Cally, Peter

, a celebrated French philosopher, was a native of Mesnil-Hubert, near Argenton, in the diocese of Seez. About 165.5, he studied philosophy at Caen, and afterwards divinity at Paris, but philosophy was his favourite pursuit, and the foundation of his fame. In 1660 he taught in the college du Bois, in Caen, and became there acquainted with Huet, afterwards bishop of Avranches, who acknowledged the assistance he derived | from Cally in his studies. Their intimacy, however, was interrupted by Cally’s avowal of adherence to ttie Cartesian system. CaJly was the first in France who had the courage to profess himself a Cartesian, in defiance of the prejudices and numbers of those who adhered to the ancient philosophy. He first broached his Cartesianism in the way of hypothesis, but afterwards taught it more openly, which procured him many enemies. Huet, although then very young, ventured to censure him; and father Valois, the Jesuit, who was a contemporary professor of philosophy, attacked both Cally and his opinions in a work which he published under the name of Louis de la Ville, in 1680, entitled “Sentimens de M. Descartes, touchant Pessence et les proprietes des corps, opposes a la doctrine de Peglise, et conformesaux erreurs de Calvin sur I’eucharistie.” Cally, not thinking there was much in this, did not answer it until pressed by his friends, when he wrote an answer in Latin, which, however, was not at this time published. When the duke de Montausier was appointed by Louis XIV. to provide eminent classical scholars to write notes on the classics published for the use of the Dauphin, Cally was selected for the edition of “Boethius de Consolatione,” which he published, accordingly, in 1680, in 4to, now one of the scarce quarto Delphin editions. In 1674 he published a short introduction to philosophy, “Institutio philosophica,” 4to, which he afterwards greatly enlarged, and published in 1695 under the title “Universae philosophise institutio,Caen, 4 vols. 4to. In 1675 he was appointed principal of the college of arts in Caen, on which he began a new course of philosophical lectures, and laid out ten or twelve thousand francs on rebuilding a part of the college which had fallen into ruin. In 1684 he was appointed curate of the parish of St. Martin, in Caen, and the Protestants who were then very numerous in that city, flocked to his sermons, and he held conferences once or twice a week in his vestry, which they attended with much pleasure, and we are told he 'made many converts to the Popish religion. But this success, for which every Catholic ought to have been thankful, excited the envy of those who had quarrelled with him before on account of his Cartesianism, and by false accusations, they procured him to be exiled to Moulins in 1686, where he remained for two years. Finding on his return that the Protestants were still numerous in Caen, and that they | entertained the same respect for him as before, he wrote for their use a work entitled “Durand cornmente, ou Paccord de la philosophie avec la theologie, tonchaut la transubstantialion.” In this, which contained part of his answer to father Valois, mentioned above, he revives the opinion of the celebrated Durand, who said, if the church decided that there was a transubstantiation in the eucharist, there must remain something of what was bread, to make a difference between the creation and production of a thing which was not, and annihilation or a thing reduced to nothing. Cally sent this work in ms. to M. Basnage, who had been one of his scholars, but received no answer. la the mean time, unwilling to delay a work which he hoped would contribute to the conversion of the Protestants, “he engaged with a bookseller at Caen to print only sixty copies, which he purposed to send to his friends at Paris, and obtain their opinion as to a more extended publication. The bookseller, however, having an eye only to his own interest, undertook to assure Cally that the work would be approved by the doctors of the Sorbonne, and he therefore would print eight hundred. Cally unfortunately consented, and the work no sooner appeared, than he who fondly hoped it would convert heretics, was himself treated as a heretic. M. de Nesmond, then bishop of Bayeux, condemned the work in a pastoral letter March 30, 1701, and Cally in April following made his retractation, which he not only read in his own church, but it was read in all other churches; and he also destroyed the impression, so that it is now classed among rare books. It was a small vol. 12mo, 1700, printed at Cologne, under the name of Pierre Marteau. Cally also published some of his sermons, but they were too philosophical and dry for the closet, although he had contrived to give them a popular effect in the pulpit. A work entitled” Doctrine heretique, &c. touchant la primauté du pape, enseignee par les Jesuites dans leur college de Caen," is attributed to him, but as it bears date 1644, he must have then been too young. He died Dec. 31, 1709. 1