Fayette, Marie Madeleine, Pioche De La Vergne, Countess Of

, a French lady, daughter of Aymar de la Vergne, marechal-de-camp, and governor of | Havre-deGrace, bat more distinguished by her wit and literary productions than by her family, was married to the count de Fayette in 1655, and died in lt’i.93. She cultivated letters and the fine arts; and her hotel uas the rendezvous of all who were most distinguished for literary taste. The duke de la Rochefuucault, Huetius, Mennge, La Fontaine, Segrais, were those she saw most frequently. The last, when obliged to quit the house of Mad. de Montpensier, found an honourable retreat with her. The author of “The Memoirs of madame de Maintenon,” has not spoken favourably of this lady, nor represented her manners to be such as from her connections we should suppose. But madame de Sevigne, who had better opportunities of knowing her, and is more to be relied on than the author of the memoirs, has painted her very differently. This lady says, in a letter to her daughter, “Mad. la Fayette is a very amiable and a very estimable woman; and whom yon will love when you shall have time to be with her, and to enjoy the benefit of her sense and wit; the better you luiow her, the more you will like her.

The principal works of this lady are, 1. “Zaide,” a romance, often printed, and read by persons who do not usually read romances. 2. “La princesse de Cleves,” a romance also, which Fontenelle professed to have read four times. Mad. la Fayette was so regardless of fame, that she published these works under the name of Segrais, who, however, is supposed to have been no farther concerned than in aiding a little in the design of them. 3. “La princesse de Montpensier,” another romance. Voltaire says, that the romances of Fayette were the first which exhibited the manners of people of fashion in a graceful, easy, and natural way; all before having been pompous bombast, and swelling every thing beyond nature and life. 4. “Memoires de la cour de France pour lea annles 1688 & 1689.” This work is written with address and spirit, and abounds with striking pictures and curious anecdotes. 5. “Histoire d‘Henriette d’Angleterre.” 6. “Divers portraits de quelques personnes de la cour.” All these works are still esteemed and she drew up also other memoirs of the history of her times, which were lent to every body, and lost, by her son the abbe de la Fayette. She understood Latin, which she learned in a very short time. 1