Home >> Chamber's Encyclopedia, Volume 4 >> Organs And Process Op to The Railway Clearing House >> Paul Courier

Paul Courier

political, time and letters

COURIER, PAUL Louis, a French scholar and political writer, was b. in Paris, Jan. 4, 1772. He was educated for the army, but, without neglecting his military studies, he showed a special predilection for ancient literature. In 1793, he became lieut. of artillery, served in the Italian campaign 1798-99, and in 1803, was appointed chef d'escadron. After tl.e battle of Wagram, he tendered his resignation, which was accepted, He now proceeded to Switzerland and Italy, returning to his native country in 1812. Up to this period, he was known publicly only by his translations from the classics. In 1816, he appeared for the first time as a political pamphleteer, and rapidly obtained a brilliant reputation. The piece in which he made his debut was the Petition aux D..121Z Chambres. In 1819-20, he published, in a journal called Le Censeur, a series of letters containing an exposition of his political ideas, which were those of an ardent constitutional reformer. These letters, for keenness, wit, and eloquence, have been compared to those of Pascal. His Simple Discours (1821) was directed against the pro

ject then entertained of purchasing Chambord for the Due de Bordeaux in the name of the nation. It is exceedingly vigorous, clever, and sensible, and had a great success. For his audacity, he was tried and condemned to one month's imprisonment. In 1823, he published his Lieret, a kind of memorandum-book; and in 1824, his Pamphlet des Pamphlets, which is finely called by Armand Carrel Le Chant du Oygne (the Swan's Death-song). On the 10th April, 1825, he was assassinated near his own house at Veretz, in the department of Indre-et-Loire, a little before sunset. The murderer was never detected. C. was the pamphleteer of the middle class. Manly earnestness, pleas ant wit, cutting irony, and admirable sense are his characteristics. Time, which gener ally dims the luster of a pamphleteer's reputation, has not touched that of C., which is still as bright as ever.