Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/230

This page needs to be proofread.


MENTELIN


196


MENZINI


such a way as to bo uiulcistmni by tlioso wlio are ad- dn'ssed. A sin is cominittcd it' iiicntal rt'servations are used without just cause, or iu cases in wliicli the ques- tioner has a right to the naked trutli. In the sixteenth century a further development of this commonly re- ceived doctrine began to be admitted even by some theologians of note, ^\'e shall prol)al)ly not be far wrong if wo attril)Ute tin- change to the very difficult political circumstances of the time due to the wars of religion. Martin Asjiilcueta, the "Doctor Navarrus", as he was called, was one of the first to develop the new doctrine. He was nearing the end of a long life, and was regarded as the foremost authority then living on canon law and moral theology, when he was consulted on a case of conscience by the Fathers of the Jesuit college at Valladolid. The case sent to him for solu- tion was drawn up in these terms: "Titius, who pri- vately said to a woman, ' I take thee for my wife ', without the intention of marrying her, answered the judge who asked him whetlier he had said those words, that he did not say them, vnulerstaiiding mentally that he did not say them with the intention of marrying the woman." Navarrus was asked whether Titius told a lie, whether he had committed perjury, or whether he committed any sin at all. He drew up an elaborate opinion on the case and dedicated it to the reigning pontiff, Gregory XIII. Navarrus maintained that Ti- tius neither lied, nor committed perjury, nor any sin whatever, on the supposition that he had a good rea- son for answering as he did. This theory became known as the doctrine of strict mental reservation, to distinguish it from wide mental reservation with which we have thus far been occupied. In the strict mental reservation the speaker mentally adds some qualifica- tion to the words which he utters, and the words to- gether with the mental qualification make a true asser- tion in accordance with fact. On the other hand, in a wide mental reservation, the qualification comes from the ambiguity of the words themselves, or from the circumstances of time, place, or person, m which they are uttered. The opinion of Navarrus was received as prol)al)le by such contemporary theologians of differ- ent schools as Salon, Sayers, Suarez, and Lessius. The Jesuit theologian Sanchez formulated it in clear and distinct terms, and added the weight of his authority on the side of its defenders. Laymann, however, an- other Jesuit theologian of equal or greater weight, re- jected the doctrine, as did Azot, S.J., the Dominican Soto and others. Laymann shows at considerable length that such reservations are lies. For that man tells a lie who makes use of words which are fal.se with the intention of deceiving another. And this is what is done when a strict mental reservation is made use of. The words uttered do not express the truth as known to the speaker. They are at variance with it and therefore they constitute a lie. The opinion of Navar- rus w as freely debated in the schools for some years, and it was acted upon by some of the Catholic con- fessors of the Faith in England in the difficult circum- stances in which they were frequently placed. It was, however, condemned as formulated by Sanchez bv Innocent XI on 2 March, 1(379 (propositions xxvl, xxvii). After this condemnation by the Holy See no Catholic theologian has defended the lawfulness of strict mental reservations.

.St. Ratmu>ji). Snmma de Pamiti-ntia (Rome. 1603); Aspn,- Cl-ETA, Opera omnia (Venice, 1618); Sanchkz. In Decalogum (Antwerp, 1631): Laymann, jT/iro/oflia morahs (Munich, 1634); Slater, Manual of Moral Thtolooy, I (New York, 1908).

T. Slatek.

Mentelin (Mentel), Johanne.s, b. c. 1410; d. 12 Dec, 1478; an eminent German typographer of the fifteenth century, and the finst printer and bookseller at Strasburg (Alsace). Ho belonged to a respected family at Schlettstadt. After 1447 he was a "gold- schreiter" (illuminator) at Strasliurg, where he be- came a Ijurgess and member of the jjainters' and


goldsmiths' guilds. It was as an illuminator that he became connected with printing; and he received his printer's training at Mainz: he began printing at Strasburg liefore 1460. His establishment at once de- veloped great activity; in a few years it produced quite a number of immense folio volumes with a masterly finish. He also procured the sale of his prints by means of printed catalogues. These "publisher's catalogues" have proved a very valuable means of identifying and ascertaining facts about Mentelin's prints, because he usuall.v appended neither name, place nor date to his works. 1 1 is type is nearly always conspicuous as being a .simplified (iotliic round-hand (the minuscule used in the books of the period). Though they cannot compare either in design or tech- nical finish witli those of tlutenberg and SeholTer. they are not without some (]rigin;il features esjiefially in the capital letters, which occur liiith in flourishing Gothic and in the simple Roman lai)idary style. ( )f his larger printetl works, about ;iO in numlier, including at least ■H'l large folio volumes, the following are the most con- spicuous: the Latin edition of the Bible of 14(iO, and 1403; the German Bible, about 1460; also the first edi- tions of the writings of St. Augustine, St. Chrysostom, St. Jerome, Aristotle, Isidore, and the "Canon" of Avicenna. The business was carried on by his son-in- law Adolf Rusch, and afterwartis by Johann Priiss. Although Mentelin cannot be reckoned the inventor of the art of printing books, as his grandson Johann Schott claimed in 1521, he was nevertheless one of the most skilful of the early typographers.

Schmidt, Gesch. der hltest. Bibliotheken und der ersten Buck- druckerzu Strassburg (1882); Allg. deutsch. Biog., XXI (Leipzig, 1885).

Heinrich Wilh. Wallau.

Menzini, Benedetto; priest and poet, b. at Flor- ence, 1046; d. at Rome, 7 Sept., 1704. His family be- ing poor, he early gave himself up to teaching, becom- ing a professor of belles-lettres at Florence and at Prato. He was already in Holy Orders. In 1681 he failed to obtain the chair of rhetoric in the University of Pisa partly because of the jealousy of other clerics, and partly because of the acrimony constantly shown by him in his words and acts. In 1685 he went to Rome and enjoyed the favour of Queen Christina of Sweden, until her death in 1689. Pope Innocent XII then gave him a ca'nonry, and appointed him to a chair of rhetoric in one of the institutions of the city of Rome. Following the models provided by the poems of Chiabrera and Testi, Menzini wrote his Pindaric " Canzoni eroiche e morali " (1674-80). These observe the Greek division — strophe, antistrophe, and epode, and deal with subjects that were also engaging the at- tention of the contemporary poet Filicaja, e. g., the freeing of Venice, the taking of Budapest. Some seventeen of his elegies treat of matters of various in- terest. The poem " II Paradiso terrestre" is almost a continuation of the " Mondo creato " of Tasso, Men- zini's favourite poet. In the " Academia Tusculana ", in mingled prose and verse, he introduces leading spirits of the time, who discuss subjects of many sorts. The pastoral note was struck by him with no little success in his "Sonetti pastorali", and in his "Canzonette anacreontiche " he produced a number of graceful little lyrics. Perhaps the most famous work of Menzini is his satires, some thirteen in num- l)er, in which he assails in acrid terms the hypocrisy prevailing in Tuscany in the last years of the Medici rule. In like fashion he lashes in his " Arte poetica" the artificiality and the uncouthness of the versifiers of his time.

Opere (4 vols., Florence, 1731) ; Satire (Amsterdam, 1728) and Borghini, III (1876); Paolccci, Vila rft Benedetto Menzini (Florence, 1732); Magrini, S(u<iio critieo su Benedetto Meniini (Naples, 1885); Tonchini, Benedetto Menzini e le sue opere (Cairo. 1893). For more recent edition of his work see Satire, rime e lettere scelte di Benedetto Menzini (Florence, 1874).

J. D. M. Ford.