He then turned to journalism and began the Journal de politique et de liteerature, which he employed for two years in literary, philosophical and legal criticisms. But a sarcastic article on the French Academy compelled him to turn over the Journal to La Harpe and seek refuge abroad.
He is specially famous for his splendid descriptions of scenery (The Song of Gilsbakki), his love-songs and his sarcastic epigrams. As a translator he has enriched the literature with The Arabian Nights, Sakuntala, King Lear and several other masterpieces of foreign literature.
Salviati and Sagredo took their names from two of Galileo's early friends, the former a learned Florentine, the latter a distinguished Venetian gentleman; Simplicio ostensibly derived his from the Cilician commentator of Aristotle, but the choice was doubtless instigated by a sarcastic regard to the double meaning of the word.
Carlyle's sarcastic remark on Lacretelle's history of the Revolution, that it " exists, but does not profit much," is partly true of all his books.
"I know your sister too little," replied Prince Andrew, with a sarcastic smile under which he wished to hide his embarrassment, "to be able to solve so delicate a question, and then I have noticed that the less attractive a woman is the more constant she is likely to be," he added, and looked up at Pierre who was just approaching them.
His original verse tends chiefly to show that with all his sarcastic and cynical wit his genius had also its tender, serious and sentimental side.
He was ridiculous, and unpleasantly sarcastic, but yet he inspired involuntary respect by his boundless devotion to an idea.
"You will, of course, command it yourself?" said Julie, directing a sly, sarcastic glance toward the militia officer.
But he is best known as the author of the //Mot, three books of sarcastic hexameter verses, written against the Greek philosophers.
His immense energy and versatility, his adroit and unhesitating flattery when he chose to flatter, his ruthless sarcasm when he chose to be sarcastic, his rather unscrupulous business faculty, his more than rather unscrupulous resolve to double and twist in any fashion so as to escape his enemies, - all these things appear throughout the whole mass of letters.
He was sent to Congress to report Gates's success against Burgoyne, but his tardiness secured for him a sarcastic reception.
It was finally checked by Nerva, who was stung into action by the sarcastic remark of the consul Titus Catius Caesius Fronto that, "bad as it was to have an emperor who allowed no one to do anything, it was worse to have one who allowed every one to do everything" (Dio Cass.
Marti obtained access to Aleman's unfinished manuscript, and stole some of his ideas; this dishonesty lends point to the sarcastic congratulations which Aleman, in the genuine sequel (1604) pays to his rival's sallies: "I greatly envy them, and should be proud that they were mine."
Melville delivered his opinion to that effect in two long speeches with his accustomed freedom, and, having shortly afterwards written a sarcastic Latin epigram on some of the ritual practised in the chapel of Hampton Court, and some eavesdropper having conveyed the lines to the king, he was committed to the tower, and detained there for four years.
Among the most constant attendants were two high-born and high-bred gentlemen, closely bound together by friendship, but of widely different characters and habits - Bennet Langton, distinguished by his skill in Greek literature, by the orthodoxy of his opinions, and by the sanctity of his life, and Topham Beauclerk, renowned for his amours, his knowledge of the gay world, his fastidious taste and his sarcastic wit.
The neatness of the form has led to a very extensive use of the limerick for all sorts of mockserious purposes, political, social and sarcastic, and a good many specimens have achieved a popularity which has been all the wider because they have, perforce, been confined to verbal transmission.
But this was mitigated by a strong sense of humour (not always sarcastic, though sometimes savagely so), and by tenderness, best seen in his epistolary friendships with women; and it was quite overborne by an instinct and passion for great practical affairs.
Three polemical works require mention: Contra cujusdam anonymi Galli calumnies apologia, Contra medicum quendam invectivarum libri, and De sui ipsius et multorum ignorantia - controversial and sarcastic compositions, which grew out of Petrarch's quarrels with the physicians of Avignon and the Averroists of Padua.