Villars, Louis Hector, Duke Of

, marshal of France, was born at Moulins in Bourbonnais in 1653. His father had served with ability and courage, both in the civil and military capacity, and the son very early shewed a zeal to excel in arms. He served first a& aid -de -camp to his cousin, the marshal de Belleforis, and signalized himself in several sieges and engagements, till 1702, when having defeated the prince of Baden at the battle of Friedlingen, he was appointed marechal of France, October 22, the same year. The following year he took the fortress of Kell, won a battle at Hochstet, 1703, and subdued the insurgents in the Cevennes, by negociating with their leader in a manner that did credit to his humanity; for ttiese services he was raised to the title of dukeofVillarsin 1706. His neM considerable action was forcing the lines at Stolhoffen, 1707, and obtaining more than eigtteed millions in contributions from the enemy. It was thought that he would have gained the battle of iMalplaquet, in 1709, had he not been dangerously wounded before the action finished. Such at least was his own opinion, towhich historians seem, not disposed to accede. But it is less doubtful that he afterwards acquired great glory from the stratagem by which he forced the entrenchments of Denain on the Schelde, July 24, 1712. This success was followed by the capture of Marchiennes, Douay, Bouchain, Landau, Friburg, &c. and by a peace concluded at Radstadt, between the emperor and France, May 6, 1714. Marechal de Villars, who had been plenipotentiary at the treaty of Radstadt, was made president of the council of war in 1715, and afterwards counsellor to the regency and minister of state. | In 1733 he went into Italy as commander under the king of Sardinia, and his majesty declared him marshal general of his camps and armies; a title granted to no one, since the death of marechal de Turenne, who appears to have been the first person honoured with it. M. de Villars took Pisighitona, Milan, Novarra, and Tortona; but after having opened the following campaign, he fell sick and died at Turin, on his return to France, June 17, 1734, aged eighty-two, regretted as one of the greatest and most fortunate generals of France. He had been admitted into the French academy, June 23, 1714. M. the abbe Seguy spoke his funeral oration, which was printed in 1735. He was a man of undoubted courage, but he was vain and unaccommodating, and never beloved. “The Memoirs of M. de Villars” were published in Dutch, in 1734 36, 3 vols. 12mo; but the first volume only was written by himself. Another life was published by M. Anquetil in 1784, 4 vols. J2mo, which is said to contain more ample information and historical documents. 1