Gresset, John Baptist Lewis

, a French poet of considerable eminence, was born 1709, at Amiens, entered among the Jesuits at 16, and quitted the society at the age of 26, about the end of J735. It was about this time his “Ver Vert” first came out, which has been so justly admired, as the production of a genius (in Rousseau’s judgment) “at once refined, embellished, ornamented;” appearing in short, “in all its perfection.” This great poet considers the author as “displaying in his familiar style, whatever is most brilliant in poetry, and every idea >vith which a complete knowledge of the world could furnish a man who had passed his whole life in it.” He thought the same of the “Chartreuse,” another of his productions, but accused its author of negligence in his other pieces, being of opinion that the familiar style did not exclude the perfection of poetry. M. Cresset was admitted into the French academy in 1748, and gave up poetry that he might devote himself wholly to works of piety, and died June 16, 1777, at Amiens, after having received letters of nobility, and been appointed historiographer of the order of St. Lazore. He married in 1751, mademoiselle Galland, daughter of a merchant of Amiens, but had no children. Besides the pieces above-mentioned, he wrote “Le Lutrin vivant;” Les Ombres;“” Epistles;“66 Odes” a poetical translation of Virgil’s Eclogues “Edward III.” a tragedy “Sidney,” and “Le Mechant,” comedies the latter of which is deservedly admired. They have all been collected in 1748, 2 vols. 12mo. Two little poems in the style of “Ver Vert” were found among | his papers, one entitled “Le Gazetin;” the other, “Le Parrain Magnifique,” but not the two cantos which he had added to the Ver Vert. This last poem has been versified in English by Gilbert Cooper, and by Dr. Geddes. 1


Dict. Hist. Eloge by Bailly.