Cels, James Martin

, a French botanist, and member of the Institute, was born at Versailles in 1745, and having been early introduced into the office of one of the farmersgeneral, acquired the once lucrative place of receiver. Amidst the duties of this office, he found leisure for study, and became so fond of books, as to attempt a new arrangement of libraries, which he published in 1773, under the title of “Coup-d‘ceil eclaire d’une grande bibliotheque a Tusage de tout possesseur de livres,” 8vo. He became also partial to the study of botany, and formed an extensive botanical garden, which he enriched by correspondence and exchanges with other horticulturists. When the revolution took place, he retired to the village of Montrouge near Paris, and confined himself entirely to | the cultivation and selling of plants. The principal works on descriptive botany which have appeared in France, as those of Heretier, Decandolle, Redouté, &c. have been indebted to his assistance but it is to Ventenat that Gels’ future fame will be due, who published the “Description des plantes rare du jardin de M. Cels.” Cels died May 13, 1806. 1