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Originally appearing in Volume V16, Page 67 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MARQUIS DE his friends from proposing him for the mayoralty of Paris in opposition to Potion. When, in December 1791, three armies were formed on the western frontier to attack Austria, La Fayette was placed in command of one of them. But events moved faster than La Fayette's moderate and humane republicanism, and seeing that the lives of the king and queen were each day more and more in danger, he definitely opposed himself to the further advance of the Jacobin party, intending eventually to use his army for the restoration of a limited monarchy. On the 19th of August 1792 the Assembly declared him a traitor. He was compelled to take refuge in the neutral territory of Liege, whence as one of the prime movers in the Revolution he was taken and held as a prisoner of state for five years, first in Prussian and afterwards in Austrian prisons, in spite of the intercession of America and the pleadings of his wife. Napoleon, however, though he had a low opinion of his capacities, stipulated in the treaty of Campo Formio (1797) for La Fayette's release. He was not allowed to return to France by the Directory. He returned in 1799; in 1802 voted against the life consulate of Napoleon; and in 1804 he voted against the imperial title. He lived in retirement during the First Empire, but returned to public affairs under the First Restoration and took some part in the political events of the Hundred Days. From 1818 to 1824 he was deputy for the Sarthe, speaking and voting always on the Liberal side, and even becoming a carbonaro. He then revisited America (July 1824–September 1825) where he was overwhelmed with popular applause and voted the sum of $200,000 and a township of land. From 1825 to his death he sat in the Chamber of Deputies for Meaux. During the revolution of 1830 he again took command of the National Guard and pursued the same line of conduct, with equal want of success, as in the first revolution. In 1834 he made his last speech—on behalf of Polish political refugees. He died at Paris on the loth of May 1834. In 1876 in the city of New York a monument was erected to him, and in 1883 another was erected at Puy. Few men have owed more of their success and usefulness to their family rank than La Fayette, and still fewer have abused it less. He never achieved distinction in the field, and his political career proved him to be incapable of ruling a great national movement; but he had strong convictions which always impelled him to study the interests of humanity, and a pertinacity in maintaining them, which, in all the strange vicissitudes of his eventful life, secured him a very unusual measure of public respect. No citizen of a foreign country has ever had so many and such warm admirers in America, nor does any states-man in France appear to have ever possessed uninterruptedly for so many years so large a measure of popular influence and respect. He had what Jefferson called a " canine appetite " for popularity and fame, but in him the appetite only seemed to make him more anxious to merit the fame which he enjoyed. He was brave to rashness; and he never shrank from danger or responsibility if he saw the way open to spare life or suffering, to protect the defenceless, to sustain the law and preserve order. His son, GEORGES WASHINGTON MOTIER DE LA FAYETTE (1779–1849), entered the army and was aide-de-camp to General Grouchy through the Austrian, Prussian and Polish (1805–07) campaigns. Napoleon's distrust of his father rendering promotion improbable, Georges de La Fayette retired into private life in 1807 until the Restoration, when he entered the Chamber of Representatives and voted consistently on the Liberal side. He was away from Paris during the revolution of July 183o, but he took an active part in the " campaign of the banquets," which led up to that of 1848. He died in December of the next year. His son, OSCAR THOMAS GILBERT MOTIER DE LA FAYETTE (1815-1881), was educated at the Ecole Polytechnique, and served as an artillery officer in Algeria. He entered the Chamber of Representatives in 1846 and voted, like his father, with the extreme Left. After the revolution of 1848 he received a post in the provisional government, and as a member of the Constituent Assembly he became secretary of the war committee. After the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly in 1851; he retired from public life, but emerged on the establishment of the third republic, becoming a life senator in 1875. His brother EDMOND MOTIER DE LA FAYETTE (1818–189o) shared his political opinions. He was one of the secretaries of the Constituent Assembly, and a member of the senate from 1876 to 1888. See Memoires historiques et pieces authentiques sur M. de La Fayette pour servir a l'histoire des revolutions (Paris, An II., 1793–1794) ; B. Sarrans, La Fayette et la Revolution de 1830, histoire des chores et des hommes de Juillet (Paris, 1834) ; Memoires, correspondances et manuscrits de La Fayette, published by his family (6 vols., Paris, 1837–1838) ; Regnault Warin, Memoires pour servir a la vie du general La Fayette (Paris, 1824) ; A. Bardoux, La jeunesse de La Fayette (Paris, 1892); Les Dernieres annees de La Fayette (Paris, 1893) ; E. Charavaray, Le General La Fayette (Paris, 1895) ; A. Levasseur, La Fayette en Amerique 1824 (Paris, 1829) ; J. Cloquet, Souvenirs de la vie privee du general La Fayette (Paris, 1836) ; Max Budinger, La Fayette in Oesterreich (Vienna, 1898); and M. M. Crawford, The Wife of Lafayette (1908); Bayard Tuckerman, Life of Lafayette (New York, 1889) ; Charlemagne Tower, The Marquis de La Fayette in the American Revolution (Philadelphia, 1895). LA FAYETTE, MARIE-MADELEINE PIOCHE DE LA VERGNE, COMTESSE DE (1634—1692), French novelist, was baptized in Paris, on the 18th of March 1634. Her father, Marc Pioche de la Vergne, commandant of Havre, died when she was sixteen, and her mother seems to have been more occupied with her own than her daughter's interests. Mme de la Vergne married in 1651 the chevalier de Sevigne, and Marie thus became connected with Mme de Sevigne, who was destined to be a lifelong friend. She studied Greek, Latin and Italian, and in-spired in one of her tutors, Gilles de Menage, an enthusiastic admiration which he expressed in verse in three or four languages. Marie married in 16J5 Francois Motier, comte de La Fayette. They lived on the count's estates in Auvergne, according to her own account (in a letter to Menage) quite happily; but after the birth of her two sons her husband disappeared so effectually that it was long supposed that he died about 166o, though he really lived until 1683. Mme de La Fayette had returned to Paris, and about 1665 contracted an intimacy with the duc de la Rochefoucauld, then engaged on his Maximes. The constancy and affection that marked this liaison on both sides justified it in the eyes of society, and when in 168o La Rochefoucauld died Mme de La Fayette received the sincerest sympathy. Her first novel, La Princesse de Mont pensier, was published anonymously in 1662; Zayde appeared in 167o under the name of J. R. de Segrais; and in 1678 her masterpiece, La Princesse de Cleves, also under the name of Segrais. The history of the modern novel of sentiment begins with the Princesse de Cleves. The interminable pages of Mlle de Scudery with the Precieuses and their admirers masquerading as Persians or ancient Romans had already been discredited by the burlesques of Paul Scarron and Antoine Furetiere. It remained for Mme de La Fayette to achieve the more difficult task of substituting something more satisfactory than the disconnected episodes of the roman comique. This she accomplished in a story offering in its shortness and simplicity a complete contrast to the extravagant and lengthy romances of the time. The interest of the story depends not on incident but on the characters of the personages. They act in a perfectly reasonable way and their motives are analysed with the finest discrimination. No doubt the semi-autobiographical character of the material partially explains Mme de La Fayette's refusal to acknowledge the book. Con-temporary critics, even Mme de Sevigne amongst them, found fault with the avowal made by Mme de Cleves to her husband. In answer to these criticisms, which her anonymity prevented her from answering directly, Mme de La Fayette wrote her last novel, the Comtesse de Tende. The character of her work and her history have combined to give an impression of melancholy and sweetness that only represents one side of her character, for a correspondence brought to light comparatively recently showed her as the acute diplomatic agent of Jeanne de Nemours, duchess of Savoy, at the court of Louis XIV. She had from her early days also been intimate with Henrietta of England, duchess of Orleans, under whose immediate direction she wrote her Histoire de Madame Henriette d'Angleterre, which only appeared in 1720. She wrotememoirs of the reign of Louis XIV., which, with the exception of two chapters, for the years 1688 and 1689 (published at Amsterdam, 1731), were lost through her son's carelessness. Madame de La Fayette died on the 25th of May 1692. See Sainte-Beuve, Portraits de femmes; the comte d'Haussonville, Madame de La Fayette (1891), in the series of Grands icrivains francais; M. de Lescure's notice prefixed to an edition of the Princesse de Cleves (1881); and a critical edition of the historical memoirs by Eugene Asse (189o). See also L. Rea, Marie Madeleine, comtesse de La Fayette (1908).
End of Article: MARQUIS

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