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Vaugelas, Claude Favre, Seigneur De, Baron De Peroges

VAUGELAS, CLAUDE FAVRE, SEIGNEUR DE, BARON DE PEROGES (1595-1650), 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 Rcmarques sur la langue franfaise (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 franfaise dans sa purete (1651) pleaded for the richer and freer language of the 16th century, and Frangois de la Mothe le Vayer took a similar standpoint in his Lettres a Gabriel Naude touchant les Rcmarques sur la langue franqaise. 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 1650. His translation from Quintus Curtius, La Vie d'Alexandre ( posthumously published in 1653) deserves notice as an application of the author's own rules.

BIBLIOGRAPHY. -See Remarques sur la langue francaise, edited with a key by V. Conrart, and introductory notes by A. Chassang (Paris, 1880). The principles of Vaugelas's judgments are explained in the Etudes critiques (7" 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. Brunot in the Histoire de la langue et litterature franqaise of Petit de Julleville.

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

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