Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[graphic][merged small][merged small]

The UNIVERSAL MAGAZINE for SEPTEMBER, 1796. 153

of young

MEMOIRS of the LIFE and WRITING S of the celebrated

Baron PUFEN DORFF: With his Portrait, elegantly engraved by
Baker, from an Original Painting by Vander Gucht.
AMUEL PUFENDORFF, a cele- ed worth, was requisite to obtain

, in the year 1631, at Fleb, a village at Leipäck, he went to the unie near Chemnitz, in the margravate of. versity of Jena, where he united the Meissen and electorate of Saxony. ftudy of the mathematics, and of the His father, Elias Pufendorf, was de philosophy of Descartes, to that of the fcended from a Lutheran family, and law of nations. In the year 1658, was the officiating minister of Fleb. he returned to Leipfiek, with a view Discovering in his fon an early attach- to obtain fome employment there, ment to letters, he sent him first to the worthy of his literary acquisitions. provincial school at Grimm, and, af. At this time, however, one of his terward, to the university of Leipfick. brothers, Ifaac Pufendorff, who was His own circumstances, indeed, were then in the service of Charles X, king not equal to the expences of educating of Sweden, as chancellor of the dachies his fun at these places; but they were of Bremen and Verden, advised him, defrayed by the munificence of a in the course of their correspondence, Saxon nobleman, who had observed not to settle in his native foil, but to with admiration the promising talents imitate his example, by seeking his

Pufendorff. In both these fortune in a foreign country.. Pursuseats of literature the aspiring pupil ant to this advice, Pufendorff acceptmade a surprising progress in his ftu- ed the place of governor to the fun of dies. His father, intending him for Coyet, a Swedish nobleman, then the ministry, had directed him to de- ambassador from the king of Sweden vore himself principally to the study of to the court of Denmark. He went theology: but the inclinations of our accordingly to Copenhagen ; but the youthful student were attached to a war between the two courts; which very different object-the study of the had just been terminated by the treaty law of nations, and that of the Ger- of Roschi!d, being rekindled soon af manic conftitution, or the knowledge ter, he was suddenly arrested and con of the rights of the empire over the fined, together with the whole family. different fovereigoties and states of of the ambassador, who escaped im which it is composed, and of the rights prisonment liimself by being engaged, of those fovereignties and states with at that period, in a tour through Swe respect to each other. He considered den. this study as necessary, in order to During his confinement at Copenqualify himself, in time, for some hagen, which latied eight months, posts of honour and emolument in one Pufendorff was neither allowed the of the courts of Germany; for it is use of books, nor permitted to see any well known, that the several princes person. He endeavoured, therefore, who compose the Germanic body have to amuse himself, by meditating on ño other ministers of state than men of what he had read in Grotius' treatise letters, whom they style counsellors, De Jure Belli & Pacis; and in the and whole principal study is that of political writings of Hobbes. He drew the Germanic constitution. He was up a concise system of what he thought encouraged, moreover, to aspire to best in them, treating the subject in fome situations of this kind, as no such a manner as to be julty entitled moral prostitution, nor degradation of to the merit of originality; and many character, nor any recommendation subjects of discussion were added, which but that of intrinsic and distinguitha had not been noticed by those learned VOL. XCIX.

U

i

writers. Amufement was his only ob- 1694, created him a baron : but he
ject, at first, in writing this work; but did not enjoy this honour long; for
being at the Hague, about two years he died, the same year, at Berlin, of
afterward, he, Thewed the manuscript a mortification in one of his toes, oc-
to a friend, who advised him to revise casioned by cutting the nail.
and publish it. This he did, at the This great and excellent man was
Hague, in 1660, 'under the title of as much distinguished by the purity of
** Elementorum Jurisprudentiæ Uni- his morals and the rectitude of his con-
versalis Libri Duo;' and it gave rise, duct, as he was by the superiority of

in the sequel, to his celebrated work, his talents and the celebrity of his nu-
• De Jure Nature'& Gentium.' He merous writings. Beside thé · Ele-
acquired such reputation by this his menta Jurisprudentiæ Universalis, al-
first essay,, the Elements of univerfalready mentioned, he published, in
Jurisprudence, that Charles-Lewis, 1667, I. De Statu Germanici Im-
elector palatine, not only wrote a perii,' under the name of Severini di
letter of thanks to him immediately, Mozambano, with a dedication to his
but invited him to the university of brother Ifaac Pufendorff, whom he
Heidelberg, which he was desirous styles Lelio fignor di Trezolani. Pu-
of restoring to its pristine luftre; and fendorff sent it, the year before, to his
he there founded, in his favour, à brother, then ambassador from the
profefforship of the law of nature and court of Sweden to that of France, in
nations, which was the first of the order to have it printed in that king-
kind in Germany, many having been dom. His brother offered it to a
fince established in imitation of it. The bookfeller, who submitted it to the
elector engaged him also to allot some judgment of Mezeray, the celebrated
portion of his time to the instruction hiftorian. Mezeray thought it worth
of the electoral prince, his son. · Pu- printing, yet refused the formality of
fendorff continued at Heidelberg till his approbation, on account of fome
the year 1670, when Charles XI, king passages contrary to the interefts of
of Sweden, having founded a univer- France, and of others in which the
fity at Lunden, lent for him to be priesis and monks were severely treat,
profeffor there ; and thither, to the ed. Ifaac Pufendorff, therefore, fent
great regret of the elector palatine, it to Geneva, where it was printed in
he went the fame year, and was in- duodecimo. The design of the au-
stalled professor of the law of nature thor was to prove, that Germany was
and nations. From this period his a kind of republic, the constituent
reputation greatly increased, not only members of which being ill-propor-
on account of the success of his lec- tioned, formed a monstrous whole.
tures, but of the many valuable works It met with great opposition; was con-
he published. Some years after, the demned, feized, and prohibited in
king of Sweden fent for him to Stock- many parts of Germany; and written
holm, and appointed him his historio- againit immediately by several learn-
grapher, and one of his counsellors. ed civilians. It went, however,
In 1678, the electer of Brandenburg through many editions, and was tran-
obtained the permillion of the king of slated into several languages. II. De
Sweden, for Pufendorff to reside in Jure Naturæ & Gentium, 4to.

This Berlin, in order to write the history of is our author's greatest work; and it Frederic William, the great elector. has met with universal approbation. He granted him the same titles of It is, indeed, a well-digested body of historiographer and privy-counsellor the law of nature and nations, and, which he had in Sweden, with a con- in the estimation of many good judges, fiderable salary. The king of Swe- preferable to Grotius' treatise De den, moreover, continued to give jure Beili & Pacis ;' the fame subjects him marks of his favour, and, in being treated by Pufendorff, in a

[ocr errors]

more extensive, as well as more me. cafioned, in the 18th volume of the thodical manner. It was printed for "Mémoires du P. Niceron. III. De the first time, in Germa.l, at Leyden, Officio Hominis & Civis juxta Legem in 1672. A fecond edition of it ap- Naturalem, 1673, 8vo. This is a peared, in 1684, at Francfort, aug. very clear and methodical abridge. mented by one fourth. In 1706, it ment of the great work we have just was translated into French, by John mentioned. IV. An Introdu&tion to Barbeyrac; who wrote large notes, the History of Europe, 1682 ; with and an introductory discourse to it. a Continuation, 1685; and an Ad., In 1708, it was traslated into English, ditio., 1699; in High Dutch; aftere with Barbeyrac's nores, by Dr. Balil ward translated into Latin, French, Kennet, and others. The fourth and and Englidh. V. A History of Swe. fifth editions of the English translation den, from the Expedition of Gustavus have Barbeyrac's Introductory Dif- Adolphus into Germany to the Abdi. course, which are not in the three cation of Queen Chriitina ; a very former. It was Mkewise reprinted in exact and curious work, in Latin. Latin, at Francfort, in 1744, in two VI. The History of King Charles volumes, 4to. This work, however, Guitavus, 2 vol. folio, in Latin ; and was not without many censurers, the VII. The History of the Elector Fremost furious of whom was Nicholas derick William the Great, (wo vol. Beckman, his colleague in the uni- folio, in Latin. He likewise publihed verfity of Lunden. Againit these he An Historical Descripcion of the Poli. very ably defended himself in several tics of the Papal Em ire, in German, publications. The reader may find and a few other works of less iman ample detail of this controversy, portance. and of the violent proceedings it oc

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

A MODEST DEFENCE OF LEGACY-HUNTERS.

To the Editor of the Universal Magazine. Sir, CHE poffeffion of riches, however bly presume, if we consider the real

it may be defpifed, by philofo- character of legacy-hunters, we fhall phers, and railed at by poets, is at- be able to make great allowances for tended at least with one advantage. them, and to place their skill and conIf riches cannot procure real friend- duct in a more favourable point of ship, they procure something which view. My poor abilities may, perfo nearly resembles it, as to answer haps, be unequal to the task ; but I most of the purposes of dec:ining have been induced to attempt it, with years, namely, respectful attention, a view to serve several very worthy watchful solicitude, anticipating kind- persons of my acquaintance, ivho have ness, and tender compation. Thele been, or are now pursuing this pofthusensibilities go a great way to foften mous road :ɔ riches. the il's of age and decay, and are And firit then, fir, let me advance, particularly eminent in a class of com- that legacy-hunters deserve great credic passionate people, known by the name 'from having overcome the fears of of legacy-hunters.

death, even in their nearelt relatives. Legacy-hunters have not been treat. They are not like the giddy and ed with justice by writers in general; thoughtiess part of mankind, afraid they have been represented as mean to look upon affliction, to view the {pirited, 'hypocritical, and avaricious; faint glimmering of the lamp of life, vices sufficient to overwhelm any cha- or the mortal wound. They do not racter, and to put us out of conceit fly from the fick room to the haunts with mankind in general. But I hum- of pleasure and merriment, nor do they

turn off by a laugh the sufferings of ith difpofition, perhaps too of rude the diseased, or the groans of the dy- and uncouth manners, all at once to

ing No: they look upon these ob. put on the appearance of kindness, jects, fo terrifying to the giddy and compaflion, and disinterested fympathe gay, with a calm ferenity; they thy To fome, indeed, the old dirwatch the last agony with a tender fo- . pofition may appear peeping through licitude, and catch the last figh with this new disguise ; but if the afflicted anxious expectation. They go to the are deceived, if they receive all the house of mourning rather than to the comfort from it they could with, if house of mirth, knowing that, in a they are foothed and pleased, all the little time, all tears will be wiped from effect of the most sincere compassion is the'r eyes, and that they shall rejoice obtained. There can be no merit in over the happy liate of their dear de- expressing the pity, we feel, because it parted brother, who is gone to a bet- is impossible to conceal it, the heart ter place, while they are left to strug- will fwell and the eye be suffused with gle with the temptations he has left te tears ; but to express the picy we do hind.

nçt feel

, to pay the most tender at Secondly, Sir, legrcy-bunters derive tentions, without the smallest esteem great mcrit from having gained fo or regard,, to mourn a pang only be complete a mastery over their passion's cause it is not the last, and Med a tear and affe&ions, as to be able to devote from a dry eye, or heave a figh from themfelves to the service of the aged a contented bofom, I think, fir, you and infirm, and with Job-like pati- will allow that this is merit indeed. It chce, to bear with all their uneven- shows that legacy-hunters are the greatness of temper, and that peeviltiness est tragedians of the age, and indeed, which is almost inseparable from a I have often wondered that some of fate of suffering. :. While others fly my acquaintance have not taken to the from the caprice of old age, and the stage as a profession. Had they done murmurs of disease, they apply every 10, I fcruple not to say that the laualleviating comfort, pour forth the rels of a Garrick or a Siddons, would tender ftrains of sympathy, anticipate have withered, and their reputations the smallest wifhes of the afflicted, and have funk before performers of lo Jessen his pain by respectful attention. much more distinguished merit in the They seem to feel so much themseives, alfmption of the tender passions. as to divert. the patient from his sufo - In the fourth place, sir, the merit ferings, and he thinks sickness rather of legacy-hunters may be appreciated a blefling, since it has called forth such by the patience which they exercise tenderness even from those of whom often for a series of years. I have he expected fo little, whom he had' hitherto considered them as having feen fo feldom, as to be little acquaint- gained their point by a short attend ed with them, and who had come fo ance on the object of expectation, but many, perhaps, hundreds of miles, fuckt occurrences are not frequent. purely. to watch with, fit `up with, The more common case is that they and nurse a.poor old,, helpless, and linger out days, months, and years of dying man.

constant affiduity and perfevering at Thirdly, if it should be objected tention, to be rewarded at last for all that this is but the show of compassion their labours and sufferings. During and not the reality, which I grant this period of probation, how many in some cases. may, happen, yet we untoward accidents have happened to cught to consider that what we take, alarm their fears, and dissipate their by this argument, from the fincerity hopes! Is it an uncle? He may marry of legacy-hunters, we grant to their his maid, and blaft all their expectagedius. Is it an easy matter for a tions. Is it a maiden aunt? A regiman of a callous mind, and of a felf-ment of dragoons may be quartered

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »