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Письмо Екатерине II от дипломата и писателя Барона Фридриха Мельхиора Гримма.

«May I tell you about a man who at this time is on his way to St. Petersburg? This is Monsieur Roentgen, famous Herrhunter (Moravian brother), undoubtedly the best cabinet-maker of this century. He comes to you because the finest minds attract each other. Since Your Majesty cannot go to Neuwied on the Rhine, the celebrated Roentgen is on his way to St. Petersburg on the Neva. Neuwied is the theatre of his glory as the universe is that of Catherine II. France, Germany and Holland ring with his fame. However, this does not suffice to serve his ambition. He is leaving his large establishment to bring a piece of furniture to Your Majesty’s attention. It is unique and has been built especially for you. It has no equal nor will it have. He has nothing better than submit it to Your Majesty’s judgement. If Your Majesty does not care for it, he will take it back to Neuwied and, as a good Herrnhutian, seek consolation in Christ Who is dear to him. Do, I beg you, favour him by inspecting his work because this alone is the purpose of the noteworthy man’s journey.»

Посмотрим на ингредиенты безупречного письма:

Посланник едет без предупреждения — May I tell you about a man who at this time is on his way to St. Petersburg?

Надо придумать отговорку и оправдание этому — Since Your Majesty cannot go to Neuwied on the Rhine, the celebrated Roentgen is on his way to St. Petersburg on the Neva.

Сопроводить обращение сладкой лестью — He comes to you because the finest minds attract each other. Neuwied is the theatre of his glory as the universe is that of Catherine II.

Вызвать немного жалости, чтобы все прошло, как надо — If Your Majesty does not care for it, he will take it back to Neuwied and, as a good Herrnhutian, seek consolation in Christ Who is dear to him.

и, «вуаля», Екатерина II не только приняла предложение принять посланника, но и на протяжении многих лет оставалась одним из самых выгодных заказчиков мастерской Давида Рентгена.


Фото и цитата: каталог к выставке мебели Абрахама и Давида Рентгена в музее Метрополитен,
Нью Йорк «Extravagant Inventions. The Princely Furniture of the Roentgens» Вольфрам Коппе.

О секретных механизмах, встроенных в «бюро с Аполлоном», можно прочитать здесь.