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.

ed it like you.” The king rewarded him for this service as if he had gained a battle. He was created a peer of France; had the honours of first gentleman to the king,

, peer and maréchal, distinguished in the French history, was born Jan. 10, 1644. His dispositions for the art of war having displayed themselves at a very early period, he was chosen in 1669 to be colonel of a regiment of dragoons, at the head of which he demonstrated his bravery under the marechal de Crequi, and under Turenne. He received a dangerous wound at the battle of Voerden; and another in the affair of Entsheim, to the capture whereof he contributed much, by the confession of Turenne. After several signal exploits, he gained immortal renown by the defence of Lille in 1708. The siege lasted near four months. Bouflers said to his officers, “Gentlemen, I trust to you; but I answer for myself.” Prince Eugene carried on the siege with so much vigour that it was obliged to submit. “I am very vain,” said he to Bouflers, “on having taken Lille; but I had rather still have the glory of having defended it like you.” The king rewarded him for this service as if he had gained a battle. He was created a peer of France; had the honours of first gentleman to the king, and the reversion of the government of Flanders for his eldest son. When he entered the parliament for his first reception in it, turning to a crowd of officers who had defended Lille with him, he said, “It is to you that I am indebted for all the favours that are heaped upon me, and on you I reflect them I have nothing to glory in but the honour of having been at the head of so many brave men.” During the siege, one of his party having proved tojiim that he could easily kill prince Eugene, “Your fortune is made,” returned Bouflers, “if you can take him prisoner: but you shall be punished with the utmost severity if you make an attempt on his life; and if I but suspected that you had any such intention, I would have you shut up for the rest of your life.” This generosity, which formed a part of his character, induced him to ask permission to serve under the orders of marechal de Villars, though he was his senior. At the battle of Malplaquet in 1709, he made the retreat in such good order, that he left behind him neither cannon nor prisoners. The marquis de Bouflers united the virtues of a good citizen with the activity of a general; serving his prince as the ancient Romans served their republic; accounting his life as nothing when the safety of his country was in question. The king having ordered him to go and succour Lille, and having left to himself the choice of his lieutenants; he set out that instant, without settling his affairs, or taking leave of his family, and chose for his officers a man that had been disgraced, and a prisoner of the Bastille. His magnificence was equal to his love for his country and his sovereign. When Louis XIV. formed the camp of Compiegne, to serve as a lesson to his grandson the duke of Burgundy, and as a spectacle to the court, Bouflers lived there in such a splendid style, that the king said to Livri, his maitre-d'hotel, “The duke of Burgundy must not keep a table; we cannot outdo the marechal; the duke of Burgundy shall dine with him when he goes to the camp.” This patriot general died at Fontainbleau, Aug. 22, 1711, aged 68. “In him (writes madame de Maintenon) the heart died last.” We read in the continuation of the history of England by Rapin, an anecdote too honourable to the memory of this great man to be passed over here in silence. King William having taken Namur, in 169, made Bouflers prisoner, in violation of the articles that had been agreed on. Surprised at so unjust a proceeding, the marechal, fresh from the glorious defence he had made, demanded the reason of this perfidious treatment. He was answered that it was by way of reprisals for the garrison of Dixmude and of Deinse, which the French had detained contrary to capitulation. “If that be the case (said Bouflers), then my garrison ought to be arrested, and not I.” “Sir (he was answered), you are valued at more than ten thousand men.

a peer of France, but more remarkable as an astronomer and ma

, a peer of France, but more remarkable as an astronomer and mathematician, was born at Paris Dec. 30, 1714. He soon discovered a singular taste and genius for the sciences; and in the tumults of armies and camps, he cultivated mathematics, astronomy, mechanics, &c. He was named honorary academician the 27th of February 1743, and few members were more punctual in attending the meetings of that body, where he often brought different constructions and corrections of instruments of astronomy, of dioptrics, and achromatic telescopes. These researches were followed with a new parallactic machine, more solid and convenient than those that were in use; as also with many reflections on the manner of applying the micrometer to those telescopes, and of measuring exactly the value of the parts of that instrument. The duke of Chaulnes proposed many other works of the same kind, which were interrupted by his death Sept. 23, 1769.

st the Austrians in Provence; and, returning to Versailles to plan the campaign of 1748, was created a peer of France. He had enjoyed the title of duke of Gisors,

, count of Belle-Isle, more known by the name of marechal Bellisle, grandson of the preceding, was born in 1684. Politics and history attracted his attention from his very infancy, to which studies he afterwards added that of mathematics. He had hardly finished his education when Louis XIV. gave him a regiment of dragoons. He signalized himself at the siege of Lisle, received other steps of promotion, and at the peace returned to court, where the king entirely forgot the faults of the grandfather in the merits of his descendant. When war again broke out, after the death of Louis XIV. he proceeded to distinguish himself, but a change of ministry put a check to his career. He shared the disgrace of the minister Le Blanc, was for a time im-prisoned in the Bastile, and then banished to his own estate. In this retreat he composed a complete justification of himself, was recalled to court, and from that time experienced only favour, fortune, and promotion. In the war of 1733, he obtained a principal command in Flanders, distinguished himself before Philipsburg, and commanded during the rest of the campaign in Germany. In 1735 he was decorated with the order of the Holy Ghost, and was the confidential adviser of the minister, cardinal Fleury. About this time, taking advantage of an interval of peace, he wrote memoirs of all the countries in which he had served: but on the death of the emperor Charles VI. in 1740, he urged the cardinal to declare war. Ambition prompted this advice, and his ambition was not long without gratification. In 1741, he was created marechal of France. The witlings attacked him on his elevation, but he despised their efforts: “These rhymers,” said he, “would gain their ends, should I do them the honour to be angry.” At the election of the emperor in 1742, marechal Bellisle was plenipotentiary of France at the diet of Francfort, where his magnificence was no less extraordinary than the extent of his influence in the diet. He appeared rather as a principal elector than an ambassador, and secured the election of Charles VII. Soon after, by the desertion of the Prussians and Saxons, the marechal found himself shut up in Prague, and with great difficulty effected a retreat. He was obliged to march his army over the ice, and three thousand troops left in Prague were compelled to surrender, though with honour. On his return to Francfort, Charles VII. presented him with the order of the golden fleece, having already declared him a prince of the empire. In December 1743, as he was going again into Germany, he was taken prisoner at Elbingerode, a small town encircled by the territory of Hanover, and was carried into England, where he remained till August 1744. He then served against the Austrians in Provence; and, returning to Versailles to plan the campaign of 1748, was created a peer of France. He had enjoyed the title of duke of Gisors, from 1742. Afterthe peace in 1743, his influence at court continued to increase, and in 1757 he became prime minister; but in this situation he lived only four years; falling a victim, it is said, to his application to business, his sorrow for the misfortunes of France, and his anxious cares to extricate her from them. This patriotic character coincides with other anecdotes related of him. Having lost his brother, whom he tenderly loved, at a very critical period of public affairs, he suppressed his private grief as soon as possible, saying, “I have no brother; but I have a country, let me exert myself to save her.” He died in January, 1761, at the age of 77.