Vignoles, Alphonso Des

, a learned chronologist, was born Oct. 29, 1649, at the castle of Aubais, in Languedoc, of a very ancient family, and received a liberal | education. His preparatory studies being finished, he passed a year at Geneva, and heard a course of lectures ou divinity. His father had intended him for the army, but was unwilling to put any restraint upon his inclinations, and therefore permitted him to go to Saumur, and afterwards to England, to complete his divinity studies. In 1675 he returned to Aubais, and was appointed minister of that church, which he afterwards resigned for that of Cailar, and while he performed the functions of his order with great zeal, found leisure at the same time to indulge his taste for chronological researches. On the revocation of the edict of Nantz he returned to Geneva, and afterwards to Berlin, where he was appointed pastor of the church of Schwedt. When his merit became better known, he had the choice of many churches of more emolument, but ^ave the preference to that of Brandenburgh, on account of its vicinity to the metropolis, where he might enjoy opportunities of study. In the mean time he began to form an intimacy with many eminent men, as Lenfant, La Croze, Kirck, &c. and distinguished himself by some learned papers inserted in the iiterary journals. When the royal society of Berlin was founded in 1701, he was chosen one of the members, and at the suggestion of Leibnitz was invited to settle in Berlin, that the new society might profit by his communications. With this he appears to have complied, and on the formation of the society of the Anonymi was chosen their secretary. In 1711 he became one of the editors of the “Bibliotheque Germanique,” which he enriched with many valuable criticisms, and analyses of books. Amidst all these employments he did not neglect the duties of his profession, but was a very frequent preacher, and having obtained the cure of Copenick, near Berlin, he passed his summers there, and there composed his great chronological work, the plan of which he published in 1721, but the whole did not appear until some years afterwards. Its success did not answer the expectation of the author, or of his friends, and although one of the best which had appeared on the subject, sold so slowly, that tKe bookseller was obliged more than once to have recourse to the trick of a new title-page. Vignoles, however, satisfied with a moderate competence, a stranger to worldly ambition and passions, lived quietly and happily among his books, with the occasional conversation of a few agreeable and steady friends. His wife died in child-bed, and | none of the children she brought survived him. He was, in his old age, on the point of losing his sight by two cataracts, the one of which was dissipated naturally, and the other removed by an operation, the particulars of which he published in the “Miscellanea Berolinensia,” vol. IV. The king and queen shewed him many marks of kindness. The latter, it appears from the dedication of his chronology, had at one time ordered the eve of his birth-day to be kept by an entertainment, at which her proxy expressed her royal wishes forthe continuance of his life. He died at Berlin, July 24, 1744, aged upwards of ninety-four. His principal work, already noticed, was published under the title of “Chronologic de l‘historie sainte et des histoires etrangeres depuis la sortie d’Egypte jusqu’a la captivite de Babylone,Berlin, 1738, 2 vols. 4to, a work unquestionably of vast labour and extent, and consequently cannot be supposed altogether free from imperfections. 1

1 Chaufepie. Bibl. Gcrmaniquc, vol. II. Biog. Univ. art. Desvignoles. Eloge by Formey.