Despauter

, or Despautre, or Van Paute­Ren (John), a celebrated grammarian, and styled the | Priscian of the Netherlands, was born at Ninove, a town of Flanders situated on the Dender, towards the latter part of the fifteenth century. He was educated at Louvain under John Gustos Brechtan; and in 1501 obtained his degree of master of arts. He afterwards kept school at the college of Lys, at Bois-le-duc, at Berg St. Winox, and at Comines, at which last place he died in 1520. Three epitaphs are on record, which were made on him; one of them.,

"Hie jacet unoculus, visu prasstantior Argo,

Nomen Joannes cui Ninivita fuit."

Another contains one of the puns so common in those days:

"Grammaticam scivit, multos docuitque per annos,

Declinare tamen non potuit tumulum."

The word inoculiis, in the first of these, alludes to his having the sight of only one eye, which when Christopher Massaeus objected to him, calling him Polyphemus, Despauter replied with rather more warmth than was justified by the provocation; and with some degree of vanity, added, “You call me Polyphemus. I am Polyphemus and Euphemus too. Italy, France, and Germany applaud my diligence, while you can expect hereafter to be ranked among the Cacophemi, the Zoilus’s, the Bavins’ s, &c.” Vossius supports this character so far as to declare that Despauter saw clearer into the grammatical art with one eye, than all his contemporaries with tsvo. It is certain that his grammar was long the only one used in the schools on the continent, and has been republished in an hundred abridged forms, for the use of scholars of every country; but has received so many successive improvements and alterations, that little of the original remains. His fame, as a grammarian, to those who study the histciy of that art, will be found to rest on his very scarce work, entitled “Joan. Despauterii Ninivitae Commentarii Grammatici,Paris, printed by Robert Stephens, 1537, folio. This is the finest and most complete edition, and forms a collection of all the treatises which he had published separately; viz. 1. “Rudimenta.” 2. “Syntaxis.” iJ. “Ars versificatoria.” 4. “De accentibus.” 5. “De carminum generibus.” 6. “De Figuris.” 7. “Ars Epistolica;” and 8. “Orthographia,” which is not quite finished. Although his grammar is now in less estimation, he deserves to be | remembered among the most useful scholars of his time, and among the benefactors to learning on its revival. 1

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Moreri. —Foppen Bib.1. Belar. Clement Eibl. Curieu.se. Baillet JugeCieus. Fabric, Jdibl. Med. Lat. vol. II.