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Du Marsais, Cesar Chesneau

DU MARSAIS, CESAR CHESNEAU, Sieur (1676-1756), French philologist, was born at Marseilles on the 17th of July 1676. He was educated in his native town by the Fathers of the Oratory, into whose congregation he entered; but he left it at the age of twenty-five and went to Paris, where he married and was admitted an advocate (1704). He was tutor to the sons successively of the président de Maisons, of John Law, the projector, and of the marquis de Bauffremont. He then opened a boarding school in the faubourg St Victor, which scarcely afforded him the means of subsistence. He made contributions of great value on philological and philosophical subjects to the Encyclopédie, and after vain attempts to secure a competence from the court he was insured against want by the generosity of a private patron. He died in Paris on the 11th of June 1756. The researches of Du Marsais are distinguished by considerable individuality. He held sensible views on education and elaborated a system of teaching Latin, which, although open to grave criticism, was a useful protest against current methods of teaching. His best works are his Principes de grammaire and his Des tropes, ou des différents sens dans lesquels on peut prendre un mot (1730).

An edition of his works (7 vols.) was collected by Duchosal and Millon, and was published with an éloge on Du Marsais by D'Alembert at Paris in 1797.

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

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