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Chaulieu, Guillaume Amfrye De

CHAULIEU, GUILLAUME AMFRYE DE (1639-1720), French poet and wit, was born at Fontenay, Normandy, in 1639. His father, maître des comptes of Rouen, sent him to study at the Collège de Navarre. Guillaume early showed the wit that was to distinguish him, and gained the favour of the duke of Vendôme, who procured for him the abbey of Aumale and other benefices. Louis Joseph, duke of Vendôme, and his brother Philippe, grand prior of the Knights of Malta in France, at that time had a joint establishment at the Temple, where they gathered round them a very gay and reckless circle. Chaulieu became the constant companion and adviser of the two princes. He made an expedition to Poland in the suite of the marquis de Béthune, hoping to make a career for himself in the court of John Sobieski; he saw one of the Polish king's campaigns in Ukraine, but returned to Paris without securing any advancement. Saint-Simon says that the abbé helped his patron the grand prior to rob the duke of Vendôme, and that the king sent orders that the princes should take the management of their affairs from him. This account has been questioned by Sainte-Beuve, who regards Saint-Simon as a prejudiced witness. In his later years Chaulieu spent much time at the little court of the duchesse du Maine at Sceaux. There he became the trusted and devoted friend of Mdlle Delaunay, with whom he carried on an interesting correspondence. Among his poems the best known are "Fontenay" and "La Retraite." Chaulieu died on the 27th of June 1720.

His works were edited with those of his friend the marquis de la Fare in 1714, 1750 and 1774. See also C.A. Sainte-Beuve, Causeries du lundi, vol. i.; and Lettres inédites (1850), with a notice by Raymond, marquis de Berenger.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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