« 上一頁繼續 »
monuments of his fame. Grotius alone could compete with him; and if Grotius were at all inferior, which I know not, in the extent of his information, he far excelled Salmasius in the correctness of his judgment, the distribution of his knowledge, and the more luminous arrangement of his erudition. Grotius was an enlightened philosopher, as well as a profound scholar; and the names of these two illustrious men were in commendation not often disjoined. Selden speaks of Grotius, 'as the greatest, the chief of men,' and of Salmasius as 'most admirable;' to whom he wished much more to be like than to be the most eminent person for riches and honour in the world;
and white feather. Salmasius told him he was very ill with the gout the whole time he was in Sweden; that Christina used to come to his bed; and one morning found him reading Libellum Subturpiculum,' which the affrighted professor hid under the bedclothes; but Christina searched for it and got it; and, being delighted with it, called in a young and beautiful lady of the name of Sparra,' whom she made to read aloud the passages that pleased her: and while the girl blushed at her task, the Queen and her attendants were convulsed with laughter. Huet saw at Salmasius' house the girl' Pontia,' and says she was 'satis elegans.' His account of the amour of Morus with this girl is not so unfavourable as Milton's; in fact, he made Morus sign a paper to marry her, but the passion and intemperance of Salmasius' wife rendered all interference unsuccessful. Morus was ill in Salmasius' house, and Pontia nursed him, which was the beginning of the acquaintance. An epitaph on Salmasius is given in V. Paravicini Sing. de Viris Erud. (1713) p. 201, in the bombastic style of the time.
Ingens exigua jacet hac sub mole sepultus
For Letters from Christina to Salmasius in the Ottoboni Palace at Rome, see Keysler's Travels, vol. iii. p. 147.
and Cardinal Richelieu declared, that Bignonius, Grotius, and Salmasius were the only persons of that age, whom he looked upon as arrived at the highest pitch of learning. Such was the antagonist whom Milton had been commanded to meet. The work which the exiled monarch required from the critic was probably somewhat beyond the circle of his studies; he wrote also on the unpopular side; and some among his friends neither admired the motive, nor anticipated the success of his undertaking. Hobbes says, 'he
98 See Sarravii Epistolas. p. 224, his love and admiration of Salmasius evince qualities in that great man that commanded esteem. 'De Salmasio quid dicam? Precipiti Octobri in amplexus ejus iri. Cum eo vivere ameni et obeam libenter, vis plura? Si per impossibile cuiquam mortalium erigantur unquam altaria, mihi, deus, deus ille de omnigena doctrina, moribusque humanissimis tibi comperta narrare nihil attinet,' p. 32. See also his 51st Epistle to Al. More. In his 140th, speaking of the death of Grotius, he says, 'Utri vestrum debeatur hujus sæculi principatus literarius, decernet ventura ætas!' In the 198th Letter Sarravius first mentions the subject of Salmasius's defence, which he applauds. Laudo animi tui generosum, propositum, quo nefandum scelus aperte damnare sustines.' Then he mentions that Bochart intended eandem spartam ornare,' but had been dissuaded. In the 208th 'de tuo pro infelici Rege apoligetico soleres facis, qui facis quod libet, et amicorum consilia spernis.' In the 214th he has seen his work Omnino magnus est iste tuus labor, et istam materiam profunde meditatus es.' In the 216th he says, 'Tuam defensionem quod spectat dolendum esset in ipsis nascendi primordiis interire.' In the 222nd he speaks of the fifth edition of Salmasius's work: in the 223d he complains that a copy had not been sent to Charles's widow. Quamvis enim sit in re minime lauta, tamen potuisse solvere pretium tabellarii, qui illud attulisset.' The 228th is the letter so often quoted, beginning Te ergo habemus reum fatentem.' Sarravius differed from him in his defence of Episcopacy. July 1648 he tells himn 'vos amis se plaignent que vous ne faites rien de ce dont ils vous prient, et que vos ennemis au contraire ont l'avantage de vous faire écrire de ce qu'il leur plait:' from a careful perusal of the
is unable to decide whose language is best, or whose argument worst,' and certainly the question is too often lost sight of in discussing the niceties of verbal construction, or in personal altercation; nor is the argument disposed with the calm and comprehensive views of the statesman and philosopher. That Milton's fame, however, was widely and honourably extended by this performance, no doubt can be entertained, it was
In Liberty's defence, a noble task,
Of which all Europe rang from side to side:
but that Salmasius suffered disgrace at the court of Christina; that he was dismissed with contempt, or considered as defeated with dishonour, rests upon no valid authority. Milton in his second defence expressly allowed, that the queen, attentive to the dignity of her station, let the stranger experience no diminution of her former kindness, or munificence. The health of that illustrious scholar had long been languishing under his unremitted labours. He was afflicted with gout if not with stone, and he went to seek relief from the mineral waters of Spa (which he was supposed to have drunk improperly), where
correspondence connected with this subject, I am convinced that the effect, said to be produced by Milton's defence on Salmasius, and on his reputation, has been prodigiously overrated. Salmasius seems at that time to have been as much interested about other works which he had in hand, and especially about conducting safely and commodiously his journey to Sweden, and preserving his health in that cold climate. It must also be observed that whatever More's moral character was, he stood in high esteem and reputation in the learned world, and that Milton's attack therefore affected him deeply. See Tan. Fabri. Epistol. lxvi. lib. i. ed. 1674, p. 219. A full and impartial account of him may be read in Bayle's Dict. Art. Morus.' Archd. Blackburne calls More the Atterbury, or rather the Dodd of his age, v. Mem. of Hollis, p. 522.
he died. The queen had offered him large appointments to remain in Sweden, and greatly regretted his departure; but the coldness of the climate was injurious to him: and after his death, she wrote a letter full of concern for his loss, and respect for his memory; the slander first thrown out in the Mercurius Politicus, and so frequently repeated, ought no longer to be believed. Salmasius went full of years, and honours to his grave.
of Salmasius 95 was to support the doctrine of the divine rights of kings: to prove that the king is a person with whom the supreme power
94 He had a pension of 40,000 livres from Sweden. It will astonish some of my readers to know that Salmasius was a republican, 'Placebat Salmasio libera respublica.' He was invited by the University of Oxford to settle there on very handsome terms: 'and' says his biographer, he would have gone 'nisi aliquid ab eo petiissent, quamvis beatissima conditione, quod cum ad nationis utilitatem spectaret, non erat tamen ad genium ipsius;' but so far was Salmasius, as all Milton's biographers assert, from being a slavish admirer of kings or regal governments, that' Bataviam hac in parte præ Angliâ preferebat quod majorem semper in respublica quam in regno libertatem esse judicaret.' v. Vit. Salmas. p. xvi. It was not solely on account of his superior learning that Salmasius was selected by the adherents of Charles, but that some of his previous writings on matters connected with the church and the sects, had produced much effect in England. 'Dissertatio de episcopis et presbyteris multum juverat optime sentientes (in Britanniâ) in abrogando jure Episcoporum, quod multi ex proceribus, et viris primariis ultro cum gratiarum actione testati sunt:' and it appears that he was in the habit of being consulted on ecclesiastical affairs by the persons of rank and influence in England, 'Consilium Salmasii sæpius per deputationes implorarunt regni pro
95 Dr. Symmons has allowed the skill and eloquence displayed in the work of Salmasius, vide Life, p. 356, and has shown how much Burke was indebted to it. In that strange rambling work, T. Hollis's Memoirs, there is an engraving by Cipriani, representing Milton's head on a terminus, on which is a medallion suspended inclosing the portrait of Salmasius; this was a print emblematical of Milton's victory, v. p. 383.
of the kingdom resides, and who is answerable to God alone. Milton asserted the undisputed sovereignty of the people. This he terms agreeable to the laws of God, and of nature. That by the laws of God, by those of nations, and by the municipal laws of our own country, a king of England may be brought to trial and to death; that the laws of God do in this exactly agree with the laws of nature: and that this is a settled maxim of the law of nature never to be shaken, that the senate and the people are superior to kings; and that if asked by what law, by what right or justice, the king was dethroned, the answer is, by that law which God and nature have created; that whatever things are for the universal good of the whole state, are for that reason lawful and just; and that a people obliged by an oath is discharged of that obligation, when a lawful prince becomes a tyrant, or gives himself over to sloth and voluptuousness. The rule of justice, the very law of nature dispenses with such a people's allegiance. That these doctrines have been always acknowledged by the common consent of mankind, he endeavours to prove from the history of ancient nations. Thus the kings of the Jews were subject to the very same laws as the people. He traces a similar belief through Egypt and Persia, through the Grecian history, and the annals of the Roman empire. He alleges the authority of the ancient Scriptures, the gospel, and the fathers. He then finds his doctrine supported by the usage and constitution of our government from the period of the British history, through the Saxon and Norman times, and traces the supreme power of the legislative assembly to the reign of Charles. Such is a faint outline of his argument; in this work he openly accuses Buckingham of