Lainez, Alexander

, a French poet, was born in 1650, at Chimay, in Hairiault, and was of the same family with father Lainez, second general of the Jesuits, the subject of our next article. He was educated at Rheims, where his wit procured him an acquaintance with the chief persons of the town, and an admittance amongst the best companies. At length he came to Paris, and attended the chevalier Colbert, colonel of the regiment of Champagne, to whom he read lectures upon Livy and Tacitus. Several other officers of the army attended these lectures, making their remarks, and proposing their difficulties, which produced very agreeable and useful conversations. Having, however, a rambling disposition, he quitted this society, travelled into Greece, and visited the isles of the Archipelago, Constantinople, Asia Minor, Palestine, Egypt, Malta, and Sicily. Thence he made a tour through the principal towns of Italy, and, returning through Switzerland into France, arrived at Chimay, wiiere he resided in obscurity for two years, until the abbe Faultrier, intervdant of Hainault, having received orders from the king to seize some scandalous libels that were handed about upon the frontier of Flanders, forced himself by violence into his chamber, on suspicion of being one of the authors of these. There he found Lainez wrapped up in an old morninggown, surrounded with a heap of papers, all in the greatest | confusion. He accosted him as a guilty person, and seiz-" ed his papers. Lainez answered with modesty, proved the injustice of the suspicion; and the examination of his papers, which consisted of verses, and minutes of his travelsj added conviction to his arguments. The abbé Faultrier was much pleased to find him innocent y and, having had this occasion of knowing his merit, took him home with him, furnished him with apparel, of which at this time he stood very much in need, gave him lodging and diet, and treated him as a friend. Four months after, Lainez followed his benefactor to Paris, and lived with him at the arsenal; but, in half a year’s time, finding the little restraint this laid him under not at all agreeable to his spirit, he obtained leave to retire. This being granted, he made an excursion to Holland, to visit Bayle; and then crossed the water to England, whence, at last, he returned to settle at Paris, where he passed his days betwixt stjdy and pleasure, especially that of the table. He was, according to Moreri, a great poet, a great classic, and a great geographer, and, if possible, a still greater drinker. Nobody exactly knew where he lodged. When he was carried homeward in any friend’s chariot, he always ordered himself to be set down on the Pont-neuf, whence he went on foot to his lodgings. His friends, who were very numerous, and among them several persons of distinguished birth as well as merit, did not care where he lodged, if they could often have the happiness of his company. His conversation at once charmed and instructed them. He talked upon all kinds of subjects, and talked well upon all. He was a perfect master of Latin, Italian, Spanish, and of all the best authors in each of those languages. The greatest part of the day he usually devoted to his studies, and the rest was passed in pleasure. As, one of his friends expressed his surprize to see him in the king’s library at eight in the morning, after a repast of twelve hours the preceding evening, Lainez answered him in this distich extempore:

"Rcgnat nocte calix, volvuntur biblia mane,

Cum Phoebo Bacchus dividit imperium."

He died at Paris, April 18, 1710. Although he composed a great deal of poetry, we have little of it left, as he satisfied himself with reciting his verses in company, without communicating them upon paper. The greatest | jpart of his pieces were made in company, over a bottle, and extempore; so that they are short, but sprightly, easy, full of wit, and very ingenious. A collection of them was published at the Hague in 1753, 8vo. Almost all his papers came into the hands of Dr. Chambou, his physician. 1