CLAUDE JOSEPH ROUGET DE LISLE (1760-1836) Poetic manuscript partly autographed, in French and English.
1 000 1 500
12 pp. in-8 square, about 4 pp. ½ autographs and about 7 pp. 1/2. A collection of English poems comprising on the one hand transcriptions of verses in their original language, from the hand of Rouget de Lisle and another unidentified hand, and on the other hand French translations, this time exclusively from the hand of Rouget de Lisle. Literary Anglophilia by Rouget de Lisle: the particular taste of this author for English literature, here manifest, is also reflected in his publications: he placed an English epigraph taken from Joseph Addison in his first printed volume, Essais en vers et en prose (Paris, Didot, 1796), and in 1827 he published an opera libretto taken from Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The present manuscript includes three autograph poems (80 verses in all): - a copy of Alexander Pope’s English poem «The Universal prayer». («Father of all! In every age, / In every clime adored / By saint, by savage and by sage, / Jehovah, Jove or Lord ! 52 verses, to be read in the following order: pp. 1, 8, then 2), - a French translation of a poem by Lord Chesterfield - and the French translation of a poem taken from the musical ode Orpheus and Eurydice by William Hayes Another hand wrote down 7 texts or excerpts from English texts (about 7 pp. 1/2): Alexander Pope’s poem «The fable of Dryope», based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses (pp. 3-7), the poem from William Hayes’ musical ode («Thy vain pursuit, fond youth, give o’er; / What more, alas, can Flavia do? ...», p. 11, which Rouget de Lisle translated above), and 5 other quotations from the works of Ben Johnson, «Underneath this stone doth lie / As much virtue as could dye...». (p. 7), William Congreve, «Pious Selinda goes to prayer...». (p. 10) and Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield, «Whenever, Chloe, I begin / Your heart, like mine, to move...». (p. 9-10, which Rouget de Lisle translated above). Author of La Marseillaise, Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle (1760-1836) first led a military career as an artillery officer, was for a time imprisoned under the Terror, and in 1795 took part in the defence of the territory against the landings at Quiberon. He resigned from the army in 1797 and devoted himself to his passion for literature. For a long time he had been cheating his boredom by writing poetry, and from 1789 to 1791 he had obtained a leave of absence which he used to frequent the Parisian literary and musical milieu. He achieved great fame with his Chant de guerre pour l’Armée du Rhin, written in April 1792, which would soon be known as La Marseillaise. Unfortunately, he did not meet with the same success with his other publications and theatrical works.