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cal beauty and grace, and more independence and self reliance than the preceding pieces, but remind one both in style and manner of Ovid. There is much feeling exhibited in many of them, and much beauty of poetic imagery, as for example, in one where he represents himself as wandering about through field and wood in order to forget his love, but field and wood, mountain and valley only remind him of it, and flight only can restore him to sanity; or where he compares the storm of feeling to a tempest at sea, where one is continually and hopelessly tossed about with the desire to come to land; or when he implores all the gods to spare his friend Validus who is sick with a mortal fever. His lament at the fate of Ovid, too, of which he is reminded by a cold rainy new year's day, is both poetical and touching.
The Epitaphs and funeral poems that follow the Elegies, for the most part, belong among his earlier poems. They are generally of serious and loving cast, although some of them are not without irony and sarcasm. The one upon the learned reformer of Basle, Simon Grynaeus, and upon Huss, seem to flow from a warm heart, and show that he had learned to know and appreciate the distinguished men of foreign nations.
The last, longest, and best division of the volume is more miscellaneous, some of them being mere short epigrammatic pieces full of wit and humor, and longer amatory pieces inscribed " Ad Candidam," and others of a more general nature. These were in the style of Catullus, Tibullus, and Propertius, all three of whom, it is said, he imitated successfully, both in purity, and ease, and graceful turn of expression. The poem written to welcome Wolmar to Paris, we have already quoted. The one to the author in his library, in apology for his neglect of it, is so much in accordance with the feelings of the scholar, when driven from his books to practical life, that we cannot refrain from quoting it entire :1
1 Salvete, incolumes mei libelli,
Et vos ô reliqui, quibus negatum est
The composition of these poems falls entirely into the period of his abode at Orleans and Paris, from his sixteenth to his twenty-ninth year, and he himself attributes a large share of them to his school days at Orleans, although it is evident that many of them were written at Paris, after he had devoted himself more exclusively to the muse. The poems were everywhere well received,1 and indeed he was the first to express disapprobation of them, even while he was reaping the laurels of general approbation from his humanist contemporaries. Scarcely two years after the first appearance of this volume, he says: "I confess that I by nature always loved the noble art of poetry; I can never regret this, yet I am sorry to say, that I have not devoted this gift to God, as small as it may be, but to things the remembrance of which already fills me with shame." In explanation of his feelings in reference to these poems, we quote further from the Preface to the second edition of poems, published when he was in his fiftieth year: "Some may wonder, and perhaps justly, that a man of my age, who is engaged in such serious studies, and whose previous edition of such poems resulted so disastrously, should now turn back to youthful days, and seek again his old sports, and add to them perhaps new follies. I will therefore here explain somewhat circumstantially the facts in the case, partly in order to confute the calumnies of certain persons, and partly to forestall the reproaches that may be in store for me. From my boyhood I was devoted to the
Includi numeris Phaleuciorum.
Non me unam hebdomadam procul, quid? immo
'Stephen Pasquier, himself a poet nine years younger than Beza, says in his Becherches sur la France, p. 913: Bèze pendant sa jeunesse fit divers poemes Françoys et Latins qui furent très favorablement embrassées par toute la France, et singulèrement ses Epigrammes Latins dedans lesquelles il celebrait sa mai tresse sous nom de Candide.
art of poetry and diligently practised it, both because the natural bent of my mind impelled me thereto, and because Wolmar, at that time teacher at Bourges, not only urged me on in other studies suitable to my age, but also in the practice of this art. When I, near the beginning of my seventeenth year, went to Orleans in order, in obedience to my father's will, to engage in the study of civil law, and found there cultivated men and those inspired by the muses... John Dampierre, Antonius Agianthus, afterwards first president of the parliament of Rouen, and not now long dead, John Trouchy, Maclot Pomponius, and L. Validus, who are, as far as I know, now alive and in France, clothed with the highest dignity, and in the most honorable employments, I did not neglect the study of poetry. But on account of the emulation that existed in some measure among us, I devoted myself to it with greater love than ever. In my bucolic poems and the sylvae, I took Virgil, the king of all poets, as my prototype, than whom, at that time, I knew no higher. But in my elegies I copied Ovid, whose genial fulness enchained me more completely than the measured elegance of Tibullus. As respects the epigrams, those of Catullus and Martial so charmed me, that as often as I suspended my more grave pursuits (for poetry was only an incidental employment), I betook myself nowhere else with more delight than to their gardens of pleasure. Although my feeling sometimes (as I can truly bear witness) was so offended by their obscenity, that I, in reading, would turn my eyes from some passages; yet, as it too often happens in that age, I was not sufficiently prudent, and became so captivated with the honeyed tenderness of the one, and the keen wit of the other, that I strove to imitate their style of writing as much as possible. Thus the most of these poems, which were afterwards published, came into existence. . . . Through the hope of some renown, as well as from the desire to comply with the urgent solicitation of a teacher deserving so much, I was moved to the publication of the little volume; and it was so favorably received, both by my own countrymen the French, and the Italians, that they quite put me to the blush by their congratulations." He then proceeds to confute the calumnies of the Catholics in reference to his moral character, and says: Let us see upon what they base such accusations. They adduce my little poems, for they cannot (God be praised) bring forward anything else, even if they suborn ever so many witnesses. But I may now remark before all, that they, in such a small book, can find only a few which merit the definite appellation of amatory poems; and these, with the exception of a very few epigrams, are written rather in style too free than strictly indelicate. After speaking of the ideal Candida and of his young and gifted friend Audebert, to whom he had addressed lines
in a somewhat exaggerated and sportive tone of affection, he proceeds to notice the accusation of a monk in respect to a pretended violation of the marriage relation: "Great God! - Behold, if a man lives who can bring against Beza even the least suspicion of adultery, I will place myself before any tribunal." In his second apology against Claude, he asserts his innocence in stronger terms, and confidently demands that his accuser should bring his proofs, or appear before the world as a shameless calumniator. But proof was never brought, and impartiality demands, that the claim of Beza should not be disputed.
Departure from France and Arrival at Geneva.
In the fall of 1548 Beza was preparing to leave France. No one of his numerous friends knew the cause or object of his journey. He has said little of the struggles which it must have cost such a nature as his, to break away from his native land, his large circle of admiring friends, and to forego the posts of honor and emolument which awaited him, and to throw in his lot with the much abused people of God. He has however given the outlines of the picture, and left it for others to fill it up. "It was," he says, "the counsel of a compassionate God, that I, wretch that I was, who had knowingly and willingly plunged myself into the fearful abyss, should extricate myself from the danger." After speaking of his marriage, he proceeds: "Besides also, the gracious God helped me to resist a longing after renown, and enticing posts of honor, to such a degree that my friends not only wondered, but most of them reproached me, and called me in derision, the new philosopher.' Yet I remained a long time undecided. For my own affairs pressed upon me, I was destined, some time, to take a certain position, and my uncle offered me all his wealth; so that, on the one side, my conscience admonished me and my wife reminded me of my promise; and, on the other, the incarnate Satan sometimes flattered me in a most friendly manner, and my revenues in consequence of the death of my brother were still more increased, so that I was miserable in these circumstances, as one entirely devoid of all counsel. But how wonderfully at this time God pitied me I will gladly relate. Behold! he visited me with a severe sickness, which made it doubtful whether I should reWhat could I miserable do, before whose eyes nothing floated but the fearful judgment of God? What was the result? After numberless tortures of the body and soul, the Lord again commiserated his perishing servant and consoled me, so that I no longer doubted of his pardoning grace. In the midst of a thousand tears I abhorred myself, implored his forgiveness, renewed my vows to openly devote myself to
Residence in Geneva.
his true church and honor; in brief, I gave myself entirely up to him. Thus it happened that the image of death presented as a reality before me, awakened in me a slumbering and concealed longing after the true life; and that sickness was the beginning of my recovery and of real soundness. So wonderful is the working of the Lord with his own, that he, by the same means, casts down and raises up, wounds and heals. Accordingly, so soon as I could leave my bed, I burst all bonds which had previously held me bound, gathered together my few goods, and left my native land, parents, and friends, in order to follow Christ, and with my wife went into voluntary banishment to Geneva.”
Beza arrived in the city of Geneva on the twenty-third of Oct. 1548, as it is said, under the assumed name of Thibaud de May. Many refugees from France had already taken up their abode there, where it had been decreed and placed on a brazen tablet, in large letters, at the entrance of the senate house, as a witness of their gratitude to God and as an everlasting memorial to all posterity, that both the gospel and the city should be free from all tyranny. The contests which Calvin and his coadjutors had maintained for liberty and the gospel against all classes of opposers, are too well known to need to be enlarged upon here. The year 1547 was celebrated for the contests with the political libertines of Geneva, headed by Ami Perrin and Gruet. In the same year of the arrival of Beza, and but a few days before, Calvin had summoned Farel to come to aid him in withstanding the factions, which pressed so constantly and violently upon him; and he had given the disaffected members of the council that severe rebuke which they so richly deserved.
At such a time, as we should naturally suppose, Calvin was prepared to heartily welcome the young stranger, who was brought to him by Crispin, a refugee from France and one of Beza's most intimate friends, who had been a witness of his private marriage at Paris. The Genevan reformer was not long in calling to mind the young student whom he had formerly met in the house of Wolmar, and in whom he had even then discerned a spirit which would, if not repressed, make itself known upon the side of free principles and scholarly pursuits. But he now, his biographer says,1 proved to be even more; a great consolation to Calvin, and a great gain for the church and protestantism. For not only the genius and talent, but also the lineage and civil position, gave to the formal transference of such a man to the side of the reformed, a peculiar importance. "Calvin saw in him one whom God had sent to share his conflicts, to become as it were his right arm, to carry forward the