Trublet, Nicholas Charles Joseph

, a French abb of temporary fame, but who is upon the whole rather faintly praised by his countrymen, was born at St. Malo in Dec. 1697. He was related to the celebrated Maupertuis, who dedicated the third volume of his works to him. His first appearance as an author was in 1717, in his twentieth year, when he published in the French “Mercure,” his “Reflections on Telemachus,” which served to introduce him to La Motte and Fontenelle, who became afterwards not only the objects of his constant esteem, but of a species of idolatry which exposed him to the ridicule of the wits of his day. There are no memoirs of his education and early progress, but it appears that he was treasurer of the church of Nantes, and afterwards archdeacon and canon of St. Malo. For some time he lived in intimacy with cardinal Tencin, and visited Rome with him, but having no inclination to a life of dependence, whatever advantages it might bring, he returned to Paris, and employed his time in literary pursuits. His irreproachable conduct and agreeable manners procured him very general esteem as a man, but as a writer he never ranked high in the public opinion, and although very ambitious of a seat in the French academy, he did not reach that honour until 1761. About six years afterwards he retired to his native place, where he died in March 1770. His principal works were, I. “Essais de litterature et de morale,” 4 vols. 12mo, which have been often reprinted and translated into other languages. These essays, although the author was neither gifted with the elegance of La Bruyere, nor with the penetration of La Rochefoucault, contain much good sense and knowledge of books and men. 2. “Panegyriques ties Saints,” a work feebly written, but to which he prefixed some valuable reflections on eloquence. It was in this work he incurred the displeasure of Voltaire. He in general disliked the poetry of his country, and had not only the courage and imprudence to say that he thought it in general monotonous, but that he was unable to read even the | Henriade” of Voltaire without yawning. Voltaire resented this in a satire, entitled “Le Pauvre Diable,” but afterwards became reconciled to the abbe. 3. “Memoires pour servir a l’histoire de Messieurs de la Motte et de Fontenelle,” Amst. 1761. He was a contributor also to the “Journal des Savans,” and to the “Journal Chretien,” which was established in defence of religion against the infidel writers of that time. 1


Eulogy by D’Alembcrt. —Dict. Hist. Le Necrologie des Homines Celebrcs, pour annee 1771.