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one of those celebrated persons whose writings attract universal

, one of those celebrated persons whose writings attract universal admiration, while their lives pass on in one uniform tenour, without incident or adventure, was born in 1639, 1640, or 1644, (for we have seen all these dates given), in a village of France, near the town of Dourdan, in that part of the late province of the Isle of France which is now denominated the department of the Seine and Oise. Of his education, or of his youthful manners, we have no information. His first situation appears to have been at Caen, in the province of Normandy, where he had an office in the collection of the revenue. His literary talents, however, became soon too conspicuous to permit him to remain long in a situation so little corresponding with the expanding and elevating views of genius. The illustrious Bossuet appointed him to attend one of the royal children of France, to instruct him in history, with a pension of a thousand crowns a year. With this he might be considered at that period, and in that country, as in a state of affluence; and the literary distinctions, then the most courted by aspiring minds, were not withheld from him; for, in 163, he was elected by the express command of Lewis XIV. one of the forty members of the French academy. But he did not long enjoy that affluence which afforded him leisure to cultivate the fields of literature, nor the distinctions which he so well merited, and which were accompanied by the universal admiration of his countrymen, and indeed of all Europe. An apoplectic fit removed him from this transitory scene, in the year 1696, and in the fifty-third year of his age.