Dewailly, Charles

, an eminent French architect, was born at Paris, Nov. 9, 1729. He was educated by one of his uncles, and from his earliest infancy discovered an. unconquerable partiality for the study and practice of architecture, in which he afterwards became a great proficient. His chief master was Lejay, who at this period had just established a new school of the profession, and | recovered it from the contempt in which it had been held from the age of Lewis XIV. In 1752 Dewailly obtained the chief architectural prize, and the privilege of studying at Rome for three years, at the expence of the nation. Upon this success, his biographer notices an action truly generous and laudable in the mind of an emulous young man. The student to whom the second prize was decreed, and whose name was Moreau, appeared extremely sorrowful. Dewailly interrogated him upon the subject of his chagrin; and learning that it proceeded from his having lost the opportunity of prosecuting his profession in Italy, he flew to the president of the architectural committee, and earnestly solicited permission that his unfortunate rival might be allowed to travel to Rome as well as himself. On an objection being adduced from the established rules “Well, well,” replied he, “I yet know a mode of reconciling every thing. I am myself allotted three years; of these I can dispose as I like; I give eighteen months of them to Moreau.” This generous sacrifice was accepted; and Dewailly was amply rewarded by the public esteem which accompanied the transaction. In most of the modern buildings of taste and magnificence in his own country, Dewailly was a party employed, and many of his designs are engraven in the Encyclopedic and in Laborde’s Description of France. He was a member of the academy of painting, as well as that of architecture; in the latter of which he was at once admitted into the higher class, without having, as is customary, passed through the inferior. Of the national institute he was a member from its establishment. He died in 1799, having been spared the affliction of beholding one of his most exquisite pieces of workmanship, the magnificent hall of the Odeon, destroyed by fire, a catastrophe which occurred but a short time after his demise. 1

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Memoirs of the National Institute.

D‘Ewes (Sir Symonds), an English historian and antiquary, was the son of Paul D’Eues, esq. and born in 1602, at Coxden in Dorsetshire, the seat of Richard Syxnonds, esq. his mother’s father. He was descended from an ancient family in the Low Countries, from whence his ancestors removed hither, and gained a considerable settlement in the county of Suffolk. In 1618, he was entered a fellow- commoner of St. John’s college in Cambridge and | about two years after, began to collect materials for forming a correct and complete history of Great Britain. He was no less studious in preserving the history of his own times; setting down carefully the best accounts he was able to obtain of every memorable transaction, at the time it happened. This disposition in a young man of parts recommended him to the acquaintance of persons of the first rank in the republic of letters, such as Cotton, Selden, Spelman, &c. In 1626, he married Anne, daughter to sir William Clopton of Essex, an exquisite beauty, not fourteen years old, with whom he was so sincerely captivated, that his passion for her seems to have increased almost to a degree of extravagance, even after she was his wife. He pursued his studies, however, as usual, with great vigour and diligence, and when little more than thirty years of age, finished that large and accurate work for which he is chiefly memorable. This work he kept by him during his life-time it being written, as he tells us, for his own private use. It was published afterwards with this title “The Journals of all the Parliaments during the reign of queen Elizabeth, both of the House of Lords and House of Commons, collected by sir Symonds D’Ewes, of Stowhall in the county of Suffolk, knt. and bart. revised and published by Paul Bowes, of the Middle Temple, esq. 1682,” folio. In 1633, he resided at Islington in Middlesex. In 1639, he served the office of high sheriff of the county of Suffolk, having been knighted some time before and in the long parliament, which was summoned to meet Nov. 3, 1640, he was elected burgess for Sudbury in that county. July 15, 1641, he was created a baronet; yet upon the breaking out of the civil war, he adhered to the parliament, and took the solemn league and covenant in 1643. He sat in this parliament till Dec. 1648, when he was turned out among those who were thought to have some regard left for the person of the king, and the old constitution in church and state. He died April 18, 1650, and was succeeded in his titles and large estate by his son Willoughby D’Ewes; to whom the above Journals were dedicated, when published, by his cousin Paul Bowes, esq. who was himself a gentleman of worth and learning.

Though these labours of sir Symonds contributed not a little to illustrate the general history of Great Britain, as well as to explain the important transactions of one of the most glorious reigns in it, yet two or three circumstances | of his life have occasioned him to have been set by writers in perhaps a more disadvantageous light than he deserved; not to mention that general one, common to many others, of adhering to the parliament during the rebellion. Having occasion to write to archbishop Usher in 1639, he unfortunately let fall a hint to the prejudice of Camden’s *' Britannia;“for, speaking of the time and pains he had spent in collecting materials for an accurate history of Great Britain, and of his being principally moved to this task, by observing the many mistakes of the common writers, he adds,” And indeed what can be expected from them, considering that, even in the so much admired ‘Britannia’ of Camden himself, there is not a page, at least hardly a page, without errors?“This letter of his afterwards coming to light, among other epistles to that learned prelate, drew upon him the heaviest censures. Smith, the writer of the Latin life of Camden, assures us, that hisBritanniawas universally approved by all proper judges, one only, sir Symonds D’Ewes, excepted; who,” moved,“says he,” by I know not what spirit of envy, gave out that there was scarce a page,“&c. Nicolson, in his account of Camden’s work, says, that” some early attempts were made by an envious person, one Brook or Brookmouth, to blast the deservedly great reputation of this work but they perished and came to nothing; as did likewise the terrible threats given out by sir Symonds D’Ewes, that he would discover errors in every page.“Bishop Gibson has stated the charge against this gentleman more mildly, in his Life of Camden, prefixed to the English translation of his Britannia.” In the year 1607,“says the bishop,” he put the last hand to his Britannia, which gained him the titles of the Varro, Strabo, and Pausanias of Britain, in the writings and letters of other learned men. Nor did it ever after meet with any enemies that I know of, only sir Symonds D‘Ewes encouraged us to hope for animadversions upon the work, after he had observed to a very great man, that there was not a page in it without a fault. But it was only threatening; and neither the world was the better, nor was Mr. Camden’s reputation e’er the worse for it." Sir Symonds was certainly not defensible for throwing out at random, as it should seem, such a censure against a work universally well received, without ever attempting to support it; yet some have excused him by saying that this censure was contained | in a private letter; and that sir Symonds had a high sense of Camden’s merit, whom he mentions very respectfully in the preface to his Journals, &c.

Another thing which hurt his character with some particular writers, was a very foolish speech he made in the long parliament, Jan. 2, 1640, in support of the antiquity of the university of Cambridge. This was afterwards published under the title of “A Speech delivered in parliament by Symonds D’Ewes, touching the antiquity of Cambridge, 1642,” 4to, and exposed him to very severe usage from Wood, Hearne, &c. as it still must to the contempt of every accurate antiquary. Other writers, however, and such as cannot be at all suspected of partiality to him, have spoken much to his honour. Echard, in his History of England, savs, “We shall next mention sir Symonds D’Ewes, a gentleman educated at the university of Cambridge, celebrated for a most curious antiquary, highly esteemed by the great Selden, and particularly remarkable for his Journals of all the parliaments in queen Elizabeth’s reign, and for his admirable ms library he left behind him, now in the hands of one of the greatest geniuses of the age:” meaning the late earl of Oxford. Some curious extracts from the ms journal of his own life (preserved among the Harieian Mss.) are printed in the “Bibliotheca Topographica Britannica, 1783.” In this he has given a minute account of his courtship and marriage. The only love-letter he had occasion to send, and which was accompanied with a present of a diamond carcanet, was as follows:

"Fairest,

"Blest is the heart and hand that sincerely sends these meaner lines, if another heart and eye gratiouslie daigne to pittie the wound of the first, and the numnes of the latter: and thus may this other poore inclosed carcanett, if not adorn the purer neck, yet be hidden in the private cabinet of her, whose humble sweetness and sweet humility deserve the justest honour, the greatest thankfulness. Nature made stones, but opinion jewels; this, without your milder acceptance and opinion, will prove neither stone nor jewel. Do but enhappie him that sent it in the ordinary use of it, who though unworthie in himself, yet resolves to continue your humblest servant,

Simonds

| That sir Symonds D’Ewes’s judgment and taste with regard to wit were as contemptible as can well be imagined, will be evident from the following passage, taken from his account of Carr earl of Somerset, and his wife. " This discontent gave many satyrical wits occasion to vent themselves into stingie libels, in which they spared neither the persons, families, nor most secret avowtries of that unfortunate paire. There came alsoe two anagrams to my handes, not unworthie to be owned by the rarest witts of this age, though the first be resolved into somewhat too broad an expression for soe nobly an extracted ladie: Frances Howard, Thomas Overburie,

Car finds a whore. 66 a busi murther."

In his estimation of the merit of historical composition, sir Symonds displayed a far superior discernment. He was a passionate admirer of Thuanus’s History, anxiously applied to the younger Thuanus, to obtain copies of such parts of it as had not hitherto been published, and was successful in procuring a picture of that great author, and another of the famous admiral Coligni. Several of his ms collections and correspondence are preserved in the British Museum. 1

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Biog. Brit. &c.