WOBO: Search for words and phrases in the texts here...

Enter either the ID of an entry, or one or more words to find. The first match in each paragraph is shown; click on the line of text to see the full paragraph.

Currently only Chalmers’ Biographical Dictionary is indexed, terms are not stemmed, and diacritical marks are retained.

t Marne” for the cascade at St. Cloud. He was then employed at Choisi; and, in May 1737, was elected a member of the French academy, and professor. The piece he exhibited

, an eminent French sculptor, was born at Nancy, Feb. 10, 1700. He was the son of Jacob-Sigisbert Adam, also a sculptor of considerable note. At the age of eighteen, he came to Metz; but a desire to extend his reputation made him repair to Paris, where he arrived in 1719. After exercising his profession about four years, he obtained the first prize, and then went to Rome, with a royal pension, where he remained ten years. While here, he was employed by the cardinal de Polignac in restoring the twelve marble statues known as the “family of Lycomedes,” which had been discovered among the ruins of the villa of Marius, about two leagues from Rome, and acquitted himself with great success in a branch of the art which is seldom rewarded or honoured in proportion to its difficulties. He afterwards restored several antique sculptures, of which the king of Prussia had got possession, and which he conveyed to Berlin. When an intention was formed of erecting that vast monument at Rome known by the name of the “Fountain of Trevi,” he was one of the sixteen sculptors who gave in designs; but, although his was adopted by pope Clement XI I. the jealousy of the Italian artists prevented his executing it. At this time, however, advantageous offers were made by his own country, to which he returned, after being chosen a member of the academies of St. Luke, and of Bologna. His first work, after his return to France, was the groupe of the “Seine et Marne” for the cascade at St. Cloud. He was then employed at Choisi; and, in May 1737, was elected a member of the French academy, and professor. The piece he exhibited on his admission was “Neptune calming the waves,” with a Triton at his feet; and not “Prometheus chained to the rock,” as some biographers have asserted, which was the production of his brother Nicholas. He then executed the groupe of “Neptune and Amphitrite” for the bason at Versailles, on which he was employed five years, and was rewarded, besides the stipulated price, with a pension of 500 livres. One of his best works was the figure of “St. Jerome,” now at St. Roch. His other works are, a groupe of five figures and of five animals, at Versailles, in bronze; the bas-relief of the chapel of St. Elizabeth, in bronze; two groupes in bronze of hunting and fishing at Berlin; “Mars caressed by Love,” at Bellevue; and a statue representing the enthusiasm of poetry. In all these there are undoubted proofs of genius, but proofs likewise of the bad taste in sculpture which prevailed in his time, and induced him, after the example of Bernini and others, to attempt efforts which can only be successful in painting. In 1754, he published “Recueil de Sculptures antiques Græcques et Romanies,” fol. for which he made the designs. Most of these he had purchased from the heirs of cardinal de Polignac. He died of an apoplexy, May 15, 1759.

reward, that Arnaud should be placed at the head of the abbey of Grandchamp. In 1771 he was elected a member of the French academy, and became librarian to Monsieur,

, a French miscellaneous writer of considerable note, was born at Aubignan, near Carpentras, July 27, 1721, and afterwards became an ecclesiastic. In 1752 he came to Paris, and in 1762 was admitted into the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles Lettres. He was for some time attached to prince Louis of Wirtemberg, afterwards sovereign of that duchy, but then in the service of France. The advocate Gerbier, his friend, having in 1765, gained an important cause for the clergy of France against the Benedictines, he demanded, as his reward, that Arnaud should be placed at the head of the abbey of Grandchamp. In 1771 he was elected a member of the French academy, and became librarian to Monsieur, with the reversion of the place of historiographer of the order of St. Lazarus. He died at Paris Dec. 2, 1784. The abbé Arnaud was a man of learning, much information, and taste, but too much a man of the world, and too indolent, to give his talents fair play. His “Lettre sur la Musique, au Comte de Caylus,1754, 8 vo, which made him first known to the learned world, and has been generally praised, was little more than the prospectus of a far larger work on the music of the ancients, but he never could bring himself to execute his plan, and for the rest of his life employed his pen only on occasional papers and essays. Being a warm admirer of Giuck, when the disputes took place in 1777 respecting music, he wrote in the Journal de Paris a considerable number of articles in favour of German music, and against Marmontel, who patronized Piccini; and in, concert with his friend M. Suard, edited “L‘Histoire ancienne des peuples de l’Europe par de Buat,1772, 12 vols. 12mo. He assisted also in the following works: 1. “Journal Etranger,” with M. Suard, from Jan. 1760 to March 1762. The complete work consists of 54 vols. 12mo, beginning 1754. Suard and he afterwards quitted it to translate the Gazette de France. 2. “Gazette litteraire de l'Europe,” also with M. Suard, 1764 1766, 8 vols. 8vo. 3. “Varietes litteraires, ou Ilecueil des pieces tant originales que traduites, concernant la philosophic, la litterature, et les arts,1768 1769, 4 vols. 12mo. This consists of the best pieces from the two first mentioned journals; and M. Suard' s “Melanges de litterature,1803 4, 5 vols. 8vo, may be considered as a new edition, but with many additions and omissions. It is in the “Varietes” only, that we find Bissy’s translation of Young’s Night Thoughts. 4. “Description des principales pierres gravees du cabinet du due d'Orleans,1730, 2 vols. fol. Arnaud compiled the articles in the first volume of this magnificent work: the second bears the names of the abbés de la Chau and le Blond. 5. Various dissertations in the “Memoires de l'Academie des inscriptions,” collected and published under the title of “Œuvres completes de l'abbé Arnaud,” 3 vols. 8vo, but incorrectly printed. The “Memoires pour servir a l'histoire de la revolution opere dans la Musique par le chevalier Gluck,1781, 8vo, attributed to our author, was written by the abbé le Blond. Arnaud was well acquainted with ancient literature, and improved his style, which, however, is not quite pure, by the study of the best ancient writers. Although at first an enemy to the new philosophy introduced in France, he was afterwards ranked among its supporters, but did not live to witness its consequences.

a member of the French academy, was born at Rouen in 1590, of

, a member of the French academy, was born at Rouen in 1590, of poor parents. He received his education among the Jesuits, and employed his time chiefly in studying philosophy, mathematics, and poetry. His first work was a paraphrase on Ecdesiastes, to which he gave the name of “Pensces morales.” He afterwards wrote the two first parts of his “Lycee,” in which he described his own character, as the portrait of an honest man. He was preparing the third part, when he was drowned, 1637, while endeavouring to save one of his pupils from that fate. His principal works, which are written rather in a diffuse style, are, 1. “Le grand Chambellan de France,1623, fol. 2. “Essai sur l'Ecclesiaste de Salomon,” a different work from his “Pensees morales.” “La Lycee, ou en plusieurs promenades il est traite des connoissances, des actions, et des plaisirs d'un Honnete Homrne,” 2 vols. 8vo. His eloge was pronounced in the academy by M. Godeau.

a member of the French academy, was a native of Pradelle in Vivarais,

, a member of the French academy, was a native of Pradelle in Vivarais, where he was born in 1590. In his youth he was a considerable traveller, but afterwards settled for the rest of his life at Paris, where he was reader to queen Margaret. He made translations from Tacitus, Suetonius, Lucian, Sallust, Dion Cassius, Tasso, and many other established writers, but which contributed little to his fame. When hard pressed by his employers, he contented himself with retouching former translations, without looking into the originals. He also wrote a “History of Malta,1659, 2 vols. folio, and some novels and romances, in general beneath mediocrity. His only work not of this character, is his collection of “Emblems,” with moral explanations, Paris, 1638, 8vo. 3 vols, a beautiful book, with engravings by Briot. His “Iconologie” is also in request with collectors. It was printed at Paris, 1636, fojio, and 1643, 4to. Baudouin died at Paris in 1650, according to Moreri, or 1656, as in the Diet. Hist.

d and confessor, was called in, who arrived in time to witness his death, Oct. 19, 1691. He had been a member of the French academy from 1674. Pascal says he was the

Mr. Voltaire is of opinion that these inscriptions were the best of his productions, and he regrets that they have not been collected. Benserade suffered at last so much from the stone, that, notwithstanding his great age, he resolved to submit to the operation of cutting. But his constancy was not put to this last proof, for a surgeon letting him blood by way of precaution, pricked an artery, and, instead of endeavouring to stop the effusion of blood, Fan away Commire, his friend and confessor, was called in, who arrived in time to witness his death, Oct. 19, 1691. He had been a member of the French academy from 1674. Pascal says he was the repeater of many bad bons-mots, and those which his biographers have recorded are certainly of that description. His theatrical pieces, Cleopatra, the death of Achilles, &c. were printed singly from 1636 to 1641, 4to; but his whole works, including a selection from his rondeaus taken from Ovid, were printed at Paris, 1697, 2 vols. 12mo.

hess of Burgundy. Nor did the learned world honour him less than the court; for he had been admitted a member of the French academy; and in 1695, at the desire of

, bishop of Meaux, an eminent French writer and preacher, was born at Dijon, 27th of September 1627. He received the first rudiments of his education there, and in 1642 was sent to Paris to finish his studies at the college of Navarre. In 1652 he took his degrees in divinity, and soon after went to Metz, where he was made a canon. Whilst he resided here, he applied himself chiefly to the study of the scriptures, and the reading of the fathers, especially St. Augustine. In a little time he became a celebrated preacher, and was invited to Paris, where he had for his hearers many of the most learned men of his time, and several persons of the first rank at court. In 1669 he was created bishop of Condom, and the same month was appointed preceptor to the dauphin; upon which occasion, and the applause he gained in the discharge of so delicate an office, pope Innocent XI. congratulated him in a very polite letter. When he had almost finished the education of this prince, he addressed to him his “Discours surl'Histoire Universelle,” which was published in 1681, and is by far the best of his performances. About a year after he was made preceptor he gave up his bishopric, because he could not reside in his diocese, on account of his engagement at court. In 1680 the king appointed him first almoner to the dauphiness, and the year after gave him the bishopric of Meaux. In 1697 he was made counsellor of state, and the year following first almoner to the duchess of Burgundy. Nor did the learned world honour him less than the court; for he had been admitted a member of the French academy; and in 1695, at the desire of the royal college of Navarre, of which he was a member, the king constituted him their superior.

, president a mortier of the parliament of Dijon, and a member of the French academy, was born March 16, 1673. He began

, president a mortier of the parliament of Dijon, and a member of the French academy, was born March 16, 1673. He began his studies under the direction of his father (who was also president a mortier of the same parliament) at the Jesuits’ college of Dijon, and finished them in 1638 with great approbation. Being as yet too young for the law schools, he studied the elements of that science in private, and perfected himself at the same time in the Greek language. He also learned Italian, Spanish, and acquired some knowledge of the Hebrew. After two years thus usefully employed, he went through a course of law at Paris and Orleans; and in 1692 he became counsellor of the parliament of Dijon. In 1704 he was appointed president, the duties of which office he executed until 1727, and with an assiduity and ability not very common. In this latter year he was elected into the academy, on the condition that he would quit Dijon and settle at Paris, to which condition he acceded, but was unable to perform his promise, for want of health. Though remote, however, from the capital, he could not remain in obscurity; but from the variety and extent of his learning‘, he was courted and consulted by the literati throughout Europe: and many learned men, who had availed themselves of his advice, dedicated their works to him. At length, his constitution being worn out with repeated attacks of the gout, he died March 17, 1746. A friend approaching his bed, within an hour of his death, found him in a seemingly profound meditation. He made a sign that he wished not to be disturbed, and with difficulty pronounced the words J’epie la mort “I am watching death.” Notwithstanding his business and high reputation as a lawyer, he contrived to employ much of his time in the cultivation of polite literature, and wrote many papers on Critical and classical subjects in the literary journals. Separately he published, 1. A poetical translation, not inelegant, but somewhat careless, of Petronius on the Civil War between Coesar and Pompey, with two epistles of Ovid, &c. Amst. 1737, 4to. Alluding to the negligence which sometimes appears in his poetry, his wife, a very ingenious lady, used to say, “Confine yourself to thinking, and let me write.” 2. “Remarques sur les Tusculanes de Ciceron, avec une dissertation sur Sardanapale, dernier roi d'Asyrie,” Paris, 1737, 12mo. 3. “Des Lettres sur les Therapeutes,1712. 4. “Dissertations sur Herodote,” with memoirs of the life of Bouhier, 1746, Dijon, 4to. 5. “Dissertation sur le grand pontifical des empereurs Remains,1742, 4to. 6. “Explications de quelques marbres antiques,” in the collection of M. Le Bret, 1733, 4to. 7. “Observations sur la Coutume de Bourgogne,” Dijon, 2 vols. fol. A complete edition of his law works was published in 1787, fol. by M. de Bevy. He wrote a very learned dissertation on the origin of the Greek and Latin letters, which is printed in Montfaucon’s Palaeography, Paris, 1708, p. 553 and his “Remarques sur Ciceron” were reprinted at Paris in 1746.

a member of the French academy of sciences, was born at Paris,

, a member of the French academy of sciences, was born at Paris, Sept. 14, 1713, of a good family, and after having studied humanities in the Mazarin college, and a course of philosophy in the college of Beauvais, applied himself more particularly to medicine and law, and the oriental languages in the royal college. The great progress which he made in the latter, occasioned his being invited to Rheims to teach these languages, and to fill a professor’s chair; but this he declined out of respect to his father, who wished him to appear at the bar. Neither this, however, nor languages, were to his own liking, and his parents, after some consideration, allowed him to pursue his inclination for medicine, and natural history, to which he added a taste for general literature and criticism. In 1737, he began to give extracts from the London Philosophical Transactions, and this with so much judgment and ability as to excite the attention of the literati of France, who after revolving the plan, conceived that a translation of the Transactions with notes would be more useful than these extracts, and agreed that M. de Bremond should be requested to undertake it. He accordingly began the work, and published four vols. 4to. including the years 1731—1736, withacomplete index, and notes pointing out where the subjects are treated in the memoirs of other learned bodies, or in separate publications: some of these notes are complete dissertations. The royal society, on this, honoured him with the title of secretary; and on March 18, 1739, he was admitted into the French royal academy of sciences. The same year he read a learned paper on respiration. He joined afterwards with M. Morand, a celebrated surgeon, in collecting and translating all the English publications respecting Mrs. Stephens’s remedy for the stone, which once was thought infallible. He translated likewise Dr. Halley’s experiments on sea water, and Hauksbee’s experiments, 2 vols. 12mo; and Murdoch’s new loxodromic tables, for the construction of marine charts. This industrious writer died March 21, 1742, aged only twenty-nine. His eloge was composed by M. cle Mairan, then secretary to the academy.

is monument, burst into tears, and said to the young man, “Son, this will do you honour.” Buffon was a member of the French academy, and perpetual treasurer of the

The father, upon seing this monument, burst into tears, and said to the young man, “Son, this will do you honour.” Buffon was a member of the French academy, and perpetual treasurer of the academy of sciences. With a view to the preservation of his tranquillity, he wisely avoided the intrigues and parties that disgracefully occupied most of the French literati in his time; nor did he ever reply to the attacks that were made upon his works. In 1771 his estate was erected into a comte; and thus the decoration of rank, to which he was by no means indifferent, was annexed to the superior dignity he had acquired as one of the most distinguished members of the republic of letters.

ive his Christian name, nor have we been able to discover it in any of the French catalogues. He was a member of the French academy, and of that of the belles-lettres,

, a French writer of eminence in polite literature, is said to have been born in America, of French parents, in 1730, and died in Paris July 12, 1792, but our only authority does not give his Christian name, nor have we been able to discover it in any of the French catalogues. He was a member of the French academy, and of that of the belles-lettres, a dramatic author, an indifferent poet, but much esteemed for his writings respecting criticism and elegant literature. His principal works are: 1. “Eponine,” a tragedy, 1762, which did not succeed. 2. “Eloge de Rameau,1764, 8vo. 3. “Sur le sort de la poesie, en ce siecle philosophe, avec un dissertation sur Homere,1764, 8vo. 4. “Euxodie,” a tragedy, 1769, 12mo. 5. “Discours sur Pindar,” with a translation of some of his odes, 1769, 8vo. 6. “Les Odes Pithiques de Pindare,” translated, with notes, 1771, 8vo. This, in the opinion of Voltaire, is an excellent translation. 7. “Vie de Dante,1775, 8vo. 8. “Sabinus,” a lyric tragedy, but unsuccessful, 1775. 9. “Epitre sur la manie des jardins Anglois,1775, 8vo. The design of this is to modify, or rather to attack the principle that engages many to respect all the caprices of nature, and to shew that this principle, or at least its unrestrained application, may be prejudicial to the arts, but he displays more ingenuity than taste in this discussion. 10. “Idylles de Theocrite,” a new translation, 1777, 8vo. The most valuable part of this volume is a judicious and elegant essay on the Bucolic poets, in which, however, he is thought to treat Fontenelle and madame Deshoulieres with too much severity. 11. “Vers sur Voltaire,1778, 8vo. 12. “De la Musique considereé en elle meme, et dans ses rapports avec la parole, les langues, la poesie, et la theatre,1788, 2 vols. 8vo. The first volume, if we mistake not, was published in 1735. In this, says Dr. Burney, he discovers a refined taste, nice discernment, much meditation and knowledge of the subject, and an uncommon spirit of investigation; and although Dr. Burney’s sentiments are not always in unison with the opinions and reasoning of M. de Chabanon, yet there are such enlarged views and luminous and elegant observations in analysing the sensations which music excites, in assigning reasons for the pleasures which this art communicates to ears that vibrate true to musical intervals and concordant sounds, that he thinks its perusal will generate reflections on the art, and set the mind of a musician at work, who had never before regarded music but as a mere object of sense. This book was written in the midst of the war of musical opinions between the Gluckists and Piccinists. The author is said to have been not only an excellent judge of instrumental composition and performance, but among dilettanti ranked high as a performer on the violin. 13. The “Discours” he pronounced on his admission into the academy Jan. 20, 1780, 4to. In 1795 was published from his manuscript, “Tableau de quelques circonstances de ma vie,” 8vo, containing a faithful but not very pleasing disclosure of his conduct and sentiments. It appears that in his youth he was a devot, as serious as madame Guyon, but that afterwards he went into the other extreme, no uncommon transition with his countrymen.

y, and some dramas, in which last he was an unsuccessful imitator of Racine. In 1688 he was admitted a member of the French academy. He died at Paris in 1723.

, the descendant of a noble family, was born at Bourges in 1655, and came to Paris in his youth, where he was trained up to business, and obtained the place of receiver-general of the finances at Rochelle. During this employment he found leisure to indulge his taste for polite literature, and the prince of Conti having heard of his merits made him one of his secretaries in 1687. The prince also sent him into Svvisserland on political business, and the king being afterwards informed of his talents, employed him in the same capacity. La Chapelle disclosed his knowledge of the politics of Europe in a work printed at Paris in 1703, under the disguise of Basil, in 8 vols. 12mo, entitled “Lettres d'un Suisse a un Francois,” explaining the relative interest of the powers at war. He wrote also “Memoires historiques sur la Vie d'Armand de Bourbon, prince de Conti,” 16$9, 4to, and, if we are not mistaken, translated and published in English in 1711, 8vo. He also wrote poetry, and some dramas, in which last he was an unsuccessful imitator of Racine. In 1688 he was admitted a member of the French academy. He died at Paris in 1723.

d he became more delighted with languages and antiquity, than with the study of the law. He was made a member of the French academy in 1651, and had the advantage

, dean of the French academy, was born at Paris, Feb. 1620. His early discovery of great acuteness made his friends design him for the bar: but his taste led him to prefer the repose and stillness of the closet, and he became more delighted with languages and antiquity, than with the study of the law. He was made a member of the French academy in 1651, and had the advantage of the best conversation for his improvement. When Colbert became minister of state, he projected the setting up a French East-India company; and to recommend the design more effectually, he thought it proper that a discourse should be published upon this subject. Accordingly he ordered Charpentier to draw one up, and was so pleased with his performance, published in 1664, that he kept him in his family, with a design to place him in another academy which was then founding, and which was afterwards known by the name of “Inscriptions and Medals.” The learned languages, in which Charpentier was a considerable master, his great knowledge of antiquity, and his exact and critical judgment, made him very serviceable in carrying on the business of this newacademy; and it is agreed on all hands, that no person of that learned society contributed more than himself towards that noble series of medals, which were struck of the most considerable events that happened in the reign of Lewis XIV. but his adulation of the king exceeded that of all his contemporaries.

, a marshal in the French army, and a member of the French academy, and of many other literary societies,

, a marshal in the French army, and a member of the French academy, and of many other literary societies, was born in 1734, of a distinguished family. His military talents raised him to the rank of brigadier-general, and he is said to have served in that capacity with great reputation in America. Of his military, however, we know less than of his literary career, which he pursued amidst all his public employments. He had early in life a strong passion for poetry and music. Many of his comedies, written for private theatres, and heard with transport, might have been equally successful on the public stages, had he had courage sufficient to make the experiment. He was an officer in the French guards in 1765, when he published his ingenious “Essay on the Union of Poetry and Music.” This essay was the consequence of a voyage into Italy, where he seems to have adopted an exclusive taste for the dramatic music of that country, as Rousseau had done before. He even adopts some of Rousseau’s ideas upon music; but in general he thinks for himself, both deeply and originally. By his reflections on the musical drama, he not only offended the musicians of France, but the lyric poets of every country; not scrupling to assert that in an opera, music, which ought to be the principal consideration, had been too long a slave to syllables; for since the cultivation of the melo-drama, it was found that music had its own language, its tropes, metaphors, colouring, movements, passions, and expression of sentiment. This little tract, for it was but a pamphlet of 90 or 100 pages, 12mo, gave birth to a long controversy in France, in which the author was supported by the abbe Arnaud, M. D'Alembert, the abb Morellet, and M. Marmontel. His chief antagonist was the author of a “Treatise on the Melo-Drama,” who, loving poetry better than music, wished to reduce the opera to a mere recitative or musical declamation. During the subsequent feuds between the Gluckists and Piccinists, the opponents of the marquis de Chastellux enlisted with the former, and his friends with the latter of these sects.

told him, it was the opinion of his friends that the piece would not succeed. In 1647 he was chosen a member of the French academy; and was what they call dean of

, one of the most celebrated French poets, and called by his countrymen the Shakspeare of France, was born at Roan, June 6, 1606, of considerable parents, his father having been ennobled for his services by Louis XIII. He was brought up to the bar, which he attended some little time; but having no turn for business, he soon deserted it. At this time he had given the public no specimen of his talents for poetry, nor appears to have been conscious of possessing any such: and they tell us, that it was purely a trifling affair of gallantry, which gave occasion to his first comedy, called “Melite.” The drama was then extremely low among the French; their tragedy fiat and languid, their comedy more barbarous than the lowest of the vulgar would now tolerate. Corneille was astonished to find himself the author of a piece entirely new, and at the prodigious success with which his “Melite” was acted. The French theatre seemed to be raised, and to flourish at once; and though deserted in a manner before, was now filled on a sudden with a new company of actors. After so happy an essay, he continued to produce several other pieces of the same kind; all of them, indeed, inferior to what he afterwards wrote, but much superior to any thing which the French had hitherto seen. His “Medea” came forth next, a tragedy, borrowed in part from Seneca, which succeeded, as indeed it deserved, bul indifferently; but in 1637 he presented the “Cid,” another tragedy, in which he shewed the world how high his genius was capable of rising, and seems to confirm Du Bos’s assertion, that the age of thirty, or a few years more or less, is that at which poets and painters arrive at as high a pitch of perfection as their geniuses will permit. All Europe has seen the Cid: it has been translated into almost all languages: but the reputation which he acquired by this play, drew all the wits of his time into a confederacy against it. Some treated it contemptuously, others wrote against it. Cardinal de Richelieu himself is said to have been one of this cabal; for, not content with passing for a great minister of state, he affected to pass for a wit and a critic; and, therefore, though he had settled a pension upon the poet, could not abstain from secret attempts against his play . It was supposed to be under his influence that the French Academy drew up that critique upon it, entitled, “Sentiments of the French academy upon the tragi-comedy of Cid:” in which, however, while they censured some parts, they did not scruple to praise it very highly in others. Corneille now endeavoured to support the vast reputation he had gained, by many admirable performances in succession, which, as Bayle observes, “carried the French theatre to its highest pitch of glory, and assuredly much higher than the ancient one at Athens;” yet still, at this time, he had to contend with the bad taste of the most fashionable wits. When he read his “Polyeucte,” one of his best tragedies, before a company of these, where Voiture presided, it was very coldly received; and Voiture afterwards told him, it was the opinion of his friends that the piece would not succeed. In 1647 he was chosen a member of the French academy; and was what they call dean of that society at the time of his death, which happened in 1684, in his 79th year.

other to the preceding, a French poet also, but inferior to Peter CorneiHe, was born in 1625. He was a member of the French academy, and of the academy of inscriptions.

, brother to the preceding, a French poet also, but inferior to Peter CorneiHe, was born in 1625. He was a member of the French academy, and of the academy of inscriptions. He discovered, when he was young, a strong inclination and genius for poetry; and afterwards was the author of many dramatic pieces, some of which were well received by the public, and acted with great success. He died at Andeli, 1709, aged 84. His dramatic works, with those of his brother, were published at Paris, 1.738, in 11 vols. 12mo. Besides dramatic, Thomas Corneille was the author of some other works: as, 1. A translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses and some of his Epistles. 2. Remarks upon Vaugelas. 3. fe A dictionary of arts,“in 2 vols. folio. 4.” An universal geographical and historical dictionary," in 3 vols. folio. In the last work, that part of the geography which concerns Normandy is said to be excellent. As to his dramatic talents, they were far from being contemptible, and a few of his pieces still keep their place on the stage; but it was his misfortune to be a Corneille, and brother of one emphatically called the Great Corneille.

a member of the French academy, so ill-treated by Boileau in his

, a member of the French academy, so ill-treated by Boileau in his satires, and by Moliere in his comedy of the “Femmes Savantes,” under the name of Trissotiu, was born at Paris, and has at least as good a title to a place in this work, as some of Virgil’s military heroes in the Æneid, who are celebrated purely for being knocked on the head. It is said, that he drew upon him the indignation of Boileau and Moliere: of the former, because he counselled him in a harsh and splenetic manner, to devote his talents to a kind of poetry different from satire; of the latter, because he had endeavoured to hurt him with the duke de Montausier, by insinuating that Moliere designed him in the person of the Misanthrope. Cotin, however, was a man of learning, understood the learned languages, particularly the Greek, Hebrew, and Syriac, was respected in the best companies, where merit only could procure admittance, and preached sixteen Lents, in the principal pulpits of Paris. He died in that city in 1682, leaving several works tolerably well written the principal are, K “Theoclee, on la vraie Philosophie des principes du monde.” 2. “Traite de l'Ame immortelle.” 3. “Oraison funeb. pour Abel Servien.” 4. “Reflexions sur la conduite du roi Louis XIV. quand il prit le soin des affaires par lui-meme.” 5. “Salomon, ou la Politique Royale.” 6. “Poesies Chretiennes,1668, 12mo. 7. “CEuvres galantes,1665, 2 vols. 12uio, &c. The sonnet to Urania in the “Femmes Savantes” of Molitjre, was really written by abbe Cbtin: he composed it for Madame de Nemours, and was reading it to that lady when Menage entered, who disparaging the sonnet, the two scholars abused each other, nearly in the same terms as Trissotin and Vadius in Moliere.

on him, and consulted him upon all occasions. Esprit died in 1678, at the age of sixty-seven. He was a member of the French academy, and one of those who shone in

, a French moral writer, was boni at Beziers in loll, and entered in 1629 into the oratory, which he quitted five years afterwards to mix again in society; in which, indeed, he -possessed all the qualities adapted to please sense, wit, and the advantages of a good figure. The duke de la Rochefoucault, the chancellor Se'guier, and the prince de Conti, gave him unequivocal testimonies of their esteem and friendship. The first introduced him into the circles of fashion the second obtained for him a pension of 2000 livres and a brevet of counsellor of state; the third heaped his favours upon him, and consulted him upon all occasions. Esprit died in 1678, at the age of sixty-seven. He was a member of the French academy, and one of those who shone in the infancy of that society. His works are: 1. “Paraphrases on some of the Psalms,” which cannot be read with much pleasure since the appearance of those of Masillon. 2. “The fallacy of Human Virtues,” Paris, 1678, 2 vols. 12mo; and Amsterdam, 1716, 8vo, which was intended as a commentary on the Maxims of the duke de la Rochefoucault; but In some places, say his countrymen, it may be compared to the ingenious and lively Horace commented by the heavy Dacier. He cannot, however, be censured for directing his reflections more on persons than on vices a defect too frequent among modern moralists; and it is to his credit that after having shewn the fallacy of merely human virtues, he concludes all his chapters by proving the reality of the Christian virtues. Louis de Bans has taken from this book, his “Art of knowing mankind.

os, besides a fifth containing indexes, &c. At the time of his death, which happened in 1772, he was a member of the French academy of Belles-lettres, and director

, great grandson of the former, was born at Dijon in 1710, and educated to the profession of the law. By distinguishing himself in some great causes, he obtained a pension from the government. He laboured for several years in the publication of a new edition of Le Long’s “Bibliothe*que Historique de la France,” and compiled so much matter as to extend that work from a single volume in folio, to four vast folios, besides a fifth containing indexes, &c. At the time of his death, which happened in 1772, he was a member of the French academy of Belles-lettres, and director of the university of Dijon. He was a man pleasing in society, and of much zeal, both literary and patriotic. He lived to see only two volumes of his edition of Le Long published. The rest were edited by Barbeau de Bruyere.

Berri, in which important employment he acted under the celebrated Fenelon. In 1696 he was admitted a member of the French academy. In 1706, when the education of

, a celebrated French ecclesiastical historian, was the son of an advocate, and born at Paris. Dec. 6, 1640. He discovered early a strong inclination, for letters, but applied himself particularly to the law, in. consequence of which he was made advocate for the parliament of Paris in 1658, and attended the bar nine years. He then took orders, for which he was more eagerly disposed, and more highly qualified by virtues as well as learning; and in 1672 was made preceptor to the princes of Conti. In 1680 he had the care of the education of the count de Vermandois, admiral of France. After the death of this prince, which happened in about four years, the king preferred him to the abbey of Loc-Dieu, belonging; to the Cistercians, and in the diocese of Rhodez. In 1689 the king made him sub-preceptor to the dukes of Burgundy, Anjou, and Berri, in which important employment he acted under the celebrated Fenelon. In 1696 he was admitted a member of the French academy. In 1706, when the education of the three princes was finished, the king gave him the rich priory of Argenteuil, belonging to the Benedictines, in the diocese of Paris, upon which promotion he resigned the abbey of Loc-Dieu. If he had possessed ambition to solicit the greatest situations, he would have obtained them, but his disinterestedness was equal to his other virtues. He was a hermit in the midst of the court. In 1716 he was chosen confessor to Louis XV. in which situation it was said of him that his only fault wati that of being seventy-five years old; and on July 14, 1725, he died, in his eighty-third year.

, a writer of some eminence, and a member of the French academy of sciences, was born at Meulan

, a writer of some eminence, and a member of the French academy of sciences, was born at Meulan in 1672, and, entering the church, obtained the office of canon of the Holy Cross de la Bretonniere, and died at Paris in 1756. He was much esteemed for his literary talents, which appeared in the following works: 1. “Physical Astronomy,1740, 4to. 2. “Literary and Philosophical Dissertations,1755, 8vo. 3. 4 “System of the Christian Philosopher,1721, 8vo. 4. “System of the Heart,” published in 1708, under the feigned name of Clerigny. 5. “The Elegancies of Language reduced to their Principles,” a book called by one writer, the “Dictionary of fine Thoughts,” and by others pronounced to be a work which every man who writes should read.

ed the place of king’s interpreter for the Sclavonian and Russian languages. In 1744 he was admitted a member of the French academy. He died Feb. 4, 1748. The work

, an ingenious French writer, wa born at Clermont in Auvergne in 1678, and educated for the church. In his youth he had a canonry in the collegiate church of Notre Dame de Monferrand, but resigned it to one of his brothers, that he might be at liberty to go to Paris and devote his time to literary pursuits. There by the interest of some friends he was made almoner to the duchess of Berri, daughter of the regent, and also obtained the place of king’s interpreter for the Sclavonian and Russian languages. In 1744 he was admitted a member of the French academy. He died Feb. 4, 1748. The work by which he is best known, and to which indeed he chiefly owed his reputation in France, is his “Synonymes Fransais,” 12mo, of which a new edition, with some posthumous pieces by Girard, was published by M. Beauzee in 1769, 2 vols. 12mo. No grammatical work was ever more popular in France, nor more useful in denning the precise meaning of words apparently synonymous; and the elegance and moral tendency of the examples he produce* have been much admired. The abbe“Roubaud has since published” Les Nouveaux Synonymes Francais,“1786, 4 vols. 8vo, which may be considered as a supplement to Girard. Our author published also a grammar under the title of” Les vrais principes de la laugue Franc.ais," 2 vols. 12mp, far inferior in ingenuity to his former, and full of metaphysical whims on the theory of language, not unmixed with those infidel principles which were in his time beginning to be propagated.

e invalids. While he was assisting in reforming the abuses of that noble institution, he wa admitted a member of the French academy; where his introductory address

The French government having determined to send troops to assist the Americans, the author was ordered on that service; but on the eve of embarking, he received counter orders; a disappointment which he attributed to the malice of his enemies, and which preyed on him very deeply. As soon as he had recovered from this mortification, he began a work entitled “Histoire de la Milice Francaise,” which, from the profound manner in which he treats his subject, might be called the history of the art of war, and of the military system of the nations of Europe, from the time of the Romans. He had brought it to the eleventh century, when he was drawn from his retirement by having obtained for his venerable father the appointment of governor of the invalids. While he was assisting in reforming the abuses of that noble institution, he wa admitted a member of the French academy; where his introductory address is said to have been much admired for its truly classical spirit. Two years afterward, his health obliged him to retire to the country: but he was soon recalled by the death of his father, to comfort his aged mother. It appears that one of the most estimable traits in Guibert’s character, was his filial piety.

ngth the office of keeper of the library and antiquities in the royal cabinet. In 1730 he was chosen a member of the French academy, and the following year began his

, a polite French writer, was born at Tours in 1686, and coming to Paris in 1704, devoted his time to the study of the belles lettres, and at the same time cultivated a critical knowledge of the Greek language under Boivin and Massieu, professors in the royal college. In 1711, he was admitted as a pupil into the academy of inscriptions, became an associate in 1715, and a pensionary in 172S. For their Memoirs he wrote a great many curious and interesting papers, and his general knowledge and reputation procured him at length the office of keeper of the library and antiquities in the royal cabinet. In 1730 he was chosen a member of the French academy, and the following year began his “Histoire de l'origine et des progres de la Rhetorique dans la Grece.” He had published twelve dissertations on this subject, when, in 1748, the king honoured him with the appointment of preceptor in history and geography to madame Victoire, one of the princesses, and he afterwards taught other illustrious females of that family. It was for their use that he wrote his “Histoire Poetique,” with two treatises, one on French poetry, and the other on rhetoric, Paris, 1751, 3 vols. 12mo, and his universal history, “Histoire Universelle,” 18 vols. 12mo, to which Linguet added two others. All his works are valued for elegance of style and the accuracy of his researches, and his personal character was not less admired, as a man of integrity whom a court-life had not spoiled, and who preserved the dignity of the literary character amidst the cabals arrd intrigues by which he was surrounded. Hardion died at Paris in September 1766. His dissertations in the Memoirs of the academy of inscriptions display a profound knowledge of classical antiquities.

but at last came in for a share of it, in completing Faye’s edition of Manilius. He was also chosen a member of the French academy and his speech pronounced on the

In 1659 Huet was invited to Rome by Christina, who bad abdicated her crown, and retired thither; but, remembering the cool reception which Bochart had experienced from her majesty after as warm an invitation, he refused to go. His literary reputation, however, Bossuet was appointed by the king preceptor to the Dauphin, procured him to be chosen for his colleague, with the title of sub-preceptor, which honour had some time been designed him by the duke de Montausier, governor to the Dauphin. He went to court in 1670, and staved there till 1680, when the Dauphin was married. Though his employment must of necessity occupy a considerable part of his time, he found enough to complete his “Demonstratio Evangelica,” which, though a great and laborious work, was begun and ended amidst the embarrassments of a court . It was published at Paris in 1679, in lobe i and has been reprinted since in folio, 4to, and 8vo. Huet owns that this work was better received by foreigners than by his own countrymen; many of whom considered it as a work full of learning indeed, but utterly devoid of that demonstration to which it so formally and pompously pretends. Others, less equitable, borrowed from it, and attacked it at the same time, to cover their plagiarism; which Huet complains of. Father Simon had a design of Baking an abridgment“of this work; bat Haet being informed that his purpose was likewise to alter it as he thought proper, desired him to excuse himself that trouble. Huet was employed on the editions of the classics” in usum Delphini:" for though the first idea of these was started by the duke de Montausier, yet Huet formed the plan, and directed the execution, as far as the capacity of the persons employed in that work would permit. He undertook, he tells us, only to promote and conduct the work, but at last came in for a share of it, in completing Faye’s edition of Manilius. He was also chosen a member of the French academy and his speech pronounced on the occasion before that illustrious body was published at Paris in 1674.

d May 3, 1753, at Sens, in the midst of his curates, whom he then kept in retirement. M. Languet was a member of the French academy, superior of the royal society

, brother of the preceding, a doctor of the Sorbonne, and bishop of Soisson, to which see he was promoted in 1715, and afterwards archbishop of>>ens, was distinguished for his polemical writings, and published numerous pieces in defence of the bull Unigenitus, in which he was much assisted by M. Tournely, professor at the Sorbonne; and this celebrated doctor dying 1729, the appellants then said that Pere de Tournemine directed his pen. M. Languet was appointed archbishop of Sens, 1731. He was very zealous against the miracles attributed by the appellants to M. Paris, and against the famous convulsions. He died May 3, 1753, at Sens, in the midst of his curates, whom he then kept in retirement. M. Languet was a member of the French academy, superior of the royal society of Navarre, and counsellor of state. His works are, three “Advertisements” to the appellants; several “Pastoral Letters, Instructions, Mandates, Letters,” to different persons, and other writings in favour of the bull Unigenitus, and against the Anti-Constitutionarians, the miracles ascribed to M. Paris, and the convulsions, which were impostures then obtruded on the credulity of the French, but which he proved to have neither certainty nor evidence. All the above have been translated into Latin, and printed at Sens, 1753, 2 vols. fol.; but this edition of M. Lang.uet’s “Polemical Works,” was suppressed by a decree of council. He published also a translation of the Psalms, 12mo; a refutation of Dom. Claudius de Vert’s treatise “On the Church Ceremonies,” 12mo. Several books of devotion; and “The Life of Mary Alacoque,” which made much noise, and is by no means worthy of this celebrated archbishop, on account of its romantic and fabulous style, the inaccurate expressions, indecencies, dangerous principles, and scandalous maxims which it contains. Languet is esteemed by the catholics as among the divines who wrote best against the Anti-constitutionarians, and is only chargeable with not having always distinguished between dogmas and opinions, and with not unfrequently advancing as articles of faith, sentiments which are opposed by orthodox and very learned divines.

n him: and he showed himself very active in bringing about the extirpation of Jansenism. He had been a member of the French academy from its first establishment, and

These absurdities do not appear to have lessened hi& reputation among his countrymen, as the charge of inquisitor was bestowed upon him: and he showed himself very active in bringing about the extirpation of Jansenism. He had been a member of the French academy from its first establishment, and was always esteemed one of its principal ornaments. He wrote several dramatic pieces, which were received with great applause, especially that entitled “Les Visionaires.” He attempted an epic poem, entitled “Clovis,” which cost him several years’ labour; and he was of opinion, that it would have cost him a good many more to have finished it, if Providence had not destined his pen for works of devotion, and on that account afforded him supernatural assistance. This we learn from the preface of his “Delices de l'Esprit,” in which he professes that he dare not say in how short a time he had finished the nine remaining books of that poem, and retouched the rest. He also very seriously boasts, that “God, in his infinite goodness, had sent him the key of the treasure, contained in the Apocalypse, which was known but to few before him;” and that, “by the command of God, he was to levy an army of 144,000 men, part of which he had already enlisted, to make war upon the impious and the Jansenists.” He died in 1676, aged eighty-one.

it was so well known, and his connections with the learned so numerous, that, in 1714, he was chosen a member of the French academy. Massieu may be ranked among the

, an ingenious and learned French writer, was born in 1665, of a good family at Caen, where he continued till he had gone through the classics. At sixteen he went to Paris, and performed a course of philosophy in the college of the Jesuits; and, after he had finished his noviciate, was appointed, according to the usage of the society, to teach polite literature. They sent him to Rennes to teach rhetoric; and, after a due time, he returned to Paris to study theology: for succeeding in which he seemed so particularly formed, that his superiors desired him to devote himself wholly to it. This destination affected him much, his love of the belles lettres far exceeding his taste for theology; and therefore he quitted his society, and re-entered the world. His uncommon talents soon made him known, and recommended him to the favour of those who could serve him. M de Sacy (Le Maistre) took him into his house, as a preceptor to his children; and M. de Tourreil borrowed his assistance in translating Demosthenes. He became a pensionary of the academy of inscriptions in 1705, and was elected professor royal of the Greek language in 1710. Homer, Pindar, Theocritus, and Demosthenes, were his favourite authors; and his lectures on them were highly admired, and much attended. Though he had yet given nothing to the public, yet his merit was so well known, and his connections with the learned so numerous, that, in 1714, he was chosen a member of the French academy. Massieu may be ranked among the unfortunate literati. The circumstances of his family were extremely narrow, so that he had to struggle with poverty during his youth. In the family of M. de Sacy, he saved some money, but afterwards lost it by placing it in bad hands. Towards the latter end of his life, he suffered bodily grievances: he had frequent and severe attacks of the gout; and two cataracts deprived him of his sight A paralytic disorder seized him in August 1722, which being followed by an apoplexy, proved fatal Sept. 26.

some means of subsistence there, independent of his family; and at the recommendation of Chapelain, a member of the French academy, he was taken into the family of

, called, from his great learning, the Varro of his times, was born at Angers, Aug. 15, 1613. He was the son of William Menace, the king’s advocate at Angers; and discovered so early an inclination to letters, that his father was determined to spare no cost or pains in his education. He was accordingly taught the belles lettres and philosophy, in which his progress fully answered the expectations of his father, who, however, thought it necessary to divert him from too severe application, by giving him instructions in music and dancing; but these were in a great measure thrown away, and he had so littie genius for music, that he never could learn a tune. He had more success in his first profession, which was that of a barrister at law, and pleaded various causes, with considerable eclat, both in the country, and in the parliament of Paris. His father had always designed him for his profession, the law, and now resigned his place of king’s advocate in his favour, which Menage, as soon as he became tired of the law, returned to him. Considering the law as a drudgery, he adopted the vulgar opinion that it was incompatible with an attention to polite literature. He now declared his design of entering into the church, as the best plan he could pursue for the gratification of his love of general literature, and of the company of literary men; and soon after he had interest to procure some benefices, and among the rest the deanery of St. Peter at Angers. In the mean time his father, displeased at him for deserting his profession, would not supply him with the money which, in addition to what his livings produced, was necessary to support him at Paris. This obliged him to look out for some means of subsistence there, independent of his family; and at the recommendation of Chapelain, a member of the French academy, he was taken into the family of cardinal de Retz, who was then only coadjutor to the archbishop of Paris. In this situation he enjoyed the repose necessary to his studies, and had every day new opportunities of displaying his abilities and learning. He lived several years with the cardinal; but having received an affront from some of his dependants, he desired of the cardinal, either that reparation might be made him, or that he might be suffered to depart. He obtained the latter, and then hired an apartment in the cloister of Notre Dame, where he held every Wednesday an assembly, which he called his “Mercuriale.” Here he had the satisfaction of seeing a number of learned men, French and foreigners; and upon other days he frequented the study of Messieurs du Puy, and after their death that of Thuanus. By his father’s death, which happened Jan. 18, 1648, he succeeded to an estate, which he converted into an annuity, for the sake of being entirely at leisure to pursue his studies. Soon after, he obtained, by a decree of the grand council, the priory of Montdidier; which he resigned also to the abbe de la Vieuville, afterwards bishop of Rennes, who procured far him, by way of amends, a pension of 4000 livres upon two abbeys. The king’s consent, which was necessary for the creation of this pension, was not obtained for Menage, till he had given assurances to cardinal Mazarin, that he had no share in the libels which had been dispersed against that minister and the court, during the troubles at Paris. This considerable addition to his circumstances enabled him to prosecute his studies with more success, and to publish la great many works, which he generally did at his own expence. The excessive freedom of his conversation, however, and his total inability to suppress a witty thought, whatever hiight be the consequence of uttering it, created him many enemies; and he had contests with several men of eminence, who attacked him at different times, as the abbe d'Aubignac, Boileau, Cotin, Salo, Bohours, and Baillet. But all these were not nearly so formidable to him, as the danger which he incurred in 1660, by a Latin elegy addressed to Mazarin; in which, among his compliments to his eminence, it was pretended, that he had satirized a deputation which the parliament had sent to that minister. It was carried to the grand chamber by the counsellors, who proposed to debate upon it; but the first president, Lamoignon, to whom Menage had protested that the piece had been written three months before the deputation, and that he could not intend the parliament in it, prevented any ill consequences from the affair. Besides the reputation his works gained him, they procured him a place in the academy della Crusca at Florence; and he might have been a member of the French academy at its first institution, if it had not been for his “Requete des dictionnaires.” When the memory of that piece, however, was effaced by time, and most of the academicians, who were named in it, were dead, he was proposed, in 1684, to fill a vacant place in that academy, and was excluded only by the superior interest of his competitor, M. Bergeret: there not being one member, of all those who gave their votes against Menage, who did not own that he deserved the place. After this he would not suffer his friends to propose him again, nor indeed was he any longer able to attend the academy, if he had been chosen, on account of a fall, which had put his thigh out of joint; after which he scarcely ever went out of his chamber, but held daily a kind of an academy there. In July 1692, he began to, be troubled with a rheum, which was followed by a defluxion on the stomach, of which he died on the 23d, aged seventy- nine.

In 1649, he was admitted a member of the French academy, in the room of Voiture; and, in

In 1649, he was admitted a member of the French academy, in the room of Voiture; and, in 1675, chosen perpetual secretary of that academy. Besides the works abovementioned, he wrote a “Continuation of the general history of the Turks,” in which he is thought not to have succeeded “L'Origine des Francois,” printed at Amsterdam, in 1682Les Vanites de la Cour,” translated from the Latin of Johannes Sarisburiensis, in 1640; andaFrench translation of “Grotius de Veritate Christianse Religionis,” in 1644. He died July 10, 1633, aged seventy-three. He was, according to Larroque, a man who was subject to strange humours. He was extremely negligent in his person, and so careless in his dress, that he had more the appearance of a beggar than a gentleman. He was actually seized one morning by the archers des pauvres, or parish officers; with which mistake he was highly diverted, and told them, that “he was not able to walk on foot, but that, as soon as a new wheel was put to his chariot, he would attend them wherever they thought proper.” He used to study and write by candle-light, even at noon-day in summer; and always waited upon his company to the door with a candle in his hand. He had a brother, father Eudes, a man of great simplicity and piety, whom he insidiously drew in to treat of very delicate points before the queen ­mother, regent of the kingdom, who was of the Medici family; and to lay down some things relating to government and the finances, which could not fail of displeasing that princess; and must have occasioned great trouble to father Eudes, if the goodness of the queen had not excused the indiscretion of the preacher. But of all his humours, none lessened him more in the opinion of the public, than the unaccountable fondness he conceived for a man who kept a public house at Chapellein, called Le Faucheur. He was so taken with this man’s frankness and pleasantry, that he used to spend whole days with him, notwithstanding the admonition of his friends to the contrary; and not only kept up an intimate friendship with him during his life, but made him sole legatee at his death. With regard to religion, he affected Pyrrhonism; which, however, was not, it seems, so much in his heart as in his mouth. This appeared from his last sickness; for, having sent for those friends who had been the most usual witnesses of his licentious talk about religion, he made a sort of recantation, which he concluded by desiring them “to forget what he might formerly have said-upon the subject of religion, and to remember, that Mezerai dying, was a better believer than Mezerai in health.” These particulars are to be found in his life by M. Larroque: but the abbe Olivet tells us, that he “was surprised, upon reading this life, to find Mezerai’s character drawn in such disadvantageous colours.” Mezerai was certainly a man of many singularities, and though agreeable when he pleased in his conversation, yejfc full of whim, and not without ill-nature. It was a constant way with him, when candidates offered themselves for vacant places in the academy, to throw in a black ball instead of a white one: and when his friends asked him the reason of this unkind procedure, he answered, “that it was to leave to posterity a monument of the liberty of the elections in the academy.” As an historian, he is valued very highly and deservedly for his integrity and faithfulness, in relating facts as he found them; but for this solely: for as to his style, it is neither accurate nor elegant, although he had been a member of the French academy long before he wrote his “Abridgment.

if he had had already upon his shoulders the weight of a whole kingdom. He was, though absent, made a member of the French academy, when in its infancy; and, when

, a very able scholar, was born at Bresse in 1581. At the age of twenty he was admitted into the order of Jesuits, but on his recovery from an illness, he returned to a secular life again. About this time, he resided occasionally both at Paris and Rome; and at Rome wrote a small collection of Italian poems, in competition with Vaugelas, who was there at the same time; among which there are imitations of the most beautiful similies in the eight first books of the ^neid. He published also Latin and French poetry in 1621, and translated some of Ovid’s epistles, which he illustrated with commentaries, esteemed more valuable than his translation. He is also said to have been well versed in the controversies, both in philosophy and religion; and an able algebraist and geometrician. Of the latter we have a proof in his edition of “Diophantus,” enriched with a very able commentary and notes, Paris, 1621, and reprinted several times in Germany. Des Cartes had a very high opinion of his knowledge in mathematical science. Such was his fame at one time, that he was proposed as preceptor to Louis XIII. upon which account he left the court in great haste, and declared afterwards, that he never felt so much pain upon any occasion in his life: for that he seemed as if he had had already upon his shoulders the weight of a whole kingdom. He was, though absent, made a member of the French academy, when in its infancy; and, when it came to his turn to make a discourse in it, he sent up one, which was read to the assembly by Mr. de Vaugelas. He died at Bourg in Bresse, Feb. 26, 1638. He left several Mss. in a finished state, but which have never been printed, and had brought a translation of all Plutarch’s works with notes almost to a conclusion when he died.

a member of the French academy, was born at Paris in 1687. He

, a member of the French academy, was born at Paris in 1687. He was a very elegant writer, and his works have gone through various editions. His principal performances are, “An Essay on the necessity and means of Pleasing,” which is an ingenious book of maxims. He wrote “Les Ames Rivales,” an agreeable romance, containing lively and just descriptions of French manners. He was also author of various pieces of poetry, small theatrical pieces, complimentary verses, madrigals, &c. Moncrif died at Paris in 1770, at the age of eighty-three, and left behind him a great character for liberality, and amiable manners.

He was a member of the French academy, and of the academy of inscriptions

He was a member of the French academy, and of the academy of inscriptions and belles lettres; and was fitted to do honour to any society. In the first volume of the “Memoirs of the Academy of Inscriptions” there are two fine dissertations of his one “upon the divine honours paid to the governors of the Roman provinces, during the continuance of the republic;” the other, “upon the temple, which Cicero conceived a design of consecrating to the memory of his beloved daughter Tullia, under the title of Fanum.

bert, as a mark of the esteem which the king had for him. He died Jan. 16, 1681. He had been elected a member of the French academy in 1640, by the interest of cardinal

Patru was in his personal character honest, generous, sincere; and preserved a gaiety of temper which no adversity could affect: for this famous advocate, in spite of all his talents, lived almost in a state of indigence. The love of the belles lettres made him neglect the law; and the barren glory of being an oracle to the best French writers had more charms for him, than all the profits of the bar. Hence he became so poor, as to be reduced to the necessity of selling his books, which seemed dearer to him than his life; and would actually have sold them for an underprice, if Bqileau had not generously advanced him a larger sum, with this further privilege, that he should have the use of them as long as he lived. His death was preceded by a tedious illness, during which he received a present of five hundred crowns from the statesman Colbert, as a mark of the esteem which the king had for him. He died Jan. 16, 1681. He had been elected a member of the French academy in 1640, by the interest of cardinal Richelieu, and made a speech of thanks on his reception, with which the academicians were so much pleased, as to order that every new member should in future make one of a similar kind on being admitted; and this rule has been observed ever since. When M. Conrart, a member of the French academy died, one of the first noblemen at court, but whose mind was very moderately cultivated, having offered for the vacant place, Patru opened the meeting with the following apologue: “Gentlemen, a.:mcien Grecian had an admirable Lyre; a string broke, but instead of replacing it with one of catgut, he would have a silver one, and the Lyre with its silver string was no longer harmonious.” The fastidious care with which he retouched and finished every thing he wrote, did not permit him to publish much. His miscellaneous works were printed at Paris in 1670, 4to; the third edition of which, in 1714, was augmented with several pieces. They consist of <f Pleadings,“” Orations,“” Letters,“” Lives of some of his Friends,“” Remarks upon the French Language,“&c. A very ingenious tract by him was published at Paris in 1651, 4to, with this title,” Reponse du Cure a la Lettre du Mar^uillier sur la conduite de M. le Coadjuteur."

to proceed against these celebrated nuns. He died December 31, 1670, at Paris. He had been admitted a member of the French academy in 1654. His works are, an excellent

, a celebrated archbishop of Paris, and master of the Sorbonne, was son of a steward of the household to cardinal Richelieu, who took care of his education. He distinguished himself as a student, was admitted doctor of the house and society of the Sorbonne, preached with great applause, and was appointed preceptor to Louis XIV. and afterwards bishop of Rhodes, but resigned this bishopric because he could not reside in his diocese. In 1664, M, de Perefixe was made archbishop of Paris; and, soon after, by the advice of father Annat, a Jesuit, published a mandate for the pure and simple signature of the formularyof Alexander VII. His distinction between divine faith and human faith, made much noise, and was attacked by the celebrated Nicole. His attempt also to make the nuns of Port-Royal sign the formulary, met with great resistance,which occasioned many publications against him but his natural disposition was extremely mild, and it was with the utmost reluctance that he forced himself to proceed against these celebrated nuns. He died December 31, 1670, at Paris. He had been admitted a member of the French academy in 1654. His works are, an excellent “Hist, of K. Henry IV.” Amst. 1661, 12mo. This and the edition of 1664 are scarce and in much request, but that of 1749 is more common. Some writers pretend that Mezerai was the real author of this history, and that M. de Perefixe only adopted it; but they bring no proofs of their assertion. He published also a book, entitled “Institutio Principis,1647, 16to, containing a collection of maxims relative to the duties of a king in his minority.

lly in society, and was the respected associate of all the learned in Paris. In 1637 he was admitted a member of the French academy, but was soon after forced to leave

, sieur d'Ablancourt, a scholar of considerable parts, and once admired for his translations from ancient authors, was born at Chalons, April 5, 1606. He sprung from a family which had been illustrious in the law, and the greatest care was bestowed on his education. His father, Paul Perrot de la Sailer, who was a protestant, and also a man learning, sent him to pursue his studies in the college of Sedan; where he made so rapid a progress, that, at thirteen, he had gone through the classics. He was then taken home, and placed for some time under a private tutor, after which he was sent to Paris, where he studied the law five or six months, and was, when only in his eighteenth year, admitted advocate of parliament but did not adhere longto the bar. Another change he made about this time of great importance, was that of his religion, for popery, of which he embraced the tenets at the persuasion of his uncle Cyprian Perrot, who, in hopes of procuring him some valuable benefices, took great pains to recommend the church as a profession, but in vain. Nor did he succeed better in retaining him as a convert, for fte had scarcely distinguished himself in the republic of letters, by writing a preface to the “HonneXe Femme,” for his friend, father Du Bosc, than he felt a desire to return to the religion he had quitted. He was now, however, in his twenty-seventh year, and had sense enough to guard against precipitation in a matter of so much consequence. He studied, therefore, the differences betwixt the Romish and reformed church, and after three years’ investigation, during which he did not disclose his intention to any one, he set out from Paris to Champagne, where he abjured popery; and very soon after went to Holland, till the clamour which followed this step was over. He was near a year in Leyden, where he learned Hebrew, and contracted a friendship with Salmasius. From Holland he went to England; then returned to Paris; and, after passing some weeks with M. Patru, took an apartment near the Luxembourg. He passed his days very agreeably; and though he devoted the greatest part of his leisure to books, mixed occasionally in society, and was the respected associate of all the learned in Paris. In 1637 he was admitted a member of the French academy, but was soon after forced to leave Paris, on account of the wars; and therefore retired to his estate, called Ablancourt, where he lived till his death. He died Nov. 17, 1664, of the gravel, with which he had been afflicted the greater part of his life.

Auch, returned to his native country in 1732, and died at Paris, November 10, 1741, aged 80. He was a member of the French academy, the academy of sciences, and that

a celebrated French cardinal, was born Oct. 11, 1661, at Puy, in Velay, and was the son of Louis Armand, viscount de Polignac, descended from one of the most ancient families in Languedoc. He was.sent early to Paris, where he distinguished himself as a student, and was soon noticed as a young man of elegant manners and accomplishments. In 1689, cardinal de Bouillon carried him to Rome, and employed him in several important negociations. It was at one of his interviews with pope Alexander VIII. that this pontiff said to him, “You seem always, sir, to be of my opinion, and yet it is your own which prevails at last.” We are likewise told that when, on his return to Paris, Louis XIV. granted him along audience, he said as he went out, <4 I have been conversing with a man, and a young man, who has contradicted me in every thing, yet pleased me in every thing.*' In 1693, he was sent as ambassador into Poland, where he procured the prince of Conti to be elected and proclaimed king in 1696; but, this election not having been supported, he was obliged to retire, and return to France, where he arrived in 1698, after losing all his equipage and furniture, which was seized by the Dantzickers. The king then banished him to his abbey at Bonport, but recalled him to court with great expressions of regard in 1702, and in 1706 appointed him auditor of the Rota. M. Polignac then set out again for Rome and cardinal de la Tremouille, who conducted the French affairs there, having the same opinion of him as cardinal de Bouillon had, employed him in several negociations. Going back to France three years after, his majesty sent him as plenipotentiary into Holland in 1710, with marechal d'Uxelles. He was also plenipotentiary at the conferences and peace of Utrecht, in 1712 and 1713. The king, satisfied with his services, obtained a cardinal’s hat for him the same year, and appointed him master of his chapel. During the regency, cardinal de Polignac was banished to his abbey of Anchin in 1718, and not recalled till 172L. In 1724, he went to Rome for the election of pope Benedict XIII. and remained there eight years, being entrusted with the affairs of France. In 1726, he was made archbishop of Auch, returned to his native country in 1732, and died at Paris, November 10, 1741, aged 80. He was a member of the French academy, the academy of sciences, and that of belles lettres. He is now chiefly remembered for his elegant Latin poem, entitled “Anti-Lucretius,” in which he refutes the system and doctrine of Epicurus, according to the principles of Descartes’ philosophy. This he left to a friend, Charles de Rothelin, who published it in 1747, 2 vols. 8vo. It has since been often reprinted, and elegantly translated by M. de Bougainville, secretary to the academy of belles lettres. His Life was published at Paris, 1777, 2 vols. 12mo, by F. Ghrysostom Faucher. The reviewer of this life very justly says, that the man who compiled the “Anti-Lucretius,” and proposed a plan for forming a new bed for the Tiber, in order to recover the statues, medals, basso-relievos, and other ancient monuments, which were buried there during the rage of civil factions, and the incursions of the barbarians, deserves an eminent place in literary biography. Few works have been more favourably received throughout Europe than the cardinal’s celebrated poem, although he was so much of a Cartesian. The first copy that appeared in England was one in the possession of the celebrated earl of Chesterfield, and such was its reputation abroad at that time, that this copy was conveyed by a trumpet from marshal Saxe to the Duke of Cumberland, directed for the earl of Chesterfield, It was sent to him both as a judge of the work, and a friend of the writer.

He had been admitted a member of the French academy in 1673, in the room of La Mothe

He had been admitted a member of the French academy in 1673, in the room of La Mothe le Vayer, deceased; but spoiled the speech he made upon that occasion, by pronouncing it with too much timidity. He had always lived in friendship with Boiieau, and they exchanged opinions on each other’s works with the greatest freedom and candour, and without any reserve. In 1677 a design was formed of uniting talents which in fact neither possessed. In that year Racine was nominated with Boiieau, to write the history of Louis XIV. and the public expected great

f his writing procured him a place in the academy de la Crusca in 1667; and, in 1670, he was elected a member of the French academy. In 1684, he was made perpetual

, or Des-Marais (Francis Seraphin), a French writer, was born at Paris in 1632 and, at fifteen, distinguished himself by translating the “Batrachomyomachia” into burlesque verse. At thirty, he went to Rome as secretary to an embassy. An Italian ode of his writing procured him a place in the academy de la Crusca in 1667; and, in 1670, he was elected a member of the French academy. In 1684, he was made perpetual secretary, after the death of Mezeray; and it was he who drew up all those papers, in the name of the academy, against Furetiere. In 1668, the king gave him the priory of Grammont, which determined him to the ecclesiastical function: and, in 1675, he had an abbey. His works are, an Italian translation of Anacreon’s odes, which he dedicated to the academy de la Crusca in 1692; a French grammar and two volumes of poems, in French, Latin, Italian, and Spanish. He translated, into French, Tully “De Divinatione, & de Finibus” and Rodrigue’s “Treatise of Christian perfection,” from the Spanish. He died in 17 Is, aged 82. “He has done great service to language,” says Voltaire, “and is the author of some poetry in French and Italian. He contrived to make one of his Italian pieces pass for Petrarch’s but he could not have made his French verses pass for those of any great French poet.

o such a degree, that he did not survive it long. He died in 1661, aged sixty-seven. He was admitted a member of the French academy, when first founded by cardinal

, a French poet, was born at Roan in Normandy in 1594. In the epistle dedicatory to the third part of his works, he tells us, that his father commanded a squadron of ships in the service of Elizabeth queen of England for twenty-two years, and that he was for three years prisoner in the Black Tower at Constantinople. He mentions also, that two brothers of his had been killed in an engagement against the Turks. His own life was spent in a continual succession of travels, which were of no advantage to his fortune. There are miscellaneous poems of this author, the greatest part of which are of the comic or burlesque, and the amatory kind. The first volume was printed at Paris in 1627, the second in 1643, and the third in 1649, and they have been reprinted several times. “Solitude, an ode,” which is one of the first of them, is his best piece in the opinion of Mr. Boileau. In 1650 he published “Stances sur la grossesse de la reine de Pologne et de Suede.” In 1654 he printed his “Moise sauve”, idylle heroique,“Leyden which had at first many admirers: Chapelain called it a speaking picture but it has not preserved its reputation. St. A main wrote also a very devout piece, entitled” Stances a M. Corneille, sur son imitation de Jesus Christ," Paris, 1656. Mr. Brossette says that he wrote also a poem upon the moon, in which he introduced a compliment to Lewis XIV. upon his skill in swimming, an amusement he often took when young in the river Seine; but the king’s dislike to this poem is said to have affected the author to such a degree, that he did not survive it long. He died in 1661, aged sixty-seven. He was admitted a member of the French academy, when first founded by cardinal Richelieu, in 1633; and Mr. Pelisson informs us, that, in 1637, at his own desire, he was excused from the obligation of making a speech in his turn, on condition that he would compile the comic part of the dictionary which the academy had undertaken, and collect the burlesque terms. This was a task well suited to him; for it appears by his writings that he was extremely conversant in these terms, of which he seems to have made a complete collection from the markets and other places where the lower people resort.

, formerly a member of the French academy, was born in Nancy, Dec. 16, 1717,

, formerly a member of the French academy, was born in Nancy, Dec. 16, 1717, of a family of Lorrain. He was educated among the Jesuits at the college of Pont-a-Mousson, but in early life entered into the army, which he quitted at the peace of Aix-ia-Chapelle in 1748, and joined the gay party assembled by Stanislaus, king of Poland, at Luneville. There he became an admirer of Madame de Chatelet, who returned his attachment. He was afterwards intimate with, and the egregious flatterer of Voltaire, It is not said what part he took in the revolution, but he escaped its dangers, and died ai Pans Feb 9, 1805. He was a man of genius, but his steps in the literary career were rather slow, and incommensurate with the activity of his genius; for his first poetical nork, “Les Fe>es de l‘Amour et de l’Hymen,” a theatrical performance, was published about 1760, when he was already turned, of forty years of age. His poem entitled “Lt-s quaires parties du jour” appeared in 1764, and soon ranked him among the greatest poets of his age. The composition was acknowledged to possess novelty in the descriptions, interest in the details, and elegance in the style; although, on the other side, it was charged with coldness, w,nu or unity, and monotonous episodes. The same year he published his “Essai sur le luxe,” 8vo. His next, and justly celebrated, poetical performance, “Les Saisons,” which was published in 1769, raised him to the highest decree of reputation. It was generally admitted that he exhibited here a large share of ingenuity and invention, by introducing pastoral poetry into a composition of a different sort, making it still preserve its native simplicity, and yet associate naturally with more elevated subjects. An additional merit was discovered, with regard to this elegant wurk, in the motive of the author as his professed design was to inspire the great proprietors of land with an inclination to live on tneir manors, and contribute to the happiness of the cultivators.

he devoted himself to researches into the language and antiquities of his country, and was admitted a member of the French academy, and that of inscriptions. In all

, an ingenious French writer, was born at Auxerre in 1697. The only information we have of his earlv life is restricted to a notice of the affection which subsisted between him and his twin-brother M. de la Curne. It appears that he devoted himself to researches into the language and antiquities of his country, and was admitted a member of the French academy, and that of inscriptions. In all his labours he was assisted by his brother, who lived with him, and was his inseparable associate in his studies, and even in his amusements. St. Palaye died in 1781. La Harpe has published some spirited verses which he addressed in his eightieth year to a lady who had embroidered a waistcoat for him; but he is chiefly known as an author by “Memoires sur PAncienne Chevalerie,” 3 vols. 12mo, in which he paints in very lively colours the manners and customs of that institution. Mrs. Dobson published an English translation of this in 1784. After his decease the abbe Millot drew up, from his papers, “L'Histoire des Troubadours,” in 3 vols. 12mo. St. Palaye had meditated on an “Universal French Glossary,” which was to be more copious than that of Du Cange, and left two works in manuscript, one a history of the variations that have taken place in the French language, the other a Dictionary of French antiquities.

a member of the French academy, was born in 1732, at Clermont

, a member of the French academy, was born in 1732, at Clermont in Auvergne, the country of the celebrated Pascal. He received from his mother a severe, and almost a Spartan education. The three children of that estimable woman were brought up chiefly under her own eyes. His two elder brothers died, the one in 1748, the other in 1755, both young men, and both having signalized themselves in literature. Jo­Seph, the eldest, had produced a comedy; and John, the second, excelled in Latin poetry. The death of his second brother, impressed Antony very early with a strong sense of the vanity of worldly cares; and with a profound piety ^ which enhanced the value of his character. He had a decided taste for poetry, but was designed for the bar. In obedience to the wish of his mother, he went to Clermont, to follow a study repugnant to his taste; but going with her to Paris, when John was at the point of death, his friends offered him a professorship in the qoliege of Beauvais. This, therefore, he accepted, as more congenial to his feelings, though less splendid in appearance, than the profession for which he had been designed. He was soon in high estimation for his talents as a poet and an orator; and M. Watelet, a rich man, and a man of letters, offered him a pension as a tribute to his merit; but he chose, with becoming pride, to owe his subsistence to hi own talents, rather than to the generosity of any one: He was afterwards secretary to the duke de Praslin, minister for foreign affairs; secretary to the Swiss cantons (an independent place in the government); and finally secretary to the duke of Orleans. He was also a member of the academy, tho-ugh it is said that he once refused to be chosen, when he found that he was proposed chiefly out of pique to another candidate, M. Marmontel. Without any fortune but his pension from the court, and the trifling reward he received for his assiduous attendance at the academy, he continued to reside at Paris; and latterly, with a sister* who superintended his domestic concerns. But, his health being impaired by excessive application, he was obliged to seek the more favourable climate of Nice, where for a time he recovered the use of all his powers. But his lungs had always been weak, and being seized also with a fever, he died September 17, 1785, in the ho,use of the archbishop of Lyons, and was buried at the neighbouring village of Qulins. At the time of his death he was employed in writing a poem on the czar Peter the Great, styled the “Pe*treade,” which has never been published.

f a good family, at St. Quentin in Picardy. He became secretary to the king’s closet, to the marine, a member of the French academy, an honorary member of the academy

, a French miscellaneous writer, was born in 1653, of a good family, at St. Quentin in Picardy. He became secretary to the king’s closet, to the marine, a member of the French academy, an honorary member of the academy of sciences, and historiographer to his majesty. M. de Valincour had collected a great number of very curious and important memoirs respecting marine affairs; but these Mss. were consumed with his library by a fire, which burnt his house at St. Cloud in the night, between the thirteenth and fourteenth of January, 1725. He died January 5, 1730, at Paris, aged seventy. His works are, A Criticism on the romance of the princess of Cleves, entitled “Lettres a Madame la Marquise de sur le sujet de la Princesse de Cleves,” Paris, 1678, 12mo, which is much esteemed. A good “Life of Francis de Lorraine, duke of Guise,1681, 12mo. “Observations critiques sur PCEdipe de Sophocle,” and several short poetical pieces in Pere Boiihours’ collection.

ediately 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

, 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.