Gallois, John

, a learned Frenchman, was born of a good family, at Paris, in 1632. He bad studied divinity, ecclesiastical and profane history, philosophy, mathematics, the Oriental, together with the Italian, Spanish, English, and German languages; and was deemed an universal scholar. He is now memorable chiefly for having been the first who published the “Journal des Sgavans,” in conjunction with M. de Sallo, who had formed the design of this work. The first journal was published on Jan. 5, 1665; but these gentlemen censured new books with so much severity, that the whole tribe of authors rose up against their work, and effectually cried it down. De Sallo abandoned it entirely, after having published a third journal, in March following. Gallois was determined to | continue‘ it, yet did not venture to send out a fourth journal till Jan. 1666, and then not without an humble advertisement in the beginning of it, in which it is declared, that the author “will not presume to criticize, but only simply to give an account of books.” This, and the protection shewn by the minister Colbert, who was much pleased with the work, gradually reconciled the public to the Journal. Thus began literary journals, which have been continued from that time to this under various titles, and by various authors; among whom are the names of Bayle and Le Clerc. Gallois continued his journal to 1674, when more important occupations obliged him to drop it, or rather transfer it to another person. Colbert had taken him into his house the year before, with a view of being taught Latin by him; and the minister of state, it is said, took most of his lessons in his coach, as he journeyed from Versailles to Paris, Voltaire observes on this occasion, that “the two men, who have been the greatest patrons of learning, Louis XIV. and Colbert, neither of them understood Latin.” ’ Gallois had been made member of the academy of sciences in 1668, and of the French academy in 1675. He lost his patron by death in 1683; and then, being at liberty, was first made librarian to the king, and afterwards Greek professor in the royal college. He died of the dropsy in 1707; and in 1710 a catalogue of his books was printed at Paris, consisting of upwards of 12,000 volumes. It is remarkable of this learned man, that though he had served many friends by his interest with Colbert, yet he had neglected to make any provision for himself: whence it happened, that, at the death of that minister, he was but in poor circumstances, although an abbé. 1


Niceron, vol. VIII. —Moreri. —Chaufepie.