Voyer, Marc Rene Le Voyer Be Paulmy, Marquis D'Argenson

, a distinguished French statesman, of a very ancient and honourable family, was born at Venice in 1652, where his father then resided as ambassador from France, and was so much respected that the senate gave him and his descendants permission to add the arms of the republic <o his own, with the lion of St. Mark as his crest. The senate also, as sponsor for his son, gave him the additional name of Mark. He was brought up to the law, and after filling the place of master of the requests, was promoted by the king to the place of lieutenant-general of the police of Paris, and conducted himself in this office with so much ability and propriety, that it is said that city never enjoyed more plenty, quiet, and security, than under his | administration. In times of scarcity or commotion on any other account, and during fires or other calamities, he displayed the talents of a humane and enlightened magistrate, and by address only, and sharing in every danger, and listening to all reasonable complaints, he succeeded, in preventing or allaying popular tumults, without having recourse to extremities. His ability in this office recommended him to a superior rank in the administration, and accordingly, after being made a counsellor of state, he was in 1718 promoted to be keeper of the seals, president of the council of finance, and in 172() minister of state; but of these offices he was almost immediately deprived, we are not told why, and died May 8, 1721. He was attached to literature, and was a member of the French academy and of that of sciences. His character has been variously represented. We have given the most favourable account, but it must not be concealed that he was accounted by many as a friend to despotic authority, and as meanly subservient to the tyranny of the court or its ministers. He is said to have obliged the Jesuits by persecuting the Jansenists, but neither ioved or hated the one or the other, unless as they might promote or obstruct his ambition. In private life he was a more amiable character. Some of his descendants made a considerable figure in the latter French history. 1