Hardion, James

, a polite French writer, was born at Tours in 1686, and coming to Paris in 1704, devoted his time to the study of the belles lettres, and at the same time cultivated a critical knowledge of the Greek language under Boivin and Massieu, professors in the royal college. In 1711, he was admitted as a pupil into the academy of inscriptions, became an associate in 1715, and a pensionary in 172S. For their Memoirs he wrote a great many curious and interesting papers, and his general knowledge and reputation procured him at length the office of keeper of the library and antiquities in the royal cabinet. In 1730 he was chosen a member of the French academy, and the following year began his “Histoire de l’origine et des progres de la Rhetorique dans la Grece.” He had published twelve dissertations on this subject, when, in 1748, the king honoured him with the appointment of preceptor in history and geography to madame Victoire, one of the princesses, and he afterwards taught other illustrious females of that family. It was for their use that he wrote his “Histoire Poetique,” with two treatises, one on French poetry, and the other on rhetoric, Paris, 1751, 3 vols. 12mo, and his universal history, “Histoire Universelle,” 18 vols. 12mo, to which Linguet added two others. All his works are valued for elegance of style and the accuracy of his researches, and his personal character was not less admired, as a man of integrity whom a court-life had not spoiled, and who preserved the dignity of the literary character amidst the cabals arrd intrigues by which he was surrounded. Hardion died at Paris in September 1766. His dissertations in the Memoirs of the academy of inscriptions display a profound knowledge of classical antiquities. 1