Thiers, John Baptist

, a learned doctor of the Sorbonne, and a celebrated writer of the seventeenth century, was born at Chartres, about 1636. He professed belleslettres at Paris, and became curate of Vibray, in the diocese of Mans, where he composed several of his works, and where he died February 28, 1703, aged sixty-five. He left a great many works, which are tiow but seldom read, though they are very learned, and very often singular.

The History of Perukes” is one of his most known and curious books. He designed it againat those ecclesiastics who were not contented to wear their own hair. The year 1621) (says he) is the epoch of perukes in France. He maintains, that no clergyman wore a peruke before 1660, and pretends that there is no instance of it in antiquity. He observes, that cardinal de Richelieu was the first who wore a calot and that the bishop of Evreux having prefixed to the life of St. Francis de Sales (which he presented to pope Alexander VIII.) a print wherein that saint appeared with a leather cap on, the pope had much ado to accept that book, attended with such an irregularity. M. Thiers exclaims against those ecclesiastics, who powder their perukes, and wear them of a different colour from their own hair. He answers the arguments that may be alledged in favour of the clergy. As for what concerns their beard and their bands, he says, no ecclesiastic wore a band before the middle of last century. There have been many variations about their beard. Sometimes shaving was looked upon as a kind of effeminacy, and a long beard appeared very suitable with the sacerdotal gravity; and sometimes a venerable beard was accounted a piece of pride and stateliness. When cardinal d’Angennes was about to take possession of his bishopric of Mans in 1556, he wanted an express order from the king to be admitted with his long beard, which he could not resolve to cut. M. Thiers acknowledges those variations about the beard; but he maintains that the discipline has been constant and uniform as to perukes; and therefore, he says, they ought to be laid aside, and beseeches the pope and the king to suppress such a novelty. | Among his other works are, 2. “Traité des Superstitions qui regardent les Sacremena,” 4 vols. 12mo, a book esteemed agreeable and useful by those of his own communion. 3. “Traité de I’exposiiioii. du Saint Sacrement de PAutel,1663, 12mo. Some have esteemed this his best production. Many other articles are enumerated by his biographers, but few of them interesting in this country. 1