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Father Paul, whose name, before he entered | Mantua, Paul (for so we shall now call him),

being then only twenty years old, distinguished himself so much in a public disputation by his genius and learning, that William Duke of Man

into the monastic life, was Peter Sarpi, was born at Venice, August 14, 1552. His father followed merchandize, but with so little success, that, at his death, he left his family very ill pro-tua, a great patron of letters, solicited the convided for, but under the care of a mother, whose sent of his superiors to retain him at his court, piety was likely to bring the blessing of Provi- and not only made him public professor of didence upon them, and whose wise conduct sup-vinity in the cathedral, but honoured him with plied the want of fortune by advantages of many proofs of his esteem. greater value.

Happily for young Sarpi, she had a brother master of a celebrated school, under whose direction he was placed by her. Here he lost no time, but cultivated his abilities, naturally of the first rate, with unwearied application. He was born for study, having a natural aversion to pleasure and gayety, and a memory so tenacious, that he could repeat thirty verses upon once hearing them.

Proportionable to his capacity was his progress in literature: at thirteen, having made himself master of school-learning, he turned his studies to philosophy and the mathematics, and entered upon logic under Capella of Cremona, who, though a celebrated master of that science, confessed himself in a very little time unable to give his pupil farther instructions.

As Capella was of the order of the Servites, his scholar was induced, by his acquaintance with him, to engage in the same profession,{ though his uncle and his mother represented to him the hardships and austerities of that kind of life, and advised him with great zeal against it. But he was steady in his resolutions, and in 1566 took the habit of the order, being then only in his 14th year, a time of life in most persons very improper for such engagements, but in him attended with such maturity of thought, and such a settled temper, that he never seemed to regret the choice he then made, and which he confirmed by a solemn public profession in 1572.

But Father Paul, finding a court life not agreeable to his temper, quitted it two years afterwards, and retired to his beloved privacies, being then not only acquainted with the Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and Chaldee languages, but with philosophy, the mathematics, canon and civil law, all parts of natural philosophy, and chemistry itself; for his application was unintermitted, his head clear, his apprehension quick, and his memory retentive.

Being made a priest at twenty-two, he was distinguished by the illustrious cardinal Borromeo with his confidence, and employed by him on many occasions, not without the envy of persons of less merit, who were so far exasperated as to lay a charge against him, before the Inquisition, for denying that the Trinity could be proved from the first chapter of Genesis; but the accusation was too ridiculous to be taken notice of.

After this he passed successively through the dignities of his order, and in the intervals of his employment applied himself to the studies with so extensive a capacity, as left no branch of knowledge untouched. By him Aquapendente, the great anatomist, confesses that he was informed how vision is performed; and there are proofs that he was not a stranger to the circulation of the blood. He frequently conversed upon astronomy with mathematicians, upon anatomy with surgeons, upon medicine with physicians, and with chemists upon the analysis of metals, not as a superficial inquirer, but as a complete

At a general chapter of the Servites, held at master.

But the hours of repose, that he employed so well, were interrupted by a new information in the Inquisition, where a former acquaintance produced a letter written by him in cyphers, in which he said, "that he detested the court of Rome, and that no preferment was obtained there but by dishonest means." This accusation, however dangerous, was passed over on account of his great reputation, but made such impression on that court, that he was afterwards denied a bishopric by Clement VIII. After these difficulties were surmounted, Father Paul again retired to his solitude, where he appears, by some writings drawn up by him at that time, to have turned his attention more to improvements in piety than learning. Such was the care with which he read the scriptures, that, it being his custom to draw a line under any passage which he intended more nicely to consider, there was not a single word in his New Testament but was underlined; the same marks of attention appeared in his Old Testament, Psalter, and Breviary.

their laws at pleasure. That kings may appeal
to him, as he is temporal monarch of the whole
earth. That he can discharge subjects from
their oaths of allegiance, and make it their duty
to take up arms against their sovereign. That
he may depose kings without any fault commit-
ted by them, if the good of the church requires
That the clergy are exempt from all tribute
to kings, and are not accountable to them even
in cases of high treason. That the Pope cannot
err: that his decisions are to be received and
obeyed on pain of sin, though all the world
should judge them to be false: that the Pope is
God upon earth; that his sentence and that of
God are the same; and that to call his power in
question, is to call in question the power of God:
maxims equally shocking, weak, pernicious, and
absurd; which did not require the abilities or
learning of Father Paul, to demonstrate their
falsehood, and destructive tendency.

It may be easily imagined that such principles were quickly overthrown, and that no court but that of Rome thought it for its interest to favour But the most active scene of his life began them. The Pope, therefore, finding his authors about the year 1605, when Pope Paul Vth, ex- confuted, and his cause abandoned, was willing asperated by some decrees of the senate of Ve- to conclude the affair by treaty, which, by the nice that interfered with the pretended rights of mediation of Henry IV. of France, was accomthe church, laid the whole state under an inter-modated upon terms very much to the honour of dict. the Venetians.

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But the defenders of the Venetian rights were, though comprehended in the treaty, excluded by the Romans from the benefit of it; some upon different pretences were imprisoned, some sent to the galleys, and all debarred from preferment. But their malice was chiefly aimed against Father Paul, who soon found the effects of it; for as he was going one night to his convent, about six months after the accommodation, he was attacked by five ruffians armed with stilettoes, who gave him no less than fifteen stabs, three of which wounded him in such a manner, that he was left for dead. The murderers fled for refuge to the nuncio, and were afterwards received into the Pope's dominions, but were pursued by divine justice, and all, except one man, who died in prison, perished by violent deaths. This and other attempts upon his life obliged him to confine himself to his convent, where be engaged in writing the history of the Council of Trent, a work unequalled for the judicious disposition of the matter, and artful texture of the narration, commended by Dr. Burnet as the completest model of historical writing, and celebrated by Mr. Wotton as equivalent to any production of antiquity; in which the reader finds "Liberty without licentiousness, piety without hypocrisy, freedom of speech without neglect of decency, severity without rigour, and extensive learning without ostentation."

In this and other works of less consequence, he spent the remaining part of his life, to the beginning of the year 1622, when he was seized

with a cold and fever, which he neglected till it | prayers, with which he could only join in his became incurable. He languished more than thoughts, being able to pronounce no more than twelve months, which he spent almost wholly these words, Esto perpetua, Mayest thou last for in a preparation for his passage into eternity; ever; which was understood to be a prayer for and among his prayers and aspirations was often the prosperity of his country. beard to repeat, Lord! now let thy servant depart in peace.

On Sunday the eighth of January of the next year, he rose, weak as he was, to mass, and went to take his repast with the rest, but on Monday was seized with a weakness that threatened immediate death; and on Thursday pared for his change by receiving the Viaticum with such marks of devotion, as equally melted and edified the beholders.

Thus died Father Paul, in the 71st year of his age; hated by the Romans as their most formidable enemy, and honoured by all the learned for his abilities, and by the good for his integrity. His detestation of the corruption of the Roman church appears in all his writings, but particupre-larly in this memorable passage of one of his letters: "There is nothing more essential than to ruin the reputation of the Jesuits: by the ruin of the Jesuits, Rome will be ruined; and if Rome is ruined, religion will reform of itself."

He appears by many passages of his life to have had a high esteem of the church of England; and his friend, Father Fulgentio, who had adopted all his notions, made no scruple of administering to Dr. Duncomb, an English gentleman that fell sick at Venice, the communion in both kinds, according to the Common Prayer which he had with him in Italian.

He was buried with great pomp at the public charge, and a magnificent monument was erected to his memory.

Through the whole course of his illness to the last hour of his life, he was consulted by the senate in public affairs, and returned answers, in his greatest weakness, with such presence of mind as could only arise from the consciousness of innocence.

On Sunday, the day of his death, he had the passion of our blessed Saviour read to him out of St. John's gospel, as on every other day of that week, and spoke of the mercy of his Redeemer, and his confidence in his merits.

As his end evidently approached, the brethren of the convent came to pronounce the last

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