Obrázky na stránke

metaphysicks of the knight and his Catholicism. Some curious proofs of Ross's belief in certain of the vulgar superstitions of his day will be found in the notes, at pp. 132 and 133. The work, however, was not called into a second edition ; nor did it provoke any other reply from Dr. Browne, than a fresh edition of his Religio Medici, in that year, 1645; which differs from the first only in having the last figure of the date altered in the plate, and the correspondence with Digby placed before instead of after the work :—it has 188 pages. It is the second authorized edition, but should rather be considered the Fourth edition.

Among the editions of Religio Medici enumerated by Dr. Watt, in his invaluable work, Bibliotheca Britannica, is one dated 1648; but I have never been able to meet with it, and am inclined to believe that the work was not reprinted till 1656, when the fourth” edition came out. This is the first with a printed title-page in addition to the frontispiece, which is retouched, and has the words “ Fourth Edition” added. But it was only the Third of the authorized editions, unless there was one between 1645 and 1656 ; if there was not, the surreptitious editions must have been included, but reckoned as one. "In the present enumeration it is called

The Fifth Edition ; is in very small 8vo., and the title-page as follows :--Religio Medici. The Fourth Edition, corrected and amended, with Annotations, never before published, upon all the obscure passages therein. London, 1656: after 16 pp. of Prefaces, &c., and 174 pp. of the work, follows another title-page : Annotations upon Religio Medici, &c. then, 175—184, The Annotator to the Reader : and the Annotations, pp. 185—208.

There seems good reason to suppose that the Annotations were written by a Mr. Thomas Keck of the Temple. In the Bodleian there is a copy of the Edition of 1643, which has his name on the cover, together with this memorandum, “ MS. Notes by Mr. Keck of the Temple.Brief marginal remarks are scattered through the volume, at many of those passages on which there are Annotations," and the same authorities are referred to. There is also in this volume a very neat manuscript title, thus : - Religio Medici. The Second Edition, corrected and amended, with Annotations never before published upon all the obscure passages therein, by T. K. London : Printed for A. Crooke, 1654: this agrees exactly, except the initials, with the title actually printed. He probably wrote his Annotations in the year 1644, using this very copy; for he says in the preface (which bears the same date as the manuscript title), " that these notes were collected ten years ago.” There is also still further coincidence : Mr. Keck was a lawyer; and the


annotator, speaking of his profession, says, “I declare myself that I am causarum actor mediocris.” So that, on the whole, there seems sufficient evidence to leave little reason for hesitation in announcing him as the author of the Annotations.

The Sixth Edition is the first that was published in conjunction with the other works. It accompanied the Third Edition of Pseudodoxia Epidemica, fol. 1659, and is printed in double columns. It contains neither the Annotations, nor Digby's Observations, nor the correspondence respecting them. It is called in the title-page, The Last Edition, corrected and enlarged by the Author : Printed for the good of the Commonwealth : and contains 34 pp. with title and preface.

The Seventh Edition. Religio Medici. The Fifth Edition, corrected and amended. With Annotations, fc. Also Observations by Sir Kenelm Digby, now newly added. London, Printed by Thomas Milbourn for Andrew Crook, at the Green Dragon in Pauls Church-yard, 1659 ;-small 8vo. This edition has a newly engraved frontispiece, date 1660.

The Eighth Edition is dated 1669, and is called the Sixth. But I have never been fortunate enough to obtain a copy, nor any other description of it than the following brief note in the handwriting of its proprietor, since dead :-Religio Medici6th Edit. 1669. It is in small 8vo.

The Ninth Edition is with Pseudodoxia Epidemica, &c. the Sixth and last Edition, 4to. 1672; and is called The Seventh Edition.

The Tenth Edition. Religio Medici. The Seventh Edition, corrected and amended. With Annotations, &c. Also Observations, &c. London, 1678, small 8vo.

The Eleventh Edition is precisely a reprint of the Tenthexcept that it is called The Eighth Edition, and dated 1682. My copy wants the frontispiece. This was probably the last edition published during the author's life. He died towards the close of the same year.

The Twelfth Edition forms part of the collective edition of the Works, edited by Archbishop Tenison, fol. 1686. It is singular that he should have taken so little pains to ascertain how many editions had actually appeared, as to allow this to be called The Eighth Edition. It is dated 1685.

The Thirteenth Edition is called 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, 1736. 12mo. 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

e-page has a table of contents in double column. The Fourteenth Edition was published in the same year as the preceding, 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 à reference to his life.

This translation was reprinted, at Paris, with only the usual frontispiece-title, Religio Medici. Juxta Exempl. Lug. Batavorum, 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 vim malignam nativitatis aut fortunæ præter voluntatem advectum.' It is remarkable that the French verses, in § iv. Part 2, are omitted, and a blank is left in the middle of the page.-Our copy 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 show 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. 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.

In 1746 a German translation of the Religio Medici, with a Life of the Author, was printed at Prenzlau. 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.

It now 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 1643 are given. The notes consist of a selection from those of former editors, some of my own, and a few supplied by the kindness of friends : to each is added an indication of its


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

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 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 plûpart 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 athe ist. 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 exclaims : •Utipam 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 was placed in the Index Expurgatorius, as a prohibited book ;--for certainly it is the work of a protestant, though of one remark. able for his charity towards others, whether papist or puritan :

See, for example, Reimmanni Hist. Atheismi, p. 446, 448.—Tobias Wagner, Exam. 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. 8vo. Amst. 1740, p. 88.

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

« PredošláPokračovať »