Beauzee, Nicholas

, one of the French academy, and professor of grammar in the military school, was born at Verdun, May 9, 1717, and died at Paris, Jan. 25, 1789. Of his early life we have no account, but he appears to have been selected by the encyclopedists to furnish the articles on grammar in their celebrated undertaking. The abbe BarrueL who says he was a layman much to be respected for his piety, once asked him, how a man of his principles came to be associated with the encyclopedists, who were notoriously infidels. “The very same question,” answered Beauzee, “have I put to d‘Alembert. At one of the sittings, seeing that I was almost the only person who believed in God, 1 asked him how he possibly could ever have thought of me for a member, when he -knew that my sentiments and opinions differed so widely from those of his brethren? D’Aiembert without hesitation answered,I am sensible of your amazement, but we were in want of a skilful grammarian, and among our party not one had acquired a reputation in that study. We knew that you believed in God, but being a good sort of a man, we cast our eyes on you, for want of a philosopher to supply your place.“About the same time, probably, Beauzee published his” Grammaire generate, ou exposition raisonnee des elemens necessaires du Langage, pour servir de fondement a l’etude de toutes les Langues,“Paris, 1767, 2 vols. a work which, although it falls short of its title, contains much valuable instruction, especially respecting the French language. The chief fault is, that the author wants precision, and is frequently too metaphysical to be intelligible. He published also a new edition of the abbe” Girard’s “Synonymes,” with great additions, 2 vols. 12mo; translations of Sallust, often reprinted, and much admired of Quintus Curtius, which likewise became popular; and of Thomas a Kempis. He promoted the publication of the translation of sir Isaac Newton’s Optics by Marat, 2 vols. 8vo, 1787, which is thought to be very correct. The Dict. Hist, mentions another work by Beauzee, but without date, “Exposition abregee des preuves historique de le religion,” 12mo. 2


Dict. Hist. Barruel’s Memoirs of Jacobinism, vol.