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the gods; for during that commerce they abstain from every evil action, and become like the Gods as much as such a thing is possible. 2. By doing good to others; for it is God's property; it is an imitation of God. 3. By going out of this life. The best presents which heaven gave to men, according to Pythagoras, are to speak truth, and do good offices: those two things,' said he, ' resemble the works of God.'”
The circumstances of the death of Pythagoras are variously reported. He lived at Crotona, in Milo's house with his disciples, and was burnt in it. A man whom he refused to admit into his society, set the house on fire. It is likely that he had not a good physiognomy; for Pythagoras received none for his disciples, but those whose look he liked, after he had examined it according to the rules of art. “ He first considered the physiognomy of young men who offered themselves to be his disciples; that is, he examined their manners and dispositions by the features of their countenance, and the habit of their body: and such as were tried and approved by him, were immediately admitted into the society.” Some say that he was suspected of endeavouring to usurp the sovereignty; and that to prevent his design, the Crotoniates set his house on fire. He made his escape through the flames, and went out of the city; but as he was going into a field of beans, he stopped, and chose rather to be killed than to spoil the beans. According to Dicæarchus, he fled to the temple of the Muses at Metapontum, and died there of hunger, after he had fasted forty days. Others
that at his return from the isle of Delos, whither he went to shut the eyes of his master Pherecydes, and to bury him, he himself put a stop to his life, by abstaining from food. According to some writers, he brought all his disciples to the assistance of the Agrigentines against the Syracusans; and having been worsted, he was killed whilst he was running about a field of beans; which does not very well
agree either with the eighty years which they say he lived, or with the ninety, much less still with the ninety-nine, or one hundred and four years mentioned by others. See
this the learned collections of Menagius. He has not forgotten to quote Arnobius, who affirms that Pythagoras was burnt alive in a temple. Justin intimates that he died without any violence at Metapontum, whither he retired after he had been twenty years at Crotona, and that he died there, being so much admired, that his house was converted into a temple, and that he was honoured as a god. Valerius Maximus does not say so much of him; but he is none of those who say he was ill used. ardentum rogum plenis venerationis oculis Metapontus aspexit: oppidum Pythagoræ quam suorum cinerum nobilius clariusve monumento. -Whose funeral pile Metapontus beheld with eyes full of veneration: the city was more noted and famous for the ashes of Pythagoras than their own.” St Epiphanius was grossly mistaken when he said that Pythagoras died in the country of the Medians.- Art. PYTHAGORAS.
Q, (Latin pronunciation of.) Ramus was no sooner made Regius Professor in Paris, than he showed a desire of perfecting the sciences, and went about it with more eagerness, notwithstanding the hatred of his restless enemies, who were so malicious as to pretend, that the manner after which he and his colleagues pronounced the letter q was an innovation, for which he deserved to be prosecuted. Some ecclesiastics complied with that reformation, though the Sorbonnists were displeased with that innovation; and a beneficed man was used very ill by them
upon that account, for they got him deprived of his revenues. He made his application to the parliament; and the royal professors, being afraid that he would sink under the credit of the faculty of divinity, for being so bold as to pronounce the Latin tongue according to their reformation, thought themselves obliged to assist him: they went to the court, and represented in so lively a manner the shamefulness of such a trial, that the accused person was acquitted.
* Val. Max. lib. viii, cap. vii, num. 2, in ext.
“ What new disturbances* did an innovation in pronunciation produce? In the year 1550, the Royal Professors having begun to introduce a purer pronunciation of the Latin tongue, there were other professors, especially those of the Sorbonne, who took it highly amiss that the pronunciation anciently made use of by the French should be disapproved of, and could not bear to be obliged to unlearn, when they were old men, what they had learned when they were boys. The first dispute of this kind was about the sound of the letter q. The Royal Professors pronounced it as it ought to be, with the following vowel u; quisquis, quanquam; but the Sorbonne adhered to the custom then in use; kiskis kankam. The members of the Sorbonne had endeavoured to deprive a clergyman of very ample revenues, for making use of the genuine pronunciation: the contest was brought before the parliament of Paris, and there was great danger that the unfortunate man would be deprived of the benefits of his theological studies for a grammatical heresy, as they called it. But the Royal Professors, and amongst them Peter Ramus, assembling themselves together in a body, flew to the court, and having exposed the strangeness of their proceedings, that lawyers, whose business it was to dispute about the king's laws, should debase themselves into critics on the laws of grammar, they so prevailed upon the judges, that they not only acquitted the divine, but by a tacit assent, established for ever an impunity to all Freigius, in Vita Rami, pag. 24.
controversies about grammatical pronunciation. Kis, and kalis, and kantus, and miki, and such like Gothisms and barbarisms were used in the academy of Paris, in the presence of the Royal Professors; and if any of them refused to make use of these barbarisms, he was very ill-treated, as one who took upon him to infringe the customs of the college. Quis, qualis, quantus, and mihi, were then restored to the genuine Roman pronunciation in the Royal school, and people were ashamed to contradict openly the Royal Professors, who were in a manner considered as the voice of the king himself.” This is such a strange and incredible thing, that I did not think fit to omit any word of the author who relates it. He maintains another immediately after, which I am more amazed at, and I would fain see the monuments of it in the archives; otherwise I would not advise any body to give an entire credit to it, any more than to the trial about kankam and kiskis. The thing is this ; the public authority was made use of to force many doctors of Paris to renounce this assertion, which they obstinately maintained: ego amat is as good a phrase as ego amo : I will quote Freigius for it. “ Incredibile propè dictu est, sed tamen verum et editis libris proditum, in Parisiensi Academia Doctores exitisse, qui mordicus tuerentur ac defenderent, ego amat, tam commodam orationem esse quàm ego amo; ad eamque pertinaciam comprimendam consilio publico opus fuisse.--It is almost incredible to tell, but nevertheless true, and also in print, that there were doctors in the academy of Paris, who asserted and maintained most obstinately, that ego amat was as proper speech and as good grammar as ego amo; and they were forced to have the assistance of public authority before they could overcome their obstinacy." Notwithstanding my incredulity, I shall observe that there happened many things in the XVIth century in the faculty of theology, at Paris, at which they blush now when
they think of them. They have been laughed at for it indeed to some purpose.--Art. Ramus.
(Good and bad.) RANGOUZE, a French author in the reign of Louis XIV, whose good qualities are unknown to me; for such a name cannot be given to the industry wherewith an author knows how to make his epistles dedicatory, and his flatteries turn to a good account. Not but that such an industry, though very bad, morally speaking, may hold a considerable rank among those qualities which are said to be good, whether they be natural or acquired. All languages may be said to be more or less barren ; which particularly appears with respect to such things as are deprived of the perfection that belongs to them. If that perfection be a moral virtue, those things are said to be bad ; if it be a physical virtue, they are also accounted bad. On the other hand, those things are indifferently called good, that have the moral virtue of their kind, and the physical virtue that belongs to them. An unjust judge is called a bad judge; and an ignorant painter is called a bad painter; a wise and equitable judge is said to be a good judge; and he who can make fine pictures is said to be a good painter. Here we are sensible that we want words, since we are obliged to make use of the words good and bad, to denote a thousand things of a very different nature. It is therefore no wonder that I should place the industry of the Sieur Rangouze in the number of good things, though I do not allow it to be a moral virtue.
It is a good thing in the same sense, as we say a good memory, good sight, good ears, good nose, &c. when those faculties have the perfection which nature intended for them. Every science, without excepting that of tricking and cheating, is a kind of perfection; a subtle wit is a natural advantage, as stupidity and foolishness.