Anquetil, Lewis-Peter

, a French historian, and political writer, was born at Paris, Jan. 21, 1723. Having in his seventeenth year entered the congregation of St. Genevieve, he distinguished himself by the ability with which he afterwards discharged the office of teacher in theology and literature. His residence at Rheims, as director of the academy, seems to have suggested to him the first idea of writing the history of that city. In 1759, he was appointed prior of the abbey de la Roe, in Anjou, and soon after, director of the college of Senlis, where he composed his work entitled “L’Esprit de la Ligue.” In 1766 he obtained the curacy or priory of Chateau-Renard, near Montargis, which, about the beginning of the revolution, he exchanged for the curacy of La Villette, near Paris. During the revolutionary phrenzy, he was imprisoned at St. Lazare, and wrote there part of his “Histoire universelle.” When the Institute was formed, he was chosen a member of the second class, and was soon after taken into the office of the minister for foreign affairs, whom he thought to oblige by. his “Motifs des traites de Paix.” Enjoying a strong constitution, the fruit of a placid and equal temper, and aversion to the luxuries of the table, he was enabled to study ten hours a day; and undertook, without fear or scruple, literary undertakings of the most laborious kind. Even in his eightieth year, he was projecting some new works of considerable size, and was apparently without a complaint, when he died, Sept. 6, 1808, in the eightyfourth year of his age. On this occasion he said to one of his friends, “come and see a man die who is full of life.

His principal writings are: 1. “Histoire civile et politique de la ville de Reims,1756 7, 3 vols. 12mo; a work in the true spirit of antiquarian research, which he wrote in concert with one Felix de la Salle, and when they were about to publish, they cast lots, as to whose name should be prefixed, and the lot fell on Anquetil. Towards the end of his life, he said, “I have been reading the history of Rheims, as if it did not belong to me, and I have no scruple in pronouncing it a good work.” 2. “Almanach de Rheims,1754, 24mo. 3. “L’Esprit de la Ligue; ou histoire politique des troubles de France pendant les 16 et 17 siecles,1767, 3 vols. 12mo. This has been, often reprinted, and is accurate and curious as to facts, but not thought profound in reasoning. 4. “Intrigue du. cabinet sous Henry IV, et sous Louis XIII. terminee par | la Fronde,” 1780, 4 vols. 12mo. 5. “Louis XIV. sa cour et le regent,” 1789, 4 vols. 12mo, 1794, 5 vols. 12mo, translated likewise into English. It is a kind of sequel to the preceding, and a collection of anecdotes without much order, which has lost its value since the memoirs have been published from whence it was formed. 6. “Vie du marechal Villars, ecrite par lui-meme, suivie du journal de la cour de 1724 a 1734,Paris, 1787, 4 Tols. 12mo, and 1792. 7. “Precis de l’Histoire unirerselle,1797, 9 vols. 12mo, the third and best edition, corrected by M. Jondot, 1807, 12 vols. 12 mo. This work has been translated into English, (1800,) Spanish, and Italian. It has not been very successful in this country; his French biographer calls it merely an abridgment of the English universal history, and says that it must be read with caution. 8. “Motifs des guerres et des traites des paix de la France, pendant les regnes de Louis XIV. XV. et XVI.” 1798, 8vo. This work was adapted to the state of the French government at the time it was written, but the author lived to find his theory overturned by the accession of a monarchical constitution. 9. “Histoire de France, depuis les Gaules jusqu’a le fin de la monarchic,1805, &c. 14 vols. 12mo, a performance of which his countrymen do not speak in very high terms. Besides these, he wrote a life of his brother, the subject of the following article, and several papers in the memoirs of the institute. 1


Biog. Universelle.