Baillet, Adrian

Baillet, Adrian a Romanist writer of repute, was born at Neuville, near Beauvais, June 13th, 1649, and was educated at a Franciscan convent. He afterward studied at Beauvais, and in 1676 was admitted to holy orders. For a time he served a cure; but, feeling himself to be unsuited for this kind of life, he left it, and took the charge of the library of M. de Lamoignon, the advocate general, with whom he passed the remainder of his days, and died January 21st, 1706. His works are: Jugement des Savans (4 vols.). The work was to have consisted of seven parts; the first is a kind of preface to the other, and gives general rules for forming a sound judgment of a work; the other six parts were to have contained his own opinions and the judgments of others concerning works of every kind; but he only finished a small part of his design. This work was reprinted, revised, at Paris (7 vols. 4to, 1722); and Amsterdam (1725, 17 vols. 12mo): — Life of Descartes (1692): — Treatise on Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary (1693). This work was condemned at Rome in 1695, and denounced to the Sorbonne as soon as it appeared as derogating from the worship due to the Virgin: — Les Vies des Saints, his most celebrated work, printed in 1701, in 3 vols. fol. and in 12 vols. 8vo; and reprinted in 1704 and 1708 with the addition of the Histoire des Fetes Mobiles and Les Vies des Saints de l'Ancien Testament, in 4 vols. fol. and 17 vols. 8vo. These last editions are the most highly esteemed. Baillet also published several less important works, and left thirty-five folio volumes in MS., containing the catalogue of the library of Lamoignon. During the twenty-six years that he was librarian to that gentleman, he only went out once a week; all the rest of his time he spent in reading or conversing with the savans. He slept only five hours, and most frequently in his clothes. — Biog. Univ. 3, 226; Landon, Eccles. Dict. s.v.

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