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Saint-Amant, Marc Antoine De Gerard, Sieur De

SAINT-AMANT, MARC ANTOINE DE GERARD, SIEUR DE (1594-1661), French poet, was born .near Rouen in the year 1594. His father was a merchant who had, according to his son's account, been a sailor and had commanded for 22 years une escadre de la reine Elizabeth a vague statement that lacks confirmation. The son obtained a patent of nobility, and attached himself to different great noblemen the due de Retz and the comte d'Harcourt among others. He saw military service and sojourned at different times in Italy, in England a sojourn which provoked from him a violent poetical attack on the country, Albion (1643) in Poland, where he held a court appointment for two years, and elsewhere. Saint-Amant's later years were spent in France; and he died at Paris on the 29th of December 1661.

Saint-Amant has left a not inconsiderable body of poetry. His Albion and Rome ridicule set the fashion of the burlesque poem, a form in which he was excelled by his follower Paul Scarron. In his later years he devoted himself to serious subjects and produced an epic, Mo'ise sauve (1653). His best work consists of Bacchanalian songs, his Debauche being one of the most remarkable convivial poems of its kind.

The standard edition is that in the Bibliotheque Elzevirienne, by M. C. L._Livet (2 vols. Paris, 1855).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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