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Charles de Sainte-Maure, duc de Montausier

Charles de Sainte-Maure, duc de Montausier (October 6, 1610 - November 17, 1690), French soldier, was the second son of Leon de Sainte-Maure, baron de Montausier.

His parents were Huguenots, and he was educated at the Protestant College of Sedan under Pierre du Moulin. He served brilliantly at the siege of Casale in 1630. Becoming marquis de Montausier by the death of his elder brother in 1635, he was the recognized aspirant for the hand of Mme de Rambouillet's daughter Julie Lucine d'Angennes (1607-1671). Having served under Bernard of Saxe-Weimar in Germany in 1634 he returned to the French service in 1636, and fought in the Rhenish campaigns of the following years. He was taken prisoner at Rantzau in. November 1643, and only ransomed after ten months' captivity. On his return to France he became a lieutenant-general. On July 15 1645 he married "the incomparable Julie," thus terminating a courtship famous in the annals of French literature because of the Guirlande de Julie, a garland of verse consisting of madrigals by Montausier, Claude de Malleville, Georges de Scudéry, Pierre Corneille (if M. Uzanne is correct in the attribution of the poems signed M.C.), Philippe Hubert, Simon Arnauld de Pomponne, Jean Desmarets de Saint Sorlin, Antoine Gombaud (Le nain de la Princesse Julie) and others. It was copied by the famous calligraphist N Jarry in a magnificent manuscript, on each page of which was painted a flower, and was presented to Julie on her fête day in 1641. The manuscript is now in possession of the Uzês family, to whom it passed by the marriage of Julie's daughter to Emmanuel de Crussol, duc d'Uzês.

Montausier had bought the governorship of Saintonge and Angoumois, and became a Roman Catholic before his marriage. During the Fronde he remained, in spite of personal grievances against Mazarin, faithful to the Crown. On the conclusion of peace in 1653 the marquis, who had been severely wounded in 1652, obtained high favour at court in spite of the roughness of his manners and the general austerity which made the Parisian public recognize him as the original of Alceste in the Misanthrope. Montausier received from Louis XIV the order of the Saint Esprit, the government of Normandy, a dukedom, and in 1668 the office of governor of the dauphin, Louis. He initiated the series of classics Ad usum Deiphini, directed by the learned Huet, and gave the closest attention to the education of his charge, who was only moved by his iron discipline to a hatred of learning. Court gossip assigned some part of Montausier's favour to the complaisance of his wife, who, appointed lady-in-waiting to the queen in 1664, favoured Louis XIV's passion for Louise de la Vallière, and subsequently protected Mme de Montespan, who found a refuge from her husband with her.

See Pére Nicolas Petit, Vie du duc de Montausier (1729); Puget de Saint Pierre, Histoire du duc de Montausier (1784); Amédée Roux, Un Misanthrope a la cour de Louis XIV. Montausier (1860); O Uzanne, La Guirlande de Julie (1875); E Fléchier, Oraisons funébres du duc et de la duchesse de Montausier (Paris, 1691); and contemporary memoirs.

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.