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we find in the following number of that paper, that if it has not been translated it is not worth translating; and to prove his assertion he does not give any extracts from the work, but mentions the dramatis personæ, which, he says, speak for themselves. But turning from these critics to one who seems to have really perused his works, I find in the Penny Cyclopædia the following remarks: “Never has poetic genius displayed itself more forcibly or with greater sublimity, than it has in all his best productions. He was one of those superior spirits who give celebrity to their country and to their age; and if Camoens singly has sufficed for the literary glory of Portugal, Vondel alone would have been sufficient to confer fame upon his country." (Art. Netherlands.) A comparison between Milton and Vondel would be a very interesting
The former would no doubt prove superior, but the latter will be found a worthy competitor in the same field of literature. Allowance must be made for the disadvantage under which a dramatist labours; for unless we see the drama represented on the stage it is no more than a skeleton, whilst an epic poem describes all the minutia, and is therefore more striking to the reader.
An epic poem has moreover a wider scope for the display of the imagination, which can picture to the mind more mysteries than the stage can represent. When “Lucifer” was first introduced on the stage it was suppressed as a subject unfit for representation. But being published, no less than a thousand copies were sold in a few days,—an immense success considering the extent of the country, and the age in which it was written.*
The limits to which this Paper is confined compel me to hasten to a conclusion, without noticing any of the other works of Vondel. In the year 1625, he sank into the most desponding melancholy, which rendered him incapable of any exertion. When recovered, he composed, among other poems, his Hanekot,” in which his hero is a certain preacher who had been ejected by the synod. In all his poems of this kind he writes with great severity against the clergy for interfering in civil matters. He was once heard to say of the clergy, that “ Whenever he got hold of them he felt quite inspired.” In the year 1628 he went to Denmark to collect some debts, thence to Sweden, and at Guttenburg he composed a poem called the “ Oracle," in which he foretold that Gus
Among the “ Chester Plays" there is one called “ The Fall of Lucifer." The editor remarks—"The legendary story of the fall of Lucifer app ars to have been exceedingly popular in the west from the earliest ages of Christianity in these parts. Milton, perhaps, founded some of his most magnificent pictures on the rude ground-work of these mysteries." tavus Adolphus would carry on war against the Roman Catholic Faith, and subdue the Austrians. This prediction was actually fulfilled a few years afterwards. In the year 1630 he composed many satires, all directed against the clergy and the government. A few years after, he began to compose an epic poem on Constantine the Great, which was to be complete in twelve books, but the death of his wife made him indifferent to its completion, and he destroyed it.
In the year 1640 his religious opinions underwent a great change, and he embraced the Roman Catholic faith, which henceforth he vigorously defended, notwithstanding the personal sacrifices he had to undergo. It is, perhaps, this religious apostacy that induced him to compose a drama on Mary Stuart, in which he represents her as innocent of all the crimes imputed to her, while Elizabeth is described as a second Herodias. For this he was fined 180 florins (£15).
When 70 years of age he was in great distress, and, therefore, accepted a situation in the Lombard or Pawn Office, which, in that country, is a government institution, at a salary of 650 florins (£54) a year.
But instead of writing tickets he made poems, and government was obliged to discharge him, but did not withdraw bis stipend. The remainder of his life he passed in great seclusion, and died in the year 1679, at the advanced age of ninety-one years. His works are very numerous. They consist of dramas, epic poems, satires, odes—in fact of almost every possible kind of poetical composition. After his death his works gradually rose in public estimation ; and although his fame has scarcely reached beyond the frontiers of his country, there is no doubt that a correct translation of his works would obtain for him a place among the master minds of ancient and modern days.
ROYAL INSTITUTION.—March 31, 185 1.
JOSEPH DICKINSON, M.D., F.L.S., &c., PRESIDENT, in the Chair.
It was moved by Mr. HEATH, and seconded by Mr. Picton—
“ That the · Report of the Delegates, from the four Learned Societies which publish Transactions, on the subject of Union,' be adopted, with the exception of the clause, · The committee think it premature to suggest a name for the enlarged society; but they strongly recommend the avoidance of all the names of the uniting societies, which is reserved for further consideration.
Amendment moved by Mr. J. B. Yates, and seconded by Mr. W. RATHBONE
“That the Literary and Philosophical Society will have great pleasure in receiving the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire upon the same terms on which it received the Natural History Society ten years ago, but that the Literary and Philosophical Society cannot consent to an alteration of the name under which it has heretofore worked well, and which appears perfectly adapted to the objects aimed at by the Society."
The amendment was put from the chair, when there were-for, twenty-three votes; against, twenty-six. The original motion was then put and carried, there being votes---for, twenty-eight; against, eleven.
It was moved by Dr. InMAN, seconded by Dr. HUME, and carried unanimously
“That Edward Heath, Thomas Sansom, John Hartnup, and J. P. G. Smith, Esqrs.; Dr. W. Ihne, Dr. Dickinson, J. B. Yates, Esq., Dr. Inman, Robert M‘Andrew, Esq., and Dr. Thomson, be elected as delegates, in order to carry out further arrangements for the proposed amalgamation with one or more of the other learned societies, and report thereon, with a sketch of amended laws."
Royal INSTITUTION.—April 3, 1854.
ROBERT M'ANDREW, Esq., F.R.S., F.L.S., &c., VICE-PRESIDENT,
in the Chair.
Mr. CHARLES GREY Mott was ballotted for, and duly elected an Ordinary Member.
Resignations were received from Mr. R. LOWNDES and Mr. C. C. CHAMBERS.
Mr. J. P. G. SMITH exhibited specimens of Lapis Lazuli, from South America; also Photographs of Snow Crystals.
Mr. R. M'ANDREW, F.R.S., called attention to the works of several Spanish poets of the 16th century, and alluded to the construction of their productions.
Mr. F. W. BLOXHAM exhibited a copy of the 5th edition of Milton's Paradise Lost, which was published by Jacob Tonson.
Mr. THOMAS SANSON exhibited a manuscript copy of the “Queen's Matrimonial Ladder," being a series of caricatures of George the Fourth,
Mr. FRANCIS ARCHER exhibited specimens of Corundum, from Carrick Fell, Cumberland.
Mr. J. Jones exhibited several ancient coins, some of Greek origin, recently dug up in the Punjaub.
The Rev. ABRAHAM HUME, D.C.L., LL.D., F.S.A., &c. communicated a Paper on “Heraldry,” which, in the absence of the author, was read by Mr. Bloxham.
ROYAL INSTITUTION.—May 1, 1854.
JOSEPH DICKINSON, M.D., F.L.S., &c., PRESIDENT, in the Chair.
Mr. G. W. BAHR and Mr. John B. ASPINALL were ballotted for, and duly elected Ordinary Members.
Mr. J. B. YATES communicated a Paper, entitled “The Attraction of Ellipsoids considered Geometrically," by Matthew Collins, B.A.
The Rev. J. B. Moss read a Paper on the Chemical Properties of the Torbane Hill Mineral.
The Rev. Arthur RAMSAY, M.A., read a Paper on the
LIFE AND CHARACTER OF HOBBES. I am about to occupy your time, and, I would fain hope, your attention this evening, with a few remarks on the Life, Character, and Philosophy of a man remarkable indeed in his generation,-a man whose views a Warburton, a Clarendon, a Butler, a Cudworth, a Bramhall, and a Tenison thought it worth their while to controvert,
-a man whose system and opinions not only exercised a wide-spread and deep-seated influence on his own contemporaries, but have also extensively moulded and coloured the tone of thought of subsequent generations; I mean the philosopher (if so we may call him) of Malmesbury—Thomas Hobbes.
Hobbes has been the subject of many fulminatory denunciations, and much moral horror, both in his own and in our times. We shall, however, on the present occasion, be acting in a far wiser, a more manly, and more christian-like spirit, if, instead of loading him with obloquy, or regarding him with a kind of superstitious dread, we strive to understand him—to understand the influences under which he acted—the mistakes into which he fell—the work which he did in his own generation,—and the lesson which, even in his errors, he may teach to ours.
Before we proceed to consider Hobbes in his most prominent and best known character, as the reproducer and reviver, in a very peculiar and original form, and, as far as England is concerned, the founder of a most pernicious system of metaphysical philosophy, let us first take a glance at the man, ever bearing in mind that “errors in the head by no means universally imply a corresponding want of rectitude in the