Mazarin.

My Lord, We would not be worthy of our good fortune, if we were tardy any longer in thanking you, with all the witnesses of a very sensible obligation. We can only suffer the whole world complains of your Eminence no one profits from it. Your good deeds are too visible to be lied about, and we receive them in a time which makes them even more considerable, and which confounds the calumny of all your enemies. They accuse you of wanting to starve the city of Paris to death; but is there anything more ridiculous? since it is our Body . . . which alone should satisfy your rage: as those who lived in the glorious contempt of riches that he professes with all the masters of other Arts, Noble and Liberal, who keep nothing from day to day. All the Bourgeois had been provided with all that they could need during a blockade of more than a year. We have neither money or supplies, always thanks to God, and to your Eminence Monsieur Saint Jules our second patron, we are today the best accomodated, and we fear most to lack ink and paper than bread and wine, nor meat.

It is also an admirable thing how we work. Your life is a an inexhaustible subject for authors, and tireless for printers. It is the happiest job in Paris, and the profit is comparable to its dignity today. There is never a day where our presses run less than a Volume of all sorts of works, more Prose than poetry, more Latin than French, and more Roman characters than Italic . . . . Half of Paris prints or sells the printed, the other composes them, the Parlement, the Prelates, the Doctors, the Priests, the Monks, the Hermits, the Nuns, the Knights, the Lawyers, the prosecutors, the Clerks, the Secretaries of St. Innocent, the daughters of Marais, final the Bronze horse, and the Samaritan write and speak about us: Pierre du Quignet knows less how to keep silent than break statues, since the same dead revive in order to say their feelings on the conduct of Your Eminence. The Porters bow under the weight of their printed works . . . .

We rejoice more the fame that you acquired, you are alone in the world in that people have much to say and repeat about you, your name will never die . . . ; also more than you have undertaken, and it is an entirely different thing to have wanted to consume a city like Paris, and to sack an entire Kingdom. We will never die of hunger, and posterity will never be able to ignore that we had no more obligation to your Eminence, though ignorant, than to all the Docters, and all their works sacred or profane. Armorers do not bear less witness of the resentment of good fortune that you caused them. The Lord of Bénicourt master of the Royal Chase, will make his thanks to you in the name of all his Colleagues, and you should see the same gratitude from most of the other bodies of Merchants: thus, although without learning or valor, Your Excellence is signalled by Letters and Arms.

It is still a thing to desire, in order to make a final fortune; it is a death sentence, which will be the way to canonisation by our Company: All the Nations will translate it into their language, each country, each city; even each house . . .

We hope that the torture will be equal to that of our principal patron, St. Jean Lateran. It was yours, when you were a canon for the Church of Rome, France gave you its vote for that dignity, which you did not merit, and condemns you reciprocally to a penalty that you don’t merit. Console yourself My lord, . . . the Caesars and most Illustroius persons made a tragic end . . . . Your Eminence makes us a living, and . . . that is why we pray for your health . . .

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