Tourneux, Nicholas Le

, a pious French divine, was born April 30, 1640, at Rouen, of poor parents, but the inclination for learning which he discovered from his childhood, induced M. du Fosse, maitre des comptes at Rouen, to encourage him in that pursuit, and to send him to the Jesuits’ college at Paris. He completed his philosophical studies at the college de Grassins, under M. Hervent, and was afterwards vicar of $t. Etienne des Tonneliera, at Rouen, where he distinguished himself by his public services. During a visit to Paris in 1675, he gained the prize given by the French academy. Reflecting afterwards on the inconsiderate manner in which he had engaged in the sacred office, he went again to Paris, and renounced all the duties of the priesthood, that had done him so much honour, till M. de Sacy, to whom he applied for directions in his penitence, drew him from this state of dejection, and persuaded him to resume the sacred functions. His talents procured him a benefice in the holy chapel, and the priory of Villers, which the archbishop of Rouen gave him. M. Tourneux would gladly have resigned his benefice in favour of some pious ecclesiastic; but only simple resignations were at that time accepted. A change of this rule was hoped for, but did not take place during his life. The king gave him a pension of 300 crowns. He preached one Lent in the church of St. Benoit, at Paris, to a prodigious number of auditors. M. le Tourneux spent his last years at his priory of Villers-sur-Fere, in Tardenois, in the dio* cese of Soissons. M. le Maitre de Sacy, and M. de.Santeuil, who were his friends, placed great confidence in him, and frequently consulted him, in consequence of which he was involved in some difficulties. He died suddenly at Parts, Nov. 28, 1686, aged forty -seven, and his remains | were interred at Port Royal. The principal among his numerous works are, “La Jesu Christ;” “La meiliure maniere d’entendre la Messe;” “LAnne’e Chretienne,Paris, 1685, 13 vols. 12mo; a French “Translation of the Roman breviary,” 4 vols. 8vo; with other works suited to persons of his communion. His translation of the breviary was censured by a sentence from M. Cheron, official of Paris, 1688; but M. Arnauld undertook its defence. An “Abridgment of the principal Theological Treatises,” 4to, is also ascribed to M. le Tourneux. L’Avocat says that he had a peculiar talent for homilies and instructions, and it is said that while he preached the Lent sermons at St. Benoft, in Paris, instead of father Quesnel, who had been obliged to abscond, Louis XIV. inquired of Boileau concerning a preacher named le Tourneux, whom every body was running after. “Sire,” replied the poet, “your majesty knows that people always run after novelties this man preaches the gospel.” The king then pressing him to give his opinion seriously, Boileau added, *' When M. le Tourneux first Ascends the pulpit, his ugliness so disgusts the congregation, that they wish he would go down again but when he begins to speak, they dread the time of his descending." 1