Baudelot, Charles Cæsar

de Dairval, an eminent French antiquary, was born at Paris, Nov. 29, 1648. He studied partly at Beauvais, under his uncle Halle, an eminent doctor of the Sorbonne, and director of that school, and afterwards at Paris under Danet, author of the dictionaries which bear his name. His inclination was for medicine as a profession, but family reasons decided in favour of the law, in which he became an advocate of parliame,nr, and a distinguished pleader. Happening to be pbligedto go to Dijon about a cause in which his mother was concerned, he amused his leisure hours in visiting the libraries and museums with which Dijon at that time abounded. He pleaded that cause, however, so ably, that the marquis de la Meilleraye was induced to intrust him with another of great importance which had brought him to Dijon, and our young advocate, now metamorphosed into an antiquary, laid out the fee he received from his | noble client, in the purchase of a cabinet of books, medals, &c. then on sale at Dijon. With this he returned to Paris, but no more to the bar, his whole attention being absorbed in researches on the remains of antiquity. The notions he had formed on this subject appeared soon in his principal work on the utility of travelling, and the advantages which the learned derive from the study of antiquities.-It was entitled “Dd’ntilite des Voyages,” 2 vols. ie>86, 12mo, often reprinted, and the edition of Rouen in 1727 is said to be the best, although, according-to Niceron, not the most correct. The reputation of this work brought him acquainted with the most eminent antiquaries of England, Holland, and Germany, and, when he least expected such an honour, he was admitted an associate of the academy of the Ricovrati of Padua, and was generally consulted on all subjects of antiquity which happened to be the object of public curiosity. In 1698 he printed a dissertation on Ptolomy Auletes, whose head he discovered on an ancient amethyst hitherto undescribed, in the cabinet of the duchess of Orleans, who rewarded him by the appointment of keeper of her cabinet of medals. In 1700, he wrote a letter to Mr. Lister of the royal society of London, describing an enormous stone found in the body of a horse. He afterwards published separately, or in the literary journals, various memoirs on antique medals, and in 1705 he was chosen a member of the academy of inscriptions and belles lettres. This honour inspirited his labours, and he became a frequent contributor to the memoirs of the academy. His last piece is entitled “Dissertation sur le guerre des Atheniens centre les. penples de Pisle Atlantique.” His health now began to decline, although for some time it was not discovered that his disorder was a dropsy of the chest, which proved fatal June 27, 1722. His character is represented by all his biographers as being truly amiable. He bequeathed to the academy, what he valued most, his books, medals, bronzes, and antique marbles. Two of the latter of great value, which were brought from Constantinople by M. Nointal, and are supposed to be more than two thousand years old, contain the names of the Athenian captains and soldiers who were killed, in one year, in different expeditions. These afterwards became the property of M. Thevenot, the king’s librarian, who placed them at his country-house at Issy. Thevenot’s heirs, who had little taste for antiquities, were about to have sold them to a | stone-cutter for common purposes, when Baudelot heard of the transaction, anil immediately went in pursuit of the treasure. Having purchased them, he had them placed in a carriage of which he never lost sight until they were deposited in a house which he then occupied in the faubourg of St. Marceau, and when he removed to that of St. Germain, he conveyed them thither with the same care, and placed them in a small court. Here, however, they were not quite safe. A considerable part of the house happened to be occupied by a young lady who had no taste for antiquities, and soon discovered that these marbles were an incumbrance. In order to make Baudelot remove them, she pretended to hire the dustmen to take them away. Baudelot, returning home at night, was told of this project, and although it was then late, would not go to sleep until he had seen them deposited in his apartment. They are now in the museum of antiquities in the Louvre. 1


Chaufepie.Moreri. —Dict. Hist. ^axii Onomasticon.