Desbois, Francis Alexander Aubert De La Chesnaie

, a laborious Dictionary maker, at a time when in France all knowledge was to be communicated by dictionaries, was born at Ernée in the Maine, June 17, 1699, and was for some time a capuchin. Returning again to the | world, he was employed by Desfontaines and Granet in their journals, making extracts, &c. for them, which they polished for the press. He then commenced his manufactory of dictionaries, of which the following is a list: 1. “Dictionnaire Militaire,1758, 3 vols. 8vo. 2. “Dictionnaire d’Agriculture,1751, 2 vols. 8vo. 3. “Dictionnaire universel et raisònné” des Animaux,“1759, 4 vols. 4to. 4.” Dictionnaire Domestique,“1762, and 1763, 3 vols. 8vo, of which he compiled only the two last. 5.” Dictionnaire historique des moeurs, usages, et coutumes des Francois,“1767, 3 vols. 8vo. 6.” Dictionnaire de la noblesse, contenant les genealogies, histoire et la chronologie des families nobles de la France," 1773, &c. 12 vols. 4to, with a supplement in 3 vols. In this voluminous work he bestows his attention chiefly on the families which paid him best, and to which it was most difficult to give celebrity, omitting or slightly noticing some of the most ancient and honourable. With all the advantages he derived from this and his other works, we are told that he died at last in indigence, in one of the hospitals of Paris, Feb. 29, 1784. 1