Selections from Bayle's Dictionary

By Pierre Bayle; E. A. Beller et al. | Go to book overview

Supposing they should once happen to an incredulous man awake, as they do frequently in his sleep, we allow that he would be afraid, tho' he had never so much courage. And therefore for a stronger reason we ought to believe, that Hobbes would have been terribly affrighted at it.]

They* honestly confess, that in his youth he was a little given to wine and women;56 but that nevertheless, he lived a bachelor, that he might not be diverted from his study of Philosophy. He had meditated much more than he had read;o and he never cared to collect a great library.

[It is ingenuously confessed in his Life, that for a man who lived so long, his reading was inconsiderable. Nay he was used to say, that if he had bestowed as much time on reading, as other men of letters, he should have been as ignorant as they.57 He considered another thing, which induced him to make no great account of vast libraries; which is, that most books are extracts, and copies of others. "His reading, for a man of his years, was not great; he was welt acquainted with a few, and those the best authors. He was a great admirer of Homer, Virgil, Thucydides, and Euclid. He made no great account of large libraries, observing that men for the most part following one another's steps like sheep, have seldom the courage to go out of the trodden path and roads, which are prescribed to them by their guides? 58]

o

He died the fourth of December, 1679, at the earl of Devonshire's, after a sickness of six weeks.59

Japan . This is a name of a great country situated eastward of China, and divided into several islands. There is so much said of it in Moréri Dictionary,1 that I have but few things to observe. Nor will I collect all that

____________________
*
ED. NOTE: i.e., those who have written his life.
1
Especially in the edition of 1699.
56
Vita Hobbes. pag. 104.
57
Taken from his Life, printed in 1682.
58
Vita Hobbes. pag. 112.
59
Ibid.

-142-

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Selections from Bayle's Dictionary
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Editorial Notes xxxiii
  • ABDAS 3
  • ADAM 8
  • ANABAPTISTS 26
  • AUGUSTIN 49
  • BERNARD 77
  • CASTILE 83
  • CONSTANCE 93
  • DAVID 96
  • Hobbes 125
  • JAPAN 142
  • KNUZEN 153
  • MANICHEES 157
  • POQUELIN 183
  • PYRRHO 202
  • REMOND 225
  • RUGGERI 241
  • SARAH 262
  • SPINOZA 291
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