Obrázky na stránke

tain how many editions had actually appeared, as to allow this to be called The Eighth Edition. It is dated 1685, and comprises, with the Correspondence, Annotations and Digby,

116 pages.

The Thirteenth Edition. Religio Medici. By Sir Thomas Browne, Knight, M. D. A New Edition, corrected and amended, with Notes and Annotations, never before published, upon all the obscure passages therein. To which is added, The Life of the Author. Also Sir Kenelm Digby's Observations. London, Printed for J. Torbuck, fc., MDccxxxvi. 12mo. pp. 260, and xxxvi pp. of title, correspondence, and life. It has a newly engraved and much larger frontispiece. This is the first edition with a Table of Contents. A new title-page was in 1738 attached to the unsold copies of this edition, in which it is called the Eleventh Edition. This title-page has a table of contents in double column.

The Fourteenth Edition was published in the same year as the preceeding, 1736, in 8vo. but without notes. I have never seen it.

The foreign editions may next be mentioned.—The edition of 1643 was translated into Latin by John Merryweather, * and printed at Leyden, in 1644, by Hackius, who published a second edition of it in 1650:—the former I have never seen; the latter is a very neatly printed volume, in very small 12mo. 240 pp. with engraved title only, representing the same figure as the English editions, and at foot, Lugd. Batavorum, apud Fran. Hackium. Ao. 1650:- the last two figures altered. The translator visited Norwich for the purpose of seeing the author, and presenting him a copy of this second edition,-as will be seen by a reference to his life.

This translation was reprinted, at Paris, with only the usual frontispiece-title, Religio Medici. Juxta Exempl. Lug. Batarorum, 1644;—same size,-178 pp.-In this reprint, the author's and translator's prefaces are omitted, and one substituted, in which great anxiety is shown, not only to vindicate the author from the charges of impiety, scepticism, and even atheism, with which he had been assailed, but to prove, from several passages of his work, that he did not even deserve the character of a heretic:—that he was a member of the Church of England from dire necessity alone, but in heart a Roman Catholic:"ad sectam Anglicanam per rim malignam nativitatis aut fortunæ præter voluntatem advectum.It is remarkable that the French verses, in 9 iv. Part 2, are omitted, and a blank is left in the middle of the page.— Our copy

4 John Merryweather.] “He was of Magdalen College, Cambridge, and became B. D. before 1652, in which year is dated, Some Short Directions for a Student in the University, a MS. in the Bodleian.” Wood's Athena, Ed. Bliss, iv, 57, note. He was the author of Directions for the Latin Tongue, by the translator of Religio Medici. Lond. 1681. See 'Johnson's Life of Sir Thomas Browne.-Ed.

of this rare little volume has been “ Ex libris Monast. Juliani Turonens." But, notwithstanding the arguments of the preface, we find the fatal epithet hæreticus," written at the foot of the engraved title.

In 1652 appeared, at Strasburg, an edition of Merryweather's translation, in small 8vo. 494 pp. in which the text is absolutely buried beneath a mass of Latin notes, by a German, named Levinus Nicolas Moltkenius (Levin Nicol von Moltke). In this edition the Parisian preface is inserted, in order to shew that, even by Roman Catholics, the author was acquitted of those gross errors of opinion with which some had charged him. The author rejoices that he was not “Puritanismo addictus, aut turpitudine independentium errorum fædatus:" and excuses his various speculations, on account of the modesty with which he advances them. The edition was reprinted in 1665 and 1677.

In 1665 a Dutch translation was printed at Leyden, in very small 12mo. containing 365 pages, and 14 of title, preface, &c. It has a spirited copy of the usual cut. This translation, together with its notes," was translated into French and published in 1668, in same size, without name of place. M. du Petit Thouars, in the Biographie Universelle, attributes the French version to Nicholas Lefebvre, and says it was printed at La Haye. Who was the Dutch translator may be questioned. Several continental bibliographers call him Johan Gründahl; but there occurs a note, evidently by the translator, signed J. R. which is mentioned at page 74 of the present edition. In his preface he mentions having met Sir Thomas Browne at Vorburg, at the house of a friend, and having then been recommended by the author to read his work. Of this visit to the continent, which must have taken place during his residence at Norwich, we have no other intimation than is conveyed in this slight notice. The preface also promises a second and enlarged edition comprising Digby's Observations, which accordingly made its appearance at Leyden in 1683, with additional notes, and in the same size, but containing above 500 pages.

5 In the present edition some of these notes are given, under the erroneous signature of Fr. Tr.

In 1746 a German translation of the Religio Medici, with a Life of the author, was printed at Prenzlau,o ( Prenzl. Ragozy. 1746.) This may probably be that attributed, by Jöcher, to George Veuztky.?

An Italian translation is said to exist, but I have not been able to ascertain the fact.

Besides these separate translations of Religio Medici, it must be supposed to have been included in a Dutch edition of his Works, translated by John Grundal, (Gründahl,) at Amsterdam, 1668—and in a German edition of them, by Christian Knorr, Baron of Rosenroth, (calling himself Christian Peganius) in 4to. Leips. 1680, which are announced by some bibliographers, but neither of which I have succeeded in obtaining.

Having thus enumerated the preceding editions of Religio Medici, it only remains to sketch the plan on which the present has been edited. The text is that of 1643, compared, and in some instances corrected, by others, especially Abp. Tenison's: occasionally a reading has been adopted from one of the MSS. but always inclosed in brackets and explained in a note. The few side-notes which occur in the original, are placed at the foot of the page, in long lines: together with here and there one from the margin of the manuscripts. The variations between the manuscripts and the editions of 1642 and 1613 are given :-except that, as the MS. W. 2 had not been obtained till 48 pp. had been printed, the collations from it are wanting in those three sheets :—they are added at p. xxü. The notes consist of a selection from those of former 6 See Europaischen Bucher-Lexico Theophili Georgi, Supplement, 1750. 7 See Jöcher, Allgemeines Gelehrten Lexicon, Leips. 1750.

editors, some of my own, and a few supplied by the kindness of friends: to each is added an indication of its proper author.

It has been my endeavour to execute this plan with at least a creditable degree of accuracy;—to avoid errors altogether was not to be expected, but I was certainly not prepared for the mortifying discovery, exactly when too late,-just after the last sheet had been worked off, that the errors of the edition of 1643, enumerated in a table of errata accompanying it, had never been corrected, but (with few exceptions) had passed through every subsequent edition, MY OWN INCLUDED!—Some of these errors are important, involving a diametrical opposition of meaning; several passages containing them were most reluctantly printed, after having cost a careful comparison of all the editions and manuscripts in search of a better reading, and, in one instance a conjectural emendation was hazarded ! The discovery having been made, the next question was,what to do? I remembered the reply of a sagacious friend, some years ago, to an enquiry, as to the expediency of printing a table of errata,—“No, Sir, keep the fool within doors!” The advice was pleasant, as well as quaint, and, on the present occasion, it was considerably recommended by a doleful reflexion on the utter uselessness of the former unlucky table:-"what would be the advantage of confessing errors which few would detect themselves, and fewer still would correct, even if pointed out?” But in spite of all these reasonings, I felt bound, having discovered these errors, either to correct or to confess them. Some have therefore been cancelled, and a full detail of the rest will be found at pp. xxiii, xxiv,—together with some alterations, and the collations of MS. W. 2, before spoken of.

As the Observations by Sir Kenelm Digby have accompanied all the former editions of the work, since 1659, they are added, with the correspondence respecting them. The reply of the author to Dr. Browne has been collated with an original in the Bodleian, and some variations noticed. A valuable correspondent, James Crossley, Esq., of Manchester, has pointed out to me that Morhof translated Digby's Observations into

8 Bibl. Bodl. MS. Rawlins, cccxci.

[ocr errors]

Latin, and illustrated them with notes : but never published them.

The continental celebrity of this work was greatly promoted by Merryweather's Latin translation of it. The foreign literati almost immediately began their remarks upon it. Guy Patin is one of the earliest : in a letter dated Paris, April 7th, 1645, he thus gives his opinion of it:-"Parlons d'autre chose. On fait icy grand état du livre intitulé Religio Medici. Cet Auteur a de l'esprit. Il y a de gentilles choses dans ce livre. C'est un mélancolique agréable en ses pensées; mais qui à mon jugement cherche maître en fait de religion, comme beaucoup d'autres, et peut-être qu' enfin il n'en trouvera aucun. Il faut dire de luy ce que Philippe de Comines a dit du fondateur des Minimes, l'Hermite de Calabre, François de Paule, Il est encore en vie, il peut aussi bien empirer qu' amander. La plû part des livres que vous m'indiqués de la foire de Francfort ne sont

pas nouveaux. J'en ay plusieurs chez moi.” Several of the German critics most unceremoniously (and with about as much sagacity as candour) pronounced the author an atheist. Yet are there not wanting German authorities of an opposite opinion: “Herman Conringius was wont to say, that he always read Religio Medici with fresh delight; and in respect to that imputation of atheism, or indifferency in religion, which had been circulated with such industry by certain supercilious critics, he exclaimed : Utinam nemo Medicorum, imo Theologorum, illo homine sit minus religiosus!'” -Conringiana, p. 10. Frederick Heister, son of the celebrated Laurentius Heister, thought himself obliged on Buddeus's publishing his Theses, to vindicate the physicians in general, and our author in particular, from the injurious aspersions cast upon them in that work.3

It is not wonderful to find, that at Rome Religio Medici

9 Vide Polyhistor, vol. Prolegomena, p. 66, edit. 1747, 4to.

1 Lettres de Guy Patin, 12mo. Frankf. 1683, p. 12. See also Bayle, Euvres Diverses, 3 vols. fol., vol. i, p. 25:-Father Nicéron, Memoires, fc., tom. xxxiii, p. 353:-Acta Eruditorum, Sup. vol. i, Leips. 1692.

2 See, for example, Reimmanni Hist. Atheismi, p. 446, 448.—Tobias Wagner, Eram. Elenchtic. Atheismi Speculativi, c. v, p. 11.-Muller, Examen Atheismi, C. vi, $ 34. Reiser, in Dissertatione de Atheismo, p. 35. Johan. Franc. Buddeus, Theses de Atheismo et Superstitione, p. 136, or, Traité de l'Athéisme, &c. Svo. Amst. 1740, p. 88.

3 See his Apologia pro Medicis ; $ 19. Amstel. 1736, 8vo.

« PredošláPokračovať »