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Nothing, says our Author, is an Imitation fure ther than as it resembles fome other Thing; and ' Words undoubtedly have no Sort of Resemblance to the Ideas for which they stand.'
But Words stand for Manners and Paffions; and if he allows the Description of them to be Imitation, by Parity of Reason he might have allowed it to deseriptive Poetry. In his last Chapter he has made some just Obfervations concerning the Power of Words, but recurs again to his Theory of their not exciting Ideas ; than which nothing can be more false. No Man perhaps has settled with Precision the determinate Meaning of every Word that signifies a complex Idea ; but if he has some of the leading Ideas, that make up the compounded one, as we before observed, it is sufficient for the Writer's Pur. pose; and Words will ever excite Ideas according to to the Understandings and Imaginations of Mankind,
Upon the Whole, though we think the Author of this piece mistaken in his fundamental Principles, and also in his Deductions from them, yet we must say, we have read his Book with Pleasure : He has certainly employed much Thinking; there are many ingenious and elegant Remarks, which though they do not enforce or prove his first Position, yet confidering them detached from his System, they are new and just: And we cannot dismiss this Article without recommending a Perusal of the Book to all our Readers, as we think they will be recompensed by a great Deal of Sentiment, perspicuous, elegant, and harmonious Stile, in many Passages both Sublime and Beautiful,
Τ Η Ε
Life of Father PAUL SARPI,
Author of The History of the Council of Trent.
ATHER Paul, whose Name, before he en
tered into the monastic Life, was Peter Sarpi, was born at Venice, August 14, 1552. His Father followed Merchandize, but with lo little Success, that, at his Death, he left his Family very ill provided for; but under the Care of a Mother, whose Piety was likely to bring the Blessing of Providence upon them, and whose wise Conduct supplied the Want of Fortune by Advantages of greater Value.
Happily for young Sarpi, she had a Brother, Master of a celebrated School, under whose Direction he was placed by her. Here he loft no Time, but cultivated his Abilities, naturally of the first Rate, with unwearied Application. He was born for Study, having a natural Averfion to Pleasure and Gaiety, and a Memory fo tenacious, that he could repeat thirty Verses upon once hearing them.
Proportionable to his Capacity was his Progress in Literature: At Thirteen, having made himself Master of School-Learning, he turned his Studies to Philosophy and the Mathematics, and entered upon Logick under Capella of Cremona, who, tho' a celebrated Master of that Science, confefiled himself in a very little Time unable to give his Pupil farther Instructions.
As Capella was of the Order of the Servites, hís Scholar was induced by his Acquaintance with him, to engage in the same Profession, though his Uncle and his Mother represented to him the Hardships and Austerities of that Kind of Life, and advised him with great Zeal against it. But he was steady in his Resolutions, and in 1566 took the Habit of the Order, being then only in his fourteenth Year, a Time of Life in most Persons very improper for fuch Engagements, but in him attended with such Maturity of Thought, and such a settled Temper, that he never seemed to regret the Choice he then made, and which he confirmed by à folemn public Profession in 1572.
At a general Chapter of the Servites held at Mantua, Paul (for so we shall now call him) being then only twenty Years old, distinguished himself so much in a public Disputation by his Genius and Learning, that William, Duke of Mantua, a great Patron of Letters, folicited the Consent of his Superiors to retain him at his Court, and not only made him public Professor of Divinity in the Cathedral, but honoured him with many Proofs of his Esteem.
But Father Paul finding a Court Life not agreeable to his Temper, quitted it two Years afterwards, and retired to his beloved Privacies, being' then not only acquainted with the Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Chaldee Languages, but with Philofophy, the Mathematics, Canon and Civil Law, all parts of natural Philosophy, and Chemistry itself; for his Application was unintermitted, his Head clear, his Apprehension quick, and his Memory retentive.
Being made a Priest at twenty-two, he was diftinguished by the illustrious Cardinał Borromeo with his Confidence, and employed by him on many Occafions, not without the Envy of Persons of less Merit, who were so far exasperated as to lay a Chargeagainst him before the Inquisition, for denying that
the Trinity could be proved from the firft Chapter of Genesis ; but the Accusation was too ridiculous to be taken Notice of.
After this he passed successively through the Dignities of his Order, and in the Intervals of his Employment applied himself to his Studies with so extenlive a Capacity, as left no Branch of Knowledge untouch'd. By him Acquependente, the great Anatomist, confesses that he was informed how Vision is performed; and there are Proofs that he was not a Stranger to the Circulation of the Blood. He frequently conversed upon Astronomy with Mathematicians, upon Anatomy with Surgeons, upon Medicine with Physicians, and with Chemists upon the Analysis of Metals, not as a superficial Enquirer, but as a complete Master.
But the Hours of Repose, that he employed so well, were interrupted by a new Information in the Inquisition, where a former Acquaintance produced a Letter written by him in Cyphers, in which he faid, that he detested the Court of Rome, and that
no Preferment was obtained there but by dithoneft • Means.' This Accufation, however dangerous, was passed over on Account of his great Reputation, but made such Impressions on that Court, that he was afterwards denied a Bishoprick by Clement VIII. After these Difficulties were surmounted, Father Paul again retired to his Solitude, where he appears, by some Writings drawn up by him at that Time, to have turned his Attention more to Improvements in Piety than Learning. Such was the Care with which he read the Scriptures, that, it being his Cuftom to draw a Line under any Passage which he in. tended more nicely to consider, there was not a single Word in his New Testament but was underlined ; the same Marks of Attention appeared in his Old Testament, Psalter, and Breviary.
But the most active Scene of his Life began about the Year 1615, when Pope Paul V. exasperated by fome Decrees of the Senate of Venice that interfered with the pretended Rights of the Church, laid the whole State under an Interdict.
The Senate, filled with Indignation at this Treatment, forbad the Bifhops to receive or publish the Pope's Bull, and convening the Rectors of the Churches, commanded them to celebrate divine Service in the accustomed Manner, with which moft of them readily complied; but the Jesuits and some others refusing, were by a folemn Edict expelled the State.
Both Parties having proceeded to Extremities, employed their abtest Writers to defend their Measures : On the Pope's Side, among others, Cardinal Bellarmine entered the Lifts, and with his confederate Authors defended the Papal Claims with great Scurrility of Expression, and very sophistical Řeasonings, which were confuted by the Venetian Apologists in much more decent Language, and with much greater Solidity of Argument.
On this Occafion Father Paul was most eminently distinguished by his Defence of the Rights of the fupreme Magistrate, his Treatise of Excommunication translated from Gerfon, with an Apology, and other Writings, for which he was cited before the Inquifition at Rome ; but it may be easily imagined that he did not obey the Summons.
The Venetian Writers, whatever might be the Abilities of their Adversaries, were at least superior to them in the Justice of their Cause. The Propofitions maintained on the side of Rome were these : That the Pope is invested with all the Authority of Heaven and Earth. That all Princes are his Vaffals, and that he may annul their Laws at Pleasure. That Kings may appeal to him, as he is temporal Monarch of the whole Earth. That he can discharge