Dussaulx, John

, a French writer of distinguished taste and talents, was born at Chartres, Dec. 28, 1728, of a family which made a considerable figure in the profession of the law. He appears to have first served in the army under the marechal Richelieu, and was noted for his courage. On his return to Paris, by the advice of the learned professor Guerin, he devoted his time to literature, and was in 1776 admitted a member of the academy of inscriptions. On the breaking out of the revolution, although chosen into the convention, he was too moderate for the times, and was imprisoned, and probably would have ended his days on the scaffold, had not Marat obtained his pardon by representing him as an old dotard, from whom nothing was to be feared. In 1797 he was chosen a member of the council of ancients, and on that occasion delivered a long speech against the plan of a national lottery. He died March 16, 1799. His principal works are, 1. A French translation of Juvenal, by far the best that ever appeared in that language, and which he enriched with many valuable notes. It was first published in 1770, 8vo, in a very correct and elegant manner, and was reprinted in 1796. 2. “De la passion du Jeu,1779, 8vo. The author had been once fond of play, but renounced it in consequence of witnessing the many miseries it occasions, which he has displayed in this treatise. He was | afterwards, in 1793 or 1794, charged by the committee of public instruction to draw up, in conjunction with M. Mercier, a report on the suppression of games of chance, which produced a treatise from him, “Sur la suppression des Jeux de Hazard,” probably a repetition of what he had advanced before. 3. “Eloge de l’abbe Blanches,” prefixed to his works. 4. “Memoire sur les Satiriques Latins,” in the 43d vol. of the Memoirs of the academy of inscriptions. 5. “Voyage a Barrege et dans les hautes Pyrenees,1796, 8vo, an amusing tour, which would not have been less so if he had avoided an affected imitation of Sterne. 6. “Mes rapports avec J. J.Rousseau,1798, 8vo, in which there are some curious particulars of the Genevan philosopher. From the Memoirs of the National Institute we learn that when M. Dussaulx was in the army he married a lady who survived him, and to whom he appears to have been attached with extraordinary fidelity and unremitted affection. He declared, towards the close of his life, that she had been his first and his last love; and it was to her he was indebted for nearly the whole of his literary reputation. Madame Dussaulx, from the casual effusions of his pen, conceived him to be capable of spirited as well as elegant versification, and proposed to him to translate particular passages of Juvenal. These he executed with so much success, that he was incited by degrees to make a complete version of the whole of his satires, and thereby produced a performance which secured to him a very large acquaintance and friendship with the literary world. 1


Dict. Hist. Memoirs of the National Institute.