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professor of the Arabic and Chinese languages at Paris, was the son of

, professor of the Arabic and Chinese languages at Paris, was the son of a surgeon, and born at Herbelai, near Paris, in 1683. He learned the elements of Latin from the curate of the place; but losing his father when very young, he came under the care of an uncle, who removed him to his house at Paris, and superintended his studies. He went through the courses of logic, rhetoric, and philosophy, in different colleges; and happening to meet with the abbé Sevin, who loved study as well as himself, they formed a scheme of reading all the Greek and Latin poets together. But as the exercises of the society employed most of their hours by day, they found means to continue this task secretly by night; and this being considered as a breach of discipline, the superior thought tit to exclude them from the community. Fourmont retired to the college of Montaigu, and had the very chambers which formerly belonged to Erasmus; and here the abbé Sevin continued to visit him, when they went on with their work without interruption. Fourmont joined to this pursuit the study of the oriental languages, in which he made a very uncommon progress.