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MASSON (FRANCIS), an enterprizing botanist, was born at Aberdeen, in North-Britain, in 1741, and after coming to London, probably in pursuit of employment as a gardener, in which capacity he was known to Mr. Aiton, the superintendant of Kew gardens, he was sent in 1771 or 1772 to the Cape of Good Hope. That country had been, for near a century, celebrated as a mine of botanical riches, which had scarcely reached our gardens but through the medium of those of Holland. This deficiency, however, in our supply of curious plants, was little felt while Mr. Masson continued at the Cape, and the Dutch appear not to have restrained his inquiries or acquisitions. He was allowed to travel many hundred miles up the country, and having amply effected the purpose of his mission, he was, in 1776, ordered to explore the Canary islands, the Azores, Madeira, and part of the West-Indies, especially the island of St. Christopher. In this he employed about five years more, and returned to England in 1781.

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During his stay at the Cape, he entered into a correspondence with Linnæus. Having discovered a bulbous plant of a new genus, he was not only laudably ambitious. of botanical commemoration in its name, but he was particularly anxious, as appears by one of his letters, to receive this honour from no less a hand than that of his illustrious correspondent. This indeed, his learned biographer remarks, was the unicum præmium, the only reward to which he aspired for all his labours. That he sought no pecuniary advancement, the extreme slenderness of the stipend which could be obtained for him, and his disregard of such objects at all times, abundantly evinced. tained the honour to which he aspired. The specimen of Massonia in the herbarium of Linnæus, named by his own trembling hand near the close of his life, proves that the name had his sanction, though it appears to have been originally suggested by Thunberg, in whose company Masson botanized for two years at the Cape. In 1783, he visited Portugal and Madeira, and returned to the Cape of Good Hope in 1786, where, in consequence of the knowledge he had already acquired, it was settled, in consultation with his able adviser, sir Joseph Banks, that his travels should now be restrained to within forty miles of the Cape town. In 1795, Mr. Masson returned to England, and spent two years there among his botanical friends, after which he was sent to explore such parts of North America,

under the British government, as appeared most likely to produce new and valuable plants; and his success was equal to the expectations that had been formed. New plants, of interesting characters and properties, sprang up under his steps, and it seemed probable that much practical knowledge was likely to result from his discoveries, but he did not live to reap or to communicate more than a foretaste of these advantages. He died about Christmas, 1805, in the sixty-fifth year of his age, at Montreal, in Canada. He was a man of a mild temper, persevering in his pursuits, even to a great enthusiasm. Of great industry; which his specimens and drawings of fish, animals, insects, plants, and views of the countries he passed through, evince. And though he passed a solitary life, in countries distant from society, his love of natural history never forsook him. In 1796 he published a splendid work on the genus Stapelia, consisting of a thin folio volume, with forty-one coloured plates of as many species, almost entirely non-descript, accompanied by descriptions.'

MASSON (JOHN), a reformed minister, who died in Holland about 1750, was originally of France, but fled into England to enjoy that liberty in religion which his country refused him, and was employed as tutor in bishop Burnet's family. In 1710 he travelled with his pupils, through Holland, and thence to France and Italy, according to Saxius, though we doubt whether the bishop had at that time any sons so young as to be only beginning their education. Be this as it may, he soon became known in the literary world, and we should suppose must have often resided in Holland, as most of his publications were printed there. The first we can trace with certainty is his "Jani templum Christo nascente reseratum, seu Tractatus Chronologico-historicus vulgarem refellens opinionem existimantium, pacem toto terrarum orbe sub tempus Servatoris natale stabilitam fuisse," &c. Rotterdam, 1700, 4to and 8vo. We are also indebted to him for, 1. "Histoire critique de la Republique des Lettres, from 1712 to 1717," in 15 vols. 12mo. 2. "Vitæ Horatii, Ovidii, et Plinii junioris," 3 vols. small 8vo, and printed abroad, though dedicated to Englishmen of rank: the first at Leyden, 1708, to lord Harvey; the second at Amsterdam, 1708, to sir Justinian Isham; the third at Amsterdam, 1709, to the bishop of Worcester. These lives are drawn up in a chronologi

1 Rees's Cyclopædia, by the president of the Linnean Society.

cal order, very learnedly and very critically; and serve to illustrate the history, not only of these particular persons, but of the times also in which they lived. In the "Life of Horace," Masson found occasion to interfere with M. Dacier; who, however, defended his own opinions, and, prefixed his defence to the second edition of his Horace. 3.Histoire de Pierre Bayle & de ses ouvrages," Amsterdam, 1716, 12mo. This at least is supposed to be his, though at first it was given to M. la Monnoye. Many other critical dissertations by Masson are enumerated by Saxius.1

MASSON (PAPIRIUS, or PAPIRE-MASSON), a French his torical and miscellaneous writer, was the son of a rich merchant, and born at St. Germain-Laval, in the territory of Forez, May 16, 1544. He lost his father when a child; and, though his mother married again, she appears to have

taken great care of his education. At a proper age he was put under the Jesuits at Billon, in Auvergne, with whom he continued four years; and was then called to Lyons by an uncle, who intended to send him to Toulouse, to study the law but the civil wars rendering this unsafe, he returned to Billon, where he applied himself to the belles lettres and philosophy. Here contracting an intimacy with a fellow-student, Anthony Challon, he joined with him in a resolution of entering into the society of Jesuits and accordingly they went soon after to Rome, where they took the habit. Masson made a funeral oration at Rome for some cardinal, in the presence of several others, and acquired by it great credit and reputation. Afterwards these two friends went to Naples, where Masson taught two years in the college of Jesuits. They returned together to France, when Challon quitted the society, as did Masson some time after, and defended this step with so much moderation and candour that the society were not displeased at it.

The marriage of Charles IX. of France with Elizabeth, daughter of the emperor Maximilian, being celebrated in 1570 at Mezieres, Masson, who was present, wrote an elegant description of it, which was published the same year in 8vo, and was the first thing from which he derived literary reputation. He then resolved to apply to the law, and with this view went to Angers to study under the

1 Dict. Hist.-Saxii Onomasticon,



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celebrated Baudouin, or Balduinus. After two years he returned to Paris, and became librarian to the chancellor de Cheverney, a lover of literature, in which place he continued ten years. In 1576 he was made an advocate of parliament; yet never pleaded more than one cause, which however he gained with universal applause. The rest of his life appears to have been devoted to study, and when the troubles of France were at an end, he married the sister of a counsellor in parliament, with whom he lived thirty-four years, but had no children. The infirmities of age attacked him some time before his death, which happened Jan. 9, 1611. He wrote, 1. "Annals of France," a good work, the best edition of which is, 1598, 4to. Eulogies on illustrious Men," 1656, 8vo. 3. "A Deseription of France by its Rivers," 1685, 8vo. 4. "An Account of the French Bishoprics," 8vo. "De Episcopis Urbis," 4to, a history of the popes; and several other works, which discover great genius and learning. Joannis Calvini," 4to, a well-written work, is also ascribed to him by some, and, by others, to James Gillot. The above-mentioned are all in Latin. His friend, M. de Thou, has written his life, which is prefixed to his Eulogies.'

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MASSUET (RENE', or RENATUS), a very learned Benedictine, of the congregation of St. Maur, was born at S. Owen de Macelles, in 1665. He is chiefly known for the new edition of St. Irenæus, which he published in 1710, fol. Gr. & Lat. He consulted, for that purpose, several manuscripts, which had never been examined; and made new notes and learned dissertations, prefixed to the work. The first of these dissertations is employed upon the person, character, and condition of Irenæus, and sets forth particularly the writings and tenets of the heretics he encountered; the second enlarges further upon the life, actions, martyrdom, and writings of this saint; and the third relates his sentiments and doctrine. But, although this edition is reckoned better and more correct than any which had appeared before it, Salomon Deyling published a work at Leipsic in 1721, in order to expose the unfair representations Massuet had made of the opinions of Irenæus. Massuet was afterwards engaged to write a continuation of the acts and annals of the saints of the order

1 Niceron, vol. V.-Bullart's Academie des Sciences, vol. I-Perrault les Hommes Illustres. Saxii Onomasticon.


of St. Benedict; and accordingly he published a fifth volume. He died, aged 50, Jan. 19, 1716, after having written and published several other works.'


MASTER, or perhaps MASTERS (THOMAS), a poet and historian, was the son of the rev. William Master, rector of Cote near Cirencester in Gloucestershire. He was first educated at the grammar-school of Cirencester, and afterwards at Winchester-school, from which he entered New college, Oxford, as a probationer fellow in 1622, and was admitted perpetual fellow in 1624. He took his degrees in arts, that of M. A. in 1629, and being in orders, was in 1640 admitted to the reading of the sentences. At this time he was, considered as a man of great learning, well-versed in the languages, and a good poet and preacher. There are no other circumstances recorded of his life, except his connection with lord Herbert of Cherbury, whom he assisted in some of his writings. He died of a putrid fever in 1643, and was buried in the outer chapel of New-college. Lord Herbert honoured his mémory with a Latin epitaph, which is among his lordship's poems, but was not inscribed on the place of his burial. His poems were in Latin and Greek: 1. "Mensa Lubrica," Oxon. 1658, 4to, second edition. This is a poem in Lat. and English, describing the game of shovel-board. 46 Μόνοτροφικα εις την τε Χρισία σταυρωσιν, a Greek poem on the passion of Christ, which was translated into Latin by Mr. Jacob of Merton-college, and into English by Cowley, and published at Oxford, 1658, 4to. His other Latin productions were, an oration delivered in New-college; "Iter Boreale," "Carolus Redux," "Ad regem Carolum," &c. We have termed him a historian from his having given lord Herbert great assistance in his "Life of Henry VIII.” He also had a share in the Latin translation of his lordship's book "De Veritate." He had accumulated a great mass of historical information and authorities from the public records; Wood speaks of having four thick volumes in folio of these, "lying by him," but does not mention whether his own property or borrowed. Dr. Fiddes, however, informs us, in the introduction to his "Life of Wolsey," that in his time Mr. Master's "diligent and faithful collections" were in the library of Jesus-college, Oxford. He

Moreri.-Dict. Hist.-Saxii Onomasticon.
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