Imatges de pàgina

the true oracles may be sought, and which contains the genuine relics of the saints." The festival was approaching at which these relics were to be carried in procession. Curio, well knowing the consequences he had to apprehend from the discovery of his imprudent fraud, withdrew privately to Milan.

During his residence in this city he employed himself with great reputation in the education of youth. Shortly after his settlement here, the devastations of the Spanish troops, which occupied the district, produced a severe famine, accompanied by the plague, which committed dreadful ravages. In the midst of the general panic, when most who had the means of escaping were endeavouring to provide for their personal safety by flight, Curio, with exemplary fortitude and humanity, remained among the sufferers, and assiduously exerted himself to administer food to the destitute, and to mitigate, as far as his kind attentions could avail, the sufferings of the sick and the dying. In numerous instances he performed the last offices of humanity for those who had fallen victims to the pestilence, and who, in the general consternation, had been deserted by their friends and relations. His benevolent and important services on this occasion recommended him to the notice and esteem of the noble family of Isacii, in the Milanese, of which he obtained in marriage the eldest daughter, Margaretta Blanca, an elegant and accomplished female.

When the plague kad subsided, Curio, being weary of the inconveniences and privations occasioned by the presence of the emperor's soldiers, removed to Casale, where he remained for a few years. At this period, the death of the last of his brothers induced him to remove to his native place, with the view of recovering the family property, to which he had now become the lawful heir. He had still one married sister living in Piedmont, by whom, and her hus band, he was on his first arrival received with great kindness and hospitality. When, however, he disclosed the object of his journey, avarice prevailed over their affection; their conduct towards him changed, and they took effectual measures to frus

trate his design. Under pretence that he was not secure under their roof, on account of his suspected heresy, they easily prevailed upon him to remove to another town at some distance, there to remain till they should inform him that he might return in safety. An occurrence which took place here, however, prevented his troubling them again, and ultimately drove him from the province.

A Dominican friar from Turin had come to preach in the neighbourhood, whom Curio and several of his friends were drawn by curiosity to hear. The monk took occasion in his discourse to rail against Luther and his writings, charging him with maintaining that Christian liberty allowed the unrestrained pursuit of every pleasure, and that Christ was neither God, nor born of the Virgin Mary. Curio, being anxious to repel these calumnies, obtained permission to speak in reply. He demanded of the preacher in what parts of Luther's works such tenets were inculcated? The monk answered that he could not then inform him, but promised to satisfy him if he would accompany him to Turin. Curio then said that he would immediately point out where Luther maintained tenets which were directly the reverse of those he had specified; and accordingly read some passages in confirmation of his statement from the Commentary on the Galatians. When the populace perceived how grossly the monk had endeavoured to deceive them, they attacked him with great violence, and forced him to quit the town. On his return to Turin he related the affair to the Inquisitor, who immediately dispatched his emissaries to take Curio into custody. When Curio was brought before the Inquisition, he was instantly recognized as an object of their former suspicions, and as the sacrilegious pro faner of the relics at St. Benigno. It was now determined to visit all his heretical delinquencies with condign punishment. After his examination he was committed to close custody; but to prevent all risk of his being forcibly rescued by his friends, he was secretly conveyed by night from the prison to a private house. Here he was strongly fenced in; the doors were secured by thick bars of wood;

his feet were made fast in heavy wooden stocks, and guards were placed in the other apartments to watch him.

From the nature of the precautions which had been thus taken, he now considered his case hopeless, and began to resign himself to his fate. But an accidental circumstance, arising from the extreme rigour of his confinement, enabled him in a short time to escape the vengeance of his enemies. After a few days' imprisonment, his feet, from the weight and pressure of the stocks, began to swell, and to give him much pain. As a matter of indulgence he begged of his keepers to be permitted to have one foot always at liberty, and to exchange it with the other whenever that became swollen and painful. This request was readily granted, the guards being satisfied that with one foot so secured his person was perfectly safe. Matters had gone on in this manner for some days, when it occurred to Curio that he might possibly avail himself of this plan of exchanging the feet to effect his liberation, by preparing an artificial leg and foot to be placed in the stocks instead of the real. The thought no sooner suggested itself than he set himself to work to try the experiment. He took the stocking from the leg which was at liberty, stuffed it with some linen, placed a piece of reed in the inside to stiffen it, and put on the shoe. Having succeeded thus far to his wishes, he laid himself on the floor, and put on his long Spanish cloak to conceal the fraud. Every thing being ready, he called to his attendant, complained of pain in the confined foot, and requested to have it exchanged. The attendant, suspecting no trick, readily complied; placed the artificial foot in the stocks, and left the other at liberty. When the night was far advanced, Curio prepared to attempt his escape. It happened that the house wherein he was imprisoned was one with which he had been intimately acquainted in his youth. This fortunate circumstance enabled him at once to decide upon his plan. He cautiously opened the door of his chamber, and having ascertained that his guards, who occupied an adjoining apartment, were asleep, he descended the stairs and tried the doors. Finding these to be

locked, and the keys taken away, he proceeded to a window at the back of the house, and having opened it, descended from it into the garden in safety.*

Having thus providentially effected his escape, he hastened to convey his family to Milan, where he resided for a short time. He then removed to Pavia to undertake the office of professor of Belles Lettres in the University of that city. The agents of the Inquisition soon tracked him to this asylum. But he was so beloved by the students that, of their own accord, they formed themselves into a kind of body guard for his defence, and for three years defeated every attempt to obtain possession of his person. At length the Pope interfered, and threatened to lay the Senate under an interdiet if they afforded him further shelter. Upon this he went to Venice, and afterwards to Ferrara, where he was hospitably entertained by the Duchess Renata. Through the interest of this lady he obtained a professorship in the University of Lucca, whither he next removed his residence. Before he had held this office a year, the Pope, having discovered his retreat, commanded the Senate to take him into custody, and send him prisoner to Rome. The Senate having, however, no disposition to comply with this mandate, gave him private intimation of his danger, and allowed him to depart.

Perceiving himself to be thus exposed to constant and imminent danger in Italy, he resolved to retire into

* Curio's guards, on finding in the morning that their prisoner had escaped, and that the stocks and fetters continued locked, ascribed his deliverance to a miracle, or to the power of magic. When this was reported to Curio, he thought it necessary to clear himself from the imputation of resorting to magic, as it might bring scandal upon the religion he had embraced; and, therefore, published an account of the whole transaction. This

little piece is in the form of a dialogue, and is intituled Probus. It is among the most amusing of Curio's works, and is printed with the other dialogues in his Pasquillus Ecstaticus. Schelhorn has inserted this dialogue in his Amanitates Hist. Ecclesiasticæ, 1, 759.

Switzerland. He accordingly crossed the Alps, and proceeded to Zurich; soon afterwards he removed to Lausanne, having accepted the office of rector of the school or college of that city. As soon as he had thus settled himself, he returned to Tuscany for the purpose of conveying his family from Lucca. Not deeming it safe, however, to approach the town, he stopped at Pisa, intending that they should there join him. Shortly after his arrival, and whilst taking his dinner, wholly unsuspicious of danger, the Præfect of the Inquisition, who had placed his guards at the door and on the stairs, entered the room, and summoned him to surrender in the name of the Pope. Curio, considering all opposition useless, arose to deliver himself up. In the agitation of the moment he had retained in his hand the large knife with which he had been cutting his meat. The Præfect observing him advancing thus armed, and mistaking his intentions, became motionless with fear. Curio, with great presence of mind, availed himself of his panic, and quietly descended through the guards, who, not knowing him, saluted him as he passed. He hastened to the stable, mounted his horse, and drove off. As soon as it was discovered that he had escaped, the officers of the Inquisition commenced their pursuit, but a violent storm arising at the moment, they were obliged to abandon the chase and return without their prisoner. Curio, having made good his retreat, was soon joined by his family, and proceeded with them to Switzerland.

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talents to the cause of the Roman See. The Duke of Savoy, on hearing of this proposal, endeavoured, by the most liberal offers, to prevail upon him to accept a professorship in the Univer sity of Turin. The Emperor Maximilian also tried to engage his services in Germany; and Vaivoide, Prince of Transylvania, wished him to undertake some principal office in the College which he had just established at Alba Julia. Curio, however, preferred remaining at Basle, and declined all these flattering proposals: and the Senate, as a testimony of their esteem and gratitude, conferred upon him the freedom of their city. Here he continued to execute the duties of his office, and to enjoy the friendship of the most illustrious men of the time, until the year 1569, when his life was terminated after a short illness, in the sixty-seventh year of his age.*

Curio was the author of several works on the subjects of religion, philology, &c. &c. None of them are of great extent, but they display his critical knowledge of the classical languages, his refined literary taste, and the liberality of his religious sentiments. His principal pieces are, Christianæ Religionis Institutio; Araneus de Providentia Dei; De Animarum Immortalitate; Paraphrasis in principium Evangelii Johannis; Pasquillus Ecstaticus; De Amplitudine beati Regni Dei. He translated also, out of the Italian into Latin, some of Bernard Ochin's sermons, and Guicciardini's great historical work on Italy.t

* Some account of Curio may be met compilations. The preceding sketch is with in most of the common biographical principally drawn up from an interesting memoir delivered before the University of Basle, by the Professor who immedi ately succeeded him in the Chair of Polite Literature. It is intituled, Oratio Panegyrica de Coelii Secundi Curionis Vita atque Obitu, habita Basilea Anno 1570 in magna Procerum et Juventutis Academiæ Basiliensis Panegyri, à Johanne Nicolao Stupano, Med. Doctore et Professore. The oration is inserted by Schelhorn

in the Amanitates Literariæ, Vol. XIV. pp. 325 et seq., where the reader will find many additional particulars relating to Curio, his family and literary labours.

+ Several of his letters were printed

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His religious sentiments were in some respects more liberal than those of his associates, and exposed him, among his Protestant brethren, to the suspicion of heresy. This imputation was cast upon him in consequence of the publication of his treatise De 66 On


Islington, March 6, 1823. your Mis

the extent of God's happy Kingdom," I cellany the following account of

wherein he maintained that the kingdom of God was more extensive than that of the Devil, or that the number of the elect and the finally blessed, exceeded that of the reprobate and finally miserable of mankind. This work on its first appearance passed without particular notice; but Vergerius afterwards detected and exposed its departure from the orthodox Swiss doctrine of election, and raised the cry of heresy against the author. Curio made his peace by the publication of an apology in the Latin and German languages. He has, besides, been charged with holding heterodox opinions on the doctrine of the Trinity, and been occasionally numbered among the followers of Servetus. Unitarians, however, though they might have been proud of such a convert, have never placed him in their ranks. The accusation appears to be wholly without foundation, and it originated probably in the surmises of some over-zealous bigot, who thought it impossible to associate, as Curio did, un terms of friendly intimacy with

such men as Lælius Socinus and Ber-
nard Ochin, without imbibing their
R. S.

with the works of Olympia Fulvia Morata, which he edited. See Mon. Repos. XVII. 725. The writer, in the memoir of that lady, (Ibid. p. 725, note,) promised to furnish the Editor of the Monthly Repository with a copy of her beautiful Greek version of the forty-sixth Psalm. On reconsideration he has relinquished his design, being doubtful whether the poem would interest or be intelligible to a sufficient number of the readers of that Miscellany, to justify the appropriation to it of the space it would require.

The reader is requested to make the following corrections in the article reterred to: p. 721, first colume, note, for detinda read "obeunda :"-second coku, for aulam, read " aulâ.”

• Schelhorn has inserted both these Apologies, with an account of the conoversy occasioned by them, in his AmoRates Literariæ, Vol, XII, pp. 592 et


the Shakers, just communicated by my good friend Dr. William Rogers, of Philadelphia. I have furnished a copious description of them in the last edition (14th) of the Sketch of the Denominations of the Christian World, from an original document, being probably the first and only copy at that time transmitted to this country. The subsequent detail, however, is curious, both as to their faith and their practice; the latter being so truly ridiculous, whilst the former, indicating the free and fearless exercise of the reasoning faculty, rejects the leading dogmas of modern orthodoxy.

"From the Pittsburg Recorder. "THE SHAKERS.

"The following account of the Shakers, in Warren county, Ohio, has been furnished by the Rev. Jonathan Leslie. It probably contains as correct and particular information of their peculiar tenets and practices as any heretofore published.

"The Shakers live in a village called Union, 30 miles from Cincinnati, and four from Lebanon, the seat of justice for Warren county, Ohio.

"Their number is 600, and they live in eleven families. The number of individuals in each family varies from forty to sixty, one half men, the other half women, who attend to their appropriate business.

"Their dwelling-houses are brick and frame, spacious, neat and plain, well-finished and convenient. Their apartments are not decorated with ornaments, but are supplied with useful furniture. They are neat farmers, and their mechanical work is completely executed.-Their orchards and gar

The charge of Antitrinitarianism has been minutely examined and fully refuted by Schelhorn. See Amoenitates Literariæ, Vol. XII. p. 619, and XIV. pp. 386 et seq. It appears to have originated in his "Ambiguous Interpretations" of the proem to John's Gospel.

dens are extensive. They have plenty to eat and wear, and appear to be contented with their condition. They are hospitable and social, and frequently bestow large charities to worthy objects.


They have a meeting-house, two stories, 65 by 56. The outside is painted white, the roof as well as the walls, which gives it a singular apIn the upper story the pearance. ministry live. They are two men and two women, who are said to have arrived to an extraordinary degree of holiness. They superintend the whole community, visit different stations, and hear the confessions of those who are initiated into their community. The lower story is for public worship on the Sabbath, and in it are accommodations for a great number of spec

the head of their column. Four of
the brethren and as many sisters sung,
and the rest danced. At certain turns
in the music, they spat on their hands,
turned entirely round, and still con-
tinued dancing. They sung a more
lively tune, and danced with a more
lively step. They sung another hymn,
and immediately retired to rest.

"My feelings, at what I have just seen, I cannot express. Their hymns are poor compositions, and partake strongly of their peculiar sentiments. Their singing and dancing are very similar to what I have frequently seen practised by the Indians. Never did a greater mixture of sensations crowd upon my mind. I felt contempt for their folly, pity for their ignorance, indignation at their leaders, who, to think the most charitably of them,. ought to know better, and I wept at the awful disappointment they must experience when they enter the eternal world-when their sandy foundation shall be swept away, their hopes fall, and they be for ever undone !


"In each family are two male and two female elders, who have the whole spiritual direction of the members, and two male deacons, who furnish the kitchen, and attend to all the temporal concerns of the family.

"I first called at a great house, opposite the meeting-house, and had considerable conversation with three elders, who are men of intelligence and capable of expressing their ideas clearly. They directed me to Matthew Huston, (for they Mr. no one,) who is appointed to converse with the people of the world, and to entertain them. He had formerly been a Presbyterian minister, and left that body in the time of the revival in Kentucky. He appeared very willing to gratify my curiosity, and answer the queries I made relative to their belief and practice.

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"I retired to rest; but the recollection of what I had seen drove sleep from my eyes. I concluded they only are happy whom the arms of everlasting love support.


In the morning they rose at four o'clock, and one half hour after attended their morning devotions. They took their places as described last evening, and sung a hymn of praise to, and expressive of confidence in, God, their mother, after which they all fell upon their knees, and appeared to be in silent devotion for some minutes. They then arose and went to their respective apartments.


They are regular and systematic in every thing they do. They retire at nine o'clock, rise at four, breakfast at six, dine at twelve, and sup at six. They keep a school, where children of both sexes are taught. It is said that their teachers assiduously inculcate their peculiar principles upon their pupils. When their children are of lawful age to act for themselves, they insist upon their making a choice either fully to unite with the community or to leave it. They inform me that, in seven years past, 200, young and old, have joined their community. They have no summary of doctrine; but, by looking over their books, and from conservation with them, I drew

"At eight o'clock, their stated hour for evening devotion, a folding-door was opened, which united two spacious rooms. The men and women formed each a column facing one another, with a space between, at the head of which elder Huston stood. Their devotion commenced by all singing a hymn, in one part of music.-The tune was lively, and their words were plainly pronounced. Amongst the women were several little girls. After singing, the elder gave a short exhortation, and bade them prepare for labour. Then the men pulled off their coats, and the women some of their loose clothes, and all faced towards

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