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443
Casaubon

scholar was driven to admit that the polemist was often too hard for him. These encounters mostly took place in the king's library, over which the cardinal, in his capacity of aumonier, exercised some kind of authority; and it was therefore impossible for Casaubon to avoid them. On the other hand, the Huguenot theologians, and especially Pierre du Moulin, chief pastor of the church of Paris, accused him of conceding too much, and of having departed already from the lines of strict Calvinistic orthodoxy.

When the assassination of Henry IV. gave full rein to the Ultramontane party at court, the obsessions of Duperron became more importunate, and even menacing. It was now that Casaubon began to listen to overtures which had been faintly made before, from the bishops and the court of England. In October 1610 he came to England in the suite of the ambassador, Lord Wotton of Marley (brother of Casaubon's early friend), an official invitation having been sent him by Richard Bancroft, archbishop of Canterbury. He had the most flattering reception from James I., who was perpetually sending for him to discuss theological matters. The English bishops were equally delighted to find that the great French scholar was an Anglican ready made, who had arrived, by independent study of the Fathers, at the very via media between Puritanism and Romanism, which was becoming the fashion in the English Church. Casaubon, though a layman, was collated to a prebendal stall in Canterbury, and a pension of £300 a year was assigned him from the exchequer. Nor were these merely paper figures. When Sir Julius Caesar made a difficulty about payment, James sent a note in his own hand: "Chanceler of my excheker, I will have Mr Casaubon paid before me, my wife, and my barnes." He still retained his appointments in France, and his office as librarian. He had obtained leave of absence for a visit to England, where his permanent settlement was not contemplated. In order to retain their hold upon him, the government of the queen regent refused to allow his library to be sent over. It required a special request from James himself to get leave for Madame Casaubon to bring him a part of his most necessary books. Casaubon continued to speak of himself as the servant of the regent, and to, declare his readiness to return when summoned to do so.

Meanwhile his situation in London gradually developed unforeseen sources of discomfort. Not that he had any reason to complain of his patrons, the king and the bishops. James continued to the last to delight in his company, and to be as liberal as the state of his finances allowed. John Overall had received him and his whole family into the deanery of St Paul's, and entertained him there for a year. Overall and Lancelot Andrewes, then bishop of Ely, were the most learned men of a generation in which extensive reading was more general among the higher clergy than it has ever been since. These two were attracted to Casaubon by congenial studies and opinions. With the witty and learned bishop of Ely in particular Casaubon was always happy to spend such hours as he had to spare from the labours of the study. Andrewes took him to Cambridge, where he met with a most gratifying reception from the notabilities of the university. They went on together to Downham, where Casaubon spent six weeks of the summer of 1611, in which year he became naturalized. In 1613 he was taken to Oxford by Sir Henry Savile, where, amid the homage and feasting of which he was the object, his principal interest was for the MSS. treasures of the Bodleian. The honorary degree which was offered him he declined.

But these distinctions were far from compensating the serious inconveniences of his position. Having been taken up by the king and the bishops, he had to share in their rising unpopularity. The courtiers looked with a jealous eye on a pensioner who enjoyed frequent opportunities of taking James I. on his weak side—his love of book talk—opportunities which they would have known how to use. Casaubon was especially mortified by Sir Henry Wotton's persistent avoidance of him, so inconsistent with their former intimacy. His windows were broken by the roughs at night, his children pelted in the streets by day. On one occasion he himself appeared at Theobalds with a black eye, having received a blow from some ruffian's fist in the street. The historian Hallam thinks that he had "become personally unpopular"; but these outrages from the vulgar seem to have arisen solely from the cockney's antipathy to the Frenchman. Casaubon, though he could make shift to read an English book, could not speak English, any more than Mme Casaubon. This deficiency not only exposed him to insult and fraud, but restricted his social intercourse. It excluded him altogether from the circle of the "wits"; either this or some other cause prevented him from being acceptable in the circle of the lay learned—the "antiquaries." William Camden, the antiquary and historian, he saw but once or twice. Casaubon had been imprudent enough to correct Camden's Greek, and it is possible that the ex-headmaster of Westminster kept himself aloof in silent resentment of Casaubon's superior learning. With Robert Cotton and Henry Spelman he'was slightly acquainted. Of John Selden we find no mention. Though Sir Henry Savile ostensibly patronized him, yet Casaubon could not help suspecting that it was Savile who secretly prompted an attempt by Richard Montagu to forestall Casaubon's book on Baronius. Besides the jealousy of the natives, Casaubon had now to suffer the open attacks of the Jesuit pamphleteers. They had spared him as long as there were hopes of getting him over. The prohibition was taken off, now that he was committed to Anglicanism. Not only Joannes Eudaemon, Heribert Rosweyd and Scioppius (Gaspar Schoppe),[1] but a respectable writer, friendly to Casaubon, Andreas Schott of Antwerp, gave currency to the insinuation that Casaubon had sold his conscience for English gold.

But the most serious cause of discomfort in his English residence was that his time was no longer his own. He was perpetually being summoned out of town to one or other of James's hunting residences that the king might enjoy his talk. He had come over from Paris in search of leisure, and found that a new claim on his time was established. The king and the bishops wanted to employ his pen in their literary warfare against Rome. They compelled him to write first one, then a second, pamphlet on the subject of the day,—the royal supremacy. At last, ashamed of thus misappropriating Casaubon's stores of learning, they set him upon a refutation of the Annals of Baronius, then in the full tide of its credit and success. Upon this task Casaubon spent his remaining strength and life. He died in great suffering on the 1st of July 1614. His complaint was an organic and congenital malformation of the bladder; but his end was hastened by an unhealthy life of over-study, and latterly by his anxiety to acquit himself creditably in his criticism on Baronius. He was buried in Westminster Abbey. The monument by which his name is there commemorated was erected in 1632 by his friend Thomas Morton when bishop of Durham.

Besides the editions of ancient authors which have been mentioned, Casaubon published with commentaries Persius, Suetonius, the Scriptores Historiae Augustae. The edition of Polybius, on which he had spent vast labour, he left unfinished. His most ambitious work was his revision of the text of the Deipnosophistae of Athenaeus, with commentary. The Theophrastus perhaps exhibits his most characteristic excellences as a commentator. The Exercitationes in Baronium are but a fragment of the massive criticism which he contemplated; it failed in bringing before the reader the uncritical character of Baronius's history, and had only a moderate success, even among the Protestants. His correspondence (in Latin) was finally collected by Van Almeloveen (Rotterdam, 1709), who prefixed to the letters a careful life of Isaac Casaubon. But this learned Dutch editor was acquainted with Casaubon's diary only in extract. This diary, Ephemerides, of which the MS. is preserved in the chapter library of Canterbury, was printed in 1850 by the Clarendon Press. It forms the most valuable record we possess of the daily life of a scholar, or man of letters, of the 16th century.  (M. P.) 

A few minor changes have been made in the above article, compared with its form in the 9th edition. The most complete account

  1. Eudaemon was a Cretan, Rosweyd a Dutch, Jesuit; Schoppe, a German philologist and critic.