Jules de Rességuier (1788-1862)
Founder of the Château de Sauveterre
Bernard Marie Jules de Resseguier (Count), son of the preceding, was born in Toulouse, Jan. 28, 1788. His parents having fled from France, he passed several months with his grandmother (wife of the President de Resseguier) in prison, during the Terror, but upon the death of Robespierre regained his liberty. Later he was placed in the military school of Fontainebleau, and in 1806 had completed his studies and entered into service as an officer of cavalry in the campaigns of Spain and Poland.
His health having greatly suffered in consequence of the exposure and hardships of a military life, he left the army and returned to his native land, where, in 1811, he married Christine Pauline Charlotte de Mac-Mahon, and continued to reside in Languedoc, devoting himself to poetic composition. His first literary essays opened for him the doors of the Academy of the Jeux Floraux in 1818, and in 1822 he removed to Paris and easily found his place in the foremost ranks of literature.
He founded, with others (among them Victor Hugo), in 1823, The French Muse, a periodical much in favor in its day, and which took a large share in the contest between the Classical and Romantic schools of literature. Jules de Resseguier inclined toward the Romantic, but without sharing its exaggerations. He was kept from that by two qualities, which he possessed in the highest degree: good taste and good sense. Although imagination was the leading quality of his mind, it had been cultivated in a more serious vein, and his tastes as much as his poetic opinions inclined him to lend his help to the government of the Restoration; he entered the State's Council and was nominated Chevalier of the Legion of Honor at the end of the year 1823, and in his work won high praise and esteem. The essential stimulant to high political career, ambition, was absolutely wanting in Jules de Resseguier, and without ceasing to be faithful to the work of the State's Council, he always kept his preference for a literary life. In 1827 he published a volume of selected pieces under the title of Poetic Pictures, and its success was sufficient to definitely mark his literary vocation.
The Revolution of 1830 separated him entirely from politics, and he refused without hesitation the oath of allegiance which the new power asked of him. His leisure was of profit to literature, and secured to the several papers which were founded at that time, a great number of poems and short works of prose fiction, in which the poetic inspiration appeared no less than in the former.
But in the brilliant life of Paris he never forgot his native province, and in 1840 he returned to Toulouse and “Sauveterre,” the elegant home which he had built in view of the Pyrenees. The native soil and the domestic hearth became then his habitual themes. His writings, always harmonious and noble, became not more religious, for they had always been so, but more pious in all the sweet acceptations of that word, and also more touching.
His rare qualities were rewarded by a rare domestic happiness, and it was given him to celebrate. the fiftieth anniversary of his wedding. He reached the end of his career, strong of mind and of heart. A Christian eloquence which surprised even those who loved and admired him inspired his last days. He met death with serenity and found new accents of tenderness to bless his family gathered around him. He passed away on the 7th of September, 1862, in the 75th year of his age.
He belonged to a family where quickness of wit was hereditary; his sallies were always original and unexpected, but ever within the confines of good breeding. Those whom he had once attracted never withdrew; as a friend he was always delightful and reliable, and his name will remain the accomplished type of the alliance of the best traditions of the old society with the most brilliant qualities of the new.