, or Commines, Lat . Cominæus (Philip de), an excellent French historian, was born
, or Commines, Lat. Cominæus (Philip de), an excellent French historian, was born of a noble
family in Flanders, 1446. He was a man of great abilities,
which, added to his illustrious birth, soon recommended
him to the notice of Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy,
with whom he lived in intimacy for about eight years. He
was afterwards 'invited to the court of France by Louis XI.
and became a man of consequence, not only from the
countenance which was given him by the monarch, but
from other great connections also, which he formed by marrying into a noble family. Louis made him his chamberlain, and seneschal or chief magistrate of the province of
Poictou. He also employed him in several negotiations,
which he executed in a satisfactory manner, and enjoyed
the high favour of his prince. But after the death of
Louis, when his successor Charles VIII. came to the throne,
the envy of his adversaries prevailed so far, that he was
imprisoned at Loches, in the county of Berry, and treated
with great severity; but by the application of his wife, he
was removed at length to Paris. After some time he was
convened before the parliament, in which he pleaded his
own cause with such effect, that, after a speech of two
hours, he was discharged. In this harangue he insisted
much upon what he had done both for the king and kingdom, and the favour and bounty of his master Louis XI.
He remonstrated to them, that he had done nothing either
through avarice or ambition; and that if his designs had
been only to have enriched himself, he had as fair an opportunity of doing it as any man of his condition in France.
He died in a house of his own called Argenton, Oct.
17, 1509; and his body, being carried to Paris, was interred in the church belonging to the Augustines, in a
chapel which he had built for himself. In his prosperity
he had the following saying frequently in his mouth: “
that will not work, let him not eat:” in his adversity he
used to say, “
I committed myself to the sea, and am
overwhelmed in a storm.”