Gaillard, Gabriel Henry

, an elegant French historian, member of the old French academy, of that of inscriptions and belles-lettres, and of the third class of the institute, was born at Ostel, near Soissons, March 20, 1728. On his education or early pursuits, the only work in which we find any notice of him is totally silent, and we are obliged for the present to content ourselves with a list of his works, all of which, however, have been eminently successful in France, and procured to the author an extensive reputation and many literary honours, he wrote, 1. “Rhetorique Franchise, a l’usage des jeunes demoiselles,Paris, 1746, 12mo, which has gone through six editions. 2. “Poetique Françoise,” ibid. 1749, 2 vols. 3. “Parallele des quatre Electre, de Sophocle, d’Euripide, de Crebillon, et de Voltaire,” ibid. 1750, vo. 4. * Melanges litteraires en prose et en vers,“ibid. 1757, 12mo. 5.” Histoire de Marie de Bourgogne,“ibid. 1757, 12mo. 6.” Histoire de Francois I.“1769, 7 vols. 12mo; of this there have been several editions, and it is not without reason thought to be Gaillard’s principal work; but Voltaire is of opinion that he softens certain obnoxious parts of Francis’s conduct rather too much, but in general his sentiments are highly liberal, and more free from the prejudices of his country and his religion than could have been expected. Indeed, it may be questioned whether he was much attached to the latter. 7.” Histoire des rivalités de la France et de l’Angleterre,“1771—1802, 11 vols. 12mo, a work in which the author, not altogether unsuccessfully, struggles to be impartial. 8.” Histoire de Charlemagne,“4 vols. 12mo. Gibbon, our historian, who availed himself much of this history, says that” it is laboured with industry and elegance.“9.” Observations sur l’Histoire de France de Messieurs Velly, Villaret, et Gamier,“1807, 4 vols. 12mo, a posthumous work. Besides these he was the author of various eloges, discourses, poems, odes, epistles, &c. which were honoured with academical prizes; and several learned papers in the memoirs of the academy of inscriptions. He wrote also in the| Journal des Savans“from 1752 to 1792, and in the” Mercure“from 1780 to 1789, and in the new Encyclopedic he wrote three fourths of the historical articles. His last performance, which bore no mark of age, or decay of faculties, was anEloge historique" on M. de Malesherbes, with whom he had been so long intimate, that perhaps no man. was more fit to appreciate his character. This writer, the last of the old school of French literati, died at St. Firmin, near Chantilly, in 1806. 1