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LOUIS GABRIEL SUCHET

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Originally appearing in Volume V26, Page 8 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LOUIS GABRIEL SUCHET, Duc D'ALBUFERA DA VALENCIA (1770–1826), marshal of France, one of the most brilliant of Napoleon's generals, was the son of a silk manufacturer at Lyons, where he was born on the 2nd of March 1770. He originally intended to follow his father's business; but having in 1792 served as volunteer in the cavalry of the national guard at Lyons, he manifested military abilities which secured his rapid promotion. As chef de bataillon he was present at the siege of Toulon in 1793, where he took General O'Hara prisoner. During the Italian campaign of 1796 he was severely wounded at Cerea on the 11th of October. In October 1797 he was appointed to the command of a demi-brigade, and his services, under Joubert in the Tirol in that year, and in Switzerland under Brune in 1797–98, were recognized by his promotion to the rank of general of brigade. He took no part in the Egyptian campaign, but in August was made chief of the staff to Brune, and restored the efficiency and discipline of the army in Italy. In July 1799 he was made general of division and chief of staff to Joubert in Italy, and was in 1800 named by Massena his second in command. His dexterous resistance to the superior forces of the Austrians with the left wing of Massena's army, when the right and centre were shut up in Genoa, not only prevented the invasion of France from this direction but contributed to the success of Napoleon's crossing the Alps, which culminated in the battle of Marengo on the r4th of June. He took a prominent part in the Italian campaign till the armistice of Treviso. In the campaigns of 1805 and 18o6 he greatly increased his reputation at Austerlitz, Saalfeld, Jena, Pultusk and Ostrolenka. He obtained the title of count on the 19th of March 18o8, married Mlle- de Saint Joseph, a niece of Joseph Bonaparte's wife, and soon afterwards was ordered to Spain. Here, after taking part in the siege of Saragossa, he was named commander of the army of Aragon and governor of the province, which, by wise and (unlike that of most of the French generals) disinterested administration no less than by his brilliant valour, he in two years brought into complete submission. He annihilated the army of Blake at Maria on the 14th of June 1809, and on the 22nd of April 1810 defeated O'Donnell at Lerida. After being made marshal of France (July 8, 1811) he in 1812 achieved the conquest of Valencia, for which he was rewarded with the title of duc d'Albuf era da Valencia (1812). When the tide set against the French Suchet defended his conquests step by step till compelled to retire into France, after which he took part in Soult's defensive campaign. By Louis XVIII. he was on the 4th of June made a peer of France, but, having during the Hundred Days commanded one of Napoleon's armies on the Alpine frontier, he was deprived of his peerage on the 24th of July 1815. He died near Marseilles on the 3rd of January 1826. Suchet wrote Menwires dealing with the Peninsular War, which were left by the marshal in anunfinished condition, and the two volumes and atlas appeared in 1829–1834 under the editorship of his former chief staff officer, Baron St Cyr-Nogues. See C. H. Barault-Roullon, Le Marechal Suchet (Paris, 1854) ; Choumara, Considerations militaires sur les memoires du Marechal Suchet (Paris, 1840), a controversial work on the last events of the Peninsular War, inspired, it is supposed, by Soult ; and Lieutenant-General Lamarque's obituary notice in the Spectateur militaire (1826). See also bibliography in article PENINSULAR WAR. SU-CHOW. There are in China three cities of this name which deserve mention. 1. Su-chow-Fu, in the province of Kiang-su, formerly one of the largest cities in the world, and in 1907 credited still with a population of 500,000, on the Grand Canal, 55 M. W.N.W. of Shanghai, with which it is connected by railway. The site is practically a cluster of islands to the east of Lake Tai-hu. The walls are about ro m. in circumference and there are four large suburbs. Its silk manufactures are represented by a greater variety of goods than are produced anywhere else in the empire; and the publication of cheap editions of the Chinese classics is carried to great perfection. There is a Chinese proverb to the effect that to be perfectly happy a man ought to be born in Su-chow, live in Canton and die in Lien-chow. The nine-storeyed pagoda of the northern temple is one of the finest in the country. In 186o Su-chow was captured by the T'aip'ings, and when in 1863 it was recovered by General Gordon the city was almost a heap of ruins. It has since largely recovered its prosperity, and besides 7000 silk looms has cotton mills and an important trade in rice. Of the original splendour of the place some idea may be gathered from the beautiful plan on a slab of marble preserved since 1247 in the temple of Confucius and reproduced in Yule's Marco Polo, vol. i. Su-chow was founded in 484 by Ho-lu-Wang, whose grave is covered by the artificial " Hill of the Tiger " in the vicinity of the town. The literary and poetic designation of Su-chow is Ku-su, from the great tower of Ku-su-tai, built by Ho-lu-Wang. Su-chow was opened to foreign trade by the Japanese treaty of 1895. A Chinese and European school was opened in 19oo. 2. Su-chow, formerly Tsiu-tsuan-tsiun, a free city in the province of Kan-suh, in 390 48' N., just within the extreme north-west angle of the Great Wall, near the gate of jade. It is the great centre of the rhubarb trade. Completely destroyed in the great Mahommedan or Dungan insurrection (1865–72), it was recovered by the Chinese in 1873 and has been rebuilt. 3. Su-chow, a commercial town situated in the province of Sze-ch'uen at the junction of the Min River with the Yang-tse-Kiang, in 28° 46' 50" N. Population (1907) about 50,000. SUCKLING, SIR JOHN (1609–1642), English poet, was born at Whitton, in the parish of Twickenham, Middlesex, and baptized there on the loth of February 5609. His father, Sir John Suckling (1569–1627), had been knighted by James I. and was successively master of requests, comptroller of the household and secretary of state. He sat in the first and second parliaments of Charles I.'s reign, and was made a privy councillor. During his career he amassed a considerable fortune, of which the poet became master at the age of eighteen. He was sent to Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1623, and was entered at Gray's Inn in 1627. He was intimate with Thomas Carew, Richard Lovelace, Thomas Nabbes and especially with John Hales and Sir William Davenant, who furnished John Aubrey with information about his friend. In 1628 he left London to travel in France and Italy, returning, however, before the autumn of 163o, when he was knighted. In 1631 he volunteered for the force raised by the marquess of Hamilton to serve under Gustavus Adolphus in Germany. He was back at Whitehall in May 1632; but during his short service he had been present at the battle of Breitenfeld and in many sieges. He was hand-some, rich and generous; his happy gift in verse was only one of many accomplishments, but it commended him especially to Charles I. and his queen. He says of himself (" A Sessions of the Poets ") that he " prized black eyes or a lucky hit at bowls above all the trophies of wit." He was the best card-player and tha best bowler at court. Aubrey says that he invented the game of cribbage, and relates that his sisters came weeping to the bowling green at Piccadilly to dissuade him from play, fearing that he would lose their portions. In 1634 great scandal was caused in his old circle by a beating which he received at the hands of Sir John Digby, a rival suitor for the hand of the daughter of Sir John Willoughby; and it has been suggested that this incident, which is narrated at length in a letter (Nov. 1o, 1634) from George Garrard 1 to Strafford, had something to do with his beginning to seek more serious society. In 1635 he retired to his country estates in obedience to the proclamation of the loth of June 1632 enforced by the Star Chamber 2 against absentee landlordism, and employed his leisure in literary pursuits. In 1637 " A Sessions of the Poets " was circulated in MS., and about the same time he wrote a tract on Socinianism entitled An Account of Religion by Reason (pr. 1646). As a dramatist Suckling is noteworthy as having applied to regular drama the accessories already used in the production of masques. His Aglaura (pr. 1638) was produced at his own expense with elaborate scenery. Even the lace on the actors' coats was of real gold and silver. The play, in spite of its felicity of diction, lacks dramatic interest, and the criticism of Richard Flecknoe (Short Discourse of the English Stage),3 that it seemed " full of flowers, but rather stuck in than growing there," is not altogether unjustified. The Goblins (1638, pr. 1646) has some reminiscences of The Tempest; Brennoralt, or the Discontented Colonel (1639, pr. 1646) is a satire on the Scots, who are the Lithuanian rebels of the play; a fourth play, The Sad One, was left unfinished owing to the outbreak of the Civil War. Suckling raised a troop of a hundred horse, at a cost of £12,000, and accompanied Charles on the Scottish expedition of 1639. He shared in the earl of Holland's retreat before Duns, and was ridiculed in an amusing ballad (pr. 1656), in Musarum deliciae, " on Sir John Suckling'e most war-like preparations for the Scottish war."4 He was elected as member for Bramber for the opening session (164o) of the Long Parliament; and in that winter he drew up a letter addressed to Henry Jermyn, afterwards earl of St Albans, advising the king to disconcert the opposition leaders by making more con-cessions than they asked for. In May of the following year he was implicated in an attempt to rescue Strafford from the Tower and to bring in French troops to the king's aid. The plot was exposed by the evidence of Colonel George Goring, and Suckling fled beyond the seas. The circumstances of his short exile are obscure. He was certainly in Paris in the summer of 1641. One pamphlet related a story of his elopement with a lady to Spain, where he fell into the hands of the Inquisition. The manner of his death is uncertain, but Aubrey's statement that he put an end to his life by poison in May or June 1642 in fear of poverty is generally accepted. Suckling's reputation as a poet depends on his minor pieces. Utley have wit and fancy, and at times exquisite felicity of expression. " Easy, natural Suckling," Millamant's comment in Congreve's Way of the World (Act Iv., sc. i.) is a just tribute to their spontaneous quality. Among the best known of them are the " Ballade upon a Wedding," on the occasion of the marriage of Roger Boyle, afterwards earl of Orrery, and Lady Margaret Howard, " I prithee, send me back my heart, " Out upon it, I have loved three whole days together," and " Why so pale and wan, fond lover?" from Aglaura. " A 'iessions of the Poets," describing a meeting of the con-temporary versifiers under the presidency of Apollo to decide who should wear the laurel wreath, is the prototype of many later satires. A collection of Suckling's poems was first published in 1646 as Fragmenta aurea, the so-called Selections (1836) published by the ' Strafford's Letters and Despatches (1739), 1. 336. 2 For an account of the proceedings see Historical Collections, ed. by Rushworth (168o), 2nd pt., pp. 288-293. ' Reprinted in Eng. Drama and Stage, ed. W. C. Hazlitt; Roxburghe Library (1869), p. 277. ' Attributed by Aubrey to Sir John Mennis (1599-1671). See also a song printed in the tract, Vox borealis (Hari. Misc. iii. 235). Rev. Alfred Inigo Suckling, author of the History and Antiquities of Suffolk (1846-1848) with Memoirs based on original authorities and a portrait after Van Dyck, is really a complete edition of his works, of which W. C. Hazlitt's edition (1874; revised ed., 1892) is little more than a reprint with some additions. The Poems and Songs of Sir John Suckling, edited by John Gray and decorated with woodcut border and initials by Charles Ricketts, was artistically printed at the Ballantyne Press in 1896. In r910 Suckling's works in prose and verse were edited by A. Hamilton Thompson. For anecdotes of Suckling's life see John Aubrey's Brief Lives (Clarendon Press ed., ii. 242).
End of Article: LOUIS GABRIEL SUCHET
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