Charas, Moses

, a skilful apothecary, born at Usez, in Upper Languedoc, in 1618, followed ins profession at Orange, from whence he went and settled at Paris. Having obtained a considerable share of reputation by his treatise on the virtues and properties of treacle, he was chosen to deliver a course of chemistry at the royal garden of plants at Paris, in which he acquitted himself with general applause during nine years. His “Pharmacopeia,1673, of which an improved edition by Monnier was published in 1753, 2 vols. 4to, was the fruit of his lectures and his studies, and has been translated into all the languages of Europe, and even into the Chinese, for the accommodation of the emperor. The edicts against the Calvinists obliged him to quit his country in 1680. He went over to England, from thence to Holland, and afterwards into Spain with the ambassador, who brought him to the assistance of his master Charles II. Languishing in sickness from his birth. Every good Spaniard was at that time convinced that the vipers for twelve leagues round Toledo were innoxious, ever since they were deprived of their venom by the fiat of a famous archbishop. The French doctor endeavoured to combat this error, and the physicians of the court, envious of the merit of C haras, failed not to take umbrage at this impiety; they complained of him to the inquisition, from whence he was not dismissed till he had abjured the protestant faith. Charas was then seventy -two years old. He returned to Paris, and was admitted a member of the royal academy, and there he continued until his death, Jan. 17, 1698. 2


Morori.—Dict. Hist.Haller Bibl. Med.