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In 1792 he went to La Fere to assist at the trials of a new kind of gunpowder. Being obliged to spend the greatest part of the day in the open air, in a cold raw day, bis health, naturally delicate, was considerably impaired. But he had gradually recovered almost completely, when he fell a sacrifice to the science to which he had devoted the whole of his attention. He breathed at different times, and during long periods, oxymuriatic acid gas. The consequence was a consumption, which wasted him rapidly, and at last carried him off on the 21st July 1797, in the thirty-sixth year of his age.
Short as the period of his life was, the services which he rendered to chemistry were by no means inconsiderable. His analyses are always precise, and his dissertations written with that perspicuity which marks the clear thinker, and the master of his subject. His fondness for the science was extreme; he continued his labours to the very last, and even on his death-bed spoke of them with satisfaction. His constitution was always weak, and his character marked with timidity; but his mind was remarkably active, and his conduct irreproachable.'
PELLETIER (CLAUDE DE), one of the few who have been able to unite attention to business, with the love and cultivation of letters, was born at Paris in 1630, and bred to the law, but always in strict intimacy with Boileau, Bignon, Lamoignon, and the other great men of his time. He was first counsellor of the Châtelet, then in the parliament, afterwards president of the fourth chamber of requests, and next Prévôt des Marchands. To this place he was nominated in 1668, and signalized his situation there by building a quay at Paris, which still retains his name. Being much approved in this office, he was appointed in 1683 to succeed the famous Colbert in that of controllergeneral of the finances. He held this place only six years, after which he resigned it, and in 1697 retired from court entirely, to lead a life of meditation and devotion. He died in August 1711, at the age of eighty-one. Though the life of Pelletier was so much occupied by business, he either produced or was concerned in several publications. 1. Extracts and Collections from the fathers, the ecclesiastical writers, and from scripture, made with great judgment, in several volumes, 12mo. 2. Editions of the “Comes
1 Mem. de l'Inst. Nation. in Baldwin's Lit, Journal.
Theologus,” and “Comes Juridicus,” of Peter Pithou, who was his matérval great grandfather. 3.“Comes Senectutis,"? and 4. " Comes Rusticus," both in 12mo, and written in imitation of the former works of Pithou, consist chiefly of the thoughts of various authors. 5. The best edition of the Body of Canon Law, in Latin, with the notes of Peter and Francis Pithou, in 2 vols. fol. 6. An edition of the Observations of Peter Pithou on the Code and on the Novellæ.?!
PELLETIER (JAQUES), a celebrated French physician, born at Mans in 1517, was eminent also as a scholar, and became principal of the colleges of Bayeux and Mans at Paris, where he died in 1582. His writings have not retained all the estimation which they possessed in his time; but they are numerous. 1. Commentaries on Euclid, written in Latin, 8vo. 2.“ De dimensione circuli," Basil. 1563, fol. 3.“ Disquisitiones Geometricæ," Lugd. 1567, 8vo, with some other works of this kind. 4. " Dialogue de l'Ortografe è prononciacion Françoase,” Lyon, 1555, 8vo, in which, as may be seen by the title, he proposes to write. words as they are pronounced; a theoretical improvement, but attended with too many difficulties in practice to be adopted in any country. Mr. James Elphinston made similar attempts, with similar success, in England. 5. Two or three collections of very bad poetry. 6. A description of Savoy. 7. A translation of Horace's Art of Poetry. 8. A French Art of Poetry written in prose. He published also on his own profession, 9. A small treatise in Latin, on the Plague. Avd 10. A Concordance of several passages in Galen, with some detached treatises, 1559, one vol. 4to. ?
PELLICAN (CONRAD), a learned German divine and reformer, was born Jan. 8, 1478, at Ruffach, in Alsatia. His family name was Kursiner, or Kirsner, but the name Pellican, which means the same thing in Latin as Kirsner in German, and is in neither very significant, was given him by his maternal uncle. Pellican began his studies at Ruffach in his sixth year, and’under an excellent master, who inspired him with a love for literature; yet his difficulties were many, as, among other hindrances, he was obliged to write down every thing taught him, printing being then in its infancy, and no elementary treatise had issued from the press. His maternal uncle already men
1 Moreri.Dict, Hist.
tioned, who lived at Heidelberg, and had often been rector of the university, hearing of the progress bis nephew made in his studies, sent for him to that seminary, where he applied to the belles lettres and logic for about sixteen months, which was probably as long as bis uncle could afford to maintain him. He returned therefore in Sept. 1492. to his parents, who were poor, and could give him little support, but got some employment as assistant to a schoolmaster, and had, what was then of great importance to him, the power of borrowing books from the convent of the Cordeliers. His frequent visits for this purpose brought on an acquaintance with those holy fathers, who conceived a very high opinion of Pellican, now in bis sixteenth year, and appear to have found little difficulty in persuading him to enter their order, which accordingly he did in January 1493, but against the consent of his relations. He then commenced his theological studies, and in the following year was admitted to the order of subdeacon. In 1496, at the request of his uncle, he was sent to Tubingen, and recommended to Paul Scriptor, a very learned professor of philosophy and mathematics, under whom he profited much, and who conceived a great affection for his pupil. In 1499, meeting with a converted Jew, who was now one of his own order, Pellican expressed his wish to learn Hebrew, and with the assistance of this Jew acconiplished the elementary part, although not without great difficulty. Melchior Adam mentions his enthusiastic joy on receiving the loan of a part of the Bible in Hebrew. Reuchlin, who came to Tubingen in 1500, gave Pellican some assistance in this language ; and with this, and other helps, certainly very difficult to be procured at that time, and by indefatigable industry, he at length acquired sạch knowledge of it, as to be accounted, after Reuchlin, the first Hebrew scholar in Germany.
In 1501, in bis twenty-third year, he was ordained priest, and the following year he was appointed to teach theology in the convent of his order at Basil, and he likewise gave lectures on philosopliy and astronomy. After remaining here for six years, he was in 1508 sent to Ruffach to teach the same branches, and had Sebastian Munster for one of his pupils in Hebrew and astronomy. In 1511 he was chosen guardian of the convent of Pfortzheim, where he taught theology until 1514, when Caspar Sazger, provincial of his order, engaged him as his secretary; and as this
office required his attendance on the provincial in all his journeys, Pellican had many opportunities of becoming acquainted with the learned of his time, and particularly of transcribing from the libraries whatever might add to his stock of oriental and biblical literature, which appears now to have been the fixed object of his studies. On his return from Rouen, where he had been to assist at a chapter, he stopped three months at Basil, with leave of the provincial, to superintend an edition of the Psalter in four languages, wbich Froben had then at press.
Melchior Adam is rather prolix * in his account of Pellican's journeys with the provincial, little of which is interesting. It appears to have been in 1519 that he was appointed guardian at Basil, and where he met with the writings of the illustrious Luther, which, some say, converted him to the protestant faith; but it would be more correct to say that they served to confirm bim in certain sentiments which he had for some time entertained, and was now so little afraid of avowing, that in 1522 he was accused of Lutheranism in a chapter of his order. By what means he defended himself we are not told, but it was with such cess, that he obtained permission for some of the ablest of the students and preachers to read the works of Luther. The following year the provincial Sazger paying a visit at Basil, the professors of the university and some of the canons tendered complaints against Pellican and others, as being Lutherans, and contributing to the circulation of Luther's works. Sazgér was for deposing them, but the senate would not admit of it, and said that, if he obliged Pellican and his friends to leave the city for this cause, they, the senate, would take care to send every one of the order after them. Sazger took the bint, and left Basil, where Oecolampadius and Pellican being put into the situation of those professors who had been their accusers, Pellican entered on a course of lectures on the Bible, which formed the foundation of the commentaries he afterwards published in several volumes folio, from 1533 to 1537.
Pellican continued professor at Basil until 1526, when Zuinglius invited him to Zurich in the name of the senate of that city, to teach Hebrew. Although be had been for three years explaining the Hebrew Bible, yet he was
* He is not altogether to blame, however. The life given by Melchior was written by Pellican himself, and is upon the whole a very interesting one.
modest enough to doubt his abilities for this office, and would have declined it had not bis friends represented to him how much more effectually he might promote the reformation at Zurich than at Basil, where he was already in some danger from the enemies of the new principles. Accorda ingly he consented, and at Zurich threw off the clerical dress he had usually worn for thirty-three years; and, as was generally done by the reformers, entered into the married state with a lady, who died ten years after (in 1536, when he married a second time). He continued to execute the office of professor of Hebrew at Zurich until bis death, April 1, 1556, in the seventy-eighth year of his age.
Pellican was a man of extensive learning, and particuJarly an able biblical critic. His skill in the languages, and his critical talents, made his services of great importance in the publication of various works. Amerbach, the printer, employed him on the works of St. Augustine pubJished in 1506, in 9 vols. folio; and he executed many translations, particularly of the Bible, or parts of it, the Chaldee paraphrases, &c. His works are said to have been pubJished together in 7 volumes, folio; but; although they may amount, including bis commentaries, to that number, there is no such collective edition.'
PELLISSON-FONTANIER (PAUL), a French academician, and a man of genius, was descended from an ancient and distinguished family, and born at Beziers in 1624. His mother, who was left a widow very young, brought him up in the protestant religion, and sent him to Castres to learn the belles lettres of Morus, or More, a learned Scotsman, who was principal of a college of the protestants at that place, and father of the famous Alexander More. At twelve years of age he was removed to Montaubon to study philosophy; and thence to Toulouse, where he plied himself to the law. He acquired a good knowledge of the Latin, Greek, Spanish, and Italian languages; but his love for the belles lettres did not make him neglect the law, which he studied so diligently as to publish, when he was not quite one-and-twenty, “A Commentary upon the Institutes of Justinian,” Paris, 1645, 12mo. Some little time after he went to Paris, where the celebrated Conrart, to whom he had been recommended by the protestants of Castres, introduced him to the gentlemen of the academy
i Melchior Adam. -Chaufepie.