To this period belongs Garrick's quarrel with Barry, the only actor who even temporarily rivalled him in the favour of the public. In 1763 Garrick and his wife visited Paris, where they were cordially received and made the acquaintance of Diderot and others at the house of the baron d'Holbach.
There was some revival of the art of the sermon at Versailles a century later, where the Abbe Maury, whose critical work has been mentioned above, preached with vivid eloquence between 1770 and 1785; the Pere Elisee (1726-1783), whom Diderot and Mme Roland greatly admired, held a similar place, at the same time, in Paris.
When Romilly saw Diderot in 1783, the great encyclopaedic chief assured him that submission to kings and belief in God would be at an end all over the world in a very few years.
In Paris she secured the warm friendship and admiration of Diderot and Voltaire.
Within a few months of her accession, having heard that the publication of the famous French Encyclopedie was in danger of being stopped by the French government on account of its irreligious spirit, she proposed to Diderot that he should complete his great work in Russia under her protection.
The Gazette litteraire (1764-1766), which had Voltaire, Diderot and SaintLambert among its editors, was intended to swamp the small fry by criticism; the Journal des dames (1759-1778) was of a light magazine class; and the Journal de monsieur (1776-1783) had three phases of existence, and died after extending to thirty volumes.
The principle of examination, the reasoned analysis of human conditions and the discussion of causes, far from culminating in disillusioned nihilism, everywhere aroused the democratic spirit, the life of sentiment and of human feeling: in the drama, with Marivaux, Diderot and La Chausse; in art, with Chardin and Greuze; and in the salons, in view of the suppression of privilege.
Apart from his idylls and his elegies, Chenier also experimented from early youth in didactic and philosophic verse, and when he commenced his Hermes in 1783 his ambition was to condense the Encyclopedia of Diderot into a poem somewhat after the manner of Lucretius.
To Kant's lectures and conversations he further owed something of his large interest in cosmological and anthropological problems. Among the writers whom he most carefully read were Plato, Hume, Shaftesbury, Leibnitz, Diderot and Rousseau.
There is little doubt that for the last ten or fifteen years of his life, if, not from the time of his quarrel with Diderot and Madame d'Epinay, Rousseau was not wholly sane - the combined influence of late and unexpected literary fame and of constant solitude and discomfort acting upon his excitable temperament so as to overthrow the balance, never very stable, of his fine and acute but unrobust intellect.