Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

nister so much, that when he knew Papin was attempting to obtain some employ as a professor in Germany, he dispersed letters every where in order to defeat his applications; and, though he procured a preacher's place at Hamburgh, Jurieu found means to get him dismissed in a few months. About this time his “ Faith reduced to just bounds” coming into the hands of Bayle, that writer added some pages to it, and printed it. These additions were ascribed by Jurieu to our author, who did not disavow the principal maxims laid down, which were condemned in the synod of Bois-le-duc in 1687. In the mean time, an offer being made him of a professor's chair in the church of the French refugees at Dantzic, he accepted it: but it being afterwards proposed to him to conform to the synodical decrees of the Walloon churches in the United Provinces, and to subscribe them, he refused to comply ; because there were some opinions asserted in those decrees which he could not assent to, particularly that doctrine which maintained that Christ died only for the elect. Those who had invited him to Dantzic, were highly offended at his refusal; and he was ordered to depart, as soon as he had completed the half year of his preaching, which had been contracted for. He was dismissed in 1689, and not long after enbraced the Roman catholic religion ; delivering his abjuration into the hands of Bossuet, bishop of Meaux, Nov. 15, 1690.

Upon this change, Jurieu wrote a pastoral letter to those of the reformed religion at Paris, Orleans, and Blois; in which he pretended that Papin had always looked upon all religions as indifferent, and in that spirit had returned to the Roman church. In answer to this letter, Papin drew up a treatise, “Of the Toleration of the Protestants, and of the Authority of the Church.” The piece, being approved by the bishop of Meaux, was printed in 1692: the author afterwards changed its title, which was a little equi. vocal, and made some additions to it; but, while he was employed in making collections to complete it farther, and finish other books upon the same subject, he died at Paris the 19th of June, 1709. His widow, who also embraced the Roman catholic religion, communicated these papers, wbich were made use of in a new edition printed at large in 1719, 12mo. M. Pajon of the Oratory, his relation, published all his “ Theological Works," 1723, 3 vols.

Ρ Α Ρ Ι Ν Ι Α Ν.

83

12mo: they are all in French, and written with shrewdness and ability.

PAPINIAN, a celebrated Roman lawyer, born in the year 175, was advocate of the treasury or exchequer, and afterwards pretorian prefect under the emperor Severus, about the year 194. This emperor had so high an opinion of his worth, that at his death he recommended his sons Caracalla and Geta to his care: but the first, having murdered his brother, enjoined Papinian to compose a discourse, to excuse that barbarity to the senate and people. Papinian could not be prevailed on to comply with this: but on the contrary answered boldly, that it was easier to commit a parricide than to excuse it; and to accuse an innocent person, after taking away his life, was a second parricide. Caracalla was so much enraged at this answer, that he ordered Papinian to be beheaded, which sentence was executed in the year 212, when he was in his thirtyseventh year, and his body was dragged through the streets of Rome. He had a great number of disciples, and composed several works : among those, twenty-seven books of “Questions in the Law;" nineteen books of “Responses or Opinions;" two of “ Definitions ;" two others upon “Adultery;" and a single book upon the “ Laws of Ediles.” His reputation was so great, that he is called “the honour of jurisprudence, and the treasure of the laws.” ?

PAPIRE-MASSON. See MASSON.

PAPPUS, a very eminent Greek of Alexandria, flourished, according to Suidas, under the emperor Theodosius the Great, from the year 379 to 395, and acquired deserved fame as a consummate mathematician. Many of his works are lost, or at least have not yet been discovered. Suidas and Vossius mention as the principal of them, his “Mathematical Collections," in 8 books, of which the first and part of the second are lost; a “ Commentary upon Ptolomy's Almagest;" an " Universal Chorography;" “ A Description of the Rivers of Libya ;” a treatise of " Military Engines;” “ Commentaries upon Aristarchus of Samos, concerning the Magnitude and Distance of the Sun and Moon," &c. Of these, there have been published, • The Mathematical Collections," in a Latin translation, with a large commentary, by Commandine, in 1588, folio; reprinted in 1660. In 1644, Mersenne exhibited an

[ocr errors]

? Moreri.Saxii Onomast,

? Chaufepie. ---Niceron, vol. II.-Mosheim.

abridgment of them in his “Synopsis Mathematica," in 4to, containing only such propositions as could be understood without figures. In 1655, Meibomius gave some of the Lemmata of the seventh book, in his “ Dialogue upon Proportions." In 1688, Dr. Wallis printed the last twelve propositions of the second book, at the end of his “ Aristarchus Samius." In 1703, Dr. David Gregory gave part of the preface of the seventh book, in the Prolegomena to his Euclid. And in 1706, Dr. Halley exhibited that preface entire, in the beginning of his “ Apollonius.” Dr. Hutton, in his Dictionary, has given an excellent analysis of the Mathematical Collections."

PARABOSCO (JEROME), an Italian comic writer, born at Placentia, in the beginning of the sixteenth century, was an author of some eminence in his time. His comedies have a certain character of originality, which still, in some degree, supports their credit. They are six in number, five in prose, and one in verse. The best edition is that printed at Venice, in 1560, in two small volumes, duodecimo. There is a volume of letters by him, entitled “ Lettere Amorose di M. Girolamo Parabosco," printed also at Venice in 1545. These were republished in 1549, “ con alcune Novelle e Rime;" and there is a volume of “Rime” alone, printed by Giolito at Venice, in 1547, 8vo. He composed also, novels in the style of Boccacio and Bandelli, which were published at Venice in 1552, under the title of “ I Diporti di M. Girolamo Parabosco," and reprinted in 1558, 1564, 1586, and 1598, and lately inserted in the collection entitled “ Novelliero Italiano," 1791, 26 vols. Svo, with the imprint of Londra for Livorno. The work consists of three days, or “ Giornate;" the first and second of which comprise sixteen tales, and four curious questions. The third contains several “ Motti," or bon-mots, with a few madrigals, and other short poems. There is also a volume by him entitled “ Oracolo," the oracle, published at Venice, in 1551, in 4to. . In this the author gives answers to twelve questions proposed in the beginning of the book ; which answers are given and varied according to some rules laid down in the preface. It ap-. pears that Parabosco lived chiefly, if not entirely, at Venice, as all his books were published there. His “Diporti,” or Sports, open with a panegyric upon that city.'

i Hutton's Dictionary.--Vossius de Scient. Math.-Saxii Onomast.

2 Crescembini Hist. della Volg. Poes. vol. lib. III. cap. 25.--Brunet Ma-, nuel du Libraire.

PARACELSUS (PHILIPPUS AUREOLUS THEOPHRASTUS), a man of a strange and paradoxical genius, and classed by Brucker among the Theosophists, was born, as is generally supposed (for his birth-place is a disputed matter), at Einfidlen near Zurick, in 1493. His family name, which was Bombastus, he afterwards changed, according to the custom of the age, into Paracelsus. His father, who was a physician, instructed him in that science, but, as it would appear, in nothing else, for he was almost totally ignorant of the learned languages. So earnest was he, however, to penetrate into the mysteries of nature, that, neglecting books, he undertook long and hazardous journeys through Germany, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Hungary, Moscory, and probably several parts of Asia and Africa. He not only visited literary and learned men, but frequented the workshops of mechanics, descended into mines, and thought no place mean or hazardous, if it afforded him an opportunity of increasing his knowledge of nature.

He also consulted barber-surgeons, monks, conjurors, old women, quacks of every description, and every person who pretended to be possessed of any secret art, particularly such as were skilled in inetallurgy. Being in this manner a self-taught philosopher and physician, he despised the medical writings of the ancients, and boasted that the whole contents of his library would not amount to six folios. He appears indeed to have written more than he ever read. His quackery consisted in certain new and secret medicines procured from metallic substances by the chemical art, which he administered with such wonderful success, that he rose to the summit of popular fame, and even obtained the professorship of medicine at Basil. One of his nostrums he called Azoth, which he said was the philosopher's stone, the inedical panacea, and his disciples extolled it as the tincture of life, given through the divine favour to man in these last days. But while his irregular practice, and arrogant invectives against other physicians, created him many enemies, his rewards were by no means adequate to his vanity and ambition; and he met frequently with mortifications, one of which determined him to leave Basil. A wealthy canon who happened to fall sick at that place, offered him a hundred Aorins to cure his disease, which Paracelsus easily effected with three pills of opium, one of his most powerful medicines. The canon, restored to health so soon, and apparently by such slight means, refused to stand to his engagement. Paracelsus brought the matter before the magistrate, who decreed him only the usual fee. Inflamed with violent indignation at the contempt which was thus thrown upon his art, he railed at the canon, the magistrate, and the whole city, and leaving Basil, withdrew into Alsace, whither his medical fame and success followed him. After two years, during which time he practised medicine in the principal families of the country, about the year 1530 he removed into Switzerland, where he conversed with Bullinger and other divines. From 'this time, he seems for many years to have roved through various parts of Germany and Bohemia. At last, in the year 1541, he died in the hospital of St. Sebastian, in Saltsburg.

Different and even contradictory judgments have been formed by the learned concerning Paracelsus. His admirers and followers have celebrated him as a perfect master of all philosophical and medical mysteries, have called him the medical Luther, and have even been weak enough to believe that he was possessed of the grand secret of converting inferior metals into gold. But others, and particularly some of his contemporaries, have charged his whole medical practice with ignorance, imposture, and impudence. J. Crato, in an epistle to Zwinger, attests, that in Bohemia his medicines, even when they performed an apparent cure, left his patients in such a state, that they soon after died of palsies or epilepsies. Erastus, who was for two years one of his pupils, wrote an entire book to detect his impostures. We have mentioned his want of education, and it is even asserted, that he was so imperfect a master of his vernacular tongue, that he was obliged to have his German writings corrected by another hand. His adversaries also charge him with the most contemptible arrogance, the most vulgar scurrility, the grosseșt intemperance, and the most detestable impiety. Still it appears, that with all these defects, by the mere help of physical knowledge and the chemical arıs, he obtained an uncommon share of medical faine; while to support bis credit with the ignorant, he pretended to an intercourse with invisible spirits, and to divine illuminations.

With regard to his system of chemistry, in which his real merit lies, the fundamental doctrines of it resolved every thing into three elements, salt, sulphur, and mercury, and were for a long time received, although in fact

« ZurückWeiter »