poet Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux

Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux

Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux
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a French poet and critic.

Boileau was born in the rue de Jérusalem, in Paris, France. He was brought up to the law, but devoted to letters, associating himself with La Fontaine, Racine, and Molière. He is the author of Satires and Epistles, L'Art poétique and Le Lutrin, in which he attacked and employed his wit against what he perceived to be the bad taste of his time.

Boileau did much to reform the prevailing form of French poetry, as Blaise Pascal did to reform the prose, and was for long the law-giver of Parnassus. He was greatly influenced by Horace.

The surname "Despréaux" was derived from a small property at Crosne near ... more »

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Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux Quotations

  • ''However big the fool, there is always a bigger fool to admire him.''
    Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux (1636-1711), French poet, critic. L'Art Poétique, cto. 1, l. 232 (1674).
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  • ''No one who cannot limit himself has ever been able to write.''
    Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux (1636-1711), French poet, critic. L'Art Poétique, cto. 1, l. 63 (1674).
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Best Poem of Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux

Canto I Argument

Canto I

ARGUMENT

The Argument ? what needs a Proëme
To vamp a Three-half-penny Poëme ?
No, Reader, No ; ‘twas never writt
For thy sake, but for little Chitt.
St. George oth' back-side of the Horn-book,
The Dragon kills, to Humour Scorn-book.
And thus to wheddle in young Fops,
The gilded Sign hangs o're the Shops :
Miss won't come in to Buy, before
She spies the Knick-knack at the Dore.
Thus Queasie Madams meat forbear
Until they read, The Bill of Fare.
Instead a Frontispiece, or Babbie,
We plac't to please some puiney Rabbie,
Who hates an...

Read the full of Canto I Argument