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1695, and several sermons and pious tracts. He appears to have been a very active member of the society for propagating the gospel.'
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 Delfty 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 10, 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 Arminians, who took great care of his trust; and, before he had completed his twelfth year, was removed to Leyden, under the learned Francis Junius. 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, phiJosophy, and law, with the highest applause.
At this early age he ventured to form plans which required very great learning, but 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 inclina. tion 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 es. teem*. His own reputation having preceded him in France,
* Their business was, in cunjunc.. France, against Spain; but this was tion with lord Cecil, on the part of not successful: Grotius gives a history England, to negociate a triple ale of this embassy in the 7th book of his liance between England, Holland, and Annals. . ! Moreri' ..
M. de Buzanval, who had been ambassador in Holland, introduced bim 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 thing 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 Condé. This was his edition of “ Martianus 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 corre. . spondence between them. In 1600, Grotius sent de Thou an epithalamium he had written on the marriage of Henry IV. with Mary of Medicis, but this is not in the collection of bis 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 long 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 cele brated geographer, and added directions how to use it. Grotius translated into Latin this work, which prince Mau. rice had recommended to the college of admicalty, 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 “ Phænomena
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 rabbies, 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 prosopopæia, in which he makes the city of Ostend speak, after having been three years besieged by the Spa. niards, was reckoned a masterpiece, and was translated into French by Du Vaër, Rapin, Pasquier, and Malherbe; and Casaubon turned it into Greek. Neither did Grotius content himself with writing small pieces of verse ; he rosé 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 his 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 “ Sophom: phanæus," 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 no 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.
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All this while his principal employment was that of an ad. vocate, 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, wbich, 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 woich 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 several answers, particularly that of Selden, entitled “ Mare clausum, seu 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 antiqui. tate Reipublicæ Batavæ,” 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 extremely pleased with it, re. turned 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 afterVOL. XVI.
wards in that of the States-General. Hitherto be had but very little connexion with the grand pensionary Barnevelt; but from 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 *.
i. 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 tle 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 dig- though he has no deliberative voice, patches, and answer them, so that he and is the lowest in rank, yet his in is in a manner both attorney-general fuence is the greatest.