Milano 19 Sett. 1891
Cariss.° Avvocato ed amico.
Appena di ritorno a
Ma non posso, alla fin fine, condurre a rovina i nostri affari, che asportando tanta parte viva di
Come già d’accordo, terremo seduta plenaria co’ miei soci, e cogli altri egregi colleghi suoi: ma per indirla, bisogna combinare parecchi giorni prima, anche per intendersi coll’
Voglia dunque compiacersi informarmi della data approssimativa della ns. Seduta coi Soci, e meglio se possibile ai primi di Ottobre venturo.
Termino colla piena fiducia che nel contenuto di questa mia, e nella franca e confidenziale mia esposizione, Ella non potrà non vedere una novella prova di stima ed amicizia: in caso diverso avrei taciuto.
Cordialmente ossequiandolo, mi ripeto
di Lei dmo Giulio Ricordi
Milan, 19 Sept. 1891
Hon Comm. Carlo Panattoni
Bagni di Casciana (Pisa)
Dearest Avvocato and friend,
Immediately upon my return to Milan I arranged that the remainder of the sum you requested be sent to you: our Sig. Blanc was not able to do this, and he had been expressly forbidden to telegraph me. I also was given your letter of the 15th of this month at that time, and I confess I was disappointed to read it. My Company, and I in particular, have given you such frequent and repeated proof of our complete, unconditional trust for there to be any doubt in that regard. Fully justified by the facts, this trust is even more significant than the cordial friendship that has always been the basis of our optimum dealings with one another. But it is precisely because of this friendship that I believe I can open myself to you frankly, and to say that our company cannot support further legal expenses as it has in the past, expenses which are disproportionate compared to the total amount of our business, and which weigh negatively upon it in an unsustainable manner. I cannot therefore continue down this path without betraying my conscience and the trust of those persons whose interests are involved. I am well aware of the fact that the onerous legal proceedings we have had to undertake were painfully necessary – but enough is enough. It grieves me not to be able to share your hope that there will be some compensation for the enormous expenditure for the Sonzogno lawsuit: I do not believe it, because I know how the judges evaluate damages, since many of these, certainly for us, lack the means of proof. I do not exaggerate in my estimate that for around the past 3 years, between expenses and damages, the Sonzogno lawsuit has cost our Company at least 200,000 lire!.. and therefore I ask myself if it would not have been better to accept their larceny than to have encountered such expense. No, dear Avvocato, I repeat that it is my duty, absolutely my duty to limit this kind of up-front outlay, because any eventual compensation will only surface far into the future or not at all. These are not times in which a business can manage such burdens – although, be it understood, I have no intention of criticizing your work: on the contrary, I am most happy with what you have done, for the victories you have brought us, and all this is reason for admiration and gratitude from both me and my Company. But I cannot, when all is said and done, bring our business to ruin by consuming so much of our liquidity, preventing me from pursuing other and new business ventures without considering the future for myself and the company for which I am responsible. I have no doubt whatsoever that you, good friend and counselor, precisely because you would prefer that the Company continue to prosper, will be able to appreciate these observations and preoccupations of mine.
As already agreed, we will hold a plenary session with my shareholders and with you and your respected colleagues; but for it to be announced we must make arrangements several days before, also in consort with the Hon. Villa. Therefore I must know when you could be in Milan, and the sooner that is the better. Since you will do us the honor of representing our Company at Neuchatel, I need to know if and when you will go to Geneva afterwards, so that I can then write to Avv. Villa to set up when it is best for us to meet here. I enclose the papers regarding Neuchatel, and ask that you promptly advise me how I should respond to Nicolini in Geneva, who requests an answer to his letter of the 7th of this month which I sent you.
Please be so kind therefore as to inform me of the approximate date for our meeting with my fellow Shareholders, if at all possible in the early part of this coming October.
I close fully confident that you will find the contents of this letter, and their frank and confidential character, to be renewed proof of my respect and friendship; were it otherwise, I would have remained silent.
With my cordial respects, I humbly remain
Yours most sincerely, Giulio Ricordi