Heinsius, Nicholas

, son of the preceding, and more eminent both in the literary and the political world, was born at Leyden, July 1620, and at first educated under his father’s inspection. In early life he formed an intimacy with his learned contemporaries John Frederick Gronovius, Vincent Fabricius, and Isaac Vossius. The latter accommodated him with the Mss. of Ovid, which were in the library of his grandfather, John Gerard Vossius, and his attention to this author terminated at last in an excellent edition of his works, highly praised by Ernesti and Harles, which he published in 1661, 3 vols. 8vo. In 1641, when he was about twenty-one years of age, he came over to England, and spent three months at Oxford, examining some Mss. of Ovid and Claudian in the Bodleian library. He returned the following year to Leyden, and thence to Spa, on account of his health, but in this tour visited the libraries and the learned of Brabant. About 1647 he went to Paris, where he remained a year and a half, and published his Latin poems. He also employed himself in collating some manuscripts in the library of Messrs. Dupin. From Paris he went to Italy, and both at Florence and Rome examined with great care the literary treasures in the grand duke’s library, and in the Vatican. Happening unfortunately to be at Naples during a civic revolt, he lost part of his papers, and among others his collation of Martial. In 1648 he published at Padua his elegies, in which he celebrates Italy and Rome, but speaks somewhat disrespectfully of his own country, for which he was | afterwards blamed. He meant to have visited Swisserland on his return, but his father’s age and infirmities making him. desirous of his company, he returned home. He had refused a professor’s chair at Bologna, because the terms were that he should embrace the Roman catholic religion. In 1649, hearing that Christina, queen of Sweden, had desired to see his poems, he published a new edition dedicated to her, which procured him an invitation to Stockholm, where he was very graciously received by her majesty. In 1651 he made another tour to Italy, and the following year being in Florence, was received a member of the academies of Delia Crusca and the Apathisti. A considerable part of his object in this tour was to purchase manuscripts and medals for queen Christina; but, being now greatly in advance for these purchases, without having received any money from Stockholm, he found it necessary to return and make a personal application. In the mean time Christina had abdicated the throne, and Heinsius, who had spent 3000 florins in her purchases, presented petition after petition to no effect. Promises indeed he had in abundance he was to have a grant of lands in Pomerania, a canonry at Hamburgh, a vicariate at Bremen the title of secretary, and four thousand crowns to defray the expences he had been at; but none of these was fulfilled.

While in this situation, he received the glad tidings that the States of Holland had appointed him their resident at the Swedish court, with a salary of 4000 florins. This appointment took place Oct. 7, 1654. The following year his father died, which obliged him to return to Holland. In 1656 he was made secretary to the city of Amsterdam, which he was obliged to resign two years after in consequence of being prosecuted by a young woman for a breach of promise of marriage, under the faith of which she had lived with him and borne him two children. This affair seems very little to Heinsius’s credit, for he was not only cast in the suit, but the sentence was afterwards confirmed in 1662 by the supreme court of Holland, to which he had appealed.

In the mean time, in 1660, he was again appointed resident at the court of Stockholm, Where he rerhained until 1667. In 1669 he was appointed deputy extraordinary at the court of Moscovy. After holding this post about two years, and executing some other political commissions for | the States, he retired to a country residence in 1675, first near Utrecht, and afterwards at Vianen. It was when in this latter place that Peter Francius addressed to him a Latin poem, “Ad Nic. Heinsinm, de secessu suo Vianensi.” In 1681, while at the Hague, whither he went on account of the marriage of 'his niece, he difcd Oct. 7. His body was carried to Leyden, and interred in the same grave with that of his father, in the church of St. Peter.

His poems, which are much admired, have been several times printed: but the best edition is that of Amsterdam, 1666. Some think him worthy to be called “The Swan bf Holland.” He wrote notes upon, and gave editions of Virgil, Ovid, Valerius Flaccus, Claudian, Prudentius, &c. Bentley, in a note upon Horace, 2 Sat. vi. 108. calls his edition of Virgil, “editio castigatissima.” His Claurlian is dedicated, in a Latin poem, to Christina queen of Sweden and his Ovid to Thuanus, At his death, it is said, that he capriciously disowned all his works and expressed the utmost regret at having left behind him so many “monuments of his vanity,” as he called them. 1


Life by Burman. —Moreri. Burman’s Sylloge. Baillet Jugemens. —Saxii Onomast.