William Tooke.

A new and general biographical dictionary; containing an historical and critical account of the lives and writings of the most eminent persons in every nation; particularly the British and Irish; from the earliest accounts of time to the present period .. (Volume 9) online

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Online LibraryWilliam TookeA new and general biographical dictionary; containing an historical and critical account of the lives and writings of the most eminent persons in every nation; particularly the British and Irish; from the earliest accounts of time to the present period .. (Volume 9) → online text (page 25 of 48)
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dri", virtue, and learning. His memory never failed him,
with regard either to the circumilances of time or to proper
names; and he penetrated into the inclinations of men, ai:.l
fcrefaw the event of rhiiig: with furprifing i u*[\city.

This connexion with Melanclhon. liicl not, however, ex-
tinguiih the inclination wl : 'i Lun^-iet liad to travel In
i.S5i he took up a reiolutic.A to vmi, feme part of Euro :
every vear, for which he let a] .re the autumn feafon, return-
ing to pafs the winter at Witter! erg. the cor.'.c of ti.
travels, among other places, he r.u.le the tour of i in
1555, and i uat of Livonia and Laponia in 155^. During
this lait tour, he became known avus, king of Sweden,
who conceived a great afTcclion for li^m, and engaged him to
go into France, in order lo bring him thence Ibtne of the bell

P 4 ich oh rs

2i6 L A N G U E T.

fcholars arid artifts : for which purpofe his majefly gave him a
letter of credence, dated Sept. i, 1557. Two years after,
Languet attended Adolphus count of Naffau and prince of
Orange, into Italy ; and at his return patted through Paris, to
make a vititto the celebrated Turnebus : while he was in that
city, he heard the melancholy news of the death of his dear
friend Melanclhon.

In 1565, Auguftus elector of Saxony invited him to his
court, and appointed him envoy to that of France the fame
year; after which he lent him his deputy to the diet of the
empire, which was cnlled by the emperor Maximilian, in
1568, at Angfburg. Thence the fame mailer difpatchcd him
to Heidelberg, to negotiate fome bulinefs with the elector
palatine ; and from Heidelberg we went to Cologne, where lie
acquired the efteem and confidence of Charlotte de Bourbon,
princefs of Orange. The elector of Saxony fent him alfo to
the diet of Spires; and, in 1570, to Stetin, in quality of
plenipotentiary, for mediating a peace between the Swedes and
the Mufcovites, who had cbo'en this elector for their mediator.
This prince the fame year lent Languet a iecond time into
France, to Charles IX. and the queen-mother Catharine of
Medic ; s, in the execution of wi:ich employ he made a remarlo
bly bold fpeech to the French monarch, in the name o" the
proteilant princes in Germany. He was at Paris upon the
memorable bloody feafl of St. Bartholomew, in 1572, when
he faved the life of Andrew Wechelius, the famous printer, in
whofe houie he lodged : and he was a!fo very instrumental in
procuring the efcape of Philip de Mournay, count de Pleffis ;
but, trufting too much to the refpect due to his character of
envoy, was obliged for his own fafetv to the good offices of
John de Morvillier, who had been keeper of the ieals. Upon
his recai from Paris, he received orders to go to Vienna, where
he was in 1574; and, in 1575, he was appointed one of the
'principal arbitrators for determining of the difputes, which
had latted for thirty years, between the houfcs of Longue-
ville and Baden, about the fucceffion of Rothehn.

Atleneth, in thecontrQverfy which arcfein Saxony between

t_j , ^

the Lutherans and Zuingiians, about the eucharift, -iguet
\vas (ufpecled to favour the latter ; fo that he was obliged to
beg leave of the elector, being then one oi h.s chief minifters,
to retire; which favour \v?.s granted, with a liberty to go
where hepleafed. He chole Prague for the place of the reti-
dence, where he was in 1577 ; and in this iituation applied
bimielf to John Caiimir, count Palatine, and attended him to
Ghent, in Flanders, the inhabitants of which city had chofen
him for their governor. This count quitting the government,
our minLiler accepted an invitation made to him by William


L A N G U E T. 217

prince of Orange, whofe fervice he entered into at Antwerp;
but had not been there long, when the ill-ftate of his health
obliged him to feek fume relief. With this view he went, in
1579, to tne wc ^ s f Baden; and, while there, fell into
the acquaintance of Thuanus. That celehrated hiftorian
came thither from Stralburg ; and, meeting with Languet,
who was difengaged from all bufmefs, was infinitely plcafed
\vith his converfation, and {luck lo cloiely to him for three
days, that it was thought he mould never he able to part from
him. He tells us himfelf, that he was particularly {truck with
Languet' s eminent probity, and with his great judgement,
not only in the fciences, hut alfo in public affairs, wherein
he had been engaged all his life-time, having ferved feveral
princes verv faithfully. He was, efpecially, fo well acquainted
\v it'll the affairs of Germany, that he could inftruct the Ger-
mans themfelves in the affairs of their own country. After
1 huanus had left that place, he received from him fome
memoirs, written in his own hand ; containing an account of
the prefent flate of Germany, of the right of the diets, of the
number of the circles, and of the order or rank of the dif-
ferent councils of that country ; which memoirs he flill
kept by him.

Languet returned to Antwerp in 1580; and, in 1581, the
prince ot Orange fent him to France, to negociate a recon-
ciliation between Charlotte of Bourbon, his confort, and her
brother Louis, duke of Montpenfier ; which he effected.
He died at Antwerp, Sept. 20, 1581, and was interred with
great funeral folemnity, the prince of Orange going at the
head of the train. During his illnefs he was vifited by
Madam Du PlefTis, who, though fick herfelf, attended him
to his laft moment. His dying words were, that " the only
thing which grieved him was, that he had not been able to
fee Monf. Du Pleffis again before he died, to whom he would
have left his ver\ heart, had it been in his power : that he had
wifhed to live to fee the world reformed ; but, fmce it be-
came daily worfe, he had no longer any bulinefs in it : that
the princes of thefe times were irrange men : that virtue had
much to fuffer, and little to get : that he pitied Monf. Du
Vleffis very much, to whofe fhare a great part of the misfor-
tunes of the time would fall, and who would fee many un-
liappy days ; but, that he muft rake courage, for God would
affitl him. For the reft, he begged one thing of him in his
lait farewel, namely, that he would mention fomething of
their friendfhip in the firft book he fhould publifh." This
requeft was performed by Du PJeflis, loon after, in a fhort
preface to his treatife " Of the Truth of the Chriitian reli-
gion ;" wiiere he makes the following eloge of this friend in a




few comprehenfive words : * { Is fuit qualis multi videii volant :
is vixit qualiter optimi mori cupiunt."

Sorbonne, the celebrated vicar of St. Sulpice, at Paris, and
one of thofe extraordinary men whom Providence raifes up for
the relief of the indigent and wretched, for the good of focietv,
and the glory of nations, was born at Dijon, June 6, 1675.
His father was Denis Languet, procurator general of that
city. After having made feme progrcfs in his ftudies at
Dijon, he continued them at Paris. anJ refided in thefeminary
of St. Suipice. He was received in tiie Sorbonne, Dec. 31,
1698, and took his degree with -applaufe. He was ordained
pri;il at Vienna in Dauphiny ; after which he returned to Paris,
and took the degree of doctor Jan. 15, 1/03. He attached
himfelf from that time to the community of St. Suipice ; and
M. de la Chetaidie, who was vicar there, chofe him for his
curate. Languet continued in that office near ten years, and
fold his patrimony to relieve the poor. During this period,
M. de Ja St. Valier, bifhop of Quebec, being prifomer in
England, requeited of the king, that Languet might be his
amftant in North America. Languet was about to accept of
the place, prompted to it by his zeal for the cQiiverfion of in-
fidels ; but his patrons and friends advifed him to cicdine the
voyage, as his conflitution was by no means ftrorr.;. He fuc-
ceeded Monf. de Chetardie, vicar of St. oulpicc, in June,


His parifn-church being out of repair, and, like that cf a

poor village, icarce fit to hold 1200 or 1500 perfons, whereas
the pariih contained 125,000 inhabitants, he conceived a do -
fign to build a church proportionable to them ; and fome
days after undertook this great work, rnving no greater fund to
begin with than the furn of one hundred crowns, which had
been left him, for this defign, by a pious and benevolent lady.
He laid out this money in itones, which he caulcd to be car-
ried through all the ftreets, to (hew his deiie,n to the public.
He foon obtained conliderable donations from all parts; and
the duke of Oilcans, regent of the kingdom, granted him a
lottery. That prince likewife laid the iiril licne of the porch
1718 ; and Languet fpared neither labour nor expence, during
his life, to make the church one of the rir.eil m the world,
both for architecture and ornaments. It was conl'ecrated in
1745, with ib much fplendor, that Frederic 11. of Puiiiia,
wrote the vicar a letter, which we here transcribe :.

4C SIR, Potidam, Och 4, 1748.

*' I have received with pleafure the account of the confecra-
tJon of your church. The order and magnificenee of the
ceicmonies cannot fail to give one a gicat idea of tiie beauty



df the building which has been the object of them, and are
fufficicnt to c- -erifc yovir good tafie ; but- that which L am
peffuadedd ' yon much .nore is the piety, beneficence,

and zeal, which you have dii tout the whole un-

dertakir : ; ualities, whLh ho\\e\c" noeiiurv in a man of
your function, .! rot, on that a < unt, the Icfs merit the
efteem ai:d ntteiiiiMi < f all mankind : it is to thc-fc, Sir, that
you owe the teftimony w v :Hi I am deli r on-; to give you of my
regard. I pray God 10 have you in his holy piotectinn.


Another work, which does no left honour to Languor, i*
nc houle dc Fenfans Jtf - . The ell biiihment of this bouie, fo
advantageous to the community, will be 1 - evince the pietv and
the tnlencs of our divine. It confifts of two parts: the firft is
compofed ot 35 poor ladies, defcended from families illuftri-
ous irom the vear 15^5 to the prefent lime ; the fecond, of more
than four hundred poor women and cbl'dren of town and
countrv. Thofe youner ladies whofe anceftors have been in


the king's fervice are preferred to all others. An education is
given rhem fuited to the dignity of their birth. They are em-
ployed, by turns, in mfpe^iing the bakehoufe, the poultry-
yard, the dairies, the laundries, the gardens, the laboratory,
the linen-warehoufes, the Ipinning- rooms, and other places
belonging to the houfe. By tbeie means they become good
houfewives, and able to relieve their poor relations in the
country. Services thefe, far more important than if they
pa{Ted their time in linking and embrodery. Bendes, the
necefnty they are under to fuccour, by a thoufand little kind
offices, the poor women and girls who work there, renders
them more condefcending, kind, and humble, more fervice-
able to fociety, than if they had only converted with perfons
of rank and diftin&ion.

Languet uled be.fidcs to grant great fums of money to fuch
ladies as were examples of ceconomy, virtue, and piety, in
thofe religious houfes which he had the goodnefs to i'upcrintend.
The poor women and children, who form the fecond part, are
provided with food every day, and work at the fpinning-whcel.
They make a great quantity of linen and cotton. Different
rooms are alii ^ned to them. They are under different claries.

o .,

In each room are two ladies of the fociety of St. Thomas, of
Ville Neuve, of which Languet was inperior general. Thefe
ladies are placed there to overfee the work, and. to give fuch
in/r_ruc?tions as they think proper. They never leave the room
till others come in their places. The women and the girls
who find employment in this houfe have, in a former period
of their lives, been licentious and diiiblute, and are generally
reformed, by the example of virtue before their eyes, and by


220 L A N G U E T.

the falutary advice given to them. They have the amount of
their work paid them in money when they leave the houfe,.
They become induflrious and exemplary, and, by this
eftablilhment, are reflored to the community, and to religion.
There were in the houfe de Venfam f fefu* 9 in 1741, mor than
1400 women and girls of this foit; and the vicar of St.
Sulpice employed all the means in his power to make their
fituation agreeable. Although the land to the houfe meafured

o o

only 17 arpens [A], it has a large dairv, which has given
milk to 2OCO children belonging to the parifh, a menagery,
poultry of all forts, a bakehoufe, fpuming- rooms, a very
neat and well-cultivated garden, and a magnificent laboratory,
where all forts of medicines are made. 1 he order and ceco-
nomy obferved in this houfe, in the education, inilrudlion,
and employment of fo many people, were fo admirable, and
gave fo great an idea of the vicar of St. Sulpice, that cardinal
Fleury propofcd to make him fuperirttendant general of all the
hofpitals in the kingdom : but Languet ui'ed to anfwer him,
with a fmile, " 1 have always faid, my Lord, that it was the
bounty of your highnefs led me to the hofpital ' The ex-
pence of this eftabjifhment was immenfe. He fpent his
revenue on it; an inheritance which came to him by the
death of the baron of Montigni his brother, and the eftate of
the abbe de Barnay, granted him by the king.

Languet was not leis to be efteemed for his beneficence and
his zeal in aiding the poor of every fort. Never man took
more pains than he did in procuring donations and legacies,
which he diitributed with admirable prudence and difcretion.
He enquired with care, if the legacies which were left him
were to the difadvantage of the poor relations of the tefhtor ;
if he found that to be cafe, he relrorul to them not only the
legacy, but gave them, when wanting, a large fum of his
own. Madame de Camois, as illuftrious for the benevolence
of her difpofition as for her rank in life, having left him, by
her 1 aft will, a legacy of more than 6oc,ooo hvres, he only
took 30,000 livres for trie poor, and returned the remaining
fum to her relations. It is faid, from good authority, that he
difburfed near a rr.illion ot livres in charities every year. He

* J

always chofe noble families reduced to poverty, before all
others : and we have heard from perfons who knew him
well, that there were fome fa: - :i!'.L\s cf d'ftin&ion in his
paiifh, to each of whom he has distributed 30,000 livres per
annum. Always willing to ferve mankind, he gave liberally, and
often before anv application, was made to him. When there was
a general t 1 earth in 1725, he fold, in order to relieve the poor,

[A] / n arpen u a Fren. h n e^fure of ico perches fouare, every perch 18 feet.


L A N N O Y. 22I

his hcrufeold floods, his pi&ures, and fome fcarce and curious
pieces of furniture, which he had procured with difficulty.
From that time he had only three pieces of plate, no tapeMry,
and but a mean ferge bed, which madame de Camois had
lent him, having before fold, all the prefents me had made
him at different periods. His charity was not confined to his
own pariih. At the time that the plague raged at Marfeilles,
he fen t large f urns into Provence to a Hi ft the diftreflcd. He
interefted himfeU with great zeal in the promotion of arts and
commerce, and in whatever concerned the glory of the na-
tion. In times of public calamity, as conflagrations, &c. his
prudence and amduity have been much admired. He under-
Itood well the different difpofitions of men. He knew how to
employ every one according to his talent or capacity. In the
moft intricate and perplexed affairs he decided with a fagacity
and judgement that iurpr;zed every one. Languet refuted the
bilhopric of Couferans and that of Poiftiers, and fever nl others
which were offered him by Louis XIV. and Louis XV. under
the miniilry of the duke ot Orleans and cardinal Fleury. He
refigntd his vicarage to Monf. I' Abbe du Lau, in 1748, but
continued to preach every Sunday, according to his cuftom,
in his own parilh-church ; and continued alfo to fupport the
houfe ck F enfam "/ efus till his death, which happened 0(51. 11,
1750, in his 75th year, at the abbey de Bernay, to whicli
place he went to make fome charitable eftabiiihments. His
piety and continued application to works of beneficence did
not hinder him from being lively and chearful. He had a
fine genius, which ihewed itfelf by the agreeable repartees and
ieniible remarks he made in converfation.

LANGUEF (.JOHN JOSEPH), brother of the preceding,
was biihop of Soifms, in 1715 His polemical writings are
very numerous \ and his flyle is perlpicuous as well as elevated.
He aifo tranflated the Pfalms. In 1731, he was made arch-
biHiop of Sens, where he died in 1753, with a great character
for piety and benevolence.

LAN 1ER, a painter, was employed by Charles I. in foreign
countries, to purchafe the collection made by him. He gave a
particular mark, by which we diftinguilh all the things ot this
kind which he t rought over. By reafon of the troubles that
cnlue-.l we can give no account of his death ; but that, before
he died, he had the mortification to fee the royal collection

L ANNOY (CHARLES DE), commander in chief of the
armies of Charles V, governor of Tournay, and viceroy of
Naples, was pofTeiTed of extraordinary talents, both in the
field and cabinet. He particularly diftinguilhed himfelf at the
battle of" Pavia, where he took Francis 1. of France prifoner.


222 L A R D N E R.

Lannoy's treatment of the French monarch after his victory
is among the ci re urn fiances which reflect the higheft honour
on his memory. After the treaty between Charles and Francis,
Lannoy was appointed by his maiter to conduct the French
king to his dominions. He died atGazefe in 1527.

LANSBERGHE (PHILIP), a mathematician, born at
Gand in 156 1; he left a. Sacred Chronology, and various
works on aftroncmy and the mathematics. He died at Mid-
dlebure; in 1632.

LAPiDE (CoRM-Lius A), a very learned French Jefuit,
a considerable philc-ioger, divine, and iinguifl, applied him-
felf chiefly to the ftudy of the icriptures, upon which he has
written ten volumes,- foHp. Died 1637, aged 71.

LARDNER (NATHANIEL), was born at Hawkhurft, in
Kent, in 1684, He was educated for fome time at a dif-
fenter's academy, in London, by the Rev Dr. Oldrield, whence
he went to Utrecht, and ftudied under Gr^vius and Burman,
and made all the improvement which might be expected under
fuch matters. From Utrecht Mr. Lardner went to Leyden,
whence, after a ihort flay, he came to England, and employed
himfelf in diligent preparation for the facred proieffion. He
did not however preach his firft fennon till he was twenty-five
years of age. In 1713? he was invited to reiide in the houie
of lady Treby, widow of the lord chief jufUce of common
pleas, as domeflic chaplain to the lady, and tutor to her
youngeft ion. He accompanied his pupil to France, the
Netherlands, and United Provinces, and continued in the
family till the death of lady Treby. It reflects no honour
upon t.he diiTenters that fuch a man ihouki be fo long
neglected ; but, in 1723, he was engaged, with other mi-
ll iflers, to carry on a courfe of lectures at the Old Bailey. At
this time alfo, he was member of a literary fociety which met
at Chew's coffee- h on fe, in Bow-lane, at which two queftions
were always propoied for debate, and each member, in his
turn, produced an cffky on lome learned or entertaining

Mr, Lardner alfo belonged to another learned fociety,
which confiiled entirely ofdiffenting miriifters. The gentle-
men belonging to this had defigned a " Concordance to the
Bible," but this was never fully executed, and one impediment
arofe from the more important work, in which Lardner now
engaged, namely, the " Proof of the Credibility of the
Gofpel-hiftory." In 1727, he published his two nrft volumes,
and it is unneceflary to fay how well they were received by the
learned world, without any diitiodtion cf feet or parly.
Kotwithflanding, however, his great merit, Mr. Lardner was
years of aee before he obtained a iettlemeiit amons: the

i rr


L A R D N E R. 223

diffenters ; but, in 1729, lie was invited by the congregation
of Crutchcd-iViers to be ainftant to their miiiifter. At this
period, the enthufiafrn of Mr. Wooliron introduced an,
important controveiiy. In various abfurd publications he
treated the miracles of our Saviour with extreme licentioufnefs.
Thefe Mr. Larciner confuted with the happieft fuccefs, in a
work which he, at this time, publilhed, and which v. as
intituled, " A Vindication of three of our Saviour's Miracles.'*
About the fame time alfo, he found leifure to write other
occational pieces, the principal of which was his " Letter on
the Legos." fn 1733, appeared the firft volume of the
fecond part of the 4< Credibility' of the G of pel -hiftory," v.-hich,
beiides bein univerfallv well received at home, was fo much

approved abroad; that it was translated by two learned fo-
reigners; i . Cornelius Wefterb.ien into Low Dutch, and
by Mr. f. Chriftopher Wolff into Latin. The fecond volume
of the fecond part of this work appeared in 1735 ; and the
farther Mr. Lardner proceeded in his deiign, the more he
advanced in eileem and reputation among learned men of all
denominations, in 17.57, he publilhed his " Counfels of
Prudence" for the ufe of young people, on account of which
he received a complimentary letter from Dr. Seeker, bifho-p of
Oxford. The third and rouith volumes of the fecond part of
the ** Credibility/' no lefs curious than the preceding, were
publilhed in the years .1738 and 1740. The fifth volume in
1743. To be circumftantial in the account of all the writings
which this eminent man produced would greatly exceed die-
limits which our plan prefcribes. it becomes us, however, in
juftice, to fay, that ail are moie or lefs of diflinguifhed uferul-
nefs and merit. We may in particular recommend to all
young divines the." Supplement to the Credibility," which has
a place in the collection of treatifes publilhed by Dr. Watfon,
biihop of Llandaif. Notwithstanding Dr. Lardner's life and
pen were fo lon and fo ufefully devoted to the public, he never
received any adequate recomp?nce. The college of Aberdeen
conferred on him the degree of doctor oi divinity, and the
diploma had the unanimous fignature of the profeiTors. But
his falarv as a preacher was in considerable, and his works
often pubiili'ed to his lofs initead of gain. In the fummer of
1768, he was fcized with n decline, which carried him off
in a few w-eiis at Hawkhurft, the place of his nativity, and
where he had a 11 . tal eilate. His literary character is
before the public, iir.d needs no comment, and he was no
lets remarkable for his love of truth, his candour, and mo-
deration, his benevolence, and piety. The whole of his works
were publilhed by Dr. Kippis, in eleven large octavo volumes.
Theriril iix compiiie the " Credibility of the Gofpel-hiftory,*


224 L A R R O G b

the fcventh, eighth, and ninth, the " Jewifh and Heathen Tefti-
monies," the tenth his " Sermons, andthelafthis " Tracts.

LARGILLIERE (NicoLAS de), an eminent French
painter, was born at Paris in 1656, and intended at firft for
commerce; but his father, having taken him on a trading
voyage to England, found his genius folely bent upon paint-
ing, and placed him under Francis Gobeau, a painter of fome
note. He fpent fix years in ciofe application to his objecl,
and then went to London. Here he gained the friendfhip and
countenance of Sir Peter Lely, who exprefled much efteem
for his works; and he at laft was fo far honoured as to be
made known to king Charles II, for whom he painted feveral
pictures. At his return to Paris, Vander Mulen and Le Brun,
having feen fome of bis performances, encouraged him to
continue in his own country: they procured him friends bv
their recommendation, fo that his reputation was generally
fpread through Paris; and Lewis XIV. fat to him for his
portrait, as did fames II. and his queen. He was accounted
to have had a good genius, to compofe well, to be correct in
his defign, and to diftribute his draperies judicioufly: his
principal excellence, however, confided in his colouring, and
particularly in portraits, of which the heads and hands were
remarkably well executed, with a light and fpirited pencil.
His tint of colour was clear and frefh ; and, by his manner of
laying on his colours, without breaking or torturing them,

Online LibraryWilliam TookeA new and general biographical dictionary; containing an historical and critical account of the lives and writings of the most eminent persons in every nation; particularly the British and Irish; from the earliest accounts of time to the present period .. (Volume 9) → online text (page 25 of 48)