Persigny, Jean Gilbeet [Fialin], Duc de. (1808-72), French statesman, born at St.. Germain Lespinasse, was at first in the army, but left it to become a journalist. He devoted himself to the Imperial restoration, and was arrested and sentenced to twenty years' imprisonment. After the coup d'etat he received the reward of his devotion, and was appointed by Louis Napoleon to various important posts, including that of ambassador to England, which he held in 1855-58 and 1859-60. He was also twice Minister of the Interior in France, and was created a duke in 1863. He withdrew from public life after the fall of the empire. Persimmon, the Virginian date-plum (Diospyros virginiana), a moderately-sized tree of the United States, belonging to the ebony tribe, the round orange fruit of which, though austere, becomes edible when "bletted" or affected by frost. They are fermented into a beer and distilled for spirit in the Southern States. The bark has febrifugal properties.