Page:Imperialdictiona03eadi Brandeis Vol3a.pdf/644

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

unsatisfied by the somewhat visionary moralizing of Cudworth and of Clark. Paley's ethics were a return to a large extent to the Hobbesian position, according to which all moral obligation is grounded on the command of a superior invested with the power to punish any transgression of his will. The university of Cambridge adopted, and for long continued to use, this work as their text-book of moral philosophy, and perhaps not unwisely; for, questionable as its fundamental propositions are, the good sense of its practical expositions renders it a beneficial study, and neutralizes the unsoundness of its theoretical principles. In 1788 Paley was engaged in a correspondence with a Dr. Perceval, a physician in Manchester, on the subject of subscription to the Thirty-nine Articles. Dr. Perceval's son, a dissenter, wished to become a clergyman in the Church of England, but he had scruples about signing the articles, some propositions of which he could not agree to, although he assented to the spirit and purport of the whole. Paley was consulted, and his verdict was, that in interpreting statutes it was frequently allowable to go out of the terms in which they were expressed, and collect from other sources the intention of the legislature in enacting them; and that accordingly a dissenter might fairly argue that the government at the time of the Reformatian, in laying down certain religious propositions, had intended merely to exclude from the pale of the church such sects as were dangerous to the new establishment, viz., the papists and the continental anabaptists—and so arguing, might conclude that the propositions in question did not apply to him. This opinion satisfied the Percevals, the younger of whom entered the church; but it gave umbrage to some of Paley's high church friends as betokening too lax a conscience.

In 1789 Paley was offered the mastership of Jesus college, Cambridge, but declined it for some reason which he never divulged. He was supposed to have been influenced by a disinclination to be brought into contact with Mr. Pitt (for whom he entertained no great regard), when it came to be his turn to act as vice-chancellor of the university. In 1790 he published his "Horæ Paulina;," in which he tracks with marvellous sagacity the undesigned coincidence of passages in St. Paul's epistles with passages in the Acts of the Apostles, and thus proves the genuineness of these writings and the reality of the events which they record. This work, though the least popular, is the most original and valuable of Paley's writings. He published in 1794 his "View of the Evidences of Christianity," an admirable digest of the voluminous materials collected by the diligence of Dr. Lardner. It brought him a large accession of fame and preferment. Dr. Portens, bishop of London, nominated him to the prebend of St. Paneras, one of the most lucrative in the cathedral of St. Paul's, and soon afterwards he was appointed subdean of Lincoln and rector of Bishopwearmouth. Between these two places his residence was divided during the latter years of his life. In 1800 Paley was seized with a painful disorder in the kidneys, which, however, did not prevent him from writing his "Natural Theology," one of his most popular compositions. The man who can bear pain like a stoic, may be permitted to enjoy pleasure like an epicurean. Paley could do both. He speaks from his own experience, and quite in the spirit of Socrates, when he dwells on the power which pain has "of shedding a satisfaction over intervals of ease which few enjoyments can exceed." His health continued to decline, and he died on the '25th May, 1805. He was buried in the cathedral of Carlisle, near the remains of his first wife, who had borne him four sons and four daughters, and predeceased him in 1791.—J. F. F.

PALGRAVE, Sir Francis, F.R.S., F.L.A., a learned historical antiquarian, was born in London in 1788, and was the son of F. Cohen, Esq. He subsequently adopted the name of Palgrave. He was called to the bar at the Inner Temple in 1827, and soon after attracted attention by some learned articles on the historical antiquities of Great Britain, and editing the Parliamentary Writs, 2 vols., folio, under the commissioners of public records. In 1831 he published a pamphlet on the reform question, proposing certain changes in the ministerial measure. About this time also appeared his "History of England: Anglo-Saxon Period," 12mo, a popular yet valuable work, written for the Family Library. In the following year he received the honour of knighthood for his services to constitutional and parliamentary literature, and was subsequently created a K.H. In 1832 he published his "Rise and Progress of the English Commonwealth: Anglo-Saxon Period," in 2 vols., 4to. In 1833 he was nominated a member of the commission appointed to inquire into the existing state of the corporations of England and Wales, and took a deep interest in their labours; but he and three other commissioners refused to sign the General Report in 1835, and Sir Francis controverted many of its statements in a published "Protest." He was shortly after appointed deputy-keeper of her majesty's public records, an office which he held until the time of his death. His annual reports presented to parliament contain a great deal of curious and valuable matter, combined with ingenious though not always sound speculations and theories. In addition to the works already mentioned. Sir Francis published "Rotuli Curiæ; Regis," 2 vols., 8vo, 1835; "Calendars and Inventories of the Treasury of Exchequer," 2 vols., 8vo, 1836; "Documents illustrating the History of Scotland," 1837; "Truths and Fictions of the Middle Ages; the Merchant and the Friar," 12mo; "Essay upon the Authority of the King's Council," 8vo; the "History of Normandy and of England," 2 vols., 8vo, 1851-57. The whole of these works are very valuable, and contain a great deal of curious information respecting the political and legal institutions, the ecclesiastical polity, and the manners and customs of our ancestors. Sir Francis Palgrave died on the 6th July, 1861. —J. T.

PALINGENIUS, the name by which Pietro Angelo Manzolli or Manzoli, a famous Italian poet of the sixteenth century, is commonly known. He was horn at Stellata near Ferrara. Nothing is known of his life, not even the dates of his birth and death. There is an edition of his poem, "Zodiacus Vitæ," with the date 1537, but this is a reprint issued from the press at Basle of an edition published by Bernardino Vitale at Venice, probably about 1531, and dedicated to Ercole II., duke of Ferrara. It has been asserted that he held the post of physician to the duke of Ferrara, but no proof of this statement has been obtained. It is also said, but with as little show of authority, that he was an ecclesiastic. If this latter had been his calling, there can be little doubt it would have been mentioned in the papal Index, where his name figures among those of heretics of the highest class. The "Zodiacus" could not fail to procure its author this distinction. As the title might lead the reader to expect, the work is divided into twelve books called by the names of the twelve zodiacal signs. Certain passages of it are in the boldest strain of philosophical speculation, and others abound in cutting invective against the church. If, however, the immediate success of the "Zodiacus" was greatly owing to the qualities which made it obnoxious to the inquisition, the turn of the verse and the beauty of its allegories was at a later day to excite the admiration of Bayle and other skilful critics. The best edition of the "Zodiacus" is that of Rotterdam, 1722.

PALISOT DE BEAUVOIS, Ambrose Maria Francis Joseph, a French naturalist, was born at Arras on 27th July, 1752, and died in January, 1820. He was educated for the legal profession, but he long showed a decided taste for natural history. He gave up law about 1777, and devoted himself entirely to his favourite pursuit of science. In 1786 he accompanied a French expedition to the west coast of Africa, and examined Benin and the kingdom of Oware. He spent fifteen months investigating the natural productions of the country, undeterred by an attack of fever. In 1788 he went to St. Domingo for the recovery of his health, carrying a portion of his collections with him. Here he witnessed the working of the slave system, and formed an opinion adverse to emancipation. When there was a threatening of rising among the blacks, he was sent to the United States for assistance, but he failed in the attempt. In 1793 he returned and found the island in confusion, and his collections destroyed. As the negroes had obtained supremacy, they threw M. Palisot de Beauvois into prison. He was liberated by the kind offices of a mulatto woman, and enabled to reach Philadelphia. Finding that his name was on the list of proscriptions in France, he resolved to remain in the United States, and supported himself by teaching languages and music. He was subsequently relieved from his difficulties, and had an opportunity of examining the Appalachian mountains and the country of the Creek and Cherokee Indians. Here he made zoological and botanical collections. The proscription against him having been erased and his patrimony restored, he now returned to France with his American collections, and there devoted himself to his natural history work. He was made a member of the Institute in 1806, as successor of Adanson; in 1818 he was made titular councillor of the university of Paris by Napoleon.