St. Amant, Mark-Anthony-Gerard, Sieur De

, a French poet, was born at Roan in Normandy in 1594. In the epistle dedicatory to the third part of his works, he tells us, that his father commanded a squadron of ships in the service of Elizabeth queen of England for twenty-two years, and that he was for three years prisoner in the Black Tower at Constantinople. He mentions also, that two brothers of his had been killed in an engagement against | the Turks. His own life was spent in a continual succession of travels, which were of no advantage to his fortune. There are miscellaneous poems of this author, the greatest part of which are of the comic or burlesque, and the amatory kind. The first volume was printed at Paris in 1627, the second in 1643, and the third in 1649, and they have been reprinted several times. “Solitude, an ode,” which is one of the first of them, is his best piece in the opinion of Mr. Boileau. In 1650 he published “Stances sur la grossesse de la reine de Pologne et de Suede.” In 1654 he printed his “Moise sauve”, idylle heroique,“Leyden which had at first many admirers: Chapelain called it a speaking picture but it has not preserved its reputation. St. A main wrote also a very devout piece, entitled” Stances a M. Corneille, sur son imitation de Jesus Christ," Paris, 1656. Mr. Brossette says that he wrote also a poem upon the moon, in which he introduced a compliment to Lewis XIV. upon his skill in swimming, an amusement he often took when young in the river Seine; but the king’s dislike to this poem is said to have affected the author to such a degree, that he did not survive it long. He died in 1661, aged sixty-seven. He was admitted a member of the French academy, when first founded by cardinal Richelieu, in 1633; and Mr. Pelisson informs us, that, in 1637, at his own desire, he was excused from the obligation of making a speech in his turn, on condition that he would compile the comic part of the dictionary which the academy had undertaken, and collect the burlesque terms. This was a task well suited to him; for it appears by his writings that he was extremely conversant in these terms, of which he seems to have made a complete collection from the markets and other places where the lower people resort. 1


Gen. Dict. —Moreri.