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VAILLANT (John FRANCIS Fol), son of the preceding, was born at Rome in 1665, while his father was upon his travels in quest of medals and antiques. He was brought to Beauvais in 1669, and at twelve years of age sent to Paris, where he was instructed by the Jesuits in the belles lettres and philosophy. He applied himself, as his father had done, to the study of physic, and was received doctor in that faculty at Paris in 1691. . He was initiated into the science of medals, and would have shone like his father if his life had been spared; yet his merit was reputed very great, and he was admitted into the academy of inscriptions and belles lettres in 1702. He died in 1708, about two years after his father, of an abscess in his head, which was supposed to have been occasioned by a fall. He wrote a professional tract on the virtues of coffee, and various dissertations on the subject of medallic history, and one on the Di Cabir. " 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 declining, 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 aceount of this transaction. " VAISSETTE (Joseph), a French historian, was born in 1685, at Gaillac in Agenois. He was for some time king's attorney in the country of the Albigenses, but in 1711 entered the Benedictine order in the priory of la Daurade at Toulouse. His studious turn, and taste for history, induced his superiors to send for him to Paris in 1713, where they employed him in writing the history of Languedoc with Claude de Vic. The first volume appeared 1730, and de Vic dying in 1734, the whole of this great work devolved on Vaissette, who executed it with success, and published the four other volumes. At the end of each are learned and curious notes, and throughout the whole he is candid and impartial, especially in speaking of the protestants. He had before written a small piece “On the Origin of the French Monarchy,” which was well received; and afterwards published an abridgment of his “History of Languedoc,” 1749, 6 vols. 12mo, Vaissette has also left a “Universal Geography,” 4 vols, 4to, and 12 vols. 12mo, which was formerly thought one of the best the French had, though not wholly free from errors. He died in the abbey of St. Germain-des-Pres at Paris, April 10, 1756. * VALDES, or VALDESSO (John), a Spanish reformer of the sixteenth century, was of a noble family in Spain; and a soldier under Charles the Vth, who knighted him. After some years spent in a military life, he desired leave to retire; and when Charles inquired whether his request proceeded from disgust, his answer was, “It is necessary that a soldier, before his death, should give some time to religious meditation.” He left his native country, and retired to Naples, where he became the head of a sect of the reformed, and many persons of great distinction attended his lectures. He was particularly connected with Bernard Ochin, Peter Martyr, and other learned men of great character amongst the reformers of that time; and he attacked, with success, many of the corruptions of the church of Rome. Thus far is collected from the old French preface to his “Considerations,” and confirmed by Mr. Ferrar's (the translator) aecount in a letter of Mr. George Herbert. By some, Valdesso was thought to lean too much to the doctrines of the Unitarians, in opposition to the Trinitarian system. And this circumstance, we suppose, may account for a passage in Mr. George Herbert's letter to Mr. Nicholas Ferrar concerning his translation of this work, which he earnestly desires may be published, notwithstanding some things which he does not approve. Mr. George Herbert was a conscientious Trinitarian; and, besides this, there are undoubtedly some passages in Valdesso, in which he seems to depreciate the authority of the Scriptures; which might give just cause of offence. The French edition of Valdesso referred to above was published at Paris in 1565, and was taken from an Italian translation of the original Spanish: in which, it is said, were preserved, not only some of the idioms, but also many words of the Spanish original. Mr. Ferrar's English translation was printed at Oxford in 1638, but without his name; and if it should be asked why Mr. Ferrar, who was perfect master of the Spanish, as well as the Italian language, chose to translate from a translation rather than the original, he himself has given the reason in his own preface: “These truly divine meditations of sir John Valdesso, a nobleman of Spain (who died almost a hundred years ago), having been so acceptable to pious Vergerius, to learned Caelius Secundus Curio, and to many other both French and Italian Protestants, that they have been translated out of the original Spanish copy, and printed three or four times in those languages; it seemeth to me a reasonable, and a charitable desire, to print them now in English, without any alteration at all from the Italian copy, the Spanish being either not extant, or not easy to be found.” In a letter of Herbert's he gives the following additional particulars of Valdesso: “John Valdesso was a Spaniard of great learning and virtue, much valued by Charles V. whom he had attended in all his wars. When he was grown old, and weary both of war and of the world, he took a proper opportunity to declare to the emperor his resolution to decline the military service, and betake himself to a quiet contemplative life, because, he said, there ought to be some vacancy of time between fighting and dying. It happened at that time the emperor himself had made, though not publicly declared, the same resolution. He therefore desired Valdesso to consider well what he had said, and conceal his purpose till they might have opportunity for a friendly discourse about it. This opportunity soon offered, and, after a pious and free discourse together, they agreed, that on a certain day they would publicly receive the sacrament. At which time the emperor appointed an eloquent friar to preach on the contempt of the world, and the happiness of a quiet contemplative life. After sermon, the emperor declared openly that the preacher had begotten in him a resolution to lay down his dignities, to forsake the world, and betake himself to a monastic life. And he pretended that he had also persuaded John Valdesso to do the like. Not long after they carried their resolutions into execution.” The translation of the above work of Valdesso was printed at Oxford 1638, 8vo, and entitled “The hundred and ten Considerations of Signior John Valdesso, &c.” Subjoined is an epistle, written by Valdesso to lady Donna Julia de Gonzaga, to whom he dedicates “A Commentary upon the Epistle to the Romans.” It appears, that along with this commentary he sent to her all St. Paul's epistles, translated from the Greek into the ordinary Castilian language. He says, that he had before translated the Psalms of David from the original Hebrew, for her use; and he promises to furnish her with the history of Christ in the same language, at such time and manner as shall please the “divine Majesty.” In the mean time Valdesso bad made many converts to the reformed opinions, until the Spanish Inquisition interfered, and either compelled his disciples to fly or to recant. He died at Naples in 1540. He wrote some commentaries on different parts of the Bible; but his “Considerations” are his principal work." VALDO. See WALDO. VALENTINE (BASIL), is the name, real or assumed, of a celebrated alchymist, and one of the founders of modern chemistry. The few particulars we have of his life are so contradictory that many have supposed that no such person ever existed, and that the name Basil Valentine, which is composed of a Greek and Latin word, signifying a powerful king, was a disguise under which some adept wished to conceal his real name, and at the same time indicate the sovereign power of chemistry. At what time this adept lived is also a disputed point. Some say he lived in the twelfth century, others make him a native of Erfurt, born in 1394, and give 1415 as the date of his writings, or as the time when he began to write, but this last is certainly inadmissible, as he mentions the morbus Gallicus and Lues Gallica as being common in Germany, which we know could not be the case before the end of the fifteenth century. Those who make him a native of Erfurt tell us likewise that he was a Benedictine monk, and that after making some experiments on the stibium of the ancients, he threw a quantity of it to the hogs, whom it first purged and afterwards fattened. This suggested to him that it might be useful in order to give a little of the embonpoint to his brother monks, who had become lean by fasting and mortification. He accordingly prescribed it, and they all died, whence the medicine was afterwards known by the name of antimony, quasi anti-monk. It is added that his works were not known for a long time after his death, until on opening one of the pillars of the church of Erfurt, they were miraculously discovered. But unfortunately for these stories, Boerhaave has proved that there never was a monastery of Benedictimes at Erfurt, and we have already proved that the books published under the name of Basil Valentine could not have been written in the beginning of the fifteenth century. It appears, however, whatever their date, that they were originally written in Dutch, and that a part only have been translated into Latin, and probably have received additions from other hands. All that have been published are still in considerable request, and are become scarce. Among them are; 1. “De microcosmo, deque magno mundi ministerio et medicina hominis,” Marpurg, 1609, 8vo. 2, “Azoth, sive Aureliae philosophorum,” Francfort, 1613, 4to. 3. “Practica, una cum duodecim clavibus et appendice,” ibid. 1618, 4to. 4. “Apocalypsis chymica,” Erfurt, 1624, 8vo. 5. “Manifestatio artificiorum,” Erfurt, 1624, 4to. 6. “Currus triumphalis antimonii,” Leip. 1624, 8vo, reprinted at Amsterdam, 1671, 12mo, “cum commentariis Theod. Kerkringii.” 7. “Tractatus chimicophilosophus de rebus naturalibus et praeternaturalibus metallorum et mineralium,” Francfort, 1676, 8vo. 8. “Haliographia, de praeparatione, usu, ac virtutibus omnium salium mineralium, animalium, ac vegetabilium, ex manuscriptis Basilii Valentini collecta ab Ant. Salmincio,” Bologna, 1644, 8vo. There are editions of these in Dutch, and translations into French, English, and other languages
* Chausepie.-Niceron, vol. I.-Pulteney's Sketches. * Dict, Hist.