A last attempt to live at Geneva, made at the request of relatives there, satisfied him that the theological atmosphere was uncongenial, and in 1684 he finally settled at Amsterdam, first as a moderately successful preacher, until ecclesiastical jealousy shut him out from that career, and afterwards as professor of philosophy, belles-lettres and Hebrew in the Remonstrant seminary.
Writing and reciting poetry are universal, and fill as important a place in social life as instrumental music. In Colombia, as elsewhere, much attention has been given to belles-lettres among the whites of Spanish descent, but as yet the republic has practically nothing of a permanent character to show for it.
In 1835 Longfellow was chosen to succeed George Ticknor as professor of modern languages and belles-lettres in Harvard.
Et Belles-Lettres (1888), xvi.
To the latter Hugh Blair seems to refer when, in his work on Rhetoric and Belles-Lettres (1783), he acknowledges his obligations to a manuscript treatise on rhetoric by Smith, part of which its author had shown to him many years before, and which he hoped that Smith would give to the public. Smith had promised at the end of his Theory of Moral Sentiments a treatise on jurisprudence from the historical point of view.
In the department of belles-lettres he wrote a good deal under such pseudonyms as Christian Deutsch, Gottfried Flammberg and Sigmund Sturm.
After spending some time at Geneva and Frankfort-on-Main, he became professor of belles-lettres in the French school of Berlin.
He had been made a member of the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres in 1803.
He was made doctor of letters, chevalier of the Legion of Honour, professor of archaeology at the Bibliotheque Imperiale, member of the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres and perpetual secretary of the Academie des Beaux-Arts.
In this capacity he did very useful work, and after the Restoration continued in this post at the request of the duc de Richelieu, his work being recognized by his election as a member of the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres in 1820.