Mercier, Bartholomew

, a learned bibliographer and miscellaneous writer, familiarly known in France by the title of the abbe de St. Leger, was born at Lyons, April 1, 1734. He entered when young, into the congregation of St. Genevieve, of which he became librarian, at the time that the learned Pingre, his predecessor in that office, went to observe the transit of Venus. In 1764, when Louis XV. visited this library, he was so much pleased with Mercier’s intelligent manner of displaying its treasures, that he appointed him abbe of St. Leger at | Soisson, a preferment which then happened to be vacant Mercier often travelled to Holland and the Netherlands to visit the libraries and learned men of those countries, and was industriously following his various ‘literary pursuits, when the revolution interrupted his tranquillity, and reduced him to a state of indigence. This he could have borne; but the many miseries he witnessed around him, and particularly the sight of his friend the abbe Poyer dragged to the scaffold, proved too much for his constitution. He continued to linger on, however, until May 13, 1799, when death relieved him. He was a man of great learning and research, as his works evidently shew, and in his private character, social, communicative, and amiable. His works are, 1. “Lettre sur la Bibliographic de Debure,1763, 8vo. 2. “Lettre a M. Capperonier,” on the same subject, which was followed by a third, printed in the “Journal de Trevoux.” 3. “Lettre sur le veritable auteur du Testament Politique du cardinal de Richelieu/* Paris, 1765, 8vo. 4.” Supplement a l‘Histoire de l’imprimerie de Prosper Marchand,“1765, 4to, reprinted with additions, &c. 1771. 5.” Lettre sur la Pucelle D’Orleans,“1775. 6.” Dissertation sur Pauteur du livre de PImitation de Jesus-Christ.“7.” Notice du livre rare, intitule* Pedis Admirandte, par J. d’Artis.“8.” Notice de la Platopodologie d’Antoine Fiance, medecin de Besangon,“a curious satire by Fiance. 9.” Lettre a un ami, sur la suppression de la Charge de Bibliothecaire du roi en France,“(Paris), 1737, 8vo. 10.” Notice sur les tornbeaux des dues de Bourgogne.“11. ‘” Lettres sur differentes editions rares du 15 siecle,“Paris, 1785, 8vo, particularly valuable for Italian books. 12.” Observations surPEssai d’un projet de Catalogue de Bibliotheque.“13.” Description* d’une giraffe vue a Fano.“14.” Notice raisonnée des ouvrages de Gaspard Schott, Jesuite,“1785, 8vo. 15.” Bibliotheque de Romans traduits du Grec.“1796, 12 vols. 12mo. 16.” Lettre sur le projet de decret concernant les religieux, proposee a PAssemblee Nationale par M. Treilhard,“1789, 8vo. 17.” Lettre sur un nouveau Dictionnaire Historique portatif en 4 vols. 8vo.“This, wbich appeared in the *’ Journal de Trevoux,” contains a sharp critique upon the first volumes of Cbaudon’s Dictionary. Mercier bestowed great pains in correcting and improving his copy of this work, which fell in the hands of thcs editors of the last edition of the Diet. Hist. Mercier | was frequently employed in the public libraries; and those of Soubise and La Valliere owe much of their treasures to his discoveries of curious books. He was also a frequent writer in the Journal de Trevoux, the Journal des S9avans, the Magazin Encyclopedique, and the Annee Litteraire. He left some curious manuscripts, and manuscript notes and illustrations of many of his books. 1