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Title: Introduction to the Literature of Europe in the Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth Centuries, Vol. 2
Author: Hallam, Henry, 1777-1859
Language: English
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                   _THE WORKS OF HENRY HALLAM._


                              TO THE

                       LITERATURE OF EUROPE

                   IN THE FIFTEENTH, SIXTEENTH,


                       SEVENTEENTH CENTURIES.


                      HENRY HALLAM, F.R.A.S.,

                     IN THE FRENCH INSTITUTE.

                           _VOLUME II._

                         WARD, LOCK & CO.,

                      NEW YORK: BOND STREET.


                             CHAPTER I.

                     OF THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY.

  Retrospect of Learning in Middle Ages Necessary                     1
  Loss of learning in Fall of Roman Empire                            1
  Boethius--his Consolation of Philosophy                             1
  Rapid Decline of Learning in Sixth Century                          2
  A Portion remains in the Church                                     2
  Prejudices of the Clergy against Profane Learning                   2
  Their Uselessness in preserving it                                  3
  First Appearances of reviving Learning in Ireland and England       3
  Few Schools before the Age of Charlemagne                           3
  Beneficial Effects of those Established by him                      4
  The Tenth Century more progressive than usually supposed            4
  Want of Genius in the Dark Ages                                     5
  Prevalence of bad Taste                                             5
  Deficiency of poetical Talent                                       5
  Imperfect State of Language may account for this                    6
  Improvement at beginning of Twelfth Century                         6
  Leading Circumstances in Progress of Learning                       6
  Origin of the University of Paris                                   6
  Modes of treating the Science of Theology                           6
  Scholastic Philosophy--its Origin                                   7
  Roscelin                                                            7
  Progress of Scholasticism; Increase of University of Paris          8
  Universities founded                                                8
  Oxford                                                              8
  Collegiate Foundations not derived from the Saracens                9
  Scholastic Philosophy promoted by Mendicant Friars                  9
  Character of this Philosophy                                       10
  It prevails least in Italy                                         10
  Literature in Modern Languages                                     10
  Origin of the French, Spanish, and Italian Languages               10
  Corruption of colloquial Latin in the Lower Empire                 11
  Continuance of Latin in Seventh Century                            12
  It is changed to a new Language in Eighth and Ninth                12
  Early Specimens of French                                          13
  Poem on Boethius                                                   13
  Provençal Grammar                                                  14
  Latin retained in use longer in Italy                              14
  French of Eleventh Century                                         14
  Metres of Modern Languages                                         15
  Origin of Rhyme in Latin                                           16
  Provençal and French Poetry                                        16
  Metrical Romances--Havelok the Dane                                18
  Diffusion of French Language                                       19
  German Poetry of Swabian Period                                    19
  Decline of German Poetry                                           20
  Poetry of France and Spain                                         21
  Early Italian Language                                             22
  Dante and Petrarch                                                 22
  Change of Anglo-Saxon to English                                   22
  Layamon                                                            23
  Progress of English Language                                       23
  English of the Fourteenth Century--Chaucer, Gower                  24
  General Disuse of French in England                                24
  State of European Languages about 1400                             25
  Ignorance of Reading and Writing in darker Ages                    25
  Reasons for supposing this to have diminished after 1100           26
  Increased Knowledge of Writing in Fourteenth Century               27
  Average State of Knowledge in England                              27
  Invention of Paper                                                 28
  Linen Paper when first used                                        28
  Cotton Paper                                                       28
  Linen Paper as old as 1100                                         28
  Known to Peter of Clugni                                           29
  And in Twelfth and Thirteenth Century                              29
  Paper of mixed Materials                                           29
  Invention of Paper placed by some too low                          29
  Not at first very important                                        30
  Importance of Legal Studies                                        30
  Roman Laws never wholly unknown                                    31
  Irnerius--his first Successors                                     31
  Their Glosses                                                      31
  Abridgements of Law--Accursius’s Corpus Glossatum                  31
  Character of early Jurists                                         32
  Decline of Jurists after Accursius                                 32
  Respect paid to him at Bologna                                     33
  Scholastic Jurists--Bartolus                                       33
  Inferiority of Jurists in Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries       34
  Classical Literature and Taste in dark Ages                        34
  Improvement in Tenth and Eleventh Centuries                        34
  Lanfranc and his Schools                                           35
  Italy--Vocabulary of Papias                                        36
  Influence of Italy upon Europe                                     36
  Increased copying of Manuscripts                                   36
  John of Salisbury                                                  36
  Improvement of Classical Taste in Twelfth Century                  37
  Influence of increased Number of Clergy                            38
  Decline of Classical Literature in Thirteenth Century              38
  Relapse into Barbarism                                             38
  No Improvement in Fourteenth Century--Richard of Bury              39
  Library formed by Charles V. at Paris                              39
  Some Improvement in Italy during Thirteenth Century                40
  Catholicon of Balbi                                                40
  Imperfection of early Dictionaries                                 40
  Restoration of Letters due to Petrarch                             40
  Character of his Style                                             41
  His Latin Poetry                                                   41
  John of Ravenna                                                    41
  Gasparin of Barziza                                                42

                             CHAPTER II.


  Zeal for Classical Literature in Italy                             42
  Poggio Bracciolini                                                 42
  Latin Style of that Age indifferent                                43
  Gasparin of Barziza                                                43
  Merits of his Style                                                43
  Victorin of Feltre                                                 44
  Leonard Aretin                                                     44
  Revival of Greek Language in Italy                                 44
  Early Greek Scholars of Europe                                     44
  Under Charlemagne and his Successors                               45
  In the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries                                45
  In the Twelfth                                                     46
  In the Thirteenth                                                  46
  Little Appearance of it in the Fourteenth Century                  47
  Some Traces of Greek in Italy                                      47
  Corruption of Greek Language itself                                47
  Character of Byzantine Literature                                  48
  Petrarch and Boccace learn Greek                                   48
  Few acquainted with the Language in their Time                     49
  It is taught by Chrysoloras about 1395                             49
  His Disciples                                                      49
  Translations from Greek into Latin                                 50
  Public Encouragement delayed                                       51
  But fully accorded before 1440                                     51
  Emigration of learned Greeks to Italy                              52
  Causes of Enthusiasm for Antiquity in Italy                        52
  Advanced State of Society                                          52
  Exclusive Study of Antiquity                                       53
  Classical Learning in France low                                   53
  Much more so in England                                            53
  Library of Duke of Gloucester                                      54
  Gerard Groot’s College at Deventer                                 54
  Physical Sciences in Middle Ages                                   55
  Arabian Numerals and Method                                        55
  Proofs of them in Thirteenth Century                               56
  Mathematical Treatises                                             56
  Roger Bacon                                                        57
  His Resemblance to Lord Bacon                                      57
  English Mathematicians of Fourteenth Century                       57
  Astronomy                                                          58
  Alchemy                                                            58
  Medicine                                                           58
  Anatomy                                                            58
  Encyclopædic Works of Middle Ages                                  58
  Vincent of Beauvais                                                59
  Berchorius                                                         59
  Spanish Ballads                                                    59
  Metres of Spanish Poetry                                           60
  Consonant and assonant Rhymes                                      60
  Nature of the Glosa                                                61
  The Cancionero General                                             61
  Bouterwek’s Character of Spanish Songs                             61
  John II.                                                           62
  Poets of his Court                                                 62
  Charles, Duke of Orleans                                           62
  English Poetry                                                     62
  Lydgate                                                            63
  James I. of Scotland                                               63
  Restoration of Classical Learning due to Italy                     63
  Character of Classical Poetry lost in Middle Ages                  64
  New School of Criticism in Modern Languages                        64
  Effect of Chivalry on Poetry                                       64
  Effect of Gallantry towards Women                                  64
  Its probable Origin                                                64
  It is shown in old Teutonic Poetry;
    but appears in the Stories of Arthur                             65
  Romances of Chivalry of two Kinds                                  65
  Effect of Difference of Religion upon Poetry                       66
  General Tone of Romance                                            66
  Popular Moral Fictions                                             66
  Exclusion of Politics from Literature                              67
  Religious Opinions                                                 67
  Attacks on the Church                                              67
  Three Lines of Religious Opinions in Fifteenth Century             67
  Treatise de Imitatione Christi                                     68
  Scepticism--Defences of Christianity                               69
  Raimond de Sebonde                                                 69
  His Views misunderstood                                            69
  His real Object                                                    70
  Nature of his Arguments                                            70

                            CHAPTER III.

                      OF THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY.

  The year 1440 not chosen as an Epoch                               71
  Continual Progress of Learning                                     71
  Nicolas V.                                                         71
  Justice due to his Character                                       72
  Poggio on the Ruins of Rome                                        72
  Account of the East, by Conti                                      72
  Laurentius Valla                                                   72
  His Attack on the Court of Rome                                    72
  His Treatise on the Latin Language                                 73
  Its Defects                                                        73
  Heeren’s Praise of it                                              73
  Valla’s Annotations on the New Testament                           73
  Fresh Arrival of Greeks in Italy                                   74
  Platonists and Aristotelians                                       74
  Their Controversy                                                  74
  Marsilius Ficinus                                                  75
  Invention of Printing                                              75
  Block Books                                                        75
  Gutenberg and Costar’s Claims                                      75
  Progress of the Invention                                          76
  First printed Bible                                                76
  Beauty of the Book                                                 77
  Early printed Sheets                                               77
  Psalter of 1547--Other early Books                                 77
  Bible of Pfister                                                   77
  Greek first taught at Paris                                        78
  Leave unwillingly granted                                          78
  Purbach--his Mathematical Discoveries                              78
  Other Mathematicians                                               78
  Progress of Printing in Germany                                    79
  Introduced into France                                             79
  Caxton’s first Works                                               79
  Printing exercised in Italy                                        79
  Lorenzo de’ Medici                                                 80
  Italian Poetry of Fifteenth Century                                80
  Italian Prose of same Age                                          80
  Giostra of Politian                                                80
  Paul II. persecutes the Learned                                    81
  Mathias Corvinus                                                   81
  His Library                                                        81
  Slight Signs of Literature in England                              81
  Paston Letters                                                     82
  Low Condition of Public Libraries                                  83
  Rowley                                                             83
  Clotilde de Surville                                               83
  Number of Books printed in Italy                                   83
  First Greek printed                                                84
  Study of Antiquities                                               84
  Works on that Subject                                              84
  Publications in Germany                                            85
  In France                                                          85
  In England, by Caxton                                              85
  In Spain                                                           85
  Translations of Scripture                                          85
  Revival of Literature in Spain                                     86
  Character of Labrixa                                               86
  Library of Lorenzo                                                 87
  Classics corrected and explained                                   87
  Character of Lorenzo                                               87
  Prospect from his Villa at Fiesole                                 87
  Platonic Academy                                                   88
  Disputationes Camaldulenses of Landino                             88
  Philosophical Dialogues                                            89
  Paulus Cortesius                                                   89
  Schools in Germany                                                 89
  Study of Greek at Paris                                            91
  Controversy of Realists and Nominalists                            91
  Scotus                                                             91
  Ockham                                                             92
  Nominalists in University of Paris                                 92
  Low State of Learning in England                                   92
  Mathematics                                                        93
  Regiomontanus                                                      93
  Arts of Delineation                                                93
  Maps                                                               94
  Geography                                                          94
  Greek printed in Italy                                             94
  Hebrew printed                                                     95
  Miscellanies of Politian                                           95
  Their Character, by Heeren                                         95
  His Version of Herodian                                            96
  Cornucopia of Perotti                                              96
  Latin Poetry of Politian                                           96
  Italian Poetry of Lorenzo                                          97
  Pulci                                                              97
  Character of Morgante Maggiore                                     97
  Platonic Theology of Ficinus                                       98
  Doctrine of Averroes on the Soul                                   98
  Opposed by Ficinus                                                 99
  Desire of Man to explore Mysteries                                 99
  Various Methods employed                                           99
  Reason and Inspiration                                             99
  Extended Inferences from Sacred Books                              99
  Confidence in Traditions                                          100
  Confidence in Individuals as inspired                             100
  Jewish Cabbala                                                    100
  Picus of Mirandola                                                101
  His Credulity in the Cabbala                                      101
  His Literary Performances                                         102
  State of Learning in Germany                                      102
  Agricola                                                          103
  Renish Academy                                                    103
  Reuchlin                                                          104
  French Language and Poetry                                        104
  European Drama                                                    104
  Latin                                                             104
  Orfeo of Politian                                                 105
  Origin of Dramatic Mysteries                                      105
  Their early Stage                                                 105
  Extant English Mysteries                                          105
  First French Theatre                                              106
  Theatrical Machinery                                              107
  Italian Religious Dramas                                          107
  Moralities                                                        107
  Farces                                                            107
  Mathematical Works                                                107
  Leo Baptista Alberti                                              108
  Lionardo da Vinci                                                 108
  Aldine Greek Editions                                             109
  Decline of Learning in Italy                                      110
  Hermolaus Barbarus                                                111
  Mantuan                                                           111
  Pontanus                                                          111
  Neapolitan Academy                                                112
  Boiardo                                                           112
  Francesco Bello                                                   113
  Italian Poetry near the End of the Century                        113
  Progress of Learning in France and Germany                        113
  Erasmus--his Diligence                                            114
  Budæus--his early Studies                                         114
  Latin not well written in France                                  115
  Dawn of Greek Learning in England                                 115
  Erasmus comes to England                                          116
  He publishes his Adages                                           116
  Romantic Ballads of Spain                                         116
  Pastoral Romances                                                 117
  Portuguese Lyric Poetry                                           117
  German popular Books                                              117
  Historical Works                                                  118
  Philip de Comines                                                 118
  Algebra                                                           118
  Events from 1490 to 1500                                          119
  Close of Fifteenth Century                                        119
  Its Literature nearly neglected                                   119
  Summary of its Acquisitions                                       119
  Their Imperfection                                                120
  Number of Books printed                                           120
  Advantages already reaped from Printing                           120
  Trade of Bookselling                                              121
  Books sold by Printers                                            121
  Price of Books                                                    122
  Form of Books                                                     122
  Exclusive Privileges                                              122
  Power of Universities over Bookselling                            123
  Restraints on Sale of Printed Books                               124
  Effect of Printing on the Reformation                             124

                             CHAPTER IV.


  Decline of Learning in Italy                                      125
  Press of Aldus                                                    125
  His Academy                                                       126
  Dictionary of Calepio                                             126
  Books printed in Germany                                          126
  First Greek Press at Paris                                        126
  Early Studies of Melanchthon                                      127
  Learning in England                                               127
  Erasmus and Budæus                                                128
  Study of Eastern Languages                                        128
  Dramatic Works                                                    128
  Calisto and Melibœa                                               128
  Its Character                                                     129
  Juan de la Enzina                                                 129
  Arcadia of Sanazzaro                                              129
  Asolani of Bembo                                                  130
  Dunbar                                                            130
  Anatomy of Zerbi                                                  130
  Voyages of Cadamosto                                              130
  Leo X., his Patronage of Letters                                  131
  Roman Gymnasium                                                   131
  Latin Poetry                                                      132
  Italian Tragedy                                                   132
  Sophonisba of Trissino                                            132
  Rosmunda of Rucellai                                              132
  Comedies of Ariosto                                               132
  Books printed in Italy                                            133
  Cælius Rhodiginus                                                 133
  Greek printed in France and Germany                               133
  Greek Scholars in these Countries                                 134
  College at Alcala and Louvain                                     134
  Latin Style in France                                             135
  Greek Scholars in England                                         135
  Mode of Teaching in Schools                                       136
  Few Classical Works printed here                                  137
  State of Learning in Scotland                                     137
  Utopia of More                                                    137
  Inconsistency in his Opinions                                     138
  Learning restored in France                                       138
  Jealousy of Erasmus and Budæus                                    138
  Character of Erasmus                                              139
  His Adages severe on Kings                                        139
  Instances in illustration                                         140
  His Greek Testament                                               142
  Patrons of Letters in Germany                                     142
  Resistance to Learning                                            143
  Unpopularity of the Monks                                         145
  The Book excites Odium                                            145
  Erasmus attacks the Monks                                         145
  Their Contention with Reuchlin                                    145
  Origin of the Reformation                                         146
  Popularity of Luther                                              147
  Simultaneous Reform by Zwingle                                    147
  Reformation prepared beforehand                                   147
  Dangerous Tenets of Luther                                        148
  Real Explanation of them                                          149
  Orlando Furioso                                                   150
  Its Popularity                                                    150
  Want of Seriousness                                               150
  A Continuation of Boiardo                                         150
  In some Points inferior                                           151
  Beauties of its Style                                             151
  Accompanied with Faults                                           151
  Its Place as a Poem                                               152
  Amadis de Gaul                                                    152
  Gringore                                                          152
  Hans Sachs                                                        152
  Stephen Hawes                                                     153
  Change in English Language                                        153
  Skelton                                                           154
  Oriental Languages                                                154
  Pomponatius                                                       155
  Raymond Lully                                                     155
  His Method                                                        155
  Peter Martyr’s Epistles                                           156

                             CHAPTER V.


  Superiority of Italy in Taste                                     157
  Admiration of Antiquity                                           158
  Sadolet                                                           158
  Bembo                                                             159
  Ciceronianus of Erasmus                                           159
  Scaliger’s Invective against it                                   160
  Editions of Cicero                                                160
  Alexander ab Alexandro                                            160
  Works on Roman Antiquities                                        161
  Greek less Studied in Italy                                       161
  Schools of Classical Learning                                     161
  Budæus--his Commentaries on Greek                                 161
  Their Character                                                   162
  Greek Grammars and Lexicons                                       162
  Editions of Greek Authors                                         163
  Latin Thesaurus of R. Stephens                                    163
  Progress of Learning in France                                    164
  Learning in Spain                                                 165
  Effects of Reformation on Learning                                165
  Sturm’s Account of German Schools                                 165
  Learning in Germany                                               166
  In England--Linacre                                               166
  Lectures in the Universities                                      166
  Greek perhaps Taught to Boys                                      167
  Teaching of Smith at Cambridge                                    167
  Succeeded by Cheke                                                168
  Ascham’s Character of Cambridge                                   168
  Wood’s Account of Oxford                                          168
  Education of Edward and his Sisters                               169
  The Progress of Learning is still slow                            169
  Want of Books and Public Libraries                                169
  Destruction of Monasteries no Injury to Learning                  169
  Ravisius Textor                                                   170
  Conrad Gesner                                                     170

                             CHAPTER VI.


  Progress of the Reformation                                       171
  Interference of Civil Power                                       171
  Excitement of Revolutionary Spirit                                172
  Growth of Fanaticism                                              172
  Differences of Luther and Zwingle                                 172
  Confession of Augsburg                                            173
  Conduct of Erasmus                                                173
  Estimate of it                                                    174
  His Controversy with Luther                                       174
  Character of his Epistles                                         176
  His Alienation from the Reformers increases                       176
  Appeal of the Reformers to the Ignorant                           176
  Parallel of those Times with the Present                          177
  Calvin                                                            177
  His Institutes                                                    177
  Increased Differences among Reformers                             178
  Reformed Tenets spread in England                                 178
  In Italy                                                          178
  Italian Heterodoxy                                                179
  Its Progress in the Literary Classes                              180
  Servetus                                                          180
  Arianism in Italy                                                 181
  Protestants in Spain and Low Countries                            181
  Order of Jesuits                                                  181
  Their Popularity                                                  181
  Council of Trent                                                  182
  Its Chief Difficulties                                            182
  Character of Luther                                               182
  Theological Writings--Erasmus                                     183
  Melanchthon--Romish Writers                                       183
  This Literature nearly forgotten                                  184
  Sermons                                                           184
  Spirit of the Reformation                                         184
  Limits of Private Judgment                                        185
  Passions instrumental in Reformation                              185
  Establishment of new Dogmatism                                    186
  Editions of Scripture                                             186
  Translations of Scripture                                         186
  In English                                                        187
  In Italy and Low Countries                                        187
  Latin Translations                                                187
  French Translations                                               188

                            CHAPTER VII.

            JURISPRUDENCE, IN EUROPE, FROM 1520 TO 1550.

  Logic included under this head                                    188
  Slow Defeat of Scholastic Philosophy                              188
  It is sustained by the Universities and Regulars                  188
  Commentators on Aristotle                                         188
  Attack of Vives on Scholastics                                    189
  Contempt of them in England                                       189
  Veneration for Aristotle                                          189
  Melanchthon countenances him                                      189
  His own Philosophical Treatises                                   190
  Aristotelians of Italy                                            190
  University of Paris                                               190
  New Logic of Ramus                                                190
  It meets with unfair treatment                                    191
  Its Merits and Character                                          191
  Buhle’s account of it                                             191
  Paracelsus                                                        191
  His Impostures                                                    192
  And Extravagancies                                                192
  Cornelius Agrippa                                                 192
  His pretended Philosophy                                          193
  His Sceptical Treatise                                            193
  Cardan                                                            193
  Influence of Moral Writers                                        194
  Cortegiano of Castiglione                                         194
  Marco Aurelio of Guevara                                          194
  His Menosprecio di Corte                                          194
  Perez d’Oliva                                                     195
  Ethical Writings of Erasmus and Melanchthon                       195
  Sir T. Elyot’s Governor                                           195
  Severity of Education                                             196
  He seems to avoid Politics                                        196
  Nicholas Machiavel                                                196
  His motives in writing the Prince                                 197
  Some of his Rules not immoral                                     197
  But many dangerous                                                197
  Its only Palliation                                               198
  His Discourses on Livy                                            198
  Their leading Principles                                          198
  Their Use and Influence                                           199
  His History of Florence                                           199
  Treatises on Venetian Government                                  199
  Calvin’s Political Principles                                     199
  Jurisprudence confined to Roman Law                               200
  The Laws not well arranged                                        200
  Adoption of the entire System                                     200
  Utility of General Learning to Lawyers                            200
  Alciati--his Reform of Law                                        201
  Opposition to him                                                 201
  Agustino                                                          201

                            CHAPTER VIII.


  Poetry of Bembo                                                   201
  Its Beauties and Defects                                          202
  Character of Italian Poetry                                       202
  Alamanni                                                          202
  Vittoria Colonna                                                  202
  Satires of Ariosto and Alamanni                                   203
  Alamanni                                                          203
  Rucellai                                                          203
  Trissino                                                          203
  Berni                                                             203
  Spanish Poets                                                     204
  Boscan and Garcilasso                                             204
  Mendoza                                                           204
  Saa di Miranda                                                    205
  Ribeyro                                                           205
  French Poetry                                                     205
  Marot                                                             206
  Its Metrical Structure                                            206
  German Poetry                                                     206
  Hans Sachs                                                        206
  German Hymn                                                       206
  Theuerdanks of Pfintzing                                          206
  English Poetry--Lyndsay                                           206
  Wyatt and Surrey                                                  207
  Dr. Nott’s Character of them                                      207
  Perhaps rather exaggerated                                        208
  Surrey improves our versification                                 208
  Introduces Blank Verse                                            208
  Dr. Nott’s Hypothesis as to his Metre                             208
  It seems too extensive                                            209
  Politeness of Wyatt and Surrey                                    209
  Latin Poetry                                                      210
  Sannazarius                                                       210
  Vida                                                              210
  Fracastorius                                                      210
  Latin Verse not to be disdained                                   210
  Other Latin Poets in Italy                                        211
  In Germany                                                        211
  Italian Comedy                                                    211
  Machiavel                                                         211
  Aretin                                                            211
  Tragedy                                                           212
  Sperone                                                           212
  Cinthio                                                           212
  Spanish Drama                                                     212
  Torres Naharro                                                    212
  Lope de Rueda                                                     212
  Gil Vicente                                                       213
  Mysteries and Moralities in France                                213
  German Theatre--Hans Sachs                                        213
  Moralities and Similar Plays in England                           214
  They are turned to religious Satire                               214
  Latin Plays                                                       214
  First English Comedy                                              215
  Romances of Chivalry                                              215
  Novels                                                            215
  Rabelais                                                          216
  Contest of Latin and Italian Languages                            216
  Influence of Bembo in this                                        217
  Apology for Latinists                                             217
  Character of the Controversy                                      217
  Life of Bembo                                                     217
  Character of Italian and Spanish Style                            218
  English Writers                                                   218
  More                                                              218
  Ascham                                                            218
  Italian Criticism                                                 218
  Bembo                                                             218
  Grammarians and Critics in France                                 219
  Orthography of Meigret                                            219
  Cox’s Art of Rhetoric                                             219

                             CHAPTER IX.

                         FROM 1520 TO 1550.

  Geometrical Treatises                                             220
  Fernel Rhœticus                                                   220
  Cardan and Tartaglia                                              220
  Cubic Equations                                                   220
  Beauty of the Discovery                                           221
  Cardan’s other Discoveries                                        221
  Imperfections of Algebraic Language                               222
  Copernicus                                                        222
  Revival of Greek Medicine                                         223
  Linacre and other Physicians                                      223
  Medical Innovators                                                224
  Paracelsus                                                        224
  Anatomy                                                           224
  Berenger                                                          224
  Vesalius                                                          224
  Portal’s Account of him                                           225
  His Human Dissections                                             225
  Fate of Vesalius                                                  225
  Other Anatomists                                                  225
  Imperfection of the Science                                       225
  Botany--Botanical Gardens                                         226
  Ruel                                                              226
  Fuchs                                                             226
  Matthioli                                                         226
  Low State of Zoology                                              226
  Agricola                                                          227
  Hebrew                                                            227
  Elias Levita--Pellican                                            227
  Arabic and Oriental Literature                                    227
  Geography of Grynæus                                              228
  Apianus                                                           228
  Munster                                                           228
  Voyages                                                           228
  Oviedo                                                            228
  Historical Works                                                  228
  Italian Academies                                                 229
  They pay regard to the Language                                   229
  Their fondness for Petrarch                                       229
  They become numerous                                              229
  Their Distinctions                                                230
  Evils connected with them                                         230
  They succeed less in Germany                                      230
  Libraries                                                         230

                             CHAPTER X.


  Progress of Philology                                             231
  First Editions of Classics                                        231
  Change in Character of Learning                                   232
  Cultivation of Greek                                              232
  Principal Scholars--Turnebus                                      232
  Petrus Victorius                                                  233
  Muretus                                                           233
  Gruter’s Thesaurus Criticus                                       234
  Editions of Greek and Latin Authors                               235
  Tacitus of Lipsius                                                235
  Horace of Lambinus                                                235
  Of Cruquius                                                       236
  Henry Stephens                                                    236
  Lexicon of Constantin                                             237
  Thesaurus of Stephens                                             237
  Abridged by Scapula                                               238
  Hellenismus of Caninius                                           239
  Vergara’s Grammar                                                 239
  Grammars of Ramus and Sylburgius                                  239
  Camerarius--Canter--Robortellus                                   240
  Editions by Sylburgius                                            241
  Neander                                                           241
  Gesner                                                            241
  Decline of Taste in Germany                                       242
  German Learning                                                   242
  Greek Verses of Rhodomanu                                         242
  Learning Declines                                                 243
  Except in Catholic Germany                                        243
  Philological Works of Stephens                                    243
  Style of Lipsius                                                  244
  Minerva of Sanctius                                               244
  Orations of Muretus                                               244
  Panegyric of Ruhnkenius                                           244
  Defects of his Style                                              245
  Epistles of Manutius                                              245
  Care of the Italian Latinists                                     245
  Perpinianus--Osorius--Maphœus                                     246
  Buchanan--Haddon                                                  246
  Sigonius, De Consolatione                                         246
  Decline of Taste and Learning in Italy                            247
  Joseph Scaliger                                                   247
  Isaac Casaubon                                                    248
  General Result                                                    249
  Learning in England under Edward and Mary                         249
  Revival under Elizabeth                                           249
  Greek Lectures at Cambridge                                       250
  Few Greek Editions in England                                     250
  School Books enumerated                                           250
  Greek taught in Schools                                           251
  Greek better known after 1580                                     251
  Editions of Greek                                                 252
  And of Latin Classics                                             252
  Learning lower than in Spain                                      252
  Improvement at the End of the Century.                            253
  Learning in Scotland                                              253
  Latin little used in Writing                                      253
  Early Works on Antiquities                                        254
  P. Manutius on Roman Laws                                         254
  Manutius, De Civitate                                             254
  Panvinius--Sigonius                                               255
  Gruchius                                                          255
  Sigonius on Athenian Polity                                       256
  Patrizzi and Lipsius on Roman Militia                             256
  Lipsius and other Antiquaries                                     256
  Saville on Roman Militia                                          257
  Numismatics                                                       257
  Mythology                                                         257
  Scaliger’s Chronology                                             258
  Julian Period                                                     258

                             CHAPTER XI.


  Diet of Augsburg in 1555                                          259
  Progress of Protestantism                                         259
  Its Causes                                                        260
  Wavering of Catholic Princes                                      260
  Extinguished in Italy and Spain                                   260
  Reaction of Catholicity                                           260
  Especially in Germany                                             261
  Discipline of the Clergy                                          261
  Influence of Jesuits                                              261
  Their Progress                                                    262
  Their Colleges                                                    262
  Jesuit Seminary at Rome                                           262
  Patronage of Gregory XIII.                                        262
  Conversions in Germany and France                                 263
  Causes of this Reaction                                           263
  A rigid Party in the Church                                       264
  Its Efforts at Trent                                              264
  No Compromise in Doctrine                                         265
  Consultation of Cassander                                         265
  Bigotry of Protestant Churches                                    266
  Tenets of Melanchthon                                             266
  A Party hostile to him                                            267
  Form of Concord, 1576                                             267
  Controversy raised by Baius                                       267
  Treatise of Molina on Free will                                   268
  Protestant Tenets                                                 268
  Trinitarian Controversy                                           268
  Religious Intolerance                                             270
  Castalio                                                          270
  Answered by Beza                                                  271
  Aconcio                                                           271
  Minus Celsus, Koornhert                                           271
  Decline of Protestantism                                          272
  Desertion of Lipsius                                              272
  Jewell’s Apology                                                  272
  English Theologians                                               272
  Bellarmin                                                         273
  Topics of Controversy changed                                     273
  It turns on Papal Power                                           274
  This upheld by the Jesuits                                        274
  Claim to depose Princes                                           274
  Bull against Elizabeth                                            274
  And Henry IV.                                                     275
  Deposing Power owned in Spain                                     275
  Asserted by Bellarmin                                             275
  Methods of Theological Doctrine                                   275
  Loci Communes                                                     275
  In the Protestant and Catholic Church                             276
  Catharin                                                          276
  Critical and Expository Writings                                  276
  Ecclesiastical Historians                                         277
  Le Clerc’s Character of them                                      277
  Deistical Writers                                                 277
  Wierus, De Præstigiis                                             278
  Scot on Witchcraft                                                278
  Authenticity of Vulgate                                           278
  Latin Versions and Editions by Catholics                          278
  By Protestants                                                    279
  Versions into Modern Languages                                    279

                            CHAPTER XII.


  Predominance of Aristotelian Philosophy                           279
  Scholastic and genuine Aristotelians                              280
  The former class little remembered                                280
  The others not much better known                                  280
  Schools of Pisa and Padua                                         280
  Cesalpini                                                         280
  Sketch of his System                                              280
  Cremonini                                                         281
  Opponents of Aristotle                                            281
  Patrizzi                                                          281
  System of Telesio                                                 281
  Jordano Bruno                                                     282
  His Italian Works--Cena de li Ceneri                              282
  Della Causa, Principio ed Uno                                     282
  Pantheism of Bruno                                                283
  Bruno’s other Writings                                            284
  General Character of his Philosophy                               285
  Sceptical Theory of Sanchez                                       286
  Logic of Aconcio                                                  286
  Nizolius on the Principles of Philosophy                          286
  Margarita Antoniana of Pereira                                    287
  Logic of Ramus--its Success                                       288

                            CHAPTER XIII.

                         FROM 1550 TO 1600.

  Soto, De Justitia                                                 289
  Hooker                                                            290
  His Theory of Natural Law                                         290
  Doubts felt by others                                             290
  Essays of Montaigne                                               290
  Their Characteristics                                             290
  Writers on Morals in Italy                                        293
  In England                                                        293
  Bacon’s Essays                                                    293
  Number of Political Writers                                       294
  Oppression of Governments                                         294
  And Spirit generated by it                                        294
  Derived from Classic History                                      294
  From their own and the Jewish                                     294
  Franco Gallia of Hossoman                                         295
  Vindiciæ of Languet                                               295
  Contr’Un of Boetie                                                295
  Buchanan, De Jure Regni                                           296
  Poynet, on Politique Power                                        296
  Its liberal Theory                                                296
  Argues for Tyrannicide                                            297
  The Tenets of Parties swayed by Circumstances                     297
  Similar Tenets among the Leaguers                                 298
  Rose on the Authority of Christian States over Kings              298
  Treatise of Boucher in the same Spirit                            299
  Answered by Barclay                                               299
  The Jesuits adopt these Tenets                                    299
  Mariana, De Rege                                                  299
  Popular Theories in England                                       300
  Hooker                                                            300
  Political Memoirs                                                 301
  La Noue                                                           301
  Lipsius                                                           301
  Botero                                                            301
  His Remarks on Population                                         301
  Paruta                                                            302
  Bodin                                                             302
  Analysis of his Treatise called the Republic                      302
  Authority of Heads of Families                                    302
  Domestic Servitude                                                303
  Origin of Commonwealths                                           303
  Privileges of Citizens                                            303
  Nature of Sovereign Power                                         304
  Forms of Government                                               304
  Despotism and Monarchy                                            304
  Aristocracy                                                       305
  Senates and Councils of State                                     305
  Duties of Magistrates                                             305
  Corporations                                                      305
  Slaves, part of the State                                         305
  Rise and Fall of States                                           306
  Causes of Revolution                                              306
  Astrological Fancies of Bodin                                     306
  Danger of sudden Changes                                          307
  Judicial Power of the Sovereign                                   307
  Toleration of Religions                                           307
  Influence of Climate on Government                                307
  Means of obviating Inequality                                     308
  Confiscations--Rewards                                            308
  Fortresses                                                        308
  Necessity of Good Faith                                           309
  Census of Property                                                309
  Public Revenues                                                   309
  Taxation                                                          309
  Adulteration of Coin                                              310
  Superiority of Monarchy                                           310
  Conclusion of the Work                                            310
  Bodin compared with Aristotle and Machiavel                       310
  And with Montesquieu                                              310
  Golden Age of Jurisprudence                                       311
  Cujacius                                                          311
  Eulogies bestowed upon him                                        311
  Cujacius, an Interpreter of Law rather than a Lawyer              312
  French Lawyers below Cujacius--Govca and others                   312
  Opponents of the Roman Law                                        313
  Faber of Savoy                                                    313
  Anti-Tribonianus of Hottoman                                      313
  Civil Law not countenanced in France                              314
  Turamini                                                          314
  Cau Law                                                           314
  Law of Nations; its early State                                   314
  Francis a Victoria                                                314
  His Opinions on Public Law                                        315
  Ayala, on the Rights of War                                       315
  Albericus Gentilis on Embassies                                   316
  His Treatise on the Rights of War                                 317

                            CHAPTER XIV.

                HISTORY OF POETRY FROM 1550 TO 1600.

  General Character of Italian Poets in this Age                    318
  Their usual Faults                                                318
  Their Beauties                                                    318
  Character given by Muratori                                       318
  Poetry of Casa                                                    318
  Of Costanzo                                                       319
  Baldi                                                             319
  Caro                                                              319
  Odes of Celio Magus                                               319
  Coldness of the Amatory Sonnets                                   320
  Studied Imitation of Petrarch                                     320
  Their Fondness for Description                                    320
  Judgment of Italian Critics                                       320
  Bernardino Rota                                                   320
  Gaspara Stampa; her Love for Collalto                             321
  Is ill-requited                                                   322
  Her Second Love                                                   322
  Style of Gaspara Stampa                                           322
  La Nautica of Baldi                                               322
  Amadigi of Bernardo Tasso                                         323
  Satirical and burlesque Poetry; Aretin                            323
  Other burlesque Writers                                           324
  Attempts at Latin Metres                                          324
  Poetical Translations                                             324
  Torquato Tasso                                                    324
  The Jerusalem excellent in Choice of Subject                      324
  Superior to Homer and Virgil in some Points                       324
  Its Characters                                                    325
  Excellence of its Style                                           325
  Some Faults in it                                                 325
  Defects of the Poem                                               326
  It indicates the peculiar Genius of Tasso                         326
  Tasso compared to Virgil                                          326
  To Ariosto                                                        326
  To the Bolognese Painters                                         327
  Poetry Cultivated under Charles and Philip                        327
  Luis de Leon                                                      328
  Herrera                                                           328
  General Tone of Castilian Poetry                                  329
  Castillejo                                                        329
  Araucana of Ercilla                                               329
  Many epic Poems in Spain                                          329
  Camœns                                                            330
  Defects of the Lusiad                                             330
  Its Excellencies                                                  330
  Mickle’s Translation                                              330
  Celebrated Passage in the Lusiad                                  331
  Minor Poems of Camœns                                             331
  Ferreira                                                          331
  Spanish Ballads                                                   331
  French Poets numerous                                             332
  Change in the Tone of French Poetry                               333
  Ronsard                                                           333
  Other French Poets                                                334
  Du Bartas                                                         334
  Pibrac; Desportes                                                 335
  French Metre and Versification                                    335
  General character of French Poetry                                335
  German Poetry                                                     336
  Paradise of Dainty Devices                                        336
  Character of this Collection                                      336
  Sackville’s Induction                                             336
  Inferiority of Poets in early years of Elizabeth                  337
  Gascoyne                                                          337
  Spenser’s Shepherd’s Kalendar                                     337
  Sydney’s Character of Contemporary Poets                          338
  Improvement soon after this Time                                  338
  Relaxation of Moral Austerity                                     339
  Serious Poetry                                                    339
  Poetry of Sydney                                                  339
  Epithalanium of Spenser                                           340
  Poems of Shakspeare                                               340
  Daniel and Drayton                                                340
  Nosce Teipsum of Davies                                           340
  Satires of Hall, Marston, and Donne                               341
  Modulation of English Verse                                       341
  Translations of Homer by Chapman                                  341
  Of Tasso by Fairfax                                               342
  Employment of Ancient Measures                                    342
  Number of Poets in this Age                                       342
  Scots and English Ballads                                         343
  The Faery Queen                                                   343
  Superiority of the First Book                                     343
  The succeeding Books                                              344
  Spenser’s Sense of Beauty                                         344
  Compared to Ariosto                                               344
  Style of Spenser                                                  345
  Inferiority of the latter Books                                   345
  Allegories of the Faery Queen                                     346
  Blemishes in the Diction                                          346
  Admiration of the Faery Queen                                     346
  General Parallel of Italian and English Poetry                    347
  Decline of Latin Poetry in Italy                                  347
  Compensated in other Countries                                    347
  Lotichius                                                         347
  Collections of Latin Poetry by Gruter                             348
  Characters of some Gallo-Latin Poets                              348
  Sammarthanus                                                      349
  Belgic Poets                                                      349
  Scots Poets--Buchanan                                             349

                             CHAPTER XV.


  Italian Tragedy                                                   350
  Pastoral Drama                                                    351
  Aminta of Tasso                                                   351
  Pastor Fido of Guarini                                            352
  Italian Opera                                                     352
  The National Taste revives in the Spanish Drama                   353
  Lope de Vega                                                      353
  His Extraordinary Fertility                                       353
  His Versification                                                 354
  His Popularity                                                    354
  Character of his Comedies                                         354
  Tragedy of Don Sancho Ortiz                                       355
  His Spiritual Plays                                               356
  Numancia of Cervantes                                             356
  French Theatre--Jodelle                                           357
  Garnier                                                           357
  Comedies of Larivey                                               358
  Theatres in Paris                                                 358
  English Stage                                                     359
  Gammar Gurton’s Needle                                            359
  Gorboduc of Sackville                                             359
  Preference given to the Irregular Form                            359
  First Theatres                                                    360
  Plays of Whetstone and Others                                     360
  Marlowe and his Contemporaries                                    360
  Tamburlaine                                                       361
  Blank Verse of Marlowe                                            361
  Marlowe’s Jew of Malta                                            361
  And Faustus                                                       361
  His Edward II.                                                    361
  Plays whence Henry VI. was taken                                  361
  Peele                                                             362
  Greene                                                            362
  Other Writers of this Age                                         363
  Heywood’s Woman Killed with Kindness                              363
  William Shakspeare                                                364
  His First Writings for the Stage                                  364
  Comedy of Errors                                                  365
  Love’s Labour Lost                                                365
  Taming of the Shrew                                               365
  Midsummer Night’s Dream                                           365
  Its Machinery                                                     366
  Its Language                                                      366
  Romeo and Juliet                                                  366
  Its Plot                                                          367
  Its Beauties and Blemishes                                        367
  The Characters                                                    367
  The Language                                                      367
  Second Period of Shakspeare                                       368
  The Historical Plays                                              368
  Merchant of Venice                                                368
  As You Like It                                                    369
  Jonson’s Every Man in his Humour                                  369

                            CHAPTER XVI.


  Italian Writers                                                   369
  Casa                                                              369
  Tasso                                                             370
  Firenzuola                                                        370
  Character of Italian Prose                                        370
  Italian Letter Writers                                            370
  Davanzati’s Tacitus                                               371
  Jordano Bruno                                                     371
  French Writers--Amyot                                             371
  Montaigne; Du Vair                                                371
  Satire Menippée                                                   372
  English Writers                                                   372
  Ascham                                                            372
  Euphues of Lilly                                                  373
  Its Popularity                                                    373
  Sydney’s Arcadia                                                  374
  His Defence of Poesie                                             374
  Hooker                                                            374
  Character of Elizabethan Writers                                  374
  State of Criticism                                                375
  Scaliger’s Poetics                                                375
  His Preference of Virgil to Homer                                 375
  His Critique on Modern Latin Poets                                376
  Critical Influence of the Academics                               376
  Dispute of Caro and Castelvetro                                   377
  Castelvetro on Aristotle’s Poetics                                377
  Severity of Castelvetro’s Criticism                               377
  Ercolano of Varchi                                                378
  Controversy about Dante                                           378
  Academy of Florence                                               378
  Salviati’s Attack on Tasso                                        379
  Pinciano’s Art of Poetry                                          379
  French Treatises of Criticism                                     379
  Wilson’s Art of Rhetorique                                        379
  Gascoyne; Webbe                                                   380
  Puttenham’s Art of Poesie                                         380
  Sydney’s Defence of Poesy                                         380
  Novels of Bandello                                                380
  Of Cinthio                                                        381
  Of the Queen of Navarre                                           381
  Spanish Romances of Chivalry                                      381
  Diana of Monte-Mayor                                              382
  Novels in the Picaresque Style                                    382
  Guzman d’Alfarache                                                382
  Las Guerras de Granada                                            383
  Sydney’s Arcadia                                                  383
  Its Character                                                     383
  Inferiority of other English Fictions                             384

                            CHAPTER XVII.


  Tartaglia and Cardan                                              385
  Algebra of Pelletier                                              385
  Record’s Whetstone of Wit                                         385
  Vieta                                                             385
  His Discoveries                                                   386
  Geometers of this Period                                          388
  Joachim Rhœticus                                                  388
  Copernican Theory                                                 388
  Tycho Brahe                                                       389
  His System                                                        389
  Gregorian Calendar                                                390
  Optics                                                            390
  Mechanics                                                         390
  Statics of Stevinus                                               391
  Hydrostatics                                                      392
  Gilbert on the Magnet                                             392
  Gesner’s Zoology                                                  392
  Its Character by Cuvier                                           392
  Gesner’s Arrangement                                              393
  His Additions to known Quadrupeds                                 393
  Belon                                                             394
  Salviani and Rondelet’s Ichthyology                               394
  Aldrovandus                                                       394
  Botany--Turner                                                    395
  Maranta--Botanical Gardens                                        395
  Gesner                                                            396
  Dodœns                                                            396
  Lobel                                                             396
  Clusius                                                           396
  Cæsalpin                                                          396
  Dalechamps--Bauhin                                                397
  Gerard’s Herbal                                                   397
  Anatomy--Fallopius                                                397
  Eustachius                                                        397
  Coiter                                                            398
  Columbus                                                          398
  Circulation of the Blood                                          398
  Medicinal Science                                                 398
  Syriac Version of New Testament                                   399
  Hebrew Critics                                                    399
  Its Study in England                                              399
  Arabic begins to be Studied                                       399
  Collection of Voyages by Ramusio                                  400
  Curiosity they awakened                                           400
  Other Voyages                                                     401
  Accounts of China                                                 401
  India and Russia                                                  401
  English Discoveries in the Northern Seas                          401
  Geographical Books--Ortelius                                      401
  Guicciardini                                                      402
  French Memoirs                                                    403
  Universities in Italy                                             403
  In other Countries                                                403
  Libraries                                                         403
  Collections of Antiquities in Italy                               404
  Pinelli                                                           404
  Italian Academies                                                 405
  Society of Antiquaries in England                                 405
  New Books and Catalogues of them                                  406
  Literary Correspondence                                           406
  Bibliographical Works                                             406
  Restraints on the Press                                           407
  Index Expurgatorius                                               407
  Its Effects                                                       407
  Restrictions in England                                           407
  Latin more employed on this account                               408
  Influence of Literature                                           408

                           CHAPTER XVIII.


  Learning of 17th Century less Philological                        409
  Popularity of Comenius                                            409
  Decline of Greek Learning                                         410
  Casaubon                                                          410
  Viger de Idiotismis                                               411
  Weller’s Greek Grammar                                            411
  Labbe and Others                                                  411
  Salmasius de Lingua Hellenistica                                  412
  Greek Editions--Savile’s Chrysostom                               412
  Greek Learning in England                                         413
  Latin Editions--Torrentius                                        413
  Gruter                                                            413
  Heinsius                                                          413
  Grotius                                                           414
  Rutgersius--Reinesius--Barthius                                   414
  Other Critics--English                                            414
  Salmasius                                                         415
  Good Writers of Latin                                             415
  Scioppius                                                         416
  His Philosophical Grammar                                         416
  His Infamia Famiani                                               416
  Judicium de Stylo Historico                                       416
  Gerard Vossius, de Vitiis Sermonis                                417
  His Aristarchus                                                   417
  Progress of Latin Style                                           418
  Gruter’s Collection of Inscriptions                               418
  Assisted by Scaliger                                              419
  Works on Roman Antiquity                                          419
  Geography of Cluversius                                           420
  Meursius                                                          420
  Ubbo Emmius                                                       420
  Chronology of Lydiat--Calvisius                                   420
  Petavius                                                          421
  Character of this Work                                            421

                            CHAPTER XIX.


  Temporal Supremacy of Rome                                        422
  Contest with Venice                                               423
  Father Paul Sarpi                                                 423
  History of Council of Trent                                       424
  Gallican Liberties--Richter                                       424
  Perron                                                            425
  Decline of Papal Power                                            425
  Unpopularity of the Jesuits                                       426
  Richelieu’s Care of Gallican Liberties                            426
  Controversy of Catholics and Protestants                          426
  Increased respect for the Fathers                                 426
  Especially in England--Laud                                       427
  Defections to the Catholic Church                                 427
  Wavering of Casaubon                                              428
  And of Grotius                                                    429
  Calixtus                                                          434
  His Attempts at Concord                                           434
  High Church Party in England                                      435
  Daillé on the Right Use of the Fathers                            435
  Chillingworth’s Religion of Protestants                           436
  Character of this Work                                            436
  Hales on Schism                                                   438
  Controversies on Grace and Free will--Augustinian Scheme          438
  Semi-pelagian Hypothesis                                          439
  Tenets of the Reformers                                           439
  Rise of Arminianism                                               440
  Episcopius                                                        440
  His Writings                                                      440
  Their Spirit and Tendency                                         440
  Great Latitude allowed by them                                    441
  Progress of Arminianism                                           441
  Cameron                                                           441
  Rise of Jansenism                                                 441
  Socinus--Volkelius                                                442
  Crellius--Ruarus                                                  442
  Erastianism maintained by Hooker                                  443
  And Grotius                                                       444
  His Treatise on Ecclesiastical Power of the State                 444
  Remark upon this Theory                                           446
  Toleration of Religious Tenets                                    446
  Claimed by the Arminians                                          446
  By the Independents                                               447
  And by Jeremy Taylor                                              447
  His Liberty of Prophesying                                        447
  Boldness of his Doctrines                                         447
  His Notions of Uncertainty in Theological Tenets                  448
  His low Opinion of the Fathers                                    448
  Difficulty of Finding out Truth                                   449
  Grounds of Toleration                                             449
  Inconsistency of One Chapter                                      450
  His General Defence of Toleration                                 450
  Effect of this Treatise                                           451
  Its Defects                                                       451
  Great Erudition of this Period                                    452
  Usher--Petavius                                                   452
  Sacred Criticism                                                  452
  Grotius--Coccejus                                                 452
  English Commentators                                              453
  Style of Preaching                                                453
  English Sermons                                                   453
  Of Donne                                                          454
  Of Jeremy Taylor                                                  454
  Devotional Writings of Taylor and Hall                            454
  In the Roman                                                      455
  And Lutheran Church                                               455
  Infidelity of some Writers--Charron--Vanini                       455
  Lord Herbert of Cherbury                                          456
  Grotius de Veritate                                               457
  English Translation of the Bible                                  457
  Its Style                                                         457

                             CHAPTER XX.


  Subjects of this Chapter                                          458
  Aristotelians and Ramists                                         458
  No improvement till near the End of the Century                   459
  Methods of the Universities                                       459
  Scholastic Writers                                                459
  Treatises on Logic                                                460
  Campanella                                                        460
  His Theory taken from Telesio                                     460
  Notion of Universal Sensibility                                   461
  His Imagination and Eloquence                                     461
  His Works Published by Admai                                      462
  Basson                                                            463
  Berigard                                                          463
  Magnen                                                            463
  Paracelsists                                                      463
  And Theosophists                                                  463
  Fludd                                                             464
  Jacob Behmen                                                      464
  Lord Herbert de Veritate                                          464
  His Axioms                                                        465
  Conditions of Truth                                               465
  Instinctive Truths                                                466
  Internal Perceptions                                              466
  Five Notions of Natural Religion                                  466
  Remarks of Gassendi on Herbert                                    467
  Gassendi’s Defence of Epicurus                                    468
  His chief Works after 1650                                        468
  Preparation for the Philosophy of Lord Bacon                      468
  His Plan of Philosophy                                            468
  Time of its Conception                                            469
  Instauratio Magna                                                 470
  First Part--Partitiones Scientiarum                               470
  Second Part--Novum Organum                                        470
  Third Part--Natural History                                       470
  Fourth Part--Scala Intellectûs                                    471
  Fifth Part--Anticipationes Philosophiæ                            471
  Sixth Part--Philosophia Secunda                                   471
  Course of studying Lord Bacon                                     472
  Nature of the Baconian Induction                                  472
  His Dislike of Aristotle                                          474
  His Method much required                                          474
  Its Objects                                                       474
  Sketch of the Treatise De Augmentis                               474
  History                                                           474
  Poetry                                                            475
  Fine Passage on Poetry                                            475
  Natural Theology and Metaphysics                                  475
  Form of Bodies might sometimes be inquired into                   475
  Final Causes too much slighted                                    476
  Man not included by him in Physics                                476
  Man--in Body and Mind                                             476
  Logic                                                             476
  Extent given it by Bacon                                          476
  Grammar and Rhetoric                                              477
  Ethics                                                            477
  Politics                                                          477
  Theology                                                          478
  Desiderata enumerated by him                                      478
  Novum Organum--First Book                                         478
  Fallacies--Idola                                                  478
  Confounded with Idols                                             478
  Second Book of Novum Organum                                      479
  Confidence of Bacon                                               479
  Almost justified of late                                          480
  But should be kept within Bounds                                  481
  Limits to our Knowledge by Sense                                  481
  Inductive Logic--whether confined to Physics                      481
  Baconian Philosophy built on Observation and Experiment           482
  Advantages of the latter                                          482
  Sometimes applicable to Philosophy of Human Mind                  483
  Less so to Politics and Morals                                    483
  Induction less conclusive on these Subjects                       483
  Reasons for this Difference                                       484
  Considerations on the other Side                                  484
  Result of the whole                                               485
  Bacon’s Aptitude for Moral Subjects                               486
  Comparison of Bacon and Galileo                                   487
  His Prejudice against Mathematics                                 488
  Bacon’s Excess of Wit                                             488
  Fame of Bacon on the Continent                                    489
  Early Life of Descartes                                           491
  His beginning to philosophise                                     491
  He retires to Holland                                             491
  His Publications                                                  492
  He begins by doubting all                                         492
  His First Step in Knowledge                                       492
  His Mind not Sceptical                                            493
  He arrives at more Certainty                                      493
  His Proof of a Deity                                              493
  Another Proof of it                                               494
  His Deductions from this                                          494
  Primary and Secondary Qualities                                   495
  Objections made to his Meditations                                495
  Theory of Memory and Imagination                                  496
  Seat of Soul in Pineal Gland                                      497
  Gassendi’s Attacks on the Meditations                             497
  Superiority of Descartes                                          497
  Stewart’s Remarks on Descartes                                    498
  Paradoxes of Descartes                                            499
  His Just Notions and Definitions                                  500
  His Notion of Substances                                          501
  Not Quite Correct                                                 501
  His Notions of Intuitive Truth                                    501
  Treatise on Art of Logic                                          502
  Merits of his Writings                                            502
  His Notions of Free will                                          502
  Fame of his System, and Attacks upon it                           503
  Controversy with Voet                                             503
  Charges of Plagiarism                                             504
  Recent Increase of his Fame                                       505
  Metaphysical Treatises of Hobbes                                  505
  His Theory of Sensation                                           506
  Coincident with Descartes                                         506
  Imagination and Memory                                            506
  Discourse or Train of Imagination                                 507
  Experience                                                        507
  Unconceivableness of Infinity                                     507
  Origin of Language                                                508
  His Political Theory interferes                                   508
  Necessity of Speech exaggerated                                   509
  Use of Names                                                      509
  Names Universal not Realities                                     509
  How imposed                                                       510
  The Subject continued                                             510
  Names differently imposed                                         511
  Knowledge                                                         511
  Reasoning                                                         512
  False Reasoning                                                   512
  Its frequency                                                     513
  Knowledge of Fact not derived from Reasoning                      514
  Belief                                                            514
  Chart of Science                                                  515
  Analysis of Passions                                              515
  Good and Evil relative Terms                                      515
  His Paradoxes                                                     515
  His Notion of Love                                                516
  Curiosity                                                         516
  Difference of Intellectual Capacities                             516
  Wit and Fancy                                                     517
  Differences in the Passions                                       517
  Madness                                                           517
  Unmeaning Language                                                517
  Manners                                                           517
  Ignorances and Prejudice                                          518
  His Theory of Religion                                            518
  Its supposed Sources                                              518

                            CHAPTER XXI.

                         FROM 1600 TO 1650.

  Casuistical Writers                                               521
  Importance of Confession                                          521
  Necessity of Rules for the Confessor                              521
  Increase of Casuistical Literature                                521
  Distinction of subjective and objective Morality                  522
  Directory Office of the Confessor                                 522
  Difficulties of Casuistry                                         522
  Strict and Lax Schemes of it                                      523
  Convenience of the latter                                         523
  Favoured by the Jesuits                                           523
  The Causes of this                                                523
  Extravagance of the strict Casuists                               524
  Opposite Faults of Jesuits                                        524
  Suarez, De Legibus                                                524
  Titles of his Ten Books                                           524
  Heads of the Second Book                                          525
  Character of such Scholastic Treatises                            525
  Quotations of Suarez                                              525
  His Definition of Eternal Law                                     526
  Whether God is a Legislator                                       526
  Whether God could permit or commend wrong Actions                 527
  English Casuists--Perkins--Hall                                   527
  Selden, De Jure Naturali Juxta Hebræos                            528
  Jewish Theory of Natural Law                                      528
  Seven Precepts of the Sons of Noah                                528
  Character of Selden’s Work                                        528
  Grotius and Hobbes                                                528
  Charron on Wisdom                                                 529
  La Mothe le Vayer--his Dialogues                                  529
  Bacon’s Essays                                                    529
  Their Excellence                                                  530
  Feltham’s Resolves                                                530
  Browne’s Religio Medici                                           531
  Selden’s Table Talk                                               532
  Osborn’s Advice to his Son                                        532
  John Valentine Andrax                                             532
  Abandonment of Anti-Monarchical Theories                          533
  Political Literature becomes historical                           533
  Bellenden De Statu                                                534
  Campanella’s Politics                                             534
  La Mothe le Vayer                                                 534
  Naude’s Coups d’Etat                                              534
  Patriarchal Theory of Government                                  534
  Refuted by Suarez                                                 535
  His Opinion of Law                                                535
  Bacon                                                             536
  Political Economy                                                 536
  Serra on the Means of obtaining Money without Mines               537
  His Causes of Wealth                                              537
  His Praise of Venice                                              537
  Low Rate of Exchange not essential to wealth                      587
  Hobbes.--His Political Works                                      538
  Analysis of his Three Treatises                                   538
  Civil Jurists of this period                                      543
  Suarez on Laws                                                    544
  Grotius--De Jure Belli et Pacis                                   544
  Success of this Work                                              544
  Its Originality                                                   545
  Its Motive and Object                                             545
  His Authorities                                                   545
  Foundation of Natural Law                                         546
  Positive Law                                                      546
  Perfect and Imperfect Rights                                      546
  Lawful Cases of War                                               546
  Resistance by Subjects unlawful                                   547
  All Men naturally have Right of War                               547
  Right of Self-Defence                                             548
  Its Origin and Limitations                                        548
  Right of Occupancy                                                549
  Relinquishment of it                                              549
  Right over Persons--By Generation                                 549
  By Consent                                                        549
  In Marriage                                                       549
  In Commonwealths                                                  549
  Right of Alienating Subjects                                      549
  Alienation by Testament                                           550
  Rights of Property by Positive Law                                550
  Extinction of Rights                                              550
  Some Casuistical Questions                                        550
  Promises                                                          550
  Contracts                                                         551
  Considered ethically                                              551
  Promissory Oaths                                                  552
  Engagements of Kings towards Subjects                             552
  Public Treaties                                                   552
  Their Interpretation                                              553
  Obligation to repair Injury                                       553
  Rights by Law of Nations                                          554
  Those of Ambassadors                                              554
  Right of Sepulture                                                554
  Punishments                                                       554
  Their Responsibility                                              555
  Insufficient Causes of War                                        556
  Duty of avoiding it                                               556
  And Expediency                                                    556
  War for the sake of other Subjects                                556
  Allies                                                            556
  Strangers                                                         556
  None to Serve in an Unjust War                                    556
  Rights in War                                                     557
  Use of Deceit                                                     557
  Rules and Customs of Nations                                      557
  Reprisals                                                         557
  Declarations of War                                               557
  Rights by law of nations over Enemies                             558
  Prisoners become Slaves                                           558
  Rights of Postliminium                                            558
  Moral Limitation of Rights in War                                 558
  Moderation required as to spoil                                   559
  And as to Prisoners                                               559
  Also in Conquest                                                  559
  And in Restitution to right Owners                                559
  Promises to Enemies and Pirates                                   559
  Treaties concluded by competent Authority                         560
  Matters relating to them                                          561
  Truces and Conventions                                            561
  Those of Private persons                                          561
  Objections to Grotius made by Paley unreasonable                  561
  Reply of Mackintosh                                               561
  Censures of Stewart                                               562
  Answer to them                                                    562
  Grotius vindicated against Rousseau                               565
  His Arrangement                                                   565
  His Defects                                                       565

                            CHAPTER XXII.

                HISTORY OF POETRY FROM 1600 TO 1650.

  Low Estimation of the Seicentisti                                 566
  Not quite so great as formerly                                    566
  Praise of them by Rubbi                                           566
  Also by Salfi                                                     566
  Adone of Marini                                                   567
  Its Character                                                     567
  And Popularity                                                    567
  Secchia Rapita of Tassoni                                         568
  Chiabrera                                                         569
  His Followers                                                     569
  The Styles of Spanish Poetry                                      570
  The Romances                                                      570
  The Brothers Argensola                                            570
  Villegas                                                          571
  Quevedo                                                           571
  Defects of Taste in Spanish Verse                                 571
  Pedantry and far-fetched Allusions                                572
  Gongora                                                           572
  The Schools formed by him                                         573
  Malherbe                                                          573
  Criticisms upon his Poetry                                        574
  Satires of Regnier                                                574
  Racan--Maynard                                                    574
  Voiture                                                           574
  Sarrasin                                                          575
  Low state of German Literature                                    575
  Literary Societies                                                575
  Opitz                                                             575
  His Followers                                                     576
  Dutch Poetry                                                      576
  Spiegel                                                           576
  Hooft-Cats-Vondel                                                 577
  Danish Poetry                                                     577
  English Poets numerous in this age                                577
  Phineas Fletcher                                                  577
  Giles Fletcher                                                    578
  Philosophical Poetry                                              578
  Lord Brooke                                                       578
  Denham’s Cooper’s Hill                                            579
  Poets called Metaphysical                                         579
  Donne                                                             580
  Crashaw                                                           580
  Cowley                                                            580
  Johnson’s Character of him                                        580
  Narrative Poets--Daniel                                           580
  Drayton’s Polyolbion                                              581
  Browne’s Britannia’s Pastorals                                    581
  Sir John Beaumont                                                 582
  Davenant’s Gondibert                                              582
  Sonnets of Shakspeare                                             582
  The person whom they address                                      583
  Sonnets of Drummond and others                                    584
  Carew                                                             584
  Ben Jonson                                                        585
  Wither                                                            585
  Habington                                                         585
  Earl of Pembroke                                                  585
  Suckling                                                          586
  Lovelace                                                          586
  Herrick                                                           586
  Milton                                                            586
  His Comus                                                         586
  Lycidas                                                           587
  Allegro and Penseroso                                             587
  Ode on the Nativity                                               588
  His Sonnets                                                       588
  Anonymous Poetry                                                  588
  Latin Poets of France                                             588
  In Germany and Italy                                              588
  In Holland--Heinsius                                              589
  Casimir Sarbievius                                                589
  Barlæus                                                           589
  Balde--Greek Poems of Heinsius                                    590
  Latin Poets of Scotland--Jonston’s Psalms                         590
  Owen’s Epigrams                                                   590
  Alabaster’s Roxana                                                590
  May’s Supplement to Lucan                                         590
  Milton’s Latin Poems                                              591

                           CHAPTER XXIII.


  Decline of the Italian Theatre                                    591
  Filli de Sciro                                                    592
  Translations of Spanish Dramas                                    592
  Extemporaneous Comedy                                             593
  Spanish Stage                                                     593
  Calderon--Number of his Pieces                                    593
  His Comedies                                                      593
  La Vida es Sueno                                                  594
  A Secreto agravio secreta vengança                                595
  Style of Calderon                                                 595
  His Merits sometimes over-rated                                    596
  Plays of Hardy                                                    596
  The Cid                                                           597
  Style of Corneille                                                598
  Les Horaces                                                       598
  Cimia                                                             598
  Polyeucte                                                         599
  Rodogune                                                          599
  Pompey                                                            599
  Heraclius                                                         599
  Nicomède                                                          600
  Faults and Beauties of Corneille                                  600
  Le Menteur                                                        600
  Other French Tragedies                                            600
  Wenceslas of Rotron                                               600
  Popularity of the Stage under Elizabeth                           601
  Number of Theatres                                                601
  Encouraged by James                                               601
  General Taste for the Stage                                       601
  Theatres closed by the Parliament                                 602
  Shakspeare’s Twelfth Night                                        602
  Merry Wives of Windsor                                            603
  Measure for Measure                                               604
  Lear                                                              604
  Timon of Athens                                                   604
  Pericles                                                          605
  His Roman Tragedies--Julius Cæsar                                 606
  Antony and Cleopatra                                              606
  Coriolanus                                                        606
  His Retirement and Death                                          607
  Greatness of his Genius                                           607
  His Judgment                                                      607
  His Obscurity                                                     608
  His Popularity                                                    608
  Critics on Shakspeare                                             609
  Ben Jonson                                                        609
  The Alchemist                                                     609
  Volpone, or The Fox                                               610
  The Silent Woman                                                  610
  Sad Shepherd                                                      611
  Beaumont and Fletcher                                             611
  Corrupt State of their Text                                       611
  The Maid’s Tragedy                                                611
  Philaster                                                         612
  King and no King                                                  613
  The Elder Brother                                                 613
  The Spanish Curate                                                613
  The Custom of the Country                                         613
  The Loyal Subject                                                 613
  Beggar’s Bush                                                     613
  The Scornful Lady                                                 614
  Valentinian                                                       614
  The Two Noble Kinsmen                                             615
  The Faithful Shepherdess                                          615
  Rule a Wife, and have a Wife                                      616
  Some other Plays                                                  616
  Origin of Fletcher’s Plays                                        616
  Defects of their plots                                            616
  Their Sentiments and Style Dramatic                               617
  Their Characters                                                  617
  Their Tragedies                                                   617
  Inferior to their Comedies                                        618
  Their Female Characters                                           618
  Massinger--Nature of his Dramas                                   619
  His Delineations of Character                                     619
  His Subjects                                                      619
  Beauty of His Style                                               620
  Inferiority of his Comic Powers                                   620
  Some of his Tragedies particularized                              620
  And of his other Plays                                            620
  Ford                                                              621
  Shirley                                                           621
  Heywood                                                           622
  Webster                                                           622
  His Duchess of Malfy                                              622
  Vittoria Corombona                                                622

                            CHAPTER XXIV.


  Decline of Taste in Italy                                         623
  Style of Galileo                                                  624
  Bentivoglio                                                       624
  Boccalini’s News from Parnassus                                   624
  His Pietra del Paragone                                           625
  Terrante Pallavicino                                              625
  Dictionary Delia Crusca                                           625
  Grammatical Works--Buonmattei--Bartoli                            626
  Tassoni’s Remarks on Petrarch                                     626
  Galileo’s Remarks on Tasso                                        626
  Sforza Pallavicino                                                626
  And other Critical Writers                                        626
  Prolusiones of Strada                                             627
  Spanish Prose--Gracian                                            627
  French Prose--Du Vair                                             627
  Balzac                                                            628
  Character of his Writings                                         628
  His Letters                                                       628
  Voiture--Hotel Rambouillet                                        629
  Establishment of French Academy                                   630
  Its objects and Constitution                                      630
  It publishes a Critique on the Cid                                631
  Vaugelas’s Remarks on the French Language                         631
  La Mothe le Vayer                                                 632
  Legal Speeches of Patru                                           632
  And of Le Maistre                                                 632
  Improvement in English Style                                      633
  Earl of Essex                                                     633
  Knolles’s History of the Turks                                    634
  Raleigh’s History of the World                                    635
  Daniel’s History of England                                       635
  Bacon                                                             635
  Milton                                                            636
  Clarendon                                                         636
  The Icon Basilice                                                 636
  Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy                                    637
  Earle’s Characters                                                637
  Overbury’s Characters                                             637
  Jonson’s Discoveries                                              637
  Publication of Don Quixote                                        638
  Its Reputation                                                    638
  New Views of its Design                                           638
  Probably erroneous                                                638
  Difference between the two Parts                                  639
  Excellence of this Romance                                        639
  Minor Novels of Cervantes                                         639
  Other Novels--Spanish                                             639
  And Italian                                                       639
  French Romances--Astrée                                           639
  Heroic Romances--Gomberville                                      640
  Calprenède                                                        640
  Scuderi                                                           641
  Argenis of Barclay                                                641
  His Euphormis                                                     643
  Campanella’s City of the Sun                                      643
  Few Books of Fiction in England                                   643
  Mundus Alter et Idem of Hall                                      644
  Godwin’s Journey to the Moon                                      644
  Howell’s Dodona’s Grove                                           644
  Adventures of Baron de Fænesle                                    644

                            CHAPTER XXV.


  State of Science in 16th Century                                  645
  Tediousness of Calculations                                       645
  Napier’s Invention of Logarithms                                  645
  Their Nature                                                      645
  Property of Numbers discovered by Stifelius                       645
  Extended to Magnitudes                                            646
  By Napier                                                         646
  Tables of Napier and Briggs                                       646
  Kepler’s New Geometry                                             647
  Its Difference from the Ancient                                   647
  Adopted by Galileo                                                648
  Extended by Cavalieri                                             648
  Applied to the Ratios of Solids                                   648
  Problem of the Cycloid                                            648
  Progress of Algebra                                               649
  Briggs--Girard                                                    649
  Harriott                                                          649
  Descartes                                                         650
  His Application of Algebra to Curves                              650
  Suspected Plagiarism from Harriot                                 650
  Fermat                                                            651
  Algebraic Geometry not successful at first                        652
  Astronomy--Kepler                                                 652
  Conjectures as to Comets                                          652
  Galileo’s Discovery of Jupiter’s Satellites                       653
  Other Discoveries by him                                          653
  Spots of the Sun discovered                                       653
  Copernican System held by Galileo                                 654
  His Dialogues, and Persecution                                    654
  Descartes alarmed by this                                         655
  Progress of Copernican System                                     655
  Descartes denies General Gravitation                              655
  Cartesian Theory of the World                                     655
  Transits of Mercury and Venus                                     656
  Laws of Mechanics                                                 656
  Statics of Galileo                                                657
  His Dynamics                                                      657
  Mechanics of Descartes                                            658
  Law of Motion laid down by Descartes                              658
  Also those of Compound Forces                                     659
  Other Discoveries in Mechanics                                    659
  In Hydrostatics and Pneumatics                                    659
  Optics--Discoveries of Kepler                                     660
  Invention of the Telescope                                        660
  Of the Microscope                                                 660
  Antonio de Dominis                                                660
  Dioptrics of Descartes--Law of Refraction                         661
  Disputed by Fermat                                                661
  Curves of Descartes                                               661
  Theory of the Rainbow                                             661

                            CHAPTER XXVI.


  Aldrovandus                                                       662
  Clusius                                                           662
  Rio and Marcgraf                                                  662
  Jonston                                                           662
  Fabricius on the Language of Brutes                               663
  Botany--Columna                                                   664
  John and Gaspar Bauhin                                            664
  Parkinson                                                         664
  Valves of the Veins discovered                                    665
  Theory of the Blood’s Circulation                                 665
  Sometimes ascribed to Servetus                                    665
  To Columbus                                                       666
  And to Cæsalpin                                                   666
  Generally unknown before Harvey                                   667
  His Discovery                                                     667
  Unjustly doubted to be Original                                   667
  Harvey’s Treatise on Generation                                   668
  Lacteals discovered by Asellius                                   668
  Optical Discoveries of Scheiner                                   669
  Medicine--Van Helmont                                             669
  Diffusion of Hebrew                                               669
  Language not studied in the best method                           669
  The Buxtorfs                                                      670
  Vowel Points rejected by Cappel                                   670
  Hebrew Scholars                                                   671
  Chaldee and Syriac                                                671
  Arabic                                                            671
  Erpenius                                                          671
  Golius                                                            671
  Other Eastern Languages                                           672
  Purchas’s Pilgrim                                                 672
  Olearius and Pietro della Valle                                   672
  Lexicon of Ferrari                                                672
  Maps of Blaew                                                     672
  Davila and Bentivoglio                                            673
  Mendoza’s Wars of Granada                                         673
  Mezeray                                                           673
  English Historians                                                673
  English Histories                                                 673
  Universities                                                      673
  Bodleian Library founded                                          674
  Casaubon’s Account of Oxford                                      674
  Catalogue of Bodleian Library                                     674
  Continental Libraries                                             675
  Italian Academies                                                 675
  The Lincei                                                        675
  Prejudice for Antiquity diminished                                676
  Browne’s Vulgar Errors                                            677
  Life and Character of Peiresc                                     677

                           CHAPTER XXVII.


  James Frederic Gronovius                                          678
  James Gronovius                                                   679
  Grævius                                                           679
  Isaac Vossius                                                     679
  Decline of German Learning                                        679
  Spanheim                                                          679
  Jesuit Colleges in France                                         679
  Port-Royal Writers--Lancelot                                      679
  Latin Writers--Perizonius                                         680
  Delphin Editions                                                  680
  Le Fevre and the Daciers                                          680
  Henry Valois--Complaints of Decay of Learning                     680
  English Learning--Duport                                          681
  Greek not much studied                                            681
  Gataker’s Cinnus and Antoninus                                    681
  Stanley’sÆschylus                                                682
  Other English Philologers                                         682
  Bentley                                                           682
  His Epistle to Mill                                               682
  Dissertation on Phalaris                                          682
  Disadvantages of Scholars in that Age                             683
  Thesauri of Grævius and of Gronovius                              683
  Fabretti                                                          684
  Numismatics, Spanheim--Vaillant                                   684
  Chronology--Usher                                                 684
  Pezron                                                            685
  Marsham                                                           685

                           CHAPTER XXVIII.


  Decline of Papal Influence                                        685
  Dispute of Louis XIV. with Innocent XI.                           686
  Four Articles of 1682                                             686
  Dupin on the ancient Discipline                                   686
  Dupin’s Ecclesiastical Library                                    687
  Fleury’s Ecclesiastical History                                   687
  His Dissertations                                                 687
  Protestant Controversy in France                                  688
  Bossuet’s Exposition of Catholic Faith                            688
  His Conference with Claude                                        688
  Correspondence with Molanus and Leibnitz                          689
  His Variations of Protestant Churches                             690
  Anglican Writings against Popery                                  690
  Taylor’s Dissuasive                                               690
  Barrow--Stillingfleet                                             690
  Jansenius                                                         691
  Condemnation of his Augustinus in France                          691
  And at Rome                                                       691
  The Jansenists take a Distinction                                 692
  And are Persecuted                                                692
  Progress of Arminianism                                           692
  Courcelles                                                        693
  Limborch                                                          693
  Le Clerc                                                          693
  Sancroft’s Fur Prædestinatus                                      693
  Arminianism in England                                            694
  Bull’s Harmonia Apostolica                                        694
  Hammond--Locke--Wilkins                                           694
  Socinians in England                                              695
  Bull’s Defensio Fidei Nicenæ                                      695
  Not Satisfactory to all                                           695
  Mystics                                                           696
  Fenelon                                                           696
  Change in the Character of Theological Literature                 696
  Freedom of many Writings                                          696
  Thoughts of Pascal                                                697
  Vindications of Christianity                                      699
  Progress of Tolerant Principles                                   700
  Bayle’s Philosophical Commentary                                  700
  Locke’s Letter on Toleration                                      700
  French Sermons                                                    701
  Bourdaloue                                                        701
  Compared with Bossuet                                             702
  Funeral Discourses of Bossuet                                     702
  Fléchier                                                          703
  English Sermons--Barrow                                           703
  South                                                             704
  Tillotson                                                         704
  Expository Theology                                               704
  Pearson on the Creed                                              704
  Simon’s Critical Histories                                        705

                            CHAPTER XXIX.


  Aristotelian Metaphysics                                          705
  Their Decline. Thomas White                                       706
  Logic                                                             706
  Stanley’s History of Philosophy                                   707
  Gale’s Court of Gentiles                                          707
  Cudworth’s Intellectual System                                    707
  Its object                                                        708
  Sketch of it                                                      708
  His plastic nature                                                708
  His account of old Philosophy                                     708
  His Arguments against Atheism                                     709
  More                                                              709
  Gassendi                                                          710
  His Logic                                                         710
  His Theory of Ideas                                               710
  And of the Nature of the Soul                                     710
  Distinguishes Ideas of Reflection                                 711
  Also Intellect from Imagination                                   711
  His Philosophy misunderstood by Stewart                           712
  Bernier’s Epitome of Gassendi                                     713
  Process of Cartesian Philosophy                                   713
  La Forge--Regis                                                   714
  Huet’s Censure of Cartesianism                                    715
  Port-Royal Logic                                                  716
  Malebranche                                                       717
  His Style                                                         717
  Sketch of his Theory                                              717
  Character of Malebranche                                          724
  Compared with Pascal                                              724
  Arnauld on True and False ideas                                   725
  Norris                                                            725
  Pascal                                                            725
  Spinosa’s Ethics                                                  726
  Its general Originality                                           726
  View of his Metaphysical Theory                                   727
  Spinosa’s Theory of action and Passion                            731
  Character of Spinosism                                            732
  Glanvil’s Scepsis Scientifica                                     733
  His Plus Ultra                                                    734
  Dalgarno                                                          735
  Wilkins                                                           736
  Locke on Human Understanding                                      736
  Its merits                                                        736
  Its Defects                                                       737
  Origin of Ideas according to Locke                                737
  Vague Use of the Word Idea                                        738
  An Error as to Geometrical Figure                                 739
  His Notions as to the Soul                                        740
  And its Immateriality                                             740
  His Love of Truth and Originality                                 741
  Defended in two cases                                             742
  His View of Lunatic Ideas                                         742
  General Praise                                                    743
  Locke’s Conduct of Understanding                                  743

                            CHAPTER XXX.

                         FROM 1650 TO 1700.

  Casuistry of the Jesuits                                          744
  Pascal’s Provincial Letters                                       744
  Their Truth questioned by some                                    744
  Taylor’s Ductor Dubitantium                                       745
  Its Character and Defects                                         745
  Cudworth’s immutable Morality                                     745
  Nicole--La Placette                                               746
  Other Writers                                                     746
  Moral System of Spinosa                                           746
  Cumberland’s De Legibus Naturæ                                    747
  Analysis of Prolegomena                                           748
  His Theory expanded afterwards                                    749
  Remarks on Cumberland’s Theory                                    752
  Puffendorf’s Law of Nature and Nations                            753
  Analysis of this Work                                             754
  Puffendorf and Paley compared                                     757
  Rochefoucault                                                     757
  La Bruyère                                                        758
  Education--Milton’s Tractrate                                     758
  Locke on Education--Its merits                                    759
  And Defects                                                       759
  Fenelon on Female Education                                       761
  Puffendorf’s Theory of Politics                                   762
  Politics of Spinosa                                               764
  His Theory of a Monarchy                                          766
  Amelot de la Houssaye                                             766
  Harrington’s Oceana                                               766
  Patriarcha of Filmer                                              767
  Sydney’s Discourses on Government                                 767
  Locke on Government                                               768
  Observations on this Treatise                                     771
  Avis auz Refugiéz, perhaps by Bayle                               772
  Political Economist’s                                            772
  Mun on Foreign Trade                                              773
  Child on Trade                                                    773
  Locke on the Coin                                                 773
  Statistical Tracts                                                774
  Works of Leibnitz on Roman Law                                    775
  Civil Jurists--Godefroy--Domat                                    775
  Noodt of Usury                                                    776
  Law of Nations--Puffendorf                                        776

                            CHAPTER XXXI.

                 HISTORY OF POETRY FROM 1650 TO 1700.

  Improved Tone of Italian Poetry                                   776
  Filicaja                                                          777
  Guidi                                                             777
  Menzini                                                           778
  Salvator Rosa--Redi                                               778
  Other Poets                                                       778
  Christina’s Patronage of Letters                                  778
  Society of Arcadians                                              778
  La Fontaine                                                       779
  Character of his Fables                                           779
  Boileau: His Epistles                                             780
  His Art of Poetry                                                 780
  Comparison with Horace                                            780
  The Lutrin                                                        780
  General Character of his Poetry                                   780
  Lyric Poetry lighter than before                                  781
  Benserade                                                         781
  Chaulieu                                                          781
  Pastoral Poetry                                                   781
  Segrais                                                           781
  Deshouliéres                                                      781
  Fontenelle                                                        782
  Bad Epic Poems                                                    782
  German Poetry                                                     782
  Waller                                                            782
  Butler’s Hudibras                                                 783
  Paradise Lost--Choice of Subject                                  783
  Open to some Difficulties                                         783
  Its Arrangement                                                   783
  Characters of Adam and Eve                                        784
  He owes less to Homer than the Tragedians                         784
  Compared with Dante                                               784
  Elevation of his Style                                            785
  His Blindness                                                     786
  His Passion for Music                                             786
  Faults in Paradise Lost                                           786
  Its Progress to Fame                                              786
  Paradise Regained                                                 787
  Samson Agonistes                                                  787
  Dryden--His earlier Poems                                         787
  Absalom and Achitophel                                            788
  Mac Flecknoe                                                      788
  The Hind and Panther                                              789
  Its Singular Fable                                                789
  Its Reasoning                                                     789
  The Fables                                                        789
  His Odes--Alexander’s Feast                                       790
  His Translation of Virgil                                         790
  Decline of Poetry from the Restoration                            790
  Some Minor Poets enumerated                                       790
  Latin Poets of Italy                                              791
  Ceva                                                              791
  Sergardi                                                          791
  Of France--Quillet                                                791
  Menage                                                            792
  Rapin on Gardens                                                  792
  Santeul                                                           793
  Latin Poetry in England                                           793

                           CHAPTER XXXII.


  Italian and Spanish Drama                                         793
  Racine’s first Tragedies                                          793
  Andromaque                                                        794
  Britannicus                                                       795
  Berenice                                                          795
  Bajazet                                                           795
  Mithridate                                                        796
  Iphigénie                                                         796
  Phèdre                                                            797
  Esther                                                            797
  Athalie                                                           797
  Racine’s Female Characters                                        798
  Racine compared with Corneille                                    798
  Beauty of his Style                                               798
  Thomas Corneille--His Ariane                                      799
  Manlius of La Fosse                                               799
  Molière                                                           799
  L’Avare                                                           799
  L’Ecole des Femmes                                                800
  Le Misanthrope                                                    800
  Les Femmes Savantes                                               801
  Tartuffe                                                          801
  Bourgeois Gentilhomme--George Dandin                              801
  Character of Molière                                              802
  Les Plaideurs of Racine                                           802
  Regnard--Le Joueur                                                802
  His Other Plays                                                   803
  Quinault--Boursault                                               803
  Dancourt                                                          803
  Brueys                                                            804
  Operas of Quinault                                                804
  Revival of the English Theatre                                    804
  Change of Public Taste                                            804
  Its Causes                                                        805
  Heroic Tragedies of Dryden                                        805
  His later Tragedies                                               805
  Don Sebastian                                                     806
  Spanish Friar                                                     806
  Otway                                                             806
  Southern                                                          807
  Lee                                                               807
  Congreve                                                          807
  Comedies of Charles II.’s Reign                                   807
  Wycherley                                                         808
  Improvement after the Revolution                                  808
  Congreve                                                          808
  Love for Love                                                     808
  His other Comedies                                                808
  Farquhar--Vanbrugh                                                809

                           CHAPTER XXXIII.


  Low State of Literature in Italy                                  809
  Crescimbeni                                                       810
  Age of Louis XIV. in France                                       810
  Fontenelle--his Character                                         810
  His Dialogues of the Dead                                         811
  Those of Fenelon                                                  811
  Fontenelle’s Plurality of Worlds                                  811
  His History of Oracles                                            811
  St. Evremond                                                      812
  Madame de Sevigné                                                 812
  The French Academy                                                812
  French Grammars                                                   813
  Bouhour’s Entretiens d’Ariste et d’Eugène                         813
  Attacked by Barbier d’Ancour                                      814
  La Manière de Bien Penser                                         815
  Rapin’s Reflections on Eloquence and Poetry                       815
  His Parallel’s of Great Men                                       815
  Bossu on Epic Poetry                                              816
  Fontenelle’s Critical Writings                                    816
  Preference of French Language to Latin                            816
  General Superiority of Ancients disputed                          816
  Charles Perrault                                                  816
  Fontenelle                                                        817
  Boileau’s Defence of Antiquity                                    817
  First Reviews--Journal des Sçavans                                817
  Reviews Established by Bayle                                      818
  Reviews Established by Le Clerc                                   818
  Leipsic Acts                                                      819
  Bayle’s Thoughts on the Comet                                     819
  His Dictionary                                                    819
  Baillet--Morhof                                                   820
  The Ana                                                           820
  English Style in this Period                                      820
  Hobbes                                                            821
  Cowley                                                            821
  Evelyn                                                            821
  Dryden                                                            821
  His Essay on Dramatic Poesy                                       822
  Improvements in his Style                                         823
  His Critical Character                                            823
  Rymer on Tragedy                                                  823
  Sir William Temple’s Essays                                       824
  Style of Locke                                                    824
  Sir George Mackenzie’s Essays                                     824
  Andrew Fletcher                                                   824
  Walton’s Complete Angler                                          824
  Wilkins’ New World                                                824
  Antiquity defended by Temple                                      825
  Wotton’s Reflection’s                                             825
  Quevedo’s Visions                                                 825
  French Heroic Romances                                            826
  Novels of Madame La Fayette                                       826
  Scarron’s Roman Comique                                           826
  Cyrano de Bergerac                                                827
  Segrais                                                           827
  Perrault                                                          827
  Hamilton                                                          827
  Télémaque of Fenelon                                              827
  Deficiency of English Romances                                    828
  Pilgrim’s Progress                                                828
  Turkish Spy                                                       829
  Chiefly of English Origin                                         830
  Swift’s Tale of a Tub                                             831

                           CHAPTER XXXIV.


  Reasons for omitting Mathematics                                  831
  Academy del Cimento                                               831
  Royal Society                                                     832
  Academy of Sciences at Paris                                      832
  State of Chemistry                                                832
  Becker                                                            833
  Boyle                                                             833
  His Metaphysical Works                                            833
  Extract from one of them                                          833
  His Merits in Physics and Chemistry                               834
  General Character of Boyle                                        834
  Of Hooke and Others                                               834
  Lemery                                                            835
  Slow Progress of Zoology                                          835
  Before Ray                                                        835
  His Synopsis of Quadrupeds                                        835
  Merits of this Work                                               835
  Redi                                                              836
  Swammerdam                                                        836
  Lister                                                            836
  Comparative Anatomy                                               836
  Botany                                                            837
  Jungius                                                           837
  Morison                                                           837
  Ray                                                               837
  Rivinus                                                           838
  Tournefort                                                        838
  Vegetable Physiology                                              839
  Grew                                                              839
  His Anatomy of Plants                                             840
  He discovers the Sexual System                                    840
  Camerarius confirms this                                          840
  Predecessors of Grew                                              840
  Malpighi                                                          840
  Early Notions of Geology                                          840
  Burnet’s Theory of Earth                                          840
  Other Geologists                                                  841
  Protogæa of Leibnitz                                              841
  Circulation of Blood Established                                  842
  Willis--Vieussens                                                 842
  Malpighi                                                          842
  Other Anatomists                                                  842
  Medical Theories                                                  843
  Polyglott of Walton                                               843
  Hottinger                                                         844
  Spencer                                                           844
  Bochart                                                           844
  Pococke                                                           844
  D’Herbelot                                                        844
  Hyde                                                              844
  Maps of the Sansons                                               844
  De Lisle’s Map of the World                                       845
  Voyages and Travels                                               845
  Historians                                                        845
  De Solis                                                          845
  Memoirs of De Retz                                                845
  Bossuet on Universal History                                      846
  English Historical Works                                          846
  Burnet                                                            846
  General Character of 17th Century                                 846
  Conclusion                                                        847


                              TO THE

                       LITERATURE OF EUROPE

                       SEVENTEENTH CENTURIES.

                          CHAPTER XVIII.


                             SECT. I.

_Decline of merely philological, especially Greek, Learning--Casaubon--
Viger--Editions of Greek and Latin Classics--Critical Writings--Latin
Style--Scioppius--Vossius--Successive Periods of modern Latinists._

|Learning of 17th century less philological.|

1. In every period of literary history, if we should listen to the
complaints of contemporary writers, all learning and science have been
verging towards extinction. None remain of the mighty, the race of
giants is no more; the lights that have been extinguished burn in no
other hands; we have fallen on evil days, when letters are no longer
in honour with the world, nor are they cultivated by those who deserve
to be honoured. Such are the lamentations of many throughout the whole
sixteenth century; and with such do Scaliger and Casaubon greet that
which opened upon them. Yet the first part of the seventeenth century
may be reckoned eminently the learned age; rather however in a more
critical and exact erudition with respect to historical fact, than in
what is strictly called philology, as to which we cannot, on the
whole, rank this so high as the preceding period. Neither Italy nor
Germany maintained its reputation, which, as it has been already
mentioned, had begun to wane towards the close of the sixteenth
century. The same causes were b work, the same preference of studies
very foreign to polite letters, metaphysical philosophy, dogmatic
theology, patristic or mediæval ecclesiastical history, or, in some
countries, the physical sciences, which were rapidly gaining ground.
And to these we must add a prevalence of bad taste, even among those
who had some pretensions to be reckoned scholars. Lipsius had set an
example of abandoning the purest models; and his followers had less
sense and taste than himself. They sought obsolete terms from Pacuvius
and Plautus, they affected pointed sentences, and a studied
conciseness of period, which made their style altogether dry and
jejune.[1] The universities, and even the gymnasia or schools of
Germany, grew negligent of all the beauties of language. Latin itself
was acquired in a slovenly manner, by help of modern books, which
spared the pains of acquiring any subsidiary knowledge of antiquity.
And this neglect of the ancient writers in education caused even
eminent scholars to write ill, as we perceive in the supplements of
Freinshemius to Curtius and Livy.[2]

     [1] Biogr. Univ. art. Grævius. Eichhorn, iii. 1. 320.

     [2] Eichhorn, 326.

|Popularity of Comenius.|

2. A sufficient evidence of this is found in the vast popularity which
the writings of Comenius acquired in Germany. This author, a man of
much industry, some ingenuity, and little judgment, made
himself a colossal reputation by his Orbis Sensualium Pictus, and
still more by his Janua Linguarum Reserata, the latter published in
1631. This contains, in 100 chapters subdivided into 1000 paragraphs,
more than 9300 Latin words, exclusive, of course, of such as recur.
The originality of its method consists in weaving all useful words
into a series of paragraphs, so that they may be learned in a short
time, without the tediousness of a nomenclature. It was also intended
to blend a knowledge of things with one of words.[3] The Orbis
Sensualium Pictus has the same end. This is what has since been so
continually attempted in books of education, that some may be
surprised to hear of its originality. No one, however, before Comenius
seems to have thought of this method. It must, unquestionably, have
appeared to facilitate the early acquirement of knowledge in a very
great degree; and even with reference to language, if a compendious
mode of getting at Latin words were the object, the works of Comenius
would answer the purpose beyond those of any classical author. In a
country where Latin was a living and spoken tongue, as was in some
measure the case with Germany, no great strictness in excluding
barbarous phrases is either practicable or expedient. But, according
to the received principles of philological literature, they are such
books as every teacher would keep out of the hands of his pupils. They
were, nevertheless, reprinted and translated in many countries; and
obtained a general reception, especially in the German empire, and
similarly circumstanced kingdoms.[4]

     [3] Biogr. Univ.

     [4] Baillet, Critiques Grammairiens, part of the Jugemens des
     Sçavans (whom I cite by the number or paragraph, on account of
     the different editions), No. 634, quotes Lancelot’s remark on the
     Janua Linguarum, that it requires a better memory than most boys
     possess to master it, and that commonly the first part is
     forgotten before the last is learned. It excites disgust in the
     scholar, because he is always in a new country, every chapter
     being filled with words he has not seen before; and the
     successive parts of the book have no connection with one another.

     Morhof, though he would absolutely banish the Janua Linguarum
     from all schools where good Latinity is required, seems to think
     rather better of the Orbis Sensualium Pictus, as in itself a
     happy idea, though the delineations are indifferent, and the
     whole not so well arranged as it might be. Polyhistor. lib. ii.
     c. 4.

|Decline of Greek learning.|

3. The Greek language, meantime, was thought unnecessary, and few,
comparatively speaking, continued to prosecute its study. In Italy it
can merely be said that there were still professors of it in the
universities; but no one Hellenist distinguishes this century. Most of
those who published editions of Greek authors in Germany, and they
were far from numerous, had been formed in the last age. The decline
was progressive; few scholars remained after 1620, and a long blank
ensued, until Fabricius and Kuster restored the study of Greek near
the end of the century. Even in France and Holland, where many were
abundantly learned, and some, as we shall see, accomplished
philologers, the Greek language seems to have been either less
regarded, or at least less promoted by eminent scholars, than in the
preceding century.[5]

     [5] Scaliger, even in 1602, says: Quis hodie nescit Græcè? sed
     quis est doctus Græcè? Non dubito esse aliquot, sed paucos, et
     quos non novi ne de nomine quidem. Te unum novi et memoriæ avorum
     et nostri sæculi Græcè doctissimum, qui unus in Græcis
     præstiteris, quæ post renatas apud nos bonas literas omnes
     nunquam præstare potuissent. He goes on to speak of himself, as
     standing next to Casaubon, and the only competent judge of the
     extent of his learning; qui de præstantia doctrinæ tuæ certo
     judicare possit, ego aut unicus sum, aut qui cæteros hac in re
     magno intervallo vinco. Scal. Epist. 72.


4. Casaubon now stood on the pinnacle of critical renown. His Persius
in 1605, and his Polybius in 1609, were testimonies to his continued
industry in this province.[6] But with this latter edition the
philological labours of Casaubon came to an end. In 1610 he accepted
the invitation of James I., who bestowed upon him, though a layman, a
prebend in the church of Canterbury, and, as some, perhaps
erroneously, have said, another in that of Westminster.[7] He died in
England within four years after, having consumed the intermediate time
in the defence of his royal patron against the Jesuits, and in writing
Animadversions on the Annals of Baronius; works ill-suited to
his peculiar talent, and in the latter of which he is said to have had
but little success. He laments, in his epistles, the want of leisure
for completing his labours on Polybius; the king had no taste but for
theology, and he found no library in which he could pursue his
studies.[8] “I gave up,” he says, “at last, with great sorrow, my
commentary on Polybius, to which I had devoted so much time, but the
good king must be obeyed.”[9] Casaubon was the last of the great
scholars of the sixteenth century. Joseph Scaliger, who, especially in
his recorded conversation, was very sparing of praise, says expressly,
“Casaubon is the most learned man now living.” It is not impossible
that he meant to except himself; which would by no means be unjust, if
we take in the whole range of erudition; but in the exactly critical
knowledge of the Greek language, Casaubon had not even a rival in

     [6] The translation that Casaubon has here given of Polybius has
     generally passed for excellent, though some have thought him a
     better scholar in Greek than in Latin, and consequently not
     always able to render the sense as well as he conceived it.
     Baillet, n. 902. Schweighauser praises the annotations, but not
     without criticism, for which a later editor generally finds room
     in an earlier. Reiske, he says, had pointed out many errors.

     [7] The latter is contradicted by Beloe, Anecdotes of Literature,
     vol. v., p. 126, on the authority of Le Neve’s Fasti Ecclesiæ

     [8] Jacent curæ Polybianæ, et fortasse æternum jacebunt, neque
     enim satis commodus ad illa studia est locus. Epist. 705. Plura
     adderem, nisi omni librorum præsidio meorum deficerer. Quare
     etiam de commentariis Polybianis noli meminisse, quando rationes
     priorum meorum studiorum hoc iter mirificè conturbavit, ut vix
     sine suspirio ejus incepti possim meminisse, quod tot vigiliis
     mihi constitit. Sed neque adest mea bibliotheca, neque ea studia
     multum sunt ad gustum illius, cujus solius, quamdiu hic sum
     futurus, habenda mihi ratio. Ep. 704 (Feb. 1611). Rex optimus
     atque ευσεβεστατος [eusebestatos] rebus theologicis ita
     delectatur, ut aliis curis literariis non multum operæ impendat.
     Ep. 872. Ego quid hic agam, si cupis scire, hoc unum respondebo,
     omnia priora studia mea funditus interiisse. Nam maximus rex et
     liberalissimus unico genere literarum sic capitur, ut suum et
     suorum ingenia in illo detineat. Ep. 753.

     [9] Decessi gemens a Polybiano commentario, quem tot laboribus
     concinnaveram; sed regi optimo parendum erat. Ep. 854. Feb. 1613.

|Viger de Idiotismis.|

5. A long period ensued, during which no very considerable progress
was made in Greek literature. Few books occur before the year 1650
which have obtained a durable reputation. The best known, and, as I
conceive, by far the best of a grammatical nature, is that of Viger de
Idiotismis præcipuis Græcæ Linguæ, which Hoogeveen and Zeunius
successively enlarged in the last century. Viger was a Jesuit of
Rouen, and the first edition was in 1632. It contains, even as it came
from the author, many valuable criticisms, and its usefulness to a
Greek scholar is acknowledged. But, in order to determine the place of
Viger among grammarians, we should ascertain by comparison with
preceding works, especially the Thesaurus of Stephens, for how much he
is indebted to their labours. He would probably, after all deductions,
appear to merit great praise. His arrangement is more clear, and his
knowledge of syntax more comprehensive, than that of Caninius or any
other earlier writer; but his notions are not unfrequently imperfect
or erroneous, as the succeeding editors have pointed out. In common
with many of the older grammarians, he fancied a difference of sense
between the two aorists, wherein even Zeunius has followed him.[10]

     [10] An earlier treatise on Greek particles by Devarius, a Greek
     of the Ionian Islands, might have been mentioned in the last
     volume. It was republished by Reusmann, who calls Devarius, homo
     olim haud ignobilis, at hodie pæne neglectus. He is thought too
     subtle in grammar, but seems to have been an excellent scholar. I
     do not perceive that Viger has borrowed from him.

|Weller’s Greek grammar.|

6. In a much lower rank, we may perhaps next place Weller, author of a
Greek grammar, published in 1638, of which its later editor, Fischer,
says that it has always stood in high repute as a school-book, and
been frequently reprinted; meaning, doubtless, in Germany. There is
nothing striking in Weller’s grammar; it may deserve praise for
clearness and brevity; but, in Vergara, Caninius, and Sylburgius,
there is much more instruction for those who are not merely
schoolboys. What is most remarkable is, that Weller claims as his own
the reduction of the declensions to three, and of the conjugations to
one; which, as has been seen in a former chapter,[11] is found in the
grammar of Sylburgius, and is probably due to Ramus. This is rather a
piece of effrontery, as he could scarcely have lighted by coincidence
on both these innovations. Weller has given no syntax; what is added
in Fischer’s edition is by Lambert Bos.

     [11] Page 239.

|Labbe and others.|

|Salmasius de Lingua Hellenistica.|

7. Philip Labbe, a French Jesuit, was a laborious compiler, among
whose numerous works not a few relate to the grammar of the Greek
language. He had, says Niceron, a wonderful talent in multiplying
title pages; we have fifteen or sixteen grammatical treatises from
him, which might have been comprised in two or three ordinary volumes.
Labbe’s Regulæ Accentuum, published in 1635, was once, I believe, of
some repute; but he has little or nothing of his own.[12] The Greek
grammars published in this age by Alexander Scot and others
are ill-digested, according to Lancelot, without order or principle,
and full of useless and perplexing things;[13] and that of Vossius, in
1642, which is only an improved edition of that of Clenardus, appears
to contain little which is not taken from others.[14] Erasmus Schmidt
is said by Eichhorn to be author of a valuable work on Greek
dialects;[15] George Pasor is better known by his writings on the
Hellenistic dialect, or that of the Septuagint and New Testament.
Salmasius, in his Commentarius de Hellenistica, (Leyden, 1643), has
gone very largely into this subject. This, he says, is a question
lately agitated, whether there be a peculiar dialect of the Greek
Scriptures; for, in the last age, the very name of Hellenistic was
unknown to scholars. It is not above half a century old. It was
supposed to be a Hebrew idiom in Greek words; which, as he argues
elaborately and with great learning, is not sufficient to constitute a
distinct dialect, none of the ancients having ever mentioned one by
this name. This is evidently much of a verbal dispute; since no one
would apply the word to the scriptural Greek, in the same sense that
he does to the Doric and Attic. Salmasius lays down two essential
characteristics of a dialect: one, that it should be spoken by people
differing in locality; another, that it should be distinguishable by
single words, not merely by idiom. A profusion of learning is
scattered all round, but not pedantically or impertinently; and this
seems a very useful book in Greek or Latin philology. He may perhaps
be thought to underrate the peculiarities of language in the Old and
New Testament, as if they were merely such as passed current among the
contemporary Greeks. The second part of this Commentary relates to the
Greek dialects generally, without reference to the Hellenistic. He
denies the name to what is usually called the common dialect, spoken,
or at least written, by the Greeks in general after the time of
Alexander. This also is of course a question of words; perhaps
Salmasius used a more convenient phraseology than what is often met
with in grammarians.

     [12] Niceron, vol. xxv.

     [13] Baillet, n. 706.

     [14] Id. n. 711.

     [15] Geschichte der Cultur, iii. 325.

|Greek editions--Savile’s Chrysostom.|

8. Editions of Greek classics are not so numerous as in the former
period. The Pindar of Erasmus Schmidt, in 1614, and the Aristotle
of Duval, in 1619, may be mentioned: the latter is still in request
as a convenient and complete edition. Meursius was reckoned a good
critical scholar, but his works as an editor are not very
important. The chief monument of his philological erudition is the
Lexicon Græco-Barbarum, a glossary of the Greek of the lower
empire. But no edition of a Greek author published in the first
part of the seventeenth century is superior, at least in
magnificence, to that of Chrysostom by Sir Henry Savile. This came
forth, in 1612, from a press established at Eton by himself,
provost of that college. He had procured types and pressmen in
Holland, and three years had been employed in printing the eight
volumes of this great work; one, which both in splendour of
execution, and in the erudition displayed in it by Savile, who had
collected several manuscripts of Chrysostom, leaves immeasurably
behind it every earlier production of the English press. The
expense, which is said to have been eight thousand pounds, was
wholly defrayed by himself, and the tardy sale of so voluminous a
work could not have reimbursed the cost.[16] Another edition, in
fact, by a Jesuit, Fronto Ducæus (Fronton le Duc), was published at
Paris within two years afterwards, having the advantage of a Latin
translation, which Savile had imprudently waived. It has even been
imputed to Ducæus, that, having procured the sheets of Savile’s
edition from the pressmen while it was under their hands, he
printed his own without alteration. But this seems an apocryphal
story.[17] Savile had the assistance, in revising the text,
of the most learned coadjutors he could find in England.

     [16] Beloe’s Anecdotes of Literature, vol. v., p. 103. The copies
     sold for 9_l_. each; a sum equal to nearly 30_l_. at present, and
     from the relative wealth of the country, to considerably more.
     What wonder that the sale was slow? Fuller, however, tells us,
     that when he wrote, almost half a century afterwards, the book
     was become scarce. Chrysostomus, says Casaubon, a Savilio editur
     privata impensa, animo regio. Ep. 738 (apud Beloe). The principal
     assistants of Savile were, Matthew Bust, Thomas Allen, and
     especially Richard Montagu, afterwards celebrated in our
     ecclesiastical history as bishop of Chichester, who is said to
     have corrected the text before it went to the press. As this is
     the first work of learning, on a great scale, published in
     England, it deserves the particular commemoration of those to
     whom we owe it.

     [17] It is told by Fuller, and I do not know that it has any
     independent confirmation. Savile himself says of Fronto Ducæus,
     “Vir doctissimus, et cui Chrysostomus noster plurimum debet.”
     Fuller, it may be observed, says that the Parisian edition
     followed Savile’s “in a few months,” whereas the time was two
     years; and, as Brunet (Manuel du Libraire) justly observes, there
     is no apparent necessity to suppose an unfair communication of
     the sheets, even if the text should be proved to be copied.

|Greek learning in England.|

9. A very few more Greek books were printed at Eton soon afterwards;
and though that press soon ceased, some editions of Greek authors,
generally for schools, appeared in England before 1650. One of these,
the Poetæ Minores of Winterton, is best known, and has sometimes been
reprinted; it does little credit to its original editor, the text
being exceedingly corrupt, and the notes very trifling. The Greek
language, however, was now much studied;[18] the age of James and
Charles was truly learned; our writers are prodigal of an abundant
erudition, which embraces a far wider range of authors than are now
read; the philosophers of every class, the poets, the historians and
orators of Greece, to whom few comparatively had paid regard in the
days of Elizabeth, seem as familiar to the miscellaneous writers of
her next successors, as the fathers of the church are to the
theologians. A few, like Jeremy Taylor, are equally copious in their
libations from both streams. But though thus deeply read in ancient
learning, our old scholars were not very critical in philology.

     [18] It might appear, at first sight, that Casaubon intended to
     send his son Meric to Holland, under the care of Heinsius,
     because he could not get a good classical education in England.
     Cupio in Græcis, Latinis, et Hebraicis literis ipsum serio
     exerceri. Hoc in Anglia posse fieri sperare non possumus: nam hic
     locupletissima sunt collegia, sed quorum ratio toto genere
     diversa est ab institutis omnium aliorum collegiorum. Ep. 962
     (1614). But possibly he meant that, on account of his son’s
     foreign birth, he could not be admitted on the foundation of
     English colleges, though the words do not clearly express this.
     At the king’s command, however, Meric was sent to Oxford. One of
     Casaubon’s sons went to Eton school; literis dat operam in
     gymnasio Etoniensi. Ep. 737 (apud Beloe’s Anecdotes; I had
     overlooked the passage). Theological learning, in the reign of
     James, opposed polite letters and philology, Est in Anglia, says
     Casaubon, theologorum ingens copia; eo enim fere omnes studia sua
     referunt. Ep. 762. Venio ex Anglia (Grotius writes in 1613),
     literarum ibi tenuis est merces; theologi regnant, leguleii rem
     faciunt; unus ferme Casaubonus habet fortunam satis faventem,
     sed, ut ipse judicat, minus certam. Ne huic quidem locus fuisset
     in Anglia ut literatori, theologum induere debuit. Epist. Grot.
     p. 751.

|Latin editions--Torrentius.|

10. In Latin criticism, the pretensions of the seventeenth century are
far more considerable than in Greek. The first remarkable edition,
however, that of Horace by Torrentius, a Belgian ecclesiastic, though
it appeared in 1602, being posthumous, belongs strictly to the
preceding age. It has been said that Dacier borrowed much for his own
notes from this editor; but Horace was so profusely illustrated in the
sixteenth century, that little has been left for later critics, except
to tamper, as they have largely done, with his text. This period is
not generally conspicuous for editions of Latin authors; but some
names of high repute in grammatical and critical lore belong to it.


11. Gruter, a native of Antwerp, who became a professor in several
German universities, and finally in that of Heidelberg, might have
been mentioned in our history of the sixteenth century, before the
expiration of which some of his critical labours had been
accomplished. Many more belong to the first twenty years of the
present. No more diligent and indefatigable critic ever toiled in that
quarry. His Suspiciones, an early work, in which he has explained and
amended miscellaneous passages, his annotations on the Senecas, on
Martial, on Statius, on the Roman historians, as well as another more
celebrated compilation which we shall have soon to mention, bear
witness to his immense industry. In Greek he did comparatively but
little; yet he is counted among good scholars in that language. All
others of his time, it has been said, appear mere drones in comparison
with him.[19] Scaliger indeed, though on intimate terms with Gruter,
in one of his usual fits of spleen, charges him with a tasteless
indifference to the real merit of the writers whom he explained, one
being as good as another for his purpose, which was only to produce a
book.[20] In this art Gruter was so perfect, that he never failed to
publish one every year, and sometimes every month.[21] His eulogists
have given him credit for acuteness and judgment, and even for
elegance and an agreeable variety; but he seems not to have preserved
much repute except for his laborious erudition.

     [19] Baillet, n. 483. Bayle. Niceron, vol. ix.

     [20] Non curat utrum charta sit cacata, modo libros multos
     excudat. Scalig. secunda.

     [21] Bayle, note i.


12. Daniel Heinsius, conspicuous as secretary of the synod of Dort,
and a Latin poet of distinguished name, was also among the first
philologers of his age. Many editions of Greek and Latin writers, of
annotations upon them, Theocritus, Hesiod, Maximus Tyrius, Aristotle,
Horace, Terence, Silius, Ovid, attest his critical skill. He
is praised for a judicious reserve in criticism, avoiding the trifles
by which many scholars had wearied their readers, and attending only
to what really demanded the aid of a critic, as being corrupt or
obscure. His learning was very extensive and profound, so that in the
panegyrical tone of the times, he is set above all the living, and
almost above all the dead.[22]

     [22] Baillet, n. 517.


13. Grotius contributed much to ancient philology. His editions of
Aratus, Stobæus, the fragments of the lost Greek dramas, Lucan and
Tacitus are but a part of those which he published. In the power of
illustrating a writer by parallel or resembling passages from others,
however remote, his taste and fondness for poetry, as much as his vast
erudition, have made him remarkable. In mere critical skill, he was
not quite so great a master of the Greek as of the Latin language; nor
was he equal to restoring the text of the dramatic poets.

|Rutgersius, Reinesius, Barthius.|

14. The Variæ Lectiones of Rutgersius, in 1618, whose premature death
cut off a brilliant promise of erudition, are in six books, almost
entirely devoted to emendation of the text, in such a miscellaneous
and desultory series of criticisms, as the example of Turnebus and
other scholars had rendered usual.[23] Reinesius, a Saxon physician,
in 1640 put forth a book with the same title, a thick volume of about
700 pages, of multifarious learning, chiefly, but not exclusively,
classical. He is more interpretative, and less attentive to restore
corrupted texts than Rutgersius.[24] The Adversaria of Gaspar Barthius
are better known. This work is in 60 books, and extends to about 1500
pages in folio. It is exactly like those of Turnebus and Muretus, an
immense repertory of unconnected criticisms and other miscellaneous
erudition. The chapters exceed in number the pages, and each chapter
contains several articles. There is, however, more connection,
alphabetical or otherwise, than in Turnebus; and they are less
exclusively classical, many relating to mediæval and modern writers.
The sixtieth book is a commentary on a part of Augustin de Civitate
Dei. It is difficult to give a more precise notion of Barthius; he is
more _æsthetic_ than Turnebus, but less so than Muretus; he
explains and corrects fewer intricate texts than the former, but deals
more in parallel passages and excursive illustrations.[25] Though
Greek appears more than in Turnebus, by far the greater part of
Barthius’s Adversaria relates to Latin, in the proportion of at least
fifteen to one. A few small poems are printed from manuscripts for the
first time. Barthius, according to Morhof, though he sometimes
explains authors very well, is apt to be rash in his alterations,
hasty in his judgments, and has too much useless and frivolous matter.
Bayle is not more favourable. Barthius published an edition of
Statius, and another of Claudian.

     [23] “This work,” says Niceron (vol. xxxii.), “is in esteem: the
     style is neat and polite, the thoughts are just and refined; it
     has no more quotations than the subject requires.”

     [24] Bayle observes of the writings of Reinesius in general, that
     “good judges of literature have no sooner read some pages, but
     they place him above those philologers who have only a good
     memory, and rank him with critics who go beyond their reading and
     know more than books have taught them. The penetration of their
     understanding makes them draw consequences, and form conjectures,
     which lead them to discover hidden treasures. Reinesius was one
     of these, and made it his chief business to find out what others
     had not said.”

     [25] The following are the heads of the fourth chapter of the
     first book, which may serve as a specimen of the Adversaria: Ad
     Victoris Uticensis librum primum notæ et emendationes. Limites.
     Collimitia. Quantitas. H. Stephanus notatur. Impendere. Totum.
     Omnimodè. Dextrales. Asta. Francisii Balduini audacia castigatur.
     Tormenta antiqua. Liguamen Arx capitis. Memoriæ. Cruciari.
     Balduinus denuo aliquoties notatur. It is true that all this
     farrago arises out of one passage in Victor of Utica, and
     Barthius is far from being so desultory as Turnebus: but 3000
     columns of such notes make but a dictionary without the help of
     the alphabet. Barthius tells us himself that he had finished two
     other volumes of Adversaria, besides correcting the first. See
     the passage in Bayle, note K. But he does not stand on very high
     ground as a critic, on account of the rapidity with which he
     wrote, and, for the same reason, has sometimes contradicted
     himself. Bayle. Baillet, n. 528. Niceron, vol. vii. Morhof, lib.
     v. 1. 10.

|Other critics--English.|

15. Rigault, or Rigaltius, Petit, Thysius, and several more, do honour
to France and the Low countries during this period. Spain, though not
strong in classical philology, produced Ramiresius de Prado, whose
Πεντηκονταρχος [Pentêkontarchos], sive quinquaginta militum ductor,
1612, is but a book of criticism with a quaint title.[26] In Latin
Literature we can hardly say that England made herself more
conspicuous than in Greek. The notes of John Bond on Horace,
published in 1606, are properly a work of the age of Elizabeth: the
author was long a schoolmaster in that reign. These notes are only
little marginal scholia for the use of boys of no great attainments;
and in almost every instance, I believe, taken from Lambinus. This
edition of Horace, though Antony Wood calls the author a most noted
critic and grammarian, has only the merit of giving the observations
of another concisely and perspicuously. Thomas Farnaby is called by
Baillet one of the best scholiasts, who says hardly anything useless,
and is very concise.[27] He has left notes on several of the Latin
poets. It is possible that the notes are compiled, like those of Bond,
from the foreign critics. Farnaby also was a schoolmaster, and
schoolmasters do not write for the learned. He has however been
acknowledged on the continent for a diligent and learned man. Wood
says he was “the chief grammarian, rhetorician, poet, Latinist, and
Grecian of his time; and his school was so much frequented, that more
churchmen and statesmen issued thence than from any school taught by
one man in England.”[28]

     [26] This has been ascribed by some to his master Sanctius,
     author of the Minerva, Ramirez himself having been thought
     unequal to such remarks as we find in it. Baillet, n. 527.

     [27] N. 521.

     [28] Athenæ Oxonienses, vol. iii.


16. But the greatest in this province of literature was Claude
Saumaise, best known in the Latin form Salmasius, whom the general
suffrage of his compeers placed at their head. An incredible
erudition, so that it was said, what Salmasius did not know, was
beyond the bounds of knowledge, a memory such as none but those great
scholars of former times seem to have possessed, a life passed,
naturally enough, in solitary labour, were sufficient to establish his
fame among the learned. His intellectual strength has been more
questioned; he wrote, it has been alleged, on many subjects that he
did not well understand, and some have reduced his merit to that of a
grammatical critic, without altogether rating this so highly as the
world has done.[29] Salmasius was very proud, self-confident,
disdainful, and has consequently fallen into many errors, and even
contradictions, through precipitancy. In his controversy with Milton,
for which he was little fitted, he is rather feeble, and glad to
escape from the severity of his antagonist by a defence of his own
Latinity.[30] The works of Salmasius are numerous, and on very
miscellaneous subjects; among the philological, his Annotations on the
Historiæ Augustæ Scriptores seem to deserve mention. But the most
remarkable, besides the Commentary on the Hellenistic Dialect, of
which an account has been given, is the Plinianæ Exercitationes,
published in 1629. These remarks, nominally on Pliny, are, in the
first instance, on Solinus. Salmasius tells us that he had spent much
time on Pliny; but finding it beyond the powers of one man to write a
commentary on the whole Natural History of that author, he had chosen
Solinus, who is a mere compiler from Pliny, and contains nothing from
any other source. The Plinianæ Exercitationes is a mass of learning on
the geography and natural history of Pliny in more than 900 pages,
following the text of the Polyhistor of Solinus.[31]

     [29] Baillet, n. 511, is excessively severe on Salmasius; but the
     homage due to his learning by such an age as that in which he
     lived cannot be extenuated by the censure of a man like Baillet,
     of extensive, but rather superficial attainments, and open to
     much prejudice.

     [30] Milton began the attack by objecting to the use of _persona_
     for an individual man; but in this mistaken criticism uttered
     himself the solecism _vapulandum_. See Johnson’s Lives of the
     Poets. This expression had previously been noticed by Vavasseur.

     [31] Nemo adeo ut propriam, suumque veluti regnum, sibi criticen
     vindicatum ivit, ac Claudius Salmasius, qui, quemadmodum nihil
     unquam scripsit, in quo non insignia multa artis criticæ vestigia
     deprehendas, ita imprimis, ut auctores cum notis et
     castigationibus absolutissimis editos taceamus, vasto illo
     Plinianarum Exercitationum opere, quantum in eo eruditionis
     genere valeret demonstratum dedit. Morhof. lib. v. c. 1. § 12.
     The Jesuits, Petavius and Harduin, who did not cordially praise
     any Protestant, charged this book with passing over real
     difficulties, while a mass of heterogeneous matter was foisted
     in. Le Clerc (or La Croze) vindicates Salmasius against some
     censures of Harduin in Bibl. Univ. vol. iv.

|Good writers of Latin.|

17. It had been the desire of those who aspired to reputation for
taste and eloquence to write well in Latin, the sole language, on this
side of the Alps and Pyrenees, to which the capacity of choice and
polished expression was conceded. But when the French tongue was more
cultivated and had a criticism of its own, this became the natural
instrument of polite writers in France, and the Latin fell to the
merely learned who neglected its beauties. In England it had never
been much studied for the purposes of style; and though neither in
Germany nor the Low Countries it was very customary to employ the
native language, the current Latin of literature was always careless
and often barbarous. Even in Italy the number of good writers in that
language was now very scanty. Two deserve to be commemorated
with praise, both historians of the same period. The History and
Annals of Grotius, in which he seems to have emulated, with more
discretion than some others, the nervous brevity of Tacitus, though
sometimes not free from a certain hardness and want of flow, nor
equal, consequently, in elegance to some productions of the sixteenth
century, may be deemed a monument of vigorous and impressive language.
The Decades of Famianus Strada, a Roman Jesuit, contain a history of
the Flemish war, not written certainly in imitation of Tacitus, whom
the author depreciated, but with more classical spirit than we usually
find in that age. Scarcely any Latin, however, of this period is equal
to that of Barclay in the Argenis and Euphormio. His style, though
rather diffuse, and more florid than that of the Augustan age, is
perhaps better suited to his subjects, and reminds us of Petronius
Arbiter, who was probably his model.


|His Philosophical Grammar.|

18. Of the grammatical critics, whose attention was solely turned to
the purity of Latin style, two are conspicuous, Gaspar Scioppius and
Gerard Vossius. The first, one of those restless and angry spirits
whose hand is against all the world, lived a long life of controversy
and satire. His productions, as enumerated by Niceron, mostly
anonymous, are about one hundred; twenty-seven of which, according to
another list, are grammatical.[32] The Protestants, whom he had
abandoned, and the Jesuits whom he would not join, are equally the
objects of his anger. In literature, he is celebrated for the
bitterness of his attacks on Cicero, whom he spared as little as he
did his own contemporaries. But Scioppius was an admirable master of
the Latin language. All that is remembered of his multifarious
publications relates to this. We owe to him a much improved edition of
the Minerva of Sanctius. His own Grammatica Philosophica, (Milan,
1628,) notwithstanding its title, has no pretentions to be called
anything more than an ordinary Latin grammar. In this I observed
nothing remarkable but that he denies the gerund and supine to be
parts of the verb, considering the first as passive participles, and
the second as nouns substantive; a theory which seems erroneous.

     [32] Niceron, vol. xxxv. Biog. Univ.

|His Infamia Famiani.|

19. The Infamia Famiani of Scioppius was written against Famianus
Strada, whom he hated both as a Jesuit, and as one celebrated for the
beauty of his style. This book serves to show how far those who wrote
with some eloquence, as Strada certainly did, fell short of classical
purity. The faults pointed out are often very obvious to those who
have used good dictionaries. Scioppius is however so fastidious as to
reject words employed by Seneca, Tacitus, and even Phædrus, as of the
silver age; and sometimes probably is wrong in his dogmatic assertion
of a negative, that no good authority can be found.

|Judicium de Stylo Historico.|

20. But his most considerable work is one called Judicium de Stylo
Historico, subjoined to the last, and published after his death, in
1650. This treatise consists chiefly of attacks on the Latin style of
Thuanus, Lipsius, Casaubon, and other recent authors; but in the
course of it we find the remarks of a subtle and severe observer on
the ancients themselves. The _silver_ age he dates from the
latter years of Augustus, placing even Ovid within it. The
_brazen_ he carries up to Vespasian. In the silver period he
finds many single words as well as phrases not agreeable to the usage
of more ancient authors. As to the moderns the Transalpine writers, he
says, speaking as an Italian, are always deficient in purity; they
mingle the phraseology of different ages as preposterously as if they
were to write Greek in a confusion of dialects; they affect obscurity,
a broken structure of periods, a studied use of equivocal terms. This
is particularly perceived in the school of Lipsius, whose own faults,
however, are redeemed by many beauties even of style.[33] The
Italians, on the contrary, he proceeds to say, read nothing but what
is worthy of imitation, and shun every expression that can impair the
clearness and purity of a sentence. Yet even in Manutius and in the
Jesuit Maffei, he finds instances of barbarism, much more in the
French and German scholars of the sixteenth age; expressing contempt
upon this account for his old enemy, Joseph Scaliger. Thuanus, he
says, is full of modern idioms; a crime not quite unpardonable, when
we remember the immensity of his labour, and the greater importance of
other objects of it that he had in view.

     [33] Transalpinis hominibus ex quotidiano Latini sermonis inter
     ipsos usu, multa sive barbaræ, sive plebeiæ ac deterioris notæ,
     sic adhærescere solent, ut postea cum stylum arripuere, de
     Latinitate eorum dubitare nequaquam iis in mentem veniat. Inde
     fit ut scripta eorum plerumque minus puritatis habeant, quamvis
     gratia et venustas in iis minime desideretur. Nam hæc natura duce
     melius fiebant, quam arte aut studio. Accedit alia causa cur non
     æquè pura sit multorum Transalpinorum oratio, quod nullo ætatis
     discrimine ac delectu in autorum lectione versantur, et ex omnium
     commixtione varium quoddam ac multiforme pro suo quisque ingenio
     dicendi genus effingunt, contempto hoc Fabii monito: “Diu non
     nisi optimus quisque et qui credentem sibi minime fallat,
     legendus est, sed diligenter ac pæne ad scribendi solicitudinem;
     nec per partes modo scrutanda omnia, sed perlectus liber utique
     ex integro resumendus.” Itaque genus illud corruptæ orationis,
     seu κακοζηλιας [kakozêlias], effugere nequeunt, quod κοινισμον
     [koinismon] vocant, quæ est quædam mista ex variarum linguarum
     ratione oratio, ut si Atticis Dorica, Ionica, Æolica etiam dicta
     confundas; cui simile est si quis sublimia humilibus, vetera
     novis, poetica vulgaribus, Sallustiana Tullianis, æneæ et ferreæ
     ætatis vocabula aureis et argenteis misceat, qui Lipsio
     deductisque ab eo viris, solennis et jam olim familiaris, est
     morbus. In quibus hoc amplius, verba maxime impropria,
     comprehensionem obscuram, compositionem fractam, aut in frustula
     concisam, vocum similium aut ambiguarum puerilem captationem
     passim animadvertas. Magnis tamen, non nego, virtutibus vitia sua
     Lipsius redimit, imprimis acumine, venere, salibus (ut excellens
     viri ingenium ferebat) tum plurimis lectissimis verbis
     loquendique modis, ex quibus non tam facultatem bene scribendi,
     ejusque, quod melius est, intellectum ei deesse, quam voluntatem,
     quo minus rectiora malit, ambitiuscule, plaususque popularis
     studio præpediri intelligas. Italorum longè dispar ratio. Primum
     enim non nisi optimum legere et ad imitandum sibi proponere
     solent; quod judicio quo cæteras nationes omnium consensu
     superant, imprimis est consentaneum. Deinde nihil non faciunt, ut
     evitent omnia, unde aliquid injucundæ et contaminandæ orationis
     periculi ostenditur. Latinè igitur nunquam loquuntur, quod fieri
     vix posse persuasum habeant, quin quotidianus ejus linguæ usus ad
     instar torrentis lutulentus fluat, et cujusque modi verborum
     sordes secum rapiat, quæ postea quodam familiaritatis jure sic se
     scribentibus ingerant, ut etiam diligentissimos fallant, et haud
     dubie pro Latinis habeantur. Hoc eorum consilium cum non
     intelligant Transalpini, id eorum inscitiæ perperam assignant.
     Sic rectè Paulo Manutio usu venit, ut quoniam vix tria verba
     Latina in familiari sermone proferre poterat, eam Germani
     complures, qui loquentem audituri ad eum venerunt, vehementer præ
     se contemnerent. Huic tamen nemo qui sanus sit ad puritatis et
     elegantiæ Latinæ summam quicquid defuisse dixerit, p. 65.

|Gerard Vossius de Vitiis sermonis.|

21. Gerard Vossius, a far greater name in general literature than
Scioppius, contributed more essentially to these grammatical rules;
and to him, perhaps, rather than to any other one man, we may refer
the establishment of as much correctness of writing as is attainable
in a dead language. Besides several works on rhetoric and poetry,
which, as those topics were usually treated in ages of more erudition
than taste or philosophy, resolved themselves into philological
disquisitions, looking only to the language of the ancient writers, we
have several more strictly within that province. The long use of Latin
in writings on modern subjects, before the classical authors had been
studied, had brought in a host of barbarisms, that even yet were not
expelled. His treatise De Vitiis Sermonis et Glossematis
Latino-barbaris is in nine books; four published in 1645, during the
author’s life; five in 1685. The former are by far the most copious.
It is a very large collection of words in use among modern writers,
for which there is no adequate authority. Of these many are plainly
barbarous, and taken from the writers of the middle ages, or at best
from those of the fifth and sixth centuries. Few of such would be used
by any tolerable scholar. He includes some which, though in themselves
good, have a wrong sense given to them. Words however occur,
concerning which one might be ignorant without discredit, especially
before the publication of this treatise, which has been the means of
correcting the ordinary dictionaries.

22. In the five posthumous books, which may be mentioned in this
place, having probably been written before 1650, we find chiefly what
the author had forgotten to notice in the former, or had since
observed. But the most valuable part relates to the “falso suspecta,”
which fastidious critics have unreasonably rejected, generally because
they do not appear in the Augustan writers. Those whom he calls
“Nizoliani verius quam Ciceroniani,” disapproved of all words not
found in Cicero.[34] It is curious to perceive, as Vossius shows us,
how many apparently obvious words do not occur in Cicero; yet it would
be mere affectation to avoid them. This is perhaps the best part of
Vossius’s treatise.

     [34] Paulus Manutius scrupled to use words on the authority of
     Cicero’s correspondents, such as Cælius or Pollio; a ridiculous
     affectation, especially when we observe what Vossius has pointed
     out, that many common words do not occur in Cicero. It is amazing
     to see the objections of these Ciceronian critics.

|His Aristarchus.|

23. We are indebted to Vossius for a still more important work on
grammar, the Aristarchus, sive de Arte Grammatica, which first
appeared in 1635. This is in seven books; the first treats of grammar
in general, and especially of the alphabet; the second of
syllables, under which head he dwells at great length on prosody;[35]
the third (which, with all the following, is separately entitled De
vocum Analogia) of words generally, and of the genders, numbers, and
cases of nouns. The same subject occupies the fourth book. In the
fifth, he investigates verbs; and in the sixth, the remaining parts of
speech. The last book relates to syntax. This work is full of
miscellaneous observations, placed for the most part alphabetically
under each chapter. It has been said that Vossius has borrowed almost
everything in this treatise from Sanctius and Scioppius. If this be
true, we must accuse him of unfairness; for he never mentions the
Minerva. But the edition of this grammar by Scioppius was not
published till after the death of Vossius. Salmasius extolled that of
the latter above all which had been published.[36]

     [35] In this we find Vossius aware of the rule brought to light
     by Dawes, and now familiar, that a final vowel is rarely short
     before a word beginning with s and a mute consonant.

     [36] Tuum de grammatica à te accepi exactissimum in hoc genere
     opus, ac cui nullum priorum aut prisci ævi aut nostri possit
     comparari. Apud Blount in Vossio. Daunou says of the grammatical
     and rhetorical writings of Vossius: Ces livres se recommandent
     par l’exactitude, par la méthode, par une littérature très
     étendue. Gibert en convient, mais il trouve de la prolixité.
     D’autres pourraient n’y voir qu’une instruction sérieuse, souvent
     austère, et presque toujours profitable. Biogr. Univ.

|Progress of Latin Style.|

24. In later times the ambition of writing Latin with accuracy and
elegance has so universally declined, that the diligence of Scioppius
and Vossius has become hardly valuable except to schoolmasters. It is,
however, an art not contemptible, either in respect to the taste and
discernment for which it gives scope in composition, or for the
enhanced pleasure it reflects on the pages of ancient writers. We may
distinguish several successive periods in its cultivation since the
first revival of letters. If we begin with Petrarch, since before his
time there was no continuous imitation of classical models, the first
period will comprise those who desired much, but reached little, the
writers of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, destitute of
sufficient aids, and generally incapable of clearly discriminating the
pure from the barbarous in Latin. A better æra may be dated from
Politian; the ancients were now fully known, and studied with intense
labour; the graces of style were frequently caught; yet something was
still wanting to its purity and elegance. At the end of a series of
improvements, a line marked by Bembus, Sadolet, and Longolius, we
arrive at a third period, which we may call that of Paulus Manutius,
the golden age of modern Latinity. The diligence in lexicography of
Robert Stephens, of Nizolius, of Manutius himself, and the
philological treatises of their times, gave a much greater nicety of
expression; while the enthusiasm with which some of the best writers
emulated the ancients inspired them with a sympathetic eloquence and
grace. But towards the end of the century, when Manutius, and Muretus,
and Maphæus, and others of that school had been removed by death, an
age of worse taste and perhaps of more negligence in grammar came on,
yet one of great scholars, and of men powerful even in language; the
age of Lipsius, of Scaliger, of Grotius. This may be called the fourth
period; and in this apparently the purity of the language, as well as
its beauty, rather declined. Finally, the publications of Scioppius
and Vossius mark the beginning of another period, which we may
consider as lasting to the present day. Grammatical criticism had
nearly reached the point at which it now stands; the additions, at
least, which later philologers, Perizonius, Burman, Bentley, and many
others have made, though by no means inconsiderable, seem hardly
sufficient to constitute a distinct period, even if we could refer
them properly to any single epoch. And the praise of eloquent
composition has been so little sought after the close of the years
passed in education, or attained only in short and occasional
writings, which have left no durable reputation behind, that we may
consider the Latin language, for this purpose, to have silently
expired in the regions of polite literature.

                             SECT. II.

   _Antiquities of Rome and Greece--Gruter--Meursius--Chronology._

|Gruter’s collection of inscriptions.|

25. The antiquities of Greece and Rome, though they did not occupy so
great a relative space in the literature of this period as of the
sixteenth century, were, from the general increase of erudition, not
less frequently the subject of books than before. This field indeed is
so vast, that its harvest had in many parts been scarcely touched, and
in others very imperfectly gathered by those we have already
commemorated, the Sigonii, the Manutii, the Lipsii, and their
fellow-labourers in ancient learning. The present century opened with
a great work, the Corpus Inscriptionum by Gruter. A few endeavours had
long before been made[37] to collect the ancient inscriptions, of
which the countries once Roman, and especially Italy, were full. The
best work hitherto was by Martin Smetius of Bruges, after whose death
his collection of inscriptions was published at Leyden in 1588, under
the superintendence of Dousa and Lipsius.

     [37] See p. 160.

|Assisted by Scaliger.|

26. Scaliger first excited his friend Gruter to undertake the task of
giving an enlarged edition of Smetius.[38] He made the index for this
himself, devoting the labour of the entire morning for ten months (a
summo mane ad tempus cœnæ) to an occupation from which so little glory
could accrue. “Who,” says Burman, “would not admire the liberal
erudition and unpretending modesty of the learned of that age, who,
worn as they were by those long and weary labours of which they freely
complain in their correspondence with each other, though they knew
that such occupations as these could gain for them no better name than
that of common clerks or mere drudges, yet hesitated not to abandon
for the advantage of the public those pursuits which a higher fame
might be expected to reward? Who in these times would imitate the
generosity of Scaliger, who, when he might have ascribed to himself
this addition to the work of Smetius, gave away his own right to
Gruter, and declined to let his name be prefixed either to the index
which he had wholly compiled, or to the many observations by which he
corrects and explains the inscriptions, and desired, in recompence for
the industry of Gruter, that he alone should pass with posterity as
the author of the work?”[39] Gruter, it is observed by Le Clerc, has
committed many faults: he often repeats the same inscriptions, and
still more frequently has printed them from erroneous copies; his
quotations from authors, in whom inscriptions are found, sometimes
want exactness; finally, for which he could not well be answerable, a
vast many have since been brought to light.[40] In consequence of the
publication of Gruter’s Inscriptions, the learned began with
incredible zeal to examine old marbles for inscriptions, and to insert
them in any work that had reference to antiquity. Reinesius collected
as many as make a respectable supplement.[41] But a sort of æra in
lapidary learning was made by Selden’s description, in 1629, of the
marbles, brought by the Earl of Arundel from Greece, and which now
belong to the university of Oxford. These contain a chronology of the
early times of Greece, on which great reliance has often been placed,
though their antiquity is not accounted very high in comparison with
those times.

     [38] Burman in Præfatione ad Gruteri Corpus Inscript. Several of
     Scaliger’s epistles prove this, especially the 405th addressed to

     [39] Id. p. 6.

     [40] Bibl. Choisie, vol. xiv., p. 51. Burman, _ubi supra_, gives
     a strange reason for reprinting Gruter’s Inscriptions with all
     their blemishes, even the repetitions; namely, that it was
     convenient to preserve the number of pages which had been so
     continually referred to in all learned works, the simple
     contrivance of keeping the original numeration in the margin not
     having occurred to him.

     [41] Burman, _ubi supra_.

|Works on Roman antiquity.|

27. The Jesuit Donati published, in 1633, Roma vetus et nova, which is
not only much superior to anything previously written on the
antiquities of the city, but is preferred by some competent judges, to
the later and more known work of Nardini. Both these will be found,
with others of an earlier date, in the third and fourth volumes of
Grævius. The tenth volume of the same collection contains a
translation from the history of the Great Roads of the Roman Empire,
published in French by Nicolas Bergier in 1622; ill arranged, it has
been said, and diffuse, according to the custom of his age, but
inferior. Grævius declares, in variety of learning to no one work that
he has inserted in his numerous volumes. Guther, whose treatise on the
pontifical law of Rome appears in the fifth volume, was, says the
editor, “a man of various and extended reading, who had made extracts
from every class of writers, but had not always digested his learning
or weighed what he wrote. Hence much has been found open to criticism
in his writings, and there remains a sufficient harvest of the same
kind for any one who should care to undertake it.” The best work on
Roman dress is by Octavius Ferrarius, published partly in 1642, partly
in 1654. This has been called superficial by Spanheim; but Grævius,
and several other men of learning, bestow more praise.[42] The Isiac
tablet, covered with emblems of Egyptian antiquity, was illustrated by
Pignoria, in a work bearing different titles in the successive
editions from 1605; and his explanations are still considered
probable. Pignoria’s other writings were also in high esteem with the
antiquaries.[43] It would be tedious to enumerate the less important
productions of this kind. A minute and scrupulous criticism, it has
been said, distinguished the antiquaries of the seventeenth century.
Without, perhaps, the comprehensive views of Sigonius and Panvinius,
they were more severely exact. Hence forgery and falsehood stood a
much worse chance of success than before. Annius of Viterbo had
deceived half the scholars of the preceding age. But when Inghirami,
in 1637, published his Etruscarum Antiquitatum Fragmenta, monuments of
Etruscan antiquity, which he pretended to have discovered at Volterra,
the imposture was speedily detected.[44]

     [42] Niceron, v. 80. Tiraboschi, xi. 300.

     [43] Niceron, vol. xxi. Biogr. Univ.

     [44] Salfi, Continuation de Ginguéné xi. 358.

|Geography of Cluverius.|

28. The Germania Antiqua of Cluverius was published in 1616, and his
Italia Antiqua in 1624. These form a sort of epoch in ancient
geography. The latter, especially, has ever since been the great
repertory of classical illustration on this subject. Cluverius,
however, though a man of acknowledged ability and erudition, has been
thought too bold an innovator in his Germany, and to have laid down
much on his own conjecture.[45]

     [45] Blount. Niceron, vol. xxi. Biogr. Univ.


|Ubbo Emmius.|

29. Meursius, a native of Holland, began when very young, soon after
the commencement of the century, those indefatigable labours on
Grecian antiquity, by which he became to Athens and all Hellas what
Sigonius had been to Rome and Italy. Niceron has given a list of his
publications, sixty-seven in number, including some editions of
ancient writers, but for the most part confined to Illustrations of
Greek usages; some also treat of Roman. The Græcia feriata, on
festivals and games; the Orchestra, on dancing; the Eleusinia, on that
deeply interesting and in his time almost untouched subject, the
ancient mysteries, are collected in the works of this very learned
person, or scattered through the Thesaurus Antiquitatum Græcarum of
Gronovius. “Meursius,” says his editor, “was the true and legitimate
mystagogue to the sanctuarius of Greece.” But his peculiar attention
was justly shown to “the eye of Greece,” Athens. Nothing that bore on
her history, her laws and government, her manners and literature, was
left by him. The various titles of his works seem almost to exhaust
Athenian Antiquity: De Populis Atticæ--Athenæ Atticæ--Cecropia--Regnum
Atticum--Archontes Athenienses--Pisistratus--Fortuna Attica--Atticarum
Lectionum Libri IV.--Piraeus--Themis Attica--Solon--Areopagus--
Panathenæa--Eleusinia--Theseus--Æschylus--Sophocles et Euripides. It
is manifest that all later learning must have been built upon his
foundations. No one was equal to Meursius in this province; but the
second place is perhaps due to Ubbo Emmius, professor of Greek at
Groningen, for his Vetus Græcia Illustrata, 1626. The facilities of
elucidating the topography of that country were by no means such as
Cluverius had found for Italy; and in fact little was done in respect
to local investigation in order to establish a good ancient geography
till recent times. Samuel Petit, a man placed by some in the very
first list of the learned, published in 1635 a commentary on the
Athenian laws, which is still the chief authority on that subject.

30. In an age so peculiarly learned as this part of the seventeenth
century, it will be readily concluded that many books must have a
relation to the extensive subject of this section; though the stream
of erudition had taken rather a different course, and watered the
provinces of ecclesiastical and mediæval more than those of heathen
antiquity. But we can only select one or two which treat of
chronology, and that chiefly because we have already given a place to
the work of Scaliger.

|Chronology of Lydiat. Calvisius.|

31. Lydiat was the first who, in a small treatise on the various
calendars, 1605, presumed in several respects to differ from that of
the dictator of literature. He is in consequence reviled in Scaliger’s
Epistles as the most stupid and ignorant of the human race, a
portentous birth of England, or at best an ass and a beetle, whom it
is below the dignity of the author to answer.[46] Lydiat was however
esteemed a man of deep learning, and did not flinch from the
contest. His Emendatio Temporum, published in 1609, is a more general
censure of the Scaligerian chronology, but it is rather a short work
for the extent of the subject. A German, Seth Calvisius, on the other
hand, is extolled to the skies by Scaliger for a chronology founded on
his own principles. These are applied in it to the whole series of
history, and thus Calvisius may be said to have made an epoch in
historical literature. He made more use of eclipses than any preceding
writer; and his dates are reckoned as accurate in modern as in ancient

     [46] Ante aliquot dies tibi scripsi, ut scirem ex te quis sit
     Thomas Lydiat iste, quo monstro nullum portentosius in vestra
     Anglia natum puto; tanta est inscitia hominis et confidentia. Ne
     semel quidem illi verum dicere accidit. And again:--Non est
     similis morio in orbe terrarum. Paucis asinitatem ejus
     perstringam ut lector rideat. Nam in tam prodigiosè imperitum
     scarabæum scribere, neque nostræ dignitatis est, neque otii.
     Scalig. Epist. 291. Usher, nevertheless, if we may trust Wood,
     thought Scaliger worsted by Lydiat. Ath. Oxon. iii. 187.

     [47] Blount. Biogr. Univ.


32. Scaliger, nearly twenty years after his death, was assailed by an
adversary whom he could not have thought it unworthy of his name to
repel. Petau, or Petavius, a Jesuit of uncommon learning, devoted the
whole of the first of two large volumes, entitled Doctrina, Temporum,
1627, to a censure of the famous work De Emendatione Temporum. This
volume is divided into eight books; the first on the popular year of
the Greeks; the second on the lunar; the third on the Ægyptian,
Persian, and Armenian; the fourth on the solar year; the fifth treats
of the correction of the paschal cycle and the calendar; the sixth
discusses the principles of the lunar and solar cycles; the seventh is
entitled an introduction to computations of various kinds, among which
he reckons the Julian period; the eighth is on the true motions of the
sun and moon, and on their eclipses. In almost every chapter of the
first five books, Scaliger is censured, refuted, reviled. It was a
retribution upon his own arrogance; but published thus after his
death, with no justice done to his great learning and ability, and
scarcely the common terms of respect towards a mighty name, it is
impossible not to discern in Petavius both an envious mind, and a
partial desire to injure the fame of a distinguished protestant. His
virulence indeed against Scaliger becomes almost ridiculous. At the
beginning of each of the first five books, he lays it down as a
theorem to be demonstrated, that Scaliger is always wrong on the
particular subjects to which it relates; and at the close of each, he
repeats the same in geometrical form as having been proved. He does
not even give him credit for the invention of the Julian period,
though he adopts it himself with much praise, positively asserting
that it is borrowed from the Byzantine Greeks.[48] The second volume
is in five books, and is dedicated to the historical part of
chronology, and the application of the principles laid down before. A
third volume in 1630, relating to the same subjects, though bearing a
different title, is generally considered as part of the work.
Petavius, in 1633, published an abridgment of his chronological
system, entitled Rationarium Temporum, to which he subjoined a table
of events down to his own time, which in the larger work had only been
carried to the fall of the empire. This abridgment is better known,
and more generally useful than the former.

     [48] Lib. vii., c. 7.

|Character of this work.|

33. The merits of Petavius as a chronologer have been differently
appreciated. Many, of whom Huet is one, from religious prejudices
rejoiced in what they hoped to be a discomfiture of Scaliger, whose
arrogance had also made enemies of a large part of the literary world.
Even Vossius, after praising Petavius, declares that he is unwilling
to decide between men who have done for chronology more than any
others.[49] But he has not always been so favourably dealt with. Le
Clerc observes, that as Scaliger is not very perspicuous, and Petavius
has explained the former’s opinions before he proceeds to refute them,
those who compare the two will have this advantage, that they will
understand Scaliger better than before.[50] This is not very
complimentary to his opponent. A modern writer of respectable
authority gives us no reason to consider him victorious. “Though the
great work of Petavius on chronology,” says M. St. Martin, “is
certainly a very estimable production, it is not less certain that he
has in no degree contributed to enlarge the boundaries of the science.
The author shows too much anxiety to refute Scaliger, whether right or
wrong; his sole aim is to destroy the edifice, perhaps too boldly
elevated by his adversary. It is not unjust to say that Petavius has
literally done nothing for positive chronology; he has not even
determined with accuracy what is most incontestable in this science.
Many of the dates which he considers as well established, are still
subject to great doubt, and might be settled in a very different
manner. His work is clear and methodical; and, as it embraces the
whole of chronology, it might have become of great authority: but
these very qualities have rendered it injurious to the science. He
came to arrest the flight which, through the genius of Scaliger, it
was ready to take, nor has it made the least progress ever since; it
has produced nothing but conjectures, more or less showy, but with
nothing solid and undeniable for their basis.”[51]

     [49] Vossius apud Niceron, xxxvii. 111. Dionysius Petavius
     permaulta post Scaligerum optime observavit. Sed nolim judicium
     interponere inter eos, quorum uterque præclare adeo de
     chronologia meritus est, ut nullis plus hæc scientia debeat....
     Qui sine affectu ac partium studio conferre volet quæ de
     temporibus scripsere, conspiciet esse ubi Scaligero major laus
     debeatur, comperiet quoque ubi longe Petavio malit assentiri;
     erit etiam ubi ampliandum videatur; imo ubi nec facile veritas à
     quoquam possit indagari. The chronology of Petavius was
     animadverted upon by Salmasius with much rudeness, and by several
     other contemporaries engaged in the same controversy. If we were
     to believe Baillet, Petavius was not only the most learned of the
     order of Jesuits, but surpassed Salmasius himself _de plusieurs
     coudées_. Jugemens des Sçavans, n. 513. But to judge between
     giants we should be a little taller ourselves than most are.
     Baillet, indeed, quotes Henry Valois for this preference of
     Petavius to any other of his age, which, in other words, is much
     the same as to call him the most learned man that ever lived; and
     Valois was a very competent judge. The words, however, are found
     in a funeral panegyric.

     [50] Bibl. Choisie, ii. 186. A short abstract of the Petavian
     scheme of chronology will be found in this volume of Le Clerc.

     [51] Biogr. Univ. art. Petavius.

                           CHAPTER XIX.


_Claim of Popes to temporal Power--Father Paul Sarpi--Gradual Decline
of papal Power--Unpopularity of Jesuits--Controversy of Catholics
and Protestants--Deference of some of the latter to Antiquity--
Wavering in Casaubon--Still more in Grotius--Calixtus--An opposite
School of Theologians--Daillé--Chillingworth--Hales--Rise of the
Arminian Controversy--Episcopius--Socinians--Question as to Rights
of Magistrates in Religion--Writings of Grotius on this Subject--
Question of Religious Toleration--Taylor’s Liberty of Prophesying--
Theological Critics and Commentators--Sermons on Donne--and
Taylor--Deistical Writers--English Translation of the Bible._

|Temporal supremacy of Rome.|

1. The claim of the Roman see to depose sovereigns was like the
retractile claws of some animals, which would be liable to injury were
they not usually sheathed. If the state of religion in England and
France towards the latter part of the sixteenth century required the
assertion of these pretended rights, it was not the policy of a court,
guided as often by prudence as by zeal or pride, to keep them for ever
before the eyes of the world. Clement VIII. wanted not these latter
qualities, but they were restrained by the former; and the
circumstances in which the new century opened, did not demand any open
collision with the civil power. Henry IV. had been received back into
the bosom of the church; he was now rather the ally, the favoured
child of Rome, than the object of proscription. Elizabeth again was
out of the reach of any enemy but death, and much was hoped from the
hereditary disposition of her successor. The temporal supremacy would
therefore have been left for obscure and unauthorised writers to
vindicate, if an unforeseen circumstance had not called out again its
most celebrated champions. After the detection of the gunpowder
conspiracy, an oath of allegiance was imposed in England, containing a
renunciation, in strong terms, of the tenet that princes
excommunicated by the pope might be deposed or murdered by their
subjects. None of the English catholics refused allegiance to James;
and most of them probably would have felt little scruple at taking the
entire oath, which their arch-priest, Blackwell, had approved. But the
see of Rome interfered to censure those who took the oath; and a
controversy singularly began with James himself in his “Apology for
the Oath of Allegiance.” Bellarmin answered, in 1610, under the name
of Matthew Tortus; and the duty of defending the royal author was
devolved on one of our most learned divines, Lancelot Andrews, who
gave to his reply the quaint title, Tortura Torti.[52] But
this favourite tenet of the Vatican was as ill fitted to please the
Gallican as the English church. Barclay, a lawyer of Scottish family,
had long defended the rights of the crown of France against all
opponents. His posthumous treatise on the temporal power of the pope
with respect to sovereign princes was published at London in 1609.
Bellarmin answered it next year in the ultra-montane spirit which he
had always breathed; the parliament of Paris forbade the circulation
of his reply.[53]

     [52] Biogr. Britann. art. Andrews. Collier’s Ecclesiastical
     History. Butler’s English Catholics, vol. i. Matthew Tortus was
     the almoner of Bellarmin, whose name he thought fit to assume as
     a very slight disguise.

     [53] Il pretesto, says Father Paul of Bellarmin’s book, è di
     scrivere contra Barclajo; ma il vero fine si vede esser per
     ridurre il papa al colmo dell omnipotente. In questo libro non si
     tratta altro, che il suddetto argumento, e più di venti cinque
     volte è replicato, che quando il papa giudica un principe indegno
     per sua colpa d’aver governo overo inetto, ò pur conosce, che per
     il bene della chiesa sia cosa utile, lo può privare. Dice più
     volte, che quando il papa comanda, che non sia ubbidito ad un
     principe privato da lui, non si può dire, che comandi che
     principe non sia ubbidito, ma che privata persona, perchè il
     principe privato dal papa non è più principe. E passa tanto
     inanzi, che viene à dire, il papa può disponere secondo che
     giudica ispediente de’ tutti i beni di qual sivoglia Christiano,
     ma tutto sarebbe niente, se solo dicesse che tale è la sua
     opinione; dice, ch’è un articolo della fede catholica, ch’è
     eretico, chi non sente così, e questo con tanta petulantia, che
     non vi si può aggiungere. Lettere di Sarpi, 50.

|Contest with Venice.|

|Father Paul Sarpi.|

2. Paul V. was a pope imbued with the arrogant spirit of his
predecessors, Paul IV. and Pius V.; no one was more prompt to exercise
the despotism which the Jesuits were ready to maintain. After some
minor disputes with the Italian states, he came, in 1605, to his
famous conflict with the republic of Venice, on the very important
question of the immunity of ecclesiastics from the civil tribunals.
Though he did not absolve the subjects of Venice from their
allegiance, he put the state under an interdict, forbidding the
celebration of divine offices throughout its territory. The Venetian
clergy, except the Jesuits and some other regulars, obeyed the senate
rather than the pope. The whole is matter of known history. In the
termination of this dispute, it has been doubted which party obtained
the victory; but in the ultimate result and effect upon mankind, we
cannot, it seems, well doubt that the see of Rome was the loser.[54]
Nothing was more worthy of remark, especially in literary history,
than the appearance of one great man, Fra Paolo Sarpi, the first who,
in modern times and in a Catholic country, shook the fabric not only
of papal despotism, but of ecclesiastical independence and power. For
it is to be observed that in the Venetian business, the pope was
contending for what were called the rights of the church, not for his
own supremacy over it. Sarpi was a man of extraordinary genius,
learning, and judgment: his physical and anatomical knowledge was such
as to have caused at least several great discoveries to be assigned to
him;[55] his reasoning was concise and cogent; his style perspicuous
and animated. A treatise “Delle Materie Beneficiarie,” in other words,
on the rights, revenues, and privileges, in secular matters, of the
ecclesiastical order, is a model in its way. The history is so short
and yet so sufficient, the sequence so natural and clear, the proofs
so judiciously introduced, that it can never be read without delight
and admiration of the author’s skill. And this is more striking to
those who have toiled at the verbose books of the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries, where tedious quotations, accumulated, not
selected, disguise the argument they are meant to confirm. Except the
first book of Machiavel’s History of Florence, I do not remember any
earlier summary of facts so lucid and pertinent to the object. That
object was, with Father Paul, neither more nor less than to represent
the wealth and power of the church as ill-gotten and excessive. The
Treatise on Benefices led the way, or rather was the seed thrown into
the ground that ultimately produced the many efforts both of the press
and of public authority to break down ecclesiastical privileges.[56]

     [54] Ranke is the best authority on this dispute, as he is on all
     other matters relating to the papacy in this age, vol. ii., p.

     [55] He was supposed to have discovered the valves of the veins,
     the circulation of the blood, the expansion and contraction of
     the pupil, the variation of the compass. A quo, says Baptista
     Porta of Sarpi, aliqua didicisse non solum fateri non
     erubescimus, sed gloriamur, cum eo doctiorem, subtiliorem,
     quotquot adhuc videre contigerit, neminem cognovimus ad
     encyclopædiam. Magia Naturalis, lib. vii., apud Ranke.

     [56] A long analysis of the Treatise on Benefices will be found
     in Dupin, who does not blame it very much. It is worth reading
     through, and has been commended by many good judges of history.

|History of Council of Trent.|

3. The other works of Sarpi are numerous, but none require our
present attention except the most celebrated, his History of the
Council of Trent. The manuscript of this having been brought to London
by Antonio de Dominis, was there published, in 1619, under the name of
Pietro Soave Polano, the anagram of Paolo Sarpi Veneto. It was quickly
translated into several languages, and became the textbook of
protestantism on the subject. Many incorrectnesses have been pointed
out by Pallavicini, who undertook the same task on the side of Rome;
but the general credibility of Father Paul’s history has rather gained
by the ordeal of hostile criticism. Dupin observes that the long list
of errors imputed by Pallavicini, which are chiefly in dates and such
trifling matters, make little or no difference as to the substance of
Sarpi’s history; but that its author is more blamable for a malicious
disposition to impute political motives to the members of the council,
and idle reasonings which they did not employ.[57] Ranke, who has
given this a more minute scrutiny than Dupin could have done, comes
nearly to the same result. Sarpi is not a fair, but he is, for those
times, a tolerably exact historian. His work exhibits the general
excellences of his manner; freedom from redundancy, a clear, full,
agreeable style; a choice of what is most pertinent and interesting in
his materials. Much has been disputed about the religious tenets of
Father Paul; it appears to me quite out of doubt, both by the tenor of
his history, and still more unequivocally, if possible, by some of his
letters, that he was entirely hostile to the church, in the usual
sense, as well as to the court of Rome, sympathising in affection, and
concurring generally in opinion, with the reformed denomination.[58]
But as he continued in the exercise of his functions as a Servite
monk, and has always passed at Venice more for a saint than a heretic,
some of the Gallican writers have not scrupled to make use of his
authority, and to extenuate his heterodoxy. There can be no question
but that he inflicted a severe wound on the spiritual power.

     [57] Hist. Eccles. Cent. 17.

     [58] The proofs of this it would be endless to adduce from the
     history: they strike the eye in every page, though it cannot be
     expected that he should declare his way of thinking in express
     terms. Even in his letters he does not this. They were printed,
     with the date, at least, of Verona, in 1673. Sully’s fall he
     laments, “having become partial to him on account of his firmness
     in religion.” Lett. 53. Of the republic of the United Provinces
     he says: La nascenza di quale si come Dio ha favorito con grazie
     inestimabili, così pare che la malizia del diavolo oppugni con
     tutte le arti. Lett. 23. After giving an account of one Marsilio,
     who seems to have been a Protestant, he adds: Credo se non fosse
     per ragion di stato, si trovarebbono diversi, che saltarebbono da
     questo fosso di Roma nella cima dell riforma; ma chi teme una
     cosa, chi un’altra. Dio però par che goda la più minima parte dei
     pensieri umani. So ch’ ella mi intende senza passar più oltre.
     Lett. 81., Feb., 1612. Sarpi speaks with great contempt of James
     I., who was occupied like a pedant about Vorstius and such
     matters. Se il re d’Inghilterra non fosse dottore, si potrebbe
     sperare qualche bene, e sarebbe un gran principio, perchè Spagna
     non si può vincere, se non levato il pretesto della religione, ne
     questo si leverà se non introducendo i reformati nell’Italia. E
     si il rè sapesse fare, sarebbe facile e in Torino, e quì. Lett.
     88. He wrote, however, a remarkable letter to Casaubon, much
     about this time, hinting at his wish to find an asylum in
     England, and using rather too different language about the king:
     In eo, rarum, cumulatæ virtutes principis ac viri. Regum idea
     est, ad quam forte ante actis sæculis nemo formatus fuit. Si ego
     ejus protectione dignus essem, nihil mihi deesse putarem ad
     mortalis vitæ felicitatem. Tu, vir præstantissime, nihil te
     dignius efficere potes, quam tanto principi mea studia
     commendare. Casaubon, Epist. 811. For _mea_ in another edition is
     read _tua_; but the former seems preferable. Casaubon replied,
     that the king wished Paul to be a light to his own country; but
     if anything should happen, he had written to his ambassador, ut
     nulla in re tibi desit.

|Gallican liberties. Richer.|

4. That power, predominant as it seemed in the beginning of the
seventeenth century, met with adversaries besides Sarpi. The French
nation, and especially the parliament of Paris, had always vaunted
what were called the liberties of the Gallican church; liberties,
however, for which neither the church itself, nor the king, the two
parties interested, were prone to display much regard. A certain
canonist, Richer, published in 1611 a book on ecclesiastical and
political power; in which he asserted the government of the church to
be a monarchy tempered with aristocracy; that is, that the authority
of the pope was limited in some respects by the rights of the bishop.
Though this has since become a fundamental principle among the
Cisalpine catholics, it did not suit the high notions of that age; and
the bishops were content to sacrifice their rights by joining in the
clamour of the papal party. A synod assembled by Cardinal du Perron,
archbishop of Sens, condemned the book of Richer, who was harassed for
the rest of his life by the persecution of those he had sought to
defend against a servitude which they seemed to covet. His
fame has risen in later times. Dupin concludes a careful analysis of
Richer’s treatise with a noble panegyric on his character and style of

     [59] Hist. Eccles. Cent. 17. l. ii. c. 7. Niceron, vol. xxvii.
     The Biographie Universelle talks of the republican principles of
     Richer: it must be in an ecclesiastical sense, for nothing in the
     book, I think, relates to civil politics. Father Paul thought
     Richer’s scheme might lead to something better, but did not
     highly esteem it. Quella mistura del governo ecclesiastico di
     monarchio e aristocrazia mi pare una composizione di oglio e
     acqua, che non possono mai mischiarsi insieme. Lettere di Sarpi,
     109. Richer entirely denies the infallibility of the pope in
     matters of faith, and says there is no authority adduced for it
     but that of the popes themselves. His work is written on the
     principles of the Jansenizing Gallicans of the 18th century, and
     probably goes farther than Bossuet, or any who wished to keep on
     good terms with Rome would have openly approved. It is prolix,
     extending to two volumes 4to. Some account of Richer will be
     found in Histoire de la Mère et du Fils, ascribed to Mezeray, or


5. The strength of the ultra-montane party in the Gallican church was
Perron, a man of great natural capacity, a prodigious memory, a vast
knowledge of ecclesiastical and profane antiquity, a sharp wit, a pure
and eloquent style, and such readiness in dispute, that few cared to
engage him.[60] If he did not always reason justly, or upon consistent
principles, these are rather failings in the eyes of lovers of truth,
than of those, and they are the many, who sympathize with the
dexterity and readiness of a partizan. He had been educated as a
Protestant, but, like half the learned of that religion, went over
from some motive or other to the victorious side. In the conference at
Fontainebleau with Du Plessis Mornay, it has been mentioned already
that he had a confessed advantage; but victory in debate follows the
combatant rather than the cause. The supporters of Gallican liberties
were discouraged during the life of this cardinal. He did not
explicitly set himself against them, or deny, perhaps, the principles
of the Council of Constance; but, by preventing any assertion of them,
he prepared the way, as it was hoped at Rome, for a gradual
recognition of the whole system of Bellarmin. Perron, however, was
neither a Jesuit, nor very favourable to that order. Even so late as
1638, a collection of tracts by the learned brothers DuPuy, on the
liberties of the church, was suppressed at the instance of the nuncio,
on the pretext that it had been published without permission. It was
reprinted some years afterwards, when the power of Rome had begun to

     [60] Dupin.

     [61] Dupin 1. iii. c. 1. Grot. Epist. 1105. Liber de libertatibus
     ecclesiæ Gallicanæ ex actis desumptus publicis, quo regis
     regnique jura contra molitiones pontificias defenduntur ipsius
     regis jussu vendi est prohibitus. See also epist. 519.

|Decline of papal power.|

6. Notwithstanding the tone still held by the court of Rome and its
numerous partisans, when provoked by any demonstration of resistance,
they generally avoided aggressive proceedings, and kept in reserve the
tenets which could not be pleasing to any civil government. We should
doubtless find many assertions of the temporal authority of the pope
by searching into obscure theology during this period; but after
Bellarmin and Perron were withdrawn from the stage, no prominent
champions of that cause stood forth; and it was one of which great
talents and high station alone could overcome the intrinsic
unpopularity. Slowly and silently, the power of Rome had much receded
before the middle of the seventeenth century. Paul V. was the last of
the imperious pontiffs who exacted obedience as sovereigns of
Christendom. His successors have had recourse to gentler methods, to a
paternal rather than regal authority; they have appealed to the moral
sense, but have rarely or never alarmed the fears of their church. The
long pontificate of Urban VIII. was a period of transition from
strength to weakness. In his first years, this pope was not inactively
occupied in the great cause of subduing the Protestant heresy. It has
been lately brought to light, that soon after the accession of Charles
I., he had formed a scheme, in conjunction with France and Spain, for
conquering and partitioning the British islands: Ireland was to be
annexed to the ecclesiastical state, and governed by a viceroy of the
Holy See.[62] But he afterwards gave up these visionary projects, and
limited his ambition to more practicable views of aggrandizement in
Italy. It is certain that the temporal principality of the popes has
often been a useful diversion for the rest of Europe: the duchy of
Urbino was less in our notions of importance than Germany or Britain;
but it was quite as capable of engrossing the thoughts and passions of
a pope.

     [62] Ranke, ii. 518. It is not at all probable that France and
     Spain would have seriously coalesced for any object of this kind:
     the spoil could not have been safely divided. But the scheme
     serves to show the ambition, at that time, of the Roman See.

|Unpopularity of the Jesuits.|

7. The subsidence of catholic zeal before the middle of this
age deserves especially to be noted at a time when, in various
directions, that church is beginning to exalt her voice, if not to
rear her head, and we are ostentatiously reminded of the sudden
revival of her influence in the sixteenth century. It did undoubtedly
then revive; but it is equally manifest that it receded once more.
Among the leading causes of this decline in the influence, not only of
what are called ultra-montane principles, but of the zeal and faith
that had attended them, a change as visible, and almost as rapid as
the reaction in favour of them which we have pointed out in the latter
part of the sixteenth century, we must reckon the increasing
prejudices against the Jesuit order. Their zeal, union, indefatigable
devotion to the cause, had made them the most useful of allies, the
most formidable of enemies; but in these very qualities were involved
the seeds of public hatred and ultimate ruin. Obnoxious to Protestant
states for their intrigues, to the lawyers, especially in France, for
their bold theories of political power and encroaching spirit, to the
Dominicans for the favour they had won, they had become, long before
the close of this period, rather equivocal and dangerous supporters of
the See of Rome.[63] Their fate, in countries where the temper of
their order had displayed itself with less restraint, might have led
reflecting men to anticipate the consequences of urging too far the
patience of mankind by the ambition of an insulated order of priests.
In the first part of this century the Jesuits possessed an extensive
influence in Japan, and had re-united the kingdom of Abyssinia to the
Roman church. In the course of a few years more, they were driven out
from both; their intriguing ambition had excited an implacable
animosity against the church to which they belonged.

     [63] Clement VIII. was tired of the Jesuits, as we are told by
     Perron, who did not much love them. Perroniana, pp. 286, 288.

|Richelieu’s care of Gallican liberties.|

8. Cardinal Richelieu, though himself a theological writer, took great
care to maintain the liberties of the French crown and church. No
extravagance of Hildebrandic principles would find countenance under
his administration. Their partisans endeavoured sometimes to murmur
against his ecclesiastical measures; it was darkly rumoured that he
had a scheme of separating the Catholic church of France, something in
the manner of Henry VIII., from the supremacy of Rome, though not from
her creed; and one Hersent published, under the name of Optatus
Gallus, a book so rapidly suppressed, as to be of the greatest rarity,
the aim of which was to excite the public apprehension of this
schism.[64] It was in defence of the Gallican liberties, so far as it
was yet prudent to assert them, that De Marca was employed to write a
treatise, De Concordaniâ Sacerdotii et Imperii. This book was censured
at Rome; yet it does not by any means come up to the language
afterwards usual in the Gallican church; it belongs to its own age,
the transitional period in which Rome had just ceased to act, but not
to speak as a mistress. De Marca was obliged to make some concessions
before he could obtain the bulls for a bishopric. He rose however
afterwards to the see of Paris. The first part of his work appeared in
1641, the second after the death of the author.

     [64] Biogr. Univ.--Grot. epist. 982, 1354. By some other letters
     of Grotius, it appears that Richelieu tampered with those schemes
     of reconciling the different religions which were then afloat,
     and all which went on setting the Pope nearly aside. Ruarus
     intimates the same. Epist. Ruar. p. 401.

|Controversy of Catholics and Protestants.|

|Increased respect for the fathers.|

9. In this most learned period, according to the sense in which the
word was then taken, that Europe has ever seen, it was of course to be
expected that the studious ecclesiastics of both the Romish and
Protestant denomination would pour forth a prodigal erudition in their
great controversy. It had always been the aim of the former to give an
historical character to theological inquiry; it was their business to
ascertain the faith of the Catholic church as a matter of fact, the
single principle of its infallibility being assumed as the basis of
all investigation. But their opponents, though less concerned in the
issue of such questions, frequently thought themselves competent to
dispute the field; and conversant as they were with ecclesiastical
antiquity, found in its interminable records sufficient weapons to
protract the war, though not to subdue the foe. Hence, partly in the
last years of the sixteenth century, but incomparably more in the
present, we find an essential change in the character of theological
controversy. It became less reasoning, less scriptural, less general
and popular, but far more patristic, that is, appealing to the
testimonies of the fathers, and altogether more historical than
before. Several consequences of material influence on religious
opinion sprang naturally from this method of conducting the
defence of Protestantism. One was that it contracted very greatly the
circle of those who, upon any reasonable interpretation of the
original principle of personal judgment, could exercise it for
themselves; it became the privilege of the deeply learned alone.
Another that, from the real obscurity and incoherence of
ecclesiastical authorities, those who had penetrated farthest into
that province of learning were least able to reconcile them; and
however they might disguise it from the world, while the pen was in
their hands, were themselves necessarily left, upon many points, in an
embarrassing state of doubt and confusion. A third effect was, that
upon these controversies of Catholic tradition, the church of Rome had
very often the best of the argument; and this was occasionally
displayed in those wrestling matches between religious disputants,
which were held, publicly or privately, either with the vain hope of
coming to an agreement, or to settle the faith of the hearers. And
from the two last of these causes it arose, that many Protestants went
over to the church of Rome, and that a new theological system was
contrived to combine what had been deemed the incompatible tenets of
those who had burst from each other with such violence in the
preceding century.

|Especially in England. Laud.|

10. This retrocession, as it appeared, and as in spirit it was,
towards the system abandoned in the first impetuosity of the
Reformation, began in England about the conclusion of the sixteenth
century. It was evidently connected with the high notions of
ecclesiastical power, of an episcopacy by unbroken transmission from
the apostles, of a pompous ritual, which the rulers of the Anglican
church took up at that time in opposition to the puritans. It rapidly
gained ground in the reign of James, and still more of his son.
Andrews, a man far more learned in patristic theology than any of the
Elizabethan bishops, or perhaps than any of his English contemporaries
except Usher, was, if not the founder, the chief leader of this
school. Laud became afterwards, from his political importance, its
more conspicuous head; and from him it is sometimes styled. In his
conference with the Jesuit Fisher, first published in 1624, and
afterwards with many additions in 1639, we find an attempt not feeble,
and we may believe, not feigned, to vindicate the Anglican
Protestantism, such as he meant it to be, against the church of Rome,
but with much deference to the name of Catholic, and the authority of
the ancient fathers.[65] It is unnecessary to observe, that this was
the prevalent language of the English church in that period of forty
years, which was terminated by the civil war; and that it was
accompanied by a marked enhancement of religious ceremonies, as well
as by a considerable approximation to several doctrines and usages of
the Romanists.

     [65] Ce qu’il y a de particulier dans cette conférence, c’est
     qu’on y cite beaucoup plus les pères de l’église, que n’ont
     accoutumé de faire les Protestans de deça la mer. Comme l’église,
     Anglicane a une vénération toute particulière pour l’antiquité,
     c’est par là que les Catholiques Romains l’attaquent
     ordinairement. Bibl. Univ. i. 336. Laud, as well as Andrews,
     maintained “that the true and real body of Christ is in that
     blessed sacrament.” Conference with Fisher, p. 299. (edit. 1639.)
     And afterwards, “for the church of England, nothing is more plain
     than that it believes and teaches the true and real presence of
     Christ in the eucharist.” Nothing is more plain than the
     contrary, as Hall, who belonged to a different school of
     theology, though the friend of Laud, has in equivalent words
     observed. Hall’s works (Pratt’s edition), vol. ix., p. 374.

|Defections to the Catholic church.|

11. The progress of the latter church for the first thirty years of
the present century was as striking and uninterrupted as it had been
in the final period of the sixteenth. Victory crowned its banners on
every side. The signal defeats of the elector Palatine and the king of
Denmark, the reduction of Rochelle, displayed an evident superiority
in the ultimate argument to which the Protestants had been driven, and
which silences every other; while a rigid system of exclusion from
court favour and of civil discouragement, or even of banishment and
suppression of public worship, as in the Austrian dominions, brought
round the wavering and flexible to acquiesce with apparent willingness
in a despotism they could neither resist nor escape. The nobility,
both in France and Germany, who in the last age had been the first to
embrace a new faith, became afterwards the first to desert it. Many
also of the learned and able Protestants gave evidence of the jeopardy
of that cause by their conversion. It is not, however, just to infer
that they were merely influenced by this apprehension. Two other
causes mainly operated; one, to which we have above alluded, the
authority given to the traditions of the church, recorded by the
writers called fathers, and with which it was found very difficult to
reconcile all the protestant creed; another, the intolerance
of the reformed churches, both Lutheran and Calvinistic, which gave as
little latitude as that which they had quitted.

|Wavering of Casaubon.|

12. The defections, from whatever cause, are numerous in the
seventeenth century. But two, more eminent than any who actually
renounced the Protestant religion, must be owned to have given evident
signs of wavering, Casaubon and Grotius. The proofs of this are not
founded merely on anecdotes which might be disputed, but on their own
language.[66] Casaubon was staggered by the study of the fathers, in
which he discovered many things, especially as to the eucharist, which
he could not in any manner reconcile with tenets of the French
Hugonots.[67] Perron used to assail him with arguments he could not
parry. If we may believe this cardinal, he was on the point of
declaring publicly his conversion before he accepted the invitation of
James I. to England; and even while in England he promoted the
Catholic cause more than the world was aware.[68] This is more than we
can readily believe, and we know that he was engaged both in
maintaining the temporal rights of the crown against the school of
Bellarmin, and in writing animadversions on the ecclesiastical annals
of Baronius. But this opposition to the extreme line of the
ultra-montanists might be well compatible with a tendency towards much
that the reformers had denounced. It seemed in truth to disguise the
corruptions of the Catholic church by rendering the controversy almost
what we might call personal; as if Rome alone, either by usurping the
headship of the church, which might or might not have bad
consequences, or by its encroachments on the civil power which were
only maintained by a party, were the sole object of that religious
opposition, which had divided one half of Europe from the other. Yet
if Casaubon, as he had much inclination to do, being on ill terms with
some in England, and disliking the country,[69] had returned to
France, it seems probable that he would not long have continued in
what, according to the principles he had adopted, would appear a
schismatical communion.

     [66] In his correspondence with Scaliger, no indications of any
     vacillation as to religion appear. Of the unfortunate conference
     between Du Plessis Mornay and Du Perron, in the presence of Henry
     IV., where Casaubon himself had been one of the umpires, he
     speaks with great regret, though with a full acknowledgment that
     his champion had been worsted. Quod scribis de congressu Diomedis
     cum Glauco, sic est omnino, ut tu judicas rectè. Vir optimus, si
     eum sua prudentia orbi Gallico satis explorata non defecisset,
     nunquam ejus certaminis aleam subiisset. After much more he
     concludes: Equidem in lacrymas prope adducor, quoties subit animo
     tristissima illius diei species, cum de ingenua nobilitate, de
     excellenti ingenio, de ipsa denique veritate pompaticè adeo vidi
     triumphatum. Epist. 214. (Oct., 1600.) See also a letter to
     Heinsius on the same subject. Cassaub. Epist. 809. In a letter to
     Perron himself, in 1604, he professed to adhere to Scripture
     alone, against those who vetustatis auctoritatem pro ratione
     obtendunt. Epist. 417. A change however came gradually over his
     mind, and he grew fascinated by this very authority of antiquity.
     In 1609 he had, by the king’s command, a conference on religion
     with Du Perron, but very reluctantly, and, as his biographer
     owns, quibusdam visus est quodammodo cespitasse. Casaubon was,
     for several reasons, no match in such a disputation for Perron.
     In the first place, he was poor and weak, and the other powerful,
     which is a reason that might dispense with our giving any others;
     but secondly, he had less learning in the fathers; and thirdly,
     he was entangled by deference for these same fathers; finally, he
     was not a man of as much acuteness and eloquence as his
     antagonist. The issue of battle does not follow the better cause,
     but the sharper sword, especially when there is so much
     _ignoratio elenchi_ as in this case.

     [67] Perron continued to persecute Casaubon with argument,
     whenever he met him in the king’s library. Je vous confesse (the
     latter told Wytenbogart) qu’il m’a donné beaucoup des scrupules
     qui me restent, et auxquels je ne sais pas bien répondre ... il
     me fache de rougir. L’escapade que je prens est que je n’y puis
     répondre, mais que j’y penserai. Cassauboni Vita (ad edit.
     Epistolarum, 1709.). And in writing to the same Wytenbogart,
     Jan., 1610, we find similar signs of wavering. Me, ne quid
     dissimulem, hæc tanta diversitas a fide veteris ecclesiæ non
     parum turbat. Ne de aliis dicam, in re sacramentaria a majoribus
     discessit Lutherus, a Luthero Zuinglius, ab utroque Calvinus, a
     Calvino qui postea scripserunt. Nam constat mihi ac certissimum
     est, doctrinam Calvini de sacra eucharistia longe aliam esse ab
     ea quæ in libro observandi viri Molinæi nostri continetur, et quæ
     vulgo in ecclesiis nostris auditur. Itaque Molinæum qui
     oppugnant, Calvinum illi non minus objiciunt, quam aliquem è
     veteribus ecclesiæ doctoribus. Si sic pergimus, quis tandem erit
     exitus? Jam quod idem Molinæus, omnes veterum libros suæ doctrinæ
     contrarios respuit, ut ὑποβολιμαιους [hypobolimaious], cui
     mediocriter docto fidem faciet? Falsus illi Cyrillus,
     Hierosolymorum episcopus; falsus Gregorius Nyssenus, falsus
     Ambrosius, falsi omnes. Mihi liquet falli ipsum, et illa scripta
     esse verissima, quæ ille pronuntiat ψευδεπιγραφα.
     [pseudepigrapha]. Ep. 670. See also Epist. 1043, written from
     Paris in the same year. He came now to England, and to his great
     satisfaction found the church and its prelates exactly what he
     would wish. Illud solatio mihi est, quod in hoc regno speciem
     agnosco veteris ecclesiæ, quam ex patrum scriptis didici. Adde
     quod episcopis ὁσημεραι συνδιαγω [hosêmerai syndiagô]
     doctissimis, sapientissimis, ευσεβεστατοις [eusebestatois], et
     quod novum mihi est, priscæ ecclesiæ amantissimis. (Lond., 1611.)
     Ep. 703. His letters are full of similar language. See 743, 744,
     772, &c. He combined this inordinate respect for authority with
     its natural concomitant, a desire to restrain free inquiry.
     Though his patristic lore should have made him not unfavourable
     to the Arminians, he writes to Bertius, one of their number,
     against the liberty of conscience they required. Illa quam passim
     celebras, prophetandi libertas, bonis et piis hujus ecclesiæ
     viris mirum in modum suspecta res est et odiosa. Nemo enim
     dubitat de pietate Christiana actum esse inter vos, si quod
     videris agere, illustrissimis ordinibus fuerit semel persuasum,
     ut liberum unicuique esse velint, via regia relicta semitam ex
     animi libidine sibi aliisque aperire. Atqui veritas, ut scis, in
     omnibus rebus scientiis et disciplinis unica est, et το φωνειν
     ταυτο [to phônein tauto] inter ecclesiæ veræ notas, fateantur
     omnes, non est postrema. Ut nulli esse dubium possit, quin tot
     πολυσχιδεις [polyschideis] semitæ totidem sint errorum
     diverticula. Quod olim de politicis rebus prudentissimi
     philosophorum dixerunt, id mihi videtur multo etiam magis in
     ecclesiasticis locum habere, την αγαν ελευθεριαν εις δουλειαν εξ
     αναγκης τελευτᾶν, [tên agan eleutherian eis douleian ex anagkês
     teleutan], et πασαν τυραννιδα αναρχιας [pasan tyrannida
     anarchias] esse κρειττην [kreittên] [sic!] et optabiliorem....
     Ego qui inter pontificios diu sum in patria mea versatus, hoc
     tibi possum affirmare, nulla re magis stabiliri την τυραννιδα
     [tên tyrannida] του χξζ [tou chxz], quam dissentionibus nostris
     et dissidiis.

     Meric Casaubon’s “Pietas contra Maledicos Patrii Nominis ac
     Religionis Hostes,” is an elaborate vindication of his father
     against all charges alleged by his adversaries. The only one that
     presses is that of wavering in religion. And here Meric candidly
     owns that his father had been shaken by Perron about 1610. (See
     this tract subjoined to Almeloveen’s edition of the Epistles, p.
     89.) But afterwards, by dint of theological study, he got rid of
     the scruples the cardinal had infused into him, and became a
     Protestant of the new Anglican school, admiring the first six
     centuries, and especially the period after Constantine: Hoc
     sæculum cum duobus sequentibus ακμη της εκκλησιας [akmê tês
     ekklêsias], flos ipse ecclesiæ et ætas illius aurea queat
     nuncupari. Prolegomena in Exercitationes in Baronium. His friend
     Scaliger had very different notions of the fathers. The fathers,
     says he, in his blunt way, are very ignorant, know nothing of
     Hebrew, and teach us little in theology. Their interpretations of
     scripture are strangely perverse. Even Polycarp, who was a
     disciple of the apostles, is full of errors. It will not do to
     say that, because they were near the apostolic age, they are
     never wrong. Scaligerana Secunda. Le Clerc has some good remarks
     on the deference shown by Casaubon to the language held by the
     fathers about the eucharist, which shook his Protestantism. Bibl.
     Choisie, xix. 230.

     [68] Perroniana. Grot. Epist., pag. 939.

     [69] Several of his letters attest his desire for returning. He
     wrote to Thuanus imploring his recommendation to the queen
     regent. But he had given much offence by writing against
     Baronius, and had very little chance of an indemnity for his
     prebend of Canterbury, if he had given that up on leaving
     England. This country, however, though he sometimes calls it
     μακαρων νησος [makarôn nêsos], did not suit his disposition. He
     was never on good terms with Savile, the most presumptuous of the
     learned, according to him, and most scornful, whom he accused of
     setting on Montague to anticipate his animadversions on Baronius,
     with some suspicion, on Casaubon’s part, of stealing from him.
     Ep. 794, 848, 849. But he seems himself to have become generally
     unpopular, if we may trust his own account. Ego mores Anglorum
     non capio. Quoscunque habui notos priusquam huc venirem, jam ego
     illis sum ignotus, verè peregrinus, barbarus; nemo illorum me vel
     verbulo appellat; _appellatus silet_. Hoc quid sit, non scio.
     Hic---- [Henricus Wotton] vir doctissimus ante annos viginti
     mecum Genevæ vixit, et ex eo tempore literis amicitiam columius.
     Postquam ego e Galliis, ille Venetiis huc convenimus, desii esse
     illi notus; meæ quoque epistolæ responsum dedit nullum; an sit
     daturus nescio. Ep. 841. It seems difficult to account for so
     marked a treatment of Casaubon, except on the supposition that he
     was thought to pursue a course unfavourable to the Protestant
     interest. He charges the English with despising everyone but
     themselves; and ascribes this to the vast wealth of their
     universities; a very discreditable source of pride in our
     ancestors, if so it were. But Casaubon’s philological and
     critical skill passed for little in this country, where it was
     not known enough to be envied. In mere ecclesiastical learning he
     was behind some English scholars.

|And of Grotius.|

13. Grotius was from the time of his turning his mind to theology,
almost as much influenced as Casaubon by primitive authority, and
began, even in 1614, to commend the Anglican church for the respect it
showed, very unlike the rest of the reformed, to that standard. But
the ill-usage he sustained at the hands of those who boasted their
independence of papal tyranny, the caresses of the Gallican clergy
after he had fixed his residence at Paris, the growing dissensions and
virulence of the Protestants, the choice that seemed alone to be left
in their communion, between a fanatical anarchy, disintegrating
everything like a church on the one hand, and a domination of bigoted
and vulgar ecclesiastics on the other, made him gradually less and
less averse to the comprehensive and majestic unity of the Catholic
hierarchy, and more and more willing to concede some point of
uncertain doctrine, or some form of ambiguous expressive. This
is abundantly perceived, and has often been pointed out in his
Annotations on the Consultation of Cassander,[70] written in 1641, in
his Animadversion on Rivet, who had censured the former treatise as
inclining to Popery, in the Votum pro Pace Ecclesiasticâ and
in the Rivetiani Apologetici Discussio; all which are collected in the
fourth volume of the theological works of Grotius. These treatises
display an uniform and progressive tendency to defend the church of
Rome in everything that can be reckoned essential to her
creed; and, in fact, he will be found to go farther in this direction
than Cassander.

     [70] Casaubon himself hailed Grotius as in the right path. In
     hodiernis contentionibus in negotio religionis et doctè et piè
     judicat, et in veneratione antiquitatis cum iis sentit, qui
     optimè sentiunt. Epist. 883. See also 772, which is addressed to
     him. This high respect for the fathers and for the authority of
     the primitive church grew strongly upon him, and the more because
     he found they were hostile to the Calvinistic scheme. He was
     quite delighted at finding Jerome and Chrysostom on his side.
     Epist. 29. (1614). In the next year, writing to Vossius, he goes
     a great length. Cæterum ego reformatarum ecclesiarum miseriam in
     hoc maximè deploro, quod cum symbola condere catholicæ sit
     ecclesiæ, ipsis inter se nunquam eam in rem convenire sit datum,
     atque interim libelli apologetici ex re nata scripti ad
     imperatorem, reges, principes, aut ut in concilio œcumenico
     exhiberentur, trahi cœperint in usum longè alienum. Quid enim
     magis est alienum ab unitate catholica quam quod diversis in
     regionibus pastores diversa populo tradere coguntur? Quam mirata
     fuisset hoc prodigium pia antiquitas! Sed hæc aliaque multa
     mussitanda sunt nobis ob iniquitatem temporum. Epist. 66. He was
     at this time, as he continued till near the end of his life, when
     he moved on farther, highly partial to the Anglican church. He
     was, however, too Erastian for the English bishops of the reign
     of James, as appears by a letter addressed to him by Overall, who
     objected to his giving, in his treatise De Imperio circa Sacra, a
     definitive power in controversies of faith to the civil
     magistrate, and to his putting episcopacy among non-essentials,
     which the bishops held to be of divine right. Grotius adhered to
     his opinion, that episcopacy was not commanded as a perpetual
     institution, and thought, at that time, that there was no other
     distinction between bishops and priests than of precedency.
     Nusquam meminit, he says in one place, Clemens Romanus exsortis
     illius episcoporum auctoritatis, quæ ecclesiæ consuetudine post
     Marci mortem Alexandriæ, atque eo exemplo alibi, introduci cœpit,
     sed planè ut Paulus Apostolus, ostendit ecclesias communi
     presbyterorum, qui iidem omnes et episcopi ipsi Pauloque
     dicuntur, consilio fuisse gubernatas. Even in his latter writings
     he seems never to have embraced the notions of some Anglican
     divines on this subject, but contents himself, in his remarks on
     Cassander, who had said, singularly as it may be thought,
     Convenit _inter omnes_ olim Apostolorum ætate inter episcopos et
     presbyteros discrimen nullum fuisse, sed postmodum ordinis
     servandi et schismatis evitandi causa episcopum presbyteris
     fuisse præpositum, with observing, Episcopi sunt presbyterorum
     principes; et ista προστασια [prostasia] (præsidentia) à Christo
     præmonstrata est in Petro, ab Apostolis vero, ubicunque fieri
     poterat, constituta, et a Spiritu Sancto comprobata in
     Apocalypsi. Op. Theolog. iv. 579, 621.

     But to return from this digression to the more immediate purpose.
     Grotius for several years continued in this insulated state,
     neither approving of the Reformation nor the church of Rome. He
     wrote in 1622 to Episcopius against those whom he called
     Cassandrians, Qui etiam plerosque Romanæ ecclesiæ errores
     improbantibus auctores sunt, ne ab ejus communione discedant. Ep.
     181. He was destined to become Cassandrian himself, or something
     more. The infallibility of the church was still no doctrine of
     his. At illa auctoritas ecclesiæ αναμαρτητου [anamartêtou], quam
     ecclesiæ, et quidem suæ, Romanenses ascribunt, cum naturali
     ratione non sit evidens, nam ipsi fatentur Judaicam ecclesiam id
     privilegium non habuisse, sequitur ut adversus negantes probari
     debeat ex sacris literis. Epist. secunda series, p. 761 (1620).
     And again: Quæ scribit pater de restituendis rebus in eum statum,
     qui ante concilium Tridentinum fuerat, esset quidem hoc
     permultum; sed transubstantiatio et ei respondens adoratio pridem
     Lateranensi concilio definita est, et invocatio peculiaris
     sanctorum pridem in omnes liturgias recepta. P. 772 (1623).

     Grotius passed most of his latter years at Paris, in the
     honourable station of ambassador from the court of Sweden. He
     seems to have thought it a matter of boast that he did not live
     as a Protestant. See Ep. 196. The Hugonot ministers of Charenton
     requested him to communicate with them, which he declined, p.
     854, 856 (1635). He now was brooding over a scheme of union among
     Protestants: the English and Swedish churches were to unite, and
     to be followed by Denmark. Constituto semel aliquo tali
     ecclesiarum corpore, spes est subinde alios atque alios se
     aggregaturos. Est autem hæc res eo magis optanda protestantibus,
     quod quotidie multi eos deserunt et se cœtibus Romanensium
     addunt, non alia de causa, quam quod non unum est eorum corpus,
     sed partes distractæ, greges segreges, propria cuique sua
     sacrorum communio, ingens præterea maledidicendi certamen. Epist.
     866 (1637). See also p. 827 (1630). He fancied that by such a
     weight of authority, grounded on the ancient church, the exercise
     of private judgment, on which he looked with horror, might be
     overruled. Nisi interpretandi sacras literas, he writes to
     Calixtus, libertatem cohibemus intra lineas eorum, quæ omnes illæ
     non sanctitate minus quam primæva vetustate venerabiles ecclesiæ
     ex ipsa prædicatione scripturis ubique consentiente hauserint,
     diuque sub crucis maximè magisterio retinuerint, nisi deinde in
     iis quæ liberam habuere disputationem fraterna lenitate ferre
     alii alios discimus, quis erit litium sæpe in factiones, deinde
     in bella erumpentium finis? Ep. 674 (Oct., 1636). Qui illam
     optiman antiquitatem sequuntur ducem, quod te semper fecisse
     memini, iis non eveniet, ut multum sibi ipsis sint discolores. In
     Angliâ vides quam bene processerit dogmatum noxiorum repurgatio,
     hac maximè de causa quod qui id sanctissimum negotium procurandum
     suscepere nihil admiscuerunt novi, nihil sui, sed ad meliora
     sæcula intentam habuere oculorum aciem. Ep. 966 (1688).

     But he could not be long in perceiving that this union of
     Protestant churches was impossible from the very independence of
     their original constitution. He saw that there could be no
     practicable reunion except with Rome itself, nor that, except on
     an acknowledgment of her superiority. From the year 1640 his
     letters are full of sanguine hopes that this delusive vision
     would be realised. He still expected some concession on the other
     side; but, as usual, would have lowered his terms according to
     the pertinacity of his adversaries, if indeed they were still to
     be called his adversaries. He now published his famous
     annotations on Cassander, and the other tracts mentioned in the
     text, to which they gave rise. In these he defends almost
     everything we deem popery, such as transubstantiation (Opera
     Theologica, iv. 619), stooping to all the nonsensical evasions of
     a spiritual mutation of substance and the like; the authority of
     the pope (p. 642), the celibacy of the clergy (p. 645), the
     communion in one kind (ibid), and in fact is less of a Protestant
     than Cassander. In his epistles he declares himself decidedly in
     favour of purgatory, as at least a probable doctrine, p. 930. In
     these writings he seems to have had the countenance of Richelieu.
     Cardinalis quin ἑνωσεως [henôseôs] negotium in Gallia successurum
     sit, dubitare se negat. Epist. sec. series, p. 912. Cardinalis
     Ricelianus rem successuram putat. Ita certè loquitur multis.
     Archiepiscopus Cantuariensis pœnas dat honestissimi consilii,
     quod et aliis bonis sæpe evenit, p. 911. Grotius is now run away
     with by vanity, and fancies all will go according to his wish,
     showing much ignorance of the real state of things. He was left
     by some from whom he had entertained hopes, and thought the Dutch
     Arminians timid. Vossius ut video, præ metu, forte et ex Anglia
     sic jussus, auxilium suum mihi subtrahit, p. 908. Salmasius adhuc
     in consiliis fluctuat. Est in religionis rebus suæ parti
     addictior quam putabatur. P. 912. De Episcopio doleo; est vir
     magni ingenii et probus, sed nimium cupidus alendæ partis. But it
     is probable that he had misinterpreted some language of these
     great men, who contemplated with regret the course he was taking,
     which could be no longer a secret. De Grotii ad papam defectione,
     a French protestant of some eminence for learning writes, tanquam
     re certa, quod fama istuc distulit, verum non est. Sed non sine
     magno metu eum aliquid istiusmodi meditantem et conantem quotidie
     inviti videmus. Inter protestantes cujuslibet ordinis nomen ejus
     ascribi vetat, quod eos atrocius sugillavit in Appendice de
     Antichristo, et Annotatis ad Cassandri consultationem. Sarravii
     Epistolæ, p. 58 (1642). And again he expresses his strong
     disapprobation of one of the later treatises. Verissimè dixit
     ille qui primus dixit Grotium papissare. P. 196. See also pp. 31,

     In 1642 Grotius had become wholly averse to the Reformation. He
     thought it had done more harm than good, especially by the habit
     of interpreting everything on the papal side for the worse. Malos
     mores qui mansere corrigi æquum est. Sed an non hoc melius
     successurum fuerit, si quisque semet repurgans pro repurgatione
     aliorum preces ad Deum tulisset, et principes et episcopi
     correctionem desiderantes, non rupta compage, per concilia
     universalia in id laborassent. Dignum est de quo cogitetur, p.
     938. Auratus, as he calls him, that is, D’Or, a sort of chaplain
     to Grotius, became a Catholic about this time. The other only
     says--Quod Auratus fecit, idem fecit antehac vir doctissimus
     Petrus Pithæus; idem constituerat facere Casaubonus si in Gallia
     mansisset, affirmavit enim id inter alios etiam Cordesio. p. 939.
     Of Casaubon he says afterwards: Casaubonus multo saniores putabat
     Catholicos Galliæ quam Carentonianos. Anglos autem episcopos
     putabat a schismatis culpa posse absolvi, p. 940. Every
     successive year saw him now draw nearer to Rome. Reperio autem
     quicquid communiter ab ecclesia occidentali quæ Romanæ cohæret
     recipitur, idem reperiri apud Patres veteres Græcos et Latinos,
     quorum communionem retinendam esse vix quisquam neget. Si quid
     præter hoc est, id ad liberas doctorum opinationes pertinet; in
     quibus suum quis judicium sequi potest, et communionis jus non
     amittere, p. 958. Episcopius was for limiting articles of faith
     to the creed, but Grotius did not agree with this, and points out
     that it would not preserve uniformity. Quam multa jam sunt de
     sacramentis, de ecclesiarum regimine, in quibus, vel concordiæ
     causa, certi aliquid observari debet. Alioqui compages ecclesiæ
     tantopere nobis commendata retineri non potest, p. 941. It would
     be endless to quote every passage tending to the same result.
     Finally, in a letter to his brother in Holland, he expresses his
     hope that Wytenbogart, the respectable patriarch of Arminianism,
     would turn his attention to the means of restoring unity to the
     church. Velim D. Wytenbogardum, ubi permiserit valetudo, nisi id
     jam fecerit, scriptum aliquid facere de necessitate restituendæ
     in ecclesia unitatis, et quibus modis id fieri possit. Multi pro
     remedio monstrant, si necessaria a non necessariis separentur, in
     non necessariis sive creditu sive factu relinquatur libertas. At
     non minor est controversia, quæ sint necessaria, quam quæ sint
     vera. Indicia, aiunt, sunt in scripturis. At certè etiam circa
     illa loca variat interpretatio. Quare nondem video an quid sit
     melius, quam ea quæ ad fidem et bona opera nos ducunt retinere,
     ut sunt in ecclesia catholica; puto enim in iis esse quæ sunt
     necessaria ad salutem. In cæteris ea quæ conciliorum auctoritate,
     aut veturum consensu recepta sunt, interpretari eo modo quo
     interpretati sunt, illi qui commodissimè sunt locuti, quales
     semper aliqui in quaque materia facile reperientur. Si quis id a
     se impetrare non possit, ut taceat, nec propter res de quibus
     certus non est, sed opinationem tantum quandam habet turbet
     unitatem ecclesiæ necessariam, quæ nisi retinetur ubi est, et
     restituitur ubi non est, omnia ibunt in pejus, p. 960. (Nov.
     1648.) Wytenbogard replied very well: Si ita se res habet, ut
     indicia necessariorum et non necessariorum in scriptura reperiri
     nequeant, sed quæri debeant in auctoritate conciliorum aut
     veterum consensu, eo modo quo interpretati sunt illi, qui
     commodissimè locuti sunt, prout Excellentia tua videtur
     existimare, nescio an viginti quinque anni, etiamsi illi mihi
     adhuc restarent, omnesque exigui ingenii corporisque mei vires in
     mea essent potestate, sufficerent ut maturo cum judicio perlegam
     et expendam omnia quæ eo pertinent. This letter is in the Epistolæ
     præstantium et eruditorum virorum edited by Limborch in 1683, p.
     826. And Grotius’s answer is in the same collection. It is that
     of a man who throws off a mask he had reluctantly worn. There was
     in fact no other means of repelling Wytenbogard’s just
     observation on the moral impossibility of tracing for ourselves
     the doctrine of the Catholic church as an historical inquiry.
     Grotius refers him to a visible standard. Quare considerandum
     est, an nonfacilius et æquius sit, quoniam doctrina de gratia, de
     libero arbitrio, necessitate fidei bonorumque operum obtinuit in
     ecclesia quæ pro se habet universale regimen et ordinem
     successionis, privatos se in aliis accommodare, pacis causa, iis
     quæ universaliter sunt recepta, sive ea aptissimis
     explicationibus recipiendo, sive tacendo, quam corpus illud
     catholicum ecclesiæ se in articulo tolerantiæ accommodare debere
     uniuscujusque considerationibus et placitis. Exempli gratiâ:
     Catholica ecclesia nemini præscribit ut precetur pro mortuis, aut
     opem precum sanctorum vita hac defunctorum imploret: solummodo
     requirit, ne quis morem adeo antiquum et generalem condemnet. The
     church does, in fact, rather more than he insinuates, though less
     than Protestants generally fancy.

     I have trespassed on the patience of the general reader in this
     very long note, which may be thought a superfluous digression in
     a work of mere literature. But the epistles of Grotius are not
     much read; nor are they in many private libraries. The index is
     also very indifferent, so that without the trouble I have taken
     of going over the volume, it might be difficult to find these
     curious passages. I ought to mention that Burigny has given
     references to most of them, but with few quotations. Le Clerc, in
     the first volume of the Bibliothèque Universelle, reviewing the
     epistles of Grotius, slides very gently over his bias towards
     popery; and I have met with well-informed persons in England, who
     had no conception of the lengths to which this had led him. It is
     of far more importance, and the best apology I can offer for so
     prolix a note, to perceive by what gradual, but, as I think,
     necessary steps, he was drawn onward by his excessive respect for
     antiquity, and by his exaggerated notions of Catholic unity,
     preferring at last to err with the many, than to be right with
     the few. If Grotius had learned to look the hydra schism in the
     face, he would have had less fear of its many heads, and at least
     would have dreaded to cut them off at the neck, lest the source
     of life should be in one of them.

     That Grotius really thought as the fathers of Trent thought upon
     all points in dispute cannot be supposed. It was not in the power
     of a man of his learning and thoughtfulness to divest himself of
     his own judgment, unless he had absolutely subjugated his reason
     to religious awe, which was far from being the case. His aim was
     to search for subtle interpretations, by which he might profess
     to believe the words of the church, though conscious that his
     sense was not that of the imposers. It is needless to say that
     this is not very ingenuous; and even if it could be justifiable
     relatively to the person, would be an abandonment of the
     multitude to any superstition and delusion which might be put
     upon them. Via ad pacem expeditissima mihi videtur, si doctrina,
     communi consensu recepta, commodè explicetur, mores, sanæ
     doctrinæ adversantes, quantum fieri potest, tollantur, et in
     rebus mediis accommodet se pars ingenio totius. Epist., 1524.
     Peace was his main object; if toleration had been as well
     understood as it was afterwards, he would perhaps have
     compromised less.

     Baxter having published a Treatise of the Grotian Religion,
     wherein he imputed to Grotius this inclination towards the church
     of Rome, Archbishop Bramhall replied, after the Restoration, with
     a vindication of Grotius, in which he does not say much to the
     purpose, and seems ignorant of the case. The epistles indeed,
     were not then published.

     Besides the passages in these epistles above quoted, the reader
     who wishes to follow this up may consult Epist. 1108, 1460, 1561,
     1570, 1706 of the first series; and in the second series, p. 875,
     896, 940, 943, 958, 960, 975. But there are also many to which I
     have made no reference. I do not quote authorities for the design
     of Grotius to have declared himself a convert, if he had lived to
     return to France, though they are easily found; because the
     testimony of his writing is far stronger than any anecdote.

14. But if any one could put a different interpretation on these
works, which would require a large measure of prejudice, the epistles
of Grotius afford such evidence of his secession from the Protestant
side, as no reasonable understanding can reject. These are contained
in a large folio volume, published in 1687, and amount to 1766 of one
series, and 744 of another. I have quoted the former, for
distinction’s sake, by the number, and the latter by the page. Few, we
may presume, have taken the pains to go through them, in order to
extract all the passages that bear upon this subject. It will be found
that he began, as I have just said, by extolling the authority of the
Catholic or universal church, and its exclusive right to establish
creeds of faith. He some time afterwards ceased to frequent
the Protestant worship, but long kept his middle path, and thought it
enough to inveigh against the Jesuits and the exorbitancies of the see
of Rome. But his reverence for the writers of the fourth and fifth
centuries grew continually stronger; he learned to protest against the
privilege, claimed by the reformers, of interpreting Scripture
otherwise than the consent of the ancients had warranted; visions,
first of an union between the Lutheran and English churches, and then
of one with Rome itself, floated before his eyes; he sought religious
peace with the latter, as men seek it in opposition to civil
government, by the redress of grievances and the subsequent
restoration of obedience. But in proportion as he perceived how little
of concession was to be obtained, he grew himself more ready to
concede; and though at one time he seems to deny the infallibility of
the church, and at another would not have been content with placing
all things in the state they were before the council of Trent, he came
ultimately to think such a favourable sense might be put on all the
Tridentine decrees, as to render them compatible with the Confession
of Augsburg.

15. From the year 1640 his course seems to have been accelerated; he
intimates no disapprobation of those who went over to Rome; he found,
as he tells us, that whatever was generally received in the church of
Rome, had the authority of those Greek and Latin fathers, whose
communion no one would have refused; and at length, in a remarkable
letter to Wytenbogart, bearing date in 1644, he puts it as worthy to
be considered, whether it would not be more reasonable for private men
who find the most essential doctrines in a church of an universal
hierarchy and a legitimate succession, to wave their differences with
it for the sake of peace, by putting the best interpretations they
can, only keeping silence on their own opinions, than that the
Catholic church should accommodate itself to the separate judgment of
such men. Grotius had already ceased to speak of the Arminians as if
he was one of themselves, though with much respect for some of their

16. Upon a dispassionate examination of all these testimonies, we can
hardly deem it an uncertain question whether Grotius, if his life had
been prolonged, would have taken the easy leap that still remained;
and there is some positive evidence of his design to do so. But, dying
on a journey and in a protestant country, this avowed declaration was
never made. Fortunately indeed for his glory, since his new friends
would speedily have put his conversion to the proof, and his latter
years might have been spent, like those of Lipsius, in defending
legendary miracles, or in waging war against the honoured dead of the
Reformation. He did not sufficiently remember that a silent neutrality
is never indulged to a suspicious proselyte.

17. It appears to me, nevertheless, that Grotius was very far from
having truly subjected his understanding to the church of Rome. The
whole bent of his mind was to effect an exterior union among
Christians; and for this end he did not hesitate to recommend
equivocal senses of words, convenient explanations, and respectful
silence. Listening attentively, if I may be allowed such a metaphor,
we hear the chaunt of the Æsculapian cock in all he has written for
the catholic church. He first took up his reverence for antiquity,
because he found antiquity unfavourable to the doctrine of Calvin. His
antipathy to this reformer and to his followers led him on to an
admiration of the episcopal succession, the organized hierarchy, the
ceremonial and liturgical institutions, the high notions of
sacramental rites, which he found in the ancient church, and which
Luther and Zuingle had cast away. He became imbued with the notion of
unity as essential to the catholic church; but he never seems to have
gone the length of abandoning his own judgment, or of asserting any
positive infallibility to the decrees of man. For it is manifest that,
if the councils of Nice or of Trent were truly inspired, it would be
our business to inquire what they meant themselves, not to put the
most convenient interpretations, nor to search out for some author or
another who may have strained their language to our own opinion. The
precedent of Grotius, therefore, will not serve those who endeavour to
bind the reason of the enlightened part of mankind, which he respected
like his own. Two predominant ideas seem to have swayed the mind of
this great man in the very gradual transition we have indicated; one,
his extreme reverence for antiquity and for the consent of the
catholic church; the other, his Erastian principles as to the
authority of the civil magistrate in matters of religion. Both
conspired to give him an abhorrence of the ‘liberty of prophesying,’
the right of private men to promulgate tenets inconsistent with
established faith. In friendly conversation or correspondence, even
perhaps; with due reserve, in Latin writings, much might be
indulged to the learned, room was to be found for an Erasmus and a
Cassander; or, if they would themselves consent, for an Episcopius and
a Wytenbogart, at least for a Montagu and a Laud; but no pretext was
ever to justify a separation. The scheme of Grotius is, in a modified
degree, much the same as that of Hobbes.


18. In the Lutheran church we find an eminent contemporary of Grotius,
who may be reckoned his counterpart in the motives which influenced
him to seek for an entire union of religious parties, though
resembling him far more in his earlier opinions, than in those to
which he ultimately arrived. This was George Calixtus, of the
university of Helmstadt, a theologian, the most tolerant, mild, and
catholic in his spirit, whom the Confession of Augsburg had known
since Melanchthon. This university indeed, which had never subscribed
the Form of Concord, was already distinguished by freedom of inquiry,
and its natural concomitant, a large and liberal spirit. But in his
own church generally, Calixtus found as rigid schemes of orthodoxy,
and perhaps a more invidious scrutiny into the recesses of private
opinion, than in that of Rome, with a less extensive basis of
authority. The dream of good men in this age, the reunion of Christian
churches in a common faith, and, meanwhile, the tolerance of
differences, were ever the aim of Calixtus. But he fell, like the
Anglican divines, into high notions of primitive tradition, placing,
according to Eichhorn and Mosheim, the unanimity of the first six
centuries by the side of Scripture itself. He was assailed by the
adherents of the Form of Concord with aggravated virulence and
vulgarity; he was accused of being a papist and a Calvinist,
reproaches equally odious in their eyes, and therefore fit to be
heaped on his head; the inconsistency of calumnies being no good
reason with bigots against uttering them.[71]

     [71] Eichhorn, vol. vi., part ii., p. 20. Mosheim. Biogr. Univ.

|His attempts at concord.|

19. In the treatise, published long after his death, in 1697, De
tolerantia Reformatorum circa quæstiones inter ipsos et Augustanam
confessionem professes controversas consultatio, it is his object to
prove that the Calvinists held no such tenets as should exclude them
from Christian communion. He does not deny or extenuate the reality of
their differences from the Confession of Augsburg. The Lutherans,
though many of them, he says, had formerly maintained the absolute
decrees of predestination, were now come round to the doctrine of the
first four centuries.[72] And he admits that the Calvinists, whatever
phrases they may use, do not believe a true and substantial presence
in the Eucharist.[73] But neither of these errors if such they are, he
takes to be fundamental. In a shorter and more valuable treatise,
entitled Desiderium et studium concordiæ, ecclesiasticæ, Calixtus
proposes some excellent rules for allaying religious heats. But he
leans far too much towards the authority of tradition. Every church,
he says, which affirms what others deny, is bound to prove its
affirmation; first by Scripture, in which whatever is contained must
be out of controversy, and secondly (as Scripture bears witness to the
church that it is the pillar and foundation of truth, and especially
the primitive church which is called that of the saints and martyrs),
by the unanimous consent of the ancient church; above all, where the
debate is among learned men. The agreement of the church is therefore
a sufficient evidence of Christian doctrine, not that of individual
writers, who are to be regarded rather so far as they testify the
catholic doctrine, than as they propound their own.[74] This
deference to an imaginary perfection in the church of the fourth or
fifth century must have given a great advantage to that of Rome, which
is not always weak on such ground, and doubtless serves to account for
those frequent desertions to her banner, especially in persons of very
high rank, which afterwards occurred in Germany.

     [72] Nostri e quibus olim multi ibidem absolutum decretum
     approbarunt, paulatim ad sententiam primorum quatuor sæculorum,
     nempe decretum juxta præscientiam factum, receperunt. Qua in re
     multum egregiè laboravit Ægidius Hunnius. Difficile autem est
     hanc sententiam ita proponere, ne quid Pelagianismo habere affine
     videatur, p. 14.

     [73] Si tamen non tam quid loquantur quam quid sentiant
     attendimus, certum est eos veri corporis et sanguinis secundum
     substantiam acceptorum præsentiam non admittere. Rectius autem
     fuerit utramque partem simpliciter et ingenuè, quod sentit,
     profiteri, quam alteram alteri ambiguis loquendi formulis
     imponere. Qualem conciliandi rationem inierunt olim Philippus et
     Bucerus, nempe ut præscriberentur formulæ, quarum verba utraque
     pars amplecteretur, sed singulæ suo sensu acciperent ac
     interpretarentur. Quem conatum, quamvis ex pio eoque ingente
     concordiæ desiderio et studio profectum, nulla successûs
     felicitas excepit. p. 70. This observation is very just in the
     abstract; but in the early period of the reformation, there were
     strong reasons for evading points of difference, in the hope that
     the truth would silently prevail in the course of time. We,
     however, who come later, are to follow the advice of Calixtus,
     and, in judging as well as we can, of the opinions of men, must
     not altogether regard their words. Upon no theological
     controversy, probably, has there been so much of studied
     ambiguity as on that of the eucharist. Calixtus passes a similar
     censure on the equivocations of some great men of the preceding
     century in his other treatise mentioned in the text.

     [74] Consensu itaque primæ ecclesiæ ex symbolis et scriptis
     manifesto doctrina Christiana rectè confirmatur. Intelligimus
     autem doctrinam fundamentalem et necessariam, non quasvis
     appendices et quæstiones, aut etiam quorundam scripturæ locorum
     interpretationes. De talibus enim unanimis et universalis
     consensus non poterit erui vel proferri. Et magis apud plerosque
     spectandum est, quid tanquam communem ecclesiæ sententiam
     proponunt, quam quomodo eam confirmant aut demonstrant, p. 85. I
     have not observed in the little I know of Calixtus, any proof of
     his inclination toward the church of Rome.

     Gerard Vossius, as Episcopius wrote to Vorstius in 1615, declared
     in his inaugural lecture as professor of theology, his
     determination to follow the consent of antiquity, in explicatione
     Scripturarum et controversiarum diremtionibus diligenter
     examinare et expendere catholicum et antiquissimum consensum, cum
     sine dubio illud quod a pluribus et antiquissimis dictum est,
     verissimum sit. Epist. Virorum præstantium, p. 6.

|High-church party in England.|

20. The tenets of some of those who have been called High-church
Anglicans may in themselves be little different from those of Grotius
and Calixtus. But the spirit in which they have been conceived is
altogether opposite. The one is exclusive, intolerant, severe,
dogmatical, insisting on uniformity of faith as well as of exterior
observances; the other catholic in outward profession, charitable in
sentiment, and in fact one mode, though a mode as imprudent as it was
oblique, in which the latitudinarian principle was manifested. The
language both of Grotius and Calixtus bears this out, and this ought
closely to be observed, lest we confound the real laxity of one school
with the rigid orthodoxy of the other. One had it in view to reconcile
discordant communions by mutual concession, and either by such
explication of contrarieties as might make them appear less
incompatible with outward unity, or by an avowed tolerance of their
profession within the church; the other would permit nothing but
submission to its own authority: it loved to multiply rather than to
extinguish the risks of dissent, in order to crush it more
effectually; the one was a pacific negotiator, the other a conquering

|Daillé on the right use of the Fathers.|

21. It was justly alarming to sincere protestants, that so many
brilliant ornaments of their party should either desert to the hostile
side, or do their own so much injury by taking up untenable
ground.[75] Nothing, it appeared to reflecting men, could be trusted
to the argument from antiquity: whatever was gained in the controversy
on a few points was lost upon those of the first importance. It was
become the only secure course to overthrow the tribunal. Daillé,
himself one of the most learned in this patristic erudition whom the
French reformed church possessed, was the first who boldly attacked
the new school of historical theology in their own stronghold, not
occupying their fortress, but razing it to the ground. The design of
his celebrated Treatise concerning the right use of the Fathers,
published in 1628, is, in his own words, to show, “that they cannot be
the judges of the controversies in religion at this day between the
papist and the protestant,” nor, by parity of reasoning, of many
others; “1. Because it is, if not an impossible, yet at least a very
difficult thing to find out what their sense hath been touching the
same. 2. Because that their sense and judgment of these things,
supposing it to be certainly and clearly understood, not being
infallible, and without all danger of error, cannot carry with it a
sufficient authority for the satisfying the understanding.”

     [75] It was a poor consolation for so many losses, that the
     famous Antonio de Dominis, archbishop of Spoleto, came over to
     England, and by his books de Republica Ecclesiastica, as well as
     by his conversation, seemed an undisguised enemy to the church of
     Rome. The object of his work is to prove that the pope has no
     superiority over other bishops. James gave de Dominis the deanery
     of Windsor and a living; but whether he, strictly speaking,
     belonged to the church of England, I do not remember to have
     read. Preferments were bestowed irregularly in that age. He
     returned, however, to the ancient fold; but did not avoid
     suspicion, being thrown into prison at Rome; and after his death,
     the imputations of heresy against him so much increased that his
     body was dug up and burned. Neither party has been ambitious to
     claim this vain and insincere, though clever prelate.

22. The arguments adduced by Daillé in support of the former of these
two positions, and which occupy the first book of the treatise, are
drawn from the paucity of early Christian writers, from the nature of
the subjects treated by them having little relation to the present
controversies, from the suspicions of forgery and interpolation
affecting many of their works, the difficulty of understanding their
idioms and figurative expressions, the habit of some of the fathers to
say what they did not believe, their changes of mind, the peculiar and
individual opinions of some among them, affording little evidence of
the doctrine of the church; finally, the probability that many who
differed from those called the fathers, and whose writings have not
descended to us, may have been of as good authority as themselves.

23. In the second book, which in fact has been very much anticipated
in the first, he shows that neither the testimony nor the doctrine of
the fathers is infallible (by which word he must be understood to mean
that it raises but a slight presumption of truth), proving this by
their errors and contradictions. Thus he concludes that, though their
negative authority is considerable, since they cannot be presumed
ignorant of any material doctrine of religion, we are to be very slow
in drawing affirmative propositions from their writings, and much more
so in relying upon them as undoubted verities.

24. It has been said of this treatise on the right use of the fathers,
that its author had pretty well proved they were of no use at all.
This indeed is by no means the case, but it has certainly diminished
not only the deference which many have been wont to pay to the opinion
of the primitive writers, but what is still more contended for, the
value of their testimony, whether as to matters of fact, or as to the
prevailing doctrines of the Christian church. Nothing can be more
certain, though in the warmth of controversy men are apt to disregard
it, than that a witness, who deposes in any one case what can be
disproved, is not entitled to belief in other assertions which we have
no means of confuting, unless it be shown that the circumstances of
his evidence render it more trust-worthy in these points than we have
found it before. Hence, such writers as Justin and Irenæus ought not,
except with great precaution, to be quoted in proof at all, or at
least with confidence; their falsehood, not probably wilful, in
assertions that have been brought to a test rendering their testimony
very precarious upon any other points. Daillé, it may be added, uses
some circumspection, as the times, if not his own disposition,
required in handling this subject, keeping chiefly in view the
controversies between the Romish and protestant churches: nor does he
ever indulge in that tone of banter or acrimony which we find in
Whitby, Barbeyrac, Jortin, and Middleton; and which must be condemned
by every one who reflects that many of these writers exposed their
lives, and some actually lost them, in the maintenance and propagation
of Christianity.

|Chillingworth’s Religion of Protestants.|

25. This well-timed and important book met with a good reception from
some in England, though it must have been very uncongenial to the
ruling party. It was extolled and partly translated by Lord Falkland;
and his two distinguished friends, Chillingworth and Hales, found in
it the materials of their own bold revolt against church authority.
They were both Arminians, and, especially the former, averse in all
respects to the Puritan school. But like Episcopius, they scorned to
rely, as on these points they might have done, on what they deemed so
precarious and inconclusive as the sentiments of the fathers.
Chillingworth, as is well known, had been induced to embrace the
Romish religion, on the usual ground that a succession of infallible
pastors, that is, a collective hierarchy, by adhering to whom alone we
could be secure from error, was to be found in that church. He
returned again to the protestant religion on being convinced that no
such infallible society could be found. And a Jesuit, by name Knott,
having written a book to prove that unrepenting protestants could not
be saved, Chillingworth published, in 1637, his famous answer: The
Religion of Protestants a safe Way to Salvation. In this he closely
tracks the steps of his adversary, replying to every paragraph and
almost every sentence.

|Character of this work.|

26. Knott is by no means a despicable writer, he is concise, polished,
and places in an advantageous light the great leading arguments of his
church. Chillingworth, with a more diffuse and less elegant style, is
greatly superior in impetuosity and warmth. In his long parenthetical
periods, and in those of other old English writers, in his
copiousness, which is never empty or tautological, there is an
inartificial eloquence springing from strength of intellect and
sincerity of feeling, that cannot fail to impress the reader. But his
chief excellence is the close reasoning, which avoids every dangerous
admission and yields to no ambiguousness of language. He perceived and
maintained with great courage, considering the times in which he wrote
and the temper of those he was not unwilling to keep as
friends, his favourite tenet, that all things necessary to be believed
are clearly laid down in Scripture. Of tradition, which many of his
contemporary protestants were becoming as prone to magnify as their
opponents, he spoke very slightingly; not denying of course a maxim
often quoted from Vincentius Lirinensis, that a tradition strictly
universal and aboriginal must be founded in truth, but being assured
that no such could be shown; and that what came nearest, both in
antiquity and in evidence of catholic reception, to the name of
apostolical, were doctrines and usages rejected alike by all
denominations of the church in modern times.[76] It will be readily
conceived, that his method of dealing with the controversy is very
different from that of Laud in his treatise against Fisher; wherein we
meet chiefly with disputes on passages in the fathers, as to which,
especially when they are not quoted at length, it is impossible that
any reader can determine for himself. The work of Chillingworth may at
least be understood and appreciated without reference to any other;
the condition, perhaps, of real superiority in all productions of the

     [76] “If there were anything unwritten which had come down to us
     with as full and universal a tradition as the unquestioned books
     of canonical Scripture, that thing should I believe as well as
     the Scripture; but I have long sought for some such thing, and
     yet I am to seek; nay, I am confident no one point in controversy
     between papists and protestants can go in upon half so fair
     cards, for to gain the esteem of an apostolic tradition, as those
     things which are now decried on all hands; I mean the opinion of
     the Chiliasts and the communicating infants.” Chap. 3, § 82. He
     dilates upon this insecurity of tradition in some detached
     papers, subjoined to the best editions of his work. Chillingworth
     might have added an instance if he had been writing against
     Romanising Anglicans. Nothing can come so close to the foolish
     rule above-mentioned, as the observation of celibacy by bishops
     and priests, not being married before their ordination, which,
     till the time of Luther, was, as far as we have reason to
     believe, universally enjoined in the church; no one, at least,
     has ever alleged an authority to the contrary. Yet those who talk
     most of the rule of Vincentius Lirinensis set aside without
     compunction the only case in which we can truly say that it may
     with some show of probability be applied. Omnia vincit amor.

27. Chillingworth was, however, a man versed in patristical learning,
by no means less so, probably, than Laud. But he had found so much
uncertainty about this course of theological doctrine, seducing as it
generally is to the learned, “fathers,” as he expresses it, “being set
against fathers, and councils against councils,” that he declares, in
a well-known passage, the Bible exclusively to be the religion of
protestants; and each man’s own reason to be, as from the general
tenor of his volume it appears that he held it, the interpreter of the
Bible.[77] It was a natural consequence that he was a strenuous
advocate not so much for toleration of separate churches, as for such
an “ordering of the public service of God, that all who believe the
Scripture and live according to it, might, without scruple or
hypocrisy or protestation against any part, join in it;”[78] a scheme
when practicable, as it could not possibly be often rendered, far more
eligible than the separation of sects, and hence the favourite object
of Grotius and Taylor, as well as of Erasmus and Cassander. And in a
remarkable and eloquent passage, Chillingworth declares that
“protestants are inexcusable, if they did offer violence to other
men’s consciences;” which Knott had said to be notorious, as in fact
it was, and as Chillingworth ought more explicitly to have
admitted.[79] “Certainly,” he observes in another place, “if
protestants are faulty in this matter [of claiming authority], it is
for doing it too much and not too little. This presumptuous imposing
of the senses of men upon the words of God, the special senses of men
upon the general words of God, and laying them upon men’s consciences
together, under the equal penalty of death and damnation, this vain
conceit that we can speak of the things of God better than in the
words of God; this deifying our own interpretations and tyrannous
enforcing them upon others; this restraining of the word of God from
that latitude and generality, and the understandings of men from that
liberty wherein Christ and the apostles left them, is and hath been
the only fountain of all the schisms of the church, and that which
makes them immortal;[80] the common incendiary of Christendom,
and that which tears in pieces not the coat but the bowels and members
of Christ. Take away these walls of separation and all will quickly be
one. Take away this persecuting, burning, cursing, damning of men for
not subscribing the words of men as the words of God; require of
Christians only to believe Christ, and to call no man master but him
only; let those leave claiming infallibility that have no title to it,
and let them that in their words disclaim it, disclaim it also in
their actions. In a word, take away tyranny,” &c.[81]

     [77] This must always be understood with the condition, that the
     reason itself shall be competently enlightened: if Chillingworth
     meant more than this, he carried his principle too far, as others
     have done. The case is parallel in jurisprudence, medicine,
     mechanics, and every human science: any one man, primâ facie, may
     be a competent judge, but all men are not so. It is hard to prove
     that there is any different rule for theology; but parties will
     always contend for extremes; for the rights of bigots to think
     for others, and the rights of fools to think for themselves.

     [78] Chap. 3, § 81.

     [79] Chap. 5, § 96.

     [80] “This persuasion,” he says in a note, “is no singularity of
     mine, but the doctrine which I have learned from divines of great
     learning and judgment. Let the reader be pleased to peruse the
     7th book of Acontius de Stratagematibus Satanæ, and Zanchius his
     last oration delivered by him after the composing of the discord
     between him and Amerbachius, and he shall confess as much.”

     [81] Chap. 4, § 17.

28. It is obvious that in this passage, and indeed throughout the
volume, Chillingworth contravenes the prevailing theories of the
Anglican church, full as distinctly as those of the Roman. He escaped
however unscathed by the censure of that jealous hierarchy; his
private friendship with Laud, the lustre of his name, the absence of
factious and sectarian connections, and still more perhaps the rapid
gathering of the storms that swept both parties away, may be assigned
as his protection. In later times his book obtained a high reputation;
he was called the immortal Chillingworth; he was the favourite of all
the moderate and the latitudinarian writers, of Tillotson, Locke, and
Warburton. Those of opposite tenets, when they happen to have read his
book, can do nothing else but condemn its tendency.

|Hales on Schism.|

29. A still more intrepid champion in the same cause was John Hales;
for his little tract on Schism, not being in any part directed against
the church of Rome, could have nothing to redeem the strong
protestations against church authority, “which,” as he bluntly
expresses it, “is none;” words that he afterwards slightly qualified.
The aim of Hales, as well as of Grotius, Calixtus, and Chillingworth,
was to bring about a more comprehensive communion; but he went still
farther; his language is rough and audacious;[82] his theology in some
of his other writings has a scent of Racow; and though these crept
slowly to light, there was enough in the earliest to make us wonder at
the high name, the epithet Ever-memorable, which he obtained in the
English church.

     [82] “I must, for my own part, confess that councils and synods
     not only may and have erred, but considering the means how they
     are managed, it were a great marvel if they did not err, for what
     men are they of whom those great meetings do consist? Are they
     the best, the most learned, the most virtuous, the most likely to
     walk uprightly? No, the greatest, the most ambitious, and many
     times men of neither judgment nor learning; such are they of whom
     these bodies do consist. Are these men in common equity likely to
     determine for truth?”--Vol. i., p. 60, edit. 1765.

     “Universality is such a proof of truth as truth itself is ashamed
     of; for universality is but a quainter and a trimmer name to
     signify the multitude. Now human authority at the strongest is
     but weak, but the multitude is the weakest part of human
     authority; it is the great patron of error, most easily abused
     and most hardly disabused. The beginning of error may be and
     mostly is from private persons, but the maintainer and continuer
     of error is the multitude. Private persons first beget errors in
     the multitude and make them public; and publicness of them begets
     them again in private persons. It is a thing which our common
     experience and practice acquaints us with, that when some private
     persons have gained authority with the multitude, and infused
     some error into them and made it public, the publicness of the
     error gains authority to it, and interchangeably prevails with
     private persons to entertain it. The most singular and strongest
     part of human authority is properly in the wisest and most
     virtuous; and those I trow are not the most universal.”--iii.

     The treatise on Schism, from which these last passages are _not_
     extracted, was printed at Oxford in 1642, with some
     animadversions by the editor. Wood’s Athenæ, iii. 414.

|Controversies on grace and free will. Augustinian scheme.|

30. It is unnecessary to say that few disputes in theology have been
so eagerly conducted, so extensively ramified, as those which relate
to the free will of man, and his capacity of turning himself towards
God. In this place nothing more will be expected than a brief
statement of the principal question, doing no injustice by a tone of
partiality to either side. All shades of opinion, as it seems, may be
reduced to two, which have long divided and will long divide the
Christian world. According to one of these, the corrupt nature of man
is incapable of exerting any power towards a state of acceptance with
God, or even of willing it with an earnest desire, until excited by
preventing (præveniens) grace; which grace is vouchsafed to some only,
and is called free, because God is not limited by any respect
of those persons to whom he accords this gift. Whether those who are
thus called by the influence of the Spirit, are so irresistibly
impelled to it, that their perseverance in the faith and good works
which are the fruits of their election, may surely be relied upon, or,
on the other hand, may either at first obdurately resist the divine
impulses, or finally swerve from their state of grace, is another
question, upon which those who agree in the principal doctrine have
been at variance. It is also controverted among those who belong to
this class of theologians, whether the election thus freely made out
of mankind depends upon an eternal decree of predestination, or upon a
sentence of God following the fall of man. And a third difference
relates to the condition of man after he has been aroused by the
Spirit from a state of entire alienation from God; some holding that
the completion as well as commencement of the work of conversion is
wholly owing to the divine influence, while others maintain a
co-operation of the will, so that the salvation of a sinner may, in
some degree, be ascribed to himself. But the essential principle of
all whom we reckon in this category of divines is the necessity of
preventing grace, or, in other words, that it is not in the power of
man to do any act, in the first instance, towards his own salvation.
This, in some or other of its modifications, used to be deemed the
orthodox scheme of doctrine; it was established in the Latin church by
the influence of Augustin, it was generally held by the schoolmen, by
most of the early reformers, and seems to be inculcated by the decrees
of the council of Trent, as much as by the articles of the church of
England. In a loose and modern acceptation of the word, it often goes
by the name of Calvinism, which may perhaps be less improper, if we do
not use the term in an exclusive sense, but, if it is meant to imply a
particular relation to Calvin, leads to controversial chicane, and a
misstatement of the historical part of the question.

|Semi-pelagian hypothesis.|

31. An opposite class of theological reasoners belong to what is
sometimes called the Semi-pelagian school. These concur with the
former in the necessity of assistance from the Spirit to the
endeavours of man towards subduing his evil tendencies, and renewing
his heart in the fear and love of God, but conceive that every sinner
is capable of seeking this assistance, which will not be refused him,
and consequently of beginning the work of conversion by his own will.
They therefore either deny the necessity of preventing grace, except
such as is exterior, or, which comes effectively to the same thing,
assert that it is accorded in a sufficient measure to every one within
the Christian church, whether at the time of baptism, or by some other
means. They think the opposite opinion, whether founded on the
hypothesis of an eternal decree or not, irreconcilable with the moral
attributes of the Deity, and inconsistent with the general tenor of
Scripture. The Semi-pelagian doctrine is commonly admitted to have
been held by the Greek fathers; but the authority of Augustin, and the
decisions of the Western church caused it to assume the character of a
heresy. Some of the Scotists among the schoolmen appear to have made
an approach to it, by their tenet of grace ex congruo. They thought
that the human virtues and moral dispositions of unregenerate men were
the predisposing circumstances which, by a sort of fitness, made them
the objects of the divine goodness in according the benefits of his
grace. Thus their own free will, from which it was admitted that such
qualities and actions might proceed, would be the real, though
mediate, cause of their conversion. But this was rejected by the
greater part, who asserted the absolute irrespective freedom of grace,
and appealed to experience for its frequent efficacy over those who
had no inherent virtues to merit it.

|Tenets of the reformers.|

32. The early reformers, and none more than Luther, maintained the
absolute passiveness of the human will, so that no good actions, even
after conversion, could be ascribed in any proper sense to man, but
altogether to the operation of the Spirit. Not only, however,
Melanchthon espoused the Synergistic doctrine, but the Lutheran
church, not in any symbolic book, but in the general tenets of its
members, has been thought to have gone a good way towards
Semi-pelagianism, or what passed for such with the more rigid
party.[83] In the reformed church, on the contrary, the
Supra-lapsarian tenets of Calvin, or the immutable decrees of election
and reprobation from all eternity, were obviously incompatible
with any hypothesis that made the salvation of a sinner depend upon
himself. But towards the close of the sixteenth century, these severer
notions (which it may be observed by the way, had always been entirely
rejected by the Anabaptists, and by some of greater name, such as
Sebastian Castalio) began to be impugned by a few learned men. This
led in England to what are called the Lambeth articles, drawn up by
Whitgift, six of which assert the Calvinistic doctrine of
predestination, and three deny that of the Semi-pelagians. But these,
being not quite approved by the queen, or by Lord Burleigh, were never
received by authority in our church. There can nevertheless be no
reasonable or even sincere doubt that Calvinism, in the popular sense,
was at this time prevalent; even Hooker adopted the Lambeth articles
with verbal modifications that do not affect their sense.

     [83] Le Clerc says that the doctrine of Melanchthon, which
     Bossuet stigmatises as Semi-pelagian, is that of the council of
     Trent. Bibl. Choisie, v. 341. I should put a different
     construction upon the Tridentine canons; but of course my
     practice in these nice questions is not great.

|Rise of Arminianism.|


33. The few who, in England or in the reformed churches upon the
Continent, embraced these novel and heterodox opinions, as they were
then accounted, within the sixteenth century, excited little attention
in comparison with James Arminius, who became professor of theology at
Leyden in 1604. The controversy ripened in a few years; it was
intimately connected, not, of course, in its own nature, but by some
of those collateral influences which have so often determined the
opinions of mankind, with the political relations between the Dutch
clergy and the States of Holland, as it was afterwards with the still
less theological differences of that government with its Stadtholder;
it appealed, on one side to reason, on the other to authority and to
force; an unequal conflict, till posterity restore the balance.
Arminius died in 1609; he has left works on the main topics of debate;
but in theological literature, the great chief of the Arminian or
Remonstrant church is Simon Episcopius. The principles of Episcopius
are more widely removed from those of the Augustinian school than the
five articles, so well known as the leading tenets of Arminius, and
condemned at the synod of Dort. Of this famous assembly it is
difficult to speak in a few words. The copious history of Brandt is
perhaps the best authority; though we must own that the opposite party
have a right to be heard. We are here, however, on merely literary
ground, and the proceedings of ecclesiastical synods are not strictly
within any province of literary history.

|His writings.|

34. The works of Episcopius were collectively published in 1650, seven
years after his death. They form two volumes in folio, and have been
more than once reprinted. The most remarkable are the Confessio
Remonstrantium, drawn up about 1624, the Apology for it against a
censure of the opposite party, and what seems to have been a later
work, and more celebrated, his Institutiones Theologicæ. These contain
a new scheme of religion, compared with that of the established
churches of Europe, and may justly be deemed the representative of the
liberal or latitudinarian theology. For though the writings of
Erasmus, Cassander, Castalio, and Acontius had tended to the same
purpose, they were either too much weakened by the restraints of
prudence, or too obscure and transitory, to draw much attention, or to
carry any weight against the rigid and exclusive tenets which were
sustained by power.

|Their spirit and tendency.|

35. The earlier treatises of Episcopius seem to speak on several
subjects less unequivocally than the Theological Institutions; a
reserve not perhaps to be censured, and which all parties have thought
themselves warranted to employ, so long as either the hope of
agreement with a powerful adversary, or of mitigating his severity,
should remain. Hence the Confession of the Remonstrants explicitly
states that they decline the Semi-pelagian controversy, contenting
themselves with asserting that sufficient grace is bestowed on all who
are called by the gospel, to comply with that divine call and obey its
precepts.[84] They used a form of words, which might seem equivalent
to the tenet of original sin, and they did not avoid or refuse that
term. But Episcopius afterwards denies it, at least in the extended
sense of most theologians, almost as explicitly as Jeremy Taylor.[85]
It was common in the seventeenth century to charge the Arminians, and
especially Episcopius, with Socinianism. Bossuet, who seems to have
quarrelled with all parties, and is neither Molinist nor Jansenist,
Calvinist nor Arminian, never doubting that there is a firm footing
between them, having attacked Episcopius and Grotius particularly for
Semi-pelagianism and Socinianism, Le Clerc entered on their defence.
But probably he would have passed with Bossuet, and hardly cared if he
did pass, for a heretic, at least of the former denomination

     [84] Episcop. Opera, vol. i., p. 64. De eo nemini litem movent
     Remonstrantes. I am not sure that my translation is right; but I
     think it is what they meant. By prevenient grace they seemed to
     have meant only the exterior grace of the gospel’s promulgation,
     which is equivalent to the Semi-pelagian scheme, p. 189. Grotius
     latterly came into this opinion, though he had disclaimed
     everything of the kind in his first dealings with theology. I
     have found the same doctrine in Calixtus; but I have preserved no
     reference as to either.

     [85] Instit. Theolog., lib. iv., sect. v., c. 2. Corruptionis
     istius universalis nulla sunt indicia nec signa; imo non pauca
     sunt signa ex quibus colligitur naturam totam humanam sic
     corruptam non esse. The whole chapter, Ubi de peccato, quod
     vocant, originis agitur, et præcipua S. S. loca quibus inniti
     creditur, examinantur, appears to deny the doctrine entirely; but
     there may be some shades of distinction which have escaped me.
     Limborch (Theolog. Christiana lib. iii., c. 4.) allows it in a
     qualified sense.

     [86] Bibl. Choisie, vol. v.

|Great latitude allowed by them.|

36. But the most distinguishing peculiarity in the writings of
Episcopius was his reduction of the fundamental doctrines of
Christianity far below the multitudinous articles of the churches;
confining them to propositions which no Christian can avoid
acknowledging without manifest blame; such, namely, wherein the
subject, the predicate, and the connexion of the two are declared in
Scripture by express or equivalent words.[87] He laid little stress on
the authority of the church; notwithstanding the advantage he might
have gained by the Anti-Calvinistic tenets of the fathers, admitting
indeed the validity of the celebrated rule of Vincentius Lirinensis,
in respect of tradition, which the upholders of primitive authority
have always had in their mouths, but adding that it is utterly
impossible to find any instance wherein it can be usefully

     [87] Necessaria quæ scripturis continentur talia esse omnia, ut
     sine manifesta hominis culpa ignorari, negari aut in dubium
     vocari nequeant; quia videlicet tum subjectum, tum prædicatum,
     tum subjecti cum prædicato connexio necessaria in ipsis
     scripturis est, aut expressè, aut æquipollenter. Inst. Theol.
     l. iv., c. 6.

     [88] Instit. Theolog. l. iv., sect. i., c. 15. Dupin says of
     Episcopius: Il n’a employé dans ses ouvrages que des passages de
     l’écriture sainte qu’il possédoit parfaitement. Il avoit aussi lu
     les Rabbins, mais on ne voit pas qu’il eût étudié les pères ni
     l’antiquité ecclésiastique. Il écrit nettement et méthodiquement,
     pose des principes, ne dissimule rien des objections qu’on peut
     faire contre, et y repond du mieux qu’il peut. On voit en lui une
     tolérance parfaite pour les Sociniens quoiqu’il se déclare contre
     eux; pour le parti d’Arminius, jamais il n’a eu de plus zélé et
     de plus habile défenseur, Bibliothèque des Auteurs séparés de
     l’Eglise Romaine, ii. 495.

     The life of Episcopius has been written by Limborch. Justice has
     been done to this eminent person and to the Arminian party which
     he led, in two recent English works, Nicholls’ Calvinism and
     Arminianism displayed, and Calder’s Life of Episcopius (1835).
     The latter is less verbose and more temperate than the former,
     and may be recommended, as a fair and useful production, to the
     general reader. Two theological parties in this country, though
     opposite in most things, are inveterately prejudiced against the
     Leyden school.

|Progress of Arminianism.|


37. The Arminian doctrine spread, as is well known, in despite of
obloquy and persecution, over much of the protestant region of Europe.
The Lutheran churches were already come into it; and in England there
was a predisposing bias in the rulers of the church towards the
authority of the primitive fathers, all of whom, before the age of
Augustin, and especially the Greek, are acknowledged to have been on
that side, which promoted the growth of this Batavian theology.[89]
Even in France, it was not without considerable influence. Cameron, a
divine of Saumur, one of the chief protestant seminaries, devised a
scheme of syncretism, which, notwithstanding much opposition, gained
ground in those churches. It was supported by some highly
distinguished for learning, Amyraut, Daillé, and Blondel. Of this
scheme it is remarkable, that while in its literal purport it can only
seem a modification of the Augustinian hypothesis, with an awkward and
feeble admixture of the other, yet its tendency was to efface the
former by degrees, and to slide into the Arminian hypothesis, which
ultimately became almost general in the reformed church.

     [89] General Vossius, in his Historia Pelagiana, the first
     edition of which, in 1618, was considerably enlarged afterwards,
     admitted that the first four centuries did not countenance the
     predestinarian scheme of Augustin. This gave offence in Holland;
     his book was publicly censured, he was excommunicated and
     forbidden to teach in public or private. Vossius, like others,
     remembered that he had a large family, and made, after some
     years, a sort of retractation, which, of course, did not express
     his real opinion. Le Clerc seems to doubt whether he acted from
     this motive or from what he calls simplicity, an expression for
     weakness. Vossius was, like his contemporary Usher, a man of much
     more learning than strength of intellect. Bibliothèque
     Universelle, xvii. 312, 329. Niceron, vol. xiii.

|Rise of Jansenism.|

38. These perplexities were not confined to protestant theology. The
church of Rome, strenuous to maintain the tenets of Augustin, and
yet to condemn those who did the same, has been charged with
exerting the plenitude of her infallibility to enforce the belief of
an incoherent syncretism. She had condemned Baius, as giving too much
efficacy to grace; she was on the point of condemning Molina for
giving too little. Both Clement VIII. and Paul V. leaned to the
Dominicans against the Jesuits in this controversy; but the great
services and influence of the latter order prevented a decision which
would have humbled them before so many adversaries. It may,
nevertheless be said that the Semi-pelagian, or Arminian doctrine,
though consonant to that of the Jesuits, was generally ill received in
the church of Rome, till the opposite hypothesis, that of Augustin and
Calvin, having been asserted by one man in more unlimited propositions
than had been usual, a reaction took place, that eventually both gave
an apparent triumph to the Molinist party, and endangered the church
itself by the schism to which the controversy gave rise. The
Augustinus of Jansenius, bishop of Ypres, was published in 1640, and
in the very next year was censured at Rome. But, as the great
controversy that sprung out of the condemnation of this book belongs
more strictly to the next period, we shall defer it for the present.

|Socinus. Volkelius.|

39. The Socinian academy at Racow which drew to itself several
proselytes from other countries, acquired considerable importance in
theological literature after the beginning of the century. It was not
likely that a sect, regarded with peculiar animosity, would escape in
the general disposition of the catholic party in Poland to oppress the
dissidents whom they had long feared; the Racovian institution was
broken up and dispersed in 1638, though some of its members continued
to linger in Poland for twenty years longer. The Bibliotheca Fratrum
Polonorum, published at Amsterdam (in the title-page, Irenopolis), in
1658, contains chiefly the works of Socinian theologians who belong to
this first part of the century. The Prælectiones Theologicæ of Faustus
Socinus himself, being published in 1609, after his death, fall within
this class. They contain a systematic theology according to his
scheme, and are praised by Eichhorn for the acuteness and depth they
often display.[90] In these, among his other deviations from the
general orthodoxy of Christendom, Socinus astonished mankind by
denying the evidences of natural religion, resolving our knowledge
even of a deity into revelation. This paradox is more worthy of those
who have since adopted it, than of so acute a reasoner as Socinus.[91]
It is, in fact, not very congenial to the spirit of his theology,
which, rejecting all it thinks incompatible with reason as to the
divine attributes, should at least have some established notions of
them upon rational principles. The later Socinians, even those nearest
to the time, did not follow their master in this part of his
tenets.[92] The treatise of Volkelius, son-in-law of Socinus, De vera
Religione, is chiefly taken from the latter. It was printed at Racow
in 1633, and again in Holland in 1641; but most of the latter
impression having been burned by order of the magistrates, it is a
very scarce book, and copies were formerly sold at great prices. But
the hangman’s bonfire has lost its charm, and forbidden books, when
they happen to occur, are no longer in much request. The first book
out of five in this volume of Volkelius, on the attributes of God, is
by Crellius.

     [90] Eichhorn, vi. part 1, p. 283. Simon, however, observes that
     Socinus knew little Greek or Hebrew, as he owns himself, though
     he pretends to decide questions which require a knowledge of
     these languages. I quote from Bibliothèque Universelle, vol.
     xxiii., p. 498.

     [91] Tillotson, in one of his sermons (I cannot give the
     reference, writing from memory), dissents, as might be expected,
     from this denial of natural religion, but with such encomiums on
     Socinus as some archbishops would have avoided.

     [92] Socinum sectæ ejus principes nuper Volkelius, nunc Ruarus
     non probant, in eo quod circa Dei cognitionem petita e natura
     rerum argumenta abdicaverit. Grot. Epist. 964. See too Ruari
     Epist., p. 210.

|Crellius. Ruarus.|

40. Crellius was, perhaps, the most eminent of the Racovian school in
this century.[93] Many of its members, like himself, were Germans,
their sect having gained ground in some of the Lutheran states about
this time, as it did also in the United Provinces. Grotius broke a
lance with him in his treatise De Satisfactione Christi, to which he
replied in another with the same title. Each retired from the field
with the courtesies of chivalry towards his antagonist. The Dutch
Arminians in general, though very erroneously, supposed to concur in
all the leading tenets of the Racovian theologians, treated them with
much respect.[94] Grotius was often reproached with the
intimacies he kept up among these obnoxious sectaries; and many of his
letters, as well as those of Curcellæus and other leading Arminians,
bear witness to the personal regard they felt for them.[95] Several
proofs of this will be also found in the epistles of Ruarus, a book
which throws much light on the theological opinions of the age. Ruarus
was a man of acuteness, learning, and piety, not wholly concurring
with the Racovians, but not far removed from them.[96] The
commentaries of Grotius on the Scriptures have been also charged with
Socinianism; but he pleaded that his interpretations were those of the

     [93] Dupin praises Volkelius highly, but says of Crellius: il
     avoit beaucoup étudié, mais il n’étoit pas un esprit fort élevé.
     Bibl. des Auteurs separés, ii. 614 v. 628. Simon, on the
     contrary, (ubi suprà) praises Crellius highly, and says no other
     commentator of his party is comparable to him.

     [94] The Remonstrants refused to anathematize the Socinians,
     Episcopius says, on account of the apparent arguments in their
     favour, and the differences that have always existed on that
     head. Apologia Confessionis. Episc. Op. vol. i. His own tenets,
     were probably what some would call Arian; thus he says, personis
     his tribus divinitatem tribui, non collateraliter aut
     co-ordinatè, sed subordinatè. Inst. Theol. 1. iv., c. 2, 32.
     Grotius says, he finds the Catholics more _tractable_ about the
     Trinity than the Calvinists.

     [95] Grotius never shrunk from defending his intimacy with Ruarus
     and Crellius, and after praising the former, concludes, in one of
     his letters, with this liberal and honest sentiment. Ego vero
     ejus sum animi, ejusque instituti, ut mihi cum hominibus cunctis,
     præcipue cum Christianis quantumvis errantibus necessitudinis
     aliquid putem intercedere, idque me neque dictis neque factis
     pigeat demonstrare. Epist. 860. Hæretici nisi aliquid haberent
     veri ac nobiscum commune, jam hæretici non essent. 2da Series, p.
     873. Nihil veri eo factum est deterius, quod in id Socinus
     incidit. p. 880. This, he thought, was the case in some
     questions, where Socinus, without designing it, had agreed with
     antiquity. Neque me pudeat consentire Socino, si quando is in
     veram veteremque sententiam incidit, ut sanè fecit in
     controversia de justitia per fidem, et aliis nonnullis. Id. p.
     797. Socinus hoc non agens in atiquæ ecclesiæ sensus nonnunquam
     incidit, et eas partes, ut ingenio valebat, percoluit feliciter.
     Admiscuit alia quæ etiam vera dicenti auctoritatem detraxere.
     Epist. 966. Even during his controversy with Crellius he wrote to
     him in a very handsome manner. Bene autem in epistola tua, quæ
     mihi longè gratissimi advenit, de me judicas, non esse me eorum
     in numero, qui ob sententias salva pietate dissentientes, alieno
     a quoquam sim animo, aut boni alicujus amicitiam repudiare. Etiam
     in libro de vera religione, [Volkelii] quem jam percurri,
     relecturus et posthac, multa invenio summo cum judicio observata;
     illud vero sæculo gratulor, repertos homines, qui neutiquam in
     controversiis subtilibus tantum ponunt, quantum in vera vitæ
     emendatione, et quotidiano ad sanctitatem profectu. Epist. 280
     (1631). He wrote with kindness and regret on the breaking up of
     the establishment at Racow in 1638. Ep. 1006: Grotius has been as
     obnoxious on the score of Socinianism as of Popery. His
     Commentaries on the Scriptures are taxed with it, and in fact he
     is not in good odour with any but the Arminian divines, nor do
     they, we see, wholly agree with him.

     [96] Ruarus nearly agreed with Grotius as to the atonement; at
     least the latter thought so. De satisfactione ita mihi respondit,
     ut nihil admodum controversiæ relinqueretur. Grot. Epist. 2da
     series, p. 881. See also Ruari Epistolæ, p. 148, 282. He paid
     also more respect to the second century than some of his
     brethren, p. 100, 439, and even struggles to agree with the
     Ante-Nicene fathers, though he cannot come up to them, p. 275,
     296. But in answer to some of his correspondents who magnified
     primitive authority, he well replies: Deinde quæro quis illos
     fixit veritati terminos? quis duo illa prima sæcula ab omni
     errore absolvit? Annon ecclesiastica historia satis testatur,
     nonnullas opiniones portentosas jam tum inter eos qui nomen
     Christi dederant, invaluisse? Quin ut verum fatear, res ipsa
     docet nonnullos posterioris sevi acutius in enodandis Scripturis
     versatos; et ut de nostra ætate dicam, valde me pœniteret Calvini
     vestri ac Bezæ si nihilo solidius sacras literas
     interpretarentur, quam video illos ipsos, quos tu mihi obducis,
     fecisse, p. 183. He lamented the fatal swerving from
     protestantism into which reverence for antiquity was leading his
     friend Grotius: fortassis et antiquitatis veneratio, quæ gravibus
     quibusdam Pontificiorum erroribus præluxit, ultra lineam eum
     perduxit, p. 277 (1642); and in answer to Mersenne, who seems to
     have had some hopes of his conversion, and recommended to him the
     controversy of Grotius with Rivet, he plainly replies that the
     former had extenuated some things in the church of Rome which
     ought to be altered, p. 258. This he frequently laments in the
     course of his letters, but treats him with gentleness in
     comparison with some of the sterner Socinians. It is remarkable
     that even he and Crellius seem to have excluded the members of
     the church of Rome, except the “vulgus ineruditum et Cassandri
     gregales,” from salvation; and this while almost all churches
     were anathematizing themselves in the same way. Ruar. Epist., p.
     9 and p. 167.

     This book contains two centuries of epistles, the second of which
     is said to be very scarce, and I doubt whether many have read the
     first, which must excuse my quotations. The learning, sense, and
     integrity of Ruarus, as well as the high respect which Calixtus,
     Curcellæus, and other great men felt for him, render the book of
     some interest. He tells us that while he was in England, about
     1617, a professorship at Cambridge was offered to him, worth
     100_l_. per annum, besides as much more from private pupils, p.
     71. But he probably mistook the civil speeches of individuals for
     an offer: he was not eminent enough for such a proposal on the
     part of the university; and at least he must have been silent
     about his Socinianism. The morality of the early Socinians was
     very strict and even ascetic, proofs of which appear in these
     letters, p. 306 et alibi.


41. Two questions of great importance which had been raised in the
preceding century, became still more interesting in the present, on
account of the more frequent occasion that the force of circumstances
gave for their investigation, and the greater names that were engaged
in it. Both of these arose out of the national establishment of
churches, and their consequent relation to the commonwealth. One
regarded the power of the magistrate over the church he recognized;
the other involved the right of his subjects to dissent from it by
non-conformity, or by a different mode of worship.

|Maintained by Hooker.|

|And Grotius.|

42. Erastus, by proposing to substitute for the ancient discipline of
ecclesiastical censures, and especially for excommunication, a
perpetual superintendence of the civil power over the faith and
practice of the church, had given name to a scheme generally
denominated Erastianism, though in some respects far broader than
anything he seems to have suggested. It was more elaborately
maintained by Hooker in his Ecclesiastical Polity, and had been, in
fact, that on which the English reformation under Henry was originally
founded. But as it was manifestly opposed to the ultra-montane
pretensions of the See of Rome, and even to the more moderate theories
of the catholic church, being, of course, destructive of her
independence, so did it stand in equal contradiction to the
Presbyterian scheme of Scotland and of the United Provinces. In the
latter country, the states of Holland had been favourable to the
Arminians, so far at least as to repress any violence against them;
the clergy were exasperated and intolerant; and this raised the
question of civil supremacy, in which Grotius, by one of his early
works entitled Pietas Ordinum Hollandiæ, published in 1613, sustained
the right of the magistrate to inhibit dangerous controversies.

|His Treatise on ecclesiastical power of the state.|

43. He returned, after the lapse of some years, to the same theme in a
larger and more comprehensive work, De Imperio Summarum Potestatum
circa Sacra. It is written upon the Anglican principles of regal
supremacy, which had, however, become far less popular with the rulers
of our church, than in the days of Cranmer, Whitgift, and Hooker.
After stating the question, and proving the ecclesiastical power of
the magistrate by natural law, Scripture, established usage, agreement
of Heathen and Christian writers, and the reason of the thing, he
distinguishes control over sacred offices from their exercise, and
proceeds to inquire whether the magistrate may take the latter on
himself; which, though practised in the early ages of the world, he
finds inconvenient at present, the manners required for the regal and
sacerdotal character being wholly different.[97]

     [97] Cap. 4.

44. Actions may be prescribed or forbidden by natural divine law,
positive divine law, or human law; the latter extending to nothing but
what is left indefinite by the other two. But though we are bound not
to act in obedience to human laws which contradict the divine, we are
also bound not forcibly to resist them. We may defend ourselves by
force against an equal, not against a superior, as he proves first
from the Digest, and secondly from the New Testament.[98] Thus the
rule of passive obedience is unequivocally laid down. He meets the
recent examples of resistance to sovereigns, by saying that they
cannot be approved where the kings have had an absolute power; but
where they are bound by compact or the authority of a senate or of
estates, since their power is not unlimited, they may be resisted on
just grounds by that authority.[99] “Which I remark,” he proceeds to
say, “lest any one, as I sometimes have known, should disgrace a good
cause by a mistaken defence.”

     [98] Cap. 3.

     [99] Sin alicubi reges tales fuere, qui pactis sive positivis
     legibus et senatus alicujus aut ordinum decretis adstringerentur,
     in hos, ut summum imperium non obtinent, arma ex optimatum
     tanquam superiorum sententia sumi justis de causis potuerunt.

45. The magistrate can alter nothing which is definitely laid down by
the positive law of God; but he may regulate the circumstantial
observance even of such; and as to things undefined in Scripture he
has plenary jurisdiction; such as the temporalities of the church, the
convocation of synods, the election of pastors. The burthen of proof
lies on those who would limit the civil power by affirming anything to
be prescribed by the divine law.[100] The authority attributed in
Scripture to churches does not interfere with the power of the
magistrate, being persuasive and not coercive. The whole church has no
coercive power by divine right.[101] But since the visible church is a
society of divine institution, it follows that whatever is naturally
competent to a lawful society, is competent also to the
church, unless it can be proved to be withdrawn from it.[102] It has,
therefore, a legislative government (regimen constitutivum), of which
he gives the institution of the Lord’s day as an example. But this
does not impair the sovereign’s authority in ecclesiastical matters.
In treating of that supremacy, he does not clearly show what
jurisdiction he attributes to the magistrate; most of his instances
relating to the temporalities of the church, as to which no question
is likely to arise.[103] But, on the whole, he means undoubtedly to
carry the supremacy as far as is done in England.

     [100] Ibid.

     [101] Cap. 4.

     [102] Quandoquidem ecclesia cœtus est divina lege non permissus
     tantum sed et institutus, de aspectabili cœtu loquor, sequitur ea
     omnia quæ cœtibus legitimis naturaliter competunt, etiam ecclesiæ
     competere, quatenus adempta non probantur. Ibid.

     [103] Cap. 5.

46. In a chapter on the due exercise of the civil supremacy over the
church, he shows more of a protestant feeling than would have been
found in him when he approached the latter years of his life;[104] and
declares fully against submission to any visible authority in matters
of faith, so that sovereigns are not bound to follow the ministers of
the church in what they may affirm as doctrine. Ecclesiastical synods
he deems often useful, but thinks the magistrate is not bound to act
with their consent, and that they are sometimes pernicious.[105] The
magistrate may determine who shall compose such synods;[106] a strong
position which he endeavours to prove at great length. Even if the
members are elected by the church, the magistrate may reject those
whom he reckons unfit; he may preside in the assembly, confirm,
reject, annul its decisions. He may also legislate about the whole
organisation of the established church.[107] It is for him to
determine what form of religion shall be publicly exercised; an
essential right of sovereignty as political writers have laid it down.
And this is confirmed by experience; “for if any one shall ask why the
Romish religion flourished in England under Mary, the protestant under
Elizabeth, no cause can be assigned but the pleasure of these queens,
or, as some might say, of the queens and parliaments.” In this manner
Grotius disposes of a great question of casuistry by what has been
done; as if murder and adultery might not be established by the same
logic. Natural law would be resolved into history, were we always to
argue in a similar way. But this, as will appear more fully hereafter,
is not the usual reasoning of Grotius. To the objection from the
danger of abuse in conceding so much power to the sovereign, he
replies that no other theory will secure us better. On every
supposition the power must be lodged in men, who are all liable to
error. We must console ourselves by a trust in divine providence

     [104] Cap. 6. He states the question to be this: An post
     apostolorum ætatem aut persona aut cœtus sit aliquis
     aspectabilis, de quâ quove certi esse possimus ac debeamus,
     quæcunque ab ipsis proponantur, esse indubitatæ veritatis. Negant
     hoc Evangelici; aiunt Romanenses.

     [105] Cap. 7.

     [106] Designare eos, qui ad synodum sunt venturi.

     [107] Cap. 8. Nulla in re magis elucescit vis summi imperii, quam
     quod in ejus arbitrio est quænam religio publicè exerceatur,
     idque præcipuum inter majestatis jura ponunt omnes qui politicè
     scripserunt. Docet idem experientia; si enim quæras cur in Anglia
     Maria regnante Romana religio, Elizabetha vero imperante,
     Evangelica viguerit, causa proxima reddi non poterit, nisi ex
     arbitrio reginarum, aut, ut quibusdam videtur, reginarum ac
     parlamenti, p. 242.

     [108] Cap. 8.

47. The sovereign may abolish false religions and punish their
professors, which no one else can. Here again we find precedents
instead of arguments; but he says that the primitive church
disapproved of capital punishments for heresy, which seems to be his
main reason for doing the same. The sovereign may also enjoin silence
in controversies, and inspect the conduct of the clergy without
limiting himself by the canons, though he will do well to regard them.
Legislation and jurisdiction, that is, of a coercive nature, do not
belong to the church, except as they may be conceded to it by the
civil power.[109] He fully explains the various kinds of
ecclesiastical law that have been gradually introduced. Even the power
of the keys, which is by divine right, cannot be so exercised as to
exclude the appellant jurisdiction of the sovereign; as he proves by
the Roman law, and by the usage of the parliament of Paris.[110]

     [109] Ibid.

     [110] Cap. 9.

48. The sovereign has a control (inspectionem cum imperio) over the
ordination of priests, and certainly possesses a right of
confirmation, that is, the assignment of an ordained minister to a
given cure.[111] And though the election of pastors belongs to the
church, this may, for good reasons, be taken into the hands of the
sovereign. Instances in point are easily found, and the
chapter upon the subject contains an interesting historical summary of
this part of ecclesiastical law. In every case, the sovereign has a
right of annulling an election, and also of removing a pastor from the
local exercise of his ministry.[112]

     [111] Cap. 10. Confirmationem hanc summæ potestati acceptam
     ferendam nemo sanus negaverit.

     [112] Cap. 10.

|Remark upon this theory.|

49. This is the full development of an Erastian theory, which Cranmer
had early espoused, and which Hooker had maintained in a less
extensive manner. Bossuet has animadverted upon it, nor can it appear
tolerable to a zealous churchman.[113] It was well received in England
by the lawyers, who had always been jealous of the spiritual
tribunals, especially of late years, when, under the patronage of
Laud, they had taken a higher tone than seemed compatible with the
supremacy of the common law. The scheme, nevertheless, is open to some
objections when propounded in so unlimited a manner, none of which is
more striking than that it tends to convert differences of religious
opinion into crimes against the state, and furnishes bigotry with new
arguments as well as new arms, in its conflict with the free exercise
of human reason. Grotius, however, feared rather that he had given too
little power to the civil magistrate than too much.[114]

     [113] See Le Clerc’s remarks on what Bossuet has said.
     Bibliothèque Choisie, v. 349.

     [114] Ego multo magis vereor, ne minus quam par est
     magistratibus, aut plusquam par est pastoribus tribuerim, quam ne
     in alteram partem iterum (?) excesserim, nec sic quidem illis
     satisfiet qui se ecclesiam vocant. Epist. 42. This was in 1614,
     after the publication of the Pietas Ordinum Hollandiæ. As he drew
     nearer to the church of Rome, or that of Canterbury, he must
     probably have somewhat modified his Erastianism. And yet he seems
     never to have been friendly to the temporal power of bishops. He
     writes in August, 1641, Episcopis Angliæ videtur mansurum nomen
     prope sine re, accisa et opulentia et auctoritate. Mihi non
     displicet ecclesiæ pastores et ab inani pompa et a curis
     sæcularium rerum sublevari, p. 1011. He had a regard for Laud, as
     the restorer of a reverence for primitive antiquity, and
     frequently laments his fate; but had said, in 1640, Doleo quod
     episcopi nimium intendendo potentiæ suæ nervos odium sibi potius
     quam amorem populorum pariunt. Ep. 1390.

|Toleration of religious tenets.|

50. Persecution for religious heterodoxy, in all its degrees, was in
the sixteenth century the principle, as well as the practice of every
church. It was held inconsistent with the sovereignty of the
magistrate to permit any religion but his own; inconsistent with his
duty to suffer any but the true. The edict of Nantes was a compromise
between belligerent parties; the toleration of the dissidents in
Poland was nearly of the same kind; but no state, powerful enough to
restrain its sectaries from the exercise of their separate worship,
had any scruples about the right and obligation to do so. Even the
writers of that century, who seemed most strenuous for toleration,
Castalio, Celso, and Koornhert, had confined themselves to denying the
justice of penal and especially of capital inflictions for heresy; the
liberty of public worship had but incidentally, if at all, been
discussed. Acontius had developed larger principles, distinguishing
the fundamental from the accessory doctrines of the gospel; which, by
weakening the associations of bigotry, prepared the way for a catholic
tolerance. Episcopius speaks in the strongest terms of the treatise of
Acontius, de Stratagematibus Satanæ, and says that the Remonstrants
trod closely in his steps, as would appear by comparing their
writings; so that he shall quote no passages in proof, their entire
books bearing witness to the conformity.[115]

     [115] Episcop. Opera, i. 301 (edit. 1665.)

|Claimed by the Arminians.|

51. The Arminian dispute led by necessary consequence to the question
of public toleration. They sought at first a free admission to the
pulpits, and in an excellent speech of Grotius, addressed to the
magistrates of Amsterdam in 1616, he objects to a separate toleration
as rending the bosom of the church. But it was soon evident that
nothing more could be obtained; and their adversaries refused this.
They were driven therefore to contend for religious liberty, and the
writings of Episcopius are full of this plea. Against capital
punishment for heresy he raises his voice with indignant severity, and
asserts that the whole Christian world abhorred the fatal precedent of
Calvin in the death of Servetus.[116] This indicates a remarkable
change already wrought in the sentiments of mankind. Certain it is
that no capital punishments for heresy were inflicted in protestant
countries after this time; nor were they as frequently or as
boldly vindicated as before.[117]

     [116] Calvinus signum primus extulit supra alios omnes, et
     exemplum dedit in theatro Gebennesi funestissimum, quodque
     Christianus orbis merito execratur et abominatur; nec hoc
     contentus tam atroci ficinore, cruento simul animo et calamo
     parentavit. Apologia pro Confess. Remonstrantium, c. 24, p. 241.
     The whole passage is very remarkable, as an indignant reproof of
     a party, who, while living under popish governments, cry out for
     liberty of conscience, and deny the right of punishing opinions;
     yet, in all their writings and actions when they have the power,
     display the very opposite principles.

     [117] De hæreticorum pœnis quæ scripsi, in iis mecum sentit
     Gallia et Germania, ut puto, omnis. Grot. Epist., p. 941 (1642.)
     Some years sooner there had been remains of the leaven in France.
     Adversus hæreticidia, he says, in 1626, satis ut arbitror plane
     locutus sum, certè ita ut hic multos ob id offenderim, p. 789.
     Our own Fuller, I am sorry to say, in his Church History, written
     about 1650, speaks with some disapprobation of the sympathy of
     the people with Legat and Wightman, burned by James I., in 1614;
     and this is the more remarkable, as he is a well-natured and not
     generally bigoted writer. I should think he was the latest
     protestant who has tarnished his name by such sentiments. James,
     who in some countries would have had certain reasons for dreading
     the fire himself, designed to have burned a third heretic, if the
     humanity of the multitude had not been greater than his own.

|By the independents.|

|And by Jeremy Taylor.|

52. The Independents claim to themselves the honour of having been the
first to maintain the principles of general toleration, both as to
freedom of worship, and immunity from penalties for opinion. But that
the Arminians were not as early promulgators of the same noble tenets,
seems not to have been proved. Crellius in his Vindiciæ pro Religionis
Libertate, 1636, contended for the Polish dissidents, and especially
for his own sect.[118] The principle is implied, if not expressed, in
the writings of Chillingworth, and still more of Hales; but the first
famous plea, in this country, for tolerance in religion, on a
comprehensive basis and on deep-seated foundations, was the liberty of
Prophesying by Jeremy Taylor. This celebrated work was written
according to Taylor’s dedication, during his retirement in Wales,
wither he was driven, as he expresses it, “by this great storm which
hath dashed the vessel of the church all in pieces,” and published in
1647. He speaks of himself as without access to books; it is evident,
however, from the abundance of his quotations, that he was not much in
want of them: and from this, as well as other strong indications, we
may reasonably believe, that a considerable part of this treatise had
been committed to paper long before.

     [118] This short tract, which will be found among the collected
     works of Crellius, in the Bibliotheca Fratrum Polonorum, contains
     a just and temperate pleading for religious liberty, but little
     which can appear very striking in modern times. It is said,
     nevertheless, to have been translated and republished by
     D’Holbach about 1760. This I have not seen, but there must, I
     presume, have been a good deal of _condiment_ added to make it
     stimulating enough for that school.

|His Liberty of Prophesying.|

53. The argument of this important book rests on one leading maxim,
derived from the Arminian divines, as it was in them from Erasmus and
Acontius, that the fundamental truths of Christianity are comprised in
narrow compass, not beyond the Apostles’ creed in its literal meaning;
that all the rest is matter of disputation, and too uncertain, for the
most part, to warrant our condemning those who differ from us, as if
their error must be criminal. This one proposition, much expanded,
according to Taylor’s diffuse style, and displayed in a variety of
language, pervades the whole treatise; a small part of which, in
comparison with the rest, bears immediately on the point of political
toleration, as a duty of civil governments and of churches invested
with power. In the greater portion, Taylor is rather arguing against
that dogmatism of judgment, which induces men, either singly or
collectively, to pronounce with confidence where only a varying
probability can be attained. This spirit is the religious, though not
entirely the political, motive of intolerance; and, by chasing this
from the heart, he inferred not that he should lay wide the door to
universal freedom, but dispose the magistrate to consider more
equitably the claims of every sect. “Whatsoever is against the
foundation of faith, or contrary to good life and the laws of
obedience, or destructive to human society and the public and just
interests of bodies politic, is out of the limits of my question, and
does not pretend to compliance or toleration; so that I allow no
indifferency, nor any countenance to those religions whose principles
destroy government, nor to those religions, if there be any such, that
teach ill life.”

|Boldness of his doctrines.|

54. No man, as Taylor here teaches, is under any obligation to believe
that in revelation, which is not so revealed, but that wise men and
good men have differed in their opinions about it. And the great
variety of opinions in churches, and even in the same church, “there
being none that is in prosperity,” as he, with rather a startling
boldness puts it, “but changes her doctrines every age, either by
bringing in new doctrines, or by contradicting her old,” shows that we
can have no term of union, but that wherein all agree, the creed of
the apostles.[119] And hence, though we may undoubtedly carry
on our own private inquiries as much farther as we see reason, none
who hold this fundamental faith are to be esteemed heretics, nor
liable to punishment. And here he proceeds to reprove all those
oblique acts which are not direct persecutions of men’s persons, the
destruction of books, the forbidding the publication of new ones, the
setting out fraudulent editions and similar acts of falsehood, by
which men endeavour to stifle or prevent religious inquiry. “It is a
strange industry and an importune diligence that was used by our
forefathers; of all those heresies which gave them battle and
employment, we have absolutely no record or monument, but what
themselves, who are adversaries, have transmitted to us; and we know
that adversaries, especially such who observed all opportunities to
discredit both the persons and doctrines of the enemy, are not always
the best records or witnesses of such transactions. We see it now in
this very age, in the present distemperatures, that parties are no
good registers of the actions of the adverse side; and, if we cannot
be confident of the truth of a story now, now I say that it is
possible for any man, and likely that the interested adversary will
discover the imposture, it is far more unlikely that after ages should
know any other truth, but such as serves the ends of the

     [119] “Since no churches believe themselves infallible, that only
     excepted which all other churches say is most of all deceived, it
     were strange if, in so many articles, which make up their several
     bodies of confessions, they had not mistaken, every one of them,
     in some thing or other.” This is Taylor’s fearless mode of
     grappling with his argument; and any other must give a church
     that claims infallibility the advantage.

     [120] Vol. vii, p. 424. Heber’s edition of Taylor.

|His notions of uncertainty in theological tenets.|

55. None were accounted heretics by the primitive church, who held by
the Apostles’ creed, till the council of Nice defined some things,
rightly indeed, as Taylor professes to believe, but perhaps with too
much alteration of the simplicity of ancient faith, so that “he had
need be a subtle man who understands the very words of the new
determinations.” And this was carried much farther by later councils,
and in the Athanasian creed, of which, though protesting his own
persuasion in its truth, he intimates not a little disapprobation. The
necessary articles of faith are laid down clearly in Scripture; but no
man can be secure, as to mysterious points, that he shall certainly
understand and believe them in their true sense. This he shows first
from the great discrepancy of reading in manuscripts, (an argument
which he over-states in a very uncritical and incautious manner);
next, from the different senses the words will bear, which there is no
certain mark to distinguish, the infinite variety of human
understandings, swayed, it may be, by interest, or determined by
accidental and extrinsical circumstances, and the fallibility of those
means, by which men hope to attain a clear knowledge of scriptural
truth. And after exposing, certainly with no extenuation, the
difficulties of interpretation, he concludes that since these ordinary
means of expounding Scripture are very dubious, “he that is the
wisest, and by consequence the likeliest to expound truest, in all
probability of reason, will be very far from confidence; and,
therefore, a wise man would not willingly be prescribed to by others;
and if he be also a just man, he will not impose upon others; for it
is best every man should be left in that liberty, from which no man
can justly take him, unless he could secure him from error; so here
there is a necessity to conserve the liberty of prophesying and
interpreting Scripture; a necessity derived from the consideration of
the difficulty of Scripture in questions controverted, and the
uncertainty of any internal medium of interpretation.”

|His low opinion of the fathers.|

56. Taylor would in much of this have found an echo in the advocates
of the church of Rome, and in some protestants of his own communion;
but he passed onward to assail their bulwarks. Tradition or the
testimony of the church, he holds insufficient and uncertain, for the
reasons urged more fully by Daillé; the authority of councils is
almost equally precarious, from their inconsistency, their liability
to factious passions, and the doubtful authenticity of some of their
acts; the pope’s claim to infallibility is combated on the usual
grounds; the judgment of the fathers is shown to be inconclusive by
their differences among themselves, and their frequent errors; and
professing a desire that “their great reputation should be preserved
as sacred as it ought,” he refers the reader to Daillé for other
things; and, “shall only consider that the writings of the fathers
have been so corrupted by the intermixture of heretics, so many false
books put forth in their names, so many of their writings lost which
would more clearly have explicated their sense, and, at last, an open
profession made and a trade of making the fathers speak not
what themselves thought, but what other men pleased, that it is a
great instance of God’s providence and care of his church, that we
have so much good preserved in the writings which we receive from the
fathers, and that all truth is not as clear gone as is the certainty
of their great authority and reputation.”[121]

     [121] It seems not quite easy to reconcile this with what Taylor
     has just before said of his desire to preserve the reputation of
     the fathers sacred. In no writer is it more necessary to observe
     the _animus_ with which he writes; for, giving way to his
     impetuosity, when he has said anything that would give offence,
     or which he thought incautious, it was not his custom, so far as
     we can judge, to expunge or soften it, but to insert something
     else of an opposite colour, without taking any pains to harmonize
     his context. He probably revised hardly at all what he had
     written before it went to the press. This makes it easy to quote
     passages, especially short ones, from Taylor, which do not
     exhibit his real way of thinking; if, indeed, his way of thinking
     itself did not vary with the wind that blew from different
     regions of controversy.

|Difficulty of finding out truth.|

57. The authority of the church cannot be any longer alleged when
neither that of popes and councils, nor of ancient fathers is
maintainable; since the diffusive church has no other means of
speaking, nor can we distinguish by any extrinsic test the greater or
better portion of it from the worse. And thus, after dismissing
respectfully the pretences of some to expound Scripture by the Spirit,
as impertinent to the question of dictating the faith of others, he
comes to the reason of each man, as the best judge for himself, of
religious controversies; reason, that may be exercised either in
choosing a guide, if it feel its own incompetency, or in examining the
grounds of belief. The latter has great advantages, and no man is
bound to know anything of that concerning which he is not able to
judge for himself. But reason may err, as he goes on to prove, without
being culpable; that which is plain to one understanding being obscure
to another, and among various sources of error which he enumerates as
incidental to mankind, that of education being “so great and
invincible a prejudice, that he who masters the inconvenience of it is
more to be commended than he can justly be blamed that complies with
it.” And thus not only single men but whole bodies take unhesitatingly
and unanimously opposite sides from those who have imbibed another
kind of instruction, and “it is strange that all the Dominicans should
be of one opinion in the matter of predestination and immaculate
conception, and all the Franciscans of the quite contrary, as if their
understandings were formed in a different mould and furnished with
various principles by their very rule.” These and the like prejudices
are not absolute excuses to every one, and are often accompanied with
culpable dispositions of mind; but the impossibility of judging others
renders it incumbent on us to be lenient towards all, and neither to
be peremptory in denying that those who differ from us have used the
best means in their power to discover the truth, nor to charge their
persons, whatever we may their opinions, with odious consequences
which they do not avow.

|Grounds of toleration.|

58. This diffuse and not very well arranged vindication of diversity
of judgment in religion, comprised in the first twelve sections of the
Liberty of Prophesying, is the proper basis of the second part, which
maintains the justice of toleration as a consequence from the former
principle. The general arguments, or prejudices, on which punishment
for religious tenets had been sustained, turned on their criminality
in the eyes of God, and the duty of the magistrate to sustain God’s
honour and to guard his own subjects from sin. Taylor, not denying
that certain and known idolatry, or any sort of practical impiety, may
be punished corporally, because it is matter of fact, asserts that no
matter of mere opinion, no errors that of themselves are not sins, are
to be persecuted or punished by death or corporal infliction. He
returns to his favourite position, that “we are not sure not to be
deceived;” mingling this, in that inconsequent allocation of his
proofs which frequently occurs in his writings, with other arguments
of a different nature. The governors of the church, indeed, may
condemn and restrain as far as their power extends, any false doctrine
which encourages evil life, or destroys the foundations of religion;
but if the church meddles farther with any matters of question, which
have not this tendency, so as to dictate what men are to believe, she
becomes tyrannical and uncharitable; the Apostles’ creed being
sufficient to conserve the peace of the church and the unity of her
doctrine. And, with respect to the civil magistrate, he concludes that
he is bound to suffer the profession of different opinions, which are
neither directly impious and immoral, nor disturb the public peace.

|Inconsistency of one chapter.|

59. The seventeenth chapter, in which Taylor professes to consider
which among the sects of Christendom are to be tolerated and
in what degree, is written in a tone not easily reconciled with that
of the rest. Though he begins by saying that diversity of opinions
does more concern public peace than religion, it certainly appears in
some passages, that on this pretext of peace, which with the
magistrate has generally been of more influence than that of
orthodoxy, he withdraws a great deal of that liberty of prophesying
which he has been so broadly asserting. Punishment for religious
tenets is doubtless not at all the same as restraint of separate
worship; yet we are not prepared for the shackles he seems inclined to
throw over the latter. Laws of ecclesiastical discipline, which, in
Taylor’s age, were understood to be binding on the whole community,
cannot, he holds, be infringed by those who take occasion to disagree,
without rendering authority contemptible; and if there are any as
zealous for obedience to the church, as others may be for their
opinions against it, the toleration of the latter’s disobedience may
give offence to the former: an argument strange enough in this
treatise! But Taylor is always more prone to accumulate reasons than
to sift their efficiency. It is indeed, he thinks, worthy to be
considered in framing a law of church discipline, whether it will be
disliked by any who are to obey it; but, after it is once enacted,
there seems no further indulgence practicable than what the governors
of the church may grant to particular persons by dispensation. The
laws of discipline are for the public good, and must not so far
tolerate a violation of themselves as to destroy the good that the
public ought to derive from them.[122]

     [122] This single chapter is of itself conclusive against the
     truth of Taylor’s own allegation that he wrote his Liberty of
     Prophesying in order to procure toleration for the episcopal
     church of England at the hands of those who had overthrown it. No
     one ever dreamed of refusing freedom of opinion to that church;
     it was only about public worship that any difficulty could arise.
     But, in truth, there is not one word in the whole treatise which
     could have been written with the view that Taylor pretends.

|His general defence of toleration.|

60. I am inclined to suspect that Taylor, for some cause, interpolated
this chapter after the rest of the treatise was complete. It has as
little bearing upon, and is as inconsistent in spirit with, the
following sections as with those that precede. To use a familiar
illustration, the effect it produces on the reader’s mind is like that
of coming on deck at sea, and finding that, the ship having put about,
the whole line of coast is reversed to the eye. Taylor, however, makes
but a short tack. In the next section, he resumes the bold tone of an
advocate for freedom; and, after discussing at great length the
leading tenet of the Anabaptists, concludes that, resting as it does
on such plausible, though insufficient grounds, we cannot exclude it
by any means from toleration, though they may be restrained from
preaching their other notions of the unlawfulness of war, or of oaths,
or of capital punishment; it being certain that no good religion
teaches doctrines whose consequences would destroy all government. A
more remarkable chapter is that in which Taylor concludes in favour of
tolerating the Romanists, except when they assert the pope’s power of
deposing princes, or of dispensing with oaths. The result of all, he
says, is this: “Let the prince and the secular power have a care the
commonwealth be safe. For whether such or such a sect of Christians be
to be permitted, is a question rather political than religious.”

61. In the concluding sections he maintains the right of particular
churches to admit all who profess the Apostles’ creed to their
communion, and of private men to communicate with different churches,
if they require no unlawful condition. But “few churches, that have
framed bodies of confession and articles, will endure any person that
is not of the same confession; which is a plain demonstration that
such bodies of confession and articles do much hurt.” “The guilt of
schism may lie on him who least thinks it; he being rather the
schismatic who makes unnecessary and inconvenient impositions, than he
who disobeys them, because he cannot do otherwise without violating
his conscience.”[123] The whole treatise on the Liberty of Prophesying
ends with the celebrated parable of Abraham, found, as Taylor says,
“in the Jews’ books,” but really in an Arabian writer. This story
Franklin, as every one now knows, rather unhandsomely appropriated to
himself; and it is a strange proof of the ignorance as to our earlier
literature which then prevailed, that for many years it continued to
be quoted with his name. It was not contained in the first
editions of the Liberty of Prophesying; and, indeed, the book from
which Taylor is supposed to have borrowed it was not published till

     [123] This is said also by Hales, in his tract on Schism, which
     was published some years before the Liberty of Prophesying. It
     is, however, what Taylor would have thought without a prompter.

62. Such is this great pleading for religious moderation; a production
not more remarkable in itself than for the quarter from which it came.
In the polemical writings of Jeremy Taylor we generally find a staunch
and uncompromising adherence to one party; and from the abundant use
he makes of authority, we should infer that he felt a great veneration
for it. In the Liberty of Prophesying, as has appeared by the general
sketch, rather than analysis we have just given, there is a prevailing
tinge of the contrary turn of mind, more striking than the comparison
of insulated passages can be. From what motives, and under what
circumstances, this treatise was written, is not easily discerned. In
the dedication to Lord Hatton of the collective edition of his
controversial writings after the Restoration, he declares that “when a
persecution did arise against the church of England, he intended to
make a reservative for his brethren and himself, by pleading for a
liberty to our consciences to persevere in that profession, which was
warranted by all the laws of God and our superiors.” It is with regret
we are compelled to confess some want of ingenuousness in this part of
Taylor’s proceedings. No one reading the Liberty of Prophesying can
perceive that it had the slightest bearing on any toleration that the
episcopal church, in the time of the civil war, might ask of her
victorious enemies. The differences between them were not on
speculative points of faith, nor turning on an appeal to fathers and
councils. That Taylor had another class of controversies in his mind
is sufficiently obvious to the attentive reader, and I can give no
proof in this place to any other.

|Effect of this treatise.|

63. This was the third blow that the new latitudinarian school of
Leyden had aimed in England at the positive dogmatists, who, in all
the reformed churches, as in that of Rome, laboured to impose
extensive confessions of faith, abounding in inferences of scholastic
theology, as conditions of exterior communion, and as peremptory
articles of faith. Chillingworth and Hales were not less decisive; but
the former had but in an incidental manner glanced at the subject, and
the short tract on Schism had been rather deficient in proof of its
hardy paradoxes. Taylor, therefore, may be said to have been the first
who sapped and shook the foundations of dogmatism and pretended
orthodoxy; the first who taught men to seek peace in unity of spirit
rather than of belief; and, instead of extinguishing dissent, to take
away its sting by charity, and by a sense of human fallibility. The
mind thus freed from bigotry is best prepared for the public
toleration of differences in religion; but certainly the despotic and
jealous temper of governments is not so well combated by Taylor as by
later advocates of religious freedom.

|Its defects.|

64. In conducting his argument, he falls not unfrequently into his
usual fault. Endowed with a mind of prodigious fertility, which a vast
erudition rendered more luxuriant he accumulates without selection
whatever presents itself to his mind; his innumerable quotations, his
multiplied reasonings, his prodigality of epithets and appositions,
are poured along the interminable periods of his writings, with a
frequency of repetition, sometimes of the same phrases, which leaves
us to suspect that he revised but little what he had very rapidly
composed. Certain it is that, in his different works, he does not
quite adhere to himself; and it would be more desirable to lay this on
the partial views that haste and impetuosity produce, than on a
deliberate employment of what he knew to be insufficient reasoning.
But I must acknowledge that Taylor’s fairness does not seem his
characteristic quality.

65. In some passages of the Liberty of Prophesying, he seems to
exaggerate the causes of uncertainty, and to take away from
ecclesiastical antiquity even that moderate probability of truth which
a dispassionate inquirer may sometimes assign to it. His suspicions of
spuriousness and interpolation are too vaguely sceptical, and come ill
from one who has no sort of hesitation, in some of his controversies,
to allege as authority what he here sets aside with little ceremony.
Thus, in the Defence of Episcopacy, published in 1642, he maintains
the authenticity of the first fifty of the apostolic canons, all of
which, in the Liberty of Prophesying, a very few years afterwards, he
indiscriminately rejects. But this line of criticism was not then in
so advanced a state as at present; and, from a credulous admission of
everything, the learned had come sometimes to more sweeping charges of
interpolation and forgery than would be sustained on a more searching
investigation. Taylor’s language is so unguarded that he seems to
leave the authenticity of all the fathers precarious. Doubtless there
is a greater want of security as to books written before the invention
of printing than we are apt to conceive, especially where independent
manuscripts have not been found; but it is the business of a sagacious
criticism, by the aid of internal or collateral evidence, to
distinguish, not dogmatically as most are wont, but with a rational,
though limited assent, the genuine remains of ancient writers from the
incrustations of blundering or of imposture.

|Great erudition of this period.|

|Usher, Fetavius.|

66. A prodigious reach of learning distinguishes the theologians of
these fifty years, far greater than even in the sixteenth century; and
also, if I am not mistaken, more critical and pointed, though in these
latter qualities it was afterwards surpassed. And in this erudition
the Protestant churches we may perhaps say, were upon the whole more
abundant than that of Rome. But it would be unprofitable to enumerate
works which we are incompetent to appreciate. Blondel, Daillé, and
Salmasius on the continent, Usher in England, are the most conspicuous
names. Blondel sustained the equality of the apostolic church both
against the primacy of Rome, and the episcopacy for which the
Anglicans contended; Salmasius and Daillé fought on the same side in
that controversy. The writings of our Irish primate, Usher, who
maintained the antiquity of his order, but not upon such ground as
many in England would have desired, are known for their extraordinary
learning, in which he has perhaps never been surpassed by an English
writer. But for judgment and calm appreciation of evidence, the name
of Usher has not been altogether so much respected by posterity, as it
was by his contemporaries. The church of Rome had its champions of
less eminent renown: Gretser, perhaps the first among them, is not
very familiar to our ears; but it is to be remembered, that some of
the writings of Bellarmin fall within this period. The Dogmata
Theologica of the jesuit Petavius, though but a compilation from the
fathers and ancient councils, and not peculiarly directed against the
tenets of the reformed, may deserve mention as a monument of useful
labour.[124] Labbe, Sirmond, and several others, appear to range more
naturally under the class of historical than theological writers. In
mere ecclesiastical history--the records of events rather than
opinions--this period was far more profound and critical than the
preceding. The annals of Baronius were abridged and continued by

     [124] The Dogmata Theologica is not a complete work; it extends
     only at far as the head of free will. It belongs to the class of
     Loci Communes. Morhof, ii. 539.

|Sacred criticism.|

|Grotius, Coccejus.|

67. A numerous list of writers in sacred criticism might easily be
produced. Among the Romanists, Cornelius à Lapide has been extolled
above the rest by his fellow jesuit Andrès. His Commentaries,
published from 1617 to 1642, are reckoned by others too diffuse; but
he seems to have a fair reputation with protestant critics.[125] The
Lutherans extol Gerhard, and especially Glass, author of the
Philologia Sacra, in hermeneutical theology. Rivet was the highest
name among the Calvinists. Arminius, Episcopius, the Fratres Poloni,
and indeed almost every one who had to defend a cause, found no course
so ready, at least among protestants as to explain the Scriptures
consistently with his own tenets. Two natives of Holland, opposite in
character, in spirit, and principles of reasoning, and consequently
the founders of opposite schools of disciples, stand out from the
rest--Grotius and Coccejus. Luther, Calvin, and the generality of
protestant interpreters in the sixteenth century had, in most
instances, rejected with some contempt the allegorical and
multifarious senses of Scripture which had been introduced by the
fathers, and had prevailed through the dark ages of the church. This
adherence to the literal meaning was doubtless promoted by the tenet
they all professed, the facility of understanding Scripture. That
which was designed for the simple and illiterate, was not to require a
key to any esoteric sense. Grotius, however, in his Annotations on the
Old and New Testament, published in 1633--the most remarkable book of
this kind that had appeared, and which has had a more durable
reputation than any perhaps of its precursors--carried the system of
literal interpretation still farther, bringing great stores of
illustrative learning from profane antiquity, but merely to elucidate
the primary meaning, according to ordinary rules of criticism.
Coccejus followed a wholly opposite course. Every passage, in his
method, teemed with hidden senses; the narratives, least capable of
any ulterior application, were converted into typical allusions, so
that the Old Testament became throughout an enigmatical representation
of the New. He was also remarkable for having viewed, more than any
preceding writer, all the relations between God and man under the form
of covenants, and introduced the technical language of jurisprudence
into theology. This became a very usual mode of treating the subject
in Holland, and afterwards in England. The Coccejans were numerous in
the United Provinces, though not perhaps deemed quite so orthodox as
their adversaries, who, from Gisbert Voet, a theologian of the most
inflexible and polemical spirit, were denominated Voetians. Their
disputes began a little before the middle of the century, and lasted
till nearly its close.[126] The Summa Doctrinæ of Coccejus appeared in
1648, and the Dissertationes Theologicæ of Voet in 1649.

     [125] Andrès, Blount. Simon, however, says he is full of an
     erudition not to the purpose, which, as his Commentaries on the
     Scriptures run to twelve volumes, is not wonderful.

     [126] Eichhorn, vi. pt. i., p. 264. Mosheim.

|English Commentators.|

68. England gradually took a prominent share in this branch of sacred
literature. Among the divines of this period, comprehending the reigns
of James and Charles, we may mention Usher, Gataker, Mede, Lightfoot,
Jackson, Field, and Leigh.[127] Gataker stood, perhaps, next to Usher
in general erudition. The fame of Mede has rested, for the most part,
on his interpretations of the Apocalypse. This book had been little
commented upon by the reformers; but in the beginning of the
seventeenth century, several wild schemes of its application to
present or expected events had been broached in Germany. England had
also taken an active part, if it be true what Grotius tells us, that
eighty books on the prophecies had been published here before
1640.[128] Those of Mede have been received with favour by later
interpreters. Lightfoot, with extensive knowledge of the rabbinical
writers, poured his copious stores on Jewish antiquities, preceded in
this by a more obscure labourer in that region, Ainsworth. Jackson had
a considerable name, but is little read, I suppose, in the present
age. Field on the Church has been much praised by Coleridge; it is, as
it seemed to me, a more temperate work in ecclesiastical theory than
some have represented it to be, and written almost wholly against
Rome. Leigh’s Critica Sacra can hardly be reckoned, nor does it claim
to be, more than a compilation from earlier theologians: it is an
alphabetical series of words from the Hebrew and Greek Testaments, the
author candidly admitting that he was not very conversant with the
latter language.

     [127] “All confess,” says Selden, in the Table-talk, “there never
     was a more learned clergy--no man taxes them with ignorance.” In
     another place, indeed, he is represented to say, “The jesuits and
     the lawyers of France, and the Low Country-men have engrossed all
     learning; the rest of the world make nothing but homilies.” As
     far as these sentences are not owing to difference of humour in
     the time of speaking, he seems to have taken learning in a larger
     sense the second time than the first. Of learning, not
     theological the English clergy had no extraordinary portion.

     [128] Si qua in re libera esse debet sententia, certè in
     vaticiniis præsertim cum jam Protestantium libri prodierint fermè
     centum (in his octoginta in Anglia sola, ut mihi Anglici legati
     dixere,) super illis rebus, inter se plurimum discordes. Grot.
     Epist. 895.

|Style of preaching.|

|English sermons.|

69. The style of preaching before the Reformation had been often
little else than buffoonery, and seldom respectable. The German
sermons of Tauler, in the fourteenth century, are alone remembered.
For the most part, indeed, the clergy wrote in Latin what they
delivered to the multitude in the native tongue. A better tone began
with Luther. His language was sometimes rude and low, but persuasive,
artless, powerful. He gave many useful precepts, as well as examples,
for pulpit eloquence. Melanchthon and several others, both in the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, as well in the Lutheran as the
reformed church, endeavoured, by systematic treatises, to guide the
composition of sermons. The former could not, however, withstand the
formal, tasteless, and polemical spirit that overspread their
theology. In the latter a superior tone is perceived. Of these,
according to Eichhorn, the Swiss preachers were most simple and
popular, the Dutch most learned and copious, the French had most taste
and eloquence, the English most philosophy.[129] It is more than
probable that in these characteristics he has meant to comprise the
whole of the seventeenth century. Few continental writers, as far as I
know, that belong to this its first moiety, have earned any remarkable
reputation in this province of theology. In England several might be
distinguished out of a large number. Sermons have been much more
frequently published here than in any other country; and, from the
beginning of the seventeenth century, form a large proportion of our
theological literature. But it is of course not requisite to mention
more than the very few which may be said to have a general

     [129] Eichhorn, t. vi., part ii., p. 219, et post.

|Of Donne.|

70. The sermons of Donne have sometimes been praised in late times.
They are undoubtedly the productions of a very ingenious and a very
learned man; and two folio volumes by such a person may be expected to
supply favourable specimens. In their general character, they will not
appear, I think, much worthy of being rescued from oblivion. The
subtlety of Donne, and his fondness for such inconclusive reasoning,
as a subtle disputant is apt to fall into, runs through all of these
sermons at which I have looked. His learning he seems to have
perverted in order to cull every impertinence of the fathers and
schoolmen, their remote analogies, their strained allegories, their
technical distinctions; and to these he has added much of a similar
kind from his own fanciful understanding. In his theology, Donne
appears often to incline towards the Arminian hypotheses, which, in
the last years of James and the first of his son, the period in which
these sermons were chiefly preached, had begun to be accounted
orthodox at court; but I will not vouch for his consistency in every
discourse. Much, as usual in that age, is levelled against Rome: Donne
was conspicuously learned in that controversy; and though he talks
with great respect of antiquity, is not induced by it, like some of
his Anglican contemporaries, to make any concession to the

     [130] Donne incurred some scandal by a book entitled Biathanatos,
     and considered as a vindication of suicide. It was published long
     after his death, in 1651. It is a very dull and pedantic
     performance, without the ingenuity and acuteness of paradox;
     distinctions, objections, and quotations from the rabble of bad
     authors whom he used to read, fill up the whole of it. It is
     impossible to find a less clear statement of argument on either
     side. No one would be induced to kill himself by reading such a
     book, unless he were threatened with another volume.

|Of Jeremy Taylor.|

71. The sermons of Jeremy Taylor are of much higher reputation; far
indeed above any that had preceded them in the English church. An
imagination essentially poetical, and sparing none of the decorations
which, by critical rules, are deemed almost peculiar to verse; a warm
tone of piety, sweetness, and charity; an accumulation of
circumstantial accessories whenever he reasons, or persuades, or
describes; an erudition pouring itself forth in quotation, till his
sermons become in some places almost a garland of flowers from all
other writers, and especially from those of classical antiquity, never
before so redundantly scattered from the pulpit, distinguish Taylor
from his contemporaries by their degree, as they do from most of his
successors by their kind. His sermons on the Marriage Ring, on the
House of Feasting, on the Apples of Sodom, may be named without
disparagement to others, which perhaps ought to stand in equal place.
But they are not without considerable faults, some of which have just
been hinted. The eloquence of Taylor is great, but it is not eloquence
of the highest class; it is far too Asiatic, too much in the style of
Chrysostom and other declaimers of the fourth century, by the study of
whom he had probably vitiated his taste; his learning is ill placed,
and his arguments often as much so; not to mention that he has the
common defect of alleging nugatory proofs; his vehemence loses its
effect by the circuity of his pleonastic language; his sentences are
of endless length, and hence not only altogether unmusical, but not
always reducible to grammar. But he is still the greatest ornament of
the English pulpit up to the middle of the seventeenth century; and we
have no reason to believe, or rather much reason to disbelieve, that
he had any competitor in other languages.

|Devotional writings of Taylor.|

|And Hall.|

72. The devotional writings of Taylor, several of which belong to the
first part of the century, are by no means of less celebrity or less
value than his sermons. Such are the life of Christ, the Holy Living
and Dying, and the collections of meditations, called the Golden
Grove. A writer as distinguished in works of practical piety was Hall.
His Art of Divine Meditation, his Contemplations, and indeed many of
his writings, remind us frequently of Taylor. Both had equally pious
and devotional tempers; both were full of learning, both fertile of
illustration; both may be said to have had strong imagination and
poetical genius, though Taylor let his predominate a little more.
Taylor is also rather more subtle and argumentive; his copiousness has
more real variety. Hall keeps more closely to his subject, dilates
upon it sometimes more tediously, but more appositely. In his sermons
there is some excess of quotation and far-fetched illustration, but
less than in those of Taylor. These two great divines resemble each
other, on the whole, so much that we might for a short time not
discover which we were reading. I do not know that any third
writer comes close to either. The Contemplations of Hall are among his
most celebrated works. They are prolix, and without much of that
vivacity or striking novelty we meet with in the devotional writings
of his contemporary, but are perhaps more practical and generally

     [131] Some of the moral writings of Hall were translated into
     French by Chevreau in the seventeenth century, and had much
     success. Niceron, xi. 348.

|In the Roman.|

73. The religious treatises of this class, even those which by their
former popularity, or their merit, ought to be mentioned in a regular
history of theological literature, are too numerous for these pages. A
mystical and ascetic spirit diffused itself more over religion,
struggling sometimes, as in the Lutherans of Germany, against the
formal orthodoxy of the church, but more often in subordination to its
authority, and cooperating with its functions. The writings of St.
Francis de Sales, titular Bishop of Geneva, especially that on the
Love of God, published in 1616, make a sort of epoch in the devotional
theology of the church of Rome. Those of St. Teresa, in the Spanish
language, followed some years afterwards; they are altogether full of
a mystical theopathy. But De Sales included charity in his scheme of
divine love; and it is to him, as well as others of his age, that not
only a striking revival of religion in France, which had been
absolutely perverted or disregarded in the sixteenth century, was due,
but a reformation in the practices of monastic life, which became more
active and beneficent, with less of useless penance and asceticism
than before. New institutions sprung up with the spirit of
association, and all other animating principles of conventual orders,
but free from the formality and torpor of the old.[132]

     [132] Ranke, ii. 430.

|And Lutheran church.|

74. Even in the German churches, rigid as they generally were in their
adherence to the symbolical books, some voices from time to time were
heard for a more spiritual and effective religion. Arndt’s Treatise of
True Christianity, in 1605, written on ascetic and devotional
principles, and with some deviation from the tenets of the very
orthodox Lutherans may be reckoned one of the first protests against
their barren forms of Faith[133]; and the mystical theologians, if
they had not run into such extravagances as did dishonour to their
names would have been accessions to the same side. The principal
mystics or theosophists have generally been counted among
philosophers, and will therefore find their place in the next chapter.
The German nation is constitutionally disposed to receive those forms
of religion which address themselves to the imagination and the heart.
Much therefore of this character has always been written, and become
popular, in that language. Few English writings of the practical
class, except those already mentioned, can be said to retain much
notoriety. Those of George Herbert are best known; his Country Parson,
which seems properly to fall within this description, is on the whole
a pleasing little book; but the precepts are sometimes so
overstrained, as to give an air of affectation.

     [133] Eichhorn, v. part i., p. 355. Biogr. Univ. Chalmers.

|Infidelity of some writers. Charron.|

75. The disbelief in revelation, of which several symptoms had
appeared before the end of the sixteenth century, became more
remarkable afterwards both in France and England, involving several
names not obscure in literary history. The first of these, in point of
date, is Charron. The religious scepticism of this writer has not been
generally acknowledged, and indeed it seems repugnant to the fact of
his having written an elaborate defence of Christianity; yet we can
deduce no other conclusion from one chapter in his most celebrated
book, the Treatise on Wisdom. Charron is so often little else than a
transcriber, that we might suspect him in this instance also to have
drawn from other sources; which however would leave the same inference
as to his own tenets, and I think this chapter has an air of


76. The name of Charron, however, has not been generally associated
with the charge of irreligion. A more audacious, and consequently more
unfortunate writer was Lucilio Vanini, a native of Italy, whose book
De Admirandis Naturæ Reginæ Deæque Mortalium Arcanis, printed at Paris
in 1616, caused him to be burned at the stake by a decree of the
parliament of Toulouse in 1619. This treatise, as well as one that
preceded it, Amphitheatrum Æternæ Providentiæ, Lyons, 1615, is of
considerable rarity, so that there has been a question concerning the
atheism of Vanini, which some have undertaken to deny.[134] In the
Amphitheatrum I do not perceive anything which leads to such an
imputation, though I will not pretend to have read the whole
of a book full of the unintelligible metaphysics of the later
Aristotelians. It professes at least to be a vindication of the being
and providence of the Deity. But the later work, which is dedicated to
Bassompierre, and published with a royal privilege of exclusive sale
for six years, is of a very different complexion. It is in sixty
dialogues, the interlocutors being styled Alexander and Julius Cæsar,
the latter representing Vanini himself. The far greater part of these
dialogues relate to physical, but a few to theological subjects. In
the fiftieth, on the religion of the heathens, he avows his disbelief
of all religion, except such as nature, which is God, being the
principle of motion, has planted in the hearts of man; every other
being the figment of kings to keep their subjects in obedience, and of
priests for their own lucre and honour;[135] observing plainly of his
own Amphitheatrum, which is a vindication of providence, that he had
said many things in it which he did not believe.[136] Vanini was
infatuated with presumption, and, if he resembled Jordano Bruno in
this respect, fell very short of his acuteness and apparent integrity.
His cruel death, and perhaps the scarcity of his works, has given more
celebrity to his name in literary history than it would otherwise have

     [134] Brucker, v. 678.

     [135] In quanam religione verè et piè Deum coli vetusti
     philosophi existimârunt? In unica Naturæ lege, quam ipsa Natura,
     quæ Deus est (est enim principium motûs), in omnium gentium
     animis inscripsit; cæteras vero leges non nisi figmenta et
     illusiones esse asserebant, non a cacodæmone aliquo inductas,
     fabulosum namque illorum genus dicitur a philosophis, sed a
     principibus ad subditorum pædagogiam excogitatas, et a
     sacrificulis ob honoris et auri aucupium confirmatas, non
     miraculis, sed scriptura, cujus nec originale ullibi adinvenitur,
     quæ miracula facta recitet, et bonarum ac malarum actionum
     repromissiones polliceatur, in futura tamen vita, ne fraus detegi
     possit, p. 366.

     [136] Multa in eo libro scripta sunt, quibus a me nulla præstatur
     fides. Così va il mondo.--ALEX. Non miror, nam ego crebris
     vernaculis hoc usurpo sermonibus: Questo mondo è una gabbia de’
     matti. Reges excipio et Pontifices. Nam de illis scriptum est:
     Cor Regis in manu Domini, &c. Dial. LVI., p. 428.

     The concluding pages are enough to show with what justice Buhle
     and Tennemann have gravely recorded Vanini among philosophers.
     Quæso, mi Juli, tuam de animæ immortalitate sententiam
     explices.--J. C. Excusatum me habeas rogo.--AL. Cur ita?--J. C.
     Vovi Deo meo quæstionem hanc me non pertractaturum, antequam
     senex dives et germanus evasero.--AL. Dii tibi Nestoreos pro
     literariæ reipublicæ emolumento dies impertiant: vix trigesimum
     nunc attigisti annum et tot præclaræ eruditionis monumenta
     admirabili cum laude edidisti.--J. C. Quid hæc mihi prosunt?--AL.
     Celebrem tibi laudem comparârunt.--J. C. Omnes famæ rumusculos
     cum uno amasiæ basiolo commutandos plerique philosophi
     suadent.--AL. At alter ea perfrui potest.--J. C. Quid inde
     adimit?...--AL. Uberrimos voluptaris fructus percepisti in Naturæ
     arcanis investigandis.--J. C. Corpus mihi est studiis enervatum
     exhaustumque; neque in hac humana caligine perfectam rerum
     cognitionem assequi possumus; cum ipsummet Aristotelem
     philosophorum Deum infinitis propemodum locis hallucinatum fuisse
     adverto, cumque medicam facultatem præ reliquis certissimam adhuc
     incertam et fallacem experior, subscribere cuperem Agrippæ
     libello quem de scientiarum vanitate conscripsit.--AL. Laborum
     tuorum præmium jam consecutus es; æternitati nomen jam
     consecrâsti. Quid jucundius in extremo tuæ ætatis curriculo
     accipere potes, quam hoc canticum? Et superest sine te nomen in
     orbe tuum.--J. C. Si animus meus una cum corpore, ut Athei
     fingunt, evanescat, quas ille ex fama post obitum delicias
     nanscisci poterit? Forsitan gloriolæ voculis, et fidiculis ad
     cadaveris domicilium pertrahatur? Si animus, ut credimus libenter
     et speramus, interitui non est obnoxius, et ad superos evolabit,
     tot ibi perfruetur cupediis et voluptatibus, ut illustres ac
     splendidas mundi pompas et laudationes nec pili faciat. Si ad
     purgatorias flammas descendet, gratior erit illi illius
     orationis, Dies iræ, dies illa, mulierculis gratissima recitatio,
     quam omnes Tulliani glossuli, dicendique lepores, quam
     subtilissimæ et pene divinæ Aristotelis ratiocinationes: si
     Tartareo, quod Deus avertat, perpetuo carceri emancipatur, nullum
     ibi solatium, nullam redemptionam inveniet.--AL. O utinam in
     adolescentiæ limine has rationas excepissem!--J. C. Prætorita
     mala ne cogites, futura ne cures, præsentia fugias.--AL. Ah!--J.
     C. Liberaliter inspiras.--AL. Illius versiculi recordor. Perduto
     è tutto il tempo, che in amor non si spende.--J. C. Eja quoniam
     inclinato jam die ad vesperam perducta est disputatio (cujus
     singula verba divino Romanæ ecclesiæ oraculo, infallibilis cujus
     interpres a Spiritu sancto modo constitutus est Paulus V.,
     serenissimæ Burghesiæ familiæ soboles, subjecta esse volumus, ita
     ut pro non dictis habeantur, si quæ forsitan sunt, quod vic
     crediderim, quæ illius placitis ad amussim non consentiant),
     laxemus paulisper animos, et a severitate ad hilaritatem risumque
     traducamus. Heus pueri! lusorias tabulas huc adferte. The
     wretched man, it seems, had not much reason to think himself a
     gainer by his speculations; yet he knew not that the worst was
     still behind.

|Lord Herbert of Cherbury.|

77. Lord Herbert of Cherbury, in his Treatise de Veritate, and still
more in that De Religione Gentilium, has been justly deemed inimical
to every positive religion. He admits indeed the possibility of
immediate revelation from heaven, but denies that any tradition from
others can have sufficient certainty. Five fundamental truths of
natural religion he holds to be such as all mankind are bound
to acknowledge, and damns those heathens who do not receive them as
summarily as any theologian.[137]

     [137] These five articles are--1. Esse Deum summum.--2. Coli
     debere.--3. Virtutem pietatemque esse præcipuas partes cultûs
     divini.--4. Dolendum esse ob peccata, ab iisque resipiscendum.--
     5. Dari ex bonitate justitiaque divina præmium vel pœnam tum in
     hac vita, tum post hanc vitam.... Hisce quippe ubi superstitiones
     figmentaque commiscuerint, vel animas suas criminibus quæ nulla
     satis eluat pœnitentia, commaculaverint, a seipsis perditio
     propria, Deo vero summo in æternum sit gloria. De Religione
     Gentilium, cap. 1.

|Grotius de Veritate.|

78. The progress of infidelity in France did not fail to attract
notice. It was popular in the court of Louis XIII., and, in a certain
degree, in that of Charles I. But this does not belong to the history
of literature. Among the writers who may have given some proofs of it
we may reckon La Mothe le Vayer, Naudé, and Guy Patin.[138] The
writings of Hobbes will be treated at length hereafter. It is probable
that this sceptical spirit of the age gave rise to those vindications
of revealed religion which were published in the present period. Among
these the first place is due to the well-known and extensively
circulated treatise of Grotius. This was originally sketched in Dutch
verse, and intended for the lower classes of his countrymen. It was
published in Latin in 1627.[139] Few, if any, books of the kind have
been so frequently reprinted; but some parts being not quite so close
and critical as the modern state of letters exacts, and the arguments
against Jews and Mahometans seeming to occupy too much space, it is
less read than formerly.

     [138] La Mothe le Vayer has frequently been reckoned among those
     who carried their general scepticism into religion. And this
     seems a fair inference, unless the contrary can be shown; for
     those who doubt of what is most evident, will naturally doubt of
     what is less so. In La Mothe’s fourth dialogue, under the name of
     Oratius Tubero, he pretends to speak of faith as a gift of God,
     and not founded on evidence; which was probably but the usual
     subterfuge. The Naudæana are full of broad intimations that the
     author was, as he expresses it, _bien déniaisé_; and Guy Patin’s
     letters, except those near the end of his life, lead to a similar
     conclusion. One of them has certainly the appearance of
     implicating Gassendi, and has been quoted as such by Sir James
     Mackintosh, in his Dissertation on Ethical Philosophy. Patin
     tells us, that Naudé, Gassendi, and he were to sup together the
     following Sunday. Ce sera une débauche, mais philosophique, et
     peut-être quelque chose d’avantage, pour être tous trois guéris
     du loup-garou, et être délivrés du mal des scrupules qui est le
     tyran des consciences, nous irons peut-être jusque fort près du
     sanctuaire. Je fis l’an passé ce voyage de Gentilly avec M.
     Naudé, moy seul avec luy, tête-à-tête; il n’y avoit point de
     témoins, aussi n’y en falloit-il point; nous y parlâmes fort
     librement de tout, sans que personne en ait été scandalizé, p.
     32. I should not, nevertheless, lay much stress on this letter in
     opposition to the many assertions of belief in religion which the
     writings of Gassendi contain. One of them, indeed, quoted by
     Dugald Stewart, in note Q. to his first Dissertation, is rather
     suspicious, as going too far into a mystical strain for his
     extremely cold temperament.

     [139] Niceron, vol. xix. Biogr. Univ.

|English translation of the Bible.|

79. This is not a period in which many editions or versions of the
Scriptures were published. The English translation of the Bible had
been several times revised, or re-made, since the first edition by
Tyndal and Coverdale. It finally assumed its present form under the
authority of James I. Forty-seven persons, in six companies, meeting
at Westminster, Oxford, and Cambridge, distributed the labour among
them; twenty-five being assigned to the Old Testament, fifteen to the
New, seven to the Apocrypha. The rules imposed for their guidance by
the king were designed, as far as possible, to secure the text against
any novel interpretation; the translation, called the Bishop’s Bible,
being established as the basis, as those still older had been in that;
and the work of each person or company being subjected to the review
of the rest. The translation, which was commenced in 1607, was
published in 1611.[140]

     [140] Fuller’s Church History.

|Its style.|

80. The style of this translation is in general so enthusiastically
praised, that no one is permitted either to qualify or even explain
the grounds of his approbation. It is held to be the perfection of our
English language. I shall not dispute this proposition; but one remark
as to a matter of fact cannot reasonably be censured, that, in
consequence of the principle of adherence to the original versions
which had been kept up ever since the time of Henry VIII., it is not
the language of the reign of James I. It may, in the eyes of many, be
a better English, but it is not the English of Daniel, or Raleigh, or
Bacon, as any one may easily perceive. It abounds, in fact, especially
in the Old Testament, with obsolete phraseology, and with single words
long since abandoned, or retained only in provincial use. On the more
important question, whether this translation is entirely, or
with very trifling exceptions, conformable to the original text, it
seems unfit to enter. It is one which is seldom discussed with all the
temper and freedom from oblique views which the subject demands, and
upon which, for this reason, it is not safe for those who have not had
leisure or means to examine it for themselves, to take upon trust the
testimony of the learned. A translation of the Old Testament was
published at Douay in 1609, for the use of the English Catholics.

                            CHAPTER XX.


                             SECT. I.

_Aristotelian Logic--Campanella--Theosophists--Lord Herbert of
Cherbury--Gassendi’s Remarks upon him._

|Subjects of this chapter.|

1. In the two preceding volumes, we have had occasion to excuse the
heterogeneous character of the chapters that bear this title. The
present is fully as much open to verbal criticism; and perhaps it is
rather by excluding both moral and mathematical philosophy, that we
give it some sort of unity, than from any close connexion in all the
books that will come under our notice in the ensuing pages. But any
tabular arrangement of literature, such as has often been attempted
with no very satisfactory result, would be absolutely inappropriate to
such a work as the present, which has already to labour with the
inconvenience of more subdivisions than can be pleasing to the reader,
and would interfere too continually with that general regard to
chronology, without which the name of history seems incongruous. Hence
the metaphysical inquiries that are conversant with the human mind, or
with natural theology, the general principles of investigating truth,
the comprehensive speculations of theoretical physics, subjects very
distinct and not easily confounded by the most thoughtless, must fall,
with no more special distribution, within the contents of this
chapter. But since during the period which it embraces, men arose, who
have laid the foundations of a new philosophy, and thus have rendered
it a great epoch in the intellectual history of mankind, we shall not
very strictly, though without much deviation, follow a chronological
order, and after reviewing some of the less important labourers in
speculative philosophy, come to the names of three who have most
influenced posterity--Bacon, Descartes, and Hobbes.

|Aristotelians and Ramists.|

2. We have seen in a former chapter how little progress had been made
in this kind of philosophy during the sixteenth century. At its close
the schools of logic were divided, though by no means in equal
proportion, between the Aristotelians and the Ramists; the one
sustained by ancient renown, by civil, or at least academical power,
and by the common prejudice against innovation; the other deriving
some strength from the love of novelty, and the prejudice against
established authority, which the first age of the reformation had
generated, and which continued, perhaps, to preserve a certain
influence in the second. But neither from one nor the other had
philosophy, whether in material or intellectual physics, much to hope;
the disputations of the schools might be technically correct; but so
little regard was paid to objective truth, or at least so little pains
taken to ascertain it, that no advance in real knowledge signalised
either of these parties of dialecticians. According, indeed, to a
writer of this age, strongly attached to the Aristotelian party, Ramus
had turned all physical science into the domain of logic, and argued
from words to things still more than his opponents.[141] Lord Bacon,
in the bitterest language, casts on him a similar reproach.[142] It
seems that he caused this branch of philosophy to retrograde
rather than advance.

     [141] Keckermann, Præcognita Logica, p. 129. This writer charges
     Ramus with plagiarism from Ludovicus Vives, placing the passages
     in apposition, so as to prove his case. Ramus, he says, never
     alludes to Vives. He praises the former, however, for having
     attacked the scholastic party, being himself a genuine

     [142] Ne vero, fili, cum hanc contra Aristotelem sententiam fero,
     me cum rebelli ejus quodam neoterico Petro Ramo conspirasse
     augurare. Nullum mihi commercium cum hoc ignorantiæ latibulo,
     perniciosissima literarum tinea, compendiorum patre, qui cum
     methodi suæ et compendii vinclis res torqueat et premat, res
     quidem, si qua fuit, elabitur protinus et exsilit; ipse vero
     aridas et desertissimas nugas stringit. Atque Aquinas quindam cum
     Scoto et sociis etiam in non rebus rerum varietatem effinxit, hic
     vero etiam in rebus non rerum solitudinem æquavit. Atque hoc
     hominis cum sit, humanos tamen usus in ore habet impudens, ut
     mihi etiam pro [præ?] sophistis prævaricari videatur Bacon de
     Interpretatione Naturæ.

|No improvement till near the end of the century.|

3. It was obvious at all events, that from the universities, or from
the church, in any country, no improvement in philosophy was to be
expected; yet those who had strayed from the beaten track, a
Paracelsus, a Jordan Bruno, even a Telesio, had but lost themselves in
irregular mysticism, or laid down theories of their own, as arbitrary
and destitute of proof as those they endeavoured to supersede. The
ancient philosophers, and especially Aristotle, were, with all their
errors and defects, far more genuine high-priests of nature than any
moderns of the sixteenth century. But there was a better prospect at
its close, in separate though very important branches of physical
science. Gilbert, Kepler, Galileo, were laying the basis of a true
philosophy; and they, who do not properly belong to this chapter,
laboured very effectually to put an end to all antiquated errors, and
to check the reception of novel paradoxes.

|Methods of the Universities.|

4. We may cast a glance, meantime, on those universities which still
were so wise in their own conceit, and maintained a kind of reputation
by the multitude of their disciples. Whatever has been said of the
scholastic metaphysicians of the sixteenth century, may be understood
as being applicable to their successors during the present period.
That method was by no means extinct, though the books which contain it
are forgotten. In all that part of Europe which acknowledged the
authority of Rome, and in all the universities which were swayed by
the orders of Franciscans, Dominicans, and Jesuits, the metaphysics of
the thirteenth century, the dialectics of the Peripatetic school, were
still taught. If new books were written, as was frequently the case,
they were written upon old systems. Brucker, who sometimes transcribes
Morhof word for word, but frequently expands with so much more
copiousness, that he may be presumed to have had a direct acquaintance
with many of the books he mentions, has gone most elaborately into
this subject.[143] The chairs of philosophy in Protestant German
universities, except where the Ramists had got possession of them,
which was not very common, especially after the first years of this
period, were occupied by avowed Aristotelians; so that if one should
enumerate the professors of physics, metaphysics, logic, and ethics,
down to the close of the century, he would be almost giving a list of
strenuous adherents to that system.[144] One cause of this was the
“Philippic method,” or course of instruction in the philosophical
books of Melanchthon, more clear and elegant, and better arranged than
that of Aristotle himself or his commentators. But this, which long
continued to prevail, was deemed by some too superficial, and tending
to set aside the original authority. Brucker however admits, what
seems at least to limit some of his expressions as to the prevalence
of Peripateticism, that many reverted to the scholastic metaphysics,
which raised its head about the beginning of the seventeenth century,
even in the protestant regions of Germany. The universities of Altdorf
and Helmstadt were the chief nurseries of the genuine Peripateticism.[145]

     [143] Morhof, vol. iii., l. 1. c. 13, 14. Brucker, iv.,
     cap. 2, 3.

     [144] Brucker, iv. 243.

     [145] Id. pp. 248-253.

|Scholastic Writers.|

5. Of the metaphysical writers whom the older philosophy brought forth
we must speak with much ignorance. Suarez of Granada is justly
celebrated for some of his other works; but of his Metaphysical
Disputations, published at Mentz, in 1614, in two folio volumes, and
several times afterwards, I find no distinct character in Morhof or
Brucker. They both, especially the former, have praised Lalemandet, a
Franciscan, whose Decisiones Philosophicæ, on logic, physics, and
metaphysics, appeared at Munich, in 1644 and 1645. Lalemandet, says
Morhof, has well stated the questions between the Nominalist and
Realist parties; observing that the difference between them is like
that of a man who casts up a sum of money by figures, and one who
counts the coins themselves.[146] This, however, seems no very happy
illustration of the essential points of controversy. Vasquez, Tellez,
and several more names, without going for the present below the middle
of the century, may be found in the two writers quoted. Spain was
peculiarly the nurse of these obsolete and unprofitable metaphysics.

     [146] Morhof, vol. ii., lib. i., cap. 14., sect. 15.
     Brucker, iv. 129.

6. The Aristotelian philosophy, unadulterated by the figments of the
schoolmen, had eminent upholders in the Italian universities,
especially in that of Padua. Cæsar Cremonini taught in that famous
city till his death in 1630. Fortunio Liceto, his successor, was as
staunch a disciple of the Peripatetic sect. We have a more full
account of these men from Gabriel Naudé, both in his recorded
conversation, the Naudæana, and in a volume of letters, than from any
other quarter. His twelfth letter, especially, enters into some detail
as to the state of the university of Padua, to which, for the purpose
of hearing Cremonini, he had repaired in 1625. He does not much extol
its condition; only Cremonini and one more were deemed by him safe
teachers: the rest were mostly of a common class; the lectures were
too few, and the vacations too long. He observes, as one might at this
day, the scanty population of the city compared with its size, the
grass growing and the birds singing in the streets, and, what we
should not find now to be the case, the “general custom of Italy,
which keeps women perpetually locked up in their chambers, like birds
in cages.”[147] Naudé in many of these letters speaks in the most
panegyrical terms of Cremonini,[148] and particularly for his standing
up almost alone in defence of the Aristotelian philosophy, when
Telesio, Patrizi, Bruno, and others had been propounding theories of
their own. Licetus, the successor of Cremonini, maintained, he
afterwards informs us, with little support the Peripatetic verity. It
is probable that, by this time, Galileo, a more powerful adversary
than Patrizi and Telesio, had drawn away the students of physical
philosophy from Aristotle; nor did Naudé himself long continue in the
faith he had imbibed from Cremonini. He became the intimate friend of
Gassendi, and embraced a better system without repugnance, though he
still kept up his correspondence with Licetus.

     [147] Naudæi Epistolæ, p. 52 (edit. 1667.)

     [148] P. 27, et alibi sæpius.

|Treatises on logic.|

7. Logic had never been more studied, according to a writer who has
given a sort of history of the science about the beginning of this
period, than in the preceding age; and in fact he enumerates above
fifty treatises on the subject, between the time of Ramus and his
own.[149] The Ramists, though of little importance in Italy, in Spain,
and even in France, had much influence in Germany, England, and
Scotland.[150] None however of the logical works of the sixteenth
century obtained such reputation as those by Smiglecius,
Burgersdicius, and our countryman Crakanthorp, all of whom flourished,
if we may use such a word for those who bore no flowers, in the
earlier part of the next age. As these men were famous in their
generation, we may presume that they at least wrote better than their
predecessors. But it is time to leave so jejune a subject, though we
may not yet be able to produce what is much more valuable.

     [149] Keckermann, Præcognita Logica, p. 110 (edit 1606.)

     [150] Id. p. 147.


8. The first name, in an opposite class, that we find in descending
from the sixteenth century, is that of Thomas Campanella, whose
earliest writings belong to it. His philosophy being wholly
dogmatical, must be classed with that of the paradoxical innovators
whom he followed and eclipsed. Campanella, a Dominican friar, and like
his master Telesio, a native of Cosenza, having been accused, it is
uncertain how far with truth, of a conspiracy against the Spanish
government of his country, underwent an imprisonment of twenty-seven
years; during which almost all his philosophical treatises were
composed and given to the world. Ardent and rapid in his mind, and, as
has just been seen, not destitute of leisure, he wrote on logic,
physics, metaphysics, morals, politics, and grammar. Upon all these
subjects his aim seems to have been to recede as far as possible from
Aristotle. He had early begun to distrust this guide, and had formed a
noble resolution to study all schemes of philosophy, comparing them
with their archetype, the world itself, that he might distinguish how
much exactness was to be found in those several copies, as they ought
to be, from one autograph of nature.[151]

     [151] Cypriani Vita Campanellæ, p. 7.

|His theory taken from Telesio.|

9. Campanella borrowed his primary theorems from Telesio, but enlarged
that Parmenidean philosophy by the invention of his own fertile and
imaginative genius. He lays down the fundamental principle, that the
perfectly wise and good Being has created certain signs and types
(statuas atque imagines) of himself, all of which, severally as well
as collectively, represent power, wisdom, and love, and the objects of
these namely, existence, truth, and excellence, with more or less
evidence. God first created space, the basis of existence, the primal
substance, an immovable and incorporeal capacity of receiving body.
Next he created matter without form or figure. In this corporeal mass
God called to being two workmen, incorporeal themselves, but
incapable of subsisting apart from body, the organs of no physical
forms, but of their maker alone. These are heat and cold, the active
principles diffused through all things. They were enemies from the
beginning, each striving to occupy all material substances itself;
each, therefore, always contending with the other, while God foresaw
the great good that their discord would produce.[152] The heavens, he
says in another passage, were formed by heat out of attenuated matter,
the earth by cold out of condensed matter; the sun, being a body of
heat, as he rolls round the earth, attacks the colder substance, and
converts part of it into air and vapour.[153] This last part of his
theory Campanella must have afterwards changed in words, when he
embraced the Copernican system.

     [152] In hac corporea mole tantæ materia statuæ, dixit Deus, ut
     nascerentur fabri duo incorporei, sed non potentes nisi a corpore
     subsistere, nullarum physicarum formarum organa, sed formatoris
     tantummodo. Id circo nati calor et frigus, principia activa
     principalia, ideoque suæ virtutis diffusiva. Statim inimici
     fuerunt mutuo, dum uterque cupit totam substantiam materialem
     occupare. Hinc contra se invicem pugnare cœperunt providente Deo
     ex hujusmodi discordia ingens bonum. Philosophia Realis
     Epilogistica (Frankfort, 1623), sect. 4.

     [153] This is in the Compendium de Rerum Natura pro Philosophia
     humana, published by Adami in 1617. In his Apology for Galileo,
     in 1632, Campanella defends the Copernican system, and says that
     the modern astronomers think they cannot construct good
     ephemerides without it.

|Notion of universal sensibility.|

10. He united to this physical theory another not wholly original, but
enforced in all his writings with singular confidence and pertinacity,
the sensibility of all created beings. All things, he says, feel; else
would the world be a chaos. For neither would fire tend upwards, nor
stones downwards, nor waters to the sea; but everything would remain
where it was, were it not conscious that destruction awaits it by
remaining amidst that which is contrary to itself, and that it can
only be preserved by seeking that which is of a similar nature.
Contrariety is necessary for the decay and reproduction of nature; but
all things strive against their contraries, which they could not do,
if they did not perceive what is their contrary.[154] God, who is
primal power, wisdom, and love, has bestowed on all things the power
of existence, and so much wisdom and love as is necessary for their
conversation during that time only for which his providence has
determined that they shall be. Heat, therefore, has power, and sense,
and desire of its own being; so have all other things seeking to be
eternal like God, and in God they are eternal, for nothing dies before
him, but is only changed.[155] Even to the world, as a sentient being,
the death of its parts is no evil, since the death of one is the birth
of many. Bread that is swallowed dies to revive as blood, and blood
dies, that it may live again in our flesh and bones; and thus as the
life of man is compounded out of the deaths and lives of all his
parts, so is it with the whole universe.[156] God said, Let all things
feel, some more, some less, as they have more or less necessity to
imitate my being. And let them desire to live in that which they
understand to be good for them, lest my creation should come to

     [154] Omnia ergo sentiunt; alias mundus esset chaos. Ignis enim
     non sursum tenderet, nec aquæ in mare, nec lapides deorsum; sed
     res omnis ubi primo reperiretur, permaneret, cum non sentiret sui
     destructionem inter contraria nec sui conservationem inter
     similia. Non esset in mundo generatio et corruptio nisi esset
     contrarietas, sicut omnes physiologi affirmant. At si alteram
     contrarium non sentiret alterum sibi esse contrarium, contra
     ipsum non pugnaret. Sentiunt ergo singula. De Sensu Rerum, l. i.
     c. 4.

     [155] Igitur ipse Deus, qui est prima potentia, prima sapientia,
     primus amor, largitus est rebus omnibus potentiam vivendi, et
     sapientiam et amorem quantum sufficit conservationi ipsarum in
     tanto tempore necessariæ, quantum determinavit ejus mens pro
     rerum regimine in ipso ente, nec præteriri potest. Calor ergo
     potest, sentit, amat esse; ita et res omnis cupitque æternari
     sicut Deus, et Deo res nulla moritur, sed solummodo mutatur, &c.
     l. ii., c. 26.

     [156] Non est malus ignis in suo esse; terræ autem mams videtur,
     non autem mundo; nec vipera mala est, licet homini sit mala. Ita
     de omnibus idem prædico. Mors quoque rei unius si nativitas est
     multarum rerum, mala non est. Moritur panis manducatus, ut fiat
     sanguis, et sanguis moritur, ut in carnem nervos et ossa vertatur
     ac vivat; neque tamen hoc universo displicit animali, quamvis
     partibus mors ipsa, hoc est, transmutatio dolorifica sit,
     displiceatque. Ita utilis est mundo transmutatio eorum
     particularium noxia displicensque illis. Totus homo compositus
     est ex morte ac vita partialibus, quæ integrant vitam humanam.
     Sic mundus totus ex morticus ac vitibus compositus est, quæ
     totius vitam efficiunt. Philosop. Realis, c. 10.

     [157] Sentiant alia magis, alia minus, prout magis minusque opus
     habent, et me imitentur in essendo. Ibidem ament, omnia vivere in
     proprio esse præcognito ut bono, ne corruat factura mea. Id.
     c. 10.

|His imagination and eloquence.|

11. The strength of Campanella’s genius lay in his imagination, which
raises him sometimes to flights of impressive eloquence on
this favourite theme. The sky and stars are endowed with the keenest
sensibility; nor is it unreasonable to suppose that they signify their
mutual thoughts to each other by the transference of light, and that
their sensibility is full of pleasure. The blessed spirits that inform
such living and bright mansions behold all things in nature and in the
divine ideas; they have also a more glorious light than their own,
through which they are elevated to a supernatural beatific
vision.[158] We can hardly read this, without recollecting the most
sublime passage, perhaps, in Shakspeare:--

  “Sit, Jessica; look how the vault of heaven
  Is thick inlayed with patins of bright gold.
  There’s not the smallest orb, that thou behold’st,
  But in its motion like an angel sings,
  Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubim;
  Such harmony is in immortal souls.
  But while this muddy vesture of decay
  Does grossly close us in, we cannot hear it.”[159]

     [158] Animæ beatæ habitantes sic vivas lucidasque mansiones, res
     naturales vident omnes divinasque ideas, habent quoque lumen
     gloriosius quo elevantur ad visionem supernaturalem beatificam,
     et veluti apud nos luces plurimæ sese mutuo tangunt, intersecant,
     decussant, sentiuntque ita in cœlo luces distinguuntur, uniuntur,
     sentiunt. De Sensu Rerum, l. iii. c. 4.

     [159] Merchant of Venice, Act V.

12. The world is full of living spirits, he proceeds; and when the
soul shall be delivered from this dark cavern, we shall behold their
subtle essences. But now we cannot discern the forms of the air, and
the winds as they rush by us; much less the angels and dæmons who
people them. Miserable as we are, we recognise no other sensation than
that which we observe in animals and plants, slow and half
extinguished, and buried under a weight that oppresses it. We will not
understand that all our actions and appetites and motions and powers
flow from heaven. Look at the manner in which light is diffused over
the earth, penetrating every part of it with endless variety of
operation, which we must believe that it does not perform without
exquisite pleasure.[160] And hence there is no vacuum in nature,
except by violent means; since all bodies delight in mutual contact,
and the world no more desires to be rent in its parts than an animal.

     [160] Prætervolant in conspectu nostro venti et aer, at nihil eos
     videmus, multo minus videmus Angelos Dæmonasque, quorum plenus
     est mundus.

     Infelices qui sensum alium nullum agnoscimus, nisi obtusum
     animalium plantarumque, tardum, demortuum aggravatum; sepultum:
     nec quidem intelligere volumus omnem actionem nostram et
     appetitum et sensum et motum et vim a cœlo manare. Ecce lux
     quanto acutissimo expanditur sensu super terram, quo
     multiplicatur, generatur, amplificatur, idque non sine magna
     efficere voluptate existimanda est, l. iii. c. 5.

     Campanella used to hear, as he tells us, whenever any evil was
     impending, a voice calling him by his name, sometimes with other
     words; he doubted whether this were his proper Dæmon, or the air
     itself speaking. It is not wonderful that his imagination was
     affected by length of confinement.

13. It is almost a descent in Campanella from these visions of the
separate sensibility of nature in each particle, when he seizes hold
of some physical fact or analogy to establish a subordinate and less
paradoxical part of his theory. He was much pleased with Gilbert’s
treatise on the magnet, and thought it of course a proof of the
animation of the earth. The world is an animal, he says, sentient as a
whole, and enjoying life in all its parts.[161] It is not surprising
that he ascribes intelligence to plants; but he here remarks that we
find the male and female sexes in them, and that the latter cannot
fructify without the former. This is manifest in siliquose plants and
in palms (which on this account he calls in another place the wiser
plants, plantæ sapientiores), in which the two kinds incline towards
each other for the purpose of fructification.[162]

     [161] Mundum esse animal, totum sentiens, omnesque portiones ejus
     communi gaudere vita, l. i. c. 9.

     [162] Inveniemus in plantis sexum masculinum et fœmininum, ut in
     animalibus, et fœminam non fructificare sine masculi congressu.
     Hoc patet in siliquis et in palmis, quarum mas fœminaque
     inclinantur mutuo alter in alterum et sese osculantur, et fœmina
     impregnatur, nec fructificat sine mare; immo conspicitur dolens,
     squalida mortuaque, et pulvere illius et odore reviviscit.

|His works published by Adami.|

14. Campanella, when he uttered from his Neapolitan prison these
dulcet sounds of fantasy, had the advantage of finding a pious
disciple who spread them over other parts of Europe. This was Tobias
Adami, initiated, as he tells us, in the same mysteries as himself
(nostræ philosophiæ symmysta), who dedicated to the philosophers of
Germany his own Prodromus Philosophiæ Instauratio, prefixed to his
edition of Campanella’s Compendium de Rerum Natura, published at
Frankfort in 1617. Most of the other writings of the master seem to
have preceded this edition; for Adami enumerates them in his
Prodromus. Campanella did not fully obtain his liberty till 1629, and
died some years afterwards in France, where he had experienced
the kindness of Peiresc, and the patronage of Richelieu. His
philosophy made no very deep impression; it was too fanciful, too
arbitrary, too much tinctured with marks of an imagination rendered
morbid by solitude, to gain many proselytes in an age that was
advancing in severe science. Gassendi, whose good nature led him to
receive Campanella, oppressed by poverty and ill usage, with every
courteous attention, was of all men the last to be seduced by his
theories. No one, probably, since Campanella, aspiring to be reckoned
among philosophers, has ventured to assert so much on matters of high
speculative importance and to prove so little. Yet he seems worthy of
the notice we have taken of him, if it were only as the last of the
mere dogmatists in philosophy. He is doubtless much superior to
Jordano Bruno, and I should presume, except in mathematics, to

     [163] Brucker (vol. v., p. 106-144) has given a laborious
     analysis of the philosophy of Campanella.


15. A less important adversary of the established theory in physics
was Sebastian Basson, in his “Philosophiæ Naturalis adversus
Aristotelem libri XII., in quibus abstrusa veterum physiologia
restauratur, et Aristotelis errores solidis rationibus refelluntur.
Genevæ, 1621.” This book shows great animosity against Aristotle, to
whom, as Lord Bacon has himself insinuated, he allows only the credit
of having preserved fragments of the older philosophers, like pearls
in mud. It is difficult to give an account of this long work. In some
places we perceive signs of a just philosophy; but in general his
explanations of physical phænomena seem as bad as those of his
opponents, and he displays no acquaintance with the writings and the
discoveries of his great contemporaries. We find also some geometrical
paradoxes; and in treating of astronomy he writes as if he had never
heard of the Copernican system.


16. Claude Berigard, born at Moulins, became professor of natural
philosophy at Pisa and Padua. In his Circuli Pisani, published in
1643, he attempted to revive, as it is commonly said, the Ionic or
corpuscular philosophy of Anaxagoras, in opposition to the
Aristotelian. The book is rare; but Brucker, who had seen it, seems to
have satisfactorily repelled the charge of atheism, brought by some
against Berigard.[164]

     [164] Brucker, iv. 460. Niceron, xxxi., where he is inserted by
     the name of Beauregard, which is probably more correct, but
     against usage.


Another Frenchman domiciled in Italy, Magnen, trod nearly the same
path as Berigard, professing, however, to follow the modification of
the corpuscular theory introduced by Democritus.[165] It seems to be
observable as to these writers, Basson and the others, that, coming
with no sufficient knowledge of what had recently been discovered in
mathematical and experimental science, and following the bad methods
of the universities, even when they deviated from their usual
doctrines, dogmatizing and asserting when they should have proved,
arguing synthetically from axioms, and never ascending from particular
facts, they could do little good to philosophy, except by
contributing, so far as they might be said to have had any influence,
to shake the authority of Aristotle.

     [165] Brucker (p. 504) thinks that Magnen misunderstood
     the atomic theory of Democritus, and substituted one quite
     different in his Democritus reviviscens, published in 1646.


17. This authority, which at least required but the deference of
modest reason to one of the greatest of mankind, was ill exchanged, in
any part of science, for the unintelligible dreams of the school of
Paracelsus, which had many disciples in Germany, and a very few in
England. Germany indeed has been the native soil of mysticism in
Europe. The tendency to reflex observation of the mind, characteristic
of that people, has exempted them from much gross error, and given
them insight into many depths of truth, but at the expense of some
confusion, some liability to self-deceit, and to some want of
strictness in metaphysical reasoning. It was accompanied by a profound
sense of the presence of Deity; yet one which, acting on their
thoughtful spirits, became rather an impression than an intellectual
act, and settled into a mysterious indefinite theopathy, when it did
not even evaporate in pantheism.

|And Theosophists.|

18. The founder, perhaps, of this sect was Tauler of Strasburg, in the
fourteenth century, whose sermons in the native language, which,
however, are supposed to have been translated from Latin, are full of
what many have called by the vague word mysticism, an intense
aspiration for the union of the soul with God. An anonymous work
generally entitled The German Theology, written in the fifteenth
century, pursues the same track of devotional thought. It was
a favourite book with Luther, and was translated into Latin by
Castalio.[166] These indeed are to be considered chiefly as
theological; but the study of them led readily to a state of mental
emotion, wherein a dogmatic pseudo-philosophy, like that of
Paracelsus, abounding with assertions that imposed on the imagination,
and appealing frequently both to scriptural authority and the evidence
of inward light, was sure to be favourably received. The mystics,
therefore, and the theosophists belonged to the same class, and it is
not uncommon to use the names indifferently.

     [166] Episcopius places the author of the Theologia Germanica,
     with Henry Nicolas and David George, among mere enthusiasts.


19. It may appear not here required to dwell on a subject scarcely
falling under any province of literary history, but two writers within
this period have been sufficiently distinguished to deserve mention.
One of these was Robert Fludd, an English physician, who died in 1637;
a man of indefatigable diligence in collecting the dreams and follies
of past ages, blending them in a portentous combination with new
fancies of his own. The Rabbinical and Cabbalistic authors, as well as
the Paracelsists, the writers on magic, and whatever was most worthy
to be rejected and forgotten, form the basis of his creed. Among his
numerous works the most known was his “Mosaic Philosophy,” in which,
like many before his time as well as since, he endeavoured to build a
scheme of physical philosophy on the first chapters in Genesis. I do
not know whether he found there his two grand principles or forces of
nature: a northern force of condensation, and a southern force of
dilatation. These seem to be the Parmenidean cold and heat, expressed
in a jargon affected in order to make dupes. In peopling the universe
with dæmons, and in ascribing all phænomena to their invisible agency,
he pursued the steps of Agrippa and Paracelsus, or rather of the whole
school of fanatics and impostors called magical. He took also from
older writers the doctrine of a constant analogy between universal
nature, or the macrocosm, and that of man, or the microcosm; so that
what was known in one might lead us to what was unknown in the
other.[167] Fludd possessed, however, some acquaintance with science,
especially in chemistry and mechanics; and his rhapsodies were so far
from being universally contemned in his own age, that Gassendi thought
it not unworthy of him to enter into a prolix confutation of the
Fluddian philosophy.[168]

     [167] This was a favourite doctrine of Paracelsus. Campanella was
     much too fanciful not to embrace it. Mundus, he says, habet
     spiritum qui est cœlum, crassum corpus quod est terra, sanguinem
     qui est mare. Homo igitur compendium epilogusque mundi est. De
     Sensu Rerum, l. ii. c. 32.

     [168] Brucker, iv. 691. Buhle, iii. 157.

|Jacob Behmen.|

20. Jacob Behmen, or rather Boehm, a shoemaker of Gorlitz, is far more
generally familiar to our ears than his contemporary Fludd. He was,
however, much inferior to him in reading, and in fact seems to have
read little but the Bible and the writings of Paracelsus. He recounts
the visions and ecstasies during which a supernatural illumination had
been conveyed to him. It came indeed without the gift of transferring
the light to others; for scarce any have been able to pierce the
clouds in which his meaning has been charitably presumed to lie hid.
The chief work of Behmen is his Aurora, written about 1612, and
containing a record of the visions wherein the mysteries of nature
were revealed to him. It was not published till 1641. He is said to
have been a man of great goodness of heart, which his writings
display; but, in literature, this cannot give a sanction to the
incoherencies of madness. His language, as far as I have seen any
extracts from his works, is coloured with the phraseology of the
alchemists and astrologers; as for his philosophy, so to style it, we
find according to Brucker, who has taken some pains with the subject,
manifest traces of the system of emanation, so ancient and so
attractive; and from this and several other reasons, he is inclined to
think the unlearned shoemaker of Gorlitz must have had assistance from
men of more education in developing his visions.[169] But the
emanative theory is one into which a mind absorbed in contemplation
may very naturally fall. Behmen had his disciples, which such
enthusiasts rarely want; and his name is sufficiently known to justify
the mention of it even in philosophical history.

     [169] Brucker, iv. 698.

|Lord Herbert De Veritate.|

21. We come now to an English writer of a different class, little
known as such at present, but who, without doing much for the
advancement of metaphysical philosophy, had at least the merit of
devoting to it with a sincere and independent spirit the leisure of
high rank, and of a life not obscure in the world--Lord
Herbert of Cherbury. The principal work of this remarkable man is his
Latin treatise, published in 1624, “On truth as it is distinguished
from Revelation, from Probability, from Possibility, and from
Falsehood.” Its object is to inquire what are the sure means of
discerning and discovering truth. This, as, like other authors, he
sets out by proclaiming, had been hitherto done by no one, and he
treats both ancient and modern philosophers rather haughtily, as being
men tied to particular opinions, from which they dare not depart. “It
is not from an hypocritical or mercenary writer, that we are to look
for perfect truth. Their interest is not to lay aside their mask, or
think for themselves. A liberal and independent author alone will do
this.” [170] So general an invective, after Lord Bacon, and indeed
after others, like Campanella, who could not be charged with following
any conceits rather than their own, bespeaks either ignorance of
philosophical literature, or a supercilious neglect of it.

     [170] Non est igitur a larvatoaliquo vel stipendioso scriptore ut
     verum consummatum opperiaris: Illorum apprime interest ne
     personam deponant, vel aliter quidem sentiant. Ingenuus et sui
     arbitrii ista solummodo præstabit auctor. Epist. ad Lectorem.

|His axioms.|

22. Lord Herbert lays down seven primary axioms. 1. Truth exists: 2.
It is coeval with the things to which it relates: 3. It exists
everywhere: 4. It is self-evident:[171] 5. There are as many truths,
as there are differences in things: 6. These differences are made
known to us by our natural faculties: 7. There is a truth belonging to
these truths; “Est veritas quædam harum veritatum.” This axiom he
explains as obscurely, as it is strangely expressed. All truth he then
distinguishes into the truth of the thing or object, the truth of the
appearance, the truth of the perception, and the truth of the
understanding. The truth of the object is the inherent conformity of
the object with itself, or that which makes everything what it
is.[172] The truth of appearance is the conditional conformity of the
appearance with the object. The truth of perception is the conditional
conformity of our senses (facultates nostras prodromas) with the
appearances of things. The truth of understanding is the due
conformity between the aforesaid conformities. All truth, therefore,
is conformity, all conformity relation. Three things are to be
observed in every inquiry after truth; the thing or object, the sense
or faculty, and the laws or conditions by which its conformity or
relation is determined. Lord Herbert is so obscure, partly by not
thoroughly grasping his subject, partly by writing in Latin, partly
perhaps by the “sphalmata et errata in typographo, quædam fortasse in
seipso,” of which he complains at the end, that it has been necessary
to omit several sentences as unintelligible, though what I have just
given is far enough from being too clear.

     [171] Hæc veritas est in se manifesta. He observes that what are
     called false appearances, are true as such, though not true
     according to the reality of the object: sua veritas apparentiæ
     falsæ inest, verè enim ita apparebit, vera tamen ex veritate rei
     non erit.

     [172] Inhærens illa conformitas rei cum seipsa, sive illa ratio,
     ex qua res unaquæque sibi constant.

|Conditions of truth.|

23. Truth, he goes on to say, exists as to the object, or outward
thing itself, when our faculties are capable of determining everything
concerning it; but though this definition is exact, it is doubtful
whether any such truth exists in nature. The first condition of
discerning truth in things, is that they should have a relation to
ourselves; (ut intra nostram stet analogiam) since multitudes of
things may exist which the senses cannot discover. The three chief
conditions of this condition seem to be: 1. That it should be of a
proper size, neither immense, nor too small; 2. That it should have
its determining difference, or principle of individuation, to
distinguish it from other things; 3. That it should be accommodated to
some sense or perceptive faculty. These are the universally necessary
conditions of truth (that is of knowledge) as it regards the object.
The truth of appearance depends on others, which are more particular;
as that the object should be perceived for a sufficient time, through
a proper medium, at a due distance, in a proper situation.[173] Truth
of perception is conditional also, and its conditions are, that the
sense should be sound, and the attention directed towards it. Truth of
understanding depends on the κοιναι εννοιαι [koinai ennoiai], the
common notions possessed by every man of sane mind, and implanted by
nature. The understanding teaches us by means of these, that infinity
and eternity exist, though our senses cannot perceive them.
The understanding deals also with universals, and truth is known as to
universals, when the particulars are rightly apprehended.

     [173] Lord Herbert defines appearance, icetypum, seu forma
     vicaria rei, quæ sub conditionibus istis cum prototypo suo
     conformata, cum conceptu denuo sub conditionibus etiam suis,
     conformari et modo quodam spirituali, tanquam ab objecto decisa,
     etiam in objecti absentia conservari potest.

|Instinctive truths.|

24. Our faculties are as numerous as the differences of things; and
thus it is, that the world corresponds by perfect analogy to the human
soul, degrees of perception being as much distinct from one another as
different modes of it. All our powers may however be reduced to four
heads; natural instinct, internal perception, external sensation, and
reason. What is not known by one of these four means cannot be known
at all. Instinctive truths are proved by universal consent. Here he
comes to his general basis of religion, maintaining the existence of
κοιναι εννοιαι [koinai ennoiai] or common notions of mankind, on that
subject, principles against which no one can dispute, without
violating the laws of his nature.[174] Natural instinct he defines to
be an act of those faculties existing in every man of sane mind, by
which the common notions as to the relations of things not perceived
by the senses, (rerum internarum) and especially such as tend to the
conversation of the individual, of the species, and of the whole, are
formed without any process of reasoning. These common notions, though
excited in us by the objects of sense, are not conveyed to us by them;
they are implanted in us by nature, so that God seems to have imparted
to us not only a part of his image, but of his wisdom.[175] And
whatever is understood and perceived by all men alike deserves to be
accounted one of these notions. Some of them are instinctive, others
are deduced from such as are. The former are distinguishable by six
marks; priority, independence, universality, certainty; so that no man
can doubt them without putting off as it were his nature, necessity,
that is, usefulness for the preservation of man; lastly, intuitive
apprehension, for these common notions do not require to be

     [174] Principia illa sacrosancta, contra quæ disputare nefas.
     p. 44. I have translated this in the best sense I could give it;
     but to use _fas_ or _nefas_, before we have defined their
     meaning, or proved their existence, is but indifferent logic.

     [175] P. 48.

     [176] P. 60.

|Internal perceptions.|

25. Internal perceptions denote the conformity of objects with those
faculties existing in every man of sane mind, which, being developed
by his natural instinct, are conversant with the internal relations of
things, in a secondary and particular manner, and by means of natural
instinct.[177] By this ill-worded definition he probably intends to
distinguish the general power, or instinctive knowledge, from its
exercise and application in any instance. But I have found it very
difficult to follow Lord Herbert. It is by means, he says, of these
internal senses that we discern the nature of things in their
intrinsic relations, or hidden types of being.[178] And it is
necessary well to distinguish the conforming faculty in the mind or
internal perception, from the bodily sense. The cloudiness of his
expression increases as we proceed, and in many pages I cannot venture
to translate or abridge it. The injudicious use of a language in which
he did not write with facility, and which is not very well adapted, at
the best, to metaphysical disquisition, has doubtless increased the
perplexity into which he has thrown his readers.

     [177] Sensus interni sunt actus conformitatum objectorum cum
     facultatibus illis in omni homine sano et integro existentibus,
     quæ ab instinctu naturali expositæ, circa analogiam rerum
     internam, particulariter, secondario, et ratione instinctûs
     naturalis versantur. p. 66.

     [178] Circa analogiam rerum internam, sive signaturas et
     characteras rerum penitiores versantur. p. 68.

|Five natural notions of natural religion.|

26. In the conclusion of this treatise, Herbert lays down the five
common notions of natural religion, implanted, as he conceives, in the
breasts of all mankind. 1. That there is a God; 2. That he ought to be
worshipped; 3. That virtue and piety are the chief parts of worship;
4. That we are to repent and turn from our sins; 5. That they are
rewards and punishments in another life.[179] Nothing can be admitted
in religion which contradicts these primary notions; but if any one
has a revelation from heaven in addition to these, which may happen to
him sleeping or waking, he should keep it to himself, since nothing
can be of importance to the human race, which is not established by
the evidence of their common faculties. Nor can anything be known to
be revealed, which is not revealed to ourselves; all else being
tradition and historic testimony, which does not amount to knowledge.
The specific difference of man from other animals he makes not reason,
but the capacity of religion. It is a curious coincidence, that John
Wesley has said something of the same kind.[180] It is also
remarkable that we find in another work of Lord Herbert, De Religione
Gentilium, which dwells again on his five articles of natural
religion, essential, as he expressly lays it down, to salvation, the
same illustration of the being of a Deity from the analogy of a watch
or clock, which Paley has since employed. I believe that it occurs in
an intermediate writer.[181]

     [179] P. 222.

     [180] I have somewhere read a profound remark of Wesley, that,
     considering the sagacity which many animals display, we cannot
     fix upon reason as the distinction between them and man; the true
     difference is, that we are formed to know God, and they are not.

     [181] Et quidem si horologium per diem et noctem integram horas
     signanter indicans, viderit quispiam non mente captus, id
     consilio arteque summa factum judicaverit. Ecquis non planè
     demens, qui hanc mundi machinam non per viginti quatuor horas
     tantum, sed per tot sæcula circuitus suos obeuntem
     animadverterit, non id omne sapientissimo utique potentissimoque
     alicui autori tribuat? De Relig. Gentil., cap. xiii.

|Remarks of Gassendi on Herbert.|

27. Lord Herbert sent a copy of his treatise De Veritate several years
after its publication to Gassendi. We have a letter to the noble
author in the third volume of the works of that philosopher, showing,
in the candid and sincere spirit natural to him, the objections that
struck his mind in reading the book.[182] Gassendi observes that the
distinctions of four kinds of truth are not new; the veritas rei of
Lord Herbert being what is usually called substance, his veritas
apparentiæ no more than accident, and the other two being only sense
and reason. Gassendi seems not wholly to approve, but gives us the
best, a definition of truth little differing from Herbert’s, the
agreement of the cognizant intellect with the thing known:
“Intellectûs cognoscentis cum re cognita congruentia.” The obscurity
of the treatise De Veritate could ill suit an understanding like that
of Gassendi, always tending to acquire clear conceptions; and though
he writes with great civility, it is not without smartly opposing what
he does not approve. The aim of Lord Herbert’s work, he says, is that
the intellect may pierce into the nature of things, knowing them as
they are in themselves without the fallacies of appearance and sense.
But for himself he confesses that such knowledge he has always found
above him, and that he is in darkness when he attempts to investigate
the real nature of the least thing; making many of the observations on
this which we read also in Locke. And he well says that we have enough
for our use in the accidents or appearances of things without knowing
their substances, in reply to Herbert, who had declared that we should
be miserably deficient, if, while nature has given us senses to
discern sounds and colours and such fleeting qualities of things, we
had no sure road to eternal, and necessary truths.[183] The
universality of those innate principles, especially moral and
religious, on which his correspondent had built so much, is doubted by
Gassendi on the usual grounds, that many have denied, or been ignorant
of them. The letter is imperfect, some sheets of the autograph having
been lost.

     [182] Gassendi Opera, iii. 411.

     [183] Misere nobiscum actum esset, si ad percipiendos colores,
     sonos et qualitates cæteras caducas atque momentaneas subessent
     media, nulla autem ad veritates illas internas, æternas,
     necessarias sine errore superesset via.

28. Too much space may seem to have been bestowed on a writer who
cannot be ranked high among metaphysicians. But Lord Herbert was not
only a distinguished name, but may claim the precedence among those
philosophers in England. If his treatise De Veritate is not as an
entire work very successful, or founded always upon principles which
have stood the test of severe reflection, it is still a monument of an
original, independent thinker, without rhapsodies of imagination,
without pedantic technicalities, and above all, bearing witness to a
sincere love of the truth he sought to apprehend. The ambitious
expectation that the real essences of things might be discovered, if
it were truly his, as Gassendi seems to suppose, could not be
warranted by anything, at least within the knowledge of that age. But
from some expressions of Herbert I should infer that he did not think
our faculties competent to solve the whole problem of _quiddity_,
as the logicians called it, or the real nature of anything, at least,
objectively without us.[184] He is indeed so obscure, that I will not
vouch for his entire consistency. It has been an additional motive to
say as much as I have done concerning Lord Herbert, that I know not
where any account of his treatise De Veritate will be found. Brucker
is strangely silent about this writer, and Buhle has merely adverted
to the letter of Gassendi. Descartes has spoken of Lord Herbert’s book
with much respect, though several of their leading principles
were far from the same. It was translated into French in 1639, and
this translation he found less difficult than the original.[185]

     [184] Cum facultates nostræ ad analogiam propriam terminatæ
     quidditates rerum intimas non penetrent: ideo quid res naturalis
     in seipsa sit, tali ex analogia ad nos ut _sit_ constituta,
     perfecte sciri non potest, p. 165. Instead of _sit_, it might be
     better to read _est_. In another place he says, it is doubtful
     whether anything exists in nature, concerning which we have a
     complete knowledge. The eternal and necessary truths which
     Herbert contends for our knowing, seem to have been his communes
     notitiæ, subjectively understood, rather than such as relate to
     external objects.

     [185] Descartes, vol. viii., p. 138 and 168. J’y trouve plusieurs
     choses fort bonnes, _sed non publici saporis_; car il y a peu de
     personnes qui soient capables d’entendre la métaphysique. Et,
     pour le général du livre, il tient un chemin fort différent de
     celui que j’ai suivi.... Enfin, par conclusion, encore que je ne
     puisse m’accorder en tout aux sentimens de cet auteur, je ne
     laisse pas de l’estimer beaucoup au-dessus des esprits

|Gassendi’s defence of Epicurus.|

29. Gassendi himself ought, perhaps, to be counted wholly among the
philosophers of this period, since many of his writings were
published, and all may have been completed within it. They are
contained in six large folio volumes, rather closely printed. The
Exercitationes Paradoxicæ, published in 1624, are the earliest. These
contain an attack on the logic of Aristotle, the fortress that so many
bold spirits were eager to assail. But in more advanced life Gassendi
withdrew in great measure from this warfare, and his Logic, in the
Syntagma Philosophicum, the record of his latest opinions, is chiefly
modelled on the Aristotelian, with sufficient commendation of its
author. In the study of ancient philosophy, however, Gassendi was
impressed with an admiration of Epicurus. His physical theory, founded
on corpuscles and a vacuum, his ethics, in their principle and
precepts, his rules of logic and guidance of the intellect, seemed to
the cool and independent mind of the French philosopher more worthy of
regard than the opposite schemes prevailing in the schools, and not to
be rejected on account of any discredit attached to the name.
Combining with the Epicurean physics and ethics the religious element
which had been unnecessarily discarded from the philosophy of the
Garden, Gassendi displayed both in a form no longer obnoxious. The
Syntagma Philosophiæ Epicuri, published in 1649, is an elaborate
vindication of this system, which he had previously expounded in a
commentary on the tenth book of Diogenes Laertius. He had already
effaced the prejudices against Epicurus himself, whom he seems to have
regarded with the affection of a disciple, in a biographical treatise
on his life and moral character.

|His chief works after 1650.|

30. Gassendi died in 1656; the Syntagma Philosophicum, his greatest as
well as last work, in which it is natural to seek the whole scheme of
his philosophy, was published by his friend Sorbière in 1658. We may,
therefore, properly defer the consideration of his metaphysical
writings to the next period: but the controversy in which he was
involved with Descartes will render it necessary to bring his name
forward again before the close of this chapter.

                             SECT. II.

                _On the Philosophy of Lord Bacon._

|Preparation for the philosophy of.|

31. It may be judged from what has been said in a former volume, as
well as in our last pages, that at the beginning of the seventeenth
century, the higher philosophy which is concerned with general truth,
and the means of knowing it, had been little benefitted by the labours
of any modern inquirer. It was become indeed no strange thing, at
least out of the air of a college, to question the authority of
Aristotle; but his disciples pointed with scorn at the endeavours
which had as yet been made to supplant it, and asked whether the
wisdom so long reverenced was to be set aside for the fanatical
reveries of Paracelsus, the unintelligible chimæras of Bruno, or the
more plausible, but arbitrary, hypotheses of Telesio.

|Lord Bacon.|

32. Francis Bacon was born in 1561.[186] He came to years of manhood
at the time when England was rapidly emerging from ignorance and
obsolete methods of study, in an age of powerful minds, full himself
of ambition, confidence and energy. If we think on the public history
of Bacon, even during the least public portion of it, philosophy must
appear to have been but his amusement; it was by his hours of leisure,
by time hardly missed from the laborious study and practice of the law
and from the assiduities of a courtier’s life, that he became the
father of modern science. This union of an active with a reflecting
life had been the boast of some ancients, of Cicero and Antonine; but
what comparison, in depth and originality, between their philosophy
and that of Bacon?

     [186] Those who place Lord Bacon’s birth in 1560, as Mr. Montagu
     has done, must be understood to follow the old style, which
     creates some confusion. He was born the 22nd of January, and died
     the 9th of April, 1626, in the sixty-sixth year of his age, as we
     are told in his life by Rawley, the best authority we have.

|His plan of philosophy.|

33. This wonderful man, in sweeping round the champaign of universal
science with his powerful genius, found as little to praise in
the recent, as in the ancient methods of investigating truth. He liked
as little the empirical presumption of drawing conclusions from a
partial experience as the sophistical dogmatism which relied on
unwarranted axioms and verbal chicane. All, he thought, was to be
constructed anew; the investigation of facts, their arrangement for
the purposes of inquiry, the process of eliciting from them the
required truth. And for this he saw, that, above all, a thorough
purgation of the mind itself would be necessary, by pointing out its
familiar errors, their sources, and their remedies.

|Time of its conception.|

34. It is not exactly known at what age Bacon first conceived the
scheme of a comprehensive philosophy, but it was, by his own account,
very early in life.[187] Such noble ideas are most congenial to the
sanguine spirit of youth, and to its ignorance of the extent of labour
it undertakes. In the dedication of the Novum Organum to James in
1620, he says that he had been about some such work near thirty years,
“so as I made no haste.” “And the reason,” he adds, “why I have
published it now, specially being imperfect, is, to speak plainly,
because I number my days, and would have it saved. There is another
reason of my so doing, which is to try whether I can get help in one
intended part of this work, namely, the compiling of a natural and
experimental history, which must be the main foundation of a true and
active philosophy.” He may be presumed at least to have made a very
considerable progress in his undertaking, before the close of the
sixteenth century. But it was first promulgated to the world by the
publication of his Treatise on the Advancement of Learning in 1605. In
this, indeed, the whole of the Baconian philosophy may be said to be
implicitly contained, except perhaps the second book of the Novum
Organum. In 1623, he published his more celebrated Latin translation
of this work, if it is not rather to be deemed a new one, entitled, De
Augmentis Scientiarum. I find, upon comparison, that more than two
thirds of this treatise are a version, with slight interpolation or
omission, from the Advancement of Learning, the remainder being new

     [187] In a letter to Father Fulgentio, which bears no date in
     print, but must have been written about 1624, he refers to a
     juvenile work about forty years before, which he had confidently
     entitled The Greatest Birth of Time. Bacon says: Equidem memini
     me quadraginta abhinc annis juvenile opusculum circa has res
     confecisse, quod magna prorsus fiducia et magnifico titulo,
     “Temporis partum maximum” inscripsi. The apparent vain-glory of
     this title is somewhat extenuated by the sense he gave to the
     phrase Birth of Time. He meant that the lapse of time and long
     experience were the natural sources of a better philosophy, as he
     says in his dedication of the Instauratio Magna: Ipse certè, ut
     ingenue fateor, soleo, æstimare hoc opus magis pro partu temporis
     quam ingenii. Illud enim in eo solummodo mirabile est, initia rei
     et tantas de iis quæ invaluerunt suspiciones, alicui in mentem
     venire potuisse. Cætera non illibenter sequuntur.

     No treatise with this precise title appears. But we find prefixed
     to some of the short pieces a general title, Temporis Partus
     Masculus, sive Instauratio Magna Imperii Universi in Humanum.
     These treatises, however, though earlier than his great works,
     cannot be referred to so juvenile a period as his letter to
     Fulgentio intimates, and I should rather incline to suspect that
     the _opusculum_ to which he there refers, has not been
     preserved. Mr. Montagu is of a different opinion. See his Note I.
     to the life of Bacon in vol. xvi. of his edition. The Latin tract
     De Interpretatione Naturæ Mr. M. supposes to be the germ of the
     Instauratio, as the Cogitata et Visa are of the Novum Organum. I
     do not dissent from this; but the former bears marks of having
     been written after Bacon had been immersed in active life. The
     most probable conjecture appears to be that he very early
     perceived the meagreness and imperfection of the academical
     course of philosophy, and of all others which fell in his way,
     and formed the scheme of affording something better from his own
     resources: but that he did not commit _much_ to paper, nor
     had planned his own method till after he was turned thirty, which
     his letter to the King intimates.

     In a recent and very brilliant sketch of the Baconian philosophy
     (Edinb. Review, July, 1837), the two leading principles that
     distinguish it throughout all its parts, are justly denominated
     _utility_ and _progress_. To do good to mankind, and do
     more and more good, are the ethics of its inductive method. We
     may only regret that the ingenious author of this article has
     been hurried sometimes into the low and contracted view of the
     deceitful word _utility_, which regards rather the
     enjoyments of physical convenience, than the general well-being
     of the individual and the species. If Bacon looked more
     frequently to the former, it was because so large a portion of
     his writings relates to physical observation and experiment. But
     it was far enough from his design to set up physics in any sort
     of opposition to ethics, much less in a superior light. I dissent
     also from some of the observations in this article, lively as
     they are, which tend to depreciate the originality and importance
     of the Baconian methods. The reader may turn to a note on this
     subject by Dugald Stewart, at the end of the present section.

|Instauratio Magna.|

35. The Instauratio Magna had been already published in 1620, while
Lord Bacon was still chancellor. Fifteen years had elapsed
since he gave to the world his Advancement of Learning, the first
fruits of such astonishing vigour of philosophical genius, that,
inconceivable as the completion of the scheme he had even then laid
down in prospect for his new philosophy by any single effort must
appear, we may be disappointed at the great deficiencies which this
latter work exhibits, and which he was not destined to fill up. But he
had passed the interval in active life, and in dangerous paths,
deserting, as in truth he had all along been prone enough to do, the
“shady spaces of philosophy,” as Milton calls them, for the court of a
sovereign, who with some real learning, was totally incapable of
sounding the depths of Lord Bacon’s mind, or even of estimating his

|First Part: Partitiones Scientiarum.|

36. The Instauratio Magna, dedicated to James, is divided, according
to the magnificent groundplot of its author, into six parts. The first
of these he entitles Partitiones Scientiarum, comprehending a general
summary of that knowledge which mankind already possess; yet not
merely treating this affirmatively, but taking special notice of
whatever should seem deficient or imperfect; sometimes even supplying,
by illustration or precept, these vacant spaces of science. This first
part he declares to be wanting in the Instauratio. It has been chiefly
supplied by the treatise De Augmentis Scientiarum; yet perhaps even
that does not fully come up to the amplitude of his design.

|Second part: Novum Organum.|

37. The second part of the Instauratio was to be, as he expresses it
“the science of a better and more perfect use of reason in the
investigation of things, and of the true aids of the understanding,”
the new logic, or inductive method, in which what is eminently styled
the Baconian philosophy consists. This, as far as he completed it, is
known to all by the name of the Novum Organum. But he seems to have
designed a fuller treatise in place of this; the aphorisms into which
he has digested it being rather the heads or theses of chapters, at
least in many places, that would have been further expanded.[188] And
it is still more important to observe, that he did not achieve the
whole of this summary that he had promised; but out of nine divisions
of his method we only possess the first, which he denominates
prærogative instantiarum. Eight others, of exceeding importance in
logic, he has not touched at all, except to describe them by name and
to promise more. “We will speak,” he says, “in the first place, of
prerogative instances; secondly, of the aids of induction; thirdly, of
the rectification of induction; fourthly, of varying the investigation
according to the nature of the subject; fifthly, of prerogative
natures (or objects), as to investigation, or the choice of what shall
be first inquired into; sixthly, of the boundaries of inquiry, or the
synoptical view of all natures in the world; seventhly, on the
application of inquiry to practice, and what relates to man; eighthly,
on the preparations (parascevis) for inquiry; lastly, on the ascending
and descending scale of axioms.”[189] All these, after the first, are
wanting, with the exception of some slightly handled in separate parts
of Bacon’s writings; and the deficiency, which is so important, seems
to have been sometimes overlooked by those who have written about the
Novum Organum.

     [188] It is entitled by himself, Partis secundæ Summa, digesta in

     [189] Dicemus itaque primo loco de prærogativis instantiarum;
     secundo, de adminiculis inductiones; tertio, de rectificatione
     inductionis; quarto, de variatione inquisitionis pro natura
     subjecti; quinto, de prærogativis naturarum quatenus ad
     inquisitionem, sive de eo quod inquirendum est prius et
     posterius; sexto, de terminis inquisitionis, sive de synopsi
     omnium naturarum in universo; septimo, de deductione ad praxin,
     sive de eo quod est in ordine ad hominem; octavo, de parascevis
     ad inquisitionem; postremo autem, de scala ascensoria et
     descensoria axiomatum, lib. ii. 22.

|Third part: Natural History.|

38. The third part of the Instauratio Magna was to comprise an entire
natural history, diligently and scrupulously collected from experience
of every kind; including under that name of natural history everything
wherein the art of man has been employed on natural substances either
for practice or experiment; no method of reasoning being sufficient to
guide us to truth as to natural things, if they are not themselves
clearly and exactly apprehended. It is unnecessary to observe that
very little of this immense chart of nature could be traced by the
hand of Bacon, or in his time. His Centuries of Natural History,
containing about one thousand observed facts and experiments, are a
very slender contribution towards such a description of universal
nature as he contemplated; these form no part of the Instauratio
Magna, and had been compiled before. But he enumerates one hundred and
thirty particular histories which ought to be drawn up for his great
work. A few of these he has given in a sort of skeleton, as
samples rather of the method of collecting facts, than of the facts
themselves; namely, the History of Winds, of Life and Death, of
Density and Rarity, of Sound and Hearing.

|Fourth part: Scala Intellectûs.|

39. The fourth part, called Scala Intellectûs, is also wanting with
the exception of a very few introductory pages. “By these tables,”
says Bacon, “we mean not such examples as we subjoin to the several
rules of our method, but types and models, which place before our eyes
the entire process of the mind in the discovery of truth, selecting
various and remarkable instances.”[190] These he compares to the
diagrams of geometry, by attending to which the steps of the
demonstration become perspicuous. Though the great brevity of his
language in this place renders it rather difficult to see clearly what
he understood by these models, some light appears to be thrown on this
passage by one in the treatise De Augmentis, where he enumerates among
the desiderata of logic what he calls traditio lampadis, or a delivery
of any science or particular truth according to the order wherein it
was discovered.[191] “The methods of geometers,” he there says, “have
some resemblance to this art;” which is not, however, the case as to
the synthetical geometry with which we are generally conversant. It is
the history of analytical investigation, and many beautiful
illustrations of it have been given since the days of Bacon in all
subjects to which that method of inquiry has been applied.

     [190] Neque de iis exemplis loquimur, quæ singulis præceptis ac
     regulis illustrandi gratia adjiciuntur, hoc enim in secunda
     operis parte abunde præstitimus, sed plane typos intelligimus ac
     plasmata, quæ universum mentis processum atque inveniendi
     continuatam fabricam et ordinem in certis subjectis, iisque
     variis et insignibus tanquam sub oculos ponant. Etenim nobis
     venit in mentem in mathematicis, astente machina, sequi
     demonstrationem facilem et perspicuam; contra absque hac
     commoditate omnia videri involuta et quam revera sunt subtiliora.

     [191] Lib. vi. cap. 2. Scientia quæ aliis tanquam tela pertexendo
     traditur, eadem methodo, si fieri possit, animo alterius est
     insinuanda, qua primitus inventa est. Atque hoc ipsum fieri sane
     potest in scientia per inductionem acquisita: sed in anticipata
     ista et præmatura scientia, qua utimur, non facile dicat quis quo
     itinere ad eam quam nactus est scientiam pervenerit. Attamen sane
     secundum majus et minus possit quis scientiam propriam revisere,
     et vestigia suæ cognitionis simul et consensûs remetiri; atque
     hoc facto scientiam sic transplantare in animum alienum, sicut
     crevit in suo.... Cujus quidem generis traditionis, methodus
     mathematicorum in eo subjecto similitudinem quandam habet. I do
     not well understand the words, in eo subjecto; he may possibly
     have referred to analytical processes.

|Fifth part: Anticipationes Philosophiæ.|

|Sixth part: Philosophia Secunda.|

40. In the fifth part of the Instauratio Magna, Bacon had designed to
give a specimen of the new philosophy which he hoped to raise after a
due use of his natural history and inductive method, by way of
anticipation or sample of the whole. He calls it Prodromi, sive
Anticipationes Philosophiæ Secundæ. And some fragments of this part
are published by the names Cogitata et Visa, Cogitationes de Natura
Rerum, Filum Labyrinthi, and a few more, being as much, in all
probability, as he had reduced to writing. In his own metaphor, it was
to be like the payment of interest, till the principal could be
raised; tanquam fœnus reddatur, donec sors haberi possit. For he
despaired of ever completing the work by a sixth and last portion,
which was to display a perfect system of philosophy, deduced and
confirmed by a legitimate, sober, and exact inquiry according to the
method which he had invented and laid down. “To perfect this last part
is above our powers and beyond our hopes. We may, as we trust, make no
despicable beginnings, the destinies of the human race must complete
it; in such a manner, perhaps, as men, looking only at the present,
would not readily conceive. For upon this will depend not only a
speculative good, but all the fortunes of mankind, and all their
power.” And with an eloquent prayer that his exertions may be rendered
effectual to the attainment of truth and happiness, this introductory
chapter of the Instauratio, which announces the distribution of its
portions, concludes. Such was the temple, of which Bacon saw in vision
before him the stately front and decorated pediments, in all their
breadth of light and harmony of proportion, while long vistas of
receding columns and glimpses of internal splendour revealed a glory
that it was not permitted him to comprehend. In the treatise De
Augmentis Scientiarum, and in the Novum Organum, we have less, no
doubt, than Lord Bacon, under different conditions of life, might have
achieved; he might have been more emphatically the high-priest of
nature, if he had not been the chancellor of James I.; but no one man
could have filled up the vast outline which he alone, in that stage of
the world, could have so boldly sketched.

|Course of studying Lord Bacon.|

41. The best order of studying the Baconian philosophy would be to
read attentively the Advancement of Learning; next, to take the
treatise De Augmentis, comparing it all along with the former, and
afterwards to proceed to the Novum Organum. A less degree of regard
has usually been paid to the Centuries of Natural History, which are
the least important of his writings, or even to the other
philosophical fragments, some of which contain very excellent
passages; yet such, in great measure, as will be found substantially
in other parts of his works. The most remarkable are the Cogitata et
Visa. It must be said, that one who thoroughly venerates Lord Bacon
will not disdain his repetitions, which sometimes, by variations of
phrase, throw light upon each other. It is generally supposed that the
Latin works were translated by several assistants, among whom Herbert
and Hobbes have been named, under the author’s superintendence.[192]
The Latin style of these writings is singularly concise, energetic and
impressive, but frequently crabbed, uncouth and obscure; so that we
read with more admiration of the sense than delight in the manner of
delivering it. But Rawley, in his Life of Bacon, informs us that he
had seen about twelve autographs of the Novum Organum, wrought up and
improved year by year, till it reached the shape in which it was
published, and he does not intimate that these were in English, unless
the praise he immediately afterwards bestows on his English style may
be thought to warrant that supposition.[193] I do not know that we
have evidence as to any of the Latin works being translations from
English, except the treatise De Augmentis.

     [192] The translation was made, as Archbishop Tenison informs us,
     “by Mr. Herbert and some others, who were esteemed masters in the
     Roman eloquence.”

     [193] Ipse reperi in archivis dominationis suæ, autographa plus
     minus duodecim Organi Novi de anno in annum elaborati, et ad
     incudem revocati, et singulis annis, ulteriore lima subinde
     politi et castigati, donec in illud tandem corpus adoleverat, quo
     in lucem editum fuit; sicut multa ex animalibus fœtus lambere
     consuescunt usque quo ad membrorum firmitudinem eos perducant. In
     libris suis componendis verborum vigorem et perspicuitatem
     præcipuè sectabatur, non elegantiam aut concinnitatem sermonis,
     et inter scribendum aut dictandum sæpe interrogavit, num sensus
     ejus clare admodum et perspicuè redditus esset? Quippe qui sciret
     æquum esse ut verba famularentur rebus, non res verbis. Et si in
     stylum forsitan politiorem incidisset, siquidem apud nostrates
     eloquii Anglicani artifex habitus est, id evenit, quia evitare
     arduum ei erat.

42. The leading principles of the Baconian philosophy are contained in
the Advancement of Learning. These are amplified, corrected,
illustrated, and developed in the treatise De Augmentis Scientiarum,
from the fifth book of which, with some help from other parts, is
taken the first book of the Novum Organum, and even a part of the
second. I use this phrase, because, though earlier in publication, I
conceive that the Novum Organum was later in composition. All the very
important part of this fifth book which relates to Experientia
Litterata, or Venatio Panis, as he calls it, and contains excellent
rules for conducting experiments in natural philosophy, is new, and
does not appear in the Advancement of Learning, except by way of
promise of what should be done in it. Nor is this, at least so fully
and clearly, to be found in the Novum Organum. The second book of this
latter treatise he professes not to anticipate. De Novo Organo
silemus, he says, neque de eo quicquam prælibamus. This can only apply
to the second book, which he considered as the real exposition of his
method, after clearing away the fallacies which form the chief subject
of the first. Yet what is said of Topica particularis, in this fifth
book De Augmentis (illustrated by “articles of inquiry concerning
gravity and levity”), goes entirely on the principles of the second
book of the Novum Organum.

|Nature of the Baconian Induction.|

43. Let us now see what Lord Bacon’s method really was. He has given
it the name of induction, but carefully distinguishes it from what
bore that name in the old logic, that is, an inference from a perfect
enumeration of particulars to a general law of the whole. For such an
enumeration, though of course conclusive, is rarely practicable in
nature, where the particulars exceed our powers of numbering.[194] Nor
again is the Baconian method to be confounded with the less
complete form of the inductive process, namely, inferences from
partial experience in similar circumstances; though this may be a very
sufficient ground for practical, which is probable knowledge. His own
method rests on the same general principle, namely, the uniformity of
the laws of nature, so that in certain conditions of phænomena the
same effects or the same causes may be assumed; but it endeavours to
establish these laws on a more exact and finer process of reasoning
than partial experience can effect. For the recurrence of antecedents,
and consequents does not prove a necessary connection between them,
unless we can exclude the presence of all other conditions which may
determine the event. Long and continued experience of such a
recurrence, indeed, raises a high probability of a necessary
connexion; but the aim of Bacon was to supersede experience in this
sense, and to find a shorter road to the result; and for this his
methods of exclusion are devised. As complete and accurate a
collection of facts, connected with the subject of inquiry, as
possible is to be made out by means of that copious natural history
which he contemplated, or from any other good sources. These are to be
selected, compared, and scrutinized, according to the rules of natural
interpretation delivered in the second book of the Novum Organum, or
such others as he designed to add to them; and if experiments are
admissible, these are to be conducted according to the same rules.
Experience and observation are the guides through the Baconian
philosophy, which is the handmaid and interpreter of nature. When Lord
Bacon seems to decry experience, which in certain passages he might be
thought to do, it is the particular and empirical observation of
individuals, from which many rash generalisations had been drawn, as
opposed to that founded on an accurate natural history. Such hasty
inferences he reckoned still more pernicious to true knowledge
than the sophistical methods of the current philosophy; and, in a
remarkable passage, after censuring this precipitancy of empirical
conclusions in the chemists, and in Gilbert’s Treatise on the Magnet,
utters a prediction that if ever mankind, excited by his counsels,
should seriously betake themselves to seek the guidance of experience
instead of relying on the dogmatic schools of the sophists, the
proneness of the human mind to snatch at general axioms would expose
them to much risk of error from the theories of this superficial class
of philosophers.[195]

     [194] Inductio quæ procedit per enumerationem simplicem, res
     puerilis est, et precario concludit, et periculo exponitur ab
     instantia contradictoria, et plerumque secundum pauciora quam par
     est, et ex his tantummodo quæ præsto sunt, pronuntiat. At
     inductio quæ ad inventionem et demonstrationem scientiarum et
     artium erit utilis, naturam separare debet, per rejectiones et
     exclusiones debitas; ac deinde post negativas tot quot
     sufficiunt, super affirmativas concludere; quod adhuc factum non
     est, nec tentatum certe, nisi tantummodo a Platone, qui ad
     excutiendas definitiones et ideas, hac certe forma inductionis
     aliquatenus utitur. Nov. Org. i. 105. In this passage Bacon seems
     to imply that the enumeration of particulars in any induction is
     or may be imperfect. This is certainly the case in the plurality
     of physical inductions; but it doss not appear that the logical
     writers looked upon this as the primary and legitimate sense.
     Induction was distinguished into the complete and incomplete.
     “The word,” says a very moderate writer, “is perhaps unhappy, as
     indeed it is taken in several vague senses; but to abolish it is
     impossible. It is the Latin translation of επαγωγη [epagôgê],
     which word is used by Aristotle as a counterpart to συλλογισμος
     [sullogismos]. He seems to consider it in a perfect, or
     dialectic, and in an imperfect or rhetorical sense. Thus, if a
     genus (G.) contained four species (A. B. C. D.), syllogism would
     argue, that what is true of G. is true of any one of the four;
     but perfect induction would reason, that what we can prove true
     of A. B. C. D. separately, we may properly state as true of G.,
     the whole genus. This is evidently a formal argument, as
     demonstrative as syllogism. But the imperfect or rhetorical
     induction will perhaps enumerate three only of the species, and
     then draw the conclusion concerning G., which virtually includes
     the fourth, or what is the same thing, will argue, that what is
     true of the three is to be believed true likewise of the fourth.”
     Newman’s Lectures on Logic, p. 73 (1837). The same distinction
     between perfect and imperfect induction is made in the
     Encyclopédie Françoise, art. Induction, and apparently on the
     authority of the ancients.

     It may be observed, that this imperfect induction may be put in a
     regular logical form, and is only vicious in syllogistic
     reasoning when the conclusion asserts a higher probability than
     the premises. If, for example, we reason thus: Some serpents are
     venomous--This unknown animal is a serpent-Therefore, this is
     venomous; we are guilty of an obvious paralogism. If we infer
     only, This may be venomous, our reasoning is perfectly valid in
     itself, at least in the common apprehension of all mankind,
     except dialecticians, but not regular in form. The only means
     that I perceive of making it so, is to put it in some such phrase
     as the following: All unknown serpents are affected by a certain
     probability of being venomous: This animal, &c. It is not
     necessary, of course, that the probability should be capable of
     being estimated, provided we mentally conceive it to be no other
     in the conclusion than in the major term. In the best treatises
     on the strict or syllogistic method, as far as I have seen, there
     seems a deficiency in respect to _probable_ conclusions,
     which may have arisen from the practice of taking instances from
     universal or necessary, rather than contingent truths, as well as
     from the contracted views of reasoning which the Aristotelian
     school have always inculcated. No sophisms are so frequent in
     practice as the concluding generally from a partial induction, or
     assuming (most commonly tacitly) by what Archbishop Whateley
     calls “a kind of logical fiction,” that a few individuals are
     “adequate samples or representations of the class they belong
     to.” These sophisms cannot, in the present state of things, be
     practised largely in physical science or natural history; but in
     reasonings on matter of fact they are of incessant occurrence.
     The “logical fiction” may indeed frequently be employed, even on
     subjects unconnected with the physical laws of nature; but to
     know when this may be, and to what extent, is just that which,
     far more than any other skill, distinguishes what is called a
     good reasoner from a bad one. This note will not, by an attentive
     reader, be thought inapposite to the text, or to some passages
     that will follow in the present chapter.

     [195] Nov. Organ. lib. i. 64. It may be doubted whether Bacon did
     full justice to Gilbert.

|His dislike of Aristotle.|

44. The indignation, however, of Lord Bacon is more frequently
directed against the predominant philosophy of his age, that of
Aristotle and the schoolmen. Though he does justice to the great
abilities of the former, and acknowledges the exact attention to facts
displayed in his History of Animals, he deems him one of the most
eminent adversaries to the only method that can guide us to the real
laws of nature. The old Greek philosophers, Empedocles, Leucippus,
Anaxagoras, and others of their age, who had been in the right track
of investigation, stood much higher in his esteem than their
successors, Plato, Zeno, Aristotle, by whose lustre they had been so
much superseded, that both their works have perished and their tenets
are with difficulty collected. These more distinguished leaders of the
Grecian schools were in his eyes little else than disputatious
professors (it must be remembered that Bacon had in general only
physical science in his view) who seemed to have it in common with
children, “ut ad garriendum prompti sint, generare non possint;” so
wordy and barren was their miscalled wisdom.

|His method much required.|

45. Those who object to the importance of Lord Bacon’s precepts in
philosophy that mankind have practised, many of them immemorially, are
rather confirming their utility than taking off much from their
originality in any fair sense of that term. Every logical method is
built on the common faculties of human nature, which have been
exercised since the creation in discerning, better or worse, truth
from falsehood, and inferring the unknown from the known. That men
might have done this more correctly, is manifest from the quantity of
error into which, from want of reasoning well on what came before
them, they have habitually fallen. In experimental philosophy, to
which the more special rules of Lord Bacon are generally referred,
there was a notorious want of that very process of reasoning which he
has supplied. It is probable, indeed, that the great physical
philosophers of the seventeenth century would have been led to employ
some of his rules, had he never promulgated them; but I believe they
had been little regarded in the earlier period of science.[196] It is
also a very defective view of the Baconian method to look only at the
experimental rules given in the Novum Organum. The preparatory steps
of completely exhausting the natural history of the subject of inquiry
by a patient and sagacious consideration of it in every light, are at
least of equal importance, and equally prominent in the inductive

     [196] It has been remarked, that the famous experiment of Pascal
     on the barometer, by carrying it to a considerable elevation, was
     “a _crucial instance_, one of the first, if not the very first on
     record in physics.” Herschel, p. 229.

|Its objects.|

46. The first object of Lord Bacon’s philosophical writings is to
prove their own necessity, by giving an unfavourable impression as to
the actual state of most sciences, in consequence of the prejudices of
the human mind, and of the mistaken methods pursued in their
cultivation. The second was to point out a better prospect for the
future. One of these occupies the treatise De Augmentis, and the first
book of the Novum Organum. The other, besides many anticipations in
these, is partially detailed in the second book, and would have been
more thoroughly developed in those remaining portions which the author
did not complete. We shall now give a very short sketch of these two
famous works, which comprise the greater part of the Baconian

|Sketch of the treatise De Augmentis.|



47. The Advancement of Learning is divided into two books only; the
treatise De Augmentis into nine. The first of these, in the latter, is
introductory, and designed to remove prejudices against the search for
truth, by indicating the causes which had hitherto obstructed it. In
the second book, he lays down his celebrated partition of human
learning into history, poetry, and philosophy, according to the
faculties of the mind respectively concerned in them, the memory,
imagination and reason. History is natural or civil, under the latter
of which ecclesiastical and literary histories are comprised.
These again fall into regular subdivisions; all of which he treats in
summary manner, and points out the deficiencies which ought to be
supplied in many departments of history. Poetry succeeds in the last
chapter of the same book, but by confining that name to fictitious
narrative, except as to the ornaments of style, which he refers to a
different part of his subject, he much limited his views of that
literature; even if it were true, as it certainly is not, that the
imagination alone, in any ordinary use of the word, is the medium of
poetical emotion. The word emotion indeed is sufficient to show that
Bacon should either have excluded poetry altogether from his
enumeration of sciences and learning, or taken into consideration
other faculties of the soul than those which are merely intellectual.

|Fine passage on poetry.|

48. Stewart has praised with justice a short but beautiful paragraph
concerning poetry (under which title may be comprehended all the
various creations of the faculty of imagination) wherein Bacon “has
exhausted everything that philosophy and good sense have yet had to
offer on the subject of what has since been called the _beau
idéal_.” The same eminent writer and ardent admirer of Bacon
observes that D’Alembert improved on the Baconian arrangement by
classing the fine arts with poetry. Injustice had been done to
painting and music, especially the former, when, in the fourth book De
Augmentis, they were counted as mere “artes voluptariæ,” subordinate
to a sort of Epicurean gratification of the senses, and only somewhat
more liberal than cookery or cosmetics.

|Natural Theology and Metaphysics.|

|Form of bodies.|

49. In the third book, science having been divided into theological
and philosophical, and the former, or what regards revealed religion,
being postponed for the present, he lays it down that all philosophy
relates to God, to nature, or to man. Under natural theology, as a
sort of appendix, he reckons the doctrine of angels and superhuman
spirits; a more favourite theme, especially as treated independently
of revelation, in the ages that preceded Lord Bacon, than it has been
since. Natural philosophy is speculative or practical; the former
divided into physics, in a particular sense, and metaphysics; “one of
which enquireth and handleth the material and efficient causes; the
other handleth the formal and final causes.” Hence, physics dealing
with particular instances, and regarding only the effects produced, is
precarious in its conclusions, and does not reach the stable
principles of causation.

  Limus ut hic durescit, et hæc ut cera liquescit
  Uno eodemque igni.

Metaphysics, to which word he gave a sense as remote from that which
it bore in the Aristotelian schools, as from that in which it is
commonly employed at present, had for its proper object the
investigation of forms. It was “a generally received and inveterate
opinion, that the inquisition of man is not competent to find out
essential forms or true differences.” Formæ inventio, he says in
another place, habetur pro desperata. The word _form_ itself,
being borrowed from the old philosophy, is not immediately
intelligible to every reader. “In the Baconian sense,” says Playfair,
“form differs only from cause in being permanent, whereas, we apply
cause to that which exists in order of time.” Form (_natura
naturans_, as it was barbarously called) is the general law, or
condition of existence, in any substance or quality (_natura
naturata_), which is wherever its form is.[197] The conditions of a
mathematical figure, prescribed in its definition, might in this sense
be called its form, if it did not seem to be Lord Bacon’s intention to
confine the word to the laws of particular sensible existences. In
modern philosophy, it might be defined to be that particular
combination of forces, which impresses a certain modification upon
matter subjected to their influence.

     [197] Licet enim in natura nihil vere existat præter corpora
     individua, edentia actus puros individuos ex lege, in doctrinis
     tamen illa ipsa lex, ejusque inquisitio, et inventio atque
     explicatio pro fundamento est tam ad sciendum quam operandum. Eam
     autem legem ejusque paragraphos, Formarum nomine intelligimus;
     præsertim cum hoc vocabulum invaluerit et familiariter occurrat.
     Nov. Org. ii. 2.

|Might sometimes be inquired into.|

50. To a knowledge of such forms, or laws of essence and existence, at
least in a certain degree, it might be possible, in Bacon’s sanguine
estimation of his own logic, for man to attain. Not that we could hope
to understand the forms of complex beings, which are almost infinite
in variety, but the simple and primary natures, which are combined in
them. “To inquire the form of a lion, of an oak, of gold, nay of
water, of air, is a vain pursuit; but to inquire the forms of sense,
of voluntary motion, of vegetation, of colours, of gravity and
levity, of density and tenuity, of heat, of cold, and all other
natures and qualities, which, like an alphabet, are not many, and of
which the essences, upheld by matter, of all creatures do consist; to
inquire, I say, the true forms of these is that part of metaphysic
which we now define of.”[198] Thus, in the words he soon afterwards
uses, “of natural philosophy, the basis is natural history; the stage
next the basis is physic; the stage next the vertical point is
metaphysic. As for the vertical point, ‘Opus quod operatur Deos a
principio usque ad finem,’ the summary law of nature, we know not
whether man’s inquiry can attain unto it.”[199]

     [198] In the Novum Organum he seems to have gone a little beyond
     this, and to have hoped that the form itself of concrete things
     might be known. Datæ autem naturæ formam, sive differentiam
     veram, sive naturam naturantem, sive fontem emanationis (ista
     enim vocabula habemus, quæ ad indicationem rei proxime accedunt),
     invenire opus et intentio est Humanæ Scientiæ. Lib. ii. 1.

     [199] Advancement of Learning, book ii. This sentence he has
     scarcely altered in the Latin.

|Final causes too much slighted.|

51. The second object of metaphysics, according to Lord Bacon’s notion
of the word, was the investigation of final causes. It is well known
that he has spoken of this with unguarded disparagement.[200] “Like a
virgin consecrated to God, it bears nothing;” one of those witty
conceits that sparkle over his writings, but will not bear a severe
examination. It has been well remarked that almost at the moment he
published this, one of the most important discoveries of his age, the
circulation of the blood, had rewarded the acuteness of Harvey in
reasoning on the final cause of the valves in the veins.

     [200] Causa finalis tantum abest ut prosit, ut etiam scientias
     corrumpat, nisi in hominis actionibus. Nov. Org. ii. 2. It must
     be remembered that Bacon had good reason to deprecate the
     admixture of theological dogmas with philosophy, which had been,
     and has often since been, the absolute perversion of all
     legitimate reasoning in science. See what Stewart has said upon
     Lord Bacon’s objection to reasoning from final causes in
     _physics_. Philosophy of the Active and Moral Powers, book iii.,
     chap. 2, sect. 4.

|Man not included by him in physics.|

52. Nature, or physical philosophy, according to Lord Bacon’s
partition, did not comprehend the human species. Whether this be not
more consonant to popular language, adopted by preceding systems of
philosophy, than to a strict and perspicuous arrangement, may by some
be doubted; though a very respectable authority, that of Dugald
Stewart, is opposed to including man in the province of physics. For
it is surely strange to separate the physiology of the human body, as
quite a science of another class, from that of inferior animals; and
if we place this part of our being under the department of physical
philosophy, we shall soon be embarrassed by what Bacon has called the
“doctrina de fœdere,” the science of the connection between the soul
of man and his bodily frame, a vast and interesting field, even yet
very imperfectly explored.

|Man, in body and mind.|


53. It has pleased, however, the author to follow his own arrangement.
The fourth book relates to the constitution, bodily and mental, of
mankind. In this book he has introduced several subdivisions which,
considered merely as such, do not always appear the most
philosophical; but the pregnancy and acuteness of his observations
under each head silences all criticism of this kind. This book has
nearly double the extent of the corresponding pages in the Advancement
of Learning. The doctrine as to the substance of the thinking
principle having been very slightly touched, or rather passed over,
with two curious disquisitions on divination and fascination, he
advances in four ensuing books to the intellectual and moral
faculties, and those sciences which immediately depend upon them.
Logic and Ethics are the grand divisions, co-relative to the reason
and the will of man. Logic, according to Lord Bacon, comprizes the
sciences of inventing, judging, retaining, and delivering the
conceptions of the mind. We invent, that is, discover new arts or new
arguments; we judge by induction or by syllogism; the memory is
capable of being aided by artificial methods. All these processes of
the mind are the subjects of several sciences, which it was the
peculiar aim of Bacon, by his own logic, to place on solid

|Extent given it by Bacon.|

54. It is here to be remarked, that the sciences of logic and ethics,
according to the partitions of Lord Bacon, are far more extensive than
we are accustomed to consider them. Whatever concerned the human
intellect came under the first; whatever related to the will and
affections of the mind fell under the head of ethics. Logica de
intellectu et ratione, ethica de voluntate appetitu et affectibus
disserit; altera decreta, altera actiones progignit. But it
has been usual to confine logic to the methods of guiding the
understanding in the search for truth; and some, though, as it seems
to me, in a manner not warranted by the best usage of philosophers,[201]
have endeavoured to exclude everything but the syllogistic mode of
reasoning from the logical province. Whether again the nature and
operations of the human mind, in general, ought to be reckoned a part
of physics, has already been mentioned as a disputable question.

     [201] In altera philosophiæ parte, quæ est _quærendi_ ac
     disserendi, quæ λογικη [logikê] dicitur. Cic. de Fin. i. 14.

|Grammar and Rhetoric.|

55. The science of delivering our own thoughts to others, branching
into grammar and rhetoric, and including poetry, so far as its proper
vehicles, metre and diction, are concerned, occupies the sixth book.
In all this he finds more desiderata than from the great attention
paid to these subjects by the ancients could have been expected. Thus,
his ingenious collection of antitheta, or common places in rhetoric,
though mentioned by Cicero as to the judicial species of eloquence, is
first extended by Bacon himself to the deliberative or political
orations. I do not, however, think it probable that this branch of
topics could have been neglected by antiquity, though the writings
relating to it may not have descended to us; nor can we by any means
say there is nothing of the kind in Aristotle’s Rhetoric. Whether the
utility of these common places, when collected in books, be very
great, is another question. And a similar doubt might be suggested
with respect to the elenchs, or refutations, of rhetorical sophisms,
“colores boni et mali,” which he reports as equally deficient, though
a commencement had been made by Aristotle.




56. In the seventh book we come to ethical science. This he deems to
have been insufficiently treated. He would have the different tempers
and characters of mankind first considered, then their passions and
affections (neither of which, as he justly observes, finds a place in
the Ethics of Aristotle, though they are sometimes treated, not so
appositely, in his Rhetoric); lastly, the methods of altering and
affecting the will and appetite, such as custom, education, imitation,
or society. “The main and primitive division of moral knowledge
seemeth to be into the exemplar or platform of good, and the regiment
or culture of the mind; the one describing the nature of good, the
other presenting rules how to subdue, apply and accommodate the will
of man thereunto.” This latter he also calls “the Georgics of the
mind.” He seems to place “the platform or essence of good” in seeking
the good of the whole, rather than that of the individual, applying
this to refute the ancient theories as to the summum bonum. But
perhaps Bacon had not thoroughly disentangled this question, and
confounds, as is not unusual, the _summum bonum_, or personal
felicity, with the object of moral action, or _commune bonum_. He
is right, however, in preferring, morally speaking, the active to the
contemplative life against Aristotle and other philosophers. This part
is translated in De Augmentis, with little variation, from the
Advancement of Learning; as is also what follows on the Georgics, or
culture, of the mind. The philosophy of civil life, as it relates both
to the conduct of men in their mutual intercourse, which is properly
termed prudence, and to that higher prudence, which is concerned with
the administration of communities, fills up the chart of the Baconian
ethics. In the eighth book, admirable reflections on the former of
these subjects occur at almost every sentence. Many, perhaps most of
these, will be found in the Advancement of Learning. But in this, he
had been, for a reason sufficiently obvious and almost avowed,
cautiously silent upon the art of government--the craft of his king.
The motives for silence were still so powerful, that he treats only in
the De Augmentis, of two heads in political science; the methods of
enlarging the boundaries of the state, which James I. could hardly
resent as an interference with his own monopoly, and one of far more
importance to the well-being of mankind, the principles of universal
jurisprudence, or rather of universal legislation, according to which
standard all laws ought to be framed. These he has sketched in
ninety-seven aphorisms, or short rules, which, from the great
experience of Bacon in the laws, as his peculiar vocation towards that
part of philosophy, deserve to be studied at this day. Upon such
topics, the progressive and innovating spirit of his genius was less
likely to be perceived; but he is, perhaps, equally free from what he
has happily called in one of his essays, the “froward retention of
custom,” the prejudice of mankind, like that of perverse children,
against what is advised to them for their real good, and what
they cannot deny to be conducive to it. This whole eighth book is
pregnant with profound and original thinking. The ninth and last,
which is short, glances only at some desiderata in theological
science, and is chiefly remarkable as it displays a more liberal and
catholic spirit than was often to be met with in a period signalized
by bigotry and ecclesiastical pride. But as the abjuration of human
authority is the first principle of Lord Bacon’s philosophy, and the
preparation for his logic, it was not expedient to say too much of its
usefulness in the theological pursuits.

|Desiderata enumerated by him.|

57. At the conclusion of the whole, we may find a summary catalogue of
the deficiencies which, in the course of this ample review, Lord Bacon
had found worthy of being supplied by patient and philosophical
inquiry. Of these desiderata, few, I fear, have since been filled up,
at least in a collective and systematic manner, according to his
suggestions. Great materials, useful intimations, and even partial
delineations, are certainly to be found, as so many of the rest, in
the writings of those who have done honour to the last two centuries.
But with all our pride in modern science, very much even of what, in
Bacon’s time, was perceived to be wanting, remains for the diligence
and sagacity of those who are yet to come.

|Novum Organum: first book.|

58. The first book of the Novum Organum, if it is not better known
than any other part of Bacon’s philosophical writings, has at least
furnished more of those striking passages which shine in quotation. It
is written in detached aphorisms; the sentences, even where these
aphorisms are longest, not flowing much into one another, so as to
create a suspicion, that he had formed adversaria, to which he
committed his thoughts as they arose. It is full of repetitions; and
indeed this is so usual with Lord Bacon, that whenever we find an
acute reflection or brilliant analogy, it is more than an even chance
that it will recur in some other place. I have already observed that
he has hinted the Novum Organum to be a digested summary of his
method, but not the entire system as he designed to develop it, even
in that small portion which he has handled at all.

|Fallacies. Idola.|

59. Of the splendid passages in the Novum Organum none are perhaps so
remarkable as his celebrated division of fallacies, not such as the
dialecticians had been accustomed to refute, depending upon equivocal
words, or faulty disposition of premises, but lying far deeper in the
natural or incidental prejudices of the mind itself. These are four in
number: _idola tribûs_, to which from certain common weaknesses of
human nature we are universally liable; _idola specûs_, which from
peculiar dispositions and circumstances of individuals mislead them in
different manners; _idola fori_, arising from the current usage of
words which represent things much otherwise than as they really are;
and _idola theatri_, which false systems of philosophy and erroneous
methods of reasoning have introduced. Hence, as the refracted ray
gives us a false notion as to the place of the object whose image it
transmits, so our own minds are a refracting medium to the objects of
their own contemplation, and require all the aid of a well-directed
philosophy either to rectify the perception, or to make allowances for
its errors.

|Confounded with idols.|

60. These idola, ειδωλα [eidôla], images, illusions, fallacies, or, as
Lord Bacon calls them in the Advancement of Learning, false
appearances, have been often named in English _idols_ of the tribe, of
the den, of the market place. But it seems better, unless we retain
the Latin name, to employ one of the synonymous terms given above. For
the use of idol in this sense is unwarranted by the practice of the
language, nor is it found in Bacon himself; but it has misled a host
of writers, whoever might be the first that applied it, even among
such as are conversant with the Novum Organum. “Bacon proceeds,” says
Playfair, “to enumerate the causes of error, the _idols_ as he calls
them, or false divinities to which the mind had so long been
accustomed to bow.” And with a similar misapprehension of the meaning
of the word, in speaking of the _idola specûs_, he says: “besides the
causes of error which are common to all mankind, each individual,
according to Bacon, has his own dark cavern or den, into which the
light is imperfectly admitted, and obscurity of which a tutelary idol
lurks, at whose shrine the truth is often sacrificed.”[202] Thus also
Dr. Thomas Brown; “in the inmost sanctuaries of the mind were all the
idols which he overthrew;” and a later author on the Novum Organum
fancies that Bacon “strikingly, though in his usual quaint style,
calls the prejudices that check the progress of the mind by the name
of idols, because mankind are apt to pay homage to these
instead of regarding truth.”[203] Thus too in the translation of the
Novum Organum, published in Mr. Basil Montagu’s edition, we find
_idola_ rendered by idols, without explanation. We may in fact say
that this meaning has been almost universally given by the later
writers. By whom it was introduced, I am not able to say. Cudworth, in
a passage where he glances at Bacon, has said, “it is no _idol of the
den_, to use that affected language.” But, in the pedantic style of
the seventeenth century, it is not impossible that idol may here have
been put as a mere translation of the Greek ειδωλον [eidôlon], and in
the same general sense of an idea or intellectual image.[204] Although
the popular sense would not be inapposite to the general purpose of
Bacon in this first part of the Novum Organum, it cannot be reckoned
so exact and philosophical an illustration of the sources of human
error as the unfaithful image, the shadow of reality, seen through a
refracting surface, or reflected from an unequal mirror, as in the
Platonic hypothesis of the cave, wherein we are placed with our backs
to the light, to which he seems to allude in his _idola specûs_.[205]
And as this is also plainly the true meaning, as a comparison with the
parallel passages in the Advancement of Learning demonstrates, there
can be no pretence for continuing to employ a word which has served to
mislead such men as Brown and Playfair.

     [202] Preliminary Dissertation to Encyclopædia.

     [203] Introduction to the Novum Organum, published by the Society
     for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. Even Stewart seems to have
     fallen into the same error. “While these idols of the den
     maintain their authority, the cultivation of the philosophical
     spirit is impossible; or rather it is in a renunciation of his
     idolatry that the philosophical spirit essentially consists.”
     Dissertation, &c.--The observation is equally true, whatever
     sense we may give to _idol_.

     [204] In Todd’s edition of Johnson’s Dictionary this sense is not
     mentioned. But in that of the Encyclopædia Metropolitana we have
     these words: “An _idol_ or image is also opposed to a reality:
     thus Lord Bacon (see the quotation from him) speaks of idols or
     false appearances.” The quotation is from the translation of one
     of his short tracts, which is not made by himself. It is however
     a proof that the word _idol_ was once at least used in this

     [205] Quisque ex phantasiæ suæ cellulis, tanquam ex specu
     Platonis, philosophatur; Historia Naturalis, in præfatione
     Coleridge has some fine lines in allusion to this hypothesis in
     that magnificent effusion of his genius, the introduction to the
     second book of Joan of Arc, but withdrawn, after the first
     edition, from that poem; where he describes us as “Placed with
     our backs to bright reality.” I am not however certain that Bacon
     meant this. See De Augmentis, lib. v. c. 4.

|Second book of Novum Organum.|

61. In the second book of the Novum Organum, we come at length to the
new logic, the interpretation of nature, as he calls it, or the rules
for conducting inquiries in natural philosophy according to his
inductive method. It is, as we have said, a fragment of his entire
system, and is chiefly confined to the “prerogative instances,”[206]
or phænomena which are to be selected, for various reasons, as most
likely to aid our investigations of nature. Fifteen of these are used
to guide the intellect, five to assist the senses, seven to correct
the practice. This second book is written with more than usual want of
perspicuity, and though it is intrinsically the Baconian philosophy in
a pre-eminent sense, I much doubt whether it is very extensively read,
though far more so than it was fifty years since. Playfair, however,
has given an excellent abstract of it in his Preliminary Dissertation
to the Encyclopædia Britannica, with abundant and judicious
illustrations from modern science. Sir John Herschel, in his admirable
Discourse on Natural Philosophy, has added a greater number from still
more recent discoveries, and has also furnished such a luminous
development of the difficulties of the Novum Organum, as had been
vainly hoped in former times. The commentator of Bacon should be
himself of an original genius in philosophy. These novel illustrations
are the more useful, because Bacon himself, from defective knowledge
of natural phænomena, and from what, though contrary to his precepts,
his ardent fancy could not avoid, a premature hastening to explain the
essences of things instead of their proximate causes, has frequently
given erroneous examples. It is to be observed on the other hand, that
he often anticipates with marvellous sagacity the discoveries of
posterity, and that his patient and acute analysis of the phænomena of
heat has been deemed a model of his own inductive reasoning. “No one,”
observes Playfair, “has done so much in such circumstances.” He was
even ignorant of some things that he might have known; he wanted every
branch of mathematics; and placed in this remote corner of
Europe, without many kindred minds to animate his zeal for physical
science, seems hardly to have believed the discoveries of Galileo.

     [206] The allusion in “prærogativæ instantiarum” is not to the
     English word prerogative, as Sir John Herschel seems to suppose
     (Discourse on Natural Philosophy, p. 182), but to the prærogativa
     centuria in the Roman comitia, which being first called, though
     by lot, was generally found, by some prejudice or superstition,
     to influence the rest, which seldom voted otherwise. It is rather
     a forced analogy, which is not uncommon with Bacon.

|Confidence of Bacon.|

62. It has happened to Lord Bacon, as it has to many other writers,
that he has been extolled for qualities by no means characteristic of
his mind. The first aphorism of the Novum Organum, so frequently
quoted, “Man, the servant and interpreter of nature, performs and
understands so much as he has collected concerning the order of nature
by observation or reason, nor do his power or his knowledge extend
farther,” has seemed to bespeak an extreme sobriety of imagination, a
willingness to acquiesce in registering the phænomena of nature
without seeking a revelation of her secrets. And nothing is more true
than that such was the cautious and patient course of inquiry
prescribed by him to all the genuine disciples of his inductive
method. But he was far from being one of those humble philosophers who
would limit human science to the enumeration of particular facts. He
had, on the contrary, vast hopes of the human intellect under the
guidance of his new logic. The Latens Schematismus, or intrinsic
configuration of bodies, the Latens processus ad formam, or
transitional operation through which they pass from one form, or
condition of nature, to another, would one day, as he hoped, be
brought to light; and this not, of course, by simple observation of
the senses, nor even by assistance of instruments, concerning the
utility of which he was rather sceptical, but by a rigorous
application of exclusive and affirmative propositions to the actual
phænomena by the inductive method. “It appears,” says Playfair, “that
Bacon placed the ultimate object of philosophy too high, and too much
out of the reach of man, even when his exertions are most skilfully
conducted. He seems to have thought, that by giving a proper direction
to our researches, and carrying them on according to the inductive
method, we should arrive at the knowledge of the essences of the
powers and qualities residing in bodies; that we should, for instance,
become acquainted with the essence of heat, of cold, of colour, of
transparency. The fact however is that, in as far as science has yet
advanced, no one essence has been discovered, either as to matter in
general, or as to any of its more extensive modifications. We are yet
in doubt whether heat is a peculiar motion of the minute parts of
bodies, as Bacon himself conceived it to be, or something emitted or
radiated from their surfaces, or, lastly, the vibrations of an elastic
medium by which they are penetrated and surrounded.”

|Almost justified of late.|

63. It requires a very extensive survey of the actual dominion of
science, and a great sagacity to judge, even in the loosest manner,
what is beyond the possible limits of human knowledge. Certainly,
since the time when this passage was written by Playfair, more steps
have been made towards realising the sanguine anticipations of Bacon
than in the two centuries that had elapsed since the publication of
the Novum Organum. We do not yet _know_ the real nature of heat,
but few would pronounce it impossible or even unlikely that we may
know it, in the same sense that we know other physical realities not
immediately perceptible, before many years shall have expired. The
atomic theory of Dalton, the laws of crystalline substances discovered
by Häuy, the development of others still subtler by Mitscherlich,
instead of exhibiting, as the older philosophy had done, the idola
rerum, the sensible appearances of concrete substance, radiations from
the internal glory, admit us, as it were, to stand within the
vestibule of nature’s temple, and to gaze on the very curtain of the
shrine. If indeed we could know the internal structure of one primary
atom, and could tell, not of course by immediate testimony of sense,
but by legitimate inference from it, through what constant laws its
component molecules, the atoms of atoms, attract, retain, and repel
each other, we should have before our mental vision not only the
Latens Schematismus, the real configuration of substances, but their
_form_, or efficient nature, and could give as perfect a
definition of any one of them, of gold for example, as we can of a
cone or parallelogram. The recent discoveries of animal and vegetable
development, and especially the happy application of the microscope to
observing chemical and organic changes in their actual course, are
equally remarkable advances towards a knowledge of the Latens
processus ad formam, the corpuscular motions by which all change must
be accomplished, and are in fact a great deal more than Bacon himself
would have deemed possible.[207]

     [207] By the Latens processus, he meant only what is the natural
     operation by which one form or condition of being is induced upon
     another. Thus, when the surface of iron becomes rusty, or when
     water is converted into steam some change has taken place, a
     _latent_ _progress_ from one form to another. This, in numberless
     cases, we can now answer, at least to a very great extent, by the
     science of chemistry.

|But should be kept within bounds.|

64. These astonishing revelations of natural mysteries, fresh tidings
of which crowd in upon us every day, may be likely to overwhelm all
sober hesitation as to the capacities of the human mind, and to bring
back that confidence which Bacon, in so much less favourable
circumstances, has ventured to feel. There seem, however, to be good
reasons for keeping within bounds this expectation of future
improvement, which, as it has sometimes been announced in unqualified
phrases, is hardly more philosophical than the vulgar supposition that
the capacities of mankind are almost stationary. The phænomena of
nature indeed, in all their possible combinations, are so infinite, in
a popular sense of the word, that during no period, to which the human
species can be conceived to reach, would they be entirely collected
and registered. The case is still stronger as to the secret agencies
and processes by means of which their phænomena are displayed. These
have as yet, in no one instance, so far as I know, been fully
ascertained. “Microscopes,” says Herschel, “have been constructed
which magnify more than one thousand times in linear dimension, so
that the smallest visible grain of sand may be enlarged to the
appearance of one million times more bulky; yet the only impression we
receive by viewing it through such a magnifier is that it reminds us
of some vast fragment of a rock; while the intimate structure on which
depends its colour, its hardness, and its chemical properties, remains
still concealed; we do not seem to have made even an approach to a
closer analysis of it by any such scrutiny.”[208]

     [208] Discourse on Nat. Philos., p. 191.

|Limits to our knowledge by sense.|

65. The instance here chosen is not the most favourable for the
experimental philosopher. He might perhaps hope to gain more knowledge
by applying the best microscope to a regular crystal or to an
organised substance. And it is impossible not to regret that the great
discovery of the solar microscope has been either so imperfectly
turned to account by philosophers, or has disappointed their hopes of
exhibiting the mechanism of nature with the distinctness they require.
But there is evidently a fundamental limitation of physical science,
arising from those of the bodily senses and of muscular motions. The
nicest instruments must be constructed and directed by the human hand;
the range of the finest glasses must have a limit not only in their
own natural structure but in that of the human eye. But no theory in
science will be acknowledged to deserve any regard, except as it is
drawn immediately, and by an exclusive process, from the phænomena
which our senses report to us. Thus, the regular observation of
definite proportions in chemical combination has suggested the atomic
theory; and even this has been sceptically accepted by our cautious
school of philosophy. If we are ever to go farther into the molecular
analysis of substances, it must be through the means and upon the
authority of new discoveries exhibited to our senses in experiment.
But the existing powers of exhibiting or compelling nature by
instruments, vast as they appear to us, and wonderful as has been
their efficacy in many respects, have done little for many years past
in diminishing the number of substances reputed to be simple; and with
strong reasons to suspect that some of these, at least, yield to the
crucible of nature, our electric batteries have up to this hour played
innocuously round their heads.

66. Bacon has thrown out, once or twice, a hint at a single principle,
a summary law of nature, as if all subordinate causes resolved
themselves into one great process, according to which God works his
will in the universe: Opus quod operatur Deus a principio usque ad
finem. The natural tendency towards simplification, and what we
consider as harmony, in our philosophical systems, which Lord Bacon
himself reckons among the _idola tribûs_, the fallacies incident
to the species, has led some to favour this unity of physical law.
Impact and gravity have each had their supporters. But we are as yet
at a great distance from establishing such a generalization, nor does
it appear by any means probable that it will ever assume any simple

|Inductive logic; whether confined to physics.|

67. The close connexion of the inductive process recommended by Bacon
with natural philosophy in the common sense of that word, and the
general selection of his examples for illustration from that science,
have given rise to a question, whether he comprehended metaphysical
and moral philosophy within the scope of his inquiry.[209] That they
formed a part of the Instauration of Sciences, and therefore
of the Baconian philosophy in the fullest sense of the word, is
obvious from the fact that a large proportion of the treatise De
Augmentis Scientiarum is dedicated to those subjects; and it is not
less so that the _idola_ of the Novum Organum are at least as apt
to deceive us in moral as in physical argument. The question,
therefore, can only be raised as to the peculiar method of conducting
investigations, which is considered as his own. This would, however,
appear to have been decided by himself in very positive language. “It
may be doubted, rather than objected, by some, whether we look to the
perfection, by means of our method, of natural philosophy alone, or of
the other sciences also, of logic, of ethics, of politics. But we
certainly mean what has here been said, to be understood as to them
all; and as the ordinary logic, which proceeds by syllogism, does not
relate to physical only, but to every other science; so ours, which
proceeds by induction, comprizes them all. For we as much collect a
history and form tables concerning anger, fear, shame and the like,
and also concerning examples from civil life, and as much concerning
the intellectual operations of memory, combination and partition,
judgment and the others, as concerning heat and cold, or light, or
vegetation, or such things.”[210] But he proceeds to intimate, as far
as I understand the next sentence, that, although his method or logic,
strictly speaking, is applicable to other subjects, it is his
immediate object to inquire into the properties of natural things, or
what is generally meant by physics. To this indeed the second book of
the Novum Organum, and the portions that he completed of the remaining
parts of the Instauratio Magna bear witness.

     [209] This question was discussed some years since by the late
     editor of the Edinburgh Review on one side, and by Dugald Stewart
     on the other. See Edinburgh Review, vol. iii., p. 273, and the
     Preliminary Dissertation to Stewart’s Philosophical Essays.

     [210] Etiam dubitabit quispiam potius quam objiciet, utrum nos de
     naturali tantum philosophia, an etiam de scientiis reliquis,
     logicis, ethicis, politicis, secundum viam nostram perficiendis
     loquamur. At nos certè de universis hæc, quæ dictasunt,
     intelligimus; atque quemadmodum vulgaris logica, quæ regit res
     per syllogismum, non tantum ad naturales, sed ad omnes scientias
     pertinet, ita et nostra, quæ procedit per inductionem, omnia
     complectitur. Tam enim Historiam et Tabulas Inveniendi conficimus
     de ira, metu et verecundia et similibus, ac etiam de exemplis
     rerum civilium; nec minùs de motibus mentalibus memoriæ,
     compositionis et divisionis, judicii et reliquorum, quam de
     calido et frigido, aut luce, aut vegetatione aut similibus. Sed
     tamen cum nostra ratio interpretandi, post historiam præparatam
     et ordinatam, non mentis tantum motus et discursus, ut logica
     vulgaris, sed et rerum naturam intueatur, ita mentem regimus ut
     ad rerum naturam se aptis per omnia modis applicare possit. Atque
     propterea multa et diversa in doctrina interpretationis
     præcipimus. quæ ad subjecti, de quo inquirimus, qualitatem et
     conditionem modum inveniendi nonnulla ex parte applicent. Nov.
     Org. i. 127.

|Baconian philosophy built on observation and experiment.|

68. It by no means follows, because the leading principles of the
inductive philosophy are applicable to other topics of inquiry than
what is usually comprehended under the name of physics, that we can
employ all the prærogativæ instantiarum, and still less the peculiar
rules for conducting experiments which Bacon has given us, in moral,
or even psychological disquisitions. Many of them are plainly
referrible to particular manipulations, or at most to limited subjects
of chemical theory. And the frequent occurrence of passages which show
Lord Bacon’s fondness for experimental processes, seem to have led
some to consider his peculiar methods as more exclusively related to
such modes of inquiry than they really are. But when the Baconian
philosophy is said to be experimental, we are to remember that
experiment is only better than what we may call passive observation,
because it enlarges our capacity of observing with exactness and
expedition. The reasoning is grounded on observation in both cases. In
astronomy, where nature remarkably presents the objects of our
observation without liability to error or uncertain delay, we may
reason on the inductive principle as well as in sciences that require
tentative operations. The inference drawn from the difference of time
in the occultation of the satellites of Jupiter at different seasons,
in favour of the Copernican theory and against the instantaneous
motion of light, is an induction of the same kind with any that could
be derived from an _experimentum crucis_. It is an exclusion of
those hypotheses which might solve many phænomena, but fail to explain
those immediately observed.

|Advantages of the latter.|

69. But astronomy, from the comparative solitariness, if we may so
say, of all its phænomena, and the simplicity of their laws, has an
advantage that is rarely found in sciences of mere observation. Bacon
justly gave to experiment, or the interrogation of nature, compelling
her to give up her secrets, a decided preference whenever it can be
employed; and it is unquestionably true that the inductive method is
tedious, if not uncertain, when it cannot resort to so compendious a
process. One of the subjects selected by Bacon in the third part of
the Instauration as specimens of the method by which an inquiry into
nature should be conducted, the History of Winds, does not greatly
admit of experiments; and the very slow progress of meteorology, which
has yet hardly deserved the name of a science, when compared with that
of chemistry or optics, will illustrate the difficulties of employing
the inductive method without their aid. It is not, therefore, that
Lord Bacon’s method of philosophising is properly experimental, but
that by experiment it is most successfully displayed.

|Sometimes applicable to philosophy of human mind.|

|Less so to politics and morals.|

70. It will follow from hence that in proportion as, in any matter of
inquiry, we can separate, in what we examine, the determining
conditions, or law of form, from everything extraneous, we shall be
more able to use the Baconian method with advantage. In metaphysics,
or what Stewart would have called the philosophy of the human mind,
there seems much in its own nature capable of being subjected to the
inductive reasoning. Such are those facts which, by their intimate
connection with physiology, or the laws of the bodily frame, fall
properly within the province of the physician. In these, though exact
observation is chiefly required, it is often practicable to shorten
its process by experiment. And another important illustration may be
given from the education of children, considered as a science of rules
deduced from observation; wherein also we are frequently more able to
substitute experiment for mere experience, than with mankind in
general, whom we may observe at a distance, but cannot control. In
politics, as well as in moral prudence, we can seldom do more than
this. It seems however practicable to apply the close attention
enforced by Bacon, and the careful arrangement and comparison of
phænomena, which are the basis of his induction, to these subjects.
Thus, if the circumstances of all popular seditions recorded in
history were to be carefully collected with great regard to the
probability of evidence, and to any peculiarity that may have affected
the results, it might be easy to perceive such a connection of
antecedent and subsequent events in the great plurality of instances,
as would reasonably lead us to form probable inferences as to similar
tumults when they should occur. This has sometimes been done, with
less universality, and with much less accuracy than the Baconian
method requires, by such theoretical writers on politics as Machiavel
and Bodin. But it has been apt to degenerate into pedantry, and to
disappoint the practical statesman, who commonly rejects it with
scorn; partly because civil history is itself defective, seldom giving
a just view of events, and still less frequently of the motives of
those concerned in them; partly because the history of mankind is far
less copious than that of nature, and in much that relates to
politics, has not yet had time to furnish the groundwork of a
sufficient induction; but partly also from some distinctive
circumstances, which affect our reasonings in moral far more than in
physical science, and which deserve to be considered, so far at least
as to sketch the arguments that might be employed.

|Induction less conclusive in these subjects.|

71. The Baconian logic, as has been already said, deduces universal
principles from select observation, that is, from particular, and, in
some cases of experiment, from singular instances. It may easily
appear to one conversant with the syllogistic method less legitimate
than the old induction which proceeded by an exhaustive enumeration of
particulars, and at most warranting but a probable conclusion. The
answer to this objection can only be found in the acknowledged
uniformity of the laws of nature, so that whatever has once occurred
will, under absolutely similar circumstances, always occur again. This
may be called the suppressed premise of every Baconian enthymem, every
inference from observation of phænomena, which extends beyond the
particular case. When it is once ascertained that water is composed of
one proportion of oxygen to one of hydrogen, we never doubt but that
such are its invariable constituents. We may repeat the experiment to
secure ourselves against the risk of error in the operation or of some
unperceived condition that may have affected the result; but when a
sufficient number of trials has secured us against this, an invariable
law of nature is inferred from the particular instance; nobody
conceives that one pint of pure water _can_ be of a different
composition from another. All men, even the most rude, reason upon
this primary maxim; but they reason inconclusively from
misapprehending the true relations of cause and effect in the
phænomena to which they direct their attention. It is by the
sagacity and ingenuity with which Bacon has excluded the various
sources of error, and disengaged the true cause, that this method is
distinguished from that which the vulgar practise.

|Reasons for this difference.|

72. It is required, however, for the validity of this method, first
that there should be a strict uniformity in the general laws of
nature, from which we can infer that what has been will, in the same
conditions, be again; and secondly, that we shall be able to perceive
and estimate all the conditions with an entire and exclusive
knowledge. The first is granted in all physical phænomena; but in
those which we cannot submit to experiment, or investigate by some
such method as Bacon has pointed out, we often find our philosophy at
fault for want of the second. Such is at present the case with respect
to many parts of chemistry; for example, that of organic substances,
which we can analyse, but as yet can in very few instances recompose.
We do not know, and, if we did know, could not perhaps command, the
entire conditions of organic bodies (even structurally, not as
living), the _form_, as Bacon calls it, of blood, or milk, or oak
galls. But in attempting to subject the actions of men to this
inductive philosophy, we are arrested by the want of both the
necessary requisitions. Matter can only be diverted from its obedience
to unvarying laws by the control of mind; but we have to inquire
whether mind is equally the passive instrument of any law. We have to
open the great problem of human liberty, and must deny even a
disturbing force to the will before we can assume that all actions of
mankind must, under given conditions, preserve the same necessary
train of sequences as a molecule of matter. But if this be answered
affirmatively, we are still almost as far removed from a conclusive
result as before. We cannot without contradicting every day
experience, maintain that all men are determined alike by the same
exterior circumstances; we must have recourse to the differences of
temperament, of physical constitution, of casual or habitual
association. The former alone, however, are, at the best, subject to
our observation, either at the time, or, as is most common, through
testimony; of the latter, no being, which does not watch the movements
of the soul itself, can reach more than a probable conjecture. Sylla
resigned the dictatorship, therefore all men, in the circumstances of
Sylla, will do the same, is an argument false in one sense of the word
circumstances, and useless at least in any other. It is doubted by
many, whether meteorology will ever be well understood, on account of
the complexity of the forces concerned, and their remoteness from the
apprehension of the senses. Do not the same difficulties apply to
human affairs? And while we reflect on these difficulties, to which we
must add those which spring from the scantiness of our means of
observation, the defectiveness and falsehood of testimony, especially
what is called historical, and a thousand other errors to which the
various “idola of the world and the cave” expose us, we shall rather
be astonished that so many probable rules of civil prudence have been
treasured up and confirmed by experience than disposed to give them a
higher place in philosophy than they can claim.

|Considerations on the other side.|

73. It might be alleged in reply to these considerations, that
admitting the absence of a strictly scientific certainty in moral
reasoning, we have yet, as seems acknowledged on the other side, a
great body of probable inferences, in the extensive knowledge and
sagacious application of which most of human wisdom consists. And all
that is required of us in dealing either with moral evidence or with
the conclusions we draw from it, is to estimate the probability of
neither too high; an error from which the severe and patient
discipline of the inductive philosophy is most likely to secure us. It
would be added by some, that the theory of probabilities deduces a
wonderful degree of certainty from things very uncertain, when a
sufficient number of experiments can be made; and thus, that events
depending upon the will of mankind, even under circumstances the most
anomalous and apparently irreducible to principles, may be calculated
with a precision inexplicable to any one who has paid little attention
to the subject. This, perhaps, may appear rather a curious application
of mathematical science, than one from which our moral reasonings are
likely to derive much benefit, especially as the conditions under
which a very high probability can mathematically be obtained, involve
a greater number of trials than experience will generally furnish. It
is, nevertheless, a field that deserves to be more fully explored: the
success of those who have attempted to apply analytical processes to
moral probabilities has not hitherto been very encouraging, inasmuch
as they have often come to results falsified by experience; but a more
scrupulous regard to all the conditions of each problem may
perhaps obviate many sources of error.[211]

     [211] A calculation was published not long since, said to be on
     the authority of an eminent living philosopher, according to
     which, granting a moderate probability that each of twelve jurors
     would decide rightly, the chances in favour of the rectitude of
     their unanimous verdict were made something extravagantly high, I
     think about 8000 to 1. It is more easy to perceive the the
     fallacies of this pretended demonstration, than to explain how a
     man of great acuteness should have overlooked them. One among
     many is that it assumes the giving a verdict at all to be
     voluntary, whereas, in practice, the jury must decide one way or
     the other. We must deduct, therefore, a fraction expressing the
     probability that some of the twelve have wrongly conceded their
     opinions to the rest. One danger of this rather favourite
     application of mathematical principles to moral probabilities, as
     indeed it is of statistical tables (a remark of far wider
     extent), is that, by considering mankind merely as units, it
     practically habituates the mind to a moral and social levelling,
     as inconsistent with a just estimate of men as it is
     characteristic of the present age.

|Result of the whole.|

74. It seems upon the whole that we should neither conceive the
inductive method to be useless in regard to any subject but physical
science, nor deny the peculiar advantages it possesses in those
inquiries rather than others. What must in all studies be important,
is the habit of turning round the subject of our investigation in
every light, the observation of everything that is peculiar, the
exclusion of all that we find on reflection to be extraneous. In
historical and antiquarian researches, in all critical examination
which turns upon facts, in the scrutiny of judicial evidence, a great
part of Lord Bacon’s method, not, of course, all the experimental
rules of the Novum Organum, has, as I conceive, a legitimate
application.[212] I would refer any one who may doubt this to his
History of Winds, as one sample of what we mean by the Baconian
method, and ask whether a kind of investigation, analogous to
what is therein pursued for the sake of eliciting physical truths,
might not be employed in any analytical process where general or even
particular facts are sought to be known. Or if an example is required
of such an investigation, let us look at the copious induction from
the past and actual history of mankind upon which Malthus established
his general theory of the causes which have retarded the natural
progress of population. Upon all these subjects before-mentioned,
there has been an astonishing improvement in the reasoning of the
learned, and perhaps of the world at large since the time of Bacon,
though much remains very defective. In what degree it may be owing to
the prevalence of a physical philosophy founded upon his inductive
logic, it might not be uninteresting to inquire.[213]

     [212] The _principle_ of Bacon’s prerogative instances, and
     perhaps in some cases a very analogous application of them,
     appear to hold in our inquiries into historical evidence. The
     fact sought to be ascertained in the one subject corresponds to
     the physical law in the other. The testimonies, as we, though
     rather laxly, call them, or passages in books from which we infer
     the fact, correspond to the observations or experiments from
     which we deduce the law. The necessity of a sufficient induction
     by searching for all proof that may bear on the question, is as
     manifest in one case as in the other. The exclusion of precarious
     and inconclusive evidence is alike indispensable in both. The
     selection of prerogative instances, or such as carry with them
     satisfactory conviction, requires the same sort of inventive and
     reasoning powers. It is easy to illustrate this by examples.
     Thus, in the controversy concerning the Icon Basilike, the
     admission of Gauden’s claim by Lord Clarendon is in the nature of
     a _prerogative instance_; it renders the supposition of the
     falsehood of that claim highly improbable. But the many second
     hand and hearsay testimonies which may be alleged on the other
     side, to prove that the book was written by King Charles, are not
     prerogative instances, because their falsehood will be found to
     involve very little improbability. So, in a different
     controversy, the silence of some of the fathers as to the text,
     commonly called, of the three heavenly witnesses, even while
     expounding the context of the passage, is a _quasi-prerogative
     instance_; a decisive proof that they did not know it, or did not
     believe it genuine; because if they did, no motive can be
     conceived for the omission. But the silence of Laurentius Valla
     as to its absence from the manuscripts on which he commented, is
     no prerogative instance to prove that it was contained in them;
     because it is easy to perceive that he might have motives for
     saying nothing; and, though the negative argument, as it is
     called, or inference that a fact is not true, because such and
     such persons have not mentioned it, is, taken generally, weaker
     than positive testimony, it will frequently supply prerogative
     instances where the latter does not. Launoy, in a little
     treatise, De Auctoritate Negantis Argumenti, which displays more
     plain sense than ingenuity or philosophy, lays it down that a
     fact of a public nature, which is not mentioned by any writer
     within 200 years of the time, supposing, of course, that there is
     extant a competent number of writers who would naturally have
     mentioned it, is not to be believed. The period seems rather
     arbitrary, and was possibly so considered by himself; but the
     general principle is of the highest importance in historical
     criticism. Thus, in the once celebrated question of Pope Joan,
     the silence of all writers near the time as to so wonderful a
     fact, was justly deemed a kind of _prerogative_ argument, when
     set in opposition to the many repetitions of the story in later
     ages. But the silence of Gildas and Bede as to the victories of
     Arthur is no such argument against their reality, because they
     were not under an historical obligation, or any strong motive,
     which would prevent their silence. Generally speaking, the more
     anomalous and interesting an event is, the stronger is the
     argument against its truth from the silence of contemporaries, on
     account of the propensity of mankind to believe and recount the
     marvellous; and the weaker is the argument from the testimony of
     later times for the same reason. A similar analogy holds also in
     jurisprudence. The principle of our law, rejecting hearsay and
     secondary evidence, is founded on the Baconian rule. Fifty
     persons may depose that they have heard of a fact or of its
     circumstances; but the eye-witness is the prerogative instance.
     It would carry us too far to develop this at length, even if I
     were fully prepared to do so; but this much may lead us to think,
     that whoever shall fill up that lamentable _desideratum_, the
     logic of evidence, ought to have familiarised himself with the
     Novum Organum.

     [213] “The effects which Bacon’s writings have hitherto produced,
     have indeed been far more conspicuous in physics than in the
     science of mind. Even here, however, they have been great and
     most important, as well as in some collateral branches of
     knowledge, such as natural jurisprudence, political economy,
     criticism and morals, which spring up from the same root, or
     rather which are branches of that tree of which the science of
     mind is the trunk.” Stewart’s Philosophical Essays, Prelim.
     Dissertation. The principal advantage, perhaps, of those habits
     of reasoning which the Baconian methods, whether learned directly
     or through the many disciples of that school, have a tendency to
     generate, is that they render men cautious and painstaking in the
     pursuit of truth, and therefore restrain them from deciding too
     soon. Nemo reperitur qui in rebus ipsis et experientia moram
     fecerit legitimam. These words are more frequently true of moral
     and political reasoners than of any others. Men apply historical
     or personal experience, but they apply it hastily, and without
     giving themselves time for either a copious or an exact
     induction; the great majority being too much influenced by
     passion, party-spirit, or vanity, or perhaps by affections
     morally right, but not the less dangerous in reasoning, to
     maintain the patient and dispassionate suspense of judgment
     (ακαταληψια [akatalêpsia]), which ought to be the condition of
     our enquiries.

|Bacon’s aptitude for moral subjects.|

75. It is probable that Lord Bacon never much followed up in his own
mind that application of his method to psychological, and still less
to moral and political subjects, which he has declared himself to
intend. The distribution of the Instauratio Magna, which he has
prefixed to it, relates wholly to physical science. He has in no one
instance given an example, in the Novum Organum, from moral
philosophy, and one only, that of artificial memory, from what he
would have called logic.[214] But we must constantly remember that the
philosophy of Bacon was left exceedingly incomplete. Many lives would
not have sufficed for what he had planned, and he gave only the
_horæ subsecivæ_ of his own. It is evident that he had turned his
thoughts to physical philosophy rather for an exercise of his
reasoning faculties, and out of his insatiable thirst for knowledge,
than from any peculiar aptitude for their subjects, much less any
advantage of opportunity for their cultivation. He was more eminently
the philosopher of human, than of general nature. Hence, he is exact
as well as profound in all his reflections on civil life and mankind,
while his conjectures in natural philosophy, though often very acute,
are apt to wander far from the truth in consequence of his defective
acquaintance with the phænomena of nature. His Centuries of Natural
History give abundant proof of this. He is, in all these inquiries,
like one doubtfully, and by degrees, making out a distant prospect,
but often deceived by the haze. But if we compare what may be found in
the sixth, seventh, and eighth books De Augmentis, in the Essays, the
History of Henry VII., and the various short treatises contained in
his works, on moral and political wisdom, and on human nature, from
experience of which all such wisdom is drawn, with the Rhetoric,
Ethics, and Politics of Aristotle, or with the historians most
celebrated for their deep insight into civil society and human
character, with Thucydides, Tacitus, Philip de Comines, Machiavel,
Davila, Hume, we shall, I think, find that one man may almost be
compared with all of these together. When Galileo is named as equal to
Bacon, it is to be remembered that Galileo was no moral or political
philosopher, and in this department Leibnitz certainly falls very
short of Bacon. Burke, perhaps, comes, of all modern writers, the
nearest to him; but though Bacon may not be more profound than Burke,
he is still more copious and comprehensive.

     [214] Nov. Organ. ii. 26. It may however be observed, that we
     find a few passages in the ethical part of De Augmentis, lib.
     vii. cap. 3, which show that he had some notions of moral
     induction germinating in his mind.

|Comparison of Bacon and Galileo.|

76. The comparison of Bacon and Galileo is naturally built upon the
influence which, in the same age they exerted in overthrowing the
philosophy of the schools, and in founding that new discipline
of real science which has rendered the last centuries glorious. Hume
has given the preference to the latter, who made accessions to the
domain of human knowledge so splendid, so inaccessible to cavil, so
unequivocal in their results, that the majority of mankind would
perhaps be carried along with this decision. There seems however to be
no doubt that the mind of Bacon was more comprehensive and profound.
But these comparisons are apt to involve _incommensurable_
relations. In their own intellectual characters, they bore no great
resemblance to each other. Bacon had scarce any knowledge of geometry,
and so far ranks much below not only Galileo, but Descartes, Newton,
and Leibnitz, all signalised by wonderful discoveries in the science
of quantity, or in that part of physics which employs it. He has, in
one of the profound aphorisms of the Novum Organum, distinguished the
two species of philosophical genius, one more apt to perceive the
differences of things, the other their analogies. In a mind of the
highest order neither of these powers will be really deficient, and
his own inductive method is at once the best exercise of both, and the
best safeguard against the excess of either. But upon the whole, it
may certainly be said, that the genius of Lord Bacon was naturally
more inclined to collect the resemblances of nature than to note her
differences. This is the case with men like him of sanguine temper,
warm fancy, and brilliant wit; but it is not the frame of mind which
is best suited to strict reasoning.

77. It is no proof of a solid acquaintance with Lord Bacon’s
philosophy, to deify his name as the ancient schools did those of
their founders, or even to exaggerate the powers of his genius. Powers
they were surprisingly great, yet limited in their range, and not in
all respects equal; nor could they overcome every impediment of
circumstance. Even of Bacon it may be said, that he attempted more
than he has achieved, and perhaps more than he clearly apprehended.
His objects appear sometimes indistinct, and I am not sure that they
are always consistent. In the Advancement of Learning, he aspired to
fill up, or at least to indicate, the deficiencies in every department
of knowledge, he gradually confined himself to philosophy, and at
length to physics. But few of his works can be deemed complete, not
even the treatise De Augmentis, which comes nearer to it than most of
the rest. Hence, the study of Lord Bacon is difficult and not, as I
conceive, very well adapted to those who have made no progress
whatever in the exact sciences, nor accustomed themselves to
independent thinking. They have never been made a textbook in our
universities; though after a judicious course of preparatory studies,
by which I mean a good foundation in geometry and the philosophical
principles of grammar, the first book of the Novum Organum might be
very advantageously combined with the instruction of an enlightened

     [215] It by no means is to be inferred, that because the actual
     text of Bacon is not always such as can be well understood by
     very young men, I object to their being led to the real
     principles of inductive philosophy, which alone will teach them
     to think, firmly but not presumptuously, for themselves. Few
     defects, on the contrary, in our system of education are more
     visible than the want of an adequate course of logic; and this is
     not likely to be rectified so long as the Aristotelian methods
     challenge that denomination exclusively of all other aids to the
     reasoning faculties. The position that nothing else is to be
     called logic, were it even agreeable to the derivation of the
     word, which it is not, or to the usage of the ancients, which is
     by no means uniformly the case, or to that of modern philosophy
     and correct language, which is certainly not at all the case, is
     no answer to the question, whether what we call logic does not
     deserve to be taught at all.

     A living writer of high reputation, who has at least fully
     understood his own subject, and illustrated it better than his
     predecessors from a more enlarged reading and thinking, wherein
     his own acuteness has been improved by the writers of the
     Baconian school, has been unfortunately instrumental, by the very
     merits of his treatise on Logic, in keeping up the prejudices on
     this subject, which have generally been deemed characteristic of
     the university to which he belonged. All the reflection I have
     been able to give to the subject has convinced me of the
     inefficacy of the syllogistic art in enabling us to think rightly
     for ourselves, or, which is part of thinking rightly, in
     detecting those fallacies of others which might impose on our
     understanding before we have acquired that art. It has been often
     alleged, and, as far as I can judge, with perfect truth, that no
     man, who can be worth answering, ever commits, except through
     mere inadvertence, any paralogisms which the common logic serves
     to point out. It is easy enough to construct syllogisms which sin
     against its rules; but the question is, by whom they were
     employed. It is not uncommon, as I am aware, to represent an
     adversary as reasoning illogically; but this is generally
     effected by putting his argument into our own words. The great
     fault of all, over-induction, or the assertion of a general
     premise upon an insufficient examination of particulars, cannot
     be discovered or cured by any _logical_ skill; and this is
     the error into which men really fall, not that of omitting to
     _distribute the middle_ term, though it comes in effect, and
     often in appearance, to the same thing. I do not contend that the
     rules of syllogism, which are very short and simple, ought not to
     be learned; or that there may not be some advantage in
     occasionally stating our own argument, or calling on another to
     state his, in a regular form (an advantage, however, rather
     dialectical, which is, in other words, rhetorical, than one which
     affects the reasoning faculties themselves): nor do I deny that
     it is philosophically worth while to know that all _general
     reasoning by words_ may be reduced into syllogism, as it is to
     know that most of geometry may be resolved into the superposition
     of equal triangles; but to represent this portion of logical
     science as the whole, appears to me almost like teaching the
     scholar Euclid’s axioms, and the axiomatic theorem to which I
     have alluded, and calling this the science of geometry. The
     following passage from the Port-Royal logic is very judicious and
     candid, giving as much to the Aristotelian system as it deserves:
     “Cette partie, que nous avons maintenant à traiter, qui comprend
     les règles du raisonnement, est estimée la plus importante de la
     logique, et c’est presque l’unique qu’on y traite avec quelque
     soin; mais il y a sujet de douter si elle est aussi utile qu’on
     se l’imagine. La plupart des erreurs des hommes, comme nous avons
     déjà dit ailleurs, viennent bien plus de ce qu’ils raisonnent sur
     de faux principes, que non pas de ce qu’ils raisonnent mal
     suivant leurs principes. Il arrive rarement qu’on se laisse
     tromper par des raisonnemens qui ne soient faux que parce que la
     conséquence en est mal tirée; et ceux qui ne seroient pas
     capables d’en reconnoître la fausseté par la seule lumière de la
     raison, ne le seroient pas ordinairement d’entendre les règles
     que l’on en donne, et encore moins de les appliquer. Néanmoins,
     quand on ne considéreroit ces règles que comme des vérités
     spéculatives, elles serviroient toujours à exercer l’esprit; et
     de plus, on ne peut nier qu’elles n’aient quelque usage en
     quelques rencontres, et à l’égard de quelques personnes, qui,
     étant d’un naturel vif et pénétrant, ne se laissent quelquefois
     tromper par des fausses conséquences, que faute d’attention, à
     quoi la réflexion qu’ils feroient sur ces règles, seroit capable
     de remédier.” Art de Penser, part iii. How different is this
     sensible passage from one quoted from some anonymous writer in
     Whateley’s Logic, p. 34. “A fallacy consists of an ingenious
     mixture of truth and falsehood so entangled, so intimately
     blended, that the fallacy is, in the chemical phrase, held in
     solution _one drop of sound logic_ is that test which
     immediately disunites them, makes the foreign substance visible,
     and precipitates it to the bottom.” One fallacy, it might be
     answered, as common as any, is the _false analogy_ the
     misleading the mind by a comparison, where there is no real
     proportion or resemblance. The chemist’s test is the
     _necessary_ means of detecting the foreign substance; if the
     “drop of sound logic” be such, it is strange that lawyers,
     mathematicians, and mankind in general, should so sparingly
     employ it; the fact being notorious, that those most eminent for
     strong reasoning powers are rarely conversant with the
     syllogistic method. It is also well known, that these “intimately
     blended mixtures of truth and falsehood” deceive no man of plain
     sense. So much for the _test_.

|His prejudice against mathematics.|

78. The ignorance of Bacon in mathematics, and, what was much worse,
his inadequate notions of their utility, must be reckoned among the
chief defects in his philosophical writings. In a remarkable passage
of the Advancement of Learning, he held mathematics to be a part of
metaphysics; but the place of this is altered in the Latin, and they
are treated as merely auxiliary or instrumental to physical inquiry.
He had some prejudice against pure mathematics, and thought they had
been unduly elevated in comparison with the realities of nature. “I
know not,” he says, “how it has arisen that mathematics and logic,
which ought to be the serving-maids of physical philosophy, yet
affecting to vaunt the certainty that belongs to them, presume to
exercise a dominion over her.” It is surely very erroneous to speak of
geometry, which relates to the objective realities of space, and to
natural objects so far as extended, as a mere handmaid of physical
philosophy, and not rather a part of it. Playfair has made some good
remarks on the advantages derived to experimental philosophy itself
from the mere application of geometry and algebra. And one of the
reflections which this ought to excite is, that we are not to
conceive, as some hastily do, that there can be no real utility to
mankind, even of that kind of utility which consists in multiplying
the conveniences and luxuries of life, springing from theoretical and
speculative inquiry. The history of algebra, so barren in the days of
Tartaglia and Vieta, so productive of _wealth_, when applied to
dynamical calculations in our own, may be a sufficient answer.

|Bacon’s excess of wit.|

79. One of the petty blemishes which, though lost in the splendour of
Lord Bacon’s excellencies, it is not unfair to mention, is connected
with the peculiar characteristics of his mind; he is sometimes too
metaphorical and witty. His remarkable talent for discovering
analogies seems to have inspired him with too much regard to them as
arguments, even when they must appear to any common reader
fanciful and far-fetched. His terminology, chiefly for the same
reason, is often a little affected, and, in Latin, rather barbarous.
The divisions of his prerogative instances in the Novum Organum are
not always founded upon intelligible distinctions. And the general
obscurity of the style, neither himself nor his assistants being good
masters of the Latin language, which at the best is never flexible or
copious enough for our philosophy, renders the perusal of both his
great works too laborious for the impatient reader. Brucker has well
observed that the Novum Organum has been neglected by the generality,
and proved of far less service than it would otherwise have been in
philosophy, in consequence of these very defects, as well as the real
depths of the author’s mind.[216]

     [216] Legenda ipsa nobilissima tractatio ab illis est, qui in
     rerum naturalium inquisitione feliciter progredi cupiunt. Quæ si
     paulo plus luminis et perspicuitatis haberet, et novorum
     terminorum et partitionum artificio lectorem non remoraretur,
     longè plura, quam factum est, contulisset ad philosophiæ
     emendationem. His enim obstantibus a plerisque hoc organum
     neglectum est. Hist. Philos. v. 99.

|Fame of Bacon on the Continent.|

80. What has been the fame of Bacon, “the wisest, greatest, of
mankind,” it is needless to say. What has been his real influence over
mankind, how much of our enlarged and exact knowledge may be
attributed to his inductive method, what of this again has been due to
a thorough study of his writings, and what to an indirect and
secondary acquaintance with them, are questions of another kind, and
less easily solved. Stewart, the philosopher who has dwelt most on the
praises of Bacon, while he conceives him to have exercised a
considerable influence over the English men of science in the
seventeenth century, supposes, on the authority of Montucla, that he
did not “command the general admiration of Europe,” till the
publication of the preliminary discourse to the French Encyclopædia by
Diderot and D’Alembert. This, however, is by much too precipitate a
conclusion. He became almost immediately known on the continent.
Gassendi was one of his most ardent admirers. Descartes mentions him,
I believe, once only, in a letter to Mersenne, in 1632;[217] but he
was of all men the most unwilling to praise a contemporary. It may be
said that these were philosophers, and that their testimony does not
imply the admiration of mankind. But writers of a very different
character mention him in a familiar manner. Richelieu is said to have
highly esteemed Lord Bacon.[218] And it may in some measure be due to
this, that in the Sentimens de l’Académie Français sur le Cid, he is
alluded to, simply by the name Bacon, as one well known.[219] Voiture,
in a letter to Costar, about the same time, bestows high eulogy on
some passages of Bacon which his correspondent had sent to him, and
observes that Horace would have been astonished to hear a barbarian
Briton discourse in such a style. The treatise De Augmentis was
republished in France in 1624, the year after its appearance in
England. It was translated into French as early as 1632; no great
proofs of neglect. Editions came out in Holland, 1645, 1652, and
1662.[220] Even the Novum Organum, which, as has been said, never
became so popular as his other writings, was thrice printed in
Holland, in 1645, 1650, and 1660.[221] Leibnitz and Puffendorf are
loud in their expressions of admiration, the former ascribing to him
the revival of true philosophy as fully as we can at present.[222] I
should be more inclined to doubt whether he were adequately valued by
his countrymen in his own time, or in the immediately subsequent
period. Under the first Stuarts, there was little taste among studious
men but for theology, and chiefly for a theology which,
proceeding with an extreme deference to authority, could not but
generate a disposition of mind, even upon other subjects, alien to the
progressive and inquisitive spirit of the inductive philosophy.[223]
The institution of the Royal Society, or rather the love of physical
science out of which that institution arose, in the second part of the
seventeenth century, made England resound with the name of her
illustrious chancellor. Few now spoke of him without a kind of homage
that only the greatest men receive. Yet still, it was by natural
philosophers alone that the writings of Bacon were much studied. The
editions of his works, except the Essays, were few; the Novum Organum
never came separately from the English press.[224] They were not even
much quoted; for I believe it will be found that the fashion of
referring to the brilliant passages of the De Augmentis and the Novum
Organum, at least in books designed for the general reader, is not
much older than the close of the last century. Scotland has the merit
of having led the way; Reid, Stewart, Robison, and Playfair turned
that which had been a blind veneration into a rational worship; and I
should suspect that more have read Lord Bacon within these thirty
years than in the two preceding centuries. It may be an usual
consequence of the enthusiastic panegyrics lately poured upon his
name, that a more positive efficacy has sometimes been attributed to
his philosophical writings than they really possessed, and it might be
asked whether Italy, where he was probably not much known, were not
the true school of experimental philosophy in Europe, whether his
methods of investigation were not chiefly such as men of sagacity and
lovers of truth might simultaneously have devised. But, whatever may
have been the case with respect to actual discoveries in science, we
must give to written wisdom its proper meed; no books prior to those
of Lord Bacon carried mankind so far on the road to truth; none have
obtained so thorough a triumph over arrogant usurpation without
seeking to substitute another; and he may be compared with those
liberators of nations, who have given them laws by which they might
govern themselves, and retained no homage but their gratitude.[225]

     [217] Vol. vi., p. 210, edit. Cousin.

     [218] The only authority that I can now quote for this is not
     very good, that of Aubery’s Manuscripts, which I find in Seward’s
     Anecdotes, iv. 328. But it seems not improbable. The same book
     quotes Balzac as saying: “Croyons donc, pour l’amour du
     Chancelier Bacon, que toutes les folies des anciens sont sages;
     et tous leurs songes mystères, et de celles-là qui sont estimées
     pures fables, il n’y en a pas une, quelque bizarre et
     extravagante qu’elle soit, qui n’ait son fondement dans
     l’histoire, _si l’on en veut croire Bacon_, et qui n’ait été
     déguisée de la sorte par les sages du vieux temps, pour la rendre
     plus utile aux peuples.

     [219] P. 44 (1633).

     [220] J’ai trouvé parfaitement beau tout ce que vous me
     mandez de Bacon. Mais ne vous semble t’il pas qu’Horace qui
     disoit, Visam Britannos hospitibus feros, seroit bien étonné
     d’entendre un barbare discourir comme cela? Costar is said by
     Bayle to have borrowed much from Bacon. La Mothe le Vayer
     mentions him in his Dialogues; in fact, instances are numerous.

     [221] Montagu’s Life of Bacon, p. 407. He has not
     mentioned an edition at Strasburg, 1635, which is in the British

     There is also an edition, without time or place, in the catalogue
     of the British Museum.

     [222] Brucker, v. 95. Stewart says that “Bayle does not
     give above twelve lines to Bacon;” but he calls him one of the
     greatest men of his age, and the length of an article in Bayle
     was never designed to be a measure of the merit of its subject.

     [223] It is not uncommon to meet with persons,
     especially who are or have been engaged in teaching others
     dogmatically what they have themselves received in the like
     manner, to whom the inductive philosophy appears a mere school of
     scepticism, or at best wholly inapplicable to any subjects which
     require entire conviction. A certain deduction from certain
     premises is the only reasoning they acknowledge. This is
     peculiarly the case with theologians, but it is also extended to
     everything which is taught in a synthetic manner. Lord Bacon has
     a remarkable passage on this in the 9th book De Augmentis.
     Postquam articuli et principia religionis jam in sedibus suis
     fuerint locata, ita ut a rationis examine penitus eximantur, tum
     demum conceditur ab illis illationes derivare ac deducere,
     secundum analogiam ipsorum. In rebus quidem naturalibus hoc non
     tenet. Nam et ipsa principia examini subjiciuntur; per
     inductionem, inquam, licet minime per syllogismum. Atque eadem
     illa nullam habent cum ratione repugnantiam, ut ab eodem fonte
     cum primæ propositiones, tum mediæ, deducantur. Aliter fit in
     religione; ubi et primæ propositiones authopystatæ sunt, atque
     per se subsistentes; et rursus non reguntur ab illa ratione quæ
     propositiones consequentes deducit. Neque tamen hoc fit in
     religione sola, sed etiam in aliis scientiis, tam gravioribus,
     quam levioribus, ubi scilicet propositiones humanæ placita sunt,
     non posita; siquidem et in illis rationis usus absolutus esse non
     potest. Videmus enim in ludis, puta schaccorum, aut similibus,
     priores ludi normas et leges merè positivas esse, et ad placitum;
     quas recipi, non in disputationem vocari, prorsus oporteat; ut
     vero vincas, et peritè lusum instituas, id artificiosum est et
     rationale. Eodem modo fit et in legibus humanis; in quibus haud
     paucæ sunt maximæ, ut loquuntur, hoc est, placita mera juris, quæ
     auctoritate magis quam ratione nituntur, neque in disceptationem
     veniunt. Quid vero sit justissimum, non absolutè, sed relativè,
     hoc est ex analogiâ illarum maximarum, id demum rationale est, et
     latum disputationi campum præbet. This passage, well weighed, may
     show us where, why, and by whom the synthetic and syllogistic
     methods have been preferred to the inductive and analytical.

     [224] The De Augmentis was only once published after the
     first edition, in 1638. An indifferent translation, by Gilbert
     Watts, came out in 1640. No edition of Bacon’s Works was
     published in England before 1730; another appeared in 1740, and
     there have been several since. But they had been printed at
     Frankfort in 1665. It is unnecessary to observe, that many copies
     of the foreign editions were brought to this country. This is
     mostly taken from Mr. Montague’s account.

     [225] I have met, since this passage was written, with
     one in Stewart’s Life of Reid, which seems to state the
     _effects_ of Bacon’s philosophy in a just and temperate
     spirit, and which I rather quote, because this writer has, by his
     eulogies on that philosophy, led some to an exaggerated notion.
     “The influence of Bacon’s genius on the subsequent progress of
     physical discovery has been seldom duly appreciated: by some
     writers almost entirely overlooked, and by others considered as
     the sole cause of the reformation in science which has since
     taken place. Of these two extremes, the latter certainly is the
     least wide of the truth: for in the whole history of letters no
     other individual can be mentioned whose exertions have had so
     indisputable an effect in forwarding the intellectual progress of
     mankind. On the other hand, it must be acknowledged that before
     the era when Bacon appeared, various philosophers in different
     parts of Europe had struck into the right path; and it may
     perhaps be doubted, whether any one important rule with respect
     to the true method of investigation be contained in his works, of
     which no hint can be traced in those of his predecessors. His
     great merit lay in concentrating their feeble and scattered
     lights; fixing the attention of philosophers on the
     distinguishing characteristics of true and of false science, by a
     felicity of illustration peculiar to himself, seconded by the
     commanding powers of a bold and figurative eloquence. The method
     of investigation which he recommended had been previously
     followed in every instance in which any solid discovery had been
     made with respect to the laws of nature; but it had been followed
     accidentally and without any regular preconceived design; and it
     was reserved for him to reduce to rule and method what others had
     effected, either fortuitously, or from some momentary glimpse of
     the truth. These remarks are not intended to detract from the
     just glory of Bacon; for they apply to all those, without
     exception, who have systematised the principles of any of the
     arts. Indeed, they apply less forcibly to him than to any other
     philosopher whose studies have been directed to objects analogous
     to his; inasmuch as we know of no art of which the rules have
     been reduced successfully into a didactic form, when the art
     itself was as much in infancy as experimental philosophy was when
     Bacon wrote.” Account of Life and writings of Reid sect. 2.

                            SECT. III.

_On the Metaphysical Philosophy of Descartes._

|Early life of Descartes.|

81. René Descartes was born in 1596 of an ancient family in Touraine.
An inquisitive curiosity into the nature and causes of all he saw is
said to have distinguished his childhood, and this was certainly
accompanied by an uncommon facility and clearness of apprehension. At
a very early age he entered the college of the Jesuits at La Fleche,
and passed through their entire course of literature and philosophy.
It was now, at the age of sixteen, as he tells us, that he began to
reflect, with little satisfaction, on his studies, finding his mind
beset with error, and obliged to confess that he had learned nothing
but the conviction of his ignorance. Yet he knew that he had been
educated in a famous school, and that he was not deemed behind his
contemporaries. The ethics, the logic, even the geometry of the
ancients, did not fill his mind with that clear stream of truth, for
which he was ever thirsting. On leaving La Fleche, the young Descartes
mingled for some years in the world, and served as a volunteer both
under Prince Maurice, and in the Imperial army. Yet during this period
there were intervals when he withdrew himself wholly from society, and
devoted his leisure to mathematical science. Some germs also of his
peculiar philosophy were already ripening in his mind.

|His beginning to philosophise.|

82. Descartes was twenty-three years old when, passing a solitary
winter in his quarters at Neuburg on the Danube, he began to resolve
in his mind the futility of all existing systems of philosophy, and
the discrepancy of opinions among the generality of mankind, which
rendered it probable that no one had yet found out the road to real
science. He determined, therefore, to set about the investigation of
truth for himself, erasing from his mind all preconceived judgments,
as having been hastily and precariously taken up. He laid down for his
guidance a few fundamental rules of logic, such as to admit nothing as
true which he did not clearly perceive, and to proceed from the
simpler notions to the more complex, taking the method of geometers,
by which they had gone so much farther than others, for the true art
of reasoning. Commencing, therefore, with the mathematical sciences,
and observing that, however different in their subjects, they treat
properly of nothing but the relations of quantity, he fell, almost
accidentally, as his words seem to import, on the great discovery that
geometrical curves may be expressed algebraically.[226] This gave him
more hope of success in applying his method to other parts of

     [226] Œuvres de Descartes, par Cousin, Paris, 1824, vol. i.,
     p. 143.

|He retires to Holland.|

83. Nine years more elapsed, during which Descartes, though he quitted
military service, continued to observe mankind in various parts of
Europe, still keeping his heart fixed on the great aim he had proposed
to himself, but, as he confesses, without having framed the scheme of
any philosophy beyond those of his contemporaries. He deemed his time
of life immature for so stupendous a task. But at the age of
thirty-three, with little notice to his friends, he quitted Paris,
convinced that absolute retirement was indispensable for that rigorous
investigation of first principles he now determined to institute, and
retired into Holland. In this country he remained eight years so
completely aloof from the distractions of the world, that he concealed
his very place of residence, though preserving an intercourse of
letters with many friends in France.

|His publications.|

84. In 1637 he broke upon the world with a volume containing the
Discourse upon Method, the Dioptrics, the Meteors, and the Geometry.
It is only with the first that we are for the present concerned.[227]
In this discourse, the most interesting perhaps of Descartes’
writings, on account of the picture of his life, and of the progress
of his studies that it furnishes, we find the Cartesian metaphysics,
which do not consist of many articles, almost as fully detailed as in
any of his later works. In the Meditationes de Prima Philosophia,
published in Latin, 1641, these fundamental principles are laid down
again more at length. He invited the criticism of philosophers on
these famous Meditations. They did not refuse the challenge; and seven
sets of objections, from as many different quarters, with seven
replies from Descartes himself, are subjoined to the later editions of
the Meditations. The Principles of Philosophy, published in Latin in
1644, contains what may be reckoned the final statement, which
occupies most of the first book, written with uncommon conciseness and
precision. The beauty of philosophical style which distinguished
Descartes is never more seen than in this first book of the Principia,
the translation of which was revised by Clerselier, an eminent friend
of the author. It is a contrast at once to the elliptical brevity of
Aristotle, who hints, or has been supposed to hint, the most important
positions in a short clause, and to the verbose, figurative
declamation of many modern metaphysicians. In this admirable
perspicuity Descartes was imitated by his disciples Arnaud and
Malebranche, especially the former. His unfinished posthumous
treatise, the “Inquiry after Truth by Natural Reason,” is not carried
farther than a partial development of the same leading principles of
Cartesianism. There is consequently a great deal of apparent
repetition in the works of Descartes, but such as on attentive
consideration will show, not perhaps much real variance, but some new
lights that had occurred to the author in the course of his

     [227] Id. p. 121-212.

     [228] A work has lately been published, Essais Philosophiques,
     suivis de la Métaphysique de Descartes resembleé et mise en
     ordre, par L. A. Gruyer, 4 vols. Bruxelles, 1832. In the fourth
     volume we find the metaphysical passages in the writings of
     Descartes, including his correspondence, arranged methodically in
     his own words, but with the omission of a large part of the
     objections to the Meditations and of his replies. I did not,
     however, see this work in time to make use of it.

|He begins by doubting all.|

85. In pursuing the examination of the first principles of knowledge,
Descartes perceived not only that he had cause to doubt of the various
opinions he had found current among men, from that very circumstance
of their variety, but that the sources of all that he had received for
truth themselves, namely, the senses, had afforded him no indisputable
certainty. He began to recollect how often he had been misled by
appearances, which had at first sight given no intimation of their
fallacy, and asked himself in vain, by what infallible test he could
discern the reality of external objects, or at least their conformity
to his idea of them. The strong impressions made in sleep led him to
inquire whether all he saw and felt might not be in a dream. It was
true that there seemed to be some notions more elementary than the
rest, such as extension, figure, duration, which could not be reckoned
fallacious; nor could he avoid owning that, if there were not an
existing triangle in the world, the angles of one conceived by the
mind, though it were in sleep, must appear equal to two right angles.
But even in this certitude of demonstration he soon found something
deficient; to err in geometrical reasoning is not impossible: why
might he not err in this; especially in a train of consequences, the
particular terms of which are not at the same instant present to the
mind. But above all, there might be a superior being, powerful enough
and willing to deceive him. It was no kind of answer to treat this as
improbable, or as an arbitrary hypothesis. He had laid down as a maxim
that nothing could be received as truth which was not demonstrable,
and in one place, rather hyperbolically, and indeed extravagantly in
appearance, says that he made little difference between merely
probable and false suppositions; meaning this, however, as we may
presume, in the sense of geometers, who would say the same thing.

|His first step in knowledge.|

86. But, divesting himself thus of all belief in what the world deemed
most unquestionable, plunged in an abyss, as it seemed for a
time, he soon found his feet on a rock, from which he sprang upwards
to an unclouded sun. Doubting all things, abandoning all things, he
came to the question, what is it that doubts and denies? Something it
must be; he might be deceived by a superior power, but it was he that
was deceived. He felt his own existence; the proof of it was that he
did feel it; that he had affirmed, that he now doubted, in a word,
that he was a thinking substance. _Cogito: Ergo sum_--this famous
enthymem of the Cartesian philosophy veiled in rather formal language,
that which was to him, and must be to us all, the eternal basis of
conviction, which no argument can strengthen, which no sophistry can
impair, the consciousness of a self within, a percipient indivisible
Ego.[229] The only proof of this is that it admits of no proof, that
no man can pretend to doubt of his own existence with sincerity, or to
express a doubt without absurd and inconsistent language.

     [229] This word, introduced by the Germans, or originally perhaps
     by the old Cartesians, is rather awkward, but far less so than
     the English pronoun I, which is also equivocal in sound. Stewart
     has adopted it as the lesser evil, and it seems reasonable not to
     scruple a word so convenient, if not necessary, to express the
     unity of the conscious principle. If it had been employed
     earlier, I am apt to think that some great metaphysical
     extravagances would have been avoided, and some fundamental
     truths more clearly apprehended. Fichte is well known to have
     made the grand division of _Ich_ and _Nicht Ich_, _Ego_ and _Non
     Ego_, the basis of his philosophy; in other words, the difference
     of subjective and objective reality.

|His mind.|

|Not sceptical.|

87. The scepticism of Descartes, it appears, which is merely
provisional, is not at all similar to that of the Pyrrhonists, though
some of his arguments may have been shafts from their quiver. Nor did
he make use, which is somewhat remarkable, of the reasonings
afterwards employed by Berkley against the material world, though no
one more frequently distinguished than Descartes between the objective
reality, as it was then supposed to be, of ideas in the mind, and the
external or sensible reality of things. Scepticism, in fact, was so
far from being characteristic of his disposition, that his errors
sprang chiefly from the opposite source, little as he was aware of it,
from an undue positiveness in theories which he could not demonstrate,
or even render highly probable.[230]

     [230] One of the rules Descartes lays down in his posthumous art
     of logic, is that we ought never to busy ourselves except about
     objects concerning which our understanding appears capable of
     acquiring an unquestionable and certain knowledge, vol. xi., p.
     204. This is at least too unlimited a proposition, and would
     exclude, not indeed all probability, but all inquiries which must
     by necessity end in nothing more than probability. Accordingly,
     we find in the next pages, that he made little account of any
     sciences but arithmetic and geometry, or such others as equal
     them in certainty. “From all this,” he concludes, “we may infer,
     not that arithmetic and geometry are the only sciences which we
     must learn, but that he who seeks the road to truth should not
     trouble himself with any object of which he cannot have as
     certain a knowledge, as of arithmetical and geometrical
     demonstrations.” It is unnecessary to observe what havoc this
     would make with investigations, even in physics, of the highest
     importance to mankind.

     Beattie, in the essay on Truth, part ii. chap. 2, has made some
     unfounded criticisms on the scepticism of Descartes, and
     endeavours to turn into ridicule his, Cogito; ergo sum. Yet if
     any one should deny his own, or our existence, I do not see how
     we could refute him, were he worthy of refutation, but by some
     such language; and, in fact, it is what Beattie himself says,
     more paraphrastically, in answering Hume.

|He arrives at more certainty.|

88. The certainty of an existing Ego easily led him to that of the
operations of the mind, called afterwards by Locke ideas of
reflection, the believing, doubting, willing, loving, fearing, which
he knew by consciousness, and indeed by means of which alone he knew
that the Ego existed. He now proceeded a step farther; and reflecting
on the simplest truths of arithmetic and geometry, saw that it was as
impossible to doubt of them as of the acts of his mind. But as he had
before tried to doubt even of these, on the hypothesis that he might
be deceived by a superior intelligent power, he resolved to inquire
whether such a power existed, and if it did, whether it could be a
deceiver. The affirmative of the former, and the negative of the
latter question Descartes established by that extremely subtle
reasoning so much celebrated in the seventeenth century, but which has
less frequently been deemed conclusive in later times. It is at least
that which no man, not fitted by long practise for metaphysical
researches, will pretend to embrace.

|His proof of a Deity.|

89. The substance of his argument was this. He found within himself
the idea of a perfect Intelligence, eternal, infinite, necessary. This
could not come from himself, nor from external things, because both
were imperfect, and there could be no more in the effect than there is
in the cause. And this idea requiring a cause, it could have
none but an actual being, not a possible being, which is
undistinguishable from mere non-entity. If, however, this should be
denied, he inquires whether he, with this idea of God, could have
existed by any other cause, if there were no God. Not, he argues, by
himself; for, if he were the author of his own being, he would have
given himself every perfection, in a word, would have been God. Not by
his parents, for the same might be said of them, and so forth, if we
remount to a series of productive beings. Besides this, as much power
is required to preserve as to create, and the continuance of existence
in the effect implies the continued operation of the cause.

|Another proof of it.|

90. With this argument, in itself sufficiently refined, Descartes
blended another still more distant from common apprehension. Necessary
existence is involved in the idea of God. All other beings are
conceivable in their essence, as things possible; in God alone his
essence and existence are inseparable. Existence is necessary to
perfection; hence, a perfect being, or God, cannot be conceived
without necessary existence. Though I do not know that I have
misrepresented Descartes in this result of his very subtle argument,
it is difficult not to treat it as a sophism. And it was always
objected by his adversaries, that he inferred the necessity of the
thing from the necessity of the idea, which was the very point in
question. It seems impossible to vindicate many of his expressions,
from which he never receded in the controversy to which his
meditations gave rise. But the long habit of repeating in his mind the
same series of reasonings gave Descartes, as it will always do, an
inward assurance of their certainty, which could not be weakened by
any objection. The former argument for the being of God, whether
satisfactory or not, is to be distinguished from the present.[231]

     [231] “From what is said already of the ignorance we are in of
     the essence of mind, it is evident that we are not able to know
     whether any mind be necessarily existent by a necessity à priori
     founded in its essence, as we have showed time and space to be.
     Some philosophers think that such a necessity may be demonstrated
     of God from the nature of perfection. For God being infinitely,
     that is, absolutely perfect, they say he must needs be
     necessarily existent; because, say they, necessary existence is
     one of the greatest of perfections. But I take this to be one of
     those false and imaginary arguments, that are founded in the
     abuse of certain terms; and of all others this word, perfection,
     seems to have suffered most this way. I wish I could clearly
     understand what these philosophers mean by the word perfection,
     when they thus say, that necessity of existence is perfection.
     Does perfection here signify the same thing that it does, when we
     say that God is infinitely good, omnipotent, omniscient? Surely
     perfections are properly asserted of the several powers that
     attend the essences of things, and not of anything else, but in a
     very unnatural and improper sense. Perfection is a term of
     relation, and its sense implies a fitness or agreement to some
     certain end, and most properly to some power in the thing that is
     denominated perfect. The term, as the etymology of it shows, is
     taken from the operation of artists. When an artist proposes to
     himself to make anything that shall be serviceable to a certain
     effect, his work is called more or less perfect, according as it
     agrees more or less with the design of the artist. From arts, by
     a similitude of sense, this word has been introduced into
     morality, and signifies that quality of an agent by which it is
     able to act agreeable to the end its actions tend to. The
     metaphysicians who reduce everything to transcendental
     considerations, have also translated this term into their
     science, and use it to signify the agreement that anything has
     with that idea, which it is required that thing should answer to.
     This perfection, therefore, belongs to those attributes that
     constitute the essence of a thing; and that being is properly
     called the most perfect which has all, the best, and each the
     completest in its kind of those attributes, which can be united
     in one essence. Perfection, therefore, belongs to the essence of
     things, and not properly to their existence; which is not a
     perfection of anything, no attribute of it, but only the mere
     constitution of it _in rerum natura_. Necessary existence,
     therefore, which is a mode of existence, is not a perfection, it
     being no attribute of the thing no more than existence is, which
     is a mode of it. But it may be said, that though necessary
     existence is not a perfection in itself, yet it is so in its
     cause, upon account of that attribute of the entity from whence
     it flows; that that attribute must of all others be the most
     perfect and most excellent, which necessary existence flows from,
     it being such as cannot be conceived otherwise than as existing.
     But what excellency, what perfection is there in all this? Space
     is necessarily existent on account of extension, which cannot be
     conceived otherwise than as existing. But what perfection is
     there in space upon this account, which can in no manner act on
     anything, which is entirely devoid of all power, wherein I have
     showed all perfections to consist? Therefore, necessary
     existence, abstractedly considered, is no perfection; and,
     therefore, the idea of infinite perfection does not include, and
     consequently not prove, God to be necessarily existence [sic]. If
     he be so, it is on account of those attributes of his essence
     which we have no knowledge of.”

     I have made this extract from a very short tract, called
     Contemplatio Philosophica, by Brook Taylor, which I found in an
     unpublished memoir of his life printed by the late Sir William
     Young, in 1793. It bespeaks the clear and acute understanding of
     this celebrated philosopher, and appears to me an entire
     refutation of the scholastic argument of Descartes; one more fit
     for the Anselms and such dealers in words, from whom it came,
     than for himself.

|His deductions from this.|

91. From the idea of a perfect being, Descartes immediately deduced
the truth of his belief in an external world, and in the inferences of
his reason. For to deceive his creatures would be an imperfection in
God; but God is perfect. Whatever, therefore, is clearly and
distinctly apprehended by our reason, must be true. We have only to be
on our guard against our own precipitancy and prejudice, or surrender
of our reason to the authority of others. It is not by our
understanding, such as God gave it to us, that we are deceived; but
the exercise of our free will, a high prerogative of our nature, is
often so incautious as to make us not discern truth from falsehood,
and affirm or deny, by a voluntary act, that which we do not
distinctly apprehend. The properties of quantity, founded on our ideas
of extension and number, are distinctly perceived by our minds, and
hence the sciences of arithmetic and geometry are certainly true. But
when he turns his thoughts to the phenomena of external sensation,
Descartes cannot wholly extricate himself from his original
concession, the basis of his doubt, that the senses do sometimes
deceive us. He endeavours to reconcile this with his own theory, which
had built the certainty of all that we clearly hold certain on the
perfect veracity of God.

|Primary and secondary qualities.|

92. It is in this inquiry that he reaches that important distinction
between the primary and secondary properties of matter, the latter
being modifications of the former, relative only to our apprehension,
but not inherent in things, which, without being wholly new,
contradicted the Aristotelian theories of the schools;[232] and he
remarked that we are never, strictly speaking, deceived by our senses,
but by the inferences which we draw from them.

     [232] See Stewart’s First Dissertation on the Progress of
     Philosophy. This writer has justly observed, that many persons
     conceive _colour_ to be inherent in the object, so that the
     censure of Reid on Descartes and his followers, as having
     pretended to discover what no one doubted, is at least
     unreasonable in this respect. A late writer has gone so far as to
     say: “Nothing at first can seem a more rational, obvious, and
     incontrovertible conclusion, than that the colour of a body is an
     inherent quality, like its weight, hardness, &c; and that to
     _see_ the object, and to see it of _its own colour_, when nothing
     intervenes between our eyes and it, are one and the same thing.
     Yet this is only a prejudice.” &c. Herschel’s Discourse on Nat.
     Philos., p. 82. I almost even suspect that the notion of sounds
     and smells being secondary or merely sensible qualities, is not
     distinct in all men’s minds. But after we are become familiar
     with correct ideas, it is not easy to revive prejudices in our
     imagination. In the same page of Stewart’s Dissertation, he has
     been led, by dislike of the university of Oxford, to misconceive,
     in an extraordinary manner, a passage of Addison in the Guardian,
     which is evidently a sportive ridicule of the Cartesian theory,
     and is absolutely inapplicable to the Aristotelian.

93. Such is nearly the substance, exclusive of a great variety of more
or less episodical theories, of the three metaphysical works of
Descartes, the history of the soul’s progress from opinion to doubt,
and from doubt to certainty. Few would dispute, at the present day,
that he has destroyed too much of his foundations to render his
superstructure stable; and to readers averse from metaphysical
reflection, he must seem little else than an idle theorist, weaving
cobwebs for pastime which common sense sweeps away. It is fair,
however, to observe, that no one was more careful than Descartes to
guard against any practical scepticism in the affairs of life. He even
goes so far as to maintain, that a man having adopted any practical
opinion on such grounds as seem probable should pursue it with as much
steadiness as if it were founded on demonstration; observing, however,
as a general rule, to choose the most moderate opinions among those
which he should find current in his own country.[233]

     [233] Vol. i., p. 147. Vol. iii., p. 64.

|Objections made to his Meditations.|

94. The objections adduced against the Meditations are in a series of
seven. The first are by a theologian named Caterus, the second by
Mersenne, the third by Hobbes, the fourth by Arnauld, the fifth by
Gassendi, the sixth by some anonymous writers, the seventh by a Jesuit
of the name of Bourdin. To all of these Descartes replied with spirit
and acuteness. By far the most important controversy was with
Gassendi, whose objections were stated more briefly, and I think with
less skill, by Hobbes. It was the first trumpet in the new philosophy
of an ancient war between the sensual and ideal schools of psychology.
Descartes had revived, and placed in a clearer light, the doctrine of
mind, as not absolutely dependent upon the senses, nor of the same
nature as their objects. Stewart does not acknowledge him as
the first teacher of the soul’s immateriality. “That many of the
schoolmen, and that the wisest of the ancient philosophers, when they
described the mind as a spirit, or as a spark of celestial fire,
employed these expressions, not with any intention to materialize its
essence, but merely from want of more unexceptionable language, might
be shown with demonstrative evidence, if this were the proper place
for entering into the discussion.”[234] But though it cannot be said
that Descartes was absolutely the first who maintained the strict
immateriality of the soul, it is manifest to any one who has read his
correspondence, that the tenet, instead of being general, as we are
apt to presume, was by no means in accordance with the common opinion
of his age. The fathers, with the exception, perhaps the single one,
of Augustin, had taught the corporeity of the thinking substance.
Arnauld seems to consider the doctrine of Descartes as almost a
novelty in modern times. “What you have written concerning the
distinction between the soul and body appears to me very clear, very
evident, and quite divine; and as nothing is older than truth, I have
had singular pleasure to see that almost the same things have formerly
been very perspicuously and agreeably handled by St. Augustin in all
his tenth book on the Trinity, but chiefly in the tenth chapter.”[235]
But Arnauld himself, in his objections to the Meditations, had put it
as at least questionable, whether that which thinks is not something
extended, which, besides the usual properties of extended substances,
such as mobility and figure, has also this particular virtue and power
of thinking.[236] The reply of Descartes removed the difficulty of the
illustrious Jansenist, who became an ardent and almost complete
disciple of the new philosophy. In a placard against the Cartesian
philosophy, printed in 1647, which seems to have come from Revius,
professor of theology at Leyden, it is said: “As far as regards the
nature of things, nothing seems to hinder but that the soul may be
either a substance, or a mode of corporeal substance.”[237] And More,
who had carried on a metaphysical correspondence with Descartes, whom
he professed to admire, at least at that time, above all philosophers
that had ever existed, without exception of his favourite Plato,
extols him after his death in a letter to Clerselier, as having best
established the foundations of religion. “For the peripatetics,” he
says, “pretend that there are certain substantial forms emanating from
matter, and so united to it that they cannot subsist without it, to
which class these philosophers refer the souls of almost all living
beings, even those to which they allow sensation and thought; while
the Epicureans, on the other hand, who laugh at substantial forms,
ascribe thought to matter itself, so that it is M. Descartes alone of
all philosophers, who has at once banished from philosophy all these
substantial forms or souls derived from matter, and absolutely
divested matter itself of the faculty of feeling and thinking.”[238]

     [234] Dissertation, ubi suprà.

     [235] Descartes, x. 138.

     [236] Id. ii 14.

     [237] Vol. x., p. 73.

     [238] Vol. x., p. 386. Even More seems to have been perplexed at
     one time by the difficulty of accounting for the knowledge and
     sentiment of disembodied souls, and almost inclined to admit
     their corporeity. “J’aimerois mieux dire avec les Platoniciens,
     les anciens pères, et presque tous les philosophes, que les âmes
     humaines, tous les génies tant bons que mauvais, sont corporels,
     et que par consequent ils ont un sentiment réel, c’est à dire,
     qui leur vient du corps dont ils sont revêtus.” This is in a
     letter to Descartes, in 1649, which I have not read in Latin
     (vol. x., p. 249). I do not quite understand whether he meant
     only that the soul, when separated from the gross body, is
     invested with a substantial clothing, or that there is what we
     may call an interior body, a supposed monad, to which the
     thinking principle is indissolubly united. This is what all
     materialists mean, who have any clear notions whatever; it is a
     possible, perhaps a plausible, perhaps even a highly probable,
     hypothesis, but one which will not prove their theory. The former
     seems almost an indispensable supposition, if we admit
     sensibility to phenomena at all in the soul after death; but it
     is rather, perhaps, a theological than a metaphysical speculation.

|Theory of memory and imagination.|

95. It must be owned that the firm belief of Descartes in the
immateriality of the Ego or thinking principle, was accompanied with
what in later times would have been deemed rather too great
concessions to the materialists. He held the imagination and the
memory to be portions of the brain, wherein the images of our
sensations are bodily preserved; and even assigned such a motive force
to the imagination, as to produce those involuntary actions which we
often perform, and all the movements of brutes. “This explains how all
the motions of all animals arise, though we grant them no knowledge of
things, but only an imagination entirely corporeal, and how all those
operations which do not require the concurrence of reason are produced
in us.” But the whole of his notions as to the connexion of
the soul and body, and indeed all his physiological theories, of which
he was most enamoured, do little credit to the Cartesian philosophy.
They are among those portions of his creed which have lain most open
to ridicule, and which it would be useless for us to detail. He seems
to have expected more advantage to psychology from anatomical
researches than in that state of the science, or even probably in any
future state of it, anatomy could afford. When asked once where was
his library, he replied, showing a calf he was dissecting, This is my
library.[239] His treatise on the passions, a subject so important in
the philosophy of the human mind, is made up of crude hypotheses, or
at best irrelevant observations, on their physical causes and

     [239] Descartes was very fond of dissection: C’est un exercise où
     je me suis souvent occupé depuis onze ans, et je crois qu’il n’y
     a guère de médecins qui y ait regardé de si près que moi. Vol.
     viii., p. 100., also p. 174 and 180.

|Seat of soul in pineal gland.|

96. It may be considered as a part of this syncretism, as we may call
it, of the material and immaterial hypothesis, that Descartes fixed
the seat of the soul in the conarion, or pineal gland, which he
selected as the only part of the brain which is not double. By some
mutual communication which he did not profess to explain, though later
metaphysicians have attempted to do so, the unextended intelligence,
thus confined to a certain spot, receives the sensations which are
immediately produced through impressions on the substance of the
brain. If he did not solve the problem, be it remembered that the
problem has never since been solved. It was objected by a nameless
correspondent, who signs himself Hyperaspistes, that the soul being
incorporeal could not leave by its operations a trace on the brain,
which his theory seemed to imply. Descartes answered, in rather a
remarkable passage, that as to things purely intellectual, we do not,
properly speaking, remember them at all, as they are equally original
thoughts every time they present themselves to the mind, except that
they are habitually joined as it were, and associated with certain
names, which being bodily, make us remember them.[240]

     [240] This passage I must give in French, finding it very
     obscure, and having translated more according to what I guess
     than literally. Mais pour ce qui est des choses purement
     intellectuelles, à proprement parler on n’en aucun ressouvenir;
     et la première fois qu’elles se présentent à l’esprit, on les
     pense aussi bien que la seconde, si ce n’est peut-être qu’elles
     ont coûtume d’être jointes et comme attachées a certains noms
     qui, étant corporels, font que nous nous ressouvenons aussi
     d’elles. Vol. viii., p. 271.

|Gassendi’s attacks on the Meditations.|

97. If the orthodox of the age were not yet prepared for a doctrine
which seemed so favourable at least to natural religion as the
immateriality of the soul, it may be readily supposed, that Gassendi,
like Hobbes, had imbibed too much of the Epicurean theory to acquiesce
in the spiritualising principles of his adversary. In a sportive
style, he addresses him, _O anima!_ and Descartes, replying more
angrily, retorts upon him the name _O caro!_ which he frequently
repeats. Though we may lament such unhappy efforts at wit in these
great men, the names do not ill represent the spiritual and carnal
philosophies; the school that produced Leibnitz, Kant, and Stewart,
contrasted with that of Hobbes, Condillac, and Cabanis.

|Superiority of Descartes.|

98. It was a matter of course that the vulnerable passages of the six
Meditations would not escape the spear of so skilful an antagonist as
Gassendi. But many of his objections appear to be little more than
cavils; and upon the whole, Descartes leaves me with the impression of
his great superiority in metaphysical acuteness. It was indeed
impossible that men should agree, who persisted in using a different
definition of the important word, _idea_; and the same source of
interminable controversy has flowed ever since for their disciples.
Gassendi adopting the scholastic maxim, “Nothing is in the
understanding, which has not been in the sense,” carried it so much
farther than those from whom it came that he denied anything to be an
idea but what was imagined by the mind. Descartes repeatedly desired
both him and Hobbes, whose philosophy was built on the same notion, to
remark that he meant by idea, whatever can be conceived by the
understanding, though not capable of being represented by the
imagination.[241] Thus we imagine a triangle, but we can only
conceive a figure of a thousand sides; we know its existence, and can
reason about its properties, but we have no image whatever in the
mind, by which we can distinguish such a polygon from one of a smaller
or greater number of sides. Hobbes, in answer to this, threw out a
paradox which he has not, at least in so unlimited a manner, repeated,
that by reason, that is, by the process of reasoning, we can infer
nothing as to the nature of things, but only as to their names.[242]
It is singular that a man conversant at least with the elements of
geometry should have fallen into this error. For it does not appear
that he meant to speak only of natural substances, as to which his
language might seem to be a bad expression of what was afterwards
clearly shown by Locke. That the understanding can conceive and reason
upon that which the imagination cannot delineate, is evident not only
from Descartes’ instance of a polygon, but more strikingly by the
whole theory of infinites, which are certainly somewhat more than bare
words, whatever assistance words may give us in explaining them to
others or to ourselves.[243]

     [241] Par le nom d’idée, il veut seulement qu’on entende ici les
     images des choses matérielles dépeintes en la fantaisie
     corporelle; et cela étant supposé, il lui est aisé de montrer
     qu’on ne peut avoir propre et véritable idée de Dieu ni d’un
     ange; mais j’ai souvent averti, et principalement en celui là
     même, que je prends le nom d’idée pour tout ce qui est conçu
     immédiatement par l’esprit; en sorte que, lorsque je veux et que
     je crains, parce que je conçois en même temps que je veux et que
     je crains, ce vouloir et cette crainte sont mis par moi en nombre
     des idées; et je me suis servi de ce mot, parce qu’il étoit déjà
     communément reçu par les philosophes pour signifier les formes
     des conceptions. de l’entendement divin, encore que nous ne
     reconnoissions en Dieu aucune fantaisie ou imagination
     corporelle, et je n’en savois point de plus propre. Et je pense
     avoir assez expliqué l’idée de Dieu pour ceux qui veulent
     concevoir les sens que je donne à mes paroles; mais pour ceux qui
     s’attachent à les entendre autrement que je ne fais, je ne le
     pourrais jamais assez. Vol. i., p. 404. This is in answer to
     Hobbes; the objections of Hobbes, and Descartes’ replies, turn
     very much on this primary difference between ideas and images,
     which alone our countrymen could understand, and ideas as
     intellections, conceptions, νοουμενα [nooumena], incapable of
     being imagined, but not less certainly known and reasoned upon.
     The French is a translation, but made by Clerselier under the eye
     of Descartes, so that it may be quoted as an original.

     [242] Que dirons nous maintenant si peut-être le raisonnement
     n’est rien autre chose qu’un assemblage et un enchaînement de
     noms par ce mot est? D’ou il s’ensuivroit que par la raison nous
     ne concluons rien de tout touchant la nature des choses, mais
     seulement touchant leurs appellations, c’est à dire que par elle
     nous voyons simplement si nous assemblons bien ou mal les noms
     des choses, selon les conventions que nous avons faites à notre
     fantaisie touchant leurs significations, p. 476. Descartes merely
     answered:--L’assemblage qui se fait dans le raisonnement n’est
     pas celui des noms, mais bien celui des choses signifiées par les
     noms; et je m’étonne que le contraire puisse venir en l’esprit de
     personne. Descartes treated Hobbes, whom he did not esteem, with
     less attention than his other correspondents. Hobbes could not
     understand what have been called ideas of reflection, such as
     fear, and thought it was nothing more than the idea of the object
     feared. “For what else is the fear of a lion,” he says, “than the
     idea of this lion, and the effect which it produces in the heart,
     which leads us to run away? But this running is not a thought; so
     that nothing of thought exists in fear but the idea of the
     object.” Descartes only replied, “it is self-evident that it is
     not the same thing to see a lion and fear him, that it is to see
     him only,” p. 483.

     [243] I suspect, from what I have since read, that Hobbes had a
     different, and what seems to me a very erroneous view of
     infinite, or infinitesimal quantities in geometry. For he answers
     the old sophism of Zeno, Quicquid dividi potest in partes
     infinitas est infinitum, in a manner which does not meet the real
     truth of the case: Dividi posse in partes infinitas nihil aliud
     est quam dividi posse in partes _quotcunque quis velit_. Logica
     sive Computatio, c. 5., p. 38 (edit. 1667).

|Stewart’s remarks on Descartes.|

99. Dugald Stewart has justly dwelt on the signal service rendered by
Descartes to psychological philosophy, by turning the mental vision
inward upon itself, and accustoming us to watch the operations of our
intellect, which, though employed upon ideas obtained through the
senses, are as distinguishable from them as the workman from his work.
He has given indeed to Descartes a very proud title, Father of the
experimental philosophy of the human mind, as if he were to man what
Bacon was to nature.[244] By patient observation of what
passed within him, by holding his soul as it were an object in a
microscope, which is the only process of a good metaphysician, he
became habituated to throw away those integuments of sense which hide
us from ourselves. Stewart has censured him for the paradox, as he
calls it, that the _essence_ of mind consists in thinking, and
that of matter in extension. That the act of thinking is as
inseparable from the mind as extension is from matter, cannot indeed
be proved; since, as our thoughts are successive, it is not
inconceivable that there may be intervals of duration between them;
but it can hardly be reckoned a paradox. But whoever should be led by
the word essence to suppose that Descartes confounded the percipient
thinking substance, the Ego, upon whose bosom, like that of the ocean,
the waves of perception are raised by every breeze of sense, with the
perception itself, or even, what is scarcely more tenable, with the
reflective action, or thought; that he anticipated this strange
paradox of Hume in his earliest work, from which he silently withdrew
in his Essays, would not only do great injustice to one of the acutest
understandings that ever came to the subject, but overlook several
clear assertions of the distinction, especially in his answer to
Hobbes. “The thought,” he says, “differs from that which thinks, as
the mode from the substance.”[245] And Stewart has in his earliest
work justly corrected Reid in this point as to the Cartesian

     [244] Dissertation on Progress of Philosophy. The word experiment
     must be taken in the sense of observation. Stewart very early
     took up his admiration for Descartes. “He was the first
     philosopher who stated in a clear and satisfactory manner the
     distinction between mind and matter, and who pointed out the
     proper plan for studying the intellectual philosophy. It is
     chiefly in consequence of his precise ideas with respect to this
     distinction, that we may remark in all his metaphysical writings,
     a perspicuity which is not observable in those of any of his
     predecessors.” Elem. of Philos. of Human Mind, vol. i. (published
     in 1792) note A. “When Descartes,” he says in the dissertation
     before quoted, “established it as a general principle that
     _nothing conceivable by the power of imagination could throw any
     light on the operations of thought_, a principle which I consider
     as exclusively his own, he laid the foundations of the
     experimental philosophy of the human mind. That the same truth
     had been previously perceived more or less distinctly by Bacon
     and others, appears probable from the general complexion of their
     speculations; but which of them has expressed it with equal
     precision, or laid it down as a fundamental maxim in their
     logic?” The words which I have put in italics seem too vaguely
     and not very clearly expressed, nor am I aware that they are
     borne out in their literal sense, by any position of Descartes;
     nor do I apprehend the allusion to Bacon. But it is certain that
     Descartes, and still more his disciples Arnauld and Malebranche,
     take better care to distinguish what can be imagined from what
     can be conceived or understood, than any of the school of
     Gassendi in this or other countries. One of the great merits of
     Descartes as a metaphysical writer, not unconnected with this, is
     that he is generally careful to avoid figurative language in
     speaking of mental operations, wherein he has much the advantage
     over Locke.

     [245] Vol. i., p. 470. Arnauld objected, in a letter to
     Descartes, Comment se peut il faire que la pensée constitue
     l’essence de l’esprit, puisque l’esprit est une substance, et que
     la pensée semble n’en être qu’un mode? Descartes replied that
     thought in general, la pensée, ou la nature que pense, in which
     he placed the essence of the soul, was very different from such
     or such particular acts of thinking, vol. vi., p. 153-160.

     [246] Philosophy of Human Mind, vol. i., note A. See the
     Principia, § 63.

|Paradoxes of Descartes.|

100. Several singular positions which have led to an undue
depreciation of Descartes in general as a philosopher, occur in his
metaphysical writings. Such was his denial of thought, and, as is
commonly said, sensation to brutes, which he seems to have founded on
the mechanism of the bodily organs, a cause sufficient, in his
opinion, to explain all the phænomena of the motions of animals, and
to obviate the difficulty of assigning to them immaterial souls;[247]
his rejection of final causes in the explanation of nature, as
far above our comprehension, and unnecessary to those who had the
internal proof of God’s existence; his still more paradoxical tenet
that the truth of geometrical theorems, and every other axiom of
intuitive certainty, depended upon the will of God; a notion that
seems to be a relic of his original scepticism, but which he
pertinaciously defends throughout his letters.[248] From remarkable
errors, men of original and independent genius are rarely exempt;
Descartes had pulled down an edifice constructed by the labours of
near two thousand years, with great reason in many respects, yet
perhaps with too unlimited a disregard of his predecessors; it was his
destiny, as it had been theirs, to be sometimes refuted and
depreciated in his turn. But the single fact of his having first
established, both in philosophical and popular belief, the
immateriality of the soul, were we even to forget the other great
accessions which he made to psychology, would declare the influence he
has had on human opinion. From this immateriality, however, he did not
derive the tenet of its immortality. He was justly contented to say
that from the intrinsic difference between mind and body, the
dissolution of the one could not necessarily take away the existence
of the other, but that it was for God to determine whether it should
continue to exist; and this determination, as he thought, could only
be learned from his revealed will. The more powerful arguments,
according to general apprehension, which reason affords for the
sentient being of the soul after death, did not belong to the
metaphysical philosophy of Descartes, and would never have been very
satisfactory to his mind. He says, in one of his letters, that “laying
aside what faith assures us of, he owns that it is more easy to make
conjectures for our own advantage and entertain promising hopes, than
to feel any confidence in their accomplishment.”[249]

     [247] It is a common opinion that Descartes denied all life and
     sensibility to brutes. But this seems not so clear. Il faut
     remarquer, he says in a letter to More, where he has been arguing
     against the existence in brutes of any thinking principle, que je
     parle de la pensée, non de la vie, ou du sentiment; car je n’ôte
     la vie à aucun animal, ne la faisant consister que dans la seule
     chaleur du cœur. Je ne leur refuse pas même le sentiment autant
     qu’il dépend des organes du corps, vol. x., p. 208. In a longer
     passage, if he does not express himself very clearly, he admits
     passions in brutes, and it seems impossible that he could have
     ascribed passions to what has no sensation. Much of what he here
     says is very good. Bien que Montaigne et Charron aient dit, qu’il
     y a plus de différence d’homme à homme que d’homme à bête, il
     n’est toutefois jamais trouvé aucune bête si parfaite, qu’elle
     ait usé de quelque signe pour faire entendre à d’autres animaux
     quelque chose que n’eût point de rapport à ses passions; et il
     n’y a point d’homme si imparfait qu’il n’en use; en sorte que
     ceux qui sont sourds et muets inventent des signes particuliers
     par lesquels ils expriment leur pensées; ce qui me semble un très
     fort argument pour prouver que ce qui fait que les bêtes ne
     parlent point comme nous, est qu’elles n’ont aucune pensée, et
     non point que les organes leur manquent. Et on ne peut dire
     qu’elles parlent entre elles, mais que nous ne les entendons pas;
     car _comme les chiens et quelques autres animaux nous expriment
     leurs passions_, ils nous exprimeroient aussi bien leurs pensées
     s’ils en avoient. Je sais bien que les bêtes font beaucoup de
     choses mieux que nous, mais je ne m’en étonne pas; car cela même
     sert à prouver qu’elles agissent naturellement, et par ressorts,
     ainsi qu’un horloge; laquelle montre bien mieux l’heure qu’il
     est, que notre jugement nous l’enseigne.... On peut seulement
     dire que, bien que les bêtes ne fassent aucune action qui nous
     assure qu’elles pensent, toutefois, à cause que les organes de
     leurs corps ne sont pas fort differens des nôtres, on peut
     conjecturer qu’il y a quelque pensée jointe à ces organes, ainsi
     que nous experimentons en nous, bien que la leur soit beaucoup
     moins parfaite; à quoi je n’ai rien à répondre, si non que si
     elles pensoient aussi que nous, elles auroient une ame immortelle
     aussi bien que nous; ce qui n’est pas vraisemblable, à cause
     qu’il n’y a point de raison pour le croire de quelques animaux,
     sans le croire de tous, et qu’il y en a plusieurs trop imparfaits
     pour pouvoir croire cela d’eux, comme sont les huitres, les
     éponges, &c. Vol. ix., p. 425. I do not see the meaning of une
     ame immortelle in the last sentence; if the words had been une
     ame immatérielle, it would be to the purpose. More, in a letter
     to which this is a reply, had argued as if Descartes took brutes
     for insensible machines, and combats the paradox with the
     arguments which common sense furnishes. He would even have
     preferred ascribing immortality to them, as many ancient
     philosophers did. But surely Descartes, who did not acknowledge
     any proofs of the immortality of the human soul to be valid,
     except those founded on revelation, needed not to trouble himself
     much about this difficulty.

     [248] C’est en effet parler de Dieu comme d’un Jupiter ou d’un
     Saturne, et l’assujettir au Styx et aux destinées, que de dire
     que ces vérités sont indépendantes de lui. Ne craignez point, je
     vous prie, d’assurer et de publier partout que c’est Dieu qui a
     établi ces lois en la nature, ainsi qu’un roi établit les lois en
     son royaume. Vol. vi., p. 109. He argues as strenuously the same
     point in p. 132 and p. 307.

     [249] Vol. ix., p. 369.

|His just notion of definitions.|

101. Descartes was perhaps the first who saw that definitions of
words, already as clear as they can be made, are nugatory or
impenetrable. This alone would distinguish his philosophy from that of
the Aristotelians, who had wearied and confused themselves for twenty
centuries with unintelligible endeavours to grasp by definition what
refuses to be defined. “Mr Locke,” says Stewart, “claims this
improvement as entirely his own, but the merit of it unquestionably
belongs to Descartes, although it must be owned that he has not always
sufficiently attended to it in his researches.”[250] A still more
decisive passage to this effect, than that referred to by Stewart in
the Principia will be found in the posthumous dialogue on the Search
after Truth. It is objected by one of the interlocutors, as it had
actually been by Gassendi, that, to prove his existence by the act of
thinking, he should first know what existence and what thought is. “I
agree with you,” the representative of Descartes replies, “that it is
necessary to know what doubt is, and what thought is, before we can be
fully persuaded of this reasoning; I doubt, therefore I am, or what is
the same, I think, therefore I am. But do not imagine that for this
purpose you must torture your mind to find out the next genus, or the
essential differences, as the logicians talk, and so compose a regular
definition. Leave this to such as teach or dispute in the schools. But
whoever will examine things by himself, and judge of them according to
his understanding, cannot be so senseless as not to see clearly, when
he pays attention, what doubting, thinking, being, are, and as to have
any need to learn their distinctions. Besides, there are things which
we render more obscure, in attempting to define them, because, as they
are very simple and very clear, we cannot know and comprehend them
better than by themselves. And it should be reckoned among the
chief errors that can be committed in science for men to fancy that
they can define that which they can only conceive, and distinguish
what is clear in it from what is obscure, while they do not see the
difference between that which must be defined before it is understood
and that which can be fully known by itself. Now, among things which
can thus be clearly known by themselves, we must put doubting,
thinking, being. For I do not believe any one ever existed so stupid
as to need to know what being is before he could affirm that he is;
and it is the same of thought and doubt. Nor can he learn these things
except by himself, nor be convinced of them but by his own experience,
and by that consciousness and inward witness which every man finds in
himself when he examines the subject. And as we should define
whiteness in vain to a man who can see nothing, while one can open his
eyes and see a white object requires no more, so to know what doubting
is, and what thinking is, it is only necessary to doubt and to
think.”[251] Nothing could more tend to cut short the verbal cavils of
the schoolmen, than this limitation of their favourite exercise,
definition. It is due, therefore, to Descartes, so often accused of
appropriating the discoveries of others, that we should establish his
right to one of the most important that the new logic has to boast.

     [250] Dissertation, ubi, suprá, Stewart, in his Philosophical
     Essays, note A, had censured Reid for assigning this remark to
     Descartes and Locke, but without giving any better reason than
     that it is found in a work written by Lord Stair; earlier,
     certainly, than Locke, but not before Descartes. It may be
     doubtful, as we shall see hereafter, whether Locke has not gone
     beyond Descartes, or at least distinguished undefinable words
     more strictly.

     [251] Vol. xi., p. 369.

|His notion of substances.|

102. He seems, at one moment, to have been on the point of taking
another step very far in advance of his age. “Let us take,” he says,
“a piece of wax from the honey-comb; it retains some taste and smell,
it is hard, it is cold, it has a very marked colour, form, and size.
Approach it to the fire; it becomes liquid, warm, inodorous,
tasteless; its form and colour are changed, its size is increased.
Does the same wax remain after these changes? It must be allowed that
it does; no one doubts it, no one thinks otherwise. What was it then
that we so distinctly knew to exist in this piece of wax? Nothing
certainly that we observed by the senses, since all that the taste,
the smell, the sight, the touch reported to us has disappeared, and
still the same wax remains.” This something which endures under every
change of sensible qualities cannot be imagined; for the imagination
must represent some of these qualities, and none of them are essential
to the thing; it can only be conceived by the understanding.[252]

     [252] Méditation Seconde, i. 256.

|Not quite correct.|

103. It may seem almost surprising to us, after the writings of Locke
and his followers on the one hand, and the chemist with his crucible
on the other, have chased these abstract substances of material
objects from their sanctuaries, that a man of such prodigious
acuteness and intense reflection as Descartes should not have remarked
that the identity of wax after its liquefaction is merely nominal, and
depending on arbitrary language, which in many cases gives new
appellations to the same aggregation of particles after a change of
their sensible qualities; and that all we call substances are but
aggregates of resisting moveable corpuscles, which by the laws of
nature are capable of affecting our senses differently, according to
the combinations they may enter into, and the changes they may
successively undergo. But if he had distinctly seen this, which I do
not apprehend that he did, it is not likely that he would have
divulged the discovery. He had already given alarm to the jealous
spirit of orthodoxy by what now appears to many so self-evident, that
they have treated the supposed paradox as a trifling with words, the
doctrine that colour, heat, smell, and other secondary qualities, or
accidents of bodies, do not exist in them, but in our own minds, and
are the effects of their intrinsic or primary qualities. It was the
the tenet of the schools that these were sensible realities, inherent
in bodies; and the church held as an article of faith, that the
substance of bread being withdrawn from the consecrated wafer, the
accidents of that substance remained as before, but independent, and
not inherent in any other. Arnauld raised this objection, which
Descartes endeavoured to repel by a new theory of transubstantiation;
but it always left a shade of suspicion, in the Catholic church of
Rome, on the orthodoxy of Cartesianism.

|His notions of intuitive truth.|

104. “The paramount and indisputable authority which, in all our
reasonings concerning the human mind, he ascribes to the evidence of
consciousness” is reckoned by Stewart among the great merits of
Descartes. It is certain that there are truths which we know, as it is
called, intuitively, that is, by the mind’s immediate inward glance.
And reasoning would be interminable, if it did not find its ultimate
limit in truths which it cannot prove. Gassendi imputed to Descartes,
that, in his fundamental enthymem, Cogito, ergo sum, he supposed a
knowledge of the major premise, Quod cogitat, est. But Descartes
replied that it was a great error to believe that our knowledge of
particular propositions must always be deduced from universals,
according to the rules of logic; whereas, on the contrary, it is by
means of our knowledge of particulars that we ascend to generals,
though it is true that we descend again from them to infer other
particular propositions.[253] It is probable that Gassendi did not
make this objection very seriously.

     [253] Vol. ii., p. 305. See too the passage, quoted above, in his
     posthumous dialogue.

105. Thus the logic of Descartes, using that word for principles that
guide our reasoning, was an instrument of defence both against the
captiousness of ordinary scepticism, that of the Pyrrhonic school, and
against the disputatious dogmatism of those who professed to serve
under the banner of Aristotle. He who reposes on his own
consciousness, or who recurs to first principles of intuitive
knowledge, though he cannot be said to silence his adversary, should
have the good sense to be silent himself, which puts equally an end to
debate. But so far as we are concerned with the investigation of
truth, the Cartesian appeal to our own consciousness, of which Stewart
was very fond, just as it is in principle, _may_ end in an
assumption of our own prejudices as the standard of belief. Nothing
can be truly self-evident, but that which a clear, an honest, and an
experienced understanding in another man acknowledges to be so.

|Treatise on art of logic.|

106. Descartes has left a treatise highly valuable, but not very much
known, on the art of logic, or rules for the conduct of the
understanding.[254] Once only, in a letter, he has alluded to the name
of Bacon.[255] There are perhaps a few passages in this short tract
that remind us of the Novum Organum. But I do not know that the
coincidence is such as to warrant a suspicion that he was indebted to
it; we may reckon it rather a parallel, than a derivative logic;
written in the same spirit of cautious, inductive procedure, less
brilliant and original in its inventions, but of more general
application than the Novum Organum, which is with some difficulty
extended beyond the province of natural philosophy. Descartes is as
averse as Bacon to syllogistic forms. “Truth,” he says, “often escapes
from these fetters, in which those who employ them remain entangled.
This is less frequently the case with those who make no use of logic,
experience showing that the most subtle of sophisms cheat none but
sophists themselves, not those who trust to their natural reason. And
to convince ourselves how little this syllogistic art serves towards
the discovery of truth, we may remark that the logicians can form no
syllogism with a true conclusion, unless they are already acquainted
with the truth that the syllogism develops. Hence it follows that the
vulgar logic is wholly useless to him who would discover truth for
himself, though it may assist in explaining to others the truth he
already knows, and that it would be better to transfer it as a science
from philosophy to rhetoric.”[256]

     [254] M. Cousin has translated and republished two works
     of Descartes, which had only appeared in Opera Posthuma Cartesii,
     Amsterdam, 1701. Their authenticity, from external and intrinsic
     proofs, is out of question. One of these is that mentioned in the
     text; entitled “Rules for the Direction of the Understanding;”
     which, though logical in its subject, takes most of its
     illustrations from mathematics. The other is a dialogue, left
     imperfect, in which he sustains the metaphysical principles of
     his philosophy. Of these two little tracts, their editor has
     said, that “they equal in vigour and perhaps surpass in
     arrangement the Meditations and Discourse on Method. We see in
     these more unequivocally the main object of Descartes, and the
     spirit of the revolution which has created modern philosophy, and
     placed in the understanding itself the principle of all
     certainty, the point of departure for all legitimate inquiry.
     They might seem written but yesterday, and for the present age.”
     Vol. xi. preface, p. 1. I may add to this, that I consider the
     Rules for the direction of the Understanding as one of the best
     works on logic (in the enlarged sense) which I have ever read;
     more practically useful, perhaps, to young students than the
     Novum Organum; and though, as I have said, his illustrations are
     chiefly mathematical, most of his rules are applicable to the
     general discipline of the reasoning powers. It occupies little
     more than one hundred pages, and I think that I am doing a
     service in recommending it. Many of the rules will, of course, be
     found in later books; some possibly in earlier. This tract, as
     well as the dialogue which follows it, is incomplete, a portion
     being probably lost.

     [255] Si quelqu’un de cette humeur vouloit entreprendre
     d’écrire l’histoire des apparences célestes selon la méthode de
     Verulamius. Vol. vi., p. 210.

     [256] Vol. xi., p. 255.

|Merits of his writings.|

107. It would occupy too much space to point out the many profound and
striking thoughts which this treatise on the conduct of the
understanding, and indeed most of the writings of Descartes contain.
“The greater part of the questions on which the learned dispute are
but questions of words. These occur so frequently that, if
philosophers would agree on the signification of their words,
scarce any of their controversies would remain.” This has been
continually said since; but it is a proof of some progress in wisdom,
when the original thought of one age becomes the truism of the next.
No one had been so much on his guard against the equivocation of
words, or knew so well their relation to the operations of the mind.
And it may be said, generally, though not without exception of the
metaphysical writings of Descartes, that we find in them a perspicuity
which springs from his unremitting attention to the logical process of
inquiry, admitting no doubtful or ambiguous position, and never
requiring from his reader a deference to any authority but that of
demonstration. It is a great advantage in reading such writers that we
are able to discern when they are manifestly in the wrong. The
sophisms of Plato, of Aristotle, of the schoolmen, and of a great many
recent metaphysicians, are disguised by their obscurity; and while
they creep insidiously into the mind of the reader, are always denied
and explained away by partial disciples.

|His notions of free will.|

108. Stewart has praised Descartes for having recourse to the evidence
of consciousness in order to prove the liberty of the will. But he
omits to tell us that the notions entertained by this philosopher were
not such as have been generally thought compatible with free agency in
the only sense that admits of controversy. It was an essential part of
the theory of Descartes that God is the cause of all human actions.
“Before God sent us into the world,” he says in a letter, “he knew
exactly what all the inclinations of our will would be; it is he that
has implanted them in us; it is he also that has disposed all other
things, so that such or such objects should present themselves to us
at such or such times, by means of which he has known that our free
will would determine us to such or such actions, and he has willed
that it should be so; but he has not willed to compel us
thereto.”[257] “We could not demonstrate,” he says at another time,
“that God exists, except by considering him as a being absolutely
perfect; and he could not be absolutely perfect, if there could happen
anything in the world which did not spring entirely from him.... Mere
philosophy is enough to make us know that there cannot enter the least
thought into the mind of man, but God must will and have willed from
all eternity that it should enter there.”[258] This is in a letter to
his highly intelligent friend, the princess Palatine Elizabeth,
granddaughter of James I.; and he proceeds to declare himself strongly
in favour of predestination, denying wholly any particular providence,
to which she had alluded, as changing the decrees of God, and all
efficacy of prayer, except as one link in the chain of his
determinations. Descartes, therefore, whatever some of his disciples
may have become, was far enough from an Arminian theology. “As to free
will,” he says elsewhere, “I own that thinking only of ourselves we
cannot but reckon it independent, but when we think of the infinite
power of God we cannot but believe that all things depend on him, and
that consequently our free will must do so too.... But since our
knowledge of the existence of God should not hinder us from being
assured of our free will, because we feel and are conscious of it in
ourselves, so that if our free will should not make us doubt of the
existence of God. For the independence which we experience and feel in
ourselves, and which is sufficient to make our actions praiseworthy or
blameable, is not incompatible with a dependence of another nature,
according to which all things are subject to God.”[259]

     [257] Vol. ix., p. 374.

     [258] Id. p. 246.

     [259] Vol. ix., p. 368. This had originally been stated
     in the Principia with less confidence, the free will of man and
     predetermination of God being both asserted as true, but their
     co-existence incomprehensible. Vol. iii., p. 86.

|Fame of his system and attacks upon it.|

109. A system so novel, so attractive to the imagination by its bold
and brilliant paradoxes as that of Descartes, could not but excite the
attention of an age already roused to the desire of a new philosophy,
and to the scorn of ancient authority. His first treatises appeared in
French; and, though he afterwards employed Latin, his works were very
soon translated by his disciples, and under his own care. He wrote in
Latin with great perspicuity; in French with liveliness and elegance.
His mathematical and optical writings gave him a reputation which envy
could not take away, and secured his philosophy from that general
ridicule which sometimes overwhelms an obscure author. His very
enemies, numerous and vehement as they were, served to enhance the
celebrity of the Cartesian system, which he seems to have anticipated
by publishing their objections to his Meditations with his own
replies. In the universities, bigoted for the most part to
Aristotelian authority, he had no chance of public reception; but the
influence of the universities was much diminished in France,
and a new theory had perhaps better chances in its favour on account
of their opposition. But the Jesuits, a more powerful body, were in
general adverse to the Cartesian system, and especially some time
afterwards, when it was supposed to have the countenance of several
leading Jansenists. The Epicurean school, led by Gassendi and Hobbes,
presented a formidable phalanx; since it in fact comprehended the wits
of the world, the men of indolence and sensuality, quick to discern
the many weaknesses of Cartesianism, with no capacity for its
excellencies. It is unnecessary to say, how predominant this class was
in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, both in France and

|Controversy with Voet.|

110. Descartes was evidently in considerable alarm lest the church
should bear with its weight upon his philosophy.[260] He had the
censure on Galileo before his eyes, and certainly used some chicane of
words as to the earth’s movement upon this account. It was, however,
in the Protestant country, which he had chosen as his harbour of
refuge, that he was doomed to encounter the roughest storm. Gisbert
Voet, an eminent theologian in the university of Utrecht, and the head
of the party in the church of Holland, which had been victorious in
the synod of Dort, attacked Descartes with all the virulence and
bigotry characteristic of his school of divinity. The famous
demonstration of the being of God he asserted to be a cover for
atheism, and thus excited a flame of controversy, Descartes being not
without supporters in the university, especially Regius, professor of
medicine. The philosopher was induced by these assaults to change his
residence from a town in the province of Utrecht to Leyden. Voet did
not cease to pursue him with outrageous calumny, and succeeded in
obtaining decrees of the senate and university, which interdicted
Regius from teaching that “new and unproved (præsumpta) philosophy” to
his pupils. The war of libels on the Voetian side did not cease for
some years, and Descartes replied with no small acrimony against Voet
himself. The latter had recourse to the civil power, and instituted a
prosecution against Descartes, which was quashed by the interference
of the prince of Orange. But many in the university of Leyden, under
the influence of a notable theologian of that age, named Triglandius,
one of the stoutest champions of Dutch orthodoxy, raised a cry against
the Cartesian philosophy as being favourable to Pelagianism and
popery, the worst names that could be given in Holland; and it was
again through the protection of the prince of Orange that he escaped a
public censure. Regius, the most zealous of his original advocates,
began to swerve from the fidelity of a sworn disciple, and published a
book containing some theories of his own, which Descartes thought
himself obliged to disavow. Ultimately he found, like many benefactors
of mankind, that he had purchased reputation at the cost of peace;
and, after some visits to France, where, probably from the same cause,
he never designed to settle, found an honourable asylum and a
premature death at the court of Christina. He died in 1651, having
worked a more important change in speculative philosophy than any who
had preceded him since the revival of learning; for there could be no
comparison, in that age, between the celebrity and effect of his
writings and those of Lord Bacon. The latter had few avowed enemies,
till it was too late to avow enmity.[261]

     [260] On a tellement assujetti la théologie à Aristotle,
     qu’il est impossible d’expliquer une autre philosophie qu’il ne
     semble d’abord qu’elle soit contre la foi. Et à propos de ceci,
     je vous prie de me mander s’il n’y a rien de déterminé en la foi
     touchant l’étendue du monde: savoir s’il est fini ou plutôt
     infini, et si tout ce qu’on appelle espaces imaginaires soient
     des corps créés et véritables. Vol. vi., p. 73.

     [261] The life of Descartes was written, very fully and
     with the warmth of a disciple, by Baillet, in two volumes quarto,
     1691, of which he afterwards published an abridgment. In this we
     find at length the attacks made on him by the Voetian
     theologians. Brucker has given a long and valuable account of the
     Cartesian philosophy, but not favourable, and perhaps not quite
     fair. Vol. v., p. 200-334. Buhle is, as usual, much inferior to
     Brucker. But those who omit the mathematical portion will not
     find the original works of Descartes very long, and they are well
     worthy of being read.

|Charges of plagiarism.|

111. The prejudice against Descartes, especially in his own country,
was aggravated by his indiscreet and not very warrantable assumption
of perfect originality.[262] No one, I think, can fairly
refuse to own, that the Cartesian metaphysics, taken in their
consecutive arrangement, form truly an original system; and it would
be equally unjust to deny the splendid discoveries he developed in
algebra and optics. But upon every one subject which Descartes
treated, he has not escaped the charge of plagiarism; professing
always to be ignorant of what had been done by others, he falls
perpetually into their track; more, as his adversaries maintained,
than the chances of coincidence could fairly explain. Leibnitz has
summed up the claims of earlier writers to the pretended discoveries
of Descartes; and certainly it is a pretty long bill to be presented
to any author. I shall insert this passage in a note, though much of
it has no reference to this portion of the Cartesian philosophy.[263]
It may perhaps be thought by candid minds, that we cannot apply the
doctrine of chances to coincidence of reasoning in men of acute and
inquisitive spirits, as fairly as we may to that of style or imagery;
but, if we hold strictly that the older writer may claim the exclusive
praise of the philosophical discovery, we must regret to see such a
multitude of feathers plucked from the wing of an eagle.

     [262] I confess, he says in his logic, that I was born
     with such a temper, that the chief pleasure I find in study is
     not from the learning the arguments of others, but by inventing
     my own. This disposition alone impelled me in youth to the study
     of science; hence, whenever a new book promised by its title some
     new discovery, before sitting down to read it, I used to try
     whether my own natural sagacity could lead me to anything of the
     kind, and I took care not to lose this innocent pleasure by too
     hasty a perusal. This answered so often that I at length
     perceived that I arrived at truth, not as other men do after
     blind and precarious guesses, by good luck rather than skill, but
     that long experience had taught me certain fixed rules, which
     were of surprising utility, and of which I afterwards made use to
     discover more truths. Vol. xi., p. 252.

     [263] Dogmata ejus metaphysica, velut circa ideas a
     sensibus remotas, et animæ distinctionem a corpore, et fluxam per
     se rerum materialium fidem, prorsus Platonica sunt. Argumentum
     pro existentia Dei, ex eo, quod ens perfectissimum, vel quo majus
     intelligi non potest, existentiam includit, fuit Anselmi, et in
     libro “Contra insipientem” inscripto extat inter ejus opera,
     passimque a scholasticis examinatur. In doctrina de continuo,
     pleno et loco Aristotelem noster secutus est, Stoicosque in re
     morali penitus expressit, floriferis ut apes in saltibus omnia
     libant. In explicatione rerum mechina Leucippum et Democritum
     præeuntes habuit, qui et vortices ipsos jam docuerant. Jordanus
     Brunus easdem fere de magnitudine universi ideas habuisse
     dicitur, quemadmodum et notavit V. CC. Stephanus Spleissius, ut
     de Gilberto nil dicam, cujus magneticæ considerationes tum per
     se, tum ad systema universi applicatæ, Cartesio plurimum
     profuerunt. Explicationem gravitatis per materiæ solidioris
     rejectionem in tangente, quod in physica Cartesiana prope
     pulcherrimum est, didicit ex Keplero, qui similitudine palearum
     motu aquæ in vase gyrantis ad centrum contrusarum rem explicuit
     primus. Actionem lucis in distans, similitudine baculi pressi jam
     veteres adumbravere. Circa iridem a M. Antonio de Dominis non
     parum lucis accepit. Keplerum fuisse primum suum in dioptricis
     magistrum, et in eo argumento omnes ante se mortales longo
     intervallo antegressum, fatetur Cartesius in epistolis
     familiaribus; nam in scriptis, quæ ipse edidit, longè abest a
     tali confessione aut laude, tametsi illa ratio, quæ rationum
     dictionem explicat, et compositione nimirum duplicis conatûs
     perpendicularis ad superficiem et ad eandem paralleli, disertè
     apud Keplerum extet, qui eodem, ut Cartesius, modo æqualitatem
     angulorum incidentiæ et reflexionis hinc deducit. Idque gratam
     mentionem ideo merebatur, quod omnis prope Cartesii ratiocinatio
     huic innititur principio. Legem refractionis primum invenisse
     Willebroodum Snellium, Isaacus Vossius patefecit, quanquam non
     ideo negare ausim, Cartesium in eadem incidere potuisse de suo.
     Negavit in epistolis Vietam sibi lectum, sed Thomæ Harrioti Angli
     libros analyticos posthumos anno 1631 editos vidisse multi vix
     dubitant; usque adeo magnus est eorum consensus cum calculo
     geometriæ Cartesianæ. Sane jam Harriotus æquationem nihilo
     æqualem posuit, et hinc derivavit, quomodo oriatur æquatio ex
     multiplicatione radicum in se invicem, et quomodo radiorum
     auctione, diminutione, multiplicatione aut divisione variari
     æquatio possit, et quomodo proinde natura, et constitutio
     æquationem et radicum cognosci possit ex terminorum habitudine.
     Itaque narrat celeberrimus Wallisius, Robervalium, qui miratus
     erat, unde Cartesio in mentem venisset palmarium illud,
     æquationem ponere æqualem nihilo ad instar unius quantitatis,
     ostenso sibi a Domino de Cavendish libro Harrioti exclamasse, il
     l’a vu! il l’a vu! vidit, vidit. Reductionem quadratoquadratæ
     æquationis ad cubicam superiori jam sæculo invenit Ludovicus
     Ferrarius, cujus vitam reliquit Cardanus ejus familiaris. Denique
     fuit Cartesius, ut a viris doctis dudum notatum est, et ex
     epistolis nimium apparet, immodicus contemptor aliorum, et famæ
     cupiditate ab artificiis non abstinens, quæ parum generosa videri
     possunt. Atque hæc profecto non dico animo obtrectandi viro, quem
     mirificè æstimo, sed eo consilio, ut cuique suum tribuatur, nec
     unus omnium laudes absorbeat; justissimum enim est, ut
     inventoribus suus honos constet, nec sublatis virtutum præmiis
     præclara faciendi studium refrigescat. Leibnitz, apud Brucker, v.
     v. 255.

|Recent increase of his fame.|

112. The name of Descartes as a great metaphysical writer has revived
in some measure of late years; and this has been chiefly owing, among
ourselves, to Dugald Stewart; in France, to the growing disposition of
their philosophers to cast away their idols of the eighteenth century.
“I am disposed,” says our Scottish philosopher, “to date the origin of
the true philosophy of mind from the Principia (why not the earlier
works?) of Descartes, rather than from the Organum of Bacon,
or the Essays of Locke; without, however, meaning to compare the
French author with our two countrymen, either as a contributor to our
stock of _facts_ relating to the intellectual phænomena, or as
the author of any important conclusion concerning the general laws to
which they may be referred.” The excellent edition by M. Cousin, in
which alone the entire works of Descartes can be found, is a homage
that France has recently offered to his memory, and an important
contribution to the studious both of metaphysical and mathematical
philosophy. I have made use of no other, though it might be desirable
for the inquirer to have the Latin original at his side, especially in
those works which have not been seen in French by their author.

                             SECT. IV.

            _On the Metaphysical Philosophy of Hobbes._

|Metaphysical treatise of Hobbes.|

113. The metaphysical philosophy of Hobbes was promulgated in his
treatise on Human Nature, which appeared in 1650. This, with his other
works, De Cive, and De Corpore Politico, were fused into that great
and general system, which he published in 1651 with the title of
Leviathan. The first part of the Leviathan, “Of Man,” follows the
several chapters of the treatise on Human Nature with much regularity;
but so numerous are the enlargements or omissions, so great is the
variance with which the author has expressed the same positions, that
they should much rather be considered as two works, than as two
editions of the same. They differ more than Lord Bacon’s treatise, De
Augmentis Scientiarum, does from his Advancement of Learning. I shall,
however, blend the two in a single analysis, and this I shall
generally give, as far as is possible, consistently with my own
limits, in the very words of Hobbes. His language is so lucid and
concise, that it would be almost as improper to put an algebraical
process in different terms as some of his metaphysical paragraphs.
But, as a certain degree of abridgment cannot be dispensed with, the
reader must not take it for granted, even where inverted commas denote
a closer attention to the text, that nothing is omitted, although, in
such cases, I never hold it permissible to make any change.

|His theory of sensation.|

|Coincident with Descartes.|

114. All single thoughts, it is the primary tenet of Hobbes, are
representations or appearances of some quality of a body without us,
which is commonly called an object. “There is no conception in a man’s
mind, which hath not at first totally, or by parts, been begotten upon
the organs of sense. The rest are derived from that original.”[264] In
the treatise on Human Nature he dwells long on the immediate causes of
sensation; and if no alteration had been made in his manuscript since
he wrote his dedication to the Earl of Newcastle in 1640, he must be
owned to have anticipated Descartes in one of his most celebrated
doctrines. “Because the image in vision, consisting in colour and
shape, is the knowledge we have of the qualities of the object of that
sense, it is no hard matter for a man to fall into this opinion, that
the same colour and shape are the very qualities themselves; and for
the same, cause, that sound and noise are the qualities of the bell,
or of the air. And this opinion hath been so long received, that the
contrary must needs appear a great paradox; and yet the introduction
of species visible and intelligible (which is necessary for the
maintenance of that opinion), passing to and fro from the object, is
worse than any paradox, as being a plain impossibility. I shall,
therefore, endeavour to make plain these points: 1. That the subject
wherein colour and image are inherent, is not the object or thing
seen. 2. That there is nothing without us (really) which we call an
image or colour. 3. That the said image or colour is but an apposition
unto us of the motion, agitation, or alteration, which the object
worketh in the brain, or spirits, or some external substance of the
head. 4. That, as in vision, so also in conceptions that arise from
the other senses, the subject of their inherence is not the object,
but the sentiment.”[265] And this he goes on to prove. Nothing of this
will be found in the Discours sur la Méthode, the only work of
Descartes then published; and, even if we believe Hobbes to have
interpolated this chapter after he had read the Meditations, he has
stated the principle so clearly and illustrated it so copiously, that,
so far especially as Locke and the English metaphysicians took it up,
we may almost reckon him another original source.

     [264] Leviathan, c. 1.

     [265] Hum. Nat., c. 2.

|Imagination and memory.|

115. The second chapter of the Leviathan, “On Imagination,” begins
with one of those acute and original observations we often find in
Hobbes: “That when a thing lies still, unless somewhat else stir it,
it will lie still for ever, is a truth that no man doubts of.
But that when a thing is in motion, it will eternally be in motion,
unless somewhat stay it, though the reason be the same, namely, that
nothing can change itself, is not so easily assented to. For men
measure, not only other men, but all other things, by themselves; and
because they find themselves subject after motion to pain and
lassitude, think everything else grows weary of motion and seeks
repose of its own accord.” The physical principle had lately been
established, but the reason here given for the contrary prejudice,
though not the sole one, is ingenious and even true. Imagination he
defines to be “conception remaining, and by little and little decaying
after the act of sense.”[266] This he afterwards expressed less
happily, “the gradual decline of the motion in which sense consists;”
his phraseology becoming more and more tinctured with the materialism
he affected in all his philosophy. Neither definition seems at all
applicable to the imagination which calls up long past perceptions.
“This decaying sense, when we would express the thing itself (I mean
fancy itself), we call imagination, but when we would express the
decay, and signify that the sense is fading, old and past, it is
called memory. So that, imagination and memory are but one thing,
which for divers considerations hath divers names.”[267] It is,
however, evident that imagination and memory are distinguished by
something more than their names. The second fundamental error of
Hobbes in his metaphysics, his extravagant nominalism, if so it should
be called, appears in this sentence, as the first, his materialism,
does in that previously quoted.

     [266] Hum. Nat., c. 3.

     [267] Lev., c. 2.

116. The phænomena of dreaming and the phantasms of waking men are
considered in this chapter with the keen observation and cool reason
of Hobbes.[268] I am not sure that he has gone more profoundly into
psychological speculations in the Leviathan than in the earlier
treatise; but it bears witness more frequently to what had probably
been the growth of the intervening period, a proneness to political
and religious allusion, to magnify civil and to depreciate
ecclesiastical power. “If this superstitious fear of spirits were
taken away, and with its prognostics from dreams, false prophecies,
and many other things depending thereon, by which crafty and ambitious
persons abuse the simple people, men would be much more fitted than
they are for civil obedience. And this ought to be the work of the
schools; but they rather nourish such doctrine.”[269]

     [268] Hum. Nat., c. 3.

     [269] Id. ibid.

|Discourse or train of imagination.|

117. The fourth chapter on Human Nature, and the corresponding third
chapter of the Leviathan, entitled On Discourse, or the Consequence
and Train of Imagination, are among the most remarkable in Hobbes, as
they contain the elements of that theory of association, which was
slightly touched afterwards by Locke, but developed and pushed to a
far greater extent by Hartley. “The cause,” he says, “of the coherence
or consequence of one conception to another is their first coherence
or consequence at that time when they are produced by sense: As, for
instance, from St. Andrew the mind runneth to St. Peter, because their
names are read together; from St. Peter to a stone, from the same
cause; from stone to foundation, because we see them together; and for
the same cause from foundation to church, and from church to people,
and from people to tumult; and, according to this example, the mind
may run almost from anything to anything.”[270] This he illustrates in
the Leviathan by the well-known question suddenly put by one, in
conversation about the death of Charles I., “What was the value of a
Roman penny?” Of this _discourse_, as he calls it, in a larger
sense of the word than is usual with the logicians, he mentions
several kinds; and after observing that the remembrance of succession
of one thing to another, that is, of what was antecedent and what
consequent and what concomitant, is called an experiment, adds that
“to have had many experiments, is what we call experience, which is
nothing else but remembrance of what antecedents have been followed by
what consequents.”[271]

     [270] Hum. Nat. c. 4, § 2.

     [271] Id.


118. “No man can have a conception of the future, for the future is
not yet, but of our conceptions of the past we make a future, or
rather call past future relatively.”[272] And again: “The present only
has a being in nature; things past have a being in the memory only;
but things to come have no being at all; the future being but a
fiction of the mind, applying the sequels of actions past to the
actions that are present, which with most certainty is done by him
that has most experience, but not with certainty enough. And though it
be called prudence, when the event answereth our expectation, yet in
its own nature it is but presumption.”[273] “When we have
observed antecedents and consequents frequently associated, we take
one for a sign of the other, as clouds foretell rain, and rain is a
sign there have been clouds. But signs are but conjectural, and their
assurance is never full or evident. For though a man have always seen
the day and night to follow one another hitherto, yet can he not
thence conclude they shall do so, or that they have done so,
eternally. Experience concludeth nothing universally. But those who
have most experience conjecture best, because they have most signs to
conjecture by; hence, old men, cæteris paribus, and men of quick
parts, conjecture better than the young or dull.”[274] “But experience
is not to be equalled by any advantage of natural and extemporary wit,
though perhaps many young men think the contrary.” There is a
presumption of the past as well as the future founded on experience,
as when from having often seen ashes after fire, we infer from seeing
them again that there has been fire. But this is as conjectural as our
expectations of the future.[275]

     [272] Human Nat. c. 4, § 7.

     [273] Lev., c. 3.

     [274] Hum. Nat.

     [275] Lev.

|Unconceivableness of infinity.|

119. In the last paragraph of the chapter in the Leviathan, he adds,
what is a very leading principle in the philosophy of Hobbes, but
seems to have no particular relation to what has preceded. “Whatsoever
we imagine is finite; therefore, there is no idea or conception of
anything we call infinite. No man can have in his mind an image of
infinite magnitude, nor conceive infinite swiftness, infinite time, or
infinite force, or infinite power. When we say anything is infinite,
we signify only that we are not able to conceive the ends and bounds
of the things named, having no conception of the thing, but of our own
inability. And therefore the name of God is used, not to make us
conceive him, for he is incomprehensible and his greatness and power
are inconceivable, but that we may honour him. Also, because
whatsoever, as I said before, we conceive, has been perceived first by
sense, either all at once, or by parts; a man can have no thought,
representing anything, not subject to sense. No man therefore can
conceive anything, but he must conceive it in some place, and indeed
with some determinate magnitude, and which may be divided into parts,
nor that anything is all in this place, and all in another place at
the same time, nor that two or more things can be in one and the same
place at once. For none of these things ever have, or can be incident
to sense, but are absurd speeches, taken upon credit without any
signification at all, from deceived philosophers, and deceived or
deceiving schoolmen.” This, we have seen in the last section, had been
already discussed with Descartes. The paralogism of Hobbes consists in
his imposing a limited sense on the word idea or conception, and
assuming that what cannot be conceived according to that sense has no
signification at all.

|Origin of language.|

120. The next chapter, being the fifth in one treatise, and the fourth
in the other, may be reckoned, perhaps, the most valuable as well as
original, in the writings of Hobbes. It relates to speech and
language. “The invention of printing,” he begins by observing, “though
ingenious, compared with the invention of letters, is no great
matter.... But the most noble and profitable invention of all others,
was that of speech, consisting of names or appellations, and their
connection, whereby men register their thoughts, recall them when they
are past, and also declare them one to another for mutual utility and
conversation; without which there had been amongst men neither
commonwealth, nor society, nor content nor peace, no more than among
lions, bears, and wolves. The first author of speech was God himself,
that instructed Adam how to name such creatures as he presented to his
sight; for the Scripture goeth no further in this matter. But this was
sufficient to direct him to add more names, as the experience and use
of the creatures should give him occasion, and to join them in such
manner by degrees, as to make himself understood; and so by succession
of time so much language might be gotten as he had found use for,
though not so copious as an orator or philosopher has need of.”[276]

     [276] Leviathan, c. 4.

|His political theory interferes.|

121. This account of the original of language appears in general as
probable as it is succinct and clear. But the assumption that there
could have been no society or mutual peace among mankind without
language, the ordinary instrument of contract, is too much founded
upon his own political speculations. Nor is it proved by the
comparison to lions, bears, and wolves, even if the analogy could be
admitted; since the state of warfare which he here intimates to be
natural to man, does not commonly subsist in these wild animals of the
same species. _Sævis inter se convenit_ _ursis_, is
an old remark. But taking mankind with as much propensity to violence
towards each other as Hobbes could suggest, is it speech, or reason
and the sense of self-interest, which has restrained this within the
boundaries imposed on it by civil society? The position appears to be,
that man, with every other faculty and attribute of his nature, except
language, could never have lived in community with his fellows. It is
manifest, that the mechanism of such a community would have been very
imperfect. But possessing his rational powers, it is hard to see why
he might not have devised signs to make known his special wants, or
why he might not have attained the peculiar prerogative of his species
and foundation of society, the exchange of what he liked less for what
he liked better.

|Necessity of speech exaggerated.|

122. This will appear more evident, and the exaggerated notions of the
school of Hobbes as to the absolute necessity of language to the
mutual relations of mankind will be checked by considering what was
not so well understood in his age as at present, the intellectual
capacities of those who are born deaf, and the resources which they
are able to employ. It can hardly be questioned, but that a number of
families thrown together in this unfortunate situation, without other
intercourse, could by the exercise of their natural reason, as well as
the domestic and social affections, constitute themselves into a sort
of commonwealth, at least as regular as that of ants and bees; and if
the want of language would deprive them of many advantages of polity,
it would also secure them from much fraud and conspiracy. But those
whom we have known to want the use of speech, have also wanted the
sense of hearing, and have thus been shut out from many assistances to
the reasoning faculties, which our hypothesis need not exclude. The
fair supposition is that of a number of persons merely dumb, and
although they would not have laws or learning, it does not seem
impossible they might maintain at least a patriarchal, if not a
political, society for many generations. Upon the lowest supposition,
they could not be inferior to the Chimpanzees, who are said to live in
communities in the forests of Angola.

|Use of names.|

123. The succession of conceptions in the mind depending wholly on
that they had one to another when produced by the senses, they cannot
be recalled at our choice and the need we have of them, “but as it
chanceth us to hear and see such things as shall bring them to our
mind. Hence, brutes are unable to call what they want to mind, and
often, though they hide food, do not know where to find it. But man
has the power to set up marks or sensible objects, and remember
thereby somewhat past. The most eminent of these are names of
articulate sounds, by which we recall some conception of things to
which we give those names; as the appellation white bringeth to
remembrance the quality of such objects as produce that colour or
conception in us. It is by names that we are capable of science, as
for instance that of number: for beasts cannot number for want of
words, and do not miss one or two out of their young, nor could a man
without repeating orally or mentally the words of number, know how
many pieces of money may be before him.”[277] We have here another
assumption, that the numbering faculty is not stronger in man than in
brutes, and also that the former could not have found out how to
divide a heap of coins into parcels without the use of words of
number. The experiment might be tried with a deaf and dumb child.

     [277] Hum. Nat., c. 5.

|Names universal not realities.|

124. Of names some are proper, and some common to many or universal,
there being nothing in the world universal but names, for the things
named are every one of them individual and singular. “One universal
name is imposed on many things for their similitude in some quality or
other accidents; and whereas a proper name bringeth to mind one thing
only, universals recall any one of those many.”[278] “The universality
of one name to many things hath been the cause that men think the
things are themselves universal, and so seriously contend that besides
Peter and John, and all the rest of the men that are, have been, or
shall be in the world, there is yet something else that we call
man--viz., man in general, deceiving themselves by taking the
universal or general appellation for the thing it signifieth.[279] For
if one should desire the painter to make him the picture of a
man, which is as much as to say, of a man in general, he meaneth no
more, but that the painter should chuse what man he pleaseth to draw,
which must needs be some of them that are, or have been, or may be,
none of which are universal. But when he would have him to draw the
picture of the king, or any particular person, he limiteth the painter
to that one person he chuseth. It is plain, therefore, that there is
nothing universal but names, which are therefore called

     [278] Lev. c. 4.

     [279] “An universal,” he says in his Logic, “is not a name of
     many things collectively, but of each taken separately
     (sigillatim sumptorum). Man is not the name of the human species,
     in general, but of each single man, Peter, John and the rest,
     separately. Therefore, this universal name is not the name of any
     thing existing in nature, nor of any idea or phantasm formed in
     the mind, but always of some word or name. Thus, when an animal,
     or a stone, or a ghost (spectrum) or anything else is called
     universal, we are not to understand that any man or stone or
     anything else was, or is, or can be an universal, but only that
     these words animal, stone, and the like are universal names, that
     is, names common to many things, and the conceptions
     corresponding to them in the mind are the images and phantasms of
     single animals or other things. And therefore we do not need, in
     order to understand what is meant by an universal, any other
     faculty than that of imagination, by which we remember that such
     words have excited the conception in our minds sometimes of one
     particular thing, sometimes of another.” Cap. 2, § 9. Imagination
     and memory are used by Hobbes almost as synonyms.

     [280] Hum. Nat., c. 5.

|How imposed.|

125. “By this imposition of names, some of larger, some of stricter
signification, we turn the reckoning of the consequences of things
imagined in the mind into a reckoning of the consequences of
appellations.”[281] Hence he thinks that though a man born deaf and
dumb might by meditation know that the angles of one triangle are
equal to two right ones, he could not, on seeing another triangle of
different shape, infer the same without a similar process. But by the
help of words, after having observed the equality is not consequent on
anything peculiar to one triangle, but on the number of sides and
angles which is common to all, he registers his discovery in a
proposition. This is surely to confound the antecedent process of
reasoning with what he calls the registry, which follows it. The
instance, however, is not happily chosen, and Hobbes has conceded the
whole point in question, by admitting that the truth of the
proposition could be observed, which cannot require the use of
words.[282] He expresses the next sentence with more felicity, “And
thus the consequence found in one particular comes to be registered
and remembered as an universal rule, and discharges our mental
reckoning of time and place; and delivers us from all labour of the
mind saving the first, and makes that which was found true here and
now to be true in all times and places.”[283]

     [281] It may deserve to be remarked that Hobbes himself,
     nominalist as he was, did not limit reasoning to comparison of
     proposition, as some later writers have been inclined to do, and
     as in his objections to Descartes, he might seem to do himself.
     This may be inferred from the sentence quoted in the text, and
     more expressly, though not quite perspicuously, from a passage in
     the Computatio, sive Logica, his Latin treatise published after
     the Leviathan. Quomodo autem animo _sine verbis tacita
     cogitatione ratiocinando addere et subtrahere solemus_ uno aut
     altero exemplo ostendendum est. Si quis ergo e longinquo aliquid
     obscurè videat, etsi nulla sint imposita vocabula, habet tamen
     ejus rei ideam eandem propter quam impositis nunc vocabulis dicit
     eam rem esse corpus. Postquam autem propius accesserit,
     videritque eandem rem certo quodam modo nunc uno, nunc alio in
     loco esse, habebit ejusdem ideam novam, propter quam nunc talem
     rem _animatam_ vocat, &c., p. 2.

     [282] The demonstration of the thirty-second proposition of
     Euclid could leave no one in doubt whether this property were
     common to all triangles, after it had been proved in a single
     instance. It is said, however, to be recorded by an ancient
     writer, that this discovery was first made as to equilateral,
     afterwards as to isosceles, and lastly as to other triangles.
     Stewart’s philosophy of Human Mind, vol. ii., chap., iv., sect. 2
     The mode of proof must have been different from that of Euclid.
     And this might possibly lead us to suspect the truth of the
     tradition. For if the equality of the angles of a triangle to two
     right angles admitted of any _elementary_ demonstration, such as
     might occur in the infancy of geometry, without making use of the
     property of parallel lines, assumed in the twelfth axiom of
     Euclid, the difficulties consequent on that assumption would
     readily be evaded. See the Note on Euclid, i. 29. in Playfair,
     who has given a demonstration of his own, but one which involves
     the idea of motion rather more than was usual with the Greeks in
     their elementary propositions.

     [283] Lev.

|The subject continued.|

126. The equivocal use of names makes it often difficult to recover
those conceptions for which they were designed “not only in the
language of others, wherein we are to consider the drift and occasion
and contexture of the speech, as well as the words themselves, but in
our own discourse, which, being derived from the custom and common use
of speech, representeth unto us not our own conceptions. It is,
therefore, a great ability in a man, out of the words, contexture and
other circumstances of language to deliver himself from equivocation,
and to find out the true meaning of what is said; and this is it we
call understanding.”[284] If speech be peculiar to man, as for aught I
know it is, then is understanding peculiar to him also; understanding
being nothing else but conception caused by speech.”[285] This
definition is arbitrary and not conformable to the usual sense. “True
and false,” he observes afterwards, “are attributes of speech not of
things; where speech is not, there is neither truth nor falsehood,
though there may be error. Hence, as truth consists in the right
ordering of names in our affirmations, a man that seeks precise truth
hath need to remember what every word he uses stands for and place it
accordingly. In geometry, the only science hitherto known, men begin
by definitions. And every man who aspires to true knowledge, should
examine the definitions of former authors, and either correct them or
make them anew. For the errors of definitions multiply themselves,
according as the reckoning proceeds, and lead men into absurdities,
which at last they see, but cannot avoid without reckoning anew from
the beginning in which lies the foundation of their errors.... In the
right definition of names, lies the first use of speech, which is the
acquisition of science. And in wrong or no definitions lies the first
abuse from which proceed all false and senseless tenets, which make
those men that take their instruction from the authority of books, and
not from their own meditation, to be as much below the condition of
ignorant men, as men endued with true science are above it. For
between true science and erroneous doctrine, ignorance is in the
middle. Words are wise men’s counters, they do but reckon by them; but
they are the money of fools.”[286]

     [284] Hum. Nat.

     [285] Lev.

     [286] Lev.

|Names differently imposed.|

127. “The names of such things as affect us, that is, which please and
displease us, because all men be not alike affected with the same
thing, nor the same man at all times, are in the common discourse of
men of inconstant signification. For seeing all names are imposed to
signify our conceptions, and all our affections are but conceptions,
when we conceive the same thoughts differently, we can hardly avoid
different naming of them. For though the nature of that we conceive be
the same, yet the diversity of our reception of it, in respect of
different constitutions of body and prejudices of opinion, gives
everything a tincture of our different passions. And therefore, in
reasoning, a man must take heed of words, which, besides the
signification of what we imagine of their nature, have a signification
also of the nature, disposition and interest of the speaker; such as
are the names of virtues and vices; for one man calleth wisdom what
another calleth fear, and one cruelty, what another justice; one
prodigality, what another magnanimity, and one gravity what another
stupidity, &c. And therefore such names can never be true grounds of
any ratiocination. No more can metaphors and tropes of speech, but
these are less dangerous, because they profess their inconstancy,
which the other do not.”[287] Thus ends this chapter of the Leviathan,
which, with the corresponding one in the Treatise of Human Nature,
are, notwithstanding what appear to be some erroneous principles, as
full, perhaps, of deep and original thoughts as any other pages of
equal length on the art of reasoning and philosophy of language. Many
have borrowed from Hobbes without naming him; and in fact he is the
founder of the nominalist school in England. He may probably have
conversed with Bacon on these subjects; we see much of that master’s
style of illustration. But as Bacon was sometimes too excursive to
sift particulars, so Hobbes has sometimes wanted a comprehensive view.

     [287] Lev.


128. “There are,” to proceed with Hobbes, “two kinds of knowledge; the
one, sense, or knowledge original, and remembrance of the same; the
other, science, or knowledge of the truth of propositions, derived
from understanding. Both are but experience, one of things from
without, the other from the proper use of words in language, and
experience being but remembrance, all knowledge is remembrance.
Knowledge implies two things, truth and evidence; the latter is the
concomitance of a man’s conception with the words that signify such
conception in the act of ratiocination.” If a man does not annex a
meaning to his words, his conclusions are not evident to him.
“Evidence is to truth, as the sap to the tree, which, so far as it
creepeth along with the body and branches, keepeth them alive; when it
forsaketh them they die; for this evidence, which is meaning with our
words, is the life of truth.” “Science is evidence of truth, from some
beginning or principle of sense. The first principle of knowledge is
that we have such and such conceptions; the second that we have thus
and thus named the things whereof they are conceptions; the third is
that we have joined those names in such manner as to make true
propositions; the fourth and last is that we have joined these
propositions in such a manner as they be concluding, and the truth of
the conclusion said to be known.”[288]

     [288] Hum. Nat., c. 6.


129. Reasoning is the addition or subtraction of parcels. “In whatever
matter there is room for addition and subtraction, there is room for
reason; and where these have no place, then reason has nothing at all
to do.”[289] This is neither as perspicuously expressed, nor as
satisfactorily illustrated, as is usual with Hobbes; but it is true
that all syllogistic reasoning is dependent upon quantity alone, and
consequently upon that which is capable of addition and subtraction.
This seems not to have been clearly perceived by some writers of the
old Aristotelian school, or perhaps by some others, who, as far as I
can judge, have a notion that the relation of a genus to a species, or
a predicate to its subject, considered merely as to syllogism or
deductive reasoning, is something different from that of a whole to
its parts; which would deprive that logic of its chief boast,
axiomatic evidence. But, as this would appear too dry to some readers,
I shall pursue it farther in a note.[290]

     [289] Lev. c. 5.

     [290] Dugald Stewart (Elements of Philosophy, &c. vol. ii., ch.
     ii., sect. 2) has treated this theory of Hobbes on reasoning, as
     well as that of Condillac, which seems much the same, with great
     scorn, as “too puerile to admit of (i.e. require) refutation.” I
     do not myself think the language of Hobbes either here, or as
     quoted by Stewart from his Latin treatise on Logic, so
     perspicuous as usual. But I cannot help being of opinion that he
     is substantially right. For surely, when we assert that A is B,
     we assert that all things which fall under the class B, taken
     collectively, comprehend A, or that B = A + X: B being here put,
     it is to be observed, not for the _res prædicata_ itself, but for
     the concrete, _de quibus prædicandum est_. I mention this,
     because this elliptical use of the word predicate seems to have
     occasioned some confusion in writers on logic. The predicate
     strictly taken, being an attribute or quality, cannot be said to
     include or contain the subject. But to return, when we say B = A
     + X, or B - X = A, since we do not compare, in such a
     proposition, as is here supposed, A with X, we only mean that A =
     A, or that a certain part of B is the same as itself. Again, in a
     particular affirmative, Some A is B, we assert that part of A, or
     A - Y is contained in B, or that B may be expressed by [A - Y]
     + X. So also when we say, Some A is not B, we equally divide the
     class or genus B into A - Y and X, or assert that B = [A - Y] +
     X; but, in this case, the subject is no longer A - Y, but the
     remainder, or other part of A, namely, Y; and this is not found
     in either term of the predicate. Finally, in the universal
     negative, No A (neither [A - Y] nor Y) is B, the [A - Y] of
     the predicate vanishes or has no value, and B becomes equal to X,
     which is incapable of measurement with A, and consequently with
     either A - Y or Y, which make up A. Now if we combine this with
     another proposition, in order to form a syllogism, and say that C
     is A, we find, as before, that A = C + Z; and substituting this
     value of A in the former proposition, it appears that B = C + Z +
     X. Then, in the conclusion, we have, C is B; that is C is a part
     of C + Z + X. And the same in the three other cases or moods of
     the figure. This seems to be, in plainer terms, what Hobbes means
     by addition or subtraction of parcels, and what Condillac means
     by rather a lax expression, that equations and propositions are
     at bottom the same, or, as he phrases it better, “l’evidence de
     raison consiste uniquement dans l’identité.” If we add to this,
     as he probably intended, non-identity, as a condition of all
     negative conclusions, it seems to be no more than is necessarily
     involved in the fundamental principle of syllogism, the _dictum
     de omni et nullo_; which may be thus reduced to its shortest
     terms; “Whatever can be divided into parts, includes all those
     parts, add nothing else.” This is not limited to mathematical
     quantity, but includes everything which admits of more or less.
     Hobbes has a good passage in his Logic on this; Non putandum est
     computationi, id est, ratiocinationi in numeris tantum locum
     esse, tanquam homo a cæteris animantibus, quod censuisse narratur
     Pythagoras, sola numerandi facultate distinctus esset; nam et
     magnitudo magnitudini, corpus corpori, motus motui, tempus
     tempori, gradus qualitatis gradui, actio actioni, conceptus
     conceptui, proportio proportioni, oratio orationi, nomen nomini,
     in quibus omne philosophiæ genus continetur, adjici adimique

     But it does not follow by any means that we should assent to the
     strange passages quoted by Stewart from Condillac and Diderot,
     which reduce all _knowledge_ to identical propositions. Even
     in geometry, where the objects are strictly magnitudes, the
     countless variety in which their relations may be exhibited
     constitutes the riches of that inexhaustible science; and in
     moral or physical propositions, the relation of quantity between
     the subject and predicate, as concretes, which enables them to be
     compared, though it is the sole foundation of all _general
     deductive reasoning_ or syllogism, has nothing to do with the
     other properties or relations, of which we obtain a knowledge by
     means of that comparison. In mathematical reasoning, we infer as
     to quantity through the medium of quantity; in other reasoning,
     we use the same medium, but our inference is as to truths which
     do not lie within that category. Thus, in the hackneyed instance,
     All men are mortal; that is, mortal creatures include men and
     something more, it is absurd to assert, that we only know that
     men are men. It is true that our knowledge of the truth of the
     proposition comes by the help of this comparison of men in the
     subject with men in the predicate; but the very nature of the
     proposition discovers a constant relation between the individuals
     of the human species and that mortality which is predicated of
     them along with others; and it is to this, not in an identical
     equation, as Diderot seems to have thought, that our
     _knowledge_ consists.

     The remarks of Stewart’s friend. M. Prevost of Geneva, on the
     principle of identity as the basis of mathematical science, and
     which the former has candidly subjoined to his own volume, appear
     to me very satisfactory. Stewart comes to admit that the dispute
     is nearly verbal; but we cannot say that he originally treated it
     as such; and the principle itself, both as applied to geometry
     and to logic, is, in my opinion, of some importance to the
     clearness of our conceptions as to those sciences. It may be
     added, that Stewart’s objection to the principle of identity as
     the basis of geometrical reasoning is less forcible in its
     application to syllogism. He is willing to admit that magnitudes
     capable of coincidence by immediate superposition may be reckoned
     identical, but scruples to apply such a word to those which are
     dissimilar in figure, as the rectangles of the means and extremes
     of four proportional lines. Neither one nor the other are, in
     fact, identical as real quantities, the former being necessarily
     conceived to differ from each other by position in space, as much
     as the latter; so that the expression he quotes from Aristotle,
     εν τουτοις ἡ ισοτης ἑνοτης [en toutois hê isotês henotês], or any
     similar one of modern mathematicians, can only refer to the
     abstract magnitude of their areas, which being divisible into the
     same number of equal parts, they are called the same. And there
     seems no real difference in this respect between two circles of
     equal radii and two such rectangles as are supposed above, the
     identity of their magnitudes being a distinct truth, independent
     of any consideration either of their figure or their position.
     But however this may be, the identity of the subject with part of
     the predicate in an affirmative proposition is never fictitious,
     but real. It means that the persons or things in the one are
     strictly the same beings with the persons or things to which they
     are compared in the other, though, through some difference of
     relations, or other circumstance, they are expressed in different
     language. It is needless to give examples, as all those who can
     read this note at all will know how to find them.

     I will here take the liberty to remark, though not closely
     connected with the present subject, that Archbishop Whately seems
     not quite right in saying (Elements of Logic, p. 46), that in
     affirmative propositions the predicate is _never_
     distributed. Besides the numerous instances where this is, in
     point of fact, the case, all which he excludes, there are many in
     which it is involved in the very form of the proposition. Such
     are all those which assert identity or equality, and such also
     are all those particular affirmations which have previously been
     _converted_ from universals. Of the first sort are all the
     theorems in geometry, asserting an equality of magnitude or
     ratios, in which the subject and predicate may always change
     places. It is true that in the instance given in the work quoted,
     that equilateral triangles are equiangular, the converse requires
     a separate proof, and so in many similar cases. But in these the
     predicate is not distributed by the form of the proposition; they
     assert no quality of magnitude.

     The position, that where such equality is affirmed, the predicate
     is not _logically_ distributed, would lead to the
     consequence that it can only be _converted_ into a
     particular affirmation. Thus, after proving that the square of
     the hypothenuse, in all right-angled triangles, is equal to those
     of the sides, we could only infer that the squares of the sides
     are _sometimes_ equal to that of the hypothenuse, which
     could not be maintained without rendering the rules, of logic
     ridiculous. The most general mode of considering the question, is
     to say, as we have done above, that, in an universal affirmative,
     the predicate B (that is, the class of which B is predicated), is
     composed of A the subject, and X, an unknown remainder. But if,
     by the very nature of the proposition, we perceive that X is
     nothing, or has no value, it is plain that the subject measures
     the entire predicate, and vice versâ, the predicate measures the
     subject; in other words, each is taken universally, or

|False reasoning.|

130. A man may reckon without the use of words in particular things,
as in conjecturing from the sight of anything what is likely to
follow; and if he reckons wrong, it is error. But in reasoning
on general words, to fall on a false inference is not error, though
often so called, but absurdity.[291] “If a man should talk to me of a
round quadrangle, or accidents of bread in cheese, or immaterial
substances, or of a free subject, a free will, or any free, but free
from being hindered by opposition, I should not say he were in error,
but that his words were without meaning, that is to say, absurd;” Some
of these propositions, it will occur, are intelligible in a reasonable
sense, and not contradictory, except by means of an arbitrary
definition which he who employs them does not admit. It will be
observed here, as we have done before, that Hobbes does not confine
reckoning, or reasoning, to universals, or even to words.

     [291] Lev. c. 5.

|Its frequency.|

131. Man has the exclusive privilege of forming general theorems. But
this privilege is allayed by another, that is, by the privilege of
absurdity, to which no living creature is subject, but man only. And
of men those are of all most subject to it, that profess
philosophy.... For there is not one that begins his ratiocination from
the definitions or explications of the names they are to use, which is
a method used only in geometry, whose conclusions have thereby been
made indisputable. He then enumerates seven causes of absurd
conclusions; the first of which is the want of definitions, the others
are erroneous imposition of names. If we can avoid these errors, it is
not easy to fall into absurdity (by which he of course only means any
wrong conclusion) except perhaps by the length of a reasoning.
“For all men,” he says, “by nature reason alike, and well, when they
have good principles. Hence, it appears that reason is not as sense
and memory born with us, nor gotten by experience only, as prudence
is, but attained by industry, in apt imposing of names, and in getting
a good and orderly method of proceeding from the elements to
assertions, and so to syllogisms. Children are not endued with reason
at all till they have attained the use of speech, but are called
reasonable creatures, for the possibility of having the use of reason
hereafter. And reasoning serves the generality of mankind very little,
though with their natural prudence without science they are in better
condition than those who reason ill themselves, or trust those who
have done so.”[292] It has been observed by Buhle, that Hobbes had
more respect for the Aristotelian forms of logic than his master
Bacon. He has in fact written a short treatise, in his Elementa
Philosophiæ, on the subject; observing however therein, that a true
logic will be sooner learned by attending to geometrical
demonstrations than by drudging over the rules of syllogism, as
children learn to walk not by precept but by habit.[293]

     [292] Id. ibid.

     [293] Citius multo veram logicam discunt qui mathematicorum
     demonstrationibus, quam qui logicorum syllogizandi præceptis
     legendis tempus conterunt, haud aliter quam parvuli pueri gressum
     formare discunt non præceptis sed sæpe gradiendo. C. iv., p. 30.
     Atque hæc sufficiunt, (he says afterwards) de syllogismo, qui est
     tanquam gressus philosophiæ; nam et quantum necesse est ad
     cognoscendum unde vim suam habeat omnis argumentatio legitima,
     tantum diximus; et omnia accumulare quæ dici possunt, æque
     superfluum esset ac si quis ut dixi puerulo ad gradiendum
     præcepta dare velit; acquiritur enim ratiocinandi ars non
     præceptis sed usu et lectione eorum librorum in quibus omnia
     severis demonstrationibus transiguntur. C. v., p. 35.

|Knowledge of fact not derived from reasoning.|

132. “No discourse whatever,” he says truly in the seventh chapter of
the Leviathan, “can end in absolute knowledge of fact past or to come.
For as to the knowledge of fact, it is originally sense; and ever
after memory. And for the knowledge of consequence, which I have said
before, is called science, it is not absolute but conditional. No man
can know by discourse that this or that is, has been, or will be,
which is to know absolutely; but only that if this is, that is; if
this has been, that has been; if this shall be, that shall be; which
is to know conditionally, and that not the consequence of one thing to
another, but of one name of a thing to another name of the same thing.
And therefore when the discourse is put into speech and begins with
the definitions of words, and proceeds by connexion of the same into
general affirmations, and of those again into syllogisms, the end or
last sum is called the conclusion, and the thought of the mind by it
signified is that conditional knowledge of the consequence of words
which is commonly called science. But if the first ground of such
discourse be not definitions; or if definitions be not rightly joined
together in syllogisms, then the end or conclusion is again opinion,
namely, of the truth of somewhat said, though sometimes in absurd and
senseless words, without possibility of being understood.”[294]

     [294] Lev. c. 7.


133. “Belief which is the admitting of propositions upon trust, in
many cases is no less free from doubt than perfect and manifest
knowledge; for as there is nothing whereof there is not some cause, so
when there is doubt, there must be some cause thereof conceived. Now
there be many things which we receive from the report of others, of
which it is impossible to imagine any cause of doubt; for what can be
opposed against the consent of all men, in things they can know and
have no cause to report otherwise than they are, such as is great part
of our histories, unless a man would say that all the world had
conspired to destroy him?”[295] Whatever we believe on the authority
of the speaker, he is the object of our faith. Consequently, when we
believe that the Scriptures are the word of God, having no immediate
revelation from God himself, our belief, faith, and trust is in the
church, whose word we take and acquiesce therein. Hence, all we
believe on the authority of men, whether they be sent from God or not,
is faith in men only.[296] We have no certain knowledge of the truth
of Scripture, but trust the holy men of God’s church succeeding one
another from the time of those who saw the wondrous works of God
Almighty in the flesh. And as we believe the Scriptures to be the word
of God on the authority of the church, the interpretation of the
Scripture in case of controversy ought to be trusted to the church
rather than private opinion.[297]

     [295] Hum. Nat. c. 6.

     [296] Lev. c. 7.

     [297] Lev. c. 9.

|Chart of science.|

134. The ninth chapter of the Leviathan contains a synoptical chart of
human science or “knowledge of consequences,” also called
philosophy. He divides it into natural and civil, the former into
consequences from accidents common to all bodies, quantity and motion,
and those from qualities, otherwise called physics. The first includes
astronomy, mechanics, architecture, as well as mathematics. The second
he distinguishes into consequences from qualities of bodies transient,
or meteorology, and from those of bodies permanent, such as the stars,
the atmosphere, or terrestrial bodies. The last are divided again into
those without sense, and those with sense; and these into animals and
men. In the consequences from the qualities of animals generally he
reckons optics and music; in those from men we find ethics, poetry,
rhetoric, and logic. These altogether constitute the first great head
of natural philosophy. In the second, or civil philosophy, he includes
nothing but the rights and duties of sovereigns and their subjects.
This chart of human knowledge is one of the worst that has been
propounded, and falls much below that of Bacon.[298]

     [298] Hum. Nat., c. 11.

|Analysis of passions.|

135. This is the substance of the philosophy of Hobbes, so far as it
relates to the intellectual faculties, and especially to that of
reasoning. In the seventh and two following chapters of the treatise
on Human Nature, in the ninth and tenth of the Leviathan, he proceeds
to the analysis of the passions. The motion in some internal substance
of the head, if it does not stop there, producing mere conceptions,
proceeds to the heart, helping or hindering the vital motions, which
he distinguishes from the voluntary, exciting in us pleasant or
painful affections, called passions. We are solicited by these to draw
near to that which pleases us, and the contrary. Hence, pleasure,
love, appetite, desire, are divers names for divers considerations of
the same thing. As all conceptions we have immediately by the sense
are delight or pain or appetite or fear, so are all the imaginations
after sense. But as they are weaker imaginations, so are they also
weaker pleasures, or weaker pains.[299] All delight is appetite and
presupposes a further end. There is no utmost end in this world, for
while we live we have desires, and desire presupposes a further end.
We are not, therefore, to wonder that men desire more, the more they
possess; for felicity, by which we mean continual delight, consists
not in having prospered, but in prospering.[300] Each passion, being,
as he fancies, a continuation of the motion which gives rise to a
peculiar conception, is associated with it. They all, except such as
are immediately connected with sense, consist in the conception of a
power to produce some effect. To honour a man, is to conceive that he
has an excess of power over some one with whom he is compared; hence,
qualities indicative of power, and actions significant of it are
honourable; riches are honoured as signs of power, and nobility is
honourable, as a sign of power in ancestors.[301]

     [299] Hum. Nat., c. 7.

     [300] Id. Lev., c. 11.

     [301] Hum. Nat., c. 8.

|Good and evil relative terms.|

136. “The constitution of man’s body is in perpetual mutation, and
hence it is impossible that all the same things should always cause in
him the same appetites and aversions; much less can all men consent in
the desire of any one object. But whatsoever is the object of any
man’s appetite or desire, that is it, which he for his part calls
good, and the object of his hate and aversion, evil, or of his
contempt, vile and inconsiderable. For these words of good, evil, and
contemptible, are ever used with relation to the person using them;
there being nothing simply and absolutely so; nor any common rule of
good and evil, to be taken from the nature of the objects themselves,
but from the person of the man, where there is no commonwealth, or in
a commonwealth from the person that represents us, or from an
arbitrator or judge, whom men disagreeing shall by consent set up, and
make his sentence the rule thereof.”[302]

     [302] Lev. c., 6.

|His paradoxes.|

137. In prosecuting this analysis all the passions are resolved into
self-love, the pleasure we take in our own power, the pain we suffer
in wanting it. Some of his explications are very forced. Thus weeping
is said to be from a sense of our want of power. And here comes one of
his strange paradoxes. “Men are apt to weep that prosecute revenge,
when the revenge is suddenly stopped or frustrated by the repentance
of their adversary; _and such are the tears of reconciliation_.”[303]
So resolute was he to resort to anything the most preposterous, rather
than admit a moral feeling in human nature. His account of laughter is
better known, and perhaps more probable, though not explaining the
whole of the case. After justly observing that whatsoever it be that
moves laughter, it must be new and unexpected, he defines it to be “a
sudden glory arising from a sudden conception of some eminency in
ourselves, by comparison with the infirmity of others, or with our own
formerly, for men laugh at the follies of themselves past.” It might
be objected, that those are most prone to laughter, who have least of
this glorying in themselves, or undervaluing of their neighbours.

     [303] Hum. Nat., c. 9. Lev., c. 6 and 10.

|His notion of love.|

138. “There is a great difference between the desire of a man when
indefinite, and the same desire limited to one person, and this is
that love which is the great theme of poets. But notwithstanding their
praises, it must be defined by the word need; for it is a conception a
man hath of his need of that one person desired.”[304] “There is yet
another passion, sometimes called love, but more properly good-will or
charity. There can be no greater argument to a man of his own power
than to find himself able not only to accomplish his own desires, but
also to assist other men in theirs; and this is that conception
wherein consists charity. In which first is contained that natural
affection of parents towards their children, which the Greeks call
στοργη [storgê], as also that affection wherewith men seek to assist
those that adhere unto them. But the affection wherewith men many
times bestow their benefits on strangers is not to be called charity,
but either contract, whereby they seek to purchase friendship, or fear
which makes them to purchase peace.”[305] This is equally contrary to
notorious truth, there being neither fear nor contract in generosity
towards strangers. It is, however, not so extravagant as a subsequent
position, that in beholding the danger of a ship in a tempest, though
there is pity, which is grief, yet “the delight in our own security is
so far predominant, that men usually are content in such a case to be
spectators of the misery of their friends.”[306]

     [304] Hum. Nat., c. 9.

     [305] Id. ibid.

     [306] Hum. Nat., c. 9. This is an exaggeration of some well-known
     lines of Lucretius, which are themselves exaggerated.


139. As knowledge begins from experience, new experience is the
beginning of new knowledge. Whatever, therefore, happens new to a man,
gives him the hope of knowing somewhat he knew not before. This
appetite of knowledge is curiosity. It is peculiar to man; for beasts
never regard new things except to discern how far they may be useful,
while man looks for the cause and beginning of all he sees.[307] This
attribute of curiosity seems rather hastily denied to beasts. And as
men, he says, are always seeking new knowledge, so are they always
deriving some new gratification. There is no such thing as perpetual
tranquility of mind while we live here, because life itself is but
motion, and can never be without desire, nor without fear, no more
than without sense. “What kind of felicity God hath ordained to them
that devoutly honour him, a man shall no sooner know than enjoy, being
joys that now are as incomprehensible, as the word of schoolmen,
beatifical vision, is unintelligible.”[308]

     [307] Id. ibid.

     [308] Lev., c. 6 and c. 11.

|Difference of intellectual capacities.|

140. From the consideration of the passions, Hobbes advances to
inquire what are the causes of the difference in the intellectual
capacities and dispositions of men.[309] Their bodily senses are
nearly alike, whence he precipitately infers there can be no great
difference in the brain. Yet men differ much in their bodily
constitution, whence he derives the principal differences in their
minds; some being addicted to sensual pleasures are less curious as to
knowledge, or ambitious as to power. This is called dullness, and
proceeds from the appetite of bodily delight. The contrary to this is
a quick ranging of mind accompanied with curiosity in comparing things
that come into it, either as to unexpected similitude, in which fancy
consists, or dissimilitude in things appearing the same, which is
properly called judgment; “for to judge is nothing else, but to
distinguish and discern. And both fancy and judgment are commonly
comprehended under the name of wit, which seems to be a tenuity and
agility of spirits, contrary to that restiness of the spirits supposed
in those who are dull.”[310]

     [309] Hum. Nat., c. 10.

     [310] Hum. Nat.

141. We call it levity, when the mind is easily diverted, and the
discourse is parenthetical; and this proceeds from curiosity with too
much equality and indifference; for when all things make equal
impression and delight, they equally throng to be expressed. A
different fault is indocibility, or difficulty of being taught; which
must arise from a false opinion that men know already the truth of
what is called in question; for certainly they are not otherwise so
unequal in capacity as not to discern the difference of what is proved
and what is not, and therefore if the minds of men were all of white
paper, they would all most equally be disposed to acknowledge whatever
should be in right method, and by right ratiocination delivered to
them. But when men have once acquiesced in untrue opinions, and
registered them as authentical records in their minds, it is no less
impossible to speak intelligibly to such men, than to write legibly on
a paper already scribbled over. The immediate cause therefore of
indocibility is prejudice, and of prejudice false opinion of our own

     [311] Hum. Nat.

|Wit and fancy.|

142. Intellectual virtues are such abilities as go by the name of a
good wit, which may be natural or acquired. “By natural wit,” says
Hobbes, “I mean not that which a man hath from his birth, for that is
nothing else but sense; wherein men differ so little from one another
and from brute beasts, as it is not to be reckoned among virtues. But
I mean that wit which is gotten by use only and experience, without
method, culture or instruction, and consists chiefly in celerity of
imagining and steady direction. And the difference in this quickness
is caused by that of men’s passions that love and dislike some one
thing, some another, and therefore some men’s thoughts run one way,
some another; and are held to, and observe differently the things that
pass through their imagination.” Fancy is not praised without judgment
and discretion, which is properly a discerning of times, places, and
persons; but judgment and discretion is commended for itself without
fancy: without steadiness and direction to some end, a great fancy is
one kind of madness, such as they have who lose themselves in long
digressions and parentheses. If the defect of discretion be apparent,
how extravagant soever the fancy be, the whole discourse will be taken
for a want of wit.[312]

     [312] Lev., c. 8.

|Differences in the passions.|


143. The causes of the difference of wits are in the passions; and the
difference of passions proceeds partly from the different constitution
of the body and partly from different education. Those passions are
chiefly the desire of power, riches, knowledge, or honour; all which
may be reduced to the first, for riches, knowledge, and honour are but
several sorts of power. He who has no great passion for any of these,
though he may be so far a good man as to be free from giving offence,
yet cannot possibly have either a great fancy or much judgment. To
have weak passions is dullness, to have passions indifferently for
everything giddiness and distraction, to have stronger passions for
anything than others have is madness. Madness may be the excess of
many passions; and the passions themselves, when they lead to evil,
are degrees of it. He seems to have had some glimpse of Butler’s
hypothesis as to the madness of a whole people. “What argument for
madness can there be greater, than to clamour, strike, and throw
stones at our best friends? Yet this is somewhat less than such a
multitude will do. For they will clamour, fight against, and destroy
those by whom all their lifetime before they have been protected, and
secured from injury. And if this be madness in the multitude, it is
the same in every particular man.”[313]

     [313] Id.

|Unmeaning language.|

144. There is a fault in some men’s habit of discoursing which may be
reckoned a sort of madness, which is when they speak words with no
signification at all. “And this is incident to none but those that
converse in questions of matters incomprehensible as the schoolmen, or
in questions of abstruse philosophy. The common sort of men seldom
speak insignificantly, and are therefore by those other egregious
persons counted idiots. But to be assured their words are without
anything correspondent to them in the mind, there would need some
examples; which if any man require let him take a schoolman into his
hands, and see if he can translate any one chapter concerning any
difficult point as the Trinity, the Deity, the nature of Christ,
transubstantiation, free will, &c., into any of the modern tongues, so
as to make the same intelligible, or into any tolerable Latin, such as
they were acquainted with, that lived when the Latin tongue was
vulgar.” And after quoting some words from Suarez, he adds: “When men
write whole volumes of such stuff, are they not mad, or intend to make
others so?”[314]

     [314] Lev.


145. The eleventh chapter of the Leviathan, on manners, by which he
means those qualities of mankind which concern their living together
in peace and unity, is full of Hobbes’s caustic remarks on human
nature. Often acute, but always severe, he ascribes overmuch to a
deliberate and calculating selfishness. Thus, the reverence of
antiquity is referred to “the contention men have with the living, not
with the dead, to these ascribing more than due that they may obscure
the glory of the other.” Thus “to have received from one to whom we
think ourselves equal, greater benefits than we can hope to requite,
disposes to counterfeit love, but really to secret hatred, and
puts a man into the estate of a desperate debtor, that in declining
the sight of his creditor, tacitly wishes him where he might never see
him more. For benefits oblige, and obligation is thraldom; and
unrequitable obligation perpetual thraldom, which is to one’s equal
hateful.” He owns, however, that to have received benefits from a
superior, disposes us to love him; and so it does where we can hope to
requite even an equal. If these maxims have a certain basis of truth
they have at least the fault of those of Rochefoucault; they are made
too generally characteristic of mankind.

|Ignorances and prejudice.|

146. Ignorance of the signification of words disposes men to take on
trust not only the truth they know not, but also errors and nonsense.
For neither can be detected without a perfect understanding of words.
“But ignorance of the causes and original constitution of right,
equity, law and justice disposes a man to make custom and example the
rule of his actions, in such manner as to think that unjust which it
has been the custom to punish, and that just, of the impunity and
approbation of which they can produce an example, or, as the lawyers
which only use this false measure of justice barbarously call it, a
precedent.” “Men appeal from custom to reason and from reason to
custom as it serves their turn, receding from custom when their
interest requires it, and setting themselves against reason, as oft as
reason is against them; which is the cause that the doctrine of right
and wrong is perpetually disputed both by the pen and the sword;
whereas the doctrine of lines and figures is not so, because men care
not in that subject what is truth, as it is a thing that crosses no
man’s ambition, profit, or lust. For I doubt not, but if it had been a
thing contrary to any man’s right of dominion, or to the interest of
men that have dominion, that the three angles of a triangle should be
equal to two angles of a square, that doctrine should have been if not
disputed, yet by the burning of all books of geometry, suppressed, as
far as he whom it concerned was able.”[315] This excellent piece of
satire has been often quoted, and sometimes copied, and does not
exaggerate the pertinacity of mankind in resisting the evidence of
truth, when it thwarts the interests and passions of any particular
sect or community. In the earlier part of the paragraph it seems not
so easy to reconcile what Hobbes has said with his general notions of
right and justice; since, if these resolve themselves, as is his
theory into mere force, there can be little appeal to reason, or to
anything else than custom and precedent, which are commonly the
exponents of power.

     [315] 1 Lev., c. 11.

|His theory of religion.|

147. In the conclusion of this chapter of the Leviathan as well as in
the next, he dwells more on the nature of religion than he had done in
the former treatise, and so as to subject himself to the imputation of
absolute atheism, or at least of a denial of most attributes which we
assign to the Deity. Curiosity about causes, he says, led men to
search out one after the other, till they came to this necessary
conclusion, that there is some eternal cause which men call God. But
they have no more idea of his nature, than a blind man has of fire,
though he knows that there is something that warms him. So by the
visible things of this world and their admirable order, a man may
conceive there is a cause of them, which men call God, and yet not
have an idea or image of him in his mind. And they that make little
inquiry into the natural causes of things, are inclined to feign
several kinds of powers invisible and to stand in awe of their own
imaginations. And this fear of things invisible is the natural seed of
that which every one in himself calleth religion, and in them that
worship or fear that power otherwise than they do, superstition.

148. As God is incomprehensible, it follows that we can have no
conception or image of the Deity; and consequently all his attributes
signify our inability or defect of power to conceive anything
concerning his nature, and not any conception of the same, excepting
only this, that there is a God. Men that by their own meditation
arrive at the acknowledgment of one infinite, omnipotent, and eternal
God, chuse rather to confess this is incomprehensible and above their
understanding, than to define his nature by spirit incorporeal, and
then confess their definition to be unintelligible.[316] For
concerning such spirits he holds that it is not possible by natural
means only to come to the knowledge of so much as that there are such

     [316] Lev., c. 12.

     [317] Hum. Nat., c. 11.

|Its supposed sources.|

149. Religion he derives from three sources, the desire of men to
search for causes, the reference of everything that has a beginning to
some cause, and the observation of the order and consequence of
things. But the two former lead to anxiety, for the knowledge
that there have been causes of the effects we see, leads us to
anticipate that they will in time be the causes of effects to come; so
that every man, especially such as are over-provident, is “like
Prometheus, the prudent man, as his name implies, who was bound to the
hill Caucasus, a place of large prospect, where an eagle feeding on
his liver devoured as much by day as was repaired by night; and so he
who looks too far before him, has his heart all day long gnawed by the
fear of death, poverty or other calamity, and has no repose nor pause
but in sleep.” This is an allusion made in the style of Lord Bacon.
The ignorance of causes makes men fear some invisible agent, like the
gods of the Gentiles; but the investigation of them leads us to a God
eternal, infinite, and omnipotent. This ignorance however, of second
causes, conspiring with three other prejudices of mankind, the belief
in ghosts, or spirits of subtile bodies, the devotion and reverence
generally shown towards what we fear as having power to hurt us, and
the taking of things casual for prognostics, are altogether the
natural seed of religion, which by reason of the different fancies,
judgments, and passions of several men hath grown up into ceremonies
so different that those which are used by one man are for the most
part ridiculous to another. He illustrates this by a variety of
instances from ancient superstitions. But the forms of religion are
changed when men suspect the wisdom, sincerity, or love of those who
teach it, or its priests.[318] The remaining portion of the Leviathan
relating to moral and political philosophy, must be deferred to our
next chapter.

     [318] Lev., c. 12.

150. The Elementa Philosophiæ were published by Hobbes, in 1655, and
dedicated to his constant patron the Earl of Devonshire. These are
divided into three parts; entitled De Corpore, De Homine, and De Cive.
And the first part has itself three divisions; Logic, the First
Philosophy, and Physics. The second part, De Homine, is neither the
treatise of Human Nature, nor the corresponding part of the Leviathan,
though it contains many things substantially found there. A long
disquisition on optics and the nature of vision, chiefly geometrical,
is entirely new. The third part, De Cive, is the treatise by that name
reprinted, as far as I am aware, without alteration.

151. The first part of the first treatise, entitled Computatio sive
Logica, is by no means the least valuable among the philosophical
writings of Hobbes. In forty pages the subject is very well and
clearly explained, nor do I know that the principles are better laid
down, or the rules more sufficiently given in more prolix treatises.
Many of his observations, especially as to words, are such as we find
in his English works, and perhaps his nominalism is more clearly
expressed than it is in them. Of the syllogistic method, at least for
the purpose of demonstration, or teaching others, he seems to have
entertained a favourable opinion, or even to have held it necessary
for real demonstration, as his definition shows. Hobbes appears to be
aware of what I do not remember to have seen put by others, that in
the natural process of reasoning, the minor premise commonly precedes
the major.[319] It is for want of attending to this, that syllogisms,
as usually stated, are apt to have so formal and unnatural a
construction. The process of the mind in this kind of reasoning is
explained, in general, with correctness, and, I believe, with
originality in the following passage, which I shall transcribe from
the Latin, rather than give a version of my own; few probably being
likely to read the present section, who are unacquainted with that
language. The style of Hobbes, though perspicuous, is concise,
and the original words will be more satisfactory than any translation.

     [319] In Whateley’s Logic, p. 90, it is observed, that “the
     _proper order_ is to place the major premise first, and the minor
     second; but this does not constitute the major and minor
     premises,” &c. It may be the proper order in one sense, as
     exhibiting better the foundation of syllogistic reasoning; but it
     is not that which we commonly follow, either in thinking, or in
     proving to others. In the rhetorical use of syllogism it can
     admit of no doubt, that the opposite order is the most striking
     and persuasive; such as in Cato, “If there be a God, he must
     delight in virtue; And that which he delights in must be happy.”
     In Euclid’s demonstrations this will be found the form usually
     employed. And, though the rules of grammar are generally
     illustrated by examples, which is beginning with the major
     premise, yet the process of reasoning which a boy employs in
     construing a Latin sentence is the reverse. He observes a
     nominative case, a verb in the third person, and then applies his
     general rule, or major, to the particular instance, or minor, so
     as to infer their agreement. In criminal jurisprudence, the Scots
     begin with the major premise, or relevancy of the indictment,
     when there is room for doubt; the English with the minor, or
     evidence of the fact, reserving the other for what we call motion
     in arrest of judgment. Instances of both orders are common, but
     by far the most frequent are of that which the Archbishop of
     Dublin reckons the less proper of the two. Those logicians who
     fail to direct the student’s attention to this, really do not
     justice to their own favourite science.

152. Syllogismo directo cogitatio in animo respondens est hujusmodi.
Primo concipitur phantasma rei nominatæ cum accidente sive affectu
ejus propter quem appellatur eo nomine quod est in minore propositione
subjectum; deinde animo occurrit phantasma ejusdem rei cum accidente
sive affectu propter quem appellatur, quod est in eadem propositione
prædicatum. Tertio redit cogitatio rursus ad rem nominatam cum affectu
propter quem eo nomine appellatur, quod est in prædicato propositionis
majoris. Postremo cum meminerit eos affectus esse omnes unius et
ejusdem rei, concludit tria illa nomina ejusdem quoque rei esse
nomina; hoc est, conclusionem esse veram. Exempli causa, quando fit
syllogismus hic, Homo est Animal, Animal est Corpus, ergo Homo est
Corpus, occurrit animo imago hominis loquentis vel differentis [sic,
sed lege disserentis], meminitque id quod sic apparet vocari hominem.
Deinde occurrit eadem imago ejusdem hominis sese moventis, meminitque
id quod sic apparet vocari animal. Tertio recurrit eadem imago hominis
locum aliquem sive spatium occupantis, meminitque id quod sic apparet
vocari corpus.[320] Postremo cum meminerit rem illam quæ et
extendebatur secundum locum, et loco movebatur, et oratione utebatur,
unam et eandem fuisse, concludit etiam nomina illa tria, Homo, Animal,
Corpus, ejusdem rei esse nomina, et proinde, Homo est Corpus, esse
propositionem veram. Manifestum hinc est conceptum sive cogitationem
quæ respondens syllogismo ex propositionibus universalibus in animo
existit, nullam esse in iis animalibus quibus deest usus nominum, cum
inter syllogizandum oporteat non modo de re sed etiam alternis vicibus
de diversis rei nominibus, quæ propter diversas de re cogitationes
adhibitæ sunt, cogitare.

     [320] This is the questionable part of Hobbes’s theory of
     syllogism. According to the common and obvious understanding, the
     mind, in the major premise, Animal est Corpus, does not reflect
     on the subject of the minor, Homo, as occupying space, but on the
     subject of the major, Animal, which includes indeed the former,
     but is mentally substituted for it. It may sometimes happen, that
     where this predicate of the minor term is _manifestly_ a
     collective word that comprehends the subject, the latter is not
     as it were absorbed in it, and may be contemplated by the mind
     distinctly in the major; as if we say, John is a man: a man
     feels; we may perhaps have no image in the mind of any man but
     John. But this is not the case where the predicated quality
     appertains to many things visibly different from the subject; as
     in Hobbes’s instance Animal est Corpus, we may surely consider
     other animals as being extended and occupying space besides men.
     It does not seem that otherwise there could be any ascending
     scale from particulars to generals, as far as the reasoning
     faculties, independent of words, are concerned. And if we begin
     with the major premise of the syllogism, this will be still more

153. The metaphysical philosophy of Hobbes, always bold and original,
often acute and profound, without producing an immediate school of
disciples like that of Descartes, struck, perhaps, a deeper root in
the minds of reflecting men, and has influenced more extensively the
general tone of speculation. Locke, who had not read much, had
certainly read Hobbes, though he does not borrow from him so much as
has sometimes been imagined. The French metaphysicians of the next
century found him nearer to their own theories than his more
celebrated rival in English philosophy. But the writer who has built
most upon Hobbes, and may be reckoned, in a certain sense, his
commentator, if he who fully explains and develops a system may
deserve that name, was Hartley. The theory of association is implied
and intimated in many passages of the elder philosopher, though it was
first expanded and applied with a diligent, ingenious and
comprehensive research, if sometimes in too forced a manner, by his
disciple. I use this word without particular inquiry into the direct
acquaintance of Hartley with the writings of Hobbes; the subject had
been frequently touched in intermediate publications, and, in matters
of reasoning, as I have intimated above, little or no presumption of
borrowing can be founded on coincidence. Hartley also resembles Hobbes
in the extreme to which he has pushed the nominalist theory, in the
proneness to materialize all intellectual processes, and either to
force all things mysterious to our faculties into something
imaginable, or to reject them as unmeaning, in the want, much
connected with this, of a steady perception of the difference between
the Ego and its objects, in an excessive love of simplifying and
generalizing, and in a readiness to adopt explanations neither
conformable to reason nor experience, when they fall in with some
single principle, the key that was to unlock every ward of the human

154. In nothing does Hobbes deserve more credit than in having set an
example of close observation in the philosophy of the human
mind. If he errs, he errs like a man who goes a little out of the
right track, not like one who has set out in a wrong one. The eulogy
of Stewart on Descartes, that he was the father of this experimental
psychology, cannot be strictly wrested from him by Hobbes, inasmuch as
the publications of the former are of an earlier date; but we may
fairly say that the latter began as soon, and prosecuted his inquiries
farther. It seems natural to presume that Hobbes, who is said to have
been employed by Bacon in translating some of his works into Latin,
had at least been led by him to the inductive process he has more than
any other employed. But he has seldom mentioned his predecessor’s
name; and indeed his mind was of a different stamp; less excursive,
less quick in discovering analogies, and less fond of reasoning from
them, but more close, perhaps more patient, and more apt to follow up
a predominant idea, which sometimes becomes one of the “idola specûs”
that deceive him.

                           CHAPTER XXI.

                        FROM 1600 TO 1650.

                             SECT. I.

                       ON MORAL PHILOSOPHY.

_Casuists of the Roman Church--Suarez on Moral Law--Selden--Charron--
La Mothe le Vayer--Bacon’s Essays--Feltham--Browne’s Religio
Medici--Other Writers._

1. In traversing so wide a field as moral and political philosophy, we
must still endeavour to distribute the subject according to some order
of subdivision, so far at least as the contents of the books
themselves which come before us will permit. And we give the first
place to those which, relating to the moral law both of nature and
revelation, connect the proper subject of the present chapter with
that of the second and third.

|Casuistical writers.|

|Importance of confession.|

2. We meet here a concourse of volumes occupying no small space in old
libraries, the writings of the casuists, chiefly within the Romish
church. None perhaps in the whole compass of literature are more
neglected by those who do not read with what we may call a
professional view; but to the ecclesiastics of that communion they
have still a certain value, though far less than when they were first
written. The most vital discipline of that church, the secret of the
power of its priesthood, the source of most of the good and evil it
can work, is found in the confessional. It is there that the keys are
kept; it is there that the lamp burns whose rays diverge to every
portion of human life. No church that has relinquished this
prerogative can ever establish a permanent dominion over mankind; none
that retains it in effective use can lose the hope or the prospect of
being their ruler.

|Necessity of rules for the confessor.|

3. It is manifest that in the common course of this rite, no
particular difficulty will arise, nor is the confessor likely to weigh
in golden scales the scruples or excuses of ordinary penitents. But
peculiar circumstances might be brought before him, wherein there
would be a necessity for possessing some rule, lest by sanctioning the
guilt of the party before him he should incur as much of his own.
Treatises therefore of casuistry were written as guides to the
confessor, and became the text books in every course of ecclesiastical
education. These were commonly digested in a systematic order, and,
what is the unfailing consequence of system, or rather almost part of
its definition, spread into minute ramifications, and aimed at
comprehending every possible emergency. Casuistry is itself allied to
jurisprudence, especially to that of the canon law; and it was natural
to transfer the subtlety of distinction and copiousness of partition
usual with the jurists, to a science which its professors were apt to
treat upon very similar principles.

|Increase of casuistical literature.|

4. The older theologians seem, like the Greek and Roman moralists,
when writing systematically, to have made general morality their
subject, and casuistry but their illustration. Among the monuments of
their ethical philosophy, the Secunda Secundæ of Aquinas is
the most celebrated. Treatises however of casuistry, which is the
expansion and application of ethics, may be found both before and
during the sixteenth century; and while the confessional was actively
converted to so powerful an engine, they could not conveniently be
wanting. Casuistry indeed is not much required by the church in an
ignorant age; but the sixteenth century was not an age of ignorance.
Yet it is not till about the end of that period that we find
casuistical literature burst out, so to speak, with a profusion of
fruit. “Uninterruptedly afterwards,” says Eichhorn, “through the whole
seventeenth century, the moral and casuistical literature of the
church of Rome was immensely rich; and it caused a lively and
extensive movement in a province which had long been at peace. The
first impulse came from the Jesuits, to whom the Jansenists opposed
themselves. We must distinguish from both the theological moralists,
who remained faithful to their ancient teaching.”[321]

     [321] Geschichte der Cultur, vol. vi., part i, p. 390.

|Distraction of subjective and objective morality.|

5. We may be blamed, perhaps, for obtruding a pedantic terminology, if
we make the most essential distinction in morality, and one for want
of which, more than any other, its debatable controversies have
arisen, that between the subjective and objective rectitude of
actions; in clearer language, between the provinces of conscience and
of reason, between what is well meant, and what is well done. The
chief business of the priest is naturally with the former. The walls
of the confessional are privy to the whispers of self-accusing guilt.
No doubt can ever arise as to the subjective character of actions
which the conscience has condemned, and for which the penitent seeks
absolution. Were they even objectively lawful, they are sins in him,
according to the unanimous determination of casuists. But though what
the conscience reclaims against is necessarily wrong, relatively to
the agent, it does not follow that what it may fail to disapprove is
innocent. Chuse whatever theory we may please as to the moral standard
of actions, they must have an objective rectitude of their own,
independently of their agent, without which there could be no
distinction of right and wrong, or any scope for the dictates of
conscience. The science of ethics, as a science, can only be
conversant with objective morality. Casuistry is the instrument of
applying this science, which, like every other, is built on reasoning,
to the moral nature and volition of man. It rests for its validity on
the great principle, that it is our duty to know, as far as lies in
us, what is right as well as to do what we know to be such. But its
application was beset with obstacles; the extenuations of ignorance
and error were so various, the difficulty of representing the moral
position of the penitent to the judgment of the confessor by any
process of language so insuperable, that the most acute understanding
might be foiled in the task of bringing home a conviction of guilt to
the self-deceiving, sinner. Again, he might aggravate needless
scruples, or disturb the tranquil repose of innocence.

|Directory office of the confessor.|

6. But though past actions are the primary subject of auricular
confession, it was a necessary consequence that the priest would be
frequently called upon to advise as to the future, to bind or loose
the will in incomplete or meditated lines of conduct. And as all
without exception must come before his tribunal, the rich, the noble,
the counsellors of princes, and princes themselves, were to reveal
their designs, to expound their uncertainties, to call, in effect, for
his sanction in all they might have to do, to secure themselves
against transgression by shifting the responsibility on his head. That
this tremendous authority of direction, distinct from the rite of
penance, though immediately springing from it, should have produced a
no more overwhelming influence of the priesthood than it has actually
done, great as that has been, can only be ascribed to the reaction of
human inclinations which will not be controlled, and of human reason
which exerts a silent force against the authority it acknowledges.

|Difficulties of casuistry.|

7. In the directory business of the confessional, far more than in the
penitential, the priest must strive to bring about that union between
subjective and objective rectitude in which the perfection of a moral
act consists, without which in every instance, according to their
tenets, some degree of sinfulness, some liability to punishment
remains, and which must at least be demanded from those who have been
made acquainted with their duty. But when he came from the broad lines
of the moral law, from the decalogue and the Gospel, or even from the
ethical systems of theology, to the indescribable variety of
circumstance which his penitents had to recount, there arose a
multitude of problems, and such as perhaps would most command
his attention, when they involved the practice of the great, to which
he might hesitate to apply an unbending rule. The questions of
casuistry, like those of jurisprudence, were often found to turn on
the great and ancient doubt of both sciences, whether we should abide
by the letter of a general law, or let in an equitable interpretation
of its spirit. The consulting party would be apt to plead for the one;
the guide of conscience would more securely adhere to the other. But
he might also perceive the severity of those rules of obligation which
conduce, in the particular instance, to no apparent end, or even
defeat their own principle. Hence, there arose two schools of
casuistry: first in the practice of confession, and afterwards in the
books intended to assist it; one strict and uncomplying, the other
more indulgent and flexible to circumstances.

|Strict and lax schemes of it.|

8. The characteristics of these systems were displayed in almost the
whole range of morals. They were, however, chiefly seen in the rules
of veracity and especially in promissory obligations. According to the
fathers of the church, and to the rigid casuists in general, a lie was
never to be uttered, a promise was never to be broken. The precepts,
especially of revelation, notwithstanding their brevity and
figurativeness, were held complete and literal. Hence, promises
obtained by mistake, fraud, or force, and, above all, gratuitous vows,
where God was considered as the promisee, however lightly made, or
become intolerably onerous by supervenient circumstances, were
strictly to be fulfilled, unless the dispensing power of the church
might sometimes be sufficient to release them. Besides the respect due
to moral rules, and especially those of Scripture, there had been from
early times in the Christian church a strong disposition to the
ascetic scheme of religious morality; a prevalent notion of the
intrinsic meritoriousness of voluntary self-denial, which
discountenanced all regard in man to his own happiness, at least in
this life, as a sort of flinching from the discipline of suffering.
And this had doubtless its influence upon the severe casuists.

|Convenience of the latter.|

9. But there had not been wanting those who, whatever course they
might pursue in the confessional, found the convenience of an
accommodating morality in the secular affairs of the church. Oaths
were broken, engagements entered into without faith, for the ends of
the clergy, or of those whom they favoured in the struggles of the
world. And some of the ingenious sophistry, by which these breaches of
plain rules are usually defended, was not unknown before the
Reformation. But casuistical writings at that time were comparatively
few. The Jesuits have the credit of first rendering public a scheme of
false morals, which has been denominated from them, and enhanced the
obloquy that overwhelmed their order. Their volumes of casuistry were
exceedingly numerous; some of them belong to the last twenty years of
the sixteenth, but a far greater part to the following century.

|Favoured by the Jesuits.|

10. The Jesuits were prone for several reasons to embrace the laxer
theories of obligation. They were less tainted than the old monastic
orders with that superstition which had flowed into the church from
the east, the meritoriousness of self-inflicted suffering for its own
sake. They embraced a life of toil and danger, but not of habitual
privation and pain. Dauntless in death and torture, they shunned the
mechanical asceticism of the convent. And, secondly, their eyes were
bent on a great end, the good of the Catholic church, which they
identified with that of their own order. It almost invariably happens,
that men who have the good of mankind at heart, and actively prosecute
it, become embarrassed, at some time or other, by the conflict of
particular duties with the best method of promoting their object. An
unaccommodating veracity, an unswerving good faith, will often appear
to stand, or stand really, in the way of their ends; and hence the
little confidence we repose in enthusiasts, even when, in a popular
mode of speaking, they are most sincere; that is, most convinced of
the rectitude of their aim.

|The causes of this.|

11. The course prescribed by Loyola led his disciples not to solitude,
but to the world. They became the associates and counsellors, as well
as the confessors of the great. They had to wield the powers of the
earth for the service of heaven. Hence, in confession itself, they
were often tempted to look beyond the penitent, and to guide his
conscience rather with a view to his usefulness than his integrity. In
questions of morality, to abstain from action is generally the means
of innocence, but to act is indispensable for positive good. Thus
their casuistry had a natural tendency to become more objective, and
to entangle the responsibility of personal conscience in an
inextricable maze of reasoning. They had also to retain their
influence over men not wholly submissive to religious control, nor
ready to abjure the pleasant paths in which they trod; men of the
court and the city, who might serve the church though they did not
adorn it, and for whom it was necessary to make some compromise in
furtherance of the main design.

|Extravagance of the strict casuists.|

12. It must also be fairly admitted, that rigid casuists went to
extravagant lengths. Their decisions were often not only harsh, but
unsatisfactory; the reason demanded in vain a principle of their iron
law; and the common sense of mankind imposed the limitations, which
they were incapable of excluding by anything better than a dogmatic
assertion. Thus, in the cases of promissory obligation, they were
compelled to make some exceptions, and these left it open to rational
inquiry whether more might not be found. They diverged unnecessarily,
as many thought, from the principles of jurisprudence; for the jurists
built their determinations, or professed to do so on what was just and
equitable among men; and though a distinction, frequently very right,
was taken between the _forum exterius_ and _interius_, the
provinces of jurisprudence and casuistry, yet the latter could not, in
these questions of mutual obligation, rest upon wholly different
ground from the former.

|Opposite faults of Jesuits.|

13. The Jesuits, however, fell rapidly into the opposite extreme.
Their subtlety in logic, and great ingenuity in devising arguments,
were employed in sophisms that undermined the foundations of moral
integrity in the heart. They warred with these arms against the
conscience which they were bound to protect. The offences of their
casuistry, as charged by their adversaries, are very multifarious. One
of the most celebrated is the doctrine of equivocation; the innocence
of saying that which is true in a sense meant by the speaker, though
he is aware that it will be otherwise understood. Another is that of
what was called probability; according to which it is lawful, in
doubtful problems of morality, to take the course which appears to
ourselves least likely to be right, provided any one casuistical
writer of good repute has approved it. The multiplicity of books, and
want of uniformity in their decisions, made this a broad path for the
conscience. In the latter instance, as in many others, the
_subjective_ nature of moral obligation was lost sight of; and to
this the scientific treatment of casuistry inevitably contributed.

14. Productions so little regarded as those of the Jesuitical casuists
cannot be dwelt upon. Thomas Sanchez of Cordova, is author of a large
treatise on matrimony, published in 1592; the best, as far as the
canon law is concerned, which has yet been published. But in the
casuistical portion of this work, the most extraordinary indecencies
occur, such as have consigned it to general censure.[322] Some of
these, it must be owned, belong to the rite of auricular confession
itself, as managed in the church of Rome, though they give scandal by
their publication and apparent excess beyond the necessity of the
case. The Summa Casuum Conscientiæ of Toletus, a Spanish Jesuit and
cardinal, which, though published in 1602, belongs to the sixteenth
century, and the casuistical writings of Less, Busenbaum, and Escobar,
may just be here mentioned. The Medulla Casuum Conscientiæ of the
second (Munster, 1645), went through fifty-two editions, the Theologia
Moralis of the last (Lyon, 1646), through forty.[323] Of the
opposition excited by the laxity in moral rules ascribed to the
Jesuits, though it began in some manner during this period, we shall
have more to say in the next.

     [322] Bayle, art. Sanchez, expatiates on this, and condemns the
     Jesuit; Catilina Cethegum. The later editions of Sanchez De
     Matrimonia, are _castigate_.

     [323] Ranke, die Päpste, vol. iii.

|Suarez. De Legibus.|

15. Suarez of Granada, by far the greatest man in the department of
moral philosophy whom the order of Loyola produced in this age, or
perhaps in any other, may not improbably have treated of casuistry in
some part of his numerous volumes. We shall, however, gladly leave
this subject to bring before the reader a large treatise of Suarez, on
the principles of natural law, as well as of all positive
jurisprudence. This is entitled, Tractatus de legibus ac Deo
legislatore in decem libros distributus, utriusque fori hominibus non
minus utilis, quam necessarius. It might, with no great impropriety,
perhaps, be placed in any of the three sections of this chapter,
relating not only to moral philosophy, but to politics in some degree,
and to jurisprudence.

|Titles of his ten books.|

16. Suarez begins by laying down the position, that all legislative,
as well as all paternal, power is derived from God, and that the
authority of every law resolves itself into his. For either
the law proceeds immediately from God; or, if it be human, it proceeds
from man as his vicar and minister. The titles of the ten books of
this large treatise are as follows: 1. On the nature of law in
general, and on its causes and consequences; 2. On eternal, natural
law, and that of nations; 3. On positive human law in itself,
considered relatively to human nature, which is also called civil law;
4. On positive ecclesiastical law; 5. On the differences of human
laws, and especially of those that are penal, or in the nature of
penal; 6. On the interpretation, the alteration, and the abolition of
human laws; 7. On unwritten law, which is called custom; 8. On those
human laws which are called favourable, or privileges; 9. On the
positive divine law of the old dispensations; 10. On the positive
divine law of the new dispensation.

|Heads of the second book.|

17. This is a very comprehensive chart of general law, and entitles
Suarez to be accounted such a precursor of Grotius and Puffendorf as
occupied most of their ground, especially that of the latter, though
he cultivated it in a different manner. His volume is a closely
printed folio of 700 pages in double columns. The following heads of
chapters in the second book will show the questions in which Suarez
dealt, and in some degree his method of stating and conducting them.
1. Whether there be any eternal law, and what is its necessity; 2. On
the subject of eternal law, and on the acts it commands; 3. In what
act (actus, not actio, a scholastic term as I conceive), the eternal
law exists (existit), and whether it be one or many; 4. Whether the
eternal law be the cause of other laws, and obligatory through their
means; 5. In what natural law consists; 6. Whether natural law be a
preceptive divine law; 7. On the subject of natural law, and on its
precepts; 8. Whether natural law be one; 9. Whether natural law bind
the conscience; 10. Whether natural law obliges not only to the act
(actus) but to the mode (modum) of virtue. This obscure question seems
to refer to the subjective nature, or motive, of virtuous actions, as
appears by the next; 11. Whether natural law obliges us to act from
love or charity (ad modum operandi ex caritate); 12. Whether natural
law not only prohibits certain actions, but invalidates them when
done; 13. Whether the precepts of the law of nature are intrinsically
immutable; 14. Whether any human authority can alter or dispense with
the natural law; 15. Whether God by his absolute power can dispense
with the law of nature; 16. Whether an equitable interpretation can
ever be admitted in the law of nature; 17. Whether the law of nature
is distinguishable from that of nations; 18. Whether the law of
nations enjoins or forbids anything; 19. By what means we are to
distinguish the law of nature from that of nations; 20. Certain
corollaries; and that the law of nations is both just, and also

|Character of such scholastic treatises.|

18. These heads may give some slight notion to the reader of the
character of the book, as the book itself may serve as a typical
instance of that form of theology, of metaphysics of ethics, of
jurisprudence, which occupies the unread and unreadable folios of the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, especially those issuing from the
church of Rome, and may be styled generally the scholastic method. Two
remarkable characteristics strike us in these books, which are
sufficiently to be judged by reading their table of contents, and by
taking occasional samples of different parts. The extremely systematic
form they assume, and the multiplicity of divisions render this
practice more satisfactory than it can be in works of less regular
arrangement. One of these characteristics is that spirit of system
itself, and another is their sincere desire to exhaust the subject by
presenting it to the mind in every light, and by tracing all its
relations and consequences. The fertility of those men who, like
Suarez, superior to most of the rest, were trained in the scholastic
discipline, to which I refer the methods of the canonists and
casuists, is sometimes surprising; their views are not one-sided; they
may not solve objections to our satisfaction, but they seldom suppress
them; they embrace a vast compass of thought and learning; they write
less for the moment, and are less under the influence of local and
temporary prejudices than many who have lived in better ages of
philosophy. But, again, they have great defects; their distinctions
confuse instead of giving light; their systems being not founded on
clear principles become embarrassed and incoherent; their method is
not always sufficiently consecutive; the difficulties which they
encounter are too arduous for them; they labour under the multitude,
and are entangled by the discordance of their authorities.

|Quotations of Suarez.|

19. Suarez, who discusses all these important problems of his second
book with acuteness, and, for his circumstances, with an
independent mind, is weighed down by the extent and nature of his
learning. If Grotius quotes philosophers and poets too frequently,
what can we say of the perpetual reference to Aquinas, Cajetan, Soto,
Turrecremata, Vasquius, Isidore, Vincent of Beauvais or Alensis, not
to mention the canonists and fathers, which Suarez employs to prove or
disprove every proposition. The syllogistic forms are unsparingly
introduced. Such writers as Soto or Suarez held all sort of ornament
not less unfit for philosophical argument than it would be for
geometry. Nor do they ever appeal to experience or history for the
rules of determination. Their materials are nevertheless abundant,
consisting of texts of Scripture, sayings of the fathers and
schoolmen, established theorems in natural theology and metaphysics,
from which they did not find it hard to select premises which, duly
arranged, gave them conclusions.

|His definition of eternal law.|

20. Suarez, after a prolix discussion, comes to the conclusion, that
“eternal law is the free determination of the will of God, ordaining a
rule to be observed, either, first, generally by all parts of the
universe as a means of common good, whether immediately belonging to
it in respect of the entire universe or at least in respect of the
singular parts thereof; or, secondly, to be specially observed by
intellectual creatures in respect of their free operations.”[324] This
is not instantly perspicuous; but definitions of a complex nature
cannot be rendered such, and I do not know that it perplexes more at
first sight than the enunciation of the last proposition in the fifth
book of Simson’s Euclid, or many others in the conic sections and
other parts of geometry. It is, however, what the reader may think
curious, that this crabbed piece of scholasticism is nothing else, in
substance, than the celebrated sentence on law, which concludes the
first book of Hooker’s Ecclesiastical Polity. Whoever takes the pains
to understand Suarez, will perceive that he asserts exactly that which
is unrolled in the majestic eloquence of our countryman.

     [324] Legem æternam esse decretum liberum voluntatis Dei
     statuentis ordinem servandum, aut generaliter ab omnibus partibus
     universi in ordine ad commune bonum, vel immediatè illi
     conveniens ratione totius universi, vel saltem ratione singularum
     specierum ejus, aut specialiter servandum a creaturis
     intellectualibus quoad liberas operationes earum, c. 3, § 6.
     Compare with Hooker: Of Law no less can be said than that her
     throne is the bosom of God, &c.

21. By this eternal law God is not necessarily bound. But this seems
to be said rather for the sake of avoiding phrases which were
conventionally rejected by the scholastic theologians, since, in
effect, his theory requires the affirmative, as we shall soon
perceive; and he here says that the law is God himself (Deus ipse),
and is immutable. This eternal law is not immediately known to man in
this life, but either “in other laws, or through them,” which he thus
explains. “Men, while pilgrims here, (viatores homines), cannot learn
the divine will in itself, but only as much as by certain signs or
effects is proposed to them; and hence, it is peculiar to the blessed
in heaven that, contemplating the divine will, they are ruled by it as
by a direct law. The former know the eternal law, because they partake
of it by other laws, temporal and positive; for, as second causes
display the first, and creatures the Creator, so temporal laws (by
which he means laws respective of man on earth), being streams from
that eternal law, manifest the fountain whence they spring. Yet all do
not arrive even at this degree of knowledge, for all are not able to
infer the cause from the effect. And thus, though all men necessarily
perceive some participation of the eternal laws in themselves, since
there is no one endowed with reason who does not in some manner
acknowledge that what is morally good ought to be chosen, and what is
evil rejected, so that in this sense men have all some notion of the
eternal law, as St. Thomas, and Hales, and Augustin say; yet
nevertheless they do not all know it formally, nor are aware of their
participation of it, so that it may be said the eternal law is not
universally known in a direct manner. But some attain that knowledge,
either by natural reasoning, or more properly by revelation of faith;
and hence we have said that it is known by some only in the inferior
laws, but by others through the means of those laws.”[325]

     [325] Lib. ii., c. 4, § 9.

|Whether God is a legislator?|

22. In every chapter Suarez propounds the arguments of doctors on
either side of the problem, ending with his own determination, which
is frequently a middle course. On the question, Whether natural law is
of itself preceptive, or merely indicative of what is intrinsically
right or wrong, or, in other words, whether God, as to this law, is a
legislator, he holds this line with Aquinas and most theologians (as
he says), contending that natural law does not merely indicate
right and wrong, but commands the one and prohibits the other; though
this will of God is not the whole ground of the moral good and evil
which belongs to the observance or transgression of natural law,
inasmuch as it presupposes a certain intrinsic right and wrong in the
actions themselves, to which it superadds the special obligation of a
divine law. God, therefore, may be truly called a legislator in
respect of natural law.[326]

     [326] Hæc Dei voluntas, prohibitio aut præceptio non est
     tota ratio bonitatis et malitiæ quæ est in observatione vel
     transgressione legis naturalis, sed supponit in ipsis actubus
     necessariam quandam honestatem vel turpitudinem, et illis
     adjungit specialem legis divinæ obligationem, c. 6, § 11.

|Whether God could permit or commend wrong actions.|

23. He next comes to a profound but important inquiry, Whether God
could have permitted by his own law actions against natural reason?
Ockham and Gerson had resolved this in the affirmative, Aquinas the
contrary way. Suarez assents to the latter, and thus determines that
the law is strictly immutable. It must follow of course that the pope
cannot alter or dispense with the law of nature, and he might have
spared the fourteenth chapter, wherein he controverts the doctrine of
Sanchez and some casuists who had maintained so extraordinary a
prerogative.[327] This, however, is rather episodical. In the
fifteenth chapter he treats more at length the question, Whether God
can dispense with the law of nature? which is not, perhaps, at least
according to the notions of many, decided in denying his power to
repeal it. He begins by distinguishing three classes of moral laws.
The first are the most general, such as that good is to be done rather
than evil; and with these it is agreed that God cannot dispense. The
second is of such as the precepts of the decalogue, where the chief
difficulty had arisen. Ockham, Peter d’Ailly, Gerson, and others,
incline to say that he can dispense with all these, inasmuch as they
are only prohibitions which he has himself imposed. These were the
heads of the nominalist party; and their opinion might be connected,
though not necessarily, with the denial of the _reality_ of mixed
modes. This tenet, Suarez observes, is rejected by all other
theologians as false and absurd. He decidedly holds that there is an
intrinsic goodness or malignity in actions independent of the command
of God. Scotus had been of opinion that God might dispense with the
commandments of the second table, but not those of the first. Durand
seems to have thought the fifth commandment (our sixth) more
dispensable than the rest, probably on account of the case of Abraham.
But Aquinas, Cajetan, Soto, with many more, deny absolutely the
dispensability of the decalogue in any part. The Gordian knot about
the sacrifice of Isaac is cut by a distinction, that God did not act
here as a legislator, but in another capacity, as lord of life and
death, so that he only used Abraham as an instrument for that which he
might have done himself. The third class of moral precepts is of those
not contained in the decalogue, as to which he decides also that God
cannot dispense with them, though he may change the circumstances upon
which their obligation rests, as when he releases a vow.

     [327] Nulla potestas humana, etiamsi pontificia sit, potest
     proprium aliquod præceptum legis naturalis abrogare, nec illud
     proprie et in se minuere, neque in ipso dispensare, § 8.

|English Casuists--Perkins, Hall.|

24. The Protestant churches were not generally attentive to
casuistical divinity, which smelt too much of the opposite system.
Eichhorn observes that the first book of that class, published among
the Lutherans, was by a certain Baldwin of Wittenberg, in 1628.[328] A
few books of casuistry were published in England during this period,
though nothing, as well as I remember, that can be reckoned a system
or even a treatise of moral philosophy. Perkins, an eminent
Calvinistic divine of the reign of Elizabeth, is the first of these in
point of time. His Cases of Conscience appeared in 1606. Of this book
I can say nothing from personal knowledge. In the works of Bishop Hall
several particular questions of this kind are treated, but not with
much ability. His distinctions are more than usually feeble. Thus,
usury is a deadly sin, but it is very difficult to commit it unless we
love the sin for its own sake; for almost every possible case of
lending money will be found by his limitations of the rule to justify
the taking a profit for the loan.[329] His casuistry about selling
goods is of the same description: a man must take no advantage of the
scarcity of the commodity, unless there should be just reason to raise
the price, which he admits to be often the case in a scarcity. He
concludes by observing that, in this, as in other well ordered
nations, it would be a happy thing to have a regulation of prices. He
decides, as all the old casuists did, that a promise extorted by a
robber is binding. Sanderson was the most celebrated of the
English casuists. His treatise, De Juramenti Obligatione, appeared in

     [328] Vol. vi., part i., p. 346.

     [329] Hall’s Works (edit. Pratt), vol. viii., p. 375.

|Selden, De Jure Naturali juxta Hebræos.|

25. Though no proper treatise of moral philosophy came from any
English writer in this period, we have one which must be placed in
this class, strangely as the subject has been handled by its
distinguished author. Selden published in 1640 his learned work, De
Jure Naturali et Gentium juxta Disciplinam Ebræorum.[330] The object
of the author was to trace the opinions of the Jews on the law of
nature and nations, or of moral obligation, as distinct from the
Mosaic law; the former being a law to which they held all mankind to
be bound. This theme had been of course untouched by the Greek and
Roman philosophers, nor was much to be found upon it in modern
writers. His purpose is therefore rather historical than
argumentative; but he seems so generally to adopt the Jewish theory of
natural law that we may consider him the disciple of the rabbis as
much as their historian.

     [330] _Juxta_ for _secundum_, we need hardly say, is bad Latin: it
     was, however, very common, and is even used by Joseph Scaliger,
     as Vossius mentions in his treatise, De Vitiis Sermonis.

|Jewish theory of natural law.|

26. The origin of natural law was not drawn by the Jews, as some of
the jurists imagined it ought to be, from the habits and instincts of
all animated beings, quod natura omnia animalia docuit, according to
the definition of the Pandects. Nor did they deem, as many have done,
the consent of mankind and common customs of nations to be a
sufficient basis for so permanent and invariable a standard. Upon the
discrepancy of moral sentiments and practices among mankind Selden
enlarges in the tone which Sextus Empiricus had taught scholars, and
which the world had learned from Montaigne. Nor did unassisted reason
seem equal to determine moral questions, both from its natural
feebleness, and because reason alone does not create an obligation,
which depends wholly on the command of a superior.[331] But God, as
the ruler of the universe, has partly implanted in our minds, partly
made known to us by exterior revelation, his own will, which is our
law. These positions he illustrates with a superb display of
erudition, especially oriental, and certainly with more prolixity, and
less regard to opposite reasonings, than we should desire.

     [331] Selden says, in his Table Talk, that he can understand no
     law of nature but a law of God. He might mean this in the sense
     of Suarez, without denying an intrinsic distinction of right and

|Seven precepts of the sons of Noah.|

27. The Jewish writers concur in maintaining that certain short
precepts of moral duty were orally enjoined by God on the parent of
mankind, and afterwards on the sons of Noah. Whether these were simply
preserved by tradition, or whether, by an innate moral faculty,
mankind had the power of constantly discerning them, seems to have
been an unsettled point. The principal of these divine rules are
called, for distinction, The Seven Precepts of the Sons of Noah. There
appears, however, to be some variance in the lists, as Selden has
given them from the ancient writers. That most received consists of
seven prohibitions--namely, of idolatry, blasphemy, murder, adultery,
theft, rebellion, and cutting a limb from a living animal. The last of
these, the sense of which, however, is controverted, as well as the
third, but no other, are indicated in the ninth chapter of Genesis.

|Character of Selden’s work.|

28. Selden pours forth his unparalleled stores of erudition on all
these subjects, and upon those which are suggested in the course of
his explanations. These digressions are by no means the least useful
part of his long treatise. They elucidate some obscure passages of
Scripture. But the whole works belongs far more to theological than to
philosophical investigation; and I have placed it here chiefly out of
conformity to usage; for undoubtedly Selden, though a man of very
strong reasoning faculties, had not greatly turned them to the
principles of natural law. His reliance on the testimony of Jewish
writers, many of them by no means ancient, for those primæval
traditions as to the sons of Noah, was in the character of his times,
but it will scarcely suit the more rigid criticism of our own. His
book, however, is excellent for its proper purpose, that of
representing Jewish opinion, and is among the greatest achievements in
erudition that any English writer has performed.

|Grotius and Hobbes.|

29. The moral theories of Grotius and Hobbes are so much interwoven
with other parts of their philosophy, in the treatise De Jure Belli
and in the Leviathan, that it would be dissecting those works too
much, were we to separate what is merely ethical from what falls
within the provinces of politics and jurisprudence. The whole must
therefore be deferred to the ensuing sections of this chapter. Nor is
there much in the writings of Bacon or of Descartes which
falls, in the sense we have hitherto been considering it, under the
class of moral philosophy. We may therefore proceed to another
description of books, relative to the passions and manners of mankind,
rather than, in a strict sense, to their duties, though of course
there will frequently be some intermixture of subjects so intimately

|Charron on Wisdom.|

30. In the year 1601, Peter Charron, a French ecclesiastic, published
his Treatise on Wisdom. The reputation of this work has been
considerable; his countrymen are apt to name him with Montaigne; and
Pope has given him the epithet of “more wise” than his predecessor, on
account, as Warburton expresses it, of his “moderating everywhere the
extravagant Pyrrhonism of his friend.” It is admitted that he has
copied freely from the Essays of Montaigne, in fact, a very large
portion of the Treatise on Wisdom, not less, I should conjecture, than
one fourth, is extracted from them with scarce any verbal alteration.
It is not the case that he moderates the sceptical tone which he found
there; on the contrary, the most remarkable passages of that kind have
been transcribed; but we must do Charron the justice to say that he
has retrenched the indecencies, the egotism, and the superfluities.
Charron does not dissemble his debts. “This,” he says in his preface,
“is the collection of a part of my studies; the form and method are my
own. What I have taken from others, I have put in their words, not
being able to say it better than they have done.” In the political
part he has borrowed copiously from Lipsius and Bodin, and he is said
to have obligations to Duvair.[332] The ancients also must have
contributed their share. It becomes therefore difficult to estimate
the place of Charron as a philosopher, because we feel a good deal of
uncertainty whether any passage may be his own. He appears to have
been a man formed in the school of Montaigne, not much less bold in
pursuing the novel opinions of others, but less fertile in original
thoughts, so that he often falls into the common-places of ethics;
with more reading than his model, with more disciplined habits as well
of arranging and distributing his subject, as of observing the
sequence of an argument; but, on the other hand, with far less of
ingenuity in thinking and of sprightliness of language.

     [332] Biogr. Universelle.

|La Mothe le Vayer--His dialogues.|

31. A writer of rather less extensive celebrity than Charron belongs
full as much to the school of Montaigne, though he does not so much
pillage his Essays. This was La Mothe le Vayer, a man distinguished by
his literary character in the court of Louis XIII., and ultimately
preceptor both to the Duke of Orleans and the young king (Louis XIV.)
himself. La Mothe was habitually and universally a sceptic. Among
several smaller works we may chiefly instance his Dialogues published
many years after his death under the name of Horatius Tubero. They
must have been written in the reign of Louis XIII., and belong
therefore to the present period. In attacking every established
doctrine, especially in religion, he goes much farther than Montaigne,
and seems to have taken much of his metaphysical system immediately
from Sextus Empiricus. He is profuse of quotation, especially in a
dialogue entitled Le Banquet Sceptique, the aim of which is to show
that there is no uniform taste of mankind as to their choice of food.
His mode of arguing against the moral sense is entirely that of
Montaigne, or, if there be any difference, is more full of the two
fallacies by which that lively writer deceives himself--namely, the
accumulating examples of things arbitrary and fanciful, such as modes
of dress and conventional usages, with respect to which no one
pretends that any natural law can be found, and, when he comes to
subjects more truly moral, the turning our attention solely to the
external action, and not to the motive or principle, which under
different circumstances may prompt men to opposite courses.

32. These dialogues are not unpleasing to read, and exhibit a polite
though rather pedantic style not uncommon in the seventeenth century.
They are, however, very diffuse, and the sceptical paradoxes become
merely common-place by repetition. One of them is more grossly
indecent than any part of Montaigne. La Mothe le Vayer is not, on the
whole, much to be admired as a philosopher; little appears to be his
own and still less is really good. He contributed, no question, as
much as anyone to the irreligion and contempt for morality prevailing
in that court where he was in high reputation. Some other works of
this author may be classed under the same description.

|Bacon’s Essays.|

33. We can hardly refer Lord Bacon’s Essays to the school of
Montaigne, though their title may lead us to suspect that they were in
some measure suggested by that most popular writer. The first
edition, containing ten essays only, and those much shorter than as we
now possess them, appeared, as has been already mentioned, in 1597.
They were reprinted with very little variation in 1606. But the
enlarged work was published in 1612, and dedicated to Prince Henry. He
calls them, in this dedication, “certain brief notes, set down rather
significantly than curiously, which I have called Essays. The word is
late, but the thing is ancient; for Seneca’s Epistles to Lucilius, if
you mark them well, are but Essays, that is, dispersed meditations,
though conveyed in the form of epistles.” The resemblance, at all
events, to Montaigne is not greater than might be expected in two men
equally original in genius, and entirely opposite in their characters
and circumstances. One, by an instinctive felicity, catches some of
the characteristics of human nature; the other, by profound
reflection, scrutinizes and dissects it. One is too negligent for the
inquiring reader, the other too formal and sententious for one who
seeks to be amused. We delight in one, we admire the other; but this
admiration has also its own delight. In one we find more of the sweet
temper and tranquil contemplation of Plutarch, in the other more of
the practical wisdom and somewhat ambitious prospects of Seneca. It is
characteristic of Bacon’s philosophical writings, that they have in
them a spirit of movement, a perpetual reference to what man is to do
in order to an end, rather than to his mere speculation upon what is.
In his Essays, this is naturally still more prominent. They are, as
quaintly described in the title page of the first edition, “places
(loci) of persuasion and dissuasion;” counsels for those who would be
great as well as wise. They are such as sprang from a mind ardent in
two kinds of ambition, and hesitating whether to found a new
philosophy, or to direct the vessel of the state. We perceive,
however, that the immediate reward attending greatness, as is almost
always the case, gave it a preponderance in his mind; and hence, his
Essays are more often political than moral; they deal with mankind,
not in their general faculties or habits, but in their mutual strife,
their endeavours to rule others, or to avoid their rule. He is more
cautious and more comprehensive, though not more acute than Machiavel,
who often becomes too dogmatic through the habit of referring
everything to a particular aspect of political societies. Nothing in
the Prince or the Discourses on Livy is superior to the Essays on
Seditions, on Empire, on Innovations, or generally those which bear on
the dexterous management of a people by their rulers. Both these
writers have what to our more liberal age appears a counselling of
governors for their own rather than their subjects’ advantage; but, as
this is generally represented to be the best means, though not, as it
truly is, the real end, their advice tends on the whole to advance the
substantial benefits of government.

|Their excellence.|

34. The transcendent strength of Bacon’s mind is visible in the whole
tenor of these Essays, unequal as they must be from the very nature of
such compositions. They are deeper and more discriminating than any
earlier, or almost any later work in the English language, full of
recondite observation long matured and carefully sifted. It is true
that we might wish for more vivacity and ease; Bacon, who had much
wit, had little gaiety; his Essays are consequently stiff and grave,
where the subject might have been touched with a lively hand; thus it
is in those on Gardens and on Building. The sentences have sometimes
too apophthegmatic a form and want coherence; the historical
instances, though far less frequent than with Montaigne, have a little
the look of pedantry to our eyes. But it is from this condensation,
from this gravity, that the work derives its peculiar impressiveness.
Few books are more quoted, and, what is not always the case with such
books, we may add that few are more generally read. In this respect
they lead the van of our prose literature; for no gentleman is ashamed
of owning that he has not read the Elizabethan writers; but it would
be somewhat derogatory to a man of the slightest claim to polite
letters, were he unacquainted with the Essays of Bacon. It is indeed
little worth while to read this or any other book for reputation sake;
but very few in our language so well repay the pains, or afford more
nourishment to the thoughts. They might be judiciously introduced,
with a small number more, into a sound method of education, one that
should make wisdom, rather than mere knowledge, its object, and might
become a textbook of examination in our schools.

|Feltham’s Resolves.|

35. It is rather difficult to fix upon the fittest place for bringing
forward some books, which, though moral in their subject, belong to
the general literature of the age, and we might strip the province of
polite letters of what have been reckoned its chief ornaments.
I shall therefore select here such only, as are more worthy of
consideration for their matter than for the style in which it is
delivered. Several that might range, more or less, under the
denomination of moral essays, were published both in English and in
other languages. But few of them are now read, or even much known by
name. One, which has made a better fortune than the rest, demands
mention, the Resolves of Owen Feltham. Of this book, the first part of
which was published in 1627, the second not till after the middle of
the century, it is not uncommon to meet with high praises in those
modern writers, who profess a faithful allegiance to our older
literature. For myself, I can only say that Feltham appears not only a
laboured and artificial, but a shallow writer. Among his many faults
none strikes me more than a want of depth, which his pointed and
sententious manner renders more ridiculous. Sallust, among the
ancients, is a great dealer in such oracular truisms, a style of
writing that soon becomes disagreeable. There are certainly exceptions
to this vacuity of original meaning in Feltham; it would be possible
to fill a few pages with extracts not undeserving of being read, with
thoughts just and judicious, though never deriving much lustre from
his diction. He is one of our worst writers in point of style; with
little vigour, he has less elegance; his English is impure to an
excessive degree, and full of words unauthorised by any usage.
Pedantry, and the novel phrases which Greek and Latin etymology was
supposed to warrant, appear in most productions of this period; but
Feltham attempted to bend the English idiom to his own affectations.
The moral reflections of a serious and thoughtful mind are generally
pleasing, and to this perhaps is partly owing the kind of popularity
which the Resolves of Feltham have obtained; but they may be had more
agreeably and profitably in other books.[333]

     [333] This is a random sample of Feltham’s style: “Of all objects
     of sorrow a distressed king is the most pitiful, because it
     presents us most the frailty of humanity, and cannot but most
     _midnight_ the soul of him that is fallen. The sorrows of a
     deposed king are like the _distorquements_ of a _darted_
     conscience which none can know but he that hath lost a crown.”
     Cent. i. 61. We find not long after the following precious
     phrase: “The nature that is arted with the subtleties of time and
     practice.” I. 63. In one page we have _obnubilate_, _nested_,
     _parallel_ (as a verb), _fails_ (failings) _uncurtain_,
     _depraving_ (calumniating). I. 50. And we are to be disgusted
     with such vile English, or properly no English, for the sake of
     the sleepy saws of a trivial morality. Such defects are not
     compensated by the better and more striking thoughts we may
     occasionally light upon. In reading Feltham, nevertheless, I
     seemed to perceive some resemblance to the tone and way of
     thinking of the Turkish Spy, which is a great compliment to the
     former; for the Turkish Spy is neither disagreeable nor
     superficial. The resemblance must lie in a certain contemplative
     melancholy, rather serious than severe, in respect to the world
     and its ways; and as Feltham’s Resolves seem to have a charm, by
     the editions they have gone through, and the good name they have
     gained, I can only look for it in this.

|Browne’s Religo Medici.|

36. A superior genius to that of Feltham is exhibited in the Religio
Medici of Sir Thomas Browne. This little book made a remarkable
impression; it was soon translated into several languages, and is
highly extolled by Conringius and others, who could only judge through
these versions. Patin, though he rather slights it himself, tells us
in one of his letters that it was very popular at Paris. The character
which Johnson has given of the Religio Medici is well known; and,
though perhaps rather too favourable, appears in general just.[334]
The mind of Browne was fertile, and, according to the current use of
the word, ingenious: his analogies are original and sometimes
brilliant; and as his learning is also of things out of the beaten
path, this gives a peculiar and uncommon air to all his writings, and
especially to the Religio Medici. He was, however, far removed from
real philosophy, both by his turn of mind and by the nature of his
erudition; he seldom reasons, his thoughts are desultory, sometimes he
appears sceptical or paradoxical, but credulity and deference to
authority prevail. He belonged to the class, numerous at that time in
our church, who halted between popery and protestantism; and this
gives him, on all such topics, an appearance of vacillation and
irresoluteness which probably represents the real state of his mind.
His paradoxes do not seem very original, nor does he arrive at them by
any process of argument; they are more like traces of his reading
casually suggesting themselves, and supported by his own
ingenuity. His style is not flowing, but vigorous; his choice of words
not elegant, and even approaching to barbarism as English phrase; yet
there is an impressiveness, an air of reflection and sincerity in
Browne’s writings, which redeem many of their faults. His egotism is
equal to that of Montaigne, but with this difference, that it is the
egotism of a melancholy mind, which generally becomes unpleasing. This
melancholy temperament is characteristic of Browne. “Let’s talk of
graves and worms and epitaphs” seems his motto. His best written work,
the Hydriotaphia, is expressly an essay on sepulchral urns; but the
same taste for the circumstances of mortality leavens also the Religio

     [334] “The Religio Medici was no sooner published that it excited
     the attention of the public by the novelty of paradoxes, the
     dignity of sentiment, the quick succession of images, the
     multitude of abstruse allusions, the subtlety of disquisition,
     and the strength of language.” Life of Browne (in Johnson’s
     Works, xii. 275).

|Selden’s Table Talk.|

37. The thoughts of Sir Walter Raleigh on moral prudence are few but
precious. And some of the bright sallies of Selden recorded in his
Table Talk are of the same description, though the book is too
miscellaneous to fall under any single head of classification. The
editor of this very short and small volume, which gives, perhaps, a
more exalted notion of Selden’s natural talents than any of his
learned writings, requests the reader to distinguish times, and “in
his fancy to carry along with him the when and the why many of these
things were spoken.” This intimation accounts for the different spirit
in which he may seem to combat the follies of the prelates at one
time, and of the presbyterians or fanatics at another. These sayings
are not always, apparently, well reported; some seem to have been
misunderstood, and in others the limiting clauses to have been
forgotten. But on the whole they are full of vigour, raciness, and a
kind of scorn of the half-learned, far less rude, but more cutting
than that of Scaliger. It has been said that the Table Talk of Selden
is worth all the Ana of the continent. In this I should be disposed to
concur; but they are not exactly works of the same class.

|Osborn’s Advice to his Son.|

38. We must now descend much lower, and could find little worth
remembering. Osborn’s Advice to his Son may be reckoned among the
moral and political writings of this period. It is not very far above
mediocrity, and contains a good deal that is common-place, yet with a
considerable sprinkling of sound sense and observation. The style is
rather apophthegmatic, though by no means more so than was then usual.

|John Valentine Andreæ.|

39. A few books, English as well as foreign, are purposely deferred
for the present; I am rather apprehensive that I shall be found to
have overlooked some not unworthy of notice. One written in Latin by a
German writer has struck me as displaying a spirit which may claim for
it a place among the livelier and lighter class, though with serious
intent, of moral essays. John Valentine Andreæ was a man above his
age, and a singular contrast to the narrow and pedantic herd of German
scholars and theologians. He regarded all things around him with a
sarcastic but benevolent philosophy, keen in exposing the errors of
mankind, yet only for the sake of amending them. It has been supposed
by many that he invented the existence of the famous Rosicrucian
society, not so much, probably, for the sake of mystification, as to
suggest an institution so praiseworthy and philanthropic as he
delineated for the imitation of mankind. This, however, is still a
debated problem in Germany.[335] But among his numerous writings, that
alone of which I know anything is entitled in the original Latin,
Mythologiæ Christianæ, sive Virtutum et Vitiorum Vitæ Humanæ Imaginum
Libri Tres. (Strasburg, 1618.) Herder has translated a part of this
book in the fifth volume of his Zerstreute Blätter; and it is here
that I have met with it. Andreæ wrote, I believe, solely in Latin, and
his works appear to be scarce, at least in England. These short
apologues, which Herder has called Parables, are written with uncommon
terseness of language, a happy and original vein of invention, and a
philosophy looking down on common life without ostentation and without
passion. He came too before Bacon, but he had learned to scorn the
disputes of the schools, and had sought for truth with an entire love,
even at the hands of Cardan and Campanella. I will give a specimen, in
a note, of the peculiar manner of Andreæ, but my translation does not,
perhaps, justice to that of Herder. The idea, it may be observed, is
now become more trite.[336]

     [335] Brucker, iv. 735. Biogr. Univ. art. Andreæ, et alibi.

     [336] “The Pen and the Sword strove with each other for
     superiority, and the voices of the judges were divided. The men
     of learning talked much and persuaded many; the men of arms were
     fierce and compelled many to join their side. Thus nothing could
     be determined; it followed that both were left to fight it out,
     and settle their dispute in single combat.

     “On one side books rustled in the libraries, on the other arms
     rattled in the arsenals; men looked on in hope and fear, and
     waited the end.

     “The Pen, consecrated to truth, was notorious for much falsehood;
     the Sword, a servant of God, was stained with innocent blood:
     both hoped for the aid of heaven, both found its wrath.

     “The State, which had need of both, and disliked the manners of
     both, would put on the appearance of caring for the weal and woe
     of neither. The Pen was weak, but quick, glib, well exercised,
     and very bold, when one provoked it. The Sword was stern,
     implacable, but less compact and subtle, so that on both sides
     the victory remained uncertain. At length for the security of
     both, the common weal pronounced that both in turn should stand
     by her side and bear with each other. For that only is a happy
     country where the Pen and the Sword are faithful servants, not
     where either governs by its arbitrary will and passion.”

     If the touches in this little piece are not always clearly laid
     on, it may be ascribed as much, perhaps, to their having passed
     through two translations, as to the fault of the excellent
     writer. But in this early age we seldom find the entire neatness
     and felicity which later times attained.

                              SECT. II.

                     ON POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.

_Change in the Character of political Writings--Bellenden and
others--Patriarchal Theory refuted by Suarez--Allhusius--Political
Economy of Serra--Hobbes--and Analysis of his political Treatises._

40. The recluse philosopher, who, like Descartes in his country-house
near Utrecht, investigates the properties of quantity, or the
operations of the human mind, while nations are striving for conquest
and factions for ascendancy, hears that tumultuous uproar but as the
dash of the ocean waves at a distance, and it may even serve, like
music that falls upon the poet’s ear, to wake in him some new train of
high thought, or at the least to confirm his love of the absolute and
the eternal, by comparison with the imperfection and error that besets
the world. Such is the serene temple of philosophy, which the Roman
poet has contrasted with the storm and the battle, with the passions
of the great and the many, the perpetual struggle of man against his
fellows. But if he who might dwell on this vantage-ground descends
into the plain, and takes so near a view of the world’s strife, that
he sees it as a whole very imperfectly, while the parts to which he
approaches are magnified beyond their proportion, if, especially, he
mingles with the combat, and shares its hopes and its perils, though
in many respects he may know more than those who keep aloof, he will
lose something of that faculty of equal and comprehensive vision, in
which the philosophical temper consists. Such has very frequently, or
more or less, perhaps, in almost every instance, been the fate of the
writer on general politics; if his pen has not been solely employed
with a view to the questions that engage attention in his own age, it
has generally been guided in a certain degree by regard to them.

|Abandonment of anti-monarchical theories.|

41. In the sixteenth century, we have seen that notions of popular
rights, and of the amissibility of sovereign power for misconduct,
were alternately broached by the two great religious parties of
Europe, according to the necessity in which they stood for such
weapons against their adversaries. Passive obedience was preached as a
duty by the victorious, rebellion was claimed as a right by the
vanquished. The history of France and England, and partly of other
countries, was the clue to these politics. But in the following
period, a more tranquil state of public opinion, and a firmer hand
upon the reigns of power, put an end to such books as those of
Languet, Buchanan, Rose, and Mariana. The last of these, by the
vindication of tyrannicide in his treatise De Rege, contributed to
bring about a reaction in political literature. The Jesuits in France,
whom Henry IV. was inclined to favour, publicly condemned the doctrine
of Mariana in 1606. A book by Becanus, and another by Suarez,
justifying regicide, were condemned by the parliament of Paris, in
1612.[337] The assassination indeed of Henry IV., committed by one,
not perhaps metaphysically speaking sane, but whose aberration of
intellect had evidently been either brought on or nourished by the
pernicious theories of that school, created such an abhorrence of the
doctrine, that neither the Jesuits nor others ventured afterwards to
teach it. Those also who magnified, as far as circumstances would
permit, the alleged supremacy of the See of Rome over temporal
princes, were little inclined to set up, like Mariana, a popular
sovereignty, a right of the multitude not emanating from the Church,
and to which the Church itself might one day be under the necessity of
submitting. This became therefore a period favourable to the theories
of absolute power; not so much shown by means of their positive
assertion through the press as by the silence of the press,
comparatively speaking, on all political theories whatever.

     [337] Mezeray, Hist. de la Mère et du Fils.

|Political literature becomes historical.|

42. The political writings of this part of the seventeenth century
assumed in consequence more of an historical, or, as we might
say, a statistical character. Learning was employed in systematic
analyses of ancient or modern forms of government, in dissertations
explanatory of institutions, in copious and exact statements of the
true, rather than arguments upon the right or the expedient. Some of
the very numerous works of Herman Conringius, a professor at
Helmstadt, seem to fall within this description. But none are better
known than a collection, made by the Elzevirs, at different times near
the middle of this century, containing accounts, chiefly published
before, of the political constitutions of European commonwealths. This
collection, which is in volumes of the smallest size, may be called
for distinction the Elzevir Republics. It is very useful in respect of
the knowledge of facts it imparts, but rarely contains anything of a
philosophical nature. Statistical descriptions of countries are much
allied to these last; some indeed are included in the Elzevir series.
They were as yet not frequent; but I might have mentioned in the last
volume one of the earliest, the Description of the Low Countries by
Ludovico Guicciardini, brother of the historian.

|Bellenden de Statu.|

43. Those, however, were not entirely wanting who took a more
philosophical view of the social relations of mankind. Among these a
very respectable place should be assigned to a Scotsman, by name
Bellenden, whose treatise De Statu, in three books, is dedicated to
Prince Charles in 1615. The first of these books is entitled De Statu
prisci orbis in religione, re politica et literis; the second,
Ciceronis Princeps, sive de statu principis et imperii; the third,
Ciceronis Consul, Senator, Senatusque Romanus, sive de statu
reipublicæ et urbis imperantis orbi. The first two books are, in a
general sense, political; the last relates entirely to the Roman
polity, but builds much political precept on this. Bellenden seems to
have taken a more comprehensive view of history in his first book, and
to have reflected more philosophically on it, than perhaps anyone had
done before; at least I do not remember any work of so early an age
which reminds me so much of Vico and the Grandeur et Decadence of
Montesquieu. We can hardly make an exception for Bodin, because the
Scot is so much more regularly historical, and so much more concise.
The first book contains little more than forty pages. Bellenden’s
learning is considerable and without that pedantry of quotation which
makes most books of the age intolerable. The latter parts have less
originality and reach of thought. This book was reprinted, as is well
known, in 1787; but the celebrated preface of the editor has had the
effect of eclipsing the original author; Parr was constantly read and
talked of, Bellenden never.

|Campanella’s Politics.|

|La Mothe le Vayer.|

44. The Politics of Campanella are warped by a desire to please the
court of Rome, which he recommends as fit to enjoy an universal
monarchy, at least by supreme control, and observes with some
acuteness, that no prince had been able to obtain an universal
ascendant over Christendom, because the presiding vigilance of the
Holy See has regulated their mutual contentions, exalting one and
depressing another, as seemed expedient for the good of religion.[338]
This book is pregnant with deep reflection on history, it is enriched,
perhaps, by the study of Bodin, but is much more concise. In one of
the Dialogues of La Mothe le Vayer, we find the fallacy of some
general maxims in politics drawn from a partial induction well
exposed, by showing the instances where they have wholly failed.
Though he pays high compliments to Louis XIII. and to Richelieu, he
speaks freely enough, in his sceptical way, of the general advantages
of monarchy.

     [338] Nullus hactenus Christianus princeps monarchiam super
     cunctos Christianos populos sibi conservare potuit. Quoniam papa
     præ est illis, et dissipat erigitque illorum conatus prout
     religioni expedit. C. 8.

|Naudé’s Coups d’Etat|

45. Gabriel Naudé, a man of extensive learning, acute understanding,
and many good qualities, but rather lax in religious and moral
principle, excited some attention by a very small volume, entitled
Considerations sur les coups d’état, which he wrote while young, at
Rome, in the service of the Cardinal de Bagne. In this he maintains
the bold contempt of justice and humanity in political emergencies
which had brought disgrace on the Prince of Machiavel, blaming those
who, in his own country, had abandoned the defence of the St.
Bartholomew massacre. The book is in general heavy and not well
written, but coming from a man of cool head, clear judgment and
considerable historical knowledge, it contains some remarks not
unworthy of notice.

|Patriarchal theory of government.|

46. The ancient philosophers, the civil lawyers, and by far the
majority of later writers had derived the origin of government from
some agreement, or tacit consent, of the community. Bodin,
explicitly rejecting this hypothesis, referred it to violent
usurpation. But, in England, about the beginning of the reign of
James, a different theory gained ground with the church; it was
assumed, for it did not admit of proof, that a patriarchal authority
had been transferred by primogeniture to the heir-general of the human
race; so that kingdoms were but enlarged families, and an indefeasible
right of monarchy was attached to their natural chief, which, in
consequence of the impossibility of discovering him, developed upon
the representative of the first sovereign who could be historically
proved to have reigned over any nation. This had not perhaps hitherto
been maintained at length in any published book, but will be found to
have been taken for granted in more than one. It was of course in
favour with James I., who had a very strong hereditary title; and it
might seem to be countenanced by the fact of Highland and Irish
clanship, which does really affect to rest on a patriarchal basis.

|Refuted by Suarez.|

47. This theory as to the origin of political society, or one akin to
it, appears to have been espoused by some on the Continent. Suarez, in
the second book of his great work on law, observes in a remarkable
passage, that certain canonists hold civil magistracy to have been
conferred by God on some prince, and to remain always in his heirs by
succession; but “that such an opinion has neither authority nor
foundation. For this power, by its very nature, belongs to no one man,
but to a multitude of men. This is a certain conclusion, being common
to all our authorities as we find by St. Thomas, by the civil laws,
and by the great canonists and casuists; all of whom agree that the
prince has that power of lawgiving which the people have given him.
And the reason is evident, since all men are born equal, and
consequently no one has a political jurisdiction over another, nor any
dominion; nor can we give any reason from the nature of the thing, why
one man should govern another rather than the contrary. It is true
that one might alledge the primacy which Adam at his creation
necessarily possessed, and hence deduce his government over all men,
and suppose that to be derived by some one, either through
primogenitary descent, or through the special appointment of Adam
himself. Thus Chrysostom has said that the descent of all men from
Adam signifies their subordination to one sovereign. But in fact we
could only infer from the creation and natural origin of mankind that
Adam possessed a domestic or patriarchal (œconomicam), not a political
authority; for he had power over his wife, and afterwards a paternal
power over his sons till they were emancipated; and he might even in
course of time have servants and a complete family, and that power in
respect of them which is called patriarchal. But after families began
to be multiplied, and single men who were heads of families to be
separated, they had each the same power with respect to their own
families. Nor did political power begin to exist till many families
began to be collected into one entire community. Hence, as that
community did not begin by Adam’s creation, nor by any will of his,
but by that of all who formed it, we cannot properly say, that Adam
had naturally a political headship in such a society; for there are no
principles of reason from which this could be inferred, since by the
law of nature it is no right of the progenitor to be even king of his
own posterity. And if this cannot be proved by the principles of
natural law, we have no ground for asserting that God has given such a
power by the special gift of providence, inasmuch as we have no
revelation or scripture testimony to the purpose.[339] So clear,
brief, and dispassionate a refutation might have caused our English
divines, who became very fond of this patriarchal theory, to blush
before the Jesuit of Granada.

     [339] Lib. ii., c. 2, § 3.

|His opinion of law.|

48. Suarez maintains it to be of the essence of a law that it be
exacted for the public good. An unjust law is no law, and does not
bind the conscience.[340] In this he breathes the spirit of Mariana.
But he shuns some of his bolder assertions. He denies the right of
rising in arms against a tyrant, unless he is an usurper; and though
he is strongly for preserving the concession made by the kings of
Spain to their people, that no taxes shall be levied without the
consent of the Cortes, does not agree with those who lay it down as a
general rule, that no prince can impose taxes on his people by his own
will.[341] Suarez asserts the direct power of the church over
heretical princes, but denies it as to infidels.[342] In this last
point, as has been seen, he follows the most respectable authorities
of his nation.

     [340] Lib. i., c. 7, and lib. iii., c. 22.

     [341] Lib. iii., c. 10.

     [342] Lib. v., c. 17.

49. Bayle has taken notice of a systematic treatise on Politics, by
John Althusius, a native of Germany. Of this I have only seen
an edition published at Groningen in 1615, and dedicated to the states
of West Friesland. It seems, however, from the article in Bayle, that
there was one printed at Herborn in 1603. Several German writers
inveigh against this work as full of seditious principles, inimical to
every government. It is a political system, taken chiefly from
preceding authors, and very freely from Bodin; with great learning,
but not very profitable to read. The ephori, as he calls them, by
which he means the estates of a kingdom, have the right to resist a
tyrant. But this right he denies to the private citizen. His chapter
on this subject is written more in the tone of the sixteenth than of
the seventeenth century, which indeed had scarcely commenced.[343] He
answers in it Albericus Gentilis, Barclay and others who had contended
for passive obedience, not failing to draw support from the canonists
and civilians whom he quotes. But the strongest passage is in his
dedication to the States of Friesland. Here he declares his principle,
that the supreme power or sovereignty (jus majestatis) does not reside
in the chief magistrate, but in the people themselves, and that no
other is proprietor or usufructuary of it, the magistrate being the
administrator of this supreme power, but not its owner, nor entitled
to use it for his benefit. And these rights of sovereignty are so much
confined to the whole community, that they can no more alienate them
to another, whether they will or not, than a man can transfer his own

     [343] Cap. 38. De tyrannide et ejus remediis.

     [344] Administratorem, procuratorem, gubernatorem jurium
     majestatis, principem agnosco. Proprietarium vero et
     usufructuarium majestatis nullum alium quam populum universum in
     corpus unum symbioticum ex pluribus minoribus consociationibus
     consociatum, &c.

50. Few, even among the Calvinists, whose form of government was in
some cases republican, would in the seventeenth century have approved
this strong language of Althusius. But one of their noted theologians,
Paræus, incurred the censure of the university of Oxford in 1623, for
some passages in his commentary on the Epistle to the Romans which
seemed to impugn their orthodox tenet of unlimited submission. He
merely holds that subjects, when not private men but inferior
magistrates, may defend themselves and the state and the true religion
even by arms against the sovereign under certain conditions; because,
these superior magistrates are themselves responsible to the laws of
God and of the state.[345] It was, in truth, impossible to deny the
right of resistance in such cases without “branding the unsmirched
brow” of protestantism itself; for by what other means had the
reformed religion been made to flourish in Holland and Geneva, or in
Scotland? But in England, where it had been planted under a more
auspicious star, there was little occasion to seek this vindication of
the protestant church, which had not, in the legal phrase, come in by
disseizin of the state, but had united with the state to turn out of
doors its predecessor. That the Anglican refugees under Mary were ripe
enough for resistance, or even regicide, has been seen in the last
volume by an extract from one of their most distinguished prelates.

     [345] Subditi non privati, sed in magistratu inferiori constituti
     adversus superiorem magistratum se et rempublicam et ecclesiam
     seu veram religionem etiam armis defendere jure possunt, his
     positis conditionibus: 1. Cum superior magistratus degenerat in
     tyrannum; 2. Aut ad manifestam idololatriam atque blasphemias
     ipsos vel subditos alios vult cogere; 3. Cum ipsis atrox infertur
     injuria; 4. Si aliter incolumes fortunis vita et conscientia esse
     non possint; 5. Ne prætextu religionis aut justitiæ sua quærant;
     6. Servata semper επιεικειᾳ [epieikeia] et moderamine inculpatæ
     tutelæ juxta leges. Paræus in Epist. ad Roman, col. 1350.


|Political œconomy.|

51. Bacon ought to appear as a prominent name in political philosophy,
if we had never met with it in any other. But we have anticipated much
of his praise on this score; and it is sufficient to repeat generally
that on such subjects he is among the most sagacious of mankind. It
would be almost ridiculous to descend from Bacon, even when his giant
shadow does but pass over our scene, to the feebler class of political
moralists, such as Saavedra, author of Idea di un principe politico, a
wretched effort of Spain in her degeneracy; but an Italian writer must
not be neglected, from the remarkable circumstance that he is esteemed
one of the first who have treated the science of political œconomy. It
must, however, be understood that, besides what may be found on the
subject in the ancients, many valuable observations which must be
referred to political œconomy occur in Bodin, that the Italians had,
in the sixteenth century, a few tracts on coinage, that Botero touches
some points of the science, and that in English there were, during the
same age, pamphlets on public wealth, especially one entitled,
A Brief Conceit of English Policy.[346]

     [346] This bears the initials of W. S., which some have
     idiotically taken for William Shakspeare. I have some reason to
     believe, that there was an edition considerably earlier than that
     of 1584, but, from circumstances unnecessary to mention, cannot
     produce the manuscript authority on which this opinion is
     founded. It has been reprinted more than once, if I mistake not,
     in modern times.

|Serra on the means of obtaining money without mines.|

52. The author to whom we allude is Antonio Serra, a native of
Cosenza, whose short treatise on the causes which may render gold and
silver abundant in countries that have no mines, is dedicated to the
Count de Lemos, “from the prison of Vicaria this tenth day of July,
1613.” It has hence been inferred, but without a shadow of proof, that
Serra had been engaged in the conspiracy of his fellow citizen
Campanella fourteen years before. The dedication is in a tone of great
flattery, but has no allusion to the cause of his imprisonment, which
might have been any other. He proposes, in his preface, not to discuss
political government in general, of which he thinks that the ancients
have treated sufficiently, if we well understood their works, and
still less to speak of justice and injustice, the civil law being
enough for this, but merely of what are the causes that render a
country destitute of mines abundant in gold and silver, which no one
has ever considered, though some have taken narrow views, and fancied
that a low rate of exchange is the sole means of enriching a country.

|His causes of wealth.|

53. In the first part of this treatise, Serra divides the causes of
wealth, that is, of abundance of money, into general and particular
accidents (accidenti communi e proprj), meaning by the former
circumstances which may exist in any country, by the latter such as
are peculiar to some. The common accidents are four: abundance of
manufactures, character of the inhabitants, extent of commerce, and
wisdom of government. The peculiar are, chiefly, the fertility of the
soil, and convenience of geographical position. Serra prefers
manufacture to agriculture; one of his reasons is their indefinite
capacity of multiplication; for no man whose land is fully cultivated
by sowing a hundred bushels of wheat, can sow with profit a hundred
and fifty; but in manufactures he may not only double the produce, but
do this a hundred times over, and that with less proportion of
expense. Though this is now evident, it is perhaps what had not been
much remarked before.

|His praise of Venice.|

54. Venice, according to Serra, held the first place as a commercial
city, not only in Italy, but Europe; “for experience demonstrates that
all the merchandizes which come from Asia to Europe pass through
Venice and thence are distributed to other parts.” But as this must
evidently exclude all the traffic by the Cape of Good Hope, we can
only understand Serra to mean the trade with the Levant. It is,
however, worthy of observation, that we are apt to fall into a vulgar
error in supposing that Venice was crushed, or even materially
affected, as a commercial city, by the discoveries of the Portuguese.
She was in fact more opulent, as her buildings of themselves may
prove, in the sixteenth century than in any preceding age. The French
trade from Marseilles to the Levant, which began later to flourish,
was what impoverished Venice, rather than that of Portugal with the
East Indies. This republic was the perpetual theme of admiration with
the Italians. Serra compares Naples with Venice; one, he says, exports
grain to a vast amount, the other imports its whole subsistence; money
is valued higher at Naples, so that there is a profit in bringing it
in, its export is forbidden; at Venice it is free; at Naples the
public revenues are expended in the kingdom; at Venice they are
principally hoarded. Yet Naples is poor and Venice rich. Such is the
effect of her commerce and of the wisdom of her government, which is
always uniform, while in kingdoms, and far more in vice-royalties, the
system changes with the persons. In Venice the method of choosing
magistrates is in such perfection, that no one can come in by
corruption or favour, nor can any one rise to high offices who has not
been tried in the lower.

|Low rate of exchange not essential to wealth.|

55. All causes of wealth, except those he has enumerated, Serra holds
to be subaltern or temporary; thus the low rate of exchange is subject
to the common accidents of commerce. It seems, however, to have been a
theory of superficial reasoners on public wealth, that it depended on
the exchanges far more than is really the case; and in the second part
of this treatise Serra opposes a particular writer, named De Santis,
who had accounted in this way alone for abundance of money in a state.
Serra thinks that to reduce the weight of coin may sometimes
be an allowable expedient, and better than to raise its denomination.
The difference seems not very important. The coin of Naples was
exhausted by the revenues of absentee proprietors, which some had
proposed to withhold: a measure to which Serra justly objects. This
book has been reprinted at Milan in the collection of Italian
œconomists, and as it anticipates the principles of what has been
called the mercantile theory, deserves some attention in following the
progress of opinion. The once celebrated treatise of Mun, England’s
Treasure by Foreign Trade, is supposed to have been written before
1640; but as it was not published till after the Restoration, we may
postpone it to the next period.

|Hobbes.--His political works.|

56. Last in time among political philosophers before the middle of the
century we find the greatest and most famous, Thomas Hobbes. His
treatise De Cive was printed in 1642 for his private friends. It
obtained however a considerable circulation and excited some
animadversion. In 1647, he published it at Amsterdam with notes to
vindicate and explain what had been censured. In 1650 an English
treatise, with the Latin title, De Corpore Politico, appeared; and in
1651 the complete system of his philosophy was given to the world in
the Leviathan. These three works bear somewhat the same relation to
one another as the Advancement of Learning does to the treatise de
Augmentis Scientiarum; they are in effect the same; the same order of
subjects, the same arguments, and in most places either the same words
or such variances as occurred to the second thoughts of the writer;
but much is more copiously illustrated and more clearly put in the
latter than in the former; while much also, from whatever cause, is
withdrawn or considerably modified. Whether the Leviathan is to be
reckoned so exclusively his last thoughts that we should presume him
to have retracted the passages that do not appear in it, is what every
one must determine for himself. I shall endeavour to present a
comparative analysis of the three treatises, with some preference to
the last.

|Analysis of his three treatises.|

57. Those, he begins by observing, who have hitherto written upon
civil polity have assumed that man is an animal framed for society; as
if nothing else were required for the institution of commonwealths
than that men should agree upon some terms of compact which they call
laws. But this is entirely false. That men do naturally seek each
other’s society, he admits in a note on the published edition of De
Cive; but political societies are not mere meetings of men, but unions
founded on the faith of covenants. Nor does the desire of men for
society imply that they are fit for it. Many may desire it who will
not readily submit to its necessary conditions.[347] This he left out
in the two other treatises, thinking it, perhaps, too great a
concession to admit any desire of society in man.

     [347] Societates autem civiles non sunt meri congressus, sed
     fœdera, quibus faciendis fides et pacta necessaria sunt.... Alia
     res est appetere, alia esse capacem. Appetunt enim illi qui tamen
     conditiones æquas, sine quibus societas esse non potest, accipere
     per superbiam non dignantur.

58. Nature has made little odds among men of mature age as to strength
or knowledge. No reason, therefore, can be given why one should by any
intrinsic superiority command others, or possess more than they. But
there is a great difference in their passions; some through vain glory
seeking pre-eminence over their fellows, some willing to allow
equality, but not to lose what they know to be good for themselves.
And this contest can only be decided by battle, showing which is the

59. All men desire to obtain good and to avoid evil, especially death.
Hence, they have a natural right to preserve their own lives and
limbs, and to use all means necessary for this end. Every man is judge
for himself of the necessity of the means, and the greatness of the
danger. And hence, he has a right by nature to all things, to do what
he wills to others, to possess and enjoy all he can. For he is the
only judge whether they tend or not to his preservation. But every
other man has the same right. Hence, there can be no injury towards
another in a state of nature. Not that in such a state a man may not
sin against God, or transgress the laws of nature.[348] But injury,
which is doing anything without right, implies human laws that limit

     [348] Non quod in tali statu peccare in Deum, aut leges naturales
     violare impossibile sit. Nam injustitia erga homines supponit
     leges humanas, quales in statu naturali nullæ sunt. De Cive, c.
     1. This he left out in the later treatises. He says afterwards
     (sect. 28), omne damnum homini illatum legis naturalis violatio
     atque in Deum injuria est.

60. Thus the state of man in natural liberty is a state of war, a war
of every man against every man, wherein the notions of right and
wrong, justice and injustice have no place. Irresistible might
gives of itself right, which is nothing but the physical liberty of
using our power as we will for our own preservation and what we deem
conducive to it. But as, through the equality of natural powers, no
man possesses this irresistible superiority, this state of universal
war is contrary to his own good which he necessarily must desire.
Hence, his reason dictates that he should seek peace as far as he can,
and strengthen himself by all the helps of war against those with whom
he cannot have peace. This, then, is the first fundamental law of
nature. For a law of nature is nothing else than a rule or precept
found out by reason for the avoiding what may be destructive to our

61. From this primary rule another follows, that a man should be
willing, when others are so too, as far forth as for peace and defence
of himself he shall think it necessary, to lay down his right to all
things, and to be contented with so much liberty against other men, as
he would allow to other men against himself. This may be done by
renouncing his right to anything, which leaves it open to all, or by
transferring it specially to another. Some rights indeed, as those to
his life and limbs, are inalienable, and no man lays down the right of
resisting those who attack them. But, in general, he is bound not to
hinder those to whom he has granted or abandoned his own right, from
availing themselves of it; and such hindrance is injustice or injury;
that is, it is _sine jure_, his _jus_ being already gone.
Such injury may be compared to absurdity in argument, being in
contradiction to what he has already done, as an absurd proposition is
in contradiction to what the speaker has already allowed.

62. The next law of nature, according to Hobbes, is that men should
fulfil their covenants. What contracts and covenants are, he explains
in the usual manner. None can covenant with God, unless by special
revelation; therefore, vows are not binding, nor do oaths add anything
to the swearer’s obligation. But covenants entered into by fear he
holds to be binding in a state of nature, though they may be annulled
by the law. That the observance of justice, that is, of our covenants,
is never against reason, Hobbes labours to prove, for if ever its
violation may have turned out successful, this being contrary to
probable expectation ought not to influence us. “That which gives to
human actions the relish of justice, is a certain nobleness or
gallantness of courage rarely found; by which a man scorns to be
beholden for the contentment of his life to fraud or breach of
promise.”[349] A short gleam of something above the creeping
selfishness of his ordinary morality!

     [349] Leviathan, c. 15.

63. He then enumerates many other laws of nature, such as gratitude,
complaisance, equity, all subordinate to the main one of preserving
peace, by the limitation of the natural right, as he supposes, to
usurp all. These laws are immutable and eternal; the science of them
is the only true science of moral philosophy. For that is nothing but
the science of what is good and evil in the conversation and society
of mankind. In a state of nature private appetite is the measure of
good and evil. But all men agree that peace is good, and therefore the
means of peace, which are the moral virtues or laws of nature, are
good also, and their contraries evil. These laws of nature are not
properly called such, but conclusions of reason as to what should be
done or abstained from; they are but theorems concerning what conduces
to conservation and defence; whereas, law is strictly the word of him
that by right has command over others. But so far as these are enacted
by God in Scripture, they are truly laws.

64. These laws of nature, being contrary to our natural passions, are
but words of no strength to secure any one without a controlling
power. For till such a power is erected, every man will rely on his
own force and skill. Nor will the conjunction of a few men or families
be sufficient for security, nor that of a great multitude guided by
their own particular judgments and appetites. “For if we could suppose
a great multitude of men to consent in the observation of justice and
other laws of nature without a common power to keep them all in awe,
we might as well suppose all mankind to do the same, and then there
neither would be, nor need to be, any civil government or commonwealth
at all, because there would be peace without subjection.”[350] Hence,
it becomes necessary to confer all their power on one man, or assembly
of men, to bear their person or represent them; so that every one
shall own himself author of what shall be done by such representative.
It is a covenant of each with each, that he will be governed in such a
manner, if the other will agree to the same. This is the generation of
the great Leviathan, or mortal God, to whom, under the immortal God,
we owe our peace and defence. In him consists the essence of
the commonwealth, which is one person, of whose acts a great multitude
by mutual covenant have made themselves the authors.

     [350] Lev., c. 17.

65. This person (including of course an assembly as well as
individual) is the sovereign, and possesses sovereign power. And such
power may spring from agreement or from force. A commonwealth by
agreement or institution is when a multitude do agree and covenant one
with another that whatever the major part shall agree to represent
them, shall be the representative of them all. After this has been
done, the subjects cannot change their government without its consent,
being bound by mutual covenant to own its actions. If any one man
should dissent, the rest would break their covenant with him. But
there is no covenant with the sovereign. He cannot have covenanted
with the whole multitude, as one party, because it has no collective
existence till the commonwealth is formed; nor with each man
separately, because the acts of the sovereign are no longer his sole
acts, but those of the society, including him who would complain of
the breach. Nor can the sovereign act unjustly towards a subject; for
he who acts by another’s authority cannot be guilty of injustice
towards him; he may, it is true, commit iniquity, that is, violate the
laws of God and nature, but not injury.

66. The sovereign is necessarily judge of all proper means of defence,
of what doctrines shall be taught, of all disputes and complaints, of
rewards and punishments, of war and peace with neighbouring
commonwealths, and even of what shall be held by each subject in
property. Property, he admits in one place, existed in families before
the institution of civil society; but between different families there
was no meum and tuum. These are by the law and command of the
sovereign; and hence, though every subject may have a right of
property against his fellow, he can have none against the sovereign.
These rights are incommunicable, and inseparable from the sovereign
power; there are others of minor importance, which he may alienate;
but if anyone of the former is taken away from him he ceases to be
truly sovereign.

67. The sovereign power cannot be limited nor divided. Hence, there
can be but three simple forms of commonwealth; monarchy, aristocracy,
and democracy. The first he greatly prefers. The king has no private
interest apart from the people, whose wealth, honour, security from
enemies, internal tranquility, are evidently for his own good. But in
the other forms each man may have a private advantage to seek. In
popular assemblies, there is always an aristocracy of orators,
interrupted sometimes by the temporary monarchy of one orator. And
though a king may deprive a man of all he possesses to enrich a
flatterer or favourite, so may also a democratic assembly, where there
may be as many Neros as orators, each with the whole power of the
people he governs. And these orators are usually more powerful to hurt
others than to save them. A king may receive counsel of whom he will,
an assembly from those only who have a right to belong to it, nor can
their counsel be secret. They are also more inconstant both from
passion and from their numbers; the absence of a few often undoing all
that had been done before. A king cannot disagree with himself, but an
assembly may do so, even to producing civil war.

68. An elective or limited king is not the sovereign, but the
sovereign’s minister; nor can there be a perfect form of government,
where the present ruler has not power to dispose of the succession.
His power, therefore, is wholly without bounds, and correlative must
be the people’s obligation to obey. Unquestionably there are risks of
mischiefs and inconveniences attending a monarchy; but these are less
than in the other forms; and the worst of them is not comparable to
those of civil war, or the anarchy of a state of nature, to which the
dissolution of the commonwealth would reduce us.

69. In the exercise of government the sovereign is to be guided by one
maxim, which contains all his duty: Salus populi suprema lex. And in
this is to be reckoned not only the conservation of life, but all that
renders it happy. For this is the end for which men entered into civil
society, that they might enjoy as much happiness as human nature can
attain. It would be, therefore, a violation of the law of nature, and
of the trust reposed in them, if sovereigns did not study, as far as
by their power it may be, that their subjects should be furnished with
everything necessary, not for life alone but for the delights of life.
And even those who have acquired empire by conquest must desire to
have men fit to serve them, and should, in consistency with their own
aims, endeavour to provide what will increase their strength and
courage. Taxes, in the opinion of Hobbes, should be laid
equally, and rather on expenditure than on revenue; the prince should
promote agriculture, fisheries, and commerce, and in general whatever
makes men happy and prosperous. Many just reflections on the art of
government are uttered by Hobbes, especially as to the inexpediency of
interfering too much with personal liberty. No man, he observes in
another place, is so far free as to be exempted from the sovereign
power; but if liberty consists in the paucity of restraining laws, he
sees not why this may not be had in monarchy as well as in a popular
government. The dream of so many political writers, a wise and just
despotism, is pictured by Hobbes as the perfection of political

70. But, most of all, is the sovereign to be without limit by the
power of the priesthood. This is chiefly to be dreaded, that he should
command anything under the penalty of death, and the clergy forbid it
under the penalty of damnation. The pretensions of the See of Rome, of
some bishops at home, and those of even the lowest citizens to judge
for themselves and determine upon public religion, are dangerous to
the state and the frequent cause of wars. The sovereign, therefore, is
alone to judge whether religions are safely to be admitted or not. And
it may be urged, that princes are bound to cause such doctrine as they
think conducive to their subject’s salvation to be taught, forbidding
every other, and that they cannot do otherwise in conscience. This,
however, he does not absolutely determine. But he is clearly of
opinion that, though it is not the case where the prince is
infidel,[351] the head of the state, in a Christian commonwealth, is
head also of the church; that he, rather than any ecclesiastics, is
the judge of doctrines; that a church is the same as a commonwealth
under the same sovereign, the component members of each being
precisely the same. This is not very far removed from the doctrine of
Hooker, and still less from the practice of Henry VIII.

     [351] Imperantibus autem non Christianis in temporalibus quidem
     omnibus eandem deberi obedientiam etiam a cive Christiano extra
     controversiam est: in spiritualibus vero, hoc est, in iis quæ
     pertinent ad modum colendi Dei Sequenda est ecclesia aliqua
     Christianorum. De Cive, c. 18, § 3.

71. The second class of commonwealths, those by forcible acquisition,
differ more in origin than in their subsequent character from such as
he has been discussing. The rights of sovereignty are the same in
both. Dominion is acquired by generation or by conquest; the one
parental, the other despotical. Parental power, however, he derives
not so much from having given birth to, as from having preserved, the
child, and, with originality and acuteness, thinks it belongs by
nature to the mother rather than to the father, except where there is
some contract between the parties to the contrary. The act of
maintenance and nourishment conveys, as he supposes, an unlimited
power over the child, extending to life and death, and there can be no
state of nature between parent and child. In his notion of patriarchal
authority he seems to go as far as Filmer; but, more acute than
Filmer, perceives that it affords no firm basis for political society.
By conquest and sparing the lives of the vanquished they become
slaves; and so long as they are held in bodily confinement, there is
no covenant between them and their master; but in obtaining corporal
liberty they expressly or tacitly covenant to obey him as their lord
and sovereign.

72. The political philosophy of Hobbes had much to fix the attention
of the world and to create a sect of admiring partizans. The
circumstances of the time, and the character of the passing
generation, no doubt powerfully conspired with its intrinsic
qualities; but a system so original, so intrepid, so disdainful of any
appeal but to the common reason and common interests of mankind, so
unaffectedly and perspicuously proposed, could at no time have failed
of success. From the two rival theories; on the one hand, that of
original compact between the prince and people, derived from
antiquity, and sanctioned by the authority of fathers and schoolmen;
on the other, that of an absolute patriarchal transmuted into an
absolute regal power, which had become prevalent among part of the
English clergy, Hobbes took as much as might conciliate a hearing from
both, an original covenant of the multitude, and an unlimited
authority of the sovereign. But he had a substantial advantage over
both these parties, and especially the latter, in establishing the
happiness of the community as the sole final cause of government, both
in its institution and its continuance; the great fundamental theorem
upon which all political science depends, but sometimes obscured or
lost in the pedantry of theoretical writers.

73. In the positive system of Hobbes we find less cause for praise. We
fall in at the very outset with a strange and indefensible
paradox; the natural equality of human capacities, which he seems to
have adopted rather in opposition to Aristotle’s notion of a natural
right in some men to govern, founded on their superior qualities, than
because it was at all requisite for his own theory. By extending this
alledged equality, or slightness of difference, among men to physical
strength, he has more evidently shown its incompatibility with
experience. If superiority in mere strength has not often been the
source of political power it is for two reasons: first, because,
though there is a vast interval between the strongest man and the
weakest, there is generally not much between the former and him who
comes next in vigour; and secondly, because physical strength is
multiplied by the aggregation of individuals, so that the stronger few
may be overpowered by the weaker many; while in mental capacity,
comprehending acquired skill and habit as well as natural genius and
disposition, both the degrees of excellence are removed by a wider
distance, and what is still more important, the aggregation of
individual powers does not regularly and certainly augment the value
of the whole. That the real or acknowledged superiority of one man to
his fellows has been the ordinary source of power is sufficiently
evident from what we daily see among children, and must, it should
seem, be admitted by all who derive civil authority from choice or
even from conquest, and therefore is to be inferred from the very
system of Hobbes.

74. That a state of nature is a state of war, that men, or at least a
very large proportion of men, employ force of every kind in seizing to
themselves what is in the possession of others is a proposition for
which Hobbes incurred as much obloquy as for anyone in his writings;
yet it is one not easy to controvert. But soon after the publication
of the Leviathan, a dislike of the Calvinistic scheme of universal
depravity as well as of his own, led many considerable men into the
opposite extreme of elevating too much the dignity of human nature, if
by that term they meant, and in no other sense could it be applicable
to this question, the real practical character of the majority of the
species. Certainly, the sociableness of man is as much a part of his
nature as his selfishness; but whether this propensity to society
would necessarily or naturally have led to the institution of
political communities, may not be very clear; while we have proof
enough in historical traditions and in what we observe of savage
nations, that mutual defence by mutual concession, the common
agreement not to attack the possessions of each other, or to permit
strangers to do so, has been the true basis, the final aim, of those
institutions, be they more or less complex, to which we give the
appellation of commonwealths.

75. In developing, therefore, the origin of civil society, Hobbes,
though not essentially differing from his predecessors, has placed the
truth in a fuller light. It does not seem equally clear, that his own
theory of a mutual covenant between the members of an unanimous
multitude to become one people and to be represented, in all time to
come, by such a sovereign government as the majority should determine,
affords a satisfactory groundwork for the rights of political society.
It is, in the first place, too hypothetical as a fact. That such an
agreement may have been sometimes made by independent families, in the
first coming together of communities, it would be presumptuous to
deny--it carries upon the face of it no improbability except as to the
design of binding posterity, which seems too refined for such a state
of mankind as we must suppose; but it is surely possible to account
for the general fact of civil government in a simpler way; and what is
most simple, though not always true, is on the first appearance most
probable. If we merely suppose an agreement, unanimous, of course, in
those who concur in it, to be governed by one man, or by one council
promising that they shall wield the force of the whole against anyone
who shall contravene their commands issued for the public good, the
foundation is as well laid, and the commonwealth as firmly
established, as by the double process of a mutual covenant to
constitute a people, and a popular determination to constitute a
government. It is true that Hobbes distinguishes a commonwealth by
institution, which he supposes to be founded on this unanimous
consent, from one by acquisition, for which force alone is required.
But as the force of one man goes but a little way towards compelling
the obedience of others, so as to gain the name of sovereign power,
unless it is aided by the force of many who voluntarily conspire to
its ends, this sort of commonwealth by conquest will be found to
involve the previous institution of the more peaceable kind.

76. This theory of a mutual covenant is defective also in a most
essential point. It furnishes no adequate basis for any
commonwealth beyond the lives of those who established it. The right
indeed of men to bind their children and through them a late posterity
is sometimes asserted by Hobbes, but in a very transient manner, and
as if he was aware of the weakness of his ground. It might be inquired
whether the force on which alone he rests the obligation of children
to obey, can give any right beyond its own continuance; whether the
absurdity he imputes to those who do not stand by their own
engagements is imputable to such as disregard the covenants of their
forefathers; whether, in short, any law of nature requires our
obedience to a government we deem hurtful, because in a distant age, a
multitude whom we cannot trace bestowed unlimited power on some
unknown persons from whom that government pretends to derive its

77. A better ground for the subsisting rights of his Leviathan, is
sometimes suggested, though faintly, by Hobbes himself. “If one refuse
to stand to what the major part shall ordain, or make protestation
against any of their decrees, he does contrary to his covenant, and
therefore unjustly: and whether he be of the congregation or not,
whether his consent be asked or not, he must either submit to their
decrees, or be left in the condition of war he was in before, wherein
he might without injustice be destroyed by any man whatsoever.”[352]
This renewal of the state of war which is the state of nature, this
denial of the possibility of doing an injury to anyone who does not
obey the laws of the commonwealth, is enough to silence the question
why we are obliged still to obey. The established government and those
who maintain it, being strong enough to wage war against gainsayers,
give them the option of incurring the consequences of such warfare, or
of complying with the laws. But it seems to be a corollary from this,
that the stronger part of a commonwealth, which may not always be the
majority, have not only a right to despise the wishes but the
interests of dissentients. Thus, the more we scrutinize the theories
of Hobbes, the more there appears a deficiency of that which only a
higher tone of moral sentiment can give, a security against the
appetites of others, and for them against our own. But it may be
remarked that his supposition of a state of war, not as a permanent
state of nature, but as just self-defence, is perhaps the best footing
on which we can place the right to inflict severe, and especially
capital, punishment upon offenders against the law.

     [352] Lev., c. 18.

78. The positions so dogmatically laid down as to the impossibility of
mixing different sorts of government were, even in the days of Hobbes,
contradicted by experience. Several republics had lasted for ages
under a mixed aristocracy and democracy; and there had surely been
sufficient evidence that a limited monarchy might exist, though, in
the revolution of ages, it might one way or other, pass into some new
type of polity. And these prejudices in favour of absolute power are
rendered more dangerous by paradoxes unusual from an Englishman, even
in those days of high prerogative when Hobbes began to write, that the
subject has no property relatively to the sovereign, and, what is the
fundamental error of his whole system, that nothing done by the prince
can be injurious to any one else. This is accompanied by the other
portents of Hobbism, scattered through these treatises, especially the
Leviathan, that the distinctions of right and wrong, moral good and
evil, are made by the laws, that no man can do amiss who obeys the
sovereign authority, that though private belief is of necessity beyond
the prince’s control, it is according to his will, and in no other
way, that we must worship God.

79. The political system of Hobbes, like his moral system, of which,
in fact, it is only a portion, sears up the heart. It takes away the
sense of wrong, that has consoled the wise and good in their dangers,
the proud appeal of innocence under oppression, like that of
Prometheus to the elements, uttered to the witnessing world, to coming
ages, to the just ear of Heaven. It confounds the principles of moral
approbation, the notions of good and ill desert, in a servile idolatry
of the monstrous Leviathan it creates, and after sacrificing all right
at the altar of power, denies to the Omnipotent the prerogative of
dictating the laws of his own worship.

                            SECT. III.

_Roman Jurisprudence--Grotius on the Laws of War and Peace--Analysis
of this Work--Defence of it against some Strictures._

|Civil jurists of this period.|

80. In the Roman jurisprudence we do not find such a cluster of
eminent men during this period as in the sixteenth century; and it
would of course be out of our province to search for names
little now remembered, perhaps, even in forensic practice. Many of the
writings of Fabre of Savoy, who has been mentioned in the last volume,
belong to the first years of this century. Farinacci, or Farinaceus, a
lawyer of Rome, obtained a celebrity, which, after a long duration,
has given way in the progress of legal studies, less directed than
formerly towards a superfluous erudition.[353] But the work of
Menochius de præsumptionibus, or, as we should say, on the rules of
evidence, is said to have lost none of its usefulness, even since the
decline of the civil law in France.[354] No book, perhaps, belonging
to this period is so generally known as the commentaries of Vinnius on
the Institutes, which, as far as I know, has not been superseded by
any of later date. Conringius of Helmstadt may be reckoned in some
measure among the writers on jurisprudence, though chiefly in the line
of historical illustration. The Elementa Juris Civilis, by Zouch, is a
mere epitome, but neatly executed, of the principal heads of the Roman
law, and nearly in its own words. Arthur Duck, another Englishman, has
been praised even by foreigners, for a succinct and learned, though
elementary and popular, treatise on the use and authority of the civil
law in different countries of Europe. This little book is not
disagreeably written; but it is not of course, from England that much
could be contributed towards Roman jurisprudence.

     [353] Biogr. Univ.

     [354] Id.

|Suarez on laws.|

81. The larger principles of jurisprudence, which link that science
with general morals, and especially such as relate to the intercourse
of nations, were not left untouched in the great work of Suarez on
laws. I have not, however, made myself particularly acquainted with
this portion of his large volume. Spain appears to have been the
country in which these questions were originally discussed upon
principles broader than precedent, as well as upon precedents
themselves; and Suarez, from the general comprehensiveness of his
views in legislation and ethics, is likely to have said well whatever
he may have said on the subject of international law. It does not
appear however that he is much quoted by later writers.

|Grotius De Jure Belli et Pacis.|

82. The name of Suarez is obscure in comparison of one who soon came
forward in the great field of natural jurisprudence. This was Hugo
Grotius, whose famous work, De Jure Belli et Pacis, was published at
Paris in 1625. It may be reckoned a proof of the extraordinary
diligence as well as quickness of parts which distinguished this
writer, that it had occupied a very short part of his life. He first
mentions, in a letter to the younger Thuanus, in August, 1623, that he
was employed in examining the principal questions which belong to the
law of nations.[355] In the same year he recommends the study of that
law to another of his correspondents in such terms as bespeak his own
attention to it.[356] According to one of his letters to Gassendi,
quoted by Stewart, the scheme was suggested to him by Peiresc.

     [355] Versor in examinandis controversiis præcipuis quæ ad jus
     gentium pertinent. Epist. 75. This is not from the folio
     collection of his epistles, so often quoted in the second chapter
     of this volume, but from one antecedently published in 1648, and
     entitled Grotii Epistolæ ad Gallos.

     [356] Hoc spatio exacto, nihil restat quod tibi æque commendem
     atque studium juris, non illius privati, ex quo leguleii et
     rabulæ victitant, sed gentium ac publici; quam præstabilem
     scientiam Cicero vocans consistere ait in fœderibus, pactionibus
     conditionibus populorum, regum, nationum, in omni denique jure
     belli et pacis. Hujus juris principia quomodo ex morali
     philosophia petenda sunt, monstrare poterunt Platonis ac
     Ciceronis de legibus liber. Sed Platonis summas aliquas legisse
     suffecerit. Neque pœniteat ex scholasticis Thomam Aquinatem, si
     non perlegere, saltem inspicere secunda parte secundæ partis
     libri, quem Summam Theologiæ inscripsit; præsertim ubi de
     justitia agit ac de legibus. Usum propius monstrabunt Pandectæ,
     libro primo atque ultimo; et codex Justinianeus, libro primo et
     tribus postremis. Nostri temporis juris consulti pauci juris
     gentium ac publici controversias attigere, eoque magis eminent,
     qui id fecere, Vasquius, Hottomannus, Gentilis. Epist. xvi. This
     passage is useful in showing the views Grotius himself
     entertained as to the subject and groundwork of his treatise.

|Success of this work.|

83. It is acknowledged by every one that the publication of this
treatise made an epoch in the philosophical and almost we might say in
the political history of Europe. Those who sought a guide to their own
conscience or that of others, those who dispensed justice, those who
appealed to the public sense of right in the intercourse of nations,
had recourse to its copious pages for what might direct or justify
their actions. Within thirty or forty years from its publication, we
find the work of Grotius generally received as authority by professors
of the continental universities, and deemed necessary for the student
of civil law, at least in the protestant countries of Europe.
In England, from the difference of laws and from some other causes
which might be assigned, the influence of Grotius was far slower, and
even ultimately much less general. He was, however, treated with great
respect as the founder of the modern law of nations, which is
distinguished from what formerly bore that name by its more continual
reference to that of nature. But when a book is little read it is
easily misrepresented; and as a new school of philosophers rose up,
averse to much of the principles of their predecessors, but, above all
things, to their tediousness, it became the fashion not so much to
dispute the tenets of Grotius, as to set aside his whole work, among
the barbarous and obsolete schemes of ignorant ages. For this purpose
various charges have been alledged against it by men of deserved
eminence, not, in my opinion, very candidly, or with much real
knowledge of its contents. They have had, however, the natural effect
of creating a prejudice, which, from the sort of oblivion fallen upon
the book, is not likely to die away. I shall, therefore, not think
myself performing an useless task in giving an analysis of the
treatise De Jure Belli et Pacis; so that the reader, having seen for
himself what it is, may not stand in need of any arguments or
testimony to refute those who have represented it as it is not.

|Its originality.|

84. The book may be considered as nearly original, in its general
platform, as any work of man in an advanced stage of civilization and
learning can be. It is more so, perhaps, than those of Montesquieu and
Smith. No one had before gone to the foundations of international law
so as to raise a complete and consistent superstructure; few had
handled even separate parts, or laid down any satisfactory rules
concerning it. Grotius enumerates a few preceding writers, especially
Ayala and Albericus Gentilis, but does not mention Soto in this place.
Gentilis, he says, is wont in determining controverted questions to
follow either a few precedents not always of the best description, or
even the authority of modern lawyers in their answers to cases, many
of which are written with more regard to what the consulting parties
desire, than to what real justice and equity demand.

|Its motive and object.|

85. The motive assigned for this undertaking is the noblest. “I saw,”
he says, “in the whole Christian world a licence of fighting, at which
even barbarians might blush, wars begun on trifling pretexts or none
at all, and carried on without reverence for any divine or human law,
as if that one declaration of war let loose every crime.” The sight of
such a monstrous state of things had induced some, like Erasmus, to
deny the lawfulness of any war to a christian. But this extreme, as he
justly observes, is rather pernicious than otherwise; for when a tenet
so paradoxical and impracticable is maintained, it begets a prejudice
against the more temperate course which he prepares to indicate. “Let,
therefore,” he says afterwards, “the laws be silent in the midst of
arms; but those laws only which belong to peace, the laws of civil
life and public tribunals, not such as are eternal, and fitted for all
seasons, unwritten laws of nature, which subsist in what the ancient
form of the Romans denominated ‘a pure and holy war.’”[357]

     [357] Eas res puro pioque duello repetundas censeo. It was a case
     prodigiously frequent in the opinion of the Romans.

|His authorities.|

86. “I have employed in confirmation of this natural and national law
the testimonies of philosophers, of historians, of poets, lastly even
of orators; not that we should indiscriminately rely upon them; for
they are apt to say what may serve their party, their subject, or
their cause; but because when many at different times and places
affirm the same thing for certain, we may refer this unanimity to some
general cause, which in such questions as these can be no other than
either a right deduction from some natural principle or some common
agreement. The former of these denotes the law of nature, the latter
that of nations; the difference whereof must be understood, not by the
language of these testimonies, for writers are very prone to confound
the two words, but from the nature of the subject. For whatever cannot
be clearly deduced from true premises, and yet appears to have been
generally admitted, must have had its origin in free consent.... The
sentences of poets and orators have less weight than those of history;
and we often make use of them not so much to corroborate what we say,
as to throw a kind of ornament over it.” “I have abstained,” he adds
afterwards, “from all that belongs to a different subject, as what is
expedient to be done; since this has its own science, that of
politics, which Aristotle has rightly treated by not intermingling
anything extraneous to it, while Bodin has confounded that science
with this which we are about to treat. If we sometimes allude
to utility, it is but in passing, and distinguishing it from the
question of justice.”[358]

     [358] Prolegomena in librum de Jure Belli.

|Foundation of natural law.|

87. Grotius derives the origin of natural law from the sociable
character of mankind. “Among things common to mankind is the desire of
society, that is, not of every kind of society, but of one that is
peaceable and ordered according to the capacities of his nature with
others of his species. Even in children before all instruction a
propensity to do good to others displays itself, just as pity in that
age is a spontaneous affection.” We perceive by this remark that
Grotius looked beyond the merely rational basis of natural law to the
moral constitution of human nature. The conservation of such a
sociable life is the source of that law which is strictly called
natural, which comprehends, in the first place, the abstaining from
all that belongs to others, and the restitution of it if by any means
in our possession, the fulfilment of promises, the reparation of
injury, and the right of human punishment. In a secondary sense,
natural law extends to prudence, temperance and fortitude, as being
suitable to man’s nature. And in a similar lax sense we have that kind
of justice itself called distributive (διανεμητικη [dianemêtikê]),
which prefers a better man to a worse, a relation to a stranger, a
poorer man to a richer, according to the circumstances of the party
and the case.[359] And this natural law is properly defined, “the
dictate of right reason, pointing out a moral guilt or rectitude to be
inherent in any action, on account of its agreement or disagreement
with our rational and social nature; and consequently that such an
action is either forbidden or enjoined by God the author of
nature.”[360] It is so immutable, that God himself cannot alter it; a
position which he afterwards limits by a restriction we have seen in
Suarez; that if God command anyone to be killed, or his goods to be
taken, this would not render murder or theft lawful, but being
commanded by the lord of life and all things, it would cease to be
murder or theft. This seems little better than a sophism unworthy of
Grotius; but he meant to distinguish between an abrogation of the law
of nature, and a dispensation with it in a particular instance. The
original position, in fact, is not stated with sufficient precision or
on a right principle.

     [359] Id. § 6-10.

     [360] Jus naturale est dictatum rectæ rationis, indicans actui
     alicui, ex ejus convenientia aut disconvenientia cum ipsa natura
     rationali ac sociali, inesse moralem turpitudinem aut
     necessitatem moralem, ac consequenter ab auctore naturæ Deo talem
     actum aut vetari aut præcipi. L. i., c. 1., § 10.

|Positive law.|

88. Voluntary, or positive law is either human or revealed. The former
is either that of civil communities, which are assemblages of freemen,
living in society for the sake of laws and common utility, or that of
nations, which derives its obligation from the consent of all or many
nations; a law which is to be proved, like all unwritten law, by
continual usage and the testimony of the learned. The revealed law he
divides in the usual manner, but holding that no part of the Mosaic,
so far as it is strictly a law, is at present binding upon us. But
much of it is confirmed by the Christian Scriptures, and much is also
obligatory by the law of nature. This last law is to be applied, _à
priori_, by the conformity of the act in question to the natural
and social nature of man; _à posteriori_, by the consent of
mankind; the latter argument, however, not being conclusive, but
highly probable, when the agreement is found in all, or in all the
more civilized nations.[361]

     [361] Lib. i., c. 1.

|Perfect and imperfect rights.|

89. Perfect rights, after the manner of the jurists, he distinguishes
from imperfect. The former are called sua, our own, properly speaking,
the objects of what they styled commutative justice; the latter are
denominated fitnesses, (aptitudines) such as equity, gratitude, or
domestic affection prescribe, but which are only the objects of
distributive or equitable justice. This distinction is of the highest
importance in the immediate subject of the work of Grotius; since it
is agreed on all hands, that no law gives a remedy for the denial of
these, nor can we justly, in the state of nature, have recourse to
arms in order to enforce them.[362]

     [362] Id. ibid.

|Lawful cases of war.|

90. War, however, as he now proceeds to show, is not absolutely
unlawful either by the law of nature or that of nations, or of
revelation. The proof is, as usual with Grotius, very diffuse; his
work being in fact a magazine of arguments and examples with rather a
supererogatory profusion.[363] But the Anabaptist and Quaker
superstition has prevailed enough to render some of his refutation not
unnecessary. After dividing war into public and private, and showing
that the establishment of civil justice does not universally put an
end to the right of private war, since cases may arise, when
the magistrate cannot be waited for, and others, where his
interference cannot be obtained, he shows that public war may be
either solemn and regular according to the law of nations, or less
regular on a sudden emergency of self-defence; classing also under the
latter any war, which magistrates not sovereign may in peculiar
circumstances levy.[364] And this leads him to inquire what
constitutes sovereignty; defining, after setting aside other
descriptions, that power to be sovereign, whose acts cannot be
invalidated at the pleasure of any other human authority, except one,
which, as in the case of a successor, has exactly the same sovereignty
as itself.[365]

     [363] C. 2.

     [364] C. 3.

     [365] Summa potestas illa dicitur, cujus actus alterius juri non
     subjacet, ita ut alterius voluntatis humanæ arbitrio irriti
     possint reddi. § 7.

|Resistance by subjects unlawful.|

91. Grotius rejects the opinion of those who hold the people to be
everywhere sovereign, so that they may restrain and punish kings for
misgovernment; quoting many authorities for the irresponsibility of
kings. Here he lays down the principles of non-resistance, which he
more fully inculcates in the next chapter. But this is done with many
distinctions as to the nature of the principality, which may be held
by very different conditions. He speaks of patrimonial kingdoms,
which, as he supposes, may be alienated like an inheritance. But where
the government can be traced to popular consent, he owns that this
power of alienation should not be presumed to be comprised in the
grant. Those, he says, are much deceived who think that in kingdoms
where the consent of a senate or other body is required for new laws,
the sovereignty itself is divided; for these restrictions must be
understood to have been imposed by the prince on his own will, least
he should be entrapped into something contrary to his deliberate
intention.[366] Among other things in this chapter, he determines that
neither an unequal alliance, that is, where one party retains great
advantages, nor a feudal homage take away the character of
sovereignty, so far at least as authority over subjects is concerned.

     [366] § 18.

92. In the next chapter, Grotius dwells more at length on the alledged
right of subjects to resist their governors, and altogether repels it,
with the exception of strict self-defence, or the improbable case of a
hostile spirit, on the prince’s part, extending to the destruction of
his people. Barclay, the opponent of Buchanan and the Jesuits, had
admitted the right of resistance against enormous cruelty. If the king
has abdicated the government, or manifestly relinquished it, he may,
after a time, be considered merely a private person. But mere
negligence in government is by no means to be reckoned a
relinquishment.[367] And he also observes, that if the sovereignty be
divided between a king and part of his subjects or the whole, he may
be resisted by force in usurping their share, because he is no longer
sovereign as to that; which he holds to be the case, even if the right
of war be in him, since that must be understood of a foreign war, and
it could not be maintained that those who partake the sovereignty have
not the right to defend it; in which predicament a king may lose even
his own share by the right of war. He proceeds to the case of
usurpation; not such as is warranted by long prescription, but while
the circumstances that led to the unjust possession subsist. Against
such an usurper he thinks it lawful to rebel, so long as there is no
treaty or voluntary act of allegiance, at least if the government de
jure sanctions the insurrection. But where there may be a doubt
whether the lawful ruler has not acquiesced in the usurpation, a
private person ought rather to stand by possession, than to take the
decision upon himself.[368]

     [367] Si rex aut alius quis imperium abdicavit, aut manifeste
     habet pro derelicto, in eum post id tempus omnia licent, quæ in
     privatum. Sed minimè pro derelicto habere rem censendus est, qui
     eam tractat negligentius. C. 4, § 9.

     [368] § 20.

|All men naturally have right of war.|

93. The right of war, which we must here understand in the largest
sense, the employment of force to resist force, though by private men,
resides in all mankind. Solon, he says, taught us that those
commonwealths would be happy, wherein each man thought the injuries of
others were like his own.[369] The mere sociability of human nature
ought to suggest this to us. And, though Grotius does not proceed with
this subject, he would not have doubted that we are even bound by the
law of nature, not merely that we have a right, to protect the lives
and goods of others against lawless violence, without the
least reference to positive law or the command of a magistrate. If
this has been preposterously doubted, or affected to be doubted, in
England of late years, it has been less owing to the pedantry which
demands an express written law upon the most pressing emergency, than
to lukewarmness, at the best, in the public cause of order and
justice. The expediency of vindicating these by the slaughter of the
aggressors must depend on the peculiar circumstances; but the right is
paramount to any positive laws, even if, which with us is not the
case, it were difficult to be proved from them.

     [369] Εν ᾑ των αδικουμενων ουχ ἡττον οἱ μη αδικουμενοι
     προβαλλονται και κολαζουσι τους αδικουντας. [En hê tôn
     adikoumenôn ouch hêtton hoi mê adikoumenoi proballontai kai
     kolazousi tous adikountas.] Ut cætera desint vincula, sufficit
     humanæ naturæ communio.

|Right of self-defence.|

94. We now arrive at the first and fundamental inquiry, what is the
right of self-defence, including the defence of what is our own. There
can, says Grotius, be no just cause of war (that is, of using force,
for he is now on the most general ground) but injury. For this reason
he will not admit of wars to preserve the balance of power. An
imminent injury to ourselves or our property renders repulsion of the
aggressor by force legitimate. But here he argues rather weakly and
inconsistently through excess of charity, and acknowledging the strict
right of killing one who would otherwise kill us, thinks it more
praiseworthy to accept the alternative.[370] The right of killing one
who inflicts a smaller personal injury he wholly denies; and with
respect to a robber, while he admits he may be slain by natural law,
is of opinion that the Gospel has greatly limited the privilege of
defending our property by such means. Almost all jurists and
theologians of his day, he says, carry it farther than he does.[371]
To public warfare he gives a greater latitude than to private
self-defence, but without assigning any satisfactory reason; the true
reason being that so rigid a scheme of ethics would have rendered his
book an Utopian theory, instead of a practicable code of law.

     [370] Lib. ii., c. 1., § 8. Gronovius observes pithily and truly
     on this: melius occidi quam occidere injuria; non melius occidi
     injuria quam occidere jure.

     [371] Hodie omnes ferme tam jurisconsulti quam theologi doceant
     recte homines a nobis interfici rerum defendendarum causa, § 13.

95. Injury to our rights, therefore, is a just cause of war. But what
are our rights? What is property? whence does it come? what may be its
subjects? in whom does it reside? Till these questions are determined,
we can have but crude and indefinite notions of injury, and
consequently of the rights we have to redress it. The disquisition is
necessary, but it must be long; unless indeed we acquiesce in what we
find already written, and seek for no stable principles upon which
this grand and primary question in civil society, the rights of
property and dominion, may rest. Here then begins what has seemed to
many the abandonment by Grotius of his general subject, and what
certainly suspends for a considerable time the inquiry into
international law, but still not, as it seems to me, an episodical
digression, at least for the greater part, but a natural and
legitimate investigation, springing immediately from the principal
theme of the work, connected with it more closely at several
intervals, and ultimately reverting into it. But of this the reader
will judge as we proceed with the analysis.

|Its origin and limitations.|

96. Grotius begins with rather too romantic a picture of the early
state of the world, when men lived on the spontaneous fruits of the
earth, with no property except in what each had taken from the common
mother’s lap. But this happy condition did not, of course, last very
long, and mankind came to separate and exclusive possession, each man
for himself and against the world. Original occupancy by persons, and
division of lands by the community, he rightly holds to be the two
sources of territorial propriety. Occupation is of two sorts, one by
the community (per universitatem), the other (per fundos) by several
possession. What is not thus occupied is still the domain of the
state. Grotius conceives that mankind have reserved a right of taking
what belongs to others in extreme necessity. It is a still more
remarkable limitation of the right of property, that he carries very
far his notions of that of transit, maintaining that not only rivers,
but the territory itself of a state may be peaceably entered, and that
permission cannot be refused, consistently with natural law, even in
the case of armies; nor is the apprehension of incurring the hostility
of the power who is thus attacked by the army passing through our
territory a sufficient excuse.[372] This of course must now be
exploded. Nor can, he thinks, the transit of merchandise be forbidden
or impeded by levying any farther tolls than are required for the
incident expenses. Strangers ought to be allowed to settle, on
condition of obeying the laws, and even to occupy any waste tracts in
the territory;[373] a position equally untenable. It is less
unreasonably that he maintains the general right of mankind to buy
what they want, if the other party can spare it; but he extends too
far his principle, that no nation can be excluded by another from
privileges which it concedes to the rest of the world. In all these
positions, however, we perceive the enlarged and philanthropic spirit
of the system of Grotius, and his disregard of the usages of mankind,
when they clashed with his Christian principles of justice. But as the
very contrary supposition has been established in the belief of the
present generation, it may be doubtful whether his own testimony will
be thought sufficient.

     [372] Sic etiam metus ab eo in quem bellum justum movet is qui
     transit, ad negandum transitum non valet. Lib. ii., c. 2, § 13.

     [373] 16, 17.

|Right of occupancy.|

97. The original acquisition of property was in the infancy of human
societies, by division or by occupancy; it is now by occupancy alone.
Paullus has reckoned as a mode of original acquisition, if we have
caused anything to exist, si quid ipsi, ut in rerum natura esset,
fecimus. This, though not well expressed, must mean the produce of
labour. Grotius observes, that this resolves itself into a continuance
of a prior right, or a new one by occupancy, and therefore no peculiar
mode of acquisition. In those things which naturally belong to no one,
there may be two sorts of occupation, dominion or sovereignty, and
property. And, in the former sense at least, rivers and bays of the
sea are capable of occupation. In what manner this may be done he
explains at length.[374] But those who occupy a portion of the sea
have no right to obstruct others in fishing. This had been the subject
of a controversy with Selden; the one in his Mare Liberum denying, the
other in his Mare Clausum sustaining, the right of England to exclude
the fishermen of Holland from the seas which she asserted to be her

     [374] C. 3.

|Relinquishment of it.|

98. The right of occupancy exists as to things derelict or abandoned
by their owners. But it is of more importance to consider the
presumptions of such relinquishment by sovereign states, as
distinguished from mere prescription. The non-claim of the owner
during a long period seems the only means of giving a right where none
originally existed. It must be the silent acquiescence of one who
knows his rights and has his free will. But when this abandonment has
once taken place, it bars unborn claimants; for he who is not born,
Grotius says, has no rights; ejus qui nondum est natus nullum est

     [375] C. 4.

|Right over persons. By generation.|

99. A right over persons may be acquired in three ways, by generation,
by their consent, by their crime. In children we are to consider three
periods: that of imperfect judgment, or infancy; that of adult age in
the father’s family; and that of emancipation or foris-familiation,
when they have ceased to form a part of it. In the first of these, a
child is capable of property in possession but not in enjoyment. In
the second, he is subject to the parent only in actions which affect
the family. In the third, he is wholly his own master. All beyond this
is positive law. The paternal power was almost peculiar to the Romans,
though the Persians are said to have had something of the same.
Grotius, we perceive, was no ally of those who elevated the
patriarchal power in order to found upon it a despotic polity; nor
does he raise it by any means so high as Bodin. The customs of Eastern
nations would, perhaps, have warranted somewhat more than he

     [376] C. 5.

|By consent. In marriage.|

100. Consent is the second mode of acquiring dominion. The
consociation of male and female is the first species of it, which is
principally in marriage, for which the promise of the woman to be
faithful is required. But he thinks that there is no mutual obligation
by the law of nature; which seems designed to save the polygamy of the
patriarchs. He then discusses the chief questions as to divorce,
polygamy, clandestine marriages, and incest; holding that no unions
are forbidden by natural law except in the direct line. Concubines, in
the sense of the Roman jurisprudence, are true Christian wives.[377]

     [377] Id.

|In commonwealths.|

101. In all other consociations except marriage, it is a rule that the
majority can bind the minority. Of these the principal is a
commonwealth. And here he maintains the right of every citizen to
leave his country, and that the state retains no right over those it
has banished. Subjection, which may arise from one kind of consent, is
either private or public; the former is of several species, among
which adoption, in the Roman sense, is the noblest, and servitude the
meanest. In the latter case, the master has not the right of life and
death over his servants, though some laws give him impunity. He is
perplexed about the right over persons born in slavery, since his
theory of its origin will not support it. But, in the case of public
subjection, where one state becomes voluntarily subject to
another, he finds no difficulty about the unborn, because the people
is the same, notwithstanding the succession of individuals; which
seems paying too much deference to a legal fiction.[378]

     [378] C. 5.

|Right of alienating subjects.|

|Alienation by testament.|

102. The right of alienating altogether the territory he grants to
patrimonial sovereigns. But he denies that a part can be separated
from the rest without its consent, either by the community or by the
sovereign, however large his authority may be. This he extends to
subjection of the kingdom to vassalage. The right of alienating
private property by testament is founded, he thinks in natural
law;[379] a position wherein I can by no means concur. In conformity
with this, he derives the right of succession by intestacy from the
presumed intention of the deceased, and proceeds to dilate on the
different rules of succession established by civil laws. Yet the rule
that paternal and maternal heirs shall take respectively what
descended from the ancestors on each side, he conceives to be founded
in the law of nature, though subject to the right of bequest.[380]

     [379] C. 6, § 14.

     [380] C. 7. In this chapter Grotius decides that parents are not
     bound by strict justice to maintain their children. The case is
     stronger the other way, in return for early protection. Barbeyrac
     thinks that aliment is due to children by strict right during

|Rights of property by positive law.|

103. In treating of the acquisition of property by the law of nations,
he means only the arbitrary constitutions of the Roman and other
codes. Some of these he deems founded in no solid reason, though the
lawgivers of every country have a right to determine such matters as
they think fit. Thus, the Roman law recognises no property in animals
_feræ naturæ_, which that of modern nations gives, he says, to
the owner of the soil where they are found, not unreasonably any more
than the opposite maxim is unreasonable. So of a treasure found in the
earth, and many other cases, wherein it is hard to say that the law of
nature and reason prescribes one rule more than another.[381]

     [381] § 8.

|Extinction of rights.|

104. The rights of sovereignty and property may terminate by
extinction of the ruling or possessing family without provision of
successors. Slaves then become free, and subjects their own masters.
For there can be no new right by occupancy in such. Even a people or
community may cease to exist, though the identity of persons or even
of race is not necessary for its continuance. It may expire by
voluntary dispersion, or by subjugation to another state. But mere
change of place by simultaneous emigration will not destroy a
political society, much less a change of internal government. Hence, a
republic becoming a monarchy, it stands in the same relation to other
communities as before, and in particular, is subject to all its former

     [382] § 2. At the end of this chapter, Grotius unfortunately
     raises a question, his solution of which laid him open to
     censure. He inquires to whom the countries formerly subject to
     the Roman empire belong? And here he comes to the inconceivable
     paradox that that empire and the rights of the citizens of Rome
     still subsist. Gronovius bitterly remarks, in a note on this
     passage: Mirum est hoc loco summum virum, cum in præcipua
     questione non male sentiret, in tot salebras se conjecisse,
     totque monstra et chimæras confinxisse, ut aliquid novum diceret,
     et Germanis potius ludibrium deberet, quam Gallis et Papæ parum
     placeret. This, however, is very uncandid, as Barbeyrac truly
     points out; since neither of these could take much interest in a
     theory which reserved a supremacy over the world to the Roman
     people. It is probably the weakest passage in all the writings of
     Grotius, though there are too many which do not enhance his fame.

|Some casuistical questions.|

105. In a chapter on the obligations which the right of property
imposes on others than the proprietor, we find some of the more
delicate questions in the casuistry of natural law, such as relate to
the bonâ fide possessor of another’s property. Grotius, always siding
with the stricter moralists, asserts that he is bound not only to
restore the substance but the intermediate profits, without any claim
for the valuable consideration which he may have paid. His commentator
Barbeyrac, of a later and laxer school of casuistry, denies much of
this doctrine.[383]

     [383] C. 10. Our own jurisprudence goes upon the principles of
     Grotius, and even denies the possessor by a bad title, though
     bonâ fide, any indemnification for what he may have laid out to
     the benefit of the property, which seems hardly consonant to the
     strictest rules of natural law.


106. That great branch of ethics which relates to the obligation of
promises has been so diffusely handled by the casuists, as well as
philosophers, that Grotius deserves much credit for the brevity with
which he has laid down the simple principles, and discussed some of
the more difficult problems. That mere promises, or nuda
pacta, where there is neither mutual benefit, nor what the jurists
call synallagmatic contract, are binding on the conscience, whatever
they may be, or ought to be, in law, is maintained against a
distinguished civilian, Francis Connan; nor does Barbeyrac seem to
dispute this general tenet of moral philosophers. Puffendorf, however,
says, that there is a tacit condition in promises of this kind, that
they can be performed without great loss to the promiser, and Cicero
holds them to be released, if their performance would be more
detrimental to one party, than serviceable to the other. This gives a
good deal of latitude; but, perhaps, they are in such cases open to
compensation without actual fulfilment. A promise given without
deliberation, according to Grotius himself, is not binding. Those
founded on deceit or error admit of many distinctions; but he
determines, in the celebrated question of extorted promises, that they
are valid by the natural, though their obligation may be annulled by
the civil law. But the promisee is bound to release a promise thus
unduly obtained.[384] Thus also the civil law may annul other
promises, which would naturally be binding, as one of prospective
marriage between persons already under that engagement towards
another. These instances are sufficient to show the spirit in which
Grotius always approaches the decision of moral questions; serious and
learned, rather than profound, in seeking a principle, or acute in
establishing a distinction. In the latter quality he falls much below
his annotator Barbeyrac, who had indeed the advantage of coming nearly
a century after him.

     [384] C. 11, § 7. It is not very probable that the promisee will
     fulfil this obligation in such a case; and the decision of
     Grotius, though conformable to that of the theological casuists
     in general, is justly rejected by Puffendorf and Barbeyrac, as
     well as by many writers of the last century. The principle seems
     to be, that right and obligation in matters of agreement are
     correlative, and where the first does not arise, the second
     cannot exist. Adam Smith and Paley incline to think the promise
     ought, under certain circumstances, to be kept; but the reasons
     they give are not founded on the _justitia expletrix_, which the
     proper obligation of promises, as such, requires. It is also a
     proof how little the moral sense of mankind goes along with the
     rigid casuists in this respect, that no one is blamed for
     defending himself against a bond given through duress or illegal
     violence, if the plea be a true one.

     In a subsequent passage, 1. iii., c. 19, § 4, Grotius seems to
     carry this theory of the duty of releasing an unjust promise so
     far, as to deny its obligation, and thus circuitously to agree
     with the opposite class of casuists.


107. In no part of his work has Grotius dwelt so much on the rules and
distinctions of the Roman law, as in his chapter on contracts, nor was
it very easy or desirable to avoid it.[385] The wisdom of those great
men, from the fragments of whose determinations the existing
jurisprudence of Europe, in subjects of this kind, has been chiefly
derived, could not be set aside without presumption, nor appropriated
without ingratitude. Less fettered, at least in the best age of Roman
jurisprudence, by legislative interference than our modern lawyers
have commonly been, they resorted to no other principles than those of
natural justice. That the Roman law, in all its parts, coincides with
the best possible platform of natural jurisprudence it would be
foolish to assert; but that in this great province, or rather demesne
land, of justice, the regulation of contracts between man and man, it
does not considerably deviate from the right line of reason, has never
been disputed by anyone in the least conversant with the Pandects.

     [385] C. 12.

|Considered ethically.|

108. It will be manifest, however, to the attentive reader of Grotius
in this chapter that he treats the subject of contract as a part of
ethics rather than of jurisprudence; and it is only by the frequent
parallelism of the two sciences that the contrary could be suspected.
Thus, he maintains that, equality being the principle of the contract
by sale, either party is forced to restore the difference arising from
a misapprehension of the other, even without his own fault, and this
whatever may be the amount, though the civil law gives a remedy only
where the difference exceeds one half of the price.[386] And in
several other places he diverges equally from that law. Not that he
ever contemplated what Smith seems to have meant by “natural
jurisprudence,” a theory of the principles which ought to run through
and to be the foundation of the laws of all nations. But he knew that
the judge in the tribunal, and the inward judge in the breast, even
where their subjects of determination appear essentially the same,
must have different boundaries to their jurisdiction; and that, as the
general maxims and inflexible forms of external law, in attempts to
accommodate themselves to the subtleties of casuistry, would become
uncertain and arbitrary, so the finer emotions of the conscience would
lose all their moral efficacy, by restraining the duties of justice to
that which can be enforced by the law. In the course of this twelfth
chapter we come to a question much debated in the time of Grotius, the
lawfulness of usury. After admitting, against the common opinion, that
it is not repugnant to the law of nature, he yet maintains the
prohibition in the Mosaic code to be binding on all mankind.[387] An
extraordinary position, it would seem, in one who had denied any part
of that system to be truly an universal law. This was, however, the
usual determination of casuists; but he follows it up, as was also
usual, with so many exceptions as materially relax and invalidate the
application of his rule.

     [386] C. 12, § 12.

     [387] § 20.

|Promissory oaths.|

109. The next chapter, on promissory oaths, is a corollary to the last
two. It was the opinion of Grotius, as it had been of all theologians,
and, in truth, of all mankind, that a promise or contract not only
becomes more solemn, and entails on its breach a severer penalty, by
means of this adjuration of the Supreme Being, but may even acquire a
substantial validity by it in cases where no prior obligation would
subsist.[388] This chapter is distinguished by a more than usually
profuse erudition. But notwithstanding the rigid observance of oaths
which he deems incumbent by natural and revealed law, he admits of a
considerable authority in the civil magistrate, or other superior, as
a husband or father, to annul the oaths of inferiors beforehand, or to
dispense with them afterwards; not that they can release a moral
obligation, but that the obligation itself is incurred under a tacit
condition of their consent. And he seems, in rather a singular manner,
to hint a kind of approval of such dispensations by the church.[389]

     [388] C. 13.

     [389] § 20. Ex hoc fundamento defendi possunt absolutiones
     juramentorum, quæ olim a principibus, nunc ipsorum principum
     voluntate, quo magis cautum sit pietati, ab ecclesiæ præsidibus

|Engagements of kings towards subjects.|

110. Whatever has been laid down by Grotius in the last three chapters
as to the natural obligations of mankind, has an especial reference to
the main purport of this great work, the duties of the supreme power.
But the engagements of sovereigns give rise to many questions which
cannot occur in those of private men. In the chapter which ensues, on
the promises, oaths, and contracts of sovereigns, he confines himself
to those engagements which immediately affect their subjects. These it
is of great importance, in the author’s assumed province of the
general confessor or casuist of kings, to place on a right footing;
because they have never wanted subservient counsellors, who would
wrest the law of conscience, as well as that of the land, to the
interests of power. Grotius, in denying that the sovereign may revoke
his own contracts, extends this case to those made by him during his
minority, without limitation to such as have been authorised by his
guardians.[390] His contracts with his subjects create a true
obligation, of which they may claim, though not enforce, the
performance. He hesitates whether to call this obligation a civil, or
only a natural one; and, in fact, it can only be determined by
positive law.[391] Whether the successors of a sovereign are bound by
his engagements, must depend on the political constitution, and on the
nature of the engagement. Those of an usurper he determines not to be
binding, which should probably be limited to domestic contracts,
though his language seems large enough to comprise engagements towards
foreign states.[392]

     [390] C. 14, § 1.

     [391] § 6.

     [392] Contractibus vero eorum qui sine jure imperium invaserunt,
     non tenebuntur populi aut veri reges, nam hi jus obligandi
     populum non habuerunt. § 14.

|Public treaties.|

111. We now return from what, in strict language, may pass for a long
digression, though not a needless one, to the main stream of
international law. The title of the fifteenth chapter is on Public
Treaties. After several divisions, which it would at present be
thought unnecessary to specify so much at length, Grotius enters on a
question not then settled by theologians, whether alliances with
infidel powers were in any circumstances lawful. Francis I. had given
great scandal in Europe by his league with the Turk. And though
Grotius admits the general lawfulness of such alliances, it is under
limitations which would hardly have borne out the court of France in
promoting the aggrandizement of the common enemy of Christendom.
Another and more extensive head in the casuistry of nations relates to
treaties that have been concluded without the authority of the
sovereign. That he is not bound by these engagements is evident as a
leading rule; but the course which, according to natural law, ought to
be taken in such circumstances is often doubtful. The famous
capitulation of the Roman army at the Caudine Forks is in point.
Grotius, a rigid casuist, determines that the senate were not bound to
replace their army in the condition from which the treaty had
delivered them. And this seems to be a rational decision, though the
Romans have sometimes incurred the censure of ill faith for their
conduct. But if the sovereign has not only by silence acquiesced in
the engagement of his ambassador or general, which of itself,
according to Grotius, will not amount to an implied ratification, but
recognised it by some overt act of his own, he cannot afterwards plead
the defect of sanction.[393]

     [393] C. 15.

|Their interpretation.|

112. Promises consist externally in words, really in the intention of
the parties. But as the evidence of this intention must usually depend
on words, we should adapt our general rules to their natural meaning.
Common usage is to determine the interpretation of agreements, except
where terms of a technical sense have been employed. But if the
expressions will bear different senses, or if there is some apparent
inconsistency in different clauses, it becomes necessary to collect
the meaning conjecturally, from the nature of the subject, from the
consequences of the proposed interpretation, and from its bearing on
other parts of the agreement. This serves to exclude unreasonable and
unfair constructions from the equivocal language of treaties, such as
was usual in former times to a degree which the greater prudence of
contracting parties, if not their better faith, has rendered
impossible in modern Europe. Among other rules of interpretation,
whether in private or public engagements, he lays down one, familiar
to the jurists, but concerning the validity of which some have
doubted, that things favourable, as they style them, or conferring a
benefit, are to be construed largely; things odious, or onerous to one
party, are not to be stretched beyond the letter. Our own law, as is
well known, adopts this distinction between remedial and penal
statutes; and it seems (wherever that which is favourable in one
sense, is not odious in another) the most equitable principle in
public conventions. The celebrated question, the cause, or, as
Polybius more truly calls it, the pretext of the second Punic war,
whether the terms of a treaty binding each party not to attack the
allies of the other will comprehend those who had entered subsequently
into alliance, seems, but rather on doubtful grounds, to be decided in
the negative. Several other cases from history are agreeably
introduced in this chapter.[394]

     [394] C. 16.

113. It is often, he observes, important to ascertain, whether a
treaty be personal or real, that is, whether it affect only the
contracting sovereign or the state. The treaties of republics are
always real or permanent, even if the form of government should become
monarchical; but the converse is not true as to those of kings, which
are to be interpreted according to the probable meaning, where there
are no words of restraint or extension. A treaty subsists with a king,
though he may be expelled by his subjects; nor is it any breach of
faith to take up arms against an usurper with the lawful sovereign’s
consent. This is not a doctrine which would now be endured.[395]

     [395] C. 16, § 17.

114. Besides those rules of interpretation which depend on explaining
the words of an engagement, there are others which must sometimes be
employed to extend or limit the meaning beyond any natural
construction. Thus, in the old law-case, a bequest, in the event of
the testator’s posthumous son dying, was held valid, where none was
born, and instances of this kind are continual in the books of
jurisprudence. It is equally reasonable sometimes to restrain the
terms of a promise, where they clearly appear to go beyond the design
of the promiser, or where supervenient circumstances indicate an
exception which he would infallibly have made. A few sections in this
place seem, perhaps, more fit to have been inserted in the eleventh

|Obligation to repair injury.|

115. There is a natural obligation to make amends for injury to the
natural rights of another, which is extended by means of the
establishment of property and of civil society to all which the laws
have accorded him.[396] Hence, a correlative right arises, but a right
which is to be distinguished from fitness or merit. The jurists were
accustomed to treat expletive justice, which consists in giving to
every one what is strictly his own, separately from attributive
justice, the equitable and right dispensation of all things according
to desert. With the latter Grotius has nothing to do; nor is he to be
charged with introducing the distinction of perfect and imperfect
rights, if indeed those phrases are as objectionable as some have
accounted them. In the far greater part of this chapter he
considers the principles of this important province of natural law,
the obligation to compensate damage, rather as it affects private
persons than sovereign states. As, in most instances, this falls
within the jurisdiction of civil tribunals, the rules laid down by
Grotius may, to a hasty reader, seem rather intended as directory to
the judge, than to the conscience of the offending party. This,
however, is not by any means the case; he is here, as almost
everywhere else, a master in morality and not in law. That he is not
obsequiously following the Roman law will appear by his determining
against the natural responsibility of the owner for injuries
committed, without his fault, by a slave or a beast.[397] But
sovereigns, he holds, are answerable for the piracies and robberies of
their subjects when they are able to prevent them. This is the only
case of national law which he discusses. But it is one of high
importance, being, in fact, one of the ordinary causes of public
hostility. This liability, however, does not exist where subjects,
having obtained a lawful commission by letters of marque, become
common pirates, and do not return home.

     [396] C. 17.

     [397] This is in the 8th title of the 4th book of the Institutes:
     Si quadrupes pauperiem fecerit. Pauperies means damnum sine

|Rights by law of nations.|

|Those of ambassadors.|

116. Thus far, the author begins in the eighteenth chapter, we have
treated of rights founded on natural law, with some little mixture of
the arbitrary law of nations. We come now to those which depend wholly
on the latter. Such are the rights of ambassadors. We have now,
therefore, to have recourse more to the usage of civilized people,
than to theoretical principles. The practice of mankind has, in fact,
been so much more uniform as to the privileges of ambassadors than
other matters of national intercourse, that they early acquired the
authority and denomination of public law. The obligation to receive
ambassadors from other sovereign states, the respect due to them,
their impunity in offences committed by their principals or by
themselves, are not indeed wholly founded on custom, to the exclusion
of the reason of the case, nor have the customs of mankind, even here,
been so unlike themselves as to furnish no contradictory precedents;
but they afford, perhaps, the best instance of a tacit agreement,
distinguishable both from moral right and from positive convention,
which is specifically denominated the law of nations. It may be
mentioned that Grotius determines in favour of the absolute impunity
of ambassadors, that is, their irresponsibility to the tribunals of
the country where they reside, in the case of personal crimes, and
even of conspiracy against the government. This, however, he founds
altogether upon what he conceives to have been the prevailing usage of
civilized states.[398]

     [398] C. 18.

|Right of Sepulture.|


117. The next chapter, on the right of sepulture, appears more
excursive than any other in the whole treatise. The right of sepulture
can hardly become a public question, except in time of war, and as
such it might have been shortly noticed in the third book. It supplies
Grotius, however, with a brilliant prodigality of classical
learning.[399] But the next is far more important. It is entitled On
Punishments. The injuries done to us by others give rise to our right
of compensation and to our right of punishment. We have to examine the
latter with the more care, that many have fallen into mistakes from
not duly apprehending the foundation and nature of punishment.
Punishment is, as Grotius rather quaintly defines it. Malum passionis,
quod infligitur ob malum actionis, evil inflicted on another for the
evil which he has committed. It is not a part of attributive, and
hardly of expletive justice, nor is it, in its primary design,
proportioned to the guilt of the criminal, but to the magnitude of the
crime. All men have naturally a right to punish crimes, except those
who are themselves equally guilty; but though the criminal would have
no ground to complain, the mere pleasure of revenge is not a
sufficient motive to warrant us; there must be an useful end to render
punishment legitimate. This end may be the advantage of the criminal
himself, or of the injured party, or of mankind in general. The
interest of the injured party here considered is not that of
reparation, which, though it may be provided for in punishment, is no
proper part of it, but security against similar offences of the guilty
party or of others. All men may naturally seek this security by
punishing the offender, and though it is expedient in civil society
that this right should be transferred to the judge, it is not taken
away, where recourse cannot be had to the law. Every man may even, by
the law of nature, punish crimes by which he has sustained no injury;
the public good of society requiring security against offenders, and
rendering them common enemies.[400]

     [399] C. 19.

     [400] C. 20.

118. Grotius next proceeds to consider whether these rights of
punishment are restrained by revelation, and concludes that a private
Christian is not at liberty to punish any criminal, especially with
death, for his own security or that of the public, but that the
magistrate is expressly empowered by Scripture to employ the sword
against malefactors. It is rather an excess of scrupulousness, that he
holds it unbecoming to seek offices which give a jurisdiction in
capital cases.[401]

     [401] Id.

119. Many things essentially evil are not properly punishable by human
laws. Such are thoughts and intentions, errors of frailty, or actions
from which, though morally wrong, human society suffers no mischief;
or the absence of such voluntary virtues as compassion and gratitude.
Nor is it always necessary to inflict lawful punishment, many
circumstances warranting its remission. The ground of punishment is
the guilt of the offender, its motive is the advantage expected from
it. No punishment should exceed what is deserved, but it may be
diminished according to the prospect of utility, or according to
palliating circumstances. But though punishments should bear
proportion to offences, it does not follow that the criminal should
suffer no more evil than he has occasioned, which would give him too
easy a measure of retribution. The general tendency of all that
Grotius has said in this chapter is remarkably indulgent and humane,
beyond the practice or even the philosophy of his age.[402]

     [402] C. 20.

120. War is commonly grounded upon the right of punishing injuries, so
that the general principles upon which this right depends upon
mankind, ought well to be understood before we can judge of so great a
matter of national law. States, Grotius thinks, have a right,
analogous to that of individuals out of society, to punish heinous
offences against the law of nature or of nations, though not affecting
themselves, or even any other independent community. But this is to be
done very cautiously, and does not extend to violations of the
positive divine law, or to any merely barbarous and irrational
customs. Wars undertaken only on this score are commonly suspicious.
But he goes on to determine that war may be justly waged against those
who deny the being and providence of God, though not against
idolaters, much less for the sake of compelling any nation to embrace
Christianity, unless they persecute its professors, in which case they
are justly liable to punishment. He pronounces strongly in this place
against the persecution of heretics.[403]

     [403] C. 20.

121. This is the longest chapter in the work of Grotius. Several of
his positions, as the reader may probably have observed, would not
bear a close scrutiny; the rights of individuals in a state of nature,
of magistrates in civil society, and of independent communities, are
not kept sufficiently distinct; the equivocal meaning of right, as it
exists correlatively between two parties, and as it comprehends the
general obligations of moral law, is not always guarded against. It
is, notwithstanding these defects, a valuable commentary, regard being
had to the time when it appeared, on the principles both of penal
jurisprudence, and of the rights of war.

|Their responsibility.|

122. It has been a great problem, whether the liability to punishment
can be transmitted from one person to another. This may be asked as to
those who have been concerned in the crime, and those who have not. In
the first case, they are liable as for their own offence, in having
commanded, connived at, permitted, assisted, the actors in the crime
before or after its perpetration. States are answerable for the
delinquencies of their subjects when unpunished. They are also bound
either to punish, or to deliver up, those who take refuge within their
dominions from the justice of their own country. He seems, however, to
admit afterwards, that they need only command such persons to quit the
country. But they have a right to inquire into and inform themselves
of the guilt alledged, the ancient privileges of suppliants being
established for the sake of those who have been unjustly persecuted at
home. The practice of modern Europe, he owns, has limited this right
of demanding the delivery or punishment of refugees within narrow
bounds. As to the punishment of those who have been wholly innocent of
the offence, Grotius holds it universally unjust, but distinguishes it
from indirect evil, which may often fall on the innocent. Thus, when
the estate of a father is confiscated, his children suffer, but are
not punished; since their succession was only a right contingent on
his possession at his death.[404] It is a consequence from this
principle, that a people, so far subject to its sovereign as
to have had no control upon his actions, cannot justly incur
punishment on account of them.

     [404] C. 21. § 10. Hence it would follow, by the principle of
     Grotius, that our law of forfeiture in high treason is just,
     being part of the direct punishment of the guilty; but that of
     attainder, or corruption of blood, is unjust, being an infliction
     on the innocent alone. I incline to concur in this distinction,
     and think it at least plausible, though it was seldom or never
     taken in the discussions concerning those two laws. Confiscation
     is no more unjust towards the posterity of an offender than fine,
     from which of course it only differs in degree: and, on the other
     hand, the law has as much right to exclude that posterity from
     enjoying property at all, as from enjoying that which descends
     from a third party through the blood, as we call it, of a
     criminal ancestor.

|Insufficient causes of war.|

|Duty of avoiding it.|

123. After distinguishing the causes of war into pretexts and motives,
and setting aside wars without any assignable justification as mere
robberies, he mentions several pretexts which he deems insufficient,
such as the aggrandisement of a neighbour; his construction of
fortresses; the right of discovery, where there is already a
possessor, however barbarous; the necessity of occupying more land.
And here he denies, both to single men and to a people, the right of
taking up arms in order to recover their liberty. He laughs at the
pretended right of the emperor or of the pope to govern the world; and
concludes with a singular warning against wars undertaken upon any
pretended explanation of scriptural prophecies.[405] It will be
anticipated from the scrupulousness of Grotius in all his casuistry,
that he enjoins sovereigns to abstain from war in a doubtful cause,
and to use all convenient methods of avoiding it by conference,
arbitration, or even by lot. Single combat itself, as a mode of lot,
he does not wholly reject. In answer to a question often put, Whether
a war can be just on both sides? he replies that, in relation to the
cause or subject, it cannot be so, since there cannot be two opposite
rights; but since men may easily be deceived as to the real right, a
war may be just on both sides with respect to the agents.[406] In
another part of his work, he observes that resistance, even where the
cause is not originally just, may become such by the excess of the
other party.

     [405] C. 22.

     [406] C. 23.

|And expediency.|

|War for the sake of other subjects.|

124. The duty of avoiding war, even in a just cause, as long as
possible, is rather part of moral virtue in a large sense, than of
mere justice. But, besides the obligations imposed on us by humanity
and by Christian love, it is often expedient for our own interests to
avoid war. Of this, however, he says little, it being plainly a matter
of civil prudence with which he has no concern.[407] Dismissing,
therefore, the subject of this chapter, he comes to the justice of
wars undertaken for the sake of others. Sovereigns, he conceives, are
not bound to take up arms in defence of any one of their subjects, who
may be unjustly treated. Hence, a state may abandon those whom it
cannot protect without great loss to the rest; but whether an innocent
subject may be delivered up to an enemy is a more debated question.
Soto and Vasquez, casuists of great name, had denied this; Grotius
however determines it affirmatively. This seems a remarkable exception
from the general inflexibility of his adherence to the rule of right.
For on what principle of strict justice can a people, any more than
private persons, sacrifice, or put in jeopardy, the life of an
innocent man? Grotius is influenced by the supposition that the
subject ought voluntarily to surrender himself into the hands of the
enemy for the public good: but no man forfeits his natural rights by
refusing to perform an action not of strict social obligation.[408]

     [407] C. 24.

     [408] C. 25.



125. Next to subjects are allies, whom the state has bound itself to
succour; and friendly powers, though without alliance, may also be
protected from unjust attack. This extends even to all mankind; though
war in behalf of strangers is not obligatory. It is also lawful to
deliver the subjects of others from extreme manifest oppression of
their rulers; and though this has often been a mere pretext, we are
not on that account to deny the justice of an honest interference. He
even thinks the right of foreign powers, in such a case, more
unequivocal than that of the oppressed people themselves. At the close
of this chapter he protests strongly against those who serve in any
cause for the mere sake of pay, and holds them worse than the common
executioner, who puts none but criminals to death.[409]

     [409] C. 25.

|None to serve in an unjust war.|

126. In the twenty-sixth and concluding chapter of this second book,
Grotius investigates the lawfulness of bearing arms at the command of
superiors and determines that subjects are indispensably bound not
to serve in a war which they conceive to be clearly unjust. He
even inclines, though admitting the prevailing opinion to be
otherwise, to think, that in a doubtful cause, they should adhere to
the general moral rule in case of doubt, and refuse their personal
service. This would evidently be impracticable and ultimately
subversive of political society. It, however, denotes the extreme
scrupulosity of his mind. One might smile at another proof of this,
where he determines that the hangman, before the performance of his
duly, should satisfy himself as to the justice of the sentence.[410]

     [410] C. 26.

|Rights in war.|

127. The rights of war, that is, of commencing hostility, have thus
far been investigated with a comprehensiveness that has sometimes
almost hidden the subject. We come now, in the third book, to rights
in war. Whatever may be done in war, is permitted either by the law of
nature or that of nations. Grotius begins with the first. The means
morally, though not physically, necessary to attain a lawful end are
themselves lawful; a proposition which he seems to understand
relatively to the rights of others, not to the absolute moral quality
of actions; distinctions which are apt to embarrass him. We have
therefore a right to employ force against an enemy, though it may be
the cause of suffering to innocent persons. The principles of natural
law authorize us to prevent neutrals from furnishing an enemy with the
supplies of war, or with anything else essential for his resistance to
our just demands of redress, such as provisions in a state of siege.
And it is remarkable that he refers this latter question to natural
law, because he had not found any clear decision of it by the positive
law of nations.[411]

     [411] L. iii., c. 1.

|Use of deceit.|

128. In acting against an enemy force is the nature of war. But it may
be inquired, whether deceit is not also a lawful means of success? The
practice of nations and the authority of most writers seem to warrant
it. Grotius dilates on different sorts of artifice, and after
admitting the lawfulness of such as deceive by indications, comes to
the questions of words equivocal or wholly false. This he first
discusses on the general moral principle of veracity, more prolixly,
and with more deference to authority, than would suit a modern reader;
yet this basis is surely indispensable for the support of any decision
in public casuistry. The right, however, of employing falsehood
towards an enemy, which he generally admits, does not extend to
promises, which are always to be kept, whether express or implied,
especially when confirmed by oath. And more greatness of mind, as well
as more Christian simplicity would be shown by abstaining wholly from
falsehood in war. The law of nature does not permit us to tempt any
one to do that which in him would be criminal, as to assassinate his
sovereign, or to betray his trust. But we have a right to make use of
his voluntary offers.[412]

     [412] L. iii., c. 1.

|Rules and Customs of nations.|


129. Grotius now proceeds from the consideration of natural law or
justice to that of the general customs of mankind, in which,
according, to him, the arbitrary law of nations consists. By this, in
the first place, though naturally no one is answerable for another, it
has been established that the property of every citizen is as it were
mortgaged for the liabilities of the state to which he belongs. Hence,
if justice is refused to us by the sovereign, we have a right to
indemnification out of the property of his subjects. This is commonly
called reprisals; and it is a right which every private person would
enjoy, were it not for the civil laws of most countries, which compel
him to obtain the authorisation of his own sovereign, or of some
tribunal. By an analogous right the subjects of a foreign state have
sometimes been seized in return for one of our own subjects unjustly
detained by their government.[413]

     [413] C. 2.

|Declarations of war.|

130. A regular war, by the law of nations, can only be waged between
political communities. Wherever there is a semblance of civil justice
and fixed law, such a community exists however violent may be its
actions. But a body of pirates or robbers are not one. Absolute
independence, however, is not required for the right of war. A formal
declaration of war, though not necessary by the law of nature, has
been rendered such by the usage of civilized nations. But it is
required, even by the former, that we should demand reparation for an
injury, before we seek redress by force. A declaration of war may be
conditional or absolute; and it has been established as a ratification
of regular hostilities, that they may not be confounded with the
unwarranted acts of private men. No interval of time is required for
their commencement after declaration.[414]

     [414] C. 3.

|Rights by law of nations over enemies.|

131. All is lawful during war, in one sense of the word, which by the
law and usage of nations is dispunishable. And this, in formal
hostilities, is as much the right of one side as of the other. The
subjects of our enemy, whether active on his side or not, become
liable to these extreme rights of slaughter and pillage; but it seems
that, according to the law of nations, strangers should be exempted
from them, unless by remaining in the country they serve his cause.
Women, children, and prisoners may be put to death; quarter or
capitulation for life refused. On the other hand, if the law of
nations is less strict in this respect than that of nature, it forbids
some things which naturally might be allowable means of defence, as
the poisoning an enemy, or the wells from which he is to drink. But
the assassination of an enemy is not contrary to the law of nations,
unless by means of traitors, and even this is held allowable against a
rebel or robber, who are not protected by the rules of formal war. But
the violation of women is contrary to the law of nations.[415] The
rights of war with respect to enemies’ property are unlimited, without
exception even of churches or sepulchral monuments, sparing always the
bodies of the dead.[416]

     [415] C. 4.

     [416] C. 5.

132. By the law of nature, Grotius thinks that we acquire a property
in as much of the spoil as is sufficient to indemnify us, and to
punish the aggressor. But the law of nations carries this much
farther, and gives an unlimited property in all that has been acquired
by conquest, which mankind are bound to respect. This right commences
as soon as the enemy has lost all chance of recovering his losses;
which is in moveables, as soon as they are in a place within our sole
power. The transfer of property in territories is not so speedy. The
goods of neutrals are not thus transferred, when found in the cities
or on board the vessels of an enemy. Whether the spoil belongs to the
captors, or to their sovereign, is so disputed a question, that it can
hardly be reckoned a part of that law of nations, or universal usage,
with which Grotius is here concerned. He thinks, however, that what is
taken in public enterprises appertains to the state; and that this has
been the general practice of mankind. The civil laws of each people
may modify this, and have frequently done so.[417]

     [417] C. 6.

|Prisoners become slaves.|

133. Prisoners, by the law of nations, become slaves of the captor,
and their posterity also. He may treat them as he pleases with
impunity. This has been established by the custom of mankind, in order
that the conqueror might be induced to spare the lives of the
vanquished. Some theologians deny the slave, even when taken in an
unjust war, the right of making his escape, from whom Grotius
dissents. But he has not a right, in conscience, to resist the
exercise of his master’s authority. This law of nations, as to the
slavery of prisoners, as he admits, has not been universally received,
and is now abolished in christian countries out of respect to
religion.[418] But, strictly, as an individual may be reduced into
slavery, so may a whole conquered people. It is of course at the
discretion of the conqueror to remit a portion of his right, and to
leave as much of their liberties and possessions untouched as he

     [418] C. 7.

     [419] C. 8.

|Right of postliminium.|

134. The next chapter relates to the right of postliminium, one
depending so much on the peculiar fictions of the Roman jurists, that
it seems strange to discuss it as part of an universal law of nations
at all. Nor does it properly belong to the rights of war, which are
between belligerent parties. It is certainly consonant to natural
justice, that a citizen returning from captivity should be fully
restored to every privilege and all property that he had enjoyed at
home. In modern Europe there is little to which the jus postliminii
can even by analogy be applied. It has been determined, in courts of
admiralty, that vessels recaptured after a short time do not revert to
their owner. This chapter must be reckoned rather episodical.[420]

     [420] C. 9.

|Moral limitation of rights in war.|

135. We have thus far looked only at the exterior right, accorded by
the law of nations to all who wage regular hostilities in a just or
unjust quarrel. This right is one of impunity alone, but before our
own conscience, or the tribunal of moral approbation in mankind, many
things hitherto spoken of as lawful must be condemned. In the first
place, an unjust war renders all acts of force committed in its
prosecution unjust, and binds the aggressor before God to reparation.
Every one, general or soldier, is responsible in such cases for the
wrong he has commanded or perpetrated. Nor can any one knowingly
retain the property of another obtained by such a war, though he
should come to the possession of it with good faith.[421] And as
nothing can be done, consistently with moral justice in an unjust war,
so, however legitimate our ground for hostilities may be, we
are not at liberty to transgress the boundaries of equity and
humanity. In this chapter, Grotius, after dilating with a charitable
abundance of examples and authorities in favour of clemency in war,
even towards those who have been most guilty in provoking it specially
indicates women, old men, and children, as always to be spared,
extending this also to all whose occupations are not military.
Prisoners are not to be put to death, nor are towns to be refused
terms of capitulation. He denies that the law of retaliation, or the
necessity of striking terror, or the obstinate resistance of an enemy,
dispense with the obligation of saving his life. Nothing but some
personal crime can warrant the refusal of quarter or the death of a
prisoner. Nor is it allowable to put hostages to death.[422]

     [421] C. 10.

     [422] C. 11.

|Moderation required as to spoil.|

136. All unnecessary devastation ought to be avoided, such as the
destruction of trees, of houses, especially ornamental and public
buildings, and of everything not serviceable in war, nor tending to
prolong it, as pictures and statues. Temples and sepulchres are to be
spared for the same or even stronger reasons. Though it is not the
object of Grotius to lay down any political maxims, he cannot refrain
in this place from pointing out several considerations of expediency,
which should induce us to restrain the licence of arms within the
limits of natural law.[423] There is no right by nature to more booty,
strictly speaking, than is sufficient for our indemnity, wherein are
included the expenses of the war. And the property of innocent
persons, being subjects of our enemies, is only liable in failure of
those who are primarily aggressors.[424]

     [423] C. 12.

     [424] C. 13.

|And as to prisoners.|

137. The persons of prisoners are only liable, in strict moral
justice, so far as is required for satisfaction of our injury. The
slavery into which they may be reduced ought not to extend farther
than an obligation of perpetual servitude in return for maintenance.
The power over slaves by the law of nature is far short of what the
arbitrary law of nations permits, and does not give a right of
exacting too severe labour, or of inflicting punishment beyond desert.
The peculium, or private acquisitions of a slave by economy or
donation, ought to be reckoned his property. Slaves, however, captured
in a just war, though one in which they have had no concern, are not
warranted in conscience to escape and recover their liberty. But the
children of such slaves are not in servitude by the law of nature,
except so far as they have been obliged to their master for
subsistence in infancy. With respect to prisoners, the better course
is to let them redeem themselves by a ransom, which ought to be

     [425] C. 14.

|Also in conquest.|

138. The acquisition of that sovereignty which was enjoyed by a
conquered people, or by their rulers, is not only legitimate, so far
as is warranted by the punishment they have deserved, or by the value
of our own loss, but also so far as the necessity of securing
ourselves extends. This last is what it is often unsafe to remit out
of clemency. It is a part of moderation in victory to incorporate the
conquered with our own citizens on equal terms, or to leave their
independence on reasonable precautions for our own security. If this
cannot be wholly conceded, their civil laws and municipal magistracies
may be preserved, and, above all, the free exercise of their religion.
The interests of conquerors are as much consulted, generally, as their
reputation, by such lenient use of their advantages.[426]

     [426] C. 15.

|And in restitution to right owners.|

139. It is consonant to natural justice that we should restore to the
original owners all of which they have been despoiled in an unjust
war, when it falls into our hands by a lawful conquest, without regard
to the usual limits of postliminium. Thus, if an ambitious state comes
to be stripped of its usurpations, this should be not for the benefit
of the conqueror but of the ancient possessors. Length of time,
however, will raise the presumption of abandonment.[427] Nothing
should be taken in war from neutral states, except through necessity
and with compensation. The most ordinary case is that of the passage
of troops. The neutral is bound to strict impartiality in a war of
doubtful justice.[428] But it seems to be the opinion of Grotius, that
by the law of nature, every one, even a private man, may act in favour
of the innocent party as far as the rights of war extend, except that
he cannot appropriate to himself the possessions of the enemy; that
right being one founded on indemnification. But civil and military
laws have generally restrained this to such as obey the express order
of their government.[429]

     [427] C. 16.

     [428] C. 17.

     [429] C. 19.

|Promises to enemies and pirates.|

140. The licence of war is restrained either by the laws of nature and
nations, which have been already discussed, or by particular
engagement. The obligation of promises extends to enemies, who
are still parts of the great society of mankind. Faith is to be kept
even with tyrants, robbers, and pirates. He here again adverts to the
case of a promise made under an unjust compulsion; and possibly his
reasoning on the general principle is not quite put in the most
satisfactory manner. It would now be argued that the violation of
engagements towards the worst of mankind, who must be supposed to have
some means of self-defence, on account of which we propose to treat
with them, would produce a desperation among men in similar
circumstances injurious to society. Or it might be urged, that men do
not lose by their crimes a right to the performance of all
engagements, especially when they have fulfilled their own share in
them, but only of such as involve a positive injustice towards the
other party. In this place he repeats his former doctrine, that the
most invalid promise may be rendered binding by the addition of an
oath. It follows from the general rule, that a prince is bound by his
engagements to rebel subjects; above all, if they have had the
precaution to exact his oath. And thus a change in the constitution of
a monarchy may legitimately take place, and it may become mixed
instead of absolute by the irrevocable concession of the sovereign.
The rule, that promises made under an unjust compulsion are not
obligatory, has no application in a public and regular war.[430]
Barbeyrac remarks on this, that if a conqueror, like Alexander,
subdues an unoffending people with no specious pretext at all, he does
not perceive why they should be more bound in conscience to keep the
promises of obedience they may have been compelled to enter into, than
if he had been an ordinary bandit. And this remark shows us, that the
celebrated problem in casuistry, as to the obligation of compulsory
promises, has far more important consequences than the payment of a
petty sum to a robber. In two cases, however, Grotius holds that we
are dispensed from keeping an engagement towards an enemy. One of
these is, when it has been conditional, and the other party has not
fulfilled his part of the convention. This is of course obvious, and
can only be open to questions as to the precedence of the condition.
The other case is where we retain what is due to us by way of
compensation, notwithstanding our promise. This is permissible in
certain instances.[431]

     [430] C. 19, § 11. There seems, as has been intimated
     above, to be some inconsistency in the doctrine of Grotius with
     respect to the general obligation of such promises, which he
     maintains in the second book; and now, as far as I collect his
     meaning, denies by implication.

     [431] C. 19.

|Treaties concluded by competent authority.|

141. The obligation of treaties of peace depends on their being
concluded by the authority which, according to the constitution of the
state, is sovereign for this purpose. Kings who do not possess a
patrimonial sovereignty cannot alienate any part of their dominions
without the consent of the nation or its representatives; they must
even have the consent of the city or province which is thus to be
transferred. In patrimonial kingdoms, the sovereign may alienate the
whole, but not always a part, at pleasure. He seems however to admit
an ultimate right of sovereignty, or _dominium eminens_, by which
all states may dispose of the property of their subjects, and
consequently alienate it for the sake of a great advantage, but
subject to the obligation of granting them an indemnity. He even holds
that the community is naturally bound to indemnify private subjects
for the losses they sustain in war, though this right or reparation
may be taken away by civil laws. The right of alienation by a treaty
of peace is only questionable between the sovereign and his subjects;
foreign states may presume its validity in their own favour.[432]

     [432] C. 20.

|Matters relating to them.|

142. Treaties of peace are generally founded on one of two principles:
that the parties shall return to the condition wherein they were
before the commencement of hostilities, or that they shall retain what
they possess at their conclusion. The last is to be presumed in a case
of doubtful interpretation. A treaty of peace extinguishes all public
grounds of quarrel, whether known to exist or not, but does not put an
end to the claims of private men subsisting before the war, the
extinguishment of which is never to be presumed. The other rules of
interpretation which he lays down are, as usual with him, derived
rather from natural equity than the practice of mankind, though with
no neglect or scorn of the latter. He maintains the right of giving an
asylum to the banished, but not of receiving large bodies of men who
abandon their country.[433]

     [433] Id.

143. The decision of lot may be adopted in some cases, in order to
avoid a war, wherein we have little chance of resisting an enemy. But
that of single combat, according to Grotius’s opinion, though
not repugnant to the law of nature, is incompatible with Christianity;
unless in the case where a party, unjustly assailed, has no other
means of defence. Arbitration by a neutral power is another method of
settling differences, and in this we are bound to acquiesce. Wars may
also be terminated by implicit submission or by capitulation. The
rights this gives him have been already discussed. He concludes this
chapter with a few observations upon hostages and pledges. With
respect to the latter he holds that they may be reclaimed after any
lapse of time, unless there is a presumption of tacit abandonment.[434]

     [434] C. 20.

|Truces and conventions.|

144. A truce is an interval of war, and does not require a fresh
declaration at its close. No act of hostility is lawful during its
continuance; the infringement of this rule by either party gives the
other a right to take up arms without delay. Safe conducts are to be
construed liberally, rejecting every meaning of the words which does
not reach their spirit. Thus a safe conduct to go to a place implies
the right of returning unmolested. The ransom of prisoners ought to be
favoured.[435] A state is bound by the conventions in war made by its
officers, provided they are such as may reasonably be presumed to lie
within their delegated authority, or such as they have a special
commission to warrant, known to the other contracting party. A state
is also bound by its tacit ratification in permitting the execution of
any part of such a treaty, though in itself not obligatory, and also
by availing itself of any advantage thereby. Grotius dwells afterwards
on many distinctions relating to this subject, which, however, as far
as they do not resolve themselves into the general principle, are to
be considered on the ground of positive regulation.[436]

     [435] C. 21.

     [436] C. 22.

|Those of private persons.|

145. Private persons, whether bearing arms or not, are as much bound
as their superiors by the engagements they contract with an enemy.
This applies particularly to the parole of a prisoner. The engagement
not to serve again, though it has been held null by some jurists, as
contrary to our obligation towards our country, is valid. It has been
a question, whether the state ought to compel its citizens to keep
their word towards the enemy? The better opinion is that it should do
so; and this has been the practice of the most civilized nations.[437]
Those who put themselves under the protection of a state engage to do
nothing hostile towards it. Hence, such actions as that of Zopyrus,
who betrayed Babylon under the guise of a refugee, are not excusable.
Several sorts of tacit engagements are established by the usage of
nations, as that of raising a white flag in token of a desire to
suspend arms. These are exceptions from the general rule which
authorises deceit in war.[438] In the concluding chapter of the whole
treatise Grotius briefly exhorts all states to preserve good faith and
to seek peace at all times, upon the mild principles of

     [437] C. 23.

     [438] C. 24.

     [439] C. 25.

|Objections to Grotius made by Paley unreasonable.|

146. If the reader has had the patience to make his way through the
abstract of Grotius, De Jure Belli, that we have placed before him, he
will be fully prepared to judge of the criticisms made upon this
treatise by Paley and Dugald Stewart. “The writings of Grotius and
Puffendorf,” says the former, “are of too forensic a cast, too much
mixed up with civil law and with the jurisprudence of Germany, to
answer precisely the design of a system of ethics, the direction of
private consciences in the general conduct of human life.” But it was
not the intention of Grotius (we are not at present concerned with
Puffendorf) to furnish a system of ethics; nor did anyone ever hold
forth his treatise in this light. Upon some most important branches of
morality he has certainly dwelt so fully as to answer the purpose of
“directing the private conscience in the conduct of life.” The great
aim, however, of his inquiries was to ascertain the principles of
natural right applicable to independent communities.

147. Paley, it must be owned, has a more specious ground of accusation
in his next charge against Grotius for the profusion of classical
quotations. “To anything more than ornament they can make no claim. To
propose them as serious arguments, gravely to attempt to establish or
fortify a moral duty by the testimony of a Greek or Roman poet, is to
trifle with the reader, or rather take off his attention from all just
principles in morals.”

|Reply of Mackintosh.|

148. A late eminent writer has answered this from the text of Grotius,
but in more eloquent language than Grotius could have employed.
“Another answer,” says Mackintosh, “is due to some of those who have
criticised Grotius, and that answer might be given in the words of
Grotius himself. He was not of such a stupid and servile cast
of mind, as to quote the opinions of poets or orators, of historians
and philosophers, as those of judges from whose decision there was no
appeal. He quotes them, as he tells us himself, as witnesses, whose
conspiring testimony, mightily strengthened and confirmed by their
discordance on almost every other subject, is a conclusive proof of
the unanimity of the whole human race on the great rules of duty and
the fundamental principles of morals. On such matters, poets and
orators are the most unexceptionable of all witnesses; for they
address themselves to the general feelings and sympathies of mankind;
they are neither warped by system, nor prevented by sophistry; they
can attain none of their objects, they can neither please nor
persuade, if they dwell on moral sentiments not in unison with those
of their readers. No system of moral philosophy can surely disregard
the general feelings of human nature, and the according judgment of
all ages and nations. But where are these feelings and that judgment
recorded and preserved? In those very writings which Grotius is
gravely blamed for having quoted. The usages and laws of nations, the
events of history, the opinions of philosophers, the sentiments of
orators and poets, as well as the observation of common life are, in
truth, the materials out of which the science of morality is formed;
and those who neglect them are justly chargeable with a vain attempt
to philosophise without regard to fact and experience, the sole
foundation of all true philosophy.”[440]

     [440] Mackintosh, Discourse on the Study of the Law of
     Nature and Nations, p. 23 (edit. 1828).

149. The passage in Grotius which has suggested this noble defence
will be found above. It will be seen on reference to it, that he
proposes to quote the poets and orators cautiously, and rather as
ornamental than authoritative supports of his argument. In no one
instance, I believe, will he be found to “enforce a moral duty,” as
Paley imagines, by their sanction. It is, nevertheless, to be fairly
acknowledged, that he has sometimes gone a good deal farther than the
rules of a pure taste allow in accumulating quotations from the poets,
and that, in an age so impatient of prolixity as the last, this has
stood much in the way of the general reader.

|Censures of Stewart.|

150. But these criticisms of Paley contain very trifling censure in
comparison with the unbounded scorn poured on Grotius by Dugald
Stewart, in his first Dissertation on the Progress of Philosophy. I
have never read these pages of an author whom I had unfortunately not
the opportunity of personally knowing, but whose researches have
contributed so much to the delight and advantage of mankind, without
pain and surprise. It would be too much to say that, in several parts
of this Dissertation, by no means in the first class of Stewart’s
writings, other proofs of precipitate judgment do not occur; but that
he should have spoken of a work so distinguished by fame, and so
effective, as he himself admits, over the public mind of Europe, in
terms of unmingled depreciation, without having done more than glanced
at some of its pages, is an extraordinary symptom of that tendency
towards prejudices, hasty but inveterate, of which this eminent man
seems to have been not a little susceptible. The attack made by
Stewart on those who have taken the law of nature and nations as their
theme, and especially on Grotius who stands forward in that list, is
protracted for several pages, and it would be tedious to examine every
sentence in succession. Were I to do so, it is not, in my opinion, an
exaggeration to say that almost every successive sentence would lie
open to criticism. But let us take the chief heads of accusation.

|Answer to them.|

151. “Grotius,” we are told, under the title, De Jure Belli et Pacis,
“has aimed at a complete system of natural law. Condillac says, that
he chose the title in order to excite a more general curiosity.” The
total erroneousness of this passage must appear to every one who has
seen what Grotius declares to have been his primary object. He chose
the title because it came nearest to express that object--the
ascertainment of laws binding on independent communities in their
mutual relations, whether of war or peace. But as it was not possible
to lay down any solid principles of international right till the
notions of right, of sovereignty, of dominion over things and persons,
of war itself, were clearly established, it became indispensable to
build upon a more extensive basis than later writers on the law of
nations, who found the labour performed to their hands, have thought
necessary. All ethical philosophy, even in those parts which bear a
near relation to jurisprudence and to international law, was in the
age of Grotius a chaos of incoherent and arbitrary notions, brought in
from various sources, from the ancient schools, from the
scriptures, the fathers, the canons, the casuistical theologians, the
rabbins, the jurists, as well as from the practice and sentiments of
every civilised nation, past and present, the Jews, the Greeks, and
Romans, the trading republics, the chivalrous kingdoms of modern
Europe. If Grotius has not wholly disentangled himself from this
bewildering maze, through which he painfully traces his way by the
lights of reason and revelation, he has at least cleared up much, and
put others still oftener in the right path, where he has not been able
to follow it. Condillac, as here quoted by Stewart, has anticipated
Paley’s charge against Grotius, of labouring to support his
conclusions by the authority of others, and of producing a long string
of quotations to prove the most indubitable propositions. In what
degree this very exaggerated remark is true we have already seen. But
it should be kept in mind, that neither the disposition of the age in
which Grotius lived, nor the real necessity of illustrating every part
of his inquiries by the precedent usages of mankind, would permit him
to treat of moral philosophy as of the abstract theorems of geometry.
If his erudition has sometimes obstructed or misled him, which perhaps
has not so frequently happened as these critics assume, it is still
true that a contemptuous ignorance of what has been done or has been
taught, such as belonged to the school of Condillac and to that of
Paley, does not very well qualify the moral philosopher for inquiry
into the principles which are to regulate human nature.

152. “Among the different ideas,” Stewart observes, “which have been
formed of natural jurisprudence, one of the most common, especially in
the earlier systems, supposes its object to be--to lay down those
rules of justice which would be binding on men living in a social
state without any positive institutions; or, as it is frequently
called by writers on this subject, living together in a state of
nature. This idea of the province of jurisprudence seems to have been
uppermost in the mind of Grotius in various parts of his treatise.”
After some conjectures on the motives which led the early writers to
take this view of national law, and admitting that the rules of
justice are in every case precise and indispensable, and that their
authority is altogether independent of that of the civil magistrate,
he deems it “obviously absurd to spend much time in speculating about
the principles of this natural law, as applicable to men before the
institution of governments.” It may possibly be as absurd as he thinks
it. But where has Grotius shown that this condition of natural society
was uppermost in his thoughts? Of the state of nature, as it existed
among individuals before the foundation of civil institutions, he says
no more than was requisite in order to exhibit the origin of those
rights which spring from property and government. But that he has, in
some part especially of his second book, dwelt upon the rules of
justice binding on men subsequent to the institution of property, but
independently of positive laws, is most certain; nor is it possible
for any one to do otherwise, who does not follow Hobbes in confounding
moral with legal obligation; a theory to which Mr. Stewart was of all
men the most averse.

153. Natural jurisprudence is a term that is not always taken in the
same sense. It seems to be of English origin; nor am I certain, though
my memory may deceive me, that I have ever met with it in Latin or in
French. Strictly speaking, as jurisprudence means the science of law,
and is especially employed with respect to the Roman, natural
jurisprudence must be the science of morals, or the law of nature. It
is, therefore, in this sense, co-extensive with ethics, and
comprehends the rules of temperance, liberality, and benevolence, as
much as those of justice. Stewart, however, seems to consider this
idea of jurisprudence as an arbitrary extension of the science derived
from the technical phraseology of the Roman law. “Some vague notion of
this kind,” he says, “has manifestly given birth to many of the
digressions of Grotius.” It may have been seen by the analysis of the
entire treatise of Grotius above given, that none of his digressions,
if such they are to be called, have originated in any vague notion of
an identity, or proper analogy, between the strict rules of justice
and those of the other virtues. The Aristotelian division of justice
into commutative and distributive, which Grotius has adopted, might
seem in some respect to bear out this supposition; but it is evident,
from the contents of Stewart’s observations, that he was referring
only to the former species, or justice in its more usual sense, the
observance of perfect rights, whose limits may be accurately
determined, and whose violation may be redressed.

154. Natural jurisprudence has another sense imposed upon it by Adam
Smith. According to this sense, its object, in the words of
Stewart, is “to ascertain the general principles of justice which
ought to be recognised in every municipal code, and to which it ought
to be the aim of every legislator to accommodate his institutions.”
Grotius, in Smith’s opinion, was “the first who attempted to give the
world anything like a system of those principles which ought to run
through, and to be the foundation of, the laws of all nations; and his
treatise on the laws of peace and war, with all its imperfections, is
perhaps at this day the most complete book that has yet been given on
the subject.”

155. The first probably, in modern times, who conceived this idea of
an universal jurisprudence was Lord Bacon. He places among the
desiderata of political science, the province of universal justice, or
the sources of law. Id nunc agatur, ut fontes justitiæ et utilitatis
publicæ petantur, et in singulis juris partibus character quidam et
idea justi exhibeatur, ad quem particularium regnorum et
rerumpublicarum leges probare, atque inde emendationem moliri quisque,
cui hæc cordi erit et curæ possit.[441] The maxims which follow are an
admirable illustration of the principles which should regulate the
enactment and expression of laws, as well as much that should guide,
in a general manner, the decision of courts of justice. They touch
very slightly, if at all, any subject which Grotius has handled; but
certainly come far closer to natural jurisprudence, in the sense of
Smith, inasmuch as they contain principles which have no limitation to
the circumstances of particular societies. These maxims of Bacon, and
all others that seem properly to come within the province of
jurisprudence in this sense, which is now become not uncommon, the
science of universal _law_, are resolvable partly into those of
natural justice, partly into those of public expediency. Little,
however, could be objected against the admission of universal
jurisprudence, in this sense, among the sciences. But if it is meant
that any systematic science, whether by the name of jurisprudence or
legislation, can be laid down as to the principles which ought to
determine the institutions of all nations, or that, in other words,
the laws of each separate community ought to be regulated by any
universal standard, in matters not depending upon eternal justice, we
must demur to receiving so very disputable a proposition. It is
probable that Adam Smith had no thoughts of asserting it; yet his
language is not very clear, and he seems to have assigned some object
to Grotius, distinct from the establishment of natural and
international law. “Whether this was,” says Stewart, “or was not, the
leading object of Grotius, it is not material to decide; but if this
was his object, it will not be disputed that he has executed his
design in a very desultory manner, and that he often seems to have
lost sight of it altogether, in the midst of those miscellaneous
speculations on political, ethical, and historical subjects, which
form so large a portion of his treatise, and which so frequently
succeed each other without any apparent connexion or common aim.”

     [441] De Augmentis, lib. vii.

156. The unfairness of this passage, it is now hardly incumbent upon
me to point out. The reader has been enabled to answer that no
political speculation will be found in the volume, De Jure Belli ac
Pacis, unless the disquisition on the origin of human society is thus
to be denominated; that the instances continually adduced from history
are always in illustration of the main argument; and that what are
here called ethical speculations are, in fact, the real subject of the
book, since it avowedly treats of obligations on the conscience of
mankind, and especially of their rulers. Whether the various topics in
this treatise “succeed each other without apparent connection or
common aim,” may best be seen by the titles of the chapters, or by the
analysis of their contents. There are certainly a very few of these
that have little in common, even by deduction or analogy, with
international law, though scarce any, I think, which do not rise
naturally out of the previous discussion. Exuberances of this kind are
so common in writers of great reputation, that where they do not
transgress more than Grotius has done, the censure of irrelevancy has
been always reckoned hypercritical.

157. “The Roman system of jurisprudence,” Mr. Stewart proceeds, “seems
to have warped in no inconsiderable degree the notions of Grotius on
all questions connected with the theory of legislation, and to have
diverted his attention from that philosophical idea of law so well
expressed by Cicero, Non a prætoris edicto, neque a duodecim tabulis,
sed penitus ex intima philosophia hauriendam juris disciplinam. In
this idolatry, indeed, of the Roman law, he has not gone so far as
some of his commentators, who have affirmed that it is only a
different name for the law of nature: but that his partiality for his
professional pursuits has often led him to overlook the immense
difference between the state of society in ancient and modern Europe,
will not, I believe, now be disputed.” It is probable that it will be
disputed by all who are acquainted with Grotius. The questions
connected with the theory of legislation which he has discussed, are
chiefly those relating to the acquisition and alienation of property
in some of the earlier chapters of the second book. That he has not,
in these disquisitions, adopted all the determinations of the Roman
jurists is certain; whether he may in any particular instance have
adhered to them more than the best theory of legislation would admit,
is a matter of variable opinion. But Stewart, wholly unacquainted with
the civil laws, appears to have much underrated their value. In all
questions of private right, they form the great basis of every
legislation; and, as all civilised nations, including our own, have
derived a large portion of their jurisprudence from this source, so
even the modern theorists, who would disdain to be ranked as disciples
of Paullus and Papinian, are not ashamed to be their plagiaries.

|Grotius vindicated against Rousseau.|

158. It has been thrown out against Grotius by Rousseau,[442] and the
same insinuation may be found in other writers, that he confounds the
fact with the right, and the duties of nations with their practice.
How little foundation there is for this calumny is sufficiently
apparent to our readers. Scrupulous, as a casuist, to an excess hardly
reconcilable with the security and welfare of good men, he was the
first, beyond the precincts of the confessional or the church, to pour
the dictates of a saint-like innocence into the ears of princes. It is
true, that, in recognising the legitimacy of slavery, and in carrying
too far the principles of obedience to government, he may be thought
to have deprived mankind of some of their security against injustice,
but this is exceedingly different from a sanction to it. An implicit
deference to what he took for divine truth was the first axiom in the
philosophy of Grotius; if he was occasionally deceived in his
application of this principle, it was but according to the notions of
his age; but those who wholly reject the authority must of course want
a common standard by which his speculations in moral philosophy can be
reconciled with their own.

     [442] Contrat Social.

159. I must now quit a subject upon which, perhaps, I have dwelt too
long. The high fame of Dugald Stewart has rendered it a sort of duty
to vindicate from his hasty censures the memory of one still more
illustrious in reputation, till the lapse of time, and the fickleness
of literary fashion, conspired with the popularity of his assailants
to magnify his defects, and meet the very name of his famous treatise
with a kind of scornful ridicule. That Stewart had never read much of
Grotius, or even gone over the titles of his chapters, is very
manifest; and he displays a similar ignorance as to the other writers
on natural law, who, for more than a century afterwards, as he admits
himself, exercised a great influence over the studies of Europe. I
have commented upon very few, comparatively, of the slips which occur
in his pages on this subject.

|His arrangement.|

160. The arrangement of Grotius has been blamed as unscientific by a
more friendly judge, Sir James Mackintosh. Though I do not feel very
strongly the force of his objections, it is evident that the law of
nature might have been established on its basis, before the author
passed forward to any disquisition upon its reference to independent
communities. This would have changed a good deal the principal object
that Grotius had in view, and brought his treatise, in point of
method, very near to that of Puffendorf. But assuming, as he did, the
authority recognised by those for whom he wrote, that of the
Scriptures, he was less inclined to dwell on the proof which reason
affords for a natural law, though fully satisfied of its validity,
even without reference to the Supreme Being.

|His defects.|

161. The real faults of Grotius, leading to erroneous determinations,
seem to be rather an unnecessary scrupulousness, and somewhat of old
theological prejudice, from which scarce any man in his age, who was
not wholly indifferent to religion, had liberated himself. The notes
of Barbeyrac seldom fail to correct this leaning. Several later
writers on international law have treated his doctrine of an universal
law of nations founded on the agreement of mankind, as an empty
chimera of his invention. But if he only meant by this the tacit
consent, or, in other words, the general custom of civilized nations,
it does not appear that there is much difference between his theory
and that of Wolf or Vattel.

                           CHAPTER XXII.

               HISTORY OF POETRY FROM 1600 TO 1650.

                              SECT. I.

                        ON ITALIAN POETRY.

_Characters of the Poets of the Seventeenth Century--Sometimes too
much depreciated--Marini--Tassoni--Chiabrera._

|Low estimation of the Seicentisti.|

1. At the close of the sixteenth century, few remained in Italy to
whom posterity has assigned a considerable reputation for their
poetry. But the ensuing period has stood lower, for the most part, in
the opinion of later ages than any other since the revival of letters.
The _seicentisti_, the writers of the seventeenth century, were
stigmatised in modern criticism, till the word has been associated
with nothing but false taste and everything that should be shunned and
despised. Those who had most influence in leading the literary
judgment of Italy went back, some almost exclusively, to the
admiration of Petrarch and his contemporaries, some to the various
writers who cultivated their native poetry in the sixteenth century.
Salvini is of the former class, Muratori of the latter.[443]

     [443] Muratori, Della Perfetta Poesia, is one of the best books
     of criticism in the Italian language; in the second volume are
     contained some remarks by Salvini, a bigoted Florentine.

|Not quite so great as formerly.|

2. The last age, that is, the concluding twenty years of the
eighteenth century, brought with it, in many respects, a change of
public sentiment in Italy. A masculine turn of thought, an expanded
grasp of philosophy, a thirst, ardent to excess, for great exploits
and noble praise, has distinguished the Italian people of the last
fifty years from their progenitors of several preceding generations.
It is possible that the enhanced relative importance of the Lombards
in their national literature, may have not been without its influence
in rendering the public taste less fastidious as to purity of
language, less fine in that part of æsthetic discernment which relates
to the grace and felicity of expression, while it became also more apt
to demand originality, nervousness, and the power of exciting emotion.
The writers of the seventeenth century may, in some cases, have gained
by this revolution; but those of the preceding ages, especially the
Petrarchists whom Bembo had led, have certainly lost ground in
national admiration.

|Praise of them by Rubbi.|

3. Rubbi, editor of the voluminous collection, called Parnaso
Italiano, had the courage to extol the “seicentisti” for their genius
and fancy, and even to place them, in all but style, above their
predecessors. “Give them,” he says, “but grace and purity, take from
them their capricious exaggerations, their perpetual and forced
metaphors, you will think Marini the first poet of Italy, and his
followers, with their fulness of imagery and personification, will
make you forget their monotonous predecessors. I do not advise you to
make a study of the seicentisti; it would spoil your style, perhaps
your imagination; I only tell you that they were the true Italian
poets; they wanted a good style, it is admitted, but they were so far
from wanting genius and imagination, that these perhaps tended to
impair their style.”[444]

     [444] Parnaso Italiano, vol. xli. (Avvertimento). Rubbi, however,
     gives but two out of his long collection in fifty volumes, to the
     writers of the seventeenth century.

|Also by Salfi.|

4. It is probable that every native critic would think some parts of
this panegyric, and especially the strongly hyperbolical praise of
Marini, carried too far. But I am not sure that we should be wrong in
agreeing with Rubbi, that there is as much _Catholic_ poetry, by
which I mean that which is good in all ages and countries, in some of
the minor productions of the seventeenth as in those of the sixteenth
age. The sonnets, especially, have more individuality and more
meaning. In this, however, I should wish to include the latter portion
of the seventeenth century. Salfi, a writer of more taste and judgment
than Rubbi, has recently taken the same side, and remarked the
superior originality, the more determined individuality, the greater
variety of subjects, above all, what the Italians now most value, the
more earnest patriotism of the later poets.[445] Those immediately
before us, belonging to the first half of the century, are less
numerous than in the former age; the sonnetteers, especially,
have produced much less; and in the collections of poetry, even in
that of Rubbi, notwithstanding his eulogy, they take up very little
room. Some, however, have obtained a durable renown, and are better
known in Europe than any, except the Tassos, that flourished in the
last fifty years of the golden age.

     [445] Salfi, Hist. Litt. de l’Italie (continuation de Ginguéné),
     vol. xii., p. 424.

|Adone of Marini.|

5. It must be confessed that the praise of a masculine genius, either
in thought or language, cannot be bestowed on the poet of the
seventeenth century whom his contemporaries most admired, Giovanni
Battista Marini. He is, on the contrary, more deficient than all the
rest in such qualities, and is indebted to the very opposite
characteristics for the sinister influence he exerted on the public
taste. He was a Neapolitan by birth, and gave to the world his famous
Adone, in 1623. As he was then fifty-four years old, it may be
presumed, from the character of the poem, that it was in great part
written long before; and he had already acquired a considerable
reputation by his other works. The Adone was received with an
unbounded and ill-judging approbation; ill-judging in a critical
sense, because the faults of this poem are incapable of defence, but
not unnatural, as many parallel instances of the world’s enthusiasm
have shown. No one had before carried the corruption of taste so far;
extravagant metaphors, false thoughts and conceits on equivocal words
are very frequent in the Adone; and its author stands accountable in
some measure for his imitators, who during more than half a century
looked up to Marini with emulous folly, and frequently succeeded in
greater deviations from pure taste, without his imagination and

|Its character.|

6. The Adone is one of the longest poems in the world, containing more
than 45,000 lines. He has shown some ingenuity in filling up the
canvas of so slight a story by additional incidents from his own
invention, and by long episodes allusive to the times in which he
lived. But the subject, expanded so interminably, is essentially
destitute of any superior interest, and fit only for an enervated
people, barren of high thoughts and high actions, the Italy,
notwithstanding some bright exceptions, of the seventeenth century. If
we could overcome this essential source of weariness, the Adone has
much to delight our fancy and our ear. Marini is, more than any other
poet, the counterpart of Ovid; his fertility of imagination, his ready
accumulation of circumstances and expressions, his easy flow of
language, his harmonious versification, are in no degree inferior; his
faults are also the same; for in Ovid we have all the overstrained
figures and the false conceits of Marini. But the Italian poet was
incapable of imitating the truth to nature and depth of feeling which
appear in many parts of his ancient prototype, nor has he as vigorous
an expression. Never does Marini rise to any high pitch; few stanzas,
perhaps, are remembered by natives for their beauty, but many are
graceful and pleasing, all are easy and musical.[446] “Perhaps,” says
Salfi, “with the exception of Ariosto, no one has been more a poet by
nature than he;”[447] a praise, however, which may justly seem
hyperbolical to those who recall their attention to the highest
attributes of poetry.

     [446] Five stanzas of the seventh canto, being a choral song of
     satyrs and bacchanti, are thrown into _versi sdruccioli_, and
     have been accounted by the Italians an extraordinary effort of
     skill, from the difficulty of sustaining a metre which is not
     strong in rhymes with so much spirit and ease. Each verse also is
     divided into three parts, themselves separately _sdruccioli_,
     though not rhyming. One stanza will make this clear:--

       Hor d’ellera s’adornino, e di pampino
       I giovani, e le vergini più tenere,
       E gemina nell’anima si stampino
       L’imagine di Libero, e di Venere.
       Tutti ardano, s’accendano, ed avampino,
       Qual Semele, ch’al folgore fù cenere;
       E cantino a Cupidine, ed a Bromio,
       Con numeri poetici un’encomio.
                    Cant. vii., st. 118.

     Though this metrical skill may not be of the highest merit in
     poetry, it is no more to be slighted than facility of touch in a

     [447] Vol. xiv., p. 147. The character of Marini’s poetry, which
     this critic has given, is in general very just, and in good
     taste. Corniani (vii., 123) has also done justice, and no more
     than justice, to Marini. Tiraboschi has hardly said enough in his
     favour; and as to Muratori, it was his business to restore and
     maintain a purity of taste, which rendered him severe towards the
     excesses of such poets as Marini.

|And popularity.|

7. Marini belongs to that very numerous body of poets who, delighted
with the spontaneity of their ideas, never reject any that arise;
their parental love forbids all preference, and an impartial law of
gavelkind shares their page among all the offspring of their brain.
Such were Ovid and Lucan, and such have been some of our own poets of
great genius and equal fame. Their fertility astonishes the reader,
and he enjoys for a time the abundant banquet; but satiety is too sure
a consequence, and he returns with less pleasure to a second
perusal. The censure of criticism falls invariably, and sometimes too
harshly, on this sort of poetry; it is one of those cases where the
critic and the world are most at variance; but the world is apt, in
this instance, to reverse its own judgment, and yield to the tribunal
it had rejected. “To Marini,” says an eminent Italian writer, “we owe
the lawlessness of composition: the ebullition of his genius,
incapable of restraint, burst through every bulwark, enduring no rule
but that of his own humour, which was all for sonorous verse, bold and
ingenious thoughts, fantastical subjects, a phraseology rather Latin
than Italian, and in short aimed at pleasing by a false appearance of
beauty. It would almost pass belief how much this style was admired,
were it not so near our own time that we hear as it were the echo of
its praise; nor did Dante, or Petrarch, or Tasso, or perhaps any of
the ancient poets, obtain in their lives so much applause.”[448] But
Marini, who died in 1625, had not time to enjoy much of this glory.
The length of this poem, and the diffuseness which produces its
length, render it nearly impossible to read through the Adone; and it
wants that inequality which might secure preference to detached
portions. The story of Psyche in the fourth canto may perhaps be as
fair a specimen of Marini as could be taken: it is not easy to destroy
the beauty of that fable, nor was he unfitted to relate it with grace
and interest; but he has displayed all the blemishes of his own

     [448] Crescimbeni, ii. 470.

     [449] The Adone has been frequently charged with want of decency.
     It was put to the ban of the Roman Inquisition, and grave writers
     have deemed it necessary to protest against its licentiousness.
     Andrès even goes so far as to declare, that no one can read the
     Adone whose heart as well as taste is not corrupt; and that both
     for the sake of good morals and good poetry, it should be taken
     out of every one’s hands. After such invectives, it may seem
     extraordinary that, though the poem of Marini must by its nature
     be rather voluptuous, it is by far less open to such an objection
     than the Orlando Furioso, nor more, I believe, than the Faëry
     Queen. No charge is apt to be made so capriciously as this.

|Secchia Rapita of Tassoni.|

8. The Secchia Rapita of Alessandro Tassoni, published at Paris in
1622, is better known in Europe than might have been expected from its
local subject, idiomatic style, and unintelligible personalities. It
turns, as the title imports, on one of the petty wars frequent among
the Italian cities as late as the beginning of the fourteenth century,
wherein the Bolognese endeavoured to recover the bucket of a well,
which the citizens of Modena, in a prior incursion, had carried off.
Tassoni, by a poetical anachronism, mixed this with an earlier contest
of rather more dignity between the little republics, wherein Enzio,
king of Sardinia, a son of Frederic II., had been made prisoner. He
has been reckoned by many the inventor, or at least the reproducer in
modern times, of the mock heroic style.[450] Pulci, however, had led
the way; and when Tassoni claims originality, it must be in a very
limited view of the execution of his poem. He has certainly more of
parody than Pulci could have attempted; the great poems of Ariosto and
Tasso, especially the latter, supply him with abundant opportunities
for this ingenious and lively, but not spiteful, exercise of wit, and
he has adroitly seized the ridiculous side of his contemporary Marini.
The combat of the cities, it may be observed, is serious enough,
however trifling the cause, and has its due proportion of slaughter;
but Tassoni, very much in the manner of the Morgante Maggiore, throws
an air of ridicule over the whole. The episodes are generally in a
still more comic style. A graceful facility and a light humour, which
must have been incomparably better understood by his countrymen and
contemporaries, make this a very amusing poem. It is exempt from the
bad taste of the age; and the few portions where the burlesque tone
disappears are versified with much elegance. Perhaps it has not been
observed that the Count de Culange, one of his most ludicrous
characters, bears a certain resemblance to Hudibras, both by his
awkward and dastardly appearance as a knight, and by his ridiculous
addresses to the lady whom he woos.[451] None, however, will question
the originality of Butler.

     [450] Boileau seems to acknowledge himself indebted to Tassoni
     for the Lutrin; and Pope may have followed both in the first
     sketch of the Rape of the Lock, though what he has added is a
     purely original conception. But in fact the mock heroic or
     burlesque style, in a general sense, is so natural, and,
     moreover, so common, that it is idle to talk of its inventor.
     What else is Rabelais, Don Quixote, or, in Italian, the romance
     of Bertoldo, all older than Tassoni? What else are the popular
     tales of children, John the Giganticide, and many more? The poem
     of Tassoni had a very great reputation. Voltaire did it
     injustice, though it was much in his own line.

     [451] Cantos X. and XI. It was intended as a ridicule on Marini,
     but represents a real personage. Salfi, xiii., 147.


9. But the poet of whom Italy has, in later times, been far
more proud than of Marini or Tassoni was Chiabrera. Of his long life
the greater part fell within the sixteenth century; and some of his
poems were published before its close; but he has generally been
considered as belonging to the present period. Chiabrera is the
founder of a school in the lyric poetry of Italy, rendered afterwards
more famous by Guidi, which affected the name of Pindaric. It is the
Theban lyre which they boast to strike: it is from the fountain of
Dirce that they draw their inspiration; and these allusions are as
frequent in their verse, as those to Valclusa and the Sorga in the
followers of Petrarch. Chiabrera borrowed from Pindar that grandeur of
sound, that pomp of epithets, that rich swell of imagery, that
unvarying majesty of conception, which distinguish the odes of both
poets. He is less frequently harsh or turgid, though the latter
blemish has been sometimes observed in him, but wants also the
masculine condensation of his prototype; nor does he deviate so
frequently, or with so much power of imagination, into such
digressions as those which generally shade from our eyes, in a skilful
profusion of ornament, the victors of the Grecian games whom Pindar
professes to celebrate. The poet of the house of Medici and of other
princes of Italy, great at least in their own time, was not so much
compelled to desert his immediate subject, as he who was paid for an
ode by some wrestler or boxer, who could only become worthy of heroic
song by attaching his name to the ancient glories of his native city.
The profuse employment of mythological allusions, frigid as it appears
at present, was so customary, that we can hardly impute to it much
blame; and it seemed peculiarly appropriate to a style which was
studiously formed on the Pindaric model.[452] The odes of Chiabrera
are often panegyrical, and his manner was well fitted for that style,
though sometimes we have ceased to admire those whom he extols. But he
is not eminent for purity of taste, nor, I believe, of Tuscan
language: he endeavoured to force the idiom, more than it would bear,
by constructions and inventions borrowed from the ancient tongues; and
these odes, splendid and noble as they are, bear in the estimation of
critics some marks of the seventeenth century.[453] The satirical
epistles of Chiabrera are praised by Salfi as written in a moral
Horatian tone, abounding with his own experience and allusions to his
time.[454] But in no other kind of poetry has he been so highly
successful as in the lyric; and, though the Grecian robe is never cast
away, he imitated Anacreon with as much skill as Pindar. “His lighter
odes,” says Crescimbeni, “are most beautiful and elegant, full of
grace, vivacity, spirit, and delicacy, adorned with pleasing
inventions, and differing in nothing but language from those of
Anacreon. His dithyrambics I hold incapable of being excelled, all the
qualities required in such compositions being united with a certain
nobleness of expression which elevates all it touches upon.”[455]

     [452] Salfi justifies the continual introduction of mythology by
     the Italian poets, on the ground that it was a part of their
     national inheritance, associated with the monuments and
     recollections of their glory. This would be more to the purpose
     if this mythology had not been almost exclusively Greek. But
     perhaps all that was of classical antiquity might be blended in
     their sentiments with the memory of Rome.

     [453] Salfi, xii. 250.

     [454] Id. xiii. 2012.

     [455] Storia della volgar poesia, ii. 483.

10. The greatest lyric poet of Greece was not more the model of
Chiabrera than his Roman competitor was of Testi. “Had he been more
attentive to the choice of his expression,” says Crescimbeni, “he
might have earned the name of the Tuscan Horace.” The faults of his
age are said to be frequently discernible in Testi; but there is, to
an ordinary reader, an Horatian elegance, a certain charm of grace and
ease in his canzoni, which render them pleasing. One of these,
beginning, Ruscelletto orgoglioso, is highly admired by Muratori, the
best, perhaps, of the Italian critics, and one not slow to censure any
defects of taste. It apparently alludes to some enemy in the court of
Modena.[456] The character of Testi was ambitious and restless, his
life spent in seeking and partly in enjoying public offices, but
terminated in prison. He had taken, says a later writer, Horace for
his model; and perhaps like him he wished to appear sometimes a stoic,
sometimes an epicurean; but he knew not like him how to profit by the
lessons either of Zeno or Epicurus, so as to lead a tranquil and
independent life.[457]

     [456] This canzon is in Matthias, Componimenti Lirici, ii. 190.

     [457] Salfi, xii. 281.

|His followers.|

11. The imitators of Chiabrera were generally unsuccessful; they
became hyperbolical and exaggerated. The translation of Pindar by
Alessandro Adimari, though not very much resembling the original, has
been praised for its own beauty. But these poets are not to be
confounded with the Marinists, to whom they are much superior.
Ciampoli, whose Rime were published in 1628, may perhaps be the best
after Chiabrera.[458] Several obscure epic poems, some of which are
rather to be deemed romances, are commemorated by the last historian
of Italian literature. Among these is the Conquest of Granada by
Graziani, published in 1650. Salfi justly observes that the subject is
truly epic; but the poem itself seems to be nothing but a series of
episodical intrigues without unity. The style, according to the same
writer, is redundant, the similes too frequent and monotonous; yet he
prefers it to all the heroic poems which had intervened since that of

     [458] Id. p. 303. Tiraboschi, xi. 364. Baillet, on the authority
     of others, speaks less honourably of Ciampoli. N. 1451.

     [459] Id. vol. xiii., p. 94-129.

                             SECT. II.

                         ON SPANISH POETRY.

   _Romances--The Argensolas--Villegas--Gongora, and his School._

|The styles of Spanish poetry.|

12. The Spanish poetry of the sixteenth century might be arranged in
three classes. In the first we might place that which was formed in
the ancient school, though not always preserving its characteristics;
the short trochaic metres, employed in the song or the ballad,
altogether national, or aspiring to be such, either in its subjects or
in its style. In the second would stand that to which the imitation of
the Italians had given rise, the school of Boscan and Garcilasso; and
with these we might place also the epic poems which do not seem to be
essentially different from similar productions of Italy. A third and
not inconsiderable division, though less extensive than the others, is
composed of the poetry of good sense; the didactic, semi-satirical,
Horatian style, of which Mendoza was the founder, and several
specimens of which occur in the Parnaso Español of Sedano.

|The romances.|

|The brothers Argensola.|

13. The romances of the Cid and many others are referred by the most
competent judges to the reign of Philip III.[460] These are by no
means among the best of Spanish romances, and we should naturally
expect that so artificial a style as the imitation of ancient manners
and sentiments by poets in wholly a different state of society, though
some men of talent might succeed in it, would soon degenerate into an
affected mannerism. The Italian style continued to be cultivated:
under Philip III., the decline of Spain in poetry, as in arms and
national power, was not so striking as afterwards. Several poets
belong to the age of that prince, and even that of Philip IV. was not
destitute of men of merited reputation.[461] Among the best were two
brothers, Lupercio and Bartholomew Argensola. These were chiefly
distinguished in what I have called the third or Horatian manner of
Spanish poetry, though they by no means confined themselves to any
peculiar style. “Lupercio,” says Bouterwek, “formed his style after
Horace with no less assiduity than Luis de Leon; but he did not
possess the soft enthusiasm of that pious poet, who in the religious
spirit of his poetry is so totally unlike Horace. An understanding at
once solid and ingenious, subject to no extravagant illusion, yet full
of true poetic feeling, and an imagination more plastic than creative,
impart a more perfect Horatian colouring to the odes, as well as to
the canciones and sonnets of Lupercio. He closely imitated Horace in
his didactic satires, a style of composition in which no Spanish poet
had preceded him. But he never succeeded in attaining the bold
combination of ideas which characterizes the ode style of Horace; and
his conceptions have therefore seldom anything like the Horatian
energy. On the other hand, all his poems express no less precision of
language than the models after which he formed his style. His odes, in
particular, are characterized by a picturesque tone of expression
which he seems to have imbibed from Virgil rather than from Horace.
The extravagant metaphors by which some of Herrera’s odes are deformed
were uniformly avoided by Lupercio.”[462] The genius of Bartholomew
Argensola was very like that of his brother, nor are their writings
easily distinguishable; but Bouterwek assigns on the whole a higher
place to Bartholomew. Dieze inclines to the same judgment, and thinks
the eulogy of Nicolas Antonio on these brothers, extravagant as it
seems, not beyond their merits.

     [460] Duran, Romançero de romances doctrinales, amatorios,
     festivos, &c., 1829. The Moorish romances, with a few exceptions,
     and those of the Cid, are ascribed by this author to the latter
     part of the sixteenth and the first half of the seventeenth
     century. In the preface to a former publication, Romances
     Moriscos, this writer has said, Cosî