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MR: Containing Some Particulars of the Life of Mr. DE RAPIN THOYR AS.
Imagined you would be surprized at my Backwardness to second your
Design of Writing the Life of Mr. I
DE RAPIN. This has given me some Concern, for I would fain have complied with your Motion :
But to say the Truth, I could not till now come to any Resolution. I know not how the Publick stands affected, and though I suppose with you, that the World would be glad to be acquainted with Mr. DE RAPIN, I should think no
can better satisfy their Curiosity than his new Hilory of England, it not being possible, in ny OpiVOL. ΧΙΙΙ.
nion, but in so voluminous a Work, an Author draws his own Picture himself, though undesignedly, more to the Life than any other Hand can do. If you say this is not sufficient, because there is nothing said concerning his Family, and the Adventures he may have run through : 1 answer, that the two Elogies of Mr. DE RAPIN, one in the Xth Volume of the Bibliotheque Germanique, the other in the Hiftoire Literaire of February 1726, seem to contain all that is proper to be faid on these two Heads. Hence you are sensible that I have not the fame Scruple about what you propose at present, that at least these Elogies may appear again per fixed to the History of England. Indeed I do not see any Inconveniency in it. What is more, I am resolved to publish them my felf, but with some Alterations; that is to say, of the two I design to make one Discourse, borrowing from both what shall occur to my Mind, without studying either to fwerve from, or to copy after them, that there may be room to insert fome Particulars that are passed over in Silence. It may be I shall go too far, contrary to my firft Intention; however that be, you may depend upon iç I shall say no. thing but what I have been fully and perfectly in formed of, and what Mr. De RAPIN's Family wa ready to justify. Mean while, as in this Thing I have no other View but your Satisfaction, you may mak what use you please of this Letter, fuppress wha you do not like; nay, if you think fit, content your felf with the Elogies alone, fuch as they were at first which perhaps would be best. But to begin :
Mr. DE RAPIN, counted among his Ancestor and Relations many eminent Persons as well Warriou as Gown-men. His Family is originally from Savo where it flourished Time out of Mind *, and fille
By the Titles of this Family it appears that the Ratins w Noble in the Year 1250. The Bianches that are in Savon riete to a greater Antiquity : But of that I can say nothing.
several honourable Posts *. As for personal Qualiries I have no Information, so cannot say whether it was owing to a prudent Care, or in order to immortalize an ill-grounded Enmity, that a Bishop of St. John de Maurienne caused to be ingraved, in the Epifcopal Palace, an Inscription which is still to be seen in these Words, Caveant Successores nostri a familia Rapinorum, that is, Let our Succeffors beware of the RAPINS
On the other Hand, this Family pretends that their external Luftre was impaired purely on account of their steady Adherence to the Laws of Honour and Justice. This is what is insinuated by the Author of the following Verses, which are not quoted here for their Elegance.
Pour n'avoir sans besoin fu prendre,
This Family, being too honest to invade the Property of others, is gone to decay. 'Had they been given to what their Name implies, they would have wherewithal to support themselves.
But to draw nearer to Mr. De Rapin, I come to four Brothers of that Name, who settled in France in the Reign of Francis I, *.
One, a Clergyman, was Almoner to Queen Catharine de Medicis, who sent to the Duke of Savoy for him. Besides the Preferments he enjoyed in his own Country, he was called the King's Orator, but what chat means I cannot tell.
* It is known in general, that some of the Rapins at several Times were Syndicks of the Nobles of their Country: others were deputed by the Nobility to go in their Name and do Homage to the Duke of Savoy their Sovereign. Between the Years 1525 and 1547.
His Brothers, of whom but one left any Children, were all three Soldiers, and embraced the Reformed Religion : Nay, it is very probable that they abandoned their Country for the sake of professing the same.
The eldest was a Colonel of Foot, and Governour of Montauban, with Authority over the neighbouring Governours. His Name is among those of the
Viscounts, who commanded the_Troops of the Reformed in the Southern Parts of France. Letters still extant show how well known he was to King Henry IV, to Lewis and Henry Princes of Condé, to Admiral Chastillon, and to several other Persons of the first Quality
All we know of one of his Brothers called Peter, is that a Commission of Captain of Horse must, by all Circumstances, have been his ; but of this we cannot be sure, because there is no Name expressed in it.
Philibert another Brother, was Gentleman to the Prince of Condé, and afterwards his Seward *. His Reputation as a Soldier was as great as his Capacity for Business *1; but both proved fatal to him, as
• Maitre d'Hôtel de la Maison, that is to say, he had the Ma. nagement of the Prince's House in the highest Sense of the Word, and not as we understand the Term Steward at present.
* Bello ftrenuus, says Thuanus, lib. 32. In fine, Rapin was in great Repute among his own Party. The Conspirators of Thoulouse made choice of him to treat in their Name with Fourquevaux, which is a clear Evidence that he had a Head to manage, as well as a Hand to act. Annals of Thoulouse, Ann. 1568.
The Conference spoken of in this Passage, was held to see whether there was any way of Accommodation between the two Parties ; but it proved fruitless, and oply served to exasperate them more than ever. Shortly after a Battle was fought in the City, which lafted some Days, wherein the Protestants who were pretty numerous there, but however inferiour in Number to the Catho. licks, loft three Thousand Men, and were in the end chased out of the City. A solemn Procession was inftituted in Commemoration of rhis Event. When Peace was restored, the Reformed complain. ed of this procession, as a Thing which revived the Memory of the Troubles, whereupon it was prohibited for the future ; nevertheJess it has been all along continued ; only it was removed from the 12th of viay, to the 171, on some Prerence or other.