François Tallemant the Elder

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François Tallement (1620, La Rochelle – 6 May 1693, Paris) was a French churchman and translator. He is often known as l'Aîné (the Elder) to distinguish him from his cousin Paul Tallement le Jeune.


The brother of Gédéon Tallemant des Réaux, he was almoner to Louis XIV for 24 years, then first almoner to Madame. He was elected a member of the Académie française in 1651. Paul Pellisson said of him "He had a mind, he did not even miss knowing.",[1] whilst one historian in the Académie stated:

"He knew [ancient] Greek, Latin, Italian, English and Spanish perfectly. He was an excellent man, but by character a worrier. This fault made him the butt of a pleasant nickname: whilst some of our brothers of the Académie were cardinals, ministers and bishops and [thus] were called His Eminence, His Excellency, His Greatness, we called [Tallement] His Worriedness (Son Inquiétude).[2]


We have two translations by him (adjudged mediocre by his contemporaries):

His other works are six discourses he made in the Académie. In one of these he declares:

How sweet it is to mix with the elite of the best minds in the world! How useful it is to profit from study and from the application of the most skilled in all kinds of literature! After all, Gentlemen, one can only excel in one thing. Poetry alone, you know, divided herself between several different people, but the society of an academy makes useful to each [member] all the diverse talents of those of whom it is composed, by those knowledgeable and ingenious conversations in which each brings his particular fount [of knowledge] and speaks according to the genius that nature has given him and which he has cultivated by study.[3]


  1. ^ "Il avoit de l'esprit, il ne manquoit pas même de savoir." – (French) Paul Pellisson, Histoire de l'Académie françoise, volume I, p. 366 (1653)
  2. ^ (French) Tyrtée Tastet, Histoire des quarante fauteuils de l'Académie française depuis la fondation jusqu'à nos jours, 1635–1855, volume II, p. 494 (1855)
  3. ^ (French) Panégyriques et harangues à la louange du Roy prononcez dans l’Académie françoise dans diverses occasions (1680). Cited by (French) Institut de France : [1]

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