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Louis Fontanes


FONTANES, LOUIS, MARQUIS DE French poet and politician, was born at Niort (Deux Sevres) on March 6, He wrote a number of poems, including a version of Pope's Essay on Man. Fontanes drew up the protest of the citizens of Lyons against Collot d'Herbois, and was for some time in hiding. On the fall of Robespierre he was made professor of literature in the Lcole Centrale des Quatre-Nations, and he was one of the original members of the Institute. He was exiled by the Directory and made his way to London, where he was associated with Chateaubriand. He soon returned to France, and his admiration for Napoleon, who commissioned him to write an eloge on Wash ington, secured his return to the Institute and his political pro motion. He was president of the legislative chamber from 1804 to 181o. Fontanes has been accused of servility to Napoleon, but he remonstrated with him on the judicial murder of the duc d'Eng hien, and as grand master of the university of Paris (I 8o8-1815 ) he supported monarchical principles. He was made a marquis in 1817. He died on March 17, 1821, in Paris.

See his Oeuvres (2 vols. 1839) , ed. Sainte-Beuve.

town of western France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Vendee 3o m. N.E. of La Rochelle by rail. Pop. (1931), town, 7,136 ; commune, Fontenay existed in the time of the Gauls. The affix of "comte" was added when it was given to the count of Poitou, under whom it became capital of Bas-Poitou. Ceded to the English by the treaty of Bretigny in 136o it was retaken in 1372 by Duguesclin. It suffered repeated capture during the Religious Wars of the i6th century, was dismantled in 1621 and was occupied both by the republicans and the Vendeans in the war of 1793. From 1790 to 1806 it was capital of the department of Vendee. Fontenay, a straggling town, is situated on both banks of the Vendee, at the head of navigation. The church of Notre Dame (I 5th-18th cent.) is rich in sculpture, and there are several old houses. The Hotel de Terre Neuve (1595-1600) contains collections of furniture and tapestry. The Fontaine des Quatre-Tias, given to the town by King Francis I., commemorates the birth of many prominent men. Fontenay-Le-Comte is the seat of a subprefect and has a tribunal of first instance. It manufactures felt hats, oil and soap; timber sawing, flour-milling and tanning are also carried on. There is trade in grain, fruit, horses, mules, timber, etc.

town, vendee, capital and time