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ACU Fabre d'Églantine

One of the worst poets of his generation, which produced many. The young Fabre won the "lys d'argent" (silver lily) second prize in a poetry competition, but took the name "églantine" from the name of the first prize—"églantine d'or" (golden wild rose) which he claimed to have received. And so this traveling troubadour became known as Fabre d'Eglantine. Described as a "lazy, unstable, handsome hunk" by French historian Jean Tulard, it was only thanks to the Revolution that he went down in history. He was saved from prison—for debt—by a letter of remission from Louis XVI. As a token of his gratitude, he joined the riots and became involved in shady dealings with Danton and Marat, while writing popular plays. To support his lavish lifestyle, he offered his services to the court: three million to create a monarchist movement within the Jacobin camp. Danton, Minister of Justice, hired him as secretary. Robespierre blamed him for fiddling with army supplies: he made a huge profit on ad advance order of thousands of pairs of boots for the army's soldiers ... which were never delivered. Along the way, the poet played the role of villain in the September Massacres and came up with the names of the month for the revolutionary calendar. As a result of his involvement in the fraudulent affairs of the French East India Company, Robespierre targeted him as a means to eventually get to Danton. Guillotined on April 6, 1794. Robespierre "the Incorruptible" described him thus: "Talented, but with no soul. Skilled in the art of depicting men, even more skillful in deceiving them." All that remains of his life's work is the well-known song "Il pleut, il pleut, bergère" (It rains, it rains, shepherdess).

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