Comparetti's Edipo and Jebb's introduction for the Oedipus of Dryden, Corneille and Voltaire; A.
THOMAS CORNEILLE (1625-1709), French dramatist, was born at Rouen on the 10th of August 1625, being nearly twenty years younger than his brother, the great Corneille.
It has been the custom to speak of Thomas Corneille as of one who, but for the name he bore, would merit no notice.
But of Laodice, Comma, Stilico and some other pieces, Pierre Corneille himself said that "he wished he had written them," and he was not wont to speak lightly.
Thomas Corneille is in many ways remarkable in the literary gossip-history of his time.
There is a monograph, Thomas Corneille, sa vie et ses ouvrages (1892), by G.
See also the Fragments inidits de critique sur Pierre et Thomas Corneille of Alfred de Vigny, published in 1905.
He read much of the pamphlet literature then flooding the country, but he still preferred the, more general studies in history and literature, Plutarch, Caesar, Corneille, Voltaire and Rousseau being his favourite author:.
Owing to his eloquence he was speedily ranked in popular estimation with Corneille, Racine, and the other leading figures of the most brilliant period of Louis XIV.'s reign.
A generation later appeared Baptiste Massillon (1663-1742), who was to Bossuet as Racine to Corneille; and Jacques Saurin (1677-1730), whose evangelical sermons were delivered at the Hague.
Translations from Moliere, Racine, Corneille, Calderon and Moreto have also been issued by the Kisfaludy society.
But more important than his own efforts as an author were his protection and patronage of literary men, especially of Corneille, and his creation of the French Academy in 1635.
This was first printed in the Nouvelles de la republique des lettres (January 1685) and, as Vie de Corneille, was included in all the editions of Fontenelle's OEuvres.
Fontenelle forms a link between two very widely different periods of French literature, that of Corneille, Racine and Boileau on the one hand, and that of Voltaire, D'Alembert and Diderot on the other.
How he built a church and got into trouble in so doing at Ferney, how he put "Deo erexit Voltaire" on it (1760-61) and obtained a relic from the pope for his new building, how he entertained a grand-niece of Corneille, and for her benefit wrote his well-known "commentary" on that poet, are matters of interest, but to be passed over briefly.
Although Voltaire had neither the perfect versification of Racine nor the noble poetry of Corneille, he surpassed the latter certainly, and the former in the opinion of some not incompetent judges, in playing the difficult and artificial game of the French tragedy.
In literary criticism pure and simple his principal work is the Commentaire sur Corneille, though he wrote a good deal more of the same kind - sometimes (as in his Life and notices of Moliere) independently sometimes as part of his Siecles.
Among his principal works upon these subjects may be noted the four volumes of Letteratura della nuova Italia (1860-1910); his essays upon Goethe, Ariosto, Shakespeare, Corneille, and the Poetry of Dante; his two volumes Storia della storiografia italiana del secolo XIX.
The drama that has made Castro's reputation is Las Mocedades del Cid (1 599 ?), to the first part of which Corneille was largely indebted for the materials of his tragedy.
His favourite authors were Euripides, Virgil and Racine, whom he defends against the stock criticisms of the admirers of Corneille with equal zeal and insight.
He translated the Cid of Corneille, and wrote a poem on the subject of Psyche, based upon the well-known Greek myth.
Meantime, he had gained a high literary reputation by his Eloges of Charles V.,, Lacaille, Moliere, Corneille and Leibnitz, which were issued in a collected form in 1770 and 1790; he was admitted to the French Academy (February 26, 1784), and to the Academie des Inscriptions in 1785, when Fontenelle's simultaneous membership of all three Academies was renewed in him.
The Jesuits, on the other hand, claimed Corneille and Moliere, as well as Descartes and Bossuet, Fontenelle, Montesquieu and Voltaire.
The remains of the ancient abbey of St Corneille are used as a military storehouse.
It was enriched by Charles the Bald with two castles, and a Benedictine abbey dedicated to Saint Corneille, the monks of which retained down to the 18th century the privilege of acting for three days as lords of Compiegne, with full power to release prisoners, condemn the guilty, and even inflict sentence of death.
He insisted especially on the necessity of truth to nature in the imaginative presentation of the facts of life, and in one letter he boldly proclaimed the superiority of Shakespeare to Corneille, Racine and Voltaire.
At Rouen they became acquainted with Corneille, and Blaise pursued his studies with such vehemence that he already showed signs of an injured constitution.
He had several illegitimate children, among them being Corneille, called the Grand Bastard, who was killed in 1452 at the battle of Ruppelmonde.
Et Francois I eT (2 vols., 1777); Histoire de Charlemagne (2 vols., 1782); Histoire de la rivalite de la France et de l'Espagne (8 vols., 1801); Dictionnaire historique (6 vols., 1789-1804), making part of the Encyclopedie methodique; and Melanges litteraires, containing eloges on Charles V., Henry IV., Descartes, Corneille, La Fontaine, Malesherbes and others.
In 1841 and in 1842 she visited London, where her interpretations of Corneille and Racine were the sensation of the season.
These three masters were the contemporaries of Corneille, and do not belong to the Renaissance period.
He gave many pensions to men of letters, among whom we find Moliere, Corneille, Racine, Boileau, P. D.
This piece, written in the extravagant SpanishItalian manner, which was fashionable in the interval between the Pleiade model and the innovations of Corneille, was ridiculed by Boileau (Preface to his Ouvres, 1701).
Sophocles and Euripides (and in modern times Corneille) made the story the subject of tragedies, and its incidents were represented in numerous ancient works of art.
The plays produced on the Rumanian stage included most of the dramas of Moliere, some of Corneille, Kotzebue and Metastasio, whose Achille in Schiro was the first drama translated into Rumanian (by Iordache Slatineau, printed at *ibiu in 1797).
PIERRE CORNEILLE (1606-1684), French dramatist and poet, was born at Rouen, in the rue de la Pie, on the 6th of June 1606.
After being educated by the Jesuits of Rouen, Corneille at the age of eighteen was entered as avocat, and in 1624 took the oaths, as we are told, four years before the regular time, a dispensation having been procured.
De Rotrou, who was no unworthy yokefellow even of Corneille) had for task the more profitable than dignified occupation of working up Richelieu's ideas into dramatic form.
No one could be less suited for such work than Corneille, and he soon (it is said) incurred his employer's displeasure by altering the plan of the third act of Les Thuileries, which had been entrusted to him.
Chapelain's Sentiments de l'Acaddmie francaise sur la tragi-comddie du Cid (1638), when its arbitration was demanded by Richelieu, and not openly repudiated by Corneille, was virtually unimportant; but it is worth remembering that no less a writer than Georges de Scudery, in his Observations sur le Cid (1637), gravely and apparently sincerely asserted and maintained of this great play that the subject was utterly bad, that all the rules of dramatic composition were violated, that the action was badly conducted, the versification constantly faulty, and the beauties as a rule stolen!
Corneille himself was awkwardly situated in this dispute.
Finding it impossible to make himself fairly heard in the matter, Corneille (who had retired from his position among the "five poets") withdrew to Rouen and passed nearly three years in quiet there, perhaps revolving the opinions afterwards expressed in his three Discours and in the Examens of his plays, where he bows, somewhat as in the house of Rimmon, to "the rules."
In the following year Corneille figured as a contributor to the Guirlande de Julie, a famous album which the marquis de Montausier, assisted by all the literary men of the day, offered to his lady-love, Julie d'Angennes.
In this latter year Corneille (who had at last removed his residence from Rouen to Paris in 1662) was included among the list of men of letters pensioned at the proposal of Colbert.
The part which Corneille took in Psyche (1671), Moliere and P. Quinault being his coadjutors, showed signs of renewed vigour; but Pulcherie (1672) and Surena (1674) were allowed even by his faithful followers to be failures.
It used to be said that he was in great straits, and the story went (though, as far as Boileau is concerned, it has been invalidated), that at last Boileau, hearing of this, went to the king and offered to resign his own pension if there were not money enough for Corneille, and that Louis sent the aged poet two hundred pistoles.
Corneille was buried in the church of St Roch, where no monument marked his grave until 1821.
The portraits of Corneille (the best and most trustworthy of which is from the burin of M.
Racine is said to have assured his son that Corneille made verses "cent fois plus beaux" than his own, but that his own greater popularity was owing to the fact that he took some trouble to make himself personally agreeable.
"Je n'en suis pas moins Pierre Corneille," he is said to have replied to his friends as often as they dared to suggest certain shortcomings in his behaviour, manner or speech.
No story about Corneille is better known than that which tells of the trap between the two houses, and how Pierre, whose facility of versification was much inferior to his brother's, would lift it when hard bestead, and call out "Sans-souci, une rime!"
Thomas Corneille himself, who to his undoubted talents united wonderful facility, untiring industry, and (gift valuable above all others to the playwright) an extraordinary knack of hitting the public fancy, died, notwithstanding his simple tastes, "as poor as Job."
Corneille, unlike many of the great writers of the world, was not driven to wait for "the next age" to do him justice.
We have quoted the informal tribute of Racine; but it should not be forgotten that Racine, in discharge of his duty as respondent at the Academical reception of Thomas Corneille, pronounced upon the memory of Pierre perhaps the noblest and most just tribute of eulogy that ever issued from the lips of a rival.
Boileau's testimony is of a more chequered character; yet he seems never to have failed in admiring Corneille whenever his principles would allow him to do so.
Questioned as to the great men of Louis XIV.'s reign, he is said to have replied: "I only know three, - Corneille, Moliere and myself."
Was a great admirer of Corneille ("s'il vivait, je le ferais prince," he said), and under the Empire and the Restoration an approach to a sounder appreciation was made.
But it was the glory of the romantic school, or rather of the more catholic study of letters which that school brought about, to restore Corneille to his true rank.
"My friend Corneille," he said, "has a familiar who inspires him with the finest verses in the world.
That Corneille was by no means destitute of the critical faculty his Discourses and the Examens of his plays (often admirably acute, and, with Dryden's subsequent prefaces, the originals to a great extent of specially modern criticism) show well enough.
In the French course I read some of the works of Corneille, Moliere, Racine, Alfred de Musset and Sainte-Beuve, and in the German those of Goethe and Schiller.