Rousset, John De Missy

, a voluminous French writer, was born at Laon, in Picardy, Aug. 26, 1686. His father and mother were of good families, both protestants, and sutrerers for their religion. His mother’s body was ordered to be drawn upon a hurdle, because she died in the protestant faith, and his father was condemned to be hanged for endeavouring to escape into Holland, but was saved at the intercession of the chancellor Voisin, who prevailed on the Jesuit La Chaise to obtain his pardon. His son was educated first at the college of Laon, and afterwards in that of Du Plessis at Paris, Having finished his philosophical studies, some family discontents, owing to the introduction of a step- mother, determined him to go to Holland, where he entered into the company of the French cadets attached to the regiment of guards belonging to the States-general. He served with reputation until after the battle of Malplaquet, when he returned to his studies, and married. In order to maintain himself and family, he commenced the business of teaching for fourteen or fifteen years at the Hague, and educated in that time above fifty young men of family, who afterwards rose to offices of distinction in the republic. This employment, however, he relinquished in 1723, in order to devote his time to the study of politics and history, and became editor or contributor to various literary and political journals, in which he was assisted by some Frenchmen of talents, who, like himself, had taken refuge in Holland. Political writers are not always safe, even in republics; and Rousset, in 1747, having written some pamphlets against the magistrates, and in favour of the prince of Orange, was arrested at Amsterdam, and confined for some weeks there or at the Hague; but when the prince was made Stadtholder, by the name of William IV. he not only released Rousset, but soon after conferred on him the title of counsellor extraordinary, and appointed him his historiographer. Returning now to Amsterdam, he plunged farther into politics by becoming one of the chiefs of the party known in that country by the name of Doelisten, from Doele, the name of a hotel where they assembled. This party obtained what they demanded, but the stadtholder wishing to unite all parties in the common | cause, and the Doelisten having become obnoxious to the public, he dismissed Rousset, in 1749, from the places he had conferred on him, and forbid the publication of a work he had written against the French court. Rousset being at the same time informed that he was in danger of being taken up, went to Brussels, where his pen was his chief resource, and there he died in 1762.

The principal works of this laborious writer were, 1. “Description geographique, historique, et politique, du royaume de Sardaigne, 9 ' Cologn, 1718, 12mo. 2.” Histoire de cardinal Alberoni,“translated from the Spanish, Hague, 1719, 12mo, and in 1720 enlarged to 2 vols. 3.” Mercure historique et politique,“15 vols. from August 1724 to July 1749. 4.” Histoire du prince Eugene, du due de Marl borough, du prince d’Orange,“Hague, 1729 1747, 3 vols.; fol. the first volume was by Dumont. The whole is valued chiefly for its fine plates and plans. 5.” Supplement au Corps Diplomatique de J. Dumont,“new arranged with large additions by Rousset, Amst. and Hague, 1739, 5 vois. fol. 6.” Interets des Puissances de TEurope,“founded on the treaties concluded at the peace of Utrecht, Hague, 1733, 2 vols. 4to, reprinted with additions, &c. four times; but the last edition of Trevoux, 1736, 14 vols. 12mo, is said to have been mutilated. 7.” Recueil Historique d’Actes et de Negociations,“from the peace of Utrecht, Hague, 1728, Amst. 1755, 21 vols. 12mo, but with the addition of some other political tracts and collections by our author, is generally to be found in 25 vols. 8.” Relation historique de la grande Revolution arrives dans la republique des Provinces-Unies en 1747,“Amst. 4to, without date. Rousset was also edicor of Mably’s” Droit Public“the abbe Raynal’s history of the Stadholderate, in which he attacks the abbe and his country; St. Manr’s French translation of Milton; Mrs. Manley’s” Atalantis," &c. In all his works, his ambition was to pass for a man of such impartiality that the reader could discover neither his country nor his religion. In this, however, he has not always succeeded, although it is apparent that his attachment to both had been considerably weakened. 1