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Francis Hotoman, Taken out of Monsieur Bayle's Hist. Diet. and other Authors.

TRANCIS HOTOMAN ( one of the

H most learned Lawyers of that Age) was - Born at Paris the 22d of August 1524.

His Family was an Ancient and Noble one, Originally of Breslaw, the Capital of Silesia. Lambert Hotoman, his Grandfather, bore Arnis in the Service of Lewis the IIth of France, and married a rich Heiress at Paris, by whom he had 18 Children: the Eldest of which (Fohn Hotoman) had so plentiful an Estate, that he laid dowri the Ransom-Money for King Francis the First, taken at the Battle of Pavia : Summo galliæ bono; summa cum fuâ laude, says Neveletusz


* Maistre Peter Hotoman his 18th Child, and * Master of des Eaux the Waters and Forests of France (afterwards a

TS. Counsellor in the Parliament of Paris) was Fa

ther to Francis, the Author of this Book. He sent his Son' at 15 years of Age to Orleans to study the Common Law, which he did with so great Applause, that at three years end he merited the Degree of Doctor. His Father designing to surrender to him his Place of Counsellor, the Parliament sent for him home: but the young Gentleman was soon, tired with the Chicane of

the Bar, and plung'd himself deep in the Stu+ Les belles dies of + Humanity and the Roman Laws; for Lettres. which he had a wonderful Inclination. He .

hapned to be a frequent Spectator of the Protestants Sufferings, who, about that time, had their Tongues cut out, were otherwise tormented, and burnt for their Religion. This made him curious to dive into those Opinions, which inspired so much Constancy, Resignation and Contempt of Death; which brought him by degrees to a liking of them, so that he turn’d Protestant. And this put him in disgrace with his Father, who thereupon disinherited him ; which forced him at last to quit France, and to retire to Lausanne in Swifserland by Calvin's and Beza's advice ; where his great Merit and Piety promoted him to the Humanity-Professor's Chair, which he accepted of for a Livelihood, having no Sublistance from his Father. There he married a young French Lady, who had fled her Country upon the Score of Religion: He afterwards remov'd to Strasburg, where he also had a Professor's Chair. The Fame of his great Worth was so blown about, that he was invited by all the great Princes to their several Countries, particularly by


the Landgrave of Hesse, the Duke of Prussia, and the King of Navarre; and he actually went to this last about the beginning of the Troubles. Twice he was sent as Ambassador from the Princes of the Blood of France, and the QueenMother, to demand Assistance of the Emperor Ferdinand; The Speech that he made at the Diet of Francfort is still extant: Afterwards he returned to Strasburg ; but Jean de Monluc, the Bishop of Valence, over-persuaded him to accept of the Professorship of Civil Law at Valence : of which he acquitted himself so well, that he very much heighten'd the Reputation of that University. Here he received two Invitations from Margaret Duchess of Berry, and Sister to Henry the Second of France, and accepted a Professor's Chair at Bourges; but continued in it no longer than five months, by reason of the intervening Troubles. Afterwards he returned to it, and was there at the time of the great Parisian Massacre, having much-a-do to escape with his Life; but having once got out of France ( with a firm Resolution never to return thither again ) he took Sanctuary in the House of Calvin at Geneva, and publish'd Books against the Persecution, so full of Spirit and good Reasoning, that the Heads of the Contrary Party made him great Offers in case he wou'd forbear Writing against them ; but he refused them all, and said, The Truth shou'd never be betray'd or forsaken by him. Nevclet195 fays, " That his Reply to those that wou'd have “ tempted him, was this : Nunquam sibi propug

natam causam quæ iniqua effet : Nunquam que jure ex legibus niteretur defertam præmiorum (pe 'vel metu periculi. - He afterwards went to Bafil in Swiserland, and from thence (being

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Boh Knowh all the Ele, one of the

driven away by the Plague) to Mountbeliard, where he buried his Wife. He returned then to Bafil ( after having refused a Professor's Chair at Leyden) and there he died of a Dropsy in the 65th Year of his Age, the 12th of February 1590.

He writ a great many learned Books, which were all of them in great Esteem; and among them an excellent Book de Confolatione. His Francogallia was his own Favourite; tho'blamed by several others, who were of the contrary Opinion : Yet even these who wrote against him do unanimously agree, that he had a World of Learning, and a profound Erudition. He had a thorough Knowledge of the Civil Law, which he managed with all the Eloquence imaginable, and was, without dispute, one of the ableft Civilians that Frarice had ever produced : This is Thuanus and Barthius's Teslimony of him. Mr. Bayle indeed passes his Censure of this Work in the Text of his Dictionary, in these Words : “ Sa Francogallia dont il faisoit grand etat est celuy de tous ses ecrits que l'on aprouve le moins : - and in his Commentary adds, C'est un Ouvrage recommendable du costè de l'Erudition; mais tres indigne d'un jurisconsulte Francois, si l'on en croit mesme plusieurs Protestants. I wou'd not do any Injury to so great a Man as Monsieur Bayle; but every one that is acquainted with his Character, knows that he is more a Friend to Tyranny and Tyrants, than seems to be consistent with fo free a Spirit. He has been extremely ill used, which sowres him to such a degree, that it even perverts his Judgment in fome measure; and he seems resolved to be against Monsieur Jurieu , and that Party, in every thing, right or wrong. Whoever reads his Works, may trace throughout all parts of


them this Disposition of Mind, and see what sticks moft at his Heart. So that he not only loses no Occasion, but often forces one where it seems improper and unseasonable, to vent his Resentments upon his Enemies; who surely did themselves a great deal more wrong in making him so, than they did him. Tis too true, that they did all they cou'd to starve him ; and this great Man was forced to Write in haite for Bread; which has been the Cause that some of his Works are shorter than he design'd them; and consequently, that the World is deprived of so much Benefit as otherwise it might have reap'd from his prodigious Learning, and Force of Judgment. One may fee by the first Volume of his Dictionary, which goes through but two Letters of the Alphabet, that he forecasted to make that Work three times as large as it is, cou'd he have waited for the Printer's Money so long as was requisite to the finishing it according to his first Design. Thus much I thought fit to say, in order to abate the Edge of what he seems to speak hardly of the Francogallia ; tho' in several other places he makes my Author amends : And one may without scruple believe him, when he commends a Man, whose Opinion he condemns. For this is the Character he gives of this Work : “C'est « au fond un bel Ouvrage, bien ecrit, du bien rempli «. d'erudition: Et d'autant plus incommode au partie contraire que l' Auteur se contente de citer des faits. Can any thing in the World be a greater Commendation of a Work of this nature, than to say it contains only pure Matter of Fact? Now if this be so, Monsieur Bayle wou'd do well to tell us what he means by those Words, Tres in.digne d'un jurisconsulte Francois. Whether a French

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