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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/708

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

paper for nine years, published it very irregularly; thus there was only one number in 1670, and none in 1673.

In 1675 the Journal passed into the hands of Abbé La Roque, who exhibited in his work a punctuality worthy of praise, but was far from knowing as much of science as his predecessor; then in 1686 Chancellor Boucherat, who declared himself its protector, intrusted its direction to President Cousin. Finally, in 1701, the Journal was acquired for the state by Chancellor de Pontchartrain, who gave the preparation of the numbers no longer to one man, but to a company of students, consisting of Dupin, Rassicad, Andry, Fontenelle, and Vertot, with Julien Pouchard as director. Thus renewed, supported by Abbé Bignon, nephew of the chancellor, the Journal des Sçavants appeared again on the 2d day of January, 1702, and its history till 1792, when political events compelled its suspension again, offered the single noteworthy feature that its period of publication was changed in 1764, and from a weekly it became a monthly, with supplements every six months.[1]

Sylvestre de Sacy tried to resuscitate the Journal in 1796; but his attempt was abandoned after the publication of twelve numbers, from the 16th of nivose to the 30th of prairial of the year V. It was re-established September 1, 1816, on the proposition of Barbé Marbois, Keeper of the Seals, and Dambray, chancellor, on a report of the historian Guizot, then general secretary to the Minister of Justice, and has not been suspended since. The presidency of the editorial committee appertained to the Keeper of the Seals from that time till the imperial decree of May 4, 1857, by which it was transferred to the Minister of Public Instruction, under whose auspices the Journal is still published.

Such has been the checkered career of the first French scientific journal—a career that demonstrates, better than any eulogy can, that the work of De Sallo possessed the qualities of merit and utility which make intellectual work fruitful and durable.

The detailed history of the Journal des Sgavants may be found in Hatin, Histoire politique et littéraire de la presse en France, 1859, vol. ii, p. 151, and those following; and in the Mémoire historique sur le Journal des Sçavans, in the table of the Journal, by the Abbé de Claustre, 1764, vol. x, 595 and following pages.—Translated for The Popular Science Monthly from the Revue Scientifique.


    lections of the sets exactly alike. If we add to this that the publisher has sometimes intercalated notes in the reprints without indicating that they were not in the original edition, and that some of the series have been counterfeited in Holland, one may have some idea of the difficulty of the investigation and of the lamentable differences of the editions.

  1. There were also supplementary volumes for each of the years 1707, 1708, and 1709, and in 1773, only the five numbers of the first five months were published.