Bertaut, John

, first chaplain to queen Catherine de Medicis, secretary of the cabinet and reader to Henry III. counsellor of state, abbot of Aulnai, and lastly bishop of Seez, was born at Caen in the year 1522, and died the 8th of June 1611, aged fifty-nine. He was the contemporary and friend of Ronsard and Desportes, and was thought superior to either. Some of his stanzas are written with ease and elegance and have not been excelled by the best poets of our own times. He has left poems sacred and profane, canticles, sengs, sonnets, and psalms. interspersed with several happy thoughts, but turned in points, a taste which he caught from Seneca. He seems to have conducted himself with great propriety after his being advanced to the prelacy, and the bishop blushed at the gaiety of the courtier, but he had too much fondness for his early productions to consign them to oblivion, and he published them with his pious pieces, “the bane and antidote.” He left also a translation of some books of St. Ambrose, several controversial tracts, imperfect sermons for the principal festivals of the church, | and a funeral discourse on Henry IV. to whose conversion he had greatly contributed. He was uncle to madame de Motteville, first woman of the bedchamber to Anne of Austria, and who published the memoirs of that princess. His “Oeuvres poetiques” were printed at Paris, 1602, 8vo, and with additions in 1605 but the Paris editions of 1620 and 1623, 8vo, are the most complete. 1


Moreri. Baillet Jugemens de Savons, Biog. Univ. —Dict. Hist.