Longueil, Christopher De

, or Longolius, a very elegant scholar, was born in 1490, at Mechlin, although some have called him a Parisian, and Erasmus makes him a native of Schoohhoven in Holland. He was the natural son of Antony de Longueil, bishop of Leon, who being on some occasion in the Netherlands, had an intrigue with a female of Mechlin, of which this son was the issue. He remained with his mother until eight or aine years old; when he was brought to Paris for education, in the course of which he fur exceeded his fellowscholars, and was able at a very early age to read and understand the most difficult authors. He had also an extraordinary memory, although he did not trust entirely to it, but made extracts from whatever he read, and showed great discrimination in the selection of these. His taste led him chiefly to the study of the belles lettres, but his friends wished to direct his attention to the bar, and accordingly he went to Valence in Dauphiny, where he studied civil law under professor Philip Decius, for six years, and returning then to Paris, made so distinguished a figure at the bar, that in less than two years, he was appointed counsellor of the parliament of Paris, according to his biographer, cardinal Pole, but this has been questioned on account of its never having been customary to appoint | persons so young to that office; Pole has likewise made another mistake, about which there can be less doubt, in asserting that the king of Spain, Philip, appointed Longueil his secretary of state, for Philip died in 1506, when our author was only sixteen years of age.

In the mean time, it is certain that his attachment to other studies soon diverted him from his law practice. He appears in particular to have considered Pliny as an author meriting his most assiduous application, and whose works would furnish him with employment for many years. With this view he not only studied Pliny’s “Natural History,” with the greatest care, as well as every author who had treated on the same subject, but determined also to travel in pursuit of farther information, as well as to inspect the productions of nature, wherever found. But before this it became necessary for him to learn Greek, with which he had hitherto been unacquainted, and he is said to have made such progress, as to be able, within a year, to read the best Greek authors, on whom he found employment for about five years. Besides selecting from these works whatever might serve to illustrate his favourite Pliny, he now determined to commence his travels, and accordingly went to England, Germany, and Italy, and would have travelled to the East had not the war with the Turks prevented him. In England, in which he appears to have been in 1518, he became very intimate with Pace and Linacre. He encountered many dangers, however, in his continental tour. As he was travelling, with two friends, through Switzerland, the natives of that country, who, after the battle of Marignan, regarded the French with horror, conceived that Longueil and his party were spies, and pursued them as far as the banks of the Rhone. One was killed, the other made his escape by swimming; but Longueil, being wounded in the arm, was taken prisoner, and treated with great severity for about a month, at the end of which he was released by the interposition of the bishop of Sion, who furnished him with money and a horse, to convey him to France. At Rome he was afterwards honoured with the rank of citizen, and received with kindness by Leo X. who had a great opinion of his talents and eloquence, made him his secretary, and employed him to write against Luther. He visited France once more after this, but the rec<*ption he met with in Italy determined him to settle there, at Padua, where he resided, first with | Stephen Sauli, a noble Genoese, and on his departure, with Reginald Pole, afterwards the celebrated cardinal, to whom we are indebted for a life of Longueil. Here he died Sept. 11, 1522, in the thirty-third year of his age, and was interred in the church of the Franciscans, in the habit of that order, as he had desired. He was honoured with a Latin epitaph by Bembo, who was one of his principal friends, and recommended to him the writings of Cicero, as a model of style. Longueil became so captivated with Cicero, as to be justly censured by Erasmus on this account. Longueil, however, was not to be diverted by this, but declared himself so dissatisfied with what he ha4 written before he knew the beauties of Cicero’s style, *s to order all his Mss. written previous to that period, to be destroyed. We have, therefore, but little of Longueil left. Among the Mss. destroyed was probably his commentary on Pliny, which some think was published, but this is very doubtful. We can with more certainty attribute to him, 1. “Oratio de laudibus D. Ludovici Francorum regis, &c.Paris, 1510, 4to. Some remarks on the court of Rome in this harangue occasioned its being omitted in the collection of his works, but Du Chesne printed it in the fifth volume of his collection of French historians. 2. “Christ. Longolii, civis Roman ae perduellionis rei defensiones duae,Venice, 8vo. This is a vindication of himself against a charge preferred against him, when at Rome, that he had advanced sentiments dishonourable to the character of the Romans in the preceding oration. 3. “Ad Lutheranos jam damnatos Oratio,” Cologn, 1529, 8vo. It appears from his letters that he had been, requested both to write for and against Luther, that he was long in great perplexity on the subject, but that at length Leo X. prevailed with him to write the above. These last two pieces with his letters, &c. have been often reprinted, under the title of “Christ. Longolii Orationes, Epistolcc, et Vita, necnon Bembi et Sadoleti epistolse,” the first edition, at Paris, 1533, 8vo. There are many curious particulars of literary history and character scattered through this correspondence. The life prefixed is now known to have been written by Pole, who was his most intimate friend and admirer, and to whom he bequeathed his library. 1

1 Life prefixed to his works. Nicefon, vol. XVII. Bnllart’s Acad<*mir <1<s S<-ionres, vol II. Philips’s Life of Cardinal Pole. Pole’s Life of Longueil w uvited in Uates’s Vitaj scleclorura. -Eraimi Ciceronianiu.