Verse of Poetry between Voltaire and La Mettrie - On La Mettrie's Fatal Indigestion

  • Recorded by Jean-Charles Tibeaux in "Letters on Frederick II, King of Prussia"

    Section from Tibeaux's: "On Algarotti, La Mettrie, d' Arget, abbe Prades, abbe Bastiani, the Marquis of Lucceshtini and others.

    "Verses from Voltaire to La Mettrie, when he was sick"

    (Voltaire)

    I am far from uneasy

    If our joyous La Mettrie

    Sometimes loses that good health

    Which makes his face so glowing

    A small dose of Gluttony

    With a large dose of pleasure,

    Defying the Faculty:

    Sweetly take up all his time.

    He behaves the way he writes;


    When nature he indulges;


    For him pleasure always heals

    All the ills which pleasure brings.


    (La Mettrie's Response)

    As for me, I'm quite uneasy,

    When the most eminent writer,

    In his eleventh lustrum,


    Enjoys a weak state of health;


    I fear that with his glad days

    The brilliant torch might go out:


    Muses, graces, charities,

    With him ends your reign as well!


    But, truly, why should I dread


    The death of an immortal;


    He for whom, in his deep pains,


    The most famous king on Earth


    Will set up at Sans-souci


    A shrine eternal as he?

    “If the joys found in nature are crimes, then man’s pleasure and happiness is to be criminal.”