Bregy, Charlotte Saumaise De Chazan, Comtesse De

, neice of the learned Saumaise (Salmasius), was one of the ladies of honour to queen Anne of Austria. She was distinguished at that court by her beauty and her wit; both of which she preserved to an advanced age, and died at Paris, April 13, 1693, at the age of 74. She wrote a collection of letters and verses, 1688, 12mo, in which we meet with many ingenious thoughts; her verses almost entirely turn on a metaphysical love, which employed her mind more than her heart. But there are several pieces that are not of this description. In one of them she gives the following portrait of herself: “I am fond of praise; and this it is that makes me repay it with usury to those from whom I receive it. I have a proud and scornful heart; but this does not prevent me from being gentle and civil. I never oppose the opinions of any; but I must own that I never adopt them to the prejudice of my own. I may say with truth that I am by nature modest and discreet, and that pride always takes care to preserve these two qualities in me. I am indolent; I never seek pleasures and diversions, but when my friends take more pains, than I do to procure them for me. I feel myself obliged, and I appear at them very gay, though I am not so in tact. 1 am not much given to intrigue, but if I should get into an affair of that sort, I think I should certainly bring myself off with some propriety. I am constant, even to obstinacy, and secret to excess. In order to contract a friendship with me, all advances must be made by the | ther party; but I amply compensate all this trouble in the sequel: for I serve my friends with all that ardency usually employed in selfish interests. I praise them, and I defend them, without once consenting to what I may hear against them. I have not so much virtue as to be free from the desire of the goods of fortune and honours; but I have too much for pursuing any of the ways that commonly lead to them. I act in the world conformably to what it ought to be, and too little according to what it is.

This lady, whose article we have retained from the former edition, principally on account of her character, a tolerable specimen of the vanity of a Frenchwoman, married M. de Flecelles, count de Bregy, lieutenant-general in the army, counsellor of state, envoy extraordinary in Poland, and afterwards embassador in Sweden. 1


Moreri.—Dict. Hist. edit. 1789.