Vaillant, Sebastian

, a distinguished botanist, was born May 26, 1669, at Vigny, near Pontoise. His first pursuits were various, having attained reputation as an organist, then as a surgeon, and afterwards as secretary to M. Fagon, chief physician to Louis XIV. Fagon appears to have given his talents the right direction, by placing him in the office of director of the royal garden, which he enriched with curious plants. Vaillant became afterwards professor and sub-demonstrator of plants in the abovementioned garden, keeper of the king’s cabinet of drugs, and a member of the academy of sciences. He died of an asthma, May 26, 1722, leaving a widow, but no children. His works are some excellent remarks on M. de Tournefort’s “Institutiones Rei herbariae” an essay on the structure of flowers, and the use of their various parts, Leyden, 1728, 4to, but rather too florid for philosophical narration “Botanicon Parisiense,” with plates, published by Boerhaave, Leyden, 1727, fol. When Vaillant found his health de*­clining, he was anxious to preserve his papers from oblivion, and had solicited Boerhaave to purchase and publish them. Our countryman, Dr. Sherard, who was then at Paris, negociated this business, and spent the greater part of the summer with Boerhaave, in reducing the manuscripts into order. To Sherard, therefore, principally, the learned owe the “Botanicon Parisiense,” to which is prefixed a | Latin letter by Dr. Sherard, giving an account of this transaction. 1