Marot, Clement

Marot, Clement a French poet, known in the theological world for his translation of the Psalms into French verse, was born at Chalons in 1495. At an early age he commenced writing poetry, and at the recommendation of Francis I became a member of the household of Margaret, duchess of Alenson. He afterwards accompanied Francis I to Italy, and was wounded and taken prisoner at the battle of Pavia. On his return to France he wrote poetry for Diana of Poitiers, the king's mistress, who showed him favor; but, having presumed too much upon his familiarity with her. she discarded him, and he was soon after put in prison, through her agency as some have believed, in 1525. Margaret procured his release; and it appears likely that Marot's intercourse with that princess caused him to incline towards the Reformation, although he is not known to have openly embraced it. When, in 1533, Gerard Roussel preached in Paris, after the dismissal of the fanatic Sorbonnist Beda, satirical verses against the Protestants were posted on the walls; Marot answered in the same tone; and when the persecution broke out, in the spring of 1534, prohibited books being found in his dwelling, Marot was compelled to flee to Beam, whence lie afterwards proceeded to Ferrara, the residence of the duchess Renata of Este. In 1536 Francis I recalled him to his court. It is said that he had recanted, but this is not proved. In 1538 he commenced, with the aid of the learned Vatablus, the translation of the Psalms, which was very warmly received; it became the fashion at court to sings them, and Charles V himself gave Marot a reward of two hundred doubloons. The Sorbonne, however, condemned the book, while the pope caused it to be reprinted at Rome in 1542. Marot, in the mean time, was, on account of the condemnation of the Sorbonne, obliged, in 1543, to flee to Geneva, where he was well received by Calvin, and invited to continue his translation of the Psalms, which was first used in public worship at Granson, Switzerland, Dec. 1, 1540. Geneva, however, did not long please Marot, accustomed to the gayety of the French court; and, after remaining a while at Charnbery, he went to Turin, where he died in 1544. The first known edition of Marot's translation appeared towards the end of the year 1541; it contained thirty psalms, a poetical translation of the Lord's Prayer, etc. A second edition, containing thirty psalms, with the music, and the liturgy of Geneva, was published by Calvin in 1542. The next year another edition appeared, containing twenty more psalms, dedicated "to the ladies of France," and accompanied by the well-known preface of Calvin; this, as well as the subsequent editions, contains the liturgy; the catechism, the reformed confession of faith, and prayers were at sundry times added to others. The remainder of the Psalms was translated by Beza (1550-52), and in 1552 appeared the first complete Psalter, with Beza's eloquent appeal "to the Church of our Lord." The popularity of these Psalms was so great that, after the Colloquy of Poissy, on Oct. 19, 1561, Charles IX gave the Lyons printer, Anton Vincent, the privilege of printing them. In the 17th century the translation was revised by Conrart, first secretary of the French Academy, and the learned Anton Labastide. This revision, approved by the Synod of Charenton in 1679, was admitted in the churches of Geneva, Neufchatel, and Hesse, while the ancient text remained in use in the French villages. In 1701 Beausobre and Lenfant, at Berlin, undertook a revision, which was much opposed, especially by country congregations. SEE LENFANT. The modern revision was accepted without difficulty. Originally, the Psalms of Marot were sung to popular tunes; but when they came to be used in the Church it was found necessary to adapt a more solemn music to them. William Frank, however, who is considered the original composer of the tunes, wrote only a few. The Lyons edition of 1561 contains some by Louis Bourgeois; those of 1562 and 1565 have some by Claude Goudimel, the teacher of Palestrina, in four voices. See Anguis, Vie de Marot, prefixed to his (Euvres (1823, 5 vols. 8vo); Jan Suet, Leven en Bedriff von C. Marot (1655); Sainte-Beuve, Tableau de la Poesie Frianaise au siximee siecle; Christian Review, vol. ix; Paleario, Life and Times, 2:92 sq.; Herzog, Real-Encyklopddie, 9:115; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Gener. 33:924. (J. N. P.)

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