Barral, Abbe Peter

, born at Grenoble, and died at Paris, July 21, 1772, came early in life to that metropolis, where he took up the employment of a schoolmaster. He wrote, in conjunction with fathers Gaubile and Varra, a “Dictionnaire historique, litteraire, et critique, des homines celebres,1758, 6 vols. 8vo, in which he is said to have betrayed too much of the spirit of party. A French wit called it the Martyrdogy of Jansenism, compiled by a Convulsionnaire. Notwithstanding this, his dictionary has some merit, as in the articles of poets, orators, and literary men, he writes with spirit, and generally gives his judgment with taste. There is likewise by him, 1. An abstract of the letters of madame de Sevigne in 12mo, under the title of “Sevigniana.” 2. An abridgment, much esteemed, of the “Dictionnaire des Antiquities Romaiues,” by Pitiscus, in 2 vols. 8vo. 3. “Dictionnaire hist, geographique et moral de la Bible,1758, 2 vols. 8vo. 4. “Maximes sur le devoir des Hois, et le bon usage de leur authorité,Paris, 1754, and reprinted twice. under different titles and 5. “Memoires historiques et litteraires de Pabbe Gouget,” with a correct list of his works. The abbé Barral was a man of erudition, of a lively conversation, and the style of his writings is vigorous and manly, though sometimes negligent and incorrect. 3