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Cardan

The famous Cardan was born at Milan, or at Padua, the place of his nativity being uncertain, in the year 1501. To great natural powers, he added much acquired knowledge: but, above all, he was ever desirous of information; and, to use the expression of a French writer, he passed his life in continual meditation. On him the Italians have made this acute observation—that he has written more than he had read, and taught more than he had learnt. He died at Rome in 1576, where he attended Pope Gregory the Thirteenth, in the character of Physician. In his book, de Arcanis Æternitatis, will be found a great number of curious discoveries. Scaliger, who has written against him, acknowledges that, in many parts of his works, his intelligence seems greater than that which any writer ever possessed; while, in other parts, he betrays an imbecility of mind which would not be excuseable in a boy. In matters of Religion, his opponents were unsettled: he did not know where to chuse. All that has been said of God, of Paradise, of Purgatory, of Hell, and of the Immortality of the Soul, &c. were things with him very disputable: and we may add, that they have appeared so likewise to others not less eminent than Cardan.