The second Marguerite (1523-1574), daughter of Francis I., was born on the 5th of June, 1523, at St Germain-en-Laye, and, at an age the lateness of which caused lampoons, married Emmanuel Philibert, duke of Savoy, in 1559 Like her aunt and her niece she was a good scholar and strongly interested in men of letters.
Her character, and still more her circumstances, made the pen very unamiably busy with her in her lifetime, the chief of many lampoons being the famous Divorce satirique, variously attributed to Agrippa d'Aubigne, Palma Cayet, and others.
It seems that Voltaire lent himself to the duchess's frantic hatred of the regent Orleans, and helped to compose lampoons on that prince.
The suppression of the Encyclopedie, to which he had been a considerable contributor, and whose conductors were his intimate friends, drew from him a shower of lampoons directed now at "l'infame" (see infra) generally, now at literary victims, such as Le Franc de Pompignan (who had written one piece of verse so much better than anything serious of Voltaire's that he could not be forgiven), or Palissot (who in his play Les Philosophes had boldly gibbeted most of the persons so termed, but had not included Voltaire), now at Freron, an excellent critic and a dangerous writer, who had attacked Voltaire from the conservative side, and at whom the patriarch of Ferney, as he now began to be called, levelled in return the very inferior farce-lampoon of L'Ecossaise, of the first night of which Freron himself did an admirably humorous criticism.
Thus Candide attacks religious and philosophical optimism, L'Homme aux quarante ecus certain social and political ways of the time, Zadig and others the received forms of moral and metaphysical orthodoxy, while some are mere lampoons on the Bible, the unfailing source of Voltaire's wit.
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