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A NEW AND GENERAL

BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY.

SUAREZ (Francis), a Spanish Jesuit, born at Grenada, Jan. 5, 1548, was a professor of reputation at Alcala, at Salamanca, and at Rome. He was afterwards invited to Coimbra in Portugal, where he became the principal professor of divinity. He is an author of the most voluminous kind : his works extended to twenty-three volumes, in folio; and so extraordinary was his memory, that if any passage was cited from them, he could immediately go on to the end of the chapter or book. Yet, with all his talents, his examiners had such an indifferent opinion of him, that it was with some difficulty he gained admission into the order of Jesuits. He died at Lisbon, Sept. 25, 1617. By order of pope Paul V. he wrote a book “ against the errors of the English sect,” which James I. caused to be publicly burnt at St. Paul's. “Happy should I be," said he, “ could I seal with my blood the truths I have defended with my pen." Yet unpopular as this work must have rendered his name in this country, his treatise on law, “ Tractatus de Legibus," was printed in London in 1679, in folio. His works are chiefly on the subjects of metaphysics, morality, and theology; and what seems to recommend them is, that he almost every where relates and explains, with great fidelity and precision, the different sentiments of divines concerning the subjects on which he treats. The Jesuits consider Suarez as the greatest and best scholastic divine their order has produced, and lavish the highest encomiums upon him. He was the principal author of the system of Congruism, which is at bottom only that of Molina, although, perhaps, better adapted to the method and language of the theoVOL. XXIX.

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logians, and disguised under a less offensive form. Father Noel, a French Jesuit, made an abridgment of the works of this commentator, which was published at Geneva in 1732, in folio. There is a prolix life of him by AntonyIgnatius Deschamps, printed at Perpignan in 1671, a 4to of 800 pages."

SUCKLING (Sir John), an accomplished courtier, scholar, and poet, was the son of sir John Suckling, comptroller of the royal household, and was born at Whitton in Middlesex, where his father resided, in 1609. His biographers have hitherto fixed the time of his birth in 1612, but, according to some extracts from the parish-register of Twickenbam, in Lysons's “ Environs,” it appears, that he was baptised Feb. 10, 1608-9. Lloyd, from whom we bave the first account of this poet, mentious a circumstance relating to his birth, from which more was presaged than followed. He was born, according to his mother's computation, in the eleventh month, and long life and health were expected from so extraordinary an occurrence. During his infancy be certainly displayed an uncommon facility of acquiring every branch of education. He spoke Latin at five years of age, and could write in that language at the age of nine. It is probable that he was taught more languages than one at the same time, and by practising frequently with men of education who kept company with his father, soon acquired an ease and elegance of address which qualified him for the court as well as for foreign travel. His father is represented as a man of a serious turn and grave manners; the son volatile, good-tempered, and thoughtless ; characteristics which he seems to have preserved throughout life. His tutors found him particularly submissive, docile, easy to be taught, and quick in learning. It does not appear that he was sent to either university, yet a perusal of his prose works can leave no doubt that he laid a very solid and extensive foundation for various learning, and studied, not only such authors as were suitable to the vivacity of his disposition, but made himself acquainted with those political and religious controversies which were about to involve his country in all the miseries of civil war.

- After continuing for some years under his father's tutorage, he travelled over the kingdom, and then went to the

· Autonio Bibl. Hisp.-Moreri.Dict. Hist.--Dodd's Ch. Hist. vol. II.

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continent, where, his biographer informs us, “ he made an honourable collection of the virtues of each nation, without

any tincture of theirs, unless it were a little too much of the French air, which was indeed the fault of his complexion, rather than his person.” It was about this time, probably in his twentieth year, that he joined the standard of the illustrious Gustayus Adolphus, and was present at three battles and five sieges, besides lesser engagements, within the space of six months.

On bis return he employed his time, and expended his fortune, among the wits of his age, 'to whom he was recommended, not only by generous and social habits, but by a solid sense in argument and conversation far beyond what night be expected from his years, and the apparent lightness of his disposition. Among bis principal associates, we find the names of lord Falkland, Davenant, Ben Jonson, Digby, Carew, sir Toby Matthews, and the " ever memorable" Hales of Eton, to whom he aduresses a lively invitation to

His plays, “ Aglaura," “ Brennoralt,” “The Goblins," and an unfinished piece entitled “ The Sad One,” added considerably to his fame, although they have not been able to perpetuate it. The first only was printed in his life-time. All his plays, we are told, were acted with applause, and he spared no expence in costly dresses and decorations.

While thus seemingly devoted to pleasure only, the unfortunate aspect of public affairs roused him to a sense of duty, and induced him to offer his services, and devote his life and fortune, to the cause of royalty - How justly he could contemplate the unfortunate dispute between the court and nation, appears in his letter to Mr. Germaine (afterwards lord Albemarle), a composition almost unrivalled in that age for elegance of style and depth of observation. It was, however, too much the practice with those who made voluntary offers of soldiers, to equip them in an expensive and useless manner. Suckling, who was magnificent in all his expenses, was not to be outdone in an article which he had studied more than became a soldier, and which he might suppose would afford unquestionable proof of his attachment to the royal cause ; and, having been permitted to raise a troop of horse, consisting of an hundred, he equipped them so 'richly, that they are said to have cost him the sum of twelve thousand pounds.

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This exposed him to some degree of ridicule, a weapore which the republicans often wielded with successful dexterity, and which, in this instance, was sharpened by the misconduct of his gaudy soldiers. The particulars of this affair are not recorded; but it appears, that in 1639, the royal army, of which his troop formed a part, was defeated by the Scotch, and that sir John's men behaved remarkably ill. All this is possible, without any imputation on the courage of their commander; but it afforded his enemies an opportunity of turning the expedition into ridicule with an effect that is yet remembered. The lines in Dr. Percy's collection, by sir John Mennis, are not the only specimen of the wit of the times at our author's expense.

This unhappy affair is said by Lloyd to have contributed to shorten his days; but Oldys, in his MS notes on Langbaine, attributes his death to another cause. Lord Oxford informed Oldys, on the authority of dean Chetwood, who said he had it from lord Roscommon, that sir John Suckling, in his way to France, was robbed of a casket of gold and jewels, by his valet, who gave him poison, and besides stuck the blade of a pen-knife into his boot in such a manner, that sir John was disabled from pursuing the villain, and was wounded incurably in the heel. Dr. Warton, in a note to his Essay on Pope, relates the story somewhat differently : “ Sir John Suckling was robbed by his valetde-chambre; the moment he discovered it, he clapped on his boots in a passionate hurry, and perceived not a large rusty nail that was concealed at the bottom, which pierced bis heel, and brought on a mortification.” He died May 7, 1641, in the thirty-second year of his age. That he was on his way to France, when he met with the occasion of his death, seems to be confirmed by a ludicrous poem, lately re-printed in the “Censura Literaria," entitled “A Letter sent by sir John Suckling from France, deploring his sad estate and flight: with a discoverie of the plot and conspiracie, intended by him and his adherents against England. Imprinted at London, 1641." dated Paris, June 16, 1641, at which time the author probably had not learned that the object of his satire was beyond his reach.

As a poet, he was one of those who wrote for amusement, and was not stimulated by ambition, or anxious for fame. His pieces were sent loose about the world ; and not having been collected until after his death, they are

This poem is

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