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displayed in all other Things, appeared particularly in the Number of costly Monuments erected to this very Purpose, which remained for a Shew several Ages after. The Egyptians h interred Wolves, Bears, Crocodiles, Dogs, and Cats in sacred Places, embalmed their Bodies, and wore Mournino- at their Death. Cimcn '' gave k an honourable Burial to the Mares with which he had won three Prizes at the Olympic Races. Old Xanthippus ' caused his Dog to be buried on a Promontory, near the Sea-side, which has, ever since, retained its Name. And m Plutarch fays, that he made Conscience of selling and sending to the Shambles, for a small Profit, an Ox that had served him
a good while
An Apology for Raimond De Sebonde.
LEARNING is, in Truth, a Possession of very great Importance and Utility, and they who despite it, plainly discover their Stupidity; yet I don't Learning, it, prize it at that excessive Rate as some Men Ufifuhefi. do, particularly Herillus the Philosopher, who therein placed the Sovereign Good, and maintained, that it was alone sufficient to make us Wife and Happy; which I do not believe, nor what has been said by others, that Learning is the Mother of all Virtue, and that all Vice is produced from Ignorance. If this be true, 'tis a Point liable to a tedious Discussion. My House has been, a long Time, open to Men of Learning, and is very well known by them -, for my Father, who was the Master of it fifty Years, and more, being warmed with that Zeal with which King Francis I. had newly embraced Literature, and brought it into Esteem, spared no Pains nor Expence to get an Acquaintance with Men of Learning, treating them, at his House, as Persons sacred, who had
Divine Divine Wisdom by some special Inspiration, collecting their Sentences and Sayings as so many Oracles, and with the more Veneration and Religion, as he was the less qualified to judge of them •, for he had no Knowledge of Letters any more than his Predecessors had. For my Part, I love them very well, but don't adore them. Amongst others, Peter Bunel, a Man of great Reputation for Learning, in his Time, having, with others of his Class, spent some Days at Montaigne with my Father, presented him, at his Departure, with a Book, intitled Theologia NaturaThe Work of Us, five Liber Creaturarum Magistri Rairnondi Raimond de de Sebonde, i. e. Natural Theology, or a TreaSebonde. tij-g 0j ffo j„jmai Creation, by Master Raimond de Sebonde. And, because both the Italian and Spanijh Languages were familiar to my Father, and it being a Book writ in Spanijh, fustianed with Latin Terminations, M. Bunel hoped, that, with a very little Assistance, my Father would make it turn out to his Account and he recommended it to him as a very useful Book, and proper for the Juncture of Time in which he gave it to him, which was when the Innovations of Luther began to be in Vogue, and in many Places to stagger our ancient Faith. And herein he judged very right, foreseeing plainly, by the Dictates of Reason, that, as the Distemper appeared at its breaking out, it would easily turn into execrable Atheism: For the Vulgar, not being qualified to judge of Things as they are in themselves, but being governed by Accidents and Appearances, after they have been once inspired with the Boldness to contemn and controul those Opinions which they had before in extreme Reverence, as those* particularly, which concern their Salvation, and, after any of the Articles of their Religion arc brought into Doubt and Dispute, are soon apt to reject Isll the other Articles of their Belief, as equally uncertain, and having no other Authority or Foundation than thole in which they have been already puzzled; and shake off all the Impressions they had received from the Authority <pf the.Laws, or the Reverence of ancient Custom, as a tyrannical Yoke;
h Diodcrus of Sicily, lib. xiii. c. 17. 'Father of Miltiades, Hero"dot. lib. vi. p. 419. k Herodot. lib. ii. p. 129. \ Nutercbh Cat* the Censor. "Ibid.
i. e. ,
For with most Eagerness they spurn the Law,
resolving to admit nothing, for the future, without the Interposition of their own Decree and particular Consent.
My Father, a few Days before his Death, happening to meet with this Book under a Heap of other a- „ ,
„ , i.ji 11 Tranjlatnl
.Papers that were laid by, commanded me to srom tye sTM. translate it for him into French. 'Tis good nisli, into to translate such Authors as this, wherein Fiench.' ^ there's scarce any Thing to represent, except ^^g1"1the Matter; but as for those Books wherein the Grace and Elegancy of Language are mainly affected, they are dangerous to undertake, for fear of tranflating them into a weaker Idiom. It was an Undertaking new, and quite strange to me; but happening, at that Time, to have Leisure, and not being able to resist the Command of the best Father that ever was, I did it as well as I could, and so much to his Satisfaction, that he ordered it to be printed, which also, after his Death, was performed ". I was charmed with the Author's fine Imagination, the regular Contexture of his Work, and the extraordinary Piety of his Design. Because many People take a Pleasure in reading it, particularly the Ladies, to whom we owe most
Service, Service, I have often been ready to assist them, in defeating two main Objections to this their favourite Author. His Design is bold and courageous for he undertakes to establish and verify all the Articles of the Christian Religion, against the Atheists, from Reasons that are human and natural; wherein, to fay the Truth, he is so solid and successful, that I do not think it possible to do better upon that Subject, and do believe that he has been equalled by none °. This Work seeming to me too sublime and too elegant for an Author whole Name is so little known, and of whom all that we learn, is that he was a Spaniard, who professed Physic at Tholou.se, about two hundred Years ago, I once asked Adrian Turnebus, a Man of universal Knowledge, what he thought of this Treatise. The Answer he made to me, was, that he believed it to be some Extract from Thomas Aquinas; for that, in Truth, none but a Genius like his, accompanied with infinite Learning, and wonderful Subtilty, was capable of such Ideas. So it is, that, be the Author and Inventor who he will, (though, without greater Reason than has yet appeared, it would not be right to strip Selonde of this Title) he was a Man of great Sufficiency, and of very sine Parts.
m Lucres, lib. v. v. 1139.
■ Montaigne, speaking of this first Edition of it in the first Edition of his BJsays, at Bourdeaux, in 1580, and that of 1588, in £>uarto, fays, it appears to have been carelessly printed, by reason of the infinite Number of Lrrors of the Press, committed by the Printer, who had the sole Care of it. This Translation was reprinted, aud, no doubt, more correctly, because -Montaigne has purged it of the Printer's Errors in the former. I have .an Edition printed at Paris in 1611, and said to be translated by Michael Seigneur de Montaigne, Knight of the King's Orders, and a Gentleman of his Chamber in Ordinary"; the last Edition, revised and corrected. And, indeed, this is a very correct Edition. There is such a Perspicuity, Spirit, and natural Vivacity in this Translation, that it has all the Air of an Original. Montaigne has added nothing of his own to it, but a short Dedication of it to his Father, wherein he owns, that he undertook this Work by his Order.. The; Reader will find this Dedication at the End of the third Volume of this Edition of the EJsajs. •'.'......
The first Fault they find with his Work is his assert-. TbtObjtaion 'nS» '1'iat Christians are in the Wrong to made to the 'endeavour to make human Reasoning the Book; and 'Basis of their Belief, since the Object of it SS?ne'' « is only conceived by Faith, and by a spe"llx'' * cial Inspiration of the Divine Grace.'" In this Objection there leems to be a pious Zeal, and, for this Reason, *tis absolutely necessary that we should endeavour, with the greater Mildness and Respect, to satisfy those who have advanced it. This were a Task more proper for a Man well versed in Divinity, than for me who know nothing of it. Nevertheless, this is my Judgment, that, in a Point of so divine and sublime a Nature, and so far transcending human Understanding, as this
. . c
0 Grctns's Treatise of the Truth of the Christian Religion was not yet published, wherein that great Man expressly fays, that this Subject had been before treated by Raimond de Seboude, Philosophka Subtilitate..
Truth, with which it has pleased the Divine Goodness to enlighten us, there is great Need that he should also lend us the Assistance, in the Way cf an extraordinary Favour and Privilege, to enable us to conceive and imprint it in our Understandings, of which I don't think Means merely human are, in any fort, capable of doing; for, if they were, so many Men, of rare and excellent Talents, so abundantly furnished with natural Abilities, in former Ages, had not failed to attain-to this Knowledge by the Light of Reason. 'Tis by Faith alone that we have a lively and certain Comprehension of the sublime Mysteries of our Religion; not bat that 'tis a very brave and laudable Attempt to accommodate also the natural and human Talents, which God has given us, to the Service of, our Faith: "Tis not to be doubted, that this is the most noble Use that we can put them to, and that there is no Employment nor Design more worthy of a Christian., than to aim, by all his Studies and Meditations, to illustrate, extend, and amplify the Truth of his Belief. We do not content ourselves by serving God with our Hearts and Understandings; we, moreover, owe and render him corporeal Reverence; we apply our very Limbs, and our external Motions, C5V. to do him Honour: We must here do the fame, and accompany our Faith with all the Reason we have, but always with this Reserve, not to fancy that it depends upon us, nor that our Efforts and Arguments can attain to Knowledge ib supernatural and divine. If it enter not into us by an extraordinary Infusion; if it only enters by Reason, and by human Means, it does not enter us in its Dignity and Splendor -, and yet I really am afraid that we only possess it by this Canal. If we laid hold upon God by the Mediation of a lively Faith; if we laid hold upon God through Him, and not through ourselves; if we had a Divine Footing and Foundation, human Accidents would not have the Power ro shake us as they do; our Fortress would not be the Con quest of so weak a Battery: The Love of Novelty, the Constraint of Princes, the Success of a Party, the rasti and fortuitous Change of our Opinions would not have Power to stagger and alter, our Faith: We stioujd not '''; I • the*