"The cricket must sing, but, above all, it must look for work just like the ant": Georges Beaume, Henry Lapauze, and Daniel Loiseau in correspondence

Beaume, Georges, French writer (1861-1940). 22 autograph letters signed. Together with 3 autograph notes signed and one autograph note on letters of Émile Beaume.

Vincennes, Paris, and Pézenas, 1898-1914.

8vo. Together 63 pp. on bifolia.


Professional correspondence with the art critic Henry Lapauze and his wife, the poet and novelist Jeanne Loiseau, known as Daniel Loiseau (3 letters). Most letters concern publication projects with Laupauze's magazines "Gaulois" and later "La Renaissance" or requests for such collaborations. Beaume was often struggling to make ends meet and wrote several insistent, if not desperate letters, such as this: "You do not want to push me back into misfortune, you who knows my efforts, my numerous acts. We are of the same earth, the same soil. I appeal to your sympathy, your friendship. If I have to sell my copy that is what I have to do to feed my family [...]" (Vincennes, 3 June 1901, transl.). In a 1902 letter to Jeanne Loiseau, Beaume inquired after publication opportunities in the feminist magazine "Femina", founded that same year: "I do not know whether you have sympathy for me; I hope so and I dare to write to you. The cricket must sing but, above all, it must look for work just like the ant. I would like to propose myself [...] to Femina and I am afraid to burn my wings rushing into blind flight".

Apparently, Loiseau suggested a co-written piece, offending Beaume: "Concerning the collaboration, I am very surprised that you could even suggest the mere idea to me. I have always been singing alone. If another voice were to mingle with mine, I should not enjoy myself anymore [...]" (Paris, 10 Jan. 1902). At one point, Beaume even asked Jeanne Loiseau to join friends in a donation to him and his family: "I have used up all my immediate means of subsistence; I am on the verge of being without resources. Once more I must take recourse to the society that has saved me several times [...]" (Paris, 9 Nov. 1912). Among Beaume's and Lapauze's mutual acquaintances were Jean Bertheroy, Louis Ganderax, Georges Lecomte, and André Theuriet.

Another important part of the correspondence concerns George Beaume's son Émile who studied painting at the École des Beaux-Arts under Fernand Cormon from 1907 onwards. Beaume asked Lapauze to support his son's emerging career by various means, particularly through mentions of his paintings in the salon criticisms of "Gaulois" and jury votes for awards: "Last year, Émile obtained an encouragement prize of 500f. This year, he asks for a prize of 1000f. or a travel stipend. He can obtain the prize particularly if my friends are so kind to lend him their votes and support. I know with what passionate dedication you defend those you love. I am asking you to love my son like myself. You would do us good" (Paris, 18 May 1910). Beaume also mentions that he wrote the same request to Henry Roujon, essayist and secretary of the Académie des Beaux-Arts. In a letter concerning Émile's application for the prestigious Prix de Rome, Beaume even enclosed a list of the jurors, hoping that Lapauze would use his connections to support Émile (Paris, 13 April 1912). Although Émile failed to win the prize in 1912, he was successful later. Two connected letters from June 1912 were written on behalf of the young sculptor Joachim Costa (1888-1971), probably a friend of Émile.

All letters by Émile Beaume were written to thank Lapauze or to ask him for similar favours as his father did on his behalf; some are in connection with particular letters by Georges Beaume. The only dated letter was written on 5 May 1911; they are all presented to Lapauze with signed notes by Georges Beaume such as: “Bonjour, Lapauze. This child does not know how to do anything. I thank you myself and I am quite content that you were so kind as to talk about this young painter and to give him a bit of the courage that he needs. Please give my warmest regards to Daniel Loiseau".

Well preserved. Minor browning and occasional minor tears or stains.

Stock Code: BN#58664 Tag: