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cles in that great dictionary, and supported his demand with a letter from Buffon, whose request Guyton could not refuse, though he had long hesitated in accepting the office. The engagement was signed between them in September, 1780; and, although the first part of that work did not appear till six years afterwards, still the study of the researches, which the execution of his engagement demanded, furnished him with immediate and very considerable occupations.
About this period, chemistry derived essential aid from Guyton himself. The nomenclature of that science was obscure aud barbarous, and he soon perceived that he should in vain endeavour at perspicnity, while the language remained thus absurd and inefficient. With Guyton, this consideration alone would have checked the ar. dour of his pursuit, had not his own genius suggested the idea of rea forming a nomenclature, till then, the opprobrium of chemistry. To this, therefore, he directed his attention, and, in 1782, was published his first essay on a new chemical nomenclature, forming the basis of all those subsequent changes from which we have derived so substantial benefit, and by the assistance of which, chemistry has grown from a pigmy to a colossus. No sooner, however, did this project reach the capital, than several of the members of the Royal Academy of Sciences, of which he was a corresponding member, inconsiderately undertook to oppose it, and the zealous proposer, as be himself used to say, was accablé d'objections in every point of his enterprize. Macquer himself, who, on first learning his friend's project, had written to him, “that, finding it excellent, he had determined to adopt it," did not, in the present instance, dare to defend him against the multiplied attacks of such numerous and powerful opponents. Undismayed, however, and full of zeal, Guyton, with a view to obviate every difficulty, and to answer in person the objections that might be made, went to Paris, and presented hintself before the Academy, where he not only succeeded in showing the necessity of the reform, but ultimately induced the most eminent chemists of the capital, such as Lavoisier, Berthollet, and Fourcroy, to join him in rendering that reform more complete and successful.
It would be folly to deny, that the immense progress since made in chemistry-the multiplied discoveries--the luminous mode in which that science is now taught and studied, and its rapid extension, are owing to the zealous exertions of Guyton), as displayed in his plan of a methodical chemical nomenclature, read at the Academy of Sciences of Paris, in 1787. Another circumstance deserving attention is, that from the repeated conferences held with Lavoisier, Berthollet, and Fourcroy, for the purpose of receiving their observations, and corrections of his original proposition, the science derived great advantages: for, while the latter were adopting the ideas of the former, Guyton became convinced of the truth of Lavoisier's new doctrine, and hastened to abjure the phlogistic theory, and to embrace the more luminous tenets of his illustrious countryman.
In 1783, in consequence of the favourable report made by Macquer to government, Guyton obtained permission to establish a NO, 225.
manufactory of soda ; and in the same year he published his Collec tions of Pleadings at the Bar, among which we find his “ Discours sur la Bonhomie," delivered at the opening of the sessions of Dijon, and with which he took leave of his fellow magistrates, surrendering the insignia of office, having determined to quit the juridical vocations.
On the 25th of April, 1784, Guyton, accompanied by the President Virly, ascended from Dijon in a balloon, which he had himself constructed, and repeated the experiment on the 12th of June following, with a view of ascertaining the possibility of directing those aerostatic machines, by an apparatus of his own contrivance.
At length, the first part of the volume of chemistry of the Encyclopædia made its appearan: e, and was seized upon with avidity by every one who took an interest in the progress of that science. This work is too well and too generally known, to need any eulogium. The article Acid, alone, is a complete history of the science. The · erudition displayed in it, and the numerous and well digested facts to be found throughout-the clear exposition of the various doctrines announced and supported by the different authors who have written on chemistry—and finally, the accurate and full details of the various experiments that had been made in almost every part of Europe, down to the time of Guyton's writings, are in themselves sufficient to ensure him an everlasting fame.
It was Guyton's good fortune to have a man as eminent as him. self for a successor in this undertaking. Fourcroy, at the express invitation of Guyton, was applied to by the publisher to continue the chemical part of the Encyclopædia; and, having accepted the proposition, on condition that Guyton should communicate to hin bis vocabulary-notes--articles already begun-extracts-translations, and drawings; the latter, with that liberality which ever distinguished him, lost not a moment in sending him every thing he had asked for, together with the entire article on Metallurgy by Duhamel, and the plates relating to it.
In September 1787, our professor was pleasingly surprized at Dijon, by the honour of a visit from Lavoisier, Berthollet, and Fourcroy, accompanied by their ladies, and MM. Monge and Vandermonde. By a very lucky coincidence, Dr. Beddoes, of Bristol, who was travelling through France at the time, happened to pass through Dijon, and joined this party, who had assembled to repeat and discuss several experiments explanatory of the new doctrine.
In 1790, Guytop received a letter from Count St. Priest, paming him one of a commission, appointed by the Assembly, for the formation of the department of the Côte d'Or. While thus engaged for the public service, he received a fresh mark of the high consideration in which his talents and knowledge were held by the most emiuent among the learned of his nation; and on the 25th of August, 1791, obtained, from the Academy of Sciences, the great prize, which was annually decreed to the most useful work, for the first volume of the Dictionary of Chernistry in the Encyclopædia.
[We shall pass over the political events of this life, which, though interesting, are well known.)
In 1795, Guyton was re-elected member of the Council of Five Hundred, by the electoral assemblies of Sarthe and Jle et Vilaine : when, the executive government having decreed the formation of the National Institute, he received a letter from the minister of the ins: terior, announcing that he had been named one of the forty-eiglit members chosen by government to form the nucleus of that scientific body. In 1797 he once more attached himself esclusively to science and to the establishments for public instruction. The absence of Monge, who was then in Egypt, requiring the appointment of a provisional director of the Polytechnic School, Guyton was appointed to that responsible situation by the Directory, in 1798, and continued to exercise its duties during nineteen months, to the complete satisfaction of every person connected with that establishment.
At the end of 1799, Bonaparte, as first consul, appointed Guyton one of the administrateurs generals of the mint; and the year
fol. lowing, director of the Ecole Polytechnique.
The legion of honour had been but recently instituted for the reward of eminent services rendered to the state, when Guyton received the cross of that order from the hands of the first cousul, in the church of the Invalids. His promotion to an officer of that order, took place in 1805, two years only after obtaining his first decoration.
Nor did the patriotic and enlightened imperial government stop here in its public demonstrations of that consideration aud esteem which Guyton so fully deserved, for, in 1811, he was created baron of the empire, a title recoguized by the succeeding administration.
Sixteen years of uninterrupted labours at the Ecole Polytechnique, since 1798, (for, notwithstanding all his other occupations and responsible situations, he had not, for a single moment, ceased from bis duties as professor of chemistry at that school) seemed to entitle him to an honourable retreat. This he obtained on application to the proper authorities, and withdrew from public into the retired station of private life, crowned with years and reputation, and followed with the blessings of the numerous pupils whom he had brought up in the carees of science:--but alas! for thein, and his numerous friends, his time of repose in this world was to be but short: he lived but three years more to witness still greater changes in the politics of his country, than those to which he had been instrumental, and to see the complete overthrow of that glorious system of liberty which had been supported by the majority of the best thinking men in France. Guyton was seized with a total exhaustion of strength on the 21st of December, 1815, and expired in the arms of his disconsplate wife and a few trusty friends, after three days illness, having scarcely completed the eightieth year of his age. His remains were followed to the grave by the members of the Institute, and many other distinguished characters of the capital
, on the 3d of January, where Berthollet, one of his earliest colleagues,
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Under so eminent a tutor, and so particularly sharing his esteem, Dr. Saunders could not fail to make a rapid progress in his pro fession. He accordingly took his degree in 1766, as Doctor in Medicine, with much credit; and published a Dissertation on Au. timony, shewing great chemical knowledge and research. Thus finished in his professional attainments, be looked forward to the capital as the land of promise, and a settlement here was the first object of his ambition. He aocordingly commenced practice, and was equally fortunate in his outset, by forming a similar connexion with Sir G. Baker, President of the College, as he had done with his former tutor. Sir George was then engaged in his celebrated Dissertation on the Devonshire Colic, the source of which be referred to an impregnation of lead. To establish this fact, the che mical talents of Dr. Saunders were called into action, and a variety of nice and complicated experiments were conducted by him wita this view, so greatly to the satisfaction of Sir George, that, as a spontaneous act of gratitude, and from the strong impression of Dr. Saunders's rising abilities, he proposed bim to the College, to have all the honours and privileges of a Fellow, without having studied at any English university--a concession only granted to high merit and correct conduct. This certainly was a most creditable introduction to Dr. Saunders, and gave him an opportunity of shewing his classical acquirements, by delivering the annual Harveian oration, which he afterwards printed.
Soon after, he was also equally successful, by a vacancy occurring in Guy's Hospital, to gain the appointment of Physician to this important and extensive medical establishment. Here a field imme. diately opened for properly displaying the energies of his mind, and his professional aequirements; and his industry, exertion, and talents, did not lose sight of the opportunity put in his power, of standing high in scientific reputation, and reaching the acmé of me, dical respectability. The situation of Guy's Hospital is particularly favourable to early initiating its medical attendants into the emoluments of extensive practice: the numerous and respectable circle of its governors, and the large pupillage it bas always come manded, render a popular physician there on an eminence, to be seen, talked of, and to bave his merits fully discussed. Of this ordeal Dr. Saunders's abilities were fully competent to stand the trial, both as a teacher, a practitioner, and a gentleman of general and varied information; and the consequence accordingly was, that under his directiou the reputation of the Hospital, as a medical school, first commenced, and gained its high character: he stood himself at the bead of the city practice in a few years; and hiæ countenance and support was courted in every liberal and scientifie undertaking that went on, either as a party, an adviser, or friend.
Possessed of much good sense, prudence, and a just discrimis pation of character, the connexions formed by Dr. Saunders were valuable and important; and the esteem in which he was beld by them enabled him to use them for the best of purposes, and to den serve a reputation above what medical abilities can bestow-the