Some of his finest tragedies were written for her, but her repertoire was not confined to them, and many an indifferent play - like Thomas Corneille's Ariane and Comte d'Essex - owed its success to "her natural manner of acting, and her pathetic rendering of the hapless heroine."
But on the 12th of June in the following year she succeeded, after great difficulty, in making a debut at the Theatre Francais, as Camille in Corneille's Horace, when her remarkable genius at once received general recognition.
Rodogune (1644) was a brilliant success; Theodore (1645),(1645), a tragedy on a somewhat perilous subject, was the first of Corneille's plays which was definitely damned.
Notwithstanding this domestic felicity, an impression is left on the reader of Corneille's biographies that he was by no means a happy man.
The cabal or clique which attacked the Cid had no effect whatever on the judgment of the public. All his subsequent masterpieces were received with the same ungrudging applause, and the rising star of Racine, even in conjunction with the manifest inferiority of Corneille's last five or six plays, with difficulty prevailed against the older poet's towering reputation.
The fact seems to be that the form in which Corneille's work was cast, and which by an odd irony of fate he did so much to originate and make popular, was very partially suited to his talents.
It is certain, however, that there is more interval between these six plays and than between the latter and Corneille's greatest drama.
The conflicting passions of love, honour, duty, are here represented as they never had been on a French stage, and in the "strong style" which was Corneille's own.
Nicomede, often considered one of Corneille's best plays, is chiefly remarkable for the curious and unusual character of its hero.
Odipe is certainly unworthy of its subject and its author, but in Sertorius we have one of Corneille's finest plays.
It has never been included in Corneille's works.