Hersent, Charles

, or Hersan, a French divine, known chiefly for a violent satire which he wrote against cardinal Richelieu, under the feigned name of Optatus Gallus, which, having been condemned and burnt by the parliament of Paris, is become very scarce, and therefore sells at from 60 to 100 livres, among French collectors. It is entitled “Optati Galli de cavendo Schismate, Liber Paraeneticus,” and was published at Paris in 1640, in 8vo. There is, however, a counterfeit edition, bearing the same date, which is distinguished from the true by a very few differences, as superiorum for Superiore, in p. 7, and by the sentence of parliament which takes up twelve pages, and only eleven in the counterfeit. In this book the author maintained that the Galilean church was in danger of separating from Home, like the English, and strenuously maintained the supremacy of the pope. The cardinal employed three or four writers to answer this anonymous assailant, the best of whom was Isaac Habert in his treatise “De consensu hierarchies et monarchic;” but the author in the mean time retired to Rome, where after a time his violence and indiscretion involved him with the inquisition, on some points respecting the doctrine of grace, which he handled in a “Panegyric on St. Louis.” He was cited, refused to appear, and was excommunicated. He therefore returned to France, where he died in 1660. | There are extant also by him, a paraphrase on Solomon’s Song, in prose, published in 1635, 8vo; some funeral orations, sermons, and attacks against the congregation of the oratory, which he had quitted; with a few other pieces. His chief promotion was that of chancellor to the church of Metz. 1


Moreri. —Dict. Hist. Brunet’s Manuel du Libraire.