Nicolas Joseph Laurent Gilbert - Encyclopedia




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NICOLAS JOSEPH LAURENT GILBERT (1751-1780), French poet, was born at Fontenay-le-Château in Lorraine in 1751. Having completed his education at the college of Dole, he devoted himself for a time to a half-scholastic, half-literary life at Nancy, but in 1774 he found his way to the capital. As an opponent of the Encyclopaedists and a panegyrist of Louis XV., he received considerable pensions. He died in Paris on the 12th of November 1780 from the results of a fall from his horse. The satiric force of one or two of his pieces, as Mon Apologie (1778) and Le Dix-huitieme Siecle (1775), would alone be sufficient to preserve his reputation, which has been further increased by modern writers, who, like Alfred de Vigny in his Stello (chaps. 7-13), considered him a victim to the spite of his philosophic opponents. His best-known verses are the Ode imitee de plusieurs psaumes, usually entitled Adieux a la vie. Among his other works may be mentioned Les Families de Darius et d'Eridame, histoire persane (1770), Le Carnaval des auteurs (1773), Odes nouvelles et patriotiques (1775). Gilbert's CEuvres completes were first published in 1788, and they have since been edited by Mastrella (Paris, 1823), by Charles Nodier (1817 or 1825), and by M. de Lescure (1882).

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