I read (page 10 here, in portuguese) that Galois used the following phrase when his memoirs wasn't accept by the French Academy of Sciences:

Oh! Innocent cherubs!

Could someone give references or details on this quote?


This is a scanned PDF of Evariste's work, that includes the memoir you're mentioning (parent page):

See the left part of page #3:

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The only explanation I could find is here (French).

Galois wrote this "Oh ! Chérubins" on the back of the cover sheet after the memoir had been (again) rejected. Presumably this is addressed to Mr. Lacroix and Mr. Poisson, whom Galois considers to be responsible for the rejection.

"Oh ! Chérubins" may be considered as a both condescending and sarcastic cry.
However, even for a French speaker, this is hard to interpret, since this expression is not common at all. In French, the word "Chérubin" is a kind of angel, or, in the colloquial language, an innocent child. Anyway, this word is not very common.

  • $\begingroup$ Could it be sort of "Oh my god!"? $\endgroup$ – OON Nov 11 '20 at 10:16
  • $\begingroup$ Could be, but not quite sure; "Oh my god" is about being surprised (isn't it?), while "Oh ! Chérubins" sounds addressed to someone, in a condescending tone. I see it like a "Much to learn, you still have, my young padawan" thrown to Mr. Lacroix and Mr. Poisson. $\endgroup$ – Evariste Nov 11 '20 at 14:14

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