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THE liberties I have taken with my subject are very trifling; and the reader may slip the foregoing scenes between the leaves of any memoir of Paracelsus he pleases, by way of commentary. To prove this, I subjoin a popular account, translated from the "Biographie Universelle, Paris, 1822," which I select, not as the best, certainly, but as being at hand, and sufficiently concise for my purpose. I also append a few notes, in order to correct those parts which do not bear out my own view of the character of Paracelsus; and have incorporated with them a notice or two, illustrative of the poem itself.

"PARACELSUS (Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus ab Hohenheim) was born in 1493 at Einsiedeln, (1) a little town in the canton of Schwitz, some leagues distant from Zurich. His father, who exercised the profession of medicine at Villach, in Carinthia, was nearly related to George Bombast de Hohenheim, who became afterward Grand Prior of the Order of Malta; consequently Paracelsus could not spring from the dregs of the people, as Thomas Erastus, his sworn enemy, pretends.* It appears that


I shall disguise M. Renauldin's next sentence a little. (Erastus sc.) Paracelsum trimum à milite quodam, alii à sue exectum ferunt constat imberbem illum fuisse." A standing High-Dutch joke in those days at the expense of a number of learned men, as may be seen by referring to such rubbish as Melander's Jocoseria, &c., &c. In the prints from his portrait by Tintoretto, painted a year before his death, Paracelsus is barbatulus, at all events. But Erastus was never without a good reason for his faith-e. g. "Helvetium fuisse (Paracelsum). vix credo, vix enim ea regio tale monstrum ediderit."-De Med. Nová.

his elementary education was much neglected, and that he spent part of his youth in pursuing the life common to the travelling literati of the age; that is to say, in wandering from country to country, predicting the future by astrology and cheiromancy, evoking apparitions, and practising the different operations of magic and alchemy, in which he had been initiated whether by his father or by various ecclesiastics, among the number of whom he particularizes the Abbot Tritheim,(2) and many German bishops.

"As Paracelsus displays everywhere an ignorance of the rudiments of the most ordinary knowledge, it is not probable that he ever studied seriously in the schools: he contented himself with visiting the Universities of Germany, France, and Italy; and in spite of his boasting himself to have been the ornament of those institutions, there is no proof of his having legally acquired the title of Doctor, which he assumes. It is only known that he applied himself long, under the direction of the wealthy Sigismond Fugger, of Schwatz, to the discovery of the Magnum Opus.

"Paracelsus travelled among the mountains of Bohemia, in the East, and in Sweden, in order to inspect the labours of the miners, to be initiated in the mysteries of the oriental adepts, and to observe the secrets of nature and the famous mountain of load

stone.(3) He professes also to have visited Spain, Portugal, Prussia, Poland, and Transsylvania; everywhere communicating freely, not merely with the physicians, but the old women, charlatans, and conjurers, of these several lands. It is even believed that he extended his journeyings as far as Egypt and Tartary, and that he accompanied the son of the Khan of the Tartars to Constantinople, for the purpose of obtaining the secret of the tincture of Trismegistus, from a Greek who inhabited that capital.

"The period of his return to Germany is unknown: it is only certain that, at about the age of thirty-three, many astonishing cures which he wrought on eminent personages procured him such a celebrity, that he was called in 1526, on the recommendation of Ecolampadius, (4) to fill a chair of physic and surgery at the University of Basil. There Paracelsus began by burning publicly in the amphitheatre the works of Avicenna and Galen, assuring his

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auditors that the latchets of his shoes were more instructed than those two physicians; that all Universities, all writers put together, were less gifted than the hairs of his beard and of the crown of his head; and that, in a word, he was to be regarded as the legitimate monarch of medicine. 'You shall follow me,' cried he, 'you, Avicenna, Galen, Rhasis, Montagnana, Mesues, you, Gentlemen of Paris, Montpellier, Germany, Cologne, Vienna,* and whomsoever the Rhine and the Danube nourish; you who ́inhabit the isles of the sea; you, likewise, Dalmatians, Athenians; thou, Arab; thou, Greek; thou, Jew; all shall follow me, and the monarchy shall be mine.'+

"But at Basil it was speedily perceived that the new Professor was no better than an egregious quack. Scarcely a year elapsed before his lectures had fairly driven away an audience incapable of comprehending their emphatic jargon. That which above all contributed to sully his reputation was the debauched life he led. According to the testimony of Oporinus, who lived two years in his intimacy, Paracelsus scarcely ever ascended the lecture-desk unless half drunk, and only dictated to his secretaries when in a state of intoxication: if summoned to attend the sick, he rarely proceeded thither without previously drenching himself with wine. He was accustomed to retire to bed without changing his clothes; sometimes he spent the night in pot-houses with the peasants, and in the morning knew no longer what he was about; and, nevertheless, up to the age of twenty-five his only drink had been water.(5)

* Erastus, who relates this, here oddly remarks, "mirùm quod non et Garamantos, Indos et Anglos adjunxit." Not so wonderful neither, if we believe what another adversary “had heard somewhere,”—that all Paracelsus' system came of his pillaging " Anglum quendam, Rogerium Bacchonem."

+ See his works passim. I must give one specimen :-Somebody had been styling him "Luther alter;""and why not?" (he asks, as he well might) "Luther is abundantly learned, therefore you hate him and me; but we are at least a match for you.-Nam et contra vos et vestros universos principes Avicennam, Galenum, Aristotelem, &c. me satis superque munitum esse novi. Et vertex iste meus calvus ac depilis multò plura et sublimiora novit quàm vester vel Avicenna vel universæ academiæ. Prodite, et signum date, qui viri sitis, quid roboris habeatis? quid autem sitis? Doctores et magistri, pediculos pectentes et fricantes podicem."-Frag. Med.

"At length, fearful of being punished for a serious outrage on a magistrate,(6) he fled from Basil towards the end of the year '27, and took refuge in Alsatia, whither he caused Oporinus to follow with his chymical apparatus.

"He then entered once more upon the career of ambulatory theosophist. Accordingly we find him at Colmar in 1528; at Nuremburg in 1529; at St. Gall in 1531; at Pfeffers in 1535; and at Augsburg in 1536: he next made some stay in Moravia, where he still further compromised his reputation by the loss of many distinguished patients, which compelled him to betake himself to Vienna; from thence he passed into Hungary; and in 1538 was at Villach, where he dedicated his 'Chronicle' to the States of Carinthia, in gratitude for the many kindnesses with which they had honoured his father. Finally, from Mindelheim, which he visited in 1540, Paracelsus proceeded to Salzburg, where he died in the Hospital of St. Stephen (Sebastian, is meant), Sept. 24, 1541."—(Here follows a criticism on his writings, which I omit.)

(1) Paracelsus would seem to be a fantastic version of Von Hohenheim; Einsiedeln is the Latin Eremus, whence Paracelsus is sometimes called, as in the correspondence of Erasmus, Eremita: Bombast, his proper name, originally acquired from the characteristic phraseology of his lectures, that unlucky signification which it has ever since retained.

(2) Then Bishop of Spanheim, and residing at Würzburg in Franconia; a town situated in a grassy fertile country, whence its name, Herbipolis. He was much visited there by learned men, as may be seen by his Epistola Familiares. Hag. 1536. Among others, by his staunch friend Cornelius Agrippa, to whom he dates

* "So migratory a life could afford Paracelsus but little leisure for application to books, and accordingly he informs us that for the space of ten years he never opened a single volume, and that his whole medical library was not composed of six sheets: in effect, the inventory drawn up after his death states that the only books which he left were the Bible, the New Testament, the Commentaries of St. Jerome on the Gospels, a printed volume on Medicine, and seven manuscripts."

thence, in 1510, a letter in answer to the dedicatory epistle prefixed to the treatise de Occult. Philosoph., which last contains the following ominous allusion to Agrippa's sojourn: "Quum nuper tecum, R. P. in cœnobio tuo apud Herbipolim aliquamdiu conversatus, multa de chymicis, multa de magicis, multa de cabalisticis, cæterisque quæ adhuc in occulto delitescunt, arcanis scientiis atque artibus unà contulissemus," &c. &c.

(3) "Inexplebilis illa aviditas naturæ perscrutandi secreta et reconditarum supellectile scientiarum animum locupletandi, uno eodemque loco, diu persistere non patiebatur, sed mercurii instar, omnes terras, nationes et urbes perlustrandi igniculos supponebat et cum viris naturæ scrutatoribus, chymicis præsertim, ore tenus conferret, et quæ diuturnis laboribus nocturnisque vigiliis inveperant unâ vel alterâ communicatione obtineret."-Bitiskius in Præfat. "Patris auxilio primùm, deinde propriâ industriâ doctissimos viros in Germaniâ, Italiâ, Galliâ, Hispaniâ, aliisque Europæ regionibus, nactus est præceptores; quorum liberali doctrinâ, et potissimùm propriâ inquísitione ut qui esset ingenio acutissimo ac fere divino, tantùm profecit, ut multi testati sint, in universâ philosophiâ, tam ardua, tam arcana et abdita eruisse mortalium neminem."-Melch. Adam. in Vit. Germ. Medic. "Paracelsus qui in intima naturæ viscera sic penitùs introierit, metallorum stirpiumque vires et facultates tam incredibili ingenii acumine exploraverit ac perviderit; ad morbos omnes vel desperatos et opinione hominum insanabiles percurandum; ut cum Theophrasto nata primùm medicina perfectaque videtur."-Petri Rami Orat. de Basiled. His passion for wandering is best described in his own words: "Ecce amatorem adolescentem difficillimi itineris haud piget, ut venustam saltem puellam vel fœminam aspiciat : quanto minus nobilissimarum artium amore laboris ac cujuslibet tædii pigebit ?" &c.-Defensiones Septem adversus Emulos suos. 1573. Def. 4ta. "De peregrinationibus et exilio."

(4) The reader may remember that it was in conjunction with Ecolampadius, then Divinity-Professor at Basil, that Zuinglius

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