But his correspondence shows that the prince of librarians, Gabriel Naudé, was at once his agent, his adviser, and his friend; and it is from Naudé that we take the words of grief which remain as the scholar's memorial. 'Oh cruel Fate and bitter Death, thrust into the midst of our jollity!
These words brought to my recollection what I had read in a work by one Gabriel Naude, who wrote during the reign of Louis XIII. for Cardinal de Bagin: "Do you see Constantinople, which flatters itself with being the seat of a double empire; and Venice, which glories in her stability of a thousand years? Their day will come."
That his offence did not meet with universal reprobation is shown by negative testimony in the Judicium de Cardano, by Gabriel Naudé. In the course of his essay Naudé lets it be seen how thoroughly he dislikes the character of the man about whom he writes.
There is one defect in the De Vita Propria an artistic one which Naudé does not notice, namely, that in his narrative of his early days Cardan often over-reaches himself.
His style, according to Naudé, held a middle place between the high-flown and the pedestrian, and of all his books the De Utilitate ex Adversis Capienda, which was begun in 1557, shows the nearest approach to elegance, but even this is not free from diffuseness, the fault which Naudé finds in all his writings. Long dissertations entirely alien from the subject in hand are constantly interpolated.
In reviewing the condition of the other great libraries, Naudé pointed out that there was nothing like an unrestrained admission except at the Bodleian, the Ambrosian, and the Angelica Library at Rome. The public had no rights at the Vatican, or the Laurentian, or the Library of St. Mark at Venice. It was just the same at Bologna, or Naples, or in the Duchy of Urbino. The same thing, he said, might be seen in other countries. Ximènes built a fine library at Alcal
Naude: History of Magick, London, 1657, p. 182, or the original: Apologie pour les grands hommes soupconnez de magic, e.g., ed. Amst., 1719, p. 275. It is said that Abano caused to be painted the astronomical figures in the great hall of the palace at Padua.
My second meeting I held at Drupfontein, in the district of Bethlehem, on the 24th of April, with the burghers under the command of Commandants Frans Jacobsz, Mears, and Bruwer. Mr. J.H. Naude was made chairman, and Landdrost J.H.B. Wessels secretary. It was unanimously decided that independence had to be maintained, and Commandants Frans Jacobsz and Bruwer were chosen as representatives.
Naude, in his "Apology for the Great Men who have been falsely suspected of Magic," takes a great deal of pains to clear Agrippa from the imputations cast upon him by Delrio, Paulus Jovius, and other such ignorant and prejudiced scribblers. Such stories demanded refutation in the days of Naude, but they may now be safely left to decay in their own absurdity.
In an age when books were few and ill-composed, his works became widely popular; because, although he dealt with abstruse subjects, he wrote as even Naudé admits in a passably good style, and handled his subject with a lightness of touch which was then very rare.