Terrasson, John

, brother to the preceding, was born at Lyons in 1670, and educated at the house of the oratory at Paris, which he quitted very soon. He afterwards entered into it again, and then left it finally, a proof of unsteadiness, at which his father was so angry, having | resolved to breed up all his sons to the church, that he reduced him by his will to a very moderate income; which, however, John bore without complaining. He went to Paris, and obtained the acquaintance of the abbe* Bignon, who became his protector and patron, and procured him a place in the academy of sciences in 1707. In 1721, he was elected a professor in the college royal. When the disputes about Homer between La Motte and madam Dacier were at their height, he thought proper to enter the lists, and wrote “Une Dissertation contre Plliade,” in 2 vols. 12mo, which did very little credit to his taste or judgment. He had, however, better success in his “Sethos,” which, as a learned and philosophical romance, has considerable merit. It has been translated into English. Another work of Terrasson is J< A French Translation of Diodorus Siculus, with a preface and notes," which has been much commended.

He died Sept. 15, 1750, with the reputation of having been one of the best practical philosophers of his age. According to D’Alembert, in his “History of the Members of the French Academy,” he was absent, simple, totally ignorant of the world, with much learning, and original wit and humour. He suddenly became very rich, by the Mississippi-scheme, in favour of which he wrote a pamphlet of “Reflexions;” but was neither affected by his sudden riches, nor by the sudden ruin which followed. He said he had now got rid of many difficulties in which wealth had involved him, and he should enjoy the comfort and convenience of living on a little. At the latter end of his life he totally lost his memory, and when any question was asked him, he said, “Inquire of Mrs. Luquet, my housekeeper;” and even when the priest, who confessed him in his last illness, interrogated him concerning the sins which he had committed, he could get no other answer from him than “Ask Mrs. Luquet.1