Desmahis, Joseph Francis Edward De Corsembleu

, was born at Sully-sur-Loire in 1722, and died Feb. 25, 1761, in the 38th year of his age. He was a man of great talents, and his heart was as excellent as his understanding: no man took a greater participation in the suffering of his fellow creatures. More devoted to his friends than to himself, he always anticipated their desires, “When my friend laughs,” said he, “it is his business to inform me of the reason of his joy when he weeps, it is rnin,e to discover the cause of his grief.” He never solicited either favours or rewards. Contented with the common necessaries of life and health, he was unconcerned about the rest. It was a maxim with him, that, if harmony reigned among literary men, notwithstanding the smallness of their number, they would be the masters of the world. Somebody once read to him a satirical piece of poetry, for his advice, “Give up this wretched turn for ever,” said he, “if you would retain any connexion with me. One more satire, and we break at once.” Modest in the midst of prosperity, he sometimes said to his friends: “Content to live on terms of friendship with the distinguished characters of my times, I have not the ambition to wish for a place among them in the temple of memory.” Very early in life he gave proofs of the facility of his genius, and had the art of blending study and philosophy with pleasure. He wrote the comedy of the “Impertinent,” which was much applauded. It is not indeed in the style of Moliere; but it contains good pictures of real life, ingenious turns of wit, judicious sentiments, and the principal character is well drawn. 2. Miscellaneous works. A soft and light vein of poetry, an easy and harmonious versification, a lively colouring, delicate and well-turned thoughts, are the characteristics of this collection, in which the “Voyage de Saint-Germain” rises superior to the rest. It is easy to perceive that the author had taken Voltaire for his model, and is not unsuccessful in his imitation. A complete edition of his works, from his own manuscripts, appeared in 1777, with a life of the author, Paris, 2 vols. 12mo. 2