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Memoir of the learned Anna Maria d Schurman.
she applied herself to music, painting, were Henrietta, queen of England, engraving, modelling, carving, and sculp- Anne of Austria, the Queen of Poland, ture, and succeeded perfectly in each the princess of Bohemia, the princess species. What she particularly ex- | Anne de Rohan, Cardinal de Richlieu, celled in, was miniature painting, and and several others. etching perfect likenesses on glass When the Queen of Poland visited with a diamond point. She under- Utrecht, she wished particularly to stood Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, so have an interview with A. M. à Schurperfectly, and wrote in each language man. Of this visit, which was honourso correctly, that all the literati of able to both parties, we have an Europe were astonished at her pro- interesting account, in a work entitled ficiency. To these she added the “ Histoire et Relation d'un Voyage knowledge of the Chaldee, Syriac, de la Reine de Pologne, 1648," by Turkish, and Arabic. Besides the Mr. Le Laboreur, who was one of the Low Dutch, which was her native queen's attendants, and of whose tongue, she spoke French, Italian, words the following is a literal transSpanish, German, and English, with lation.—“ The following day, Decemgreat ease and fluency. About the ber 26, 1645, the Queen of Poland did year 1650, she got acquainted with an action worthy of the majesty of Labaddie, a famous French mystic, literature. Having heard of the excelinto whose spirit she drank so deeply, lent attainments of the celebrated that she relinquished all her literary Anna Maria à Schurman, who is a pursuits, except what tended to the native of this city, and of the splendor proof and defence of the religious sys- of her study, she wished to pay her a tem she had embraced. To the learn- visit, but without ceremony, to preed world, her conversion to what was vent that concourse of people which called Quietism, and which was pro- would have followed, had it been bably the religion of Christ, (thus mis- known. She left the Court, and went, named in order to discredit it,) was an incognita, into the Lady Marshal's inauspicious event. Her house, says coach, followed only by the Bishop of Bruyset, which was before an academy Orange, and four or five persons, of of learned men, became now a school whom I was one. After passing the of religious controversy and mysti- great church, she alighted, and entered cism. When Labaddie died, in 1674, the habitation of this tenth Muse, the she retired to Wieward, in Friesland, miracle of this age, and the wonder of where she spent her time in correcting, her sex. The Queen was struck with revising, and continuing the works of admiration at the exquisitely fine him, whom she had received as an works wrought by the hands of this apostle of the Lord. In this place she lady. They chiefly consisted in large died in 1678, aged 71 years. How- paintings, miniatures, illuminations, ever Labaddie may have been stigma- engravings on copper, and etchings or tized as a hypocrite and impostor, diamond engravings on glass; which Calumny herself has not been able to have justly acquired for her the reputashoot one dart against the moral cha- tion of great excellency in the most racter of Schurman. Her practice noble mechanic arts. But her Majesty was pure, and her piety, however mis- was still more astonished to hear her taken in some points, was fervent and speak so many languages, and answer sincere. She took her motto from questions in so many different sciIgnatius: ó epos iqws eotaUgwren- My ences. To the Bishop of Orange, who Love is crucified: and she was faithful interrogated her by the Queen's desire, to it, for she never formed any matri- she answered in Italian, and argued monial connections.
very logically in Latin, on several The most learned men of her day points in theology. I paid her a comfelt themselves honoured by her epis- pliment in Latin, in behalf of the tolary correspondence, and several Lady Marshal, to which she replied, princes and princesses honoured her very elegantly, in the same language. with their letters and visits: among She spoke Greek with Mr. Corrade, the former were Rivetus, Lydius, chief physician to the Queen. To be Spanheim, Salmasius, Vossius, Húy- short, she would have conversed with gens, Crucius, Gassendus, Vorstius, us in several other languages, had we Heinsius, and Melesius, archbishop known them : for, besides the Greek, of Ephesus, &c. Among the latter, Latin, French, Italian, Spanish, Ger
man, and the Low Dutch, which is her those can to whom they are vernacunative tongue, she has an extensive lar. She can maintain a literary comacquaintance with Hebrew, Syriac, and merce with the Jews in Hebrew, and Chaldee, and could speak them with with the Turks in Arabic. She is confacility, had she any opportunity to versant in the most difficult and abexercise herself in those languages. struse sciences; her attainments in She is so well acquainted with the geo- philosophy and scholastic divinity are graphy of every country, that she such, as strike every person with could travel through Europe as well amazement: such knowledge appears without a guide as without an inter- almost miraculous. None needs atpreter. Her knowledge of geography tempt to emulate her excellence, for rendering the one needless, and her she is beyond imitation; and none can knowledge of languages precluding envy her, for she is placed beyond the the necessity of the other."
reach of envy itself.” Thus far Le Laboreur, who was him- Balzac, who was proverbial for his self a sound scholar, and a good judge. elegant epistolary compositions, gives
Of this eminent lady, Salmasius, who her the following character, in a letter was one of her literary correspondents, to Mr. Gerard. and a man of vast erudition, gives the “I must confess, Sir, that Miss following account.
Schurman is an astonishing young “We need not refer to ancient times woman, and that her verses are not for examples of literary excellence among the least of her excellencies. among women; the existence of which, I do not think that Sulpitia, so highly in some cases at least, many lawfully extolled by Martial, has made finer doubt: but we may come to our own poems, nor better Latin. But among times, and to our own nation.
the charms of her verse, what modesty “In a city, about a day's journey and chastity appear! The purity of hence, there is a noble virgin, equal, her heart blends itself most pleasingly in the knowledge of numerous arts, to with the productions of her underHippias; and much more to be ad- standing. I am highly obliged to you mired than she, because such a fecun- for having procured me an acquaintdity of genius is rarely to be met with ance with this astonishing lady, and in this sex. She cultivates the whole for those epigrams of her's, which you oircle of arts, succeeds in each, and have sent me. I have just now regraces the whole assemblage of vir- ceived a book, said to be written by tues, so that to her not one is lacking. Mr. De Saumaise, (Salmasius) and reWhat the understanding can conceive, quest that, in his second edition, he or the hand bring to effect, this person will alter that place, where, speakcan perform. In painting she is sur- ing of this young woman, he says, passed by none; she equally excels • Gallicas Epistolas tales concinnat, ut in sculpture, bronze, wax-modelling, vix meliores Balzacius:' . In French and carving. In embroidery, and in epistolary writing, she is scarcely exall things which are objects of study ceeded by Balzac;' and let it run and attention to females, she sur- thus :-Gallicas Epistolas tales concinpasses the most eminent ancients and nat, multo minus bonas, & minus Gallicas moderns; and she is possessed of so Balzacius: * Balzac's French Epistles many sciences, that it is difficult to
are vastly inferior in their matter, and tell in which she excels most. Her less elegant in their composition.' knowledge of languages is also so ex- And even with this qualification of tensive, that, not content with all Euro- the sentence, I shall feel myself too pean tongues, her active mind has tra- much honoured. It is no small glory velled to the East, and acquired the to be near such a personage, even in Hebrew, Arabic, and Syriac. She
any situation; and though, in the comwrites Latin so correctly, that the most parison above, I must appear to dislearned men who have, during their advantage ; yet even that disadvanwhole lives, affected eminence in this tage, because I am compared with way, cannot write with more purity her, confers an obligation.” and elegance. In French epistolary Mr. James Martin, of Paris, wrote writing, she is scarcely exceeded by a fine eulogium on this extraordinary Balzac.
woman, from which I shall at present “ The other European tongues, she borrow only the following elegant epispeaks with as much correctness, as gram :
Memoir, &c.-Torture in Hanover.
“ Gracchorum matrem sileat Romana vetustas, and capacity of this eminent woman,
Et taceat Sappho Græcia victa suam Mr. Bruysset (Dict. BIOGRAPH.) adCedite Romanæ, Græcæ, quoque cedite Musæ, duces her conversion to Quietism, as he Nescio quid Batavo majus in orbe micat.”
terms it. But to this we might anOf which the following, by a Lady, swer, Quietism in her assumed the is no inelegant paraphrase.
form of the true religion, and proWhen heaven-born Wisdom beam'd from duced its effects ; viz, abstraction from pole to pole,
the world, and devotedness to God. Her choicest rays illum'd the female soul. Nor can this be fairly resorted to as a Brave Scipio's daughter taught her sons to proof of mental debility; for the most know
elevated geniuses have been often To govern Rome, and lay her tyrants low. The Grecian Sappho charm’d the listning warmest religious affections; nor will
found susceptible of the finest and thiong
this be contested, while we can shew With potent numbers and harmonious song. The beauteous Nine their sex's greatness prove; Phineas Fletcher and Cowper, among
such men as Origen among the ancients; And charm the warring world to peace and
the poets; and Boyle and Fenelon, But when e'en these contend for deathless among the philosophers. The latter praise,
of whom, the amiable Bishop of CamThey yield to Schurman's brow the verdant bray, nulli secundus, gave way to, and bays."
wrote in defence of, that very system Her works were collected by Span- of Quietism, alias Devotedness to God, heim, and printed by the Elzevirs, by which the delicate feelings and reat Leyden, in 1648, 12mo. with the fined soul of A. M. Schurman were following title:-“ Nobilissimæ Vir- won away from the public walks of ginis Annæ Mariæ à Schurman Opus- polite literature, into the less frequentcula ; Hebrea, Græca, Latina, Gallica, ed, but not less noble, private paths of Prosaica & Metrica.” To this is pre- self-renunciation, and piety to God. fixed a likeness of this eminent woman, Besides, it should ever be remembered, engraven, if not painted, by herself, that polite literature had its full share taken in the 33d year of her age; from (forty years) of Schurman's life; and which the likeness prefixed to this that there is a time when literary Number has been correctly copied.
ladies and scientific gentlemen, as well In these Opuscula is a famous dis- as the vulgar herd, must be converted, sertation on the question,—“ Num fe- and become as little children, before minæ Christianæ conveniat studium they can enter into the kingdom of Literarum ?” “ Is it consistent with God. the character of a Christian woman to
Many additional particulars respectstudy Literature ?”—This piece, which ing this extraordinary Lady, may be has never been translated, casts much found in the following works. light on the long-controverted subject,
Schurmannia, Eurangice. —“ Was woman created inferior to Croesii Hist. Quaker. lib. iii. man?”—Besides this dissertation, and Jacob. Bibliothec. illustr. Foemin. another, De Vitæ termino, concerning quæ Scriptis claruerunt. the bounds of human life, the rest of G. Arnold’s History of the Churches the volume consists chiefly of Epistles: and Heretics, in Dutch, two vol. 17th many of these are written in Latin; book, 21st chap. several in French; three in Hebrew, with points; and five in elegant Greek.
TORTURE IN HANOVER. Her Poems are in Latin and French, and are principally of the Epistolary The practice of torturing offenders, kind; with a few Epigrams. There which exists in his Majesty's domiwas a second edition of this eminent nions in Germany, would scarcely be Lady's Opuscula printed in 1650, credited by an English reader, if the which contains a French Ode, to Ma- authenticity of the fact did not rest on dame Ulricia Ogle; and a Letter, in the unquestionable authority of that the same language, to Mr. Spanheim, celebrated philanthropist, the late Mr. concerning his edition of the Opus- Howard. This gentleman has recordcula: of this letter, it is not speaking ed the following account of the dreadtoo highly to say, it is a model of epis- ful place, in which the torture is admitolary elegance.
nistered in Brunswick. To detract from the mental energy “ The descent into this subterran
dungeon, where the torture is inflicted, principle which confers on masses of is by a flight of fifteen steps. Here all matter the power of acting on other is total darkness, except when candles masses. In regard to matter, which are introduced, by the light of which is essentially inert, it is the source many instruments of misery are dis- of momentum or potentiality, and is covered. From this room we pass the animating soul of the material into another, which seems to be a kind universe. SPACE is the stage, Matof cellar, arched over. Its dimensions ter is the subject, and Motion is the are, eighteen feet by fifteen, and all agent, producing all phenomena. As around is very black and dark. At it affects atoms, it produces various one end is a bench, for the judge, densities; as it affects aggregates, it lawyers, secretary, and surgeon, under creates varied organizations; and as it whose direction this work of dark- affects different aggregates, it deveness is carried on. Opposite to this lops the relative properties of matter.” bench, is a table for candlesticks and Here motion appears to be representbooks. The prisoner, the executioner, ed as some principle, operating on and his assistant, stand by the table, matter, and giving it certain powers ; before the judge. The season when and matter is set forth as something tortures are inflicted, is midnight; perfectly and essentially destitute of although the thickness of the walls, any power: to motion is attributed an which is three feet, four doors through arbitrary force, and to matter an arbiwhich I passed, together with the trary inertia. But are these things dirty floor, and the depth under ground, true in fact? No; there is something must prevent the most agonizing cries more in matter than simple inertness ; from being heard any where but in the and motion confers on it no new absoroom. I saw all the remaining en- lute force. There belongs essentially gines of torture at the executioner's to matter, whether at rest or in mohouse. He seemed with pleasure to tion, a force tending to preserve it in shew them, and their mode of appli- its present state. Experience is against cation, and most readily answered all the position, that matter is totally demy inquiries. To do this he was very void of all force, except such as is competent, having been several years communicated by motion : and, in in that och ation at Hanover. He, fact, motion gives no new absolute however, observed, that during his force to matter; for whatever it reemployment in this house of woe, he ceives in one direction, it loses exhad only beheaded four or five persons. actly, by return or reaction, in the On asking him, if nothing was put opposite: it is neither gainer nor into the tortured person's mouth, as I loser; if it have received, it has given had seen in some places, he replied, back precisely as much, and the effect “No; the, Osnaburgh executioners of the conflict is, a change of state, think they suffer less.” And on de- always proportional to the impressed scribing some of the modes of torture or the re-acting force; because a which the wit of devils and men had change of state in matter is the effect invented, he said, “ Sir, the Osna- of force, and effects are burgh torture still ruder.”—Anec- causes; and when a body is by any dotes of the Life of the Right Hon. Wil- force put into motion, and thus made liam Pitt, vol. 1, p. 440.
to act on another body at rest, by impinging on it, the body at rest is al
ways found to produce exactly the REMARKS ON SIR RICHARD PHILLIPS's same change on the impinging body,
as this does on the other, but in an
opposite direction: now, if the body [Concluded from col. 234.]
at rest be essentially inert, how comes But there is still a question of import- it to produce a change of state in the ance: Has Sir Richard really disco- striking body? There is, then, an invered the cause of gravitation? Let us variable force in bodies, tending to attend to his principles and reason- preserve them in the state in which ing.
“ He is desirous of proving, they are; and hence, a given power that all phenomena of matter are the cannot produce more or less than a effects of Motion:” a desire, this, given change of state in a given porsufficiently large! We are informed, tion of matter; and, in effecting this p. 15, that “ Motion is that universal determinate change, suffers itself an