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one of the French Encyclopaedists, was born at Portets, in the vicinity

, one of the French Encyclopaedists, was born at Portets, in the vicinity of Bonrdeanx, in January 1726; was at an early age admitted into the college of the Jesuits, and, when only fifteen years old, was invested with their order. He was a youth of much imagination and sensibility, and at the same time strongly addicted to mental melancholy; during which he almost uninterruptedly directed his thoughts to the two great extremes of futurity, heaven and hell, which distressed him with perpetual agitations of mind. Deleyre, however, did not long continue in this state of mind, but quitted the Jesuit society, and with this, we have no small reason to believe, every religious faith whatever. As he was of plebeian birth, he could have no expectations from the court; his only alternatives were philosophy and the law; and the latter did not exactly correspond, we are told by his eulogist, either with his sensibility or his independence of mind. Montesquieu was at this time the Miecenas of Guienne, and became the patron of Deleyre from a thorough conviction of his talents: he introduced him to Diderot, d'Alembert, J. J. Rousseau, and Duclos; and his destiny was fixed: he decided for philosophy, and became a writer in the Encyclopedic. In this new capacity his hardihood was not inferior to that of his colleagues; the famous, or rather infamous, article on fanaticism was soon known to have been of his production, and it was likely to have been essentially detrimental to him; for he had now fixed his attention upon matrimony, and had obtained the consent of a lady; but the priests of the parish in which the ceremony was to have been celebrated, refused to unite them, in consequence of their having heard that Deleyre was the author of this article. His patronage, however, was at this time increased, and he had found a warm and steady friend in the due de Nivernois, who interfered in the dispute, and Deleyre obtained the fair object of his wishes. The duke had before this solicited, and successfully, the appointment for him of librarian to the infant prince of Parma, who was at this period committed to the immediate care of Condillac. In this situation he continued for some considerable time; and although a dispute respecting the mode of educating their pupil at length separated him from this celebrated logician, he appears to have always entertained for him the highest degree of respect.