Desmaiseaux, Peter

, a fellow of the royal society of London, was born in | Auvergne, in France, in 1666, and was the son of a proves* tant clergyman. He came over in his youth to England, and appears to have led the life of a man of letters, continually employed in composing or editing literary works. In 1720 he was elected F. R. S. and from his numerous letters in the British Museum, appears to have carried on a very extensive correspondence with the learned men of his time, especially St. Evremont and Bayle. He died at London in June 1745. Bayle he assisted with many articles and remarks for his Dictionary, and published his “Letters” at Amsterdam, 1729, 3 vols. 12mo, with a variety of observations, which shew an extensive knowledge of modern literature. He also wrote the life of Bayle, which was prefixed to the edition of his Dictionary published in. 1730, and was reprinted at the Hague in 2 vols. 1732, 12mo. By a letter in the beginning from Desmaiseaux to M. la Motte, it appears that the latter had induced him to undertake this life of his friend. In 1732 he edited Bayle’s Miscellaneous Works in 4 vols. folio, and probably was likewise the author of the “Nouvelles Lettres de Pierre Bayle,Hague, 1739, 2 vols. 12mo. His intimacy and friendship for St. Evremond led him to publish the life and works of that writer, in 1709, 3 vols. 4to and 8vo, often reprinted and translated into English. He also published the lives of Boileau in French, and of Chillingworth and Hales of Eton in English, which he wrote fluently. For some time it is 'said he was engaged in an English Dictionary, historical and critical, in the manner of Bayle, but no part of it appears to have been published, except the above-mentioned Life of Hales, in 1719, which was professedly a specimen of the intended Dictionary. In 1720 he published some pieces of Locke’s which had not been inserted in his works; and the same year “Recueii de diverses pieces sur la philosophic, la religion naturelle, l’histoire, les mathematiques, &c.” by Leibnitz, Clarke, Newton, and others; Amst. 2 vols. 12mo. He appears likewise to have been the editor of the “Scaligerana, Thuana, Perroniana, Pithoeana, et Colomesiana,” Amst. 1711, 2 vols. Besides these, and his translation of Bayle’s Dictionary, he was a frequent contributor to the literary Journals of his time, particularly the “Bibliotlieque Raisonnæ” and “The Republic of Letters.1

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