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Decade of literary criticism in the Memoires secrets of Bachaumont (1762-1771) 1968

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A DECADE GF LITERARY CRITICISM IN THE MEMOIRES SECRETS OF BACHAUMONT (1762-1771) by MARJORIE ELSIE ALMSTROM B.A., U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, 1937 B.Ed., U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, 1943 A T h e s i s Submitted i n P a r t i a l F u l f i l m e n t o f The Requirements f o r the Degree o f MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department o f FRENCH We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o the r e q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1968 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an a d v a n c e d d e g r e e a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I a g r e e t h a t t h e L i b r a r y s h a l l m a k e i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e a n d s t u d y . I f u r t h e r a g r e e t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d by t h e H e a d o f my D e p a r t m e n t o r by h i s r e p r e s e n - t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l n o t be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . M a r j o r i e E. Almstrom D e p a r t m e n t n f French T h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a V a n c o u v e r 8, C a n a d a D a t e September 6, 1968 ABSTRACT Almost two c e n t u r i e s have passed s i n c e t h e p u b l i c a t i o n began, i n 1777» o f the Memoires s e c r e t s de Bachaumont. T h i s j o u r n a l , regarded by many as the m i r r o r o f i t s age, was the outgrowth of a unique and h i g h l y s u c c e s s f u l experiment i n group j o u r n a l i s m undertaken by the c u l t u r e d and a r i s t o c r a t i c members of an a l m o s t - f o r g o t t e n s a l o n , the p a r o i s s e of Madame Doublet. D e s p i t e i t s acknowledged v a l u e t o students o f the A n c i e n Regime, few s t u d i e s have been made of t h i s lengthy and complex work. T h i s t h e s i s examines a l i m i t e d aspect o f t h e Memoires s e c r e t s : the l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m found i n t h e f i r s t f i v e o f t h e t h i r t y - s i x volumes to g e t h e r w i t h t h a t i n the c o r r e s p o n d i n g supplements f o r the y e a r s 1762-1771. The decade thus reviewed ends w i t h the death of Bachaumont, a l e a d i n g p a r o i s s i e n who f i r s t conceived t h e i d e a of r e c o r d i n g f o r p o s t e r i t y items chosen from Madame Doublet's r e g i s t e r s and from whose manu- s c r i p t these e a r l y volumes of t h e Memoires are d e r i v e d . The f i r s t two chapters are devoted to a c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f the background o f the j o u r n a l , s i t u a t i n g i t w i t h i n the n o u v e l l i s t e t r a d i t i o n and d w e l l i n g a t some l e n g t h upon the p a r o i s s e t h a t gave i t b i r t h . The chapters t h a t f o l l o w i n v e s - t i g a t e the treatment a f f o r d e d by the Memoires to V o l t a i r e , Rousseau and D i d e r o t , o u t l i n e the developments i n the t h e a t r e d u r i n g the decade i n q u e s t i o n and o f f e r a g e n e r a l account o f t h e p o e t r y and m i s c e l l a n e o u s prose w r i t i n g s reviewed i n the i i j o u r n a l t o g e t h e r w i t h an i n q u i r y i n t o t r e n d s and contemporary a t t i t u d e s . They p r o v i d e , then, a general p i c t u r e o f the l i t e r a r y a c t i v i t y o f t h i s p e r i o d as r e f l e c t e d i n the Memoires s e c r e t s r a t h e r than a complete a n a l y s i s of the many items i n t h e s e volumes o f i n t e r e s t t o the student of French l i t e r a t u r e . The most s t r i k i n g f e a t u r e o f the j o u r n a l i s i t s wealth o f content, evidence o f the i n t e l l e c t u a l ferment of the 1760*s and of the j o u r n a l i s t i c z e a l of the p a r o i s s i e n s . In g e n e r a l , t h e c r i t i c a l comments ar e b r i e f , s u c c i n c t and o f t e n e l e g a n t l y phrased. The reviews o f t h e more c o n t r o v e r s i a l w r i t i n g s must f r e q u e n t l y be read i n the l i g h t o f t h e i r u n d e r l y i n g i r o n y , the c a r e f u l wording b e i n g presumably a d e l i b e r a t e attempt to confuse the c e n s o r s h i p a u t h o r i t i e s . The o p i n i o n s expressed appear to be the r e s u l t of group d i s c u s s i o n , although the extent to which these volumes of the Memoires r e f l e c t the p e r s o n a l views o f Bachaumont o r h i s s u c c e s s o r M a i r o b e r t r e - mains u n c e r t a i n . I d e o l o g i c a l l y , the tenor o f t h e j o u r n a l appears to be p a r l e m e n t a i r e and s t r o n g l y p r o - p h i l o s o p h e . As f o r l i t e r a t u r e , t h e Memoires r e v e a l an awareness o f c u r r e n t t r e n d s and an acceptance of i n n o v a t i o n s tempered, however, wit h a c e r t a i n c onservatism o f o u t l o o k . Among the w r i t e r s , V o l t a i r e , understandably, emerges as the dominant f i g u r e of t h e decade. The l i m i t e d scope of t h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n p r e c l u d e s any f i r m assessment o f the Memoires as a whole. C e r t a i n l y the abundance and d i v e r s i t y of t h e i r c o ntents invite-:; f u r t h e r study. A more adequate index would appear to be a p r i o r n e c e s s i t y f o r continued i n v e s t i g a t i o n of t h i s j o u r n a l whose pages not o n l y r e c o r d the advance o f the " r e p u b l i q u e des l e t t r e s " but a l s o have preserved f o r us the p i c t u r e o f a vanished s o c i e t y . TABLE OF CONTENTS Page INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER I The Memoires s e c r e t s : T h e i r General Background . . . . . . 7 CHAPTER I I The Memoires s e c r e t s : Bachaumont and the p a r o i s s i e n s . . . . 21 CHAPTER I I I The Memoires s e c r e t s and V o l t a i r e . 38 CHAPTER IV The Memoires s e c r e t s : Rousseau and D i d e r o t . . . . . . 56 CHAPTER V A Decade o f Theatre i n the Memoires s e c r e t s 73 CHAPTER VI A Decade o f Poetry and Prose i n the Memoires s e c r e t s . . . . . 91 CHAPTER VII C o n c l u s i o n 104 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY I l l INTRODUCTION Almost two c e n t u r i e s have passed s i n c e the p u b l i c a t i o n began, i n 1777* o f the Memoires s e c r e t s commonly a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the name o f Bachaumont, a j o u r n a l regarded by many as t h e m i r r o r o f i t s age and a u s e f u l handbook f o r students o f the An c i e n Regime. D e s p i t e i t s admitted value as a source o f f a c - t u a l i n f o r m a t i o n , i t has a t times been d i s m i s s e d as t e d i o u s , c o l o u r l e s s , o r — w i t h La H a r p e — a s an "amas d ' a b s u r d i t e s . " We i n t he second h a l f o f the t w e n t i e t h century are, however, probably much c l o s e r than e a r l i e r c r i t i c s t o t h e s p i r i t o f p r e - R e v o l u t i o n a r y France, and consequently the time may be opportune f o r a r e c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f the Memoires s e c r e t s . The s u b j e c t i s one which must, o f course, be approach- ed with c a u t i o n . The r i c h n e s s and apparent d i s o r d e r o f the m a t e r i a l c o n t a i n e d i n the Memoires, w h i l e s u g g e s t i n g many p o s s i b l e areas o f i n v e s t i g a t i o n , a l s o render any a n a l y s i s o f t h i s j o u r n a l extremely d i f f i c u l t . The p r e f a c e t o the Memoires i n d i c a t e s t h a t Bachaumont regarded l i t e r a t u r e as r e f l e c t i n g the mood o f h i s a g e — a n age memorable f o r " 1 " i n v a s i o n de l a p h i l o s o p h i e dans l a Republique des L e t t r e s en France" and f o r n l a r e v o l u t i o n q u * e l l e a op^ree dans l e s e s p r i t s . " T h i s view, i t seemed t o me, pr o v i d e d an argument f o r l i m i t i n g my i n q u i r y t o a survey o f the l i t e r a t u r e d i s c u s s e d i n the volumes f o r the ye a r s 1762-1771. T h i s p e r i o d , ending with t h e death o f Bachaumont, the f i r s t e d i t o r , l i n k s 2 the Memoires to t h e i r o r i g i n a l source, the handwritten news sheets emanating from Madame Doublet's s a l o n , and p r o v i d e s n e a r l y a decade o f l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m f o r our e v a l u a t i o n . As the f i r s t step i n such an i n v e s t i g a t i o n I undertook to c a t a l o g u e a l l l i t e r a r y items i n these e a r l y volumes, u s i n g f o r t h i s purpose the f i r s t e d i t i o n , p u b l i s h e d i n London by Adamson i n 1777i U n f o r t u n a t e l y , no c r i t i c a l e d i t i o n e x i s t s . ^ S e v e r a l a b r i d g e d e d i t i o n s have appeared over the y e a r s , and I have been a b l e t o c o n s u l t two o f t h e s e . The f i r s t , by Bar- r i e r e , i n c l u d e d i n a volume o f memoirs dated 1867» c o n t a i n s i n essence very l i t t l e , b e i n g no more than an abridgement t h a t e l i m i n a t e s a l l t h a t the e d i t o r f e l t t o be u n i n t e r e s t i n g or l i c e n t i o u s . The second, by van Bever, dated 1912, appears to be the most r e c e n t attempt to e d i t the Memoires. A compila- t i o n o f the c h i e f e n t r i e s c o n c e r n i n g l i t e r a t u r e and the t h e a t r e f o r the y e a r s 1762-1771* i t c o n t a i n s a u s e f u l p r e f a c e , some explanatory notes, and an appendix w i t h i n t e r e s t i n g m a t e r i a l from the A r s e n a l and o t h e r P a r i s i a n a r c h i v e s . A subsequent volume, th e Memoires de M a i r o b e r t . was announced as i n p r e p a r - a t i o n , but I have not been a b l e t o l o c a t e t h i s work. My r e a d i n g f o r t h i s survey has c e n t e r e d about s e v e r a l a r e a s . I have attempted to become f a m i l i a r w i t h the necessary h i s t o r i c a l background and w i t h d e t a i l s c o n c e r n i n g the s p e c i f i c "*"One a p p a r e n t l y begun by J . Ravenal i n 1830 ended at volume f o u r of the Memoires. See Tourneux, M. "Bachaumont", l a Grande E n c v c l o p e d i e . IV, 1076. 3 authors and items t o be d i s c u s s e d . A s e a r c h f o r b i o g r a p h i c a l i n f o r m a t i o n about Bachaumont and the o t h e r members o f Madame Doublet's c i r c l e l e d me t o i n q u i r e i n t o the h i s t o r y o f the e a r l y manuscript p r e s s and t o i n v e s t i g a t e contemporary a l l u - s i o n s to the n o u v e l l e s on which the Memoires s e c r e t s are based, as w e l l as l a t e r a p p r a i s a l s o f the Memoires themselves. I n g e n e r a l , I have found t h a t the most u s e f u l works to c o n s u l t , o t h e r than e n c y c l o p e d i a s , were p u b l i s h e d i n the l a s t h a l f o f the n i n e t e e n t h and i n the e a r l y t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y . An a r t i c l e by the Goncourt b r o t h e r s , 2 dated 1856, p r o v i d e s us with the e a r l i e s t and most b a s i c biography o f Bachaumont. I have found H a t i n ' s r e f e r e n c e s i n h i s h i s t o r i c a l r e s e a r c h on the e i g h t e e n t h - century p r e s s (1859, 1866) very h e l p f u l , as w e l l as c e r t a i n r e f e r e n c e s i n the correspondence o f the Marquis d ' E g u i l l e s (1866-67). Bay l e and H e r b l a y ' s i n f o r m a t i v e a r t i c l e s on the Memoires (1905) and Funck-Brentano 1s very complete and w e l l - annotated account (1909) o f the r o l e o f the Memoires i n the growth o f the modern p r e s s have a l s o been u s e f u l . L i t t l e was p u b l i s h e d on the Memoires from 1910 to 1940 and i n the more rece n t works (1940-65) r e f e r e n c e s to Bachaumont are g e n e r a l l y b r i e f . To my knowledge, no s p e c i a l study devoted e x c l u s i v e l y t o t h i s j o u r n a l has been undertaken. Few attempts at a s y s t e m a t i c e v a l u a t i o n of c r i t i c a l o p i n i o n r e c o r d e d i n the Memoires have been made. The e a r l i e s t , z F u l l i n f o r m a t i o n f o r t h i s and f o r o t h e r r e f e r e n c e s w i l l be found i n the B i b l i o g r a p h y s e c t i o n , pp. I l l - 115. 4 and by f a r the most p e r t i n e n t to t h i s survey, may be found i n A u b e r t i n * s work o f 1873. Preaudeau i n 1909 gave some a d d i - t i o n a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n to the v a r i e t y o f content and d i v e r s i t y o f p o i n t s o f view, but apart from p a s s i n g r e f e r e n c e s such as t h a t by Gooch (1956) c h a r a c t e r i z i n g the Memoires as a " c o l o u r - l e s s chronicle"** and T o p a z i o f s f a v o u r a b l e a p p r a i s a l (1963) o f Bachaumont as an a r t c r i t i c , ^ l i t t l e i n t h i s area seems t o have been attempted s i n c e . One common misconception e s p e c i - a l l y worthy o f note i s the apparent tendency o f many e i g h t e e n t h - century s c h o l a r s to regard Bachaumont as p e r s o n a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the e n t i r e Memoires s e c r e t s . I have encountered s p e c i a l problems i n t h e area of f a c t u a l background s i n c e important gaps occur i n the a v a i l a b l e i n f o r m a t i o n about Bachaumont and Madame Doublet. There are a l s o many d i s c r e p a n c i e s i n accounts o f the composition o f her s a l o n and o f t h e dates assi g n e d t o the e x i s t i n g manuscript n o u v e l l e s . A d d i t i o n a l d i f f i c u l t i e s r e s u l t from the f a c t t h a t t h e r e g i s t e r s upon which the Memoires were based have been l o s t , as has Bachaumont fs manuscript, and circumstances p r e - c l u d e d d i r e c t c o n s u l t a t i o n o f t h e o r i g i n a l m a t e r i a l t h a t i s p r e s e r v e d i n t h e P a r i s i a n a r c h i v e s . The Memoires swarm w i t h ^Gooch, C. P. L o u i s XV. The Monarchy i n D e c l i n e , London, 1956, pp. 263 - 264. ^Topazio, V i r g i l W. " A r t C r i t i c i s m i n the E n l i g h t e n - ment", S t u d i e s on V o l t a i r e and t h e E i g h t e e n t h Century, (ed. Besterman), V o l . XXVII, pp. 1647 - 1648. 5 contemporary a l l u s i o n s , and I have undoubtedly overlooked or misunderstood some references. I did f i n d an index of names (1866) to be quite useful, although i t too contains omissions and some inaccuracies. The lack of a subject index proved a d e f i n i t e handicap to detailed study of the Memoires. When one r e f l e c t s upon the ori g i n s of the Memoires and upon t h e i r varied content and views, c e r t a i n obvious ques- tions come to mind. Foremost among these i s the question r a i s e d — b u t not d e f i n i t e l y answered—by e a r l i e r writers con- cerning the source of the opinions expressed i n these early volumes. Since the exact authorship of t h i s portion of the Memoires i s somewhat i n doubt, t h i s problem remains c e n t r a l . The p a r t i c u l a r bias or general i d e o l o g i c a l tendency of the opinions expressed seems, however, l e s s d i f f i c u l t to es t a b l i s h . F i n a l l y , the true intent of some of the entries seems at times puzzling and one may occasionally suppose that a number of the c r i t i c a l comments are s k i l f u l l y worded to confuse the censor- ship authorities or to delight the eighteenth-century reader with subtle irony. A word about method: My survey w i l l f i r s t of a l l include a study of the background of the Me^moires secrets, attempting as f a r as possible to eliminate discrepancies and to expand somewhat on the usual accounts given of the paroisse. From such a survey I hope that a more comprehensive p o r t r a i t w i l l emerge of those contributors who compiled the o r i g i n a l nouvelles. F i n a l l y , I hope to provide an accurate i f somewhat 6 b r i e f account o f the l i t e r a r y m a t e r i a l and c r i t i c i s m found i n t he f i r s t f i v e volumes o f the Memoires. I n e v i t a b l y , such a study w i l l be incomplete, owing t o l i m i t a t i o n s o f time and r e s e a r c h materials.-* I hope never- t h e l e s s t h a t t h i s modest i n v e s t i g a t i o n w i l l p r o v i d e some i n - s i g h t i n t o the general l i t e r a r y content o f the Memoires s e c r e t s f o r t h e decade reviewed, as w e l l as a panorama o f contemporary- o p i n i o n c o n t a i n e d t h e r e i n and an assessment of t h e va l u e o f t h i s j o u r n a l t o the student o f French l i t e r a t u r e . H o p e f u l l y , i t may even i n d i c a t e some a d d i t i o n a l avenues f o r f u t u r e r e - sea r c h i n t o t h i s " j o u r n a l abondant et n o u r r i . " 5 T h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia possesses two s e t s o f the Memoires s e c r e t s , f i r s t e d i t i o n , as w e l l as a copy o f the 1866 index and the B a r r i e r e abridgement. I n t e r - l i b r a r y l o a n made a v a i l a b l e much o t h e r m a t e r i a l . I c o u l d not, however, o b t a i n t h e 1830 Ravenal e d i t i o n , nor c o u l d I examine any o f the manuscripts i n the P a r i s i a n a r c h i v e s , such as Bachaumont's p o r t e f e u i l l e ( A r s e n a l ) . Madame Doublet*s e a r l y correspondence ( B i b l i o t h e q u e n a t i o n a l e ) and M a i r o b e r t ' s d o s s i e r ( A r s e n a l ) . CHAPTER I THE MEMOIRES SECRETS: THEIR GENERAL BACKGROUND The Memoires s e c r e t s are more than the p r i v a t e " j o u r n a l d , u n o b s e r v a t e u r " , as t h e i r s u b t i t l e would seem to imply. Rather, they r e p r e s e n t the outgrowth o f a l o n g j o u r n a l i s t i c development, t h a t o f the e a r l y c l a n d e s t i n e manuscript press."'" The n o u v e l l e s a l a main from which the Memoires s e c r e t s are i n p a r t d e r i v e d d i f f e r i n o r i g i n , however, from t h e i r many c o u n t e r p a r t s . They emanated, not from a commercial e n t e r p r i s e , nor from the eager e f f o r t s o f an i n d i v i d u a l n o u v e l l i s t e de main, but from the i n t i m a t e g a t h e r i n g s o f an e l i t e and h i g h l y i n t e l l e c t u a l c i r c l e which assumed somewhat the nature of a c a b i n e t . Brentano t r a c e s the h i s t o r y o f these cabxnets, d e f i n i n g them i n l a r B r u y e r e ' s words as a "rendez-vous a P a r i s de quelques honnetes gens pour l a c o n v e r s a t i o n " and i n d i c a t i n g t h a t g a t h e r i n g s o f t h i s type were common i n the seventeenth and e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r i e s . T h i s p a r t i c u l a r c a b i n e t r e v o l v e d around the now almost f o r g o t t e n " v i r t u o s e " , ^ Madame Doublet, at whose s a l o n many famous l i t e r a r y and academic f i g u r e s l A comprehensive treatment i s found i n the e x c e l l e n t work by F. Funck-Brentano e n t i t l e d F i g a r o et ses d e v a n c i e r s . P a r i s , 1909. 2 I b i d . . pp. 264 - 265. ^The term i s t h a t o f the Memoires. V, 310: "C»etait une v i r t u o s e dont Madame G e o f f r i n n'est qu'une f a i b l e c o p i e . " assembled d a i l y t o d i s c u s s events and prepare news b u l l e t i n s which were welcomed f o r t h e i r accuracy and i n t e r e s t . Born Marie-Anne Legendre i n 1677* she was the t h i r d o f f i v e c h i l d r e n o f F r a n c o i s Legendre, a wealthy farmer- g e n e r a l , and h i s w i f e , Marguerite Leroux, of much humbler o r i g i n . Charming, c u l t i v a t e d and well-dowered, she married i n 1698 L o u i s Doublet de B r e u i l l e p o n t , ^ member o f a younger branch o f the Doublet de Persan f a m i l y and t r e a s u r e r t o t h e Duke o f Orleans. E v i d e n t l y of a warm and a f f e c t i o n a t e natur she maintained a c l o s e a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h her f a m i l y which con s i s t e d o f one b r o t h e r , F r a n c o i s Legendre, t h r e e y e a r s her j u n i o r , and t h r e e s i s t e r s , — o n e m a r r ied t o Antoine C r o z a t , the banker, one t o Durey de V i e n c o u r t , " p r e s i d e n t au grand c o n s e i l " , and the t h i r d t o an obscure c o n s e i l l e r d T e t a t . M. de S o u s c a r r i e r e . These connections were l a t e r t o form the nuc l e u s around which her j o u r n a l i s t i c a c t i v i t i e s developed. Indeed, a correspondence between Madame Doublet and her s i s - t e r , Madame de S o u s c a r r i e r e , r e v e a l s the f i r s t s i g n o f her n o u v e l l i s t e tendencies.-* a y l e , P., and J . Herblay, "Journalisme c l a n d e s t i n au I 8 e s i e c l e " , N o u v e l l e revue. 1905, pp. 214 - 215. These pages g i v e b i o g r a p h i c a l d e t a i l s about Madame Doublet, and g e n e a l o g i c a l i n f o r m a t i o n , quoted from the Mercure de France o f 1714, about her husband. Very l i t t l e more i s known o f him. ^From i n f o r m a t i o n i n the p r e f a c e by A. van Bever to h i s e d i t i o n o f the Memoires s e c r e t s de Bachaumont. P a r i s , 1912, p. 8. In 1716, a c c o r d i n g t o a r e c o r d of t h e l e a s e * Monsieur and Madame Doublet de B r e u i l l e p o n t took up r e s i d e n c e i n an apartment i n P a r i s a d j o i n i n g t h e convent of the F i l l e s - J a c o b i n e s de Saint-Thomas. She seems a l r e a d y , through her charm and a r t i s t i c t a l e n t s , to have been welcomed i n t o the s o c i e t y of Coypel, "societe" d e l i c i e u s e ou 1 * e s p r i t sans c a u s t i c i t e ' , l e s t a l e n t s sans j a l o u s i e , l e s connaissances sans p r e t e n t i o n s et l a g a i e t e sans inde'cence semblaient se d i s p u t e r l e d r o i t d T e n d i v e r s i f i e r l e s amusements."^ Here she had met such noteworthy f i g u r e s as Caylus, F r e r e t , M i r - baud, Foncemagne, H e l v e t i u s , Marivaux, and many others, j o i n i n g i n t h e i r g a t h e r i n g s and i n t h e i r famous "soupers 7 des quinze l i v r e s . " Here a l s o was Bachaumont, a f a m i l y f r i e n d , who shared her i n t e r e s t i n a r t and who seems, a c c o r d i n g t o B a y l e and Herblay, t o have acted as host when she i n t u r n e n t e r t a i n e d at B r e u i l l e p o n t . These same authors r e f e r t o "une chanson d * a l o r s , t o u t e b r u i s s a n t e de l a v i e qu'on menait a B r e u i l l e p o n t , q u i eVoque l e charme de c e t t e femme tendre, l ' a t t r a i t de sa grace, l a v i v a c i t e de son coeur."^ Indeed, she seems to have been endowed with a g i f t f o r making and r e t a i n i n g a wide c i r c l e o f f r i e n d s . ^"Eloge de M. C o y p e l , " i n B i b l i o g r a p h i e des romans, f e v r i e r , 1779J quoted i n Bayle and Herblay, p_p_. c i t . , p. 215. ?Bayle and Herblay, l o c . c i t . 8 I b i d . . p. 217. 10 I n 1722 her husband d i e d , l e a v i n g her a t t h e age o f f o r t y - f i v e with two c h i l d r e n : a son, L o u i s - A n t o i n e - F r a n c o i s , i n t he s e r v i c e o f E l i z a b e t h o f Orleans, the dowager queen o f Spain, and a married daughter, Madame Bombarde de B e a u l i e u . Towards 1730, Bachaumont came to l i v e at l e s F i l l e s S a i n t - Thomas, ha v i n g resumed h i s r o l e o f host f o r her s o c i a l gather- i n g s . These, no doubt attended by many of her former c i r c l e , g r a d u a l l y assumed the nature o f a c a b i n e t , with a f i x e d membership, r e g u l a r meetings, and a s e t purpose. Probably r e f l e c t i n g t he i n t e r e s t then p r e v a l e n t i n s e c r e t s o c i e t i e s , the group took the name o f l a p a r o i s s e . perhaps i n mocking r e f e r e n c e to t h e nearby convent. L i m i t e d t o twenty-nine p a r o i s s i e n s . i t was d i r e c t e d by l a s a i n t e t r i n i t e * . composed o f Madame Doublet, Bachaumont, and Madame fs j o v i a l b r o t h e r , t h e Abbe Legendre. The members, drawn ap- p a r e n t l y i n p a r t from those who had frequented Coypel's g a t h e r i n g s , ^ from f a m i l y c o n n e c t i o n s o f the h o s t e s s , and from f r i e n d s of o t h e r p a r o i s s i e n s . seem t o have formed a f e l l o w s h i p both i n t e l l e c t u a l and joyous, one t h a t continued f o r some f o r t y y e a r s . Moreover, the presence o f so many eminent and i n f l u e n t i a l f i g u r e s assured the group of a g r e a t e r degree of freedom o f e x p r e s s i o n than t h a t experienced by the u s u a l n o u v e l l i s t e s o f the p e r i o d . 9 F o r example, Mirabaud, Foncemagne, and p o s s i b l y Marivaux. Our Chapter 3 w i l l d i s c u s s the p a r o i s s e i n d e t a i l . 11 T h e i r a c t i v i t i e s f o l l o w e d a c e r t a i n r i t u a l . D a i l y , a t a f i x e d hour, they assembled around a marble t a b l e i n Madame Doublet's s a l l e de compagnie, each i n h i s assigned p l a c e , a c h a i r u p h o l s t e r e d i n crimson v e l v e t , beneath a por- t r a i t o f h i m s e l f . Nearby were two great r e g i s t e r s , one f o r r e c o r d i n g news known to be t r u e , the oth e r f o r matters r e - q u i r i n g v e r i f i c a t i o n . As each member gave h i s c o n t r i b u t i o n , i t was d i s c u s s e d and entered i n the a p p r o p r i a t e book. To complete t h e i r i n f o r m a t i o n , t h e members r e l i e d on co r r e s p o n - dents i n o t h e r French c i t i e s and abroad, as w e l l as on some of the approved n o u v e l l i s t e s i n the p r o v i n c e s . F o l l o w i n g c o m p i l a t i o n o f the news the s e s s i o n s c l o s e d w i t h a sumptuous meal prepared under the guidance o f Bachaumont. V a l e t s then c o p i e d and d i s t r i b u t e d weekly handwritten g a z e t i n s based on the r e g i s t e r s but wit h v a r y i n g e m p h a s e s — l i t e r a r y , s o c i a l o r p o l i t i c a l — d e p e n d i n g upon the i n t e r e s t s o f the r e c i p i e n t s.""""̂ Such a r e p u t a t i o n f o r accuracy, as w e l l as piquancy, was gained by thes e n o u v e l l e s t h a t people are quoted as asking, on h e a r i n g an item o f news, "Does i t come from Madame D o u b l e t ' s ? " ^ The exact date o f f o r m a t i o n o f the p a r o i s s e and o f i t s 1 2 f i r s t j o u r n a l i s t i c e f f o r t s i s not c l e a r . The e a r l i e s t r e - maining examples of the news b u l l e t i n s appear to be the l e t t e r s 1 0 F u n c k - B r e n t a n o , F. op_. ext., pp. 262 - 264. "^Memoires s e c r e t s . V, 311. •'•^Apparent d i s c r e p a n c i e s are noted i n the dates g i v e n f o r t h e e a r l y extant c o p i e s o f Madame Doublet's n o u v e l l e s a from Madame Doublet to her s i s t e r , Madame de S o u s c a r r i e r e , a t B r e u i l l e p o n t . A mixture o f f a m i l y news, t h e a t r e reviews and P a r i s g o s s i p , they are somewhat s i m i l a r i n content but much i n f e r i o r i n s t y l e t o the l a t e r Memoires s e c r e t s . From Bachaumont's correspondence one l e a r n s t h a t as e a r l y as 1740 he was c i r c u l a t i n g the prospectus f o r a r e g u l a r p u b l i c a t i o n o f m a t e r i a l s e l e c t e d from the r e g i s t e r s . There seems t o be doubt as to whether t h i s p r o j e c t was c a r r i e d o u t , ^ D u t i t s e r v e s t o i n d i c a t e t h a t t h e n o u v e l l e s were a r e g u l a r f e a t u r e o f Madame Doublet's s a l o n by t h a t date, and t h a t Bachaumont was aware o f the h i s t o r i c s i g n i f i c a n c e o f much o f the m a t e r i i n the r e g i s t e r s , an awareness t h a t l a t e r motivated the Memoires s e c r e t s . D u r i n g t h e l i f e o f the p a r o i s s e i t s news b u l l e t i n s achieved great p o p u l a r i t y . The j o u r n a l i s t i c scene i n the l a main. For example, Brentano, op_. c i t . , pp. 267 - 268, r e f e r s t o the MSS. 13701-13712 i n t h e B i b l i o t h e a u e n a t i o n a l e f o r the y e a r s 1745-1752. A u b e r t i n , C. E s p r i t p u b l i c au I 8 e s i e c l e . P a r i s , 1889» p. 381, g i v e s the same r e f e r e n c e . How- ever, C o t t i n , P., Un protege de Bachaumont. P a r i s , 1887 > p. x v i , r e f e r s to c o p i e s i n the B i b l i o t h e q u e n a t i o n a l e f o r 1733 1739, and i n the A r s e n a l f o r 1739 and 1740. H a t i n , E., B i b l i o g r a p h i e de l a p r e s s e p e r i o d i q u e f r a n c a i s e . P a r i s , 1866 p. 67> r e f e r s to " c i n q volumes de c e t t e g a z e t t e manuscrite . . . a l l a n t de 1738 a 1745." Both th e D i c t i o n n a i r e de b i o g r a p h i e and the Grande E n c v c l o p e d i e r e f e r t o t h e MSS. mentioned above, g i v i n g no dates, but s u g g e s t i n g t h a t c o p i e s o f the r e g i s t e r had been i n c i r c u l a t i o n s i n c e 1738. l^Funck-Brentano, cop. c i t . , pp. 268 - 269* sees the p r o s p e c t u s as announcing "une s e r i e de g a z e t i n s sous l e nom de Correspondance de Bachaumont." Van Bever seems to agree. H a t i n and A u b e r t i n imply t h a t t h e p r o j e c t went no f u r t h e r . 13 f i r s t h a l f o f the e i g h t e e n t h century was dominated by t h r e e l i c e n s e d p u b l i c a t i o n s * the Gazette de France, a weekly s t a t e - ment of the government's p o l i t i c a l views, t h e monthly Mercure de France and t h e J o u r n a l des savants. Learned and d u l l , l i m i t e d i n scope, they f a i l e d t o meet th e needs o f a p u b l i c a v i d f o r news o f everyday matters, nor c o u l d they a l l o w f o r the growing s p i r i t o f c o n t r o v e r s y . The a l t e r n a t i v e l a y i n t h e mediocre g o s s i p - s h e e t s o f the commercial n o u v e l l i s t e s , w e l l c h a r a c t e r i z e d as "des gens du monde sans argent ou des gens de l e t t r e s sans e s p r i t " , ^ p u b l i c a t i o n s o f t e n s e v e r e l y r e p r e s s e d because o f t h e i r l i b e l l o u s c h a r a c t e r . I n t o t h i s vacuum came the n o u v e l l e s o f Madame Doublet's p a r o i s s e . So g r e a t became the demand f o r them t h a t as many as e i g h t o r n i n e "branches" have been t r a c e d , d i r e c t e d u s u a l l y by v a l e t s w i t h access to the r e g i s t e r s . Less s e l e c t i v e , s e l l i n g cheaply, t h e s e b u l l e t i n s were e a g e r l y read by people of a l l c l a s s e s and covered France and much o f Europe wi t h a v e r i t a b l e " cas- cade de n o u v e l l e s " t h a t reached f a r beyond the o r i g i n a l sub- s c r i b e r s , who were f r i e n d s o f t h e p a r o i s s i e n s . One wonders i f the l a t t e r , i n the i n t i m a c y o f t h e i r s e s s i o n s , r e a l i z e d the extent o f t h e i r i n f l u e n c e . 14de Preaudeau, L o u i s . "Bachaumont, pere des echos de P a r i s , " Revue hebdomadaire. 22 f e v . , 1908, p. 542. iSone o f t h e c h i e f "branches" was t h a t o f Madame d' A r g e n t a l , h e r s e l f a p a r o i s s i e n n e . whose v a l e t G i l l e t was a l s o d i r e c t i n g another "branch." Funck-Brentano, op., c i t . . pp. 272 - 288, g i v e s a f u l l account o f t h e s e . C o n f l i c t w i t h t h e a u t h o r i t i e s , ° though l o n g delayed, was i n e v i t a b l e . The f i r s t shadow t o touch t h e group, even i n d i r e c t l y , was the a r r e s t and b r i e f e x i l e i n 1741 o f the Abbe Prevost, denounced by a n o u v e l l i s t e f o r h i s p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n another c l a n d e s t i n e journal.U Untouched by t h e harsh r e - p r e s s i v e measures r e - i n t r o d u c e d i n 1742 and 1745 t o cou n t e r a c t t h e growing a u d a c i t y o f the manuscript p r e s s , the p a r o i s s e c o n t i n u e d i t s b u l l e t i n s . One o f i t s members, the Abbe de Ch a u v e l i n , was sentenced i n 1753 to imprisonment f o r h i s v i o - l e n t a n t i - J e s u i t campaigns. I n t h a t same year Madame Doublet was h e r s e l f warned by Be r r y e r , t h e l i e u t e n a n t o f p o l i c e , con- c e r n i n g the a c t i v i t i e s o f her p a r o i s s i e n s . Saved, however, from d r a s t i c measures by t h e i r i n f l u e n t i a l c o n n e c t i o n s , the group, though outwardly submissive, continued the n o u v e l l e s as b e f o r e . In 1762 two i n d i s c r e e t r e f e r e n c e s t o m i l i t a r y matters, a r e s u l t o f c a r e l e s s n e s s o r ov e r c o n f i d e n c e , caused C h o i s e u l , m i n i s t e r o f war and Madame Doublet's grand-nephew by marriage, the embarrassment o f h a v i n g to d i s c i p l i n e h i s " t r e s chere t a n t e . " Threatened w i t h banishment t o a convent, I b i d . , pp. 271 - 272, 275 - 276; a l s o Bayle and Herblay, op_. c i t . , pp. 233 - 235, 395 - 405. ^ B a y l e and Herblay, op., ext., p. 222 l i s t him among t h e p a r o i s s i e n s as does Boyer d ' E g u i l l e s i n a l e t t e r t o be found i n "Correspondance i n e d i t e du Marquis d ' E g u i l l e s , " Revue r e t r o s p e c t i v e , v o l . 3, 1885, p. 165. The a r t i c l e "Pre- v o s t d»Exiles," i n t h e Bi o g r a p h i e U n i v e r s e l l e , XXXIV, 339, g i v e s a more complete account o f t h i s i n c i d e n t . 15 she must have been watched c a r e f u l l y , as her name occurs 18 f r e q u e n t l y on p o l i c e l i s t s from 1762 to 1765. The p a r o i s s e was, by t h i s time, drawing t o i t s c l o s e . Many were w e l l advanced i n y e a r s ; Madame Doublet was h e r s e l f approaching the age o f n i n e t y . Weary perhaps o f the s t r u g g l e , the remaining a c t i v e p a r o i s s i e n s seem, i n 1767y to have a p p l i e d f o r p o l i c e i n s p e c t i o n o f t h e i r b u l l e t i n s , hoping thereby a t l a s t t o l e g a l i z e t h e i r p u b l i c a t i o n . Correspondence c o n c e r n i n g t h i s matter has been p r e s e r v e d and i n d i c a t e s t h a t , a f t e r some h e s i t a t i o n , t h e a p p l i c a t i o n was r e f u s e d , the a u t h o r i t i e s b e i n g of t he o p i n i o n that a sudden approval o f these n o u v e l l e s a f t e r so many y e a r s would be a d e l i c a t e and p o t e n t i a l l y dangerous a f f a i r . The p a r o i s s i e n s were l e f t , then, t o continue as be- f o r e , except t h a t d ' A r g e n t a l , one of the group, was made r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the contents of the b u l l e t i n s . S i n c e he enjoyed d i p l o m a t i c immunity as s e c r e t a r y to the Duke o f Parma, 1Q t h i s was merely a token g e s t u r e . 7 Old age now r a p i d l y overtook the p a r o i s s e . A l l were, 20 as Voisenon remarked, "en t r a i n de raourir." In 1768 the Abbe Legendre d i e d , f o l l o w e d t h r e e y e a r s l a t e r by Bachau- mont. Madame Doublet, then aged n i n e t y - t h r e e and f a i l i n g i n •^Funck-Brentano, op_. c i t . . pp. 275 - 276. 1 9 B a y l e and Herblay, op., c i t . . pp. 404 - 405. The correspondence, from m a t e r i a l i n the A r s e n a l , i s quoted at some l e n g t h . 2 0 I b i d . , p. 403. An i n t e r e s t i n g account o f the d e c l i n - i n g y e a r s o f the p a r o i s s e (1760-1771) f o l l o w s on pp. 403 - 408. 16 mind, asked f o r her o l d f r i e n d and, on b e i n g t o l d t h a t he had l e f t on a journey, became so upset at h i s f a i l u r e t o b i d her f a r e w e l l t h a t she f e l l i l l and d i e d s h o r t l y t h e r e a f t e r , s c o l d - i n g the p r i e s t , whom she had d e s i r e d t o embrace, f o r d i s a r r a n g - 2 1 i n g her rouge. With her death, the p a r o i s s e ceased to e x i s t . Of Madame Doublet, whose s a l o n n u r t u r e d t h i s unique venture i n group j o u r n a l i s m , l i t t l e more i s known. Contempor- ary accounts are few: Grimm speaks of her advanced y e a r s and 2 2 o f her l o n g - s t a n d i n g a n t i p a t h y to r e l i g i o n ; her o b i t u a r y i n the Memoires s e c r e t s seems a c o l d l y worded " p h i l o s o p h i c " t r i - bute, mentioning her j o u r n a l i s t i c a c t i v i t i e s and t o u c h i n g i r o n i c a l l y upon her apparent f i n a l l a p s e i n t o f a i t h . ^ The most i n t i m a t e glimpse o f her as a warm human p e r s o n a l i t y o ccurs i n the Correspondance o f the y o u t h f u l Boyer d ' E g u i l l e s , the youngest p a r o i s s i e n , who f r e q u e n t l y speaks o f her most a f f e c t i o n a t e l y , o f t e n as h i s "chere maman." The l o n g e x i s - tence o f her s a l o n seems a l s o a t r i b u t e to her c a p a c i t y f o r making and m a i n t a i n i n g c l o s e f r i e n d s h i p s . Perhaps a r e - r e a d i n g o f her e a r l y correspondence might i n l i g h t o f our modern p s y c h o l o g i c a l a n a l y s i s g i v e some f r e s h i n s i g h t i n t o the c h a r a c t e r o f t h i s a l m o s t - f o r g o t t e n s a l o n n i e r e . 2 ^ d e Goncourt, E. and J . , P o r t r a i t s i n t i m e s du l 8 e s i e c l e , P a r i s , 1856, I, 87 - 88. 2 2Grimm, F. M., D i d e r o t , e t c . Correspondance l i t - t e r a i r e . ed. Tourneux, P a r i s , 1879, IX, 317 - 318. 2^Memoires s e c r e t s . V, 310 - 312. 17 I t becomes obvious when we c o n s i d e r the Memoires s e c r e t s i n d e t a i l t h a t the f i r s t f i v e volumes are the most c l o s e l y l i n k e d to the p a r o i s s e . They c o n t a i n , i n p r i n t e d form, s e l e c t i o n s from the r e g i s t e r s f o r 1762-1771, e d i t e d by Bachaumont, whose manuscript passed a f t e r h i s death to h i s s e c r e t a r y M a i r o b e r t . The l a t t e r i n t u r n undertook to arrange the m a t e r i a l f o r p u b l i c a t i o n , gave the work i t s r a t h e r l o n g t i t l e , 2 4 and wrote the p r e f a c e , s e t t i n g f o r t h the purpose o f the Memoires. These f i r s t volumes, p u b l i s h e d i n London i n 1777, are l a r g e l y n o n - p o l i t i c a l , s t r e s s i n g c h i e f l y the c u l t u r - a l and l i t e r a r y t r e n d s of the p e r i o d . M a i r o b e r t continued h i s f r i e n d ' s p r o j e c t u n t i l 1779, adding t o the Memoires e x c e r p t s from a s e r i e s o f n o u v e l l e s a l a main which he h i m s e l f was i s s u - i n g . A f t e r h i s s u i c i d e i n 1779, the t a s k o f p u b l i s h i n g the Memoires s e c r e t s was taken up by Moufle d * A n g e r v i l l e , a lawyer and former p a r o i s s i e n who added volumes 15 t o 36. Not content w i t h merely c o n t i n u i n g the n o u v e l l e s . he i n s e r t e d items from 2^Memoires s e c r e t s pour s e r v i r a l ' h i s t o i r e de l a r e p u b l i q u e des l e t t r e s en France, depuis 1762 .iusqu''a nos i o u r s : ou J o u r n a l d'un o b s ervateur . contenant l e s a n a l yses des p i e c e s de theatre q u i ont paru durant c e t i n t e r v a l l e ; l e s r e l a t i o n s des assemblies l i t t e r a i r e s ; l e s n o t i c e s des l i v r e s nouveaux, c l a n d e s t i n s , prohibe's; l e s p i e c e s f u g i t i v e s , r a r e s ou manuscrites, en prose ou en vers; l e s v a u d e v i l l e s sur l a cour; l e s anecdotes et bons mots; l e s eloges des savants, des a r t i c l e s , des hommes de l e t t r e s morts, e t c . e t c . e t c . par f e u M. de Bachaumont (a Londres, chez John Adamson, 1777). "Les quafcorze premiers volumes f u r e n t imprimes de 1777 a 1779, l e s tomes 15-17 en 1781; l e s tomes 18-36 f u r e n t imprimes de 1782 a 1789." (Brentano, op_. c i t . . p. 289 n.) 18 the manuscripts of Bachaumont and Mairobert, so that the l a s t twenty volumes cover only eight years. They also contain items of p o l i t i c a l i n t e r e s t that were generally omitted from the e a r l i e r volumes. P r o l i x and wordy, Moufle d'Angerville seems to have been motivated by a desire to publish i n quan- t i t y , f o r the Memoires from the beginning were eagerly sought af t e r and sold well. With the approach of the Revolution, however, i n t e r e s t flagged and the Memoires secrets end i n 1787. The uneven quality of the serie s may of course be easi l y explained by the fac t that the Memoires had three d i f - ferent editors i n a l l . The f i r s t f i v e volumes, based most d i r e c t l y upon Bachaumont* s manuscript, are considered the best written, but as we have already noted, i t i s d i f f i c u l t to determine the precise extent to which the s t y l e and opin- ions r e f l e c t Bachaumont himself, or again how much i s due to the paroisse which formulated the o r i g i n a l nouvelles or to Mairobert*s e d i t i n g of Bachaumont's manuscript. Aubertin, who has compared these volumes of the Memoires secrets with some of the corresponding nouvelles which have been preserved, states that " l a forme e"tait a lux; l e fond appartenait l a 25 paroisse." Brentano, some years l a t e r , i n comparing the Memoires with various o r i g i n a l s o u r c e s , ^ i s more cautious: 25Aubertin, C. op., ext., pp. 382 - 383. 2^Funck-Brentano, op_. ext., pp. 291 - 295 refers to the documents i n the archives of the B a s t i l l e , i n the B i b l i o - theque de l a Mazarine, and i n the l i b r a r y of the c i t y of Paris. 19 Les Memoires s e c r e t s , q u i c o n s t i t u e n t , pour l'e'tude de l ' A n c i e n Re'gime, une source des p l u s importantes et des p l u s v i v a n t e s , emanent done des r e g i s t r e s de l a P a r o i s s e . l i s en donnent l'echo pour une peViode de neuf anne*es (1762-1771), . . . sans p a r l e r i c i de l a c o n t i n u a t i o n par Ma i r o b e r t , p u i s d ' A n g e r v i l l e . . . e'cho amoindri et a f f a i b l i , c a r n i Mairobert n i Moufle d ' A n g e r v i l l e n'ont r e p r o d u i t exactement l e t e x t e de Madame D o u b l e t . 2 ' He concludes t h a t the Memoires s e c r e t s are "une deformation de l f o r i g i n a l , i l s ne sont pas l a r e p r o d u c t i o n du manuscrit /% 28 lui-meme."^ Tourneux, i n h i s a r t i c l e on Bachaumont i n the Grande EncyclopecLie. s t a t e s t h a t "son nom r e s t e a t t a c h e a une p u b l i c a t i o n dont i l a pu f o u r n i r l ' i d ^ e premiere, mais.qui, p o s t e r i e u r e a sa mort, ne renferme vraisemblablement r i e n de sa main . . . " Van Bever, i n the p r e f a c e to h i s 1912 e d i t i o n o f volumes 1-5 of the Memoires, p r e s e n t s them as "un e x t r a i t du manuscrit de Bachaumont," but i s r e l u c t a n t t o s p e c u l a t e upon the source o f the views presented, o r upon t h e v a r i o u s p o s s i b l e e f f e c t s o f M a i r o b e r t ' s e d i t i n g o f Bachaumont 1s manuscript. S i n c e d e f i n i t e c o n c l u s i o n s i n t h i s r e s p e c t are l a c k i n g , a survey o f l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m i n the Memoires must i n v o l v e The most complete, a s e r i e s o f n o u v e l l e s c o p i e d from Madame Doublet's r e g i s t e r s and from t h e l i b r a r y o f the Duke o f Penth i e v r e , are more p o l i t i c a l than l i t e r a r y and cover t h e ye a r s 1762-1779. 2 7 l b i d . , p. 290. I t seems, however, t h a t the e d i t o r s c o u l d h a r d l y have based t h e i r m a t e r i a l a f t e r 1771—apart from the e x c e r p t s added by Moufle d ' A n g e r v i l l e — o n " l e t e x t e de Madame Doublet," s i n c e the r e g i s t e r s o f the p a r o i s s e must have c l o s e d at t h a t date. 2 8 I b i d . . p. 291. p r i o r c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the s a l o n t h a t gave them b i r t h . More i n f o r m a t i o n c o n c e r n i n g the p a r o i s s e may enable the reader to d e t e c t i n t h i s c h r o n i c l e echoes of these a r i s t o c r a t i c n o u v e l l i s t e s who f o r so many y e a r s c a r r i e d out t h i s suc- c e s s f u l experiment i n group j o u r n a l i s m . CHAPTER I I THE MEMOIRES SECRETS: BACHAUMONT AND THE PAROISSIENS Any attempt t o r e c o n s t r u c t the atmosphere and outlook o f Madame Doublet's c a b i n e t must f i r s t o f a l l review the dominating f i g u r e o f L o u i s P e t i t de Bachaumont. The Goncourt b r o t h e r s have g i v e n what i s ap p a r e n t l y the e a r l i e s t and most complete b i o g r a p h i c a l account,'*' based l a r g e l y upon an u n f i n - i s h e d autobiography contained i n Bachaumont's p o r t e f e u i l l e and r e p r i n t e d i n f u l l i n the Appendix to Van Bever's 1912 e d i t i o n o f the Memoires s e c r e t s . From the s e sources one l e a r n s t h a t he was born i n P a r i s , June 2, 1690. H i s f a t h e r , C h a r l e s - A n t o i n e P e t i t de Bachaumont, d i e d d u r i n g the c h i l d ' s i n f a n c y , l e a v i n g gambling debts and a young widow, aged eighteen, who was persuaded t o l e a v e the boy i n the care o f h i s e l d e r l y p a t e r n a l grandfather, p h y s i c i a n t o the Dauphin. Bachaumont, a handsome c h i l d , grew up as the s p o i l e d d a r l i n g of the c o u r t , with the p a l a c e c o r - r i d o r s as h i s playground, the Dauphin and the P r i n c e s s o f C o n t i as h i s godparents, and Le Notre, h i s gr a n d f a t h e r ' s f r i e n d , as h i s a d v i s o r and guide i n matters o f a r t . Unfor- t u n a t e l y , t h e r e i s a gap i n our i n f o r m a t i o n about h i s subse- quent f o r m a t i v e y e a r s . H i s youth was, ap p a r e n t l y , spent p a r t l y a t V e r s a i l l e s , p a r t l y at h i s g r a n d f a t h e r ' s chateau, Ide Goncourt, E. and J . , op. ext., 51 - 88. 22 but l i t t l e i s known of him from h i s adolescence u n t i l about 1730, when he became a key figure i n Madame Doublet's paroisse. Some additional information may be gathered from h i s correspondence. In a l e t t e r quoted by Edmond and Jules de Goncourt Bachaumont dwells i n some d e t a i l on h i s love f o r art, on his early t r a i n i n g therein "sous l e s meilleurs maltres de ces temps-la en tout genre," and on h i s association with other connoisseurs of art such as Coypel, Crozat and members of t h e i r c i r c l e . He suggests that a serious i l l n e s s (small- pox) and poor eyesight had prevented h i s pursuing painting as a career, and adds: " J ' a i assez f o r t de bien, et j e n'ai voulu prendre n i charges, n i emplois; j ' a i voulu rester l i b r e , et j e n'ai aujourd'hui de regret que de n'Stre pas un bon peintre." He l i v e d , then, the l i f e of a wealthy, cultured d i l e t t a n t e , a connoisseur of the arts and an epicurean, h i s motto o t i o . musis et amoribus. His -intimates c a l l e d him " l e cher paresseux," yet he speaks of himself as f u l l y occupied: "II m'est bien dur de m'arracher aux occupations qui ont rempli tout mon temps jusqu'a present et auxquelles l e plus 3 p a r f a i t l o i s i r pouvait a peine s u f f i r e . 2 I b i d . , 84-85. 3lbid.. p. 77. Quoted from a l e t t e r dated 1743, i n which Bachaumont r e p l i e s to an unknown lady, refusing the post of "premier president" to which he has been appointed and asking f o r permission to s e l l i t . 23 These occupations seem to have been connected with two roles: that of "un edile de Paris," and that of master of ceremonies of Madame Doublet's cabinet. Concerning the f i r s t , i t i s known that Bachaumont was devoted to Paris, to i t s beautification and to the preservation of i t s historic aspects. For example, he purchased for 1,500 livres the Colonne Medicis to preserve i t for posterity,** and Grimm— who i s not generally kind to Bachaumont—mentions approvingly the l a t t e r 1 s concern for the Louvre.-* He also seems to have acted as consultant to many artists of the day, being renowned for his sound judgements and excellent taste. In 1751 he published an Essai sur l a peinture. l a sculpture et l'archi- tecture^ and, later, accounts of the Salons of 1767 and 1769, these last appearing in the form of letters in the Memoires secrets.^ According to one modern authority, Bachaumont "has recently been judged to be, "avant Diderot,—le grand critique o d'art du debut du dix-huitieme s i e c l e 1 " . Apart from two or **An account of this purchase, for which the city later reimbursed him, i s found i n the a r t i c l e "Bachaumont" by M. Prevost, Dictionnaire de biographie universelle. Paris, 1948, IV, 1050. See also the Memoires secrets. I, 299 - 300. 5Grimm, op_. c i t . . I l l , 12. ^Characterized by Grimm in Ibid.. II, 94 as "commun et superficiel." ^Memoires secrets. XIII, 5 - 6 4 . ^Wildenstein, G. "Gouter une oeuvre d'art en connois- seur ( s i c ) " , in Gazette des beaux arts, a v r i l , 1961, p. 1. Quoted by V i r g i l W. Topazio, op., ext., p. 1647. Topazio adds: 24 t h r e e items o f l e s s s i g n i f i c a n c e , ^ no oth e r work of Bachaumont remains, except the Memoires s e c r e t s which bear h i s name and f o r which he f u r n i s h e d a t l e a s t t h e i n i t i a l i n s p i r a t i o n . Grimm, who i n s i n u a t e s t h a t Madame Doublet and Bachau- mont had been l o v e r s , speaks o f him as s e n i l e i n h i s d e c l i n i n g y e a r s , as h a v i n g been r i c h , l a z y , i d l e , i r r e l i g i o u s , "n*ayant d'autres a f f a i r e s au monde que l e s o i n de ses p l a i s i r s , de l a bonne chere, et de l a s e n s u a l i t e * . " ^ T h i s i m p l i e d s e l f i s h n e s s i s somewhat c o n t r a d i c t e d by the r e f e r e n c e s o f young Boyer d ' E g u i l l e s t o Bachaumont fs g e n e r o s i t y and by the re c o r d s i n Bachaumont*s correspondence o f h i s attempts t o o b t a i n a s s i s - t ance f o r h i s young f r i e n d i n h i s m i s f o r t u n e s . The p r e f a c e to the Memoires s e c r e t s , w r i t t e n by M a i r o b e r t , a l s o bears testimony t o Bachaumont Ts sense o f s e r i o u s purpose and coun- t e r a c t s Grimm ,s a c c u s a t i o n s o f f r i v o l i t y . The t h i r d member o f " l a s a i n t e t r i n i t e " " t h a t d i r e c t e d the p a r o i s s e was the Abbe" F r a n c o i s Legendre, Madame Doublet*s b r o t h e r , t o whom r e f e r e n c e has a l r e a d y been made. Remembered c h i e f l y as a "joyeux v i v a n t , buveur i n f a t i g a b l e , " he i n t r o - duced t o the s e s s i o n s at l e s F i l l e s Saint-Thomas h i s i n t i m a t e "His c r i t i c i s m was c o n s i s t e n t l y sound and e n l i g h t e n e d , and d e t a i l e d enough t o make h i s comments c r i t i c a l l y meaningful without b e i n g e x c e s s i v e l y d e s c r i p t i v e and p e r s o n a l . He was, to our mind, the best c r i t i c b e f o r e D i d e r o t . . . " ^Memoires sur l e Louvre ( c . 1750)j Memoire sur l a v i e de M. l * a b b ^ Gedovn. Pre v o s t , M., op_. c i t . . IV, 1052. •^Grimm, op_. c i t . . IX, 318. 25 f r i e n d , the poet Piron, the affectionate and witty c r i t i c of the j o v i a l Abbe's apparently atrocious l i t e r a r y e f f o r t s . H Neglectful though the l a t t e r may have been of hi s e c c l e s i a s t i - c a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s , he remained devoted to good cheer and fellowship and continued a close associate of the paroisse 1 2 u n t i l h i s death i n 1768. A l i s t of the remaining members of the paroisse i s d i f f i c u l t to compile with complete c e r t a i n t y . One source, however, gives some d e f i n i t e information: This i s the cor- respondence, already noted, of Boyer d'E^guilles,^ who, i n his l e t t e r s to Madame Doublet and Bachaumont, greets many of the paroissiens by name. From other correspondence and mem- o i r s of the time a few more names can be gleaned, and i n t e r n a l references i n the Memoires secrets r e i n f o r c e t h i s information. Unfortunately, i t i s not always clear whether some of the persons mentioned were actually paroissiens or merely casual v i s i t o r s to the salon. Accordingly, though most l i s t s have a -LJ-Bayle and Herblay, op., ext., p. 220 quote a l e t t e r of Piron i n which he lik e n s the Abbe fs writings to the labours of Hercules except that " c e l u i - c i de"truisait l e s monstres et vous en produisez sans relache. Je l e s comparerais mSme a l'hydre, s ' i l s avaient pied ou tete . . . 1 2 l b i d . . pp. 219 - 220. See also Paul Cottin's i n t r o - duction to hi s Un Protege de Bachaumont: l a correspondance ine d i t e du Marquis d , E g u i l l e s . Paris, 1887, pp. xx-xxi. Cottin notes that the Abbe Legendre "avait des connaissances, surtout en alchimie." •^Written i n 1745 at the time of a secret diplomatic expedition from France to Scotland headed by d'Eguilles. 26 c e r t a i n b a s i c s i m i l a r i t y , many names occur only i n i s o l a t e d i n s t a n c e s . To the names o f the members, most r e f e r e n c e s a l s o add b r i e f i d e n t i f y i n g comments. I n t e r e s t i n g though these are, they a r e g e n e r a l l y i n s u f f i c i e n t t o enable a c l e a r assessment o f the p e r s o n a l views o f the p a r o i s s i e n s . I have attempted t o expand on those u s u a l l y g i v e n but a much more d e t a i l e d i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f the p o l i t i c a l i n t e r e s t s and l i t e r a r y and a r t i s t i c c o nnections o f Madame Doublet's c i r c l e would be r e - q u i r e d to produce a s u b s t a n t i a l l y a c c u r a t e e v a l u a t i o n o f the Memoires s e c r e t s . T y p i c a l of the g r e e t i n g s contained i n the a f f e c t i o n a t e l e t t e r s sent by young d ' ^ g u i l l e s i n S c o t l a n d t o h i s f r i e n d s at l e s F i l l e s Saint-Thomas i s the f o l l o w i n g : " M i l l e tendres compliments au cher P r e s i d e n t , a Madame Duret ^jL.e. Durey de V i e n c o u r t ] , a son mari; & l'Abbe" Legendre , a Messieurs de Mairan, F a l c o n e t , Matha, e t c . et p u i s un a r t i c l e p a r t i c u l i e r pour l e s t r o i s braves d'Argentaux.""'"'* The "cher p r e s i d e n t " was Durey de M e i n i e r e s , who p r e s i d e d over the s e s s i o n s of the p a r o i s s e and who, i n p u b l i c l i f e , h e l d the o f f i c e o f " p r e s i d e n t a l a deuxieme chambre des Enquetes du Parlement de P a r i s . " T h i s d i s t i n g u i s h e d magistrate"*"-* was h e l d i n h i g h esteem by the 14"Correspondance i n e d i t e du marquis d ' E g u i l l e s , " Revue r e t r o s p e c t i v e , v o l . 3, 1885, p. 152. ^ N a n c y M i t f o r d , i n her Madame de Pompadour. London, 1954, pp. 213 - 217, d e s c r i b e s an i n t e r v i e w between the P r e s i - dent de M e i n i e r e s and Madame de Pompadour which r e v e a l s him as "one o f the c l e v e r e s t and most i n t r a n s i g e a n t o f the P a r l i a - mentarians ." 27 the o t h e r members of the p a r o i s s e . which he had probably entered through the marriage o f h i s b r o t h e r , Durey de V i e n - c o u r t , t o Madame Doublet's s i s t e r . A review o f the l i f e and works of Mairan (1768-1771), mentioned next i n d ' E g u i l l e s * g r e e t i n g , impresses the reader w i t h h i s v e r s a t i l i t y . A wealthy man, he began as a student o f a n c i e n t languages, from which he passed to mathematics and p h y s i c s . I n 1718 he was admitted t o membership i n t h e Academy of S c i e n c e s , p u b l i s h i n g numerous papers on astronomy, p h y s i c s , geometry and n a t u r a l h i s t o r y . I n 1740, he r e p l a c e d F o n t e n e l l e as secretary.- but r e t u r n e d t h r e e y e a r s l a t e r to devote the r e s t o f h i s l o n g l i f e t o s c i e n t i f i c i n v e s t i g a t i o n . He was a l s o a p p a r e n t l y a s k i l l e d m u s ician and had a good a p p r e c i a t i o n of a r t and s c u l p t u r e . Of a k i n d l y and g e n t l e d i s p o s i t i o n , he was l o n g a t t a c h e d to the p a r o i s s e and h i s death i s recorded i n the Memoires s e c r e t s . ^ C a m i l l e F a l c o n e t (1671-1762) was a l s o eminent i n s e v e r a l f i e l d s . From Lyons, where h i s medical o f f i c e had been a c e n t r e o f i n t e l l e c t u a l g a t h e r i n g s , he moved t o P a r i s , becoming a c o u r t p h y s i c i a n and " i n s p e c t e u r de l a n a i s s a n c e des 17 Enfants de France." He was admitted t o membership i n the Academy o f I n s c r i p t i o n s ^ and became famous f o r h i s e x t e n s i v e l i b r a r y . Many o f h i s books, bequeathed to the B i b l i o t h e q u e 'Memoires s e c r e t s . V, 260. Bayle and Herblay, op_. ext., 223 - 224. 28 du R o i , have become p a r t o f t h e c o l l e c t i o n of the B i b l i o t h e q u e n a t i o n a l e . - ^ The next p a r o i s s i e n mentioned, Matha, i s a p p a r e n t l y not widely known.19 However, " l e s t r o i s braves d*Argentaux" t o whom the Marquis sends a s p e c i a l g r e e t i n g are o f wide i n t e r e s t t o students of the p a r o i s s e . C h a r l e s - A u g u s t i n de F e r r i o l , comte d T A r g e n t a l , was f o r f o r t y y e a r s (1721-1768) a member o f the Parlement o f P a r i s , a c l o s e f r i e n d of C h o i s e u l , jand r e p r e s e n t a t i v e i n France o f the Duke of Parma. He i s perhaps b e s t remembered f o r h i s l i f e l o n g f r i e n d s h i p with V o l - t a i r e , whose correspondence r e v e a l s the utmost c o n f i d e n c e i n 20 d t A r g e n t a l , s t a s t e and c r i t i c a l judgement. Although he 21 p u b l i s h e d l i t t l e h i m s e l f , he was noted f o r h i s p r o t e c t i o n o f w r i t e r s o f t a l e n t and, a c c o r d i n g to l a Harpe, f o r "un goftt •^Here a l s o one can f i n d a p o r t r a i t o f F a l c o n e t sketched by Madame Doublet and engraved by C a y l u s . C o t t i n , op. c i t . . p. x x i i n. ^ C o t t i n ( i b i d . , p. x x i v ) says o n l y t h a t Matha was "de l a f a m i l l e de l f e v € q u e d * A i r e . " No r e f e r e n c e i s made to him i n Michaud*s Biographie u n i v e r s e l l e . 2^A few examples from V o l t a i r e f s correspondence w i l l i l l u s t r a t e t h i s p o i n t . In 1739, he w r i t e s t o d f A r g e n t a l con- c e r n i n g Zulime; "Je t r a v a i l l e , mais guidez-moi" (Correspon- dence. V I I I , 290, No. 1738); the same year he suspends an a t t a c k on D e s f o n t a i n e s : " J f a i suspendu mes procedures, puisque vous me l T a v e z ordonne . . ." ( i b i d . , 347, No. 1778). Years l a t e r , i n 1760-61 h i s correspondence with L e k a i n i n d i - c a t e s the same r e l i a n c e on d * A r g e n t a l ; f o r example: I b i d . . X L I I I , 176, No. 8503; XLIV, 88, No. 8589; XLV, 2 3 , No. 8912. 21 He i s c r e d i t e d w i t h c o l l a b o r a t i o n i n w r i t i n g s g e n e r a l l y a t t r i b u t e d t o h i s aunt, Madame de T e n c i n . n a t u r e l l e m e n t j u s t e et un e s p r i t o r a l , n o u r r i de l a p o l i t e s s e de ce beau s i d c l e de L o u i s XIV, dont i l a v a i t vu l a f i n . . . He was a l s o noted f o r h i s happy marriage t o Mademoiselle Jeanne Bosc de Boucher, an i n t i m a t e f r i e n d o f Madame Doublet, d e s c r i b e d by Bayle and Herblay as a " p e r s o n n a l i t e r a r e p a r 1 ' e s p r i t et l e coeur, nature f i n e , prompte et s e d u i s a n t e . " 2 3 Endowed w i t h c o n s i d e r a b l e b u s i n e s s acumen as w e l l as j o u r n a l - i s t i c z e a l , she was a c t i v e i n the d i s t r i b u t i o n o f the nou- v e l l e s a l a main based on Madame Doublet's r e g i s t e r s . Pont de Vey l e , d ' Argental's o l d e r b r o t h e r , i n t e n d a n t des c l a s s e s de l a marine, was a l s o a man o f l e t t e r s , a f r i e n d o f Madame du Def- fand and an a c t i v e p a r o i s s i e n . D'Argental o u t l i v e d both h i s w i f e and b r o t h e r as w e l l as many other p a r o i s s i e n s . d y i n g i n January 1788, t e n y e a r s l a t e r than h i s good f r i e n d V o l t a i r e . Another l e t t e r o f d ' f i g u i l l e s r e f e r s t o other "trop heureuses gens q u i . . . une f o i s l e j o u r , pouves a l l e r a l a P a r o i s s e de ma chere maman . . . " 24 Among t h e s e are "tous l e s Voisenons." The r e f e r e n c e here i s undoubtedly to Madame Doublet's granddaughter and her husband, the Comte de Voisenon, l i e u t e n a n t - g e n e r a l i n the r o y a l army. A wealthy and h i g h l y esteemed man, he found h i s wife a great t r i a l 2 2Q_uoted by Lazare, G. i n the a r t i c l e " A r g e n t a l , " D i c t i o n n a i r e de b i o g r a p h i e f r a n c a i s e , P a r i s , IV (1948), 563. 3 2 ^ B a y l e and Herblay, op., ex t . , p. 225. 24"Correspondance ine'dite du Marquis d ' E g u i l l e s , " Revue r e t r o s p e c t i v e , v o l . 4, 1886, 124. 30 because o f "ses g a l a n t e r i e s , son e s p r i t et ses c a p r i c e s , " the l a t t e r i n c l u d i n g a tendency t o meddle i n medical a f f a i r s . 2 - * However, much b e t t e r known and f r e q u e n t l y mentioned i n the Memoires s e c r e t s i s h i s b r o t h e r , the n o t o r i o u s Abbe de V o i s e - non, Madame Doublet's godson ( 1 7 0 8 - 1 7 7 5 ) , who seems to have been both t h e "enfant t e r r i b l e " o f the p a r o i s s e and her great f a v o u r i t e . W o r l d l y and d i s s i p a t e d , he was granted, at h i s own request, a p u r e l y nominal po s t i n the church, and was thereby f r e e t o i n d u l g e h i s w i t and t a s t e f o r p l e a s u r e and f r i v o l i t y . Voisenon had many i n f l u e n t i a l f r i e n d s , among them V o l t a i r e , Madame de C h a t e l e t , C h o i s e u l , and Madame de Pompa- dour. D e s p i t e h i s r a t h e r s l i g h t l i t e r a r y p r o d u c t i o n , c o n s i s - t i n g o f a number o f p l a y s and o f some contes l i b e r t i n s , he was admitted t o t h e Academie F r a n c a i s e i n 1 7 6 2 . 2^ H i s r e l a - t i o n s h i p w i t h t h e a c t r e s s Madame F a v a r t , whose husband's p l a y s Voisenon was suspected o f w r i t i n g , i s recorded i n F a v a r t * s Memoires et correspondance.2 7 These " f a c d t i e s i n d e c e n t e s " were a l s o , a p p a r e n t l y , recorded at Voisenon*s request i n 2 5 A n account o f her mock i n s t a l l a t i o n as p r e s i d e n t o f t h e P a r i s C o l l e g e o f Medicine i s given i n t h e B i o g r a p h i e u n i v e r s e l l e (Michaud) XLIV, 4 8 . 2 ^ H i s admission, a c c o r d i n g t o Bayle and Herblay (op. ext . , p. 399) was a d i r e c t r e s u l t o f e f f o r t s o f t h e p a r o i s s e i n h i s fa v o u r . I t i s worth n o t i n g , however, t h a t P i r o n , a l t h o u g h a p a r o i s s i e n . was u n s u c c e s s f u l i n h i s b i d f o r mem- b e r s h i p . L o u i s XV r e f u s e d t o r a t i f y the e l e c t i o n . 2 7"Voisenon," B i o g r a p h i e u n i v e r s e l l e (Michaud), XLIV, 4 2 - 4 9 . 31 Madame Doublet's n o u v e l l e s and were food f o r g o s s i p over a l o n g p e r i o d . H i s charm, g e n e r o s i t y , and encouragement o f new w r i t e r s seem to have won him g e n e r a l a f f e c t i o n y d e s p i t e h i s obvious weaknesses. Of what oth e r names may one be c e r t a i n ? D ' E g u i l l e s g r e e t s as p a r o i s s i e n s the Abbe* Xaupi and the better-known Abbe" Pr6vost, author o f Manon Lescaut. S e v e r a l r e f e r e n c e s t o " l a j o l i e t§te" seem to d e s i g n a t e t h e Abb6 de C h a u v e l i n , a g r o t e s q u e l y ugly man, known e s p e c i a l l y f o r h i s f i e r c e a t - t a c k s upon the J e s u i t s , i n which the members o f Madame Doublet's c i r c l e r e j o i c e d . A m i l i t a n t J a n s e n i s t , he was a l s o i n t e r e s t e d i n the a r t s and t h e a t r e , e s p e c i a l l y V o l t a i r e ' s t r a g e d i e s . Pr6audeau c h a r a c t e r i z e s him as "parfaitement l i b e r t i n et p e u t - e t r e a t h e e . " 2 8 In marked c o n t r a s t to the f r i v o l o u s Voisenon and the „ a g g r e s s i v e C h a u v e l i n , one f i n d s among the p a r o i s s i e n s s e v e r a l men h i g h l y esteemed f o r t h e i r e r u d i t i o n and t h e i r u p r i g h t n e s s of c h a r a c t e r . These are Foncemagne (1694-1779), modest and devout, famous as an h i s t o r i a n and f o r h i s l o n g c o n t r o v e r s y w i t h V o l t a i r e over the Testament p o l i t i q u e of R i c h e l i e u ; h i s f r i e n d S a i n t e - P a l a y e 2 9 (1697-1781), noted f o r h i s r e s e a r c h 28preaudeau, op., ext., p. 537. 2 9 w i t h S a i n t e - P a l a y e , as a shadow, appeared always h i s twin b r o t h e r La Curne, whose devoted c a r e made S a i n t e - Palaye' s monumental r e s e a r c h p o s s i b l e . See, f o r example, t h e a r t i c l e " S a i n t e - P a l a y e " i n B i o g r a p h i e u n i v e r s e l l e , XXXVII, 295. 32 i n t o the h i s t o r y , language and l i t e r a t u r e o f the Middle Ages, and J e a n - B a p t i s t e de Mirabaud (1675-1760), the t r a n s l a t o r o f Tasso's Jerusalem D e l i v e r e d . A l l t h r e e were eminent academi- c i a n s and a l l l i v e d t o be w e l l over e i g h t y , a c t i v e and a l e r t u n t i l t he end. Both S a i n t e - P a l a y e and Mirabaud had connec- t i o n s w i t h the f a m i l y of t h e Duke o f Orleans, as d i d Madame Doublet's husband. We have a l r e a d y noted Foncemagne's presence a t e a r l i e r g a t h e r i n g s o f the Coypel c i r c l e . Other p a r o i s s i e n s mentioned, by the Marquis d ' E g u i l l e s have been i d e n t i f i e d , but some remain merely names. "Les Montesquiou" whom he g r e e t s are, no doubt, the other grand- daughter o f Madame Doublet and her husband, P i e r r e de Montesquiou, who h e l d an appointment i n t h e army. C o t t i n , i n h i s i n t r o d u c t i o n to the Marquis* c o r r e s p o n d e n c e ^ suggests t h a t the names Ba'ile and N i c o l a i r e f e r t o " N i c o l a s B a i l i e , c o n s e i l l e r du r o i en son grand c o n s e i l , " and Guillaume N i c o l a i , a compatriot o f the young Marquis. He g i v e s no ex- p l a n a t i o n f o r the names of de Montlaur, P e t r o c i n i , l e Coudray, B a c h e l i e r , de L e i t r e , de N e s t i e r , de M i r a b e l l e and de V a l o r i , and t h i s present survey has not attempted any r e s e a r c h i n t o t h i s a r e a . The l i s t , however, i s by no means complete. I t seems c e r t a i n t h a t the Abb6 de B e r n i s (1715-1794)> who had a l o n g and d i s t i n g u i s h e d c a r e e r as poet, academician, m i n i s t e r o f 30cottin, op. c i t . , pp. x x i i - x x i v . 33 f o r e i g n a f f a i r s under L o u i s XV, ambassador and c a r d i n a l , 31 attended the g a t h e r i n g s o f Madame Doublet's p a r o i s s e . We have a l r e a d y noted the presence of P i r o n , f r i e n d o f her b r o t h e r , famous f o r h i s gay p a r o d i e s and epigrams, f o r h i s Metromanie. and f o r h i s i n t e n s e h a t r e d o f V o l t a i r e . A l e t t e r to the l i e u t e n a n t o f p o l i c e from de Mouhy, quoted by Brentano, and dated 1762, g i v e s us the a d d i t i o n a l names o f two d o c t o r s , Devaure and F i r m i n , and mentions a l s o t h r e e l a d i e s , Mesdames Rondet de V i l l e n e u v e , de Besenval and du Boccage. J Of these, t h e b e s t known i s Madame du Boccage (1710-1802), the poetess, greeted w i t h such enthusiasm by her contemporaries i n France and abroad as forma Venus, a r t e Minerva, but remembered today c h i e f l y f o r her l e t t e r s . Member o f s e v e r a l l i t e r a r y s o c i e t i e s , f r i e n d o f F o n t e n e l l e and Mairan, acclaimed by V o l t a i r e , she must have been a charming a d d i t i o n t o the p a r o i s s e . Concern- i n g the other l a d i e s we have l e s s information.33 3^-Mitford, Nancy, op., c i t . , g i v e s much v a l u a b l e i n f o r m a t i o n about t h e l i f e and c h a r a c t e r of de B e r n i s , known by V o l t a i r e as "Babet l a Bouquetiere." See e s p e c i - a l l y pp. 47 - 48, 195 - 200, 236 - 239, 254. 32 Funck-Brentano, op_. c i t . , p. 274. 33it seems pr o b a b l e that Madame de Besenval i s the l a d y mentioned i n a note accompanying Rousseau's Confes- s i o n s . P l e i a d e ed., I , 1381, as " l a comtesse C a t h e r i n e B i e l i n s k a , parents du r o i S t a n i s l a u s , " who had married Baron J e a n - V i c t o r de Besenval d u r i n g h i s s o j o u r n i n Poland as French envoy to t h a t country. I have not been a b l e t o f i n d any i n f o r m a t i o n about Madame Rondet de V i l l e n e u v e . 34 These, then, a r e the persons whose p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n Madame Doublet's p a r o i s s e seems reasonably c e r t a i n . Y et, i n attempts t o r e c o n s t r u c t the membership, s c h o l a r s have i n c l u d e d many o t h e r f i g u r e s of the day. Pre"audeau, f o r example, l i s t s a l o n g with some of those a l r e a d y c i t e d t he names o f Carmon- t e l l e , t he younger de Troy, the Count de Caylus and the Abbe' Crozat, as w e l l as Monsieur du Boccage and the Baron de Besenval. Van Bever's study o f 1912, app a r e n t l y the most r e c e n t , g i v e s a c a r e f u l l i s t o f twenty-nine p a r o i s s i e n s . but i n c l u d e s t h e r e i n Coypel, Rigaud, L a r g i l l i e r e , H e l v e t i u s and Marivaux. These may w e l l have been f r i e n d s of Madame Doublet, but were not n e c e s s a r i l y members of her p a r o i s s e . C o t t i n ^ i n c l u d e s the Marquis d'Argens and even Voltaire. B a y l e and Herblay35 a d d to t h e i r l i s t such u n l i k e l y members as the C h e v a l i e r de l a M o r l i e r e and the p o l i c e - s p y de Mouhy.^ No review o f the p a r o i s s e i s complete without s p e c i a l 37 r e f e r e n c e t o Mai r o b e r t , who continued the n o u v e l l e s a l a main. S a i d by the goss i p o f the day to be the son of Madame Doublet and Bachaumont, Ma i r o b e r t appears t o have become a freq u e n t 34cottin, op_. e x t . , p. x x i i i . ^ ^Bayle and Herblay, op., ext., p. 224. ^ B r e n t a n o , op_. ext., p. 273, seems q u i t e c o r r e c t i n p o i n t i n g out the i m p o s s i b i l i t y o f de Mouhy's ever h a v i n g been "un d i s c i p l e a s s i d u de l a p a r o i s s e . " ^ C o n s i d e r a t i o n o r" the l a t e r c o n t r i b u t i o n s o f M a i r o b e r t T s successor, Moufle d f A n g e r v i l l e , l i e s w e l l beyond the scope o f the pre s e n t study. 35 v i s i t o r t o the p a r o i s s e from an e a r l y age. P r e c i s e dates are l a c k i n g , however, and h i s e a r l y c a r e e r seems r a t h e r shadowy. In 1749, aged twenty-two, he was imprisoned i n t h e B a s t i l l e f o r r e c i t i n g s e d i t i o u s v e r s e s . At t h a t time, he i s recorded as " e p r i s de l i t t e V a t u r e et d Tindependance, t r e s frondeur, attaquant l e s m i n i s t r e s , Madame de Pompadour, l e r o i lui-meme; i l e s t f i e r de nouer l e s r e l a t i o n s avec l e s e c r i v a i n s en renom; 18 i l c o l p o r t e l e u r s oeuvres . . .", and the same source quotes a p o l i c e r e p o r t which sums him up as "un des garcons q u i a i e n t l a p l u s mauvaise langue de P a r i s . " He h e l d v a r i o u s p o s t s , working f o r a time i n the A r c h i v e s de l a Marine, and was no doubt a welcome source of i n f o r m a t i o n f o r Madame Doublet's b u l l e t i n s . J u s t when t h i s " d i m i n u t i f de Beaumarchais"^ 9 became Bachaumont fs s e c r e t a r y i s not c l e a r , but a l e t t e r o f V o l t a i r e dated 1754 mentions "un nomme Merobert q u i t r o t t e pour Monsieur de Bachaumont"*^ and Brentano quotes a note to the p o l i c e which i n d i c a t e s t h a t M a i r o b e r t was working a t Madame Doublet's n o u v e l l e s i n 1766.*"'" The extent o f h i s i n f l u e n c e on the e a r l y Memoires s e c r e t s bears c o n s i d e r i n g . ° Brentano, op_. c i t . . p. 282. 39 Moufle d ' A n g e r v i l l e i n h i s V i e Prive'e de L o u i s XV says t h a t M a i r o b e r t " v i f et souple, i n t r i g a n t et h a r d i , p a r l e u r c a u s t i q u e , o r a c l e des f o y e r s de l a comidie, c o u r t i s a n des l i e u t e n a n t s de p o l i c e , h a b i l e a changer de masque et a se f a u f i l e r chez l e s grands, nous f i g u r e assez b i e n un d i m i n u t i f de Beaumarchais." Funck-Brentano, op., ext., p. 284. 4 0 V o l t a i r e , Correspondence. XXIV, 105, No. 5052. ^^-Funck-Brentano, op., e x t . , p. 281. 36 What c o n c l u s i o n s can be r e a d i l y drawn from even a c u r s o r y survey o f the p a r o i s s e ? With Grimm, one can marvel at t h e l o n g e v i t y enjoyed by most members: " t o u t ont a t t e i n t l e terme l e p l u s recule' de l a v i e humaine . . ."42 But t h e r e , perhaps, the u n i f o r m i t y o f t h e i r l i v e s ends and one i s almost overwhelmed by a sense of t h e i r d i v e r s i t y . Around Madame Doublet's t a b l e t h e r e met d a i l y some t h i r t y people, w i t h v a r i e d i n t e r e s t s — p o l i t i c a l , a r t i s t i c , r e l i g i o u s , and l i t e r - a r y . H o l d i n g each o t h e r i n t o l e r a n t and a f f e c t i o n a t e esteem, d e s p i t e a t times t h e i r c o n f l i c t i n g p o i n t s o f view, they suc- ceeded i n t r a n s f o r m i n g t h e i r l i v e l y i n t e r e s t i n a f f a i r s o f t h e i r day i n t o an amazingly s u c c e s s f u l j o u r n a l i s t i c e n t e r p r i s e . F i n a l l y , b e f o r e p a s s i n g t o a c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f the l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m found i n the f i r s t f i v e volumes of the Memoires s e c r e t s , one should remember t h a t , although t h i s work i s the l e g a c y o f the p a r o i s s e . i t r e p r e s e n t s a d e r i v a t i v e e d i t i n g of Bachaumont's own e d i t i n g of Madame Doublet's r e g i s - t e r s and t h a t echoes o f the o r i g i n a l p a r o i s s e may w e l l have become r a t h e r confused and f a i n t . Furthermore, the p e r i o d covered, 1762-1771, r e p r e s e n t s the p a r o i s s e i n i t s d e c l i n i n g y e a r s when, saddened by the deaths o f t h e i r f r i e n d s , the mem- bers may have become l e s s m i l i t a n t than b e f o r e . In t h i s p e r i o d a l s o , p o l i c e s u p e r v i s i o n o f the group was more s t r i c t , and comments may have been c a r e f u l l y worded to confuse the Grimm, op. c i t . , IX, 317. censor. Nevertheless^these volumes, so eagerly sought at the time of t h e i r publication, remain an i n t e r e s t i n g and valuable record of contemporary opinion and constitute f o r the modern reader "un des plus pr6cieux miroirs de l a societe du dix-huitieme siecle."'*^ 4 , 5Hatin, E. Bibliographie de l a presse pe>iodique f rancaise. p. 67. CHAPTER I I I THE MEMOIRES SECRETS AND VOLTAIRE The dominant f i g u r e i n the l i t e r a r y scene reviewed i n the e a r l y volumes of the Memoires s e c r e t s i s c e r t a i n l y V o l t a i r e . The f i r s t two e n t r i e s i n the j o u r n a l concern him and, d u r i n g the ensuing decade (1762-1771), some two hundred and f i f t y items r e c o r d the i n t e r e s t of the p a r o i s s e i n h i s many a c t i v i t i e s . In p a r t , the numerous r e f e r e n c e s r e f l e c t the g e n e r a l c u r i o s i t y t h a t he aroused; i n p a r t , they are evidence of h i s p r o l i f i c pen. However, t h e r e are more d e f i n i t e bonds l i n k i n g the p a r o i s s e and the p h i l o s o p h e de Ferney. The most obvious l i n k between the great w r i t e r and Madame D o u b l e t T s s a l o n was t h e f r i e n d s h i p , a l r e a d y noted, t h a t e x i s t e d between V o l t a i r e and d ' A r g e n t a l , h i s "ange g a r d i e n . " V o l t a i r e ' s attendance a t p a r o i s s e g a t h e r i n g s i s not recorded but he may w e l l have been an o c c a s i o n a l v i s i t o r . I n any case, h i s awareness o f the e x i s t e n c e of the p a r o i s s e and o f the p u b l i c i t y v a l u e of the r e g i s t e r s i s shown i n h i s correspondence. In a l e t t e r t o Madame S o l a r , dated 1742, he speaks o f having sent an item to "Monsieur l e p r e s i d e n t de M e i n i e r e pour en o r n e r l e grand l i v r e de Madame Doublet,"'*' and i n 1750, r e f e r r i n g t o some verses imputed to him, he V o l t a i r e , Correspondence. X I I , 104 - 105, No. 2479. 39 wrote t o d ' A r g e n t a l : " P r o t e s t e z done, j e vous en p r i e , dans l e grand l i v r e de Madame Doublet, c o n t r e l e s Impertlnents q u i 2 m ' a t t r x b u e r a i e n t ces impertinences . . . " V o l t a i r e seems t o have known Bachaumont, and makes s e v e r a l r e f e r e n c e s t o him. The Besterman Correspondence even i n c l u d e s a l e t t e r t o our p a r o i s s i e n t h a n k i n g him f o r a p e r s o n a l favour and r e f e r r i n g t o Bachaumont*s young prote'ge, Boyer d f E g u i l l e s . 3 Indeed, V o l t a i r e numbered s e v e r a l other p a r o i s s i e n s among h i s f r i e n d s , ' and c e r t a i n l y the Memoires g i v e abundant proof t h a t the p a r o i s s e was w e l l informed with r e g a r d t o events a t Ferney. V o l t a i r e i n t h i s p e r i o d was s t i l l a c t i v e i n most areas o f l i t e r a t u r e although h i s e f f o r t s were by no means evenly d i s t r i b u t e d among a l l the v a r i o u s genres. S i n c e the time o f h i s g r e a t e s t p r o d u c t i v i t y i n h i s t o r i c a l w r i t i n g was p a s t , we f i n d c o r r e s p o n d i n g l y l i t t l e c r i t i c i s m i n the Memoires devoted to t h i s area, the e n t r i e s b e i n g c o n f i n e d mainly t o the ye a r s 1 7 6 3 , 1 7 6 8 , and 1 7 6 9 . When the second volume o f h i s H i s t o i r e de P i e r r e l e Grand appeared i n 1763 the Memoires. although they a re p l e a s e d t o note "des £tincelles de ge n i e " a t 2 I b i d . . XVIII, 1 6 6 , No. 3 6 5 3 . 3 I b i d . . XV, 2 0 9 , No. 3 1 9 6 . ^We have a l r e a d y mentioned Voisenon and Madame du Boccage, but h i s correspondence r e v e a l s c o n n e c t i o n s w i t h o t h e r p a r o i s s i e n s . For example, he seems t o have known Madame de Besenval ( I b i d . . I , 304 - 3 0 5 ) ; he c o n s u l t e d Mairan about p h y s i c s , c a l l i n g him the "philosophe aimable" ( i b i d . . V I I , 363), and a t one time c o n s i d e r e d l e a s i n g S a i n t e ~ P a l a y e f s house ( I b i d . . XXXIII, 244; XXXIV, 2 5 ) . i n t e r v a l s , f i n d the work "extremement croque'. "-> R e a c t i n g to h i s 8-volume Nouvelle H i s t o i r e gene>ale. they p r a i s e h i s u s u a l b r i l l i a n t s t y l e , but f i n d t h a t i t l a c k s " l a profondeur, et s u r t o u t 1*exactitude sur l a q u e l l e e s t f o n d l e l a ve>acite, premiere q u a l i t y d'un h i s t o r i e n . " L a t e r i n the same year, r e f e r r i n g t o h i s H i s t o i r e u n i v e r s e l l e . they again accuse V o l t a i r e o f s u p e r f i c i a l i t y : " I I veut t o u t embrasser, n ' a p p r o f o n d i t r i e n , et t r a i t e tous l e s eVdnements de l a maniere l a p l u s vague, l a moins circonstancie'e, et souvent n l a p l u s e'ronne'e." P a s s i n g comment o n l y i s given to the S i e c l e de L o u i s XV. which appeared i n 1768, the Memoires merely r e c o r d i n g the adverse r e a c t i o n o f t h e Parlement. a l - though they had hoped f o r a f a v o u r a b l e r e c e p t i o n o f t h i s work. The f o l l o w i n g year, 1769, V o l t a i r e - produced h i s H i s t o i r e du Parlement de P a r i s . The wisdom o f such a p r o d u c t i o n i s questioned as l i k e l y t o antagonize the Parlement. thereby i n v i t i n g punishment, e s p e c i a l l y o f the c o l p o r t e u r s . L a t e r , i n a b r i e f survey, the second volume i s judged to be o f f the t o p i c but g e n e r a l p r a i s e i s g i v e n to V o l t a i r e ' s s k i l f u l use o f simple prose: " I I est a p o r t e e du grand nombre des l e c - t e u r s et s e r a p l u s connu que s ' i l 6 t a i t profond, savant, 3Memoires s e c r e t s , I , 241. S p e l l i n g has been s t a n d a r d i z e d i n a l l q u o t a t i o n s from the Memoires and o t h e r contemporary t e x t s . 6 I b i d . . I, 243. 7lbid., I, 284. exact et austere."° The f i n a l r e f e r e n c e i m p l i e s t h a t t h e work i s f a r from o b j e c t i v e , s i n c e t h e Parlement i s a r r a n g i n g f o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f c e r t a i n f a c t s t h a t V o l t a i r e has "omis expres." V o l t a i r e T s m e r i t s as a l i t e r a r y c r i t i c a re reviewed by the Memoires c h i e f l y on the o c c a s i o n o f h i s e d i t i o n of the works of C o r n e i l l e , which appeared i n 1764. The commentary i s g e n e r a l l y unfavourable and accuses V o l t a i r e of p e t t i n e s s c o n c e r n i n g minor p o i n t s o f grammar, o f b e i n g r e p e t i t i o u s , and o f showing p r e f e r e n c e f o r Racine over C o r n e i l l e . A n d so the Memoires conclude: "En un mot, r i e n d*approfondi, p o i n t de vues g e n ^ r a l e s , et n u l l e analyse r e f l e c h i e d'aucune de ces t r a g e d i e s . On sent f a c i l e m e n t que ce t r a v a i l l e n t et cofiteux ne s y m p a t h i s a i t pas avec 1 1 i m a g i n a t i o n fougeuse de Monsieur de V o l t a i r e . " ^ C r i t i c a l e x p r e s s i o n s o f o p i n i o n c o n c e r n i n g V o l t a i r e as a p l a y w r i g h t , though g e n e r a l l y e q u a l l y c o n c i s e , a r e some- what more numerous. The second e n t r y i n the Memoires concerns, f o r example, V o l t a i r e f s Zulime. At f i r s t , f u l l comment i s w i t h h e l d u n t i l the p l a y has completed i t s run o f n i n e p e r f o r - mances. Then f o l l o w s a d e t a i l e d c r i t i c i s m o f i t s i l l o g i c a l p l o t and u n l i k e l y p s y c h o l o g i c a l s t r u c t u r e . Only the s t u b - bornness o f the author i n b e l i e v i n g i n the worth o f t h i s °Ibid.. IV, 329. 9 I b i d . . I I , 43, 50. 42 "monstrueux drame," d e s p i t e i t s f a i l u r e twenty-three y e a r s e a r l i e r , c o u l d have encouraged, we are t o l d , such an u n f o r - t u n a t e p r o d u c t i o n . We are even favoured with a c o u p l e t t o summarize the g e n e r a l sentiment: Du temps q u i d i t r u i t t o u t , V o l t a i r e e s t l a v i c t i m e ; Souvenez-vous de l u i , mais o u b l i e z Zulime.iO C e r t a i n l y , one cannot accuse the Memoires o f e x p r e s s i n g f a v o u r i t i s m f o r a f r i e n d . At about the same date, a new "come'die p h i l o s o p h i q u e en v e r s , " l * E c u e i l du Sage, evokes th e c u t t i n g remark t h a t "Monsieur de V o l t a i r e , pour c o n s o l e r ses envieux, apres a v o i r echoue dans l e t r a g i q u e , a v o u l u sans doute echouer a u s s i dans l e comique." The b r i e f summary t h a t f o l l o w s i s l a r g e l y u n f a v o u r a b l e but whatever i s praiseworthy i s a l s o noted, the c r i t i c a l judgements b e i n g phrased i n a manner t y p i c a l of the e a r l i e r volumes of the Memoires: "Les deux premiers a c t e s sont une f a r c e , une parade digne des boulevards; l e t r o i s i e m e se monte sur l e haut ton, l e quatrieme l e s o u t i e n t , et l e cinquieme est des p l u s d e t e s t a b l e s . I I y a p o u r t a n t quelques scenes q u i d e c e l e n t l e grand m a l t r e , et c ' e s t en c e l a que ce Drame e s t s u p e r i e u r a l a derriere t r a g e d i e de l ' a u t e u r . " ^ A d e t a i l e d review o f t h i s same p l a y i s promised but not i n c l u d e d IMd., I, 44. 1 : L I b i d . , I, 24 - 25. i n the o r i g i n a l Memoires. I t appears, however, i n the supplements, where a lengthy item i s i n s e r t e d , g i v i n g many more d e t a i l s o f t h i s " t i s s u t o u t a f a i t romanesque," but a g a i n p r a i s i n g V o l t a i r e ' s s k i l l i n making h i s c h a r a c t e r s speak "avec une o n c t i o n q u i ne va qu'a l u i ; i l n'est p o i n t de p r e d i c a t e u r a u s s i i n s i n u a n t , a u s s i penetrant . . .n-1-* H i s r emaining p l a y s are b r i e f l y reviewed. V o l t a i r e ' s Olvmpie i s d i s m i s s e d as a " t r a g e d i e t r e s mediocre d'un grand a p p a r e i l de s p e c t a c l e . " " ^ The more c o n t r o v e r s i a l S a u l , then c i r c u l a t i n g (1763) i n manuscript form, provokes s e v e r a l com- ments which we w i l l d i s c u s s l a t e r i n t h i s chapter i n the more gen e r a l context of r e a c t i o n s to V o l t a i r e ' s a n t i - r e l i g i o u s w r i t i n g s . A r e v i s e d Mariamne meets w i t h two b r i e f r e f e r e n c e s o n l y . ^ Two y e a r s l a t e r , a s u c c e s s f u l r e v i v a l o f V o l t a i r e ' s e a r l i e r tragedy, A d e l a i d e du G u e s c l i n , i s a t t r i b u t e d to the change i n p u b l i c t a s t e s , now r e c e p t i v e to i n n o v a t i o n s such as the famous coup de c a n o n . ^ Another h i s t o r i c a l tragedy, l e T r i u m v i r a t . dated 1766, i n s p i r e s very f a v o u r a b l e comment: "L'ordonnance de c e t t e t r a g e d i e e s t imposante, l e s t y l e en e s t f o r t et soutenu, l a v e r s i f i c a t i o n b e l l e et majestueuse. On y t r o u v e beaucoup de v e r s heureux et f a c i l e s . En un mot, 1 2 I b i d . , XVI, 140 - 144. 1 3 I b i d . , I, 246 - 247. 1 4 i b i d . , I, 302, 303. 1 5 l b i d . . I I , 255. on l a juge de M. de V o l t a i r e . " x 6 Less w e l l r e c e i v e d are Pandore, which V o l t a i r e , " t o u j o u r s j a l o u x de b r i l l e r dans tous l e s genres," had had s e t t o m u s i c x ^ and C h a r i o t . a "drame tragi-comique en t r o i s a c t e s et en v e r s v " Of the l a t t e r , the Memoires comment t h a t "quoique sa touche cbmique n f a i t jamais ete' m e r v e i l l e u s e , e l l e e s t du p l u s mauvais gout dans c e t ouvrage t r e s f r o i d , t r e s t r i s t e , et dont aucun c a r a c t e r e n f e s t developpe qu faux noms des a c t e u r s . " x o A bourge o i s p a s t o r a l , l e s Scythes, which V o l t a i r e had sent t o C a r d i n a l de B e r n i s , r e c e i v e s a g e n e r a l l y unfavourable review, although some "morceaux de l a p l u s grande f o r c e " a re found t h e r e i n . E s p e c i a l l y d e p l o r a b l e i s the d e d i c a t i o n t o C h o i s e u l and P r a s l i n made, we are t o l d , i n a tone " l e p l u s bas et p l e i n d * a d u l a t i o n l a p l u s outre"e." x9 V o l t a i r e f s tendency t o i n d u l g e i n such s e r v i l e f l a t t e r y i s p o i n t e d out on s e v e r a l o c c a s i o n s as one of h i s l e s s d e s i r a b l e a t t r i b u t e s . P e r f o r - mances o f h i s e s t a b l i s h e d p l a y s , Tancrede. Semiramis and Brutus. draw no added comment, and the l a s t entry o f t h i s n a t u r e i s an account o f the embarrassment o f the Come'diens who, h a v i n g r e f u s e d l e D e p o s i t a i r e as "bassement in t r i g u e ' e " >: J - ^ i b i d . . I l l , 139. An a d d i t i o n a l note c o n c e r n i n g t h i s p l a y w i l l be found i n my Chapter 5. J - ^ i b i d . . I l l , 152, 166. l 8 I b i d . . I l l , 283 - 284. J - ^ l b i d . . I l l , 189 - 190. 45 and "platement e c r i t e , " d i s c o v e r e d the author to be V o l t a i r e . F o r t u n a t e l y , h i s f r i e n d s withdrew i t from the a c t o r s b e f o r e 20 they c o u l d perform i t out o f a sense o f o b l i g a t i o n . The Memoires do not c o n t a i n e x t e n s i v e c r i t i c i s m o f V o l t a i r e ' s p l a y s f o r the p e r i o d , nor do they d i s c u s s at l e n g t h h i s p o e t r y . S c a t t e r e d throughout the volumes one f i n d s some examples of h i s "vers g a l a n t s , " and a number o f h i s w i t t y epigrams are presented w i t h r e l i s h , e s p e c i a l l y those d i r e c t e d 21 a g a i n s t Pompignan and F r d r o n . There are r e f e r e n c e s to v a r i - ous d i d a c t i c works i n v e r s e form: a " f a b l e en v e r s , " a "conte en v e r s , " and an "epxtre en v e r s , " t h e l a t t e r b e i n g an a t t a c k on a t h e i s m — j u d g e d t o be somewhat i l l o g i c a l — b u t V o l t a i r e i s admitted to be "accoutume a pr§cher l e pour et l e c o n t r e . " 2 2 A l l t hese p i e c e s are c r i t i c i z e d , However, f o r t h e i r content r a t h e r than f o r t h e i r l a c k of p o e t i c q u a l i t i e s . The o n l y d i r e c t r e f e r e n c e s to V o l t a i r e as a poet a r e two t h a t occur i n the supplements. One concerns an ode t o S t . Genevieve, composed by V o l t a i r e i n h i s youth and p u b l i s h e d i n 1764 by F r e r o n , no doubt out o f s p i t e . I t i s admitted t o be very 2 0 I b i d . . V, 78 - 79. 21 As f o r example, the f o l l o w i n g : "Un j o u r l o i n du s a c r e v a l l o n Un serpent mordit Jean F r e r o n . Savez-vous ce q u * i l a r r i v a ? Ce f u t l e serpent q u i c r e v a . " ( i b i d . , I, 182) See a l s o I b i d . , I, 320, 349. 22 I b i d . , IV, 143, 151, 248. poor and the Memoires add, " I I en f a u t c o n c l u r e q u T i l a v a i t peu de d i s p o s i t i o n pour l a poe"sie l y r i q u e et s a c r e e . " ° The second concerns a p i n d a r i c ode t o the Empress o f R u s s i a , dated 1768, i n which V o l t a i r e , a p p a r e n t l y d e s i r i n g to out-do Pinda r , r e c e i v e s t h i s d i r e c t comment: "Ce grand homme, dans d i f - f e r ents genres, a t o u j o u r s echoue dans c e l u i - c i , et i l v o u d r a i t e f f a c e r du temple de memoire l e s noms des grand 24. m a i t r e s de l ' o d e . " Thus f a r the g e n e r a l tenor o f most o f the a l l u s i o n s t o V o l t a i r e ' s w r i t i n g s r e v e a l s a d e c i d e d l y n e g a t i v e a t t i t u d e on the p a r t o f the c o n t r i b u t o r s t o t h e Memoires. H i s h i s - t o r i c a l works, w h i l e commended f o r s i m p l i c i t y o f s t y l e and c l a r i t y o f ex p r e s s i o n , are accused o f b e i n g a t the same time s u p e r f i c i a l , sketchy and warped. H i s e d i t i o n o f C o r n e i l l e i s u n favourably reviewed. F i n a l l y , h i s dramatic works p r o - duced d u r i n g the decade i n qu e s t i o n r e c e i v e o n l y scant p r a i s e ; except f o r l e T r i u m v i r a t . they a re seen as i l l o g i c a l i n p l o t and weak i n c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n . One gathers t h a t V o l t a i r e i s c o n s i d e r e d t o have exhausted h i s best e f f o r t s and he i s seen as f o o l i s h l y t r y i n g to e x c e l i n a l l a r e a s . H i s l i g h t and s p a r k l i n g verse i s o b v i o u s l y admired as an e x c e l l e n t v e h i c l e f o r h i s sharp w i t , but i n general i t i s conceded t h a t p o e t r y i s not h i s s t r o n g p o i n t . 2 3 I b i d . . XVI, 240. 2 4 i b i d . , XIX, 4. 47 What e x p e c i a l l y emerges from a study o f the o p i n i o n s on V o l t a i r e expressed i n the Memoires s e c r e t s f o r t h i s decade i s a p i c t u r e o f the immense v i t a l i t y o f h i s mind, o f the a l - most f e v e r i s h output of h i s pen, and evidence o f the eagerness w i t h which a l l h i s a c t i v i t i e s were f o l l o w e d . D e t a i l s o f h i s p e r s o n a l l i f e a r e f r e q u e n t l y r e p o r t e d : h i s h e a l t h , his..-, whereabouts, h i s q u a r r e l s , h i s communions. I n a d d i t i o n t o the w r i t i n g s a l r e a d y noted, an almost b e w i l d e r i n g v a r i e t y o f pamphlets, l e t t e r s , contes, e p i s t l e s , brochures, as w e l l as l a r g e r works such as h i s D i c t i o n n a i r e p h i l o s o p h i q u e are c a t a - logued as p o i n t i n g t o h i s t i r e l e s s e f f o r t s t o combat "infamous s u p e r s t i t i o n . " S i n c e more than h a l f the V o l t a i r i a n e n t r i e s are devoted t o t h i s l a s t aspect of h i s work, no complete study w i l l be p o s s i b l e i n our b r i e f survey. A sampling o f t y p i c a l comments may, however, enable us t o draw some g e n e r a l c o n c l u - s i o n s about the o p i n i o n s expressed. The Memoires appear t o take t h e view t h a t one cannot s e p a r a t e V o l t a i r e from h i s w r i t i n g s , e s p e c i a l l y i n the area o f h i s d i d a c t i c works. They a r e t h e r e f o r e q u i c k t o judge h i s p e r s o n a l as w e l l as h i s l i t e r a r y q u a l i t i e s nor do they h e s i - t a t e t o express both a d m i r a t i o n and severe c r i t i c i s m i n t h i s r e g a r d . C e r t a i n o f h i s p e r s o n a l t r a i t s , evidenced i n h i s w r i t i n g s and h i s a c t i o n s , r e c e i v e a c c l a i m . C h i e f o f these i s h i s humanity, r e v e a l e d i n v a r i o u s works such as the Sermon du Rabin-Akib, an a t t a c k on the l a s t auto-da-fe i n Lisbon, and i n h i s a c t i v i t i e s on h e h a l f o f v i c t i m s of r e l i g i o u s 48 i n t o l e r a n c e . The Memoires r e c o r d w i t h approval h i s e f f o r t s i n a i d of such persons: h i s o f f e r s of f i n a n c i a l a i d and h i s l e t t e r s on t h e i r b e h a l f , w r i t t e n "avec c e t t e o n c t i o n , ce pathe"tique q u i c o u l e n t s i n a t u r e l l e m e n t de l a plume de ce grand e c r i v a i n l o r s q u . l i l pr§che l'humanite et defend l e s d r o i t s de 1'innocence opprime'e. "2-* The f i n a l r e h a b i l i t a t i o n o f the S i r v e n f a m i l y i s a t t r i b u t e d "aux s o i n s et aux reclama- t i o n s de M. de V o l t a i r e , " with the added note t h a t i t w i l l assure "de p l u s en p l u s a ce poete p h i l o s o p h i q u e une p l a c e parmi l e s b i e n f a i t e u r s de l'humanite'." Likewise, d e s p i t e t h e adverse c r i t i c i s m o f h i s C o r n e i l l e , the Memoires r e a d i l y admit h i s g e n e r o s i t y towards M i l e C o r n e i l l e , f o r whom the proceeds are d e s t i n e d . They a l s o r e c o r d o t h e r l i t t l e a c t s o f kindness, and express a p p r e c i a t i o n o f h i s h o s p i t a l i t y f o r men of l e t t e r s at F e r n e y — h o s p i t a l i t y which was at times abused. 2'' Apart from such t r i b u t e s t o h i s p e r s o n a l q u a l i t i e s , the Memoires f a v o u r a b l y a p p r a i s e h i s techniques and s t y l e . V o l t a i r e ' s t a l e n t f o r c l a r i t y and s i m p l i c i t y o f e x p r e s s i o n i s noted e s p e c i a l l y as a powerful a i d t o p o p u l a r i z a t i o n o f h i s thought. The Memoires r e c o r d a l s o the p u b l i c ' s p r e - d i l e c t i o n f o r h i s " l e t t r e s c o u r t e s et 16geres" and they p r a i s e 2 5 I b i d . . I l l , 212. 2 6 I b i d . . V, 33. 2 ? I b i d . . I I , 271; IV, 3. " l a l e g e r e t e , l a bonne p l a i s a n t e r i e , l e sentiment pur et p e n e t r a n t " c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f much o f h i s work. One senses the enjoyment o f the p a r o i s s i e n s as they witness h i s p r a c - t i c a l j o k e s and h i s frequent disavowals of works t h a t a r e o b v i o u s l y h i s : "On ne peut t r o p r i r e des mouvements que se donne sans cesse M. de V o l t a i r e pour j o u e r l e p u b l i c et l e persifler."^° They r e l i s h h i s w i t t y a s s a u l t s upon an oppo- nent: " I I v o l t i g e autour de l u i , i l l e h a r c e l e legerement, i l l e couvre de ses sarcasmes, et l e l a i s s e en c e t Stat ex- pose a l a r i s e e p u b l i q u e . " 2 9 Concerning V o l t a i r e ' s contes perhaps no b e t t e r b r i e f a p p r a i s a l c o u l d be found than t h a t i n the Memoires: "On y trouve t o u j o u r s cette touche d e l i c a t e , q u i n ' a p p a r t i e n t qu'a l u i : q u o i q u ' i l s ne s o i e n t pas egalement bons, i l s se f o n t l i r e avec p l a i s i r . " 3 ^ D e s p i t e such h i g h r e g a r d f o r V o l t a i r e ' s humanitarian q u a l i t i e s and such obvious a d m i r a t i o n f o r h i s w i t and c l a r i t y , t h e Memoires f r e q u e n t l y c r i t i c i z e h i s shortcomings, both l i t e r a r y and p e r s o n a l . We are t o l d t h a t h i s w i t and sarcasm, w h i l e enjoyable, tend o f t e n t o be c a r r i e d t o excess, even i n t h e C a l a s and S i r v e n a f f a i r s where " l ' a u t e u r c o n t i n u e a se s e r v i r de l ' i r o n i e et a t r a i t e r en p l a i s a n t a n t , des m a t i e r e s q u i p a r a i s s e n t m e r i t e r un t o n p l u s s e r i e u x . " On numerous 2 8 l b i d . , I I , 250. 3 0 I b i d . . I I , 4 8 . 2 9 l b i d . . IV, 128 . 3 1 I b i d . . I l l , 91. o c c a s i o n s V o l t a i r e i s accused o f t r e a t i n g s e r i o u s t o p i c s w i t h " m i l l e p l a i s a n t e r i e s , dont i l ne peut s ' a b s t e n i r , et q u i donnent un a i r de f a r c e a ses ouvrages l e s p l u s serieux."32 T h i s same passage goes on to p o i n t out h i s frequent i n c o n s i s - t e n c i e s and c o n t r a d i c t i o n s . In t h e supplement f o r 1767, we l e a r n t h a t , "sous p r e t e x t e de t o l e r a n c e , i l frappe t o u t e s l e s r e l i g i o n s de l a maniere l a p l u s i n t o l e ' r a n t e , " 3 3 and i n an entry f o r 1770 a s i m i l a r comment notes t h a t " l ' a p S t r e de l T h u m a n i t e o u b l i e son r3 l e et preche l a guerre, l e carnage et l a d e s t r u c t i o n avec une vehemence b i e n opposee a t o u t ce q u ' i l a e c r i t depuis quelque temps, mais ce ne s e r a mal- heureusement pas l a d e r n i e r e de ses c o n t r a d i c t i o n s . " 3 4 An e a r l i e r note on V o l t a i r e * s Honn§tet£s l i t t e r a i r e s suggests t h a t h i s i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s a l s o extend to h i s c h o i c e o f words, s i n c e " i l donne lui-meme l e modele des g r o s s i e r e t e s q u * i l reproche aux autres?;' the note goes on to c h a r a c t e r i z e him as "un champion q u i d*abord e n t r e en l i c e en r i a n t , s T e c h a u f f e e n s u i t e , eprouve e n f i n l e s memes f u r e u r s c o n v u l s i v e s de son a d v e r s a i r e . " 3 ^ The Memoires d e p l o r e not onl y h i s frequent c o n t r a - d i c t i o n s but a l s o h i s v i r u l e n t a t t a c k s upon a l l who d i f f e r 32ibid.. IV, 248. 33ibid., XVIII, 336. 34ibid.. XIX, 222. 35ibid.. I l l , 244. w i t h him i n any way. Obviously no admirers o f those who opposed the p h i l o s o p h e s . the Memoires f o l l o w a p p r o v i n g l y the b i t t e r exchanges between V o l t a i r e and F r e r o n . They do not, however, approve of V o l t a i r e ' s a t t a c k s on Rousseau, 3^ and they see i n h i s Questions sur 1'Encvclopedie a r e p e r t o i r e o f i n s u l t s , adding t h a t the number o f h i s enemies grows d a i l y "par l a r a i s o n que t o u t homme q u i prend l a l i b e r t e de c r i - t i q u e r ses ouvrages est a 1 ' i n s t a n t repute infame, abominable exe c r a b l e , e t c . " 3 ? Other p e r s o n a l f a i l i n g s are a l s o emphasized: A com- ment dated 1771 r e i t e r a t e s an e a r l i e r c r i t i c i s m and adds the charge o f s e r v i l i t y . 3 8 A brochure sent to the C z a r i n a o f R u s s i a i s termed "digne de l ' A p d t r e de l a tole*rance," but t h e review adds an a t t a c k on V o l t a i r e ' s e x c e s s i v e use of sarcasm and h i s tendency to be too p r o d i g a l with "eloges qu'on pourraxt s u s p e c t e r de f l a t t e r i e . n ° 7 The charge i s repeated on o t h e r o c c a s i o n s and we may s a f e l y assume t h a t the p a r o i s s i e n s c o n s i d e r e d such c r i t i c i s m o f V o l t a i r e ' s c h a r a c t e r to be o f c e n t r a l importance. Nor do the Memoires f a i l t o remark upon the great p h i l o s o p h e ' s l o v e o f money: " L ' a v a r i c e e s t encore l a p a s s i o n f a v o r i t e des gens de L e t t r e s et sans en chercher des exemples b i e n l o i n , personne n'ignore 3 6 I b i d . , I l l , 2 0 1 . 3 7 I b i d . . V, 316 - 317. 3 8 I b i d . . V, 265 - 2 6 6 . 3 9 I b i d . . XIX, 6 . avec q u e l l e ardeur M. de V o l t a i r e , en courant l a g l o i r e , a p o u r s u i v i l a fortune."4® I r a s c i b l e , p e t t y , i n c o n s i s t e n t , v a i n , s e r v i c e , ava- r i c i o u s — a l l t hese t h i n g s he may be, but the Memoires are most harsh i n t h e i r c r i t i c i s m o f another f a i l i n g , t h a t o f h i s r e p e t i t i o u s n e s s . V o l t a i r e , we are f r e q u e n t l y t o l d , has "moins que jamais des ide'es neuves"j h i s L e t t r e s s u r l e s m i r a c l e s "ne f o n t que remacher l a meine chose, et M. de V o l - t a i r e lui-m8me ne f a i t que r e p e t e r ce q u ' i l a d e j a d i t — e t ce que t a n t d'autres a v a i e n t d i t avant l u i . " 4 i A l l such comments may be w e l l summed up i n one dated 1767: "Malgre' l e s p r e t e n t i o n s de M. de V o l t a i r e a r i r e et a f a i r e r i r e , l e s gens sense's ne v o i e n t p l u s en l u i qu fun malade attaque d'une a f f e c t i o n m6lancolique, d'une manie t r i s t e q u i l e r a p p e l l e t o u j o u r s aux memes i d e e s , s u i v a n t l a d e f i n i t i o n qu'on donne en medicine de c e t e t a t vaporeux: D e l i r i u m c i r c a unum et idem ob.iectum. " 4 2 Admiring him as the " a p o s t l e o f t o l e r a n c e , " the Memoires seem t o f e a r t h a t V o l t a i r e ' s grow- i n g i n t e n s i t y and r i g i d i t y w i l l d e f e a t h i s own purposes. Obviously, d i f f i c u l t y o f i n t e r p r e t a t i o n surrounds some o f the comments, especially those d e a l i n g w i t h V o l t a i r e ' s 4 0 I b i d . . VI, 45. 4 1 I b i d . , I I , 253. See a l s o I b i d . , I I , 62; IV, 247 - 248; V, 319; XIX, 106. 4 2 I b i d . . I l l , 236. a n t i - r e l i g i o u s works. Can, f o r example, the remarks on Saul be taken s e r i o u s l y ? "Ce n T e s t pas une p i e c e o r d i n a i r e , c T e s t une h o r r e u r dans l e gout de l a P u c e l l e mais beaucoup p l u s impie, p l u s abominable. On n T e n peut entendre l a l e c t u r e sans f r e m i r : c T e s t un t i s s u d timpie'tes r a r e s , d f h o r r e u r s a f a i r e d r e s s e r l e s cheveux. , C e t t e tr a g e c l i e e s t t o u j o u r s t r e s recherchee et t r e s peu repandue . . ."43 S u r e l y such a review would be an e x c e l l e n t recommendation, i t s tone o f shocked h o r r o r appeasing the censor w h i l e i n t r i g u i n g the p u b l i c . A l a t e r comment on the same p l a y , now p r i n t e d , m a i n t a i n s a c a r e - f u l apparent i m p a r t i a l i t y , remarking o n l y t h a t some f i n d i t " d e t e s t a b l e et dans l e fond et dans l a forme; i l s en re p r o u - vent l e s t y l e emphatique et simple t o u r a t o u r ; l e s a u t r e s l e regardent comme un chef-d'oeuvre d T i m p i e t e , mais comme un ouvrage p i t t o r e s q u e et p h i l o s o p h i q u e . " ^ Judgments o f t h i s type o ccur f r e q u e n t l y and tend t o p u z z l e the reader, f o r they appear to be c o n t r a r y t o the g e n e r a l l y l a t i t u d i n a r i a n s p i r i t o f the j o u r n a l . F u r t h e r examples are numerous. In 1764 a f t e r p r o d u c i n g a l i s t o f a n t i - r e l i g i o u s works by v a r i o u s authors, the e d i t o r s comment: "On ne peut regarder que comme t r e s r e d o u t a b l e un r e c u e i l d f a u t o r i t e " s et de raisonnements a u s s i f o r t s c o n t r e l a r e l i g i o n . " 4 ^ A work a t t r i b u t e d t o 43ibid., I , 1 9 1 . 44ibid.. I , 2 9 6 . 45ibid.. I I , 1 2 6 . V o l t a i r e , e n t i t l e d Doutes sur l a r e l i g i o n , an a n a l y s i s o f a t r e a t i s e by Spinoza, i s d e s c r i b e d as: "une d i s c u s s i o n assez seche, mais dangereuse, de 1 1 a u t h e n t i c i t y des l i v r e s de l ' E c r i t u r e S a i n t e , " with the added note t h a t " c ' e s t t o u j o u r s un p r o j e t abominable que d ' a v o i r mis a p o r t e e du commun des l e c t e u r s . . . l'e'norme d i s s e r t a t i o n de c e t athee, dont l e p o i s o n se t r o u v a i t noye" dans un f a t r a s de v e r b i a g e s . . ."4° The key i s perhaps found i n the Memoires themselves when, speaking of V o l t a i r e ' s d e n i a l s o f h i s own works, they add, "Rien de p l u s p l a i s a n t — e t de p l u s propre a en imposer a ceux q u i ne c o n n a i s s e n t pas l e dessous des c a r t e s . " 4 7 Only i n the l i g h t of t h e i r u n d e r l y i n g i r o n y can we f u l l y a p p r e c i a t e such remarks or the f o l l o w i n g , p e r t a i n i n g to V o l t a i r e ' s commentary on the l i f e o f S t . Paul, and h i s D i s s e r t a t i o n sur S t . P i e r r e , both s a i d t o be " n o u r r i s d'une e r u d i t i o n profonde et soutenue, d'une l o g i q u e c o n t r e l a q u e l l e i l e s t d i f f i c i l e de r e s i s t e r , ^ 4.8 sans l a grace s p e c i a l e d'une f o i v i v e et aveugle."^ Such f a i t h we are t o l d , was o n l y f o r " l e s e s p r i t s l e s p l u s f r i - v o l e s . " 4 9 B l i n d acceptance o f any f a i t h i s not a c h a r a c t e r - i s t i c o f e n l i g h t e n e d minds. 46ibid.. I l l , 287. 4 7 l b i d . , I I I , 132. 4 8 I b i d . . V, 192. 49ibid.. V, 195 - 196. When we weigh the t o t a l e f f e c t o f the o p i n i o n s con- c e r n i n g V o l t a i r e t h a t are encountered i n the Memoires we are somewhat s u r p r i s e d to f i n d t h a t so much of t h e c r i t i c i s m appears t o be h o s t i l e . Yet, u n d e r l y i n g t h i s apparent h a r s h - ness the reader d e t e c t s a sense o f admiration and a f f e c t i o n - a t e regard f o r h i s very worthwhile c o n t r i b u t i o n s . "De fades a d u l a t e u r s , des e'crivains mercenaires ne cessent d 1 e l ever des t r o p h i e s a l a g l o i r e de M. de V o l t a i r e , comme s i ses propres ouvrages n ' i t a i e n t pas un monument s u p e r i e u r a tous ceux qu'on p o u r r a i t l u i c o n s a c r e r . " ^ Of such a d u l a t i o n the Memoires s e c r e t s w i l l have no p a r t ; f r i e n d s h i p does not b l i n d t h e p a r o i s s i e n s t o the weaknesses o f "ce grand homme." Des- p i t e the b r e v i t y o f the comments, the p i c t u r e o f V o l t a i r e t h a t emerges from the j o u r n a l seems i n gene r a l an ac c u r a t e one even today. Perhaps a l s o i t i s V o l t a i r e ' s i n f l u e n c e t h a t the Memoires s e c r e t s themselves r e f l e c t . "Je v o i s avec p l a i s i r , " they r e p o r t the P a t r i a r c h e as s a y i n g i n September 1767, " q u ' i l se forme dans 1'Europe une Republique immense d ' e s p r i t s c u l t i v e s . . . »5 X i n a j o u r n a l designed to r e c o r d the h i s t o r y of t h i s Republique des L e t t r e s ^ 2 V o l t a i r e worth- i l y o c c u p i e s a dominant p l a c e . 5°Ibid., I l l , 50. 5 1 I b i d . , I l l , 261 5 2 P i e r r e Gaxotte i n Le S i e c l e de L o u i s XV. P a r i s , 1933, (ed. L i v r e de poche). pp. 243 - 245 g i v e s an account o f the Republique des l e t t r e s and V o l t a i r e i s again quoted: "Courage! F a i t e s un corps, messieurs . . . Ameutez-vous, et vous s e r e z l e s m a l t r e s . Je vous p a r l e en r e p u b l i c a i n , mais a u s s i i l s ' a g i t de l a r e p u b l i q u e des l e t t r e s ! " CHAPTER IV THE MEMOIRES SECRETS; ROUSSEAU AND DIDEROT The value of the Memoires secrets l i e s not only i n i t s factual content but also i n the i n s i g h t i t affords into contemporary opinion. In the case of V o l t a i r e , we have already noted the f a i r l y sophisticated range of ap- p r a i s a l contained i n i t s pages. With regard to Rousseau and Diderot, however, the entries reveal i n varying degrees l e s s awareness of the true stature of these two great writers. The f i r s t two volumes of the Memoires give Rousseau, then at the peak of his r e l a t i v e l y b r i e f l i t e r a r y career, even more p u b l i c i t y than they grant to his great r i v a l V o l - t a i r e . Rousseau's Nouvelle H61o'ise had already scored an immediate and outstanding success,*" to which, unfortunately, no detailed reference i s made i n the Memoires. On May 22, 1762, the chronicle records the appearance of Emile, followed a month l a t e r by l e Contrat s o c i a l ; from then u n t i l the end of the year some t h i r t y entries i n close succession record the fortunes of these two works and t h e i r author. Frequent comment continues u n t i l 1765. Thereafter, i n t e r e s t centers ^"C'est a beaucoup pres, s i l'on en excepte V o l t a i r e , l e plus grand succes de l i b r a i r i e du s i e c l e . Seul Candide pourrait f o u r n i r des c h i f f r e s Equivalents." (70 editions, 1761-1800.) Mornet, D. Rousseau. Paris, 1950, p. 88. c h i e f l y about Rousseau's t r i b u l a t i o n s and wanderings, and items c o n c e r n i n g him g r a d u a l l y become fewer. No c l o s e l i n k seems t o connect Rousseau and Madame Doublet's p a r o i s s e . as i n the case o f V o l t a i r e and d'Argental That Rousseau was, however, acquainted with some o f the p a r o i s s i e n s i s i n d i c a t e d i n h i s C o n f e s s i o n s . f o r he r e p o r t s h a v i n g met the Abbe de B e r n i s at the home o f Madame D u p i n 2 and a l s o r e c o r d s the f r i e n d l y i n t e r e s t shown him by Madame de Besenval and her daughter: "Des l o r s j ' o s a i compter que Mme l a baronne de Beuzenval et Mme l a marquise de B r o g l i e prenant i n t e r S t a moi ne me l a i s s e r a i e n t pas longtemps sans r e s s o u r c e s , et j e ne me trompai pas . . ."° He seems a l s o t o have known the Abbe Prevost, whose n o v e l s he g r e a t l y ad- m i r e d . 4 C h o i s e u l , too, had shown him kindness, although h i s w i f e , Madame Doublet's grand-niece, had found " l e sauvage c i t o y e n de Geneve" too u n c u l t u r e d f o r her tastes.** She c o u l d 2Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. Oeuvres completes. P l e i a d e ed., I (1959), 289 - 290. 3 I b i d . . I , 291. 4 C l a i r e - E l i a n e Engel, i n her work e n t i t l e d l e V e r i - t a b l e Abbe P r e v o s t . Monaco, 1957, p. 107 notes: "Prevost e s t depuis longtemps en r a p p o r t s avec son grand emule et d i s c i p l e Jean-Jacques Rousseau e t, par m i r a c l e , i l s ne se b r o u i l l e n t pas." ^Rousseau, op_. ext., p. 1544 c o n t a i n s an i n t e r e s t i n g note about Mme Doublet's grand-niece: "Sainte-Beuve ( L u n d i s , XIV, 225) c i t e ce mot de l a duchessede C h o i s e u l : 'Je me s u i s t o u j o u r s mefiee de ce Rousseau, avec ses systemes s i n g u l i e r e s son accoutrement e x t r a o r d i n a i r e et sa c h a i r e d'Eloquence p o r t e d sur l e s t o i t s des maisons: i l m'a t o u j o u r s paru un charlatan.»" 58 a p p a r e n t l y , admire p h i l o s o p h e s o n l y when they were o f her own c l a s s . The p a r o i s s i e n s q u i t e o b v i o u s l y shared the p r e v a i l i n g i n t e r e s t i n Rousseau and h i s works and we note t h a t the Mdmoires s e c r e t s a l l o t to Emile what we would term e x c e l l e n t news-coverage: p r e l i m i n a r y announcements, c r i t i c i s m s o f con- t e n t and s t y l e , r e p o r t s of p u b l i c r e a c t i o n , d e t a i l s o f en- s u i n g c o n t r o v e r s i e s and items o f p e r s o n a l i n t e r e s t about the author. Such thorough treatment o f t h i s important work en- a b l e s us to a r r i v e at a f a i r l y p r e c i s e a p p r e c i a t i o n of the p a r o i s s i e n s * view of Rousseau. Approval of Rousseau's s t y l e i s i m p l i c i t i n the very f i r s t announcement of Emile ou de 1'education, which i s des- c r i b e d as an a t t r a c t i v e and w e l l - p r i n t e d book t h a t i s c u r - r e n t l y a r o u s i n g much c u r i o s i t y . Reference at the same time i s made to t h e author's " a r t s i d u i s a n t . " ^ A few days l a t e r a p r e l i m i n a r y c r i t i c a l comment terms t h i s work " s i n g u l i e r , comme t o u t ce q u i s o r t de l a plume de ce p h i l o s o p h e " and, n o t i n g i t s b o l d a t t a c k s a g a i n s t r e l i g i o n and government, pr o p h e s i e s t h a t "ce l i v r e , a coup sur, f e r a de p e i n e a l ' a u t e u r . " The e n t r y concludes w i t h a remark t y p i c a l o f the Memoires: "Nous y r e v i e n d r o n s , quand nous l ' a u r o n s mieux dige're. 1 , 7 Four days ^Memoires s e c r e t s . I, 92. The entry i s dated May 22, 1762. 7 I b i d . , I , 94 - 95. 59 l a t e r , the j o u r n a l records t h a t " l e l i v r e d e Rousseau occa- slonne du scandale de p l u s en p l u s . Le g l a i v e et l ' e n c e n s o i r se r e u n i s s e n t c o n t r e l ' a u t e u r , et ses amis l u i ont temoigne" g q u ' i l y a v a i t a c r a i n d r e pour l u i . " In r a p i d s u c c e s s i o n we l e a r n o f the b u r n i n g o f the book i n P a r i s and Geneva and the f l i g h t of the author, "decrete de p r i s e de c o r p s . " 9 From the s e p r e l i m i n a r y d e t a i l s , the Memoires t u r n to the promised review of the content and s t y l e o f t h i s c o n t r o - v e r s i a l work. In i t , they c l a i m t o g i v e "un r e s u l t a t des jugements sur ce l i v r e , q u i ne sont p o i n t a u s s i d i v e r s qu'on p o u r r a i t l e presumer a l'e'gard d'un ouvrage a u s s i s i n g u l i e r . " Three o b j e c t i o n s are given to the m a t e r i a l presented by Rous- seau. F i r s t , i f the p r e c e p t s i n t h i s work are, by the auth- o r ' s admission, "d|une e x e c u t i o n i m p o s s i b l e , " what i s the p r a c t i c a l value of such a work, "l o r s q u ' o n s a i t q u ' i l ne s e r v i r a de r i e n ? " Secondly, the author draws h e a v i l y upon othe r sources, e s p e c i a l l y Locke, whom he has p r o f e s s e d t o s c o r n . F i n a l l y , " l ' a u t e u r ne f a i t dans t o u t son l i v r e que d e t r u i r e l ' o b j e t pour l e q u e l i l e c r i t " s i n c e , i n s t e a d o f t r a i n i n g a c h i l d i n h i s d u t i e s to God and man, "on a n e a n t i t t o u t e r e l i g i o n , on d e t r u i t t o u t e s o c i e t e . " As a r e s u l t , a c h i l d r a i s e d by Rousseau's system, although presumably °Ibid.. I, 95. 9 I b i d . , I, 100. The j o u r n a l a l s o r e c o r d s the ban imposed on Sauvigny's Mort de S o c r a t e at the Come^die f r a n c a i s e "a cause de l ' a f f a i r e Jean-Jacques." ( i b i d . , I , 103 - 104*.) v i r t u o u s and t a l e n t e d , " f i n i t par e t r e un misanthrope degoute de tous l e s e t a t s , q u i n'en r e m p l i t aucun, et va p l a n t e r des choux a l a campagne e t f a i r e des e n fants a sa femme."^-0 F o l l o w i n g t h i s c o n s e r v a t i v e r e a c t i o n to Rousseau's t h e o r i e s of p r o g r e s s i v e education, the review proceeds to a n a l y s e the c o n t e n t s o f each volume o f Emile s e p a r a t e l y , most a t t e n t i o n b e i n g g i v e n t o the f i r s t and f o u r t h volumes. In the former, Rousseau's views on i n f a n t r e a r i n g a r e touched upon, h i s i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s noted, and t h e substance summed up as "peu de chose, s i l ' o n s'en t e n a i t aux simples maximes u s u e l l e s q u ' i l y de"bite." The appeal of t h i s volume i s seen as l y i n g not i n i t s content, but i n i t s s t y l e : "C'est done par un t a l e n t r a r e q u ' i l a l e s e c r e t d'enchainer son l e c t e u r et de 1 * empe*cher de v o i r l e v i d e de ce l i v r e . Son eloquence male, r a p i d e et b r u l a n t e , p o r t e de 1'interest dans l e s p l u s grandes m i n u t i e s . " Volume f o u r , c o n t a i n i n g "une d i s s e r t a t i o n sur l a maniere d'iduquer l e s f i l l e s " f i n d s more favour, as b e i n g both more r e a s o n a b l e — " u n chef-d'oeuvre d'autant p l u s s e d u i s a n t q u ' i l ne p a r a i t p o i n t hors de l a n a t u r e " — a n d at the same time more e m o t i o n a l l y t o u c h i n g : "on e s t a t t e n d r i jusqu'aux larmes dans ce morceau de d e t a i l s l e s p l u s i n t e r e s - s a n t s . " Again, the Memoires p r e d i c t t r o u b l e with the auth- l O l b i d . , I , 105 - 106. o r i t i e s , f o r they note t h a t Emile c o n t a i n s "des a s s e r t i o n s t r e s dangereuses c e n t r e l e s p u i s s a n c e s . " x x In g e n e r a l , the o p i n i o n s expressed i n t h i s review are t y p i c a l o f those elsewhere i n the Memoires c o n c e r n i n g Rousseau. L i k e the great contemporary r e a d i n g p u b l i c , the p a r o i s s i e n s d e t e c t e d i n h i s works new and f a s c i n a t i n g t r e n d s which they d i d not always f u l l y understand. Many of the s p e c i f i c t h e o r i e s i n Emile pass unnoticed, or at l e a s t r e c e i v e l i t t l e comment, and modern re a d e r s , aware o f p a s t developments i n education, may s m i l e to l e a r n t h a t "ce l i v r e , p l e i n de b e l l e s s p e c u l a t i o n s , ne sera d'aucun usage dans l a p r a t i q u e . " I t s appeal i s t h a t o f a c u r i o s i t y , a v i s i o n a r y ' s dream: "On l e l i t , et on l e l i r a sans doute avec avidite', p a r ce que l'homme aime mieux l e s i n g u l i e r que 1 * u t i l e . " I n a d d i t i o n , they f e e l t h a t the author possesses to a supreme degree " l a p a r t i e du sentiment," adding, "Eh! Que ne pardonne-t-on pas a q u i s a i t emouvoir?" The C o n t r a t s o c i a l , which appeared a few weeks l a t e r , i s l e s s c a r e f u l l y analysed, although the Memoires prese n t s u f f i c i e n t d e t a i l s to arouse the i n t e r e s t o f t h e i r r e a d e r s . The f i r s t announcement i n d i c a t e s the d i f f i c u l t y o f o b t a i n i n g c o p i e s . x 3 S h o r t l y t h e r e a f t e r , a b r i e f o u t l i n e o f the main l x I b i d . , I , 106 - 108 1 2 I b i d . . I, 108 - 109. 1 3 l b i d . . I, 115. "Le C o n t r a t s o c i a l se repand peu & peu. On en f a i t v e n i r par l a p o s t e de H o l l a n d e . On e c r i t seulement l e s noms de ceux a q u i sont adresses l e s exemplaires. 62 theme of the work appears, preceded by a c a r e f u l l y worded statement, i n i t s e l f a subtle recommendation to enlightened minds: nLe Contrat s o c i a l se repand insensiblement. I I est t r e s important qu Tun p a r e i l ouvrage ne fermente pas dans l e s tStes f a c i l e s a s f e x a l t e r : i l en r e s u l t e r a i t de tres grands disordres. Heureusement que 1 Tauteur s'est enveloppe* dans une obscurite' s c i e n t i f i q u e qui l e rend impe'ne'trable au commun des lecteurs. Au reste, i l ne f a i t que developper des maximes que tout l e monde a gravees sur son coeur; i l d i t des choses ordinaires d fune facon s i abstraite qu fon l e s c r o i t mer- v e i l l e u s e s . " ^ 4 Both the Contrat s o c i a l and Emile provoked a storm of controversy. The Memoires record some of the accusations l e v e l l e d at Rousseau and h i s attempts to refute them."^ One item i n t h i s b a t t l e i s "une l e t t r e s i n g u l i e r e d'un auteur toujours s i n g u l i e r : intitule'e Lettre de Jean-Jacques Rousseau a Christophe de Beaumont. Cet auteur y discute l e mandement de M. 1 1Archeveque, et defend son Emile avec sa force et sa 16 chaleur o r d i n a i r e . " In reference to t h i s l e t t e r , obviously 1 4 I b i d . , I, 133. l^One can detect a growing note of approval i n the Memoires as Rousseau continues to attack his c r i t i c s . From "Jean-Jacques Rousseau," as he i s c a l l e d early i n 1762, he becomes " l e moderne Diogene" ( I , 240; 244 - 245; 276 - 277), •aUmmortel Rousseau" ( I , 305 - 306), and " l e c i l e b r e p r o s c r i t " ( I I , 5 6 ) . 16ibid.. I, 237. 63 s t u d i e d w i t h c a r e by the p a r o i s s e . the Memoires l a t e r add: "Nous venons de l a l i r e : meme s i m p l i c i t e , meme f o r c e de l o g i q i i e , meme energie dans l e s t y l e que dans ses a u t r e s o u v rages. x? Weaknesses i n attempts to d i s c r e d i t Rousseau are w e l l p u b l i c i z e d . With amused d e l i g h t the j o u r n a l announces the f i r s t volume o f the verbose Abbe" Yvon's Rebonse a l a l e t t r e de J . J . Rousseau a C h r i s t o p h e de Beaumont. Archeygque de P a r i s which c o n t a i n s a le n g t h y p r e f a c e and the f i r s t o f f i f - teen l e t t e r s proposed: " C ' e s t - a - d i r e que, pour r e f u t e r une brochure t r e s mince, ce champion volumineux se d i s p o s e a donner au p u b l i c une s u i t e de t r o i s ou quatre volumes in-12. Quant au s t y l e , personne n'osera l e mettre en p a r a l l e l e avec 1-8 l a plume brftlante de Rousseau." In another i n s t a n c e t he p a r o i s s i e n s g i v e i r o n i c p r a i s e t o the censor Marin who, "dans une sage p r o d u c t i o n , a vo u l u f a i r e quelques e f f o r t s pour repousser l e s dangereux sophismes du p h i l o s o p h e de Geneve." S i n c e h i s success was t h a t of " l e pot de t e r r e c o n t r e l e pot de f e r , " the Memoires ask, "Pourquoi done v o u l o i r € t r e ' I b i d . , 241. T h i s p r a i s e f o r Rousseau's l o g i c d i d not, however, prevent t h e i r commenting, a t a s t i l l l a t e r date, on the i n c o n s i s t e n c y o f Rousseau's r e l i g i o u s views as expressed i n t h i s l e t t e r . ( i b i d . , 250 - 251.) T h i s i n c o n - s i s t e n c y was noted by V o l t a i r e , who ap p a r e n t l y was d e l i g h t e d and f e l t t h a t Rousseau c o u l d again be counted among the p h i l o s o p h e s . "He swears he i s a C h r i s t i a n , and makes our hol y r e l i g i o n as r i d i c u l o u s as co u l d be imagined." ( T o r r e y , N. L. S p i r i t o f V o l t a i r e . New York, 1938, p. 112.) ^Memoires s e c r e t s . I , 250 - 251. b r i s e ? " x 9 Another c o n t r o v e r s y f o l l o w e d the appearance o f the L e t t r e s e c r i t e s de l a campagne, an attempt by M. Tr o n c h i n , p r o c u r o r - g e n e r a l at Geneva, t o j u s t i f y the a c t i o n s of the a u t h o r i t i e s t h e r e a g a i n s t Rousseau. T h i s work provoked i n r e p l y Rousseau's L e t t r e s e'crites de l a montaane, recorded f i r s t i n the Memoires f o r January 1, 1765. 2® Gnce again both content and s t y l e are evaluated, the whole work summarized as: "Toujours meme ener g i e de s t y l e , meme vigueur de s e n t i - ments, meme paradoxes." In a d d i t i o n to reviews o f Rousseau's c h i e f works, a l r e a d y i n d i c a t e d , s c a t t e r e d r e f e r e n c e s are found to some o f h i s other w r i t i n g s . The f i r s t volume o f the Memoires speaks o f "un roman nouveau, i n t i t u l e Edouard." news of which has reached the p a r o i s s e . but of which no more i s s a i d . 2 2 Of Rousseau as a poet, only one comment i s found, dated 1763> co n c e r n i n g the r e p r i n t i n g o f l ' A l l e e de S i l v i e : "Ce n'est pas assurement l e m e i l l e u r de ses ouvrages: on sent b i e n que l a g a l a n t e r i e n'est pas son f a i t ; on y tro u v e cependant une facon de penser l i b r e q u i f a i t p l a i s i r et q u i donne un c a r a c t e r e o r i g i n a l a c e t t e p r o d u c t i o n , t o u t e mediocre q u ' e l l e 19 I b i d . . I , 312 - 313 2 0 I b i d . . I I , 150 - 151. 2 1 I b i d . , I I , 153. See a l s o p. 156. 2 2 I b i d . . I , 94. "Ce sont l e s aventures d'un A n g l a i s q u i joue un r o l e dans l e roman de J u l i e . " 2 7 s o i t . " ° As f o r h i s music, one r e f e r e n c e notes the unsuc- c e s s f u l p r o d u c t i o n i n 1765 o f a l i t t l e "motet a v o i x s e u l e " t h a t f a i l e d t o r e v e a l t h e t a l e n t o f Rousseau*s Devin du v i l l a g e ; 2 4 another notes a r e h e a r s a l o f Neuf muses, "d*ou on a c o n c l u que c e t opera n * e t a i t pas j o u a b l e . " 2 ^ of more importance i s h i s D i c t i o n n a i r e de musique ( 1 7 6 7 ) , which the Memoires i n a c o n c i s e and r a t h e r severe review see as incom- p l e t e , somewhat i n a c c u r a t e , and not too w e l l o r g a n i z e d . D e s p i t e t h e s e shortcomings, however, t h e c h r o n i c l e r notes the amazing depth of knowledge r e v e a l e d i n some areas: "On ne c o n c o i t pas comment un homme q u i a autant s e n t i , autant p e n s i , peut a v o i r a c q u i s a ce d e g r i l a t h e o r i e d Tun a r t , a u s s i a r i d e et degoQtant dans ses p r i n c i p e s , qu*agreable dans ses e f f e t s . " One f i n a l r e v i e w 2 7 i s o f i n t e r e s t , as i t concerns a work which i n some ways p r e f i g u r e s modern l i t e r a r y experiments, 2 3 I b i d . . XVI, 199 - 2 0 0 . T h i s poem, composed i n 1 7 4 7 , was f i r s t p u b l i s h e d i n the Mercure de France o f Septem- ber, 1 7 5 0 . See Rousseau Ts Oeuvres completes. P l i i a d e ed., I I , 1 8 9 8 . The poem i t s e l f can be found on pages 1146 - 1149 of the same work. 2 4 I b i d . . XVI, 2 6 7 . 2 5 i b i d . . I l l , 3 3 2 . 2 6 I b i d . . I l l , 310 - 3 1 1 . 27 'Rumours o f Rousseau*s C o n f e s s i o n s , a n t i c i p a t e d w i t h m i s g i v i n g s i n some q u a r t e r s , had e v i d e n t l y reached the p a r o i s s e . The only r e f e r e n c e i s , however, the n o t a t i o n t h a t " i l p a r a x t faux que ce grand homme f a s s e imprimer a pr e s e n t ses memoires . . . " I b i d . , IV, 62 - 6 3 . 66 T h i s was Rousseau*s Pygmalion, "ouvrage d'un genre unique, en un ac t e , en une scene, et n'ayant qu'un a c t e u r . " W r i t t e n "en prose, sans musique v o c a l e " but wit h o r c h e s t r a l accompani- ment , i t was a g r e a t success both a t Lyons where i t was f i r s t performed and l a t e r a t P a r i s . The Memoires o u t l i n e the p l o t and have warm p r a i s e f o r " l a prose b r i l l a n t e , t e l l e que l e s e n d r o i t s l e s p l u s v i f s d ' H e l o i s e . " They add: " I I y regne autant de sentiment que de p h i l o s o p h i c eloquente q u i anime, 28 q u i r e c h a u f f e , q u i embrasse t o u t e l a nature . . . " A O The "sauvage c i t o y e n de Geneve" seems, i n s h o r t , t o have c a p t i - vated the h e a r t s o f t h e i n t e l l e c t u a l p a r o i s s i e n s . Of the roughly one hundred and t w e n t y - f i v e e n t r i e s c o n c e r n i n g Rousseau i n the f i r s t f i v e volumes of the Memoires. only h a l f d e a l w i t h h i s w r i t i n g s . The r e s t a re news j o t t i n g s , r e p o r t s o f rumours or s p e c u l a t i o n about the man h i m s e l f — h i s q u a r r e l s and wanderings, h i s h e a l t h , h i s s u f f e r i n g s , h i s per- s o n a l q u a l i t i e s , h i s occupations, h i s income. H i s r e l a t i o n s w i t h V o l t a i r e are touched upon i n s e v e r a l items, one a r e f e r - ence t o a c a r i c a t u r e "ou tous deux sont tournes en r i d i c u l e , " 2 and another a r e f e r e n c e t o Rousseau's c o n t r i b u t i o n of two l o u i s towards the c o s t o f a s t a t u e b e i n g e r e c t e d t o V o l t a i r e : " a c t e de g e n e r o s i t e b i e n huimliant pour ce d e r n i e r ; facon b i e n n o b l e de se venger de l a s o r t i e i n d i c e n t e et c r u e l l e que ^ " I b i d . . V, 243 2 9 I b i d . . I , 144 - 244. - 145. 67 1' a u t r e a f a i t e c e n t r e ce grand homme . . . et de s'e'lever i n f i n i m e n t au-dessus de l u i aupres de tous ceux q u i c o n n a i s - 10 sent l a v r a i e grandeur." The Memoires do not s t r o n g l y take s i d e s i n the c o n t r o v e r s y between Rousseau and h i s former f r i e n d s of the p h i l o s o p h e p a r t y but they d e p l o r e what they 11 see as V o l t a i r e ' s p e t t i n e s s 0 and t h e i r sympathy i s wxth Rousseau, an a d m i t t e d l y d i f f i c u l t man to get a l o n g with, but p e r s e c u t e d f o r h i s b e l i e f s . The e n t r i e s about Rousseau, w h i l e fewer i n number than those c o n c e r n i n g V o l t a i r e , are o f t e n l o n g e r and more d e t a i l e d , a f a c t which serves perhaps as an a c c u r a t e measure o f the r e l a t i v e i n t e r e s t aroused by Jean-Jacques. In gen- e r a l , t h e comments ar e c l e a r and s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d , although at times the same c a r e f u l ambiguity of wording a l r e a d y noted i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h much of V o l t a i r e ' s work a l s o o c c u r s . The a d j e c t i v e most o f t e n a p p l i e d to both Rousseau and h i s work i s " s i n g u l i e r ' V j i both the author and h i s i d e a s a r e seen as r e q u i r i n g d i s c u s s i o n and lengthy c o n s i d e r a t i o n . O c c a s i o n a l l y r e s i s t a n t to or unimpressed by h i s t h e o r i e s , always a l e r t t o h i s i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s , the Memoires n e v e r t h e l e s s admire h i s 3°Ibid.. V, 168. 3 1 I b i d . , I I I , 201. R e f e r r i n g to V o l t a i r e ' s poem La Guerre de GeneVe. "une s a t i r e h o r r i b l e c o n t r e J.J.R," the e n t r y concludes: "L'humanite s e u l e reclame c o n t r e c e t abominable ouvrage." 68 boldness of e x p r e s s i o n and a p p r e c i a t e h i s sweeping sentiment and f o r c e f u l prose, s e n s i n g t h e r e i n a new t r e n d . *• * * As f o r D i d e r o t , the other great w r i t e r under c o n s i - d e r a t i o n , i n t h i s dhapter, l i t t l e i n f o r m a t i o n i s g i v e n about e i t h e r the man or h i s work and a c a r e f u l s e a r c h r e v e a l s o n l y 11 some twenty items f o r t h i s e n t i r e decade. The p i c t u r e of him t h a t emerges from the Memoires i s , t h e r e f o r e , sketchy and r a t h e r d i s a p p o i n t i n g to the t w e n t i e t h - c e n t u r y reader. Some i n f o r m a t i o n o f i n t e r e s t i s g i v e n : we read, f o r example, of h i s f r i e n d s h i p w i t h the Empress o f R u s s i a , o f her i n v i t a - t i o n t o him to v i s i t her c o u r t and o f her purchase o f h i s 12 l i b r a r y . The j o u r n a l a l s o r e c o r d s P a o l i ' s request t h a t Rousseau and D i d e r o t draw up a code of laws f o r C o r s i c a . T h i s request, viewed as l o g i c a l i n the case o f the author o f the C o n t r a t s o c i a l . i s questioned i n D i d e r o t ' s case: "On ne v o i t pas en quoi i l a pu m e r i t e r une d i s t i n c t i o n a u s s i f l a t - t e u s e . " 3 3 i n a d d i t i o n , the Memoires c o n t a i n a b r i e f r e f e r - ence t o D i d e r o t ' s f r i e n d s h i p w i t h D a m i l a v i l l e 3 4 and a l e t t e r 3 x H i s c o n n e c t i o n with the p a r o i s s e does not seem to have been c l o s e . V o l t a i r e ' s correspondence i n d i c a t e s t h a t d ' A r g e n t a l must have known D i d e r o t q u i t e w e l l , as he i s asked t o r e c e i v e from D i d e r o t c e r t a i n papers and a r t i c l e s b e l o n g i n g t o V o l t a i r e . (Correspondence. XXIII, 110, 118, 145, 149.) 3 2Memoires s e c r e t s . I, 150; I I , 195; I I I , 130 - 131. These items, as w e l l as t h a t i n I I , 233 - 234 a l s o imply p r a i s e o f the " b i e n f a i s a n c e " of t h i s e n l i g h t e n e d monarch. 3 3 I b i d . . I I , 132 - 133. 3 4 I b i d . . IV, 215. 69 i n which V o l t a i r e remarks upon the poor treatment D i d e r o t has experienced at the hands of Rousseau. 3-* Although these items are of i n t e r e s t , they do l i t t l e to r e v e a l D i d e r o t as the major l i t e r a r y f i g u r e he i s judged to be today. I n t h i s r e s p e c t , however, i n f o r m a t i o n i s a l s o sparse. The Memoires r e f e r t o D i d e r o t ' s d i s l i k e of G o l d o n i , r e s u l t i n g from F r i r o n ' s s u g g e s t i o n s of p l a g i a r i s m . H i s important r o l e as d i r e c t o r of the E n c y c l o p e d i c i s b a r e l y touched upon i n these e a r l y volumes, the Memoires n o t i n g o n l y h i s i n t e r v e n t i o n i n a b o o k s e l l e r s ' d i s p u t e which has a t t r a c t e d t o him " 1 * i n d i g n a t i o n generale des gens de l e t t r e s " 37 and " l e r i d i c u l e u n i v e r s e l . " Even h i s c o n t r i b u t i o n s as a p h i l o s o p h e appear t o pass l a r g e l y unremarked, except f o r one e n t h u s i a s t i c r e f e r e n c e to an E s s a i sur l e s pre\juges ou de 1 ' i n f l u e n c e des o p i n i o n s sur l e s moeurs et sur l e bonheur des hommes par M. D. D.~ The i n i t i a l s would i n d i c a t e t h a t the essay was (mistakenly) a t t r i b u t e d t o D i d e r o t . In any case, i t i s termed " l a m e i l l e u r e preuve qu'on p u i s s e f o u r n i r des progres de l a r a i s o n humaine depuis quelques anne'es." 3 8 3 5 I b i d . . I l l , 176. 3 6 I b i d . . I, 191; I I , 108 - 109; I I , 185. 3 7 I b i d . , V, 365, 376 - 377. 3 8 I b i d . . V, 21 - 23. The i n i t i a l s may, o f course, be a t y p o g r a p h i c a l e r r o r from which the f i r s t e d i t i o n of the Memoires s e c r e t s i s by no means f r e e . B a r b i e r , i n h i s D i c t i o n - n a i r e des ouvrages anonvmes. P a r i s , 1872, I I , 262 - 263 g i v e s the i n i t i a l s M. D. M., n o t i n g : " l e s i n i t i a l e s p l a c i e s sur l e f r o n t i s p i c e ont f a i t a t t r i b u e r c e t ouvrage "a Dumarsais . . ." In r e a l i t y , says B a r b i e r , the essay was by d'Holbach. Only h i s drames r e c e i v e any d e t a i l e d c o n s i d e r a t i o n and even here the author seems to be l a r g e l y overlooked, a t t e n t i o n b e i n g f o c u s s e d upon the p l o t and the t r e n d t o s e n t i m e n t a l i t y and pathos d e v e l o p i n g i n t h i s "age of reason." In the case o f l e Pere de f a m i l l e t h e reviews are i n t e r e s t i n g f o r t h e i r p o r t r a y a l of i t s overwhelming e f f e c t s upon audiences o f the day. Everyone wept, we are t o l d ; "on comptait autant de mouchoirs que de s p e c t a t e u r s , " 3 9 and at one performance i n December 1769, a woman was so overcome "au moment ou l e jeune homme defend l'epe'e a l a main sa ma i t r e s s e qu'on veut e n l e v e r , " that she was s e i z e d w i t h con- v u l s i o n s and had to be a s s i s t e d from t h e t h e a t r e . I t s emo- t i o n a l appeal i s i n d i c a t e d by " l a f u r e u r avec l a q u e l l e l e p a r t e r r e , l o r s q u ' o n e st venu annoncer l a r e p r i s e d'Hamlet . . . s ' e s t recrie': 'Point d'Hamlet I l e Pere de f a m i l l e ! : et c e l a a p l u s i e u r s f o i s . " 4 ^ A d i f f e r e n t r e c e p t i o n , however, attended the p e r f o r - mance i n September, 1771, o f l e F i l s n a t u r e l . "ce drame imprime i l y a v i n g t ans, et q u i f i t beaucoup de b r u i t a sa na i s s a n c e p ar sa s i n g u l a r i t e , p a r l e s p r e t e n t i o n s de son auteur, et par 1 ' e c l a t avec l e q u e l ses p a r t i s a n s l e pronent." The q u e s t i o n o f p l a g i a r i s m i s r a i s e d again, and the near- 3 9Memoires s e c r e t s . I l l , 333 - 334. 4 0 l b i d . , V, 36 - 3 7 . The Hamlet was an a d a p t a t i o n by J . F. Ducis o f Shakespeare's p l a y . See Lancaster, O P . ext., pp. 571, 615. f a i l u r e of t h i s performance, "d'une f r o i d e u r i n s o u t e n a b l e , " i s recorded as a h u m i l i a t i n g experience f o r D i d e r o t , a t t r i - b u t a b l e p o s s i b l y to h i s c u r r e n t u n p o p u l a r i t y i n the book- s e l l e r s ' a f f a i r a l r e a d y mentioned.4'*" These volumes o f the Memoires g i v e no d i r e c t c r i t i c i s m o f the drame as a l i t e r a r y genre other than n o t i n g i t s p o p u l a r a p p e a l 4 2 and r e c o r d i n g an i n s t a n c e i n which an author acknowledges h i s debt to the " s e n s i b i l i t e " he has found i n D i d e r o t ' s p l a y s . 4 3 The l i m i t e d view of D i d e r o t a f f o r d e d i n the Memoires s e c r e t s , i s . of course a r e f l e c t i o n of the l i m i t e d knowledge o f h i s work then a v a i l a b l e , s i n c e h i s major l i t e r a r y produc- t i o n s were t o appear posthumously. To h i s contemporaries i n g e n e r a l he was o n l y the hard-working d i r e c t o r of the Encv- clope'die and the author of s e v e r a l drames bo u r g e o i s . To the p a r o i s s i e n s he was a l s o of i n t e r e s t as a member o f the p h i l o s o p h e company. A p p r e c i a t i o n o f h i s q u a l i t i e s as an a r t c r i t i c , as a dramatic t h e o r e t i c i a n and as a n o v e l i s t i s not recorded i n these volumes. A study of Rousseau and D i d e r o t as p o r t r a y e d i n the Memoires s e c r e t s i l l u s t r a t e s both the l i m i t a t i o n s and values of such a j o u r n a l i s t i c r e c o r d . Contemporary judgements are 41lbid., V, 384. S ee a l s o the e a r l i e r r e f e r e n c e i n f o o t n o t e 37. g e n e r a l , as w i l l be shown i n my Chapter V,,;. the p a r o i s s i e n s appear to disapprove o f the drame. 4 3Memoires s e c r e t s . I l l , 118. o f n e c e s s i t y incomplete: t h e Memoires do not f o r e s e e t h e p o t e n t i a l l y widespread f u t u r e i n f l u e n c e o f Rousseau's w r i t - i n g s , any more than they r e v e a l a f u l l a p p r e c i a t i o n o f D i d e r o t ' s t r u e greatness. They p r o v i d e , n e v e r t h e l e s s , v a l u a b l e f a c t u a l i n f o r m a t i o n t h a t r e i n f o r c e s o r supplements knowledge a v a i l a b l e from other sources c o n c e r n i n g p u b l i c o p i n i o n o f the day and the problems encountered by these two great men who addressed t h e i r w r i t i n g s as much to p o s t e r i t y as t o t h e i r own contemporaries. CHAPTER V A DECADE OF THEATRE IN THE MEMOIRES SECRETS The wealth o f m a t e r i a l r e c o r d e d i n the Mimoires s e c r e t s enables the reader to t r a c e not only t h e a c t i v i t i e s o f i n d i v i d u a l authors but a l s o t h e e v o l u t i o n of o p i n i o n r e - g a r d i n g v a r i o u s l i t e r a r y genres. Of these, the t h e a t r e r e - c e i v e s the most e x t e n s i v e treatment and e n t r i e s c o n c e r n i n g i t can be found on almost every page. Such p r o f u s i o n i s i n d i c a t i v e o f the ferment then o c c u r r i n g i n t h i s area as t h e t h e a t r e , caught up i n the s p i r i t o f the age, continued t o move away from i t s t r a d i t i o n a l forms and p r e o c c u p a t i o n s . Members o f Madame Doublet's c i r c l e o b v i o u s l y shared the i n t e r e s t i n the t h e a t r e common to c u l t u r e d s o c i e t y of t h e time and d i s c u s s i o n of c u r r e n t p l a y s must have been a prominent f e a t u r e o f the gatherings a t l e s F i l l e s S a i n t - Thomas . Furthermore, a number o f the p a r o i s s i e n s had them- s e l v e s l o n g been a s s o c i a t e d with t h e t h e a t r e . No doubt i t i s t o them t h a t we owe much of the s e r i o u s comment i n the Memoires as w e l l as the s p i c i e r items of backstage g o s s i p that e n l i v e n the c h r o n i c l e and g i v e credence t o the r e p u t a - t i o n f o r piquancy claimed f o r Madame Doublet's n o u v e l l e s . Of the group, the Abb6 de Voisenon was probably a t t h e time the most a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a n t i n t h e a t r i c a l a f f a i r s . He had achieved a c e r t a i n r e p u t a t i o n both as the author o f a number of l i g h t comedies and as the acknowledged l o v e r o f Madame F a v a r t , the a c t r e s s . Rumour a l s o suggested t h a t he was the unacknowledged author of many of her husband's p l a y s — a view s t r o n g l y supported i n the Memoires s e c r e t s . 2 P i r o n , too, beloved of the p a r o i s s e f o r h i s w i t t y epigrams, was an experienced p l a y w r i g h t who i n h i s younger days had gained fame w i t h h i s comedy Me'tromanie (1738) and had shown o r i g i n a l i t y and t a l e n t i n the f i e l d o f tragedy. Pont de V e y l e a l s o had a p p a r e n t l y ventured i n t o the f i e l d o f drama as author of a l i t t l e one-act p l a y , l e Fat p u n i . performed f i r s t i n 1738 and s e v e r a l times t h e r e a f t e r . 4 As f o r the b e a u t i f u l and c u l t u r e d Madame du Boccage, her c l a s s i c a l tragedy l e s Amazones (1749), though c o l d l y r e c e i v e d , won her the d i s t i n c t i o n of b e i n g the o n l y feminine p l a y w r i g h t t o have a p l a y performed at the Come'die-Francaise d u r i n g the l a s t the l a s t t w e n t y - f i v e y e a r s of L o u i s X V s r e i g n . $ We have -I - L G a i f f e , F. i n l e Drame en France au 18 s i e c l e . P a r i s , 1907, p. 23 r e f e r s t o Voisenon as "un des singes de Marivaux." The Memoires s e c r e t s . I I , 277 note "1'opinion t r e s fondee que F a v a r t f a i t l e s c a r c a s s e s des p i e c e s et que l'abbe de Voisenon h a b i l l e l a poupe*e." The a r t i c l e " V o i s e - non" i n Michaud's B i o g r a p h i e u n i v e r s e l l e . XLIV, 45 d e a l s more f u l l y w i t h Voisenon's r e l a t i o n s with F a v a r t . "•Lancaster, H. C. i n h i s French Tragedy i n the Time o f L o u i s XV. B a l t i m o r e , 1950, pp. 152 - 162 d i s c u s s e s P i r o n ' s C a l l i s t h e n e (1730), Gustave (1733) and Fernand Cortez (1744). 4 I b i d . . pp. 241, 265. 5 I b i d . . pp. 294 - 297. a l r e a d y noted the presence o f Marivaux i n Madame Doublet's e a r l i e r g a t h e r i n g s , as w e l l as t h e importance o f d'Argental as f r i e n d , c r i t i c and dramatic agent o f V o l t a i r e . Through connections such as these the p a r o i s s e un- doubtedly gained i t s i n t i m a t e knowledge o f the world of the t h e a t r e , i n c l u d i n g a wealth o f f a c t u a l i n f o r m a t i o n and many items o f t r i v i a l g o s s i p which, rec o r d e d i n the Memoires. t e s t i f y to the unchanging weaknesses o f human na t u r e . To i l l u s t r a t e t h e wide v a r i e t y o f m a t e r i a l recorded, one has on l y to r e f e r to some of the more o u t s t a n d i n g items. For example, the c h r o n i c l e announces the merger o f the Qpera- Comique and the Comedie I t a l i e n n e . ^ adding t h a t "on augure 7 mal de c e t t e j o n c t i o n . " I t reviews i n some d e t a i l the s t a t e o o f each o f the t h r e e t h e a t r e s i n 1762 and g i v e s p a r t i c u l a r s c o n c e r n i n g the d e s t r u c t i o n by f i r e o f the Opera i n A p r i l , 1 7 6 3 , 9 t h e problems o f r e b u i l d i n g " ^ and the move of the Comedie-Francaise t o the s a l l e des T u i l e r i e s f o l l o w i n g t h e i n s t a l l a t i o n of the Opera i n i t s new permanent l o c a t i o n . "^ ^Memoires s e c r e t s . I , 2 1 , 2 8 . 7 I b i d . . I , 4 0 . 8 F o r the Comedie I t a l i e n n e see I b i d . . I , 5 5 . The Comedie F r a n c a i s e i s reviewed i n I , 3 1 , 3 5 , 38 and the Opera i n I . 17 - 19. 9 I b i d . . I , 221 - 2 2 4 . 1 0 I b i d . . I, 2 2 7 , 235 - 2 3 6 , 249 - 2 5 0 ; I I , 1 1 , 12 - 1 3 , 2 0 , 59; V, 68 - 7 0 . 1 : L I b i d . . V, 121 - 1 2 2 . The high-handed conduct of the comediens draws comment,^ as does the unexpected success of the I t a l i e n s . ^ 3 a success attributed to the f r i v o l o u s tastes of the general p u b l i c . Many s p e c i f i c plays and performances are mentioned, including those given p r i v a t e l y or at court as well as those appearing at the regular theatres, some being merely touched upon while others receive more extensive treatment.^" 4 A perusal of the Memoires also impresses the modern reader with the d i f f i c u l - t i e s under which playwrights and actors worked, notably those due to the pervading domination of the four Gentlemen of the Chamber and the necessity of submitting to the censors* i n t e r - vention. From such extensive coverage emerges a confused but l i v i n g p o r t r a i t of the Parisian theatre of the day. A detailed examination of a l l the many dramatic authors and plays reviewed i n the Memoires i s beyond the scope of the present survey. This was, however, a decade of continued evolution i n t r a d i t i o n a l tragedy and comedy dur- ing which writers experimented with both s t y l e and content i n 1 2 I b i d . . I, 96, 124; I I I , 326. 1 3 I b i d . . I, 215; I I , 55, 208. 1 4 T h e supplements added by Moufle d'Angerville con- t a i n an abundance of material on the theatre taken presumably d i r e c t l y from the paroisse r e g i s t e r s . This material seems to have been either summarized or omitted altogether by Bachau- mont i n preparing h i s manuscript f o r the Memoires. Although the supplements, published some f i f t e e n years a f t e r the events they record, must have made d u l l reading, they provide information that might otherwise have been l o s t . 77 an attempt t o r e p l a c e outworn formulas and express c u r r e n t views. A5 we s h a l l , t h e r e f o r e , attempt t o ex p l o r e some o f these t r e n d s and d i s c o v e r , as f a r as p o s s i b l e , the a t t i t u d e of the p a r o i s s i e n s towards them. In tragedy, the i n n o v a t i o n s begun by V o l t a i r e con- t i n u e d , and seem to have become g e n e r a l l y w e l l accepted. For example, e x o t i c c h a r a c t e r s and s e t t i n g s n e c e s s i t a t i n g the use of e l a b o r a t e scenery evoke l i t t l e d i r e c t comment i n the Memoires. The r o l e o f t h e "sauvage" i n l e Blanc's Manco Capac. premier Inca du Perou (1763) i s seen as a p o t e n t i a l l y f i n e v e h i c l e f o r Rousseau's t h e o r i e s , the p l a y b e i n g con- demned not f o r i t s e x o t i c elements but f o r i t s weaknesses o f s t r u c t u r e and c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n . S i m i l a r l y , i n Sauvigny's H i r z a ou l e s I l l i n o i s (1766), the r e f e r e n c e s t o Niagara and Labrador, the o u t l a n d i s h names o f the c h a r a c t e r s and the 17 l a v i s h s e t t i n g pass unremarked and the p l a y r e c e i v e s b r i e f and r a t h e r c o o l p r a i s e i n the Memoires. The a t t i t u d e o f the c h r o n i c l e r s t o such use o f e x o t i c elements i s c l e a r l y x ^ F o r the i n f l u e n c e o f the drame on the t r a d i t i o n a l forms, see G a i f f e , F. op_. ext., pp. 182 - 185. x^Memoires s e c r e t s . I , 254 - 256. T h i s p l a y , given a l e n g t h y review, i s termed " d e t e s t a b l e , " "une p i e c e des p l u s mal f a i t e s . " • ^ L a n c a s t e r , H. C , op_. e x t . , pp. 545 - 546, d i s c u s s e s t h e e x o t i c elements of t h i s p l a y , q u o t i n g the l o n g d e s c r i p t i o n o f the s e t t i n g g i v e n by Sauvigny at the b e g i n n i n g o f Act I . l 8Memoires s e c r e t s . I l l , 220 - 221, 228. 78 r e v e a l e d i n a phrase r e f e r r i n g t o Lemierre's Guillaume T e l l (1766) where, f o l l o w i n g a b r i e f d e s c r i p t i o n o f the scenery and costumes, they note t h a t "tous ces a c c e s s o i r e s e s s e n t i e l s n'ont pas empeche de t r o u v e r c e t t e t r a g e d i e p i t o y a b l e . " i 9 The i n n o v a t i o n s o f the f i r s t h a l f of the century have become normal and accepted f e a t u r e s of t h e tragedy o f the 1760*8. Even those authors who attempted p l a y s c l o s e r t o the c l a s s i c a l s t y l e , w i t h c h a r a c t e r s drawn from a n t i q u i t y , f e l t the need to add f e a t u r e s unknown to R a c i n i a n tragedy. One such p l a y w r i g h t was Dormont de B e l l o y , who i n Z e l m i r e (1762) r e l i e d h e a v i l y upon C O U P S de theattre and e l a b o r a t e s p e c t a c l e to compensate f o r h i s l a c k o f p s y c h o l o g i c a l i n s i g h t . The Memoires r e c o r d the success o f t h i s p l a y , remarking t h a t " c ' e s t un s u j e t de pure i n v e n t i o n , p l e i n d ' a b s u r d i t e s et d TeVenements i n c r o y a b l e s , mais l e s s i t u a t i o n s sont s i 20 secluisantes que l a r a i s o n se l a i s s e f a c i l e m e n t subjuguer." A subsequent note remarks again upon i t s sheer a b s u r d i t y and 21 poor v e r s i f i c a t i o n . Yet i t s p o p u l a r i t y continued, evidence o f contemporary t a s t e s . Another p l a y w i t h a t r a d i t i o n a l 1 9 I b i d . . I l l , 135. 2 0 I b i d . . I, 85. See a l s o pp. 86 - 87, 95. 21 " " I b i d . , I, 100. Lancaster, H. C. op_. e x t . , pp. 472 - 478 reviews Z e l m i r e . n o t i n g t h a t " i t shows decided c l e v e r n e s s i n i t s appeal to an audience t h a t had been s u r f e i t e d w i t h l o g i c and d e p r i v e d of excitement and s p e c t a c l e . I t i s , except f o r i t s s t y l e and formal u n i t y and i t s happy ending, a f o r e r u n n e r of t r a g e d i e s by Alexandre Dumas and V i c t o r Hugo." c l a s s i c a l theme was S a u v i g n y T s Mort de Soc r a t e ( 1 7 6 2 ) . Whether o r not the author intended the p l a y as a j u s t i f i c a - t i o n o f Rousseau and an a t t a c k on P a l i s s o t , the i m p l i c a t i o n s were t h e r e and the Memoires r e c o r d the d e l a y s t h a t ensued as the author was f o r c e d t o d e l e t e some passages and r e w r i t e 22 o t h e r s . The u n d e r l y i n g b i a s was, of course, approved by the p a r o i s s i e n s ; "M. de Sauvigny nous a l u l a t i r a d e c o n t r e P a l i s s o t q u i d e v a i t &tre inse'ree dans l e S o c r a t e . Ce morceau c o n t r e l e moderne Aristophane e s t nerveux et p e i n t a m e r v e i l l e ce s c e l e r a t . I I e s t fScheux que l a p o l i c e a i t couvert de son * 21 egide ce v i i personnage." The Memoires r e g a r d the f i n a l v e r s i o n , however, as l a c k i n g i n warmth. Without emotional appeal o r i n t e l l e c t u a l piquancy, i t remained merely "un succes m e d i o c r e . " 2 4 V o l t a i r e had alre a d y i n t r o d u c e d i n t o tragedy charac- t e r s w i t h well-known French names and a l l u s i o n s to French heroes, 2-* but i t remained f o r de B e l l o y i n 1765 to w r i t e a p l a y drawn from n a t i o n a l h i s t o r y with a s t r o n g p a t r i o t i c t i n g e . The Memoires s e c r e t s r e c o r d the phenomenal success of t h i s p l a y , l e Siege de C a l a i s ( 1 7 6 4 ) , r e v e a l i n g awareness of i t s n a t i o n a l i s t i c appeal which, they f e e l , has b l i n d e d z zMemoires s e c r e t s . I , 103 - 1 0 4 , 1 8 7 , 2 1 3 , 3 0 9 . 2 3 l b i d . , I , 3 0 9 . 2 4 I b i d . , I , 3 3 2 . 2 5 z a i r e ( 1 7 3 3 ) ; Adelaidedu G u e s c l i n ( 1 7 3 4 , 1 7 6 5 ) . 26 the p u b l i c t o i t s many o t h e r weaknesses. Along w i t h t h i s i n c r e a s e o f p a t r i o t i c i n t e r e s t , a n awakening c u r i o s i t y about o t h e r n a t i o n s l e d to growth of h i s t o r i c a l tragedy i n g e n e r a l . E n g l i s h h i s t o r y i n s p i r e d l a Harpe's e a r l y success, l e Comte de Warwick (1763), p r a i s e d by t h e c h r o n i c l e r o f the Memoires 27 both f o r i t s content and f o r i t s simple, c l e a r s t y l e . La Harpe's l a t e r tragedy, Gustave Wasa (1766) d e p i c t e d events from Swedish h i s t o r y ; L e m i e r r e T s Guillaume T e l l . a l r e a d y men- t i o n e d , was based on a Swiss legend. Lemierre a l s o ventured i n t o what was c o n s i d e r e d t o be almost contemporary h i s t o r y w i t h h i s c o n t r o v e r s i a l B a r n e v e l t . which t r e a t s o f events s u r r o u n d i n g the execution i n 1619 o f a Dutch statesman. W r i t t e n i n 1766, i t was not performed u n t i l 1790 as i t s themes o f p a t r i o t i s m and v i r t u e and d i s c u s s i o n s o f peace and r e l i g i o n 29 were not a c c e p t a b l e to the French a u t h o r i t i e s u n t i l then. Such t e n d e n c i e s to d i d a c t i c i s m , a l o n g w i t h the grow- i n g emphasis on emotional appeal and the o c c a s i o n a l c a u t i o u s i n t r o d u c t i o n o f n o n - a r i s t o c r a t i c heroes, prepared the way ^Memoires s e c r e t s . I I , 171 - 172. See a l s o pp. 172 - 173 and 176. For the 1769 r e v i v a l o f the p l a y see I b i d . . XIX, 55 - 56, 57, 58, 60 - 61, 75, 83 - 84. 2 7 I b i d . . I , 324 - 325. 28 A O L a Harpe was attempting t o improve on P i r o n * s Gustave. For a review, see Lancaster, H. C. op_. c i t . . 563 - 565. The Memoires s e c r e t s . I l l , 5 - 6 , r e c o r d the f a i l u r e o f i t s one performance. 20 ^ L a n c a s t e r , H. C. op. c i t . . 447 - 452. The p l a y i s mentioned i n the Memoires s e c r e t s . I I , 314, 323. f o r the t r a g e d i e bourgeoise. a form very c l o s e to the drame. Such a p l a y was S a u r i n T s B e v e r l e i . and the accounts i n the Memoires are worthy of some a t t e n t i o n , f o r they seem to i n d i c a t e t h a t the p a r o i s s i e n s viewed p l a y s of t h i s type with somewhat mixed f e e l i n g s . Announcing the forthcoming performance o f S a u r i n f s p l a y , an a d a p t a t i o n of Moore's Game- ster, 3"'" the Me"moires add: "Ce genre, a coup sur, n ' a u r a i t pas r e u s s i j a d i s ; mais l e F r a n c a i s commence a reg a r d e r avec i n t r e p i d i t e l e s scenes a t r o c e s , et s i son Sine n f a pas p l u s d'energie q u f a u t r e f o i s , son o e i l en supporte au moins davantage dans l f a c t i o n t h 6 a * t r a l e . " J The w r i t e r s must, however, have f a l l e n under the emotional s p e l l of the p e r - formance, f o r the next entry notes t h a t "ce drame . . . a eu un t r e s grand succes, et i l l e m e > i t e . " J O A g e n e r a l l y f a v o u r a b l e review f o l l o w s , although the a c t i o n i s f e l t at times to be e x c e s s i v e l y v i o l e n t . A few days l a t e r the j o u r n a l p u b l i s h e d two poems c o n c e r n i n g t h i s p l a y , both anonymous and i n s e r t e d without comment. The f i r s t and l o n g e s t , i n t e r e s t i n g as an e x p r e s s i o n o f c o n s e r v a t i v e o p i n i o n , 3^The hero o f l e Siege de C a l a i s i s the mayor o f C a l a i s not the K i n g o f England, and Lemierre*s T e l l i s a Swiss peasant. L a n c a s t e r , H. C. op_. e x t . , p. 618. 3^A sentimental and m o r a l i s t i c m i d d l e - c l a s s tragedy f i r s t performed i n London i n 1753. " D i d e r o t en a v a i t e s q u i s s e uhe t r a d u c t i o n assez l i b r e et 1*avait c o n f i n e "a S a u r i n pour l a composition de B e v e r l e y . " G a i f f e , F. op. ext., p. 53. 3 2Memoires s e c r e t s . IV, 25. 3 3 I b i d . . IV, 30. 82 c r i t i c i z e s BeVerlei as a "drame tant6*t bas, tantot exalte," a " t i s s u mal construit et de tout point b i z a r r e " while also condemning the p r e v a i l i n g anglomania which influenced Saurin to attempt such an "affreuse h o r r e u r . " 3 4 The second poem i s a l i t t l e vers galant p r a i s i n g Madame Saurin as the model for the devoted virtuous spouse portrayed i n the play. 3 5 On the one hand, the paroissiens seem to deplore the threatened passing of Racinian tragedy; yet they too seem to y i e l d to the appeal of pathos and s e n s i b i l i t y . In the Memoires one can trace a corresponding reaction to the evolution i n comedy which was i n the process of devel- oping great d i v e r s i t y of s t y l e and content, being p a r t i c u l a r l y influenced by the drame. 3° The t r a d i t i o n a l comedy of Moliere evidently no longer appealed to the popular taste. 37 3 4 I b i d . , IV, 34 - 35. 3-5The paroissiens may have known her, for Saurin himself was a secretary to the Duke of Orleans and on f r i e n d l y terms with V o l t a i r e and Helvetius. Lancaster, H. C. op_. ext., P. 313. 3 6 G a i f f e , F. op. ext., p. 183 observes: "A c8te du drame proprement d i t f l e u r i s s e n t l e s comedies serieuses, moitie" souriantes, moitie' touchantes, admettant l e s emotions douces et l e r i r e tempere, s i voisines du-genre de Diderot que l a l i m i t e est souvent malaisee a e"tablir." 3^The Memoires contain very few references to perfor- mances of Moliere's comedies. One entry ( I I , 89) remarks; upon the p r e v a i l i n g "scrupuleuse exactitude sur l e s bien- seances" as detrimental to the enjoyment of Moliere. Another (IV, 226) notes that "les dispositions actuelles des specta- teurs a s'attendrir et pleurer a nos pieces comiques" may cause the f i n a n c i a l f a i l u r e of an excellent production of l e Bourgeois Gentilhomme. 83 Marivaux, who d i e d i n 1763, had w r i t t e n no new p l a y s f o r /j o many y e a r s and h i s " e s p r i t f i n et maniere," p r a i s e d by the p a r o i s s i e n s , had had no s u c c e s s f u l i m i t a t o r s . Tears and m o r a l i z i n g were i n vogue, r a t h e r than f r a n k l a u g h t e r or s u b t l e p s y c h o l o g y . 3 9 W r i t e r s , f e e l i n g f r e e to experiment i n t h i s genre, produced an even g r e a t e r range i n comedy than i n tragedy; c e r t a i n s i m i l a r i t i e s i n development can, however, be d e t e c t e d . The p a t r i o t i c i n t e r e s t o f de B e l l o y ' s tragedy l e Si£ge de C a l a i s found i t s c o u n t e r p a r t i n two comedies w r i t t e n by F a v a r t f o r the peace c e l e b r a t i o n s o f 1763. The f i r s t o f these, 1*Anglais a Bordeaux, won immediate e n t h u s i a s t i c a c c l a i m ; the Memoires a t t r i b u t e i t s success, d e r i v e d from i t s d e l i c a c y and s p a r k l i n g w i t , t o Voisenon, who i s a l s o r e p o r t e d as h a v i n g r e w r i t t e n the second comedy, l e s Fetes de l a p a i x , thereby s a v i n g i t from u t t e r f a i l u r e . 4 ^ A p a t r i - o t i c theme, however, d i d not a u t o m a t i c a l l y ensure acceptance o f a p l a y and we can t r a c e i n the Memoires the i n t e r e s t i n g s t o r y o f C o l l e t s l a P a r t i e de chasse de H e n r i IV which was 3 8Memoires s e c r e t s . I, 193 - 194. 3 9 T h e Me*moires, I I , 25 - 26 quote from a review o f Le P h i l o s o p h e sans l e s a v o i r i n the J o u r n a l E n c y c l o p i d i q u e f o r March 15, 1766: "A l a t r o i s i e m e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n l e p u b l i c . . . se r e s s o u v i n t que l a comedie n ' e t a i t p l u s un t a b l e a u des r i d i c u l e s , q u f e l l e 6ta±t t o u j o u r s bonne des q u ' i l y p l e u r a i t , et i l a p p l a u d i t en p l e u r a n t . " 40ibid., I, 208 - 209, 210, 213 - 214, 270, 267 - 268, 269 - 270. 84 l o n g w i t h h e l d from the s t a t e t h e a t r e s as u n f l a t t e r i n g to r o y a l t y . 4 x A wide range o f other themes became p o p u l a r . Many l i t t l e comedies, o f t e n mingled with a r i e t t e s , had a s e r i o u s or a t l e a s t a m o r a l i z i n g t o n e . 4 2 A l l i e d to t h i s , we f i n d the tendency to d i d a c t i c i s m a l r e a d y noted i n the tragedy of the p e r i o d , a tendency which l e d a t times to some r a t h e r c u r i o u s r e s u l t s which the Memoires are quick to r e p o r t . For example, l e s Moissonneurs by F a v a r t i s f e l t t o be q u i t e i n - congruous f o r two reasons: f i r s t , i t p r e s e n t s the B i b l i c a l s t o r y o f Ruth, Boaz and Naomi as a 3-act comedy w i t h a r i e t t e s f t 3 secondly, t h i s "drame chantant" c o n t a i n s a l s o "des morceaux p h i l o s o p h i q u e s sur 1 ' a g r i c u l t u r e , t r o p e m b e l l i s , d'un e s p r i t e t r a n g e r a l a chose." I n f l u e n c e d by the growing t a s t e f o r a l l u s i o n s t o nature, o r by the p h i l o s o p h y of Rousseau, the 4 x I b i d . . I , 167 notes t h a t "on n'ose pas mettre un de nos r o i s s i r e c e n t sur l a scene." See a l s o I b i d . . I I , 330; I I I , 43, 57, 61, 188; IV, 358 - 359. The r e f e r e n c e s a l s o i l l u s t r a t e t h e v a l u a b l e r o l e o f t h e p r i v a t e t h e a t r e s i n p e r m i t t i n g p r o d u c t i o n s of the more "experimental" p l a y s such as t h i s . I t was f i n a l l y performed at the Come'die- F r a n c a i s e i n 1774, and i n the y e a r s 1781-1790 was exceeded onl y i n p o p u l a r i t y by l e Mariage de F i g a r o ( G a i f f e , F. op. e x t . , pp. 189 - 190). 42 G a i f f e , F. op_. ext., pp. 456 - 457 informs us t h a t l e s Contes moraux de Marmontel e*taient l e grand g r e n i e r ou l e s auteurs dramatiques venaient s ' a p p r o v i s i o n n e r . " The Memoires r e f e r to a number o f p l a y s d e r i v e d from Marmontel's stories: Annette et Lubin. I, 45, "une b a g a t e l l e t r e s j o l i e " ; l a Bergere des Al p e s , I , 213; and Heureusement. I , 164. 43 The p l a y was performed by the I t a l i e n s . January 27, 1768. audience a p p a r e n t l y r e c e i v e d the p l a y with t r a n s p o r t s o f enthusiasm d e s p i t e i t s i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s . 4 4 Another c u r i o u s development was the b l e n d i n g o f elements of s e n s i b i l i t e ' and pathos d e r i v e d from the drame with a r i e t t e s from the OpeVa-comique. A comedy o f t h i s type, Tom Jones (1765) by P o i n s i n e t , r e c e i v e s l e n g t h y study i n the Memoires where i t i s judged t o be "absolument r a t e " and to j c o n t a i n such an "amas de mauvaises choses" t h a t even the music o f P h i l i d o r cannot redeem i t . 4 - * The w r i t e r s of the Memoires do not appear to approve of another tendency, t h a t o f i n t r o d u c i n g , even i n t o comedy, heroes drawn from the world o f commerce. Marin's p l a y J u l i e ou l e triomphe de l ' a m i t i e . based on an event i n the l i f e o f the f i n a n c i e r Samuel Bernard, i s b r i e f l y summarized and c u r t l y d i s m i s s e d as "joue'e pour l a premiere et d e r n i e r e f o i s . " 4 6 Another come'die seVieuse. t h i s time s e t t i n g f o r t h the v i r t u e s o f a negociant. was l e B i e n f a i t rendu ou l e marchand by the Marquis de Dampierre. T h i s p l a y , very c l o s e i n s t y l e t o the drame. was a p p a r e n t l y "un demi-succes." I t f i n d s l i t t l e p r a i s e , however, i n the Me*moires. whose w r i t e r s c o n s i d e r i t "une s a t i r e amere et l o u r d e de l a n o b l e s s e , " "mal e c r i t e , avec durete*," i t s b e t t e r speeches t i n g e d w i t h "une amertume basse et i g n o b l e . " 4 7 4 4 M e m o i r e s s e c r e t s . I l l , 339 - 3 4 0 , 3 5 2 . 4 5 I b i d . . I I , 177 - 1 7 8 . 4 6 I b i d . . I, 57 - 5 8 . 4 7 i b i d . . 228 - 2 2 9 . 86 A l s o c l o s e t o the drame was C o l l y ' s Dupuis et Des- r o n a i s . s a i d by G a i f f e i n h i s study l e Drame fin France au d i x - h u i t i e m e s i e c l e t o be "un raodele de come'die s e r i e u s e beaucoup p l u s r e u s s i et meme p l u s conforme, sur c e r t a i n s p o i n t s , au theories de D i d e r o t que l e s p i e c e s de D i d e r o t lui-meme."48 The Memoires, w h i l e n o t i n g a tendency on the p a r t o f the p l a y e r s to o v e r - a c t , remark upon the success of the performance: "Ce drame, t o u t simple, t o u t peu i n t r i g u e q u ' i l s o i t , a f a i t t r e s grand p l a i s i r par l e s d e t a i l s et par une p e i n t u r e de nos moeurs t r e s a f f l i g e a n t e mais t r e s v r a i e . " 4 9 D e s p i t e t h e i r approval of t h i s p a r t i c u l a r p l a y , the p a r o i s s i e n s are not g e n e r a l l y sympathetic i n t h e i r treatment o f those p r o d u c t i o n s t h a t we now r e c o g n i z e as models o f the drame. The Memoires use t h i s term l o o s e l y and i t i s c l e a r t h a t c r i t i c s were o n l y j u s t becoming aware o f the emergence o f t h i s new genre. As we have seen, the j o u r n a l reviews D i d e r o t ' s Pere de f a m i l l e and notes i t s i n f l u e n c e but makes no r e f e r e n c e to D i d e r o t ' s r o l e as the o r i g i n a t o r and t h e o r e - t i c i a n o f t h e drame. As f o r Beaumarchais' Eugenie, to which the term was f i r s t o f f i c i a l l y a p p l i e d , the Memoires note merely t h a t "ce drame t a n t prone a ete donne auj o u r d ' h u i et n'a pas eu l e succes dont l ' a u t e u r se f l a t t a i t . " - ^ The p l a y 48Qaiffe, F. op_. c i t . , p. 164. He o u t l i n e s t h i s "charmante p i e c e " more f u l l y on pages 336 - 337. 4 9Memoires s e c r e t s . I , 182 - 183. 5°Ibid.. I l l , 159. 87 was regarded as a f a i l u r e and Beaumarchais was l a b e l l e d a "parvenu," "un homme f o r t repandu sans a v o i r aucune c o n s i d e r a - t i o n . Much more i s s a i d o f h i s l i f e than o f h i s p l a y s ; the j o u r n a l , a f t e r announcing h i s marriage to the widow o f "un nomme Lev£que," adds t h a t M. Caron de Beaumarchais i s "p l u s renomme encore pour ses i n t r i g u e s que pour ses t a l e n t s l i t t e r a i r e s . " - * 2 A review o f h i s l a t e r p l a y , Deux Amis ou l e b i e n f a i t rendu, dated January, 1770, seems, however, t o i n - d i c a t e some s l i g h t m o d i f i c a t i o n o f o p i n i o n . While condemning the theme of a double bankruptcy as "defectueux en lui-meme," adding t h a t "ce s u j e t a encore p l u s r e v o l t e par l a maniere dont i l a ete p r e s e n t e , " the c h r o n i c l e r admits t h a t "on y a pou r t a n t t r o uve des scenes heureuses et p r o d u i s a n t l e p l u s t e n d r e i n t l r e t . " ^ 3 D i s a p p r o v a l o f the u p s t a r t Beaumarchais does not completely obscure a p p r e c i a t i o n o f h i s l i t e r a r y s k i l l . As f o r Sedaine, who, i n h i s Philosophe sans l e s a v o i r , "donne a tous l e s e c r i v a i n s de p r o f e s s i o n . . . un modele de ce que d e v r a i t e t r e l e drame e t , malgre l e s r a i l l e r i e s des beaux e s p r i t s , f a i t un chef-d'oeuvre sans l e s a v o i r , " - * 4 the Memoires are ex c e e d i n g l y harsh. D e s c r i b i n g him as "ce macon devenu p o e t e — m a i s p l u s h a b i l e encore a t r a c e r l e p l a n d'un 5 1 I b i d . , I l l , 140 - 141, 159. 5 2 I b i d . . IV, 14. 5 3 I b i d . . V, 55, 61. 54Gaiffe, op_. c i t . , p. 185. e d i f i c e que c e l u i d fun drame—, »»55 they g i v e scant p r a i s e to h i s Phil o s o p h e . T h i s "espece d*episode b o u r g e o i s " i s s a i d t o be badly c o n s t r u c t e d , though redeemed somewhat by h a v i n g "des c a r a c t e r e s assez soutenus, et beaucoup de n a t u r e l dans l e d i a l o g u e " and by p r e s e n t i n g "des images n a l v e s de ce q u i se passe dans l T i n t e r i e u r des f a m i l i e s . " - ^ I t s unexpected success c o n t i n u e d , ^ however, and the Memoires remark a f t e r the twenty-eighth and f i n a l performance t h a t "ce b i z a r r e r O succes s e r a i t etonnant dans un a u t r e s i e c l e que c e l u i - c i . " - ' Four y e a r s l a t e r , i n 1769* they s t i l l d e p l o r e the popul a r t a s t e f o r Sedaine*s dram.es: "On j o u a i t l e Deserteur, p i e c e n o u v e l l e , t o u j o u r s mauvaise quoique f o r t courue . . ."59 The j o u r n a l , as we might expect, r e f l e c t s t o some degree the b i a s o f i t s w r i t e r s , n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g t h e i r c l a i m to i m p a r t i a l i t y s t a t e d i n the i n t r o d u c t i o n . ^ ^ In a sense we must be g r a t e f u l t h a t a c e r t a i n human q u a l i t y c o l o u r s the ^Memoires s e c r e t s . IV, 67. 5 6 I b i d . . I I , 293 - 295. See a l s o pp. 271 - 272. 5 7 I b i d . . I I , 321. 5 8 I b i d . . I I , 331. 5 9 I b i d . . IV, 266 - 267. 6°"Quant aux n o t i c e s des e c r i t s nouveaux, des p i e c e s de theStre, des assemblies l i t t e r a i r e s , e l l e s sont encore d i s t i n g u e e s par une p r e c i s i o n unique et s u r t o u t p ar une i m p a r t i a l i t e qu fon a t t e n d r a i t en v a i n d Tun c r i t i q u e a f f i c h e pour t e l . . . " See the avertissement, I b i d . , I , pp. v, v i . reviews and breathes l i f e i n t o l o n g - p a s t events. That the p a r o i s s i e n s were not immune from e r r o r s o f judgement i s shown by t h e i r treatment o f l e s T r i u m v i r s . Supposing the p l a y to be by Chabanon, they heap s c o r n upon i t , o n l y t o g i v e i t h i g h p r a i s e l a t e r when they f i n d i t t o be by V o l t a i r e . ^ They do not approve of the Comedie-Italienne. Commenting upon the m e d i o c r i t y o f t h e o f f e r i n g s at t h i s t h e a t r e , they remark t h a t i t has become "l'e'goQt des a u t r e s ; i l n T e s t p o i n t d'absurdite' q u i ne p u i s s e y e*tre admise."^ 2 They r e j o i c e when attendance t h e r e i s poor, hoping that "ce debut p o u r r a i t b i e n e t r e l T e p o q u e de l a de'cadence que tous l e s amateurs du v r a i b i e n l u i presagent et l u i s o u h a i t e n t . " ^ 3 D e s p i t e the f a c t t h a t they f i n d some a c t o r s s a t i s f a c t o r y ^ 4 and regard R i c c o b o n i as an a s s e t , -* the Memoires r e c o r d w i t h obvious s a t i s f a c t i o n an o c c a s i o n when, "par un r e t o u r du bon gout ou de l a mode," the p r o f i t s at t h e Comedie-Francaise are a t l a s t f a r i n excess o f those o f l e s I t a l i e n s . ^ ^ L a n c a s t e r , H. C. op_. ex t . , p. 360 p o i n t s out t h e i r e r r o r . One may compare these opposing views i n the Memoires s e c r e t s . I I , 75 - 76 and I I I , 139. u"'Memoires s e c r e t s . I , 282. 6 3 I b i d . , I , 76 - 77. 64ibid.. I , 55 - 56, 306. 6 5 I b i d . . I , 141. 6 6 I b i d . . IV, 242. In general, the Memoires reveal a tendency to conser- vatism, tempered by an acceptance of cer t a i n innovations. The factual information bequeathed by the journal has been of very r e a l assistance to students of the t h e a t r e . ^ Though many of the reviews are b r i e f , they supplement information given i n other sources such as Grimm, and the anecdotes and gossip add to our appreciation of the person- a l i t i e s involved. We may indeed be grateful to the paroisse f o r t h i s comprehensive record of the eighteenth-century theatre. ^For example, Lancaster (op_. c i t . . p. 535) acknow- ledges h i s debt to the Memoires for information concerning Chabanon's l o s t play Eponine. CHAPTER VI A DECADE OF POETRY AND PROSE IN THE MEMOIRES SECRETS In a d d i t i o n t o t h e i r reviews o f major works o f the p e r i o d , the Memoires s e c r e t s p r o v i d e us with a m u l t i t u d e o f l e s s e r items t h a t appear at f i r s t s i g h t t o defy simple c l a s s i f i c a t i o n . T h i s m i s c e l l a n e o u s m a t e r i a l o f f e r s never- t h e l e s s much t h a t i s s i g n i f i c a n t f o r our study. In these r e f e r e n c e s t o l o n g - f o r g o t t e n works we can d e t e c t t r e n d s i n c e r t a i n l i t e r a r y genres and sense as w e l l the e v o l u t i o n of t h a t c u r i o u s blend of p o l i s h e d w i t and i n t e l l e c t u a l unrest t h a t t y p i f i e d the age. Perhaps of even more importance s t i l l i s the i n s i g h t t h a t these e n t r i e s a f f o r d i n t o t h e d a i l y p r e - occupations o f Madame Doublet*s p a r o i s s i e n s and the " b i a s " o f t h e i r j o u r n a l . In view o f the e i g h t e e n t h - c e n t u r y p r e d i l e c t i o n f o r prose, a s u r p r i s i n g number o f items r e l a t e to announcements o r reviews o f p o e t r y . T h i s genre. w h i l e f a r from dead, seems i n many r e s p e c t s t o have been d e c i d e d l y stagnant, as accounts o f the p u b l i c s e s s i o n s o f the Academie r o v a l e des i n s c r i p t i o n s et b e l l e s l e t t r e s show o n l y too c l e a r l y . x The s u b j e c t s d i s - cussed and the p o e t r y reviewed a t these s e s s i o n s i n d i c a t e a f a i r l y l i f e l e s s but almost t o t a l p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h t r a d i t i o n a l x T h e s e t w i c e - y e a r l y s e s s i o n s a r e r e p o r t e d i n some d e t a i l . See, f o r example, the Memoires s e c r e t s . I, 224 - 225 and I I , 5 5 - 5 6 . 92 Greek o r Roman themes. In l i n e with t h i s concern we f i n d i n the Memoires numerous reviews of t r a n s l a t i o n s or adapta- t i o n s of c l a s s i c a l p o etry, the o d e — s e r i o u s or o t h e r w i s e — b e i n g a f a v o u r i t e form. Some departure from t h i s almost t o t a l a b s o r p t i o n with t r a d i t i o n a l themes can, however, be d e t e c t e d i n the i n t e r e s t shown i n t r a n s l a t i o n s o f p o e t r y from o t h e r European c o u n t r i e s . S e v e r a l e n t r i e s d e a l w i t h r e n d e r - i n g s of German poems and the j o u r n a l notes t h a t "depuis quelques annees l e s Allemands marchent a grands pas dans l a c a r r i e r e de l a b e l l e poe'sie," producing, a p p a r e n t l y , "des ouvrages dignes de nos m e i l l e u r s p o e t e s . " 4 Other e n t r i e s r e f e r b r i e f l y t o t r a n s l a t i o n s o f P e t r a r c h ^ and o f E n g l i s h 6 7 p o e t i c works such as Ossian and Thomson's The Seasons.' The Memoires show great i n t e r e s t i n p o e t r y of a d i d a c t i c or s a t i r i c nature and i n 1765 c i t e a p p r o v i n g l y , f o r example, "deux poernes heroiques . . . q u i ramenent l a p o e s i e By 1770, however, a t r e n d t o more e x o t i c s u b j e c t s seems to have s e t i n . I b i d . , V, 285 - 288. 3 F o r de R o c h e f o r t ' s t r a n s l a t i o n s o f Homer see I b i d . . I , 163; I I , 140, 151 - 152; I I I , 39 - 40. The Abbe'de L i s l e ' s r e n d e r i n g of the Georgics i s reviewed i n I b i d . , I, 164. 4 I b i d . . I I , 69. 5 I b i d . . I I , 192 - 193. 6 I b i d . . I I , 231. ? I b i d . . IV, 239 - 240. S t . Lambert's a d a p t a t i o n l e s S a i s o n s , a p a s t o r a l , though i t i n d i c a t e s a r e v i v a l o f i n t e r e s t i n nature p o e t r y , i s found d u l l and d i s a p p o i n t i n g by the p a r o i s s i e n s . a son ancienne i n s t i t u t i o n , de chanter l a v e r t u , d 1 e x c i t e r » 8 l e z e l e p a t r i o t i q u e . " The most e s s e n t i a l mark o f p o e t r y , i t seems, i s i t s " p h i l o s o p h i c " — d e s c r i b e d as " n e c e s s a i r e , mime aux p o e t e s . " 9 Even the Poe s i e s s a c r e e s by V o l t a i r e 1 s enemy, L e f r a n c de Pompignan, are h i g h l y p r a i s e d as ou t s t a n d - i n g i n t h i s r e s p e c t : "Cet auteur, t a n t m y s t i f i e , t a n t bafoue par M. de V o l t a i r e , a cependant un m e r i t e s p e c i f i q u e : i l y a dans ses odes des strophes dignes de Rousseau; ses d i s c o u r s t i r e s des l i v r e s s a p i e n t i a u x sont p l e i n s d'une p h i l o s o p h i c sublime, e n r i c h i e d f i i n e p o e s i e vive, nerveuse et p i t t o r e s q u e . " ^ As f o r s a t i r i c p o e t r y , the j o u r n a l abounds i n l i g h t v e r s e s and epigrams o f the type used so e f f e c t i v e l y by V o l t a i r e and P i r o n . We a l s o f i n d longer and more m a l i c i o u s compositions such as the s e r i e s o f no e l s f e a t u r e d i n the opening volumes. ^ In a l l t h i s t h e r e i s l i t t l e t o suggest t h a t t h e p a r o i s s i e n s ever thought o f poetry as a c r e a t i v e o u t l e t f o r s t r o n g emo- t i o n a l f e e l i n g . Rather, the c r i t i c a l comments i n the Memoires seem t o i n d i c a t e t h a t i t was val u e d c h i e f l y as a v e h i c l e f o r noble p u b l i c sentiments expressed i n l o f t y form o r f o r the exchange o f w i t i n endless l i t e r a r y o r p e r s o n a l vendettas. 8 I b i d . . I I , 2 4 5 . 9 I b i d . . I I , 98 - 9 9 . 1 0 I b i d . . I, 2 9 7 . 1 : L I b i d . , I , 354 - 3 5 9 ; I I , 4 , 9 - 1 0 , 13, 16 - 1 8 , 21 - 2 5 , 37 - 3 8 . I f i t c o u l d a l s o r i s e to h e i g h t s o f p h i l o s o p h i c so much the b e t t e r . D e c i d e d l y more v a r i e d i n scope and u s u a l l y s u p e r i o r i n q u a l i t y are the prose w r i t i n g s of t h i s p e r i o d . The j o u r - n a l i n f a c t reviews a f a s c i n a t i n g v a r i e t y o f books and pam- p h l e t s which, t r e a t i n g the widest imaginable range o f t o p i c s , i l l u s t r a t e the p r e v a i l i n g s p i r i t o f i n q u i r y i n t o a l l a s p e c t s o f human a c t i v i t y . For example, the Memoires note i n March, 1766, t h a t a book on h a i r d r e s s i n g has been p u b l i s h e d , appar- 12 e n t l y o f q u i t e a s c i e n t i f i c n a t u r e . A few weeks l a t e r , they r e c o r d the appearance of "une a b s u r d i t e " i n the form of a p u b l i s h e d work a t t a c k i n g t h e p r a c t i c e of b l e e d i n g . i 3 In J u l y , 1769, we f i n d a review o f l e Pornographe. a h i s t o r y o f p r o s t i t u t i o n t o g e t h e r with a proposed p l a n f o r i t s regu- l a t i o n , p r o v i n g , says the c h r o n i c l e r , "a quel p o i n t d fe'gare- ment 1 ' e s p r i t p h i l o s o p h i q u e pretendu nous a c o n d u i t l o r s q u ' o n v o i t un auteur grave, e r u d i t , sage, honnete et profond, t r a i t e r une m a t i e r e sur l a q u e l l e i l a u r a i t eu honte dans un a u t r e temps de p o r t e r meme ses regards."*"^ I n a d d i t i o n t o n o t a t i o n s c o n c e r n i n g c u r i o s i t i e s o f t h i s s o r t , we a l s o f i n d reviews of many p u b l i c a t i o n s r e l a t i n g to the s c i e n t i f i c , 1 2 I b i d . . I l l , 11. ^ i b i d . . I l l , 54. 1 4 i b i d . . IV, 318 - 319. 95 m i l i t a r y and economic i s s u e s o f the day,A-* as w e l l as h i s t o r i c a l t r e a t i s e s o f v a r i o u s t y p e s . E i g h t e e n t h century cosmopolitanism i s w e l l i l l u s t r a t e d i n the accounts o f books o f t r a v e l x ^ as w e l l as i n the reviews o f t r a n s l a t i o n s o f 17 f o r e i g n prose works. ' S t r a n g e l y enough, i n a l l t h i s p r o f u s i o n the novel passes almost unremarked and comparatively few examples are c i t e d by the p a r o i s s e d u r i n g the decade 1762-1771, i n d i c a t i n g no doubt the u s u a l r e s p e c t a b l e l a c k o f i n t e r e s t i n t h i s genre. French a d a p t a t i o n s o f E n g l i s h n o v e l s are noted, however, and i n general the Memoires review such works f a v o u r a b l y , e s p e c i - 19 a l l y i f the s t y l e i s found t o be t a s t e f u l and e l e g a n t . x5The l a t t e r , we may add, appear t o be p a r t i c u l a r l y d i s t a s t e f u l t o the p a r o i s s i e n s ( i b i d . , I I , 225). x ^ I b i d . . I I , 109 110 reviews the accounts o f t r a v e l s i n England, H o l l a n d and I t a l y found i n l e s Oeuvres de Madame du Boccage (1764). Although she was a p a r o i s s i e n e . the Memoires d i s m i s s the work as " r i e n de neuf, n i du c6te h i s t o r i q u e n i du c6te" p h i l o s o p h i q u e . C*est ce q u i s , a p p e l l e e c r i r e pour e c r i r e . " A t r a v e l book by B a i l l y de F l e u r y i s , on t h e other hand, h i g h l y p r a i s e d f o r i t s e r u d i t i o n and i n t e r e s t ( I b i d . . I I , 259). x ? F o r an i n t e r e s t i n g and p e r c e p t i v e comment on German l i t e r a t u r e e x e m p l i f i e d i n L e s s i n g ' s F a b l e s see I b i d . , I I , 144 - 145. x 8 I n the p r e v i o u s year (1761) D i d e r o t had p u b l i s h e d h i s Eloge de Richardson and Rousseau h i s Nouvelle H e l o i s e which a l s o r e f l e c t s t he i n f l u e n c e o f Richardson. x 9Among such n o v e l s i n the E n g l i s h s t y l e a re the Memoires en forme de l e t t r e s . de deux .ieunes personnes de q u a l i t e ^ (1765) by the Marquise de Champfery (Memoires s e c r e t s . I I , 158), Amelie (1762) by Mme R i c c o b o n i ( i b i d . . I , 63) and L e t t r e s de J u l i e de M a n d e v i l l e (1764) by M. Bouchant ( I b i d . . 96 A l s o w e l l r e c e i v e d are the s e n t i m e n t a l , m o r a l i z i n g n o v e l s then xn vogue, such as Mme B e n o i t ' s E l i s a b e t h , of which the 20 c h r o n x c l e s t a t e s merely: " I I a f f e c t e l e coeur." As f o r the s h o r t e r , more s o p h i s t i c a t e d and a r t i f i c i a l conte, t h e Mimoires f i n d none to equal those o f V o l t a i r e , whose s u p e r i - o r i t y i n t h i s genre has a l r e a d y been mentioned. 2^ Le B r e t ' s Contes moraux et dramatiques are f e l t to be d e c i d e d l y medi- o c r e 4 * and Semperavi's l ' O p t i q u e ou l e C h i n o i s a Memphis cannot be compared t o Z a d i g or C a n d i d e . 2 3 One n o v e l d i d , however, r e c e i v e more a t t e n t i o n from t h e p a r o i s s e than a l l the o t h e r s combined, a f a c t which d i r - e c t s our a t t e n t i o n t o c e r t a i n s p e c i f i c i n t e r e s t s of the group. T h i s n o v e l i s Marmontel's famous B e l i s a i r e . i n which the j o u r - n a l f i n d s at f i r s t l i t t l e t o p r a i s e , c r i t i c i z i n g i t upon i t s appearance i n mid-February 1767 as "une d i s s e r t a t i o n t r e s f r o i d e , t r e s longue, t r e s r e b a t t u e sur des o b j e t s de morale et de p o l i t i q u e . " 2 4 On such a note the e n t r i e s concerning t h i s I I , 75). Concerning a novel t r a n s l a t e d from the E n g l i s h by Abb6 PreVost the j o u r n a l adds: " I I a pourtant une grande vogue pour l e s aventures e x t r a o r d i n a i r e s et compliquees dont i l e s t r e m p l i j c ' e s t l e l i v r e du j o u r . " ( i b i d . , I, 83.) 2 0 I b i d . . I I , 308. 2-*-See supra Chapter IV. 2 2Memoires s e c r e t s . I I , 218. 23ibid., I , 334. 2 4 I b i d . . I l l , 165. 97 work might have ended, had i t not contained a plea^for tolerance which offended the au t h o r i t i e s . A week l a t e r i t s p r i v i l e g e was withdrawn and a long and heated controversy ensued. The chronicle leaves us no doubt as to the views of the paroisse i n t h i s a f f a i r . Sympathetic to the author and to the p r i n c i p l e involved, they p u b l i c i z e at length the 2 5 attacks on t h i s work and also draw attention to the support i t i s rec e i v i n g from the enlightened monarchs of northern Europe "qui font l e plus grand eloge du l i v r e et t r a i t e n t l e s sages maitres comme des cuistres." 2*' The chroniclers even enter the b a t t l e themselves. From a warning on February 21, 1768, that " l e plus me'chant l i v r e p r o s c r i t en devient plus recherche, 1 , 2 7 they pass on March 6 to the p r i n t i n g i n t h e i r journal of a Vers au B e l i s a i r e that strongly attacks the 28 Sorbonne theologians. A year l a t e r , when the ban imposed on the book was upheld, the Memoires i r o n i c a l l y recorded the f i n a l statement of the churchmen who i n fact disposed of t h i s work i n support of tolerance i n the most intolerant terms, 25see Ibid.. I l l , 167 - 168, 169, 174 - 175, 181 - 182, 205, 249, 305 - 306, 312 - 314, 323 - 324, 342 - 343, 344 - 345. 2 6 I b i d . . I l l , 314 - 315. 2 7 I b i d . . I l l , 168. 2 8 I b i d . . I l l , 177 - 178. The concluding l i n e s i n d i - cate i t s general tone: "Que ce blasphemateur s o i t puni par l e feu; N , a - t - i l pas du savoir q u * i l causait du scandale Quand, malgre l a Sorbonne, i l f a i s a i t aimer Dieu." 98 condemning i t as "contenant des p r o p o s i t i o n s f a u s s e s , c a p t i e u s e s , t e m e r a i r e s , scandaleuses, impies, e r r o n n i e s , r e s p i r a n t l ' h e r e s i e et h e ' r e t i q u e s . 1 , 2 9 T h i s s t r o n g r e a c t i o n t o the s u p p r e s s i o n o f B e l i s a i r e s e r v e s t o r e i n f o r c e the i m p r e s s i o n we have a l r e a d y gained o f the p r o - p h i l o s o p h e sympathies o f the p a r o i s s i e n s . In t h i s r e s p e c t , o f course, they show themselves t o be very much p a r t o f a movement that dates back to the e a r l i e r y e a r s of the cen t u r y . I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note, however, t h a t Bachaumont, l o n g a c t i v e i n t h e f i e l d o f j o u r n a l i s m , waited u n t i l 1762 to be g i n h i s manuscript devoted t o r e c o r d i n g the steady advance o f the age o f reason. In t h a t y e a r the f o r c e s of the en- lightenment, symbolized l a r g e l y i n the r a d i c a l w r i t i n g s o f the day, were f e l t t o have s c o r e d a s i g n a l v i c t o r y over the J e s u i t s . E a r l y i n the f i r s t volume we read the n o t a t i o n : " E n f i n l e d e r n i e r coup e s t p o r t i a u jourd'hui a l a compagnie de J e s u s . La S o c i e t e est d i s s o u t e . . . C e t t e epoque, on l e repete, e s t d Tune grande importance dans l a l i t t e ' r a t u r e . " 3 ^ The p a r o i s s e . we must remember, had more than a detached i n t e l l e c t u a l i n t e r e s t i n t h i s a f f a i r , s i n c e one o f i t s members, the Abbe de C h a u v e l i n , had s t r u c k the f i n a l blow t h a t brought down " c e t t e s t a t u e aux p i e d s d , a r g i l e . " 3 ^ 2 9 I b i d . . I l l , 344 - 345. 3°Ibid.. I, 123. The e n t r y i s dated August 8, 1762. 3^-Bayle and Herblay, op., c i t . . pp. 399 - 400 r e l a t e s how the Abbe de Chauv e l i n , w i t h the help o f a l e t t e r found 99 As we might expect, a l a r g e p r o p o r t i o n o f the e n t r i e s f o r the y e a r s 1762-1764 are o b v i o u s l y a n t i - J e s u i t propaganda, r a n g i n g from the u s u a l l e t t e r s , pamphlets and books to lam- poons and s a t i r e s , blended with triumphant r e p o r t s o f c u r t a i l - ment o f t h e O r d e r f s a c t i v i t i e s . Seldom are the J e s u i t s i n any way defended. Rather, the p a r o i s s e appears to d e l i g h t i n p u b l i s h i n g w i t t i c i s m s that d i s c r e d i t t h e S o c i e t y and i n r e v e a l i n g the weaknesses i n i t s attempts at r e b u t t a l . 3 2 Mingled w i t h t h i s j u b i l a t i o n at the overthrow o f the J e s u i t s one d i s c e r n s , however, a c e r t a i n note o f r e g r e t a t the d e c l i n e i n q u a l i t y of the J o u r n a l de Trevoux; " I I n T e s t p l u s n i a u s s i b i e n i c r i t , n i a u s s i savamment d i s c u t e . . . On r e g r e t t e r a longtemps ce j o u r n a l q u i degenere e t q u i degenerera de p l u s en p l u s . " 3 3 D e s p i t e i t s c o n t r a r y views the p a r o i s s e thus seems to have a p p r e c i a t e d at l e a s t the e r u d i t i o n and w i t o f t h i s J e s u i t j o u r n a l and o f i t s e d i t o r , Pere B e r t h i e r . a c c i d e n t a l l y by F a l c o n e t and w i t h the approval o f the P r e s i - dent de M e i n i e r e s , l e d the a t t a c k i n the Parlement o f P a r i s t h a t r e s u l t e d i n the overthrow o f the o r d e r . Hence the c o u p l e t , quoted i n the Memoires s e c r e t s . I, 124• "Que f r a g i l e e s t ton s o r t , s o c i e t e p e r v e r s e ! Un b o i t e u x t f a fondee, un bossu t e r e n v e r s e . " ( C h a u v e l i n was g r o t e s q u e l y deformed). The j o u r n a l a l s o p r a i s e s C h a u v e l i n as "ce r e d o u t a b l e i c u e i l c o n t r e l e q u e l sont venus se b r i s e r l * o r g u e i l , l ' a s t u c e et l a p o l i t i q u e des J e s u i t e s . " ( i b i d . . I, 64.) 3 2 F o r example Memoires s e c r e t s , I, 82, 90, 116, 122 - 123, 126, 135. 3 3 I b i d . , I , 119. See a l s o I b i d . . I, 233, I I , 73. 100 L o g i c a l l y a l l i e d t o t h i s a n t i - J e s u i t b i a s we f i n d a c o r r e s p o n d i n g sympathy i n the Memoires f o r the p a r l e m e n t s . 3 w e l l i l l u s t r a t e d by the f o l l o w i n g r a t h e r immoderately e n t h u s i a s t i c note dated September 1, 1763: La l i t t e r a t u r e essuye des modes, a i n s i que t o u t l e r e s t e : depuis quelque temps l e s genies se sont tendus v e r s l a f i n a n c e e t l a p o l i t i q u e ; l e s c a l a m i t i s de l f£tat ont f a i t n a xtre des i c r i t s vigoureux, presque dignes des beaux j o u r s des r e p u b l i q u e s d fAthenes et de Rome . . . On s a i t b i e n que nous voulons p a r l e r des b e l l e s remon- s t r a n c e s que nos d i v e r s parlements ne cessent de f a i r e en ce temps orageux: c e l l e s de Bordeaux ne sont p o i n t i n f i r i e u r e s a c e l l e s de P a r i s et de Rouen, e l l e s e n c h S r i s s e n t meme, et n'approchent cependant p o i n t encore a ce qu fon assure de c e l l e s de Grenoble.35 Such keen i n t e r e s t i n the a c t i v i t i e s and p u b l i c a t i o n s of the parlements no doubt a l s o r e f l e c t s the d i r e c t i n f l u e n c e of " l e cher p r e s i d e n t " o f the p a r o i s s e . Durey de M e i n i e r e s . Even more abundant than the a n t i - J e s u i t w r i t i n g s r e c o r d e d i n t h e Memoires i s the mass o f m a t e r i a l t h a t p r o - ceeded from the r e l i g i o u s c o n t r o v e r s i e s of the period.3° 3 4 A s t h i s study i s l i t e r a r y r a t h e r than p o l i t i c a l i n scope, I s h a l l not attempt r e f e r e n c e to passages t h a t d e a l w i t h such matters as the s t r u g g l e between the K i n g and the parlements and the c o n t r o v e r s i e s over the f u n c t i o n s o f the l a t t e r . Such a s p e c t s would m e r i t separate i n v e s t i g a t i o n . 3^Memoires s e c r e t s . I , 300 - 301. See a l s o I b i d . . I , 364 where the c h r o n i c l e r p r a i s e s the Remonstrances de Grenoble as "un chef d'oeuvre de l i b e r t e " i n which " l e s C i c e r o n , l e s Demonsthene . . . se t r o u v e r o n t . r e v i v r e . " 3^In t h i s area, o f course, V o l t a i r e was pre-eminent. "Les s e u l s e c r i t s de V o l t a i r e i g a l e n t en nombre l e r e s t e des p u b l i c a t i o n s a n t i - r e l i g i e u s e s de ce temps-la." ( A u b e r t i n , 101 I n g e n e r a l , the a n t i - r e l i g i o u s works win approval and are judged t o be symptoms o f the advance o f reason which, i t i s f e l t , w i l l e v e n t u a l l y p r e v a i l over such "extravagances humaines" as C h r i s t i a n i t y . 3 7 F r e q u e n t l y the p r a i s e i s o f t h a t i n v e r t e d type a l r e a d y noted i n connection w i t h V o l t a i r e ' s a n t i - r e l i g i o u s w r i t i n g s i n which condemnation o b v i o u s l y s e r v e s both t o dec e i v e the censors and recommend the work t o en- l i g h t e n e d m i n d s . 3 8 The exact p o s i t i o n o f t h e p a r o i s s e as regards r e l i g i o n i s not, however, completely c l e a r . Grimm d e s c r i b e s the group as t o t a l l y i r r e l i g i o u s ; o f Madame Doublet's s a l o n he remarks: "On y e t a i t j a n s e n i s t e , ou du moins t r e s p a r l e m e n t a i r e , mais on n'y i t a i t pas cnre'tien; jamais croyant n i d i v o t n f y f u t admis, s i ce n'est p e u t - e t r e M. de Foncemagne. 1 , 3 9 Yet t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n may be too s t r o n g . I t should be remembered t h a t , w h i l e the Memoires review w i t h apparent a p p r o v a l so many a n t i - r e l i g i o u s p u b l i c a t i o n s and are q u i c k t o note the weaknesses i n the c o u n t e r - a t t a c k s by the churchmen, 4** they op. ext., p. 393.) For examples o f other w r i t e r s reviewed i n t h i s f i e l d , see the Memoires s e c r e t s . I , 21, 52; I I , 272 - 273, IV, 124 - 126, 131 - 132. 3 7 T h e c e n t r a l i d e a o f V o l t a i r e ' s V i e de J i s u s . I b i d . , V, 208 - 211. 3 8 I b i d . . I I , 272; I I I , 51 - 52. 3 9Grimm, op_. ext., IX, 317. We may a l s o add the name o f Boyer d ' E g u i l l e s , whom C o t t i n , i n h i s work Un Frote'ge de Bachaumont. p. x x v i i , terms "profonderaent r e l i g i e u x . " 4°Memoires s e c r e t s . V, 184 - 186, 246 - 249. 102 seem also to have f l e e t i n g moments of sympathy for a work such as M e d i t a t i o n s chre*tiennes. described as " l e f r u i t des r e t r a i t e s de l'auteur," i n which they priase " l e ton de douceur, de candeur, de raison et de charite."41 Aubertin, i n h i s E s p r i t public au dix-huitieme sie'cle claims to f i n d i n t h i s journal only " l e s f a i b l e s traces d'une resistance timide, etouffee dans l a clameur publique et tu6e aussit8t par l e r i d i c u l e . " 4 2 Perhaps a closer study of the Memoires. one not l i m i t e d to t h e i r l i t e r a r y aspects, would help to c l a r i f y t h i s issue. Certainly, unless one accepts the many pious and shocked protestations at t h e i r face value, there seems to be l i t t l e evidence i n the journals to sug- gest that the paroissiens had any strong r e l i g i o u s sympa- t h i e s . 4 3 In r e f l e c t i n g upon the d i v e r s i t y of material con- tained i n these "memoires d*Argus, 1 , 4 4 we cannot f a i l to be impressed by the i n t e l l e c t u a l alertness of the paroissiens. despite t h e i r advanced years. In t h e i r sympathy fo r the 4-*-Memoires secrets, I I , 73 - 74. 4 2Aubertin, op_. c i t . . p. 395. 43perhaps even the name paroissiens was chosen with a c e r t a i n i r o n i c intent? 4 4 d e Goncourt, E. and J., oj>. c i t . . pp. 72 - 73. It i s perhaps unnecessary to point out that Argus was a prince who according to legend, possessed one hundred eyes, f i f t y of which remained always open. 103 cause of the enlightenment, 4^ they show themselves to be among the progressive s p i r i t s of t h e i r day. Yet they are also very much part of t h e i r a r i s t o c r a t i c milieu, disturbed by the r i s e of commercialism—especially i n the realm of l i t e r a t u r e 4 ^ — a n d distressed at what they f e e l to be a grow- in g tendency i n journalism to pander to the f r i v o l o u s tastes of the general p u b l i c . 4 7 Interested i n new trends, aware of current problems, they are none the l e s s l o y a l to the a r i s - t o c r a t i c standards of elegance, wit and refinement, which— l i k e so much of the material they reviewed—were destined shortly to disappear. 45Here again we should not, I feel,be misled by apparent attacks on the philosophes, such as the entry dated September 22, 1768 which begins: "II s*est e l e v i depuis quelques annees en France une secte de philosophes audacieux qui semble avoir eu l e systeme refle'chi de porter une clarte? f a t a l e dans l e s e s p r i t s , d'ebranler toute cre*ance, de ren- verser l a r e l i g i o n et de l a saper jusque dans ses fondements . . ." 'Memoires secrets. IV, 124 - 126. 4^L'Ecole l i t t e r a i r e t i r i e des meilleurs ecrivains. i s , f o r example, said to be a f a i l u r e because " l e sordide intere't qui f a i t a g i r toutes nos plumes l i t t e ' r a i r e s " has motivated the production of an i n f e r i o r work. Ibid.. I I , 32. 4 7 I b i d . , I I , 292 - 293. "On peut juger de l a f u t i l i t i de notre gout et de notre paresse par l a l i s t e des almanachs nouveaux . . . " CHAPTER VII CONCLUSION An a n a l y s i s o f the m a t e r i a l i n the Memoires s e c r e t s , even w i t h i n the l i m i t e d scope o f t h i s present i n v e s t i g a t i o n , has proved to be an undertaking o f some complexity. Only by a s e l e c t i v e approach c o u l d the p r o f u s i o n of d e t a i l s t h a t crowd the pages o f t h i s "volumineux r e c u e i l " ^ " be brought w i t h i n the narrow compass o f a b r i e f r e p o r t . A c c o r d i n g l y , t h i s survey has tended t o be f a i r l y general i n nature, con- f i n e d , o f n e c e s s i t y , t o a study o f the p r i n c i p a l authors and genres. In a d d i t i o n , I have t r i e d t o c a t c h a glimpse o f the v a r i o u s l i t e r a r y t r e n d s , t o note contemporary r e a c t i o n a n d — as f a r as p o s s i b l e — t o assess the i d e o l o g i c a l b i a s o f the j o u r n a l . Obviously, t h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n i s i n no way an ex- h a u s t i v e study o f the l i t e r a r y m a t e r i a l i n the Memoires even f o r the decade i n qu e s t i o n , nor i s i t a complete catalogue o f authors and works o f the p e r i o d . ^ B a r r i e r e , i n the p r e f a c e t o h i s E x t r a i t des memoires de Bachaumont. P a r i s , 1867> p. 212 remarks—perhaps not a l t o g e t h e r j u s t l y — t h a t " i l n»y a p o i n t de l e c t e u r , f u t - i l i n f a t i g a b l e , dont ce volumineux r e c u e i l ne r e b u t S t l a p a t i e n c e . " Perhaps i t was t h i s c o n f u s i o n o f d e t a i l s t h a t caused Mme du Deffand, speaking o f the Memoires. to remark t h a t she had made "une s o t t e emplette." ( L e t t r e s de l a marquise du Deffand a Horace Walpole (1766-1780), Mrs. P. Toynbee ed., London, 1912, I I I , 368, 373.) But then, might not the r e - r e a d i n g o f s e v e r a l y e a r s 1 back i s s u e s o f Time produce a s i m i l a r r e a c t i o n ? 105 C e r t a i n l y , the most s t r i k i n g f e a t u r e o f the Melnoires s e c r e t s i s t h e i r r i c h n e s s of content, a f e a t u r e so w e l l des- c r i b e d more than a century ago by the Goncourt b r o t h e r s , who saw i n Madame Doublet*s s a l o n " l e rendez-vous des echos, l e c a b i n e t n o i r 6\x l * o n d e c a c h e t a i t l e s n o u v e l l e s , " adding: "Pele-mSle y tombait l e d i x - h u i t i e m e s i e c l e heure a heure, bons mots et s o t t i s e s , q u e r e l l e s , p r o c e s , s i f f l e t s , bravos, morts et na i s s a n c e s , l i v r e s et grands hommes, un j e ne s a i s quoi sans o r d r e , une moisson a p l e i n e b r a s s i e de p a r o l e s et de choses . . . " I n keeping with the s t a t e d purpose o f the j o u r n a l , the g r e a t e r p a r t o f the e n t r i e s concern the world of l e t t e r s and i t i s wit h some r e g r e t t h a t I have had t o l e a v e o t h e r areas unexplored. W i t h i n the c o n f i n e s o f the l i t e r a r y m a t e r i a l , however, the same abundance and v a r i e t y e x i s t s , testimony t o the i n t e l l e c t u a l a c t i v i t y o f the day and to the j o u r n a l i s t i c f e r v o u r o f the p a r o i s s i e n s . In a d d i t i o n t o t h e i r wealth o f content, these e a r l y volumes o f the Memoires s e c r e t s a re c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a s t y l e t h a t i s c o n c i s e , c l e a r and at times almost epigrammatic i n q u a l i t y . Consequently, l e n g t h y c r i t i c a l reviews are the exception r a t h e r than the r u l e ; i n g e n e r a l , we f i n d a neat summary of what are seen t o be the s a l i e n t p o i n t s o f a work. The sbyle o f these e a r l y volumes c o n s t i t u t e s , one f e e l s , t he most d i r e c t evidence we have of the i n f l u e n c e o f Bachaumont. 2 d e Goncourt, E. and J . op_. e x t . , pp. 72 - 73. 1 0 6 To quote A u b e r t i n : "Tout y p o r t e l a marque d T u n observateur I n s t r u i t et d'un homme de bonne compagnie. La s o l i d i t e ' du sens, l a j u s t e s s e de 1 ' e x p r e s s i o n donnent du p r i x aux moindres fragments." 3 A f t e r January 1 , 1 7 7 0 , the p o i n t at which Bachaumont fs manuscript a p p a r e n t l y ended, 4 the e n t r i e s appear to be r a t h e r l e s s e l e g a n t l y phrased. The extent t o which th e s t y l e and content o f items a f t e r t h a t date (as w e l l as t h e general tone o f the j o u r n a l ) r e v e a l the i n f l u e n c e of h i s s u c c e s s o r M a i r o b e r t i s , however, a matter f o r f u r t h e r i n v e s t i g a t i o n . One o f the c h i e f problems posed by the Memoires s e c r e t s i s the q u e s t i o n of t h e i r a u t h o r s h i p . We have a l r e a d y mentioned the e r r o r o f some modern s c h o l a r s who c o n s i d e r Bachaumont as p e r s o n a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the e n t i r e j o u r n a l . Such a view i s o b v i o u s l y i n c o r r e c t . We may no doubt s a f e l y assume t h a t he f u r n i s h e d the b a s i c i n s p i r a t i o n f o r the s e r i e s and was c h i e f l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the s e l e c t i o n and e d i t i n g o f m a t e r i a l from t h e r e g i s t e r s , at l e a s t f o r t h e y e a r s 1 7 6 2 - 1 7 7 0 . Apart from t h i s , we must, I t h i n k , a g r e e with C o t t i n t h a t " l e s 3 A u b e r t i n , C. op_. ext., p. 3 8 5 . A comparison o f s i m i l a r e n t r i e s o c c u r r i n g i n both the j o u r n a l and the supple- ments i n d i c a t e s very c l e a r l y the s u p e r i o r s t y l i s t i c q u a l i t i e s o f t h e former. One can compare, f o r example, the c o n c i s e review o f l ' E c u e i l du sage ( 1 7 6 2 ) found i n the Memoires s e c r e t s . I , 24 - 25 with the l e n g t h y account p r o b a b l y d e r i v e d d i r e c t l y from the r e g i s t e r s and p u b l i s h e d i n t h e supplements, I b i d . * XVI, 1 4 0 - 1 4 4 . 4 S e e the Avertissement. I b i d . , I , v i . 107 v e r i t a b l e s auteurs de ce p r e c i e u x r e p e r t o i r e f u r e n t l e s p a r o i s s i e n s . I have consequently been c a r e f u l t o a v o i d u s i n g the name o f Bachaumont i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h any o f the c r i t i c a l o p i n i o n s expressed and I remain f a i r l y c e r t a i n t h a t t h e b i a s o f the j o u r n a l i s most p r o b a b l y the b i a s o f the p a r o i s s e w i t h which* of course* Bachaumont was no doubt l a r g e l y i n sympathy. As f a r as one can gather from a study o f t h e p u r e l y l i t e r a r y items* Grimm appears t o have been a c c u r a t e i n h i s assessment of the p a r o i s s e as " j a n s e n i s t e , ou du moins t r e s p a r i e m e n t a i r e . " That the members were J a n s e n i s t ( i n the p o l i t i c a l r a t h e r than the r e l i g i o u s sense) i s e v i d e n t from t h e i r a n t i - J e s u i t l e a n i n g s ; that they admiredthe parlements can be seen even i n the l i t e r a r y reviews. Grimm was* however, of the o p i n i o n t h a t the h a b i t u e s o f Madame D o u b l e t 1 s s a l o n were d e c i d e d l y i r r e l i g i o u s and, indeed, seems t o s t r e s s t h i s p o i n t . 7 Perhaps i t would be more a c c u r a t e to regard ^ C o t t i n , Correspondance i n e c l i t e du marquis d ' E g u i l l e s , p. x v i i i . The same author c r e d i t s Durey de M e i n i e r e s w i t h a p e r s o n a l c o n t r i b u t i o n to the Memoires; "Les a r t i c l e s des Memoires r e l a t i f s a l a m a g i s t r a t u r e peuvent e t r e regardes comme son oeuvre." ( i b i d . , p. xx.) V e r i f i c a t i o n o f t h i s statement i s , however, beyond the scope o f t h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n . 6 A p o s s i b l e e x c e p t i o n to the theory of group author- s h i p l i e s i n the e n t r i e s c o n c e r n i n g p a i n t i n g and s c u l p t u r e . In view o f Bachaumont fs pre-eminence i n the f i e l d o f a r t , the c r i t i c a l comments i n t h i s area would seem i n a l l l i k e l i h o o d t o be h i s p e r s o n a l c o n t r i b u t i o n . 7Grimm, op_. ext., IX, 317 - 318. See the passage a l r e a d y r e f e r r e d t o i n my Chapter 6. 108 them as merely i n d i f f e r e n t i n t h i s r e s p e c t , i n c l i n e d t o c o n s i d e r r e l i g i o n as g e n e r a l l y i n c o m p a t i b l e w i t h reason. C e r t a i n l y i t seems d o u b t f u l t h a t they were, as a group, m i l i t a n t a t h e i s t s . In the a t t i t u d e o f the p a r o i s s i e n s to the p h i l o s o p h e ' s cause both A u b e r t i n and the Goncourt b r o t h e r s note t h i s same s p i r i t o f detachment, the former commenting upon th e " s p i r i - t u e l l e p a r e s s e " 8 of the p a r o i s s i e n s and the l a t t e r i n s i s t i n g t h a t they were " n i p h i l o s o p h e s , n i j a n s e n i s t e s ; . . . i l s e t a i e n t des i n d i f f e r e n t s . " 9 Yet i f the Memoires were w r i t t e n as a r e c o r d of the progress o f the enlightenment, as i t s i n t r o d u c t i o n would i m p l y , x ^ one must n e v e r t h e l e s s remember the source o f the items t h e r e i n . I t seems u n l i k e l y t h a t t h e p a r o i s s i e n s c o u l d have been unaware o f the power of the p r e s s and o f the p u b l i c i t y value of the n o u v e l l e s t h a t emanated from l e s F i l l e s Saint-Thomas. Rather, the many e n t r i e s i n the j o u r n a l devoted to the p r o g r e s s o f the enlightenment and t h e warmth o f a p p r o v a l i m p l i e d i n t h e c a r e f u l l y worded comments r e f l e c t t h e involvement o f the group i n the p h i l o s o p h e cause and seem to i n d i c a t e t h a t t h i s band o f a r i s t o c r a t i c j o u r n a l - i s t s was q u i t e c o n s c i o u s l y promulgating the gospel of the age of reason. 8 A u b e r t i n , op_. ext., pp. 377 - 378. 9de Goncourt, E. and J . , op., ext., pp. 86 - 8 7 . -^Memoires s e c r e t s . I, i i i - v i . 109 As f o r l i t e r a t u r e , the j o u r n a l r e v e a l s on the whole an awareness o f c u r r e n t t r e n d s and an acceptance o f c e r t a i n i n n o v a t i o n s , although i t o c c a s i o n a l l y m a n i f e s t s a c e r t a i n n o s t a l g i a f o r v a n i s h i n g standards and d e p l o r e s what i t sees as a g e n e r a l d e c l i n e i n good t a s t e . A completely o b j e c t i v e a t t i t u d e i s seldom a t t a i n e d but most of the c r i t i c a l reviews t r y t o temper harsh c r i t i c i s m with words of p r a i s e whenever p o s s i b l e . The c o n c l u s i o n s t h a t can be drawn about t h e Memoires s e c r e t s from an i n v e s t i g a t i o n l i m i t e d t o one area and one decade must, o f n e c e s s i t y , be c o n s i d e r e d as p u r e l y t e n t a t i v e . Other avenues remain to be e x p l o r e d before any f i r m a p p r a i s a l o f the j o u r n a l can be reached. Among these, one might sug- gest a study o f the r e l a t i o n s h i p s o f the p a r o i s s i e n s w i t h the l i t e r a r y , r e l i g i o u s and p o l i t i c a l f i g u r e s of t h e day; a com- p a r i s o n o f the Memoires wi t h o t h e r j o u r n a l s o f the p e r i o d ; a study of the content o f the l a t e r volumes; a f u r t h e r attempt t o gauge the i n f l u e n c e o f M a i r o b e r t . For a l l such i n v e s t i g a t i o n s a more adequate i n d e x X i appears t o be a p r i o r n e c e s s i t y . Though undoubtedly a complex undertaking, a 1 : LThe p r e s e n t index, c o n s i s t i n g of a t a b l e o f names appe a r i n g i n the Memoires. has many l i m i t a t i o n s . Some names are omitted ( f o r example, t h a t o f Mme du Boccage) and e n t r i e s a r e overlooked i f t h e author i s r e f e r r e d t o i n d i r e c t l y r a t h e r than by name. Dates a l s o are at times i n a c c u r a t e , although t h e s e e r r o r s may be t y p o g r a p h i c a l . Above a l l , a s u b j e c t index i s e s s e n t i a l i f the m a t e r i a l i n the Memoires i s to become more r e a d i l y a c c e s s i b l e to the student. 110 d e t a i l e d index would be an i n v a l u a b l e t o o l f o r f u r t h e r study of t h i s f a s c i n a t i n g c h r o n i c l e . I would l i k e t o end my study by e x p r e s s i n g the hope t h a t t h i s l i m i t e d i n v e s t i g a t i o n has p r o v i d e d a general view of the j o u r n a l and i t s c r e a t o r s , as w e l l as some i n - s i g h t i n t o the l i t e r a r y a c t i v i t y o f the decade. The Memoires are, o b v i o u s l y , r i c h i n m a t e r i a l of i n t e r e s t to the student o f French l i t e r a t u r e . A d d i t i o n a l rewards, however, await t h e reader who c a r e f u l l y peruses t h e i r crowded pages. To him w i l l be granted t h e p r i v i l e g e o f g l i m p s i n g a vanished s o c i e t y through the eyes o f Madame Doublet"s c u l t u r e d asso- c i a t e s , from whose d a i l y meetings developed " c e t t e source i n t a r i s s a b l e , c e t t e chronique v i v a n t e : l e s Memoires s e c r e t s pour s e r v i r a 1 " h i s t o i r e de l a r e p u b l i q u e des l e t t r e s en F r a n c e . " 1 2 12de Goncourt, E. and J . op_. ext., 53. A SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Amat, Roman d*. " B e r n i s , " D i c t i o n n a i r e de b i o g r a p h i e f r a n c a i s e , P a r i s , VI (1954), 123 - 126. . "Doublet," D i c t i o n n a i r e de b i o g r a p h i e f r a n c a i s e . P a r i s , 1966, F a s c . l x i i i , 6 4 6 . 3 A u b e r t i n , C h a r l e s . "Memoires de Bachaumont," E s p r i t p u b l i c au l 8 e s i e c l e . P a r i s , 1873, pp. 374 - 399. Bachaumont, L o u i s P e t i t de. Memoires s e c r e t s pour s e r v i r a l ' h i s t o i r e de l a r e p u b l i q u e des l e t t r e s en France depuis 1762 .jusqu'a nos .jours, ou .journal d*un o b s e r v a t e u r l L o n d o n , I-V (1777); XVI (1781); XVIII (1782); XIX (1783). B a r b i e r , Antoine Alexandre. D i c t i o n n a i r e des ouvrages anonvmes. P a r i s , 1872-79. B a r b i e r , Edmond Jean F r a n c o i s . Chronique de l a r i g e n c e et de l a regne de L o u i s XV. P a r i s , 1857. Barroux, Robert. "Bachaumont," D i c t i o n n a i r e des l e t t r e s f r a n c a i s e s . XVIIIe s i e c l e . Fayard ed., P a r i s , 1950, pp. 125 - 126. Bayle, P. and J . Herblay. "Journalisme au l 8 e s i e c l e , " N o u v e l l e revue (Nov. - Dec. 1905), 213 - 236, 394 - 413. B e l i n , Jean-Paul. Commerce des l i v r e s p r o h i b e s a P a r i s de 1750 a 1789. New York, n.d., ( o r i g . P a r i s , 1913). . Le Mouvement p h i l o s o p h i q u e de 1748 a 1789; e"tude sur l a d i f f u s i o n des i d e e s p h i l o s o p h e s a P a r i s . New York, 1962, ( o r i g . P a r i s , 1913). B e r t a u t , J u l e s . La V i e l i t t e r a i r e en France au l 8 e s i e c l e . P a r i s , 1954. "Mme du Boccage." B i o g r a p h i e u n i v e r s e l l e (Michaud), P a r i s , n.d., IV, 484 - 485. JBoyer d ' E g u i l l e s , A.J.B. e d j . "Un protege de Bachaumont; correspondance i n e d i t e du marquis d ' E g u i l l e s , " Revue r e t r o s p e c t i v e . I l l (1885), 95 - 168, 217 - 240; IV (1886), 121 - 144, 217 - 240; V (1887), 73 - 96. B r u l i , Andre*. La V i e au l 8 e s i e c l e : l e s gens de l e t t r e s . P a r i s , 1928. 112 Clogenson, P i e r r e . "Le D e r n i e r P o r t r a i t de V o l t a i r e , " Revue du l 8 e s i e c l e . I (1913), 318. Cobban, A l f r e d . A H i s t o r y o f Modern France. I . Penguin ed., 1965. C o t t i n , P a u l . 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