Malherbe, François de (fräNswäˈ də mälĕrbˈ) [key], 1555–1628, French poet and critic, official poet of Henry IV and Louis XIII. His own poems approach technical perfection but lack verve and fire; the best-known is Consolation à Monsieur du Périer (c.1590). As a critic Malherbe had considerable influence on French literature. He consistently advocated objectivity, precision of language, and seriousness of purpose, ideals which were soon to be associated with classicism.
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