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ANTOINE DE RIVAROL (1753-1801)

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Originally appearing in Volume V23, Page 374 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ANTOINE DE RIVAROL (1753-1801), French writer and epigrammatist, was born at Bagnols in Languedoc on the 26th of June, 1753, and died at Berlin on the 1th of April 18o1. It seems that his father was an innkeeper but a man of cultivated tastes. The son assumed the title of comte de Rivarol, and asserted his connexion with a noble Italian family, but his enemies said that the name was really Riverot, and that the family was not noble. After various vicissitudes he appeared in Paris in 1777. After winning some academic prizes, Rivarol distinguished himself in the year 1784 by a treatise Sur l'universalite de la langue francaise, and by a translation of the Inferno. The year before the Revolution broke out he, with some assistance from a man of similar but lesser talent, Champcenetz,2 compiled a lampoon, entitled Petit Almanach de nos grands hommes pour 1788, in which some writers of actual or future talent and a great many nobodies were ridiculed in the most pitiless manner. When the Revolution developed the importance of the press, Rivaroi at once took up arms on the Royalist side, and wrote in the Journal politique of Antoine Sabatier de Castres (1742-1817) and the Actes des Apotres of Jean Gabriel Peltier (1770-1825)• But he emigrated in 1792, and established himself at Brussels, whence he removed successively to London, Hamburg and Berlin. Rivarol has had no rival in France except Piron in sharp conversational sayings. These were mostly ill-natured; and mostly have a merely local application. Their brilliancy, however, can escape no one. His brother, Claude Francois (1762-1848), was also an author. His works include Isman, ou le fatalisme (1795), a novel; Le Veridique (1827), comedy; Essai sur les causes de la revolution francaise (1827). The works of Antoine de Rivarol were published in five volumes (Paris, 1805) ; selections (Paris, 1858) with introductory matter by Sainte-Beuve and others, and that edited in 1862 (2nd ed., 188o) by M. de Lescure, may be specified. See also M. de Lescure's Rivarolet la societe francaise pendant la revolution et ''emigration (1882), and Le Breton's Rivarol, sa vie, ses idees (1895). RIVE-DE-GIER, a town of east-central France, in the department of Loire, 14 . M. E.N.E. of St Etienne, on the railway to Lyons. Pop. (1906) 15,338. Situated on the Gier and the Canal de Givors, it is principally dependent on the coal industry, giving its name to a coal-basin which is a continuation of that of St Etienne. It has glass works, the products of which are celebrated on account of the fineness and purity of the sand found on the banks of 2 Louis Rene Quantin de Richebourg, Chevalier de Champcenetz (1760-1794), died on the scaffold. He is not to be confounded with Louis Pierre, marquis de Champcenetz, governor of the Tuileries in 1789, who escaped in 1792 through the protection of Mme. Elliott, mistress of the duc d'Orleans. 374 the Rhone and the Saone. There are also iron and steel works where iron goods and ironmongery of all kinds are manufactured. Rive-de-Gier is a place of some antiquity, as appears from remains of Gallo-Roman buildings, and mosaics and coins found at various times. In the time of Henry IV. the working of the mines had already given to the locality a measure of importance.
End of Article: ANTOINE DE RIVAROL (1753-1801)
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