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a very learned Frenchman, was descended from an ancient and noble

, a very learned Frenchman, was descended from an ancient and noble family, seated originally at Pisa in Italy, and born in 1580. His father, lienaud Fabri, lord of Beaugensier, sent him at ten years of age to Avignon, where he spent five years on his classical studies in the Jesuits’ college, and was removed to Aix in 1595, for the study of philosophy. In the mean time, he attended the proper masters for dancing, riding, and handling arms,all which he learned to perform with expertness, but rather as a task, than a pleasure, for even at that early period, he esteemed all time lost, that was not employed on literature. It was during this period, that his father being presented with a medal of the emperor Arcadius, which was found at Beaugensier, Peiresc begged to have it: and, charmed with deciphering the characters in the exergue, and reading the emperor’s name, in that transport of joy he carried the medal to his uncle; who for his encouragement gave him two more, together with some books upon that subject. This incident seems to have led him first to the study of antiquities, for which he became afterwards so famous. In 1596, he was sent to finish his course of philosophy under the Jesuits at Tournon, where he also studied mathematics and cosmography, as being necessary in the study of history, yet all this without relaxing from his application to antiquity, in which he was much assisted by one of the professors, a skilful medallist; nor from the study of belles lettres in general. So much labour and attention, often protracted till midnight, considerably impaired his constitution, which was not originally very strong. In 1597, his uncle, from whom he had great expectations, sent him to Aix, where he entered upon the law; and the following year he pursued the same study at Avignon, under a private master, whose name was Peter David who, being well skilled likewise in antiquities, was not sorry to find his pupil of the same taste, and encouraged him in this study as well as that of the law. Ghibertus of Naples, also, who was auditor to cardinal Aquaviva, much gratified his favourite propensity, by a display of various rarities, and by lending him Goltzius’s “Treatise upon Coins.” He also recommended a visit to Home, as affording more complete gratification to an antiquary than auy part of Europe. Accordingly, his uncle having procured a proper governor, he and a younger brother set out upon that tour, in Sept. 1599; and passing through Florence, Bologna, Ferrara, and Venice, he fixed his residence at Padua, in order to complete his course of law. He could not, however, resist the temptation of going frequently to Venice, where he formed an acquaintance with the most distinguished literati there, as Sarpi, Molinus, &c. in order to obtain a sight of every thing curious in that famous city. Among others, he was particularly caressed by F. Contarini, procurator of St. Mark, who possessed a curious cabinet of medals*, and other antiquities, and found Peiresc extremely useful and expert in explaining the Greek inscriptions. After a year’s stay at Padua, he set out for Rome, and arriving there in Oct. 1600, passed six months in viewing whatever was remarkable. After Easter he gratified the same curiosity at Naples, and then returned to Padua about June. He novr resumed his study of the law; and at the same time acquired such a knowledge of Hebrew, Samaritan, Syriac, and Arabic, as might enable him to interpret the inscriptions on the Jewish coins, &c. In these languages he availed himself of the assistance of the rabbi Solomon, who was then at Padua. His taste for the mathematics was also revived in consequence of his acquaintance with Galileo, whom he first saw at the house of Pinelli at Rome; and he began to add to his other acquisitions a knowledge of astronomy and natural philosophy. From this time it was said that “he had taken the helm of learning into his hand, and begun to guide the commonwealth of letters.

a very learned Frenchman, member oi the Institute, and of all

, a very learned Frenchman, member oi the Institute, and of all the academies and learned societies of Kurope, was born at Corbeille-sur- Seine, March 5, 1750. His family was originally of Spain, but had settled in France in the early part of the seventeenth century. His father, as well as others of his ancestors, had served in the army. He began his stiuiies at a very early age at the college of Lisieux, from which he removed to that of Du Plessis, and in both was distinguished by a decided taste for the ancient languages, especially the Greek, for the sake of which he again removed to the college of Des Grassis, that he might attend the Greek lectures of M. le Beau. Under his tuition he distanced all his fellow-students, and gained all the prizes destined to those who proved the superiority of their taste in Homer. He afterwards attended the lectures of Capperonier, Greek professor in the royal college of France,' which were adapted to a more advanced state of proficiency, and soon made such progress as to need no other instructor than his own study. And such was the extent of his application, that he had already, although scarcely fifteen years of age, perused almost all the writers of antiquity, poets, orators, historians, philosophers, and grammarians. Having thus exhausted the usual stores of printed works, he sought new treasures in manuscripts; and having foil' 1 i in the library of St. Germain-des-Pres, a collection of inedited Greek lexicons, among which was that of Homer by Apollonius, he formed the design of publishing this last, which accordingly appeared in 1773, preceded by ample prolegomena, and accompanied by notes and observations, the extensive and profound erudition of which appeared very extraordinary in a young man of only twenty-two. The academy of inscriptions and belles lettres, to which Villoison submitted his work before it was printed, had admitted him a member during the preceding year, after having obtained a dispensation on account of his age, without which he could not be elected. The reason assigned was extremely honourable to him: “that having anticipated the age of profound knowledge, it was just that he should enjoy its advantages earlier than other men; and that he should outstrip them in a career of honours, as he had in that of learning.