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Lot n° 17

BOISROBERT François LE METEL de...

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autograph poem, To Monseigneur le Cardinal on the death of Alfonce Mancini his nephew. Sonnet, [1658]; 1 page in-fol.
Sonnet by the founder of the French Academy, dedicated to Cardinal MAZARIN.
[In January 1658, at the age of fourteen, Alphonse MANCINI, Mazarin's nephew, fell on his head while playing with his classmates at the Jesuit College, and died. Mazarin was very affected by the loss of this nephew, in whom he had founded great hopes. Boisrobert, then in disgrace, sent this consoling sonnet which touched the cardinal and provoked his solemn return to grace and his reception at Court by the Queen. This sonnet was collected in the 1659 edition of Boisrobert's Epistres en vers et autres oeuvres poétiques].
"Alfonce had, I confess, a too rigorous fate
Already the Court charmed admired his childhood,
And one sees disappearing at the point of his birth
This star with whom the world was going to be in love.
He was born brilliant, liberal, generous,
But as this life is the same inconstancy
He might one day have deceived your hopes
Prince, and in innocence he died blessed [...]
Prince, not without a miracle, would he have been like you
On himself, at all times, won the victory ? "
L'Académie française au fil des lettres, pp. 56-59.

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