Hobbes, Thomas

, an eminent English philosopher and miscellaneous writer, was born at Malmsbury in Wiltshire, April 5, 1588, his father being minister | of that town. The Spanish Armada was then upon the coast of England; and his mother is said to have been so alarmed on that occasion, that she was brought to bed of him before her time. After having made a considerable progress in the learned languages at school, he was sent, in 1603, to Magdalen hall, Oxford; and, in 1608, by the recommendation of the principal, taken into the family of the right honourable William Cavendish lord Hardwicke, soon after created earl of Devonshire, as tutor to his son William lord Cavendish. Hobbes ingratiated himself so effectually with this young nobleman, and with the peer his father, that he was sent abroad with him on his travels in 16:0, and made the tour of France and Italy. Upon his return with lord Cavendish, he became known to persons of the highest rank, and eminently distinguished for their abilities and learning. The chancellor Bacon admitted him to a great degree of familiarity, and is said to have made use of his pen for translating some of his works into Latin. He was likewise much in favour with lord Herbert of Cherbury; and the celebrated Ben Jonson had such an esteem for him, that he revised the first work which he published, viz. his “English Translation of the History of Thucyciides.” This Hobbes undertook, as he tells us himself, “with an honest view of preventing, if possible, those disturbances in which he was apprehensive his country would be involved, by shewing, in the history of the Peloponnesian war, the fatal consequences of intestine troubles.” This has always been esteemed one of the best translations that we have of any Greek writer, and the author himself superintended the maps and indexes. But while he meditated this design, his patron, the earl of Devonshire, died in 1626; and in 1628, the year his work was published, his son died also. This loss affected him to such a degree, that he very willingly accepted an offer of going abroad a second time with the son of sir Gervase Clifton, whom he accordingly accompanied into France, and staid there some time. But while he continued there he was solicited to return to England, and to resume his concern for the hopes of that family, to which he had attached himself so early, and owed many and great obligations.

In 1631, the countess dowager of Devonshire was desirous of placing the young earl under his care, who was then about the age of thirteen; a trust very suitable to his | inclinations, and which he discharged with great fidelity and diligence. In 1634 he republished his translation of Thucydides, and prefixed to it a dedication to that young nobleman, in which he gives a nigh character of his father, and represents in the strongest terms his obligations to that illustrious family. The same year he accompanied his noble pupil to Paris, where he applied his vacant hours to natural philosophy, especially mechanism, and the causes of animal motion. He had frequent conversations upon these subjects with father Mersenne, a man deservedly famous, who kept up a correspondence with almost all the learned in Europe. From Paris he attended his pupil into Italy, and at Pisa became known to Galileo, who communicated to him his notions very freely. After having seen all that was remarkable in that country, he returned in 1637 with the earl of Devonshire into England. The troubles in Scotland now grew high, and began to spread themselves southward, and to threaten disturbance.throughout the kingdom. Hobbes, seeing this, thought he might do good service by composing something by way of antidote to the pestilential opinions which then prevailed. This engaged him to commit to paper certain principles, observations, and remarks, out of which he composed his book “De Give,” and which grew up afterwards into that system which he called his “Leviathan.

Not long after the meeting of the long parliament, Nov. 3, 1640, when all things fell into confusion, he withdrew, for the sake of living in quiet, to Paris; where he associated himself with those learned men, who, under the protection of Cardinal Richelieu, sought, by conferring their notions together, to promote every kind of useful knowledge. He had not been long there, when by the good offices of his friend Mersenne, he became known to Des Cartes, and afterwards held a correspondence with him upon mathematical subjects, as appears from the letters of Hobbes published in the works of Des Cartes. But when that philosopher printed afterwards his “Meditations,” in which he attempted to establish points of the highest consequence from innate ideas, Hobbes took the liberty of dissenting from him; as did also Gassendi, with whom Hobbes contracted a very close friendship, which was not interrupted till the death of the former. In 1642, he printed a few copies of his book “De Give,” which raised him many adversaries, by whom he was charged with | instilling principles of a dangerous tendency. Immediately after the appearance of this book, Des Cartes said of it to a friend, “I am of opinion that the author of the book ‘ De Give,’ is the same person who wrote the third objection against my ‘ Meditations.’ I think him a much greater master of morality, than of metaphysics or natural philosophy; though I can by no means approve of his principles or maxims, which are very bad and extremely dangerous, because they suppose all men to be wicked, or give them occasion to be so. His whole design is to write in favour of monarchy, which might be done to more advantage than he has done, upon maxims more virtuous and solid. He has wrote likewise greatly to the disadvantage of the church and the Roman catholic religion, so that if he is not particularly supported by some powerful interest, I do not see how he can escape having his book censured.” The learned Conringius censures him very severely for boasting, in regard to this performance, “that though physics were a new science, yet civil philosophy was still newer, since it could not be styled older than his book * De Give;‘ whereas,” says Conringius, “there is nothing good in that work of his that was not always known.” But vanity was throughout life a prevailing foible with Hobbes.

Among many illustrious persons who upon the shipwreck of the royal cause retired to France for safety, was sir Charles Cavendish, brother to the duke of Newcastle, who, being skilled in every branch of mathematics, proved a constant friend and patron to Hobbes: and Hobbes himself, by embarking, in 1645, in a controversy about the quadrature of the circle, became so celebrated, although certainly undeservedly as a mathematician, that, in 1647, he was recommended to instruct Charles prince of Wales, afterwards Charles II. in that branch of study. His care in the discharge of this office gained him the esteem of that prince in a very great degree: and though he afterwards withdrew his public favour from Hobbes on account of his writings, yet he always retained a sense of the services he had done him, shewed him various marks of his favour after he was restored to his dominions, and, as some say, had his picture hanging in his closet. This year also was printed in Holland, by the care of M. Sorbiere, a second and more complete edition of his book “De Cive,” to which are prefixed two Latin letters to the editor, one by Gassendi, the other by Mersenne, in commendation of it. | While Hobbes was thus employed at Paris, he was attacked by a violent fit of illness, which brought him so low that his friends began to despair of his recovery. Among those who visited him in this weak condition was his friend Mersenne, who, taking this for a favourable opportunity, began, after a few general compliments of condolence, to mention the power of the church of Rome to forgive sins; but Hobbes immediately replied, “Father, all these matters I have debated with myself long ago. Such kind of business would be troublesome to me now; and you can entertain me on subjects more agreeable; when did you see Mr. Gassendi?” Mersenne easily understood his meaning, and, without troubling him any farther, suffered the conversation to turn upon general topics. Yet some days afterwards, when Dr. Cosin, afterwards bishop of Durham, came to pray with him, he very readily accepted the proposal, and received the sacrament at his hands, according to the forms appointed by the church of England.

In 1650 was published at London a small treatise by Hobbes entitled “Human Nature,” and another, “De corpore politico, or, of the Elements of the Law.” The latter was presented to Gassendi, and read by him a few months before his death; who is said first to have kissed it, and then to have delivered his opinion of it in these words: tl This treatise is indeed small in bulk, but in my judgment the very marrow of science.“All this time Hobbes had been digesting with great pains his religious, political, and moral principles into a complete system, which he called the” Leviathan,“and which was printed in English at London in that and the year following. He caused a copy of it, very fairly written on vellum *, to be presented to Charles II.; but after that monarch was informed that the English divines considered it as a book tending to subvert both religion and civil government, he is said to have withdrawn his countenance from the author, and by the marquis of Ormond to have forbidden him to come into his presence. After the publication of his” Leviathan," Hobbes returned to England, and passed the summer commonly at his patron the earl of Devonshire’s seat in Derbyshire, -and his

* This copy appears to he now in How it came there has not been dis­’ the library of the late earl of Macart-covered. The library is now in the ney, at Lissanoure in Ireland, if the possession of a lady, the late earl’s reone very accurately described by the presentative, who probably knew little Rev. W. H. Pratt, in the Gentleman’s of its history. Magazine for January 1813, p. 30. | winters in town; where he had for his intimate friends some of the greatest men of the age; such as Dr. Harvey, Selden, Cowley, &c. In 1654, he published his “Letter upon Liberty and Necessity,” which occasioned a long controversy between him and Bramhall, bishop of Londonderry. About this time he began the controversy with Wallis, the mathematical professor at Oxford, which lasted as long as Hobbes lived, and in which he had the misfortune to have all the mathematicians against him. It is indeed said, that he came too late to this study to excel in it; and that though for a time he maintained his credit, while he was content to proceed in the same track with others, and to reason in the accustomed manner from the established principles of the science, yet when he began to.digress into new paths, and set up for a reformer, inventor, and improver of geometry, he lost himself extremely. But notwithstanding these debates took up much of his time, yet he published several philosophical treatises in Latin.

Such were his occupations till 1660, when upon the king’s restoration he quitted the country, and came up to London. He was at Salisbury-house with his patron, when the king passing by one day accidentally saw him. He sent for him, gave Kim his hand to kiss, inquired kindly after his health and circumstances; and some time after directed Cooper, the celebrated miniature-painter, to take his portrait. His majesty likewise afforded him another private audience, spoke to him very kindly, assured him of his protection, and settled a pension upon him of lOOl. per annum out of his privy purse. Yet this did not render him entirely safe; for, in 1666, his “Leviathan,” and treatise “De Give,” were censured by parliament, which alarmed him much; as did also the bringing of a bill into the Hou^e of commons to punish atheism and profaneness. When this-stonn was a little blown over, he began to think of procuring a beautiful edition of his pieces that were in Latin; but finding this impracticable in England, he caused it to be undertaken abroad, where they were published in 1668, 4to, from the press of John Bleau. In 1669, he was visited by Cosmo de Medicis, then prince, afterwards duke of Tuscany, who gave him ample marks of his esteem; and having received his picture, and a complete collection of his writings, caused them to be deposited, the former among his curiosities, the latter in his library at Florence. Similar visits he received from several | foreign ambassadors, and other strangers of distinction; who were curious to see a person, whose singular opinions and numerous writings had made so much noise all over Europe. In 1672, he wrote his own Life in Latin verse, when, as he observes, he had completed his eighty-fourth year: and, in 1674, he published in English verse four books of Homer’s “Odyssey,” which were so well received, that it encouraged him to undertake the whole “Iliad” and “Odyssey,” which he likewise performed, and published in 1675. These were not the first specimens of his poetic genius which he had given to the public: he had published many years before, about 1637, a Latin poem, entitled “De Mirabilibus Pecci, or, Of the Wonders of the Peak.” But his poetry is below criticism, and has been long exploded.*


Hobbes could construe a Greek author; but his skill in words must have been all derived from the dictionary; for he seems not to have known, that any one articulate sound could be more agreeable, or any one phrase more dignified, than any other. In his Iliad and Odyssey, even when he hits the author’s sense (which is not always the case), he proves by his choice of words, that of harmony, ele gance, or energy of style, he had no manner of conception. And hence that work, though called a translation of Homer, does not even deserve the name of poem; because it is in every respect unpleasing, being nothing more than a fictitious narrative delivered in mean prose, with the additional meanness of harsh rhime, and untuneable measure.” Beattie’s Essay on Poetry and Music.

In 1674, he took his leave of London, and went to spend the remainder of his days in Derbyshire; where, however, he did not remain inactive, notwithstanding his advanced age, but published from time to time several pieces to be found in the collection of his works, namely, in 1676, his “Dispute with Laney bishop of Ely, concerning Liberty and. Necessity;” in 1678, his “Decameron Physiologicum, or, Ten Dialogues of Natural Philosophy;” to which he added a book, entitled “A Dialogue between a Philosopher and a Student of the Common Law of England.June 1679, he eent another book, entitled “Behemoth, or, A History of the Civil Wars from 1640 to 1660,” to an eminent bookseller, with a letter setting forth the reasons for his communication of it, as well as for the request he then made, that he would not publish it till a proper occasion offered. The book, however, was published as soon as he was dead, and the letter along with it; of which we shall give a curious extract: “I would fain have published my Dialogue of the Civil Wars of England long ago, and to that end I presented it to his majesty; and some days after, | vrhen I thought he had read it, I humbly besought him to let me print it. But his majesty, though he heard me graciously, yet he flatly refused to have it published: therefore I brought away the book, and gave you leave to take a copy of it; which when you had done, I gave the original to an honourable and learned friend, who about a. year after died. The king knows better, and is more concerned in publishing of books than lam; and therefore I dare not venture to appear in the business, lest I should offend him. Therefore I pray you not to meddle in the business. Rather than to be thought any way to further or countenance the printing, I would be content to lose twenty times the value of what you can expect to gain by it. I pray do not take it ill; it may be I may live to send you somewhat else as vendible as that, and without offence. J am, &c.” However he did not live to send his bookseller any thing more, this being his last piece. It is in dialogue, and full of paradoxes, like all his other writings. More philosophical, political, says Warburton, or any thing rather than historical, yet full of shrewd observations. In October following, he was afflicted with a suppression of urine; and his physician plainly told him, that he had little hopes of curing him. In November, the earl of Devonshire removing from Chatsvvorth to another seat called Hardwick, Hobbes obstinately persisted in desiring that he might be carried too, though this could no way be done but by laying him upon a feather-bed. He was not much discomposed with his journey, yet within a week after lost, by a stroke of the palsy, the use of his speech, and of his right side entirely; in which condition he remained for some days, taking little nourishment, and sleeping much, sometimes endeavouring to speak, but not being able. He died Dec. 4, 1679, in his ninety-second year. Wood tells us, that after his physician gave him no hopes of a cure, he said, “Then I shall be glad to find a hole to creep out of the world at.” He observes also, that his not desiring a minister, to receive the sacrament before he died, ought in charity to be imputed to his being so suddenly seized, and afterwards deprived of his senses; the rather, because the earl of Devonshire’s chaplain declared, that within the two last years of his life he had often received the sacrament from his hands with seeming devotion. His character and manners are thus described by Dr. White Kennet, in his “Memoirs of the Cavendish Family;| The earl of Devonshire,” says he, “for his whole life entertained Mr. Hobbes in his family, as his old tutor rather than as his friend or confidant. He let him live under his roof in ease and plenty, and in his own way, without making use of him in any public, or so much as domestic affairs. He would often express an abhorrence of some of his principles in policy and religion; and both he and his lady would frequently put off the mention of his name, and say, ‘ he was a humourist, and nobody could account for him.’ There is a tradition in the family of the manners and customs of Mr. Hobbes somewhat observable. His professed rule of health was to dedicate the morning to his exercise, and the afternoon to his studies. At his first rising, therefore, he walked out, and climbed any hill within his reach; or, if the weather was not dry, he fatigued himself within doors by some exercise or other, to be in a sweat: recommending that practice tfpon this opinion, that an old man had more moisture than heat, and therefore by such motion heat was to be acquired, and moisture expelled. After this he took a comfortable breakfast; and then went round the lodgings to wait upon the earl, the countess, and the children, and any considerable strangers, paying some short addresses to all of them. He kept these rounds till about twelve o‘clock, when he had a little dinner provided for him, which he eat always by himself without ceremony. Soon after dinner he retired to his study, and had his candle with ten or twelve pipes of tobacco laid by him; then shutting his door, he fell to smoaking, thinking, and writing for several hours. He retained a friend or two at court, and especially the lord Arlington, to protect him if occasion should require. He used to say, that it was lawful to make use of ill instruments to do ourselves good: * If I were cast,’ says he, ‘ into a deep pit, and the devil should put down his cloven foot, I would take hold of it to be drawn out by it.’ Towards the end of his life he had very few books, and those he read but very little; thinking he was now able only to digest what he had formerly fed upon. If company came to visit him, he would be free in discourse till he was pressed or contradicted; and then he had the infirmities of being short and peevish, and referring to his writings for better satisfaction. His friends, who had the liberty of introducing strangers to him, made these terms with them before their admission, that they should not dispute with the old man, nor contradict him.| After mentioning the apprehensions Hobbes was under, when the parliament censured his book, and the methods he took to escape persecution, Dr. Kennet adds, “It isnot much to be doubted, that upon this occasion he began to make a more open shew of religion and church communion. He now frequented the chapel, joined in the service, and was generally a partaker of the holy sacrament: and whenever any strangers in conversation with him seemed to question his belief, he would always appeal to his conformity in divine services, and referred them to the chaplain for a testimony of it. Others thought it a mere compliance to the orders of the family, and observed, that in city and country he never went to any parish church; and even in the chapel upon Sundays, he went out after prayers, and turned his back upon the sermon; and when any friend asked the reason of it, he gave no other but this, ‘ they could teach him nothing, but what he knew.’ He did not cone‘al his hatred to the clergy but it was visible that the hatred was owing to his fear of their civil interest and power. He had often a jealousy, that the bishops would burn him: and of all the bench he was most afraid of the bishop of Sarum, because he had most offended him; thinking every man’s spirit to be remembrance and revenge. After the Restoration, he watched all opportunities to ingratiate himself with the king and his prime ministers; and looked upon his pension to be more valqable, as an earnest of favour and protection, than upon any other account. His following course of life was to be free from danger. He could not endure to be left in an empty house. Whenever the earl removed, he would go along with him, even to his last stage, from Chatsworth to Hardwick. When he was in a very weak condition, he dared not to be left behind, but made his way upon a feather-bed in a coach, though he survived the journey but a few days. He could not bear any discourse of death, and seemed to cast off all thoughts of it: he delighted to reckon upon longer life. The winter before he died, he made a warm coat, which he said must last him three years, and then he would have such another. In his last sickness his frequent questions were, Whether his disease was curable? and when intimations were given that he might have ease, but no remedy, he used this expression, ’ I shall be glad to find a hole to creep out of the world at;’ which are reported to have been his last sensible words; and his lying. | some days following in a silent stupefaction, did seem owing to his mind more than to his body. The only thought of death that he appeared to entertain in time of health, was to take care of some inscription on his grave. He would suffer some friends to dictate an epitaph, among which he was best pleased with this humour, * This is the philosopher’s stone‘.A pun very probably from the hand which wrote for Dr. Fuller, “Here lies Fuller’s earth.

After this account of Hobbes, which, though undoubtedly true in the main, may be thought too strongly coloured, it will be but justice to subjoin what lord Clarendon has said of him. This noble person, during his banishment, wrote a book in 1670, which was printed six years after at Oxford with this title, “A brief View of the dangerous and pernicious Errors to Church and State in Mr. Hobbes’s book entitled Leviathan.” In the introduction the earl observes, that Mr. Hobbes’s *’ Leviathan“” cohtains in it good learning of all kinds, politely extracted, and very wittily and cunningly digested in a very commendable, and in a vigorous and pleasant style: and that Mr. Hobbes himself was a man of excellent parts, of great wit, some reading, and somewhat more thinking; one who has spent many years in foreign parts and observations; understands the learned as well as the modern languages; hath long had the reputation of a great philosopher and mathematician; and in his age hath had conversation with very many worthy and extraordinary men: to which it may be, if he had been more indulgent in the more vigorous part of his life, it might have had greater influence upon the temper of his mind; whereas age seldom submits to those questions, inquiries, and contradictions, which the laws and liberty of conversation require. And it hath been always a lamentation among Mr. Hobbes’s friends, that he spent too much time in thinking, and too little in exercising those thoughts in the company of other men of the same, or of as good faculties; for want whereof his natural constitution, with age, contracted such a morosity, that doubting-and contradicting men were never grateful to him. In a word, Mr. Hobbes is one of the most ancient acquaintance I have in the world; and of whom I have always had a great esteem, as a man, who, besides his eminent parts, learning, and knowledge, hath been always looked upon as a man of probity, and of a life free from scandal.“| There have been few persons, whose writings have had a more pernicious influence in spreading irreligion and infidelity than those of Hobbes; and yet none of his treatises are directly levelled against revealed religion. He sometimes affects to speak with veneration of the sacred writings, and expressly declares, that though the laws of nature are not laws as they proceed from nature, yet” as they are given by God in Holy Scripture, they are properly called laws; for the Holy Scripture is the voice of God, ruling all things by the greatest right*


De Cive, c. iii. a. 33. J De Cive, c. 17, Leviathan, pp. 169,

.“But though ha, seems here to make the laws of Scripture the Jaws of God, and to derive their force from his supreme authority, yet elsewhere he supposes them to have no authority, but what they derive from the prince or civil power. He sometimes seems to acknowledge inspiration to be a supernatural gift, and the immediate hand of God: at other times he treats the pretence to it as a sign of madness, and represents God’s speaking to the prophets in a dream, to be no more than the prophets dreaming that God spake unto them. He asserts, that we have no assurance of the certainty of Scripture but the authority of the church f, and this he resolves into the authority of the commonwealth; and declares, that till the sovereign ruler had prescribed them,” the precepts of Scripture were not obligatory laws, but only counsel or advice, which he that was counselled might without injustice refuse to observe, and being contrary to the laws could not without injustice observe;“that the word of the interpreter of Scripture is the word of God, and that the sovereign magistrate is the interpreter of Scripture, and of all doctrines, to whose authority we must stand. Nay, he carries it so far as to pronounce

Leviathan, p. 1%. 283, 284.

that Christians are bound in conscience to obey the laws of an infidel king in matters of religion; that
” thought is free, but when it comes to confession of faith, the private reason must submit to the public, that is to say, to God’s lieutenant.“Accordingly he allows the subject, being commanded by the sovereign, to deny Christ in words, holding the faith of him firmly in his heart; it being in this” not he, that denieth Christ before men, but his governor and the laws of his country.“In the mean time he acknowledges the existence of God,

Leviathan, pp, 238, 272.

and that we must of necessity ascribe | the effects we behold to the eternal power of all powers, and cause of all causes; and he reproaches those as absurd, who call the world, or the soul of the world, God. But then he denies that we know any thing more of him than, that he exists, and seems plainly to make him corporeal; for he affirms, that whatever is not body is nothing at all. And though he sometimes seems to acknowledge religion and its obligations, and that there is an honour and worship due to God; prayer, thanksgivings, oblations, &c. yet he advances principles, which evidently tend to subvert all religion. The account he gives of it is this, that
” from the fear of power invisible, feigned by the mind, or imagined from tales, publicly allowed, ariseth religion; not allowed, superstition:“and he resolves religion into things which he himself derides, namely,” opinions of ghosts, ignorance of second causes, devotion to what men fear, and taking of things casual for prognostics.“He takes pains in many places to prove man a necessary agent, and openly derides the doctrine of a future state: for he says, that the belief of a future state after death,” is a belief grounded upon other men’s saying, that they knew it supernaturally; or, that they knew those, that knew them, that knew others that knew it supernaturally.“But it is not revealed religion only, of which Hobbes makes light; he goes farther, as will appear by running over a few more of his maxims. He asserts,” that, by the law of nature, every man hath a right to all things, and over all persons; and that the natural condition of man is a state of war, a war of all men against all men: that there is no way so reasonable for any man, as by force or wiles to gain a mastery over all other persons that he can, till he sees no other power strong enough to endanger him: that the civtt laws are the only rules of good and evil, just and unjust, honest and dishonest; and that, antecedently to such laws, every action is in its own nature indifferent; that there is nothing good or evil in itself, nor any common laws constituting what is naturally just and unjust: that all things are measured by what every man judgeth fit, where there is no civil government, and by the laws of society, where there is: that the power of the sovereign is absolute, and that he is not bound by any compacts with his subjects: that nothing the sovereign can do to the subject, can properly be called injurious or wrong; and that the, king’s word is sufficient to take any | thing from the subject if need be, and that the king is judge of that need." This scheme evidently strikes at the foundation of all religion, natural and revealed. It tends not only to subvert the authority of Scripture, but to destroy God’s moral government of the world. It confounds the natural differences of good and evil, virtue and vice. It destroys the best principles of the human nature; and instead of that innate benevolence and social disposition which should unite men together, supposes all men to be naturally in a state of war with one another. It erects an absolute tyranny in the state and church, which it confounds, and maKes the will of the prince or governing power the sole standard of right and wrong.

Such principles in religion and politics would, as it may be imagined, raise adversaries. Hobbes accordingly was attacked by many considerable persons, and, what may seem more strange, by such as wrote against each other. Harrington, in his “Oceana,” very often attacks Hobbes; and so does sir Robert Filmer in his “Observations concerning the Original of Government.” We have already mentioned Bramhall and Clarendon; the former argued with great acuteness against that part of his system which relates to liberty and necessity, and afterwards attacked the whole in a piece, called “The Catching of the Leviathan,” published in 1685; in which he undertakes to demonstrate out of Hobbes’s own works, that no man, who is thoroughly an Hobbist, can be “a good Christian, or a good commonwealth’s man, or reconcile himself to himself.” Tenison, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury, gave a summary view of Hobbes’s principles, in a book called “The Creed of Mr. Hobbes examined, 1670;” to which, we may add the two dialogues of Dr. Eachard between Timothy and Phiiautus, and Dr. Parker’s book, entitled “Disputationes de Deo &, Divina Providentia.” Dr. Henry More has also in different parts of his works canvassed and refuted several positions of Hobbes; and the philosopher of Malmesbury is said to have been so ingenuous as to own, that “whenever he discovered his own philosophy to be unsustainable, he would embrace the opinions of Dr. More.” But the two greatest works against him were, Cumberland’s book “De legibus Naturae,” and Cudworth’s “Intellectual System” for these authors do not employ themselves about his peculiar whimsies, or in vindicating revealed religion from his exceptions and cavils, but | endeavour to establish the great principles of all religion and morality, which his scheme tended to subvert, and to shew that they have a real foundation in reason and nature.

There is one peculiarity related of Hobbes, which we have not yet mentioned in the course of our account of him his dread of apparitions and spirits. His friends indeed have called this a fable. “He was falsely accused,” say they, “by some, of being afraid to be alone, because he was afraid of spectres and apparitions; vain bugbears of fools, which he had chased away by the light of his philosophy.” They do not, however, deny, that he was afraid of being alone; they only insinuate, that it was for fear of being assassinated; but the fact probably was, that he had that tenacity of life which is observable in men whose religious principles are unsettled. Upon the whole, we may conclude, with the intelligent Brucker, that Hobbes was certainly possessed of vigorous faculties, and had he been sufficiently careful to form and improve his judgment, and to preserve his mind free from the bias of prejudice and passion, would undoubtedly have deserved a place in the first class of philosophers. The mathematical method Sf reasoning which he adopted, greatly assisted him in his researches; but he was often led into error, by assuming false or uncertain principles or axioms. The vehemence with which he engaged in -political contests biassed his judgment on questions of policy, and led him to frame such maxims and rules of government, as would be destructive of the peace and happiness of mankind. An arrogant contempt of the opinions of others, an impatience of contradiction, and a restless ambition to be distinguished as an innovator in philosophy, were qualities which appear to have contributed in no small degree to the perversion of his judgment. It is also to be remarked, that though he had the precept and example of lord Bacon to guide him, he neglected the new and fertile path of experimental philosophy. So little was he aware of the value of this kind of knowledge, that he censured the royal society of London, at its first institution, for attending more to minute experiment than general principles, and said, that if the name of a philosopher was to be obtained by relating a multifarious farrago of experiments, we might expect to see apothecaries, gardeners, and perfumers rank among philosophers.

A list of the works of this remarkable man, in the order

| of publication, seems not unnecessary to close our account of him, 1. His “Translation of Thucydides,” Lond. 1628, and 1676, fol. reprinted in 2 vols. 8vo. 2. “De Mirabilibus Pecci,” a Latin poem, Lond. 1636, 8vo, 1666, 4to. 3. “Elementa philosophica seu politica de Give,Paris, 1642, 4to, Amst. 1647, 12mo. 4. “An Answer to sir William Davenant’s Epistle or Preface to Gondibert,Paris, 1650, 12mo, afterwards printed with Gondibert. 5. “Human Nature or the fundamental elements of policy,” Lond. 1650, 12mo. 6. “De Corpore Politico; or the Elements of the Law,” Lond. 1650, 12mo. 7. “Leviathan; or the matter, form, and power of a Commonwealth,” ibid. 1651, and 1680, fol. 8. “A Compendium of Aristotle’s Rhetoric, and Ilamus’s Logic.” y. “A Letter about Liberty and Necessity,” Lond. 1654, 12mo. This was answered by Dr. Laney and bishop Bramhali. 10. “The Questions concerning Liberty, and Necessity, and Chance, stated and debated between Mr. Hobbes and Dr. Bramhall, bishop of London-Derry,” Lond. 1656, 4to. 11. “Elementorum Philosophiae sectio prima de Corpore,” ibid. 1655, 8vo; in English, 1656, in 4to. “Sectio jsecunda,London, 1657, 4to; Amsterdam, 1668, in 4-to. 12. “Six Lessons to the professors of mathematics of the institution of sir Henry Savile,” ibid. 1656, 4to, written against Mr. Seth Ward, and Dr. John Wallis. 13. “The Marks of the absurd Geometry, rural Language, &c. of Dr. John Wallis,” ibid. 1657, 8vo. 14. “Kxaminatio et emendatio Mathematicae hodiernae, sex Dialogis comprehensa,” ibid.

1660, 4to; Amsterdam, 1668, 4to. 15. “Dialogus Physicus, sive de Natura Aeris,” Lond. 1661, 4to; Amsterdam, 1668, 4to. 16. “De Duplicatione Cubi,London,

1661, 4to; Amsterdam, 1668, 4to. 17. “Problemata Physica, una cum magnitudine circuli,” Lond. 1662, 4to; Amsterdam, 1688, 4to. 18. “De principiis et ratiocinatione Geometrarum, contra fastuosum professorem,” Lond. 1666, 4toj Amsterdam, 1668, 4to. 19. “Quadratura Circuli, cubatio sphaerse, duplicatio cubi; una cum responsione ad objectiones geometriae professoris Saviliani Oxoniae editas anno 1669.” Lond. 1669, 4to. 20. “Rosetutn Geometricum, sive propositiones aliquoc frustra antehac tentatae, cum censura brevi doctrinae Wallisiamede motn,London, 1671, 4to, of which an account is given in the Philosophical Transactions, No. 72, for the year 1671. 21. Three Papers presented to the royal society against | Dr. Wallis, with considerations on Dr. Wallis’s Answer to them,“Loud. 1671, 4to. 22.Lux Mathematica, &c. censura doctrinae Wallisianse de Libra: Rosetum Hobbesii,“Lond. 1672, 4io. 23.” Principia et Problemata, aliquot G&ometrica ante desperata, nunc breviter explicata et demonstrata,“London, 1674, 4to. 24.” Epistola ad Dom. Anton, a Wood, Authorem Historiae et Antiquitat. Universit. Oxon.:“dated April the 20th, 1674, printed in half a sheet on one side.” It was written to Mr. Wood,“says Wood himself,” upon his complaint made to Mr. Hobbes of several deletions and additions made in and to his life and character (which be had written of him in that book) by the publisher (Dr. Jo. Fell) of the said Hist, and Antiq, to the great dishonour and disparagement of the said Mr. Hobbes. Whereupon, when that history was finished, came out a scurrilous answer to the said epistle, written by Dr. Fell, which is at “the end of the said history.” In this Answer Dr. Fell styles Mr. Hobbes, “irritabile illud et vanissimum Malmsburiense animal-,” and tells us, that one Mr. J. A. had sent a magnificent eulogium of Mr. Hobbes drawn up by him, or more probably by Hobbes himself, in order to be inserted in the Hist, et Antiq. Univers. Oxon; but the editor finding in this eulogium a great many things foreign to the design of that work, and far from truth, he suppressed what he thought proper. 25. “A Letter to William duke of Newcastle, concerning the Controversy had with Dr. Laney, bishop of Ely, about Liberty and Necessity,” Lond. 1670, 12mo. 26. “Decameron Physiologicum; or ten dialogues of natural philosophy, &c.London, 1678, 8vo. To this is added “The Proportion of a strait line to hold the Arch of a Quadrant.” 27. “His last words and dying Legacy:” printed on one side of a sheet of paper in December 1679, and published by Charles Blunt, esq. from the “Leviathan,” in order to expose Mr. Hobbes’s doctrine. 28. His “Memorable Sayings in his books and at the table;” printed on one side of a broad sheet of paper, with his picture before them. 29. “Behemoth: The History of the Civil Wars of England from 1640 to 1660,” Lond. 1679, 8vo. 30. “Vita Thomae Hobbes,” a Latin poem written by himself, and printed at London in 4to, in the latter end of December 1679; and a fortnight after that, viz. about the 10th of January, it’was published in English verse by another hand, at London 1680, in five sheets in folio. The Latin copy was | reprinted and subjoined to “Vitae Hobbianae Auctarium.” 31. “Historical narration of Heresy, and the punishment thereof,London, 1680, in four sheets and an half in folio; and in 1682 in 8vo. This is chiefly extracted out of the second chapter De Hseresi of his Appendix to fche Leviathan. 32. “Vita Thomse Hobbes,” written by himself in prose, and printed at Caropolis, i.e. London, and prefixed to “Vitae Hobbianae Auctarium,1681, 8vo, and 1682, 4to. 33. “A Brief of the art of Rhetoric, containing in substance all that Aristotle hath written in his three books of that subject,” 12mo, without a date. It was afterwards published in two books, London, 1681, in 8vo, the first bearing the title of “The Art of Rhetoric,” and the other of “The Art of Rhetoric plainly set forth; with pertinent examples for the more ready understanding and practice of the same.” To which is added, 34. “A Dialogue between a philosopher and a student of the Common Laws of England.” Mr. Barrington in his Observations on the Statute of Treasons, says it appears by this dialogue, that Hobbes had considered most of the fundamental principles of the English law with great care and attention. 35. “An Answer to archhishop Bramhall’s Book called The catching of the Leviathan,London, 1682, 8vo. 36. “Seven philosophical Problems, and two Propositions of Geometry,London, 1682, 8vo, dedicated to the king in 1662. 37. (< An Apology for himself and his Writings.“38.” Historia Ecclesiastica carmine elegiaco concinnata.“Aug. Trinob. i. e. London, 1688, 8vo. 39.” Tractatus Opticus,“inserted in Mersennus’s” Cojitata' PhysieoMathematica,“Paris, 1644, 4to. 40.” Observationes in Cartesii de prima Philosophia Meditationes.“These objections are published in all the editions of Des Cartes’s” Meditations.“41.” The Voyage of Ulysses; or Homer’s Odysses,“book 9, 10, 11, 12. London, 1674, in 8vo And 42.Homer’s Iliads and Odysses," London, 1675 and 1677, 12mo. 1


Biog. Brit. Gen. Dict. —Burnet’s Own Times. Life prefixed to Wood’s Annals, 4to, p. Is. —Ath. Ox. vol. II. LIand’s Deit.tical Writers Letters from the Bodleian Library, 3 vols. 8vo, 1S13. D’Israeli’s Quarrels of Authors. vol. III. p. 189.