Holberg, Louis De

, a Danish historian, lawyer, and poet, was born at Bergen in Norway, in 1685. His family is said by some to have been low, by others noble; but it is agreed that he commenced life in very poor circumstances, and picked up his education in his travels through various parts of Europe, where he subsisted either by charity, or by his personal efforts of various kinds. On | his return to Copenhagen, he found means to be appointed assessor of the consistory court, which place affording him a competent subsistence, he was able to indulge his genius, and produced several works, which gave him great celebrity. Among these are some comedies, a volume of which has been translated into French. He wrote also a History of Denmark, in 3 vols. 4to, which has been considered as the best that hitherto has been produced, though in some parts rather minute and uninteresting. Two volumes of “Moral Thoughts,” and a work entitled “The Danish Spectator,” were produced by him: and he is generally considered as the author of the “Iter subterraneum of Klimius,” a satirical romance, something in the style of Gulliver’s Travels. Most of these have been translated also into German, and are much esteemed in that country. His “Introduction to Universal History” was translated into English by Dr. Gregory Sharpe, with notes, 1755, 8vo. By his publications, and his place of assessor, he had osconomy enough to amass a considerable fortune, and even in his life gave 70,000 crowns to the university of Zealand, for the education of young noblesse; thinking it right that as his wealth had been acquired by literature, it should be employed in its support. This munificence obtained him the title of baron. At his death, which happened in 1754, he left also a fund of 16,000 crowns to portion out a certain number of young women, selected from the families of citizens in Copenhagen. 1


Dict. Hist.—Annual Register for 1759.