V. «Three and more years in Paris»

   Alfieri and Luisa Stolberg left Alsatia for Paris. Once Alfieri finished the treaty Del Principe e delle Lettere (cat. n. 98), he had it published in 1787 at Kehl in the famous printing-house belonging to Beaumarchais, which he chose also for the printing of the America libera, the Virtù sconosciuta, the Etruria vendicata (cat. n. 109), and the Rime. Alfieri himself explained the choice of having these works printed by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais' press in the fortress of Kehl on the Rhine with his desire of avoiding censorship problems existing in France (Vita IV, 18).

Almost at the same time he accomplished the Tragedie and on the eve of the French Revolution he dedicated his Bruto Primo to George Washington (31st December 1788) (cat. n. 101) and the Bruto Secondo (17th January 1789) (cat. n. 103) to the Future Italian People. From this point of view «theatre, history, poetry, rhetorics, literature as a whole become a real school of virtue and liberty» (Del Principe e delle lettere, III, 10). Being a very exacting editor of his work, he decided to trust the second edition of the Tragedies, which in the meantime he had enlarged and enriched with a critical apparatus, to the press of François-Ambroise Didot (cat. n. 105) (cat. n. 106), whose printing house also produced the Panegirico di Plinio a Traiano, already published by Philippe-Denis Pierres.

   At the beginning, Alfieri was an interested spectator of the French Revolution, culminated in the execution of Louis XVI on the 21st January 1973 (cat. n. 116). The enthusiasm he felt in front of the ruins of the Bastille, which he visited together with Ippolito Pindemonte, soon disappeared. In its place, like many other men of his time and his class, he developed a strong dissent. His escape from Paris was caused by the accidents occurred in August 1792 - the assault of the Tuileries, residence of Louis XVI together with his surviving court and the king's surrender - dramatically described in a letter to Tommaso Valperga of Caluso (14 August 1792).
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