Rigaltius, Nicolas

, a very ingenious and learned man, was the son of a physician, and born at Paris in 1577. He was brought up among the Jesuits, and afterwards admitted advocate; but, not being able to conquer the disgust he had conceived to the profession of the law, he devoted himself entirely to the pursuit of polite literature The public received the first fruits of his labours in his “Funus Parasiticum,” printed in 1596; the ingenuity and learning of which so charmed Thuanus, thathe immediately took him into his friendship, and made him the companion of his studies. This excellent person conceived a particular esteem for him; as appeared, when he died in 1617, from naming him in his will, to superintend the education of his children. He was chosen, with Isaac Casaubon, to put the king’s library into order; and in 1610, when that learned man went over to spend some time in England with James [. succeeded him in the office of librarian to the king. His majesty conferred on him other marks of distinction made him procurator- general of the supreme court of Nancy, counsellor of the parliament of Metz, and then intendant of that province. He died in 1654, after having given numerous proofs of uncommon erudition in editions of “Minutius Foelix,” “Phaedrus,” “Martial,” “Rei accipitrarii scriptores,” “Rei agrarige scriptores,” the works of “Cyprian” and “Tertullian,” &c. His notes upon these last two are learned and critical; but the matter of some of them shews him to have been not a rigid catholic. He takes occasion to observe, from a passage in Tertullian’s “Exhortation to Chastity,” that Jaymen have a right and power to consecrate the eucharist, when there is no opportunity of recurring to the regular ministers; and this, with other opinions of a similar kind, not only gave offence to those of his own communion, but even to some- of“ours.” Rigaltius,“says Mr. Dodwell,” though an ingenious and learned critic, is by no means exact upon the subjects he treats of: for, though of the | Roman communion, he is often fou/)d on the side of the Calvinists; and, when he meets with anything in the authors he publishes that appears contrary to the customs, not oflly of his own, but of the universal church, he remarks it with great care; perhaps to render his notes more agreeable to the reader, by presenting him with something new and unexpected." It is probable, that many persons may not think the worse of Rigakius, as an editor, for the censure here passed on him by Mr. Dodtvell. Rigaltius was also concerned in the edition of Thuanus, published at Geneva in 1620. 1


Batesii Vitæ.—Niceron, vol. XXI.—Moreri.