Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V27, Page 955 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CLAUDE FAVRE VAUGELAS. SEIGNEUR DE, BARON DE PEROGES (1595-165o), French grammarian and man of letters, was born at Meximieu, department of Ain, on the 6th of January 1595. He became gentleman=in-waiting to Gaston d'Orleans, and continued faithful to this prince in his disgrace, although his fidelity cost him a pension from the crown on which he was largely dependent. His thorough knowledge of the French language and the correctness'of his speech won for him a place among the original academicians. On the representation of his colleagues his pension was restored so that he might have leisure to pursue his admirable Remarques sur la langue,fran.&aise (1647). In this -work'he maintained that words and expressions were to be judged by the current usage of the best society, of which, as an. habitue of the Hotel de Rambouillet, Vaugelas was a competent judge. He shares with Malherbe the credit of having purified French diction. His book fixed the current usage, and the classical writers of the 17th century regulated their practice by it. Protests against the academical doctrine were not lacking. Scipion Dupleix in his Liberte de la langue francaise clans sa purete (1651) pleaded for the richer and freer language of the 16th century, and Francois de in Mothe le Vayer took a similar standpoint in his Lettres a Gabriel Naude touchant les Remarques sur la langue francaise. Towards the end of his life Vaugelas became tutor to the sons of Thomas Francis of Savoy, prince of Carignan: He died in Paris in February 165o. His translation from Quintus Curtius, La Vie d'Alexandre (posthumously published in 1653) deserves notice as an application of the 'author's own rules. BiBLIOGRAPIS v.—See Remarques sur la langue francaise, edited with a key by V. Conrart, and introductory notes by A. Chassang (Paris, 188o). The principles of Vaugelas's judgments are explained in the dudes critiques (7e serie) of M. Brunetiere, who regards the name of Vaugelas as a symbol of all that was done in the first halt of the 16th century to perfect and purify the French language. See also F. Brunet in the Histoire de la langue et litterature francaise of Petit de Julleville.

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