Maillet, Benedict De

, a French theorist of some note, was born in 1659, of a noble family in Lorraine. At the age of thirty-three he was appointed consul-general of Egypt, and held that situation with great credit for sixteen years. Having strenuously supported the interests of his sovereign, he was at length rewarded by being removed to Leghorn, which was esteemed the chief of the Frencb | consulships. In 1715 he was employed to visit and inspect the other consulships of Barbary and the Levant, and fulfilled this commission so much to the satisfaction of his court, that he obtained leave to retire, with a considerable pension, to Marseilles, where he died in 1738, at the age of seventy-nine. De Maillet did not publish any thing himself, but left behind him papers and memoirs, from which some publications were formed. The first of these was published in 8vo, by the abbe Mascrier, under the feigned name of Telliamed, which is De Maillet reversed. The subject is the origin of our globe, and the editor has thrown the sentiments of his author into the form of dialogues between an Indian philosopher and a French missionary. The philosopher maintained that all the land of this earth, and its vegetable and animal inhabitants, rose from the bosom of the sea, on the successive contractions of the waters: that men had originally been tritons with tails; and that they, as well as other animals, had lost their marine, and acquired terrestrial forms by their agitations when left on dry ground. This extravagance had its day in France. The same editor also drew from the papers of this author, a description of Egypt, published in 1743, in 4to, and afterwards in two volumes 12mo. 1

1 Dict. Hist. Journal du Nil, par P. Chateauneuf, Hamburgh, 1799, Major Renn.el’s Geography of Herodotus. —Dict. Hist.