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Jean François de Saint-Lambert

Jean François de Saint-Lambert (December 26, 1716 - February 9, 1803), French poet, was born at Nancy.

He entered the army and, when Stanislaus Leszczynski was established in 1737 as duke of Lorraine, he became an official at his court at Lunéville. He left the army after the Hanoverian campaign of 1756-57, and devoted himself to literature, producing a volume of descriptive verse, Les Saisons (1769), now never read, many articles for the Encyclopedie, and some miscellaneous works. He was admitted to the Academy in 1770.

His fame, however, comes chiefly from his amours. He was already high in the favour of the marquise de Boufflers, Stanislaus's mistress, whom he addressed in his verses as Doris and Thémire, when Voltaire in 1748 came to Lunéville with the marquise de Châttelet. Her infatuation for him and its fatal termination are known to all readers of the life of Voltaire.

His subsequent liaison with Madame d'Houdetot, Rousseau's Sophie, though hardly less disastrous to his rival, continued for the whole lives of himself and his mistress. Saint-Lambert's later years were given to philosophy. He published in 1798 the Principe des mrurs chez toules les nations ou catéchisme universel, and published his Œuvres philosophiques (1803), two years before his death. Madame d'Houdetot survived until January 28 1813.

See G Maugras, La Cour de Lunéville (1904) and La Marquise de Boufflers (1907); also the literature dealing with Rousseau and Voltaire.

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.