Bochart De Saron, John Baptist Gaspard

, a liberal patron of learning, and first president of the parliament of Paris, was born in that metropolis, Jan. L6, 1730, of a family, the branches of which had filled many distinguished offices in the magistracy, and to which the subject of the preceding article appears to have been related. From his infancy, Mons. Saron was attached to mathematical studies, and particularly to calculations, the most complicated of which he performed with astonishing facility and many eminent astronomers, who were his friends, made no scruple to apply to him for assistance of this kind, which he contributed with the greatest politeness and as very much depends on intricate calculations, he may justly be allowed to share with them in the honour of their discoveries. He was, however, among the first who discovered that Herschell’s new star was a new planet, and not a comet, as most of the French astronomers thought. In 1779 he was elected into the academy of sciences, and contributed to the promotion of their labours, not only by his private studies, which were indeed rather those of an amateur than of a scholar by profession, but also by his fortune. He made, at a vast expence, a collection of the finest astronomical instruments of all kinds, which he very willingly lent to those who wished to make use of them, and never had more pleasure than when he fancied he was thus supplying the wants of men of genius. It was also by his liberality that Laplace was enabled to publish his “Theorie du mouvernent elliptujue et de la figure de terre,1784, 4to, the expence of which he defrayed. His whole life, indeed, exhibited a perfect model of a patron of learning and Learned men, and demonstrated how easily men of rank and fortune may exalt their characters by the encouragement of genius. Yet this man was doomed to destruction by the monsterswho ruled in France during the revolutionary period, and | who ordered him, and some other members of the old parliament of Paris, to be guillotined, a sentence which was executed April 20, 1794. M. Monjoie published in 1800 “L’eloge de Saron,” 8vo, and Cassini paid him a similar compliment, which, however, was not printed. 1


Biog. Universelle.