again laid hold of the villain’s cloak, which, however,

And so the curtain drops on the Baireuth Journey, on the Berlin Visit; and indeed, if that were anything, on Voltaire's Diplomatic career altogether. The insignificant Accidents, the dull Powers that be, say No. Curious to reflect, had they happened to say Yes: --"Go into the Diplomatic line, then, you sharp climbing creature, and become great by that method; WRITE no more, you; write only Despatches and Spy-Letters henceforth!"--how different a world for us, and for all mortals that read and that do not read, there had now been!

again laid hold of the villain’s cloak, which, however,

Voltaire fancies he has done his Diplomacy well, not without fruit; and, at Brunswick,--cheered by the grand welcome he found there,--has delightful outlooks (might I dare to suggest them, Monseigneur?) of touring about in the German Courts, with some Circular HORTATORIUM, or sublime Begging-Letter from the Kaiser, in his hand; and, by witchery of tongue, urging Wurtemberg, Brunswick, Baireuth, Anspach, Berlin, to compliance with the Imperial Majesty and France. [Ib. lxxiii. 133.] Would not that be sublime! But that, like the rest, in spite of one's talent, came to nothing. Talent? Success? Madame de Chateauroux had, in the interim, taken a dislike to M. Amelot; "could not bear his stammering," the fastidious Improper Female; flung Amelot overboard,--Amelot, and his luggage after him, Voltaire's diplomatic hopes included; and there was an end.

again laid hold of the villain’s cloak, which, however,

How ravishing the thing had been while it lasted, judge by these other stray symptoms; hastily picked up, partly at Berlin, partly at Brunswick; which show us the bright meridian, and also the blaze, almost still more radiant, which proved to be sunset. Readers have heard of Voltaire's Madrigals to certain Princesses; and must read these Three again,--which are really incomparable in their kind; not equalled in graceful felicity even by Goethe, and by him alone of Poets approached in that respect. At Berlin, Autumn 1743, Three consummate Madrigals:--

again laid hold of the villain’s cloak, which, however,

"Souvent un peu de verite Se mele au plus grossier mensonge: Cette nuit, dans l'erreur d'un songe, Au rang des rois j'etais monte. Je vous aimais, Princesse, et j'osais vous le dire! Les dieux a mon reveil ne m'ont pas tout ote, Je n'ai perdu que mon empire."


"Si Paris venait sur la terre Pour juger entre vos beaux yeux, Il couperait la pomme en deux, Et ne produirait pas de guerre."


"Pardon, charmante Ulrique; pardon, belle Amelie; J'ai cru n'aimer que vous la reste de ma vie, Et ne servir que sous vos lois; Mais enfin j'entends et je vois Cette adorable Soeur dont l'Amour suit les traces: Ah, ce n'est pas outrager les Trois Graces Que de les aimer toutes trois!"

Original article by {website name}. If reprinted, please indicate the source:

zan ( 749)
next 2023-12-03