Bouflers, Louis Francis, Duc De

, peer and maréchal, distinguished in the French history, was born Jan. 10, 1644. His dispositions for the art of war having displayed themselves at a very early period, he was chosen in 1669 to be colonel of a regiment of dragoons, at the head of which he demonstrated his bravery under the marechal de Crequi, and under Turenne. He received a dangerous wound at the battle of Voerden; and another in the affair of Entsheim, to the capture whereof he contributed much, by the confession of Turenne. After several signal exploits, he gained immortal renown by the defence of Lille in 1708. The siege lasted near four months. Bouflers said to his officers, “Gentlemen, I trust to you; but I answer for myself.” Prince Eugene carried on the siege with so much vigour that it was obliged to submit. “I am very vain,” said he to Bouflers, “on having taken Lille; but I had rather still have the glory of having defended it like you.” The king rewarded him for this service as if he had gained a battle. He was created a peer of France; had the honours of first gentleman to the king, and the reversion of the government of Flanders for his eldest son. When he entered the parliament for his first reception in it, turning to a crowd of officers who had defended Lille with him, he said, “It is to you that I am indebted for all the favours that are heaped upon me, and on you I reflect them I have nothing to glory in but the honour of having been at the head of so many brave men.” During the siege, one of his party having proved tojiim that he could easily kill prince Eugene, “Your fortune is made,” returned Bouflers, “if you can take him prisoner: but you shall be punished with the utmost severity if you make an attempt on his life; and if I but suspected that you had any such intention, I would have you shut up for | the rest of your life.” This generosity, which formed a part of his character, induced him to ask permission to serve under the orders of marechal de Villars, though he was his senior. At the battle of Malplaquet in 1709, he made the retreat in such good order, that he left behind him neither cannon nor prisoners. The marquis de Bouflers united the virtues of a good citizen with the activity of a general; serving his prince as the ancient Romans served their republic; accounting his life as nothing when the safety of his country was in question. The king having ordered him to go and succour Lille, and having left to himself the choice of his lieutenants; he set out that instant, without settling his affairs, or taking leave of his family, and chose for his officers a man that had been disgraced, and a prisoner of the Bastille. His magnificence was equal to his love for his country and his sovereign. When Louis XIV. formed the camp of Compiegne, to serve as a lesson to his grandson the duke of Burgundy, and as a spectacle to the court, Bouflers lived there in such a splendid style, that the king said to Livri, his maitre-d’hotel, “The duke of Burgundy must not keep a table; we cannot outdo the marechal; the duke of Burgundy shall dine with him when he goes to the camp.” This patriot general died at Fontainbleau, Aug. 22, 1711, aged 68. “In him (writes madame de Maintenon) the heart died last.” We read in the continuation of the history of England by Rapin, an anecdote too honourable to the memory of this great man to be passed over here in silence. King William having taken Namur, in 169, made Bouflers prisoner, in violation of the articles that had been agreed on. Surprised at so unjust a proceeding, the marechal, fresh from the glorious defence he had made, demanded the reason of this perfidious treatment. He was answered that it was by way of reprisals for the garrison of Dixmude and of Deinse, which the French had detained contrary to capitulation. “If that be the case (said Bouflers), then my garrison ought to be arrested, and not I.” “Sir (he was answered), you are valued at more than ten thousand men.1