Cerceau, John Antony Du

, a French Jesuit, was born at Paris in 1670, and was early distinguished by spirit, vivacity, and a turn for poetry, which, while he wrote in Latin, procured him considerable reputation. This, however, he forfeited by his French verses, in imitation of Marot, in which he mistook burlesque and trifling, for the familiar and simple. He wrote also some theatrical pieces of an inferior order but was more successful in his “Defense de la Poesie Francoise,” and other dissertations on the same subject. He wrote also, 1. “L’Histoire de Thamas Kouli-Kan, sophi de Perse,Amsterdam, 1741, | 2 vols. 12mo. 2. “Histoire de la Conjuration de Rienzi,” 12mo, which was completed by father Brumoy. 3. A criticism on the abbé Boileau’s “History of the Flagellants.” He contributed also a great many papers to the Journal de Trevoux, and was long engaged in a controversy with one of the authors of the Journal des Savans, occasioned by two dissertations printed at the end of the second volume of Sannadon’s Horace, relative to a passage in Horace concerning the music of the ancients. This produced from Cerceau some valuable essays on the subject. His Latin poetry was published in 1696, 12mo, under the title “Varia de variis argumentis Carmina a multis e societate Jesu.” The other authors in this volume are Vaniere and Tarillon. In 1807, his dramatic pieces were reprinted at Paris, in 3 vols. 18mo, under the title “Theatre à l’usage des colleges,” He died suddenly in 1730, at Veret, near Tours. 1