Droz, Francois-xavier Joseph
paris sainte beuve
DROZ, FRANcOIS-XAVIER JOSEPH (1773-1850), a French writer on moral and political subjects, was born on October 31, 1773, in the city of Besancon, where his family had furnished. men of considerable mark to the legal profession, His own legal studies led him to Paris in 1792 ; lie arrived on the very day after the dethronement of the king, aud yvas present during the massacres of September ; but on the declaration of war he joined the volunteer bataillon of the Doubs, and for the next three years served in the army of the Rhine. Receiving his discharge on the score of ill health, he soon after obtained a much more congenial post in the newly-founded &ole eentrale of his native city; and in 1799 he made his first appearance as an author by an Essai sur nit oratoire, Paris, Fructidor, An VII., in which he acknowledges his indebtedness more especially to Hugh Blair. This early reference to Scottish literature is interest-ing in connection with the peculiarly Scottish tone of mind which is observable in his writings, and has attracted the notice of Sainte-Beuve. Removing to Paris in 1803, be became intimate not only with the like-minded Ducis, but also with the sceptical Cabanis ; and it was at the philosopher's advice that, in order to catch the public ear, he produced the romance of Dina, whidi Sainte-Beuve has characterized as a mingled echo of Florian and Werther. Like several other literary men of the time, he obtained a post in the revenue office known as the Droits reunies, then under the control of M. Francois of Nantes ; but from 1814 he devoted himself exclusively to literature and became a contributor to various journals. Already favourably known by his _Essai 82G7' r art d'etre heurenx, Paris, 1806, his Eloge de Montaigne, 1812, and his Essai, sur le beau dans les arts, 1815, he not only gained the Monthyon prize in 1823 by his work De la philosophie morale ou des di:Prents systemes sup la science de la vie, but also in 1824 obtained admission to the Academie Francaise. The main doctrine inculcated in this treatise is that society will never be in a proper state till men have been educated to think of their duties and not of their rights. It was followed hi 1825 by _Application. de la morale a la philosophic et a la politique, and in 1829 by Economie politigue, 021 principes de la science des riehesses, a methodical and clearly written treatise, which has had the honour of being edited by Michel Chevalier in 1854. His next and greatest work was a Histoire du refine de Louis J7. (3 vols. Paris, 1838 - 1842), the result of very careful and prolonged study, and marked by greater vigour of style and deeper poweis of thought than he had previously displayed. As he advanced in life Droz had become more and more decidedly religious, and the last work of his prolific pen was Pens-ees du Christianisme, 1842. Few have left so blameless a reputa-tion : in the words of Sainte-Beuve, he was born and he remained all his life of the race of the good and the just.
See Guizot, Discours Aeademiques; Montalembert, "Discours de Ileception," in Nemoires de l'ileculentic francaise; Sainte-Beuve, Causer/es cht t. iii.; 'Michel Chevalier, Notice prefixed to the Economic politine.