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NYPL RESEARCH LIBRARIES

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Voltaire
AMES
ARTON

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LIFE
OF

YOLTAIKE.
i\t.

BY

JAMES PARTON.

C"est

II vaudrait

dommagc, i la y6nt6, de passer une partie de sa vie k d^truire de vieux chateaux enchant^s. mieux 6tablir des V(5rites que d'examiuer des mensonges mais oil sont Ics verites.'
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Voltaire, 1760.

VOLUME

11.

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BOSTON:
HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY.
1881.

RK THE NEW YORK
PUBI.ir:

ARY JTBPARY
AND

I

601^195 A
ASTOR, LENOX
I

TILDEN FOUNDATIONS L 1932 R

1

I

Copyright, 1881,

Br JAMES PAKTON.

All rights reserved.

• ••

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The Riverside Press, Cambrirlge : Stereotyped and Printed by H. 0. Houghton

& Co.

CONTENTS.
--

CHAPTER
The King op
Prussia's Supper

I.

Party
II.

1

CHAPTER
The First Tiff

14

CHAPTER
Voltaire versus Hirsch & Son

III.

24

CHAPTER
The King of
Prussia's Disgust

IV.
34

CHAPTER
Work
in

V.
39

Prussia

CHAPTER
The Rind of an Orange

VI.
55

CHAPTER
Embroiled with Maupertuis

VII.
63

CHAPTER
"

VIII.
78

Doctor Akakia

"

CHAPTER
Leaving Prussia.

IX.

90

CHAPTER
Parting Shots at Maupertuis

X.
107

CHAPTER XL
IQ 00 ^^ x:
,^

A Happy Month

at Gotha

116

CHAPTER XIL
Arrest and Detention at Frankfort
121

o^

IV

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER
Drting after the Wreck
.
.

XIII.
. ,

149

CHAPTER
Threatened on Every Side

XIV.
160

CHAPTER XV.
His Exclusion from France
176

CHAPTER
To Switzerland

XVI.
187

CHAPTER XVIL
Settling at Les Delices
193

CHAPTER
The Lisbon Earthquake

XVIII.
208

CHAPTER
Among the Children of Calvin

XIX.
218

CHAPTER XX.
He
is

offered a Red Hat

235

CHAPTER
In the Seven Years'

XXI.
240

War

CHAPTER
Country Gentleman and Farmer

XXII.
260

CHAPTER
Visitors at Les Delices

XXIII.
269

CHAPTER XXIV.
7~

Ecrasez lTnfame

,

284

CHAPTER XXV.
The Provocation
290

CHAPTER XXVL
The Storm of Monosyllables
.
. . .

.

.

.

.

307

CHAPTER XXVIL
The War of Comedies
315

CONTENTS.

V

CHAPTER
Another Shower of Monosyllables

XXVIII.
329

CHAPTER XXIX.
Voltaire builds a Church and adopts a Daughter

....

335

CHAPTER XXX.
The Galas Tragedy
352

CHAPTER XXXI.
Voltaire Interferes
369

CHAPTER

XXXII.
383

Fkrney a Refuge for the Oppressed

"^^^

CHAPTER
The Lord of Ferney Communes

XXXIII.
408

CHAPTER XXXIV.
A
Fire of Thirty-Sous Books
421

CHAPTER XXXV.
He
is

a Troublesome Neighbor

440

CHAPTER XXXVI.
His Colony of Weavers and Watchmakers
455

CHAPTER XXXVII.
Private Life at Ferney
474

CHAPTER
His Prodigious Reputation

XXXVIII.
488

CHAPTER XXXIX.
Visitors at Ferney
510

CHAPTER
The New Reign

XL.
530

CHAPTER XLL
Last Labors at Ferney
539

CHAPTER
To Paris with a New Play

XLII.
558

Death 604 CHAPTER XL VI.vi CONTENTS. Stifled under Roses 585 CHAPTER XLV. 566 Welcome Home CHAPTER XLIV. The Places that knew him 629 . To the Pantheon 622 CHAPTER XLVm. BUEIAL 612 CHAPTER XL VII. CHAPTER The Exile's XLIII.

and needs to be two men. and kept the name of king from At tlie moment when Voltaire contemptible. being entirely arrived. most of his work was but for the day. indeed. SUPPER PARTY. : belongs to his office both to administer and to represent like the master of a great house. He had had his first fight for Silethirty-eight years of age. but leave to ministers the no- The finished republic. . He was 1 . has two kinds of duty. he was a rected more of it at Weimar. centuries. The chief of a state. and in the company and beams at the head of his table. however. who redeemed. and issued from the strife with the province firmly his VOL. Constitutional monarchs reign. and Frederic the head of Prussian society. to add to his court the eclat of the first literary name of the period. in some degree. this necessary division of labor in some suitable way. his position was singularly brilliant.LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. Frederic had gathered about him a number of peculiar characters during the eight years of his reign. the tarnished character of the royal houses. II. At this period of his Hfe he seemed two men in one. The Romans did not waste a man in having two consuls. such a contrast was there between Frederic the head of the Prussian government. Bonaparte demolished a good deal of it at Jena Goethe and Schiller corIn his day. will reach bler toil of ruling. sia. perhaps. CHAPTER THE KING OF PllUSSIA'S I. for one mortal It w^as and is too much Frederic both reigned and ruled. victorious ruler. who in the morning examfor it ines the accounts evening receives and views the leak in the roof. and if he acquitted himself of the double task better than any other man has done in Europe during recent .

with his chestnut hair in curls and a The hair weighed queue. as we see in the poi'traits. spoken the word that could explain tourists of that period kept The his ways and pursuits. His habits and his methods were mostly those of a civilized being. and his kingly star on his breast. enabled . At a time In one particular this king was most fortunate. who know how to live without injuring that best part of their capital which they carry under their hats. for the greatest man has no brain to waste and it kept him from fatal errors of judgment. ity has The cardinal defect of his nature. meanwhile. This was an immense advantage. the king. its Italian opera. drowned his vexation or suspense in a quart of wine. striving to provide for his subjects the noblest pleasures which the wit and taste of man had yet devised. because no competent authorit. the soul of man from Louis XIV. its ballet. W'hen the best brains of Europe were impaired by the fumes of alcohol. in the absence of hygienic knowl- and compelled him to be temperate. for own. the elegance and vivacity of his early manhood his deportment that of a German long resident in Paris. such as He had a comhis deep-drinking successors have committed. His countenance became more German as he advanced in life but at this period. It had its French — — . down to the happy moment when the question was printed in a conspicuous periodical. his averwe cannot judge. His second fight for it was still five which he was always assiduously preparing he could expend time and revyears distant and. when his brute of a father would have edge. the when heavily upon day adopted the mode of adding a cubit to his stature by a stupendous wig. he was the . soldiers. Europe well advised as to They described him as still retaining . who spoke the German language only to his grooms. bis Seven Years' War. his own father being a besotted toper. Frederic would conquer the crisis by composing a hundred French verses. The city then contained about ninety thousand inhabitants. sion to women. enue in making Berlin attractive and famous. he inherited a constitution which.2 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. and horses. with generous intent at least. At times of trouble. its Academy . Why Shave ? In . mand of his powers such as we see possessed by clean-brained men of to-day. theatre. European gentleman.

one hour at table. He sat dined at half past twelve. himself giving the word of command. 'J'he meal was served at half past nine. upon the very stroke of eleven. all renewed on a fixed day. he reviewed and relieved his guards. and the company remained till midniglit. and thi'ee eunuchs. At nine began to assemble that famous supper party of eccentrics. he sum- friends. He composed moned his reader he conversed with his .THE KING OF PRUSSLVS SUPPER PAPvTY. when all were present. with ministers and ambassadors. a actors in the Prussia. three times a year. the old friend. president of the Berlin Academy. his evening concert was announced. all with beautiful voices highly trained. his daj^'s work done. several of whom were in Europe. in fact. a French mathematician of European name. on getting up at five in the morning. if we may believe men who had no interest in liattering him. tutor. The most bewitching tale. numbering. at It was commoner seven. famous singers. liav- comedy of A'oltaire's residence in an incongruous band indeed. and white feather. precisely as he wished it done at every post — in his dominions. ing of in his desserts of fine fruit. It was because he was as sober at midniglit as at dawn. and it was accounted a virtue in this king that. of Madame du C'liatelet. First in rank . which was long reckoned the best His nightly concert was varied by a quintet of man. At five in the afternoon. as many as seventeen. when the king withdrew. then than it is now for men of fortune to play upon musical instruments. After a morning of work in his cabinet. but promptly dismissed his father's costly retinue of huntsmen and dogs."en. These supper companions of Frederic. guest. until. scrutinizing closely every movement. the most absorbing topic. He was flutist in his own band. a woman. played the flute well enough to take his part creditably in a band of professional musicians. but usually limited to . At seven he dressed for the day in a uniform of blue cloth and red facings. the man of elegant leisure. and was very dainty He took no pleasure in the killbirds and beasts. were must be placed INlaupertuis. yellow waistcoat. cocked hat. he put on a linen cloak and dressed his own hair. could rarely detain this man of method from his bed for more than five minutes. He was now domesticated at Berlin. 3 1750 Europe bad readied the curl-and-queue period. Frederic. doing this duty. he became verses .

Besides his mathematical knowledge." he had some passages of love with the maidens of those countries. He could play well on more than one musical instrument. his fair Christine. When he was in the of which are not yet forgotten. he says. . " flattening the earth. Academy. and wrote some pieces of that He had developed. and where the presence of the master was a check upon the disagreeable egotisms of guests." is wonupon He was lookinsj for derfullv absurd. he ex. he possessed agreeable talents. Academy when ob- jecting to IMaupertuis's project of having a medal struck in the " To tell the truth. with his eyes filled with tears. but it has been admired. It is rare that posterity confirms eulogies metallic honors. in the course of his victorious career. and sometimes vindictive. whom pected universal precision in everything said. con- ferred much with him on the affairs of the enjoyed his society at the suppers." Newton of them home to Paris. had studied music. and could write verses. Frederic . the lost damsel. " I ran thither it was In Christine. Let us do good Avithout hope of recompense let us fulfill our duty without ostentaand our name will live among people of worth." assigned him a pension of twelve Frederic speaks of him. In one of them." Again. wrote this golden sentence " Bad appointments to office are a threefold inconvenience they are an injury to public business they dishonor the : — : . . nature which were effective in their day. He valued him highly.4 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. a self-love that was inThe words emordinate. Some have the interest of good of the king's notes to the president of the sense. northern regions. however. to the disturbance of all conversation. I do not love these king's honor. exacting." as ^\fecond in inquietudes. and the inscriptions upon medals. tion ipon confirming one of Maupertuis's nominations. Dr. ing married there a lady belonging to the court of the queenmother. thousand francs a year. Franklin in a "unclubbable" ploj-ed by describing very member of the Philadelphia Junto remind us of Maupertuis: " Like most great mathematicians I have met with. when he saw a place in the snow that seemed whiter and finer than the rest. A little song written by him " lost in the he snow. and even brought some two my defending he showed talent for satire. in one of his letters. or was forever denying or distinguishing upon trifles.

Maupertuis was the most the most agreeable. and caught the eye of Frederic." and others of similar titles. The son of a lawyer and magistrate of Aix. and his father administered the additional medicine of a lettre de cachet^ which consigned him A diplomatic appointment carto a fortress for six months. Voltaire " ]\Iaupertuis had become unsocial. saved him also." and others. of the king's distinguished. the young man saw himself. : scandal in these compositions which They were read with eager interest all of many people love. that remarked days of his residence in Prussia. He which wrote romances for the Holland publishers. his five years his residence in Holland and in England. Malo. when of his early days at the old. ried him to Algiers and to Constantinople. port of St." Another of the supper circle was the Marquis d'Argens. ress. channel recollections with posed. The him. 5 and they are a kind of robbery of those who deserve advancement. a vocation for his own wild and wasteful life had been a long preparaHe wrote five novels in his first year " The Memoirs tion. though not so disevening circle. His father's pa- He tience being at length exhausted. " Chinese followed a series of " Jewish Letters. He could enliven that circle. of service as a French soldier." Letters. and disposed to avoid it. at both of which he had adventures of a harum-scarum nature. prince . without the means of subsistence. the last resort of many vagabonds. and the hot warfare he had waged at Paris against the powerful majority who so lono- He was refused to accept the Newtonian astronomy. he early recoiled from his father's profession. prince invited the audacious and rollicking autlior to visit P'Argens gayly replied that he was five feet ten in stature. Literature. Then of the Countess de Mirol. surcharged with that scorn of existing creeds and There was also the spice usages which was so general then. whom he was saved from marrying at the last swallowed powdered glass with the intention to kill himself. .THE KING OF PRUSSIA'S SUPPER PARTY. entered the French army. also a Frenchman and an author. Prince Royal of Prussia." Before the arrival of Voltaire. and ran away to Spain with an actmoment. An emetic relieved him. over Europe. somewhat clumsy and ungainly in his person. never quite at In the first ease in polite society. at thirty-one years of age.

" soul " being only a product of the animal economy . threw himself upon the study thereof with zeal. thoughts were feeble if the brain was sound. If the brain was disthe were distorted if the brain was weak. which scandalized the Berlin world and made him happy. Then he abandoned theology for medicine. as he was the agent usually employed by the king capital. and wrote a tract in defense of Jansenism. the eased. and he made extensive journeys in France for the purpose of picking up dramatic few months before Voltaire's talent for the Berlin theatre. gossip. hon gargon^ a fellow townsman of Maupertuis. faculty was impaired or improved . and. Frederic's correspondence with this sprightly adventurer is exceedingly voluminous. Malo. . there was and striving to render Berlin. delightful. he had had the good sense to marry a worthy actress A . had to in luring It French artists and poets to the Prussian was he who captured Baculard d'Arnaud. the point of view of the green-room." in 1747. The even became a Jansenist. author. not ill-made. During one of his campaigns he caught a bad lie A he observed that the thinking in precise accordance with the condition of the animal machine. fever. " The fondness lament the reluctance of French men Frenchmen to leave Paris. he entered his most indispensable companion. .6 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. familiar experience suddenly made him a materialist of the most pronounced type. He of he wrote. are so content with the agreeable they things they enjoy there. materialist. and soon On became Frederic's accession. however. Mettrie. " is so great. from dote. that it is difficult to induce even mediocre people to leave it. which was accepted by the sect as the true doctrine. also. as Frederic Then atheist. and this . Besides his gayety and talent. the thoughts thouglits were rational if the brain was stimulated. was La son of a rich merchant of St. he began by obeying his father in preparing himself diligently for the priesthood . and reminiscence. his service. and dared not venture within reach of a king who was apt to pick up any stroller of decent proportions for his tall brigade. D'Argens had a fund of anec- He knew the stage." Such is the result of making cities of letters for Paris. the thoughts were He concluded that man was a mere machine. while recovering. arrival. physician. and served at Fontenoy as surgeon to one of the French regiments. the active.

fifty years have not delivered from all the prejudices of child. which has hitherto carried him beyond the bounds of propriety and reasonable liberty. in which the austere Haller figured in scenes the most foreign to his habits and character among others. professor of natural science at Gottingen "a " whom I have never seen. to give a serious and detailed amusement of idle readers. he dedicated his pious and orthodox Haller. cbarlatans. relates agi'eeably. cast a favorable eye upon him. But. in 1745. the most noted which was entitled " Man-Machine. The professor deemed it his duty reply to this folly. King of the austerities which Prussia. a victim from his youth up of La Mettrie ridiculed. He publicly disavowed all sympathy with the atheist. whereupon La Mettrie published a burlesque romance. La Mettrie then published a piece in which he held up to scorn and derision the medical practice of his time. and whom savant." The erudite and respectable Haller could not submit in silence to this extravagant jest. He even indicated some of the most noted living practitioners by allusions to facts that were generally known of them. Maupertuis reported: "I do not doubt that La Mettrie will give you perfect satisfaction. a jovial doctor's opinions upon such matters do not excite conmuch importance was attached to speculative opinions upon subjects beyond the reach of investigation that the chaplain of La Mettrie's regiment was able to get the merry surgeon dismissed from his post for presuming to interpret the universe after a theory of his own." . He will be very useful to your majesty. as if only amused by the storm of abuse and obloquy which these audacities pro" Man-Machine " to the voked. to the great Frederic. if your majesty can put the drag upon that impetuous imagination of his. his mind being ready money." said La Mettrie. sparing it no more than Moliere had done in his comedies of the preceding young sternation. whose sole aim was to extract large fees from credulous patients by pompous humbug.THE KING OF PRUSSIA'S SLTPER PARTY. as " " presiding at a supper of the nymphs who frequented the : beer gardens of Gottingen. 7 of bold idea be promulgated in yarious treatises. and told Maupertuis to investigate and report upon him. hood. At last." At present. He reads well. so He described the fashionable doctors of the day as century.

too. " You ask king ? " Chasot was instantly attacked. then Prince Royal. Prussians rescued him. Valori. gentlemen. Voltaire. pensioned and a hon diahle. — to Prussia as attachi of the Darget. he was told. who was " amusing for a few minestablished. embraced him with transport. for the king . and. another of the king's readers and associates. in 1750. LIFE or VOLTAIRE. having dangerously wounded an officer of powerful connections in a duel. just as he was about to sink under his many wounds. La Mettrie entered. he was obliged to flee across the border into Germany. here he is but fought so well that he kept the hostile party engaged for staff. on the eventful day of Molwitz. companion. when. some time after. was a flutist of the most persistent disposition. saying. who used to accompan}^ the king in his first campaigns. adopted him into his familiar circle . — the multitudinous gossip relating to this peculiar court. however. where he was . and promoted him to the rank of major. on passing a grocer's shop. ! — some minutes. Soon after his arrival at Berlin. and soon restored him to all his former favor. career in a favorite French regiment but." as Frederic himself He had begun his military styled him in a public bulletin. King Frederic's first battle. the name given by Germans to grocers. one of those amateui's whose merciless practice drives their neighbors mad. "the brave Major Chasot. Chasot. of the king. found him installed at Ber- lin. Chasot was riding close to the king at the the battle seemed lost. and Frederic himself was about to be surrounded. The prince. a company of Frederic proclaimed him his saviour. as reader. In a few weeks. Chasot spurred upon the Austrian. The Austrian officer cried out " The where is the to the " moment when royal king. the king pardoned him. Another Frenchman of the king's supper parties was a young officer. he killed a Prussian bully in a duel." then a utes. captivated by his agreeable qualities. and congratulated him upon having reached such rational opinions as the name implied. asked to see the materialist. Not the less did he sentence him to the fortress of Spandau for a year. Endless anecdotes of him are recorded in bore. presented to Frederic.8 This in 1748. so that. came French ambassador. that it was the abode of a materialist. familiar. By a . during which the king escaped.

" wrote Voltaire to his present. liberty of conscience. a tender. Valori?" asked the generab head-quarters. " " How did No. He mentioned." Was there. de Valori?" the Austrian. having been taken prisoner at the capture of a city." were M." Scotch Jacobite. and. by way of showing the freedom accorded by Frederic to his servants. that Lord-]\Iarshal Keith took with him to Paris a pretty little Turkish girl. I an Anglican. no German at this German monarch's table. though there was a tendency. Frederic. he is. man at Frederic's court. which proves that people can live together. de Valori's at break of day. who has believe. there M. also. of England. I am his secretary." king. All this forms rather a pleasant mixture. returned the compliment of Lord Tyrconnell's appointment by sending as his own ambassador to Paris George Keith. he made him reader. to the barbaric crush. Besides these native Frenchmen. not weighty unwilling to displease his uncle." you dare to "I dared. A camp Darget having surprised put on the ambassador's dressing-gown. then.m for his own part. had been given " She is a to the Scotch volunteer as a Mahom- the honor to be a pag. too for the imperfect digestion of an author." adds Voltaire. good " Her master leaves her entire etan. Darget being promptly exchanged. even then. He has in his suite a kind of Tartar valet. but Lady " Tyrconnell received" afterwards very agreeably. asked say you " because I The incident pleased the replied Darget. monsieur. ouglit. George II. or something near it. though not agreeing in opinion. He gave great British dinners at the Prussian capital. the lost cause of James favor. secretary. 9 ilar to curious coincidence. " II. one of the diplomatic corps whom Frederic favored. niece. and he was now at was an Irish FrenchLord Tyrconnell. guests ? It was related of another German prince Frederic's taste for of this his period." a refugee from France had taken him into high Berlin in the character of French ambassador. Darget saved bis chief by a device simband of pandours tbat by wbicb Cbasot saved bis.THE KING OF TRUSSIA'S SUPPER PARTY. companion. and was carried away as a great prize to the Austrian "Are you M. to which other countries had contributed so many . confidant. a refugee from the lost cause of the Pre" It has the air of a joke. who shared Frenchmen and . assumed the ambassador. who.

too. eleven years old. with great applause. also. Algarotti. the tender " Zai're" drew tears from all eyes. a Prussian. and the author enacting his favorite Cicero once more. All the world of Berlin paid court to him. the author assuming the aged LusigChristian Racine's "Andromache" w^as prenan. martyr. and courtwhich he was himself the director. There was. looking up and down the table. who was still in Frederic's service. "Rome Sauvee " was performed before the queens and their courts. Prince Henry. The baby Goethe was a year old when Voltaire witnessed the Berlin carousal of August. was extremely . The child. remarked. who had a rare collection of stories in his memFrederic tolerated him. a guest. princesses. and. Others of his severer tragedies followed. sition." — an as knew with first all the arts by which cloyed minds are entertained. cadet in A the military academy of Berlin. too.10 LIFE OF YOLTAIEE. old dejoendent in a remote country house is familiar the possible games of the drawing-room. Prince Henry taking a part in the play. " the Voltaire. " It is only the master who is " not French This could not be said of Frederic's suppertable every evening. one evening. One of the anecdotes of this period is pleasing. tliat. During the weeks. Voltaire would have easily taken the first place. he served to justify the king's preference for the lighter and ! brighter sons of Gaid. after forty years' practice in supping with favorite. 1750. Comedies were interspersed. and all the court circle agreed that the king had alleviated human life in Berlin by adding a Voltaire to his conquest of Silesia. In such a circle as this. The king's brother and heir presumptive. he remained under the illusions of the honeymoon. one old reprobate from the late king's tobacco orgies. was an Italian. from nine to twelve. for great. sented in due time. of organized a dramatic company of princes. at last. contempt for Germans. Baron Polhiitz. was born who was destined to avenge and adorn a country so unknown to its king. He at once iers. however. when he could get leave from his regiment. and ory. becomes monotonous. and told them amusingly. even if he had not been the new-comer and the All but Maupertuis hailed him as a precious acquithe business of being brilliantly agreeable to a master every evening. ex officio. had a seat there.

One who knows how Yes. king to give countenance and power to everything most and honor of France. . Nor was there a dull semblance . he was accustomed of a hostile to the welfare to write : strain 1 — to his niece and his "guardian angels" in which animates me. deign. whose awkwardness disturbed creditable. parmi nous vieus te placer. of Mirepoix to no ass was there was well pleased to repeat. no body of Bull no feared and be despised Unigenitus . as he done a wise act in changing his abode. ' cried out. Oui. Goethe was not born too soon. He at ! which the courtly audience is said to have laughed. de cachet. loud enough to be heard all over the " I asked for men. Voltaire seems to have been at times completely fascinated." ^ Another anecdote of the theatre is not quite so credible nor " For " Rome Sauv^e they sent him a number of soldiers as supernumeraries. among us." comedy of company of comedi- dians. come and place yourself . and Schiller might have made greater haste. whenparquette to damn a play no sharp hail of epigrams ever Piron was displeased. no Frdrons earning bread and prestige by no cabals of the irritatintr the sensitive self-love of authors lettres ." to interest so strongly deserves to have his wish gratified. and we will try to keep you there. this Unable longer to curb the ardent desire my lord. one desirous of witnessing Voltaire's little of the performances of this illustrious 11 " Nanine. seigneur. During these gay weeks and longer. and they have sent me Germans house. to grant 2 me a ticket to see "Nanine.THE KING OF PRUSSIA'S SUPPER PARTY. if this story is true. m'accorder Un billet pour voir Nanine. at length. very much the too sensitive performer who played Cicero. Et nous ferons qu'on t'y retienne. no preposterous .' " ' ^ To which Voltaire replied " : — Qui sait si fort inte'resser Merite bien qu'on le previenne . He thought that he had In Prussia. zeal clergy and courtiers getting fat preferment by affecting de no billets document that for confession . During the hrst three months of his residence in Prussia. rector : — He addressed a poetical note to the author and " Ne pouvant plus gourraander Le desir ardent qui m'anime. Daignez.

I was formerly much put out with him on officer. enemies. Madame are." tre. of his father or to allow the injustice to remain. [To the king. He has just sent fifty thousand francs in a very pretty little casket to an old lady of the court. [To D'Argental. that we have eaten good peaches and good muscat pears. October 8th. thousand francs to repair are great it. October 13th. while the other trembles at his name . at . God be thanked. September 23. September 1.] " I prostrate myself before " Here we are in retirement [To Madame Denis. . You other Parisians think that I am in Lapland . If one can be sure of anything. .] Potsdam a place inhabited. I see them not." your scepyour pen. you must not look down upon people. by men in mustache and I labor grenadiers' caps. I have found a conformity so singular between all his tastes and mine that I have forgotten he is sovereign of half Germany.] who and put for sixteen years has wished to console me for misfortunes. but.. have had a summer as warm as yours. I did not know that this favor had been accorded. Not a twig of it had been laid low but he persisted in saying that damage had been done. more or less. He pretended that during the exercises a hedge had been cut down on the land of the lady in question. that he has gained five battles .12 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE.. it is of the character of the King of Prussia. your imagination. notwithstanding my places and the goodness even of the king. and that for three or four degrees of the sun. and sent the fifty . it is true. I find the protection of a king. whose pardon I had asked. This ancient despotic wrong of the late king was spoken of again some time ago he was unwilling either to show disrespect to the memory . I am sure of a destiny forever tranquil. as amiable as you " He de Fontaine. I grant. 1750. " is not one ? how then [To is his niece. The King of Prussia does very noble actions without noti- account of a French fying his people.] He is a king. — kind of spectacle worthy of the conqueror of Austria. Here. me in security against Everything is to be my my feared for me in Paris as long as I live. but it is a passion of sixteen years . your justness of understanding. that he is the greatest general in Europe that he is surrounded by big devils of heroes six feet high. " I find a port after thirty years of storms. condemned cruelly by the king's father. your sword. whom his father had condemned to a punishment entirely in the Turkish style.. know that we . he has turned my head. I have had the insolence to think that nature made me for him. the agreeable qualities of an amiable man. He chose an estate a of that lady as the scene of a sham-fight of ten thousand troops. My this men constituted. if man dear and honored friend. and your universality. all united in one 1750. the conversation of a philosopher.

imagination. grace. which would have made him safe in Italy. all my hours are I have not found here the smallest prick of a thorn among my roses. The project of traveling in Italy was soon given up perhaps. " . the end of three months of chagrin and indigestion.THE KING OF PRUSSIA'S SUPPER PARTY. gayer. us. because. while a Boyer was Frederic. in ceremony. to the the king's dinners to talk in public. I go no more to many generals and princes. in a word. and I sup with him in a company not at all numerous." Such were bis transports during the first weeks. as Wagniere tells him to Rome as his charge d'affaires. there are too sound of the drum. as the winter drew on. I should die at if is shorter. to dine every day with the king in public. much of which he had intended to per. It seems that nature delicious. and wlio has no other misfortune than that of being a very great and powerful king. and more wholesome." The supper I were obliged [To D'Argental. I could not accustom myself to be always opposite a king. and he could not face a long journey. studies. I have only three steps to take to sup with a man full of spirit. nor brought a twig of laurel from the tomb of Virgil. intended to send — Wagniere intimates that the true reason and died without seeing Italy was his fear a fear not groundless. why Voltaire lived of the Inquisition. form on horseback. bis health declined. solitary From my working-room. But this scheme was too long delayed. I enjoy the pleasure of being useful to him in his to direct and draw from them new strength my own. made me expressly for him . who is the bond of society.] " I am leading here at Potsdam the which suits at once my health and my studies. and so the author of the " Henriade and of "Rome Sauvee" never stood upon the site of Cicero's forum. powerful at the court of France. October and busy life loth. peaceably in 13 my rooms .

the king's intelligent. The of astute reader knows very well that these companions a king could not long be a happy family. celebrating the valor of its heroes. with an eye ever works and composing new. Here. the necessity of wasting vital — force in earning their subsistence. He was recording his country's history. All these busy laborers were freed from that primal. Maupertuis. which he appeared to be executing in circumstances more favorable than had ever before concurred. the out- ward circumstances and the inward longings seemed to be in harmony and. if only it were possible to select them. every advanced community might. congenial task. as we see in his correspondence with the king. setting an example of plodding fidelity which corporal or prince could safely follow. and preparing it for that larger and grander future which it is perhaps soon to enter upon as a federation of upon France. for once. was employed in directing the investigations of the Berlin Academy. . How enviable the lot of tliis have seemed to lookers-on in company of briglit spirits must Each. . set free its twenty or its forty most fruitful minds from the necessity of that cruel waste. assiduous assistant. Voltaire. of them had his Europe ! chosen. all The king was governing force that his Prussia with the wisdom and of himself he possessed he gave the best and of days to the service of his country. of an elevated and inspiring nature. Probably it is not possible. with incalculable advantage to itself. eldest curse of intellectual workmen. The nature of . TIFF. in truth. . and in making the results accessible in annual reports. D'Argens was always writing or compiling the bold La Mettrie had usually some new work upon the anvil and Darget was was correcting his old republican states.CHAPTER THE FIRST 11. Much of their work was .

wit. In recompense. of of and thus expose himself " The to a triumphant I-told-you-so from that positive lady.TIIE FIRST TIFF. 15 Sans-Souci proved to be a monasthings Tvas against tliem. but ! suppers at Sans-Souci. the routine. in which he proscribes virtue and remorse. that we have phiyed La Mort de Cesar at Potsdam that Prince Henri is a good actor. much more airy than Paris. November 6th of the same year he was its in a mood to write that catches the eye of of this year : — famous letter of buts^ which. he takes sions hardly with his quadrant. but — hut! at least no storms. the soul of life is free all that . and is very amiable and that there is such a thing as The king's suppers are delipleasure here ? All that is true iitt ! we talk reason. carousals. . . has no accent. . palaces. the house of Lady Tyrconnell always full. form of sky-rockHis chatter i^ amusing for half a quarter of an hour. . studies. spacious. no clouds. which render monastic life endurable. . OiJeras. Some sensible people concluded to remonstrate with him upon the enormity of his moral lessons. from one who turns over the volume of oddity. " dimenMaupertuis springs are not very easy. He has just made. printed at Potsdam. of will be the of she had Prussia death King predicted in you. concerts. . but The city of Berlin." August. the learned ignorance. The scenes of his reception being at an end. . if it is desired. science liberty reigns at the table he is cious . at Paris. God keep me from taking him for my doctor He would give me corrosive sublimate instead of rhubarb. my . It is said that a little envy enters into his problems. affable queens. a bad tally tiresome longer. to find that he had made a great mistake in abandoning Paris and the freedom his own bouse. the weather begins to grow atres. ' . all without There are in his work a thousand brilliant touches. his letters ' "They know. the discipline. and sometimes too full but but! My dear child. 1750. In three months he was so well convinced this as to half confess it to his niece. without knowing it. — a little cool. He was simply astonished he did not know what he had written he will write the contrary to. My — charming princesses. and not half a page of reason they are like flashes of lightning in bad intention. my dear child. Mfttrie. very inno- ! . invites his reader to disorderly living. no bad humor. Voltaire soon recovered from his honey-moon illusions. then. parades. in the La His ideas are fire-works always eulogizes the vices. book. tery without the austerities. maids of honor beautiful and well formed. . the night. the- and occupied. there is here too gay a man it is . morrow. — . . comedies. and morets. lectures .

The rest of his conduct. was master in his hajjpened most submissive household finds methods the but house own . la Detention des Philosoplies et des ParJ. The den king's compliments. he gave himself out for a "lord. his poems. was of a piece with this beginning. rears before leavino. it is This strange doctor is is the king's at present reading to him the ' History of the Church. who had lost upon the road his title-deeds of nobility. then? Several disagreeable things had were or beginning. a " rising should queens sun. he has been obliged to sell all his works to Durand for to be able to start. he was. the equally sudcelebrity. Page 151. " So they want to play Rome Sauvee at Adieu. He was .' He goes over hundreds of pages of it." ^ fifty louis. he wrote to Paris that the queens "snatched him from one an. my dear child." hut ! But Paris ? ' ' — . Frederic II. On arriving at Berlin by the coach. had and he knew no longer what nor where committing a series of incredible follies and For some it is not from Voltaire alone that we learn this. but Prince Henri was heir presumptive. and there are places where monarch and reader are ready to choke with reader. happened. and then begin and the best of to laugh. that he laughing." like the prince himself? It w^as Baculard who caused The the first shadow to fall upon the new-found Elysium. and the portraits of his mistresses. Frederic was king . 1 2 Histoire et a cle tille Vincennes. sioned to keep an eye upon him contains this item "March 20. Voltaire assures us.16 cently. and of his not having been invited to the king's suppers at the same time. the King of Prussia sent him two thoutotally bewildered him. 1750. the whole WTapped up in a nightBeing an inveterate spender and borrower. Voltaire . having spent the money." plained of the insufficiency of his pension. What had of relieving the suppression of its will. without attendant. in order . Paris he had been under the surveillance The report of the detective who was commisof the police. The king doted upon what more natural than that the prince and the make much of Baculard d' Arnaud. Adieux I embrace you with all my heart. head of that young man was by this time completely turned. : — sand francs for his journey [to Berlin] but. the assiduous attentions of part of the court. Delort. Gens de Lettres a la Bas- . he comcap. the sudden fortune. LITE OF VOLTAIRE.

" the worm engendered in the carcass of . in the gaze of ! both armies. were a not altogether unpardonable explosion of inflated vanity. 17 other. he wrote to Freron." that he was tired of supping with them. very mi- ." conspicuously Voltaire's enemy. and the count dispatched to Voltaire a letter of burning indignation. and the leader of the faction hostile to him It was a clear case of going over to the enemy. It was Volousy of Voltaire. and that he meant to use his favor promoting the interests of artists and men of letters.pardon [he wrote] in advance. leaped to the conclusion that Voltaire had himself inserted these offensive passages in the original preface and. or disrespectful to its government. in which allusions were made to Voltaire's change of abode. my dear friend. " I ask yoiu. for a Rouen edition of Voltaire's works in seven volumes. well-formed. he was thirty-two . and of an efleminate air. The D'Argentals were deeply moved. II.THE FIRST TIFF. JNIoreIf the king had a poet. without waiting to ascertain the fact. the letter which I to VOL. who kept him from being invited to the king's suppers. and it was done at noonday. But he did worse than boast of ladies' favor. D'Arnaud whom had written. Desfontaines. pen through some of the passages most and sent it thus amended to the publisher. and he allowed his peu and tongue unbridled in The license in descanting upon the character of the man to he owed his advancement. he forbade its use. that he often declined their invitations. Afterwards. blonde. These allusions were reported Voltaire had his drawn open to this objection. and such as might injure the reputed author of the preface and prevent his return to his native land." boastful letters to Paris. He conceived au infuriate jeal" father " and benefactor. therefore. It is a contemptible subject. parts of letters. as the police report describes him. a preface of considerable extent. His large. and the publisher composed a preface of his own. and morsels of verse. to D'Arnaud as being hostile to France. he thought. for which Voltaire had sui^plied The performanecdotes. in which I shall speak you of Baculard d'Arnaud. ladies of the court had indeed paid him much attention. He . Before leaving France. giving an interesting sketch of the author's life. for am about to write to you. could not the queens have one ? " over. ance having the usual fault of being excessively eulogistic. his taire. disavowing them to Freron.

half from pity for his poverty. always in favor with the prince. handle it. and he has crowned his proceedings by a He has letter which is a tissue of calumny. and to reveal him to you completely. spectable houses. and it is not his intention to expatriate himself. and. touched with repentance and not with remorse. did not then foresee your own departure. tells him not to show the first letter any more. was cast in the same plays with Voltaire. I have disdained to man has rendered himself famous after the fashion he obliges me to break silence. and was going a second to give it full publicity. I had the worst opinion of him long ago. LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. however. and ingratitude.18 interesting. and that. and self I could not help rejoicing at the chance which delivered you I I took care not to advise you to oppose his going. after having made him compose edition. from him. But . this down to the present moment. At length I learned. since it is refuted by the preface itself. and folly. there is no kind of impertinence which he has not written about you. with the greatest surprise. . in This tells the story which. intelligence impossible to continue on rehearsing terms with the rising sun. since he is a good Frenchman. which several persons have seen." letter. Voltaire had ah'eady heard from other sources. But you cannot imagine the noise which this tale has made. After having been spread you have done ! abroad in the cafes and other tripods. who was fond of exercising his talent as an actor. Since from the literary insects at Berlin so in Prussia. I neglected to inform you of it. it has forced its way into re- Freron made a trophy of the It is letter of this wretch. to be given in tlie apartments of Prince Henri. and that the preface of the edition was the bookseller's own work. D'Arnaud. you thought proper to add to it some passages so grave and of such great importance that he is neither able nor willing to adopt them. superior in falsehood. Upon receiving this from he found it Paris. which swarm at Paris. Besides regarding him as mediocre in talent and intellect. deej) in private theatricals. fatuity. that a very great king had deigned to invite him to his ner. you have been dared to write — to whom ? To Freron ! He says that. which was your due for so many reasons. in removing yourcourt. baseness. and which others will still see. I was aware that at the time when he was receiving favors from you he used to speak of you in an unworthy manof Erostratus Half from contempt for the man. as a preface for the Rouen This frightful calumny is one of the most stupid and maladroit. The court was then at Potsdam. you would find one much more dangerous from your being convinced of his attachment to you. and so informed . true that he has received which Baculard.

in the presence of EurojDe Paris verjr attentive Piron.THE FIRST the king. fancied the prince and the queens could protect him. perhaps not with the customary subcould not but discover that he mission. His absence would put an end to the bickerings without number which dishonor the palace of glory and the sweetest asyli\m of repose. '' I have here a whole people for my friends. and he seems to D'Arnaud into consideration. Berlin excited the queens all the caf^s astir with their large. " act at Prince Henri's with D'Arnaud. He soon wore out this extravagant welcome. Boyer. and he asked his discharge from the king's service. and he perceived that if he meant to keep the peace in his house he must make a choice between a rising and a setting orb. as it were. 19 Can I. which he have taken the behavior of chanced that the king had a copy of the original prefnow read again. The rising sun was in eclipse. . going to-day Plenri's carriages. " who take of that scoundrel." he wrote from Dresden. But I am unwilling to cause the ought to preserve in all this seems to me." But all things and men find their level in time. believing rather that I It business a profound silence. the young man found many friends. but might not the same fate befall breath hath made them. . sire. blonde. - : . persecuted young poet the court more deferential to Voltaire than before and that in agitation in sympathy . D'Arnaud. as it seems. lie had been hasty in inviting the young poet. and a breath a setting sun also? A unmakes D'Arnaud withdrew ! to Dresden. should remain there to work. who overwhelms me with so much ingratitude and perfidy? It is impossible. where he lived to extreme Ten years later. and returned to France. The king replied by ordering him to leave Berlin within tAventy-four hours. as Frederic had many enemies. ace in question. to attend the Academy. Imagine all this done." he wrote. that if is to Berlin in one of Prince who D'Arnaud. the D'Argentals. on any pretext." It so least eclat . I should thereby be delivered from the extreme embarrassment in which I find myself. personage somewhat dismayed at his own triumph. pleasure in avenging me V. Frcron. . . . by whom he was still befooled. he sent old age. where. " TIFF. an industrious writer.

and his abrupt dismissal seems as harsh as his sudden elevation was ill-judged. for a few gold an extreme desire. Between them they corrupted an amanuensis whom Voltaire had picked up on his travels. just Pucelle. "La Pucelle. more case in point to those who think that literature could not be really promoted by exempting persons who exercise it from the ordinary conditions. with a letter. the purpose. he carried with him. not "La and. large Baculard was gone from the Elysium he had disturbed. page 142. Prince Henri had merely to read." who "delighted to render homage to his master. ." the poet wrote to his niece . I grant.20 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. and meant to keep under lock and kej''. Prince Henri remained. and lost not her share. Wherever Voltaire went. he is amiable he has seduced Jeanne in his possession." to which he still added lines and cantos. ." and attributed his loss of that master's fi-iendship to the "calumnies" of his enemies. Prince Henri swore that the copy should never. reading that bagatelle to the queen-mother at Berlin. and which he still read to ladies whom he wished particularly to oblige. and explained to him the disagreeable consequences that would follow its publication. who was hidden in a corner. to the Duchess of Saxe-Gotha. The blonde. in the presence of the Princess Amelia. me . another friend of Jeanne. complained to the prince. I am weak if . copied the poem for the prince." a burlesque poem in six books. and I have left if But ever a mishap occurs. Doubtless he was more foolish than base." * The king was so bewitched by the " work that he wrote his " Palladium." he wrote afterwards upon the Roman church. His fate furnishes one But such is personal government. one of his poems to Voltaire. dismissed the copyist." before the abrupt departure of that young man for Dresden. in which he resumed the tone of "an affectionate pupil. in weak but obvious imitation of it. and it was he who again interrupted the peace of the elder poet. a 1 Voltaire a Feruey. and who now. never leave his " It is possession. He had read portions of it to the queen-mother and one of her daughters. sitting u]3 at night for Voltaire discovered the infidelity. to pieces. but to possess a copy of that end consulted D'Arnaud. the queen regarding it as a satire " I remember. only a prince's oath. " but he is an honest man. In short.

and copying. who read the play before copying it.THE FIRST ' TIFF. to live I count : This very letter to his take care of our little it "Above all things. Ciceron. and gave him some work in translating from the German.' ' should have carried off a copy to Dresden for publication. teaching. young Lessing having for the veteran author the generous admiration which young men who have it in them to do something naturally cherish for men who have done something. The Ah. always upon seeing upon hope. he engaged him as facLongchamp has told us what opportunities such a per- son had of abusing his trust. Cicero. sing." and employed Tinois to do the work. Catiliua. lived in a Berlin age. ' 21 second copy is made." ^ totum. four characters were com- pletely revealed to a discriminating public " Chacun recounaitra. niece concludes thus theatre. who received him with his wonted urbanity. who also proved something less than faithful. : — Cesar. again. named Richier. They became very good friends. At this time. of his for another occasion he had Reims. resident in Berlin. and involved Voltaire in a painful manner with the twenty-two and eked out his subsistence as best he could by transOne of his few friends in Berlating. who played him the ill-turn with the prince. which would have been death to his dearest hopes but the fear proved groundless. copy ing through " Rome Sauv^e. ETery one and Voltaire. Lesillustrious Lessing. . Coesar. par les coups dii pinccau. who in due time procured for him the keenly desired pleasure of an introduction to Voltaire. 1 will recoguize. Catiliue. by the strokes of the brush. of was unknown. Pleased with the young man's esprit. Every letter he wrote to Paris inti. sent the author a stanza to the effect that." He was liable to mishaps of this nature from his precipitation in engaging copyists. teacher of languages. mates revealed a longing to return. we have copyist. Tinois. where shall I hide ? The poem of La Pucelle does not harmonize with my age and the Age of " For a while he was in alarm lest D'Arnaud Louis XIV. et Voltaire. he had taken into his service for no other Passreason than that he could write a compliment in verse. Tinois was succeeded by a young Frenchman ai. at last. lin was Richier. years garret.

one XIV. You would do me even a much you were to print the book in French you would ruin . Ricliier be heard all about tbe wondrous " Age of Louis which Voltaire was busy in 1750 and 1751. can as to take the volume with him we wonder that Voltaire should have been equally alarmed ! alarmed because he had already made and naturally supposed that arrangements the copy could have been taken only for publication elsewhere. ready for the printer.. you would do me considerable wrong to translate it using it. demanding the immediate return of the No answer arriving at the time expected. I shall do what I can to avoid ruining the . de Francheville [king's printer at Berlin]. But as I have since corrected the work. impression. iivho it is known at Berlin that it was my secretary. monsieur. Lessing. and to submit it to the magistrates of Saxony. he manuscript." upon volume of which. with all the additions and all posed. Richier. It was a fault in both. leaving Berlin without intention to return.. Nothing could more injure you and more certainly close the door of fortune to you. should reduce M. 1750. was so inconceivably thoughtless On discovering the fact. as you proI will send you the entire work. . to pray you to return the copy which was taken from me and placed in your hands. but that you cause it to appear in Italian. in this matter. and I will recompense with pleasure the good faith with which you will give me back what I again ask of you. I shall be very well satisfied not only that you translate the book into German. committed this theft. You have already been written to.. wrote himself to Lessing a letter so polite and reasonable that it is difficult for us to understand how it could have left an ill and indignant ? He was for its publication. who is a very worthy man and the publisher of this work. He compelled his secretary either in French or in German. I am aware that it could not be confided to a man less capable of mismuch and more cajDable of translating it well. M. which Richier did. Unfortunately. only pardonable to their youth. I should be extremely afflicted if the least negligence on your part.22 LIFE OF VOLTAIEE. de Francheville to the cruel necessity of rendering his complaint public. You feel that he would be obliged to make his complaint public. to write to Lessing. Lessing entreated Ricliier to lend him the precious volume to read.. Soon after. " in the state in greater one if which you have it. and as I have caused to be inserted more than forty leaves. lay among his papers From as early as December. the necessary explanations. and Lessing took it home with him.

and I shall even pardon Have the goodness to scud me the tution which I expect from you. apologizing No have even so much as copied a volume with the pen could think Lessing's jests well timed: "On leaving Berlin I had still four leaves to read. which it. 1866. wdiose works one can lay down at any place Voltaire dismissed the secretary and Lessing. E. E.. ? unequal acquaintance Life and Works i. p. and who could have and publishers known 1 little of Lessing's honorable character from their short. wrote to Voltaire a letter of remonstrance has not been preserved. with a jocular for having taken it away. the borrowed of base use of a making pable of been the had who think an author could else copyists prey for twice Lessing's life-time." sooner had this epistle been dispatched than the manunote from Lessing to the secrescript arrived. he were the only party sinning. parcel by pos^wagon. Enans. from the Boston. in author as though party sinned against. By . de Voltaire like an ordi" ? nary compiler. on hearing of in Latin. P. Put yourself in my place before pro- nouncing against me. Few men who tary. 106. 23 him on your making the restiguilty person.^ him caLessing could never forgive Voltaire for thinking But what volume. Lessing. is related by a German . German of Adolph Stahr. It is an instance of the force of prewhich Voltaire was so clearly the judice that this affair. Why is not M. and count upon my gratitude. vol.THE FIRST TIFF. of G.

told twice alike. At the close of the Silesian war. elector.CHAPTER These were III. of Europe with an enlivening topic for the supper-tables plied were of — weeks. and compelled the King of Prussia to regret the hour that sealed his bargain with his new French tutor. An article of the treaty of Dresden required that Prussian subjects holding these depreciated bills should be paid in full. . The suit would have been reckoned scandalous in Berlin without reference to its merits. many . but they trifling importance compared with the prodigious and the lawsuit resounding scandal that now demands our notice. VOLTAIRE VEESUS HIRSCH & affairs all SON. The case is extremely difficult to elucidate. during which Frederic of Prussia was sometimes master of Dresden. extremely disagreeable. " and a firm of between the author of the romantic " Zaire This case supBerlin jewelers." ing a leaf from the book of John Law. and probably never will be. because of some of the most material points the evidence is either insufficient or contradictory and hence the story has never been. had established a kind of bank in Dresden. Ninety-nine miles south of Berlin is agreeable Dresden. the capital of Saxony. Augustus physically strong. and caused it to issue an inordinate quantitv of notes. merely because Abraham Hirsch was a Jew for one point of agreement between Lutheran and Catholic was an abhorrence of the people whom Christians had conscientiously despoiled and degraded for fifteen centuries. son of " the This tak- The currency of Saxony was inflated: for a time a note of one hundred thalers was worth but fifty. Israelites not without guile. then misgoverned by the Elector Augustus. which proved a hard condition indeed for the elector. that king was in a position to impose terms of peace upon Augustus. A piece of paper in a Saxon's hands . a million and a half of francs in nominal value.

than that the speculation was still carried on in . had been accustomed from his youth up to amuse himself by turning to his own advantage the financial straits of kings and ministers. as a propensity of this kind does not grow weaker with advancing age. great bought For three at the Dresden bank. we know. father and son. however. for the theatricals in Prince Henri's rooms. numbers. It was as early as November. he still nursed his fortune. probably.VOLTAIRE VERSUS HIRSCH & was worth fift}'" SON. supply. and not without reason. land of royal mistresses and ministeinal jobs.. Pompadour. few failures in an affair of business. yielding to his remonstrances. — The younger Hirsch sometimes brought the gems himself from Berlin to Potsdam. Events soon proved that there was no final refusre for him on earth but one which his own tact and force The very wages of his procould make. yeai's resources Augustus was obliged to submit to this drain upon his but in 1748. and Maurepas. The pretext of . the King of Prussia. discount. that he cast his one of his very eye upon this luckless Dresden speculation. and forbade the importation of the notes into liis dominions. He was in a country where men usually told the truth. and defend. and where the government was an integer. fessional labor were a prey to every printer in Europe who chose to join in the scramble for them. received their nominal value. Rich as he was. and young Hirsch to go to Dresden and buy the notes. Voltaire to supply the capital. and we also know that Voltaire. and the same piece ! by a Prussian was worth one hundred Speculative Prussians on presenting them in these notes and. He had been in the habit of hiring diamonds and other splendors from the jewelers Hirsch. 1750. But in speculating in these Dresden depreciated notes he committed the great error He had left the of forgettinfj for a moment where he was. stayed over night and carried them back the next day. when he had been in his new country little more than four months. He was in Prussia under Frederic H. Between them (though which proposed the scheme cannot be known) the poet and the jeweler appear to have arranged a speculation in Dresden paper . and. prohibited the traffic. Nothing is more probable. of pa2:)er held 25 tlialers. then selling in Saxony at thirty-five per cent. secret by Prussian subjects. not in France under Boyer.

to Voltaire's extreme distress and He lingered a whole week. both himself and his father had had business of that nature.26 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. ground that commerce " of that nature might displease the king. still more. — the whole being crowns. As security." Voltaire supplied young man undertook the commission. and demanded compensation for time and labor. Hirsch claims to have been the innocent victim of VolHe says that he objected to the scheme on the taire's wiles. at his principal's urgent desire. and him with the requisite funds a bill of ex: change upon Paris for forty thousand francs . where. to the effect that the price of the Dresden notes had risen in value. " Voltaire protested continues Upon which." that he was too prudent to undertake anything without the self well of consent of his majesty on the contrary. Hirscli's joiirney was to be a purchase of jewels and furs in the Saxon capital. At Dresden he raised only the money on his Paris bill. where he assumed the injured merchant. and then started disappointment. Voltaire wrote to Paris. at He and length. and. on his own account. This fine project was dis- cussed and completely arranged in Voltaire's rooms in the royal palace at Potsdam. deferring or evading the business upon which he was sent. and could not be had at the seductive discount of thirtyfive per cent. protesting his bill of exchange. quite in the manner of Versailles. another upon a Berlin broker. of four thousand four hundred crowns. The protection. Hirsch deposited with Voltaire diamonds valued at eighteen thousand four hundred and thirty of Hirsch. I could surely count upon his . This decisive step brought the young man quickly back to Potsdam. with these notes in his pocket. named Ephraim. He wrote unsatisfactory letters. and proceeded to trade. Hirsch went back to Berlin. indeed. the jeweler. as it seems. so informed the dilatory. and procured him some notes at thirty-five per cent. if I acquitted mythe commission. exactly over the king's own apart- ment. lost time in Berlin. and. made no tolerable explanation. a third. for the great injury done to his credit in having sold a bill of exchange which . discount. he bought none for Voltaire. for four thousand crowns . If he bought some for himself. upon the father of the value of about eighty-five thousand francs. speculative Hirsch.

During the intei'val. It might be of use. At Paris Voltaire would have known but in Prussia. signed Francois Arouet de Voltaire. He had been at Dresden. The "brave Major Chasot" had received them from an elderly duchess. however. sympathize with the embarrassment of rich people.VOLTAIRE VERSUS HIRSCH the &. alas. and to pay to him two hundred and eighty gold fredericks as the balance due after deducting the price of the diamonds. when he jjlayed Cic- ero in "Rome Sauvee. as both of them thought. a Berlin competitor of Hirsch. being by this time fully resolved to drop the speculation. in extorting from his principal a liberal reward. But. who are always having quantities of money coming in which they know not what to do with. SON. The jeweler went home to Berlin well content. except for purposes of mischief. a final agreement. piece of paper The mere fact of Abraham Uirsch's holding a document of the kind. he seems to have thought. where he did not mean to stay very long. He came. and Voltaire be- who had now ." had money sufficiently A and. from Avhom he de- rived the impression that they were egregiously overvalued.They came to an amicable and. Voltaire received him blandly. he took care to keep in his strong-box at Berlin. cross . received for . he was a man who always thoughtless world does not. He agreed at once to compensate his agent for all losses. So said competitor Ephraim. and annihilate all trace and record of it. they He had worn some of the jewels left with him as seof them upon his chamberlain's his person had glittered upon to invest. and the brave major had sold them very cheap to put them off upon Voltaire at an enormous profit. perhaps. by way of bringing the business to a handsome conclusion which would close the mouths of Hirsch and son. Hirsch engaged to restore all the unused bills received from Voltaire. he proposed to buy a part curity. obliged to restore the money it and now held a worthless which. was one which the king's friend would not care to have known. now valueless. and. Voltaire had shown the diamonds to Ephraim. when he hoped " to receive the " liberal compensation vaguely promised for his loss and labor. . his money was a burden to him. Pie expressly engaged to return the bill upon Paris. they failed to agree.. besides. Hirsch. 27 drawer protested. promising to return in a day or two with his golden fredericks.

this : " I lent a large I lent it to facilitate Ms commerce with at Dresden in furs and jewels. in effect. ." Hirsch replied in substance " No. as well as some articles of costly furniture. There were scenes. demands and deaf Voltaire's accusation. he se7it me to Dresden to buy depreciated notes for him. Hirsch expected came up Voltaire offered something less at least two thousand francs than two hundred. : last. So far the case is sufficiently clear. he brought suit against the dealer in diamonds. and thrusting him out of the door. the sun goes do^vn upon the but no man. One thing is certain : meant bill. . though the evidence is But. finding him rising in his compromise. but never brought it with him. For a day or two Hirsch was in prison. from which he was released on bail. after several fruitless interviews. bill of according to written agreement. slight. as Hirsch testifies. LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. exchange on Paris. at fault. putting several small and inferior stones in place of my large and fine : . He came. We dimly see Voltaire trying to conciliate him by buying more jewels. by the most dilvictor in possession of the field igent questioning. The diamonds were not over-valued by me but he has changed some of them. Clouds of smoke cover the battle-ground. of infuriate French violence between them the poet chasing the jeweler around the room. he came again. me He refuses to settle He keeps back a ones. onward. day.28 lieved liim. he went. snatching a ring from his finger. sum of money to this young man was . and the cause came to to all reasonable trial. and inadequate. to extort excessive profit Voltaire was sure the jeweler from him by keeping the Paris Hirsch would not bring back the bill. and he greatly overvalues some diamonds which I took from him in part payment. I did not sign the statement produced by the plaintiff. he came often. from this point fragmentary. the question of compensation for settlement. there is a deafening noise. therefore. shaking At his fist in his face. Carlyle's fiery patience seems tails with certainty. can ascertain the vicissitudes of the long . the acutest sifter of testimony cannot follow the deEven Mr. "When. the earth shakes. the difference was extreme between Hirsch's expectation and Voltaire's estimate. and had him arrested on a criminal charge.

presence of the lieutenant-colonel. calling me a knave.VOLTAIRE VERSUS HIRSCH & SON. with orders to judge the cause with rigorous impartiality. and entreated house. in the the jiower to throw me into a dungeon for the remainder of my life. named Picard. Voltaire in the king's service. the enraged poet was so determined not to submit to what he deemed imposition that he sought justice in irregular ways. and then refused to pay for shut up the mirror [supplied by chamber. especially as they had been valued previous to " Volt^iire in his done have me would damage. if I would take back the brilliants which I had sold him. and restore the three thousand crowns and all the writings that had passed between us. servant Picard has already on oath given him the lie relative to his . go and com- plain where the I "On him morrow pleased. beguiled the to enough make their account even. and added that he would not have bought the brilliants if he had not found the purchase to his advantage. and bade me my was present. seized me by the throat. finger in the palace. Highly angry at the proceedings of Voltaire. when Voltaire. 29 That is. the king sent me to the high chancellor. The men who were jealous taire's favor. Scarcely had I entered. I mean that he altered the papers that passed between us after I had signed them. so that their meaning was materichanged to his advantage. and I left the fury chamber to go and lay my complaints before his majesty. and the more the purchase. I replied that this could not be ." which contains his version of the story. desired to bring me to his came with a lieutenant-colonel [Chasot] him to judge between us. junior partner into furnishing merchandise He it." of Volcity was astir. According to this Appeal. and told me he would neither pay me for the rings nor the mirror. encouraged and abetted the jeweler. but that his clemency would pardon my crimes. At the same time he forcibly took a ring from Sieur Voltaire [he said] "The Hirsch & Son] in his my He His servant. and told me I did He added that he liad not know the person with whom I had to do. although the brilliants for which he gave three thousand crowns had been valued by M. and those who regarded poets as Frederic's father had regarded them. In ally The whole the midst of the sessions of the court they assisted him to " compose an Appeal to the Public. pursued me about the chamber. His I have already confronted the Sieur Voltaire at two sittings. Reclam before the agreement was concluded. but that he would keep them to indemwhich be pretended he had nify himself for the too hasty bargain made witli me before. afterward shut the door in face.

it estime. court's business. I his own handwriting. Everyman in Berlin knew that purpose. It decided. as we know. and he up by me. and he affirms that he has uo agreements. He presents in this paper all of his case except the charge that his antagonist had changed some of the diamonds. that the writing might resemble his. has rewritten all I have sold the following articles to Mr. 1751. I summon him to produce denial of having taken the ring by force. by various notes and orders in that everything I have advanced is truth. refrained from interference. all of are persons who work only for Ephraim. the lame form of the letters. the agreements that were made between us. He whom produces another valuation. and the beginning of the phrase J'ai vendu by a capital t/ sufwords hrillans taxables. daring enough to reply that these notes and orders were snatched I gave him a bill. and who have taxed the bill according to the orders given them by Ephraim. after he had thrown them into the fire. on every point charged or claimed by Voltaire. . for the payment of three thousand crowns stipulated by me. where he has erased the accent of the e from the word taxe.30 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. The court condemned the jeweler . were sent " I present the certificate which accompanied the diamonds that to be valued by Reclam.. and has added ables to make the He could not act in like manner by the word was too near the words that follow. which was made by five workmen. but that he entrusted the sum thirty of eighteen thousand and which is without requiring the least security. because ficiently attest his crime. first of all.' This laconic style was fitted to the small has added. and at the rate of thirty- crowns to me — ! five crowns each. like the Voltaire act of very " He farther affirms that he gave me this sum to purchase diamonds and furs at Dresden. which was probably an after-thought. at the space which was left at the top of the bill. respectable public. at the current j^rice. and do you pronounce sentence. that the purpose for which the plaintiff had advanced the money was no part of the case it was not the . what ought my claims to be ? for a moment the immortal of the works Foi'get poet and the philosopher. This contradiction. and this he dares to disavow. the different color of the ink. ' which begins. is proved to him. German authors commend tlie judges who heard and decided it for their skill and thoroughness and the king. The cause came to final trial in February. the style." Thus wrote the jeweler. Just and To you I appeal. etc' and he the lines. and ' top of the bills.

Finally. A difference in the color of the ink of absurd contradictions. if he committed this crime he knew better than most men its nature and its extent. . Magnifying glasses of various powers have been brought to bear upon it. been all All the receipts and other papers apor legally pertaining to the cause were to be either destroyed in quesdiamonds the further that It was decided canceled. as to the document said to have been altered by the plaintiff after its exeIt fined Hirsch cution. exchange upon Paris. This paper. tion should and paid for at the price fixed charge that some of the jewels ten thalers for denying that he had signed it and it required Voltaire to make afl&davit. . that he had not . par Gustave Desnoiresterres. . artless. by them. and delibforerately perpetrated the most bungling. changed the wording of the paper. has been observed in the original. which were evidently done after the paper was drawn but who can prove to us that they were done after the paper was signed? Voltaire was the son of a skillful nomen tary he was himself one of the most adroit and successful his own very large and always inof business then living creasing property was represented by paper and parchment and. The fac simile affords the inquirer no help whatever. has since been ^ reproduced in fac simile^ both in Germany and in France. and you will have in your pen ink of a certain shade but if you dip it to the muddy bottom. 31 Dresden paper was a thing whicli had too familiar for six years to the people of the PrusThe court ordered Ilirsch to restore the bill of sian capital. rendered so famous by the trial. illiterate into a tissue the document which converted gery conceivable. but evidence of tliat nature has been justly excluded by the courts. Dip your pen into an ordinary inkstand to the usual depth.VOLTAIEE VERSUS HIRSCH & for tlie speculation in SON. . in legal form. which could not be transferred to a printed fac simile . you are quite likely to have ink of another shade and . We see plainly enough the interlineations and alterations. . be valued by experienced jewelers on their oaths. The court was asked to believe that he had sat down at his desk in secrecy. 1 See Voltaire et Fre'de'iic. page 138. which Hirsch was at liberty to bring. hence. as charged. the court made a twofold decision. that was ground for another suit. With regard to the had been changed by Voltaire for stones of inferior value.

there appears to between them. ." No. The young man made the most of his father's death "Will T\r. it was reported in Berlin. pardon expressions dictated by the affliction of an unhappy youth. and his son assured the public that the sick and feeble old man came to his death . there are allusions to it in Voltaire's letters to Darget. . who again saw his advantage. reasons. has lately lost what was dearest to him in the whole world. The king was For The valuation would consuuie time. " who was tenderly beloved by his children. as not to hear . might be proceeded with. for or some unknown the affair less. his friends interfered. contrived by Voltaire without the knowledge of the high chancellor. and still hungered for j)rofit. as we gather from various indications. After much have been a kind of settlement obscure haggling. the witnesses. . of it . a father — by this affair. not as suddenl}' nor was the arrest contrived without the knowledge of the high chancellor.S2 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. tally sick with anxiety and chagrin. : . father. who. was morthe court a notice to tion of the jewels tliat effect. The elder Hirsch died about the time of the trial. lingered. and sent to so little weight. as if it were not yet quite settled." he exclaims. Nor was the defendant disposed to silencb for he seems to have equaled Voltaire in the faculty of persistence. and implored him to conclude the wretched business with all possible haste. Here the case might have been expected to end. de Voltaire still continue so void of feelins. Voltaire declared himself ready and eager to take the oath. Bismarck. Voltaire con- Neverthesenting to a loss of about three thousand francs. fag end lingered. and the documents all before it. The elder Hirsch. of whom he alone constituted the happiness yij sudden imprisonment by the guards. 1751. At this distance of time. vre are justified in setting quality. in consequence of the ci-uel vengeance of Voltaire against the unfortunate son. all through that year for as late as December. with a request that the valuaBut now. " Pardon. solely through the agitation caused indulgent public. Voltaire himself was worn down by ten weeks in a rage of disgust. was as suddenly the death of this ! . these reasons he again offered to compromise the matter with the jeweler. aside an accusation to which a Berlin court of justice allowed when it had the parties. of intense agitation.

but. the despair. of a " The jeweler and his advisers were abundant whole family? in their appeals to "a just and penetrating ineffective not and public. Many a worse man would have pacified the stout and resolute young to believe that . II.VOLTAIRE VEESUS HIRSCH & SON. and gained his object. gained his antagonist lost his cause. the mournful affliction. Amid much jeweler tel diamonds and as the reader has often a constitutional persistence which made it by the sacrifice of several . seen. 3 . VOL. 33 the complaints and cries of several orphans. while but without his recovering prestige cause. and to behold the tears. indeed. Voltaire but impossible for him to purchase peace by submitting to what he deemed imposition." outcry like this the plaintiff in the case tried He he was a victor in the sorry contest. as all Marmonhad has told us. the desolation.

and there was no per- sonal intercourse between them. What could he say to who had murmured ? eign poet What at his extravagant favor to this forcould he think now of his fou ? His first impulse was to order away the setting sun." But he would not admit to his presence the plaintiff in the case of Voltaire v. there will still be time to send him away. you ^ are a good fellow. and did not write. In his eyes. 1 Duveruey. " Write." The ty-four secretary. Durino. Hirsch. peated the order. "Sire. free as he was from . as if waiting to see if the king really meant to adopt a measure so extreme. the king of the' time at Potsdam. while the affair was proceeding." The " You are king was silent a moment. Then Frederic. asked him what he thought of the matter. an inmate of the royal palace. THE KING OF PKUSSIA'S DISGUST. but the king was not softened. and then said. to your judged guilty. "you invited him The cause is about to be tried." said he to " that I wish him Darget. a little calmed. as he had jnst ordered away the rising sun." replied the secretary. cause was adjudged He cared it spoken That Voltaire should have had any confidential transacfor we tions with a Jew would have sufficed to disgust him see on many a page of Frederic's works that he accepted the division of a community into fixed ranks and classes as part of the essential order of nature. The February little of. and still Darget hesitated. 1751 . chapter xv. gone from my dominions in twenhours. Voltaire court. was extremel}^ agitated.CHAPTER Of those IV. The king re. . of Prussia was the one most profoundly disgusted with this affair. and would not hear 18. well affected toward Voltaire. all living men Frederic II. most of the first two months of the year 1751. right. for the merits of the case. If he is ad- was being much in Berlin.

at my age. she would not have suffered more than I. and that I have never felt a grief so profound and so bitter. melancholy. his work. he ventured upon writing a penitential letter : — — " Ah. me . tals are apt to do. such as the . first. " in " order to prove that the king himself was his not only object Then he wrote a longer letter. with the " Age of Louis XIV. as erring mor! . Voltaire sought the aid of the friendly Darget. and ashamed owning to himself. when all the In every trouble of his life he had one sure resource. sire. A ! had provided so bountifully for all Voltaire's possible needs Thus the favorite. nominal victor as he was. yes.. If the Sheba had lost the favor of Solomon. through whom he asked the king's jaermission to retire to a country house near Potsdam. Jew's oath was not j^et received in any Prussian court But such a transaction and after he against a Christian's. in some quiet house near Potsdam. all world saw it also. he must appease the king. He asked to be allowed to relinquish his Prussian pension. I have recklessly deprived have lost the communings myself of the only object for which I came here I of spirit which enlightened and cheered . in a firmer gain. your majesty is right . no one in the world could I and. wlicn lie wished to visit Paris. He plodded on. he and his new secretary. tone. miserably sick. Bome 35 prejudices." and sat in the Berlin palace. a Jew was among the lowest of the low. I am damaged almost past repair. After the But. I had the rage to wish to prove myself in the right against a man with whom it is not permitted even to be in the right. have never corrected myself of the cursed idea of always getting beforehand in all affairs . where he could recover his health and pursue his vocation. remained "in the king's disgrace. decision of the cause." and resolved to get out into the country on the opening of the spring. the extent of his folly. and although I have had experience of it.THE KING OF PRUSSIA'S DISGUST." To this letter the king does not appear to have replied. and. until the spring. although well persuaded that there are a be more so thousand occasions when it is necessary to submit to loss in silence. . that he might put his business there into permanent order. I Queen of have displeased the only man whom I wish to please. . recalling events of the last six months. Believe that I am in despair. not glory.

it D'Arnaud had given me no this place offense. able people. whole city. I shall be very glad to see you here but if you abandon yourself to all the transports of your passions. . although on your account that he At with the Jew. This was severe.86 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. at . although it was not for you to I should take into D'Arnaud was guilty decide service. the name of the Berlin lawyer whom he had consulted on the occasion. you demanded of me not to take I had the weakness or the comliterary correspondent. The king answered my house I esteemed your and I thought that a man of your knowledge tired of with authors and your age. you will give me no pleasure by coming. " theft of " La Pucelle and the conduct of D'Arnaud. to be at odds with everybody. He denied the Dresden speculation. had come here to seek refuge as in a tranquil haven. relieved the king's mind. was length." . which a generous man would have pardoned . " I was very glad to receive you into intellect. 1751. on learning their nature. in He mentioned fact. . but pared the it way for reconciliation. a vindictive left man pursues those whom he hates. you have come to the wrong man. of tragedy. length. first. to the to yield point plaisance you. I kept the peace in my house until your arriing val and I notify you that if you have a passion to intrigue and I love pleasant and peacecabal. and if you wish. this letter. your talents. as other men were taking them but. that . he had canceled his order. protested his Paris bill. in a sufficiently singular manner. He dealt roundly with his poet. writing in a strain that contrasts strongly with the fond letters of their early friendship. my part. February 2-1. Freron as my whom my of wrongs against you. protested his bill of exchange. successfully meeting some but still ap- pealing to the king's softer side. in which he had clearly not been the party offending. and you can as well remain in Berlin. ony. who do not put into their conduct the violent passions In case you can make up your mind to live like a philosopher. he had never had one in his possession. But. You The affair the ugliest affair in the world have caused a frightful turmoil throughout the of the You have had Saxon notes is so well known in Sax- grievous complaints have been forwarded to me concernFor it. and forbidden the broker to buy one of them on his account and. fencing exposing himself to the storm. . and preVoltaire replied at much of the charges. and gave November 24th as the day on which he had . He said that he had been openly solicited by the Je^y Hirsch to take some of the notes.

not even yonrs. I entreat 37 your majesty to substitute compassion for the favor which formerly enchanted me. and finished. I have given to that cursed Hebrew more than I offered him at first to take back liis cursed di. I I am very glad . He wrote February 28th " If you wish to come here.imonds. At this place I hear no suit spoken of. and^ your goodness. Sire.THE KING OF PRUSSIA'S DISGUST. which are aot becoming to a life man of letters. and. all things " suit against ." The king was relenting. compromises withering. which the king would not hear of at Potsdam : — having a maturely cousidered. w^ithout employing equivocal terms and weak amelioi'ations which disfioure the truth. Since : — you have gained it. in no kind of business. He wrote once more to the king. I is congratulate you. a Jew jeweler are indeed people whose names. imprint upon your A bookseller Gosse [Jore]. 1 was piqued I luid a rage to I have proved it. I have made another offer to that Jew to take two thousand crowns the diamonds which he sold me for three thousand. opera. " Sire. for which he was buying horses and some furniture. of that sort are with the talents and. you are at liberty to do so. but still kept the tone of the offended master. I . I committed a grave fault in a Jew. at present." To Potsdam he was not going quisate. All that does not hinder that I witli ::orisecrated my to you. a violinist of the reputation. of your of philosophy. Although I have gained the back for suit. and I ask panlun of your majesty. not omitting further mention of the suit. Deign to leave me the hope that I shall see your last produc- which your majesty permits me tions. you will not cover the stains which such conduct will. and which determined me to pass at j-our feet the rest of my life. that this ugly affair have no moi"e hope you with either the Old or with the New Testament quarrels. in order to be able to retire to the house to inhabit near Potsdam I shall sacrifice everything to enjoy repose near the sojoiirn which you render so celebrated by all that you do there. after having prove that I had been deceived. I will write this letter with the rough good sense of a German. Do me whatever you please. gained tliis unfortunate suit. of the first genius of France. but to the mar- where he had hired a house. who says what he thinks. near tliat royal abode. ought to be found by the side of yours. in the long run.

. ?. resumed his place at the king's table and his labors upon the king's works. You will have the goodness to bring her this evening. His own work was rarely discontinued for a day and now he sought to forget the miseries of this winter in laboring with renewed ardor and entire must cast a absorption upon his history of Louis XIV." my life. sire. that Brother Voltaire is a good-natured man that he is on ill terms with no one and.. He is only waiting for the moment to come wlien he can go and bury himself in his cell at the marquisate. of the king was consoling liimself for the troubles of a royal lot by working upon his long poem. who ask to be bap' tized in Apollo's name in the waters of Hippocrene. esty with all his heart. and continues current and vital to the present time. . His next letter was quite in the old." At tliis time such a critic at such a time. as health returned. . and Voltaire.. . that he takes the liberty of loving your maj. La is requested to be their godmother. that Brother Voltaire was in penitence. Have ^jity upon Brother Voltaire. familiar manner. the Margravine of Bayreuth. and "I am Henriade ' the imagination of the children at the font. The royal poet wished to notify his mas" ter that the six cantos of his " Art of War were ready for submission to the evening tripod : — just delivered of six at a birth. We glance upon his Avork in Prussia. " The Art He could not willingly dispense with the aid of of War. though not expressed with his usual happiness. Darget-Lucine will be there." ' Man-Machine ' will hold the new-born Thus an appearance of harmony was restored. probably. into the apartment of the father. if not to your old admirer majesty permits me to establish myself for this spring at the marquisI render you for it most humble thanks you are the consolation ate. had its influence in softening Frederic toward his maitre. have written to her Royal Highness. at five o'clock. above all.! . much of which was highly important. Believe. And to whom will you show the fruits of your learn that your beautiful genius.38 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. after getting him with so much difficulty . and this consideration.

We have printed letters of his in English. B. I prudently limit myself to I knowing speaking to my sernot of an age to enter into all the but we delicacies of that language. I have corrected almost all my works ." he wa-ote to De Thibouville. and all this without reckon' ' . ing: the time lost in learning the little must have to be able to make his German which a man wants known on a journey. in Latin . very little of it. remain in manuscript. to D'Argental French. in Italian. " I have w^orked. upon Rome Sauvee the tragedy of 'Semiramis' into an Italian opera. in October. Amokg little his earliest labors in Prussia was the learning of a German. age of fifty-six." and wliich Goethe was learning to prattle at his mother's knee in Frankfort. though they do not appear in his works. I am .CHAPTER WORK V. indeed. who knew. author of ' La Henriade should take it into his head to speak a thing very necessary at ' my German to the tavern servants. " I have taken a fancy to turn 1750. the German becoming to apologize to his friends language being held in contempt by the king and the court. at the do as I that. You will think it very age. he acquired something more angels.] Rousseau. if they have been preserved.^ 1 73 CEuvres de Voltaire. in Spanish. me In truth. and if : " Tell me if German has grow rusty like [J. ridiculous. spoiled my Do not go so far astray as to believe that I am learning seriously the Teutonic language . but his German letters. He felt it for so doing. IN PRUSSIA." than this of the language in which Klopstock had just written a portion of his " Messiah. He wrote letters in to my German. I promise to say sweet things to the postilions who shall take so of it much as is needful in vants and my horses. the myself. so soft and harmonious must know how to make ourselves understood by a postilion." A month later. 241. .

here all ' The stones of which. again. he felt it necessary to explain to his Paris friends that he had nothing to do in Prussia for his twenty He thousand francs of pension. " I belong. in OctoHe who said that no man can serve two ber. I advise him to write only when little journey beyond the borders of France. father a in made which the grandson reproaches his ancestor for the vanity of having himself a king. " I am correcting. in order to seem more impartial. entered soon upon the work of correcting the Frencli He proved to be a zealous and vigilant tutor. and the I said to him. with him whatever you please solid last ' title is not in the least disagreeable to . he was. the books I need. pensioned by both. none. masters was assuredly quite right so. At enough. I give an hour a day to rounding off a little the works of Prussia in prose and in verse. An author in his position can say what he wishes without leaving his native land. as I hear. the second edition which the King of Prussia is about to publish of the history of his country. as I have. if he was gentleman-in-ordinary to one king. He wished them to know that. I had much trouble in getting the terms softened I have moderated the blows as little. I serve I swear to you that I should take flight if I had to perform the . He ' . But. All this amuses and fills out the day. I am his grammarian. uses his right in all its extent. to two masters.1 enjoy leisure.. at the same time. a free and independent gentleman. . He much as I could. not mine do and I contented myself with lopping is phrases. and laid out an extensive scheme for his instruction.40 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. rors. as in other courts. One bold word would have seemed unbridled happened to license . who was proud of his pupil.' his chamberlain. which I am raising this monument to the honor of my country would have served to crush me in France. 1750]. chamberlain to and another. your grandfather. and left beautiful evidences of it. not to contradict him. XL' If he is my suc- he has made a cessor in historiography. the most innocent things would have been ' interpreted with that charity which Duclos after his History of Louis See what poisons everything. Imagine him. at present. I like that grandbecause he had a turn for magnificence. I brought I shall get from Leipsic extracts my relating to Louis XIV. I should never have finished at Paris. Here. my dear child. then. falling foul of his own grandfather with all his force. perhaps. a vanity from which his descendants derive ad- — vantages them. duties of chamberlain. and I shall finish here the Age of Louis XIV. not My The rest of the day is my own. of the King function is to do nothing. not content merely to correct erwritings of the king. at present [he wrote to Madame Denis. . Happilj^.

of which he was fond but we see by his corrections. and is not admitted into noble poetry. among the cuThe riosities of Frederic's reign. h. given in the last edition of the king's works. de Frederic. are numerous and minute.'" II (lissout les glafons des rigoureux mirable for is extremely fine. Durable would perhaps be better. — pleasure in making others feel their inferiority. Men.WOEK these days are passed far regrets. Nevertheless." ^ referring to the work under review. which took vanity." he would say. as liens. and their compounds. "Sire. A king is is the master of his favors. syllables. he accords them three " syllables. It was written in a measure of Voltaire's . que la valeur conduisit la gloire. chretien. indeed. and then I shall examine the exercise of my master. a little uniformity Sile- necessary." Frederic's poem in honor of his army. ' 1 CEuvrea . — few specimens. etc. I never write to 41 you without from you.] its " All this — Me'moires pour servir h I'Histoire de la Maisou de Brandenbourg. The dutiful king attributes his grandsire's ambition to something worse tlian "to a certain perversity of self-love. siens. Why not begin by peuples ? This word peiqyle being repeated in the second stanza. IN TRUSSIA." The hero here makes his Prussiens of two [Comment. vaurien. we find. and the tens usually make two syllables. without remorse. except the monosyllables. The poem opens Prussiens." " '' Le soleil plug puissant <lu haut de sa carritire Dis])euse constammeut sa benif^ne himiere. chien. going to put on the gown and bands of the Abb^ d'Olivet. The passage which Upon Voltaire desired to soften remains severe. liivers. and the comparison is adand its fitness. effacing it from your writings. " I am." The remarks upon this to excess • preserved. 102. on receiving a manuscript. Autrichiens." for visit in the correction of which he had particularly urged Voltaire's 1750. in Voltaire's small hand.] and afterNvards. still reader may be " interested in a with this line. poem. rien. or else no epithet. that he did not spare it. came under the critic's view. that Frederic was not as docile on this subject as he invariably was upon points of rhetoric and prosody. and without bitterness. " Aux Prussiens. in another stanza. Mat could be there substituted. The word b'enigne is a little grandeur two good reasons for devout. own invention. That is very easy to correct." [Comment.

' etc. emendations appear to have been adopted by the royal poet. the art of launching the thunder-bolt. When Boileau wrote. this ode is one of your most beautiful works. do not teach a prince how to Genereux soldat. lemons d'un gene'reux soldat. The poem opens " thus : — le Vous qui tieudrez un jour." [Comment. 1 " generous. Et monte pres du faite. Soutenez voire oiivrage. have embellished it. For the rest. par le droit de naissance. upon the on the throne of All of Voltaire's to his successors to similar criticism. and then they cannot advance further. I love I believe I am the father of it." addressed Prussia. this expression is equivocal.42 " LIFE OF VOLTAIRE." . and that of judge.] ' "When one is at the top there is is no such thing as get- ting higher. It would be a great pity if you should renounce poetry in the force of your genius and age. or else the simile not il just. it expressly to indicate * an impossibility. was subjected more elaborate poem. : f Comment. leur glaive et leur balance. but you this measure passionately. Any epithet is here redundant.' One scarcely comes to a stand upon the faite . Tout mortel qui s'arrete. in other words. Qui nourri dans les camp par le dieu de la guerre Va vous enseigner I'art de lancer son tonnerre. for it can signify that they have halted upon the summit. il faut vous elever. Le sceptre de nos rois. times to employ your leisure in these noble amusements.' he meant tinuation. vos grands exploits elevent cet empire. ou votre gioire expire Au comble parvenus il faut vous elever : j A ce super be falte s'arrete Tout mortel qui " Est pret a reculer. Le dieu de la does not seem allowable when you speak of yourself. You could say something like * this : — D'un vol toujours I ( rapic rapide . Heros. I append two or three of his notes upon this work also. All comble parvenus veut que nous croissions. . and he said in con- II veut en vieillissant que nous rajeunissions. and after the astonishing I hope your majesty will continue someprogress you have made." The king's longer and far " Art of War. Juger appears superfluous the lessons of a soldier. so suitable if any one else should speak of your majesty. Pour defendre Eecevez et juger ce florissant Etat.

] to try to paint " As to the is gun upon the shoulder. I believe that in finishing this exordium by les armes. II faut qu'il soit dresse pour remplir son ouvrage Par ses faux inouveinent. the sa tdche. atad shoiUd preserve in exact correctness a majestic simplicity. "We cannot say remplir son ouvrage." Bien loin qu'un soldat suive un aveugle courage. I say again. Jeuue priucc. On vit souvent mauquer les projets des heros. is to ennoble those details. Marchez avec moi. [Comment. its which ought to be very correct. " Font tomber les lauriurs qu'avaient cueillis vos mains. Des mouvements. moreover. the repetition would be happy. in saying. and the tluuuler-bolt does You could easily change not go well with arms. — Apprenez des I'enfance k defendre Et. especially in a peculiar manner ? Could you not say that the shoulder. faut que le fusil pose sur votre epaule. and beginning the following period with ces amies. trop prompts. La valeur qui s'(fgare est souvent inutile. horses. son devoir.' . vous. prompts. would connect the ideas.' etc. ecoutoz Ics lei/ons d'uu soldat Qui. trop lents. Perhaps you could say this : something like ' — Vous. Vous appelle a la gloire et vous instruit aux amies. ' Vous ouvve la carriere et still vous appelle aux armes. I'espoir de I'Etat. Que tout soit anime d'un courage docile.' or. trop incertains. prenez les armes. Que votre corps dispos fasse les mouvements Que I'exercice cnseigne aux soldats commencants.WORK IN PRUSSIA. Something great secret. and expressed here? it not consist in saying common things does didactic poetry." [Comment. 43 guerre and lancer le tonnerre seem too vague. and give order to them. and cannons.] " We like this : — ' Aiusi. say remplir The word dresse is too trivial. tardifs.s. Perhaps there would be ' more vivacity and force I'Etat. too common. no art of hurling the thunder-bolt. ces chevaiix. inegaux. the only secret. motionwhat less that first and firm." . noblement docile a la voix d'un soldat. this opening." " Sous E les drapcaux de Mars Bellone vous enrole. nourri dans les alarmes. carries the noble burden of the gun ? It seems to me it would be better to elevate in this manner by an epithet those duties of the young soldier which you do not wish him to blu^h " at. le sang des heros. would it not be well The merit of poetry. there is. dans ces grand corps quo hi gloire conduit. forme dans Ics camps.

44 LITE OF VOLTAIEE." purposely leave a word of doubtful propriety in his text to see endeavoring to assist his genius. " I not only correct his works. must leave him. 208." and "perhajos quences. it seems. the greatest to ask. which includes all my our language. . and it is evident enough from Vol- 1 Qi^uvres de Frederic. suggested by the reflections ujDon the elegancies of little faults that I notice . The emendation of the poem on the Art The War. when a composition of productions either was ready for criticism. Darget. would sometimes cultivate his genius. upon matters over which the church has no jurisdiction what- Work much o& this nature was going on between them during of the year. to do without I " it. in his turn. and send to Prussia the ancient Bishop of Mirepoix. a prosof ody. speaking of the Roman Catholic " church as "fruitful in plots and artifices a kingdom within . stamped its author ing praise for his work. in the presence of the king. wrote comments upon of Voltaire . Frederic. and. to the peace and harmony of The Pope has often been in opposition to sovereigns . strictness. Chasot. only and to enable him at length made it a pleasure and a glory to my pains. " ever. Frederic does indeed discourse with royal freedom upon this subject. The king. it man that ever reigned. but I compose for him in the margin a system of rhetoric. Occasionally Frederic would leave them for a rapid tour in Silesia or some other distant place 1 . of necessity. Voltaire." on this scale. added to five victories and their conse" the rarest of men." wrote " the king to Darget. usually. mnst have cost no small labor. the pleasure of finding some fault." and one which. La Mettrie. and others of the familiar circle. The tutor could say with truth. reader perceives from these samples that the king's maitre^ liberally compensated as he was. a kingdom nations. did something toward " earning his salary." If he had but one favor would be that Louis XV. of France should attentively read the chapters upon religion. there would be a formal reading of it in the evening." 1 hostile. It was " a work unique." Not that the maitre denied his master the pleasure of receiv- what Voltaire would do with We He criticised the king's poetry with but commended his prose too highly. His eulogy of Frederic's history of his own house would have been excessive if he had applied it to Thucydides.

that tion." In the summer of 1751 we ready proof-reading and arranging the details of publication. " of Louis grew more and more enamored of his XIV. The forwarded to proofs. except the only one which the author personally coveted. meanwhile." The work did not need official prohibi- . appeared was ready. were regularly before his own of the work where an edition Holland. and enable him to his Phipass there a tranquil old age. married . He fondly thought that the historj'^ of a period to wdiich most Frenchmen looked back with pride. post to post. neither of a servile courtier nor of an mart in Europe attempted to pirate a share of the profits. as he afterwards learned. but he told all of all of it which could then be felt of servIt and nearly which he himself the iniquity. 45 notes that the absence of the master was not felt by them to be an unmixed evil. and desired to find him alplease and honor it. marshaling his kingdom for the renewal of Protestant and the Catholic between powers. They contrived to be exceedingly merry together. The book liad every kind of success. that " the late Cardinal de Fleury showed me the place where Louis XIV. His statements. by the king's printer but every noted book . was an indecorum. were called in quesand he did not mend tiie matter by assuring Europe. booted and spurred.WORK taire's IN PRUSSIA. angry but of a citizen who loved his country. was the work exile. would prepare the way for his honorable return to his native land. in a letter designed for publication. and his family deemed the golden age of theii.Ma- dame de Maintenon. and made the king believe it contained matter unfit to be given to the public. The Boyers succeeded in getting it prohibited in France." a portion of which had already appeared. at his own expense. He part executed in Prussia was a masterpiece of could not give all the repulsive truth of that fool- ish reign ice. Age New motives urged him now to complete the work. was carrying the apprehension and inspiration of the general's eye from tlie long. while Frederic. and which Louis XV. was secretly married to Madame de Maintenon. tact.house. long struggle Voltaire. but Voltaire gave the names of the witnesses and This the precise spot where the ceremony was performed. The . The work was printed in Berlin. in two volumes octavo. Every one knew that Louis XIV. in spite of Boyer and listines. too.

he wrote it very well. I must tell you I have wrote a History of Louis the XIV. I presume four or five hundred copies could sell off well in your country the two things I have at heart. The efforts of the author to get his own authorized and correct editions spread abroad in advance of the incorrect piracies were lamentably futile. and not less in other countries "where the educated class depended upon the French language for their reading. We have an amusing instance in his attempt to introduce copies into England through the good ofEverard Falkener." It had. being still dear to . I shall be most obliged to you. If I can by your favour find any such man. They have not yet finished their edition and I am afraid the winter season will not be convenient to dii-ect to you. your countrymen. and even to a bookseller. attached you to a great prince. and.] will never prove giddy " Dear — enough to foi'get your friendship. who would be honest enough to merit your favour. But. as you are a worthy Englishman. and be the witness of your happiness. m}^ head [July 27. and I dai"e rely upon your good heart. the most astonishing currency in France. 1751.] "The printers at Berlin are not so careful and so diligent in working for me. " ." . the tedious lump of books I have threatened you with. 1751. You may perhaps recommend this business to some honest man. The reader will be interested in following this nearotiation for a moment in Voltaire's letters to his Ens:lish friend : — Fortune that hurries us to and fro Sir. and not without liberty or freedom. truth and liberty. raise in me that expectation. by the way of Hamburgh. in these various tossings. You may presume it is written with truth." [November 27. and carried me to the court of a great king. I would direct the cargo to him. my dear sir. it would liave been read without it. in fact. as you are beneficent and ready to favour your friends. I hope you are a happy husband and a happy father. as soon as possible. and enjoy again the consolation to see you. to pay my respects to yonv family. I have been obliged to print it in Berlin at my own exjjence. In writing to Falkener he still used the English language. considering fices of his old friend. to your kindness and friendship of old. Sir that twenty-three years had passed since he left England. I dare apply. in this transient world. wards your old friend. and he should take a reasonable salary for his trouble. I wish I could carry the paquet myself. I hope you preserve some kindness for me.46 tion LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. However I shall make use of your kind benevolence to.

Louis 47 on the Elbe. I have to fight with. My dear have recourse to your free and generous soul. I don't know w)iether the grand monarch has yet put But booksellers are greater politicians than Lewis and I think it is very likely they have got the start of me. and sell them as best as he can. the old german honesty is gone. I good pa- who have read the book. about a to "My XIV \s month sea. hira. or against the sea and earth and hell. than be sold ! truth is above trade. ers or book-jobbers are rogues. 1752. am I had rather be read. and the jarring of winds. put my wares to sea. receive. . Some french I direct triots. my cargo of printed Do what you please with : them . Be what resigned. I shall lose all the fruits of my la- bours and expences but I rely on your kindness. My I have prohibited amongst my spoken the truth and the delays of cargoes." He soon liad the pleasure of bearing that Dodsley was pub- lishing an edition of his work in London by subscription . urging tlie Enghsh publishei" at least to defer his edition until he had been furnished with the author's latest corrections. who will dispatch and you. by the way of Hamburgh. according to the noble way of the world.] IN PRUSSIA.o. provided he sells them not before Flaster . or at Rome. and choose an honest man. instead of throwing them into which might be the case in France. who will give them to the chief-readers of your nation. Booksel- same. So. he hastened to protest. The bookseller you will choose may do what he pleases with the remainder. for having praised Marlborough and Eugene and some good chui-ch-men damn me for having turned a little in to ridicule our jansenisme and molinisvie. booksellers and printI am like to be damned in France.WORK [January 27. friend. . them to the fire. New information came pouring in upon to insert in which he struggled new editions in advance . my dear when wind and I tide will permit. raise a noble clamour against me. You may cause some books to be bound. while my bale of printed tales is on the Elbe and so they will reap all the invade Great Britain. sir. . 1752. them to our envoy at Hamburgh. benefit of my labours. I send to you.] My dear and beneficent friend. it is all I require of him. and cheated by the Dutch lers of all regions are the . for booksellers are the hell is : book dear countrymen. I entreat you to present His Royal Highness with one of these volumes. to a2. two enormous bales of the scribbling trade. and reputation above money " " [March 27. If our prejudiced people are fools. . by sending my book to London by the way of Rotterdam. it will. hinder it from pursuing its journey to England. sheets. and to give some exemvkdres or copies to those of your friends you will think fit. because of writers.

be so good as to tell me whether this bookseller has Two editions of it have been ^Jublished this any thing to remit to me. 94 pounds. some thing of it after a whole year.] satisfied. hate.] "I have reaped benefit enough. more copious and curious. " JNIinisters of of the pirates. I return you my most I hope to come over myself." Lis In sending a copy of his new edition he resumes correspondence with Falkener in English : — " I hope. all formless as was. my have received mylord Bolingbroke's vindiworthy Englishman. and letter to sir and cheaply sold. But your approbation would flatter me more than all that eagerness of the book-mongers. I did inform you of my desire to print my works in London.48 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. subscription . as to You will receive. in a very short time. let me know the multitude. are I desire no benefit. you cation against priests. or not. If works neatly printed. than on the huzzaz of If you have any news of my book's fate." be wrote to Falkeiier " in French. If you have given the volumes to a bookseller. has had so much vogue. and the subject of it is so interesting. my dear sir. But I could not tell you enough about the desire I have to see England again before my death. 1752. and to be buried in the land of freedom. state. 1753. in order to j^rint my I require no true works. and sent my envoy at the court of Dresden. I must tell thinks like a Briton. and I shall hate till [November 28. year England." " I have wrote to british Hanbury Williams. my dear sir.] doomsday. made haste to send me in- formation as soon as it appeared. without benefit. great deal. The work. I return that I have taken the liberty to draw upon you again 94 thousand thanks. 1754. and not displeased your nation. whom I have hated. together in the dark about the good or bad success of Let me not be my book in al- in Europe. the merely who you. Tully relyed more on the testimony of Cato. my clear and worthy friend." [January 16. without subscription. and two new ones are just now come out. who pitilessly refused to enlighten me when I formerly labored upon this work. my tender thanks. I am [February 1. th-e in order to give a true edition of the works of a Frenchman. I wrote to you long more accurate and correct a desire you would be so kind ago. since I have pleased you. I send this letter to Dresden. you already. is that he could rescue of authors The property and . I answer two letters. an exemplaire of Louis XIV's new edition." ! you for Mnety-four pounds even so much from the But the wonder spoilers. that every one has wished to contribute toward perit fecting it.

" The object 4 . Dresden. which was first named " La Keligion Naturelle. all 49 other property. Frankfort. needs preciselj' that which. . " I shall say to you boldly. crated to the king. and severely dealt with by the King of Prussia. The proceeds of his history. their taking that place from me as if a gold key from the King of Prussia hindered my pen from being conseare naturally curious. above and must have the protection of international law. and Edinburgh. I am still gentleman-in-ordi" take of nary why historiographer? away my place Why. Another important and famous work executed in Prussia was a poem in four cantos. but there is some happiness in choosing such a subject. And. ter. been gall and wormwood to ultramontanes so rational were they. " in the absence both of law and " courtesy publishers must do so. It was my duty as historiographer and you know that I never fulfilled the duty of my place until I no longer held it. without reckonor partl}^ within the walls of probable that the copy which D'Alembert read with rapture three times. were pounced upon by the pubEurope.' Men my This book interests their curiosity at is no There every page. London. for example. Leipsic. ' dear angel. was at least bound in Paris. II. copies were manufactured in great numbers at the Hague. great merit in writing such a work. there are a few pages the papal government to upon the relations of other governments which must have . It was absurd. so moderate. upon which he had labored at intervals for a quarter of a century. We can still see by the catalogues that." he wrote to D'Argental. The brilliant and sustained success of this liistoi*y was infinitel}^ agreeable to the author who had been deprived of his office of historiographer to the King of France. " that I am not astonished at the success of the Age of Louis XIV. La Loi Naturelle. made wholly It is highly glazier's shop. my master.WOEK artists is IN TRUSSLV. the work at any part of it will not have to read very far beIn the second chap- fore being able to answer this question. " VOL. as beggars rush for the handfuls of silver for a scramble on a gala day in Home. indeed ? The reader who will take the trouble to open . besides the lishers of tossed to them editions published at Berlin under the author's eye. finally. in his modest lodgings over the ing the editions Paris." but. so adroitly and quietly effective. .

interests. claims. differ everywhere. Here are — " God has He has but it is to the universe. impious wretch. how sweet ' it is rend the bosom that gave me birth " The laws which we make. king had turned to Voltaire and said. have made him unjust. works of a moment. . has made God in his own image. Ammon.. limpid versification. ' Of this changeless worship nature is the yours. Delos. fragile. inconstant.. equally nonchalant to such a question. A^aiu. It was an attempt to put into verse the view of man's nature and duty that prevailed at the supper-table of the King of Prussia. and usages?" and precise. He does not hide himself in the caves of the Sib. for example. all differ. joking apart. the same to eternal ages in the name of that God. irascible." " The Pitiless very virtues of the pagans. in the bottom of his heart. a tory beliefs. " More than one good Catholic. what ought ive to think and do. in the Vatican. . has cried to him. when the conversation took a serious tone as though the " Come. what ought courage.. men of the world. to ters David. born of defenders. now. modes of worship. or deceived by any flattering dream. Montaigne and Montesquieu ? Do you think . and sufficient. is A'^oltaire's answer a few of its points : — masterpiece of easy." How beautiful. like ourselves. Delphos. of Socrates.50 of this LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. Are you not satisfied to condemn to rigor ! ! the fire our best citizens. . receives it. and the j)angs of remorse.. rushing upon his neighbor for the honor of the faith. yls. men of sense and men like ourselves. Why is this? It is because man. Let us be just it suffices ." laws. or think like me / . inconstant.. amid this chaos of contradicThis ingenious poem. Die. . are no asj'lums of his. are its " Never did a parricide. is Good sense conscience. poem was beings is to sliow that the sense of right and wrong in human innate. it is said. could marry two sis! " to destroj' innocence. Odious doctrines . the rest is arbitrary. without oifense to decency and mortals. barbarous. jealous. cannot possess one Usages.. enamored of degrading slavery. a se* ' We ducer. among the Hebrews. say calmly. Jacob. and apostle. in every age. a calumniator. in every place. who cannot be scared by a dismal chimera. could flatter the importunate tenderness of a hundred beauties the Pope. conscience being as essential a part of our nature as the senses. universal. The moral it law. are crimes. speaks It is the law of Trajan. Voltaire. spoken. on going out from the mass. doubtless never inhabited the deserts of Egypt.

They have not damned concludes with a prayer to God. but the immortal Newton. Solon. the learned Leibnitz. thy law. the right. that for and the human race for afraid. Try. as it seems.WORK that Socrates IN PRUSSIA. the example and guide of Greeks. is it sufficient f That is the real question. "I am much frighten me. INIarcus Aurelius. though all things announce him my last in to it is know If I have deceived myself. certainly he did not in asduty killing Persians after supper. I cannot think that a Without alarm I see eternity appear.. and Locke. for havwith a mendicant's wallet upon you. whose works you have never read. I beg. however. respect — such mortals as those .. 51 and the just Aristides. your can well conceive that Alexander. friend. but in in war. to have consisted of which are not published. the author submitted it to the king. Titus. Frederic's comments. It would be terrible. acrid editor of a religious gazette. who. Alexamler did his pertinent Austrians to the other world. If it be conceded. you will be crowned ." sassinating his friend . adise. from your conclusions. cherished and sacred names. ]\Iy heart may go astray. assailed at once its least guarded position. you . not to be so right. Trajan. \vhen you are making of Potsdam a terrestrial parLeave us a little ilthis world is not absolutely a hell." wrote the poet in reply. really. " so miscon" " Hear ceived. with light and surrounded in heaven with a choir of cherubim. sire. The poem ! : God who ended. words seeking it is fnll but of thee. lusion. if there were no way "You of escape for. do not anticipate the judgments of heaven. appointed general of the Greeks. the wise Addison. that tlie sense of right and wrong is innate and universal. are delivered over to the the whose image they were fury of the devils by the beneficent God and that you. groveled for a while in ignoing.." has brought me ings upon my life will torment into being and shed so me forever when many bless- my days are Before the woi'k was finished. you are sadly in myself. " why do you damn them ? pardon their virtue. appear examples tending to show that it is not. Deign I to aid me is The example. rance and wallowed in the mire? Be saved yourself. had no more scruples about killing Persians at Arbela than your majesty had in sending some im- true object of this work to deceive myself fairly tolerance and to hold up . I consent to that.

and the second in A glance at the Dictionary of Bayle. his frequent cooperation. there is need of a something by which this universal sense shall be gathered. could handle delicate topics with far greater freedom. both Catholic and critics . they dared print what would have brought Bayle to a dungeon in 1696. besides marI need shaling all the sciences against the enemies of truth. explains the enthusiasm with which it was welcomed. as we shall then see." the most entertaining work of its magnitude in existence. to which we shall have to return erelong. not here dwell upon this celebrated enterprise. From first to last. The editors not only had the ad1752. it was not religion possess virtue extricated himself : . Voltaire gave it his sympathy. In return. and brought to bear upon the consciences of men in . his fertile suggestions. . volumes. destined to a far wider celebrity and influence than was suggested at the King of Prussia's supper-table. The poet that gave it to you then you derive it from nature. an Italian secre- . strengthened. treatises. it found more severe than the King of Prussia for it stirred the opposition of the whole orthodox world." . which suffices for everything. though still obliged to use management and precaution. and before which my soul prostrates itself. the prospectus of which was j)ublished in 1750. and can occasionally be found. the sense of right and wrong is part and parcel of us but. which this work superseded on the Continent. confessed the difficulty of defining virtue. also. a year or two later. vantage of following Bayle and Chambers. but by an ingenious compliment from the corner into which the king's comments had driven him " You then virtue exists. The ruling topic in literary circles during Voltaire's residence in Prussia was the Encyclopaedia of Diderot and D'Alembert. It is Collini. this poem was published. in 1750. When Pamphlets. he derived from it the idea of his " Philosophical Dictionary. Doubtless. both parties in the controversy seem to have been very much in the right. Now. linger in catalogues. parodies. the first volume in 1751. whom the innate sense A this work poem is weak or perverted. but. . Protestant. clarified. Bayle could only hint and insinuate but Diderot. as you do rare your understanding. and begun in Prussia. appeared from the press against it and of these as many as eight still As usual.52 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE.

The Every evening to Voltaire. Paris. and of conversing with him on various subjects.WOKK know " of its IN PRUSSIA. and others. except the Tliose ad807. oppressive and ridiculous ? Other pieces followed. CoUini. "Philosophical Dictionary" was Voltaire's commonplace book. of the queen-regnant. in the course of a day or two. He told me that at the king's supper-table they had amused themselves with the idea of a Philosophical Dictionary that this idea had been adopted as a serious project. which might amuse an archbishop if he read it without witnesses. . Abraham. he sent to the king the draught of that extensive article upon Abraham which now figures in the second volume of the Never before and never since were erudition and Dictionary. . because it gave me opportunities of hearing excellent observations. culled forth one or 1 more of these. to these serious labors many in compliments. Add tus. All the disputed subjects were treated with the same freedom and good-humor. if they happen to be wanted. he went to bed very much preoccupied. filled rapidly. that the king's men of letters and the king himself w^ere going to work upon it in concert and that some of the subjects to be treated were I already assigned. more badinage happily blended than in this essay." Pie worked with such impetuosity that. at first that this scheme burwas an thought only ingenious but Voltaire. 63 tells tary and amanuensis of Voltaire." facts. Mon A. ble and majestic legends of the past were vulgarized into mere Not the " philoso2)hers'. began eager very day. Tvhich. trifles in verse. Many worthy souls have been scandalized at seeing such a topic so But by whose fault was it that those veneralightly touched. conception : — who us the little we (at Potsdam) I was in the habit of reading he had gone to bed. par C. 1 court. imprompwhich Voltaire excelled all poets. epigrams. after . Every leading ]iersonage Scjjour aupies de Voltaire. I performed my duty as reader with pleasure. being once begun. some passages from Ariosto and Boccaccio. and every industrious writer of forty years' standing finds about him a great litter of odds and ends that can be worked up into small articles. . September 28 [1752]. The scheme harmonized well with his disturbed and broken life at this period. such as Adam. lesque invented to enliven the supper-table ^ and in ardent the next labor. Page 32.

adulation. with much earnestness.54 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. " If God is for us. little poems to the king. great king : " . and adds." The king had been denying. the doctrine of immortality. against us?" — " The big Prussian battalions. one evening. such. inserted the familiar verse. when he was accompanied by Major Chasot. As they were passing through a village. VVagniere relates an an- ecdote of Voltaire's journey among the German states. to conand intelligence could have at it. wdth you a conflagration. to us that the soul is mortal. dressed to the king have the great fault of excessive jQattery. down by Prometheus to the earth is almost extinguished even With us there are merely sparks of it in France. Voltaiee. he tells him that endured Probably the versification In one of these the fire brought . It is difficult for us. even while laughing the ingenuity of the ideas and the grace of atoned for the enormity of the compliment. on the high-road to immortality you preach also." . . although several chroniclers extol their happiness and brilliancy. " Voltaire put into an eight-line stanza this idea Every preacher fails sometimes to live up to his sermon you do. living where ceive how a man of Frederic's force and when we do. an album was presented to the poet for his On opening it he found that the last writer had autograph. who can be He wrote underneath." said Of the many notable things by him at the king's table. scarcely any have been preserved.

of Prussia re- the particulars reached Paris. No one . since I could not present it with so much But I cannot' refuse myself the satisfaction of grace and eloquence. VI. You know how much your to departure afflicted me. and wrote him a letter so warm. Hirsch in the light in which Fi'ecleric II. so honorable to both. The summer was passing. But the pique has not lasted the grief I did not doubt that you would repent you have reYou have felt in all its extent the grief of having forsaken . the most lovable of countries. the subject I could only repeat what they have and I should weaken it. I was touched and piqued alone remains. resolu- tion to leave this country reduced me to despair. Richelieu. my dear friend [he began]. He came not. the last degree. ever . the plaintiff's the nieces. guardian angel D'Argental took up the task of persua- would be the death sion. Madame Denis joined her vehement and reiterated entreaties. to what M. and circumstances favored his return. They have exhausted said. returning to her original prediction that the King of Prussia of him. tempted to give it entire. THE EIND OF AN ORANGE. de Ricbeheu and ]\Iadame Denis are in the habit of writing to you.')1. pented. Richelieu assured him that the government of France would not take his coming We home amiss which was proved by its allowing his tragedy of " Ma" homet to be again represented at the national theatre. 17. D'Argentals. August 6. that I am so urgent. and the most affectionate friends. the most pleasing society. speaking " to you freely for the first time. . so reasonable. But he came not. and others of the intimate circle looked for the speedy return of the deserter. The king for whom you thing could not recompense you for so have abandoned everymany sacrifices. Thieriot.CHAPTER Admiking garded it. friends in France did not view the case of Vol- taire V. " I have nothing to add. When have seen that the deserter himself had entertained the thought of slipping away on pretense of arranging his affairs in Paris. Your .

affairs which you have felt but too keenly. you doleful recollections. You. from false pride. that your absence. return is vividly desired . who. ' and will prepare the way for your reception. You depend upon not a single being who deserves to be spoken to by the caprices of a single man. will augment still more the desire to see ' you again. own. " I do not speak to you of what you have experienced in the affair I should reproach myself for recalling of D'Arnaud. renders none of them happy. nevertheless.' which is not ' doubtful. despite his wrongs toward you. you cannot repair it too soon. " What has been obtained for you with regard to Mahomet ought to prove to you that there is here no more heat and animosity against you. of whom hitherto you have not made use enough. piece requires a perfection of representation which you will not even perceive until you are actually present upon the scene . by the envious. The success of Mahomet. You are sincerely regretted here. all distinctions . tial to correct your conduct. and that man is thought to put yourself beyond the reach of envy. and still more to his royalty. to find others with whom you live continually. Love levels we do . there is In a word. The king is a coquette. You know so well how to correct your works it is much more essen. . you. the most essential. and the prove your best work. and you have only placed yourself nearer the envious. to persist in a mistake. a confidence. The . you have fled from enemies whom at least you did not see. Your. outto side of that. The king. That stormy court is nevertheless the only place where you could live. You sought You liberty. the lawsuit. but you must seize this moment. though productive of has had one good result people here feel the loss they : have sustained. de Richelieu a friend who serves you in a manner the most zealous. and that you have in M.56 renders LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. is still the only consolation which you can find in the country where you now are. more justice than I do to his great and excellent qualities but not despoil the lion of his skin it is necessary to pay tribute to the human being. perior a person to be willing. " I must so many evils. are surrounded by enemies. etc. and which are still present to your mind. by schemers. and not risk losing You are too sufavorable dispositions by delaying to profit by them. friendship wishes a little equality of conditions. They compete for and snatch a favor. Rome Sauvee will surely It is impossible to jiroduce it without you. and whom we dare contradict sometimes. a king. It is only good to live with those to whom we can say what we think. in order to keep several lovers. You have committed a great fault ' ' . which no one truly possesses. and you subjected yourself to the greatest constraint. and exposed yourself to their attacks.

victories tween the king and himself. Imagine an admirable chateau. lively you and if you are moved by friendship will be received with open arms " The . to produce a work the success of which. without your assistance. is uncerIts success is assured if you are present. glory. was from suspecting it. in substance but for the next six months I am so involved in unfinished work that I must remain here. eating like a devil. It is certain the cfood actors excellent and the mediocre endurable. are . I do not speak of mine if you deign to regard my feelings." that. all the regimens and all the doctors. am coming . He told his " stomach was made upon niece. proved far He was abandoning remedies and trusting to good living. and others expect coadjutor (the Abbe Chauvelin). and delicious suppers with a philosopher-king. Madame de Fontaine. society. "Your involved in your return. supping.. have rendered the piece worthy of yourself and the actors worthy of the piece. beautiful gardens. as he thought. preparing his last tragedies for poems. and taking. You the most affectionate and most with the impatience. though he To these urgent letters I " Yes. that upon reflection we shall never undertake. Madame d'Argental shares ray sentiments. in your absence. Ab- sorbed entirely in your interest. and found himself a new man. he had taken to the system of dining. retouching All the old cordiality seemed restored bethe Paris stage. Such notes as this passed be- . after having tried cold waters and warm waters. your happiness.THE REsD OF AN ORANGE. and when you shall tain. you will know that it rests with you either to overwhelm me with grief or fill me with joy." correcting the king's proofs of his reading and his own. owing. " I have lived six consecutive months with my king. to his season the as advanced. (as I cannot doubt) you will experience the most exquisite pleasure which it can procure. and even breakfasting. good cheer." He was very fully employed in " Louis the XIV." : lie returned answer. spending the summer of 1751 very agreeably and His health had improsperously after the Avinter storms. 57 You will render actors cannot play it well without your instruction. a little powdered rhubarb every other day. the master of wliich leaves me entire liberty. a little employment." It was his last chance of a happy return to his native city. whose the model of his own. Choiseul. like him. who forgets his five and his grandeur.

or making a summer visit to his native St.' and your majesty has composed four or five hundred. D'Argens. for he was exiled opinion's " This to return to France. one of the I struggle like a man ^^ossessed. who is sick from copying two acts at a sitting. Voltaire lived upon cordial terms with the king's Potsdam familiars. neVer to be dispelled. that the decree condemning him and his book might be revoked." wrote Voltaire. and the king — room of the chateau " Oh." was far from being the happy man he seemed. and you ' are fresh . and others . as the gods are said to move the world.Apollo is ' ' content with it. because he is here. how do you do it. I am exhausted. little foolish in everything else. I place myself at his feet. without effort. with all due respect (pardon the you and I). I shall not send Eome to my virtuoso of a niece imtil Mars. like two were kept busy enough. Malo on the Channel shore. " wise in his profession. you and I. Darget. generally are when they are away " He burns from home and sake. La Mettrie.' Sire. Will your majesty permit the diligent. mon Dieu. They toiled this sum- mer editors struggling to produce "good numbers. and you are as tranquil as You elect. or we must die in the attempt. it was through his indiscretion that a cloud came over careless " but a The plump and peaceful scene. I invoke the genius. as big as a thumb. as Voltaire intimates. sire." each attended by secretaries. Maupertuis remaining usually at Berlin in his own house. he was mortally as Frenchmen homesick. La and this Mettrie. then ? In eight days I have patched a hundred and fifty verses of Eome Sauvee. Like Voltaire. who also. as Voltaire labored in one in another : tween tbem. Duke de . and he comes to you. so gay. I have a little secretary. in particular. who is supposed to laugh at everything." He implored Voltaire to use his influence with the Richelieu in his favor. though they were separated only by a ceiling and a floor.68 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. La Mettrie. will read my ' Rome Sauvee. sometimes cries like ." Several notes of similar tenor passed. often visited Voltaire at this time. a child." said Voltaire. labor as you govern. indefatigable Vigne to cojjy the rest for you ? I ask as a favor that your majesty Your glory is interested in not allowing to issue from Potsdam any works but such as are worthy of the Mars-Apollo who consecrates this retreat to posterity. man. must produce nothing which is not good. Harmony prevailed at Potsdam.

to enlighten it. I considered it a pleasure and a glory to cultivate his king wlio has gained batgenius all contributed to my illusion. the little jealousy which it excites. he a . and the heart is far away. one day. youi . Nevertheless. these are Cher Pesue. A and provinces language a king. the first lines ' : — who belongs to him . . of promises . Assuredly. at should keep as an inviolable pledge of his word ? ! Will you believe him? Ought "What After sixteen years of to serve in the what a time does he say this ? At a time when I am sacrificing all him when I am not only correcting his works. in the last week of August. going to astonish you [wrote Voltaire to Madame Denis. seeking only to aid his genius. I came upon still. in all that he has written. but writing . whom I did not seek. god. wonder an epistle to a painter. his intellect alone impels him. This La Mettrie is a man of no influence. 1751. . Perhaps all Pesne is a man whom is dear Pesne he 1 "What an astonishing spectacle has just struck brush places you in the rank of the gods. of my supposed favor. and of the king replied to him. he has sworn to me that. in talking to the king. a prosody. my eyes ! Dear Pcsue.THE RIKD OF AN ORANGE. and who told me that he loved lost in me ! Why ! should he have made me such advances ? I am I have done all that I I understand nothing of it. composed of all the reflections which I make upon the proprieties of our language. tles . some days fidence . a king of the north who composes verses in our too. after the letter which he wished you And again. I don't know. of offers. named Pesne. and. could not to believe La Mettrie.' ! ^ is he does not regard. 59 Thus a confidential familiarity was established between the two men. Perhaps. occasioned by the trifling faults which I remark. . I redoubled my he has redoubled his oaths. " / shall have need at the most . September 2d].' " I forced myself to repeat these sweet w^ords questions I to believe . La Mettrie gave Voltaire a piece of information that stunned him. who talks " I am He speaks to me in confamiharly with the king after the reading. ton piaceau " This the Quel spectacle etonnant vicnt de frappcr mes yeux to place au rauy des dieux. we him another — ' of for year squeeze an orange and throw away the rind. and to put it into a condition to do without — my " pains. " But In reading over his verses. margin a system of rhetoric. him ? Is that possible ? bounties. ago.

" He an amiable king. in his merry tales. what returns to the subject. When one has begun someand I have two editions upon my thing. Jourdain. He returned again and again to bis orange peel. that " Mahomet Paris with all the success which an author could desire.60 LIFE OF VOLTAIKE. who calls me his dear friend? for ' ' I refuse anything But I shall re- ply to you. who said. engagements easily imagine ! You . I shall not say of yon. She thought what she had always thought. who force themselves to think that their wives are very faithful. Darget. and.' Though you were a queen. think of this by the Tell me. that the King of Prussia would be the death of her uncle. notifies them of their disaster. There are in his poems some epigrams against the emperor and against the King of Poland. He makes him act iii. but I am afraid of being like cuckolds. also. scene . the secretary 1 is very much scandalized. " Consider. what embarrassment. to confide I ' would be sincere. " What I am sure of is that my gracious master has honored me with some marks of his teeth in the Memoirs which he has written of . You will say to me. but he ought not to hail upon the parsley." The reader does not need to be informed what Madame Denis thought of La Mettrie's story. Molicre. what chagrin the avowal of La Mettrie has caused. " These are terrible weapons which I am giving you against me. At the bottom of their hearts the poor men feel something that [October 29. I pray you. all that you first courier dispatched to Lord Tyrconnel. and at length. so to speak. play a ridicu3. too. with a number of cutting reflections. has assailed his secretary. Le Bourgeois Geutilhomme. You will take me is to a lord of the M. Leave at once But. I to do ? To ignore that La Mettrie has spoken You will only to you. and to wait be my sure consolation. what reflections. for my part. you all sides. I cannot say. 17oL] orange. that his majesty. Can court. Let us start. with which his reign since 1740. What am it to me. She " had been reproduced in sent him word. I am under pressure on hands. to forget all. "I brood continually over the rind of the I try to believe nothing of it . unless he could make a timely escape. Very well that a king should make epigrams against kings may be an affair of ministers. those letters in which he lavishes upon me such vivid and affecting compliments mean nothing at all. She has deceived me in swearing that she loved me. I shall be justly condemned for having yielded to so many caresses. it is necessary to finish it for months and to come.

The man who fell from the top of a steeple. ' 61 is and the poem printed. fusely at Lord Tyrconnel's too luxurious table. and leave them in the same way. which I seldom leave from there we go to sup with the king.THE RIND OF AN ORANGE. I must have do you wish love the little " What whom . also. finding himself softly orchestra. . If the king did so." remarks the king. provided it lasts. disthey had stupidly' adored. AYe live together like my chamber. 1 have wished. cushioned in the a little. cross-examine him no more. Hobbes. Fontenelle. He he has regained the tone of the up with Algarotti. and " to Voltaire the " philosopher an equality with Locke. ' air. " which only delineate the manners of Canadians. " These " and their disciples great men. and deism. but of brother Isaac (D'Argens). horror .' though in truth there are few copies of it. The merry and mehmclioly La Mettrie died suddenly in December. and who. "I my life shall be yours. Shaftsbury. what am I to do ? Laugh at them in my turn. the king asserts that an unprejudiced " La Henriade " to the person will prefer poems of Homer. In the work as published. a mortal stroke to Men gave religion. chapter 2 CEuvres de Fr^d^ric. Histoire de mou Temps. resembled I me not Good-night. and Bolingbroke. began to examine what . my dearest plenipotentiary sire to fall at Paris into my house. lous part in liis poem of the Palladium. Collins. made a number tolerance converts. and people were no longer enemies because they differed in opinion." have a great de- He was 'work upon he nuist have erased the passage. and sometimes gayly enough. Good. Frederic assigns to the poet Voltaire a rank above Homer. all sweetly. On the following page.' ." This was pure Voltaii-e. Reason overthrew superstition tlie blaswas felt for which had been believed the fables gust phemies to which men had been piously attached were held in . " sure " that the king had spoken ill of him in his the history of his own reign. a little country. after dining proVoltaire could " I could 1. said. rest of time to withdraw the funds which I have brought into this Tliat time will be consecrated to patience and to labor the . me to say to you ? If it is true that the great they laugh at. if they laugh and do not love. it have made brothers . With that reasonable religion was established." ^ To return to our orange peel. am very glad of the return I was at first a little out of tune. I must console myself but. the simple worship of of the Supreme Being. they come into ." he wrote 37. 1751. Bayle.

We me "The king said to of it. yesterday. and it rankled always. . " to ask La Mettrie in liis dying moments some news of the orange rind. would not have been able to lie. but he was the most frank.62 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. to bis niece. He is dissatisfied. The king inquired very particularly as to the manner of his death if he had obif he had derived edification served all the Catholic forms from them. That does not look like the rind of the orange. for the repose of his soul. very sure that he will not come back. when he is said to have asked. in the presence of D'Ar- to have me. he has not promised any province to the Chevalier de Chasot (absent gens. Apparently." This thorn was never extracted. He will find me competent to arrange mine. men. " Will this king want me long I am much for his washerwoman ? 1 " ^ Duvernet. that he would have given a province on leave). There He was the most great appearance that he told the truth. He was told at last that the gourmand died like foolish of . said the king to '• I am very glad us. chapter xv. and he has more agreeable affairs elsewhere. . upon the point of is appearing before God. and he also. a philosopher. That good soul. Perhaps some kind friend reported to the king a light word of' Voltaire's on receiving a batch of the royal poetry to correct.^ laughed.

there was nothing the king valued more. the queens. the princesses. cats. with garden and gnninds adjacent. In all his efforts to improve and strengthen the Academy. botanists of institution. near the royal park. but which he had He had recently added to it a chemical laboratory. president attached Prussia of very high importance to this had more reasons to The King resuscitated and developed. the thermometer. Maupertuis was his confidential agent . Frederic had assigned the president a spacious and handsome house just out of Berlin. Except his army and its appurtenances. and all the throng who go wherever these go enhanced the splendor of special occasions. of novelty. had then the attraction The king. to which the Bartrams. the royal princes. had great Academy chine. the resident nobility.CHAPTER Few men tion than VIT. who also retained a liberal pension from the King of France. sent contributions. Frugal as he was. Here Maupertuis had so abundantly gratified liis taste for strange animals and peculiar races of men that passers-by might liave taken his establishment for a menagerie. and often empowered him to expend more than the sum mentioned. There were troupes of dogs. A botanic garden was among its new features. where he sometimes witnessed the rudimentary experiments then in vogue. be content with their posiof the Academy of Berlin. and The electrical mainterest eclat. par- . founded by Leibnitz in 1701. the air-pump. He evidently desired to attract to his Academy the first men in each science. and of fashionable novelty. Maupertuis. for services rendered to science in his earlier life. provided only that they were men of independent minds. EJMBROILED WITH MAUPEETUIS. ambassadors. we see in his letters to Maupertuis that he gave prompt assent to the president's frequent suggestions. parrots. The public sessions of the Philadelpliia.

The king had expressly given him the precedence. commands dukes and princes in an army. At a grand dinner given by Maupertuis. with a cherry in its bill. Among his other wonders he had an eccentric who went with him everywhere. which did not improve The coming a disposition naturally irritable and exacting. 74 (Euvres de Voltaire." was in his power. upon the head of Madame the Ambassadress. with his some mania for odd experiments. par La Beaumelle. negro feature of the dinner scene as he stood behind his striking scene. 1 "^46. and at length alighted. page 122. says the narrator of the .64 LIFE OF YOLTAIEE. to give. of which were savage. and alarmed the visitor. as the king himself remarked. prone to jealousy . curious poultry. he had acquired the habit of drinking brandy. an exquisite little parrot walked freely about the table. Vie de Maupertuis. He too well that the pension given by the king to the only was two thousand ci'owns a year greater than his own. At the king's suppers he was now totally eclipsed. took the breeds. flat- tening the earth and flirting with Lapland maidens. also. who is only a gentleman. 73 CEayres de Voltaire^ . All tliis. and other creatures. Strange things occurred sometimes in this presipleasure in Noah's ark. he was an uneasy spirit. and while he was in the polar regions. and to diminish the pensions assigned to literary and learned men. to a French ambassador returning from Petersburg to France. to take away. oquets. Maupertuis wielded real power in other words. over It all the members. added to his natural love of ascendency. he had conand the subsistence of men. which could be repaired by washing the lady's coiffure. The dent. But. made him one of the most conspicuous and important personages in the society of the capital of Prussia. ^ of Voltaire knew had sensibly lessened his importance at court. 87. except that master's chair. monkeys. "just as a general. in 1747. to increase. and formed a servant. Upon that splendid elevation the bird ate the cherry with a grace that enchanted the whole table and there was no harm done. as president of the : trol over the repute Academy. and loved to descant upon the creatures mixing thus produced. poet and he was consoled bv the reflection that there were two dancers at the royal opera who received more than either of them.

centuries " jMy dear much I interest PiiESiDENT. unfriendly enough. and mentioned his preference to the Behold the innocent beginning of president without reserve. 11. afterwards so celebrated. gave him mortal offense first At without knowing it. Potsdam]. — : — myself more in the Languedocian Raynal than in the Provencal Jean [D'ArI indulged the flattering hope of seeing you here [at gens]." so there are mathematicians who would excel in the The king. strong in the gravities of talk. VOL. might be unable to enjoy the " new-comer. was only too manifest. in great jiart. Maupertuis soon showed his sociable" side. the poet favored the election of the Ahh6 Raynal. science. The reader of Voltaire's letters must have remarked that the wit and humor. things than any which had enraptured him in his works and the guests at a king's table are not backward in applauding what the king applauds. The were in topics of the supper-table. a feud that was to resound through comins. 5 . a philosopher. and kings The discussing which no living man could equal him. as festive epigram and the gay repartee. and accustomed all his friends We to the first place in conversation. I await the moment when the hero-philosopher who makes me love Potsdam will make me love Berlin. were natural to him. which make him among the most readable The style was the man. if we may believe Voltaire's repeated declaranal . from a liis but literature he loved with whole heart. promoted sense of duty . 24 October (1750). moreover. of writers. when Voltaire was present.EMBROILED WITH MAUPERTUIS. There being a vacancy in the Berlin Academy. A thousand reI salute you in Frederic. vou and our brothers. spects to Madame de JNIaupertuis. face beamed as he heard from Voltaire's lips happier . agree that his conversation was more amusingly can therefore conceive that Voltairean than his writings. frequent felicities of style. as it seems. likely to be such as gave him opportunities to shine. From my cell in the most accreeable convent of the earth. Voltaire. and most familiar his nieces comrades have in to His letters them even more of the Voltairean sparkle than others and . the curious. 65 Who was not? As there are tragedians who desire to play "FalstalY." The king gave the vacant place to the Languedocian Rayand this. but I see plainly that one must go in quest of you.

began to circulate in Berlin. 5. " gambols of a child. and we may be year sure that some friend was good enough pertuis's verdict upon the history. president Voltaire asked him to speak on his behalf to one of the com- refused to aid missioners who was appointed then considered within the grant. in spite of his opposition. with at such a time unprecedented success of his " Louis XIV. for a useless place of Associate to the Academy of Berlin. style." to report to him Mauwhen he compared it to the in the Toward the end La Mettrie ' of 1751. to the Ahh6 Raynal. believing the other to be the aggressor. as without authority. restored all his audacity. given by the king. countryman. the splendid. of course.^^ there are some obscurities in it of which we will talk to- him upon one " gether. each. Anecdotes are not wanting here . LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. " Ten editions in a " have their effect on an author's mind. The cloud that hung heavy and menacing over Voltaire in February. is to investigate the case. published in Copenhagen." Maupertuis. proprieties both to ask it — a favor and to Maupertuis replied that which he could not be mingled. though prSsident. the poet congratulated come Your of his moral essays just published.66 tion. in a hard. some copies of an absurd book. to himself. was quickly dissipated. and made him stronger than ever in himself." ^ Ill-feeling was developed rapidly between them . ! A the more probable the tale is that. —a collection of Voltaire to D'Argental. given pleasure. " Obscurities There may be some for manner. IMaupertuis. when he was excluded from the king's presence and threatened with exile and ruin. Something like the following may have occurred : Maupertuis coming in late to a supper in Voltaire's rooms. an offense which cannot be effaced from the memory. was an ugly Such a refusal business. replied. Soon. . " I es! To which is Voltaire 1/ou " teem you. and he seemed in higher favor than ever. mon president ." gave new lustre to his literary eminence. 17t51. at the time of the his affair with jeweler. " has me onon said book. August 1752. he. was the beginning and first cause of Maupertuis's enmity " I have made a violent enemy of that temperate philosopher. as Duvernet rejDorts. but they to us without dates. you are brave you wish war offensive " ! . entitled " My " Thoughts. said to have responded.

there was never of Prussia one so well recompensed. the best of either sex whom he can find in his dominthat city will be a nursery of great men. . Nevertheless. This is one of his Thoughts: "Let a prince gather into one city formed persons ions . even at the king's supper-table. impudently. and had received from him a friendly reply. and Voltaire still less. If. The mind of the author seemed to run very much upon a yet unknoAvn art of breeding superior human beings." said the Voltaire .. the most virtuous. Beaumelle had consulted Voltaire upon one of his literary ]f the projects.. 67 unconnected paragraphs." he may have fallen rises upon there this " : ]\Ierit . difficulty and delicacy were treated or reserve. the wisest. heaps favors upon men of talent for prethat induce a prince of Germany to the same reasons cisely bestow them upon a buffoon or a dwarf. they will be jects. the most enlightened. sure of having excellent progeny. of conversation a soon was of his work topic graph just quoted in Berlin." a Greek disguise of part of his name. and he threw out many wild suggestions toward it. one of many Frenchmen who throve upon the fashion The parafor French literature then prevailing in Europe. in which subjects of the greatest without knowledge." The King Who was the Here was matter for the gossips of Berlin author of such Thoughts as these? His dedication was signed " Gonia de He Palaios. and by impudence The young man grovel." He resigned his post acted upon this idea. where it was the occasion of many jests and uproarious laughter. " we search both ancient and modern history." studs \Jiarns] for horses Imagine a book of which this specimen is among the least There was one Thought in the work unquotable passages! which had a more particular interest for Berlin society.. reaches the court by baseness. La the king did not relish the passage. . . Princes have they ought to have such for subWhen they prevent the mixing of breeds. we shall find no example of a prince who has given seven thousand crowns a year to a man of There have been greater poets than letters as man of letters. both in horses and in men. " king looked further into the Thoughts. settled in Denmark as professor of the French language and literature. then. ! was a young French adventurer.EMBROILED WITH MAUPERTUIS. tact. '' unknown author. named La Beauinelle.

'' reports La Beaumelle. I have Shame me. well provided with good letters. Copenliagen. whose death was just announced. I told him that one was the king. spise.' He smiled it seemed to me that he w^ould have preferred me bitterly to say M. He had written announcing his comin the king's palace ! visited Prussia for no other purpose than to see three great men who lived in that kingdom.. ing. kept him to dinner.. and in November. de Maupertuis. I tried to gain his good-will that I made no progress toward it. Voltaire. La Beau" melle." He remained at Berlin. he was at Potsdam. Knowing that he was on the point of sensitive to I was moment praise. One " of these was the author of " Alzire and.' . even to indecenc3\ All his questions aimed at ascertaining whether I had designs upon the place of La Mettrie. . very every not the courhim. not to make him my confidant. and face to face with Voltaire. 1751. prevented incensing or deI esteem to their to faces whom age praise persons ' ' ' ' . and La Beaumelle returned to Berlin uncomfortable feeling of a man who has paid . not aware that Voltaire had seen My Thoughts. He asked me who the other two great men were whom I had come to see. all my answers tended to convey that I was very far from aspiring to replace La Mettrie. He was much with Lord Tyrconnell. it is not so easy to see the Reverend Father the Abb^. and saying that he puzzled and curious. and he went away lamenting that "such a soul should depend upon such a body." complained of the coolness of a man to whom he paid the homage of a visit. As I had an object a little more elevated than that. " and " He questioned me much. the Mes Pensees " escaped the lips of either of occasion. where he made himself somewhat conspicuous as one who obviously desired to push himself into the circle of Frenchmen about the king. Oh. And the other ? M.. author of an excellent History of the but I perceived Celts. he v^ishecl to see him first. and as I was in his abode to pay my homage to him. although he was the second of the three.68 at LIFE OF VOLTAIEE. He attributed Voltaire's coolness to indigestion. received him civilly.' he said." No allusion to " them on this with only the a visit at an unfriendly time. Pelloutier. ' . and expended four hours of his time upon him.

de Voltaire with him. to the effect that he would be very much obliged " Mes Penif he would be so good as to lend him a copy of The young man sdes. Voltaire wrote him a polite note. . He added that the friendly zeal with which he had entered into m}* project of publishing a series of classics at Copenhagen did not deserve the ill-treatment he had received in that work. The author of the w^ork. I ' . Voltaire. maintaining always that it tended to his glory. you cause of offense. if he had been nothing but a chamberlain. at such foolish he fastened quibbling. . but a simple indemnification. ' Then. Ashamed. Voltaire.' said nevertheless. TJiere ivas never any poet so well recompensed as Voltaire. it remains certain that I have not turned that pasit given. I Avent to see him he spoke in a hard.EMBROn. I asked him to point out the passage. I should not have given myself the trouble to come and 1 told . and he added in these very words." which he had heard highly spoken of. — "The 7tli of December [1715] the king arrived at Berlin from Potsdam. word for word. but has been profwhich very severely. he consulted Lady He sent the book to Bentinct. : . itable to me since. who. at length. He mentioned it. with tlie leaf turned down at page 70. returned it to the author. upon that other phrase. 69 French ambassador he courted Darget. the king's reader and and the unconscious effrontery of the young man gave him a kind of importance. taken me for a ' man who has no money. three days after. He said to me that what the king only sense it gave him was not a recompense. I was astonished and surjirised at this reproach. dry tone he criticised it very justly and to me of my book was disagreeable at the time. who advised him to comply. I could not make him accept in the could fairly bear. no doubt. doubtless. You have. nor wished to give. and M. La Beaumelle's account of this interview shows Voltaire behaving with self-control and even magnanimity: scribe . He replied to me that he was an officer and chamberlain of the king. .' replied he. far from taking the gentle hint. knew not Avhat to do he hesitated long.ED WITH MAUPERTinS. I repeated the passage several times. tried his hand When La P)eauat tlie business of getting quietly rid of him. ' I do not know how I to read. only waited until Voltaire came to Berlin to intrude upon his privacy once more.' sage in a hundred different ways . . I repeated to him what he had said to Congreve that.' 'That may be.' but it him that I knew he was very rich was not that which made him estimable. where occurred the passage upon the king's buffoons and dwarfs. melle had been a month in the kingdom.

the entrance to which he was firmly resolved to defend against one who had written of men who were the king's friends. Denmark. as far as the King of Prussia was above a petty prince of Germany." the president said. heaiix esp7-its. he found a sympathizing friend. These words seemed to soften him. He assured me that ill-will on account of the passage. nor with M. " Had had read " asked the young man. She made an easy conquest of the good-looking young Frenchman. Darget. that I had wished to say that. . and the king a petty . the official chief of the king's buffoons and dwarfs. so far were the savans of his court above the buffoons and dwarfs with which the petty princes amused themselves. who merited much he bore me no . he found next to him a pretty aim." he addressed Memoirs to the king. who was a man of rank nor with Count Algarotti. king? La Beaumelle hastened to " Maupertuis assured the author of My that he had evidently meant to say something Thoughts " It highly flattering both to the king and his companions. rather than his consideration . In the midst of these endeavors. said Voltaire. who was neither a buffoon nor a dwarf nor with the Baron de Pollnitz. de Voltaire had " as if." " the king read the passage ? Voltaire informed bim that the king " Who had showed it to the like it.70 see him. and agreeable woman. he called upon Maupertuis. I had wished to assert that tlie learned men of the court were buffoons and dwarfs. at length. it. whom he still He wrote an ode on the "Death of the Queen of courted. It w^as Darget. ^vho advised him in a friendly manner not to prolong his stay in Berlin. the wife of a captain in the Prussian army. admission to the king's circle. and gave him a rendez- . but that it would not be so easy to make my peace with the Marquis d'Argens." says given it a bad interpretation at the king's table " La Beaumelle." The president advised him to send the king a copy of his book which he did. a humiliating disaster befell At the opera one evening. de Maupertuis. Next. Receiving no acknowledgment. LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. In him." " . that they were buffoons and dwarfs. he attributed the omission to the machinations of Voltaire. . who declared that the offensive passage had had nothing offensive in it until M. and did not the king's secretary. " was clear. who accompanied her. he circulated he was resolved to effect an freely in the society of Berlin prince of Germany. president of an academy.

Voltaire had a particular reason for conciliating this man. laughed army. To this happy re- colony of Frenchmen had contributed. He thundered forth the wrath of an indignant husband aud capbut it soon appeared that it was the money of the young tain man. Voltaire endeavored in various ways io and bring him to reason. at length. In some way. to the comgrely provided that the gallant captain complained .. The king. their acquaintance ended in a stormy scene at Voltaire's abode. made no His transport. and. La Beaumelle was instantly arrested and confined at Spandau. being assured Voltaire was the obstacle in his path. La Beaumelle was reestablished at Berlin. however. demanding further reparation for the wrong done him. La Beaumelle had obtained possession of a large number of the letters of Madame de Maintenon. his animosity revived in more than its former intensity. thanking him for his services. The husband surprised them there. without having been confronted with his accuser. were prisoners in the fortress of Spandau. Imagine what " those letters must have been to the author of a History of the If he could Age of Louis XIV. the and without having been heard in his defense sudden the at the the collapse of the court. and the confidant of his policy during the last twenty-six years of his reign. on his return from Spandau. he might well them before be alarmed lest their publication should impair the value of a many chapter wrought out with infinite pains from heterogeneous material. He asked La Beaumelle for a sight of them. flew into A^oltaire's arms. not then known. the wife of Louis XIV. however. He that progress toward the king. The after ten days' detention truth. in a transport of gratsult all the itude. which was necessary to appease him. who adds the most zealous. 71 vous at her own quarters. and the captain and his wife.EMBROILED WITH MAUPERTUIS. lost patience with him. but. partners in the iniquity. soon reached the king. was of short duration. His request was refused. He It was so measeized by main force the purse of the victim. from which La Beaumelle retired vowing eternal ven . not his blood. If he were denied access to them. and. among that La Beaumelle. they might prove of great value as a means of correcting possible errors." just issuing from the press ! get a sight of copies of his history were distributed. Voltaire So reports Lady Bentinct. city. mandant of Berlin. ! adventurer.

in 1774. His revenge consisted in this: he published an edition of Voltaire's " Louis XIV. The publication of an unauthorized edition of a work while it was still new. letter charges him. and has never since been surpassed. and made " I heard La Beaumelle his name odious forever. My Desfontaines and Rousseau are " hate will live longer than your verses ' Alas ! ! he left Prussia. confess. " M. alive again." wrote La Harpe. ill-feeling grew ever warmer between these ^ 1 Corresppndauce Litteraire. whence he fled in hot haste with a woman of which La Beaumelle himself reports. " " LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. in order to excite him against me if INIaupertius can wash his hands of the criminal manoeuvres with which La Beaumelle's . 240. de Voltaire. that he owed all this coil of trouble and anxiety to Maupertuis. leaving several creditors to mourn his departure. were audacious. ." These remarks. too. repent not pollute ray mouth by repeating them but I shall know how to punish them." ^ We shall perhaps have occasion to observe that M.Prussia and to others. " found himself in the and. in due time." said he to the King of . he discoursed upon members of the royal family of France with a freedom which they resented. In the course of his remarks. rose upon him. He failed to gain a ill-repute. He went to Gotha . "that his conduct was inexcusable. however. Meanwhile. The edition had great success as a speculation." am ready publicly to ask Maupertuis 's the Thus. taire. and gave the unscrupulous editor all the notoriety his morbid vanity could desire. as the reader may imagine. Bastille. baffled foot-hold there simply because the king did not desire him. de la B. The rasli man ! La Beaumelle. in consequence. was an outrage unique even in that age. Voltaire. which time did not efface. " "If.72 geance. I would you are." remained under the impression. and false. the author of the "Age of Louis XIV. for the purpose of injuring the author. ! that yovi shall say. and that it was himself who was first in the wrong toward M. de la B. I pardon.. " It is you. de Voltaire kept him in mind of the fact. and humiliated. I will pursue you even to hell I mean Repent ! " will repent of his conduct. abusive. two years ago.' Soon after this scene. wretch that who will I know all your enormities." " augmented by very numerous Remarks by M." said Vol- cried . Mauperhiis did not deceive La Beaumelle while he was in Berlin.

my poor friend paring dates. and the president. and both were men of varied learning tween them until and ardent cariosity. he who infused Leibnitzian opinions into the mind of It was IMadame du Chatelet. par to apologize. Koenig defended his master with the warmth of a hero-worshiper.^ and bowed him 1 The worthy Koenig. however. until there was need only of a very slight occasion to develop a blaze. citing passages and com" " It is all in cried Koevain. " his from will take gWy. 73 two combustibles. who had lived for two j^^ears at Cirey with Voltaire and Madame du Chatelet. a post which he owed to Maupertuis's recommendation. was prompt Vie de Maupertuis. this time." This to nig. as the lady's tutor in mathematics. Sir Isaac Newton. had an exciting affair upon his hands at Pie was in desperate feud with an old frotege and Samuel Koenig. the apostle of Leibnitz's greatest opponent. in the very hearing of Voltaire. howevei". the grateful and admiring friend of Maupertuis. still interested in his welfare. the first president of the Berlin Academy. He was now honorably settled in Holland as librarian to the Princess of Orange. president. 139. Maupertuis supported his own view by getting the book. Koenig remained. page . you away nothing upon the discovery " ! the president of the Berlin Academy and the flattener of the globe ! Maupertuis replied that such language was insulting. too. caused him to be elected to a vacant chair in the Berlin Academy. He La Beaumelle. It was the famous controversy between Leibnitz and Newton of the infinitely little. The president received him with cordiality. They had many topics in common. and no day passed fied without their meeting for friendly and philosophic conversation. when a subject came under discussion which touched the glory of the illustrious Leibnitz. out. for no other purpose than to see and thank the man to whom he felt himself indebted for substantial services. The professor was so keenly gratiby this mark of attention that he came to Berlin in September. All went well beone fatal day.EMBROILED WITH MAUPEETUIS. and not unknown to the leai-ned men of Europe as an enthusiast for the philosophy of Leibnitz. 1750. who was also a Newtonian . The friend." Maupertuis maintained that the reply of Leibnitz to Newton consisted of calumnies instead of arguments.

it usually becomes either " a maximum or a minimum. in post. in which he plumed himself exceedingly " upon the discovery." wrote Koenig. Upon his return to his soon after. Koenig submitted his essay to the president before printing it. and this unbreach happy appeared to be healed. in the Latin its language. when Maupertuis took the trouble to examine it. " add one word in " I will only." and drew it out into details that appeared both plausible and trivial to the members of other academies. Probably without having done more than glance at the manuscript the president gave his free and full — consent to It Leipsic. ' : . . . of his. and the authorit}^ of the sublime Leibnitz once more invoked against him. termed it. de Leibnitz had a theory of action much and found the more extended than would now be supposed for there is a written to M. at length. he completed an essay. by Henzy of Berne. the course of which one of Maupertuis's most cherished conviccalled within a was modestly called in question. in the modifications of motions.7-i LIFE OF VOLTAIEE. that he did not possess and had not seen the original . as he through all nature. and accomplished all things by the least force that would answer the purpose. 1751. His position was that nature was a strict economist. concluding. It appears that M. He wrote. ! dent attached importance to the matter. in March. day or two upon the president. that. or of the time by the living force." insertion in the printed " Transactions of appeared therein. It showed LeibThe nitz at once anticipating and contradicting Maupertuis wrote to Koenig. asking him stirred. deeply politely president. Hermann. iox the exact date of the letter and the proofs of its authenticKoenig replied at his leisure. He had read and published a discourse upon this subject. executed for treason some .' The offense of this passage was twofold. begun long before. INIaupertuis claimed to be the discoverer of a great principle running tions the prmc^Jo/e of the least action. with other copies. and offered to suppress it if he had the least objection to its publication. in which he speaks thus Action is not what you think it the consideration of time enters into it it is as the product of the mass multiplied by I have observed the time. letter. direst offense in the closing passage. but had taken the passage from a copy of the letter given him. not aware that his presiity.

who had already such a letter had existed. Oththe journals were full of the subject ers were also convinced and the president found himself not so potent with the public He was in a rage of as with his dependents in the Academy. the papers of Henzy having been scattered wide after his death. the letter was not found. so supported by documents. Meantime. and had gathered a . so circumstantial. A liquor. The excellent Koenig." wrote the king to him. BO clear. Now. 75 Maupertuis then wrote to the Prussian envoy years before. " No more cure you. It did not calm the fiery Maupertuis. upon reading the news in the gazettes. and. and induced the king also to write. or will ever read it. the king. absorbed in labor at Potsdam. Leibnitz's letter. with two others in a similar strain. Reply from an Academician of Berlin to " Paris appeared in the gazettes. wrote a history of the case. no more coffee . and caused the worthy Koenig to be .EMBROILED WITH MAUPERTUIS. had not attended to the controversy." time and sobriety. astic Leibnitzian bore of slight impression that his enthusiCirey was rather in the wrong than " satisfied him that otherwise. anxious for his sick and excited president. stating case with a Koenig's brevity and clearness that betrayed the hand of Voltaire. Switzerland. without beHe now gave the whole of ing convinced of his innocence. Until he had read Koenig's "Appeal to the Public. condemned and expelled as a forger ! This precipitate and most shameful deed was done April 13. informed the president that he had taken the passage from a whereupon Maupertuis copy. and knowing nothing whatever of Koenig's case. or proofs that The professor. excitement. Avith the aid of you will be reestablished. Maupertuis then summoned Koenig to appear within a month before tiie Academy. that no candid person has ever read it. 1752. urging him to make diligent search for the letter of Leibnitz. . with the original of the letter. neither appeared nor explained convened the Academy. Koenig's "Appeal to the Public Maupertuis had done the professor a most cruel injury. a an Academician of " . at a session attended by twenty-two members. and was soon seriously indisposed. After in exhaustive rummaging. " little less liquor \_rogomme] and a little more dieting will And again. unhappily." Voltaire. drank deeply. the style and tone of which were unmistakably Leibnitzian.

as he hoped. Was it necessary." He did not sufficiently scrutinize the passage from Leibnitz sent him beforehand for his examination. taining that the dullest reader must hold out to the end so convincing that to prejudice itself it must have given pause. an Academician of Paris. for liim to employ so much artifice and violence. well-meant. He believed it contained his thought it contains his refutation. which the pen of mortal has not surpassed for elegant. was a hasty. He had not even read Koenig's "Appeal to the Public. XIV. 59. . of his glory as a discoverer. He poses Koenig advanaltogether exquisite. . the device of sending him two tageoush^ against Maupertuis by " Louis of his for one the other for the himself. for a dispute which is in no degree enlightened. " that he should fatigue so many powers. quiet effectiveness so enter. with my profound respect.76 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. It was on such occasions that Voltaire was wont to use and exhaust the resources of the literary art. to rob a benefactor.2 referring to the pamphlet in the works of Maupertuis might as well have written upon a by question of tactics or army discipline. 60. bad action on the king's part. He wrote a small " Letter of an Academician of Berlin to pamphlet entitled. with equal moderation and force. and that he should pursue those who condemn to-day his error and his proceedings. . 15 CEuvres. and the foundation of which seems to be altogether frivolous ? 1 2 15 CEuvres de Frederic. he glides into his subject." copies The art of it is library of her Royal Highness. The president's error was merely "a mistake of self-love. He now wrote and published a letter to Professor Koenig." although copies were in Berlin ^ his only thought being to save the life and credit of the president of his darling Academy. as the reader may see the king. This pamphlet was speedily republished." After some chatty paragraphs upon his History.. came." in which he gave a weak version of the story as related to him by Maupertuis. Professor Koenig guilty of forging evidence to rob a brother It savan. to Maupertuis's rescue. then. "to this whom I beg you to make homage acceptable. which he treats in the tone of the familiar letter. for four lines of Leibnitz ill-understood. and thus Europe was notified that the King of Prussia believed . with the royal arms on the cover.

I we passed together always took sides against your opinion and hers in the controversy concerning living forces." But no extracts avail to convey an idea of the aptness and It avenged and completely regraceful force of this letter. I corrected her work. I could not sacrifice what apthe least detriment to my affection. monsieur. the Berlin Academy. and wrote against her. be surprised when I say. in which. You will not. I did the same upon the monades and the preestahlished harmony. I confess to I sustained all my heresies without you. that I am a little enhave the truth. I maintained audaciously the view of M. the least action. But it was not soothing to the president of stored Koenig. it is de Maupertuis has recently invented that principle of very well but it seems to me that he need not . de Mairan upon that point of mathematics. that all those disputes in which there is a blending of metaphysics and geometry seems to me to be mere jeux d'esprit. However warm the friendship which attached me to her and to you. when the lady afterwards wrote against M. that I do not believe at all. indisposition. have disguised a thing so clear in ambiguous terms. years wliich in a philosophic retreat with a lady of astonishing genius and worthy to be instructed by you in mathematics. whicli exercise the mind and not enlighten rificed it If M. de Mairan against both of you and. a for whom I would have sactruth to me to be the to person peared my life. You remember the two . what is amusing. . with that intrepid frankness which is known to you. who was still confined to his house by . Pardon me thusiastic this 77 freedom when I think I ness that I sacrifice my you know. You have been a witconviction to no one. then.EMBROILED WITH MAUPERTUIS.

even more crotchety. president of the Ber- suggestions which Voltaire seriously to him. my mind . He does imputes actually j^ropose the excavation of an enormous hole in the earth. "DOCTOR AKAKIA. INIaupertuis." might well have rested justice was been deeply wronged. " I abrupt. does not delay long to forget or forgive the error of a meritorious man who continues to serve it. and ridiculous. present themselves to contradictions . He said expressly in his preface. I shall treat subjects as they I shall indulge. perhaps. He now set about " " in the style of the " Thoughts of writing a series of "Letters his friend and frotige^ La Beaumelle nay. he was magand he stood before Europe in a really nificently compensated. a pernicious beverage to the flattener but. Not so . . Academy. . Koenig had VIII. I shall follow no order. Rogomme had proved of the earth . " would render easy the complete . that mankind may at length " The use ascertain the purpose for which they were built. he sought to alleviate the tedium of his convalescence by a liquid It still more blasting. . of of gunpowder. made the Egypt should be blown up. finished j)oor Maupertuis. that we may know someHe suggests that one of the pyramids thing of its contents. but he still held his and the public place a king had defended him .CHAPTER At this point the affair If M. unfortunately. it is true. free myself from the reserves to which I should not be able to was ink that . Maupertuis was humiliated. submit. done." he says. brilliant light. in upon every subject I shall say what I think at moment of writing and what subjects are there upon which a man ought always to think in the same manner ? " Readers who are acquainted with these twenty-thi-ee " Letthe ters " may lin of Maupertuis's only from Voltaire's burlesque repetitions have imagined that Voltaire invented or exaggerated their absurdity.

" Maupertuis was an early friend of vivisection. the brains of unknown criminals condemned . really thought him a madman. He These samples pher mad will suffice of a Avork such as only a philosowith confinement and rogomme could have given to a scoffing world. year than they do at the colleges in five or six years. repair from the countries of Europe to that city." is learned imperfectly and with great dilKculty. and." ." He had been. 79 overturn of one of those pyramids and tlie Grand Seigneur would surrender them with perfect wnlliugness to the least The Latin lanouao-e. You are aware that he was chained at Montpellier in one of his ." he adds. nitely. he obcuriosity of a king of France. for the inspection of the brains of ten or twelve feet high. Nearer home. October 1. and had been in the habit of experimenting upon living cats. " How is it that you who love cats can He replied. by exalting his soul with opium. where the clergymen would preach in Latin. ought never to be paid unless they cure a He expressed the opinion that light could be thrown patient. " In the midst of these quarrels. Voltaire. A duchess said to him one day. so he might. 1752. to But what men ? . a criminal is still less than nothing. he adds. "Maupertuis has become entirely /om. discern the future also. would think there was cruelty in pose. a man is nothregarded. ing. on the nature of the human mind by dissecting the brains of living men. supposed to that be a race of giants In Patagonia there was then and he advised an expedition men region." he Avrote to Madame Denis. to death might be utilized for this pur- Some i^eople. the law3^ers plead in Latin. apparently. " iNIadame. much impressed with La Mettrie's constant assertion that the something which men called noul " resulted from the working of the machine which they style '•' thought that as man now sees the past. such a mode of death but scruples of that nature must not be " Compared w^ith the human race. the actors speak in Latin? " The " who would young men. he thought. perhaps." Doctors. at first. througli some process yet to be discovered. one has unpractice such cruelty?" der-cats for experiments of that nature. by retarding the develojDment of the body."DOCTOR AlvAKIA. why not create a Latin city. would learn more Latin in a serves. could prolong life indefihody.

If '' 18. . a crown. The king's pamphlet [wrote Voltaire to Madame Denis. who tliought attacks twenty years ago." In all ways possible the King of : Prussia supported the waning prestige of the president of his Academy." better of the book than Voltaire. Almost simultaneously is" of the president and the sued from the press the " Letters ! . ! . October 1752] lias been rejDrintecl at Berlin. a sceptre. So he woidd have backed a general in command. — the arms of the reigning house of Prussia. with such a variety of ingenious. casts down his eyes. playful. Never did a cat pounce upon a mouse with such gayety of heart as Voltaire upon the president's foolish little volume nor ever did a cat . " I have read your 'Letters. rarest thinor in this cruel ceeded in being Plato. are well written and profound. torture itself amuse very palace of the king. kings. and dares not speak.' I repeat despite your critics. truth pierce cuse. The eagle. whose manoeuvres he privately censured. it is especially so when a king turns author. ti'uth is a stranger to the throne. but he wishes his is no way of making the Maupertuis has not sucmaster to be Denys of Syra- The and ridiculous affair is that the king does not in the least like Maupertuis. and the crown were much astonished to find themselves there. are accustomed to be flattered. " " Oh. too Voltaire was still living and toiling in the chateau at Potsdam. " which. Your reputation is too well established to be overturned by the first wind. but whose authority and reputation he felt it necessary to maintain. what I have said to you before put your spirit in repose. Coquettes. upon the title-page.80 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. There that triple wall of self-love. and regard not the buzzing of the insects of the air. little The king. correcting the king's verses and sending him his own no word having yet passed between them upon this affair of Maupertuis and Koenig each affecting not to know that the other had publicly taken sides. wrote to compliment " he began. the sceptre. . the author. graceful In the as that to which he now subjected Maupertuis. poets. Frederic reunites those three crowns. in whose favor he employs . avowed " edition of the king's " Letter defending him against the edition bearing on the title-page Voltaire and Koenig. however. Every one shrugs his shoulders. with the eagle of Prussia. that mine enemy had written a book Maupertuis had written a book Voltaire held it in his hands and at the same time came new provocation. my dear Maupertuis.

"DOCTOR
his sceptre

AIvAKIA."

81

and

bis pen.

Plato came near dying of grief for not
suppers to which I was admitted, and the liundred times that tbe ferocious vanity
unsociable
I I

having been at certain little king lias confessed to us a of Maupertuis rendered him and I have, I have a pen
;

have no sceptre, but
his giants,

know

not how, cut that pen in such a

way

as to turn Plato a little into ridicule

upon

upon

his

dissections,

upon
I

his iiredictions,

upon

his

impertinent quarrel with

Koenig
very dangerous

have against

me

self-love

and despotic power, two

entities."
!

He had no sceptre, but lie had a pen In this remark we have the key to much that follows. It became a contest between a young king with " a hundred and fifty thousand mns" and an elderly man, of infirm health, tachios in his service Twice already he had armed only with a gray goose-quill. this in terrible strife the now he lifted weajjon employed " Diatribe it a third time, and produced the first part of that of Doctor Akakia, Physician to the Pope," of which Macaulay says that no one with the least sense of humor can read it without "laughing till he cries." Akakia is a Greek word meaning guileless^ innocent. The " Doctor Akakia " of Voltaire is a physician who has read the volume of " Letters," bearing on the title-page the name of Maupertuis, president of the Berlin Academy, in which the
;

public are advised not to pay doctors unless they effect a cure, and in which other ideas are advanced not less peculiar. Can
the president of an Academy have really written such things? It is impossible, thinks the amiable Akakia.

known

is more common to-day than for young, unauthors to publish under known names works little worthy of them. There are charlatans of every kind. Here is one wbo has taken the name of the president of a very illustrious Academy in order

"

Nothing [be remarks]

to peddle off rubbish singular
is

enough.

It is

demonstrated that the

re-

; spectable president for that admirable philosopher, wbo discovered tliat nature alwaj's acts by the simplest laws, and who so wisely adds that she is always disposed to be sparing, would have certainly spared the small number of

not the author of the books attributed to him

persons capable of reading him the trouble of reading twice over the same thing, first in the book entitled his Works,' and then in that

'

called his

'

Letters.'

One

tbird at least of the latter

is

copied from

the other, word for word.

That great man,

so incapable of charlatan-

ism, would not have given to tbe public letters written to VOL. II. G

no one, and,

82
above
all,

LIFE OF VOLTAIRE.
would not have
fallen into certain trifling faults

which are

pardonable only in a young man.
" I believe as
of

much

my

profession

as possible that it is not at all the interest that induces me to speak on this occasion ; but I

be pardoned if I find it a little hard that this writer should treat He is unwilling the doctor physicians as he treats his booksellers.
shall

should be paid when, unfortunately, a patient does not get well. An he for a is not bad artist, says, paid painting picture. Oh, young man, how hard and unjust you are Did not the Duke of Orleans, Regent of
!

France, pay magnificently for the daub with which Coipel adorned the Does a client deprive his advocate of gallery of the Palais-Royal ?
just compensation because he has lost his cause ? physician promises his endeavors, not a cure. does his best, and he is paid.

A

He

What would you be jealous even of the doctors ? " What would a man say, I pray you, who should
!

have, for exam-

ple, a pension of twelve hundred ducats a year, for having discoursed of mathematics and metaphysics, for having dissected two frogs, and for having had his portrait taken in a fur cap, if the treasurer should

address him thus

'
:

Sir,

you are cut down a hundred ducats
;

for writ-

a hundred ducats ing that there are stars shaped like mill-stones more for having written that a comet will come to steal our moon, and
carry its attempts even against the sun itself; a hundred ducats more for having imagined that comets composed entirely of gold or diamond will fall upon the earth. You are taxed three hundred ducats
for having afiirmed that childien are formed by attraction, that the cannot reduce you less than eye attracts the right leg, etc. four hundred ducats for having imagined that the nature of the soul
left

We

could be understood by means of opium and by dissecting giants' It is clear that the poor philosopher, when his acheads,' etc., etc. Would it not be counts were made up, would lose all his revenue.

very easy after that for us other doctors to laugh at him, and to assure him that rewards are intended only for those who write useful things,

and not for those who are known only through their desire
themselves
"

to

make

known?

Our young reasoner pretends that physicians should be empirical What would you say of a only, and advises them to banish theory. man who should advise us not to employ architects in building-houses,
but only masons,

who cut stone at hap-hazard ? He gives also the Here we shall have the surgeons on sage advice to neglect anatomy. are only astonished that an author who has had some our side.

We

little

obligations to the surgeons of Montpellier in maladies which require a great knowledge of the interior of the head, and of some other parts appertaining to anatomy, should have so little gratitude.

"DOCTOR AKAIQA."
"

83

author, unversed apparently, in history, in speaking of render the punishments of criminals useful by making experiments upon their bodies, asserts that this suggestion has never been He does not know, what every one else knows, that in carried out. the operation for the stone was performed for the time of Louis
his plan to

The same

XL

time in France upon a man condemned to death that the late Queen of England caused the inoculation for the small-pox to be and there are other similar examples. tried upon four criminals
the
first
; ;

ignorant, we are obliged to admit that he has by way of compensation a singular imagination. He wishes, as a physician, that we should avail ourselves of the centrifugal force for curing

"

But

if

our author

is

The idea, in truth, is apoplexy, and make the patient spin around. He advises us to not his own but he gives it an air entirely new. If cover a sick man with pitch, or to pierce his skin with needles.
;

ever he practices medicine, and proposes such remedies, it is highly probable that his patients will follow the advice which he gives them, not to pay the doctor. " But, what is strange, this cruel enemy of the faculty, who wishes so pitilessly to reduce our income, proposes, by way of solacing us, to

He orders (for he ruin our patients. should treat but one disease ; so that

is
if

despotic) that every doctor a man has the gout, fever,

cholera, sore eyes, and the earache he will have to pay five doctors But perhaps it is also his intention that we should instead of one.

I see clearly the malice receive only the fifth part of the usual fee. of that suggestion. Forthwith, the pious will be advised to have spiritual directors for

each vice

:

one for serious ambition concerning
; ;

little

'hings ; one for jealousy hidden under a hard and imperious air one one for other mean lOr the rage of intriguing prodigiously for trifles return to our But we are wandering from the subject. foibles.

We

colleagues. "The best doctor, he says, is he who reasons least. He appears to be in philosophy as fiiithful to that axiom as Father Canaie was in

Nevertheless, despite his hatred of reasoning, we perceive theology. that he has made profound meditations upon the art of prolonging
life.

First,

him upon

years. of Leibnitz, that maturity is not the period of virility, but of death, he proposes to retard that maturity, as people preserve eggs by hindering

he agrees, with all sensible people, and we congratulate it, that our forefathers lived from eight to nine hundred Then, having discovered by his own efforts, and independently

them from hatching.
cure
to

It is a beautiful secret,

and we advise him

to se-

himself the honor of this discovery in some poultry-yard, or by a criminal sentence of some Academy. "It is evident from the account we have rendered that, if these im-

84

LIFE OF VOLTAIRE.

agiuary letters were really written by a president, it could only be a president of Bedlam, and that they are incontestably, as we have said, the production of a young man who has wished to adorn himself with
the name of a sage respected, as we know, in all Europe, and who has consented to be pronounced a great man. have seen sometimes, at the Carnival in Italy, a harlequin disguised as an archbishop but

We

;

quickly discovered from the manner in which he gives the benediction. Sooner or later a man is found out, which recalls a fable of
is

he

La Fontaine
entire."

' :

A

little

end of an

ear, unfortunately protruded, re-

veals the cheat and the mistake.'

In the present

case,

we

see ears

At tliis point the modest and gentle Akakia, physician to the Pope, submits the book to the Holy Inquisition, deferring " humbly to the infallible wisdom of that learned tribunal, in which, as is well known, physicians have so much faith." Voltaire

knew

all

the power of repetition, and he used

it

in this

Diatribe with killing effect. Play-goers are familiar with this device, having seen many a dull play enlivened by the mere repetition of a comic phrase. By bringing the Inquisition upon

the scene, he gets three opportunities to repeat the absurdest ideas of the president, as well as to introduce several not before mentioned. First, he gives the decree of the Inquisition

anathematizing the attempt to prove the existence oi: God by an algebraic formula. Next, follows the judgment of the College de La Sapience, condemning Maupertuis's vaunted discovof the minimum of force, " half taken from Leibnitz." "^^ry Then we have the elaborate report of a sub-committee ap" Letpointed by the chief of the Inquisition to examine the
ters

"

of

Akakia.

"the young author," already reviewed by Doctor Here the choice morsels of absurdity in Maupertuis's

joyouslj^ tossed in the air, for the diversion of Monsieur rinquisiteur. But, laugh as he might at the notion of twelve feet high in order to get to the bottom dissecting giants

book are

human intelligence, there was matter in the which the Inquisitor could not find amusement. " He will laugh no more when he shall see that everybody can become a prophet for the author finds no more difficulty in seeing the future than the past We do not yet know whether he will be a prophet in his own country, nor whether he will be one of the greater or minor prophets but we fear
of the nature of
in

book

;

;

"DOCTOR AKAKIA."
much
ise

85

that he will be a prophet of evil, since even in his treat-

He he speaks only of affliction Haj)piness that it will be very difficult for him to assured be ought again to execute his scheme of digging a hole to the centre of the
upon
earth (where, apparently, he wishes to hide his shame at havThat hole would require the excaing advanced such ideas).
vation of at least three or four hundred leagues of country, uliich ciiuld derange the system of the balance of Europe."

"

"

In conekision, the committee bestows upon the young "candidate" its affectionate admonition. The good Doctor Akakia
is requested to administer to him some cooling drinks, and the examiners exhort him to study in some university and to be modest there. But the most important advice which they

give

him

is

the following

:

" If ever some fellow-student comes to liim to suggest in a friendly if he confides to him that he spirit an opinion different from his own
;

supports that opinion upon the authority of Leibnitz and several other philosophers if, in particular, he shows him a letter of Leibnitz which
;

formally contradicts our candidate, let not the said candidate jump to the conclusion, and proclaim it everywhere, that a letter of Leibnitz

has been forged for the purpose of despoiling him of the glory of being a discoverer. " Let him not take the error into which he has fallen upon a point of dynamics, which is totally devoid of utility, for an admirable discovery. " If that comrade, after having communicated to him several times his work, in which he combats the candidate in terms the most polite

and with eulogy, should print it with his consent, let him beware of causing that work of an opponent to pass for a crime of academic high
treason.

" If that comrade declares several times that he obtained the letter
of Leibnitz, as well as several others, from a man w ho died some years before, let not the candidate take a malignant advantage of the avowal ; let him never demand, in a frivolous dispute, that a dead man should

come

to life for the purpose of bringing back the useless original draught of a letter of Leibnitz, and let him reserve that miracle for the ^me when he shall prophesy let him not compromise any one in a controversy about nothing, which vanity can render important and
; ;

let

bring the gods into a war between rats and frogs. " conclude by exhorting him to be docile, to engage in serious for what a savan gains in intrigues he studies, and not in vain cabals loses in genius, just as, in mechanics, what is gained in time is lost in
not,

him

We

;

86
force.

LIFE OF VOLTAIRE.
TVe have seen but too often young people, who have begun by

giving high hoiDes and good works, end with writing nothing but folly because they have wished to be skillful courtiers, instead of skillful

because they have substituted vanity for study, and the dissi; pation which weakens the intellect for the application which strengthens it. They have been praised, and then ceased to be praiseworthy ;
writers

they have desired to seem, and ceased to be ; for when, in an author, the sum of errors equals the sum of absurdities, nothingness is the
equivalent of his existence [le neant vaut son existence^."
^

" Diatribe of Doctor portion of the Akakia," as written in the cbatean of Potsdam in November, 1752. Considering the condnct of Manpertuis toward Koenig,

Here ended the

first

"which might have been ruinous but for Voltaire's interference, we cannot regard this light, bantering "Diatribe" as an unjust

Maupertuis had been arbitrary, cruel toward an and ancient friend. precipitate, But Akakia was not yet printed it was a mere manuscript in the palace of an absolute king, who had adopted the defense of his president as something due to the royal authority. Nothing could be printed in Potsdam without the king's permission, and that permission had to be attested by his sign-manor an excessive admonition.
;

ual.

In these circumstances,

it

required almost as rare a kind

of person to get the Diatribe before the public as to
it.

compose

an amicable controversy with Chaplain Formey upon the character of Lord Bolingbroke, whose recent death had called forth much hostile comment in more than one country. Bolingbroke was a deist and, although neither his life nor his writings adorned the name, absurd importance was then attached to a dissolute nobleman's theory of the universe. Even at the present time, Dr. Johnson's brutal
this year
;

He had

had

remark upon Lord Bolingbroke's posthumous works is occaVoltaire lamented the sionally quoted without disapproval.
ings
confused, declamatory nothingness of his early friend's writbut not the less did he defend his honor against defama;

tion.

In a tract of thirty or forty pages he endeavored to

show that, because a man was compelled to differ in opinion from many of his fellow-citizens, he did not thereby forfeit all The boisterous and open debauchery right to considei'ation.
of

Bolingbroke's youth
1

— that

bad

recoil

from the repellent

A noted phrase from Maupertuis.

"DOCTOR AKAKIA."

87

was not forgotten by the dePuritanism of his early home Voltaire touched upon this point very fenders of the faith. He denied the relevancy of the argument happily.
:

" In what case [he inquired] is it permitted us to reproaoli a man for the disorders of his life ? Perhaps in this case alone when his conduct is inconsistent with his teachings. might fairly contrast
:

We

the sermons of a certain famous preacher of our time with the thefts which he committed upon Lord Galloway, and with his galhuit intrigues. might compare the sermons of the celebrated cliaplain

We

and those of Fautin, curate of Versailles, with the brought against them for having seduced and plundered tlieir We might compare the conduct of so many Popes and penitents.
of the Invalides
suits

bishops with the religion which they sustained by fire and sword. might exhibit, on the one hand, their rapines, tlieir illegitimate children, their assassinations, and, on the other, their bulls and their

We

pastoral addresses.
fail in charity,

But who

told
?

and women

Writing on such subjects, we are excusable if we which requires us to conceal the faults of our brethren. the defamer of Lord Bolingbroke that he loved wine And su[)pose he did love them if he had had as many
:

concubines as David, as Solomon, as the Grand Turk, should know any better the true author of the Pentateuch ? "

we

This ingenious and amusing pamphlet Voltaire read to the king, and besought his permission to have it printed at the Frederic most willingly assented royal press in Potsdam. the essay was entirely to his taste, and he liked to displease, in a harmless way, the orthodox family, so nearly related to

;

him, who occupied the royal liouses of England. He wrote the permit in the usual way on the last leaf of the manuscript, which the author at once handed to the official printer. After
receiving and returning a few pages of proof, he asked the printer to give him back the manuscript for a day or two, as

he wished to make some alterations and corrections.

The

printer complying, the autlior gave him Akakia in its stead. When the Diatribe was all in type, he finished by supplying the remainder of the Bolingbroke, on the last page of which
«.opies

No sooner had he obtained printed than he took care to send one or two beyond tlie swoop of the Prussian eagle.
was the royal permit.^
It was, as I conjecture, in the
1

midst of this audacious opera-

2 Memoires sur Voltaire, par Wagni^re et Longchamp, 345.

88
tion,

LIFE OF VOLTAIRE.
but when already the Diatribe was beyond the author's

or the king's control, that some tell-tale conveyed to Frederic an intimation that Voltaire had written something terrible in
ridicule of the president of the Berlin Academy. The king sent for him. He came, and then the king spoke to him on the subject of his affair with Maupertuis for the first time.

The interview is variously related, but there is no doubt that Frederic addressed him at some stage of the affair in terms
like these
:

They say you have written a satire against Maupertuis, Yerj witty and severe. I will speak to you with freedom and I will not say that Maupertuis has done you no as a friend. You have both, a injury, nor that you have done him none.
right to complain, and for his sake alone I would surrender him to you willingly. But consider: I called that man into
I placed him at the head of my Academy I have him with the same consideration as a cabinet minister I have alI have admitted him to my most familiar society lowed him to marry one of the ladies of honor to the queen,

"

my service
treated

;

;

;

;

the daughter of one of my ministers, a lady belonging to one of If the most ancient and important families of my kingdom. you dishonor him, I shall certain^ be ridiculed. The nobility
of Prussia will be mortified,

dal to
see

my
I

forbearance.

Reflect

and they will attribute the scanupon these circumstances, and

ought to expect from your friendship." Imagine much more to the same purpose, with abundant compliments to the genius of an author who could throw away a dozen Akakias without detriment to his glory. In a mo-

what

ment

(so the tale continues) Voltaire offered to the manuscript of his Diatribe, and place it at the disbring of the king, protesting, at the same time, that he deemed posal
of effusion

the production just and moderate. " " I will wait for " cried the king. you Bring it at once such noble intentions must not be postponed."
!

;

In a few moments Voltaire was again in the king's room, " reading to him the Diatribe of Doctor Akakia," at which, it
majesty "laughed to dislocation." The terminaOne version is is given in two ways. that, at the end of the reading, Voltaire threw the manuscript into the fire, to the equal sorrow of both, and that, while the
is

said, his

tion of this interview

"DOCTOR AKAKIA."

89

tastic

book was burning, the monarch and the author performed fandances around the fire-place. But the tradition in the
circle, as

Voltairean

reported by the

Abbe Duvernet,

is

more remarkable.

According
;

to this version, Voltaire

even threw

the manuscript into the fire but, before it was consumed, the king, unwilling that so amusing a production should be forever
lost,

snatched

on the

Voltaire, insisting blazing from the flames. sacrifice, placed it again on the fire with the tongs.
it

Again the king rescued it, in spite of Voltaire's utmost efforts. " The Duvernet thus concludes the story king burned his and the two philosophers finished sleeves and saved the book by laughing and embracing." These details may be erroneous. It is, however, evident
:

;

from the correspondence that scenes like these occurred between the king and the author, and that Frederic remained for some days under the impression that he had saved his president from the catastrophe threatened him by the publication A singed manuscript under lock and key, with of Akakia. " La Pucelle " and other forbidden fruit, could do Maupertuis little harm, and bring no scandal upon the nobility of Prussia or, as Frederic himself wrote to Voltaire, years after (in 1759), when this tempest had blown past, "A man may write what he pleases, and with impunity, too, without having a hundred and fifty thousand men, provided he prints nothing
;

of it."

CHAPTER

IX.

LEAVING PRUSSIA.

Befoee venturing upon such proceedings as these in the palace of a king, he had nearly concluded preparations for retreat. In September, 1752, weeks before Akakia was written, he told Madame Denis that he was about to invest the
large capital he had in Berlin in an annuity for both their lives upon the French estates of the Duke of Wurtemberg.

The terms were agreed upon, and the duke had given his word " only the word of a prince, it is true, but princes keep their word in small matters." He had lost money, he added, with bankers, with devotees, with people of the Old
;

Testament, who scrupled to eat a larded chicken, and would rather die than not be idle on the Sabbath or not steal on

Sunday

"
;

but I have never

lost

anything with nobles ex-

assured her that she could count upon cept my " I the solidity of this investment, and upon his departure. shall set sail from the island of Calypso as soon as my cargo time."
ready, and much more glad snail I be to find my niece again than old Ulysses was to find bis old wife." This was written September 9, 1752, in the chateau of Potsdam. Whither was he going, then ? His desire had been to return to his own house at Paris, and resume there the way of All his labors in Prussia life interrupted two years before.
is

He

were done with a view

to a

happy return

to his native land

;

Madame Denis still particularly his history of Louis XIV. kej)t his house there, and spent his money with a free hand.
She had written a comedy
"
lately,

The Coquette," which

she

It required desired to see performed at the national theatre. all the tact of her uncle to save her from that rash experiment,

without giving her mortal offense. Longchamp was factotum no more.
detected

Madame

Denis had
his care,

him

in

copying the manuscripts confided to

LEAVING PRUSSIA

91

including works and portions of works not less perilous than A Madame Lafond and her precious to the author of them.
Inisband, servants inherited from Madame du Chatelet, had taken part in the treason. Madame Denis, with something of her uncle's own energ}', had surprised the Lafonds in their room, Longchamp in his, and had discovered traitorous material in both. All literature then was brigandage, as it ever must be in the absence of legal protection and Voltaire, more than any other author, was a victim to such infidelities. But he had never had such occasion for alarm as now, w^hen he had resolved to abandon Prussia, without being quite sure of a permission to return to France. He met this emergency with so much skill as to avert immediate calamity. It was not a case for an explosion of anger the secretary was
;

;

the repository of too
taire

many dangerous

secrets for that.

Voltcdd

wrote to him

in

gentle terms, urging him to repentance

and reparation, promising pardon and
all

reward

if

he

reply of Longchamp gives us an insight into the situation of Voltaire at this period which, perhaps,

the truth.

The

no other document
played
in

affords. It shows us what a bold fflime he defying the King of Prussia when difficulties were accumulating against his peaceful settlement anywhere else on the continent. He might well temporize with his secretary.

"I opened your
deserved.
to expect.

letter

30, 1752], fearing to find

with trembling [wrote the traitor, March you as angry with me as my imprudence
it

But

I

discovered in

a forbearance which

I

had no

riijht

the fault I
object of

how wrong I had been, and the gravity of had committed. You promise me pardon, which is the
I recognized
desire,

my

and which

I believe

I have merited

by

my

re-

pentance.

your own works, I have never taken away any I copied and had the porter copy the General History,' some leaves of the campaigns of the king, and some other fragments. With these papers was also found La Pucelle,' which I c()[)ie(l at Cirey from the manuscript of Madame du Chatelet,
.

..." As

to

manuscript or any book.

'

'

thing to

I have explained everythe author. While I had and the whole has been burned. your those copies, no part of them went out of my possession, and I let no one see them. I have made the sacrifice entirely, and have kept back

when

I did

not

know you were

niece,

nothing whatever

The
that,

gfoodness of vour heart reassures me,

aud makes

me hope

notwithstanding

my unhappy

weakness in

\)2

LIFE OF VOLTAIRE.

betraying your confidence, you will not refuse me some marks of that benevolence which you promised me formerly, and that, by an act of

form an establishment, and let and fortune. I await with confimy happiness dence the fulfillment of your promises, and am, with veneration and the most profound respect, monsieur, your very humble and very obedient
pure generosity, you will enable
to

me

me owe

to

you alone

servant."

^

benefits.

Voltaire accepted his penitence, and closed his mouth with He paid him the eighteen months' wages due, and

gave him an equal sum as a gratuity.

Provided thus with

a small capital, Longchamp married, set up in the Rue St. Jacques as a dealer in maps, charts, and other geographical ware, in which he throve for many years, and lived long enough to welcome his aged master to Paris in 1778.

Such narrow escapes
so

as this could not reassure the author of
;

" Louis XIV." explosive material and now that his was under the ban, the work which he had hoped would secure his triumphal welcome home, he may well have been in doubt

much

Avhither to direct his steps.

The

subject

was much

in

his

thoughts for the next

two years.
the King of
in the king's

Meanwhile, he was in Prussia, chamberlain to Prussia, with the cross and key upon his breast, own house, with the king's guards all about him, " in the press. He had tribe of Doctor Akakia
been so much a king himself.

and a " Dianever before

quarters still came new attestations of the welcome given to his " Louis XIV." " As yet," wrote Lord Chesterfield at this time, introducing his son Stanhope, "I have read it only four times, because I wish to
all

From

forget

it

a

little

before reading

it

a

fifth.

But

I find

that im-

possible

Above

all, I

thank you for the light you have

thrown upon the follies and outrages of the different sects." Ridicule and contempt, he thought, were the only treatment In the theatres of suited to those madmen and impostors.
Europe, Voltaire was still the unrivaled living dramatist the " tender " Zaire still drew nightly tears, and the Ciceronian " swell of '' Rome Sauvde was relished in the cloister not less
;

than on the stage. At present, in authorship, there is a subdivision of labor ; but he essayed many kinds, and had popular
success in
1

all.

Multitudes of people in Europe could have
Voltaire, par

2

Memoires sur

Longchamp

et

Waguiere, 347.

LEAVING PRUSSIA.

93
:

sincerely echoed Lord Chesterfield in the letter just quoted " Whenever I read your last history, I desire that you should be always an historian ; but when I read Rome Sauv^e,' I
'

wish you to be always a poet." To resume the story of Akakia. For several days the King of Prussia appears to have remained under the delusion that the Diatribe was to be merely one of its author's many secret manuscripts. Conceive his amazement, his boiling indignation, when, about November 20, 1752, he discovered that it had been ^^rinted at Potsdam, in his own printing-office, by his own
the i^rinter summoned and interrogated. in terror exhibited the royal permit, written in the king's own hand his innocence was manifest. The edition was seized, as well as every copy that could be found. Freprinter
!

^

He had

That

official

;

dersdorff, the king's factotum, confronted the author, who resorted to his usual device of total and emphatic disavowal.

nothing about the printing of a Diatribe people given to corrupting his servants and procuring of his works filled with errors. Fredersdorft", by tlie copies king's oi'ders, threatened him with fine, as well as ai'rest, but without eliciting anything like confession. Upon this, Frederic wrote to him thus
;

He knew

were

nnu-li

:

After what you have just effrontery astonishes me. done, wliich is as clear as the day, you persist in den^dng, instead of confessing yourself guilty. Do not imagine that

"Your

you

white when one does not see it is (often) because he docs not wish to see but if you push the affair to the end, I will cause tlie whole to be printed, and it will then be seen that, if your works entitle you to statues, your conduct deserves chains.
will

make

j)eople

believe that black

is

;

;

" P. S.

The
^

printer has been interrogated

;

he has revealed

everything." Tradition adds that a sentry was placed at the door of the offender, with orders to let no one pass except his servants. After reading the king's letter, he appears to have written his answer under it, on the same sheet of paper, and sent it back " This to the king by the same note," says the messenger. " editor of Frederic's works, was written under the preceding
1

Chesterfield's Letters to his Son.

August

27, 1752.

2

22 Q^uvres de Frederic, 301.

all the orders of your majesty. I implore you again to consider that I have never written against any govern- ment. I will write against no one neither against the government : " of Fiance. which I willingly renounce. November 27th.. which at least of all against that under I left for no other reason than to which I was born. Instead of putting his name. d'Arcampaigns voice and genson. who has the honor to be a lain of his majesty. 1752." though not deprived of his weapon. a manner chamberwith respectable people. nor against other sover- eigns. nor against the ministers. Potsdam. to whom I will render the respect which is their due. Frederic. he appended on the same paper a letter to the king. so long as he does me the favor to lodge me at the chateau. which I have sent to M." This did not appease the king nor remove the sentinel. I have been historiographer of France. and I will govern myself in becoming a man of letters. and not your majesty .' and ' Louis XV. which he sent him. I will not abuse the letters of his majesty.. they of the of goodness to examine the grounds of the quarrel with Maupertuis. which say." This curious document. I implore it. What You judge without hearing me! I ask justice and death. in the king's hand. he continued to use with his usual industry. as now country. as we may " under arrest. and my heart will have no reluctance to obey you. apparently. during which the oi3:ender remained. you I to believe that I forget this quarrel. LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. mon Dieii. had ordered me not to defend myself. my pen have been consecrated to my My I implore you to have the are to you. Some days passed. too ! I swear to you again.94 " All. and in that character I have written the History of Louis XIV. and who lives " I shall execute. since you command If submit without hesitation to all your will. I implore you to have all my that it is a frightful calumny. as a condition of his reI lease : — I promise his majesty that. nor against illustrious men of letters. is still preseiwed in the Prussian archives. sire. servants examined. and come and finish my life your feet. upon my life. sire ! In my present condition. Voltaire did not sign it. commenting in a skillful and delicate manner upon some of the absurdities of the pledge drawn up for him. wrote with his own hand a pledge for Voltaire to sign. November 27.

scarcely any one could long endure the envied companionship of this most companionable of kings and those who . is to be a sanctuary. Boyer and the Sorbonne. . He did not resume at once friendly converse with the author of Akakia but. my dear Maupertuis. remained longest besought long leaves of absence. nothing. the Ahh6 de Prades. . and "examined the grounds of the quarrel with Maupertuis. I should have obeyed with I entreat the same submission. and Maupertuis was his president. Frederic was at peace with regard to Akakia. not in the royal palace as before. Frederic's circle of supper companions was diminishing the worthy Darget was about to return to France. He believed that he had terrified Voltaire by the menace of a great fine.and not a retreat for brigands house my . and scoundrels to distil poisons in. I have spoken out so plainly to the man." 1 22 (Euvres de Frederic. which Fredersdorff had conveyed to the capitalist. I have washed his head so thoroughly.. doubtless. who was about to invest a large sum with the Duke of Wur" Fear temberg. could only have complied with Voltaire's request. a recent fugitive from the land of . 302. but found lodgings at a friend's house." he would have managed this affair better than he did. unhappily. that I do not believe he will repeat the offense. 10. you to spare an old age borne do^ai with sickness and pain." wrote the December 1752 "the affair of the libels is finished."! The ingenuity of this epistle may have had more weight with an angry monarch than its justice. — Maupertuis Strange to say.LEAVING PRUSSIA. and to believe that I shall die as much attached to you as on the day when I arrived at your court. was not available for supper gayeties at present. and the offender was free to go and come. After an arrest of "eight days. but for new and worse offenses. would have If the king quickly done so. his place supplied by another Frenchman. king." the sentinel was withdrawn. T have frightened him on the side of the purse. and it has had I have declared to him plumpiy that nil the effect I expected. . Some days after the affair of the Diatribe. Frederic clung to Voltaire. he was a king. 95 to enter into this literary dispute. But. the court removed Voltaire came also to Berlin for the Christmas festivities.

and carefully put his copy away without showing it to a single person. The sensation was The empty and pompous Maupertuis was not unspeakable beloved in Berlin and many loyal Prussians secretly chuckled stores . The next post brought not for the demand. more . but there is no way of saying that I am going to the waters of Plombieres 1 Souvenirs d'un Citoyen. I have not. . foreseeing what must fol- His precaution was fruitless. par Formey. Scarcely had he slept in the capikingdom than word was brought to him that the " Diatribe of Doctor Akakia " was for sale in the Berlin booklittle He tal of his an edition having been printed in Leipsic or Dresden simultaneously with that of Potsdam. in a closet and a printed pamphlet that convulses ever}^ idle lite — The author himself was a little alarmed at what he had inhabitant of a large city. such a difference is there between a singed manuscript done. at the Diatribe " who " Quidquid delirant reges. to see you again. and makes great companies of poWhat would the king do ? people scream wdth laughter. will suffice for a large circle. and in a few days the court and society of Berlin were bursting w^ith the comicalities of Akakia. implying that when kings lose their senses it goes hard with the people. it is necessary now to think of savThe puzzle is how to get away from here. Protestant clergyman. opponent and friend of Voltaire." he wrote to Madame Denis. I only think to desert becomingly. did not publicly commend it. page 270. escape the most vigilant pursuit. perpetual secretary to the Berlin Academy. to take care of my health. and they comcopies enough manded a great price. was a " 1752. received the first copy. knew his man. plectentur Achivi . ing the rind I can ask leave only on the ground of mj^ health. however. I As do not in the least pretend to make war. The prudent Formey tells us that he shuddered as he read the Diatribe. of such a work low. Measures had been taken by the author to have copies so widely distributed in the city that some of them would be likely to The respectable Formev. I see plainly that the to forget this dream of three years. serious question for Voltaire at this time. ^ One copy. December 18. orange has been squeezed. " a hundred and fifty thousand mustachios in my service. ! .96 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. on which some one had written.

" he wrote a day or in France. two after. Diatribe. The same evening the king wrote me a cliarming letsent me the ashes of that Diatribe as a cooling powand ter.. in the 97 There is liere a kind of minister of December. The king had an answer sent him that the king knew his pri* vate business better than he did himself. a Frenchman like myself. . with ceremonies not unlike those which so frequently advertised interesting works in Paris during that century. he ended by making a joke of the execution but he was more than ever resolved to leave the felt the insult. Mere a defamatory act. 11. de Voltaire is said to be the by the author of it. strong in conscious rectitude. being an Italian. He asked permission to go to France on private business. Collini. in the city of Berlin Collini continues. Nevertheless. at noon. did not understand the performance. " I '11 bet." Maupcrtuis was solaced. how Voltaire learn that he might king. and that he had no month of the need to go to Paris. country. are burning." said he. December 24. " it is my Doctor they At three public places It was his Doctor. to be the public burning of a book by the hands of the executioner. . saw from his window some It ntrange proceedings in the street near their lodgings. in its next number.LEAVING PRUSSIA. not to provoke jests. was burned publicly in different places hand of the executioner. M. 7 . and told Voltaire what was going on under the windows of his abode. much more infamous here than Sunday. " Soon after the execution the jNIarquis sent called Prades Ahh6 de and the perhaps by the d'Argens he took Doubtless it." Tlie oflicial paper of Berlin. proved 1752. a liorrible pamphlet. Collini. and sure that he had committed no crime. "which is the with was done by the king's express order.' etc. Holy Gospel named Pdrai-d." This paragraph was copied into the other gazettes of Europe as a personal item of much interest that could be inserted following * : " The VOL. he thought. had the . on Sunday afternoon." the Diatribe was burned that Sunday. entitled. der. ought and one usually accompanied by an ai-rest. " This act. Voltaire's secretary. great applause and you could see persons coming of all respectable people in cariiages from every direction to warm themselves by that fire." A few days after.

he said. poured abundant oil upon the ! wounded self-love of their master. without danger. dans son extreme ardeur. and butler.98 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. which he sealed himself. cup-bearer. I was in the next room. Maupertuis was a kind of victor in the and Voltaire was held to be " in the effect of ! m ! king's disgrace controversy. steward. master of the The same day. . He was at once secretary. printing Akakia day and night "Six thousand copies of Akakia sold Paris in one day. January. relates — the packet pre- "Young Hver this whom to Francheville [son of his host] was charged to go and depacket at the palace. The tears and solicitaticms of his family. as we know. all respect and devotion. taire sent the On New Year's Day Vol- New king a package containing what he termed a Year's gift." ^ Secretary Collini. 1753. and to give it to M. a household. who looked on and saw what followed : pared and directed. he wrote the well-known lines : — Je les re^iis avec tendresse. in his extreme ardor. Not one of them informed the public of the this flaming advertisement: "Ten presses in Ger" in many. asking him to place the packet in the king's hands. to Voltaire at the same time wrote a note. where he doubtless cast a gracious glance at tlie parrots. who united in himself offices the most incongruous. I give them back with paiu. carriage stopped before our door. and I gathered from some exclamations that it was only after a very animated discussion that Voltaire made up his mind to retain the presents which were 1 now restored to him. Upon the outside of the parcel inclosing these trinkets. induced him to lay at the king's feet the distinctions and benefits with which he had been honored. and. The Christmas gayeties followed. the cross of his order and the key appertain- ing to his dignity of royal chamberlain. " Frederic visited the president at his own Noah's ark. There was along conference between them. " Reud le portrait de sa maitresse. resigning his office and announcing his intended return to France. in the afternoon. Fredersdorff. valet de chamhre. Je vous les rends avec douleur C'est ainsi qu'im amaut." I received tliem with tenderness. gives back the portrait of his mistress. who came from the king to bring back the cross of the order and the key of the chamberlain. . with a letter. This Fredersdorff was a kind of secretary the monarch. and thirty thousand within the court circle of Bei'lin." " " in a few weeks For the moment. It was Fredersdorff. It is so that a lover.

1753). without Jigain sending back his cross and key. unfit for even so short a journey. if it is jDossible. when the king returned to Potsdam. you are indulgent I am the most unfortunate your dominions command my destiny. and to permit him henceforward to be bound only by affection and respect. gentleman-in-ordinary of the chamber to the King of France. by de Voltaire. matters were so far restored that he invited Voltaire to resume his old quarters in The next morning (January the chateau. Toward the end of January. What do you wish should become of me? What do you wish me to do? I know not. Europe impossible. He took that M. in which even Pennsylvania was to be involved within three years. would not be willing to oblige a possible ally by annoying or excluding a fugitive poet? The same evening. the restored chamberlain wrote to the king a letter. He and he really was care. Voltaire responded in a similar spirit. to notify Europe of the invitation through the " We learn several letters from Berlin 607195 A . live ? I — how is very certain that the unhappiness of having disnot the least evil that I experience. what emperor. " the opprobrium with which you have over- whelmed me. friendly reply. man in 2. in which his embarrassment was expressed in the court jargon of the period : — M.LEAVING PRUSSIA. who could render his peaceful settlement anywhere on the continent of able. and that you will repair by your benevolence." . gazettes. did not go to Potsdam. has given me hopes that your majesty will deign to hear in my favor the goodness of your character. But how am I to is It know it not. alleging ill-health . is for You are good. having remitted to his Prussian majesty his order. the king wrote a and even cordial which has not been preserved. 99 Their return was in truth more embarrassing than agreeIt increased the difficulty of his getting away without making of the King of Prussia an active enemy. Fredersdorff. soon after Fredersdorff's departure. and the end of which you have rendered so bitter. Politics were already converging towards the Seven Years' War. your humanity to have pity on me. pleased you appear. he persisted in asking the king to accept his resignation. I ought to be dead with grief. What king. who has been to console me in my disgrace. but. Dispose of a life which I have consecrated to you. however. . In this horrible condition. I only know that you have attached me to yourself these sixteen years past.

He longed for the return of spring that he might begin his journey. he asked permission of the king to go and drink tlie waters of Plombieres.1>* i . which might displease his majesty. ' My real motive. M. Thus . I was employed at once in writing under his dictation. in copying his corrected works. a French watering-place then in high favor. and had his things turn. ing view of his life at this time. " March Voltaire had with him many books 5th." secured the insertion of these lines in the newspapers. " he paid diligent court to the French ambassador. and in providing for the needs of a household which was about to become wandering. assiduously preparing for his departure. for which he advanced me a suitable Until then his expenses had been defrayed by the money. that belonged to the king's library these he told me to find and reThen I put his papers in order. •*. As soon as he felt himself well enough to support the fatigues of a journey. and occupy his usual rooms Having in the palace. "in horror. intending to go to Plombieres for his health. which the doctors had advised for his erysipelas. he remained at Berlin. as he wrote to Madame Denis. Depart he would upon that point alone he was unalterably determined. is that I do not one of my secretai'ies ' than an agent to keep Berlin informed of all my proceedings. not allowing him to forget that he was gentlemanCollini gives us an amusin-ordinarv to the King of France. de given was that. No answer came. He remained some time without receiving a positive answer. and situated at a safe distance from Berlin. who will be less he added.' wish near me this young man. his chamberlain's key. On the last day of February he had a particular conversation with me. and whatever was due to him of his pensions. he now held Prussia. of sum king. uncertain whether he was to depart with or without the king's consent. and had already informed the father that he The reason he had could not keep his son in his service any longer.' He charged me at the same time with the duty of making all the expenditures necessary for a sort of household we were going to set up. he was unwilling to take away one of the king's subjects. . and discussing plans with Collini for their escape. and about the first of March he asked leave of absence to visit PloDibieres. but has signified his desire that M. de Voltaire should follow him to Potsdam. He was impatient. I'esa.100 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. of " He told me he was preparing to leave the house Francheville. his Prussian majesty has not only returned them all. You alone will accompany me. which made him very uneasy. I was very busy. which I did.

after that. German. and hay. . in the It its belonged to a great merchant named Schweiger. I reflected evening. and we removed to one far from there. the and out for a Protestant pastor upon disguised. we will take the post for Leipsic' He could not keep from laughing in communicating to me this project. he would say to me. I answered liim after that that I would do what he wanted. will not have horses ' Very well. I will place myself. it a kind of country house.' When we purchase a wagon. and myself. I have way it to get out of this country. Dr.' said he at once contrato me. which would grieve me much. the centre of Berlin. fit The Countess of Bentinct. horses.LEAVING PRUSSIA. and lavished him all it was he who advised the wathe resources of his art upon to . be difficult to ' . must not be Listen. In the middle of the hay we will put our baggage. not knowing . to a make appear strange provision of hay. de Francheville's house. One after having talked together ujion his situation. he received some Stralan quarter. and that I was disposed to give him all proofs of devotion that depended upon me but that. " I went sometimes to walk with him still a large garden belonsinof the house. horses. and often came to comfort him. where we will sell road wagon. Notwithstanding his distance from the city.' That was his expres- sion. thought of a It as I knew that his ideas ' dicted.-ei-asser] be alone. Our little household consisted of the master. should not be able to reply to the questions which would be asked me. this: We will all fill the wagon with hay. You can buy two horses. treasurer and director of the troupe. which was packed. and. We will follow the shortest to the frontiers of Saxony. sir. When to he wanted his to Now leave me dream [. Besides.' said I what shall we do with a wagon. Coste was also one of his friends. and he accompanied his account with a thousand gay and curious reflections. give myself who is going to see one of his married daughters in the neighboring town. We lived eleven days in that solitude. not knowing very well how to drive. if I knew upon ' it a moment. This apprehension tormented him. He dreaded some fatal event he feared a resolution had been taken to prevent his ters of Plombieres. hay. was firmly attached to him. govern an empire. I replied in the affirmative. You will be my wagoner. and situation made visits. a little. and made in him to ' more impatient to get away. that illustrious and genial woman. He . he asked me how to drive a wagun diawn by two horses. and he would continue walk. the permission to depart did not arrive. will not. and these delays caused Voltaiie the greatest anxiety. 101 in That very day we left M. But leaving Brandenburg. in this garden. a female cook. We finished by laughing together over the scheme. and hay?' 'Why. a man-servant. I could not I answer for not upsetting my pastor into some ditch.

. 307. In truth. all the doctors have recognized that it was very mortal. if not wholly. much count upon realizing it . familiar friend of Voltaire. ' if permission to go does not come in a friend. with Fredersdoi'ff. and in that consistory it has been discussed whether your offense was a mortal or a venial sin. which rests upon his majesty. his to him his settlement in Prussia. I believe that. in the empire of Satan. . but he loved to imagine means ' of leaving a country where he regarded himself as a prisoner. in the plenitude of the grace of Beelzebub. You are quite the secretary of state but I notify you that I must embrace you before my departure. the Abbe de Prades. nevertheless. without my warm and I confess to you that I am in despair at leaving you and at leaving the king but it is a thing indispensable." Toward the middle of March the king. he feared more than ever princes and nobles. self. in truth. — — could be sup- This would naturally be. while. But. not yet suspecting the reality of his poet's desire to leave him. The marquis [D'Ar . It was written March loth. he believes himself able to absolve you. posed to write in this jocular strain : " The king has held his consistory. Your style did not appear to me agreeable. in consideration of your talents." -^ Voltaire's reply to the abbe was far from being such as the king expected. for my lips You will are too much swollen by my devil of a disease [erysipelas]]. and confirmed such by lapses and relapses. I pray you. but not. grateful to him for various services. 1 22 (Euvres de Frederic. — kisses. in consequence of some act of conbut as. at least in part. . paid to genius. Consult with the dear marquis. with the king him- easily do without my sincere friendship. deference is recorded with care.' Since they had burned his book. pardieu. which I have sition. how you can manage him before my with my so that I may have the consolation of seeing I wish to embrace I wish it absolutely departure. It is rather a prophecy. and caused it to be The abbe.' said he to me. two arms the abbe and the marquis. much trition and imposed penance . a sent to Voltaire as a note from the secretary. faults can be pardoned which bring reproach upon your disjioThese are the words of the sovereign Pontiff. and vaunted unceasingly the pleasure of living free and far from them. "Dear Abbe.102 did not LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. I will My little know some way or other of leaving the island of Alcina. made an ill-timed advance toward reconciliation. I shall not be able to kiss you. He dictated the following to — owing new seci'etarj^.

before setting out. hinting that. but that . there were excellent waters . Other correspondence followed the king wrote in a friendlier tone. I am weak 1 am a soft-hearted chicken. . . and the volume of poems which 1 have confided to him that I wish he and Koenig had attacked tract of his . and his secretary went to Potsdam. as Voltaire Avas soon to know. the traveling carriage was packed and On the same day Voltaire the last preparations were made. only my works ." For such a rejection of a jocular advance to be extremely disagreeable it was not necessary for the suitor to be a king. the parades and other palace. to those who de- sire to blacken the reputation of others that I have not the folly and vanity of authors. Fredta-ic was acutely wounded by it. On the 18th of March. have the goodness. duties kingly being done. arriving at seven in the evening. and occupied once more their familiar quarters in the The next day. . nor the king either but I be much moved. The paper served in the archives of the Prussian court. nearer than those of Plombieres. " is still pre- That he can leave to no need he will this service whenever he wishes that he has employ the pretext of the waters of Plombieres. I wish once more to bid farewell you two. after dinner. Voltaire and Frederic were closeted in the together king's office for the space of two hours. to this country as a fortunate or unfortunate man. the key. I . Reckon upon me as long as you live. thai I sacrifice them with good-will . the king sent the required leave of absence. the cross. If I do not throw myself at the feet of the king. 103 shall shall gens] will be no more kissed than you.LEAVING PRUSSIA. the loss of a moment. to return to me the con- engagement. He dashed upon paper an outline of the reply which he wished to be drawn up in the king's name by the new secretary. and that the cabals of to be the last degree of baseness." men of letters appear to me the letter to Voltaire The Abb^ de Prades put March these ideas into form. if waters were necessary. and sent But such a conge \vould 16th. and an intimation to the invalid that he would be Without glad to see him at Potsdam before his departure. the I await your response to leave waters of Plombieres will kill me. not answer the purposes of the deserter for a king then had arms that could r(^ach far beyond the boundaries of his own kingdom. : behave absurdly no matter.

" This is all we really know of what passed between them. He went to the parade ground. These two men." Six days Voltaire now passed at Potsdam. to whom these gay repasts were. is M. as he styled them. and that the king expected his happy return as soon as he had finished with the waters of Plombieres. he had so satisfied an air.' . that Voltaire had asked and received. and to him Frederic owed a great part of his mental culture. de Voltaire. The king. When Voltaire reappeared. let us remember. ought to remember. but Voltaire. I learned easy to judge that peace was restored. not a dismissal from the king's service. It was only a leave of absence. and that Maupertuis himself had been in some sallies immolated to their reconciliation. " Here." only watched a favorable moment for taking leave. Face to face once more in a familiar room. the old feelings revived. " that. I as- sured you that I was willing to forget all that had passed. " who comes to receive your majesty's orders." the king wrote to Voltaire a year later. the king being about to start upon his tour of the posts in Silesia. when you came to take leave of me at Potsdam. provided you would give me jonv word to do nothing more against Maupertuis. They had been like lovers together in this chateau of Potsdam and. except that their friendship seemed to live again in all its warmth.104 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. "suppers of Damocles. a relation that can be among the most amiable and tender which human beings know. it was In fact. despite their differences. two months had passed since they had seen each other. . On the 26th of March. The king hoped the journey would be — given up. each had still for the other an unexpended balance of affection. frpm him that Frederic had entirely returned to confidence and friendship. he was holding the last parade of his regiment at nine o'clock in the morning. Voltaire had awakened the intellect of the prince years before they began to correspond.' said an officer." continues Collini. "Their interview. It was now or never with the deserter. as we may infer from his own letters. "lasted two hours. tried to again justify the support he had given Maupertuis in that " You precipitate iniquity of his toward a brother savan. feted and caressed by the king and court. were master and pupil. sire. apart from tlie difference in rank between them. supping every evening in the jovial and familiar old way.

Thiebault. and. and returned to Potsdam on the morning of the 25th. "Very well. to repel the regret." ^ And so they parted. — assaults of the demon. at an early hour. commodious. former with valises. made the journey was liis own it was a traveling carriage. brother Gaillard [Abb(i I recommend let it come near his field. my dear bi-others. charged me We go the next day to Berlin. Let CoUini re- late his departure. : . we reached Leipsic (ninety-two miles distant) in the evcninir of the 27th The vehicle in wliich we . I wish you a good journey. and get for him letters of credit. and always love your brother. and said. I executed that commission. Dreading some after-thought of the king that might yet frustrate or detain him. 1753. accom])anied by a servant. and carry to a banker. well hung. and the partments. he would not stop even to take leave of his comrades. with whom he had lived familiarly and cordially. oblige me to do so. never sieur. M." He had now done with the Prussian court. de meet again. large. indispensable affairs. Live united. I bid you good-by Your brother conjures you. par D. myself to your prayers and to his." to The king turned toward him. Leaving Potsdam at nine in the morning of the at six 2Gth of March. and shut your ears to the discourses of men. Upon the front seat outside were placed two 1 2 Souvenirs de Vingt Ans de Se'jour k Berlin. and started on the road to Leipsic. 105 " To which Voltaire. the parade ground he hurried back to the chateau. He had written a few lines of school-boy farewell to them. " passed [records the secretary] part of the night of the 23d of March together. tlien. and got immediately afterwards into the traveling carriage which I had caused to be prepared for him. to them It was on the next day that Voltaire took leave of the king. my health. " Monall. where everything was in readiness for instant departure. : hope that. . to set out ? " the traveler replied. Sire.LEAVING PRUSSLV. de Prades] will not with the grace of the Lord. who may desire to do during my ab- sence what he has not been able to accomplish while we lived I together he has not been able to sow discord between us. above The king said. as he sets out. From although he addressed the note to the Marquis d'Argens I separate from you with "Brother. 348. abundantly furnished with pockets and comThe latter were filled with two portmanteaus. you absolutely wish. He gave me several bags of money. Raise your hearts to God.

according to him. but to a suite of rooms which he had caused to be hired for him in advance. . the Chamberlain M. he loved and has always loved He was very rich. of LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. with secretary and Nor was it from vanity that he traveled in heartily. and the author ot the petite for Akakia seemed insatiable . which contained the manuscripts he most valued. . themselves. as if to enjoy his new freedom. "When " ing. to his show the manner of traveling of a man who had known how to create for himself a fortune equal Voltaire and I occupied the interior of the carreputation. the Baron de Voltaire . He was a Prussian no more. just before leavdefend myself like a devil but I am a good devil. one was from Potsdam and served as a copyist." he wrote to Formey. who despised those titles upon which vanity is pleased to nourish itself. to economize in them together this manner. according to the nature of the These details are nothing in roads. his fortune." . the suite. at every post-house and inn we were accosted and received at the gate with all the respect that is shown there. and his most precious effects." so brillThe apiantly advertised by a king not popular in Saxony. he did not go to an inn. and sometimes six. For his Excellency M. Already old and sickly. riage with two or three portfolios. He had with regard to money the same princiit was ple as for time necessary.106 servants. and made a noble use of the conveniences of life. day should have some business to detain him there ? Several presses at Leipsic were even then printing editions of the " Diatribe of Doctor Akakia. Accordingly. : order to be liberal. Those who have wished to make Voltaire pass for a miser knew him very little. but they serve to of letters. his letters of exchange. B-nd I I I am attacked. which is about seven miles from tlie Prussian frontier. whom Four post-horses. Physician to the Pope. the Count or M. Already that what more city was one of the chief book marts of the world natural than that the most prolific and popular author of the . headed. wherein were his gold. and he meant to remain several days at Leipsic. M. Here it was to opulence. and we laughed at and nearly everywhere it I still have some bills of landlords Count de Voltaire. and a cash-box. was his Excellency who arrived. All these scenes amused the philosopher. end by laughing." On reaching Leipsic. were harnessed to the carriage. It was in this style that we journeyed through Germany. work could say with some truth that he had amused Europe at the expense of the president of the Berlin Academy.

to that end. Among these was a continuation of the "Diatribe of Doctor Akakia. Here was anotlier opportunity to repeat the familiar absurdities. who had presumed to of an illustrious president. and preserve him liki^ a fresh egg. as there is . as the reader may remember. This supplement was even more boisterously comic than the part already jDublished. and reached the ears both of the king and the president. The exi^eriments followed. because the precaution had not been taken to stop his pores. of which Doctor Akakia proceeds to render a faithful account. held the Session. escaped the chosen circle. The new that this benign treatment had part began by saying produced an effect contrary to that expected by the faculty. with burlesque variations of the most Memorable mirth-provoking character. not add a supj)lement to the Diatribe. as often hap- write under the name Malo being exalted by it he had pitilessly caused the prescription of the doctor to be burned. The Diatribe concluded. containing manuscripts wliicb the author particularly valued. He pened. in other words. died. The new part of Akakia had. The president from his lofty chair opens the session by pronouncing the eulogy of a member who had recently ripened. persisted in making experiments. reason to believe. as usual. still The more than his soul. and. and . been read to a few of the faithful in Berlin and some inkling of the same had.CHAPTER COLLINI speaks two or three X. and the malady grew worse. on the day before Christmas. that is. Hence the promise exacted by Frederic that Voltaire would let Maupertuis alone . of portfolios iii the commodious traveling carriage." written soon after the public burning in the streets of Berlin. bile of the native of St. PARTING SHOTS AT MAUPERTUIS. according to the new method. Two doctors produced each a patient covered with pitch. wdth some salutary advice given by the Inquisition to the young candidate.

he fell asleep. who had so much displeased him by showing points. most absorbing interest. with some of his colleagues. and the nature of the soul was perfectly known. A second supplement was written. ever busy depravity. him his measure. 1 . and gave to a vigorous young man. from which he set out the next day for the moon. Malo did not began thus: go to the moon. which was to him. He was much occupied at this period with refuting La Beaumelle. the perpetual secretary concluded the session by a eulogy of the president. these supplements in his portfolio. he must have given in. For my part. Voltaire found himon the 27th of March. behold. 1753. which had important results. worse. both as author and as man. even to the altering of his whole future with this matter. began to run and roar with all their might. thought. as was believed he contented himself with barking The good Doctor Akakia. at least. seeing that the disease grew at it. he received a letter from Maupertuis. or. Finally. private information assures me that you are stoppling there only to have new libels printed. you certain information of my condition and of my intentions. which alarmed the ladies who had come to this solemnity . Then. and joined the rest of Europe in the roars of laughter which it elicited. to the fogs. two surgeons pierced their arms and legs with long needles. as Monsieur the President had very well divined. I wish to give .108 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. of the : — sick. if Maupertuis had not been just the Maupertuis he was. The treaty of peace follows. and in his sleep he had a happy dream. Nor was this the end of it. in nineteen such exquisite fun that. to sweeten the acridity of the humors by reconciling the president with the Helvetian doctor. at Leipsic " The [Berlin. composed of bladders. It . in which there was a fourth ludicrous repetition of the old " The native of St. the apothecary drew near with a large vessel of laudanum. unconscious When he had passed a week at Leipsic. After several more experiments. whose tyionade he exalted to the clouds. Next. who before could hardly move. of With self in Leipsic. to the great astonishment of every one present. the patients.'''' articles.] gazettes say that you are detained. a throne was constructed for the president. and placed it upon a volume written by the it a dose of president. once. and the secretary entered At the fact upon the records. April 3. in order to double its effect. and was preparing to publish further evidence of the man's impudent.

perhaps.PARTING SHOTS AT MAUPERTUIS. and you threaten to come and assassinate me if I publish the letter of La Beaumelle. fifteen days. . I declare to you that. your writings. de la Beaumelle. if you kill me. never written anything. — me I have received that You inform you are in good health. instead of replying to you by writings. but seldom with impunity. such as you are. The reply of Doctor Akakia followed : — ! "Mr. that your strength is entirely restored." held back The last sentence of this letter alluded to humiliating events in the early life of Voltaire.] the letter with which you honor me. You are not ! content with ordering us not to pay the doctor you wish to kill him This procedure does not savor of a president of an Academy. have the goodness to . 109 " I have never done anything against you. A new edition of Doctor Akakia speedily appeared. and I beg you to defer the little experiment in physics which you wish consider that I my brain is You desire. of which his enemies were apt to remind him. [Leipsic. and to attack me. Presioent. Besides. and to wreak upon you ven- geance the most complete. The gentle Akakia its last published part of the president's angry letter but. and a hundred other falsehoods which you have made public with the design to color your conduct toward me. " But to my works if it is true that your intention is to attack me again. and which have saved you from the most doleful adventure you have ever had. am any notion of the soul. he substituted the single word . the disavowal of which I have in writing from himself. and the slight value I attach have hitherto combined to justify my indolence. nor of I compliment you upon your good a good Christian.1753. to dissect me ? But not a giant of the southern hemisphere. I have even found it unworthy of me to reply one word to all the impertinences which you have hitherto spread abroad and I have preferred to ignore stories concerning M. I have been in bed health. '' Render thanks to the respect and obedience which have hitherto my arm. and appendages to them. but I have not as much strength as you. never said anything. rather than continue a conThe justice which the king has done me against test so indecent. with the supplements. What ingratitude towards your poor Doctor Akakia! . April 10. as you have already done. instead of " Tremble " sentence. my health is sufficiently good to find you wherever you may be. by personalities. and with supplements added to the supplements. my sickness. and that so small that the examination of its fibre will not give you to make. all of the most diverting character.

who absolutely designs to come and assassinate him arms of the said university. to exalt Little as you your soul in order clearly to discern the future. I shall put some lead into your brain. monsieur. S. Although the be dug by your order to the centre of the earth. but as soon as I shall have gained a little strength. and I should only be able to throw at your head my syringe and other objects of my bed-chamber . hopes that they will relieve the said savage. to ing the president of an Academy. and . and would not be becomI advise you. having fled to the university of Leipsic. where he has sought an asylum against the hostile attempts of a Laplander. " P.110 remember to hell. de la Beaumelle has promised to pursue me even He is will not fail to to hole which go in quest of me there. to carry animosity so far ? the goodness to bear with me a little further. you run some risk of being hanged which would too . is not yet begun. may wish much advance of your maturity. As there are from fifty to sixty people here who have reviled. . Are you " Have willing. where you are not more beloved than elsewhere. in one of yonr sessions. invented " It will be sad for day you intend taken the liberty to poke fun at you prodigiously. na- Malo. have the letter of La Beaumelle declared. of all his peccant humors. which must lead straight to hell. a the moment forgery intended to diminish your glory after which. if you come to assassinate me at Leipsic. to kill me as a disturber of your self-love. in terror. I shall have my pistols loaded cum pulvere pyrio^ and by multiplying the mass by the square of the rapidity. urgently entreats messieurs the doctors and scholars to arm themselves against this barbarian with their inkhorns and penknives. as you have persecuted me in this. Adieu. " For the rest. He addresses himself particularly to tive of St. I am still very weak. perhaps. that M. LITE OF VOLTAIRE. until the action and you will be reduced to zero. it will be more permitted to you. whom you have so much gunpowder. they ask on what to assassinate them. and that they will preserve by their skill what may remain of reason to thia ^ He Gunpowder. before doing so. there are other means of going thither and it will come to pass that I shall be abused in the other world. appealed for protection to the : great and famous university — " Doctor Akakia. as soon as he shall appear. you will perceive that. you that the Germans. as you ought to lament that they invented printing. It appears to have need of it. my dear president." The good doctor. in the his brother physicians. and where your letter is deposited in evidence. .

who walks in a manner composed of the air distracted and the air prethe nose cipitate the eye round and small. a terrible Is that the principle of the least action ? What man is this president! Here he declares a man a by I forger. to pronounce my you. the physiognomy bad having the countenance full. monsieur. monsieur. dissected. who commends himself caries not to forjjet to their care. . you will be quite . Whoever shall give informa- tion of him shall have a reward of a thousand ducats in tlie funds of the Latin city which the aforesaid Certain Person is having built. He is a philosopher. . president does not limit himself to experiments in the southern hemisphere. or from the first comet of gold or diamond. there he assassinates . with the letter sub- joined " : — Monsieur le Secretaire Eternel. who pronounce my funeral oration. Truly his parallel has never been seen. to whom he had given some pain in his life-time. If it is he who undertakes it." He he drew up an advertisement. we pray all and each to give information of the said Certain Person when he shall present himself at the gates of Leipsic. We know that he was so with that of the late Marshall If it is Schmettan. with people of high stature. in Certain Person having written a letter to an inhabitant of Leipwhich he threatens the said inhabitant with assassination. in the name of the university. which is to fall immediately uj)on the eartli. or pretended to send. one little reflection it dent shall have killed.PARTING SHOTS AT MAUrERTUIS. and assassination being evidently contrary to the privileges of the fair. he sent. and that he absolutely wishes in the northern to separate my and soul from to kill my body. cruel Laplander. according to the predictions of the said philosopher and assassin. and he proves the existence of God a plus h divided by z. It is the first time that a president has desired one of his counselors. always carrying a scalpel in his pocket. Avarning the public to be on their guard Besides this. and the peruke the same flattened. according to the laudable custom. : — "A sic. — I send you the sentence of death which the president has pronounced against me. HI and of life to their brother. have made. all these documents to the secretary of the Berhn Academy. and buried : is that it when the presi- me will be necessary eulogium at the Academy." Finally. he will be not a little embarrassed. and the testimonials of protection which all the doctors You see that the all the apothecaries of Leipsic have given me. the good Akakia. mind which full of to dissect himself. him entreats messieurs the apotheon this occasion. with my appeal to the pul)lic. and a .

It is permitted to weary the public it is not permitted to deceive it. or prove . at his ease. taire notes of " always thought. and I . monsieur. do ac- not object. Akakia. They were translated into many languages and .' ' ." La Beaumelle's possession of the letters of Madame Maintenon had given him misleading glimpses behind the scenes . am a layman . that ' ' it is not necessary to reply to critics when the point is merely one of taste. is bound either to correct it if he is wrong. Zaire.112 as LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. it if he is right. During this stay at Leipsic. The author fact. Therefore. seriously. them may be found afloat in periodicals as late as The author was detained nearly a month at Leipsic . The burlesque letters raised its popularity to the highest point. and at length. in his refuta- . hindered as another." against the La Beaumelle. who had the misfortune to be in the right. but the president of the Berlin Academy did not improve the chance to come and execute his threat. I should be first degraded. Thus the Diatribe ended. then. monsieiu'. a another thing. as during much of this year. permit me scratch me from the being condemned to Erase me. Vol. metaphysically.' ' Tancrede. death with that criminal. making altogether a pamphlet of more than fifty pages. was engaged in defending his " Louis XIV. ' You ' M6I rope.' appear ridiculous to it is you . nor in the tone of his replies to Desmanner light "We have but fontaines. and number of your elect. monsieur.' Mahomet. not in the of Akakia. cused of error in a date. in order to avoid the funeral oration. You must feel also that. Ignovere ' Pariterqixe jacentes diis. and I am one also you are in good health.. your very humble and very obedient servant. to die by the cruel hand of the president. you are a Calvinist. earnestly. from your list put me with the forger Koenig. and to j^ut every one . Voltaire. and I am a Papist you are an author. find La Henriade bad compose a better one. As to history. ii.' (Phars. He had his revenge .. This task he performed. and I am a physician.) " I am. death by his decree.." he once remarked. 93. . parts of 1780. nor was it long delayed but it was wreaked by a more powerful hand than his own. and remained part of the common stock of fun available for journalism during the rest of that century. I patiently await . much You are a priest.

the testimony of Cardinal de Fleury." In reply to this. it was the cardinal from whom he had derived the fact that Al. in the eighteenth canto.PARTING SHOTS AT MAUPERTUIS. La Beaumelle figures. was the prime instigator of the Revoca" I asked the cardinal if Louis tion of the Edict of Nantes. Nevertheless. (La Pucelle. le dernier C'est mon De le plus biis." with his wealth. are not jealous of him . "as if that pretended wealth had been gained at his expense. liked me. soutien. he is the lowest. de Baville. he drew a pict' : ure of poor authors groveling every day before a rich ignoramus. but the most faitha spirit distraught. as one of the chain gang going to the galleys. mais c'ust le plus lidele Esprit distrait. tion. XIV. intendant of Languedoc. my dear La Beaumelle. he did not forget the outrage of which he had been the victim at the hands of this man." ^ of the noble gang. II 1 preud d'autiui les poches pour Ics sicnues.) VOL. 8 . line For tlie last ten blackguards . But let a man of letters be elevated above them by fortune and places. that sometimes. all absorbed in his Christian ful works. for which he showed so great zeal." was his reply. He replied to me in these self-same He had the faith of a charcoal-burner. incensing him from the lower end of his table. on pretend que purfois. they say. takes other people's pockets for his own. along with a priest the dying. Tout occupe' de ses oiuvres I'lirutienues. dix gredins qui ni'ont veiidu leur voix. Virgil in easy circumstances was calumniated by Mevius. they think him of a nature superior to their own. it is my sup|)ort. and even those who have received benefits from his liands carry their envy of him even to fury." upon Avhich he had been occasionally working this year. who have 182. had been well grounded in his religion." In the " Pucelle. and conversed To break down familiarly with actors in that gorgeous drama. the critic endeavored to prove that the cardi" I have nowhere said that he nal did not like Voltaire. young nuns. 113 shows that he had lived behind the scenes.' " words La Beaumelle had taunted the author of the " Age of Louis XIV. C'est . " who confessed and plundered and with another priest who confessed and betrayed Pour de la noble sequelle. and abas" They ing themselves before him for self-abasement's sake. which Voltaire had frequently cited. canto 18. c'est mou cher La Beaumelle. Of sold me their votes. II.

his servants were packing books in cases. Vol" Dunciad. he excuses taire." after he following Pope's example in the had pierced an enemy in his text. but let them rail on. given him by the king. left him impaled and labeled in his notes. and especially when they are tedious. for we At perceive that he had abundant work for all of them. The givers of advice say to you. Despise that infamy notes. The edition of La Beaumelle is handed to him. mention of so many insignificant libelers. Some friends. Poets then appended abundant notes to tlieir works. he remarks. which are but too true. What happens when such a work [as La Beaumelle's edition ' of " Louis XIV.' at a bookseller's. ' ." he replies ple. his . like handbills on the street corners describing malefactors. besides giving an outline of La Beaumelle's career. The bookseller inquires if they wish the edition with learned The buyer replies that he wishes by all means the work complete. Leipsic he found awaiting him the mass of his effects sent from Potsdam and Berlin by wagon and. Elsewhere he says. brief and blasting. owed many a bright touch and happy couplet to the hand of the roj^al poet's master. contemporaries with the free. eigners. No it must be made known. 1 Les Honnetetes Litteraires. composing Akakia. ought to be published. 36 (Euvres. and his secretary was putting his papers in order. reading proof. . of which only a very small number of copies had been printed for distribution among the king's most trusted friends. while he was writing letters. " we believe that it is necessary to punish ragamuffins when they are insolent and rascally. Such details. young forfor the ask Age of Louis XIV. and accumulating evidence of his historical correctness. have advised him to pay no attention to such peo" We do not think so." " He returns to this idea many times. .' Germany a copyist and a valet." This traveler did well to bring with him for his tour through is ! . In some of these Frederic had written of poems."] appears? Young countrymen. not worth mention. the author Pleasant advice. as well as a secretary . These poems. truly It is the same as saying that imposture must be allowed to ^ triumph. as the reader has seen.114 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. In the note on this passage. 238. Among his books was a volume of the King of Prussia's poems.

the nearest French city. resumed his journey. he found time to pay his respects to the learned professors of the University. note. with secretary and suite. in a hirge and the whole mass of effects were given in charge to a merchant of Leipsic. le Comte de Voltaire. Madame Denis.PARTING SHOTS AT MAUPERTUIS. Busy as he was. bourg. was coming from Paris to Strasbourg to meet him. and to visit the beautiful and famous gardens case. and M. the commodious traveling carriage was again brought round. who agreed to forward them to StrasHis niece. 115 dora of a man who has an army at his orders. After a stay of twenty-three days. The vohiine was now packed. The author's presence in Leipsic was an event of much He was not wanting to the occasion. and there they woukl consult as to their future movements. of the neighborhood. with a quantity of other books. .

A HAPPY MONTH AT GOTHA. its precious and unique manuscripts. with " his secretary and suite. Never was a what what poet more ings suppers pastimes and he. and had even sent her a nianuscrij)t of part of his General History. and the princess have free scope. opened all his portfolios. a day's ride distant. He had been in correspondence with the Duchess of Saxe-Gotha when he was studying history with ^ladame du Chatelet at Cirey.CHAPTER XI. the capital of the Duchy of Saxe-Gotha. its collections. worthy to be at the ! ! ! . The duchess was in the prime of life. . when she is at the head of a great establishment like this. The ducal palace. GOTHA. The reigning family was related to . forty-three years of age. on his part. He accepted the invitation. Here he alighted at an inn but he had scarcely done so when an invitation came from the reigning duke and duchess to take up his abode at their chateau." A month of enchantment followed. near by. a family forever interesting and familiar to the educated portion of our race through Goethe's long connection with it. and caressed The poem on " Natural read the choicest of their contents. She is then the illustrious nobler attributes both of the woman all the and housekeeper. which she still possessed. and she had gathered about What readher a little court of free and congenial spirits. now so renowned for its galleries. was his next halting-place. its library of two hundred thousand volumes. The Duchess of Saxe-Gotha reminds us of Goethe's Duchess of Weimar. and she received Voltaire as gracious ladies do receive men who have instructed woman never wields such power and fascination as them. about a hundred miles southwest of Leipsic. and A is head of it. that of Weimar. and "was at once established in the chateau. was already one of the most richly provided and famous residences of Germany.

" The chateau contained ti-easures of information on this subject." and the pirat-e edition of the same by La Beaumelle. Occasionally there is a passage. he began his " Annals of the since Empire Charlemagne. heir to a duchy that cast a vote in the imperial congress. 117 Religion. at once. it was done by Voltaire. catalogue as it is. German empire since Charlemagne. copying. and there is hardly a page wherein there is not a trace of the intelligent and humane mind. Durfor her boy's convenience that impetuosity of Avhieh . and writFew knights in the ages of chivalry ing under his dictation. a work from which he could derive neither glory nor profit a thousand printed pages of fact and outline. With greater applause he read new cantos of " La Pucelle. he not only gives lists of all the emperors. and even a chapter. with Collini has spoken. While speaking of hisshe lamented tbat there was no popular account of the tory. as bones and skeletons are useful to medical students." Historj^ was much sjioken of between Voltaire and the duchess." well styled by Collini " the most methodical and the most painful of all of his works. and misfortunes. own Like a true knight. a catalogue of crimes. popes. mere dates. foibles. This is the rhyme of the ninth century : — .A IIArPY MONTH AT GOTHA. Her son. to assist the memory. Voltaire engaged to produce such a work and her own and. with scai^cely any of those details upon which the interest of the reader so much depends. But. was growing up in ignorance of the history of the empire of which he was to be a part. Collini and the copyist knew no rest. Voltaire kept them busy enough. and electors of the nine centuries which he had traversed. be read to the evening circle with such success as we can imagine. a period during which her was fresh ancestors had been conspicuous. of the true Voltaire. At the end of the : work. mindful of a boy's infirmity. searching." written in Prussia. particularly the " Age of Louis XIV. whose escapade at Gotha with the thieving governess in every one's recollection. Much of it was the kind of " history " supposed to be suited to the young. names and events. but summarizes each century in rhyme. ing a great part of the thirty-five days of his stay at Gotha. ever redeemed a vow w^ith so much patient toil as this author expended upon these Annals.

ending with the eighteenth. and the duchess gave him some duplicates for his cabinet. Many mementos of this visit occur in his works. fils en quatorze il expire. D'un sac de penitent dans Soissons est charge' : . ! En I'an quatre-vingt-sept dans Trebur depose. Arnoul. rendered him a service. en trente-trois par des pretres juge. one of the finest in Germany. Fait couronner son il expire en quarante. . since it was a kind of work which he could do in such troublous times as were before him. and part of the next. et mcurt au Mont-Cenis. even then. The Duchess this of Saxe-Gotha. soumis au pajje. delivre . toujours faible. Cede au batard Aruoul son trone me'prise.Its LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. Finit avee le siecle en quittaut I'ltalie. in tempting him to undertake monotonous labor. DIX-HUITIEME SIECLE. It could amuse an anxious and quiet an excited mind. Louis. fils du Chauve. aided by others. too. and which kept a cheerful bustle of work — around him. Charlemagne en huit cent renonvelle I'Empire. The collection of coins and medals in the chateau was." Each century has still incomplete : — its summary. sacre dans Rome ainsi qu'en Lombardie. and some adorned his abode to the end of his days. Lothaire est moine a Prum. him to several pleasant places. " NEUVIEME Sll:CLE. au trone des Germains. which led could do little else. Among the little poems which he addressed to her was one written on her recovery from an indisposition Boon after : — . : Le Begue." Leopold. 6 dure destine'e annee. he had these Annals to fall back upon when he an agreeable resource. On perd apres vingt ans le second des Louis Le Chauve lui su^cde. During all the rest of this year. a I'Empire une Le Gros. Expire en sept cent cinq et Joseph I'an onzieme. " du fer des Ottomans. cinq ans apres cinquante. Retabli. and introduced him to many It was a task in which he could be constantly leai"ned men. Charles six en quarante et le sang des Lorraius S'uuit au sang d'Autriche.

Et raccourcis les jours des sots et des me'chants Pour ajouter a ses anne'es. To send a servant or the postilion. at Wabern. (luest of I run to rejoin the carriage. . To possess myself of it. it was to run the risk of never seeing it I offer myself to make the journey on foot he accepts. This trinket. nothing on the tables or on the bed. which was open. Collini relates an amusing incior two to visit them. more than a hundred miles further on the way to Other princes invited him. and I perceive the snuff-box. rumbled again along the German roads toward Frankfortronthe-Main. the uneasiness which would have agitated a man over-fond of money the box. to descend tlie stairs. night dent of this part of their journey. Marbourg. with heavier portfolios and more books than before. covered by a fold of the curtain 1 raise it. Nothing on tlie commode. I arrive out of breath I enter the postto seek for . which Voltaire had slept. De coDserver un tel ouvrage e'ternel . wlio rarely causcst to be born among us this happy union of graces and virtues.A HAPPY MONTH AT GOTH A. " 119 De qui raremeut fais naitre parmi uous graces. was one of 1 Great God. on the 30th of May. and reached ]\[arbourg the same evening. ment. and he halted for a Strasbourg. They left the chateau of the Landgrave of Hesse. . we liad scarcely gone a league when Voltaire ordered the postilion to stop." i The most delightful visits come to un end. nevWe held counsel upon the spot. and again. and to leave the house is but the work of a mo. cet heureux assemblage. A MADAME LA DUCHESSE DE SAXE-GOTHA. without being seen. I am off like an arrow. of great value. was of great value. in the morning. . Beside this last piece of furniture was a night-table. May 2oth. tlie poet bade farewell to the duchess and her court. Etunds dans I'avenir ses lielles desiinees. in the post-house at on horseback. He took snuff. on this occasion. out leaving the carriage. sois un peu plus jaloux Grand Dicu. to quiet there. He did not show. and could not find. withertheless. and tlie great carriage. the gold snuff-box which he ordinarily used. de vertus. Quand ce chefd'uiuvre est fait. Voltaire believed he had left this snuff-box . Fais naitre en sa faveur uu printemps . everything in room . " The next day [says Collini]. house the is I mount. be a little more jealous to pvfserve such a work create for her an eternal spring extend into the future her beautiful destiny and cut short : . as happy as Jason after the con- the golden fleece. the days of the foolish and the wicked in order to add to her years. either in his pockets or in the carriage.

night at the Golden Lion inn. He might well have planned to remain a while in this free city." The miglity Charlemagne had been in the city. Perhaps. about eight o'clock. already. the noise of which got it. he had thrown his mother's crockery out of the window perhaps witnessed the performance of those immortal puppets that affected him so deeply. . not yet annexed to Prussia. . That wondrous boy was then nearly four years of age.120 LITE OF VOLTAIRE. and it contained portraits of them and other objects of historic interest. intending to resume his journey homeward early the next morning. it it was doubly precious. tion in after-life of this visit of Voltaire to his native place. Here was the ancient Council House in which the emperors of Germany were elected. May 31st. stopping only to visit the salt springs of Friedeberg. But his father never for- and often used the incidents about to be related to warn his son against accepting the favor of princes. He had no recollec." Continuing their journey. but also with the moderation of disinterest- He appeared to me more affected by the trouble that I had taken than happy to recover his snufF-box. they readied Frankfort the same evenHe took lodgings for the ing. My illustrious traveling companion received with pleasure. and a spot whereon he once had stood was marked by an edifice wliich the boy Goethe could not pass without reverentially saluting. worthy the notice of an author engaged upon the " Annals of the Empire. those gifts that princes lavished upon Voltaire as testimonials of their esteem edness. filled the world.

a city near his territories. had its share of ridicule. entertained and feted by princesses. taken leave of the King of Prussia on the parade ground at Potsdam. A few hours must have made it plain that the His retreat had been artfugitive was gone never to return. the king had Voltaire . the Diatribe traversing Germany triumphant. He was at length in the trap. assiduous courtship of years. his captors were coming to seize him. ARREST AND DETENTION AT FRANKFORT. The wrath of the king was violent against him in those when the supplements to Akakia were coming from Leipsic. so far as he yet knew. member of his court who had any sense The Berlin Academy. 1753. He was caged in the Golden Lion . All Germany was laughing at Maupertuis even the king's . own sisters. . too. and everj^ of the ludicrous. and had fully managed early days of April. after a passionate. but he was gone. First may have come the ludicrous reply . bag and baggage. even concealed the direction of his ulterior flight. whom he had won only . From his safe of he seemed to be hurling back defibaiting place Leipsic ance at the king. and. but not of his inclining.CHAPTER When XII. He had traveled leisurely in the pleasant spring weather. so dear to the And here was the author of king. taken no cognizance of his proceedings at Leipsic. awoke at the Golden Lion on the 1st of more than two months had passed since he had June. But during this long and brilliant progress a trap had been set for the culprit on the road by which he meant to reach Strasbourg. through some territories in which the influence of Frederic was not greatly inferior to that of a sovereign over tributary princes but. The worldfamous friendship between a great king and a great author was broken Frederic had lost Voltaire. as he was getting ready for an early start that morning.

dated April 12tli. to chagrin the president. there is nothing left ex- If you permit me to give you my cept to break entirely with him. here is the truth of his story. to render him all this. which I pass over. and ing his Akakia here ' in . the advertisement warning the public against a certain philosopher and assassin. which he still has. hearing of Voltaire's dewrote to the king asking an explanation of an event parture. I should not be sorry for him to go to Bayreuth . . for an verses. of these cordial. then. writing against every one. have that libel Akakia appears I scarcely get to Berlin. Voltaire was on the friendliest terms with Koenig. with all the supplements and correspondence. and in which his base: his duplicity were manifest. seeing the bad A mistake. whom he hates as much as he does Maupertuis. as his letters months abundantly attest. above all. that. far to take his departure. and sternly forbid him to ness. so far from pausI ing at this. See him printPotsdam by abusing a permission I gave him to print the Defense of Lord Bolingbroke. contained so much spoken of. had my part in this business. his wickedness. upon which I cause it to be burned by the hands of the executioner. there. probably. a budget of irresistible . and. I would send some one there to ask cross. which Collini assures us was actually inserted in a Leipsic gazette and at last the completed Diatribe. opinion freely.' I discover it I have the edition seized. His reply. and unwilling to leave in his possession.122 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. he is at Leipsic. means of We have the this when this passage *' : — You ask news of Voltaire . Voltaire. His letters to Koenig are noticeably long and . my dear sister. He has behaved Hke the greatest scoundrel in the universe. ridiculous. and I was lenient enough in permitting him tills At present. and where he pretends to be sick in order to correct a terrible work which he composes there. fun. for. where he dispoisons. upon his return from his tour in Silesia. which he has sent to Frankfort-on-the-Main. then he set himself to writing libels ^ against Maupertuis. and he takes the part of Koenig. He began with endeavoring to embroil everybody by lies and infamous calumnies. and to get the presidency of our Academy with a number of intrigues. new from wishing ever to see that wretch again. doubles and triples the dose. His sister of Bayreuth. at which he did not blush . throw it into the fire. him for the key and edition of which I 1 my am utterly with your consent. You see. when printed anywhere else. to Maupertuis's threatening letter then. and is sold there . knowing precisely how the king felt budget greeted him.

I was caught in that way. not believe that I have told you the hundredth part of Volof which there are enough to make a collection as It is a pity indeed that the great talents large as a volume of Bayle. and soon had the presi- — .ARREST AND DETENTION AT FRANKFORT. my dear brother. 1 27 CEuvres de Frederic." The king would not be appeased. you of anything I may learn about him. precipitate. and the prejudice which you have He jests very piquantly upon the president. He complains of the preference which you gave to Maupertuis." Akakia. to-day a letter from Voltaire." ^ Men are broken the base. . he intends to establish himself there with his uiece. . deceitful. He is the most treacherous rascal there is in the universe. vioand had which He a Voltaire lent. I use he is capable of making of it. letters The fess to you. which he has written to his friends at this and which have been shown to me He only after urgent solicitation) are very resiDectful towards you. however. drew his pen once more. of that man should be tarnished by the blackest and most perfidious soul. that I was not able to keep from laughfor it is so comically turned that a ing while reading the piece I shall not fail to notify reader can scarcely keep his countenance. gives you the just title of great man. than he. pen. You will be astonished at all has done here. had taught liini how to use he had a printing-oflice at his command and it would not have been diflicult to reverse the system of Akakia. : — " I have seen He is going to Gotha. Such were the feelings of this king toward the author of His conduct was in accordance therewith. volunteering a defense of his president with the pen alone. which embitters and spoils his whole existence. He sends word. sought to appease " her " clearest brother angry monarch. that he will write again from Gotlia. Perhaps shall try place (letters written in confidence. April 24th. and I conagainst him. and wicked things he upon the wheel who deserve it less This was extreme for a pliilosopher. Frederic had entered the arena as write). my dear sister. and set off the best things in j\Iaupertuis's works against the absurdities used in the Diatribe. :— Do taire's rascalities. 226. Voltaire accepted the challenge. I doubt if he will come here. April 20th " He replied promptly. where his niece will join hinft. . 123 As to yourself. unjust. advise you not to write to him with your own hand . The sister of the in her reply. which I to prevent.

what then would an all-gracious sovereign lord be pleased to command? . a dull. Frederic. in his majesty's name. that one De Voltaire will pass at a The good his very early day through Frankfort-on-the-Main. In other words. King of Prussia. as well as the cross and ribbon of the order of merit . touched his bell for Fredersdorff.124 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. and ordered up some of those hundred and fifty thousand mustachios of whom his victor spoke. and every- . the chamberlain's key. as well as the cases which he shall have with him. Suppose there should happen to be three such eggs. and arranged to put upon Voltaire a gross public affront. fussy. among which will be found many letters and writings in his majesty's own hand. would obe}^ an order with the exactness of an old sergeantTo set major. kicking the amid the merrito his feet. who man. Then Frederic sprang resumed the monarch. but dependent upon Frederic's " forbearance for the semblance of *' freedom which it then He had make some At Leipsic Voltaire was comparatively safe at Frankfort there was nothing that dared oppose the King of Prussia so long as he gave the magistracy an available pretext. are to be opened in your presence. been led to suppose that the traveler intended to stay at Frankfort-on-the-Main. dent prostrate on the sand. three hundred miles from Berlin. his majesty is that the Resident shall repair to of pleasure lodgings. At Frankfort the king kept a Resident. April 11. our gracious master. a free city. ment of the spectators. Von Freytag. of wliich the following translation : — is a " His majesty. 1753. and as Voltaire addressed to Frankfort his packets and packages on leaving Potsdam. unpliant enjoyed. accompanied by the aulic counselor living there. he went to his cabinet. makes known by the present to his Resident and Counselor of War. . or only one then what ? If the parent bird should be so far lost to decency as to fly at a good bear's eyes. the said packets and packages. literal gentleman. air. and demand of Voltaire. provided nothing was left to his discretion. named Freytag. caused Fredersdorff to write an order to Freytag. . — such a person rummaging among the manuscripts of a man of letters was like sending a trained bear up a tree to bring down two eggs of a certain shade from a robin's nest. at two hundred thalers a year and the incumbent was then a punctilious.

and you will to take possession of everj^tliing. Freytag. For six weeks Freytag and his Aulic Counselor Schmid were in extreme agitation. keeping a watch at every inn and every gate. if that does not suffice. so joyous and memorable to children. and of the bustle and stir of these occasions. his legal adviser. . l25 thing in the said handwriting is to be seized also a book specified in But as Voltaire is very cunning. after taking due precautions.ARREST AND DETENTION AT FRANKFORT. the culprit The crisis was upon the vigilant and still bewildered Unhappily for Resident. April 19th. " If Voltaire should that he has sent his say baggage on before him. is he to be detained a prisoner here until he has further instructions besides. both of you. wondering what kind of monster this De Voltaire could be who had in his possession such unspeakable ' things. wrote for And concerning the unspecified book. on receiving this order. without apology be allowed to continue his journey. In case he makes any difficulty in surrendering the said objects in an amiable manner. At length. in the evening of May 31st. take. the Aulic . as a wiser than he might have been . the •' answer came If the baggage has already passed beyond Frankfort. he is to be threatened with arrest. him. and delivered into your own hands the royal manuscripts The book which is to be " CEuvres de Poiisie. After everything shall have been well examined. or whether it was a mere printed volume. strangers were ara Voltaire and riving every houi*. and all the objects found. had brought back ? After tlie usual week's interval (Frankfort and Potsdam it : " were five or six days apart in the mail service of the time). all the precautions to prevent his concealing or re- moving anything. and therefore the book was not "specified." . Nor was the The great handwriting. was be" note " wildered. Goethe speaks in his Autobiography of the town of booths springing up witiiin the town of stone. for the " which was to have been " herein inclosed was not The inclosed." Resident acquainted with the king's spring fair of Frankfort was in full tide .' Freprincipally returned is entitled " dersdorlT did not " specify wlietlier this book was one of the royal manuscripts. arrived. they must be carefully packed and sent to me at Potsdam. but afterwards he is Resident. might easily slip through the city. Voltaire is to be kept in sight until he shall have caused it to be brought back. and. you are to the note herein inclosed. he is to be actually arrested.

of the Prussian army. . many ments appertaining to this case have been published in Gerand it is from them we learn the extent. who was in the city as a recruiting officer. and Freytag felt justified in summoning to Lis assistance Senator Rucker and Lieutenant Brettwitz. his report to his " have the honor of day he spent He addressed " very illustrious. tlien Counselor Sclimid." they were his own by double right he had assisted to compose them. Freytag shall relating to the reader the history of the long with his two companions at the Golden Lion. and wished to have his key and cross returned. We need not go to Voltaire. They were as much his property as the copy of La " Henriade was the king's property. he called to his friend Collini. etc. the duration. When he had recovered himself. a large case. called upon the traveler at the Golden Lion. He had not resigned he had not been dismissed he had not been notified that the king desired his resignation. nor to Collini. who happened to be here as a recruiting officer. I had spoken only of papers. very powerful king. all the appearance of a skeleton. As to the " Q^uvres de Poesie. par Gustave Desnoiresterres. I went to his hotel with Senator Rucker and Lieutenant de Brettwitz. After the usual salutations. and two portfolios. when the servants of the crown prince used to run to meet an approaching courier in the hope of being the first to convey to the prince's eager hands a packet from Cirey. and the king had given them " to him. He has. He made a thousand protestations of his fidelity to cated to ' ' your majesty then again felt himself disordered. He was thrown into consternation. : given him in those days of youthful illusion. de Voltaire arrived yesterday. ^ See Voltaire et Fre'de'ric. was absent from Frankfort. moreover.^ He was still in the service of the King of Prussia. In the first trunk was immediately . whom I had taken care to get out of the way. and opened for me two trunks.126 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. the blundering enormity. . which the autlior had . These three gentlemen. and threw himself back iu his chair. to learn what cial occurred at the inn that day for within a few years the offireports of the zealous Freytag and all the other docu. . page 446. at eight in the morning of June 1st. of the outrage put upon Voltaire in this free city. closed his eyes. So far." his " very gracious king and lord : — "As M. I coramuni- him your majesty's very gracious requirement.

and as I do not know the nature and quantity. since he gives himself the title of Gentleman of the Chamber of France. enveloped. at seven o'clock. we further arranged that he should give me for my surety two parcels of his i)apers. which sentinel than to so defective that I trust less to the vigilance of a the word of the landlord. Hoppe by name. my own seal. which I The rest of placed m tlie keeping of the officer. " We spoke then of the book of O^uvres de Poesie. which he said he had found under the table. such as they happened to lie upon the table. after having closed and sealed them. and which I placed in the same packet. and I found only one poem. sub A. who has a brother a lieutenant in your majesty's service. I had thought to give him for guard some grenadier I was hindered by the military organ. nothing else and he declared. I took measures with the landlord of the hotel. without opening it. if he liad in the most solemn manner.ARREST AND DETENTION AT FRANKFORT. and that he should sign the agreement subjoined. " In the evening. the examination histed from nine o'clock hi the morning until five in the afteiuoon. who confirmed it by an is oath. and ticketed sub A. also to accompany him in a in the public gardens. of the papers which I am to search for. after he had given me the key and tlie decoration with the ribbon. biit that he did not know whether that box was at Leipsic or at Hamburg. I have con- to the care of the first I have offered physician of the city. He said it was necessary that he should take the waters his life . depended upon the affair to be brought before the city council. the most convenient course would be to send hither a sec- retary of the king to make a minute examination . Not wishing many difficulties in authorizing an arrest. that he ' had not. nor send away his effects. little or great. and I have carriage placed at his service all that my cellar which I left him sufficiently tranquil and my house contain. I then notified him that I could not allow him to pursue his journey until I had that case. and this morning a manuscript in the king's I handwiiting. fided As him Voltaire finds himself very weak and sufl'ering. cannot know how many more packages he has. sub C. I at once agreed with him that he should remain a prisoner in the house where he then was until the arrival of the box from Hamburg or Leipsic . I asked him. sub D.' He said that he had put it into a large box. ization here. and this so much . B. Then I caused this packet. which he was unwilling to surrender to me. Upon and composed. he sent me his commission as chamberlain. sub A. that Voltaire should not escape. He endeavored in a hundred ways to dissuade me from opposing his departure. and I placed upon it also . and since in such cases the magistrates make it. upon his honor. to be sealed by the senator. 127 found the packet subjoined.

Resident. He may have exaggerated some details. to obtain an order that he should not He even desired that I should send that be kept hei'e any longer. which. two parcels of manuscripts which he urgent request. Ciood for the oeuvre de poeshie of the king your master . . gave him a note. and again for his niece. had overlooked and the next morning a manuscript in the king's own hand." "• I gave him a receipt for the placed in my hands. the garden of the inn. He had signed a parole not to go beyond These arrangements made and Madame he seemed tranquil. — ' — Ma- wherein you. Feeytag. which he intends to send to his niece to console her. wonderful to relate. was found under the table . It was probably upon her copy that Voltaii'e wrote. for the consolation of : dame Denis. and. est Freytag was so good as to sign. both he and his secretary insisting that Freytag spelled poesie with a redundant letter. I also. at his No narrative of this day's proceedings written by Voltaire mentions that he was subjected to the blind furabhng of these men among his papers for eight hours. I have used the ordinary post. imagined some but his relation of the events conveys no adequate idea of the amount of ignominy which he had to suffer. the more. Voltaire wrote in me the case. but for Freytag's distrust of the He was now Frankfort grenadiers. and in which I promised him that. Denis notified. he shall be detained here no longer. you can go whithersoever shall seem good to At Frankfort. but as I have already lost three louis d'or letter by a special courier in unnecessary expenses. was as follows " As soon Monsieur. ! a prisoner at the Golden Lion. The reader will have observed how dutiful and submissive the ravaged author was sending round to Freytag's house the same evening a paper which the Resident. perhaps. June 1st. De Fredersdorlf.128 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. after the arrival of the case from Leipsic. The agreemeivfc which hon. after a : : day's search. which his ' majesty requires. and would have had a sentinel at his door. presence to his agent at Leipsic to send me to write to the intimate counselor of your majesty. and he told my know your majesty's handwriting. and kept Collini and the . as I do not in the least Finally. is the Qj^uvre de Poesie as the large packing-case arrives. of the king." The Resident was obliging enough to write and sign this twice once for the captive.

who flatter him. he had the honor of a second visit from the Prussian Resident. 129 " Annals of the Empire. my hand at this time as a souvenir of that memorable blow. to accept the situation. He was — which The for indignant. Van Duren could not be admitted to speak to him." Upon the fifth day of his detention. VOL. nals. What to say to him ? I tried my best to console him but I was so much . and. and im- mediately retired. bookseller." wrote Frey suring to either of them. later this time. indeed. petuous. and two letters to his guardian angels. confused that I could find nothing better to say than that. Judge of my the only time I ever saw him strike embarrassment. Van Duren. but he seemed post-chaise. " to make some tag to Fredersdorff good friends here. and found tliat the sum demanded was for some copies of his own works. with the hope of his obtaining the support of . Except for such trifling vivacities as these he was good and be- nevolent. the blow came from a great man. but he soon recovered self-possession. Collini thought He should have him peacefully engaged upon the Anknown his chief better. which was not reas" He begins already. been thought he had wronged. came one morning to present a bill some books that he had sent to Voltaire thirteen years before. I was a witness at Frankfort of a trait of vivacity on his part which will give a just idea of that impatience of which he was not the master. after The bookseller's bill is in all. and Strasbourg itself was four days distant days. my illustri- ous traveling companion and I were walking in the garden of the inn. His first movements were im. in his memoirs. 9 .ARREST AXD DETENTION AT FRANKFORT. I found myself all at once alone. he relates an anecdote of : betrays irritation " was beside himself when he " Voltaire. perhaps. He might be detained several He wrapped himself in secrecy. Voltaire read it. and left me the account. gave is him a box on the ear." copyist steadily employed at the The great box containing the royal poems might have been dispatched by way by of Hamburg. Scarcely did he perceive Van Duren than he went to him quicker than lightning. he wrote a letter of great length to Koenig." he remarks. but did not tell either of them what had hap- pened. During the first days of his detention. It any one. The bookseller returned after dinner . II. face to face with the boxed bookseller.

I withdrew. had a thousand of supporting the laws of the empire and of Frankfort. Duke of Lorraine by inheritance. unhappy a time that M. but secret appeal. What your king wishes to arrest me here. had known Voltaire of old. He asked to lodge elsewhere." The Resident owned that he was embarrassed and alarmed he wished to be relieved of the duty imposed upon him. " I do not " that we live in so think. Freytag can with impunity render himself mas- ways ter of the life and person of a stranger in the city where his sacred majesty was crowned. He sent also for the emperor's perusal a copy of the letter which Frederic had written him in reply to Madame Denis's prediction that the King of Prussia would be the death of him. and en- treated the emperor to give secret orders to his minister at Frankfort to take him under his protection. and inclosed it in a letter to one of the Austrian ministers. Then he cried. and prevent the " Ids magistrates from violating the laws of imperial city of Frankfort.' After rephdng coldly. The interview exasperated the prisoner also. . he said. and he seems . The emperor." His sacred majesty.. To him the captive now made an elaborate. ' ! you are killing me you will all surely lose the king's favor. for his appeal is dated June 5th. It would be exdifficult for him." To the Austrian minister he dropped a hint as a possible lure. He wished to pay his court to the Duke of Meiningen. the day on which Freytag wrote to Fredersdorff. and for the retention of which he was about to fight again in the Seven Years' War. and informed Fredersdorff that he must have more express and formal orders. Francis I. The court in all Europe that held the King of Prussia in the deepest antipathy was that of the Empress Maria Theresa. He said that if he could sacred majesties. from whom Frederic had snatched the province of Silesia at the beginning of his reign. there were things he that them might he of use. he said. although with politeness. in an imperial city ? Why did he not do it in his own states? You are a man without pity. to make the journey incogtremely converse with their should my to . But I had to refuse him." he added. When I returned to his rooms he was inso- lent enough. artful. and shown him some favor.130 the city council. He gave a brief relation of his arrest. instantly to have resorted to the expedient of an appeal to the emperor. LIFE OF VOLTAIRE.

. June 5th. The great box was long in coming. On the ninth day of if it his detention his niece arrived. of Prussia.. d'Argenson. Madame Denis. impetuous strange arrest. whatever knowlhave acquired. him that. on Ids return. I . her uncle was not robust. no doubt.ARREST AND DETENTION AT FRANIvEORT. wrote also to M. In his best estate. who had come post-haste from Strasbourg as soon as she had heard of this can easily imagine the stout. nito . and assuring edge of the human heart he may . by . and. through this long series of exciting events. My landlord. and well calculated its to prevent the fulfillment of her prophecy . . weak. to whom he has always been attached with so much enthusiasm. is held in horror by all the city. lias been very much in the wrong toward your majesty. "• Jlon oncle I I knew that man would be the death of you " But she began at once to do whatever ! lay in her power and her first act was to write a letter to the King which was prudent. under arrest. fort as The King of Prussia had his way in Frankhad been one of the cities of his inheritance. of the French ministry. We lady rushing into the Golden Litm. but that no one dares resist him. had chosen his ground well his influence at Frankfort proved to be paramount and there was not a court that would not then have seized the chance of iraininir a point with the King of Prussia by at least letting alone a " captive author who had offended him. " at this occasion. little reestablished. and exhausted. he would not but if. in an inn." wrote stating his situation. treats him with such hardness. Frederic. when his health should be a they would indicate a house in Vienna where he could remain unknown for some days.. miserable." No one did resist him on Voltaire. come here to conduct my uncle to the waters of Plombieres him dying. that would astonish him. since your majesty. all flushed and dusty from her four days' ride. told me to-day that the minister of the King of Prussia. hesitate. however. as slie saw his wasted form and face. . to answer purpose. without being able to breathe the open air. there were some things he would tell him. 131 some time hence. But. moderate. and exclaiming. ]\Iy nncle. as a climax of evils. " I find your majesty's orders. but he was now. He whose house I am in prison by an unheard-of outrage. the Sieur Freytag.

" This letter. and in the ' are my dearest hope. to whom he has always been a father. he is assuredly ready to give it up he has sworn it to me. Freytag himself could get no and those which he had already received further instructions confused and terrified more than they enlisrhtened him. poems the affair was not creditable to the Fredersdorff administra- object was attained . He carried it away . with him with your permission he is causing it to be brought here with his papers in a case addressed to your minister. how could 1 These words. sire. des ang-es. vers le haut bout places. / should be in despair to he the cause of the unhappiness of my enemy . could not bring an answer from Potsdam in less than twelve daA's: and it so chanced that. the King of Prussia was in a distant province.132 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. a poem in six poems. Frederic had good reasons to dread the circulation of his " •' of his. Ima^nez. and insult the author of was to Akakia. sire. condition and my I Paris Sire. That Palladion " of La in imitation Pucelle. tion. just then. He has himself asked that everything be examined. on one of his tours of mspection. your promises. which you have honored him. his annoy object if the object was simply to recover the and then we must admit that the conduct of letters. wbich at length snatched him from the arms of his family. . si vous pouvez. letters which we shall find at grief. and everything be tjiken which can concern your majesty Our family will return all of your . deign to remember the fifteen years of bounties with. own hand. have pity upon my have no consolation but in your sacred ' words so worthy of you. Your majesty asks the return of your book which you presented to him. Des cherubins. traced by he of the unhappiness of my friend 1 which has the hand written so many beautiful things. He describes the heavenly host as having had their vocal organs treats He " improved in the " mode of Italy. while these scenes were transacting at Frankfort. Jehovah and his •' court precisely in the tone of Lucian when he brings Jupiter and Juno upon the scene. goes far beyond puerile Voltaire in burlesquuig the Christian traditions and beliefs. nor had did not yet know what " writings : he yet any means of judging which of the manuscripts in If the king's Voltaire's possession were in the king's hand. He " the king wanted. Sire." cantos. with the best speed then attainable.

cles trones. reiue du paradis. Kings have long arms. 133 Du Imaginez. very far from being the passage most offensive to Christians.sou fils. nor rades. Austria is not spared. Beaute faisant enfants en son jeune age. nor scoff at their own subjects' cherished beliefs and sacred usages. He urged her to her uncle to submission. The great box being still delayed. Une beaute. Des scraphiiis. Kings need not satirize powerful neighbors. so long as the politics lasted. The poem ends with Frederic's own officers and com" the " good Father Eternal turn- " the saints and ing out of heaven sophists. both uncle and niece looked all round the compass for any chance of relief. des archanjres. Pres de sa dextre ou voit." and putting in their places "the honest deists. Pour biou chanter de bonue heure cli^trcs. Madame Denis wrote one to the Prussian ambassador in France. In the same canto." the royal author of this free and foolish poem Assuredly would have gladly seen stress of it safe in his own cabinet . It is not their vocation. there was no choice but to wait at the Golden Lion. the scandals of the Russian court.sition was active and powerful. profile of the celestial King. Further on. and the ambassador in his reply favored the prisoner with some good " advice. . The detention of a renowned author was making a stir in Frankfort and adjacent duchies. at least. Among other letters. meanwhile. Lord Keith. and. the barbarism for the is above of the Russian people. and the horrors of Siberia are treated at great length and with riotous freedom." said he. being seated at the " see the right hand. . all that Catholics hold most sacred and most venerable is tossed in a very ragged blanket." ^ can conceive that the " Lead of the Protestant interest " would not like to have a cheap edition of this poem published We . nor the Pope. que brille vieux papa la celeste famille . au milieu d'eux. and push on the Annals. Great company alighted at the Golden Lion inn among others.ARREST AND DETENTION AT FRANKFORT. Work upon the Annals seldom ceased. asking his interposition. 1 Canto ii. Not to any country where the Inqui. that Duke of Meiningen to "whom the captive wished to pay his court." who. Not to an^ Mahometan country. Where could he go? asked dispose the ambassador. avec .

I defy his enemies to my master. courting and avoiding the crushing strokes of power. after eighteen days of dela}^ the important case and was duly delivered at the house of the Resident. it is only in France that he will feel at He has friends tliere you will have him with you for . ." Voltaire scarcely needed this advice. it whom was addressed. mention one and him the substance of it. "It is a package of my works. in order to make a present of them to M. familiar and fearless. Like one of those alert irrepressible pass their days in the engine-room of a-great sea-going steamer. and you know well that if he launches offensive words and epigrams against the king. and when and it was indispensable boys who to crouch. and every aperture through which escape is possible so this agile spirit lived among the monarchies . ]iead with his he would crush him a blow the fist. length. as from yourself. a parcel by the post and Freytag wrote to inquire if it had any relation to their affair. June 18th. This was Monday. than any ambassador. In one he is wise. before he of vantage." At to arrived. Moderate him . but if some big uncl'fe's offended words. . haps. on one of these . sometimes. give upon this to him burn it . per- was be bold. China and turn mandarin. Do not allow him to exclude himself from the joy of returning to France . one word which he should order me to say to the court of France would suffice to prevent M. if home. Schmid and M. the rest of his days. " which I desire to have corrected and rebound. running loose and climbing free among the ponderous machinery who know the precise instant when to dodge the huge descending beam. he had composed upon Mahomet. and too late he would repent of his conduct. Frevtas:. when it He knew safe to better. hot and where cool. has never done foul . your uncle does not falsify the saying. Crenus irritahile vatum . give your deeds The king. after sucli a tragedy as " He is too old to go to word. days of detention at Frankfort. of the time. my master. and dare to ride aloft upon it as it ascends who know where the iron is . but Don't show uncle ."' he wrote in reply. He received. de Voltaire from returning. and answering saucily from remote and comfortable nooks which his masters could and hierarchies not reach. should by your sti'ong Prussian.134 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. He had reached a coigne could be saucy enough.

" Freytag at once communicated this disat/reeable intellifrence with all the . and without making the least movement until the next post. since he held the written engagement of the Resident to that effect and." added Fredersdorff.ARREST AXD DETENTION AT FRANKFORT. to be present at the " " answered me opening of the box. possible politeness: I — "Monsieur. your friendship and good-will. without sending back the cross and key." Voltaire sent again and again sent several . which was disappointing in the extreme to all parties. he at once . accordingly. M." A letter did indeed arrive toward noon from Fredersdorff. despite your infirmity.. pay no regard. merit. Freytag reports that he advised the "importunate" captive to be patient." be able to name myself your very bumble and obedient . "seeing that this was Monday on which letters came from Berlin. have the honor to say to you. and Voltaire at once made preparations for departure. without disturbing and without unpacking tlie box question. I shall be charmed to servant. which I have this moment received. dispatched Collini to the Resident's house. monsieur. times in the course of an hour. monsieur." says Collini. due on " You are to Thursday. which will arrive on I Thursday. hope that these orders are the consequence of my report of the 5th of this month. 135 the day when the courier was due from Potsdam. He had not the least doubt of being allowed to depart. in which I could not sufficiently praise and admire your resignation to the will of the king. The courier was not due until eleven A. by whom Freytag expected those elucidating orders of wdiich he acutely felt the need. "to anything which the impatience of M. your obedience in re- maining in the sincere ])rotestations of house where you are. you have to go on as you have begun. . by a precise order. de Voltaire may make liim say. following the supreme orders wdiich you have received. that tlie intention of the is king in that everything should remain in the condition in wliich the affair is at present. but the box arrived early in the morning. thinking to leave Frankfort about three in the afternoon. entreating the Resident to proceed with the opening. that he had not time to attend to the opening until brusquely the afternoon. and your If for this I fidelity towards his majesty. The king had not yet returned to the capital he was coming in a few days and Freytag was enjoined to do nothing further in the business whatever until he had received the kino-'s express orders. Freytag. which he might expect by the next mail.

and bed. without help. and when the prisoner held the written promise of the king's representative that he should be permitted to go whithersoever he would as soon as the case of books arrived and the work of poe'sie was taken therefrom. as a matter of course. Here was the most irritable of the genus irritabile. "has labored assidu"My uncle. a man as absorbed in work as a prime minister. Voltaire. feared the worst. and used language .136 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. recounting the she added. after eighteen distinct which every hour was a and galling outrage. went himself to his house. either D'Argens. and was about to summon the captive back perhaps he was preparing new and worse ignominy in either case. She de Pompadour. ." etc. note politely saying. refused. de Voltaire has fulfilled all his eno-agements. and asked to see the king's orders. . or the Abbd de Prades. I have taken letter to wrote also a Madame circumstances. perhaps. to whom a palace out of Paris had been a prison and there was the traveling carriage packed and ready and it was Monday afternoon and now comes a . Freytag. too." The situation now had something of the terrible in it for the What could be the king's object? Perhaps he had repented. The recompense he receives is cruel. notliing more exasperating. a true child of Paris. not then days' previous detention. . The case had arrived the book was in it and he was a prisoner still. of stir ! before Thursday at the This. and still he is detained a prisoner For three years past I have been : • expecting the King of Prussia to cause his death. . it behoved the prisoner to take measures. unknown : is terrible. and. You cannot earliest." my uncle being in . the liberty to write to that prince a letter steeped in my tears. That very evening she wrote a moving letter to one of her uncle's . upon receiving Freytag's note. " stammered. Nothing could be more polite. : fi'iends at the Prussian court. having been already bled twice. I dictate this memoir to a man on whom I rely. He has served him with a zeal of which there are few examples. eager to get where he could go on with that work to advantage and here was a lady. as Collini reports. Madame Denis. unable to write myself. in which she dwelt upon this new horror " M. violently insulting." for talents of the King of Prustwo to the ously years perfect sia.

if any such there were in Europe He fixed upon Wednesday. twenty miles distant. got safely into the it. for for such a fugitive. messengers upon the three principal roads. I dressed to Ilanau. without. He was half a league from the One of his counting-room city. June 20th. a " It few hours after : — was toward three o'clock spy posted in the afternoon. and to Mayence. of whose proceedings I shall speak further on. on Wednesday. when " If I were accused of the towers of Notre he to act said. that was standing before the Lion. Baron Munch. the Aulic Counselor Schmid. In this extremity I had recourse to all my neighborhood." says Collini. departure." He reHis 23lan was to abandon the great box of books solved to fly. They Avalked to the place appointed. . 20th. the lodging of Voltaire.ARREST AXD DETENTION AT FRANKFORT. and go with Collini alone. " resemMayence gate. leave Madame Denis at the Golden Lion in charge of his effects and his interests. with the news that he had fled. I sent. Mayence. I should escape first press on to a place of safety. Voltaire his secretary. neither my secretary nor any servant was at hand. stealing and discuss afterward. to Friedeberg. where he had stopped a postchaise returning to chancellor. found was not at home. in a hired chaise. and went afterwards to the house of the ruling burgomaster. slipped away from the Golden Lion. and ruslied headlong to the Golden Lion. clerks rode thither on horseback in ten minutes. foland arrived. at his country house. as if running a race. myself hurriedly. came to me. had directed his steps toward the Crown-of-the-Empire Hotel. was so obliging as to place The at electoral disposal. as they thought. There I learned that Voltaire. to Mayence. the the Golden Lion. his state carriage. in a costume of black velvet. to detain Voltaire there until my arrival. and thence Dame. The post from Berlin was due on the day follow- new complications. being observed. the attempt. breathless. lowed by a servant carrying two portfolios and a heavy cashbox. I dispatched beforehand a courier to the gate. to complete my ill-luck. ing. Unfortunately. bled the flight of two criminals. to Freytag. but he was determined not to wait for The hour having found their carriage. as he related it to Freders- " and rode away toward Our dorff. my in this extremity. I hurried Mayence away im- mediately to the house of my who. with six seats. I colleague. that the at by me post-haste. 137 In these distressing circumstances Voltaire suddenly resolved upon the principle formulated by Beaumarchais." What next occurred let the vigilant Freytag first relate. in which he had started.

He other things. " That official at first made many difficulties. He had lost his memorandum book going across the city. however. sub C (which. He then got into the six-seated state carriage which I had used. confirmed all that he said. as he said. in the same carriage. I deon account of house. and to promise the extradition. " The landlord of the Golden Lion being unwilling to have Voltaire in his his incredible parsimony. however. and from there to the burgomaster's house. in a hired chaise. in fact. appears to have much intelligence. was not drawn and signed by us two until the next day). and he gave me. induced the burgomaster. But my presence and the requisition subjoined. This provisionary order of the on Thursday morning by a decision of the council in pJeno. contrary to the ordinary rules. who commanded six men. he said that he would prefer to be openly a prisoner than be concealed in my house. worst bandits could not have made such struggles me my face. " I overtook Voltaire and his Italian secretary. and transmitted to me by one of the city secretaries. and he even told me that he had been several times at secretary. Then I caused some men to march on both sides of the carriage. any longer . among engagements. where the crowd had then become exceedingly great. partly open. I learned that Voltaire had employed the time in destroying part of his papers. all his wealth. which my servant could scarcely lift. I should have to fill some leaves. One. I left them in charge of the my house. with the assurance of a deference the most invariable and the most burgomaster was ratified submissive towards his majesty. Nevertheless. with an effrontery such as I have never seen equaled in the world. a little cash-box. de Voltaire was in the service of the King of France. and I flew to the principal guard. I offered to take him to my own house. to and The to get away. truly unimaginable. where he would remain confined until the next day. that I had caused a thousand He denied his thalers to be asked of him as the price of his release. My character had weight enough with the under.138 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. He had. " If I should report all the doings. I cannot refrain from mentioning. and because M. both because the royal requisition had not arrived. just under the tree at the turnpike. to confirm the arrest. The young under-officer. and had consumed about four minutes in looking for it. in truth. On returning to the barrier with the burgomaster's order. when we were about to start. but for which I should not have found him upon the territory of Frankfort. across the city. and I went myself. officer at the not told till gate to induce him to arrest Voltaire upon the spot then did I perceive what those two people really were. of Voltaire during his arrest. despite all the proceedings of Voltaire. like this prisoner. who.

" achieved this important capture. the simplicity of the Resident reveals the bungling outrage in a more odious light than Voltaire's art or anger exhibits it. and female servants surround us.AEREST AND DETENTION AT FRANKFORT. As this impudent hussy was going about the city stunning the magistrates. and was the substitute of Freytag. and thus. Macounting-house clerks. and his ancient secretary had nothCollini's Avith ing to gain or lose from details " : — him or his. through crowds of the populace. and without his acquiescence in the mode of captivity which should in future be apOn his return to the city the Aulic Counselor plied to the prisoner. our carriage Freytag soon arrived in a carriage get into it. and as Voltaire. Collini wrote Voltaire was then his recollections of this day's experience. 139 posited hiui at the house of the Aulic Counselor Schmid. he was conducted to the Goat duced inn." re- In this report. they make . no longer among the living. accompanying the order with imprecations and insults. conIn this ducted us across the city. escorted by soldiers. Voltaire road. to where a guard was assigned to each prisoner. and made us are taken into the posted to keep out the assembled people. and t^e Resident was notified of an attempt to get away. but whom I consider as quite another sort of person in . Freytag. Forgetting that he represented the king. who recounts with the air of a bully how he courage. together with the secretary . went immediately to the burgomaster's house. like a policeman. and sentinels are sent his servant to Madame Denis. The door is barricaded. niece of Voltaire. Many years after. not only for the pur- pose of favorably disposing him. Wc dame Schmid and listens to the tale of passes in front of Voltaire with a disdainful expression. He adds some curious Having reached the gate of the city that leads to the Mayence was stopped. without any pretense of law or semblance of right. and vaunts his address and take possession of our effects and the cash box They . While we were waiting for his coming. he got in with us. in the house of Schmid. had tried to escape a second time. which we two soldiers after the receipt of your last letter. . but also to give him his guarantee He met there the pretended with regard to the royal requisition. way we were conducted to the house of a merchant named Schmid. being resolved to decide nothing without his good advice. his master. for vesterdav a letter arrived at its destination bearing the ad- dress Madame de Voltaire. Here were three persons arrested. valets. who had the title of counselor to the King of Prussia. every circumstance of infamy. the burgomaster had her arrested.

they strongly be drawn up. where twelve soldiers.140 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. you shall be treated without pity and without outcries.' cries he. toward it. This scene had made the Resident and all his Schmid had some wine brought. clerk to Freytag. terrogate them. Count this money. and the crowd thirsty. Thev rano. They His eyes sjjarkle with reply that the custom is to seize everything. ern called the Goat. and again they brought him back.e themselves in a circle around nature'^' him. they take away from Voltaire his watch. as if to infury. and. to drink the health of his excellency Monseigneur Freytag gang ! began oners. ' " On his reentering. Scarcely had she heard of Voltaire's arrest than she hastened to the burgomaster to demand his release. ^pourvoir aux besoms de la the fugitive. he jilunges and goes out. had never forget the atrocities of that day. from time to time he and raises them toward mine.' says Schmid ' these are the soi't of fellows who are capable of mainto his clerks . the time had come to dispose of the prisThe portfolios and the cash-box were thrown into an empty trunk. and runs after Can I not. They threaten to commit me to the guard-house. perceiving a door partly open. been gained over by Schmid. Voltaire reclaims his snuff-box. " After waiting two hours. Though I were to live centuries. Suddenly. " Madame Denis had not abandoned her uncle. I was separated from him and guarded in the same way. his snuff-box. He is allowed. who took this as a personal offense. That functionary. I shall attended us. us give up all the money we had in our pockets . which was fastened with a padlock. When we were arrested at the gate of Frankfort. he drew some papers from one i . rushed a second time into the yard. listen to Madame her hotel. " I ought not to forget one anecdote. and sealed with a paper stamped with the arms of Voltaire and the cipher of Schmid. "Wretch ! Schmid. afterward. was ordered to conduct us. He not only refused to be just and to Denis. because he cannot do without snuff. ' ceremony ! and the servants renewed their Voltaire. and some jewels that he wears. . ' cried out. He ' asks for a receipt it is refused. but he ordered her to remain under arrest at This explains why Voltaire was deprived of the assistance of his niece during the scandalous scene at the counting-house. puts herseK at their head. then. Madame Schmid gets together a squad of shopmen and three maids. He took us to a low tavunder- commanded by an There Voltaire was shut up in a chamber with three soldiers who had fixed bayonets. Dorn. and while we were waiting in the carriage for the decision of Monseigneur Freytag.' I and arrested insist that a accusation should formal me. beside himself with passion. officer. lead him back to the counting-room. I ask by what right taining that there was twice as much money. a man weak and limited.

where Madame Denis. as he gave them I coucealed the papers in that Hide that about which an ingenious garment to me. Scarcely was she out of the inn than the three soldiers surrounded her. thoroughly resolved to premade in that asylum. disreputable })erson. and. I pretend to believe that he is not well. where she had. my be of the greatest importance.' so far as it had then been written. without rcirardin": the horrible convulsions into which such an adventure had thrown jSIadame Denis. ' writer has named vent all researches that could be the indis[)ensable one. and to empty bottle after bottle. He says me. consider that the astute Freytag regarded her as a . " While he was in Schmid's yard. 1 carefully drew the precious deposit from the place where I ' had put it. he proceeded to eat it. corner surrounded by persons closely watching him to prevent his him bent over. by the burgomaster's orders. surrounded by madame and her I find him in a his I go out called to to assistance. In the even- and kept ing. These words reassure me.ARREST AND DETENTION AT FRANIvPORT. in a low voice. and to use Voltaire's expression. she hastened to go. I believed to To tains. I cry out. and presented himself to that lady. which of usually understood.' 141 and said. to examine those papers. three soldiers guarded me in my room. and flight. and that he had come to conduct her to him. furnished only witli a little bed. it is highly probable that Dorn was not respectful in his demeanor . not to her uncle's room at the Goat. Dorn had the insolence to have his supper brought to the room.ad. only their bayonets for curtains. Dorn gave her his arm. saying to her that her uncle wished to see her. but to a garret of the same inn. all he could to vomit. and I give him my arm to assist him to return to the counting-house. putting his fingers into his mouth. I was go sqi. Fingo. . as that word is satisfy my curiosity and deceive the vigilance went to bed in my clothes. Concealed by my curI guards. I burned.. " and The went with some redoubtable Dorn. and conducted her. a Madame de Voltaire ^jro te77i." when we Voltaire adds that she was menaced with violence and. duce them to treat him with more moderation. soldiers ior femmes de c/iambre. you. He in- hoped by that stratagem to appease the fury of that canaille. Ignorant of what had passed at Schmid's house. trying ' then to ?' He looks at me with tears gushing from his eyes. He left his squad on the stairs. and I see Are you sick. It proved to be the poem of La Pucelle. of his portfolios. soldiers to the Golden Lion. their eyes upon me. after having deposited us at the Goat. at the Goat. was under arrest. nevertheless. Jingo (I am making believe). Terrified.

his majesty permits him to proceed. you which shall be specified. dated June 16th. — Thursday. happy return from Prussia." Surely. within a limited time. then. he will recognize himself in advance as his prisoner. Dorn. 1753. a pleasant afternoon's ride in the long days of June. P. Schmid. all Frankfort was excited . as well as sign and seal the form of engagement which you will present to him. Be pleased. and in it was a letter from Fredersdorff. and the regular mail from Berlin was ex- pected about the middle of the day. in the eyes of Freytag. now it is our duty to w^ait. It is indispensable that M. Freytag.142 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. You will inform me of the result by tbe next courier. " If. containing orders from the king. The attempt to escape was an audacity so flagrant." said Freytag. country he may be. that he deemed it due to the king's majesty to detain the prisoner until the king had been informed of it and had sent new orders. de Voltaire. without taking or permitting to be taken a copy of the same and this upon his word as an honest man. The mail arrived. therefore. so. so conceived. in whatever . and June as follows : Voltaire. We " horrible convulsions. his majesty has very what you have done. " this man had waited a but little. and the prisoners rumble on to May- Not ence. to present to him this promise. — was next morning. and with the clause that. in all reverence. toward her. and when he shall have written and signed it to let him depart in peace and with politeness. his niece. the 21. the great box was unopened at the Resident's house . But. wlio had just returned from his tour in the province of Prussia : — " Upon his graciously approved ders. guarded by soldiers . not to put any further obstacle to his projected journey to Plombieres. his secre- tary were prisoners at the Goat tavern. and their assistants were happy in the feeling that they had acquitted themselves like Prussians . S. in case he shall fail in this. we could have let him go . according to his or- with regard to M. now the commodious traveling carriage may be ordered for three o'clock." can easily surmise what they tliouglit of her The situation. de Voltaire should write entirely with his OAvn hand. the requisition and . on condition that he delivers to in form a promise to send back faithfully the original of the book which belongs to his majesty.

a close prisoner in one room of an inferior inn. surrounded We conjure you to ameliorate our condition. our effects are . Four daj^s passed without further change. " We are veiy uncomfortable here. even appealed to the compassion of Freytag." Voltaire wrote to the Margravine of Bayvain to protest. by not to leave until his majesty the King of Prussia permits us. watched by plished. Every object mentioned in the king's orders had been accomThe captive had been detained twenty-five days twice the king had ordered his release and still there he was. Madame Denis and the secretary were allowed to go out. the king being evidently impatient to be rid of the business. it would not become him of the majesty of Prussia. after exacting from The great box was Voltaire his parole not to leave his room. Some where Voltaire was still closely con lined to his room. 143 It was in the very gracious hirtlier directions of the king. this extreme indignity put upon a free city roused public indignation to such a point that the burgomaster and his colleagues in the city government showed some resent- ment at it. thought the sapient representative ! At least. For the sake of his niece. The Resito decide the question by enlarging the prisoner dent therefore merely removed the guards. have had the goodness to promise to take away this numerous Suffer us to return to the Golden Lion upon our oath guard. alas it now occurred to the the king gave those orders his that when Freytag of not heard the had flagrant attempt of Voltaire yet majesty and his secretary to escape. and guarded by two sentinels day and night." mitigations of their lot appear to have been conceded by the Resident. spies at every hour. . The two packets of manuscript were restored to their owner. Then arrived from Berlin orders still more clear and positive to let them all go. You soldiers. but they all continued to live at the Goat. The magistrate called upon the prisoner. necessary for my health. and the book of royal poetry taken from it. asking her intercession. without servants. he reuth.AREEST AND DETENTION AT FRANKFORT. at length. and entreated him to let them go back to the Golden Lion. Would he have given such orders upon him. without help. There is a little garden there. But. having other matters pressing But. now opened. All still there we are paying for two lodgings. ! anxious if he had? Probably not. Gentle- . .

five weeks' contention. that money and valuable artia thing likely enough during a cles were stolen from them. to a settlement with regard to the money which to come tempts tion. the door of which was opened. in which so many irresponsible persons took part. During all this period of strife and excitement. It was not until July 5th. and he made good progress . itive manner." aided by his secretary and copyist. Voltaire perceived him in the attitude of a man who was playing the spy. I had only time enough to cry out and stop him. and testified their sympathy and indigna- men The Resident. before injustices tion. he had taken from him. and. Voltaire and Collini declare in the most posrecriminations. and now in extreme terallowed his captive " the liberty of the inn. Denis remained at Frankfort one day longer." left against his assailant." and made atror. and reached Mayence the same day. we went back day. he seized a pistol and rushed toward Dorn. Voltaire. outraged jDoet than a pretext. from which all the expenses of the There were fierce arrest and detention were to be deducted. I loaded two pistols. I also made my and we prepared A In the morning. The recollection of the past kindling his anger. after a detention of thirty-five days. but the secre" Madame Frankfort. Voltaire immediately summoned a noto the Golden Lion.144 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. and in legal form. tary. that orders came from the king so precise and — peremptory that neither Freytag nor Schmid could reason or pretext for holding their prisoner longer. before starting. always alarmed. and then left for Paris. whence danger threatened. which we At this moment Dorn stepped usually had in the carriage. " the " The next 6th. committed against him. Voltaire continued to labor steadily upon his " Annals of the Empire. in the tary of the city contrived to arrange course of the day. July 7th. softly along the corridor and went past the room. movement of vivacity on Voltaire's part came near retaining us longer at Frankfort and plunging us into new misfortunes." continues Collmi. attached to the court of the Prince of Meiniiigen were in frequent attendance. any But the came near providing them with something more find whom he solemnly protested all the vexations and protestafor our departure on the morrow. " his secretary and suite." Dorn entered complaint " the matter.

du Deflfand never wished to see Voltaire. my esprits. w^e find him . for my traveled two hundred leagues with a passport from her king. 10 . July 3d. whether living with princes or jailors." ^ ^ Voltaire and Madame du Deffand were a century. I buy his mind for two fiorins. the least sense of tlie iniquity of the proceedings at Frankfort. master. familiar correspondents for forty-six years. and who came to conduct to the waters a dying uncle. They would have more need of your wisdom. letters. 1753. said she. he was not ashamed to have used his king's truncheon to avenge the scratclies given by a light \)en. wheu all was over. " I wish [Frederic to his sister of Bayreuth. In other words. and I enjoy his works without exposing myself to his malice. he wrote to the Duchess of Saxe-Gotha that. I deserve to be abandoned the king. adventure of my niece and myself is not wortiiy to fill so much as a little corner in the border of that picture . all he had written nearly as far as Charles hindrances.] you. but for his deten" our tion. I have tranquilly labored five hours a day at the same work. two days before he was set at Uberty. as we see from his letters to his sister and others. The extreme of the ridiculous goes far my own part. — — all my misfortunes are only my due. what a fatal recompense she receives for a good action " He who ! was fortunate in having upon his hands the only one of his immense series of works upon which he could have laboi'ed in such untoward circumstances. The King of Prussia. nor the least belief in the acuteness of the sufferings they caused.'" Even in the agony of the strife with Frey- " tag. and he never had. he w^rote very philosophically to the duchess. the hardest half of the work w^as done. and II. But. had not then. This seems incredible but. He I do not believe that you have need of them to enlighten your mind. since I and a very good master. ." " said he. gloried in them. friends for half Their jniblishcd correspondence includes more than two hundred VOL. my For abandoned by France. whether in palaces or in prison. writing thus to his guardian angel. but the ridicule which is joined to the horror of it may save it some time from oblivion. They asked her why Because. D'Argental " : From Gotha to Strasbourg. Madame not." and that. is little more than a The pictui-e of human miseries. History. June 16. despite V.ARREST AND DETENTION AT FRANKFORT. rather . emperors woukl now be in their frames. 145 in the work. for another niece. dear better luck than I have had with messieurs les beaux sister.

] both of them. future. he will go to Switzerland." The public indignation gave the dull and timorous Resident much. they lie. the King of " I have just received a packet from Voltaire and Madame Denis. and wander from country to counFor my part. Voltaire dares not return to — . June 29. His and his his blasted this infirmities. my dear sister. try. despite all their misdeeds. A man reduced spire me nevertheless with some compassion for him. I regard not the evil which he pretends to do me. obliged to punish them. which poets make [Frederic to his sister of Bayreuth. we had composing epic poems better be deprived of that kind of poetry in 7. Perhaps. what I have received from them. will think that I . nothing but a play. The letter of Madame Denis shows some skill and talent it appears that she is not informed of the reasons which induced you to have her uncle arrested.] that they apply to me but. very different from what they say. those despairings. 1 am annoyed this .146 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. re^jutation. him. by catastrophe. the Margravine of Bayreuth to her brother. July whe letter of Voltaire and la Denis . I was the dupe of it at first. to what a testify justly. . mised in . and do not Their adventure is point those people can histrionicize all those convulsions. uneasiness. You could not believe. " I have read 1753. you have too much indulgence for him on account of his genius but you will not disapprove my having for him the pity which we owe to the guilty when they are wretched. which I take the liberty of sending to you. but. to allow them to set out. If he had taken her advice he would have acted more wisely. A man intense and bilious as he is heaps folly upon folly when once he has begun. [From Prussia. His destiny is like that of . and had laid himself open to hostile action on the part of the burgomaster and his colleagues. fifteen days ago. I send you. my dearest brother. but not at all at the end. France ." If the effort turns their heads. my dearest brother. I gave orders. I consider him the most and if of men he has been wanting in respect contemptible unworthy towards you in his writings or in his words such conduct can only draw upon him the contempt of worthy people. He feared he had gone too far. 1753. in the most formal and emphatic man- . and he wrote to Berlin for comfort. ton. The King of Prussia. Tasso and Milhis in They ended their days in obscurity he in may end the same way. inage. for fear of being comprobad business. and when eveu we are to despair is capable of everything. those malaall of it is dies. but I have hindered him from doing me any more and for this reason I made him give back my verses and all the letters I have written .

at length unmasked. Frederic amused himself. than with the magistracy. Deteste de Paris. and now that he has delivered the objects If he is at Frankfort still. whose funeral eulogium he was destined to pronounce before This is explicit enough. But you can tell him to his face that it is useless for him to assume Chamber to the King of France. hasty. and you executed it in satisfied with your conduct. Est enfin demasque. Voltaire. Voltaire. Si pour etre honore du litre de grand honiine II siiffit d'etre fourbe et trompeur effronte'. to Freytag. since you acted only upon the directions of your sovereign and as a personage having a and this you can declare openly. name will be . he is Inirned at Berlin. On le brule a Berlin. des neuf Sceurs I'indigne favori. as to your conduct. July 14. : — " You Buch a did nothing except way that his majesty upon royal is order. You have nothing to fear from the magistracy of the city. he royal character His majesty does not wish to commit himis a man without honor. the King of Prussia achieved the following 1 : — 14 CEuvres de Frederic. his name. cursed at Rome. and the lies and calumnies of Voltaire find credence neither here nor elsewhere. 170. and he does so at Paris the Bastille will be his recompense. on hearing a report of Voltaire's recovery from a dangerous illness.ARREST AND DETENTION AT FRANKFORT. self with him in any way. planations with him. You have acted like a faithful servant of the king and according to his the rank of Gentleman of the if that order. unworthy favorite of the Nine Sisters. justified 147 and applauded all that Freytag had done in FredersdorfE wrote thus to the Resident. who knew not We may say also that what he the Berlin Academy " : — EPIGRAMME CONTRE VOLTAIRE. fused by blundering. moreover. let him cry out at his ease. with the Brinvilliers [noted poisoner of Paris] his cited." it was due and who was condid. As to Voltaire. incomplete orders from the capital. after Voltaire's departure a week 1753. let him go wherever he pleases. Detested at Paris. on le maudit a Rome. Avec la Brinvilliers son nom sera cite'. ner. sought. If to be honored with the title of great man it suffices to be a cheat and an im])uis dent deceiver. and you are no more to enter into ex.''^ Some months later. with attempting to express in epigrams his aversion to his old friend and master.

forgot not his own interest even in making the passage to tlie other life. Book xv. were at once revoked and forgotten how he had lived to see the comedy out in the arrest of that extraordinary poet and writer by the Frankfort civic guard. The old man was hardly a match in argument for his gifted son. Here lies Lord Arouet. . This bel-esprit. 14 ffiuvres de Frede'ric. . on the complaint of the Resident. who had a mania for always adroit. Fichard. young Goethe was the Duke of Weimar to come and reside near his lasting impression when court. aided as he was by a fond mother and a pleading " He was in the " of sister." says Goethe. fa9on. mutual obligations.148 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. En II passant meme a I'autre vie. as Goethe us in one of the most pleasing passages of his Autobiography. habit. When he saw the sombre Acheron. EPITAPH DE VOLTAIRE. Freytag. familiarity. and his confinement for some time To this we might have in the tavern of the Rose on the Zeil. his solid old father offered many objections. and the warrant of the burgomaster. has sent him back to us into this world. saving his most stringent argument for the close of the discussion." 1 ^ pilfering. pressed by tells upon the people of the Twenty years later. Lorsqu'il vit le sombre Acheron. chicana le prix du passage de I'onde. with a kick in the belly given without ceremony." ^ These events made a Frankfort. Ce bel-esprit. among othei's that Voltaire was not but from filial respect we always free from blame himself . he so caviled about the fare tluit the brutal Charon. This consisted of a minute description of Voltaire's adventure with Frederic 11. toujours adrait. N'oublia pas son interet. D'un coup de pied au ventre applique' sans Nous la renvoye dans ce monde. 2 Autobiography. Si bien que le brutal Caron. Qui de friponner eut manie. He told us how the vmbounded favor. answered in many ways. 171. " Ci-git le seigneur Arouet. yielded the point.

" From court to court. from the cave to an enchanted palace. . officers. The recollection of what he had suffered at Frankfort ranlcled within him all the longer because. .CHAPTER Mayence XIII. from inn to inn. DEYING AFTER THE WRECK. as he often saitl. the birthplace and home of Guwas a populous and important city. and a chateau on every rison. The King of Prussia was not lord paramount at Mayence. princes. commanding three weeks. all of a Budden. as the heroines of romance traveled with diamonds and dirty linen. But he did not forget the Freytags he never forgot them. " drying his clothes wet in the shipwreck." ent way of life reminded him of those knights. do his regular five hours' daily work upon the Annals." The polite inhabitants of the place and its neighborhood. ladies. nobles." The work which she had commanded.. visits in return. Here he remained site of the adjacent country.errant who passed from an enchanted palace to a cave." he wrote to his "incomparable duch" I have borne in mind that I was under orders to ]\Iaess. with a large gartenberg. ou the Rhine. a numerous resident nobility. forget all the Freytags. and then. for which the large collections of that ancient stronghold afforded mateiial. 1 travel with books. In five weeks after leaving Frankfort. hastened to offer him their homage. and he entei'ed into the gayeties of Nor did he fail to the time with much of his wonted zest. Several fetes were given him in that festal season his spirits revived. and He paid many the sympathies of the people had free play. and console hiin for the indignities he had suffered. he finished his account of the important reign of Charles V. he had not an army of a hundred and fifty thousand men with which to . he assured " made him He said his presher. which (ills a hundred printed pages of a large volume." dame the Duchess of Saxe-Gotha.

two days after he had parted with her. Yesterday the secretary of the Count de Stadion found me bathed in tears I wept both your While you wei'e with nie the atrocity of departure and your stay. doubtless. " I believe of it is a dream . a moderate and just pres- VOLTAIRE TO MADAME DENIS. perhaps forever . having at her door four soldiers with fixed bayonets. to pass the night alone in her chamber. nay. which were designed to be shown. very sad. and was doubtless intended to be lent to Lord Keith. and to reach his powerful foe by artifice. for the King of Prussia not yet to have . entation of them upon — the whole. by way may be reduced it who have no was : of exhibiting the straits to which kings armies. to be shown. 1753. what you suffered lost its horror. It was addressed to Madame Denis. It is three or four years since I shed [Mayeuce. and obliged to suffer a clerk of Freytag. was drawn along the streets of Frankfort by soldiers. to be Though designed shown to persons acquainted with the facts. compelled to negotiate.150 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. he now was fight. and I felt sure that my old eyes would never know that weakness again before they were closed forever. so numerous in his correspondence. I give entire. who cannot to him. without a fenime de chambre. July 9. and had spread his known anger As of the king soon as he clothes upon the rocks to dry. I ask I believe that all that passed in the time myself if it is really true that a lady of Paris. but after your departure I have no longer been . Frederic's ambassador in France. And what was your crime ? To have traveled two hundred leagues to conduct to the waters of Plomarrested. the woman Brinvilliers was When was never alone with her there is no example of an indecency so barbarous. Denys of Syracuse. and it is. without a word. " sustained. taken to prison without any form of accusation. was settled in Mayence. without a servant. your patience and courage gave me patience and courage. July 9th. her master.] tears. Like a defeated king. traveling with a passport of the king. and as a specimen of Voltaire's skill in roundabout diplomacy. a scoundrel of the lowest species. It was an alarming thought " that " one word from tlie King of Prussia could close France set himself riglit with the perpetrator. he wrote one of those letters. the executioner . the against him might suffice. with the exThis letter pectation that he would send a copy to his king. oieres a dying uncle "It is whom you regarded as a father.

and that neither the author nor the king ought to cast so much bitterness upon the end of my life. But what will he do to repair the abomina. de Couville. me as the pledge of his He wished to take back pains. they are deceived. It is always mainble outrage permitted in his [Keith] will doubtless If it is meant by tliat tliat 1 responded by attachment and enthusiasm to those singular advances which the King of Prussia made me during fifteen successive years.DRYING AFTER THE WRECK. never proposed it. which he wears like the "There would be much man. tained that I have been a Prussian. which is not consoling. He could have remembered that. and there is one from Madame de Fontaine. . His treatment of me was bad enoufrh he had me arrested in order to recover his book of printed poems. the horrors into which a Freytag plunged you. that my enemy has deceived him. " Some letters have been sent to me here for you. ? I shall even add. finally. That re(|uired neither oaths. man does not become the subject of a king by wearing his order. which I respectfully returned to him. Prussian are very right . who is in Normandy. and Henry IV. they who call me have been his subject. if it is possible. M. for more than fifteen years. . of Louis . sooner or later. me by soldiers. with favor. The King gave me of Prussia never pretended and the chamberlain's key only as a mark of favor. nor duties." is be seriously maintained that the author of the " Age not French? Would any one dare to say it before the statues of Louis XIV. name upon you ? jMy Lord Marcchal be charged to make you forget. I hope that he will feel. : liad some rights he left it and as the recompense of my that gift he had but to say one word. of I have always kept it injustice in not regarding me as a Frenchhouse at Paris. and in which I . since tax there. he had courted me by his seducing favors that in my old age he had drawn me from my country that I had labored with him for two successive years in perfecting his talents that 1 had served him well and failed him in nothing and tliat. and have paid ])o\\- my Can Louis XIV. which he himself called frivolous in the verses which he composed for me when giving me that key and that cross. that he has gone too far. nor naturalization. but if it is meant that I and that I ceased one moment to be a French- man. . There was no occasion to impiison an old man going to take the waters. . King of Prussia. and to end our connection with no other recomjjense than demanding his poems from which he had given me. has still the He A chamberlain's key of the cross of St. Louis. . it was far beneath his rank and glory to take part in an academical quarrel. He has taken counsel of his anger he will take it of his reason and his goodness. 151 made reparation for that indignity committed in his name by a man who calls himself his minister.

152
XV.,
since I

LIFE OF VOLTAIRE.
was the only Academician who pronounced his panegyric us peace, and I even translated tliat panegyric into six
that his Prussian majesty, deceived by my enemy and irritated against me the king, my master ;
tlie

when he gave
languages.
" It

may be

by an impulse of anger, has
but
all will

yield to

justice

and

to the greatness of soul of the

Prussian king. He will be the first to ask of the king, that I may be allowed to end my days in my native land

my
;

master,
re-

he will

and that I bring away nothing from his kingdom except the honor of having enabled him to write better than myself. He will be contented with that superiority, and will be unwilling to avail himself of that which his rank gives him to overwhelm a foreigner who has sometimes taught him, who has al-

member

that he has been

my

pupil,

ways cherished and respected him. I know not how to impute him the letters against me which are current under his name he
; ;

to
is

too great and too high to outrage a private person in his letters he knows too well how a king ought to write, and he knows the impor-

tance of observing the proprieties above all, he was born to make known how becoming goodness and clemency are. That was the character of our good king, Henry IV.; he was quick in his anger, but he
;

recovered.
"

Ill-humor lasted with him only for moments, and human-

ity inspired all his life.

Such,

my

a sick father, dictates for his daughter. you arrive at Paris in good health.

dear child, are the sentiments which an uncle, or, rather, I shall be a little consoled if
I die in

and

sister.

Adieu.

"

May

My compliments to your brother your arms, unknown to men and to

kings

!

It is probable that tliis letter reached its destination, the King of Prussia. It did not soften him toward the writer. If

kings surpass the rest of us in the power to bear with composure other men's pains, they have also an extreme susceptibility
to pains of their
all this coil

own. Frederic never ceased to feel that, in with messieurs les beaux esprits, he was the magof injuries.

nanimous -forgiver

With

regard to the lady in the

Uenis, wliom Freytag arrested, as he said, for case, fear she should " spoil his affair," and get her uncle free, her sex was conclusive agjainst her with the kinor. She was a woman she was an impertinence and a bore. He never made her the least apology or reparation, and the mention of her
;

Madame

name

irritated him.

Madame Denis

uncle's long epistle of July 9th.

reached Paris in due time, and received her As it was not written to be

DRYING AFTER THE WRECK.
ans-wered, she did not answer
it.

153

Six weoks after, however,

worn out with French court,
cessful, she

ceaseless efforts to set her uncle right with the in which she then deemed herself not unsuc:

wrote to him thus

make an

" I have scarcely the strength to write to you, my dear uncle effort which I could make The universal only for you.

;

I

in-

dignation, the horror, and the pity which the atrocities at Frankfort have excited do not restore me to health. God grant that my former prediction that the King of Prussia would be the death of you be not fulfilled in myself I have been bled four times in eight days. Most of the foreign ministers have sent to inquire about me it seems as if they wished to repair the There barbarity practiced at Frankfort. is no one in France I say, no one, without a who single exception
! ;

has not condemned that violence, mingled with so much ridicule and It creates deeper impressions than cruelty. you believe. My Lord,
ing, at Versailles

Marechal (Prussian minister in France) has killed himself in disavowand everywhere else, all that passed at Frankfort. He has assured every one, on behalf of his master, that the king had no part in it. But see what the Sieur Fredersdorff writes to me
:

from Potsdam, the 12th of this month " I declare that I have always honored M. de Voltaire as a father, being always ready to serve him. Everything that happened to you at Frankfort was done by order of the king. Finally, I wish that you
'

may
"

always enjoy prosperity without

parallel.'

Those who have seen this letter have been confounded. Every one says that you have no part to take but that which you are .taking,

that of opposing philosophy to things so little philosophical. public judges men without considering their rank, and before that tribunal you gain your cause. Both of us do very well to be


;

The

silent

increases

All that I have suffered still public voice suffices us. tenderness for you, and I should go to meet you at Strasbourg or at Plombieres, if I could get out of my bed."

the

my

Slie

failed

was sadly mistaken in supposing that no one in France to condemn the Frankfort proceedings. When she

wrote those words on the 26th pf August, the French cabinet had already disposed of Voltaire's case. They had determined to sacrifice him to the King of Prussia's resentment.

August

8,

1753, the Marquis d'Argenson, a

member
''
:

of

tlie

cabinet, made the following entry in his diary to reiinter France is refused to M. de Voltaire.

Permission
is

It

sou<dit
wliile

by

this

little article

to

please

the King of

Pi-ussia,

displeasing him, as

we

do, in the principal things."

154

LIFE OF VOLTAIRE.
permission,
as

The

we

see
;

by the correspondence, was

at least, for some months. merely withheld, not refused Long he remained in doubt as to the intentions of the government, but dared not venture far across the border until he had received express permission, which did not come. For a year or two, it was the absorbing question with him whether he should be allowed to return to his house in Paris, or should be obliged to find an asylum elsewhere. Nothing, however, could depress him long, for he had found the philosopher's " I have stone. always had it for a maxim that occupation So he and labor are the only resource against misfortune." wrote to his Duchess of Saxe-Gotha about this time. Three festive, consoling, laborious weeks he passed at MayHis clothes being well dried there, once more he reence. sumed his journey toward Strasbourg. Before leaving Potsdam he had been invited by Charles-Theodore, the Elector-Palatine, to visit his dominions, a.nd, accordingly, he next halted at the agreeable city of Mannheim on the Rhine, the capital of the

Palatinate.

Upon

this

some interesting
"

details,
for

part of his journey Collini gives us recorded only by him.

We

left

Mayence

Mannheim on
still

discovering the ruins, which
Palatinate, at different points,

Rhine where the French under Marshall Tu'

the 28th of July. existed at that time in the

Upon

renne had burned and ravaged, Voltaire cried out, It is impossible that our nation can be loved in this country for these devastations must, without ceasing, recall the inhabitants to the hatred of the French name. My friend, let us give ourselves out here for Italians.' Accordingly, at Worms, where we slept, he pretended to be an Italian The innkeeper, who spoke a little Italian, talked with gentleman.
;

him while we supped. Voltaire abandoned himself to his natural gayand rendered ety, made the man believe a thousand singular- things,
the supper very diverting.
fort.

His

fertile

was no longer the Voltaire of Frankimagination always came to his assistance, and soft-

He

ened the bitterness of

his humiliations. Sixty years of persecution His state of indisposition was a did not give him a single headache. natural and permanent one, which accompanied him from the cradle
to the coffin.

The
;

of the maladies

ceived no one
his pains
taire,

letters which he wrote to his friends always spoke which overwhelmed him, and in this respect he denevertheless he Hved on from day to day, forgetting

— and

and

his diseases in work, a remedy known only to Voldeceived unceasingly people who in society and in the

DRYING AFTER

TIIE

WRECK.

155

newspapers spoke of liiin as dying or dead. Tliose who judged him by the habits of the generality of men deceived themselves and deVoltaire in his working-room was not the Voltaire ceived others.
the public imagined. " Tlie next day, early in the morning, we arrived at Mannheim, then the residence of the Electors-Palatine. The court was still to

whom

be for some time at Schwetzingen, the country house of the sovereign. Voltaire, finding himself so near his native country, and secure from

He arobservation, spent some days in putting his affairs in order. ranged his papers, and changed into French currency the money rescued from the Frankfort shipwreck. A Jew, who did not forget his
own
"
at
interest, negotiated this business.

As soon as the Elector, Charles-Theodore, had learned the arrival Mannheim of the illustrious voyager, he hastened to send one of

convey him to Schwetzingen. Tliere he and all his were entertained, and he had no other table than that of the sovereign. This court was then one of the most brilliant in Germany; festivals followed festivals, and good taste gave them an agreeableness always new. Hunting, comic opera, French- comedies, concerts by
his carriages to

suite

the first performers in Europe, made the electoral palace a delightful abode for strangers of distinction or merit, who, besides, found a welcome most cordial and flattering. I did not then foresee that one day

which
their

French company came in a body to present man who had extended their art by so many masterpieces. The}' asked permission to come to him for the purpose of taking lessons from him upon the spirit of their roles, and upon declamation. Nothing could please him more than to be consulted upon matters relating to the theatre, and especially upon his own works. He gave instructions which worked a great change in the his rooms at the palace became the temple of Melpomene. actors " Of all the various pursuits to which he owed his glory and his dearest delights, the drama was the one which absorbed him most, and which had an ascendency over his mind which nothing could ever weaken. To science, to history, to theology, to romance, he gave only, as it were, some moments of caprice -while forty dramatic works

I should be settled there, I admired. " All the actors of the

and become the manager

of those festivals

homage

to the celebrated

;

;

attest the persistence of a true passion.

He

surrounded himself with

everything

Individuals who showed could nourish this passion. talent for declamation, as well as those who made the theatre their
tliat

profession, were received into his house with the esteem and regard due to merit. He did not share with his century that frightful prejudice which degraded and debased a man whose vocation it is to pro

156

LIFE OF VOLTAIRE.

cure for us an amusement so proper and so full of charms that it has become a necessity to us. " Fetes and plays were not the only attractions of the electoral

nobler passion then occupied also the leisure of the soverMannheim was the asylum of the eign of that beautiful country. learned men and artists were protected and sciences and the fine arts
court.
;

A

after dinner, Charles-Theodore had a conversation in his cabinet with Voltaire, who read one of his works, and they conversed together upon literature. To give the elector an idea of his method in writing the Annals of the Empire,' he commu-

encouraged there.

Every day,

'

nicated to

him the part

of his manuscrijit which treated of the reign

of Charles V.

" Charles-Theodore wished that Voltaire should

visit,

before leaving,

A

the galleries and collections he had formed in the palace at Mannheim. He examined with carriage conveyed him, and I went with him.

attention the beautiful library of the elector, the gallery of pictures, that of the antiques, and the cabinet of medals. He beheld with
all that this prince had done in so short a time for the It was on this occasion that he offered to progress of the sciences. the library the companion to that unfortunate book of poetry which he had -been forced to give up at Frankfort, the title of which was

astonishment

'

Memoirs
*'

for the History of the

House

of Brandenbourg.'

Voltaire passed fifteen days at Schwetzingen, feted, sought after, and overwhelmed with attentions. When we set out from Schwetzin-

made him promise to return as soon as he could. He kept that promise better than the one he had given Frederic. He returned five years after. We slept on the loth of August at Rasgen, his highness
tadt,

and the next day we arrived, by way of Kehl,

at Strasbourg.

We

alighted at a little tavern bearing the sign of the

White Bear.

inn

" It was thought extraordinary that he should take lodgings at an little known, and situated in the worst quarter of the city, while

customed

there were at Strasbourg famous hotels, where rich travelers were acto lodge. Suppositions and conjectures were not wanting
this occasion
a.
;

upon

finally, after

much

Voltaire was
contrast a
see

miser.

I confess that this tavern of the
;

discussion, people agreed that White Bear did

little with his stately mode of traveling but we shall now how wrong it is to put faith in appearances, and how extremely careful we should be not to judge the actions of men upon simple What passed for a proof of avarice was, in fact, onlj conjectures. a consequence of the goodness of his heart. One of the waiters of the

Emperor inn
zeal

at Mayence had served us with extreme assiduity. His and good manners gained liim the favor of Voltaire. This waiter was from Strasbourg. He told us that his father kept in that city the

DRYING AFTER THE WRECK.

157

White Bear tavern, and entrcatcfl us to take lodgings at it. This attention of a son for the author of his being touched my illustrious travHe hoped eling companion, and he promised what was asked of him.
also,

"

We

by stopping there, to get more customers for the inn. had been some days at the Wliite Bear when we made the

acquaintance of M. Defresney, son of the postmistress of Alsace, a young man full of intellect and imagination. Voltaire greatly enjoyed

and they often talked together of the pleasure of living in M. Defresney proposed to him to occupy a little house the country. of out the city, near the Jew's Gate, attached to which was a large just
his society,

vegetable garden.

This

little

house belonged to

Madame

de Leon,

The offer was acgiven permission for Voltaire to occupy it. and we took 21st. possession August cepted, "All that Strasbourg contained of persons distinguished by birth or
who had
talent, as well as all foreigners of mark, came to visit Voltaire in his modest hermitage, and he experienced in this half solitude a satisfaction which he had not felt in several years. He found himself once more upon French territory those who crowded to visit him brought with them polite manners and. the national tone. He was regarded everywhere as an illustrious fellow-citizen, the ornament and pride of his In Germany he was, if I dare so express myself, only an country. exotic Voltaire [ Voltaire force'], and the distinctions with which the great honored him in that country could not have for him the value and the charm which the esteem of his own countrymen possessed. "He continued in this country-house the 'Annals of the Empire.'
;

The Countess

the isle of Jar, near our abode.

of Lutzelbourg lived in retirement at her chateau upon He went sometimes to pass the even-

ing there, which refreshed him after the most painful labor he ever undertook. " The celebrated Schoepflin [German historian of great learning] was then living at Strasbourg, and Voltaire desired to consult upon
the history of
torian.

Germany

a professor

who had gained renown

as a his-

He drew from him

author of the Annals
as
it

The precious suggestions for his work. the far read work as that he should proposed
his

was written, and indicate

comments.

Schoepflin, too

much

occupied with the duties of his professorship, could not accept the offer, and advised him to apply to Professor Lorentz. That professor under-

took with pleasure the task of examining the manuscript, and of removing the errors which could not but disfigure the work, begun to
please the Princess of Saxe-Gotha, and written rapidly amid the disorder and mishaps of our journey. " Voltaire's plan now was to stop in Alsace until he had irrevocably fixed upon the place of his retreat ; and that depended upon the news

158

LITE OF VOLTAIRE.

which his niece might send him from Paris. She employed the influence of his friends in ascertaining the intentions of the king with regard to her uncle, and in procuring for him the privilege of living in She loved him with the tenderest regard, peace in his own country. and her desire was to live with him at the capital. She put forth the

most zealous endeavors
obstacles.

Voltaire,

to succeed in this scheme but she found many Some scrupulous and timid souls dreaded the presence of The faction of the priests was the most envenomed and the
;

most powerful. He received from her the exact detail of all that she did, and nothing yet announced that he could continue his journey toward the interior of France. Obliged thus to remain in Alsace, he decided to go and live for the present at Colmar. The brother of Professor Schoepflin had some printing-presses there, and he offered to print the Annals of the Empire,' now approaching completion. This offer was accepted, and we made at once our preparations for removal. October 2, 17o3, we left Madame de Leon's house, and reached Colmar (forty-one miles distant) the same day. Voltaire hired a suite of rooms in the house of M. Goll. " Colmar afforded him the advantage of having one of his works He found in the persons composing the printed under his own eyes. sovereign council of Alsace agreeable society and literary resources. Here, too, as well as at Strasbourg, he could conveniently receive and
'

wait for the result of his niece's negotiations. As soon as we arrived, the Annals (Volume I.) were given to the printer While waitfix his destiny, he took the resolution to was to direct. A young girl of MontBabet had beliard, who spoke German and French, was our cook. some gayety, some natural liveliness of mind she loved to talk, and had the art of amusing Voltaire. She paid him attentions, and had for him an attachment which servants do not ordinarily have for their masters. He treated her with kindness and cordiality. I often joked with Babet upon his ardor [^empressement^. She would reply with a laugh, and pass on. Our way of life was peaceful and uniform. The great man whose companion I was had a feeling heart, an equal and tolerant mind, whose temper trouble could never sour. With such qualities, he maintained in his house domestic concord, a thing

ing for the tidings that should
set

up housekeeping, which

I

;

essential to the happiness of private life. Generally I played chess with him after dinner. Some friends, advocates, and counselors to

the sovereign council of Alsace, formed his ordinary society."

This eventful and exciting journey of seven months restored

His fifteen days' stay his spirits and benefited his health. at the electoral court revived his life-long love of the drama, which, as Collini truly says, was always his favorite pursuit.

DRYING AFTER THE WRECK. The drama was
tined to furnish
in

159

peculiar vogue at

a

home and
first

unborn

Schiller,

whose

Mannheim, a city descongenial employment to the " The Robbers," was to be play,
theatre.

originally jjresented at the
taire's visit, the Elector

Mannheim
all

During Vol-

exhibited

the resources of his dra-

matic company. " He paid me the gallantry," wrote the poet to his guardian angel, " of having four of my pieces played. That reanimated my old verve ; and I have set myself, dying as I am, to draw up a plan of a new piece (' Orphelin de la

Chine

'), all

full of love.

I

am ashamed

of

it

;

it

is

the rev;

ery of an old fool." This play was an additional alleviation for he could compose verses with delight when he could not
get out of bed, and he could correct them as long as he could hold a pen.

CHAPTER
He was

XIV.
SIDE.

THREATENED ON EVERY

settled, then, for the winter at ancient Colmar, in a familiar Alsace, province to him from of old. He had fretraversed this region with " Emilie," and he still had quently a considerable sum of money invested there. Lun^iville, the

seat of King Stanislas, so fatal to her, was within a day's ride, and Cirey itself could be reached in two days. Colmar, at that time, was not a manufacturing town, the rivers near by not having yet been turned into water-power. It was then the law capital of that part of Alsace, the seat of its courts, the abode of its lawyers and judges. German was commonly spoken there but French was the language of the educated and ruling classes. Voltaire chose the place for his temporary
;

abode, not merely for the convenience of printing his Annals, but very much because he desired to consult the learned lawyers of Colmar upon the complex laws and ill-defined rela" tions of that " Empire whose history he was outlining. For almost any other student of history in Europe Colmar would have been an agreeable and a safe retreat. To him what place on earth was safe ? The Jesuits were powerful in Colmar they were powerful as an order, and influential from the zeal and ability of some members. They had and in the and near establishments expended city, important a large revenue. Five years before, one of the Jesuit preachers closed a Sunday sermon with such a vigorous denunciation of Bayle's Dictionary, then in the lustre of a new and en;

larged edition (six volumes instead of four), that seven men of Colmar brought out their Bayles that day into the public square and burnt them, along with several copies of D'Ar" Jewish Letters." Voltaire had forgotten this, appargens's when he his abode at Colmar, and he was far took ently, up

from suspecting that he would be moved erelong to inform

THREATENED ON EVERY
the same

SIDE.

IGl

D'Argens

tliat

the city was

"half German, half

French, and wholly Iroquois."
Foreseeing no molestation, he was soon immersed in his usual labors, reading proof of his first volume, composing the second, wi-iting articles for the Encyclop;i3dia, sketching and rejecting plan after plan of his new tragedy, the " Orphan

D'Argental urged him to try once more his oftbetween himself and his enemies another dramatic triumph and never had there been such reason to make the jDublic liis friend as now, when he had no other friend that w^as strong. At other crises there had been a Prussia to retreat to, and a king to welcome him there. But now he was a sick, homeless old man, with a pen and a purse, against everything on the continent of Europe that wielded
of China."
tried expedient of putting
;

material power. He wooed with all the ardor of other days " the happy inspiration which had given " Zaire to the stage, " but not, at first, with much success. little My poor genius," he wrote to D'Argental, in October, 1753, " can produce offI have drawn up four plans, completely spring no more arranged, scene after scene neither of them seemed to be tender enough. I threw them all into the fire." He succeeded
;

better after further

trials,
tlie

and

his

Orphan grew under

his

hands.

Encyclopaedia were better suited to the distraction of settling in a new abode. He wrote to D'Alembert in the same October
Articles for
:

" I have obeyed your orders as well as I could

;

I

have nei-

ther the time, nor the knowledge, nor the health, to work as I could wish. I offer you these essays only as materials for you
to arrange according to
edifice

your own judgment in the immortal which you are raising. Add, retrench. I give you my

It is grievpebbles to stick into some corner of the wall ous that philosophers should have to be theologians. Oh, try, when you get as far as the word THOUGHT, to say, at least, that the doctors know no more how they make thoughts than liow

they make children. Fail not, at the word Resurrection, to remember that St. Fiancis-Xavier raised from the dead eleven
thcnisand compliments to by actual count your colleague [Diderot]. Adieu, Atlas and Hercules, who carry the world upon your shoulders." Several peaceful weeks passed in that modest abode which
persons,
VOL.
II.

A

11

162

LITE OF VOLTAIRE.

Babet enlivened and Collini described. The first volume of the Annals was printed, and twelve copies of the same (two " " bound, ten in paper) were laid at the feet of the Duchess
of Saxe-Gotha, " to serve for the education of Monseigneur her The auson, and to amuse the leisvire of his august mother."

thor told her he would have had them all bound, but for his " " impatience to send her this mark of his homage. She replied with something more than gracious words ; she sent him

a draft upon her bankers at Frankfort for a thousand louis d"or. He would not accept it but it was difficult, at that time, for
;

an author to refuse the gift of a princess without offense. He wrote her an- exquisite letter, entreating her to cancel the draft. " Madame," said he, " should the granddaughter of Ernest the Pious wish by her generosity to make me fall into the sin of

simony

?

Madame,

it is

not permitted to

sell

sacred things."

He

upon the chief lady of her court to intercede for him, that he might be allowed to labor for her without reward. " Speak firmly. Say boldly to the duchess that my heart, penetrated with the most tender gratitude, absolutely cannot accalls

The duchess yielded to his entreaties, and cept her benefits." sent him, as a mem-ento of her gratitude, a silver ewer.
She rendered him the further service of
cessity of his conciliating the the heart of the king toward

King

insisting on the neof Prussia. She softened

him, and prepared the

way

for

In reply to her advice on this subtheir final reconciliation. " I know that it is needful to conciliate a man he wrote, ject,

who
if

is

all

the

This could be done easily powerful and dangerous. wrong had been on my side but he feels that he
;

has behaved

ill,

and, in order to justify himself, he

makes the

measure run over. He pretends to impute to me that letter of 1752, which describes his private life, and which was He knows well, at published at Paris while I was at Berlin. the bottom of his heart, tliat that letter, in which I am myself maltreated, cannot be mine." He went further. He sent a copy of his Annals to the King of Prussia, with a letter, in which he begged the king to believe that he was not the author of the scandalous letter just mentioned. Frederic politely acknowledged the gift, and remarked that it was " beautiful to see a man, who was capable of producing works of genius, occupying himself with works

THREATENED ON EVERT

SIDE.

163

of pure utility. He discoursed also of the unhappy breach between them with candor and freedom
:

" I have never believed that you were the author of the libels which have appeared. I am too familiar with your style and with your way
of thinking to be so mistaken ; and even though you were the author You ought to reof them I should forgive you with all my heart.

member

that

when you came

to

Potsdam

to

take leave of

me

I

iis-

sured you that I was willing to forget all that had passed, provided you would give me your word not to do anything more against Maupertuis.

If you had held to what you then promised, I should have seen you return here with pleasure you would have passed your life tranquilly with me, and, in ceasing to disturb your own repose, you
;

would have been happy.

my memory
took

But your residence at Leipsic renewed in I the i-ecollections which I had desired to efEace from it.

it ill that, notwithstanding the promise you had given me, you did not cease to write against Maupertuis and, not content with that, de;

which I accord, and am bound to accord, to my wished to cover it with the same ridicule that you had Academy, you so long labored to cast upon the president. These are the grievances I have against you for, as to myself, personally, I have none. I shall
spite the protection
;

always disapprove what you did against Maupertuis but not the less shall I recognize your literary merit. I shall admire your talents, as I have always admired them. You honor humanity too much by your
;

genius for

to be indifferent to your destiny. I could wish that you your mind of these disputes, which ought never to have occupied it, and that, restored to yourself, you would be, as you were formerly, the delight of whatever society you frequent. Upon this, I pray God to liave you in his holy and worthy keeping."

me

would

free

This was not a soothing letter. If the King of Prussia exacted a promise from Voltaire not to tease a poor president any more, surely he was bound to keep the president from writing Voltaire a defiant letter, threatening him with personal violence, and making j)ainful allusions to past experiences of the same nature. The king made no apology to Madame Denis, and spoke of " these disputes " in a manner most aggravating to one who deemed himself, and who really was, " These the defender of a deeply injured man of learning. " Voltaire frequently spoke in this light tone of disputes
!

Frederic's differences with his royal and imperial neighbors. all regard in that way otlier people's disputes but not so

We

;

do we estimate our own au^rust and sacred

strifes.

It

was a

164
king, however,

LIFE OF VOLTAIRE.

who wrote

tliis

letter,

and Voltaire could not

argue the matter with him. Moreover, he was relieved to be able to infer that it was not Frederic of Prussia who was opposing, or would oppose, his retuini to his native city. The king hit upon a singularly happy expedient for setting " of Paris. It was durhimself right with the " philosophers of that he settled the this 1754 upon ing spring worthy

D'Alembert that pretty little pension of twelve hundred francs per annum, which exactly doubled the recipient's revenue. Madame du Hausset, femme to Pompadour, has recorded the scene which took place in madame's boudoir when the King of
France told the story of this pension, and read the letter of Frederic to his ambassador in which his intention was communicated.
his hand,
"

Louis

XV.

entered the boudoir with the letter in

and

said in a

mocking tone,
is

The King

of Prussia

men

of talent, and, like Louis

He loves certainly a great man desires to make XIV., Europe
!

resound with his benefactions towards the learned of other
countries."

Then, holding up the letter, and showing it to the persons " Here is a letter from him addressed present, he continued, to Lord Mardchal, ordering him to notify a superior man of my kingdom of a pension which he has accorded him. These are the king's words
:

"
est

You must know that there is a man in Paris of merit who does not enjoy a fortune proportioned
'

the greatto his tal-

ents and chai'acter. I could wish to serve as eyes to the blind goddess, and to repair, at least, some of her injustices and for this I'eason I desire you to offer him the pension which I have
:

named.
who,

I flatter myself that

he will accept
afford

this

pension in

consideration of the pleasure

it will

me

to oblige a

man

mind " Here the king stopped.
'
!

to loveliness of character, joins the sublimest qualities of

Two

other courtiers entered, and

he began to read the letter over again, for their benefit, in the same style of mock admiration.- When he had finishf^l reading " The letter comes to me from the minister for it, he said,
foreign affairs, with a petition that I permit this sublime genius to accept the pension. But how much do you sup^Jose " it amounts to ? Some guessed six, some eight, and some ten

"You are mightily mistaken. she took great care of it. or whom he would acknowledge. a very happy of this pension. jected her. with triumphant scorn. learning that the child had been abandoned. hit between the trifling and the (oppress- ive. " You are wife. and w'as indeed a true mother to it all the days of her life.THREATENED ON EVERY SIDE. and so. francs ! " " That is for sublime certainly not much. Fortunately. The child grew up to be D'Alembert. talents men will trumpet the benefaction through." My nurse. but literary out Europe. in the san)e humble and inconvenient house. The clothing of the child showed that it came from a wealthy house. whose husband's shop was near There was probably something in the basket which inby. and. the glazier's wife was one of the kindest of women. November. and the King of Prussia will have the pleasure of making a great deal of noise at a very little expense. settled upon it an income for life of twelve hundred francs a year. the glazier's Upon leaving college his pension. he returned to his old home in the modest abode of the glazier's family. small as it was. Being alone in the world. a certain On day in . having no relations who would acknowletlge him." said a courtier. although entirely illiterate." said " " Twelve laindred the king. as ^vell as a celebrated auHe rethoress. When he had become a famous author. dicated the origin of the child for in a few days the father. a policeman. so derided by Louis XV.. found upon the steps of a chapel a basket with a new-born baby in it. 165 thousand francs per annum. not far from the grand entrance to the cathedral of Notre Dame. a fine court lady. gave him the choice of his career. he confided the little creature to a glazier's wife named Rousseau. It acter of was exactly suited to the circumstances and the charD'Alembert for who was D' Alembert ? . saying. instead of taking it to the Foundling Asylum. she who is my mother. i\Iadame de Tencin. loving this child with the affection of a mother. he continued to re- . because it gave him the command of his time. came forward and avowed herself his mother." The amount indeed. In that family. in a poor street. A powerful motive to this was the fact that the money which he could pay for his subsistence would add materially to their ease and comfort. was. going his rounds in Paris. 1717. — — it is only my step-mother.

indeed. was three years after this when the scene occurred in the related above. Upon learning his way of life. side for forty years. It was an act that enables us to forgive Freytag's exploits at Frankfort. of Science. The reader has been informed that Voltaire and " Emilie " studied history together at Cirey. residence with the friends of his childhood. and he selected this favorable time for putting his scheme into execution. the published anything meritorious during the year. and his habits. and j)i'obably enabled Voltaire to forgive them sooner than he otherwise could. care. Before the first volume of the " Annals of " the Empire had been a month in existence. and that the most important . medal had been awarded to D'Alembert for his "Discourse on " the General Theory of the Winds and this it was which led . and pursuing profound studies with an assiduity sel- dom His good old nurse appears never to have susequaled. his simple his elevation above all the ordinary ambitions. boudouir of "was Madame de Pompadour which Frederic had founded the Berlin Academy which accustomed to award medals of honor to any one who had In 1746. To her he was always the that he pected fragile. was a great man. mere brigandage. the king conceived the fortunate idea of contributing a little to the ease of his cir- cumstances. the king to make inquiries concerning the character and position of the author. ri>3re was nothing then in the trade that was a surer speculation than an historical work with the name of Voltaire on the and this circumstance now led to a premature and title-page . as before remarked. lawless publication that closed the gates of Paris against the author for twenty-four years. living always with the same frugality and simplicity. good boy who needed her . a very early age his mathematical writings made him famous throughout Europe and. The business of publishing books was then. three unauthorized editions were announced. as we can easily believe who still daily witness the spoliation of authors through the absence of international laAV." had whetted the appetite of publishers. The popularity of his Age of Louis XIV.166 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. against which neither author nor publisher had any defense or redress. he was but twentythree when his essay upon the Integral Calculus caused him to be elected a It At member of the French Academy is of Sciences.

a principle. 1753. when Madame Denis. and others and the whole had been left with derelict Longchamp to copy. and the all . a conjecture. gradually evolved and pubupon General History. D'Argental. In January. enlightened.THREATENED ON EVERY result of their studies SIDE. a sentiment. useful to man. and procured a notarial certificate of a character." in six volumes. and. engine of influence to smooth the way for his return home. The swarmed with errors. to the King of Prussia. Two editions were speedily pub- work was tlius in a few weeks spread over Europe. a private edition of this bold. humane. Jean Neaulme. he disavowed the work. to the Elector-Palatine. In vain the author strove to parry the blow in vain he sought to excuse himself lished in Paris.' attributed to M. fied or exhibited the discrepancies. probably. giving Voltaire's view of man and liis past doings upon the earth. and bearing the same relation to the rest as Buckle's Introduction was meant to bear to that " " which the English author impossible History of Civilization in to the shoi-t hoped complete compass of a man's life-time. for having rendered of edition of course some man and truth. The Hague and Berlin. to the Duch. some of the author's own it conthis great service to . 1754. some typographical. Richelieu. a truth. having procured his latest manuscript from Paris. publisher. Acting upon this circumstance. At first it was so but was finally called " Essay upon the Manners of the Nations. There was scarcely one page of the woi'k that did not contain a fact. was present before the undersigned . It was a terrible blow to the author. entitled. tained also perilous M'ords and passages wliich had been modi- omitted in later manuscripts. — Saxe-Gotha. a volume by itself. suggestive work appeared in Holland. 1754. The pait in which there was most of the Voltairean spirit was the Introduction. Some chapters of this Introduction had appeared long ago in " the " Mercure portions of the manuscript had been given and lent to individuals. 167 lished piecemeal. without example : — "Declaration concerning a book entitled 'An Abridgment of Universal History. de Voltaire. he went before notaries with it. offensive to Boyer of Mirepoix. {_3Ioeurs'] was a work. a jest. the pirate editor. an error. February 22. "This day. and all the author's friends were setting in motion every ess of .

" In the edition of Jean Neaulme. in folio. : '• It was impossible not to revere (4.) Page 46 of the manuscript. who showed us a manuscript. and of Russia. in a parcel countersigned Bouret. softened the manners of the Goths. and upon the History of the Human which Mind. proved unworthy to be one. which also appeared very old. The Hague. does not see those faults. extended religion. The ill-design of putting doctors in the place of imans appeared obvious to us. : ' Mahomet ' : TJie ordinary Turk. 1753.) rians resemble in this some tyrants of whom they speak : they sacrifice way : We — We a single man.' And from Charlemagne Jean Neaulme. 1740 ' ' . entitled Essays upon the Revolutions of the AVorld. member of the French Academy. " Upon which the author declared that. having turned Ch'istian. in this. Histo(1. malicioixsly suppressed " at the article (3. of those of Rome. the following essential words are " Proved umvorthy to be one. line 3. the 21st of the present month. that Several indefatigable spirits having. gentleman-in-ordinary of the' king's chamber. and the doctors employ a deluge of words to palliate them.) Page 65 of the manuscript an almost uninterrupted succession of pontiffs who had consoled the church. and Franks. Vandals : Lombards. who does printed work was substituted not see those faults. who amines. . Historians. in the following particulars: " found on the first page of the manuscript. manuscript the Sieur appearing before us said he had received yesterday. 12mo. of Tuscany. the human race to " And in the edition of he would institute proceedings against those who disfigured his work in a manner so odious. at suitable time and place. adores them. " He showed us in like manner a printed work in two volumes. from the Age of Charlemagne to our own Days. we recognized that the said Abridgment was in part taken ' Abridgment of Universal History By M. Jean Neaulme we found.168 notaries LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. from his library at Paris. de Voltaire. Francois-Marie.) Page who. re- bound in boards. M. from the manuscript of the said Sieur. of Boulogne. to entitled Charles V. both begin in the same as exhibited to us. and revolted against him.Arouet de Voltaire. sacrifice the human race to a single man. etc. and the imans have no trouble in convincing people of that which no one ex" In the The ordinary man. of England. much worn by use. adores them. like kings. : 59 of the manuscript The King of Persia had a son (2. of Scotland. " also perceived the very great dijGPerence between the said manuscript'^ and the said printed book.

and if you deem it apropos to say a word on the subject to the to .. appearing before us. The work was eagerly tate you. uncertain whether even that poor privilege would be contaire still . etc. which contains more than two pages. us that he expects immediately from Paris the second volume of his manuscript.'''' She dared not interpose she.]. have become veryupon which I feliciBut all was of no avail. as well as of the bad faith. and worthy of the contempt of all readers.Jean Xc'aulme. hoped to change the king's mind but. script so different " The author informed . We also compared the manuscript of the first volume with the edition of . . the tolerated reprobate. at present." also addressed a public letter to the pirate publisher. etc." said he. The king has said to Madame de Pompadour that he does not wish " me go to Paris. He secret of debasing a work which might You have gained some money. The King of France. I flatter myself that it will be permitted me to curry my dying body where I please. " And the sieur. I remit all to your goodness and your prudence. condemning it as filled with errors and faults. and thus his genuine work is ei^ht times larcfer than that which has been published under his name. 169 " All this passage. . and I am persuaded that he will find it good for me to move about in the distance. could not make common cause with a reprobate not tolerated and ]\Iadame Denis was duly informed of the king's remark. and as I do not know what he wishes. son of D'Argenson) February 20.54. informed her that he " did not ivish Voltaire to come to Paris..:d ox every side.theeatem. 17. . declaring it surreptitious. protested against the edition which Jean Neaulme has presumed to publish wrongfully under his name. . etc. and we did not find a single page in which there are not jjreat differences between them. useful. etc. of " Your editor. As I have received no positive order from the king [he wrote to one of the ministers (^Marquis de Paulmi. in the boudoir of his mistress. is entirely forgotten in the Holland edition. he was obliged to remain on the outermost edge of his country.. "has found the cutting moderation. and which ends at the time of Philip II. " On account of which the author complains of the ignorance. which is as thick as the first. of him who sold to Jean Neaulme a manu- from the true one." the hierarchy was deeply offended and he was devoured soon distinctly notified that he could not return to his home. tinued to him. Vol. I agree with his majesty I do not wish to go to Paris.

begun a poem upon Philadelphia. Voltaire indulged a fancy of ious. cutting away the ground on which Jesuits and Jan- senists equally stood. 538. in 1753. Pennsylvania was then a name much honored in the circle of " philosophers. I pray you to sound the indulgence of the most frightful to suffer all that I do for a bad book which not mine. he had had thoughts of abandoning Europe. of glory little to be expected in a country only eighty years settled." if He might well be curious to know he would be allowed to travel. is worthy by philosophers. kins. What — And now. I am satisfied that the king does not wish me to die in the Colmar hospital. and taking up his abode in the New World across the sea." of the " Philosophical Dic. wrote Thieriot to a friend in Martinique. ever since his escape from Frankfort. of. It was in the summer of 1752 that Franklin flew his kite and brought down electricity from the the crowning experiment of six years' ingenthunder-cloud. at least. movement among the Jesuits knew how. but the question was becoming serious Whither could he go ? Where could he : was to become of him ? For some time past. as Thieriot mentions. ' 2 Memoires sur Voltaire." The dread of crossing the ocean deterred him so. He had since. . to allay the rising storm .170 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. to the was added a kind lustre of this unique system of tolerance. and to speak of it as a simple thing which requires no permission. Deign to let me know if I can travel." province. resolute investigation " I will confide to in this renowned settling you. " that.. king at some opportune moment. is It is In one word. from what to be inhabited I ^ have heard of it. I shall be indebted to you for my life. by adroit appeals to Jesuit friends. he says in the article " Quakers. and he rarely lost an opportunity of extolling the wisdom which welcomed to Pennsylvania men of every religion and of every sect a policy that kept the broad Delaware alive with vessels laden with the stuff that great empires are made men and women who practice virtue and use their minds. there was a He to expel him from the city. which. Voltaire had the design to go and found an establishment in — ! Philadelphia. par Wagaiere et Longcliamp. for as soon as the Abridgment began to circulate in Colmar. live ? ." who had not forgotten the agreeable impressions left upon their minds by Voltaire's interviews with the English Quakers.

" SIDE. in . O Pennsylvania. you are a citizen. blazing into just wrath at the insensate pride of the sons of William in his Penn. and could form an idea how suitable a city full of such would have been to the least Quakerly man in the world. : . Yes if the sea delphiaii. it would be in thy bosom. Unbroken peace reigns among thy citizens. continually doubled. thy inhabitants industrious. This wretch was doubtless possessed of the devil for he dared one. there is any remainder ! Thou art situated at the fortieth degree. 171 where he also recalls some of the facts this time. subaltern. ! vania. and fictions that attracted him to Pennsylvania at The reader m'dj smile when he reads his vision of Philadelphia. Franklin himself. He well deserved it he was an turned who. but may all the intolerants go with him " So. ." This passage is doubtless a reminiscence of the time when he read Peter Kalm's account of the Quaker Arcadia." He would not have stayed long in Pennsylvania. of three hundred thousand people who live happily in Pennsylto . for the only time up public life. a climate the most mild and favorable thy fields are fertile. thy houses commodiuusly built. and no one can do harm to you you think what you please. and within those hundred acres you You can do are veritably king for you are free. Hearing Friend Claude's knowledge and simplicity highly spoken of. . no harm to any one. Quaker. thy manufactures esteemed. you know not you have no court to pay you do not dread the insolence of a consequential . . Claude Gay was the name of this Philadelphian. [wrote Voltaire] the one I like best is that of PhilaI love the Quakers.THREATENED ON EVERY fcionary. and there has been but a single example of a man banished from the country. For twelve guineas you can acquire a hundred acres. . and sat in his Colmar lodgings wondering where he should spend the remainder of his days. and rethat it was written when the province was torn with the placid dissensions of the utmost conceivable virulence members . if " Of all titles ami des freres . I know not preach intolerance. " if there was any remainder. the burden of imposts. he desired to see him. He had soon after a taste of a genuine Quaker from Philadelphia. was unworthy to be having Anglican priest. there are two hundred thousand foreigners. George Keith was his name where he has gone. that 1 should finish the remainder of my career. and you say it without any one's persecuting you . did not cause me an insupportable sickness. Crimes are almost unknown.

He could himself expend freely enough but his liberality was that of a person who intends to retain the power to be liberal. The American permitted him to laugh with the to sport. I can but exhibit' to you wounds which death alone can cure. by the tranquil dignity of his he soon his regarded sobriety as a kind of challenge guest. withdrew to his room. Gaberel. to dine and the Quaker reluctantly accepted an invitation at his house. ashamed. So runs the tale. and. Voltaire. page 20.^ To return to Colmar. and it is more probable than many of the . upon the subject of her expenditure of money in Paris." Then he set out without regarding any excuse. The declaration which I have had drawn up.172 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. written in March. Voltaire uttered some witticisms upon the historic books of the Bible. perhaps one day thou wilt understand these things better meanwhile. — " Friend Voltaire. 1754. " My clear and honored friend. He of objected. She gave him hard . and the conversation turned upon the first inhabitants of the earth and the patriarchs. The this period was a difference with bitterest drop in his cup during his niece. in Paris money which he had and he looked about for an agent sum who would transact his business there. Irrithe of his Voltaire turned into coolness. rising from the table. . seven equivocally. Madame Denis. it appears. said to him. and. Voltaire anecdotes. first Pleased at utmost coolness. find it good that I leave thee. "vivacity" by anger. Claude Gay tated discussed the subject without betraying emotion. to her having helped herself to a designed for another object. as the Abbe Moussinot had done years before. words in return for his remonstrance. while hers was the ordinary lavishness of a luxurious woman who is spending an uncle's money. par J. at last. pretending pressing business. Behold me exiled from Paris forever for a book which is certainly not mine ia the state in which it apfor a book which I have reprobated and condemned so unpears. direct thee. show how serious and how critical his situation was at this — moment. — 1 Vohaire et Les Genevois. How she resented this check upon her extravagance we learn from letters of Volletters which taire to D'Argental. above all. the Quaker. God preserve thee.

in her unworthy letters. the desire to arrange my property in her favor am forced to fly and my revenues are confiscated (a thing possible. that with me as she to is herself. she is accustomed still to have company to at her house I her health has rendered Paris more necessary . my . I shall conceal the vices of your heart as I can. that you had doubled my revenue. and This situation. tell have been in from a friend like you that we ought to ask reproof when we have committed faults. an happiness to her happiness. my conduct to you . Let Madame Denis show you all my letters you will see in them only the excess of affection. who could Forgive me. and because it would have appeared too singular before the public that I should have left it all. aggravated b}' long maladies. the fear not to do enough for her. and whom I treat as my is daughter. if I pour into If I it is your generous bosom the wrong. and one entire sacrifice of to which I my own have had reason given me to apprehend). Do not force ' men '• me to hate you. for whom. and substituted. will not reach the king. my share solitude. See the very words of her letter of February 20th I remain persecuted. Finally. I submit complaints and my tears. You are the last of point of heart.THREATENED ON EVERY copies of which I sent to SIDE. at court and in town. I confess to you that I have need of a little patience it is hard to be treated so by a person who was so dear to me. than that which I inherited from my father. not. And what my fault ? you are as angry To have asked you both unearth for me some serve for her and for me. I re- turned to Frj^nce. She continues. 173 Madame Denis. . be still further poisoned by the cruel abuse to I think. to her health. intelligent. a con- my me so . agent. : — Trouble has perhaps turned your head but can it spoil the I took heart ? Avarice pierces you you have only to speak up the money at Lalen's only because I imagined every moment that ' . She loves Paris . condemn me if I am wrong. upheld by those two supports. which I assured to her. I entreat you. Avarice pierces you. . my adorable — friend. in case I fidence without limit. her. as much as for you. The " love of money torments you. " you would return. ought which my niece makes of my misfortunes. and I endured my misfortunes with courage. her tastes. with a fortune have for sufficiently a fortune much greater ample. wise. misfortune. especially as I had said. suffering and I took comfort in the idea that she would remain in Paris. . Yon will not abandon me you will preserve me a friendship with which you honored me when we were children together.' " Then she half scratched out.' Such are the letters which I have received from a niece for whom in all I have done " that I could do . . Adieu. You and she alone remained to me. She intimates to me.

There are fatal impressions which can never be obliterated and all concurs to prove to me that I am lost without reI have made source. the passage [he continued]. to complete my journey. he has reason to be very much irritated by . to France only to go to Plombieres. I have allayed entirely the persecutions which fanaticism was about to excite against me. cannot know my innocence.174 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. I trusted it would be permitted to me I added that. " The king has read passage criminal The it . and if I could find one. his sitauthor of the view a clearer beleaguered response. as she had little time to write. if I had health the but sufferings of the body lower the tone courage of the soul. — — that. have written to Madame de Pompadour. if asylum was in a foreign country. my dear angel." who stood to me This friend of fifty years wrote a letter of warm and tender In his consolation. b}^ which Voltaire was greatly comforted." These tion at this time. and I have told her having returned having received no positive order from his majesty. and hence it has come to pass that I have returned to France only to be exposed to a persecution that will outlast my life. myself an irreconcilable enemy of the King of Prussia by wishing to leave him the pretended Universal History The king has drawn upon me the implacable wrath of the clergy. with regard to that pretended Universal History but I should have preferred excommu. my health growing worse. Such is my situation. and if my seeking such a refuge was regarded as an act of disobedience. the alleviation of labor It is in serve as some resource. . and that that resource such a case that a family can is taken from me. and that is enough. and he has not the time to read the incontestable proofs that it was falsified. and having need of another climate. it is cerWho would prevent it ? I tain that my revenues would be seized. dear angel. to whom she was bound by interest . even in Colmar.'' in w^iich kings were said to sacrifice the human is race to the caprice of an individual. " If I should seek it was believed that an unknown asylum. cile herself letters suffice to present the material facts of his posiMadame Denis did not long delay to recon- with her uncle. and I must not in. nication to experiencing the injustice which a niece as a daughter has added to my misfortunes. I should take her silence for a permission to do so. He had learned from friends at court that the king had read the passage in the " pretended Universal History. gave uation after forty years of toil in his vocation. especially when the exhaustion is such as not to permit . I feel that I should have much dulge in illusions with regard to it.

ive or a persistent enemy. Nor was the King of Prussia an actThe really serious clanger was from numerous and powerful. ' . 4. but " She interested herself for him she dared not interfere.250. Paris. testifies that she desired to end Voltaire's exile. and lived in intimacy with her circle. to lose who had the proceeds of rope who had a printing-press. 58.000 francs. 1 2 Memoirs of Marmontel.' ^ . of France could instantly and forever deprive him exceeded 60. where his enemies.THREATENED ON EVERY as well as SIDE. Marmontel. 1806.000 francs per annum. London. 175 by affection. Richelieu him 14.000 francs a year paid him an annuity of . and kings whose labor were a prey to every man" in Euoffice at Versailles under Ma- dame de Pompadour's brother. Ah. who then held an It was much for a man of sixty and hierarchies to contend with. no it does not depend on me. . the Duke of Bouillon 3. sometimes inquired of me about him and when I answered that it depended only on her to make her inquiries unnecessary " she said.000. needed but a scrap of writing and the king's signature to divert his annuiBonds of the city of Paris yielded ties into the royal treasury. his pensions amounted The income of which a fiat of the King to more than 4. . with a sigh.

Voltaire this year at Colmar resolved to comply also. would comply with the custom as an example. they who omit to do so are reprobate. Easter was approaching. but. capable of communiSome ministers of the altar cating contagion wherever he should go. Spies . took charitable pains to foment those fears. and because it was instinctive in feudal chiefs to ally themselves with the preachers of unreasoning obedience. Hence. inconvenience. or danger. In this extremity he resorted to an expedient which carried belligerent rights to an extreme.CHAPTER XV. Easy-going Catholics. the disregard of which would have subjected them to loss. millions of Dissolute noblemen. was in the month of April . informs us tliat he was moved thereto by the advice of friends in liberation Paris . conformed to this usage. to whom we are indebted for nearly all our knowledge of this event. he was not unwilling. and he executed his purpose with de- and completeness. who neglect the rites of their church during the rest of the year. The question was to find a way " It of dissipating them. commune at Easter. that he had been followed everywhere since his departure from Brandenbourg. that he was even closely observed on that frontier of France where he then was. " Madame Denis [says Collini] notified her uncle that watchful eyes were upon him from Versailles. and that he was regarded as an infected member of the flock. They who confess and commune at Easter may call themselves are accustomed to confess and Catholics . probably. to afford the world this signal proof of his contempt for what he esteemed barbaric rites. and this concession suffices to keep them within the pale of the church. HIS EXCLUSION FROM FRANCE. while endeavoring to deprive his enemies of a weapon against him. like the Duke of Richelieu. among whom were many unbelievers. Secretary Collini. non-religious Catholics.

I raised on Voltaire's and I cast a sudden glance presented his tongue. and communed side gone. His Paris friends were informed of the test by which he was to be judged. as face. " Voltaire asked the ' me one day Easter. to know what Voltaire himself thought of it. ' " I confess that I profited by so rare an occasion to examine the countenance of Voltaire during this important act. amiable. They saw in this step and persuaded him to yield to the necesan expedient to calm agitation. — Tliey sity. On returning home. ). he sent to the convent of the Capuchins a dozeu my eyes to heaven." he wrote to D'Argens. On this occasion it was said had taken his first communion at Colmar. He who thought lies to it just as allowable an act as that of a farmer a furious bull by setting up in a field a stick with a hat and coat upon it. and did not return till I learned that tlie Capuchin was The next day we went to church together. "I conceive. by side. After the first words I disappeared. and fixed his ej^es wide open upon the physiognomy of the priest.' said he to me. Just comment upon would be less as it difficult happily. Between those extremes every one who considers the matter will find ample standing-room. A Capuchin came to visit him I was in his room when this monk arrived.HIS EXCLUSION were already posted FROM FRANCE. in devotion. It concerns us. his own. not less virtuous and . a few days before. sacrament at replied that such was my Very well. I knew those looks of his. cept another person's judgment upon it unless it accorded with countless multitude of virtuous and charitably A disposed persons would instantly condemn it as a crime of immeasurable enormity while otliers. II. however. a test more apt to lead a man to hypocrisy and profanation than to make a good Catholic of him. is on papal ground 12 like Xancy and Colmar. ." this painful scene for scarcely . I ' was going to confess and receive intention. made him aware of it. At the moment when he was about if to receive the sacrament.' Everything was prepared for this ceremony. and obif tain permission for him to return to the capital. as needany reader would acis. it." furious to bind and burn him by a slow fire." On . God will pardon me this curiosity and my distraction I was none the less devout for . " that a devil goes to mass when he VOL. He bottles of at Paris tliat Voltaire good wine and a loin of veal. would fulfill 177 to see if Voltaire at this festival the duties imposed by the church. we will do so together. see in it merely an amusing device of a philosopher cornered by a band of " Iroquois.

There are people who are afraid to handle spiders there are others who swallow them. His reply was. I shall commune as at Easter. if possible. " When one is shut between foxes and wolves." had no results of any kind. was expected to deceive no one. ought wise men to do when they are surrounded by insensate barbarians? There are times when it is necessary to imitate their contortions and speak their language. and. I advise you mettre chausses has on entering. it was only that silent permission wliich he had So far as we can discern." was the rewhere. Paris remained closed to him. instead of making a bow. then? . Nor ought the reader to sought from the king's mistress." On this point his last secretary. The publication of part of his General History. times abase himself to them without compromise." " What D'Alembert." " asked Wagniere. At another time he expressed to himself. he said. another occasion he wrote to his "angels." " If I had a hundred thousand men. " " What would you have done if you had been born in Spain? " I would have Wagniere asked him one day.178 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. this act it It deceived no one . if it pleases God. . nor even in France. I shall do it again. hypocrite as much And later me a he wrote to . "And I was not made to live in Spain. it is someup times necessary to smoke out the foxes and howl with the There are things so contemptible that one can somewolves. 389. Wagniere. and you still shall call you please. and the rapturous welcome it retals A know cannot be 1 2 JEueid. Writing plainly. them not. still more Marquis de Villevielle. if he had permission to go to riombieres. I know well what I should do but as I have . has an anecdote. If ever you the should find yourself in a company where every one montre son eul. so absorbed as he was in a piursuit the most fascinating morlong cast down. infer from his letters to D'Argental and from this compliance with the Easter customs of his country that he was dismayed man or habitually dejected by the situation of his affairs. 3Iutemus clypeos} For the rest. gone to mass every day I would have kissed the sleeve of the monks and I would have tried to set fire to all their convents. what I have done this year I have done several times before. "In England. . and. V.

" had both known Lord Bolingbroke in their earlier They and he touches in the same letter upon the Memoirs years. Nevertheless. upon the peace of me proof. upon the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough. I Then say to myself. and the fear of death. my death. Utrecht. upon the Duke of Orleans. at the age of fift^'-seven. I reproach M. and that in reading them you I do not conceive little. April 13th. " Bolingbroke would have better employed his leisure in composing good memoirs upon the war of the succession. I believe tliat his Memoirs have given you some pleasure. without bringing against him the least It was that same Oxford whom Pope styles a soul serene above good and evil fortune. and criticism to amuse and cheer her. and he would have immortalized it instead of which. Man}' of his letters of this spring are full of gayety . extensive scheme which resulted in the most voluminous and He saw an abundance of suggestive of all his prose writings." just published " I have read the Memoirs of to : — my Lord Bolingbroke. particularly those which he wrote to the Marquise du Dcffund. anecdote. upon the ministers of France and of England. upon Louis XIV. if only to enrage those who pay your annuities. upon whom had recently fallen.HIS EXCLUSION FROM FRANCE. Three or four princes ivill gain hy I take courage from pure malice. it is annihilated in the mutilated and confused little book which he . before him work he was farthest possible from the congenial despair. He draws a frightful portrait of the Earl of Oxford. and he 179 laid out the ceived. how a man who had views is things so His translator have often found yourself on familiar ground. As soon as I feel the symptoms of an : — indigestion. It seems that he spoke better than he wrote. has '' left us. and I con- them with rhubarb and sobriety. revived his interest in the work. He sent many a letter of badinage. so great could do exceedingly wrong in saying that I wish to proscribe the study of facts. it is almost the only pleasure left me.. de Bolingbroke with having given us too few of them. a few days after the Easter communion. the lust of power. and with having strangled the few events of which he speaks. I confess to you that I find as mucli obscurity in his style as in his conduct. He should have adroitly mingled his apology with all those grand subjects. For my part. he wrote to her in his liveliest manner " I think I advised you to go on living. . spire against of that disaj)pointing " philosopher. the great affliction of blindness. and point. above the rage of parties.

was a bad proof-reader . notwithbut halted half-way at the Abbey of Senones. CourAdieu. dur- ing which he made some excursions from it." he wrote from the abbey to D'Argen" Condemned to labor tal. Dom Calmet still lived and labored among the twelve thousand volumes of the convent library. to editions of which are multiplied daily. wdiich CoUini sent twice a week from Colmar. half fun. I printed my injury. He spent three weeks at the abbey in friendly intercourse with the fa- and in searching for historic truth among their books . we . In the pleasant month of June. the Fa- The secretary. messages. he set out for Plombieres. and parcels between them. proofs. never obtruding the master. half earalways keeping the tone of a friend who asks a favor. intend the printing perceive.'' not in France." : . He started. Sdnones depend only upon the 't please you. half in English. . an thers and the Councils. for fear of affording " an odious and ridicuto the idle water-drinkers. half nest. Colmar continued to be his abode for thirteen months. " I do not lose my time here. age is good for something it flatters self-love. idea of them : — . lous scene " his old friend. where standing. and that he must wait till the president had left the place. Voltaire. but he kept his secretary up to the desired degree of vigilance He rained notes by incessant reminders and admonition. it diminishes evils but it does not restore I always greatly pity you sight to the eyes. your destiny afflicts me. madame let us suffer our human miseries patiently. could scarcely find greater assistance than in the Abbey of Sethers. expecting to meet at that famous wateringplace among tlie Vosges Mountains both his nieces and both his angels. he received a note informing him that Maupertuis was also going to Plombieres. from Madame Denis Just as he was leaving Colmar. in French. and poor Collini was sometimes at the end of his patience. and that I Pope for the spiritual ? I read here. not neglecting to correct the proofs of the second volume of his Annals. remained at Colmar to superand there was an active interchange of It was no notes. seriously at this General History.180 " . he tells us. These sentences may give an upon him. LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. even with a copyist to assist . child's play to be secretary to such an author. nones Do you know that I am being territory of the empire. after this long winter of his discontent.

These labors were scarcely ever susfor a whole for we find him correcting proofs in pended day his carriage while the horses were changing." and of ' the Supplement. shall be very glad to find it finished on my return a month hence. [June 2Gth.] . " In to [July 2d. so as to enhance the compliment without running needless risk of a pirated edition and.] been corrected by hand ? How goes the copy of the nianuscrijit ? " *' I have at last received the I retain [June 24th." — [June 7th. '' I pray you take the key of the closet in which there This closet is behind the bureau in the study. the half leaf. plant- ing. .] " I must the " make you wait for the preface I have " much Louis at heart co])ying of the manuscript of the history [of XV]. I correct the page .Die." while forging new weapons to destroy him." give the parcel to the bearer. then. distributing copies to powerful protectors . one can of a son easily make a ler(r. ar- tling how many days . I to M.] large parcel. of " living upon the enemy. Collini the lacunes of Venice he will . have the goodness aliers have a g put. or. And those chevwho leave son pays. sooner or later." . stitched in paper. with this address I embrace you. and availing himself of chance detention to every carry on some part of his work. binding. Maupertuis bars the way to Plurabieres Voltaire steps . I will say that I am not at all pressed or uneasy with regard to the copy you are doing but I : . except my own you correct proof better than I correct the rest.] are some books. dedicating. without interference from me. the whole printed leaf. Have the two essential faults in the body of the work [June 23d. curate of Senones. turn to the ad- .] reply yours of June 25th.' and them. as he remarks. I beg you to make a parcel of To Dam Pelletier. business of publishing books first." In these notes we see liini managing and : directing the whole . where still could happen which he did not. I have found no mistakes. ranging every detail with the prudence and assiduity of a man whose subsistence and chance of fortune depended upon the success of his enterprise. rather. and You the key of that closet is in one of the right-hand drawers of the bureau. aside to this the work goes on. Nothing Abbey of Senones. securing the good-will of ministers and censors . writing them then. and he has the pleasure. instead of the c.HIS EXCLUSION [June return it FROM FRANCE. will find in it three copies of the " Age of Louis XIV. in short. . As to 1 recommend I pass through Saint. 181 " 9tli. setit was best to send out presentation copies in advance.

" . " Pucelle " was an indecorum and. burst to crush me. to share whatever asylum he might find for his declining years. w^ill '• which. 1754. vantage of his object. sister of Frederic of Prussia. A the time. "It is a bomb." he wrote later. in printed yet in print. in I shall live and die the victim of my labors. the Margravine of Bayreuth. . sooner or August. The poem could scarcely be more public than it was already . He hastened to communicate the pleasing news to the Duchess of Saxe-Gotha. were rumors that the work was about to escape from secret recesses in ladies' boudoirs into the awful publicity of print. But it was not . visited Colmar with her husband. She returned to Colmar with him. Soon after his return to Colmar he liad another paroxysm of " alarm respecting that terrible " Pucelle of his. he owed this concession from the Prussian king : — . he can recast a scene he finds solace in " La Puis dispirited. is of tragedy if he vigorous and buoyant. ies then afloat numbered several hundreds. Three weeks of great happiness passed too rapidly away. her uncle were better friends than ever Madame Denis and forsake she consented to even the charms of Paris." The favorite agreeable event occurred in October. An for and both of them strove by assiduous attentions to atone Freytag and Frankfort. house. to whom. volumes : names celle. if he . could not be distant when a publisher would risk printing a work which so many desired to possess. lie can look over tedious if he is to see if they contain anything he wants he can dictate of dates and catalogues pestered by Freytags. and the good Doctor Akakia joyfully obeyed the summons to join his nieces and his angels. and ever after remained the mistress of his all. If lie is sick. for it had been copied and recopied so industriously that manuscripts had been sold in Paris for as little as one louis d'or and it was thought in 1754 that the copies and parts of cop. perhaps. almost anything was permitted exHis fright proved to be premature. They invited him to their hotel. and tragedies will not save me. President Maupertuis at length took his departure from Plombieres.182 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. But cept an indecorum. he thought. the regime of the period. of whom his Again there pi'incesses and duchesses were so enamored.

1754. tention which they do not heap upon me they wish to take to the banks of the Rhone. and he ordered that everything should be forthwith taken off. Who gust mistress expected me to supper at the Black Mountain. and engaged to meet him there. There are no kinds of at- my . Collini was going. ' ' world . when one of those " vivacities " occurred Avliieh occasionally disturbed for a moment the tranquillity of this household. I go to the Black Mountain I find there the margrave and her royal highness. she will have the honor to boldly present herself before you. when a gentleman of the suite of jNIadame the Margravine of Bayreuth came to sjiy to me that his aumj'self. urged him to visit that on tlie Rhone. His friend Duke of Richelieu. althougli you are the of Prussia's sister. the copyist and the valet were going. who and a chateau near Lyons. where they are going to pass the winter. He sent word to me to sell the whole. The horses w^ere harnessed. madame. the to perform this year. she excused as well as she could. and the season was late for travel estates . what chance there was of November 11. the adventure at Frankfort. stood at the door of Madame Goll's house in Colmar. the sister did what the brother ought to have done . The margravine absolutely wished to see my . which we have accompanied all the way from Potsdam. and I carried nothing left except his own trunk and that of his niece. in wliich I had a dozen shirts and Jome necessary clothes. I believed it I rubbed ej^es was a dream. 183 was surprised on tlie 23d of this month ? It was madame." and had One more journey " " lie was protector of forty years. desirable for the gentleman-in-ordinary of the king's chamber to consult w^itli the first gentleman of the same upon his precise standing at court. . with me only a small portmanteau. and to learn his living unmolested in France.' All went off in the best way in the King niece. It is the secretary who tells the story : — " The carriage seemed to the philosopher to be too heavily loaded. loaded as heavily as the great coach of jNIadame du Chatelet used to be wdien she rode from Paris to Cirey. and with infinite goodness.HIS EXCLUSION " FROM FRANCE. me Yes.' said I to her. The . busy city The distance from Colmar to Lyons is about two hundred but it was highly miles. tlie traveling carriage. the vehicle was about to start. a poor tavern of the city. INIadame Denis was going.

he induced me to take the other louis d'or. Voltaire being in exuberant humor after this momentary effervescence.' replied I No." as he was accustomed to Lettres Ine'dites de Voltaire. take this trifle also. Here Voltaire met 1 his " hero. hour. was even then a very large city. Monsieur.' said he. At the end of a quarter of an erosity. and. Voltaire had been incessantly employed ever since in awakening and nourishing the intellect of France.' and he put a louis into my hand. who visited it a few years before." engrossed in business to care much for their own or But this was in 17B9. teen ' ' ' ' .' Nevertheless. .' said he to me Monmoney. as I ' . when I saw the philosopher appear in my chamber." he adds. looking at the coin. its literar}' circles. The poet Gray. I saw the philosopher running after me. "were too much others' diversion. Lyons. and that I begged him to arrange my account. like Paris itself.' said he." people. one of the servants came to tell me that uncle and niece were talking of this adventure. five livres are due to you. and Lyons now had its academy. its liberally-sustained theatre. I owe you nine- extravagances were insiq^portable. accept this trifle. page 174. already the chief seat of French manufactures. .' replied I. Here they are. ' beg you. 'I am not the least anxious as to what will become of me. I had scarcely heard this.' I ask pardon. ' with them. and. I am sorry. and never have been with regard to money.' ' I ' His niece was near him him . * as I do not know whether you have any Wait. the party rolled away from Colmar. and I proposition was that of a his went ' to him and said that discharge. and to set out his room. its intellectual life. nor what is to become of you. and I declined it. as to our account.' sieur. and had an unusually merry journey of four days to Lyons. which they feared would make some noise.184 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. she appeared to speak a word to was about to enter the chamber which I had occupied in Madame GoU's house. its streets excessively narrow and nasty. madman. ' that you wish to leave me. the houses immensely high and large (twentyfive rooms on a floor and five stories high). proI immediately left testing that he had been too generous toward me.' " The opportunity appeared to me too good." ^ Peace being thus restored. He induced me to repack my jjortmanteau. de Madame Denis. that I asked my livres.' said I.' said he. and I thanked him for his genHe returned to his room. no. describes it as the "second city of the kingdom in bigness and rank. and swarming with " The inhabitants. et de Collini. I will send you your change of a hundred sous.

cardinal." Voltaire himself confirms this narrative. said I to myself. visit When we were in the carriage. Everything ual activities of the most now at Lyons which looked to the court for advantage eyed this . because the King of France I told in was angry with me. But when.' Soon after. a little absent-minded. this country was not made for me. "avowed to me in confidence that he could not invite to one of his public dinners. he had turned his back to the prelate and left the room. We traversed. and at last we reached Monseigneur's antechamber. I gave him my arm to sustain him. princes. generals. he but. and we return as fast as we can to the without either of us uttering a word. " angel. which was full of courtiers of every kind. the audience rose and gave him cheer upon cheer. so ridiculous and so worthy of a slave. after which he entered freely and gayly into the intellect- intellectual of provincial cities. portentous visitor askance." of the troops at Lyons. and accompanied by his secretary. he had a very different reception. and as to the world who most easily took my . It and the Mind that the Court of this plainly appeared beautiful kingdom of France were growing apart. The he me says. His gout having weakened him. attired in a court suit. and treated him coolly often as he stood face to face with the public. kings. A pleasant carriage. He was received in much the same way by the officer in " command cardinal. at Potsdam. Voltaire. I was the man him I never dined . 185 style the Duke of Richelieu. Voltaire is announced to the He enters alone. again. he was received with every mark of distinction. and when the author was seen in a box. Archbishop of Lyons (and uncle to his beloved Count d'Argental). His diawing-roora reminded Collini of the time when. "a long series of rooms. A moment after. because he was out of favor at court . he told me his excellency had said to him that he could not takes my arm ' ' ! : ' invite him to dinner. addressed to me these words My friend. and ambassadors crowded his antechamber. as was wel- comed with enthusiastic and apparently unanimous applause. he rode in state to the levee of Cardinal de Tencin. and upon hearing this phrase. Invited to a session of the Academy.HIS EXCLUSION FROM FRANCE. Plays of his were produced at the theatre with boundless success. and passed five days in his society ." says Collini. he comes out.

It was in Switzerland that he sought an asyas the lum. The Marpart with them. sons as the Ducliess of Saxe-Gotha and the To siicli per- Margravine of Bayreuth literature of that kind was a kind of fire which they could play with without immediate and deadly peril but the . parents who cared little for that the passions of youth are ardent. questions of theology. with the Alps often in sight. Some of the copies in circulation contained abominable things. not less so. as well as their own. however. after a residence the third day. too. and the Duke of Richelieu was obliged to admit it. It was. the cardinal received him a second time with the cordiality of other days. and as to cardinals. ninety-three miles distant. on who harmony with the nature of things. inserted by unskilled hands to fill gaps in the work and when an unskilled hand presumes to emplojr itself in composition of that kind the product differs from that of the master as IMadame la Marquise de Pompadour differed from a painted woman of the streets. since it gave to the government the support were." gravine of Bayreuth was then in Lyons. reached Geneva. . Manuscripts of the " Pucelle" for a louis d'or That appears to have turned the scale against him. he bad another panic about the " Pucelle. There . and that no possible version of this poem was good for their sons and daughters to read. December 10. along the banks of the Rhone. but too evident that he could be safe at present on no part of the territory of France. 1754. in France. must live and labor in some of four weeks at Lyons. and. moreover. but . many knew ! of a public opinion not artificially produced. At Lyons. through her good offices." the burlesque which the same Riclielieu had suggested to him at the supper-table a quarter of a century before. King of Prussia had predicted.186 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. and journeying slowly toward the north. Voltaire and his party left that city. class are obliged to earn the subsistence of those sumptuous persons.

for. Willis. Geneva. saintdecency. the town merely in a diligence. with its few leagues of adjacent country. the city some years before Voltaire saw it. as Thieriot assures us. as Voltaire did. Geneva presented from of old the better characteristics of New EngUmd. On the Sardinian side of the torrent. namely. He also records his impressions. 1 Pencillings by the Way. ragged. . and which is as unlike France and Italy as a playis unlike a Methodist chapel." a like kind of look. had meditated emigrating America. Near the gates little river of Geneva rushes into the blue Rhone the Arne. though an ocean rolls between them. the generel diffusion of knowledge and the The poet Gray visited general absence of degrading poverty. nearly three centui'ies after Calvin had put his ineffaceable stamp upon the French refugees in the Swiss town. communities which are alike in religion and iu politics. and he approached it by the Lyons road. a traveler from Calvinistic Boston says. whisking through Voltaire. Letter 112. noth" ing was to be seen but meagre. the manners. He had reached an America without crossing the sea.CHAPTER XVI. He noticed a certain " subdued " black-coated. know the people of Geneva were Calvinists. the faces. was about as much an independent republic as one of the American colonies and. straight-haired. TO SWITZEELAND. was a small America in the midst of Europe. P. which is universal in the small towns of our house country.'''' ^ The son of a Calvinist wrote these words as recently as 1833. barefooted peasants. surely. The dress. are not far apart. of the people all reminded this observing Bostonian of his native land. separating it from Sardinia. according to the poet. as to its " You would religion. by N. at that period." On some the other hand. among which were two of value. The Swiss city. to Protestant .

and people cared little for the large ." says M. good Pastor Gaberel. with their children. . scale of living." ^ Calvin ruled the republic of Geneva. . October. in the summer at four. to rise in the winter at six. and that and in the kitchen scarcely a pan of coals being ever seen in the There was little furnifamily room of the wealthiest houses. under penalty of fine. to be seen drums beating soldiers. their looks. in extreme misery and nastiness and But no sooner had he even of these no great numbers. food. which industrious people can always enjoy who repress their expen- Most of his sive tastes. in consequence. " seem to have been " Our ancestors. hardly a disconchanged : . a safe. whose little book upon Voltaire's residence known among vinistic als. very much as the Puritan clergymen ruled Boston and both communities . a frugality which — 1 Gray to his father. well on the ramparts swarming dressed and -armed. regarded as real luxuries. 1739. since a single fire served for each house. describes the old Calas Spartan rigor enforcing Christian mor- Calvin. exercising and folks. it Furniture. diversions. to civilized beings. The whole people were expenditure. system of surveillance far more corrupting than the vices detected. with business in . clothing. were regulated by law. much less sensitive to cold than their descendants. A severe frugality was maintained at table. The objection to legislation tended to economize vital force. forced every person to be a ChrisHis sumptuary laws necessitated a tian of the straitest sect. . Wmdows closely fitting vrere ture except of common wood. his people is government familiar to travelers. of a hundred and nine square miles and twenty thousand inhabitants. . enjoyed. or wisely indulge them in common. Gaberel. he observes. apertures which gave admission to the chill mountain wind. hurrying to and fro. whatever the season. numerous and well-dressed people tented face." crossed the narrow Arne than the whole aspect of human life " poverty no more not a beggar. continuous abundance. . his system was that it so completely deprived its subjects of reasonable liberty that a reaction from it was inevitable and the reaction from Calvinism is among the most deplorable .188 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. because Calvinism contains so much and truth essential to human welfare. compelled.

Newton. moreover. Latin . and that was the one in which the new-comer chiefly delighted. which he left in his system cannot but dewhen peace and plenty have set free men's minds from the paralysis of terror. the new science. Pope. and divided the edu- cated class into tAVO portions those austerities. more than two dishes. they sat at the same table. The watches. generally. had persons formed a Harvard out of the material left after the destrucand his scheme contemplated the tion of the ancient church Art did not flourish in his city. during which Calvinism had been softening under the influence of knowledge and prosperity. 189 survived the shipwreck of the customs of the Reformation . The simplicity of manners went still farther. Two centuries had now passed since the death of the reformer. There was one art which he proscribed musical instruments. — formed. a thriving people adapted to the inexorable limitations of man's lot and means. That large intellectual ingredient stroy it. The : " this singular people." know who elsewhere Calvin. are invariably so much is there in their system which is Not and to waste of all must ever be a fundamental condition of welfare . Calvinists. and all his sombre host held in the deepest abhorrence. on ordinary days. since Calvin had preached there a play had scarcely ever been pertal life which was widely diffused. — meat. there was a men- traveler Davily said and Greek are taught to Among not and a 6. hands. The French refugees brought with clocks. Family worship and ceaseless conversation upon religious subjects drew masters and servants nefirer together. Many of the finer industries the republic. He education of every child. them skillful had long been rooted in and jewelry of Geneva . wastes there are none so extravagantly wasteful as the vices. the dramatic. too. No theatre had ever existed in Geneva and. Voltaire. and those who attempted : who adhered tiie to the old ele- freer and more gant life of "the world. The new ideas." ." In conjunction with this austere simplicity. had found entrance into Geneva. without pastry. as into the American colonies. and of which he was the most gifted representative then alive. for the law required that the people should not have upon one of their tables. one of vegetables. the new literature.TO SWITZERLAND. and. there was no other dining-room than the kitchen.

You may see a gleam of distant recognition in the eye of an old French Calvinist when a line of jNloliere or a jest of Voltaire is repeated. in. The winter of the Alps lay white and magnificent before them as they looked out the summit of Mont Blanc being about of which they could Within the chateau fifty miles distant. and had corresponded with citizens of Geneva with a view to the acquisition of " an agreeable tomb" in the neighborhood. which has since become. and when Voltaire powlittle republic with the shaking of his wig.190 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. even . and beyond the sea. For several weeks Voltaire had been contemplating a settlement near Lake Leraan. and commanding the view of lake and mountain which so many poets and travelers have described. It was the evening of a national holiday all was gayety and movement in the city. the favorite playground of Christendom. Boston was English. The owner " lent this house of " thirteen front windows to Voltaire. them to seek fortune on. but at the mention of his name they were opened. hard and tough though it be. He happened to arrive after the gates were closed for the night. while he was lookinsf about him for an abode more suited to his needs. He had been reared under Italian skies. — — the robust Collini. and Geneva was French. and compelled. . Three centuries of Calvinism the dered the cannot quite extinguish his better self. and he had been. ten miles away. the youngest member of the family. during all these late troublous months. and travelers of rank and fortune were coming in ever-increasing numbers to the land of lakes and mountains. were alreadj^ celebrated on both continents. only inhabit a corner they all shivered with the cold. Underneath the Calvinistic crust. After four days' stay they took up their abode at the great chateau of Prangin. and must forever remain. The party of travelers were expected at Geneva. and the party found shelter at an inn. The prosperous manufacturers visited Paris once or twice in their lives. He . there is still human being. Geneva had had only two centuries of Calvin. Under these influences Geneva was in 1755 what Boston would have been if the mother country's protective system had not confined her people to the coarser products. which should compensate him for his afflictions. situated on high ground near the lake. looking forward to a residence in Paris.

tion. Behold us. found it 101 days and the January snows miles from a town. notwithstandThe master had the solace of occupaing its inconveniences. dismal enougli to shiver through the Cliristmas holiin a vast. then. particularly while he was waiting for his papers and books. I have uo pardon to ask of any one. in return. it' " I have only to bear patiently the wrongs I experience. empty house ten "This Lake Leman [he Vrote to a Colmar comrade] is terrible. is continually in mortal terror at the noise of the blasts from the north." which had done him so much harm. All this amuses me a little. cold. As to myself. This is not the Paris Genevans which they have been promising me. to D'Argental. . too. and I ought to persecutions. " have need of courage. At this season I . know how to suffer them. He found it to his taste he drove a bargain for it . we may judge from a letter which he wa'ote tliat day teau.. and he therefore could endure the . " far from the tience of his human race " but companions gave him much distress. him and the contract is to be immediately signed. ! for. I come. I hear some one on the other. more or less congenial. as for me. our philosopher has made a journey to Geneva. the other muffles or six caps write. I die of cold and rage.TO SWITZERLAND. . little accustomed to the lake and the winds. I go. and when the Alpine wdnds chilled the very There was no merry Christmas in the chasoul within him. The winds reign there." They remained two months at the chateau. having nothing to reproach myself with. Shut close crying out on one side. sublime solitude. I But I am going to give you a piece of news Notwithstanding the rigor of the season. I am sufliciently consoled by the constancy of your courageous friendship. and which I have always hoped . who is shut up and screened in everyway. is all aghast. was depressed. I am very much put out about it. The Parisian lady. where he was shown a very pretty countr}'^ house in the outskirts of the city." There were days when he. I have nothing to fear except the noise and fury of Apollo. and. and beat upon the chateau of Prangin in such a fashion that the philosoplier.'''' said he. I have received nothing but I ought to have expected tliem. During forty years I have labored to render service to literature. they gave in to : we are soon to leave this chateau. the impa" They. Make a good fire ' ' ' ! all my his up windows head with ! ' One five asks for a furred cloak . in which he spoke again of " that abortion of a Universal History.

" Could he possess.192 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. by hearing from D'Argental that this new exile of an author and poet who made France illustrious in the eyes of Europe was resented by the public. if there should happen to be a good place on Lake Leman that could be bought for a sum not exceeding two hundred and twentyfive thousand francs." whom the court had galvanized into the semblance " I have read the of a rival to himself. if one spark of genius remained to him. This warns me that old men ought to ' He said striking success." But he added that when milder weather came. and thus turned his exile to account. of adjoining cantons were found favorable. in rendering his Universal Histor}^ worthy of the public which had received the mutilated edition with so much favor. regard cease exhibiting themselves to the public. might well have done twenty years befoi-e he was founding a country home of his own. His little comedy of " Nanine. He w^as cheered. it remained only to choose the spot. The longest winter passes. But a question arose. my niece and I. could she inherit. can do nothing but keep quiet. in a country still gov: . he was giving He was doing at last what he extraordinary signs of life. was played this winter with it was because the public began to and he advised the actoi's to go on reviving his other half-successes. erned by the islative body spirit of those reformers ? They could of Geneva granted formal permission . he should like to be notified of the fact. above all. had failed. Trium" " and can his he wrote to Duchess of virate. him a dead as man. " You know I have not the honor to be of the religion of ZAvinglius and Calvin we are pajaists. He had been thinking of this all the last year." not very popular when produced in 1749. make nothing of it. who received his old plays with renewed enthusiasm. At the same time came news that a tragedy by " old Crcbillon.' Saxe-Gotha. too. . and had told one of his Swiss friends that. he would employ it in finishing his play. the legthe laws ." If the public regarded Voltaire as a dead man. and.

"is one neighborhood. "The and it lake border. the lease for bought eighty-seven thousand francs.CHAPTER Two hundred XVII. and high enough to overlook the city. been called St. John's. gave it the name of Delights it which retains to the present time (1881). (Les Ddlices) the . the Arne and the Rhone. but. stood upon this site. with beautiful gardens. in 175"). A commodious house. Voltaire erty was for sale. rejoicing in his as he well acquisition. there was a hill. and only waited for the opening of spring to begin his favorite work Tlie place had of planting. and embellishing. Kor did . the summit of which was a plateau large enough for a villa and liberal grounds. which is now not unlike one of the larger villas of our Newport. near the junction of the . and give entrancing views of the Jura and the Alps. He had only to walk ten minutes and cross a short bridge to get to the kingdom of Sardinia. VOL. Thirty minutes' easy riding would put him in France in an hour he could be in the Swiss canton of Vaud. the lake. " a street. might. D^ILICES. the terraced grounds of which descended to the very waters of the Rhone. transplanting. and who might be obliged suddenly to change his jurisdiction. 13 . the two rivers. called " Rue des D(^lices . U. open. the place was suf- ficiently secluded." was curiously adapted to be the abode of a man whom governments regarded with an unfriendly eye. The new purchaser. On his plateau he was in the republic of Geneva. SETTLING AT LES Geneva on the Lyons two rivers. It had been occupied recently by the son of the Duchess of Saxe-Gotha it was then empty. and rural. has been occupied of late years as a Other houses now conceal the views which he enjoyed it road near which stood is young ladies' boarding-school . and the mansion. and a life lease of the propAfter some weeks of bargaining. paces from the gate of road." said Voltaire.

Montrion is my little cabin. to and in front a hundred gardens are below my : . palace in Italy. this little sea. he acquired a handsome house in Lausanne itself . He suddenly changed his part in the drama of the time from guest to host from a man of bonds and annuities to a landed proprietor from vassal to lord. I am upon my four paws. he was still a man of business. I see all Savoy and beyond Savoy the Alps. another in Vaud: and all of them within a circuit of a day's ride. at one time. Judge of it fifteen windows command the lake. If I were only a Genevan. During the whole of his Prussian episode. he cease acquiring property in the region.four vesBels of war against the reverend fathers. was named the Pascal and by a coincidence upon which he delighted to jest. sheltered from the cruel north wind then I am arranging a house at Lausanne. I should depend too much upon France. . Later. ." wrote Voltaire to the Countess of Lutzelbourof. I am like the Old Man of the Mountwith my four estates. to pass easily " All these residences [said he] are necessary to me. this vessel was one of the fieet chartered by the King of Spain in 1756 in his war against the " " The Jesuit-Kings of Paraguay. This is so true that : . the blue mirror of the lake bathes them. to the left." King of Spain. his fortune had gone on ever increasing. still a speculator. which would be called a ain : . my winter palace. . intending it as a winter residence. until. the right. still an owner of shares in ships trading between One such vessel. I have fashioned for little myself a destiny belonging to me alone." beyond . of wdiich he was part Spain and America. in a more sheltered situation. . possessing as I do this droll kingdom in a Swiss valley.194 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. This yevj winter he bought the lease of a spacious chateau near Lausanne. I should depend too much upon Geneva if I were nothing but a Frenchman. upon which the rays of the sun form a thousand accidental effects of light. garden . which rise into an and amphitheatre. " is sendino. then one in France. if Madame Denis at Paris relieved him of a few thousand francs per annum. and. There is not a more beautiful view in the world Seraglio Point at CoustantLnople has not a finer one. including the year and a half of subsequent wandering. I am charmed from one frontier to another. called Montrion. owner. In Prussia he had spent only a small fraction of his allowance from the king at Colmar he could not have expended a tenth of his income. . he possessed five houses under four governments.

a postilion. in his winter house at Lausanne. " You a printer " said the author. interested in a ship of considerable size which was about to sail for Buenos Ayres . in . a life." flies. 195 four vessels. four carriages. to whose importance and prosperity he appears to have contributed. At length. a valet. myself contribute I who speak I know it to the government to transport troops . He cook's boy. a pet monkey. you for a chief of publishing house of the Brothers Cramer. too. seven or eight land. how." He had. while looking out upon To crown his felicity. . my part of one of these not was. it seems. he was troubled with forty leagues of snow. Almost every day. and I will put guests could not be Avanting. and a secretary. Gabriel Cramer. also. two lackeys. if any man ever could or can. who threw stones at the passers-by. he bought a bear and when he was told that a priest had written a book to justify the massacres " Send me that abomof St. and sometimes twenty. where the name is to this day famil staff ! " . and." Human In the pleasant seasons of the year he had sometimes to excuse delays by explaining that " half the day was given unavoidably to the processions of cu- who came from Lyons. Bartholomew he wrote in reply. and he did so from 1755 to the end of his Collini mentions that he kept " six horses. Geneva. )ne of the most famous and successful physicians in Europe. Later. to the of this this ship is named the adventure. Dr. at " I should have taken their first interview. like Maupertuis. a coachman. Switzerand even from Paris. a French cook." He availed persons rious people himself of his character of invalid to avoid returning visits. was a native of Geneva. inable book. January.SETTLING AT LES DfoJCES. he had a room." who hired a vessel from Voltaire in such an king we furnished A emergency we may be sure paid a good price for it. and once bit the hand of his master so severely that he could not write for several days. and this privilege of kings was willingly conceded to him. dine with me. Tronchin. was a man of fine presence. to you. which appeared in seven volumes in 1756. it in my bear's cage. " so warm Avhich was really as warm as he wished that. there was at Geneva the printing and whom he assigned the publication of his Univei'sal History. Savoy. I. complete joke Pascal. to ! He was happy in his printers. could well afford to live like a feudal lord.

. and. which he men. must have enhanced the warmth of his welcome. which belongs to the literature of the is one of the best of the hundred and twenty-two poems called Epistles. does not repulse with pride the humble and trembling prayer of sad Poverty where necessary labors are not despised where conditions are equal and men are brothers. he observed at Geneva. CoUini. LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. wearing the ribbon woven by Vanity's brilliant hand." This has. this poem of a hundred and twenty lines. he shone before Europe as a victor over circumstances. Epistle in verse. the Colmar exile." as the throne and refuge of Lib- He He extols the comparative equality of conditions which erty. thick-sown with allusions of thrilling power to the local reader. et les hommes sont fieres. into a grand seigneur. living in opulence at summer villas and winter chateaux. . looking back forty-five years. a term which well describes the of the familiar and the blending grand which marks this specilake. us tells whenever believe he Pastor Gaberel when that. though he was about to settle in Paris. a crowd would quickly We . He was affairs. etats sont egaux. remembered with a glow this sudden transformation of Freytag's prisoner. and quieted in some degree can the natural apprehensions of the Calvinist pastors." . where it oftenest stopped. "On Les n'y meprise point les travaux necessaires . a personage that drew the eyes of mankind to the region he inhab. ited.196 iar . spreading joy and plenty about him a patron of the arts. — " press the speaks of the lofty mountains. alas. with some approach to success. and the snubbed visitor of Cardinal de Tencin's antechamber. even before he had taken possession of his This fine poem. never been true of any community. town houses and country houses. but Geneva was one of the few communities that tried to make it We can imagine that true. which hells and cleave the skies. Voltaire often to consult him. and kings. had opportunity Situated thus in the most beautiful region of the earth. cardinals. Dom Calmet's monk. where "small account is made of the count's coronet and the double-pointed mitre where insolent Rank. easily the carriage and four of Voltaire was seen approaching the bank in Geneva. a centre of liosj^itality. of his himself fully alive to the change in the aspect and celebrated it by a vigorous and striking villa.

and the good commoners as well. men who will not conceal from you that the wise govern us." tliis will be honored. and that. monsieur. have manifested in conversaI hope that you tion serious apprehensions on this subject. boobies that you are?" he cried." This letter. who applauded him as he made his way with . we hope you will enter into our sary. friends the sentiments which attach by communicating to your me tenderly to you. you will join us in turning our youth from irreligion. will dissipate them completely. I detest intolerance and fanaticism I revery laws I love and I respect your republic. too sick. on the same day. views. among us. when occasion arises.SETTLING AT LES D]feLICES. then in his first . What you write concerning religion is reasonable. Feb- — You will give me pleasure people. which leads to libertinage. who is still remembered by the long list of his theological works. " Wlu\t do you want. On one occasion he did not relish tumultuous compliment. it is because the pastors confine themselves to the preaching of the pure gospel. He wrote thus to the new-comer " The only thing which troubles the general Monsieur. " " Do well behold one wish to see a skeleton ? this difficulty to the carriage door. ruary " My 5. theologians. One note of warning he received as he was concluding his purchase of Les D^lices. 1755 — it appears. lawyers. as : dear Sir. the most active and distinguished of the Genevan pastors. Tlie first visitor of note whom he entertained at his villa was his protege^ Lekain. was not his only answer to the reverend pastor and to the old school party whom Jacob Vernet ably represented. and a little too severe toward young . not too coherent. cherished among To note he replied. ! gather to see him alight. and governments know that the gospel is necesTherefore. 197 Very you Then. throwing aside his cloak. If. Be sure that in that case us. — : — satisfaction at seeing a man so celebrated as among us is the idea which the works of you are arrive your youth have I given the public of your sentiments concerning religion. It was from Jacob Vernet. spect your religious 1 am too old. and philosophers are in accord upon religion. from the upper step of the bank. you and feared by no one. lie exhibited his meagre form to the throng. .

Invitations were issued to was glad enough of the chance to when his services were not required with vehement iteration. and Madame Denis played the principal parts. to. " Zaire was rehearsed.198 LITE OF VOLTAIRE. in Paris. the ' . he play in provincial towns. and the tragedy was performed before them in one of the large rooms of the house." a fortunate visit for Lekain." which produced. celebrity as tlie actor of chief tragic parts at the national theatre. He expected to find in me." he wrote to D'Argental. with having obtained this favor. myself. too. which secured him a happy success at Lyons. " a great effect." The}' gave . " " Lekain. That. he " came. Lekain. invited him to his the whole circle of the magistracy. he says. old. I beg of you. Denis and mj-self. indeed.the great joy of the family. however. in April. and induced the First Gentleman to annex five hundred francs to his income. How. much astonished. and a gardener. that those parts were never better played at the The" No dramatic Rtre-Francais. to procure for him that trifling advance of which he is in need. His salary being only two thousand francs a year (eight dollars a week). Voltaire called the attention of Richelieu to his merit and his poverty. and he expresses frankly the opinion. We implore you. the father of Orosmane and Zamora he found only a mason. company in Europe. new tragedy of the Orphan It was of China. which I ask with the utmost urgency. I believe. by way of breaking up Za'ire. INIost of those gentlemen were at my Delices and." more moved never Calvinists ple Himself. a carpenter. as of .' I have never seen peocircle. could a First Gentleman refuse such importunity as that with which the Genevans. nor be poorer. in more than one letter. a taste of the the poet urged the claims of this great actor? " He draws but two thousand francs a year from the theatre " One cannot have more merit. did not hinder us from making almost all the council of Geneva shed tears. and. Madame at Paris. was." he once " has a better old fool in it than wrote. abode. Have the goodnes to do him this servYou cannot imagine how greatly we shall be obliged to ice. You need but utter one word to your colleague . Do not refuse me. new Voltaire. Let me flatter myself you. I promise you a new tragedy if you deign to give him your influence during his stay at Lj^ons. we began to play before were so tender.

He tells us. a native of Geneva. dialogues. on this occasion. Misguided company sat or stood in a semicircle is the communitv where reli<:ion ! frowns upon an exercise so simple. so innocent. and the magisproved. but then living at Paris. which play was to be produced at Paris before many weeks had passed. had so few characters and required such simple accessories. Those children enjoyed it but the reverend fathers disap. The poet had of the a singular delight in the thought of having the chilgiven dren of Calvin" a taste of the forbidden pleasure of the drama. who was then conupt JManners? a slender and precarious livelihood in Paris by copying gaining music. but no one can rationally doubt that. however. 199 easy Forgive my saying so much about a thing so simple and so but I love to entreat you. who was then of the Sciences contributed " a prisoner in the fortress there. For the moment. to visit Diderot. to tell you . plays are more attractive than sermons. trates. and be- gan to declaim. among whom there was one dramatic author. no voice was raised in reprobation. that it could be played very well at one end of a draw- On the five " points" A It was but a poem in If the actors held ing-room. tragedy." that he was seized with a frenzy of inspiration to re- . to talk to you. INIadame Denis and Lekain took their places. the book in their hands and read their parts tolerably well. a space was cleared. near Paris.'" Lekain went away happy from Geneva. " men may differ in opinion. thougli he was at this time forty-three years of age. We gather from Voltaire's letters that. a keen pleasure was enjoyed by appreciative guests. whether comedy or delight. with a large portion new play in his portmanteau. saw this announcement in a newspaper as he was walking out to Vincennes. in his "Confessions. the Acad- emy of Dijon gave as the subject of their prize essay this " : question Has the Restoration to purify or to Rousseau. felicitated themselves on the chance which had given them so exquisite a French play of the old type. so becoming One of the children of Calvin. how much I love you and to what a point you will always be my hero. Jean Jacques Rousseau by name. was much interested in Voltaire's having chosen his native place as an asylum. In 1749. while the before them. He had but recently sprung into celebrity.SETTLING AT LES DflLICES. to the children of Calvin.

as from Dide- " Arrived at Vincennes. that is a bridge for field . Unable to walk. Soon after. gives us a different veralso relates). and even began to develop the advancompeting arts which the and sciences had conferred upon human tages I interrupted him. a consequence of the errors of the mind all . number men. and I said to him society. Nature. and the prize was awarded to the eloquent perversion of Jean Its publication gave him sudden and great celebrity. mariner's compass. .' said Diderot. Voltaire's Letters to his fellow-citizen 1 1 upon England. 115. destruction and misery to the in Printing. and preach a morality he could not practice." INIorellet. and disease had combined to give this unhappy Rousseau a wonderful power to express emotions he did not feel. sent a copy of the new essay near the gate of Geneva. the utilization of mines. \ . whose mental life. and see what a vast opens before you the abuses of society to emphasize all the evils which desolate it.^ . Rousseau. gunpowder. Voltaire acMemoires de I'Abbe Morellet. nothing sensational \^p{quant. in that.200 veal to LITE OF VOLTAIRE. as to be deprived of consciousness. he published a second Discourse. and each a source of calamities Do you not perceive all the advantage which you will have in taking " i that view of your subject ? Thus Diderot is said to have spoken. began with his early reading of greatest ! ' . " A violent palpitation oppressed me. ' ' . miseducation. as he has told us. Jacques. on the " Origin of Inequality in which he life as Arcadian and represented savage peace. That is not the to take there is nothing new plan seriously. and civilpurity ized life in odious and abominable contrast. in his The Abbe rot's sion of the story own lips : — (which Marmontel Memoirs. he confided to Diderot his project of for the prize. Fourteeen essays competed. I sank under one of the trees of the avenue. in navigation. the sciences. in the same strain " and equally false. each a step in the progress of human knowledge. for difficulty of breathing. the in war. he says. employed sources of all so many of commerce. saw that the front of my waistcoat was all wet with though I was wholly unconscious of shedding them. Take the other : side. — arts. man the curse of knowledge he was so deeply stirred. asses. and passed half an hour there in such a condition of excitement that when I arose I my tears.

and I should not find the same succors among the Missouris secondly.. letters are part of the literary history of that VOLTAIRE TO ROUSSEAU. paying me I by defamatory libels for the service which I had rendered him should show you a man. because war has broken out in that country. and the example of our nations has : . your new book against the human race I thank you for it. whether I saved . that it is impossible for me to resume it. who. in which the most brutal ignorance poured forth the most infamous impostures. but you will not correct them. because the maladies with which I am afflicted retain me near the greatest physician in Europe. atheists. printing own work my upon the Age of Louis XIV. and. and I leave that natural mode of walking to those who are more worthy of it than you and I. whom . I should show you society infected with this kind of men. " I agree with you that literature and the sciences have sometimes been the cause of much evil. to 201 rei^lied which Rousseau These two generation. where you ought to be. from which our ignorance and our weakness expect so many consolations. from the I day that I gave the tragedy of Qulipe should show you a library of ridiculous calumnies printed against me ' ' " If I dared to reckon myself . " I have received. ' an ex-. Nor can I embark to go among the savages of Canada first. they compelled him to retract. . I feel. unfortunately. You will please men. the age of seventy years for having known the motion of the earth. No sooner had your friends begun the Dictionnaire Encyclopedique ' ' than those who presumed and even Jansenists. One could . as it is more than sixty years since I lost the A habit.. knowlodged the at length. what was more shameful. monsieur. not being able to embrace an honest calling. The enemies of Tasso rendered his life a tissue of misfortunes those of Galileo made him groan in prison at . I should show you men in a rage to destroy me. No beasts. Nevertheless. gift in a long letter. still more culpable.' with notes. among those whose labors have been recompensed by persecution alone..SETTLING AT LES DELICES.. to whom you tell truths which concern them.Jesuit priest. not paint in stronger colors the horrors of human society. to be their rivals called them deists. . from capital punishment. unknown to all antiquity. one has ever employed so much intellect in the attempt to prove us desire seizes us to walk on four paws when we read your work. I limit myself to be a peaceful savage in the solitude which I have chosen in your country. rendered the savages almost as wicked as we are.

the agreeableness of which is corrupted by so many wicked men . unfortunately. tiny is that of almost all those whom these the love of letters has too powerare trifling fully influenced. love our country. to the Men a great noise about all these little quarrels . . and will always make. as it. monsieur.. nor Virgil. and knowing. " Of all the bitternesses spread over human life these are the least fjital. and like Father Malebranche. the rest of the world does not know them. nor the tragedy of the Cid the troubles of the Fronde. nor Horace. monsieur. confess that the badinage of Marot did not cause the massacres of St. nor Lucretius. or laughs at them. at the time when you wrote against it. Admit that neither Cicero. Great crimes have seldom been committed except by celebrated ignoramuses. and rajoine pursuing me for forty years. nor Varro. That I ought not shall I conclude from all those tribulations ? that Pope. and greater. of this world a vale of tears is the insatiable cupidity and know how the indomitable pride of men. Literature nourishes the soul. of service to you. workman or of lackey. who inveighed against glory. read little of Plato and Socrates and as to that tyrant without courage. " Confess that Petrarch and Boccaccio did not cause the intestine troubles of Italy . who did not to read. whatever injustice we suffer in it as we must love and serve the Supreme Being. That which makes. he was a detestable assassin only while he was deprived of the society of men of letters. that which the community scarcely perceives.. even to the brink of my tomb. and sell them . love despite the abuse which is made of it. Bayle. that this deswhat to .! should paint you even ingratitude. But to the foot of the Alps. in have overwhelmed the earth. . become courtiers of literature. we must . Bartholomew. consoles it it was cipher. surnamed so unworthily Augustus. the imbecile Lepidus. had the least share in the proscriptions. the debauched Antony. Octavius Cepias. to a clerk of the tax office. What does it matter human race that some hornets pillage the honey of some bees ? of letters private misfortunes. You are like Achilles. " If any one ought to complain of literature. Marius was an ignorant man the barbarous Sylla. imposture. Camoens. " Confess.. whose brilliant imagination wrote against imagination. The thorns attached to literature and to the reputation which make nothing but flowers compared with other evils which. live upon our works.202 that of LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. disfigure them. it is myself. since at all times and in all places it has served to persecute me but we must . from Thomas Kouli-kan. as we must love society. how to read and write. rectifies it. and a hundred complain others have experienced the same injustice. Descartes. steal manuscripts. it gives ai'e all times. notwithstanding the superstitions and the fanaticism which so often dishonor his worship. . who knows only how to ..

for my j^art. to enjoy liberty. the most vigorous government of Which history makes mention. neither Cicero. I even admit all the evils attached to humanity. and with the most tender esteem. as we do in your writings. and browse our herbs. and to render you an act of homage which we all owe you as our chief. 1755. September 10. lessons shall . Do not try. at once so great and so injurious that it would belong to God alone to perform it and to the devil alone to desire it. some concealed chains of cause and effect which people in general do not perceive. of the honor which you do my country. in the progress they are scarcely less inundated. Adorn the asylum which you have chosen enligiiten a people wortliy of your and you. . have profited by the instructions you can give them. I am very philosophically. such a return would of that condition. You set us up too well upon our two feet for you to cease to stand upon yours. but which will not escape the eye of the sage ent of our vain knowledge. monsieur. nor Sal'ust would have existed. or. In offering you the draught of ray sad reveries. nor Virgil. the little I have lost With regard to you. nor Tacitus. " 203 . "It is for me to thank you. of things. we call liis " early- manner. be a miracle. but to acquit myself of a duty." etc. which . seem independ- have opened upon themselves so diverts some one of them There are. if they had existed.SETTLING AT LES D^LICES. little by little. " You see that I do not aspire to make men return to the condition of beasts. also. who know so well how to paint virtue and liberty. Chappuis informs me to reestablish it in come To this letter Rousseau replied. then. Sensible. slow and secret. who produced the misfortunes of Rome and the crimes of the Romans but without the poison. in all regards. J. which corrupted. no one in the world would less succeed in the attempt than you. although I regret much. and in doing so gave a very good specimen of what J. teach us to cherish them within our walls. nor Seneca. they would not have 'vritten- The amiable age of Lelius and Terence was the remote . It was neither Terence. "I admit all the infamies which pursue men celebrated in literature . that your health is very bad you should your native air. I share the gratitude of my fellow-citizens and I hope that it will be only augmented when they . . I did not think to make you a present worthy of you. many sources of misery that Men when chance v'ho is willing to reflect upon them. monsieur. nor Lucretius." ROUSSEAU TO VOLTAIRE. besides. nor Cicero. to drink with me the milk of our cows. All that approaches you ouglit to learn from you the jiath to glory. it was neither the men cf learning nor the poets. M. to fall upon four paws .

Permit me to say to you. If philosophers alone had claimed the title of philosopher. and. Nevertheless. and truth in our writings. I vocation. from the interest which I take in your rej)0se and in our instruc-. and learn to enjoy life without fearing death. 59 GSuvres. I had followed neither read nor written. which increase our pride and multiply our errors." If we we shall the evils from which men suffer come them through error much more than through ignorance. and that what we do not know at all injures us much less than what we think we know. It is in the bosom of literature that I find consolation for cultivate it all my ills . a tale by Voltaire. diBut there comes a time when the rectly promote our unhapiiiness. explore the original source of the disorders of sofind that all . I owe to it terests in even the honor of being known to you. you would have only rivals worthy ciety. if As to myself.204 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. at least. for neither iron nor lead will blend with gold. " Do not then 1 Sec Memnon. scholars. it is among those who that I taste the sweets of friendship. uiihappiness of man is such that the very causes which have created it are necessary to prevent its increase the sword must be left in the : human wound. Although philoso' ' phers. you would tor. enjoy yours in peace or. of Domitian and Martial. Now. be surprised to feel some thorns inseparable from the crown great talents. know nothing so silly as a people of sages. at last. or Human Wisdom. I . if the sage Memnon ^ has told me the truth. the eagerness of the public for all your writings which jjroduces the thefts of which you complain but it is not easy to interpolate them. " lest the wounded man expire if in drawing first it out.. The assaults of your enemies arc It i.i the satirical acclamations which follow triumphal processions. those of the mind and knowledge. I owe to it the little that I am . historians. the Encyclopedia would have had no persecuIf a hundred myrmidons did not aspire to glory. they would not have punished Galileo for having said it revolved. And if it is true that all kinds of progress are pernicious in their own way.. are necessary to enlighten the world and lead its blind inhabitants.. to . of taste for literature and the arts vice which that taste augments. and Horace. if letters were now annihilated. . I should be deprived of the only pleasure which remains to me. tlon. Despise the vain clamors by which it is less sought to do you flowers which . The springs in a people from an inward origin of the brilliant ages of Augustus the horrible ages of Seneca and Nero. what surer means of running from error to error than the rage to know everything ? If men had not supposed they knew that the earth did not revolve. 29. But let us consult our inour business. and my should doubtless have been I had happier. of you.

indeed. but only as a prince to a king. and the moly. dignantly of the Ci\i6 critics who presumed to pronounce upon the faults of the " Orphelin de la Chine. written amid the distractions of the last two years. neither of them foreseeing the antagonisms of the future. where the rest was calculated to arpresented an inclosure in the ladies of the court. which is not . A was was rulers a storm an changing dynasty falling empire of infernal war was roaring round this one spot.SETTLING AT LES D^LICES. to whom. long deferred. I believe I should find in it only the lotus. Mercury to Ulysses to preveut his yielding to the enchant- ment . while the victorious Tartars. of your fountam than the milk of your cows and. 1755. The opening . * A plant given by of Circe. this drama. . not yet enin exile. was produced at the national tlieatre. were sacking and killing without. and impress the mind. 205 yoii are criticised the A good book is a terrible response to printed attacks and who will dare to attribute to you works you did not write. as long as you write only inimitable ones ? "I am grateful for your invitation. It is an evidence of Rousseau's power that when he had Avritten only these two perverse. were gathered in horror and consternation. with Lekain and Mademoiselle Clairon in the The theatre was crowded. Rousseau witnessed the new triumph of Voltaire at the Tlidatre-Frangais with pleasure and approval for he spoke in." though they were incapable even of feeling its excellences. under the terrible Gengis-Kan. of the play. too. as to the herbs of your garden. It . in an equally ft'iendly spirit. While these letters were passing. palace of Pekin. was at the highest stretch. the infant prince and his attendants. I shall avail myself of your goodness but I should like better to drink the water . melodious essays he should so naturally take the tone of an equal in addi-essing the chief of literature.^ which prevents ing beasts. The author was absent and . some learned mandarins. harm than to prevent your doing good." men from becom- Other correspondence between them followed. he offered iiouiage. The more more reason you should give us to admire you. the food of beasts. August 20. and expectation principal jjarts. Both the friends and the foes of the autlior were present in force but recent events had given the friendly faction an advantage. and if this winter leaves me in a condition to go in the spring to dwell in my native land.

forgives. force over civiHzation." sole relic of the dynasty. as well as the piece." because they exall love." " he adds." Carnage and destrucpower. who. " You have thought She appeals to like a hero I have acted like a mother. " were we the and the example of nations in vain legislators was the world instructed by our laws. surrenders his own infant son to the Tartars. this exhibi- tion of barbaric dignity and grandeur." play succeed. was crowned with the most brilliant success. begged me to get for him to publish the new piece. that. Ma- demoiselle Clairon. permission and the author not only consented." says Collini. which practiced dramatists learn how to create. Wisdom is naught The emperor's child. as part of the history of the stage. The play abounds in these telling situations and efrestores. and would so gladly live^ if we a nobleness we press could. for the first time. China was seeing the triumph of " In vain. to this end. and. She played the part of Idam^ with so much expression as to share with Voltaire the triumph of that day. I bring peace. agony. " The bookseller Lam" came and bert. too. who was present on the opening night. " We owe the king our time. this mandarin has sworn by the ruthless horde. but our honor all." of China. This kind of contrast. " The work. triumphed over the cabal. The scene in which Gengis first appears is full of dignity and " I sent terror.206 tered LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. The author gave the actors an extraordinary number of lines and couplets of the kind " which. He hastened to communicate the good news to Voltaire and Madame Denis. to save. even the blood of a son born for his service is a possession we do not owe him. . our services. Gengis." The success of this powerful drama could not have long been doubtful. but abandoned to me the . as we say. the great actress and her female companion paid to art the last homage of playing without their panzers. mentions the struggle of the factions." He might have mentioned. our being. mother revolts. I wrote to Les D(^lices. Bat the and prevents the sacrifice." cries a noble mandarin. fective points. tion cease at his command. " one wishing to make the — . has since been part of the common stock of stage effects. bring down the house. pretending it is the son of the slain emperor. Collini. the " Orphan force has destroyed all. on this occasion." of the end of five acts at relents. the other wishing to make it fail. .

and said to the king. was afraid of the play. Genwhile the destruction to and cease in ordering gis. as announced.^ 1 Voltaire aux Delices. The queen. had been assured. that error is useful to me renders them more docile. ! woman in attendance that. Another passage was cut out at the representation. her license should be taken away." It was a wase censor who scented danger in this. if she sold such books. not read it. Over one passage the censor had held his pen in doubt for a while: Nature and marriage were the first laws they came from '•'• . pillage Pekin. that there were. snatched from a book-stand near the palace a little volume containing Voltaire's " poem on La Religion Naturelle. page 117. writings was dictated by it occupies these people. and error. and all she wished was to have passages cut out which savored of irreligion or disloyalty. men." She tore it in halves. The woman was astounded. par Desnolrcsteires." he concludes. on her leturn from mass one day. and the gods . which makes it ridiculous poor queen. the evening before the performance." The play it was suspended by the removal of the court to Fon- tainebleau. . " this mass of " If. and Voltaire knew his ground as she An too well to leave a line in it for timid bigotry to carp at. some questionable passages :n it. but restored in the printed version." But the censor had finally allowed the lines to remain. The actors followed the court. It is an evil time when the guardianship of virtue devolves This upon well-meaning dullness. hour after a gentleman came to her and asked if she deShe replied that she had sired the piece to be suppressed. 207 ran until compensation which he had the right to demand. She had supposed from the title that it was a work of edificasaid to the tion. The queen being informed that the play was free from objection. the rest is of .SETTLING AT LES DfiLICES. and played it in the palace. we are told. mentions particularly the sacred edifices and books. But the police had scrutinized the play too closely. with every circumstance of eclat. it was given at Fontainebleau.

rapine. Half the world felt the convulsion. Lis. probably. appears to have put both theologians and philosophers on the defensive " for it was not easy to " reconcile such a catastrophe with of the universe which had any theory yet found general or in Christendom. though no longer the opulent city of Portugal's great period. Fifteen thousand people were dead ing sites in — . deseverything the region round about All and olation. At twenty minutes to ten that morning. ruin. placed precisely where every circumstance had concurred to say to the founders. The miserable survivors wei'e face to face with that mortals dread most. would have found it in perfect harmony with his system but materialists were then few in number and of little note. were on their knees. on All Saints' Day. thousand more were dying in anguish. Build here! In six minutes the city was in ruins. eral — in in . in church. For sevfifteen — weeks shocks. 1755. anarchy. bereavement. more or less severe. and at an hour (9. seeking to propitiate a paternal deity. fire. M. one of the great festivals of the Roman Catholic year. a city of superb approach. Lisbon was firm and magnificent on one of the most picturesque and commandthe world.CHAPTER XVIII. bon. . if he had respectable acceptance lived so long. Thirty churches had fallen. at the very moment when the subterranean thunder of the approaching convulsion made every heart stand still. places distant from the peninsula. was shaken fearfully. and repeated shocks kept the universal terror alive. THE LISBON EARTHQUAKE. in America. The earthquake occurred. one half of whom. as it chanced. These were the fortunate. La Mettrie. The Lisbon earthquake of November 1. were experienced in Africa. may have then contained a population of a hundred and seventy thousand .40 A.) when the numerous churches of the city were filled to overflowing with worshipers.

in Boston alone. which thou canst not see.) (Fables.le VOL. not understood ." ^ In many of his letters of those weeks " It is a to the catastrophe. and even in the midst of the ocean. as we see in the letters and memoirs of that time. What city next would be overthrown ? For many weeks. Voltaire was profoundly moved by this dread intelligence." In the presence of such a catastrophe he felt the nothingness of this statement. direction. 14 . longer complain of my colics since that occurrence. All partial evil. and of every statement by which man has sought to explain the illimitable whole of which his globe is " If Pope had been at " would he have dared to he All is Lisbon. came the turn of New England. terrible argument against optimism. Book IX." the argument of which had not seemed so unreasonable to him people no more guilty than others. essayed philosophize upon the universe. It is not permitted to an individual to think of 1 Allusion to La Fontaine's Fable of the Acorn and the Gourd. stopped at eleven minutes past four." he said again and again. II.THE LISBON EARTHQUAKE. and almost evei-y house had its memento of the if only in the family clock. Eighteen days after. All chance. well f MattheAV Garo did not say it even when only an acorn but a ' warmed and peopled atom. people in distant parts of Europe went to bed in alarm relieved in the morning to find that they had escaped the fate of Lisbon one night more.. harmony. unknown to tliee . " The All is ivell of Matthew Garo and Pope is a little de- there some similar reference I dare no ranged. News was then about a month in traveling from Lisbon to Geneva. In earlier he had taken pleasure in assisting to translate into years French Pope's " Essay on Man. universal good. at about four in the morning. previous attempts of man to interpret a system of things in which such sudden and irremediable woe could come upon a He remembered that he. when. say. . Fal. : — " All nature is but art." wrote. he was struck with the utter futility of all perturbation. ' fell up(m is his nose. 4. 209 remote islands. then greatly exaggerated. All discord. which came to him first as a rumor too terrible to be After the first shock of hortrue. fifteen hundred chimneys were injured. ror and compassion. had to too.

. not It was much to state it withsolve it but who has solved it ? out compromise it was more to own it insoluble. Voltaire's poem upon the Disaster at Lisbon. Rousseau. All is well. it does but state the problem. as in Portugal. they are the asylum of repose. War. and passionate pieces to be found in the whole literature of the eighteenth century. in all senses. mockery. a shock was felt at Les " I have had the D^lices. written while the perturbations continued. is the most powerful and pathetic was a ten human utterance our own da}' well A competent critic of most sincere.210 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. to say to the afflicted sons of i." It did no more harm. than to shake a bottle of Muscat from the In the midst of these table while the family were at dinner. have burst forth in the midst of an uninhabited desert ? " I revere my God. . Dominic's prayers. all is necessary.. however. ! Protestants saved at Lisbon. Last except And again. a few weeks later." The counterpoise of the Alps did not prove sufficient for an Alpine village was engulfed by an earthquake on the 9th of December. . . energetic. it in Europe. volume page 315." wrote the master of the " to have an house. the poet asked. by John Morley. 1756. When man dares to at so terrible a scourge. serve us from because the post-rider failed to arrive to-day ? God preThe Alps are a good counterpoise to the it The shocks . he is not presuming he is only groan of that generation. What crime. indeed. 1 Oh. alarms came false news to increase the general consternation. years' war. tlie it It was himself amid a desolation so general was for that wanting to Judgment region nothing the trumpet. had those infants committed who lie crushed and gory upon the maternal breast ? Was Lisbon wickeder than Paris ? Yet Lisbon is destroyed. was already raging in America. imminent where. in February. and. "Would you believe that people imagined atGeneva that there was an earthquake in France. earthquake in my hermitage. that Philadelphia had been captured and sacked for the Seven Years' . but I love mankind. honor. I humbly ask. A report cii-culated in Europe. were not the effects of St. " one of the styles it . compassionate. while Paris dances. and the Inquisition swallowed up. could it not.^ True. do you say? If an eruption like this was necessary." .

" These are but a few of the thoughts of the poem. that the mortal anguish of individuals brings delight to What solace is it to and works good to the whole ! the dying man to know that from into life ? his decaying body a thousand worms feasting will come All seems well to the vulture upon the bloody members of his pre}^ until an eagle with rending beak tears the vulture in turn. lies on the battlefield.' might have added to these. All is ivell ! The universe gives you the sad. But he faults. Either unformed matter. and serves to nourish the devouring birds. another tells us he did not choose to do so. or else this mortal life his race. And you cry. et n'est point cnchaiue. and is not himself enchained. By his be- . 'I bring thee. regrets. came to conour afflicted race he visited the earth.THE LISBON EARTHQUAKE. addressed to the God he adored as his only prayer. Here is the knot which baffled the poet " : — ])ieu tient en main la chaine. " iHusion. in the course of centuries. Either man is guilty. follows the eternal torrent of his first deserene. upon a heap of the dying. What lie. Hope. or else this absolute is will he well. il n'est point ini])laciible. carries crees. il est juste. this is A caliph once. e'quitable ? ^ Pouiquoi done souffrons-nous sous un Maitre 1 God holds in his hand the chain. afterward. bloody. which extends to two hundred and fifty lines. rebellious to its Master. evils. path by which some imperfect comprehension of the universe may. and changed it not! ! . All is well to-day. thou only infinite. That discovery was not yet complete nor does the poem contain any indication of the . you say. then a man strikes the proud eagle with murderous lead and. and the ruins of thirty cities strew the blood-stained shore. pierced with wounds. men 211 others. the man himself. indifferent. Par son choix bienfaisant tout est deterniine': II est lihre. A Your own heart refutes the error. what perplexing. at his last hour. and ignorance. and God punishes argue Lisbon is Master. pitiless. One day. It serves as a record — — — to mark precisely how far man in 1756 had advanced toward the discovery of his own ignorance. but a narrow passage to an eternal world. without anger. all that which in thine immensity thou hast not. O thou onl}'' king. all this is our hope. . engulfed. in itself faults as necessary as itself. sole sophist says he could not . truths A God. be reached. but will at some future time and even while they .

he found of Lisbon new hills. he tells us in his Authe attention of the world for a long arrested tobiography. It enabled Monseigneur to bear with equanimity the otherwise uncomfortable spectacle of hagneficent choice all is determined. nor huddled a population of nearly two hundred it. therefore. wasting forty thousand annum in a province where ten thousand peasants insufficient nourishment. clung to his optimism. Why then do we suffer He is free. in a fatherly character.212 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. he is under an equitable Master ? just. because. . It was an eloquent. which did not admit of serious re- the best possible this must he. upon demon of terror diffused over the earth so wide-spread an alarm. but it francs per comforting to a marquis or a bishop. really is. by any means. which became all the more impossible. " who was compelled to put up with frequent repetitions of the M^hole matter. In the long episthe points of Voltaire's poem. child Goethe. was not a little staggered. he truly observed. God. minds and set all Never before had the time. Rousseau does not advance anything of more value than this God is thousand upon those seven contiguous tle written to pai'ry : perfect . reflection. which the polite world had generally accepted and had found " comfortable. mind strove to resist these impressions. ages. to had be assured. Voltaire wrong. that this was the best arrangement possible. The was distressed by the same dilemma. plausible letter." It was . Hence. would not have built houses seven stories high." He The unhappy man saw in the catastrophe Savproof of the essential evil of civilization. having given both the just and the unjust a prey to the same destruction. by a man of great renown. as he remarked. event. six years of age. all that occurs world. because it worlds. then. did not seem to manifest himIn vain the young self. the creator and sustainer of heaven and whom the earth. since the wise and Scripture-learned could The stupendous not themselves agree as to the light in which such plienomena should be regarded. " comfort " in Rousseau was attracted and repelled by Voltaire's poem. the best of possible is . leading articles of the creed declared so wise and benignant. in serious and weighty words. because it came an imperiled doctrine." he adds. " The boy. he is not implacable. Pope is right. ply to tlie rescue of had prodigious effect at the time.

for his castle had a door and windows he was styled jNIy Lord. as everything was made for one end. nation in the best of possible castles. powerful lords of Westphalia. he sees and Candide is trapped into the Bulgarian army . and that. ers. deadly perhaps give the reader in a few words an imperfect idea of this most celebrated of Voltaire's prose — burlesques. He had a son and a daughter. the author could only hope to reach the few hundreds in each country who inhabit and pos. well uttered folly pork Hence. whose Dr. Pangloss. and Ave have breeches. de<'p in love with the baron's daughter. There lived in the castle of Baron von Thunder-ten-tronckh a young man of such engaging manners and innocent mind The baron was one of the most that he was called Candide. Pangloss. He kicked Candide out of his house the baroness boxed her daughter's ears and all was consterall . Pangloss tutor. exchanging an innocent caress behind a screen in the dining-room.THE LISBON EARTHQUAKE. one day. . that things cannot be other than they are for." It Voltaire's reply was the burlesque story of for ai-gument Rousseau's best of possible worlds did not require refutation. . which the author . shares the horrors of an infei-nal campaign. those who have asserted that all is we must maintain that all is best. . Rousseau invited our poet to reply to this letter. in this best of possible worlds. the year. . believed implicitly in the phiThe testy baron surprised the lovlosophy of Dr. was not a case sess the universe . 213 gard laborers and pining childhood. The legs were obviously instituted to be breeched. and his dependents laughed when he told his stories. penniless. " Candide. . Remark well that the nose is formed to wear spectacles so we liave spectacles. proved admirably that there without a cause. and the baroness the best of possible baronesses. Pigs were made to be eaten we eat is no effect . I can fallacies. In his poem upon the Lisbon earthquake. The guileless Candide. but almost any reader could catch the point fit antidote to Rousseau's serious and of this diverting tale. the fair and fat Cunegonde. but exhibition. and draw up a moral code which mankind could rest upon and adhere to in all circumstances. the castle of the baron was the most beautiful of castles. he would say. Wandering. everything is necessarily for the best end. It is demonstrated. was the oracle of the house.

214 LITE OF VOLTAIEE. He asked this eloquent man . " I don't understand you. to the cadence of sacred music. Candide witnessed." enchained necessarily. He escaped to half and into an edifice where a sauntered. for aid. and seeing a man who did not feel sure the Pope was antichrist. whether he is or not. putting her you value your life head out of the window. wdiich a author. In a Mahometan he saw kind of and horror but. of preventing earthquakes Portugal had discovered that the was to burn a few her- nial by a slow fire." said one of his compan " ions . and enjoined by Mahomet. in all parts of this best of possible worlds. replied Candide " There is good cause?" " all " but. The wise men of true etics way . unspeakable. are reunited Turkey. massacre. I want something young man " to eat. in "What I knou'. and arranged for the best. after adventures and mishaps of every kind. his vocation with fidelity and skill." answered the inquired the orator. new play is received by the friends and foes of the At length. Candide and his Cundgonde. the dreadful catastrophe at Lisbon. "Are you for the is no effect without a cause. starved. . upon a modest farm. "is that we must cultivate »ur garden.^^ said Candide. amid army every cruelty and did the percrime never rapine. to fail filve times a and the petrators pause say prayers da}'-. Holland. relates in the absurd phrases of Dr. it is the only way of rendering life supportable." Get out Scoundrel! wretch Don't come near me. and observes the manner in to death." "Do you believe the Pope to be antichrist?" asked the orator. Pangloss. man spoke eloquently for an hour upon charity. where his opinions upon the necessary chain of events in the best of possible worlds consigned him to the tender mercies of the Inquisition. while there he visits the theatre. and discover the secret of livThat secret was for each individual to labor in ing happily." " Let us work without reasoning. too. without perplexing himself with a theory of the universe." . Candide finds himself at Paris. in the course of his wanderings over the earth. with Pangloss and other friends. This was done with imposing ceremobut Candide was so happy as only to be flogged nearly . poured upon his bare pate a ! " pailful of dirty water. ! ! if The orator's wife.

but appeared at the end of 1758. etc. It is the eternity to come which makes optimism. " Really.THE LISBON EARTHQUAKE. you would not be here To which the eating citrons. in which the important nations of Christendom were involved. As usual. But in Europe what cause of war was there? On that warthis . or Indian as. thank God. French. In America there was a cause of strife. give us the happiness of which he justly deprives us in this. I would pardon the Portuguese inquisitors' hanging the argumentative Pangloss for having sustained optimism." wise Candide would reply. provided religion those who support that system add to it a belief that God in another life will." he would say to Candide. but she became an gonde excellent pastry cook. Every one had his task. I have. if you not been put into the Inquisition. Dr. man was still such that a question of that nature could only be settled by fighting until it was ascertained which was tlie strongest. " That is well said but it is necessary to cultivate our garden. English. in 1756. when it had universal currency. Voltaire might well say that nothing in his " Can" dide was so extravagant as the real events of the period.. Cundwas no longer either young or fair. in his mercy. and all labored with zeal and success. attribute to optimism obviously destroys the foundations of our holy For my part. "People pastor ' me that pack of nonsense. for it was a thing of necessity to decide which should be dominant in North America. If I could ever excuse the Inquisition. each of them set hhnself to exThe little farm yielded abundantly. better occupation. " " I have at he wi'ote to a friendly Candide. Pangloss occasionally harped upon " all the old string. and pistache nuts. I will forgive optimism. had you had not been kicked out of a beautiful castle. sweetmeats.' length read must have lost their senses to of Geneva. 215 All the company assenting." The Lisbon earthquake was the awful prelude to a long period of most bloody and desolating war in Europe and America. and not the present moment. the author affected extreme astonishment that any one should attribute so light a production to him. If events are linked together in this best of possible worlds. ." — : This story of two hundred pages was not immediately published. ercise his talents. In truth.

" We shall see erelong in familiar correspondence with the Russian court. by wresting from her what she felt to be enemy to : her province of Silesia. My dear Elizabeth. rash young minor poet. nursing her uncle's ever-cooling wrath. as we don't know her ! shall see anon. Empress of Austria. and had armies under them. to Maria Theresa. by writing (among other nonsense) canto v. one day to be Catherine II. had given mortal offense to the four most powerful women then alive First. their secret purpose. while waiting the slow men . — fertile. A womankind. Les Delices. the maker of French ministries. EmNext. as Goethe remembered. Every family. 1756. "detested Luke [nickname for and I had not a little contributed to that and Frederic II. he had deeply poem. Uaughed him in my sleeve. one of the bright he offended Elizabeth. just after the death of that empress in 1762. Madame Denis was . this young king had press of Russia. took sides in this tremendous conflict. or else divided into parties. and by saying. who owed her intellectual life to Voltaire. where there was a Princess Catherine. Petticoat III.. and making public amends for the horrors of Frankfort.. cursed continent. "jewels of her crown." populous. and held him in extreme favor." Also. of Prussia. having discovered impolitic young poet. his burlesque made an enemy of Madame Denis. at the empress' inFrederic would have done well and justly to soothe vitation." wrote Voltaire. to keep it warm she was where she could convey to Pompadour the " / " and other anecdotes. who were in politics. " . the immediate cause was personal government. Frederic had amused himself. he. wei-e uniting to crush the impolite and In August. of " Le Palladion. wounded Madame de Pompadour. Madame Denis by The a few decent words. was influential at the Russian court.] . after development of the crisis. and writing the history of Peter the Great. ''I don't know her!''' Finally. for I am a droll fellow. The family of Les Delices were in perfect accord. she was only in Les D^lices. Frederic II. by not openly disavowing Freytag. in reply to her compliment conveyed by Voltaire. other three offended ladies. by turning Voltaire's tragedy of . fell upon Saxony with sixty thousand which he declared war.216 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. not " in politics " . by calling her. in derision and contempt.

in November. That name was seldom pronounced in the house. taire. monarqiie infortune! Tu perds en un iustant ta fortune et ta gloire.". in his poem." ^ D'Argental. household. unfortunate in an instant thy fortune and thy glory. "to thrust my nose into all these grand affairs but I can certif}' to you that the Man complained of has never been attached to France. Pompadour was nearer Geneva than 1756. does not belong to me. and Vol" It could reach her at all times. " : to cesses That . and you can assure Madame de Pompa. Thou hast lived too long by one day. dour. the king was called Luke in the familiar conversation and correspondence of the M^rope . the creature was thouglit to have behaved like the King of Prussia and. after Frederic's first sucIf he is devil of a Solomon wins and will win. always fortunate and covered with glory.THE LISBON EARTHQUAKE. either empress. This attention might have softened him a little toward a onceloved pupil." To the public. " To the King of " : Invasion of Saxony " — Prussia on his Tu vccus trop d'un jour. that she has no reason to value herself upon I know. I shall be justified in my former taste for him if he is beaten. if he had had no irate niece at his side to bristle up into new fury every time the name of Frederic was mentioned. 1 monarch ! Thou hast lost . of wliicli he sent a copy to the poet. in particular. through Richelieu. too. When Voltaire's monkey. of madame a month ago with much eulogium. Luke. Again." he wrote to the duke in October. bit the hand accustomed to caress it. I shall be avenged. that the empress [of Austria] spoke his regard. from that time. " " 217 into an opera.

his new abode. as in Boston during the same period. and so it proved. associating chiefly with these. At Geneva. The earthquake suspended the scheme. scarcely a league distant . CALVIN. at first." as we read. thousands thronged to the churcltes to hear the sermons of the Calvinist pastors. windows of Les Delices he could see France. After which Madame Denis and himself had warmly encouraged. . effervescence as often as anything occurred to stir the neigh- borhood. in a common fluid. first which had been long oozing the earthquake period. the Rhone flowed at his and the language of his native land was spoken all about " him. the Lisbon earthquake. But he was not in France. was printed during both The edition. the nearest French Keith to Madame soil bemg . who were able to be virtuous without relinquishing their mental rights and. If a few polite families in each canton read with approval his poem upon the catastrophe. AMONG THE CHILDREN OF is only France that can suit your uncle. there was a certain number of educated men of the world. with terrified people. . soon gave those honest pastors some real cause of appre" " By an absurd coincidence that Pucelle of his. He hension. For five or six years he was an inhabitant of Switzerland he dwelt close to its borders during the remainder of his life and there was feet . . He was a " papist dwelling among the children of Calvin he was a conscious unbeliever and he lived among them as living among conscious believers an acid lives with an alkali. and the churches were crowded " all day. the government in both appointed a day of fasting and prayer. besides being ." wrote Lord From the Denis. . in 1753. he felt himself safe in But such persons were few in both cities. There had been a hopeful project of building a theatre at Lausanne.CHAPTER "It XIX. into publicity.

. that the as he called : language. " he would say " to me. to ' ! how Pompadour.' and that was the name ' which the binder had put upon the back It is to of the volume. of the ancient authors. books " You cannot read Ariosto in his own he added this passage be noted. and these copies he sent courtiers. the effect of the false edition. Ariosto. contained a great number of the grossest description by other hands. have the historical portion of the Old Testament read to you from one end to the other. he caused a number of copies to be made of the poem as he wished posterity to have it. in as a pendant to Ariosto. 219 of passages imperfect and incorrect. and. "Whenever my master was sad or sick. even after the publication of the first author- ized edition at Geneva in 1762." says Wagniere. and advising her to cheer the eternal dark to which her blindness condemned her with amusinc. fication which can be derived from it I speak of the singular. saying to each of tliem." very quality of this poem which makes it to us a forbidden book was the one for which he valued it most. and I pity you much for it but. . among others) were indecently as- was impossible Voltaire could have justified in disavowing the work thus curtailed and disfigured. or else my Jeanne. also." to labor upon it. Go and get a volume of Ariosto. " he wrote to D'Argental. He doted upon the simplicity. To parry sailed. to in substance." Pucelle" was evidently a favorite work with him. to Richelieu. his love of verse and it his love of fun. and you will discover that there is I do not speak of the ediabsolutely no book more amusing. take my advice. " See.AMONG THE CHILDREN OF CALVIN. " I have wrought this poem with I care." have regarded have thought of posterity. and July. the naivete.' It was so that he named his ' Pucelle. he did so with all the force and reiteration of genuine alarm. to members of the government. the reader may be sure. in which friends of Voltaire (Richelieu. innocent is the true Pucelle It is ' but the harmless badinage of a young man a modest attempt of a French poet to imitate the immortal work of the divine . I I am doing the impossible to He continued long escape the dangers of the present time. it — passages which He was written. it. 1755 . his last secretary. Writing once to Madame du Deffand. In composing it he gratified keenly all his loves and all his hates . "La above all.

above all. poem his of Universal Hisin seven authorized edition. is incomparable. etc. galleys for nine years for printing an edition uscript of the fifty louis. the least of which savors of prodigy. September 17. other. No harm except fright seems ever to have come to the author from this poem. it was now freely circulated the reading world devoured it. After dreading its publication for twenty editions were multiplied years. under the ban the parliament of Paris burnt it the police of Geneva hunted it down and. too." reports Voltaire. this naivete. Four works of his. . volumes. placed it over it. promptly arrested and possessor the of work and all the that could be found copies imprisoned. escajjed molesta- world of Natural Christendom." of the who was manuscript. and you will see that noth^ ing could be sent you which approaches it." The celle. which our translators dared not give literally. . and you will see that Jerusalem is a beautiful girl. the "La on at the Catastrophe Pucelle. whom the Lord loved as soon as she had hair and breasts Indeed. "I . but the author. occupied the reading i To Madame du Deffand. the poem on Religion. was sentenced to the cesses. in the city were burnt by the hangman in the usual place. it had all the sucA printer in Paris. of the naivete of the style. read it again and again. ity of the ancient manners. laughed artists illustrated it The Pope. . chiefly through his tion. which I love above all things. Madame du Chatelet had well commented upon it from one end to the If you are so fortunate as to get a relish for this book. but.220 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. in 1756. and that if one of my lackeys should copy a single line He denounced the of it I would discharge him on the spot." and the Lisbon. There is not a page "which does not furnish thought for an entire day. . . have the sixteenth chapter translated. which he offered to sell to the author for told him. you will never know ennui more. of tlie crowd of events. "that neither I nor any one of my house would ever transcribe things so infamous. but they work of the prophet a justification of " La Pu- One Grasset came from Paris with an incorrect man- poem. in short. namely. which no one reads . . . Do not forget the first chapter of Ezekiel. own adroit management." did find in the sons of Calvin w^ere familiar with Ezekiel. in 1757. 1759.

" " La Pucelle were like the stitched and and some cantos of beaded thongs upon which a chief hangs the scalps of his enemies.AMOXG THE CHILDREN OF CALVIN. to his theatrical wardrobe. still 221 of in Add in the to tliese the tragedy of the " Orphan It China. not appalled by these dreadful examsoon placed themselves in open opposition to his private theatricals. It was said. in July of the same year. passed over in silence. in order to under- least. the courage and consistency of the Genevan pastors works as they did. Lckain. they But when. and that some of the actors who were to perform were inhabitants of this city. and the rest." newest gloss of its celebrity. and when he was getting ready a dust-pan upon which to flash lightning. he began to beat up recruits for his dramatic company among the young people of Geneva. when he had scenery a stage. St. and the following is a translation of " its proceedings : — Monsieur the pastor of Roches reported that the Sieur de Voltaire was preparing to play tragedies at his house. Boyer. Desfontaines. Voltaire. reproduced London dilTicult . also. basing their procedure on the law of the republic. investing author who had at the end of his pen an atom more poignant than the death which the poisoned arrow carries. The Consistory met July 31st. The which forbade the j^erformance of plays. printed and widely circulated. when he set about furbishing and completing painted. Europe to laugh at for sons of Calvin. that he was having . at stand his position and his immunity. then the pastors rose upon him. it were and to overstate the splendor of his reputation at this time is necessary to bear it always in mind. Maupertuis " had not yet recovered from the " Diatribe of Doctor Akakia. arranged and displayed in the to oppose his proceedings and thus incur the Avrath and pursue of his an opulent seigneur — highest style of the scalper's art. who was in their and of an francs a million neighborhood. tory. when he inverted wine-barrels for the foundation of when he was taking off the rims of two cart-wheels provide rolling thunder. They were all there. La Beaumelle. to It Avas creditable. John's. when private. and Berlin. ples. both in public and in That first infringement in the spring of 1755. for centuries. Fi(3ron. and Madame Denis had presumed to declaim " scenes from " Zaire in the drawing-room of Les Dclices.

and he hoped they would bear it were disposed to play parts This being clearly docility. before ten persons. on the part of the Consistory. he stirred up the liberalized people of the city to go the length of building a theatre That proj! ect. professor of theology. if that displeases them. he should take the greatest care to avoid offending. to abstain from so doing. 1739. Upon which. and to say to him that the Consistory rests in perfect confidence that the Mafrnificent Council will never countenance a disregard of its March 18. The convenience in his government was now manifest. " A house. par page 421. was postponed by the convulsion M. and December 5. . 1732. visited him at Les Professor Tronchin after. I am perfectly willing that displease no one who breathes it. Dr. for they ought to have told him it was against the law. as well public as private. He inan." ^ legal. of the Council. the comic ministers shall to opera but I am not willyour go . which forIt representations of plays. with regard to those of this city who decrees of all bid in tragedies at the house of the Sieur de Voltaire. Now. Voltaire submitted with edifying requested his friend. however. Tronchin." he wrote to another member of the fam" who owes to your ily. was further agreed that. Cramer Recueil d'Extraits des Registres du Cousistoire de Geneve. finding the laws of that canton offered no obstacle. it was decided to address monsieur the First Syndic. a piece fidl few days of morality and virtue.222 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE." D Alices. a stage erected and decorations prepared. to assure the venerable Consistory that he was its very humble servant (valet). Magnificent Tronchin. sage laws of the government. having ing to represent in my A testified again the most complete submission to the laws of the Council. like so 1 many others. He added that he was extremely annoyed to he have given occasion of complaint by the performance of a play but it was really more the fault of his visitors at his house than his own. of having a winter house under another As soon as he was established winter quarters near Lausanne. messieurs the pastors of their neighborhoods are to notify them. honorable body the privilege of breathing this air ought to in mind. his intention having always been to observe with respect the . that he was well informed on the subject.

and with a new success. it is truth.] ! Madame Believe me. very well felt. was there seen such a lovely cap " " [And. that there would one day be in it more genius than at Rome tulips . beautiful women. They Caesar did not foresee. when he came to ravage this little yielded. He has left a too brief account of the dramatic performances of the amateurs " The highest gratification which I derived from Voltaire's residence at Lausanne Mas the uncommon circumstance of hearing a great poet declaim his own productions on the stage. theatre " : — We Mohadar notify razin. s(mie of whom were not destitute of talents. February and March. and from them I return to the theatre ^ to .A-MONG THE CHILDREN OF CALVIN. and a cap No. the whole done by still better performed . a country house at the end of a suburb : — . Tlie Terror pervaded all theatre could no longer be thought of. I . and the project was suspended. my vines. now trembling good father better than Sarhad wrath and tears. a few weeks after. my I go from the theatre to my plants. never I ! We have played a new piece Denis was applauded like Mademoiselle Clairon. upon our pretty little stage. perplexed in the extreme with rival theologies. followed by dances executed to a marvel. A decent theatre was framed at INIonrepos. I played we were all dressed like the masters of the universe. the pastors could not prevent the performance of plays in his own house. and she would have been as much applauded at I inform you without vanity that I am the best old fool in any Paris. He had formed a company of gentlemen and ladies. 1758. however. by young men well formed who have talent. seen upon the border of our lake a new tragedy." One of the witnesses of the representations at Lausanne was Gibbon. now strong. that laid Lisbon in ruins. gave Fanime yesterday. voice. . to and from the theatre to history. and this became one of the most frequent recreations of the severe Alpine His letters contain numerous allusions to his home winter. ^ To D'Argental. fruits are which the Alps and Mount Jura never before year. and a attitudes. you would have been much surprised if you had troupe. not yet the historian of the Decline and Fall. again. very well played. At Lausanne. and be- The actors have been formed in a single fore an assembly of taste. 223 minds. . too. but only a young English student. and bj^ an opera bouffe very well judged. you that This is I jjlayed the part of the not vanity . corner of the earth.

which soon became conspicuous. Denis. the oversight of which was confided to Madame Denis and to me. the joanion of his disastrous retreat from Potsdam in 1753. thusiasm of poetry. which is inculcated from our infancy as the first duty of an Englishman. But." was still courting in secret both the tragic and the comic muse. and even produced and for some time I was the confidant and copyist of her dramatic writings. the necessity of concealing from her uncle the literary events which could disquiet him. Her love of the drama led. She was composing then her tragedy of Alceste. in a visible degree. during the Pucelle . panic of 1755. page 108. he committed an indiscretion that cost him " his place. in the spring of 1756.224 dresses LITE OF VOLTAIRE. Collini. . seldom failed of proThe habits of pleasure fortified my taste curing me a ticket. rather than the feelmgs of nature. Madame Denis proofs of her esteem. The tragedy of Alceste' was not the only cause which obliged us to have private conversations together. com- He had become an important member in all the duties incidental to of the family. and that taste has perhaps abated my idolatry for the gigantic genius of Shakespeare. his table and theatre. I sometimes supped with the actors. The needs of ' a great house newly established. and shared the new position of his chief. which she nobly recompensed by gifts still preserved by me among the literary works.' The occupation she gave me obliged me to have private interviews with her I employed zeal and devotion in those little labors. to prevent the publication of the poem when he had enjoyed a six weeks' holiday at the capital. wit and philosophy of Voltaire. not discouraged by the rejection of her " Coquette. ' . I enjoyed my share of the amusements of society. [he explains] loved literature. . After the representations at Monrepos. the manners of Lausanne and.. for the Fi'ench theatre. to her uncle's losing his secretary. and scenes were provided at the expense of the actors and the author directed the rehearsals with the zeal and attenHis declamation was fashioned to the tion of paternal love. My ardor. refined. He had even been dispatched to Paris. in the spring for Madame of 1756. . pomp and cadence of the old stage and he expressed the en. and other reasons 1 acci- Milmau's Life of Gibbon. The however addicted to study." ^ The drama was indeed the ruling passion of the household .

. — — others. flicted.. given rise to some suspicions in Voltaire's mind. and that the friendThe next day ship of her uncle would prevail over a fault so light. and I. She replied vaguely. ' respect to INIadame Denis. I protested my respect. room without shutting the door. when. My letter was gone and perceiveil what had come of my folly. " The ail'air became serious. I had reason to be sure of this. among . Madame de Fontaine. and the conversation appeared to cause him some discontent. his niece. cast her eyes upon my letter.' said he. all On my return I was received with a coldness the more cruel from my knowing nothing of the cause. A room in writing a letter to a young lady of the little city of Rulle. One evening. who was very much offended. and I dejDarted. but which are well understood by those to whom they are addressed. and severed me from the illustrious man to whom I had resolved to remain I was one day occu{)ied in my attached to the end of his life or mine. During my absence pleasantry one of her women came into ray room. which had rendered our relations more intimate. was about to arrive at Les Delices from Paris. read " it. because his niece. to retain me A^oltaire replied that it would be impossible for in his service. and established be- Perhaps our intimacy Tliere were himself. 15 ." new imprudence at length caused my disgrace. and carried it to her mistress. and 1 took II.. she addressed herself to me. 225 It was this deutal and not less innocent. leaving upon my table my unfinished letter. in a manner perhaps too marked. of which she had never before thought. " I watched for an opportunity to see Madame Denis and set self right myat- with lier. replied that I knew badinage to whieli I it. by those lialf words which have no meaning for strangers. and that I I rose I left my v^as desired to go and meet her with a carriage. I but dared hope she would not take amiss the in a had given way moment of gayety. . As much ! witlidrew to my room. . demanded the satisfaction of my departure. although I had some hope that time would appease the resentment of INIadame Denis. my esteem. and without giving me any hope. I Baw plainly that I had to make up my mind to a change. suppers at which we were alone. required secret conferences. liad tween us the tone and hmguage of friendship. You have been wanting in day Vultaire summoned me to his room. The second they pouted all day without speaking to me of the letter. showing me the fatal letter.AMONG THE CHILDKEN OF CALVIN. when some one came to inform me from Voltaire that his niece. VOL. I surprised as af1 turned pale. ami which my him heart disii vowed. From that time JNladame Denis used some precautions in our ordinary intercourse. and my tachment. That letter contained nothing but badinage and Madame Denis was named in it.

my Paris. able to me in the circumstances. named Wagniere. His place at Les Delices was supplied by a lad under sixteen. with board and lodging for themselves and their children. I believe. promoted felt my education. acted upon Swift's maxim. a native of Geneva. his wife's one hundred. who remained copyist. He asked me I was sufficiently answered that I had enough for my provided with money. desire I had to labor for his pleasure and my own instruction. I repeat it he was a miser only of his time. as long as he lived. had a conversation of more than an hour my We if together. Voltaire continued his good offices toward this imprudent secretary to the end of his own days. " never had a place in his house. and some days after I took leave of Voltaire. He procured for him in 1759 a good place at the court of the ElectorPalatine.' I thanked him . and anew to the natural goodness of his disposition. with tears in my eyes. you know not what time. and said to me. " I was only fourteen. he embraced me . and. that a man should have money in his head. was two hundred francs per annum. at the end of 1754. part accordingly. took from rouleau of louis. were much to his taste. : He appeared gratified by it. and reared children. he informs us. Vol- he observes. He married there." Exit Collini. he assured me that I should not remain there long without No proposition could have been more agreeobtaining employment. himself giving me some lessons in Latin. He had the art both of increasing and of enjoying his fortune. taire. I left the house of Les Delices. secretary. which Collini held. " when I entered his servHe deigned to notice the extreme ice. never in his heart. and becoming the father of a family in it." says Wagniere." he adds. ' Take that. Avhicli I to study. he went to his desk. imprudent . though I deplored it. " Stinginess. " The evil was beyond remedy. some a may happen. and the duties of which." Wagniere evidently had previously begun that Collini. I have never known a man whose servants could rob him with more ease. Voltaire advised me to establish myself at and promised to write to his friends to interest them in my favor. marrying one of the servants of the His salary house." Collini adds various testifies comments on Voltaire's character.226 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. I journey and to go on with for it AVithout replying. and factotum for the rest of his life. I wrote to family to inform them of my departure.

who.' and ' Semiramis. man to frustrate. ' . in order to obtain pledges not to attend the theatre of M. in three of Voltaire's pieces. though in France. resistance. and. Invitations were scattered wide. and But. and give the irresistible eclat of his fame and genius to the opening nights. and again induced Lekain to visit him. the celebrated actor from Paris. his project of giving innocent delight to the But he was an extremely difficult polite people of their city. 'Ad(^laide du Guesclin. liaving come to visit Voltaire. which. evening of that day every one goes. and (Hd actually play there three times last week. alas pare to struggle against temptation. ! . All the interest which the drawing of the lottery' could create was absorbed that week by the passion for the drama . it seemed as if the in the people were going to get the grand prize at Chatelaine. was only three miles and a half from the city of Geneva. a few yards over the border. had been harshly treated.AMONG THE CHILDREN OF CALVIN. 1 will had frustrated The pastors. as they hoped. To complete of Geneva on the subject the story of Voltaire's contest with the pastors of his dramatic performances. soon after. The promises to abstain were so numerous that it was believed the actors would play to an empty house. was urged to perform at the theatre. ! It was like a procession. misguided pastors could offer only a moral which proved signally ineffectual. But what delusion blies The theatre is finished the day of opening is fixed. As play. This great concourse was attracted by Lekain. de Voltaire. voluntarily engage not to put foot within it.' I sliould not know how to describe to you all the follies which were committed from the desire to see that thither and the crowds of people who hastened even in the morning. man . anticipate the course of events. he bought the estate of Ferney. and he says he took warning from his abrupt dismissal to avoid giving occasion for censure. Before he had been three years in Geneva. . a turn in public events opened the way for his safe residence upon the soil of France . such was the fury with which they went thither. Then he built a theatre at Chatelaine. notwithstanding the bad weather. The worthy. 227 tbough he was. They doom the actors to isolation and want they are rigid they prethe day arrives. An eye-witness on record a very amusing account of the poet's triumph over them. .' ' Mahomet. Assemhad been held in the social circles the true patriots.' friends of religion and country. left has " The society of pastors [he reports] ordered a general visitation in the parishes.

" I who write to and could not I also shared the much But I saw everything morning. . ment when Nimias was leaving A comic incongruity could not be imagined of those old men in of — comedy. I waited for Saturday. viHaores were brouijht in. resist the curiosity to see the celebrated actor. as a louis was paid for the hire of one carriage. . from the tomb it caused a universal shudder. and no more carThe most wretched vehicles from neighboring riages were to be had. " But not the least part of the exhibition was Voltaire himself. that frosted head incloses a volcano always in eruption. which deprived the sjDectator of the time to consider. and yet I found the pit filled. and I had the advantage besides of having the company of M. par J. at the moeyes. that impetuous transport. his eyes almost extinguished but. who also had made an exception to his patriotic principles against the in the drama. page 46. unable to sustain himself upon his trembling limbs. Gaberel. Such was the moment when he and issued while he had of Ninus. All the marks of old age are impi'iuted upon his countenance : his and dressed cheeks are hollow and wrinkled. I made up by hard work the time which I was to lose the next day for I was at the theatre at half past eleven you. general folly. formerly syndic. '' I saw some sublime things. Mussard. . It was the triumph of nature. except with the aid of his cane. 1 Voltaire et les Genevois. which even surpassed the idea which How all the passions were report had given me of that perfect actor. really killed Semiramis.—' that icas It ^ better! Ah! 7non Dieu ! koto well done ! — now could not in preaching emotion by example. in favor of the actor in question.228 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. now by exclamations. It was those ! ! ! ! flashes of genius. that involuntary oblivion of self. now with he his cane. although along with flames it throws out smoke and ashes also. as Freron says. seated against a first wing. and the critic of the opportunity to analyze coolly. his nose prolonged. quite as well from the second tier of boxes. What magnificent recitation What depicted in his countenance harmonious gestures What brilliant pantomime But the mere art of the actor was that which we least admired in him. and putting his handkerchief to his So little was he able to control his enthusiasm that. when they were to play ' Semiramis. in view of all the audience. thinking he had struck Assur. of the he ran after Lekain.' for I knew that he shone the most in the part of Nimias. and embraced him near the back of the stage. regardless destroying more by the hand." ^ . applauding like one possessed. after having defied Assur. seized him illusion. for Voltaire resembled one his stockings rolled upon his knees. the stage. the costume of the good old times.

His visit extended to five weeks. and. A few days am corrupting the youth not until 17G6. " Well. page 28. and this I shall use in the in" of Corterview between Cinna and Augustus [in the " Cinna neille] : — 'Prends un sihge. I am going to play them a turn which will not I have procured an old arm-chair which served please them. the ill-success of which sliowed of this pedant he wrote. Scene 1. went over to the " enemy. Ciuna. first of the Magnificent Council some. and I I made the whole coun- At how ners in The austerity of manneedless was the opposition to it. . ." they Apropos of Calvin. another child of Calvin who appeared to be profoundly disi)lcased at Voltaire's success in establishThis was Jean-Jacques Rousing the theatre in Switzerland.. violin-playing. good but length. I have succeeded cil cry Lekain was sublime. take a seat." In 1757 Voltaire had the pleasure of a visit from D'Alembert. CALVIN. city." sense prevailed over prejudice. prends. he wrote " their reformer as seat or pulpit. prospered in this little scheme. a native of in 1779. then in the midst of his work upon the Encyclopiedia. Cinna. Geneva softened to such a degree that when Albert Geneva and a graduate of its University saw Boston. dramatic author and a composer of music. . in 1783. and the council allowed a theatre to be opened in Geneva." ^ There was. and : bowls are forbidden on Sunday.AMONG THE CHILDREN OF The his letters. by Henry Adams. he was amazed at the contrast between the two cities.'i Act v. exultation of Voltaire at his triumph breaks forth ia " The manners of the children of Calvin are mucli burn Servetus no more. however. and so much superprevails that singing. the of the drama he Upon question placed himself in distinct to the band of opposition philosophers. What out " ! a fine noise there will be when the preachers find it later He . as they thought. himself a seau. 2i!9 ameliorated. and spoke of the Calvinistic provincialism that prevailed in Boston ver}^ much as Frenchmen had spoken of Geneva when his father first became a member Gallatin. stition " Life in Boston is very weariThere are no public amusements. card-playing. Life of Albeit Gallatiu. in the course of which he 1 2 Take a scat.

he added. Theatrical representations preserve plays would form the taste of the people. which it is very difficult to acquire without that resource.230 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. and on account " of which he caused Servetus to be burned. .'' he wrote to the author. which troupes of actors bring with them. a delicacy of sentiment. is not believed at all to-day by several ministers of Geneva. wrote an article upon for the Encycloptedia. had praise both to the people and the pastors . " that there is an eulogium of Geneva in the new volume. they have another. pastors and flocks appeared to be equally scan: — : ! ." "The drama is not permitted at Geneva not that plays in themselves are disapjjroved. also. The clergy. The lambs whom you believe tolerant would be wolves if they were allowed to be. "who lived in great harmony with one magistrates and people. and libertinage. and. did not no other religion than perfect Socinianism. were men of exemplary manners. as if in recogreceived. mentioning even their opposition to the theatre in the tone of most respectful dissent. Nevertheless. suggested by himself. Alas you know them not the Genevese do not impart their secret to foreigners. in one word. of the principal points of our creed. their chief. met a large number of the more liberal members of the cleigy and council. who paid great honor to an author so distinguished." An article in an Encyclopaedia has seldom brought about the ears of the author such a storm of protest and counterstatement as this one upon Geneva. one Hell. would it not be possible to remedy this inconvenience by severe and well-executed laws regulating the conduct of the actors ? By this means Geneva would have and its manners. was so zealous a defender. nition of the civilities he Geneva D"Alembert. in which it is said jou praise the moderation of certain people. Voltaire knew very well how it would be received. as well as with Several of them. dissipation. a doctrine of which Calvin. but they fear the taste for dress. give them a fineness of tact. he said. believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ. in which he gave the highest On his return to Paris. and imagining that the first principle of a true religion must be to propose nothing for belief which is offenThen upon the theatre sive to reason. rejecting all that is called mystery." When the volume arrived. for the article had been more than " I am told.

turning religion itself into a universal means of demoralization. if the honest people of Geneva should abandon their inexpensive social clubs and domestic circles. " Has Jean-Jacques. He made an oppor- . dalized. against the drama? " And later. he writes against the stage. How sad the change. Rousseau. belief in the doctrines Tvhicli 231 and solemn declarations were published of implicit D'Alembert had congratulated I need not dwell upon the the clergy upon having escaped. to waste at the theatre the It is impossible to money needed for their children's bread conceive a piece of writing at once more eloquent and more insincerity. the abode of luxurious and wasteful frivolity. he said. and gets within them to bark at liis friends. in an atmosphere of though varying in density in every and neighborhood every house. to go to the theatre. if plays in general were like them. were so excellent and so wise that. Jean-Jacques become a father of the church ? " This who under the have been lunatic. it would be necessary for all the world misleading than respect. which. simplest tastes. and Paris. native Geneva. was almost as much puzzled by " What is this book of this outburst as he was disappointed. takes it into his head to make a sect of his own. with his own impassioned. details of this affair. as they lived. He finds four or five rotten staves of Diogenes' tub. and repeated. as he fancied he remembered it in his youth. something might guidance of his brethren of the Encyclopicdia. an austere Arcadia. Paris was the chosen home of the drama Geneva knew it not. omnipresent . inhabited by a happy people of simjilest manners. perceiving clearly that the reason of the man was not the avenue through which he reached his opinions. After writing a bad play. in a letter of two hundred pages. the whole clerical argument He drew a powerful contrast between his against the drama. Voltaire." But he still refrained from breaking with Rousseau. because such things are all too familiar to ourselves. addressed to D'Alembert. who had hoped that Rousseau would at last range himself on the liberal side. defended the council and clergy of his country in their opposition to the theatre. fallacious eloquence.AMONG THE CHILDREN OF CALVIN. He still treated Voltaire with personal and mentioned certain plays of his and parts of plays. who live. ! this." he asked Thieriot.

it is that of our own good tragedies. " What is the true drama It is good manners by action and dialogue. They have not excited a profitless admiration they have often corrected men. and who ^ confound Sophocles. I am a Farce writer and strolling player of the previous century. to what are we in' ' ' debted for " it ? To the theatre. to publish a letter to an Italian nobleman. while men of rank and wealth have the misfortune to to be abandoned to themselves. How cold in comparison Have we retained a single phrase of eloquence of monologue ! the art of teaching virtue and is the thirty or forty thousand moral discourses ? And do we not know by heart admirable sentences placed with art in interesting dialogues ? Homo sum . in which he gave an elaborate defense of the drama and met the points his name. ! are they ivho admit Athalie. of our good comedies. humani nihil a me alienum puto. A man well known sought reconciliation with his wife after seeing Prejudice a la mode. Scene 1. tunity. if the people of the court are vain dandies no longer.232 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. Zaire. the cap. a year or two after. without mentioning The theatre. What pity ought we not. and Terence with Tabarin and Punch Alzire ! j'very 1 But how much more to be pitied Punch and Tabarin. and falls Such are the inconsistencies ! into which the human mind day man 2 Terence. if doctors have abjured the robe. — to the theatre alone. who had desjaised her mother. . then. families whom the comedy of the Prodigal Son bankers are no longer coarse. : I. gaming more fatal than ennui. clemency of Augustus. in the comedy of HeaTitontimorumenos. Varius. who imagine we ought to judge the theatre of to-day by the tressles of our ages of ignorance. A went away to throw herself at her feet after witnessing the scene in which Rhodope asks her mother's forgiveness. while 7-ejecting Polyeucte. Menander. [said he] is the chef-d'ceuvre of society. to petty factions more dangerous ? than play and idleness. I have seen a prince pardon an injury after a representation of the princess. . Men in general are compelled to labor at the mechanic arts. I saw the proudest man in the world become modest after the comedy of the Glorieux.^ " It is this which makes one of the great merits of Terence . to have for those who wage war that upon this first of the literary arts. if some pedants have become men. and their time is happily occupied. and consultations in Latin. " of Rousseau's epistle.' And I could cite more than six sons of distinguished If our reformed.. to the ennui inseparable from idleness. Act I deem nothing human foreign to me.

the best instruction for all orders of they furnish almost the only mode of getting people together . . in the habit of witnessing such spectacles of human worth there would It was such exhibitions that made be fewer souls gross and obdurate. and Voltaire has preserved both in his taire Historique. . Their workmen did not spend upon indecent farces the money which should have nourished their families . The affair called forth some sprightly verses. ' " I have had the Alzire pleasure of seeing at my country house that wherein and the performed. than unfortunate beings . the veritable assassin of Servetus. 233 " Let MS pardon the deaf who speak against music. as they do the most refined and if the common people were . but the magistrates. It was impossible that he and they should blend. tragedy Christianity rights of man * — triumph equally. of 1757. Amusing incidents fre- quently occurred. but. the Athenians a superior nation. except through their reversion to the and that could not be accomplished in the time He did much toward it he prepared the way at Geneva.AMONG THE CHILDREN OF hate beauty to CALVIN. for employing the fagot ." So passed the five or six years of bis life on the soil governed by the children of Calvin. during their celebrated festivals. I have seen Merope's maternal love bringing tears without the aid of the love of gallantry. as elsewhere. Such subjects move the rudest soul. after all. had an atrocious soul " . ful without winning the thoughtless. Vol- taire replied in both poems were speedily a happy strain " Commenpublished. called Cal- vin. for that happy time when religion shall be freed from the impertinences that repel the thoughtGallic type. less conspirators to destroy its consolation and its charm. for taking the trouble to be an anti-trinitarian in an imbecile age . addressed to himthis letter its found Belf by Rival. that "the to say. for the purpose of rendering them social beings. ]\hiny sons of Calvin came to the defense of their spiritual progenitor. they do preserve some idea of it. in a familiar letter to Picard. He happened Thieriot. the blind who such persons are less enemies of society. summoned the whole nation to representations which taught virtue and the love of The plays which are given among us are but a feeble imitacountry. Jean Chauvin." The witty Rival found all parties wrong : Servetus. the bilious Calvin. They are the most beautiful education which we can give to youth. and way into a newspajier. a Genevan who w^as not a child of Calvin. citizens the noblest recreation after labor. tion of that magnificence. left to him. whom nature has denied some organs.

exchanging frequent letters with Frederic. ! in European gazettes. Frederic of Prussia was defending himself with splendid constancy and tact against the four ladies so lightly offended by him.234 to refute LIFE OF VOLTAIEE. bad church-music. am I wrong if I despise you ? melodious readable. hypocrisy remains Buffoons in shabby gowns." " " No. with all the courts hostile to that monarch. in mons. watches over your health all who know anything admire you you are wrong. I am not wrong to detest empire despots those religious assassins and if that horrible frenzy has passed. by young and old. to risk all that for the pleasure of pinching without laughter. more or less intimate. provided he had other houses to run to within easy reach. I am not wrong to dare to utter what men think. stolen ser" All this and more. It was those ladies safe for Voltaire to live on the soil of France. learned and simple. . for not feting the saint of the . bad verses. the Seven Years' War was raging on two continents." he replied. The name of Colonel Washington had been printed : . ladies who had on their side — six hundred thousand contrived to soldiers it who make and a poet. . if fanaticism is overthrown. Meanwhile. shall now see him on familiar terms with the bel- We ligerents. stanzas. him . For forty years I have braved the base worthy of of the the mind. and Voltaire. lightest. " You are Tronchin rich. famous Voltaire. and in relations. famous. free country he inhabited.

the zealous Boyer. of mistress of the . ballet. HE IS OFFERED A RED HAT. It is an argument against royalty that a nation has no right to select one family from the mass of its people. which could amuse a man doomed to satiety from his childhood. all the little talents. and slew them. tableaux. biographers. in the spring of 1756. such modity as music. full of and many brave soldiers. Her Madame de Pompadour. and if the a nation commits this enormity there is a kind of justice in members of that blighted family alleviating the splendid tedium of their lot by any diverting toy they can buy. and France paid for her with the loss of Canada. She would say to the Duke of Maurepas. her total lack of taste for that vocation. had been for France twelve years. all the enfantillages. but she had all the coquetries. and surround it with conditions which reduce its members to imbecility . for the court was her enemies. and several of the ministers were utterly hostile to her. It was therefore a relief to her when the king wandered in quest of beautyyounger and less cold and. She lamented. India. She could not only provide in exquisite perfection all the usual pleasures. The injured queen. vast treasures.CHAPTER XX. all the severer ecclesiastics." The dull man had a dreadful com. and tried hard to acquire it. such was her hold of him. King so her femme de chamhre records. The woman had a difficult part to play . the dull Dauphin. that the less she shared his bed the more she had of his throne. several rich islands. and the nation hated her. on seeing him . Messieurs de Goncourt. all the graceful audacities. of twenty-four hours to do something with every day she took them all off his hands. drama. give us the secret of her " She enduring power over the king in one happy phrase : killed all his time for him. This bored king had his alleviating Pompadoiir.

and the public business was deferred. arrange a series of at which she sang herself. which would banish the mis- and give the ancient Bishop of Mirepoix despotic power over the intellect of France. iMadame fell in with "the mode. he was liable to a lapse. March 1. while permitting him to think that he was assisting at a religious exercise. and setting a good example to princes his court. and served her first turn of duty in Februof 1756. The duke wrote to him chus. my dear Voltaire. and. He was an absolute coward upon every occasion of alarm. Adieu. the sermon [poem on tiie Lisbon earthquake] which you sent me. of the kingdom. The Lent sternation of the Lisbon earthquake. also. Monsieur de Manrepas you are making the king yellow. She had just succeeded in forcing her appointment as lady of honor to the queen." giving a subdued festive character to his penitence for this king never succeeded . making a merit of shutting up the unfrequented passage between her room and the king's. during Lent.236 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. . This was no less than inducing Voltaire. she conceived among the idea the respectable ladies of signalizing her Lenten penitence by an achievement that would bring the entire pious faction to her feet in wondering gratitude. to join the hypocrites. and an old acquaintance of Voltaire. it has inspired me with more respect for its author . One of her devices was to " a to the impart gayety king's religion. and assigned parts to nobles and who could sing. Monsieur de Maurepas. which followed the long-continued conwas observed all over Christendom with unusual devotion and austerity. he was one of Madame de Pompadour's familiar court. " Go away. as Condorcet states it. thus making an entertainment which amused the king. in this comedy. ." and performed the part of penitent very prettily and with much success. in getting away from the early teachings of his preceptor. enter with a bag of papers to read to tlie king. would go away. despite the sound philosophy which reigns in it. " sacred concerts " in her own apartment. grand-nephew of a mistress of Louis XIV." The agent who proposed it to the poet was the Duke de La Valliere. Abbe de Fleury. 1756. she would tress. : — " I have received. Being thus enrolled ary. 1756 ." that the king was not displeased And the minister. Hence. observing at this. " to make Voltaire one of the actors or.

tunity. Sully. Rousseau you will inspire edification and you will put it in my me some . I shall admire your work. April 22. has not gatlier from the duke's next letter on . genuine gratitude. We edifying epistle. 1756: — ? What is " I am going to answer. is to ask of you the greatest mark of friendship wliich you could possibly give me. as you know and therefore . B. will instantly have an edition of them published at the Louvre. of has ray grace enlightened. I have long relied upon your friendship. to Anotlier effect which has had npon me .nid the Dauphin ject? the matter? The duke replied. . you can rely not less upon my .' be reserved to me. . It is no longer power to give the greatest pleasure to madame that we but a little David. But you have the most beautiful genius and the best-balanced head of that I am determine me . I will to I am sure she be enchanted with and I shall it. with the greatest pleasure in the world. and are. you would furnish him with matter enough to render him the sure. you again. my satisfaction in granting me what Give me one hour a day . jealous of it. which politely publicly to his whole career. You have not the most robust health. it 237 moral. jjrovided it surpass to it with my ' Betzabee. which will yield as much honor to the author as pleasure to the public. I expect You are sure of my sincere friendship news from you with the greatest impatience. You are nearly sixty years of age I avow it. I do not fear. nor nor want. but without A intoxicating. say be enchanted also that through you I give her a pleasure so great. then. Metastasio.HE than for its IS OFFERED A RED HAT. worthy to translate them. the same subject that Voltaire replied by asking questions such as. What can have befallen madame? What is her obIs she giving in to Boyer . Adieu. Merope. . to I shall be content and you will add . I believe it. But I do not for this release you from your promise to send me the royal IMerope [Frederic's operaj. if And you were to commence a new most send illustrious man of his age. all the questions which you ask me Let us pass to the more interesting. Some moderate changes are the only evidence of it. my ' ' dear Voltaire ." Voltaire's answer to lie tliis asked hiin to give the been discovered. You will obliterate J. I ask with the greatest imporshow the psalms to no one and I I expect to receive immediately the first-fruits of a certain success which I am preparing for you. 'Jeanne' [La Pucelle]. and the defense of my dear friend. though he should live longer than Fontenelle. my dear Voltaire. career under the guise of a young man of fifteen. poor sinner that I am. and shall not be Imitate him enrich him. . to ask you to You alone psalms embellished by your versification have been.

' which you promised me. and to us also and it will be a mark of attention to which the good . and fasts three times a week." This offer of the hat was not credited by the intimate friends of Voltaire. prophet (David) will be very sensible. wishes to read you again She knows you. The moments she can spare for reading are probably employed in good books and I flatter myself that as she has always been. peared 1 and it became less incredible. page . par Wagniere Longchamp. Vasserot de Chateau' two copies of your poems (on the Disaster of Lisbon ') with the notes one for I ask parcel he sends me." and of the Psalms " under the . but. but with the condition that she shall not be disordered by it. and you will immediately find that you have satisfied our desires and sustained your own reputation. So. You owe it to yourself. I tell you once more.238 During the whole of LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. and the other things you have to made me hope for. I also shall be very sincerely grateful for this proof of friendship on your part. as well as written as if ever. the letters of in print. You de Pompadour. She the same friends. adds some statements authority by The Duke de la Valliere. and which makes her desire some psalms of your composing. proposed the translation of the Proverbs of Solomon. I repeat. it is necessary that you give us an hour a day. in his memoir of Voltaire. were not sent with the " Pucelle. he says. et Memoires sur Voltaire. the author was protection of the devout favorite to return to Paris. We know^. she admires you. I am one of the number. Religion of Nature and the the other for myself. This is preis. as simple truth. but she takes pleasure in prescribing to you the subject of her readings. " of the king. that the psalms were never written. 2 La Valliere ap* 535. how- M. and she . will do well to inclose with them one or in advance. still more extraordinary. Lent she does not go to the theatre. without stale flattery. La regard to the Prussian opera [Merope]. " could not become a Voltaire." adds M. hypoa lure held out to him almost crite. the of the poet. in 1826. as a reward. when the story was first published. and I exj^ect at once the happy " With ' first essays. " — exactly at the same time." ^ Madame two psalms. who will forward them by the first for ' ' : M. Condorcet. direct them to Geneva vieux. the completion of Pucelle. and I thank you for them is The answer to this letter unknown also. Condorcet. is as amiable which she and has more credit than ever. 7iot even to he a cardinal. cisely the position in . that from all time you have been destined to do this work. for the rest. the same life.

HE IS OFFERED A RED HAT. . Song of Solomon neither of which would have answered the purpose of Madame de Pompadour. chubby-faced. about to make the Abbti de Bernis cardinal and minister and he was scarcely a more incongruous cardinal than Voltaire liimself would have been. and lived the life of pleasure at Paris. with the prestige and power of both positions. who lived much with him for years. According to Marmontel.ask. ambassador again and his wondrous luck outlasted the monIf she could do this for a Bahet [so Voltaire named archy. . . was a rosy-checked young beau. amused her. He original. the other a trans-. Bernis. was drifting to perdition and now. Fair and frugal France. — : Duke de La Valliere may have suggested to Voltaire two poems. Louis. and Boyers. despoiled by such people as these Pompadours. this abb^. with his help. It was said at the time that this translation of the Song of Solomon was " less indecent than the Neither is indecent. without visible means of paying his share of the expense. who composed gallant. she could have done as much for Voltaire . and lady of honor to his She was queen. which were composed soon after one a paraphrase of the book of Ecclesiastes." took occasion in his preface to expatiate on that naivete of the ancient poets. a trifling event gave the kingdom entirely over to the direction of the mistress and her chubby-cheeked rhymer. at one and the same time. at the beginning of a long and desperate war with England and Prussia. which appear to have been indeed a " revelation " to many readers. and gave some "strong" passages from the Old Testament. Could Pompadoui* have gagement to make Voltaire a cardinal? It is limits to the possibilities of a diflieult to set woman who could be. which he so much admired. pretty verses for gay suppers. minister. lation of the . cardinal. from his resemblance to a plump and rosy flower-girl of the theatre].. logical studies at Saint Sulpice. off he posted to her country house. This proposal of the . Bernis. on issuing from his theo. with his portfolio of verses under his arm. As soon as he heard of the king's inclination for Madame d'Estioles. fulfilled 239 an en- The reader ma}. she installed him in the Tuileries with He a royal j)ension he became the acknowledged lover of Princess de Rohan and soon he was ambassador. in the early days of 1757. mistress to Louis XV.

" From under her windows she heard execrations uttered by a mob less barbarous than the The Abbe de Bernis was much in glittering crowd within. the two ministers united to crush her. 5. pronounced the wound the merest trifle. placed one foot upon the step. reporting. The king approached. he ordered the Dauphin to preside for him at the council and so panic-stricken was he that for ten days and nights he held no communication with the ingenious messages to the queen . It was surof rounded. guard of the seals. killer of his time. torn with anxiety. inflicting a slight wound. desolate. and Machault allowed many days to pass before he came near her. Machault. saluted her coldl}^. sis. . the son of Madame du Hausset went incessantly to and tears at Madame remained stared at by impudent courtiers. fro. But at length he came. the carriage France was at the door of the palace of VerKing awaiting his descent from his apartment. the question of questions for her and her " court was. M. home. and remained closeted with her for half an hour. who remained with him a long time he sent contrite . THE SEVEN YEARS' WAR. when a stout young man pushed through tlie Swiss. D'Argenson. and struck the king in his side with a small. long-bladed pocket knife. as usual. king were another man. he would go to a ball to-night. 1757. "as if her boudoir were a church. followed by his attendants he had . entered her cabWhen inet. interviewing. by a portion of the Hundred Swiss Guards. m January of the sailles. who was her enemy also. IMadame's own physician " " the If. and terrifying him out of his senses. Should she go or stay ? In the ministry she had one friend and ally. spying.. who came in and out." said he. . . Being put to bed.CHAPTER XXI. enemy of his In this cricolleague. at a quarter past six P." " Meanwhile. he summoned his confessor.

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The fright caused in France tbe modernized . to the awful state of religion in France. tliougb neither sbe nor the ministries sbe created were at all times sufficient to save them from persecution. another of madame's ministers. So far as rational motive. of course. in tbe nick of time. 241 " I must her bell rang. it was to call the king's attention. the disasters of tbe war. and about tbe time of tbe Duke of Choiseul's accession to power (November. a scene of tears and tender reproaches restored her to more than tlie old influence. " Choiseul. a Jansenist. in a very emphatic manner." continued to be Voltaire's protector ent after Madame de Pompadour's death. bev friends found ber in tears. fanatical defies description . and rouse him to interfere on behalf of the orthodox faith. go. saying. the minis- Need ter account of VOL.IN THE SEVEN YEARS' WAR. by the wounding of tbe king mind cannot conceive it and tbe excitement continued after it was known to the public that the "assassin. was a pious. I say that Voltaire pounced upon that little volume as a falcon upon its prey ? Tbe day after the event. without accomabout the Bull Unigenitus." ]Madame remained tbe king returned to ber. — he had any purpose. and in two days Macbault and D'Argenson were In three months tbe Ahh6 de Bernis dismissed and exiled. In bis pocket were found thirty louis d'or and a neatly bound New Testament. plices. a lady of tlie court entered. servant. a friend of tbe phiand correspondlosophers. Thus the ascendency of Pompadour favored tbe interests of tbe philosophic band. " Wbo leaves tbe game loses it. driven mad by wild talk on evei'y side a poor lunatic. But. and indeed as long as be needed protection such as a minister of state could give. of tbe reign tbe king. such as he wished to appear in Voltaire's history . who remained long in power." Pierre Damiens. was minister of foreign affairs and be whs followed soon by tbe Duke of Choiseul. 1758) he bought the es- tate of Ferney. . Sbe bad not been many months in possession of tbe gov- ernment before Voltaire began to negotiate for tbe acquisition of lands in France. behaving witb san(/froid et 16 ." and ber trunks were packed fortbsaid sbe witb broken voice svith. and gave otber advice. . II. D'Argenson dispatched to Les Ddlices a circumstantial it. and showed much ability in repairing . without and without plan.

tion. Mr. When. at last. in the presence of a countless. and some of high rank. in March. of a pretty edigenson. a period of two months and twenty-three days. From the hour of his arrest to the moment of his death. The torture was administered with care and skill. and never Cicero. virtuous man was subjected will always merit particular consideration as a record of the age. and there subjected to the greatest amount of anguish which the human frame is capable of enduring. and then reinserted. and confined. a small to see him pass. is a dog gone mad from hearing convulsionist and Jansenist dogs barking at random." The treatment to which this bewildered. From this long narrative Voltaire selected that one item of the Testament npon which to ring the changes for " In his all kings and princes to hear. At five. Two hours of this then rest.sought good places he was bound. Plato. or Virgil." In every variety of utterance at his command. army guarding him. pocket. unpitying multitude. h^ was in torture whenever he was awake. many of whom were women. and driven gently home as he could bear it." wrote D'Ar" he had a New Testament. he was kept waiting half an hour longer. and all Paris in the streets The hellish apparatus of his execution not being ready. when the wedge would be withdrawn . so cruelly was he bound. and wine. and you will see that they have all had the Bible in their pockets with their " Damiens daggers. so as to keep the poor wretch in the ecstasy of anguish as long as possible surgeons standing by to aid the torturers in their fell work by giving them timely notice of coming in. he was taken to the place of execution by ways so circuitous that he was an hour and a half in reach- ing it . Vol" Go over the whole historv of taire made this comment Christian assassins. At three in the afternoon. food. Carlyle might well have begun his series of pictures of the French Revolution with the execution of — : — Damiens. by way of showing what the French people had to overcome in themselves before they could so much as think of roughly handling a king. 1757. who had ostentatiouslj.242 tranquillitS.''' Again. a few mo- ments. chained. in full of the preparations. he was taken in the morning to the torture-chamber. upon a solid table placed on a lofty view . naked. in 12mo. sensibility. and it is very long. the day of his execution came. LIFE OF VOLTAIRE.

it was found impossible to do this and a message was sent for permission to cut the muscles of the . And all this occurred so his continued protection. . " the province of that name for having given birth to such a monster. . A second time word was dispatched that This was refused . with which he had struck the was burnt oflF next. and an attempt was made to tear him to pieces. short work of the guillotine. though he had long ago lost the love of the people. and destroyed." But the most awful fact of the case was that France apj.IN platform." seen that men have that prince when he afterrecently living waitls reigned over France as Charles X. . .roved the punishment. the torturers. and to as- that the prisoner expired. but it was not until both legs and one arm had been torn the execution began until he was a period of an hour and a quarter. to facilitate the execution of this part of the'sentence. the clerks. but he rewarded extravagantly every person who had taken a leading part in the trial and execution. fate of chirty-five years after. joints. From the moment when last breathed his . The required permission was then given. "than oflicers who shed their blood for their country. THE SEVEN YEAES' WAR. and Europe did not condemn it. To each of the two judges who sentenced Damiens a pension for life of six thousand francs a year was granted. and was again unsuccessful. masses of flesh were torn from him king." as he said." says Voltaire. it is but just to think of the When we . " to console. and the attempt was renewed. sure it of shudder at the sharp. and the executioners were all bountifully recompensed " more so. When next the king appeared in public. his right hand. and the muscles were severed off . the horses could not tear the d^nng wretch asunder. red-hot and melted lead and rosin poured into the by pincers. a royal prince was born Count D'Artois. a considerable period. His body Avas burned and the house which he had inhabited was purchased of its proprietor. The lawyers. and to be again Louis the Well-Beloved. he was greeted with all the enthusiasm to which he had been accustomed in the early He seemed to have regained his popularyears of his reign. a strong horse was attached to each of his four After limbs. and the king named him the after. 243 First. The king not merely permitted this. wounds lastly. Some months ity.

Empress of Russia.. there were but two secular estates that enjoyed this Voltaire knew well the significance and protective privilege. and which. With the Abbe de Bernis. but that baleful thing tormented and corrupted France for two centuries. also. un- The Duke of Choiseul. he still jested with him upon his old nickname and the rosy roundness of his cheeks. Behold Pompadour. and Voltaire deriving substantial advantage from her new ascendency. — ' ' dame de Pompadour was placed the power to "protect" the old Swiss. she pro- cured for him the renewal of his ancient pension of two thousand francs. he in relations with another of the belligerent courts. as well as kill.. " Your Emi" must be tired of nence. May your Eminence preserve for him the favorable regard with which the lovely Babet used to honor him. he valued them accordingly. by special patent. he remained on terms of curious familiarity. compliments turning upon a color which I used to see upon your the color of your coat. and almost forgotten. it was not be- cause they had not had lessons in the practice . be- come mistress of France. of a connection that grew that Elizabeth. then. must be upon them still.244 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. plump cheeks. —a subject Avhicli had attracted . Pardon the old Swiss his garruUty. and the pitiful disputes which crazed him. She not only made him safe on French soil. but. by Henry In the whole kingdom." said he. from being mistress of Louis. as the lord of Ferney frequently remarked. When he wrote to congratulate him upon the red hat of cardinal." At the very time when Damiens's penknife was giving Maof his — to a former proprietor . caused the king to confirm. IV. to his great astonishment. and the wildest of their utterances was holy wisdom's self compared with the folly of which the Bull Uiiigenitus was the central piece. . Robespierre and his club soon passed. Peter the Great. claimed. If the Jacobins did not torture. which had been for several years unpaid. The empress invited him to come to Petersburg and write a history of her father. I think.. the rosy " Babet " striking of his Paris days. the exemption an exemption granted Ferney estate from all taxation. Pierre Damiens. for some service unknown. and found force of such trifles to testify his gratitude in a public and opportunity erelong manner. received in 1758. — more intimate and confidential to the end of his life.

notwithstanding his and documents continued to arrive. I have received a letter which at first I thought written Academy. as you flatter me he will. and I should enter upon the subject by gies. " The series of medals which are offered me would be useless they are to be found in several collections. All was done by the Russian government tliat an author The medals were sent him. Tlie invitation came to him through the Count of Bestueheff. upon the present condition of the em- — pire. in my the journey to Petersburg if my health permitted present condition. monsieur. with a map all that Peter the Great performed. I would begin the work by a desci'ip: tion of the flourishing condition in which the empire of Russia is toI day. then. the Russian ambassador at Paris. pire. to send me documents upon those two subjects. I see that I shall be reduced to await in my retreat the material " This would be my ])]an which you are pleased to promise me. arts. would be to give a precise idea of what the Peter the Great accomplished from his accession. 245 since. the armies of the emcommerce. to whom he thus rephed. 1757 him ever : — Monsieur. lie had seen the Czar Peter rushing about Paris. monsieur. or in our . it was you. of Petersburg. that is to say. as a young man of twenty-two. All this is spectable. " consecrating " I would it ." could desire. of those prodidesign. and the material of those medals is of a value which I cannot I could wish only that the Count accept. one of the empire. old age. who did me the honor to address it to me. and all that has made the government re" Then I should say. my last labors and my last days to such a work. information upon everything which can contribute to the glory of your country. in short. in February.IN THE SEVEN YEARS' AVAR. and upon — and I shall regard this labor as the consolation and glory of my . You jjropose to me what I have deI cannot better conclude my career than in sired for thirty years at Versailles. He set about . 1 shall nut lose a moment. year by making known the creator " If the Count of Schowalow [minister] will have the goodness. and that she is willing to accept my pains. objection. of Schowalow would be pleased to assure me that her majesty the empress desires this monument to be raised to the glory of the emperor her father. a new creation . the history of the discovery of Kamtschatka. and. make but. My Emperor year. its would describe the changes made at JNIoscow. sight-seeing. including all that renders Petersburg agreeable to foreigners.

relieved him of the obligation to relate anecdotes which would diminish the glory of the Czar. He gave Count Schowalow his idea of what such a work ought to be No details of war." In these peaceful labors he passed the years. executed according to his plan and his principles.246 tliis LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. un: a new task. has possessed the art. and so many examI " : ples to other nations. especially when by less overcoming them he has given a useful example. for he. whether they be Roman Catholics." Such a title. home in Geneva for four young men whom the Russian government proposed to send to study in the land of Calvin. with tlie alacrity of fortune depended upon his success. he a hero to us ? No . and among those churches there are five for foreigners.^. at tlie age of young man whose fame and . he remarked. to utter the substantial truth concerning his subject. we find him undertaking to find a In the course of the summer. a thousand sovThere are ereigns in his place would not have done still vast in of a Czar Africa where men have need regions . but he was a king. not the Life or History of Peter I. perhaps. and he alone. but "• Russia under Peter I. Petersburg: Thirty-five large churches are so many ornaments of the city. one half the work. to the Russians Peter was a great man. unless those details illustrate something great and useful no anecdotes of private life. ceptable to the empress which was implied in telling the truth about her father's faults. Peter. In two years he published the first volume.the sole worthy end of all such writing being to correct and improve mankind. Reformed. while war ravaged the heart of Europe and made the wilds of America more . or Lutherans these are five temples erected to Tolerance. and a king badly reared and he accomplished what. without giv- He knew how to make the homage acing offense or ahirm. let him be a hero. they are characteristic of general manners ." add one sentence from the description of St. To give himself more freedom to omit and admit. and that they ought to re" But is gard him as such. he projjosed to call the work.. He concluded by saying that. It revealed Russia to Europe and to herself . In all Russia. sixty-four. human weaknesses of the subject not to be concealed. in writing at the request of an autocrat.

Voltaire now wrote to Richelieu. in which he declared that that became a opinion of Admiral Byng had done all and an officer. an admiral of old renown." city Macaulay remarks. suggesting measures in his behalf. Justice. by British fleet under his conquest of the island of Minorca. and the cry was echoed from every corner of the kingdom. lest his interference should be attributed to personal regard " Monsieur. October 31. with a note of his own." the had risen of Richelieu. Edinburgh Review. charges which tended to — lustre of Richelieu's exploit. and noted only as the son of Viscount Torrington. humanity. 247 savage the first Duke larity incident of the war toucliecl him nearly in His old friend and " protector. patriot it On receiving this letter. against the command of Admiral Byng. Though scarcely known to you. such as the greatest commanders have often committed. One weeks of 1757. . Voltaire to Count de Schornberg. Macaulay on Thackeray's Chatham. in which he concealed their old intimacy. witnesses of his conduct. so noquire me to transmit it to your hands. of one of the most sincere and generous received from Marshal Richelieu of my countrymen. Richelieu did this by writing a letter to Voltaire himself. 1834. " The " of as London. honor." left 1 ^ Byng 2 grateful messages botli to Richelieu and Voltaire. 1769." timid ministry sought to appease the public with a " for an error of victim. Voltaire had been intimate in England with the accused offitlie cer. reThis testimony. and wrote urgent letters to friends. suddenly to the height of popustill. then young in the service. A md have often acknowledged.IN THE SEVEN YEARS' WAR. impair Twenty years before. and that such was the the French fleet and army. ble and so unexpected. The English ministry brought the admiral to trial on charges of treason and cowardice in presence of the enemy. gives me confidence that your judges will render you the same justice. called for ven- geance. suggesting that lie should make an attempt to save his unfortunate antagonist by bearing testimony to his good conduct." He appears to have sent other documents to England exculpatory of the accused officer. Nothing availed. and thus Byng was executed judgment. he sent directly to Byng himself. I yet think it my duty to send you a copy of a letter which I have recently ' : — — .

Avho hated war. with some changed the art of war charcoal." he wrote to his hero. well loaded with handgrenades. provided the enterprise were managed by a man not routine. All parties.248 LITE OF VOLTAIRE. The noise of the war filled the earth. "by forage." said he. upon the plan of the Assyrian his scheme. before there was any grass conveying forage upon w^agons. is of pliant genius. consoled him and that he died the debtor of Voltaire also. deemed it worthy of consideration. instead of a man of " I know " that it veiy well. who thought highly of also approved for the inspection and who sped away to Paris with a model minister. when he had lost. that the the of entered Bohemia Prussia upon ground. petre. as well English as French. Marshal Saxe would have used these war chariots of mine " During the whole of this war of seven years. urging him to take it under his protection. might not have been of use for he designed his chariots to serve also as an adjunct to the artillery. war chariots and mentioned it of old. sulphur. he flattered himself. even without that development. and the inventor wrote to Richelieu. and . for the mo! . was all aflame with patriotic enthusiasm. and went so far as to invent an engine of massacre. would destroy. In the direst extremity of his fortunes. "It was. my business But if to find out the most convenient way of kill- ing men. who seemed drawn towards him by an impulse he could not resist. an army of ten thousand Prussians. It is by no means certain that his idea. why should not a paper-smudger like myself render a " little service to his country. it The against tlie Prussians. " so generous a solsaying that the justice rendered him by " for dier the injustice of his own countrymen. instead of hand- grenades. incognito ? His Assyrian chariots were not tried until. He to an officer. Rely upon it. a monk. with these chariots of Cyrus. King transport ammunition and by four roads. it. too. they carried the devilish machinery of the mitrailleuse. he was in frequent correspondence with the King of Prussia. and saltthroughout this ill-conditioned globe. united in commending the worthy endeavors of the Frenchmen to save an unfortunate enemy. and win a campaign with of the minister of war. Six hundred men and six hundred horses. and struck terror. like Richelieu. Voltaire himself. to whom he sent a copy of his defense.

en affrontant I'orage. think. dignities. in his next letter (November. homage but he could not forget Frankfort. vivre. more than the son of his father. who now sat at his table. sent the verses which have been so often quoted and Bo much admired. by his own hand ! you cannot render be. threatened with shipwreck. facing the storm. A man who only a king can think himself very unfortunate when he loses provinces . during these years After the terrible reverses of the Prussians in the king wrote in a despairing solved to die campaign of 1757. Voltaire endeavored to argue him out of this idea. the hope of saving his kingdom. Penser. ." The king soon rallied. I like a king. " You wish to die On the other hand. live.IN THE SE^T:N YEARS' WAR. and. ending. was little ment. effects. et mourir en roi. friends. It tells you that. — like another. listen to your betIt tells you that you are not humiliated. letters A few brief passages from their of vicissitude will not be unwelcome strain. as you know. my must. to the reader. but I should die happy if I left you upon the earth putting in practice what you have so . I am near my sixty-fifth year was born infirm I have only a moment to live I have been very unfortunate. Schmidt. in an aflair involving the duty of a man to a woman. 249 still he found relief in and verse to the idol of his prose inditing long with of Voltaire the forms replied youth."^ 1 For and die part. often written. — — — . and the stolen least of all. and that ter reason. menac^ du naufrage. Freytag. and did not fail to keep him in mind of what she had suffered. — "Pour moi. . that which can estates. 1757). otlier men happy. . being a man all there will remain to you. but a philosopher can do without provI have no interest in all that I say to you except inces is I the public good and yours. wdiatever happens. epistles in . It is evident that six lines of goodhumored apology to Madame Denis from the king which the king owed to himself as much as to her would have drawn the sting from this rankling wound but Frederic. the intimating that he was re- rather than give his enemies the triumph of disposing of his destiny. Je dois. the indignities done to Madame Denis.

Not so. the first moment it of consolation I have had in five mouths. gratitude for it. for wars of the pen and wars of the sword rarely have happy I know not what will be my destiny this year. which cost you so little. after more than twenty the honor to speak to me. and maintain the peace in your Swiss manor. You . and the king earnestly une. and my sovereign baa frontiers of Switzerland it is . she died. who know not Neaulme is still me. which Voltaire at once endeavored to correct. and of which he had been rudely deprived at Frankfort. ask me that question. The king had spoken of his intention to sister. and I pay nothing to France. which he had worn at Berlin. I pray to spread it in the four quarters of the you I shall not long delay to testify to you globe. . . in your seems I desire only the baubles of which you do me It is true that.250 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. 1759] says to me. In case of concerning Adieu. as my lands are in France. if. but Fredgathered from it an erroneous impression. him to perpetuate her memory by an ode wortjiy of besought her. and my if lishing. I recommend myself mass to get The eric reply to this letter has not been preserved . — I should be very glad not to be obliged to inform Live happily. there is a worse purgatory than the life I lead in this." misfortune. and I ask of you a soul out of my purgatory. " I have received that ode.. that it Your majesty [he ing the war. I should not be able even to wear those marks of my ancient devotion to you durlast letter. who have not in nearly three years put foot in Berlin me. issues. You wish to know what Neaulme [Berlin publisher] is imbto have printed. show his gratitude to the poet for the ode to his and he inferred from Voltaire's answer that the poet wanted the cross and key. years' you might have refrained from taking away the marks of your favor. which had no other value in my eyes except that which was derived from the hand that gave them. " wrote. March 27. whom to your prayers. 1759 : — it to the king.. and sent it who acknowledged thus. March 12. Voltaire composed the poem. I have in France property which yields sixty thousand francs of annual revenue. and in the world . they are upon the even true that they are entirely free.. attachment. but. in the other world. It is true. which is very It gives me beautiful. tlie During next campaign the Margravine of Bayreuth sent him ample details of her brother's exploits and varying fortsoon after its close. who know no other news than that of Russian and Austrian generals. and which certainly will do you no dishonor. a kind of men for whom you care very little. myself.

" I confess that I am but very rich. all the you you jdayed me at Berlin. and I shall soon die without having seen you. just had to God that I could sick. and I try not to care for it at all. 251 chamber I do not wish me by brevet the place of gentleman-in ordinary of his You have never known me. always told you the truth when I said to you that I wished to die near you. it Adieu. I am and with whom 'U'as him who enchanted me. without preserving the least rancor. speaking I am always angry" \_fuche'\. Your majesty treats me like the rest of the world you mock me . AVould have such a lawsuit ! . the king complains bitterly of the ferocities of the " I war : — The most : am ashamed polite nations carry on the contest like ferocious beasts. you upon being once more gentleman-in-ordinary It will not be Ms patent which will immortal- For my part. to little whom I loved. I love your verses. your hardy and I was not able to live without you. In another letter of nearly the same date. 1 blush for the age. firm philosophy. ing you for the bagatelles for which you believe I have so them at all I wish only your favor when you say I am far from it I have am very old." into the fire the verses of Ariosto. nor with you. good as yours writes to which were not as and have some indulgence for a German censor. at Basle a lawsuit for the maintenance of a child. Nevertheless one cannot but applaud him if he labors at the propagatricks tion of the species. and all the things which 3-ou have said and printed against me. in favor of your genius. hard. your prose. and numerous as they are. This cisive a written to the king. very independent. all the libels of Leipsic. sovereigns. I pardon. It is not I the same with my poor president. . when all stroy xote. The president has that President Maupertuis is dying. know not whether he is begetting children or bleeding at the lungs. Let us confess the truth while the great mass the arts and philosophy are known only to a small number. your understanding. in whom you fixed your gri]). been very and I .IN preserved for THE SEVEN YEARS' WAR. You care little for that. of human kind . that is the affair of I am not now speaking to the king. : — plainer language than he had ever before Frederic replied in a tone still more de- " I congratulate ize of the Well-Beloved. verj' happy you are wanting to my haj^pioGss. I am very far from askmuch I desire. forcible. to the hero . who you from the farthest confines of Silesia. Swiss Hermit the powers of Europe are striving to deDo not be angry with Don Qui! who threw . the people and the ordinary members of the — .

there is . Queen of Hungary. to the Russian empress. . let death at least put an end to your unjust hatreds.' the " same as that of the war waged at Paris against Voltaire replied. if I fall. worthy of the beautiful maxims which you express with gance and force in your works. historian. Sacrifice to me your vengeance do an action lieve to you would be capable. as Voltaire thought. whom I I love peace as I abhor good. not not to persuade Pluto. after having fought for a long time. most malign and the most seductive of the men of genius who have " ever been or ever will be in the world. July 2. you can.' the Adieu. of descending to hell. Oil. answered. to break the road to my destruction by a frightful carnage. But ' Religion of Nature. that you would put an end ! are legislator." as soon as home home Home you opher. poet. last. that is to say. Frederic. I can assure you that they are better judges of brandy than of beautiful verses and celeare going to begin soon a campaign which will brated authors.' and of Helvetius upon the Human Mind have been publicly burned at Paris.' the Philosophy of Good Sense. It is said that your poem I wish you everything which I lack. solid. but to pursue into that place of torment an enemy whom your rancor persecuted too much in this world. the enemy will have will not they get me cheap Adieu.] Enjoy ashes of those not the trouble (Maupertuis. whom it much as you desii-e it . 1759 " : Again. wicked aristocracy animals. remain what nature made them . 1759 : — You mock me when you to talk to me give law the Well-Beloved. but are also a philosmusician . ample) who repose in the tomb . Think that kings." [Some days after. AVill you never be able to make peace ? I belike Orpheus. N. make peace at last. I say. my dear Voltaire. warrior. think not that the Austrian hussars — know your writings. for exyour hermitage adore. to the I do not of making peace. God knows what will be the issue of : one thing I can assure you of positively it is that and that.252 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. B. all showing the most complete per- . Whatever reputation you have. bring back the lovely Emilie. We be at least as rude as the it. These repeated allusions to the affair with Maupertuis. who wished nothing so much as to be able to folto this terrible ! ! ! war You low " this advice." so much ele- of them. Admire how self-love flatters itself I draw a kind upon the the ' work ' ' ! of glory from the fact that the epoch of the war which France wages against ' me is Good Sense. and honorable Health and prosperity to the author of the Henriade. but I wish ' . June.

although uselessly. drawn in the mud and put into prison and then. You have done me . with your letters. " This is what is said this is what is and printed on all sides while the fanatics are united. Is it thinking ? greatest evil which your works have done is that they have enabled the enemies of philosophy. April 21.. I . which I feel interest . you spoil the sweetness of that consolation by bitter possible that it was you who treated me so. like Charles V. happily.IN versity of THE SEVEN YEARS' WAR. "The Behold Philosophers cannot live in peace. far from the world in my solitary domains. is . 253 judgment on the king's part. and cannot live together. of having encouraged you to write against tlie Christian religion. 1760 to : — " SiRK. spread throughout Europe. the philosophers are dispersed and unWhile. What cruelty in you to say to me that T calumniate Maupertuis What ! have I to speak ill of him ? What do his person and his memory concern me ? I think only of dying. it is you who make me these reproaches. yet renounced the grandeur and miseries of the world. but perverted by the passions inseparable from a — . to have to suffer. ' ' Sacred Must you still majesty. and add that triumph to the inIt is this which makes me hold the world in just am. long time that foundation of wisdom which you have in an admiyou. who was Frankfort. by dying. roused him at length something like a burst of indignation. I shall bless the day when I shall cease. . rable foundation. and which pliilosophy alone could have procured for you in the storms of your life. —A little monk of Saint-Juste said to Charles V. perhaps. without any other view than that of following my way of reproaches. are you not tired of troubling the world ? I am the monk but you have not distress a poor monk in his cell ? . Thus he wrote to Frederic. and God punishes some of them by the aid of others. in your rank. to say. ! no humanity in the pretended philosophers. if fortune had permited you to confine yourself to cultivating for a sults of fanatics ! horror. a king who does not believe in Jesus Christ He calls to his court a man who also does not believe in him and he maltreats him There ! . and especially to suffer through you but I shall die wishing you a happiness not possible. while honoring me you embroiled forever with the me — . at the court of Versailles and elsewhere. after I had been occupied for three years. . I am accused happy. in trying to serve you. King of France wrong enough you made me lose my offices and my pensions you maltreated me at a woman esteemed. me and an innocent woman. the more because : it is from you they come. and my hour draws near do not trouble it by unjust reproaches and hard sayings.

" I know very was not obliged to suffer shocks so sudden and agitations so violent as those to which it has been exposed for a long time. a LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. to write a long reply to bis hands. and that when I look within I forgive myself nothing. much the more unworthy as you are elevated above them by your rank and by your singular talents. by and who says them to you with so much the more confidence. she much merit as her uncle to atone for her The servant of Moliere is spoken of . and your soul is still full of that fire which animates bodies and sustains them. 1760. and half the present generation besides. You will have the pleasure . . there is no more question of it at all. he cannot be suspected by you of believing himself exempt from faults in order to give himself the right to complain of some of yours.254 great imagination. this epis- tle:— well [said he] that I have faults. and I even wish to forget all but if you had not had to do with a fool [fou'] in love with your beautiful genius. and she has not as I will not hear that niece of yours spoken of again . you would not have come off nearly as well as you did. all : bores me. while cherishing sincere wishes that so great a man as may be as happy and as great in everything as he ought to be. and finally by the unfortunate pleasure which you have always taken in humiliating other men by saying and a pleasure unworthy of you. be exposed. Your conduct would been guilty of the greatest wrongs toward me. with six hundred thousand soldiers upon found time. He laments your faults as much as he does his own and he wishes only to think of repairing before his death the fatal errors resulting from a deceptive im. You doubtless feel these trutlis. . being aware of his own defects and weaknesses. Live in peace in your retreat. and even great T assure you that I am not indulgent toward myself. by painful situations whioh poured gall into your soul. not have been borne by any philosopher. and to which it will Peace has fiown away with the again. little by bad temper. infinitely greater than yours. and so writing to them sharp things. but no one will ever speak of the niece of Voltaire " Adieu. in May. a thing said." you Frederic. You are only sixty-two. then. butterflies On all sides new efforts are making. " Pardon them as uttered an old man who has little time to — live. because. as if we were going to fight to all eternity. " I do not enter into a rehearsal of the You have doubtless past. and talk not of dying. You will see me underground yes. but less dangerous through his obscurity. probably. I have forgiven you all. agination. Consider it. . But I confess that this labor would be less unfruitful if I were in a situation where my soul faults. once for faults.

If this ode should be publislied. For my part." French Resident at Geneva and showed him the packet. On one occasion. that he letters to a mortal. then at the head of the French ministry. and I sliall not mind it You will not do ill to pregive 3'ou absolution for it in advance. and I shall get myself stoned. to Quintus Curtius of your Charles XII. we should or. I shall go down below there to tell is a Frenchman who has surpassed him in his art. in 1759. The Resident certified that the seal luid been evidently tampered with. perhaps. among which was an ode. he thought. by all those dead men. the plaything Pompadour. and hold hini " and. appear to have relieved both their minds. he discovered. to console them. would be sure to believe it. signed '• Frcd(5ric. Choiseul.'' which reserve. himself a versifier. France. pare matter for it even now . "would have ended their cor- respondence forever. that it had been opened on its way from Prussia. at least. jealous ' ' . think. so unusual between king and citizen." sunk in ignoble sloth at Versailles. in reply to the hint of had never shown or read the king's —a falsehood which had some excuse in the fact that he was corresponding with a public enemy." from reading This letter. On receiv- ing this packet. there were couplets in it which all the world would The King of believe had been written or retouched by him. from a due regard to his own head. his indiscretion. '' culpable toward Madame . indiscreet people for it is the only way to hinder them those letters at the street corners and in open market. poured these frank utterances. and they continued to write as before. But Maupertuis. making a malign couplet upon my tomb. there I Virgil shall say the same to Sophocles and Euripides. perhaps you will be able to use it sooner I than you believe. and advised him that there was no other part to take but to send the whole to the Duke of Choiseul. will make Zoile read in a corner the Akakia. He sent for the de Pompadour. I shall speak to Thucydides of your history. " It is necessary to put a reinora in letters which one writes to . he felt compelled.IX Df THE SEVEN YEARS' WAR. guilty of high treason . that a single individual has united in himself their different merits. to his horror and alarm. speaking of of satirized Louis the him as " a feeble Well-Beloved without monarch. as long as Madame Denis out Voltaire's chocolate at Feimey. On the contrary.'' as he remarks. 255 . to disclose the contents of a large jDacket of Frederic's prose and verse. even worse. Voltaire protested.

designed to be communicated to Frederic." Voltaire improved this opening to urge both belligerents to makepeace. and worn down in health and resources by four years of fiercest warfare. and they will make no What signifies that pacific tone which your Duke me ? You tell me he cannot act accord- mg if to his is he of thinking. The burden of months was the peaceful dispositions of Choiseul. and could know nothing about. What matters to me his way of thinking. 1760]. as he did not stand in need of that kind of glory. made light of the ode. June 21. w«. but that he ought not to give it to the public. than Frederic. He believed me. myself. and told him he should publish them if Frederic's Choiseul alluded to the miserable ode appeared in print. — in the word. in condemning the tenderness of the his cradle. on his part. solicited to in wliicli that king was covertly make overtures. childhood of Frederic. not without some reproaches for having burned the finest verses he had ever written in his life. and ought not to shut every door of reconciliation with the King of France. kept his world. whom " a jiist father wished to stifle in and replied to his mention of Pompadour by observing that Frederic. and the French minister wrote him several letters. Frederic. and thanked me. which would have been a new scene that of being wiser gave myself another pleasure. These he sent to Voltaire. I added that my niece had burned his ode. " I " if I had wished to divert might. menaced on every side by powerful foes. not free to conduct himself in accordance therewith ? I aban- way don the tripod of Versailles to the craft of those who amuse themselves . and forcing him to put forth the utmost exertions to obtain a just vengeance. in the mortal fear of its being imputed to me. and even replied to it in some verses well calculated to irritate the Prussian king. I the English.256 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE.s speaking of what he had never experienced." says Voltaire. have seen the King of France and the King of Prussia waging a war of verses I . I wrote to him that his ode was exceedingly fine. and was discreet. met these insincere and trivial Voltaire's letters to Frederic for several advances with magnificent disdain. "You shall speak to me make no peace without peace without me. of Choiseul affects toward always of peace [he wrote." King of France for his mistress. The Duke of Choiseul. embittering him past remedy.

" The ambassador rejoined. 257 I liave no time to lose in these futilities and. opportunity to write letters. but Silesia his owai. I have not spared him in some pieces. and is wanting in the respect due to crowned heads. he suddenly issued from the contest in 1763. his kingdom torn. early in the war. Frederic found and . And if." he wrote to Richelieu. and the timely death of the Empress Elizabeth. it is because he has been guilty of outrage towards me. times the family at Les Ddlices gave him up for often Madame Denis had the consolation of pitying til. that a refer to tlie Pompadour. unthrough his own indomitable heart. however. however ill-sharpened they may be.IN with intrigues. little During the last two campaigns Several lost. Voltaire preserves Apropos an an- ecdote of the moment when " a storm drove the Enirlish fleet from the coast of France. during the present war. bitterly having written in verse more good of him than he deserved. owes no regards to a Demoiselle Poisson. though would rather apply to the Grand Mogul than to Louis the Well-Beloved to help me out of the labyrinth in which I find myI repent I said nothing against him (that is. " Madame Denis earnestly entreats you to have the goodness to cause to be sent to her the four ears of two scoundrels : one named Freytag." Not less amusing was Voltaire's alacrity in preparing to pursue Freytag and Schmidt whenever there was a prospect of a French arm}". n. only one who does not help " He is you. self. desolate.holding Frankfort. I did not know." you And so this war raged on. a victor. the only one we have to whom we pay no subsidies. ambassador." was lish Well." said We Frederic. the valor of his troops. of which I regard him as the promoter. ities. unless King she is of Prussia I believe. beI comprehend nothing of those personalsides. him the constancy of his subjects. are known to no one. " that you had that ally. the subsidies of the English. of the British subsidies. and because I defend myself with all the arms I have. " If you pass by Frankfort. . bleeding. who the has never had any compensation but what he has stolen . and himself free to write comic verses on whomsoever he would." said the king. "what letting God work." said Frederic to the Eng- are j^ou doing at present?" " are '• the answer. 17 King of Prussia at Frankfort. . before the war). These trifles. I THE SEVEN YEARS' WAR. especially if arrogant." " " he is the Also. I ])erish. Resi- dent-without-wages of the VOL.

These memoirs he fully intended to destroy. he urged Collini to bring and drew up forms of petition for him to sign and present to the French commander. you would of it." Later. Prince of Soubise taking the suit for the stolen effects. promising to back his application with all the influence he could command. other is Sclimidt. He had never shown them to any one whatever but he had the unfortunate habit of leaving his library open and his papei-s exposed. ''Never. Avrite articles for the he continued to was permitted to appear. " never to to Berlin and fill go Maupertuis's place." added his old enemy. I and did not forget Encyclopasdia as long as his beloved 2 Mt'moirej sur Voltaire. Maupertuis died in the odor of sanctity between two Capuchins." he wrote to D'Argental in August. 1759. "He was sick a long time. along with much amusing narrative and innocent badinage. which contain. counselor of the King of Prussia. . " of a repletion of pride but I did not lived. (me or two passages of a character which nothing could justify. 53. in later years. " I advise Academy. besides his work upon Peter of Russia. " will I forgive Frederic's infamous treatment of my niece. he looked for the two copies of my making. Frederic urged D'Alembert to accept the presidency of the Berlin . He discovered the theft of those memoirs and of some other manuscripts when. Wagniere. and retained the post as long as he According to Voltaire. you." this period. when there seemed a probability of the city. His secretary. notwithstanding the representations I made him. to burn them also. he had recovered from his resentment. and did endeavor to destroy. a rogue of a merchant. in 1759. tells us why he did not succeed: " The manuscript of his memoirs upon the King of Prussia was stolen from him in 1768.258 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. when. believe him During it to be either a hypocrite or an imbecile. the king made himself president." D'Alembert's repent Upon repeated refusals. ." wrote Voltaire to his friend." ^ I may add that after the death of Maupertuis. having burned the original. and of which he himself repented. nor his hardihood \_ha)xliesse^ in writing me flatteries twice a month without having repaired his wrongs." It was under tlie spur of this feeling that he Avrote at Les Ddlices the satirical memoirs of his connection with Frederic.

Let us — . You will have upon the stage flags borne in triumph. processions of warriors. correcting. The fifth act begins with a Te Deum. and we must not believe our tears. INIadame Denis and myself have cried over the piece but we are too near reLations of it. my dear angel. seized him with violence. whether he was composing a tragedy or a . a father in despair. and still more unhappy. It is necessary to make my angels weep and flap their wings. His letters boil with it. rated by this news that he began at once upon a new tragedy " Tancrede " of requii'ing ample room for its presentation. the greatest and most unfortunate of men. . arms hung upon columns. revising. Paris the tardy triumph of excluding spectators from the stage The veteran dramatist was so exhilaof the national theatre. "To-day. it is very amusing. once enjoy this pleasure Thus in letters pamphlet. that The subject his so familiar still to the stage of Christendom. finished yesterThe liberty and honor finished. however. to the French theatre warmed given my old brain. but not done day. authors take half the trouble to succeed which this veteran never failed to take. that few unknown attribute it. 259 In 1759. a poor girl exceedingly tender and resolute." he wrote to D'Argental. and the first draft was written in a mimih. and it was on the 2 2d of April that an old fool began a tragedy. "is May 19 [1759]. recasting. unknown author to whom he meant to It must be owned. good taste and good sense won at di'amatic art.IN THE SEVEN TEAES' WAR. as though he really " were "the young. and ends with a De Profundis Let us give the piece mcogmto." he many pours out his heart upon the new ever play.

" and he wrote to the king on the subject. 1758. first Bettinelli has left us an : count of his interview with Voltaire — amusing ac- "When garden. . and your priests a little dangerous. He had already provoked them nearly to the limit of their en- durance. he did not feel quite safe. " Stanislas consulted the French government and the Duke de Choiseul replied. the province assigned to Stanislas. But your people are a little equal to that of Paris. a Jesuit. arrived at Les Delices. a Bettinelli This is too much honor for I arrived at ' ! ! . Ms throne with such resolu- tion. " Your magistrates. " Your majesty knows him well enough to decide for yourself. and the Italian was to say how welcome both would be in Lorraine. are formidable people if they are once thoroughly roused. cried he. respectable they are wise the society of . it appears. being published. and contemplated buying an estate and habitation for his old age near his Marcus Aurelius. he thought first of retir- King of ing to Lorraine." When the ascendency of Madame de Pompadour and her Geneva is ministers gave him assurance that be might safely reside at least upon the outer edge of France. He could not feel at home among the sons ists Calvinof Calvin. might render his residence in Geneva untenable. Tron" are chin. charged with a mission from the King of Poland to Voltaire. to M. of Lyons." he wrote in December. Bettinelli.CHAPTER While Frederic was defending XXII. 1758] he was in his What ' went towards him. and tokl him who I was. an Italian. Poland. Voltaire was tranquilly preparing an abode on the soil of his native country. and Wagniere was daily copying things which. and." Erelong the Italian author. upon the project. saying that he had half a million francs to invest in lands. Stanislas strongly desired his company and his half-million investment. arrogant. ' I Les Delices [November. COUNTRY GENTLEMAN AND FARMER.

In this solitary place.' cried he. as you at his stick. Here upon the borders of my Lake Lenian. His person was enveloped in a j^elisse fi-om his head to his feet.' " Mis singular and giotesque appearance made an impression upon in tor wliich I was not prepared. I do not envy you your lakes Como ains of ice . . Under a cap of black velvet. only a peasant. then a mere hamlet of very poor and ^ much The village of Ferney was or fifty inhabitants.' " I then presented him the letter which the King of Poland had me for him. ! my dear. defended against the north wind.">8. about three miles and a half from Geneva. me good a state of health. par Desuoiresterres. and I write here good Georgics. His look and smile were full I told him of the pleasure I felt at finding him in so of expression.COUNTRY GENTLEMAN AND FARMER. ' from my hands. I saw plainly that he divined given the object of my visit. there was a big peruke. taking the letter with us We there my life.' he replied. Vohaire aux Delices. and Guarda. stay breathe here the air of liberty. which allowed him to brave in this way the rigor of winter. 17. 'imagine that we must squat in our holes. Voltaire had agreed to buy. making his nose and chin still more prominent than they are in his portraits. in Burguntly. far from scoundrels and tyrants. island of Sirmio. the air of immortality. page 331. on the northern shore of Lake Leraan. At the first glance. who were foi-ty The all peasants then were. and deprived me at one stroke of the honors of my ^ embassy. which had a weeding-fork ' see. In the first November. I have just been investing a pretty large sum of money in the purchase I think of nothing but to terminate of a little domain near this place. with these tools that I sow grain by grain but my harvest is my wheat like my salad.' " These few words of the wily old man made me understand that the time had passed for entering into negotiations. the ancient estate and seigneury of Ferney. which covered three quarters of his face. which came down to his eyes. Oh. I represent Catullus in his little He composed there beautiful elegies. I 2G1 am It is . and that some epigram was about to fall uj^on ' my " royal commission. showing me one end and a pruning-knife at the other. as oppressed. more abundant than that which I sow books for the good of mankind. "'Oh! you Italians. in fee simple. like the marmots which inhabit the summits of those mountand snow but your Alps are for us only a spectacle and a beautiful perspective." The ambassador was only half of a few days too late. my cabin.' he added.

forest." he wrote in 1759. rhyming. which touch the sky. and seigneury of Tourney. he immediately added a life-purchase of the adjacent seigneury of Tourney. if He was going to be a a stress of politics had made it desirable.^ herd of cows was part of this purchase he became a raiser of cattle.262 cliateau LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. wheat. that his tially. but in truth I am astonishingly well. and indeed he produced. and writing the history of that Russian empire which avenges and humiliates us. with remarkable result of his labors rebuilding . which produce much hay. that would render great service to our navy." etc. barns. building. had so improved his health that he resolved to continue and increase them. and that he could have removed to it in the diligence energy celerity. and oats. stables. if we had one. therefore. A . and employed a force of sixteen working oxen ." To his fee-simple of Ferney. himself being both architect and suHe was well content with the perintendent of the works. or. and so happy amid the public calamities that I am ashamed of myself. with lands adjacent. honorary seignorial rights. a plain. estate. " I complain according to custom." He had also a little ugly old parish church too close to his house. in which he had indulged during his residence in Switzerland. roomy. teen bedrooms. ^ Voltaire et le President De Brosses. substantial stone mansion. stronger than I have ever been. to his old friend " I made Cideville. and make permanent improvements to the value of twelve thousand francs more. consisting of a large farm and an old chateau . . "but a commodious country house. The out-of-door occupations. straw. " the chateau. meadows. farmer in his declining years. I have some oaks as straight as pines. and he was seigneur over all. was so old and inadequate that the purchaser set about it forthwith. planting." And he wrote to D'Argental. for which he was to pay a sum equal to ten j^ears' rent." "It is not a palace. to which there was a cur^. high vines and low vines. in summer of 1759. woods. my arrangements to die but I find mj^self . or thirty-five thousand francs. to use the terms of the agreement. He told his friends way of life in his retreat had benefited him essen- " Four years ago. with the rights and privileges apperHe pushed on his chateau with such taining to seigneury." he wrote. page 45. of fourwhat he flattered himself was " the Italian taste. fields.

"nothing is wanting but the sultan which have promised me. the steward of the French king's stables. . threshed are To the south of these beautiful monuments of agriculture are the poultry-yards and sheep-folds ." appears able as they were beautiful. 1759. occupy one side. heaving of this new taste of the author of " Zaire. in'J'he Marquis de Voyer. He exulted in his great barn. companions of the labor of man. with wagons loaded with the spoils of the coming and going by four great gate-ways. pastured and fertilized these animals. hay. toward the west extend lai'ge meadows. Four or five hundred bee-hives are set up near a little Dy all The bees give to the possessor a considerable harvest of honey and wax. properly fastened. ants. are still another source of wealth. 263 At Les Delices he had begun the establishment of a breeding stable for horses. as amateur farmers whose potatoes cost " Washington Irving used to say of his own. The trees of the orchard. The piUars of oak. creasing his six mares to ten. loaded with fruits. which the " poet accepted. His letters for the next ten years teem with allusions to his farming. on his fai'ms. My seraglio is ready. racks from immense mows above the floors where the grain is in the middle. contains. tates. Wagnicre informs us." in continual persons employment.COUNTRY GENTLEMAN AND FARMER. without his troubling himself with all the fables which are told of that industrious creature without stream which waters this orchard. being little able to have the honor of increasing quis in In these various operations he kept thirty species. and he assures us that he managed all the details of their culture himself. with their calves horses and oxen are on the other side their fodder falls into their . and this he now enlarged. to the north are the presses. fruit-houses to the east are the abodes of the manager and thirty serv. So much has been written of late you upon population that I wish at least to people the land of Gex with horses. are placed at equal distances upon pedestals of stone long stables are seen on the right and on the left. filled with the products of his of the Nor was he one lands : — "A fields vast rustic house. which sustain the whole frame. the Fifty cows. small and great. . my own them. and you know that all the animals lodged in their several places in this great edifice have a lively sense that the the whicli the it oats. ." he wrote to the mar- May. store-rooms. and maintained upon his esin as all.'' oft'ei'ed him a fine stallion. more than sixty. sixpence He to have had farms which were as profitapiece. forage. . belong to them of right. .

1769. there is foliage and shrubbery. part of this vast inclosure is formed by an impenetrable rampart of hawthorn. sending trees. Not far from it is a light. filled with flowers on all sides. the walls of which are entirely covered with pear-trees and peach-trees. Adjacent to the silk-worm house. and 1 Voltaire to Dupont. there is a field. who presents her subjects with sixty to eighty thousand children. which is called Voltaire's field. This is called the cabinet of Voltaire it is there that he works. he formed a park and gardens about his new abode. to learn whether that nation lives under the rule of a pretended queen. This park contains. because he cultivates sides. In the park there is a fine plantation of oaks. upon which I shall never see walnuts or chestnuts. the chain of which descends into a fountain. form a contrast difiicult to find elsewhere." His plantations among his favorite objects. Avhere rural tastes were already well-nigh universal. with dense foliage. which reminded visitors of what they had seen in England. be- some beautiful labyrinths. . and I fear that be without the means of warming ourselves. neatly clipped. it with his own hands. kitchen and fruit gardens. besides beautiful and long avenues. as well as horse-breeding. also. and the gardens." other letters we see all him a zealous and the to wagons way Lyons and urging countrj^ friends to follow his example. from which he every year enriclied his planter. One traveler describes them thus : — " The garden is very beautiful and very large. a large and ancient linden. I we am planting walnut and chestnut trees. He formed a nursery. always green lawn suriounded with clumps of bushes. but the mania of people of my kind is to labor for posterity." he wrote to the inspector-general forests of France have been too much shall soon neglected. " that the certain. Near by is a little building for silk-worms. a verdant Here. a large peach orchard. extremely is fine. In the midst . patriotic treefor loads of young plantations. As the years and his colts were went on. Mont Blanc. ning-rod.264 endeavoring in vain LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. which overshadows the shrubbery with its thick branches. lovely beds of flowers. June. and poplars. which serve him for recreation. There are some avenues of mulberry-trees as far as the eye can reach. which is seen covered with snow. there. vines of excellent grapes. The view is lindens. the leaves of which nourish those precious worms which are not less useful than the bees. A which In rejoices the senses of smell and ^ sight. forming with the park an extensive inclosure. of " It is French nurseries. three miles in circuit.

of your drawing-room than of my grain-fields and my pastures but it was my destiny to end my career between drills. An exile he was from Paris and to a true Parisian that is exBut to the rest ile in the most poignant sense of the word. so I have lived only since the day when I chose my retreat and health [he wrote If I . He had even enjoyed a public and formal welcome to his seigneury of Tourney. . For two or three years. cows. and labor it is . your Peter the Great. property in land only upon God. life . Property To paper depends upon fortune. water in a boiler placed in a recess outside.' and a tragedy in a taste somewhat new. you know that that occupation consumes a little time but confess that you lose at Paris much more. I am managing all the detail of three estates almost contiguous to my hermitage of Les D6I have the insolence to build a chateau in the Italian lices That will not hinder you. it is very extensive possessions. it " I owe life course I have taken. my old friend. that he was no longer an exile from the land of his birth. afford an enchanting prospect. and tliey will always bear a little grain. I make more account . the King of Prussia will not ravage them." Cideville also: " I have adopted the scheme of investing part of my fortune in hmds . I would now be insupportable to me. Frenchman as he was. in . like Sancho Panza into his island. from having taste.COUNTRY GENTLEMAN AND FARMER. I have absolutely necessary when you live in the country. Nothing was ' . to Madame du Deffand] to the dared I would believe myself wise. which I cultivate. and Genevese." He was particularly happy in the thought. country is assuredly my only affliction. Paris is to me it would be mortal every one must remain am very sorry that mine is incompatible with yours. a supplied with hot and cold water at will. " I made my entry. in his element. he was full to overflowing of this new occupation of founding a great country home. little 265 marble erlifice. every other kind of necessary to you . of Europe he was an exile no more. for he had houses and lands in France." All this involved much out-of-door exercise. happy am I. being warmed Near the chateau is a bath-house. If you manage your estate at Launai. ." lie wrote. You wished also to try the The taste for proprietorship and not suitable to you. and he enjo3'ed with a zest which the ordinary amateur little knows.

" In the first edition. : . and probably the Dialogues came in the same parcel as Tristram Shandy. too.266 LIFE or VOLTAIRE. He was in the habit still of receiving and reading English books. musketry and torpedoes oranges in baskets decorated with ribbons. But let the competition be friendly. and the causes which have led to changes in Further on he laments the excessive freedoms of some Voltaire's writings. " . the " book of the season " of 1760. . Writing to Algarotti. he had a whole academy of belles-lettres in him alone. and true virtue is religion. Boileau observes that France. rendering vice and impiety more agreeable than the English. perpetual competitors with the English in manly wit and substantial learning. in French. " No but the French have the art of asks. The cur^ hai*angued me. horses with The people frightened my ." Pope " I would have the French be concludes." Boileau accepts the compliment to the talents of his country- men. besides England. which appeared in 1760. Boileau Has England been free from all seductions of this nature?" Pope replies. chief among whom was Volto which taire. Voltaire was spoken of as an exile." Boiagain ! man . he adds three lines in English " : Have . Chouet [previous tenant] gave me a splendid repast.of condition of man. provided by the eatinghouse keeper of the next village. of which the aim was to exhibit the manners and either. had recently produced some excellent authors. in the taste of those of Horace and Boileau. wanting to me but liis pauncL. in the course of which Voltaire came under discussion and received very polite treatment. and expresses a hope that Voltaire before his death will collect or suppress whatever in any of them Pope assenting. whose fame resounded in all parts of Europe " Other writers with that famous Pope responds compliment excel in some one particular branch of wit or science but when the King of Prussia drew Voltaire from Paris to Berlin. leau assigns to Voltaire the origin of the new system of writing history. One of these celebrated Dialogues was between Boileau and Pope. but hopes that both nations will agree in thinking that " true wisdom is virtue. tends to promote vice or impiety." the girls brought me He was a French- The strength of this feeling was shown in the with which he corrected a remark upon his exile promptness in one of Lord Lyttleton's Dialogues of the Dead.

for religion. and guilty of some excesses in writing. in Burgundy. complained promised intimation of impiet}'. I . dating it from . " the high sentiments of respect I have for you. and an original they run mad about it in Engthe land. nor entitles As of the high church. I live on my own . tle of Eerney. and I hope he thinks with me. which are not paid to the privileges you tell me your king has confirmed to your lands. and the superior rank you hold The favors done you by your sovereign little are an honor to him. I think." author's reply. I am the more indebted to my king. The service I rendered to many becoming to old age. because I have not committed the excesses the author of the Dialogues imputes to me. nor of the low church. which are free from all tributes. has given you. I am obliged (and i)erhaps for the honour of my country) to say 1 am not an exile. in -which he was accused Upon reading of wiiting too freely and of being an exile. " I am not settled in Switzerland. " I am. sir. neva." " I have read the I find page ingenious Dialogues of the Dead. though doubtless civilly inLord Lyttleton to correct the error but held to his of. my manors and my my has been pleased to confirm the privileges of my lands. 134 that I am an exile. and made light of the honors bestowed by the King of France tended." Dialogues. lands in France in one's retreat is own possessions. as he believes. but God is the father of the noble author and' mine. but to the noUe talents God in the re[)ublic of letters. that God neither a presbyterian. The English was not quite agreeable to Voltaire. Voltaire. yet I have not exceeded even in that virtue. I should not have obtained from my court a for passport English noblemen. and if king them " is me to the justice I expect from the noble author. by . : — To do you justice is a duty I owe to truth and myself and you have a much better title to it than from the passports you say you have procured for English noblemen. his most humble servant. but add lustre to the name of Voltaire. You are entided to it.COUNTRY GENTLEMAN AND FARMER. he wrote to Lord " My casLyttleton a letter in his best English. of "Nobody raised his voice higher than mine in favour of the rights human kind. nor a lutheran. ' ' 267 This is a very unaccountable you read Tristram Shandy ? one book. with respect. and more becoming If I enjoy a little country-house near Gecastles are in Burgundy . Gentleman of the King's Chamber. " If I were an exile.

in the neigh" borhood of Geneva.tent . this Voltaire replied in French. position to dictate his answer : To — being obliged by indis- " Permit me only to observe that it is not a mere / say that I have caused passports to be obtiiined for some English gentlemen. resides in that kingdom.268 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. Tronchin. which cannot be justified. as well as for three other Englishmen. to settle finally at Ferney. though every man derives the your your I presume. in the county of Tourney. by the vivacity and fire of a great genius. justice. the annexed little billet. of which This county is a free district in Burgundy. to ignorant that Voltaire had been exiled 1764 he was still an occasional resident of but Geneva. in same from your Your my He he lordship would not. These opinions I rejoice to see in your works. nation this is the only right I have to your favors. to entreat lordship to be so kind as to cause to be printed at the end of book. gradually withdrew from the soil of that repubHe was never in such exuberlic. "' We M. if they do not extend their benevolence to all his creation. this note does not appear in the editions accessible. ' that God is the father of all mankind. therefore. the author may not have complied with the request in all its exand the less as the reading world could not have been many times. me it is both a duty and a pleasure to serve any gentleman of your . and the owner has never been exiled. I am sure. . of Mr. though they may be excused. Campbell's family." .' and entirely agree with you should think it blasphemy to confine his goodness to a sect nor do I . Fox and sick To all Mr. never engaged in so many affairs. but that I have been so happy as to procure passports for the son it is true. As . believe that any of his creatures are good in his sight. as well as in all the public papers. in page 134 of the Dialogues. and shall be very happy to be convinced that the liberty of your thoughts and your pen upon subjects of philosophy and religion never exceeded the bounds of this generous princior that ple. in saying that Voltaire was banished from France on account of his writings.' still lord. never so prompt with pen and deed in the From 1758 promotion of his objects. have me die with a complaint mouth against the person I esteem the most of any living. de is were mistaken. who had been recommended to me by Dr. which is authorized by revelation as much as by reason you disapprove in your hours of sober reflection any irregular sallies of fancy. ant spirits as at this time. never in such excellent health.

the dying man. is an actor of the old comic-opera house. Nothing could be more singular or more original than the reception Voltaire gave us. and has a narrative of his visit which is highly entertaining. making us sit down by his bedside. where can I put her ? sweet little girl Oh. de I'Ecluse. We can with their aid see him and hear him at the time when he was in the full tide of his improvements at Ferney and TourIn First. then an author of distinction.' 'Tis he. Marmontel. VISITORS AT LES D^LICES. receive I. but companion was alarmed at this preface . gave Gaulard a gentle sign of encouragement. let us berless visitors to the house so conveniently near Geneva. entering upon the most important period of his pause a moment. Poland. you have heard the song of the " Grinder.' ' — And 8ong. the son of his old friend.' answered I. 1760 Marmontel spent some days at Les Delices. ney. He extended and wept for joy while he embraced me. ' ' He but don't you know him? The only L'Ecluse that I know. or to his arms to us. hear. with the same emotion. He was in bed when we arrived. and who has been to repair the irreparable teeth of IMadame Denis.CHAPTER Before XXIII. where can I put her?' My ! . and accompany two of his num- career. 'My dear friends. and with his Grinder' and singing the ' Oh. He embraced M. Gaulard. how happy I am to see you! particularly at the have a man with me whom you will be charmed to — the surgeon dentist of the late King of estate near Montargis. a moment last sighs ? my ' My who had afterward. there bare arms and sepulchral voice playing the ' was Voltaire instantly imitating L'Ecluse. now the lord of an pleased to come is a charming man ' .' said he 'do you come to restore me to life. said. And indeed." which he plays and sings so well. 'You find me dying. a hundred times heard VoUaire say he was dying. left MARMOKTEL AT LES " D^XICES. my friend. 'tis he himself. moment when I It is M. . If you know him.

' MaI Denis compared to Clairon ! so true that taste accommodates itself to the can enjoy.' indeed not only a lesson of Nature. and recalling the . I'ather. AVe '11 eat some wild fowl and listen to M. Well. with transport. Ariane. let him win. Is. who. and the Encycloptedia. the emotion to which I gave birth. When we We is have not what vre love. I endeavored to make him place in her . then. I wish you could see her play Zaire.' " mind and language being warm. addressing himself to me. de I'Ecluse to us. Gaulard. while I spoke. must love what we have. ! Madame Talent can go no further. ' were bursting with laughter.' said he. all his talents. or. 'It is. was conversing with Madame Denis." and that of the tate We of the delighted. talent it is My comprehend the natural and sublime manner in which she performed I exhausted the Camille. Oh. it is nature herself. taire engaged him by the most flattering praises to aiford us the pleas- ure of hearing him. the theatre. respectfully. and while M.' I replied 'a new the perfection of art . an incredible progress.' " Madame Denis received us with that cordiality which made her so She introduced M. Hermione. T imihim very ill. The pleasure of seeing you has suspended my ills. When we returned from our walk he played a or two of chess with M. and enjoyed. the 'Mercure. you will be speak to Madame Denis.270 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. de Voltaire was talking to M. and at dinner Volcharming. and that ' this wise maxim. and we appeared This was very requisite. will get dine with you. " resumed our walk. I. she has made an astonishing. de ! Applewoman with Vade Go and I'Ecluse. and his '• " Postilion. it is just like Madame Denis . " The walk in his gardens was employed in speaking of Paris. and he was quite serious. We I. and I myself quite revived. Alzire. delighted with them. Afterward he again spoke of the theatre and of the revolution Madame Clairon had introduced. on my side. little eloquence I had to inspire in him that enthusiasm for Clairon with which I was filled." and the quarrel song of the Spinner. Roxane. Idame it is ! dame Denis playing Zaire was thunder-struck objects it . but a means she husbands to procure us pleasures. for Voltaire would not He displayed have pardoned us a feeble applause.' the Bastille (of which I said only a word). 'it is L'Ecluse that you must hear. the change that has taken game ' somewhat prodigious?' said he.' said he. such as your imagination can paint her in her greatest beauty. and Electre. my ' dear ' friend. up feel to It is truth itself. Gaulard of his ancient friendship for the father of this young man. ill as I am. At last.

I conceal nothing each should have his turn. impudent wretch The Acad! do the same. " The next day we had the discretion to leave him at least a part of He his morning. He was highly pleased. by reading and Tliese people know how your gazettes. It is very pleasing. He asked me if the poem was known at Paris. they passed whole days there. to live in a country where its sovereigns send to ask you for your carriage. He was still in bed. King In the evening I put ^'oltai^e on tlie He spoke of him with a kind of cold magnanimity. or as an undeceived lover pardons.' I represented to him that I had allowed myself a license of opinion in it at which many would ' . was visible about eleven. talking of the way in ' ' the country houses that cover the borders of the lake.VISITORS AT LES dI:LICES. good old times chapter of the to 271 her memory. ' he had passed without retiring to his cabinet. and sent him word that we should wait till he rang. almost without territory.' and Madame Denis informed us that. which he lived with the inhabitants. I re- solved with difficulty to recite to him my epistle to the poets. Geneva had enriched herself. " At supper the conversation turned on the men of letters he most and in the number it was easy for me to distinguish those he loved from the bottom of his heart. or at . " On our way.' were talking of Geneva.' emy " Before dinner he took will me to pay some visits at Geneva and.' said he.' said he. be alarmed. They were not those who most boasted of being in favor witli him. not to open till sunrise. I asked him how. ' who confessed that one day. of Prussia. Young man. ' ' to calcnlate tlie profits "As we on your loans. he asked nic what I tliougliL of . like a man who disdained a too easy revenge. " Charming. whether it was ' ' : . Then. the ten" der words escaped her. I answered that it was not.' returned he.' said let us see some of your he. profiting by your follies. as the gates of the city were shut at the close of day. and.' His house was open to them. that I had lost the ingenuous confidence of early youth. after having proudly reproved a too bold lover. in the mistress he has left. those who supped at his house were obliged to sleep there.' he replied. and without any facilities for commerce with foreign countries. since he had been at Les Delices. or that I felt more intimately than ever how difficult it is to write good verse. 'you must send it to the Academy it will make some noise there. ' I know an honorable lady. the rage and indignation she excited. By manufacturing watches. 1 hope you have not renounced poetry new productions. that they may come and dine with you. Before he went to bed he read to us two new cantos of La Pucelle.' More intimidated before him than I had ever been. it was the only day esteemed .

de Voltaire insisted on showing us his country house at TourThis ney. valier Hubert and Cramer the bookseller. and now the cynic he will eternally belie himself. .' said Voltaire. I knew the anecdote related by Diderot of the origin of his first Discourse. was the end of our ride in the afternoon. a pencil. but the view from it was admirable. of the long residence that I had made there. " Among the inhabitants of only men who — rare thing in their city. and in all attitudes. and had wit without affectation. their visits to . Geneva whom I saw at his house. and of the kindness that Madame de Pompadour had formerly expressed for him. and that Mont Blanc loaded with Such is the view that Toureternal snows and ice that never melt. Hubert had a talent less useful. the and who were pleased with. and his mask will stifle him. . theatre that tormented Rousseau. grief and indignation. and this talent had won him the that is to say. in action. ' ' . of a jovial temper. Cramer. absent or present. '* The idea of this unjust and tyrannical privation filled me with Perhaps he perceived it for.272 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. turned. " M. thoufriendship and the custom of Voltaire sands of francs.' . its fertility. " You do not astonish That man is factitious me. Tourney was a little neglected country-seat. out by him in white paper. I am told. Rousseau. his scissors could represent him meditat- You would have said he had eyes at his hands behind his back. He had Voltaire's face so strongly impressed on his imagination that. which nightly resounded his fame. from head to foot he is so in his mind and soul. There ney and where Voltaire consoled himself for no longer visiting the theatre of Paris. played tragedy tolerably well . as we prodigious art. where the perspective was preserved with These two amiable neighbors were very assiduous in Les Delices during the little time I stayed there. where his theatre was. I answered that in his writings he appeared to me only an eloquent sophist and in his character only a false cynic. more than once. a quarter of a league from Geneva. he would cut out a and even more like. me were the Chepleased. With his portrait in profile as like. bordered by country houses. They were both of easy a converse. the little I saw affords. and repeated it to him. But it is in vain for him to play now the stoic. he talked to me of Versailles. . writing. . who would burst with pride and indignation if the world ceased to gaze upon him. by his reflections he answered my thoughts and on the road. in his carriage. than he could draw with I have seen landscapes cut ing. a chain of mountains of thirty leagues extent. and terminated by two large cities beyond and in the distance. As to the earnest desire he had conceived of giving a fair exterior to the part he acted. and . In the valley was the Lake of Geneva. he was the Orosmane of Madame Denis. very curious in fingers' ends. but amusing.

He retired to his closet for a . de I'P^cluse moments which. To whom. was most desirous — ' ing of the style.' said I. I told him he had ' written nothing more interesting. " ' ' . From Madame de la Valliere to Madame de Pompathe anecdotic dour. ' Tancrede. he said nothof . with a rapidity and brilliancy of beauty and coloring that dazzled us. eifect all she wishes for the unhappy woman is no longer loved.' that he had I just finished. She knows. and cannot. he said. ' it and returning with my face bathed in tears.' in point of style. and perhaps she now envies the lot of Madame Denis. tell me most eloquently what . write characters for her and characters of queens.' So much the better That is just what we want exclaimed he.' said I. giving me a manuscript. 273 She still loves you. indulging the delusion. They found some and Madame Denis. and play I will tragedy with us. And. interesting ever escaped. ' ' ' ' ! ! she should know the play of the passions. The public will be too much moved to he occupied with that at the theatre. But she is weak. and.' Fortunately. Go into my cabinet. rest to me if she can no longer succeed in the theatre of Versailles. them like a child.' said he.' said he. 'to the give the part of Amenaide?' read . . Yet he reproached himself with having stolen from M. in comparing the spirit and gallantry of the old and new courts. " The next day (it was the for me ' . 'I found that it wants only what ing that stopped you in its march ? you call criticism of the closet. at supper.' asked he. passed in review. for. you would have said that he Since she suits you. history of the two reigns. and would be at Les Delices. I will tell her that yours awaits her.' Let willingly her come.' said I she has repeated it often to me. ' — sublime Clairon of " Zaire. opinion.' and he laughed at He last we were to pass together) he sent ' early in the morning. too. or dares not. as it were enchanted at having a new actress. ' ' . enprobability in it treated her uncle not to oblige her to yield her parts to the new actfew hours and in the evening. .'" I and I will answer for a success at least ecpial to that 'Your tears. in truth.' replied he.' ' ' . with transport. Voltaire. he would of have occupied more agreeably to us with a few scenes from the us. would you 'To Clairon.VISITORS AT LES d6lICES. and read that you shall give me your opinion of it. leave the thought he saw her arrive.' It was the tragedy of Tancrede. ' begged him to indemnify Applevvomau. I should have been obliged to conceal my sentiments . displayed to us that rich memory which nothing ress. • did you find nothknowing but the action. was very far from 18 VOL. the torments of profound grief and bitter tears. and in the interval that the regency. in my II. kings and their mistresses being the subject of conversation.' answered I.' " This romantic fiction amused the company. She is beautiful .

loaded with redundant words that disguise the want of force and vigor. but himself. tedious verses. it was wholly extinguished. " Afflicted at our departure. " Our mutual adieus were tender even to tears. the age of the poet for in him. he said.' and of La Mort de Cesar. a cadence too strongly marked. Academy. he read to us some cantos of bed. 291.edies. and after ' Tancrede. in reciting heroic verse. M. are here the dupes neither of his false zeal nor of his false eloquence." 1 J 2 Memoirs of Marmontel (London. in company with Madame Denis. their most agreeable family reading.' where the fire of genius still emitted some sparks. then my analysis of Rousseau's letter to a refutation which he tliou2.' of Merope. 1806). and which he appeared walk. ' ' ' Rome Sauvee and in being written like his best trao. by amusing Geneva sometimes. taire ivould " This reading had for me an inexpressible charm for if Jeaime. for. In I had still found the beautiful versification de la Chine L'Orphelin ' ' ' ' • of Zaire. ! as he expired. he envies me the air I breathe at this place. no one read familiar ' . as in Corneille. to — 'Rousseau. the eulogy of my tales. — able. That was natural.274 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. My residence here eclipses him . affected. and that is obvious to Possessed of an unbounded pride. but much more so my part than on his.ht unanswerD'Alembert on the stasfe. above all. during our I asked him whether Geneva conversation. esteem very highly. and we pressed him in vain to retire to More awake than ourselves. independently of my gratitude and all the motives I had for loving him. in my mind. we resolved. he would wish that in his native country no one should occupy any place in tlie public mind every one. he cannot suffer that. were. the poetry of style was the first that failed. an emphasis too monotonous. It is We against me that his darts are directed.' but in Tancrede' I thought I saw a decline in his style: weak. and.' said he. The desire of seeing me received at the French . Cramer. I should steal moments that should be em- ployed in thinking of him. Alas it was for me the song of the swan. he would not steal from us one moment of this last day. to prolong till Volthat hour the pleasure of sitting up and conversing together. and comic verse with so much natural delicacy and grace his eyes aud smile had an expression that I have never seen but in him. as soon as the gates of the city should be open and we could get hoi'ses. Hubert.' As we were to set off at the dawn of day. . 'is better known at Geneva than at Paris. T left him in on exile. be of the party. which formed. and I was to see him again only . and M.' Voltaire. — in a word. the subjects of his had been deceived on the true motive of this letter of Rousseau.

wood. . not explained. " straight to " heaven by starving them to death depriving them of a poortithe which they had enjoyed for a century. send the 281 livres to the cure of Tourney. Ferney defended liis peasants on this occasion with a fire and persistence all his own. but could only preto fifteen The lord of vail. perhaps. and putting them caneiir of the province: the five families. Probably on their ride to Tourney Voltaire told his young friend of his preliminary quar" the most execrable chirel with the curd of tlie little parish. Voltaire claimed that the wood was -his own.-^ to be distributed to the poor inhabitants Tlien all will be said. he became embroiled with the President de Brosses. grandmother of Albert Gallatin. a scholar and appai"There is a volume of four hundred pages ently a gentleman. the proprietor of Tourney. made : this proposition to a friend : — " Listen an idea comes into my head at this moment. "how the said cur^ had plotted to send alone remained in Ferney.VISITORS AT LES DfiLICES. upon this affair. Let Voltaire. 1 A neighbor. His lot was not so entirely it Arcadian as seemed to a guest. Letters upon letbetween the poet and the president but several of Voltaires most material replies are wanting. who . which had been cut upon Tourney either before or after Voltaire's purchase. dispute. at last. Unfortunately. De Brosses insisted the wood was his. I will give a repf the parish. and all will be finished. De Brosses. tired out with the interminable by the president ters passed . in the affair with the cnr6. too. At length. pursued lines. This it 275 is in his an interior view of Voltaire. secretary of the treasury of the United States from 1801. and embittered by some course of action. or to INIadame Gallatin. by paying a considerable part of the claim against them. in your presence. and demanded payment of the man who had cut it. as Marmontel retained memory thirty years after. . and it is therefore an impossibility to ascei'tain whicli of the two was in the right. in twenty The original cause of the imbroglio was two hundred and eightj^-one francs' worth of fire. This was the seeming ground of the dispute but it was involved in some way. On my part. but it serves only to convert into a baffling enigma what could have been explained. hundred francs of law expenses before they knew it. It is the only solution creditably admissible for me. and refused to pay for it.

financier. self-satisIn 1760 he was in high vogue at fied. He has left us an account of his visit to Les Delices. perhaps. poet.276 LITE OF VOLTAIRE. discloses the secret rite of Ceres. brother of the orator. which D'Alembert himself thought mathematically sound. ceipt for the 281 livres to Charles suit will Baudy [wood-cutter]. persistent. Casanova ventured to say how much he rejoiced prospect of becoming acquainted with the great Voltaire taking leave. conceived an extreme dislike of his proprietor. he had a visitor of different qualCasanova ity from the amiable and sympathetic Marmontel the Italian adventurer. and settled as chief magistrate of his native " canton. then retired from Gottingen. I will forbid him to be under this roof who ." This proposition appears to have been accepted. who. ^ He and soon found himself at when Mr. reached the chateau. and replied by a hajspy " Vetabo^ qui Cereris sacrum vulgavit quotation from Horace Paris. but always the positive. Haller smiled." when Casanova pursued Voltaire's abode. Haller. and resented his interference in the affairs of the " land of Gex. the best of its kind yet recorded. and thus the be terminated to the profit of the poor. have found him greater Been at a distance. and of intrigue. irresistible Casanova. arrived on the day in 1760 Fox. On his way to Geneva. his journey. During dinner. on his part. man and much employed by embarrassed ministers in negotiating loans and managing new kinds of lotteries of his own invention. but is man whose many persons. he paused in the adjacent canton of Bern to pay his homage to the eminent naturalist. had no opinion of his tenant's ability as a manager of public business.'^ ^ On after. he asked Haller (who. upon whicli the orthodox philosopher said. three days at the . a contrary to the physical laws. however. which has at least the merit of being intei'esting in a high He called forth from Voltaire a repartee which may degree. : arcanum^ sub nsdem sit trabibus. he says. did not wish his orthodoxy to be doubted ") whether Voltaire often came to see him. be styled. cissitudes . " Voltaire acquaintance I have had reason to seek." Before leaving Les Delices. the man of many talents and more vi- was a : by turns prisoner and courtier. and there lull in the storm. Voltaire.

' " Voltaire now astonished me. At the same time I was influenced by those of the Italian literati who were admirers of Tasso. I beseech you. it shall not be withheld. All my witness in what manner ' the divine poet makes Astolfo converse with the Apostle John.' opinion. arrived : moment of my last For the twenty years. ' Ariosto. but I was young. and watched. 277 CASANOVA AT LES gentlemen.' A general : Voltaire laugh gave loud applause to this first witty answer of The conversation turned soon this was a matter of course. 'I thank you for believing I had not read Ariosto. book in which you have ridiculed Ariosto. Thus I unfortunately suffered an opinion on It was not my Ariosto to go abroad which I considered as my own. to him with the utmost attention. Voltaire now said. I admire your Ariosto. or in a single instance violating the rules of He afterwards extolled the beauties of the poet by such obprosody.' '• own excommunicate the books are excommunicated already. " I found Voltaire just rising from dinner. with propriety say that I prefer opinion he is the only poet. The whole of Europe shall be informed by my' self of the ample reparation which is due to the greatest genius she . But you shall I have retracted my judgment of Ariosto. I have attended your school. and yet I know them all. Turning to the company. " life ' 1>]£lICES. about fifteen years ago. but in vain.' where ' " V.' " C. on approaching him] the happiest I at length behold my great teacher. however. him. I was persuaded you would retract your judgment when you had read his works. In I my do you prefer ?' I cannot.VISITORS AT LES D^LICES. to discover servations as : an error. ise that you will then expect me ? to ' But do you also prom- "V. Italian poet saw your censure on Ariosto. " 'I promise it.' When "V. I had read him. 'I promise . I declared that my admiration was boundless. became a truly great man more sublime remarks could I listened not have been expected even from an Italian commentator. and imperfectly acquainted with your language. surrounded by ladies and At is last [said I. Which ' " C. C. Do me this honor twenty years longer. Do. 'I now breathe again. lie recited by heart the two long passages of the thirty-fourth and thirty-fifth cantos of Orlando. and would sooner die than break my promise. and that it should be made known throughout Italy. and then do not ' fail bring me the money for your schooling.' " V. sir. " V. without missing one verse. upon poetry.

" V. except myself.' .' at the same time turning herself to her uncle.' may be knew how "V. Voltaire being foremost. madam. ' if you will have the goodness to listen to me?' " IMadame D. his niece. and the next day he presented of the me to put an end to his with his own transla- tion of a stanza. has " V. he. but to sucis some ceed with Ariosto no trifle. in his epistles. to "What ! Have you taken the trouble to commit it memory ? " C. then. There are forty-six long cantos. You. yet Voltaire's recitation on the preceding day procured him the applause of all present. but not the finest.' She inquired farther. place. From ' the age of fifteen I have read Ariosto twice or three . that. " C. which is the finest? I replied. JMadame Denis. After these applauses had subsided. too. too. it is one of the finest. describe the madness of Orlando with so much truth that they ' ' And which They called technically correct. Has it been decided.' the passage. am " C. the apotheosis of the poet could not have taken He has been canonized. seemingly offended. almost involunta- — His genealogies and historical episodes. asked me whether I considered the long pasI resage recited by her uncle as one of the finest of that great poet.' '• said Madame Denis. He hardly knew how or when encomiums " . declared themselves in favor of Madame Denis. are an exceprily. ' you will be so kind as to recite Perhaps. ' Why ' should I not. He alone has been able to describe it. and all of them. tion Horace they fatigue the mind. They stir up all the sensibilities of the soul. ' You mean Most to indicate that the part for which Ariosto has been called the divine must have been is inspired. Voltaire. ever madness comes upon us. ' verses.' ' ' ' ' . and leave the heart unaffected. 'I remember played. " C. except Ariosto. This was absolutely necessary for. Though none company. otherwise. however. times annually he must therefore have necessarily impressed my memI ory without any effort on my part. have doubtless shuddered while reading those stanzas. that are too prosaic' I conceive it jaossible to learn Horace by heart . 'I did not know A laugh. No one. ' general burst of laughter ensued. is the author whom I have committed to only wholly memory yet : . plied. understood the Ital- ian language. might say.' the passage ? The last thirty-six stanzas of the twenty-third canto. All the frightfulness of love is there dis- impatient to read them again.278 ever produced.' ' then?' continued she. I preserved the utmost gravI know why you do not ity.' LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. Certainly. said. as if to ask his consent.' ' certainly. and I ' them.

' " I immediately recited them. Upon he raised a loud cry. When I had finished the recital. alleging that my visit would be an insult to him. above tion.' He then embraced me. Tlipy perceived and felt the effort I made to repress my tears. Denis expressed her surprise that the Roman pontiff had not included his works in the list of prohibited books. and that if it his house was obliged to continue my journey on the following day. now conversed on other subjects. feel. after all. one must feel and to one must have a soul. had excommunicated. look. " C.' all things. avoiding the usual declamation of the Italians. quick ! Let us liave the thirty-six stanzas of which you say that they excite horror. We resumed our conversation about Ariosto. you must weep yourself. unless I remained that I this. adding that INIadame de Chavignj^ was at Basil. except as to tone. The houses of Este and Medici would not allow the poet to be injured. to see I told him I had come to Geneva expressly him. with him at least a week. agree with the French that repeated the stanzas just as if they had been prose. and having accomplished this I had nothing else to detain ' me " here. fifty-one. by a her the contrary had been done. the countenances of the taire company ' sufficiently exclaimed. became the topic of conversation. " We and ' would afford me any pleasure to personate a character at he would request Monsieur de Chavigny to prevail on his lady to play the j^^^irt of Lindane. ' 279 Say. — '" Quick. expressed their approbation. and change of voice.' which had then been acted Voltaire remarked at Solothurn. Have you come ' to speak with me. . Volif you wish to make others . and put the whole company in an uproar. and thanked me . produces monotony. is I perfectly I a singing delivery intolerable. rather. and Leo X. But to weep. without being able to suppress theirs. the proposition. and which have obtained for the poet the appellation of divine. all relating to literature at last his piece entitled L'Ecossaise. Voltaire told particular bull. Ariosto needs not the artificial aid of a declainier. he moreover promised to recite the same stanzas on the following day. 'I came here. which.' "Voltaire was silent. or do you wish that I the sake of your conversa- Bhould speak with you ? " C. all those who should dare to condemn Ariosto. weep. I have always said. tv/o great He kept Madame his word. but Madame Denis immediately resumed.VISITORS AT LES D^LICES. and said. and he himself would act the 2Jart I politely thanked him for his kindness. V. fo'' . but declined of Monrose.

Perceiving the subject was not agreeable to me. just arrived at Geneva to consult the celebrated physician who had some I said very little during dinner. and we then stay at least three days longer.' " C. As a taste united with and monk.' Voltaire now took me into a room and showed me a number ' of parcels. he. a for the belles-lettres. which I send to This. to a When we came at the into his garden.' who would give you a high price for these . he took me aside. 'I treasures. learning poet he is not without genius. howHe disagreed with me on ever. You must me every day. but afteryears before saved his life. of Tassoni. . close ' is the Rhone. allowed him to enjoy his opinion. " According to my promise. where he changed his wig and the little cap he used to wear under it as a preservative . having much writing to do. His and Petrarch. ' ' thousand " C. ' correspondence.' said ' Tassoni was a the only tragi-comic poem Italy possesses. I endeavored to conI nevertheless disappointed his expectations.' Dine with " I accepted the offer. and went with running water. had if these men not really deserved the admiration that great plying of all who had studied them they would not have acquired the high reputation which they still maintained. amounting perhaps to a hundred. This. of which he styled himseK to the extremity of a long avenue. Homer. me ' the creator. letters.280 " V. "I accompanied Voltaire into his sleeping-room. wards Voltaire entered into a conversation with me about the constitution of Venice .' said he. vince him that no country in the world enjoyed greater liberty than Venice. Dante. judgment of the works of these He could not refrain from writing exactly men is well known. will converse together. and this has greatly I contented myself with merely reinjured him in the public opinion. He against rheumatism. He had Tronchin. great as objects represented themselves to his own mind. I went to dine with Voltaire on the fol- lowing day. which I have answered. and met the Duke de Villars. On ' his writing-table and among other the ''is La Secchia Repita ' lay several Italian poets.' said he. " V. and evinced great ingenuity and much learning but his conclusions were generally erroneous I. he knew that I was dissatisfied with the government .' is my You ' see here nearly fifty Do you keep copies of your Of a great many of them.' and Mont Blanc. know booksellers answers ? I keep an amanuensis for that purpose. This. ' LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. same time directed my attention to the beautiful France. but returned to my inn. He afterwards began a of he had Geneva prospect conversation upon Italian literature.

but I unfortunately quoted a passage of Horace. must rule.' " V. He was constantly applauded. " should have parted good friends. Would you then see the people possessed of sovereignty ? I wish to see free. But what do you then desire ? If only one is to rule. The booksellers. pray. And if you were to succeed. which I hate as much as slavery. This word reminds me of despotism. lie always laughed at them himself. he would.' Then superstition is necessary for ! .' " C.' " C. ' God forbid Only o/i^.VISITORS AT LES D^LICES. what would you substitute for it ? "V. " V. whose fortune he made. he was the only person who then sixty-six years of age. the booksellers. on the contrary. I am asked what I will put in its place for ' : ' ! " C. Let me hear nothing of monarchy. I love mankind But freedom and ' " V. and only one. gave a good dinner. the world wants them as happy as myself. 'I believe you might spare yourself the trouble of this contest.' ^ you will never succeed in extirpating superstition. although his satires were sometimes very severe.000 livres. ' Horace had had to contend with superstition.' . and thus promoted their circulation. ' " C.' ! it. On the contrary. and most of the company joined him. rich He was In fact. The rules which he has given us will never become obsolete. ' Which is it ? You do not write If ' contenfus paucis lecforibus. Horace was a great teacher of dramatic poetry. One of his rules you neglect.' " C. I can' ' not view him in any other character than that of a monarch. like myself. without it the people will not obey the monarch. to say something flattering to Voltaire. We ' ' " V. He gave them his works as a present. should work but perhaps you have already published something ? " C. ' ' ' V. lish a ' 281 you ever pub' Be on your guard with . " ' But superstition does not devour it. but you do it as becomes a great man. except only the Cramers. and two hours passed away in social conversation. It was impossible to keep a better house than Voltaire did. 'I w'ill begin when I ara older. and had an annual income of 125. and entertained We the whole circle. 'I admire that when I deliver the world from a monster which devours it. Where do you superstition find that slavery renders a nation happy ? " C.' 1 Content with few readers. have written for the whole world. Those who assert that he became by taking an unfair advantage over the booksellers are mistaken. The great poet shone. acted unfairly towards him. and can never agree.' " were now called to join the company. " V. . " V. ' " C.

Your ' predominant passion makes you blind. and philosoj^hers will not obey. I lament that he so. ]f you had read my writings. and prepared for my departure. Its chief value consisted in its promptness. 'I spent three delightful days with him. cannot the opinion of Hobbes. It is dear to them. from the pen of this 1 great man. chagrin. whom. asked ' I should never have forgiven myself.' this We . He is a man to whom we must bow." is Whence your fault. I then paid my respects to INIadame Denis. a people must be kept in subjection. But Addison says that such a monarch. ' ! ! ! Very " possibly all we are both mistaken. I adhere to evils we must choose tlie least. ' now furnished the seasoning. which. and I think well of him. out of generosity. They intend for them. Ha ha ha He thinks ill of me. "V. he had liberated. 'I think You render him justice. It has ever been a feast to me to pay my homage to the great geniuses of left me whence I came. in chains.' '' C. both old and new. jects our conversation on literary suband I remained silent as long as Voltaire continued with the We now concluded company. therefore. Leave them. they would only become unhap^iy and wicked. If they followed JiJst Voltaire. To be happy. in restraint. V. ' in reality be found.282 LITE OF VOLTAIRE. but love them are not susceptible of the benefit you your advice.' " C. but also with some portion of made me a severe judge of all that I .' " V.' " C.' " ubi peccus. Of two A people without superstition will become philosophers.^ It as they are. wishing to change the subject of our conversation. offering to execute any commissions she might have for Rome. not without self-satisfaction at my last combat with this athletic champion ten years. such a chief. you would have seen that I have proved superstition to be the greatest enemy to kings. and then he will for he could not then .' " V. I never laughed more than when I read that Don Quixote found himself in the greatest perplexity how he should defend himself against the galley-slaves. 'I would have him to rule over a free people. 'I have read and studied your writings repeatedly. and never moi-e assiduously than when I differed from you in opinion. is love for the human race. applauded answer. for read. Love mankind.' You must have been pleased with Monsieur did not exercise equal justice towards you.' " C. be their head. had 1 Switzerland without having seen the celebrated Haller. 'I congratulate you. too. the monster that devours them. and you have " de Haller. . the age. " C. without our calling him monarch act arbitrarilv. From Roches.' "V.

He launched into warm commendation of of whose one Crdbillon.. ' . not Casanova also touched " La Pucelle. giving as a farewell. above all." he wrote to Collini. upon living and recent Italian authors. and.' " ! . In 1765 Voltaire sold it. much. Les Delices reason that he could no longer support the fatigue of receiving such crowds of visitors as the nearness of that villa to Geneva brought upon him. " It is exulted in the lordlj^ freedom of his tenure.VISITORS AT DELICES. " I have thought. "that. that the repulsion between host and guest was not all on one side." he " to be independent wrote to his niece. but to have found the secret of being independent in France is more than to have written La Henriade. his erratic guest ascreeins: with him on several of them." He was proud of his new abode. trao. therefore. and favored Voltaire with the recital of a passage. 283 These are pleasing interviews." without knowing what it was nor who u})on had written it.edies he had translated into Italian verse. He also derived the impression that INIadame Denis excessively admired Frederic H. Madame de Fontaine. too. But. and present the circle of Les Voltaire conversed much with Ddlices in an attractive light. and it is probable. as I have only one bod}^ I ought not to have But Ferney had already been his for some two houses. he years.

in writing to he employed the word colosse.CHAPTER XXIV. a revenue of a hundred thousand francs. vassals. in imitasez The French words tion of the Roman Cato. who " Such is my opinion I also finished every speech by saying. object is not to hinder our lack- enemy of philosophy and few days after. Crush the monster. persecutor of philosophers." A the same staunch friend and allj% " To overthrow the colossus. He was grand seigneur. At sixty-five. he fell into the habit of ending his more familiar letters with those words. in stroyed. with "two leagues of He He land about him. and a fame the most intense and the widest spread that litei'ature " will had ever given a man during his life-time. gardens." Then he explained a " The little what he meant. possessed hi richest abundance what common men covet and rest m. think that Carthage must be de- At first he used the word fcmtome. . printed at the head of this chapter. had now reached the goal of commonplace aspii'ation. a parish church in which he was entitled to be prayed for. some good pictures. you your colleagues [in Encyclopaedia]. he was yet to do the chief of the work which will make him interesting to remote part posterity. chateaux. only five or six philosophers who understand one another are necessary. ." " 1757. a little vain of his peaches ? So far from it that he only entered upon the phase of his career which gives him universal importance about the time of his building Ferney. " What " he do with it ? Will he subside now into a benevolent and tranquil country gentleman. At the period of his settlement at Ferney. feCRASEZ L'INFAME. he concluded thus Courage and the continue. EeraVlnfdme^ ^a^y he translated. to : . a heterogeneous library of five thousand volumes. a park three miles in circuit. overthi'ow the hideous phantom. as when. writing to D'Alembert.

he again particularizes spirit of tolerance. E. brothers. and in the destruction of Vinf. he settled upon Eerasez Vlufdme as the battle-cry of the faithful. and to inspire the Some daj's after.. abbreviate the words to Ecr. I will give a few^ examples. V. and in the communion of all our holy patriarchs. Vinf" My . skillfully. Vinf. in Marcus Antoninus." " Tlie Jansenist and the Molinists are tearing one another. all are tarred with the " for whose frustration D'Alembert was again same brush : . Vinf. Not unfrequently. he would . with- out giving " 1 am it a moment's Your impassioned brother. always interested in the success of the French drama. other. health is pitiable.I:CRASEZ L'lXFAME. Occa- show iar To sionally he would write. jEcr." " Fanatic papists. and make their ruin the steps to the throne of truth." " Attack. the progress of philosophy. which must never be ' lost sight of. that to it to the state in which reduce sary is it the main point. in the only corner left. all Valete fratres." " Engage all my brethren to pursue Vinf. I embrace my brethren in Confucius. in Julian. and the abasement of Vinf. Ah Vinf ! " " O combat even to my brethren. his way of using a phrase which has now become familand famous. Sometimes he used them in jest often with passionate vehemence. . Vinf. just as Cato Such is my opinion. 285 it is to rescue fathers of eys from going to mass or sermon families from the tyranny of impostors.' " said. dered to the human race. Vlnf. VI. fanatic Calvinists. of truth. is What interests me all of you. but much more in the brethren." pause. exhorted to labor. and unit is covering their shameful wounds necessary to crush one by the . in the haste of finishing his letter. '' ! ! "I end always Does the comic opera still sustain the glory of France Ecr. It is England and you can the greatest service that can be renin . with voice and pen. in Socrates. your last breath." my letters by saying: Eer.^ and sometimes he would repeat this abbreviation many times in the same letter. is It is neces- succeed in tliis if you will. As the fight grew hotter and the combatants more numerous. I embrace tenderly the brethren in Lucretius. Vinf" " I embrace all the brethren. in Cicero. He rang all the changes upon these words. and Carthage must be destroyed. etc. taken from the end- ings of letters to such devoted friends of the cause as bert and Damilaville : — D'Alem- " I want you to crush Vinfume . the propagation of the faith.

which he was so passionately desirous of crushing? And why this access of zeal. fratres. in the had the warmth of your noble soul. I hate all tyranny." I salute all How can you say that Vinf. Thirty years before. Vinf' tender benediction to am My all the brethren. The Infdme which Voltaire had in his mind when he wrote 1 Voltaire to D'Alembert. et viEcr. in the decline of his life. my dear lirolher. Vinf. had no part in the crime of that scoundrel [Damiens] ? It was religion that Read. June 20. and Ecr. and w hat had he to do with it ? Herault was lieutenant-general of the French poZ26'g. his reply made me do what I have done. Vinf" ' "I embrace you '' T tell you. Shall I not see you before I die ? Ecr." only his clerk." It is Voltaire himself who jDreserves this anecdote." Vive felix ! and ecr. 1760. when Herault said to him. the more implacable enemy I become of VinAdieu. I " The fcime. nor the Roman Catholic church. and enforcing claim hy pains and j^enalties. gilate. was that religion claiming supernatural authority. ecr. through whom French priests put people into dungeons. Vinf. when he was pano- these will suffice. Orate.] ! eveninc^. Vinf." he replied. but then. " You will We who was Herault. older I grow. how much Oh. if the faithful A very long list of similar utterances could be given. then. broke them on the wheel. Vinf and say to brother Protag- My We . Vinf. the lovely musical chimes that should end good they would do " with Ecrasez Vinfdme ! [To Damilaville in 1765. Vinf.' This is what he said in his examina: " tion. taking his whole zeal That is the fairest answer to view. '• dear brother. by a poet ? This question is one which demands an explicit answer. as the reader ntjt " shall destroy the Christian religion..^ But may remember. oras [D'Alembert] ecr. nor the It Christian religion. still less won. Ecr. plied about from dangerous attack by a splendor of reputation and princely opulence never before enjoyed. tenderly. . What. Nevertheless. Ecr. in the morning." " Drink to my health with brother Plato [Diderot].. Vinf " Ecr. my dear brother. we will crush it. and burnt them at the stake. life into The access of which he experienced at the time now under consideration was due to particular causes. and ecr.286 LIFE OF VOLTAIIIE. the question. the brethren. The Infdme of Voltaire was not religion. was that Infamous Thing." " Oh. Vinf" '• will crush it. see.

le soir. wielding ignorance. It was religion owning two acres of ever}' five in France (usually. the cloak of the false. and making it impracticable to honest merit. It was religion which could put an ugly tall question pot upon the head of a clown... and Hood. et dites a frere Pro- le matin. a crooked stick in his hand.' cover him all over with tawdry raiment. the most ancient and powerful of all alliances. the best two}. indolence. endow him with an imposing title and a prince's revenue. as well as from his early acquaintance witli The case of Thomas Hood is one in point. that of tli^ Medicine-Man and the Chief. we usually tiiid that they suffered from it acutely in childhood or youth. as Voltaire doubtless did from the craven austerity of his elder brother. and employing to enforce the claim the power and resources of a government. and placing it solid and entire in the only path by which the human race could advance. the weapon of the cruel. If we look into the early British men noted for their hostility to it. Herault. ]M. It was religion killing and vii-tue itself religion. It was religion with the Bastille antl the rack at its command. making contemptible by resting its claim on grounds untenable and ridiculous. It was tagoras. It was religion the mania of the weak. upon the intellect of France. rinf. with modern means and appliances to assist both. and then sit him down. Armand. such as Hume. Vinf. It was l'Infame Voltaire was mistaken in supposing that Vlnfdme had no ! lives of existence in Protestant England. ion making an Ass of Mirepoix the censor of a Newton in Kewton's own subjects. and able to expel from the other three the noblest Frenchmen who called in its tenets. et Scr. The most careless reader of his works must have observed that he loathed the British form of Vlnfdme with something like Voltaire's sustained intensity. It was religion the of whole mass and cowardice. It was religion smoothing the upward to servile path mediocrity. Ecr.£CRASEZ L'INFAME. It was religion keeping an ear always open to receive from women secrets not told to parent or liusband. 2S7 mon cher frere^ ecr. Gibbon. It was the worst thing that ever was in the world. and never lost a chance to give it a lunge with his rapier. Vinf. was religion claiming supernatural authority. Shelley. It was religsquat like a toad. Vinf. Scr. Dickens. At the end of one of his later let- .

at his end for the means of living. he at length turned upon her. know that my poor sister has been excited by a circle of Canters like yourself into a religious ^ frenzy. his in which. "I am an apprentice Voltaire replied. In France. watchmaker. in his day. . 109. somewhat too violent. I will give some work to-morrow. 2 Souvenirs. more be wanting. perhaps. like Hood. Some of his ablest and best allies were atheists. taking out his " the watch a de Gleichen. He seems to have thought so himself. that. with less reverence than a Mohawk and squaw would have exhibited. for example." way say. also. although our trades are opposed. interrupted with her jargon almost my very last interview with my dying parent." ^ evidently felt at times the staggering difficulty of recas. relates that a young author. and adhered to his belief in a superintending deity. proves who wits' visited him in 1757. and wrote her a letter." Baron watch. he used language Tract. and is at this moment in a private mad-house. at your service. I you some supper to-night and wish to avail myself of your arms. madam. taire mark. tered we have the secret. Such reminiscences warrant some severity . 1860. An awful widow having long peshim with her insolent tracts and impious admonitions. my memory reminds me Your mode of recalling yourthat your fanatical mother in- mine in the last days of her life (which was marked by every Christian virtue) by the presentation of a Tract addressed to Infidels. knocked one day at the poet's door." '' I have the honor to be a master deist . that spirit had blank lettres de cachet in its secret Let me reportfolio. farewell. He had a short and easy " he would with them. on the chamber of death. Boston. and concluded his performance with an apology — — : — " self to And now. and to recommend himself said. I remember also that the same heartless sulted woman intru. page 213. not of your head. by his Son. atheist [^gargon athee].ded herself. but." that VolIt was this spirit it what name you will give but if — — abhorred with a detestation so intense. as he styled it. the existence of so onciling obvious facts md He — much innocent and 1 the profitless suffering in world — with the 2 Memorials of Thomas Hood.288 ters LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. he set limits to his dissent. Gentlemen. and the French police to serve them.

to him for the act. the superstitious man is brutally stupid. however. Bartholomew. " The atheist [he once wrote] to . but you can never cure radically the superstiatheist can be cured broil for a century.tCRASEZ L'lXFAME. man. and kept France in a bloody is a monster that will devour only Superstition is another monster." he had the feeling al" If there were no ways which he once expressed so neatly : Such remained God. poles. compared ." GO CEuvres de Voltaire. my and fanaticism are the two poles of a universe of conThe narrow zone of virtue is between those two fusion and horror. and sing a Jewish canticle with full throat while burning friends. The atheist will violate has never had any ideas of his own. 1 it would be necessary to invent him. 289 simple theory of tlie universe that has come down to us from But any other theory then current the chiklhood of our race. chapter xi. which will appease his hunger. 320. The atheist is a Iphigenia about to espouse Achilles but the fanatic will piously slay her upon the altar." his conviction as Ions: as he lived. VOL. Histoire dc Jeuni. Atheism. tious but who who man of understanding. 1769. believe in a good God. who is mistaken. 97-volume edition. I have always remarked that an rend men for conscience' sake. Yes. massacres of St. atheism Jews at the stake. Without ever being in the least " devout. 19 . II. and be good. thinks for himself. . in order to give a supper to his loose companions . and believe that Jupiter will be much indebted . tenable and he thought the idea of a still less seemed to him " " both to philosophy and to mornecessary Supreme Being he deemed a sHght and curable malals. but the fanatic will celebrate an auto-da-fe. in that church. March with a -^ firm step in that path . unutterable with" that thing which caused the ady. The atheist will steal a golden vessel from a church.

solvent. with all possible brevity. sane. It was the miserable history of half-developed . slow lapse of time. the anew the zeal of Voltaire against Vlnto reconsecrate his life to a systematic fdme and caused him endeavor to crush it. during a Switzerland. wars. Voltaire found it a bloody and a hideous thing its history only to be fitly told in sobs and shrieks. read a histoi-y of in thirty hours . Reading a rapid. the destitute. in a word. revolutions. Studying religion in the library. and the criminal of a great city are massed so effectively that a stupendous sum of anguish and depravity can be viewed in two hours. as to be often related whatever is and long remembered. the sick. which history records crimes. THE PROVOCATION. striking history of the religious wars is something like spending an afternoon upon BlackwelFs Island. it is : ion of old and new . we are inclined to regard him.CHAPTER XXV. as a the excejjtional. Let us remember that he had been his residence in in much employed. The obliging Macaulay who accompanies the visitor does not keep dinning in his ears that for every one of those unhappy persons there are a hundred on the next island who are well. rule. so extraordinary Nor has the lit- erary art yet devised a mode of keeping the swift reader in mind of the slow. catastrophes. the collapse of empires. and the more the the Thirty Years' " and the more excellent historian has " We War grouped condensed. where the mad. . the fierce collisMoeurs"}. It remains now events which inflamed to indicate. the downfall of kings and dynasties. and that alone. epidemics. and virtuous. But effective grouping deceives by making the reader insensible of the intervals of time and the wide extent of space. for. rapid review and reconstruction of his sketch of Universal History (" Essai sur les Rapid reviews of history are misleading.

wlien he read the last proofs of tlie sixth volume of his " Essai sur les Moeurs. kept his country in a broil for fourteen years. no sacraments. warmly encourthe and her and children. in other words. Bull a condition of absolution to dying penitents. and to enforce the supremacy of Like most of the extremely mischievous men. moral. was Sacred No solution. who b^gan this business of " and Boyer his own account. race. in which he saw infuriate men contesting points Such impressions respecting which certainty was impossible.THE PROVOCATION. It was Boyer " of Mirepoix. of France. his masterpiece of insolence its and ab- his attempt to make the acceptance of the folly. 291 man. obstinate. and without intelligence. he read of all those horrors with a modernized mind or. Bartholomew's day. seemed about to overwhelm and crush the intellect Then and science taire. among the least meritorious churchof his generation. men Jean-Francois Boyer. He was not in jest ^Vhen be used to say that he always had an access of fever on St. " ass " enough to believe in the system of fictions of which liimself was jiart. and this he did. it was that the ecclesiastical powers. Moreover. who began crushing on . who assigned to him the bestowal of the church's fat things." in which religion rarely appears or fairly could appear except as the scourge and opprobrium of our imperfect . for the time. no burial in conse- crated ground He chose Paris as the scene of this experi- . have accomplished his purpose but for the genius. not Vol- crushing must. He used his power with unswerving purpose to crush opposition to the Bull Unigenitus. important act. he was just the man to push a despotism far on toward first His destruction. disinterested. he was strictly moral. and seems to have coveted nothing for himself but power. his influence being wholly due to the favor of the royal family. no sacraments I . actively supported by aged by queen the king. Probably. as these were most fresh and vivid upon his mind in 1758. and tact of Voltaire. a dull man. too. Sincere. through him alone was fortune or rank to be won in the church. with a sense of the absurd futility of religious controversy. It was he who gave rich abbeys and nominated bishops . unknown as preacher or theologian. he was the church over the human mind. audacity.

were in the and were chanted in the hymns breviary daily churches. ful producers recompensed by an the end of his days. Avho was held in veneration by the — Jansenists scholar. the principal of the Colhe whose lege of Beauvais died without the sacraments. in common with a majority of the educated religious Frenchmen of his generation. Where was he and honored by men of the world as poet and to be buried ? His remains were . he induced him to require his parish priests to withhold the last sacraments from Jansenists who refused to accept the Bull as an article of faith.292 ment. The afflicted famto the in turn. there is an ingredient of intellect. and thus had failed to acquire a bil- thousand francs. aged seventy-two. among other genial Jansenist. generally entertained at the time. whose pupils adorned high places of the liberal professions all over France. small indeed. the last rites without falling under the censure of his superilast sickness. and and In hypocrisy bigoted sincerity that dares such inhuman folly. signed by the curd of the parish. ily appealed the archbishop. he raised that institution to the highest point of celebrity. sound upon the Bull. One instance will serve to show the exquisite working of this new rule. While the archors. poet. not give him absolution and administer because he could him. who sustained the priests. several of which were printed in the authorized prayer-books. Having appointed Beaumont Archbisliop of Paris. died at Paris Charles Coffin. LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. Advanced by Rollin to the mastership of the College of Beauvais in Paris. which some gratepoems. This was going far. a certificate that he w^as de confession^ as it was termed. annual gift of the wine to he composed Latin hymns. aud gained by it a private fortune of four hundred But. who. cure of the parish refused also. famous scholar. In his let — Father Carme. a old timid man. The bishop was considering the matter. and it confirms the suspicion. his confessor for thirty years. illustrious school-master. of his sincere It is only blind strong belief in the necessity of the rite. 1749 (the year in which Voltaire was set free by Madame du Chatelefs death). Afterward. written an ode to he had champagne. he could not accept the Bull Unigenitus. referred them to magistracy. past eighty. was unwilling to confess good. but usually sufficient to prevent persistence in a policy quite luinous. venerated In early life. In June.

" refused to perform the service. slight check upon the abso- lutism of the king the more precious because it was the only An edict imposing a tax was not law until the parliaone. whom he had frustrated. and even to detain him a few hours a prisurgent. had the instinct of his order considerably developed he vaguely felt that his position in the rSgime was a kindred fiction to that of .THE PROVOCATION. he also died. less est minds. where it was entombed with extraordinary solemnity. 373. He lent. yet this was an extreme measure. Coffin. Then. struck the lightIt alarmed thoughtful citizens as a breach in the system that made the French people one family. It led directly and immediately to that long. social contest over the pillows of dying saints. last struggle between the king and the parliament of Paris. in the presence of four thousand persons. sent to the king a remonstrance against these which spoke the feelings of the . dull in all else. and not resorted to unless the case was This parliament. " " 293 parish. the authority and prestige of his ofiice to all the besotted follies of 1 Boyer and Beaumont. dared on this occasion to arrest the Molinist cure. the archbishop. ment had formally registered it and though the king. could command it to register an edict. many of wliom had been his pupils. "the good Molinist'' of a curd. The same evening. which constitutes the chief part of the preliminary history of the French Revolution. It also proceedings of the archbishop. a "good Molinist. and that neither could long survive the other. and compel obedience to the command. 4 Journal de Barbier. presented at the church of his own The cnv6. the collective magistracy and The parliament of Paris supreme court of the city .^ Such events as these have consequences. by coming in person to the parliament. French people but the king allowed a whole year to pass without giving an answer. to impose a fine upon him. The person chiefly instrumental in arranging and compelling this honorable burial was the nephew of M. — — was a . had his revenge in refusing him also the last consolations of the church of which he was This new mode of holy warfare. the body. . Six montlis after. oner. Saint-Jean-de-Beauvais. therefore. This king. was conveyed to the chapel of the college. this hearta devoted member. a distinguished lawyer of Paris. strongly Jansenist in its convictions.

and the king annulled the order for his arrest. and the archbishop abruptly deprived them of their pLices. and dispatched their solicitor-general to entreat him to administer The prelate allowed him the sacraments to the dying abbd. estimable ladies. Extreme unction was soon Maire. . claiming that their offices were purely secuThe king's council declared them spiritual. so trivial and so . the archbishop. soon after. dismissed people. Some of the . The parliament of Paris took up the cause of these lar. was indignant the contributions to the hospital fell off tlie inmates suffered. victims It belonged to the archbishop to appoint all the the hospital whose functions were of a spiritual nature. parliament. and the other the hospital of Paris. of old as a leader of the Jan- cussing this " " The parliament remained in session till new outrage they condemned the midnight. Whereupon. the pauper patients the hospital was only a swifter and surer death. There was another violent rupture between the king and the to die without the last rites. and hurried out to Versailles to complain to the king that the parliament was laying its hands upon holy things.294 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. . his arrest. They were known to be Jansenists. Attention being thus strongly directed to the hospital. and sent officers in quest of him. whereupon the parliament issued an order for The curd escaped. ordered the archbishop to put a stop to such scandals. the parliament refused to register the royal declaration. disMolinist curd. refused to the Abb^ le known . and ceased to administer justice and while every the lawyers closed their offices branch of the government was in this broil. poor invalids died for want after of help. atrocious. officers of their catechism. senists. All Paris . a venerable priest. The king ordered the proceedings against the curd to be canceled . and there- fore subject to the archbishop. two ladies of Jansenist opinions from their offices in the great One was the matron.nithority because they sometimes heard the younger patients say stewardess. These men showed a perverse tact in selecting the kind of who were surest to excite the ardent sympathies of the For example. its affairs were found to be abominably administered so large a part of its revenues were absorbed in pensions and allowances to persons not connected with it that to . and he claimed that these ladies were subject to his .

siding with the ecclesiastics. the contengrew every year more heated and irreconcilable. give you the communion as The young women entered comJesus gave it to Judas. par Voltaire. and ought not to come between an More than accused person and the administration of justice. Histoire du Parlement de . 1 One hundred and eighty members resigned Everything betokened confusion. priest of the diocese of Lan- A gres. were of this ordinance ten thousand copies instantly sold in " This is word and the Paris. the air is fdled eted. in December. prerogatives of the parliaments. until. and remonstrated with him Avith warmth and eloquence. could be truly said to " sap the foundations of throne and altar. my billet de shame of tliese occurrences fell finally vaguel}'' . especially in France. in the last resort. king replied ment. From 1749. receiving no satisfaction from the government. chapter Ixv. ever men Nothing could recall them to reason. wisest and most eminent 295 members of tlie parliament Avent to the kinir. when Paris. while publicly giving the communion to two girls accused " I of Jansenism. psissed everywhere. with exasperating anecdotes. because Boj^er had the bestowal of everything which ambitious ecclesiastics covAt such a time. attended by the peers and dignitaries of his tion kingdom. The The next day the parliaand coldly. conceded to the ecclesiastics nearly everything they limited ancient the claimed. issued a solemn ordinance." it was Boyer and the Archbishop of Paris. and forbade them to cease administering justice. who thus invoked the destruction both of their order and of If his. " under pt-nalty of disobedience. and the local parliament condemned him to apologize. in a solemn bed of justice. and to pay to each of the tAvo communicants a mar- Everywhere there riage portion of fifteen hundied francs. held at Versailles." plaint against him. 1756. said to them. the king. the king always. in which it engaged not to cease its endeavors to repress such scandals declaring that the Bull Unigenitus was not an article of faith.THE Pl^OVOCATION. the most menacing divergence between the parliaments was and the bishops. dwelling especially upon the obvious fact that the upon religion itself." their judicial offices. '^ confession ! ^ The mania could not fail to of refusing the sacraments to dying Jansenists spread into the provinces.

Marmontel upon literary subjects Haller Holback upon chemistry. Buff on ences dependent . laying under contribution the practical men. forcing the public and thus these menacing questions.296 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. of the Seven Years' War . the quays. restored the royal prestige. unless throve upon the credulity and degradation of the mind. Boyer but. from had not ceased to labor . and taste of France warmly rallied. mind eral into other channels quickly followed. enemies continued. make many. The disasters made king . France than Voltaire. heart. From the clopaedia. Rousseau proach wrote upon music D'Alembert upon mathematics and the sci. Montesquieu left an jects appertaining unfinished article for it Condorcet was a contributor. who had rare and precious it assistance.the editors was the same as that now pur- sued in the execution of similar works subject was assigned to be treated among ourselves: each acquainted with to it . attractive. Boyer and such as he had viewed the Encyconducted by Diderot and D'Alembert. first. he had appointed bishops and archbishops of his own kind and hence the strife between the intellect of France and its their policy died in 1755 . the penknife of Damiens. gave Diderot frequented workshops. factories. with less point. and the genownership of France. as to the rights of man. during the whole of his tenure of power. were postponed for thirty-two yeai's. bazaars. to political economy. and enabled the king to end his days an absolute monarch. It human had no warmer friend its in the day of announcement in 1750." said Madame de Pompadour and the the same remark. to which the best mind. knowledge. It was altogether a noble design. Turgot upon subupon physiology. in a day. and comfortable with it. . " After us the deluge. but could not arrange clearly upon paper. which they could put into iron and fabrics. . farms. it and from which no class had anything to fear. . the rights of conscience. with natural This work was an honest and patriotic scheme to aversion. the knowledge possessed by the few accessible to the The plan of . by the person or persons best and was to be handled with as near an ap- freedom as the censors would permit. vineyards. and make France rich. 5 Nothing allayed the unteachable zeal of the ecclesiastics and their temper remained unchanged. counting-rooms. who.

: cient institution. the abbd absent at the he time. the fire-engine. sympathizing mind. young Frenchman arrived in Berlin in 1752. but from his career. had risen how this deejjly offended the Jesuit upon this young doctor. his thesis bert. To all of wdiich. and. even in its infancy.THE PROVOCATION. who had expected to contribute the theological articles. "do you say that the sciences are more indebted to France than to any other nation ? Is it to the French that we are indebted for the quadrant. the Abbd de Prades. for it witli patriotic enthusiasm 297 and disinterestedness. Bishop of Mirepoix. a fugitive from Paris. how. not to be biased in their judgments by patriotic feeling. in several amusing letters. in a pamphlet. under . pi'ocured reader to the king. had menaced him with a lettre de cachet^ in terror of which he had fled to Berlin. but gave valuable hints to the editors. related in ample detail. lately vacated by the w^orthy Darget. them. how the Jesuit fathers. generous entertaining gave him the place of for on Frederic's return. a fugitive. the seed-sower? Parhleu^ you are jesting We have invented only the wheelbarrow. the theory of light. begun with high hopes and most auspicious promise. for example. the enterprise." he asks D'Alembei-t. What could he personally gain from anonymous articles in such a "svork? He not only wrote for it. stirred up all the powers against liim. deaf to justice and to policy. bearing a letter of introduction to him from D'Alem- A This abb^ told his story how he had passed his theological examination triumphantly at the Sorbonne. being unanimously approved by the hundred doctors of that anwhich was to orthodox theology what the French Academy was to polite literature. he had accepted an invitation from Diderot to write for the . Voltaire listened The King of Prussia bewith indignant. inoculation." and suggestions He cautioned ! He was it still in Prussia was in Prussia that when the first volume appeared and he heard of the danger which threatened . ment. how the Anc. some of the theological articles EncyclopaKlia authors of the " Dictionnaire de Trevoux. not from his country only. as well as much sound advice. after this honorable unanimous admission to the Sorbonne. and even induced the Sorbonne itself to reverse its approval of his thesis." which the new work " effaced " in public estimation. "Why. Voltaire published the story in 1752. a ruined man.

" and library.vord to this day their calm. the publishers sold nearly four thousand of the seventh volume. "You are a liar!" cried one. Every year a new volume appeared.'' Having spoken. the editors. it would have been greater but for the dread of interference and suspension that lung over the minds of the conductors. and the assembly. a short time before. the debate proceeded gained with more moderation. pressed through a crowd of reverend fathers.298 the title of LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. ord of will do what educated men and refused to give themselves the lie. The learned theologian who was thus addressed rushed toward the speaker." Soon after the abbe was established at Berlin came tidings that the first two volumes of the Encycloj^ajdia were su}> : ' ' ! As this decree did pressed by a decree of the king in council. and got in some good blows before he could be torn away. ashamed of this scene. a Bayle of 1736. I come only to cast my vote. One touch in the " Tombeau de la Sorbonne " remains a " The doctors. " Le Tombeau de la Sorbonne. the reader has but to lay open before him. not forbid the continuance of the work. From this pamphlet we learn that it cost the Sorbonne throes of anguish to censure what it had. and the influence of the work was visibly extending. to procure a royal edict that . resumed their labors . The ridiculous penknife of crazy Damiens enabled the hosenforced. At one wild session two of them came to blows. reby-'. At length. roared with laughter. tile priests. after some nor was the decree of suppression dela}"-. Silence was restored. Forty of the doctors sided with the Abbe de Prades. and was gladly received by the subscribers. I am of the opinioti of Tamthus he withdrew. The superiority of the new work was manifest and immense.' he cries. who just before were ready to fight. I have business through the throng. Beginning with two thousand subscribers. the voting began. The cure of Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois arrives. in some public " Dictionuaire de Trdvoux. in the spring of 1757. a the early volumes of tlie Encyclopaedia." an astounding rec- when folly and hypocrisyare the price of great offices and rich revenues. although nearly every article was marred in some degree by the hand or the fears of timid censors. To understand what the Encyclopaedia was to the French people of that generation. ponyiet. unanimously approved. and forces his way Gentlemen.

his predecessors. and disturb the order and tranquillity of the state shall be punished with death." nine years in the galleys. advocate Barbier recorded in his diary some terrible sentences under it La ]Marteliere. within six months. opposed all persons w'ho shall be convicted of having composed and ity . . colporteurs. the printing of any^ thing whatever in a private house or monastery. 522. and printed writings tending to attack religion. the Abb^ de Capmartin. excite the minds of the people. Therefore." The same edict assigned the penalty of the galleys to whomsoever published w'ritings without legal permit. whatever books parliament. does not permit him to suffer the unbridled license of the Avritings which are spread throughout the kingdom. have at different times the severity of the laws to similar evil. publisliers. employed in the same of : . to excite the minds of the people. was regarded as one of the panic measures the moment. 1757. to the pillory and three years' banishment . and impair his authoras the kings. verse writer. tlie to exercise in maintaining the order ceaseless attention wliich the king is bound and tranquillity of the pub- lic. to impair the royal authority. were sold everywhere with scarcely the pretense of secrecy. and in repressing whatever could disturb it. which was published a few days after the execution of Damiens. and which tend to attack religion. branding on the shoulder. nine years in the galleys eight printers and binders. for printing clandestinely Vol" " taire's " Pucelle and other " such works." Mirabeau's Spirit ments and pamphlets relating to the king's contest with the " La Pucelle. as well as the printers." docuLaws. April. and forbade. for composing works "calculated to dis- turb the tranquillity of the state. the public mind eagerly craved." " of the chronicler. and others who shall have spread them abroad. printing-office. threatened with death the authors. however. informs us that romances and as he calls them. under penalty of six thousand francs fine. such as Montesquieu's 6 Journal de Barbier. in a word. and books of which Molinist bishops disapproved : 299 — sellers of " Whereas." and.THE PROVOCATION. The same " Ami des Hommes. and degradation from his ecclesiastical rank. This decree. Nevertheless. and made many booksellers 1 " curious books.

gave French bishops an access of courageous insolence which first drove the editors of the Encyclopaedia to despair. losing India. We find. . it is the best books that the censor can most it was therefore the authors of the easily and safely obstruct the worst sufferers from the new courwho were Encyclopsedia France was faring ill in the war she of the age hierarchy. He wrote to Voltaire. 1758: ' — ' many accounts. and then put in Sensitive D'Alembert." wrote Frederic to A^oltaire. by those who have authority in their hands. was losing Canada." These two wars. losing confidence and hope. — . See this article. an editor must have been delighted to get. robust man. . in a letter noteworthy on January " I 19. useful for 1 men of letters and amateurs. everywhere and always. Hemistiche' is not a very brilliant commission. me have sent you Hemistiche and Heureux. authorized.' which you asked to write. losing prestige.-' I have. in the Philosophical Dictionary. Nev' ' ertheless.. I have notified What is cer- M. all these reasons." ires Voltaire replied. There ^vere seventy-three periodicals then published in and there was an intellectual movement of such activity Paris. joined to several others. indeed. such as an agreeable Hemistiche. thing. The odious and even infamous sat- which are published against it. it will not be coiitimied the EncycIoppBclia will be continued. but protected. LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. piece of half a dozen pages.. de Male- sherbes [minister] and the publishers that they must seek my succesI am worn out with the affronts and vexations of every kind sor. . England. In Peru and Mexico the priest has everv^thing and is every" I draw a kind of glory. 1758 " I : — know not if tain is. applauded. by me. and vehemence that it was not possible to suppress it. written an article Nothing is to be disdained. nay. which depressed and impoverished Frenchmen. January 11. never a a sudden stop to their labors. which this work draws upon us. At such times.300 rich. was the first to give up. remarking upon the burning of good books in Paris by the hangman. that whatever depresses man exalts and exaggerates the priest. bore to one another the The war with Frederic and relation of cause and effect. perhaps. "that the epoch of the war which France wages against me becomes that of the war waged at Paris against good sense. and which are not only tolerated. by decorating it a little. losing ships. oblige me to renounce forever that accursed work.. commanded.

For forty years I have carried on the wretched trade of man of letters. by which it pleased God formerly to conduct the Jewish nation. Jesuits. Infallibility. I doubt if pass with the new censors. of that time Voltairean definition of Sacred History. Why do you not address yourselves body to M. the eighth volume ticles is ever printed. divine and miraculous. also. Oh. de Malesherbes ? Why do you not prescribe the conon which you will continue? There is need of your work. terested. the calumnies which have been poured out with lavish hand. The seventh volume had just been issued. You grand work of the Encyclopaedia. and Diderot struggled on alone. and for forty years I have been overwhelmed with enemies. Inquisition. Hebrews. Intolit is which now and so many others. which was the only recompense of my labors. it Bestir yourselves. pensioned by the king [of Prussia]. abandon it do not do what your ridiculous I shall . the matter con- cerns the republic of letters. Jesus Christ. and delivered It was thus that I passed are assuredly not in that cruel and humiliating You are a situation. "I doubt. do not. Think of the crowd of ar- impossible to write: Heresy." he concluded. if you wish . Again I say. Immortality. I was alone. always add with great pleasure some grains of sand to your pyramid but do not. the eighth was in course 1 See the article in the Philosophical Dictionary.THE PROVOCATION. I say to you again. Hierarchy. is in which the nation ought to be in- yours in common with a dozen superior men. which a French censor would have first enjoyed. This over to the beasts. Hobbism. Jansenists. without a single partisan. "if your article upon History ^ can But nothing presses. and to-day to exercise our faith. erance. in a strain of mingled pathos and indignation. . give them that impertinent triumph. like an early Christian. without any support. and then erased: "Sa- cred History is a series of operations. member of two academies. but. I could make a library of the abuse which has been vomited against me. Immaterial. then. I talk to you like a rejjublican . my life at Paris. who ought to make common cause with you. tlien." The editor may naturally enough have doubted whether the The first page contained a article upon History would pass. and enemies wish . Indulgence." D'Alembert withdrew. poor republic!" To this letter the too susceptible D'Alembert replied at much length. I will do the word Comma. and you will be the has become necessary in a ditions masters. 111(1 301 it. we must stop where we are.

never-ending task all is bad that : The all is . appeared the work of Helvetius upon the human mind. ing her maitre cVhotel and protegS. facilitates it. ought to prevent its publication. when. The moral and of the whole was this generation being to educate the next. as any intelligent man's book will be. calculated to provoke thought. " with privilege. The pious. chapter xiii. Thus. limited Dauphin was seen rushing toward his mother's apartments. " De I'Esprit. entertaining sjDeculation upon man and — his motives. and not altogether without value. where precious and portable property was everywhere exposed to view.302 of LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. and that all our false judgments are the effect either of our passions or of It was also his opinion that utility is the and that our sense of utility determines our merit. preparation. . stealing was a crime but in Sparta. suggest agreeable conversation. amusing paradoxes. he beit which. chief duty of each good that promotes that supreme. Johnson's advice. " I have found nothing in judgment." and the author sent copies to the queen and her court. if he succeeds in following . in my The public leaped at it. The book was unconventional it contained Helvetius's genuine and thoughts hence it was interesting. The worthy Tercier. stealing was a virtuous act ^ There were many other getting found out was the crime. hinders of the This brave book had a fortune resembling that of the thesis Abbe de Prades. saying. It seemed and fortunate farmer-general that " physical susceptibility and memory produce all our ideas. and devoured it. where there was nothing but chickens and vegetables to appropriate. ." test of . volume i. and where vigilance and address were the price of independence. in France. our ignorance." two volumes of harmless. The second edition was quickly called for all the world de. handsome. to whom the manuscript was submitted for examination. and clears his mind of cant. chief clerk in the department of foreign affairs. with the volumes in his hand.. . moral judgments. as they presented themselves to a rich." The work was accordingly printed. and lead on toward better methods of investigation. to this opulent Dr. reported. and popular man of the world. in tlie spring of 1758. " I am going to the queen to show her the cried 1 De I'Esprit.

This decree.dia since 1746. " What a fuss about an omelet cried. a martyr. chapter .is wol executed to the letter. which this uproar of censure. were published cum privilegio. w. Voltaire regretted its appearance almost as much as he wondered at the ex" he citement it created." it was publicly burned by the hangman. rash. any one its audacities were not flattering to human nature and the lightness of its tone offended many. are It so 1 mighty to prevent good. . canceled the privilege had been enjoyed by the Encyclopa. at the time for full details of this v. The royal privilege was revoked. The sale of the seven volumes was prohibited. or jiointed to the top of the next page. it is true. one of which was Voltaire's " Loi Naturelle. and.THE PROVOCATION." It is more probable that the young heir to the throne showed her the paragraph in which the English are censured for styling Charles I. good-tempered book like this. and the further issue of the work forbidden. of the public " burning of tiie . Very probably he directed her attention it is said that republics foster virtue better a cooper with mind. a Marius you will make " a Cartouche of him to the place where : than monarchies . The volumes continued to appear. but not before two editions The book was suppressed. might " at Paris turn out a Themistocles." by John Morley. with Helvetius's book pleased scarcely all the usual ceremonies. but they were emasculated and disfigured fuinishing annual proof that the weakest governments in jNIarch. Poor Tercier. ! It was enough." Emboldened by whole body ment. the governof " philosophers by royal decree. in a republic. perhaps he ran a wrathful finger down the page in which the persecutilings he showed her tion of philosophers by fanatic devotees is descanted upon.^ chanced that. but only in the spirit. fine 303 " ! which her maitre d'hStel has printed Perhaps tlie j^lace where the sustained power and elegance of the "illustrious" Voltaire are extolled. ! secret. who had seen no harm in a chatty. 175l>. where the inquisitors who condemned Galileo are frankly styled " imbeciles. worth to him twenty thousand francs a year. was turned out of his two offices. of wliich the " had their share. . Others blamed the author for "blabbing everybody's ."^ee melancholy history Diderot. along with eight others.

nine books in Paris and the suspension of the Encyclopaedia. Twelve cannot a illiterate men. as we well know. He had discovered. Bai-tholomew . The existing generation of educated. his allies in Paris.304 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. and the very censors who condemned a book surdly inconsistent his offices it. readily to his influence. took him into confidence. employed him in secret service. his works. his throngs of visitors. and caused him. there was displayed on every bookseller's counter in the city the Abb^ de Caveirac's "Apology for Louis new work of edification. An author. in which the author asserted that the expulsion of the Huguenots was a good to France. I shall put that book in his cage. Voltaire's " Nat" ural Religion was burnt by the hangman in March. with a Dissertation upon the " Day of St. of the reading public of the city was laugh- . the might of ridicule. while he was new estates in order. his kings. " Helvetius. He could send a little manuscript to Thieriot by a safe hand. the taste which he gratifies and we find the Parisians of that time curiously susceptible to Voltaire's lightest word. and in a week the whole ing over it. he would sny. his letters and conversation. upon the work with as much confidence as zeal. and then pensioned often loved : him. from the expei'iment of Doctor Akakia. was a house divided against itself. He thought he could do this. and that relio-ion had nothing to do with the massacres. and his Council touching the Revo- cation of the Edict of Nantes. has to create . all were destined to be promptly weapons . entitled XIV. What they persecute M. This was the work of which Voltaire wrote. the errors of the enemy. to devote the remainder of his days to crushing it. The king himself was abhe permitted Tercier to be dismissed from for relishing Helvetius's book. of philosophers eradicate his his fame. founded a religion . and endure monsters These were some of the events which kindled afresh the ! ! ire of getting his Voltaire against VIvfdme. as Frenchmen himself had Wordsworth remarks. too. and continued to be sold everywhere for two francs. and it lent itself The regime. band Vhifdme? He fully believed and he therefore entered they could. utilized. public events. He also knew well the public he had formed. and gave him an old age of peaceful study. " I have bought a bear. when the obBut this was only one of ject assailed is in itself ridiculous. 1759.

You do but do vou believe that the world will chauire ? ." he wrote to D'Argental. . more than three fourths of mankind are fear of the be the slaves of the absurdest fanaticism. and they detest the sage who The mass of our species is stupid [sot] and the theologians assure us. He does a huudred difPerent tilings His genius retains its vigor. also. it interests them no more than the mythology of the ancients. A certain letter has appeareil Mercury wliich I should so much have wished him to siipI can no longer do anytliing in tluit way. Every wild beast withiu him. II." No remonstrance moved him ^ . from the midst of his armies. then continue ? " It is only the charm of your style that makes . that I groan over them without being able to prevent their If I were not sensitive I should be very happy. hell is fascinating to The and of wishes to enlighten them." ^ The King of Prussia. He is appearance. is The human mind formed devil to weak . provided I avoid making the least objection to anyThis is the course which I have adopted. Age has given him an invincihle obstinacy. sure. I am so convinced uncle ' of tins that very often I avoid reading his manuscripts. " the enemies of "If. he had enlisted for the war. The following was a famous passage " in its da}^. 20 . as to the substance of the matter. in the jiress. people read with pleasure what you write on that subject for. find it answers very well. man has a most men . 305 Matlame Denis found liim unmanageable from 1759. VOL. wicked. and wrote of it as men of the world usually do of such things. very kind to me. Few know how to enchain him let loose the rein God of which. and is still quoted : — Your well to combat error zeal burns against the Jesuits and the superstitions. page 61. fewdays after the news reached their retreat of the solemn burn'' De I'Esprit " and the " Loi Naturelle." she wrote to ing of one of her friends : A — " My ' at once. and I thing that he does. common sense Feruey. when the terror of the laws does not restrain them. they carry the imprint. is always at work. observed the renewed zeal of his old master. when you see things which he had better not have written. Siie him that every person of sense thought as he did wdiy .THE PROVOCATION. against wliich it is impossible to it is the Be struggle only mark of old age that I perceive in hira. Voltaire h. I look in vain among them for that image of them. therefore."' assured Madame* du Deffand often wrote in a similar strain.

Pardon. my divine angel. some of his health was renewed . In following chapters we shall see . and fanatics diminish. and I would willingly abandon what remains to me in France to go and despise. are tranquil. They can cause some good books to be burned. God be thanked. Ecrasez l'In. and they persecute it. His as Marmontel has shown us. the insolent bourgeois. at my ease. and all those people are disturbers of the : love. he who knows not how to hate knows not how to . methods of proceeding. . and they are seditious we cultivate reason in peace. FAME. he had forty-five thousand francs per annum which the government of France could not confiscate. . girdled as I am by eighty leagues of mountains that touch the sky. set himself to the task of crushing Vlufdme. as he has just told us. . forty-five thousand livres of annual revenue in foreign countries. . his spirits. whom the king likes no more than I do. It is to the king's interest that philosophers should increase in number. we . this enthusiasm it is of a heart naturally sympathetic. . in other lands. that he ciety. have the power (which I do not believe they have) to persecute me. I have. will reduce them to be without credit in good comit is good company alone that governs the opinions and pany of men. but we will crush them in so. and with a sovereign contempt." And to Helvetius " We peace we are good citizens." It was in this spirit.306 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. it was after this provocation. were high his leisure was deliciously employed his General " La Pucelle " alarmed him no more History was off his hands ten minutes' walk took him out of France and.

whom still Voltaire had retained a kindly feeling for the Jesuits." his poem upon Natural Religion. hastily summcmed to confess the tenderly the editors of rival periodicals of this kind loved one another in the last century.CHAPTER XXVI. and other works humanizing tendency. this journal had assailed wdth weak and blun" Essai sur les dering severity the Encyclopaedia. describe. " " For some time past. THE STORM OF MONOSYLLABLES. Death. Berthier. Confession. Poor Berthier at length finds himself in pur- . dying Jesuit. But to denounce those works it was necessary to name. of whicli every sentence is a hit. It is known how These two priests. the zeal the vocation of the religious newspaper. by he had been educated and members of the order were . and the confession had proceeded far before either discovered who the other was. The fun reaches its climax when a rival editor. is Ecrasez Vlnfdme! On a day in December. called the " Journal de the of the Jesuits. of in " Narrative of the Sickness. the plodding. and thus to spread abroad some knowledge of their contents among the class which the works themselves would not otherwise have reached. a priest of a rival order. and quote them." No adequate idea can be given here of the comic richness of this burlesque. Moeurs. which was and to convey the truths it hates to minds most in need of them. 1759. appeared Paris an anonymous pamphlet of entitled thirty pages. In other words. indefatigable ed" of Paris. was the first to draw his Trevoux. among Journal de Tr^voux had pursued with fresh however. and Reappearance of the Jesuit Berthier." organ itor of a A CEETAIN Father " religious weekly fire. were unknown to each other personally. who had contended for many years with pen and scissors. Voltaire's is his friendly correspondents.

" these My friend. who should not calumniate mingle in worldly affairs. in The ingenuity of the shown manner which he conveys at every ecclesi- moment The an impression of the childish ignorance of the triviality of ecclesiastical topics. and to employ myself the rest of the time in mending the chemises of the nuns of Port Royal. who claims to possess the pen of Berthier. Confession and End of M. who. but Voltaire of his burlesque. and 3 days . gatory. 3 months. Nephew of Brother Garasse. finally. and the dryness of Daniel. The next affair amused the reading . Pai'is. peaceable." Every phrase is an allusion. Dubois. when more important game drew his attention. half lost upon us at this distance of time. Before this burlesque tale had spent its force.333 years. mind and the Jesuits attempted a retaliation in kind. " What is your penance in purgatory?" The reply was. 3 weeks. not who should be humble.' . great qualities but it have. A The place is given finally to Brother Garassise. and what followed. another pamphlet. and. Fv6ron is is : a candidate. de Voland what La Harpe taire. entitled " Narrative of the Journey of Brother Garassise. by the same anonymous and well-known hand. learned brother objects in terms like it is true. Successor to Father Berthier." deemed this piece not altogether it unsuccessful. He was the man to succeed the for wearisome Berthier . followed. "I am obliged to make every morning the chocolate of a Jansenist. any one to princes. in Anticipation of what is to follow. pervaded the city. you " Cast not the children's bread to the dogs. ' said in Cicero. continued many But years to bestow his tediousness upon his countrymen. published pamphlet entitled " Narrative of the Sickness.BOS LIFE OF VOLTATRE. Jos. to read aloud at dinnertime a Provincial Letter. be willing to apply to Father Berthier all his merits. the antitheses of Por^e. There was in at a Geneva and 1761. make no one 3'awn with his writings. by Ale." This relates the election of Father Berthier's successor. however. and then only to be delivered when some brother of his order could be fomid and without desire to go to court. no reader of these two pamphlets could ever again have heard or seen his author astical is name without in the a smile. but not lost upon the susceptible Parisians of 1759. doomed to remain 333. the insij)idity of Catron. pronounced a " flat imitation " He was preparing to pursue Berthier further.

He violated the sanctity of a place Avhich all parties had hitherto cherished as an asylum of peace and good-temper amid em- . That to reign and perish as Louis XVI. been elected to the seat in the French Academy Maupertuis . and averted from Fiance a truly portentous evil. a not illiberal ecclesiastic. several Dauphin's children. De Fleury. the in 1760 as its probable Dauphin being precisely the . Marquis : A some merit. author of many which was more than respectable. when he commemorative of his predecessor. tractable boy. was in 1760 a heavy. led to positions of overmastering influence. by attacking. a minor poet psalms and other verse. and a solid to man The marquis. and had even " translated into French verse Pope's " Universal Prayer but his later psalms had made amends. and he now stood forth a champion of the faith. His strength lay in the fact that he was the last author of ayiy recognized rank that was left on the orthodox side. therefore.. recently l^reponderance of unquestioning faith. who should be again put on this directest road to the summits of power was big with inphin. he made tutorship of the publicly received. Bishop of Mirepoix. had been tutor to his only son. The royal boys were at ill-starred prince. Li his youth. almost of his most distinguished colleagues. prime minister for nearly a generation. and to patriotism. the Bisliop of Puy. the present Dau- The question. had been tutor to Louis XV. by such a pair be governed for he had an inkling of esprit. a zealous and industrious Pompignan. Anc. came to Paris in the early days of 1700 on an errand of deepest interest to him. He had last filled b}^ in March he was delivered the usual speech Li this oration. and the office of tutor had twice. Boyer. A new royal family was growing up then in France. enriched by marriage. candidate appeared in the spring of 1760 a country magistrate. the oracle of his native remote Montauban. He had a younger brother. 309 people of Europe for many montlis. who was one day an age when a tutor was usually appointed . and he was the Dauphin's third son.THE STOILAI OF MONOSYLLABLES. . six years old. terest to society. what was felt to be a bid for the by name. These two men hung over France masters. within living memory. defender of the church. a man of inordinate vanity. he had coquetted with deism. Le Franc. some of of of .

" for who could say how soon they might be astride of France ? Le Franc enjoyed a day of cloudless triumph. In the interregnum of mistresses. frivolous or licentious there. into view.810 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. . and he kept his word. and not at all likely to be . tain. He was admitted to the king's presence. at things the government. sire. the king asked one of his court what he thought of it. corrupt morals. systems openly impious. and the bishop to chairman." said the king. in my opinion. which saps equally the throne and the altar. as the reader remembers. and it must have been longer at the Academy but. after three quarters of an hour amid applause that seemed general because it was loud . and the other as pontiff to work mirIt was safe to stand well with these brothers acles in Israel. have since enjoyed by similar means. the Bishop of Puy. it is an excellent work." was the " " I was True." said the king . applauded by the impious and headstrong. The chairman of the session complimented the new member warmly. orator resumed his seat. while proage little but science and shameful literature. he fell the itself as upon vaunting its superior light. "I promise you that I will read it. which many men the magistrate to He compared Aaron " ! retraces in you. The same day. In the course of his harangue. and against the soundest maxims of All. and an arrogant philosophy. and ventured to bring the orator's brother. reply. satiric darts aimed . was then in the Deer Pai'k period of his history. insolent verses. twenty minutes reading it. bears the most holy. writings bittered controversies." This king. for this style of it remark was then the short way to court favor was the fashionable hue and cry of the moment. Moses. to present in person a copy of his discourse. " I found it a little long. an imspeaker. or direct insinuations against religion elsewhere. the historian to us facts presents malignly disguised." said the . mense succession of scandalous libels. in a word. false ducing " What do we behold?" asked the " Here. in the class of philosophers. Everything " the image of those two brothers who were consecrated. the one to be judge of Israel. that these numberless books conimprint of a depraved literature." The of this. is seen a long display of rash opinions. between Pompadour and Dubarry. young girls of fourteen and . in a manner that is not forgotten in France to this day. .

and set tliem an edifying example by kneeling beside them. (2) because none them envy the new member. " one has translated. " his age by his works. Le Franc de Pompignan was well pleased with his day's work His discourse was promptly fo)'\varcled to Academy. one is rich. whose . and to say. and finally. it is a strange When one is it scarcely a man of letters at all. March 10. at the of historiographer of France . anonymous. avhen one has been deprived six entire montljs of his office in the country for having translated and enven' When D omed to that formula of deism . one has been indebted be at philosophers for the enjoyment of that in office. a circumstance that gave point to the new member's reflections npon historical literature. in justice to accuse the philoso- ohers of impiety and it is to outrage all the proprieties to presume to speak of religion in a public discourse. it is not necessary to have the base of letters with their poverty in an academical discourse.ist. and not in the least a philosopher.THE STORM OF MONOSYLLABLES. . dateless. it is to once wanting gratitude. before an academy. by chance. when. and even disfigured. and kneel to it in the mud. 311 his and so pious was this father of thirteen were bought for him on tlieir saying their insisted that he prayers at people night. and that they in secret envy the rich (1) because the new member cannot cruelty to reproach men : know what of his less opulent colleagues secretly think . A few days aftei". It was Le Franc who then held Voltaire's former post P'erney. He was so pious tluit when the host went by he would get out of his carriage.' composed by Pope. snowed down upon Paris. it is to insult the society and the " When. men of letters . with pride. 17G0. to the trans- port of some spectators. a duodecimo pamphlet of seven pages. one has the honor to be received into an honorable society it is not necessary that his reception speech should be a satire against public. in truth. a does not become him to say that our nation has only false literature and a vain philosophy. the Prayer of the . without name of publisher or place. The following is a translation of it : — THE WHENS: Being Useful Notes upon a Discourse i-ronounced before the French Academy. " When one does not honor temerity in him to decry his age. . " of When men of letters. that they declaim against riches. and was seen everywhere at once.

it maxim and law blies. princes and ministers do not read those discourses. religious writers not necessary to propose him as the model of he should be silent. . but. and which are even sometimes carried to the foot of the throne. still less the man whom one suc- ceeds .'" whether in or out of the theatre. in lieu of those striking proofs which enlighten all eyes. but they have no privilege. whose studies do honor to the nation but. and the only proofs consecrated by the fathers of the church when that odd person did all that he could to weaken those striking testimonies of all . it is to be culpable towards one's fellow-citizens to dare to say in that discourse that the philosophy of our times saps the foundations of the throne and of the altar. and those who have read them once will read them no more. Several diarists note the immediate interest which the little 1 pamphlet excited in all circles. one succeeds an oddity of a man. to accuse any one of atheism. 97-Tolume ed. Nothing is more criminal than the : desire to i^ive to princes and ministers ideas so unjust concerning faithful subjects." ^ "When This moderate and just rebuke had instantaneous success with the public. The Abb^ 61 Oiuvres de Voltaire. tvhen. get into a fury against the philosophers wliich England has produced it is necessary rather to study them. in his address. 108. deny drawn from the designs. to conceal under the veil of modesty the insolent pride which characterizes hot-heads and mediocre talents. it is not becoming to . The repetition of the ivheyi was a kind of device that easily " brings down the house.812 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. the only proofs admitted by philosophers. he ought. no prerogative. also. which can ever give them the least pretext not to be thority . and the ends of all the works to in " When of creation. since men of letters are not only the most submissive subjects. the harmonies. one is admitted into a respectable body. " When one addresses an academy in France. submissive. fortunately. because it is not proper nature . and it . It is to play the part of a calumniator to dare to assert that hatred of auis the dominant character of our productions and it is to be a calumniator with very odious imposture as well. or at least speak with more art is and decency. it is not necessary to say that that reasoner was an atheist. he ridiculously substituted an equation of algebra. is never to sjDeak upon that subject in its assem- " When a man pronounces before an academy one of those dis- courses which are spoken of for a day or two. who had the misfortune a bad book the obvious proofs of the existence of a God.

. still less buried. In reply to Morellet. soon after." which he followed with "The Thats. prophet-like. that one day he would be translated by Le Franc. a recent acquisition to the philosophic band. aimed at the luckless Academician. with his life-time ? such commentary as he tel knew how to give. he car- ried his absurdity to the point of addressing a remonstrance on the subject to the king and queen." '^ and. as — he remarks. as INLadame du Deffand said. followed up the stroke wnth his " Ifs." " The " The Noes. 813 Morellet. July 23. he published a serious and minute narrative to show that his translation of the " Unilign. Voltaire unearthed Le Franc's early tragedy." deeming it just. but hypocritical and ma. " Dido. Avhich drew upon hiui still more stinging It is derision. ex- He seemed buried. The poor man could not show himself anywhere without citing merriment. Much allowed to a man who takes the king's side. to make Le Franc run the gauntlet of the particles.THE STORM OF MONOSYLLABLES. and executed twenty-two years before. He increased the general mirth by the wonderfully absurd way in which he defended himself. under " mountains of ridicule." An Yeses. tlien in the flower of his jifje. But he was not so easily killed." to which he and notes comments. 1760. with his Wherefores. in four stanzas. " The " was witness 1 of the reception which Avhole court. published without his knowledge. entitled "The Tos. Voltaire then took another appended turn with a song." and epigram flew from hand to hand " : Do you know why Jeremiah wept It so much during was because he foresaw." " The Whys." Other hands contributed.^ is " versal Prayer was merely an exercise in English. their majesties accoided me. necessary that the universe should know% also." and well deserved to be." said he. she thouHit for he was not a simpleton merely. that Madam" du Deffand to Voltaire. He told Marmon- that his physician had ordered him to hunt Pompignan for an hour or two every morning. Exasperated by the relentless hail of sharp particles." of which he published some ludicrous morsels. Both of these pamphlets hitting the humor of the public. for the benefit of his health. and not a week passed without some new jest in prose or verse escaping into print." " The Whos. tiie abb(i followed them with a reproduction of Le Franc's for" Universal gotten translation of Pope's Prayer.

But this was compared with a poem from the same source. Et I'ami Pompignan pense Ce'sar n'a point d'asile ou son ombre repose etre quelqiie chose . Some of the lines of this poem are familiar now to conversation in France. called La Vanite. it would seem." a work of great satiric force." Nothing. purporting to be an extract from A the newspaper of Le Franc's city of Montauban. and sending a committee to Paris to ascertain the truth. petit bourgeois d'uue petite ville ? L'univers.314 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. and returned to Montauban trifle a " to report the melancholy tidings. where shade reposes and friend Pompiguan thinks . little bourgeois of friend. ne pense point a toi. is not in the least thinking of you . could heighten the ridicule of this performance but Voltaire pounced upon it. uttering snatches of crazy verse (selected from his own works). the manufactory at Feme}'. the very violence of this attack.. he retained a certain hold upon the court from . 1 What is verse.. however. and we shall see the king seizing opportunities to distinguish him. The messengers burst into teai'S. my his the matter with you. their majesties appeared to occupy themselves with ray work.. " Qu'as-tu. The committee found him raving mad. and prolonged the merriment with which it was received even to the present . little piece was issued from what Baron Grimm styled day. men ami. The uni- Ctesar has no asylum to be something. but as a production which was not unworthy of the particular attention of the sovereigns. in Voltaire's pecul- iar style of serious and weighty badinage. a little city ?. not as a passing or unimportant novelty. " ! ^ Poor Pompignan fled before the storm to his native city where. which represented his townsmen as alarmed for his sanity. He was by no means yet destroyed as a candidate for court favor. while he foamed at the mouth and gritted his teeth.

. of royal lineage. was she. comedy of '^ : and the Duchess of Villeroi. The monoseemed to have done their work. Diderot. D'Argenand they were repretal. and was supported in this attempt by two ladies of high rank and great vogue the Princess de Robecq." destroyers of domestic peace. disturbers of pub. pushed aside a tragedy of Voltaire about to be revived. four hundred and fifty parquette tickets for the opening night of "• Les PhiThe blunt D'Alembert describes the author of losophes. or having It been. It was Charles Palissot who thus dramatist was found A Les PhiloThis author. ridiculous. really effective scenes gave the play a kind of party success that resounded through Europe. dying of consumption as she was. a INIontmorenci by birth. though not equal sophes.CHAPTER XXVII. who leveled all obstacles. for idle Parisians to laugh at. to the part he had undertaken. and gave away. It was a slight. Le Franc de Pompignan who was bold enough to place the the philosophers upon stage of the Theatre-Fran^-ais. sappers of the throne merely and the altar. et des p honoraires. amusing.. en fonctions. The Princess de Robecq had the additional prestige of being. beloved by the Duke of Choiseul. the scene of strife was suddenly transferred to the national theatre of France. Rousseau. well-written comedy in three acts. While the air was Byllables still all alive with those singing and stinging particles. as D'Alembert records." produced May 2. . was a man of talent." this piece as maquereau de sa femme et banqueroutier^ and its lovely protectresses as des ]). and others were clearly indicated " not but as as sented.. foolish.. prime minister. in which Helvetius. THE WAR OF COMEDIES. The curiosity of the public and two or three . . vanished for a time. . courted the fate of his Le Franc by 1760.

vetius was the best handled of the philosophers. where Cydalise.. Scene 5. where she welcomed the author at the end of the second act." The sensation of the play was in Scene 8 of Act III.316 lie LITE OF VOLTAIRE. The Princess de Robecq. in siajht of the audience. when the line expressed what the cirbe true. and I see fewer fools. of course. and all is . mercenary and false. a savage defender of Gothic prejudices. The Encyclopedia is menorder." losophers well. as viewed pure reason : a pitiably limited being. personating Rousseau.. Finally. remarking that he has deliberately chosen the condition of a quadruped. comes upon the stage on all fours. had those philanthropists who knew how ^ " Cherir tout rUnivers. . appeared in her box. is in Act I. which should show how little human life or character will bear coldly literal treatment. and complimented him with a show of enthusiasm. except their own children. because he laid himself fairly open to satire by his ill-considered auIt was just also to exhibit J. where Crispin. and how necesHelsary it is for us to see both more and less than there is. One It line of this play arrests attention : " Crd'dule est devenu I'equivalent de sot. describes her late worthy husband. tioned by name. cles of Paris fully believed to The comedy was received with acclamations that seemed as warm and as unanimous as those which had greeted Le Franc's academic speech. with a lettuce in his pocket for provender. to which she was never able to return. become the equivalent of simpleton. 1 To cherish all 2 Believer has mankind. Rousseau as one of dacities. had not yet come. J. excepte leurs enfans. wholly " occupied with his duties. the mask is torn from the abominable phithe lovers are restored to one another. the deluded victim of Light. She was then obliged to leave the theatre. The noted passage upon religion in the " Henriade " of Voltaire is The best point slightly parodied."^ — if it marks the humor of the time." There was the hint here of the New in the light of really great comedy. besides filling the house with friends and partisans. The day was near at hand. private and public. " Upon these four pillar's my body is better sustamed. gave him her hand. as the result of a dominant taste for philosophy.

of readers in the Palais-Royal and — comedy and had said. of and the young humorist had the pleasure. having seen it. for mine eyes have seen revenge. Some one sent her a copy of Morellet's essay. on the second night. fifty of the most libelous Avere suppressed. to such a point that. as the past life of Palissot. The Princess de Robecq died He defended ing to his sense of justice and to his patriotism. .THE TVAR OF COMEDIES. who. Lord. the philosophers. who had reflected upon the princess with severity in the preface to his " Fils Naturel. The Abbd Morellet was present on that second night. in which he owned that he had written his play to avenge the two princesses. with a mixture of lines . " The Preface to the writing a pamphlet. with a highly complimentary letter." His triumph was short. had only desired one consolation. and exulted in its success as a tritecting umph over Diderot and over Diderot's allies. and soon a lettre de cachet consigned the abb^j to the Bastille. appealtion. marked as "from the author. tells us. the Duke of Choiseul. truth and burlesque." She complained to her lover. of this double indignity. and went home after the play boiling with He seized his pen." She sought vengeance by " pro" Palissot's comedy. In the heat of composition he had made an allusion to the Princess de Robecq as " a great lady. being present at the first performance of this ' . let thy servant " depart in peace. was neither unanimous nor disinterD'Alembert told Voltaire that the few spectators who were free to express their real opinion were revolted. however. This led to a long correspondence between them.'' The revenge referred to in this passage was upon Diderot. The ested. very sick. where he was confined for two months. Now. some of the less creditable events in the an illegitimate mode of warfare. and proved to him that Diderot had not i 1 Memoires de I'Abb^ Morellet. — abb(!j afterwards confessed. " The public received his essay with as great favor. that of who. 89. " Palissot sent a copy of " Les Philosophes to Voltaire. and sat up till near the dawn indignation. fifteen days after his incarcera^ aged thirty-two years. entitled Comedy of " the Philosophers in which he related. 317 applause. Voltaire tried all his art to win Palissot over to do justice to the Encyclopedists. before dying. he seeing groups the Tuileries bursting with laughter over it.

In the controversy between the Encyclopaedists and rinfdme. was willing to abuse the stage of the national theatre. though such letters as he wrote him might have gained a better man. He. he could go on amusing the " Frenchman who is not gay public with a good conscience. and I pray God every day for friends . Voltaire was preparing a retort dramatic for the Theatre-Fran qais. "in . Palissot. ramus but I am not willing to have my faith suspected. incuiTcd bountiful and rooms. upon God. Freron was the first of (L'Ecossaise) . too. upon my soul." as he says. who was able to live in sumptuous proHe inhabited fusion from the profits of literary journalism. You '•' make me blush. I protest that I am scarcely their pupil in all the rest. I believe that I do make of his- verses better than they. In one of these humorous epistles. the chief aim of which was to abase and ridicule an individual. and now the most powerful enemy of the band of Encyclopaedists. the successor of Desfontaines. You write comedies be joyous. gave the Parisian editors He literature with a encouraged young authors. and criticised the veterans of freedom which Paris found amusing. and even that know much but. in his preface to his conied}'. My cures gave me a good character. extolled Voltaire in terms that seemed extravagant. he took the side that journalists generally find to be the easiest way . then. bad poet. plagiarist. elegant suppers. libeled the princesses.318 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. large debts." While this amiable correspondence was going on. eight days. A ." he dashed upon paper." amusement of the theatre into a He did not make a convert or a partisan of Palissot. is a man out of his element. and knew nothing of it except through my the report of its enemies. and do not turn the criminal indictment. he begs Palissot to accuse his and himself of anything whatever except of not being " Call me dotard. chiefly to destroy the prestige of Jean Freron." wrote Voltaire. by making it a scene of contention he was writing a comedy. Then. his comedy of " The Scotch Lass " designed partly to defend his brethren the pliibut losophers. ignogood Christians. After reading " Les Philosophes. "when you I print that I as am superior to those tory as they whom you attack. the soul of Brother Berthier. old as I am. ." He called upon Palissot to avow to the public that he had never examined the Encyclopaedia.

perhaps. S19 appeared without a paragraph designed to exhibit them in a light either Palissot was a contributor odious or ridiculous. Ija-ic. comic. and there was much merriment at thor of " Zaire. eclipses all writers. ship of Tourney. that faitliful his- romancer. epic. very laudable. poetry Count of Tourncij. that transcendent Newtonian.THE WAR OF COMEDIES. episodic. epigrammatic. which may one day give tortures to the commentators. he has himself styled. year by descanting upon Voltaire's seigneur. tragi-comic. heroic-comic. Thus we see him decdispatches. unlike vivacity. Voltaire had : signed a requisition thus " Done at — Tourney. by me. aml)assador like Prior. near Geneva torian." His vassal neatly retorted by entitling the lawless pamphlet " Pieces from the Portfolio of Monsieur the Count of Tour- ney. is to become secretary of state like Addison. cynic. ! Who Tourney Wliat you don't know ? is this Monsieur the Count of So names himself that great poet. he bad been attacking them with fresh " of bis " Ann(^e Litt(^rairc was far from distinguishing between Volhe assailed him in some form in almost taire and his allies he had issue and enough comic force to make most of every He diverted his subscribers this his readers laugh with him. philosophic . which has long tormented him. . as minister-plenipotentiary of the Republic of Letters to the ReThere he watches day and night over the interpublic of Geneva? ests of him Geneva our literature. The King of Prussia addressed one of his letters to the Count of Tourney. availing himself of the freedom of the press in to enrich it with a thousand admirable works. in consequence. M. by his genius and in knowledge. or. Don't think it a joke he has bought the countfact. and his name of seigneurie is . at least. It appears new character of grand pirate publisher. His prayers are at length heard for ought we not to regard is Voltaire . who that. orated with three different names. in pursuing before the courts a was a vassal of Tourney. would be necessary to replace him . of late. Ilis name of bourgeoisie is Arouet his name in and signs all his ." this new dignity of the aua specimen of Frdron's manner. Count of Tourney. present. past. Count of Tourney. No number and. that chaste his — : . Palissot. who. I give a few sentences of his on the subject As : — " You will ? ask me. If we should it have the misfortune to lose him. . tragic. and to come." The publication had great currency. the editor . Another ambition. that universal man. but. to success . satiric. it is the title which is now assumed by that profound geometer. de Voltaire.

" " Candide " gressive manner. the most insignificant. " When I discover a vocation thus trifling matter. ruined in the late civil war. those philosophers will lose it for us. in that country by some skillful negotiator. This was attempted in Voltaire's own manner but we do not find that a cat is amused when it comes her turn to be played ivith." Another cries. a bluff and burly British merLes Ennemis de Voltaire. In a more ag. of good comedy in this crude . it is the insignificant that are endowed with the mischief-making power. would fill that honorable post with so much glory and success as ^ His Excellenct Monseigneur the Count of Tourney. as she plays every day with mice. because it could marshal its columns for the attack every week of the year. I add : something much." to it. hei'self and her maid by furFreron figures in the play as Frelon(7iorHe is portrayed as a Grub Street writer. whoever he might be. . and something added to something makes " Phi. and hastyis The scene is laid in a London tavern the heroine a young lady of a distinguished family of Scotland. and his comedy of "La Femme qui a Raison. " have much to fear this year for Jamaica . Hence it was that Voltaire followed " with a in in five L'Ecossaise acts "). He gives the secret of his betrays the young lady's lineage." A frequenter of the coffee-room of this tavern." says a coffee-house politician lose the island of Minorca "it is the philosophers who are lowering the public funds." Any periodical. he discovers and where she maintained tive needle-work. "L'Annde Litt^raire " was the most formidable ally of VInfdme. But I doubt whether any other person.320 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. There are gleams piece. page 215. Some losophy It of Palissot's points are is amusingly burlesqued. can be an engine of mischief indeed. and arm them with Voltaire's own " Les Philoweapons. Freron had recently criticised the of Voltaire. J . and disable things Frdron. to manufacture infamy at " one pistole per paragraph. was philosophy that made us very dangerous. She had found refuge and concealment in this tavern. soj)hes (" comedy prose in which he endeavored to parry Palissot's stroke. always ready net). even the most remote." The character that We 1 saved the piece was Freeport.

the celebrated philosopher. answer. Hume. in which Jerome Carrd complained of the exertions of M. If a shoe-black had insulted me." wrote D'Alembert to the author. 21 . II.' a brother of M. on the opening night.' " I ' The editor of the " Annee Litteraire " half neutralized the effect of this stroke ference to it." 1 VOL. 1760. when the author's party fills the judgment-seats in the parquette. a " run " of sixteen first nights. Curiosity being thus stimulated. and he should be put in the pillory for it in front of my house. It enjoyed. driven thence by the persecution of M. gave out that the new work was a translation from the English of " M. Fr^ron to prevent the production of the piece. appeared conspicuous among Coleman dedicated his version thus. at the fourth representation.' is inscribed by his obedient servant. — one of those to 3. and now come to On the afternoon implore the protection of the Parisians. I should be in no haste to thrust my head out of the window. George Coleman. and it was played in with great success. and the house well packed. July 26.THE WAR OF COMEDIES. and the philosophic is this He brotherhood. with a prologue by Garrick. rallied in great force. George Coleman's adaptation of the play for the London theatre was entifirst but not how behave perhaps the any first night more famous th. a burlesque letter was circulated. a native of Montauban. " chant.21 Englishmen who know how to " . " there was a larger audience than at the fivst I have not yet seen it. led by D'Argental.in that of the production of comedy. David Hume. " The British Merchant. I know not if there tled presentation of the comedy Englishman on the French stage. under that name. on its appearance in print: "To Monsieur de Voltaire the following comedy. le Franc de Pompignan. " many of the large towns of Europe Yesterday. give." the translator being by " JerOme Carrd. moreover.^ In the records of the Th^atre-Fran^ais. being performed three times a week." and. and when I am asked why. His pretty wife and himself. by his well-sustained affectation of indifHis demeanor was masterly. it had much success in Enghmd in 1767. the comedy was received with that boisterous and continuous applause which usually attends a partisan play." ' of the great day. author of Douglas. Voltaire had employed his usual devices to secure a favorable hearing. a tribute due to the author of 'L'ficossaise.

" " the rhymesters and prosy authors redoubtable Dortidius [Diderot] was in the centre of the he had been elected general by a unauimous voice. his hair disheveled." in which the noted philosophers who had led the the audience. was between men of taste. the shock of hands agitates the air. rascal. all those who labor upon that makes Europe groan." The battle. and the barbarians found themselves masters of the field. and they joined in the laughter and applause. who wished all it to be applauded . trusting to the justice of their cause.322 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. therefore. the feeble detachment under the stamping of feet of the people of taste was crushed by the superiority of numbers." with which he was assailed in the play. his looks were furious. includwhich of ing the compositors who printed it. it makes the theatre resound with accla! . and their clerks The men of taste advance tranquilly and in very small numbers. he pronounces his oracles on the philosophical tripod. we are told. He continued to conduct his " Annee Litteraire " until his death in 1776. the booksellers who sold it. and the earth trembles At length. viper. as when. The curtain rises the signal is given the philosophic confidence army puts itself in motion . dominated by his divine enthusiasm." he " The writes to Theophrastus (D'Argental). army senses were agitated. was often revived by the actors of the company to punish Frdron . without plan. with only gradual abatement of prestige. and the philosophers. entitled Great Battle. who wished the play to be hissed. Voltaire did not see anything comic in " I have this " Account of a Great Battle. next day. that great Dictionary. applause were designated by the names applied to them in the " " comedy of Les Philosophes. . he was able to retort. poor man is so wounded that he cannot laugh. the spectators. all his The . the latter ridi- being supported by culed in the " Amide Litteraire. the suspension Too blind auxiliary troops. . rogue." The play. His countenance was aflame. scoundrel." said Freron. This centre conis." just read it. and he did so by " Account of a inserting a pretty good burlesque. as though the matter concerned them no more than the rest of The piece was produced on a Saturday evenThe very Fr^ron's ing paper was published on Sundays. without commanders. It does not appear that Fremuch injured by what he humorously styled "the epi- grams of spider. ron was With more in a similar taste." mations . and even without tained the elite of the troops.

ranged in a semicircle. had had the manuscript of the new tragedy of " crede in his possession. performance September 2d. and where a portly merchant." not foreseen either by the author or his For several weeks of . incidents of the : . hundred unromantic guineas. in consultation over the troubled fortunes of the state. and the scene was transferred to The rising of the curtain Sicily in the year of romance 1005. was produced on the following The last " of " L'Ecossaise occurred The scene of the comedy was a London tavern of that generation. politics. and all the showy trappings of ancient knighthood. This tragedy was a long step toward what is now so familiar to us all in the dramas of Goethe and Schiller. If 323 dis- he presumed to censure with Hgreeable severity Lekain. the gorgeous banners. came to the relief of suffering beauty with five night. For the first time on any stage the jDicturesque splendors of the feudal system were exhibited with an approach to their due and the audience witnessed. For the first time. the coffee-room vanished. revealed a council-chamber. with the pleasure that tourney and the ordeal by arnis. was a consummate general in dramatic angel. who managed all Voltaire's dramatic business in " TanParis. and merchandise." the most comjDlete conti-ast to that comedy which could be imagined. and the crowd of dandies obstructing the entrances in the rear.THE WAR OF COMEDIES. for offensive criticism. D'Argental waved his wand . The production of " Les Phi" had clouded its prospects but the great popularity losopiies " of L'Ecossaise. He resolved now upon a bold manoeuvre. or some other important member of the troupe. Clairon. too. seemed to prepare the way for its favorable reception. fresh from a commercial voyage. Grandval. in his extravagant gratitude. guardian angel D'Argental. there was space enough on the stage for the presentation of such a theme a knightly effect. to be out at the moment he brought should deem most propitious. and "Tancrede. where there was loud talk of stocks. wherein was seen a considerable number of knightly personages. novelty excites. D'Argental. as Voltaire told him a hundred times. the public were likely to be invited to a of " L'Ecossaise." repetition this summer of 1760. the burnished armor. Gone were the side-boxes that formerly narrowed the stage. in the novels of Scott and his imitators. warfare.

yesterday. and the king witnessed a performance of it in his theatre at Versailles. for actors. Madame de Pompadour accepted the dedication of the play." he replied. have their say. gratitude. I hear. ' ' hostile writers Let the including myself. auditors in the favor of many piece. The joyful news was promptly dispatched to the author by D'Argental. The author had given her lines and situations of almost unequaled capabilities.' as if it had been holy water. day before " I saw Tanthe wrote D'Alembert to author. displayed generalship on this occasion by re- considerable." Fr^ron. " you are the best general in Europe You must have disposed your troops well to have gained this battle for they say that the hostile army was ! . j^s/i. he said. keep possession parable in it. and criticism begins to be silent. was lured from his retreat to the theatre by the general acislaim. was in the amphitheatre. the praise Abbd d' Olivet. reached the highest point of her career as a histrionic artist. bestowing high upon it. The whole audience was in tears." crede for the third time. and he protested that since the days of Roscius no such acting had been seen as that of Mademoiselle " The Clairon in this piece of his ancient pupil. and she rose to them with a power that Recent events had predisposed surprised her oldest admirers. to bear away the palm of victory. moreover. and be sure that this piece will of the stage. and only very moderate censure. Voltaire's master. and the result was a tri- umph passed for author. too. has. Satan. Indeed. and a tear from a lady's eye having fallen upon the nose of the wretch. in the representation of the heroine. in the guise of Fr^ron. Clairon. that she alone among her comrade? declared openly against . Dehoi-a-Claivon ' viewing the play in the calm. Indeed. the welcome seemed unanimous. " My divine angel. Lekain surpassed himself in the part of and Tancr^de. Mademoiselle Clairon is incom- and beyond all her past efforts. their and for guardian angel that surmost sanguine hopes. she well deserves from you some signal and enduring mark of You know. hero returning (like Ivanhoe) from long exile. Psh.324 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. then. conquered the enemies of the faithful. that she is a philosopher. judicial tone. and entering the lists. unknown. and then to avenge the wrongs his country had done him by defeating her enemies.

from the ble and a very consistent people. he endeavored to rescue the actors from this opprobrium. against them." he remarked." This was well but.' thougli she did not play in it." writes the femme de chamhre. "No one can imagine. as well as peculiar tact and . We dethey play. 325 cess of the piece of Pjilissot. paid wages by the profession. them buried with be light to live with them. . by the king to play every evening. and excommunicated by the church they are ordered verse to Mademoiselle Clairon. prison . . in his personal address to the king's mistress. we learn that one of the amusements of the king in madame's boudoir was reading the anonymous letters sent by friend and Eoe. they are put into all by the ritual. de Pompadour was Considering all the cir- was not less proper than bold. The dedication of this play to Madame a bold act on the part of the author. and congratulated its friends on the late happy cleai'ance of the stage. "how frequent they were. they are cast into the sewers. king. hard truths concerning public affairs." Voltaire acted upon this hint by composing his Epistles in ' by supporting with of the her following year protest ability of all members of her ex the excommunication. and that she greatly promoted the sucL'Ecossaise. and forbidden to play at If they do not play. he cumstances. officio. It is necessary to confess that we are a very reasonaFor sixty years. night when Adrienne Lecouvreur was buried at the crossing of two roads in the outskirts of Paris. as usual. slip of the pen that endangered his standing with the From the memoirs of Du Hausset. : made a lady. well that it is not a great merit to speak to the eyes but I dare assert that the sublime and the affecting move us more deeply when tliey are sustained by a suitable appareil. and object to our cemeteries our and close we admit them to tables. In his dedicahe expatiated on the art he loved above all the other arts." if . it tion. and that it is necessary to strike at once the soul and the eyes. which enlarged the capabilities of the " I " acted drama. others were designed to . that all the pomp of decoration is not worth one sublime verse. know. or one sentiment just I know as personal adornment is nothing without beauty." said he." Some of them expressed bold.THE WAR OF COMEDIES. against " are " Actors. her femme de cliamhre.

These are his terms ' : I have seen from your infancy graces talents developing in you. he could only be aperson and horn with an ungrateful heart. but that. the public does." adds the femme de cltamhre. " Jansenists as " tending to republicanism . that the object of his eulogy is not worthy of it. who returned it witli his apThe anonymous critic. was discussed in the bou- by the brother. . aided by the political economists. I have received from you at every period of your life evidences of a bounty always equal. " Voltaire was king's. and 1 ought What. and the steward of madame. be was right. de Voltaire has dedicated to you his tragedy of This ought to have been a mark of homage. the former attackthe trunk of the and the latter its branches. proval. he sent a copy of it to that minister. nevertheless. when we see every day to a dedicatory epistles addressed to trifling persons \caillettes\ or to women " of a reprehensible life. who agreed that the author of the epistle was very malign. Morellet. but appears that means were found to soothe the lady's wounded spirit. Before printing the dedication. in reality. undermine the government. attested by the official seal. to say it! feels it I oive you much. mind of madame. would." and the said the writer. If some censor could disapprove the homage which I render you. If he was in fault. She gives a specimen letter to the king injure individuals. and had no motive but to injure. These tree. the Duke of Choiseul must it have shared the blame. — ' Tancrede. and that he seeks to excuse himself in the eyes of the public. You will see that this "Madame. as Du Hausset reports. and you will judge of it as respect and gratitude. madame. the doctor. years. without the least attention being paid to it ? This doir letter.326 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. such as Turgot. allusions in the letters of Voltaire to moment. if you read it with attention. and Mirabeau. as well as in the though he could never divine the cause. if not that Voltaire would be deemed extraordinary for him to dedicate his work woman whom the public judges not very estimable. signify these jDhrases. in twenty Another of these letters. was as follows : — M. inspired by But it is an insult. ing fell spirits." in which the Encyclopaedists were " represented as sapping the foundations of religion. that "greatly affected him.' great writer feels. addressed to Madame de Pompadour. but that the sentiment of gratitude ought to serve him as an excuse ? Why does he suppose that this homage will find censors. apparently." There are that lost in the " From something of this nature .

) . and the comedy appeared without it. page 260. N'est-ce pas Martin Freron " ? ^ So passed the year 1760. cows. the afternoon . He was not the man to destroy such a picture. For the cover of the author L'Ecossaise had devised a picture of an ass braying at a lyre hanging to a tree. one of the most active and eventful He might well assure Madame du Deifand. gardens. Et CO monsieur qui soupire fait rire. 1 And this gentle- not Martin Fr<5ron (Lcs Euuemis de Voltaire. During the triumphant run of " Tancrede. I I have never been have not a moment free less : dead than I am . Voltaii'e had just time to withdraw the caricain the " " Annde Litteraire " that ture. which adorned his house at Ferney as long as he lived. run over Paris. Under it he meant to print the name of Freron. buildings. meadows. That their success was complete was shown by the gift with which she acknowledged the compliment of the dedication. " Tancrede was published early in 1761. adorned with a portrait of the author. sheep. occupy me in the morning all and after supper we rehearse the is for study This way of life pieces which are played in my little theatre. and it evidently cost his friends some pains to remove the ill-impression it caused. 327 however. . " present. " Another incident of the publication of " Tancrede is not " " less peculiar. when she told him of a rnmor of his death. hearing betimes of this amiable project. Melpomeue is it or Clairon. announced the comedy of " L'Ecossaise was about to be published. gives desire to live but I have more of that desire than ever. 1 Who is man who sighs designated by this lyre ? and makes us laugh. The editor. and under it these lines : — " Que veut Cette lyre dire ? C'est Melpomeue Et oii Clairon. which had of Voltaire's life. She sent the author her portrait. Upon the cover the public were surprised to see the picture of an ass braying at a lyre.THE WAR OF COMEDIES." Frtiron's was the only voice that did not join in the applause which rewarded Mademoiselle Clairon's per" formance of the heroine. this 3'ear. liad put liis malevolent finger on the only slip of the kind Avhicb the swift and ceaseless jjen of Voltaire ever appears to have made. at bullocks.

are right in so doing. . for." Besides his rustic labors. at bottom. written most of the second volume of his " Peter the Great." and pelted Pompignan with a terrible storm of particles.328 since LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. I am a good man. he had given this year two five-act plays to the stage. You you deign to interest yourself in me with so much bounty.

sixty of every church." the Buts." in prose great sale. was not yet done with the Pompignans. while the priests and chanted a prayer. Tuileries at half past seven in the evening. and published them in an octavo of two hundred and eighty-two pages. In edition of the " July. Edition after " " " Whens. entitled " Collection of Parisian FaThis volume had a cetiae for the first Six Months of 1760. witnessed by tens of thou- The procession moved from the sands of mourning people." " " the Noes. publication of this volume. halted before in the portal its and whom made part of the escort. if he had not himself renewed the to discover that nature unequal combat. By way of celebrating the triumph of the Abbe Morellet's contributions. Voltaire had the sixth edition of them printed at Geneva in red ink. copies of which still exist." and their companion pieces continued to be sold. so)ne enterprising person gathered all the particles and verse." the Ifs. drapery and hangings prevailed everywhere . died the Dauphin's eldest son. to the great sorrow of the affectionate French people. The diarists of the time relate the solemn pomp of the funeral.CHAPTER He XXVIII." the Yeses. and. aged nine years. and continued to be a familiar topic for in French-speaking capitals many years produced It is in and courts. All classes of the people were represented in the procession. The funeral car horses were profusely draped with white satin white . on turning to the object of all this a relief. which the storm of particles could not He would probably have been let alone after the destroy. and every sol- . In March. There has not been modern times more exquisite fooling of the kind. who still loved their royal line. ANOTHER SHOWER OF MONOSYLLABLES." the WIios. 1761. 1760. even the pauto St. Denis. had kindly enveloped him in a comfortable panoply of conceit. burlesque. on its course monks standing pers.

in your dedicatory epistle to the Dauphin ! ! " Ah AH You gave and Dauphiness. whom the royal write the You to history of the princes of France. family requested led us into error by saying. even in the eulogy of the late prince. pillaged Father Villermet. of reason gone astray. and will have little for the throne respect for the Catholic reit is barbarous to describe are without protection set . of hearts corrupt. dier of the thousands in attendance. the Duke of Burgundy. then. carried a torch. you are. Voltaire was prompt to accept the defiance. nearly all of whom frightful to play the part of a defamer. is full of spirits who have little . that of a consoler. ' I obey your orders ' .330 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. afflicted father. addressed to 3Ioses le Franc de Pompignan ! ! : — Moses le Franc de Pompignan. of minds spoiled by dangerous opinions. of nothing hut the and blind philosophy that reigns in France. *' You do to not cease to calumniate the nation : for. published the eulogium of the little prince. to the and just prince. addressed to M. whether on foot or horseThe death of this young prince was back. known to be much under priestly in- Le Franc de Pompignan." a seven-page tract. and it turns out that you only 1 . then. piece of the same murderous brevity. and he was fluence. in your of Monseigneur the Duke of Burgundy. men it is of letters as dangerous. the more lamented because the Dauphin himself was not a healthy man. You say that in this age death is regarded only as a return to nothingness. and every one was soon reading " The Fors." when you had up in There were eight such paragraphs in " The Fors. ! ! to possess yourself of their style ! yourself out for a favorite. a plagiand you made us believe that you were a genius " Ah AH You have. le Franc de Pompignan. '• You are wrong for it is cruel to say to the royal house that : France ligion. You believed that History the property of the Jesuits was already confiscated. to the affectionate you speak to the heir to the throne. in which he had the brutal taste to renew his attack upon the literature and philosophy of the age. in his character of historiographer of France. Another shower of printed leaves came fluttering down upon Paris." all well A few days after appeared " The Ah Ahs " a punctuated. when the aifair in hand was false dry our tears. and you hastened ! ! " Ah AH ! arist. of hands suspected.

sung at the Village of Pomvillage pignan. and sent both words and retary of music He to his friends. to Fontainebleau. Modesto et grand. his favorite . brother to the marquis. de Voltaire to the Sec^L le Franc de Pompignan. Voltaire wrote a new Pompignan song to a familiar air. then. little translation. There was a Narrative of the journey of Le Franc from ical . poor gave Then the poor a brave fellow came up who kicked the braggart. le "Ah! ah! Moses all make literature tremble ! . in his turn. There was a Letter from the Secretary of M. commenting upon the pastorals of the bishop in a strain of comic gravity. whenever Pompignan aired his prepieces tensions." Nows Et avoiis vu ce bean De Pompignan. for the}^ sing themselves. — Franc de Pompignan. vive le roi. of liis virtues first voucher. De Et ces vertns premier garant. as written by himself to liis village solicitor. jjroductions. Live the king and Simon ! Franc. and said to his assailant. brilliant and modest and grand. Ah! Ah!" with which the neighborhood was marvelously content. you wished. The French peoj)le are the quickest in the world to catch such a refrain and we . ce marquis. Avhich he was likely to do on slight pretext. they scarcely required The circulation of this song music. ire assured 1 that the boys in the streets sang it at the Le We wise.VI3LES. 331 used the permission they deigned to give you to dedicate to them your a permission accorded to every one asking it. " " Hymn accompaniment for the guitar. Pompignan bast. Son favori. et Simon le Franc. indeed. to There w^as one day a braggart that kicks a who received them with respect but to some devil. Ah! ah! monsieur.ANOTHER SHOWER OF M0X0SYLL. a new " burlesqne from the "manufactory of Ferney might be exof The season 1763 was in such rich pected. his favorite. Sonfavori!"! There were eight of these stanzas . seems to have been the finishing stroke.' and he kicked the braggart. le have seen this fine village of Poni])ignan. and this marquis. devil turned. brillant et sage. ^ These supplementary particles were followed by other satirand. with an entitled this leaf. you did not tell me you were a poltroon. in the most ridiculous style of provincial bomThere were some Letters of a Philadelphia Quaker to the Bisho)) of Puy.

what renown says of you. To present readers of the mass of comicalities which he called forth the penalty he of my ears to hear may seem excessive but it did not appear so to wellinformed people of that day. end of Louis XIV. religion ? " " But the philosophers go too far." The bourgeois marquis was seldom seen again in the circles whose suffrage he had rashly courted. but how is it possible not to be iu- . a friend of the Encyclopaedists. but the bigots will have an absolute empire over a prince who The Jesuits will govern the state. Why openly " I agree with you. Mirabeau. Quesnay. her physician. as the custom was. I will take care of the rhymster I abandon the bully to you FOE I have need . as at the regards them as oracles. threatening him with personal chastisement if he did not let his brothers alone." " I that . good Mirabeau. so before. suffered . a friend of the Le Francs he was disposed to make light of the doctor's . and Mirabeau. . " I do not know." ! I of follow. wlio wrote a letter to Voltaire." ? is full of intentions. ." — attack Quesnay. lie ! so It loss for if die." — " So much theking A thousand times much the worse he should worse would be the greatest France. an officer in the army. LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. apprehensions. Wagniere records that there was a tliird brother Le Franc. — " Why The Dauphin — and he has some and "Yes. It was " handed " about in Paris. esprit . also. a fanatic of noblesse. ! find too . of the world. Quesnay. at a later day. the love Mirabeau. Francs as they passed. and with you I moved reason but have never seen you good " am thinking what would Quesnay." Mirabeau. between Dr. with a note of his own which latter did not remain in the minister's portfolio. — Ah virtuous. — Mirabeau. Monsieur le Duc^ what I have done to these Messieurs le Franc. One of them flays my ears every daj^ and the other threatens to cut them off. the philosophers. was esteemed. — do not doubt king." now better known as the the tempered man and prone to do them a good turn when he could. Quesnay was a goodrevolutionary orator.332 . Voltaii*e sent the letter to the Duke of Choiseul. author of " L'Ami des father of Hommes. Here is a conversation on the subject which occurred in the boudoir of Madame de Pompadour. Quesnay. The parliaments will be no better treated than my friends. — "I the well not looking ages.

having met him. will return but I hope I shall not live to see .ANOTHER SHOWER OF MONOSYLLABLES. he would have brought back the stake and the fajrot. I do not love war but Academy would have passed when we are compelled to . will be exhibited to part of his reign that I fear. in calmer moments. who ' I'aini Pompignan pense tliis etre quelque chose " ! Dr. 333 3ignant at the fanaticism of the other party. seemed swollen with it — " that he repeated to ' me. the Dauphin said to some one. and we should have Inid a conflict every year. that the times of John IIuss. Quesnay." He was also capable. the prince turns him into ridicule. well-instructed. he read aloud to Voltaire. and observing MiRABEAU. I had thought that du Muy ^ was a moderate man. one day. have never attacked any one . What ought to reassure you concerning the Dauphin notwithstanding the devotion of Pompignau. and M. If Le Franc had not been covered with opprobrium. — when will " It is the first imprudences of our friends force. we must not fight softly. the others but I have heard him say that Voltaire deserved the last Be sure. monsieur. in sions of the whole philosophic : " deliigv conversation." — QuESXAY. of Jerome of Prague. make it. and not to remember all " the blood which has flowed during the last two hundred years ? " MiRABEAU. and not wanting in esprit. Again I sa}^. in which the detractors of that poet were compared to the dusky savages of the Upper Nile who ^ Formerly under-govemor of the Dauphin. Rousseau. Voltaire in his hunting do\Yn the Pompignans. of friend Cideville monosyllables. be strongly supported by the Dauphiness. and. the custom of declaiming against the philosophers in the reception discourses at the into a law. The bourgeois marquis. Some time ago. of doing justice to the merits both of Le Franc and Freron. penalties of the law. who w^ould temper the violence of . the Dauphin is virtuous. united to his brother George. B. expressed the apprehenIn allusion to the fraternity. Et — pride. a passage from Le Franc's ode upon the Death of J. I much approve is that. . when the him with the greatest the Jansenists and the Molinists will make common cause. without naming the author." them. but the insolence of those who dared persecute reason was carried too far. Nevertheless. La Ilarpe mentions that at Ferney." Voltaire wrote thus to his old " I do not love war too well in my life I . but for the ridicule with which he has been inundated. would have been preceptor to the royal princes of France .

pours torrents of light upon his obscure blasphemers. — ." " Let us see." La Harpe read it a second time. mon Dieu how fine that is Who is the au" " It is M. The Marquis de Prie records that." Voltaire cried.S34 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. good reason for not loving has taste. then pignan? repeat it. beSo. and have not." obliged to confess it. am ." I . howl at the sun. le Franc. of Freron. who had witnessed the late conflict between them. he asked his host whom he should consult at " Paris with to the merit of the new books." The marquis. could not conceal his " On astonishment. faith. I do not ! ! ! . " Ah. no. regard that scoundrel of a Frdron. yes. pursmng his career. also. while " the god of day. ing at Ferney." said. to Apply the only can do what you require." was the reply." " What Le Franc de Pomthor ? " " The self-same. " I do not take back what I the passage is beautiful. continued Voltaire " he is "he man who my is the only man who although I love him him.

a few yards distant. . having ob- tained the requisite consent of his bishop. Peter's. he has no need of columns of porphyry or candelabras of gold." and while the monosyllables were still singing in the air. Upon conferring with his builders. The contract has been found . let my and to have a grand avenue but I let the impious and talk. that I may place them upon my great altar." "I am building a few days after to idle Thieriot a church: it will not be St. VOLTAIRE BUILDS A CHURCH AND ADOPTS A DAUGHTER. old. he found that the church could be taken down and rebuilt in a less inconvenient place. weather-stained. Close to his new house was the small.at Rome. no doubt. from Avhich rose a tall. ri'pulsive crucifix. they spoke the truth. his curd. that I am building this church in parish in order to throw down the one Avhich conceals a beautiful dren of Israel . Yes. and his handful of villagers. he signed a contract for the execution of the work. The wicked will say. August.CHAPTER XXIX." If the "Avicked" made the remarks which he predicted they would. it runs thus : — . go on working out my salvation. I am announce this consoling news to the chilbuilding a church : all the saints rejoice at it. He resolved to incur this expense . and ugly parish church of Ferne}^ with a dismal cemetery adjoining it. and. I wish it to be : am building a church. The lord of Ferney himself communicated this item of intelligence first to his guardian angels. during the first In run of " L'Ecossaise. the D'Argentals. it was noised abroad in Paris that Voltaire w^as building a church at Ferney. August 3d: "Do Building a church 3'ou know wdiat occupies me at present ? at P'erney Send me your I shall dedicate it to the angels. portrait and that of Madame Scaliger [Countess of Argental]. francs. for twelve thousand prospect. but the Lord known that I And : hears everywhere the prayers of the faithful . We liave not yet quite done with the activities of 1760.

336 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. "This dat. age after age. called hlocaille or hlocage [unhewn] they will make the windows as near as may be of the same dimensions they will use the portal which belongs to the old church. the day on which the said contractors engage to deliver the building to the carpenters for the roofDone at the chateau of Ferney. through the impetuosity of its lord. to be of the same dimensions precisely as the church. the hewn stone at the same price . ! . Baw his opportunity of revenge." ^ ing. Master Guillot and Master Desplace have engaged to build the walls of the church and sacristy of the parith of Ferney. which they will cover with plaster. Nigolardot. They will build the old church. Wagniere. With his workmen about him. or with a good coat of There will be no other ornaments. par L. The whole to be done at the price of the walls of the chateau of Ferney . with little more ceremony than if it had been was turmoil The walls of tlie cemeit looked like) an old barn. to whatever virtuous human beings. Page . whitewash. and the said work. The church was dismantled it were swiftly tery was even half tumbled into ruin. he proceeded to the demolition of the church. new . of the support the said ancient portal. away that gibbet ter was reported to have said. only taking care to cause the portal new church to project four inches. nave and choir. animos158. he was supposed to have The cure of Moens. 1854. have hal- lowed by their veneration. Menage et Finances de Voltaire. will be paid for in full on the 1st or 15th of October next. Before the carpenters began tlieir part of the work there in Ferney. August G. now existing near the chateau. Moreover. leveled. who tells this story. in order that the beams and rafters of the old building may serve for whole of the same height as the same stone. and placing stanchions to the one. 1760. nave and choir. at the place which will be indicated by monsieur the cure . and cherished resentment against him. a parish adjoining Ferney. with a pediment of soft stone above the little portal. pointing to the crucifix outside He went too fast some consideration is due of the church. who had had litigation with Voltaire. 17G0. on the said August 6. being complete. They will make two pilas- ters project four inches on each side of the portal. These four plain pilasters will be of brick. while the sacrament was still " " Take the masin its place on the altar. and hastened to improve it. removing it from the place where it now is. and of the . (what . 1 and explains the cause of the priest's Paris. broken the law. It is the faithful and too modest secretary. the church.

he was alarm. and those gentlemen indulged the confident hope that M. The whole appai'atus of justice. with a high hand. ity. was arrayed against Fercrinunal suit of the most violent character was begun against ney. though they asked for quarter. de Voltaire would be burned. and scattered to their homes in The work was suspended for several weeks. that his villagers might attend mass The affair was indeed serious. Take that gibbet \_potence~\ away! In fact. to One of tliem lay long at death's door. de Voltaire. M. also. that M. in the absence of the Voltaire had already defended seigneur. brought young and bleeding from many wounds. before the ecclesiastical judge \offi. denounced M. de Voltaire had profaned theirs. as well as the inhabitants of Ferney. secular and ecclesiastical. and beat them to insensibility. and now he believed the moment favorable for his revenge He induced the cure of Ferney to remove the sacrament into his church. in The One parishioners against the tyranny of this priest. 11 . in the presence of a very devout ' seamstress. publicly. He never pardoned tliis interference. like most of the remoter parish priests of that age. and." to baffle the irate pastors. led them over the snow on a winter evening at nine o'clock to the widow's house. the bells. and ruled his villagers. apparently. speaking of the cemetery cross. VOL. were supping with a widow of respectable family in a hamlet of his parish. II. went in procession to carry The cure of Moens then the holy sacrament to the church at Moens. He pretended. de Voltaire. whose house he was brought. mised at length. took four strong and robust jjeasants. day. and it cost the cure a good deal of money. having learned that three young men. himself also car- rying one. half dead. squire. as guilty of impiety and sacrilege. it appears. de Voltaire had said. all in one. his own Wagniere explains " : — The cure of Moeus. terrified. the confessionals. for the greater This they said even glory of God and the edification of the faithful. and obliged the fonts three miles away. interested himself earnestly in getting The affair was comprojustice done this unfortunate yOung man. to remove the altar. A the lord of the place. armed with thick sticks. 1759. 337 curd of Moons. the cure of Ferney. also in tears. on their return from hunting.BUILDS A CHURCH AND ADOPTS A DAUGHTER. that M. or at least hanged. half a league from his residence. and it cost him much trouble His workmen were brought to a stand by formal interdict. and priest. man was to his bruised a chateau. justice. persuading him. with tears in his eyes. followed by his parishioners. was policeman.cial'\ of the county of Gex.

' : I am making. Meanwhile. an absolute domain in my cemetery. not as they wished. and he threatened to the extent of his whole loss. My bishop is a fool \_8ot] who was unwilling to grant the unfortu- . 1761. him some of then. by producing a serve either as to of a cure ordinance 1627.338 during the interval. astics case be a Protestant temple ? He struck terror to the accusing priests come upon them for damages to such a dance up In a word. an indulgence in articulo mortis^ and for my lifetime a beautiful bull for myself alone. there was much sending to Paris for ecclesiastical law books and works upon church histhere was also vigilant search in the same for precetory . that they were glad to be allow^ed quietly to drop the prosecution. complete the church according to his original plan. as he related it to D'Argental. The adventure relics for of ' make her serve my litMahomet encouraged me. if not. he led these ecclesiand down the ordinances and prece- dents. giving permission to cultivate the soil on fete days without being damned. . and. forbidding royal this ordibroken had or in such cases. M. there was voluminous correspondence with a learned advocate of Lyons there were subtle disquisitions as to how far a church may be demolished without ceasing to be a church there w^ere cross-questionings of workmen to ascertain whether dents . a potence or a poteau there were counter-suits brought by the . LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. Ferney against the cures for illegal assumptions of authority there were communings on the question whether the bishop could or could not be compelled to rebless the rebuilt church. the accumulation of ages. and permit him to " Iiishop. a pleasant request to the holy father I ask my church. and . . when that guardian spirit remonstrated against his wasting upon such trifles as these time which might have enriched the national theatre with another drama: " destiny is to scoff at Rome and — My tle purposes. prosecutor. He loved to He shall relate here this signalize and decorate a triumph. beaten them all and I am bi^lding my church as I wish. They prosecutor judge nance. de Voltaire had called the crucifix a gibbet or a post. tvonderful tale himself." he wrote in Juiie." Nor was this the end of his victory over them. then what? Would it not in that lord of . " I have judge. Jesuit.

no church in France dedicated to God. The polite people of Paris were much interested at this time in the family of a nephew of the illustrious Corneille. nappy termination of the controversy occurred none too soon for a new inmate was coming to Ferney. the church being finished. made " as splendid as a Roman emperor. while. and there being then. Yet. On Sunday's the lord of Ferney sometimes went to mass." he wrote to a friend of Madame de Pompa'• I am very well. The edifice was duly reblessed. you see. This family having been reduced by a series of misfortunes to . he inscribed on it. to feudal seign- His petition to the Pope. when he was duly incensed. in compliance edy. two interesting objects reached the chateau of Ferney." and set up inside the church. with Voltaires request. On the same day in October. Indeed. as he remarked. not quite all. being supported by the Duke of Choiseul and the French ambassador. Francis. Avas redecorated. instead of working. de Voltaire. once so unpleasing an object. author " of the " Cid." in acknowledgment of the dedication of the trag- The other was a relic.BUILDS A CHURCH AND ADOPTS A DAUGHTER. both for this world and for the other. Deo Solo (to God alone). Thus." He was nuich amused by the arrival of the relic on the same day as the portrait. still prevails in many dioceses. this . 1761. who could scarcely have remained there if the master of the chateau had been in open feud with the priests of the neighborhood." INIeanThese modest requests went their way to Rome. It " was a notification to persons and powers con- cerned that M. as his next exploit ?howed. coincidence. The crucifix. and this abominable custom of getting drunk in honor of the saints. given by the marquise herself to the author of " Tancrcde. for the new church of Ferney. an inscription which he afterwards changed to the one it now bears Deo Erexit — : Voltaire. and did not fail to let Paris know the dour. such an honor appertaining eurie. was granted in part. after forty years of exertion." and the " father thereby of French tragedy. had conquered the liberty of saying and doing very nearly all he pleased. One was the portrait of Madame de Pompadour. This relic was a small piece of the hair-shirt (^cilice) of St. 339 uate land of Gex tlie permission I ask. sent by the Pope.

your merit. ruins. she came to Les Delices." he wrote. The letter reached him in November. Old debts absorbed the greater part of the money. and to deserve the preference which you are pleased to give us. who only needed education It occurred to him to give to be everything heart could wish. her as a companion to his niece. The company.'' proposed that one of Corneille's dramas should be performed at the Th(?atreFran^ais for their benefit. and in December. mademoiselle. witli the usual generosity of their profession. has the plump face of a puppy. our principal abode is in France. of close to their door. most beautiful eyes. 1760. she wrote a letter to Voltaire. he was not unmindful of these circumstances. 1760. upon charity. a most He We . indeed. and his priests were in full cry after him. in a very tolerable chateau. a few he was passing the winter. nor of their possible effect upon a father and mother who were dependent .340 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. With assistance. cheerful. whom Friends in Paris called Voltaire's attention to the familj''. which greatly pleased him and. and were so well seconded by the public that the proceeds amounted to five thousand five hundred francs. sincere. and the letter with which you honor me augment in Madame Denis and myself the desire to receive you. Fr^ion. the means of occupation. saw the wolf again very — and spoke highly of Marie as a young lady of pleasing ap^ pearance and excellent disposition. parents and the eldest was a daughter past seventeen. Moreover. which I have recently built. she had inherited a tincture of the family talent. as well in such of the lighter labors of the hand as you may prefer as in music and study." . and to assume the charge of her education and establishment. entered warmly into the scheme. days after. and in which you will be much more commodiously lodged than in the house where In both houses you will find 1 have the honor to write to you. in his children. while his church was still in In his reply. I ought to say to you that we pass several months of the year in a country neighborhood (Les but you will have all possible facilities Delices) near Geneva and aids for the duties of religion. and soon the Corneilles " destitution. a league from there. " Your name. Annee Litt^raire. where find her. " " She to natural. D'Argental. i sent ordei's to his notary in Paris to supply the needful money.

January 15. " Her heart [he wrote. with two rows of pearls. We mass of the parish. . the very week of her arrival. and the good-nature which make the charm pleases me in her above all things is her attachment and her gratitude to all the persons to whom she is under obligation. We are strict regimen and rest from all labor." he would say lady of rank. wdio has no disposition to A on my few days hands after. He . do not forget the little pronunciations custom makes all easy. Our first care must be to about to resume our lessons in spelling. a large mouth sufficiently alluring. 1761] appears excellent. as he was finishing a letter to D'Argental. We have discontinued our lessons. each of them contends for the honor of exof society. the graces. . which assuredly are not diflRcult. so far. he began to give her a daily lesson in both. We ." They were both surprised at her ignorance. look about for a tutor he was resolved to afford her all the advantages which she could have had if she had been a young " it becomes " I am a soldier. take care of the daughter of my general. " I have terrible affairs . one day. that sublime science. she sends me daily a little note. It is not yet time to give her masters . ecuting her little commissions. ! . to In a few days. she has none except my niece do not let pass either incorrect expressions or vicious and myself. What to her father. There are hours for study and hours for emlabors of the hand. to ." to have made good progress in comthe her pen. if we do not make a learned woman of her. enable her to speak her native tongue with simplicity and nobleness. and we have every reason to hope that. and She appears. in the first month of position. and Voltaire began at once. and : we give it. and she gives me an account of what she has read. I ought not to omit that I accompany her myself to the broidery. which I correct. gave her residence. who is enchanted to be near her. All the servants love her.BUILDS A CHURCH AND ADOPTS A DAUGHTER. 341 beautiful complexion. who will have all the virtues. She had learned by herself to read and write a little . make her write every day . she will become a very amiable person. however. We We . . ." In a month he was enraptured with her amiable character and engaging me to demeanor. She has been a little sick." D'Argental my most difficult task is to teach grammar to Mademoiselle Corneille. You can judge if Madame She is very well attended to a femme Denis has taken care of her de chambre has been assigned her. owe but the example. while a violent cold compels her to a She begins to mend.

have enjoyed in full measure long before. " his angels. What would have become of the given child. ." said he. Corneille. de I Voltaire calls M. at length." circles gave expression to the feelings of the religious agraphs that were ingeniously malign. and he took care that her father and her father's friends should know it. we kiss the end of your wings. and I am persuaded that tliose pompous announce- ments are giving much pain to that modest poet. and Madame d'Argental have discovered that they are mine also. poor she had had no other protector in the " Ann^e Litteraire. one Abbd de la Tour-du- Pin. to enable him to asylum which " had been her. Will they permit neille. It seems.342 she wrote. journals." Thus was he . to be devoured at his leisure. A Jesuit priest. " by par- You would " the noise which scarcely believe. from this eclat. M. LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. Chimene is the name of the heroine in the Cid of Corneille. 1 to see But. She had spent a short time rein at a convent-school and it was from that conParis." wrote Voltaire. and tasting. lost from the fold. who knows that the principal merit of laudable actions is to keep them seci-et." me to present to them my tender gratitude? CorTo which he added. de Voltaire makes in the world. " " if than this bad relation ? Fr<iron. that M. My angels. and been now surrounded by worthy sons and dauglitei'S. urgently solicited a httre de " " ravish her from the cachet. Events soon that this was a Here was a lamb proved necessary precaution. cently vent that she went to the chateau of Voltaire There was much remark upon this circumstance in the pious circles of the metropolis Jansenists and Molinists could sincerely unite ! V. de Voltaire is not accustomed to give such proofs of his goodness of heart. the richest recompense of honorable living. Like a veritable French father. papers . and that it is the most extraordinary thing in the world him cast a look of sensibility upon a young unfortunate. he went with this new daughter to mass. a relation of the Corneilles. besides. which. some of the delights of pahad he lived in another time or land. this generosity of M. he might ternity. in deploring it. Denis. and gone to live in the very den of the wolf. " Eh^ Men ! It seems to me that Chimene ^ begins to write a little less on the diagonal. It is of in in all the the in the public spoken gazettes.

Malesherbes. and exerted all the influence he could command to get nation. proud tected in ac. gentleman he wrote. treats like a brother. except there. in . mainmerly ill a must own word. 1761. to use the means that nature and ." his pride reading such paragrajihs in the he grew cold and distant. leaving We into good hands. dentist. were L'Ecluse. upon " Annee Litt(iraire. whom he lodges. finally relinquished The when his professi(mal services were required modest employment had indeed been found for I\I. has fallen on her IMademoiselle Corneille that. and. done his ward. and not an inmate of Voltaire's of noblesse took the alarm her. that "the father of the young lady was a kind of little clerk of a two-penny post. foran actoi at the Opera-Comique." " once. left a convent to receive at the de Voltaire her education from a circus-clown. "coming from Gascogne. convent. Voltaire sent for the numbers He was roused to the last degree of indigcontaining them. if it should be said of her that she was educated by a circus-clown. it often is borne by innocent women. but. once an excellent actor. of the light citizens of Paris He proceeded on this occasion in his usual method. of and base at way thinking. young gentleman of the neighborhood. Upon hearing of these libels. established at Geneva. first. and that his daughter had house of ^1. at fifty francs a month wages. and he would get it. he said. Corneille. A " If a by the timid minister. when she had been but three months domesticated at Les D^lices.BUILDS A CHURCH AND ADOPTS A DAUGHTER. after denial. which vvas. because Frdron was '• projustice house. He failed. but it was legitimate and respectable. These paragraphs lost the young lady a husband perhaps saved her from a bad one. saw his daughter insulted in the pages of Frcjron. and insinuations. a year ago. . moreover." Continuing his attacks. 843 lie did the same tiling to a Sieur de rEeluse. was then a groundless." But Marie Corneille was only the descendant of an author educated by an " Such is the author. A March." use such missiles as these in personal contenhappens that the anguish of the dastardly blow When men tion. tains. and. unseen and silent. he would ask satisfaction for the affront. in another number of his journal. to demand justice from the apjDointed ministers of ! " justice . asked her hand in marriage .

" ^ could have written this epigram. This is merely each another way of stating that the court and nobilit}^ of France. . besides advancing the preliminary expenses. then at the summit of his ministerial career. and the terror of her enemies. from Fer- ney " : — While you weigh the interests of England MoNSiEUE. your great mind may at one time reconcile Corneille 1 — La Coste is dead. . All the potentates and powers of Europe seemed to contend which should respond to the editor's proposals with the most alacrity and munifiThe King of France subscribed for two hundred copcence. July 19. Many men . With the consent of the French Academy. The following stanza was set afloat in Paris circumstances gave him. a noted bigamist. A certain Abb^ la Coste. in several volumes. The benefice requires residence. more ably managed. Voltaire himself. taire could . at foi'ty francs each dred the Emperor and Empress of Austria for one hundred Madame de Pompadour for fifty. to be edited and annotated by himself the whole profit of the edition to be invested Never was such a scheme for the dramatist's grand-niece. vacant in Toulon by this loss a place of imporand all Paris noininates for it Fre'ron. . Austria. and conducting every ies. There is tance. the Empress of Russia for two hunies. Et tout Paris vient d'y nommer Freron. benefice exige residence. and Russia subscribed liberally. subscribed himself for a hundred copAs a specimen of his method. detail of the enterprise. but only Volhave provided Marie Corneille with the dowry of revenue and celebrity which he set about securing for her. II vaque dans Toulon Par La cette perte un emploi d'importance. to which he had been condemned. besides laboriously annotating the thirty-three plays. Voltaire wrote to him in English. and France. died in the Toulon galleys.9 44 '. he issued proposals for the publication by subscription of an edition of the works of Pierre Corneille. I may give his application to William Pitt. LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. or more successful. 1761. I will copy only one of the Freron epigrams here. He took revenge upon Freron by he did justice to Mademoiselle Corand burlesque epigram neille by providing for her such a dowry as gave her a choice among many suitors. the pride of his own country. . : — " La Coste est mort.

" gay. votre tres-humble et tres-obeis- sant serviteur. " with having been too severe but I The prodesired to be useful. 345 be with Shakspeave. " Je suis avec un respect infini pour votre personne et pour vos grandes actions. as early as May. : more amiable than ever. W. I dare. M. was performed with Next to his " Annals laborious assiduity and thoroughness. before a volume was ready. The great task.BUILDS A CHURCH AND ADOPTS A DAUGHTER. in any manner. so that. " You " that will see." he wrote exultingly to her friend. ask the name of the king but I am assuming enough to desire . de Voltaire. those pious cares offered to the manes of the founder of French tragedy by the genius who was reserved to perfect it ? I feel the high value of the favorable sentiments you are so good as to express on any subject. not greatest ministers to protect the greatest writers." it was the most tedious and worrying task of his life. everyone loves her disposition. uniform. " She is Besides she will end by keeping a good house." he wrote to Madame du Uef- — — fand. against clear- . INIany royal and princely persons paid for their copies in advance . of the Empiie. he had invested for ward money enough to produce an annual revenue of fifand this was but the beginning. "I am reproached. and I was often very discreet. monsieur. 17(31. " Gentilhomme Ordinaire de replied. and am happy in this occasion of assuring you of the distinguished consideration with which I have the honor to be." from St. : la Voltaire.. digious number of faults against the language. etc. to follow the most illustrious English name. gentle. thus lightly undertaken. Mr. Your name at the head of subscribers sliall 't is wortliv of the tlie greatest honor the letters can receive . For who so insensible to the true spirit of poetry as not to aduiire the works and respect the posterity of the great Corneille? Or what more flattering than to second. 1701. after was done. James's of business but a feeble reason for having deferred auswering the honor of a letter from M. and she plays comedy very prettily. Chambre du Roi. le Brun." his teen hundred francs . earnestly so great a favor. London " The pressure — September is 9. and on so interesting a subject. it . Pitt." There was a considerable subscription in England. Pitt Square.

would not succeed with the family into which Made- about to enter. ness of ideas and expressions. gentals to dole the money out to them in small sums. He sent the pai'ents of the bride a present of twenty-five louis he gave them also a formal invitation to the wedding but he implored the D'Ar. but it served to marry two girls. and never will again. The Duke of Villarsand will be at the ceremony would make some bad jokes. on the comand Voltaire settled upon her as a gift a pletion of the work text-books prized . " a cornet of right man presented himself : French dragoons. God preserve us from it will do will ! be to come quick to We throw ourselves at the wings of our angels. Suitors could not be wanting. that they may prevent him from being at the marriage. and. great to the with observe exactitude which Voltaire fulfilled pleasing . he did the work so well that his — commentary upon Corneille remains to this day one of the by students of the French language and drama. The young lady had thus become a prize for the competition for her dot was something handof eligible young gentlemen some. The edition was completed in 1764. " " They say. Beside the fifteen hundred francs per annum. me that I did not say so terrified the interest. and possessing ten thousand francs a year. I should assuredly have no repugnance but all the world is not as philosophical moiselle Corneille is the other Frenchmen who . in twelve volumes octavo. a thing that never before happened to a commentator. his language." he explained. the proprieties of the occasion. in eight volumes. gentle. . This toil was exceedingly ungrateful and disagreeable. half of against the proprieties. young. . The commentary was also published in 1764 by itself in two volumes. finall}^ against what I might have said. small estate. who possessed noth- At length. his employment.846 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. If I consulted only myself. valued at twenty thousand francs. Adventurers appeared. The wedding occurred in Febthe to content of all concerned and it is ruary. brave. that the first thing the father when he gets some money Ferney. . 1763. and has been since often reprinted. a few years after." Dupuits was the name of this fortunate young man. a near neighbor. there were forty thousand francs of subscriptions due." Indeed. and was reprinted. of a good figure. the ing more precious than debts and bad habits. His appearance.

on the . indeed. He might well " I the was exclaim. of which she availed herself with the Duchess . fortunately. came to see him. my dear crusher of VInfdme {6cr. a veritable grandson of Pierre. and the marriage appears to have been sucHe did not lose his ward by giving cessful in every respect. has just given birth at seven months to a boy. when complete. Vinf. I water" in doing it. in hopes of similar fortune. The request was refused without ceremony." Adieu. . who replied to her in a charming letter. de In due time a daughter was born. riod. he had roof. and it required all his tact some of these solicitations. other forlorn bearers of distinguished names besought him to efface the discrepancy be- tween their lineage and their to parry or divert lot ." he wrote in 1763. baptized it is a great . Corneilles a direct man and. I should be very glad to have the father and mother witnesses of their daughter's happiness. commentary " undertook I all the God have fulfilled thank I obligations " sweat blood and although." All went well. as he elsewhere remarks.BUILDS A CHURCH AND ADOPTS A DAUGHTER. He was. "our child. them to the public." he writes to one necessary to its completeness. in In the same year. The presence of Marie Corneille consoled him for the tedious labor of commenting for she added to his home an element " Our child. consolation. Aurora de Saxe. Madame Dupuits. Countess of found herself reduced to a little pension from the DauHorn. " with a dozen more little . 347 as your humble servant. in whom he discov- Besides Racines and Corneilles. On this occasion she wrote to Voltaire. and. as he did. who died at the end of two hours. one fine day. for other It was long before he was done with the family Corneilles emerged to view.^y ered " singular talents. " We are menaced. these letters to who the collector ing gave she wrote. of the "brethren" in 1765. claimed free admission to the Thdatre-Franqais. her away for the married pair continued to reside under his . and even that phiness suddenly failed her. patriavchally speaking. " ground that he was a descendant of the family of Racine. The late Ma- dame George Sand cherished two interesting letters of this peIn communicatwhich connect it with the present time. a young line. " My grandmother. — . and there their children were born.

and the duchess. My hus- band. For my dowry she obtained his promotion as king's lieutenant at Schelestadte." LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. plead the cause of the unfortunate you will cause to resound in all hearts the cry of pity. the Dauphin and Dauphiness. am abandoned. ii. Rancoux. in order to obtain bread. which overwhelm me in my old age to see that the daughter of the hero of France is not happy in France. to marry me and captain That princess withdrew me from the convent of Saint-Cyr to M. This is the best advice I can tunity of doing good pass unimproved. I fortunes of the daughter. I w'ould go and present myself to the Duchess of Choiseul for then your name would cause both leaves of her door to open. I had the honor to live much with him he deigned It is one of the misfortunes to have much favorable regard for me. persecuted. and I am sure you will succeed when you speak to her. If I were in your place." this letter Voltaire replied in a way to purpose without further expense to himself : To — accomplish . dated Au- " It is to the singer of Foiitenoy that the daughter of Marshal Saxe addresses herself. the I " Madame. and of the condition in which his daughter now is. whose soul is just. But you have done me justice in not doubting the lively interest I take in the daughter of so great a man. in the midst of the fetes given us Since then. To him it belongs to adopt the children of heroes. and to be my support. page j*(i . 1857. give you. de Cayrol. Lawfelt." 1 ^ Lettres Inedites de Voltaire. and beneficent. are have thought that he who has immortalized the victories of the father would be interested in the misforgotten. you did me too much honor when you thought that a sick old man. Fontenoy. in the Royal-Bavarian regiment. chevalier of the order of Saint-Louis. suddenly died. de Horn. noble. 1768. Doubtless. would not let such an oj^iDor. Par M. and you will acquire as much claim to my gratitude as you already have to my respect and to my admiration for your sublime talents. Paris. your father. The was letter of the gust 24. could be so happy as to serve the daughter of Marshal Saxe. I was recognized . as follows : — Countess of Horn. as he is that of the daughter of the With that eloquence which you have consecrated to great Corneille. on arriving at that place. I shall I shall inform him with indignation go very soon to rejoin the hero. and withdrawn from the world. death has taken away my protectthere. Madame the Dauphiness took care of my education after my father's death. Vol.348 of Clioiseul. I ors. 146.

and but it was not the less grave necessary he was resolved that the lord of Ferney should not be buried . he withdrew more and more " from Les Dclices." she once wrote to him. " I do not fear death. the bee-hives. and was thus enabled to rear her granddaughter in the chateau of Nohant. one misfortune having been born. one sentiment. he expressed himon the Her very fully question. Many in the for a passages like the following occur in the letters of these later years : — To Frederic II. There is no part that can be played upon the theatre of the : " I world which I should prefer to non-existence . This folly and all that follows. The Countess de Horn married a farmer-general soon after. as am tempted pleasure of in it. and Roman." he remarked. and hoped to get safely into it without asking permission of curd or bishop. from the chateau of Ferney. He was measured tomb. monsieur. He had a singular abhorrence of the ceremonial which the church a})pointed for the dying. one it is the misery of chagrin. " Two little " could carry me to the boys. Is life worth living? own opinion on the point. to get myself carried to Neuchatel to have the dying in your house . of proaches me with himself of my eyes. the hideous old cemetery was rearranged the park and gardens were laid out the great barn. and has already possessed Prussia : my teeth. partly within his church. his old friend. catholic. " to have one . my part. and my ears. it had been sweeter to live Madame du Deffand. as readers are aware. and " amused himself by building a tomb But .BUILDS A CHURCH AND ADOPTS A DAUGHTER. had its designed effect in procuring relief to the lady. which supplied the novelist with so this is many far available reminiscences. . as it appears. and yet (what . the silk-house. self To avow it. is so repugnant to me that I world. to which we now return. tremely ridiculous to get ourselves oiled to go into the other we grease the springs of our carriage for a journey. religion. for the resting-place of his bones. were in operation. Seeing in Ferney his final home. I have but one fixed thought. 349 This letter. but I have an in- vincible aversion to the manner in which we die in our holy It seems to me exapostolic. manner of Adrienne Lecouvreur. Voltaire's little church was finished. which aplong strides. was positive " For enough.

twenty-three years of age. let us reason a little. has accustomed himself to his condition. not thigh a little . for us. In this tone he invariably spoke of life and death he enjoyed life he never had the slightest fear of death. all. but I must tell you that I have in my house a relation. and He loves life to folly. I pray you. All that is very disgusting. thougli of : — "I agree with you that life is very short and sufficiently unhappy. notwith- standing It its is good qualities. I should not have the being ^ She often disless horror of death. He died like a dog. 462. trifling incision was made paralyzed for the rest of his days not paralyzed in a part of his body. of that for Of what unction. well made. who wish that we should be as stupid as they are. It is necessary for us to make our arrangements in good time. May 9. or." coursed in this strain. and no one troubles them about it. the idea that we shall never wake again which gives us pain it is the ajDparatus of death which is horrible. without any one objecting they await the last moment." People kill themselves . but I believe it impossible truly to love annihilation. it is not painful It is only for a moment . handsome. and cut his : and there he was. Paris. 1764 seem to you inconsistent).350 will LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. The worst is that we are then surrounded by hypocrites. They say sometimes of a man. he would point to his church and tomb with evident complacency. they " would let us die without saying anything to us about it. with the absolute certainty that he could never get the least relief. It is not that annihilation has not something good in it. good is it to us to pronounce our sentence? That sentence will be well executed without the notary and the priests taking any trouble about it. I were perfectly certain about to return to nothingness. A to lift his head. if they please. the barbarity of extreme the us us all is over. vigorous. In showing visitors about his estate. . 1 2 Lettres de Madame du Deffand. cruelty notifying — . who worry us to make us think as they do not in the least think or else by imbeciles. An anonymous " letter from : . and then never to think of it ' again. it is as like sleep as two drops of water. very certain that death is not felt at all . As to death. . Explain me to myself. . 1864.' But truly a dog is very happy to die without all that ceremony with which they If they had a little charity persecute the last moments of our lives. The only pleasure of life at Geneva is that people can die there as they like many worthy persons summon no priests at . and this is what happened to him he fell from his horse one day in hunting. He replied. but so paralyzed as not to be able to use any of his members.

" 351 gives part of a conversation that occurred between travelers. say." he con" tinued. " but is it the a fine Avord between two great names.BUILDS A CHURCH AND ADOPTS A DAUGHTER. He then showed his tomb protruding from the " The wicked will wall of the little church. as they stood looking at the golden " That is letters of the inscription : Deo erexit Voltaire. that I am neither inside nor outside. no word chosen." Ferney him and some ! . ? it not have been dicavit or sacravit?''^ term Should proper " " cried Voltaire. who explained the significance of the No." said one .

CHAPTER XXX.
THE GALAS TRAGEDY.
Hitherto the enterprise of crushing VInfdme had been condueted in a sportive manner, which appears to have been as amusing to the sportsman as to the spectators. In the events
claiming our attention there was no ingredient of the are now to see VInfdme^ not ridiculous, but teramusing.

now

We

rific

not uttering foolish words, but doing hideous things. ; In the south of France, within sight of the Pyrenees, and not far from midway between the Atlantic and the Mediter-

ranean, is the ancient city of Toulouse, capital of the province of Languedoc, and the seventh city of the kingdom in wealth and imj)ortance. It is the chief town of that part of " is situFrance in which " the famous of
village

Pompignan

and where the chateau of the Le Francs is still shown to curious strangers. Toulouse was one of the most provincial in a places Europe truly pagan city, using that word in its In that age of the Encyoriginal sense of non-metropolitan. clopajdia and the Encyclopedists, Toulouse still valued itself " relics," among which upon possessing a wondrous store of were the bodies of seven apostles, the bones of many of the
ated,
;

infants slain

by Herod, part

of the robe of the

Virgin Mary,

and divers

In Touof ancient bishops. louse, such events as the expulsion of the Huguenots and the
skulls

and skeletons

massacre of

St.

Bartholomew's day were celebrated every

year as occasions of joy and triumph. The news of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes was received there with enthusiasm, and commemorated at the public expense by two frescoes one representing Louis XIV. holding a cross in his left hand and a drawn sword in his risjht, with soldiers behind
:

him, forcing Protestants to kneel to images the other picturing the massacre of St. Bartholomew, in which mothers and
;

children were seen murdered b}" soldiers, to implorincr arms and agonized faces.

whom

they lifted

THE GALAS TRAGEDY.

353

The anniversary of the St. Bartholomew massacre was celebrated as a two days' festival, by processions and solemn servthe festival having been established by ices of thanksgiving
;

municipal law, and sanctioned by a papal bull. In 1762, the two hundredth anniversary of the massacre, the event was commemorated with unexampled pomp and expense all ranks
;

and professions participating. The magistrates marched in the procession, wearing robes of silk and gold, made at Lyons Le Franc de Pompignan probably among for the purpose for he had them, long been a counselor of honor to the TouThe It was a ghastly and horrible show. louse parliament. cobblers' guild carried the head of the first bishop of the city the roofers bore some of the Herod infants' bones and every so many that there were, it was trade had its dirty relics,
;

;

;

computed, thirty skeletons carried in all fit emblem of the murderous deeds committed two centuries before There were
;
!

Penitents, Gray Penicompanies all the orders and grades of the priesthood tents knights, all intent upon showing themselves, by this nobles, people, Worst of solemn act, "worthy of their pious ancestors."
of
;

White Penitents, Black

;

all, nearly the whole movable population of the city and its vicinity looked on this sliameful procession in admiring sym-

pathy.
still a few Protestant families in Toulouse, livthere on sufferance, excluded from the more desirable callProtestant could not be a lawj^er of any grade, nor ings. hold the smallest municipal office. He could not be a physi-

There were

inc:

A

cian, surgeou, printer, bookseller, goldsmith, grocer, or apotheProtestant family could not keep a Protestant servcary.

A

ant,

and a Protestant business man could not keep a ProtA woman, in 1748, was fined three thousand estant clerk. francs for serving as a midwife without having first joined the Roman Catholic communion.^ Tlie people of the city cherished against the Protestants the antipathy which is so natuand every time they walked abroad ral to bigoted ignorance reminded were they by public woiks of art that the slaughter It w;is but natuof Pi'otestants was a pious and holy work. ral that they should attribute to Protestants the same inhu;

man
1

feelings.

The ignorant people
et sa Fainille,

of

Toulouse believed that
Paris, 1838.

Jean Galas
II.

par A. Goquercl,

fils.

Page

51.

VOL.

23

:54

LIFE OF VOLTAIRE.

it was a fixed principle with Protestants to put to death by secret assassination any of their number who should turn Cath-

olic.

The

assassin,

of the sect,
self,

they thought, was chosen in the conclave and he was bound, on pain of being killed himits

to execute

bloody decree.
is

An

idea of this kind

is

so congenial to fanatic credulity that

vailing

where there

find it often prea small superior class in the midst of a

we

benighted population. Jews, freemasons, Protestants, philosophers, democrats, socialists, have been the occasion of such

M. a belief at different jDcriods and in different countries. us the belief in that Toulouse assures prevails to-day Coquerel and the reason why it prevails, he thinks, is because it is so
;

exquisitely absurd.

This

is

the jjicture of a house in Toulouse,

still

standing,

No. 50, in La Grand Rue
des Filatiers, the principal thoroughfare of the city.

When this picture was taken, in 1835, the house
had undergone no
under
altera-

tion since the period

now
ex-

consideration,

cept that on the sign-board there was then, " Jean Galas, March and d' In" DIENNES or, as should say, dealer in
;

we

las
House
of the Galas Family at Toulouse,

dry goods. Jean Gawas one of the few
PrOtCStautS of

1762.1

ToU-

louse, where he had been established in business for forty In years, and ever maintained an irreproachable character.

a singularly placid, 1761 he was sixty-three years of age of not extraordinary abilikindly, tolerant, prudent man, of human beings but one of the and worthiest ties, gentlest the slightest without attached to the reformed church, firmly His tincture of ill-will toward his Gatholic fellow-citizens.
; ;

business was not extensive, his whole capital amounting to eighty thousand francs ; but he had reared respectably a fam1

From Jean

Galas et sa Famille, par A. Coquerel,

fils.

Paris, 1858.

THE CALAS TRAGEDY.
ily of

355

four sons and two daughters, of

His wife a lad fifteen years of age. in vivacity of mind, and her family

whom tlie j^oungest was was superior to himself had remote connections
One
of the sons

with the ancient nobility of the province.

had been converted
before.

to the

Roman

Catholic religion some time

The

old man, so far from resenting this, heartily con

ceded his son's right and sole responsibility in the matter. He was even more liberal to that son than to the rest of his He was known to his friends and neighbors as a children.

man free from the intolerant spirit. The day of doom for this family was October

13, 1761.

All had gone as usual in the shop and in the home above it until the evening. The labors of the day were done the
;

shop was shut; the supper-time of the family was approachSeveral members of the household were absent from incf. home. Louis, the Roman Catholic son, a Toulouse appren-

Donat, the tice, was at his master's house, in another street. youngest son, was an apprentice at Nismes. The two daughters were at a neighboring village, where they were accustomed to pass a part of every fine season. There were in the house, that evening, the father, aged sixty-three years, and somewhat infirm for his age the mother, a vigorous and ef;

a Catholic servant, Jeannette, in the family for twenty-five years, and was devotedly attached to it Jean-Pierre, the second son, a young man of twenty-five, well disposed, but of little force of charficient

woman

of

forty-five

;

who had been

;

Marc-Antoine, the eldest son, twenty-eight, of ])owerframe and gloomy disposition and, finally, an accidental guest, Gaubert Lavaysse, a young man from Bordeaux, who had come to visit his parents at Toulouse, before embarking
acter
;

ful

;

for the

West

Indies.

Marc-Antoine, the eldest son, was the black sheep of the flock. In youth, he had shown some taste for literature, and was thought to have a talent for oratory. Having an aversion for his father's business, he had studied law, and was prepared to enter the profession, when he was met by the discovery that he could not be admitted to the bar without producing from

He tried the cure of his parish a certificate of Catholicity. to gain this certificate by concealing that he was a Protestant.
The
fact

being discovered, he

fell

into a morose habit,

and

356

LIFE OF VOLTAIRE.

Tvasted his time in billiards

aud

tennis.

He was

a

member

of

a dramatic company, and was observed to be particularly fond of declaiming passages from the dramatic poets upon suicide.

Hamlet's soliloquy on that subject was one of his favorite His case was the common one of a young man discontented with the homely, honorable lot to which he was born, without possessing qualities that might have enabled him to Dissolute as he was, he was achieve one more distinguished. the only bigot of his family. He was capable of deceit to evade the legal obstacle to his rise but he was not capable of abjuring a faith which he believed to be essential to salvation. No member of the household but himself had shown resentment
morsels.
;

at the conversion of his brother Louis.
It

was remembered afterwards that he had never been

so

depressed and silent as daring that afternoon and evening. He had made up his miad to destroy himself, and the time

had come. He accomplished his purpose with deliberation, and in a way to give the greatest amount of shock and misery
to others.

He

rose from the supper-table about eight o'clock

took off in the evening, and went down-stairs to the shop. his coat, folded it neatly, and laid it upon the counter. a wooden instrument, used in binding bales of cloth,

He

He

placed
across

two

door-posts,

and

to this

he hanged himself.

He

con-

tinued to hang unobserved for an hour or more, while the famtheir evening meal, in the pleasant way of ily conversed, after French families. The second son, Pierre, even fell asleep in
his arm-chair,

so quiet, so every way natural and ordinary, was the state of things in the sitting-room. The manner in which the dread discovery was made was related with affecting simplicity by the mother
:

" On the day so unfortunate for us, M. Gaubert Lavaysse arrived from Bordeaux to see his parents, who were at their country bouse; and, between four and five in the afternoon, while be was looking about to hire a horse to join them, be came to our bouse, and mj husband said to bim that, since be could not get away, it would give us pleasure if be would suj) with us, to wbicb the young man assented and be came up to see me in my room, where I was, according to my
;

custom.

The

ing to sup with
satisfaction,

compliments exchanged, be said to me, I am go1 expressed my you your husband bas invited me and I left bim some moments to go and give orders to my
first
'

'

;

!

THE GALAS TRAGEDY.
servant.
for

357

my

eldest son,

In consequence of the invitation, I was obliged also to look whom I found seated all alone in the shop, plunged

in thought,

to ask

him

to

go and buy some Roquefort cheese
'

;

he was

usually our purchaser of that article, because he was a better judge of it than the otliers. I therefore said to him, Come, now, go and buy some Roquefort cheese ; here is the money for it, and give the change
to

your

father.'

I

went back
there.

whom

I had left

A

my chamber to rejoin the young man few moments after, however, he went
to

away, saying that he wished to return to the hay-dealers to see if a horse hud not come in, as he meant absolutely to start the next day for his father's country house and he went out.
;

had bought the cheese, the supper hour having arrived, everybody (including M. Lavaysse, who had come in again) went to the table. During the supper, which was not very
eldest son

"

When my

long,
tion

we

talked of indifferent things, and,

among

others, of the an-

tried to menmy some of them, and his brother interrupted him, because he did not describe them well nor correctly. " While we were still at the dessert, that unfortunate child [e??/a«<] I mean my eldest son rose from the table, as his custom was, and went into tlie kitchen. The servant said to him, Are you cold, Mr.
tiquities at the City

Hall

;

and

younger son, Pierre,


'

'

Eldest?

yourself.' l^Monsieur rAine.^ replied to her, ' the I am and went hot he out. ; ; Quite contrary burning " remained some moments longer at the table, after which we

Warm

He

We

M. Lavaysse, my husband, my son, and passed into the sitting-room, myself. The first two took seats upon the sofa, my younger son in an
arm-chair, and myself in an ordinary chair ; and there we conversed together. younger son went to sleep, and about a quarter to ten

My

leave of us, and we woke my younger son to accompany the said Lavaysse, putting the candle in his hand to light him down and they descended together. " But when they had reached the bottom, the instant after, we heard cries of alarm, without distinguishing what was said upon wliich, my husband ran down, and I remained, trembling, at the head of the stairs, not daring to descend, not knowing what could be the matter. "Nevertheless, seeing no one come, I determined to go down, which I did but I found at the bottom of the staircase M. Lavaysse, of whom I eagerly asked what had happened. He only said that he begged me to go up again, and that I should know and he so urgently insisted upon my doing so that I went up with him into my "oom. Doubtless, it was to spare me the pain of seeing my son in that condition and he went down again. But my uncertainty was too painful to be long borne I therefore called my servant, and said
; ; ; ; ;

M. Lavaysse took

;

58
to her,
'

LIFE OF VOLTAIRE.
Jeaniiette,

go and see what
;

is

the matter

down

there.

I do

has happened I am all of a tremble.' And I put the candle into her hand, and she descended. Not seeing her come back,

not

know what

What was my anguish and down myself. But, great God astonishment, when I saw that dear son stretched upon the floor! Nevertheless, I did not believe him dead, and I ran to find some
I went
!

my

Queen-of-Hungary water, believing he had been taken ill and, as is that which last abandons us, I applied all the possible remedies to recall him to life, not being able to persuade myself that he
;

hope

was dead.

We all indulged hopes, since the surgeon had been sent for and he was near me without my seeing him, until he told me that it was
"
;

useless to
it

do anything more for him, for he was dead. I insisted that could not be, and begged him to renew his exertions, and to examine him more carefully, which he did, without avail ; it was but too

ter, in utter despair, in

husband was leaning upon a counmy heart was torn between the deplorable spectacle of my dead son and the fear of losing that dear husband from the grief to which he entirely abandoned himand it was in this state that the self, without heeding any consolation
true.

And

during

all this

time

my

such a condition that

;

officers of justice

found

us,

when they
-^

arrested us in our sitting-room,

to

which we had again ascended."

Such was

tlie

mother's narrative.

One

or

two other

facts

knowledge passed within After summoning the surgeon, the house on that woful night. Pierre, the younger son, discovering that his brother had inof w"hat

will complete the reader's

deed taken his own life, lost his self-possession, and was about " to ask advice to rush into the street, as he said, everywhere." " Do not and said to and father called him
back, him, go spread abroad the report that your brother has made away with himself. Save at least the honor of your miserable famPierre promised to obey. He ran out. He went to the ily."
in his eyes,
billiard saloon frequented by his brother, and asked, with tears if his brother had had a quarrel with any one.

His

He

found Lavaysse again, and begged him also to deny the suicide The young man consented to do so, desiring to of his brother. save the family from the shame and loss, which suicide inUnder the ancient laws of the kingdom, a dead man volved. suspected of having taken his own life was put on his trial, as though he were alive, and, if convicted, he was drawn, naked,
1

Coquerel, page 76.

THE GALAS TKAGEDY.

359

through the streets on a tumbril, with the face downward, pelted by the populace with mud and stones, and then hung in All his property was confiscated to the chains on a gibbet. shrank from the anguish and ignoafflicted father The king. It was a natural and most pardonable such scenes. of miny
error, but it

was a

fatal one.

A few perPassers-by heard the outcry within the house. The strange noises continuing, sons gathered about the door. there was soon a considerable crowd of people, whose exciteWhile they were eagerly pressthe door was thrown open, and they the about house, ing saw burst from it and rush awaj' a strange young man, in the dress of a gentleman three-cornered hat, gray coat, red waistment increased every moment.
:

coat, red breeches,

and a sword.

This was Lavaysse, whose

family belonged to the noblesse of the bar,
therefore wear a sword

and who could and gay-colored garments. A moment after, Pierre Galas came out, crazy with fright, who also tore away in wild haste and when he had brought the surgeon he ran out again, utterl}'^ bewildered. Before many minutes had passed, there was a multitude of people about the house, all in a fury of curiosity to know what terrible thing had happened. The rumor quickly spread that it was an affair of sudden death and soon it began to be reported that the eldest son A of the family had been found dead, perhaps murdered voice was heard from the midst of the crowd, saying,
;
;

!

" Those Huguenots have killed their son
Catholic
!

to

"

prevent his turning

Gunpowder is not readier to ignite from a roving spark than those excited provincials were to take fire from such words as those, which liarmonized with their habitual feelings concernfeelings kept alive by the annual celebration ing Protestants, of the great massacre of 1562. The words were repeated to


;

every new-comer
afflicted family,

and the

Lavaysse

arrival of the police, sent for by the serving as their messenger, confirmed

the people in the belief that a fearful crime had been committed. David, one of the eight capitouls or chief magistrates of 'ihe city, an infuriate and servile bigot, arrived, erelong, to take

charge of the proceedings. lie, too, heard the dreadful cry " Those Huguenots have killed their son to prevent his turning
:

Catholic

"

!

and

if

the words had blazed out upon

him

across

360
the

LIFE OF VOLTAIRE.

midnight sky in letters of miraculous fire he could not have believed them with more complete and instantaneous
faith.

And

it

is

precisely such beliefs, not received through

the reason, that are clung to against reason.
father, mother, son, and servant, with their guest, old friend who had come in on hearing of the and an Lavaysse, conducted to the H8tel de Ville, preceded by were catastrophe, the corpse upon a bier, already an object of veneration to the The family were not yet aware of the awful cliarge people. that had been launched against them in the hearino- of the crowd, but supposed that they were required only to go to the HOtel de Ville to give more formal testimony as to what had

The family,

occurred at their house.

They expected

to sleep at

home

that

night, and Pierre Galas placed a lighted candle in the entry to '" give them light on their return. The capitoul David smiled," " it is said, at their simplicity," and ordered the candle to be The out, put saying, "They will not come back so soon." march to the H8tel de Ville was like a midnight funeral. The body upon its bier was followed by the family, by the magistrates, forty of the city guard, and a great number of people. No one seems to have had any doubt of the guilt of the prisoners. To one of the less excited magistrates, who advised more caution in the proceedings, David replied, " I take the whole
responsibility

upon myself."

He

kept repeating,

" This

is

an

affair of religion."

It was past midnight when the cortege reached the Hotel de Ville. The prisoners, not yet realizing their situation, all concealed the fact that the deceased had taken his own life. for if he had not killed It was a device the most maladroit himself, who could have killed him ? There was the rope, and there was the livid circle around his neck, which that rope had If he had not hanged himself, he must have been made.
;

strangled by the united exertions of the family. That natural and venial falsehood of theirs was a kind of confession of their

own

it was accepted as such by the excited people of trained from Toulouse, infancy to believe, forbidden always to After brief a question. preliminary examination, the prison-

guilt

;

the

and solitary confinement in Those assigned to the father and mother were windowless dungeons. The corpse was placed
ers

were

all

committed to

close

cells of

the buildinsf.

THE GALAS TRAGEDY.
for safe-keeping in the torture-chamber,

361

and the next day was when each of the prisoners following days, was examined separately upon oath, the fiction of their finding Marc-Antoine strangled upon the floor was abandoned, and eacli of them related the events of the evening exactly as they had occurred. Their depositions, which were as natuembahiied.

On

simple, and as probable as the narrative of the mother were also in perfect accord upon material points, above, given and would have carried instant conviction to minds not deral, as

bauched and blinded by VInfdme. The next morning all Toulouse heard of these events, and the news quickly spread over the province. What did the people hear? They heard that a family of Protestants had
killed their eldest son to prevent his turning Catholic, cording to the well-known custom of Protestants in

ac-

such

Marc-Antoine Galas was at once accepted as a martyr. In this condition of the provincial mind, the capitoul David played a part congenial to his limited and ferocious nature.
cases
!

He inflamed the popular fury by every means in his power, and the clergy, without one known exception, eiigerly seconded his endeavors. It was through his influence that, when the body of the suicide had lain three weeks in the tortureroom, it w'as borne to the grave with more than royal pomp. A Sunday afternoon was appointed for the burial, a time when the whole population was at leisure. An immense procession, headed by more than forty priests, accompanied the corpse from the H8tel de Ville to the cathedral the White Penitents conspicuous in the procession, bearing candles and the banner of their order. One of the wild fictions current in the city wtis that the dead man had been upon the point of join;

vast concourse ing these White Penitents. dral ti^ witness the funeral service.

A

filled

the cathe-

Some days

after, the

White Penitents held

in their

chapel

a hideous solemnity for the repose of the suicide's soul, in which the other religious orders participated by delegations.

The church was hung with white
it

cloth,

and in the middle

of

a lofty catafalque was erected, also draped in white, on the summit of which was set up a hired skeleton, in a standing posture holding in one hand a branch of palm, emblem of
;

martyrdom, and in the other an inscription

in large letters,

362 "

LIFE OF VOLTAIRE.

the

Abjuration of Heresy." At the feet of the skeleton waa name of the " martyr," Marc-Antoine Galas. A second

service of the same character was held in the chapel of another order, a few days after. ^ For three successive Sundays, in October and November, 1761, an admonition or menace (^monitoire) was read in all

the churches of Toulouse, which notified the people precisely what testimony was needed by the public prosecutors to convict the family. By this document all persons were threatened with dire penalty who had knowledge of the affair and failed to come forward and testify. This solemn denunciation was

particularly directed

(1.) "Against all those who know, by hearsay or otherwise, that Marc-Antoine Galas had renounced the religion pretending to be reformed, in which he was educated that he had attended the ceremonies of the Roman Catholic church that he had presented him;

;

sacrament of penitence ; and that he was to make a public Also, to abjuration after the 13th of the present month of October.
self at the
all

those to
"

whom

Marc-Antoine Galas had communicated
all

his inten-

tion.

those who know, by hearsay or otherwise, that, change of belief, the Sieur Marc-Antoine Galas was threatened, maltreated, and regarded with an evil eye in his house that the person who threatened him told him that, if he made a public abjuration, he would have no other executioner than himself.
(2.)

Against

on account of

this

;

or otherwise, that a urged on her husband to such menaces, and herself threatened Marc-Antoine Galas.
(3.)

"

Against

all

those

who know, by hearsay
to heresy,

woman, reputed
"
(4.)

to

be attached

Against all those who know, by hearsay or otherwise, that, on the 13th of the present month, in the morning, a council was held in a house of the parish of La Danrade, at which the death of MarcAntoine Galas was resolved upon or advised and to those who, on the same morning, saw a certain number of the said persons enter or
;

leave the said house.
" (5.) Against all those who know, by hearsay or otherwise, that, on the same day, the 13th of the month of October, between sunset and near ten o'clock, that execrable resolve was carried out by forc-

ing Marc-Antoine Galas to his knees ; who, by surprise or by force, was strangled or hung with a rope with two knots, one to strangle, and the other to be fastened to the billet of wood used for binding

^

Jean Galas

et sa Famille, 113.

TKE GALAS TRAGEDY.
bales of cloth, by

363

means
all

and put
(6.)

to death, either

of which Marc-Antoine Galas was strangled by suspension or by twisting.

"Against

those

who heard
^

the assassin; and, afterwards,
yon'}
'^

Ah.,

my God! What

a voice crying for help against have I done to

Have mercy on me!' The same voice having then become and saying, Ah, my God! Ah, my God!' (7.) Against all those to whom Marc-Antoine Galas communicated the inquietudes which he experienced in his house, which rendered him sad and melancholy.
plaintive, "

" (8.) Against all those who know that there arrived from Bordeaux, the evening before the IStli, a young man of that city, who, not finding horses to join his family at their country house, was invited to supper in the house, ing in the act.
'•

was

present, consenting to or participat-

Against all those who know, by hearsay or otherwise, who are the authors, accomplices, abettors, favorers, of this crime, which was one of the most detestable."
(9.)

kind desired, " by hearsay or otherwise,'' could not be wanting in the frenzied Toulouse of the autunni

Testimony

of the

A barber's assistant of the neighborhood told his companions that, while passing the house on the fatal evening, he had heard Marc-Antoine cry out, "Ah, man Dieu, they are
of 17G1.

strangling

me!

One

of his

Ah, man Dieu, they are assassinating me comrades understood the words to be, " Ah, /«^7ier,
!

"

Probably, the lad said these things himself of merely consequence during a period of excitement. When the trial came, he had disappeared from the city, and could not be found, a circumstance that was of over!

you are strangling me
to

"

make

whelming weight against the accused.
tified to
;

Several witnesses tes-

having heard passers-by say that they had heard simisuch as, " Ah, father, you are killing me lar outcries Have " me Let me a and others. pity upon prayer say Hearsay testimony seems to have been regarded by the Toulouse parliament, that tried the case, as of equal weight with the testi! !
!

mony

of eye-witnesses.

A
I

priest, for

example, deposed thus
assured

:

'•''Some one,

whose name

cannot

recall,

me

that he

had been

told

by the wig-maker, Durand, who

lives in the great

street near the house of the Sieur Galas, that his assistant,

having gone out into the

street, heard the cries and pleadings, very nearly as reported in the monitoire ; and I believe he saw appear fi'om the door of the said Sieur Galas a young man,

36i

LIFE OF VOLTAIRE.

having in his hand a sword, and looking to the right and to the
left."

This

is

a fair specimen of the testimony bearing against the

The probabilities and facts spoke for them plainly enough, and there was no evidence against them which an enlightened and dispassionate judge would have admitted. The winter was spent in laborious proceedings and, after all, some of the most obvious precautions and inquiries were omitted. It was assumed that the deceased could not have hanged himaccused.
;

the place where he was found but, to the last, this assumption was not put to the test of an inspection of the The jDremises by those who were to pronounce on the case. bar was so intimidated that the prisoners had no efficient defense, and only one member of the parliament preserved his judgment unimpaired. Absurd inconsistency marked every stage of the trial to the very end. If Marc-Antoine was strangled, the deed must have been done by the two young men, aided and abetted by the parents and by the servant, who was an unusually devout Catholic. The court, however, deterself in
;

mined

to decide first

upon the

guilt of the father, in the ex-

pectation of

which would
cause.

extorting a confession from him, under torture, inculpate the rest.

Thirteen members of the parliament of Toulouse tried this After holding ten long sessions, debating and comparing

the testimony, they came to a vote. One man alone gave his voice for unconditional acquittal. Two were of opinion that.,
before deciding the case, the court ought to satisfy itself beyond doubt whether it was a possible thing for the deceased

hanged himself with the cord and billet produced, in door-way specified. Three voted for the subjection of the old man to torture, reserving the sentence of death until he had confessed his guilt. Seven voted for death. B}' the old
to have
the'

law, a bare majority did not suffice for a capital sentence. After another prolonged discussion, the oldest member of the court changed his opinion ; and thus, by eight votes to five,

Jean Galas was doomed to torture and death upon the wheel. In one particular the ancient laws were more merciful than ours: they did not add the misery of long anticipation to the anguish of deatli. Jean Galas was sentenced March 9, 1762, and the sentence was executed the next day.

and placed in readiness to undergo the question ordinaire. to name his accomplices. It was Toulouse. Fanatic magistrates and priests could not have done such things. left him to suffer. had been confined in separate dungeons. accompanied by the same magistrates. sisted in The question ordinaire conthe until all the limbs were drawn stretching body from their sockets. was treated very much as that malefactor was treated whom John Evelyn saw tortured in Paris in the previous century. Being asked. removed from the March 10th. whereupon he and his assistants reported conformity with law and usage. For five months the whole family. that blasted this innocent family and we must not therefore turn away our eyes from the spectacle of their anguish. 1870. he could have The executioner then his " had none. " magistrates in their took an oath upon a crucifix to administer the torture in strict to the contumacy chamber.^ They first bound him by the wrists to an iron ring in the solid stone wall. he replied that. the who was then conducted torture-room. On the morning of father. which were recorded by a clerk. in all respects. if they had been in authority. it was man the Believer. pair of linen drawers. Plis answers. to the court-room. were. This virtuous old man. . page 210. finally. but not yet subjected to the torture. in presence of the magistrates. was questioned concerning all the events of the fatal evening. because man is still man. gentlest and kindest of men. if there had not been behind them a preponderance of credulous people. his He was taken thence to the long sentence was read to him. including their Catholic servant and their guest.THE CALAS TRAGEDY. chained by the irons were feet. heavily . who would have done the same. 365 We ought not to shrink from the contemplation of the agony which Vlnfdme has inflicted. four feet from the ground. New York. good citizen and good father. Lavaysse. as no crime had been committed. and his feet to another ring in the Memoirs of John Evelyn. consistent with his statement given many times before. he plices . or worse. where. He was warned and exhorted to confess his crimes and to reveal his accom- the oath was administered to him he swore to tell the and the magistrates. after warning and exhorting him In sight of the rack. clad only in a again. 1 floor . it was imperfectly developed man. truth . and what man has done to man he can do again.

from a horn. and the other professor of theology. and go required He was . Being questioned again. with an ample length of rope between his feet and the ring. and increasing the anguish to the utmost that could be borne. beheld " I am by thousands of people as he was carried slowly by. but calmly replied that no one had committed a crime in his house that night. reHgain. in acute pain. during which he was again exhorted by the magistrates to tell the truth. storatives were given him." he said. five such vessels of water were poured slowly into . While he hung thus aslant. The old man was to dismount as kneel best he could. innocent years. Before the great gate innocent. He was then released. to allow the victim to take breath. the pull was increased tenfold by sliding under the lower rope a "wooden horse. and the body was drawn out beyond its natural length several inches. This ended the question ordinaire. He was next applied to the Question extraordinaire^ a masterpiece of combined indignity and anguish. with his head ex- tended a little beyond the end of it and while he was thus extended one man held his nose. and he was handed over to the two priests. Every limb was instantly dislocated. They laid this father. until his body was visibly swollen. three pints of w^ater. The man holding the nose occasionally loosened his hold a little. to be prepared by them for death. he again denied the charge. of about three pints' capacity. which had the effect of drawing him out to a frightful length.366 of the LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. With only a moment's pause between each. from time to tim^. and once more asserted his innocence. swellhis Questioned ing his body to more than twice its natural size. as well as by two celebrated preachers. and another poured slowly into his mouth. down. were poured into his mouth. of sixty-four honorable. room. upon a table. He was allowed a rest of half an hour. wearing only a shirt. of the cathedral the procession halted. There was then a pause. Five more horns full of water. and began the long journey to the place of execution. on his back. during which he was once more questioned. He did not waver nor cry out. and the sufferer endured the anguish of a hundred drownings. a taller horse was thrust under the rope. one styled the royal doctor of the University. mouth. he adhered to his former answers. next placed upon the tumbril. Next.

ah. frightened into pretending to abjure his religset at liberty. and. will lead my I son . innocence still itself. hopelessly dishonin a convent. His was bound to the stake and burned. througli " " of 367 God and the some form of asking forgiveness He reached the had not done. that a man can kill his own son ? The}' bound him to a wooden cross that lay upon the scaffold. as it ored. broke each of his limbs in two places. The property of the family w^as wasted and plundered. I vent. Lavaysse was restored to his famil}'. body His heroic persistence in asserting his innocence and the innocence of his family saved their lives. I die innocent. it was confiscated to the king. father for ! . broken in health. and. " you too believe. what he scaffold. children. The stricken mother. that son of M.THE GALAS TRAGEDY. too. home. few moments before the end. crept into retirement near Toulouse. and the executioner put an end to his sufferings by strangling him. clearly discerning that they. do not regret a life which. me thought merely to show politeness by inviting him " to supper. also. The people of Toulouse. was Pierre. During that time he spoke only words of charity and compasprayed for his judges. but that visitor. I pity my to eternal happiness. " Wretch there which is about to reduce your body to ashes speak the " truth Jean Galas turned aside his head. furious to see his victim escaping him Look at the fire without confession. being again exhorted by the priest to avow the truth. wife and to I hope. who was me by a pvmishment the termination of more cruel. priest length. The servant found temporary refuge seemed. it is he who still increases my sorrow The capitoul David. He knew A said. then. and the people generally in the south of . He lived the two hours. cried out. with an iron bar. striking eleven blows in all. ion. after some delay. " and the executioner. Lavaysse. if he could. " What. he sion. was willing I to die for Jesus Christ. " said he known exhorted him to confess. and hope. not what they did. Further proceedings The mother was set at liberty. The two daughters were consigned to a con- whom — ! ! . and then left him for two hours to die. bereft of husband. against them were stayed. — " I have spoken it. and was seen there no more. if any remained. at king a whom he was about to he had As ascend.

and sought safety wanted little to provoke another exo- after the revocation of the tolerant edict of dus of Protestants from France. apprenticed to a manufacturer at Nismes. lest he should be summoned to Toulouse as a witness or an accomplice.868 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. France. remained fully persuaded that this family had murdered their eldest son to prevent his joining the true church. It sold their possessions. a hundred and fifty miles distant. Even young Donat Galas. . like that which had occurred Henry IV. Terror seized the Protestant families of the southern prov- many of whom in Switzerland also. living there when his father was executed. When the news reached Nismes of the dreadful events of October. was enveloped in the ruin of his family. and was inces. He went to Ge- neva. his friends advised him to get beyond the boundaries of France.

informed me of the execution of Galas. such as sometimes produced.CHAPTER XXXI. an apprentice to a manufacturer. 1762. Nevertheless. he reached Geneva. when 1 Sixty-four. Pursuing his journey. not far from my house. still . becomes inflamed by superstition. less " I learned the next day that one of the children of that unfortunate father had fled into Switzerland. Dominique Audibert by name. VOL. a traveler I repHed to him that his crime was not probable but it was probable that disinterested judges should have condemned an innocent man to be broken upon the wheel. that the father had been for the sake of religion. and probably witnessed some of the closing scenes of the tragedy. and assured me that he was inthe end of March. on a journey northward. whose imagination. and feeble. II. simple. of a countenance the most amiable and interesting. 24 . and who in I sent for '' young his province has speaking to me made useless efforts to restrain his tears. I had always remarked that that mania usually attacked only young people. VOLTAIRE INTERFERES. He told me that he was living at Nismes. ardent. chanced to be in Toulouse. ingenuous. I reflected condemned to death for having slain his son and that that father was sixty-nine years ohl. : — who had passed through and who came to two Lauguedoc. and called upon Voltaire to make known to him these horrible events. he was satisfied that the family was innocent. upon inquiring into the case. He was a man of an educated family. Galas. "Near nocent. a member of the Academy and therefore. during the last days of the life of Jean Galas.^ I do not remember ever to have i-ead that any old man had been possessed by so horrible a fanaticism. I saw a child. His Hight made me presume that the family was guiky. Voltaire himself has related the irajjression which M. A MERCHANT of Marseilles. tumultuous. of of Marseilles . Audibert's narrative made upon him intelligence. leagues from Geneva. my retreat. I expected to see a fierce zealot.

She did not hesitate. Far from believing the family fanatic and parricidal. He had been I am ready to seal this truth with my blood. he had come to conceal l^imself in Switzerland. " But what was my astonishment when." ^ It was the narrative of ISIadame Galas. where she was nourished upon her tears. . 1765. I did not inquire if she was attached or not to the Protestant religion. is : whom. I from two merchants at it was fanatics who had accused. " I asked him if his father and mother were of a violent character. they had taken she believed in a God. having written to Languedoc concerning this strange event. and waited for death. which That narrative ended I'emoved the last doubt from his mind. nally if I have augmented or diminislied an iota. and that there were no parents more indulgent and more tender. and if I have not spoken the pure truth concerning all these circumstances. 38 Oiuvres de Voltaire. a rewarder of virtue and an avenger of crime. had retired to solitude. I caused her to be asked if she would declare in the name of God that her husband had died innocent. of well-known probity. believed them guilty. bad a business. in order to escape from such frightful oijprobrium. to punish me eter: . both Gatholics and Protestants replied to me that the guilt of the family was beyond reasonable doubt I was not convinced.370 LIFE OF VOLTAIRE. who knows our innocence. I sought additional information of Geneva. rage. and I persisted. what {"tarty spirit and calumny are capable. governed thought I saw that I knew long ago of ! ministers of state. who had lodged Toulouse in the house of the Galas family. He told me that they had never beaten one of their children." the month when this case a letter was diligently investigating forwarded to him. to province. March 1. They confirmed me in my opinion. and that. as a climax of misery and outaway her daughters.and ruined them. but only if of Galas. from what I did " The widow — who advised me unanimously not to mingle in so This All the world condemned me. " I confess that little more was necessary to make me strongly presume the innocence of the family. 384. just as it passed. I took the liberty to write to those who had the to commandants of neighboring provinces. I hesitated no more. him that all his family at Toulouse were He said that almost all Languedoc the public voice informed about to be condemned to death. given above. " This is the thus affair. and dui'ing that period he was sure only that an ajDpalling crime had been committed in Toulouse pei'haps. : 1 Voltaire to Damilaville. word for word and I pray God.

To the Cardinal de Bern is. March 27th: "You will ask to tell . M." To D'Argental." feelings. his good name. and. 371 by tlie Galas family perhaps.. by the magistrates certainly. cause I it my divine angels. leaving his beloved farms and garden. why I interest myself so has been broken on the wheel? it is strongly It is be- in this Galas. de Ghoiseul Speak vestigate easy to learn the truth from M. The appeal from the province is to the metropolis and he at once accepted the duty of initiating and conducting that His letters of the spring of 1762 show the hold this appeal. laying out his park and plantations. as though he had no other Donat Galas he took into his family. say that they m will not fight heartily for a nation which breaks their brethren on the wheel without any proof Gould you not induce M. all because I see all is because your Swiss Protestant officers foreigners indignant . it saddens me in my pleasures it spoils them. Such were his He executed his purpose of rehabil- itating the family as a man conducts a cause upon the issue of wdiich depend his whole estate. de Ghoiseul to have this fearful event investigated. Vdgobre. it to M. not yet completed. Rus