Houbigant, Charles Francis

, a pious and learned translator of the Hebrew Scriptures, and commentator on them, was born at Paris in 168t>. In 1702 he became a priest of the congregation named the Oratory; and being-, by deafness, deprived of the chief comforts of society, addicted himself the more earnestly to books, in which he found his constant consolation. Of a disposition naturally benevolent, with great firmness of soul, goodness of temper, and politeness of manners, he was held in very general estimation, and received honours and rewards from the pope (Bened. XIV.) and from his countrymen, which he had never thought of soliciting. Though his income was’ but small, he dedicated a part of it to found a school near Chantilly; and the purity of his judgment, joined to the strength of his memory, enabled him to carry on his literary labours to a very advanced age. Even when his faculties had declined, and were further injured by the accident of a fall, the very sight of a book, that well-known gonsoler of all his cares, restored him to peace and rationality. He died Oct. 3 I, 1783, at the advanced age of ninetyeight. His works, for which he was no less esteemed in foreign countries than in his own, were chiefly these: 1. An edition of the Hebrew Bible, with a Latin version and notes, published at Paris in 1733, in 4 vols. folio. This is the most valuable and important work of the author, and contains the Hebrew text corrected by the soundest rules of criticism, a Latin version, and useful notes: and prefixed to each book is a very learned preface. Benedict XIV. who justly appreciated the value and difficulty of the work, honoured the author with a medal, and some other marks of approbation; and the clergy of his own country, unsolicited, conferred a pension on him. 2. A Latin translation of the Psalter, from the Hebrew, 1746, 12mo. 3. Another of the Old Testament at large, in 1753, in 8 vols. 8vo. 4. “Racines Hebraiques,1732, 8vo, against the points. 5. “Examen du Psautier des Capuchins,” 12mo, the mode of interpretation used in which, he thought too arbitrary. 6. A French translation of an English work by Forbes, entitled “Thoughts on Natural Religion.” 7. Most of the works of Charles Leslie translated, Paris, 1770, 8vo. Father Houhigant is said also to have left several works in manuscript, which, from the excellence of those he published, may be conjectured to be well deserving of the press. Among these are a “Traite des Etudes;” a | translation of “Origen against Celsus;” a “Life of Cardinal Berulle;” and a complete translation of the Bible, according to his own corrections. The first of these was to have been published by father Dotteville, and the rest by Lalande, but we do not find that any of them have appeared. 1