Boccage, Mary-Anne Le Page, Du

, an eminent literary lady of France, and a member of the academies of Rome, Bologna, Padua, Lyons, and Rouen, was born at Rouen, Oct. 22, 1710. She was educated at Paris in the convent of the Assumption, where she made a very rapid progress in every branch of education. At a very early age, she studied the English language, that she might be enabled to transfuse the beauties of Pope’s Temple of Fame into French but she concealed her performance for many years, nor did it appear till 1764, in the collection of her works. She had, however, given an ample proof of her poetical talents in 1746, by gaining the first prize givea by the academy of Rouen, which was founded the year | preceding by the duke of Luxembourg. This procured her the homage and the society of the most eminent nits and scholars of the day. From this time she published nothing without her name. Having acquired an uncommon relish for the “Paradise Lost” of Milton, she endeavoured to translate a part of it into French, and was highly complimented by Voltaire on her success. She imitated also, but with much more success and more ease, Gesner’s “Death of Abel.” In 1749, her tragedy of “The Amazons” was represented on one of the Paris stages with considerable applause: but her fame rests principally on an epic poem, entitled “The Columbiad, or Discovery of America,” in ten cantos, which procured her the highest reputation at that time from the critics of her own country, although the execution is very far from corresponding with the magnitude of the undertaking.

In 1750, she set out on her travels through England, Holland, and Italy, and published the result of them in “Letters” on her return. Her personal appearance procured her friends and admirers wherever she went, and when she again took up her residence in France, her house became the rendezvous of the most distinguished men of genius of the age, all of whom she survived. She indeed outlived two ages of literature, the latter of which was shortened by the horrors of revolutionary cruelty, from which by some means she was enabled to escape. She died Aug. 1802, at the very advanced age of ninety-two. In early life she was married to a financier, who left her a very young and beautiful widow. Her private character is represented as exceedingly amiable, and her accomplishments, taste, manners, as of the highest order but modern French critics seem not disposed to allot her so high a rank among the votaries of the muses, as her content poraries did and her works, it must be confessed, have not been of late years in much request, there having been, no edition called for since that of 1770, 3 vols. 8vo, A very indifferent translation of her “Letters concerning England, Holland, and Italy,” was published at London in that year, 2 vols. 12ino. 1

1 Biog. Uaiv, —Dict. Hist. in Du Boccage.