Sarbiewski, Matthias Casimir

, a modern Latin poet, was born of illustrious parents, in 1595, in the duchy of Masovia, in Poland. He entered among the Jesuits in 1612, and was sent to continue his theological studies at Rome, where he devoted himself to the pursuit of antiquities, and indulged his taste for poetry. Some Latin “Odes,” which he presented to Urban Vijl gained him that pontiff’s esteem, and the honour of being chosen to correct the bymns, intended for a new breviary, then composing by Urban‘ s orders. When Sarbiewski returned to Poland, he taught etb’ics, philosophy, and divinity, successively at Wilna. Such was the esteem in which he was held, that when admitted to a doctor’s degree there, Ladislaus V. king of Poland, who was present, drew the ring | from his finger, and put it on that of Sarbiewski; and this ring is still preserved in the university at Wilna, and made use of in the inauguration of doctors. Ladislaus also chose him for his preacher, an office in which he gained great applause; and he was frequently his majesty’s companion in his journeys, especially when he went to the baths of Baden. Sarbiewski was so enthusiastic in his admiration of the Latin poets, that he is said to have read Virgil over sixty times, and other poetical classics more than thirty times. He died April 2, 1640, aged forty-five. His Latin poems contain great beauties, mingled with some defects. An enlarged and very elegant edition of them was published at Paris, by Barbou, 1759, 12 mo. They consist of Latin odes, in four books a book of epodes one of dithyrambic verses another of miscellaneous poems and a fourth of epigrams. His lyric verses are the most admired their style is elevated, but they are sometimes deficient in elegance and perspicuity. 1


Baillet. Nov. Act. Erudit. 1753, 8vo, p. 621—624. Dict. Hist.Saxii Onomast.