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Another pupil of Fourmont, Joseph de Guignes, born at Pontoise in 1721, attained equal eminence as an Orientalist. At Fourmont's death, he was associated with the last named linguist on the staff of the Royal Library. But De Guignes' merit in the department of Oriental history and antiquities, has almost overshadowed his reputation as a mere linguist, although he was a proficient in all the principal Eastern languages, and in many of those of Europe. His History of the Huns, Turks, Moguls, and other Tartar nations, notwithstanding that many of its views are now discarded, is still regarded as a repertory of Oriental learning; and, while both in this and also in some others of his works, De Guignes is often visionary and even paradoxical, he is acknowledged to have done more for Chinese literature in France, than any linguist before Abel Remusat; nor is there one of the scholars of the eighteenth century, who in the spirit, if not in the letter, of the views which he put forward, comes so near to the more enlarged and more judicious theories of the scholars of our own day, on the general questions of philology.
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