The Poet's Princess

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The poet's final resting place

Sarasin’s death is universally regretted. His friends deplore the loss of his spirit, his brilliant conversations and his kindness of heart. When Sarasin took pains over it he served his friends most skilfully.

His presence remains so tangible that it takes some time to accept he is gone forever. How could his bright mind and his irresistible charm fall under the same laws under which the other poor mortals live?

In the Extracts from the Civil Register of Pézenas, the date of the funeral which, in those times, usually took place on the day following the death of the person, is on the December 6th 1654. Nevertheless, Sarasin’s friend, the writer Charles Perrault, records it in1657. Their mutual friend, Gilles Ménage, quotes the same date in his “Ménagiana”. When, in 1656, Michel de Pure published his “Précieuses”, the passing on of this “poor Niassare”, as he called Sarasin in his roman-à-clef, did not seem to him to have happened more than a couple of months ago.

All that remains of the poet are his works and his friends’ souvenirs. The church in which Sarasin was buried fell in ruins still in the XVIIth century. Sarasin’s friend, the writer Paul Pellisson, travelling in 1659 to Montpellier, stopped at Pézenas, went to Sarasin’s grave and shed tears on it. Protestant as he was, he nevertheless contracted an annual commemorative service for his friend at the local church.

Sarasin’s grave must have been very modest because it inspired Mathieu de Montreuil, who visited it in 166O, with those nostalgic lines:

“I saw at Pézenas the place where Sarasin is buried. There is no difference between the stone on his grave and that on the adjoining shoemaker’s. If I take into account that the shoemaker never wrote a sonnet as good as “To Be a Woman and not to Flirt”, I have not the slightest desire to make myself immortal by my verses. I prefer to remain, as long as I can, this same poor mortal, exposed to the rigours of time and of your heart,” he wrote in a letter to one of his sweethearts.

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