Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/537

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

about the doctrine of Transubstantiation, why should he not inquire into the truth of the doctrine of the Trinity. But the reception afforded to his two works was of such a kind as to convince him that he had committed an imprudent act in allowing his name to appear as the author, and he accordingly changed his name and retired to Lyons. The name he now assumed, and by which he was always afterward known, was Michael Villeneuve, or Villanovanus, after the town of Villanueva, in Aragon, from which he probably came.

At Lyons he found work as a corrector for the press, at the publishing firm of the Brothers Trechsel, and he edited the Geography of Ptolemy. The description of Palestine which this book contained, although really an extract and not an original statement by Servetus, was quoted against him eighteen years afterward when he was tried for his life at Geneva. It concluded with these words: "Know, however, most worthy reader, that it is mere boasting and untruth when so much of excellence is ascribed to this land; the experience of merchants and others, travelers who have visited it, proving it to be inhospitable, barren, and destitute of all charm. "Wherefore you may say that the land was promised, indeed, but is of little promise when spoken of in every-day terms."

The latter part of the following description of the Germans, which is given in this book, looks like an expression of Servetus's own opinion: "Hungary is commonly said to produce oxen, Bavaria swine, Franconia onions, turnips, and licorice, Swabia harlots, Bohemia heretics, Switzerland butchers, Westphalia cheats, and the whole country gluttons and drunkards. The Germans, however, are a religious people; not easily turned from opinions they have once espoused, and not readily persuaded to concord in matters of schism, every one valiantly and obstinately defending the heresy he has himself adopted."

While thus working at Lyons, Servetus formed the acquaintance of Doctor Campeggius, to whose influence it was perhaps due that he decided to take up the study of medicine. To carry out this determination he proceeded to Paris, and entered as a student at the university under Johannes Guinterus (Winter of Andernach) and Sylvius. Here he had as a fellow-student Andreas Vesalius, the famous anatomist, to whom, as well as to Servetus, their teacher Winter makes a laudatory reference some time afterward. Writing in the preface to his Anatomical Institutions, published in 1539, Winter informs his readers that he "had been effectually aided in the preparation of the work, first by Andreas Vesalius, a young man, by Hercules! singularly proficient in anatomy; and after him by Michael Villanovanus, distinguished by his literary acquirements of every kind, and’