, a great medallist, to whom France was indebted for the science
, a great medallist, to whom France was indebted for the science of medals, and Lewis XIV. for one half of his cabinet, was born at Beauvais, May the 24th, 1632. He lost his father when he was three years old, and fell under the care of an uncle, a brother of his mother, who educated him, and made him his heir. He was trained with a view of succeeding to a magistracy which his uncle possessed; but, being too young for this when his uncle died, he changed his views, and applied himself to physic, in which faculty he was admitted doctor at twenty-four. He had as yet discovered no particular inclination for the study of medals; but an occasion now presented itself, which induced him to engage in it. A farmer in the neighbourhood of Beauvais found a great quantity of ancient medals, and carried them to Mr. Vaiilant, who examined them at first slightly and in a cursory way, but afterwards sat down to study them with attention; and his taste for medals increased with the discoveries he made of their nature and use, till he devoted himself almost entirely to them.