St. Simon, Louis De Rouvroi, Duke Of

, a French writer of memoirs, was the son of a duke of the same title, born June 16, 1675, and was introduced at the court of Louis XIV. in his fifteenth year, but had been educated in virtuous principles, and never departed from them, either at court or in the army, in which he served till 1697. In 1721 he was appointed ambassador extraordinary to the court of Spain, for the purpose of soliciting the infanta in marriage for Louis XV. After being for some time confidential adviser to the regent, duke of Orleans, he retired to his estate, and passed most of his time in his library, where he read incessantly and forgot nothing. The marshal de Belle-Isle | used to say that he was the most interesting and agreeable dictionary he had ever consulted. At fourscore he enjoyed all his faculties as perfect as at forty: the precise time of his death is not mentioned, but it appears to have taken place about 1757. He composed “Memoirs of the reign of Louis XIV. and the Regency,” which consist of a variety of anecdotes relative to the courts of Louis XIV. and XV. which are told in an elegant style, but his manner is often sarcastic, although his justice has never been called in question. M. Anquetil has made this nobleman’s memoirs the basis of his history of “Louis XIV. his Court and the Regent.” Some of the editions of these Memoirs have been mutilated, but the most complete was printed at Strasburg, in 1791, iS vols. 8vo. 1


Anquetil, ubi supra. Dict. Hisr.