Anagrame. Louis Hector de Villars. Le Heros de la Victoire. Quatrain sur l'Anagrame. Porter l'Auguste nom d'Heros de la Victoire, Par mille et mille exploits en relever la gloire. Et Marcher pas-a-pas sur les traces de Mars, Il n'appartient qua toy Louis Hector de Villars.
Line engraving. Image 394 x 293mm. Trimmed and laid on a sheet. Crease.
Claude Louis Hector de Villars, Prince de Martigues, Marquis and Duc de Villars and Vicomte de Melun (1653-1734) was the last great general of Louis XIV of France and one of the most brilliant commanders in French military history, one of only six Marshals that have been promoted to Marshal General of France. He entered the French army through the corps of pages in 1671. He distinguished himself at twenty in the Siege of Maastricht in 1673 during the Franco-Dutch War and after the bloody Battle of Seneffe a year later he was promoted on the field to mestre de camp of a cavalry regiment. The next promotion would take time in spite of a long record of excellent service under Turenne, The Great Condé and Luxembourg, and of his aristocratic birth. The reason was that he had incurred the enmity of the powerful Louvois, he was finally made maréchal de camp in 1687. In the interval between the Dutch wars and the formation of the League of Augsburg, Villars, who combined with his military gifts the tact and subtlety of the diplomatist, was employed in an unofficial mission to the court of Bavaria, and there became the constant companion of Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria. He returned to France in 1690 and was given a command in the cavalry of the army in Flanders, but towards the end of the War of the Grand Alliance he went to Vienna as ambassador. His part in the next war beginning with Friedlingen (1702) and Hochstadt (1703) and ending with Denain (1712), has made him immortal. For Friedlingen he received the marshalate, and for the pacification of the insurgent Cévennes the Saint-Esprit order and the title of duke. Friedlingen and Hochstadt were barren victories, and the campaigns of which they formed part records of lost opportunities. Villars's glory thus begins with the year 1709 when France, apparently helpless, was roused to a great effort of self-defence by the stringent demands of the Coalition. Villars played a conspicuous part in the politics of the Regency period as the principal opponent of Cardinal Dubois, and he took the field for the last time in the War of the Polish Succession (1734), with the title marshal-general of the king's armies.
[Ref: 12563] £140.00