Silhouette, Stephen De

, a French writer, whose taste for English literature entitles him to a place here, was born at Limoges in 1709, and appears to have been brought up to civil or political life, although he always cultivated a taste for literature. He purchased the office of master of requests, and after having managed the affairs of the duke of Orleans, became comptroller-general and minister of state in 1759. This was a critical time for France, which was carrying on a ruinous war, and the finances were in a very low condition. Silhouette wished to remedy this last evil by retrenchment and ceconomy, but finding that such a plan was only a topic for ridicule, he quitted his post in about nine months, and retired to his estate of Brie-sur-Marne,and devoted his time to study, and his wealth to benevolence. He died in 1767. His works were: 1. “Idee generate du Government Chinois,1729, 4to, 1731, 12mo. 2. “Reflexion politique,” from the Spanish of Balthazar Gracian, 1730, 4to. 3. A translation of Pope’s “Essay on Man,” which the French speak of as faithful, but not elegant. 4. A translation of Bolingbroke’s “Dissertation on Parties.” This is said to have been printed at London in 1739, where, perhaps about this time Silhouette was on a visit. 5 “Lettre sur les transactions pubiiques du Regrie d'Elizabeth,” with some remarks on Rapin’s account of that reign, Amst. 1736, 12mo. 6. A translation of Pope’s “Miscellanies,1741, 2 vols. 12mo. 7. “Traite* mathematique sur le bonheur,1741, 12mo. 8. A translation of Warburton’s “Alliance,1742, 2 vols. 1.2 mo. With Warburton he appears to have corresponded, for in one of Warburton’s letters, printed by Mr. Nichols, we find that celebrated author desiring that a copy of his | Divine Legation” may be sent to M. Silhouette in Franoe. In the “History of the Works of the Learned” also, we find “Observations on the Abbe* Pluche’s History of the Heavens,” translated from the French of Silhouette, who professes that he was chiefly indebted for them to the second volume of the “Divine Legation,” and to some particular remarks communicated to him hy Mr. Warburton. 9. “Epitres morales, Lettres phiiosophiques, et Traits mathematiques,” printed at the Bowyer press, in 1741. 10. “Memoirs des commissaires du roi et de ceux de sa majeste Britamuque stir les possessions et les droits respectifs des deux couronnes en Amerique,Paris, 1755, 4to. In this he was assisted by M. de la Gahssonniere. 1 1> “Voyage de France, d‘Espagne, de Portugal, et d’ltalie,” a posthumous work, Paris, 1770. 1

1 Dict. Hist. Works of the Larued for 1743. Nichels’a Bowyer.