Description: Encomium by Voltaire
The great French satirist Voltaire once asked to give an encomium (speech in
praise of) to someone who had recently died. Since Voltaire was a great enemy
of that person, he refused.
The person asking him, however, said, "M. Voltaire, do not carry your enmity
beyond the grave. Surely it will not hurt you to say something kind about a
man who has died."
So Voltaire agreed, and his encomium went like this: "It is a great grief to
me that Monsieur So-and-so has died. He was a loving husband and father, a
devoted friend to all, a credit to the nation, and a man of great piety --
that is, provided he is really dead."