Orleans, Peter Joseph D'

, a Jesuit who acquired a considerable reputation in his own country as a historian, was born at Bourges in 1644. He was a teacher of the belles lettres in different colleges for several years, and became a celebrated preacher. Some separate lives which he published, in an agreeable style, and with judicious reflections, first attracted the public attention, but his reputation chiefly arose from his historical writings. Voltaire says that father DOrleans was the first who chose revolutions for his subject, and adds, that the idea was not more happy than the execution. His “History of the Revolutions of England” met with the universal approbation of the French critics, and would have been, says Palissot, a perfect model, had the author concluded with the reign of Henry V11I, but after that he was no longer allowed to be impartial. English critics, however, have a less favourable opinion of his qualifications for writing such a history; and Echard, who translated part of the work, “History of the Revolutions in England under the family of the Stuarts, from 1603 to 1690,1711, 8vo, has very properly cautioned *


Echard says, that “the great varieties and wonderful changes in these reigns are here judiciously comprised in a moderate volume with no le*s perspicuity than strictness, and with a beautiful mixture of short characters, nice reflections, and noble sentences, which render the whole agreeable and instructive. But, while the reader is entertained with so much skill and fineness, we ought to caution him with relation to the education and religion of the author. For, though he has great marks of a generous candour, and a laudable deference to all superiors, yet he is to he considered in all places as one in favour with the French king, and not only a true Papist, but a complete Jesuit.

his readers against the author’s prejudices. Father DOrleans, whose private character is represented as very amiable, died in the prime of life iti 1698. His works are, l.the history already mentioned, “Histoire des Revolutions d’Angleterre,Paris, 1693, 3 vols. 4to, afterwards reprinted in 4 vols. 12ino, with heads. Francis Turpin published a continuation in 1786, in 2 vols. 8vo. 2. “Histoire des Revolutions d‘ Espagne,” ibid. 1734,

Dict. Hist. de L’Avocat.

| 3 vols 4to. This, left incomplete by the author, was finished by Brumoy and Rouille, but it had not the same success as his revolutions of England, which his countrymen are willing to impute to the subject being less interesting. 3. “Histoire de M. Constance, premier minister du roi de Siam, et de la derniere revolution de cet etat,” ibid. 1692, 12mo. 4. “Histoire des deux conquerants Tartares Chimchi et Camhi, qui ont subjugue la Chine,” ibid. 1689, 8vo. 5. The lives, published separately, of Spinola, 1693, 12mo; of P. Cotton, 1688, 4to of Ricci, 1693, 12mo; of Mary of Savoy and the infanta Isabella, 1696, 12mo, and of Stanislaus Kostka, 1712, reprinted in 1727, with the life of Louis de Gonzaga. 6. “Sermons et instructions Chretiennes sur diverses matieres,1696, 2 vols. 12mo. 1

Biog. Brit, art d’Orleans.—Dict. Hist.