Naude, Gabriel

Naude, Gabriel a French bibliographer, noted for his defence of Kempis as the author of De Imitatione Christi, was born at Paris in 1600. He displayed at an early age a great aptitude for philological and critical studies. He studied medicine at Paris, but took his doctor's degree in that science at Padua. On his return to Paris in 1628 he published his work, Apologie pour les grandes Personnages faussement accuses de l agie (1629). In 1631 he accompanied the papal nuncio, cardinal De' Bagni, on his return to Rome, and he was appointed his librarian. While he was at Rome the controversy concerning the authorship of the book De Imitatione Christi began. SEE KEMPIS, THOMAS A. The Benedictines claimed the authorship for one of their order, John Gersen, abbot of Vercelli; while the regular canons of St. Genevieve claimed it for Thomas a Kempis. Naude, being in Italy, was requested to examine several manuscripts of the work in question. His report was unfavorable to the claims of the Benedictines, who were much incensed against him, and accused him of bad faith. The affair then came before the courts in the shape of a charge of defamation; the suit lasted for years, and was at last compromised. In 1640 cardinal De' Bagni died, and Naudd, after remaining some time with cardinal Barberini, the nephew of the reigning pope, Urban VIII, was recalled to Paris in 1642, and appointed librarian to cardinal Mazarin. In this capacity he travelled through several parts of Europe to collect books and manuscripts to enrich his patron's library, which was afterwards sold according to a sentence of the Parliament of Paris, during the civil war of the Fronde, to the great sorrow of Naude, who attempted to prevent what he considered an act of barbarism (comp. his Avis a Nosseigneurs du Parlement sur la Vente de la Bibliotheque du Cardinal Mazarin, 1652). On receiving an invitation from queen Christina of Sweden to be her librarian, Naude went to Stockholm in 1652, where he was very well received. The climate of Sweden not agreeing with his health, he set out to return to Paris, but on his way home died suddenly in 1653. Naude was a decided opponent of the Huguenots, aud urged severe measures for their extinction. He claimed that France suffered by permitting Protestantism to spread in its borders. Protestant writers are wont to claim, and that of course justly, that the stagnation of trade in France was consequent upon the removal of the Huguenots; but Naude claims that "had all the heretics in France been cut off, the country would afterwards had enjoyed perfect tranquillity." Yet to his credit it must be said that, however self-opinionated and paradoxical, Naude was a man of irreproachable character, and a truly learned man. Many are the eulogies and epitaphs which have been written in his honor. See Jacob, Gabrielis Naudcei Tumulus (1659); Sainte-Beuve, Portraits litteraires (1855).

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