paris translation poet poetical
DELILLE, JACQUES (1738-1813), a French poet, was born on the 22d of June 1738, at Aigues-Perse Auvergne. He was an illegitimate child, and was connected by his mother with the family of the Chancellor de l'H5pital. With very slender means of support he was educated at the college of Lisieux in Paris, and made such progress in his studies as augured well for his future dis-tinction. When his education was completed, h.e was forced to accept of a very humble situation as elementary teacher in the college of Beauvais ; but this was. soon exchanged for the more honourable station of professor of humanity at Amiens, After returning to Paris, where he obtained a professorship at the Coll6ge de la -Marche, he speedily acquired a considerable poetical fame, which was greatly increased by the publication (1769) of his transla-tion of the Georgics of Virgil, which he had begun at Amiens. Voltaire was greatly strimk with the enterprise and the success of Delille ; and without any personal acquaintance with the poet he, of his own accord, recom-mended him and his work to the good graces of the Academy. He was at once elected a member, but was not admitted until 1774 owing to the opposition of Richelieu, who alleged that he was too young. He now aimed at a higher distinction than even a finished translation of the most finished poem in the world could confer upon him ; and in the Jardens, which he published in 1782, he made good his pretensions as an original poet. Before he had gone far in the composition of his next poem, which was not, indeed, published tin after many of his other works, he made a journey to Constantinople in the train of the ambassador M. de Choiseul Gouffier. On his return to Paris he lectured, in his capacity of professor, an the Latin poets, and was attended by a numerous audience, who were delighted, not only- with his critical observations, but with his beautiful recitation. Delille continued to advance in fame and fortune, though without hazarding any more publications, till the period of the Revolution, when he was reduced to poverty, and sheltered himself in retreat from the disasters which surrounded him. He quitted Paris, and retired to St Die, the native place of Madame Delille ; and here he completed, in deep solitude, his translation of the 4E'n,eid, which he had begun many years before. A residence in France, however, soon became very undesir-able, and he emigrated first to 13asle and then to Glairesse in Switzerland, a charming village on the Lake of Bienne, opposite Rousseau.'s island of St Pierre. Much delighted with this enchanting country, and with the reception which he met from its inhabitants, he occupied himself constantly in the composition of poetry, and here finished his Homme des Champs, and his poem on the Trois Refines de la Yature. His next place of refuge was in Germany, where he composed his La Piti ; and finally, he passed two years in London, chiefly employed in translating Paradise Lost. In 1801, finding that he might return safely to Paris, he did so, carrying with him his immense Poetical Encyclopcedia. He resumed his professorship and his chair at the Academy, but lived in retirement. His later poems were very numerous, but were not fitted to increase his reputation, which rests mainly on his translation of the Georgics and his Jardifts. In his later years he became blind. He died on the 1st May 1813.
Delille left behind him little prose. His preface to the transla-tion of the Georgics is an able essay, and contains many excellent hints on the art and difficulties of translation. He wrote the article " La Bruyre" in the Biographic 0-1 1 iv er sellc. The following is the list of his poetical works : - Les Georgigues de Virgile, traduites en vers francais, Paris, 1769, 1782, 1785, 1809 ; Les Jardins, en quatre chants, 1780, new edition, London, 1800, Paris, 1802 ; L'Hommes des Champs, ou les Georgigues Francaise.s, 1800 ; Poesies Fugitives, 1802 ; Dithurambe sur Inonortalite de l'Ante, suivi passage du Saila Gothard, - poeme traduit de PAnglais de Madame la Duchesse de Devonshire, 1802 ; La Pitie, - poeme, en quatre chants, London and Paris, 1803 ; L'Eneicle de Virgile, traduite vers francais, 1805 ; L'Imagination, pame en huit chants, 1806 ; Les Trois Regnes de la Nature, 1809 ; La Conversation., 1812. A collection given under the title of Poesies Diverses, 1801, was disavowed by Delille,