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Title: The Life of the Truly Eminent and Learned Hugo Grotius

Containing a Copious and Circumstantial History of the Several Important and Honourable Negotiations in Which He Was Employed; together with a Critical Account of His Works

Author: Jean Lévesque de Burigny

Release Date: April 12, 2005 [eBook #15606]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1



E-text prepared by Frank van Drogen, Lisa Reigel,
and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team





Of the truly EMINENT and LEARNED



A Copious and Circumstantial History of the several

Important and Honourable Negotiations

In which he was employed;


A Critical Account of his WORKS.

Written originally in French,




Printed for A. MILLAR, in the Strand; J. WHISTON and
B. WHITE, at Mr. Boyle's Head; and L. DAVIS, at
Lord Bacon's Head, both in Fleet-street.





It were to be wished that such a celebrated Genius as Grotius had found an Historian equal to his fame: for in this high rank we can by no means place those who have contented themselves with giving a superficial account of his Life, and a catalogue of his Works. M. Lehman, to whom we owe Grotius's Ghost revenged, is much fuller than any that went before him; yet he is far from having taken in all that deserves to be known of that illustrious writer, the two most interesting Distinctions of whose Life have been entirely neglected by all who have spoken of him; I mean his Negotiations, and his sentiments in matters of Religion.

Gaspar Brandt and Adrian Cattenburg have indeed published a long Life of Grotius; but the Dutch language, in which they wrote, is so little known, that their book cannot be of general use; with a view to which we have made choice of a more universal language, to communicate farther light concerning this excellent man, whom every one speaks of, tho' few with any certainty.

His being one of the most learned Authors that ever wrote, was not our sole motive for compiling his Life: for if we consider him only in that light, and with regard to the excellent treatises with which he has enriched the Republic of Letters, perhaps others may be found to compare with him. But his Life was so diversified, and filled with so many revolutions, that what regards literature is not the most curious part of it; greatly differing, in this respect, from the generality of men of letters, whole Lives are only the histories of their works. Besides, Grotius's prudence on all occasions, his modesty in prosperity, his patience in adversity, his steadiness in his duty, his love of virtue, his eagerness in the search of truth, and the ardent desire which he constantly maintained for uniting Christians in one Faith, distinguish him so advantageously from most other Scholars, that his Life may be proposed as a model to all who make profession of literature.

It is divided into six Books. The first presents us with the brightest genius ever recorded, of a Youth, in the history of the republic of letters. The second contains all that is worth being known of the disputes between the Gomarists and Arminians; the part Grotius took in them; his disgrace, and the manner of his escape out of prison. The third relates his transactions at Paris, and his retreat to Hamburg, where he continued till the great Chancellor Oxensteirn sent for him, to employ him in the important and honourable post of Ambassador from Sweden to the Court of France. The fourth and fifth Books give a detail of his Negotiations; which have never yet been published. We have been accustomed to consider Grotius only as a Scholar; his embassy is known but by report: we shall see, however, that he was employed in affairs of the greatest importance; that he succeeded in several; that he gave excellent counsels to the ministry; and that he always conducted himself with zeal, firmness, and integrity.

The sixth and last Book gives an account of such of his Works as we had not occasion to mention before; and examines particularly his theological sentiments, and his project for a coalition of Christians, and bringing them to unite in one creed.

Advertisement by the Editor.

The Abbé RAYNAL[1], a judicious French writer, gives the following character of this work.

"M. de BURIGNY hath executed his Plan with abundance of erudition, and an astonishing depth of enquiry. He has introduced nothing but facts well supported, or theological discussions delivered with the greatest conciseness and accuracy. Such readers as aim at amusement only, will think the author too minute in some places; those who are desirous of information will think otherwise. The most valuable part of this work is, in our opinion, the just and concise idea which it gives of Grotius's several Writings."


[1] Mercure François, an. 1752.


By Order of my Lord CHANCELLOR, I have read the Life of GROTIUS. This History, which gives us a pleasing Idea of the Extent of the Human Mind, farther informs us, that GROTIUS died without reaping any Advantage to himself from his great Talents. For the rest, I think it deserves to be made public on account of its relation to Literature, and to the general History of Europe.






BOOK I. Page
I. Grotius's Origin: The Marriage of Cornelius Cornets with Ermengarda de Groot 1
II. He has a Son named Hugo de Groot, 2
III. Life of Cornelius de Groot, ibid
IV. Life of John de Groot, 3
V. Birth of Grotius, 4
VI. Great hopes conceived of him when a boy, 5
VII. State of affairs in the United Provinces, 7
VIII. Embassy from the States to Henry IV. of France; Grotius accompanies the Ambassadors; is very graciously received by the king, 9
IX. His mortification at not having seen M. de Thou; he writes to him; and keeps up an intimate correspondence with him till his death, 11
X. Grotius gives an edition of Martianus Capella, 13
XI. Publishes the Limneu[Greek: retichê], 16
XII. Publishes the Phoenomena of Aratus, ibid
XIII. Cultivates the study of poetry, 18
XIV. The States nominate him their historiographer, 21
XV. Henry IV. of France intends to make him his librarian 22
XVI. Commences Advocate; dislikes this employment 23
XVII. Is nominated Advocate General, 24
XVIII. Marries, ibid
XIX. His treatise of the Freedom of the ocean is published, ibid
XX. Prints his book De antiquitate Reipublicæ Batavicæ, 27
XXI. Is made pensionary of Rotterdam, 28
XXII. Voyage to England: dispute concerning the Fishery, 29
XXIII. Grotius's intimacy with Casaubon, 31
XXIV. A grand question decided by the States of Holland according to Grotius's opinion, 33
XXV. Sends Du Maurier a method of study, 35
I. Dispute between Arminius and Gomarus, 39
II. Remonstrance of the Arminians, 41
III. The troubles increase, 45
IV. The edict of the States, 47
V. The States grant the Magistrates of the Towns permission to levy soldiers; which highly displeases the prince of Orange, 49
VI. Grotius is deputed by the States to Amsterdam; falls ill through chagrin, 50
VII. The project of reunion proves fruitless, 54
VIII. Prince Maurice disbands the new levies, 56
IX. Barnevelt, Grotius, and Hoogerbetz taken into custody, 57
X. The synod of Dort, 60
XI. Barnevelt's trial, 61
XII. The fruitless solicitations of the French court in favour of the Prisoners: Barnevelt's execution, 63
XIII. Trial and condemnation of Grotius, 66
XIV. Grotius is carried to the fortress of Louvestein, his occupations, 74
XV. Grotius escapes out of prison, 78
XVI. His writings on occasion of the disputes in Holland, 82
I. Grotius arrives at Paris, where he is well received, 88
II. State of the French ministry: Du Vair's letter to Grotius: the court grants him a pension, 91
III. Grotius's occupations at Paris, 96
IV. Grotius publishes his Apology: it is condemned in Holland: the French king takes him again into his protection, 97
V. He still maintains great connections in Holland; corresponds with Prince Henry Frederic of Nassau, 102
VI. He publishes his Stobeus, and the Extracts from the Greek Tragedies and Comedies, 103
VII. Goes to Balagni; is seized with the dysentery; publishes the Phoenissæ of Euripides, 105
VIII. The death of Prince Maurice; Frederic is made Stadtholder; Grotius writes to him, 106
IX. Publishes his treatise, De jure Belli & Pacis, 108
X. Has thoughts of leaving France, 113
XI. Returns to Holland, 118
XII. Is obliged to leave Holland, 120
XIII. Goes to Hamburg, 125
I. The High Chancellor Oxensteirn invites Grotius to him: the high esteem in which the latter held the King of Sweden, 131
II. Grotius is appointed Ambassador from Sweden to the court of France, 136
III. Situation of the Swedes affairs, 137
IV. Grotius sets out for France, makes his entry into Paris, and has an audience of the King, 141
V. Discussions between France and Sweden, 145
VI. Arrival of the High Chancellor in France: a new treaty, 151
VII. Disputes between Grotius and the ministers of Charenton, 154
VIII. Grotius's several journeys to court, and his negotiations with the French ministry: abstains from visiting cardinal Richelieu, 158
IX. Uneasiness given Grotius, 179
X. Dispute for precedency with the Venetian Ambassador, 180
XI. Is of opinion that the Swedes ought not to send plenipotentiaries to Cologn, 183
XII. Disputes with the Venetian Ambassador, 184
XIII. Quarrel between the English and Swedes for precedency, ib.
I. Different audiences which Grotius has of the French King, 189
II. Conversation between the prince of Condé and Grotius, 200
III. Grotius's negotiations in relation to the truce which was proposed: misconduct of Schmalz, ibid
IV. Grotius is in great danger of his life, 207
V. Divers audiences of the king and queen, 209
VI. The death of the duke of Weimar 214
VII. The elector Palatine is arrested in France; Grotius obtains his liberty, 215
VIII. Grotius obtains the exchange of marshal Horn for John de Vert, 225
IX. Renewal of the alliance between France and Sweden, 228
X. Deaths of cardinal Richelieu and the French king; the regency of Anne of Austria, 230
XI. Cerisante is sent to France; Grotius demands to be recalled, 231
XII. He sets out for Stockholm, and applies to the queen to obtain his dismission, 235
XIII. Grotius's death, 238
I. Grotius's embassy does not interrupt his literary labours, 244
II. He again applies to the cultivation of poetry, 245
III. His notes on Tacitus, 246
IV. —— notes on Statius, ibid
V. —— notes on Lucan, ibid
VI. —— Anthologia 247
VII. Antiquities of the Goths, 252
VIII. Annals and history of the Low Countries 256
IX. Treatise of the truth of the christian religion, 259
X. Florum sparsio ad jus Justinianeum, 263
XI. Commentaries on the Bible, 264
XII. Treatises on Antichrist, and other theological pieces, 269
XIII. Of the origin of the people of America, 275
XIV. Other printed pieces or Manuscripts of Grotius, 277
XV. Grotius's letters, 279
XVI. Grotius's sentiments in religion very distant at first from those of the Roman Catholics, 282
XVII. His attachment to antiquity. 283
XVIII. Leans towards the Roman Catholics, 284
XIX. Is a partisan of the Hierarchy, 288
XX. His sentiments concerning the Eucharist, 291
XXI. His sentiments concerning the seven Sacraments, 293
XXII. Grotius's sentiments concerning several other points controverted between the Roman Catholics and the Protestants, 294
XXIII. His project for reuniting all Christians, 302
XXIV. Is accused of Socinianism, 318
XXV. Opinions concerning Grotius 326
XXVI. An account of his family, 338
A Catalogue of Grotius's Works


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I. The learned and illustrious Writer whose Life we undertake to give, derived the name of Grotius from his great-grandmother, married to Cornelius Cornets. This was a Gentleman of Franche-Compté, who travelled into the Low-Countries about the beginning of the sixteenth century, and coming to Delft, got acquainted with a Burgomaster who had an only daughter: He took a liking to her, asked, and obtained her in marriage.

The name of this magistrate was Diederic de Groot, or Diederic the Great; his family was of the first distinction in the country; and had produced several persons of great merit[2]. It is said the name of Great was given to one of Diederic's ancestors, above four hundred years ago, for a signal service done his country; and it has been observed[3] that all who bore the name of De Groot distinguished themselves by their zeal for the public.

Diederic de Groot had several important employments, in which he acquitted himself with great honour. The name of his only daughter was Ermengarda de Groot: Her father, on giving his consent to her marriage, insisted that the children should bear the name of De Groot; and Cornelius Cornets agreed to it in the marriage contract. There were several branches of the Cornets: one settled in Provence, as we are informed by[4] Grotius.


[2] Acad. Leid. ed. 1614.

[3] Vita Grotii ap. Batesium, p. 420.

[4] Ep. 264. ad Peyresc. p. 91.

II. Cornelius Cornets had by his marriage with Ermengarda de Groot a son named Hugo de Groot, distinguished by his knowledge of the Greek and Latin, and his skill in the Hebrew. He died in 1567, fifth time Burgomaster of Delft. He married Elselinga Heemskerke, of one of the ancientest noble families in Holland, and by her had two sons, Cornelius, and John de Groot.

III. Cornelius de Groot, eldest son of Hugh, was born at Delft on the 25th of July, 1544. He studied with much success at the University of Louvain, at that time very famous. The Greek and Hebrew he knew perfectly, and was well acquainted with the Mathematics. The Platonic Philosophy pleased him extremely, and he retained a liking to it all his life: he had read all the books of the sect, had commented their works, and knew them almost by heart.

The Law wholly took him up afterwards: he went to study it at the faculty of law at Orleans, the most celebrated for that science, and took the degree of Licentiate. Returning home he followed the Bar; some time after, he was nominated Counsellor and Echevin: William prince of Orange made him Master of Requests.

The University of Leyden being founded in 1575, Cornelius de Groot resigned his post in the magistracy, to follow his ruling inclination of being useful to youth; and did not think it beneath him to accept of a Professor's place in the new University: he first taught Philosophy, and was afterwards made Law-professor; an employment that pleased him so much, he preferred it to a seat in the Grand Council at the Hague, which was several times offered him, but which he constantly refused. His reputation was so great, the Grand Council often consulted with him on affairs of importance. Six times he was honoured with the dignity of Rector, a place of great honour and authority: the members of the University, and all who are enrolled in the Rector's book, depend on his jurisdiction; before him their causes, civil and criminal, are brought, and from his sentence there is no appeal: a revisal of it is all that can be demanded. Cornelius de Groot died without issue in the year 1610, on the same day of the month of July on which he was born. He left several Law Tracts which have never been printed.

IV. John de Groot, brother to Cornelius and second son of Hugh, studied under the famous Justus Lipsius, who esteemed him much: in some letters of that learned man to John de Groot he speaks of him with great commendation. There is one, written in 1582, in which Lipsius tells him, "You have loved the Muses, they have loved you, they will love you, and I too with them will love you." We have still preserved by his son[5] a translation in verse, made by him in his youth of some Greek verses of Palladas. He also wrote a Paraphrase on the Epistle of St. John; which Hugo Grotius mentions in one of his Letters[6].

Four times he was Burgomaster of Delft, and Curator of the University of Leyden: this last was a place of great consequence at that time. There are only three Curators in the University of Leyden; one is taken from the body of the nobility, and nominated by them; the two others are chosen by the States of the Province from among the cities of Holland, or the Courts of Justice.

The Curators with the Burgomasters of Leyden have the direction of whatever regards the welfare and advantage of the University; they chuse the Professors, and have the care of the finances and revenues for payment of their salaries.

John de Groot filled the place of Curator with great dignity and honour. Daniel Heinsius wrote some verses in his praise, in which he styles him the Apollo and Protector of the Muses.

This dignity did not hinder him from taking the degree of Doctor of Laws. In the remaining part of his life he attached himself to the Count of Hohenloo, who made him his Counsellor.

In 1582 he married Alida Averschie, of one of the first families in the Country; by whom he had three sons and a daughter. He died in the month of May 1640. In the same year his wife lost her eyesight; she lived till the beginning of the year 1643[7].


[5] Stobæus, Tit. 98. p. 413.

[6] Ep. xxii. p. 751.

[7] Ep. 499. p. 898. Grotii Ep. 638. p. 948.

V. Of the marriage of John de Groot with Alida Averschie was born the celebrated Hugo de Groot, better known by the name of Grotius: he was the first fruit of their coming together. Almost all who have mentioned his birth[8] fix it on the tenth of April 1583. The President Bouhier pretends they place it a year too late; and that he was born on the tenth of April 1582. To prevent the authority of such a learned man, which has already seduced several writers, from misleading others, we shall shew that by departing from the general opinion he has fallen into an error. Grotius writes to Vossius on Easter Sunday 1615[9], that on that day he reckoned thirty-two years: He dates another letter[10] to Vossius the twenty-fifth of March 1617; Easter-eve, "which, he observes, begins my thirty-fifth year." April 11, 1643, he says he had completed sixty years[11]. On Easter-day 1644 he reckons sixty-one years[12]. He acquaints us in his Poems[13], that he was fifteen when he went first to France: he went there in 1598; and speaking of Easter 1614 he informs us[14] he was then one-and-thirty. From all these different calculations it is manifest that Grotius was born in 1583.

It must be owned, however, that the proof on which the President Bouhier builds his opinion, would be decisive, if there were no error in the text of a[15] letter written by Grotius to his brother, April 14, 1640, in which he says, "I have completed my fifty-eighth year:" but the other passages of Grotius just cited demonstrate that the editors of this letter, instead of incepi, I have begun, read implevi, I have completed: which Grotius could not have written without contradicting himself.


[8] Athenæ Batavæ, p. 205. Life of Grotius prefixed to his works. Le Clerc, Hist. de Hollande, l. 12. t. 2. See the critical Remarks on Bayle's Dict. ed. 1734.

[9] Ep. 55. p. 18.

[10] Ep. 95. p. 41.

[11] Ep. 648. p. 952.

[12] Ep. 697. p. 965.

[13] Page 213.

[14] Poemata, p. 217.

[15] Ep. 491. p. 896.

VI. It was therefore on the tenth of April in the year 1583, that Grotius was born, at Delft. It was Easter-Sunday that year: and he always observed the anniversary of that feast as his birth-day[16].

He came into the world with the most happy dispositions. Nature bestowed on him a profound genius, a solid judgment, and a wonderful memory. Several authors report[17] that being employed to review some regiments he retained the name of every soldier. He was but eight years old, when, in 1591, he wrote some elegiac verses, very pretty for that age: afterwards he thought them not good enough to publish. M. le Clerc informs us, that he had seen a copy of them in the possession of a very able man, who purposed to write the life of Grotius.

Nothing contributed more to his amazing progress, than the excellent education he received. He was so happy, as to find in his own father a pious and able governor, who formed his mind and his morals. He did not confine himself to making his son a man of learning, he purposed making him a good man. The young Grotius, like Horace, has celebrated his gratefulness for so good a father in some verses still extant. He often declared in the course of his life,[18] that he could never sufficiently acknowledge his obligation to his father and mother for the principles of piety they instilled into him. We learn from his letters[19], that his preceptor was one Lusson, whom he calls an excellent man; and seems to have been greatly affected with his death: which is all we know of him.

He was scarce past his childhood[20] when he was sent to the Hague; and boarded with Mr. Utengobard, a celebrated clergyman among the Arminians, with whom he kept up the most tender friendship till his death, in return for the care he had taken of his education. Before he was twelve, he was sent to the famous university of Leyden to perfect himself: and continued there three years with the learned Francis Junius, who was so kind to superintend his behaviour. Joseph Scaliger, the ornament of the university of Leyden, who enjoyed the most brilliant reputation among the learned, and whom his worshippers regarded as the Dictator of the republic of Letters, was so struck with the prodigious capacity of young Grotius, that he condescended to direct his studies. In 1597 he maintained public theses in Mathematics, Philosophy, and Law with the highest applause. Hence we may judge with what ardour he applied to study. He tells us himself that he spent a part of the night in it.[21] The device which he adopted[22] shews that he had reflected on the swiftness of time, and the necessity of employing it well.

The reputation of this learned youth spread every-where; and learned men spoke of him in their works as a prodigy. So early as the year 1597 Isaac Pontanus calls him a young man of the greatest hopes; Meursius, in 1599, declared he had never seen his equal. James Gilot, in a letter written from Paris to Meursius in 1601, affirmed the capacity of young Grotius bordered on prodigy; the famous Poet Barlæus said the childhood of Grotius astonished all the old men. Daniel Heinsius maintained that Grotius was a man from the instant of his birth, and never had discovered any signs of childhood. He was scarce eleven when John Dowza bestowed the highest encomiums on him in some verses that might deserve to be copied entire: he can scarce believe that the great Erasmus promised so much as the young Grotius: and foretels that he will soon excel all his cotemporaries, and be fit to be compared with the most esteemed of the Antients.

At this early age, Grotius ventured to form plans, which required very great learning; and he executed them to such perfection, that the Republic of Letters was struck with astonishment. But as he did not publish these works till after his return from France, we shall defer giving an account of them till we have first spoken of his journey thither, and displayed the situation of affairs in Holland, in whose government Grotius had soon a share.


[16] Ep. 490. p. 895.

[17] Borremansius. Crenius Anim. Hist. t. 1. p. 20. Du Maurier.

[18] Ep. 490, p. 895.

[19] Ep. 500. p. 884.

[20] Apol. c. 20.

[21] In natalem patris, p. 199.

[22] Hora ruit.

VII. He came into the world precisely at that time when the affairs of the United Provinces were in the greatest disorder. It was the year[23] that the duke of Anjou wanted to surprize Antwerp; and that the greatest lords, in despair of being able to resist the formidable power of the king of Spain, were seeking to obtain a pardon. To add to their distress, William prince of Orange, the greatest support of the infant Republic, was murdered the year following, 1584, at Delft. His talents, his experience, and his reputation were the principal resource of the Malcontents. The confusion, in which he left affairs, grieved him so much, that his last words were, Lord, have pity on this poor people. Every thing was prepared, when he died, for proclaiming him Count of Holland. The provinces of Zealand and Utrecht did not oppose it: only the cities of Amsterdam and Goude made some difficulty: however, the thing was so far advanced, that the States of Holland sent a deputation to those two cities, to acquaint them, if they refused any longer to give their consent, the States would nevertheless consummate the affair. The deputation had been gone a month, when the prince was assassinated on the tenth of July.

The States in this kind of anarchy requested Henry III. of France to receive them for his subjects; but the embarrassments the League gave him hindered his accepting their offer. On his refusal they had recourse to Queen Elizabeth, who concluded a treaty with them, by which she engaged to furnish five thousand foot, and a thousand horse, under an English general, and to pay these troops during the war on condition of being reimbursed when it was over: and it was stipulated that for security of the payment some towns, particularly Flushing in Zealand, and the Brille in Holland, should be put into her hands, to be restored to the States when the money was repaid. The Queen of England at the same time published a manifesto, setting forth, that the alliance between the Kings of England and the Sovereigns of the Low Countries was not so much between their persons as between their respective States: from whence she concluded that, without violating her alliance with the King of Spain, she might assist the people of the Low Countries oppressed by the Spaniards.

The Earl of Leicester was appointed to command the succours sent by the Queen to Holland. The States, to express their gratitude to England, declared him Governor and Captain-General of the United Provinces. No sooner did he see himself invested with this great power, than he began under-hand to form projects destructive of the liberty of the country he came to defend: it has been said, he designed to make himself Sovereign of the Provinces of which he was only Governor. He soon became odious to every one; and after a campaign, in which he performed no considerable exploit, returned to England to take measures for facilitating the execution of his ambitious designs.

The States, who had no longer any confidence in him, gave, in 1587, the command of their own army to Count Maurice of Nassau, son of the Prince of Orange. He was then only eighteen: but he quickly justified by many signal successes the hopes they had conceived of him. The Earl of Leicester, returning to Holland, resolved to employ force to accomplish his design of making himself Sovereign: he wanted to get possession of several places at once; but his scheme for surprizing Leyden being seasonably discovered, all correspondence between the States and him was entirely broken off. The Queen recalled him, and sent in his room Lord Willoughby, who was to command only the English. The States thereupon appointed Count Maurice of Nassau Captain-General: the Grand Pensionary Barnevelt, who had distinguished himself by his firmness in opposing Leicester, contributed greatly to this nomination.


[23] Ann. Grotii L. 4. p. 81.

VIII. The United Provinces had bravely defended their liberty for several years: it was a subject of astonishment to all Europe, that such a small State should be able to resist the formidable power of King Philip II. Henry IV. having triumphed over the League, had nothing more at heart than the restoring peace and order to his kingdom that had been exhausted by a long series of misfortunes, and found it impossible to bring about this without making peace with Spain. He communicated his intentions to the Dutch[24] above a year before there was any talk of negotiating: for though he had not been their adviser to take up arms, he wished they might make their peace at the same time he did: but the States would have no peace on the conditions on which Spain pretended to grant it: the French king's resolution, of consequence, put them in a great consternation, because they foresaw the whole force of Philip II. was coming to fall on them. They took a resolution to send to Henry, in 1598, Count Justin of Nassau and the Grand Pensionary Barnevelt, to intreat him to continue the war, and not make a separate peace.

The Dutch Ambassadors, in conjunction with Lord Cecil, Ambassador from England, omitted nothing to determine the King to conclude a new treaty of perpetual alliance with Holland and England against Spain. The King prayed them to consider, that the state of his affairs required him to make peace; but, for the rest, it would not hinder him, in case the Queen of England and the States did not chuse to be comprehended in the treaty, from doing them service; that the peace itself would enable him to assist them with money, without leaving Spain any room to complain, as he could pretend that he only repaid what money they had lent him in his greatest wants.

The congress of Vervins, already begun, was still continued. Henry sincerely desired a general peace: and accordingly ordered Mess. de Bellievre and de Silleri, his plenipotentiaries, to obtain from the Archduke Albert a truce of four months between Spain and Holland; hoping that means of reconciliation might be found in that interval. The Archduke at first refused it: and this denial had well nigh broke off the congress: he consented at last to a truce of two months: but the Dutch would not accept it, finding the term too short. The only advantage which the States drew from this embassy was a promise from the King to assist them, in four years, with two millions nine hundred thousand florins; as Barnevelt informs us.

Grotius, who had a strong inclination to see France, seized the opportunity of the Dutch ambassadors journey: he accompanied the Grand Pensionary, for whom he had the highest esteem, and justly regarded as one of the principal supports of the infant Republic.

The learned Youth was advantageously known in France before. M. de Buzanval, who had been ambassador in Holland, introduced him to the King, by whom he was graciously received: that great prince presented him with his picture and a gold chain. Grotius was so transported with this present, that he caused a print of himself, adorned with the chain given him by Henry, to be engraved. He gives the history of this Embassy in the seventh book of his Annals: but is so modest not to mention himself. He reflects, however, with pleasure, in some part of his[25] Poems, on the honour he had of speaking to such a great King. "I had the honour to kiss the hand of that Hero, who owes his kingdom only to his valour."

Grotius took advantage of this journey to get himself created Doctor of Laws.


[24] Mem. de Bellievre & de Silleri, T. 2. p. 348.

[25] In Pasch. 1612.

IX. After having been near a year in France, he returned to Holland. He had the greatest pleasure in his journey: one thing only was wanting to his satisfaction, a sight of the celebrated M. de Thou, the person among all the French whom he most esteemed. He had fought to get acquainted with that great man; but did not succeed. As soon as he returned to Delft, he wrote him[26] that he had been a year in France; had the pleasure of seeing a fine kingdom, a great king, very valuable noblemen, but had the mortification of not seeing him; that he would endeavour to repair this misfortune by his letters; and that he took the liberty to present him with a book he had just dedicated to the Prince of Condé.

This Letter was extremely well received by the President; and from that time to the death of M. de Thou, notwithstanding the disproportion of their age and fame, a most intimate correspondence subsisted between them.

Grotius sent him, July 4, 1600,[27] the Epithalamium he had written on the Marriage of King Henry IV. with Mary of Medicis. Mention was made in it of the Massacre on St. Bartholomew's day: this was an invidious subject; but the author, after consulting Scaliger, thought he could not dispense with recalling the remembrance of that horrid scene. He was in doubt whether he ought to publish this piece: he asked the President de Thou's advice; and till he had his answer, shewed the verses to none. Whether it was that M. de Thou advised him to suppress them, or that he took this step of himself[28] because there were several facts in the Epithalamium not strictly true, it is not to be found in the collection of his Poems. He intended to dedicate some Work to the President, as a public testimony of his profound esteem for that excellent Magistrate, whom he regarded as the greatest Man of his age[29].

M. de Thou soon perceived the great merit of young Grotius; and had the highest affection for him[30]. They corresponded by Letter whilst the President lived: Grotius sent him memoirs[31] for his History, and hints relating to the lives and deaths of illustrious men in the United Provinces.

It was a thing infinitely pleasing, and at the same time extremely honorable to a youth between seventeen and eighteen, to be most intimately connected with one of the greatest men of his time, already advanced in years, who filled a post of much eminence, and whom all Europe beheld with admiration. The friendship and esteem of such a personage is the highest encomium.

M. de Thou gave Grotius, towards the end of his life, sincere proofs of the concern he took in his quiet and welfare. That great Historian, who had experienced the fiery zeal of some Divines, beheld with pain his friend engaging in controversies which would render him odious to a powerful party. As if he had foreseen what was soon to happen, he advised him to drop these dangerous disputes. Grotius wrote him in answer, that he had entered into them only through necessity, to serve his Country and the Church; that he thought himself obliged to obey those who wished he would write on those matters; that, for the rest, he would avoid, for the future, all disputes which were not absolutely necessary. This Letter is the last we have of the valuable correspondence between those illustrious men: the President de Thou died soon after. Grotius wrote his Elogium in verse, addressed to Francis Augustus de Thou his son, and in this Poem, which was composed at the time he escaped from Antwerp to go to Paris, he appears to regret much that he had not the felicity to see his illustrious Father. It is looked on as one of the best Grotius ever wrote.


[26] Ep. 1. p. 1. April 1, 1599.

[27] Ep. 2. p. 1.

[28] Ep. 3. p. 1.

[29] Poemata, p. 262. Ep. 24. p. 7.

[30] Ep. 1581. p. 711. Ep. 325. p. 115.

[31] Ep. 3. p. 1. Ep 4. p. 1.

X. Grotius, who had resolved to follow the Bar, pleaded his first cause at Delft in the year 1599, at his return from France. The study of law and poetry employed one part of his time; he spent the other in publishing the works he had prepared for the press. The first he gave to the public was Martianus Capella. This is one of those obscure authors, who are commonly not read till we have nothing else to learn: the title of his work is, Of the marriage of Mercury and Philology, in two books; to which are annexed seven other books on the liberal arts. The author was an African, and his style, like that of most authors of his nation, obscure and barbarous; which makes it not easy to be understood. Before this there was no good edition of his works. John Grotius had put into his son's hands a manuscript of Capella: Hugo shewed it to Scaliger; and this learned man, whose counsels were commands to the young Grotius, engaged him to study that author, and publish a new edition of him.

Though Grotius was then but fourteen, the difficulty of the undertaking did not discourage him: he read all the works that had relation to the matters Capella treated of; and at length acquitted himself of the task enjoined him by Scaliger with such abilities and success, as, to use Mr. Baillet's words, astonished the whole world.

The work appeared in 1599. It would have been published before, but for his journey to France, and some delays occasioned by the bookseller. Grotius also informs us, that he would have printed it sooner, had he been less taken up with the study of the law.

To judge of Grotius' labour it will be sufficient to read what he says in the preface. "We have collated Capella with the several authors who have treated the same subjects: in the two first books with those who have written of the sentiments of the ancient Philosophers, Apuleius, Albricus, and others too tedious to name, on Grammar we have compared him with Grammarians: what he has said on Rhetoric, with Cicero and Aquila; on Logic, with Porphyry, Aristotle, Cassiodorus, Apuleius; on Geography, with Strabo, Mela, Solinus, Ptolemy, but chiefly Pliny; on Arithmetic, with Euclid; on Astronomy, with Hygin, and the rest who have treated that subject; on Music, with Cleonides, Vitruvius, Boëthius."

Rightly to understand Capella requires an acquaintance with all the Sciences. The principal use of his book is to shew how far the knowledge of the Ancients extended. Grotius, when in France, had often the honour of paying his court to the young Prince of Condé, at that time presumptive heir of the crown: he was so well pleased with his genius, and learning, which was above his years, that he dedicated his Capella to him. The dedication is dated December 29, 1598.

Men of the greatest learning publickly expressed their surprise to see a child of fifteen produce a work that would have done honour to the most celebrated Man of Letters. Scaliger made a very high encomium on the young author in some fine verses which are much to Grotius' honour. The President de Thou was very well pleased with Capella. [32]Casaubon declared that whatever high idea he might have of Grotius' labour, the success exceeded his hopes. [33]Vossius, in fine, after assuring Grotius that he had very happily restored Capella, compares the editor to Erasmus; and affirms that the whole world could not produce a man of greater learning than Grotius[34].

The more we consider this work, the greater difficulty we have to believe it to have been executed by a boy. We would sometimes be inclined to think the great Scaliger had a hand in it; but this is only a conjecture: that Grotius was assisted by his father is very certain; he tells us so himself.

Some perhaps will be glad to know how Grotius managed with the booksellers: for even little details that relate to famous men yield a pleasure. He never took money for the copy, though, he tells us, some people of good fortune were not so delicate: but he asked a hundred books on large paper handsomely bound, to make presents to his friends; it being unjust, he said, that while he served the public and enriched the booksellers, he should injure his own fortune.


[32] Ep. Gr. 3. p. 1.

[33] Ep. Caus. 1030.

[34] De Hist. Lat. lib. 3

XI. The same year, 1599, Grotius published another work which discovered as much knowledge of the abstract sciences in particular, as the edition of Martianus Capella did of his learning in general.

Stevin, Mathematician to Prince Maurice of Nassau, had by his orders composed a small treatise for the instruction of pilots in finding a ship's place at sea. He formed a table of the variations of the needle, according to the observations of Plancius, a famous geographer, and added directions how to use it.

Grotius translated into Latin this work, which he could not have understood without knowing the Mathematics, and particularly Mechanics; Statics, and the art of working a ship, and of finding her place at sea, being branches of that science.

This translation he dedicated to the Republic of Venice by a letter dated April 1, 1599; in which he says, that having been in France about a year before, with the Ambassadors of the States, he there saw Signior Contarini, Ambassador of Venice; that a comparison happening to be made in conversation between the Republics of Holland and Venice, he immediately resolved to dedicate to the Venetians the first work he published that might be agreeable, or worthy to be presented to them; that an opportunity now offer'd of fulfilling this resolution, and that he dedicated to them the translation of Stevin's work because Prince Maurice had recommended it to the colleges of the Admiralty to be studied by all officers of the Navy; and as the Republic of Venice attentively cultivated Navigation, this book might be as useful to her as to Holland.

XII. The year following, that is to say, 1600, Grotius published the Treatise which Aratus, of Sola in Cilicia, composed in Greek on Astronomy, two hundred and some odd years before the birth of Christ. It is known by the name or the Phænomena of Aratus. The title fully shews what Grotius gives in this book. It contains the Phænomena of Aratus in Greek with Cicero's Latin interpretation, the places where Cicero's Translation is wanting being supplied; a Translation of the same Phænomena, ascribed to Germanicus; the fragment of Aratus's Prognostics, and the forms of the constellations as found in a Manuscript; with Remarks upon the whole, the Paraphrase of Festus Avienus, and marginal notes.

This work is dedicated to the States of Holland and West Friesland: the author in the dedication promises them others more considerable. The book is a prodigy of science and erudition: it discovers a great knowledge of Physics, and especially of Astronomy. The Latin verses made by Grotius to supply those of Cicero that were lost, are not inferior to the lines of that great man, in the opinion of the Abbé d'Olivet, an excellent judge, who likewise thinks the supplement a very good commentary on Aratus's work. The corrections made by Grotius in the Greek are most judicious; and his notes shew he had read several of the Rabbi's, and had some tincture of the Arabic.

Scaliger[35], M. de Thou, and Lipsius, speak of this edition with the highest praise. Lipsius, in thanking Grotius for his Aratus, says that notwithstanding his childhood he looks on him as his friend: he congratulates him, that, tho' so very young, he had by force of genius and labour accomplished what few could do in the flower of their age[36].

Casaubon[37] tells us, every one was surprised at such an extraordinary production. Bonaventura Vulcanus, who took occasion from Grotius's publishing this book, to write his elogium in verse, says in the conclusion, that Apollo had opened to him his sanctuary, and that he was himself an Apollo.

Grotius's modesty would not permit him to leave us ignorant that he had been assisted by his Father in this work. It may be proper to observe, that a library in Germany contains a copy of Grotius's edition of the Phænomena of Aratus, collated with an ancient manuscript by the learned Nicholas Heinsius, who has added some Notes[38].


[35] Ep. Scal. 375. Ep. Gr. 2.

[36] Ep. Lips. ad Belgas, Cent. 3. p. 83.

[37] Ep. 130.

[38] Fab. Bib. Gr. lib. 3. c. 18.

XIII. These grave and profound studies did not hinder Grotius from cultivating Poetry. He had made some verses in his childhood which were thought very pretty: he continued this manner of writing in the midst of his greatest occupations, and with such success, that he was looked on as one of the best Poets in Europe.

The Prosopopoeia[39] in which he makes the city of Ostend speak, after being three years besieged by the Spaniards, is reckoned one of the best pieces of verse since the Augustan age. Public fame gave it at first to Scaliger because he was considered as the greatest poet of that time. The celebrated Peyresc[40] hinted it to that learned man, who made answer, he was too old not to be the aversion of the Virgins of Helicon; and that the verses were not written by him, but by Grotius, a most accomplished youth. Notwithstanding this declaration, Mathieu, in the Life of Henry IV. ascribes them to Scaliger. They were thought so excellent, several men of learning set about translating them into French, particularly Du Vair, afterwards Keeper of the Seals; Rapin, grand Provost of the Constabulary, and Stephen Pasquier. Malherbe himself, the Oracle of the French Parnassus, did not think it beneath him to put this Epigram into French verse: and Casaubon translated it into Greek.

Grotius did not confine himself to writing small pieces of verse: he rose to tragedy. We have three written by him. The first was called Adamus exsul. He sent it to Lipsius, who liked it[41]; and it was printed at Leyden in 1601. The author was afterwards dissatisfied with it, and would not suffer it to appear in the collection of his Poems published by his brother[42]. Christus patiens was his second tragedy. It was printed at Leyden in 1608, and much approved. Casaubon greatly admires its poetic fire[43]. Sandes translated it into English verse; and dedicated it to Charles I. It was very favourably received in England; and in Germany it was proposed as the model of perfect Tragedy.

The subject of his third Tragedy was the story of Joseph; and its title Sophomphaneas, which, in the language of Egypt, signifies the Saviour of the world. Vossius assures Meursius it is the most perfect thing in its kind the age has produced[44]: Vondel, a celebrated poet of Holland, translated it into Dutch: and Grotius expressed a high sense of Vondel's friendship, in condescending to translate his works, when he could write much better of his own[45].

The most learned critics, many of whom were good versifiers, agreed that Grotius excelled in Poetry. Scaliger acknowledged his epigrams were admirable[46]. Casaubon being informed that Grotius had written some verses on the death of Theodore Beza, says, "he heard with infinite pleasure that so great a man had his elegy written by so great a poet[47]." Baudius calls him the darling friend of the Muses, and acquaints us that Scaliger thought some of his small poems equal to the best of the ancients[48]. Gerard Vossius speaks of him as the greatest poet of his age, and the prince of poetry. In fine, M. Baillet, who had examined the many opinions given of Grotius, assures us, that all who read his poems approved of them; that those of fine taste, and who could judge of epigrams, found many of his admirable, some discovering the subtilty of his genius, and the fertility of his imagination; others, the happy turn which he could give to his thoughts and expressions.

Even his enemies did not presume to deny him the praise of an excellent Poet; and Salmasius, in a letter written with design to lessen Grotius's reputation, and dictated by jealousy, injustice, and spleen, allows however he was a great Poet. "But," he adds, "every one in this country prefers Barlæus; and many, even Heinsius." Balzac, who in other things did justice to Grotius, wished he had employed his poetic talents only on proper subjects. "I never saw," says he, "the Swedish Ambassador, but I have long esteemed his genius: and if he had not put the Institutes into verse, and published some other pieces of the same nature, I should esteem him still more." But it is proper to observe that these were the amusements of his childhood, and never intended to be made public. Grotius had a meaner idea of his poetical talents, than even the rivals of his glory. "As to merit in poetry (he writes to the President de Thou) I yield it to every one."

It was William Grotius who published the collection of his brother's poems. Some of them, and these not the best, had been printed before in Germany very incorrect: which induced William to look over his brother's papers, extract the poems, and publish them with those already printed. This Collection is dedicated to Vandermile, son-in-law of the Grand Pensionary Barnevelt, Deputy to the States General, Curator of the university of Leyden, and the great friend of Hugo Grotius. The dedication is dated September 1, 1616. A Letter of Grotius, written the 14th of December in the preceding year, informs us he was very averse to his brother's project. He foresaw that he would one day be reproached with this edition; which accordingly happened, particularly when, endeavouring to reconcile the two Religions, he incurred the hatred of Rivet and some other ministers, who seeking to destroy his reputation, declaimed against his epithalamiums, and found fault with his introducing the false divinities in the manner of the ancient poets, and his speaking of war rather as a zealous citizen, than a pacific Christian. These reproaches touched him: and in the latter part of his life he wished only his sacred poems had been preserved[49]. But, notwithstanding the peevishness of those Divines, Grotius's Poems had a great run, were printed in England, and several times reprinted in Holland.



Area parva ducum, totus quam respicit orbis,
Celsior una malis, et quam damnare ruinæ
Nunc quoque fata timent, alieno in littore resto.
Tertius annus abit; toties mutavimus hostem.
Sævit hiems pelago, morbisque furentibus æstas;
Et nimium est quod fecit Iber crudelior armis.
In nos orta lues: nullum est sine funere funus;
Nec perimit mors una semel. Fortuna, quid hæres?
Qua mercede tenes mixtos in sanguine manes?
Quis tumulos moriens hos occupet hoste perempto
Quæritur, et sterili tantum de pulvere pugna est.

[40] Gassendi's Life of Pyresc, lib. 2. p. 79.

[41] Ep. 99. Feb. 3, 1602.

[42] Ep. 87. ad Vossium, p. 34.

[43] Casaub. Ep. 597. p. 313.

[44] Ep. 313. p. 317.

[45] Ep. 527. p. 204.

[46] Scaligerana p. 178. ed. 1695.

[47] Ep. 1089.

[48] Ep. Baudii, 100. Cent. 3. Scal. Poemata, p. 359.

[49] Discus. Apolog. Rivetiani, p. 740. Ep. 504, p. 885. Ep. 558. p. 924. Ep. 664. p. 956. Ep. 736. p. 974.

XIV. The United Provinces still bravely maintained their liberty against the efforts of Spain, who since the peace of Vervins had collected her whole force against them. The glory they acquired by this illustrious defence determined them to make choice of an Historian who might transmit with dignity to after-ages the signal exploits of this memorable war. Several learned men made great interest for the place; among others Baudius, the famous Professor of Eloquence in the university of Leyden: but the States thought young Grotius (who had taken no step to obtain it) deserved the preference: and what is still more singular, Baudius himself did not find fault with their choice, because he looked upon Grotius to be already a very great man.

XV. His high reputation was on the point of procuring him, about the same time, a very honourable settlement in France. King Henry IV. sensible that he ought to have a man of the greatest merit at the head of his Library, had, at the recommendation of M. de Villeroi, while Gosselin his librarian was yet living, fixed upon Casaubon, who at that time had the greatest name for literature. This affair was carried on mysteriously: The King desired to see Casaubon in private: he told him, that he intended to make him his librarian; and that Gosselin could not live above a year; adding, with the frank and noble air which so well became that great Prince: "You shall see my fine books, and tell me what they contain; for I don't understand them myself."

Gosselin lived three years after this conversation, till 1603. The Jesuits being informed Casaubon was to be set over the King's Library, represented to his majesty the inconveniences of confiding a treasure of that nature to the most obstinate of all heretics. This made some impression on the king: nevertheless he was afraid of a clamour were it known that he refused an employment promised to a Protestant on account of his religion. He consulted with some persons; and they advised him to send to Holland for Grotius, whom he knew, and appoint him his librarian; which would make the Public ascribe the change to some private discontent, and not to religion. Casaubon, apprised of what was doing, remained perfectly quiet: but the President de Thou, thinking the King's honour concerned in keeping his word, warmly solicited in his favour, and, after the affair had been suspended some weeks, Casaubon was at length nominated. Grotius had had no part in this whole proceeding: accordingly Casaubon was so far from being offended with him, that, writing to Daniel Heinsius, December 29, 1603, he assures him if the place could have made Grotius's fortune, he wished he had got it, because he loved him, and admired his prodigious genius.

XVI. Grotius was at that time principally employed as an Advocate. He tells us that to make himself master of the forms of law, he carefully studied the practical part, transcribing precedents of Petitions, Prosecutions, and Defences. He pleaded his first cause when he was but seventeen, with universal applause, which he maintained whilst he continued at the Bar. We learn the method he followed in his pleadings from a letter to his son Peter advising him to imitate it. "That you may not, says he, be embarrassed by the little order observed by those against whom you speak, mind one thing, of which I have found the advantage. Distribute all that can be said on both sides under certain heads, which imprint strongly in your memory; and whatever your adversary says, refer it to your own division, and not to his[50]." Grotius's great attention was to avoid prolixity and confusion in his pleadings[51].

The employment of an advocate, though he acquired infinite honour by it, did not however please him. The reasons of his dislike we have in a letter to Daniel Heinsius, dated July 21, 1603. "Besides that law-suits are improper for a peaceable man, what doth he derive from them? They procure him hatred from those against whom he pleads, small acknowledgments from his clients, and not much honour with the Public. Add to this, that the time spent in things so little agreeable, might be employed in acquiring others much more useful. I should have been a better philosopher, more master of the Greek, better acquainted with the manners of the Ancients, with the Poets, and Philologists, if I had practiced less as an Advocate."


[50] Ep. 1134. p. 512.

[51] Ibid.

XVII. His brilliant success at the Bar, which he treats as ungrateful, procured him, however, a very considerable promotion. The place of Advocate-general of the Fisc for Holland and Zealand becoming vacant, it was unanimously conferred on Grotius. This is an employment of great distinction and authority, the person invested with it being charged with the preservation of the public peace and the prosecution of offenders. It was in 1607 he took possession of this important office, which he filled with so much reputation, the States augmented his salary, and promised him a seat in the Court of Holland.

XVIII. John Grotius, on his son's being made Advocate-general, began to think of a wife for him; and fixed upon Mary Reigersberg, of one of the first families in Zealand, whose father had been Burgomaster of Veer: the marriage was solemnised in July, 1608. The greatest encomium of the new-married lady is, that she was worthy such a husband as Grotius. The most perfect harmony subsisted between them, and Grotius held her in the highest esteem[52]. This alliance gave occasion to a number of poems. John Grotius wrote his son's Epithalamium; Daniel Heinsius composed a Poem on that subject, which, in the opinion of Grotius, was the best of the kind that ever had been written. Grotius himself celebrated his nuptials in some Latin verses, approved of by Scaliger, and translated them into Dutch: he also wrote some in French on that occasion.


[52] Ep. 423. p. 876.

XIX. At the time of his marriage he was employed in a work of great importance, which was not published till the year following. This was his Freedom of the Ocean, or the Right of the Dutch to trade to the Indies; dedicated to all the free nations of Christendom, and divided into thirteen Chapters. The author shews in the first, that by the law of Nations navigation is free to all the world: In the second, that the Portuguese never possessed the sovereignty of the countries in the East-Indies with which the Dutch carry on a trade: In the third, that the donation of Pope Alexander VI. gave the Portuguese no right to the Indies: In the fourth, that the Portuguese had not acquired by the law of arms the sovereignty of the States to which the Dutch trade: He shews in the fifth, that the ocean is immense and common to all; that it is absurd to imagine that those who first navigate a sea ought to be judged to have taken possession of it; that a vessel which cuts the waves of a sea, gives no more right to that sea, than she leaves marks of her way in it; that, besides, the Portuguese are not the first who sailed in the Indian sea, since there are facts which demonstrate it was neither unknown to the Ancients, to the Spaniards, nor to the Carthaginians, nor even to the Romans. The sixth chapter proves, that the right of navigation in that sea cannot belong exclusively to the Portuguese by virtue of Alexander VI's donation, because donation cannot take place in things which enter not into trade; and that, besides, the Pope is not master of the sea. In the seventh chapter it is shewn, that the Eastern sea, or the right of navigation in it, cannot belong to the Portuguese by prescription, since prescription being only by the civil law it cannot operate against the law of nature, by virtue of which, navigation in that sea is free to all the world; that, moreover, prescription doth not take place in things that cannot be alienated, such as the sea, the use of the sea, and things common to all men: add to this, that the opposition of other nations, and their navigation in that sea would have hindered the prescription. It is proved in the eighth, that by the law of nations the commerce between nations is free, and cannot be prohibited without injustice. In the ninth it is shewn that the trade to the Indies doth not belong to the Portuguese, exclusive of other kingdoms, because they first took possession of it, since the title of first occupant takes place only in that which is corporeal. The tenth proves, that the Pope could not grant the Portuguese an exclusive trade to the Indies: the eleventh, that this trade does not belong to them by prescription: the twelfth, that nothing is more unjust than the claim to an exclusive trade set up by the Portuguese. The author concludes his work with the thirteenth chapter, exhorting the Dutch to continue their trade to the Indies in time of war, of truce, or of peace.

This work was printed without Grotius's knowledge, and published without his consent. He appears not to have been quite satisfied with it: "My intention (says he in a letter to Camerarius, May 20th, 1637) was good; but the work favours too much of my want of years." They wrote against him in Spain: "I know (he writes his brother, April 1, 1640) that a treatise was written some time ago, at Salamanca, against mine Of the Freedom of the Ocean, but it was suppressed by the King of Spain." Another appeared, in 1625, at Valladolid, entitled, De justo imperio Lusitanorum Asiatico, by one Francis Seraphin de Freiras. The Freedom of the Ocean was refuted in England by the famous Selden in his work entitled Mare clausum, seu de dominio maris. Grotius thought the Spanish author's book not ill done, and deserving of an answer[53]; and was pleased with the politeness shewn him by Selden[54]. But at the time these Answers appeared Grotius was so dissatisfied with the Dutch, he did not think himself obliged to employ his time for people void of gratitude. "Let them seek among my Judges (said he by way of irony on their ignorance) for one to answer the Spaniard[55]." As to Selden's book, Grotius seemed not to mind it; he looked on himself as no longer concerned in the controversy. "I wholly forget what I have been, says he, when I see those to whom I have done so great services, remember me only to hurt me." These sentiments of an indifference bordering on hatred he did not entertain till after the Dutch had done every thing to make him uneasy, as we shall see in the sequel.


[53] Ep. 144. p. 796.

[54] Ep. 364. p. 858.

[55] Ep. 144. p. 796.

XX. The year after the publication of the treatise Of the Freedom of the Ocean, Grotius printed his work De antiquitate reipublicæ Batavæ, divided into seven chapters. In the first the author shews what is an aristocratical government: In the second he gives the history of the ancient Batavi, whose government, he says, was aristocratical, under the command of a head, who was sometimes styled King. He explains, in the third, the state of the Republic of the Batavi in the time of the Roman empire; and building on a passage of Tacitus he pretends they were allies, and not subjects of the Romans. In the fourth he enquires into the government of the Batavi after the fall of the Roman empire; from which æra till the establishment of the Counts of Holland we know very little of that nation. The author treats, in the fifth chapter, of the government of Holland in the time of the Counts. The first elected to that dignity was named Diederic, of Friesland, and was Count of the whole nation: He was not a vassal of the Empire, and, as Philip of Leyden observes, he was Emperor in his County. He was not so absolute as a Monarch, and though the Dutch in chusing their Counts generally followed the order of primogeniture, they never set up a Prince without first requiring of him an oath, to conform to the laws: so that he reigned rather by the consent of the people, than by right of succession. The power of the Counts was limited by law; and the taxes were always imposed by the States. In the sixth chapter the author shews that Philip II. King of Spain, endeavouring to change their form of government, occasioned the grand war which procured Holland her liberty. Grotius explains, in his seventh and last chapter, the form of government established in Holland after the Dutch threw off the Spanish yoke. The work is dedicated to the States of Holland and West-Friesland, March 16, 1610.

The States were extremely pleased with it: they returned their thanks to the author, and made him a present[56]. He afterwards added notes, serving for proofs of the several facts: these were carried away with his other papers at the time of his arrest; but the Elzevirs, intending to publish a new edition of it, acquainted Grotius, who was at pains to get the notes returned; and they are now printed at the end of the Elzevir edition. His love to his country led him to advance several things in this work, which he afterwards owned to be mistakes[57]; in particular, that the Batavi had always been free, and not subject to the ancient Franks[58].

While this book was in the press, Grotius, and his father, who commonly assisted him in his writings, translated it into Dutch[59].


[56] Apolog. C. 1.

[57] Ep. 635. p. 947.

[58] Grotii manes, Conringius, Pope, p. 947.

[59] Ep. 662. p. 834.

XXI. 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, whose name was so famous, foreigners sought to draw him to them by offers of honours and lucrative posts, which love to his Country made him constantly reject. It was some time before he yielded to the desires of Rotterdam. By the ferment of mens minds he foresaw that very great commotions would speedily shake the Republic; this made him insist with the gentlemen of Rotterdam that he should never be turned out of his place of Pensionary: and on their promising accordingly, he accepted the employment, which gave him a seat in the assembly of the States of Holland, and afterwards in that of the States General.

Hitherto Grotius had had very little connection with the Grand Pensionary; but from this time contracted an intimate friendship with him, which gave him the greater pleasure as he was most desirous of the counsels of a man of so much experience, who had been himself nine years Pensionary of Rotterdam, and above thirty years Grand Pensionary of Holland (in which employment he had done his Country most essential services) and who was famous not only in Holland, but in foreign countries, for his many embassies, and acknowledged prudence and abilities.

The great intimacy between them gave rise to a report, that the Grand Pensionary, who was sensible of Grotius's great merit, and who loved him, designed to have him made Grand Pensionary. We have this particular from Grotius himself[60], who assures us he never desired that high office, the rather as his health would not then permit him to discharge the many functions belonging to it. For by the Grand Pensionary the States see, hear, and act; and though he has no deliberative voice, and is the lowest in rank, his influence is the greatest. He manages Prosecutions, receives Dispatches, and answers them, and is as it were Attorney-General of the States: before he be called to be Grand-Pensionary, he is nominated Advocate of the States.


[60] Apol. C. 19.

XXII. There was at that time a high dispute between the English and Dutch concerning the right of fishing in the northern seas. Two vessels had sailed from Amsterdam to Greenland to kill walrus, a sea-animal, larger than an ox, with the muzzle of a lion, the skin covered with hair, four feet, and two large teeth in the upper jaw, flat, hard, and so white that in colour and value they equal those of the elephant: some even give them the preference, because, besides their exceeding whiteness, they are not subject to grow yellow. These two vessels having caught twenty-two walrus, were met by some English vessels bound to Russia, who hail'd them, and demanded whether they had pasports from the King of Great Britain to fish at Greenland? The Dutchmen answered, that the Sea was free, and they had pasports from Count Maurice their Stadtholder. "That is not enough, said the English[61]: and to let you know that that sea belongs to the King our master, if you will not give us instantly the walrus you have taken, with your boats, nets, and instruments for killing them, we'll send you to the bottom." The two Dutch vessels, unable to resist, were obliged to obey. Returning to 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 to demand justice: But, says the Mercure François, he found the old proverb true: The strongest are masters of the sea, and such never care to make restitution: so that he could obtain no satisfaction.

This denial of justice from the English determined the Dutch not to go to Greenland for the future without a force sufficient to revenge themselves on the English, or to have nothing to fear from them.

The dispute growing serious, to prevent any acts of hostility, and to know on what grounds they went, a conference was held in 1615 between the Commissaries of England and Holland, in which the debate turned chiefly on the whale-fishery. Grotius, who was one of the Commissaries from the Province of Holland, gives the history of this conference in a Letter to Du Maurier, dated at Rotterdam, June 5, 1615. The Dutch Commissaries put the English to silence, by demonstrating, that neither the land nor the sea of Greenland belonged to them, and that they had no right to hinder the Dutch to navigate and catch whales in that sea, of which none could claim the property. That the land did not belong to them, because till the year 1596 no mortal had set foot on it; that the Dutch discovered it the year before, and gave it the name it still retains, as may be seen in all the modern geographers, on the globes, and carts. The English wanted to reply that Hugh Willoughby discovered it in 1553: but the Dutch shewed even by the Journal of his voyage, that setting out from Finland he landed on the Island which bears his name, at a great distance from Greenland; that he died of hunger and cold, with all his companions, on the coast of Lapland, where the Laplanders found him, next summer, and from whence his Journals were sent to England. The English, not knowing what to answer, said, it was a high indignity to their master, to dispute a right of which he had hitherto been in peaceable possession; and that their instructions imported, they should break off the conference unless the Dutch would acknowledge England's claim to Greenland. What was still more diverting (continued Grotius) they added, that they had not then their titles, but would shew them to Caron, the Dutch Agent in England, and, they flattered themselves, on seeing them, he would yield the point. They like better (adds he in the conclusion) to deal with him, than dispute with us, because they will take his silence, as they have done already, for submission.


[61] Mercure François, an. 1613.

XXIII. If Grotius had ground to be dissatisfied with the disingenuousness and injustice of the English Ministry in his negotiation concerning the Fishery, he had at least reason to be pleased with the politeness of King James, who, Casaubon informs us, gave Grotius a most gracious reception, and was charmed with his conversation. But the greatest pleasure he received by this voyage was the intimate friendship he contracted with Casaubon. They knew one another before by character, and highly esteemed each other. They were made to be intimate friends: in both the most profound erudition was joined with the most perfect probity. They had still another sympathy to knit faster the band of this union: both ardently wished to see all Christians united in one faith and desired nothing more, than to be employed in that great work. They have left behind them testimonies of the satisfaction they found in each other's acquaintance. "For my part, says Grotius in a letter to John Frederic Gronovius[62], I reckon it one of the greatest felicities of my whole life to have been loved by a man as illustrious for his piety, his probity, and his candor, as for his extensive learning. It was by his counsels or those of persons he approved that I conducted myself in the most difficult times."

"I respect no less, says he in another letter, his frankness and his probity, than his uncommon erudition. His letters sufficiently prove what great friendship he had for me."

We find in fact that they contain evidences of the highest esteem for Grotius. To Daniel Heinsius he writes, April 13, 1613, "I am very well; and cannot say enough of my felicity in enjoying the friendship of such a great man as Grotius. O that incomparable man! I knew him before: but fully to comprehend the excellency of his divine genius, one must see him, and hear him converse. His countenance speaks probity, and his discourse discovers the deepest learning and the most sincere piety. Think not that I only am his admirer; all learned and good men entertain the same sentiments for him, particularly the King."

Casaubon writes to the President de Thou, April 20, 1613, to acquaint him what pleasure he had received by seeing Grotius. "I must let you know, says he, that I have seen here Hugo Grotius. He is a man of admirable probity and learning[63]."

They had long conversations together on religion. Casaubon ardently desired a reunion of the Protestants with the Roman Catholics:[64] and would have set about it, had he staid longer in France, as he informed Descordes, who repeated it to Grotius. He greatly respected the opinions of the ancient church[65], and was persuaded its sentiments were more sound than those of the Ministers of Charenton. Grotius and he had imparted their thoughts to each other before the voyage to England: for Casaubon congratulates him, January 8, 1612, on his desiring nothing but peace and a coalition; and communicated Grotius' sentiments to King James; who approved of them. This shews that Grotius thought it was wrong to depart from the discipline and forms of the ancient church: Casaubon was of the same mind; and his Letter to M. de Thou is a demonstrative proof that these two excellent men did not differ in matters of Religion. "I esteem him highly, says he[66], on account of his other great qualities; for he judges of the modern subjects of religious controversy like a learned and good man; and in his veneration for antiquity agrees with the wisest."

The last Letter which we have from Casaubon to Grotius comprehends all these sentiments in few words[67]: "I heartily pray God to preserve you ever: and as long as I live, I shall hold you in the highest esteem, so much am I taken with your piety, your probity, and your admirable learning."


[62] Ep. 1168. p. 530.

[63] Ep. 883 p. 531.

[64] Ep. Grotii 610.

[65] Ep. Grotii 613.

[66] Ep. 531.

[67] Ep. 890.

XXIV. After his return from England, Grotius happened to be one day at the Assembly of the States of Holland and West-Friesland when an affair of consequence was under consideration. The States had granted commissions to several Privateers, some of which made depredations on the friends of the Republic, and, afterwards quitting the country, scowered the seas, refusing to return though summoned. Some people of Pomerania who had been ill used by these Corsairs, applied to the States for redress. The Question therefore was, Whether the States were answerable for the act of those privateers, either as having employed bad men in their service, or neglected to require security from them on giving them commissions. Grotius' advice being asked, his opinion was, that the States were only bound to punish the offenders, or deliver them up, if taken; and, for the rest, to make satisfaction to the sufferers out of the effects of the pirates. We learn from himself on what he grounded his opinion[68]. The States, said he, were not the cause of those unjust practices, nor had any part in them: so far from it they have prohibited, by express ordonnances, the injuring of our friends. They were not obliged to ask security from the privateers, since, without granting formal commissions, they might permit all their subjects to plunder the enemy, as was formerly practised; and the permission they granted to those privateers was not the cause of the damage they did to our allies, since any private person may, without such permission, fit out vessels, and sail on a cruize. Besides, it was impossible to foresee that these privateers would turn out wicked; and there is no taking such precautions as to employ only honest men. When a prince's troops, whether by sea or land, contrary to his order, injure his friends, he is not responsable for it; as appears from what has been acknowledged by France and England. To make one answerable for the acts of those who are in his service, even when no fault of his gave any occasion to them, would be to decide the question not by the law of nations, but by the civil law; and even the rule is not general in the civil law.

The States were determined by this opinion.


[68] De jure belli et pacis, lib. 2. c. 17. § 20.

XXV. The multitude of affairs with which Grotius was oppressed, and the continual journeys he was obliged to make, left him no time for cultivating Polite Literature. In the midst of his occupations Du Maurier, the French Ambassador in Holland, and his particular friend, having resolved to begin a course of study, applied to Grotius for directions. We shall here give an extract from his answer[69], because it may be of use to grown persons desirous of acquiring literary accomplishments.

He shortened his method as much as he could out of regard to Du Maurier's age, dignity, and affairs. He advises him to begin with Logic, not that of Aristotle, which is too long, and contains many things of no great use: an abridgment was sufficient, such as Du Moulin's, the most esteemed at that time. "But your assistant, says he, must read the best that has been written on the subject, and communicate to you what is most remarkable: much may be learnt in an hour or two spent in this manner." The same method he would have observed in the other sciences, and even with regard to books; that is to say, the person under whom Du Maurier studies must read the best writers on every subject; and extract what is most essential, to be repeated to him. After Logic he directs him to the study of Physics, which he would not have carried too far; and recommends some plain and short abridgement: he could think of none at that time but Jacchæus. He is of opinion, that as in Logic the rules of syllogism are chiefly to be attended to, so in Physics the enquiry into the nature and functions of the soul is of most importance. After Physics he advises him to proceed to Metaphysics, of which he might get some notion from Timplerus' book, which is neither long nor obscure. The study of Moral Philosophy is to be begun with Aristotle, whose books to Nicomachus are the best. "Your reader, says he, must give you in a small compass what the ablest interpreters have said. It is also necessary to be acquainted with the sentiments of the different sects of Philosophers; for without that knowledge you will be much at a loss in reading the Ancients, and profit little by them." To unbend after this serious study, some other short and agreeable books that have a relation to it may be read: such as Ecclesiasticus, the Wisdom of Solomon, Theognis, Phocilides, the Golden Verses ascribed to Pythagoras, Epictetus's Enchiridion, Hierocles, and the Commentaries of Arrian; not omitting the Characters of Theophrastus. What the Poets have written on Morality may also be perused; with some select Tragedies of Euripides, Terence's Comedies, and Horace's Epistles. Young people and grown persons admire different things in these writings: the beauty of the style pleases the first: the others learn by them to know men. To these works may be added Cicero's Offices, a piece not enough esteemed, purely because it is in the hands of every one; some of Seneca's Epistles, the Tragedies that go under his name; and the best of Plutarch's smaller pieces. After having gone through Aristotle's Politics, the excellent extract by Polybius of Republics is to be read; with the Harangues of Mecænas and Agrippa to Augustus, in Dion; and Sallust's Letter to Cæsar. Plutarch's Lives of Pericles, Cato, the Gracchi, Demosthenes, and Cicero, must not be omitted: much may be learned too from Cicero's Letters to Atticus, if they were translated by one well acquainted with the Roman History of that period.

After this would be the proper time for reading Aristotle's Rhetoric: for, as is well remark'd by that great man, who possessed all the arts and sciences in an eminent degree, from Morals and Politics must the arguments be drawn that are to convince mens understandings; that is to say, it is impossible to be truly eloquent without extensive knowledge. The better to perceive the use of the precepts it would be proper to read with attention some Orations of Demosthenes and Cicero, particularly those which relate to public Affairs, such as the Philippics, the Olinthiacs, the Oration pro lege Manilia, that against the Agrarian Law, and some others. The next thing, to be applied to is Jus publicum, that is to say, the knowledge of the different forms of government, the Conventions between Nations, and, in fine, whatever regards Peace and War. The treatises of Plato and Cicero On Laws shew in what manner the principles of this law are to be deduced from morality. It will not be unprofitable to read likewise, or at least to run over the second book of St. Thomas Aquinas, especially what he says of Justice and Laws: The Pandecta, particularly the first and last book, the first and the three last books of Justinian's Codex, point out the use to be made of those principles. The Lawyers who have best handled the questions relating to the Law of Nations and Jus publicum, are Vasquès, Hotoman, and Gentilis. After the acquisition of these several branches of knowledge, the study of History will be extremely useful, by the application which may be made of the examples to the precepts. History is to be begun with an abridgement of universal history; such as Justin, Florus, and the abridgement of Livy. But in reading History a man ought to please his own taste: for they all contain many useful things: and we retain best those we read with pleasure. In general, we ought not to begin with the most ancient, but with such as, being nearer our own times, have greater relation with what we know already: we may afterwards go back to what is more distant. It is proper to observe, that there is more advantage to be reaped from reading the Greek historians who have written the history of Rome, than the Latin, who have treated the same subject; because Foreigners give more attention to the public manners and customs, than the Natives.

M. du Maurier received this Letter with the highest satisfaction; he permitted several copies to be taken of it, and it was printed by the Elzevirs in 1637, in a collection of several Methods of Study, under the title of De omni genere studiorum recte instituendo.

Grotius acquaints us[70] that it was published with out his consent.


[69] Ep. 54. p. 17.

[70] Ep. 740. p. 976.


Grotius has hitherto appeared to us chiefly as a Man of Learning: we are now going to consider him entering into the affairs of the Republic, wholly employed in restoring the peace of his country, and receiving for the reward of his pacific intentions an imprisonment, which would in all probability have been perpetual, had not the ingenious friendship of his wife with great address procured his liberty. But as the occasion of these events was the warm dispute kindled in the United Provinces concerning Grace and Predestination, we must resume things a little higher.

I. In the year 1608, while the truce between the Spaniards and the United Provinces was negotiating, Arminius, an eminent Professor in the University of Leyden, departing from the rigid sentiments of Calvin, publickly taught, that God, foreseeing Adam's sin, had resolved to send his only Son into the world to redeem mankind; that he had ordained Grace to all to whom the Law should be preached, by which they might believe if they would, and persevere; that this grace offered to all men was of such a nature, that not only it might be resisted, but men actually did often resist it; and that God had only chosen or reprobated those, who, he foresaw, would embrace or reject the grace offered them.

Gomar, another Professor in the University of Leyden, warmly opposed this doctrine; maintaining, that by an eternal and irreversible decree God had predestinated some to everlasting life, and others to eternal damnation, without regard to their actions; that the grace given to the Elect was so powerful, they could not resist it; and that Jesus Christ did not die for the Reprobate.

The doctrine of Arminius was directly opposite to that of Calvin: accordingly it met with great opposition; and he was accused before the Synod of Rotterdam, in which Gomar's party prevailed.

Arminius, who knew that the Magistrates were as warm for him, as the Clergy and Professors were against him, presented a petition to the States of Holland and West-Friesland, praying that the Grand Council might take cognisance of this dispute. His adversaries maintained that a theological contest ought to be judged by a church judicature: Arminius's petition, however, was granted, and Gomar obliged to appear with him before the Magistrates, who promised to have the affair speedily discussed in a Synod; and forbad, in the mean time, the advancing any thing contrary to the Holy Scriptures, the Confessions of faith, and Catechism. The Grand Council reported to the States, that the whole dispute was about some obscure questions concerning Grace and Predestination.

Barnevelt happening to say he thanked God that the fundamental points of Religion were not in question, Gomar, who was present, obtaining leave to speak, said, among other things, he would be very sorry to appear before God with Arminius's sentiments.

The dispute still continuing with much bitterness, in 1611 the States of Holland ordered the principal Ministers of the two parties to appear before them: Twelve accordingly attended, six Arminians and six Gomarists, and disputed in presence of the States on Predestination, the Death of Christ, the necessity and nature of Grace and Perseverance. The States heard them, but would determine nothing, only recommended to them to live in peace. But the consequence of this conference was like that of all other disputes, especially in matters of religion, mens minds were the more inflamed and provoked.

Arminius died on the 19th of October, 1609, some time before this conference; and Grotius made his elogium in verse. He had hitherto applied little to these matters, and even, writing to Rutgersius, December 24, 1609, he ingenuously owns, he did not understand a great part of them, because they were foreign to his profession. He had no inclination to offend Gomar in commending Arminius: he speaks with great moderation of their disputes, and doth not even affirm that the sentiments of Arminius were the only true ones: but entering afterwards into a more strict examination of those points, he was convinced that the idea we ought to have of God's goodness and justice, and even the earliest tradition of the church, favoured Arminius's system, and contradicted that of Gomar: and in these sentiments he persevered till his death.

II. The partisans of Arminius, desirous to efface the bad impressions which Gomar's discourses and those of his adherents had made on the minds of the public, met privately, and drew up a Remonstrance, dated January 14, 1610, which they addressed to the States of Holland, setting forth, that they did not believe, like their adversaries.

1. "That God, by an eternal and irreversible decree, had predestinated men, whom he did not consider as created, and still less as culpable, some to everlasting life, and others to everlasting death, without regard to their good or evil actions, from his mere good pleasure, for the praise of his Mercy, or his Justice, or, as others say, to manifest his saving grace, his wisdom, and his absolute power: And that God has also, by an eternal and immutable decree, preordained the proper methods of executing his will, by which those who are predestinated to salvation are saved in a necessary and inevitable manner, so that it is impossible they should perish; and such as are predestinated to eternal death (who are the greater part of mankind) are necessarily and inevitably damned, so that they cannot be saved.

2. "That God, according to others, willing from all eternity to make a decree for electing some men and rejecting others, considered the human race not only as created, but also as fallen and corrupted in Adam and Eve our first parents, and thereby deserving of the curse; and that he resolved to deliver by his grace some men from this fall and damnation, for the manifestation of his mercy, and to leave others, both young and old, and even the children of those who are in the Covenant, and died in their infancy, by his just judgment, under the curse, for the manifestation of his justice; and this without any regard to the repentance or the faith of the first, or the impenitence and unbelief of the others. They pretend that for the execution of this decree God makes use of means by which the Elect are necessarily and inevitably saved, and the Reprobate necessarily and inevitably damned.

3. "That accordingly Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, did not die for all men, but for those alone who were chosen in the first or second manner, as he was only appointed Mediator for the salvation of the Elect, and of no others.

4. "That in consequence of this the Spirit of God and of Christ works so efficaciously in the Elect, that they cannot resist it; but must be converted, believe, and be necessarily saved: That this irresistible grace and strength is given to the Elect alone, and not to the Reprobate, to whom God not only refuses this irresistible grace, but even denies them necessary and sufficient grace for their conversion and salvation, though they be called and solicited to accept it, without compulsion, externally, by the revealed will of God; but the inward strength necessary to conversion and faith is nevertheless denied them, by the secret will of God.

5. "That those who receive true and justifying faith by this irresistible power, cannot totally or finally lose it, even when they fall into gross sins; but are guided and supported by this irresistible strength, so that they cannot totally or finally fall away, or perish."

The Arminians afterwards added their own sentiments on these matters, comprehended in five articles. They declare their belief,

1. "That God, by an eternal and immutable decree, in Jesus Christ his son, before the world was created, resolved to save in Jesus Christ, on account of Jesus Christ, and through Jesus Christ, those from among mankind fallen in sin, who by the grace of the Holy Spirit believe in his same son Jesus, and through the same grace continue in the faith and obedience to the end; and on the contrary, to leave under sin, and wrath, and to condemn the obstinate and unbelieving, as having no part in Christ; according to what is said St. John iii. 36.

2. "That accordingly Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, died for all and every man; and by his death on the cross has merited for all reconciliation with God, and remission of sin; in such manner, nevertheless, that no one can partake of them but Believers, according to the words of Jesus, St. John iii. 16. 1 St. John ii. 2.

3. "That Man hath not saving faith of himself, and by the strength of his own free will; since while in a state of sin and apostacy he cannot of himself think, desire, or do that which is truly good, which is what is chiefly meant by saving faith; but it is necessary that God in Jesus Christ, and by the Holy Spirit, regenerate and renew him in his understanding and affections, or in his will and all his powers; that he may know the true good, meditate of it, desire, and do it. St. John xv. 5. That to this grace of God is owing the beginning, the progression, and accomplishment of all good; in such manner that even the Regenerate, without this antecedent, of preventing, exciting, concomitant, and co-operating grace, cannot think that which is good, desire, or practise it, nor resist any temptation to evil; so that all the good works or actions he can conceive, spring from the grace of God: that as to what regards the manner of operation of this grace, it is not irresistible, since it is said of several, they resisted the Holy Spirit. See Acts vii, and other places.

5. "That those who by a lively faith are engrafted into Christ, and consequently made partakers of his quickening spirit, are furnished with sufficient strength to be able to combat and even overcome Satan, sin, the world, and their own lusts; and all this, as is carefully to be observed, by the assistance of the grace of the Holy Spirit; and that Jesus Christ succours them by his Spirit in all temptations, reaches to them his hand (provided they be willing to engage, ask his assistance, and are not wanting to themselves) supports and strengthens them so, that they cannot be led away by any wile or violence of Satan, or snatched out of Christ's hands, as he says himself, St. John x. My sheep shall no man pluck out of my hands. For the rest, if it be asked whether these may not, through negligence, let go the confidence which they had from the beginning, Heb. iii. 6, cleave again to the present world, depart from the holy doctrine which was delivered, make shipwreck of a good conscience? (2 Pet. i. 10. Jude iii. 1. Tim. i. 19. Heb. xii. 15.) This must be previously examined, with more care, by the Scriptures, to be able to teach it with full assurance to others."

Such is the Arminians Confession of Faith, to which they gave the name of Remonstrance, and thence were styled Remonstrants. It was drawn up by Utengobard, Minister at the Hague, and signed by forty-six Ministers. It was probably made in concert with Grotius, the intimate friend of Utengobard, and at that time wholly employed in the subjects which were disputed by the Arminians and Gomarists.

To resume in few words the doctrine of the Arminians, we shall say with Bossuet[71], their principles were, That there is no absolute election, nor gratuitous preference, by which God prepares for certain chosen persons, and for them alone, the infallible means of bringing them to glory; but that God offers to all men, and especially to those to whom the gospel is preached, sufficient means to convert themselves; which some make use of; and others not, without employing any other for the Elect, than for the Reprobate: so that election is always conditional, and a man may come short of it by failing in the condition: from whence they conclude, first, that justifying grace may be lost totally, that is, without any degree of it being left; and lost finally, that is, without its ever being recovered: secondly, that there can be no assurance of salvation.


[71] Hist. des Variations, Lib. xiv. 12. 30.

III. This remonstrance not satisfying the Gomarists, they opposed to it a contra-remonstrance, which gained them the name of Contra-Remonstrants. As these disputes gave the States a good deal of uneasiness, they enjoined the Divines to deliver their thoughts of the most proper means to put an end to them. The Remonstrants proposed a Toleration; the Contra-Remonstrants, a national Synod, in which they were sure of a majority. Both these opinions were laid before the States, who declared for a toleration: this was the cause gained to the Arminians; but the Gomarists were favoured by the People, and grew very factious. The Grand-Pensionary, imagining that by making themselves masters of the election of the ministers, the States would insensibly appease these troubles, proposed the revival of an obsolete regulation, made in the year 1591, by which the magistrates and consistory were each to nominate four persons, who should chuse a Minister, to be afterwards presented to the body of Magistrates, who might receive or reject him.

This motion was agreed to by the States, to the great mortification of the Contra-Remonstrants: they complained that the States had exceeded their power. Hence arose a grand contest who ought to be Judge in ecclesiastical matters. The Arminians said it belonged to the Civil Magistrate to decide them: the Gomarists maintained that the clergy alone had that power. They separated themselves from the communion of the Remonstrants[72], took possession of the churches by force, stirred up seditions, wrote libels, and deposed the Arminian Ministers. In other churches the Contra-Remonstrants were driven out as madmen and rioters. These violences gave rise to schisms, some joining the old Ministers, and others the new.

It was at this time of confusion Grotius was nominated Pensionary of Rotterdam, and ordered to go over into England. It is imagined[73] he had secret instructions to get the King and the principal divines of the kingdom to favour the Arminians, and approve of the States conduct. He had several conferences with his Majesty on that subject. At his return to Holland he found the divisions increased. Barnevelt and he had the direction of the States proceedings in this matter; and he was appointed to draw up an edict which might restore tranquility. It was approved by the States, and is as follows.


[72] Grot. Apolog. Cap. 9.

[73] Le Vassor, L. 4. p. 477.

IV. "Whereas great dissentions and disputes have arisen in the Churches of this Country, on occasion of different explanations of some passages of Holy Writ, which speak of Predestination and what relates to it; and these contentions having been carried on with so much heat, that some Divines have been accused of teaching directly, or at least indirectly, that God has created some men to damn them; that he has laid certain men under a necessity of sinning; that he invites some men to salvation to whom he has resolved to deny it; other Divines are also charged with believing that mens natural strength or works may operate their salvation. Now these doctrines tending to the dishonour of God and the Christian reformation, and being contrary to our sentiments, it has appeared to us highly necessary, from a regard to the honour and glory of God, and for the peace and harmony of the state, to condemn them. For these causes, after having weighed the matter, and long examined it with much conscience and circumspection, employing the authority which belongs to us as rightful Sovereign, and agreeable to the example of the Kings, Princes, and Cities which have embraced the Reformation, we have ordained, and by these presents ordain, that in the interpretation of the passages of Scripture above-mentioned every one give diligent heed to the admonition of St. Paul, who teaches that no one should desire to know more than he ought; but to think soberly, according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith; and agreeable to what the Holy Scriptures every-where set forth, that salvation is of God alone, but our destruction is of ourselves. Wherefore in the explanation of the Scripture, as often as occasion shall offer, the Pastors shall declare to the people, and instil into the minds of all under their care, that men are not indebted for the beginning, the progress, and the completion of their salvation, and even of faith, to their natural strength, or works, but to the sole grace of God in Jesus Christ our Saviour; that we have not merited it; that God has created no man to damn him; that God has not laid us under a necessity of sinning, and that he invites no man to be saved, to whom he has resolved to deny salvation. And, though in the universities, in conversation, and in those places where the Scriptures are expounded, passages may be treated of which relate to predestination and what depends on it, and it may come to pass, as hath happened formerly, and in our own times, to learned and good men, that persons may give into these extremes and absurdities which we disapprove and have forbidden; our will is, that they be not proposed publicly from the pulpit to the people. But as to those who in relation to such passages only believe and teach that God hath from all eternity chosen to salvation, from the mere motion of his will, through Jesus Christ our Saviour and Redeemer, those who by grace which they have not merited, and by the operation of the Holy Spirit, believe in Jesus Christ our Lord, and by free grace given them persevere in the faith to the end, we will that they be not molested on that account, nor pressed to embrace other sentiments, or teach other doctrine; for we judge these truths sufficient for salvation; and proper for the instruction of Christians. We moreover ordain, that all Pastors, in expounding the other articles of the Christian faith, make use of explanations agreeable to the word of God, to what is commonly received in the reformed churches, and what has been taught in those of this country, which we have maintained and protected, and now maintain and protect; that they exercise Christian charity; and that they avoid greater divisions: for in this manner, we judge, they ought to act for the good of the State and the Church, and the restoration of her tranquility."

This Edict was too favourable to the Arminians not to give great offence to the Contra-Remonstrants. They complained that it misrepresented their sentiments[74] in order to render them odious, and that not only it wanted the approbation of the Cities, but had not even been sent to them: from whence they concluded that no regard was to be paid to it.

The States were very desirous that the King of Great Britain and the English Bishops should be satisfied with the manner in which they had explained themselves in the Edict: they were the more anxious as they had reason to believe James unfavourable to the Arminians[75]. However the King, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Bishops of England allowed the doctrine of the Edict to be orthodox, and equally distant from Manicheism and Pelagianism: the only thing which gave the King some pain, was, to see the Civil Magistrate assume a right of making decrees in matters of religion[76].


[74] Vossius, Ep. 3. p. 5. Pres. Vir. Epist. p. 388.

[75] Ep. Casaub. 933. Grot. Apolog. C. 6. Ep. Gr. 28, 29.

[76] Ep. Caus. 863.

V. This Edict served but to increase the troubles, by driving the Gomarists, against whom it was levelled, into despair. The riots which had already happened, and which they hourly apprehended, made the Grand Pensionary Barnevelt propose to the States of Holland, that the magistrates of the Cities of the Province should be impowered to raise troops for the suppression of the rioters, and the security of their towns. Dort, Amsterdam, and three others of the most favourable to the Gomarists, protested against this step, which they regarded as a kind of declaration of war against the Contra-Remonstrants. Barnevelt's motion was, nevertheless, agreed to, and on the fourth of August, 1617, the States issued a placard accordingly.

This fatal decree occasioned the death of the Grand Pensionary and the ruin of Grotius, by incensing Prince Maurice of Nassau against them, who looked upon the resolution of the States, taken without his consent, as derogatory to his dignity of Governor and Captain General.

He had entertained a mortal enmity for several years against the Grand Pensionary[77], who concluded the truce in 1609 without his concurrence. Hitherto he had stifled his revenge for want of a proper opportunity of executing it; but it blazed openly on occasion of this decree of the States, which he considered as Barnevelt's act. He accused him of labouring to diminish his authority: found fault with the Edict: that was made to engage the two parties to live in peace; declared publicly for the Gomarists, assisted at divine service only in their churches, and forbad the soldiers to obey the States when they would employ them to appease the riots. Some towns, however, levied men in consequence of the States decree, whether they suspected their garrisons, or thought there was no other way to suppress the enterprises of the rioters. The Contra-Remonstrants seeing themselves powerfully protected by Prince Maurice, separated from the communion of the Arminians in 1617.


[77] Grot. Hist. l. 17.

VI. Amsterdam, almost as powerful singly as all Holland, favoured the Gomarists, and disapproved of the Toleration which the States wanted to introduce. These resolved therefore to send a Deputation to that city, in order to bring them over to their sentiments. The Deputies were Grotius, Adrian Mathenes, Hugo Musius, and Gerard Deich. April 21, 1616, they received their instructions to go to Amsterdam; on the morrow they left the Hague, and arriving the same day at Amsterdam, sent to desire the oldest Burgomaster to assemble the Town Council: they were told, the Council would meet the 23d at three in the afternoon. They employed this interval in removing a calumny spread by the Contra-Remonstrants, that they were sent to change the religion. One of the City-Secretaries waited on them to conduct them to the Council Chamber, and being come there, Grotius, as spokesman, said, "That Sovereigns had a right to watch over the proceedings of the Church; that the States had no intention but to protect the reformed religion; that they ardently desired the city of Amsterdam would agree with them in all that might relate to the government of the Church and mutual toleration; that the revival of the regulation of 1591, which gives the Magistrates a right to chuse the Ministers, after being examined and found well affected to the reformed religion, was of great service, by preventing the troubles which followed the elections; of which there were several recent instances: that mutual toleration was necessary when the difference in opinion regarded only points not fundamental; that it had always been practised by the reformed churches from the time of Calvin's reformation; that it was more necessary in the doctrine of Predestination, as this was a matter of great difficulty; that the first reformers, though of different sentiments, tolerated one another; that Bullinger and Melancton were tolerated by Beza and Calvin; that James I. King of Great Britain, had advanced in his writings, that the two opposite opinions concerning Predestination might be maintained without danger of damnation; that Gomar himself declared Arminius had not erred in fundamental points; that after the conference in 1611, the Ministers of the two parties promised to the States of Holland to live in peace; that the points controverted were not necessary to salvation, that they were very difficult, that they never had been determined, either in the ancient, or the reformed church; that the decisions of the councils held in the church on occasion of Pelagianism enjoined only a belief, that men are corrupted and have need of grace, and that the beginning of grace is from God; that even the church of Rome permitted the Doctors of different parties to dispute on these points; that it was not necessary to call a synod to examine them, because the authority of a Sovereign is sufficient in matters where only the preventing of schism for things unnecessary to salvation, is in question; that the Sovereign has a right to suppress disorders that arise in the church; that the business was not a change of religion, but the hindrance of schism; that the King of Great Britain and the Canton of Bern had justified the use of this right by examples; that if the utility of a synod to inform the Sovereign what he ought to do on such occasions should be maintained, it were easy to answer, that it is not necessary to assemble a synod to know that men must tolerate one another when their opinions differ concerning points not necessary to salvation; that this was a truth acknowledged by Calvin, Beza, Whittaker, Junius, Casaubon, Du Moulin, in fine by the most famous Ministers, whose authority is at least equivalent to that of a synod; that as the question was not about a point of heresy, there was reason to apprehend the division would be increased by calling a synod, so great was the ferment of mens minds; that, besides, the moderate party in such synod would not be the most numerous; that perhaps the Ecclesiastics would seek to diminish the sovereign authority; that they might make decisions which could not be enforced without throwing the Republic into the greatest confusion; that therefore, previous to the convocation of a synod, mens minds ought to be prepared by gentle methods; that the decree made in 1614 by the States of Holland, to which the city of Amsterdam made some difficulty of submitting, was neither partial, nor injurious to the reformed churches; that it was resolved on after mature reflexion, and was in itself agreeable to sound doctrine; that the reasonable men among the Contra-Remonstrants had nothing to apprehend, since the deposition of some Ministers was entirely owing to their attempts to introduce schism; that the Remonstrants and Contra-Remonstrants, not differing in essential points, ought to tolerate one another, and agree on what they should preach; that if a Toleration were not admitted, they must depose such as would not submit to the decision that might be given, or introduce two churches, either of which steps would trouble the State, whereas a Toleration would restore tranquility and union, and favour the assembling of an impartial synod that might labour with success to restore peace to the church."

The Senate, after hearing this Speech, made answer, that they would take it into consideration: and on the twenty-fifth of April the Burgomasters visited the Deputies, and told them, they would send to the States of Holland to acquaint them with their sentiments. Grotius, who perceived his discourse had not gained the Senate, replied, that if the Senate would mention their difficulties, the Deputies of the States would endeavour to resolve them. The Burgomasters answered, that the Senate did not intend to grant them a new audience; adding, that as there was reason to apprehend some alteration in religion, it was their opinion, that in the present circumstances a synod ought to be assembled; and that the city of Amsterdam could not receive the Edict of 1614, without endangering the Church, and risking the ruin of her trade. The Deputies wanted to answer, but were refused to be heard. Grotius drew up in writing an account of all that passed in this deputation, and presented it to the States at his return[78]. He flattered himself for a while with the hopes of some good effect from his deputation[79]: and the disappointment chagrined him so much, that he was seized with a violent fever, which had well nigh carried him off. It appeared plainly by the blood taken from him that melancholy was the occasion of his disorder. He was removed to Delft[80], where he found himself better. As he was forbid to do anything which required application, he wrote to Vossius that he was very desirous to see him for a few days, or at least a few hours; that it would be the means of restoring his health, since conversation with true friends is the best remedy against melancholy. He employed the time of his recovery in examining himself on the part he had acted in the present disputes; and the more he reflected on it, the less reason he found for blushing or repentance. He foresaw the danger he incurred; but his resolution was taken, not to change his conduct, and to refer the event to Providence.


[78] Grotius delivered his speech in Dutch. It was translated into Latin by Theodorus Schrivelius, and printed in the third tome of his theological works.

[79] Ep. 77.

[80] Ep. 83.

VII. The States of Holland, wholly employed in seeking ways to compound matters, had come to a resolution on the twenty-first of February, 1617, that certain wise and learned men should be chosen to draw up a Rule or Formula, to which the Ministers of the two parties should be obliged to conform; that nothing should be advanced in it contrary to the doctrine of the reformed Churches; that it should be shewn to Prince Maurice, and, after having his opinion, presented to the States, that they might examine what was most for God's honour, the people's safety, and the Nation's tranquillity.

In consequence of this resolution Grotius prepared a writing to be presented to Prince Maurice, importing, That the States were desirous the ministers should teach a doctrine agreeable to that of the Reformed Churches, and that those who departed from it should be proceeded against in the way of Church Censure, or even by the Civil Magistrate; that the five Articles of the Remonstrants doctrine should be examined in a Synod of Holland, and the decision carried to a Synod of all the Provinces; that previous to its meeting, the Sovereignty of each Province in things sacred should be settled; that no definition should be fixed without an unanimous content; that if they could not agree they should endeavour to convene a General Council of the Reformed Churches; that in the mean time a severe Edict be published against rioters and the authors of defamatory libels; that the ministers be charged not to treat one another abusively; that after the holding of the Council they should examine what was proper to be added to the Union of Utrecht concerning the authority of the Provinces in matters of Religion.

This project did not please the Prince: he wanted a national Synod, of which the States of Holland were afraid, because they foresaw the Contra-Remonstrants would have more power in it than the Arminians, who would consequently be condemned by it; and that instead of forwarding the peace, it would increase the confusion and disorder.

The States-General, entirely devoted to Prince Maurice, determined, in spite of the States of Holland, to convoke a national Synod in Holland itself, at Dort. The Provinces of Holland, Utrecht, and Overyssel protested against this resolution: Barnevelt was so thunderstruck by it, that he wanted to resign his place of Grand Pensionary: But Holland, who needed more than ever the counsels of such an experienced Minister, sending a Deputation to beseech him not to abandon the Republic in times of so much difficulty[81], he thought it his duty to yield to the intreaties of his masters, and resumed the functions of his office.


[81] Grotii manes, p. 78.

VIII. Prince Maurice of Nassau, however, who saw with the utmost displeasure several Cities, agreeable to the permission granted them by the particular States, levy a new Militia without his consent, engaged the States-General to write to the Provinces and Magistrates of those Cities, enjoining them to disband the new levies, which were styled the Attendant Soldiers: but the particular States, who looked on themselves as sovereigns, and the Cities, who thought themselves obliged to obey only the orders of the States of their Province, paid no attention to the Letters of the States General[82]. The Prince considering this conduct as a Rebellion, concerted with the States-General that he should march in person with the troops under his command, to get these soldiers who were levied irregularly, disbanded; that he should depose the Arminian magistrates, and turn out the Ministers of their party.

The Prince accordingly set out, accompanied by the Deputies of the States-General, in the year 1618. Beginning with the Province of Gueldres, he removed from the Senate of Nimeguen all who were known or suspected to favour Arminianism; and turned out the Ministers, obliging them instantly to leave the town. At Overyssel he met with no opposition. In Arnheim there was a numerous garrison of Attendant Soldiers; but the Prince having intelligence in the place, got into it by night: and the soldiers seeing themselves betrayed, laid down their arms. Some Senators were deposed, and the Secretary of the Council banished the City.

The States of Holland, knowing that the Prince was to treat Utrecht in the same manner, sent thither Grotius, and Hoogerbetz, Pensionary of Leyden. Their instructions bore, first that they should consider and resolve on some method of opposing the commission given by the States-General to Prince Maurice: secondly, that they should consult in what manner the union between the particular States of the Provinces might be strengthened, for their mutual aid and assistance.

The Magistrates of Utrecht, in consequence of the advices given them, doubled the guards at the gates, and armed all the militia they could assemble. Grotius and Hoogerbetz promised that the States of Holland would not abandon them on this occasion when their sovereignty was at stake: they also brought Letters from the States to the principal officers of the ordinary garrison, tending to persuade them that it was their duty to obey the States of Utrecht, who paid them, and to resist the Stadtholder.

Every thing seemed ready for enabling the city to make a vigorous resistance: the Burghers had taken up arms, and the Attendant Soldiers were posted in the principal quarters of the town. These dispositions did not divert the Prince from his design of seizing it. The old garrison, from a jealousy of the new, declared for him; this occasioned a mutiny: some of the Burghers left the interest of the city, which being unprovided of good officers, the Prince and the Deputies of the States found means to enter, and reduce it. The Prince being now master of the town, disbanded the Attendant Soldiers, made Ledenberg, Secretary of the States, and some Senators, prisoners, and turned out of their places those who had distinguished themselves by their resistance, putting in their room such as he could depend on. The States-General at the same time published an Ordonnance at the Hague for disbanding the new levies. Grotius, who was returned to Rotterdam, finding resistance would only occasion new troubles, advised the city even before receiving the Ordonnance of the States-General, to dismiss the Attendant Soldiers.


[82] La Neuvill's Hist. of Holland. B. iii. c. 5.

IX. The Prince of Orange's revenge was not yet satisfied: that was the name Maurice went by after the death of his brother Philip William, which happened at Brussels February 21, 1618. The destruction of the Grand Pensionary he had resolved on. In an extraordinary assembly of eight persons, who called themselves the States-General, he got an Ordonnance passed, without any previous information, as Grotius complained afterwards; importing, that Barnevelt, Grotius, and Hoogerbetz should be taken into custody.

Accordingly on the 29th[83] of August, 1618, as Barnevelt was in the court of the Castle of the Hague[84] returning home from the Assembly of the States of Holland, one of the Prince of Orange's guards, attended with some soldiers, commanded him, in the name of the States-General, to follow him: He was carried to a room in the Castle, and there confined. The Prince had sent to acquaint Grotius and Hoogerbetz that he wanted to speak with them: they immediately came, and were arrested.

The same day was published the following Placard: "Messieurs the States-General desire to acquaint all persons, that to avert the great peril which threatened the United Provinces, and restore and establish in the said Provinces harmony, peace, and tranquillity, they have caused to be imprisoned John de Barnevelt, Advocate-General of Holland and West Friesland, Romulus Hoogerbetz, and Hugo Grotius, it having been discovered and made manifest that they were the first authors of the insurrection at Utrecht, and of an attempt which would have been not only highly prejudicial to the country and Province, but to several other Cities. For these causes they have ordered, that the said three persons be arrested and confined in the Castle of the Hague, till they give an account of the administration of their offices." This Placard was without any signature.

A report was at the same time spread by the prisoners enemies, that Barnevelt and Grotius received money from the Spaniards to deliver up to them the United Provinces; that they took money in 1609 to conclude the truce; that they fomented the disputes in order to disunite the Provinces; and that they had engaged to introduce into Holland the public exercise of the Roman Catholic Religion.

It is said that Barnevelt had notice of the resolution taken to apprehend him; that he talked of it to his friends; and told them he was so secure in his innocence, he did not fear to take even his enemies for judges, if any should dare to attack his conduct. It was represented to him, that there were seasons of fanaticism and fury, in which innocence was sacrificed to the violence of powerful enemies: but the testimony of a good conscience hindered his attending to these remonstrances.

A few days after Grotius' arrest, his wife presented a petition, praying that she might have leave to stay with her husband till the end of the process. This grace was refused: she was not even permitted to see him; and having asked to speak to him in presence of his guards, they were so hard-hearted, as to deny even this slight favour.

Some days after these imprisonments, the Prince of Orange and the Deputies of the States-General made a tour through the towns of Holland. They had the power in their hands, and the Arminians were in the greatest consternation. The Prince met with no opposition to his designs: he deposed such magistrates as were relations or friends of the three illustrious prisoners, putting in their place others that were wholly devoted to him; and obliged some towns to receive a garrison, particularly Rotterdam. The Arminians had hitherto been the more powerful party there[85], and had excluded the Contra-Remonstrants from preaching in the great Church: but the Prince took that church from them, and gave it, with all the rest, to the Gomarists, leaving only two to the Arminians. He placed a garrison of an hundred men in the town and turned out and banished the Ministers who had distinguished themselves by their zeal for Arminianism, such as Vorstius, Utengobard, and Episcopius. Ledenberg, Secretary of Utrecht, hearing of these violences, was so terrified, that he made away with himself in prison.


[83] Du Maurier says the three prisoners were arrested the 22d of August; others assure us it was the 24th. La Neuville, Le Clerc. But it is evident from what Grotius says himself, Ep. 104, that it was the 29th.

[84] Le Clerc.

[85] Mercure François, an. 1617.

X. The warmest opposers of a National Synod being disabled from giving any further obstruction, the States-General proceeded to the holding of it. The States of Holland, who in May, 1618, had renewed their protest against the convocation of a National Synod, frightened by the violences exercised against the three illustrious prisoners, at last gave their consent; and it met at Dort.

It was opened on the fifteenth of November, 1618, in the name of the States-General, who assisted at it by their Deputies; and was composed of about seventy Contra-Remonstrants, with only fourteen Arminians. John Bogerman, Minister of Leewarden in Friesland, was chosen President, and had with him four assessors; all five declared enemies of the Arminians. On the tenth of December the Remonstrants brought in a long Writing, containing their reasons for not acknowledging the Synod, as being an illegal assembly where the parties made themselves Judges, contrary to the laws of equity and the Canons of the Church. They further shewed, that most of those who composed the pretended synod were guilty of the schism complained of; that it was publickly notorious they were their declared enemies, and consequently incompetent judges. They afterwards proposed twelve conditions, without which they could not acknowledge the authority of the Synod, nor submit to any of its decisions. This paper put the Synod into a very ill humour. Next day the Arminians giving in a protest, it was censured, and a decree of the Deputies of the States-General ordered that the Synod should proceed, without regarding the protest.

The Arminians wanted to leave Dort; but an order from the States-General obliged them to stay. Their five articles were condemned; and Episcopius and the other Arminian ministers deposed, and declared guilty of corrupting religion, breaking the unity of the Church, and occasioning great scandal. The Synod's sentence was approved by the States-General on the second of July, 1619. The same day the Arminian Ministers who had been detained at Dort, were banished, or imprisoned: they were deprived of their employments, and the effects of several were confiscated. They continued to assert the irregularity of this Council; and the Bishop of Meaux observes, that they employed the same arguments which the Protestants use against the Roman-Catholics concerning the Council of Trent.

XI. The Prisoners were not brought to their trial till after the rising of the Synod of Dort. Their confinement had caused great murmuring in the Province of Holland: for not only all honest men were persuaded of their innocence; but it was also evident that the sovereignty of the province of Holland had been openly violated. On the 29th of August, 1618, under the first surprise that an event of this nature must occasion, when it was mentioned in the Assembly of the States-General, the Deputies of the Province of Holland expressed great concern; they complained the rights of Holland had been invaded; adding, that they would ask their constituents what was to be done in such a melancholy and singular occurrence. The City of Rotterdam and some others made loud complaints: They acknowledged that if the three Prisoners were guilty of treason, or of unlawful correspondence with the Spaniards, they ought to be prosecuted; but maintained that they could not be legally tried but by the States of Holland, who alone were their Sovereigns. The Prince of Orange and the States-General found no way of putting a stop to the opposition of such Magistrates as were zealous for their Country, or friends to the Prisoners, but by deposing them. Nothing now remained to obstruct the Prince of Orange in his projects of revenge: The States of Holland, not being in a situation to hinder these violences, unwillingly left the management of this affair to the States-General: but were so much persuaded of the injustice done them, and the invasion made on their Sovereignty, that in the end of January 1619[86], notwithstanding the change of Deputies, they passed a Decree, importing that what had been done in the imprisonment of the Grand Pensionary, and the Pensionaries of Rotterdam and Leyden, should not be made a precedent for the future.

The States-General, desirous of making an end of this affair, on the nineteenth of November, 1618, nominated twenty-six Commissioners, chosen from among the Nobility and Magistrates of the Seven Provinces, who were ordered to repair to the Hague to try the Prisoners. The Decree appointing these Judges mentioned that the Accused were taken into custody to secure the tranquillity of the Republic, to hinder the ruin of Religion and the destruction of the Union, and prevent disturbance and bloodshed: they were represented as ambitious men, who sought by secret practices to embroil the State: And to give some appearance of satisfaction to Holland, it was said in the Decree, that the States-General had issued it without prejudice to the rights of the Provinces. Care was taken to chuse for Judges the declared enemies of the Prisoners. Barnevelt objected to them; representing that he could not be tried by the States-General: but no regard was paid to his exceptions. Thus he was obliged to answer before incompetent judges, who were notoriously known to have sworn his ruin. He entered a protest, that his answering before them should not be construed an approbation of their infringement of the jurisdiction of Holland.

In fine, after many iniquitous steps, which will be more particularly mentioned in Grotius' trial, Barnevelt was condemned to be beheaded. The principal grounds[87] of his condemnation were, That he had disturbed religion; that he had advanced that each Province in its own jurisdiction might decide in matters of religion, without the other Provinces having a right to take cognizance of it; that he diverted the King of France from sending the Reformed ministers of his Kingdom to the Synod of Dort; preferred the interests of the particular States of Holland and West Friesland to those of the States-General; made use of the name of the States of Holland and West Friesland for holding conventicles and unlawful assemblies; occasioned the insurrection at Utrecht; authorised the levying of the Attendant Soldiers; slandered Prince Maurice, accusing him of aspiring to the sovereignty of the United Provinces; and that he received large sums from foreign Princes, which he concealed from the State.


[86] Grotius, Apology, c. 15.

[87] La Neuville, lib. 3. c. 16.

XII. Lewis XIII. who had an affection for the United Provinces, with which he was connected by their common interest, beheld the domestic troubles of Holland with concern. The Prisoners, especially Barnevelt, whose merit was well known at the Court of France, were held by him in particular esteem. When he heard of their arrest he nominated Thumeri de Boissise his Ambassador extraordinary to Holland, ordering him to repair thither, immediately, and join Du Maurier the Ambassador in ordinary, in soliciting the States-General in favour of the Accused, and labouring to restore the public tranquillity.

December 12, 1618, they presented to the States-General a Writing from the King, asking that the prisoners might have justice done them; that their judges might be persons impartial and dispassionate; that the States would rather chuse mild, than rigorous measures: "And, said the Ministers, his Majesty will take for a high offence the little regard you pay to his counsels, his prayers, and his friendship, which for the future will be as much cooled as it was heretofore warm in your interest."

The States made answer on the nineteenth of December following, that they would act with all the lenity and clemency which justice and the safety of the State would permit; and that they hoped the King would leave it to their prudence.

The French Ambassadors continued their solicitations[88]; but the answer made them March 23, 1619, must have left them no hope: it represented the Prisoners as turbulent men, suspected of very heinous crimes, and almost convicted of conspiring against the Republic, and projecting and attempting to destroy the Union and the State. This answer was certainly concerted with Prince Maurice, who was highly offended that the King of France should interest himself so much to save men whom he looked on as his declared enemies. Boissise quitted Holland, leaving Du Maurier alone to act in favour of the Accused. On Monday morning, May 13, 1619, the Ambassador was informed, that sentence had been passed the Day before, and that Barnevelt was to be executed that day. He went immediately to the Assembly of the States to get the execution suspended, but was refused audience: he wrote to the States, conjuring them by the regard they ought to have for the King his master, not to spill the blood of a Minister who had served them so faithfully; and, if they would not pardon him, to confine him to one of his country houses, his friends being bound for him; or banish him the country for ever. This Letter had no effect: their resolution was taken to destroy him. When the Grand Pensionary was informed of his sentence, he seemed less moved at it, than for the fate of Grotius and Hoogerbetz: he asked if they also were to die? adding, It would be great pity: they are still able to do great service to the Republic. The scaffold for his execution was erected in the court of the Castle at the Hague, facing the Prince of Orange's apartments. He made a short speech to the people, which is preserved in the Mercure François: "Burghers, said he, I have been always your faithful countryman: believe not that I die for treason; but for maintaining the Rights and Liberties of my Country." After this Speech the executioner struck off his head at one blow. It is affirmed that the Prince of Orange, to feast himself with the cruel pleasure of seeing his enemy perish, beheld the execution with a glass. The people looked on it with other eyes: for many came to gather the sand wet with his blood, to keep it carefully in phials: and the croud of those who had the same curiosity continued next day, notwithstanding all they could do to hinder them.

Thus fell that great Minister, who did the United Provinces as much service in the cabinet, as the Princes of Orange did in the field. It is highly probable that the melancholy end of this illustrious and unfortunate man, to whom the Dutch are partly indebted for their liberty, was owing to his steadiness in opposing the design of making Prince Maurice Dictator. But this is a question discussed by several writers[89], and foreign to our subject.

The French ministry discovered no resentment at the little attention paid by the States General to Lewis's solicitations. There is reason to think Barnevelt would have met with less cruel treatment, or at least that France would not have passed it over so easily, had Cardinal Richelieu, who was soon after Prime Minister, been then in place: for a book[90] ascribed to him censures the conduct of Messieurs de Luines, who were in power at that time, with regard to this affair.


[88] Apology, c. 15.

[89] See Du Maurier, Le Vassor, La Neuville, Le Clerc.

[90] Hist. de la mere & du fils, t. 2. p. 380.

XIII. Grotius's trial did not come on till five days after Barnevelt's execution. September 3, 1618, the fourth day after he was arrested, the Burgomasters of Rotterdam presented a petition to the Prince of Orange[91], setting forth, that they had heard with great grief that Grotius, Counsellor and Pensionary of Rotterdam, being at the Hague at the assembly of the States, was arrested by order of the States General; and representing to his Excellency that it was a breach of privilege, by which no Deputy could be arrested during the sitting of the States; and as they stood in need of Grotius's assistance and counsels, praying that he, as Governor of Holland and West-Friesland, would prevail with the States General to set him at liberty, and put him in the same situation he was in before his imprisonment, promising to guard him at Rotterdam or elsewhere, that he might be forthcoming to answer any charge brought against him by the States General. The Prince gave only for answer, that the affair concerned the States General. Their petition having had no effect, on the 10th of September, 1618, the city of Rotterdam sent a deputation to the States of Holland, praying that Grotius and the other persons accused might be tried according to the custom of the country. But the States themselves were under oppression.

Grotius's wife petitioned[92] for leave to continue with her husband whilst his cause was depending; but this favour was denied her. On his falling ill, she again pressed to be allowed to visit him, they had the cruelty to hinder her: she offered not to speak to him but in presence of his guards; this was also refused. Thus all the time of his confinement at the Hague, no one was permitted to see him, even when he lay dangerously ill.

We may judge to what length his enemies carried their blindness and fury, by the following passage related by Selden[93]. When Grotius was arrested, some who bore him ill-will, prevailed with Carleton, Ambassador from Great Britain at the Hague, to make a complaint against his book Of the Freedom of the Ocean: the Ambassador was not ashamed to maintain that the States ought to make an example of him, to prevent others from defending an opinion that might occasion a misunderstanding between the two nations. Carleton and his advisers were the dupes of this contemptible step: the States General paid no regard to his complaint. The proposal was shameful in itself. Could they think that it would be made a crime in Grotius to have written a book, dictated by his love to his country, and deserving a recompence from the States to whom it had been of great use in the dispute with England concerning the right of navigation?

At the first examination which Grotius underwent, he answered[94] that he was of the Province of Holland, Minister of a city of Holland; that he had been arrested on the territories of Holland; that he acknowledged no judges but that province, and was ready to justify all he had done. He maintained that the States General had no jurisdiction over him, and consequently could not nominate his Judges. He alledged also the privilege of the citizens of Rotterdam and demanded permission to set forth his reasons before the States of Holland and the States General; and that the validity of his objections might be determined by Judges of Holland. All these things were denied him. They insisted that he should plead: he protested against this violence; but this did not hinder them from proceeding against him, in contempt of all forms. He had been allowed the use of pen and ink[95], but, after his first examination, they were taken away.

The rigour and injustice, with which he and the other prisoners were treated, are scarce conceivable. He tells us, that when they knew they were bad, they chose that time to examine them; that they did not give them liberty to defend themselves; that they threatened, and teazed them to give immediate answers; and that they would not read over to them their examinations. Grotius having asked leave to write his defence, they allowed him for that purpose only five hours, and one sheet of paper. He was always persuaded, that if he would own he had transgressed, and ask pardon, they would set him at liberty: but as he had nothing to reproach himself with, he would never take any step that might infer consciousness of guilt. His wife, his father, brother, and friends approved of this resolution[96].

On the 18th of May, 1619, the Commissioners pronounced sentence against him, which we shall give at length.

"Whereas[97] Hugo Grotius, who was Pensionary of the Magistrates of Rotterdam, and at present a prisoner before the Commissaries appointed by the States General to try him, has acknowledged without being put to the torture.

That he ventured to endeavour to overturn religion, to oppress and afflict the Church of God, and for that end advanced heinous things pernicious to the Republic, particularly, that each Province has singly a right to decree in matters of religion, and that the others ought not to take cognizance of the disputes which arise on this subject in a particular province; that against order, and the custom of the reformed churches, he endeavoured to get opinions received which are contrary to the doctrine of those churches, without being sufficiently examined; that he opposed the convocation of a National Synod in the name of the States General, though it was judged by the King of Great Britain, Prince Maurice, the majority of the nation, and the principal persons of the province of Holland, a necessary and certain remedy for the disorders which had crept into religion; that he advanced the convening a synod would be prejudicial to the right of sovereignty belonging to the province of Holland, unless the whole or the greater part of the province would consent to it.

That he held private meetings with the Deputies of some towns, with design to procure a majority in the assembly of the States of Holland.

That without the orders of the States of Holland, Utrecht, and Overyssel, he ventured to make an act in the name of those provinces, in the house of John Barnevelt, protesting against what the Deputies of the other provinces might do, and declaring they would be the cause of the disorders that the Synod might produce; which act he read in the assembly of the States of Holland without being required, and carried it to the assembly of the States-General.

That he made eight Deputies of the cities send back the letter of the States-General for the convocation of the Synod.

That he wrote to the King of France in the name of the States of Holland, informing him that the name of the States-General was falsly made use of in the Letters for convoking the Synod, and desiring his Majesty not to suffer his subjects to attend the Synod, and to protect Holland against the other provinces.

That, by the counsel of Barnevelt, he bestirred himself to get Ministers to come to the Synod who were of the new opinion.

That he embroiled the Republic in order to get every thing passed according to his fancy and caprice.

That he assisted in so far changing the form of government, that those who complained of oppression were not admitted to be heard, and the Magistrates of cities disobeyed the orders they received.

That by the advice of John Barnevelt he held private meetings with the Deputies of some towns, whose deliberations were carried to the States of Holland, to serve for the model of their resolutions.

That he was concerned in the odious decree of the 4th of August, 1617, permitting the cities of Holland to raise new troops for their defence, and to require of them an oath of fidelity to those cities.

That he gave it as his opinion, the city of Rotterdam should raise those soldiers.

That he also advised the city of Delft to raise them; that he wanted to lay the expence of these new levies on the Generality.

That he asserted these new soldiers were not obliged to obey the States-General, if their orders were contrary to those of the cities.

That he sent back the French auxiliaries in order to employ the money assigned for their subsistance in paying the new soldiers.

That he pretended these soldiers ought to serve even against the States-General and against Prince Maurice.

That he wanted to prevail with the cities to make a new union.

That he held conferences with a foreign Ambassador.

That he was concerned in the deputation sent to the Brille to oppose Prince Maurice.

That, on the 14th of May, 1618, he made an act with eight Deputies of cities, by virtue of which they were permitted to oppose what the States-General might do for accelerating the holding of the Synod; which act they wanted to get approved by the States of Utrecht; that he endeavoured to divert the Deputies of Utrecht from disbanding their new troops agreeable to the intention of the States of that province, by promising them assistance.

That he accused the States-General, as well as Prince Maurice, of evil designs.

That he maintained, they ought to be resisted, and the revenue and forces of the State employed against them.

That he said the disbanding the new soldiers would increase the boldness of the Disaffected, and the disorders in the State; that the ordinary troops were not sufficient; that the members of the province of Holland would abundantly succour such as did not obey the States-General; that he suffered himself to be deputed to Utrecht to offer his assistance to the States and the City; that this deputation was ordered only by a few Nobles, three Deputies of Cities, and some Deputies to the States of Holland, who had no instructions on that subject from their Constituents.

That his acknowledged design, and that of those deputed to Utrecht, was to engage the States to require the ordinary soldiers to obey the States of Utrecht, in prejudice of the obedience due to the States-General.

That he carried Letters of Barnevelt, which had not been read in the assembly of the States of Holland, declaring, that the soldiers ought to obey the States, and oppose whatever might be done against them.

That he had combined with Ledemberg in the measures to be taken for preventing the new soldiers from being disbanded by the States of Utrecht.

That he spoke against the States-General and against Prince Maurice in the assembly of the States of Utrecht; that he assisted the States of Utrecht in preparing their answer to Prince Maurice and the States General, by which they refused to acknowledge these Deputies as sent by the States-General, though they were in fact; that he held a conference with the Bailly of the city of Utrecht on the measures to be taken for resisting Prince Maurice if he should come to Utrecht to disband the new soldiers; and that he endeavoured to prevail with the States of Utrecht to have recourse to open force on this occasion.

That he wanted to make the ordinary garrison oppose the Deputies of the States-General when their orders were contrary to those of the States of Utrecht; threatening to stop their pay if they did otherwise.

That he advised the Bailly of Utrecht to obey only the Deputies of Holland or the States of Utrecht.

That he conferred with the said Bailly on the means of hindering Prince Maurice from introducing soldiers into Utrecht; which might have occasioned much bloodshed in the city, and put the Prince and the Republic in the greatest danger; and which gave rise to dissentions and new treaties, contrary to the union of the provinces: whence the public order in Church and State was disturbed, the finances of the State exhausted, divisions arose between the States-General and the Provinces, and the union was on the point of being broke.

For these causes the Judges appointed to try this affair, administring justice in the name of the States-General, condemn the said Hugo Grotius to perpetual imprisonment; and to be carried to the place appointed by the States-General, there to be guarded with all precaution, and confined the rest of his days; and declare his estate confiscated. Hague, May 18, 1619."

Grotius, who enters into an examination of this sentence, charges it with many falsities: he maintains[98] that it makes him say several things which he constantly denied: and that he never acknowledged himself guilty. What is mentioned in the sentence concerning the deputation to Utrecht, he shews to be palpably false[99]. On the 20th of July, 1618, he acquaints us, certain Deputies to the States of Holland wanted to go home; that the assembly was summoned for the 24th; that some Deputies were indeed absent that day, but the Curators of the Republic of those Cities, agreeable to the order they had received, supplied their place; that the assembly was composed of the Deputies of Harlem, Delft, Leyden, Amsterdam, Goude, Rotterdam, Alcmaër, and the Nobles; that the Deputies of the other cities were summoned; that their absence could not stay the proceedings of the rest; that, excepting the Deputies of Amsterdam, all the others agreed to the deputation sent to Utrecht; that it was thrice approved; and that the Deputies at their return received the thanks of the States, who defrayed the expence of their journey.

Grotius complains that he was not examined on the tenth part of the facts specified in his sentence, that his examination was not read over to him; in fine, that he was no ways reprehensible, since in all he did, he exactly followed the orders of the States of Holland, or those of the city of Rotterdam[100], as the States and the City allowed; and that if he was to be tried, it ought to be by Judges of Rotterdam, according to the privileges of that city. Hoogerbetz was also condemned to perpetual banishment. The body of Ledemberg, Secretary of the States of Utrecht, who, as hath been said, put an end to his life in gaol, was affixed in the coffin to a gibbet. Moerbergen, Counsellor of Utrecht, had only his country-house, for his prison, because, suffering himself to be moved by the tears of his wife and children, he made a kind of submission bordering on those which they wanted to draw from Hoogerbetz and Grotius.

The Judges who condemned them were so ignorant of the laws, that they decreed penalties which are only enacted against persons convicted of high treason, yet omitted mentioning in the sentence that Grotius was guilty of that crime. They were told of this irregularity, and saw they were in the wrong: to remedy it, they declared, a whole year after the trial, without rehearing the cause, that their intention was to condemn Grotius and his accomplices as guilty of high-treason; which step was the more irregular[101], as delegated judges cannot, by law, add to their sentence after it is passed. This addition deprived Grotius's wife of the liberty of redeeming, at a moderate price, her husband's estate; a privilege which the law allows in all cases but those of treason. His estate was therefore confiscated: but by this he was no great loser. At that time he was very far from being rich: his father being alive, what properly belonged to him was only the savings of his salary and his wife's fortune.


[91] Hug. Grotii votum, p. 664.

[92] Apol. c. 13.

[93] Mare clausum l. 1. p. 198.

[94] Apol. c. 15.

[95] Apol. c. 13.

[96] Ibid. c. 16.

[97] Ibid. c. 19.

[98] Dedication of his Apology.

[99] Apol. c. 13. 17.

[100] Hug. Grotii votum, p. 669.

[101] Ep. Gr. 161.

XIV. In consequence of the sentence passed against Grotius, the States-General ordered him to be carried from the Hague to the fortress of Louvestein near Gorcum in South Holland, at the point of the island formed by the Vahal and the Meuse; which was done on the 6th of June, 1619; and twenty-four sols per day assigned for his maintenance, and as much for Hoogerbetz: but their wives declared they had enough to support their husbands, and that they chose to be without an allowance which they looked on as an affront. Grotius' father asked permission to see his son; but was denied. They consented to admit his wife into Louvestein, but if she came out, she was not to be suffered to go back. In the sequel it was granted her that she might come abroad twice a week.

Grotius became now more sensible than ever of the advantages men derive from a love of the Sciences. Exile and captivity, the greatest evils that can befal Ministers of ordinary merit, restored to him that tranquillity to which he had been for some years a stranger. Study became his business and consolation. From the time he was a prisoner at the Hague[102], whilst he had the use of pen and ink, he employed himself in writing a Latin piece on the means of accommodating the present disputes. This treatise was presented to Prince Maurice; but it did not mollify the indignation he had conceived against the Remonstrants. Grotius maintained in it, as he had done often before, that notwithstanding difference of opinion in some points relating to grace and predestination, a mutual toleration ought to take place, and no separation be made.

We have still several of his letters written from Louvestein, which acquaint us in what manner he spent his time. He gave Vossius an account of his studies. In the first of those Letters, without date, he observes to him that he had resumed the study of the Law, which had been long interrupted by his multiplicity of business; that the rest of his time he devoted to the study of Morality; which had led him to translate all the Maxims of the Poets collected by Stobæus, and the fragments of Menander and Philemon. He likewise purposed to extract from the Comic and Tragic Authors of Greece what related to Morality, and was omitted by Stobæus, and to translate it into free verse, like that of the Latin Comic writers. With regard to his translation of the fragments of the Greek Tragic authors, he intended that the verses of his Latin translation should resemble those of the original, excepting in the chorus's, which he would put into the verse that best suited him. He was in doubt whether he ought to print these additions with Stobæus, and asks Vossius's opinion whether he should place them at the end, or entirely new-mould that collection. Sundays he employed in reading treatises on the truth of the Christian religion, and even spent some of his spare hours in this study: on other days, when his ordinary labour was over, he meditated some work in Flemish on religion. The subject which he liked best at that time was Christ's love to mankind: he no doubt intended to confute the extravagant opinions of the Gomarists. He purposed also to write a Commentary on the Sermon on the mount.

Time seemed to pass very fast amidst these several projects. December 15, 1619, he writes Vossius, that the Muses, which were always his delight, even when immersed in business, were now his consolation, and appeared more amiable than ever. He wrote some short Notes on the New Testament: these he intended to send to Erpenius, who was projecting a new edition of it; but a fit of illness obliged him to lay them aside[103]. When he was able to resume his studies, he composed in Dutch verse his treatise Of the Truth of the Christian Religion, and sent it to Vossius; who thought some places of it obscure. It makes no mention of the Trinity or Incarnation, because, the authority and authenticity of the sacred Books once proved, these great points ought to be held demonstrated. Those who since Grotius have written against infidelity with greatest success, have followed his example. Sacred and profane authors employed him alternately. In the end of the year 1620[104] he promises his brother to send him his observations on Seneca's Tragedies: These he had written at Vossius's desire[105]. He acknowledges his conjectures are sometimes very bold; but is not so attached to them, but he will submit them to Vossius, and leaves them entirely to him. We have seen that Du Maurier employed his best offices for Barnevelt and Grotius. From the time they were arrested all correspondence between the Ambassador and Grotius was probably cut off till the beginning of 1621; for it is not till the fifteenth of January that year, he returns him his thanks[106]. He says it is impossible for him to express his obligations to the Most Christian King, to his wife Council, and to Du Maurier in particular, for the pains they took to assist him in his misfortunes; that tho' their intentions had not the effect which might have been hoped for, it gave him great consolation to find persons of such importance interest themselves in his troubles. He calls his conscience, as the judge he most respected, to witness, that all he intended was the prevention of schism; that he never had a thought of making any innovation in the Republic; that he only purposed the supporting the rights of his Sovereigns, without invading the legal authority of the States-General; that such as were in the secret of affairs knew that his whole crime was refusing to comply with the caprices of those who wanted to rule according to their fancies; and that he chose rather to lose his estate and his health, than to ask pardon for a fault he had never committed.

Du Maurier losing his lady about this time, Grotius writes him, February 27, 1621, a very handsome consolatory letter, in which he deduces with great eloquence every ground of support that Philosophy and Religion can suggest in that melancholly event. The only method he took to unbend and recreate himself, was to go from one work to another. He translated the Phoenissæ of Euripides: wrote his Institutions of the Laws of Holland in Dutch: and composed some short Instructions for his daughter Cornelia[107] in the form of a Catechism, and in Flemish verse, containing an hundred and eighty-five Questions and Answers: it was printed at the Hague in 1619. The author afterwards translated it into the same number of Latin verses for the use of his son: it is added in the later editions of his Poems. He wrote also, while under confinement, a Dialogue in Dutch verse between a father and a son, on the necessity of silence, explaining the use and abuse of Speech, and shewing the advantages of taciturnity. In fine, he collected, when in prison, the materials of his Apology[108].


[102] Apolog. Pref.

[103] Ep. 126.

[104] Ep. 23. p. 761.

[105] Ep. 132.

[106] Ep. 133.

[107] Mem. Litt. de la Gr. Bretagne, t. xi. p. 66.

[108] Ep. 144.

XV. Grotius had been above eighteen months shut up in Louvestein, when, on the eleventh of January, 1621[109], Muys-van-Holi, his declared enemy, who had been one of his judges, informed the States-General, that he had advice from good hands their prisoner was seeking to make his escape: some persons were sent to Louvestein to examine into this matter; but notwithstanding all the enquiry that could be made, they found no reason to believe that Grotius had laid any plot to get out.

His wife however was wholly employed in contriving how to set him at liberty. He had been permitted[110] to borrow books of his friends, and when he had done with them, they were carried back in a chest with his foul linen, which was sent to Gorcum, a town near Louvestein, to be washed. The first year his guards were very exact in examining the chest when it went from Louvestein; but being used to find in it only books and linen, they grew tired of searching, and did not take the trouble to open it. Grotius' wife observing their negligence, purposed to take advantage of it. She represented to her husband that it was in his power to get out of prison when he pleased, if he would put himself in the chest that carried his books. However, not to endanger his health, she caused holes to be bored opposite to the part where his face was to be, to breathe at; and made him try if he could continue shut up in that confined posture as long as it would require to go from Louvestein to Gorcum. Finding it might be done, she resolved to seize the first favourable opportunity.

It soon offered. The Commandant of Louvestein[111] going to Heusden to raise recruits, Grotius' wife made a visit to his lady, and told her in conversation, that she was desirous of sending away a chest full of books, for her husband was so weak, it gave her great uneasiness to see him study with such application. Having thus prepared the Commandant's wife, she returned to her husband's apartment, and in concert with a valet and a maid, who were in the secret, shut him up in the chest. At the same time, that people might not be surprised at not seeing him, she spread a report of his being ill. Two soldiers carried the chest: one of them, finding it heavier than usual, said, There must be an Arminian in it: this was a kind of proverb that had lately come into use. Grotius' wife, who was present, answered with great coldness, There are indeed Arminian books in it. The chest was brought down on a ladder, with great difficulty. The soldier insisted on its being opened, to see what was in it; he even went and informed the Commandant's wife that the weight of the chest gave him reason to think there was something suspicious contained in it, and that it would be proper to have it opened. She would not; whether it was that she was willing to wink at the thing, or through negligence: she told him that Grotius' wife had assured her there was nothing but books in it; and that they might carry it to the boat. It is affirmed that a soldier's wife who was present, said there was more than one example of prisoners making their escape in boxes. The chest however was put into the boat, and Grotius' maid, who was in the secret, had orders to go with it to Gorcum, and put it into a house there. When it came to Gorcum, they wanted to put it on a sledge; but the maid telling the boatman there were some brittle things in it, and begging of him to take care how it was carried, it was put on a horse, and brought by two chairmen to David Dazelaer's, a friend of Grotius, and brother-in-law to Erpenius, having married his sister[112]. When every body was gone, the maid opened the chest. Grotius had felt no inconvenience in it, though its length was not above three feet and a half. He got out, dressed himself like a mason, with a rule and a trowel, and went by Dazelaer's back-door, through the market-place to the gate that leads to the river, and stept into a boat which carried him to Valvic in Brabant. At this place he made himself known to some Arminians; and hired a carriage to Antwerp, taking the necessary precautions not to be known by the way: it was not the Spaniards he feared, for there was then a truce between them and the United Provinces. He alighted at Antwerp at the house of Nicholas Grevincovius, who had been formerly a Minister at Amsterdam; and made himself known to no body but him. It was on the 22d of March, 1621, that Grotius thus recovered his liberty.

In the mean time it was believed at Louvestein that he was ill; and to give him time to get off, his wife gave out that his illness was dangerous; but as soon as she learnt by the maid's return that he was in Brabant, and consequently in safety, she told the guards, the bird was flown. They informed the Commandant, by this time returned from Heusden, who hastened to Grotius's wife, and asked her where she had hid her husband? She answered he might search for him: but being much pressed and even threatened, she confessed that she had caused him to be carried to Gorcum in the book chest: and that she had done no more than kept her word to him, to take the first opportunity of setting her husband at liberty. The Commandant in a rage went immediately to Gorcum, and acquainting the Magistrate with his prisoner's escape, both came to Dazelaer's, where they found the empty chest. On his return to Louvestein the Commandant confined Grotius's wife more closely: but presenting a petition to the States-General, April 5, 1621, praying that she might be discharged, and Prince Maurice, to whom it was communicated, making no opposition, the majority were for setting her at liberty. Some indeed voted for detaining her a prisoner; but they were looked on as very barbarous, to want to punish a woman for an heroic action. Two days after presenting the petition, she was discharged, and suffered to carry away every thing that belonged to her in Louvestein. Grotius continued some time at Antwerp. March 30, he wrote to the States-General that in procuring his liberty he had employed neither violence nor corruption with his keepers; that he had nothing to reproach himself with in what he had done; that he gave those counsels which he thought best for appeasing the troubles that had arisen before he was concerned in public business; that he only obeyed the Magistrates of Rotterdam his masters, and the States of Holland his sovereigns; and that the persecution he had suffered would never diminish his love to his Country, for whose prosperity he heartily prayed.

Grotius's escape exercised the pens of the most famous poets of that period. Barlæus wrote some very good verses on it[113]: and also celebrated his wife's magnanimity[114]. Rutgersius composed a poem on his imprisonment, in which he places the day of his arrest among the most unfortunate for the Republic[115]. Grotius himself wrote some verses on his happy deliverance, which were translated into Flemish by the famous poet John Van Vondel. He made also some lines on the chest to which he owed his liberty, and in the latter part of his life was at great pains to recover it[116].

Henry Dupuis, a learned man settled at Louvain, being informed that Grotius was at Antwerp, sent him a very handsome letter, to signify to him the share he took in the general joy of all good men, and offered him his house, and all that a true friend could give[117]: but Grotius chose rather to come to France, agreeable to the advice of Du Maurier and the President Jeannin; the latter assuring him he might depend on the King's protection, the esteem of men of the greatest consideration, and his friendship.

But previous to the account of his journey to Paris it will be proper to say something of the writings that appeared relating to the disputes which divided the church and state.

Among the Ministers who opposed the Arminians Sibrand Lubert was one of the most zealous and in greatest reputation. This man was a Professor in the university of Francker: he wrote against Worstius, who was suspected of Socinianism; and insinuated that the States of Holland favoured that heresy. He also complained of their renewing the law of 1591, concerning the election of ministers, and their opposing the convocation of a National Synod. The States, incensed at his presumption, employed Grotius to write their Apology, which he published in 1613.

In this work he undertakes to shew that the Arminians have very different sentiments on grace from the Pelagians; that they join with the Greek and many Latin Fathers in their opinion about Predestination; that the Reformed did not always entertain such rigid sentiments, particularly Melancton, inferior to none in learning or piety; that since the rise of the disputes Arminius and Gomar had declared in writing, there was no difference between them in fundamentals; that after the dispute of those two Divines in presence of the States, it was determined that the two opinions might be tolerated; that since the death of Arminius twelve Ministers of the two parties having been heard, the States recommended to them mutual toleration and charity.

He afterwards proves that the Synod was not necessary; that it could be of little use, because mens minds were too much inflamed; that as it could not be assembled in the present circumstances, it belonged to the States to find out ways of accommodating these disputes, which did not regard fundamental articles; and that Socinus had no defenders in Holland. He afterwards treats of the power which he ascribes to the Sovereign in matters ecclesiastic, and his authority in convoking Councils. He says the Sovereign has a right to judge in Synods, either in person or by his commissioners, and to judge Synods themselves; in proof of which he advances what passed in the first Councils; and regards as acts of jurisdiction and examination all that has been done by Princes for maintaining good order and polity. He is of opinion that public acts, even those which regard the doctrine of the Church, ought to proceed only from the Prince: he relates what Princes have done, at the solicitation of Bishops, for the assembling of Councils, as proofs of the Sovereign's authority over Councils; and omits nothing in antiquity that favours the authority of the Civil Magistrate in matters ecclesiastical, and especially in what regards elections: he shews that too much precaution, cannot be taken against the presumption of the reformed Ministers, who want to intermeddle with State Affairs, bringing with them their caprices and passions. "Upon the whole (he says in the conclusion) the more I read Church history, the more evident it appears to me, that the evils we complain of are the same which have been complained of in all past ages."

This account of the work is sufficient to shew that the author, with much erudition, was strangely misled: if the proofs he makes use of are susceptible of different interpretations, he has not sufficiently unravelled their ambiguity and intent. It was received with great satisfaction by the Magistrates of Holland[118]: and the States returned him public thanks on the 31st of October, 1613, in very honorable terms. Casaubon[119] and Vossius[120] speak of this book with the highest commendation: but the Gomarists were greatly dissatisfied with it[121]. Bogerman wrote some notes on it, serving to confute it; which were suppressed. Sibrand's friends complained that the author had dipt his pen in gall, and not in ink: and Sibrand himself wrote an answer, to which Grotius replied in some short remarks, exposing the false citations, the errors, and abusive language of his adversary.

Sibrand's work was condemned by the States: but five years after, June 28, 1618, on the imprisonment of Grotius, the States revoked the condemnation. Grotius's desire to bring about an union of sentiments led him, in 1613, while in England, to compose a small treatise, entitled, A Reconciliation of the different Opinions on Predestination and Grace. This piece contains a display of the Arminian system, which he endeavours to place in the most favourable light[122].

The Edict which Grotius prepared by desire of the States[123], ordering the two parties to tolerate each other, having been warmly attacked by the Contra-Remonstrants, Grotius reprinted it, with a collection of passages justifying it against their censures. He afterwards wrote a defence of that decree, in which he complains of the schismatical spirit of the Gomarists; proves that the States did all that depended on them to reconcile mens minds: maintains, against an anonymous writer, to whom he gives the name of Lucifuga, that it is false the Remonstrants gave the draught of that Edict; asserts, on the contrary, that several things are omitted in it, which they wished to be inserted, and which had even an appearance of reason and justice; and sets forth the moderation and equity of the Edict upon the whole. Grotius did not finish this work; but on occasion of the dispute concerning the power of Sovereigns in things sacred; he composed a very considerable treatise. He had already handled this subject in a tract on the Piety of the States of Holland: he examines it more thoroughly in this, proceeding on the same principles. It is certain that this book may be read with some profit[124], that it contains many curious things, but some others also that are very bold, and very false. Such as are acquainted with the just rights of the two powers will never grant to Grotius, that the Sovereign has a right to judge in councils, to alter their decisions, and to depose the Ministers of the Church. Most of the proofs on which he builds consist of ambiguous passages, which he strains to his opinion by forced explanations. This work discovers rather the great lawyer, than the exact divine; and, what is singular, the author is afraid he has not granted enough to the Civil Magistrate, and been too favourable to the claims of the Clergy. He knew, however, that it would not please the King of Great Britain; and the Bishops of that kingdom were of opinion he had given too much authority to the Secular Power in things sacred: It is probable the Letter sent by the States of Holland and West-Friesland, in 1618, to King James I. was written by Grotius: it is his style and sentiments. The States, who foresaw that the troubles would still go on increasing, begin with a short recital of the rise of these disputes; they afterwards desire his Majesty to examine whether in the present circumstances a Synod would be of use, and whether there was not reason to apprehend it might occasion a schism: they ask the King to grant them his protection, and promise to employ their authority in supporting truth, and driving away error.

Endeavours being used to render the Remonstrants odious by accusing them of Socinianism; Grotius, to shew that his sentiments were very different from those of Socinus, attacks him in a treatise, entitled, A Defence of the Catholic Faith concerning the Satisfaction of Christ, against Faustus Socinus. This work was read with great applause by all who did not profess an open enmity to the author; and many of the reformed Divines allowed that the subject had never been handled with more learning and strength of argument. It was approved of by several learned men in Germany and England, particularly the famous Overal, Bishop of Litchfield and Coventry.

We find in this treatise, as in all those of Grotius, many learned discussions, which prove his profound knowledge of sacred and profane antiquity. In treating of the expiatory sacrifices of the Pagans, he examines with great depth of learning the custom of sacrificing men, which obtained in all nations.

Grotius's enemies were very active in depreciating the merit of this work. Herman Ravespenger, Professor at Groningen, attacked it with so much rudeness, that Balthasar Lydius, who, however, was not of the Arminian party, told him his criticism was wretched, and he was ready to answer it. The Gomarists, far from recovering from their prejudices, took occasion from the book of the Satisfaction of Christ to accuse the author of Semi-pelagianism. He did not think it worth while to defend himself against an anonymous author[125], because in his book of the Piety of the States of Holland he had spoken of Semi-pelagianism as a very grievous error. Afterwards he enquired in an express treatise, whether the Arminians were Pelagians, and fully cleared them of teaching that heresy.

It was during these contests, that he collected The sentiments of the Greeks and Romans on fate and man's power. He translated all that he found in the Ancients on this subject; and first published it at Paris in 1624.


[109] Le Clerc Hist. lib. 9. p. 71.

[110] Du Maurier.

[111] Grotii manes, p. 208.

[112] Ep. 196.

[113] Præst. Vir. Epist. p. 655.

[114] Grotii manes, p. 230.

[115] Ibid. p. 204. He compared Grotius to Moses, Observat. Hallens. 15. l. 7. p. 336.

[116] Ep. 720 p. 670.

[117] He wrote also some lines on the chest, in which Grotius was confined.

[118] Burman's Collection of Letters, let. 211.

[119] Ep. 925.

[120] Ep. 1.

[121] Ep. Utengobardi. Præst. Vir. Ep. p. 383.

[122] It is printed among his theological works.

[123] See above, § IV.

[124] L'Abbé Longlet, Catalogue des Auteurs du Droit Canenique, p. 175.

[125] Ep. 19. p. 760.


Grotius was at no loss what country to chuse for his asylum. As he was invited by the men of learning in France, and sought after by the virtuous Ministers whom Lewis XIII. honoured with his confidence, he gave the preference to Paris, where he had already many friends. Du Maurier, the French ambassador in Holland, sent him from the Hague to Antwerp several letters of recommendation to persons in France: the President Jeannin[126] wrote him, that he might depend on the king's protection, who was informed by many good men that he had been unjustly condemned in his own country; promising him, at the same time, the friendship of the men of greatest distinction in France, and assuring him he would do him all the service that lay in his power. Grotius, therefore, set out for Paris with confidence. He would not ask an escort[127] though he was not without apprehension of some violence from the Dutch; but chose rather to travel in disguise and by bye-roads.

He arrived at Paris on the 13th of April, 1621, at night. The King was at Fontainbleau. Boissise, who had been Ambassador Extraordinary in Holland at the time of Barnevelt's trial, had not followed his Majesty; but waited for Grotius at Paris, to direct him how to act. He assured him that the King bore him much good-will, that he did not doubt his Majesty would in a little time give him effective proofs of it, and advised him to continue at Paris till his friends did something for him. Grotius visited M. de Vic, and the President Jeannin, who received him with the greatest marks of friendship, and repeated what Boissise had already said. The States-General, in the mean time, ordered their Ambassadors to do him every ill-office; a commission which they executed with the greatest zeal. They did all they could to destroy his reputation, but it was too well established to be shaken. The revenge he took was by speaking of his Country like a zealous citizen; and by seeking every occasion to serve her: this gained him the applause of the King, who could not help admiring the greatness of his proceeding.

When the Dutch Ambassadors saw that the French Ministry were favourably disposed towards Grotius, and that in all appearance the King would speedily give him public marks of his esteem, they spread a report that he had applied to the French Ministry, to use their influence with the States-General for obtaining his pardon: they added, that the Ministry, after praising the good disposition he was in, assured him the King suffered him in France only because he knew these were his sentiments, and that the way to obtain a pension from the Court was by seeking to recover the favour of the States-General.

Grotius, informed of these reports, publicly declared he never acknowledged that he had failed in any part of his conduct whilst in place, and that his conscience bore him witness he had done nothing contrary to Law. In a Letter[128] to Du Maurier he speaks of this slander as what gave him great uneasiness. "An atrocious lye has been spread, which vexes me extremely: it is reported that I being at liberty have asked pardon, which I absolutely refused to do, even when it would have saved me from ignominy, imprisonment, and the loss of my estate."

There was yet another sort of people of whom Grotius had no reason to be very fond[129]: these were the Ministers of Charenton. They had received the decisions of the Synod of Dort, and held the Remonstrants in abhorrence: they would not therefore admit Grotius into their Communion. But excepting these few all the French strove who should shew him greatest civilities. Messieurs du Puis and Peyresc[130] made haste to visit him as soon as they heard of his arrival. May 14, 1621, he writes to Du Maurier that he had as much pleasure at Paris, as he had chagrin in prison; that the Great gave him on all occasions marks of their esteem, and the men of learning anticipated his wishes. The only thing that troubled his joy for his happy escape was the thought of having left in prison a wife to whom he had so great reason to be attached[131]: this grieved him so much, as he afterwards declared, that, had they kept her still in prison, he would have surrendered himself to his persecutors, rather than have been separated from her for ever.

The famous Peyresc took occasion to say, that by Grotius's arrival at Paris the Dutch had made amends to France for having formerly carried away from it the great Scaliger: this thought gave rise to two Latin Epigrams[132].


[126] Præst. Vir. Epist. p 656.

[127] Ep. 136.

[128] Ep. 147.

[129] Du Maurier, p. 409.

[130] Ep 137.

[131] Ep. 164.


Gallia, Scaligerum dederas male sana Batavis:
Grotiadem reddit terra Batava tibi.
Ingratam expertus patriam venerandus uterque est:
Felix mutato erit uterque solo.

Ep. Grot. 401. p. 868.

Gallia magnanimis dedit exorata Batavis
Dîs geniti æternum Scaligeri ingenium:
Fallor an humanis male dura Batavia Gallis
Scaligerum magno reddidit in Grotio.

Buchner. Vind. Grot. p. 237.

II. The Constable De Luynes had the management of public affairs when Grotius came to France; Silleri was Chancellor, and Du Vair keeper of the Seals. This last had a particular esteem for Grotius, and employed all his credit to engage the King to make him a present till he should assign him a pension: He writes him a Letter, assuring him that he might depend on his friendship, which deserves to be copied entire.

"Sir, Ingenuous and generous minds, such as yours, think themselves obliged by small favours. I have always, that is, ever since I heard of you, admired your excellent disposition and uncommon learning; and have since lamented your misfortune in suffering for your too great love to the liberties of your Country, and the favour you shewed to those who were beginning to bring back the truth to it: I have done all that my situation and my master's service would permit to alleviate your misfortunes, and procure your deliverance. It has pleased God you should owe it entirely to him, and not to the interposition of earthly powers, that being freed from worldly cares, you might employ the many rare talents, with which he has intrusted you, in advancing the work most agreeable to him, which is the common peace of Christendom, by reuniting the members which are separated from their spiritual mother, by whom they or their fathers were conceived. And forasmuch as I see so many honourable men hope for it from you, I cannot but rejoice with them, and encourage by my applauses your happy career. I promise myself, the King, whose liberality for the present only supplies your necessities, will then reward your virtues and merit; and give them honourable employment in the affairs of state, in the management whereof you have acquired great knowledge and dexterity. I shall never be the last to promote what may be agreeable to you, and shall always highly value, as I now do, the friendship of such an extraordinary personage; offering all you can desire of him who is, Sir, yours most affectionately to serve you. G. Du Vair, Bishop of Lisieux. Camp at St. John d'Angeli, June 13, 1621."

Grotius answers this obliging Letter on the 24th of June following[133]. He owns he was always a lover of Learning; but modestly acknowledges that his friends, by engaging him too early in the study of the law and public business, retarded the progress which he might otherwise have made. He hopes, with God's grace, that no worldly motives shall induce him to act or speak against his conscience; and that if he has the misfortune to be deceived, God will graciously enlighten him, or pardon him for his good intention: and prays for the return of peace among Christians, without prejudice to truth. "Some thousands, says he, of whom I am one, most sincerely wish for such a desirable event; in the mean time, if I can be of any use, you may command me. Though indeed the more I consider myself, the more I see I have no merit but that of good desires; but I will shew you by my obedience, that I have at least inclination."

Du Vair died at Tonneins, August 3, 1621, six weeks after receiving Grotius's Letter. This was a great loss to him: but it would have been advantageously repaired, had the Seals, agreeable to the wishes of the Public, been given to the President Jeannin, the most esteemed Magistrate in the kingdom for his excellent talents and virtue. He had the highest friendship for Grotius, who ardently wished that great man might receive the reward of the signal services he had done the State: "But, he writes to Du Maurier[134], those who know the court, dare not flatter themselves with so much good luck." While the seals were vacant the Constable De Luynes did the office of keeper: they were at length given, not to the President Jeannin, but to De Vic, who had on all occasions given Grotius proofs of his friendship. He made profession of an esteem for men of learning; Casaubon held him in great veneration, and Grotius flattered himself that he would be his friend. "His behaviour to Casaubon, says Grotius to Du Maurier[135], proves his love to learning; and before he left Paris he gave me some evident marks of his good-will."

It had been determined in the King's Council to do something for Grotius; but it was long before this resolution had its effect. Du Maurier had written to all his friends warmly to solicit the issuing of the warrant for the sum granted him: it was sent at length, but there was no money in the treasury. The King was absent, and when he returned to Paris, the thing, it was said, would be done. The Prince of Condé openly interested himself for him. What made Grotius uneasy was, that on the promises made him he had hired a house. His wife came to Paris in October, 1621[136], and their expences so much exceeded the small revenue which he had still left, that he wrote to Du Maurier, December 3, 1621, that if something were not done for him soon, he must seek a settlement in Germany, or hide himself in some corner of France. He asks a recommendation to the Chancellor De Silleri: "and as he is somewhat slow, it would be proper (says he) to refresh the Marquis de Puysieux's memory." The King returned to Paris January 30, 1622. Grotius was presented to him by the Chancellor and the Keeper of the seals in the beginning of March[137]: the Court was very numerous. His Majesty received him most graciously, and granted him a pension of three thousand livres. He was much obliged to the Prince of Condé and the Keeper of the Seals on this occasion. The King did not only confer marks of his favour on Grotius; but on his account protected all who were persecuted by the States; and by his Letters Patent, dated at Nantes, April 22, 1627, takes such as were condemned in Holland under his protection as if they were his own subjects; willing, that in case of death, their children and heirs should succeed, and that their effects should not be liable to be escheated.

De Vic dying on the second of September, 1622, his death filled Grotius and the Dutch Refugees in France with the greater concern, as the seals were given to Caumartin, a professed enemy of the Protestants. As soon as Grotius thought himself settled, he looked out for a better house, intending to go the length of five hundred livres a year; but Tilenus took half of it: its situation was in the Rue de Condé, opposite to the Prince's hotel: He probably made choice of that quarter, to be more at hand to pay his court to the Prince, with whom he had been in friendship above twenty years, and who had on all occasions given him marks of his esteem and protection. Tilenus's wife was very desirous of a coach; Grotius thought one equipage would serve both; but he was against setting it up immediately, in order to avoid an expence which perhaps he could not support. What farther restrained him was, that though the King had granted him a pension with the best grace that could be, and Marshal Schomberg, superintendant of the Finances[138], had ordered it to be paid quarterly, and one payment to be advanced on demand, he could not however come at the money. They had forgot to put it on the Civil List[139], and the Commissioners of the Treasury found daily some new excuse for delaying the payment. He imagined[140] those who raised the difficulty hoped by that means to make him turn Roman Catholic. A report that he was not far from changing his religion had reached Holland[141]. It gave Vossius some uneasiness, and he wrote to him, acquainting him of this report, and begging that he would do nothing to give it countenance. Grotius removed his fears, assuring him he might make himself easy; for he might have avoided, he says, the grievous sentence passed upon him, and since his sentence would not have remained so long in captivity, and might also hope for greater honours than his country could bestow, if he would change sides. It is more probable that, the bad state of the finances of the kingdom, or the greediness of the Commissioners, were the only obstructions to his payment. He had at length reason to be satisfied: by the solicitations of powerful friends, who interested themselves for him, he received his pension; and it was paid as grants were paid at that time, that is to say, very slowly, till Cardinal Richelieu, who bore him ill-will, gave private orders to prevent his enjoying the benefit of the King's favour: which obliged Grotius to leave France, as we shall see in the sequel.

He sustained a heavy loss in April by the death of the President Jeannin. This worthy Magistrate had so much acquired the esteem of the Dutch by the great services he did them when the truce was concluded with Spain in 1619, that all good men in Holland would have his picture. Grotius received from him testimonies of the greatest friendship, and regretted him most sincerely.

In a Letter to his brother William Grotius, dated April 23, 1623, "Whilst I am now writing this, says he, I receive the melancholy news of the President Jeannin's death: it is a great loss to good men, to the King's business, and to me in particular."


[133] Ep. 150.

[134] Ep. 156.

[135] Ep. 171.

[136] Ep. 165.

[137] Ep. 29. p. 763.

[138] Ep. 175 p. 65.

[139] Ep. 32. p. 764.

[140] Ep. 37. p. 765.

[141] Ep. 158. p. 60.

III. The pains which he was obliged to take, and the trouble he underwent at the beginning of his new settlement at Paris, did not diminish his passion for literature. April 23, 1621, he informs Vossius that the irksomeness of his solitary manner of life was relieved by his daily conversations with men of the greatest abilities. He writes to Andrew Schot from Paris, July 8, 1621, that, delivered from public business which never leaves the mind at ease, and from that croud whose conversation is contagious, he spent the greatest part of his time in prayer, reading the Scriptures, and the ancient interpreters.

He enters into a detail of his studies in a letter to Vossius, September 29, 1621, "I persist, says he, in my respect for sacred antiquity: there are many people here of the same taste. My six books in Dutch will appear soon (this was his treatise on the Truth of the Christian Religion, in Dutch verse) perhaps I shall also publish the Disquisition On Pelagianism, with the precautions hinted to me by you and some other learned men. In the mean time, I am preparing an edition of Stobæus; and to render it more perfect I collate the Greek Manuscripts with the printed copies." He sometimes attended the courts of Justice to hear the Advocates plead, that he might judge of their talents and eloquence. To be applauded for eloquence at that time, says the Abbé D'Olivet, an Advocate was to say almost nothing of his cause; make continual allusions to the least-known passages of antiquity, and have the art of throwing a new kind of obscurity upon them, by, making his speech consist of a string of metaphors. This fault shocked Grotius much. He gives an account to his brother of the impression made upon him by the studied harangues which were delivered at Martinmas term 1622, by M. Servin and the First President: they were wholly taken from Greek and Latin authors. "Such, says Grotius, is the eloquence in fashion: it is much disliked by men of sound judgment." The celebrated Patru first attempted, and accomplished the reformation of this bad taste.

Grotius's ardour for study did not prevent his employing a part of his time in reading the Scriptures and books of Theology. The Ministers of Charenton persisting in their refusal to receive him into their communion unless he would renounce his opinions, he resolved to have prayers read at home to his family.

IV. Notwithstanding the inveterate enmity of the Dutch, which pursued him even to the French court, Grotius still preserved a sincere love to his Country. He wrote to his father and brother-in-law that he was continually soliciting all his friends in its favour; that no injuries should ever make him cease to love it; and that he stifled every thought of revenge as utterly repugnant to the precepts of the Gospel.

He did not however think this disposition ought to hinder him from labouring to manifest to the world the innocency of his conduct, and that of those who were condemned with him.

He had even collected when in prison some materials for his apology: the President Jeannin advised him to finish it while the facts were fresh in his memory, and he might print it at a favourable opportunity.

Grotius followed this advice, and his Apology in Dutch was finished in the beginning of the year 1622. If it had appeared only in that language it could not have been read out of Holland; but as he intended that wherever he was known, that is to say, throughout all Europe, every one might be enabled to judge of the regularity of his conduct, he translated it into Latin: He was also desirous of having it done into French, that it might be printed at the same time in the three languages: but he could not find a French translator. He expected that a work, which set in the clearest light the injustices and prevarications of men in place, would increase their hatred to him: but this consideration did not restrain him from publishing it, because he was persuaded the laws of God and of nature allowed every man unjustly accused to justify himself.

His Apology was soon translated into Latin, for it was published at Paris in the year 1622. In the dedication to the people of Holland and West Friesland the Author explains his reasons for so long delaying his vindication. During his nine months confinement at the Hague he could do nothing in it; when removed to Louvestein he wanted several necessary pieces; since his happy escape he was much busied; besides it required time to range the several parts of his defence in proper order. The work is divided into twenty Chapters: in the first he shews that each of the United Provinces is sovereign and independent of the States-General, whose authority is confined to the defence of the Provinces: in the second, that each Province is possessed of the Sovereignty in matters ecclesiastical, and that this sovereignty resides in the particular States of the Province: in the third and fourth, that the different opinions about Predestination ought to be tolerated: in the fifth, that the convocation of a Synod in the situation of affairs at that time must have been attended with great danger; that the assembling of the Synod of Dort was illegal, since it was done without consent of the Province of Holland: in the sixth, he sets forth the measures taken by the States of Holland to restore tranquillity; in the seventh, the reasonableness of the regulation of 1591 relating to the share which the Magistrates ought to have in the nomination of the Ministers of the Gospel; in the eighth, that the approbation of the majority ought to be looked upon as a decision: the excesses of the Contra-Remonstrants are particularised in the ninth: the tenth and eleventh justify the province of Holland in relation to the raising a new militia, which were called Attendants. The informality of his arrest is displayed in the thirteenth Chapter; Grotius there shews that he and the others arrested at the same time had only executed the orders of their Superiors and Sovereigns; that those who arrested him had no power to do it; that the States-General had no authority over the subjects of the Provinces; that they were a party in the dispute; that the persons arrested were members of the States of Holland, and were arrested in the Province of Holland, where the States-General had no jurisdiction. The fourteenth Chapter exposes the want of formality in the proceedings from the time of their arrest to the nomination of their judges. The fifteenth Chapter points out the want of formality in the nomination of the judges: and proves the extravagancy of making it a crime in them to maintain the rights of the States their Sovereigns, agreeable to the express orders they received. The sixteenth Chapter explains the informality committed after the Judges were nominated. The seventeenth displays the irregularity of the sentence passed upon them. The eighteenth gives a detail of the wrongs done to them after the Sentence. The nineteenth Chapter contains several remarks all tending to shew the irregularity of the sentence. The Author concludes this work, with a Prayer, imploring the Divine Goodness to pardon his enemies, and protect his Country. He farther prays that the Prince of Orange may merit the love of the People over whom he is governor; and that God may give himself grace to support with patience the persecution he suffers, that it may be meritorious to him in the other world.

The Apology was sent to Holland as soon as published: it incensed the States-General the more, as they could not give a reasonable answer to it. The approbation it met with throughout Europe would not suffer them to remain silent; this would have confirmed all the disagreeable truths which the necessity of a just defence obliged Grotius to advance: thus destitute of any good arguments, they had recourse to authority, and made themselves judges in their own cause. They proscribed the Apology, and condemned it as slanderous, and tending to asperse by falshoods the sovereign authority of the government of the Provinces, the person of the Prince of Orange, the States of the particular Provinces, and the towns themselves; and therefore forbad all persons to have it in their custody on pain of death. The Mercure François mentions this in the following terms. "The Apology is prohibited; and all persons of what quality soever are forbid to have it in their possession on pain of death; thus making Grotius as it were a prey to any person who shall apprehend him."

These menaces gave him uneasiness: he consulted the French Ministry, his friends and protectors, how to behave in this situation, and what was to be done to prevent the consequence which might result from the proscription: he had several conferences on this subject with the Chancellor de Silleri and the President Jeannin. The Chancellor, who was naturally irresolute, contented himself with blaming the rigour of the edict, and making general offers of service. The President Jeannin was of opinion he should write a letter to a friend, shewing the injustice of the proscription: others advised him to despise these vain threats, and publish a new edition of the Apology in which he might put the Authors of the Edict to confusion: some were of opinion he ought to complain to the States-General themselves; but others represented there would be danger in having recourse to this last expedient, as he might seem by it to acknowledge their authority. Against writing to the particular States of the Provinces there was one great objection, namely, the certainty of drawing upon himself a new proscription, because the power was in the hands of his greatest enemies. Those who wished to see him pass the rest of his days in France thought he should get himself naturalized a Frenchman, because the King by that would necessarily become his protector: they farther represented that this formality would qualify him to hold a place in France.

What kept him in suspense was to know whether he should put himself under the protection of the parliament, or ask a safe-conduct from the king. In the beginning of the year 1623[142] he seemed resolved to present a petition to the Parliament, and afterwards write to the States-General. He was in doubt whether to write to the Prince of Orange; at length he took the most proper step, which was to apply to the King. He presented a petition to his Majesty to be protected against the above-mentioned Edict, "which imported that he should be apprehended wherever found;" these are the terms of the Mercure François; "and his Majesty took him into his special protection, the letters for that purpose being issued at Paris, Feb. 26, 1623."

Although the greatest part of the Roman Catholics would have found nothing amiss in his Apology, yet many of them in the Low Countries were scandalized that he had not spoken of religion as they would have spoken: and it was condemned at Antwerp as dangerous to be read[143].

This work was never answered. Some years after its publication[144] a report being spread that a private person had written against the Apology without being employed by the States-General, Grotius desired his brother to enquire into it. It is probable this news was without foundation: at least we know nothing of that work. The malevolence of those who were then in place made no change in Grotius's affection to his country: in the height of the new persecution he wrote to his brother that he would still labour to promote the interest of Holland; and that if the United Provinces were desirous of entering into a closer union with France, he would assist them with all his credit: for the public interest was not to be sacrificed to the resentment of injuries received from a few[145].


[142] Ep. 46, p. 768.

[143] Ep. 102. p. 784.

[144] Dec. 20, 1630.

[145] Ep. 50. p. 759, 769.

V. Though the Prince of Orange had taken care to leave none in place but such as were entirely devoted to him, and consequently declared enemies of the Remonstrants, Grotius still preserved many faithful friends who ardently desired his return. He had scarce been a month at Paris when they wrote to him that there were some hopes of his being recalled: but he rightly judged that they were without foundation. He even writes to his brother-in-law, Reigersberg, that he looked on that rumour as an artifice of his enemies, who sought by it to engage him to silence, which they intended to take advantage of to propagate their calumnies. He was not duped by it, since, as we have just mentioned, it did not hinder him from writing his Defence, and publishing it to the world. Among those who preserved a friendship for him, there was one whom it would seem he had no reason to count upon: this was Prince Frederic Henry of Nassau, brother to the Prince of Orange, and who after the death of Maurice was himself Stadtholder. They maintained a correspondence by letters even at the time when the people of Holland were most exasperated against Grotius; and by a Letter from that Prince, which is still remaining, we may judge that Grotius did him good service at Paris; and that Frederic Henry was greatly disposed to serve him. This Letter deserves to be copied entire: it is dated August 4, 1622.

"Sir, I thank you for the good offices you have done me with some of the King's Council, and beg of you to continue them both with these, and with others, as you shall think proper; assuring you that I shall acknowledge your friendship on all occasions where I can serve you; being bound to it by the friendship which you have ever shewn to me. I have asked your brother-in-law Mr. Reigersberg to write to you particularly about an affair in which I should be glad to have your opinion: you will oblige me much by sending it, as you have already done by the memorial you remitted to me; for which I sincerely thank you. I could wish to be of use in your affairs in this Country, and would labour in them most chearfully: but you know the constitution of things is such, that neither I, nor your other friends, can serve you agreeably to our wishes. I would fain hope that time will bring about some change, and that I shall see you again here esteemed and honoured as your great qualities deserve; which will give me no less pleasure than I received from your regaining your liberty. In the mean time, I wish you, while at a distance from your country, all the satisfaction, prosperity, and happiness which you can desire. This I pray God to grant, and to me an opportunity of shewing by my actions that I am yours most affectionately to serve you, Henry de Nassau."

VI. The year after the publication of the Apology, that is to say, in 1623, Nicholas Buon printed at Paris Grotius's improvements and additions to Stobæus. This author, as is well known, extracted what he thought most important in the ancient Greek writers, and ranged it under different heads comprehending the principal points of Philosophy. His work is the more valuable as it has preserved several fragments of the Ancients found no where else. Grotius when very young purposed to extract from this author all the maxims of the poets, to translate them into Latin verse, and print the original with the translation. He began this when a boy; he was employed in it at the time of his arrest, and continued it as an amusement, whilst he had the use of books, in his prison at the Hague. He tells us that when he was deprived of pen and ink he was got to the forty-ninth title, which is an invective against tyranny, that had a great relation to what passed at that time in Holland. On his removal to Louvestein he resumed this work, and he finished it at Paris. He made several happy corrections in the text of Stobæus, some from his own conjectures or those of his friends, others on the authority of manuscripts in the king's library, which were very politely lent him by the learned Nicholas Rigaut, librarian to his Majesty.

Prefixed to this book are Prolegomena, in which the author shews that the works of the ancient Pagans are filled with maxims agreeable to the truths taught in Holy Writ. He intended to dedicate this book to the Chancellor Silleri: he had even written the dedication; but his friends, to whom he shewed it, thought he expressed himself with too much warmth against the censurers of his Apology. They advised him therefore to suppress it; and he yielded to their opinion. It may be observed in reading the royal privilege that the present title of the book is different from what it was to have had. To these extracts from the Greek Poets translated into Latin verse, Grotius annexed two pieces, one of Plutarch, the other of St. Basil, on the use of the Poets; giving the Greek text with a Latin translation. Fabricius informs us, that in the Library of the College of Leyden there is a copy of the Geneva edition of Stobæus, in the year 1609, with several notes in Grotius's own hand. Three years after the publication of his Stobæus, Grotius printed a work which may be looked upon as a continuation of it; being an extract of the Comedies and Tragedies of the Greeks: the text is translated into Latin verse. In this work he inserted only such maxims as he thought best worth preserving. He began it, as we have observed, when a prisoner at Louvestein. The learned Fabricius very judiciously remarks, that it is to be regretted he did not mention the places of the Ancients from whence he took these extracts.

VII. After having lived a year in the noise of Paris he was desirous of enjoying for some time the quiet of the country. The President de Meme offered him one of his seats, Balagni near Senlis. Grotius accepted it, and passed there the spring and summer of the year 1623. In this castle he began his great work[146] which singly would be sufficient to render its author's name immortal; I mean the treatise Of the rights of war and peace, of which we shall speak more fully elsewhere. He had with him his family and four friends; and was visited by the most distinguished men of learning, among others Salmasius and Rigaut. He had all the books he could desire: Francis de Thou the President's son, who succeeded to his father's library, one of the best in Europe, gave him the free use of it. Grotius, who knew the President de Meme to be a most zealous Roman Catholic, was careful to regulate his conduct in such a manner that the President might never repent his favouring him with the use of his house: he gave directions that while he was at Balagni no butchers meat should be brought to table on Fridays or Saturdays; he received none of the Dutch refugee Ministers there; no psalms nor hymns were sung; in fine, he would have no public nor even private exercise of the Protestant Religion performed; and would see only those whom he could not decently refuse. From Balagni he sometimes made excursions to St. Germain, where the court was, in order to cultivate the friendship of the ministry. Having learnt that the President de Meme wanted to reside himself at Balagni, he quitted it, and retired to Senlis in the beginning of August: in October he came back to Paris.

His wife's affairs obliging her to make a journey to Zealand, she set out for that province in the summer 1624. In her absence Grotius was seized with a violent dysentery. October 18th, 1624, he writes to his brother that he had been three weeks confined to his bed, and four times blooded. The news of his illness threw his wife into a fever. As soon as it was abated she set out for Paris without waiting the return of her strength. The pleasure of seeing her again and the care she took of him wrought a wonderful change in Grotius: in fine, after two months dangerous illness he began to mend, and in a little time was perfectly recovered, so that he was never in better health than in the beginning of the year 1625.

His illness did not hinder his studies: in this last he was employed about the Phoenissæ of Euripides. A part of his translation of this Tragedy had been lost when he was a prisoner at the Hague: he did it over again while confined by his dysentery, and put the last hand to the whole. It was not published till 1630. He dedicated it to the President de Meme. The preface confirms that he did this work in prison; that after his serious studies it served him for amusement and even consolation, for he was of Timocles's opinion, that Tragedies might serve to alleviate the idea of our misfortunes by carrying our reflexions to the vicissitude of human affairs; and begs some indulgence to a work done partly in prison and partly during illness. The translation is in Latin verse such as the ancient tragic writers used. In the preface Grotius enters into an examination of Euripides's tragedy. He shews that the time of twenty-four hours has been exactly kept to; that the unity of place is observed; that the manners are good; that it contains many useful maxims, and is upon the whole very well written.


[146] Ep. 56. p. 770. Ep. 57. p. 771.

VIII. The Prince of Orange, Maurice de Nassau, falling ill in November, 1624, died after six months indisposition, at the age of fifty-eight, on the 23d of April, 1625. This event raised the hopes of Grotius's friends: they flattered themselves that his return to his Country would no longer meet with any obstacle. Prince Frederic Henry succeeded his brother as Stadtholder. He had not entered into the malevolent projects formed by Maurice against the Arminians. The Count D'Estrades has given us some anecdotes on this subject, which we shall relate on his authority. He assures us that, being one day tête à tête with Prince Henry Frederic in his coach, he heard him say that he had much to do to keep well with his brother Maurice, who suspected him of secretly favouring Barnevelt and the Arminians. "He told me (these are the Count D'Estrades words) that it was true he kept a correspondence with them to prevent their opposing his election in case his brother should die, but that as it imported him to be on good terms with his brother, and to efface the notion he had of his connection with the Arminians, he made use of Vandermyle, one of his particular friends and Barnevelt's son-in-law, to let the cabal know that it was necessary for him to accommodate himself to his brother, that he might be better able to serve them: which Barnevelt approved of."

Hoogerbetz's situation, who, as we have seen, was condemned with Grotius, received some alleviation by the change of the Stadtholder. Four months after the death of Prince Maurice he was allowed to come out of Louvestein, and to reside at a country-house, upon condition of not leaving the country on pain of forfeiting twenty thousand florins, for which his friends and children were bound. "It is asserted (says the author of the Mercure François) that this liberty was granted him without any acknowledgment of his fault, and without asking pardon." He did not enjoy it long, for he died three weeks after he was discharged.

Grotius's father, who knew his son was esteemed and even loved by the new Stadtholder, advised him to write to that Prince. He obeyed his father: but informed him that he was determined not to do a mean thing to procure his return. It was from mere complaisance that he wrote to the Prince, for he owns to his brother he had very little hopes of success from his letter: he was even desirous that his correspondence with the Prince might be kept a secret, lest its being publicly known should vex his Highness. The enemies of the Remonstrants would, no doubt, have been greatly offended with the Stadtholder, had they discovered that he was favourably inclined to the Arminians: and the Prince's authority was not yet sufficiently established to free him from the necessity of keeping measures with so powerful a party. Grotius's conjectures were but too true: and all that he and his friends could do to procure his return was absolutely fruitless.

IX. He was now at the height of his glory by the prodigious success of his admirable book Of the rights of war and peace, which a celebrated writer[147] justly styles a master-piece. He began it in 1623 at Balagni, and in 1625 it was published at Paris. It was the famous Nicholas Peyresc, the Mecænas of his age and the ornament of Provence, who engaged Grotius to handle this subject. He writes to that worthy magistrate, Jan. 11th, 1624. "I go on with my work Of the law of nations: if it may be of use to the world it is to you posterity will owe the obligation, since you made me undertake it, and assisted me in it." In the preliminary discourse he sets forth his motives for treating this subject. "Many strong reasons determined me to write at this time. I have observed in all parts of the Christian world such an unbridled licentiousness with regard to war as the most barbarous nations might blush at: they fly to arms without reason, or on frivolous pretexts; and when they have them once in their hands they trample on all laws human and divine, as if from that time they were authorised, and firmly resolved to stick at no crime." Thus it was from a principle of humanity that he composed this great work; and, as he writes to Crellius[148], to shew how unbecoming it was for a Christian and a reasonable man, to make war from caprice: which was too much practised. In the dedication of this book to the King the author observes, that Lewis XIII. like a propitious constellation, not satisfied with relieving the misfortunes of princes and protecting nations, had graciously supported him under his afflictions. He presented his book to the King and the principal nobility; who, he writes to his brother[149], received it very graciously, but made him no return. He imagined it was because he had handled in it several points of divinity: and the court would not shew any favour to heterodox works, in which such questions were discussed: but the favourable reception it met with from all Europe sufficiently made up this loss.

It will not be expected that we should make an analysis or enter into an examination of the treatise On the rights of war and peace: that would be a subject for a large work. We shall only observe that those who would study the law of nations cannot read this book too often: they will find in it the most agreeable learning joined to the strongest reasoning. The whole is not equally correct: but what large work is not liable to the same censure? Besides, we must consider that it has the glory of being original in its kind[150], and the first treatise that reduced into a system the most excellent and useful of all sciences.

It is divided into three books; to which is prefixed a preliminary discourse treating of the certainty of law in general, and containing a plan of the work.

The first book enquires into the origin of the rights of war and its different kinds, as also the extent of the power of Sovereigns: he explains in the second the nature and extent of those rights, whether public or private, whose violation authorises the taking up arms: in the third he treats of all that relates to the course of the war and the treaties of peace which put an end to it.

The celebrated translator of Grotius and Puffendorf assures us that Grotius took the hint of attempting a system of natural law from Lord Bacon's works; and certainly, he adds, none was more proper for such an undertaking. A clear head, an excellent judgment, profound meditation, universal learning, prodigious reading, continual application to study amidst many distractions and the duties of several considerable places, together with a sincere love to truth, are qualities which cannot be denied to that great man without wronging our own judgment and giving room to suspect us of black envy or gross ignorance. It is said that he designed at first to give his book the title, of The law of nature and of nations; but afterwards preferred that which it now bears, Of the rights of war and peace. Never book met with such universal approbation: Commentaries have been written upon it by many learned men, and it has been publicly read at Universities. Though M. Barbeyrac thinks Puffendorf's book much more useful, he is at the same time persuaded that if Grotius had not led the way, we should not yet have had any tolerable system of natural law: "and, he adds, if Puffendorf had been in Grotius's place, and Grotius in Puffendorf's, the treatise Of the rights of war and peace would in my opinion have been much more defective; and that Of the law of nature and nations much more perfect." Puffendorf himself owns that there remained few things to be said after Grotius.

Though the Latin language was at that time more used than at present, the principal nations of Europe wanted to have this work in their mother tongue. Grotius, on examining the Dutch translation, found the translator often wilfully deviating from the true sense of the original. The Great Gustavus caused it to be translated into Swedish: a translation of it into English was preparing in the year 1639: Mr. Barbeyrac thinks it was not finished in Grotius's life-time, but there have been two English translations of it since his death. It was first translated into German in 1707 by Mr. Schutz. The Leipsick journalists speak of this translation as very correct. There are two in French; one by Mr. Courtin, which that of Barbeyrac has totally eclipsed, and most justly: for never did a great author meet with a translator more worthy of him. Mr. Barbeyrac possessed all the necessary qualifications for executing properly such a difficult translation as that of the treatise Of the rights of war and peace.

This so excellent and highly esteemed work was however severely criticised by one of the most learned men of the last century. Salmasius, who had been Grotius's admirer, and who in the latter part of his life did all he could to destroy his reputation, never spoke of The rights of war and peace but with the greatest contempt: which was the more shocking; as, in his dispute with the English on the right of Kings, he every where copies Grotius, and when he departs from him is sure to blunder: with which Boëclerus has justly reproached him.

We cannot deny Salmasius profound learning; but he was a man swayed by his humour, often judged from passion and jealousy, had too high an opinion of himself and too much contempt for others, and in fine found fault with whatever was not his own thought, as the learned Gronovius remarks.

He ventured to advance, some time after Grotius's death, that a professor of Helmsted had undertaken to prove that every page of Grotius's book contained gross blunders; and he speaks it in such a manner as gives room to think he was of the same opinion. This Professor was called John de Felde; he published his notes against Grotius in 1653. Had the great Salmasius been still alive, I believe, says M. Barbeyrac, that with all his secret jealousy against the author censured, he would have found himself greatly disappointed in his expectations from John De Felde's project: never was any thing so wretched. One would be surprised a Mathematician could reason so ill, did not other much more signal examples clearly demonstrate that the knowledge of the Mathematics does not always produce justness of thought in matters foreign to that science. We find here a man who seeks only for censure, and knows not what he would have: he fights with his own shadow, and for the most part does not understand the thoughts of the author he attacks; and when he does understand them draws the most groundless consequences that ever were heard of. His gloomy and unhappily subtle mind cannot bear the light which Grotius presents to him. The embroiled ideas and distinctions of his Peripatetic philosophy form round him a thick cloud impenetrable by the strongest rays of truth. This is Barbeyrac's judgment of him. Felde met with some partisans of Grotius who confuted him: Theodorus Graswinckel, Advocate, his relation and friend, undertook his defence; and the redoubled efforts of the Helmsted Professor did not lessen his book in the esteem of the public. Not that the work is perfect; this, his admirers and those who were most disposed to do him justice, frankly own.

His general principles touching natural law are very solid; but they are too intricate, and it requires deep meditation to unfold them. He does not sufficiently shew the chain of consequences to be deduced from them, and applied to particular subjects; which gave certain authors of little penetration, or candour, occasion to say, that after laying down his principles he makes no use of them, and builds his decisions on a quite different thing. He might have prevented these rash censures by enlarging somewhat more, and pointing out on each head the connection of the proofs he makes use of, with the general principles from whence they are drawn.

With regard to the law of nations, which he considers as an arbitrary law in itself, but acquiring the force of a law by the tacit consent of nations, Barbeyrac observes that in the sense he understands it, and has endeavoured to establish its obligation, it has been shewn to be insufficiently grounded: yet the questions which he builds upon it make a great part of his work.

It has been thought that his style is too concise; that he often expresses himself but by halves; that he supposes many things which require great study, passes over subjects of importance, and handles others which he might have omitted; such as questions relating rather to Divinity, than the science of Natural Law: in fine, it has been said that the desire of shewing his learning hurt him: and a very judicious Magistrate[151] justly observes, that by displaying less learning he would have appeared a greater Philosopher. Notwithstanding all these defects, it is universally acknowledged to be one of the finest works that ever was written.

When this book appeared at Paris, Cardinal Francis Barberin, who resided there as Legate from his uncle Pope Urbin VIII. hearing it much spoken of, was curious to see it; and read it with attention. It is said he was shocked at first that the author, in speaking of the Popes, did not give them the titles which they are wont to receive from Roman Catholic authors; but was otherwise well pleased with the book. The reading of it had been permitted at Rome two years, when on the 4th of February, 1627, it was put into the Index Expurgatorius, with his Apology and Poems[152].


[147] Bayle.

[148] Ep. 280. p. 104.

[149] Ep. 91. p. 782

[150] Barbeyrac's Preface.

[151] M. Daube, Essais sur les principes du Droit, Preface, p. 6.

[152] Ep. 183. p. 798.

X. In the mean time Grotius began to grow tired at Paris: his pension was ill paid, and his revenue insufficient to keep him decently with a wife and a numerous family. July 12, 1623, he writes to his brother, "Pensions are no longer paid here, which embarrasses me greatly. If any Prince, such as the King of Denmark or the Elector of Saxony, would employ me, and offer me a handsome salary, it would be worth my notice. At present nobody thinks of me, because they imagine I am employed by a great King. I have lost some powerful friends: those who are now in power wish me well; but they have too much business on their hands, and I don't love to importune."

M. D'Aligre being made Keeper of the Seals, Grotius flattered himself that it would be an advantage to his affairs. "He is a good man, says he, and I shall be well recommended to him. I shall go to see him when he is less harrass'd with visits; and try whether his friendship can be of use to me. However (he writes to his father and brother, Jan. 21, 1624) if any thing favourable should offer in Denmark or the Maritime Towns, I would consider of it." He made a visit to the new Lord Keeper, and received a promise of more than he hoped for: but he began to build no longer on compliments: he wished his friends would try to get him a settlement in the North; but would not have it known that he set them on. Some advised him to go to Spires, where there was an Imperial Chamber, and follow the profession of an Advocate: the writings there were all in Latin, the Roman law was followed, and the Augsburg confession the religion professed. January 26, 1624, he begs of his father to inform himself of the manner of living in that country, for he must soon come to some resolution.

In the mean time hopes were given him of his pension[153]: though no pensions were paid, the Keeper of the Seals promised that he would take particular care of him; and was in fact as good as his word: one of the first things he did was to speak to the King in favour of Grotius[154], and to obtain an order for the payment of the greatest part of the arrears owing to him. However he still pressed his father and brother to seek out a settlement for him[155]. Feb. 16, 1624, he wrote to them that he persisted in his resolution of going to some town of the Augsburg confession, where he might live cheap, and wait for better times. "The state of the kingdom, says he, makes me uneasy; and I have no prospect of a certainty for myself. These negotiations must be managed with precaution and secrecy, lest the knowledge of them should lessen the consideration in which I am held. It is sufficient that those who wish me well know that I am not so fixed here but I can come away if any thing better offers." In the mean time the Keeper of the Seals and the Ministry heaped civilities on him[156]; they spoke of him to the King, and at length he received three thousand Francs, part in money, and part in bills.

There were at that time Dutch Ambassadors in France, who carried their malice so far as to tell the King he could not be too much on his guard against Grotius, who carried on a private correspondence with the Spanish Ambassadors. He received information of this from one of his friends. The foul calumny stung him with indignation; and though he did not think it deserved to be confuted, he wrote of it to the Lord Keeper, and in a letter on this subject to Du Maurier he calls God to witness, that he had never seen any of the Spanish Ambassadors, and that there was not a man in the United Provinces who wished better to his Country.

He had an offer of being Professor of Law in Denmark[157], but the character of the Danes made him averse to that country: besides, he thought the places he had already filled did not permit him to become a Professor in a College; as to the Salary, he was satisfied with it. While he was in suspense what he should do, the King nominated Cardinal Richelieu Prime Minister. His Eminence had a mind to be particularly acquainted with Grotius, and asked him to come to his house at Limours: he was introduced by Marshal de Fiat. We are ignorant of what passed at this interview: all we know is that the Cardinal, purposing to restore the navy and trade of the nation, talked of these matters to Grotius; who acquainted his brother with his visit to the Cardinal in a letter dated May 21, 1626.

It is highly probable the Cardinal proposed to Grotius to devote himself entirely to him: that minister protected none but such as professed an absolute submission to his will in all things. He gave Grotius so great hopes that he thought he might write to his father, "If I would forget my country, and devote myself wholly to France, there is nothing which I might not expect."

But there is room to imagine the proposals made to him by the Cardinal were inconsistent with his principles; and he was not a man to act against his conscience on any consideration. This sacrifice was the more praise-worthy as he really loved France: he mentioned it in confidence to Du Maurier. "I am extremely sorry, says he, that I can be of no use to France, where I have found a safe asylum: but I think it my duty to adhere to my former sentiments[158]."

Thus the Cardinal being displeased with Grotius's reservations, his pension was unpaid, either for that reason or on account of the bad state of the finances. Grotius was greatly perplexed: "A man must have lived at Paris at his own expence, as I have done for eighteen months (he writes to his brother, July 17, 1626) to know what it costs. I should be extremely glad that you would inform yourself at your conveniency, whether there be any hopes from the Hans towns, and particularly Hamburg or Rostock." Sept. 19, 1626, he opens his mind to Du Maurier: "This is the second year since they have ceased all regard for me, and put in practice whatever might serve to depress a man of the greatest steadiness." It was precisely since Cardinal Richelieu became the Arbiter of France that Grotius was thus treated. The disgrace of the Chancellor D'Aligre deprived him of all remains of hope: the Seals were given to Marillac, who professed an open enmity to all that was Protestant. Learning was no merit with him if joined to heterodoxy. He gave a public proof of his zeal[159] when the parliament of Dijon petitioned the King that Salmasius might be permitted to exercise the office of Counsellor, which his father offered to resign in his favour: the Keeper of the Seals warmly opposed it, declaring that he would never consent to a Huguenot's acquisition of the office of Counsellor in any parliament of France. Grotius was patient for some time longer; for he liked Paris, and there were many persons in that city whose conversation gave him infinite pleasure: He told the celebrated Peyresc[160], he was so strongly attached to France on his account, that he would not leave it till his patience was worn out; and he wrote to his great friend Du Maurier, that he was resolved never to quit France till it deserted him, that all the world might be forced to own he could not have acted otherwise.

In fine, having lost all hopes of pleasing the Ministry, he began to think in good earnest of retiring into some other Country. January 4, 1630, he writes to his brother, "I am wholly taken up with the thoughts of settling in some part where I may live more commodiously with my family." The first condition that he required was liberty of conscience. Some advised his going to Rome, because Pope Urbin VIII. was a great Poet, and loved men of learning[161]. He thought the proposal very ridiculous, and joked on it to his brother. December 27, 1630, he writes to him, "It is not reasonable that I should be always in suspense. I shall leave this country too late, but I shall certainly leave it soon." What heightened his embarrassment was his uncertainty where to go. He writes to his brother, April 4, 1631, "I must speedily come to a resolution: provisions become every day dearer, and the payment of my Pension more uncertain: would it be proper to return to my Country by stealth, and with so little hopes, after doing her so great service? My Countrymen have not the same sentiments for me that I have for them."


[153] Ep 64. p. 773.

[154] Ep. 65. p. 773.

[155] Ibid. 67. p. 774.

[156] Ibid. 68. p. 774. 69. p. 775. 7. p. 775.

[157] Ibid. 79. p. 778.

[158] Ep. 149. p. 84.

[159] Ep. 267 p. 100.

[160] Ibid. 201. p. 72.

[161] Ep. 85. p. 780.

XI. In fine, upon mature consideration, trusting to the good-will of his friends, and the protestations of friendship from the Prince of Orange, he ventured to return to Holland. He had always secretly wished to be restored; but, however ardent this desire might be, he was incapable of purchasing his restoration by any acts of meanness. They had discovered his inclination; and in 1623 a rumour spread that he was seeking to be reconciled to the States-General. He was sensible this report had reached Du Maurier, and therefore wrote to him on the 24th of September[162] that there was nothing in it; that the times were not favourable, and that the publication of his Apology put an obstacle in the way of his return. Du Maurier was of the same opinion[163], and no body had better opportunities of knowing the disposition of mens minds and the situation of affairs.

However in the year following Du Maurier began to entertain better hopes. Being come back from Holland to France, he wrote to Grotius that his affairs went on so well, he might flatter himself with the prospect of returning: but this agreed ill with other advices received by Grotius; and he wrote to Du Maurier, July 30, 1624, that he consulted his ancient friendship more than the situation of affairs; that his enemies were so powerful he did not see there could be any hopes for him; and that he was endeavouring to provide himself with patience to support perpetual banishment and the inconveniences annexed to that unhappy situation.

One would imagine the death of Prince Maurice must make a speedy revolution in Grotius' favour: the friendship with which he was honoured by Prince Frederic Henry gave his friends ground to hope for it; but he himself was of a different opinion. July 31, 1625[164], he wrote to his father that his return was an affair of great consequence, which perhaps must not be mentioned at present. He sent his wife into Holland in the spring 1627[165], that she might enquire herself how matters stood. She found many friends[166]; but as she was convinced of her husband's innocence, and knew that in all Holland there was not a man capable of labouring so effectually for the interest of his Country, she imagined they ought to make the first advances, ask him to forget what was past, and pray him to return. This was to suppose the return of the Golden age; and experience ought to have informed her better. She would not therefore have recourse to petitions and entreaties to obtain Grotius' return, lest they should be taken for some acknowledgment of a fault. This encreased the malevolence of his enemies, and they fought to revenge themselves on his brother-in-law Reigersberg, to whom they wanted to make a crime of his corresponding with Grotius by letters; but their malice was ineffectual, because the calumnies to which they had recourse were too easily confuted. However his friends bestirred themselves in his favour: of which Grotius being informed, he begged of them to promise nothing in his name, that there might be no ground to imagine he solicited leave to return. "For (he writes to his brother) that is what my enemies want, that they may reproach me with asking pardon for my pretended faults." The endeavours of his friends were fruitless; and his brother wrote to him (February 21, 1630) that there was no hope of success.

If they did not obtain his return they at least made him gain a cause of consequence. He reclaimed[167] his effects which were confiscated, grounding on the privilege of the Burghers of Delft; and his demand was granted. He says neither favour nor solicitations had any influence in his gaining this suit; and that he owed it to the incontestable right of which the town of Delft was long in possession.

Though the information received from his brother of the inefficacy of his friends solicitations might have made him forget his country[168], he resolved to regulate his conduct by his wife's advice, who had been on the spot. On her return from Holland she told him it was necessary he should go thither. He immediately wrote to his brother that on his wife's information he resolved to go to see him and his father and mother; and that they would consult together what was best to be done for his advantage. He adds, that if after so long patience he still found his Country ungrateful, he had received advantageous proposals from more than one quarter, where he might live with ease and honour. He set out for Holland in the month of October, 1631.


[162] Ep. 199. p. 71.

[163] Ep. 200. p. 71.

[164] Ep. 98. p. 783. 99. p. 783. and 100. p. 784.

[165] Ep. 148. p. 797.

[166] Ep. 223. p. 77.

[167] Ep. 261. p. 89.

[168] Ep. 278. p. 838.

XII. The sentence passed against him was still in force. His friends, afraid of his being arrested, as he had no safe-conduct, advised his concealing himself: this step appeared to him shameful and timid. He wrote to his brother on the nineteenth of November, 1631, that he would rather retire than conceal himself; and that by not appearing in public he had lessened the opinion of his innocence, and at the same time the courage of his friends.

He came to Rotterdam[169], where he imagined he would be safest, because, having filled the post of Pensionary with much honour, he was greatly beloved in the town. He took it ill that the Magistrates did not make him the first visit after the signal services he had done the city; and hesitated whether he should go to see them: one of them sent his son to acquaint him that it was not perhaps prudent, after the sentence of condemnation passed upon him, to appear in public. Grotius made answer, that he had such a good opinion of the gratitude of the Burghers of Rotterdam, he was persuaded he had nothing to fear among them. The young gentleman replied, that in a populous town there might possibly be some one who would do him an ill turn to gain the reward. Grotius imagined this advice proceeded from the Magistrates jealousy, who were afraid that the people would discover too much attachment to him. They spread a report that he was not in the Remonstrants sentiments, and that the counsels formerly given by him had been frequently disapproved. In the mean time he was much embarrassed in what manner to behave, and consulted the most able lawyers on the subject, who refused to take any fee from him. He had no objection to writing to the States-General, provided the letter contained nothing to the disadvantage of his innocence. He met with more difficulties than he imagined: and wrote to his brother (November 28, 1631) "I am threatened with a storm; but I can live elsewhere, and I leave all to God's disposal."

He left Rotterdam, and came in the end of the year 1631 to Amsterdam, where he was extremely well received[170]. He did not, however, trust his stay in the Low-Countries to the success of his negotiation, for he wrote to his father, December 10, 1631, "You may say you understand that I have taken my resolution to quit this cruel Country." He was not satisfied with the Magistrates of Rotterdam: but he spoke extremely well of the town of Delft[171]: however no City ventured publickly to protect him[172]. His great friend Gerard Vossius did every thing in his power to engage all who had any friendship for himself to befriend Grotius, and keep him in Holland. We have a letter written by him on that subject to Bevovicius, Magistrate of Amsterdam[173], who was in the interest of his friend: he represents to him what dishonour the States would bring on themselves by not permitting a man to live in their Country who was its greatest ornament, and the wonder of the age. He exhorts him to continue his good offices to prevent Amsterdam from disgracing herself by opposing that great man's return, and assures him that France, Germany, England, and all nations are waiting to see what Holland will do on this occasion. "Let us not, says he, have ground to regret the loss of a man whom it depends entirely on ourselves to keep."

Vossius's desire to have Grotius continue in Holland was so great, that his friend's inflexibility gave him much uneasiness. He wanted him to make application to the Prince of Orange, and, after obtaining his consent, to write to those in power, asking permission to stay in the Country: but this was precisely the step to which Grotius had the greatest aversion.

To employ himself till his fate should be determined, he resolved to exercise the profession of Consulting Advocate: with this view he desired his brother, in a letter dated February 16, 1632, to send him what law books he had, and which he might need for the proper discharge of his office.

He could make no use of these books: for the States-General, thinking themselves affronted by his boldness in continuing in the Country without their leave, and by the repugnance he shewed to ask them pardon, on the tenth of December, 1631, issued an Ordonnance enjoining all the Bailiffs of the Country to seize his person, and give them notice. No body would execute it: which obliged the States to renew it, on the tenth of March in the year following, upon pain to those who would not obey of losing their places; and with a promise of two thousand florins to any one who would deliver Grotius into the hands of justice. There were many who interested themselves for him: besides private persons he was favoured by the Nobles, the Towns of Rotterdam, Delft, and Amsterdam. But the States-General were his Judges and his Adversaries.

We do not find that the Prince of Orange, on whose friendship he had some reason to depend, protected him on this essential occasion. The intrigues of his enemies diverted him from it. They were at great pains to prejudice the Stadtholder against Grotius, by representing that he professed an inviolable attachment to the privileges of his Country; and, being of Barnevelt's principles, would support them with equal firmness; and that the Prince could never agree with him because he would always oppose his views. These reasons made an impression on Frederic, who being of the same character with all the Princes, of his house, wanted, says Du Maurier, to be Prince of Holland. He approved therefore of the proceedings of the States-General, who intended to give Grotius to understand by their last Ordonnances, that they condemned him to perpetual banishment.

It will perhaps be wondered at that a wise man, such as Grotius, would hazard a journey to Holland without succeeding in the projects he had formed for obtaining permission to stay there: but on some occasions it is prudent to run hazards. The point is whether the appearance of success was such as a man of sense ought to build on. He was sensible this would be objected to him, and in some of his letters he endeavours to justify his return. He writes to Martinus Ruarus, January 19, 1632, that he came to Holland at the solicitations of his Friends, who imagined time and his services had mollified his enemies; but that immediately on his arrival he perceived his well-wishers would find great difficulty in bringing them to more moderate sentiments. He complains in another letter, written to Du Maurier Feb. 6, 1632[174], that he found a want of courage in good men, and his misfortunes prevented them from speaking with freedom.

Vossius explains his friend's reasons for coming to Holland in a letter of the thirteenth of February, 1632[175], to William Laud, Bishop of London. "Grotius is returned to his Country by the advice of several illustrious men, some of whom are in great place. He has done this without the knowledge of such as condemned him twelve years ago to perpetual imprisonment, and of those who in that time of trouble attained to the highest dignities by deposing such as were in power. All these, excepting a few, think it their interest that this great man, whose merit they know, should be buried in obscurity; and therefore spoke against him with great warmth in the Assembly of the States. He had several illustrious friends who stood up for him: the nobility, three cities, Rotterdam, of which he was Pensionary; Delft, where he was born; and Amsterdam, no less famous for her prudence than her riches. Leyden is much against him: because the first Burgomaster was one of his Judges: Harlem, for the like reason, is of the same sentiments. Of the other towns some take a middle course: most of them join Leyden; especially the smaller towns, in which the preachers have great authority. Hence it is uncertain how this affair will end: he has the flower of Holland for him; but it often happens with us that the Zealots, like the rigid Puritans, by their menaces and clamour bear down the honest party, who are more modest. If it should so happen I fear much that this great man, fatigued with these squabbles, will of himself quit his ungrateful Country: I am the more apprehensive of this as I know for certain that some Kings and several Princes are endeavouring to draw him to their courts by offers of great honours and a considerable salary. If he is destined to live out of his Country, I shall be jealous of any place he settles in if it be not Great-Britain, where, I foresee, he would be of much service to the king and kingdom." Laud, in his answer to this letter, owns[176] that he always looked on Grotius's recall as a thing not to be expected: as to the proposal of employing him in England, he tells him it was in vain to think of it in the present circumstances.

Grotius seeing so much opposition, judged it most proper to seek his fortune elsewhere; and left Holland.


[169] Ep. 297. p. 847.

[170] Ep. 301. p. 844.

[171] Ep. 304. p. 844.

[172] Ep. 305. p. 844.

[173] Ep. Vossii 38. p. 142.

[174] Ep. 289. p. 105.

[175] Præst. Vir. Epist. 507. p. 766.

[176] Præs. Vir. Ep. 508. p. 567.

XIII. It was on the seventeenth of March 1632 that he set out from Amsterdam on his way to Hamburg; but did not take up his residence in that City till the end of the year: the fine season[177] he passed at an agreeable country-seat, called Okinhuse, near the Elbe, belonging to William Morth, a Dutchman.

He had left many friends in France. William De Lusson, First President of the Court of Moneys, was one who adhered to him most steadily: and we find by Grotius' letter to him that he was very active to obtain the payment of his pension though absent: In a letter whose date is false[178], Grotius informs him[179], that while he lived he would never forget the King's goodness and the gracious reception with which that Prince honoured him: and promises to write to Boutillier, Superintendant of the finances, as soon as an occasion offered. It is probable this Minister had made him an offer of service; for in speaking of him Grotius says, "It is very agreeable to me to be approved by a man who in such a high station has not lost the taste for polite literature: I wish him and his family uninterrupted prosperity, and the art of enjoying it."

His wife, who had been in Zealand, came to join him, and the pleasure of seeing her again was a consolation under all his troubles. He writes to Vossius, August 17, 1632[180], "Oppressed by the violence of my enemies, to which hand shall I turn me, and to whom shall I have recourse, but to her who has been the faithful companion of my good and bad fortune; and to you who have given me public marks of your attachment in my greatest calamities? I have not yet (he adds) come to a resolution in my own affair; but as far as I can see I shall have it in my power to chuse. It ought not to appear hard to me to live under a Master, when I see that after so many efforts for preserving your liberty you have little more than the name of it. I am resolved to expose myself to every thing rather than stoop to those who have treated me so unworthily after many years patience. I value not that man who lays aside all sentiments of generosity." He no doubt means the Prince of Orange, of whom he thought he had reason to complain.

He was well pleased with the air of the place where he resided, and met with so many Dutchmen[181], that he did not look upon himself as a stranger. He wanted his books; but the learned Lindenbrogius gave him access to his library to use it as his own.

When winter came on, he lodged at Hamburg with Van Sorgen, a Merchant, who had a regard for men of learning: he was brother to Nicholas Van Sorgen an eminent Advocate at the Hague.

Notwithstanding the embarrassment of his affairs he tells the First President of the Court of Moneys, that he did not pretend to draw money from the King of France for the future. "I shall always," says he, "retain a most grateful sense of the King's liberality: but it is enough to have been chargeable to you when in France. I have never done you any service, though I made an offer of myself. But it would not be proper that I should now live like a hornet on the goods of other men. I shall never forget, however, the kindness of so great a King, and the good offices of so many friends."

His wife was gone to Zealand, "to receive," says he, "the remains of our wreck, which I am uncertain into what port to carry." He wrote to Descordes, to whom he had already spoke his sentiments in several Letters, that he most humbly thanked the King for his inclination to honour him with his benefactions though absent, and that he was extremely sensible of the constant attention of his friends to serve him; but that he saw no just reason for accepting the King's favours since his departure from France. "I earnestly wish," he adds, "that my excuses may be well received: I have no less grateful sense of what is offered me than of what was given me: and shall most chearfully testify my gratitude for the favours received from a most excellent King as often as occasion offers. In the mean time I pray God to give him a long life and vigorous health, and to restore the tranquillity of the kingdom, if France be capable of so great a blessing."

There might have been a prudential reason for his declining at this time to be a pensioner of France, namely, lest his connexion with that crown should hurt his projects of a settlement which were then on the carpet. This conjecture is strengthened by what he writes himself to the First President of the Court of Moneys, that the Ministers of some Princes having asked him whether he were attached to any Court, as was reported; he answered, that he would always remember with gratitude the favours shewn him in France, but that since he came away he was free and his own master: he adds, that several considerable settlements both with regard to honour and profit were offered him; "but, says he, I keep always in mind the maxim, to deliberate long before coming to a resolution. I hope however that my situation will permit me to see France again, and my dear friends, and to thank them personally; you, Messieurs de Thou, Descordes, Du Puis, Pelletier, whose names will remain engraven on my heart wherever fortune carries me." Lusson yielded to his reasons, and approved of his disinterestedness[182].

He led a dull life at Hamburg. "I am extremely solitary here (he writes to his brother August 3, 1633[183]:) even the men of learning keep up no correspondence with one another. I might easily support this irksomeness if I had my books and papers: for I could employ myself in some work that would be useful to the public and no discredit to me: but at present without these I am a kind of prisoner."

The disagreeableness of his situation and the uneasiness of his mind were increased by the death of his Landlord after fourteen days illness[184]. He was a Merchant of more knowledge and good sense than we commonly find in men of that profession. He left some young children, in whose education Grotius interested himself. Writing on this subject to Vossius, he tells him that his Landlord's two sons were at the Hague learning Grammar; that they were beginning to make Themes and Versions; that if what they had already learnt were not cultivated, they would soon forget it; and that the time which boys spent in their Studies at Hamburg was lost, the method of teaching being only fit to make blockheads. "Several, he adds, employ preceptors in the education of their children; which method answers not expectation. I never approved of it because I know that young people learn not but in company, and that study languishes where there is no emulation. I also dislike those schools when the master scarce knows the names of his scholars, and where their number is so great that he cannot give that attention to each, which his different genius and capacity may require. For this reason I would have a middle course followed: that a master should take but ten or twelve, to stay in the house together, and be in one form, by which means he would not be overburdened." He begs of him to inform himself whether there was not such a house in Amsterdam where he might place Van Sorgen's sons. Vossius joined with Grotius in his thoughts on education[185].

The death of his Landlord obliging Grotius to remove, he went to lodge with a Dutchman called Ahasuerus Matthias[186], formerly Minister at Deventer, which he left on account of his adhering to Arminianism. The return of his wife from Zealand in Autumn 1633, who had always been his consolation in adversity, rendered his life more agreeable. [187]He mentions it to Descordes Nov. 13, 1633, and informs him that though several settlements were offered him, he had not yet determined which to embrace, but would soon come to a resolution. He passed his time in writing his Sophomphanæus, or Tragedy of Joseph[188], which he finished whilst at Hamburg. It is probable that if he had had his Books and Papers he would have applied himself to something else at his age: but this kind of study was suitable enough to his present situation.

Salvius, Vice-Chancellor of Sweden, a great statesman, and a man of learning, was then at Hamburg. Grotius made acquaintance with him, and saw him frequently. Polite Literature was the subject of their conversation. Salvius conceived a great esteem for Grotius, and the favourable report he made of him to the High Chancellor Oxenstiern determined the latter to invite Grotius[189] to come to him, that he might employ him in affairs of the greatest importance, as we shall see in the following book.


[177] Ep. Grotii 245. p. 107. Ep. inter Vossianas 216. p. 131.

[178] This Letter is dated at Hamburgh Feb. 9, 1632. He was still in Holland in the month of February. See the Letters written to his brother, 308 and following, p. 845.

[179] Ep. 291. p. 106.

[180] Ep. 298. p. 108.

[181] Ep. 299. p. 108, and 300. p. 108.

[182] Ep. 319. p. 114.

[183] Ep. 322. p. 848.

[184] Ep. 327. p. 448

[185] Ep. Grotii 330. p. 119

[186] Ep. 336. p. 121

[187] Ep. 331. p. 113.

[188] Ep. 337. p. 122.

[189] Ep. 345. p. 123.


When it was known in Europe that Grotius had no longer any connexion with the Court of France, the greatest Princes sought to draw to them a Man who to the most profound learning and knowledge of public Law joined the strictest probity.

In 1629 he was invited into Poland, as we learn from a letter to Vossius, dated November 29 that year[190]. Three years after, December 30, 1632, Ruarus wrote to Grotius from Dantzick, "You have a very great name at our Court, and the good odour of it has induced the King to order Savasi, who goes as his Ambassador to Holland and England, to advise with you. He has not done it, according to what the Secretary of the embassy tells me; and I am ignorant of his reason: but this I know, that many are labouring to bring you here with a pension from the King. I know not what will become of this affair; but I believe it would be pushed more briskly, if those who concern themselves in it were not persuaded that you would decline the proposal." Grotius[191] answered, that he would readily have waited on Savasi if he had sent him his compliments; and that he guessed what it was that hindered him. "When your King, he adds, shall be disposed to employ me, and I know in what business, I shall not be long in taking my resolution." In the beginning of the year[192] 1632 he was flattered with the hopes of being employed by England.

Christiern IV. King of Denmark loaded him with civilities when he was at Hamburg; and Vossius, who was well informed of every thing that related to his friend's affairs, writes to Meric Casaubon, Oct. 25, 1633, that the King of Denmark offered Grotius a considerable pension if he would enter into his service. Henry Ernestus informed Vossius, that Grotius had seen that Prince at Gluckstad, and was extremely well received by him: this he had from Grotius himself. He concludes his letter with an invective against the Dutch, who were so void of common sense, as to refuse the services of so great a man.

It is said that even the King of Spain[193] had thoughts of taking him into his service: but this Prince's court suited him ill for many reasons easy to be imagined; one of which was that his going to Spain would be matter of triumph to his enemies, who would represent it, with some degree of probability, as a proof of what they had formerly asserted, that Grotius was a private Pensioner of Spain.

The Duke of Holstein and several other[194] Princes made him likewise advantageous proposals. It was reported that the famous Walstein intended to take him into his service. Ruarus[195] wrote about it to Grotius, and tells him he could scarce give credit to this news, from a persuasion that Grotius would not employ his pen in writing things of which no doubt he partly disapproved.

His remaining so long without coming to a resolution proceeded, it is probable, from his unwillingness to attach himself to any Prince, till he despaired of a reconciliation with his Country; of which he was so desirous, that above two years and a half after he had been so shamefully driven out, he had still thoughts of it. March 8, 1634[196], he writes to his brother, "It is of great importance to me that my affair may be no longer protracted, and that I know speedily whether I can see my Country again, or must relinquish it for ever." A fortnight after he writes to him[197], "I expect your letters with impatience, to know what I have to hope for from my Countrymen. I have been too long under uncertainty, and I am afraid of losing in the mean time the opportunities which offer elsewhere. I would not however have any thing asked in my name directly or indirectly; but if they make any proposal of their own accord, I shall be glad to know it."

He ought to have determined himself long before. Convinced at last that he must lay aside all thoughts of returning into Holland, he yielded to the pressing instances of the High Chancellor of Sweden, who wanted to employ him in affairs of importance. Grotius gave the preference more readily to this Minister, the greatest man perhaps of his age, because he followed Gustavus's plan, for whom Grotius had a singular veneration: in January, 1628[198], he speaks of him as a Prince whose greatness of soul and knowledge in civil and military matters placed him above every other. March 12, in the same year, he writes to his brother[199], that on every occasion he would do all in his power to serve such a virtuous Monarch. On the 28th of April following, he congratulates Camerarius[200], whose father was Ambassador from Sweden, on his serving a Prince who merited every commendation. "The whole universe will not furnish his equal in virtue[201]. Men of the greatest merit in this country think the brilliancy of this Prince's actions and virtues must strike even envy dumb. Happy are they who are under the protection of so great a King. He proves the possibility of what appeared incredible in the great men of antiquity: he is a witness who gives evidence in their favour: he will serve for a master to posterity; and the best lessons in the art of war will be taken from his history. He is no less eminent as a warrior, than as a statesman[202]; and in him is found all that makes a great King. He is the wisest Monarch now reigning, and knows how to improve every opportunity to the best advantage, not only when the injustice of his enemies obliges him to have recourse to arms, but also when he is allowed to enjoy the blessings of peace." The Letters, in which he expresses his profound esteem for the Great Gustavus, were all written before the month of June, 1630, whilst he resided at Paris and had no thought of entering into the Swedish service.

Gustavus had sent to Paris Benedict Oxenstiern, a relation of the High Chancellor, to bring to a final conclusion the treaty between France and Sweden. This Minister made acquaintance with Grotius, and in a short time conceived such a high esteem for him, that he resolved to employ his credit to draw him to his Master's court. A report of this spread in Holland; and William Grotius wrote about it to his brother, who made answer, Feb. 6, 1632, That these reports were without foundation; that, besides, he had an aversion to following an army. It was said that King Gustavus intended to employ him at the Court of France; and he answered his brother on this subject, Feb. 18, 1632, That if this Monarch would nominate him his Ambassador, with a proper salary for the decent support of that dignity, the proposal would merit his regard.

This Prince, who was certainly the greatest Captain of his age, had at the same time an affection for men of learning. The reading of the treatise Of the Rights of War and Peace gave him the highest opinion of its author, whom he regarded as an original genius[203]; and he was persuaded that one who wrote so well on the Law of Nations must be an able Statesman. He resolved to gain him, and to employ him in some embassy. The High Chancellor of Sweden, who was of the same opinion with his Master, was Grotius's patron at Court.

Gustavus, who looked upon Grotius as the first man of his age, was on the point of shewing all Europe how much he esteemed him, when he was unhappily slain, on the 6th of November, 1632[204], in a famous battle against the Imperialists, in which the Swedes gained a signal victory. Some time before, this great Prince[205], as if he had had a foreboding of his end being near, gave orders for several things to be done in case of his death; among others that Grotius should be employed in the Swedish Ministry. The High Chancellor Oxenstiern, who governed the kingdom during the minority of Queen Christina, the daughter of Gustavus Adolphus, thought it his duty and honour to conform to his Master's intentions: he therefore pressed Grotius to come to him, promising him an employment suited to his merit[206]. Grotius did not yield immediately, not only because he had still hopes of being recalled to Holland, but also because he was persuaded that one ought to deliberate long before taking a resolution which cannot be altered. It may not be improper to observe that the book Of the Rights of War and Peace was found in King Gustavus's tent after his death. Grotius also gives us an anecdote concerning his entering into the Swedish service which deserves to be mentioned, namely, that it was Marshal Bannier's brother, who gave him the first hint of preferring Sweden to the other States, by whom he was solicited.


[190] Ep. 250. p. 85.

[191] Ep. 336.

[192] Ep. 309. p. 845.

[193] Henry Dupuis. Grotii manes, p. 299. Niceron.

[194] Ep. Vossii, 257. p. 150.

[195] Ruari Ep. 36. p. 186.

[196] Ep. 326. p. 849.

[197] Ep. 326. p. 849.

[198] Ep. 163. p. 801.

[199] Ep. 170. p. 805.

[200] Ep. 173. p. 805.

[201] Ep. 184. p. 809. 212. p. 819.

[202] Ep. 215. p. 820. ep. 229. p. 824. & ep. 242. p. 829.

[203] Prefacio Man. Grotii Vir. Grot. p. 300.

[204] At Lutsen.

[205] Ep. Grotii, 87. p. 384.

[206] Ep. 344. p. 123. & 346. p. 124.

II. Grotius, on the invitation of the High Chancellor of Sweden, set out for Franckfort on the Main where that Minister was. He had no notion what they purposed to do with him; but he was quite easy with regard to his settlement, being persuaded that a Minister of Oxenstiern's prudence and credit would not engage him to take a wrong step: his only anxiety was, lest the High Chancellor, whom he looked on as the greatest man of his age[207], and fit to be compared with the most famous in antiquity, should entertain too high an idea of his merit, from the advantageous testimonies given of it, and lest he should be unable to answer the hopes that Minister had conceived of him.

He arrived at Franckfort in May, 1634[208], and was received with the greatest politeness by the High Chancellor, who did not however explain his intentions: Grotius wrote to his brother, July 13, 1634, that the Chancellor proceeded with great slowness in his affair; but that every body assured him he was a man of his word: "If so, he adds, all will go well." He wrote for his wife, and she arrived at Franckfort, with his daughters and son Cornelius, in the beginning of August. The Chancellor continued to heap civilities[209] on him without mentioning a word of business: but ordered him to follow him to Mentz; and at length[210] declared him Counsellor to the Queen of Sweden and her Ambassador at the Court of France.

The authority of Oxenstiern was so great that this kind of nomination needed not the Queen's confirmation: it was not till almost two years after[211] that Christina ratified by her letters Grotius's embassy. Before their arrival he enjoyed the same honours and prerogatives as if the Queen herself had nominated him.

As soon as he could depend upon an establishment, he purposed to make it known by some public act that he considered himself no longer as a Dutchman. On the 13th of July, 1634[212], he sent his brother letters for the Prince of Orange and the Dutch: but desired him to read them first himself, and advise with the Counsellor Reigersberg and Beaumont about them. "I have ceased, says he in another place[213], to be a Dutchman since I entered into the service of Sweden; which I have sufficiently intimated to the States of Holland. I have written to them, but not as their subject. Thus the Spaniards used to act in such cases, as Mariana informs us in several places of his History of Spain. When I bad adieu to the United Provinces (he writes again[214]) I signified to them that I was a member of another nation; that I should give myself little trouble about what might be said or thought of it; and that I reckoned never to see the Country again." We may judge by these expressions that his patience was at length worn out.

He wrote to the City of Rotterdam, which had deferred nominating a Pensionary since the sentence passed against Grotius, that they might now chuse one, since they ought no longer to look on him as a Dutchman.


[207] Ep. 349. p. 125. & ep. 346. p. 124.

[208] Ep. 330. p. 849.

[209] Ep. 352. p. 127.

[210] Ep. 337. p. 851.

[211] Ep. 577. p. 227.

[212] Ep. 330. p. 849.

[213] Ep. 572. p. 958.

[214] Ep. 719. p. 970.

III. At the time that Grotius entered into the service of Sweden, the affairs of that Crown were in a very bad situation. The death of the Great Gustavus had made a strange change in them. He left at his death a young Princess under age, whose right was even disputed. Ladislaus IV. elected King of Poland on the death of his father Sigismond, set up a claim to the Swedish crown, and had a party in the kingdom capable of forming a dangerous faction. Sweden was unable singly to support the war in Germany; and saw the allies, whom she had hitherto kept on her side by her authority and the eclat of her victories, ready to fall off: the weaker, in consternation at the death of their leader, wished for peace; the more powerful, such as the Dukes of Pomerania, the Elector of Brandenbourg, the Dukes of Meklenbourg, and some others, jealous of the authority usurped by the Swedes in Germany, would acknowledge them only as allies, and not as the head of the Protestant party. The Duke of Brunswick was already levying men in his own name, and intended to form a separate party composed of the Circle of Lower Saxony. The Elector of Saxony carried his views still farther. He wanted to have the supreme direction of affairs; and, if thwarted, there was reason to apprehend he would soon relinquish the common cause. In this perilous situation the Swedes, hardening themselves against danger, trusted to their courage and address: and after nominating regents to govern the kingdom during Queen Christina's minority, they committed the care of Sweden's interests in Germany to Baron Oxenstiern the High Chancellor with an almost absolute power.

That great man supported this important charge in the most difficult times with a firmness, address, and capacity, which justly made him be looked upon as one of the ablest Ministers of Europe. He inspired those who were wavering through fear with new Courage; brought back those who on private views had detached themselves from the common cause; broke the measures of the Duke of Brunswick; suspended the effects of the Elector of Saxony's jealousy, and made all the allies sensible that they could only find their true interest, their security, and safety, in their union. By this means the bands which knit them together were strengthened, and Sweden preserved the principal direction of affairs, and almost as much authority as she had in the time of Gustavus. The Swedes had lately lost the famous battle of Norlingen in September; and Marshal Horne their General was made prisoner. This disaster was followed by the peace of Prague, in which the Emperor Ferdinand II. engaged the Electors of Saxony and Brandenbourg to unite against the Swedes; and it would have been all over with them in Germany, had not a power which hitherto faintly seconded them, brought them powerful assistance. Lewis XIII. by the advice of his Prime Minister, sent Cardinal De la Vallette at the head of an army into Germany; and concluded a treaty with the Duke of Weimar, engaging to pay him a subsidy of one million five hundred thousand Livres, and the sum of four millions yearly for maintaining an army of eighteen thousand men, which the Duke obliged himself to furnish, and command under the direction of France.

Such is the exact portrait which Father Bougeant gives of the state of Germany. Let us hear what a cotemporary author says of it[215]. "Fortune smiled on the Imperialists on every side. There was nothing but conquest and victories and a happy change of affairs: for in less than a month the Swedes, who were become so powerful and formidable, were defeated, and entirely dispersed in one battle, and an unheard-of victory gained most gloriously with inconsiderable loss on the side of the Imperialists. Bavaria was entirely delivered; the Swedes driven out of Swabia, the dutchy of Wirtemberg conquered; and almost all Franconia: the rivers Ocin and Iser remained free; the Lek, the Danube, the Necker, and almost all the Main cleared, with the loss of so many towns and provinces in such a short time, almost deprived the Swedes of a retreat; Ulm and Nuremberg refusing them admittance, whereas formerly they were welcome, and masters every where."

These descriptions agree with that given by Grotius. Sept. 20, 1634, he writes to Du Maurier[216], "Had I come sooner to the High Chancellor, I should have found the times more favourable; but as his great courage is most conspicuous in adverse circumstances, it is proper we should conform to the example of so great a leader. France is at present the sole resource of Germany in her affliction: since the loss of Ratisbon and Donavert, and the unfortunate battle of Norlinguen, the towns are all frightened, and it is a great happiness that the conquerors have not approached Franckfort: they have divided their army; the King of Hungary has led one into Bohemia, and his brother is marched with the other towards the United Provinces. France alone is able to restore our affairs." The Swedes, in the consternation occasioned by the defeat at Norlinguen, were threatened with seeing Franckfort, Mentz, Augsburg, Nuremberg, and Ulm fall into the hands of the Imperialists; but by good luck they did not take the advantage of their victory. Grotius assures us the Swedes were obliged to the King of France for it, who kept the projects of the enemy suspended by the apprehension of his declaring war. Such was the situation of affairs when Grotius received orders to repair to the French Court. It was the most important commission with which a Minister could be charged, since the principal resource of the Swedes and their allies was in the protection of France; and Oxenstiern's nominating Grotius to be the Ambassador who was to strengthen the union between Sweden and France is a demonstration of that great man's particular esteem for him.


[215] Mercure François, an. 1634, p. 621.

[216] Ep. 354, p. 127 et 355. p. 128.

IV. In the beginning of the year 1635 Grotius set out from Mentz on his embassy to France. He was obliged to go a great way about, to avoid being surprised by the enemies parties. Beginning his journey in very rainy weather, succeeded by a hard frost, he arrived at Metz much later than he expected, and indisposed with a cholic occasioned by the great cold; which obliged him to continue there some time till he recovered. It was five days before he could write to the High Chancellor. January 30, as soon as his pain abated, he wrote to him that he hoped to be able to continue his journey in two or three days, and that the vexation of his mind at being hindered from getting so soon as he wished to the place of his destination, was greater than the indisposition of his body. He was extremely well received by the Commandants of Haguenau and Saverne. At the former of those towns he met some waggons going to the army with a million of money, which it was said would soon be followed by other two.

He left Metz February 2[217], and was at Meaux the 7th, from whence he went to St. Denis. On the 14th he wrote to the High Chancellor, that by the advice of his friends he had given the introductors of Ambassadors notice of his arrival, that they might pay him the usual honours; and that he would write to the Queen of Sweden as soon as he had his audience of the King[218]. Francis de Thou, hearing of his arrival, came immediately to visit him.

Grotius was suffered to remain long at St. Denis: February 12, he wrote to Oxenstiern[219] that Count Brulon, introductor of Ambassadors, had been with him to acquaint him that the troubles of the Court had hitherto prevented the appointing a day for his entry. In fact, the Duke de Puy-Laurens, and some other Lords, accused of giving bad counsels to Gaston of France Duke of Orleans, had been just arrested.

But Grotius suspected that his entry was deferred for other reasons; that they waited for the answers of La Grange and Feuquieres, employed by the Court of France in Germany, to know whether the High Chancellor would conform to the intentions of the French Ministry, and in consequence to proportion the honours to be paid Sweden's Ambassador to Oxenstiern's compliance. Count Brulon assured Grotius that in two or three days every obstruction to his entry would be removed, and in the mean time gave him an invitation to see incognito the ballets and entertainments that were to be given the Sunday following, in the King's apartments: which the Ambassador thought fit to decline. February 23[220] Count Brulon came to make Grotius another visit, and asked, who sent him into France? Grotius answered, that he was the Queen of Sweden's Ambassador, and was nominated to that employment by the High Chancellor of Sweden, by virtue of the powers given to his Excellency. Brulon said, that the King of Spain had formerly empowered the Duke of Mentz to nominate Ambassadors; but they were never regarded as such. Grotius replied, that was owing to the war, and a dislike to the duke of Mentz; that when the truce between Spain and the United Provinces was treating at the Hague, the Ambassadors sent thither by the Arch-Dukes were received by the French and English Ministers as Ambassadors of the King of Spain; and that if during the late war in Italy Cardinal Richelieu, who had very extensive powers, had nominated Ambassadors, they would have been every where received in the same manner as those sent by the King; that the High Chancellor's powers could not be disputed; that they were given him by the whole kingdom; that the King of France had already treated as Ambassadors Ministers nominated by his Excellency; and that the Ambassadors of the King of France, in the treaty which they made with Oxenstiern, acknowledged this power. Brulon declared, that the difficulty did not proceed from any aversion to Grotius, whom the King highly esteemed. He repeated this so often, that the Swedish Ambassador imagined they wanted to make him quit the service of Sweden, and enter into that of France. The Count promised to return in three or four days: he did not keep his word; he sent however to acquaint Grotius that the Wednesday following, which was the last of February, every thing would be ready for his entry; but that he must first receive the King's commands who was at Chantilly.

Du Maurier, Son of the Ambassador to Holland, an intimate friend of Grotius, pretends, in his Memoirs, that the Swedish Ambassador was suffered to remain so long at St. Denis because Cardinal Richelieu, who had a dislike to him, was vexed to see him nominated Ambassador to France; that he wrote to Oxenstiern, asking him to appoint some other, and that the High Chancellor paying no regard to the Cardinal's whim, he was obliged to acknowledge Grotius's quality. The Letters of Grotius rather contradict than confirm this anecdote, though Du Maurier assures us Grotius was fully informed of this secret negotiation.

Grotius made his public entry into Paris on Friday the 2d of March, 1635. The Marshals D'Estres and St. Luc were nominated to attend him; but, the latter falling ill, Count Brulon, Introductor of Ambassadors, supplied his place. They came in the King and Queen's coaches to take him up. The coaches of the Venetian, Swiss, and Mantuan Ministers were at this entry, together with those of the German powers allied to Sweden. The Princes of the Blood did not send their coaches because they were not at Paris; Gaston Duke of Orleans was at Angers; the Prince of Condé had a cause depending at Rouen; and the Count De Soissons was at Senlis with the Court.

Pau, Ambassador from Holland, greatly chagrined to see Grotius in such an honourable place, was much embarrassed[221] in what manner to behave: he wrote about it to the States-General, and in the mean time sent to make him his compliments. The States-General answered, that they intended their Ambassadors should shew the same regard to Grotius as to the Ambassadors of powers in friendship with them. Pau, not satisfied with this, wrote to the particular States of Holland. Grotius was informed of it, and seemed little concerned, because, he said, they knew little, were very inconstant, and took their resolutions on slight grounds.

May 5, the Count de Nancei, Master of the Wardrobe, came to compliment him on the part of the King. He told him that his nomination to the French Embassy was most agreeable to his Majesty[222], who wished he might long continue in that post. Count Brulon assured him that he had orders to present his lady to the Queen, who remained at Paris, whenever she pleased: but Grotius thought this ought to be deferred till he had seen the King.

Grotius was carried to Court at Senlis on the sixth of March, by the Duke De Mercoeur, whom he calls the most learned of all the Princes[223]: on the death of his father he became Duke of Vendôme, and in the end a Cardinal. The new Ambassador was extremely satisfied with his reception: the King's guards were under arms[224]: Lewis XIII. spoke much to him, and with so great goodness, that he conjectured from it he should bring the affairs with which he was entrusted to the desired conclusion. His Majesty gave him to understand by his gracious manner, and by his[225] talk, that they could not have sent into France a Minister so agreeable to him. He made him be covered in his presence, and repeated his civilities on Grotius's presenting to him his son Cornelius.

March 8, Grotius sent Queen Christina news of his entry and his audience of the King: Next day he wrote to Salmasius: after acquainting him with the agreeable revolution in his affairs, he adds, that the first formalities of his embassy being over, he hoped to have leisure to resume his studies. Salmasius had at that time the greatest esteem for Grotius, and on hearing of his being nominated Ambassador to France, took occasion to say that Grotius's friends were only sorry the affairs of Sweden were not in such a good situation, as might render the embassy of so great a man as agreeable as could be desired.

After having an audience of the King, Grotius made his visits to Mademoiselle[226], the Prince of Condé, the Count of Soissons, the Countess of Soissons the Count's mother, and to his lady the Princess of Condé. The Prince[227] received him with the greatest politeness, spoke to him of their old acquaintance, and next day returned his visit. Cardinal Richelieu, before he would see him, wanted to know his instructions relating to the treaty lately concluded between France and several German Princes, with which the Swedes were dissatisfied. He went to his Abbey of Royaumont till Grotius should see Boutillier, Superintendant of the Finances, with whom he was to discuss the late treaty; and as things passed at this conference the Cardinal was to talk to the Swedish Ambassador.


[217] Ep. 360. p. 130 & 361. p. 610.

[218] Ep. 362. p. 130.

[219] Ep. 363. p. 131.

[220] Ep. 364. p. 132.

[221] Ep. 374. p. 137.

[222] Ep. 374. p. 137.

[223] Ep. 339. p. 851.

[224] Ep. 367. p. 134.

[225] Ep. 388. p. 142.

[226] Ep. 370. p. 135.

[227] Ep. 339. p. 851.

V. The subject of the dispute between France and Sweden was this: after the unfortunate battle of Norlinguen, the Swedes and their allies being reduced to the last extremity, judged the support of France must be their principal resource. They made no doubt that such an able statesman as Cardinal Richelieu would seize every opportunity to abase, or at least embarrass the house of Austria, the eternal rival of France. James Læfler and Philip Strect were sent in 1634, by the Protestant Princes and States of the Circles and Electoral Provinces of Franconia, Suabia, and the Rhine, to solicit succours from the King of France, and prevail with him to declare war against the Emperor. They proposed that the King should send an army to the Rhine, and advance a large sum of money to enable the allies to recruit their army, which was almost wholly destroyed. They treated with the Cardinal de Richelieu, who endeavoured to avail himself of the situation of affairs and their necessities, to make the most advantageous treaty he could for France. He offered only five hundred thousand Livres, six thousand foot in six weeks, and twelve thousand when they had put France in possession of Benfield: but their powers did not extend to the cession of that place. However they promised it without making any condition; and had not the precaution to stipulate that France should furnish every year the same subsidies which she engaged to give King Gustavus by a treaty which was renewed at Hailbron. The Cardinal gave them hopes that France would declare war against the Emperor; that after the declaration the King would keep twelve thousand men in Germany, and a strong army on the Rhine; advance immediately five hundred thousand Francs to be divided among the army or the allies; nominate a Prince to command the army of twelve thousand men, with a lieutenant under him as his collegue; and have one to assist in his Majesty's name at the Councils of war.

After signing the treaty Læfler and Strect returned to Germany in December 1634.

When a motion was made in the assembly of the Allies at Worms to ratify this Treaty, the High Chancellor of Sweden opposed it. He maintained that it was obscure and ambiguous, and discordant with the private treaty made with Sweden. This Minister was chiefly chagrined at Sweden's losing the principal direction of affairs in Germany by the nomination of a German Prince to be Generalissimo of the allied army. He declared that he thought himself obliged to propose his difficulties to the Queen of Sweden: and besides would send an embassy to Paris on the subject. This then was the business which Grotius had to manage at the Court of France. The Commission was the more delicate as Cardinal Richelieu, a positive man, absolutely required that the treaty made with the Envoys of the German Princes should have its full effect.

It was to confer on this affair that Grotius made a visit to Boutillier, Superintendant of the Finances. The Swedish Ambassador represented, that the Treaty ought not to be in force till Sweden's ratification of it, which could not be expected, as it made void the Treaty of Hailbron. This was not what the Cardinal wanted: he commissioned Father Joseph to employ all his address to bring Grotius into his measures. The Capuchin was the Cardinal's confident, and it was then thought that he was destined to succeed him in the Ministry in case of the Cardinal's death. March 14, the Superintendant sent to acquaint Grotius that he purposed to make him a visit with Father Joseph; but as the Father was taken ill he asked him to go with him to the Convent of the Capuchins; that he ought to have no reluctance to this, since the Cardinal himself had lately visited Father Joseph there when he was ill. Grotius went to the convent, and was conducted from thence to the Garden of the Thuilleries, where he found Boutillier and Father Joseph. After the usual compliments, the Capuchin shewed that the late treaty at Paris was made in consequence of a full power given the Ministers of the German Princes, and concluded and signed without any stipulation concerning the necessity of ratifying it. Grotius replied, that the High Chancellor himself had said the contrary; that the towns who approved of the treaty owned the necessity of its being ratified; that a ratification was so necessary to give a treaty the force of a law, that that which was concluded at Ratisbon, in 1630, by Father Joseph himself, had not its full execution because the King did not think proper to ratify it; that the Swedes only asked what was just, and would consent that some addition should be made to the treaty of Hailbron, if that were proper. Grotius was asked, which article of the late treaty Sweden complained of? he first mentioned that of the Subsidies, the disposition of which was left to the four circles of Germany, though it was on the express condition of receiving them that Sweden had engaged in the war: he added, that it was unjust to take Benfield from the Swedes without giving them an equivalent, since the Germans had given them that place as a pledge. The two French Ministers, unable to make Grotius approve of the treaty of Paris, had recourse to menaces and caresses: they imagined that his instructions bore that he might ratify it provided it was not till the last extremity. Grotius saw through their design, and told them they deceived themselves. They said, they would write to Sweden to complain of the High Chancellor; that the King would no longer treat with Grotius as Ambassador; that orders would be sent to the Marquis de Feuquieres to complain to Oxenstiern himself of his contempt of a signed treaty, and want of due regard to the King. Grotius answered, that the Marquis de Feuquieres had already made representations to the High Chancellor, without effect, on this subject; that if France would not have him for Ambassador, he would be employed elsewhere; that it would be in vain to write to Sweden because Oxenstiern's reasons for not ratifying the treaty of Paris would certainly be approved there. They cooled a little; and gave him to understand, that an alteration might be made in some of the articles, and that the King would consent that the Swedes should not be excluded from the chief command, though the treaty imported that a Prince should be General. Grotius shewed that there were many other articles, which occasioned great difficulty both by their ambiguity and their opposition to the interests of Sweden. The two Ministers put themselves into a passion, and concluded with complaining that they would inform the King and the Cardinal that they could settle nothing with Grotius, and that the Swedes made a jest of treaties. Father Joseph retiring, the conversation became milder with the Superintendant: Grotius shewed that it was the promise of assistance from France, which engaged Sweden in such a burthensome war; that the High Chancellor had done essential services to the common cause; that if the King should drop his alliance with the Swedes, they should be obliged to take care of themselves; that France might give subsidies to the Germans, but it was just that those promised to Sweden should be exactly paid. Grotius informed the High Chancellor of this conference in a letter of the 15th of March, 1635.

Cardinal Richelieu[228], to induce the Swedes to conform more to his measures, spread a report, and even said himself often, that he was in treaty with the Emperor, and the accommodation on the point of being concluded: but Grotius, who knew the Cardinal's character, was not duped by it; and wrote to the High Chancellor that it was only a stratagem of that Minister, and the report ought to make no change in Sweden's conduct.

On the 28th of March the Cardinal sending to acquaint Grotius[229] that he wanted to confer with him, he immediately waited on his Eminence: which shews the inaccuracy of Du Maurier, who assures us that Grotius never saw Cardinal Richelieu whilst he was Minister from Sweden in France, because his Eminence gave not the precedence to Ambassadors.

He complimented the Cardinal (with whom he found Father Joseph) in the name of the Queen, the Regents of Sweden, and the High Chancellor, and delivered to him his Letters of Credence. The treaty of Paris was soon brought on the carpet: the Cardinal pretended that it ought to be executed without any restriction; he said the King, by assisting the Germans with men and money, sufficiently favoured the Swedes; adding, that Sweden did not apply the subsidies granted by France to the uses agreed on. Grotius made answer, that Læfler and Strect could not make a treaty contrary to the interests of Sweden. Father Joseph added that the King was informed that it was he (Grotius) who advised the High Chancellor not to ratify the treaty of Paris, giving him hopes that he through his friends would obtain one more advantageous. Grotius assured him it was a falshood; and that what had been said of the misapplication of the Subsidies was a gross calumny. The Cardinal interposing said that he perceived Father Joseph and the Swedish Ambassador were not in good understanding, and he would endeavour to reconcile them. Grotius sounded high the wealth of France, as being more than sufficient to assist the Germans without abandoning the Swedes, who had entered into the war solely at her felicitation and on her promise of succours. The Cardinal, without explaining himself what sum would be given, hinted that Sweden must not expect for the future a Subsidy of a million. Father Joseph pretended, that he knew from good hands the High Chancellor only wanted that article changed which excluded the Swedes from the command in chief, and that regard should be had to their interests in concluding a peace. The Cardinal said the King would consent to this alteration; but that he was surprised the High Chancellor, after giving so many assurances of his satisfaction, should make new demands. Grotius still insisted that it was but just to adhere to the treaty of Hailbron, and that Sweden, which kept up armies and fleets, had a better claim to the King's liberality, than several other Princes to whom the King generously gave subsidies.

The Cardinal receiving notice that a Courier was just arrived with Letters from the High Chancellor, ordered him to be brought in. He presented Oxenstiern's Letters to the Cardinal, who, on reading them, was much surprised to find the High Chancellor desirous of coming into France to settle all difficulties in a conference. This journey was not at all agreeable to the Cardinal: however, as it would have been indecent and improper to oppose it, he answered that he would write about it to the King, and he did not doubt but his Majesty would consent to it; that it would give him the greatest pleasure to see Oxenstiern, but if his errand was to set aside the treaty of Paris, he foresaw the interview would do more harm than good; and that he would dispatch La Grange to the High Chancellor to compliment him, and assure him he must not think of concluding a treaty contrary to what had been agreed on with Læfler and Strect.


[228] Ep. 375. p 137.

[229] Ep. 380. p. 139.

VI. The King being informed that Oxenstiern, to serve the common cause, wanted to come to France, consented to it, and gave orders for his being received with great magnificence: the Hotel for Ambassadors Extraordinary at Paris was fitted up for him[230]. All business was suspended till his arrival[231]: and the King went to Compeigne to be nearer Flanders and Germany. The High Chancellor came thither. Grotius had purposed to go to meet him as soon as he heard of his being on the way; but Oxenstiern not giving him notice what rout he would take, nor whether he would come directly to Paris, or alight at Compeigne, Grotius remained in suspense till April 21, that a Courier[232] from the High Chancellor brought him word that he had taken the road through the Three Bishoprics and Champagne, and desired him to come to him. Grotius set out immediately; and met him at Soissons, from whence they came to Compeigne. The High Chancellor had two hundred men in his retinue. The Count de Soissons was at first nominated to go to meet that Minister[233]; it was however the Count D'Alais, Son of the Duke D'Angoulême, who went with Count Brulon in the King's coach. They proceeded the distance of three leagues, and on their coming up the High Chancellor stept with them into his Majesty's coach. He was conducted to the Hotel prepared for him, and splendidly entertained at the King's expence. On the 26th of April, 1635, he came to Compeigne; and next day had an audience of the King, who received him very graciously, and expressed a high esteem for him. The visit lasted half an hour: the Scots Colonels Hepburn and Leslie were present; and Grotius served as Interpreter. He afterwards visited the Queen, and also Cardinal Richelieu, who took the right hand of him; he offered it indeed to Oxenstiern; but he in civility refused it. They were together at this visit three hours, but said not a word of business; nothing passed but compliments and mirth, says the Mercure François. Both spoke in Latin. Two days after, that is to say, on the 29th, the Cardinal returned the High Chancellor's visit: his Eminence was booted as if he were returning from the country, that this visit, says Puffendorf, might not be looked upon as a debt. They conversed long together about business. Oxenstiern, like an able Politician, made no mention of the treaty of Paris, nor of that of Hailbron: he foresaw that it would draw on discussions which might breed ill blood, and hurt the common cause: he only talked of a treaty with Sweden. There was some alteration made in the old one; and it was agreed that no peace or truce should be concluded with the Austrians without the consent of the two Crowns. The same day, according to the Mercure François, or on the 30th of April, according to Puffendorf, the High Chancellor had his audience of leave of the King: his Majesty took a diamond ring from his finger, valued at that time at ten or twelve thousand crowns, which he gave him, together with a box set with diamonds, in which was his Majesty's picture. All the time he was at Compeigne, he was served by the officers of the King's kitchen with so much splendor and magnificence, that he complained to Grotius of the too great expence they were at on his account. He set out from Compeigne on Monday the 30th of April for Paris. He wanted to be there incognito; and lodged with Grotius[234]; but as soon as his arrival took air, the crowd to see him was so great that they could scarce keep them from forcing into Grotius's house. Had he been one descended from heaven they could not have shewn more eagerness. He staid only two or three days at Paris, during which he went to see the Church of Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Palace of Luxembourg, and some of the fine Seats near the City. He was so well satisfied with the manner in which Grotius received him, that he made a considerable present to his lady. She would have refused it, if she could have done it with a good grace. Grotius, in returning his humble thanks for it to the High Chancellor, told him that he owed all he had to his goodness, and that if he could have done more, he would have thought himself sufficiently recompensed by the honour of lodging so great a man. Oxenstiern went from Paris to embark at Dieppe; and Grotius accompanied him a part of the way[235]. As soon as the High Chancellor arrived at Dieppe, he wrote Grotius a very obliging letter[236]. The Court had prepared vessels at Dieppe, on board which Oxenstiern embarked for Holland, from whence he proceeded to Lower Saxony.

This treaty occasioned a difference between the Duke of Weymar and the High Chancellor[237]. The Marquis de Feuquieres insinuated to that Prince, that Oxenstiern, in treating with France, had shewn no regard to the interests of Germany. The fact was most false; for Grotius was a witness that the High Chancellor had recommended the affairs of Germany to the King with great warmth: it was agreed that neither peace nor truce should be concluded but in concert with the Allies; and he had ordered Grotius to solicit their affairs, who had in consequence pressed the sending the promised succours. It was not probable that Feuquieres should of himself venture to talk in this manner, which was enough to ruin him: there was therefore reason to suspect that he did it by private orders from the Cardinal, that the Duke of Weymar, distrusting the Chancellor, might place his confidence in his Eminence. It is certain, that notwithstanding what was agreed on at Compeigne, the Cardinal had the treaty with Læfler and Strect still much at heart; and Avaugour[238], the French Minister at Stockholm, was ordered to demand its ratification. But he was answered, that those Ministers were not sent by Sweden, and exceeded their powers, and that the affair was referred to Oxenstiern. After such a formal denial, Avaugour was forced to confine his demands to the ratification of the treaty of Compeigne.


[230] Ep. 383. p. 140.

[231] Ep. 390. p. 142. & ep. 391. p. 143.

[232] Ep. 393. p. 143 & ep. 396 p. 144.

[233] Ep. 387. p. 141.

[234] Ep. 400. p. 146.

[235] Ep. 344. p. 853.

[236] Ep. 408. p. 1, 8.

[237] Ep. 432. p. 159.

[238] Puffendorf, l. 8. n. 4.

VII. Grotius was not only fatigued and embarrassed with State affairs; the reformed Ministers gave him uneasiness at a time when he imagined they had room to be satisfied with him.

He was at a loss[239] at first how to act with regard to the celebration of divine service. March 30, 1635, he wrote to his brother: "You have reason to ask how I must act in the affair of religion; it greatly embarrasses me. It would be an odious thing, and might displease the High Chancellor, to introduce, by my own authority, a new reformed Church: besides, those, to whom I might apply for a Minister, are of different sentiments from me. What you propose, that I should hear the Ministers of Charenton, since they receive the Lutherans into their communion, is not amiss."

We have seen that Grotius, on his arrival at Paris after his escape from Louvestein, had room to be dissatisfied with the reformed Ministers, who, under pretence of his refusing to receive the Synod of Dort, and his attachment to Arminianism, would not communicate with him. The happy revolution in his fortune made one in their minds, as he writes to Vossius[240]. Immediately on his arrival at Paris in quality of Ambassador from Sweden, he was visited by six of the principal reformed Ministers, among whom were Faucher, Aubertin, Daillé, and Drelincourt. They were not much attached to the rigid sentiments on Predestination: some even seemed to prefer Melancton's system to that of Calvin. Before Grotius had determined in what manner he should act with the Ministers of Charenton, Faucher, Mestrezat, and Daillé came on the 2d of August, 1635[241], to ask him to join their communion; which, they assured him, discovered a greater disposition than ever towards an union among Protestants, having lately resolved to admit Lutherans. "They hoped, they said, that he looked on their Confession of Faith as consistent with Christianity; that they had the same charitable sentiments concerning that of the Arminians; that they had not forgot what he had formerly said, writing against Sibrand, 'that he wondered whether the Contra-Remonstrants would refuse to admit St. Chrysostom and Melancton into their communion, if they should offer themselves;' that they had read and approved of his Treatise on the Truth of the Christian Religion, and what he had lately written, exhorting Christians to live in peace; that they had written to Holland, to make no more difficulty about admitting the Remonstrants into their communion; and that the Dutch, become more moderate in process of time, would give attention to their reasons." Grotius answered, that he was ready to give them public proofs of his willingness to join in communion with them, and that it was not his fault he had not done this sooner: adding, that if he should go into any Country where the Lutherans, knowing his sentiments on the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, should be willing to receive him into their communion, he would make no difficulty of joining with them: which the Ministers approved of.

He had not yet determined to go to Charenton on the 23d of August, 1635. "I weigh matters (he writes to his[242] brother) that I may do what is most agreeable to God, useful to the Church, and advantageous to my Family."

This affair seemed almost finished when the Ministers sent to tell him[243] that they would willingly receive him, but not as Ambassador from Sweden, because that kingdom was of a different persuasion. "I am surprised (he writes to his brother) at the fickleness of people, who invite the Lutherans to partake with them, and say they cannot receive me in quality of Ambassador from Sweden, on account of their differing in opinion from that kingdom." To go to sermon as a private man would have been no great inconveniency to him[244], but he could not do this without contradicting his principles, which made him look on the Swedes as orthodox. He resolved therefore to have Divine Service celebrated for the future in his own house.

It is evident from this recital, which is faithfully taken from Grotius's letters, that Du Maurier is mistaken in saying[245], that the Ministers of Charenton, when they knew that Grotius was Ambassador from Sweden, deputed one of their number to invite him to their Church; and he answered, that having neglected him when a Fugitive he would now neglect them when Ambassador.

Not having been able to settle matters with the reformed Ministers, he resolved to have Divine Service performed at home. The Lutherans attended his Chapel as if he publicly professed their religion. He writes to his brother, Dec. 28, 1635[246], "We celebrated at my house the Feast of the Nativity: the Duke of Wirtemberg, the Count de Suarsenbourg, and several Swedish and German Lords assisted at it."

George Calixtus, an eminent Lutheran Minister[247], procured him Brandanus for his Chaplain. This man was a zealous Lutheran: Grotius recommended moderation to him, and took him upon condition[248] that he should be upon his guard in his Sermons, and never enter into controversy in public, either with the Roman Catholics or the Reformed. But his zeal carried him away; and seeing his Master's Chapel much frequented, he took occasion to rail sometimes against the Papists and even sometimes against the Reformed. Grotius was much offended at it, not only because it was contrary to agreement, but also because, by publicly attacking in his own house the established Church and the others who were tolerated, he exposed himself to the hatred of the whole kingdom. He several times intimated to Brandanus[249] to behave otherwise; but his representations and orders having no effect, in autumn, 1637, he forbad him his Chapel: he kept him however in his house till the end of February following. To supply the place of Brandanus he pitched upon Francis Dor, who had been deposed at Sedan for his adherence to Arminianism, and since lived by keeping a boarding-school, and teaching French to young Flemings and Germans on their travels in France. It was some time before he could resolve[250] to quit this manner of life; but at length accepted of Grotius's offer. They lived in good understanding together, because their opinions were almost the same.


[239] Ep. 340. p. 151.

[240] Ep. 378. p. 138.

[241] Ep. 350. p. 854.

[242] Ep. 354. p. 856.

[243] Ep. 358. p. 857.

[244] Ep. 360. p. 857.

[245] Memoirs, p. 414, 415.

[246] Ep. 363. p. 858.

[247] Ep. 674. p. 275.

[248] Ep. 410. p. 872.

[249] Ep. 840. p. 369.

[250] Ep. 423. p. 879.

VIII. Soon after Oxenstiern left the kingdom, the peace of Vervins was broken, and the French and Spaniards began that long war which was not ended till the Pyrenean treaty. The King went to Chateau-Thierry; and the Cardinal followed him, though indisposed. Grotius went to Court on the eve of Whitsunday, 1635[251], as well to solicit the affairs of Sweden, as to attend to the interest of their allies. France was at this time in great joy on account of the victory at Ardenne, gained by the Marshals de Brezé and de Chatilon over Prince Thomas of Savoy. The Marshal de la Force had also gained a great advantage over the Cravats in Lorrain: which happy beginning raised the hopes of the French exceedingly. It was at this point of time Grotius arrived at Court. He went first to Cardinal Richelieu, who was three leagues from Chateau-Thierry; but as that Minister had been blooded on Whitsunday, he referred the Ambassador to Boutillier the Superintendant. They talked about several things: the chief was the payment of the Subsidies. Grotius after this conference sending to ask how the Cardinal did, his Eminence desired him to wait on the King. Grotius accordingly went to compliment his Majesty on the victory of Ardenne, and afterwards begged that he would be pleased to give orders about the money which was demanded by the Swedes. The King heard him with great goodness, and desired him to give in a state of his demands to Boutillier. At taking his leave, Grotius told his Majesty that he should think himself most happy if he could do him any service, or promote the common cause. The King answered, that he might be of great use in what concerned the affairs of Holland. He afterwards related to him what had passed between the Marshal de la Force and the Cravats; the news of which, he had just received.

Grotius was preparing to visit the Superintendant again, when the Cardinal sent to acquaint him, that he should be glad to see him. Grotius went: he spoke to his Eminence of the sums due to Sweden before the death of King Gustavus, and which Chavigni, Secretary of State for foreign affairs, and Boutillier's son, promised the High Chancellor should be paid. The Cardinal answered, that his bad state of health and greater affairs had made him much a stranger to those particulars; and that since the Superintendant and Bullion said they were ignorant of the King's intentions on the subject, he must wait Chavigni's return, who was expected at Court in a few days.

Grotius after this visit went to the Superintendant, with whom he left a memorial of his demands as his Majesty had desired. Boutillier talked in the same strain the Cardinal had done concerning the money due to the Swedes.

Things being in this situation, Grotius returned to Paris, leaving his Secretary at Court, who was to give him notice of Chavigni's return.

The King drawing nearer Paris, Chavigni came back to that city. The Swedish Ambassador[252] sent several times to demand an interview, which he eluded; sometimes it was pretended he was gone out; at other times he was busy: he once made a positive appointment with him; but when Grotius came to his house, he was gone to wait upon the King at Monceaux. At his return he appointed another meeting; Grotius did not fail to be there: Chavigni assured him, that some pressing business hindered him from conferring with him at that time. The Cardinal returning very ill to Ruel, Chavigni went to see him; Grotius followed, and pressed him so closely, he could not put him off. Bullion was present: Chavigni pretended that there never had been any positive promise to pay the arrears of the old subsidies; that he had only said from the King, that as far as the situation of affairs would allow, his Majesty would endeavour that the High Chancellor should have no reason to complain. However Grotius recommended this affair to Bullion as being just in itself; and Bullion answered, that he would give as much attention to it as the state of the finances would permit. Grotius shewed them his letters from Germany, informing him that the body of twelve thousand men, which the King engaged to furnish, was in a very bad condition, and that even the interest of France required that it should be speedily completed. They made answer, that the King intended it, and that this army would soon be increased to seventeen thousand men.

Grotius's pressing solicitations were troublesome to Chavigni[253], and we see that he was afraid of his visits. He sought pretences for delay, and even often broke his appointments with so little decency, that Grotius complained to the High Chancellor that Chavigni did not shew proper respect to the dignity of an Ambassador from Sweden.

The King going to Fontainebleau in summer, 1635[254], and carrying Boutillier with him, whose son was with the Duke of Orleans, Servin, Secretary at War, remained at Paris. Grotius went to see him and was received with great politeness and friendship.

He spoke to him of the subsidies; Servien promised his good offices. Grotius also recommended to him the interests of the Duke of Weymar, who was hard pressed by his enemies: and he received fair promises. Some days after, Servien returned his visit[255]. July 20, 1635, Grotius went to see the Cardinal at Ruel[256]; and spoke to him of the money owing to Sweden. His Eminence owned it; but enlarged much on the great expence France was put to for the allies; and wished the Swedish Ambassador would confer on this and other matters with Father Joseph, who had an apartment at Ruel near the Cardinal's. Grotius saw him, and received much satisfaction. The Father said he had always disapproved of the delays in the payment of the subsidies; that he would use his endeavours to get the promises made to Sweden punctually performed, and to perpetuate a good understanding between the two crowns, which would be for the interest of both: he added, that the troops intended for augmenting the army in Germany were already on their march.

Grotius met with the better reception as the French Court was under some uneasiness lest the allies should make a separate peace. The Cardinal gave some hints of what he apprehended on this subject: Grotius removed his fears in relation to Sweden, and the Cardinal promised that France would be faithful to her engagements. Grotius did not lose sight of the affair of the subsidies[257]: he went several times to Bullion, on whom it partly depended as belonging to his department: but Bullion always refused to speak to him under pretence of indisposition or multiplicity of business, which did not leave him master of his own time. Grotius judging this behaviour equivalent to a positive denial, wrote to the High Chancellor, that he thought his Excellency should write to the King himself. The answers of the Ministry depended on the situation of affairs[258]: when France had need of Oxenstiern they made fine promises to Grotius, who was not duped by them. At last he saw Bullion[259], who, after enlarging much on the King's great expence in maintaining an hundred and fifty thousand men, promised to advance two hundred thousand Francs; but never issued the order. Lewis XIII. making a progress towards Lorain, Cardinal Richelieu was left at Paris with absolute power. Grotius had an audience of him in September 1635. He found him in a very bad humour. His Eminence said he was well assured the High Chancellor was negotiating a separate treaty with the Elector of Saxony; that it was vain to make alliances if they were not faithfully observed; that for his part he was resolved to adhere to his engagements, and chose rather to be deceived than to deceive. Grotius answered, that it was true the Elector of Saxony had made proposals to the High Chancellor, but his Excellency had written to the Elector himself, had told his Envoys, and sent a deputation to inform him, that a separate treaty would be injurious to France and the other allies of Sweden: The Ambassador added, that he had orders to declare to his Eminence, that in case Sweden should be abandoned by France, he must not be surprised if the necessity of affairs should oblige the Swedish Ministers to have recourse to expedients which were very far from their intention. The Cardinal replied, that that was the usual style of such as depart from their engagements and treat separately. Grotius assured him that there was nothing yet done; that it were to be wished France would send a Minister to Oxenstiern to act in concert with him; and that it was time to pay the arrears which were still owing to Sweden notwithstanding the frequent promises to the contrary, and whose payment Bullion always deferred. The Cardinal made no answer to this article: he asked the Ambassador whether he thought the High Chancellor had an inclination to return to his own country. Grotius replied, that that illustrious minister entertained no thoughts but what were honourable and great, and that his principal object was to terminate with dignity the great affairs with which he was entrusted. The Ambassador at the same time took occasion to thank the Cardinal for the attention which the King and his Eminence gave to what passed on the Rhine. The Cardinal intimating that he heard the Princes in those parts had a great aversion to Oxenstiern, Grotius replied, that it was impossible it should be otherwise as things were situated; and that a Foreigner, however great his prudence and modesty might be, would be always odious to Princes whose authority and dignity he eclipsed. The end of the conference was more calm: The Cardinal conducted Grotius to the door of the chamber, excusing himself that his health did not permit him to go farther. A month after this audience Grotius demanded another of his Eminence, which he obtained, after asking it five days successively[260], at Ruel. Grotius gave him to understand that the letters he received from Germany ought to make them very uneasy. The Cardinal replied, that he apprehended the bad state of affairs was exaggerated in order to excuse a separate peace; but that no honourable or lasting one could be made but in conjunction, as he desired. His Eminence grew more mild afterwards, and promised that the Marquis de St. Chaumont should in a little time set out for Germany with very ample powers to act in concert with Oxenstiern for the good of the common cause. He desired the Ambassador to see Bullion in relation to the subsidies. Father Joseph was present at this audience. The Cardinal treated Grotius with more respect than he had ever done: he waited on him a little beyond the door of his Chamber, and gave him the upper hand.

Bullion being at Ruel, Grotius went to wait on him: he promised to give two hundred thousand Francs, and even to add three hundred thousand more as soon as the state of the King's affairs would permit it. The Ambassador answered, that was putting off the payment to a long day. Bullion represented that the King sent large sums into the Valtoline, Italy, Germany, Lorain, Piccardy, and Flanders. All this was very true; but the greatest part, Grotius said, remained in the hands of harpies. He informed the Chancellor of these conferences in a letter dated at Paris, October 12, 1635, which he concludes with saying that the fidelity which he owed to the kingdom of Sweden and to his Excellency obliged him to observe, that money was very scarce in France, and that the way to derive advantage from the peace was to hasten its conclusion. The Marquis de St. Chaumont, who was nominated to go to Germany, was not liked by Grotius: he was a declared enemy of the Protestants[261], and it has even been said that he was made choice of for the embassy into Germany out of compliment to the Court of Rome, who complained loudly of the protection given by France to Heretics. St. Chaumont's zeal, which was to do him much honour at the Court of Rome, was no merit in Germany, where it might even injure the common cause. He set out on his embassy without having had any conference with the Swedish Ambassador[262], and even without visiting him; which seemed contrary to custom and decency.

November 3, 1635, Grotius went to Ruel to see the Cardinal[263] whom he found in a very bad humour. His Eminence thought Sweden wanted to make a separate peace: he enlarged much on the respect due to the observance of treaties, and that there could never be any necessity for acting dishonourably; he added, that the design of Grotius's embassy was a very bad one, and that he could only derive dishonour from it, since it had led him first to make objections against the treaty of Paris, and secondly to acknowledge that the Swedes would not abide by what they had agreed on at Compeigne. Grotius answered, that the High Chancellor was in the greatest dilemma, surrounded by enemies, and abandoned by his allies; that he himself had long solicited the money promised, but could never obtain payment; that the sending a French Minister into Germany, so often demanded, was agreed to much later than the good of the common cause required; and that the High Chancellor desired nothing more than to remedy the unhappy situation of affairs. The Cardinal made no answer concerning the remedy to be applied; and contented himself with saying that these general discourses sufficiently shewed a formed design of making a separate peace. He added, that all the Protestants were treacherous; which was a reason not only for being on one's guard in treating with them, but also for thinking their religion bad. Grotius grew warm, and said, that he needed not produce former instances to prove the integrity and sincerity of the Protestants, since the High Chancellor and the Duke of Weymar had never departed from their engagements. The Cardinal pretended that the peace which was just concluded between Poland and Sweden, by the mediation of France, put the Swedes in condition to continue the war against the Emperor. Grotius answered, that it was not yet ratified; that, besides, the cession of Prussia, stipulated by this treaty, was very disadvantageous to Sweden, because that province not only covered the kingdom, but also yielded a rich revenue. The Cardinal seemed to be in some emotion, and said that it required a great command of temper to listen patiently to discourses that bordered so near on ingratitude. Grotius assured him, that in all he had advanced he exactly followed his instructions. The Cardinal seemed displeased with those who had given them; and added that if the High Chancellor was not content with the peace between Sweden and Poland, it was from private views, because he lost the government of Prussia. After this sharp conversation, the Cardinal appeared more calm; and said, that he had nothing to do but hear what might be advanced, and would not judge till he had seen what was done. Grotius answered, that the High Chancellor would always act as a man of honour and a man of courage.

November 5, Grotius had an audience of the King, who complained much, that after having been at so great expence, to the prejudice of his own affairs, on account of the Germans, they should break their treaties.

Grotius went to Ruel on the 14th of December[264], again to solicit the payment of what was due to Sweden. He found there a courier from the Marquis de St. Chaumont, who delivered to him some letters he had brought with him from the High Chancellor. Grotius suspected that they had been opened, for besides their being dirty, the Courier had been arrived near a month; and he gave very bad reasons both for the condition of the letters, and his not delivering them sooner; he said they had fallen into the sea; that he had been at Paris, but could not find Grotius's house; and that he had been since kept at Ruel. What made Grotius easy, was that these letters were written with so much circumspection, had they been intercepted, the reading of them would rather have been advantageous than hurtful to Sweden. The French Court's fears lest the Swedes should conclude a separate peace made the Ministers promise him speedy payment of the arrears of the subsidies: Bullion assured him that he would without delay advance three hundred thousand Francs at several small payments (which Grotius disliked) and that he had already given orders for paying other two hundred thousand Francs: Servien promised that France would make greater efforts next campaign, if Sweden would continue the war.

In the beginning of 1636[265] Grotius went to see the Cardinal, who complained bitterly that Grotius had written to Holland that the affairs of France were in a deplorable situation, and the French still on the point of making their peace. Grotius assured him it was a pure calumny: the Cardinal pretended that it was known to the French Ambassadors at the Hague. Grotius assured him these false reports owed their rise to the artifices of Pau and Aërsens his declared enemies, that Camerarius the Swedish Ambassador in Holland, with whom he corresponded by letters, would attest the contrary; that this report was probably occasioned by an article inserted in the Brussels Gazette, that his letters had been intercepted, representing France as in the greatest declension, of which he had never had a thought; and that this was done with design to make him lose the friendship of his patrons. He added, that he had forgot his Country; that indeed he wished its preservation on account of the friends and the small estate he had in it; but that he had given himself entirely to Sweden, and was not so ignorant, not to know how much it imported Sweden that whilst she was in arms the Dutch should continue the war; nor so dishonest, to give counsels contrary to the interest of Sweden and of the High Chancellor, to whom he owed every thing; and that if his Eminence would put it in his power to do some service to France, he would much more chearfully refute these calumnies by his actions, than by his words. The Cardinal resumed an air of serenity, said several obliging things, and assured him that for the future he would behave to him with more openness. He reconducted him a pretty way, politely excusing himself that he did not go farther lest he should be oppressed by the croud that wanted to speak to him.

[266]The Duke of Parma arriving about this time at Paris to negotiate with the Court of France, great difficulties arose with regard to the ceremonial. The Pope's Nuncios, Mazarin, and Bolognetti, and the other Ambassadors, would not visit him because they could not agree about the manner in which he should receive them: the English and Swedish Ambassadors did not even send their Coaches to meet him, because they knew that those of the Nuncios would take the precedence. The Duke of Weymar came to Paris in spring 1636. Grotius[267], who was extremely circumspect, was in doubt whether he should pay him the first visit: and before he determined, he wanted to see what the English Ambassador would do. The Duke sent him his compliments, and the Ambassadors coming to an agreement to wait first on that Prince[268], Grotius went to see him, and was extremely well received: the Duke returned his visit. As it was through the mediation of the Count d'Avaux that the truce of twenty-six years between Sweden and Poland was concluded, Queen Christina[269] ordered her Ambassador to return her thanks to the King of France. Grotius obtained an audience, April 17, 1636, at Chantilly, and gave an account of what passed at it in a letter to her Majesty, dated April 24[270]. Having presented to the King the Queen of Sweden's letter, his Majesty assured him, that he interested himself most sincerely in her Majesty's health and prosperity; that she might depend upon the constancy of these his sentiments; that he had had the conclusion of the war between Sweden and Poland the more at heart, as he hoped her Swedish Majesty, having no longer any differences with the Poles, would give all her attention to the affairs of Germany; that he already saw with pleasure his hopes had not been without foundation: that he would write to his Ministers to know how the payment of the subsidies stood; that he had always had a good opinion of D'Avaux and therefore employed him in affairs of importance, and intended to make farther use of his service. Grotius sent the High Chancellor[271] a copy of this letter to the Queen. He used to send her Majesty the substance of any affair of importance without descending to particulars, as Oxenstiern[272] had recommended to him.

He had an audience of Cardinal Richelieu[273] in the beginning of May, 1636: The affairs of the allies were in a good situation. His Eminence greatly extolled the High Chancellor: he said what he had done was not inferior to the exploits of the great Gustavus; that it was a kind of miracle that the Swedes, after being betrayed by their friends, and forced into a corner of Germany, should have been able in such a short time to penetrate into the heart of the Empire. He assured Grotius, that a part of the money due had been paid by St. Chaumont, and that in a little time there would not be one sol owing. Afterwards embracing the Swedish Ambassador with great cordiality, he begged of him in the name of polite learning, which they both professed to cultivate, to do all in his power for the advantage of the common cause, especially with the English: and, to efface the remembrance of the ill treatment Grotius had received, he told him with a smile, that the French were often fools in the opinion of other nations, but they soon recovered their right senses. This change in the Cardinal proceeded from the Queen of Sweden's approving Oxenstiern's nomination of Grotius to be Ambassador in France; from the confidence which the High Chancellor placed in him; from Pau's having lost his authority in Holland; and from the Prince of Orange's having spoken of him in terms of friendship. The Cardinal magnified the preparations made by France at sea, from which great things, he said, might be expected if the English would join: he wanted they should be given to understand that the French and Swedes would undertake to obtain the restitution of the Palatinate to Prince Charles Lewis the King of England's nephew, if the English would unite their forces with those of France and Sweden. He added that it was unjust in the English to claim the Empire of the sea, but that it would be improper for some time openly to dispute their pretensions, for fear of preventing their joining in the treaty, or on the other hand to acknowledge directly the right they assumed.

This was all that passed directly between Cardinal Richelieu and Grotius: they never conferred together afterwards. The Swedish Ambassador thought he should derogate from his dignity by visiting a Minister, who, because he was invested with the Purple, refused to give the upper hand to Ambassadors. He resolved therefore to see his Eminence no more, but to treat with the other Ministers.

The English were the first who disputed the privileges of the Cardinalship. Lord Scudamore, Ambassador in ordinary from England to France[274], would not see Cardinal Richelieu: he sent to tell him that he was expressly ordered to visit no one who assumed in his own house the precedency of the Ambassadors of Kings. The English had been induced to take this step by the representation of the Protestants, that to suffer a Cardinal to take the upper hand of an Ambassador was to acknowledge the Pope's dignity. Grotius informed the High Chancellor of this by a letter of the fourth of September, 1635, where he adds, "I say not this as if I thought the English ought to be imitated in every thing, but that we may avoid whatever might expose us to contempt: than which nothing, I am persuaded, can be of more prejudice to the interests of kings and kingdoms."

He continued, however, to see the Cardinal till the arrival of the Earl of Leicester, who came to Paris in spring 1636, as Ambassador Extraordinary from the King of England, with orders not to visit the Cardinal, because the British Court thought it indecent that Ambassadors should yield the precedence to Cardinals; and that it was even contrary to the ceremonial of the Court of Spain. "I commend, says Grotius writing to the High Chancellor[275], those who defend their rights: I dare not however imitate them without orders." He thought it most proper therefore not to visit the Cardinal till he knew the High Chancellor's intentions. Receiving no orders to continue his visits to him[276], he wholly left them off; and the Queen's Ministry thinking the crown of Sweden at least equal in dignity to that of England, approved of his conduct. Count d'Avaux was ordered to use his endeavours with the Swedish Ministry to write to Grotius that he should continue to visit the Cardinal as formerly: D'Avaux spoke of it to Salvius, a Privy-Councellor, and Chancellor of the Court, who was with him at Hamburg negotiating a new treaty. Salvius answered, that Grotius had received orders to conform to the Earl of Leicester's example; that it would be absurd that the Minister of such a King as yielded not the precedence to any other King, should yield it to a Minister; and, in fine, that the dignity of Cardinal was unknown in Sweden.

Grotius informs us in several of his letters, that the English were the first who refused to give the Cardinal the upper hand. He writes to the High Chancellor, "[277]Chavigni asked, as by chance, whether I would see the Cardinal? I answered, that since the English had ceased to visit him, I was ordered not to see him. I have in fact letters on that subject from Schmalz. I added, if the Earl of Leicester, who wished so well to the common cause, and greatly desired the Cardinal's friendship, should find an expedient to reconcile what is due to the dignity, of his King to that of the Cardinal, it would be an example for me to follow: but (continues Grotius) the Earl of Leicester has assured me that the King will not change his resolution: and I dare make no innovation without a new order." He writes to Muller[278], "I have no personal dealings with the Cardinal: the Regents of the kingdom must send me their orders if they would have me follow the example of the English. If they think it improper, they need only speak, it is mine to obey. I have no interest in the matter."

We have enlarged so much on this article, because Puffendorf, the author of Vindiciæ Grotianæ, and Father Bougeant have pretended[279] that the Earl of Leicester only followed Grotius's example, in refusing to give the upper hand to Cardinal Richelieu; which they would not have advanced had they read with attention the Ambassador's letters.

Grotius's steadiness in supporting the interest and dignity of the crown of Sweden rendered him most odious to the court of France. The Marquis de St. Chaumont was ordered to demand his recall. Oxenstiern, who knew that it was his great zeal for the service of the Queen his mistress that displeased the Cardinal, would not consent to it: he apprised Grotius of what was plotting against him, and the Swedish ambassador wrote him a long letter on this subject[280], in which he tells him that St. Chamount's demand proved how greatly the Courtiers were changed towards him, for he had been extremely well received by the King at his last audience; Madam de Combalet, the Cardinal's niece, assured his wife in presence of several persons, that the Cardinal had a high esteem for him; and Count Brulon, Introductor of Ambassadors, had asked him to wait upon the King whenever he pleased, even if he had no business, his Majesty would take it extremely well. Grotius was persuaded that the ill-offices done him proceeded from Pau the Dutch Ambassador, and some Frenchmen. Pau and his accomplices hoped by this persecution to force Grotius to seek a reconciliation with the Dutch by some meanness. As to the Frenchmen, their dislike to Grotius was occasioned by his opposition to their design of abasing the crown of Sweden. "If the dignity of the crown of Sweden is to receive any diminution, I would rather, he says, it should be by another than by me." Father Joseph was one of the greatest opposers of Grotius[281], who would not visit him because the Capuchin had no title; and, besides, the English Ambassadors had declared they would not see him. As often as they met, Grotius treated him with civility; but the Monk, who had all the Cardinal's confidence, wanted to be considered as a Minister.

The Count d'Avaux was also against Grotius. There having been some interruption in the payment of the subsidies, the Count said publicly[282] it was owing to the Swedish Ambassador in France, who did not make his court to the first Minister, though he was known to possess all the King's authority; and even refused him the honours paid by the other Ambassadors.

Grotius, informed of the French Ministry's dislike to him, wrote to the High Chancellor[283], praying him to consider whether it would not be better that Sweden should have no Ambassador in France, but only an Agent without a public character, to enquire into what passed, and hear what was said to him. The Swedish Ministry judged that the more Cardinal Richelieu desired Grotius's removal, the greater reason they had for supporting him, since he displeased only by doing his duty too well. Grotius was informed of their sentiments, and wrote to Salvius[284], that the justice which the Regents of Sweden did him would serve to confirm his steadiness. Father Joseph said[285] publicly, the French Ministers desired Grotius's removal, because it was evident to them that he opposed the success of the affairs of France. This being repeated to Grotius, he answered, that it was of little importance to him whether he served Sweden in France or in another kingdom, but that the French might be persuaded if a successor were sent he would be of the same opinion. He himself informed the High Chancellor of what was plotting against him in France; and the Regents of Sweden, notwithstanding this violent opposition, wrote to him that they were well satisfied with his good services[286].

The Cardinal's tools endeavoured to render Sweden suspicious of him, by insinuating that he was a Pensioner of France. His friends told him one day his name was in the list of pensioners. He immediately informed the Chancellor of it; adding, that he did not know whether it was done by mistake or with a bad design; that having been formerly a Pensioner of the King, his name might possibly have been copied from some old list; but there was also reason to think it was done with a design to injure him: he farther adds, "I can assure your Excellency, before God, that I have not received a farthing from the Court of France since I have been in the service of Sweden; and that I am determined to accept of only what is usually given Ambassadors when they have their audience of leave."

It is probable that his name was put in the list of Pensioners, because the Ministry imagined if they could get him to accept of a pension, they would more easily bring him to their ends. It is certain they offered him one[287]; and when they saw that he absolutely refused it, as not thinking he could with decency be a Minister of Sweden and a Pensioner of France at the same time, they rightly judged that he would never sacrifice the interest of the Crown of Sweden to the pretensions of the French Ministers. They sometimes caressed him[288], however, because they saw him powerfully protected. Feuquieres was ordered to tell him they were very well satisfied with him: but he believed these compliments were made, that, being less on his guard, they might have a better opportunity to hurt him. "For (he writes to Oxenstiern[289]) I am persuaded they would be glad to see me gone, because I absolutely refuse the presents they offer me; and suffer not myself to be led by them like some other Ambassadors. For this reason they put me in such a situation that I must either sacrifice the dignity of the kingdom, or expose myself to be hated. I will never do any thing against the honour of Sweden; and I will shun, as much as I can, what may render me odious. Whatever I may do on such critical occasions, I shall be censured; but I rely on the testimony of a good conscience."

They often threw difficulties in his way, hoping that the Regents of Sweden, tired out with these disputes, would recall him. We are assured[290], that when he went to see the Chancellor Seguier, one of the Cardinal's creatures, Seguier seated himself in the higher place; which obliged Grotius to take his chair himself to place it above the Chancellor. Besides the vexation which they endeavoured to give him in France, he met with some disgust even from the Swedes. It was intimated to him at the Court of France, that the High Chancellor's nomination to the embassy of Paris was not sufficient; it must be approved of by the Regency of Sweden. This difficulty gave him uneasiness: he writes to Schmalz, Feb. 28, 1636[291], "I know the High Chancellor has authority enough to maintain me in the post to which he has raised me; but I think I should be better able to defend the interest of the crown, if it were made to appear that what the High Chancellor has done for me is approved of in Sweden. He is mortal; and besides I find his power of sending Ambassadors is sometimes called in question here." Grotius was soon after satisfied, the Regency of Sweden confirming his nominations[292].

Having been some time without receiving letters from the Swedish Ministers, it gave him much chagrin, because it disabled him from serving them effectually: besides, he looked on it as a want of respect. August 31, 1635, he wrote to the High Chancellor[293], "Since your Sublimity set out for Hamburg, I have received no letter from you, nor from any of your attendants: what grieves me is, that not knowing the actual state of things, I scarce have assurance to speak to those to whom I must recommend the affairs with which I am charged." Eight days after, he renewed his complaint in a more bitter tone: "I have desired nothing so much, says he, as to give proofs of my zeal and fidelity to the kingdom of Sweden, and to your Sublimity, in this embassy: I have not yet failed in my duty, and I hope I never shall fail; but it is impossible for me to discharge it properly, if I am kept ignorant of those things which an Ambassador ought to know. I have no accounts from Sweden. If I have not received letters from your Sublimity since you set out for Hamburg, I ascribe your silence to the multiplicity of your affairs: but Schmalz has not written to me since; and for some time I have had no letter from Camerarius or Grubbius. If they imagine my enemies so powerful, that I ought to remain here Ambassador only in name, without being let into affairs, and without doing any thing; that will not suit me. I am not a man that would be chargeable or a dishonour to those who nominated me to my employment. Besides, they are mistaken if they think my enemies have so much credit in my native Country; and those who know what passes there think as I do. I humbly beg you would be pleased to indemnify me for the expences I have been obliged to be at, and let me at liberty: wherever I go, it will be a sufficient recommendation not to have displeased your Sublimity."

Whilst he was thus tormenting himself without much reason, he received two letters from the High Chancellor which made him easy. He thanked him for them, assuring him that he desired information of what passed, not from any eager desire for news, but to enable him better to fulfil the functions of his embassy. Oxenstiern fully satisfied him; and Grotius was extremely pleased, in the end of 1635 and the beginning of 1636, with the attention paid him by that great minister. Dec. 20, 1635[294], he writes, "I cannot sufficiently thank your Sublimity for the care you have taken of my private affairs and my dignity; it is my duty so to act as not to appear unworthy such great and continual favours. God forbid that I should want to penetrate into those things which prudence requires to be buried in mystery; but as to public matters, I would not be the last to know them, and to learn them from strangers." "It gives me great satisfaction (he writes to Oxenstiern's Secretary[295]) that the High Chancellor is pleased to remark that I discharge my embassy with honour."

Besides the embarrassment which always attends difficult negotiations, the trouble of contenting several masters, and the difficulty of treating with Ministers to whom one is disagreeable, Grotius, who thought it essential to an Ambassador to live with dignity, received almost continual uneasiness from the ill payment of his appointments. Sep. 14, 1635, he wrote to the High Chancellor[296], that the Treasurer of Sweden refused to pay his quarter's salary; that the expences of his journies were still unpaid, and that he had exhausted all his private resources. He repeats in a letter of the 8th of November, 1635[297], that he had received but one quarter, which was owing even before his arrival at Paris; that there were two others due since: that he spared no expence in order to live with more dignity; that his journies and the furnishing of his house were very expensive; that he could borrow no more, and what he had already borrowed, was done on very disadvantageous terms. At the end of 1638 there were six quarters owing, amounting to twelve thousand rixdollars, besides twelve hundred which he had laid out for the service of Sweden. He was desirous of being permitted to pay himself out of the subsidies given by France. He represented that his expence was considerably increased by the high tax laid on all sorts of goods, which made living so dear, that his salary was insufficient for supporting his dignity. For two whole years he received no remittance, and in the end of May, 1639[298], there were forty thousand francs owing besides what he had laid out on several occasions. His salary was, therefore, twenty thousand francs per annum. Salvius ordered one half of what was owing him to be paid out of the subsidies received by Sweden from France; but it was long before Grotius got the money: for on the 9th of July, 1639[299], he pressed Salvius very warmly to order immediate payment; and went so far as to tell him that if he still left him in this perplexity, he would demand to be reimbursed and recalled. It was in these critical circumstances that the French Ministry offered him a supply, which he refused with great disinterestedness[300].

Living at Paris growing every day dearer, the Swedish Ambassador, not knowing how to support his dignity, took a resolution to ask of the Queen of Sweden, Jan. 21, 1640[301], that, as he was unable to make any more advances, and his anxiety about this matter hindered him in some measure from attending to her Majesty's more important concerns, he might be permitted to pay himself out of the French subsidy. Without waiting for an answer he took sixteen thousand rixdollars of it; and wrote to the High Chancellor, April 14, 1640[302], that he was compelled to this by necessity, and that it was no more than had been usually done by the Ambassadors who resided in France. There is reason to think that Oxenstiern, who had a friendship for the Ambassador, found no fault with his boldness, as he did not venture on this step till all his resources were exhausted.


[251] Ep. 413. p. 150.

[252] Ep. 419. p. 153.

[253] Ep. 426. p. 157.

[254] Ep. 434. p. 160.

[255] Ep. 436. p. 162.

[256] Ep. 437. p. 162.

[257] Ep. 438. p. 163.

[258] Ep. 468. p. 177.

[259] Ep. 475. p. 181.

[260] Ep. 491. p. 188.

[261] Ep. 475. p. 180. 492. p. 189. 504. p. 194. & 517. p. 200.

[262] Ep. 475. p. 180.

[263] Ep. 505. p. 194.

[264] Ep. 528. p. 204.

[265] Ep. 534. p. 208.

[266] Ep. 556. p. 219.

[267] Ep. 560. p. 221.

[268] Ep. 562. p. 222.

[269] Ep. 577. p. 227.

[270] Ep. 580. p. 228.

[271] Ep. 581. p. 229.

[272] Ep. 557. p. 210.

[273] Ep. 585. p. 231.

[274] Ep. 475. p. 180.

[275] Ep. 598. p. 239.

[276] Ep. 800. p. 347.

[277] Ep. 1135. p. 513.

[278] Ep. 226. p. 553.

[279] Puffendorf, l. 11. § 78. Vindiciæ Grotianæ, p. 396. Hist. des guerres de Vestphalie, t. 1. l. 5. p. 362.

[280] Ep. 636. p. 256.

[281] Ep. 598. p. 235.

[282] Vin. Grot. p. 394.

[283] Ep. 690. p. 284. Vin. Grot. p. 378.

[284] Ep. 716. p. 301.

[285] Ep. 739. p. 313.

[286] Ep. 745. p. 317 & 754. p. 323.

[287] Ep. 636. p. 257. 1263. p. 575. & 1289. p. 583.

[288] Ep. 958. p. 428.

[289] Ep. 958. p. 428.

[290] Puffendorf, l. 11. § 78. Bougeant, l. 5. p. 362. See Ep. 1414. p. 645.

[291] Ep. 557 p. 219.

[292] Ep. 585. p. 231.

[293] Ep. 470. p. 178.

[294] Ep. 528. p. 204.

[295] Ep. 533. p. 207.

[296] Ep. 475. p. 181.

[297] Ep. 505. p. 195.

[298] Ep. 1177. p. 533. 1183. p. 536. & 1199. p. 542.

[299] Ep. 1203. p. 544.

[300] Ep. 1263. p. 573. & 1289. p. 583.

[301] Ep. 1308. p. 592.

[302] Ep. 1350. p. 612.

IX. The French Ministry carried their animosity against Grotius so far, that, if we may believe the Swedish Historian[303], they instigated the Venetian Ambassador to dispute with him for precedency at the public entry of the Ambassador in ordinary from England. The French took the part of the Venetians. Grotius imagined they did it to make their court to the Pope. He wrote to the High Chancellor, that Father Joseph, who had a great desire to be a Cardinal, always favoured such counsels as might please the court of Rome. Besides, the Capuchin fought to make a merit with the Cardinal of vexing Grotius, whom they both hated.

About a year after this dispute between the Venetian Ambassador and Grotius, when they both were waiting in a hall for the King, the Introductors of Ambassadors placed their seats in such manner, that the Swedish Ambassador might be dissatisfied. They expected a quarrel, which would have afforded them diversion. Grotius disappointed them by chusing rather to stand, than take the seat intended for him. It was on this occasion he wrote to the High Chancellor, desiring him to consider, whether, to avoid all those difficulties, it would not be most expedient to have only a Resident at Paris: but Oxenstiern thought his honour and duty was the more concerned in protecting Grotius, as his strong attachment to the honour and interest of his Masters was the reason of his being harrassed.


[303] Puff. l. 8.

X. The war which was at this time ravaging Europe gave the greater uneasiness to the Court of Rome, as there was ground to apprehend that the success of the Swedes, who were the allies of France, might greatly prejudice the Roman-Catholic Religion in Germany. Pope Urbin VIII. ardently desired the re-establishment of Peace, and offered his mediation for attaining that laudable end. The City of Cologn was chosen for the place of holding the conferences. The Pope deputed Cardinal Ginetti in quality of Legate and mediator between the Roman Catholic Princes; and the Emperor and the King of Spain sent thither their plenipotentiaries: all this was done without consulting the Dutch and the Swedes. The great point was, to gain their consent, without which nothing could be done. The Count de Berlise was ordered to talk with the Swedish Ambassador on this head. Accordingly he made him a visit, November 12, 1636[304], and after conversing some time asked Grotius whether Sweden intended to send plenipotentiaries to Cologn. The Ambassador made answer, he concluded from the High Chancellor's letters that the President of the kingdom, to whom that matter had been referred, would determine it; that the Pope's mediation would be objected to; but that difficulty, however, might be got over; and then Oxenstiern would chearfully come himself to Cologn, if business permitted him, in order to act in concert with the French Plenipotentiaries, who, he did not doubt, would be persons of the greatest merit.

Grotius was of opinion that the Swedes ought not to accept of the Pope's mediation, or send Ministers to Cologn. He wrote a letter about it to the High Chancellor, Dec. 12, 1636[305], in which he acquaints him, that talking with Lord Scudamore, Ambassador in ordinary from England, he told his Lordship that he foresaw the Protestant Plenipotentiaries would suffer many mortifications in a city where the Pope was held in so great consideration, and the dignity of Cardinal so much respected.

The Venetian Ambassador, who, agreeably to the intention of his Masters, ardently desired that the congress might take place, came to make Grotius a visit: he told him that the Protestants apprehensions of ill offices from the Pope were without foundation; that he knew from the Nuncio that the Legate was ordered to concern himself only with the affairs of the Roman Catholic Princes, and had no intention to intermeddle with those of the Protestants: he added, that Pessaro, whom the Republic of Venice had nominated her Plenipotentiary to the Congress, was extremely well affected to the Swedes. Grotius could not discover whether the Venetian came of himself, or was sent by the French Ministry: he suspected that Cardinal Richelieu, who wanted him [Grotius] out of the kingdom, wished he might go to Cologn.

The learned Godefroy[306], whom the Court of France nominated to accompany and direct the Plenipotentiaries, had several conferences with Grotius concerning the peace which they seemed desirous to conclude. The Swedish Ambassador gave the High Chancellor an account of them in a letter of the 22d of January, 1637. [307]He acquaints him that Godefroy himself thought the Swedes ought not to send Plenipotentiaries to Cologn. He gave for his reasons, that the whole town hated the Swedes; that the Legates had such aversion to the Protestants, that at Vervins the Legate declared he would withdraw rather than admit the English Ministers to the conferences; and that the disputes, which would infallibly arise between the Plenipotentiaries concerning precedency, would serve only to sour their minds.

This discourse from one, who was only to speak agreeable to the intentions of the French Ministry, made Grotius doubt whether Cardinal Richelieu ever sincerely desired peace. Godefroy also insinuated that the King of France ought to have the first place after the Emperor, in political assemblies. Grotius would not allow this claim: he maintained that the rank granted to Princes in Ecclesiastical Councils ought not to serve for a rule in Congresses, because in the former regard was only had to the time of their embracing Christianity; and that the Archbishop of Upsal had proved at the Council of Basil that the Kingdom of Sweden, on account of its antiquity and extent, the two most decisive arguments that could be used in this matter, ought to take place of all others. Godefroy opposing to them the French King's possession of the precedency, Grotius, like a zealous Minister of Sweden, maintained, that that title could only serve against such as had never disputed it; that in former times the Kings of Sweden had no transactions of this kind but in the North, where they never yielded the precedency to any person; and that since they had affairs with France, they always treated upon an equality. Such were Grotius's pretensions, the validity of which remain to be proved.

The minds of the contending parties were not yet disposed to conform to the good intentions of the Pope: and the congress of Cologn did not take place because the Swedes positively refused to send thither Plenipotentiaries[308].


[304] Ep. 632. p. 277 & 278.

[305] Ep. 690. p. 284.

[306] Ep. 699. p. 288.

[307] Ep. 709. p. 296.

[308] Ep. 389. p. 865

XI. Some time after, the Republic of Venice acted in conjunction with the Pope in order to procure peace to Europe. She made an offer of her mediation to the Swedes[309], and engaged to send an Ambassador to Cologn, who would be less suspected of partiality than the Pope's Legate. The Doge, writing on this subject to the Queen of Sweden, in the titles given to her omitted that of most powerful: this gave great offence to the Swedes[310]; and the Venetian Ambassador being informed of it, came to visit Grotius in order to discuss the point. He told him that the Republic had followed the ancient ceremonial in the titles given to the Queen; that she gave the King of France only the title of most serene and most christian, and to the King of Spain that of most serene and catholic, without adding most powerful. Grotius answered, that, without presuming to prescribe to the Senate, he would only observe, that as the Kings of France and England gave the King of Sweden the title of most serene and most powerful, it did not become any other Prince, much less a Republic, to treat him with less distinction. He added several facts tending to give a high idea of the dignity of the Swedish nation. The Venetian promised to write about it to his Masters. The Queen of Sweden[311] declared that she would accept of the mediation of the Venetians provided the Republic gave her the honours that were due to her. Christina had at length satisfaction[312], and the Venetian Ambassador promised to conform to her intentions.

The name of this Venetian Minister was Corraro. Grotius had reason to be dissatisfied with him[313]: he had been to visit him, and the Venetian gave him not the title of Excellency, nor the precedency due to an Ambassador of Sweden. Grotius determined to cease visiting him for some time. One thing, however, embarrassed him: as the Republic of Venice was to be mediator for a general peace it was necessary he should confer with Corraro: for this reason he wrote to the High Chancellor to know, whether, in consideration of the public good, he ought to dissemble his grounds of complaint against the Venetian Ambassador. He had not time to receive Oxenstiern's answer when Corraro came to visit him[314], and gave him satisfaction; he assured him, that if he had given him any offence, it was not from design, but through ignorance and want of attention. Grotius informed the High Chancellor of this, adding that he accepted of Corraro's excuses; that he would go to see him, and do all in his power to gain his friendship. Accordingly he visited him some days after, and no notice was taken of what had passed, the conversation turning wholly on public affairs and the projects of a peace.


[309] Bougeant l. 4. n. 30. Puffendorf l. 10. n. 63.

[310] Grotii Ep. 851. p. 374.

[311] Ep. 949. p. 421.

[312] Ep. 1014. p. 457.

[313] Ep. 947. p. 419.

[314] Ep. 960. p. 429.

XII. There happened at this time a more considerable broil between the English and Swedes at Paris. Pau the Dutch Ambassador in France being recalled, Oostervich, Ambassador of the United Provinces at Venice, was appointed to succeed him[315]. He had been formerly very intimate with Grotius; and signified to him by their common friends that he intended to renew their ancient friendship, and live with him in that good understanding which ought to subsist between the Ministers of allied powers. Grotius made a proper answer to these advances. Oostervich preparing to make a public entry into Paris, informed the Swedish Ambassador of it, February 16, 1637, by his Secretary, asking him at the same time to send his coach to his entry on the second day following, according to custom[316]. Grotius sent to make his compliments to the Dutch Ambassador, and to tell him that he would not fail to send his coach. He sent it accordingly. There were at that time at Paris an Ambassador in ordinary and an Ambassador extraordinary from England, who both sent their coaches, with a great number of their attendants. The Swedes took the precedency of the English and kept it some time. They quarrelled; and swords were drawn. The Swedes were worsted, for the English were much more numerous. The Marshal de la Force, who conducted the Dutch Ambassador, came to make up the quarrel. The Swedes maintained that they ought to have the precedency of the English, because the kingdom of Sweden was more ancient than that of England. The Marshal de la Force pretended that this question had been decided in the reign of Henry III. in favour of the English. The Swedes being unequally matched, agreed to the Marshal's proposal, that the coach of the English Ambassador in ordinary and that of Grotius should withdraw, without prejudice to the rights of Sweden.

On the nineteenth of February the two Ambassadors from England sent to Grotius, to know if it was by his order that his attendants had acted and spoke in the dispute they had with the English. Grotius answered, that he had ordered them to support the dignity of the kingdom of Sweden the most ancient and extensive in Christendom; but that he had no intention to offend the English; that in the treaties which Sweden made with France there was always one copy in which Sweden was named first; that if his people had transgressed in point of form, it was not by his order; that the small number he sent to the entry, was a demonstration he did not think the quarrel ought to be determined by strength; that as to the accommodation, he had no power to make it, nor consequently given any order on the subject: that he was desirous of maintaining the good understanding between the two kingdoms, and to live well with the two English Ambassadors. The Deputies, without making any reply to this answer, civilly withdrew.

The quarrel was mentioned in the Gazette of France[317]; and Renaudot, in the account he gave, named the English before the Swedes, and spoke of the affair as accommodated. Grotius was very angry at this: he sent to tell him, to name the Swedes first in another Gazette, and to retract what he had said of the accommodation: Renaudot was even threatened, that if he did not give this satisfaction to the Swedes, he would be made to feel to his cost that Sweden was powerful enough to do herself justice. The Gazetteer replied, that he was obliged to obey only the King and the Cardinal.

This grand dispute did not hinder[318] the English Ambassador from visiting Grotius on public business. The Earl of Leicester[319], Ambassador extraordinary from England, had a long conference with him concerning their quarrel: he pretended that what Grotius advanced in favour of the precedency of the Swedes, was a thing unheard of. The Ambassador from Sweden replied, that the same facts had been already maintained in the Council of Basil; and took occasion to set forth the extent and antiquity of the kingdom of Sweden. Leicester said, that they had been of the same opinion formerly in France, since they decided against the Swedes. Grotius answered, that he much questioned this decision, and that at the time it was pretended to be made he did not think there was any Ambassador in France from Sweden, which nation was little known to those of the South: The English Ambassador wanted to avail himself of the Pope's authority in favour of his nation: Grotius rejected it. Leicester insisted that England had been converted to Christianity before Sweden: Grotius replied, that this was a very bad reason for precedency; and the employing it might be a prejudice to the Christian religion by hindering the conversion of the Pagans and Mahometans.

The King of England was not offended with Grotius on account of this dispute; for after it happened Lord Scudamore, Ambassador in ordinary from King Charles, told him from his Master, that he would be glad to see him in England to restore the union between the English and Swedes. The Earl of Leicester, who had the affair of the precedency much at heart, had another conferrence on that subject with Grotius, of which the latter gives an account to the High Chancellor, July 26, 1637. The English Minister represented, that as the Danes and Norwegians, whose kingdoms were very ancient, yielded the precedency to England, the Swedes ought to follow their example. Grotius answered, that he did not know how the Danes and Norwegians acted; but their conduct ought not to prejudice the rights of Sweden. Leicester asked, how high the antiquity of Sweden reached. Grotius answered, that it was older than the most ancient annals; that, without going higher, it was sufficient to mention the testimony of Tacitus, who speaks of the Swedish nation as very powerful by sea and land. Leicester replied, that a long space of time had elapsed since Tacitus wrote, in which no mention was made of the Swedes. Grotius shewed him that in every age they were spoken of by the Germans, French, and English; and that even if less frequent notice had been taken of them, it would not be matter of surprise, since in those times the Swedes had no disputes but with the Russians, the Sclavonians, the Danes, and Norwegians; that their embracing Christianity late could not prejudice the dignity of the kingdom, or the claims of the Swedes. The Ambassador of Sweden afterwards asked Leicester what rank the English pretended to give the Czar, to whom the Kings of Sweden would never yield the precedency. He added, that many people were surprised when the truce was negociating at Holland, that the French always preceded the English, who contented themselves with a writing, signifying that it was without prejudice to their rights. Leicester said he did not see how it was possible to assemble a congress of ministers of Princes who would all have the first place. Grotius made answer, that several expedients might be found to save the claim of each.

This quarrel, from which a rupture between the two nations was apprehended, had no bad consequence, and did not even lessen the friendship which subsisted between the Ministers of the two kingdoms. Lord Scudamore's lady being brought to bed at Paris, the lady of the Swedish Ambassador stood godmother[320] to the child in the month of March, 1638, that is, during the height of the quarrel.


[315] Ep. 718. p. 302.

[316] It is surprising that Father Bougeant, after reading the DCCXVIIIth letter of Grotius, should contradict him so manifestly by placing this quarrel in 1639. Hist. l. 5. n. 5.

[317] Ep. 719. p. 304.

[318] Ep. 722. p. 305.

[319] P. 306. & epist. 395. p. 866.

[320] Ep. 919. p. 406.


Grotius, notwithstanding his resolution to abstain from visiting Cardinal Richelieu, often paid his court to the King, and was well received. His Majesty returning to Paris after the campaign of 1636, Grotius went on the 22d of November[321] to compliment him. The speech he made was short, such as Kings love. It is in these terms he speaks of it to the High Chancellor, to whom he sent it. He has preserved to us the substance of his Majesty's answer. "The King, says he, answered me with great goodness, that the success of the Swedes would always give him much pleasure; that they began the year well, and the French followed their example; that the Spaniards made great efforts, but were nevertheless driven out of Picardy and Burgundy; that Cardinal Richelieu deserved thanks for what he did in the recovery of Corbia, and that the Marshal de Chatillon also behaved well: he concluded with complaining of the Germans, who did not observe their treaties."

The divisions in the court being healed up for some time, by the reconciliation of Gaston of France with the King, who was returned to Paris, Grotius, at an audience of his Majesty on the 23d of February, 1637[322], complimented him on the restoration of peace in the Royal Family. The King assured him that he and his brother were on the best terms, and that this reunion gave him the highest satisfaction: he promised to make very great efforts against the common enemy, and never to separate his interests from those of Sweden. The Ambassador did not fail to represent[323] in strong terms to his Majesty all the pains taken by the High Chancellor to keep together the allies, who were oppressed by such a burthensome war; and took occasion to beseech the King to redouble his assistance, that they might extricate themselves with honour from so great embarrassments.

The King going in August, 1637, to Chantilli, Grotius went thither[324] to compliment him on the success of the Campaign; and at the same time recommended to his Majesty the sending a reinforcement of men to the Duke of Weymar, who had crossed the Rhine, that so he might be enabled to make farther progress, and to keep the German allies of the two crowns from joining with their enemies. He assured him recruits were raising in Sweden for Marshal Bannier's army, that he might make an invasion into Silesia or elsewhere; and that the Swedes had rejected all the proposals of peace made to them, because they believed the intention of the enemy was to sow division between them and the French. The King answered, that he most sincerely wished the prosperity of the Queen his sister; and that he would send the Duke of Weymar as many troops as the state of his affairs would permit; adding, that the enemy laboured chiefly to divide them, against which they could not be too much upon their guard.

September 23, in the same year, 1637, Grotius[325], agreeable to the orders received from the Queen of Sweden, demanded an audience of the King, which he obtained at St. Maur. He represented to his Majesty, that the Queen had nothing so much at heart as the success of the common cause; and that she hoped her zeal would induce the King to make powerful efforts to triumph over their enemies. He gave a particular account of what the High Chancellor had done, and the marvelous resistance of Marshal Bannier, besieged as it were by five armies, against which, however, he could not make head much longer without speedy and powerful succours. He assured him that Sweden was making numerous levies, but would be obliged to keep a part of her troops at home on account of the frequent broils she had with the Poles, the Danes, and the Russians. He then enlarged on the interest which France had in maintaining the Swedes in Germany; for no sooner would they quit it, he said, than the Austrians would turn all their efforts against France. He shewed, that, besides being in possession of the Imperial crown, the house of Austria was very powerful by the hereditary dominions of Hungary, Austria, Bohemia, Silesia, Moravia, Lusatia, Tirol, Carinthia, Dalmatia, and Croatia, which furnished her with large supplies of men and money; that the branch which ruled in Spain had dominions in the four parts of the world; that the Emperor knew well France was the greatest obstacle to his projects of ambition; that he would leave nothing unattempted to destroy a power which gave him so much umbrage; that the Emperors, even before the empire came into the house of Austria, had always regarded the Kings of France as their Rivals and Enemies; that this hatred and jealousy were much increased since the Austrian family obtained the Imperial throne; that it was so difficult to make any accommodation with them, they would not consent to peace even if the King yielded up his late conquests, since they had the assurance to claim the three bishoprics, and to demand that the kingdom of Arles, comprehending the three best provinces of the kingdom, the dutchy of Burgundy, Provence, and Dauphiny, should be re-annexed to the empire. He represented the importance of making great efforts, and carrying the war into the enemy's country before their armies should be augmented. He beseeched his Majesty to make such a powerful diversion as might oblige the Austrians to recall a part of the army sent against the Swedes: and shewed that nothing was more easy, since the Duke of Weymar had fortified himself beyond the Rhine; that it was only sending him a powerful reinforcement, the princes and towns which groaned under the Austrian yoke would then be seen joining themselves to the French and Swedes; and that the Swedes, no longer so hard pressed, would return into the heart of Germany or penetrate into the hereditary estates. After this harangue, the Swedish Ambassador presented a letter from the Queen, adding that her Swedish Majesty begged of the King to make speedy efforts worthy of himself, and he might depend on the Queen's doing all that could be expected from a steady and magnanimous Princess. He concluded with complimenting his Majesty on the happy success of affairs in Italy, the transactions on the Rhine, and the retaking of Capella. The King sometimes interrupted him during this long Speech; but it was only to approve of what he said, to confirm the facts, and acknowledge that his reflections were most judicious. He assured him that he had already sent succours to the Duke of Weymar, that he was resolved to augment the troops of that Prince in order to enable the Swedes to enter Germany; and that Marshal de Chatillon would have already been on the banks of the Rhine if the siege of Ampvillers had not detained him. He ended with protesting that it was his earnest desire to be more closely united with the Queen his most gracious sister; which his future actions would shew. Grotius gave an account of this audience in a letter to the Queen of the 26th of September, 1637, a copy of which he sent to the High Chancellor. By the letter that he wrote the same day to Oxenstiern we are informed, that the Count de Berlise, Introductor of the Ambassadors, came to him before he had this last audience of the King, to know if he would not first have a conference with Chavigny, Secretary of State for foreign affairs, agreeable to the usage of the Ministers from England, Venice, and Savoy. Grotius replied, that he understood from the English Ministers themselves they did not always observe this custom; which Berlise acknowledged. The Ambassador added, that at another time he would consider what would be most proper; but, on the present occasion, having a letter from the Queen to the King, he thought it his duty to give the first notice of it to his Majesty; that he was afraid if he acted otherwise the King might be offended; but if, after reading it, his Majesty were desirous he should confer with his Ministers, he would not fail to wait upon them.

The Swedes being still very hard pressed in Germany, the Queen sent fresh orders to her Ambassador at Paris to represent their situation to the King. Grotius demanded an audience, which he obtained on the 1st of October, 1637, at St. Germains. He assured his Majesty, that it was not without reluctance he so frequently laid the necessities of the allies before him, and the importance of their being assisted by France, but he did it by express order; that he was particularly charged with two things; first, to compliment his Majesty on the advantages gained in Piccardy and Burgundy; and secondly to solicit him to send speedily a powerful force over the Rhine. He added, that the Queen would not have thought this request necessary, had she received the letters in which he gave her a particular account of what passed at the last audience he had of his Majesty. He beseeched the King to be pleased to give orders that the promises, which he had graciously made, might be speedily executed. He represented, that if succours were not immediately sent into Germany, the Austrians, after vanquishing their enemies, would go and overpower the Duchess of Savoy the King's sister, and penetrate into France. He afterwards shewed that the Swedish army was in great danger of being overwhelmed, if a powerful diversion were not speedily made. After this speech, Grotius presented a letter from the Queen, of the 19th of August, 1637. Lewis XIII. replied to the Swedish Ambassador, that he was determined to fulfil his promises; that he had already sent some troops to the Duke of Weymar; that he would speedily send him a farther reinforcement, and employ all the forces of his kingdom in defence of his sister the Duchess of Savoy.

The Duke of Weymar began the campaign of 1638 in a very brilliant manner[326]: he gained a signal victory over the Imperialists on the 2d of March; and, what was very remarkable, all the enemy's generals were taken in this engagement, and among the rest the famous John de Vert, whose name was become the terror of the Parisians. The King, on receiving this important news, immediately sent notice of it to Grotius; signifying that he knew no body would receive it with more pleasure. March 16[327], he had an audience of the King, at which he thanked his Majesty for sending him the first news of the victory gained in Germany, and doing him the justice to believe that it would give him infinite satisfaction: he added, that it was a happy prognostic for the rest of the campaign: that God had confounded the pride of the Imperialists, who publicly gave out that they intended to come to pillage Paris[328]. He said he had certain advice by letters from the army, that the enemy's generals had been at great pains to provide themselves with maps of France, in order to examine at what part they could best enter it. He pressed the King to put the Duke of Weymar in a condition, by sending him immediately a considerable reinforcement, to make a proper advantage of this happy beginning of the campaign; and concluded his compliment with good wishes for the King's happiness and that of his posterity, of which there began to be then some hope. People flattered themselves the Queen was with child; and she was actually in the third month of her pregnancy. The King received this compliment with great gaiety: he promised to send immediately five or at least three thousand foot to the Duke of Weymar, with some horse, under the command of the Count de Guebriant. Grotius had a fresh audience of the King on the 19th of April, 1638[329]. He represented to his Majesty, that though the Duke of Weymar had begun the year well, he could not make great progress if an additional force were not sent him: that by proceeding so slowly in this measure, the enemy had got time to recruit their army: and if it were not now taken with great expedition, they would lose the fruits of their late advantages, and the affairs of the allies suffer much; that her Swedish Majesty was in the same disposition with the King, and had no other view than to procure an equitable, honourable, and lasting peace; that the only way to obtain this great end was by making the most powerful efforts: that the Queen, agreeable to his Majesty's desire, would accept of the mediation of the Venetians, provided the republic would treat her with due respect: that his most Christian Majesty being of opinion that a long truce would lead to a peace, the Queen, who was sensible of his great prudence, had given her Ambassador in France full power to treat of this affair, and to draw up a plan of it in conjunction with such persons as the King should nominate. After this speech Grotius delivered to Lewis XIII. a letter from the Queen, acquainting him at the same time, that had her Swedish Majesty been informed of the Queen's pregnancy, she would undoubtedly have ordered him to signify to the King her extreme satisfaction at such important news; that he knew the Queen and all the Swedes passionately desired that the posterity of St. Lewis, of Henry the Great, and Lewis the Just, might long govern France; and that under them the kingdom might flourish in piety, increase in power, and be established in justice. The King received these good wishes with much satisfaction, and desired Grotius to acquaint her Swedish Majesty that the Queen was certainly with child. He farther assured him that the Count de Guebriant was already on his march to join the Duke of Weymar, and he was going to give orders for sending an additional reinforcement, and seconding that Prince's efforts. He desired him to press her Swedish Majesty to send numerous recruits to her armies: adding, that he hoped the Venetians would do nothing derogatory to the dignity of the crown of Sweden; that he would attend to that point himself; and would nominate Chavigny to confer with him in relation to the truce. Grotius also set forth on this occasion what pains the High Chancellor had taken for the advancement of the common cause; and the King did justice to the merit of that great Minister. The Queen's pregnancy being declared at court, Grotius's lady went to make her compliments: on the 8th of May, 1638[330], he himself waited on her Majesty for the same end: he had demanded an audience for this purpose as soon as it was publicly known that she was with child. He told the Queen, that, being eager to express his joy, he could not think of waiting for orders from his court, to make his compliment; that well knowing the sentiments of the Queen his mistress he could affirm, with great certainty, that her Majesty and all her subjects were filled with the highest joy; that he had lately met with a Greek inscription in honour of a Queen, containing a very short but very emphatical encomium: it was said of this Princess, that she was the daughter, sister, wife, and mother of a King, yet without any pride in so high elevation: that this modesty was the more to be admired in the Queen of France, as she was much above the Grecian Queen, and even all other Queens, since she was the consort of a King, whose provinces and even towns were equivalent to kingdoms; that she had a King for her father, and was descended from Kings and Emperors who conquered and long possessed kingdoms in the four parts of the world; in fine, that she was sister of a most powerful King; that only one thing was wanting to her happiness, to be mother not of a King, since France and all the friends of France wished that the King might attain to the most advanced age, but of a Prince capable of ruling over a great nation; that God had at length granted her this felicity, and rendered her fruitful when it was no longer expected, as happened formerly to an illustrious woman of the same name mentioned in Scripture; that history sacred and prophane informs us, that children born at a time when they are no longer expected are designed by God for great things; that in reflecting on the Queen's pregnancy he attended to what the Naturalists teach, that the tumbling of the Dolphin [Fr. Dauphin] predicted the end of the tempest, and fine weather; that there was reason to hope peace would re-appear in the world at the birth of a Dauphin, which was so passionately desired; and what increased this hope was, that at the time her Majesty's pregnancy was declared he received orders to confer with the French Ministers on the means of obtaining a peace, or at least a truce, if the conclusion of a peace met with too many difficulties; that he laboured in it with the more chearfulness, as he knew he would be aided by the Queen's prayers, the efficacy of which was so great that they could obtain of heaven things almost miraculous; that her Swedish Majesty would shew that the Great Gustavus and she had never any other intention, than to insure the quiet and tranquillity of Christendom; that he earnestly wished the negotiation for a peace might turn out well; that the Queen might have a happy delivery, and be the mother of a Prince, whose glory and posterity would continually increase. The Queen answered, that she did not doubt of the sincerity of her Swedish Majesty's wishes; that she reciprocally desired the prosperity of that Princess, and offered her all that was in her power.

In the beginning of June, 1638[331], Grotius waited on the King at St. Germains: he first thanked his Majesty for intimating to him the Queen's pregnancy; and afterwards enlarged on the praise of justice, and on the title of Just which the King had merited by the laws he enacted, particularly that for abolishing duels, and the protection granted to foreign princes. He entered into a detail of the favours which the King had received from Providence since his accession to the throne: the extinction of the civil wars, the restoration of the royal authority, the successes both by sea and land, the passage of the Alps forced, and the frontiers of the kingdom enlarged. He added, that after such a series of felicity, the only thing left to be desired was that his Majesty's posterity might long reign in France; and for this her Majesty's pregnancy entitled them to hope; that the Swedes entertained the same sentiments, and flattered themselves a perfect harmony would always subsist between the two kingdoms. He concluded with soliciting the King to augment the Duke of Weymar's troops, against whom the Imperialists made the greatest efforts; and to procure Marshal Horne's liberty, who was made prisoner at the battle of Nordlinguen: he represented that his Majesty might obtain it when he pleased, since he had so great a number of the enemies generals in his power, and assured him that the Queen his mistress would take it as a very high obligation. The Ambassador presented afterwards letters from the Queen of the twelfth of April, and concluded with observing, that he had reason to think a considerable body of troops would be sent from Sweden into Germany this same month of June. The King replied, that he had a great friendship for the Queen of Sweden, and had already given proofs of his good disposition towards her; that he had sent succours to the Duke of Weymar, and would send still more considerable ones if necessary; that as to the exchange of Marshal Horne, there was only John de Vert with whom it could be made; and that General was not his prisoner, but the Duke of Weymar's, to whom he had promised to deliver him on demand. Grotius replied, that he did not doubt but the Duke of Weymar would shew all possible deference to the King's inclination, if he should find his Majesty disposed to procure Marshal Horne's discharge, and that the Queen had written to the Duke on that subject.

Some days after this audience, Chavigny[332] informed the Swedish Ambassador that John De Vert was the King's prisoner, though Lewis XIII. had said the contrary.

Grotius had another audience of the King in the middle of July 1638[333]. He complimented his Majesty on the happy success of the French arms on the frontiers of Spain, and exhorted him to set about the recovery of Navarre, which belonged to him of right, and was unjustly usurped by Spain; he also recommended to him the Duke of Weymar's affairs, and gave reason to hope that something great would be done by General Bannier, who had just received reinforcements from Sweden. At this audience the Ambassador presented Crusius to the King as a Swedish Nobleman who was returning to Stockholm, and would soon be employed in public affairs, and might contribute to strengthen the union between the two kingdoms. The King received him very graciously, and desired him to make his compliments to the High Chancellor.


[321] Ep. 688. p. 281.

[322] Ep. 719. p. 303.

[323] Ep. 720. p. 303.

[324] Ep. 813. p. 354.

[325] Ep. 327. p. 363.

[326] Ep. 923. p. 408.

[327] Ep. 926. p. 410.

[328] Ep. 927. p. 411.

[329] Ep. 949. p. 421.

[330] Ep. 957. p. 426.

[331] Ep. 968. p. 434.

[332] Ep. 971. p. 495.

[333] Ep. 988. p. 447.

II. Grotius had always been attentive to cultivate the friendship of the Prince of Condé: they visited one another often. The Swedish Ambassador relates in one of his letters[334] that the Prince having been nominated to command in Paris in the absence of the King and Cardinal Richelieu, he waited on him in the beginning of February 1637: the Prince returned his visit soon after. The conversation turned on the marriage of Monsieur, which the King had hitherto considered as void, because it was made without his consent. Gaston's constancy in persisting to keep his wife had in the end obliged the King to approve of the match. The Prince told Grotius that he had always thought this marriage valid, and did not doubt but he was of the same mind. Grotius answered, that the opinion of those who regarded such marriages as good, was without doubt most generally received. They afterwards talked of Divinity: the Prince had been well educated, and loved this kind of conversation. The grand controversies concerning the Eucharist and the Pope's authority came under consideration; but we know not the particulars.


[334] Ep. 714. p. 299.

III. The Pope, foreseeing that the conclusion of a peace was still very distant, proposed a truce, in hopes that while it continued they might labour more effectually in bringing about a peace. France[335] and Sweden discovered no reluctance to suspend for some time the operations of the war; and Grotius received orders, as we have already seen, to confer with the French Ministry in order to settle the subsidies to be given Sweden, and the conditions of the truce. Chavigny was nominated to treat with the Swedish Ambassador on this matter. He visited Grotius on the twenty-seventh of April, 1638[336], and the Swedish Minister telling him, that he had full powers from the Queen to examine, in concert with the Minister whom the King should nominate, what was necessary to obtain an advantageous truce; Chavigny asked if he had also power to conclude the truce. Grotius answered, if France and Sweden could agree, he had in that case permission to sign the truce. Chavigny replied, that Cardinal Richelieu had learnt from Schmalz, lately arrived from Sweden with instructions for Grotius, that the Swedes wanted to have the same subsidies during the truce as they had during the war; which appeared very surprising; that he did not doubt but Grotius himself would think the claim unreasonable, since the truce was to be of long continuance, and the expence would be much less than in the time of war. Grotius answered, that the truce would be attended with as much expence as the war, since the Swedes could not keep the countries, of which they were in possession, without great armies. Chavigny replied, that the number of troops to be kept on foot during the truce might be settled: upon which Grotius observed, that during the truce between the Spaniards and the United Provinces the latter preserved the liberty of maintaining as large garrisons as they thought necessary for their security; and that the King, after the example of Henry the Great his father, furnished them with the same succours during the peace as in time of war. Chavigny maintained that the Swedes would have nothing to fear from their enemies whilst the truce lasted, on account of the great number and power of its guarantees: to which Grotius answered, that the countries possessed by the Swedes were so distant from their allies, that if they did not continue in arms to guard against any unlooked-for invasion, those countries would be lost before they could receive assistance.

The King was gone to Chantilly, and from thence he was to proceed to Compeigne. Chavigny, who was to follow him, but had not yet fixed the time of his departure, told Grotius he would speak to Cardinal Richelieu to know whether the conferences in relation to the truce were to begin before he went to Chantilly, or after his return, and would signify to him the Cardinal's intentions. Grotius answered, that he would bring Schmalz with him, because he knew the sentiments of the Swedish Ministry, and that he might make an exact report of what passed at his return to that kingdom. Schmalz was present at this conversation: he was Secretary of the High Chancellor and his confident: Grotius till now had numbered him among his friends.

April 30, Chavigny sent to acquaint Grotius that if he pleased they would hold a conference the next day. They accordingly met on the first of May[337], 1638, at Chavigny's house. Grotius asked that Minister what conditions of truce the King would have. Chavigny answered, that the conditions were not yet agreed upon; that a truce had only been barely proposed, and that his Majesty, as a good friend and faithful ally, was willing the Queen of Sweden should be informed of it; that the custom in truces was, that each one should keep the countries of which he had possession; that it was proper the Princes who had been driven from their estates should receive a decent pension during the truce, to be paid by those who enjoyed their country; that it was the King's opinion they ought not to be too hasty, but wait with patience for the proposals of the mediators. Grotius said, if the King would signify on what conditions he would agree to the truce, it would be highly agreeable to the Swedish Ministry. Chavigny assured him that he had no instructions on that head; but if he would acquaint him with the intentions of the Swedes, he would lay them before the Cardinal. They entered on the business. In the claims of the Swedes there were two articles which met with much difficulty: they took it for granted that France should continue the same subsidies whilst the truce lasted, and wanted not only to keep that part of Pomerania which they had already, but that the other should also be ceded to them. These proposals were put in writing. Chavigny promised to send them to the Cardinal, and to give a speedy answer. May 18[338], Chavigny went to Grotius's house, who immediately sent for Schmalz: the matter under consideration was the amount of the subsidies: Chavigny said the Swedes asked too much for a time of truce; that the King could only give three hundred thousand florins a year whilst it lasted. Grotius maintained that the sum was too small in proportion to the expence which the Swedes were obliged to be at; and that in one word he could consent to no diminution of the subsidies. Pomerania was next brought on the carpet. Chavigny pretended that the King neither ought, nor could with decency propose to the enemy to yield to Sweden what they still held in Pomerania. Grotius maintained that Sweden's right to that province was not founded on force, but supported by treaties made with the Duke and the people; that, besides, Sweden was in no hurry about a truce; that it would even be burdensome to her if she were not furnished with sufficient subsidies for paying her garrisons; and if she were not left in the possession of all Pomerania. He added, that to enable the Swedish Ministry to judge whether the truce would be of advantage to the kingdom, they must first be made acquainted with its conditions. The conference was concluded by a promise from Chavigny that he would communicate the King's intentions to Grotius in writing. Schmalz in the mean time did Grotius all the ill offices he could: he wrote to Court that they could no longer refuse the instances of France to recall the Ambassador: but it was from jealousy or hatred that he acted in this manner; for at the same time that he was seeking to hurt Grotius, the Count de Feuquieres waited on him from the Cardinal, to tell him that they were extremely well pleased with him in France, and that far from desiring he should be recalled, his Eminence would solicit his stay at Paris.

Schmalz, displeased with Grotius's firmness[339], went privately and told Chavigny, that the Ministry of Sweden had resolved to consent to a considerable diminution of the subsidies: which he could prove by their letters written in Swedish. Grotius was informed of this, and complained to the High Chancellor; at the same time assuring him, that Schmalz had presumed to vent the highest menaces against him and his wife, because (says he) we oppose his unjust designs.

Chavigny falling ill, Desnoyers[340], Secretary at war, was appointed to confer with Grotius: He came to his house, and after making him the King and the Cardinal's compliments, delivered an answer to the memorial he had given Chavigny; acquainting him that every thing was settled between the Cardinal and Schmalz. On reading this answer, Grotius said, that before he explained himself he must speak with Schmalz, who was joined with him in this negotiation; and therefore it was improper for him to act alone. Desnoyers being withdrawn, Grotius informed Schmalz of his visit. Schmalz maintained that he had settled nothing, and had made only a draught of a convention; which he at the same time pressed Grotius to approve of, because, he said, it was agreeable to his Swedish instructions, which empowered him to accept of two hundred thousand florins. Grotius answered, that as this article was directly contrary to his instructions, he would, give them the preference; especially as he did not understand Swedish. The dispute grew warm[341]; Schmalz assertedthat he had full powers to act independently of Grotius not only in this negotiation, but even in every affair which regarded his embassy: "If it be so, the latter writes to the High Chancellor, the French will make a jest of him and of me: they, will look on me as Ambassador only in name; and on him as Ambassador in fact, though he has not the name: nay he actually allows himself to be treated at home as if he were Ambassador, and to be written to as if he had the title. It is indeed very hard that I, who am advanced in years, should have disputes with a hot-headed youth." This quarrel gave him great uneasiness: he writes to Oxenstiern[342], "I beg it as a favour of your Sublimity, that if I can be of any use to you, you would be pleased to protect me, as you have done hitherto. I have had nothing in view in all I have done but the welfare of Sweden; and it has cost me much pains to raise, by my words and actions, the credit of a nation hitherto little known in this country. If I cannot serve with utility, I had much rather return to the condition of a private man, than be a burden to the kingdom, or dishonour myself."

Schmalz lived on very ill terms with Crusius, a Swedish Lord, whom Grotius, as we have just seen, had presented to the King. Notwithstanding the grounds of complaint which the Ambassador had against Schmalz, he thought the public service required him to reconcile them, and for this end he often made them dine with him. One day, at the Swedish Banker's, both rose from table after dinner heated with wine, and came together to Grotius's: there was only his lady at home. They quarrelled, and Schmalz had the impudence to call Crusius several times a rascal; with the addition of some threatening gestures. Crusius, highly provoked, gave him a box on the ear, and an English colonel in company was so enraged against Schmalz, that had it not been for Grotius's lady he would have run him through. Notwithstanding this gross insult, Schmalz and Crusius[343] were reconciled at Grotius's house; but Schmalz still continued his extravagancies. He had the indiscretion one time to let his tongue loose against the Duke of Weymar: Baron Erlac, who was attached to that Prince, was highly incensed, and the consequences might have been very fatal. Grotius again employed his good offices to pacify Erlac. But this wrought no change in Schmalz's behaviour towards the Swedish Ambassador. In a letter of the sixteenth of October, 1638[344], Grotius observes: "It is near two months since Schmalz was to see me, though I have been ill; his reasons I neither know nor enquire. I am conscious he has no subject of complaint against me; but I have much to complain of him. He will return to you richer than he came out: I do not envy him the money, which, it is said, he received above two months ago from the French; being firmly resolved to adhere to the rule I have laid down, and hitherto observed, to accept of nothing from them." Schmalz continued to seek every opportunity of injuring Grotius[345], who, he said, was a burden on Sweden; and Grotius[346] was persuaded that Schmalz had betrayed the secret of affairs to the French Ministry in order to prejudice him. Schmalz returned to Sweden, where his misconduct being made manifest, he incurred the displeasure of the Ministry[347]. He afterwards embraced the Roman Catholic Religion, privately abjuring Lutheranism in Baron Roste's chapel, the French Resident at Stockholm. The Regency hearing of it, complained bitterly that the Resident should suffer it. Schmalz was thrown into gaol under pretence of some malversation; but had the good fortune to make his escape, and took refuge in Germany, entering into the service of the Emperor.

To return to the truce. The negotiation not succeeding at Paris, it was transferred to Hamburg, to be managed by D'Avaux and Salvius; but as it was very coldly desired either by the French, the Swedes, or even by the Imperialists, the conditions could not be settled, and the project was dropt.


[335] Bougeant, l. 5. n. 33.

[336] Ep. 950. p. 421.

[337] Father Bougeant Hist. l. 5. n. 35, places this negotiation in 1639, in which he contradicts Grotius. See Ep 954. p. 424.

[338] Ep. 960. p. 428.

[339] Ep. 974. p. 438.

[340] Ep. 976. p. 439.

[341] Ep. 976. p. 440.

[342] Ep. 982. p. 444.

[343] Ep. 993. p. 450.

[344] Ep. 1046. p. 472.

[345] Ep. 1111. p. 500.

[346] Ep. 1237. p. 560.

[347] Ep. 1263. p. 573. & 1301. p. 590. Bougeant l. 6. n. 32.

IV. As Grotius was returning from the audience of the King, at which he introduced Crusius, there happened a melancholy adventure which had like to have cost them both their lives. In passing through a village where a great crowd was assembled to see the execution of some highwaymen[348], one of the Swedish Ambassador's domestics on horseback, to make the mob give way for his master's coach, struck some of them with his whip: the alarm was instantly given that they were persons come to rescue the prisoners: upon which some shot were fired at the coach: the coachman received two balls in his body, of which he died some days after: the balls passed within two inches of the Ambassador's head. On calling out who they were, the tumult ceased. The King being informed of this outrage, ordered Count Brulon, one of the Introductors of Ambassadors, to wait on Grotius, and assure him that he was extremely sorry for his misfortune; and that as soon as the offenders were taken, they should receive the punishment they merited. Count Berlise, the other Introductor of Ambassadors, came also to visit Grotius, and acquaint him that the King was greatly concerned at the danger he underwent, and that his Majesty had ordered the Chancellor to prosecute the offenders with the utmost rigour. Grotius answered, he was so far from being animated by a spirit of revenge, that he intended to solicit a pardon for the offenders; but that it was proper, however, the King should publickly express his indignation, both for the safety of Ambassadors, and from a regard to the Law of Nations.

In consequence of his Majesty's orders the Chancellor[349] sent to the Swedish Ambassador's to take the depositions; and seven or eight persons of the village where the crime was perpetrated were taken up and thrown into prison at Paris. The Lady of the Manor came to Grotius, to solicit for the prisoners: he told her she must have patience till the trials were over, and then he would employ his interest in behalf of those who should be found guilty. He informed the High Chancellor of all these particulars; observing to him that he was very glad the King gave public proofs that he had the safety of Ambassadors at heart; and that for his part he would do all in his power to save the offenders from capital punishment.

The most guilty had had the precaution to abscond[350]: these, for their contempt of the court, were condemned to be broke on the wheel: but the sentence was not made public, because the Judges imagined they might suffer themselves to be taken if the affair seemed to be dropt. Some Lords, however, who had got notice of the sentence[351], were preparing to ask their forfeited effects: the Count de Berlise informed Grotius of it, and the Ambassador desired him to beg the favour of the King not to dispose of their effects, but to order them to be sequestrated, that he might restore them to the owners, when the time of their pardon came. "I have the honour to inform you of this, he writes to the High Chancellor, that it may not be thought I wanted to take advantage of the misfortune of these wretches, as some here are wicked enough to believe."

The sentence was at length executed on them[352]: but it was only in effigie; for none of the offenders had been taken. Grotius was then ill of an ague[353], and postponed his application for their pardon till his recovery. As soon as he could go abroad[354] he asked an audience; at which, after thanking the King for doing justice on them, which proved how much his Majesty had the respect due to Ambassadors at heart, he entreated him to grant a pardon to the offenders, and not only spare their lives, but also restore their effects; of which he claimed no part, though the King had left them to his disposal. Lewis XIII. seeing him earnest in his request, made answer, that he would give directions to the Chancellor that their pardon should pass the seals. Grotius promised to go to that Magistrate to solicit it; which he did accordingly[355], and the Chancellor promised to finish the affair agreeable to his desire.


[348] Ep. 988. p. 447.

[349] Ep. 993. p. 450.

[350] Ep. 438. p. 879.

[351] Ep. 1025. p. 462.

[352] Ep. 1028. p. 463.

[353] Ep. 1043. p. 470.

[354] Ep. 1038. p. 468.

[355] Ep. 1041. p. 469.

V. It was on the first of October, 1638, that Grotius went to solicit the King in favour of those who had insulted him: the Court was then in great joy for the happy birth of the Dauphin[356], who came into the world on the 5th of September. The Swedish Ambassador saw the King, the Queen, and the Dauphin, and made them his compliments such as the occasion required, though it was not the principal object of his journey as he could not have received orders on the subject. He recommended to the King the affairs of the Duke of Weymar, whom the Imperialists were going to attack with a force infinitely superior. His Majesty promised to augment that Prince's army as much as his other affairs would permit. Grotius having represented of what advantage an extraordinary gratification might be to the good of affairs in Germany, the King exclaimed against the great expences with which he was overpowered, but gave hopes that he would advance a sum of money beyond what he engaged to furnish. November 10, 1638[357], Grotius had another audience of the King, to entreat him not to abandon the Duke of Weymar in his present extremity: he assured his Majesty that he had precise orders to recommend to him the affairs of that Prince with the same zeal as those of Sweden. The King contented himself with giving a vague answer, which did not satisfy the Ambassador. December 4[358], he waited on the King and Queen to compliment them, by order of the Queen of Sweden, on the birth of the Dauphin. A letter written by him next day to Queen Christina relates all that passed at these audiences. After observing that he had publicly expressed his joy for the desired birth of the young Prince by bonfires, entertainments, and distributions of wine to all the neighbourhood, he tells her that he had seen the King, whom he informed of the entertainments made in Sweden on occasion of the birth of the Dauphin of France; that he observed to his Majesty, if it were true, as the Ancients believed, that names were not given by chance, one ought to prognosticate great things of the Dauphin [Anglicè Dolphin]; that the signs which surrounded the Constellation bearing his name, denote the most happy presages; that it was surrounded by the Eagle, Pegasus, Sagittarius, Aquarius, and the Swan; that the Eagle denoted a superior genius; Pegasus presaged that he would be powerful in cavalry, Sagittarius in infantry, and Aquarius in naval force: the Swan signified that his great actions would be celebrated by poets, historians, and orators: that the nine stars in the sign of the Dolphin denoted, according to astrologers, the nine Muses, who were to render the Prince illustrious and receive lustre from him: that the Dolphin being near the Equator, signified that the King's justice would be hereditary to his son; that naturalists had remarked three properties in the Dolphin, which ought to be considered as happy presages of what the Dauphin of France would be: that it loved men; that it came quickly to maturity; and had much activity.

Grotius, it is probable, had recourse to these unnatural and consequently ridiculous allegories in compliance with the bad taste of the age. It is to be presumed that such an elevated genius, who knew the rules of eloquence, and disapproved of the wretched strain of the advocates of that time, was not pleased with himself on this occasion. He concluded his harangue with beseeching the King to be persuaded that her Swedish Majesty would faithfully execute her treaties; that nothing would be more agreeable to her, than to live in the best understanding with the King, and to hear of the prosperity of his kingdom; and that she would chearfully employ all her forces to encrease the power of France. He afterwards excused the Queen for not sending an Ambassador extraordinary to compliment the King, giving as a reason, that such a commission could only be executed by one of the first Lords of the Kingdom, who were all employed in the army, or in the ministry; and the Queen presumed his Majesty would like better that they should discharge their duty, than undertake so long a journey. The King seemed much pleased with the conclusion of this compliment. He promised to be constant in his friendship, and faithful in the execution of his treaties, and to continue the war with the fame ardour as his good sister.

Grotius afterwards waited on the Queen, to whom he said, that his complimenting her so late on the part of the Queen of Sweden, was owing to the distance of Stockholm: he observed to her that Gothland was a province of Sweden, from which the Kings of Spain were not ashamed to derive their origin: he expressed his joy at seeing on the throne of France a Queen descended from the Goths, and who had brought forth a Prince who by his mother belonged to that nation: he assured her that of all the Princes who had borne the name of Deodatus, none deserved it so well as the Dauphin, whom Providence had given to the prayers of the kingdom almost against all hope; that he was born on the day of the Sun, which presaged that by his heat and light he would confer happiness on France, and the friends of France, among whom her Swedish Majesty held the first rank; that he was born in Autumn, the season of the year abounding most in fruit, which denoted that with him would be found the fruit of all virtues. The Queen received the compliment with great politeness, and made an offer of her services to her Swedish Majesty.

The important fortress of Brisac having been obliged to surrender to the Duke of Weymar in the end of the year 1638[359], Grotius went to compliment the King on that event: he first thanked him for sending reinforcements to the Duke, and afterwards enlarged on the advantages of taking Brisac, the conquest of which contributed to the security of Burgundy and Champaigne, facilitated the preservation of Lorain, the towns of Alsace, and the liberty of the Swiss, and, in fine, enabled them to make farther progress in Germany: he concluded with beseeching his Majesty to order the money promised, to be paid to the Swedes, that they might put Marshal Bannier in a condition to accomplish what might be of service to the King. Lewis assured him, that he would take care the money should be remitted.

Grotius having asked an audience of the King in the month of March, 1639[360], Count Brulon, Introductor of Ambassadors, waited on him to know what he purposed to say to the King, under pretence that when his Majesty was not previously apprised of certain affairs, he was too much affected by them. Grotius answered, that he should say nothing disagreeable to the King. Brulon wanting to enter into farther particulars, the Ambassador told him, he would follow his orders. The audience, however, was granted: he remonstrated to the King the necessity of sending speedy succours to the Duke of Weymar to enable him to penetrate into the heart of Germany, whilst Marshal Bannier did the same on his side: and assured him, that the Queen was determined to embark the recruits and provisions for that General's army as soon as the season would permit. The King answered, that he had affairs in so many places he could not do at once all that he desired.

Grotius ascribed the King's explaining himself so coldly to the offence taken by Cardinal Richelieu at the Duke of Weymar. His Eminence wanted to prevail with that Prince to come and pass the winter at Paris, in order to enter into a closer connection with him, and to get from him the possession of Brisac. The Duke, who was informed of his intentions, chose rather to remain in Germany, than to be near an absolute Minister whom it was dangerous to contradict. It is said that from this time the Cardinal resolved to obstruct the progress of a Prince, whose ambition and valour filled him with apprehensions. Grotius had a new audience of the King in the middle of April following, to represent to him the necessity of augmenting the army commanded by the Duke of Weymar, who had sent Erlac to court to obtain speedy succours. The King promised that Erlac should be satisfied.


[356] Ep. 1038. p. 468.

[357] Ep. 1064. p. 480.

[358] Ep. 1079. p. 485.

[359] Ep. 1090. p. 490. & 1093. p. 491.

[360] Ep. 1137. p. 514.

VI. These were only vague promises which the Ministry never intended to fulfil. The Cardinal had made no secret[361] of his desire to gain the Duke of Weymar by giving him his niece in marriage: the Prince's refusal and his desire to keep Brisac had so much offended his Eminence, that he even told Erlac that the Duke hearkened to bad counsels, and that his behaviour to France was not such as gratitude and civility required. The malevolence of the French Minister[362] chagrined the Duke so much that he fell ill: it was only a slight indisposition, but, however, he did not long survive it[363]: a violent fever seized him at Neubourg, which on the fourth day cut off a Prince, whom Grotius calls the honour and last resource of Germany[364]: the tenth of July, 1639, was the last of this illustrious personage. It was at that time very doubtful[365] whether he died of the plague, which prevailed in those parts, or of poison. Grotius tells us[366], that the Duke himself thought they had shortened his days: he even cites on this subject the Prince's funeral oration delivered at Brisac, wherein the author was not afraid of advancing this anecdote. Grotius was also persuaded[367] that the Prince died by poison: he mentions it in a letter to the High Chancellor of the 10th of October, 1639. "The more I reflect on the Duke of Weymar's death, the more I am persuaded that he had on his body no marks of the plague, and that it was not in his house: accordingly the reports of his being poisoned again prevail, and the suspicion falls upon the Geneva physician, who was brought to remove his cholic."

As this Prince's victories made even his allies uneasy, they were accused of contributing to his death. Cardinal Richelieu's enemies spread the report, without ground, that it was he who caused the poison to be given to the Duke, that he might get Brisac more easily; and the Swedish historian[368] seems inclined to think he was poisoned, without imputing it, however, to the Cardinal. "At the time of the Duke of Weymar's death, says he, there was a grand negotiation on foot to know whether Brisac should be yielded to France. Grotius pressed the Prince to keep it; and the refusing to yield that place disgusted France. He died soon after, not without suspicion of poison. The court of Vienna[369], to whom his death was of great advantage, was also accused of committing the crime: but these were all vague and ill-grounded reports, which consequently merit little attention." The Duke of Weymar's death[370] occasioned the greatest consternation among the Swedes; the army was left without a leader, the towns without a master, and for some time there was nothing but anarchy in the country where he commanded. This Prince placed the greatest confidence in Grotius, who had for him the most perfect esteem. When at Paris he was most intimate with the Swedish Ambassador[371], and deposited with him some valuable things which he would neither intrust to the King, nor to any of his subjects.


[361] Grotii Ep. 1153. p. 524.

[362] Ep. 1140. p. 516.

[363] Ep. 1226. p. 548.

[364] Ep. 1207. p. 549. & 1224. p. 553.

[365] Ep. 1223 p. 557.

[366] Ep. 1254. p. 569.

[367] Ep. 1249. p. 566.

[368] Puffendorf, l. 11. § 39.

[369] Le Vassor, l. 45. p. 265, 266.

[370] Ep. 1216, p. 548.

[371] Ep. 876 p. 384.

VII. When the Duke of Weymar's death was publicly known, Charles Lewis, Elector Palatine, son of the unfortunate King of Bohemia, purposed to get the Weymarian army to acknowledge him for their General. This negotiation could not be carried on without a large sum of money. The Elector went to his uncle the King of England, from whom he got 25000 l. sterling, with the promise of a larger sum in case of need. He might have returned into Holland, and would in all probability have succeeded in his project, but the King of England, it is said, advised him to act in concert with France, whose interest was connected with his, and without whose assistance he would have much difficulty to accomplish his design. King Charles spoke of it to Bellievre[372] the French Ambassador at London: he told him the Elector was determined to go to France, and lodge with the Earl of Leicester, the English Ambassador at Paris, that he might have an opportunity of conferring with the King. Bellievre, who was informed of the intentions of the French Court, and those of the Elector, represented to the King, that the Prince, before he embarked for France, ought to get a passport from the Court, otherwise he would be in danger of being arrested by the Governor of the first town. Bellievre was desired to write to France about it: the Ministry were in no hurry to give him an answer, because they disliked the prince's project. The Elector in his impatience resolved to go over incognito to France. M. Pelisson assures us[373] it was Montreuil, one of the first Academicians, at that time employed by France in England, who gave the Court notice of the Elector's design. That Prince managed his matters with so little address, that his journey was a secret to no body. He went on board publicly[374], suffered the English ships to salute him at his departure, and on landing him at Boulogn, the King his uncle's ships, which escorted him, made a general discharge of their great guns.

After coming on shore[375] he set out with five of his servants for Paris; and, changing his name, would not lodge with the Earl of Leicester; but took the road to Lyons, where the King was, and travelled very slowly. His design was to turn off to Switzerland, and proceed from thence to the Weymarian army. The Cardinal, who was informed of his rout, suffering him to advance into the heart of the kingdom, caused him to be arrested at Moulins in the Bourbonoise. He denied at first that he was the Elector Palatine; but was at last obliged to own it. [376]He was confined in the citadel; where he was civilly treated, till orders should be received from the King. He was from thence carried to Vincennes[377], where he was permitted to see no body, and denied the use of pen and ink. For six days he was not suffered to walk in the garden. The Prince had two brothers at Paris, Maurice and Edward, who came there to learn Riding and Fencing. They were narrowly watched, and ordered not to leave Paris; and their Governor was charged to attend them wherever they went. About a month after the Elector's confinement, they were permitted to see him[378]; but it was in presence of witnesses: the Elector was also suffered to walk sometimes in the garden on condition that the guard went with him.

Cardinal Richelieu and the French Ministers, to justify this conduct, gave out that it was not allowable for a foreign Prince to pass through the kingdom without the King's permission; that the Elector's conduct shewed that he had some bad design; that they knew he wanted to go to Geneva, to proceed from thence to the Duke of Weymar's army, to seize the towns of Alsace, and exchange them afterwards with the Emperor in order to obtain restitution of the Palatinate; and that such a project must be very prejudicial to France, to whom the conquest of Alsace had cost so many men and so much money. This imprisonment made a great noise in Europe: the Earl of Leicester, Ambassador from England, demanded the Prince's release; and Christiern King of Denmark used some strong expressions. The King of England wrote to the French King, that it was he who sent his nephew into France to confer with his Majesty on the state of his affairs; and that if the King would not give him an audience he ought at least to send him back to England. This letter having produced no effect, the English applied to the Queen of Sweden to intercede for the discharge of the captive Elector; and the King declared at last that he would let Grotius treat with the Ministry about the accommodation of this affair. He drew up a plan, in concert with the Earl of Leicester, for giving satisfaction to the Court of France that the Prince might be set at liberty. The Elector was to give it under his hand, that he never intended to negotiate with the Duke of Weymar's army without the concurrence of the Queen of Sweden and the most Christian King: and on making this declaration he was to remain at Paris, giving his parole not to leave it without the King's permission; and the English Ambassador was to be security for the observance of it.

Grotius, in communicating this project to Camerarius the Swedish Ambassador in Holland, acquaints him that he was persuaded nothing could have greater weight with the French Ministry than what he had suggested; and that he expected letters from the Queen his mistress, who was much affected with the Elector's misfortune. Chavigny made two visits on the subject of this negotiation to Grotius, who communicated to him what he had concerted with the English Ambassador.

As the French Ministry had need of Grotius in this affair[379], he was now treated by them with more civility. Chavigny came to him, by order of the King, about the middle of January, 1640[380], and told him that his Majesty and the Cardinal esteemed him highly, and for the future would treat him with friendship and candour; that if any thing had happened formerly, which might displease him, it was wholly owing to Father Joseph; and that Cardinal Richelieu was now sensible he had been injustly blamed. Grotius returned his thanks for these civilities; he assured Chavigny that the Ministry might expect from him all that could be hoped for from an honest man; that he knew the disgusts he had received proceeded from the Dutch, who, after having treated him unjustly, still continued to persecute him; and that he had determined to meddle no otherwise in their affairs than as they were connected with those of Sweden. Chavigny commended this resolution; adding, that the King intended to employ him in accommodating the affair of the Elector Palatine; which might be accomplished, if the Prince would only declare, that he had not proposed to himself any views on the Duke of Weymar's army but with the King's consent, whom he designed to consult; and if he would promise to carry on no intrigue for the future in that army without the approbation of the Queen of Sweden and the French King; that he might then be permitted to remain at Paris, after giving his parole, and engaging the English Ambassador to give his, that he should not leave it without the King's permission. Grotius answered he would be always glad to serve the King. After this conversation Grotius visited the Earl of Leicester, and communicated the project to him as his own; for Chavigny had desired him not to speak of the conversation which they had together: he assured the English Ambassador, that he knew for certain if he approved of the proposal the Prince would not only obtain his liberty, but might also hope to recover his dominions if his Britannic Majesty would bestir himself for that purpose; and that he hoped his mediation would not be less agreeable to the King of England, than to the French King. The Earl of Leicester answered, that he had orders to demand the Elector's discharge without any condition; that he would write to England; and till he received an answer must exactly follow his instructions. He asked Grotius to continue his good offices in this affair, assuring him that they would be most agreeable to the King of England. The Swedish Ambassador informed the High Chancellor of these particulars, in a letter dated Jan. 22, 1640[381].

Chavigny soon returned to Grotius to know what had passed between him and the English Ambassador: and on this occasion assured him of the Cardinal's favourable disposition towards him. Some time after, a person belonging to Chavigny brought Grotius some papers relating to the accommodation of this affair; in which the Weymarian army was supposed to belong to the King of France, because he alone paid it. Grotius, on the contrary, was persuaded that that army belonged to Sweden and the confederate Princes of Germany; and that the Duke of Weymar, as he himself had several times said, received the French subsidies in quality of ally of that crown, as the Landgrave did in his life-time. On reading these papers he told the person who brought them, they would not please the English; and asked permission to make some alteration in them. Chavigny's Secretary answered, that he had orders to leave them with him, that he might shew them to the Earl of Leicester. Grotius replied, that he would first examine them farther, and see what was to be done. Some days after, Chavigny sent another Secretary, asking him to confer as soon as possible with the Earl of Leicester. Grotius answered, that he had read the papers with attention; and finding in them some things to the prejudice of Sweden, he would consult the Queen that he might do nothing to the prejudice of her rights; that he was sorry the distance would not permit him to receive her orders soon, but if the other Ambassadors who had offered their good-offices in this affair could obtain the Prince's liberty he would be well satisfied.

These papers differed in many places from what had been settled between Chavigny and Grotius. They had agreed that the Elector, on coming out of Vincennes, should remain at Paris: the new regulation obliged him to follow the Court, that he might be more easily observed; besides, it only made mention of the King of France, and said nothing of Sweden. The French Ministry would absolutely[382] have the Weymarian Army to be the King's; and that it was a high offence against him to attempt to get the command of it without his consent. The Landgravine of Hesse[383], Amelia Elizabeth of Hanau, whose uncommon merit and attachment to France had gained her the greatest confederation at Court, wrote to the King in favour of the captive Prince, assuring him, that all Germany was under affliction on account of his situation. The Queen of Bohemia[384], the Elector's mother, approved of the difficulties started by Grotius; and Queen Christina ordered him to demand an audience of the King to present a letter from her, dated Dec. 19, 1639[385]. It was some time before he could obtain this audience, the King being ill of the gout. Some imagined this was only a pretext, and that his Majesty refused to see him because the Ministers were treating directly with the Elector, who was to be set at liberty as soon as they could agree with him, without its appearing to be done at the solicitation of any foreign Prince.

The 18th of February, 1640, was at last appointed for the audience: Grotius told the King that by clemency men approached nearest to the Divinity, and that it became no Prince so well as him who bore the title of Most Christian King; that the Kings of France had always distinguished themselves by this virtue, particularly Henry IV; and that he himself had on several occasions given signal proofs of his clemency. He afterwards set forth the ancient splendour of the Palatine house, the most illustrious of the empire, whose heir was now in captivity, without lands, without subjects, and reduced to seek shelter among strangers: he shewed that his house was ever closely attached to France; that it defended with all its forces the rights of Henry the Great to the Crown when unjustly disputed; that the Austrians were always declared enemies of this house, and now kept the second Prince of it in prison; that the Courts of Vienna and Madrid ardently desired the continuation of the Elector's captivity; that this Prince deserved the better treatment in France, as during his minority he was ever an ally of the Crown of Sweden, and those, who managed his affairs in his youth, conformed with the greatest zeal and fidelity to all the desires of the King's Ministers, and contributed much to the success of their demands in the diets of Hailbron, Francfort, and Worms; that his Majesty, by setting the Prince at liberty, would not only do a great pleasure to Germany, but her Swedish Majesty would consider it as a high obligation, and take every opportunity to express her gratitude. The King seemed to be affected with this discourse. He said, Grotius was not ignorant of his reasons for arresting the Elector Palatine; that the good of the common cause induced him to do it; that he had always had the restoration of the Palatine house much at heart, and caused it to be mentioned to the King of England, whom this affair regarded more, and had made several proposals on the subject to the Earl of Leicester. Grotius replied, that it did not become him to enter into a dispute concerning the reasons which determined so great a King to act as he had done; but if, without breach of the respect due to his Majesty, he might be permitted to speak his sentiments, he thought the best measure that could be taken was to forget what was passed, and attend only to the advantage of the common cause; adding, that some allowance must be made for the Prince's youth, and it ought to be considered, that the bad situation of his affairs did not permit him to engage in his service such as were most capable of giving him good advice. The King said, he had heard what the Ambassador represented, and that he was going to read the Queen of Sweden's letters. The audience concluded with the Swedish Ambassador's instances, that the King would remember clemency and goodness. Grotius acquainted the Queen of Sweden with all these particulars, in a letter dated the 3d of March, 1640[386].

As soon as it was known in France, that Grotius had received orders to intercede for the Prince, he was confined more closely; so that those of his family, who were at Paris, had no communication with him, as before; hence it was concluded, that the French Ministers wanted to negotiate directly with him, and prevent his holding any correspondence with such as might divert him from giving the King the satisfaction he desired. These suspicions were well grounded[387]: Chavigny was treating at Vincennes with the Prince, who, tired of his confinement, signed the declaration which the King wanted, namely, that he had no design to get the command of the Weymarian troops contrary to his Majesty's inclination, and would not leave France without his permission. The King alone was mentioned in this writing, and no notice taken of the Swedes.

The Court being satisfied[388], Chavigny went on the 13th of March, 1640, at night, to Vincennes, and brought the Prince to the Earl of Leicester's house; where he staid incognito till the Hotel of the Ambassadors Extraordinary, then occupied by Prince Casimir, should be empty. In this manner the Prince recovered his liberty[389], which he owed to the powerful solicitation of the Queen of Sweden, and the good-offices of her Minister. Grotius informed the Queen, that the Prince was come out of Vincennes, by a letter of the 7th of April, 1640[390]. He went to pay his compliments to his Highness, and gave him all the honours due to an Elector, though he was not treated as such by the French, because they were in negotiation with the Duke of Bavaria, who was invested with the title of Elector, which the Palatine house enjoyed before the troubles in Bohemia. But Sweden had still continued to regard the Prince as if he had been in possession of his electorate. Grotius held a correspondence with him before this event: we have a letter of that Ambassador, written on the 16th of November, 1638, to the Elector Palatine, in which he allures him, that he had spoken to the Most Christian King and his Ministers, and to the English Ambassador, for the restoration of the Palatine house; and that he had also written about it to the Queen of Sweden and the Grandees of the kingdom.

The Elector came to make Grotius a visit[391], and begged he would recommend him to the favour of the Queen of Sweden. Grotius demanded an audience of the King, to thank him for the regard he had shewn to the Queen his Mistress's recommendation.

The Prince made his court so well to the King, and so managed the French Ministry, that he at last got the title of Elector. He was extremely well received at Court: but grew weary, however, of France, and was desirous of obtaining full and entire liberty by the Queen of Sweden's credit. He spoke of it to Grotius; who promised him his good-offices. The uneasiness, which the protracting of this negotiation gave the Prince, threw him into an ague. At length, after much ado, he obtained full liberty. July 25, 1640, the King gave him permission to go where he pleased, after giving assurances, that he would adhere to the writing signed at Vincennes, by which he engaged to do nothing against the interest of France. He came to acquaint Grotius with this agreeable news; adding, that he was resolved to go to Holland, and continue there till the troubles in Scotland were ended. It was not then foreseen that they would last so long, and still less that they would bring the King to the block.


[372] Ep. 1876. p. 578.

[373] Hist. de l'Acad. p. 162.

[374] Ep. Grot. 1629. p. 575.

[375] Ep. 1250. p. 576.

[376] Ep. 1271. p. 576.

[377] Puffendorf, l. 11. § 60.

[378] Ep. 1283. p. 581.

[379] Ep. 1311. p. 593.

[380] Puffendorf, l. 11. § 78.

[381] Ep. 1312. p. 594.

[382] Ep. 1313, p. 595.

[383] Ep. 1317. p. 596.

[384] Ep. 1320. p. 598.

[385] Ep. 1319. p. 597.

[386] Ep. 1328. p. 601.

[387] Ep. 1333 p. 613.

[388] Ep. 1337. p. 607. Puffendorf, l. 12. § 52.

[389] Ep. 1338. p. 607.

[390] Ep. 1344. p. 609.

[391] Ep. 1548. p. 611.

VIII. Grotius was at this time engaged in another very delicate negotiation at the Court of France. Marshal Horn, the High Chancellor's son-in-law, had been taken at the battle of Nordlinguen, and Sweden was most desirous to recover her General. The famous John de Vert was at the same time prisoner at Vincennes[392]: nothing seemed more natural or easy than the exchange of these two great Captains: it was obstructed, however, by two considerable difficulties. The Duke of Weymar pretended that John de Vert was his Prisoner, and that he only sent him into France to be kept there till he should redemand him. Besides, the French Court were afraid that Marshal Horn's return would be rather hurtful, than advantageous to the common cause: there was no longer any employment for the Marshal in the army, and as he was supported by the credit of his father-in-law, his return to it might occasion a dangerous division, the consequences whereof were to be apprehended even by France herself. Grotius[393] nevertheless was ordered to solicit the King in favour of this exchange: he spoke of it first to Bullion[394], who frankly promised to do all in his power for Sweden in the affair. He afterwards spoke of it to the King at an audience in the beginning of November, 1639; an account of which he sends to the Queen, in a letter of the 9th of November. He tells her, that, having pressed the King to procure the Marshal's liberty, Lewis discovered great readiness to do it, and promised to propose it in council. The Ambassador, to engage the King more warmly for this exchange, represented to his Majesty, that the late Duke of Weymar designed the generals John de Vert and Enkefort to be exchanged for Marshal Horn: that the Prince thought his glory concerned in making this exchange; that he had mentioned it to the Queen of Sweden; and often written to his Majesty about it, and several times employed others to solicit it, and that he died in these sentiments.

Marshal Horn's liberty could not be obtained without the consent of another Prince, the Duke of Bavaria, with whom he was a prisoner. That Prince, being spoke to, readily gave his consent to the exchange. Marshal Horn wrote this to Grotius, in a letter delivered to him by John de Vert: and the Ambassador immediately wrote to the High Chancellor, May 16, 1640, that he thought the Queen should make new instances by letter to the King, and give him [Grotius] fresh orders on the subject.

The taking of Arras furnishing an occasion to compliment the King, Grotius went to St. Germains in the beginning of November, 1640. He expressed to his Majesty the joy he received by his happy return, his good health, and the conquest of such a considerable town as the capital of the Artois: he added his sincere wishes for the further increase of the prosperity of France, and the happy delivery of the Queen, who was then with child of the Duke of Anjou, afterwards Duke of Orleans. The King seemed to be pleased with this compliment, and mentioned some of the difficulties which attended the siege of Arras. Grotius afterwards spoke to the King of Marshal Horn: he told his Majesty that he had received letters from him, assuring that the Duke of Bavaria consented to his being exchanged for John de Vert. The Ambassador added, that the Duke of Weymar always desired the exchange: and that, if his Majesty would do Sweden this pleasure, John de Vert might be sent to Benfeld, and Marshal Horn to Landau, and both be afterwards set at liberty at Basil. The King answered, that he would think seriously of it.

In fact, Chavigny came soon after to see Grotius, and told him that the King, after reflecting on the proposals he had made to him concerning Marshal Horn's release, had resolved to send John de Vert to Nancy as soon as the troops were in winter quarters, that he might be sent back with a more considerable escort; that he consented the Marshal should be exchanged for John de Vert, on condition, however, that the treaty between France and Sweden should be renewed. Chavigny added, that the King, having learnt that Grotius complained of the Chancellor Seguier for denying him the honours due to an Ambassador, had signified his intentions, that he should be treated as the other Ambassadors of crowned heads. Grotius having made a visit a little before[395] to the Chancellor of France, he had neither advanced to meet him, according to custom, nor given him the place that was due to him, nor re-conducted him on coming away. The Ambassador complaining of it, Count Brulon came and told him in presence of the Chancellor's servants, that if any offence had been given him, it proceeded from inattention, and not from design; for the King would have him treated with the same honours as other Ambassadors of Kings. Grotius replied, that he expected to receive the same treatment as the English Ambassador: on which Count Brulon said, France gave to each power the honour due to its rank.

The exchange, however, was not executed. Grotius made a journey to Rheims, where the King was, to speak to him of it[396]. The King gave him the most positive promises, and engaged to give John de Vert his liberty, if the Duke of Bavaria sent Marshal Horn to Landau. Grotius wrote to the Court of Bavaria; John de Vert was conducted to Selesdad: and at last the exchange was made at Strasbourg. Grotius wrote a letter[397] of compliment on it to the Marshal, and desired him to come and lodge with him, if he purposed to pass through Paris in his way to Sweden.


[392] Bougeant, l. 6. § 14.

[393] Ep. 1259. p. 371.

[394] Ep. 1263. p. 573. 1276. p. 578.

[395] Ep. 1414. p. 645.

[396] Ep. 1512. p. 685. 1517. p. 687. 1523. p. 690 & 1532. p. 693

[397] Ep. 1565. p. 708.

IX. The renewal of the treaty of alliance between France and Sweden, which was almost expired, was now on the carpet. This grand affair was negotiating at Hamburg between Claude de Même count d'Avaux, and John Adler Salvius, Vice-Chancellor of Sweden. Grotius[398], who was attentive to give such counsels as might be useful to the crown of Sweden, wrote to the High Chancellor on the 29th of September, 1640, that if the subsidies made the only difficulty to the conclusion of the treaty, he knew the Cardinal would augment them. And accordingly, instead of a million, which France promised to Sweden by the last[399] treaty, by this she gave her twelve hundred thousand Francs. The negotiation meeting with many obstacles, it was drawn into a great length and not concluded till the last of June, 1641.

In the beginning of November in the preceding year, Chavigny came to acquaint Grotius, that the King was astonished that nothing was done in the eight months that the renewal of the alliance had been negotiating at Hamburg; that it would seem the regents of Sweden imagined by these delays to obtain better conditions; but the King could add nothing to the former subsidies by reason of his exorbitant expences both on his own account and that of the allies; that he was desirous of being speedily informed of the intentions of the Swedish Ministers; that the renewal of the treaty would contribute to the obtaining a good peace; that if they would not renew it, it was time the King should know it, that he might take his measures; and that the peace was greatly retarded by the hopes which the enemy entertained of a difference between France and Sweden. He added, that if a separate treaty should be set on foot, France could obtain better terms than Sweden. The whole drift of this discourse was to let Grotius know they were not ignorant that he had written to Sweden, advising the Regency to take advantage of the present occasion to obtain more advantageous conditions from France; which would be granted. The Swedish Ambassador answered Chavigny, that he had received a letter from the Queen for his Majesty, which he purposed to deliver immediately; that the war was very burdensome to the Swedes, who had so many enemies to combat with, especially this year and last; and that as to the renewal of the treaty, he had nothing to say to it; for that affair did not concern him, but Salvius.

He demanded an audience; but it was denied on several pretexts[400]; because they wanted farther information of what was doing at Hamburg. It was at last granted[401] on the 16th of November, 1640. He saw the Queen first, whom he complimented on the birth of the Duke of Anjou: he afterwards saw the King, and delivered to him the Queen's letters of the 10th of September. He congratulated him on the advantages gained last campaign, and on the birth of a second son of France; and entreated his Majesty to send a greater force into Germany as the only means to obtain a glorious peace. The King promised it, and afterwards repeated to Grotius what Chavigny had said; that the treaty of alliance would soon expire; that he would be glad to renew it on the former conditions; but that if her Swedish Majesty disliked them, he wished to know it immediately, that he might regulate his measures accordingly. He often repeated that it was not in his power to augment the subsidies, though the Ambassador proved that he could never make a better use of his money. Grotius informed the Queen of what passed at this audience by a letter of the 17th of November, 1640, in which he assures her that the true reason why the King deferred seeing him was his waiting for Cardinal Richelieu, with whom he wanted to concert the answer he should make. He acquainted this Princess at the same time, that it was from the Superintendant's own friends he understood the Swedes might hope for an increase of the subsidies on renewing the alliance.

Salvius informed Grotius of the state of the negotiation[402], that they might act in concert. The Vice-Chancellor was the primum mobile of this great affair: Grotius was subordinate to him, and did him great service by the instructions which he sent him.


[398] Ep. 1420. p. 647.

[399] Bougeant. l. 6. n. 38.

[400] Ep. 1440. p. 653.

[401] Ep. 1442. p. 654.

[402] Ep. 1472. p. 666.

X. Cardinal Richelieu died the year after the renewal of the treaty of alliance between France and Sweden, on the 4th of December, 1642. This famous Minister was not much regretted by the Swedish Ambassador: independent of the grounds of complaint which Grotius thought he had against the Cardinal, it is not surprising that he should have no great veneration for him; they were of too different sentiments to esteem, or perhaps to do one another justice.

Lewis XIII. did not long survive his Prime Minister; the fourteenth of May, 1643, was his last. Anne of Austria, his widow, was Regent of the Kingdom during the minority of her son Lewis XIV. She told the Swedish Ambassador by Chavigny, and repeated it herself, that the King's death would make no change in the alliance between France and Sweden; that she would follow the intentions of the late King in every thing, and observe with the greatest fidelity the treaties made with the allies.

The Duke of Orleans and the Prince of Condé were of the same sentiments[403]. Cardinal Mazarin soon gained all the Queen's confidence, and the principal part in the Ministry: he pretended to support the dignity of Cardinal with the same grandeur as his predecessor: which made Grotius resolve[404] to wait for orders from Sweden before he saw his Eminence. September 26, 1643, he writes to Salvius[405], "I received with great pleasure your Excellency's letters. I caused them to be delivered to Cardinal Mazarin, whom I have not seen, nor will see, unless the Queen order it. He takes the precedence of the Ambassadors of Kings; and though the title of Eminence be given him, he refuses that of Excellence to Ambassadors." Sweden having declared war against the King of Denmark[406], who had taken several Swedish ships trading in the Sound, Grotius communicated the Queen of Sweden's motives to the French Queen[407], without having orders for it, in an audience which he had of her Majesty about the middle of April, 1644; acquainting her that justice and necessity obliged Sweden to have recourse to arms against the Danes; he also shewed her the declaration of war, which he translated into Latin, and printed at Paris. Some time after, Christina sent him orders to inform the Queen of France of the reasons which obliged the Swedes to enter into a war with Denmark; which Grotius did accordingly at an audience in the beginning of June, 1644.


[403] Ep. 1594. p. 743.

[404] Ep. 632. p. 946.

[405] Ep. 1611. p. 717.

[406] Bougeant, l. 8. p. 542.

[407] Ep. 1661. p. 721.

XI. It was the adventurer Cerisante who brought Grotius Queen Christina's letters, ordering him to lay before the Queen of France Sweden's grounds of complaint against Denmark. He had had interest to get himself nominated Agent of the crown of Sweden at Paris, with orders however to do nothing but in concert with the Ambassador[408]. Some years before, the continual jars between Grotius and the French Ministers made the Regents of Sweden[409] hesitate whether it would not be proper to recall Grotius: he himself had wrote to the High Chancellor[410], that, to obviate all difficulties raised against him, it would perhaps be more proper to have only an Agent at Paris. It is pretended that the inclination which he was suspected to have for the Roman Catholics contributed to set the Swedes against him; and Crusius wrote from Bremen, November 27, 1642[411], "It is publicly reported that Grotius is become a Papist, and has lost all credit in Sweden." He was not consulted in the nomination of Cerisante; accordingly it gave him much uneasiness, which he did not dissemble[412]: he regarded this Agent as a spy sent to observe his conduct, and his mission as a proof that the Ministry were not satisfied with him: this greatly contributed to increase the disgust he had taken to his embassy, which he had already hinted in confidence to some of his friends. February 16, 1641, he wrote a letter of compliment to Lewis Camerarius[413] on his being recalled from his embassy to Holland, and assures him that it would give him great pleasure to live in such quiet. He writes to his brother, November 1, 1641[414], "If they threatened to recall me from my embassy I should not be sorry: it is not a lucrative thing. I am surfeited with honours; old age comes on, and will soon demand ease." A year after, he writes to him[415], "I am come to the age at which many wise men have voluntarily renounced places of honour. I love quiet, and would be glad to devote the remainder of my life to the service of God and of posterity. If I had not some hope of contributing to a general peace, I should have retired before now."

The headstrong and forward temper of the person who was appointed his coadjutor crowned all his uneasiness. In effect, no body could be more the reverse of Grotius than Cerisante. The Memoirs of the Duke of Guise have placed this man in a very ridiculous light: his family indeed complain that the duke of Guise did not do him justice; but we know from others that he was as vain as he was inconsiderate. He was the son of Duncan, Minister of Saumur, and being perfect master of the Belles Lettres, he had been nominated Governor to the Marquis de Foix, who afterwards made him Lieutenant-Colonel of the regiment of Navarre; but a quarrel with the Duke of Candale in the beginning of Anne of Austria's regency obliged him to quit the kingdom. He retired into Sweden, in hopes that the Queen, who loved men of wit, would make his fortune. He was not disappointed: she gave him a commission to levy a regiment, which he never raised; and sent him into France with the titles of Colonel and Agent of Sweden.

He soon laid aside that regard for Grotius which was recommended to him; and gave on all occasions proofs of his rash and vain-glorious humour. Grotius tells us that he sent very false intelligence to Sweden, which he affirmed that he had from the first hand: in short, he was guilty of so many extravagancies, that Queen Christina, being informed how little he was esteemed, and that she was in some sort censured on his account, dismissed him her service; but it was not till after Grotius's departure from Paris.

It will readily be judged that a man of this character could ill agree with Grotius: accordingly they were soon at great variance. Their misunderstanding was quickly known. Sarrau wrote to Salmasius, June 1, 1644[416], "Duncan the Swedish Agent at this Court gives the Ambassador much uneasiness." Grotius's patience being therefore worn out, he wrote to Sweden, desiring the Queen to recall him: his request was granted with great readiness. As she did not dignify to him where he must go[417], he wrote to Baron Oxenstiern, the Swedish Plenipotentiary to the peace of Munster and Osnabrug, and son of the High Chancellor, desiring him to inform him of the Queen's intentions, if he knew them; or to advise him whither he ought to go, to Osnabrug or elsewhere; and in fine, to send him a safe-conduct from the Ambassadors of the Emperor and the King of Spain, and even, if he could, from the Elector of Cologn. Grotius was strongly persuaded that they would employ him elsewhere[418]. He demanded an audience of Queen Anne, whom he informed of his being recalled. The Queen of Sweden wrote to the French Queen a letter highly to Grotius's honour[419], in which she said that she would never forget his great services. She wrote also to himself[420], signifying to him her satisfaction with his fidelity and prudence, and making him the fairest promises: which confutes what we find in the Menagiana[421], that Queen Christina began her reign with recalling Grotius; since it is beyond doubt that it was Grotius himself who asked to be recalled. But we must not expect great exactness in this kind of works, compiled for the most part by persons who relate ill what they heard, and are not always acquainted with the matters of which they write.

Before we consider Grotius returned to a private station, we shall observe that he always supported with great firmness the rights and honours belonging to the rank of Ambassador, not from vanity, but because he thought it his duty to prevent a dignity conferred on him from being depreciated. He imagined[422], that the Dutch, from ill-will to him, had entered into a kind of conspiracy not to treat him as Ambassador, and to make him be considered as a simple Resident[423]; and afterwards to make a crime of his weakness in giving up any part of his right. They denied him the title of Excellency when speaking to him of private business, under pretext that his embassy was not concerned: but he shewed this to be a very bad reason, since the greatest Noblemen in Sweden treated him as Ambassador even in private letters: he therefore burnt all those letters which did not give him the proper titles, without answering them; and even would not receive in his house such persons as denied him the honours due to the Ambassadors of crowned heads.


[408] Ep. 716. p. 970.

[409] Puffendorf, l. 13. n. 77.

[410] Ep. 690. p. 284.

[411] Inter Vossianas Ep. 656.

[412] Ep. 1689, p. 731.

[413] Ep. 1477. p. 668.

[414] Ep. 572. p. 928.

[415] Ep. 620. p. 942.

[416] Ep. 83. p. 84. Sarravii.

[417] Ep. 1743. p. 746.

[418] Ep. 1745. p. 746.

[419] Ep. 1757. p. 749.

[420] Ep. 1753. p. 748.

[421] Tom. 2. p. 298.

[422] Ep. 532. p. 912.

[423] Ep. 542. p. 918.

XII. When the news of Grotius's recall was known at Paris, it was publicly said that he was going to Sweden to complain of his collegue. Sarrau writes thus to Salmasius, March 15, 1645[424]. "Grotius is preparing to set out for Sweden after Easter, to complain of the injury done to him by appointing for his successor a young man who was his rival. He must however obey; and return into a private station: but this Colossus, though thrown down, will be always great; this statue will still be very high without its base." Whilst Grotius waited for Baron Oxenstiern's answer, he wrote to Spiringius, the Swedish Agent in Holland, asking him, in case he should not receive a favourable letter from Osnabrug, to send him a ship of war to some French port, on board of which he might embark for Gottenburg; or, if that could not be done, to obtain a passport to go from Holland to Gottenburg; but on condition that no mention should be made of what passed in his youth; otherwise, he declared, he would take another rout. It is probable he obtained such a passport as he desired; for embarking at Dieppe[425], he went to Holland, where he was extremely well received. The Burgomasters of Amsterdam paid him all honour, and he was entertained at the public expence. He had also reason to be satisfied with the town of Rotterdam: not but there were at this time some mean souls in Holland, who wanted to make the States of Holland, then assembled, deny him a passage through the Province: but this shameful step served only to draw upon them the public indignation. The City of Amsterdam fitted out a vessel to carry him to Hamburg, where he was May 16, 1645, on which day he writes to his brother[426] that the wind had been against them; that he had been eight days by the way; and that Schrasvius, the Dutch Resident at Hamburg, came to visit him, and had a conversation with him full of friendship. He was resolved to set out next day for Lubeck, and hoped to find at that town, or at least at Wismar, a vessel that might carry him to Calmar, where he believed the High Chancellor to be with the French and Dutch Ambassadors. In this letter he asked his brother to give him only the title of Counsellor to her Swedish Majesty. He speaks much of the honourable reception which the Magistrates of Lubeck gave him[427]. "You cannot believe, he writes to his brother, how many friends I have found." He was in the end of March at Wismar[428], where Count Wrangel, Admiral of the Swedish fleet, gave him a splendid entertainment, and afterwards sent a man of war with him to Calmar[429]. The High Chancellor was not there, but at Suderacher, four leagues distant, negotiating a peace between Sweden and Denmark. Grotius wrote to him immediately, and received a speedy answer: on the 8th of June the High Chancellor sent a Gentleman with his coach to bring him to Suderacher, where he remained a fortnight[430] with the Chancellor and, the other Ambassadors, who treated him with great honours: returning to Calmar, he went by land to Stockholm. Queen Christina was then at Upsal: but, as soon as she heard of Grotius's arrival in her capital, she came back to see so great a man: a desire to be acquainted with such as distinguished themselves in the republic of letters is well known to have been one of her favourite passions. On the morrow of his arrival[431], she gave him a long audience, with which he appears, by a letter written to his brother July 15, 1645, to be well satisfied. "I am now at Stockholm, says he, and have seen the Queen. She makes me great promises. I do not know yet what she will do with me. The Senators seem well satisfied with all that I have done."

Christina gave him several audiences; made him dine with her; and he appeared to be abundantly pleased with the honours he received: but as he saw they were in no haste to do any thing for him, and only rewarded him with compliments, he grew uneasy, and asked permission to retire. He was confirmed in this resolution by finding the Court filled with persons who had conceived a jealousy against him; besides, the air of Sweden did not agree with him. The Queen several times refused to grant him his dismission, and signified to him that if he would continue in her service in quality of Counsellor of State, and bring his family into Sweden, he should have no reason to repent it: but he excused himself on account of his own health, which was much altered, and of his wife's health, who could not bear the cold air of that kingdom. He asked a passport, which they delayed granting. In the mean time he grew so uneasy at Stockholm, that he resolved to be gone without a passport. Leaving that city therefore, he went to a seaport two leagues distant, in order to embark for Lubeck. The Queen being informed of his departure, sent a Gentleman to inform him that she wanted to see him once more; otherwise she should think that he was displeased with her: he returned therefore to Stockholm, and explained himself to the Queen, who seemed satisfied with his reasons, and made him a present in money amounting to twelve or thirteen thousand Imperials[432], about ten thousand French Crowns, adding to it some silver plate, that was not finished sooner: which, he was assured, delayed the granting of his passport. It was afterwards issued, and the Queen gave him a vessel, on board which he embarked the 12th of August for Lubeck.

The Menagiana contains an anecdote relating to the last audience that Grotius had of Queen Christina, which we shall relate rather to throw contempt on this kind of works, than to give weight to it. When Grotius, it tells us, had his audience of leave of Queen Christina, she said some sharp things to him; on which he immediately left her, saying only, Madam, I remain your most humble servant. The Queen was afterwards vexed at it, and could not help observing, that he ought not to have gone away without taking leave of her. Marigny said to her, Madam, he did take leave of you. You do not know what you say, replied the Queen; if he had, I should have known it. Madam, added Marigny, what I say is true; I was there; when they say in France, on going away, I remain your most humble servant, it is taking leave of a person. The Queen sustained this; and sending for Grotius, made him a present of copper to the amount of forty thousand livres.


[424] Ep. Sarr. p. 116.

[425] Le Clerc, l. 12. t. 2. Latin Life of Grotius. Barleus, in Vicquefort's Letters, Ep. 79. p. 416. Vind. Grotii, p. 472.

[426] Ep. 760. p. 749.

[427] Ep. 761. p. 749.

[428] Ep. 1762. p. 749.

[429] Ep. 1793. p. 749.

[430] Ep. 1764, p. 750.

[431] Ep. 1765. p. 750.

[432] Vind. Grot. p. 478.

XIII. Grotius's departure from Stockholm gave rise to several very uncertain reports. Vondel, a famous Dutch Poet, and a friend of that learned man, pretends that he designed to go to Osnabrug[433], where the peace was negotiating; others assure[434], that he was desirous of retiring to Holland, where the Republican party was beginning to gain the ascendant. A modern author has advanced[435], that he resolved to go into Poland, in hopes that the King would send him Ambassador to the court of France: but it is more probable, that, disgusted with negotiations and business, he only sought a place of retreat, where he might complete his imaginary project of forming a coalition of Christians, and prepare for his latter end.

The vessel was scarce sailed for Lubeck, when she was overtaken by a violent storm, which obliged her to put in, on the 17th of August, fourteen miles from Dantzick. Grotius set out in an open waggon for Lubeck, and arrived at Rostock[436] on the 26th of August very ill. Nobody knew him: his great weakness determined him to call a physician: his name was Stochman, who, on feeling Grotius's pulse, said his indisposition proceeded from weakness and fatigue; and that with rest and some restoratives he might recover: but next day he changed his tone; on seeing his weakness increase, with a cold sweat, and other symptoms of nature being spent, he judged that his end was near. Grotius then asked for a clergyman. John Quistorpius was brought, who, in a letter to Calovius, gives us the particulars of Grotius's last moments. We cannot do better than copy it.

"You are desirous of hearing from me how that Phoenix of Literature, Hugo Grotius, behaved in his last moments, and I am going to tell you. He embarked at Stockholm for Lubeck; and after having been tossed for three days by a violent tempest, he was shipwrecked and got to shore on the coast of Pomerania, from whence he came to our town of Rostock, distant above sixty miles, in an open waggon, through wind and rain. He lodged with Balleman; and sent for M. Stochman, the physician, who observing that he was extremely weakened by years, by what he suffered at sea, and the inconveniences attending the journey, judged that he could not live long. The second day after Grotius's arrival in this town, that is, on the 18th of August, O.S. he sent for me about nine at night. I went, and found him almost at the point of death. I said there was nothing I desired more than to have seen him in health, that I might have the pleasure of his conversation. He answered, God had ordered it otherwise. I desired him to prepare himself for a happier life, to acknowledge that he was a sinner, and to repent of his faults: and happening to mention the publican, who acknowledged that he was a sinner, and asked God's mercy, he answered: I am that publican. I went on, and told him, that he must have recourse to Jesus Christ, without whom there is no salvation. He replied, I place all my hope in Jesus Christ. I began to repeat aloud in German the prayer which begins Herr Jesu[437]; he followed me, in a very low voice, with his hands clasped. When I had done, I asked him, if he understood me. He answered, I understand you very well. I continued to repeat to him those passages of the word of God which are commonly offered to the remembrance of dying persons, and asking him if he understood me, he answered, I heard your voice, but did not understand what you said. These were his last words: soon after he expired, just at midnight. His body was delivered to the Physicians; who took out his bowels. I easily obtained leave to bury them in our principal Church, which is dedicated to the Virgin."

Thus died this celebrated man, on the 28th of August at night, or rather in the morning of the 29th, 1645. A number of falshoods were published on occasion of his death. Du Maurier relates[438], that a Roman Catholic Priest, and Ministers of different persuasions, hearing that Grotius was dying, came to him to dispose him to die in their communion: that he made them no answer, but, I don't understand you; and on their silence said to them, Exhort me to die like a Christian.

Quistorpius's relation, ill understood, has given rise to several groundless stories. M. Arnaud[439] assures us that he had the particulars of Grotius's death from one of his Secretaries, who told him, that when he was at Rostock a Lutheran Minister came to see him in his illness, and speaking to him of religion, Grotius answered, I don't understand you; willing to let him know that his conversation was not agreeable. M. Jurieu[440] maintains, that he died without making any profession of religion, and that he answered those who exhorted him to prepare for death in these words, I don't understand you: turning his back to them.

If we may believe the Menagiana, the Minister who came to wait upon him at his death, said to him what was very poor; and Grotius, to gain time, and let him know that he could well dispense with his exhortations, said to him, I am Grotius. To which the Minister answered, What! are you the great Grotius? M. Le Clerc[441] mentions his having seen in an English book that Grotius said when dying, "By undertaking many things I have accomplished nothing."

Not even so much as the cause of his death has escaped without misrepresentations. M. Le Clerc informs us, that some of his enemies spread a report, that he was killed by lightning: and not long ago, he adds, a learned man of my acquaintance asked me by letter if it was true.

Patin[442] writes, that it was suspected he had been poisoned. "We hear, says he, that Grotius is dead at Rostock, on his return from Sweden, of a fever, not without suspicion of being poisoned by the Lutherans, on account of what he says about Antichrist in favour of the Pope: but I do not think that poisoning is used in that country."

They carried their wickedness to such a height as to accuse Queen Christina of shortening that great man's days. The new Memoirs of the Abbé d'Artigny[443] acquaint us, that Antony Argoud, Dean of the Cathedral of Vienne, haranguing Queen Christina the 13th of August, 1656, pleased her so much, that she gave him broad hints that she would do great things for him if he would attend her in quality of first Chaplain. The Queen had in her retinue Lesseins, one of the Gentlemen of the King's Bedchamber, who was ordered to accompany that Princess from Marseilles to Lions. Argoud telling him of the Queen's proposals, he diverted him from accepting them by painting out Christina as an inconstant and capricious Princess. "He forgot nothing to set him against her, even to telling him that Grotius would have been still alive, if he had had nothing to fear from the jealousy of the Swedes; but that the ill treatment of the Queen brought that great man to his grave." It is very possible that not having been treated by the Queen so well as he expected, it chagrined him much: but whatever is not conformable to Quistorpius's letter, against which nothing solid can be advanced, ought to be rejected as apocryphal. His corpse was carried to Delft, and deposited in the tomb of his ancestors. He wrote this modest Epitaph for himself[444]:

Grotius hîc Hugo est, Batavûm captivus et exul,
Legatus regni, Suecia magna, tui.

Grotius had the precaution to make his will at Paris on the 27th of March, 1645, a little before his departure. He had a very agreeable person, a good complexion, an aquiline nose, sparkling eyes, a serene and smiling countenance. He was not tall, but very strong, and well built.


[433] Vind. Grot. p. 478.

[434] Menagiana.

[435] Hist. du Socinianisme, c. 42. p. 831.

[436] Observat. Hallen. 15. t. 7. p. 341.

[437] It is a prayer addressed to Jesus Christ, and suited to the condition of a dying person who builds his hope on the Mediator. M. Le Clerc has recited it at large in the Sentimens de quelques Theologiens de Hollande, 17 Lettre, p. 397.

[438] Memoirs, p. 431.

[439] Sentimens des Theologiens de Hollande, p. 395.

[440] Esprit de M. Arnaud, t. 2. p. 308.

[441] Sentimens des Theologiens de Hollande, Lettre 17. p. 402.

[442] T. 1. Lettre 7.

[443] T. 1. p. 340.

[444] Ep. 536. p. 915.


However much Grotius was employed in the business of his embassy, he still found time for study, which was one of the greatest pleasures of his life. He has even been accused of applying too much to literature for an Ambassador[445]; but his letters testify that he did not go to study till he had finished what his duty to the crown of Sweden required of him, and spent in it the time only which other Ministers give to their pleasures, to conversations often useless, and visits sometimes unnecessary.

Eight days after making his entry into Paris in quality of Ambassador, he wrote to Salmasius, March 9, 1635[446], informing him of the happy change in his affairs. He acquaints him, that when he shall be a little used to business, he hopes to have leisure enough to continue the cultivation of learning. "How desirous soever I may be of serving the public in this respect, he says, I know not where I ought to begin. My Commentaries on the Evangelists would be apt to expose me to hatred in the present age, when every one maintains his opinions with obstinacy. The History of the Low-Countries, tho' written with great simplicity, will find malevolent readers. Shall I return again to trifles, such as are not unworthy men of learning, and turn into Latin the Epigrams collected by Planudas? One thing hinders me: I know you have made several corrections in the Manuscripts, and I am unwilling to translate from a faulty copy. Yet I cannot expect that you should interrupt your studies, to send me the corrections you have made."

"My greatest relief from the languors of the Court, he writes to Schmalz[447], is the conversation of men of learning, to whom I chearfully give all the time that I can spare from business."


[445] Du Maurier, p. 418. & 423. Wiquefort Ambas. l. 1. p. 95.

[446] Ep. 368. p. 134.

[447] Ep. 373. p. 136.

II. Neither his serious studies, nor his public occupations, ever made him relinquish the Muses: Amidst his embarrassments and anxiety in the beginning of his embassy, he put his tragedy of Joseph to the press[448], which had all the success that could be hoped for; and wrote several Latin Epigrams. June 26, 1637[449], he sent some to his brother that were just finished; observing to him that he would possibly one day add to them a Greek translation in verse of the Latin verses in Suetonius; and a Latin translation of Euripides's Iphigenia in Tauris.

He wrote to Gronovius, February 17, 1638[450], that he unbended himself at times, after his weightier business, in the company of the Muses. "However much I am busied, he writes to Freinshemius[451], I still preserve my affection for the Muses, and look upon them as the most agreeable of all Amusements."


[448] Ep. 378. p. 138 & 339, p. 851.

[449] Ep. 402 p. 869.

[450] Ep. 915. p. 402.

[451] Ep. 909. p. 435.

III. He made Tacitus his particular study, and, writes to Vossius, July 6, 1635[452], to inform himself, whether a new edition of that celebrated Historian, was any where printing, because he had a mind to communicate his notes to the Editors[453]. "They are neither," says he, "political dissertations, nor a commentary; but corrections which may be useful. I call them, to speak modestly, conjectures[454], tho' I am persuaded most of them will appear to be well grounded." However, as they filled but a few sheets[455], he did not think proper to print them, at Paris; but sent them, in 1640, to his brother, who communicating them to the Elzevirs, they were published the same year in their edition of Tacitus[456], and have been several times reprinted.


[452] Ep. 430. p. 159.

[453] Ep. 573. p. 225.

[454] Ep. 402. p. 869.

[455] Ep. 444. p. 897.

[456] Fabricius, Biblioth.

IV. The learned Gronovius, intending to publish an edition of Statius, requested Grotius to send him his remarks on that Poet: this he complied with, in a letter of the 28th of October, 1636[457], containing the several corrections he had made in the margin of this author, whom he had often read with pleasure and application. The edition of Statius was published: and Gronovius, without receiving Grotius's letter[458], had made most of the remarks that were sent to him: Grotius, however, suspected[459] Gronovius had perhaps been persuaded to pretend that he did not receive his letter, that he might be under no obligation of commending a man, whose name was odious to those in power.


[457] Ep. 673. p. 274.

[458] Ep. 808. p. 357.

[459] Ep. 406. p. 871.

V. Grotius also wrote notes on Lucan, which he offered to any bookseller who would make use of them. He wrote to his brother[460], to enquire when any new edition of that Poet should be printed, that he might contribute to make it better by communicating his remarks. They are to be found in some of the editions printed in Holland, and are very highly commended by Vossius[461], who says the learned world is much obliged to their author.

A letter from Grotius to his brother[462] informs us, that the latter part of the notes of Lucan were by William Grotius.


[460] Ep. 859. p. 377. & 402. p. 869.

[461] Præs. Vir. Epist. p. 377.

[462] Ep. 128. p. 792.

VI. A work, which he had much at heart, was the collection of Greek Epigrams, known by the name of Anthologia: he was long about it, and thought to publish it soon after his return to Paris in quality of Ambassador. As he knew that Salmasius had made this collection his particular study, he requests him, June 11, 1635[463], to communicate to him the corrections he had made in the Greek text, either by the assistance of manuscripts, or from his own conjectures. He gives a long account of his design to Gerard Vossius, in a letter of the 20th of December, 1635. "When I was here a private man, says he, in order to be useful to the lovers of learning, after translating Stobæus and the Maxims of the Comic and Tragic Poets, I also translated the Collection of Greek Epigrams by Planudas; adding several Epigrams which are not in Henry Stephens's edition: on coming here Ambassador, I thought I should do well to finish what I had begun; and knowing that the great Salmasius had collated these Epigrams with ancient manuscripts, I prevailed on him to communicate to me his remarks; and I had the satisfaction to find my conjectures confirmed by the authority of manuscripts. The whole is now ready to be printed in the same form as Stobæus and the Extracts from the Greek Tragedies and Comedies. When I think of a Bookseller, Blaeu first occurs to me: he loves me and all my friends: but one thing vexes me; if I give him my manuscript, I shall not know when it will be published: besides, I doubt whether he has any one that can correct the Greek proofs, and make the Indexes which are necessary for rendering the book useful to youth. If I could be assured of this, I would readily give him the preference. I shall afterwards think of publishing more considerable works." New reflections on Blaeu's dilatoriness set him against him, especially as he was not satisfied with his Greek types[464]: he therefore wrote to his brother, to consult with Vossius what he ought to do. "I would not, he adds, have recourse to the Elzevirs, not so much on account of this book, as of some others which I am preparing for the press, and which will not be to their taste." It is unlucky for the republic of letters, that Grotius was obstinately bent on printing his Anthologia in Holland; Morelle would gladly have printed it at Paris[465]; Cramoisi would not have refused it. Grotius writes to his brother, June 26th, 1637, "I am deliberating, whether to make use of Cramoisi, the eminent Bookseller; but I have some reason to question the abilities of his corrector." He once thought to send it to England[466]; but he was diverted from this by reflecting, that Franciscus Junius, who resided in that country, printed his works out of the kingdom. The answers he received concerning the printing of the Anthologia not satisfying him, he wrote to his brother, April 20, 1639[467], "If my Anthologia cannot be printed, or not printed correctly, I would have it sent back to me; Cramoisi, the richest Bookseller in this country, will undertake it." He was kept in hopes of its appearing in Holland; but the printing of it was put off from time to time: he wrote to several of his friends about it; however no progress was made. Isaac Vossius, son of the famous Gerard, who inherited his father's sentiments for Grotius, making him an offer of his service for his literary commissions, Grotius thanked him most affectionately, in a letter of the 12th of November, 1644[468], in which he says a great deal about his Anthologia. "I cannot sufficiently thank you for the kind offer of your good services in relation to the printing of my works. No body can be of more use to me than you: for who has more friendship for me, or better understands those matters? I would have the Anthologia printed directly; and have desired my brother to shew you my Prolegomena, and inform you in what manner I would have the Indexes made. I shall repeat it, for fear that I have not sufficiently explained myself in what I wrote to my brother. I would first have an Index of the Poets, expressing exactly from what places the Epigrams are taken. There must also be another Index of the persons who are the subject of the Epigrams, and of those to whom they are addressed: there should be a third, which may be called Chorographical, containing the mountains, rivers, towns, baths, bridges, and other public works mentioned in the Epigrams. There must be an Historical one for the great actions which have happened in war or peace. To the two last Indexes I would have the names of the authors added, who have mentioned such of those actions as are least known; as Strabo, Pausanias, Procopius, and others. After these Indexes there must be another, comprehending the natural history, morality, and other particulars omitted in the preceding ones. This work may be useful; but I would not, however, charge any one with it, who could employ his time better. If, without losing too much time, you could do it yourself, it would give me the highest satisfaction, not only on my own account, but on the reader's, to whom these Indexes would render the edition much more useful: for it is proper to observe, that these Epigrams contain what is most important in history, from the time of Plato to that of Justinian, and even later."

This was the subject of the Preface, or Prolegomena, that was to be prefixed to the work, and which, with his usual modesty, he says will not be wholly useless[469].

The Anthologia appears to have been put to press in Jan. 1645, under the inspection of Isaac Vossius: for, on the 21st of that month, Grotius writes thus to him. "I have seen a proof of the Anthologia, and like the type very well. I would absolutely have it printed in quarto, like Stobæus, and the Extracts from the Tragic and Comic Poets: but if it will make too large a volume, it may be divided into two, and the Greek and Latin printed to face one another."

Grotius left France a little after the date of this letter; and his death, which soon followed, was no doubt the greatest obstacle to the publication of the Anthologia, the printing of which Blaeu discontinued. Grotius's copy falling into Le Clerc's hands, he gave hopes that he would publish it with considerable additions. He has a great deal about it in his Bibliotheque Choisie[470]. "Those who shall read Grotius's version, says he, will equally admire the happy genius, and the uncommon patience of that excellent man, who translated the whole book in the same number of verses as in the original, which he very often equals, and sometimes even surpasses. There will be an excellent Preface by Grotius, treating of the Anthologia and his version of it."

Unhappily M. le Clerc did not fulfil the engagement he entered into with the public. Father Berthier, a famous Jesuit, who, to solid piety joins extensive learning, has lately given us, in the Memoirs de Trevoux, a very curious article relating to Grotius's Anthologia. It is entitled, An Account of a Manuscript version of the Greek Anthologia by Grotius. He tells us, that the original, in Grotius's own hand, is in the library of the Jesuits College at Paris, where it was deposited in the year 1665 by Edmund le Mercier, Grotius's Secretary. This work, the learned Jesuit observes, is valuable on three accounts. First, because the Latin verses are excellent, and of the same measure with the Greek; so that if the text be Elegiac verses, or pure Hexameters, or Iambics of six feet, or Anacreontics, the version is always of the same species of poetry. Secondly, he has every where confined himself to the number of verses in the original, being never more laconic nor more prolix; which discovers a very ready genius, and a singular patience. Thirdly, he corrects the text from time to time by short notes placed in the margin.

Father Berthier gives afterwards Grotius's translation of several Epigrams; which makes it earnestly to be wished, that the learned Jesuit would publish the whole work: but the present prevailing taste for trifles gives us ground to apprehend, that the booksellers of France dare not undertake this work, which deserves so well to be transmitted to posterity.

Besides the Epigrams that are to be found in all the editions, Grotius's manuscript contains, first, those which were collected by Henry Stephens, and are placed at the end of his edition of the Anthologia. 2dly, A very large number of inscriptions from Gruter. 3dly, A collection made by Grotius himself from manuscripts.

A note at the beginning of this valuable manuscript informs us, that the version of the seven books of the Anthologia was begun by Grotius in September, 1630, and finished before next September: which shews the wonderful ease with which this great author wrote.


[463] Ep. 418. p. 153.

[464] Ep. 368. p. 859.

[465] Ep. 612. p. 244, 692. p. 285. & 402. p. 869.

[466] Ep. 964. p. 432.

[467] Ep. 505. p. 885.

[468] Ep. 1698. p. 733.

[469] Ep. 486. p. 896. & 369. p. 860.

[470] Fabric. Bibl. Gr. l. 3. c. 28. p. 707. tom. 2

VII. He was so sensible of his obligations to Sweden, that, as a public testimony of his gratitude, he undertook to throw light on the History of the Goths, in hopes of doing honour to the Swedes, who regarded them as their ancestors. He wrote to Rome to[471] get what was wanting in Heschelius's Greek edition of Procopius communicated to him, and obtained it by the recommendation of Messieurs du Puis; as we learn from a letter to the celebrated Nicholas Peyresc, dated April 8, 1636, in which he adds, "I have translated the History of the Goths and Vandals by Procopius, in honour of a nation who adopted me after being thrice sold by my Country."

He communicated this project to Schmalz, July 24, 1636[472], "The time, says he, which I am not obliged to spend in public business, I devote to an enquiry into the antiquities of Sweden. Be so kind to send me, for this work, a Swedish Dictionary, a New Testament in Swedish, and the ancient inscriptions in that language, which are to be met with on tombs, or in other places. I have seen a Latin translation of the Swedish laws, which I should be glad to see again if possible. If you can procure me all these, I shall think myself highly obliged by you; and I hope you will not find me ungrateful."

He explains his project more at large in a long letter to Oxenstiern, Aug. 28, 1636[473]. "Your Sublimity, he writes to him, shews me so much favour, and you interest yourself so much in what concerns me, that I think it my duty to give you an account, not only of my negotiations, but of my leisure hours. As I intend to devote the time that is not employed in the affairs with which I am charged, to the honour of a kingdom which has loaded me with honours, I had begun to read all that has been written on the great Gustavus in Latin, Italian, German, and French: but soon perceiving that these writers did not know the intentions of the ministry, were unacquainted with the places of which they speak, and were ignorant of the art of war, I concluded that it was impossible, with such materials, to complete a work that might deserve the approbation of posterity. This has made me turn again to antiquities. Of all the Ancients Procopius has best handled the History of the Goths and Vandals: he was an able man, was Secretary to Belisarius, had been on the spot, and speaks not only of what happened in his own time, but also of the facts which happened before his time. The Latin version is very faulty, imperfect, and inelegant: I have made a new translation from the Greek Edition of Heschelius; with the assistance of two manuscripts in the King's library, which enabled me to make several corrections in the text; others I made by conjecture. I intend to extract all that has relation to this subject from the Secret History of Procopius, printed by Alemannus at Rome, and from Agathias. Being informed, that the manuscript of the History of the Goths and Vandals, in the Vatican library, was more complete than what Heschelius followed, I have asked my friends at Rome to fill up the gaps in the printed copies: which I hope they will do. That nothing may be omitted, which has a relation to the antiquities of Scandinavia, I intend to add what is contained in Strabo, Pliny, Tacitus, Ptolemæus, and those who have written since, as Helmoldus, Eginhart, Adam of Bremen, and others. I shall farther add the Gothics of Jornandes, the Epistle of Sidonius Apollinaris on the manners of Theodoric King of the Wisigoths; the Panegyric of Ennodius of Pavia in honour of Theodoric King of the Ostrogoths and Italy; the Laws of the Ostrogoths, Westrogoths, and Lombards, with the Book of Paulus Diaconus, who was himself a Lombard, and makes his nation come from Scandinavia. We shall add, at the end, the appellative names contained in the laws, with their original and explication. I would beg of your Sublimity, that being now returned to Sweden, you will give orders for communicating to me the old inscriptions, the ancient laws, and, in fine, whatever is not printed and may contribute to throw light on the antiquities of Sweden; that the work which I am about may be the more perfect. I earnestly intreat your Sublimity to be assured, that I will do all that depends on me, not only to procure the advantage of Sweden, but also to contribute to her glory."

Schmalz going to Rome about this time with Reigersberg, son to Grotius's wife's brother[474], Grotius took that opportunity of renewing his acquaintance with Holstenius, his ancient friend, who resided at Rome; and to ask of him what was wanting in the printed editions of Procopius. On receiving these valuable additions[475], he communicates the good news to the High Chancellor, whom he entertains with a further account of his work, in a letter dated June 25th, 1637[476]. "Your Sublimity, he says, will pardon me, if, having little public business on my hands, I give you an account how I employ my time. I send you a pretty long Preface, in which I inscribe the new translation of Procopius, which differs greatly from the old one, to your Sublimity, who have deserved so well of Sweden, and to whom I am under so great obligations. The work itself will include the authors who have written of the antiquities of the Goths, Vandals, Wisigoths, and Lombards. Two reasons induced me to make the Preface so long: the first, that I was obliged to answer Cluverius, who, either from envy, or hired by the Danes, first sought to darken our glory; but I have confuted him by such clear evidence, that I think no person of sense will now attempt to repeat the same falsities. The other was, that, the testimonies in favour of a nation being liable to suspicion when built only on the assertions of the natives, I have collected the authorities of foreigners, who have spoken honourably of the Swedes and of the nations sprung from them."

Thus in appears that his design was to dedicate this work to the High Chancellor[477], who heard with infinite pleasure of this new occupation of Grotius. He liked the Preface much; spoke of it with the highest esteem[478], and wrote to Grotius[479], thanking him in his own name and in the name of the whole nation, and pressing him to publish the work.

However he was in no hurry[480], because he wanted to exhaust the subject, and to make all proper enquiries for enabling him to treat it thoroughly. He imagined he should find in Gallia Narbonensis, and the neighbouring places, several things that might contribute to embellish his work; and that the French, from envy to the Swedes, hindered his friends from communicating them.

This work was finished before Grotius died; but it was not printed till after his death: and whether it was that the intended Dedication to the High Chancellor was never written, or was suppressed, it is not now to be found. The title of the work is: Historia Gothorum, Vandalorum, & Longobardorum, ab Hugone Grotio partim versa, partim in ordinem digesta: præmissa sunt ejusdem Prolegomena; ubi Regum Gothorum ordo e Chronologia, cum elogiis; accedunt nomina appellativa & verba Gothica, Vandalica, Longobardica, cum explicatione. Auctorum omnium ordinem tabula centenorum indicat. Amstelodami, apud Ludovicum Elzevirium, 1655.

At the head of this work is a very learned Preface, in which the author acquaints us, that he revised the Gothics and Vandalics of Procopius by the Greek manuscripts; that he new-translated them because there were many things omitted in the old translations, which were otherwise badly done; and that, by the assistance of the Vatican manuscripts, he filled up large gaps. There follows a geographical description of the ancient country of the Goths, a character of the people, much in their favour; a catalogue of their Kings; a chronological table of the time when they lived; a list of the Lombard Kings, and another of the Kings of the Vandals; the testimonies of the Ancients in favour of the people of Sweden and the nations which derive their origin from the Swedes.

After the translation of all that Procopius has concerning the Goths and Vandals there follows an Index, with this title: Nomina appellativa & verba Gothica, Vandalica, & Longobardica, quæ in hoc volumine reperiuntur. It appears from the author's researches, that almost all the appellative names of the Lombards had, like those of the Greeks, some signification. This collection concludes with the following pieces: Jornandes De Getarum sive Gothorum origine & rebus gestis; the Chronicle of St. Isidorus, and Paulus Wanefridus De Gestis Longobardorum. The Prolegomena acquaint us, that Grotius intended to expound the ancient laws of the Goths and Vandals: but unhappily death prevented his executing this design, for which no one was better qualified.


[471] Ep. 572. p. 225.

[472] Ep. 622. p. 250.

[473] Ep. 641. p. 259.

[474] Ep, 645. p. 263.

[475] Ep. 676. p. 275.

[476] Ep. 780. p. 331.

[477] Ep. 825. p. 360.

[478] Ep. 408, p. 871.

[479] Ep. 410, p. 872.

[480] Ep. 1667, p. 727.

VIII. The nomination of Grotius, when very young, to be Historiographer of the States, led him to enquire particularly into the troubles of the Low Countries and their consequences with regard to the Seven Provinces. He was employed about this in the year 1614, as appears by a letter, written on the 8th of February, to the President de Thou. He informs him[481], that love to his Country had engaged him in a work very like his, but as much inferior as Holland is to France. "I own, indeed, the work is above my abilities, but I shall not publish it till years and judgment enable me to mend it." Communicating this work to Heinsius, with whom he was then very intimate, that learned youth wanted words to express his admiration. Balzac informs us of these particulars in a letter to Chapelin, dated Sept. 20, 1640, in which he mentions a letter from Heinsius concerning this History when Grotius was very young.

An author, more fond of his works than Grotius, would have made haste to publish this, which appears to have been finished in 1636; for that year he wrote to Martinus Opitius[482], "My Belgic annals are transcribing." He writes to his brother the year following[483], "My Annals and my History of the Low Countries are transcribed: but I think I must still keep them a while." He consulted several of his friends on this subject, and among others Gerard Vossius.

The sudden deaths of many of his acquaintance leading him to reflect on the uncertainty of life, he wrote to his brother, May 21, 1639[484], "I would have my works printed before my death, that I may be useful to those that shall come after me; and would therefore have my Annals correctly printed as soon as possible; but I would not have them printed by those, who, from a party spirit, would tell what was in them before they were published, and thereby prevent perhaps their ever appearing. I therefore beg of you to find out some honest man to whom I may intrust my copy."

In the mean time he was still revising them; and near two years after he wrote to his brother, March 23, 1641[485], "Till I put the last hand to my History, I would not have any one see it: you must therefore find a handsome excuse to those who ask you for it. Read it, however, yourself, and send me your remarks." Grotius had not the satisfaction to see his History printed: it was not published till twelve years after his death, by his two sons Cornelius and Peter, who dedicated it, in 1657, to the States of Holland and West-Friesland.

This work is divided into two parts, Annals and History, in imitation of Tacitus. The Annals begin with the year 1566, and contain five books: there are eighteen of the History, which begins with the year 1588, that is, when Prince Maurice had the greatest influence in the affairs of the United Provinces, and concludes with the year 1609, when the twelve years truce was made. Had his love to truth and honesty been less, he had a fine opportunity of revenging himself on Prince Maurice. But he every where does him justice[486], and even speaks of him as if he had been always satisfied with his conduct to him.

M. Baillet thinks very advantageously and at the same time very justly of this work. "That great man (says he, speaking of Grotius[487]) has discovered in this work all the capacity, accuracy, judgment, solidity, industry, perspicuity, honesty, and integrity, of a true historian. His impartiality would almost make him pass for a foreigner, who had no interest in what he relates: he appears a Dutchman, only by his thorough knowledge of the causes, motives, ends, and other circumstances of the subject he has undertaken to handle."

The only thing for which he can be censured, is the stiffness of the style, by affecting to make it resemble that of Tacitus, which renders it obscure and unnatural. We are assured, that the eminent Advocate-general, Jerom Bignon, took notice of this fault to Grotius, with whom he was very intimate; and that learned man, yielding to his friend's advice, promised to do his work over again, and had even begun it, but could not finish it; and his sons published it as it was at first.

Peter Grotius tells us this History was his father's favourite work. Grotius intended to dedicate it to the Queen of Sweden. Dec. 5, 1637, he writes to the High Chancellor[488], "I have written a great part of the History of the Low Countries: what I have done till the truce in 1609 is ready to appear with some advantage. I purpose to dedicate it to our Queen, unless your Sublimity determine otherwise. Of all the histories of our time, it appears to me the most useful. It presents us with the speedy rise of a republic, whose forces in its weak beginning were scarce able to defend its small frontier; and which afterwards carried its arms to the extremity of the globe: we no where find the art of besieging or defending towns brought to such a height; in fine, we see her Mistress of the Sea after her marine had been long neglected."

It should not be forgot, that the celebrated[489] Peyresc was of great use to Grotius in compiling this work: he communicated to him several important papers, and procured him the memoirs collected by Antonius Querengius, who purposed to write the History of the famous Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma. Grotius's History was translated into French by M. L'Heritier, father of Mademoiselle L'Heritier, famous for her writings: but it deserves a new translator to turn it into better French.


[481] Ep. 24. p. 8.

[482] Ep. 595. p. 236.

[483] Ep. 402. p. 869.

[484] Ep. 454. p. 883.

[485] Ep. 539. p. 916.

[486] Parhasiana, t. 1. p. 161.

[487] Preface de l'Hist. de Hollande.

[488] Ep. 873. p. 384.

[489] Vie par Gassendi, l. 3. p. 182.

IX. It was during his embassy that Grotius revised and enlarged his book Of the Truth of the Christian religion. He had written a treatise on this subject in Dutch whilst a prisoner; and turning it afterwards into Latin, it had prodigious success. In the year 1637 it had been translated into all languages[490], French, German, English, and even Greek. The universal approbation this book met with, did not hinder Grotius's enemies from doing all they could to depreciate it. They said it contained the venom of Socinianism. Voetius, among others, distinguished himself by his rage against it. "It is surprising, says Grotius in a letter to his brother, October 22, 1637, that Voetius should think he sees what the Doctors of the Sorbonne, who examined the book, before it was printed, could not find in it. Doth Cardinal Barbarinus, who recommended this work[491], and constantly carries it with him, favour Socinianism? The Bishops of England have caused it to be translated into their language; the Ministers of Charenton have approved of it; a Lutheran has translated it; will he say these are all favourers of Socinianism?"

After this letter was written, Grotius learnt[492] that his book had been translated into Swedish. He justifies himself again in a long letter written to Reigersberg December 19, 1637[493], "I have often doubted which was best, to answer the censures of fools and knaves, or resting in a good conscience to despise them. I have constantly done the last; but your example makes me at present prefer the first: you have defended me with so much friendship and steadiness, that if I should sit still, I might justly be accused of indolence. My book of the Christian Religion is read with applause by pious and learned men, not only in the languages in which I composed it, but also in Swedish, French, German, and English. Those who think it their interest that I should not pass for a good Christian, seek every pretext to hurt me: they censure me for making use of Castellio's version; but it is very certain that I had not seen it when I wrote my book. I translated myself from the Hebrew and Greek all the passages of Scripture I employed. They say I have interpreted something in the fifth Chapter of St. Mathew in the same manner as Socinus. These simple people know not that my explanation is the same with what almost all the Greeks and Latins of greatest abilities and piety have adopted. How many things are there in the same Chapter of St. Matthew, which I have explained quite different from Socinus?"

The great argument of those who wanted to hinder the success of his[494] book was, that the author sufficiently shewed his inclination to Socinianism by his silence concerning the Trinity. He opens his mind about this matter to his brother, September 25, 1638, "The book of the truth of the Christian Religion will live and flourish in spite of the envy of my enemies. It was not proper for me to speak directly of the Trinity; and such as have heretofore brought their arguments to prove it from natural reason or the authority of Plato, have done more hurt than service to Christianity." The men who since Grotius's time have acquired the greatest reputation in France by writing for the truth of the Christian Religion, such as Abbadie and Houteville, have followed his example, and avoided the discussion of questions which suppose the Divinity of the Scriptures.

Grotius had the satisfaction to find the Roman Catholics very well pleased with this treatise: he writes to his brother[495], December 4, 1638, "My book of the Truth of the Christian Religion, which the Voetians look upon as Socinian, is so far from being Socinian here, that Roman-Catholic Monks are translating it into Persian, in order to make use of it in converting the Mahometans. I have not attempted a direct proof of the Trinity (he writes to Gerard Vossius[496]) for I always remembered what I heard Junius your father-in-law say, who was a great man, that Du Plessis, and those who, like him, in their disputes with Atheists, Pagans, Jews, and Mahometans, endeavoured to establish the Trinity by arguments drawn from the light of nature, and by passages from Plato often misapplied, acted very imprudently, because they ought first to have convinced them of the truth of the Scriptures, which alone contain the doctrines which God has been pleased to reveal."

A new edition of the book on the truth of the Christian Religion, with considerable additions, was published in 1639, which Grotius dedicated to his illustrious friend Jerom Bignon; and this great Magistrate, in returning him his thanks[497], gives the most favourable testimony to the work. He says,[498] that tho' the subject had already been well handled by several learned men, none of them had acquitted himself so well, nor discovered so great knowledge of the learned languages, and so much erudition, as Grotius. He admires the order and conciseness of the work, and congratulates himself on living in Grotius's time, and sharing in the friendship of so great a man. Some time after the publication of this work, an Englishman[499] who had lived long in Turky, came to see Grotius, and acquaint him that he had translated it into the Turkish language, thinking no book more proper for instructing Christians who live in Turky, and converting the Mahometans. He promised to use his endeavours to get it printed in the Turkish language in England.

Besides the translations already mentioned, and which came to Grotius's knowledge, there were others in Greek, in Chinese, in Flemish, in Danish, in the language of Malacca, and five French translations. An Arabic translation of it by the learned Pococke was printed at London in 1660. We are assured[500] that there have been three translations of it into Arabic, which gave occasion to Spon and Vehler to say that Grotius copied an Arabic treatise, taking the very version of his book for an ancient work: in fine, it had such a great run, that the history of it makes the subject of a treatise[501].

This work of Grotius has been equally esteemed by dispassionate Protestants and Roman Catholics. "Few pieces, says[502] Colomiers, have succeeded better than the treatise On the Truth of the Christian Religion. It is an excellent book, and ought to be the Vade mecum of every Christian. I have read it several times, and always with new pleasure."

"Grotius's book, says the Abbé Houteville[503], is the first in which we find these great characteristics, just reasoning, accuracy, and strength; he is extremely concise, but even this brevity will please us when we find it comprehends so many things without confounding them, or lessening their evidence or force: it is no wonder the book should be translated into so many languages."


[490] Ep. 411. p. 872.

[491] Ep. 181. p. 808. Ep. Coleri 37.

[492] Ep. 412. p. 873.

[493] Ep. 880. p. 387.

[494] Ep. 439. p. 880.

[495] Ep. 444. p. 881.

[496] Ep. 1096.

[497] Ep. 1232. p. 557.

[498] Ep. præs. vir. 451. p. 728.

[499] Ep. 534. p. 914.

[500] Fabric. Delect. Argum. c. 30. p. 551.

[501] Joannis Christophori Lockeri Dissertatio Epistolica, Historiam libelli Grotiani De Veritate Religionis Christianæ complectens, 1725, in quarto; see also the Journal des Scavans de Pan. 1724.

[502] Colomiers, p. 586.

[503] Preface.

X. In the midst of his greatest occupations and most serious studies, Grotius still found time to study Civil Law. Blaeu printed, in 1643, his Remarks on Justinian's Laws. They are chiefly philological notes, drawn from the Poets and Philosophers[504], serving to illustrate some passages of the Corpus Juris[505]. "This book, the author modestly tells us, is not of much use to those who frequent the bar: but it is entertaining: and though I set no great value on it, I think it is better to publish it, than suffer it to be lost. It will possibly give pleasure to men of learning[506], and some such in this place are not dissatisfied with it, because they love to see Grammar and History united with Law[507]."

What we cannot sufficiently admire in a man of so great learning, and so much business as Grotius, is, that he should make the Holy Scriptures his favourite study in every period of his life. They were his consolation in prison; he always devoted a part of the day to them: and they were his principal study during a great part of his embassy. His Commentary on the Evangelists was finished in 1637; but before he printed it[508], he wanted to see the Aristarchus Sacer which Heinsius was going to put to press. This was a Commentary on the New Testament, which Grotius imagined to be much in the manner of his, and which piqued his curiosity the more as Heinsius was Grotius's rival in literature, and his secret enemy. Heinsius's credit with the Elzevirs, who were his booksellers[509], was one of the reasons which hindered Grotius from employing them. "We must not think of the Elzevirs, he writes in confidence to Vossius[510], on account of that man who has so much credit with them, and bears us ill-will. I should be glad to know whereabouts are his notes on the sacred books, and when they will be published, for I postpone till then the revisal of mine." There was at that time in Holland a Jew very famous for his learning, Manassah Ben-Israel. Grotius consulted him sometimes, and always with profit. In a letter to him without date he tells him, "The answer you have given to my difficulties about some places of the law of Moses and the historical books of Scripture, has yielded me great pleasure; and I do not think any one would have given an answer more solid. I have read many Interpreters; but I see that you know them better than I, and that you have read many more, and are master of them. I return you therefore my sincere thanks; and encouraged by this favour shall take the liberty to apply to you when I have any difficulty, being ever ready to return you the like, when it lies in my power. Your books, which I have mentioned to several persons here, are read with pleasure and profit: I would therefore beg and conjure you to employ the leisure you may have in explaining the obscurities of the Law, which will be a signal service to all men of learning."

This was not a compliment void of truth, but his real sentiment of this learned Jew: he speaks in the same manner in a private letter to Gerard Vossius[511]. "I have written again, he says, to Manassah, and beg of you to deliver to him my letter. I esteem very highly not only his erudition, but also his judgment. He treads successfully in the steps of Abenezra, Maimonides, and Abrabanel. I have made his works known here, and they are much read and valued."

Grotius foresaw that his Commentary on the New Testament would occasion him some disputes. "I am at a loss, says he, to Vossius, what to do with my Notes on the New Testament. I shall easily find a bookseller here; but I am afraid of meeting with some difficulties from the Divines, who will have nothing of this kind published without their approbation: and for my own part, I cannot submit in every thing to either of the two parties, nor can I be silent when I have something that may be of use to deliver. I shall see how to remedy this inconveniency. I have no hopes, says he to his brother[512], that the Divines of the Sorbonne will give their approbation to my Notes, especially since they censured Milletiere. It remains to be considered whether I shall print them in my own house without approbation, of which there have been examples."

Heinsius's work, which was expected with so much impatience, had no success[513]. Salmasius (his declared enemy indeed) said publicly, he was ready to shew, that, abstracting what he had borrowed, there would not remain one remark of importance: and it was held in no higher esteem by others of the first rank in learning[514]. Cardinal Richelieu, being informed that Grotius leaned more to the sentiments of the Roman Catholics, than to those of the Ministers of Charenton, gave orders[515] that his work should be printed without being obliged to pass the censors. He kept measures however with Heinsius; and desired his brother William Grotius to tell him[516], that he had always said there were several things in his Notes which pleased him much; and that he had made the same remarks in some places that Heinsius had done, by mere chance.

As Grotius had a very great esteem for the learned Father Petau, he communicated to him his works. On sending him his Notes on the Old Testament, he desired him to hint what alterations he thought necessary.

When his Commentary on the Evangelists was printed at Amsterdam[517], he sent a copy to Father Petau, desiring him to read it, if he had time, and acquaint him what ought to be omitted, added, or changed, that the second edition might appear with more advantage. "The booksellers of Amsterdam offer to print what I have written on the Old Testament: but I chose rather to have it printed here, that I may see the last proofs. I shall expect your remarks, or those of the persons to whom you have communicated what I have written on the first part of the Old Testament. I would have come for them myself had I not been confined by sore eyes. I have a high sense of your goodness, he writes again to Petau[518], in taking the trouble to revise my Annotations on the Old Testament, in giving them to those who have time to examine them more strictly, and in contributing by your recommendation to the success of the work. As I have now an opportunity of putting them to press, I must beg of you to return them as soon as may be with your remarks. When the rest is transcribed, relying on your goodness I shall take the liberty to interrupt your occupations, however important and useful, by sending it."

The Dutch Booksellers[519] had prefixed to Grotius's Commentary on the New Testament his head, with a high elogium annexed to it; which vexed him much. He wrote very seriously to his brother that it was the more improper, as this effect of vanity was prefixed to a book designed to inspire humility; that he had tore out the picture in his own copies, and desired that he would endeavour to get the same done to all the rest, because it concerned his reputation; and he chose rather to suppress his Preface, than publish it with this picture. A short advertisement before his Notes on the New Testament acquaints us that he began them when a prisoner, that he finished them when a private man, and printed them when Ambassador. Though this work was far advanced before he was employed by the Court of Sweden, it is evident from his letters that he made many additions and amendments to it during his embassy.

He met with new difficulties after Cardinal Richelieu's death from the Chancellor Seguier, who never loved him. "The Chancellor of France, he writes to his brother, August 27, 1644[520], will not grant a privilege for printing my Commentary on the Old Testament, though very able Doctors have assured him that it contains nothing contrary to the doctrine of the Roman Catholics; but he refuses to give any even for good books, if the authors are not of his communion."

Cramoisi however printed it, but he was afraid of being a loser by the great expence of a handsome edition in folio if he did not obtain a privilege, because the Dutch, who could print it much cheaper, would bring it into France, and undersell him.

The refusal of a privilege[521] did not hinder another Paris bookseller from undertaking an edition of the Notes on the New Testament, which Grotius calls his favourite work[522].

M. Simon, whose opinion is not always agreeable to the strictest justice, judges very favourably, however, of Grotius: "His Notes, says he, are esteemed by every body; and stand in no need of a particular recommendation from us. We shall only observe that he abounds too much in quotations from the Poets, and many profane authors; in which he seems rather to affect appearing a man of learning and erudition, than a man of judgment and a critic. Had he avoided this fault, his Notes would have been much shorter, and not less excellent. They are chiefly valuable for his frequent collation of the ancient Greek translation of the bible with the Hebrew text, and his freedom from prejudice in favour of the Masoretic version: though he generally chuses the best explanation of the text, he sometimes multiplies the various readings without necessity. After all (adds the author of the Critical history) though I blame Grotius for quoting too frequently the profane authors, these quotations contain some very good things, serving to explain the difficulties in Scripture. I could only have wished, that, agreeable to the rules of criticism, he had not adduced the testimonies of profane authors, and especially the Poets, except in places that required those elucidations."

M. Le Clerc, after examining this judgment, speaks thus of Grotius[523]: "If you desire to know what is chiefly valuable in Grotius's Notes on the Old Testament, and not to be found elsewhere, it is first his explanation of an infinite number of passages of Scripture by the assistance of Pagan antiquity. Secondly, an admirable knowledge of the different manners of speaking used in Scripture, which he so happily compares with one another, that no interpreter ancient or modern has thrown so much light on them; and in fine, an extraordinary penetration in discovering the true sense of the prophecies."

M. Fabricius[524] tells us, that one thing which highly recommends Grotius's Commentary on the New Testament is the design, which he happily executed, of proving the truth of the Christian Religion by the Scripture itself.

Before we conclude this article we must take notice that it has been pretended by some learned men, who otherwise do him justice, that Grotius is frequently mistaken in his quotations from the Rabbis, because he took them at second-hand. Esdras Edzardi, well skilled in these matters, made a small collection of his mistakes, which he shewed to Morhof[525].


[504] Ep. 1520. p. 689.

[505] Ep. 639. p. 948.

[506] Ep. 640. p. 949.

[507] Ep. 648. p. 952.

[508] Ep. 859. p. 377. & 964. p. 432.

[509] Ep. 1056. p. 476.

[510] Ep. 1056. p. 476.

[511] Ep. 1256. p. 570. & 1315. p. 596.

[512] Ep. 503. p. 884.

[513] Ep. 507. p. 884.

[514] Ep. 465. p. 886.

[515] Ep. 476. p. 890.

[516] Ep. 481. p. 891.

[517] Ep. 1531. p. 693.

[518] Ep. 1534. p. 694.

[519] Ep. 570. p. 928.

[520] Ep. 720. p. 970.

[521] Ep. 740. p. 976.

[522] Ep. 1253. p. 553.

[523] Sentimens des Theolog. p. 388.

[524] Delect. Argum. c. 2. p. 40.

[525] Polihistor. t. 3. l. 5. p. 54. Vind. Grot. 463.

XII. This deep study of the Holy Scriptures led Grotius to examine a question which made much noise at that time. Some Protestant Synods had ventured to decide that the Pope was Antichrist; and this extravagance, gravely delivered by the Ministers, was regarded by the zealous Schismatics as a fundamental truth. Grotius undertook to overturn such an absurd opinion, that stirred up an irreconcileable enmity between the Roman Catholics and the Protestants, and of consequence was a very great obstacle to their reunion, which was the sole object of his desires. He entered therefore upon the consideration of the passages of Scripture relating to Antichrist, and employed his Sundays in it[526].

It was this work that raised him up most enemies. We see by the letters he wrote to his brother that his best friends were afraid lest they should be suspected of having some hand in the publication of the books in which he treated of Antichrist. "If you are afraid of incurring ill-will, he writes to his brother[527], you may easily find people that are far from a factious spirit who will take care of the impression. Nothing has incensed Princes against those who separated from the Church of Rome more than the injurious names with which the Protestants load their adversaries; and nothing is a greater hindrance to that reunion which we are all obliged to labour after in consequence of Christ's precept and the profession we make of our faith in the Creed. Perhaps the Turk, who threatens Italy, will force us to it. In order to arrive at it we must first remove whatever obstructs a mutual quiet hearing. I hope I shall find assistance in this pious design. I shall not cease to labour in it, and shall rejoice to die employed in so good a work."

Reigersberg, Blaeu, Vossius himself, however much devoted to Grotius, beheld with concern[528] the printing of this book, because they did not doubt but it would increase the number of his enemies. Grotius informs his brother of the uneasiness which Vossius gave him on this subject[529]: "Among those who wish this work destroyed, says he, I am astonished and grieved to see Vossius. Whence could he have this idea? I imagine somebody has told him, that it would injure the fortune of his children if he approved of such books; and that, on the contrary, he would find favour by hurting me. We must, therefore, have recourse to Corcellius or Corvinus." He elsewhere complains of the too great timidity of this old friend[530], who at bottom approved of Grotius's sentiments, but durst not own them publicly because he was not so independent as Grotius.

The treatise on Antichrist made much noise among all the declared enemies of the Romish Church[531]. Michael Gettichius wrote to Ruarus, that he had only glanced over Grotius's book on Antichrist; but as far as he could judge by the first reading, that learned man, who was possessed of such an excellent genius, and such singular erudition, had no other intention than to engage the Learned in a further enquiry concerning Antichrist; and to determine them to attack with greater strength the Romish Antichrist; or, if he wrote seriously, he wanted to cut out a path for going over, without dishonour, to the Papists. Ruarus answers this letter, Dec. 16, 1642, from Dantzic. "I have always, he says, looked on Grotius as a very honest, and at the same time a very learned man. I am persuaded that love of peace engaged him in this work. I don't deny but he has gone too far; the love of antiquity perhaps seduced him: no Remonstrant, that I know of, has as yet answered him; but he has been confuted by some learned Calvinists, particularly Desmarets, Minister of Boisleduc, who has written against him with much bitterness."

Grotius's work was printed in 1640, with this title: Commentatio ad loca quædam Novi Testamenti, quæ de Antichristo agunt aut agere putantur, expendenda, eruditis.

It contains an explanation of the second chapter of the second epistle of St. Paul to the Thessalonians, in which he undertakes to prove, that the Man of Sin, there mentioned, is the Emperor Caius Caligula, who wanted to place his statue in the temple of Jerusalem, as may be seen in Philo; and was desirous to be thought a God, as Philo and Josephus relate. He afterwards explains the eighteenth verse of the second chapter of the first epistle of St. John. You know that Antichrist is come, and that there are many Antichrists. He thinks the Antichrist already come was Barchochebas, and that the other Antichrists are Simon the Magician and Dosithæus.

The beast, in the thirteenth chapter of the Revelation, is, according to him, Rome pagan; the power, which is given to it for forty-two months, signifies Domitian's persecution, which lasted three years and a half. The beast that ascended out of the bottomless pit, mentioned chap. xi. ver. 7. is magic, and Apollonius Thyanæus: in fine, he finds the famous number 666, mentioned in the last verse of the thirteenth chapter of the Apocalypse, in Trajan's name, who was called Ulpius, of which the numeral letters form the number 666.

The Reformed were strangely scandalized at this work. Samuel Desmarets answered it with great bitterness, which drew another piece from Grotius in defence of the former, with this title: Appendix ad interpretationem locorum Novi Testamenti, quæ de Antichristo agunt, aut agere putantur, in qua via sternitur ad Christianorum concordiam. Desmarets is never mentioned in it but under the name of Borboritus. It has been observed, that Grotius was guilty of a slight inaccuracy in this treatise: he says the Emperor Barbarossa's enemies ascribed to him the pretended book De tribus Impostoribus: he confounds the grandson with the grandfather, for it was Frederic II. against whom this calumny was advanced, as appears from the letters of Peter Desvignes, his Secretary and Chancellor, and as Grotius himself remarks in his observations on Campanella's philosophy.

He printed at the same time his treatise Of Faith and Works against Desmarets, and against the error of the inadmissibility of grace, under the title of Explicatio trium illustrissimorum locorum Novi Testamenti, Capitis I. Pauli ad Ephesios posterioris, Capitis II. Jacobi Commatis XIV. & sequentium, Capitis III. Epistolæ I. Johannis, in quibus agitur de fide & operibus. This work shews, that faith is not sufficient for Justification; and that if those who have faith live in sin, they are hated by God.

Via ad pacem ecclesiasticam was printed in 1642: it contains the Consultation of Cassander presented to the Emperors Ferdinand I. and Maximilian II. accompanied with remarks by Grotius. He expected that these works, which were compiled solely with a view to promote union among Christians, would procure him many enemies; and he adopted, on this occasion, what was said in 1557 by an author who laboured in the same design, That for persons to endeavour to make mankind live in peace, was commendable; that they might indeed expect a recompence from the blessed Peace-maker, but they had great reason to apprehend the same fate with those, who, attempting to part two combatants, receive blows from both. "Perhaps, by writing to reconcile such as entertain very opposite sentiments, I shall offend both parties: but if it should so happen, I shall comfort myself with the example of him who said, If I please men I am not the servant of Christ."

Grotius, content with gratifying his pacific desires, expected his reward from posterity; which he clearly intimates in some verses written by him on this subject

Accipe sed placidis, quæ si non optima, certe,
Expressit nobis non mala pacis amor.
Et tibi dic, nostro labor hic si displicet ævo,
A gratâ pretium posteritate feret.

Rivetus, the Clergyman, treated Grotius with as much indignity, as if he had attempted to destroy the foundations or Christianity. Grotius answered him in a tract, entitled: Animadversiones in animadversiones Andreæ Riveti.

This work was followed by two others on the same subject: Votum pro pace ecclesiasticâ, contra examen Andreæ Riveti, and Rivetiani Apologetici Discussio: this last did not appear till after the author's death.

He wrote, in 1638, a small piece, entitled: De Canæ administratione ubi Pastores non sunt, item an semper communicandum per symbola. The design of this pernicious work is to shew, that Laymen, in the absence of Priests, and in cases of necessity, may do their office.

Rigaut had already maintained this error, and been smartly attacked by M. De l'Aubepine, Bishop of Orleans: all the defenders of the hierarchy were scandalized at it, and Father Petau, among the Roman Catholics, and Dodwell, among the English Clergy, have refuted it.

In the tract, An semper communicandum per symbola, the Arminians endeavour to maintain, that we are not obliged to communicate with such as require subscriptions to which we cannot assent without acting against our consciences. Grotius's design was to shew, that the Arminians might dispense with communicating with the Contra-Remonstrants, if these insisted on retractions.

Another theological work of Grotius (of whose publication we cannot fix the time) is entitled: Dissertatio historica ac politica de dogmatis & ritibus & gubernatione Ecclesiæ Christianæ, de dogmatis quæ reipublicæ noxia sunt, aut dicuntur. In this piece he treats of the end of the priesthood, and the duties of the Priests: he places what relates to the distinction and unity of the three Persons, the two Natures, and their properties, among the points of which we may be ignorant without ceasing to be good Christians. It is probable this piece was written before those concerning Antichrist, the author appearing in it less favourably disposed towards the Roman Catholics and the Pope.

It is apparent that Grotius had not sufficiently examined this subject, since he speaks of it in a manner so heterodox. He would not have held a language so opposite to Christianity, at, or after the time of his dispute with Rivetus.


[526] Ep. 416. p. 874.

[527] Ep. 477. p. 890.

[528] Ep. 480. p. 891. & 482. p. 891.

[529] Ep. 485. p. 892.

[530] Ep. 445. p. 895. 507. p. 901. 511. p. 902. & 514. p. 904.

[531] Ep 61. p. 276. & 89. p. 415.

XIII. Grotius, even whilst engaged in the dispute against the zealous Protestant Ministers, undertook to clear up the origin of the Americans; which enquiry involved him in a controversy that gave him much uneasiness. John de Laët of Antwerp, who had much studied these matters, printed Grotius's work, with Notes, under this title: Joannis de Laët Antverpiani Notæ ad dissertationem Hugonis Grotii de Origine gentium Americanarum, & Observationes aliquot ad meliorem indaginem difficillimæ illius questionis. Amstelodami apud Ludovicum Elzevirium, anno 1643[532].

Grotius first confutes those, who think that the people of America came from Great Tartary, because they had no horses before the Spanish conquest, and that it is impossible the Scythians, who abounded in horses, should bring none with them; besides the Tartars were never seamen. His opinion is, that North-America was peopled by persons from Norway, from whence they passed into Iceland, afterwards into Greenland, from thence to Friseland, then to Estotiland, a part of the American continent, to which the fishers of Friseland had penetrated two centuries before the Spaniards discovered the New World. He pretends, that the names of those countries end with the same syllables as those of the Norwegians; that the Mexicans and their neighbours assured the Spaniards they came from the North; and that the country which the Norwegians inhabited, after quitting Estotiland, has retained almost the name of Norway; that there is yet a town in it called Norembega; in fine, that there are many words in the American language, which have a relation to the German and Norwegian; and that the Americans still preserve the customs of the country from whence they are originally sprung. As to the people of Jucatan, and the neighbourhood, Grotius makes them come from Ethiopia by the way of the Ocean. He grounds this opinion on the practice of circumcision among these nations of America, which was also used by the Ethiopians. He pretends that the Peruvians are descended from the Chinese, because the wrecks of Chinese vessels have been found, he says, on the coasts of the Pacific Ocean, and they worship the sun: besides, the Peruvians, he adds, write from the top to the bottom of the page like the Chinese.

Laët easily shewed that Grotius's conjectures were ill founded, and that he had even advanced several facts which were not strictly true: he denied the existence of the city of Norembega, and maintained that Jucatan is too distant from Africa for the Ethiopians to penetrate into America, it being at least two months sail from Ethiopia to Jucatan. He refutes the pretended traces of Christianity, which Grotius said were found in that part of America before the discovery of the Spaniards, supporting his confutation on the authority of Spanish writers; in fine, he denies that any Chinese wrecks have been found on the coasts of the Pacific Ocean, and censures, as a very great inaccuracy in Grotius, what he advances concerning the Peruvian manner of writing.

After doing justice to the excellent judgment and profound erudition of Grotius, he ventures to assert, that he found nothing in his Dissertation that could satisfy a man moderately acquainted with the History of America; and approves of what was observed by Joseph Acosta, that it was easier to confute what was written on the origin of the Americans, than to know what to hold; because there were no monuments among them, nor any books of Europeans to throw light on this matter: and hence concludes, that it is rashness to promise truth on such an obscure subject.

Laët's answer vexed Grotius: he replied to it in a second Dissertation, entitled, Adversus obtrectatorem, opaca quem bonum facit barba. Printed at Paris by Cramoisi, in 1643. Laët answered in a piece, printed in 1644, by Lewis Elzevir, in which he inserts Grotius's second Dissertation. There is nothing new in these two last books: and it were to be wished that they had been written with less bitterness. It has been[533] observed, that Grotius's system is not new; and that it had been already advanced by Myl, whom Grotius does not once quote.


[532] This work was printed at Paris the same year.

[533] Hornius, de Orig. Gent. Amer. l. 1. c. 2. p. 17.

XIV. It now remains to give some account of the other works of Grotius, which hitherto we have not had occasion to mention. In 1629, he printed at William Blaeu's the History of the Siege of Grolla: Grollæ obsidio cum annexis anni 1627. This piece would have been brought into his History[534] if he could have continued it. He speaks of it with great modesty[535] in his letters to his brother. "I don't expect, he says, much honour from such a small tract."

He published, in 1631, An Introduction to the Laws of Holland, in Dutch. Simon Groenovegius de Madin, a Lawyer, wrote Notes on this work, which Grotius thought well done and very useful; and sent the author a letter of thanks[536].

He left several manuscripts prepared for the press, which were published after his death.

Lewis Elzevir printed, in 1652, a small collection in twelves with this title: Hugonis Grotii quædam hactenùs inedita, aliaque ex Belgicè editis Latinè versa, argumenti Theologici, Juridici, Politici. It contains, among other Dissertations, Remarks on the Philosophy or rather on the Politics of Campanella; and a tract entitled: Hugonis Grotii Responsio ad quædam ab utroque judicum consessu objecta, ubi multa disputantur de Jure Summarum Potestatum in Hollandiâ, Westfrisi[^æ], & Magistratuum in oppidis. The disputes of the Province of Holland with the States-General probably gave occasion to this treatise. Grotius intended to publish the Golden verses of Pythagoras[537], with a translation by himself: but what he could not do in his life-time was done in England after his death, in the year 1654[538].

Of all the tragic Poets, his favourite was certainly Euripides. We have already seen that he translated the Phoenissæ in 1630. He afterwards revised and corrected it, as appears by a letter to his brother, September 3, 1639[539]. His translation of the Iphigenia in Tauris is mentioned in several letters[540]. He likewise turned into Latin the Supplicantes of Euripides, of which he speaks to his brother[541]. The learned Father Berthier[542] has lately informed us, that this translation still exists in the library of the Jesuits college at Paris. "One of the most precious pieces, and which alone would have been sufficient to give value to this manuscript, is the entire translation of Euripides's piece, entitled Supplicantes, added at the end of the volume by way of desert: the whole is in excellent Iambic verses: we would cite some part, if we had not already trespassed too far on the complaisance of the reader."

In 1629, Grotius wrote to his brother[543], that he had finished a piece, proving that the war between different Princes ought not to injure the free trade of the powers not engaged in it. This is all we know of the treatise, which is now lost: we are equally ignorant of a work, entitled, The Portrait of Zeno, which he mentions in several letters[544], and seems very desirous of having it printed. He left several manuscripts in his closet, which, after his death, were purchased by the Queen of Sweden from his wife: among these[545] were, Notes on some of the most difficult Laws; A Comparison of the Republics of Athens and Rome with that of Holland; Notes on the Hymns of Orpheus, and an Illustration of the Books of Moses by the Writings of the Pagans. The author of Vindiciæ Grotianæ[546] speaks of a manuscript of Æschylus with Notes by Grotius. Many of his books were filled with marginal notes. He tells us[547], that he had collected, with great care, the remains of the apostolical Fathers, and that he had thoughts of translating that part of Josephus's history, which relates to the law, and of adding notes to it. But probably the execution of this project was hindered by his other studies, and the information he received, that Samuel Petit, who was well skilled in the learned languages, had the same design.


[534] Ep. 191. p. 811.

[535] Ep. 194. p. 814. & 196, p. 113.

[536] Ep. 1627. p. 719.

[537] Ep. 683. p. 961.

[538] Fab. Bib. Græc. tom. 1. p. 471. & 472.

[539] Ep. 506. p. 885.

[540] Ep. 402; p. 869. & 595. p. 236.

[541] Ep. 683. p. 961.

[542] Art. 91. August, 1751. p. 1807.

[543] Ep. 207. p. 817.

[544] Ep. 465. & 466. p. 886. Ep. 469. p. 887.

[545] Observat. Hallenses, 24. t. 7. p. 350. Bib. Remons. p. 80. Fabricius Bib. Græca, t. 1. l. 1. c. 19, p. 117.

[546] Vindiciæ, p. 841.

[547] Ep. 391. p. 866. & 768. p. 330.

XV. His Letters may be regarded as Treatises; the collection we have of them is a treasure not only of public but of literary history, and contains many dissertations on the most important subjects. The XXXIst, to Gerard Vossius, and XXXIIId, to John Utengobard, treat of Predestination and Grace, according to the Arminian system. We have already spoken of the LIVth, addressed to Du Maurier, the French Ambassador in Holland, and containing a method of study for grown persons. The LXIId, to the Baron de Langerac, the Dutch Ambassador in France, is a formal treatise on a piece of Du Moulin concerning the government of the ancient Church; the means of reconciling Grace with Free-will; and the authority of Sovereigns in matters ecclesiastical. He treats in the XCIst, to Vossius, of the effects of Christ's death. The CCLXIVth, to the celebrated Nicholas Peyresc, Counsellor of the Parliament of Aix, is rather a book than a letter, being a collection of all that the Ancients have said of Nicholas Damascenus, which leaves us at a loss with regard to nothing that could be known concerning that celebrated writer.

The CCCXXIXth, to John Descordes, Canon of Limoges, treats of the power of Bishops over the Monks, and several other points of the ancient Church discipline. He proves, in the CCCLVIIth, to Jerom Bignon, Advocate-General, that the letter ascribed to Pope Clement, which was published in 1633, is really his. His letters to his brother treat of the Law of Nature and several points of Civil Law: and a letter, addressed to John Isaac Pontanus, contains his remarks on what Cluverius has said of the antiquities of Germany.

The most interesting literary occurrences of his time are to be found in his letters, always accompanied, with instructing reflections: in fine, his negotiations, and the great events of the last ten years of the reign of Lewis XIII, are very particularly, and, for the most part, very truly related in them.

We must not conceal that Du Maurier, the son, whose anecdotes are full of blunders, advances[548] that, when Grotius desired to be recalled, the High Chancellor readily took him at his word, because, says he, Grotius sent him only the news that every body knew. Father Bougeant repeats this passage with great complacency; but he would have done much better to have read Grotius's letters with attention, than to censure them without reason. By their assistance he might have rectified several dates in his work, which, otherwise, deserves the public esteem. Another author, whose history is written with indiscretion and partiality, but who was nevertheless well acquainted with the events of the age of Lewis XIII, sets a high value on Grotius's letters[549]: I mean Le Vassor, whose judgment deserves the more regard as he had little turn for panegyric. He refutes those who advanced that Grotius employed his fine Latin to send Oxenstiern the lies of the day; and maintains that such as say this, have either never read Grotius's letters, or are unacquainted with the history of Lewis XIII. He does not deny, that, among the many pieces of news contained in them, there are some without foundation; but he excuses him, because a Minister is obliged to write what is generally reported. He adds, "Those, who shall read Grotius's letters with a little discerning, will find in them the most secret affairs of the times of his embassy touched upon in few words, with great delicacy and moderation." Grotius himself acquaints us, that he used great circumspection in writing news to the High Chancellor[550]. "I must beg, says he, of your Sublimity, to pardon the shortness of my letter: I chuse rather to say little, than write what is false; and would fain send you nothing that is uncertain: but this is attended with much difficulty amidst so great obscurity.—Living among people, he says in another letter[551], who are very close, and receiving news which are often mixed with falshood, I am sorry to be obliged to give you my conjectures in the room of certainty; but there is nothing to apprehend from such an equitable Judge, who has regard to the good intention."

This made him easy; and what ought to give us a high idea of his Letters, is, that they greatly pleased the High Chancellor[552]; and Muller, the Swedish Ambassador, set a high value on them[553].

The author of Vindiciæ Grotianæ assures us[554], after Morhof, that Grotius's Letters are not all printed; and he adds, that he knew a cabinet in which were preserved upwards of two hundred and sixty, written to Queen Christina and the High Chancellor. Bunau, a Privy Counselor at Dresden, is said to have had many of them. Puffendorf saw several in cypher, to which he had a key. Among those, which are printed in the collection of Grotius's letters, there are some in cypher, relating to the general affairs and secret intrigues of the Court of France. M. de Boze has a copy of these letters in his curious cabinet, with an explanation of the cypher, given him by a Swedish gentleman, which he communicates to those who desire it, with a politeness that it were to be wished were common to all men of learning.


[548] Memoires, p. 423.

[549] Le Vassor, t. 8. 2 partie, l. 40. p. 277.

[550] Ep. 537. p. 210.

[551] Ep. 550. p. 214.

[552] Ep. 55. p. 492.

[553] Ep. 1094. p. 492.

[554] P. 846.

XVI. One of the most interesting parts of Grotius's life is the knowledge of his sentiments in religion, and the ardent zeal with which he undertook to reunite Christians in one belief. Brought up in the principles of Protestantism, he had in the former part of his life a great aversion to Popery. A letter to Antony Walæus, Nov. 10, 1611[555], in which he opens all his mind, acquaints us, that however much he might be attached to the prevailing religion in the State wherein he lived, he was persuaded that the Roman Catholics held all the fundamental truths; but they superadded, he thought, several other articles, which he treated as new opinions. The zeal of the Jesuits for the Roman Catholic religion, and their attachment to the Pope, had rendered them extremely odious to all the enemies of the Romish church. Grotius viewed them in the same light, agreeably to the sentiments which had been instilled into him in his infancy, as we find in a letter written, April 1, 1617[556], to his brother then in France; but when he came to riper years, he did them justice, highly valuing their society, and receiving many of them into his confidence, particularly the learned Dionysius Petavius.


[555] Ep. 14 p. 4.

[556] Ep. 15. p. 759.

XVII. Even when farthest removed from the Roman Catholic Church, he paid the greatest regard to the decisions of the ancient councils, to the discipline of the primitive Church, and the authority of the Fathers. He writes, June 6, 1611, to John Utengobard[557], that he highly respected the ancient councils which condemned Manicheism and Pelagianism. He declared to Vossius, July 17, 1616[558], that none held the doctrine condemned by the ancient Church in greater detestation. "Besides the hatred, says he to Antony Walæus, which I profess to the tenets that were unknown to pious antiquity, nothing more engages me to condemn, and overturn, as far as I can, this sort of opinions, than their being an obstacle to peace."

In the explanation of Holy Scripture he would have the sentiments of the ancient Church adhered to. This point he treated at a conference with the Prince of Condé, in the beginning of 1639[559]; in which he shewed, that to be a Christian, and have a right to the surname of Catholic, one must receive the Sacred Scriptures, and explain them not according to the interpretation of private persons, which had often given occasion to seditions, schisms, and even wars, but according to the sentiments of the ancient Churches, chiefly to be found in the Creeds, and in the acts of General Councils.

He was so persuaded of the truth of these principles, that in an advertisement, prefixed to his Commentary on the New Testament, he declares that if he had written any thing inconsistent with the interpretation of Holy Scripture by the ancient Church, which he hoped he had not, he would chuse to have it neglected, and was most ready to alter it.


[557] Ep. 28. p. 9.

[558] Ep. 77. p. 54.

[559] Ep. 1108. p. 498. See also Ep. 622. p. 943.

XVIII. This profound veneration for antiquity contributed greatly to render him more favourable to the Roman Catholics. At a time when it was looked upon by the Protestants as a kind of Apostacy, to speak with decency and temper of the sovereign Pontiffs, he ventured to commend Pope Urbin VIII in some verses made in honour of the blessed Virgin. He speaks thus of him in a Letter to his brother of the 21st of February, 1625[560]. "I send my father the Poem on the Mother of God. I would not however have it published, not only because the honour, distinct from superstition, given to the saints offends several of our people; but also because Pope Urbin is commended in it. He is an excellent Poet, as appears from his elegant Pindaric odes. God grant he may be able to unite Christians, who are too much divided, in one faith."

The Reformers were held by him in no great esteem. In 1633 he wrote to Gerard Vossius[561], "I think nothing can be truer than your judicious remark, that the best way to prevent good men from approving of so many different sects would be to shew them, without animosity or passion, from the sole motive of love to truth, that those who avail themselves so much of antiquity have it not always on their side, and that such as promised to restore the Church to its primitive state have not at all times succeeded." He no doubt meant the pretended Reformed.

"The Protestants, says he to his brother[562], go too far when they accuse the Roman Catholics of error; they attack at the same time the whole Greek and Latin Churches, those of Syria, Arabia, and Egypt, and thereby very imprudently furnish arms to their adversaries. I see, he writes to Vossius[563], that those who have erected new Churches among us, have followed their own ideas, but have not always advanced the affairs of Religion."

Salmasius was as zealous for the pretended reformed religion, as he was become indifferent to Grotius. However they visited one another, but it was with much coldness. "Salmasius (he writes to his brother[564], February 10, 1641) came to see me: he is ready to defend the most outrageous opinions; among others, that St. Peter never set foot in Italy. It is surprising what a party spirit will do."

Grotius looked upon almost all the Reformed as factious men[565]. He had no esteem for Calvin; speaking of Cassander, he says he was a very excellent, and at the same time a very able man, and therefore most worthy of Calvin's hatred: he advised James Laurentius to read, instead of Calvin's Institutions, Vincent de Lerins. "I hear[566], says he to him, that you are less seditious than most of your order (that is, the Protestant Clergy) and that you only suffer yourself to be drawn away by others: wherefore I will give you one good counsel: read the Scriptures in the original, the confessions of faith of the ancient Christians, instead of the Belgic Confession, the Catechisms of Cyril in the room of Ursinus's Catechism, and the acts of the General Councils, and not those of the Synod of Dort: you will then easily perceive that Grotius is not become a Papist, but Laurentius turned a Calvinist." Laurentius wrote against him: but Grotius took his revenge[567] by silence. He did not approve of the separation of the Protestants; he thought these new Churches, these new Rites had not at all contributed to the promoting of piety. "It is just, said he[568], to reform our manners: but would it not have been better for us, after reforming ourselves, to have prayed to God for the reformation of others; and for the Princes and Bishops, who desired a reformation to have endeavoured to procure it by general councils, without breaking the unity." A Minister called D'Or, turning Roman Catholic[569], Grotius discovered little concern at it, and speaks of it with great calmness in a letter to his brother. "What D'Or has just done, says he, the learned Pithou did before him: Casaubon was resolved to do the same had he remained longer in France, as he assured several persons, and among others Descordes. I would fain, continued he, have the abuses that have crept into the church remedied, and will always say so; but is it just, or are there any examples, that it should be done by schism? This ought to be the more weighed, as we easily perceive that those who have formed new parties had not always the Spirit of God; that they have propagated new abuses, and that this licence to separate themselves has given rise to different parties which will never be united." He speaks in another place of Casaubon's sentiments[570], and pretends that this learned man thought the Roman Catholics of France better informed than those of other countries, and came nearer to truth than the Ministers of Charenton.

He explained himself very frequently and very sharply against the schism of the Protestants. "Viretus, and the rest, says he[571], ought not to have erected new churches: yet they have done it before they were excommunicated: even an unjust excommunication would not have entitled them to erect altar against altar." He recites several passages from the Fathers on this subject, by which he pretends to confute the first reformers[572]. He came so near the Roman Catholics in the end, that in a letter to his brother he has these words: "It cannot be denied that there are several Roman Catholic pastors here who teach true religion, without any mixture of superstition: it were to be wished that all did the same." In his later works he speaks of Calvin with the highest indignation[573]: "I know, he says, with what injustice and bitterness this Calvin treated Cassander, Baudoin, and Castellio, who were much better men than himself."

In refuting the apology of Rivetus he speaks with all the zeal of a Roman Catholic Disputant, and proves that the Calvinists are Schismatics, and had no mission; that they neither had miracles for them, nor any particular command from God: that the Ministers are factious spirits, who seek only to disturb the State: that their religion is new, and has not antiquity on its side. In his youth he had commended Beza in some anapest verses; extolling him as one of the most zealous defenders of the truth: he afterwards retracted this elogium, and wished it buried in eternal oblivion.

In fine, the Jesuits, who were the objects of his aversion before he knew them, became his friends. He was reproached with this; and mentions the accusation in a letter to his brother[574]. "I am not, says he, the common defender of Jesuits; but the King looks on them as good subjects and employs them on several occasions." He publicly took their part in some of his works. He maintains in his pieces against Rivetus[575] that the Society had produced very able men of an irreproachable life, and that there were more such among them than among others. "I know many of them, he says, who are very desirous to see the abuses abolished, and the church restored to its primitive unity. The King entrusts them with his most valuable concerns." Father Petau, among others, possessed his confidence, as we have already observed, and shall see again.


[560] Ep. 85. p. 780.

[561] Ep. 935. p. 120.

[562] Ep. 487. p. 864.

[563] Ep. 1004. p. 641.

[564] Ep. 593. p. 913.

[565] Ep. 534. p. 914. 537. p. 916. & 1520, p. 689.

[566] Ep. 1570. p. 709.

[567] Ep. 1078. p. 711.

[568] Ep. 607. p. 938.

[569] Ep. 610. p. 939.

[570] Ep. 613. p. 940.

[571] Ep. 674. p. 959.

[572] Ep. 677. p. 959.

[573] Animad. in animad. Riveti, p. 640.

[574] Ep. 628. p. 915.

[575] Animad in anim. Riveti, ad Art. 6. p. 658. Discussio Rivet. Apolog. p. 694. & p. 681.

XIX. His great knowledge of antiquity and that singular veneration which he always paid to the primitive church made him even in his youth look upon the abolition of episcopacy, and of a visible head of the church, as something very monstrous. He went much farther in the sequel; shewing that[576] Melancton himself wanted the Pope to be left in the Church, and that King James of England and several able Protestants acknowledged the utility of the primacy of the Bishop of Rome: adding, "If several Protestants had made the same reflection, we should have had a church more reformed."

He thinks that this Monarchy (these are his own terms[577]) is of use in the church for maintaining its unity. In fine, in a piece against Rivetus[578], he proves the primacy of the Pope from a passage of St. Cyprian, and adds, "You see that the primacy is hereby established; and this name in every society implies some jurisdiction. The Bishop of Rome, says he[579], is Prince of the Christian Aristocrasy, as it has been called before our time by the Bishop of Fossombrone. This primacy is under Jesus Christ, and may be exercised without tyranny, and without destroying the rights which the Bishops have over the churches committed to them." He entertained favourable sentiments of the Episcopal authority even before his embassy; and thought it necessary to preserve the unity of the Church[580]. "It is a question only in name[581](says he to his brother some years after) to ask whether Episcopacy be of divine right: it is sufficient that Jesus Christ has set the example in the college of Apostles; that the Apostles have followed it, and that this establishment has been approved by the universal consent of the Church, excepting some innovators of the present age."

He handles this point in the eleventh Chapter of the treatise Of the power of Sovereigns in matters of Religion[582]; he says it is fanaticism to advance that a Bishop has nothing above a simple Priest. "Episcopacy, says he[583], that is to say the preheminence of a Pastor, is not contrary to the Divine right. It is incumbent on him who thinks otherwise, that is, who accuses the whole ancient Church of folly and impiety, to prove his opinion. That Episcopacy[584] was received by the whole Church appears from the general councils, which have always had great authority with all devout men; witness the national and provincial councils, where we find certain marks of the Episcopal precedency; witness all the Fathers without exception. Episcopacy began with the Apostles[585]: to be convinced of this we need only have recourse to the catalogues of Bishops in Irenæus, Eusebius, Socrates, Theodoret, and others, who all make them begin with the Apostles. It would be very great obstinacy or disrespect to reject authors of so great weight, who unanimously agree in an historical fact. The history of all ages informs us of the advantages which the Church has derived from Episcopacy[586]." However he did not yet venture to say[587] that Episcopacy was of Divine establishment: he contented himself with maintaining that it was of Apostolical institution. This was sufficient to offend a party among whom there were some who carried their fury and ignorance so far, as to maintain that Episcopacy was an invention of Satan: an expression which scandalized Grotius even in his youth, as appears by a letter written in 1614 to Daniel Heinsius[588]. He became more bold afterwards; and was not afraid to maintain in the face of the pretended reformation[589], that Episcopacy was established by Christ, and that it were to be wished it were restored wherever it had been abolished.

It was in consequence of this respect for the Episcopal College, and its head, that he exposed himself to the indignation of the whole Protestant party, and the bitter invectives of the Ministers, by maintaining that nothing was more absurd than what they had written against the pretended Romish Antichrist.

One of his principal reasons for writing on this subject was a persuasion not only of the truth of his sentiments, as he writes to his brother[590], but that it was his duty to remove every obstacle that obstructed the reunion, "of which I have greater hopes than ever, he says, December 3, 1639. If it is not granted us to enjoy that great blessing (he adds) it is our duty to throw water on the flames, and not oil; and to plant trees that will bear fruit perhaps in another age." He was so pleased with himself for breaking the ice in this matter, that he tells his brother[591] in a private letter, he is persuaded God inspired him with the thought: that he returns him his most humble thanks for it, and that he thought himself in consequence obliged to labour in it with all his might, not only to support the truth, but also because he judged nothing was more capable to appease mens minds and prepare the way to the reunion. "I hope, he says to Vossius[592], to find at least among posterity equitable readers who will thank God for the light which he has been pleased to communicate to me for the understanding several obscure passages of Holy Scripture. I owe all that I have written on Antichrist[593] that is good, not to my own researches, says he to his brother, but to my prayers, and to the goodness of God, who has been pleased to enlighten me, though I did not deserve it." He flattered himself that his works on this subject had undeceived several Protestants[594], and that Rivetus, his grand adversary, was looked upon even by his collegues as a Divine of little judgment and a moderate share of erudition.


[576] Comment. ad. loca de Antichristo.

[577] Via ad Pacem, Art. 7. p. 17.

[578] Ad. Art. 7. p. 641.

[579] P. 642. & p. 695. Discussio Apolog. Rivet. & p. 696.

[580] Ep. 318. p. 115.

[581] Ep. 534. p. 914. see Ep. 739. p. 975.

[582] No 2.

[583] No 3.

[584] No 4.

[585] No 5.

[586] No 9.

[587] No 10.

[588] Burman's Collection, t. 2. Ep. 211. p. 434.

[589] Via ad Pacem, Art. xiv. p. 621.

[590] Ep. 474. p. 889.

[591] Ep. 490. p. 895.

[592] Ep. 1441. p. 653.

[593] Ep. 499. p. 898.

[594] Ep. 501. p. 899.

XX. He had been at first much prejudiced against the opinion of the Romish Church concerning the real presence. We may judge of it by the letter which he wrote June 7, 1622, to Episcopius[595]. "I think, says he to him, that you would do well to confute those who with Cassander believe that one may disapprove the errors of the Romish Church, and yet not be obliged to separate from her communion. Two points especially appear to me to deserve discussion: the first is, whether an action lawful in itself, as the adoration during the time of the supper, ceaseth to be so on account of the error of the Ministers of the Church, who would have this adoration referred to the visible signs."

In process of time he departed from the manner of speaking at least of the Ministers. He acknowledged[596] that in the Eucharistical bread some change is made, which the ancient Latin Church called Transfiguration, and the modern Transubstantiation: when Jesus Christ, being sacramentally present, favours us with his substance, as the Council of Trent speaks, the appearances of bread and wine remain, and in their place succeed the body and blood of Christ.

It is certain that he did not approve of the sentiments of the Calvinists concerning the Eucharist: he reproached them with their contradictions[597]. "The Disciples of Calvin, says he, speak very differently on this subject in their Confessions and in their disputes: you will hear them say in their confessions, that they really, substantially, and essentially partake of Christ's body and his blood; in their disputes they maintain that Christ is received only spiritually by faith. The ancients go much farther, admitting a real incorporation of Jesus Christ with us, and the reality of Christ's natural body, as St. Hilarius speaks."

Thus Grotius was persuaded the term transubstantiation, adopted by the Council of Trent, was capable of a good interpretation[598]: but it is not clear however, that, though he admitted the expressions used by the Catholic Church, he was of her opinion. After approving the term transubstantiation, he adds[599], "And because what is spiritual among the Jews is called real, the terms really, substantially, and essentially, are used in the Protestant Confessions, and by their Doctors." It is plain from what he subjoins, that he sought rather to unite different sentiments by means of equivocal expressions, than by an exact Creed, which might be susceptible of only one sense. "We must not condemn, says he, those who assure us that the Eucharist is but the sign of the body of Jesus Christ, since St. Augustine, with several other Fathers, speak in this manner; and the sacrament is defined to be the visible sign of an invisible grace."

He made a draught of a kind of Formulary, in which the Catholics and Protestants were to join: it was this. "We believe that in the use of the supper we truly, really, and substantially, that is to say, in its proper substance, receive the true body and the true blood of Jesus Christ in a spiritual and ineffable manner." Grotius informs us that this formulary was approved of by the Roman Catholic Doctors and by Protestants: which is not surprising of the Catholics, since the expressions he employs, when taken in their natural sense, comprehend the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church: it is more surprising of the Protestants; but it must be observed that Calvin himself said[600], that under the Eucharistical signs we receive truly the body and blood of Jesus Christ; that Christ's flesh is distributed in this sacrament; that it enters into us; that we are partakers not only of Christ's spirit, but also of his flesh; that we have its proper substance, and are made partakers of it; that whole Christ is united to us, and therefore is united to us in body and spirit, that we must not question our receiving his proper body, and that if there is any man upon earth who sincerely acknowledges this truth, it is he.

These expressions of Calvin were certainly favourable to the opinion of the Roman Catholics: he found himself obliged to make use of such terms, because they had been so long authorised, that he was afraid of appearing desirous to change the ancient doctrine; but the sense he gave them took away their force. The Protestants whom Grotius consulted, agreeable to the opinion of their Master, thought the expression, substantial presence, might be reconciled with their confession of faith; which, denying the real presence, teaches that Christ is united to us only in a figure in the sacrament, and in spirit by faith.

Though Grotius believed that one receives substantially Jesus Christ in the use of the supper, there is no proof of his admitting the real presence in the sense of the Council of Trent: for, besides that his Formulary scarce makes stronger mention of it than Calvin, he seems not to condemn those who admitted only the sign of Christ's body: an indulgence which will never be approved of by a Roman Catholic.


[595] Ep. 181. p. 67.

[596] Via ad pacem art. x. p. 619. & 642.

[597] Votum pro pace, p. 687.

[598] Animad. in Animad. art. x. p. 642.

[599] Via, p. 619.

[600] Variations, l. 9. p. 37.

XXI. He justifies the decision of the Council of Trent concerning the number of the sacraments in his works against Rivetus. "The word sacrament, though sometimes taken in a more general signification, may nevertheless, says he[601], be understood in a more limited one of these seven external signs, which are designed for the good of our souls, and more distinctly mentioned in Scripture; Baptism in St. Matthew xxviii. 19. Confirmation, Acts viii. 17. Penance, Matthew xvi. 19. the Eucharist, Matthew xxvi. 26. Ordination, 1 Tim. iv. 22. Extreme Unction, Mark vi. 13. James v. 14. and Marriage; Ephes. v. 32."


[601] Rivet. Apol. discussio, p. 698.

XXII. In the examination of the other articles, which divide the Roman Catholics from the Protestants, Grotius continued to lean towards the Romish Church. In 1638 he acknowledges in a letter to Corvinus[602], that pious and able men, who were well disposed towards the Protestants, owned they were mistaken in the decision of the principal controversies between the Protestants and the Romish Church.

After the year 1640 he took no offence at the use of images in churches, and prayers for the dead. He writes to his brother this year[603], "The Lutherans have images, and there are some in several places of England. Montaigue and others have proved that it is not idolatry to have recourse to the prayers of the Apostles and Martyrs."

He explains himself afterwards much more strongly in favour of the Romish Church. He was persuaded[604] that the Cherubims of Moses clearly shewed that images were not forbid. "The honour due to Martyrs, says he, in his Via ad pacem[605], is much greater than what we owe to living Saints, because the Apocalypse tells us, that the Martyrs reign with Jesus Christ: there is therefore no harm in publicly testifying our esteem for them, and celebrating their memories on days set apart for that purpose, and in the places where they suffered martyrdom. The Protestants acknowledge that they pray for the Church: they are in the wrong therefore to look on those as Idolaters; who, agreeable to the opinion of several ancients, think the knowledge of our wants and our prayers may be communicated to the Martyrs by a revelation from God, or by the ministry of Angels. Such, he says in another place[606], as think it idolatry to address, the Martyrs, that they may pray for us, accuse St. Chrysostom, and the other holy Doctors of the Greek and Latin Church, of a horrible crime. For my part, I dare not do this; neither would I blame those who abstain from praying to the Saints. I have also said that true Relics of true Martyrs deserve to be respected."

In fine, in his Votum pro pace[607], he proves by a long series of passages from the Fathers, that the invocation of saints was used by the ancient Church, and therefore cannot be treated as idolatry; that there is no law in the Gospel against the use of Images in Churches, that it cannot be said they are forbid by the law of nature, and that in the times of St. Ambrose and St. Augustine the relics of Martyrs were honoured in the Church. He defends in several places Praying for the Dead, which was practised in all the Churches of the East, as well as of the West[608]: he proves that the ancient Church prayed for the Dead, and that St. Augustine[609] regarded the opposers of this practice as heretics. He maintains[610] that every ancient liturgy has prayers for the Dead, and that as Tertullian relates, they were used in all the Churches in his time. He asserts[611], that the Jews knew and admitted of a Purgatory. One of the articles which made most noise in the beginning of the grand Schism in the sixteenth Century was that of justification, Grotius declares[612], that the more he examined the Scriptures, the greater agreement he discovered between them and the tradition of the Roman Church concerning justification. He was persuaded that it had the same idea of the Catholic Church mentioned in the Creed, as the ancients entertained. He would have men submit to the decisions of general councils[613]; and maintains that a pious and peaceable man ought not to contradict them when their decrees are received by almost all the Churches, especially those which were founded by the Apostles. He means no doubt the Council of Trent.

Grotius must have supposed that the Church could not err, when he wrote[614], "The Bishops of Rome may be in an error, but they cannot long remain, in it, if they adhere to the universal Church." He was persuaded that we run no danger in embracing a doctrine taught by the Greek and Latin Churches[615]: "For, says he, the points in which these two Churches agree have been decided by the Apostles or by general Councils." He maintains that expressions tho' new, ought to be received in Theology[616], when they are supported by the authority of General Councils. This was in opposition to the Protestants, who maintained that the term transubstantiation ought to be rejected on account of its novelty. He is positive that such as depart from what was practised by the whole Church, and confirmed by Councils[617], are guilty of a most insolent folly, as St. Augustine said. He acknowledged the utility of tradition. Had he lived in the time of the Apostles he would have believed, he tells us, what they said, as well as what they wrote[618]. He was persuaded that the goodness of God[619] had not permitted the doctrine of the universal Church to be corrupted, though the manners of the Pastors of the Church might be reprehensible. He entertained the same opinion, he tells us[620], concerning the authority of the Fathers as the illustrious Father Petavius in the Prolegomena prefixed to his most useful body of Divinity.

The works of the Apostolical Fathers were, next to the Scriptures, Grotius's favourite study. When he heard that the Epistle of St. Clement, which had been long lost to the world, was published in England by Junius[621], from a Manuscript brought from Egypt, and written about the time of the Council of Nice, he expressed his satisfaction to Descordes[622], in a letter from Hamburg, dated June 1, 1633. "You gave me great pleasure by informing me of the discovery of the Epistle of St. Clement of Rome. No pains should be spared to recover those Fragments, which partake much of the nature of the apostolical Writings: and they ought not to be wholly rejected on account of interpolations: we must do with them as with metals, separate the dross from the pure metal. Would to God that Father Sirmond, or some one of his society like him, would give us the Epistle of Barnabas, from which there are some quotations in Clement of Alexandria. I remember to have heard Father Sirmond himself say that the Jesuits have this letter."

St. Clement's Epistle was not sent to Grotius till after his departure from Hamburg, and arrival at Francfort[623]. He examined it immediately, and wrote his thoughts of it, July 17, to the famous Jerom Bignon, Advocate-General: After reading it over and over, he remained satisfied that it was the same which Photius had seen, and which St. Jerom, Clement of Alexandria, and before them St. Irenæus, had; and which was written in the end of Nero's reign, or some years before that of Vespasian; and that it was most authentic, without the least interpolation. As to the second Epistle, ascribed to St. Clement, he did not think it written by that Pope: but at the same time did not question its being a work of the first Century. Grotius agrees in this with the most learned Critics even among the Roman Catholics[624].

He obtained a sight of St. Barnabas's[625] Epistle, of which he was so desirous; but he had not the satisfaction to see it printed. Usher undertook to publish it in 1643; but before it was finished a fire consumed at Oxford what was already printed[626]. Two years after, Father Menard's edition appeared: but this was the year of Grotius's death. To return to his opinion concerning the points controverted between the Roman Catholics and Protestants: he speaks with great contempt of the inadmissibility[627] of grace. His treatise Of faith and works is written against this error. He maintains that it is the most pernicious system that can be introduced; that it is not to be found in any of the Fathers; and was not so much as tolerated in ancient times.

He proves that fasting was very early observed in the Church, as we may be convinced by reading St. Irenæus[628]; that Lent was always observed by the ancient Church; that the sign of the Cross has something respectable in it, and was used in the first ages, as Tertullian, and others after him, observe; that Virginity[629] is a more perfect state than marriage, as the Fathers taught; that the Romish Church preserved the ancient discipline of the Western Church with regard to the celibacy of the Priests; that Jesus Christ himself taught[630] that such as lived in celibacy were more proper for the ecclesiastical functions; that the African Church agreed in this point with that of Rome; and that, besides, the Romish Church did not refuse to communicate with Churches which permitted Priests to marry. Of all the religious orders he approved most of the congregation of the Fathers of the Oratory, and the institution of the Jesuits, because the first retired when they pleased; and the others might leave the society with permission of their Superiors.

In fine, he speaks of the Council of Trent with great respect. "Those, he says[631], who shall read its Decrees with a mind disposed to peace, will find that every thing is wisely explained in them, and agreeable to what is taught by the Scriptures and the ancient Fathers, as may be seen by the passages cited in the margin."

Such as were displeased with these pacific sentiments, objected to him that he had formerly thought otherwise. Laurentius wrote a piece on this subject, which is mentioned by Grotius in a letter to his brother[632], "Laurentius, says he, objects to me that what I have formerly written contradicts my later works: however, if they be examined by the true rules of criticism, no such contradiction will be found. Farther, if, as I have advanced in years, conversation with able men, and a more perfect examination, have made me change my sentiments, I ought not on that account to be accused of inconstancy, no more than St. Augustin, who retracted many things." He again touches on this point in his Votum pro pace[633]. "If in my youth, says he, having less knowledge than now, the prejudices of education, or a blind attachment to authors of same, carried me too great lengths, shall I not be permitted at present, when I am old, to adopt more reasonable sentiments, after long enquiry and a renunciation of all party spirit?"

It is not surprising that after such a declaration the zealous Clergy sought to render him odious. They printed a book against him, under the title of Grotius papista[634]. It is certain that he gave the preference to the Roman Catholic religion above all the others, and it has even been reported that he promised to M. Bignon, before leaving Paris, to declare himself openly a Roman Catholic[635]. It has also been said that M. Arnaud asserted, that he was informed by a man of honour, who had it from M. Bignon, that Grotius, on setting out for Sweden, declared to this last Gentleman, that as soon as he came back he would make profession of the Roman Catholic Religion. The Jesuits have published a Flemish book under the title of the Testament of Grotius[636], in which they advance that he was ready to turn Roman Catholic: the Author of Vindiciæ Grotianæ has pretended to confute this assertion by some passages in Grotius's earlier works: but his reasoning must appear absurd, since it was only in the latter part of his life that he preferred the Romish Religion. A Protestant, who could not deny that Grotius gave the preference to the Roman Catholic religion, has ventured to advance, that it was perhaps with a view to be made a Cardinal: this wretched conjecture is Osiander's; but besides that Grotius had a wife of whom he was very fond, he was a man incapable of embracing an opinion from motives of interest.

It is very certain that Grotius was most intimate with Father Petau, who cultivated his friendship (as this learned Jesuit tells us himself in one of his letters) in hopes of bringing him to an open profession of the Roman Catholic faith. This gave M. Varlois occasion to say, in his elogium of Father Petau[637], "What did he not do to gain over the illustrious Grotius to the Catholic Religion? He did not dislike us, he was even almost one of us, since he publicly declared his acceptance of the doctrine of the Council of Trent. One thing only was wanting to him, to resort to our Churches, which he only deferred till he could bring many with him to the unity of the Catholic faith." Father Briet says much the same in his Annals of the World for the year 1645. "This year died Hugo Grotius, the honour and glory of men of learning: his intention was to die a Catholic, but he wanted time; for, as he assured me, he believed as we do."

We read in the Menagiana[638], that when Grotius's death was known at Paris, Father Petau, persuaded that he was a Catholic at heart, said mass for his soul: it was even reported at that time, if we may believe the compiler of those Anecdotes, that Grotius wanted to declare himself before his journey to Sweden, but was advised by Father Petau to go there first, and return afterwards to Paris to settle, and fulfil his resolution. It is improbable that such a zealous Catholic as Father Petau would advise Grotius to defer for a moment the edification of all the Catholics by his return to the Church; but it is certain that Father Petau said mass for his friend. The tradition of this fact is preferred among the Jesuits, and there are people of credit alive who remember to have heard it affirmed for certain by Father Harduin and M. Huet Bishop of Avranches[639].

As Grotius's religion was a problem to many, Menage wrote an Epigram on this occasion, the sense of which is, that as many different sects claimed his religion, as there were towns which contended for the birth of Homer:

Smyrna, Rhodes, Colophon, Salamis, Argos, Athenæ,
Siderei certant vatis de patriâ Homeri:
Grotiadæ certant de religione Socinus,
Arrius, Arminius, Calvinus, Roma, Lutherus.

[602] Ep. 966. p. 434.

[603] Ep. 489. p. 894.

[604] Ep. 622. p. 943.

[605] Via ad pacem, p. 623, art. xx.

[606] Animad. in animad. ad. ar. 19. p. 645.

[607] P. 705.

[608] Via ad pacem, p. 626.

[609] Votum pro pace, p. 916.

[610] Animad. in animad. p. 646.

[611] Via ad pacem, p. 626. Animad. in anim. p. 646

[612] Ep. 622. p. 943.

[613] Votum pro pace, p. 727.

[614] Ep. 613. p. 940.

[615] Ep. 668. p. 957.

[616] Via ad pacem art. 1. p. 615.

[617] Art. 7. p. 617.

[618] Via ad pacem, p. 628. Anim. in anim. p. 647. Votum pro pace, p. 724.

[619] Anim. in anim. p. 642.

[620] Votum pro pace, p. 681.

[621] Tillem. t. 2. p. 158.

[622] Ep. 318. p. 113.

[623] Ep. 357. p. 124.

[624] Tillemont, t. 2. n. 13. p. 567.

[625] Ep. 391. p. 866.

[626] Fabric. Bib. Græc. l. 4. p. 174. tom. 3.

[627] Commen. ad loca de Antichrist. Anim. in anim. p. 649.

[628] Commen. ad loca de Antichrist. Via ad pacem, p. 617.

[629] Votum pro pace, p. 750.

[630] Matt. xix. 12. 1 Cor. vii.

[631] Votum pro pace, p. 682.

[632] Ep. 647. p. 951.

[633] P. 702.

[634] Ep. 615. p. 944.

[635] Sent. des Theolog. de Hollande, p. 393. Menagiana, t. 2. p. 298.

[636] Vin. Grot. p. 506.

[637] Vin. Grot. p. 505.

[638] Tom. 4. p. 180.

[639] See Vie du P. Petau, Niceron, t. 37. p. 159.

XXIII. That which contributed to the removal of Grotius's prejudices against the Catholic Church was undoubtedly the project he had formed of reconciling all the different parties which divide Christendom. He saw well the necessity of having the Catholics on his side; and he flattered himself that having gained them, he would easily bring over the rest. M. Huet did not think such a project absolutely chimerical[640]: "The religious differences, says he, which have long disturbed the peace of Christians, are not impossible to be accommodated. If the parties would set about it sincerely, without obstinacy or private interest, they would soon find ways of accommodation; but some of all parties are so warm, that they censure such of their own party as seek to accommodate differences, with no less severity than they do their adversaries. With what presumptuous rigour did Rivetus the Minister treat Grotius for proposing the means of peace? Grotius, in a modest answer, humbles his pride without naming him; humorously pointing him out by that title taken from Catullus[641], Adversus quemdam opaca quem facit bonum barba."

M. Bayle differed from M. Huet concerning the attempt to unite the different religions: he thinks it as great a chimera as the Philosophers stone, or the quadrature of the circle. The truth is, to hope for success in such a project, one must suppose in all men a sincere love of truth, and a readiness to renounce their prejudices, good understandings, and upright hearts.

In this undertaking one essential thing, which must not be forgot, is, that if the Catholic Church, by a condescendance worthy of her charity and her desire that all men should come to the knowledge of the truth, should remit some point of her discipline, she cannot shew this indulgence with regard to any tenet condemned by the Council of Trent, without betraying her principles: there is therefore only one way of reunion, namely, that those who separated from the Catholic Church acknowledge that they have no argument that can justify their schism, and humbly praying to be received into the bosom of their mother, seek to obtain this favour by sacrificing their errors.

It was very common in the last age for men to busy themselves in finding out ways of reconciliation between the Protestants and Roman Catholics: the Reformed set about it; and I cannot forbear relating here the extravagance of Cregutius, Minister of Montelemar, who in a small treatise, which I have in Manuscript, on the question, Whether an union with the Romish Church is to be hoped for or not? decides it in the affirmative, provided (says he) the Church of Rome begin with renouncing the doctrine of transubstantiation: of which he doth not despair. Grotius with more good sense laboured from his youth in the grand project of reconciling all the parties into which Christians are divided. His good intentions were known to Europe before his escape from Louvestein: Du Vair, Keeper of the Seals, complimented him on his design. "God, says he, has ordered it so that you should owe your deliverance entirely to him, to the end that being delivered from worldly distractions, you may employ the rare talents with which he has entrusted you, in promoting that work which is no doubt most agreeable to him, namely the common peace of Christendom by a reunion of all the members which have separated from their spiritual mother, in whom they or their fathers were conceived. And for as much as it is the thing which many men of honour expect[642] from you, I cannot forbear rejoicing with them, and accelerating by my applause such a happy course." Grotius's answer confirmed the Keeper of the Seals in the idea he had entertained. "God is my witness, says he, how much I am afflicted when I compare the first ages of the Church with our unhappy times, in which the people, differing in articles of faith, have divided into factions, and thereby given occasion to wars of which even the nations of the heathen would have been ashamed. There are doubtless many good men, who grieve to see such a great evil; and, preserving charity for all Christians, ardently desire to see union restored; and are disposed to procure this great blessing by following the Apostle's counsel, to bear with the infirmities of others, and extend their patience and candour to their utmost length: but those rigid notions, which a party spirit has instilled into many, is a great obstacle to the obtaining of this happiness. May God pour out a spirit of charity and meekness on the heads of the Church, on Kings and Potentates, that, surmounting every difficulty, they may without delay restore to the Church her primitive beauty, and above all a solid peace, without prejudice to truth. Many thousands, of whom I am one, pray without ceasing for the execution of this pious design, and desire nothing more than to be employed in it."

Filled with this idea, he proposed to Lewis XIII, in his dedication Of the Rights of War and Peace, to compose the differences of the Churches, and direct the age in which he lived how to terminate them in conformity to the sentiments of that time, when all allow that Christianity was in its purity. He imagined the alliance between France and England would facilitate the execution of a project worthy of such mighty Kings: he had it so much at heart, that he thought himself destined to labour in it from his mother's womb[643]. "It is a vocation, says he to his brother, which God has given me.—I have many witnesses, he writes to Duræus[644], who knew me in my native country, and can attest not only how much I have desired, but also how much I have laboured to lessen the disputes among Christians, in order to promote gradually the restoration of unity. I might even appeal to yourself, in relation to what has since been done both in Germany and Sweden.—I shall never cease, he says to his brother[645], my utmost endeavours for establishing peace among Christians; and if I should not succeed, it will be honourable to die in such a pious enterprize."

He had the consolation to be seconded in his pacific projects by Duræus, a Clergyman in Sweden, with whom he cultivated a correspondence for advancing the coalition of Christians[646]. "What you labour in with so much zeal is precisely what I have been employed about since I began to have any relish for divine things. Experience teaches me how many difficulties we must expect both from Statesmen and Divines bigotted to their own opinions, and averse to those of others: but all these obstacles ought not to prevent our undertaking such a good work: if we do not succeed, we shall at least enjoy the satisfaction of having entertained very sublime ideas. For my part, as I have done it already, so I shall still continue to recommend to the High Chancellor your piety, your learning, your good intentions, and your zeal, to which I ardently wish success; and the accounts of your progress from time to time will give me the greatest pleasure.—Duræus's enterprize is attended with particular difficulties at this time, he writes to Berneggerus[647]: but things as difficult have often had a happy issue: besides, it affords much satisfaction to a man's conscience to have attempted what is highly useful, even though he should fail of success."

Duræus meeting with great obstacles, Grotius consoles him on that head, in a letter of the 21st of November, 1637. "What gives me hopes, he says, is your constancy, and the countenance of the High Chancellor. I have conferred on this subject with the two English Ambassadors, the Earl of Leicester and Lord Scudamore: they are of my opinion, that the present time, while Europe is engaged in war, is not favourable for convoking a general assembly of Protestants."

Duræus's project regarding only a union among Protestants, Daillé and the ablest men among the reformed Ministers approved of it, with some limitations: there was, however, little prospect of success[648] on account of the intollerant spirit of some turbulent Ministers, such as Voetius.

Grotius had much higher views; he proposed nothing less[649] than to reunite all Christians: in this, he said, he would not cease to labour; and, that it would yield him pleasure to die so well employed[650]; that he gave himself little pain about the hatred he might incur, for if men gave way to this fear, never any vice would be corrected.

What encouraged him farther, in this idea, was the number of great men who entertained it before him. "I am not the only one who hath conceived this project, he writes to his brother[651]: Erasmus, Cassander, Vecelius, and Casaubon had the same design. La Miletiere is employed at present in it: Cardinal Richelieu declares that he will protect the coalition; and he is such a happy man that he never undertook any thing in which he did not succeed: and even if there were no hopes of success at present, ought we not to sow the seed which may be useful to posterity[652]? Even if we should only diminish the mutual hatred among Christians, and render them more sociable, would not this be worth purchasing at the price of some labour and reproaches?"

Arminius may likewise be numbered with those who were desirous of reuniting Christians[653]. The method he proposed was to distinguish fundamental points from such as were not, and leave men at liberty to believe or disbelieve the latter. He communicated his project to Casaubon, who highly approved it: but how shall men settle what articles are fundamental? This question is a source of endless disputes. Besides, they must be able to answer the Roman Catholic Divines, who, building on the doctrine that has been always taught, justly pretend that whatever has been decided to be part of that doctrine ought to be regarded as fundamental. Men could not help approving Grotius's intention; but even those, by whom he was held in the greatest esteem, had no confidence in the success of his project. This made him write to Baron Oxenstiern on the subject[654]. "Even if religious differences, he says, had not given occasion to bloody wars, I should still think it the duty of Christians to restore the unity; since, as the Apostle of the Gentiles tells us, we ought to be all members of one body. But even those, who say they desire it, doubt whether the thing be practicable. I know well that all schism, the further it has extended, and the longer it has lasted, will be more difficult to heal; so many being employed to throw oil on the flames: however, there are examples of inveterate evils that have been cured in the Church. After the Council of Chalcedon there was a very great schism in the East, which continued an hundred years till the reign of Justinian, by whose authority, Pope Vigilius listening at last to terms of peace, an end was put to it. Charles V, Ferdinand, and Maximilian thought that the schism between the Roman Catholics and the Protestants of the Augsbourg confession was not incurable. Melancton and other learned men, whose writings are still extant, were of the same opinion. I have heard from great men, that Henry IV. of France said that he would undertake to obtain, for the King of England and his Protestant allies, such conditions of returning to the unity of the Church, as they could not handsomely refuse; and that he purposed to send some of his Bishops into England to confer on this subject with the Prelates of that kingdom: but this project, which had been concerted with several great men, was defeated by the King's death. I believe the chief difference between the tenets of the Augsbourg confession and those of the Council of Trent lies in the ambiguity of some expressions, which are understood differently; but may be explained, by men of understanding and friends to peace, in such manner, that no difference will remain but in those things which may be left to the free discussions of the Learned, without any injury to the peace of the Church. It is evident, from the examples of the Maronites and Greeks, that those who communicate in both kinds, and use a liturgy different from that of the Romish Church, provided it be susceptible of a Catholic sense, even were it in the vulgar tongue, may be received into the communion of the Apostolical See; and likewise those Churches which allow the Priests to marry. What has been done in Sweden and elsewhere, for the reformation of discipline, by suppressing simony and superstition, ought not only to be retained; but there is room to hope that when unity is restored other nations will follow this example, there being many among them who ardently desire, that the abuses which have crept in may be removed according to the ancient Canons. It is very difficult to render the supremacy of the Bishop of Rome useful, or at least not hurtful to the Church: but if one considers, that the Kings and Bishops of the Romish religion are as much concerned in this matter, as the Protestants, and reflects on the precautions taken in it by France and Spain, he will not despair of finding expedients for securing the authority of Kings, their right in the election of Bishops and the prerogatives of the Primates, Archbishops, and Bishops, agreeable to the Canons and the ancient Church discipline. If the Christian world could have rest from war, the Kings of the Romish communion, who are favourably disposed towards the Protestants, might prepare matters at Rome in such manner as to give hope of a happy issue. I grant that these things are attended with difficulties; but so is every great, and useful, and glorious undertaking; and in such a salutary work we may confide in the Almighty's aid."

After this manner did Grotius write to the Swedish Plenipotentiary, in the end of the year 1614, handling with greater delicacy, as he wrote to Protestants, the nice article of the Pope's Supremacy, in favour of which he had spoken more strongly in the pieces he had just published.

We learn from his first letters, that he communicated his pacific ideas to his father, and that he was early sensible of the great difficulties attending a reunion. He writes to his brother, Oct. 27, 1623[655], "What my father writes, of restoring things to the condition they were in before the Council of Trent, would be a great step; but transubstantiation, and the adoration ordained by the Lateran Council, and the invocation of Saints, which is received in all the liturgies, will be great stumbling-blocks to tender consciences."

Some years after, he imagined that the shortest way to a coalition of Christians would be to reduce the articles of faith to a small number. "It were well, says he[656], if Christians would reflect how few the points are, and how clearly expressed in Scripture, which constitute the Rule of Faith laid down by St. Irenæus and Tertullian; and as it is not allowed to doubt of these, the liberty left to men in others might contribute to the peace of the Church."

Afterwards he went much farther. "I could wish, he says to his brother[657], Nov. 14. 1643, that Utengobard, when his health will permit, would write something, if he has not done it already, on the necessity of restoring the unity of the Church; and by what means it may be done. Many think that the true way would be to distinguish between what is necessary, and what is not; and to leave men at full liberty in the latter: but it is as difficult to know what is necessary, as to know what is true. The Scriptures, they say, are the rule: but interpreters vary on the passages referred to. I know not, therefore, whether it would not be best to adhere to the sentiments of the Catholic Church concerning faith and good works: for I think they hold all that is necessary to be believed in order to salvation. As to other articles which have been determined by Councils, or received by the first Christians, we must adopt the moderate interpretation, and such we shall find on every point. If any one cannot prevail with himself to be silent in relation to things, of which he has no certainty, but will disturb the unity of the Church, instead of labouring to restore it, matters will proceed from bad to worse."

Sometimes Grotius imagined he should succeed. Nov. 23, 1641, he writes to Gerard Vossius[658], that Codurus, Justellus, and Melitiere, three of the most learned Protestants, had thanked him for what he had written on the Consultation of Cassander. "I perceive, says he to his brother, by conversing with the men of most learning among the Reformed, and explaining my sentiments to them, that they are of my opinion: their number will increase if my treatises are dispersed; in which, I can truly affirm, I have said nothing from a party spirit, but followed truth as closely as I could."

He writes to his father[659], that he was not without hopes of some good effect from his incessant labours to restore peace to Christendom. "That day will at length shine forth, of which we now perceive the dawn: for many great, pious, and learned men, of both parties, begin to see how unreasonable it is to neglect the reformation of manners while we are framing new tenets, and censuring old ones, which require only a good comment. This excellent design I recommend to your prayers; it was you gave me the first hint of it."

He writes to his brother[660], June 15, 1641, "I have received a visit from some Catholic Counsellors of State, and Codurus the clergyman, who expect the coalition will quickly take place, and pay great regard to my opinion. May the God of peace direct the whole to the advancement of truth and piety."

He received the agreeable account, that the pieces he had written to promote the coalition were approved of in Denmark, Sweden, England, Germany, and Poland.

He imagined several Catholics entered into his views. Divers doctors of the Sorbonne, he said[661], thanked him for the remarks he wrote on the Consultation of Cassander. "The ablest men among the Catholics think what I have done, he tells his brother[662], is written with great freedom and moderation, and approve of it."

"We ought not, he says in another letter[663], to regard only the present age, but posterity also: yet I find some people who think they shall live to see the union restored."

He imagined his manner of handling the controversy was approved of by the ablest men of the Romish Communion, and even at Rome because there were most great men in that city.

For some time he entertained hopes that Cardinal Richelieu would favour him: Jan. 19, 1641, he writes thus to his brother[664]: "When my book is published, many Protestants will see that the reconciliation of the Churches is easier than they imagined: for the principal basis of the Reformation may subsist with the Pope's consent, provided the affair be managed with mildness and without giving him offence. I write this on good grounds: Cardinal Richelieu thinks the thing will succeed: he has said so to several."

Grotius had either been misinformed, or the Cardinal changed his language: for the former writes to his brother[665], March 24, 1642, "As Cardinal Richelieu speaks differently from what he did some time ago about the peace of the churches, I am afraid this change conceals some ill design against the Reformed."

Grotius, finding at length that the project of a coalition was impracticable without the approbation of the Catholics, contracted an intimacy with Father Petau, to whom he communicated all his works relating to religion and the reconciliation of the churches. In a letter of the 3d of December, 1640, he desires him to send him his remarks on his works, "That, says he, by your assistance I may add, suppress, or correct, as shall be most necessary for promoting truth and peace. Would to God that I had as much genius and learning as some others: I would accomplish what it is great barely to attempt."

He communicated to Father Petau the manuscript of his answer to Rivetus[666], desiring him to point out what was not agreeable to truth, or had not a tendency to promote peace. "I am resolved, says he, to publish my answer as soon as I have your opinion, to which I pay great regard."

Father Petau gives us the history of his acquaintance with Grotius, in his XIIth letter[667]. "I had, says he, a great desire to see and converse with him; we have been long together, and very intimate. He is, as far as I can judge, a good man, and of great candour. I do not think him far from becoming a Catholic, after, the example of Holstenius, as you hoped: I shall neglect nothing in my power to reconcile him to Christ, and put him in the way of salvation."

Father Petau mentions him again in another letter, written to Cardinal Francis Barberinus[668]. His Eminence had applied to that learned Jesuit for information in what state Grotius had left, at his death, his work on the Antiquities of Sweden. Father Petau makes him this answer. "I had some connection with Hugo Grotius, and I wish I could say he is now happy. Our love to learning began our acquaintance, which I kept up in hopes of being useful to him. Accordingly I saw him often, and he also visited me, and wrote to me frequently." He concludes with assuring the Cardinal, that he would enquire of his widow about his work relating to Sweden.

Grotius's several attempts to restore the peace of Christendom made him be looked upon as a good man by pacific people; but they occasioned him much uneasiness from those, who, being obstinately attached to the opinions of the first Reformers, regarded all that kept any measures with the Romish Church as Apostates. He laid his account with contradictions. Feb. 23, 1641, he writes to Israel Caski[669], "Those who had the same design that I have were generally evil-treated by both parties, and met with the fate of such as would separate combatants: but the God of peace will judge them with justice. They have also on their side pious and learned men, whose merit outweighs the number of the others.—I believe, says he to his brother[670], my Remarks on Cassander will please few, because there are not many skilled in the Scriptures and Antiquity: most people are bigotted to their opinions. I except against such Judges; I regard them not; nor have I any desire to know what they say. I have granted nothing to the Roman Catholics, but what antiquity gives them." The zealous Clergy, not content with writing against him themselves, every where stirred him up enemies: he speaks in his letters[671] of one Seyffectus of Ulm, who, instigated by Rivetus and others of that party, wrote against him.

Several learned men, who had the highest esteem and the most perfect friendship for Grotius, conceived a violent hatred to him on seeing him lean towards the Catholics. He had been extremely intimate with Salmasius: he had received letters from him filled with the most expressive testimonies of friendship[672]; and Grotius had informed him of the happy change of his fortune, because he looked upon him as one of his best friends: they had long kept up a learned correspondence by letters, in which we find a reciprocal esteem and the greatest politeness; but when Grotius set up for a Mediator, Salmasius publicly declared, that he disapproved of the way of reconciliation proposed by Grotius[673]; and from that time his friendship changed into bitter enmity.

Sarrau, Counsellor in the parliament of Rouen, who had been one of Grotius's best friends, as we may see by the letters that passed between them, withdrew his friendship when he thought him in the interest of the Romish Church. May 31, 1641, he writes[674], "What is reported for certain, that Grotius is gone over to the Popish party, is not true: but with great concern we see him every day employed in something very like it: he will not suffer us to rank him in any class of Protestants whatever, because he has used them all too ill in his Treatises on Antichrist and the Consultation of Cassander."

Sarrau also writes to Salmasius[675], that it was publicly said these projects of reconciliation had set the High Chancellor and several other Lords against Grotius. He flattered himself, however[676], that Sarrau approved of his project: for he writes to his brother, William Grotius, "Among some others of the Reformed, Sarrau, who was a Counsellor in the parliament of Rouen, and is at present in that of Paris, praises my design." But it is probable that Grotius took compliments for realities. It is certain that Grotius's schemes displeased Sarrau, and that there was a coldness between them, for the latter writes thus to Salmasius, Feb. 10, 1644[677], "I am not reconciled to the Swedish Ambassador: if I had an inclination to it I believe it might easily be done. The alteration in our friendship does not proceed from my fault, but solely from his plan of pacification, which I do not approve. I esteem him highly, on account of the great services he has done to learning; and shall even never cease to love him: but, far from commending or approving his late pieces, I am greatly dissatisfied with them: however, I would not have the many excellent things he has done slighted on that account. Every one acknowledges you to be the first man in the republic of letters; but it cannot be denied that he holds the second rank. You have no superior, nor even any equal; suffer him to be after you the first."

The celebrated Schurman, whose extensive knowledge had at that time gained her a very high reputation, signifies to Rivetus, Jan. 20, 1643[678], the general discontent of the greater number of the Reformed against Grotius. "Hitherto, says she, every one had a high idea of Grotius's genius and erudition. But since he departed from sound reason, changed the object of his studies, and insulted by gross invectives the whole body of Protestants, and the principal authors of the reformation, everyone seeks for Grotius in Grotius. Nothing can be more ridiculous or foolish than to see a man, who neither agrees with others, nor with himself, as you have well shewn, undertake, without our desire or consent, to reconcile us with the Roman Catholics, and positively decide that we may, and that we ought to come into his views."

Ruarus[679] had predicted to Grotius himself, that he would reap no other fruit of his labours, than the hatred of both parties: but he was at the same time persuaded that no worldly interest entered into Grotius's views, more honest in this respect than the zealous protestant clergy, who were ready to adopt the most gross and groundless calumnies, provided they were levelled against Grotius.

So much contradiction chagrined him greatly, and altered his temper[680]: by seeking to establish peace among men, he lost the tranquility of his own mind, which he had preserved in his deepest adversity. It is said he became suspicious, and peevish, and lost that politeness towards his friends, which had so advantageously distinguished him from other men of learning. It is even reported (but by one of his enemies, indeed) that one day he abused M. du Puis in his [Grotius's] own house, and turned him out of doors, for presuming to contradict him[681]. Yet it is evident from his letters, that he was most intimate with the two illustrious brothers, Mess. du Puis, and was under high obligations to them. "You have always been my best friends (he writes to them, Nov. 19, 1633[682]) and almost my only ones since Rigaut went to Metz, Salmasius to Leyden, and Tilenus died."

A letter to his brother[683], Nov. 1, 1641, clearly shews the change of his temper. Blondius having used Reigersberg, Grotius's friend and relation, very ill, he writes to his brother William: "If Blondius should speak to you, tell him I have a son here, who will send him a challenge, for affronting the Senator Reigersberg." This menace, which seemed to be an approbation of duelling, much surprised William Grotius, who had read in the Rights of War and Peace[684], that this doctrine was clearly condemned by the gospel. Grotius proves in another part of the same book, "That honour being nothing but the opinion we have of our distinguishing qualities, he who bears with a slight injury, thereby discovers a patience above the common; and thus, instead of lessening his honour, adds to it; and that if some people, from a wrong judgment, bestow improper epithets on this virtue and turn it into ridicule; these wrong judgments change not the nature of the thing, nor lessen its real value. This has not only been acknowledged by the first Christians, but by the ancient Philosophers, who, as we have elsewhere shewn, ascribed an impatient resentment of insults to meanness of soul. Should any one even publish things capable of hurting us with good men, that will not authorise us to kill him. If there are authors who maintain the contrary, it is an erroneous opinion which clasheth even with the principles of natural law: for killing the person who attacks our reputation is a bad way of defending it." Thus Grotius thought in his best days. We have enlarged on this head, to shew into what contradiction, and excess of weakness, great men may fall. William Grotius was no doubt astonished at his brother's vivacity, and probably gave him some check for it; for Grotius afterwards writes to him, "What I wrote to you, relating to my son and Blondius, I did it not because I approved of such things, but because that or something worse might happen."


[640] Huetiana, S. 16. p. 46.

[641] M. Huet is mistaken: it was not Rivetus whom Grotius meant by this verse of Catullus, but Laet.

[642] See Votum pro pace, p. 744.

[643] Ep. 534. A matris visceribus.

[644] Ep. 1471. p. 666.

[645] Ep 383. p. 804.

[646] Ep. 801. p. 357.

[647] Ep. 835. p 367.

[648] Ep. 411. p. 871.

[649] Ep. 477. p. 890.

[650] Ep. 487. p. 894.

[651] Ep. 491. p. 895. & 1478. p. 668.

[652] Ep. 494. p. 896.

[653] Ep. præs. vir. p. 251.

[654] Ep. 1706. p. 736.

[655] Ep. 60. p. 772.

[656] Ep. 444. p. 165.

[657] Ep. 678. p. 960.

[658] Ep. 1538. p. 696. & 573. p. 926.

[659] Ep. 496. p. 897.

[660] Ep. 551. p. 922.

[661] Ep. 1533. p. 696.

[662] Ep. 528. p. 400.

[663] Ep. 610. p. 938.

[664] Ep. 530. p. 911.

[665] Ep. 592. p. 934.

[666] Ep. 1569. p. 708. See also Ep. 1576. p. 710.

[667] P. 284.

[668] L. 3. ep. 9. p. 278.

[669] Ep. 1478. p. 668.

[670] Ep. 595. p. 929.

[671] Ep. 637. p. 948.

[672] Ep. 260. p. 88. Ep. 265. p. 99. & 368. p. 134.

[673] Ep. 525. p. 908.

[674] Ep. 42. p. 41.

[675] Ep. 83. p. 84.

[676] Ep. 579. p. 930.

[677] Ep. 111. p. 110.

[678] Ep. p. 203.

[679] Cent. 2. p. 448.

[680] See a letter from Henry Villeneuve, p. 345, after the treatise Of the truth of the Christian religion, by M. Le Clerc.

[681] Osiander. Vind. Grot. p. 464.

[682] Ep. 333. p. 119.

[683] Ep. 572. p. 928.

[684] L. 2. c. 1.

XXIV. The hatred, which his projects of reconciliation drew upon him, contributed to the revival of the invidious accusation of Socinianism, which had been formerly laid against him: they founded it on his silence concerning the Trinity in his treatise Of the truth of the Christian religion, on his praises of Crellius, his connection with the Socinians, and, in fine, on his setting aside, or weakening several passages which established Christ's divinity, particularly that in which it is said, that Christ was before Abraham; Grotius explaining it with the Socinians of Christ's existence in the eternal decrees of God.

It was not only his declared enemies, such as Desmarets, Osiander, and many others, that wanted to make him pass for a Socinian: some celebrated Roman Catholics, among whom we may number M. Bossuet, maintained that he was a favourer of Socinianism.

It is true he did not always express himself with the greatest exactness, and sometimes enlarged more on the necessity of good works, than on that of regulating our faith according to the decisions of the Church[685]: but besides that his expressions are susceptible of a favourable sense, it is evident that there are several tenets, the belief of which he thought necessary for salvation: this manifestly appears from the detail he enters into concerning these doctrines in his later works.

If even some mistakes have escaped him, of which the Socinians might take advantage, these will not authorise us to accuse him of being a favourer of that heresy. We know that never any carried a love to truth, or an abhorrence of falsehood, farther than he did: now he always expressed the greatest aversion to Socinianism: he writes to Gerard Vossius[686], in 1613, that there was no body of any authority in the republic, who held not Socinianism in abhorrence. He wrote against Socinus the book entitled A defence of the Catholic faith concerning Christ's satisfaction against Faustus Socinus of Siena, in which he proves that there is nothing contrary to justice in Christ's suffering, though innocent, for offenders; that even the Pagans believed that God punished the crimes of the fathers on the sons; and that, in the early ages of the world, the innocent children were often punished with the guilty fathers. In fine, he shews that the opinion of Socinus is repugnant to Scripture, which tells us that Christ's death has reconciled us to God, according to the expressions of St. Paul, that he died for us, and that by his death our sins are expiated.

He was very orthodox on the article of original sin; for, he says, the only true opinion on this matter is that of the ancient Church, which is well set forth by the Council of Trent.

The Socinians were far from thinking Grotius so favourable to them: Ruarus writes to one of his friends, "You have reason to think, that hitherto no body has written so learnedly against Socinus, as Grotius: he was always much attached to the doctrine of Christ's divinity, even in his earlier years." Grotius wrote to Walæus[687], in 1611, "I do not look upon the Samosatenians, and others, like them, as Christians, nor even as heretics; for their doctrine is repugnant to the belief of all ages, and all nations. They retain Christianity in name, but destroy it in fact. I therefore make no great difference between them and the Mahometans, who even do not revile Christ." M. Bossuet, tho' far from being prejudiced in favour of Grotius, allows however that he did not deny the divinity of Christ, nor the efficacy of his sacrifice.

In several of his letters he clears himself from the charge of Socinianism in such a manner as leaves us no room to doubt his regarding it as a very dangerous heresy. "I give myself little trouble, he writes to his brother[688], June 4, 1639, about the calumnies spread against me by the worst of men, in relation to Socinianism. They may be easily confuted before equitable judges by the writings which I have already published, and by those I shall yet publish. I have defended the sentiments of the ancient Church concerning the Trinity, Christ's satisfaction, and future punishments, by Scripture and the consent of antiquity; and have confuted the contrary opinions. Calvin might more justly be[689] accused of Arianism, than I of Socinianism." Sorbiere, who had been his Secretary; discovering a great propensity to some opinions of Socinus, Grotius earnestly admonished him[690] to abstain from such dangerous innovation.

One of the principal grounds on which they went, was, as we have already seen, his silence concerning the Trinity, in his book Of the truth of the Christian religion: but he has justified his method in such a manner, that this objection cannot be sustained by an equitable judge: he seems to have foreseen it; for, writing to his brother from his prison at Louvestein whilst he was composing this treatise in Dutch verse, "My intention, he says, is not to explain the doctrines of Christianity, but to make the profane, the Pagans, Jews, and Mahometans acknowledge the truth of the Christian religion, and afterwards have recourse to our sacred books to be informed of its tenets. The Trinity, and Christ's divinity could not be introduced into my arguments; for these doctrines will never bring over unbelievers to the Christian faith, and those who attempt to demonstrate them by other arguments than such as are drawn from scripture, absolutely lose their labour: but the authority of the scriptures being once established, these doctrines ought to be held proved." He omitted therefore all mention of these points, not because he disbelieved them, but because he judged it more proper to prove first the divinity of the sacred books, and the mission of Christ: and, as we have already observed, the same method has been followed by the most successful writers on the Truth of Christianity.

He has been much reproached with his letter to Crellius. Grotius had written against Socinus, and Crellius, to vindicate his master, answered Grotius with a politeness and good-breeding seldom found in a polemical divine. Grotius thought it his duty to reply to him, and the measures he kept with this adversary were looked on by his enemies as a betraying of the truth. Here follows the letter, which has been so much talked of. "I was so far from being offended, most learned Crellius, with your book against mine that I inwardly thanked you at that time, and now do it by this letter, first, for treating me with so much civility, that the only thing I have left to complain of is your complimenting me in some places too much: next for informing me of many very useful and entertaining things, and exciting me by your example, to examine thoroughly into the sense of the sacred scriptures: you judge very rightly of me, that I bear no ill-will to any one who differs from me, without prejudice to religion; nor decline the friendship of any good man. I have found in your book of the True Religion, which I have already gone through, and shall read again, many judicious remarks: and I congratulate the present age, that there are men in it who make religion consist, not so much in subtle controversies as in amendment of life and a continual progress in holiness. God grant that my writings may produce these sentiments in the minds of my readers: I should then think my life not spent in vain. The treatise on the truth of the Christian religion I wrote more for my own satisfaction, than for the instruction of others. I don't see how it can be useful, after so many other works on the same subject, but by its brevity. If there be any thing in it that pleases you, or such as you, it is a happiness beyond my expectation. My great aim, in the Rights of War and Peace, was to suppress, as much as was in my power, that savage barbarity unworthy not only of a Christian, but of a man, which, to the misfortune of nations, is now too common, of beginning and carrying on wars by caprice. I hear with pleasure that this work has got into the hands of Princes: God grant they may retain what is good in it; for that would be the most agreeable fruit I could reap from my labour. If ever any occasion should offer of serving you, of your friends, be assured that I shall be ready to give you proofs of my high esteem. Since I can do no more, I sincerely pray that God would protect you, and those who promote religion."

There is another letter from Grotius to Crellius, which has made much noise. After thanking him for a book he had sent him, he adds, "I am resolved to read your works again and again with care, having already reaped much benefit from them. I have always loved peace, and love it still; and am grieved to see so much enmity between those, who call themselves Christians, for such trifling matters[691]."

Crellius having shewn these letters to several, the Socinians and Grotius's enemies spread a report, that he favoured Socinianism: even extracts of these letters were printed. He protested against the abuse made of them, and maintained[692] that if people would candidly read his works, they would easily be convinced of the injustice of ranking him with Socinians.

It is certain, that, notwithstanding the terms which he makes use of in writing to Crellius, he did not at bottom approve of his book: he writes thus in confidence to his brother[693], "I have read Crellius's book: he writes with candour, and doth not want learning; but I cannot see how he will promote religion by departing from the Scripture manner of speaking authorised by antiquity."

"If I have not answered Crellius, he says in another letter[694], it was for prudential reasons, and even by the advice of the Protestants of France, who think that the questions being unknown in this country, ought not to be made public by a confutation. It is easy to refute them with glory, though every one is not capable of it: but, it is still better that they should remain unknown." He speaks, in the same letter, of Socinus as a man very little versed in the sentiments of antiquity, and whose errors he had confuted in many of his works. "Must I also excuse myself, he asks, for not shutting my door against Martinus Ruarus, who desired to see me? The time was not lost that I spent in conversing with him, nor am I sorry for his visit. I acquainted him with my reasons for enquiring into the opinions of the ancient Churches, and for following them: I shewed him that the doctrine of satisfaction was no ways contrary to reason, even in the judgment of the Jews, and brought him some signal proofs of it. I did not conceal what violence it was to the Scripture, and of how dangerous consequence, to deny the eternity of hell torments; and I flatter myself I advanced more with him, than those would have done who abound in reproaches; nor do I see why I should abstain from writing to him, when I find the pillars of the Greek Church corresponding by letters even with Pagans. For my part, I am resolved and accustomed to preserve friendship for all men, particularly Christians, although erring; and I shall never blush at it."

He advances almost the same reasons to clear himself from the charge of Socinianism, in a long letter to Gerard Vossius[695], of which we shall make no extract to avoid repetitions.

In fine, those who knew Grotius best have defended him on this head. The celebrated Jerom Bignon, who lived in much intimacy with him, could not bear to [696]hear him accused of Socinianism: he said he knew him perfectly, and so far from being a Socinian, he had sometimes seen him almost in a disposition to turn Roman Catholic. His intimate connection with Father Petau, whose zeal for the orthodox faith was equal to his profound learning, is a clear evidences that the Jesuit did not think him a Socinian. No man was more exposed than Grotius to groundless accusations. An anonymous piece was written against him, accusing him of being a Semi-Pelagian: he did not think proper to publish a defence; but he mentions this accusation in a letter to his brother[697] of the 29th of May, 1618. "In my treatise De ordinum Hollandiæ pietate, I have mentioned Semi-Pelagianism as a very grievous error. The sentiments of the Remonstrants are very different from Semi-Pelagianism, for the Priests of Marseilles, who were called Semi-Pelagians, or the remains of the Pelagians, in speaking of the necessity of grace, denied that grace preceded good motions in the foul, at least in some men: the Remonstrants, on the contrary, maintain, that all that is spiritually good in us, even the beginning of it flows from antecedent grace. Consult the Synod of Orange, by which the Priests of Marseilles were confuted. But those that believe predestination is a consequence of prescience, or that grace is given to all men, or in fine that it may be refilled, are certainly not Semi-Pelagians."

They carried their calumnies so far, as even to accuse him of Judaism. We read in the Patiniana[698] that M. Bignon, Advocate-General, affirmed that Grotius had acknowledged, if he would change his religion, he would turn Jew. John Mallet, in his book Of Atheism[699] has not only advanced that Grotius judaised in his Commentary on the Prophets, but that if he had lived much longer he would have become a Turk.

Even the immortality of the soul, said others, he did not believe[700]: this ridiculous tale is grounded on these words of the Chevreana[701]: "Charles Lewis, Elector Palatine, formerly told me, that having asked the celebrated Grotius, whether the immortality of the soul could be demonstrated, he answered, Not well, my Lord; not well."

It is universally known that these books in Ana are of little authority. We must be informed of all the circumstances of this pretended conversation before we can determine Grotius's meaning: one thing is certain, that he has proved the immortality of the soul by arguments drawn from reason in his treatise On the Truth of the Christian Religion[702].


[685] Theological works.

[686] Ep. 20. p. 7.

[687] Ep. 14. p. 5. See also Oper. Theol. t. 3. p. 99.

[688] Ep. 556. p. 883.

[689] Ep. 502. p. 884.

[690] Ep. 1564. p. 708.

[691] These expressions afterwards gave occasion to the accusations of Socinianism brought against Grotius.

[692] Ep. 440. p. 880.

[693] Ep. 135. p. 794.

[694] Ep. 880. p. 387.

[695] Ep. 1096. p. 492.

[696] Menag. t. 2 p. 298.

[697] Ep. 19. p. 760.

[698] Patiniana, p. 18.

[699] Vind. Grot. p. 557.

[700] Animad. Phil. & Hist. Crenii, part. 10. p. 113.

[701] T. 1. p. 168.

[702] L. 1. S. 23.

XXV. If Grotius's merit stirred up envy, and if his projects of reconciliation procured him hatred, the more irreconcilable as it was founded on a religious pretext, he had also a great number of friends and judicious persons for him, who did justice to his virtue and his talents. We shall not enter into a detail of all the testimonies in his favour, they would fill a large volume: we shall confine ourselves to the Elogiums of those whose suffrages deserve most attention. We have already seen, that even when a boy he was highly extolled by the greatest men of his age. Isaac Pontanus, Meursius, James Gillot, Barlæus, John Dousa, M. de Thou, the great Scaliger, Casaubon, Vossius, Lipsius, Baudius, celebrated his childhood. He justified the great hopes that were so early conceived of him, and the praises he received were an additional motive to merit the public esteem. Baudius compared him to Scaliger[703], who, he said, was his favourite author. This he wrote on the third of March, 1606, when Grotius was yet much under age. In a scazon, written in his praise, he calls him [704]a great, an admirable, and an original man. "If any, says he in a letter dated October 8, 1607[705], can form a just notion of Grotius's merit, which exceeds all that can be said of it, I am one; and I think him equal to any office. Ignorant people, who judge of virtue by years and a long beard, may object to him his youth; but in my opinion that makes for him, since in his earliest youth he possesses the prudence and ripeness of understanding of the most aged."

The celebrated Peyresc having made a journey into Holland in 1606, would not leave the Hague[706] till he had made acquaintance with Grotius, already famous for universal learning. "Though he was but very young, says Gassendi[707], when Peyresc heard of his arrival at Paris, he said, that France, by gaining Grotius, had a sufficient reparation for the loss of Scaliger; and that if some others had been the ornament of the age, he was the wonder of it; and it is with reason (adds M. Mesnage, after relating this story of Peyresc) that we still consider Grotius as a prodigy of learning, since he has made a greater proficiency in most of the sciences, than many of those who have wholly applied to one of them in particular."

In the funeral Elogium of Peyresc, delivered at Rome December 2, 1637, mention is made of the learned men with whom he was connected. James Bucard, who spoke it, distinguisheth Salmasius and Grotius from the rest, styling them the Princes of literature and of the fine arts. We cannot conceive a higher idea of Grotius than the celebrated Gerard Vossius entertained, as appears from the beautiful poem written by him in honour of his friend: we would give it at length if it were not too long, but we cannot omit the last stanza:

Felici omine dicte magne, quid te
Sol majus videt? ô decus tuorum,
Delfi gloria, Patrii Deique amores,
Splendor inclute, Belgices ocelle,
Orbis delicium, Deique amores!

He never mentions Grotius without admiration. "He is, says he[708], one of the greatest ornaments of our times, or rather the miracle, the eternal honour, of Holland, and of his age." He wrote to Meursius[709], "If we would do him justice, there is none we can place above him, nor even any we can compare with him."

Utengobard, who had been his master, said, that to speak after Grotius, was to expose one's self to be laughed at.

Balzac has employed his most eloquent phrases to express his thoughts of Grotius: he writes to Mesnage, "Is it true, what you tell me, of the Swedish Ambassador, and shall I be so happy to share in his esteem? I tell it you as solemnly as if I were by the altar on which we swore to be friends, that my ambition was dead, but you have revived it, and my transports would be as great as yours, if my blood were as fine and sparkling: who would not glory in the esteem of one whose birth our age ought to be proud of? he is a modern whom the President Jeannin sets in opposition to the greatest of the ancients." In another letter written to Chapelain[710], he says: "Whatever comes from Grotius is a high recommendation of him to me; and besides the solidity of his learning, the strength of his reasoning, and the graces of his language, I observe in it an air of probity, that one may put entire confidence in him, excepting in what regards our Church, to which he is unhappily a stranger."

Colomiez, in his Bibliotheque choisie[711], has collected some of the Elogiums which had been then made of Grotius: "The President Jeannin, says he, according to the relation of Balzac, opposes Grotius to the greatest men of antiquity. Salmasius, in his notes on Solinus, styles him Virum excellentissimæ doctrinæ in omni genere litterarum; Selden, in his Mare clausum, virum acuminis et omnigenæ doctrinæ præstantiâ incomparabilem; Gerard Vossius, in his Latin Poems, Seculi nostri grande ornamentum; Pricæus, on the xivth of St. Matthew, Virum ingentem, quem non sine horrore mirati sumus: In fine, M. Blondel, who was not lavish of his praise, says of him in his Sibyls, that he was a very great man, whether we consider the sublimity of his genius, the universality of his learning, or the diversity of his writings; in fine, says Colomiez[712], he appears a great critic in his Martianus Capella, his Aratus, and his Stobæus; in his Notes on Lucan and Tacitus a great historian, a great statesman, a great divine; but however excellent these different works may be, we must however acknowledge that Grotius's Letters and Poems much surpass them; and that if he appeared great in those, in these he is incomparable. But what astonishes me is, that he should have written so many letters, and made so many verses, and all should be of equal strength, that is, that all should partake of the powerful and divine genius which animated that great man." Episcopius, who was regarded as an oracle by his party, looked on Grotius as his oracle. "Your opinion, he writes to him[713], shall be to me the decision of an oracle; for I know your love to truth and friendship for me to be such, that in giving it you regard only truth."

Christian Habsoeker and Philip Limborch speak of him with raptures in the Preface to the Letters of illustrious men: "At the name of the incomparable Grotius, who is above all praise, and even all envy, we are in a sort of transport. How shall we sufficiently praise the virtues of that most illustrious hero, whom all true scholars regard as the most learned of the Learned: we shall only relate the prophecy concerning him in 1614 by Daniel Heinsius in some verses which ought to be put under his picture."

Those lines are in fact the most complete Elogium that can be made of a man.

Depositum Coeli, quod jure Batavia mater
Horret, et baud credit se peperisse sibi;
Talem oculis, talem ore tulit se maximus Hugo:
Instar crede hominis, cætera crede Dei.

Heinsius and Grotius had been most intimate in their youth: the divisions which happened in the Republic destroyed this close union: Heinsius joined the Contra-Remonstrants, and was Secretary to the Commissioners of the Synod of Dort. Grotius had reason to complain of him on several occasions: nevertheless, talking with Cardinal Richelieu about him, Grotius greatly commended his genius and learning. He gives an account of this conversation to his brother; adding, "In this manner I am wont to revenge myself on those who hate me." Cardinal Richelieu, though not prejudiced in favour of Grotius, ranked him however among the three first scholars of the age: the other two were Claudius Salmasius, and Jerom Bignon. This famous Advocate-General said of Grotius[714], that he was the most learned man who had appeared in the world since Aristotle.

Foreigners who loved the sciences would not leave France without seeing Grotius. John Christenius, who was at Paris in 1629, had more satisfaction in seeing him, than in the whole kingdom beside: he writes thus to John Kirkman, June 20, 1629. "The pleasure I have had, received considerable addition not only from having seen, but also often conversed with that great and eloquent man who has no fellow, I mean Hugo Grotius; for whom I have the highest esteem, and have been for many years of the same opinion with all who know that he possesses singly what would be sufficient to entitle many to great praise. He is master of all that is worth knowing in sacred and profane literature. Besides the Eastern languages, there is no art nor science with which he is not perfectly acquainted: this appears from his agreeable conversation: ask him about any thing, he immediately gives you an exact answer, and in such a manner as to excite the admiration of those who hear him. After talking about the sciences, if you enquire of him what passes in this part of the world, or the other, you will imagine you heard the answer of an oracle who delivers what is most worthy to be known. His virtue is above all I can say of it, and I want eloquence sufficiently to extol so great a man."

Sarrau[715], who had been prejudiced against Grotius since his leaving the Protestants, ventures not however to decide whether Salmasius or Grotius excelled in literature; and he hesitates to make the determination, even in a letter written to Salmasius, wherein he appears much dissatisfied with Grotius. "Whether the first place in literature in this age be due to you or to him, posterity will judge more equitably than this generation."

On hearing of Grotius's death, he writes to Salmasius in these terms[716]: "Hugo Grotius was certainly a great man in name and in fact: he was the star of our age. How great a loss has learning sustained! Whilst books and sciences are held in honour his name will flourish. For my part, whilst I live I shall glory in my intimacy with him. You now reign singly (he concludes, addressing himself to Salmasius) I pray God you may reign long." He calls him elsewhere[717] the Coryphæus of learning sacred and prophane.

Queen Christina, hearing of his death, wrote to his widow to make her compliments of condolence, and to get the manuscripts he left. "My Ambassador, she says, may have acquainted you in part with my high esteem for his admirable learning and the good services he did me: but he could not express how dear I hold his memory, and the effects of his great labours. If gold and silver could contribute any thing to the redeeming such a valuable life, I would chearfully employ all I am mistress of for that purpose." She concludes with asking his widow to procure her all the manuscripts of this learned man, whose works had always given her great pleasure: assuring her that they could not fall into better hands, and that the author having been of use to her in his life-time, it was just that she should not be deprived after his death of the fruits of his illustrious labours.

Duncomius wrote to Gerard Vossius, February 2, 1646[718], "It is certain and beyond dispute that Grotius was a very illustrious hero, usque ad stuporem ferè et miraculum; that he joined science with wisdom; that he was above all praise; and that he was deeply skilled in divine and human learning."

Meric Casaubon, son of Isaac, had no less esteem for Grotius than his illustrious father had had before him. In his preface to Hierocles's book Of providence and destiny, "Hugo Grotius, he says, was a great, an incomparable man: in him was seen what is very rare, a peaceable spirit, with much judgment, and infinite erudition." Augustus Buchner[719] calls Grotius the greatest ornament of his time, the oracle of human wisdom, and the wonder of the age.

Lewis du Moulin comparing Grotius with Salmasius[720], allows Grotius much more judgment, but gives to Salmasius a greater extent of knowledge. In another place[721], where he censures Grotius for the part he had acted with regard to religion, he bestows on him, after all, in other respects the highest praises. "Neither the present nor the last age, he says, hath produced a man superior to Grotius in judgment and erudition. He was great in everything: a very great Divine, Lawyer, Orator, Poet, Philosopher; his genius, far from being confined within the limits of the bar, was scarce bounded by those of nature."

Guy Patin writes[722], February 24, 1662, "They have finished in Holland, in nine volumes in folio, an edition of all the works of Grotius, whom I formerly knew: he was the finest genius of his time; a man of surprising knowledge, and perfect master of polite and useful learning." "He and Salmasius were the greatest scholars or their time," he writes in another letter[723]. And in another place, "Peter Grotius, says he[724], was son of the first man of his age."

"I would not mention the most learned and greatest man of this country, says Wicquefort[725], were I not forced to it by the remarks published at Brussels on what I have said of him in my Memoirs: it will be readily conceived that I mean Hugo de Groot. I admire, with the rest of the world, the genius, the probity, and the works of this great man; and besides this there are particular considerations, which inspire me with a veneration for his memory."

Morhof calls him the phoenix of his age[726]: Hofman gives him the same commendation.

"He is the greatest of men, says Meibomius[727], the light and support of letters; on whom we can bestow no praise but what will fall short of his virtue and erudition. His uncommon penetration makes us compare him to an eagle in the clouds," says Oldenburg.

In 1727 was printed at Hall in Saxony, under the false name of Delft, a book entitled Hugonis Grotii Belgarum Phoenicis manes ab iniquis obtrectationibus vindicati. The author, who was said to be M. Lehman[728], speaks of Grotius as the greatest man Holland ever produced, and fit to be compared with the most illustrious of other Countries, and he flatters himself that the Dutch will in the issue agree with all nations, that he was the greatest ornament of their country. He gives his thoughts of Grotius in the following lines.

Hic ille est Grotius, majus quo doctior orbis
Nil habuit; credo, nil habiturus erit:
Gallia quem stupuit, stupuit quem Suecia, verus
Qui Phoebus Delphis, orbe pharusque fuit.

Salmasius, who so unmercifully fell foul of Grotius's memory, had formerly been one of his greatest admirers. Grotius gave him the title of Most Eminent, which Pope Urbin VIII. had a very little time before attributed to the Cardinals. Salmasius answers him[729] August 8, 1630. "You not only offend the Cardinals, but, more than most eminent Grotius (super eminentissime) you offend me, by giving me a title which you much better deserve yourself."

These two Princes of Literature, as they were styled, had at this time a great reciprocal esteem and friendship for each other. We learn from Grotius's letters[730], that Salmasius, notwithstanding the advantageous idea he entertained of his own knowledge, sometimes consulted him. He changed all of a sudden: Grotius imagined[731] it was to make his court to those in power in Holland; but Sarrau, who knew both, assures us[732] that Salmasius's coldness wholly proceeded from the change of Grotius's sentiments in religion. The news of Grotius's death was scarce spread over Europe, when Salmasius poured out all his venom in a letter written from Leyden, Nov. 20, 1645, to Sarrau[733].

"You think Grotius, says he, the first among the learned; for my part, I give that rank to Vossius. I do not think it is necessary to wait for the judgment of posterity, to know whose opinion is most just: it will be sufficient to consult the learned in Italy, Germany, in this country, and even in France: but till we have their suffrages let us go through all the sciences, and examine the extent of Grotius's capacity. There is no one whom I would desire to resemble less in divinity: he is every where a Socinian, both in his treatise On the Truth of the Christian Religion, and his Commentary on the Old and New Testament. As to Philosophy, he can scarce be compared with the moderately skilled. If we consider him with regard to the art of Disputation, I have never seen a person reason with less force, as is evident from his pieces which Rivetus and Desmarets have answered. There are several who may be ranked with him as to knowledge of polite learning, and even a great number who excel him: not a few have had as much Greek and Latin, and many of the learned have been more masters of the Oriental Languages. His Florum sparsio in jus Justinianeum shew his skill in the Law. A Professor of Helmstat has undertaken to confute his book Of the Rights of War and Peace, and has told some friends, whom I have seen, that he would prove that every page contained gross blunders[734]. He was a great Poet; but every one here prefers Barlæus; some even Heinsius. But besides, when the point to be decided is priority in learning, poetry is set aside by consent of all good judges. Vossius excels Grotius in every thing. This is not only my opinion, but that of all the learned in Italy, Germany, Poland, and Holland, as I have had an opportunity to know by their letters, their writings, and their conversation. If we compare their writings, which of Grotius's works can we prefer to those of Vossius? Is it his Notes on Martianus Capella, written when he was but a boy? Is it his Aratus? in which he has ostentatiously introduced some Arabic terms, for he scarce knew the elements of that language, as he acknowledged to me himself in some letters which I keep, written in answer to my enquiry about some Arabic words that puzzled me. Will you tell me of his Notes on Lucan? what Vossius has done on the fragments of the ancient Tragic and Comic Writers appears to me of much greater value. We know from other pieces what a poor critic Grotius was, though a great man in some respects. As inconsiderable as I am, I would not have my name prefixed to his Commentary on the Old Testament; for nothing can be more childish, or unworthy a man of his great character, than many of his notes. I shall take notice in another place of his Commentary on the New Testament, and frankly declare what I think of it. Such are my sentiments of the person who merits the first place in literature. I have the suffrages of many of the learned in different branches for me, and shall name them when you inform me who are of your opinion."

This letter, in which hatred, jealousy, and partiality openly shew themselves, rather hurt Salmasius than injured Grotius's character: the contempt with which he speaks of the excellent treatise Of the Rights of War and Peace, which is worth all that Salmasius ever wrote, incensed the whole republic of letters against him. It has been observed that all that was good in his pieces On the power of Kings, is taken from Grotius, whom he hath not once named; and that when he departed from him, he sinks much beneath Grotius. But such was Salmasius's character: jealous of the reputation of those who might be put in the scale against him, he had too high an opinion of himself, and too much despised others, in the judgment of the wise Gronovius. Grotius's wife being informed of the indiscreet stories published by Salmasius against the memory of her husband, gave him to understand, that if he would not forbear, the only answer she should make to his invectives would be the publication of his former letters to Grotius, filled with elogiums. For the rest, Salmasius's invectives injured only himself: and it was said publicly, that he plucked the hairs of a dead lion.

Two medals were struck in honour of Grotius, which we find in the end of the first volume of the History of the United Provinces by Le Clerc, one of his greatest admirers. The first has on one side the bust of that great man, with his name, HUGO GROTIUS, which is to him instead of an elogium: and on the other a chest, on which are the arms of Sweden and France, to express his retreat into France, and his embassy from Sweden at that Court: at the side of the chest is the castle of Louvestein, and opposite to it a rising sun, with these words: MELIOR POST ASPERA FATA RESURGO; I rise brighter after my misfortune. In the exergue is, natus 1583, obiit 1645. The second medal, larger than the first, also represents Grotius on one side with the time of his birth and death. HUGO GROTIUS NATUS 1583, 10 APRILIS, OBIIT 1645, 28 AUGUSTI: on the reverse is this inscription in Dutch verse: the Phoenix of his Country, the Oracle of Delft, the great Genius, the Light which enlighteneth the earth.


[703] Ep. 22. p. 181.

[704] Vir magne, vir mirande, vir sine exemplo. Ep. 100. p. 474.

[705] Ep. 68. Cent. 2.

[706] Life, B. 2. p. 93.

[707] Life, B. 3. p. 182. Anti Baillet. c. 3.

[708] Popo Blanet, p. 746.

[709] Ep. 277.

[710] 2 Lettre du xxi. Livre, p. 831.

[711] Bibliotheque choisie, p. 461.

[712] P. 487.

[713] Ep. 13. Præs. vir. p. 23.

[714] Du Maurier, p. 393.

[715] Ep. Sar. p. 145.

[716] Ep. Sar. 128. p. 143.

[717] Ep. 21. p. 24.

[718] Ep. Vossi, 728. p. 38.

[719] Vind. Grot. p. 446.

[720] Crenii Anim. phil. et hist. Part 5. p. 95.

[721] In jugulo causa, c. 5. Crenius, Anim. phil. Part 5. p. 85.

[722] Lett. 265.

[723] Lett. 545.

[724] Lett. 538.

[725] Amb. l. 1. p. 95.

[726] Polihist. l. 1. c. 24.

[727] Pope Blount, p. 946.

[728] Supplement de Moreri.

[729] Ep. 21. p. 45.

[730] Ep. 229. p. 78.

[731] Ep. 697. p. 964.

[732] Ep. Sarr. 165. Ep. 163. p. 168.

[733] In Crenii Anim. Phil. & Hist. t. 1. p. 23.

[734] See Book 3. § 9. p. 243.

XXVI. It remains that we should relate what we know of Grotius's family. After his death, his wife communicated with the Church of England; which, it is reported, she said she did in conformity to the dying intentions of her husband. It is certain[735] that Grotius had a respect for the Church of England; but it is difficult to believe, that he should desire his wife to declare he died in the communion of that Church: for, besides that this fact is not easy to be reconciled with his later works, it has no foundation but a letter written June 23, 1707, which is supported only by a hearsay ill-circumstantiated.

Grotius's wife died at the Hague in the communion of the Remonstrants; which, according to Le Clerc, was not contrary to her husband's last orders, as the Remonstrants allowed of communion with the Church of England.

Grotius had three sons and three daughters by his marriage. His eldest son, Cornelius, studied in Holland under the direction of his grandfather[736]. Grotius sent for him afterwards to Paris, where he himself superintended his studies. He wrote to his brother, William Grotius[737], Aug. 16, 1630, that Cornelius had learned the Hebrew grammar; that he was studying the Greek and Logic; and had made himself matter of the Art of Oratory, without neglecting Poetry, for which the young Cornelius had a particular turn. Some very good verses, written by him, are published in the poems of Vincent Fabricius. Grotius made him read Vossius's pieces on rhetoric, which he thought could not be excelled; he afterwards wanted Cornelius to study the Roman Law, and the Laws of Holland: he also made him read Physics and Metaphysics; but his progress in these sciences was inconsiderable, according to Du Maurier, on account of his indolence and love of pleasure. Grotius sent him after this to make his court to the High Chancellor, who passed the beginning of the year 1636 at Straelsund: Oxenstiern received him very graciously, and took him into his service as Latin Secretary[738]. Grotius was at the height of his joy on seeing his son in a capacity of meriting the esteem and protection of such a great man as Oxenstiern: he flattered himself[739], that the honourable place, which his son held, would induce him to shake off his indolence; and he made him frequent remonstrances on this subject: but Cornelius's natural temper prevailed, and he considered his employment as attended with too much trouble. He imagined that a military life would suit him better[740], and wrote to his father on that head. Grotius opposed this new turn for some time; but his remonstrances producing no effect, he wrote to Muller[741], April 4, 1638, that his son had preferred Mars to the Muses, and that he had thought fit to yield to his choice, as war was also a road to glory; and moreover the time, which Cornelius had spent in literature, would not be absolutely lost for war. He added, that the Duke of Weymar being the greatest and most experienced general of his age, he was very desirous that his son should serve under such an able master; and that he would send him with a reinforcement that was marching to that Prince, who, he hoped, would assist him with his advice. Cornelius was very well received by the Duke[742]; and for some time kept up an exact correspondence with his father by letters, who complimented him on his diligence in writing. The Duke of Weymar promised to advance him, if he paid a proper regard to his father's counsels. Cornelius was by nature so inconstant, that he soon took a dislike to the army: he had even thoughts of returning to his father, who diverted him from it as a step which would dishonour him.

On the Duke of Weymar's death, Reigersberg advised Cornelius to write that Prince's history. Young Grotius mentioning this project to his father, he pressed him to execute it, because it would give him an opportunity of expressing his gratitude to a Prince who had laid him under great obligations, and done such important services to Sweden. Besides, this work would be of use to the author, by obliging him to study the Art of War, in order to speak of it properly. Cornelius contented himself with projecting this design[743]: he changed his service, and entered into the Marshal de Chatillon's army, in which he continued not long: he made the campaign of 1640, in quality of Cornet in the Colonel's company of a German regiment of horse in the French service. Soon after he got a company: however he wanted to serve in the Valtoline[744]. He had not been long there before he took a fancy to enter into the Venetians service; and, without consulting his father, went to Venice to make his contract with them: but it is probable they could not agree; for Grotius writes[745], July 16, 1644, "Cornelius will return from the Antenorides without doing any thing." This fickleness of temper much displeased Grotius[746], who in the latter part of his life spoke of his son with great indifference.

In the sequel, when the States of Holland wanted to indemnify such as were unjustly persecuted during the overgrown power of the Stadtholders[747], they gave Cornelius Grotius a company in the guards; to Peter, a troop of horse; and to Mombas, their brother-in-law, a regiment; with leave to dispose of them, or sell them to the best advantage: which was contrary to custom and law.

It was in 1633 that the States thus sought to repair the injuries which Grotius had formerly suffered. Cornelius died unmarried. Peter, Grotius's second son, was more like his father. In his infancy he was very sickly: having received a hurt in his leg[748], the Surgeons and Physicians treated it so ill, that he remained lame all his days. His father, thinking his education would be cheaper in Holland than at Paris, sent him to his native country. The young Grotius gave great satisfaction to his parents, as we learn by a letter from Grotius to his brother William[749], Oct. 4, 1630, "Your accounts of my son give me great pleasure: if he goes on in the same manner, he will have reason to be satisfied with me." Gerard Vossius directed his studies; and by a letter[750] of thanks from Grotius to him, we learn that he was of an indolent turn. "The exhortations you give Peter are worthy of the friendship you have always entertained for me and mine. I cannot think why my children should be so idle; perhaps it is because they see their father's diligence has turned to so little account."

In 1634 Peter Grotius was sent to[751] Amsterdam to learn the use of the globes and navigation: Grotius intended that he should afterwards serve in some expedition at sea: he seems at this time to have designed him for a Sailor. Peter had an inclination to learn Arabic under the learned Golius at Leyden: but his Father would only suffer him to visit this eminent professor, and consult him about the pronunciation of that language, which he thought his son might learn without a master at his leisure hours.

Grotius was desirous that his son should make a voyage to the East-Indies[752], or, if that was too long a voyage, that he should go to the Brasils, or some other part of America, to learn what was not to be learnt at home, and might be of use to him afterwards.

Vossius, in the mean time, gave ample testimonials not only of Peter's progress in the sciences, but also of his moral conduct. He wanted to join, to the studies recommended to him by his father, that of Law; and Grotius was not against it. He appears to have been somewhat uneasy about what this youth would do: May 17, 1635, he writes to Vossius, "I should be glad to know what my son's health will permit him to do, and to what his inclination leads him: there are some things which will prevent his being agreeable at court, or his undertaking long journies by land. I am not against his trying the sea; but I would not force any of my children against their inclination. The make of his body would require a sedentary life; but I am afraid he has too much vivacity to bear with it. I would beg of you to consult with himself and his friends on this subject; and at the same time to give me your own opinion."

He writes again to Vossius some time after, that if his son had a dislike to long voyages, he would nevertheless have him study Commerce and Navigation rather than the quibbles of the Law: "Not but a general knowledge of public law, and the laws of his own country, may be of use to him whatever manner of life he chuses: but I would not have him make it his principal study; and remember Horace's precept, to keep his eye ever on the mark. If it is out of regard to me he wants to translate the Tragedy of Sophomphaneus, he deserves to be commended, even if he should make some mistakes: however I should not be sorry if it were done by one more advanced in years, and better skilled in poetry."

This youth, uncertain what course to take, was in doubt whether he ought not to seek his fortune in Sweden under the credit of his father's name. Grotius, hearing of this design, writes to his brother[753], "If my son thinks to raise himself in Sweden, I see no other way of doing it, than by a perfect knowledge of Navigation and Commerce. The profession of a Lawyer is not lucrative, nor doth it succeed with every one."

Vossius was still well pleased with him[754]. The ardour he discovered for the study of the Law determined Grotius to propose to him a translation of the Institutes of the Law of Holland into good Latin, like that of the Digests; and he asked his brother, William Grotius, and all his friends, to encourage and assist his Son in the execution of this design, which might be useful to the public and to the author. He wrote to Gerard Vossius[755] to the same effect. William Grotius laboured with his nephew in this translation. Grotius, in returning him his thanks for assisting his Son, desires him to make him read, as he went on, what was contained in the Digests relating to the matter he was translating.

In summer, 1636, Peter Grotius had an offer of going to the Brasils in Count Nassau's retinue. Grotius approved of it, provided his Son might have a creditable post, in which he might learn Navigation: he was the more desirous that his Son might make this voyage, as the present state of his affairs would not permit him to keep him in the way the latter chose to live.

If this project did not succeed, Grotius wanted that his Son should pass the winter at the Hague in the study of the Law, and come to France in the spring, 1637, to take his degree in the university of Orleans; then return to the Hague to study some time longer, and afterwards go to Amsterdam to practise as an Advocate, this profession being there most lucrative.

The voyage to the Brasils did not take place. Peter Grotius came to his father in summer, 1637. He seems to have been well satisfied with him, as we may judge by a letter written to his brother[756], Aug. 15, this year. "Peter is arrived here: he is much indebted to you, to his grandfather, and all his friends and relations, for instilling into him such good principles. I am very well satisfied with his diligence." He writes six months after[757], "I am only afraid for his ambition, which is the vice of youth: he will live with more ease, and gain more as an Advocate. I would beg of you, that as soon as he returns, which will be immediately, you would put him upon studying the precedents in law. But what is chiefly to be inculcated is diligence and love of labour." Peter was preparing to return to Holland, when a Surgeon undertook to make him walk without halting[758]. There were some hopes of his succeeding in whole or in part; but the event did not correspond with the Surgeon's promises, and Peter set out soon after for Holland, in the end of April, 1638. Grotius did not regret the time his Son had passed in France. "The time Peter has been here, he says to his brother[759], was not lost either for him or me: for he has learnt several useful things, and it has been a great pleasure to me to communicate what I have learnt to one of my children, or at least to have put him in a way of informing himself. I recommend him to you, and would beg of you to give him such exercises as may fit him to hold a distinguished rank amonst the Orators and Advocates, that his merit may silently reproach the Dutch for what they did against his Father. But, above all things, I would recommend to you the cultivation of those sentiments of piety which I have instilled into him, and to keep him from bad company."

Grotius wrote to Vossius[760], when his Son set out on his return to Holland, begging of him to continue to watch over the studies of this youth; and assuring him at the same time, that the friendship, which the city of Amsterdam preserved for him, was the only reason which induced him to consent that any part of him should live in a country where he had been so ill-treated.

Vossius and William Grotius were highly satisfied with Peter Grotius, and made great encomiums on him to his father, who wrote to his son, commending his diligence in the study of the Law. He informed him at the same time of a successful method of pleading, which he himself had formerly used with advantage. We have spoken of it elsewhere[761]. He was desirous of settling him as soon as possible at Amsterdam, that he might learn navigation and commerce, the municipal laws of the town, and whatever might contribute to raise his fortune. He wanted to accustom him to a labour, by which he might live without his father's assistance. "If he thinks, says Grotius to his brother[762], to make his fortune with what money he will get from me, he is greatly deceived: let him do as I did, and cut out a path for himself; otherwise he must not count upon my liberality." April 21, 1640, he caused him to be chid[763] for running about too much, and for his learning Italian and several things for which he had little occasion. "That is not the way, says he, to please me, nor to be useful to himself."

In fine, Peter Grotius began to plead at the Hague, in[764] spring 1640. There was a prospect at that time of getting him made Pensionary of Boisleduc: this design required some money, which Grotius refused not to advance; but he could scarce believe that the Prince of Orange would consent to have his son in this place, unless he abjured Arminianism. Besides, Peter Grotius had so little experience in the law, that his father did not yet think him capable of filling a place, the difficulties of which he knew by experience: he would much rather have had his son go to Amsterdam, to follow the bar, and seek some advantageous match, that his children might one day enter into the magistracy of a city, which alone kept alive expiring liberty.

Peter Grotius seems to have had a dislike to Amsterdam; for his father writes thus to his brother William Grotius[765], March 9, 1641. "I have consulted with my wife about Peter's affairs: we are of opinion that he should go to Amsterdam, if he can be prevailed with; if not, you must tell him to come here: he will serve me for Secretary, and I shall give him lectures in law, which perhaps he would not have received from any other. Let him bring with him what he has translated of the Institutes of the Laws of Holland." Grotius soon changed his opinion; for he writes to his brother[766], April 13, in the same year: "I would not have Peter come here: therefore keep him with you."

The irresolution of Peter Grotius chagrined his father: "I am much afraid, he writes to his brother[767], that he will some day smart for his continual disobedience." Grotius told his son[768], that he must expect no letters from him, unless he sent him the Latin translation of the Institutes of the Laws of Holland, which he had long before enjoined him to set about. Writing to his brother[769], he says, "I am much afraid, that the counsels which Peter follows, and will follow hereafter, are inconsistent with a good conscience. I am resolved to refer the whole to God, and not intermeddle in it. I should be sorry to have a repetition of the grief I suffer on his account."

Some time after, he was better satisfied with him, and wrote to his brother William[770], Feb. 28, 1643, "I commend Peter highly for applying to the bar: it is the way to acquire much useful knowledge, to gain a character, and in time to lay up something, or to rise higher." This is all that Grotius's letters inform us about his son: the sequel of whose life is more interesting.

In 1652, he married, for love, an Attorney's daughter, rich and handsome; but his mother and his other friends disliked the match. In the year following, a powerful party wanted to get him made Greffier of Amsterdam; but Veue Linchovius opposed him with great virulence and violence; maintaining that such a place ought not to be given to the son of an out-law, whose religious sentiments were erroneous. The declamations of this hot-headed man preventing Grotius from being nominated to the place, he bore the disappointment with great tranquility. In 1655, he purposed to publish a complete edition of his father's works, as appears by the privilege of the Emperor Ferdinand III. dated Oct. 2, 1655, prefixed to his theological works. This edition, which unfortunately he did not go on with, was to be in nine volumes in folio. The first was to contain his Annotations on the Old Testament; the second, the Commentary on the New; the third would have comprehended his smaller theological pieces; the fourth, the treatise De Jure Belli & Pacis, the Apology, and the work De Imperio summarum potestatum circa Sacra; the fifth, Law Tracts; the sixth, Writings Historical; the seventh, Philological Works; the eighth, Poetical Translations, the Anthologia, Stobæus, and the Extracts from the Tragedies and Comedies; and, lastly, the ninth, his Poems and Letters. It is probable, that this design was defeated by Grotius's departure from Holland. It was not till long after, in 1679, that the handsome edition of Grotius's theological works was published in three volumes in folio, dedicated to King Charles II. of England by Peter Grotius, Feb. 28, 1678. The bookseller promised, in an advertisement prefixed to it, to print all Grotius's other works, even those that had never been published; but he did not fulfil his engagements.

Grotius's enemies still opposing his son's advancement, he entered into the service of Charles Lewis, Elector Palatine, to whom Hugo Grotius had done singular service during his misfortunes. This Prince nominated him his Agent at the Hague.

The ferment in mens minds having subsided, and the face of affairs being changed in Holland, Peter Grotius was nominated Pensionary of Amsterdam in 1660; which important place he filled for seven years with great reputation. This office was the height of Hugo's wishes for his son. The Count D'Estrade, at that time Ambassador from France in Holland, was dissatisfied with the Pensionary of Amsterdam, who opposed the interest of the French King, in resentment of that Prince's having driven Mombas, Peter Grotius's brother-in-law, out of France. Feb. 1, 1633, he writes to the King, "I have not been at Amsterdam, because the Pensionary M. de Groot is brother-in-law to M. de Mombas, whom your Majesty ordered to quit the kingdom for some affair in which you were dissatisfied with his conduct: since that time M. de Groot has constantly opposed your Majesty's interest at Amsterdam. He is a man of spirit and firmness; and has much credit in that city. I shall neglect nothing to bring him back to his former sentiments." The King answered him, May 23, 1633, that he had had reason to be dissatisfied with Mombas's conduct; that if any consideration could make him forget it, it would certainly be a regard for M. de Groot, whose person, says the King, I esteem: In fact, Lewis XIV, as he writes to his Ambassador, Sept. 22, 1665, dropt his resentment against Mombas out of consideration for the Pensionary of Amsterdam. After the conclusion of the triple alliance, the necessity of regulating the subsidies with the northern powers induced the States of Holland to send Grotius to Denmark and Sweden. He went first to Copenhagen, and afterwards to Stockholm, where he assumed the quality of Ambassador in ordinary. The States used only to keep a Minister of the second rank at this Court; but it was thought proper, says Wicquefort, to do something more than common for such an extraordinary person; and he was ordered to make a splendid entry at the expence of the States.

The fourth volume of M. de Wit's Letters and Negotiations concludes with the correspondence of Peter Grotius with the Grand Pensionary during his embassy at Stockholm. The Dutch Minister discovers in it great knowledge of mankind. "The more I reflect, says he to M. de Wit, Dec. 8, 1668, on the regency of Sweden, the more clearly I discover that the most important affairs are not regulated agreeable to the public interest, but according to that of the principal Ministers; and the surest and easiest way to succeed, is to gain him who has the King's ear rather than the King himself; because what is done for the good of the nation obliges no one in particular, and procures glory, but no acknowledgments. When I passed through Denmark, I perceived that more might be done by means of M.G. with a hundred thousand crowns, than can be done with the King with five times that sum."

The negotiations of Peter Grotius were in a promising way at the death of William Borell the Dutch Ambassador at Paris. Grotius was nominated by the States of Holland to succeed him, and at the same time the town of Rotterdam chose him for their Pensionary. M. de Wit was of opinion that Grotius ought to prefer the place of Pensionary: he wrote to his friend, May 14, 1669, "Messieurs the Burgomasters and Counsellors of the town of Rotterdam have unanimously made choice of you to be their Counsellor Pensionary. I believe your nomination to the French embassy will be set aside, if the Gentlemen of Rotterdam apply for that purpose to their Noble and Great Mightinesses; and I imagine you will prefer this honourable establishment in a post your father was undeservedly turned out of, to a gilded exile, for such an embassy may be styled. Other reasons will occur for your taking this step, without its being necessary for me to mention them."

Grotius was greatly embarrassed: he writes to M. de Wit, May 22, 1669, that his situation would not suffer him to give a positive answer; that he had written to the Gentlemen of Rotterdam, acknowledging their great civility and goodness in thinking of him; but that he had not declared himself with regard to the accepting of the place.

Holland had occasion at this time for the ablest of her Ministers at the Court of Lewis XIV. and Peter Grotius could not refuse to serve his Country in such critical circumstances. The point was to bring about a reconciliation between the United Provinces and the King, who resolved to declare war against them, imagining he had great reason to complain of their behaviour. Grotius was the only Minister who could succeed in this negotiation, had a reconciliation been practicable, says Wicquefort. The King, though highly incensed against Holland, shewed the greatest respect to her Ambassador. War being declared in 1672, Peter Grotius was again sent to the King, to try if an accommodation could be accomplished: but the King had made too great preparations for war to conclude a peace so soon.

Grotius returned to the Hague to serve the Republic in quality of Deputy to the States-General; but in a short time experienced a cruel reverse of fortune. Being involved in the disgrace of the De Wits, he was stript of his dignities, and threatened with assassination; which determined him to leave Holland: he went to Antwerp, where an attempt was made on his life.

He retired to Liege, and afterwards to Aix-la-Chapelle, and Cologn. A general peace was at this time negotiating; and Grotius having done singular services to the Dutch Plenipotentiaries, he was permitted to return to Holland, after being two years absent. He continued some time undisturbed in the country; but Wicquefort, the Duke of Brunswick's Minister at the Hague, being taken into custody, among his papers were found several letters from Grotius, containing, it is said, some indiscreet things concerning state affairs, and against the Republic's Ministers. He was arrested and prosecuted. Of the fifteen judges appointed to try him, nine declared him innocent. This was in November, 1676. Nicholas Heinsius, who was not prejudiced in his favour, writes to Grævius on the 6th of December following: "There was certainly imprudence and malice in what Grotius did; but I leave others to judge whether he was guilty of high treason."

It is improbable his judges would have shewn him favour, had he been convicted of a capital crime: he was known to be hated by the Prince of Orange, whom the Dutch at that time sought very much to please.

Peter Grotius, thus escaping out of the hands of his enemies, retired with his family to a country seat he had near Harlem, where he spent the rest of his days in educating his children, and reading the best authors. He died at the age of seventy. Some pretend, but without foundation, that he was poisoned. Those who knew him particularly speak of him as one of the best heads of his time. "Peter de Groot, son of the great Grotius, was not so learned as his father, says Wicquefort; but I may venture to assert he was as able a Minister. We can't say too much of this man, who was above all praise. I write this after receiving the news of his death. How much is Holland to be pitied for losing a man who would have assisted in repairing the breaches made by the disorders which have for some years prevailed in the state! He joined solidity of judgment to the graces of wit, and must have possessed these qualities in an eminent degree since they shone thro' such a disagreeable figure. It may be said of M. de Groot, that never did such a deformed body lodge such a fine and great soul: he had a surprising ready wit, his conversation was delightful, his understanding clear and solid, and his sentiments just and equitable: he possessed great knowledge of all sorts of business, foreign and domestic, and especially of what the French call the art of pleasing."

Grotius's third son, Diederic, began his studies in a very promising manner. Grotius writes to his brother William, August 16, 1630, "I am overjoyed to hear that Diederic's progress even exceeds my hopes. I wish he may continue." His grandfather John Grotius was his tutor. When he came to be old enough to be put to some business, Grotius designed him for an Engineer. He learned under the famous Boschius, and came afterwards, in the beginning of 1636, to see his father at Paris. Grotius having applied to the Duke of Weymar to take Diederic into his service, he entered into that Prince's houshold as one of his Pages, and was much respected: the Duke soon after made him his Aid-de-Camp. Grotius seemed to be well satisfied with his son at the time this youth had the misfortune to lose his Patron.

On hearing of the Duke of Weymar's death Grotius immediately thought of sending Diederic to Marshal Bannier. He wrote a letter to that General[771], October 13, 1639, in which he puts him in mind that it was his Excellency's brother first proposed to him his entering into the Swedish service: he afterwards makes an offer of his son, who had served two years under Boschius, chief Engineer to the Prince of Orange, and had since been several years one of the Duke of Weymar's Pages. After the death of that illustrious Prince, who shared with Bannier the glory of being the greatest general in Europe, he thinks he cannot do better than give him to Marshal Bannier, who was unanimously allowed to hold the first rank in the art of war. He begs that his son may be only employed in things of which he is capable. On the same day he wrote to Salvius, desiring him to recommend Diederic to the Marshal.

Whilst Grotius was thus employed in placing his son, Diederic entertained a design of entering into the Dutch service. His father was highly displeased with this project; and wrote to him, and to William Grotius, that it was most improper for him to expose his life for his cruellest enemies; and that Sweden was his true country, and to that kingdom he ought to devote his life, and from it to merit and expect honours. "If my son dislikes the activity of a military life, Grotius writes to his brother, he may find ease, and acquire honour in General Bannier's houshold, or by exercising his profession of Engineer. I shall always give him my assistance, and I hope I have as many friends elsewhere, as I have enemies in Holland. If my son disgraces himself so far, as to ask favours from the Dutch, he is unworthy to call me father. If he chuses rather to be an Ensign with you, than a Captain among others, he is mean-spirited, and forgetful of what he has been." Diederic had a design of writing the history of the Duke of Weymar; which project Grotius approved of, as worthy of a grateful mind. He sent him word, that if he would set about this work whilst he was with Marshal Bannier, he would make his court by it to that General, who had it in his power to reward him. Diederic at last complied with his father's desire, and went to Marshal Bannier's camp. He was made a prisoner of war by the Bavarians in an unfortunate action near Dillingue and Memingue, in the end of the year 1643. Grotius immediately set all his friends to work to procure his son's liberty: he wrote to the famous John de Vert, and applied to the Duke of Bavaria that he would be pleased to send him back as soon as possible: and at the same time wrote to his son to come to him as soon as he should be at liberty, that they might consult together what was best to be done. Diederic sent his father the history of the unfortunate action in which he was taken; and Grotius printed it to give copies to his friends, and to send others to the Swedish Ministry. Diederic was carried to Tubingen, from thence to Ulm, and confined in a citadel between Ulm and Augsburg: he did not continue there long: immediately on receiving his father's letter, the Duke of Bavaria gave orders that Diederic might be set at liberty, after settling his ransom, which was fixed at a thousand florins. He came to Paris, and on his arrival Grotius wrote a letter of thanks to the Elector of Bavaria, telling him, that as he had but one way to express his gratitude, namely by promoting a general peace, which his Electoral Highness wished for, he would do all in his power to bring it about. He wrote to Ketner the Bavarian Minister to the same effect.

Diederic went back to serve under Marshal Turenne in Germany, and made the campaign of 1644. He was again taken Prisoner, but soon released; and served in the end of the same campaign. He was detached by the Duke d'Anguien and Marshal Turenne to take Fridelshem and Neudstad, and was afterwards sent by them to the Landgravine of Hesse: he acquitted himself with honour of all the commissions that were given him. The Duke d'Anguien spoke of him in the highest terms; and the Landgravine received him in the best manner, in consideration of the services which his father had done to the house of Hesse: he was sent a second time by Marshal Turenne to the Landgravine. The Duke d'Anguien promised to take care of this youth's fortune; and the approbation of a prince, who was the Mars of his time and knew men so well, is the highest elogium that could be given of Diederic.

He came to an unhappy end when but young and unmarried. Queen Christina having abdicated the Crown in favour of Charles Gustavus, Diederic and Cornelius Grotius took a resolution to wait on that Prince, who had known and highly esteemed their father in France, with an intention to offer him their services, and get employment. Setting out from Holland with this design, they were got between Embden and Bremen, halfway to Hamburg, when a villain, who had served Diederic several years as his valet, resolved to murder both the brothers for the sake of their money: he went in the night-time into Diederic's chamber, and shot his master dead while asleep: he was preparing to serve Cornelius Grotius in the same manner, but he was awake: he happened to be employed in composing a Latin epigram. On hearing the shot, he took a pistol which lay on a chair by his bed side, and seeing the murderer advance softly to him (it was moon-light) he fired, and laid him flat on the floor: the people of the inn got up on the noise, and delivered the villain, who was dangerously wounded, into the hands of justice, and he was broke on the wheel.

Hugo Grotius had also three daughters, Frances, Mary, and Cornelia; Frances, the youngest, was born in October, 1626, before her time, her mother being delivered of her in the eighth month: accordingly this young person was short-lived, for she died in the beginning of the year 1628. Mary, his second daughter, died at Paris in the month of March, 1635, of the fatigue and cold she received in her journey to that city. Grotius informed his father of her death by a letter[772] dated March 23, 1635, in which he tells him she died almost without pain, and with a deep sense of religion. "My wife and I, says he, bear this misfortune like people accustomed to adversity: besides, why should we call her death a misfortune? has not God a right to take back what he gave? and ought not we to flatter ourselves that she is arrived at that happy state, which the young ought to long after as much as the old? We are delivered from the care of procuring a husband for her: perhaps we should have had much difficulty to find one that would have been agreeable to her and to all her family: and even if we should have found one that pleased us all at first, would there not have been room to apprehend that he had concealed his true character for a time, and that he would afterwards make her unhappy? She is now delivered from the pains of bearing children, and bringing them up. More happy than her mother, she will not see judges incensed against her husband, because he is innocent: she will not be obliged to shut herself up in prison for her husband; nor to lead a wandering life to accompany him. Let us congratulate her that God has taken her out of the world before she knew too much of the evil or what are called the good things of it. Let us congratulate ourselves on her having lived with us as long as life was agreeable to her, and free from any mixture of bitterness. What is there at present in Christendom to make us desire life? Divisions in the Church, bloody wars, men slaughtered, women violated, cruel murders, and multitudes reduced to beggary; Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia pillaged; the heirs of the most noble families reduced to the necessity of living on alms, if it can be called living to drag out their days in misery, wishing for death, which alone can put an end to it."

Cornelia, the eldest of Grotius's daughters, who survived her father, married John Barthon, Viscount of Mombas, a Gentleman of Poitou, who was obliged to quit France for having displeased Lewis XIV. He went to Holland, from whence he was also forced to fly, having been involved in the misfortunes wherein the De Wits perished, and which gave Peter Grotius, his brother-in-law, so much uneasiness.

Grotius had a brother named William, with whom he kept up the greatest intimacy during his whole life, and made him the confident of his studies and designs. It appears by his letters that they lived in the strictest friendship. Hugo, who was the eldest, contributed to his brother's education, and directed his studies. We have a letter from Grotius to his brother, dated at Rotterdam September 28, 1614, containing a plan of study. "I am of opinion, says he, that in order to acquire the knowledge of Law, before you touch upon law tracts you should read with attention Aristotle's second and fifth book of Ethics, to Nicomachus, or the excellent paraphrase of them published by Heinsius; then Aristotle's Rhetoric, with the learned commentary on it; afterwards Cicero's Offices, the Paradoxes, De Finibus, Of Laws, the Topica, and De Inventiene. I could wish that whilst reading you would make extracts, or at least mark in the margin of your book whatever has relation to the Law of Nature and of Nations, to the origin of Laws and Magistrates, to Jus publicum et privatum. When you have done this, we shall think of the rest." It was Grotius who corrected his brother's Law Theses.

William Grotius came to France in 1617 to learn the language; and retiring to Senlis made great progress in it: he purposed to go to Tours, and Grotius approved of his journey, because the air was pure, and they spoke good French there.

William Grotius, as well as his brother, had a turn for theological studies: he wrote something in verse on the Decalogue, which Grotius mentions in a letter dated from his prison at Louvestein, November 1, 1620. "I have read with pleasure, he says, what you have done on the Decalogue: the maxims are excellent, and the verses easy."

William had his brother's confidence during his whole life. Grotius writes to him from Paris, April 14, 1622, "You are never weary of assisting me under my afflictions: if ever fortune enables me to testify my gratitude, I will forgive her all the tricks she has played me." He was desirous, in the end of the year 1622, that his brother should settle his matters so, as to come to see him in the beginning of the following year; but this journey did not take place. Grotius's disgrace affected his brother: he despaired of attaining to honours, and Grotius advised him to think only of raising himself by the study of the Law.

In April 1623 he married Alida Grasvinkel. About this time a Dutchman was seized at Lillo, with letters from William Grotius to his brother. It was expected that something would be found in them against the State, and they talked of nothing less than imprisoning him; but notwithstanding the malice of his enemies, they could not find the least pretext from these letters to trouble him. In the mean time William followed the profession of an Advocate with much success: Grotius compliments him on it in a letter of the 28th of November, 1625, in which he tells him, that the life he led in shining at the bar was much more agreeable than that which is spent in public employments.

William Grotius wrote about this time the lives of the Advocates, under the title of Vitæ Jurisconsultorum quorum in Pandectis exstant nomina, conscriptæ a Gulielmo Grotio Jurisconsulto Delphensi. He sent this book to his brother, who writes to him that he read it with pleasure, and was delighted to see a work which demonstrated his brother's genius, learning, and good sense.

William Grotius, whose marriage had prevented his going to France to see his brother, went thither however in 1629: he returned again to Holland. William being desirous to have his brother's picture, Hugo had the complaisance to sit for it, and send it to him. The enmity of the Magistrates was still so violent at this time, that William made a mystery of this picture; in which Grotius thought he acted very prudently. In 1638 there was a talk of making William Grotius Pensionary of Delft. The conditions on which the place was offered did not suit him, and he declined it. This refusal was approved of by Grotius; for he writes to him, March 13, 1638, "As to the place of Pensionary of our native town, the more I think of it, the happier I imagine you in having got rid of it, and in preferring honour to profit: for in these times it would have been impossible to have preserved that place and your honour."

The East-India Company chose him for their Advocate in 1639. Grotius compliments his brother on it March 26, that year. "I always loved that Company, he says: I look upon it as the support of the Republic; and if I could be at present of any use to it, I would most gladly embrace the opportunity."

Grotius's writings concerning Antichrist were approved of by William and their Father. However, as there was reason to apprehend that the printing of these pieces might increase the number and animosity of his enemies, Grotius proposed to his Brother not to take upon him their publication, especially as he might easily find persons that were far from a factious spirit, who would willingly undertake it: but William Grotius ran the hazard of this publication, without being frightened at the consequences.

Grotius had always discovered great impatience when denied the tides of honour due to the Ambassadors of crowned heads. He imagined it to be the consequence of a plot of his enemies to depreciate him. William did not approve of his brother's great heat on this subject: and thought there was reason to presume that it was owing rather to inattention, than a premeditated design. Grotius, whose mildness of temper was greatly altered by his late disputes with the Reformed Ministers, as Henry de Villeneuve observes in a letter to the Abbé Barcellini, was much dissatisfied with his brother's manner of excusing those of whom he thought he had reason to complain; and wrote to him very sharply on this subject, December 12, 1643. "I imagine, says he, I see and hear you pleading at the Bar: you find reasons to excuse my enemies for things for which no body here excuses them: you blame me for things for which no body here blames me, nor will any others except your Dutchmen. It is fit that I should support my dignity: the thing is done on purpose; and the Swedes, whom it concerns, would be offended with me if I acted otherwise. I would therefore ask of you, for the future to address the letters you receive for me to my wife; and I shall afterwards see what is to be done."

This small altercation did not interrupt the friendship of the two brothers, nor their correspondence by letters, which continued till Grotius's death.

William, besides the book we have already mentioned, wrote another on the law of nature, entitled, Willelmi Grotii de principiis Juris Naturalis Enchiridion. This work is much inferior to the treatise Of War and Peace. However, it has its merit, and is particularly valuable for containing in a small compass all the principles of Natural Law clearly displayed.

Grotius had still another brother, named Francis, who was the second son of John Grotius. He died young. Grotius wrote a Poem on his death, and a consolatory piece in Prose and Verse to his Father: they are both in the collection of his Poems.

John Grotius had a daughter of fine accomplishments. Grotius acquaints us[773], that she wrote an useful book on Widowhood, which was very well done. The design of this work was not to condemn second marriages, but only to shew that it was more becoming a reasonable woman to content herself with having had one husband. After her death it was proposed to print it; and Grotius, to make it a more considerable book, translated into Dutch three treatises of Tertullian, one of St. Ambrose, two of St. Chrysostome, and three of St. Jerom, on the same subject. We have not learnt whether this Collection was ever published.

The END of the SIXTH and LAST BOOK.


[735] See the Testimonia at the end of Le Clerc's edition of the treatise on the truth of the Christian religion, p. 344. & 351.

[736] Ep. 195. p. 813.

[737] Ep. 253. p. 832.

[738] Ep. 368. p. 859. & 369. p 860.

[739] Ep. 419. p. 875.

[740] Ep. 421. p. 876.

[741] Ep. 936 p. 415

[742] Ep. 1129. p. 510. & 1133. p. 512.

[743] Ep. 506. p. 885. 465. p. 886. 1371. p. 623

[744] Ep. 1607. p. 716. 1616. p. 717. 537. p. 916. 670. p. 958. & 678. p. 960.

[745] Ep. 714. p. 968.

[746] Ep. 1746. p. 746. & 720. p. 970.

[747] Ann. de Basnage, t. 1. p. 700.

[748] Ep. 64. p. 773. 68. p. 774. & 72. p. 776.

[749] Ep. 258. p. 833.

[750] Ep. 324. p. 115.

[751] Ep. 326. p. 849.

[752] Ep. 353. p. 855.

[753] Ep. 357. p. 856.

[754] Ep. 364. p. 858. & 369. p. 860.

[755] Ep. 573. p. 225.

[756] Ep. 406. p. 870.

[757] Ep. 421. p. 876.

[758] Ep. 425. p. 876.

[759] Ep. 426. p. 877.

[760] Ep. 946. p. 419.

[761] See Book I. § 16.

[762] Ep. 455. p. 883. & 465. p. 887.

[763] Ep. 469. p. 887.

[764] Ep. 492. p. 896.

[765] Ep. 537. p. 916.

[766] Ep. 542. p. 918.

[767] Ep. 553. p. 924.

[768] Ep. 555. p. 925.

[769] Ep. 588. p. 933.

[770] Ep. 641. p. 949.

[771] Ep. 1257. p. 571.

[772] Ep. 377. p. 138.

[773] Ep. 550. p. 920.





Hugeiani Grotii Batavi Pontifex Romanus, Rex Galliarum, Albertus Cardinalis, Regina Angliæ, Ordines Foederati: ex officinâ Plantinianâ, apud Christophorum Raphelengium, Academiæ Lugduno-Batavæ Typographum, 1599.

Grotius's Poems are in two collections; the prophane, in that published by his brother, which has gone through many editions; in the latter ones are inserted the Tragedy of Sophomphaneus, the Catechism in Latin verse, and Sylva ad Franciscum Augustum Thuanum. See the Life of Grotius Book 1. § 13. B. 2. § 14. B. 5. § 2. The sacred poems were printed, in quarto, at the Hague, in 1610, in a collection wherein we find Adamus exsul, a tragedy; Exordia quatuor Evangeliorum; Paraphrasis metrica Hymnorum in Evangelio & Actis Lucæ, variique Psalmi, & alia carmina; Martiani Minei Felicis Satyricon, seu de nuptiis Philologiæ & Mercurii libri duo; & de septem artibus liberalibus libri totidem: emendati & notis illustrati. Lugduni-Batavorum, 1599. See the Life of Grotius, B. 1. § 10.

Limneu[Greek: retichê], sive portuum investigandorum ratio, metaphraste Hugone Grotio Batavo: ex officinâ Plantinianâ, apud Christophorum Raphelengium, Academiæ Lugduno-Batavæ typographum, 1599. See the Life of Grotius, B. 1. § 11.

Hug. Grotii Batavi Syntagma Aratæorum, opus poëticæ & astronomiæ studiosis utilissimum. Ex officinâ Plantinianâ, apud Christophorum Raphelengium, academiæ Lugduno-Batavæ typographum, 1600.

Hoc opere continentur Arati Phoenomena, & Diosemeia Græcè Ciceronis interpretatio H. Grotii versibus interpolata.

Phoenomena Aratea Germanico Cæsare interprete, multo auctiora & emendatiora, ope manuscripti profecti ex bibliothecâ nob. dom. Jacobi Susii de Grisendorf.

Ejusdem fragmenta Prognosticorum, imagines siderum Germanici versibus interpositæ, ex manuscripto desumptæ, & a Jacobo Gheinia æri incisæ.

Notæ H. Grotii ad Aratum.

Notæ ejusdem ad Germanici Phoenomena.

Notæ ejusdem ad imagines, in quibus siderum & singularum stellarum nomina Arabica, Hebræa, Græca, & Latina, & situs exponuntur.

Notæ ad Fragmenta Ciceronis.

Festi Avieni paraphrasis, cum notis brevibus in margine appositis.

Mare Liberum, seu de jure quod Batavis competit ad Indica commercia. Lugduni-Batavorum, 1609. See the Life of Grotius, B. 1. § 19.

De antiquitate reipublicæ Batavicæ. Lug. Bat. 1610. See the Life of Grotius, B. 1. § 20.

The theological works were printed in four volumes in folio, by the heirs of Blaeu, at Amsterdam, in 1679.

The three first tomes contain the Commentary on the Holy Scriptures. See the Life of Grotius, B. 1. § 14. B. 6. § 11.

The fourth volume contains divers theological pieces.

De Veritate Religionis Christianæ. See the Life of Grotius, B. 2. § 14. B. 6. § 9.

Ordinum Hollandiæ & Westfrisiæ pietas ab improbissimis multorum calumniis, præsertim vero a Sibrandi Luberti Epistolâ, quam Archiepiscopo Cantuariensi scripsit, vindicata. See the life of Grotius, B. 2. § 16.

Bona Fides Sibrandi Luberti. See the Life of Grotius, B. 2. § 16.

Ordinum Hollandiæ & Westfrisiæ decretum pro pace ecclesiarum, munitum S. Scripturæ, Conciliorum, Patrum, Confessionum, & Theologorum testimoniis. See the Life of Grotius, B. 2. § 4. & 17.

Oratio IX. cal. Maii habita in senatu Amstelodamensi, versa è Belgico sermone per Theodorum Schrevelium. See the Life of Grotius, B. 2. § 6.

Defensio decreti pro pace ecclesiarum. See the Life of Grotius, B. 2. § 16.

De Imperio summarum potestatum circa sacra. See the Life of Grotius, B. 2. § 16.

Defensio fidei Catholicæ de satisfactione Christi, adversùs Faustum Socinum Senensem. See the Life of Grotius, B. 2. § 16.

Conciliatio dissidentium de re predestinatoriâ atque gratiâ opinionum. See the Life of Grotius, B. 2. § 16.

Disquisitio, an Pelagiana sint illa dogmata, quæ nunc sub eo nomine traducuntur. See the Life of Grotius, B. 2. § 16.

Philosophorum veterum sententiæ de fato, & de eo quod est in nostrâ potestate. See the Life of Grotius, B. 2. § 16.

Commentarius ad loca quædam Novi Testamenti de Antichristo. See the Life of Grotius, B. 6. § 12.

Appendix ad Commentationem de Antichristo. See the Life of Grotius, B. 6. § 12.

Dissertatio de Coenæ administratione ubi Pastores non adsunt. See the Life of Grotius, B. 6. § 12.

Dissertatio an semper communicandum per symbola. See the Life of Grotius, B. 6. § 12.

Explicatio trium utilissimorum locorum N.T. in quibus agitur de fide & operibus. See the Life of Grotius, B. 6. § 12.

Via ad pacem ecclesiasticam; quo tractatu continentur Bulla Pii Papæ IV. super formâ juramenti professionis fidei exhibitâ invictissimo Imperatori Carolo V. in comitiis Augustanis, 1530. Georgii Cassandri Consultatio de articulis Religionis inter Catholicos & Protestantes controversis. Hugonis Grotii Annotata ad Consultationem Cassandri, ejusdem disquisitio de dogmatibus Pelagianis, ejusdem baptizatorum institutio & de eucharistiâ; denique Syllabus auctorum, qui de conciliatione controversiarum in religione scripserunt.

Animadversiones in Andreæ Riveti animadversiones. See the Life of Grotius, B. 2. § 12.

Votum pro pace ecclesiasticâ, contra examen Andreæ Riveti. See the Life of Grotius, B. 6. § 12.

Rivetiani apologetici discussio. See the Life of Grotius, B. 6. § 12.

De summo sacerdotio. See the Life of Grotius, B. 5. § 12.

De dogmatis, ritibus, & gubernatione Ecclesiæ Christianæ.

De dogmatis quæ reipublicæ noxia sunt aut dicuntur.

M. Annæi Lucani Pharsalia, ex emendatione & cum notis H. Grotii. Lug. Bat. 1614. See the Life of Grotius, B. 6. § 5.

Dicta poëtarum quæ apud Joannem Stobeum extant, emendata & Latino carmine reddita ab Hugone Grotio: accesserunt Plutarchi & Basilii Magni de usu Græcorum poëtarum. Parisiis, 1622. See the Life of Grotius, B. 2. § 14. B. 3. § 6.

Apologeticus eorum, qui Hollandiæ, Westfrisiæ, & vicinis quibusdam nationibus ex Legibus præfuerunt ante mutationem anni 1618. Parisiis, 1622. See the Life of Grotius, B. 2. § 14. B. 3. § 4.

De Jure Belli ac Pacis Libri tres. Parisiis, 1625. The best edition of this celebrated work is that published at Amsterdam, in 1720, by John Barbeyrac, who has translated it so happily. At the end of this edition he subjoined a small tract of Grotius: De equitate, indulgentiâ, & facilitate, liber singularis. See the Life of Grotius, B. 3. § 9.

Excerpta ex tragoediis & comediis Græcis, tùm quæ extant, tùm quæ perierunt: emendata & Latinis versibus reddita ab Hugone Grotio, cum notis & indice auctorum ac rerum. Parisiis apud Nicolaum Buon, 1626. See the Life of Grotius, B. 2. § 14. B. 3. § 6.

Grollæ obsidio, cum annexis anni 1627. Amstelodami, apud Guillelmum Blaeu, 1629. See the Life of Grotius, B. 6. § 14.

Euripidis Tragoedia Phenissæ, emendata ex manuscriptis, & Latina facta ab Hugone Grotio. Parisiis, 1630. See the Life of Grotius, B. 2. § 14. B. 3. § 7.

An Introduction to the Laws of Holland, in Dutch. Hague, 1631. See the Life of Grotius, B. 2. § 14. B. 6. § 14.

C. Cornelius Tacitus, ex J. Lipsii editione, cum notis & emendationibus H. Grotii. Lugduni-Batavorum, ex officinâ Elzevirianâ, 1640. See the Life of Grotius, B. 6. § 3.

Florum sparsio in Jus Justinianeum, & in loca quædam Juris Civilis. Parisiis, 1642. See the Life of Grotius, B. 6. § 10.

De origine gentium Americanarum dissertatio prior. Parisiis, 1642. See the Life of Grotius, B. 6. § 13.

De origine gentium Americanarum dissertatio altera, adversùs obtrectatorem opaca bonum quem fecit barba. Parisiis, 1643. See the Life of Grotius, B. 6. § 13.

Hugonis Grotii quædam hactenùs inedita, aliaque ex Belgicè editis Latinè versa, argumenti theologici, juridici, politici. Amstelodami, 1652.

Consilium juridicum super iis, quæ Nassavii in Juliacum & Geldriam competere sibi dicunt.

Epistola ad Car. V. an Provinciæ Foederati Belgii inferendæ sunt imperio Germanico.

F. Thomæ Campanellæ Philosophiæ realis pars tertia, quæ est de politicâ, in aphorismos digesta.

De pace Germaniæ epistola ad clarissimum virum N.P. An supposititia sit dijudicet sagax lector.

Hugonis Grotii responsio ad quædam ab utroque judicum consessu objecta, ubi multa disputantur de jure summarum potestatum in Hollandiâ Westfrisiâque, & Magistratuum in oppidis. See the Life of Grotius, B. 6. § 14.

Historia Gothorum, Vandalorum, & Longobardorum; ab Hugone Grotio partim versa, partim in ordinem digesta, cum ejusdem prolegomenis, ubi regum Gothorum ordo & chronologia cum elogiis; accedunt nomina appellativa cum explicatione. Scriptores sunt Procopius, Agathias, Jornandes, B. Isidorus, Paulus Warnefridus. Amstelodami, 1655. See the Life of Grotius, B. 6. § 7.

Annales & Historiæ de rebus Belgicis, ab obitu Philippi regis usque ad inducias anni 1609. Amstelodami, anno 1657. See the Life of Grotius, B. 6. § 8.

Hugonis Grotii Epistolæ, quotquot reperiri potuerunt. Amstelodami, 1687. See the Life of Grotius, B. 6. § 15.



Adamus exsul, a tragedy, 19.

Aligre, keeper of the seals, Grotius flatters himself with being protected by him, 114
The services which he accordingly receives from him, ibid.

America, Grotius's treatise of the origin of its inhabitants, 275.

Amsterdam, that city favours the Gomarists, and declares against a toleration, 50
Deputation sent to it on this subject, ib. et seq.

Anne of Austria, queen, is declared regent during the minority of her son Lewis XIV., 230
Gives Grotius an audience, 231.

Anthologia, Grotius purposes to publish an edition of that collection, 247
The several indexes he would have to it, 249
The printing of it begun, but stopt, 250
Where the original of this work is to be found, 251
The time employed by the author in it, ibid.

Antichrist, Grotius's book on that subject, 269
It occasions him many enemies, 270
Made a great noise among the enemies of the Romish Church, 271
The offence which it gave to the reformed, 272
A mistake of the author in this book, ibid.

Aratus, Grotius's edition of his Phoenomena, 16
Commended, ibid
A copy of this edition collated by Nicholas Heinsius, who added some notes, 18.

Ardenne, battle of, 158.

Arminians, their conference with the Gomarists in presence of the states of Holland, 41
Their remonstrance to the states, ibid
By whom it was drawn up, 45
A summary of their doctrine, 45
Acknowledge the civil magistrate to be judge of ecclesiastical disputes, 46
Persecuted by prince Maurice, 59
Refuse to receive the synod of Dort, 60
Their protest against that assembly, ibid
Are condemned in it, 61
The pretexts they make use of against that synod, ibid
Favoured by prince Henry Frederic of Nassau, 107.

Arminius, his dispute with Gomar, 39 et seq.
His doctrine concerning predestination and grace, ibid
He is complained of to the synod of Rotterdam, 40
Presents a petition to the states of Holland and Westfriesland, ibid et seq.
His death, 41
Grotius's Elogium of him, ibid.
Method proposed by him for a reunion of christians, 307.

Arnaud, his relation concerning Grotius's death, 241.


Bacon, Lord, the reading of his Works gave Grotius the first hint of compiling a system of natural law, 110.

Baillet, his judgment of Grotius's poems, 20
Of his annals of the Low Countries, 258.

Balzac, what he said of Grotius's poems, 20
His esteem for that learned man, 328.

Bannier, Marshal, his brother first put it into Grotius's head to enter into the Swedish service, 136.

Barberin, Cardinal Francis, what he found fault with in Grotius's book of war and peace, 113.

Barbeyrac, his commendation of Grotius's treatise of the rights of war and peace, 100 et seq.
Character of his translation of that book, 111
His judgment of John de Felda's notes against it, 111, 112
Defects observed by Barbeyrac in it, 113.

Barlæus, his elogium of Grotius when a boy, 7.

Barnevelt, grand pensionary of Holland, his firmness in opposing the earl of Leicester's designs, 9
Contributes to the nominating count Maurice of Nassau captain general, ibid
Sent ambassador to Henry IV., 10
Success of his negotiation, ibid.
Grotius's connection with him, 29
The report it gave rise to, ibid
His behaviour in the dispute between the Arminians and Gomarists, 40, 46, et seq.
He and Grotius have the direction of the states conduct in this affair, 44
Decree proposed by him to the states, 49
Rise of count Maurice's hatred to him, 50
Wants to resign his employments, 55
Arrested by count Maurice, 58
Crimes of which his enemies accuse him, 59
Is brought to his tryal, 62
Excepts against his judges, ibid
His condemnation, and its grounds, 63
The court of France interests itself in his behalf, ibid
His death and elogium, 65.

Baudius, his opinion of Grotius's poetical talents, 19
A candidate for the place of historiographer of the United Provinces, which he yields to that learned man, 21
Scazon written by him in honour of Grotius, 327.

Bayle, his opinion of Grotius's project for reuniting the religions, 302.

Berthier, father, the jesuist, his information concerning the original manuscript of Grotius's Anthologia, 251
What he says of his translation of the Supplicantes of Euripides, 278.

Bignon, Jerom, advocate general, his observation to Grotius concerning his Annals of the Low Countries, 258
His opinion of the treatise of the truth of the christian religion, 262
Cannot bear to hear Grotius accused of socinianism, 324
His esteem for him, 330.

Bishops, their authority favoured by Grotius, 288 et seq.
He says they were established by Christ, ibid.

Blondius, his ill treatment of Reigersberg, 317
How threatened by Grotius on that account, ibid.

Boissise, Thumeri de, on what occasion nominated ambassador from France to Holland, 63
Success of his negotiation, 64
Receives Grotius at his arrival in France, 89.

Bossuet, his summary of the Arminian doctrine, 45
Accuses Grotius of favouring Socinianism, 319
Allows that he did not deny Christ's divinity, 320.

Bouhier, the president, his mistake concerning the year of Grotius's birth, 4.

Boutillier, superintendant of the finances, makes Grotius offers of service, 126
His conference with him concerning the treaty concluded in France with the envoys of the allies, 147.

Boze, a collection of Grotius's letters in cipher in his cabinet, 282

Brandanus, Grotius's chaplain, 157
His character, ibid
Is turned away by Grotius, 158.

Briet, father, a jesuit, what he says of Grotius's disposition to turn Roman Catholic, 301.


Calvin, spoken of by Grotius with the greatest indignation, 287
His equivocal expressions concerning the Eucharist, 293.

Calvinists, Grotius disapproves of their sentiments on the Eucharist, and reproaches them with their contradictions, 292

Capella, Martianus, Grotius's edition of that author, 13
The nature of his work, and its character, 13, 14
Its use, 15.

Carleton, the english ambassador in Holland, demands that Grotius should be punished for writing the book of the Freedom of the ocean, 67.

Casaubon, Isaac, his commendation of Grotius's edition of Capella, 15
What he says of his edition of Aratus's Phoenomena, 17
Translates into Greek verse Grotius's Prosopopoeia of the town of Ostend, 19
His commendation of his Christus patiens, ibid.
His opinion of his talents for poetry, ibid.
Henry IV. has thoughts of making him his librarian, 22
Difficulties that design meets with, ibid
Is nominated Librarian, ibid
Grotius contracts a great friendship with him, 31
His esteem for that learned man, 32
His thoughts of the re-union of the roman catholics with the protestants, 33
The last testimony of his sentiments for Grotius, 33
Commends his Apology against Sibrand Lubert, 84
What Grotius says of Casaubon's resolution to turn Roman Catholic, 286
His opinion of the Roman Catholics of France, ibid.

Casaubon, Meric, his esteem for Grotius, 332
His elogium of Grotius in the Preface to Hierocles of Providence and Fate, ibid.

Caumartin, is made keeper of the seals, 94.

Cerisante, nominated agent from Sweden at the court of France, 231
His character and birth, 232, 233
His adventures, ibid
Is dismissed by the queen of Sweden, 233
His disputes with Grotius, ibid.

Charenton, the ministers of, refuse to receive Grotius into their communion on his first arrival in France, 90
His discussions with them when he returned in quality of ambassador from Sweden, 154
Send a deputation to him, 155.

Charles I. of England, invites Grotius into that kingdom, 187.

Charles Lewis, Elector Palatine, purposes to put himself at the head of the Weymarian army on the duke of Weymar's death, 215
Goes into France, and is arrested, 216
Is conducted to Vincennes, 217
Princes who interest themselves in procuring his liberty, 217
He comes out of prison on certain conditions, ibid.

Chavigny, his negotiations with Grotius, 159
Treats with him concerning a truce that was proposed, 201
Another negotiation between them concerning the elector Palatine's discharge, 218

Christenius, John, his satisfaction on seeing Grotius when he was in France, 331
Esteem with which he speaks of him, ibid.

Christian IV. King of Denmark, his offers to Grotius to draw him into his service, 131.

Christina, queen of Sweden, state of affairs at her accession to the throne, 92
Her right to the crown disputed, ibid
Approves of Grotius's nomination to the French embassy, 169
Honours paid by her to Grotius at his return to Sweden, 237
Her present to him at his departure, 238
Accused of shortening that learned man's days, 243
Purchases several of his manuscripts after his death, 279
Her compliment to his widow on the death of her husband, 332.

Church, Grotius's thoughts of her infallibility, and the submission due to her, 297.

Clement, St. publication of his epistle, 297
Grotius's thoughts of it and of the second letter ascribed to him, ibid.

Clerc, Le, his relation of the manner of Grotius's death, 241
Gives hopes of his publishing an edition of that learned man's Anthologia, 250
His opinion of his commentary on the Scriptures, 269.

Colomiez, his opinion of Grotius's treatise of the truth of the christian religion, 267
Elogiums of Grotius related by him, 329
His own opinion of him, ibid.

Condé, prince of, Grotius dedicates his Capella to him, 15
Is entirely in Grotius's interest, 93
Renews his acquaintance with him on his arrival in France in quality of ambassador from Sweden, 145
Their conversation together, 200.

Contra-remonstrants. See Gomarists.

Cornets, Cornelius, who he was, 1
His marriage with Ermengarda de Groot, 2
A branch of his family in Provence, ibid
His children, ibid.

Corraro, the Venetian ambassador at Paris, Grotius's complaint against him, 184
How the affair was made up, ibid.

Crellius, answers Grotius's book against Socinus, 321
That learned man's letters to Crellius on this subject, 322.

Crusius, a Swedish lord, his quarrel with Schmalz, 206.


D'Avaux, acts against Grotius, 173
his Negotiation with Salvius for a renewal of the alliance between France and Sweden, 228.

Daube, his opinion of Grotius's treatise of the rights of war and peace, 113.

Dead, Grotius's opinion of praying for them, 294.

Desmarets writes with great bitterness against Grotius's treatise on Antichrist, 272
His answer to him, ibid.

Desnoyers, secretary at war, treats with Grotius about a truce, 204.

De Vic made keeper of the seals, 93
Grotius flatters himself with being favoured by him, ibid
Services which De Vic doth that learned man, 94
His death, ibid.

D'Or, Francis, enters into Grotius's service as his chaplain, 158
Who he was, ibid
Turns Roman Catholic, and not censured by Grotius, 288.

Dort, Synod of, its convocation, 55
the holding of that assembly, 60
It proscribes the Arminians, 61.

Douza, John, his Elogium of Grotius when a boy, 7.

Du Maurier, ambassador from France to Holland, 35
Grotius gives him a method of study, ibid
He sends Grotius a recommendation for France, 88
Gives him false hopes of a return to his country, 117.

Du Maurier, the son, his account of the circumstances attending Grotius's death, 241
His criticism of his letters, 280.

Du Moulin, Lewis, what he says to Grotius's advantage, 333.

Duncomius, what he writes Vossius concerning Grotius, 332.

Dupuis, Henry, congratulates Grotius on his escape out of prison, and makes him an offer of his services, 81, 82.

Dupuis, Mess. visit Grotius on his arrival at Paris, 90
His great intimacy with them, 317.

Duræus, minister of the church of Sweden, seconds Grotius's project of pacification, 305
Obstacles to the execution of his design, 306.

Du Vair, keeper of the seals, his esteem for Grotius, 92
Letter to him assuring him of his friendship, ibid
His death, 92
Compliments Grotius on his good intention of forming a coalition of all christians, 303.


Elizabeth Queen of England takes the United Provinces under her protection, 8
Her treaty with them, ibid.

English, their dispute with the Dutch concerning the Greenland fishery, 29
Were the first who disputed with cardinal Richelieu the privileges of the cardinalship, 170
Their broil with the Swedes about precedency, 184.

Episcopius, is deposed by the synod of Dort, 61
What Grotius writes to him concerning the Eucharist, 291
Regards that learned man as his oracle, 329.

Estrades, an anecdote related by him of prince Henry Frederic of Nassau, 107
Is displeased with Peter Grotius pensionary of Amsterdam, 348.

Eucharist, Grotius is at first prejudiced against the opinion of the Romish church concerning this sacrament, 291
His thoughts of it afterwards, ibid.

Euripides, most esteemed by Grotius of all the tragic poets, 278
Several of his pieces translated by him, ibid.


Fabricius, his opinion of Grotius's Commentary on the Scriptures, 269.

Felda, John de, his notes against Grotius's treatise De jure belli et pacis, 111.

Freiras, Francis Seraphin, his answer to Grotius's treatise of the freedom of the Ocean, 26.


Gettichius, his opinion of Grotius's writings concerning Antichrist, 271.

Gilot, James, his praise of Grotius when a boy, 7.

Gomar, rise of his dispute with Arminius, 39
His doctrine concerning predestination and grace, 40
Is summoned to appear before the magistrates, ibid
What he says there, ibid.

Gomarists, their conference with the Arminians in presence of the States of Holland, 41
On what occasion they were called Contra-remonstrants, 45, 46
Are favoured by the people, 46
Disturbances raised by them, ibid
Their complaint against the edict published by the States, 49
Separate from the communism of the Arminians, 50.

Goths, Grotius writes their antiquities, 252
The plan and design of this work, ibid
Its publication, 255.

Grasvinkel, Theodore, who, 112
undertakes a defence of Grotius's treatise of war and peace, ibid.

Gronovius, suspected by Grotius of having availed himself of his notes on Tacitus, 246.

Groot, Cornelius de, his birth, 2
His employments, 2, 3
His death, 3
Leaves several Pieces in MS., ibid.

Groot, Diederic de, origin and signification of his name of Groot, 1
Marries his daughter to Cornelius Cornets, 2.

Groot, Ermengarda de, who she was, 1, 2
Her marriage with Cornelius Cornets, ibid
Her children, 2.

Groot, Hugo de, his birth, 2
How he distinguished himself, ibid
His death, ibid
His children, ibid.

Groot, John de, studies under Justus Lipsius, 3
That learned man's esteem for him, ibid
His works, ibid
His employments, 4
Verses by Heinsius in his praise, 4
His marriage and children, ibid
His death, ibid
Assists his son Grotius in the edition of Martianus Capella, 15
His verses on his son's marriage, 21
Translates into dutch, in conjunction with him, his book of the antiquities of the Batavi, 28
Directs his grandson Diederic Grotius's studies, 352.

Grotius, Cornelia, Grotius's eldest daughter, her marriage with viscount Mombas, 357.

Grotius, Cornelius, son of Hugo, his studies, 338
Enters into the high chancellor Oxensteirn's service, 339
Goes to serve under the duke of Weymar, 339
His fickleness, ibid
His death, 341.

Grotius, Diederic, son of Hugo Grotius, distinguishes himself by his studies, 352
Enters into the duke of Weymar's service, 353
Diverted by his father from entering into the Dutch service, ibid
Goes to serve under marshal Bannier, and is made prisoner, 354
Obtains his liberty, ibid
Serves under marshal Turenne, 355
The duke D'Anguien's esteem for him, ibid.
His death, ibid.

Grotius, Frances, Grotius's youngest daughter, her birth and death, 356.

Grotius, Francis, brother of Hugo Grotius, verses by the latter on his death, 361.

Grotius, Hugo, whence he derived the name of Grotius, 1
his family and ancestors, ibid
Æra of his birth, 4
Great hopes given by him in his childhood, 5
Writes elegiac verses at eight years of age, 6
The good education he receives, ibid
Rise of his connection with Utengobard the clergyman, ibid
His studies at Leyden, his masters, and the progress he makes, ibid
His first journey to France, 11
Honours he receives from Henry IV., ibid
Takes the degree of Doctor of Laws, ibid
His correspondence with the president de Thou, 11, 12
His elogium of that magistrate after his death, 13
Pleads his first cause, ibid
His edition of Martianus Capella, ibid
The praise this work procures him from the Learned, 15
His management with the booksellers, ibid
Translates into latin the Limneu[Greek: retichê] of Stevin, 16
Publishes an edition of Aratus's Phoenomena, 16
Compliments he received on it from several men of learning, 17
Cultivates poetry, 18
His prosopopoeia of the town of Ostend, ibid
His tragedies, and their success, 19
Opinion of the learned concerning his poetical talents, ibid
Edition of his poems, 20
His own thoughts of them in the latter part of his life, 21
Nominated Historiographer of the United Provinces, ibid
Henry IV. has thoughts of making him his librarian, 22
Applies to the bar, 23
His method of pleading, ibid
Takes a dislike to this occupation, ibid
Appointed advocate general of the provinces of Holland and Zealand, 23, 24
His marriage, 24
His book of the freedom of the ocean, ibid
His own thoughts of this work, 26
His book De antiquitate Reipublicæ Batavicæ, 27
Nominated pensionary of Rotterdam, 28
Contracts an intimacy with Barnevelt, 29
Makes a voyage to England, about the Greenland fishery, 29
Nominated commissioner in this affair, 30
Is graciously received by king James I., 31
The great friendship he contracts with Casaubon, ibid
His esteem for that learned man, ibid
A grand question decided by the States of Holland according to Grotius's opinion, 33, 34
The method of study sent by him to Du Maurier, 35
His elogium of Arminius, 41
He declares for his doctrine, ibid
The remonstrance of the Arminians drawn up in concert with him, 45
He and Barnevelt have the sole direction of what the States do in this affair, 47
Rise of count Maurice's enmity to him, 50
Deputed by the States to the town of Amsterdam, 50
His speech on that occasion, 51
The bad success of his negotiation throws him into a fit of illness, 53, 54
His scheme for a coalition proves ineffectual, 54, 55
Deputed to Utrecht, 56
Arrested by order of prince Maurice, 58
The crimes he is accused of by his enemies, 59
His prosecution, and sentence, 66
Rotterdam interests itself for him in vain, ibid
Hard-heartedness and rage of his enemies, 66 et seq.
His condemnation, and its grounds, 68
Confutes them, and complains of his sentence, 72
Irregularity of his sentence, 73
Is removed to the fortress of Louvestein, 74
His employment in prison, 75
Makes his escape, 78
His Apology for the States of Holland against Sibrand Lubert, 79
Publishes another work concerning predestination and grace, 84
Prints the decree of the States, and its defence, ibid
His treatise De imperio summarum potestatum circa sacra, 85
Writes against Socinus, 86
Censure it draws upon him, ibid
Publishes a tract, proving that the Arminians are not Pelagians, 87
His work on destiny, ibid
He arrives at Paris, 89
Ill offices which the States do him by their ambassadors in France, ibid
Has no reason to speak well of the ministers of Charenton, 90
Epigrams occasioned by his arrival in France, 91
The court grants him a pension, 93
A report spread of his going to change his religion, 95
His employment at Paris, 96
His opinion of the eloquence of the advocates of those times, 96
Publishes his Apology, 97
Its contents, 98
It is condemned by the States, who proscribe the author, 99, 100
His uneasiness on this subject, 100
Taken by the French king under his protection, 101
The connections he still keeps up in Holland, 102
Corresponds by letters with prince Henry Frederic of Nassau, 102
Publishes his Stobeus, 103,
and his extract of the Greek tragedies and comedies, 104
Begins his work De jure belli ac pacis, 105
Is taken ill, 106
Publishes a translation of Euripides's Phoenissæ, 106
Writes in vain to prince Henry Frederic of Nassau to obtain leave to return to Holland, 107
Publishes his treatise De jure belli ac pacis, 108
Purposes to leave France, 113
A place offered him in Denmark, which he refuses, 115
His conference with cardinal Richelieu, by whom great hopes are given him, 116
Grotius returns to Holland, 118
Gains an important law-suit, 120
Disgusts he receives, 121
Is again outlawed by the States, 121
Leaves Holland, and goes to Hamburg, 125
Refuses a pension from France, 127
His thoughts on the education of children, 129
His first acquaintance with Salvius, 130
Is courted by several princes, 131
Is desirous of a reconciliation with Holland, 133
The high Chancellor Oxensteirn sends for him, ibid
His veneration for the great Gustavus, ibid
Goes to Oxensteirn at Francfort, 136
Is nominated ambassador from Sweden to France, ibid
His public declaration that he ought no longer to be looked on as a Dutchman, 137
His journey to and arrival in France, 141
Objections made to his nomination, 142
His public entry into Paris, 143
His first audience of the king, 144
Renews his acquaintance with the Prince of Condé, 145
His conference with Boutillier and father Joseph concerning the treaty concluded in France with the envoys of the allies, 147
Another conference on the same subject with cardinal Richelieu, 150
His discussions with the ministers of Charenton, 154
Resolves to have divine service celebrated in his own house, 156, 157
His several journeys to court, and negotiations with the ministers, 158 et seq.
His audiences of the cardinal, 162, 164, 167
Abstains from visiting his eminence, 170
Becomes odious to the court, 172
Accused of being a pensioner of France, 174
Disgusts he receives, 175
Is uneasy about the payment of his salary, 178
The Venetian ambassador contends with him for precedency, 179
Opposes the Swedes sending plenipotentiaries to the congress of Cologn, 181
His dispute with Godefroy concerning the right of precedency between France and Sweden, 182
Another dispute with the Venetian ambassador, 183
His explanation with the earl of Leicester in relation to the precedency of England and Sweden, 186
Several audiences which he has of the king, 189
Compliments the queen on her pregnancy, 196
His conversation with the prince of Condé, 200
His negotiation with Chavigny concerning the truce that was proposed, ibid
Smalz's bad behaviour to him, 204
Is in great danger of his life, 207
His compliments to the king and queen on the birth of the Dauphin, 210
His esteem for the duke of Weymar, 215
Labours to obtain the elector Palatine's liberty, and succeeds, 218
He negotiates the exchange of marshal Horn for John de Vert, 225
The share he has in the renewal of the alliance between France and Sweden, 228
His small regret for the death of cardinal Richelieu, 230
Visits not cardinal Mazarine, 231
His audience of the queen mother, ibid
The regency of Sweden are instigated against him, 232
The distaste he takes to his embassy, ibid
Desires be recalled, which request is readily granted, 233, 234
The gracious letter queen Christina writes to him on that subject, 234
His departure for Stockholm, 235
Honours he receives by the way, 236
His reception in Sweden, 237
He asks leave to retire, ibid
His departure from Stockholm, ibid
Anecdote concerning his last audience of the queen, 238
Conjectures to which his departure gave rise, 238
His arrival at Rostock, and his death, 239
Reports spread in relation to it, 241
His epitaph by himself, 244
His portrait, ibid
His embassy did not interrupt his literary labours, 244
He again cultivates Poetry, 245
His notes on Tacitus, 246
On Statius, ibid
On Lucan, ibid
His Anthologia, 247
His prodigious readiness at writing, 251
His history of the antiquity of the Goths, 252
The account he gives of this work to the high chancellor, ibid.
His annals of the Low Countries, 256
His treatise of the truth of the christian religion, 259
Is accused, on account of this book, of Socinianism, 260
His defence, ibid
His Florum sparsio ad jus Justinianeum, 263
His Commentary on the scriptures, 264
His esteem for father Petau, 266
His writings on Antichrist, 269
The many enemies they stir up against him, 270
His treatise of faith and good works, 273
His Via ad pacem ecclesiasticam, ibid
Expects his reward from posterity, ibid
His writings against Rivetus, 274
His other theological works, ibid
His treatise of the origin of the Americans, 275
His history of the siege of Grolla, 277.
His Introduction to the laws of Holland, ibid
His other writings, ibid
His translation of the Supplicantes of Euripides, 278
Manuscripts he left at his death, ib. et seq.
His Letters, and their praise, 279
Why censured, and for what esteemed, 280, 281
His circumspection with regard to the news he wrote to the high Chancellor, 281
His sentiments in relation to the Jesuists, 282, 288
His veneration for antiquity, ibid
Leans towards the Roman Catholics, 284
His elogium of pope Urbin VIII., ibid
His disesteem of the reformers, ibid
Disapproves of the separation of the protestants, 286
Indignation with which he speaks of Calvin, 285, 287
Is a partisan of the Hierarchy and the pope's supremacy, 288
Entertains hopes of reuniting christians, 290
His sentiments concerning the Eucharist, 291
A kind of formula proposed by him in relation to it, 292
Justifies the decision of the council of Trent concerning the number of sacraments, 294
His sentiments on several other controverted points, ibid.
His fondness for the works of the apostolic fathers, 297
What order of Monks he most esteemed, 299
In what manner he speaks of the council of Trent, ibid
What has been said of his disposition to turn Roman Catholic, 300
His connections with father Petau, ibid
His religion problematical, 301
His project of reuniting all christians, 302
Proposes to Lewis XIII. to pacify the differences which prevailed in Christendom, 304
What encouraged him in this project, 306
Flatters himself with being supported by cardinal Richelieu, 307, 312
His letter on this subject to baron Oxensteirn, 307
Communicates to his father his project of a coalition, 309
The shortest way which he proposed of bringing it about, 310
Entertains hopes of success, 311
His connection with father Petau on this occasion, 313
The enemies which this design raised up to him, 314
It embroils him with Salmasius and several others, ibid
He becomes suspicious and peevish, 317
Is accused of socinianism, 318
His vindication from this charge, 319
His letters to Crellius, 321
Is accused of being a Semi-pelagian, 325
Other accusations brought against him, ibid.
Elogiums and opinions of the learned concerning him, 326
Medals struck in honour of him, 337
His regard for the church of England, 338
Plan of study sent by him to William Grotius, 357
Altercation between them, 360.

Grotius, William, prints his brother's poems, 20
Grotius directs his studies, 357
His verses on the Decalogue, 358
The confidence which his brother places in him, ibid
His marriage, 359
Is a successful pleader, ibid
His Lives of the advocates, ibid
Refuses the place of pensionary of Delft, ibid.
The East India Company chuse him for their advocate, 360
His altercation with his brother, 360
His book on the Law of Nature, 361
The merit of this work, ibid.

Grotius, Mary, second daughter of Grotius, her death, 356
Grotius's letter to his father on that occasion, ibid.

Grotius, Peter, advice given him by his father with regard to his method of pleading, 23
What he relates concerning his father's Annals of the Low-Countries, 259
His bad state of health while a child, and his studies, 341
His uncertainty what course of life to follow, 344
Applies to the study of the law, 346
Uneasiness which his irresolution gives his father, ibid
His marriage, 347
The edition which he purposed to publish of his father's works, ibid
Enters into the service of the elector Palatine, 348
Is nominated pensionary of Amsterdam, ibid
Rise of his displeasure against France, ibid.
Goes ambassador to Stockholm, 349
His great knowledge of men, 349
Is made pensionary of Rotterdam, and nominated ambassador from Holland to France, 350
Success of his embassy, ibid
Involved in the disgrace of the De Wits, 351
Arrested and acquitted, ibid
His death, 352
His elogium by Vicquefort, ibid.

Gustavus, king of Sweden, Grotius great veneration for that prince, 133
His esteem for Grotius, 135
Purposes to engage him in his service, ibid
Gives orders before his death for employing him in the Swedish ministry, ibid
The value he set upon his treatise of War and Peace, ibid.


Heemskerke, Elselinga, her family, and marriage with Hugo de Groot, 2
Her children, ibid.

Heinsius, Daniel, his elogium of Grotius when a boy, 7
His Aristarchus Sacer, 264
The rival and secret enemy of Grotius, ibid
Ill success of his commentary on the New Testament, 266
Grotius's management of him, ibid.
Verses by Heinsius to be put under Grotius's picture, 330.

Heinsius, Nicholas, 18, 351.

Henry IV., the reception given by him to Grotius, 11.

Hoffman, calls Grotius the Phoenix of his age, 334.

Holland, the counts of, who was the first, 27
Their power and authority, ibid.

Holland, the states of, their first regulation with regard to the Arminians and Gomarists, 41
They declare for a toleration, 46.
Their edict on this subject, 47
Authorise the magistrates of the towns to raise troops, 49
Deputation sent by them to the town of Amsterdam, and its success, 50, 57
Vain scheme prepared by them for a re-union, 54
Afraid of the holding of a national synod, why, 55
Deputation sent by them to Utrecht, on what occasion, 56
Consent to the holding of the synod of Dort, 60
Their complaints against the imprisonment of Barnevelt, and the rest, 61
They are accused of favouring Socinianism, 82
Their apology by Grotius, ibid.

Holland, the grand pensionary of, his office, and power, 29.

Hoogerbetz, pensionary of Leiden, deputed to Utrecht, on what occasion, 56
Arrested by order of prince Maurice, 58
Is condemned to perpetual imprisonment, 73
Is removed to the fortress of Louvestein, 74
He comes out of prison, 107
His death, ibid.

Horn, Marshal, made prisoner at the battle of Norlinguen, 139, 225;
Grotius negotiates his exchange for John de Vert, 225.

Houteville, the Abbé de, his opinion of Grotius's treatise of the truth of the christian religion, 263.

Huet, his thoughts of the project of reuniting christians, 302.


James I. king of England, the gracious reception he gives Grotius, 31
He approves of the project of that learned man and Casaubon for a coalition of the Protestants and Roman Catholics, 33
Does not disapprove, upon the whole, of the edict published by the States in the dispute between the Arminians and Gomarists, 49
What he finds fault with in it, ibid
Assistance given by him to his nephew the elector Palatine, 215.

Jeannin, the president, writes a letter to Grotius, inviting him to France, 88
His friendship for him, 93.

Images, Grotius's thoughts on the use of Images in churches, 294.

Joseph, Father, a Capuchin, cardinal Richelieu's confident, 147
Confers with Grotius on the treaty concluded in France with the ambassadors of the allies, ibid
Another conference between Grotius and the Cardinal, at which father Joseph was present, 159
Confers with Grotius concerning the subsidies, 161
A warm opposer of Grotius, 173
Wants to be treated as a minister, ibid.

Jurieu, his account of the circumstances attending Grotius's death, 241.


Laet, John de, attacks Grotius's book on the origin of the Americans, 275
Grotius's answer, and Laet's reply, 277.

Laurent, James, Grotius advises him to read the works of Vincent de Lerins instead of Calvin's Institutions, 285
Reproaches Grotius with changing sides, 299.

Ledenberg, secretary of the city of Utrecht, arrested by order of prince Maurice, 57
Makes away with himself in prison, 60.

Lehman, his elogium of Grotius, 334.

Leicester, earl of, made governor and lieutenant general of the United Provinces, 9
Makes a bad use of his power, ibid
Sent ambassador extraordinary to France, 171
ordered not to visit cardinal Richelieu, ibid
His conference with Grotius, concerning the precedency of the English and Swedes, 186
Solicits the elector Palatine's liberty, 217
Negotiation with Grotius on that subject, 218.

Limneu[Greek: retichê], the design of that work, and its author, 16
Translated by Grotius into latin, ibid.

Linchovius, hinders Peter Grotius from being made Greffier of Amsterdam, 347.

Lipsius, Justus, John de Groot studies under him, 3
Lipsius's esteem for him, ibid
Letter which he writes to him, ibid
His commendation of Grotius's edition of Aratus, 17
His opinion of the tragedy entitled Adamus exsul, 19.

Lewis XIII. in vain solicits a pardon for Barnevelt and his associates, 63
Grants Grotius a pension on his arrival in France, 94
Out of regard to him takes under his protection such as were condemned in Holland, 94
Takes Grotius under his special protection, 101
The treatise of war and peace dedicated to him, 109
Grotius proposes to him the pacification of the differences among the churches, 304.

Lewis XIV. the confederation which he expresses for Peter Grotius, 349.

Low Countries, Grotius's Annals of the, 256
Baillet's opinion of this book, 258.

Lubert, Sibrand, writes against Vossius and the States of Holland, 82
Is confuted by Grotius, ibid
His answer to this confutation, 84.

Lusson, preceptor to Grotius, 6.

Lusson, William de, his endeavours to serve Grotius, 126
The latter's acknowledgments to him, 127.


Malherbe, translates into French verse Grotius's Prosopopoeia of the town of Ostend, 19.

Mallet, what he says in his book on atheism of Grotius's religion, 325.

Manassah Ben Israel, Grotius's particular esteem for that Jew, 264

Mazarine, cardinal, made prime minister, 230, 231
Grotius does not visit him, ibid.

Meibomius, his elogium of Grotius, 334.

Menage, his epigram on the diversity of sentiments concerning Grotius's religion, 302
In what terms he speaks of that learned man's merit, 327.

Menagiana, anecdote related in it concerning Grotius's last audience of queen Christina, 238
What it says of his death, 241
And of father Petau's thoughts of Grotius's disposition to turn Catholic, 301.

Mercoeur, the duke de, styled by Grotius the most learned of all the princes, 144
His adventures, ibid.

Meursius, his high commendation of Grotius when very young, 7, 326.

Mombas, John Barthon viscount of, driven out France, 349, 357.
Marries Cornelia, Grotius's eldest daughter, and is obliged to leave Holland, 357.

Morhof, calls Grotius the phoenix of his age, 334.


Nassau, prince Henry Frederic of, corresponds by letters with Grotius, 102
Succeeds count Maurice his brother in the post of Stadtholder, 107
He enters not into the projects against the Arminians, ibid
Approves of the proceedings of the states general against Grotius, 123.

Nassau, count Maurice of, rise of his hatred against Grotius and Barnevelt, 50
Declares for the Gomarists, ibid
The project of re-union rejected by him, 55
Causes Barnevelt, Grotius, and Hoogerbetz to be arrested, 58
Persecutes the Arminians, 59
Is offended at the court of France for protecting Barnevelt and the other prisoners, 64.


Ocean, contents of Grotius's treatise on the freedom of the ocean, 24
The several answers to it, 26.

Oldemburg, his elogium of Grotius, 334.

Orange, William prince of, his death, 8
What confusion it occasions in the United Provinces, ibid.

Ostend, Prosopopoeia of that town, written by Grotius, 18
The great character of this piece, ibid.

Overchie, Alida, her marriage with John de Groot, 4
Her family, ibid
Her death, ibid.

Oxensteirn, high Chancellor of Sweden, sends for Grotius, 133
Is his patron at Gustavus's court, 135
Nominated regent of Sweden during the minority of queen Christina, ibid
Opposes the treaty made with France by the envoys of the allies, 147
His journey to France and arrival at court, 151
Makes a new treaty with the french king, 153
His satisfaction with Grotius's preface to his history of the antiquity of the Goths, 255.

Oxensteirn, Benedict, a relation of the high Chancellor, sent to France by king Gustavus, 134
Esteem which he conceives for Grotius, ibid.


Patin, Guy, what he says of the manner of Grotius's death, 242
His elogium of that learned man, 333.

Patiniana, what it says of Grotius's pretended inclination to judaism, 325.

Pau, ambassador from Holland to France, at a loss how to behave to Grotius, 144
The ill offices which he doth him, 173

Petau, Father, Grotius's esteem for him, 266
Sends him his commentary on the Gospels, ibid
His connection with Grotius, 300
Says mass for his soul, 301
The account he gives of his first acquaintance with that learned man, 313.

Peyresc, Nicholas, visits Grotius on his arrival at Paris, 90
Sets him about writing the treatise of war and peace, 108
Services which he did him when compiling his annals of the Low Countries, 259
His esteem for him from his youth, 327.

Pontanus, Isaac, his elogium of Grotius when a boy, 7, 326.

Pope, Grotius maintains and proves his supremacy, 288.

Provinces, United, state of their affairs at Grotius's birth, 7
Embassy sent by them to Henry III. of France, ibid
refuse to make peace with Spain, 10
Embassy sent by them on that subject to Henry IV., ibid
Refuse the truce offered them, 11
Nominate Grotius to be their historiographer, 21
See Dutch.

Puffendorf, allows that little remained to be said after what Grotius had written of war and peace, 110.


Quistorpius, John, minister of Rostock, assisted Grotius at his death, 239
Relation which he gives of it, ibid.


Reigersberg, Grotius's brother-in-law, troubles which Grotius's enemies endeavoured to stir up to him, 119
Blondius's ill treatment of him, 317.

Reigersberg, Mary, her birth, 24
Her marriage to Grotius, and her elogium, ibid
Is denied permission to continue with him, even to see him, or speak with him during his imprisonment, 59, 66
Obtains liberty to see him in his prison at Louvestein, 74
The means she made use of to obtain his liberty, 78
Is confined, but afterwards discharged, 80, 81
Comes to her husband at Paris, 93
Her journey to Zealand, and return, 105
Goes to her husband at Francfort, 136
Waits on the french queen to compliment her on her pregnancy, 196
Her answer to Salmasius's slanders against her husband, 337
Professes the religion of the church of England, 338
Her death, ibid.

Religion, Grotius first composes in Dutch verse his treatise of the truth of the christian religion, 76
Afterwards publishes it in latin, 259
The general approbation, and several translations of this work, 259, 260
Accusation brought against the author on account of it, 260
A new edition of it with additions, 262
The opinion of the learned concerning this performance, ibid.

Remonstrants, see Arminians.

Renaudot, publishes an article in his Gazette which gives offence to Grotius, 186.

Richelieu, cardinal, seems to blame the conduct of Mess. de Luynes with regard to Barnevelt's death, 66
Nominated prime minister, 116
Confers with Grotius, ibid
Gives him great hopes, ibid
His stratagem to make the Swedes comply with his desires, 149
Is unwilling the high Chancellor should come to France, 151
Makes a new treaty with him, 153
The English dispute the privileges of his cardinalship, 170
He purposes to take Brisac out of the duke of Weymar's hands, 213
His uneasiness at not gaining that prince, ibid
Is suspected of contributing to cut him off, 214
The death of the cardinal, 230
Gives orders that Grotius's works may be printed without passing the examination of the censors, 266
Grotius flatters himself without reason that the cardinal will favour his project of re-uniting christians, 312
The cardinal ranks Grotius among the three most learned men of his age, 330

Rights of war and peace, the author's view in writing this book, 109
Barbeyrac's commendation of it, 110
Translations of it, 110, 111
Its defects, 112
Put into the Index Expurgatorius at Rome, 113.

Rivetus, how he treats Grotius with regard to his writings in favour of a coalition, 274
Grotius's answer, ibid.

Ruarus, his opinion of Grotius's writings on Antichrist, 271
His judgment of Grotius's scheme for a coalition, 316.


St. Chaumont, the marquis, sent ambassador from the French king into Germany, 164
Is disliked by Grotius, ibid
Is ordered to demand Grotius's recall, 172.

Saints, Grotius's opinion of the invocation of Saints, 295.

Salvius, vice-chancellor of Sweden, the esteem he conceives for Grotius, 135
Advantageous report which he makes of him to the high chancellor, ibid.

Sandes, translates Grotius's tragedy, entitled Christus Patiens, into English verse, 19.

Sarrau, his friendship for Grotius, 315
Rise of their quarrel, ibid
Rank which Sarrau assigns Grotius in the republic of letters, 316, 332
How he speaks of him after his death, 332.

Salmasius, his opinion of Grotius's poems, 20
Speaks with contempt of his treatise of the rights of war and peace, 111
His character, ibid
He communicates to Grotius his corrections of the Anthologia, 247
A coldness between him and Grotius, 285
Rise of their difference, 315
In what manner he spoke of Grotius during their friendship, 334
The letter, in which he cruelly treats that learned man's memory, 335
The answer of Grotius's wife to it, 337.

Scaliger, Joseph, is looked upon as the dictator of the republic of letters, 6
Directs Grotius's studies, ibid
Engages him to publish a new edition of Martianus Capella, 14
His encomium of Grotius's edition of the Phoenomena of Aratus, 17
His testimony in Grotius's favour, with regard to the Prosopopoeia of the town of Ostend, 18
His thoughts of his poetical talents, 19.

Schmalz, 202
Ill offices which he does Grotius, 204
Grotius complains of him to the High Chancellor, ibid
Schmalz's quarrel with Crusius, 205
He continues to injure Grotius, 206
His return to Sweden, ibid
Sequel of his adventures, 207.

Scriptures, holy, studied by Grotius at all times, 97
His commentary on them, 264
Opinion of the learned concerning it, 268 et seq.

Seguier, chancellor, the affront he put upon Grotius, 175, 227
The difficulties he throws in his way with regard to the printing his commentary on the New Testament, 267.

Selden, his Mare clausum, on what occasion it was composed, 26
The instance he gives of the rage of Grotius's enemies against him, 67.

Servien, secretary at war, is visited by Grotius, 160
Promises him his good offices in the affairs he recommended to him, 161.

Sibrand, See Lubert.

Silleri, chancellor, his irresolution, 100
Grotius thinks of dedicating his Stobæus to him, 104.

Simon, his opinion of Grotius's Commentary on the Bible, 268

Sophomphaneus, a tragedy by Grotius, 19, 130.

Soul, Grotius falsly accused of disbelieving its immortality, 326.

States General, entirely devoted to prince Maurice, 55
Convene the synod of Dort, ibid
Disband the new levies, 56
The placard issued by them in relation to the imprisonment of Barnevelt and the others, 58
The ill offices they do Grotius by their ambassadors on his arrival at Paris, 89
Condemn his Apology, and proscribe him, 95
The new ordinance which they publish against him, 123.

Statius, Grotius's notes on that poet, 246.

Stobeus, the subject and use of his work, 103
Grotius gives a new edition of it, ibid
A copy of it found with notes in Grotius's hand writing, 104.

Swedes, state of their affairs when Grotius entered into their service, 137
Their defeat at the battle of Nordlinguen, 139
The assistance they received from Lewis XIII., ibid
Discussions between them and France, 146
The difficulties they make about the treaty concluded with that crown by the envoys of the allies, 147
Grotius diverts them from sending plenipotentiaries to the congress at Cologn, 181
Their dispute with the English for precedency, 184
Consternation into which they are thrown by the death of the duke of Weymar, 215
Renew their alliance with France, 228.


Tacitus, Grotius's notes on that historian, 246.

Thou, the president de, Grotius's esteem and veneration for him, 11
Their correspondence together, 12
The friendship which that magistrate expresses for Grotius, ibid
Grotius's elogium of him, 13
His approbation of Grotius's edition of Martianus Capella, 15
commends his edition of Aratus's Phoenomena, 17.

Thou, Francis de, son of the president, generously gives Grotius the use of his library, 105
His visit to him on his arrival in France in the character of Swedish ambassador, 141.

Trent, council of, its decision concerning the number of sacraments defended by Grotius, 293
Respect with which he spoke of that council, 299.


Valois, M. what he says of Grotius's connection with father Petau, and his disposition to turn Roman Catholic, 300.

Vassor, character of that historian, 281
His judgment of Grotius's letters, ibid.

Venice, its ambassador disputes with Grotius for precedency, 179
another discussion between them, 183

Vert, John de, made prisoner by the duke of Weymar, 194
Is exchanged for marshal Horne, 227.

Voëtius, attacks Grotius's treatise of the truth of the christian religion, 260
Grotius's opinion of his criticism, ibid.

Vondel, a famous Dutch poet, translates Grotius's tragedy of Joseph into Dutch, 19
His conjectures concerning Grotius's departure from Stockholm, 238.

Vossius, Gerard, his encomium of Grotius on occasion of his edition of Martianus Capella, 15
His opinion of the tragedy of Joseph, 19
His thoughts of his poetical talents, 20
Grotius gives him an account of his studies while in prison, 75
His commendation of Grotius's Apology against Sibrand Lubert, 84
The pains he took to keep Grotius in Holland, 122
His letter, containing that learned man's reasons for returning thither, 124
The value he set upon Grotius's notes on Lucan, 246
Grotius complains of his too great timidity, 270
His poem in honour of Grotius, 328.

Vossius, Isaac, inherits his father's esteem for Grotius, 248
Offers him his service for his literary commissions, 249
Superintends the printing of the Anthologia, 250.

Urbin VIII., 180
His elogium by Grotius, 284
Gives the cardinals the title of Most eminent, 334.

Utengobard, prepares the remonstrance delivered to the States by the Arminians, 45
The esteem with which he speaks of Grotius, 328.

Vulcanus Bonaventura, his encomium of Grotius on occasion of his edition of Aratus's Phoenomena, 17.


Wallæus, Antony, letters written to him by Grotius, concerning his religious sentiments, 282, 283.

Weymar, duke of, confidence which he placed in Grotius, 215

Wicquefort, his encomium of Grotius, 333
In what manner he speaks of Peter Grotius his son, 352.

Witt, the grand pensionary de, advises Peter Grotius to prefer the place of pensionary of Rotterdam to that of ambassador at the court of France, 350.



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