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BEING AND PERFECTIONS OF GOD,
FROM A CONSIDERATION OF
THE STRUCTURE AND ECONOMY OF
ILLUSTRATED WITH A COPPERPLATE.
and W. Davies, London.
DEFORE entring on the perufal of the following Work,
D it will not perhaps be disagreeable to the Reader, to have some account of the authors of it.
Of the learned and pious Lesser few particulars are known. He was of Nordhausen 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, secretary of the Cyphers, translator and patent.mafter to their High Mightinesses, was born at Maestricht in 1706, and was descended from a very respectable and ancient family in Lorrain. His ancestors were frequently obliged by the wars and troubles occasioned 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 seen his eftates and possessions destroyed and burnt to ashes, and his wife and all his children murdered, was at last reduced to the necessity of flying. He took refuge in Switzerland, where he was afterwards re-married, and had by his second wife a fon, of whom was born Benjamin Lyonet, French minifter at Housdon, the father of qur author. .
Mr Peter Lyonet had scarcely attained his seventh year before he displayed an uncommon strength and agility in all bodily exercises ; but he was not less diligent in the improvement of his mind. Being placed at the Latin school, he learned chronology, and exercised himself in Latin, Greek, and French poetry, as also in Hebrew, Logic, and the Cartesian Physics. He was particularly fond of the study of languages, and understood no less than nine,living and dead; viz, of the former, besides 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 Philosophy, Geometry, Algebra, &c. but his father defiring he should attach himself to divinity, he reluctantly abandoned the former studies, as his passion for them was not easily to be over
come. He at the same time applied himself toanatomy, and also to music and drawing. He began afterwards to practise sculpture, and performed several pieces in wood, one of which in particular, which is preserved, is uncommonly admired by the artists. It is a baffo relievo, cut in palm-wood, representing Apollo, with the Nine Muses; a most gloririous master-piece, and which the painter Van Gool, in the second volume of his “ Review of the Dutch painters, &c. under the article Lyonet, styles a 'wonder-piece.' It excited also the admiration of the painter le Chevalier de Moor. After this, he betook himself to drawing portraits of his friends from life, wherein, after three or four months practice, he became a great proficient. Having attained the degree of candidate in divinity, he resolved to study law, to which he applied himself with so much zeal, that he was promoted at the end of the first year. On this occasion he delivered an academical treatise on the proper use of the torture, which was published, and gained him the csteem of the learned. Arrived at the Hague, he undertook the study of decyphering, and became secretary of the cyphers, translator of the Latin and French languages, and patentmaster to their High Mightinesses. Meanwhile, having taken a strong liking to the study of insects, he undertook an historical description of such as are found about the Hague, and to that end collected materials for several volumes; and having invented a method of drawing adapted thereto, he enriched this work with a great number of plates, univer-sally admired by all the connoiffeurs who had seen them. In the year 1742 was printed at the Hague a French translation 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 caused his merit to be universally 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 observations; and bestowed on it, as did also 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 witnessed this operation, concerned at the difficulties he experienced in getting the remaining eight finished in the superior style he required, resolved 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 such a manner as drew on him the highest 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 Raisonnée," 1744, have. likewise certified their admiration of him ; for after a long panegyric, they expreis themselves thus ; “ We may justly apply to him, what Fontenelle fomewhere says of the famous Leibnitz: “Of many Herculesses antiquity made only one, but of a single Lyonet, we may make many learned men.”