Maurepas, John Frederic Phelypeaux, Count Of

, grandson of the count de Pontchartrain, who was minister under Louis XIV. was born in 1701, anJ obtained an appointment of secretary at court so early as 1715. He was superintendant of the king’s household in 1718, and of the marine in 1723. In 1738 he was appointed minister of state, and was in all situations full of genius, activity, and sagacity. Being exiled to Bourges in 1749, by the intrigues of a lady very powerful at court, he made no secret of the manner in which he felt that change. “The first day,” said he, “I was piqued, the second I was contented.” When he arrived at the place of his exile, he talked in a lively manner of the dedications he should lose, and of the disappointments of the authors who had wasted their fine phrases upon him. He continued to amuse himself with the pleasures of society, and enjoyed the invariable esteem of many Valuable friends, and of the public. Being | recalled to the ministry in 1774, by Louis XVI. who treated him with unbounded confidence, he disdained to revenge any former neglect oy ill offices, and lived rather with the ease of a rich private gentleman, than with the ostentation of a minister. His views of objects were rapid, yet were generally considered as profound; though in recommending the conduct which France pujsued with respect to America, at the time of the revolt of that country, he certainly laid the foundation for the destruction of the French monarchy. He was, however, a man of much public spirit, and one who contributed not a little to the improvement of the French marine. His correspondence was a model of precision, expressing much meaning in very few words. He died at the age of eighty, Nov. 21, 1781. He left some curious “Memoirs,” of which there are three editions, published in 1790 and 1792, 4 vols. 8vo, by the editor Soulaire. 1


Eloges des Academicians, vol. II. Dict. Htst. Memoires de Maurepas par Soulaire