Laet, John De

, an author of the seventeenth century, distinguished by his knowledge in history and geography, was born at Antwerp, and died there in 1640, leaving some very useful works behind him 1. “Novus Orbis,Leyden, 1633, folio. He translated it himself into French and it was printed again at Leyden in 1640, in folio. 2. “Historia Naturalis Brasilia,” in folio, with cuts. 5. “De Regis Hispanise Regnis et Opibus,” in 8vi. 4. “Respublica Belgarum.” 5. “Gallia.” 6. “Turcici Imperii | Status.” 7. “Persici Imperil Status.” The four last works are part of the little books called “Respublicse,” amounting to about forty volumes, printed by Elzevir in 24to, and treat in a general way of the climate, produce, religion, manners, civil and political government, of these several states; and have served at least as a good model for future improvements. A more considerable work employed the last years of Laet’s life; an edition of “Vitruvius,” which was printed also by Elzevir, 1649, in folio; accompanied with the notes of learned men, and pieces of other writers upon the same subject. Laet was engaged at one time in a controversy with Grotius, which gave the latter, according to Burigny, a good deal of uneasiness. The dispute was respecting the origin of the Americans, on which subject Grotius wrote with less knowledge of it than might have been expected. Laet printed his work with notes in 1643, and showed that his conjectures were illfounded, and that he had even advanced some facts which were not strictly true. Grotius answered, in a piece written without temper, entitled “Adversus obtrectatorem, opaca quern bonum facit barba,” but Laet’s positions were not to be refuted. 1

1 Chaufepie. Xiceron, vol. XXXVIll. Burigny’s Life of Grotius,