Amelotte, Denis

, a celebrated French writer, was born at Saintonge in 1606. He maintained a close correspondence with the Fathers of the Oratory, a congregation of priests founded by Philip of Neri. He wrote the “Life of Charles de Gondren,” second superior of this congregation, and published it at Paris in 1643. In this piece he | introduced a passage respecting the famous abbé de St. Cyran, which greatly displeased the gentlemen of Port Royal; who, out of revenge, published a pamphlet against him, entitled “Idee generate de l’esprit et du livre de pere Arnelot,” and he was so much provoked by this satire, that he did all in his power to injure them. They had finished a translation of the New Testament, known by the name of the Mons New Testament, and were desirous to have it published, for which purpose they endeavoured to procure an approbation from the doctors of the Sorbonne, and a privilege from the king. They had some friends m the Sorbonne, but at the same time very powerful enemies, and as to the privilege, it was impossible to prevail with, the chancellor Seguier to grant them one, as he hated them; so that father Amelotte, whose advice the chancellor generally followed in matters of religion, easily thwarted all their measures, not only out of zeal for what he thought the true doctrine, or out of aversion to the Port Royalists, but also from a view to his own interest; for he was about to publish a translation of his own of the New Testament, which, accordingly, with annotations, in four volumes 8vo, was printed in the years 1666, 1667, and 1668, but, according to F. Simon, it contains some very gross blunders. It was dedicated to M. de Perefixe, archbishop of Paris, whom he addresses in these words: “You will be confirmed in that zeal which obliged you to take up the holy arms to defend the true grace of God, and the decrees of the holy see, against the new heresy: you will daily strengthen yourself against these blind rebels, whose fury, impostures, and calumnies, add new splendour to your glory, which they endeavour to blemish. They place you in the same rank with the Athanasiuses and Hilaries, when they abuse you in the same manner as the Arians did those great and holy bishops.” In this translation he endeavoured to find expressions more proper and elegant than those of the former versions for which reason he committed his work into Mr. Conrart’s hands, to polish and correct whatever he should judge inelegant or improper. Amelotte wrote also an “Abridgment of Divinity,” a “Catechism for the Jubilee,” and a kind of “Christian Manual for every day, (Journee Chretienne.)” Though he had always been a very zealous Anti-Port-Royalist, yet he was but poorly rewarded for all his labour and trouble, since towards the end of his life he sued for a very small | bishopric, that of Sarlat, and met with a refusal, though he had all the qualities requisite to a bishop. He could not forbear complaining of this usage to his friends; telling them that those, whom he had often served effectually, had been very cold to him on this occasion. He entered into the congregation of the Oratory in 1650, and continued amongst them till his death, which happened at Paris, Oct. 7, 1673. His dedication to M. Perefixe was suppressed after his death and the death of Perefixe, and one of a different cast substituted by M. de Harlay, in the edition of 1688, 2 vols. 4to, and the work has been often reprinted with and without notes. The chief objection made to him, on the score of veracity, is that he boasted of having consulted all the manuscripts of Europe, which he afterwards confessed he had not seen; but it is answered, that although he had not seen these manuscripts, he took great pains in procuring transcripts of their various readings. 1


Gen. Dict. —Moreri. Biog. Universelle. Ls Long Bibl. Sacr.