Cassagnes, James

, a doctor of divinity, born at Nismes in 1633, was son of Michael Cassagnes, master of the requests to the duke of Orleans, afterwards treasurer to the demesne of the Seneschally of Nismes. He was admitted into the French academy at the age of twenty-seven, in consequence of an ode written in its praise, 1660; and the poem he published the year following, in which he introduces Henry IV. giving instructions to Louis XIV. gained him the friendship of M. Colbert. This minister procured him a pension from the court, appointed him keeper of the king’s library, and nominated him one of the first four academicians, who originally composed the academy of inscriptions. The abbe Cassagnes was preparing to preach at court, when Boileau placed his name by that of Cotin in his third satire: this satirical stroke made him renounce the pulpit, and preyed on a mind probably vain and weak. Imagining, afterwards, that he had entirely lost the esteem of the public, he thought to recover his reputation by publishing a multiplicity of works; but too great application, joined to a morose temper, and many disappointments, impaired his understanding, and his friends were obliged to place him at St. Lazare, where he died, May 19, 1675, aged 46. He left odes, which are printed separately, and in collections a translation of Cicero’s Rhetoric, 12mo, and of Sallust, 12mo, and other forgotten works. 1

1 Moreri. L’Advocat.