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Printed for WILLIAM CREECH; and T. CADELL, Jun.

and W. DAVIES, London.




EFORE entring on the perufal of the following Work, it will not perhaps be difagreeable to the Reader, to have fome account of the authors of it.

Of the learned and pious LESSER few particulars are known. He was of Nordhaufen in Germany, and published in 1736, a LITHO-THEOLOGY.

Of the author of the NOTES, we are enabled to give the following account, which was published in the Gentleman's Magazine for September 1789:

MR PETER LYONET, fecretary of the Cyphers, translator and patent-mafter to their High Mightineffes, was born at Maestricht in 1706, and was defcended from a very refpectable and ancient family in Lorrain. His ancestors were frequently obliged by the wars and troubles occafioned by the Reformation, to abandon their habitations, and their native country, on account of their zeal for the reformed religion. His great grandfather, after having feen his eftates and poffeflions deftroyed and burnt to afhes, and his wife and all his children murdered, was at laft reduced to the neceffity of flying. He took refuge in Switzerland, where he was afterwards re-married, and had by his fecond wife a fon, of whom was born Benjamin Lyonet, French minifter at Houfdon, the father of our author.

Mr Peter Lyonet had fcarcely attained his feventh year before he difplayed an uncommon strength and agility in all bodily exercifes; but he was not lefs diligent in the improvement of his mind. Being placed at the Latin fchool, he learned chronology, and exercised himself in Latin, Greek, and French poetry, as alfo in Hebrew, Logic, and the Cartefian Phyfics. He was particularly fond of the study of languages, and understood no less than nine,living and dead; viz. of the former, befides the Dutch and French, the Italian (which he had acquired without the aid of a master,) the Spanish, German, and English. Having entered the University of Leyden, he studied the Newtonian Philofophy, Geometry, Algebra, &c. but his father defiring he should attach himself to divinity, he reluctantly abandoned the former studies, as his paffion for them was not easily to be overcome. He at the fame time applied himself toanatomy, and alfo to mufic and drawing. He began afterwards to practife fculpture, and performed feveral pieces in wood, one of which in particular, which is preserved, is uncommonly admired by the artifts. It is a baffo relievo, cut in palm-wood, representing Apollo, with the Nine Mufes; a most gloririous master-piece, and which the painter Van Gool, in the fecond volume of his "Review of the Dutch painters, &c. under the article Lyonet, ftyles a wonder-piece.' It excited alfo the admiration of the painter le Chevalier de Moor. After this, he betook himfelf to drawing portraits of his triends from life, wherein, after three or four months practice, he became a great proficient. Having attained the degree of candidate in divinity, he refolved to ftudy law, to which he applied himfelf with fo much zeal, that he was promoted at the end of the first year. On this occafion he delivered an academical treatife on the proper ufe of the torture, which was published, and gained him the cfteem of the learned. Arrived at the Hague, he undertook the ftudy of decyphering, and became fecretary of the cyphers, translator of the Latin and French languages, and patent


master to their High Mightineffes. Meanwhile, having taken a strong liking to the study of infects, he undertook an hiftorical description of such as are found about the Hague, and to that end collected materials for feveral volumes; and having invented a method of drawing adapted thereto, he enriched this work with a great number of plates, univer-fally admired by all the connoiffeurs who had seen them. In the year 1742 was printed at the Hague a French tranflation of the following work. The love of truth engaged Mr Lyonet to defer the publication of his above-mentioned description, and to write the Notes now translated. This performance caufed his merit to be univerfally known and admired. The celebrated M. de Reaumur had the French translation reprinted at Paris, not more on account of the work itself, than of Mr Lyonet's obfervations; and bestowed on it, as did alfo many other authors, the highest encomiums. He afterwards executed drawings of the fresh water Polypus for Mr Trembley's beautiful work published in 1744. The ingenious Wandelaar had engraved the first five plates, when Mr Lyonet, who had never witneffed this operation, concerned at the difficulties he experienced in getting the remaining eight finished in the fuperior ftyle he required, refolved to perform the task himself. He accordingly took a leffon of one hour of Mr Wandelaar, engraved three or four small plates, and immediately began upon the work itself, which he performed in fuch a manner as drew on him the higheft degree of praise, both from Mr Trembley and from many other artists, particularly the celebrated Van Gool already named, who declared that the performance astonished not only the amateurs, but also the most experienced artists. The authors of the "Bibliotheque Raifonnée," 1744, have. likewife certified their admiration of him; for after a long panegyric, they exprefs themselves thus; "We may justly apply to him, what Fontenelle fomewhere fays of the famous Leibnitz: "Of many Herculeffes antiquity made only one, but of a fingle Lyonet, we may make many learned men."


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