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fully acknowledge to have frequently experienced. (3)
Both the Valois, Henry and Adrian, at this time stood high in literary character, with each of whom, especially Henry, I was upon terms of familiarity. (4)
I then, too, received great pleasure from the “ Systema Saturninum” of Christian Huygens, which he very politely sent me as a present, although at that time he was not known to me according to his deserts. In this work I admired the singular acuteness and extreme industry of the writer, and again felt myself strongly incited to the renewal of my astronomical studies. The friendship commenced between us on this occasion was mutually cultivated by us in the subsequent years, when he had been invited to Paris by the royal authority. (5)
In enumerating my literary friends I must by no means pass over Henry. Justell, the son of Christopher, not, indeed, so much a man of letters himself, as a patron of them, and a host of the Muses. For at his house men of learning daily assembled and held conferences upon topics of erudition; and when, for slight
reasons, * Book iii. Note 53.
reasons, he abandoned this pleasant course of life and the delights of Paris, and seceded to London, he too late repented of his error while languishing under fruitless longings after his native country. (6)
If in this age a Pleiad of Poets had been collected, as we learn to have been done when Ptolemy Philadelphus reigned in Egypt, and also a hundred and fifty years ago in France, places would undoubtedly have been occupied in it by Peter Petit the physician, (7) Charles du Perier*, and John Baptist Santeul, of the religious house of St. Victor at Paris. (8) The two latter were entirely poets, and nothing but poets, being otherwise ignorant and untaught in every species of liberal learning. Santeul was more assuming, Perier more modest, and coloured with a kind of hue of antiquity. This hue was still more apparent in the poetry of Petit, who, besides, possessed much profound literature, not only in the several branches of polite learning, but in physics, and especially in the studies which conduce to the illustration and improvement of the medical art, in which he published several excel
lent specimens of his industry and abilities, written in a clear and elegant style. But whenever chance brought me the company of Santeul and Perier, as it frequently did, every thing around me resounded with verse ; for the former, particularly, could dictate thousands of lines in an hour, and flowed in a turbid torrent. He might be resembled to that Camillo Querno, who was a favourite with pope Leo X, and obtained from him the title and decorations of arch-poet, together with the following elegant address :
Salve brassicea virens corona,
A long time afterwards, when Santeul heard that in the fall of my house my library lay miserably prostrate amid the ruins, he thought the event worthy of being commemorated in his verse. Perier, his rival in fame, aiming at the same Phæbæan laurel, and more happily rising to an imitation of the ancients, proud, also, of his descent from a noble family, regarded himself as superior to all poets by his nobility, and to all nobles by his poetry. He
therefore greatly despised Santeul. Some poems of mine to him and of his to me are in print.
About this time I was introduced to Mary Magdalen de Lavergne Fayette, by Menage, who has devoted whole poems to the praise of her beauty, her wit, her genius, and her elegance in speaking and writing; and not undeservedly; for what can be more polished, correct, and sprightly than what I have seen her writing, as it were in sport, or heard her reciting? Yet she was so negligent of merited applause, that she chose to have her very pleasing romance of “ Zayde” published under the name of Segrais. When this circumstance was mentioned by me in my Origines de Caen,” I was represented as having done an injury to the reputation of Segrais, by some unadvised persons, ignorant of the truth of which I was completely and indubitably an eye-witness, and which I can prove by the testimony of many letters from Mad. Lavergne herself, who sent to me the different portions of this work as soon as they dropped from her pen, and desired me to revise them. (9) Two other females had then obtained some
literary literary celebrity ; Anne de la Vigne (10) and Mary Dupré; (11) though not to compare with that of Lavergne. An epigram of mine is extant, addressed to Dupré, in which I exhort this austere and serious maiden to change her severity for gaiety :
Odimus horridulas adducta fronte puellas, &c.
But no exhortations of this kind were required for la Vigne, who, with an infirm constitution, and suffering under almost continual pain, retained a perpetual cheerfulness of mind. Hence all that she wrote was marked with singular amenity, and in her verses much elevation of spirit was discernible.
In 1659 I was a resident with the Fathers of the Oratory at St. Magloire in Paris, to which I was invited by Louis Thomassin, who added greatly to the estimation of the society by the luminous and very useful work in which, from the authority of good writers and ancient monuments, he described the rites of ecclesiastical discipline. And it would have been to the advantage of his reputation if he had contained himself within the limits of a branch of literature in which he was supreme, and not have