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PETER DANIEL HUET,
BISHOP OF AVRANCHES :
WRITTEN BY HIMSELF;
AND TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL LATIN, WITH
COPIOUS NOTES, BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL,
PRINTED FOR LONGMAN, HURST, REES, AND
AND DAVIES, STRAND.
PETER DANIEL HUET.
HAVE now to commemorate a remarkable accession to the number of my friends, made at this period; the first of whom, presented to me by chance, was John des Marets de St. Sorlin, a man of a lofty genius and singular poetical talents. I recollect that on the day in which I was admitted a member of the French Academy, when, after I had pronounced the customary oration, various pieces were re. cited by the other members, a poem was read by Marets, so elevated in its sentiments and happy in its versification, that it was heard with extraordinary applause. It was, however, remarked that in these verses he greatly depreciated the ancients, and plainly hinted that in comparison with Homer and Virgil, Pindar and Horace, the palm of poetry ought
to be awarded to himself. He attempted to support this opinion in another work; as was afterwards likewise done by my acquaintance Charles Perault: but perhaps both of them would have thought otherwise, had they studied to acquire a more perfect knowledge of antiquity and of themselves. Marets had also written an elegant story in the walk of romance, under the title of “Ariadne,” which was considered as one of the best after the “Astrea" of D'Urfé. The agreeable and ingenious poem of the same author in which are described the Joves and nuptials of Circine and Regule was extremely applauded by cardinal Riche
I then also first became acquainted with Paul Pellisson Fontanier, in whom, as formerly in Angelo Politiano, homeliness of feature was compensated by admirable
genius. (2) I was also introduced to Valentine Conrart, a rare and almost singular instance of a literary reputation acquired by one entirely devoid of ancient learning; but who was a very polished modern scholar, and so obliging in his manners, that scarcely any one could be found more ready to do kind offices, as I grate.