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Quatrain sur Émilie Dubois

vers/verse, pub:1855




From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     Dumas' journal "Le Mousquetaire," in its number for March 29th, 1855, published the following quatrain, which had been inspired by the brilliant debut of Émilie Dubois, the admired associate of the Comédie Française, in Mme. de Girardin's "Lady Tartuffe."
     This quatrain also appeared in the "Décameron Dramatique, ou Album du Théâtre Français," published by the "Ménestrel," with ten charming pieces of music by Jacques Offenbach, as many portraits, and as many autographic quatrains by the first poets of the day (1855).
     The same quatrain was sold, in autograph, by M. Eugène Charavay on November 12th, 1887.
         Pour l'art divin qui nous amuse,
         Elle naquit dans un jardin,
         Rose de la dixième muse,
         Chez Delphine de Girardin.
     Says Dumas: "Madame Girardin, in reading her play ("Lady Tartuffe") at the Théâtre Français, had a bouquet, and forgot this rosebud in the committee's room. They quickly made of it an associate, and they did well. It was I whom Offenbach deputed to make the four lines which were to accompany her portrait. I wished to decline ; the poor child had not been fortunate as regards me. I had constructed two roles for her, that of Georgette in 'La Jeunesse de Louis XIV,' and that of Topaze in 'La Jeunesse de Louis XV.' You know what happened to these two pieces. One has been played at Saint-Pétersbourg. The other will probably not be performed at all. Luckily I composed fifty-three others before them. They refused to accept my excuses; Offenbach called upon me, the pretty child visited me in person, coming herself to fetch her verses, and carrying away my four lines, in prose." (i.e., Dumas claims for them no great merit.)

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