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MARC ANTOINE RENE DE VOYER

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Originally appearing in Volume V02, Page 459 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MARC ANTOINE RENE DE VOYER, marquis de Paulmy d'Argenson (1722-1787), nephew of the preceding and son of Rene Louis, was born at Valenciennes on the 22nd of November 1722. Appointed councillor at the parlement (1744), and maitre des requeetes (1747), he was associated with his father in the ministry of foreign affairs and with his uncle in the ministry of war, and, in recognition of this experience, was commissioned to inspect the troops and fortifications and sent on embassy to Switzerland (1748). In 1751 his uncle recognized him as his deputy and made over to him the reversion of the secretariate of war. He then worked on the great reform of the army, and after the dismissal of his uncle became minister of war (February 1757). But the outbreak of the Seven Years' War made this post exceedingly difficult to hold, and he resigned on the 23rd of March 1758. He was ambassador to Poland from 1762 to 1764, but failed to procure the nomination of the French candidate to that throne. From 1766 to 1770 he was ambassador at Venice. Failing to obtain the embassy at Rome, he retired at the age of forty-eight and devoted the rest of his life to indulging his tastes for history and biography. He brought together a large library, very rich in French poetry and romance, and undertook various publications with the help of his librarian. In 1775 he began his Bibliotheque universelle des romans, of which forty volumes appeared within three years, but subsequently handed over the publication to other editors. His great work, Melanges tires d'une grande bibliotheque, was published in 65 volumes (Paris, 1779-1788). At his death he forbade his library to be dispersed: it was bought by the comte d'Artois (afterwards Charles X.) and formed the nucleus of the present Bibliotheque de l'Arsenal at Paris (the marquis having been governor of the arsenal). He died on the 13th of August 1787. See contemporary memoirs; also Dacier's eulogium in the Acadimie des Inscriptions et Belles-Leitres (November 1788) ; and Sainte-Beuve, Causeries du lundi (vol. xii.).
End of Article: MARC ANTOINE RENE DE VOYER
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