Gacon, Francis

, a French poet, well known by his satirical pieces against Bossuet, Rousseau, La Motte, and others, was the son of a merchant, and born at Lyons in 1667. He became a father of the Oratory; obtained the poetical prize at the French academy in 1717; and died in his priory of Baillon Nov. 15, 1725. Among his works are, “Le Poete sans fard,” a satirical piece, which cost him some months of imprisonment; a French translation of “Anacreon,” with notes, which was the best of his works; “L' Anti-Rousseau,” an attack against J. Baptiste Rousseau, the poet; “L’Homere venge,” against La Motte. Gacon also attacked La Motte, and turned him into ridicule, in a small piece entitled “Les Fables de M. de la Motte, traduites en vers Francois, par P. S. F. au Caffe* du Mont Parnasse, &c.” This poet’s natural propensity to satire and criticism, led him to attack alt sorts of writers, and involved him in all the literary quarrels of his times. The French academy acted with great impartiality, when they adjudged him the prize; for he had written in some shape or other against almost all the members of that illustrious body; and on this account it was, that he was not suffered to make his speech of thanks, as is usual on such occasions, the prize having been remitted to him by the hands of the abbé de Choisy. “Gacon,” says Voltaire, “is placed bj father Niceron in the catalogue of illustrious men, though he has been famous only for bad satires. Such authors cannot be cited but as examples to be detested.” In fact, though he wrote with care, his style was heavy and diffuse in prose, and low in verse. 2


Moreri, —Dict. Hist.Niceron, vol. XXXVIII. Saxi Onom.