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wisely, who, having renounced the Bishop of Rome's religion, would not, upon the sudden, thrust the monks and nuns, with the other religious persons, out of their abbeys and monasteries, but only took order, that, as they died, they should die both for themselves and their successors, expressly forbidding any new to be chosen in their places, so that, by that means, their colleges might, by little and little, by the death of the fellows, be extinguished. Whereby it came to pass, that all the rest of the Cathusians, of their own accord, forsaking their cloisters, yet one of them all alone for a long time remained therein, quietly and without any disturbance, holding the right of his convent, being never enforced to change either his place, or habit, or old ceremonies, or religion before by him received. The like order was taken at Coire in the diet of the Grisons; wherein it was decreed, that the ministers of the reformed religion should be maintained of the profits and revenues of the church, the religious men, nevertheless, still remaining in their cloisters and convents, to be by their death suppressed, they being now prohibited to choose any new instead of them which died. By which means, they which professed the new religion, and they who professed the old, were both provided for." *

The aim of the chapter from which I have extracted the foregoing passage, is to show, that “it is a most dangerous thing, at one and the same time, to change the form, laws, and customs of a commonwealth." The scope of the author's reasonings may be judged of from the concluding paragraph.

“ We ought then, in the government of a well ordered estate and commonweath, to imitate and follow the great God of Nature, who in all things proceedeth easily, and by little and little; who of a little seed causeth to grow a tree, for height and greatness, right admirable, and yet for all that insensibly; and still by means conjoining the extremities of nature, as by putting the spring between winter and summer, and autumn betwixt summer and winter, moderating the extremities of the terms and seasons, with the selfsame wisdom which it useth in all other things also, and that in such sort, as that no violent force or course therein appeareth.” *

* Book iv. Chap. iii.—

The book from which this quotation is taken was published only twenty-three years after the murder of Servetus at Geneva; an event which leaves so deep a stain on the memory not only of Calvin, but on that of the milder and more charitable Melanchthon. The epistle of the latter to Bullinger, where he applauds the conduct of the judges who condemned to the flames this incorrigible heretic, affords the most decisive of all proofs, how remote the sentiments of the most enlightened Fathers of the Reformation were from those Christian and philosophical principles of toleration, to which their poble exertions have gradually, and now almost universally, led the way.

Notwithstanding these wise and enlightened maxims, it must be owned on the other hand, that Bodin has indulged himself in various speculations, which would expose a writer of the present times to the imputation of insanity. One of the most extraordinary of these, is his elaborate argument to prove, that, in a well constituted state, the father should possess the right of life and death over his children ;—a paradox which forms an unaccountable contrast to the general tone of humanity which characterizes his opinions. Of the extent of his credulity on the subject of witchcraft, and of the deep horror with which he regarded those who affected to be skeptical

+ Book iv. Chap. iii.—The substance of the above reflection has been compressed by Bacon into the following well known aphorisms.

“ Time is the greatest innovator; shall we then not imitate time?

“What innovator imitates time, which innovates so silently as to mock the sense ?"

The resemblance between the two passages is still more striking in the Latin versions of their respective authors.

“ Deum igitur præpotentem naturæ parentem imitemur, qui omnia paulatim : namque semina perquam exigua in arbores excelsas excrescere jubet, idque tam occultè ut nemo sentiat.” Bodinus.

“ Novator maximus tempus ; quidni igitur tempus imitemur ? " “Quis novator tempus imitatur, quod novationes ita insinuat, ut sensus fallant ?" Bacon.

The Treatise of Bodin De la République (by far the most important of his works) was first printed at Paris in 1576, and was reprinted seven times in the space of three years. It was translated into Latin by the author himself; with a view chiefly (as is said) to the accommodation of the scholars of England, among whom it was so highly esteemed, that lectures upon it were given in the University of Cambridge, as early as 1580. In 1579, Bodin visited London in the suite of the Duc d'Alençon; a circumstance which probably contributed not a little to recommend his writings, so very soon after their publication, to the attention of our countrymen. In 1606, the treatise of The Republic was done into English by Richard Knolles, who appears to have collated the French and Latin copies so carefully and judiciously, that his version is, in some respects, superior to either of the originals. It is from this version, accordingly, that I have transcribed the passages above quoted ; trusting, that it will not be unacceptable to my readers, while looking back to the intellectual attainments of our forefathers, to have an opportunity, at the same time, of marking the progress which had been made in England, more than two centuries ago, in the arts of writing and of translation.

For Dr. Johnson's opinion of Knolles's merits as an historian, and as an English writer, see the Rambler, No. 123.

about the reality of that crime, he has left a lasting memorial in a learned and curious volume entitled Démonomanie ;* while the eccentricity of his religious tenets was such, as to incline the candid mind of Grotius to suspect him of a secret leaning to the Jewish faith.f

In contemplating the characters of the eminent persons who appeared about this era, nothing is more interesting and instructive than to remark the astonishing combination, in the same minds of the highest intellectual endowments, with the most deplorable aberrations of the understanding; and even, in numberless instances, with the most childish superstitions of the multitude. Of this

apparent inconsistency, Bodinus does not furnish a solitary example. The same remark may be extended, in a greater or less degree, to most of the other celebrated names hitherto mentioned. Melanchthon, as appears from his letters, was an interpreter of dreams, and a caster of nativities; 1 and Luther not only sanctioned, by his authority, the popular fables about the sexual and prolific intercourse of Satan with the human race, but seems to have seriously believed that he had himself frequently seen the arch enemy face to face, and held arguments with him on points of theology.ş Nor was the study of the severer sciences, on all occasions, an effectual remedy against such illusions of the imagination. The sagacious Kepler was an astrologer and a visionary ; and his friend Tycho Brahe, the Prince of Astronomers, kept an idiot in his service, to whose prophecies he listened as revelations from above. || During the long night of Gothic barba

De la Démonomanie des Sorciers. Par J. Bodin Angevin, à Paris, 1580. This book, which exhibits so melancholy a contrast to the mental powers displayed in the treatise De la République, was dedicated by the author to his friend, the President de Thou; and it is somewhat amusing to find, that it exposed Bodin himself to the imputation of being a magician. For this we have the testimony of the illustrious historian just mentioned. (Thuanus, Lib. cxvii. 9.) Nor did it recommend the author to the good opinion of the Catholic church, having been formally condemned and prohibited by the Roman Inquisition. The reflection of the Jesuit Martin del Rio on this occasion is worth transcribing. Adeo lubricum et periculosum de his disserere, nisi Deum semper, et catholicam fidem, ecclesiaeque Romanæ censuram tanpuam cynosuram sequaris.Disquisilionum Magicarum Libri Sex. Auctore Martino del Rio, Societatis Jesu Presbytero. Venet. 16-40, p. 8. 1 Epist. ad Cordesium, (Quoted by Bayle.)

Jortin's Life of Erasmus, p. 156.

See Note E.
I See the Life of Tycho Brahe, by Gassendi.

rism, the intellectual world had again become, like the primitive earth, “without form and void ;” the light had already appeared ; " and God had seen the light that it was good ;” but the time was not yet come to “divide it from the darkness." *

In the midst of the disorders, both political and moral, of that unfortunate age, it is pleasing to observe the anticipations of brighter prospects, in the speculations of a few individuals. Bodinus himself is one of the number ; † and to his name may be added that of his countryman and predecessor Budæus. But, of all the writers of the sixteenth century, Ludovicus Vives seems to have had the liveliest and the most assured foresight of the new

• I have allotted to Bodin a larger space than may seem due to his literary importance; but the truth is, I know of no political writer, of the same date, whose estensive and various and discriminating reading appears to me to have contributed more to facilitate and to guide the researches of his successors; or whose references to ancient learning have been more frequently transcribed without acknowledgment. of late, his works have fallen into very general neglect; otherwise it is impossible that so many gross mistakes should be current about the scope and spirit of his principles. By many he has been mentioned as a zealot for republican forms of Government (probably for no better reason than that he chose to call his book a Treatise De Republica :-) whereas, in point of fact, he is uniformly a warm and able advocate for monarchy; and, although no friend to tyranny, has, on more than one occasion, carried his monarchical principles to a very blameable excess. (See, in particular, chapter fourth and fifth of the Sixth Book.) On the other hand, Grouvelle, a writer of some note, has classed Bodin with Aristotle, as an advocate for domestic slavery. “ The reasonings of both,” he says, “are refuted by Montesquieu.” (De l'Autorité de Montesquieu dans la Révolution présente. Paris, 1789.) Whoever has the curiosity to compare Bodin and Montesquieu together, will be satisfied, that, on this point, their sentiments were exactly the same; and that, so far from refuting Bodin, Montesquieu has borrowed from him more than one argument in support of his general conclusion.

The merits of Bodin have been, on the whole, very fairly estimated by Bayle, who pronounces him “one of the ablest men that appeared in France during the sixteenth century.” “Si nous voulons disputer à Jean Bodin la qualité d'écrivain exact et judicieux, laissons lui sans controverse, un grand génie, un vaste savoir, une mémoire et une lecture prodigieuses."

† See, in particular, his Method of Studying History, Chap. VII., entitled Confutatio eorum qui quatuor Monarchias "Aureaque Sæcula statuerunt. In this chapter, after enumerating some of the most important discoveries and inventions of the moderns, he concludes with mentioning the art of printing, of the value of which he seems to have formed a very just estimate. “Una Typographia cum omnibus veterum inventis certare facile potest. Itaque non minus peccant, qui à veteribus aiunt omnia comprehensa, quam qui illos de veteri multarum artium possessione deturbant. Habet Natura scientiarum thesauros innumerabiles, qui nullis ætatibus exhauriri possunt.” In the same chapter Bodinus expresses himself thus : “ætas illa quam auream vocant, si ad nostram conferatur, ferrea videri possit."

The works of Budæus were printed at Basle, in four volumes folio, 1557. My acquaintance with them is much too slight to enable me to speak of them from my own judgment. No scholar certainly stood higher in the estimation of his age. “Quo yiro," says Ludovicus Vives, “ Gallia acutiore ingenio, acriore judicio, exactiore diligentiâ, majore eruditione nullum unquam produxit; hac vero ætate nec Italia quidem." The praise bestowed on him by other contemporary writers of the highest eminence is equally lavish.

career on which the human mind was about to enter. The following passage from one of his works would have done no discredit to the Novum Organon : “ The similitude which many have fancied between the superiority of the moderns to the ancients, and the elevation of a dwarf on the back of a giant, is altogether false and puerile. Neither were they giants, nor are we dwarfs, but all of us men of the same standard,—and we the taller of the two, by adding their height to our own : provided always, that we do not yield to them in study, attention, vigilance, and love of truth; for, if these qualities be wanting, so far from mounting on the giant's shoulders, we throw away the advantages of our own just stature, by remaining prostrate on the ground.” *

I pass over, without any particular notice, the names of some French logicians who flourished about this period, because, however celebrated among their contemporaries, they do not seem to form essential links in the history of Science. The bold and persevering spirit with which Ramus disputed, in the University of Paris, the authority of Aristotle, and the persecutions he incurred by this philosophical heresy, entitled him to an honorable distinction from the rest of his brethren. He was certainly a man of uncommon acuteness as well as eloquence, and placed in a very strong light some of the most vulnerable parts of the Aristotelian logic; without, however, exhibiting any marks of that deep sagacity which afterwards enabled Bacon, Descartes, and Locke, to strike at the very roots of the system. His copious and not inelegant style as a writer, recommended his innovations to those who were disgusted with the barbarism of the schools ; † while his

Vives de Caus. Corrupt. Artium, Lib. i. Similar ideas occur in the works of Roger Bacon:“Quanto juniores tanto perspicaciores, quia juniores, posteriores successione temporum, ingrediuntur labores priorum.” (Opus Majus, edi. Jebb. p. 9.) Nor were they altogether overlooked by ancient writers. “ Veniet tempus, quo ista quæ latent nunc in lucem dies extrahet, et longioris ævi diligentia. Veniet tempus, quo posteri nostri tam aperta nos ignorâsse mirabuntur.” (Seneca, Quæst. Nat. Lib. vii. c. 25.) This language coincides exactly with that of the Chancellor Bacon; but it was reserved for the latter to illustrate the connexion between the progress of human knowledge, and of human happiness; or (to borrow his own phraseology) the conDr Don between the progress of knowledge, and the enlargement of man's power over the destiny of his own species. Among other passages to this purpose, see Nur. Org. Lib. i. c. 129.

† To the accomplishments of Ramus as a writer, a very flattering testimony is given by an eminent English scholar, by no means disposed to overrate his merits as

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