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MASCARON (Julius), an eminent French preacher, the son of a celebrated advocate to the parliament of Air, was born, 1634, at Marseilles. He entered early among the priests of the oratory, was employed at the age of twentytwo to teach rhetoric at Mans, and preached afterwards with such applause at Saumur and Paris, that the court engaged him for Advent 1666, and Lent 1667. Mascaron was so much admired there, that his sermons were said to be formed for a court; and when some envious persons would have made a crime of the freedom with which he announced the truths of Christianity to the king, Louis XIV. defended him, saying, “ He has done his duty, it remains for us to do our's." P. Mascaron was appointed to the bishopric of Tulles, 1671, and translated to that of Agen in 1678. He returned to preach before the king in Advent 1694, and Louis XIV. was so much pleased, that he said to him, “Your eloquence alone, neither wears out nor grows old.” On going back to Agen, he founded an hospital, and died in that city, December 16, 1703, aged sixty-nine. None of his compositions have been printed, but “ A collection of bis Funeral Orations,” among which, those on M. de Turenne and the chancellor Seguier, are particularly admired. It may be proper to mention, that M. Mascaron having been ordained priest by M. de Lavardin, bishop of Mans, who declared on his death-bed, that he never intended to ordain any priest, the Sorbonne was consulted whether this prelate's ordinations were valid, They decided “That it was sufficient if he had the exterior intention to do what the church does, and that he certainly had it, because he did so: therefore it was not needful to ordain those priests again, which this bishop had ordained." But notwithstanding this decision, M. Mascaron chose to be ordained again; which proves, says L'Avocat, that be was a better preacher than casuist, and that his conscience was more scrupulous than enlightened on this point.'
MASCLEF (FRANCIS), a French theologiai', was at first only a rector in the diocese of Amiens, but afterwards a person in great confidence with the bishop, and by him placed at the head of the seminary of that district. He was deeply skilled in languages, particularly the Oriental. The virtuous bishop de Brou made him also a canon of Amiens; but when that prelate died, in 1706, he was not equally in . Geo. Dict. --Niceron, vols, 11. and X.—Dict. Hist. de L'Avocat.
favour with his successor, as they did not agree on the subject of Jansenism, then an object of great contention. He was now removed from the seminary, and every other public function, but consoled himself by his studies, which he pursued with new ardour. He died in November, 1728, at the age of sixty-six. His principal works are, 1. “A Hebrew Grammar,” according to a new method, in which the points are discarded, printed in 1716 ; improved and reprinted in 2 vols. 12mo, by M. de la Bletterie, in 1730. 2. “ Ecclesiastical Conferences of the diocese of Amiens." 3. “ The Catechism of Amiens,” 4to. He left also in manuscript a system of philosophy and of theology, which would have been published, had they not been thought to contain some seeds of Jansenism. Masclef was no less respectable by his character than by his learning.'
MASCRIER (John BAPTIST DE), a French abbé, rather an author by profession than by genius, was born in 1697, at Caen. His works were chiefly formed upon the labours of others, either by translating them, or by working up the materials into a new form. He died at Paris in 1760, at the age of sixty-three. His publications were, 1. “A Description of Egypt, from the Memoirs of M. Maillet," 1735, 4to. This work is fundamentally good, and contains judicious remarks, and curious anecdotes, but the style would be improved by the retrenchment of many affectations and other faults. 2. “ An Idea of the ancient and modern Government of Egypt,” 1745, 12mo; a work of less research than the foregoing. 3.“ A translation of Cæsar's Commentaries," 1755, 12mo. 4. “ Christian ReAlections on the great truths of Faith," 1757, 12mo. 5. “ History of the last Revolution in the East Indies ;" a work that is curious, but not quite exact. 6.“ Lommius's Table of Diseases," 1760, 12mo. He was concerned also in the great work on religious ceremonies, published by Picart, and in the translation of de Thou's History. 7. A translation of the Epigrams of Martial, 2 vols. 12mo. He published besides, editions of several works :—as, of the Memoirs of the marquis de Fouquieres; of Pelisson's His. tory of Louis XIV. and some papers of de Maillet, under the name of Telliamed, which is de Maillet reversed. He generally published through necessity, and the subjects varied according to the probability of advantage." "Moreri. -Dict. Hist.
MASENIUS, or MASEN (James), a Jesuit, and a writer of Latin poetry, was born at Dalen in the dutchy of Juliers, in 1606. He professed eloquence and poetry with great credit at Cologne; and wrote, among other things, a long Latin poem entitled “ Sarcotis,” or “ Sarcothea,” which Lauder brought into new celebrity, by pretending that Milton had borrowed from it. It was an allegory describing the fall of inan. Masenius wrote good Latin, and good verses, but full of amplification and declamation. The tracts occasioned by Lauder's accusation of Milton, were translated into French, and published collectively by Barbou, in 2 vols. 12mo, in 1759. Masenius produced also, 1. A kind of art of poetry, under the title of “Palæstra eloquentiæ ligatæ,” in 4 vols. 12mo. 2. Another treatise entitled “ Palæstra styli Romani.” 3.“ Anima Historiæ, seu vita Caroli V. et Ferdinandi," in 4to. 4. Notes and additions to the Antiquitates et Annales Trevirensium, by Brower, 1670, in folio. 5.“ Epitome Annalium Trevirensium," 1676, 8vo. He died in 1681.'
MASHAM (lady DAMAKIS), a lady distinguished by her piety and extraordinary accomplishments, was the daughter of Dr. Ralph Cudworth, and born at Cambridge on the 18th of January, 1658. Her father, perceiving the bent of her genius, took such particular care of her education, that she quickly became remarkable for her uncommon learning and piety. She was the second wife of sir Francis Masham, of Oates in the county of Essex, bart, by whom she had an only son, the late Francis Cudworth Masham, esq. one of the masters in chancery, accomptant-general of that court, and foreign opposer in the court of exchequer. She was well skilled in arithmetic, geography, chronology, history, philosophy, and divinity; and owed a great part of her improvement to the care of the famous Mr. Locke, who lived many years in her family, and at length died in her house at Oates; and whom she treated with the utmost generosity and respect. She wrote “A Discourse concerning the Love of God,” published at London in 1696 ; and “ Occasional Thoughts in reference to a virtuous and Christian Life.” This amiable lady died in 1708, and was interred in the cathedral church of Bath, where a monument is erected to her memory, with the following inscription : “ Near this place lies Dame Damaris
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Masham, daughter of Ralph Cudworth, D. D. and second wife of sir Francis Masham, of Oates, in the county of Essex, bart. who, to the softness and elegancy of her own sex, added several of the noblest accomplishments and qualities of the other. She possessed these advantages in a great degree unusual to either, and tempered them with an exactness peculiar to herself. Her learning, judgment, sagacity, and penetration, together with her candour and love of truth, were very observable to all that conversed with her, or were acquainted with those small treatises she published in her life-time, though she industriously concealed her name. Being mother of an only son, she applied all her natural and acquired endowments to the care of his education. She was a strict observer of all the virtues belonging to every station of life, and only wanted opportunities to make those talents shine in the world, which were the admiration of her friends. She was born on the 18th of January, 1658, and died on the 20th of April, 1708."
MASIUS (ANDREW), or Dumas, born in 1516, at Line nich, near Brussels, was one of the most learned men of the sixteenth century. He was secretary to John de Weze, bishop of Constance, after whose death he was sent as an agent to Rome. He married at Cleves in 1558, and was appointed counsellor to William duke of Cleves. He died, in April 1573. He was a master of the ancient and orienal languages to such a degree, that Sebastian Munster said he seemed to have been brought up in ancieut Rome, or ancient Jerusalem. He produced, 1. “A Collection of various pieces, ancient and modern, translated from the Syriac," Antwerp, 1569. 2.“ Syrorum Peculium,” 1571, folio. This is a Syriac lexicon. 8. “Grammatica Lingua Syricæ,” 1571, folio. 4. “A Commentary on the Book of Joshua,” Antwerp, 1574, folio, and also in the Critici Sacri. Dr. Henry Owen, who published a “ Critical Disquisition" on this work in 1784, observes, that although Masius's professed design was to correct and restore the Greek text, yet his latent intention was merely to confirm tbe authority of the Septuagint. 5.“ Disputatio de Cena Domini,” Antwerp, 1575. 6. Commentaries on some chapters of Deuteronomy. . He was in possession of the famous Syriac MS. written in the year 606, which afterwards
belonged to D. E. Jablonsky. This manuscript is the only one that preserves the readings of Joshua as given by Origen.'
MASKELYNE (Nevil), an eminent astronomer and mathematician, the son of Edmund Maskelyne, esq. of Purton, in Wiltshire, was born at London in 1732, and educated at Westminster school, where he made a distinguished progress in classical learning. Before he left school his studies appear to have been determined to astronomy by his accidentally seeing the memorable solar eclipse of 1748, exhibited through a large telescope in a camera obscura. From this period he applied himself with ardour to astronomy and optics, and as a necessary preparation, turned his attention to geometry and algebra, the elements of which he learned in a few months without the help of a master. In 1749 he entered of Catherine hall, Cambridge, but soon after removed to Trinity college, where he pursued his favourite studies with increased success; and on taking his degree of B. A. in 1754, received distinguished honours from the university. He took his degrees of A.M. in 1757, B. D. in 1768, and D. D. in 1777. Being ada mitted into holy orders he officiated for some time as curate of Barnet; and in 1756 became a fellow of his college.
In 1758 he was chosen a fellow of the royal society, and soon after became an important contributor to the Philo. sophical Transactions. Such was his reputation already, that the society appointed him to go to the island of St. Helena, to observe the transit of Venus over the sun's disk, which was to take place June 6, 1761. On this occasion he reinained ten months on the island, making astronomical observations and philosophical experiments; and although his observation of the transit of Venus was not completely successful, owing to the cloudy state of the weather, his voyage afforded him an opportunity of taking lunar observations, which were now for the first time made with effect. This method of finding the longitude at sea was long a great desideratum, and plans had been made by many of his predecessors, but the honour was reserved for Dr. Maskelyne to reduce their theories to successful practice. This he was enabled to do by Hadley's quadrant recently invented, and also by professor Mayer's lunar tables, for which a parliamentary reward of 3000l. was * Moreri. Foppen, Bibl. Belg.-Oxed ubi supra.—Dict. Hist.-Saxi Onomast.