Moreau, Jacob Nicolas

, a French advocate, counsellor of the aides of Provence, historiographer of France, | and librarian to the queen, was born at St. Florentine* Dec. 20, 1717. Of his early life we have little account, but it appears that he quitted his professional engagements in the country when young, and came to Paris to indulge his taste for study and speculation. Having acquired considerable fame by his writings, he was appointed historiographer of France, and was long employed in collecting and arranging all the charters, historical documents, and edicts and declarations of the French legislature from the time of Charlemagne to the present day. This vast collection being reduced to order was put under his especial care, under the title of “Depot des chartres et de legislation:” whether it was dispersed at the revolution does not appear. He also employed his pen on a variety of subjects, some arising from temporary circumstances, and others suggested probably in the course of his researches. Among these are: 1. “Observateur Holiandais,” a kind of political journal, consisting of forty-five papers, written against the measures of the English court, at what period we know not, as our authority does not specify its date. 2. “Memoire pour servir a l’histoire des Cacouac,1757, 12mo, a satire, which was probably of a beneficial tendency, as it created him enemies among the irreligious writers of France. 3. “Memoires pour servir a Phistoire de riotre temps,1757, 2 vols. 12mo. 4. “Devoirs d’un prince,1775, 8vo, reprinted 1782. In this he is said to have exposed the dangers of a corrupt court, and to have predicted its ruin from that torrent of corruption which would one day overwhelm both the flatterers and the flattered. 5. “Principes de morale politique et du droit public, ou Discours sur l’histoire de France,1777 1789, 21 vols. 8vo. This, which is his principal work, attracted much attention by the boldness and freedom of some of his opinions, but these he did not carry so far as to enable us to class him among the revolutionary writers; for while some critics in France consider him as never separating the cause of the people from that of the prince, others condemn him for writing under ministerial influence, and inclining to the support of arbitrary power. It was his maxim that every thing should be done for the people, but nothing by them, and that the best state of France would be that in which the people received their laws from the absolute will of a chief. Upon account of these sentiments he is said to have been refused a place in the French academy; yet he was | not guillotined, as has been reported, but survived all the horrors of the revolution, and died quietly at Chambouci, near St. Germain-en-Laye, in 1799. His personal character is represented as very amiable. He was a good father, a good husband, and a friend to religion and peace. 1