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lemagne. It is true that such is the opinion of Gaguin and of Gilles de Beauvais; but in addition to the fact, that contemporary authors,--as Eginhard, Almon, Reginon, and Sigebert, make no mention of this establishment.-Pasquier and du Tillet expressly assert, that it commenced in the twelfth century, under the reigns of Louis the Young and of Philip Augustus.
Moreover, the first statutes of the university were drawn up by Robert de Corceon, legate of the pope in the year 1215, which proves that it received from the first the form it retains at present; because a bull of Gregory IX. of the year 1231, makes mention of masters of theology, masters of law, physicians, and lastly, artists. The name 'university' originated in the supposition, that these four bodies, termed faculties, constituted an universality of studies; that is to say, that they comprehended all which could be cultivated.
The popes, by the means of these establishments, of the decisions of which they made themselves judges, became masters of the instruction of the people; and the same spirit which made the permission granted to the members of the parliament of Paris to inter themselves in the habits of cordeliers, be regarded as an especial favour (as related in the article QUETE) dictated the decrees pronounced by that sovereign court against all who dared to oppose an unintelligible scholastic system, which, according to the confession of the abbé Triteme, was only a false science that had vitiated religion. In fact, that which Constantine had only insinuated with respect to the Cumean Sibyl, has been expressly asserted of Aristotle. Cardinal Pallavicini supported the maxim of I know not what monk Paul, who pleasantly observed, that without Aristotle the church would have been deficient in some of her articles of faith.
Thus the celebrated Ramus, having composed two works in which he opposed the doctrine of Aristotle taught in the universities, would have been sacrificed to the fury of his ignorant rival, had not king Francis I. referred to his own judgment the process commenced in Paris between Ramus and Anthony
Govea. One of the principal complaints against Ramus related to the manner in which he taught his disciples to pronounce the letter Q.
Ramus was not the only disputant persecuted for these grave absurdities. In the year 1624, the parliament of Paris banished from its district three persons who wished to maintain theses openly against Aristotle. Every person was forbidden to sell
or to circulate the propositions contained in these theses, on pain of corporal punishment, or to teach any opinion against ancient and approved authors, on pain of death.
The remonstrances of the Sorbonne, in consequence of which the same parliament issued a decision against the chemists in the year 1629, testified that it was impossible to impeach the principles of Aristotle, without at the same time impeaching those of the scholastic theology received by the church. In the mean time, the faculty having issued, in 1566, a decree forbidding the use of antimony, and the parliament having confirmed the said decree, Paumier de Caen, a great chemist and celebrated physician of Paris, for not conforming to it, was degraded in the year 1609. Lastly, antimony being afterwards inserted in the book of medicines, composed by order of the faculty in the year 1637, the said faculty permitted the use of it in 1666, a century after having forbidden it, which decision the parliament confirmed by a new decree. Thus the university followed the example of the church, which finally proscribed the doctrine of Arius, under pain of death, and approved the word ' consubstantial,' which it had previously condemned,—as we have seen in the article CouncilS.
What we have observed of the university of Paris, may serve to give us an idea of other universities, of which it was regarded as the model. In fact, in imitation of it, eighty universities passed the same decree as the Sorbonne in the fourteenth century; to wit, that when the cap of a doctor was bestowed, the candidate should be made to swear that he will maintain the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary;
which he did not regard however as an article of faith, but as a catholic and pious opinion.
USAGES. Contemptible Customs do not always imply a contemptible
Nation. THERE are cases in which we must not judge of a nation by its usages and popular superstitions. Suppose Cæsar, after having conquered Egypt, wishing to make commerce flourish in the Roman empire, had sent an embassy to China by the port of Arsinoe, the Red Sea, and the Indian Ocean. The emperor Yventi, the first of the name, then reigned in China; the Chinese annals represent him to us as a very wise and learned prince. After receiving the ambassadors of Cæsar with all Chinese politeness, he secretly informs himself through his interpreter of the customs, the usages, sciences, and religion of the Roman people; as celebrated in the west as the Chinese people are in the east. He first learns that their priests have regulated their
years in so absurd a manner, that the sun has already entered the celestial signs of spring when the Romans celebrate the first feasts of winter. He learns that this nation at a great expense supports a college of priests, who know exactly the time in which they must embark, and when they should give battle, by the inspection of a bullock's liver, or the manner in which fowls eat grain. This sacred science was formerly taught to the Romans by a little god named Tages, who came out of the earth in Tuscany. These people adore a supreme
and only God, whom they always call very great and very good God; yet they have built a temple to a courtesan named Flora, and the good women of Rome have almost all little gods--penates—in their houses, about four or five inches high. One of these little divinities is the goddess of bosoms, another that of posteriors. They have even a penate whom they call the god Peditum. The emperor Yventi began to laugh: and the tribunals of Nankin at first think with him, that the Roman ambassadors are knaves or impostors,
who have taken the title of envoys of the Roman republic; but as the emperor is as just as he is polite, he has particular conversations with them. He then learns that the Roman priests were very ignorant, but that Cæsar actually reformed the calendar. They confess to him, that the college of augurs was established in the time of their early barbarity, that they have allowed this ridiculous institution, become dear to a people long ignorant, to exist, but that all sensible people laugh at the augurs; that Cæsar never consulted them; that, according to the account of a very great man named Cato, no augur could ever look another in the face without laughing; and finally, that Cicero, the greatest orator and best philosopher of Rome, wrote a little work against the augurs, entitled. Of Divination,' in which he delivers up to eternal ridicule all the predictions and sorceries of soothsayers with which the earth is infatuated. The emperor of China has the curiosity to read this book of Cicero; the interpreters translate it; and in consequence he admires at once the book and the Roman republic.
VAMPIRES. What! is it in our eighteenth century that vampires exist? Is it after the reigns of Locke, Shaftesbury, Trenchard, and Collins? Is it under those of D'Alembert, Diderot, St. Lambert, and Duclos, that we believe in vampires, and that the reverend father Dom Calmet, benedictine priest of the congregation of St. Vannes and St. Hidulphe, abbè of Senon,-an abbey of an hundred thousand livres a year, in the neighbourhood of two other abbeys of the same revenue, -has printed and reprinted the history of vampires, with the approbation of the Sorbonne, signed Marcilli?
These vampires were corpses, who went ouť of their graves at night to suck the blood of the living, either at their throats or stomachs, after which they returned to their cemeteries. The persons so sucked waned, grew pale, and fell into consumptions; while the sucking corpses grew fat, got rosy, and enjoyed an
excellent appetite. It was in Poland, Hungary, Silesia, Moravia, Austria, and Lorraine, that the dead made this good cheer. We never heard speak of vampires in London, nor even at Paris. I confess, that in both these cities there were stock-jobbers, brokers, and men of business, who sucked the blood of the people in broad day-light; but they were not dead, though corrupted. These true suckers lived not in cemeteries, but in very agreeable palaces.
Who would believe, that we derive the idea of vampires from Greece? Not from the Greece of Alexander, Aristotle, Plato, Epicurus and Demosthenes; but from christian Greece, unfortunately schismatic.
For a long time, christians of the Greek rite have imagined that the bodies of christians of the Latin church, buried in Greece, do not decay, because they are excommunicated. This is precisely the contrary idea to that of we christians of the Latin church, who believe that corpses which do not corrupt are marked with the seal of eternal beatitude. So much so, indeed, that when we have paid an hundred thousand crowns to Rome, to give them a saint's brevet, we adore them with the worship of dulia'.
The Greeks are persuaded that these dead are sorcerers; they call them “broucolacas,' or ' vroucolacas,' according as they pronounce the second letter of the alphabet. The Greek corpses go into houses to suck the blood of little children, to eat the supper of the fathers and mothers, drink their wine, and break all the furniture. They can only be put to rights by burning them when they are caught. But the precaution must be taken of not putting them into the fire until after their hearts are torn out, which must be burnt separately.
The celebrated Tournefort, sent into the Levant by Louis XIV., as well as so many other virtuosos,* was witness of all the acts attributed to one of these · broucolacas,' and to this ceremony.
After slander, nothing is communicated more promptly
* Tournefort, vol. i. page 155, and following.