Moisant de Brieux 3

More than madrigals and epigrans in which everybody displayed his talent, Moisant was in search of a more elaborate form of literature. He published a poem in Latin 'Gallus Gallinaceus' which earned him a gold necklace from Queen Christina of Sweden, whose flattering reputation among the literary or philosophical circles of her time is well-known.

In the same vein, Moisant de Brieux usually kept up a lavish correspondence in Latin with his many acquaintances, particularly Ménage, Conrart, Godeau and Chapelain; it was the latter who gave the following judgement on Caen:

" Caen is another Paris for knowledge and style and although it is not so populated or vast, it is no less great for its exquisite manners and deep learning."

 Another select correspondent was Jean Régnault de Segrais, the Caen poet then in Paris:

"Segrais the sincere and loyal friend
Whose heart is made of that pure metal
That all saw gleaming in the first ages."

Raised to the nobility by Louis XIV in 1644, Moisant received his letters patent of nobility to confirm it in 1665:
"For the regard and reputation he now enjoys among scholars and Men of Letters."
His coat of arms is: "azure with three crosses or, two and one."

The poet spent the following years establishing his literary reputation. Then he and his friends decided in 1652 to create the Academy of Belles Lettres in Caen, "the younger sister of The Académie Française" as the great writers of the Age of Louis XIV called it

 At that time, he appeared as a subtle and delicate thinker, a kind, conciliating man, obliging and helpful and whose only ambition was for the Society he had founded.

He produced a steady flow of publications till his death : letters, critical texts, poems, paraphrases of psalms (most of them in Latin) then, towards the end of his life, " Christian and Moral Meditations, "Inquisitive Entertainments" and, above all, "The Origins of a few age-old Customs" which remains the only work still consulted to-day.

Moisant de Brieux

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