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Title: A Philosophical Dictionary, Volume 5
Author: Voltaire, 1694-1778
Language: English
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A PHILOSOPHICAL DICTIONARY

VOLUME V

By

VOLTAIRE



EDITION DE LA PACIFICATION

THE WORKS OF VOLTAIRE

A CONTEMPORARY VERSION


  With Notes by Tobias Smollett, Revised and Modernized
     New Translations by William F. Fleming, and an
           Introduction by Oliver H.G. Leigh

A CRITIQUE AND BIOGRAPHY

BY

THE RT. HON. JOHN MORLEY

FORTY-THREE VOLUMES


  One hundred and sixty-eight designs, comprising reproductions
      of rare old engravings, steel plates, photogravures,
                    and curious fac-similes

VOLUME IX

E.R. DuMONT

PARIS--LONDON--NEW YORK--CHICAGO

1901



_The WORKS of VOLTAIRE_

     _"Between two servants of Humanity, who appeared eighteen hundred
     years apart, there is a mysterious relation. * * * * Let us say it
     with a sentiment of profound respect: JESUS WEPT: VOLTAIRE SMILED.
     Of that divine tear and of that human smile is composed the
     sweetness of the present civilization."_

                                                    _VICTOR HUGO._



LIST OF PLATES--VOL. V

  SANS SOUCI _Frontispiece_
  A LAND STORM
  THE TEMPTATION OF ADAM
  DESCARTES



[Illustration: SANS SOUCI]


       *       *       *       *       *


A PHILOSOPHICAL DICTIONARY.

IN TEN VOLUMES

Vol. V

FANATICISM--GREGORY VII


       *       *       *       *       *


FANATICISM.

SECTION I.


Fanaticism is the effect of a false conscience, which makes religion
subservient to the caprices of the imagination, and the excesses of the
passions.

It arises, in general, from legislators entertaining too narrow views,
or from their extending their regulations beyond the limits within which
alone they were intended to operate. Their laws are made merely for a
select society. When extended by zeal to a whole people, and transferred
by ambition from one climate to another, some changes of institution
should take place, some accommodation to persons, places, and
circumstances. But what, in fact, has been the case? Certain minds,
constituted in a great degree like those of the small original flock,
have received a system with equal ardor, and become its apostles, and
even its martyrs, rather than abate a single iota of its demands.
Others, on the contrary, less ardent, or more attached to their
prejudices of education, have struggled with energy against the new
yoke, and consented to receive it only after considerable softenings and
mitigations: hence the schism between rigorists and moderates, by which
all are urged on to vehemence and madness--the one party for servitude
and the other for freedom.

Let us imagine an immense rotunda, a pantheon, with innumerable altars
placed under its dome. Let us figure to ourselves a devotee of every
sect, whether at present existing or extinct, at the feet of that
divinity which he worships in his own peculiar way, under all the
extravagant forms which human imagination has been able to invent. On
the right we perceive one stretched on his back upon a mat, absorbed in
contemplation, and awaiting the moment when the divine light shall come
forth to inform his soul. On the left is a prostrate energumen striking
his forehead against the ground, with a view to obtain from it an
abundant produce. Here we see a man with the air and manner of a
mountebank, dancing over the grave of him whom he invokes. There we
observe a penitent, motionless and mute as the statue before which he
has bent himself in humiliation. One, on the principle that God will not
blush at his own resemblance, displays openly what modesty universally
conceals; another, as if the artist would shudder at the sight of his
own work, covers with an impenetrable veil his whole person and
countenance; another turns his back upon the south, because from that
quarter blows the devil's tempest. Another stretches out his arms
towards the east, because there God first shows His radiant face. Young
women, suffused with tears, bruise and gash their lovely persons under
the idea of assuaging the demon of desire, although by means tending in
fact rather to strengthen his influence; others again, in opposite
attitudes, solicit the approaches of the Divinity. One young man, in
order to mortify the most urgent of his feelings, attaches to particular
parts of his frame large iron rings, as heavy as he can bear; another
checks still more effectually the tempter's violence by inhuman
amputation, and suspends the bleeding sacrifice upon the altar.

Let us observe them quit the temple, and, full of the inspiration of
their respective deities, spread the terror and delusion over the face
of the earth. They divide the world between them; and the four
extremities of it are almost instantly in flames: nations obey them, and
kings tremble before them. That almost despotic power which the
enthusiasm of a single person exercises over a multitude who see or hear
him; the ardor communicated to each other by assembled minds; numberless
strong and agitating influences acting in such circumstances, augmented
by each individual's personal anxiety and distress, require but a short
time to operate, in order to produce universal delirium. Only let a
single people be thus fascinated and agitated under the guidance of a
few impostors, the seduction will spread with the speed of wild-fire,
prodigies will be multiplied beyond calculation, and whole communities
be led astray forever. When the human mind has once quitted the luminous
track pointed out by nature, it returns to it no more; it wanders round
the truth, but never obtains of it more than a few faint glimmerings,
which, mingling with the false lights of surrounding superstition, leave
it, in fact, in complete and palpable obscurity.

It is dreadful to observe how the opinion that the wrath of heaven might
be appeased by human massacre spread, after being once started, through
almost every religion; and what various reasons have been given for the
sacrifice, as though, in order to preclude, if possible, the escape of
any one from extirpation. Sometimes they are enemies who must be
immolated to Mars the exterminator. The Scythians slay upon the altars
of this deity a hundredth part of their prisoners of war; and from this
usage attending victory, we may form some judgment of the justice of
war: accordingly, among other nations it was engaged in solely to supply
these human sacrifices, so that, having first been instituted, as it
would seem, to expiate the horrors of war, they at length came to serve
as a justification of them.

Sometimes a barbarous deity requires victims from among the just and
good. The Getæ eagerly dispute the honor of personally conveying to
Zamolxis the vows and devotions of their country. He whose good fortune
has destined him to be the sacrifice is thrown with the greatest
violence upon a range of spears, fixed for the purpose. If on falling
he receives a mortal wound, it augurs well as to the success of the
negotiation and the merit of the envoy; but if he survives the wound, he
is a wretch with whom the god would not condescend to hold any
communication.

Sometimes children are demanded, and the respective divinities recall
the life they had but just imparted: "Justice," says Montaigne,
"thirsting for the blood of innocence!" Sometimes the call is for the
dearest and nearest blood: the Carthaginians sacrificed their own sons
to Saturn, as if Time did not devour them with sufficient speed.
Sometimes the demand was for the blood of the most beautiful. That
Amestris, who had buried twelve men alive in order to obtain from Pluto,
in return for so revolting an offering, a somewhat longer life--that
same Amestris further sacrifices to that insatiable divinity twelve
daughters of the highest personages in Persia; as the sacrificing
priests have always taught men that they ought to offer on the altar the
most valuable of their possessions. It is upon this principle that among
some nations the first-born were immolated, and that among others they
were redeemed by offerings more valuable to the ministers of sacrifice.
This it is, unquestionably, which introduced into Europe the practice
prevalent for centuries of devoting children to celibacy at the early
age of five years, and shutting up in a cloister the brothers of an
hereditary prince, just as in Asia the practice is to murder them.

Sometimes it is the purest blood that is demanded. We read of certain
Indians, if I recollect rightly, who hospitably entertain all who visit
them and make a merit of killing every sensible and virtuous stranger
who enters their country, that his talents and virtues may remain with
them. Sometimes the blood required is that which is most sacred. With
the majority of idolaters, priests perform the office of executioner at
the altar; and among the Siberians, it is the practice to kill the
priests in order to despatch them to pray in the other world for the
fulfilment of the wishes of the people.

But let us turn our attention to other frenzies and other spectacles.
All Europe passes into Asia by a road inundated with the blood of Jews,
who commit suicide to avoid falling into the hands of their enemies.
This epidemic depopulates one-half of the inhabited world: kings,
pontiffs, women, the young and the aged, all yield to the influence of
the holy madness which, for a series of two hundred years, instigated
the slaughter of innumerable nations at the tomb of a god of peace. Then
were to be seen lying oracles, and military hermits, monarchs in
pulpits, and prelates in camps. All the different states constitute one
delirious populace; barriers of mountains and seas are surmounted;
legitimate possessions are abandoned to enable their owners to fly to
conquests which were no longer, in point of fertility, the land of
promise; manners become corrupted under foreign skies; princes, after
having exhausted their respective kingdoms to redeem a country which
had never been theirs, complete the ruin of them for their personal
ransom; thousands of soldiers, wandering under the banners of many
chieftains, acknowledge the authority of none and hasten their defeat by
their desertion; and the disease terminates only to be succeeded by a
contagion still more horrible and desolating.

The same spirit of fanaticism cherished the rage for distant conquests:
scarcely had Europe repaired its losses when the discovery of a new
world hastened the ruin of our own. At that terrible injunction, "Go and
conquer," America was desolated and its inhabitants exterminated; Africa
and Europe were exhausted in vain to repeople it; the poison of money
and of pleasure having enervated the species, the world became nearly a
desert and appeared likely every day to advance nearer to desolation by
the continual wars which were kindled on our continent, from the
ambition of extending its power to foreign lands.

Let us now compute the immense number of slaves which fanaticism has
made, whether in Asia, where uncircumcision was a mark of infamy, or in
Africa, where the Christian name was a crime, or in America, where the
pretext of baptism absolutely extinguished the feelings of humanity. Let
us compute the thousands who have been seen to perish either on
scaffolds in the ages of persecution, or in civil wars by the hands of
their fellow citizens, or by their own hands through excessive
austerities, and maceration. Let us survey the surface of the earth, and
glance at the various standards unfurled and blazing in the name of
religion; in Spain against the Moors, in France against the Turks, in
Hungary against the Tartars; at the numerous military orders, founded
for converting infidels by the point of the sword, and slaughtering one
another at the foot of the altar they had come to defend. Let us then
look down from the appalling tribunal thus raised on the bodies of the
innocent and miserable, in order to judge the living, as God, with a
balance widely different, will judge the dead.

In a word, let us contemplate the horrors of fifteen centuries, all
frequently renewed in the course of a single one; unarmed men slain at
the feet of altars; kings destroyed by the dagger or by poison; a large
state reduced to half its extent by the fury of its own citizens; the
nation at once the most warlike and the most pacific on the face of the
globe, divided in fierce hostility against itself; the sword unsheathed
between the sons and the father; usurpers, tyrants, executioners,
sacrilegious robbers, and bloodstained parricides violating, under the
impulse of religion, every convention divine or human--such is the
deadly picture of fanaticism.


SECTION II.

If this term has at present any connection with its original meaning it
is exceedingly slight.

"_Fanaticus_" was an honorable designation. It signified the minister or
benefactor of a temple. According to the dictionary of Trévoux some
antiquaries have discovered inscriptions in which Roman citizens of
considerable consequence assumed the title of "_fanaticus_."

In Cicero's oration "_pro domo sua_," a passage occurs in which the word
"_fanaticus_" appears to me of difficult explanation. The seditious and
libertine Clodius, who had brought about the banishment of Cicero for
having saved the republic, had not only plundered and demolished the
houses of that great man, but in order that Cicero might never be able
to return to his city residence he procured the consecration of the land
on which it stood; and the priests had erected there a temple to
liberty, or rather to slavery, in which Cæsar, Pompey, Crassus, and
Clodius then held the republic. Thus in all ages has religion been
employed as an instrument in the persecution of great men. When at
length, in a happier period, Cicero was recalled, he pleaded before the
people in order to obtain the restoration of the ground on which his
house had stood, and the rebuilding of the house at the expense of the
Roman people. He thus expresses himself in the speech against Clodius
(_Oratio pro Domo sua_, chap. xl): "_Adspicite, adspicite, pontifices,
hominem religiosum.... monete eum, modum quemdam esse religionis; nimium
esse superstitiosum non oportere. Quid tibi necesse fuit anili
superstitione, homo fanatice, sacrificium, quod aliænæ domi fieret
invisere?_"

Does the word "_fanaticus_," as used above, mean senseless, pitiless,
abominable fanatic, according to the present acceptation, or does it
rather imply the pious, religious man, the frequenter and consecrator of
temples? Is it used here in the meaning of decided censure or ironical
praise? I do not feel myself competent to determine, but will give a
translation of the passage:

"Behold, reverend pontiffs, behold the pious man.... suggest to him that
even religion itself has its limits, that a man ought not to be so
over-scrupulous. What occasion was there for a sacred person, a fanatic
like yourself, to have recourse to the superstition of an old woman, in
order to assist at a sacrifice performed in another person's house?"

Cicero alludes here to the mysteries of the _Bona Dea_, which had been
profaned by Clodius, who, in the disguise of a female, and accompanied
by an old woman, had obtained an introduction to them, with a view to an
assignation with Cæsar's wife. The passage is, in consequence, evidently
ironical.

Cicero calls Clodius a religious man, and the irony requires to be kept
up through the whole passage. He employs terms of honorable meaning,
more clearly to exhibit Clodius's infamy. It appears to me, therefore,
that he uses the word in question, "_fanaticus_" in its respectable
sense, as a word conveying the idea of a sacrificer, a pious man, a
zealous minister of a temple.

The term might be afterwards applied to those who believed themselves
inspired by the gods, who bestowed a somewhat curious gift on the
interpreters of their will, by ordaining that, in order to be a prophet,
the loss of reason is indispensable.

     _Les Dieux à leur interprète_
       _Ont fait un étrange don;_
     _Ne peut on être prophète_
      _Sans qu'on perde la raison?_

The same dictionary of Trévoux informs us that the old chronicles of
France call Clovis fanatic and pagan. The reader would have been pleased
to have had the particular chronicles specified. I have not found this
epithet applied to Clovis in any of the few books I possess at my house
near Mount Krapak, where I now write.

We understand by fanaticism at present a religious madness, gloomy and
cruel. It is a malady of the mind, which is taken in the same way as
smallpox. Books communicate it much less than meetings and discourses.
We seldom get heated while reading in solitude, for our minds are then
tranquil and sedate. But when an ardent man of strong imagination
addresses himself to weak imaginations, his eyes dart fire, and that
fire rapidly spreads; his tones, his gestures, absolutely convulse the
nerves of his auditors. He exclaims, "The eye of God is at this moment
upon you; sacrifice every mere human possession and feeling; fight the
battles of the Lord"--and and they rush to the fight.

Fanaticism is, in reference to superstition, what delirium is to fever,
or rage to anger. He who is involved in ecstasies and visions, who takes
dreams for realities, and his own imaginations for prophecies, is a
fanatical novice of great hope and promise, and will probably soon
advance to the highest form, and kill man for the love of God.

Bartholomew Diaz was a fanatical monk. He had a brother at Nuremberg
called John Diaz, who was an enthusiastic adherent to the doctrines of
Luther, and completely convinced that the pope was Antichrist, and had
the sign of the beast. Bartholomew, still more ardently convinced that
the pope was god upon earth, quits Rome, determined either to convert or
murder his brother; he accordingly murdered him! Here is a perfect case
of fanaticism. We have noticed and done justice to this Diaz elsewhere.

Polyeuctes, who went to the temple on a day of solemn festival, to throw
down and destroy the statues and ornaments, was a fanatic less horrible
than Diaz, but not less foolish. The assassins of Francis, duke of
Guise, of William, prince of Orange, of King Henry III., of King Henry
IV., and various others, were equally possessed, equally laboring under
morbid fury, with Diaz.

The most striking example of fanaticism is that exhibited on the night
of St. Bartholomew, when the people of Paris rushed from house to house
to stab, slaughter, throw out of the window, and tear in pieces their
fellow citizens not attending mass. Guyon, Patouillet, Chaudon,
Nonnotte, and the ex-Jesuit Paulian, are merely fanatics in a
corner--contemptible beings whom we do not think of guarding against.
They would, however, on a day of St. Bartholomew, perform wonders.

There are some cold-blooded fanatics; such as those judges who sentence
men to death for no other crime than that of thinking differently from
themselves, and these are so much the more guilty and deserving of the
execration of mankind, as, not laboring under madness like the Clements,
Châtels, Ravaillacs, and Damiens, they might be deemed capable of
listening to reason.

There is no other remedy for this epidemical malady than that spirit of
philosophy, which, extending itself from one to another, at length
civilizes and softens the manners of men and prevents the access of the
disease. For when the disorder has made any progress, we should, without
loss of time, fly from the seat of it, and wait till the air has become
purified from contagion. Law and religion are not completely efficient
against the spiritual pestilence. Religion, indeed, so far from
affording proper nutriment to the minds of patients laboring under this
infectious and infernal distemper, is converted, by the diseased process
of their minds, into poison. These malignant devotees have incessantly
before their eyes the example of Ehud, who assassinated the king of
Eglon; of Judith, who cut off the head of Holofernes while in bed with
him; of Samuel, hewing in pieces King Agag; of Jehoiada the priest, who
murdered his queen at the horse-gate. They do not perceive that these
instances, which are respectable in antiquity, are in the present day
abominable. They derive their fury from religion, decidedly as religion
condemns it.

Laws are yet more powerless against these paroxysms of rage. To oppose
laws to cases of such a description would be like reading a decree of
council to a man in a frenzy. The persons in question are fully
convinced that the Holy Spirit which animates and fills them is above
all laws; that their own enthusiasm is, in fact, the only law which they
are bound to obey.

What can be said in answer to a man who says he will rather obey God
than men, and who consequently feels certain of meriting heaven by
cutting your throat?

When once fanaticism has gangrened the brain of any man the disease may
be regarded as nearly incurable. I have seen Convulsionaries who, while
speaking of the miracles of St. Paris, gradually worked themselves up to
higher and more vehement degrees of agitation till their eyes became
inflamed, their whole frames shook, their countenances became distorted
by rage, and had any man contradicted them he would inevitably have been
murdered.

Yes, I have seen these wretched Convulsionaries writhing their limbs and
foaming at their mouths. They were exclaiming, "We must have blood."
They effected the assassination of their king by a lackey, and ended
with exclaiming against philosophers.

Fanatics are nearly always under the direction of knaves, who place the
dagger in their hands. These knaves resemble Montaigne's "Old Man of the
Mountain," who, it is said, made weak persons imagine, under his
treatment of them, that they really had experienced the joys of
paradise, and promised them a whole eternity of such delights if they
would go and assassinate such as he should point out to them. There has
been only one religion in the world which has not been polluted by
fanaticism and that is the religion of the learned in China. The
different sects of ancient philosophers were not merely exempt from this
pest of human society, but they were antidotes to it: for the effect of
philosophy is to render the soul tranquil, and fanaticism and
tranquillity are totally incompatible. That our own holy religion has
been so frequently polluted by this infernal fury must be imputed to the
foil and madness of mankind. Thus Icarus abused the wings which he
received for his benefit. They were given him for his salvation and they
insured his destruction:

     _Ainsi du plumage qu'il eut_
       _Icare pervertit l'usage;_
     _Il le reçut pour son salut,_
       _Il s'en servit pour son dommage._
                     --BERTAUT, bishop of Séez.


SECTION III.

Fanatics do not always fight the battles of the Lord. They do not always
assassinate kings and princes. There are tigers among them, but there
are more foxes.

What a tissue of frauds, calumnies, and robberies has been woven by
fanatics of the court of Rome against fanatics of the court of Calvin,
by Jesuits against Jansenists, and _vice versa_! And if you go farther
back you will find ecclesiastical history, which is the school of
virtues, to be that of atrocities and abominations, which have been
employed by every sect against the others. They all have the same
bandage over their eyes whether marching out to burn down the cities and
towns of their adversaries, to slaughter the inhabitants, or condemn
them to judicial execution; or when merely engaged in the comparatively
calm occupation of deceiving and defrauding, of acquiring wealth and
exercising domination. The same fanaticism blinds them; they think that
they are doing good. Every fanatic is a conscientious knave, but a
sincere and honest murderer for the good cause.

Read, if you are able, the five or six thousand volumes in which, for a
hundred years together, the Jansenists and Molinists have dealt out
against each other their reproaches and revilings, their mutual
exposures of fraud and knavery, and then judge whether Scapin or
Trevelin can be compared with them.

One of the most curious theological knaveries ever practised is, in my
opinion, that of a small bishop--the narrative asserts that he was a
Biscayan bishop; however, we shall certainly, at some future period find
out both his name and his bishopric--whose diocese was partly in Biscay
and partly in France.

In the French division of his diocese there was a parish which had
formerly been inhabited by some Moors. The lord of the parish or manor
was no Mahometan; he was perfectly catholic, as the whole universe
should be, for the meaning of catholic is universal. My lord the bishop
had some suspicions concerning this unfortunate seigneur, whose whole
occupation consisted in doing good, and conceived that in his heart he
entertained bad thoughts and sentiments savoring not a little of heresy.
He even accused him of having said, in the way of pleasantry, that there
were good people in Morocco as well as in Biscay, and that an honest
inhabitant of Morocco might absolutely not be a mortal enemy of the
Supreme Being, who is the father of all mankind.

The fanatic, upon this, wrote a long letter to the king of France, the
paramount sovereign of our little manorial lord. In this letter he
entreated his majesty to transfer the manor of this stray and
unbelieving sheep either to Lower Brittany or Lower Normandy, according
to his good pleasure, that he might be no longer able to diffuse the
contagion of heresy among his Biscayan neighbors, by his abominable
jests. The king of France and his council smiled, as may naturally be
supposed, at the extravagance and folly of the demand.

Our Biscayan pastor learning, some time afterwards, that his French
sheep was sick, ordered public notices to be fixed up at the church
gates of the canton, prohibiting any one from administering the
communion to him, unless he should previously give in a bill of
confession, from which it might appear that he was not circumcised; that
he condemned with his whole heart the heresy of Mahomet, and every other
heresy of the like kind--as, for example, Calvinism and Jansenism; and
that in every point he thought like him, the said Biscayan bishop.

Bills of confession were at that time much in fashion. The sick man sent
for his parish priest, who was a simple and sottish man, and threatened
to have him hanged by the parliament of Bordeaux if he did not instantly
administer the viaticum to him. The priest was alarmed, and accordingly
celebrated the sacred ordinance, as desired by the patient; who, after
the ceremony, declared aloud, before witnesses, that the Biscayan pastor
had falsely accused him before the king of being tainted with the
Mussulman religion; that he was a sincere Christian, and that the
Biscayan was a calumniator. He signed this, after it had been written
down, in presence of a notary, and every form required by law was
complied with. He soon after became better, and rest and a good
conscience speedily completed his recovery.

The Biscayan, quite exasperated that the old patient should have thus
exposed and disappointed him, resolved to have his revenge, and thus he
set about it.

He procured, fifteen days after the event just mentioned, the
fabrication, in his own language or patois, of a profession of faith
which the priest pretended to have heard and received. It was signed by
the priest and three or four peasants, who had not been present at the
ceremony; and the forged instrument was then passed through the
necessary and solemn form of verification and registry, as if this form
could give it authenticity.

An instrument not signed by the party alone interested, signed by
persons unknown, fifteen days after the event, an instrument disavowed
by the real and credible witnesses of that event, involved evidently the
crime of forgery; and, as the subject of the forgery was a matter of
faith, the crime clearly rendered both the priest and the witnesses
liable to the galleys in this world, and to hell in the other.

Our lord of the manor, however, who loved a joke, but had no gall or
malice in his heart, took compassion both upon the bodies and souls of
these conspirators. He declined delivering them over to human justice,
and contented himself with giving them up to ridicule. But he declared
that after the death of the Biscayan he would, if he survived, have the
pleasure of printing an account of all his proceedings and manœuvres
on this business, together with the documents and evidences, just to
amuse the small number of readers who might like anecdotes of that
description; and not, as is often pompously announced, with a view to
the instruction of the universe. There are so many authors who address
themselves to the universe, who really imagine they attract, and perhaps
absorb, the attention of the universe, that he conceived he might not
have a dozen readers out of the whole who would attend for a moment to
himself. But let us return to fanaticism.

It is this rage for making proselytes, this intensely mad desire which
men feel to bring others over to partake of their own peculiar cup or
communion, that induced the Jesuit Châtel and the Jesuit Routh to rush
with eagerness to the deathbed of the celebrated Montesquieu. These two
devoted zealots desired nothing better than to be able to boast that
they had persuaded him of the merits of contrition and of sufficing
grace. We wrought his conversion, they said. He was, in the main, a
worthy soul: he was much attached to the society of Jesus. We had some
little difficulty in inducing him to admit certain fundamental truths;
but as in these circumstances, in the crisis of life and death, the
mind is always most clear and acute, we soon convinced him.

This fanatical eagerness for converting men is so ardent, that the most
debauched monk in his convent would even quit his mistress, and walk to
the very extremity of the city, for the sake of making a single convert.

We have all seen Father Poisson, a Cordelier of Paris, who impoverished
his convent to pay his mistresses, and who was imprisoned in consequence
of the depravity of his manners. He was one of the most popular
preachers at Paris, and one of the most determined and zealous of
converters.

Such also was the celebrated preacher Fantin, at Versailles. The list
might be easily enlarged; but it is unnecessary, if not also dangerous,
to expose the freaks and freedoms of constituted authorities. You know
what happened to Ham for having revealed his father's shame. He became
as black as a coal.

Let us merely pray to God, whether rising or lying down, that he would
deliver us from fanatics, as the pilgrims of Mecca pray that they may
meet with no sour faces on the road.


SECTION IV.

Ludlow, who was rather an enthusiast for liberty than a fanatic in
religion--that brave man, who hated Cromwell more than he did Charles
I., relates that the parliamentary forces were always defeated by the
royal army in the beginning of the civil war; just as the regiment of
porters (_portes-cochères_) were unable to stand the shock of conflict,
in the time of the Fronde against the great Condé. Cromwell said to
General Fairfax: "How can you possibly expect a rabble of London porters
and apprentices to resist a nobility urged on by the principle, or
rather the phantom, of honor? Let us actuate them by a more powerful
phantom--fanaticism! Our enemies are fighting only for their king; let
us persuade our troops they are fighting for their God.

"Give me a commission, and I will raise a regiment of brother murderers,
whom I will pledge myself soon to make invincible fanatics!"

He was as good as his word; he composed his regiment of red-coated
brothers, of gloomy religionists, whom he made obedient tigers. Mahomet
himself was never better served by soldiers.

But in order to inspire this fanaticism, you must be seconded and
supported by the spirit of the times. A French parliament at the present
day would attempt in vain to raise a regiment of such porters as we have
mentioned; it could, with all its efforts, merely rouse into frenzy a
few women of the fish-market.

Only the ablest men have the power to make and to guide fanatics. It is
not, however, sufficient to possess the profoundest dissimulation and
the most determined intrepidity; everything depends, after these
previous requisites are secured, on coming into the world at a proper
time.


SECTION V.

Geometry then, it seems, is not always connected with clearness and
correctness of understanding. Over what precipices do not men fall,
notwithstanding their boasted leading-strings of reason! A celebrated
Protestant, who was esteemed one of the first mathematicians of the age,
and who followed in the train of the Newtons, the Leibnitzes, and
Bernouillis, at the beginning of the present century, struck out some
very singular corollaries. It is said that with a grain of faith a man
may remove mountains; and this man of science, following up the method
of pure geometrical analysis, reasoned thus with himself: I have many
grains of faith, and can, therefore, remove many mountains. This was the
man who made his appearance at London in 1707; and, associating himself
with certain men of learning and science, some of whom, moreover, were
not deficient in sagacity, they publicly announced that they would raise
to life a dead person in any cemetery that might be fixed upon. Their
reasoning was uniformly synthetical. They said, genuine disciples must
have the power of performing miracles; we are genuine disciples, we
therefore shall be able to perform as many as we please. The mere
unscientific saints of the Romish church have resuscitated many worthy
persons; therefore, _a fortiori_, we, the reformers of the reformed
themselves, shall resuscitate as many as we may desire.

These arguments are irrefragable, being constructed according to the
most correct form possible. Here we have at a glance the explanation why
all antiquity was inundated with prodigies; why the temples of
Æsculapius at Epidaurus, and in other cities, were completely filled
with _ex-votos_; the roofs adorned with thighs straightened, arms
restored, and silver infants: all was miracle.

In short, the famous Protestant geometrician whom I speak of appeared so
perfectly sincere; he asserted so confidently that he would raise the
dead, and his proposition was put forward with so much plausibility and
strenuousness, that the people entertained a very strong impression on
the subject, and Queen Anne was advised to appoint a day, an hour, and a
cemetery, such as he should himself select, in which he might have the
opportunity of performing his miracle legally, and under the inspection
of justice. The holy geometrician chose St. Paul's cathedral for the
scene of his exertion: the people ranged themselves in two rows;
soldiers were stationed to preserve order both among the living and the
dead; the magistrates took their seats; the register procured his
record; it was impossible that the new miracles could be verified too
completely. A dead body was disinterred agreeably to the holy man's
choice and direction; he then prayed, he fell upon his knees, and made
the most pious and devout contortions possible; his companions imitated
him; the dead body exhibited no sign of animation; it was again
deposited in its grave, and the professed resuscitator and his adherents
were slightly punished. I afterwards saw one of these misled creatures;
he declared to me that one of the party was at the time under the stain
of a venial sin, for which the dead person suffered, and but for which
the resurrection would have been infallible.

Were it allowable for us to reveal the disgrace of those to whom we owe
the sincerest respect, I should observe here, that Newton, the great
Newton himself, discovered in the "Apocalypse" that the pope was
Antichrist, and made many other similar discoveries. I should also
observe that he was a decided Arian. I am aware that this deviation of
Newton, compared to that of the other geometrician, is as unity to
infinity. But if the exalted Newton imagined that he found the modern
history of Europe in the "Apocalypse," we may say: Alas, poor human
beings!

It seems as if superstition were an epidemic disease, from which the
strongest minds are not always exempt. There are in Turkey persons of
great and strong sense, who would undergo empalement for the sake of
certain opinions of Abubeker. These principles being once admitted, they
reason with great consistency; and the Navaricians, the Radarists, and
the Jabarites mutually consign each other to damnation in conformity to
very shrewd and subtle argument. They all draw plausible consequences,
but they never dare to examine principles.

A report is publicly spread abroad by some person, that there exists a
giant seventy feet high; the learned soon after begin to discuss and
dispute about the color of his hair, the thickness of his thumb, the
measurement of his nails; they exclaim, cabal, and even fight upon the
subject. Those who maintain that the little finger of the giant is only
fifteen lines in diameter burn those who assert that it is a foot thick.
"But, gentlemen," modestly observes a stranger passing by, "does the
giant you are disputing about really exist?" "What a horrible doubt!"
all the disputants cry out together. "What blasphemy! What absurdity!" A
short truce is then brought about to give time for stoning the poor
stranger; and, after having duly performed that murderous ceremony, they
resume fighting upon the everlasting subject of the nails and little
finger.



FANCY.


Fancy formerly signified imagination, and the term was used simply to
express that faculty of the soul which receives sensible objects.

Descartes and Gassendi, and all the philosophers of their day, say that
"the form or images of things are painted in the fancy." But the greater
part of abstract terms are, in the course of time, received in a sense
different from their original one, like tools which industry applies to
new purposes.

Fancy, at present, means "a particular desire, a transient taste"; he
has a fancy for going to China; his fancy for gaming and dancing has
passed away. An artist paints a fancy portrait, a portrait not taken
from any model. To have fancies is to have extraordinary tastes, but of
brief duration. Fancy, in this sense, falls a little short of oddity
(_bizarrerie_) and caprice.

Caprice may express "a sudden and unreasonable disgust." He had a fancy
for music, and capriciously became disgusted with it. Whimsicality gives
an idea of inconsistency and bad taste, which fancy does not; he had a
fancy for building, but he constructed his house in a whimsical taste.

There are shades of distinction between having fancies and being
fantastic; the fantastic is much nearer to the capricious and the
whimsical. The word "fantastic" expresses a character unequal and
abrupt. The idea of charming or pleasant is excluded from it; whereas
there are agreeable fancies.

We sometimes hear used in conversation "odd fancies" (_des fantasies
musquées_); but the expression was never understood to mean what the
"Dictionary of Trévoux" supposes--"The whims of men of superior rank
which one must not venture to condemn;" on the contrary, that expression
is used for the very object and purpose of condemning them; and
_musquée_, in this connection, is an expletive adding force to the term
"fancies," as we say, _Sottise pommée_, _folie fieffée_, to express
nonsense and folly.



FASTI.

_Of the Different Significations of this Word._


The Latin word "_fasti_" signifies festivals, and it is in this sense
that Ovid treats of it in his poem entitled "The Fasti."

Godeau has composed the Fasti of the church on this model, but with less
success. The religion of the Roman Pagans was more calculated for poetry
than that of the Christians; to which it may be added, that Ovid was a
better poet than Godeau.

The consular fasti were only the list of consuls.

The fasti of the magistrates were the days in which they were permitted
to plead; and those on which they did not plead were called _nefasti_,
because then they could not plead for justice.

The word "_nefastus_" in this sense does not signify unfortunate; on the
contrary, _nefastus_ and _nefandus_ were the attributes of unfortunate
days in another sense, signifying days in which people must not plead;
days worthy only to be forgotten; _"ille nefasto te posuit die."_

Besides other fasti, the Romans had their _fasti urbis_, _fasti
rustici_, which were calendars of the particular usages, and ceremonies
of the city and the country.

On these days of solemnity, every one sought to astonish by the grandeur
of his dress, his equipage, or his banquet. This pomp, invisible on
other days, was called _fastus_. It expresses magnificence in those who
by their station can afford it, but vanity in others.

Though the word "_fastus_" may not be always injurious, the word
"pompous" is invariably so. A devotee who makes a parade of his virtue
renders humility itself pompous.



FATHERS--MOTHERS--CHILDREN.

_Their Duties._


The "Encyclopædia" has been much exclaimed against in France; because it
was produced in France, and has done France honor. In other countries,
people have not cried out; on the contrary, they have eagerly set about
pirating or spoiling it, because money was to be gained thereby.

But we, who do not, like the encyclopædists of Paris, labor for glory;
we, who are not, like them, exposed to envy; we, whose little society
lies unnoticed in Hesse, in Würtemberg, in Switzerland, among the
Grisons, or at Mount Krapak; and have, therefore, no apprehension of
having to dispute with the doctor of the _Comédie Italienne_, or with a
doctor of the Sorbonne; we, who sell not our sheets to a bookseller, but
are free beings, and lay not black on white until we have examined, to
the utmost of our ability, whether the said black may be of service to
mankind; we, in short, who love virtue, shall boldly declare what we
think.

"Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long--" I would
venture to say, "Honor thy father and thy mother, _though this day shall
be thy last_."

Tenderly love and joyfully serve the mother who bore you in her womb,
fed you at her breast, and patiently endured all that was disgusting in
your infancy. Discharge the same duties to your father, who brought you
up.

What will future ages say of a Frank, named Louis the Thirteenth, who,
at the age of sixteen, began the exercise of his authority with having
the door of his mother's apartment walled up, and sending her into
exile, without giving the smallest reason for so doing, and solely
because it was his favorite's wish?

"But, sir, I must tell you in confidence that my father is a drunkard,
who begot me one day by chance, not caring a jot about me; and gave me
no education but that of beating me every day when he came home
intoxicated. My mother was a coquette, whose only occupation was
love-making. But for my nurse, who had taken a liking to me, and who,
after the death of her son, received me into her house for charity, I
should have died of want."

"Well, then, honor your nurse; and bow to your father and mother when
you meet them. It is said in the Vulgate, '_Honora patrem tuum et
matrem tuam_'--not _dilige_."

"Very well, sir, I shall love my father and my mother if they do me
good; I shall honor them if they do me ill. I have thought so ever since
I began to think, and you confirm me in my maxims."

"Fare you well, my child, I see you will prosper, for you have a grain
of philosophy in your composition."

"One word more, sir. If my father were to call himself Abraham, and me
Isaac, and were to say to me, 'My son, you are tall and strong; carry
these fagots to the top of that hill, to burn you with after I have cut
off your head; for God ordered me to do so when He came to see me this
morning,'--what would you advise me to do in such critical
circumstances?"

"Critical, indeed! But what would you do of yourself? for you seem to be
no blockhead."

"I own, sir, that I should ask him to produce a written order, and that
from regard for himself, I should say to him--'Father, you are among
strangers, who do not allow a man to assassinate his son without an
express condition from God, duly signed, sealed and delivered. See what
happened to poor Calas, in the half French, half Spanish town of
Toulouse. He was broken on the wheel; and the _procureur-général_ Riquet
decided on having Madame Calas, the mother, burned--all on the bare and
very ill-conceived suspicion, that they had hung up their son, Mark
Antony Calas, for the love of God. I should fear that his conclusions
would be equally prejudicial to the well-being of yourself and your
sister or niece, Madame Sarah, my mother. Once more I say, show me a
_lettre de cachet_ for cutting my throat, signed by God's own hand, and
countersigned by Raphael, Michael, or Beelzebub. If not, father--your
most obedient: I will go to Pharaoh of Egypt, or to the king of the
desert of Gerar, who both have been in love with my mother, and will
certainly be kind to me. Cut my brother Ishmael's throat, if you like;
but rely upon it, you shall not cut mine.'"

"Good; this is arguing like a true sage. The 'Encyclopædia' itself could
not have reasoned better. I tell you, you will do great things. I admire
you for not having said an ill word to your father Abraham--for not
having been tempted to beat him. And tell me: had you been that Cram,
whom his father, the Frankish King Clothaire, had burned in a barn; a
Don Carlos, son of that fox, Philip the Second; a poor Alexis, son of
that Czar Peter, half hero, half tiger--"

"Ah, sir, say no more of those horrors; you will make me detest human
nature."



FAVOR.

_Of What is Understood by the Word._


Favor, from the Latin word "_favor_," rather signifies a benefit than a
recompense.

We earnestly beg a favor; we merit and loudly demand a recompense. The
god Favor, according to the Roman mythologists, was the son of Beauty
and Fortune. All favor conveys the idea of something gratuitous; he has
done me the favor of introducing me, of presenting me, of recommending
my friend, of correcting my work. The favor of princes is the effect of
their fancy, and of assiduous complaisance. The favor of the people
sometimes implies merit, but is more often attributable to lucky
accident.

Favor differs much from kindness. That man is in favor with the king,
but he has not yet received any kindnesses from him. We say that he has
been received into the good graces of a person, not he has been received
into favor; though we say to be in favor, because favor is supposed to
be an habitual taste; while to receive into grace is to pardon, or, at
least, is less than to bestow a favor.

To obtain grace is the effect of a moment; to obtain favor is a work of
time. Nevertheless, we say indifferently, do me the kindness and do me
the favor, to recommend my friend.

Letters of recommendation were formerly called letters of favor. Severus
says, in the tragedy of Polyeuctes:

     _Je mourrais mille fois plutôt que d'abuser_
     _Des lettres de faveur que j'ai pour l'épouser._

     "Letters of favor," though I have to wed her,
     I'd rather die a thousand times than use them.

We have the favor and good-will, not the kindness of the prince and the
public. We may obtain the favor of our audience by modesty, but it will
not be gracious if we are tedious.

This expression "favor," signifies a gratuitous good-will, which we seek
to obtain from the prince or the public. Gallantry has extended it to
the complaisance of the ladies; and though we do not say that we have
the favors of the king, we say that we have the favors of a lady.

The equivalent to this expression is unknown in Asia, where the women
possess less influence. Formerly, ribbons, gloves, buckles, and
sword-knots given by a lady, were called favors. The earl of Essex wore
a glove of Queen Elizabeth's in his hat, which he called the queen's
favor.



FAVORITE.


This word has sometimes a bounded and sometimes an extended sense.
"Favorite" sometimes conveys the idea of power; and sometimes it only
signifies a man who pleases his master.

Henry III. had favorites who were only play-things, and he had those who
governed the state, as the dukes of Joyeuse and Épernon. A favorite may
be compared to a piece of gold, which is valued at whatever the prince
pleases.

An ancient writer has asked, "Who ought to be the king's favorite?--the
people!" Good poets are called the favorites of the muses, as prosperous
men are called the favorites of fortune, because both are supposed to
receive these gifts without laboring for them. It is thus, that a
fertile and well-situated land is called the favorite of nature.

The woman who pleases the sultan most is called the favorite sultana.
Somebody has written the history of favorites; that is to say, the
mistresses of the greatest princes.

Several princes in Germany have country houses which they call
favorites.

A lady's favorite is now only to be found in romances and stories of the
last century.



FEASTS.


SECTION I.

A poor gentleman of the province of Hagenau, cultivated his small
estate, and St. Ragonda, or Radegonda, was the patron of his parish.

Now it happened, on the feast of St. Ragonda, that it was necessary to
do something to this poor gentleman's field, without which great loss
would be incurred. The master, with all his family, after having
devoutly assisted at mass, went to cultivate his land, on which depended
the subsistence of his family, while the rector and the other
parishioners went to tipple as usual.

The rector, while enjoying his glass, was informed of the enormous
offence committed in his parish by this profane laborer, and went,
burning with wine and anger, to seek the cultivator. "Sir, you are very
insolent and very impious to dare to cultivate your field, instead of
going to the tavern like other people." "I agree, sir," replied the
gentleman, "that it is necessary to drink to the honor of the saint; but
it is also necessary to eat, and my family would die of hunger if I did
not labor." "Drink and die, then," said the vicar. "In what law, in what
book is it so written?" said the laborer. "In Ovid," replied the vicar.
"I think you are mistaken," said the gentleman; "in what part of Ovid
have you read that I should go to the tavern rather than cultivate my
field on St. Ragonda's day?"

It should be remarked that both the gentleman and the pastor were well
educated men. "Read the metamorphoses of the daughters of Minyas," said
the vicar. "I have read it," replied the other, "and I maintain that
they have no relation to my plough." "How, impious man! do you not
remember that the daughters of Minyas were changed into bats for having
spun on a feast day?" "The case is very different," replied the
gentleman, "these ladies had not rendered any homage to Bacchus. I have
been at the mass of St. Ragonda, you can have nothing to say to me; you
cannot change me into a bat." "I will do worse," said the priest, "I
will fine you." He did so. The poor gentleman was ruined: he quitted the
country with his family--went into a strange one--became a Lutheran--and
his ground remained uncultivated for several years.

This affair was related to a magistrate of good sense and much piety.
These are the reflections which he made upon it:

"They were no doubt innkeepers," said he, "that invented this prodigious
number of feasts; the religion of peasants and artisans consists in
getting tipsy on the day of a saint, whom they only know by this kind of
worship. It is on these days of idleness and debauchery that all crimes
are committed; it is these feasts which fill the prisons, and which
support the police officers, registers, lieutenants of police, and
hangmen; the only excuse for feast-days among us. From this cause
Catholic countries are scarcely-cultivated at all; whilst heretics, by
daily cultivating their lands, produce abundant crops."

It is all very well that the shoemakers should go in the morning to mass
on St. Crispin's day, because _crepido_ signifies the upper leather of a
shoe; that the brush-makers should honor St. Barbara their patron; that
those who have weak eyes should hear the mass of St. Clara: that St.----
should be celebrated in many provinces; but after having paid their
devoirs to the saints they should become serviceable to men, they should
go from the altar to the plough; it is the excess of barbarity, and
insupportable slavery, to consecrate our days to idleness and vice.
Priests, command, if it be necessary that the saints Roche, Eustace, and
Fiacre, be prayed to in the morning; but, magistrates, order your fields
to be cultivated as usual. It is labor that is necessary; the greater
the industry the more the day is sanctified.


SECTION II.

Letter from a Weaver of Lyons to the Gentlemen of the Commission
established at Paris, for the Reformation of Religious Orders, printed
in the public papers in 1768.

     "Gentlemen: I am a silk-weaver, and have worked at Lyons for
     nineteen years. My wages have increased insensibly; at present I
     get thirty-five sous per day. My wife, who makes lace, would get
     fifteen more, if it were possible for her to devote her time to it;
     but as the cares of the house, illness, or other things,
     continually hinder her, I reduce her profit to ten sous, which
     makes forty-five sous daily. If from the year we deduct eighty-two
     Sundays, or holidays, we shall have two hundred and eighty-four
     profitable days, which at forty-five sous make six hundred and
     thirty-nine livres. That is my revenue; the following are my
     expenses:

     "I have eight living children, and my wife is on the point of being
     confined with the eleventh; for I have lost two. I have been
     married fifteen years: so that I annually reckon twenty-four livres
     for the expenses of her confinements and baptisms, one hundred and
     eight livres for two nurses, having generally two children out at
     nurse, and sometimes even three. I pay fifty-seven livres rent and
     fourteen taxes.

     "My income is then reduced to four hundred and thirty-six livres,
     or twenty-five sous three deniers a day, with which I have to
     clothe and furnish my family, buy wood and candles, and support my
     wife and six children.

     "I look forward to holidays with dismay. I confess that I often
     almost curse their institution. They could only have been
     instituted by usurers and innkeepers.

     "My father made me study hard in my youth, and wished me to become
     a monk, showing me in that state a sure asylum against want; but I
     always thought that every man owes his tribute to society, and that
     monks are useless drones who live upon the labor of the bees.
     Notwithstanding, I acknowledge that when I see John C----, with
     whom I studied, and who was the most idle boy in the college,
     possessing the first place among the _prémontrés_, I cannot help
     regretting that I did not listen to my father's advice.

     "This is the third holiday in Christmas, I have pawned the little
     furniture I had, I am in a week's debt with my tradesman, and I
     want bread--how are we to get over the fourth? This is not all; I
     have the prospect of four more next week. Great God! Eight holidays
     in ten days; you cannot have commanded it!

     "One year I hoped that rents would diminish by the suppression of
     one of the monasteries of the Capuchins and Cordeliers. What
     useless houses in the centre of Lyons are those of the Jacobins,
     nuns of St. Peter, etc. Why not establish them in the suburbs if
     they are thought necessary? How many more useful inhabitants would
     supply their places!

     "All these reflections, gentlemen, have induced me to address
     myself to you who have been chosen by the king for the task of
     rectifying abuses. I am not the only one who thinks thus. How many
     laborers in Lyons and other places, how many laborers in the
     kingdom are reduced to the same extremities as myself? It is
     evident that every holiday costs the state several millions
     (livres). These considerations will lead you to take more to heart
     the interests of the people, which are rather too little attended
     to.

     "I have the honor to be, etc.,

     "BOCEN."

This request, which was really presented, will not be misplaced in a
work like the present.


SECTION III.

The feast given to the Roman people by Julius Cæsar and the emperors who
succeeded him are well known. The feast of twenty-two thousand tables
served by twenty-two thousand purveyors; the naval fights on artificial
lakes, etc., have not, however, been imitated by the Herulian, Lombard,
and Frankish chieftains, who would have their festivity equally
celebrated.



FERRARA.


What we have to say of Ferrara has no relation to literature, but it has
a very great one to justice, which is much more necessary than the
belles-lettres, and much less cultivated, at least in Italy.

Ferrara was constantly a fief of the empire, like Parma and Placentia.
Pope Clement VIII. robbed Cæsar d'Este of it by force of arms, in 1597.
The pretext for this tyranny was a very singular one for a man who
called himself the humble vicar of Jesus Christ.

Alphonso d'Este, the first of the name, sovereign of Ferrara, Modena,
Este, Carpio, and Rovigno, espoused a simple gentlewoman of Ferrara,
named Laura Eustochia, by whom he had three children before marriage.
These children he solemnly acknowledged in the face of the Church. None
of the formalities prescribed by the laws were wanting at this
recognition. His successor, Alphonso d'Este, was acknowledged duke of
Ferrara; he espoused Julia d'Urbino, the daughter of Francis, duke
d'Urbino, by whom he had the unfortunate Cæsar d'Este, the incontestable
heir of all the property of all the family, and declared so by the last
duke, who died October 27, 1597. Pope Clement VIII., surnamed
Aldobrandino, and originally of the family of a merchant of Florence,
dared to pretend that the grandmother of Cæsar d'Este was not
sufficiently noble, and that the children that she had brought into the
world ought to be considered bastards. The first reason is ridiculous
and scandalous in a bishop, the second is unwarrantable in every
tribunal in Europe. If the duke was not legitimate, he ought to have
lost Modena and his other states also; and if there was no flaw in his
title, he ought to have kept Ferrara as well as Modena.

The acquisition of Ferrara was too fine a thing for the pope not to
procure all the decretals and decisions of those brave theologians, who
declare that the pope can render just that which is unjust. Consequently
he first excommunicated Cæsar d'Este, and as excommunication necessarily
deprives a man of all his property, the common father of the faithful
raised his troops against the excommunicated, to rob him of his
inheritance in the name of the Church. These troops were defeated, but
the duke of Modena soon saw his finances exhausted, and his friends
become cool.

To make his case still more deplorable, the king of France, Henry IV.,
believed himself obliged to take the side of the pope, in order to
balance the credit of Philip II. at the court of Rome; in the same
manner that good King Louis XII. less excusably dishonored himself by
uniting with that monster Alexander VI., and his execrable bastard, the
duke of Borgia. The duke was obliged to return, and the pope caused
Ferrara to be invaded by Cardinal Aldobrandino, who entered this
flourishing city at the head of a thousand horse and five thousand foot
soldiers.

It is a great pity that such a man as Henry IV. descended to this
unworthiness which is called politic. The Catos, Metelluses, Scipios,
and Fabriciuses would not thus have betrayed justice to please a
priest--and such a priest!

From this time Ferrara became a desert; its uncultivated soil was
covered with standing marshes. This province, under the house of Este,
had been one of the finest in Italy; the people always regretted their
ancient masters. It is true that the duke was indemnified; he was
nominated to a bishopric and a benefice; he was even furnished with some
measures of salt from the mines of Servia. But it is no less true that
the house of Modena has incontestable and imprescriptable rights to the
duchy of Ferrara, of which it was thus shamefully despoiled.

Now, my dear reader, let us suppose that this scene took place at the
time in which Jesus Christ appeared to his apostles after his
resurrection, and that Simon Barjonas, surnamed Peter, wished to possess
himself of the states of this poor duke of Ferrara. Imagine the duke
coming to Bethany to demand justice of the Lord Jesus. Our Lord sends
immediately for Peter and says to him, "Simon, son of Jonas, I have
given thee the keys of heaven, but I have not given thee those of the
earth. Because thou hast been told that the heavens surround the globe,
and that the contained is in the containing, dost thou imagine that
kingdoms here below belong to thee, and that thou hast only to possess
thyself of whatever thou likest? I have already forbidden thee to draw
the sword. Thou appearest to me a very strange compound; at one time
cutting off the ear of Malchus, and at another even denying me. Be more
lenient and decorous, and take neither the property nor the ears of any
one for fear of thine own."



FEVER.


It is not as a physician, but as a patient, that I wish to say a word or
two on fever. We cannot help now and then speaking of our enemies; and
this one has been attacking me for more than twenty years; not Fréron
himself has been more implacable.

I ask pardon of Sydenham, who defined fever to be "an effort of nature,
laboring with all its power to expel the peccant matter." We might thus
define smallpox, measles, diarrhœa, vomitings, cutaneous eruptions,
and twenty other diseases. But, if this physician defined ill, he
practised well. He cured, because he had experience, and he knew how to
wait.

Boerhaave says, in his "Aphorisms": "A more frequent opposition, and an
increased resistance about the capillary vessels, give an absolute idea
of an acute fever." These are the words of a great master; but he sets
out with acknowledging that the nature of fever is profoundly hidden.

He does not tell us what that secret principle is which develops itself
at regular periods in intermittent fever--what that internal poison is,
which, after the lapse of a day, is renewed--where that flame is, which
dies and revives at stated moments.

We know fairly well that we are liable to fever after excess, or in
unseasonable weather. We know that quinine, judiciously administered,
will cure it. This is quite enough; the _how_ we do not know.

Every animal that does not perish suddenly dies by fever. The fever
seems to be the inevitable effect of the fluids that compose the blood,
or that which is in the place of blood. The structure of every animal
proves to natural philosophers that it must, at all times, have enjoyed
a very short life.

Theologians have held, as have promulgated other opinions. It is not for
us to examine this question. The philosophers and physicians have been
right _in sensu humano_, and the theologians, _in sensu divino_. It is
said in Deuteronomy, xxviii, 22, that if the Jews do not serve the law
they shall be smitten "with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an
inflammation, and with an extreme burning." It is only in Deuteronomy,
and in Molière's "Physician in Spite of Himself," that people have been
threatened with fever.

It seems impossible that fever should not be an accident natural to an
animate body, in which so many fluids circulate; just as it is
impossible for an animate body not to be crushed by the falling of a
rock.

Blood makes life; it furnishes the viscera, the limbs, the skin, the
very extremities of the hairs and nails with the fluids, the humors
proper for them.

This blood, by which the animal has life, is formed by the chyle. During
pregnancy this chyle is transmitted from the uterus to the child, and,
after the child is born, the milk of the nurse produces this same chyle.
The greater diversity of aliments it afterwards receives, the more the
chyle is liable to be soured. This alone forming the blood, and this
blood, composed of so many different humors so subject to corruption,
circulating through the whole human body more than five hundred and
fifty times in twenty-four hours, with the rapidity of a torrent, it is
not only astonishing that fever is not more frequent, it is astonishing
that man lives. In every articulation, in every gland, in every passage,
there is danger of death; but there are also as many succors as there
are dangers. Almost every membrane extends or contracts as occasion
requires. All the veins have sluices which open and shut, giving passage
to the blood and preventing a return, by which the machine would be
destroyed. The blood, rushing through all these canals, purifies itself.
It is a river that carries with it a thousand impurities; it discharges
itself by perspiration, by transpiration, by all the secretions. Fever
is itself a succor; it is a rectification when it does not kill.

Man, by his reason, accelerates the cure by administering bitters, and,
above all, by regimen. This reason is an oar with which he may row for
some time on the sea of the world when disease does not swallow him up.

It is asked: How is it that nature has abandoned the animals, her work,
to so many horrible diseases, almost always accompanied by fever? How
and why is it that so many disorders exist with so much order,
formation, and destruction everywhere, side by side? This is a
difficulty that often gives me a fever, but I beg you will read the
letters of Memmius. Then, perhaps, you will be inclined to suspect that
the incomprehensible artificer of vegetables, animals, and worlds,
having made all for the best, could not have made anything better.



FICTION.


Is not a fiction, which teaches new and interesting truths, a fine
thing? Do you not admire the Arabian story of the sultan who would not
believe that a little time could appear long, and who disputed with his
dervish on the nature of duration? The latter to convince him of it,
begged him only to plunge his head for a moment into the basin in which
he was washing. Immediately the sultan finds himself transported into a
frightful desert; he is obliged to labor to get a livelihood; he
marries, and has children who grow up and ill treat him; finally he
returns to his country and his palace and he there finds the dervish who
has caused him to suffer so many evils for five and twenty years. He is
about to kill him, and is only appeased when he is assured that all
passed in the moment in which, with his eyes shut, he put his head into
the water.

You still more admire the fiction of the loves of Dido and Æneas, which
caused the mortal hatred between Carthage and Rome, as also that which
exhibits in Elysium the destinies of the great men of the Roman Empire.

You also like that of Alcina, in Ariosto, who possesses the dignity of
Minerva with the beauty of Venus, who is so charming to the eyes of her
lovers, who intoxicates them with voluptuous delights, and unites all
the loves and graces, but who, when she is at last reduced to her true
self and the enchantment has passed away, is nothing more than a little
shrivelled, disgusting, old woman.

As to fictions which represent nothing, teach nothing, and from which
nothing results, are they anything more than falsities? And if they are
incoherent and heaped together without choice, are they anything better
than dreams?

You will possibly tell me that there are ancient fictions which are very
incoherent, without ingenuity, and even absurd, which are still admired;
but is it not rather owing to the fine images which are scattered over
these fictions than to the inventions which introduce them? I will not
dispute the point, but if you would be hissed at by all Europe, and
afterwards forgotten forever, write fictions similar to those which you
admire.



FIERTÉ.


Fierté is one of those expressions, which, having been originally
employed in an offensive sense, are afterwards used in a favorable one.
It is censure when this word signifies high-flown, proud, haughty, and
disdainful. It is almost praise when it means the loftiness of a noble
mind.

It is a just eulogium on a general who marches towards the enemy with
_fierté_. Writers have praised the _fierté_ of the gait of Louis XIV.;
they should have contented themselves with remarking its nobleness.

_Fierté_, without dignity, is a merit incompatible with modesty. It is
only _fierté_ in air and manners which offends; it then displeases, even
in kings.

_Fierté_ of manner in society is the expression of pride; _fierté_ of
soul is greatness. The distinctions are so nice that a proud spirit is
deemed blamable, while a proud soul is a theme of praise. By the former
is understood one who thinks advantageously of himself while the latter
denotes one who entertains elevated sentiments.

_Fierté_, announced by the exterior, is so great a fault that the weak,
who abjectly praise it in the great are obliged to soften it, or rather
to extol it, by speaking of "this noble _fierté_." It is not simply
vanity, which consists in setting a value upon little things; it is not
presumption, which believes itself capable of great ones; it is not
disdain, which adds contempt of others to a great opinion of self; but
it is intimately allied to all these faults.

This word is used in romances, poetry, and above all, in operas, to
express the severity of female modesty. We meet with vain _fierté_,
vigorous _fierté_, etc. Poets are, perhaps, more in the right than they
imagine. The _fierté_ of a woman is not only rigid modesty and love of
duty, but the high value which she sets upon her beauty. The _fierté_ of
the pencil is sometimes spoken of to signify free and fearless touches.



FIGURE.


Every one desirous of instruction should read with attention all the
articles in the "_Dictionnaire Encyclopédique_," under the head
"Figure," viz.:

"Figure of the Earth," by M. d'Alembert--a work both clear and profound,
in which we find all that can be known on the subject.

"Figure of Rhetoric," by César Dumarsais--a piece of instruction which
teaches at once to think and to write; and, like many other articles,
make us regret that young people in general have not a convenient
opportunity of reading things so useful.

"Human Figure," as relating to painting and sculpture--an excellent
lesson given to every artist, by M. Watelet.

"Figure," in physiology--a very ingenious article, by M. de Caberoles.

"Figure," in arithmetic and in algebra--by M. Mallet.

"Figure," in logic, in metaphysics, and in polite literature, by M. le
Chevalier de Jaucourt--a man superior to the philosophers of antiquity,
inasmuch as he has preferred retirement, real philosophy, and
indefatigable labor, to all the advantages that his birth might have
procured him, in a country where birth is set above all beside,
excepting money.

_Figure or Form of the Earth._

Plato, Aristotle, Eratosthenes, Posidonius, and all the geometricians of
Asia, of Egypt, and of Greece, having acknowledged the sphericity of our
globe, how did it happen that we, for so long a time, imagined that the
earth was a third longer than it was broad, and thence derived the terms
"_longitude_" and "_latitude_," which continually bear testimony to our
ancient ignorance?

The reverence due to the "Bible," which teaches us so many truths more
necessary and more sublime, was the cause of this, our almost universal
error. It had been found, in Psalm ciii, that God had stretched the
heavens over the earth like a skin; and as a skin is commonly longer
than it is wide, the same was concluded of the earth.

St. Athanasius expresses himself as warmly against good astronomers as
against the partisans of Arius and Eusebius. "Let us," says he, "stop
the mouths of those barbarians, who, speaking without proof, dare to
assert that the heavens also extend under the earth." The fathers
considered the earth as a great ship, surrounded by water, with the prow
to the east, and the stern to the west. We still find, in "Cosmos," a
work of the fourth century, a sort of geographical chart, in which the
earth has this figure.

Tortato, bishop of Avila, near the close of the fifteenth century,
declares in his commentary on Genesis, that the Christian faith is
shaken, if the earth is believed to be round. Columbus, Vespucius, and
Magellan, not having the fear of excommunication by this learned bishop
before their eyes, the earth resumed its rotundity in spite of him.

Then man went from one extreme to the other, and the earth was regarded
as a perfect sphere. But the error of the perfect sphere was the mistake
of philosophers, while that of a long, flat earth was the blunder of
idiots.

When once it began to be clearly known that our globe revolves on its
own axis every twenty-four hours, it might have been inferred from that
alone that its form could not be absolutely round. Not only does the
centrifugal zone considerably raise the waters in the region of the
equator, by the motion of the diurnal rotation, but they are moreover
elevated about twenty-five feet, twice a day, by the tides; the lands
about the equator must then be perfectly inundated. But they are not so;
therefore the region of the equator is much more elevated, in
proportion, than the rest of the earth: then the earth is a spheroid
elevated at the equator, and cannot be a perfect sphere. This proof,
simple as it is, had escaped the greatest geniuses: because a universal
prejudice rarely permits investigation.

We know that, in 1762, in a voyage to Cayenne, near the line, undertaken
by order of Louis XIV., under the auspices of Colbert, the patron of all
the arts, Richer, among many other observations, found that the
oscillations or vibrations of his timepiece did not continue so frequent
as in the latitude of Paris, and that it was absolutely necessary to
shorten the pendulum one line and something more than a quarter. Physics
and geometry were at that time not nearly so much cultivated as they now
are; what man would have believed that an observation so trivial in
appearance, a line more or less, could lead to the knowledge of the
greatest physical truths? It was first of all discovered that the weight
must necessarily be less on the equator than in our latitudes, since
weight alone causes the oscillation of a pendulum. Consequently, the
weight of bodies being the less the farther they are from the centre of
the earth, it was inferred that the region of the equator must be much
more elevated than our own--much more remote from the centre; so the
earth could not be an exact sphere.

Many philosophers acted, on the occasion of these discoveries, as all
men act when an opinion is to be changed--they disputed on Richer's
experiment; they pretended that our pendulums made their vibrations more
slowly about the equator only because the metal was lengthened by the
heat; but it was seen that the heat of the most burning summer lengthens
it but one line in thirty feet; and here was an elongation of a line and
a quarter, a line and a half, or even two lines, in an iron rod, only
three feet and eight lines long.

Some years after MM. Varin, Deshayes, Feuillée, and Couplet, repeated
the same experiment on the pendulum, near the equator; and it was always
found necessary to shorten it, although the heat was very often less on
the line than fifteen or twenty degrees from it. This experiment was
again confirmed by the academicians whom Louis XV. sent to Peru; and who
were obliged, on the mountains about Quito, where it froze, to shorten
the second pendulum about two lines.

About the same time, the academicians who went to measure an arc of the
meridian in the north, found that at Pello, within the Polar circle, it
was necessary to lengthen the pendulum, in order to have the same
oscillations as at Paris: consequently weight is greater at the polar
circle than in the latitude of France, as it is greater in our latitude
than at the equator. Weight being greater in the north, the north was
therefore nearer the centre of the earth than the equator; therefore the
earth was flattened at the poles.

Never did reasoning and experiment so fully concur to establish a truth.
The celebrated Huygens, by calculating centrifugal forces, had proved
that the consequent diminution of weight on the surface of a sphere was
not great enough to explain the phenomena, and that therefore the earth
must be a spheroid flattened at the poles. Newton, by the principles of
attraction, had found nearly the same relations: only it must be
observed, that Huygens believed this force inherent in bodies
determining them towards the centre of the globe, to be everywhere the
same. He had not yet seen the discoveries of Newton; so that he
considered the diminution of weight by the theory of centrifugal forces
only. The effect of centrifugal forces diminishes the primitive gravity
on the equator. The smaller the circles in which this centrifugal force
is exercised become, the more it yields to the force of gravity; thus,
at the pole itself the centrifugal force being null, must leave the
primitive gravity in full action. But this principle of a gravity always
equal, falls to nothing before the discovery made by Newton, that a body
transported, for instance, to the distance of ten diameters from the
centre of the earth, would weigh one hundred times less than at the
distance of one diameter.

It is then by the laws of gravitation, combined with those of the
centrifugal force, that the real form of the earth must be shown. Newton
and Gregory had such confidence in this theory that they did not
hesitate to advance that experiments on weight were a surer means of
knowing the form of the earth than any geographical measurement.

Louis XIV. had signalized his reign by that meridian which was drawn
through France: the illustrious Dominico Cassini had begun it with his
son; and had, in 1701, drawn from the feet of the Pyrenees to the
observatory a line as straight as it could be drawn, considering the
almost insurmountable obstacles which the height of mountains, the
changes of refraction in the air, and the altering of instruments were
constantly opposing to the execution of so vast and delicate an
undertaking; he had, in 1701, measured six degrees eighteen minutes of
that meridian. But, from whatever cause the error might proceed, he had
found the degrees towards Paris, that is towards the north, shorter than
those towards the Pyrenees and the south. This measurement gave the lie
both to the theory of Norwood and to the new theory of the earth
flattened at the poles. Yet this new theory was beginning to be so
generally received that the academy's secretary did not hesitate, in his
history of 1701, to say that the new measurements made in France proved
the earth to be a spheroid flattened at the poles. The truth was, that
Dominico Cassini's measurement led to a conclusion directly opposite;
but, as the figure of the earth had not yet become a question in France,
no one at that time was at the trouble of combating this false
conclusion. The degrees of the meridian from Collioure to Paris were
believed to be exactly measured; and the pole, which from that
measurement must necessarily be elongated, was believed to be flattened.

An engineer, named M. de Roubais, astonished at this conclusion,
demonstrated that, by the measurements taken in France, the earth must
be an oblate spheroid, of which the meridian passing through the poles
must be longer than the equator, the poles being elongated. But of all
the natural philosophers to whom he addressed his dissertation, not one
would have it printed; because it seemed that the academy had pronounced
it as too bold in an individual to raise his voice. Some time after the
error of 1701 was acknowledged, that which had been said was unsaid; and
the earth was lengthened by a just conclusion drawn from a false
principle. The meridian was continued in the same principle from Paris
to Dunkirk; and the degrees were still found to grow shorter as they
approached the north. People were still mistaken respecting the figure
of the earth, as they had been concerning the nature of light. About the
same time, some mathematicians who were performing the same operations
in China were astonished to find a difference among their degrees,
which they had expected to find alike; and to discover, after many
verifications, that they were shorter towards the north than towards the
south. This accordance of the mathematicians of France with those of
China was another powerful reason for believing in the oblate spheroid.
In France they did still more; they measured parallels to the equator.
It is easily understood that on an oblate spheroid our degrees of
longitude must be shorter than on a sphere. M. de Cassini found the
parallel which passes through St. Malo to be shorter by one thousand and
thirty-seven toises than it would have been on a spherical earth.

All these measurements proved that the degrees had been found as it was
wished to find them. They overturned, for a time, in France, the
demonstrations of Newton and Huygens; and it was no longer doubted that
the poles were of a form precisely contrary to that which had at first
been attributed to them. In short, nothing at all was known about the
matter.

At length, other academicians, who had visited the polar circle in 1736,
having found, by new measurements, that the degree was longer there than
in France, people doubted between them and the Cassinis. But these
doubts were soon after removed: for these same astronomers, returning
from the pole, examined afresh the degree to the north of Paris,
measured by Picard, in 1677, and found it to be a hundred and
twenty-three toises longer than it was according to Picard's
measurement. If, then, Picard, with all his precautions, had made his
degree one hundred and twenty-three toises too short, it was not at all
unlikely that the degrees towards the south had in like manner been
found too long. Thus the first error of Picard, having furnished the
foundations for the measurements of the meridian, also furnished an
excuse for the almost inevitable errors which very good astronomers
might have committed in the course of these operations.

Unfortunately, other men of science found that, at the Cape of Good
Hope, the degrees of the meridian did not agree with ours. Other
measurements, taken in Italy, likewise contradicted those of France, and
all were falsified by those of China. People again began to doubt, and
to suspect, in my opinion quite reasonably, that the earth had
protuberances. As for the English, though they are fond of travelling,
they spared themselves the fatigue, and held fast their theory.

The difference between one diameter and the other is not more than five
or six of our leagues--a difference immense in the eyes of a disputant,
but almost imperceptible to those who consider the measurement of the
globe only in reference to the purposes of utility which it may serve. A
geographer could scarcely make this difference perceptible on a map; nor
would a pilot be able to discover whether he was steering on a spheroid
or on a sphere. Yet there have been men bold enough to assert that the
lives of navigators depended on this question. Oh quackery! will you
spare no degrees--not even those of the meridian?



FIGURED--FIGURATIVE.


We say, a truth "figured" by a fable, by a parable; the church "figured"
by the young spouse in Solomon's Song; ancient Rome "figured" by
Babylon. A figurative style is constituted by metaphorical expressions,
figuring the things spoken of--and disfiguring them when the metaphors
are not correct.

Ardent imagination, passion, desire--frequently deceived--produce the
figurative style. We do not admit it into history, for too many
metaphors are hurtful, not only to perspicuity, but also to truth, by
saying more or less than the thing itself.

In didactic works, this style should be rejected. It is much more out of
place in a sermon than in a funeral oration, because the sermon is a
piece of instruction in which the truth is to be announced; while the
funeral oration is a declaration in which it is to be exaggerated.

The poetry of enthusiasm, as the epopee and the ode, is that to which
this style is best adapted. It is less admissible in tragedy, where the
dialogue should be natural as well as elevated; and still less in
comedy, where the style must be more simple.

The limits to be set to the figurative style, in each kind, are
determined by taste. Baltasar Gracian says, that "our thoughts depart
from the vast shores of memory, embark on the sea of imagination, arrive
in the harbor of intelligence, and are entered at the custom house of
the understanding."

This is precisely the style of Harlequin. He says to his master, "The
ball of your commands has rebounded from the racquet of my obedience."
Must it not be owned that such is frequently that oriental style which
people try to admire? Another fault of the figurative style is the
accumulating of incoherent figures. A poet, speaking of some
philosophers, has called them:

                   _D'ambitieux pygmées_
     _Qui sur leurs pieds vainement redressés_
     _Et sur des monts d'argumens entassés_
     _De jour en jour superbes Encelades,_
     _Vont redoublant leurs folles escalades._

When philosophers are to be written against, it should be done better.
How do ambitious pygmies, reared on their hind legs on mountains of
arguments, continue escalades? What a false and ridiculous image! What
elaborate dulness!

In an allegory by the same author, entitled the "Liturgy of Cytherea,"
we find these lines:

     _De toutes parts, autour de l'inconnue,_
     _Ils vont tomber comme grêle menue,_
     _Moissons des cœurs sur la terre jonchés,_
     _Et des Dieux même à son char attachés._
     _De par Venus nous venons cette affaire_
     _Si s'en retourne aux cieux dans son sérail,_
     _En ruminant comment il pourra faire_
     _Pour ramener la brebis au bercail._

Here we have harvests of hearts thrown on the ground like small hail;
and among these hearts palpitating on the ground, are gods bound to the
car of the unknown; while love, sent by Venus, ruminates in his seraglio
in heaven, what he shall do to bring back to the fold this lost mutton
surrounded by scattered hearts. All this forms a figure at once so
false, so puerile, and so incoherent--so disgusting, so extravagant, so
stupidly expressed, that we are astonished that a man, who made good
verses of another kind, and was not devoid of taste, could write
anything so miserably bad.

Figures, metaphors, are not necessary in an allegory; what has been
invented with imagination may be told with simplicity. Plato has more
allegories than figures; he often expresses them elegantly and without
ostentation.

Nearly all the maxims of the ancient orientals and of the Greeks were in
the figurative style. All those sentences are metaphors, or short
allegories; and in them the figurative style has great effect in rousing
the imagination and impressing the memory.

We know that Pythagoras said, "In the tempest adore the echo," that is,
during civil broils retire to the country; and "Stir not the fire with
the sword," meaning, do not irritate minds already inflamed. In every
language, there are many common proverbs which are in the figurative
style.



FIGURE IN THEOLOGY.


It is quite certain, and is agreed by the most pious men, that figures
and allegories have been carried too far. Some of the fathers of the
church regard the piece of red cloth, placed by the courtesan Rahab at
her window, for a signal to Joshua's spies, as a figure of the blood of
Jesus Christ. This is an error of an order of mind which would find
mystery in everything.

Nor can it be denied that St. Ambrose made very bad use of his taste for
allegory, when he says, in his book of "Noah and the Ark," that the back
door of the ark was a figure of our hinder parts.

All men of sense have asked how it can be proved that these Hebrew
words, "_maher, salas-has-has_," (take quick the spoils) are a figure of
Jesus Christ? How is Judah, tying his ass to a vine, and washing his
cloak in the wine, also a figure of Him. How can Ruth, slipping into bed
to Boaz, figure the church, how are Sarah and Rachel the church, and
Hagar and Leah the synagogue? How, do the kisses of the Shunamite typify
the marriage of the church? A volume might be made of these enigmas,
which, to the best theologians of later times, have appeared to be
rather far-fetched than edifying.

The danger of this abuse is fully admitted by Abbé Fleury, the author of
the "Ecclesiastical History." It is a vestige of rabbinism; a fault
into which the learned St. Jerome never fell. It is like oneiromancy,
or the explanation of dreams. If a girl sees muddy water, when dreaming,
she will be ill-married; if she sees clear water, she will have a good
husband; a spider denotes money, etc. In short, will enlightened
posterity believe it? The understanding of dreams has, for more than
four thousand years, been made a serious study.

_Symbolical Figures._

All nations have made use of them, as we have said in the article
"emblem." But who began? Was it the Egyptians? It is not likely. We
think we have already more than once proved that Egypt is a country
quite new, and that many ages were requisite to save the country from
inundations, and render it habitable. It is impossible that the
Egyptians should have invented the signs of the zodiac, since the
figures denoting our seed-time and harvest cannot coincide with theirs.
When we cut our corn, their land is covered with water; and when we sow,
their reaping time is approaching. Thus the bull of our zodiac and the
girl bearing ears of corn cannot have come from Egypt.

Here is also an evident proof of the falsity of the new paradox, that
the Chinese are an Egyptian colony. The characters are not the same. The
Chinese mark the course of the sun by twenty-eight constellations and
the Egyptians, after the Chaldæans, reckoned only twelve, like
ourselves.

The figures that denote the planets are in China and in India all
different from those of Egypt and of Europe; so are the signs of the
metals; so is the method of guiding the hand in writing. Nothing could
have been more chimerical than to send the Egyptians to people China.

All these fabulous foundations, laid in fabulous times, have caused an
irreparable loss of time to a prodigious multitude of the learned, who
have all been bewildered in their laborious researches, which might have
been serviceable to mankind if directed to arts of real utility.

Pluche, in his History, or rather his fable, of the Heavens, assures us
that Ham, son of Noah, went and reigned in Egypt, where there was nobody
to reign over; that his son Menes was the greatest of legislators, and
that Thoth was his prime minister.

According to him and his authorities, this Thoth, or somebody else,
instituted feasts in honor of the deluge; and the joyful cry of "_Io
Bacche_," so famous among the Greeks, was, among the Egyptians, a
lamentation. "_Bacche_" came from the Hebrew "_beke_" signifying _sobs_,
and that at a time when the Hebrew people did not exist. According to
this explanation, "_joy_" means "_sorrow_," and "_to sing_" signifies
"_to weep_."

The Iroquois have more sense. They do not take the trouble to inquire
what passed on the shores of Lake Ontario some thousand years ago:
instead of making systems, they go hunting.

The same authors affirm that the sphinxes, with which Egypt was adorned,
signified superabundance, because some interpreters have asserted that
the Hebrew word "_spang_" meant an "excess"; as if the Egyptians had
taken lessons from the Hebrew tongue, which is, in great part, derived
from the Phœnician: besides, what relation has a sphinx to an
abundance of water? Future schoolmen will maintain, with greater
appearance of reason, that the masks which decorate the keystones of our
windows are emblems of our masquerades; and that these fantastic
ornaments announced that balls were given in every house to which they
were affixed.

_Figure, Figurative, Allegorical, Mystical, Topological, Typical, etc._

This is often the art of finding in books everything but what they
really contain. For instance, Romulus killing his brother Remus shall
signify the death of the duke of Berry, brother of Louis XI.; Regulus,
imprisoned at Carthage, shall typify St. Louis captive at Mansurah.

It is very justly remarked in the "Encyclopædia," that many fathers of
the church have, perhaps, carried this taste for allegorical figures a
little too far; but they are to be reverenced, even in their wanderings.
If the holy fathers used and then abused this method, their little
excesses of imagination may be pardoned, in consideration of their holy
zeal.

The antiquity of the usage may also be pleaded in justification, since
it was practised by the earliest philosophers. But it is true that the
symbolical figures employed by the fathers are in a different taste.

For example: When St. Augustine wishes to make it appear that the
forty-two generations of the genealogy of Jesus are announced by St.
Matthew, who gives only forty-one, he says that Jechonias must be
counted twice, because Jechonias is a corner-stone belonging to two
walls; that these two walls figure the old and the new law; and that
Jechonias, being thus the corner-stone, figures Jesus Christ, who is the
real corner-stone.

The same saint, in the same sermon, says that the number forty must
prevail; and at once abandons Jechonias and his corner-stone, counted as
two. The number forty, he says, signifies life; ten, which is perfect
beatitude, being multiplied by four, which, being the number of the
seasons, figures time.

Again, in the same sermon, he explains why St. Luke gives Jesus Christ
seventy-seven ancestors: fifty-six up to the patriarch Abraham, and
twenty-one from Abraham up to God himself. It is true that, according to
the Hebrew text, there would be but seventy-six; for the Hebrew does not
reckon a Cainan, who is interpolated in the Greek translation called
"The Septuagint."

Thus said Augustine: "The number seventy-seven figures the abolition of
all sins by baptism.... the number ten signifies justice and beatitude,
resulting from, the creature, which makes seven with the Trinity, which
is three: therefore it is that God's commandments are ten in number. The
number eleven denotes sin, because it transgresses ten.... This number
seventy-seven is the product of eleven, figuring sin, multiplied by
seven, and not by ten, for seven is the symbol of the creature. Three
represents the soul, which is in some sort an image of the Divinity; and
four represents the body, on account of its four qualities." In these
explanations, we find some trace of the cabalistic mysteries and the
quaternary of Pythagoras. This taste was very long in vogue.

St. Augustine goes much further, concerning the dimensions of matter.
Breadth is the dilatation of the heart, which performs good works;
length is perseverance; depth is the hope of reward. He carries the
allegory very far, applying it to the cross, and drawing great
consequences therefrom. The use of these figures had passed from the
Jews to the Christians long before St. Augustine's time. It is not for
us to know within what bounds it was right to stop.

The examples of this fault are innumerable. No one who has studied to
advantage will hazard the introduction of such figures, either in the
pulpit or in the school. We find no such instances among the Romans or
the Greeks, not even in their poets.

In Ovid's "Metamorphoses" themselves, we find only ingenious deductions
drawn from fables which are given as fables. Deucalion and Pyrrha threw
stones behind them between their legs, and men were produced therefrom.
Ovid says:

     _Inde genus durum sumus, experiensque laborum,_
     _Et documenta damus qua simus origine nati._

     Thence we are a hardened and laborious race,
     Proving full well our stony origin.

Apollo loves Daphne, but Daphne does not love Apollo. This is because
love has two kinds of arrows; the one golden and piercing, the other
leaden and blunt. Apollo has received in his heart a golden arrow,
Daphne a leaden one.

     _Ecce sagittifera prompsit duo tela pharetra_
     _Diversorum operum; fugat hoc, facit illud amorem_
     _Quod facit auratum est, et cuspide fulget acuta;_
     _Quod fugat obtusum est, et habet sub arundine plumbum...._

     Two different shafts he from his quiver draws;
     One to repel desire, and one to cause.
     One shaft is pointed with refulgent gold,
     To bribe the love, and make the lover bold;
     One blunt and tipped with lead, whose base allay
     Provokes disdain, and drives desire away.--DRYDEN.

These figures are all ingenious, and deceive no one.

That Venus, the goddess of beauty, should not go unattended by the
Graces, is a charming truth. These fables, which were in the mouths of
all--these allegories, so natural and attractive--had so much sway over
the minds of men, that perhaps the first Christians imitated while they
opposed them.

They took up the weapons of mythology to destroy it, but they could not
wield them with the same address. They did not reflect that the sacred
austerity of our holy religion placed these resources out of their
power, and that a Christian hand would have dealt but awkwardly with the
lyre of Apollo.

However, the taste for these typical and prophetic figures was so firmly
rooted that every prince, every statesman, every pope, every founder of
an order, had allegories or allusions taken from the Holy Scriptures
applied to him. Satire and flattery rivalled each other in drawing from
this source.

When Pope Innocent III. made a bloody crusade against the court of
Toulouse, he was told, "_Innocens eris a maledictione_." When the order
of the Minimes was established, it appeared that their founder had been
foretold in Genesis: "_Minimus cum patre nostro_."

The preacher who preached before John of Austria after the celebrated
battle of Lepanto, took for his text, "_Fuit homo missus a Deo, cui
nomen erat Johannes_;" A man sent from God, whose name was John; and
this allusion was very fine, if all the rest were ridiculous. It is said
to have been repeated for John Sobieski, after the deliverance of
Vienna; but this latter preacher was nothing more than a plagiarist.

In short, so constant has been this custom that no preacher of the
present day has ever failed to take an allegory for his text. One of the
most happy instances is the text of the funeral oration over the duke of
Candale, delivered before his sister, who was considered a pattern of
virtue: "_Die, quia soror, mea es, ut mihi bene eveniat propter,
te_."--"Say, I pray thee, that thou art my sister, that it may be well
with me for thy sake."

It is not to be wondered at that the Cordeliers carried these figures
rather too far in favor of St. Francis of Assisi, in the famous but
little-known book, entitled, "Conformities of St. Francis of Assisi with
Jesus Christ." We find in it sixty-four predictions of the coming of St.
Francis, some in the Old Testament, others in the New; and each
prediction contains three figures, which signify the founding of the
Cordeliers. So that these fathers find themselves foretold in the Bible
a hundred and ninety-two times.

From Adam down to St. Paul, everything prefigured the blessed Francis of
Assisi. The Scriptures were given to announce to the universe the
sermons of Francis to the quadrupeds, the fishes, and the birds, the
sport he had with a woman of snow, his frolics with the devil, his
adventures with brother Elias and brother Pacificus.

These pious reveries, which amounted even to blasphemy, have been
condemned. But the Order of St. Francis has not suffered by them, having
renounced these extravagancies so common to the barbarous ages.



FINAL CAUSES.


SECTION I.

Virgil says ("Æneid," book vi. 727):

     _Mens agitat molem et magno se corpore miscet._

     This active mind infused, through all the space
     Unites and mingles with the mighty mass.--DRYDEN.

Virgil said well: and Benedict Spinoza, who has not the brilliancy of
Virgil, nor his merit, is compelled to acknowledge an intelligence
presiding over all. Had he denied this, I should have said to him:
Benedict, you are a fool; you possess intelligence, and you deny it, and
to whom do you deny it?

In the year 1770, there appeared a man, in some respects far superior to
Spinoza, as eloquent as the Jewish Hollander is dry, less methodical,
but infinitely more perspicuous; perhaps equal to him in mathematical
science; but without the ridiculous affectation of applying mathematical
reasonings to metaphysical and moral subjects. The man I mean is the
author of the "System of Nature." He assumed the name of Mirabaud, the
secretary of the French Academy. Alas! the worthy secretary was
incapable of writing a single page of the book of our formidable
opponent. I would recommend all you who are disposed to avail yourselves
of your reason and acquire instruction, to read the following eloquent
though dangerous passage from the "System of Nature." (Part II. v. 153.)

It is contended that animals furnish us with a convincing evidence that
there is some powerful cause of their existence; the admirable
adaptation of their different parts, mutually receiving and conferring
aid towards accomplishing their functions, and maintaining in health and
vigor the entire being, announce to us an artificer uniting power to
wisdom. Of the power of nature, it is impossible for us to doubt; she
produces all the animals that we see by the help of combinations of that
matter, which is in incessant action; the adaptation of the parts of
these animals is the result of the necessary laws of their nature, and
of their combination. When the adaptation ceases, the animal is
necessarily destroyed. What then becomes of the wisdom, the
intelligence, or the goodness of that alleged cause, to which was
ascribed all the honor of this boasted adaptation? Those animals of so
wonderful a structure as to be pronounced the works of an immutable God,
do not they undergo incessant changes; and do not they end in decay and
destruction? Where is the wisdom, the goodness, the fore-sight, the
immutability of an artificer, whose sole object appears to be to derange
and destroy the springs of those machines which are proclaimed to be
masterpieces of his power and skill? If this God cannot act otherwise
than thus, he is neither free nor omnipotent. If his will changes, he is
not immutable. If he permits machines, which he has endowed with
sensibility, to experience pain, he is deficient in goodness. If he has
been unable to render his productions solid and durable, he is deficient
in skill. Perceiving as we do the decay and ruin not only of all
animals, but of all the other works of deity, we cannot but inevitably
conclude, either that everything performed in the course of nature is
absolutely necessary--the unavoidable result of its imperative and
insuperable laws, or that the artificer who impels her various
operations is destitute of plan, of power, of constancy, of skill, and
of goodness.

"Man, who considers himself the master-work of the Divinity, supplies us
more readily and completely than any other production, with evidence of
the incapacity or malignity of his pretended author. In this being,
possessed of feeling, intuition, and reason, which considers itself as
the perpetual object of divine partiality, and forms its God on the
model of itself, we see a machine more changeable, more frail, more
liable to derangement from its extraordinary complication, than that of
the coarsest and grossest beings. Beasts, which are destitute of our
mental powers and acquirements; plants, which merely vegetate; stones,
which are unendowed with sensation, are, in many respects, beings far
more favored than man. They are, at least, exempt from distress of mind,
from the tortures of thought, and corrosions of care, to which the
latter is a victim. Who would not prefer being a mere unintelligent
animal, or a senseless stone, when his thoughts revert to the
irreparable loss of an object dearly beloved? Would it not be infinitely
more desirable to be an inanimate mass, than the gloomy votary and
victim of superstition, trembling under the present yoke of his
diabolical deity, and anticipating infinite torments in a future
existence? Beings destitute of sensation, life, memory, and thought
experience no affliction from the idea of what is past, present, or to
come; they do not believe there is any danger of incurring eternal
torture for inaccurate reasoning; which is believed, however, by many of
those favored beings who maintain that the great architect of the world
has created the universe for themselves.

[Illustration: NATURE IS NOT A WORK]

"Let us not be told that we have no idea of a work without having that
of the artificer distinguished from the work. _Nature is not a work._
She has always existed of herself. Every process takes place in her
bosom. She is an immense manufactory, provided with materials, and she
forms the instruments by which she acts; all her works are effects of
her own energy, and of agents or causes which she frames, contains, and
impels. Eternal, uncreated elements--elements indestructible, ever in
motion, and combining in exquisite and endless diversity, originate all
the beings and all the phenomena that we behold; all the effects, good
or evil, that we feel; the order or disorder which we distinguish,
merely by different modes in which they affect ourselves; and, in a
word, all those wonders which excite our meditation and confound our
reasoning. These elements, in order to effect objects thus comprehensive
and important, require nothing beyond their own properties, individual
or combined, and the motion essential to their very existence; and thus
preclude the necessity of recurring to an unknown artificer, in order to
arrange, mould, combine, preserve, and dissolve them.

"But, even admitting for a moment, that it is impossible to conceive of
the universe without an artificer who formed it, and who preserves and
watches over his work, where shall we place that artificer? Shall he be
within or without the universe? Is he matter or motion? Or is he mere
space, nothingness, vacuity? In each of these cases, he will either be
nothing, or he will be comprehended in nature, and subjected to her
laws. If he is in nature, I think I see in her only matter in motion,
and cannot but thence conclude that the agent impelling her is corporeal
and material, and that he is consequently liable to dissolution. If this
agent is out of nature, then I have no idea of what place he can occupy,
nor of an immaterial being, nor of the manner in which a spirit, without
extension, can operate upon the matter from which it is separated. Those
unknown tracts of space which imagination has placed beyond the visible
world may be considered as having no existence for a being who can
scarcely see to the distance of his own feet; the ideal power which
inhabits them can never be represented to my mind, unless when my
imagination combines at random the fantastic colors which it is always
forced to employ in the world on which I am. In this case, I shall
merely reproduce in idea what my senses have previously actually
perceived; and that God, which I, as it were, compel myself to
distinguish from nature, and to place beyond her circuit, will ever, in
opposition to all my efforts, necessarily withdraw within it.

"It will be observed and insisted upon by some that if a statue or a
watch were shown to a savage who had never seen them, he would
inevitably acknowledge that they were the productions of some
intelligent agent, more powerful and ingenious than himself; and hence
it will be inferred that we are equally bound to acknowledge that the
machine of the universe, that man, that the phenomena of nature, are the
productions of an agent, whose intelligence and power are far superior
to our own.

"I answer, in the first place, that we cannot possibly doubt either the
great power or the great skill of nature; we admire her skill as often
as we are surprised by the extended, varied and complicated effects
which we find in those of her works that we take the pains to
investigate; she is not, however, either more or less skilful in any one
of her works than in the rest. We no more comprehend how she could
produce a stone or a piece of metal than how she could produce a head
organized like that of Newton. We call that man skilful who can perform
things which we are unable to perform ourselves. Nature can perform
everything; and when anything exists, it is a proof that she was able to
make it. Thus, it is only in relation to ourselves that we ever judge
nature to be skilful; we compare it in those cases with ourselves; and,
as we possess a quality which we call intelligence, by the aid of which
we produce works, in which we display our skill, we thence conclude that
the works of nature, which must excite our astonishment and admiration,
are not in fact hers, but the productions of an artificer, intelligent
like ourselves, and whose intelligence we proportion, in our minds, to
the degree of astonishment excited in us by his works; that is, in fact,
to our own weakness and ignorance."

See the reply to these arguments under the articles on "Atheism" and
"God," and in the following section, written long before the "System of
Nature."


SECTION II.

If a clock is not made in order to tell the time of the day, I will then
admit that final causes are nothing but chimeras, and be content to go
by the name of a final-cause-finder--in plain language, fool--to the end
of my life.

All the parts, however, of that great machine, the world, seem made for
one another. Some philosophers affect to deride final causes, which were
rejected, they tell us, by Epicurus and Lucretius. But it seems to me
that Epicurus and Lucretius rather merit the derision. They tell you
that the eye is not made to see; but that, since it was found out that
eyes were capable of being used for that purpose, to that purpose they
have been applied. According to them, the mouth is not formed to speak
and eat, nor the stomach to digest, nor the heart to receive the blood
from the veins and impel it through the arteries, nor the feet to walk,
nor the ears to hear. Yet, at the same time, these very shrewd and
consistent persons admitted that tailors made garments to clothe them,
and masons built houses to lodge them; and thus ventured to deny
nature--the great existence, the universal intelligence--what they
conceded to the most insignificant artificers employed by themselves.

The doctrine of final causes ought certainly to be preserved from being
abused. We have already remarked that M. le Prieur, in the "Spectator of
Nature," contends in vain that the tides were attached to the ocean to
enable ships to enter more easily into their ports, and to preserve the
water from corruption; he might just as probably and successfully have
urged that legs were made to wear boots, and noses to bear spectacles.

In order to satisfy ourselves of the truth of a final cause, in any
particular instance, it is necessary that the effect produced should be
uniform and invariably in time and place. Ships have not existed in all
times and upon all seas; accordingly, it cannot be said that the ocean
was made for ships. It is impossible not to perceive how ridiculous it
would be to maintain that nature had toiled on from the very beginning
of time to adjust herself to the inventions of our fortuitous and
arbitrary arts, all of which are of so late a date in their discovery;
but it is perfectly clear that if noses were not made for spectacles,
they were made for smelling, and there have been noses ever since there
were men. In the same manner, hands, instead of being bestowed for the
sake of gloves, are visibly destined for all those uses to which the
metacarpus, the phalanges of the fingers, and the movements of the
circular muscle of the wrist, render them applicable by us. Cicero, who
doubted everything else, had no doubt about final causes.

It appears particularly difficult to suppose that those parts of the
human frame by which the perpetuation of the species is conducted should
not, in fact, have been intended and destined for that purpose, from
their mechanism so truly admirable, and the sensation which nature has
connected with it more admirable still. Epicurus would be at least
obliged to admit that pleasure is divine, and that that pleasure is a
final cause, in consequence of which beings, endowed with sensibility,
but who could never have communicated it to themselves, have been
incessantly introduced into the world as others have passed away from
it.

This philosopher, Epicurus, was a great man for the age in which he
lived. He saw that Descartes denied what Gassendi affirmed and what
Newton demonstrated--that motion cannot exist without a vacuum. He
conceived the necessity of atoms to serve as constituent parts of
invariable species. These are philosophical ideas. Nothing, however,
was more respectable than the morality of genuine Epicureans; it
consisted in sequestration from public affairs, which are incompatible
with wisdom, and in friendship, without which life is but a burden. But
as to the rest of the philosophy of Epicurus, it appears not to be more
admissible than the grooved or tubular matter of Descartes. It is, as it
appears to me, wilfully to shut the eyes and the understanding, and to
maintain that there is no design in nature; and if there is design,
there is an intelligent cause--there exists a God.

Some point us to the irregularities of our globe, the volcanoes, the
plains of moving sand, some small mountains swallowed up in the ocean,
others raised by earthquakes, etc. But does it follow from the naves of
your chariot wheel taking fire, that your chariot was not made expressly
for the purpose of conveying you from one place to another?

The chains of mountains which crown both hemispheres, and more than six
hundred rivers which flow from the foot of these rocks towards the sea;
the various streams that swell these rivers in their courses, after
fertilizing the fields through which they pass; the innumerable
fountains which spring from the same source, which supply necessary
refreshment, and growth, and beauty to animal and vegetable life; all
this appears no more to result from a fortuitous concourse and an
obliquity of atoms, than the retina which receives the rays of light, or
the crystalline humor which refracts it, or the drum of the ear which
admits sound, or the circulation of the blood in our veins, the systole
and diastole of the heart, the regulating principle of the machine of
life.


SECTION III.

It would appear that a man must be supposed to have lost his senses
before he can deny that stomachs are made for digestion, eyes to see,
and ears to hear.

On the other hand, a man must have a singular partiality for final
causes, to assert that stone was made for building houses, and that
silkworms are produced in China that we may wear satins in Europe.

But, it is urged, if God has evidently done one thing by design, he has
then done all things by design. It is ridiculous to admit Providence in
the one case and to deny it in the others. Everything that is done was
foreseen, was arranged. There is no arrangement without an object, no
effect without a cause; all, therefore, is equally the result, the
product of the final cause; it is, therefore, as correct to say that
noses were made to bear spectacles, and fingers to be adorned with
rings, as to say that the ears were formed to hear sounds, the eyes to
receive light.

All that this objection amounts to, in my opinion, is that everything is
the result, nearer or more remote, of a general final cause; that
everything is the consequence of eternal laws. When the effects are
invariably the same in all times and places, and when these uniform
effects are independent of the beings to which they attach, then there
is visibly a final cause.

All animals have eyes and see; all have ears and hear; all have mouths
with which they eat; stomachs, or something similar, by which they
digest their food; all have suitable means for expelling the fæces; all
have the organs requisite for the continuation of their species; and
these natural gifts perform their regular course and process without any
application or intermixture of art. Here are final causes clearly
established; and to deny a truth so universal would be a perversion of
the faculty of reason.

But stones, in all times and places, do not constitute the materials of
buildings. All noses do not bear spectacles; all fingers do not carry a
ring; all legs are not covered with silk stockings. A silkworm,
therefore, is not made to cover my legs, exactly as your mouth is made
for eating, and another part of your person for the "garderobe." There
are, therefore, we see, immediate effects produced from final causes,
and effects of a very numerous description, which are remote productions
from those causes.

Everything belonging to nature is uniform, immutable, and the immediate
work of its author. It is he who has established the laws by which the
moon contributes three-fourths to the cause of the flux and reflux of
the ocean, and the sun the remaining fourth. It is he who has given a
rotatory motion to the sun, in consequence of which that orb
communicates its rays of light in the short space of seven minutes and a
half to the eyes of men, crocodiles, and cats.

But if, after a course of ages, we started the inventions of shears and
spits, to clip the wool of sheep with the one, and with the other to
roast in order to eat them, what else can be inferred from such
circumstances, but that God formed us in such a manner that, at some
time or other, we could not avoid becoming ingenious and carnivorous?

Sheep, undoubtedly, were not made expressly to be roasted and eaten,
since many nations abstain from such food with horror. Mankind are not
created essentially to massacre one another, since the Brahmins, and the
respectable primitives called Quakers, kill no one. But the clay out of
which we are kneaded frequently produces massacres, as it produces
calumnies, vanities, persecutions, and impertinences. It is not
precisely that the formation of man is the final cause of our madnesses
and follies, for a final cause is universal, and invariable in every age
and place; but the horrors and absurdities of the human race are not at
all the less included in the eternal order of things. When we thresh our
corn, the flail is the final cause of the separation of the grain. But
if that flail, while threshing my grain, crushes to death a thousand
insects, that occurs not by an express and determinate act of my will,
nor, on the other hand, is it by mere chance; the insects were, on this
occasion, actually under my flail, and could not but be there.

It is a consequence of the nature of things that a man should be
ambitious; that he should enroll and discipline a number of other men;
that he should be a conqueror, or that he should be defeated; but it can
never be said that the man was created by God to be killed in war.

The organs with which nature has supplied us cannot always be final
causes in action. The eyes which are bestowed for seeing are not
constantly open. Every sense has its season for repose. There are some
senses that are even made no use of. An imbecile and wretched female,
for example, shut up in a cloister at the age of fourteen years, mars
one of the final causes of her existence; but the cause, nevertheless,
equally exists, and whenever it is free it will operate.



FINESSE, FINENESS, ETC.

_Of the Different Significations of the Word._


Fineness either in its proper or its figurative sense does not signify
either light, slender, fine, or of a rare thin texture; this word
expresses something delicate and finished. Light cloth, soft linen, thin
lace, or slender galloon, are not always fine.

This word has a relation to the verb "to finish," whence come the
finishings of art; thus, we say, the finishings of Vanderwerff's pencil
or of Mieris; we say, a fine horse, fine gold, a fine diamond. A fine
horse is opposed to a clumsy one; the fine diamond to a false one; fine
or refined gold to gold mixed with alloy.

Fineness is generally applied to delicate things and lightness of
manufacture. Although we say a fine horse, we seldom say, "the fineness
of a horse." We speak of the fineness of hair, lace, or stuff. When by
this word we should express the fault or wrong use of anything, we add
the adverb "too"; as--This thread is broken, it was too fine; this stuff
is too fine for the season.

Fineness or finesse, in a figurative sense, applies to conduct, speech,
and works of mind. In conduct, finesse always expresses, as in the arts,
something delicate or subtile; it may sometimes exist without ability,
but it is very rarely unaccompanied by a little deception; politics
admit it, and society reproves it.

Finesse is not exactly subtlety; we draw a person into a snare with
finesse; we escape from it with subtlety. We act with finesse, and we
play a subtle trick. Distrust is inspired by an unsparing use of
finesse; yet we almost always deceive ourselves if we too generally
suspect it.

Finesse, in works of wit, as in conversation, consists in the art of not
expressing a thought clearly, but leaving it so as to be easily
perceived. It is an enigma to which people of sense readily find the
solution.

A chancellor one day offering his protection to parliament, the first
president turning towards the assembly, said: "Gentlemen, thank the
chancellor; he has given us more than we demanded of him"--a very witty
reproof.

Finesse, in conversation and writing, differs from delicacy; the first
applies equally to piquant and agreeable things, even to blame and
praise; and still more to indecencies, over which a veil is drawn,
through which we cannot penetrate without a blush. Bold things may be
said with finesse.

Delicacy expresses soft and agreeable sentiments and ingenious praise;
thus finesse belongs more to epigram, and delicacy to madrigal. It is
delicacy which enters into a lover's jealousies, and not finesse.

The praises given to Louis XIV. by Despréaux are not always equally
delicate; satires are not always sufficiently ingenious in the way of
finesse. When Iphigenia, in Racine, has received from her father the
order never to see Achilles more, she cries: "_Dieux plus doux, vous
n'aviez demandé que ma vie!_"--"More gentle gods, you only ask my life!"
The true character of this partakes rather of delicacy than of finesse.



FIRE.


SECTION I.

Is fire anything more than an element which lights, warms, and burns us?
Is not light always fire, though fire is not always light? And is not
Boerhaave in the right?

Is not the purest fire extracted from our combustibles, always gross,
and partaking of the bodies consumed, and very different from elementary
fire? How is fire distributed throughout nature, of which it is the
soul?

     _Ignis ubique latet, naturam amplectitur omnem,_
     _Cuncta parit, renovat, dividit, unit, alit._

Why did Newton, in speaking of rays of light, always say, "_De natura
radiorum lucis, utrum corpora sint necne non disputamus_"; without
examining whether they were bodies or not?

Did he only speak geometrically? In that case, this doubt was useless.
It is evident that he doubted of the nature of elementary fire, and
doubted with reason.

Is elementary fire a body like others, as earth and water? If it was a
body of this kind, would it not gravitate like all other matter? Would
it escape from the luminous body in the right line? Would it have a
uniform progression? And why does light never move out of a right line
when it is unimpeded in its rapid course?

May not elementary fire have properties of matter little known to us,
and properties of substance entirely so? May it not be a medium between
matter and substances of another kind? And who can say that there are
not a million of these substances? I do not say that there are, but I
say it is not proved that there may not be.

It was very difficult to believe about a hundred years ago that bodies
acted upon one another, not only without touching, and without emission,
but at great distances; it is, however, found to be true, and is no
longer doubted. At present, it is difficult to believe that the rays of
the sun are penetrable by each other, but who knows what may happen to
prove it?

However that may be, I wish, for the novelty of the thing, that this
incomprehensible penetrability could be admitted. Light has something so
divine that we should endeavor to make it a step to the discovery of
substances still more pure.

Come to my aid, Empedocles and Democritus; come and admire the wonders
of electricity; see if the sparks which traverse a thousand bodies in
the twinkling of an eye are of ordinary matter; judge if elementary fire
does not contract the heart, and communicate that warmth which gives
life! Judge if this element is not the source of all sensation, and if
sensation is not the origin of thought; though ignorant and insolent
pedants have condemned the proposition, as one which should be
persecuted.

Tell me, if the Supreme Being, who presides over all nature, cannot
forever preserve these elementary atoms which he has so rarely endowed?
_"Igneus est ollis vigor et cœlestis origo._"

The celebrated Le Cat calls this vivifying fluid "an amphibious being,
endowed by its author with a superior refinement which links it to
immaterial beings, and thereby ennobles and elevates it into that medium
nature which we recognize, and which is the source of all its
properties."

You are of the opinion of Le Cat? I would be so too if I could; but
there are so many fools and villains that I dare not. I can only think
quietly in my own way at Mount Krapak. Let others think as well as they
are allowed to think, whether at Salamanca or Bergamo.


SECTION II.

_What is Understood by Fire Used Figuratively._

Fire, particularly in poetry, often signifies love, and is employed more
elegantly in the plural than in the singular. Corneille often says "_un
beau feu_" for a virtuous and noble love. A man has fire in his
conversation; that does not mean that he has brilliant and enlightened
ideas, but lively expressions animated by action.

Fire in writing does not necessarily imply lightness and beauty, but
vivacity, multiplied figures, and spontaneous ideas. Fire is a merit in
speech and writing only when it is well managed. It is said that poets
are animated with a divine fire when they are sublime; genius cannot
exist without fire, but fire may be possessed without genius.



FIRMNESS.


Firmness comes from firm, and has a different signification from
solidity and hardness; a squeezed cloth, a beaten negro, have firmness
without being hard or solid.

It must always be remembered that modifications of the soul can only be
expressed by physical images; we say firmness of soul, and of mind,
which does not signify that they are harder or more solid than usual.

Firmness is the exercise of mental courage; it means a decided
resolution; while obstinacy, on the contrary, signifies blindness. Those
who praise the firmness of Tacitus are not so much in the wrong as P.
Bouhours pretends; it is an accidental ill-chosen term, which expresses
energy and strength of thought and of style. It may be said that La
Bruyère has a firm style, and that many other writers have only a hard
one.



FLATTERY.


I find not one monument of flattery in remote antiquity; there is no
flattery in Hesiod--none in Homer. Their stories are not addressed to a
Greek, elevated to some dignity, nor to his lady; as each canto of
Thomson's "Seasons" is dedicated to some person of rank, or as so many
forgotten epistles in verse have been dedicated, in England, to
gentlemen or ladies of quality, with a brief eulogy, and the arms of
the patron or patroness placed at the head of the work.

Nor is there any flattery in Demosthenes. This way of asking alms
harmoniously began, if I mistake not, with Pindar. No hand can be
stretched out more emphatically.

It appears to me that among the Romans great flattery is to be dated
from the time of Augustus. Julius Cæsar had scarcely time to be
flattered. There is not, extant, any dedicatory epistle to Sulla,
Marius, or Carbo, nor to their wives, or their mistresses. I can well
believe that very bad verses were presented to Lucullus and Pompey; but,
thank God, we do not have them.

It is a great spectacle to behold Cicero equal in dignity to Cæsar,
speaking before him as advocate for a king of Bithynia and Lesser
Armenia, named Deiotarus, accused of laying ambuscades for him, and even
designing to assassinate him. Cicero begins with acknowledging that he
is disconcerted in his presence. He calls him the vanquisher of the
world--"_victorem orbis terrarum_." He flatters him; but this adulation
does not yet amount to baseness; some sense of shame still remains.

But with Augustus there are no longer any bounds; the senate decrees his
apotheosis during his lifetime. Under the succeeding emperors this
flattery becomes the ordinary tribute, and is no longer anything more
than a style. It is impossible to flatter any one, when the most
extravagant adulation has become the ordinary currency.

In Europe, we have had no great monuments of flattery before Louis XIV.
His father, Louis XIII., had very little incense offered him. We find no
mention of him, except in one or two of Malherbe's odes. There, indeed,
according to custom, he is called "thou greatest of kings"--as the
Spanish poets say to the king of Spain, and the English poets (laureate)
to the king of England; but the better part of the poet's praises is
bestowed on Cardinal Richelieu, whose soul is great and fearless; who
practises so well the healing art of government, and who knows how to
cure all our evils:

     _Dont l'âme toute grande est une âme hardîe,_
     _Qui pratique si bien l'art de nous secourir,_
     _Que, pourvu qu'il soit cru, nous n'avons maladie,_
     _Qu'il ne sache guérir._

Upon Louis XIV. flattery came in a deluge. But he was not like the man
said to have been smothered by the rose leaves heaped upon him; on the
contrary, he thrived the more.

Flattery, when it has some plausible pretext, may not be so pernicious
as it has been thought; it sometimes encourages to great acts; but its
excess is vicious, like the excess of satire. La Fontaine says, and
pretends to say it after Æsop:

     _On ne peut trop louer trois sortes de personnes;_
     _Les dieux, sa maitresse, et son roi._
     _Æsope le disait; j'y souscris quant à moi;_
     _Ces sont maximes toujours bonnes._

     Your flattery to three sorts of folks apply:--
     You cannot say too civil things
     To gods, to mistresses, and kings;
     So honest Æsop said--and so say I.

Honest Æsop said no such thing; nor do we find that he flattered any
king, or any concubine. It must not be thought that kings are in reality
flattered by all the flatteries that are heaped upon them; for the
greater number never reach them.

One common folly of orators is that of exhausting themselves in praising
some prince who will never hear of their praises. But what is most
lamentable of all is that Ovid should have praised Augustus even while
he was dating "_de Ponto_."

The perfection of the ridiculous might be found in the compliments which
preachers address to kings, when they have the happiness of exhibiting
before their majesties.--"To the reverend Father Gaillard, preacher to
the king." Ah! most reverend father, do you preach only for the king?
Are you like the monkey at the fair, which leaps "only for the king?"



FORCE (PHYSICAL).


What is "force?" Where does it reside? Whence does it come? Does it
perish? Or is it ever the same?

It has pleased us to denominate "force" that weight which one body
exercises upon another. Here is a ball of two hundred pounds' weight on
this floor; it presses the floor, you say, with a force of two hundred
pounds. And this you call a "dead force." But are not these words
"dead" and "force" a little contradictory? Might we not as well say
"dead alive"--yes and no at once?

This ball "weighs." Whence comes this "weight?" and is this weight a
"force?" If the ball were not impeded, would it go directly to the
centre of the earth? Whence has it this incomprehensible property?

It is supported by my floor; and you freely give to my floor the "_vis
inertiæ_"--"inertiæ" signifying "inactivity," "impotence." Now is it not
singular that "impotence" should be denominated "force?"

What is the living force which acts in your arm and your leg? What is
the source of it? How can it be supposed that this force exists when you
are dead? Does it go and take up its abode elsewhere, as a man goes to
another house when his own is in ruins?

How can it have been said that there is always the same force in nature?
There must, then, have been always the same number of men, or of active
beings equivalent to men. Why does a body in motion communicate its
force to another body with which it comes in contact?

These are questions which neither geometry, nor mechanics, nor
metaphysics can answer. Would you arrive at the first principle of the
force of bodies, and of motion, you must ascend to a still superior
principle. Why is there "anything?"



FORCE--STRENGTH.


These words have been transplanted from simple to figurative speech.
They are applied to all the parts of the body that are in motion, in
action--the force of the heart, which some have made four hundred
pounds, and some three ounces; the force of the viscera, the lungs, the
voice; the force of the arm.

The metaphor which has transported these words into morals has made them
express a cardinal virtue. Strength, in this sense, is the courage to
support adversity, and to undertake virtuous and difficult actions; it
is the "_animi fortitudo_."

The strength of the mind is penetration and depth--"_ingenii vis_."
Nature gives it as she gives that of the body; moderate labor increases
and excessive labor diminishes it.

The force of an argument consists in a clear exposition of
clearly-exhibited proofs, and a just conclusion; with mathematical
theorems it has nothing to do; because the evidence of a demonstration
can be made neither more nor less; only it may be arrived at by a longer
or a shorter path--a simpler or more complicated method. It is in
doubtful questions that the force of reasoning is truly applicable.

The force of eloquence is not merely a train of just and vigorous
reasoning, which is not incompatible with dryness; this force, requires
floridity, striking images, and energetic expressions. Thus it has been
said, that the sermons of Bourdaloue have force, those of Massillon
more elegance. Verses may have strength, and want every other beauty.
The strength of a line in our language consists principally in saying
something in each hemistich.

Strength in painting is the expression of the muscles, which, by feeling
touches, are made to appear under the flesh that covers them. There is
too much strength when the muscles are too strongly articulated. The
attitudes of the combatants have great strength in the battles of
Constantine, drawn by Raphael and Julio Romano; and in those of Cæsar,
painted by Lebrun. Inordinate strength is harsh in painting and
bombastic in poetry.

Some philosophers have asserted that force is a property inherent in
matter; that each invisible particle, or rather _monad_, is endowed with
an active force; but it would be as difficult to demonstrate this
assertion as it would be to prove that whiteness is a quality inherent
in matter, as the Trévoux dictionary says in the article "Inherent."

The strength of every animal has arrived at the highest when the animal
has attained its full growth. It decreases when the muscles no longer
receive the same quantity of nourishment: and this quantity ceases to be
the same when the animal spirits no longer communicate to the muscles
their accustomed motion. It is probable that the animal spirits are of
fire, inasmuch as old men want motion and strength in proportion as they
want warmth.



FRANCHISE.


A word which always gives an idea of liberty in whatever sense it is
taken; a word derived from the Franks, who were always free. It is so
ancient, that when the Cid besieged and took Toledo, in the eleventh
century, franchies or franchises were given to all the French who went
on this expedition, and who established themselves at Toledo. All walled
cities had franchises, liberties, and privileges, even in the greatest
anarchy of feudal power. In all countries possessing assemblies or
states, the sovereign swore, on his accession, to guard their liberties.

This name, which has been given generally to the rights of the people,
to immunities, and to sanctuaries or asylums, has been more particularly
applied to the quarters of the ambassadors of the court of Rome. It was
a plot of ground around their palaces, which was larger or smaller
according to the will of the ambassador. The ground was an asylum for
criminals, who could not be there pursued. This franchise was
restricted, under Innocent XI. to the inside of their palaces. Churches
and convents had the same privileges in Italy, but not in other states.
There are in Paris several places of sanctuary, in which debtors cannot
be seized for their debts by common justice, and where mechanics can
pursue their trades without being freemen. Mechanics have this privilege
in the Faubourg St. Antoine, but it is not an asylum like the Temple.

The word "franchise," which usually expresses the liberties of a nation,
city, or person, is sometimes used to signify liberty of speech, of
counsel, or of a law proceeding; but there is a great difference between
speaking with frankness and speaking with liberty. In a speech to a
superior, liberty is a studied or excessive boldness--frankness
outstepping its just bounds. To speak with liberty is to speak without
fear; to speak with frankness is to conduct yourself openly and nobly.
To speak with too much liberty is to become audacious; to speak with too
much frankness is to be too open-hearted.



FRANCIS XAVIER.


It would not be amiss to know something true concerning the celebrated
Francis Xavero, whom we call Xavier, surnamed the Apostle of the Indies.
Many people still imagine that he established Christianty along the
whole southern coast of India, in a score of islands, and above all in
Japan. But thirty years ago, even a doubt on the subject was hardly to
be tolerated in Europe. The Jesuits have not hesitated to compare him to
St. Paul. His travels and miracles had been written in part by
Tursellinus and Orlandini, by Levena, and by Partoli, all Jesuits, but
very little known in France; and the less people were acquainted with
the details the greater was his reputation.

When the Jesuit Bouhours composed his history, he (Bouhours) was
considered as a man of very enlightened mind, and was living in the best
company in Paris; I do not mean the company of Jesus, but that of men of
the world the most distinguished for intellect and knowledge. No one
wrote in a purer or more unaffected style; it was even proposed in the
French Academy that it should trespass against the rules of its
institution, by receiving Father Bouhours into its body. He had another
great advantage in the influence of his order, which then, by an almost
inconceivable illusion, governed all Catholic princes.

Sound criticism was, it is true, beginning to rear its head; but its
progress was slow: men were, in general, more anxious to write ably than
to write what was true.

Bouhours wrote the lives of St. Ignatius and St. Francis Xavier almost
without encountering a single objection. Even his comparison of St.
Ignatius to Cæsar, and Xavier to Alexander, passed without
animadversion; it was tolerated as a flower of rhetoric.

I have seen in the Jesuit's college, Rue St. Jacques, a picture twelve
feet long and twelve high, representing Ignatius and Xavier ascending to
heaven, each in a magnificent chariot drawn by four milk-white horses;
and above, the Eternal Father, adorned with a fine white beard
descending to His waist, with Jesus and the Virgin beside him; the Holy
Ghost beneath them, in the form of a dove; and angels joining their
hands, and bending down to receive Father Ignatius and Father Xavier.

Had anyone publicly made a jest of this picture, the reverend Father La
Chaise, confessor to the king, would infallibly have had the
sacrilegious scoffer honored with a _lettre de cachet_.

It cannot be denied that Francis Xavier is comparable to Alexander,
inasmuch as they both went to India--so is Ignatius to Cæsar, both
having been in Gaul. But Xavier, the vanquisher of the devil, went far
beyond Alexander, the conqueror of Darius. How gratifying it is to see
him going, in the capacity of a volunteer converter, from Spain into
France, from France to Rome, from Rome to Lisbon, and from Lisbon to
Mozambique, after making the tour of Africa. He stays a long time at
Mozambique, where he receives from God the gift of prophecy: he then
proceeds to Melinda, where he disputes on the Koran with the Mahometans,
who doubtless understand his religion as well as he understands theirs,
and where he even finds caciques, although they are to be found nowhere
but in America. The Portuguese vessel arrives at the island of Zocotora,
which is unquestionably that of the Amazons: there he converts all the
islanders, and builds a church. Thence he reaches Goa, where he finds a
pillar on which St. Thomas had engraved, that one day St. Xavier should
come and re-establish the Christian religion, which had flourished of
old in India. Xavier has no difficulty whatever in perusing the ancient
characters, whether Indian or Hebrew, in which this prophecy is
expressed. He forthwith takes up a hand-bell, assembles all the little
boys around him, explains to them the creed, and baptizes them--but his
great delight was to marry the Indians to their mistresses.

From Goa he speeds to Cape Comorin, to the fishing coast, to the kingdom
of Travancore. His greatest anxiety, on arriving in any country, is to
quit it. He embarks in the first Portuguese ship he finds, whithersoever
it is bound, it matters not to Xavier; provided only that he is
travelling somewhere, he is content. He is received through charity, and
returns two or three times to Goa, to Cochin, to Cori, to Negapatam, to
Meliapour. A vessel is departing for Malacca, and Xavier accordingly
takes his passage for Malacca, in great despair that he has not yet had
an opportunity of seeing Siam, Pegu, and Tonquin. We find him in the
island of Sumatra, at Borneo, at Macassar, in the Moluccas, and
especially at Ternate and Amboyna. The king of Ternate had, in his
immense seraglio, a hundred women in the capacity of wives, and seven or
eight hundred in that of concubines. The first thing Xavier does is to
turn them all out. Please to observe that the island of Ternate is two
leagues across.

Thence finding another Portugese vessel bound for Ceylon, he returns to
Ceylon, where he makes various excursions to Goa and to Cochin. The
Portuguese were already trading to Japan. A ship sails for that country:
Xavier takes care to embark in it, and visits all the Japan islands. In
short (says the Jesuit Bouhours), the whole length of Xavier's routes,
joined together, would reach several times around the globe.

Be it observed, that he set out on his travels in 1542, and died in
1552. If he had time to learn the languages of all the nations he
visited, it was no trifling miracle: if he had the gift of tongues, it
was a greater miracle still. But unfortunately, in several of his
letters, he says that he is obliged to employ an interpreter; and in
others he acknowledges that he finds extreme difficulty in learning the
Japanese language, which he cannot pronounce.

The Jesuit Bouhours, in giving some of his letters, has no doubt that
"St. Francis Xavier had the gift of tongues"; but he acknowledges that
"he had it not always." "He had it," says he, "on several occasions;
for, without having learned the Chinese tongue, he preached to the
Chinese every morning at Amanguchi, which is the capital of a province
in Japan."

He must have been perfectly acquainted with all the languages of the
East; for he made songs in them of the Paternoster, Ave-Maria, and
Credo, for the instruction of the little boys and girls.

But the best of all is, that this man, who had occasion for a dragoman,
spoke every tongue at once, like the apostles; and when he spoke
Portuguese, in which language Bouhours acknowledges that the saint
explained himself very ill, the Indians, the Chinese, the Japanese, the
inhabitants of Ceylon and of Sumatra, all understood him perfectly.

One day in particular, when he was preaching on the immateriality of the
soul, the motion of the planets, the eclipses of the sun and moon, the
rainbow, sin and grace, paradise and purgatory, he made himself
understood to twenty persons of different nations.

Is it asked how such a man could make so many converts in Japan? The
simple answer is that he did not make any; but other Jesuits, who staid
a long time in the country, by favor of the treaties between the kings
of Portugal and the emperors of Japan, converted so many people, that a
civil war ensued, which is said to have cost the lives of nearly four
hundred thousand men. This is the most noted prodigy that the
missionaries have worked in Japan.

But those of Francis Xavier are not without their merit. Among his host
of miracles, we find no fewer than eight children raised from the dead.
"Xavier's greatest miracle," says the Jesuit Bouhours, "was not his
raising so many of the dead to life, but his not himself dying of
fatigue."

But the pleasantest of his miracles is, that having dropped his crucifix
into the sea, near the island of Baranura, which I am inclined to think
was the island of Barataria, a crab came, four-and-twenty hours after,
bringing the cane between its claws.

The most brilliant of all, and after which no other deserves to be
related, is that in a storm which lasted three days, he was constantly
in two ships, a hundred and fifty leagues apart, and served one of them
as a pilot. The truth of this miracle was attested by all the
passengers, who could neither deceive nor be deceived.

Yet all this was written seriously and with success in the age of Louis
XIV., in the age of the "Provincial Letters," of Racine's tragedies, of
"Bayle's Dictionary," and of so many other learned works.

It would appear to be a sort of miracle that a man of sense, like
Bouhours, should have committed such a mass of extravagance to the
press, if we did not know to what excesses men can be carried by the
corporate spirit in general, and the monachal spirit in particular. We
have more than two hundred volumes entirely in this taste, compiled by
monks; but what is most to be lamented is, that the enemies of the monks
also compile. They compile more agreeably, and are read. It is most
deplorable that, in nineteen-twentieths of Europe, there is no longer
that profound respect and just veneration for the monks which is still
felt for them in some of the villages of Aragon and Calabria.

The miracles of St. Francis Xavier, the achievements of Don Quixote,
the Comic Romance, and the convulsionaries of St. Medard, have an equal
claim on our admiration and reverence.

After speaking of Francis Xavier it would be useless to discuss the
history of the other Francises. If you would be instructed thoroughly,
consult the conformities of St. Francis of Assisi.

Since the fine history of St. Francis Xavier by the Jesuit Bouhours, we
have had the history of St. Francis Régis by the Jesuit Daubenton,
confessor to Philip V. of Spain: but this is small-beer after brandy. In
the history of the blessed Régis, there is not even a single
resuscitation.



FRANKS--FRANCE--FRENCH


Italy has always preserved its name, notwithstanding the pretended
establishment of Æneas, which should have left some traces of the
language, characters, and manners of Phrygia, if he ever came with
Achates and so many others, into the province of Rome, then almost a
desert. The Goths, Lombards, Franks, Allemani or Germans, who have by
turns invaded Italy, have at least left it its name.

The Tyrians, Africans, Romans, Vandals, Visigoths, and Saracens, have,
one after the other, been masters of Spain, yet the name of Spain
exists. Germany has also always preserved its own name; it has merely
joined that of Allemagne to it, which appellation it did not receive
from any conqueror.

The Gauls are almost the only people in the west who have lost their
name. This name was originally Walch or Welsh; the Romans always
substituted a G for the W, which is barbarous: of "Welsh" they made
Galli, Gallia. They distinguished the Celtic, the Belgic, and the
Aquitanic Gaul, each of which spoke a different jargon.

Who were, and whence came these Franks, who in such small numbers and
little time possessed themselves of all the Gauls, which in ten years
Cæsar could not entirely reduce? I am reading an author who commences by
these words: "The Franks from whom we descend." ... Ha! my friend, who
has told you that you descend in a right line from a Frank? Clovodic,
whom we call Clovis, probably had not more than twenty thousand men,
badly clothed and armed, when he subjugated about eight or ten millions
of Welsh or Gauls, held in servitude by three or four Roman legions. We
have not a single family in France which can furnish, I do not say the
least proof, but the least probability, that it had its origin from a
Frank.

When the pirates of the Baltic Sea came, to the number of seven or eight
thousand, to give Normandy in fief, and Brittany in _arrière fief_, did
they, leave any archives by which it may be seen whether they were the
fathers of all the Normans of the present day?

It has been a long time believed that the Franks came from the Trojans.
Ammianus Marcellinus, who lived in the fourth century, says: "According
to several ancient writers, troops of fugitive Trojans established
themselves on the borders of the Rhine, then a desert." As to Æneas, he
might easily have sought an asylum at the extremity of the
Mediterranean, but Francus, the son of Hector, had too far to travel to
go towards Düsseldorf, Worms, Solm, Ehrenbreitstein.

Fredegarius doubts not that the Franks at first retired into Macedonia,
and carried arms under Alexander, after having fought under Priam; on
which alleged facts the monk Otfried compliments the emperor, Louis the
German.

The geographer of Ravenna, less fabulous, assigns the first habitation
of the horde of Franks among the Cimbrians, beyond the Elbe, towards the
Baltic Sea. These Franks might well be some remains of these barbarian
Cimbri defeated by Marius; and the learned Leibnitz is of this opinion.

It is very certain that, in the time of Constantine, beyond the Rhine,
there were hordes of Franks or Sicambri, who lived by pillage. They
assembled under bandit captains, chiefs whom historians have had the
folly to call kings. Constantine himself pursued them to their haunts,
caused several to be hanged, and others to be delivered to wild beasts,
in the amphitheatre of Trier, for his amusement. Two of their pretended
kings perished in this manner, at which the panegyrists of Constantine
are in ecstasies.

The Salic law, written, it is said, by these barbarians, is one of the
absurd chimeras with which we have always been pestered. It would be
very strange if the Franks had written such a considerable code in their
marshes, and the French had not any written usages until the close of
the reign of Charles VII. It might as well be said that the Algonquins
and Chicachas had written laws. Men are never governed by authentic
laws, consigned to public records, until they have been assembled into
cities, and have a regular police, archives, and all that characterizes
a civilized nation. When you find a code in a nation which was barbarous
at the time it was written, who lived upon rapine and pillage, and which
had not a walled town, you may be sure that this code is a pretended
one, which has been made in much later times. Fallacies and suppositions
never obliterate this truth from the minds of the wise.

What is more ridiculous still, this Salic law has been given to us in
Latin; as if savages, wandering beyond the Rhine, had learnt the Latin
language. It is supposed to have been first digested by Clovis, and it
ran thus: "While the illustrious nation of the Franks was still
considered barbarous, the heads of this nation dictated the Salic law.
They chose among themselves four chiefs, Visogast, Bodogast, Sologast,
Vindogast"--taking, according to La Fontaine's fable, the names of
places for those of men:

     _Notre magot prit pour ce coup_
     _Le nom d'un port pour un nom d'homme._

These names are those of some Frank cantons in the province of Worms.
Whatever may be the epoch in which the customs denominated the Salic law
were constructed on an ancient tradition, it is very clear that the
Franks were not great legislators.

What is the original meaning of the word "Frank?" That is a question of
which we know nothing, and which above a hundred authors have endeavored
to find out. What is the meaning of Hun, Alan, Goth, Welsh, Picard? And
what do these words signify?

Were the armies of Clovis all composed of Franks? It does not appear so.
Childeric the Frank had made inroads as far as Tournay. It is said that
Clovis was the son of Childeric, and Queen Bazine, the wife of King
Bazin. Now Bazin and Bazine are assuredly not German names, and we have
never seen the least proof that Clovis was their son. All the German
cantons elected their chiefs, and the province of Franks had no doubt
elected Clovis as they had done his father. He made his expedition
against the Gauls, as all the other barbarians had undertaken theirs
against the Roman Empire.

Do you really and truly believe that the Herulian Odo, surnamed Acer by
the Romans, and known to us by the name of Odoacer, had only Herulians
in his train, and that Genseric conducted Vandals alone into Africa? All
the wretches without talent or profession, who have nothing to lose, do
they not always join the first captain of robbers who raises the
standard of destruction?

As soon as Clovis had the least success, his troops were no doubt joined
by all the Belgians who panted for booty; and this army is nevertheless
called the army of Franks. The expedition is very easy. The Visigoths
had already invaded one-third of Gaul, and the Burgundians another. The
rest submitted to Clovis. The Franks divided the land of the vanquished,
and the Welsh cultivated it.

The word "Frank" originally signified a free possessor, while the others
were slaves. Hence come the words "franchise," and "to enfranchise"--"I
make you a Frank," "I render you a free man." Hence, _francalenus_,
holding freely; _frank aleu_, _frank dad_, _frank chamen_, and so many
other terms half Latin and half barbarian, which have so long composed
the miserable patois spoken in France.

Hence, also, a franc in gold or silver to express the money of the king
of the Franks, which did not appear until a long time after, but which
reminds us of the origin of the monarchy. We still say twenty francs,
twenty livres, which signifies nothing in itself; it gives no idea of
the weight or value of the money, being only a vague expression, by
which ignorant people have been continually deceived, not knowing really
how much they receive or how much they pay.

Charlemagne did not consider himself as a Frank; he was born in
Austrasia, and spoke the German language. He was of the family of
Arnold, bishop of Metz, preceptor to Dagobert. Now it is not probable
that a man chosen for a preceptor was a Frank. He made the greatest
glory of the most profound ignorance, and was acquainted only with the
profession of arms. But what gives most weight to the opinion that
Charlemagne regarded the Franks as strangers to him is the fourth
article of one of his capitularies on his farms. "If the Franks," said
he, "commit any ravages on our possessions, let them be judged according
to their laws."

The Carlovingian race always passed for German: Pope Adrian IV., in his
letter to the archbishops of Mentz, Cologne, and Trier, expresses
himself in these remarkable terms: "The emperor was transferred from the
Greeks to the Germans. Their king was not emperor until after he had
been crowned by the pope.... all that the emperor possessed he held from
us. And as Zacharius gave the Greek Empire to the Germans, we can give
that of the Germans to the Greeks."

However, France having been divided into eastern and western, and the
eastern being Austrasia, this name of France prevailed so far, that even
in the time of the Saxon emperors, the court of Constantinople always
called them pretended Frank emperors, as may be seen in the letters of
Bishop Luitgrand, sent from Rome to Constantinople.

_Of the French Nation._

When the Franks established themselves in the country of the first
Welsh, which the Romans called Gallia, the nation was composed of
ancient Celts or Gauls, subjugated by Cæsar, Roman families who were
established there, Germans who had already emigrated there, and finally
of the Franks, who had rendered themselves masters of the country under
their chief Clovis. While the monarchy existed, which united Gaul and
Germany, all the people, from the source of the Weser to the seas of
Gaul, bore the name of Franks. But when at the congress of Verdun, in
843, under Charles the Bald, Germany and Gaul were separated, the name
of Franks remained to the people of western France, which alone retained
the name of France.

The name of French was scarcely known until towards the tenth century.
The foundation of the nation is of Gallic families, and traces of the
character of the ancient Gauls have always existed.

Indeed, every people has its character, as well as every man; and this
character is generally formed of all the resemblances caused by nature
and custom among the inhabitants of the varieties which distinguish
them. Thus French character, genius, and wit, result from that which has
been common to the different provinces in the kingdom. The people of
Guienne and those of Normandy differ much; there is, however, found in
them the French genius, which forms a nation of these different
provinces, and distinguishes them from the Indians and Germans. Climate
and soil evidently imprint unchangeable marks on men, as well as on
animals and plants. Those which depend on government, religion, and
education are different. That is the knot which explains how people have
lost one part of their ancient character and preserved the other. A
people who formerly conquered half the world are no longer recognized
under sacerdotal government, but the seeds of their ancient greatness of
soul still exist, though hidden beneath weakness.

In the same manner the barbarous government of the Turks has enervated
the Egyptians and the Greeks, without having been able to destroy the
original character or temper of their minds.

The present character of the French is the same as Cæsar ascribed to the
Gauls--prompt to resolve, ardent to combat, impetuous in attack, and
easily discouraged. Cæsar, Agatius, and others say, that of all the
barbarians the Gauls were the most polished. They are still in the most
civilized times the model of politeness to all their neighbors, though
they occasionally discover the remains of their levity, petulance, and
barbarity.

The inhabitants of the coasts of France were always good seamen; the
people of Guienne always compose the best infantry; "those who inhabit
the provinces of Blois and Tours are not," says Tasso, "robust and
indefatigable, but bland and gentle, like the land which they inhabit."

     _.... Gente robusta, e faticosa,_
     _La terra molle, e lieta, e dilettosa_
     _Simili a se gli abitator, produce._

But how can we reconcile the character of the Parisians of our day with
that which the Emperor Julian, the first of princes and men after Marcus
Aurelius, gave to the Parisians of his time?--"I love this people," says
he in his "_Misopogon_," "because they are serious and severe like
myself." This seriousness, which seems at present banished from an
immense city become the centre of pleasure, then reigned in a little
town destitute of amusements: in this respect the spirit of the
Parisians has changed notwithstanding the climate.

The affluence, opulence, and idleness of the people who may occupy
themselves with pleasures and the arts, and not with the government,
have given a new turn of mind to a whole nation.

Further, how is it to be explained by what degrees this people have
passed from the fierceness which characterized them in the time of King
John, Charles VI., Charles IX., Henry III., and Henry IV., to the soft
facility of manners for which they are now the admiration of Europe? It
is that the storms of government and religion forced constitutional
vivacity into paroxysms of faction and fanaticism; and that this same
vivacity, which always will exist, has at present no object but the
pleasures of society. The Parisian is impetuous in his pleasures as he
formerly was in his fierceness. The original character which is caused
by the climate is always the same. If at present he cultivates the
arts, of which he was so long deprived, it is not that he has another
mind, since he has not other organs; but it is that he has more relief,
and this relief has not been created by himself, as by the Greeks and
Florentines, among whom the arts flourished like the natural fruits of
their soil. The Frenchman has only received them, but having happily
cultivated and adopted these exotics, he has almost perfected them.

The French government was originally that of all the northern
nations--of all those whose policy was regulated in general assemblies
of the nation. Kings were the chief of these assemblies; and this was
almost the only administration of the French in the first two
generations, before Charles the Simple.

When the monarchy was dismembered, in the decline of the Carlovingian
race, when the kingdom of Aries arose, and the provinces were occupied
by vassals little dependent on the crown, the name of French was more
restricted. Under Hugh Capet, Henry, and Philip, the people on this side
the Loire only, were called French. There was then seen a great
diversity of manners and of laws in the provinces held from the crown of
France. The particular lords who became the masters of these provinces
introduced new customs into their new states. A Breton and a Fleming
have at present some conformity, notwithstanding the difference of
their character, which they hold from the sun and the climate, but
originally there was not the least similitude between them.

It is only since the time of Francis I. that there has been any
uniformity in manners and customs. The court, at this time, first began
to serve for a model to the United Provinces; but in general,
impetuosity in war, and a lax discipline, always formed the predominant
character of the nation.

Gallantry and politeness began to distinguish the French under Francis
I. Manners became odious after the death of Francis II. However, in the
midst of their horrors, there was always a politeness at court which the
Germans and English endeavored to imitate. The rest of Europe, in aiming
to resemble the French, were already jealous of them. A character in one
of Shakespeare's comedies says that it is difficult to be polite without
having been at the court of France.

Though the nation has been taxed with frivolity by Cæsar, and by all
neighboring nations, yet this kingdom, so long dismembered, and so often
ready to sink, is united and sustained principally by the wisdom of its
negotiations, address, and patience; but above all, by the divisions of
Germany and England. Brittany alone has been united to the kingdom by a
marriage; Burgundy by right of fee, and by the ability of Louis XI.;
Dauphiny by a donation, which was the fruit of policy; the county of
Toulouse by a grant, maintained by an army; Provence by money. One
treaty of peace has given Alsace, another Lorraine. The English have
been driven from France, notwithstanding the most signal victories,
because the kings of France have known how to temporize, and profit on
all favorable occasions;--all which proves, that if the French youth are
frivolous, the men of riper age, who govern it, have always been wise.
Even at present the magistracy are severe in manners, as in the time of
the Emperor Julian. If the first successes in Italy, in the time of
Charles VIII., were owing to the warlike impetuosity of the nation, the
disgraces which followed them were caused by the blindness of a court
which was composed of young men alone. Francis I. was only unfortunate
in his youth, when all was governed by favorites of his own age, and he
rendered his kingdom more flourishing at a more advanced age.

The French have always used the same arms as their neighbors, and have
nearly the same discipline in war, but were the first who discarded the
lance and pike. The battle of Ivry discouraged the use of lances, which
were soon abolished, and under Louis XIV. pikes were also discontinued.
They wore tunics and robes until the sixteenth century. Under Louis the
Young they left off the custom of letting the beards grow, and retook to
it under Francis I. Only under Louis XIV. did they begin to shave the
entire face. Their dress is continually changing, and at the end of each
century the French might take the portraits of their grandfathers for
those of foreigners.



FRAUD.

_Whether pious Frauds should be practised upon the People._

Once upon a time the fakir Bambabef met one of the disciples of
Confutzee (whom we call Confucius), and this disciple was named Whang.
Bambabef maintained that the people require to be deceived, and Whang
asserted that we should never deceive any one. Here is a sketch of their
dispute:

BAMBABEF.--We must imitate the Supreme Being, who does not show us
things as they are. He makes us see the sun with a diameter of two or
three feet, although it is a million of times larger than the earth. He
makes us see the moon and the stars affixed to one and the same blue
surface, while they are at different elevations; he chooses that a
square tower should appear round to us at a distance; he chooses that
fire should appear to us to be hot, although it is neither hot nor cold;
in short, he surrounds us with errors, suitable to our nature.

WHANG.--What you call error is not so. The sun, such as it is, placed at
millions of millions of lis from our globe, is not that which we see,
that which we really perceive: we perceive only the sun which is painted
on our retina, at a determinate angle. Our eyes were not given us to
know sizes and distances: to know these, other aids and other
operations are necessary.

Bambabef seemed much astonished at this position. Whang, being very
patient, explained to him the theory of optics; and Bambabef, having
some conception, was convinced by the demonstrations of the disciple of
Confucius. He then resumed in these terms:

BAMBABEF.--If God does not, as I thought, deceive us by the ministry of
our senses, you will at least acknowledge that our physicians are
constantly deceiving children for their good. They tell them that they
are giving them sugar, when in reality they are giving them rhubarb. I,
a fakir, may then deceive the people, who are as ignorant as children.

WHANG.--I have two sons; I have never deceived them. When they have been
sick, I have said to them: "Here is a nauseous medicine; you must have
the courage to take it; if it were pleasant, it would injure you." I
have never suffered their nurses and tutors to make them afraid of
ghosts, goblins, and witches. I have thereby made them wise and
courageous citizens.

BAMBABEF.--The people are not born so happily as your family.

WHANG.--Men all nearly resemble one another; they are born with the same
dispositions. Their nature ought not to be corrupted.

BAMBABEF.--We teach them errors, I own; but it is for their good. We
make them believe that if they do not buy our blessed nails, if they do
not expiate their sins by giving us money, they will, in another life,
become post-horses, dogs, or lizards. This intimidates them, and they
become good people.

WHANG.--Do you not see that you are perverting these poor folks? There
are among them many more than you think there are who reason, who make a
jest of your miracles and your superstitions; who see very clearly that
they will not be turned into lizards, nor into post-horses. What is the
consequence? They have good sense enough to perceive that you talk to
them very impertinently; but they have not enough to elevate themselves
to a religion pure and untrammelled by superstition like ours. Their
passions make them think there is no religion, because the only one that
is taught them is ridiculous: thus you become guilty of all the vices
into which they plunge.

BAMBABEF.--Not at all, for we teach them none but good morals.

WHANG.--The people would stone you if you taught impure morals. Men are
so constituted that they like very well to do evil, but they will not
have it preached to them. But a wise morality should not be mixed up
with absurd fables: for by these impostures, which you might do without,
you weaken that morality which you are forced to teach.

BAMBABEF.--What! do you think that truth can be taught to the people
without the aid of fables?

WHANG.--I firmly believe it. Our literati are made of the same stuff as
our tailors, our weavers, and our laborers. They worship a creating,
rewarding, and avenging God. They do not sully their worship by absurd
systems, nor by extravagant ceremonies. There are much fewer crimes
among the lettered than among the people; why should we not condescend
to instruct our working classes as we do our literati?

BAMBABEF.--That would be great folly; as well might you wish them to
have the same politeness, or to be all jurisconsults. It is neither
possible nor desirable. There must be white bread for the master, and
brown for the servant.

WHANG.--I own that men should not all have the same science; but there
are things necessary to all. It is necessary that each one should be
just; and the surest way of inspiring all men with justice is to inspire
them with religion without superstition.

BAMBABEF.--That is a fine project, but it is impracticable. Do you think
it is sufficient for men to believe in a being that rewards and
punishes? You have told me that the more acute among the people often
revolt against fables. They will, in like manner, revolt against truth.
They will say: Who shall assure me that God rewards and punishes? Where
is the proof? What mission have you? What miracle have you worked that I
should believe in you? They will laugh at you much more than at me.

WHANG.--Your error is this: You imagine that men will spurn an idea that
is honest, likely, and useful to every one; an idea which accords with
human reason, because they reject things which are dishonest, absurd,
useless, dangerous, and shocking to good sense.

The people are much disposed to believe their magistrates; and when
their magistrates propose to them only a rational belief, they embrace
it willingly. There is no need of prodigies to believe in a just God,
who reads the heart of man: this is an idea too natural, too necessary,
to be combated. It is not necessary to know precisely how God rewards
and punishes: to believe in His justice is enough. I assure you that I
have seen whole towns with scarcely any other tenet; and that in them I
have seen the most virtue.

BAMBABEF.--Take heed what you say. You will find philosophers in these
times, who will deny both pains and rewards.

WHANG.--But you will acknowledge that these philosophers will much more
strongly deny your inventions; so you will gain nothing by that.
Supposing that there are philosophers who do not agree with my
principles, they are not the less honest men; they do not the less
cultivate virtue, which should be embraced through love, and not through
fear. Moreover, I maintain that no philosopher can ever be assured that
Providence does not reserve pains for the wicked, and rewards for the
good. For, if they ask me who has told me that God punishes, I shall ask
them who has told them that God does not punish. In short, I maintain
that the philosophers, far from contradicting, will aid me. Will you be
a philosopher?

BAMBABEF.--With all my heart. But do not tell the fakirs. And let us,
above all, remember that if a philosopher would be of service to human
society, he must announce a God.



FREE-WILL.


From the commencement of the time in which men began to reason,
philosophers have agitated this question, which theologians have
rendered unintelligible by their absurd subtleties upon grace. Locke is
perhaps the first who, without having the arrogance of announcing a
general principle, has examined human nature by analysis. It has been
disputed for three thousand years, whether the will is free or not;
Locke shows that the question is absurd, and that liberty cannot belong
to the will any more than color and motion.

What is meant by the expression to be free? It signifies power, or
rather it has no sense at all. To say that the will _can_, is in itself
as ridiculous as if we said that it is yellow, or blue, round, or
square.

Will is will, and liberty is power. Let us gradually examine the chain
of what passes within us, without confusing our minds with any
scholastic terms, or antecedent principle.

It is proposed to you to ride on horseback; it is absolutely necessary
for you to make a choice, for it is very clear that you must either go
or not; there is no medium, you must absolutely do the one or the other.
So far it is demonstrated that the will is not free. You will get on
horseback; why? Because I will to do so, an ignoramus will say. This
reply is an absurdity; nothing can be done without reason or cause. Your
will then is caused by what? The agreeable idea which is presented to
your brain; the predominant, or determined idea; but, you will say,
cannot I resist an idea which predominates over me? No, for what would
be the cause of your resistance? An idea by which your will is swayed
still more despotically.

You receive your ideas, and, therefore, receive your will. You will then
necessarily; consequently, the word "liberty" belongs not to will in any
sense.

You ask me how thought and will are formed within you? I answer that I
know nothing about it. I no more know how ideas are created than I know
how the world was formed. We are only allowed to grope in the dark in
reference to all that inspires our incomprehensible machine.

Will, then, is not a faculty which can be called free. "Free-will" is a
word absolutely devoid of sense, and that which scholars have called
"indifference," that is to say, will without cause, is a chimera
unworthy to be combated.

In what then consists liberty? In the power of doing what we will? I
would go into my cabinet; the door is open, I am free to enter. But, say
you, if the door is shut and I remain where I am, I remain freely. Let
us explain ourselves--you then exercise the power that you possess of
remaining; you possess this power, but not the power of going out.

Liberty, then, on which so many volumes have been written, reduced to
its proper sense, is only the power of acting.

In what sense must the expression "this man is free" be spoken? In the
same sense in which we use the words "health," "strength," and
"happiness." Man is not always strong, healthy, or happy. A great
passion, a great obstacle, may deprive him of his liberty, or power of
action.

The words "liberty" and "free-will" are, then, abstractions, general
terms, like beauty, goodness, justice. These terms do not signify that
all men are always handsome, good, and just, neither are they always
free.

Further, liberty being only the power of acting, what is this power? It
is the effect of the constitution, and the actual state of our organs.
Leibnitz would solve a problem of geometry, but falls into an apoplexy;
he certainly has not the liberty to solve his problem. A vigorous young
man, passionately in love, who holds his willing mistress in his arms,
is he free to subdue his passion? Doubtless not. He has the power of
enjoying, and has not the power to abstain. Locke then is very right in
calling liberty, power. When can this young man abstain, notwithstanding
the violence of his passion? When a stronger idea shall determine the
springs of his soul and body to the contrary.

But how? Have other animals the same liberty, the same power? Why not?
They have sense, memory, sentiment, and perceptions like ourselves; they
act spontaneously as we do. They must, also, like us, have the power of
acting by virtue of their perception, and of the play of their organs.

We exclaim: If it be thus, all things are machines merely; everything in
the universe is subjected to the eternal laws. Well, would you have
everything rendered subject to a million of blind caprices? Either all
is the consequence of the nature of things, or all is the effect of the
eternal order of an absolute master; in both cases, we are only wheels
to the machine of the world.

It is a foolish, common-place expression that without this pretended
freedom of will, rewards and punishments are useless. Reason, and you
will conclude quite the contrary.

If, when a robber is executed, his accomplice, who sees him suffer, has
the liberty of not being frightened at the punishment; if his will
determines of itself, he will go from the foot of the scaffold to
assassinate on the high road; if struck with horror, he experiences an
insurmountable terror, he will no longer thieve. The punishment of his
companion will become useful to him, and moreover prove to society that
his will is not free.

Liberty, then, is not and cannot be anything but the power of doing what
we will. That is what philosophy teaches us. But, if we consider liberty
in the theological sense, it is so sublime a matter that profane eyes
may not be raised so high.



FRENCH LANGUAGE.


The French language did not begin to assume a regular form until the
tenth century; it sprang from the remains of the Latin and the Celtic,
mixed with a few Teutonic words. This language was, in the first
instance, the provincial Roman, and the Teutonic was the language of the
courts, until the time of Charles the Bald. The Teutonic remained the
only language in Germany, after the grand epoch of the division in 433.
The rustic Roman prevailed in Western France; the inhabitants of the
Pays de Vaud, of the Valois, of the valley of Engadine, and some other
cantons, still preserve some manifest vestiges of this idiom.

At the commencement of the eleventh century, French began to be written;
but this French retained more of Romance or rustic Roman than of the
language of the present day. The romance of Philomena, written in the
tenth century, is not very different in language from that of the laws
of the Normans. We cannot yet trace the original Celtic, Latin, and
German. The words which signify the members of the human body, or
things in daily use, which have no relation to the Latin or German, are
of ancient Gallic or Celtic, as _tête_, _jambe_, _sabre_, _point_,
_alter_, _parler_, _écouter_, _regarder_, _crier_, _cotume_, _ensemble_,
and many more of the same kind. The greater number of the warlike
phrases were French or German, as _marche, halte, maréchal, bivouac,
lansquenet_. Almost, all the rest are Latin, and the Latin words have
been all abridged, according to the usage and genius of the nations of
the north.

In the twelfth century, some terms were borrowed from the philosophy of
Aristotle; and toward the sixteenth century, Greek names were found for
the parts of the human body, and for its maladies and their remedies.
Although the language was then enriched with Greek, and aided from the
time of Charles VIII. with considerable accessions from the Italian,
already arrived at perfection, it did not acquire a regular form.
Francis I. abolished the custom of pleading and of judging in Latin,
which proved the barbarism of a language which could not be used in
public proceedings--a pernicious custom to the natives, whose fortunes
were regulated in a language which they could not understand. It then
became necessary to cultivate the French, but the language was neither
noble nor regular, and its syntax was altogether capricious. The genius
of its conversation being turned towards pleasantry, the language became
fertile in smart and lively expressions, but exceedingly barren in
dignified and harmonious phrases; whence it arises that in the
dictionaries of rhymes, twenty suitable words are found for comic poetry
for one of poetry of a more elevated nature. This was the cause that
Marot never succeeded in the serious style, and that Amyot was unable to
give a version of the elegant simplicity of Plutarch.

The French tongue acquired strength from the pen of Montaigne, but still
wanted elevation and harmony. Ronsard injured the language by
introducing into French poetry the Greek compounds, derivable from the
physicians. Malherbe partly repaired the fault of Ronsard. It became
more lofty and harmonious by the establishment of the French Academy,
and finally in the age of Louis XIV. acquired the perfection by which it
is now distinguished.

The genius of the French language--for every language has its genius--is
clearness and order. This genius consists in the facility which a
language possesses of expressing itself more or less happily, and of
employing or rejecting the familiar terms of other languages. The French
tongue having no declensions, and being aided by articles, cannot adopt
the inversions of the Greek and the Latin; the words are necessarily
arranged agreeably to the course of the ideas. We can only say in one
way, "_Plancus a pris soin des affaires de Cæsar_"; but this phrase in
Latin, "_Res Cæsaris, Plancus diligenter curavit_" may be arranged in a
hundred and twenty different forms without injuring the sense or rules
of the language. The auxiliary verbs, which lengthen and weaken phrases
in the modern tongues, render that of France still less adapted to the
lapidary style. Its auxiliary verbs, its pronouns, its articles, its
deficiency of declinable participles, and, lastly, its uniformity of
position, preclude the exhibition of much enthusiasm in poetry; it
possesses fewer capabilities of this nature than the Italian and the
English; but this constraint and slavery render it more proper for
tragedy and comedy than any language in Europe. The natural order in
which the French people are obliged to express their thoughts and
construct their phrases, infuses into their speech a facility and
amenity which please everybody; and the genius of the nation suiting
with the genius of the language, has produced a greater number of books
agreeably written than are to be found among any other people.

Social freedom and politeness having been for a long time established in
France, the language has acquired a delicacy of expression, and a
natural refinement which are seldom to be found out of it. This
refinement has occasionally been carried too far; but men of taste have
always known how to reduce it within due bounds.

Many persons have maintained that the French language has been
impoverished since the days of Montaigne and Amyot, because expressions
abound in these authors which are no longer employed; but these are for
the most part terms for which equivalents have been found. It has been
enriched with a number of noble and energetic expressions, and, without
adverting to the eloquence of matter, has certainly that of speech. It
was during the reign of Louis XIV., as already observed, that the
language was fixed. Whatever changes time and caprice may have in store,
the good authors of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries will always
serve for models.

Circumstances created no right to expect that France would be
distinguished in philosophy. A Gothic government extinguished all kind
of illumination during more than twelve centuries; and professors of
error, paid for brutalizing human nature, more increased the darkness.
Nevertheless, there is more philosophy in Paris than in any town on
earth, and possibly than in all the towns put together, excepting
London. The spirit of reason has even penetrated into the provinces. In
a word, the French genius is probably at present equal to that of
England in philosophy; while for the last four-score years France has
been superior to all other nations in literature; and has undeniably
taken the lead in the courtesies of society, and in that easy and
natural politeness, which is improperly termed urbanity.



FRIENDSHIP.

The temple of friendship has long been known by name, but it is well
known that it has been very little frequented; as the following verses
pleasantly observe, Orestes, Pylades, Pirithous, Achates, and the tender
Nisus, were all genuine friends and great heroes; but, alas, existent
only in fable:

     _En vieux langage on voit sur la façade,_
     _Les noms sacrés d'Oreste et de Pylade;_
     _Le médaillon du bon Pirithous,_
     _Du sage Achate et du tendre Nisus;_
     _Tous grands héros, tous amis véritables;_
     _Ces noms sont beaux; mais ils sont dans les fables._

Friendship commands more than love and esteem. Love your neighbor
signifies assist your neighbor, but not--enjoy his conversation with
pleasure, if he be tiresome; confide to him your secrets, if he be a
tattler; or lend him your money, if he be a spendthrift.

Friendship is the marriage of the soul, and this marriage is liable to
divorce. It is a tacit contract between two sensible and virtuous
persons. I say sensible, for a monk or a hermit cannot be so, who lives
without knowing friendship. I say virtuous, for the wicked only have
accomplices--the voluptuous, companions--the interested, associates;
politicians assemble factions--the generality of idle men have
connections--princes, courtiers. Virtuous men alone possess friends.

Cethegus was the accomplice of Catiline, and Mæcenas the courtier of
Octavius; but Cicero was the friend of Atticus.

What is caused by this contract between two tender, honest minds? Its
obligations are stronger or weaker according to the degrees of
sensibility, and the number of services rendered.

The enthusiasm of friendship has been stronger among the Greeks and
Arabs than among us. The tales that these people have imagined on the
subject of friendship are admirable; we have none to compare to them. We
are rather dry and reserved--in everything. I see no great trait of
friendship in our histories, romances, or theatre.

The only friendship spoken of among the Jews, was that which existed
between Jonathan and David. It is said that David loved him with a love
stronger than that of women; but it is also said that David, after the
death of his friend, dispossessed Mephibosheth, his son, and caused him
to be put to death.

Friendship was a point of religion and legislation among the Greeks. The
Thebans had a regiment of lovers--a fine regiment; some have taken it
for a regiment of nonconformists. They are deceived; it is taking a
shameful accident for a noble principle. Friendship, among the Greeks,
was prescribed by the laws and religion. Manners countenanced abuses,
but the laws did not.



FRIVOLITY.


What persuades me still more of the existence of Providence, said the
profound author of "_Bacha Billeboquet_," is that to console us for our
innumerable miseries, nature has made us frivolous. We are sometimes
ruminating oxen, overcome by the weight of our yoke; sometimes
dispersed doves, tremblingly endeavoring to avoid the claws of the
vulture, stained with the blood of our companions; foxes, pursued by
dogs; and tigers, who devour one another. Then we suddenly become
butterflies; and forget, in our volatile winnowings, all the horrors
that we have experienced.

If we were not frivolous, what man without shuddering, could live in a
town in which the wife of a marshal of France, a lady of honor to the
queen, was burned, under the pretext that she had killed a white cock by
moonlight; or in the same town in which Marshal Marillac was
assassinated according to form, pursuant to a sentence passed by
judicial murderers appointed by a priest in his own country house, in
which he embraced Marion de Lorme while these robed wretches executed
his sanguinary wishes?

Could a man say to himself, without trembling in every nerve, and having
his heart frozen with horror: "Here I am, in the very place which, it is
said, was strewed with the dead and dying bodies of two thousand young
gentlemen, murdered near the Faubourg St. Antoine, because one man in a
red cassock displeased some others in black ones!"

Who could pass the Rue de la Féronerie without shedding tears and
falling into paroxysms of rage against the holy and abominable
principles which plunged the sword into the heart of the best of men,
and of the greatest of kings?

We could not walk a step in the streets of Paris on St. Bartholomew's
day, without saying: "It was here that one of my ancestors was murdered
for the love of God; it was here that one of my mother's family was
dragged bleeding and mangled; it was here that one-half of my countrymen
murdered the other."

Happily, men are so light, so frivolous, so struck with the present and
so insensible to the past, that in ten thousand there are not above two
or three who make these reflections.

How many boon companions have I seen, who, after the loss of children,
wives, mistresses, fortune, and even health itself, have eagerly
resorted to a party to retail a piece of scandal, or to a supper to tell
humorous stories. Solidity consists chiefly in a uniformity of ideas. It
has been said that a man of sense should invariably think in the same
way; reduced to such an alternative, it would be better not to have been
born. The ancients never invented a finer fable than that which bestowed
a cup of the water of Lethe on all who entered the Elysian fields.

If you would tolerate life, mortals, forget yourselves, and enjoy it.



GALLANT.


This word is derived from "_gal_" the original signification of which
was gayety and rejoicing, as may be seen in Alain Chartier, and in
Froissart. Even in the "Romance of the Rose" we meet with the word
"_galandé_" in the sense of ornamented, adorned.

     _La belle fut bien attornie_
     _Et d'un filet d'or galandée._

It is probable that the _gala_ of the Italians, and the _galan_ of the
Spaniards, are derived from the word "_gal_" which seems to be
originally Celtic; hence, was insensibly formed _gallant_, which
signifies a man forward, or eager to please. The term received an
improved and more noble signification in the times of chivalry, when the
desire to please manifested itself in feats of arms, and personal
conflict. To conduct himself gallantly, to extricate himself from an
affair gallantly, implies, even at present, a man's conducting himself
conformably to principle and honor. A gallant man among the English,
signifies a man of courage; in France it means more--a man of noble
general demeanor. A gallant (_un homme galant_) is totally different
from a gallant man (_un galant homme_); the latter means a man of
respectable and honorable feeling--the former, something nearer the
character of a _petit maître_ a man successfully addicted to intrigue.
Being gallant (_être galant_) in general implies an assiduity to please
by studious attentions, and flattering deference. "He was exceedingly
gallant to those ladies," means merely, he behaved more than politely to
them; but being the gallant of a lady is an expression of stronger
meaning; it signifies being her lover; the word is scarcely any longer
in use in this sense, except in low or familiar poetry. A gallant is not
merely a man devoted to and successful in intrigue, but the term
implies, moreover, somewhat of impudence and effrontery, in which sense
Fontaine uses it in the following: "_Mais un 'galant,' chercheur des
pucelages_."

Thus are various meanings attached to the same word. The case is similar
with the term "gallantry," which sometimes signifies a disposition to
coquetry, and a habit of flattery; sometimes a present of some elegant
toy, or piece of jewelry; sometimes intrigue, with one woman or with
many; and, latterly, it has even been applied to signify ironically the
favors of Venus; thus, to talk gallantries, to give gallantries, to have
gallantries, to contract a gallantry, express very different meanings.
Nearly all the terms which occur frequently in conversation acquire, in
the same manner, various shades of meaning, which it is difficult to
discriminate; the meaning of terms of art is more precise and less
arbitrary.



GARGANTUA.


If ever a reputation was fixed on a solid basis, it is that of
Gargantua. Yet in the present age of philosophy and criticism, some rash
and daring minds have started forward, who have ventured to deny the
prodigies believed respecting this extraordinary man--persons who have
carried their skepticism so far as even to doubt his very existence.

How is it possible, they ask, that there should have existed in the
sixteenth century a distinguished hero, never mentioned by a single
contemporary, by St. Ignatius, Cardinal Capitan, Galileo, or
Guicciardini, and respecting whom the registers of the Sorbonne do not
contain the slightest notice?

Investigate the histories of France, of Germany, of England, Spain, and
other countries, and you find not a single word about Gargantua. His
whole life, from his birth to his death, is a tissue of inconceivable
prodigies.

His mother, Gargamelle, was delivered of him from the left ear. Almost
at the instant of his birth he called out for a drink, with a voice that
was heard even in the districts of Beauce and Vivarais. Sixteen ells of
cloth were required to make him breeches, and a hundred hides of brown
cows were used in his shoes. He had not attained the age of twelve years
before he gained a great battle, and founded the abbey of Thélème.
Madame Badebec was given to him in marriage, and Badebec is proved to be
a Syrian name.

He is represented to have devoured six pilgrims in a mere salad, and the
river Seine is stated to have flowed entirely from his person, so that
the Parisians are indebted for their beautiful river to him alone.

All this is considered contrary to nature by our carping philosophers,
who scruple to admit even what is probable, unless it is well supported
by evidence.

They observe, that if the Parisians have always believed in Gargantua,
that is no reason why other nations should believe in him; that if
Gargantua had really performed one single prodigy out of the many
attributed to him, the whole world would have resounded with it, all
records would have noticed it, and a hundred monuments would have
attested it. In short, they very unceremoniously treat the Parisians who
believe in Gargantua as ignorant simpletons and superstitious idiots,
with whom are inter-mixed a few hypocrites, who pretend to believe in
Gargantua, in order to obtain some convenient priorship in the abbey of
Thélème.

The reverend Father Viret, a Cordelier of full-sleeved dignity, a
confessor of ladies, and a preacher to the king, has replied to our
Pyrrhonean philosophers in a manner decisive and invincible. He very
learnedly proves that if no writer, with the exception of Rabelais, has
mentioned the prodigies of Gargantua, at least, no historian has
contradicted them; that the sage de Thou, who was a believer in
witchcraft, divination, and astrology, never denied the miracles of
Gargantua. They were not even called in question by La Mothe le Vayer.
Mézeray treated them with such respect as not to say a word against
them, or indeed about them. These prodigies were performed before the
eyes of all the world. Rabelais was a witness of them. It was impossible
that he could be deceived, or that he would deceive. Had he deviated
even in the smallest degree from the truth, all the nations of Europe
would have been roused against him in indignation; all the gazetteers
and journalists of the day would have exclaimed with one voice against
the fraud and imposture.

In vain do the philosophers reply--for they reply to everything--that,
at the period in question, gazettes and journals were not in existence.
It is said in return that there existed what was equivalent to them, and
that is sufficient. Everything is impossible in the history of
Gargantua, and from this circumstance itself may be inferred its
incontestable truth. For if it were not true, no person could possibly
have ventured to imagine it, and its incredibility constitutes the great
proof that it ought to be believed.

Open all the "Mercuries," all the "Journals de Trévoux"; those immortal
works which teem with instruction to the race of man, and you will not
find a single line which throws a doubt on the history of Gargantua. It
was reserved for our own unfortunate age to produce monsters, who would
establish a frightful Pyrrhonism, under the pretence of requiring
evidence as nearly approaching to mathematical as the case will admit,
and of a devotion to reason, truth, and justice. What a pity! Oh, for a
single argument to confound them!

Gargantua founded the abbey of Thélème. The title deeds, it is true,
were never found; it never had any; but it exists, and produces an
income of ten thousand pieces of gold a year. The river Seine exists,
and is an eternal monument of the prodigious fountain from which
Gargantua supplied so noble a stream. Moreover, what will it cost you to
believe in him? Should you not take the safest side? Gargantua can
procure for you wealth, honors, and influence. Philosophy can only
bestow on you internal tranquillity and satisfaction, which you will of
course estimate as a trifle. Believe, then, I again repeat, in
Gargantua; if you possess the slightest portion of avarice, ambition, or
knavery, it is the wisest part you can adopt.



GAZETTE.


A narrative of public affairs. It was at the beginning of the
seventeenth century that this useful practice was suggested and
established at Venice, at the time when Italy still continued the centre
of European negotiations, and Venice was the unfailing asylum of
liberty. The leaves or sheets containing this narrative, which were
published once a week, were called "Gazettes," from the word "gazetta,"
the name of a small coin, amounting nearly to one of our demi-sous, then
current at Venice. The example was afterwards followed in all the great
cities of Europe.

Journals of this description have been established in China from time
immemorial. The "_Imperial Gazette_" is published there every day by
order of the court. Admitting this gazette to be true, we may easily
believe it does not contain all that is true; neither in fact should it
do so.

Théophraste Renaudot, a physician, published the first gazettes in
France in 1601, and he had an exclusive privilege for the publication,
which continued for a long time a patrimony to his family. The like
privilege became an object of importance at Amsterdam, and the greater
part of the gazettes of the United Provinces are still a source of
revenue to many of the families of magistrates, who pay writers for
furnishing materials for them. The city of London alone publishes more
than twelve gazettes in the course of a week. They can be printed only
upon stamped paper, and produce no inconsiderable income to the State.

The gazettes of China relate solely to that empire; those of the
different states of Europe embrace the affairs of all countries.
Although they frequently abound in false intelligence, they may
nevertheless be considered as supplying good material for history;
because, in general, the errors of each particular gazette are corrected
by subsequent ones, and because they contain authentic copies of almost
all state papers, which indeed are published in them by order of the
sovereigns or governments themselves. The French gazettes have always
been revised by the ministry. It is on this account that the writers of
them have always adhered to certain forms and designations, with a
strictness apparently somewhat inconsistent with the courtesies of
polished society, bestowing the title of monsieur only on some
particular descriptions of persons, and that of sieur upon others; the
authors having forgotten that they were not speaking in the name of
their king. These public journals, it must be added, to their praise,
have never been debased by calumny, and have always been written with
considerable correctness.

The case is very different with respect to foreign gazettes; those of
London, with the exception of the court gazette, abound frequently in
that coarseness and licentiousness of observation which the national
liberty allows. The French gazettes established in that country have
been seldom written with purity, and have sometimes been not a little
instrumental in corrupting the language. One of the greatest faults
which has found a way into them arises from the authors having concluded
that the ancient forms of expression used in public proclamations and in
judicial and political proceedings and documents in France, and with
which they were particularly conversant, were analogous to the regular
syntax of our language, and from their having accordingly imitated that
style in their narrative. This is like a Roman historian's using the
style of the law of the twelve tables.

In imitation of the political gazettes, literary ones began to be
published in France in 1665; for the first journals were, in fact,
simply advertisements of the works recently printed in Europe; to this
mere announcement of publication was soon added a critical examination
or review. Many authors were offended at it, notwithstanding its great
moderation.

We shall here speak only of those literary gazettes with which the
public, who were previously in possession of various journals from every
country in Europe in which the sciences were cultivated, were completely
overwhelmed. These gazettes appeared at Paris about the year 1723, under
many different names, as "The Parnassian Intelligencer," "Observations
on New Books," etc. The greater number of them were written for the
single purpose of making money; and as money is not to be made by
praising authors, these productions consisted generally of satire and
abuse. They often contained the most odious personalities, and for a
time sold in proportion to the virulence of their malignity; but reason
and good taste, which are always sure to prevail at last, consigned them
eventually to contempt and oblivion.



GENEALOGY.


SECTION I.

Many volumes have been written by learned divines in order to reconcile
St. Matthew with St. Luke on the subject of the genealogy of Jesus
Christ. The former enumerates only twenty-seven generations from David
through Solomon, while Luke gives forty-two, and traces the descent
through Nathan. The following is the method in which the learned Calmet
solves a difficulty relating to Melchizedek: The Orientals and the
Greeks, ever abounding in fable and invention, fabricated a genealogy
for him, in which they give us the names of his ancestors. But, adds
this judicious Benedictine, as falsehood always betrays itself, some
state his genealogy according to one series, and others according to
another. There are some who maintain that he descended from a race
obscure and degraded, and there are some who are disposed to represent
him as illegitimate.

This passage naturally applies to Jesus, of whom, according to the
apostle, Melchizedek was the type or figure. In fact, the gospel of
Nicomedes expressly states that the Jews, in the presence of Pilate,
reproached Jesus with being born of fornication; upon which the learned
Fabricius remarks, that it does not appear from any clear and credible
testimony that the Jews directed to Jesus Christ during His life, or
even to His apostles, that calumny respecting His birth which they so
assiduously and virulently circulated afterwards. The Acts of the
Apostles, however, inform us that the Jews of Antioch opposed
themselves, blaspheming against what Paul spoke to them concerning
Jesus; and Origen maintains that the passage in St. John's gospel "We
are not born of fornication, we have never been in subjection unto any
man" was an indirect reproach thrown out by the Jews against Jesus on
the subject of His birth. For, as this father informs us, they pretended
that Jesus was originally from a small hamlet of Judæa, and His mother
nothing more than a poor villager subsisting by her labor, who, having
been found guilty of adultery with a soldier of the name of Panther, was
turned away by her husband, whose occupation was that of a carpenter;
that, after this disgraceful expulsion, she wandered about miserably
from one place to another, and was privately delivered of Jesus, who,
pressed by the necessity of His circumstances, was compelled to go and
hire Himself as a servant in Egypt, where He acquired some of those
secrets which the Egyptians turn to so good an account, and then
returned to His own country, in which, full of the miracles He was
enabled to perform, He proclaimed Himself to be God.

According to a very old tradition, the name of Panther, which gave
occasion to the mistake of the Jews, was, as we are informed by St.
Epiphanius, the surname of Joseph's father, or rather, as is asserted by
St. John Damascene, the proper name of Mary's grandfather.

As to the situation of servant, with which Jesus was reproached, He
declares Himself that He came not to be served, but to serve. Zoroaster,
according to the Arabians, had in like manner been the servant of
Esdras. Epictetus was even born in servitude. Accordingly, St. Cyril of
Jerusalem justly observed that it is no disgrace to any man.

On the subject of the miracles, we learn indeed from Pliny that the
Egyptians had the secret of dyeing with different colors, stuffs which
were dipped in the very same furnace, and this is one of the miracles
which the gospel of the Infancy attributes to Jesus. But, according to
St. Chrysostom, Jesus performed no miracle before His baptism, and those
stated to have been wrought by Him before are absolute fabrications. The
reason assigned by this father for such an arrangement is, that the
wisdom of God determined against Christ's performing any miracles in His
childhood, lest they should have been regarded as impostures.

Epiphanius in vain alleges that to deny the miracles ascribed by some to
Jesus during His infancy, would furnish heretics with a specious pretext
for saying that He became Son of God only in consequence of the effusion
of the Holy Spirit, which descended upon Him at His baptism; we are
contending here, not against heretics, but against Jews.

Mr. Wagenseil has presented us with a Latin translation of a Jewish work
entitled "_Toldos Jeschu_," in which it is related that Jeschu, being at
Bethlehem in Judah, the place of his birth, cried out aloud, "Who are
the wicked men that pretend I am a bastard, and spring from an impure
origin? They are themselves bastards, themselves exceedingly impure! Was
I not born of a virgin mother? And I entered through the crown of her
head!"

This testimony appeared of such importance to M. Bergier, that that
learned divine felt no scruple about employing it without quoting his
authority. The following are his words, in the twenty-third page of the
"Certainty of the Proofs of Christianity": "Jesus was born of a virgin
by the operation of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Himself frequently assured us
of this with His own mouth; and to the same purpose is the recital of
the apostles." It is certain that these words are only to be found in
the "_Toldos Jeschu_"; and the certainty of that proof, among those
adduced by M. Bergier, subsists, although St. Matthew applies to Jesus
the passage of "Isaiah": "He shall not dispute, he shall not cry aloud,
and no one shall hear his voice in the streets."

According to St. Jerome, there was in like manner an ancient tradition
among the Gymnosophists of India, that Buddha, the author of their
creed, was born of a virgin, who was delivered of him from her side. In
the same manner was born Julius Cæsar, Scipio Africanus, Manlius, Edward
VI. of England, and others, by means of an operation called by surgeons
the Cæsarian operation, because it consists in abstracting the child
from the womb by an incision in the abdomen of the mother. Simon,
surnamed the Magician, and Manes both pretended to have been born of
virgins. This might, however, merely mean, that their mothers were
virgins at the time of conceiving them. But in order to be convinced of
the uncertainty attending the marks and evidences of virginity, it will
be perfectly sufficient to read the commentary of M. de Pompignan, the
celebrated bishop of Puy en Velai, on the following passage in the Book
of Proverbs: "There are three things which are too wonderful for me,
yea, four which I know not. The way of an eagle in the air, the way of a
serpent upon a rock, the way of a ship in the midst of the sea, and the
way of a man in his youth." In order to give a literal translation of
the passage, according to this prelate (in the third chapter of the
second part of his work entitled "Infidelity Convinced by the
Prophecies"), it would have been necessary to say, "_Viam viri in
virgine adolescentula_"--The way of a man with a maid. The translation
of our Vulgate, says he, substitutes another meaning, exact indeed and
true, but less conformable to the original text. In short, he
corroborates his curious interpretation by the analogy between this
verse and the following one: "Such is the life of the adulterous woman,
who, after having eaten, wipeth her mouth and saith, I have done no
wickedness."

However this may be, the virginity of Mary was not generally admitted,
even at the beginning of the third century. "Many have entertained the
opinion and do still," said St. Clement of Alexandria, "that Mary was
delivered of a son without that delivery producing any change in her
person; for some say that a midwife who visited her after the birth
found her to retain all the marks of virginity." It is clear that St.
Clement refers here to the gospel of the conception of Mary, in which
the angel Gabriel says to her, "Without intercourse with man, thou, a
virgin, shalt conceive, thou, a virgin, shalt be delivered of a child,
thou, a virgin, shalt give suck"; and also to the first gospel of James,
in which the midwife exclaims, "What an unheard-of wonder! Mary has just
brought a son into the world, and yet retains all the evidences of
virginity." These two gospels were, nevertheless, subsequently rejected
as apocryphal, although on this point they were conformable to the
opinion adopted by the church; the scaffolding was removed after the
building was completed.

What is added by Jeschu--"I entered by the crown of the head"--was
likewise the opinion held by the church. The Breviary of the Maronites
represents the word of the Father as having entered by the ear of the
blessed woman. St. Augustine and Pope Felix say expressly that the
virgin became pregnant through the ear. St. Ephrem says the same in a
hymn, and Voisin, his translator, observes that the idea came originally
from Gregory of Neocæsarea, surnamed Thaumaturgos. Agobar relates that
in his time the church sang in the time of public service: "The Word
entered through the ear of the virgin, and came out at the golden gate."
Eutychius speaks also of Elian, who attended at the Council of Nice, and
who said that the Word entered by the ear of the virgin, and came out
in the way of childbirth. This Elian was a rural bishop, whose name
occurs in Selden's published Arabic List of Fathers who attended the
Council of Nice.

It is well known that the Jesuit Sanchez gravely discussed the question
whether the Virgin Mary contributed seminally in the incarnation of
Christ, and that, like other divines before him, he concluded in the
affirmative. But these extravagances of a prurient and depraved
imagination should be classed with the opinion of Aretin, who introduces
the Holy Spirit on this occasion effecting his purpose under the figure
of a dove; as mythology describes Jupiter to have succeeded with Leda in
the form of a swan, or as the most eminent authors of the church--St.
Austin, Athenagoras, Tertullian, St. Clement of Alexandria, St. Cyprian,
Lactantius, St. Ambrose--and others believed, after Philo and Josephus,
the historian, who were Jews, that angels had associated with the
daughters of men, and engaged in sexual connection with them. St.
Augustine goes so far as to charge the Manichæans with teaching, as a
part of their religious persuasion, that beautiful young persons
appeared in a state of nature before the princes of darkness, or evil
angels, and deprived them of the vital substance which that father calls
the nature of God. Herodius is still more explicit, and says that the
divine majesty escaped through the productive organs of demons.

It is true that all these fathers believed angels to be corporeal. But,
after the works of Plato had established the idea of their spirituality,
the ancient opinion of a corporeal union between angels and women was
explained by the supposition that the same angel who, in a woman's form,
had received the embraces of a man, in turn held communication with a
woman, in the character of a man. Divines, by the terms "incubus" and
"succubus," designate the different parts thus performed by angels.
Those who are curious on the subject of these offensive and revolting
reveries may see further details in "Various Readings of the Book of
Genesis," by Otho Gualter; "Magical Disquisitions," by Delvis, and the
"Discourses on Witchcraft," by Henry Boguet.


SECTION II.

No genealogy, even although reprinted in Moréri, approaches that of
Mahomet or Mahommed, the son of Abdallah, the son of Abd'all Montaleb,
the son of Ashem; which Mahomet was, in his younger days, groom of the
widow Khadijah, then her factor, then her husband, then a prophet of
God, then condemned to be hanged, then conqueror and king of Arabia; and
who finally died an enviable death, satiated with glory and with love.

The German barons do not trace back their origin beyond Witikind; and
our modern French marquises can scarcely any of them show deeds and
patents of an earlier date than Charlemagne. But the race of Mahomet, or
Mohammed, which still exists, has always exhibited a genealogical tree,
of which the trunk is Adam, and of which the branches reach from Ishmael
down to the nobility and gentry who at the present day bear the high
title of cousins of Mahomet.

There is no difficulty about this genealogy, no dispute among the
learned, no false calculations to be rectified, no contradictions to
palliate, no impossibilities to be made possible.

Your pride cavils against the authenticity of these titles. You tell me
that you are descended from Adam as well as the greatest prophet, if
Adam was the common father of our race; but that this same Adam was
never known by any person, not even by the ancient Arabs themselves;
that the name has never been cited except in the books of the Jews; and
that, consequently, you take the liberty of writing down _false_ against
the high and noble claims of Mahomet, or Mohammed.

You add that, in any case, if there has been a first man, whatever his
name might be, you are a descendant from him as decidedly as Khadijah's
illustrious groom; and that, if there has been no first man, if the
human race always existed, as so many of the learned pretend, then you
are clearly a gentleman from all eternity.

In answer to this you are told that you are a plebeian (_roturier_) from
all eternity, unless you can produce a regular and complete set of
parchments.

You reply that men are equal; that one race cannot be more ancient than
another; that parchments, with bits of wax dangling to them, are a
recent invention; that there is no reason that compels you to yield to
the family of Mahomet, or to that of Confucius; or to that of the
emperors of Japan; or to the royal secretaries of the grand college. Nor
can I oppose your opinion by arguments, physical, metaphysical, or
moral. You think yourself equal to the dairo of Japan, and I entirely
agree with you. All that I would advise you is, that if ever you meet
with him, you take good care to be the stronger.



GENESIS.


The sacred writer having conformed himself to the ideas generally
received, and being indeed obliged not to deviate from them, as without
such condescension to the weakness and ignorance of those whom he
addressed, he would not have been understood, it only remains for us to
make some observations on the natural philosophy prevailing in those
early periods; for, with respect to theology, we reverence it, we
believe in it, and never either dispute or discuss it.

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Thus has the
original passage been translated, but the translation is not correct.
There is no one, however slightly informed upon the subject, who is not
aware that the real meaning of the word is, "In the beginning the gods
made _firent_ or _fit_ the heaven and the earth." This reading,
moreover, perfectly corresponds with the ancient idea of the
Phœnicians, who imagined that, in reducing the chaos (_chautereb_)
into order, God employed the agency of inferior deities.

The Phœnicians had been long a powerful people, having a theogony of
their own, before the Hebrews became possessed of a few cantons of land
near their territory. It is extremely natural to suppose that when the
Hebrews had at length formed a small establishment near Phœnicia,
they began to acquire its language. At that time their writers might,
and probably did, borrow the ancient philosophy of their masters. Such
is the regular march of the human mind.

At the time in which Moses is supposed to have lived, were the
Phœnician philosophers sufficiently enlightened to regard the earth
as a mere point in the compass with the infinite orbs placed by God in
the immensity of space, commonly called heaven? The idea so very
ancient, and at the same time so utterly false, that heaven was made for
earth, almost always prevailed in the minds of the great mass of the
people. It would certainly be just as correct and judicious for any
person to suppose, if told that God created all the mountains and a
single grain of sand, that the mountains were created for that grain of
sand. It is scarcely possible that the Phœnicians, who were such
excellent navigators, should not have had some good astronomers; but
the old prejudices generally prevailed, and those old prejudices were
very properly spared and indulged by the author of the Book of Genesis,
who wrote to instruct men in the ways of God, and not in natural
philosophy.

"The earth was without form (_tohu bohu_) and void; darkness rested upon
the face of the deep, and the spirit of God moved upon the surface of
the waters."

_Tohu bohu_ means precisely chaos, disorder. It is one of those
imitative words which are to be found in all languages; as, for example,
in the French we have _sens dessus dessous, tintamarre, trictrac,
tonnerre, bombe_. The earth was not as yet formed in its present state;
the matter existed, but the divine power had not yet arranged it. The
spirit of God means literally the breath, the wind, which agitated the
waters. The same idea occurs in the "Fragments" of the Phœnician
author Sanchoniathon. The Phœnicians, like every other people,
believed matter to be eternal. There is not a single author of antiquity
who ever represented something to have been produced from nothing. Even
throughout the whole Bible, no passage is to be found in which matter is
said to have been created out of nothing. Not, however, that we mean to
controvert the truth of such creation. It was, nevertheless, a truth not
known by the carnal Jews.

On the question of the eternity of the world, mankind has always been
divided, but never on that of the eternity of matter. From nothing,
nothing can proceed, nor into nothing can aught existent return. _"De
nihilo nihilum, et in nihilum nil posse gigni reverti."_ (_Persius; Sat.
iii._) Such was the opinion of all antiquity.

"God said let there be light, and there was light; and he saw that the
light was good, and he divided the light from the darkness; and he
called the light day, and the darkness night; and the evening and the
morning were the first day. And God said also, let there be a firmament
in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the
waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were
under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament. And
God called the firmament heaven. And the evening and the morning were
the second day.... And he saw that it was good."

We begin with examining whether Huet, bishop of Avranches, Leclerc, and
some other commentators, are not in the right in opposing the idea of
those who consider this passage as exhibiting the most sublime
eloquence.

Eloquence is not aimed at in any history written by the Jews. The style
of the passage in question, like that of all the rest of the work,
possesses the most perfect simplicity. If an orator, intending to give
some idea of the power of God, employed for that purpose the short and
simple expression we are considering, "He said, let there be light, and
there was light," it would then be sublime. Exactly similar is the
passage in one of the Psalms, "_Dixit, et facta sunt_"--"He spake, and
they were made." It is a trait which, being unique in this place, and
introduced purposely in order to create a majestic image, elevates and
transports the mind. But, in the instance under examination, the
narrative is of the most simple character. The Jewish writer is speaking
of light just in the same unambitious manner as of other objects of
creation; he expresses himself equally and regularly after every
article, "and God saw that it was good." Everything is sublime in the
course or act of creation, unquestionably, but the creation of light is
no more so than that of the herbs of the field; the sublime is something
which soars far from the rest, whereas all is equal throughout the
chapter.

But further, it was another very ancient opinion that light did not
proceed from the sun. It was seen diffused throughout the atmosphere,
before the rising and after the setting of that star; the sun was
supposed merely to give it greater strength and clearness; accordingly
the author of Genesis accommodates himself to this popular error, and
even states the creation of the sun and moon not to have taken place
until four days after the existence of light. It was impossible that
there could be a morning and evening before the existence of a sun. The
inspired writer deigned, in this instance, to condescend to the gross
and wild ideas of the nation. The object of God was not to teach the
Jews philosophy. He might have raised their minds to the truth, but he
preferred descending to their error. This solution can never be too
frequently repeated.

The separation of the light from the darkness is a part of the same
system of philosophy. It would seem that night and day were mixed up
together, as grains of different species which are easily separable from
each other. It is sufficiently known that darkness is nothing but the
absence of light, and that there is in fact no light when our eyes
receive no sensation of it; but at that period these truths were far
from being known.

The idea of a firmament, again, is of the very highest antiquity. The
heavens are imagined to be a solid mass, because they always exhibited
the same phenomena. They rolled over our heads, they were therefore
constituted of the most solid materials. Who could suppose that the
exhalations from the land and sea supplied the water descending from the
clouds, or compute their corresponding quantities? No Halley then lived
to make so curious a calculation. The heavens therefore were conceived
to contain reservoirs. These reservoirs could be supported only on a
strong arch, and as this arch of heaven was actually transparent, it
must necessarily have been made of crystal. In order that the waters
above might descend from it upon the earth, sluices, cataracts, and
floodgates were necessary, which might be opened and shut as
circumstances required. Such was the astronomy of the day; and, as the
author wrote for Jews, it was incumbent upon him to adopt their gross
ideas, borrowed from other people somewhat less gross than themselves.

"God also made two great lights, one to rule the day, the other the
night; He also made the stars."

It must be admitted that we perceive throughout the same ignorance of
nature. The Jews did not know that the moon shone only with a reflected
light. The author here speaks of stars as of mere luminous points, such
as they appear, although they are in fact so many suns, having each of
them worlds revolving round it. The Holy Spirit, then, accommodated
Himself to the spirit of the times. If He had said that the sun was a
million times larger than the earth, and the moon fifty times smaller,
no one would have comprehended Him. They appear to us two stars of
nearly equal size.

"God said, also, let us make man in our own image, and let him have
dominion over the fishes."

What meaning did the Jews attach to the expression, "let us make man in
our own image?" The same as all antiquity attached to it: "_Finxit in
effigiem moderantum cuncta deorum._" (Ovid, Metam. i. 82.)

No images are made but of bodies. No nation ever imagined a God without
body, and it is impossible to represent Him otherwise. We may indeed say
that God is nothing that we are acquainted with, but we can have no
idea of what He is. The Jews invariably conceived God to be corporeal,
as well as every other people. All the first fathers of the Church,
also, entertained the same belief till they had embraced the ideas of
Plato, or rather until the light of Christianity became more pure.

"He created them male and female." If God, of the secondary or inferior
gods, created mankind, male and female, after their own likeness, it
would seem in that case, as if the Jews believed that God and the gods
who so formed them were male and female. It has been a subject of
discussion, whether the author means to say that man had originally two
sexes, or merely that God made Adam and Eve on the same day. The most
natural meaning is that God formed Adam and Eve at the same time; but
this interpretation involves an absolute contradiction to the statement
of the woman's being made out of the rib of man after the seven days
were concluded.

"And he rested on the seventh day." The Phœnicians, Chaldæans, and
Indians, represented God as having made the world in six periods, which
the ancient Zoroaster calls the six "Gahanbars," so celebrated among the
Persians.

It is beyond all question that these nations possessed a theology before
the Jews inhabited the deserts of Horeb and Sinai, and before they could
possibly have had any writers. Many writers have considered it probable
that the allegory of six days was imitated from that of the six
periods. God may have permitted the idea to have prevailed in large and
populous empires before he inspired the Jewish people with it. He had
undoubtedly permitted other people to invent the arts before the Jews
were in possession of any one of them.

"From this pleasant place a river went out which watered the garden, and
thence it was divided into four rivers. One was called Pison, which
compassed the whole land of Havilah, whence cometh gold.... the second
was called Gihon and surrounds Ethiopia.... the third is the Tigris, and
the fourth the Euphrates."

According to this version, the earthly paradise would have contained
nearly a third part of Asia and of Africa. The sources of the Euphrates
and the Tigris are sixty leagues distant from each other, in frightful
mountains, bearing no possible resemblance to a garden. The river which
borders Ethiopia, and which can be no other than the Nile, commences its
course at the distance of more than a thousand leagues from the sources
of the Tigris and Euphrates; and, if the Pison means the Phasis, it is
not a little surprising that the source of a Scythian river and that of
an African one should be situated on the same spot. We must therefore
look for some other explanation, and for other rivers. Every commentator
has got up a paradise of his own.

It has been said that the Garden of Eden resembles the gardens of Eden
at Saana in Arabia Felix, celebrated throughout all antiquity; that the
Hebrews, a very recent people, might be an Arabian horde, and assume to
themselves the honor of the most beautiful spot in the finest district
of Arabia; and that they have always converted to their own purposes the
ancient traditions of the vast and powerful nations in the midst of whom
they were in bondage. They were not, however, on this account, the less
under the divine protection and guidance.

"The Lord then took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden that he
might cultivate it." It is very respectable and pleasant for a man to
"cultivate his garden," but it must have been somewhat difficult for
Adam to have dressed and kept in order a garden of a thousand leagues in
length, even although he had been supplied with some assistants.
Commentators on this subject, therefore, we again observe, are
completely at a loss, and must be content to exercise their ingenuity in
conjecture. Accordingly, these four rivers have been described as
flowing through numberless different territories.

"Eat not of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil." It is
not easy to conceive that there ever existed a tree which could teach
good and evil, as there are trees that bear pears and apricots. And
besides the question is asked, why is God unwilling that man should know
good and evil? Would not his free access to this knowledge, on the
contrary, appear--if we may venture to use such language--more
worthy of God, and far more necessary to man? To our weak reason it
would seem more natural and proper for God to command him to eat largely
of such fruit; but we must bring our reason under subjection, and
acquiesce with humility and simplicity in the conclusion that God is to
be obeyed.

[Illustration: THE TEMPTATION OF ADAM]

"If thou shalt eat thereof, thou shalt die." Nevertheless, Adam ate of
it and did not die; on the contrary, he is stated to have lived on for
nine hundred and thirty years. Many of the fathers considered the whole
matter as an allegory. In fact, it might be said that all other animals
have no knowledge that they shall die, but that man, by means of his
reason, has such knowledge. This reason is the tree of knowledge which
enables him to foresee his end. This, perhaps, is the most rational
interpretation that can be given. We venture not to decide positively.

"The Lord said, also, it is not good for man to be alone; let us make
him a helpmeet for him." We naturally expect that the Lord is about to
bestow on him a wife; but first he conducts before him all the various
tribes of animals. Perhaps the copyist may have committed here an error
of transposition.

"And the name which Adam gave to every animal is its true name." What we
should naturally understand by the true name of an animal, would be a
name describing all, or at least, the principal properties of its
species. But this is not the case in any language. In each there are
some imitative words, as "_coq_" and "_cocu_" in the Celtic, which bear
some slight similarity to the notes of the cock and the cuckoo;
_tintamarre, trictrac_, in French; _alali_, in Greek; _lupus_, in Latin,
etc. But these imitative words are exceedingly few. Moreover, if Adam
had thus thoroughly known the properties of various animals, he must
either have previously eaten of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, or
it would apparently have answered no end for God to have interdicted him
from it. He must have already known more than the Royal Society of
London, and the Academy of the Sciences.

It may be remarked that this is the first time the name of Adam occurs
in the Book of Genesis. The first man, according to the ancient
Brahmins, who were prodigiously anterior to the Jews, was called Adimo,
a son of the earth, and his wife, Procris, life. This is recorded in the
Vedas, in the history of the second formation of the world. Adam and Eve
expressed perfectly the same meanings in the Phoenician language--a new
evidence of the Holy Spirit's conforming Himself to commonly received
ideas.

"When Adam was asleep God took one of his ribs and put flesh instead
thereof; and of the rib which he had taken from Adam he formed a woman,
and he brought the woman to Adam."

In the previous chapter the Lord had already created the male and the
female; why, therefore, remove a rib from the man to form out of it a
woman who was already in being? It is answered that the author barely
announces in the one case what he explains in another. It is answered
further that this allegory places the wife in subjection to her husband,
and expresses their intimate union. Many persons have been led to
imagine from this verse that men have one rib less than women; but this
is a heresy, and anatomy informs us that a wife has no more ribs than
her husband.

"But the serpent was more subtle than all animals on the earth; he said
to the woman," etc. Throughout the whole of this article there is no
mention made of the devil. Everything in it relates to the usual course
of nature. The serpent was considered by all oriental nations, not only
as the most cunning of all animals, but likewise as immortal. The
Chaldæans had a fable concerning a quarrel between God and the serpent,
and this fable had been preserved by Pherecydes. Origen cites it in his
sixth book against Celsus. A serpent was borne in procession at the
feasts of Bacchus. The Egyptians, according to the statement of Eusebius
in the first book of the tenth chapter of his "Evangelical Preparation,"
attached a sort of divinity to the serpent. In Arabia, India, and even
China, the serpent was regarded as a symbol of life; and hence it was
that the emperors of China, long before the time of Moses, always bore
upon their breast the image of a serpent.

Eve expresses no astonishment at the serpent's speaking to her. In all
ancient histories, animals have spoken; hence Pilpay and Lokman excited
no surprise by their introduction of animals conversing and disputing.

The whole of this affair appears so clearly to have been supposed in the
natural course of events, and so unconnected with anything allegorical,
that the narrative assigns a reason why the serpent, from that time, has
moved creeping on its belly, why we always are eager to crush it under
our feet, and why it always attempts--at least according to the popular
belief--to bite and wound us. Precisely as, with respect to presumed
changes affecting certain animals recorded in ancient fable, reasons
were stated why the crow which originally had been white is at the
present day black; why the owl quits his gloomy retreat only by night;
why the wolf is devoted to carnage. The fathers, however, believed the
affair to be an allegory at once clear and venerable. The safest way is
to believe like them.

"I will multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow shalt thou
bring forth children. Thou shalt be under the power of the man, and he
shall rule over thee." Why, it is asked, should the multiplication of
conception be a punishment? It was, on the contrary, says the objector,
esteemed a superior blessing, particularly among the Jews. The pains of
childbirth are inconsiderable, in all except very weak or delicate
women. Those accustomed to labor are delivered, particularly in warm
climates, with great ease. Brutes frequently experience greater
suffering from this process of nature: some even die under it. And with
respect to the superiority or dominion of the man over the woman, it is
merely in the natural course of events; it is the effect of strength of
body, and even of strength of mind. Men, generally speaking, possess
organs more capable of continued attention than women, and are better
fitted by nature for labors both of the head and arm. But when a woman
possesses both a hand and a mind more powerful than her husband's, she
everywhere possesses the dominion over him; it is then the husband that
is under subjection to the wife. There is certainly truth in these
remarks; but it might, nevertheless, very easily be the fact that,
before the commission of the original sin, neither subjection nor sorrow
existed.

"The Lord made for them coats of skins." This passage decidedly proves
that the Jews believed God to be corporeal. A rabbi, of the name of
Eliezer, stated in his works that God clothed Adam and Eve with the skin
of the very serpent who had tempted them; and Origen maintains that this
coat of skins was a new flesh, a new body, which God conferred on man.
It is far better to adhere respectfully to the literal texts.

"And the Lord said; Lo! Adam is become like one of us." It seems as if
the Jews admitted, originally, many gods. It is somewhat more difficult
to determine what they meant by the word "God," _Elohim_. Some
commentators have contended that the expression "one of us" signifies
the Trinity. But certainly there is nothing relating to the Trinity
throughout the Bible. The Trinity is not a compound of many or several
Gods: it is one and the same god threefold; and the Jews never heard the
slightest mention of one god in three persons. By the words "like us,"
or "as one of us," it is probable that the Jews understood the angels,
_Elohim_. It is this passage which has induced many learned men very
rashly to conclude that this book was not written until that people had
adopted the belief of those inferior gods. But this opinion has been
condemned.

"The Lord sent him forth from the garden of Eden to cultivate the
ground." "But," it is remarked by some, "the Lord had placed him in the
garden of Eden to _cultivate_ that garden." If Adam, instead of being a
gardener, merely becomes a laborer, his situation, they observe, is not
made very much worse by the change. A good laborer is well worth a good
gardener. These remarks must be regarded as too light and frivolous. It
appears more judicious to say that God punished disobedience by
banishing the offender from the place of his nativity.

The whole of this history, generally speaking--according to the opinion
of liberal, not to say licentious, commentators--proceeds upon the idea
which has prevailed in every past age, and still exists, that the first
times were better and happier than those which followed. Men have
always complained of the present and extolled the past. Pressed down by
the labors of life, they have imagined happiness to consist in
inactivity, not considering that the most unhappy of all states is that
of a man who has nothing to do. They felt themselves frequently
miserable, and framed in their imaginations an ideal period in which all
the world had been happy; although it might be just as naturally and
truly supposed that there had existed times in which no tree decayed and
perished, in which no beast was weak, diseased, or devoured by another,
and in which spiders did not prey upon flies. Hence the idea of the
golden age; of the egg pierced by Arimanes; of the serpent who stole
from the ass the recipe for obtaining a happy and immortal life, which
the man had placed upon his pack-saddle; of the conflict between Typhon
and Osiris, and between Opheneus and the gods; of the famous box of
Pandora; and of all those ancient tales, of which some are ingenious,
but none instructive. But we are bound to believe that the fables of
other nations are imitations of the Hebrew history, since we possess the
ancient history of the Hebrews, and the early books of other nations are
nearly all destroyed. Besides the testimonies in favor of the Book of
Genesis are irrefragable.

"And He placed before the garden of Eden a cherub with a flaming sword,
which turned all round to guard the way to the tree of life." The word
"_kerub_" signifies _ox_. An ox armed with a flaming sword is rather a
singular exhibition, it is said, before a portal. But the Jews
afterwards represented angels under the form of oxen and hawks although
they were forbidden to make any images. They evidently derived these
emblems of oxen and hawks from the Egyptians, whom they imitated in so
many other things. The Egyptians first venerated the ox as the emblem of
agriculture, and the hawk as that of the winds; but they never converted
the ox into a sentinel. It is probably an allegory; and the Jews by
"_kerub_" understood nature. It was a symbol formed of the head of an
ox, the head and body of a man, and the wings of a hawk.

"And the Lord set a mark upon Cain." What Lord? says the infidel. He
accepts the offering of Abel, and rejects that of his elder brother,
without the least reason being assigned for the distinction. By this
proceeding the Lord was the cause of animosity between the two brothers.
We are presented in this piece of history, it is true, with a moral,
however humiliating, lesson; a lesson to be derived from all the fables
of antiquity, that scarcely had the race of man commenced the career of
existence, before one brother assassinates another. But what the sages,
of this world consider contrary to everything moral, to everything just,
to all the principles of common sense, is that God, who inflicted
eternal damnation on the race of man, and useless crucifixion on His own
son, on account merely of the eating of an apple, should absolutely
pardon a fratricide! nay, that He should more than pardon, that He
should take the offender under His peculiar protection! He declares that
whoever shall avenge the murder of Abel shall experience sevenfold the
punishment that Cain might have suffered. He puts a mark upon him as a
safeguard. Here, continue these vile blasphemers, here is a fable as
execrable as it is absurd. It is the raving of some wretched Jew, who
wrote those infamous and revolting fooleries, in imitation of the tales
so greedily swallowed by the neighboring population in Syria. This
senseless Jew attributes these atrocious reveries to Moses, at a time
when nothing was so rare as books. That fatality, which affects and
disposes of everything, has handed down this contemptible production to
our own times. Knaves have extolled it, and fools have believed it. Such
is the language of a tribe of theists, who, while they adore a God, dare
to condemn the God of Israel; and who judge of the conduct of the
eternal Deity by the rules of our own imperfect morality, and erroneous
justice. They admit a God, to subject Him to our laws. Let us guard
against such rashness; and, once again it must be repeated, let us
revere what we cannot comprehend. Let us cry out, _O Altitudo_! O the
height and depth! with all our strength.

"The gods Elohim, seeing the daughters of men that they were fair, took
for wives those whom they chose." This imagination, again, may be traced
in the history of every people. No nation has ever existed, unless
perhaps we may except China, in which some god is not described as
having had offspring from women. These corporeal gods frequently
descended to visit their dominions upon earth; they saw the daughters of
our race, and attached themselves to those who were most interesting and
beautiful: the issue of this connection between gods and mortals must of
course have been superior to other men; accordingly, Genesis informs us
that from the association it mentions, of the gods with women, sprang a
race of giants.

"I will bring a deluge of waters upon the earth." I will merely observe
here that St. Augustine, in his "City of God," No. 8, says, "_Maximum
illud diluvium Græca nec Latina novit historia_"--neither Greek nor
Latin history knows anything about the great deluge. In fact, none had
ever been known in Greece but those of Deucalion and Ogyges. They are
regarded as universal in the fables collected by Ovid, but are wholly
unknown in eastern Asia. St. Augustine, therefore, is not mistaken, in
saying that history makes no mention of this event.

"God said to Noah, I will make a covenant with you, and with your seed
after you, and with all living creatures." God make a covenant with
beasts! What sort of a covenant? Such is the outcry of infidels. But if
He makes a covenant with man, why not with the beast? It has feeling,
and there is something as divine in feeling as in the most metaphysical
meditation. Besides, beasts feel more correctly than the greater part of
men think. It is clearly in virtue of this treaty that Francis d'Assisi,
the founder of the Seraphic order, said to the grasshoppers and the
hares, "Pray sing, my dear sister grasshopper; pray browse, my dear
brother hare." But what were the conditions of the treaty? That all
animals should devour one another; that they should feed upon our flesh,
and we upon theirs; that, after having eaten them, we should proceed
with wrath and fury to the extermination of our own race--nothing being
then wanting to crown the horrid series of butchery and cruelty, but
devouring our fellow-men, after having thus remorselessly destroyed
them. Had there been actually such a treaty as this it could have been
entered into only with the devil.

Probably the meaning of the whole passage is neither more nor less than
that God is equally the absolute master of everything that breathes.
This pact can be nothing more than an order, and the word "covenant" is
used merely as more emphatic and impressive; we should not therefore be
startled and offended at the words, but adore the spirit, and direct our
minds back to the period in which this book was written--a book of
scandal to the weak, but of edification to the strong.

"And I will put my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of my
covenant." Observe that the author does not say, I _have_ put my bow in
the clouds; he says, I _will_ put: this clearly implies it to have been
the prevailing opinion that there had not always been a rainbow. This
phenomenon is necessarily produced by rain; yet in this place it is
represented as something supernatural, exhibited in order to announce
and prove that the earth should no more be inundated. It is singular to
choose the certain sign of rain, in order to assure men against their
being drowned. But it may also be replied that in any danger of
inundation, we have the cheering security of the rainbow.

"But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of
Adam had built, and he said, 'Behold a people which have but one
language. They have begun to do this, and they will not desist until
they have completed it. Come, then, let us go and confound their
language, that no one may understand his neighbor.'" Observe here, that
the sacred writer always continues to conform to the popular opinions.
He always speaks of God as of a man who endeavors to inform himself of
what is passing, who is desirous of seeing with his own eyes what is
going on in his dominions, who calls together his council in order to
deliberate with them.

"And Abraham having divided his men--who were three hundred and eighteen
in number--fell upon the five kings, and pursued them unto Hoba, on the
left hand of Damascus." From the south bank of the lake of Sodom to
Damascus was a distance of eighty leagues, not to mention crossing the
mountains Libanus and Anti-Libanus. Infidels smile and triumph at such
exaggeration. But as the Lord favored Abraham, nothing was in fact
exaggerated.

"And two angels arrived at Sodom at even." The whole history of these
two angels, whom the inhabitants of Sodom wished to violate, is perhaps
the most extraordinary in the records of all antiquity. But it must be
considered that almost all Asia believed in the existence of the
demoniacal incubus and succubus; and moreover, that these two angels
were creatures more perfect than mankind, and must have possessed more
beauty to stimulate their execrable tendencies. It is possible that the
passage may be only meant as a rhetorical figure to express the
atrocious depravity of Sodom and Gomorrah. It is not without the
greatest diffidence that we suggest to the learned this solution.

As to Lot, who proposes to the people of Sodom the substitution of his
two daughters in the room of the angels; and his wife, who was changed
into a statue of salt, and all the rest of that history, what shall we
venture to say? The old Arabian tale of Kinyras and Myrrha has some
resemblance to the incest of Lot with his daughters; and the adventure
of Philemon and Baucis is somewhat similar to the case of the two angels
who appeared to Lot and his wife. With respect to the statue of salt, we
know not where to find any resemblance; perhaps in the history of
Orpheus and Eurydice.

Many ingenious men are of opinion, with the great Newton and the learned
Leclerc that the Pentateuch was written by Samuel when the Jews had a
little knowledge of reading and writing, and that all these histories
are imitations of Syrian fables.

But it is enough that all this is in the Holy Scripture to induce us to
reverence it, without attempting to find out in this book anything
besides what is written by the Holy Spirit. Let us always recollect that
those times were not like our times; and let us not fail to repeat,
after so many great men, that the Old Testament is a true history; and
that all that has been written differing from it by the rest of the
world is fabulous.

Some critics have contended that all the incredible passages in the
canonical books, which scandalize weak minds, ought to be suppressed;
but it has been observed in answer that those critics had bad hearts,
and ought to be burned at the stake; and that it is impossible to be a
good man without believing that the people of Sodom wanted to violate
two angels. Such is the reasoning of a species of monsters who wish to
lord it over the understandings of mankind.

It is true that many eminent fathers of the Church have had the prudence
to turn all these histories into allegories, after the example of the
Jews, and particularly of Philo. The popes, more discreet, have
endeavored to prevent the translation of these books into the vulgar
tongue, lest some men should in consequence be led to think and judge,
about what was proposed to them only to adore.

We are certainly justified in concluding hence, that those who
thoroughly understand this book should tolerate those who do not
understand it at all; for if the latter understand nothing of it, it is
not their own fault: on the other hand, those who comprehend nothing
that it contains should tolerate those who comprehend everything in it.

Learned and ingenious men, full of their own talents and acquirements,
have maintained that it is impossible that Moses could have written the
Book of Genesis. One of their principal reasons is that in the history
of Abraham that patriarch is stated to have paid for a cave which he
purchased for the interment of his wife, in silver coin, and the king of
Gerar is said to have given Sarah a thousand pieces of silver when he
restored her, after having carried her off for her beauty at the age of
seventy-five. They inform us that they have consulted all the ancient
authors, and that it appears very certain that at the period mentioned
silver money was not in existence. But these are evidently mere cavils,
as the Church has always firmly believed Moses to have been the author
of the Pentateuch. They strengthen all the doubts suggested by
Aben-Ezra, and Baruch Spinoza. The physician Astruc, father-in-law of
the comptroller-general Silhouette, in his book--now become very
scarce--called "Conjectures on the Book of Genesis," adds some
objections, inexplicable undoubtedly to human learning, but not so to a
humble and submissive piety. The learned, many of them, contradict every
line, but the devout consider every line sacred. Let us dread falling
into the misfortune of believing and trusting to our reason; but let us
bring ourselves into subjection in understanding as well as in heart.

"And Abraham said that Sarah was his sister, and the king of Gerar took
her for himself." We admit, as we have said under the article on
"Abraham," that Sarah was at this time ninety years of age, that she had
been already carried away by a king of Egypt, and that a king of this
same horrid wilderness of Gerar, likewise, many years afterwards,
carried away the wife of Isaac, Abraham's son. We have also spoken of
his servant, Hagar, who bore him a son, and of the manner in which the
patriarch sent her and her son away. It is well known how infidels
triumph on the subject of all these histories, with what a disdainful
smile they speak of them, and that they place the story of one Abimelech
falling in love with Sarah whom Abraham had passed off as his sister,
and of another Abimelech falling in love with Rebecca, whom Isaac also
passes as his sister, even beneath the thousand and one nights of the
Arabian fables. We cannot too often remark that the great error of all
these learned critics is their wishing to try everything by the test of
our feeble reason, and to judge of the ancient Arabs as they judge of
the courts of France or of England.

"And the soul of Shechem, King Hamor's son, was bound up with the soul
of Dinah, and he soothed her grief by his tender caresses, and he went
to Hamor his father, and said to him, give me that woman to be my wife."

Here our critics exclaim in terms of stronger disgust than ever. "What!"
say they; "the son of a king is desirous to marry a vagabond girl;" the
marriage is celebrated; Jacob the father, and Dinah the daughter, are
loaded with presents; the king of Shechem deigns to receive those
wandering robbers called patriarchs within his city; he has the
incredible politeness or kindness to undergo, with his son, his court,
and his people, the rite of circumcision, thus condescending to the
superstition of a petty horde that could not call half a league of
territory their own! And in return for this astonishing hospitality and
goodness, how do our holy patriarchs act? They wait for the day when the
process of circumcision generally induces fever, when Simeon and Levi
run through the whole city with poniards in their hands and massacre the
king, the prince his son, and all the inhabitants. We are precluded from
the horror appropriate to this infernal counterpart of the tragedy of
St. Bartholomew, only by a sense of its absolute impossibility. It is an
abominable romance; but it is evidently a ridiculous romance. It is
impossible that two men could have slaughtered in quiet the whole
population of a city. The people might suffer in a slight degree from
the operation which had preceded, but notwithstanding this, they would
have risen in self-defence against two diabolical miscreants; they would
have instantly assembled, would have surrounded them, and destroyed them
with the summary and complete vengeance merited by their atrocity.

But there is a still more palpable impossibility. It is, that according
to the accurate computation of time, Dinah, this daughter of Jacob,
could be only three years old; and that, even by forcing up chronology
as far as possible in favor of the narrative, she could at the very most
be only five. It is here, then, that we are assailed with bursts of
indignant exclamation! "What!" it is said, "what! is it this book, the
book of a rejected and reprobate people; a book so long unknown to all
the world; a book in which sound reason and decent manners are outraged
in every page, that is held up to us as irrefragable, holy, and dictated
by God Himself? Is it not even impious to believe it? or could anything
less than the fury of cannibals urge to the persecution of sensible and
modest men for not believing it?"

To this we reply: "The Church declares its belief in it. The copyists
may have mixed up some revolting absurdities with respectable and
genuine histories. It belongs to the holy church only to decide.
The profane ought to be guided by her. Those absurdities, those alleged
horrors do not affect the substance of our faith. How lamentable would
be the fate of mankind, if religion and virtue depended upon what
formerly happened to Shechem and to little Dinah!"

"These are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom before the children
of Israel had a king." This is the celebrated passage which has proved
one of the great stumbling stones. This it was which decided the great
Newton, the pious and acute Samuel Clarke, the profound and philosophic
Bolingbroke, the learned Leclerc, the ingenious Fréret, and a host of
other enlightened men, to maintain that it was impossible Moses could
have been the author of Genesis.

We admit that in fact these words could not have been written until
after the time that the Jews had kings.

It is principally this verse that determined Astruc to give up the
inspired authority of the whole Book of Genesis, and suppose the author
had derived his materials from existing memoirs and records. His work is
ingenious and accurate, but it is rash, not to say audacious. Even a
council would scarcely have ventured on such an enterprise. And to what
purpose has it served Astruc's thankless and dangerous labor--to double
the darkness he wished to enlighten? Here is the fruit of the tree of
knowledge, of which we are all so desirous of eating. Why must it be,
that the fruit of the tree of ignorance should be more nourishing and
more digestible?

But of what consequence can it be to us, after all, whether any
particular verse or chapter was written by Moses, or Samuel, or the
priest (_sacrificateur_) who came to Samaria, or Esdras, or any other
person? In what respect can our government, our laws, our fortunes, our
morals, our well-being, be bound up with the unknown chiefs of a
wretched and barbarous country called Edom or Idumæa, always inhabited
by robbers? Alas! those poor Arabs, who have not shirts to their backs,
neither know nor care whether or not we are in existence! They go on
steadily plundering caravans, and eating barley bread, while we are
perplexing and tormenting ourselves to know whether any petty kings
flourished in a particular canton of Arabia Petræa, before they existed
in a particular canton adjoining the west of the lake of Sodom!

  _O miseras hominum curas! Opectora cœca!_
                                      --LUCRETIUS, ii. 14.

Blind, wretched man! in what dark paths of strife
Thou walkest the little journey of thy life!--CREECH.



GENII.


The doctrines of judicial astrology and magic have spread all over the
world. Look back to the ancient Zoroaster, and you will find that of the
genii long established. All antiquity abounds in astrologers and
magicians; such ideas were therefore very natural. At present, we smile
at the number who entertained them; if we were in their situation, if
like them we were only beginning to cultivate the sciences, we should
perhaps believe just the same. Let us suppose ourselves intelligent
people, beginning to reason on our own existence, and to observe the
stars. The earth, we might say, is no doubt immovable in the midst of
the world; the sun and planets only revolve in her service, and the
stars are only made for us; man, therefore, is the great object of all
nature. What is the intention of all these globes, and of the immensity
of heaven thus destined for our use? It is very likely that all space
and these globes are peopled with substances, and since we are the
favorites of nature, placed in the centre of the universe, and all is
made for man, these substances are evidently destined to watch over man.

The first man who believed the thing at all possible would soon find
disciples persuaded that it existed. We might then commence by saying,
genii perhaps exist, and nobody could affirm the contrary; for where is
the impossibility of the air and planets being peopled? We might
afterwards say there _are_ genii, and certainly no one could prove that
there are not. Soon after, some sages might see these genii, and we
should have no right to say to them: "You have not seen them"; as these
persons might be honorable, and altogether worthy of credit. One might
see the genius of the empire or of his own city; another that of Mars
or Saturn; the genii of the four elements might be manifested to several
philosophers; more than one sage might see his own genius; all at first
might be little more than dreaming, but dreams are the symbols of truth.

It was soon known exactly how these genii were formed. To visit our
globe, they must necessarily have wings; they therefore had wings. We
know only of bodies; they therefore had bodies, but bodies much finer
than ours, since they were genii, and much lighter, because they came
from so great a distance. The sages who had the privilege of conversing
with the genii inspired others with the hope of enjoying the same
happiness. A skeptic would have been ill received, if he had said to
them: "I have seen no genius, therefore there are none." They would have
replied: "You reason ill; it does not follow that a thing exists not,
which is unknown to you. There is no contradiction in the doctrine which
inculcates these ethereal powers; no impossibility that they may visit
us; they show themselves to our sages, they manifest themselves to us;
you are not worthy of seeing genii."

Everything on earth is composed of good and evil; there are therefore
incontestably good and bad genii. The Persians had their peris and
dives; the Greeks, their demons and cacodæmons; the Latins, _bonos et
malos genios_. The good genii are white, and the bad black, except among
the negroes, where it is necessarily the reverse. Plato without
difficulty admits of a good and evil genius for every individual. The
evil genius of Brutus appeared to him, and announced to him his death
before the battle of Philippi. Have not grave historians said so? And
would not Plutarch have been very injudicious to have assured us of this
fact, if it were not true?

Further, consider what a source of feasts, amusements, good tales, and
bon mots, originated in the belief of genii!

There were male and female genii. The genii of the ladies were called by
the Romans little Junos. They also had the pleasure of seeing their
genii grow up. In infancy, they were a kind of Cupid with wings, and
when they protected old age, they wore long beards, and even sometimes
the forms of serpents. At Rome, there is preserved a marble, on which is
represented a serpent under a palm tree, to which are attached two
crowns with this inscription: "To the genius of the Augusti"; it was the
emblem of immortality.

What demonstrative proof have we at present, that the genii, so
universally admitted by so many enlightened nations, are only phantoms
of the imagination? All that can be said is reduced to this: "I have
never seen a genius, and no one of my acquaintance has ever seen one;
Brutus has not written that his genius appeared to him before the battle
of Philippi; neither Newton, Locke, nor even Descartes, who gave the
reins to his imagination; neither kings nor ministers of state have
ever been suspected of communing with their genii; therefore I do not
believe a thing of which there is not the least truth. I confess their
existence is not impossible; but the possibility is not a proof of the
reality. It is possible that there may be satyrs, with little turned-up
tails and goats' feet; but I must see several to believe in them; for if
I saw but one, I should still doubt their existence."



GENIUS.


Of genius or demon, we have already spoken in the article on "angel." It
is not easy to know precisely whether the peris of the Persians were
invented before the demons of the Greeks, but it is very probable that
they were. It may be, that the souls of the dead, called shades, manes,
etc., passed for demons. Hesiod makes Hercules say that a demon dictated
his labors.

The demon of Socrates had so great a reputation, that Apuleius, the
author of the "Golden Ass," who was himself a magician of good repute,
says in his "Treatise on the Genius of Socrates," that a man must be
without religion who denies it. You see that Apuleius reasons precisely
like brothers Garasse and Bertier: "You do not believe that which I
believe; you are therefore without religion." And the Jansenists have
said as much of brother Bertier, as well as of all the world except
themselves. "These demons," says the very religious and filthy
Apuleius, "are intermediate powers between ether and our lower region.
They live in our atmosphere, and bear our prayers and merits to the
gods. They treat of succors and benefits, as interpreters and
ambassadors. Plato says, that it is by their ministry that revelations,
presages, and the miracles of magicians, are effected."--"_Cæterum sunt
quædam divinæ mediæ potestates, inter summum æthera, et infimas terras,
in isto intersitæ æris spatio, per quas et desideria nostra et merita ad
deos commeant. Hos Græco nomine demonias nuncupant. Inter terricolas
cœli colasque victores, hinc pecum, inde donorum: qui ultro citroque
portant, hinc petitiones, inde suppetias: ceu quidam utriusque
interpretes, et salutigeri. Per hos eosdem, ut Plato in symposio
autumat, cuncta denuntiata; et majorum varia miracula, omnesque
præsagium species reguntur._"

St. Augustine has condescended to refute Apuleius in these words:

"It is impossible for us to say that demons are neither mortal nor
eternal, for all that has life, either lives eternally, or loses the
breath of life by death; and Apuleius has said, that as to time, the
demons are eternal. What then remains, but that demons hold a medium
situation, and have one quality higher and another lower than mankind;
and as, of these two things, eternity is the only higher thing which
they exclusively possess, to complete the allotted medium, what must be
the lower, if not misery?" This is powerful reasoning!

As I have never seen any genii, demons, peris, or hobgoblins, whether
beneficent or mischievous, I cannot speak of them from knowledge. I only
relate what has been said by people who have seen them.

Among the Romans, the word "genius" was not used to express a rare
talent, as with us: the term for that quality was _ingenium_. We use the
word "genius" indifferently in speaking of the tutelar demon of a town
of antiquity, or an artist, or a musician. The term "genius" seems to
have been intended to designate not great talents generally, but those
into which invention enters. Invention, above everything, appeared a
gift from the gods--this _ingenium, quasi ingenitum_, a kind of divine
inspiration. Now an artist, however perfect he may be in his profession,
if he have no invention, if he be not original, is not considered a
genius. He is only inspired by the artists his predecessors, even when
he surpasses them.

It is very probable that many people now play at chess better than the
inventor of the game, and that they might gain the prize of corn
promised him by the Indian king. But this inventor was a genius, and
those who might now gain the prize would be no such thing. Poussin, who
was a great painter before he had seen any good pictures, had a genius
for painting. Lulli, who never heard any good musician in France, had a
genius for music.

Which is the more desirable to possess, a genius without a master, or
the attainment of perfection by imitating and surpassing the masters
which precede us?

If you put this question to artists, they will perhaps be divided; if
you put it to the public, it will not hesitate. Do you like a beautiful
Gobelin tapestry better than one made in Flanders at the commencement of
the arts? Do you prefer modern masterpieces of engraving to the first
wood-cuts? the music of the present day to the first airs, which
resembled the Gregorian chant? the makers of the artillery of our time
to the genius which invented the first cannon? everybody will answer,
"yes." All purchasers will say: "I own that the inventor of the shuttle
had more genius than the manufacturer who made my cloth, but my cloth is
worth more than that of the inventor."

In short, every one in conscience will confess, that we respect the
geniuses who invented the arts, but that the minds which perfect them
are of more present benefit.


SECTION II.

The article on "Genius" has been treated in the "Encyclopædia" by men
who possess it. We shall hazard very little after them.

Every town, every man possessed a genius. It was imagined that those who
performed extraordinary things were inspired by their genius. The nine
muses were nine genii, whom it was necessary to invoke; therefore Ovid
says: "_Et Deus in nobis, agitante calescimus illo_"--"The God within
us, He the mind inspires."

But, properly speaking, is genius anything but capability? What is
capability but a disposition to succeed in an art? Why do we say the
genius of a language? It is, that every language, by its terminations,
articles, participles, and shorter or longer words, will necessarily
have exclusive properties of its own.

By the genius of a nation is meant the character, manners, talents, and
even vices, which distinguish one people from another. It is sufficient
to see the French, English, and Spanish people, to feel this difference.

We have said that the particular genius of a man for an art is a
different thing from his general talent; but this name is given only to
a very superior ability. How many people have talent for poetry, music,
and painting; yet it would be ridiculous to call them geniuses.

Genius, conducted by taste, will never commit a gross fault. Racine,
since his "Andromache," "Le Poussin," and "Rameau," has never committed
one. Genius, without taste, will often commit enormous errors; and, what
is worse, it will not be sensible of them.



GEOGRAPHY.


Geography is one of those sciences which will always require to be
perfected. Notwithstanding the pains that have been taken, it has
hitherto been impossible to have an exact description of the earth. For
this great work, it would be necessary that all sovereigns should come
to an understanding, and lend mutual assistance. But they have ever
taken more pains to ravage the world than they have to measure it.

No one has yet been able to make an exact map of upper Egypt, nor of the
regions bordering on the Red Sea, nor of the vast country of Arabia. Of
Africa we know only the coasts; all the interior is no more known than
it was in the times of Atlas and Hercules. There is not a single
well-detailed map of all the Grand Turk's possessions in Asia; all is
placed at random, excepting some few large towns, the crumbling remains
of which are still existing. In the states of the Great Mogul something
is known of the relative positions of Agra and Delhi; but thence to the
kingdom of Golconda everything is laid down at a venture.

It is known that Japan extends from about the thirtieth to the fortieth
degree of north latitude; there cannot be an error of more than two
degrees, which is about fifty leagues; so that, relying on one of our
best maps, a pilot would be in danger of losing his track or his life.

As for the longitude, the first maps of the Jesuits determined it
between the one hundred and fifty-seventh and the one hundred and
seventy-fifth degree; whereas, it is now determined between the one
hundred and forty-sixth and the one hundred and sixtieth.

China is the only Asiatic country of which we have an exact measurement;
because the emperor Kam-hi employed some Jesuit astronomers to draw
exact maps, which is the best thing the Jesuits have done. Had they been
content with measuring the earth, they would never have been proscribed.

In our western world, Italy, France, Russia, England, and the principal
towns of the other states, have been measured by the same method as was
employed in China; but it was not until a very few years ago, that in
France it was undertaken to form an entire topography. A company taken
from the Academy of Sciences despatched engineers or surveyors into
every corner of the kingdom, to lay down even the meanest hamlet, the
smallest rivulet, the hills, the woods, in their true places. Before
that time, so confused was the topography, that on the eve of the battle
of Fontenoy, the maps of the country being all examined, every one of
them was found entirely defective.

If a positive order had been sent from Versailles to an inexperienced
general to give battle, and post himself as appeared most advisable from
the maps, as sometimes happened in the time of the minister Chamillar,
the battle would infallibly have been lost.

A general who should carry on a war in the country of the Morlachians,
or the Montenegrins, with no knowledge of places but from the maps,
would be at as great a loss as if he were in the heart of Africa.

Happily, that which has often been traced by geographers, according to
their own fancy, in their closets, is rectified on the spot. In
geography, as in morals, it is very difficult to know the world without
going from home.

It is not with this department of knowledge, as with the arts of poetry,
music, and painting. The last works of these kinds are often the worst.
But in the sciences, which require exactness rather than genius, the
last are always the best, provided they are done with some degree of
care.

One of the greatest advantages of geography, in my opinion, is this:
your fool of a neighbor, and his wife almost as stupid, are incessantly
reproaching you with not thinking as they think in Rue St. Jacques.
"See," say they, "what a multitude of great men have been of our
opinion, from Peter the Lombard down to the Abbé Petit-pied. The whole
universe has received our truths; they reign in the Faubourg St. Honoré,
at Chaillot and at Étampes, at Rome and among the Uscoques." Take a map
of the world; show them all Africa, the empires of Japan, China, India,
Turkey, Persia, and that of Russia, more extensive than was the Roman
Empire; make them pass their finger over all Scandinavia, all the north
of Germany, the three kingdoms of Great Britain, the greater part of the
Low Countries, and of Helvetia; in short make them observe, in the four
great divisions of the earth, and in the fifth, which is as little known
as it is great in extent, the prodigious number of races, who either
never heard of those opinions, or have combated them, or have held them
in abhorrence, and you will thus oppose the whole universe to Rue St.
Jacques.

You will tell them that Julius Cæsar, who extended his power much
farther than that street, did not know a word of all which they think so
universal; and that our ancestors, on whom Julius Cæsar bestowed the
lash, knew no more of them than he did.

They will then, perhaps, feel somewhat ashamed at having believed that
the organ of St. Severin's church gave the tone to the rest of the
world.



GLORY--GLORIOUS.


SECTION I.

Glory is reputation joined with esteem, and is complete when admiration
is superadded. It always supposes that which is brilliant in action, in
virtue, or in talent, and the surmounting of great difficulties. Cæsar
and Alexander had glory. The same can hardly be said of Socrates. He
claims esteem, reverence, pity, indignation against his enemies; but the
term "glory" applied to him would be improper; his memory is venerable
rather than glorious. Attila had much brilliancy, but he has no glory;
for history, which may be mistaken, attributes to him no virtues:
Charles XII. still has glory; for his valor, his disinterestedness, his
liberality, were extreme. Success is sufficient for reputation, but not
for glory. The glory of Henry IV. is every day increasing; for time has
brought to light all his virtues, which were incomparably greater than
his defects.

Glory is also the portion of inventors in the fine arts; imitators have
only applause. It is granted, too, to great talents, but in sublime arts
only. We may well say, the glory of Virgil, or Cicero, but not of
Martial, nor of Aulus Gellius.

Men have dared to say, the glory of God: God created this world for His
glory; not that the Supreme Being can have glory; but that men, having
no expressions suitable to Him, use for Him those by which they are
themselves most flattered.

Vainglory is that petty ambition which is contented with appearances,
which is exhibited in pompous display, and never elevates itself to
greater things. Sovereigns, having real glory, have been known to be
nevertheless fond of vainglory--seeking too eagerly after praise, and
being too much attached to the trappings of ostentation.

False glory often verges towards vanity; but it often leads to excesses,
while vainglory is more confined to splendid littlenesses. A prince who
should look for honor in revenge, would seek a false glory rather than a
vain one.

To give glory signifies to acknowledge, to bear witness. Give glory to
truth, means acknowledging truth--Give glory to the God whom you
serve--Bear witness to the God whom you serve.

Glory is taken for heaven--He dwells in glory; but this is the case in
no religion but ours. It is not allowable to say that Bacchus or
Hercules was received into glory, when speaking of their apotheosis. The
saints and angels have sometimes been called the glorious, as dwelling
in the abode of glory.

Gloriously is always taken in the good sense; he reigned gloriously; he
extricated himself gloriously from great danger or embarrassment.

To glory in, is sometimes taken in the good, sometimes in the bad,
sense, according to the nature of the object in question. He glories in
a disgrace which is the fruit of his talents and the effect of envy. We
say of the martyrs, that they glorified God--that is, that their
constancy made the God whom they attested revered by men.


SECTION II.

That Cicero should love glory, after having stifled Catiline's
conspiracy, may be pardoned him. That the king of Prussia, Frederick the
Great, should have the same feelings after Rosbach and Lissa, and after
being the legislator, the historian, the poet, and the philosopher of
his country--that he should be passionately fond of glory, and at the
same time, have self-command enough to be modestly so--he will, on that
account, be the more glorified.

That the empress Catherine II. should have been forced by the brutish
insolence of a Turkish sultan to display all her genius; that from the
far north she should have sent four squadrons which spread terror in the
Dardanelles and in Asia Minor; and that, in 1770, she took four
provinces from those Turks who made Europe tremble--with this sort of
glory she will not be reproached, but will be admired for speaking of
her successes with that air of indifference and superiority which shows
that they were merited.

In short, glory befits geniuses of this sort, though belonging to the
very mean race of mortals.

But if, at the extremity of the west, a townsman of a place called Paris
thinks he has glory in being harangued by a teacher of the university,
who says to him: "Monseigneur, the glory you have acquired in the
exercise of your office, your illustrious labors with which the universe
resounds," etc., then I ask if there are mouths enough in that universe
to celebrate, with their hisses, the glory of our citizen, and the
eloquence of the pedant who attends to bray out this harangue at
monseigneur's hotel? We are such fools that we have made God glorious
like ourselves.

That worthy chief of the dervishes, Ben-al-betif, said to his brethren
one day: "My brethren, it is good that you should frequently use that
sacred formula of our Koran, 'In the name of the most merciful God';
because God uses mercy, and you learn to do so too, by oft repeating the
words that recommend virtue, without which there would be few men left
upon the earth. But, my brethren, beware of imitating those rash ones
who boast, on every occasion, of laboring for the glory of God.

"If a young simpleton maintains a thesis on the categories, an ignoramus
in furs presiding, he is sure to write in large characters, at the head
of his thesis, '_Ek alha abron doxa_!--'_Ad majorem Dei gloriam_.' --To
the greater glory of God. If a good Mussulman has had his house
whitewashed, he cuts this foolish inscription in the door. A saka
carries water for the greater glory of God. It is an impious usage,
piously used. What would you say of a little chiaoux, who, while
emptying our sultan's close-stool, should exclaim: "To the greater glory
of our invincible monarch?" There is certainly a greater distance
between God and the sultan than between the sultan and the little
chiaoux.

"Ye miserable earth-worms, called men, what have you resembling the
glory of the Supreme Being? Can He love glory? Can He receive it from
you? Can He enjoy it? How long, ye two-legged animals without feathers,
will you make God after your own image? What! because you are vain,
because you love glory, you would have God love it also? If there were
several Gods, perhaps each one would seek to gain the good opinion of
his fellows. That might be glory to God. Such a God, if infinite
greatness may be compared with extreme lowliness, would be like King
Alexander or Iscander, who would enter the lists with none but kings.
But you, poor creatures! what glory can you give to God? Cease to
profane the sacred name. An emperor, named Octavius Augustus, forbade
his being praised in the schools of Rome, lest his name should be
brought into contempt. You can bring the name of the Supreme Being
neither into contempt, nor into honor. Humble yourselves in the dust;
adore, and be silent."

Thus spake Ben-al-betif; and the dervishes cried out: "Glory to God!
Ben-al-betif has said well."


SECTION III.

_Conversation with a Chinese._

In 1723, there was in Holland a Chinese: this Chinese was a man of
letters and a merchant; which two professions ought not to be
incompatible, but which have become so amongst us, thanks to the extreme
regard which is paid to money, and the little consideration which
mankind have ever shown, and will ever show, for merit.

This Chinese, who spoke a little Dutch, was once in a bookseller's shop
with some men of learning. He asked for a book, and "Bossuet's Universal
History," badly translated, was proposed to him. "Ah!" said he, "how
fortunate! I shall now see what is said of our great empire--of our
nation, which has existed as a national body for more than fifty
thousand years--of that succession of emperors who have governed us for
so many ages. I shall now see what is thought of the religion of the
men of letters--of that simple worship which we render to the Supreme
Being. How pleasing to see what is said in Europe of our arts, many of
which are more ancient amongst us than any European kingdom. I guess the
author will have made many mistakes in the history of the war which we
had twenty-two thousand five hundred and fifty-two years ago, with the
warlike nations of Tonquin and Japan, and of that solemn embassy which
the mighty emperor of the Moguls sent to ask laws from us, in the year
of the world 500,000,000,000,079,123,450,000." "Alas!" said one of the
learned men to him, "you are not even mentioned in that book; you are
too inconsiderable; it is almost all about the first nation in the
world--the only nation, the great Jewish people!"

"The Jewish people!" exclaimed the Chinese. "Are they, then, masters of
at least three-quarters of the earth?" "They flatter themselves that
they shall one day be so," was the answer; "until which time they have
the honor of being our old-clothes-men, and, now and then, clippers of
our coin."--"You jest," said the Chinese; "had these people ever a vast
empire?" "They had as their own for some years," said I, "a small
country; but it is not by the extent of their states that a people are
to be judged; as it is not by his riches that we are to estimate a man."

"But is no other people spoken of in this book?" asked the man of
letters. "Undoubtedly," returned a learned man who stood next me, and
who instantly replied, "there is a deal said in it of a small country
sixty leagues broad, called Egypt, where it is asserted that there was a
lake a hundred and fifty leagues round, cut by the hands of
men."--"Zounds!" said the Chinese; "a lake a hundred and fifty leagues
round in a country only sixty broad! That is fine, indeed!"--"Everybody
was wise in that country," added the doctor. "Oh! what fine times they
must have been," said the Chinese. "But is that all?"--"No," replied the
European; "he also treats of that celebrated people, the Greeks." "Who
are these Greeks?" asked the man of letters. "Ah!" continued the other,
"they inhabited a province about a two-hundredth part as large as China,
but which has been famous throughout the world." "I have never heard
speak of these people, neither in Mogul nor in Japan, nor in Great
Tartary," said the Chinese, with an ingenuous look.

"Oh, ignorant, barbarous man!" politely exclaimed our scholar. "Know you
not, then, the Theban Epaminondas; nor the harbor of Piraeus; nor the
name of the two horses of Achilles; nor that of Silenus's ass? Have you
not heard of Jupiter, nor of Diogenes, nor of Lais, nor of Cybele,
nor--"

"I am much afraid," replied the man of letters, "that you know nothing
at all of the ever memorable adventure of the celebrated Xixofou
Concochigramki, nor of the mysteries of the great Fi Psi Hi Hi. But
pray, what are the other unknown things of which this universal history
treats?" The scholar then spoke for a quarter of an hour on the Roman
commonwealth: but when he came to Julius Cæsar, the Chinese interrupted
him, saying, "As for him, I think I know him: was he not a Turk?"

"What!" said the scholar, somewhat warm, "do you not at least know the
difference between Pagans, Christians, and Mussulmans? Do you not know
Constantine, and the history of the popes?" "We have indistinctly
heard," answered the Asiatic, "of one Mahomet."

"It is impossible," returned the other, "that you should not, at least,
be acquainted with Luther, Zuinglius, Bellarmin, Œcolampadius." "I
shall never remember those names," said the Chinese. He then went away
to sell a considerable parcel of tea and fine grogram, with which he
bought two fine girls and a ship-boy, whom he took back to his own
country, adoring Tien, and commending himself to Confucius.

For myself, who was present at this conversation, I clearly saw what
glory is; and I said: Since Cæsar and Jupiter are unknown in the finest,
the most ancient, the most extensive, the most populous and
well-regulated kingdom upon earth; it beseems you, ye governors of some
little country, ye preachers in some little parish, or some little
town--ye doctors of Salamanca and of Bourges, ye flimsy authors, and ye
ponderous commentators--it beseems you to make pretensions to renown!



GOAT--SORCERY.


The honors of every kind which antiquity paid to goats would be very
astonishing, if anything could astonish those who have grown a little
familiar with the world, ancient and modern. The Egyptians and the Jews
often designated the kings and the chiefs of the people by the word
"goat." We find in Zachariah:

"Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats;
for the Lord of Hosts hath visited his flock, the house of Judah, and
hath made them as his goodly horse in the battle."

"Remove out of the midst of Babylon," says Jeremiah to the chiefs of the
people; "go forth out of the land of the Chaldæans, and be as the
he-goats before the flocks."

Isaiah, in chapters x. and xiv., uses the term "goat," which has been
translated "prince." The Egyptians went much farther than calling their
kings goats; they consecrated a goat in Mendes, and it is even said that
they adored him. The truth very likely was, that the people took an
emblem for a divinity, as is but too often the case.

It is not likely that the Egyptian _shoën_ or _shotim_, _i.e._, priests,
immolated goats and worshipped them at the same time. We know that they
had their goat Hazazel, which they adorned and crowned with flowers, and
threw down headlong, as an expiation for the people; and that the Jews
took from them, not only this ceremony, but even the very name of
Hazazel, as they adopted many other rites from Egypt.

But goats received another, and yet more singular honor. It is beyond a
doubt that in Egypt many women set the same example with goats, as
Pasiphae did with her bull.

The Jews but too faithfully imitated these abominations. Jeroboam
instituted priests for the service of his calves and his goats.

The worship of the goat was established in Egypt, and in the lands of a
part of Palestine. Enchantments were believed to be operated by means of
goats, and other monsters, which were always represented with a goat's
head.

Magic, sorcery, soon passed from the East into the West, and extended
itself throughout the earth. The sort of sorcery that came from the Jews
was called Sabbatum by the Romans, who thus confounded their sacred day
with their secret abominations. Thence it was, that in the neighboring
nations, to be a sorcerer and to go to the sabbath, meant the same
thing.

Wretched village women, deceived by knaves, and still more by the
weakness of their own imaginations, believed that after pronouncing the
word "_abraxa_", and rubbing themselves with an ointment mixed with
cow-dung and goat's hair, they went to the sabbath on a broom-stick in
their sleep, that there they adored a goat, and that he enjoyed them.

This opinion was universal. All the doctors asserted that it was the
devil, who metamorphosed himself into a goat. This may be seen in Del
Rio's "Disquisitions," and in a hundred other authors. The theologian
Grillandus, a great promoter of the Inquisition, quoted by Del Rio, says
that sorcerers call the goat Martinet. He assures us that a woman who
was attached to Martinet, mounted on his back, and was carried in an
instant through the air to a place called the Nut of Benevento.

There were books in which the mysteries of the sorcerers were written. I
have seen one of them, at the head of which was a figure of a goat very
badly drawn, with a woman on her knees behind him. In France, these
books were called "_grimoires_"; and in other countries "the devil's
alphabet." That which I saw contained only four leaves, in almost
illegible characters, much like those of the "Shepherd's Almanac."

Reasoning and better education would have sufficed in Europe for the
extirpation of such an extravagance; but executions were employed
instead of reasoning. The pretended sorcerers had their "_grimoire_" and
the judges had their sorcerer's code. In 1599, the Jesuit Del Rio, a
doctor of Louvain, published his "Magical Disquisitions." He affirms
that all heretics are magicians, and frequently recommends that they be
put to the torture. He has no doubt that the devil transforms himself
into a goat and grants his favors to all women presented to him. He
quotes various jurisconsults, called demonographers, who assert that
Luther was the son of a woman and a goat. He assures us that at
Brussels, in 1595, a woman was brought to bed of a child, of which the
devil, disguised as a goat, was father, and that she was punished, but
he does not inform us in what manner.

But the jurisprudence of witchcraft has been the most profoundly treated
by one Boguet, "_grand juge en dernier ressort_" of an abbey of St.
Claude in Franche-Comté. He gives an account of all the executions to
which he condemned wizards and witches, and the number is very
considerable. Nearly all the witches are supposed to have had commerce
with the goat.

It has already been said that more than a hundred thousand sorcerers
have been executed in Europe. Philosophy alone has at length cured men
of this abominable delusion, and has taught judges that they should not
burn the insane.



GOD--GODS.


SECTION I.

The reader cannot too carefully bear in mind that this dictionary has
not been written for the purpose of repeating what so many others have
said.

The knowledge of a God is not impressed upon us by the hands of nature,
for then men would all have the same idea; and no idea is born with us.
It does not come to us like the perception of light, of the ground,
etc., which we receive as soon as our eyes and our understandings are
opened. Is it a philosophical idea? No; men admitted the existence of
gods before they were philosophers.

Whence, then, is this idea derived? From feeling, and from that natural
logic which unfolds itself with age, even in the rudest of mankind.
Astonishing effects of nature were beheld--harvests and barrenness, fair
weather and storms, benefits and scourges; and the hand of a master was
felt. Chiefs were necessary to govern societies; and it was needful to
admit sovereigns of these new sovereigns whom human weakness had given
itself--beings before whose power these men who could bear down their
fellow-men might tremble. The first sovereigns in their time employed
these notions to cement their power. Such were the first steps; thus
every little society had its god. These notions were rude because
everything was rude. It is very natural to reason by analogy. One
society under a chief did not deny that the neighboring tribe should
likewise have its judge, or its captain; consequently it could not deny
that the other should also have its god. But as it was to the interest
of each tribe that its captain should be the best, it was also
interested in believing, and consequently it did believe, that its god
was the mightiest. Hence those ancient fables which have so long been
generally diffused, that the gods of one nation fought against the gods
of another. Hence the numerous passages in the Hebrew books, which we
find constantly disclosing the opinion entertained by the Jews, that the
gods of their enemies existed, but that they were inferior to the God of
the Jews.

Meanwhile, in the great states where the progress of society allowed to
individuals the enjoyment of speculative leisure, there were priests,
Magi, and philosophers.

Some of these perfected their reason so far as to acknowledge in secret
one only and universal god. So, although the ancient Egyptians adored
Osiri, Osiris, or rather Osireth (which signifies this land is mine);
though they also adored other superior beings, yet they admitted one
supreme, one only principal god, whom they called "_Knef_", whose symbol
was a sphere placed on the frontispiece of the temple.

After this model, the Greeks had their Zeus, their Jupiter, the master
of the other gods, who were but what the angels are with the Babylonians
and the Hebrews, and the saints with the Christians of the Roman
communion.

It is a more thorny question than it has been considered, and one by no
means profoundly examined, whether several gods, equal in power, can
exist at the same time?

We have no adequate idea of the Divinity; we creep on from conjecture to
conjecture, from likelihood to probability. We have very few
certainties. There is something; therefore there is something eternal;
for nothing is produced from nothing. Here is a certain truth on which
the mind reposes. Every work which shows us means and an end, announces
a workman; then this universe, composed of springs, of means, each of
which has its end, discovers a most mighty, a most intelligent workman.
Here is a probability approaching the greatest certainty. But is this
supreme artificer infinite? Is he everywhere? Is he in one place? How
are we, with our feeble intelligence and limited knowledge, to answer
these questions?

My reason alone proves to me a being who has arranged the matter of this
world; but my reason is unable to prove to me that he made this
matter--that he brought it out of nothing. All the sages of antiquity,
without exception, believed matter to be eternal, and existing by
itself. All then that I can do, without the aid of superior light, is to
believe that the God of this world is also eternal, and existing by
Himself. God and matter exist by the nature of things. May not other
gods exist, as well as other worlds? Whole nations, and very enlightened
schools, have clearly admitted two gods in this world--one the source of
good, the other the source of evil. They admitted an eternal war between
two equal powers. Assuredly, nature can more easily suffer the existence
of several independent beings in the immensity of space, than that of
limited and powerless gods in this world, of whom one can do no good,
and the other no harm.

If God and matter exist from all eternity, as antiquity believed, here
then are two necessary beings; now, if there be two necessary beings,
there may be thirty. These doubts alone, which are the germ of an
infinity of reflections, serve at least to convince us of the feebleness
of our understanding. We must, with Cicero, confess our ignorance of the
nature of the Divinity; we shall never know any more of it than he did.

In vain do the schools tell us that God is infinite negatively and not
privatively--"_formaliter et non materialiter_" that He is the first
act, the middle, and the last--that He is everywhere without being in
any place; a hundred pages of commentaries on definitions like these
cannot give us the smallest light. We have no steps whereby to arrive at
such knowledge.

We feel that we are under the hand of an invisible being; this is all;
we cannot advance one step farther. It is mad temerity to seek to divine
what this being is--whether he is extended or not, whether he is in one
place or not, how he exists, or how he operates.


SECTION II.

I am ever apprehensive of being mistaken; but all monuments give me
sufficient evidence that the polished nations of antiquity acknowledged
a supreme god. There is not a book, not a medal, not a bas-relief, not
an inscription, in which Juno, Minerva, Neptune, Mars, or any of the
other deities, is spoken of as a forming being, the sovereign of all
nature. On the contrary, the most ancient profane books that we
have--those of Hesiod and Homer--represent their Zeus as the only
thunderer, the only master of gods and men; he even punishes the other
gods; he ties Juno with a chain, and drives Apollo out of heaven.

The ancient religion of the Brahmins--the first that admitted celestial
creatures--the first which spoke of their rebellion--explains itself in
sublime manner concerning the unity and power of God; as we have seen in
the article on "Angel."

The Chinese, ancient as they are, come after the Indians. They have
acknowledged one only god from time immemorial; they have no subordinate
gods, no t mediating demons or genii between God and man; no oracles, no
abstract dogmas, no theological disputes among the lettered; their
emperor was always the first pontiff; their religion was always august
and simple; thus it is that this vast empire, though twice subjugated,
has constantly preserved its integrity, has made its conquerors receive
its laws, and notwithstanding the crimes and miseries inseparable from
the human race, is still the most flourishing state upon earth.

The Magi of Chaldæa, the Sabeans, acknowledged but one supreme god, whom
they adored in the stars, which are his work. The Persians adored him in
the sun. The sphere placed on the frontispiece of the temple of Memphis
was the emblem of one only and perfect god, called "_Knef_" by the
Egyptians.

The title of "_Deus Optimus Maximus_" was never given by the Romans to
any but "_Jupiter, hominum sator atque deorum_." This great truth, which
we have elsewhere pointed out, cannot be too often repeated.

This adoration of a Supreme God, from Romulus down to the total
destruction of the empire and of its religion, is confirmed. In spite of
all the follies of the people, who venerated secondary and ridiculous
gods, and in spite of the Epicureans, who in reality acknowledged none,
it is verified that, in all times, the magistrates and the wise adored
one sovereign God.

From the great number of testimonies left us to this truth, I will
select first that of Maximus of Tyre, who flourished under the
Antonines--those models of true piety, since they were models of
humanity. These are his words, in his discourse entitled "Of God,"
according to Plato. The reader who would instruct himself is requested
to weigh them well:

"Men have been so weak as to give to God a human figure, because they
had seen nothing superior to man; but it is ridiculous to imagine, with
Homer, that Jupiter or the Supreme Divinity has black eyebrows and
golden hair, which he cannot shake without making the heavens tremble.

"When men are questioned concerning the nature of the Divinity, their
answers are all different. Yet, notwithstanding this prodigious variety
of opinions, you will find one and the same feeling throughout the
earth--viz., that there is but one God, who is the father of all...."

After this formal avowal, after the immortal discourses of Cicero, of
Antonine, of Epictetus, what becomes of the declamations which so many
ignorant pedants are still repeating? What avail those eternal
reproachings of base polytheism and puerile idolatry, but to convince us
that the reproachers have not the slightest acquaintance with sterling
antiquity? They have taken the reveries of Homer for the doctrines of
the wise.

Is it necessary to have stronger or more expressive testimony? You will
find it in the letter from Maximus of Madaura to St. Augustine; both
were philosophers and orators; at least, they prided themselves on being
so; they wrote to each other freely; they were even friends as much as a
man of the old religion and one of the new could be friends. Read
Maximus of Madaura's letter, and the bishop of Hippo's answer:

_Letter from Maximus of Madaura._

"Now, that there is a sovereign God, who is without beginning, and, who,
without having begotten anything like unto himself, is nevertheless the
father and the former of all things, what man can be gross and stupid
enough to doubt? He it is of whom, under different names, we adore the
eternal power extending through every part of the world--thus honoring
separately, by different sorts of worship, what may be called his
several members, we adore him entirely.... May those subordinate gods
preserve you, under whose names, and by whom all we mortals upon earth
adore the common father of gods and men, by different sorts of worship,
it is true, but all according in their variety, and all tending to the
same end."

By whom was this letter written? By a Numidian--one of the country of
the Algerines!

_Augustine's Answer._

"In your public square there are two statues of Mars, the one naked, the
other armed; and close by, the figure of a man who, with three fingers
advanced towards Mars, holds in check that divinity, so dangerous to the
whole town. With regard to what you say of such gods, being portions of
the only true God, I take the liberty you give me, to warn you not to
fall into such a sacrilege; for that only God, of whom you speak, is
doubtless He who is acknowledged by the whole world, and concerning
whom, as some of the ancients have said, the ignorant agree with the
learned. Now, will you say that he whose strength, if not his cruelty,
is represented by an inanimate man, is a portion of that God? I could
easily push you hard on this subject; for you will clearly see how much
might be said upon it; but I refrain, lest you should say that I employ
against you the weapons of rhetoric rather than those of virtue."

We know not what was signified by these two statues, of which no vestige
is left us; but not all the statues with which Rome was filled--not the
Pantheon and all the temples consecrated to the inferior gods, nor even
those of the twelve greater gods prevented "_Deus Optimus
Maximus_"--"God, most good, most great"--from being acknowledged
throughout the empire.

The misfortune of the Romans, then, was their ignorance of the Mosaic
law, and afterwards, of the law of the disciples of our Saviour Jesus
Christ--their want of the faith--their mixing with the worship of a
supreme God the worship of Mars, of Venus, of Minerva, of Apollo, who
did not exist, and their preserving that religion until the time of the
Theodosii. Happily, the Goths, the Huns, the Vandals, the Heruli, the
Lombards, the Franks, who destroyed that empire, submitted to the truth,
and enjoyed a blessing denied to Scipio, to Cato, to Metellus, to
Emilius, to Cicero, to Varro, to Virgil, and to Horace.

None of these great men knew Jesus Christ, whom they could not know; yet
they did not worship the devil, as so many pedants are every day
repeating. How should they worship the devil, of whom they had never
heard?

_A Calumny on Cicero by Warburton, on the Subject of a Supreme God._

Warburton, like his contemporaries, has calumniated Cicero and ancient
Rome. He boldly supposes that Cicero pronounced these words, in his
"Oration for Flaccus":

"It is unworthy of the majesty of the empire to adore only one
God"--"_Majestatem imperii non decuit ut unus tantum Deus colatur."

It will, perhaps, hardly be believed that there is not a word of this in
the "Oration for Flaccus," nor in any of Cicero's works. Flaccus, who
had exercised the prætorship in Asia Minor, is charged with exercising
some vexations. He was secretly persecuted by the Jews, who then
inundated Rome; for, by their money, they had obtained privileges in
Rome at the very time when Pompey, after Crassus, had taken Jerusalem,
and hanged their petty king, Alexander, son of Aristobolus. Flaccus had
forbidden the conveying of gold and silver specie to Jerusalem, because
the money came back altered, and commerce was thereby injured; and he
had seized the gold which was clandestinely carried. This gold, said
Cicero, is still in the treasury. Flaccus has acted as disinterestedly
as Pompey.

Cicero, then, with his wonted irony, pronounces these words: "Each
country has its religion; we have ours. While Jerusalem was yet free,
while the Jews were yet at peace, even then they held in abhorrence the
splendor of this empire, the dignity of the Roman name, the
institutions of our ancestors. Now that nation has shown more than ever,
by the strength of its arms, what it should think of the Roman Empire.
It has shown us, by its valor, how dear it is to the immortal gods; it
has proved it to us, by its being vanquished, expatriated, and
tributary."--"_Stantibus Hierosolymis, pacatisque Judais, tamen istorum
religio sacrorum, a splendore hujus imperii, gravitate nominis nostri,
ma jorum institutis, abhorrebat; nunc vero hoc magis quid ilia gens,
quid de imperio nostro sentiret, ostendit armis; quam cara diis
immortalibus esset, docuit, quod est victa, quod elocata, quod
servata._"

It is then quite false that Cicero, or any other Roman, ever said that
it did not become the majesty of the empire to acknowledge a supreme
God. Their Jupiter, the Zeus of the Greeks, the Jehovah of the
Phœnicians, was always considered as the master of the secondary
gods. This great truth cannot be too forcibly inculcated.

_Did the Romans Take Their Gods from the Greeks?_

Had not the Romans served gods for whom they were not indebted to the
Greeks? For instance, they could not be guilty of plagiarism in adoring
Coelum, while the Greeks adored Ouranon; or in addressing themselves to
Saturnus and Tellus, while the Greeks addressed themselves to Ge and
Chronos. They called Ceres, her whom the Greeks named Deo and Demiter.

Their Neptune was Poseidon, their Venus was Aphrodite; their Juno was
called, in Greek, Era; their Proserpine, Core; and their favorites, Mars
and Bellona, were Ares and Enio. In none of these instances do the names
resemble.

Did the inventive spirits of Rome and of Greece assemble? or did the one
take from the other the _thing_, while they disguised the _name_? It is
very natural that the Romans, without consulting the Greeks, should make
to themselves gods of the heavens, of time; beings presiding over war,
over generation, over harvests, without going to Greece to ask for gods,
as they afterwards went there to ask for laws. When you find a name that
resembles nothing else, it is but fair to believe it a native of that
particular country.

But is not Jupiter, the master of all the gods, a word belonging to
every nation, from the Euphrates to the Tiber? Among the first Romans,
it was _Jov_, _Jovis_; among the Greeks, _Zeus_; among the
Phœnicians, the Syrians, and the Egyptians, _Jehovah_.

Does not this resemblance serve to confirm the supposition that every
people had the knowledge of the Supreme Being?--a knowledge confused, it
is true; but what man can have it _distinct_?


SECTION III.

_Examination of Spinoza._

Spinoza cannot help admitting an intelligence acting in matter, and
forming a whole with it.

"I must conclude," he says, "that the absolute being is neither thought
nor extent, exclusively of each other; but that extent and thought are
necessary attributes of the absolute being."

Herein he appears to differ from all the atheists of antiquity; from
Ocellus, Lucanus, Heraclitus, Democritus, Leucippus, Strato, Epicurus,
Pythagoras, Diagoras, Zeno of Elis, Anaximander, and so many others. He
differs from them, above all, in his method, which he took entirely from
the reading of Descartes, whose very style he has imitated.

The multitude of those who cry out against Spinoza, without ever having
read him, will especially be astonished by his following declaration. He
does not make it to dazzle mankind, nor to appease theologians, nor to
obtain protectors, nor to disarm a party; he speaks as a philosopher,
without naming himself, without advertising himself; and expresses
himself in Latin, so as to be understood by a very small number. Here is
his profession of faith.

_Spinoza's Profession of Faith._

"If I also concluded that the idea of God, comprised in that of the
infinity of the universe, excused me from obedience, love, and worship,
I should make a still more pernicious use of my reason; for it is
evident to me that the laws which I _have_ received, not by the relation
or intervention of other men, but immediately from Him, are those which
the light of nature points out to me as the true guides of rational
conduct. If I failed of obedience, in this particular, I should sin, not
only against the principle of my being and the society of my kind, but
also against myself, in depriving myself of the most solid advantage of
my existence. This obedience does, it is true, bind me only to the
duties of my state, and makes me look on all besides as frivolous
practices, invented in superstition to serve the purposes of their
inventors.

"With regard to the love of God, so far, I conceive, is this idea from
tending to weaken it, that no other is more calculated to increase it;
since, through it, I know that God is intimate with my being; that He
gives me existence and my every property; but He gives me them
liberally, without reproach, without interest, without subjecting me to
anything but my own nature. It banishes fear, uneasiness, distrust, and
all the effects of a vulgar or interested love. It informs me that this
is a good which I cannot lose, and which I possess the more fully, as I
know and love it."

Are these the words of the virtuous and tender Fénelon, or those of
Spinoza? How is it that two men so opposed to each other, have, with
such different notions of God, concurred in the idea of loving God for
Himself?

It must be acknowledged that they went both to the same end--the one as
a Christian, the other as a man who had the misfortune not to be so;
the holy archbishop, as philosopher, convinced that God is distinct
from nature; the other as a widely-erring disciple of Descartes, who
imagined that God is all nature.

The former was orthodox, the latter was mistaken, I must assent; but
both were honest, both estimable in their sincerity, as in their mild
and simple manners; though there is no other point of resemblance
between the imitator of the "Odyssey," and a dry Cartesian fenced round
with arguments; between one of the most accomplished men of the court of
Louis XIV. invested with what is called a _high_ divinity, and a poor
unjudaïzed Jew, living with an income of three hundred florins, in the
most profound obscurity.

If there be any similitude between them, it is that Fénelon was accused
before the Sanhedrim of the new law, and the other before a synagogue
without power or without reason; but the one submitted, the other
rebelled.

_Foundation of Spinoza's Philosophy._

The great dialectician Bayle has refuted Spinoza. His system, therefore,
is not demonstrated, like one of Euclid's propositions; for, if it were
so, it could not be combated. It is, therefore, at least obscure.

I have always had some suspicion that Spinoza, with his universal
substance, his modes and accidents, had some other meaning than that in
which he is understood by Bayle; and consequently, that Bayle may be
right, without having confounded Spinoza. And, in particular, I have
always thought that often Spinoza did not understand himself, and that
this is the principal reason why he has not been understood.

It seems to me that the ramparts of Spinozism might be beaten down on a
side which Bayle has neglected. Spinoza thinks that there can exist but
one substance; and it appears throughout his book that he builds his
theory on the mistake of Descartes, that "nature is a plenum."

The theory of a plenum is as false as that of a void. It is now
demonstrated that motion is as impossible in absolute fulness, as it is
impossible that, in an equal balance, a weight of two pounds in one
scale should sink a weight of two in the other.

Now, if every motion absolutely requires empty space, what becomes of
Spinoza's one and only substance? How can the substance of a star,
between which and us there is a void so immense, be precisely the
substance of this earth, or the substance of myself, or the substance of
a fly eaten by a spider?

Perhaps I mistake, but I never have been able to conceive how Spinoza,
admitting an infinite substance of which thought and matter are the two
modalities--admitting the substance which he calls God, and of which all
that we see is mode or accident--could nevertheless reject final causes.
If this infinite, universal being thinks, must he not have design? If he
has design, must he not have a will?

[Illustration: Descartes.]

Spinoza says, we are modes of that absolute, necessary, infinite being.
I say to Spinoza, we will, and have design, we who are but modes;
therefore, this infinite, necessary, absolute being cannot be deprived
of them; therefore, he has will, design, power.

I am aware that various philosophers, and especially Lucretius, have
denied final causes; I am also aware that Lucretius, though not very
chaste, is a very great poet in his descriptions and in his morals; but
in philosophy I own he appears to me to be very far behind a college
porter or a parish beadle. To affirm that the eye is not made to see,
nor the ear to hear, nor the stomach to digest--is not this the most
enormous absurdity, the most revolting folly, that ever entered the
human mind? Doubter as I am, this insanity seems to me evident, and I
say so.

For my part, I see in nature, as in the arts, only final causes, and I
believe that an apple tree is made to bear apples, as I believe that a
watch is made to tell the hour.

I must here acquaint the readers that if Spinoza, in several passages of
his works, makes a jest of final causes, he most expressly acknowledges
them in the first part of his "Being, in General and in Particular."

Here he says, "Permit me for a few moments to dwell with admiration on
the wonderful dispensation of nature, which, having enriched the
constitution of man with all the resources necessary to prolong to a
certain term the duration of his frail existence, and to animate his
knowledge of himself by that of an infinity of distant objects, seems
purposely to have neglected to give him the means of well knowing what
he is obliged to make a more ordinary use of--the individuals of his own
species. Yet, when duly considered, this appears less the effect of a
refusal than of an extreme liberality; for, if there were any
intelligent being that could penetrate another against his will, he
would enjoy such an advantage as would of itself exclude him from
society; whereas, in the present state of things, each individual
enjoying himself in full independence communicates himself so much only
as he finds convenient."

What shall I conclude from this? That Spinoza frequently contradicted
himself; that he had not always clear ideas; that in the great wreck of
systems, he clung sometimes to one plank, sometimes to another; that in
this weakness he was like Malebranche, Arnauld, Bossuet, and Claude, who
now and then contradicted themselves in their disputes; that he was like
numberless metaphysicians and theologians? I shall conclude that I have
additional reason for distrusting all my metaphysical notions; that I am
a very feeble animal, treading on quicksands, which are continually
giving way beneath me; and that there is perhaps nothing so foolish as
to believe ourselves always in the right.

Baruch Spinoza, you are very confused; but are you as dangerous as you
are said to be? I maintain that you are not; and my reason is, that you
_are_ confused, that you have written in bad Latin, and that there are
not ten persons in Europe who read you from beginning to end, although
you have been translated into French. Who is the dangerous author? He
who is read by the idle at court and by the ladies.


SECTION IV.

_The "System of Nature."_

The author of the "System of Nature" has had the advantage of being read
by both learned and ignorant, and by women. His style, then, has merits
which that of Spinoza wanted. He is often luminous, sometimes eloquent;
although he may be charged, like all the rest, with repetition,
declamation, and self-contradiction. But for profundity, he is very
often to be distrusted both in physics and in morals. The interest of
mankind is here in question; we will, therefore, examine whether his
doctrine is true and useful; and will, if we can, be brief.

"Order and disorder do not exist." What! in physics, is not a child born
blind, without legs, or a monster, contrary to the nature of the
species? Is it not the ordinary regularity of nature that makes order,
and irregularity that constitutes disorder? Is it not a great
derangement, a dreadful disorder, when nature gives a child hunger and
closes the œsophagus? The evacuations of every kind are necessary;
yet the channels are frequently without orifices, which it is necessary
to remedy. Doubtless this disorder has its cause; for there is no effect
without a cause; but it is a very disordered effect.

Is not the assassination of our friend, or of our brother, a horrible
disorder in morals? Are not the calumnies of a Garasse, of a Letellier,
of a Doucin, against Jansenists, and those of Jansenists against
Jesuits, petty disorders? Were not the massacre of St. Bartholomew, the
Irish massacre, etc., execrable disorders? This crime has its cause in
passion, but the effect is execrable; the cause is fatal; this disorder
makes us shudder. The origin of the disorder remains to be discovered,
but the disorder exists.

"Experience proves to us that the matter which we regard as inert and
dead assumes action, intelligence, and life, when it is combined in a
certain way."

This is precisely the difficulty. How does a germ come to life? Of this
the author and the reader are alike ignorant. Hence, are not the "System
of Nature," and all the systems in the world, so many dreams?

"It would be necessary to define the vital principle, which I deem
impossible." Is not this definition very easy, very common? Is not life
organization with feeling? But that you have these two properties from
the motion of matter alone, it is impossible to give any proof; and if
it cannot be proved, why affirm it? Why say aloud, "I know," while you
say to yourself, "I know not"?

"It will be asked, what is man?" etc. Assuredly, this article is no
clearer than the most obscure of Spinoza's; and many readers will feel
indignant at the decisive tone which is assumed without anything being
explained.

"Matter is eternal and necessary; but its forms and its combinations are
transitory and contingent," etc. It is hard to comprehend, matter being,
according to our author, necessary, and without freedom, how there can
be anything contingent. By contingency, we understand that which may be,
or may not be; but since all must be, of absolute necessity, every
manner of being, which he here very erroneously calls contingent, is as
absolutely of necessity as the being itself. Here again we are in a
labyrinth.

When you venture to affirm that there is no God, that matter acts of
itself by an eternal necessity, it must be demonstrated like a
proposition in Euclid, otherwise you rest your system only on a perhaps.
What a foundation for that which is most interesting to the human race!

"If man is by his nature forced to love his well-being, he is forced to
love the means of that well-being. It were useless, and perhaps unjust,
to ask a man to be virtuous, if he cannot be so without making himself
unhappy. So soon as vice makes him happy, he must love vice."

This maxim is yet more execrable in morals than the others are in
physics. Were it true that a man could not be virtuous without
suffering, he must be encouraged to suffer. Our author's proposition
would evidently be the ruin of society. Besides, how does he know that
we cannot be happy without having vices? On the contrary, is it not
proved by experience that the satisfaction of having subdued them is a
thousand times greater than the pleasure of yielding to them?--a
pleasure always empoisoned, a pleasure leading to woe. By subduing our
vices, we acquire tranquillity, the consoling testimony of our
conscience; by giving ourselves up to them, we lose our health, our
quiet--we risk everything. Thus our author himself, in twenty passages,
wishes all to be sacrificed to virtue; and he advances this proposition
only to give in his system a fresh proof of the necessity of being
virtuous.

"They who, with so many arguments, reject innate ideas should have
perceived that this ineffable intelligence by which the world is said to
be guided, and of which our senses can determine neither the existence
nor the qualities, is a being of reason."

But, truly, how does it follow from our having no innate ideas, that
there is no God? Is not this consequence absurd? Is there any
contradiction in saying that God gives us ideas through our senses? Is
it not, on the contrary, most clearly evident, that if there is an
Almighty Being from whom we have life, we owe to him our ideas and our
senses as well as everything else? It should first have been proved
that God does not exist, which our author has not done, which he has not
even attempted to do before this page of his tenth chapter.

Fearful of wearying the reader by an examination of all these detached
passages, I will come at once to the foundation of the book, and the
astonishing error upon which the author has built his system.

_Story of the Eels on Which the System is Founded._

About the year 1750 there was, in France, an English Jesuit called
Needham, disguised as a secular, who was then serving as tutor to the
nephew of M. Dillon, archbishop of Toulouse. This man made experiments
in natural philosophy, and especially in chemistry.

Having put some rye meal into well-corked bottles, and some boiled
mutton gravy into other bottles, he thought that his mutton gravy and
his meal had given birth to eels, which again produced others; and that
thus a race of eels was formed indifferently from the juice of meat, or
from a grain of rye.

A natural philosopher, of some reputation, had no doubt that this
Needham was a profound atheist. He concluded that, since eels could be
made of rye meal, men might be made of wheat flour; that nature and
chemistry produce all; and that it was demonstrated that we may very
well dispense with an all-forming God.

This property of meal very easily deceived one who, unfortunately, was
already wandering amidst ideas that should make us tremble for the
weakness of the human mind. He wanted to dig a hole in the centre of the
earth, to see the central fire; to dissect Patagonians, that he might
know the nature of the soul; to cover the sick with pitch, to prevent
them from perspiring; to exalt his soul, that he might foretell the
future. If to these things it were added, that he had the still greater
unhappiness of seeking to oppress two of his brethren, it would do no
honor to atheism; it would only serve to make us look into ourselves
with confusion.

It is really strange that men, while denying a creator, should have
attributed to themselves the power of creating eels.

But it is yet more deplorable that natural philosophers, of better
information, adopted the Jesuit Needham's ridiculous system, and joined
it to that of Maillet, who asserted that the ocean had formed the Alps
and Pyrenees, and that men were originally porpoises, whose forked tails
changed in the course of time into thighs and legs. Such fancies are
worthy to be placed with the eels formed by meal. We were assured, not
long ago, that at Brussels a hen had brought forth half a dozen young
rabbits.

This transmutation of meal and gravy into eels was demonstrated to be as
false and ridiculous as it really is, by M. Spallanzani, a rather better
observer than Needham. But the extravagance of so palpable an illusion
was evident without his observations.

Needham's eels soon followed the Brussels' hen.

Nevertheless, in 1768, the correct, elegant, and judicious translator of
Lucretius was so far led away, that he not only, in his notes to book
viii. p. 361, repeats Needham's pretended experiments, but he also does
all he can to establish their validity. Here, then, we have the new
foundation of the "System of Nature."

The author, in the second chapter, thus expresses himself: "After
moistening meal with water, and shutting up the mixture, it is found
after a little time, with the aid of the microscope, that it has
produced organized beings, of whose production the water and meal were
believed to be incapable. Thus inanimate nature can pass into life,
which is itself but an assemblage of motions."

Were this unparalleled blunder true, yet, in rigorous reasoning, I do
not see how it would prove there is no God; I do not see why a supreme,
intelligent, and mighty being, having formed the sun and the stars,
might not also deign to form animalculae without a germ. Here is no
contradiction in terms. A demonstrative proof that God has no existence
must be sought elsewhere; and most assuredly no person has ever found,
or will ever find, one.

Our author treats final causes with contempt, because the argument is
hackneyed; but this much-contemned argument is that of Cicero and of
Newton. This alone might somewhat lessen the confidence of atheists in
themselves. The number is not small of the sages who, observing the
course of the stars, and the prodigious art that pervades the structure
of animals and vegetables, have acknowledged a powerful hand working
these continual wonders.

The author asserts that matter, blind and without choice, produces
intelligent animals. Produce, without intelligence, beings with
intelligence! Is this conceivable? Is this system founded on the
smallest verisimilitude? An opinion so contradictory requires proofs no
less astonishing than itself. The author gives us none; he never proves
anything; but he affirms all that he advances. What chaos! what
confusion! and what temerity!

Spinoza at least acknowledged an intelligence acting in this great
whole, which constituted nature: in this there was philosophy. But in
the new system, I am under the necessity of saying that there is none.

Matter has extent, solidity, gravity, divisibility. I have all these as
well as this stone: but was a stone ever known to feel and think? If I
am extended, solid, divisible, I owe it to matter. But I have sensations
and thoughts--to what do I owe them? Not to water, not to mire--most
likely to something more powerful than myself. Solely to the combination
of the elements, you will say. Then prove it to me. Show me plainly that
my intelligence cannot have been given to me by an intelligent cause. To
this are you reduced.

Our author successively combats the God of the schoolmen--a God composed
of discordant qualities; a God to whom, as to those of Homer, is
attributed the passions of men; a God capricious, fickle, unreasonable,
absurd--but he cannot combat the God of the wise. The wise,
contemplating nature, admit an intelligent and supreme power. It is
perhaps impossible for human reason, destitute of divine assistance, to
go a step further.

Our author asks where this being resides; and, from the impossibility
that anyone, without being infinite, should tell where He resides, he
concludes that He does not exist. This is not philosophical; for we are
not, because we cannot tell where the cause of an effect is, to conclude
that there is no cause. If you had never seen a gunner, and you saw the
effects of a battery of cannon, you would not say it acts entirely by
itself. Shall it, then, only be necessary for you to say there is no
God, in order to be believed on your words?

Finally, his great objection is, the woes and crimes of mankind--an
objection alike ancient and philosophical; an objection common, but
fatal and terrible, and to which we find no answer but in the hope of a
better life. Yet what is this hope? We can have no certainty in it but
from reason. But I will venture to say, that when it is proved to us
that a vast edifice, constructed with the greatest art, is built by an
architect, whoever he may be, we ought to believe in that architect,
even though the edifice should be stained with our blood, polluted by
our crimes, and should crush us in its fall. I inquire not whether the
architect is a good one, whether I should be satisfied with his
building, whether I should quit it rather than stay in it, nor whether
those who are lodged in it for a few days, like myself, are content: I
only inquire if it be true that there is an architect, or if this house,
containing so many fine apartments and so many wretched garrets, built
itself.


SECTION V.

_The Necessity of Believing in a Supreme Being._

The great, the interesting object, as it appears to me, is, not to argue
metaphysically, but to consider whether, for the common good of us
miserable and thinking animals, we should admit a rewarding and avenging
God, at once our restraint and consolation, or should reject this idea,
and so abandon ourselves to calamity without hope, and crime without
remorse.

Hobbes says that if, in a commonwealth, in which no God should be
acknowledged, any citizen were to propose one, he would have him hanged.

Apparently, he meant by this strange exaggeration, a citizen who should
seek to rule in the name of a god, a charlatan who would make himself a
tyrant. We understand citizens, who, feeling the weakness of human
nature, its perverseness, and its misery, seek some prop to support it
through the languors and horrors of this life.

From Job down to us, a great many men have cursed their existence; we
have, therefore, perpetual need of consolation and hope. Of these your
philosophy deprives us. The fable of Pandora was better; it left us
hope--which you snatch from us! Philosophy, you say, furnishes no proof
of happiness to come. No--but you have no demonstration of the contrary.
There may be in us an indestructible monad which feels and thinks,
without our knowing anything at all of how that monad is made. Reason is
not absolutely opposed to this idea, though reason alone does not prove
it. Has not this opinion a prodigious advantage over yours? Mine is
useful to mankind, yours is baneful; say of it what you will, it may
encourage a Nero, an Alexander VI., or a Cartouche. Mine may restrain
them.

Marcus Antoninus and Epictetus believed that their monad, of whatever
kind it was, would be united to the monad of the Great Being; and they
were the most virtuous of men.

In the state of doubt in which we both are, I do not say to you with
Pascal, "choose the safest." There is no safety in uncertainty. We are
here not to talk, but to examine; we must judge, and our judgment is not
determined by our will. I do not propose to you to believe extravagant
things, in order to escape embarrassment. I do not say to you, "Go to
Mecca, and instruct yourself by kissing the black stone, take hold of a
cow's tail, muffle yourself in a scapulary, or be imbecile and fanatical
to acquire the favor of the Being of beings." I say to you: "Continue
to cultivate virtue, to be beneficent, to regard all superstition with
horror, or with pity; but adore, with me, the design which is manifested
in all nature, and consequently the Author of that design--the
primordial and final cause of all; hope with me that our monad, which
reasons on the great eternal being, may be happy through that same great
Being." There is no contradiction in this. You can no more demonstrate
its impossibility than I can demonstrate mathematically that it is so.
In metaphysics we scarcely reason on anything but probabilities. We are
all swimming in a sea of which we have never seen the shore. Woe be to
those who fight while they swim! Land who can: but he that cries out to
me, "You swim in vain, there is no land," disheartens me, and deprives
me of all my strength.

What is the object of our dispute? To console our unhappy existence. Who
consoles it--you or I?

You yourself own, in some passages of your work, that the belief in a
God has withheld some men on the brink of crime; for me, this
acknowledgment is enough. If this opinion had prevented but ten
assassinations, but ten calumnies, but ten iniquitous judgments on the
earth, I hold that the whole earth ought to embrace it.

Religion, you say, has produced thousands of crimes--say, rather,
superstition, which unhappily reigns over this globe; it is the most
cruel enemy of the pure adoration due to the Supreme Being.

Let us detest this monster which has constantly been tearing the bosom
of its mother; they who combat it are benefactors to mankind: it is a
serpent enclosing religion in its folds, its head must be bruised,
without wounding the parent whom it infects and devours.

You fear, "that, by adoring God, men would soon again become
superstitious and fanatical." But is it not to be feared that in denying
Him, they would abandon themselves to the most atrocious passions, and
the most frightful crimes? Between these two extremes is there not a
very rational mean? Where is the safe track between these two rocks? It
is God, and wise laws.

You affirm that it is but one step from adoration to superstition: but
there is an infinity to well-constituted minds, and these are now very
numerous; they are at the head of nations; they influence public
manners, and, year by year, the fanaticism that overspread the earth is
receding in its detestable usurpations.

I shall say a few words more in answer to what you say in page 223. "If
it be presumed that there are relations between man and this incredible
being, then altars must be raised and presents must be made to him,
etc.; if no conception be formed of this being, then the matter must be
referred to priests, who...." A great evil to be sure, to assemble in
the harvest season, and thank God for the bread that He has given us!
Who says you should make presents to God? The idea is ridiculous! But
where is the harm of employing a citizen, called an "elder" or "priest,"
to render thanks to the Divinity in the name of the other
citizens?--provided the priest is not a Gregory VII. trampling on the
heads of kings, nor an Alexander VI. polluting by incest his daughter,
the offspring of a rape, and, by the aid of his bastard son, poisoning
and assassinating almost all the neighboring princes: provided that, in
a parish, this priest is not a knave, picking the pockets of the
penitents he confesses, and using the money to seduce the girls he
catechises; provided that this priest is not a Letellier, putting the
whole kingdom in combustion by rogueries worthy of the pillory, nor a
Warburton, violating the laws of society, making public the private
papers of a member of parliament in order to ruin him, and calumniating
whosoever is not of his opinion. The latter cases are rare. The
sacerdotal state is a curb which forces to good behavior.

A stupid priest excites contempt; a bad priest inspires horror; a good
priest, mild, pious, without superstition, charitable, tolerant, is one
who ought to be cherished and revered. You dread abuses--so do I. Let us
unite to prevent them; but let us not condemn the usage when it is
useful to society, when it is not perverted by fanaticism, or by
fraudulent wickedness.

I have one very important thing to tell you. I am persuaded that you are
in a great error, but I am equally convinced that you are honest in your
self-delusion. You would have men virtuous even without a God, although
you have unfortunately said that "so soon as vice renders man happy, he
must love vice"--a frightful proposition, which your friends should have
prevailed on you to erase. Everywhere else you inspire probity. This
philosophical dispute will be only between you and a few philosophers
scattered over Europe; the rest of the earth will not even hear of it.
The people do not read us. If some theologian were to seek to persecute
us, he would be impudent as well as wicked; he would but serve to
confirm you, and to make new atheists.

You are wrong: but the Greeks did not persecute Epicurus; the Romans did
not persecute Lucretius. You are wrong: but your genius and your virtue
must be respected, while you are refuted with all possible strength.

In my opinion, the finest homage that can be rendered to God is to stand
forward in His defence without anger; as the most unworthy portrait that
can be drawn of Him is to paint Him vindictive and furious. He is truth
itself; and truth is without passion. To be a disciple of God is to
announce Him as of a mild heart and of an unalterable mind.

I think, with you, that fanaticism is a monster a thousand times more
dangerous than philosophical atheism. Spinoza did not commit a single
bad action. Châtel and Ravaillac, both devotees, assassinated Henry IV.

The atheist of the closet is almost always a quiet philosopher, while
the fanatic is always turbulent: but the court atheist, the atheistical
prince, might be the scourge of mankind. Borgia and his like have done
almost as much harm as the fanatics of Münster and of the Cévennes. I
say the fanatics on both sides. The misfortune is, that atheists of the
closet make atheists of the court. It was Chiron who brought up
Achilles; he fed him with lion's marrow. Achilles will one day drag
Hector's body round the walls of Troy, and immolate twelve captives to
his vengeance.

God keep us from an abominable priest who should hew a king in pieces
with his sacrificing knife, as also from him who, with a helmet on his
head and a cuirass on his back, at the age of seventy, should dare to
sign with his three bloody fingers the ridiculous excommunication of a
king of France! and from.... and from....

But also, may God preserve us from a choleric and barbarous despot, who,
not believing in a God, should be his own God, who should render himself
unworthy of his sacred trust by trampling on the duties which that trust
imposes, who should remorselessly sacrifice to his passions, his
friends, his relatives, his servants, and his people. These two tigers,
the one shorn, the other crowned are equally to be feared. By what means
shall we muzzle them?....

If the idea of a God has made a Titus or a Trajan, an Antonine or an
Aurelius, and those great Chinese emperors, whose memory is so dear to
the second of the most ancient and most extensive empires in the world,
these examples are sufficient for my cause--and my cause is that of all
mankind.

I do not believe that there is in all Europe one statesman, one man at
all versed in the affairs of the world, who has not the most profound
contempt for the legends with which we have been inundated, even more
than we now are with pamphlets. If religion no longer gives birth to
civil wars, it is to philosophy alone that we are indebted, theological
disputes beginning to be regarded in much the same manner as the
quarrels of Punch and Judy at the fair. A usurpation, alike odious and
ridiculous, founded upon fraud on one side and stupidity on the other,
is every instant undermined by reason, which is establishing its reign.
The bull "_In cæna Domini_"--that masterpiece of insolence and folly, no
longer dares appear, even in Rome. If a regiment of monks makes the
least evolution against the laws of the state, it is immediately broken.
But, because the Jesuits have been expelled, must we also expel God? On
the contrary, we must love Him the more.


SECTION VI.

In the reign of Arcadius, Logomachos, a theologue of Constantinople,
went into Scythia and stopped at the foot of Mount Caucasus in the
fruitful plains of Zephirim, on the borders of Colchis. The good old man
Dondindac was in his great hall between his large sheepfold and his
extensive barn; he was on his knees with his wife, his five sons and
five daughters, his kinsmen and servants; and all were singing the
praises of God, after a light repast. "What are you doing, idolater?"
said Logomachos to him. "I am not an idolater," said Dondindac. "You
must be an idolater," said Logomachos, "for you are not a Greek. Come,
tell me what you were singing in your barbarous Scythian jargon?" "All
tongues are alike to the ears of God," answered the Scythian; "we were
singing His praises." "Very extraordinary!" returned the theologue; "a
Scythian family praying to God without having been instructed by us!" He
soon entered into conversation with the Scythian Dondindac; for the
theologue knew a little Scythian, and the other a little Greek. This
conversation has been found in a manuscript preserved in the library of
Constantinople.

LOGOMACHOS.

Let us see if you know your catechism. Why do you pray to God?

DONDINDAC.

Because it is just to adore the Supreme Being, from whom we have
everything.

LOGOMACHOS.

Very fair for a barbarian. And what do you ask of him?

DONDINDAC

I thank Him for the blessings I enjoy, and even for the trials which He
sends me; but I am careful to ask nothing of Him; for He knows our wants
better than we do; besides, I should be afraid of asking for fair
weather while my neighbor was asking for rain.

LOGOMACHOS.

Ah! I thought he would say some nonsense or other. Let us begin farther
back. Barbarian, who told you that there is a God?

DONDINDAC

All nature tells me.

LOGOMACHOS.

That is not enough. What idea have you of God?

DONDINDAC

The idea of my Creator; my master, who will reward me if I do good, and
punish me if I do evil.

LOGOMACHOS.

Trifles! trash! Let us come to some essentials. Is God _infinite
secundum quid_, or according to essence?

DONDINDAC

I don't understand you.

LOGOMACHOS.

Brute beast! Is God in one place, or in every place?

DONDINDAC.

I know not ... just as you please.

LOGOMACHOS.

Ignoramus!... Can He cause that which has not been to have been, or that
a stick shall not have two ends? Does He see the future as future, or as
present? How does He draw being from nothing, and how reduce being to
nothing?

DONDINDAC.

I have never examined these things.

LOGOMACHOS.

What a stupid fellow! Well, I must come nearer to your level.... Tell
me, friend, do you think that matter can be eternal?

DONDINDAC

What matters it to me whether it exists from all eternity or not? I do
not exist from all eternity. God must still be my Master. He has given
me the nature of justice; it is my duty to follow it: I seek not to be a
philosopher; I wish to be a man.

LOGOMACHOS.

One has a great deal of trouble with these block-heads. Let us proceed
step by step. What is God?

DONDINDAC

My sovereign, my judge, my father.

LOGOMACHOS.

That is not what I ask. What is His nature?

DONDINDAC.

To be mighty and good.

LOGOMACHOS.

But is He corporeal or spiritual?

DONDINDAC.

How should I know that?

LOGOMACHOS.

What; do you not know what a spirit is?

DONDINDAC.

Not in the least. Of what service would that knowledge be to me? Should
I be more just? Should I be a better husband, a better father, a better
master, or a better citizen?

LOGOMACHOS.

You must absolutely be taught what a spirit is. It is--it is--it is--I
will say what another time.

DONDINDAC.

I much fear that you will tell me rather what it is not than what it is.
Permit me, in turn, to ask you one question. Some time ago, I saw one of
your temples: why do you paint God with a long beard?

LOGOMACHOS.

That is a very difficult question, and requires preliminary
instruction.

DONDINDAC.

Before I receive your instruction, I must relate to you a thing which
one day happened to me. I had just built a closet at the end of my
garden, when I heard a mole arguing thus with an ant: "Here is a fine
fabric," said the mole; "it must have been a very powerful mole that
performed this work." "You jest," returned the ant; "the architect of
this edifice is an ant of mighty genius." From that time I resolved
never to dispute.



GOOD--THE SOVEREIGN GOOD, A CHIMERA.


SECTION I.

Happiness is an abstract idea composed of certain pleasurable
sensations. Plato, who wrote better than he reasoned, conceived the
notion of his world in archetype; that is, his original world--of his
general ideas of the beautiful, the good, the orderly, and the just, as
if there had existed eternal beings, called order, good, beauty, and
justice; whence might be derived the feeble copies exhibited here below
of the just, the beautiful, and the good.

It is, then, in consequence of his suggestions that philosophers have
occupied themselves in seeking for the sovereign good, as chemists seek
for the philosopher's stone; but the sovereign good has no more
existence than the sovereign square, or the sovereign crimson: there is
the crimson color, and there are squares; but there is no general
existence so denominated. This chimerical manner of reasoning was for a
long time the bane of philosophy.

Animals feel pleasure in performing all the functions for which they are
destined. The happiness which poetical fancy has imagined would be an
uninterrupted series of pleasures; but such a series would be
incompatible with our organs and our destination. There is great
pleasure in eating, drinking, and connubial endearments; but it is clear
that if a man were always eating, or always in the full ecstasy of
enjoyment, his organs would be incapable of sustaining it: it is further
evident that he would be unable to fulfil the destinies he was born to,
and that, in the case supposed, the human race would absolutely perish
through pleasure.

To pass constantly and without interruption from one pleasure to another
is also a chimera. The woman who has conceived must go through
childbirth, which is a pain; the man is obliged to cleave wood and hew
stone, which is not a pleasure.

If the name of happiness is meant to be applied to some pleasures which
are diffused over human life, there is in fact, we must admit,
happiness. If the name attaches only to one pleasure always permanent,
or a continued although varied range of delicious enjoyment, then
happiness belongs not to this terraqueous globe. Go and seek for it
elsewhere.

If we make happiness consist in any particular situation that a man may
be in, as for instance, a situation of wealth, power, or fame, we are no
less mistaken. There are some scavengers who are happier than some
sovereigns. Ask Cromwell whether he was more happy when he was lord
protector of England, than when, in his youthful days, he enjoyed
himself at a tavern; he will probably tell you in answer, that the
period of his usurpation was not the period most productive of
pleasures. How many plain or even ugly country women are more happy than
were Helen and Cleopatra.

We must here however make one short remark; that when we say such a
particular man is probably happier than some other; that a young
muleteer has advantages very superior to those of Charles V.; that a
dressmaker has more enjoyment than a princess, we should adhere to the
probability of the case. There is certainly every appearance that a
muleteer, in full health, must have more pleasure than Charles the
Fifth, laid up with the gout; but nevertheless it may also be, that
Charles, on his crutches, revolves in his mind with such ecstasy the
facts of his holding a king of France and a pope prisoners, that his lot
is absolutely preferable to that of the young and vigorous muleteer.

It certainly belongs to God alone, to a being capable of seeing through
all hearts, to decide which is the happiest man. There is only one case
in which a person can affirm that his actual state is worse or better
than that of his neighbor; this case is that of existing rivalship, and
the moment that of victory.

I will suppose that Archimedes has an assignation at night with his
mistress. Nomentanus has the same assignation at the same hour.
Archimedes presents himself at the door, and it is shut in his face; but
it is opened to his rival, who enjoys an excellent supper, which he
enlivens by his repeated sallies of wit upon Archimedes, and after the
conclusion of which he withdraws to still higher enjoyments, while the
other remains exposed in the street to all the pelting of a pitiless
storm. There can be no doubt that Nomentanus has a right to say: "I am
more happy to-night than Archimedes: I have more pleasure than he"; but
it is necessary, in order to admit the truth and justness of the
inference of the successful competitors in his own favor, to suppose
that Archimedes is thinking only about the loss of his good supper,
about being despised and deceived by a beautiful woman, about being
supplanted by his rival, and annoyed by the tempest; for, if the
philosopher in the street should be calmly reflecting that his soul
ought to be above being discomposed by a strumpet or a storm, if he
should be absorbed in a profound and interesting problem, and if he
should discover the proportions between the cylinder and the sphere, he
may experience a pleasure a hundred times superior to that of
Nomentanus.

It is only therefore in the single case of actual pleasure and actual
pain, and without a reference to anything else whatever, that a
comparison between any two individuals can be properly made. It is
unquestionable that he who enjoys the society of his mistress is
happier at the moment than his scorned rival deploring over his
misfortune. A man in health, supping on a fat partridge, is undoubtedly
happier at the time than another under the torment of the colic; but we
cannot safely carry our inferences farther; we cannot estimate the
existence of one man against that of another; we possess no accurate
balance for weighing desires and sensations.

We began this article with Plato and his sovereign good; we will
conclude it with Solon and the saying of his which has been so highly
celebrated, that "we ought to pronounce no man happy before his death."
This maxim, when examined into, will be found nothing more than a
puerile remark, just like many other apothegms consecrated by their
antiquity. The moment of death has nothing in common with the lot
experienced by any man in life; a man may perish by a violent and
ignominious death, and yet, up to that moment, may have enjoyed all the
pleasures of which human nature is susceptible. It is very possible and
very common for a happy man to cease to be so; no one can doubt it; but
he has not the less had his happy moments.

What, then, can Solon's expression strictly and fairly mean? that a man
happy to-day is not certain of being so to-morrow! In this case it is a
truth so incontestable and trivial that, not merely is it not worthy of
being elevated into a maxim, but it is not worthy delivering at all.


SECTION II.

Well-being is a rare possession. May not the sovereign good in this
world be considered as a sovereign chimera? The Greek philosophers
discussed at great length, according to their usual practice, this
celebrated question. The reader will, probably, compare them to just so
many mendicants reasoning about the philosopher's stone.

The sovereign good! What an expression! It might as well have been
asked: What is the sovereign blue, or the sovereign ragout, or the
sovereign walk, or the sovereign reading?

Every one places his good where he can, and has as much of it as he can,
in his own way, and in very scanty measure. Castor loved horses; his
twin brother, to try a fall--

_Quid dem? quid non dem? renuis tu quod jubet alter.... Castor gaudet
equis, ovo prognatus eodem Pugnis, etc._

The greatest good is that which delights us so powerfully as to render
us incapable of feeling anything else; as the greatest evil is that
which goes so far as to deprive us of all feeling. These are the two
extremes of human nature, and these moments are short. Neither extreme
delight nor extreme torture can last a whole life. The sovereign good
and the sovereign evil are nothing more than chimeras.

We all know the beautiful fable of Crantor. He introduces upon the stage
at the Olympic games, Wealth, Pleasure, Health, and Virtue. Each claims
the apple. Wealth says, I am the sovereign good, for with me all goods
are purchased. Pleasure says, the apple belongs to me, for it is only on
my account that wealth is desired. Health asserts, that without her
there can be no pleasure, and wealth is useless. Finally, Virtue states
that she is superior to the other three, because, although possessed of
gold, pleasures, and health, a man may make himself very contemptible by
misconduct. The apple was conferred on Virtue.

The fable is very ingenious; it would be still more so if Crantor had
said that the sovereign good consists in the combination of the four
rivals, Virtue, Health, Wealth, and Pleasure; but this fable neither
does, nor can, resolve the absurd question about the sovereign good.
Virtue is not a good; it is a duty. It is of a different nature; of a
superior order. It has nothing to do with painful or with agreeable
sensations. A virtuous man, laboring under stone and gout, without aid,
without friends, destitute of necessaries, persecuted, and chained down
to the floor by a voluptuous tyrant who enjoys good health, is very
wretched; and his insolent persecutor, caressing a new mistress on his
bed of purple, is very happy. Say, if you please, that the persecuted
sage is preferable to the persecuting profligate; say that you admire
the one and detest the other; but confess that the sage in chains is
scarcely less than mad with rage and pain; if he does not himself admit
that he is so, he completely deceives you; he is a charlatan.



GOOD.

_Of Good and Evil, Physical and Moral._


We here treat of a question of the greatest difficulty and importance.
It relates to the whole of human life. It would be of much greater
consequence to find a remedy for our evils; but no remedy is to be
discovered, and we are reduced to the sad necessity of tracing out their
origin. With respect to this origin, men have disputed ever since the
days of Zoroaster, and in all probability they disputed on the same
subject long before him. It was to explain the mixture of good and evil
that they conceived the idea of two principles--Oromazes, the author of
light, and Arimanes, the author of darkness; the box of Pandora; the two
vessels of Jupiter; the apple eaten by Eve; and a variety of other
systems. The first of dialecticians, although not the first of
philosophers, the illustrious Bayle, has clearly shown how difficult it
is for Christians who admit one only God, perfectly good and just, to
reply to the objections of the Manichæans who acknowledge two Gods--one
good, and the other evil.

The foundation of the system of the Manichæans, with all its antiquity,
was not on that account more reasonable. Lemmas, susceptible of the most
clear and rigid geometrical demonstrations, should alone have induced
any men to the adoption of such a theorem as the following: "There are
two necessary beings, both supreme, both infinite, both equally
powerful, both in conflict with each other, yet, finally, agreeing to
pour out upon this little planet--one, all the treasures of his
beneficence, and the other all the stores of his malice." It is in vain
that the advocates of this hypothesis attempt to explain by it the cause
of good and evil: even the fable of Prometheus explains it better. Every
hypothesis which only serves to assign a reason for certain things,
without being, in addition to that recommendation, established upon
indisputable principles, ought invariably to be rejected.

The Christian doctors--independently of revelation, which makes
everything credible--explain the origin of good-and evil no better than
the partner-gods of Zoroaster.

When they say God is a tender father, God is a just king; when they add
the idea of infinity to that of love, that kindness, that justice which
they observe in the best of their own species, they soon fall into the
most palpable and dreadful contradictions. How could this sovereign, who
possessed in infinite fulness the principle or quality of human justice,
how could this father, entertaining an infinite affection for his
children; how could this being, infinitely powerful, have formed
creatures in His own likeness, to have them immediately afterwards
tempted by a malignant demon, to make them yield to that temptation to
inflict death on those whom He had created immortal, and to overwhelm
their posterity with calamities and crimes! We do not here speak of a
contradiction still more revolting to our feeble reason. How could God,
who ransomed the human race by the death of His only Son; or rather, how
could God, who took upon Himself the nature of man, and died on the
cross to save men from perdition, consign over to eternal tortures
nearly the whole of that human race for whom He died? Certainly, when we
consider this system merely as philosophers--without the aid of
faith--we must consider it as absolutely monstrous and abominable. It
makes of God either pure and unmixed malice, and that malice infinite,
which created thinking beings, on purpose to devote them to eternal
misery, or absolute impotence and imbecility, in not being able to
foresee or to prevent the torments of his offspring.

But the eternity of misery is not the subject of this article, which
relates properly only to the good and evil of the present life. None of
the doctors of the numerous churches of Christianity, all of which
advocate the doctrine we are here contesting, have been able to convince
a single sage.

We cannot conceive how Bayle, who managed the weapons of dialectics with
such admirable strength and dexterity, could content himself with
introducing in a dispute a Manichæan, a Calvinist, a Molinist, and a
Socinian. Why did he not introduce, as speaking, a reasonable and
sensible man? Why did not Bayle speak in his own person? He would have
said far better what we shall now venture to say ourselves. A father
who kills his children is a monster; a king who conducts his subjects
into a snare, in order to obtain a pretext for delivering them up to
punishment and torture, is an execrable tyrant. If you conceive God to
possess the same kindness which you require in a father, the same
justice that you require in a king, no possible resource exists by
which, if we may use the expression, God can be exculpated; and by
allowing Him to possess infinite wisdom and infinite goodness you, in
fact, render Him infinitely odious; you excite a wish that He had no
existence; you furnish arms to the atheist, who will ever be justified
in triumphantly remarking to you: Better by far is it to deny a God
altogether, than impute to Him such conduct as you would punish, to the
extremity of the law, in men.

We begin then with observing, that it is unbecoming in us to ascribe to
God human attributes. It is not for us to make God after our own
likeness. Human justice, human kindness, and human wisdom can never be
applied or made suitable to Him. We may extend these attributes in our
imagination as far as we are able, to infinity; they will never be other
than human qualities with boundaries perpetually or indefinitely
removed; it would be equally rational to attribute to Him infinite
solidity, infinite motion, infinite roundness, or infinite divisibility.
These attributes can never be His.

Philosophy informs us that this universe must have been arranged by a
Being incomprehensible, eternal, and existing by His own nature; but,
once again, we must observe that philosophy gives us no information on
the subject of the attributes of that nature. We know what He is not,
and not what He is.

With respect to God, there is neither good nor evil, physically or
morally. What is physical or natural evil? Of all evils, the greatest,
undoubtedly, is death. Let us for a moment consider whether man could
have been immortal.

In order that a body like ours should have been indissoluble,
imperishable, it would have been necessary that it should not be
composed of parts; that it--should not be born; that it should have
neither nourishment nor growth; that it should experience no change. Let
any one examine each of these points; and let every reader extend their
number according to his own suggestions, and it will be seen that the
proposition of an immortal man is a contradiction.

If our organized body were immortal, that of mere animals would be so
likewise; but it is evident that, in the course of a very short time,
the whole globe would, in this case, be incompetent to supply
nourishment to those animals; those immortal beings which exist only in
consequence of renovation by food, would then perish for want of the
means of such renovation. All this involves contradiction. We might make
various other observations on the subject, but every reader who deserves
the name of a philosopher will perceive that death was necessary to
everything that is born; that death can neither be an error on the part
of God, nor an evil, an injustice, nor a chastisement to man.

Man, born to die, can no more be exempt from pain than from death. To
prevent an organized substance endowed with feeling from ever
experiencing pain, it would be necessary that all the laws of nature
should be changed; that matter should no longer be divisible; that it
should neither have weight, action, nor force; that a rock might fall on
an animal without crushing it; and that water should have no power to
suffocate, or fire to burn it. Man, impassive, then, is as much a
contradiction as man immortal.

This feeling of pain was indispensable to stimulate us to
self-preservation, and to impart to us such pleasures as are consistent
with those general laws by which the whole system of nature is bound and
regulated.

If we never experienced pain, we should be every moment injuring
ourselves without perceiving it. Without the excitement of uneasiness,
without some sensation of pain, we should perform no function of life;
should never communicate it, and should be destitute of all the
pleasures of it. Hunger is the commencement of pain which compels us to
take our required nourishment. Ennui is a pain which stimulates to
exercise and occupation. Love itself is a necessity which becomes
painful until it is met with corresponding attachment. In a word, every
desire is a want, a necessity, a beginning of pain. Pain, therefore, is
the mainspring of all the actions of animated beings. Every animal
possessed of feeling must be liable to pain, if matter is divisible; and
pain was as necessary as death. It is not, therefore, an error of
Providence, nor a result of malignity, nor a creature of imagination.
Had we seen only brutes suffer, we should, for that, never have accused
nature of harshness or cruelty; had we, while ourselves were impassive,
witnessed the lingering and torturing death of a dove, when a kite
seized upon it with his murderous talons, and leisurely devouring its
bleeding limbs, doing in that no more than we do ourselves, we should
not express the slightest murmur of dissatisfaction. But what claim have
we for an exemption of our own bodies from such dismemberment and
torture beyond what might be urged in behalf of brutes? Is it that we
possess an intellect superior to theirs? But what has intellect to do
with the divisibility of matter? Can a few ideas more or less in a brain
prevent fire from burning, or a rock from crushing us?

Moral evil, upon which so many volumes have been written is, in fact,
nothing but natural evil. This moral evil is a sensation of pain
occasioned by one organized being to another. Rapine, outrage, etc., are
evil only because they produce evil. But as we certainly are unable to
do any evil, or occasion any pain to God, it is evident by the light of
reason--for faith is altogether a different principle--that in relation
to the Supreme Being and as affecting Him, moral evil can have no
existence.

As the greatest of natural evils is death, the greatest of moral evils
is, unquestionably, war. All crimes follow in its train; false and
calumnious declarations, perfidious violation of the treaties, pillage,
devastation, pain, and death under every hideous and appalling form.

All this is physical evil in relation to man, but can no more be
considered moral evil in relation to God than the rage of dogs worrying
and destroying one another. It is a mere common-place idea, and as false
as it is feeble, that men are the only species that slaughter and
destroy one another. Wolves, dogs, cats, cocks, quails, all war with
their respective species: house spiders devour one another; the male
universally fights for the female. This warfare is the result of the
laws of nature, of principles in their very blood and essence; all is
connected; all is necessary.

Nature has granted man about two and twenty years of life, one with
another; that is, of a thousand children born in the same month, some of
whom have died in their infancy, and the rest lived respectively to the
age of thirty, forty, fifty, and even eighty years, or perhaps beyond,
the average calculation will allow to each the above-mentioned number of
twenty-two years.

How can it affect the Deity, whether a man die in battle or of a fever?
War destroys fewer human beings than smallpox. The scourge of war is
transient, that of smallpox reigns with paramount and permanent fatality
throughout the earth, followed by a numerous train of others; and taking
into consideration the combined, and nearly regular operation of the
various causes which sweep mankind from the stage of life, the allowance
of two and twenty years for every individual will be found in general to
be tolerably correct.

Man, you say, offends God by killing his neighbor; if this be the case,
the directors of nations must indeed be tremendous criminals; for, while
even invoking God to their assistance, they urge on to slaughter immense
multitudes of their fellow-beings, for contemptible interests which it
would show infinitely more policy, as well as humanity, to abandon. But
how--to reason merely as philosophers--how do they offend God? Just as
much as tigers and crocodiles offend him. It is, surely, not God whom
they harass and torment, but their neighbor. It is only against man that
man can be guilty. A highway robber can commit no robbery on God. What
can it signify to the eternal Deity, whether a few pieces of yellow
metal are in the hands of Jerome, or of Bonaventure? We have necessary
desires, necessary passions, and necessary laws for the restraint of
both; and while on this our ant-hill, during the little day of our
existence, we are engaged in eager and destructive contest about a
straw, the universe moves, on in its majestic course, directed by
eternal and unalterable laws, which comprehend in their operation the
atom that we call the earth.



GOSPEL.


It is a matter of high importance to ascertain which are the first
gospels. It is a decided truth, whatever Abbadie may assert to the
contrary, that none of the first fathers of the Church, down to Irenæus
inclusively, have quoted any passage from the four gospels with which we
are acquainted. And to this it may be added, that the Alogi, the
Theodosians, constantly rejected the gospel of St. John, and always
spoke of it with contempt; as we are informed by St. Epiphanius in his
thirty-fourth homily. Our enemies further observe that the most ancient
fathers do not merely forbear to quote anything from our gospels, but
relate many passages or events which are to be found only in the
apocryphal gospels rejected by the canon.

St. Clement, for example, relates that our Lord, having been questioned
concerning the time when His kingdom would come, answered, "That will be
when what is without shall Resemble that within, and when there shall be
neither male nor female." But we must admit that this passage does not
occur in either of our gospels. There are innumerable other instances to
prove this truth; which may be seen in the "Critical Examination" of M.
Fréret, perpetual secretary of the Academy of Belles Lettres at Paris.

The learned Fabricius took the pains to collect the ancient gospels
which time has spared; that of James appears to be the first; and it is
certain that it still possesses considerable authority with some of the
Oriental churches. It is called "the first gospel." There remain the
passion and the resurrection, pretended to have been written by
Nicodemus. This gospel of Nicodemus is quoted by St. Justin and
Tertullian. It is there we find the names of our Lord's accusers--Annas,
Caiaphas, Soumas, Dathan, Gamaliel, Judas, Levi, and Napthali; the
attention and particularity with which these names are given confer upon
the work an appearance of truth and sincerity. Our adversaries have
inferred that as so many false gospels were forged, which at first were
recognized as true, those which constitute at the present day the
foundation of our own faith may have been forged also. They dwell much
on the circumstance of the first heretics suffering even death itself in
defence of these apocryphal gospels. There have evidently been, they
say, forgers, seducers, and men who have been seduced by them into
error, and died in defence of that error; it is, at least, therefore, no
proof of the truth of Christianity that it has had its martyrs who have
died for it.

They add further, that the martyrs were never asked the question,
whether they believed the gospel of John or the gospel of James. The
Pagans could not put a series of interrogatories about books with which
they were not at all acquainted; the magistrates punished some
Christians very unjustly, as disturbers of the public peace, but they
never put particular questions to them in relation to our four gospels.
These books were not known to the Romans before the time of Diocletian,
and even towards the close of Diocletian's reign, they had scarcely
obtained any publicity. It was deemed in a Christian a crime both
abominable and unpardonable to show a gospel to any Gentile. This is so
true, that you cannot find the word "gospel" in any profane author
whatever.

The rigid Socinians, influenced by the above-mentioned or other
difficulties, do not consider our four divine gospels in any other light
than as works of clandestine introduction, fabricated about a century
after the time of Jesus Christ, and carefully concealed from the
Gentiles for another century beyond that; works, as they express it, of
a coarse and vulgar character, written by coarse and vulgar men, who,
for a long time confined their discourses and appeals to the mere
populace of their party. We will not here repeat the blasphemies uttered
by them. This sect, although considerably diffused and numerous, is at
present as much concealed as were the first gospels. The difficulty of
converting them is so much the greater, in consequence of their
obstinately refusing to listen to anything but mere reason. The other
Christians contend against them only with the weapons of the Holy
Scripture: it is consequently impossible that, being thus always in
hostility with respect to principles, they should ever unite in their
conclusions.

With respect to ourselves, let us ever remain inviolably attached to our
four gospels, in union with the infallible church. Let us reject the
five gospels which it has rejected; let us not inquire why our Lord
Jesus Christ permitted five false gospels, five false histories of his
life to be written; and let us submit to our spiritual pastors and
directors, who alone on earth are enlightened by the Holy Spirit.

Into what a gross error did Abbadie fall when he considered as authentic
the letters so ridiculously forged, from Pilate to Tiberius, and the
pretended proposal of Tiberius to place Jesus Christ in the number of
the gods. If Abbadie is a bad critic and a contemptible reasoner, is the
Church on that account less enlightened? are we the less bound to
believe it? Shall we at all the less submit to it?



GOVERNMENT.


SECTION I.

The pleasure of governing must certainly be exquisite, if we may judge
from the vast numbers who are eager to be concerned in it. We have many
more books on government than there are monarchs in the world. Heaven
preserve me from making any attempt here to give instruction to kings
and their noble ministers--their valets, confessors, or financiers. I
understand nothing about the matter; I have the profoundest respect and
reverence for them all. It belongs only to Mr. Wilkes, with his English
balance, to weigh the merits of those who are at the head of the human
race. It would, besides, be exceedingly strange if, with three or four
thousand volumes on the subject of government, with Machiavelli, and
Bossuet's "Policy of the Holy Scripture," with the "General Financier,"
the "Guide to Finances," the "Means of Enriching a State," etc., there
could possibly be a single person living who was not perfectly
acquainted with the duties of kings and the science of government.

Professor Puffendorf, or, as perhaps we should rather say, Baron
Puffendorf, says that King David, having sworn never to attempt the life
of Shimei, his privy counsellor, did not violate his oath when,
according to the Jewish history, he instructed his son Solomon to get
him assassinated, "because David had only engaged that he himself would
not kill Shimei." The baron, who rebukes so sharply the mental
reservations of the Jesuits, allows David, in the present instance, to
entertain one which would not be particularly palatable to privy
counsellors.

Let us consider the words of Bossuet in his "Policy of the Holy
Scripture," addressed to Monseigneur the Dauphin. "Thus we see royalty
established according to the order of succession in the house of David
and Solomon, and the throne of David is secured forever--although, by
the way, that same little joint-stool called a 'throne,' instead of
being secured forever, lasted, in fact, only a very short time." By
virtue of this law, the eldest son was to succeed, to the exclusion of
his brothers, and on this account Adonijah, who was the eldest, said to
Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon, "Thou knowest that the kingdom was
mine, and all Israel had recognized my right; but the Lord hath
transferred the kingdom to my brother Solomon." The right of Adonijah
was incontestable. Bossuet expressly admits this at the close of this
article. "The Lord has transferred" is only a usual phrase, which means,
I have lost my property or right, I have been deprived of my right.
Adonijah was the issue of a lawful wife; the birth of his younger
brother was the fruit of a double crime.

"Unless, then," says Bossuet, "something extraordinary occurred, the
eldest was to succeed." But the something extraordinary, in the present
instance, which prevented it was, that Solomon, the issue of a marriage
arising out of a double adultery and a murder, procured the
assassination, at the foot of the altar, of his elder brother and his
lawful king, whose rights were supported by the high priest Abiathar and
the chief commander Joab. After this we must acknowledge that it is more
difficult than some seem to imagine to take lessons on the rights of
persons, and on the true system of government from the Holy Scriptures,
which were first given to the Jews, and afterwards to ourselves, for
purposes of a far higher nature.

"The preservation of the people is the supreme law." Such is the
fundamental maxim of nations; but in all civil wars the safety of the
people is made to consist in slaughtering a number of the citizens. In
all foreign wars, the safety of a people consists in killing their
neighbors, and taking possession of their property! It is difficult to
perceive in this a particularly salutary "right of nations," and a
government eminently favorable to liberty of thought and social
happiness.

There are geometrical figures exceedingly regular and complete in their
kind; arithmetic is perfect; many trades or manufactures are carried on
in a manner constantly uniform and excellent; but with respect to the
government of men, is it possible for any one to be good, when all are
founded on passions in conflict with each other?

No convent of monks ever existed without discord; it is impossible,
therefore, to exclude it from kingdoms. Every government resembles not
merely a monastic institution, but a private household. There are none
existing without quarrels; and quarrels between one people and another,
between one prince and another, have ever been, sanguinary; those
between subjects and their sovereigns have been sometimes no less
destructive. How is an individual to act? Must he risk joining in the
conflict, or withdraw from the scene of action?


SECTION II.

More than one people are desirous of new constitutions. The English
would have no objection to a change of ministers once in every eight
hours, but they have no wish to change the form of their government.

The modern Romans are proud of their church of St. Peter and their
ancient Greek statues; but the people would be glad to be better fed,
although they were not quite so rich in benedictions; the fathers of
families would be content that the Church should have less gold, if the
granaries had more corn; they regret the time when the apostles
journeyed on foot, and when the citizens of Rome travelled from one
palace to another in litters.

We are incessantly reminded of the admirable republics of Greece. There
is no question that the Greeks would prefer the government of a Pericles
and a Demosthenes to that of a pasha; but in their most prosperous and
palmy times they were always complaining; discord and hatred prevailed
between all the cities without, and in every separate city within. They
gave laws to the old Romans, who before that time had none; but their
own were so bad for themselves that they were continually changing them.

What could be said in favor of a government under which the just
Aristides was banished, Phocion put to death, Socrates condemned to
drink hemlock after having been exposed to banter and derision on the
stage by Aristophanes; and under which the Amphyctions, with
contemptible imbecility, actually delivered up Greece into the power of
Philip, because the Phocians had ploughed up a field which was part of
the territory of Apollo? But the government of the neighboring
monarchies was worse.

Puffendorf promises us a discussion on the best form of government. He
tells us, "that many pronounce in favor of monarchy, and others, on the
contrary, inveigh furiously against kings; and that it does not fall
within the limits of his subject to examine in detail the reasons of the
latter." If any mischievous and malicious reader expects to be told here
more than he is told by Puffendorf, he will be much deceived.

A Swiss, a Hollander, a Venetian nobleman, an English peer, a cardinal,
and a count of the empire, were once disputing, on a journey, about the
nature of their respective governments, and which of them deserved the
preference: no one knew much about the matter; each remained in his own
opinion without having any very distinct idea what that opinion was; and
they returned without having come to any general conclusion; every one
praising his own country from vanity, and complaining of it from
feeling.

What, then, is the destiny of mankind? Scarcely any great nation is
governed by itself. Begin from the east, and take the circuit of the
world. Japan closed its ports against foreigners from the well-founded
apprehension of a dreadful revolution.

China actually experienced such a revolution; she obeys Tartars of a
mixed race, half Mantchou and half Hun. India obeys Mogul Tartars. The
Nile, the Orontes, Greece, and Epirus are still under the yoke of the
Turks. It is not an English race that reigns in England; it is a German
family which succeeded to a Dutch prince, as the latter succeeded a
Scotch family which had succeeded an Angevin family, that had replaced a
Norman family, which had expelled a family of usurping Saxons. Spain
obeys a French family; which succeeded to an Austrasian race, that
Austrasian race had succeeded families that boasted of Visigoth
extraction; these Visigoths had been long driven out by the Arabs, after
having succeeded to the Romans, who had expelled the Carthaginians. Gaul
obeys Franks, after having obeyed Roman prefects.

The same banks of the Danube have belonged to Germans, Romans, Arabs,
Slavonians, Bulgarians, and Huns, to twenty different families, and
almost all foreigners.

And what greater wonder has Rome had to exhibit than so many emperors
who were born in the barbarous provinces, and so many popes born in
provinces no less barbarous? Let him govern who can. And when any one
has succeeded in his attempts to become master, he governs as he can.


SECTION III.

In 1769, a traveller delivered the following narrative: "I saw, in the
course of my journey, a large and populous country, in which all offices
and places were purchasable; I do not mean clandestinely, and in
evasion of the law, but publicly, and in conformity to it. The right to
judge, in the last resort, of the honor, property, and life of the
citizen, was put to auction in the same manner as the right and property
in a few acres of land. Some very high commissions in the army are
conferred only on the highest bidder. The principal mystery of their
religion is celebrated for the petty sum of three sesterces, and if the
celebrator does not obtain this fee he remains idle like a porter
without employment.

"Fortunes in this country are not made by agriculture, but are derived
from a certain game of chance, in great practice there, in which the
parties sign their names, and transfer them from hand to hand. If they
lose, they withdraw into the mud and mire of their original extraction;
if they win, they share in the administration of public affairs; they
marry their daughters to mandarins, and their sons become a species of
mandarins also.

"A considerable number of the citizens have their whole means of
subsistence assigned upon a house, which possesses in fact nothing, and
a hundred persons have bought for a hundred thousand crowns each the
right of receiving and paying the money due to these citizens upon their
assignments on this imaginary hotel; rights which they never exercise,
as they in reality know nothing at all of what is thus supposed to pass
through their hands.

"Sometimes a proposal is made and cried about the streets, that all who
have a little money in their chest should exchange it for a slip of
exquisitely manufactured paper, which will free you from all pecuniary
care, and enable you to pass through life with ease and comfort. On the
morrow an order is published, compelling you to change this paper for
another, much better. On the following day you are deafened with the cry
of a new paper, cancelling the two former ones. You are ruined! But long
heads console you with the assurance, that within a fortnight the
newsmen will cry up some proposal more engaging.

"You travel into one province of this empire, and purchase articles of
food, drink, clothing, and lodging. If you go into another province, you
are obliged to pay duties upon all those commodities, as if you had just
arrived from Africa. You inquire the reason of this, but obtain no
answer; or if, from extraordinary politeness, any one condescends to
notice your questions, he replies that you come from a province reputed
foreign, and that, consequently, you are obliged to pay for the
convenience of commerce. In vain you puzzle yourself to comprehend how
the province of a kingdom can be deemed foreign to that kingdom.

"On one particular occasion, while changing horses, finding myself
somewhat fatigued, I requested the postmaster to favor me with a glass
of wine. 'I cannot let you have it,' says he; 'the superintendents of
thirst, who are very considerable in number, and all of them remarkably
sober, would accuse me of drinking to excess, which would absolutely be
my ruin.' 'But drinking a single glass of wine,' I replied, 'to repair a
man's strength, is not drinking to excess; and what difference can it
make whether that single glass of wine is taken by you or me?'

"'Sir,' replied the man, 'our laws relating to thirst are much more
excellent than you appear to think them. After our vintage is finished,
physicians are appointed by the regular authorities to visit our
cellars. They set aside a certain quantity of wine, such as they judge
we may drink consistently with health. At the end of the year they
return; and if they conceive that we have exceeded their restriction by
a single bottle; they punish us with very severe fines; and if we make
the slightest resistance, we are sent to Toulon to drink salt-water.
Were I to give you the wine you ask, I should most certainly be charged
with excessive drinking. You must see to what danger I should be exposed
from the supervisors of our health.'

"I could not refrain from astonishment at the existence of such a
system; but my astonishment was no less on meeting with a disconsolate
and mortified pleader, who informed me that he had just then lost, a
little beyond the nearest rivulet, a cause precisely similar to one he
had gained on this side of it. I understood from him that, in his
country, there are as many different codes of laws as there are cities.
His conversation raised my curiosity. 'Our nation,' said he, 'is so
completely wise and enlightened, that nothing is regulated in it. Laws,
customs, the rights of corporate bodies, rank, precedence, everything is
arbitrary; all is left to the prudence of the nation.'

"I happened to be still in this same country when it became involved in
a war with some of its neighbors. This war was nicknamed 'The Ridicule,'
because there was much to be lost and nothing to be gained by it. I went
upon my travels elsewhere, and did not return till the conclusion of
peace, when the nation seemed to be in the most dreadful state of
misery; it had lost its money, its soldiers, its fleets, and its
commerce. I said to myself, its last hour is come; everything, alas!
must pass away. Here is a nation absolutely annihilated. What a dreadful
pity! for a great part of the people were amiable, industrious, and gay,
after having been formerly coarse, superstitious, and barbarous.

"I was perfectly astonished, at the end of only two years, to find its
capital and principal cities more opulent than ever. Luxury had
increased, and an air of enjoyment prevailed everywhere. I could not
comprehend this prodigy; and it was only after I had examined into the
government of the neighboring nations that I could discover the cause of
what appeared so unaccountable. I found that the government of all the
rest was just as bad as that of this nation, and that this nation was
superior to all the rest in industry.

"A provincial of the country I am speaking of was once bitterly
complaining to me of all the grievances under which he labored. He was
well acquainted with history. I asked him if he thought he should have
been happier had he lived a hundred years before, when his country was
in a comparative state of barbarism, and a citizen was liable to be
hanged for having eaten flesh in Lent? He shook his head in the
negative. Would you prefer the times of the civil wars, which began at
the death of Francis II.; or the times of the defeats of St. Quentin and
Pavia; or the long disorders attending the wars against the English; or
the feudal anarchy; or the horrors of the second race of kings, or the
barbarity of the first? At every successive question, he appeared to
shudder more violently. The government of the Romans seemed to him the
most intolerable of all. 'Nothing can be worse,' he said, 'than to be
under foreign masters.' At last we came to the Druids. 'Ah!' he
exclaimed, 'I was quite mistaken: it is still worse to be governed by
sanguinary priests.' He admitted, at last, although with sore
reluctance, that the time he lived in was, all things considered, the
least intolerable and hateful."


SECTION IV.

An eagle governed the birds of the whole country of Ornithia. He had no
other right, it must be allowed, than what he derived from his beak and
claws; however, after providing liberally for his own repasts and
pleasures, he governed as well as any other bird of prey.

In his old age he was invaded by a flock of hungry vultures, who rushed
from the depths of the North to scatter fear and desolation through his
provinces. There appeared, just about this time, a certain owl, who was
born in one of the most scrubby thickets of the empire, and who had long
been known under the name of "_luci-fugax_," or light-hater. He
possessed much cunning, and associated only with bats; and, while the
vultures were engaged in conflict with the eagle, our politic owl and
his party entered with great adroitness, in the character of
pacificators, on that department of the air which was disputed by the
combatants.

The eagle and vultures, after a war of long duration, at last actually
referred the cause of contention to the owl, who, with his solemn and
imposing physiognomy, was well formed to deceive them both.

He persuaded the eagles and vultures to suffer their claws to be a
little pared, and just the points of their beaks to be cut off, in order
to bring about perfect peace and reconciliation. Before this time, the
owl had always said to the birds, "Obey the eagle"; afterwards, in
consequence of the invasion, he had said to them, "Obey the vultures."
He now, however, soon called out to them, "Obey me only." The poor birds
did not know to whom to listen: they were plucked by the eagle, the
vultures, and the owl and bats. "_Qui habet aures, audiat_."--"He that
hath ears to hear, let him hear."


SECTION V.

"I have in my possession a great number of catapultæ and balistæ of the
ancient Romans, which are certainly rather worm-eaten, but would still
do very well as specimens. I have many water-clocks, but half of them
probably out of repair and broken, some sepulchral lamps, and an old
copper model of a quinquereme. I have also togas, pretextas, and
laticlaves in lead; and my predecessors established a society of
tailors; who, after inspecting ancient monuments, can make up robes
pretty awkwardly. For these reasons thereunto moving us, after hearing
the report of our chief antiquary, we do hereby appoint and ordain, that
all the said venerable usages should be observed and kept up forever;
and every person, through the whole extent of our dominions, shall dress
and think precisely as men dressed and thought in the time of Cnidus
Rufillus, proprietor of the province devolved to us by right," etc.

It is represented to an officer belonging to the department whence this
edict issued, that all the engines enumerated in it are become useless;
that the understandings and the inventions of mankind are every day
making new advances towards perfection; and that it would be more
judicious to guide and govern men by the reins in present use, than by
those by which they were formerly subjected; that no person could be
found to go on board the quinquereme of his most serene highness; that
his tailors might make as many laticlaves as they pleased, and that not
a soul would purchase one of them; and that it would be worthy of his
wisdom to condescend, in some small measure, to the manner of thinking
that now prevailed among the better sort of people in his own dominions.

The officer above mentioned promised to communicate this representation
to a clerk, who promised to speak about it to the referendary, who
promised to mention it to his most serene highness whenever an
opportunity should offer.


SECTION VI.

_Picture of the English Government._

The establishment of a government is a matter of curious and interesting
investigation. I shall not speak, in this place, of the great Tamerlane,
or Timerling, because I am not precisely acquainted with the mystery of
the Great Mogul's government. But we can see our way somewhat more
clearly into the administration of affairs in England; and I had rather
examine that than the administration of India; as England, we are
informed, is inhabited by free men and not by slaves; and in India,
according to the accounts we have of it, there are many slaves and but
few free men.

Let us, in the first place, view a Norman bastard seating himself upon
the throne of England. He had about as much right to it as St. Louis
had, at a later period, to Grand Cairo. But St. Louis had the misfortune
not to begin with obtaining a judicial decision in favor of his right to
Egypt from the court of Rome; and William the Bastard failed not to
render his cause legitimate and sacred, by obtaining in confirmation of
the rightfulness of his claim, a decree of Pope Alexander II. issued
without the opposite party having obtained a hearing, and simply in
virtue of the words, "Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, shall be
bound in heaven." His competitor, Harold, a perfectly legitimate
monarch, being thus bound by a decree of heaven, William united to this
virtue of the holy see another of far more powerful efficacy still,
which was the victory of Hastings. He reigned, therefore, by the right
of the strongest, just as Pepin and Clovis had reigned in France; the
Goths and Lombards in Italy; the Visigoths, and afterwards the Arabs in
Spain; the Vandals in Africa, and all the kings of the world in
succession.

It must be nevertheless admitted, that our Bastard possessed as just a
title as the Saxons and the Danes, whose title, again, was quite as good
as that of the Romans. And the title of all these heroes in succession
was precisely that of "robbers on the highway," or, if you like it
better, that of foxes and pole-cats when they commit their depredations
on the farm-yard.

All these great men were so completely highway robbers, that from the
time of Romulus down to the buccaneers, the only question and concern
were about the "_spolia opima_," the pillage and plunder, the cows and
oxen carried off by the hand of violence. Mercury, in the fable, steals
the cows of Apollo; and in the Old Testament, Isaiah assigns the name of
robber to the son whom his wife was to bring into the world, and who was
to be an important and sacred type. That name was Mahershalalhashbaz,
"divide speedily the soil." We have already observed, that the names of
soldier and robber were often synonymous.

Thus then did William soon become king by divine right. William Rufus,
who usurped the crown over his elder brother, was also king by divine
right, without any difficulty; and the same right attached after him to
Henry, the third usurper.

The Norman barons who had joined at their own expense in the invasion of
England, were desirous of compensation. It was necessary to grant it,
and for this purpose to make them great vassals, and great officers of
the crown. They became possessed of the finest estates. It is evident
that William would rather, had he dared, have kept all to himself, and
made all these lords his guards and lackeys. But this would have been
too dangerous an attempt. He was obliged, therefore, to divide and
distribute.

With respect to the Anglo-Saxon lords, there was no very easy way of
killing, or even making slaves of the whole of them. They were
permitted in their own districts, to enjoy the rank and denomination of
lords of the manor--_seignieurs châtelans_. They held of the great
Norman vassals, who held of William.

By this system everything was kept in equilibrium until the breaking out
of the first quarrel. And what became of the rest of the nation? The
same that had become of nearly all the population of Europe. They became
serfs or villeins.

At length, after the frenzy of the Crusades, the ruined princes sell
liberty to the serfs of the glebe, who had obtained money by labor and
commerce. Cities are made free, the commons are granted certain
privileges; and the rights of men revive even out of anarchy itself.

The barons were everywhere in contention with their king, and with one
another. The contention became everywhere a petty intestine war, made up
out of numberless civil wars. From this abominable and gloomy chaos
appeared a feeble gleam, which enlightened the commons, and considerably
improved their situation.

The kings of England, being themselves great vassals of France for
Normandy, and afterwards for Guienne and other provinces, easily adopted
the usages of the kings from whom they held. The states of the realm
were long made up, as in France, of barons and bishops.

The English court of chancery was an imitation of the council of state,
of which the chancellor of France was president. The court of king's
bench was formed on the model of the parliament instituted by Philip le
Bel. The common pleas were like the jurisdiction of the châtelat. The
court of exchequer resembled that of the superintendents of the
finances--_généraux des finances_--which became, in France, the court of
aids.

The maxim that the king's domain is inalienable is evidently taken from
the system of French government.

The right of the king of England to call on his subjects to pay his
ransom, should he become a prisoner of war; that of requiring a subsidy
when he married his eldest daughter, and when he conferred the honor of
knighthood on his son; all these circumstances call to recollection the
ancient usages of a kingdom of which William was the chief vassal.

Scarcely had Philip le Bel summoned the commons to the states-general,
before Edward, king of England, adopted the like measure, in order to
balance the great power of the barons. For it was under this monarch's
reign that the commons were first clearly and distinctly summoned to
parliament.

We perceive, then, that up to this epoch in the fourteenth century, the
English government followed regularly in the steps of France. The two
churches are entirely alike; the same subjection to the court of Rome;
the same exactions which are always complained of, but, in the end,
always paid to that rapacious court; the same dissensions, somewhat
more or less violent; the same excommunications; the same donations to
monks; the same chaos; the same mixture of holy rapine, superstition,
and barbarism.

As France and England, then, were for so long a period governed by the
same principles, or rather without any principle at all, and merely by
usages of a perfectly similar character, how is it that, at length, the
two governments have become as different as those of Morocco and Venice?

It is, perhaps, in the first place to be ascribed to the circumstance of
England, or rather Great Britain, being an island, in consequence of
which the king has been under no necessity of constantly keeping up a
considerable standing army which might more frequently be employed
against the nation itself than against foreigners.

It may be further observed, that the English appear to have in the
structure of their minds something more firm, more reflective, more
persevering, and, perhaps, more obstinate, than some other nations.

To this latter circumstance it may be probably attributed, that, after
incessantly complaining of the court of Rome, they at length completely
shook off its disgraceful yoke; while a people of more light and
volatile character has continued to wear it, affecting at the same time
to laugh and dance in its chains.

The insular situation of the English, by inducing the necessity of
urging to the particular pursuit and practice of navigation, has
probably contributed to the result we are here considering, by giving to
the natives a certain sternness and ruggedness of manners.

These stern and rugged manners, which have made their island the theatre
of many a bloody tragedy, have also contributed, in all probability, to
inspire a generous frankness.

It is in consequence of this combination of opposite qualities that so
much royal blood has been shed in the field, and on the scaffold, and
yet poison, in all their long and violent domestic contentions, has
never been resorted to; whereas, in other countries, under priestly
domination poison has been the prevailing weapon of destruction.

The love of liberty appears to have advanced, and to have characterized
the English, in proportion as they have advanced in knowledge and in
wealth. All the citizens of a state cannot be equally powerful, but they
may be equally free. And this high point of distinction and enjoyment
the English, by their firmness and intrepidity, have at length attained.

To be free is to be dependent only on the laws. The English, therefore,
have ever loved the laws, as fathers love their children, because they
are, or at least think themselves, the framers of them.

A government like this could be established only at a late period;
because it was necessary long to struggle with powers which commanded
respect, or at least, impressed awe--the power of the pope, the most
terrible of all, as it was built on prejudice and ignorance; the royal
power ever tending to burst its proper boundary, and which it was
requisite, however difficult, to restrain within it; the power of the
barons, which was, in fact, an anarchy; the power of the bishops, who,
always mixing the sacred with the profane, left no means unattempted to
prevail over both barons and kings.

The house of commons gradually became the impregnable mole, which
successfully repelled those serious and formidable torrents.

The house of commons is, in reality, the nation; for the king, who is
the head, acts only for himself, and what is called his prerogative. The
peers are a parliament only for themselves; and the bishops only for
themselves, in the same manner.

But the house of commons is for the people, as every member of it is
deputed by the people. The people are to the king in the proportion of
about eight millions to unity. To the peers and bishops they are as
eight millions to, at most, two hundred. And these eight million free
citizens are represented by the lower house.

With respect to this establishment or constitution--in comparison with
which the republic of Plato is merely a ridiculous reverie, and which
might be thought to have been invented by Locke, or Newton, or Halley,
or Archimedes--it sprang, in fact, out of abuses, of a most dreadful
description, and such as are calculated to make human nature shudder.
The inevitable friction of this vast machine nearly proved its
destruction in the days of Fairfax and Cromwell. Senseless fanaticism
broke into this noble edifice, like a devouring fire that consumes a
beautiful building formed only of wood.

In the time of William the Third it was rebuilt of stone. Philosophy
destroyed fanaticism, which convulses to their centres states even the
most firm and powerful. We cannot easily help believing that a
constitution which has regulated the rights of king, lords, and people,
and in which every individual finds security, will endure as long as
human institutions and concerns shall have a being.

We cannot but believe, also, that all states not established upon
similar principles, will experience revolutions.

The English constitution has, in fact, arrived at that point of
excellence, in consequence of which all men are restored to those
natural rights, which, in nearly all monarchies, they are deprived of.
These rights are, entire liberty of person and property; freedom of the
press; the right of being tried in all criminal cases by a jury of
independent men--the right of being tried only according to the strict
letter of the law; and the right of every man to profess, unmolested,
what religion he chooses, while he renounces offices, which the members
of the Anglican or established church alone can hold. These are
denominated privileges. And, in truth, invaluable privileges they are
in comparison with the usages of most other nations of the world! To be
secure on lying down that you shall rise in possession of the same
property with which you retired to rest; that you shall not be torn from
the arms of your wife, and from your children, in the dead of night, to
be thrown into a dungeon, or buried in exile in a desert; that, when
rising from the bed of sleep, you will have the power of publishing all
your thoughts; and that, if you are accused of having either acted,
spoken, or written wrongly, you can be tried only according to law.
These privileges attach to every one who sets his foot on English
ground. A foreigner enjoys perfect liberty to dispose of his property
and person; and, if accused of any offence, he can demand that half the
jury shall be composed of foreigners.

I will venture to assert, that, were the human race solemnly assembled
for the purpose of making laws, such are the laws they would make for
their security. Why then are they not adopted in other countries? But
would it not be equally judicious to ask, why cocoanuts, which are
brought to maturity in India, do not ripen at Rome? You answer, these
cocoanuts did not always, or for some time, come to maturity in England;
that the trees have not been long cultivated; that Sweden, following her
example, planted and nursed some of them for several years, but that
they did not thrive; and that it is possible to produce such fruit in
other provinces, even in Bosnia and Servia. Try and plant the tree then.

And you who bear authority over these benighted people, whether under
the name of pasha, effendi, or mollah, let me advise you, although an
unpromising subject for advice, not to act the stupid as well as
barbarous part of riveting your nations in chains. Reflect, that the
heavier you make the people's yoke, the more completely your own
children, who cannot all of them be pashas, will be slaves. Surely you
would not be so contemptible a wretch as to expose your whole posterity
to groan in chains, for the sake of enjoying a subaltern tyranny for a
few days! Oh, how great at present is the distance between an Englishman
and a Bosnian!


SECTION VII.

The mixture now existing in the government of England--this concert
between the commons, the lords, and the king--did not exist always.
England was long a slave. She was so to the Romans, the Saxons, Danes,
and French. William the Conqueror, in particular, ruled her with a
sceptre of iron. He disposed of the properties and lives of his new
subjects like an Oriental despot; he prohibited them from having either
fire or candle in their houses after eight o'clock at night, under pain
of death: his object being either to prevent nocturnal assemblies among
them, or merely, by so capricious and extravagant a prohibition, to
show how far the power of some men can extend over others. It is true,
that both before as well as after William the Conqueror, the English had
parliaments; they made a boast of them; as if the assemblies then called
parliaments, made up of tyrannical churchmen and baronial robbers, had
been the guardians of public freedom and happiness.

The barbarians, who, from the shores of the Baltic poured over the rest
of Europe, brought with them the usage of states or parliaments, about
which a vast deal is said and very little known. The kings were not
despotic, it is true; and it was precisely on this account that the
people groaned in miserable slavery. The chiefs of these savages, who
had ravaged France, Italy, Spain, and England, made themselves monarchs.
Their captains divided among themselves the estates of the vanquished;
hence, the margraves, lairds, barons, and the whole series of the
subaltern tyrants, who often contested the spoils of the people with the
monarchs, recently advanced to the throne and not firmly fixed on it.
These were all birds of prey, battling with the eagle, in order to suck
the blood of the doves. Every nation, instead of one good master, had a
hundred tyrants. The priests soon took part in the contest. From time
immemorial it had been the fate of the Gauls, the Germans, and the
islanders of England, to be governed by their druids and the chiefs of
their villages, an ancient species of barons, but less tyrannical than
their successors. These druids called themselves mediators between God
and men; they legislated, they excommunicated, they had the power of
life and death. The bishops gradually succeeded to the authority of the
druids, under the Goth and Vandal government. The popes put themselves
at their head; and, with briefs, bulls, and monks, struck terror into
the hearts of kings, whom they sometimes dethroned and occasionally
caused to be assassinated, and drew to themselves, as nearly as they
were able, all the money of Europe. The imbecile Ina, one of the tyrants
of the English heptarchy, was the first who, on a pilgrimage to Rome,
submitted to pay St. Peter's penny--which was about a crown of our
money--for every house within his territory. The whole island soon
followed this example; England gradually became a province of the pope;
and the holy father sent over his legates, from time to time, to levy
upon it his exorbitant imposts. John, called Lackland, at length made a
full and formal cession of his kingdom to his holiness, by whom he had
been excommunicated; the barons, who did not at all find their account
in this proceeding, expelled that contemptible king, and substituted in
his room Louis VIII., father of St. Louis, king of France. But they soon
became disgusted with the new-comer, and obliged him to recross the sea.

While the barons, bishops, and popes were thus harassing and tearing
asunder England, where each of the parties strove eagerly to be the
dominant one, the people, who form the most numerous, useful, and
virtuous portion of a community, consisting of those who study the laws
and sciences, merchants, artisans, and even peasants, who exercise at
once the most important and the most despised of occupations; the
people, I say, were looked down upon equally by all these combatants, as
a species of beings inferior to mankind. Far, indeed, at that time, were
the commons from having the slightest participation in the government:
they were villeins, or serfs of the soil; both their labor and their
blood belonged to their masters, who were called "nobles." The greater
number of men in Europe were what they still continue to be in many
parts of the world--the serfs of a lord, a species of cattle bought and
sold together with the land. It required centuries to get justice done
to humanity; to produce an adequate impression of the odious and
execrable nature of the system, according to which the many sow, and
only the few reap; and surely it may even be considered fortunate for
France that the powers of these petty robbers were extinguished there by
the legitimate authority of kings, as it was in England by that of the
king and nation united.

Happily, in consequence of the convulsions of empires by the contests
between sovereigns and nobles, the chains of nations are more or less
relaxed. The barons compelled John (Lackland) and Henry III to grant the
famous charter, the great object of which, in reality, was to place the
king in dependence on the lords, but in which the rest of the nation
was a little favored, to induce it, when occasion might require, to
range itself in the ranks of its pretended protectors. This great
charter, which is regarded as the sacred origin of English liberties,
itself clearly shows how very little liberty was understood. The very
title proves that the king considered himself absolute by right, and
that the barons and clergy compelled him to abate his claim to this
absolute power only by the application of superior force. These are the
words with which Magna Charta begins: "We grant, of our free will, the
following privileges to the archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, and
barons, of our kingdom," etc. Throughout the articles of it, not a word
is said of the house of commons; a proof that it did not then exist, or
that it existed without power. The freemen of England are specified in
it, a melancholy demonstration that there were men who were not free. We
perceive, from the thirty-seventh article, that the pretended freemen
owed service to their lord. Liberty of such a description had but too
strong a similarity to bondage. By the twenty-first article, the king
ordains that henceforward his officers shall not take away the horses
and ploughs of freemen, without paying for them. This regulation was
considered by the people as true liberty, because it freed them from a
greater tyranny. Henry VII., a successful warrior and politician, who
pretended great attachment to the barons, but who cordially hated and
feared them, granted them permission to alienate their lands. In
consequence of this, the villeins, who by their industry and skill
accumulated property, in the course of time became purchasers of the
castles of the illustrious nobles who had ruined themselves by their
extravagance, and, gradually, nearly all the landed property of the
kingdom changed masters.

The house of commons now advanced in power every day. The families of
the old nobility became extinct in the progress of time; and, as in
England, correctly speaking, peers only are nobles, there would scarcely
have been any nobles in the country, if the kings had not, from time to
time, created new barons, and kept up the body of peers, whom they had
formerly so much dreaded, to counteract that of the commons, now become
too formidable. All the new peers, who compose the upper house, receive
from the king their title and nothing more, since none of them have the
property of the lands of which they bear the names. One is duke of
Dorset, without possessing a single foot of land in Dorsetshire; another
is an earl under the name of a certain village, yet scarcely knowing
where that village is situated. They have power in the parliament, and
nowhere else.

You hear no mention, in this country, of the high, middle, and low
courts of justice, nor of the right of chase over the lands of private
citizens, who have no right to fire a gun on their own estates.

A man is not exempted from paying particular taxes because he is a
noble or a clergyman. All imposts are regulated by the house of commons,
which, although subordinate in rank, is superior in credit to that of
the lords. The peers and bishops may reject a bill sent up to them by
the commons, when the object is to raise money, but they can make no
alteration in it: they must admit it or reject it, without restriction.
When the bill is confirmed by the lords, and assented to by the king,
then all the classes of the nation contribute. Every man pays, not
according to his rank--which would be absurd--but according to his
revenue. There is no arbitrary _faille_ or capitation, but a real tax on
lands. These were all valued in the reign of the celebrated King
William. The tax exists still unaltered, although the rents of lands
have considerably increased; thus no one is oppressed, and no one
complains. The feet of the cultivator are not bruised and mutilated by
wooden shoes; he eats white bread; he is well clothed. He is not afraid
to increase his farming-stock, nor to roof his cottage with tiles, lest
the following year should, in consequence, bring with it an increase of
taxation. There are numerous farmers who have an income of about five or
six hundred pounds sterling, and still disdain not to cultivate the land
which has enriched them, and on which they enjoy the blessing of
freedom.


SECTION VIII.

The reader well knows that in Spain, near the coast of Malaga, there was
discovered, in the reign of Philip II., a small community, until then
unknown, concealed in the recesses of the Alpuxarras mountains. This
chain of inaccessible rocks is intersected by luxuriant valleys, and
these valleys are still cultivated by the descendants of the Moors, who
were forced, for their own happiness, to become Christians, or at least
to appear such.

Among these Moors, as I was stating, there was, in the time of Philip, a
small society, inhabiting a valley to which there existed no access but
through caverns. This valley is situated between Pitos and Portugos. The
inhabitants of this secluded abode were almost unknown to the Moors
themselves. They spoke a language that was neither Spanish nor Arabic,
and which was thought to be derived from that of the ancient
Carthaginians.

This society had but little increased in numbers: the reason alleged for
which was that the Arabs, their neighbors, and before their time the
Africans, were in the practice of coming and taking from them the young
women.

These poor and humble, but nevertheless happy, people, had never heard
any mention of the Christian or Jewish religions; and knew very little
about that of Mahomet, not holding it in any estimation. They offered
up, from time immemorial, milk and fruits to a statue of Hercules. This
was the amount of their religion. As to other matters, they spent their
days in indolence and innocence. They were at length discovered by a
familiar of the Inquisition. The grand inquisitor had the whole of them
burned. This is the sole event of their history.

The hallowed motives of their condemnation were, that they had never
paid taxes, although, in fact, none had ever been demanded of them, and
they were totally unacquainted with money; that they were not possessed
of any Bible, although they did not understand Latin; and that no person
had been at the pains of baptizing them. They were all invested with the
san benito, and broiled to death with becoming ceremony.

It is evident that this is a specimen of the true system of government;
nothing can so completely contribute to the content, harmony, and
happiness of society.



GOURD OR CALABASH.


This fruit grows in America on the branches of a tree as high as the
tallest oaks.

Thus, Matthew Garo, who is thought so wrong in Europe for finding fault
with gourds creeping on the ground, would have been right in Mexico. He
would have been still more in the right in India, where cocoas are very
elevated. This proves that we should never hasten to conclusions. What
God has made, He has made well, no doubt; and has placed his gourds on
the ground in our climates, lest, in falling from on high, they should
break Matthew Garo's nose.

The calabash will only be introduced here to show that we should
mistrust the idea that all was made for man. There are people who
pretend that the turf is only green to refresh the sight. It would
appear, however, that it is rather made for the animals who nibble it
than for man, to whom dog-grass and trefoil are useless. If nature has
produced the trees in favor of some species, it is difficult to say to
which she has given the preference. Leaves, and even bark, nourish a
prodigious multitude of insects: birds eat their fruits, and inhabit
their branches, in which they build their industriously formed nests,
while the flocks repose under their shades.

The author of the "_Spectacle de la Nature_" pretends that the sea has a
flux and reflux, only to facilitate the going out and coming in of our
vessels. It appears that even Matthew Garo reasoned better; the
Mediterranean, on which so many vessels sail, and which only has a tide
in three or four places, destroys the opinion of this philosopher.

Let us enjoy what we have, without believing ourselves the centre and
object of all things.



GRACE.


In persons and works, grace signifies, not only that which is pleasing,
but that which is attractive; so that the ancients imagined that the
goddess of beauty ought never to appear without the graces. Beauty never
displeases, but it may be deprived of this secret charm, which invites
us to regard it, and sentimentally attracts and fills the soul. Grace
in figure, carriage, action, discourse, depends on its attractive
merit. A beautiful woman will have no grace, if her mouth be shut
without a smile, and if her eyes display no sweetness. The serious is
not always graceful, because unattractive, and approaching too near to
the severe, which repels.

A well-made man whose carriage is timid or constrained, gait precipitate
or heavy, and gestures awkward, has no gracefulness, because he has
nothing gentle or attractive in his exterior. The voice of an orator
which wants flexibility or softness is without grace.

It is the same in all the arts. Proportion and beauty may not be
graceful. It cannot be said that the pyramids of Egypt are graceful; it
cannot be said that the Colossus of Rhodes is as much so as the Venus of
Cnidus. All that is merely strong and vigorous exhibits not the charm of
grace.

It would show but small acquaintance with Michelangelo and Caravaggio to
attribute to them the grace of Albano. The sixth book of the "Æneid" is
sublime; the fourth has more grace. Some of the gallant odes of Horace
breathe gracefulness, as some of his epistles cultivate reason.

It seems, in general, that the little and pretty of all kinds are more
susceptible of grace than the large. A funeral oration, a tragedy, or a
sermon, are badly praised, if they are only honored with the epithet of
graceful.

It is not good for any kind of work to be opposed to grace, for its
opposite is rudeness, barbarity, and dryness. The Hercules of Farnese
should not have the gracefulness of the Apollo of Belvidere and of
Antinous, but it is neither rude nor clumsy. The burning of Troy is not
described by Virgil with the graces of an elegy of Tibullus: it pleases
by stronger beauties. A work, then, may be deprived of grace, without
being in the least disagreeable. The terrible, or horrible, in
description, is not to be graceful, neither should it solely affect its
opposite; for if an artist, whatever branch he may cultivate, expresses
only frightful things, and softens them not by agreeable contrasts, he
will repel.

Grace, in painting and sculpture, consists in softness of outline and
harmonious expression; and painting, next to sculpture, has grace in the
unison of parts, and of figures which animate one another, and which
become agreeable by their attributes and their expression.

Graces of diction, whether in eloquence or poetry, depend on choice of
words and harmony of phrases, and still more upon delicacy of ideas and
smiling descriptions. The abuse of grace is affectation, as the abuse of
the sublime is absurdity; all perfection is nearly a fault.

To have grace applies equally to persons and things. This dress, this
work, or that woman, is graceful. What is called a good grace applies to
manner alone. She presents herself with good grace. He has done that
which was expected of him with a good grace. To possess the graces:
This woman has grace in her carriage, in all that she says and does.

To obtain grace is, by a metaphor, to obtain pardon, as to grant grace
is to grant pardon. We make grace of one thing by taking away all the
rest. The commissioners took all his effects and made him a gift--a
grace--of his money. To grant graces, to diffuse graces, is the finest
privilege of the sovereignty; it is to do good by something more than
justice. To have one's good graces is usually said in relation to a
superior: to have a lady's good graces, is to be her favorite lover. To
be in grace, is said of a courtier who has been in disgrace: we should
not allow our happiness to depend on the one, nor our misery on the
other. Graces, in Greek, are "charities"; a term which signifies
amiable.

The graces, divinities of antiquity, are one of the most beautiful
allegories of the Greek mythology. As this mythology always varied
according either to the imagination of the poets, who were its
theologians, or to the customs of the people, the number, names, and
attributes of the graces often change; but it was at last agreed to fix
them as three, Aglaia, Thalia, and Euphrosyne, that is to say,
sparkling, blooming, mirthful. They were always near Venus. No veil
should cover their charms. They preside over favors, concord,
rejoicings, love, and even eloquence; they were the sensible emblem of
all that can render life agreeable. They were painted dancing and
holding hands; and every one who entered their temples was crowned with
flowers. Those who have condemned the fabulous mythology should at least
acknowledge the merit of these lively fictions, which announce truths
intimately connected with the felicity of mankind.



GRACE (OF).


SECTION I.

This term, which signifies favor or privilege, is employed in this sense
by theologians. They call grace a particular operation of God on
mankind, intended to render them just and happy. Some have admitted
universal grace, that which God gives to all men, though mankind,
according to them, with the exception of a very small number, will be
delivered to eternal flames: others admit grace towards Christians of
their communion only; and lastly, others only for the elect of that
communion.

It is evident that a general grace, which leaves the universe in vice,
error, and eternal misery, is not a grace, a favor, or privilege, but a
contradiction in terms.

Particular grace, according to theologians, is either in the first place
"sufficing," which if resisted, suffices not--resembling a pardon given
by a king to a criminal, who is nevertheless delivered over to the
punishment; or "efficacious" when it is not resisted, although it _may
be_ resisted; in this case, they just resemble famished guests to whom
are presented delicious viands, of which they will surely eat, though,
in general, they may be supposed at liberty not to eat; or "necessary,"
that is, unavoidable, being nothing more than the chain of eternal
decrees and events. We shall take care not to enter into the long and
appalling details, subtleties, and sophisms, with which these questions
are embarrassed. The object of this dictionary is not to be the vain
echo of vain disputes.

St. Thomas calls grace a substantial form, and the Jesuit Bouhours names
it a _je ne sais quoi_; this is perhaps the best definition which has
ever been given of it.

If the theologians had wanted a subject on which to ridicule Providence,
they need not have taken any other than that which they have chosen. On
one side the Thomists assure us that man, in receiving efficacious
grace, is not free in the compound sense, but that he is free in the
divided sense; on the other, the Molinists invent the medium doctrine of
God and congruity, and imagine exciting, preventing, concomitant, and
co-operating grace.

Let us quit these bad but seriously constructed jokes of the
theologians; let us leave their books, and each consult his common
sense; when he will see that all these reasoners have sagaciously
deceived themselves, because they have reasoned upon a principle
evidently false. They have supposed that God acts upon particular views;
now, an eternal God, without general, immutable, and eternal laws, is
an imaginary being, a phantom, a god of fable.

Why, in all religions on which men pique themselves on reasoning, have
theologians been forced to admit this grace which they do not
comprehend? It is that they would have salvation confined to their own
sect, and further, they would have this salvation divided among those
who are the most submissive to themselves. These particular theologians,
or chiefs of parties, divide among themselves. The Mussulman doctors
entertain similar opinions and similar disputes, because they have the
same interest to actuate them; but the universal theologian, that is to
say, the true philosopher, sees that it is contradictory for nature to
act on particular or single views; that it is ridiculous to imagine God
occupying Himself in forcing one man in Europe to obey Him, while He
leaves all the Asiatics intractable; to suppose Him wrestling with
another man who sometimes submits, and sometimes disarms Him, and
presenting to another a help, which is nevertheless useless. Such grace,
considered in a true point of view, is an absurdity. The prodigious mass
of books composed on this subject is often an exercise of intellect, but
always the shame of reason.


SECTION II.

All nature, all that exists, is the grace of God; He bestows on all
animals the grace of form and nourishment. The grace of growing seventy
feet high is granted to the fir, and refused to the reed. He gives to
man the grace of thinking, speaking, and knowing him; He grants me the
grace of not understanding a word of all that Tournelli, Molina, and
Soto, have written on the subject of grace.

The first who has spoken of efficacious and gratuitous grace is, without
contradiction, Homer. This may be astonishing to a bachelor of theology,
who knows no author but St. Augustine; but, if he read the third book of
the "Iliad," he will see that Paris says to his brother Hector: "If the
gods have given you valor, and me beauty, do not reproach me with the
presents of the beautiful Venus; no gift of the gods is despicable--it
does not depend upon man to obtain them."

Nothing is more positive than this passage. If we further remark that
Jupiter, according to his pleasure, gave the victory sometimes to the
Greeks, and at others to the Trojans, we shall see a new proof that all
was done by grace from on high. Sarpedon, and afterwards Patroclus, are
barbarians to whom by turns grace has been wanting.

There have been philosophers who were not of the opinion of Homer. They
have pretended that general Providence does not immediately interfere
with the affairs of particular individuals; that it governs all by
universal laws; that Thersites and Achilles were equal before it, and
that neither Chalcas nor Talthybius ever had versatile or congruous
graces.

According to these philosophers, the dog-grass and the oak, the mite and
the elephant, man, the elements and stars, obey invariable laws, which
God, as immutable, has established from all eternity.


SECTION III.

If one were to come from the bottom of hell, to say to us on the part of
the devil--Gentlemen, I must inform you that our sovereign lord has
taken all mankind for his share, except a small number of people who
live near the Vatican and its dependencies--we should all pray of this
deputy to inscribe us on the list of the privileged; we should ask him
what we must do to obtain this grace.

If he were to answer, You cannot merit it, my master has made the list
from the beginning of time; he has only listened to his own pleasure, he
is continually occupied in making an infinity of _pots-de-chambre_ and
some dozen gold vases; if you are _pots-de-chambre_ so much the worse
for you.

At these fine words we should use our pitchforks to send the ambassador
back to his master. This is, however, what we have dared to impute to
God---to the eternal and sovereignly good being!

Man has been always reproached with having made God in his own image,
Homer has been condemned for having transported all the vices and
follies of earth into heaven. Plato, who has thus justly reproached him,
has not hesitated to call him a blasphemer; while we, a hundred times
more thoughtless, hardy, and blaspheming than this Greek, who did not
understand conventional language, devoutly accuse God of a thing of
which we have never accused the worst of men.

It is said that the king of Morocco, Muley Ismael, had five hundred
children. What would you say if a marabout of Mount Atlas related to you
that the wise and good Muley Ismael, dining with his family, at the
close of the repast, spoke thus:

"I am Muley Ismael, who has forgotten you for my glory, for I am very
glorious. I love you very tenderly, I shelter you as a hen covers her
chickens; I have decreed that one of my youngest children shall have the
kingdom of Tafilet, and that another shall possess Morocco; and for my
other dear children, to the number of four hundred and ninety-eight, I
order that one-half shall be tortured, and the other half burned, for I
am the Lord Muley Ismael."

You would assuredly take the marabout for the greatest fool that Africa
ever produced; but if three or four thousand marabouts, well entertained
at your expense, were to repeat to you the same story, what would you
do? Would you not be tempted to make them fast upon bread and water
until they recovered their senses?

You will allege that my indignation is reasonable enough against the
supralapsarians, who believe that the king of Morocco begot these five
hundred children only for his glory; and that he had always the
intention to torture and burn them, except two, who were destined to
reign.

But I am wrong, you say, against the infralapsarians, who avow that it
was not the first intention of Muley Ismael to cause his children to
perish; but that, having foreseen that they would be of no use, he
thought he should be acting as a good father in getting rid of them by
torture and fire.

Ah, supralapsarians, infralapsarians, free-gracians, sufficers,
efficacians, jansenists, and molinists become men, and no longer trouble
the earth with such absurd and abominable fooleries.


SECTION IV.

Holy advisers of modern Rome, illustrious and infallible theologians, no
one has more respect for your divine decisions than I; but if Paulus
milius, Scipio, Cato, Cicero, Cæsar, Titus, Trajan, or Marcus Aurelius,
revisited that Rome to which they formerly did such credit, you must
confess that they would be a little astonished at your decisions on
grace. What would they say if they heard you speak of healthful grace
according to St. Thomas, and medicinal grace according to Cajetan; of
exterior and interior grace, of free, sanctifying, co-operating, actual,
habitual, and efficacious grace, which is sometimes inefficacious; of
the sufficing which sometimes does not suffice, of the versatile and
congruous--would they really comprehend it more than you and I?

What need would these poor people have of your instructions? I fancy I
hear them say: "Reverend fathers, you are terrible genii; we foolishly
thought that the Eternal Being never conducted Himself by particular
laws like vile human beings, but by general laws, eternal like Himself.
No one among us ever imagined that God was like a senseless master, who
gives an estate to one slave and refuses food to another; who orders one
with a broken arm to knead a loaf, and a cripple to be his courier."

All is grace on the part of God; He has given to the globe we inhabit
the grace of form; to the trees the grace of making them grow; to
animals that of feeding them; but will you say, because one wolf finds
in his road a lamb for his supper, while another is dying with hunger,
that God has given the first wolf a particular grace? Is it a preventive
grace to cause one oak to grow in preference to another in which sap is
wanting? If throughout nature all being is submitted to general laws,
how can a single species of animals avoid conforming to them?

Why should the absolute master of all be more occupied in directing the
interior of a single man than in conducting the remainder of entire
nature? By what caprice would He change something in the heart of a
Courlander or a Biscayan, while He changes nothing in the general laws
which He has imposed upon all the stars.

What a pity to suppose that He is continually making, defacing, and
renewing our sentiments! And what audacity in us to believe ourselves
excepted from all beings! And further, is it not only for those who
confess that these changes are imagined? A Savoyard, a Bergamask, on
Monday, will have the grace to have a mass said for twelve sous; on
Tuesday he will go to the tavern and have no grace; on Wednesday he will
have a co-operating grace, which will conduct him to confession, but he
will not have the efficacious grace of perfect contrition; on Thursday
there will be a sufficing grace which will not suffice, as has been
already said. God will labor in the head of this Bergamask--sometimes
strongly, sometimes weakly, while the rest of the earth will no way
concern Him! He will not deign to meddle with the interior of the
Indians and Chinese! If you possess a grain of reason, reverend fathers,
do you not find this system prodigiously ridiculous?

Poor, miserable man! behold this oak which rears its head to the clouds,
and this reed which bends at its feet; you do not say that efficacious
grace has been given to the oak and withheld from the reed. Raise your
eyes to heaven; see the eternal Demiourgos creating millions of worlds,
which gravitate towards one another by general and eternal laws. See the
same light reflected from the sun to Saturn, and from Saturn to us; and
in this grant of so many stars, urged onward in their rapid course; in
this general obedience of all nature, dare to believe, if you can, that
God is occupied in giving a versatile grace to Sister Theresa, or a
concomitant one to Sister Agnes.

Atom--to which another foolish atom has said that the Eternal has
particular laws for some atoms of thy neighborhood; that He gives His
grace to that one and refuses it to this; that such as had not grace
yesterday shall have it to-morrow--repeat not this folly. God has made
the universe, and creates not new winds to remove a few straws in one
corner of the universe. Theologians are like the combatants in Homer,
who believed that the gods were sometimes armed for and sometimes
against them. Had Homer not been considered a poet, he would be deemed a
blasphemer.

It is Marcus Aurelius who speaks, and not I; for God, who inspires you,
has given me grace to believe all that you say, all that you have said,
and all that you will say.



GRAVE--GRAVITY.


Grave, in its moral meaning, always corresponds with its physical one;
it expresses something of weight; thus, we say--a person, an author, or
a maxim of weight, for a grave person, author, or maxim. The grave is to
the serious what the lively is to the agreeable. It is one degree more
of the same thing, and that degree a considerable one. A man may be
serious by temperament, and even from want of ideas. He is grave, either
from a sense of decorum, or from having ideas of depth and importance,
which induce gravity. There is a difference between being grave and
being a grave man. It is a fault to be unseasonably grave. He who is
grave in society is seldom much sought for; but a grave man is one who
acquires influence and authority more by his real wisdom than his
external carriage.

     _Tum pietate gravem ac meritis si forte virum quem_
     _Conspexere, silent, adrectisque auribus adstant._
                            --VIRGIL'S _Æneid_, i. 151.

     If then some grave and pious man appear,
     They hush their noise, and lend a listening ear.
                                                   --DRYDEN.

A decorous air should be always preserved, but a grave air is becoming
only in the function of some high and important office, as, for example,
in council. When gravity consists, as is frequently the case, only in
the exterior carriage, frivolous remarks are delivered with a pompous
solemnity, exciting at once ridicule and aversion. We do not easily
pardon those who wish to impose upon us by this air of consequence and
self-sufficiency.

The duke de La Rochefoucauld said "Gravity is a mysteriousness of body
assumed in order to conceal defects of mind." Without investigating
whether the phrase "mysteriousness of body" is natural and judicious, it
is sufficient to observe that the remark is applicable to all who affect
gravity, but not to those who merely exhibit a gravity suitable to the
office they hold, the place where they are, or the business in which
they are engaged.

A grave author is one whose opinions relate to matters obviously
disputable. We never apply the term to one who has written on subjects
which admit no doubt or controversy. It would be ridiculous to call
Euclid and Archimedes grave authors.

Gravity is applicable to style. Livy and de Thou have written with
gravity. The same observations cannot with propriety be applied to
Tacitus, whose object was brevity, and who has displayed malignity;
still less can it be applied to Cardinal de Retz, who sometimes infuses
into his writings a misplaced gayety, and sometimes even forgets
decency.

The grave style declines all sallies of wit or pleasantry; if it
sometimes reaches the sublime, if on any particular occasion it is
pathetic, it speedily returns to the didactic wisdom and noble
simplicity which habitually characterizes it; it possesses strength
without daring. Its greatest difficulty is to avoid monotony.

A grave affair (_affaire_), a grave case (_cas_), is used concerning a
criminal rather than a civil process. A grave disease implies danger.



GREAT--GREATNESS.

_Of the Meaning of These Words._

Great is one of those words which are most frequently used in a moral
sense, and with the least consideration and judgment. Great man, great
genius, great captain, great philosopher, great poet; we mean by this
language "one who has far exceeded ordinary limits." But, as it is
difficult to define those limits, the epithet "great" is often applied
to those who possess only mediocrity.

This term is less vague and doubtful when applied to material than to
moral subjects. We know what is meant by a great storm, a great
misfortune, a great disease, great property, great misery.

The term "large" (_gros_) is sometimes used with respect to subjects of
the latter description, that is, material ones, as equivalent to great,
but never with respect to moral subjects. We say large property for
great wealth, but not a large captain for a great captain, or a large
minister for a great minister. Great financier means a man eminently
skilful in matters of national finance; but _gros_ financier expresses
merely a man who has become wealthy in the department of finance.

The great man is more difficult to be defined than the great artist. In
an art or profession, the man who has far distanced his rivals, or who
has the reputation of having done so, is called great in his art, and
appears, therefore, to have required merit of only one description in
order to obtain this eminence; but the great man must combine different
species of merit. Gonsalvo, surnamed the Great Captain, who observed
that "the web of honor was coarsely woven," was never called a great
man. It is more easy to name those to whom this high distinction should
be refused than those to whom it should be granted. The denomination
appears to imply some great virtues. All agree that Cromwell was the
most intrepid general, the most profound statesman, the man best
qualified to conduct a party, a parliament, or an army, of his day; yet
no writer ever gives him the title of great man; because, although he
possessed great qualities, he possessed not a single great virtue.

This title seems to fall to the lot only of the small number of men who
have been distinguished at once by virtues, exertions, and success.
Success is essential, because the man who is always unfortunate is
supposed to be so by his own fault.

Great (grand), by itself, expresses some dignity. In Spain it is a high
and most distinguishing appellative (_grandee_) conferred by the king on
those whom he wishes to honor. The grandees are covered in the presence
of the king, either before speaking to him or after having spoken to
him, or while taking their seats with the rest.

Charles the Fifth conferred the privileges of grandeeship on sixteen
principal noblemen. That emperor himself afterwards granted the same
honors to many others. His successors, each in his turn, have added to
the number. The Spanish grandees have long claimed to be considered of
equal rank and dignity with the electors and the princes of Italy. At
the court of France they have the same honors as peers.

The title of "great" has been always given, in France, to many of the
chief officers of the crown--as great seneschal, great master, great
chamberlain, great equerry, great pantler, great huntsman, great
falconer. These titles were given them to distinguish their pre-eminence
above the persons serving in the same departments under them. The
distinction is not given to the constable, nor to the chancellor, nor to
the marshals, although the constable is the chief of all the household
officers, the chancellor the second person in the state, and the marshal
the second officer in the army. The reason obviously is, that they had
no deputies, no vice-constables, vice-marshals, vice-chancellors, but
officers under another denomination who executed their orders, while the
great steward, great chamberlain, and great equerry, etc., had stewards,
chamberlains, and equerries under them.

Great (grand) in connection with _seigneur_, "great lord," has a
signification more extensive and uncertain. We give this title of
"_grand seigneur_" (seignor) to the Turkish sultan, who assumes that of
pasha, to which the expression grand seignor does not correspond. The
expression "_un grand_," "great man," is used in speaking of a man of
distinguished birth, invested with dignities, but it is used only by the
common people. A person of birth or consequence never applies the term
to any one. As the words "great lord" (_grand seigneur_) are commonly
applied to those who unite birth, dignity, and riches, poverty seems to
deprive a man of the right to it, or at least to render it inappropriate
or ridiculous. Accordingly, we say a poor gentleman, but not a poor
grand seigneur.

Great (grand) is different from mighty (_puissant_). A man may at the
same time be both one and the other, but _puissant_ implies the
possession of some office of power and consequence. "Grand" indicates
more show and less reality; the "puissant" commands, the "grand"
possesses honors.

There is greatness (grandeur) in mind, in sentiments, in manners, and in
conduct. The expression is not used in speaking of persons in the
middling classes of society, but only of those who, by their rank, are
bound to show nobility and elevation. It is perfectly true that a man of
the most obscure birth and connections may have more greatness of mind
than a monarch. But it would be inconsistent with the usual phraseology
to say, "that merchant" or "that farmer acted greatly" (_avec
grandeur_); unless, indeed, in very particular circumstances, and
placing certain characters in striking opposition, we should, for
example, make such a remark as the following: "The celebrated merchant
who entertained Charles the Fifth in his own house, and lighted a fire
of cinnamon wood with that prince's bond to him for fifty thousand
ducats, displayed more greatness of soul than the emperor."

The title of "greatness" (grandeur) was formerly given to various
persons possessing stations of dignity. French clergymen, when writing
to bishops, still call them "your greatness." Those titles, which are
lavished by sycophancy and caught at by vanity, are now little used.

Haughtiness is often mistaken for greatness (grandeur). He who is
ostentatious of greatness displays vanity. But one becomes weary and
exhausted with writing about greatness. According to the lively remark
of Montaigne, "we cannot obtain it, let us therefore take our revenge by
abusing it."



GREEK.

_Observations Upon the Extinction of the Greek Language at Marseilles._


It is exceedingly strange that, as Marseilles was founded by a Greek
colony, scarcely any vestige of the Greek language is to be found in
Provence Languedoc, or any district of France; for we cannot consider as
Greek the terms which were taken, at a comparatively modern date, from
the Latins, and which had been adopted by the Romans themselves from the
Greeks so many centuries before. We received those only at second hand.
We have no right to say that we abandoned the word _Got_ for that of
_Theos_, rather than that of _Deus_, from which, by a barbarous
termination, we have made _Dieu_.

It is clear that the Gauls, having received the Latin language with the
Roman laws, and having afterwards received from those same Romans the
Christian religion, adopted from them all the terms which were connected
with that religion. These same Gauls did not acquire, until a late
period, the Greek terms which relate to medicine, anatomy, and surgery.

After deducting all the words originally Greek which we have derived
through the Latin, and all the anatomical and medical terms which were,
in comparison, so recently acquired, there is scarcely anything left;
for surely, to derive "_abréger_" from "_brakus_," rather than from
"_abreviare_"; "_acier_" from "_axi_" rather than from "_acies_";
"_acre_" from "_agros_," rather than from "_ager_"; and "_aile_" from
"_ily_" rather than from "_ala_"--this, I say, would surely be perfectly
ridiculous.

Some have even gone so far as to say that "omelette" comes from
"_omeilaton_" because "_meli_" in Greek signifies honey, and "_oon_" an
egg. In the "Garden of Greek Roots" there is a more curious derivation
still; it is pretended that "_diner_" (dinner) comes from "_deipnein_,"
which signifies supper.

As some may be desirous of possessing a list of the Greek words which
the Marseilles colony may have introduced into the language of the
Gauls, independently of those which came through the Romans, we present
the following one:

     Aboyer, perhaps from _bauzein_.
     Affre, affreux, from _afronos_.
     Agacer, perhaps from _anaxein_.
     Alali, a Greek war-cry.
     Babiller, perhaps from _babazo_.
     Balle, from _ballo_.
     Bas, from _batys_.
     Blesser, from the aorist of _blapto_.
     Bouteille, from _bouttis_.
     Bride, from _bryter_.
     Brique, from _bryka_.
     Coin, from _gonia_.
     Colère, from _chole_.
     Colle, from _colla_.
     Couper, from _cop to_.
     Cuisse, perhaps from _ischis_.
     Entraille, from _entera_.
     Ermite, from _eremos_.
     Fier, from _fiaros_.
     Gargarizer, from _gargarizein_.
     Idiot, from _idiotes_.
     Maraud, from _miaros_.
     Moquer, from _mokeuo_.
     Moustache, from _mustax_.
     Orgueil, from _orge_.
     Page, from _pais_.
     Siffler, perhaps from _siffloo_.
     Tuer, _thuein_.

I am astonished to find so few words remaining of a language spoken at
Marseilles, in the time of Augustus, in all its purity; and I am
particularly astonished to find the greater number of the Greek words
preserved in Provence, signifying things of little or no utility, while
those used to express things of the first necessity and importance are
utterly lost. We have not a single one remaining that signifies land,
sea, sky, the sun, the moon, rivers, or the principal parts of the human
body; the words used for which might have been expected to be
transmitted down from the beginning through every succeeding age.
Perhaps we must attribute the cause of this to the Visigoths, the
Burgundians, and the Franks; to the horrible barbarism of all those
nations which laid waste the Roman Empire, a barbarism of which so many
traces yet remain.



GUARANTEE.


A guarantee is a pledge by which a person renders himself responsible to
another for something, and binds himself to secure him in the enjoyment
of it. The word (_garant_) is derived from the Celtic and Teutonic
"warrant." In all the words which we have retained from those ancient
languages we have changed the _w_ into _g_. Among the greater number of
the nations of the North "warrant" still signifies assurance, guaranty;
and in this sense it means, in English, an order of the king, as
signifying the pledge of the king. When in the middle ages kings
concluded treaties, they were guaranteed on both sides by a considerable
number of knights, who bound themselves by oath to see that the treaty
was observed, and even, when a superior education qualified them to do
so, which sometimes happened, signed their names to it. When the emperor
Frederick Barbarossa ceded so many rights to Pope Alexander III. at the
celebrated congress of Venice, in 1117, the emperor put his seal to the
instrument which the pope and cardinals signed. Twelve princes of the
empire guaranteed the treaty by an oath upon the gospel; but none of
them signed it. It is not said that the doge of Venice guaranteed that
peace which was concluded in his palace. When Philip Augustus made peace
in 1200 with King John of England, the principal barons of France and
Normandy swore to the due observance of it, as cautionary or
guaranteeing parties. The French swore that they would take arms against
their king if he violated his word, and the Normans, in like manner, to
oppose their sovereign if he did not adhere to his. One of the
constables of the Montmorency family, after a negotiation with one of
the earls of March, in 1227, swore to the observance of the treaty upon
the soul of the king.

The practice of guaranteeing the states of a third party was of great
antiquity, although under a different name. The Romans in this manner
guaranteed the possessions of many of the princes of Asia and Africa, by
taking them under their protection until they secured to themselves the
possession of the territories thus protected. We must regard as a mutual
guaranty the ancient alliance between France and Castile, of king to
king, kingdom to kingdom, and man to man.

We do not find any treaty in which the guaranty of the states of a third
party is expressly stipulated for before that which was concluded
between Spain and the states-general in 1609, by the mediation of Henry
IV. He procured from Philip III., king of Spain, the recognition of the
United Provinces as free and sovereign states. He signed the guaranty of
this sovereignty of the seven provinces, and obtained the signature of
the same instrument from the king of Spain; and the republic
acknowledged that it owed its freedom to the interference of the French
monarch. It is principally within our own times that treaties of
guaranty have become comparatively frequent. Unfortunately these
engagements have occasionally produced ruptures and war; and it is
clearly ascertained that the best of all possible guaranties is power.



GREGORY VII.


Bayle himself, while admitting that Gregory was the firebrand of Europe,
concedes to him the denomination of a great man. "That old Rome," says
he, "which plumed itself upon conquests and military virtue, should have
brought so many other nations under its dominion, redounds, according to
the general maxims of mankind, to her credit and glory; but, upon the
slightest reflection, can excite little surprise. On the other hand, it
is a subject of great surprise to see new Rome, which pretended to value
itself only on an apostolic ministry, possessed of an authority under
which the greatest monarchs have been constrained to bend. Caron may
observe, with truth, that there is scarcely a single emperor who has
opposed the popes without feeling bitter cause to regret his resistance.
Even at the present day the conflicts of powerful princes with the court
of Rome almost always terminate in their confusion."

I am of a totally different opinion from Bayle. There will probably be
many of a different one from mine. I deliver it however with freedom,
and let him who is willing and able refute it.

1. The differences of the princes of Orange and the seven provinces with
Rome did not terminate in their confusion; and Bayle, who, while at
Amsterdam, could set Rome at defiance, was a happy illustration of the
contrary.

The triumphs of Queen Elizabeth, of Gustavus Vasa in Sweden, of the
kings of Denmark, of all the princes of the north of Germany, of the
finest part of Helvetia, of the single and small city of Geneva--the
triumphs, I say, of all these over the policy of the Roman court are
perfectly satisfactory testimonies that it may be easily and
successfully resisted, both in affairs of religion and government.

2. The sacking of Rome by the troops of Charles the Fifth; the pope
(Clement VII.) a prisoner in the castle of St. Angelo; Louis XIV.
compelling Pope Alexander VII. to ask his pardon, and erecting even in
Rome itself a monument of the pope's submission; and, within our own
times, the easy subversion of that steady, and apparently most
formidable support of the papal power, the society of Jesuits in Spain,
in France, in Naples, in Goa, and in Paraguay--all this furnishes
decisive evidence, that, when potent princes are in hostility with Rome,
the quarrel is not terminated in their confusion; they may occasionally
bend before the storm, but they will not eventually be overthrown.

When the popes walked on the heads of kings, when they conferred crowns
by a parchment bull, it appears to me, that at this extreme height of
their power and grandeur they did no more than the caliphs, who were the
successors of Mahomet, did in the very period of their decline. Both of
them, in the character of priests, conferred the investiture of empires,
in solemn ceremony, on the most powerful of contending parties.

3. Maimbourg says: "What no pope ever did before, Gregory VIII. did,
depriving Henry IV. of his dignity of emperor, and of his kingdoms of
Germany and Italy."

Maimbourg is mistaken. Pope Zachary had, long before that, placed a
crown on the head of the Austrasian Pepin, who usurped the kingdom of
the Franks; and Pope Leo III. had declared the son of that Pepin emperor
of the West, and thereby deprived the empress Irene of the whole of that
empire; and from that time, it must be admitted, there has not been a
single priest of the Romish church who has not imagined that his bishop
enjoyed the disposal of all crowns.

This maxim was always turned to account when it was possible to be so.
It was considered as a consecrated weapon, deposited in the sacristy of
St. John of Lateran, which might be drawn forth in solemn and impressive
ceremony on every occasion that required it. This prerogative is so
commanding; it raises to such a height the dignity of an exorcist born
at Velletri or Cività Vecchia, that if Luther, Œcolampadius, John
Calvin, and all the prophets of the Cévennes, had been natives of any
miserable village near Rome, and undergone the tonsure there, they would
have supported that church with the same rage which they actually
manifested for its destruction.

4. Everything, then, depends on the time and place of a man's birth, and
the circumstances by which he is surrounded. Gregory VII. was born in an
age of barbarism, ignorance, and superstition; and he had to deal with a
young, debauched, inexperienced emperor, deficient in money, and whose
power was contested by all the powerful lords of Germany.

We cannot believe, that, from the time of the Austrasian Charlemagne,
the Roman people ever paid very willing obedience to Franks or
Teutonians: they hated them as much as the genuine old Romans would have
hated the Cimbri, if the Cimbri had obtained dominion in Italy. The
Othos had left behind them in Rome a memory that was execrated, because
they had enjoyed great power there; and, after the time of the Othos,
Europe it is well known became involved in frightful anarchy.

This anarchy was not more effectually restrained under the emperors of
the house of Franconia. One-half of Germany was in insurrection against
Henry IV. The countess Mathilda, grand duchess, his cousin-german, more
powerful than himself in Italy, was his mortal enemy. She possessed,
either as fiefs of the empire, or as allodial property, the whole duchy
of Tuscany, the territory of Cremona, Ferrara, Mantua, and Parma; a part
of the Marches of Ancona, Reggio, Modena, Spoleto, and Verona; and she
had rights, that is to say pretensions, to the two Burgundies; for the
imperial chancery claimed those territories, according to its regular
practice of claiming everything.

We admit, that Gregory VII. would have been little less than an idiot
had he not exerted his strongest efforts to secure a complete influence
over this powerful princess; and to obtain, by her means, a point of
support and protection against the Germans. He became her director, and,
after being her director, her heir.

I shall not, in this place, examine whether he was really her lover, or
whether he only pretended to be so; or whether his enemies merely
pretended it; or whether, in his idle moments, the assuming and ardent
little director did not occasionally abuse the influence he possessed
with his penitent, and prevail over a feeble and capricious woman. In
the course of human events nothing can be more natural or common; but as
usually no registers are kept of such cases; as those interesting
intimacies between the directors and directed do not take place before
witnesses, and as Gregory has been reproached with this imputation only
by his enemies, we ought not to confound accusation with proof. It is
quite enough that Gregory claimed the whole of his penitent's property.

5. The donation which he procured to be made to himself by the countess
Mathilda, in the year 1077, is more than suspected. And one proof that
it is not to be relied upon is that not merely was this deed never
shown, but that, in a second deed, the first is stated to have been
lost. It was pretended that the donation had been made in the fortress
of Canossa, and in the second act it is said to have been made at Rome.
These circumstances may be considered as confirming the opinion of some
antiquaries, a little too scrupulous, who maintain that out of a
thousand grants made in those times--and those times were of long
duration--there are more than nine hundred evidently counterfeit.

There have been two sorts of usurpers in our quarter of the world,
Europe--robbers and forgers.

6. Bayle, although allowing the title of Great to Gregory, acknowledges
at the same time that this turbulent man disgraced his heroism by his
prophecies. He had the audacity to create an emperor, and in that he
did well, as the emperor Henry IV. had made a pope. Henry deposed him,
and he deposed Henry. So far there is nothing to which to object--both
sides are equal. But Gregory took it into his head to turn prophet; he
predicted the death of Henry IV. for the year 1080; but Henry IV.
conquered, and the pretended emperor Rudolph was defeated and slain in
Thuringia by the famous Godfrey of Bouillon, a man more truly great than
all the other three. This proves, in my opinion, that Gregory had more
enthusiasm than talent.

I subscribe with all my heart to the remark of Bayle, that "when a man
undertakes to predict the future, he is provided against everything by a
face of brass, and an inexhaustible magazine of equivocations." But your
enemies deride your equivocations; they also have a face of brass like
yourself; and they expose you as a knave, a braggart, and a fool.

7. Our great man ended his public career with witnessing the taking of
Rome by assault, in the year 1083. He was besieged in the castle, since
called St. Angelo, by the same emperor Henry IV., whom he had dared to
dispossess, and died in misery and contempt at Salerno, under the
protection of Robert Guiscard the Norman.

I ask pardon of modern Rome, but when I read the history of the Scipios,
the Catos, the Pompeys, and the Cæsars, I find a difficulty in ranking
with them a factious monk who was made a pope under the name of Gregory
VII.

But our Gregory has obtained even a yet finer title; he has been made a
saint, at least at Rome. It was the famous cardinal Coscia who effected
this canonization under Pope Benedict XIII. Even an office or service of
St. Gregory VII. was printed, in which it was said, that that saint
"absolved the faithful from the allegiance which they had sworn to their
emperor."

Many parliaments of the kingdom were desirous of having this legend
burned by the executioner: but Bentivoglio, the nuncio--who kept one of
the actresses at the opera, of the name of Constitution, as his
mistress, and had by her a daughter called la Legende; a man otherwise
extremely amiable, and a most interesting companion--procured from the
ministry a mitigation of the threatened storm; and, after passing
sentence of condemnation on the legend of St. Gregory, the hostile party
were contented to suppress it and to laugh at it.





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About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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