Brunsfels, Otho

, a physician of the sixteenth century, and one of the first modern

*

“Nothing has more surprised the learned in England, than the price which a small book, entitled Spaccio della Bestia triomphante, bore in a late auction. This book was sold for thirty pounds. As it was written by one Jordanus Brunus, a professed atheist, with a design to depreciate religion, every one was apt to fancy, from the extravagant price it bore, that there must be something in it very formidable. I must confess, that, happening to get a sight of one of them myself, I could not forbear perusing it with this apprehension; but found there was so very little danger in it, that I shall venture to give my readers a fair account of the whole plan upon which this wonderful treatise is built. The author pretends, that Jupiter once upon a time resolved on a reformation of the constellations; for which purpose having summoned the stars together, he complains to them of the great decay of the worship of the gods, which he thoughi so much the harder, having called several of those celestial bodies by the names of the heathen deities, and, by that means, made the heavens, as it were, a book of the pagan theology. Momus tells him, that it is not to be wondered at, since there were so many scandalous stories of the deiti-es; upon which the author takes occasion to cast reflections upon all other religions, concluding that Jupiter, after a full hearing, discarded the deities out of heaven, and called the stars by the names of moral virtues.”

The price of this work above-mentioned is not qviite correct. It was sold at that time (1711) at the auction of the 'library of Charles Bernard, esq. for 28l. and purchased by Walter Clavel, esq. The same copy successively came into the several collections of Mr. Jehn Nickolls, Mr. John Ames, sir Peter Thomson, and M. C. Tutet, esq. at the sale of whose library in 1786, it was bought by the late Samuel Tyssen, esq. for seven guineas. Another copy was sold at Dr. Mead’s sale 1754, for four or five guineas. Tfee worst that can be said of this book is, that Toland was fond of it, and very desirous to prove fiom sir P. Sidney’s connection with the author, that sir P. inclined to infidelity j but from this insinuation Dr. Zoufh has ably vindicated him.

| restorers of botany, was born at Mentz, and originally brought up to the church. After his theological studies he took the habit of the Carthusians of Mentz, but was one of the earliest converts to Lutheranism, and having made his escape from his monastery, became a zealous preacher of the reformed religion. This appears to have involved him with Erasmus, who, in Brunsfeis’ opinion, was rather a time-server. Having lost his voice, however, by a disorder, he was obliged to give over preaching, and went to Strasburgh, where the government of the college was committed to his care. During a residence of nine years in this city he studied medicine, and was created doctor at Basil in 1530. He was soon after invited to Berne in Swisserland, where be died six months after, Nov. 23, 1534. Whilst at Strasburgh, he published two small tracts to facilitate the study of grammar to children, annotations on the gospels, and on the acts of the apostles, and an answer to Erasmus’s “Spongia,” in defence of Hutten. The following are the principal of his botanical and medical works “Catalogus illustrium Medicorum,1530, 4to. “Herbarum vivae icones, ad naturae imitationem, summa cum diligentia *et artificioefficiatae, cum effectibus earundem,1530, 1531, 1536, 3 vols. fol. The plates are much commended by Haller, who, on account of this work, ranks the author among the restorers of botany. “Theses, seu comounes loci totius Medicinae, etiam de usu Pharmacorum, Argentinae,1522, 8vo. " Onomasticon Medicinae, noaiina continens omnium stirpium, &c. Argent, 1534, folio. 1
1 Moreri. —Melchior Adam. Freheri Theatrum. Stoever’s Life of Linnæus, p. 54, Jortin’s Erasmus. —Haller and —Manget.