Grotius, Hugo

, or Hugo de Groot, one of the most eminent names in literary history, was descended from a family of the greatest distinction in the Low Countries: his father^ John de Groot, was burgomaster of Delft, and curator of the university of Leyden, and in 1582, married Alida Averschie, a lady of one of the first families in the country, by whom he had three sons and a daughter. His son Hugo, the subject of this article, was born at Delft on Easter-day, April I0j 1583, and came into the world with the most happy dispositions; a profound genius, a solid judgment, and a wonderful memory. These extraordinary natural endowments had all the advantages that education could give them, and he found in his own father a pious and an able tutor, who formed his mind and his morals. He was scarce past his childhood, when he was sent to the Hague, and boarded with Mr. Utengobard, a celebrated clergyman among the Arrninians, who took great care of his trust; and, before he had completed his twelfth year, was removed to Leyden, under the learned Francis Jimiiis. He continued three years at this university, where Joseph Scaliger was so struck with his prodigious capacity, that he condescended to direct his studies; and in 1597, Grotius maintained public theses in the mathematics, philosophy, and law, with the highest applause.

At this early age he ventured to form plans which required very great learning, bnt which he executed with such perfection, that the republic of letters were struck with astonishment. These, however, were not published till after his return from France. He had a strong inclination to see that country, and an opportunity offered at this time of gratifying it. The States-general came to a resolution of sending, on an embassy to Henry IV. in 1598, count Justin of Nassau, and the grand pensioner Barnevelt: and Grotius put himself into the train of those ambassadors, for the latter of whom he had a particular esteem*. His own reputation having preceded him in France,

* Their business was, in conjunc- France, against Spain; but this was tion with lord Cecil, on the part of not successful: Grotius fives a historyEngland, to negociate a triple al- of this embassy in the 7th book of his liance between England. Holland, and Annals. | M, cle Buzanval, who had been ambassador in Holland, introduced him to the king-, who presented him with his picture and a gold chain, with which Grotius was so highly flattered, as to have a print engraved of himself, adorned with the chain. After almost a year’s stay in France he returned home, much pleased with his journey; one thin“­only was wanting to complete his satisfaction, a sight of the celebrated M. de Thou, or Thuanus, the person among all the French whom he most esteemed. He had eagerly sought an acquaintance with that great man, and as he did not succeed, he now resolved to open a literary correspondence, and present him with the first-fruits of his studies in print, which he had just dedicated to the prince of Conde”. This was his edition of“Maitianus Capella.” He had formed the plan of this work, when only fourteen years old, almost finished it before he left Holland, and published it presently after his return in 1599. M. de Thou was extremely well pleased with this address, and from this time to his death there subsisted an intimate correspondence between them. In 1600, Grotius sent de Thou an epithalamiuin he had written on the marriage of Henry IV. with Mary of Medicis, but this is not in the collection of his poems.

Grotius, having chosen the law for his profession, had taken an opportunity before he left France, to obtain a doctor’s degree in that faculty; and upon his return he attended the law-courts, and pleaded his first cause at Delft with universal applause, though he was scarcely seventeen; and he maintained the same reputation as lung as he continued at the bar. This employment, however, not filling up his whole time, he found leisure to publish the same year, 1599, another work, which discovered as much knowledge of the abstract sciences in particular as the former did of his learning in general. Stevin, mathematician to prince Maurice of Nassau, composed a small treatise for the instruction of pilots in finding a ship’s place at sea; in which he drew up a table of the variations of the needle, according to the observations of Plancius, a celebrated geographer, and added directions how to use it. Grotius translated into Latin this work, which prince Maurice had recommended to the college of admiralty, to be studied by all officers of the navy; and, because it might be equally useful to Venice, he dedicated his translation to that republic. In 1600, he published his “| of Aratus,” which discovers a great knowledge in physics, and especially astronomy. The corrections he made in the Greek are esteemed very judicious: the notes shew that he had reviewed several of the rabhies, and had some knowledge of the Arabic tongue; and the verses he made to supply those of Cicero that were lost have been thought very happy ‘imitations of that writer’s style. In the midst of these profound studies, this extraordinary young man found time to cultivate the muses, and with such success, that he was esteemed one of the best Latin poets in Europe. The prosopopoeia, in which he makes the city of Ostend speak, after having been three years besieged by the Spaniards, was reckoned a masterpiece, and was translated intoJFrench by Du Vae’r, Rapin, Pasquier, and Malherbe; and Casanbon turned it into Greek. Neither did Grotius content himself with writing small pieces of verse; he rose to tragedy, of which he produced three specimens; the first, called “Adamus Exul,” was printed in Leyden, in 1601, with which, however, he became afterwards dissatisfied, and would not let it appear in the collection of hi* poems published by his brother. “Christus patiens,” his second tragedy, was printed at Leyden in 1608, and much approved: Casaubon greatly admires its poetical fire. Sandys translated it into English verse, and dedicated it to Charles I. It was favourably received in England, and in Germany proposed as the model of perfect tragedy. His third was the story of Joseph, and its title “Sophornphanceus,” which, in the language of Egypt, signifies the Saviour of the World; he finished this in 1633, and the following year, at Hamburgh.

In 1603, the glory which the United Provinces had obtained by their illustrious defence against the whole power of Spain, after the peace of Vervins, determined them to transmit to posterity the signal exploits of that memorable war; and for this purpose they sought out a proper historian. Several made great interest for the place, and among others Baudius, the professor of eloquence at Leyden. But the States thought young Grotius, who had taken ao steps to obtain it, deserved the preference; and, what is singular, Baudius himself did not blame their choice, because he looked upon Grotius to be already a very great man. In the execution of this office, he undertook his “Annals,” which were begun in 1614, though not finished long before his death, and not published until twelve years after. | All this while his principal employment was that of an advocate, in which he acquired great honour; but, upon the whole, the profession did not please him, though the brilliant figure he made at the bar procured him the place of advocate-general of the fisc for Holland and Zealand, which, becoming vacant, was immediately conferred on him by those provinces. He took possession of this important office in 1607, and filled it with so much reputation, that the States augmented his salary, and promised him a seat in the court of Holland. Upon this promotion, his father began to think of a wife for him, and fixed upon Mary Reigesberg, a lady of great family in Zealand, whose father had been burgomaster of Veer. The marriage was solemnized in July 1608, and celebrated by him in some Latin and French verses, the former of which he translated into Dutch. On this occasion his father likewise wrote an epithalamium, and another was composed by Heinsius. At the time of his marriage he was employed in writing his “Mare liberum,” i. e. “the Freedom of the Ocean, or the Right of the Dutch to trade to the Indies.” The work was printed in 1609, without his knowledge or consent. Indeed he appears not to have been quite satisfied with it: and though there came out seveial answers, particularly that of Selden, entitled “Mare clausum, seti de dominio maris,” yet, being soon after disgusted with his country, he took no farther concern in the controversy. The ensuing year, he published his piece “De antiquitate ReipublieiE Batavae,” designed to shew the original independence of Holland and Friesland against the Spanish claim; and he accordingly dedicated it to those States^ March 16, 1610, who were es-tremely pleased with it, returned thanks to the author, and made him a present. While it was in the press, Grotius and his father, who usually assisted him in his writings, translated it into Dutch.

Elias Oldenbarnevelt, pensionary of Rotterdam, and brother to the grand pensionary of Holland, dying in 1613, the city of Rotterdam offered that important place to Grotius; but it was some time before he yielded to the offer. By the ferment of men’s minds he foresaw that great commotions would speedily shake the republic, which made him insist, that he should never be turned out; and, upon a promise of this, he accepted of the post, which gave him a seat in the assembly of the States of Holland, and | afterwards in that of the States-General. Hitherto he had tut very little connexion with the grand pensionary Barnevelt; but i’rom this time he contracted an intimate friendship with him, and it was even reported that Barnevelt designed to have his friend succeed him as grand pensionary of Holland*.

At this time a dispute arose between the English and the Dutch, concerning the right of fishing in the Northern seas. Two Amsterdam vessels, having caught some whales in the Greenland ocean, were met by some English ships bound to Russia; who, finding that the Dutch had no passports from the king of England, demanded the whales, which the Dutchmen, unable to resist, were obliged to deliver. On their arrival in Holland, they made their complaint; and the affair being laid before the States, it was resolved that Grotius, who had written on the subject, and was more master of it than any one, should be sent to England, where his demands were refused. On this the Dutch determined not to send to Greenland for the future without a force sufficient to revenge themselves on the English, or at least to have nothing to fear from them. The dispute growing serious, to prevent any acts of hostility, a conference was held, in 1615, between the commissioners of England and Holland, in which the debate turned chiefly on the whale-fishery; but, the English still insisting on the right to Greenland, which the Dutch refused, the conference broke up without any success. Grotius, who was one of the commissioners from Holland, gives the history of this conference, in a letter to Du Maurier, dated at Rotterdam, June 5, 1615. On this occasion, however, he had reason to be well satisfied with the politeness of king James, who gave him a gracious reception, and was charmed with his conversation. But the greatest pleasure he received at this visit, was the intimate friendship he contracted with Casaubon. Their esteem for each other was increased by a similarity of studies and sentiments, and they both entertained hopes of a scheme, which human agency at least will never render practicable, that of uniting all Christians in one faith. In the midst of these occupations, Du Maurier, the French ambassador in Holland, and his particular

* The business of this officer is to and secretary to the States; and

manage prosecutions, receive dis- though he has no deliberative voice,

patches, and answer them, so that he and is the lowest in rank, yet his iffi* in a manner both attorney-general fluence is the greatest. | friend, resolving to begin a course of study, applied to him for directions, and Grotius laid down that excellent plan printed by Elzevir in 1637, in the work “De omni o-enere studiorum recte instituendo,” but the author informs us that it was printed without his consent.

Hitherto Grotius had passed his life with uninterrupted honour and fame; but a reverse was now approaching The United Provinces had been kindled into a warm dis*­pute about grace and predestination, from 1603, when Arminius first broached his opinions. His doctrines, being directly opposite to those of Calvin, gave great offence to that party, at the head of which appeared Gomar, who accused his antagonist before the synod of Rotterdam. Gomar’s party prevailing there, Arminius applied to the States of Holland, who promised the disputants to have the affair speedily discussed in a synod. The dispute still continuing with much bitterness, in 1611 the States ordered a conference to be held between twelve ministers on each side: but the consequence of this was, that men’s minds were the more inflamed. Arminius died October 19, 1609, some time before this conference; and Grotius made his eulogium in verse. He had hitherto applied little to these matters, and ingenuously owns he did not understand a great part of them, being foreign to his profession; and certainly every admirer of his unrivalled talents must wish that he never had involved himself; but having once studied the controversy, he embraced the Arminian doc* trine. In 1610, the partisans of Arminius drew up a remonstrance, setting forth their belief; first negatively against their adversaries, and then positively their own sentiments, each comprehended in six articles. This remonstrance was drawn up by Utengobard, minister at the Hague, and was probably made in concert with Grotius, the intimate friend and quondam pupil of that minister. To this the Gomarists opposed a contra-remonstrance: the former proposed to end the matter by a toleration, the latter to decide it by a national synod; and, the disputes increasing, the StateSj at the motion of the grand pensionary, with the view of putting an end to them, revived an obsolete law made in 1591, placing the appointment of ministers in the civil magistrates. But this was so far from answering the purpose, that the Contra-remoustrants resolved not to obey it. Hence grew a schism, which occasioned a sedition, and many riots. | It was at this time that Grotius was nominated pensionary at Rotterdam, as mentioned above; and ordered to go to England, with secret instructions, as is thought, to persuade the king and principal divines of that kingdom to favour the Arminians, and approve the conduct of the States. He had several conferences with king James on that subject, and while here he wrote his tract in favour of the Arminians, entitled “A reconciliation of the different opinions on Predestination and Grace,” which is printed among his theological works. On his return to Holland he found the divisions increased: Barnevelt and he had the direction of the States’ proceedings in this matter; and he was appointed to draw up an edict which might restore tranquillity, the draught of which was approved by the States; but it was so favourable to the Arminians that it gave great offence to the Contra-remonstrants, who determined to pay no regard to it. Hence this edict serving to increase the troubles, by driving the Gomarists to despair, the grand pensionary Barnevelt, in hourly expectation of fresh riots, proposed to the States of Holland, that their magistrates should be empowered to raise troops for the suppression of the rioters, and the security of their towns. Dort, Amsterdam, and three others of the most favourable to the Gomarists, protested against this step, which they regarded, and in fact it was, as a declaration of war against the Contra-remonstrants. Barnevelt’s motion however was agreed to, and, August 4, 1617, the States issued a placart accordingly. This fatal decree occasioned the death of the grand pensionary, and the ruin of Grotius, by incensing prince Maurice of Nassau against them, who looked upon the resolution of the States, taken without his consent, to be derogatory to his dignity, as governor and captain-general.

Amsterdam, almost as powerful singly as all Holland, favoured the Gomarists, and disapproved the toleration which the States wanted to introduce. These resolved therefore to send a deputation to that city, in order to reconcile them to their sentiments. Grotius was one of. these deputies: they received their instructions April 21, 1616; and, arriving at Amsterdam next day, met the town-council on the 23d, when Grotius was their spokesman. But neither his speech nor all his other endeavours could avail any thing. The burgomasters declared their pinion for a synod, and that they could not receive the | cachet of 1614 without endangering the church, and risquing the ruin of their trade. The deputies wished to answer, but were not allowed. Grotius presented to the States on his return an account in writing of all that had passed at this deputation, and he flattered himself for some time with the hopes of good effects from it; hut his disappointment chagrined him so much, that he was seized with a violent fever, which had almost proved fatal. He was removed to Delft, where he recovered, but, being forbid to do any thing which required application, he wrote to Vossius, desiring his company, as the best restorative of his health. The time of his recovery he employed in examining the part he had acted in the present" disputes; and, the more he reflected on it, the less reason he had for altering his sentiments; and although he foresaw the danger he incurred, his resolution was, not to change his conduct, but to refer the event to Providence. The States of Holland, wholly employed in endeavouring to compound matters, came to a resolution, February 21, 1617, to make a rule or formula, to which both parties should be obliged to conform; and such an instrument was accordingly drawn up at their request by Grotius, who presented it to prince Maurice. But the project did not please him; he wanted a national synod, which was at length determined by the States General, and to be convoked in Holland at Dort. In the mean time the prince, who saw with the utmost displeasure several cities, agreeably to the permission given them by the particular States, levy a new militia, under the title of attendant soldiers, without his consent, engaged the States General to write to the provinces and magistrates of those cities, enjoining them to disband the new levies. This injunction not being complied with, he considered the refusal as a rebellion; concerted with the States General, that he should march in. person with the troops under his command, to get the attendant soldiers disbanded, depose the Arminian magistrates, and turn out the ministers of their party. He accordingly set out, accompanied by the deputies of the States^General, in 1618; and, having reduced the province of Gueldres, he was proceeding to Utrecht, when the States of Holland sent thither Grotius, with Hoogerbetz, pensionary of Leyden, to put that city into a posture of defence against him. But, their endeavours proving ineffectual, the prince reduced the place; and soon | aftervyards sent Grotius and Hoogerbetz to prison in the castle at the Hague, where Barnevelt also was confined, August 29th this year. After this the States of Holland consented to the national synod, which was opened at Dort, Nov. 15, 1618, which, as is well known, ended in a sentence, condemning the five articles of the Arminians, and in imprisoning and banishing their ministers. This sentence was approved by the States General, July 2, 1619.

After the rising of that synod, our three prisoners were brought in order to their trial, the issue of which was the execution of Barnevelt, May 13, 1619. Five days after came on the trial of Grotius. He had been treated, as well as his fellow-prisoner, with inconceivable rigour during their imprisonment, and also while their cause was depending. He tells us himself, that, when they were known to be ill, it was concerted to examine them that they had not liberty to defend themselves that they were threatened and teazed to give immediate answers and not suffered to have their examinations read over to them. Grotius, having asked leave to write his defence, was allowed only five hours, and one sheet of paper; he was also told, that if he would own he had transgressed, and ask pardon, he might obtain his liberty; but, as he had nothing to reproach himself with, he would never take any step that might imply consciousness of guilt. His wife, his father, brother, and friends, all approved this resolution. His, sentence, after reciting the several reasons thereof, concludes thus: " For these causes, the judges, appointed to try this affair, administering justice in the name of the States General, condemn the said Hugo Groiius to perpetual imprisonment, and to be carried to the place appointed by the States General, there to be guarded with all precaution, and confined the rest of his days; and de-s clare his estate confiscated. Hague, May 18, 1619.*


Bates tells us, that six of the nine months of his imprisonment had been employed in searching for his most inveterate enemies to be his judges, who certainly seem ignorant of the law, as they confiscated his estate, a punishment incurred only in case of treason, of which no mention was made in his sentence. But he was no great loser by this confiscation, as he was far from, being rich; his father being still alive, what property belonged to him was only the savings of his salary, ans his wife’s fortune.

In pursuance of this sentence he was carried from the Hague to the fortress of Louvestein near Gorcuni in South Holland, June 6, 1619, and 24 sols per day assigned for his maintenance, and as much for Hoogerbetz; but their | respective wives declared they had enough to support their husbands, and that they chose to be without an allowance, which was considered as an affront. Grotius’s father asked leave to see his son, but was denied; they consented to admit his wife into Louvestein, but, if she came out, not to be suffered to return. However, in the sequel, it was granted that she might go abroad twice a week.

Grotius now became more sensible than ever of the advantage of study; which became his business and conso^. lation. We have several of his letters written from Louvestein, in which he gives Vossius an account of his studies, informing him that he had resumed the study of the law, which had been interrupted by the multiplicity of business; that the rest of his time he devoted to the study of morality, which had led him to translate Stobaeus’s Maxims of the poets, and the fragments of Menander and Philemon. He likewise proposed to extract from the tragic and comic authors of Greece what related to morality, and was omitted by StobiEiis, and translate it into free verse, like that of the Latin comic writers. In translating the fragments of the Greek tragic poet, he intended that his verses should resemble those of the originals, excepting in the chorusses, whici) he would put into such verse as best suited him. Sundays he employed in reading treatises of the Christian religion, and used to spend some of his spare hours in this study on other days when his ordinary labour was over. He meditated some work in Flemish on the subject of religion; and the subject which he preferred! at that time was Christ’s love to mankind. He proposed likewise to write a commentary on Christ’s Sermon on the Mount.

Time seemed to pass away very fast amidst these several projects. In a letter dated Dec. 5, 1619, he writes to Vossius, that the muses, which were always his delight, even when immersed in business, were now his consolation, and appeared more amiable than ever. He wrote some short notes on the New Testament, which he intended to send Erpenius, who was projecting a new edition of it; but a fit of illness did not suffer him to finish them. When he was able to resume his studies he composed, in Dutch verse, his “Treatise of the truth of the Christian Religion,” and sent it to Vossius, who thought some places obscure. In 1620 he promises his brother to send him his observations on Seneca’s tragedies, which he had written of Vossius’s desire, In 1621 his friend Du Maurier losing. | his lady, Grotius wrote to him, February 27, a very consolatory letter, in which he deduced with great eloquence, every topic of support that philosophy and religion can suggest on that melancholy occasion. It would appear that the only method he took to unbend himself, was to go from one work to another. He translated the “Phenissce of Euripides,” wrote his “Institutions of the Laws of Holland in Dutch,” and composed some short “Instructions for his DaughterCornelia, in the form of a catechism, in Flemish verse, containing 185 questions and answers. This was printed at the Hague in 1619, and he afterwards translated it into Latin verse, for the use of his son. This seems to be the catechism mentioned in our account of Nicholas Grey, master of Merchant Taylors’ school. He wrote also, while under confinement, a dialogue in Dutch verse, between a father and a son, on the necessity of silence.

He had been above 18 months shut up at Louvesteih, when, January 11, 1620, Muys van-Halli, his declared enemy, who had been one of his judges, informed the States general, that he had advice from good authority, that their prisoner was seeking to make his escape. Some persons were sent to examine into this matter; but, notivithstanding all the inquiry that could be made, they found no reason to believe that he had contrived any means to escape. H s wife, however, was very industriously and ingeniously employed in contriving it, which she effected in the following manner. He had been permitted to borrow books of his friends, and when he had done with them they were carried back in a chest with his foul linen, which was sent to Gorcum to be washed. The first year his guards were very exact in examining the chest; but, being used to find nothing in it besides books and linen, they grew tired of searching, and even did not take the trouble to open it. His wife, observing their negligence, proposed to take advantage of it. She represented to her husband, that it was in his power to get out of prison when he pleased, if he would put himself into this chest; and not to endanger his health, she caused holes to be bored opposite where his face was to be, to breathe at, persuading him to try if he could continue shut up in that confined posture, as long as it would require to go from Louvestein to Gorcum. Finding it might be done, she resolved to seize the first favourable opportunity; which very soon | offered. The commandant of Louvestein going to Heusden to raise recruits, she paid a visit to his lady, and told her in the course of conversation, that she was desirous of sending away a chest of books; for, her husband was so weak, that it gave her great uneasiness to see him study with such application. Having thus prepared the commandant’s wife, she returned to her husband’s apartment, and in concert with a valet and a maid who were in the secret, shut him up in the chest; and at the same time, that the people might not be surprised at not seeing him, she spread a report of his being ill. Two soldiers carried the chest; one of them, finding it was heavier than usual, said there must be “an Arminian in it.” Grotius’s wife, who was present, said with great coolness, “There are indeed Arminian books in it.” The chest was brought down on a ladder with great difficulty; the soldier insisted on its being opened, to see wiiat was in it; he even went and informed the commandant’s wife, that the weight of the chest gave him reason to suspect the contents, and that it would be proper to have it opened. She told him that Grotius’ s wife had said there was nothing but books in and that they might carry it to the boat. It is even said that a soldier’s wife, who was present, reminded them there was more than one example of prisoners making their escape in boxes. In this way, however, eiither by negligence, or connivance, which there seems no reason to suspect, the chest was brought down, and put into the boat; and Grotius’s maid, who was in the secret, had orders to go to Gorcum with it, and put it into a house there. When it came to Gorcum, they wanted to put it on a sledge; but the maid telling the boatman that there were some brittle things in it, and begging of him to take care how it was carried, it was put on a horse, and carried by two chairmen to David Dazelaor’s, a friend of Grotius, and brother-in-law to Erpenius; and, when every body was gone, the maid opened the chest. Grotius had felt no inconvenience in it, though its length was not above three feet and a half. He got out, dressed himself like a mason with a rule and a trowel; and was secretly conveyed in this disguise to Valvic in Brabant. Here he made himself known to some Arminians, and hired a carriage to Antwerp; and, at Antwerp, he alighted at the house of Nicolas Grevincovius, who had been formerly a minister at Amsterdam., but did not make himself known to | any other person. It was on March 22, 1621, that he thus recovered his liberty.

In the mean time, his wife’s account, that he was ill, gained credit at Louvestein and, to give him time to get out, she gave out that his illness was dangerous but as soon as she learnt by the maid’s return that he was at Brabant, and consequently in safety, she told the guards what had happened. They informed the commandant, by this time returned from Heusden, who, finding it true, confined Grotius’s wife more closely; but upon her petition to the States-General, April 5, 1621, she was discharged two days after, and suffered to carry away every thing that belonged to her in Louvestein. From Antwerp, Grotius wrote to the States-General, March 30, that, in procuring his liberty, he had employed neither violence nor corruption with his keepers; that he had nothing to reproach himself with in what he had done; that he gave those counsels which he thought best for appeasing the troubles that had arisen in public business; that he only obeyed the magistrates of Rotterdam his masters, and the States of Holland his sovereigns; and that the persecution he had suffered would never diminish his love for his country, for whose prosperity he heartily prayed. He continued some time at Antwerp, deliberating what course to take; and at length, principally by the advice of Du Maurier, determined to go to France, where he had many friends. He arrived at Paris, April 13, 1621, and his wife in October following; but their expences had so much exceeded the small revenue she had still left, that in the beginning of December, he wrote to Du Maurier, that if something was not soon done, he must seek a settlement in Germany, or hide himself in some corner of France. At length the king coming to Paris in January 1621, Grotius was presented to him by the chancellor and the keeper of the seals, in the beginning of March, and on a day when the court was very numerous. His majesty received him graciously, and granted him a pension of 3000 livres, and upon his account granted a protection to all the Dutch refugees, a very singular exchange of the principles of toleration between the two countries. But, notwithstanding the king’s grant, he could not touch the money; they had forgot to put it on the civil list, and the commissioners of the treasury found daily some new excuse for delaying the payment; and at length, when by the solicitation of some | powerful friends, he received it, it continued to be paid as grants were paid at that time, that is to say, very slowly. These difficulties did not diminish his passion for literature, “I persist,” he says in a letter to Vossius, dated Sept. 29, 162], “in my respect for sacred antiquity; there are many people here of the same taste. My six books in Dutch will appear soon (i. e. his book on the truth of the Chr.stiau religion.) Perhaps 1 shall also publish my disquisition on Pelagianism, with the precautions hinted to me by you and some other persons of learning. In the mean time, I am preparing an edition of Stobrcus; and to render it more perfect, 1 collate the Greek Mss. with the printed copies.” Thus he spent the greatest part of his time; and as the ministers of Charenton, who had accorded with the decisions of the synod of Dort, would not admit him into their communion, he resolved to have divine service performed at home in his family.

Having collected some materials in prison for his Apology, he printed it in the beginning of 1622; and it was translated into Latin, and published the same year at Paris. It was sent to Holland immediately, where it caused so much disgust, that the States-General proscribed it as slanderous, tending to asperse by falsehoods the sovereign authority of the government of the United Provinces; the person of the prince of Orange, the States of the particular provinces, and the towjis themselves; and forbad all persons to have it in their custody on pain of death. Grotius presenteJ a petition to the king of France, to be protected against this edict, because it imported, that he should be apprehended wherever found; on which his majesty tqok him into his special protection, the letters for that purpose being issued at Paris, February 25, 1623. The malevolence of those who were then in place made no change in Grotius. In the height of this new persecution, he wrote to his brother, that he would still labour to promote the interest of Holland; and that, if the United Provinces were desirous of entering into a closer union with France, he would assist them with all his credit. This candour enabled him still to preserve many friends, who ardently wished for his return; though they were not able to facilitate it. In 1623, he published at Paris his edition of Stobsp,us.

He had now lived a year in the noise of Paris, and began to think of retiring into the country, when the presiDe Meme offered him one of his seats at Bologne, near | Senlis. Grotius accepted the offer, and passed there the spring and summer of 1623. In this castle he began his great work, which alone is sufficient to render his name immortal, his “Treatise of the Rights of Peace and War.” He had visited the most distinguished men of learning; among others Salmasius and Rigault, and had the free use of de Thou’s library: he sometimes also made excursions to St. Germain’s, where the court was; but, having learned that De Meme wanted to reside at Bologne, he returned to Paris in October. Btirigny informs us, which somewhat diminishes our respect for Grotius’s firmness of mine!, that he took particular care not to offend De Meme, who was a zealous catholic, and was even so submissive as to eat meagre on Fridays, to receive none of his Dutch refugee ministers, and to abstain from every public or private exercise of the protestant religious worship. In April 1625, prince Frederic Henry succeeding to the post of stadtholder on the death of his brother Maurice, Grotius’s friends conceived great hopes of obtaining leave for his return to Holland and, at their request, he wrote to the new stadtholder for this purpose, but without effect as he had before conjectured. However, he was now in the height of his glory by the prodigious success of his book “De Jure Belli Si Pacis,” which was published this year. In the mean time he began to grow tired of that city. His pension was ill-paid, and his revenue insufficient to keep him decently with a wife and a family. He had an offer of being professor of law in a college at Denmark; but, though he was satisfied with the salary, he thought the place beneath his acceptance. While he remained in suspense, cardinal Richelieu was nominated prime minister in 1626, and being very desirous of becoming acquainted with Grotius, invited him to his house at Limours. Here it is supposed that he wished to engage Grotius to devote himself entirely to him, and that Grotius’s reservations gave offence. It is certain that from this time his pension was unpaid, which greatly distressed him, but his love for Paris induced him to bear with such a privation as long as it was possible.

In the mean time his heart was strongly bent upon returning to his native country; and in these wishes he sent his wife into Holland in the spring of 1627, that she might inquire how matters stood: but, as he continued in the resolution to make no solicitations for leave, all the endeavours of his friends were fruitless. However, they | obtained a cause of some consequence to him; for, having reclaimed his effects which were confiscated, his demand was granted. At last, notwithstanding the inefficacy of his friends’ solicitations, he resolved, by his wife’s advice, to go thither; and accordingly set out for Holland in October 1631. The sentence passed against him being still in force, his friends advised him to conceal himself, which step appeared to him shameful and ill-timed. He went, however, first to Rotterdam, as thinking it the safest, because, having filled the place of pensionary with much honour, he was greatly beloved in the town; but the magistrates giving him to understand, that they did not approve his appearing in public, he left Rotterdam, and, passing to Amsterdam, he was extremely well received there; and Delft also, where he was born, shewed him sincere respect.

But no city ventured publicly to protect him; and the States-General, thinking themselves affronted by this boldness in continuing in the country without their leave, and by the repugnance he shewed to ask them pardon, issued an ordinance, December 10, 1631, enjoining all bailiffs of the country to seize his person, and give them notice: yet such was the general sympathy of his countrymen, that no person would execute it; and, to employ himself till his fate should be determined, he resolved to follow the business of a chamber-counsel. With this view he desired his brother, in a letter dated February 16, 1632, to send him what law books he might want for that office but of these he could make no long use; for, the States-General on March 10 renewed their ordinance, upon pain to those who would not obey, of lo.sing their places, and with a promise of 2000 florins to any one who should deliver him into the hands of justice. Upon this he thought proper to seek for an asylum elsewhere; and, on March 17, he set out from Amsterdam on his way to Hamburgh, and passed the fine season at an agreeable seat called Okenhuse, near the Elbe, belonging to William Morth, a Dutchman. On the approach of winter, he went to Hamburgh, and lodged with one Van Sorgen. a merchant: but the town did not prove agreeable to him, and he passed his time but heavily till the return of his wife from Zealand in autumn 1633. She had always been his consolation in adversity, and rendered all his sufferings more tolerable, not more by her affection, than by her good sense, and resources of mind. Her business at Zealand was to collect the remains of their | fortune, which she probably brought with her to HambufgnY While he continued here, some advantageous proposal? were made him from Spain, Poland, Denmark, the duke 1 of Holstein, and several other princes; but still entertaining the thought of a reconciliation with his native country, it was long before he could be prevailed upon to abandon it, to which measure the following circumstances at last contributed.

He had always entertained a very high opinion of Gustavus king of Sweden; and that prince having sent to Paris Benedict Oxenstiern, a relation of the chancellor, to bring to a final conclusion the treaty between France and Sweden, this minister became acquainted with Grotius, and resolved, if possible, to draw him to his master’s court: and Grotius writes, that if that monarch would nominate him ambassador, with a proper salary for the decent sup* port of the dignity, the proposal might be accepted. In this situation Salvius, vice-chancellor of Sweden, a great statesman, and a man of learning, being then at this city, Grotius was introduced to him, and saw him frequently. Polite literature was the subject of their conversation. Salvius conceived a great esteem for Grotius, and the favourable report he made of him to the high-chancellor Oxenstiern determined the latter to write to Grotius to come to him, that he might employ him in affairs of the greatest importance. Grotius accepted of this invitation; and setting out for Francfort on the Maine, where that minister Avas, arrived there in May 1634. He was received with the; greatest politeness by Oxenstiern, who did not yet, how-> ever, explain his intentions. In confidence of the highchancellor’s character, and apparent sincerity, he sent for his wife, who arrived at Francfort with his daughters and son, in the beginning of August The chancellor after for some time continuing to heap civilities upon him, without mentioning a word of business, ordered that he should follow him to Mentz, and at length declared him counsellor to the queen of Sweden, and her ambassador to the court of France.

As soon as he could thtis depend upon an establishment, he resolved to renounce his country, and to make it known by some public act, that he considered himself as no longer a Dutchman. In this spirit he sent his brother letters for the prince of Orange and the Dutch to that purport, July 13 of this year: he likewise wrote to Rotterdam, whick | had deferred nominating a pensionary after the sentence passed against him, that they might proceed to an election, since they must no longer look upon him as a Dutchman. He set out from Mentz on his embassy to France in the beginning of 1636, and made his public entry into Paris, March 2, and was introduced to Louis XIII. on the sixth. The great business of this embassy was to obtain the French king’s assistance to Sweden against the imperialists, in transacting which, he always supported with great firmness the rights and honours belonging to the rank of an ambassador. He continued in that character in -France till 1644, when he was recalled at his own request. In order to his return, having obtained a passport through Holland, he embarked at Dieppe, and arrived at Amsterdam in 1645, where he was extremely well received, and entertained at the public expence. That city fitted out a vessel to carry him to Hamburgh, where he was, May 16, this year. He went next day to Lubeck, and thence to Wismar, where count Wrangle, admiral of the Swedish fleet, gave him a splendid entertainment, and afterwards sent a man of war with him to Calmar, whither the chancellor sent a gentleman with his coach to bring him to Suderacher. He continued there about a fortnight with the chancellor and other ambassadors, who treated him with great honours. Returning to Calmar, he went by land to Stockholm, whither queen Christina came from Upsal to see him.

Her majesty had, before his departure from France, asured him that she was extremely satisfied with his services; and she now gave him several audiences, and made him dine with her, and he appeared to be abundantly pleased with the honours he received but as he saw they were in no haste to do any thing for him, and only rewarded him with compliments, he grew uneasy, and asked leave to retire. He was confirmed in this resolution, by finding the court filled up with persons that had conceived a jealousy against him; besides, the air of Sweden did not agree with him. The queen several times refused to gr;i:;t him his dismission, and signified that if he would continue in her service in quality of counsellor of state, and bring his family into Sweden, he should have no reason to repent it: but he excused himself on account of his heahh, which could not bear the cold air of that kingdom. He asked a passport, which they Delaying to grant, he became so uneasy that he resolved to go without it. Leaving

Stockholm, therefore, he went to a. sea-port two leaguus | distant, in order to embark for Lubeck. The queen, being informed of his departure, sent a gentleman to tell him she wanted to see him once more, otherwise she should think he was displeased with her. He returned therefore to Stockholm, and explained himself to the queen, who seemed satisfied with his reasons, and made him a large present in money, amounting to 12 or 13,000 imperials; adding to it some silver plate which was not finished sooner, and which he was assured had delayed the granting of his passport. That was afterwards issued; and the queen gave him a vessel, on-board which he embarked, August 12, for Lubeck.

But the vessel was scarce sailed when a violent storm arose, which obliged her after three days tossing to put in, August 17, on the coast of Pomerania, fourteen miles from Dantzic. Grotius set out in an open waggon for Lubeck, and arrived at Rostock, August 26, very ill, having travelled about sixty miles through wind and rain. He lodged with Balleman, and sent for Stochman the physician, who, from the symptoms, judged he could not live long. Ou the 28th he sent for Quistorpius, minister of that town, who gives the following account of his last moments: “You are desirous of hearing how that phoenix of literature, Hugo Grotius, behaved in his last moments; I am going to tell you.” He then proceeds to give an account of his voyage, and his sending for Stochman, a Scotch physician, after which he goes on as follows: “he sent for me about nine at night; I went, and found him almost at the point of death. I said, * There was nothing I desired more than to have seen him in health, that I might have had the pleasure of his conversation;‘ he said, ’ God hath ordered it otherwise. 7 I desired him t to prepare himself for a happier life, to acknowledge he was a sinner, arrd repent of his faults;‘ and happening to mention the publican, who acknowledged he was a sinner, and asked God’s mercy, he answered, * I am that publican.’ I went on, and told him that ‘ he must have recourse to Jesus Christ, without whom there is no salvation.’ He replied, * I place my hope in Jesus Christ.‘ I began to repeat aloud in German the prayer that begins ’ Holy Jesus;‘ he followed me in a very low voice with his hands clasped. When I had done, I asked him if he understood me he answered, < I understand you very well.’ I continued to repeat to him those passages of the word of God, which are commonly offered to the remembrance of dying persons; and, asking if he | Understood me, he answered me, * I heard your voice, but did not understand what you said.’. These were his last Words; soon after he expired, just at midnight. His body was delivered to the physicians, who took out his bowels, and easily obtained leave to bury them in our principal church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Thus died this extraordinary person, August 28, at night, 1645. His corpse was carried to Delft, and deposited in the tomb of his ancestors. He wrote this modest epitaph for himself:

Grotius hie Hugo est Batavum captirus & exul, Legatus regni, Suecia nsagna, tui.

Grotius had a very agreeable person, a good complexion an aquiline nose, sparkling eyes, and a serene and smiling countenance. He was not tall, but well-formed and strong. Two medals were struck in honour of him. Among his works, besides those we have mentioned, are, 1. “Anthologia,” of which, however, a few specimens only remain. 2. “Via ad Pacem Ecclesiastic-am.” 3. “Historia Gothorum,” &c. 4. “Remarks on Justinian’s Laws.” 5. “Commentary on the Old and New Testament, with several pieces annexed.” 6. “Dissertatio Hist. & Politic, cle Dogmatis, Ritibus, & Gubernatione Ecclesiae,” &c. 7. “De Origine Gentium Americanarum,” c. with two answers to Dr. Laets in its defence. 8. “An Introduction to the Laws of Holland.” 9. “Notes to Tacitus,” published in Lipsius’s edition) 1640. 10. “Notes upon Lucian,” published in 1614. In 1652, there came out a small collection, in 12mo, with this title, “Hugonis Grotii quredam inedita> aliaque ex Belgice editis Latine versa argumenti theolog, jurid. politic.” and in 1686, an edition of his “Epistles,” folio, containing 2500 letters in chronological order, from 1599 to 1645.

His theological works, printed in 3 vols. fol. but usually bound in four, include his Commentaries on the Bible, concerning which there have been various opinions. Some esteem him one of the best general commentators, and plead for him that he must not be thought to oppose a doctrine because he rejects some of the texts which have been quoted in support of it. This is plausible; but others conceive that doubts as to his orthodoxy are well founded, and it is evident that none of his biographers have been able to set up a good defence of him in this respect. | Calmet has justly remarked the ambiguity of his notions respecting the divinity of Christ, and the doctrine of original sin the indecency of his prefaces and explanation of the Canticles and objects to him that he weakens or reduces almost to nothing the prophecies relating to Jesus Christ. Nor was he less offensive to protestants for his notions conr cerning the pope’s not being antichrist, and concerning St. Paul’s expectation of living until the general judgment. With regard to the prophecies, he is said to have been the first interpreter of Scripture (though some are inclined to doubt this priority) who endeavoured to prove that the greater part of the prophecies of the Old Testament had a double sense, and have received a double accomplishment. He maintains that the predictions even of the evangelical prophet Isaiah, related in their primary and literal sense to the times and circumstances of the Jewish people, but that they respected the Messiah in a secondary and allegorical sense. It is unnecessary to inform such of our readers as are acquainted with the history of theological controversy, that these notions have met with able opponents both in the churches of Rome and England, and it is perhaps as unnecessary to add that they sufficiently account for the general suspicion entertained of Grotius’s religious principles, as well as for the various systems to which his friends or enemies wished, or suspected him to be at one time or other attached.

The late bishop Kurd’s mode of accounting for the apparent inconsistencies in the religious principles of Grotius, is the most favourable we have yet seen, and not improbable. “Grotius,” says that learned prelate, " is justly esteemed among the ablest and most learned men of an age that abounded in ability and learning. Besides his other shining talents, his acquaintance with history was extensive; and his knowledge of Scripture profound. And yet with two such requisites for unlocking the true sense of the prophetic writings, this excellent man undertook to prove in form, that the pope was not antichrist. The account of this mischance is as extraordinary as the mischance itself. The moral qualities of Grotius were still more admirable than his intellectual; and its these qualities we shall find the true spring of his unhappy and misapplied pains on the subject before us. He was in his own nature just, candid, benevolent, to a supreme degree; and the experience of an active turbulent life had but fortified him the more in | a love of those pacific virtues. He was, on principle, a sincere and zealous Christian; and consequently impressed With a clue sense of that exalted charity which is the characteristic of that religion but he had seen and felt much of the mischiefs which proceed from theological quarrels and thus every thing concurred to make him a friend to peace, and above all, to peace among Christians. An union of the catholic and protestant churches seemed necessary to this end; and the apparent candour, whether real or affected, of some learned persons, whom he had long known and valued in the church of Rome, drew him into the belief that such a project was not impracticable. Henceforth it became the ruling object of his life; and permitting himself too easily to conclude that the protestant doctrine of antichrist was the sole or principal obstruction to the union desired, he bent all the efforts of his wit and learning to discredit and overthrow that doctrine. Thus was this virtuous man betrayed by the wisdom and equity of his own character; and I know not if the observation of the moral poet can be so justly applied to any other:

Insani sapiens nomen fei-at, sequus iniqui,

Ultra quam satis est, virtutem si petat ipsum.

The issue of his general scheme was what might easily be foreseen; and of his arguments I shall only say thus much, that the Romish writers themselves, for whose use they might seem to be invented, though they continue to object his name to us, are too wise to venture the stress of their cause upon them.

It seems universally allowed that Grotius’s treatise “On the Truth of Christianity” is the most valuable of his theological writings. This has been translated into almost every European, and into some of the Eastern languages, and is still used at schools and universities as a text book. In English we have at least five translations of it. But the work on which his fame principally rests is his treatise “De Jure Belli ac Pacis,” in which he first reduced the law of nations to a system. It wns by the advice of lord Bacon and Peiresc that he undertook this arduous task. “Few works,” says an elegant modern writer, “were more celebrated than that of Grotius in his own days, and in the age which succeeded. It has, however, been the fashion of the last half century to depreciate his work as a shapeless | compilation, in which reason lies buried under a mass of authorities and quotations. This fashion originated among French wits and declaimers, and it has been, I know not for what reason, adopted, though with far greater moderation and decency, by some respectable writers among ourselves. As to those who first used this language, the most candid supposition that we can make with respect to them is, that they never read the work; for, if they had not been deterred from the perusal of it by such a formidable display of Greek characters, they must soon have discovered that Grotius never quotes on any subject till he has first appealed to some principles, and often, in my humble opinion, though not always, to the soundest and most rational principles.

“But another sort of answer is due to some of those who have criticised Grotius, and that answer might be given in the words of Grotius himself. He was not of such a stupid and servile cast of mind, as to quote the opinions of poets or orators, of historians and philosophers, as those of judges, from whose decision there was no appeal. He quotes them, as he tells us himself, as witnesses whose conspiring testimony, mightily strengthened and confirmed by their discordance on almost every other subject, is a conclusive proof of the unanimity of the whole human race on the great rules of duty and the fundamental principles of morals. On such matters poets and orators are the most unexceptionable of all witnesses for they address themselves to the general feelings and sympathies of mankind they are neither warped by system, nor perverted by sophistry; they can attain none of their objects; they can neither please nor persuade if they dwell on moral sentiments not in unison with those of their readers. No system of moral philosophy can surely disregard the general feelings of human nature and the according judgment of all ages and nations. But where are these feelings and that judgment recorded and preserved In those very writings which Grotius is gravely blamed for having quoted. The usages and laws of nations, the events of history, the opinions of philosophers, the sentiments of orators and poets, as well as the observation of common life, are, in truth, the materials out of which the science of morality is formed; and those who neglect them are justly chargeable with a vain attempt to philosophise without regard to fact and experience, the sole foundation of all true philosophy. | “If this were merely an objection of taste, I should be willing to allow that Grotius has indeed poured forth his learning with a profusion that sometimes rather encumbers than adorns his work, and which is not always necessary to the illustration of his subject. Yet, even in making that concession, I should rather yield to the taste of others than speak from my own feelings. I own that such richness and splendour of literature have a powerful charm for me. They fill my mind with an endless variety of delightful recollections and associations. They relieve the understanding in its progress through a vast science, by calling up the memory of great men and of interesting events. By this means we see the truths of morality clothed with all the eloquence (not that could be produced by the powers of one man, but) that could be bestowed on them by the collective genius of the world. Even virtue and wisdom themselves acquire new majesty in my eyes, when I thus see all the great masters of thinking and writing called together, as it were, from all times and countries, to do them homage, and to appear in their train.

“But this is no place for discussions of taste, and I am very ready to own that mine may be corrupted. The work of Grotius is liable to a more serious objection, though I do not recollect that it has ever been made. His method is inconvenient and unscientific. He has inverted the natural order. That natural order undoubtedly dictates that we should first search for the original principles of the science in human nature then apply them to the regulation of the conduct of individuals and lastly, employ them for the decision of those difficult and complicated questions that arise with respect to the intercourse of nations. But Grolius has chosen the reverse of this method, tie begins with the consideration of the states of peace and war, and he examines original principles only occasionally and incidentally as they grow out of the questions which he is called upon to decide. It is a uecessary consequence of this disorderly method, which exhibits the elements of the science in the form of scattered digressions, that he seldom employs sufficient discussion on these fundamental truths, and never in the place where such a discussion would be most instructive to the reader. This defect in the plan of Grotius was perceived, and supplied by Puffendorff, who restored natural law to that superiority which belonged to it, and with great propriety treated | the law of nations as only one main branch of the parent stock,” &c.

Of the surviving sons of Grotius, Cornelius and Dier cleric followed the profession of arms, and Peter was bred to the law, and became pensionary of Amsterdam and de* puty of the states-general. His brother William was a lawyer and a man of learning, and was the correspondent and confident of Grotius during his whole life, and it was to him he addressed the last letter in his collection, dated a few months before his death. 1


Burigny’s Life of Grotius. Oen. Dict. Mr. (now sir James) Mackintosh’s “Discourse on the Study of the Law of Nature and Nations,1799. Hurd’s Sermons on the Prophecies. Saxii Oncmast.