Brumoy, Peter

, a celebrated French writer, was born at Rouen, Aug. 26, 1688, and commenced his noviciate among the Jesuits of Paris, Sept. 8, 1704. In 1706, he began his philosophical course in the royal college, and in 1708 was sent to Caen to complete his studies that he might take orders. Some of his pieces are dated from that city in 1710 and 1712, and one from Bourges in 1719. He appears indeed to have passed several years in the country, where he taught rhetoric. In 1713, he returned to Paris to study theology, and in 1722 he was again at Paris, where he took the vows in the society of Jesuits, and was intrusted with the education of the prince of Talmont. About the same time he assisted in the “Memoirs of the Arts and Sciences,” and continued his labours in that journal until 1729, when he was obliged to leave Paris for some time for having assisted in publishing father Margat’s History of Tamerlane, which it appears had g=ven offence. His absence, however, was not long, and on his return, or soon after, he was employed in continuing the “History of the Gallican church,” of which six volumes had been published by fathers Longueval and Fontenay. In 1725, he was appointed professor of mathematics, and | filled that chair for six years with much reputation. It was probably in this situation that he read his lecture, on the “use of mathematical knowledge in polite literature,” now printed in the second volume of his works, nor did his various public employments prevent his publishing many other works, which were well received by the public. In 1722 he published, but without his name, his “Morale Chretienne,Paris, a small volume, of which four editions were soon bought up. In 1723, he also published the first of his three letters, entitled “Examen du poema (de M. Racine) sur la grace,” 8vo, and in 1724, “La vie de Timperatrice Eleonore,” taken from that by father Ceva; the same year, “Abreg des vertus de soeur Jeanne Silenie de la Motte des Goutes,” Moulins, 12mo; and a new edition of father Mourgues “Traite de la Poesie Francoise,” with many additions, 12mo. But the work which contributed most to his reputation was his “Greek Theatre,” entitled “Theatre des Grecs, contenant des traductions ct analyses des tragedies Grecques, des discours et des remarques concernant la theatre Grec, &c.1730, 3 vols. 4to, and often reprinted in 12mo, in France and Holland. This useful work, not now in such high reputation as formerly, is yet well known in this country by the translation published by Mrs. Charlotte Lennox in 1760, 3 vols. 4to; to which the earl of Corke and Orrery contributed a general preface, and translated the three preliminary discourses: Dr. Sharpe, Dr. Grainger, and Mr. Bourryau translated some other parts, and Dr. Johnson contributed a dissertation on the Greek comedy, and the general conclusion of the work, which, in this translation, is certainly highly polished and improved. “Brumoy,” says Dr. Warton, “has displayed the excellencies of the Greek tragedy in a judicious and comprehensive manner. His jtranslations are faithful and elegant; and the analysis of those plays, which on account of some circumstances in ancient manners would shock the readers of this age, and would not therefore bear an entire version, is perspicuous and full. Of all the French critics, he and the judicious Fenelon have had the justice to confess, or perhaps the penetration to perceive, in what instances Corneille and Racine have falsified and modernized the characters, and overloaded with unnecessary intrigues the simple plots of the ancients.

Brumoy was alao employed in completing the history of | the “Revolutions of Spain,” left unfinished by father Orleans. This was published in 1734 in 3 vols. 4to, of which about a half belongs to our author. He was next requested by the booksellers to collect his own miscellaneous pieces, in prose and verse, and published 4 vols. 12mo, in 1741. Some of his poetry is in Latin, with translations, and we find here some dramatic pieces. He was also the editor of various editions of works at the request of the booksellers. He was employed on the continuation of the “History of the Gallican church,” when he was seized with a paralytic stroke, which proved fatal April 17, 1742. 1


Moreri. —Dict. Hist. Memoirs des Trroux far 1743.