Voltaire VI

of 474/474
  • date post

  • Category


  • view

  • download


Embed Size (px)

Transcript of Voltaire VI

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    E D I T I O N D E L A P A C I F I C A T I O N

    T H E W O R K S O F







    T H E R T . H O N . J O H N M O R L E Y  

    F O R T Y - T H R E E V O L U M E S








  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


     The WORKS of VOLT A I RE

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI



    Limited to one thousand sets

    for America and reat !ritain"

    #!et$een t$o ser%ants of &umanit'( $ho a))eared

    ei*hteen hundred 'ears a)art( there is a m'sterious re+ation"

    , , Let us sa' it $ith a sentiment of

    )rofound res)ect- .ES/S WEPT- VOLTAIRE S0ILED"

    Of that di%ine tear and of that human smi+e is com)osed the

    s$eetness of the )resent ci%i+i1ation" 2 2

    VICTOR &/O"


    3L" OP OP4

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI






    7T7T47S( AND F4OR EI&TEEN DA8S IN 79:a;




  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI




  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    VOL/0E VI

    COP8RI&T 7>?7

    !T E" R" DO0ONT

    OWNED !8





    [email protected]



  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI





    A fc



    VOL" II



    VOL" VI


     T&E !ASTILLE """" Frontis)iece

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI



    A T8PE OF !EA/T8 ::

    ALE=ANDER2S TRI/0P& " " " " :9G



    ARE a++ a))earances deceitfu+ H &a%e our senses

    een *i%en us on+' to @ee) us in continua+ de4

    +usion H Is e%er'thin* error H Do $e +i%e in a dream(

    surrounded ' shado$' chimeras H We see the sun

    settin* $hen he is a+read' e+o$ the hori1onJ e4

    fore he has 'et risen $e see him a))ear" A suare

    to$er seems to e round" A strai*ht [email protected]( thrust

    into the $ater( seems to e ent"

     8ou see 'our face in a mirror and the ima*e a)4

    )ears to e ehind the *+ass - it is( ho$e%er( neither

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    ehind nor efore it" This *+ass( $hich to the si*ht

    and the touch is so smooth and e%en( is no other than

    an uneua+ con*re*ation of )roections and ca%ities"

     The Mnest and fairest [email protected] is a @ind of rist+ed net4

    [email protected]( the o)enin*s of $hich are incom)ara+' +ar*er

    than the threads( and enc+ose an inMnite numer of

    minute hairs" /nder this [email protected] there are +iuors

    incessant+' )assin*( and from it there issue continua+

    eha+ations $hich co%er the $ho+e surface" What

    $e ca++ +ar*e is to an e+e)hant %er' sma++( and $hat

    $e ca++ sma++ is to insects a $or+d"

     The same motion $hich $ou+d e ra)id to a snai+

    $ou+d e %er' s+o$ in the e'e of an ea*+e" This




    [email protected]( $hich is im)enetra+e ' stee+( is a sie%e con4

    sistin* of more )ores than matter( and containin* a

    thousand a%enues of )rodi*ious $idth +eadin* to its

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    centre( in $hich are +od*ed mu+titudes of anima+s(

    $hich ma'( for au*ht $e @no$( [email protected] themse+%es the

    masters of the uni%erse"

    Nothin* is either as it a))ears to e( or in the

    )+ace $here $e e+ie%e it to e" Se%era+ )hi+oso4

    )hers( tired of ein* constant+' decei%ed ' odies(

    ha%e in their s)+een )ronounced that odies do not

    eist( and that there is nothin* rea+ ut our minds"

    As $e++ mi*ht the' ha%e conc+uded that( a++ a))ear4

    ances ein* fa+se( and the nature of the sou+ ein*

    as +itt+e @no$n as that of the matter( there is no

    rea+it' in either od' or sou+" Perha)s it is this de4

    s)air of @no$in* an'thin* $hich has caused some

    Chinese )hi+oso)hers to sa' that nothin* is the e4

    *innin* and the end of a++ thin*s" This )hi+oso)h'(

    so destructi%e to ein*( $as $e++ @no$n in 0o+iere2s

    time" Doctor 0ac)hurius re)resents the schoo+ J

    $hen teachin* S*anare++e( he sa's( #8ou must not

    sa'( 2I am come(2 ut 2it seems to me that I am come2 J

    for it ma' seem to 'ou( $ithout such ein* rea++'

    the case"# !ut at the )resent da' a comic scene is

    not an ar*ument( thou*h it is sometimes etter than

    an ar*umentJ and there is often as much )+easure

    in [email protected]* after truth as in +au*hin* at )hi+oso)h'"

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


     8ou do not see the [email protected]( the ca%ities( the

    threads( the ineua+ities( the eha+ations of that $hite

    and de+icate [email protected] $hich 'ou ido+i1e" Anima+s a thou4

    Dictionar'" 9

    sand times +ess than a mite discern a++ these oects

    $hich esca)e 'our %isionJ the' +od*e( feed( and

    tra%e+ aout in them( as in an etensi%e countr'( and

    those on the ri*ht arm are )erfect+' i*norant that

    there are creatures of their o$n s)ecies on the +eft"

    If 'ou $ere so unfortunate as to see $hat the' see(

    'our charmin* [email protected] $ou+d [email protected] 'ou $ith horror"

     The harmon' of a concert( to $hich 'ou +isten

    $ith de+i*ht( must ha%e on certain c+asses of minute

    anima+s the eect of terri+e thunderJ and )erha)s

    it @i++s them" We see( touch( hear( fee+ thin*s on+'

    in the $a' in $hich the' ou*ht to e seen( touched(

    heard( or fe+t ' ourse+%es"

    A++ is in due )ro)ortion" The +a$s of o)tics(

    $hich sho$ 'ou an oect in the $ater $here it is

    not( and [email protected] a ri*ht +ine( are in entire accordance

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    $ith those $hich [email protected] the sun a))ear to 'ou $ith a

    diameter of t$o feet( a+thou*h it is a mi++ion times

    +ar*er than the earth" To see it in its true dimen4

    sions $ou+d reuire an e'e co++ectin* his ra's at an

    an*+e as *reat as his [email protected]( $hich is im)ossi+e" Our

    senses( then( assist much more than the' decei%e us"

    0otion( time( hardness( softness( dimensions( dis4

    tance( a))roimation( stren*th( [email protected]( a))ear4

    ances( of $hate%er @ind( a++ is re+ati%e" And $ho

    has created these re+ations H


    ALL *reat successes( of $hate%er @ind( are found4

    ed u)on thin*s done or said a)ro)os"

    G Phi+oso)hica+

    Arno+d of !rescia( .ohn &uss( and .erome of

    Pra*ue did not come uite a)ro)os J the )eo)+e $ere

    not then sucient+' en+i*htenedJ the in%ention of

    )rintin* had not then +aid the auses com)+ained of

    efore the e'es of e%er' one" !ut $hen men e*an

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    to read $hen the )o)u+ace( $ho $ere so+icitous to

    esca)e )ur*ator'( ut at the same time $ished not

    to )a' too dear for indu+*ences( e*an to o)en their

    e'es( the reformers of the siteenth centur' came

    uite a)ro)os( and succeeded"

    It has een e+se$here oser%ed that Crom$e++

    under E+i1aeth or Char+es the Second( or Cardina+

    de Ret1 $hen Louis =IV" *o%erned ' himse+f(

    $ou+d ha%e een %er' ordinar' )ersons"

    &ad Caesar een orn in the time of Sci)io Afri4

    canus he $ou+d not ha%e suu*ated the Roman

    common$ea+th J nor $ou+d 0ahomet( cou+d he rise

    a*ain at the )resent da'( e more than sheri of

    0ecca" !ut if Archimedes and Vir*i+ $ere restored(

    one $ou+d sti++ e the est mathematician( the other

    the est )oet of his countr'"



    IF an' one e desirous of otainin* a thorou*h

    @no$+ed*e of the antiuities of Araia( it ma' e

    )resumed that he $i++ *ain no more information than

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    aout those of Au%er*ne and Poitou" It is( ho$e%er(

    certain( that the Aras $ere of some conseuence

    +on* efore 0ahomet" The .e$s themse+%es sa' that

    Dictionar'" >

    0oses married an Araian $oman( and his father4

    in4+a$ .ethro seems to ha%e een a man of *reat

    *ood sense"

    0ecca is considered( and not $ithout reason( as

    one of the most ancient cities in the $or+d" It is(

    indeed( a )roof of its antiuit' that nothin* ut

    su)erstition cou+d occasion the ui+din* of a to$n

    on such a s)ot( for it is in a sand' desert( $here the

    $ater is [email protected]( so that the )eo)+e die of hun*er

    and thirst" The countr' a fe$ mi+es to the east is

    the most de+i*htfu+ u)on earth( the est $atered and

    the most ferti+e" There the Aras shou+d ha%e ui+t(

    and not at 0ecca" !ut it $as enou*h for some char4

    +atan( some fa+se )ro)het( to *i%e out his re%eries(

    to [email protected] of 0ecca a sacred s)ot and the resort of

    nei*horin* nations" Thus it $as that the tem)+e

    of .u)iter Ammon $as ui+t in the midst of sands"

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    Araia etends from northeast to south$est( from

    the desert of .erusa+em to Aden or Eden( aout the

    Mftieth de*ree of north +atitude" It is an immense

    countr'( aout three times as +ar*e as erman'" It

    is %er' [email protected]+' that its deserts of sand $ere rou*ht

    thither ' the $aters of the ocean( and that its ma4

    rine *u+fs $ere once ferti+e +ands"

     The e+ief in this nation2s antiuit' is fa%ored '

    the circumstance that no historian s)[email protected] of its ha%4

    in* een suu*ated" It $as not sudued e%en '

    A+eander( nor ' an' @in* of S'ria( nor ' the

    Romans" The Aras( on the contrar'( suu*ated a

    hundred nations( from the Indus to the aronneJ

    IO Phi+oso)hica+

    and( ha%in* after$ards +ost their conuests( the' re4

    tired into their o$n countr' and did not mi $ith

    an' other )eo)+e"

    &a%in* ne%er een suect to nor mied $ith

    other nations it is more than )roa+e that the' ha%e

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    )reser%ed their manners and their +an*ua*e" In4

    deed( Araic is( in some sense( the mother ton*ue of

    a++ Asia as far as the Indus J or rather the )re%ai+in*

    ton*ue( for mother ton*ues ha%e ne%er eisted"

     Their *enius has ne%er chan*ed" The' sti++ com4

    )ose their #Ni*hts2 Entertainments(# as the' did

    $hen the' ima*ined one !ac or !acchus( $ho )assed

    throu*h the Red Sea $ith three mi++ions of men(

    $omen( and chi+dren J $ho sto))ed the sun and

    moon( and made streams of $ine issue forth $ith a

    +o$ of his rod( $hich( $hen he chose( he chan*ed

    into a ser)ent"

    A nation so iso+ated( and $hose +ood remains

    unmied( cannot chan*e its character" The Aras

    of the desert ha%e a+$a's een *i%en to roer'(

    and those inhaitin* the to$ns een fond of fa+es(

    )oetr'( and astronom'" It is said( in the historica+

    )reface to the Koran( that $hen an' one of their

    tries had a *ood )oet the other tries ne%er fai+ed

    to send de)uties to that one on $hich od had

    %ouchsafed to esto$ so *reat a *ift"

     The tries assem+ed e%er' 'ear( ' re)resenta4

    ti%es( in an o)en )+ace named Ocad( $here %erses

    $ere recited( near+' in the same $a' as is no$ done

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    at Rome in the *arden of the academ' of the Area4

    Dictionar'" 7 7

    dii( and this custom continued unti+ the time of 0a4

    homet" In his time( each one )osted his %erses on

    the door of the tem)+e of 0ecca" Laid( son of

    Raia( $as re*arded as the &omer of 0eccaJ ut(

    ha%in* seen the second cha)ter of the Koran( $hich

    0ahomet had )osted( he fe++ on his @nees efore him(

    and said( #O 0ahomet( son of Ada++ah( son of 0o4

    ta+i( son of Achem( thou art a *reater )oet than

    I thou art dout+ess the )ro)het of od"#

     The Aras of 0aden( Na2id( and Sanaa $ere no

    +ess *enerous than those of the desert $ere addicted

    to )+under" Amon* them( one friend $as dishon4

    ored if he had refused his assistance to another"

    In their co++ection of %erses( entit+ed #To*raid(#

    it is re+ated that( #one da'( in the tem)+e of 0ecca(

    three Aras $ere dis)utin* on *enerosit' and friend4

    shi)( and cou+d not a*ree as to $hich( amon* those

    $ho then set the *reatest eam)+es of these %irtues(

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    deser%ed the )reference" Some $ere for Ada++ah(

    son of iafar( unc+e to 0ahometJ others for Kais(

    son of Saad J and others for Araad( of the trie of

    As" After a +on* dis)ute the' a*reed to send a

    friend of Ada++ah to him( a friend of Kais to Kais(

    and a friend of Araad to Araad( to tr' them a++

    three( and to come and [email protected] their re)ort to the as4


    #Then the friend of Ada++ah $ent and said to

    him( 2Son of the unc+e of 0ahomet( I am on a our4

    ne' and am destitute of e%er'thin*"2 Ada++ah $as

    mounted on his came+ +oaded $ith *o+d and [email protected] J he

    7 : Phi+oso)hica+

    dismounted $ith a++ s)eed( *a%e him his came+( and

    returned home on foot"

    #The second $ent and made a))+ication to his

    friend Kais( son of Saad" Kais $as sti++ as+ee)(

    and one of his domestics [email protected] the tra%e++er $hat he

    $anted" The tra%e++er ans$ered that he $as the

    friend of Kais( and needed his assistance" The do4

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    mestic said to him( 2I $i++ not [email protected] m' masterJ ut

    here are se%en thousand )ieces of *o+d( $hich are

    a++ that $e at )resent ha%e in the house" [email protected] a+so

    a came+ from the sta+e( and a s+a%eJ these $i++( I

    [email protected]( e sucient for 'ou unti+ 'ou reach 'our o$n

    house"2 When Kais [email protected]( he chid the domestic for

    not ha%in* *i%en more"

    #The third re)aired to his friend Araad( of the

    trie of As" Araad $as +ind( and $as comin* out

    of his house( +eanin* on t$o s+a%es( to )ra' to od

    in the tem)+e of 0ecca" As soon as he heard his

    friend2s %oice( he said to him( 2I )ossess nothin* ut

    m' t$o s+a%esJ I e* that 'ou $i++ [email protected] and se++

    them J I $i++ *o to the tem)+e as $e++ as I can( $ith

    m' [email protected]"2

    #The three dis)utants( ha%in* returned to the as4

    sem+'( faithfu++' re+ated $hat had ha))ened" 0an'

    )raises $ere esto$ed on Ada++ah( son of iafar

    on Kais( son of Saad and on Araad( of the trie of

    As( ut the )reference $as *i%en to Araad"#

     The Aras ha%e se%era+ ta+es of this @ind( ut our

    $estern nations ha%e none" Our romances are not in

    this taste" We ha%e( indeed( se%era+ $hich turn u)on

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    Dictionar'" 7

    [email protected] a+one( as those of !occaccio( #u1man d2A+far4

    ache(# #i+ !ias(# etc"

    On .o( the Ara"

    It is c+ear that the Aras at +east )ossessed no+e

    and ea+ted ideas" Those $ho are most con%ersant

    $ith the orienta+ +an*ua*es [email protected] that the [email protected] of

     .o( $hich is of the hi*hest antiuit'( $as com)osed

    ' an Ara of Idumsea" The most c+ear and indui4

    ta+e )roof is that the &ere$ trans+ator has +eft in

    his trans+ation more than a hundred Araic $ords(

    $hich( a))arent+'( he did not understand"

     .o( the hero of the )iece( cou+d not e a &ere$(

    for he sa's( in the fort'4second cha)ter( that ha%in*

    een restored to his former circumstances( he di%ided

    his )ossessions eua++' amon* his sons and dau*h4

    ters( $hich is direct+' contrar' to the &ere$ +a$"

    It is most [email protected]+' that( if this [email protected] had een com4

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    )osed after the )eriod at $hich $e )+ace 0oses( the

    author $ho s)[email protected] of so man' thin*s and is not

    s)arin* of eam)+es $ou+d ha%e mentioned some

    one of the astonishin* )rodi*ies [email protected] ' 0oses(

    $hich $ere( dout+ess( @no$n to a++ the nations of


    In the %er' Mrst cha)ter Satan a))ears efore od

    and [email protected] )ermission to tem)t .o" Satan $as un4

    @no$n in the Pentateuch J it $as a Cha+daean $ord J

    a fresh )roof that the Araian author $as in the

    nei*horhood of Cha+dsea"

    It has een thou*ht that he mi*ht e a .e$ e4

    7 Phi+oso)hica+

    cause the &ere$ trans+ator has )ut .eho%ah instead

    of E+( or !e+( or Sadai" !ut $hat man of the +east

    information does not @no$ that the $ord .eho%ah

    $as common to the Phoenicians( the S'rians( the

    E*')tians( and e%er' )eo)+e of the nei*horin*

    countries H

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    A 'et stron*er )roof one to $hich there is no

    re)+' is the @no$+ed*e of astronom' $hich a))ears

    in the [email protected] of .o" 0ention is here made of the

    conste++ations $hich $e ca++ Arcturus( Orion( the

    P+eiades( and e%en of those of #the chamers of the

    south"# No$( the &ere$s had no @no$+ed*e of

    the s)here J the' had not e%en a term to e)ress as4

    tronom' J ut the Aras( [email protected] the Cha+daeans( ha%e a+4

    $a's een famed for their [email protected]++ in this science"

    It does( then( seem to e thorou*h+' )ro%ed that

    the [email protected] of .o cannot ha%e een $ritten ' a .e$(

    and that it $as anterior to a++ the .e$ish [email protected](

    Phi+o and .ose)hus $ere too )rudent to count it

    amon* those of the &ere$ canon" It is incontesta4

    +' an Araian )ara+e or a++e*or'"

     This is not a++" We deri%e from it some @no$+4

    ed*e of the customs of the ancient $or+d( and es)e4

    cia++' of Araia" &ere $e read of tradin* $ith the

    IndiesJ a commerce $hich the Aras ha%e in a++

    a*es carried on( ut $hich the .e$s ne%er e%en heard


    &ere( too( $e see that the art of $ritin* $as in

    *reat cu+ti%ation( and that the' a+read' made *reat

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    [email protected]"

    Dictionar'" 7 B

    It cannot e denied that the commentator Ca+met(

    )rofound as he is( %io+ates a++ the ru+es of +o*ic in

    )retendin* that .o announces the immorta+it' of

    the sou+ and the resurrection of the od'( $hen he


    #For I @no$ that m' Redeemer +i%eth" And

    thou*h after m' [email protected] $orms destro' this od'( 'ei

    in m' Qesh sha++ I see od" !ut 'e shou+d sa'( Wh'

    )ersecute $e him H seein* the root of the matter is

    found in me" !e 'e afraid of the s$ord J for $rath

    rin*eth the )unishment of the s$ord( that 'e ma'

    @no$ there is a ud*ment"#

    Can an'thin* e understood ' those $ords( other

    than his ho)e of ein* curedH The immorta+it' of

    the sou+( and the resurrection of the od' at the +ast

    da'( are truths so induita+' announced in the Ne$

     Testament( and so c+ear+' )ro%ed ' the fathers and

    the counci+s( that there is no need to attriute the

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    Mrst @no$+ed*e of them to an Ara" These *reat

    m'steries are not e)+ained in an' )assa*e of the

    &ere$ Pentateuch J ho$ then can the' e e4

    )+ained in a sin*+e %erse of .o and that in so oscure

    a manner H Ca+met has no etter reason for seein* in

    the $ords of .o the immorta+it' of the sou+( and the

    *enera+ resurrection( than he $ou+d ha%e for disco%4

    erin* a dis*racefu+ disease in the ma+ad' $ith $hich

    he $as aicted" Neither )h'sics nor +o*ic [email protected] the

    )art of this commentator"

    As for this a++e*orica+ [email protected] of .o - it ein* mani4

    fest+' Araian( $e are at +iert' to sa' that it has

    7 Phi+oso)hica+

    neither ustness( method( nor )recision" 8et it is

    )erha)s the most ancient [email protected] that has een $ritten(

    and the most %a+ua+e monument that has een

    found on this side the Eu)hrates"


     T&IS is a mountain of Armenia( on $hich the

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    [email protected] rested" The uestion has +on* een a*itated(

    $hether the de+u*e $as uni%ersa+ $hether it inun4

    dated the $ho+e earth $ithout ece)tion( or on+' the

    )ortion of the earth $hich $as then @no$n" Those

    $ho ha%e thou*ht that it etended on+' to the tries

    then eistin*( ha%e founded their o)inion on the

    inuti+it' of Qoodin* un)eo)+ed +ands( $hich reason

    seems %er' )+ausi+e" As for us( $e aide ' the

    Scri)ture tet( $ithout )retendin* to e)+ain it" !ut

    $e sha++ [email protected] *reater +iert' $ith !erosus( an ancient

    Cha+daean $riter( of $hom there are fra*ments )re4

    ser%ed ' A'denus( uoted ' Euseius( and re4

    )eated $ord for $ord ' eor*e S'nce++us" From

    these fra*ments $e Mnd that the Orienta+s of the

    orders of the Euine( in ancient times( made Ar4

    menia the aode of their *ods" In this the' $ere

    imitated ' the [email protected]( $ho )+aced their deities on

    0ount O+'m)us" 0en ha%e a+$a's confounded hu4

    man $ith di%ine thin*s" Princes ui+t their citade+s

    on mountainsJ therefore the' $ere a+so made the

    d$e++in* )+ace of the *ods( and ecame sacred" The

    summit of 0ount Ararat is concea+ed ' mistsJ

    therefore the *ods hid themse+%es in those mists(

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    Dictionar'" 79

    sometimes %ouchsaMn* to a))ear to morta+s in Mne


    A *od of that countr'( e+ie%ed to ha%e een Sat4

    urn( a))eared one da' to =iuter( tenth @in* of

    Cha+daea( accordin* to the com)utation of Africanus(

    A'denus( and A)o++odorus( and said to him -

    #On the Mfteenth da' of the month Oesi( [email protected]

    sha++ e destro'ed ' a de+u*e" Shut u) c+ose a++

    'our $ritin*s in Si)ara( the cit' of the sun( that the

    memor' of thin*s ma' not e +ost" !ui+d a %esse+ J

    enter it $ith 'our re+ati%es and friendsJ [email protected] $ith

    'ou irds and easts J [email protected] it $ith )ro%isions( and(

    $hen 'ou are [email protected]( 2Whither are 'ou *oin* in that

    %esse+ H2 ans$er( 2To the *ods( to e* their fa%or for

    [email protected]"2 #

    =iuter ui+t his %esse+( $hich $as t$o stadii

    $ide( and M%e +on* J that it( its $idth $as t$o hun4

    dred and Mft' *eometrica+ )aces( and its +en*th si

    hundred and t$ent'4M%e" This shi)( $hich $as to

    *o u)on the [email protected] Sea( $as a s+o$ sai+er" The Qood

    came" When it had ceased =iuter +et some of his

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    irds Q' out( ut( Mndin* nothin* to eat( the' re4

    turned to the %esse+" A fe$ da's after$ards he

    a*ain set some of his irds at +iert'( and the' re4

    turned $ith mud in their c+a$s" At +ast the' $ent

    and returned no more" =iuter did [email protected]$ise- he

    uitted his shi)( $hich had )erched u)on a mountain

    of Armenia( and he $as seen no more J the *ods [email protected]

    him a$a'"

     There is )roa+' somethin* historic in this fa+e"

    Vo+" :

    7 G Phi+oso)hica+

     The Euine o%erQo$ed its [email protected]( and inundated

    some )ortions of territor'( and the @in* of Cha+daea

    hastened to re)air the dama*e" We ha%e in Rae4

    +ais ta+es no +ess ridicu+ous( founded on some sma++

    )ortion of truth" The ancient historians are( for the

    most )art( serious Rae+ais"

    As for 0ount Ararat( it has een asserted that it

    $as one of the mountains of Phr'*ia( and that it $as

    ca++ed ' a name ans$erin* that of [email protected]( ecause it

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    $as enc+osed ' three ri%ers"

     There are thirt' o)inions res)ectin* this moun4

    tain" &o$ sha++ $e distin*uish the true oneH That

    $hich the [email protected] no$ ca++ Ararat( $as( the' sa'( one

    of the +imits of the terrestria+ )aradise a )aradise

    of $hich $e Mnd ut fe$ traces" It is a co++ection of

    [email protected] and )reci)ices( co%ered $ith eterna+ sno$s"

     Tournefort $ent thither ' order of Louis =IV" to

    [email protected] for )+ants" &e sa's that the $ho+e nei*hor4

    hood is horri+e( and the mountain itse+f sti++ more

    soJ that he found sno$ four feet [email protected]( and uite

    cr'sta++i1ed( and that there are )er)endicu+ar )reci4

    )ices on e%er' side"

     The Dutch tra%e++er( .ohn Stru's( )retends that

    he $ent thither a+so" &e te++s us that he ascended

    to the %er' to)( to cure a hermit aicted $ith a ru)4


    #&is hermita*e(# sa's he( #$as so distant from

    the earth that $e did not reach it unti+ the c+ose of

    the se%enth da'( thou*h each da' $e $ent M%e

    +ea*ues"# If( in this ourne'( he $as constant+' aH4

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    Dictionar'" i

    cendin*( this 0ount Ararat must e thirt'4M%e

    +ea*ues hi*h" In the time of the iants2 $ar( a fe$

    Ararats )i+ed one u)on another $ou+d ha%e made

    the ascent to the moon uite eas'" .ohn Stru's(

    moreo%er( assures us that the hermit $hom he cured

    )resented him $ith a cross made of the $ood of

    Noah2s [email protected]" Tournefort had not this ad%anta*e"


     T&E *reat theo+o*ica+ dis)utes( for t$e+%e hun4

    dred 'ears( $ere a++ [email protected]" What $ou+d &omer(

    So)hoc+es( Demosthenes( Archimedes( ha%e said( had

    the' $itnessed the sut+e ca%i++in*s $hich ha%e cost

    so much +ood"

    Arius has( e%en at this da'( the honor of ein*

    re*arded as the in%entor of his o)inion( as Ca+%in is

    considered to ha%e een the founder of Ca+%inism"

     The )ride in ein* the head of a sect is the second of

    this $or+d2s %anities J for that of conuest is said to

    e the Mrst" &o$e%er( it is certain that neither

    Arius nor Ca+%in is entit+ed to the me+ancho+' *+or'

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    of in%ention" The uarre+ aout the Trinit' eisted

    +on* efore Arius [email protected] )art in it( in the dis)utatious

    to$n of A+eandria( $here it had een e'ond the

    )o$er of Euc+id to [email protected] men [email protected] ca+m+' and

     ust+'" There ne%er $as a )eo)+e more fri%o+ous

    than the A+eandrians J in this res)ect the' far e4

    ceeded e%en the Parisians"

     There must a+read' ha%e een $arm dis)utes

    aout the Trinit'J since the )atriarch( $ho com4

    :O Phi+oso)hica+

    )osed the #A+eandrian Chronic+e(# )reser%ed at

    Oford( assures us that the )art' emraced ' Arius

    $as su))orted ' t$o thousand )riests"

    We $i++ here( for the reader2s con%enience( *i%e

    $hat is said of Arius in a sma++ [email protected] $hich e%er'

    one ma' not ha%e at hand - &ere is an incom)rehen4

    si+e uestion( $hich( for more than siteen hundred

    'ears( has furnished eercise for curiosit'( for so4

    )histic sut+et'( for animosit'( for the s)irit of caa+(

    for the fur' of dominion( for the ra*e of )ersecution(

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    for +ind and san*uinar' fanaticism( for ararous

    credu+it'( and $hich has )roduced more horrors than

    the amition of )rinces( $hich amition has occa4

    sioned %er' man'" Is .esus the WordH If &e e

    the Word( did &e emanate from od in time or e4

    fore timeH If &e emanated from od( is &e co4

    eterna+ and consustantia+ $ith &im( or is &e of a

    simi+ar sustanceH Is &e distinct from &im( or is

    &e notH Is &e made or e*ottenH Can &e e*et

    in his turn H &as &e )aternit' H or )roducti%e %irtue

    $ithout )aternit' H Is the &o+' host made H or e4

    *ottenH or )roducedH or )roceedin* from the

    Father H or )roceedin* from the Son H or )roceedin*

    from othH Can &e e*etH can &e )roduceH is &is

    h')ostasis consustantia+ $ith the h')ostasis of the

    Father and the Son H and ho$ is it that( ha%in* the

    same nature the same essence as the Father and the

    Son( &e cannot do the same thin*s done ' these

    )ersons $ho are &imse+f H

     These uestions( so far ao%e reason( certain+'

    Dictionar'" :7

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    needed the decision of an infa++i+e church" The

    Christians so)histicated( ca%i++ed( hated( and ecom4

    municated one another( for some of these do*mas

    inaccessi+e to human inte++ect( efore the time of

    Arius and Athanasius" The E*')tian [email protected] $ere

    [email protected]+' c+e%er J the' $ou+d s)+it a hair into four(

    ut on this occasion the' s)+it it on+' into three"

    A+eandros( isho) of A+eandria( thou*ht )ro)er to

    )reach that od( ein* necessari+' indi%idua+ sin*+e

    a monad in the strictest sense of the $ord( this

    monad is triune"

     The )riest Arius( $hom $e ca++ Arius( $as uite

    scanda+i1ed ' A+eandros 2s monad( and e)+ained

    the thin* in uite a dierent $a'" &e ca%i++ed in

    )art [email protected] the )riest Sae++ius( $ho had ca%i++ed [email protected]

    the Phr'*ian Praeas( $ho $as a *reat ca%i++er"

    A+eandros [email protected]+' assem+ed a sma++ counci+ of

    those of his o$n o)inion( and ecommunicated his

    )riest" Euseius( isho) of Nicomedia( [email protected] the

    )art of Arius" Thus the $ho+e Church $as in a


     The Em)eror Constantine $as a %i++ainJ I con4

    fess it a )arricide( $ho had smothered his $ife in a

    ath( cut his son2s throat( assassinated his father4in4

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    +a$( his rother4in4+a$( and his ne)he$J I cannot

    den' it a man )ued u) $ith )ride and immersed

    in )+easureJ *ranted a detesta+e t'rant( [email protected] his

    chi+dren J transeat ut he $as a man of sense" &e

    $ou+d not ha%e otained the em)ire( and sudued

    a++ his ri%a+s( had he not reasoned ust+'"

    :: Phi+oso)hica+

    When he sa$ the Qames of ci%i+ $ar +i*hted

    amon* the scho+astic rains( he sent the ce+erated

    !isho) Osius $ith dissuasi%e +etters to the t$o

    e++i*erent )arties" #8ou are *reat foo+s(# he e4

    )ress+' te++s them in this +etter( #to uarre+ aout

    thin*s $hich 'ou do not understand" It is un$orth'

    the *ra%it' of 'our ministr' to [email protected] so much noise

    aout so triQin* a matter"#

    !' # so triQin* a matter(# Constantine meant not

    $hat re*ards the Di%init'( ut the incom)rehensi+e

    manner in $hich the' $ere stri%in* to e)+ain the

    nature of the Di%init'" The Araian )atriarch( $ho

    $rote the histor' of the Church of A+eandria(

    [email protected] Osius( on )resentin* the em)eror2s +etter(

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    s)[email protected] in near+' the fo++o$in* $ords -

    #0' rethren( Christianit' is ust e*innin* to

    eno' the +essin*s of )eace( and 'ou $ou+d )+un*e

    it into eterna+ discord" The em)eror has ut too

    much reason to te++ 'ou that 'ou uarre+ aout a %er'

    triQin* matter" Certain+'( had the oect of the dis4

    )ute een essentia+( .esus Christ( $hom $e a++ ac4

    @no$+ed*e as our +e*is+ator( $ou+d ha%e mentioned

    it" od $ou+d not ha%e sent &is Son on earth( to

    return $ithout teachin* us our catechism" Whate%er

    &e has not e)ress+' to+d us is the [email protected] of men and

    error is their )ortion" .esus has commanded 'ou to

    +o%e one another( and 'ou e*in ' hatin* one an4

    other and stirrin* u) discord in the em)ire" Pride

    a+one has *i%en irth to these dis)utes( and .esus(

    'our 0aster( has commanded 'ou to e hum+e"

    Dictionar'" :

    Not one amon* 'ou can @no$ $hether .esus is made

    or e*otten" And in $hat does &is nature concern

    'ou( )ro%ided 'our o$n is to e ust and reasona+e H

    What has the %ain science of $ords to do $ith the

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    mora+it' $hich shou+d *uide 'our actionsH 8ou

    c+oud our doctrines $ith m'steries 'ou( $ho $ere

    desi*ned to stren*then re+i*ion ' 'our %irtues"

    Wou+d 'ou +ea%e the Christian re+i*ion a mass of

    so)histr' H Did Christ come for this H Cease to dis4

    )ute( hum+e 'ourse+%es( edif' one another( c+othe

    the [email protected]( feed the hun*r'( and )acif' the uarre+s

    of fami+ies( instead of *i%in* scanda+ to the $ho+e

    em)ire ' 'our dissensions"#

    !ut Osius addressed an ostinate audience" The

    Counci+ of Nice $as assem+ed and the Roman Em4

    )ire $as torn ' a s)iritua+ ci%i+ $ar" This $ar

    rou*ht on others and mutua+ )ersecution has con4

    tinued from a*e to a*e( unto this da'"

     The me+ancho+' )art of the aair $as that as soon

    as the counci+ $as ended the )ersecution e*an J ut

    Constantine( $hen he o)ened it( did not 'et @no$

    ho$ he shou+d act( nor u)on $hom the )ersecution

    shou+d fa++" &e $as not a Christian( thou*h he $as

    at the head of the Christians" !a)tism a+one then

    constituted Christianit'( and he had not een a)4

    ti1ed J he had e%en reui+t the Tem)+e of Concord at

    Rome" It $as( dout+ess( )erfect+' indierent to

    him $hether A+eander of A+eandria( or Euseius

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    of Nicomedia( and the )riest Arius( $ere ri*ht or

    $ron*J it is uite e%ident( from the +etter *i%en

    : Phi+oso)hica+

    ao%e( that he had a )rofound contem)t for the


    !ut there ha))ened that $hich a+$a's ha))ens

    and a+$a's $i++ ha))en in e%er' court" The enemies

    of those $ho $ere after$ards named Arians accused

    Euseius of Nicomedia of ha%in* former+' [email protected] )art

    $ith Licinius a*ainst the em)eror" #I ha%e )roofs

    of it(# said Constantine in his +etter to the Church of

    Nicomedia( #from the )riests and deacons in his

    train $hom I ha%e [email protected](# etc"

     Thus( from the time of the Mrst *reat counci+(

    intri*ue( caa+( and )ersecution $ere esta+ished( to4

    *ether $ith the tenets of the Church( $ithout the

    )o$er to dero*ate from their sanctit'" Constantine

    *a%e the cha)e+s of those $ho did not e+ie%e in the

    consustantia+it' to those $ho did e+ie%e in it J con4

    Mscated the )ro)ert' of the dissenters to his o$n

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    )roMt( and used his des)otic )o$er to ei+e Arius and

    his )artisans( $ho $ere not then the stron*est" It

    has e%en een said that of his o$n )ri%ate authorit'

    he condemned to death $hosoe%er shou+d not urn

    the $ritin*s of Arius J ut this is not true" Constan4

    tine( )rodi*a+ as he $as of human +ood( did not

    carr' his crue+t' to so mad and asurd an ecess as

    to order his eecutioners to assassinate the man $ho

    shou+d @ee) an heretica+ [email protected]( $hi+e he suered the

    heresiarch to +i%e"

    At court e%er'thin* soon chan*es" Se%era+ non4

    consustantia+ isho)s( $ith some of the eunuchs

    and the $omen( s)[email protected] in fa%or of Arius( and o4

    Dictionar'" :B

    tained the re%ersa+ of the +ettre de cachet" The

    same thin* has re)eated+' ha))ened in our modern

    courts on simi+ar occasions"

     The ce+erated Euseius( isho) of Caesarea(

    @no$n ' his $ritin*s( $hich e%ince no *reat dis4

    cernment( stron*+' accused Eustatius( isho) of An4

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    tioch( of ein* a Sae++ianJ and Eustatius accused

    Euseius of ein* an Arian" A counci+ $as assem4

    +ed at AntiochJ Euseius *ained his causeJ Eu4

    statius $as dis)+acedJ and the See of Antioch $as

    oered to Euseius( $ho $ou+d not acce)t itJ the

    t$o )arties armed a*ainst each other( and this $as

    the )re+ude to contro%ersia+ $arfare" Constantine(

    $ho had anished Arius for not e+ie%in* in the con4

    sustantia+ Son( no$ anished Eustatius for e+ie%4

    in* in &im J nor are such re%o+utions uncommon"

    St" Athanasius $as then isho) of A+eandria"

    &e $ou+d not admit Arius( $hom the em)eror had

    sent thither( into the to$n( sa'in* that #Arius $as

    ecommunicatedJ that an ecommunicated man

    ou*ht no +on*er to ha%e either home or countr'J

    that he cou+d neither eat nor s+ee) an'$here J and

    that it $as etter to oe' od than man"# A ne$

    counci+ $as forth$ith he+d at T're( and ne$ +et4

    ires de cachet $ere issued" Athanasius $as re4

    mo%ed ' the T'rian fathers and anished to Tre%es"

     Thus Arius( and Athanasius( his *reatest enem'(

    $ere condemned in turn ' a man $ho $as not 'et

    a Christian"

     The t$o factions [email protected] em)+o'ed artiMce( fraud(

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    : Phi+oso)hica+

    and ca+umn'( accordin* to the o+d and eterna+ usa*e"

    Constantine +eft them to dis)ute and caa+( for he

    had other occu)ations( It $as at that time that this

    *ood )rince assassinated his son( his $ife( and his

    ne)he$( the 'oun* Licinius( the ho)e of the em)ire(

    $ho $as not 'et t$e+%e 'ears o+d"

    /nder Constantine( Arius2 )art' $as constant+'

    %ictorious" The o))osite )art' has un+ushin*+'

    $ritten that one da' St" 0acarius( one of the most

    ardent fo++o$ers of Athanasius( @no$in* that Arius

    $as on the $a' to the cathedra+ of Constantino)+e(

    fo++o$ed ' se%era+ of his rethren( )ra'ed so ar4

    dent+' to od to confound this heresiarch that od

    cou+d not resist the )ra'erJ and immediate+' a++

    Arius2 o$e+s )assed throu*h his fundament

    $hich is im)ossi+e" !ut at +en*th Arius died"

    Constantine fo++o$ed him a 'ear after$ards(

    and it is said he died of +e)ros'" .u+ian( in his

    #Caesars(# sa's that a)tism( $hich this em)eror re4

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    cei%ed a fe$ hours efore his death( cured no one of

    this distem)er"

    As his chi+dren rei*ned after him the Qatter'

    of the Roman )eo)+e( $ho had +on* een s+a%es(

    $as carried to such an ecess that those of the o+d

    re+i*ion made him a *od( and those of the ne$ made

    him a saint" &is feast $as +on* @e)t( to*ether $ith

    that of his mother"

    After his death( the trou+es caused ' the sin*+e

    $ord #consustantia+# a*itated the em)ire $ith re4

    ne$ed %io+ence" Constantius( son and successor

    Dictionar'" :9

    to Constantine( imitated a++ his father2s crue+ties(

    and( [email protected] him( he+d counci+s $hich counci+s anath4

    emati1ed one another" Athanasius $ent o%er a++

    Euro)e and Asia to su))ort his )art'( ut the Eu4

    seians o%er$he+med him" !anishment( im)rison4

    ment( tumu+t( murder( and assassination si*na+i1ed

    the c+ose of the rei*n of Constantius" .u+ian( the

    Church2s morta+ enem'( did his utmost to restore

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    )eace to the Church( ut $as unsuccessfu+" .o%ian(

    and after him Va+entinian( *a%e entire +iert' of

    conscience( ut the t$o )arties acce)ted it on+' as

    the +iert' to eercise their hatred and their fur'"

     Theodosius dec+ared for the Counci+ of Nice( ut

    the Em)ress .ustina( $ho rei*ned in Ita+'( I++'ria(

    and Africa( as *uardian of the 'oun* Va+entinian(

    )roscried the *reat Counci+ of Nice J and soon after

    the oths( Vanda+s( and !ur*undians( $ho s)read

    themse+%es o%er so man' )ro%inces( Mndin* Arian4

    ism esta+ished in them( emraced it in order to *o%4

    ern the conuered nations ' the re+i*ion of those


    !ut the Nicaean faith ha%in* een recei%ed '

    the au+s( their conueror( C+o%is( fo++o$ed that

    communion for the %er' same reason that the other

    ararians had )rofessed the faith of Arius"

    In Ita+'( the *reat Theodoric @e)t )eace et$een

    the t$o )arties( and at +ast the Nicaean formu+a )re4

    %ai+ed in the east and in the $est" Arianism rea)4

    )eared aout the midd+e of the siteenth centur'(

    fa%ored ' the re+i*ious dis)utes $hich then di%ided

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    :G Phi+oso)hica+

    Euro)e J and it rea))eared( armed $ith ne$

    stren*th and a sti++ *reater incredu+it'" Fort' *en4

    t+emen of Vicen1a formed an academ'( in $hich

    such tenets on+' $ere esta+ished as a))eared neces4

    sar' to [email protected] men Christians" .esus $as [email protected]$+4

    ed*ed as the Word( as Sa%iour( and as .ud*e J ut

    &is di%init'( &is consustantia+it'( and e%en the

     Trinit'( $ere denied"

    Of these do*mati1ers( the )rinci)a+ $ere Lae+ius

    Socinus( Ochin( Pa1uta( and enti+is( $ho $ere

     oined ' Ser%etus" The unfortunate dis)ute of the

    +atter $ith Ca+%in is $e++ @no$n J the' carried on for

    some time an interchan*e of ause ' +etter" Ser4

    %etus $as so im)rudent as to )ass throu*h ene%a(

    on his $a' to erman'" Ca+%in $as co$ard+' enou*h

    to ha%e him arrested( and ararous enou*h to ha%e

    him condemned to e roasted ' a s+o$ Mre the

    same )unishment $hich Ca+%in himse+f had narro$+'

    esca)ed in France" Near+' a++ the theo+o*ians of that

    time $ere ' turns )ersecutin* and )ersecuted( e4

    ecutioners and %ictims"

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


     The same Ca+%in so+icited the death of enti+is at

    ene%a" &e found M%e ad%ocates to suscrie that

    enti+is deser%ed to )erish in the Qames" Such hor4

    rors $ere $orth' of that aomina+e a*e" enti+is

    $as )ut in )rison( and $as on the )oint of ein*

    urned [email protected] Ser%etus( ut he $as etter ad%ised than

    the S)aniard J he retracted( esto$ed the most ridic4

    u+ous )raises on Ca+%in( and $as sa%ed" !ut he had

    after$ards the i++ fortune( throu*h not ha%in* made

    Dictionar'" :>

    terms $ith a ai+i of the canton of !erne( to e ar4

    rested as an Arian" There $ere $itnesses $ho de4

    )osed that he had said that the $ords trinit'( essence(

    h')ostasis $ere not to e found in the Scri)tures(

    and on this de)osition the ud*es( $ho $ere as i*4

    norant of the meanin* of h')ostasis as himse+f( con4

    demned him( $ithout at a++ ar*uin* the uestion(

    to +ose his head"

    Faustus Socinus( ne)he$ to Lae+ius Socinus( and

    his com)anions $ere more fortunate in erman'"

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


     The' )enetrated into Si+esia and Po+and( founded

    churches there( $rote( )reached( and $ere success4

    fu+( ut at +en*th( their re+i*ion ein* di%ested of

    a+most e%er' m'ster'( and a )hi+oso)hica+ and )eace4

    fu+( rather than a mi+itant sect( the' $ere aandoned J

    and the .esuits( $ho had more inQuence( )ersecuted

    and dis)ersed them"

     The remains of this sect in Po+and( erman'( and

    &o++and @ee) uiet and concea+edJ ut in En*+and

    the sect has rea))eared $ith *reater stren*th and

    ec+at" The *reat Ne$ton and [email protected] emraced it"

    Samue+ [email protected]( the ce+erated rector of St" .ames(

    and author of an ece++ent [email protected] on the eistence of

    od( o)en+' dec+ared himse+f an Arian( and his dis4

    ci)+es are %er' numerous" &e $ou+d ne%er attend

    his )arish church on the da' $hen the Athanasian

    Creed $as recited" In the course of this [email protected] $i++

    e seen the sut+eties $hich a++ these ostinate )er4

    sons( $ho $ere not so much Christians as )hi+oso4

    )hers( o))osed to the )urit' of the Catho+ic faith"

    ? Phi+oso)hica+

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    A+thou*h amon* the theo+o*ians of London there

    $as a +ar*e [email protected] of Arians( the )u+ic mind there has

    een more occu)ied ' the *reat mathematica+ truths

    disco%ered ' Ne$ton( and the meta)h'sica+ $is4

    dom of [email protected]" Dis)utes on consustantia+it' a)4

    )ear %er' du++ to )hi+oso)hers" The same thin*

    ha))ened to Ne$ton in En*+and as to Cornei++e in

    France( $hose #Per thorite(# #Theodore# and #Re4

    cuei+ de Vers# $ere for*otten( $hi+e #CinncP $as

    a+one thou*ht of" Ne$ton $as [email protected]d u)on as od2s

    inter)reter( in the ca+cu+ation of Quions( the +a$s of

    *ra%itation( and the nature of +i*ht" On his death(

    his )a++ $as orne ' the )eers and the chance++or of

    the rea+m( and his remains $ere +aid near the toms

    of the @in*s than $hom he is more re%ered" Ser4

    %etus( $ho is said to ha%e disco%ered the circu+ation

    of the +ood( $as roasted ' a s+o$ Mre( in a +itt+e

    to$n of the A++oro*es( ru+ed ' a theo+o*ian of



    S&ALL men fore%er e decei%ed in the most in4

    dierent as $e++ as the most serious thin*sH A

    )retended Aristeas $ou+d [email protected] us e+ie%e that he

    had the O+d Testament trans+ated into [email protected] for the

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    use of Pto+em' Phi+ade+)hus ust as the [email protected] de

    0ontausier had commentaries $ritten on the est"

    Latin authors for the dau)hin( $ho made no use

    of them"

    Accordin* to this Aristeas( Pto+em'( urnin* $ith

    Dictionar'" 7

    desire to e acuainted $ith the .e$ish [email protected]( and

    to @no$ those +a$s $hich the meanest .e$ in A+e4

    andria cou+d ha%e trans+ated for Mft' cro$ns( deter4

    mined to send a so+emn emass' to the hi*h4)riest

    of the .e$s of .erusa+em J to de+i%er a hundred and

    t$ent' thousand .e$ish s+a%es( $hom his father(

    Pto+em' Soter( had made )risoners in .udsea( and

    in order to assist them in )erformin* the ourne'

    a*reea+'( to *i%e them aout fort' cro$ns each

    of our mone' amountin* in the $ho+e to fourteen

    mi++ions four hundred thousand of our +i%res( or

    aout M%e hundred and se%ent'4si thousand )ounds"

    Pto+em' did not content himse+f $ith this un4

    heard4of +iera+it'" &e sent to the tem)+e a +ar*e

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    ta+e of massi%e *o+d( enriched a++ o%er $ith )re4

    cious stones( and had en*ra%ed u)on it a chart of

    the 0eander( a ri%er of Phr'*ia( the course of

    $hich ri%er $as [email protected] $ith ruies and emera+ds"

    It is o%ious ho$ charmin* such a chart of the 0e4

    ander must ha%e een to the .e$s" This ta+e $as

    +oaded $ith t$o immense *o+den %ases( sti++ more

    rich+' [email protected]" &e a+so *a%e thirt' other *o+den

    and an inMnite numer of si+%er %ases" Ne%er $as

    a [email protected] so dear+' )aid for J the $ho+e Vatican +irar'

    mi*ht e had for a +ess amount"

    E+ea1ar( the )retended hi*h4)riest of .erusa+em(

    sent amassadors in his turn( $ho )resented on+'

    a +etter $ritten u)on Mne %e++um in characters of

    *o+d" It $as an act $orth' of the .e$s( to *i%e

    a it of )archment for aout thirt' mi++ions of +i%res"

    : Phi+oso)hica+

    Pto+em' $as so much de+i*hted $ith E+ea1ar2s

    st'+e that he shed tears of o'"

     The amassador dined $ith the @in* and the

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    chief )riests of E*')t" When *race $as to e said(

    the E*')tians 'ie+ded the honor to the .e$s" With

    these amassadors came se%ent'4t$o inter)reters(

    si from each of the t$e+%e tries( $ho had a++

    +earned [email protected] )erfect+' at .erusa+em" It is rea++'

    a )it' that of these t$e+%e tries ten $ere entire+'

    +ost( and had disa))eared from the face of the

    earth so man' a*es eforeJ ut E+ea1ar( the hi*h4

    )riest( found them a*ain( on )ur)ose to send trans4

    +ators to Pto+em'"

     The se%ent'4t$o inter)reters $ere shut u) in the

    is+and of Pharos" Each of them com)+eted his trans4

    +ation in se%ent'4t$o da's( and a++ the trans+ations

    $ere found to e $ord for $ord [email protected]" This is ca++ed

    the Se)tua*int or trans+ation of the se%ent'( thou*h

    it shou+d ha%e een ca++ed the trans+ation of the se%4


    As soon as the @in* had recei%ed these [email protected] he

    $orshi))ed them he $as so *ood a .e$" Each

    inter)reter recei%ed three ta+ents of *o+d( and there

    $ere sent to the hi*h4sacriMcer in return for

    his )archment ten couches of si+%er( a cro$n of

    *o+d( censers and cu)s of *o+d( a %ase of thirt' ta+4

    ents of si+%er that is( of the $ei*ht of aout sit'

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    thousand cro$ns $ith ten )ur)+e roes( and a hun4

    dred )ieces of the Mnest +inen"

    Near+' a++ this Mne stor' is faithfu++' re)eated '


    the historian .ose)hus( $ho ne%er ea**erates an'4

    thin*" St" .ustin im)ro%es u)on .ose)hus" &e

    sa's that Pto+em' a))+ied to Kin* &erod( and not

    to the hi*h4)riest E+ea1ar" &e [email protected] Pto+em' send

    t$o amassadors to &erod $hich adds much to

    the mar%e++ousness of the ta+e( for $e @no$ that

    &erod $as not orn unti+ +on* after the rei*n of

    Pto+em' Phi+ade+)hus"

    It is need+ess to )oint out the )rofusion of an4

    achronisms in these and a++ such romances( or the

    s$arm of contradictions and enormous +unders into

    $hich the .e$ish author fa++s in e%er' sentenceJ

    'et this fa+e $as re*arded for a*es as an incon4

    testa+e truthJ and( the etter to eercise the cre4

    du+it' of the human mind( e%er' $riter $ho re)eated

    it added or retrenched in his o$n $a'( so that( to

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    e+ie%e it a++( it $as necessar' to e+ie%e it in a

    hundred dierent $a's" Some smi+e at these a4

    surdities $hich $ho+e nations ha%e s$a++o$ed( $hi+e

    others si*h o%er the im)osture" The inMnite di%er4

    sit' of these fa+sehoods mu+ti)+ies the fo++o$ers of

    Democritus and &erac+itus"


    IT is not to e e+ie%ed that A+eander2s )rece)tor(

    chosen ' Phi+i)( $as $ron*4headed and )edantic"

    Phi+i) $as assured+' a ud*e( ein* himse+f $e++

    informed( and the ri%a+ of Demosthenes in e+o4




    2Aristot+e2s Lo*ic"

    Aristot+e2s +o*ic his art of reasonin* is so much

    the more to e esteemed as he had to dea+ $ith the

    [email protected]( $ho $ere continua++' ho+din* ca)tious ar*u4

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    ments( from $hich fau+t his master P+ato $as e%en

    +ess eem)t than others"

     [email protected]( for eam)+e( the artic+e ' $hich( in the

    #Phadon# P+ato )ro%es the immorta+it' of the sou+ -

    #Do 'ou not sa' that death is the o))osite of +ifeH

     8es" And that the' s)rin* from each otherH

     8es" What( then( is it that s)rin*s from the +i%in* H

     The dead" And $hat from the deadH The +i%in*"

    It is( then( from the dead that a++ +i%in* creatures

    arise" Conseuent+'( sou+s eist after death in the

    inferna+ re*ions"#

    Sure and unerrin* ru+es $ere $anted to unra%e+

    this etraordinar' nonsense( $hich( throu*h P+ato2s

    re)utation( fascinated the minds of men" It $as

    necessar' to sho$ that P+ato *a%e a +oose meanin*

    to a++ his $ords"

    Death does not s)rin* from +ife( ut the +i%in*

    man ceases to +i%e" The +i%in* s)rin*s not from the

    dead( ut from a +i%in* man $ho suseuent+' dies"

    Conseuent+'( the conc+usion that a++ +i%in* thin*s

    s)rin* from dead ones is ridicu+ous"

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    From this conc+usion 'ou dra$ another( $hich

    is no $a' inc+uded in the )remises( that sou+s are

    in the inferna+ re*ions after death" It shou+d Mrst

    ha%e een )ro%ed that dead odies are in the inferna+

    re*ions( and that the sou+s accom)an' them"

    Dictionar'" B

     There is not a correct $ord in 'our ar*ument"

     8ou shou+d ha%e said That $hich [email protected] has no

    )arts J that $hich has no )arts is indestructi+e -

    therefore( the [email protected]* facu+t' in us( ha%in* no )arts(

    is indestructi+e" Or the od' dies ecause it is

    di%isi+eJ the sou+ is indi%isi+eJ therefore it does

    not die" Then 'ou $ou+d at +east ha%e een under4


    It is the same $ith a++ the ca)tious reasonin*s

    of the [email protected]" A master tau*ht rhetoric to his dis4

    ci)+e on condition that he shou+d )a' him after the

    Mrst cause that he *ained" The disci)+e intended

    ne%er to )a' him" &e commenced an action a*ainst

    his master( sa'in* - #I $i++ ne%er )a' 'ou an'thin*(

    for( if I +ose m' cause I $as not to )a' 'ou unti+ I

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    had *ained it( and if I *ain it m' demand is that

    I ma' not )a' 'ou"#

     The master retorted( sa'in*- #If 'ou +ose 'ou

    must )a' J if 'ou *ain 'ou must a+so )a' J for our

    ar*ain is that 'ou sha++ )a' me after the Mrst cause

    that 'ou ha%e *ained"#

    It is e%ident that a++ this turns on an ami*uit'"

    Aristot+e teaches ho$ to remo%e it( ' )uttin* the

    necessar' terms in the ar*ument -

    A sum is not due unti+ the da' a))ointed for its

    )a'ment" The da' a))ointed is that $hen a cause

    sha++ ha%e een *ained" No cause has 'et een

    *ained" Therefore the da' a))ointed has not 'et

    arri%ed" Therefore the disci)+e d"oe(s not 'et o$e



    !ut not 'et does not mean ne%er" So that the

    disci)+e instituted a ridicu+ous action" The master(

    too( had no ri*ht to demand an'thin*( since the da'

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    a))ointed had not arri%ed" &e must $ait unti+ the

    disci)+e had )+eaded some other cause"

    Su))ose a conuerin* )eo)+e $ere to sti)u+ate

    that the' $ou+d restore to the conuered on+' one4

    ha+f of their shi)sJ then( ha%in* sa$ed them in

    t$o( and ha%in* thus *i%en [email protected] the eact ha+f( $ere,

    to )retend that the' had fu+M++ed the treat'" It is

    e%ident that this $ou+d e a %er' crimina+ eui%oca4


    Aristot+e did( then( render a *reat ser%ice to man4

    @ind ' )re%entin* a++ ami*uit' J for this it is $hich

    causes a++ misunderstandin*s in )hi+oso)h'( in the4

    o+o*'( and in )u+ic aairs" The )retet for the un4

    fortunate $ar of 79B $as an eui%ocation res)ect4

    in* Acadia"

    It is true that natura+ *ood sense( comined $itK

    the hait of reasonin*( ma' dis)ense $ith Aristot+e2s

    ru+es" A man $ho has a *ood ear and %oice ma'

    sin* $e++ $ithout musica+ ru+es( ut it is etter to

    @no$ them"

    &is Ph'sics"

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


     The' are ut +itt+e understood( ut it is more than

    )roa+e that Aristot+e understood himse+f( and $as

    understood in his o$n time" We are stran*ers to"

    the +an*ua*e of the [email protected] $e do not attach to

    the same $ords the same ideas"

    For instance( $hen he sa's( in his se%enth cha)4

    Dictionar'" 9

    ter( that the )rinci)+es of odies are matter( )ri%a4

    tion( and form( he seems to [email protected] e*re*ious nonsense J

    ut such is not the case" 0atter( $ith him( is the

    Mrst )rinci)+e of e%er'thin* the suect of e%er'4

    thin* indierent to e%er'thin*" Form is essentia+

    to its ecomin* an' certain thin*" Pri%ation is that

    $hich distin*uishes an' ein* from a++ those thin*s

    $hich are not in it" 0atter ma'( indierent+'( e4

    come a rose or an a))+eJ ut( $hen it is an a))+e

    or a rose it is de)ri%ed of a++ that $ou+d [email protected] it

    si+%er or +ead" Perha)s this truth $as not $orth the

    trou+e of re)eatin* J ut $e ha%e nothin* here ut

    $hat is uite inte++i*i+e( and nothin* at a++ im)erti4


  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


     The #act of that $hich is in )o$er# a+so seems

    a ridicu+ous )hrase( thou*h it is no more so than the

    one ust noticed" 0atter ma' ecome $hate%er 'ou

    $i++ Mre( earth( $ater( %a)or( meta+( minera+( an4

    ima+( tree( Qo$er" This is a++ that is meant ' the

    e)ression( act in )o$er" So that there $as noth4

    in* ridicu+ous to the [email protected] in sa'in* that motion

    $as an act of )o$er( since matter ma' e mo%edJ

    and it is %er' [email protected]+' that Aristot+e understood there4

    ' that motion $as not essentia+ to matter"

    Aristot+e2s )h'sics must necessari+' ha%e Seen

    %er' ad in detai+" This $as common to a++ )hi+os4

    o)hers unti+ the time $hen the a+i+eos( the Torri4

    ce++is( the [email protected]( the Dree+s( and the Academ'

    de+ Cimento e*an to [email protected] e)eriments" Natura+

    )hi+oso)h' is a mine $hich cannot e e)+ored $ith4

    G Phi+oso)hica+

    out instruments that $ere [email protected]$n to the ancients"

     The' remained on the [email protected] of the a'ss( and rea4

    soned u)on $ithout seein* its contents"

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    Aristot+e2s Treatise on Anima+s"

    &is researches re+ati%e to anima+s formed( on the

    contrar'( the est [email protected] of antiuit'( ecause here

    Aristot+e made use of his e'es" A+eander furnished

    him $ith a++ the rare anima+s of Euro)e( Asia( and

    Africa" This $as one fruit of his conuests" In

    this $a' that hero s)ent immense sums( $hich at

    this da' $ou+d terrif' a++ the *uardians of the ro'a+

    treasur'( and $hich shou+d immorta+i1e A+eander2s

    *+or'( of $hich $e ha%e a+read' s)[email protected]"

    At the )resent da' a hero( $hen he has the mis4

    fortune to [email protected] $ar( can scarce+' *i%e an' encour4

    a*ement to the sciencesJ he must orro$ mone'

    of a .e$( and consu+t other .e$s in order to [email protected]

    the sustance of his suects Qo$ into his coer of

    the Danaides( $hence it esca)es throu*h a thousand

    o)enin*s" A+eander sent to Aristot+e e+e)hants(

    rhinoceroses( ti*ers( +ions( crocodi+es( *a1e++es(

    ea*+es( ostriches( etc" J and $e( $hen ' chance a rare

    anima+ is rou*ht to our fairs( *o and admire it

    for si)ence( and it dies efore $e @no$ an'thin*

    aout it"

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    Of the Eterna+ Wor+d"

    Aristot+e e)ress+' maintains( in his [email protected] on

    hea%en( cha)( i"( that the $or+d is eterna+" This

    $as the o)inion of a++ antiuit'( ece)tin* the E)i4

    Dictionar'" >

    cureans" &e admitted a od a Mrst mo%er and

    deMned &im to e #one( eterna+( immo%a+e( indi%is4

    i+e( $ithout ua+ities"#

    &e must( therefore( ha%e re*arded the $or+d as

    emanatin* from od( as the +i*ht emanates from the

    sun( and is co4eistent $ith it" Aout the ce+estia+

    s)heres he $as as i*norant as a++ the rest of the )hi4

    +oso)hers" Co)ernicus $as not 'et come"

    &is 0eta)h'sics"

    od ein* the Mrst mo%er( &e *i%es motion to

    the sou+" !ut $hat is od( and $hat is the sou+(

    accordin* to himH The sou+ is an ente+echia" #It

    is(# sa's he( #a )rinci)+e and an act a nourishin*(

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    fee+in*( and reasonin* )o$er"# This can on+' mean

    that $e ha%e the facu+ties of nourishin* ourse+%es( of

    fee+in*( and of reasonin*" The [email protected] no more @ne$

    $hat an ente+echia $as than do the South Sea is+and4

    ers J nor ha%e our doctors an' more @no$+ed*e of

    $hat a sou+ is"

    &is 0ora+s"

    Aristot+e2s mora+s( [email protected] a++ others( are *ood( for

    there are not t$o s'stems of mora+it'" Those of

    Confucius( of

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    $hich one is accustomed"

    &e enumerates a++ the %irtues( and does not fai+

    to )+ace friendshi) amon* them" &e distin*uishes

    friendshi) et$een eua+s( et$een re+ati%es( e4

    t$een *uests( and et$een +o%ers" Friendshi)

    s)rin*in* from the ri*hts of hos)ita+it' is no +on*er

    @no$n amon* us" That $hich( amon* the ancients(

    $as the sacred ond of societ' is( $ith us( nothin*

    ut an [email protected])er2s [email protected]*J and as for +o%ers( it

    is %er' rare+' no$ada's that %irtue has an'thin* to

    do $ith +o%e" We [email protected] $e o$e nothin* to a $oman

    to $hom $e ha%e a thousand times )romised e%er'4


    It is a me+ancho+' reQection that our Mrst [email protected]

    ha%e ne%er [email protected] friendshi) amon* the %irtues

    ha%e rare+' recommended friendshi)J ut( on the

    contrar'( ha%e often seemed to reathe enmit'(

    [email protected] t'rants( $ho dread a++ associations"

    It is( moreo%er( $ith %er' *ood reason that Aris4

    tot+e )+aces a++ the %irtues et$een the t$o etremes"

    &e $as( )erha)s( the Mrst $ho assi*ned them this

    )+ace" &e e)ress+' sa's that )iet' is the medium

    et$een atheism and su)erstition"

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    &is Rhetoric"

    It $as )roa+' his ru+es for rhetoric and )oetr'

    that Cicero and 5uinti+ian had in %ie$" Cicero(

    in his #Orator# sa's that #no one had more science(

    Dictionar'" 7

    sa*acit'( in%ention( or ud*ment"# 5uinti+ian *oes

    so far as to )raise( not on+' the etent of his @no$+4

    ed*e( ut a+so the sua%it' of his e+ocution sua%ita4

    tem e+ouendi(

    Aristot+e $ou+d ha%e an orator $e++ informed re4

    s)ectin* +a$s( Mnances( treaties( fortresses( *arri4

    sons( )ro%isions( and merchandise" The orators

    in the )ar+iaments of En*+and( the diets of Po+and(

    the states of S$eden( the )re*adi of Venice( etc"(

    $ou+d not Mnd these +essons of Aristot+e un)roMt4

    a+eJ to other nations( )erha)s( the' $ou+d e so"

    &e $ou+d ha%e his orator @no$ the )assions and

    manners of men( and the humors of e%er' condi4


  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    I [email protected] there is not a sin*+e nicet' of the art

    $hich has esca)ed him" &e )articu+ar+' commends

    the citin* of instances $here )u+ic aairs are

    s)[email protected] ofJ nothin* has so *reat an eect on the

    minds of men"

    What he sa's on this suect )ro%es that he $rote

    his #Rhetoric# +on* efore A+eander $as a))ointed

    ca)tain4*enera+ of the [email protected] a*ainst the *reat @in*"

    #If(# sa's he( #an' one had to )ro%e to the

    [email protected] that it is to their interest to o))ose the enter4

    )rises of the @in* of Persia( and to )re%ent him from

    [email protected]* himse+f master of E*')t( he shou+d Mrst

    remind them that Darius Ochus $ou+d not [email protected]

    reece unti+ E*')t $as in his )o$erJ he shou+d

    [email protected] that =eres had )ursued the same courseJ

    he shou+d add that it $as not to e douted that

    : Phi+oso)hica+

    Darius Codomannus $ou+d do the sameJ and that(

    therefore( the' must not suer him to [email protected] )osses4

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    sion of E*')t"#

    &e e%en )ermits( in s)eeches de+i%ered to *reat

    assem+ies( the introduction of )ara+es and fa+es J

    the' a+$a's [email protected] the mu+titude" &e re+ates some

    in*enious ones( $hich are of the hi*hest antiuit'(

    as the horse that im)+ored the assistance of man to

    a%en*e himse+f on the sta*( and ecame a s+a%e

    throu*h ha%in* sou*ht a )rotector"

    It ma' e [email protected] that( in the second [email protected](

    $here he treats of ar*uin* from the *reater to the

    +ess( he *i%es an eam)+e $hich )+ain+' sho$s $hat

    $as the o)inion of reece( and )roa+' of Asia(

    res)ectin* the etent of the )o$er of the *ods"

    #If(# sa's he( #it e true that the *ods themse+%es(

    en+i*htened as the' are( cannot @no$ e%er'thin*(

    much +ess can men"# This )assa*e c+ear+' )ro%es

    that omniscience $as not then attriuted to the Di4

    %init'" It $as concei%ed that the *ods cou+d not

    @no$ $hat $as notJ the future $as not( therefore

    it seemed im)ossi+e that the' shou+d @no$ it" This

    is the o)inion of the Socinians at the )resent da'"

    !ut to return to Aristot+e2s #Rhetoric"# What

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    I sha++ chieQ' [email protected] on in his [email protected] on e+ocution

    and diction is the *ood sense $ith $hich he con4

    demns those $ho $ou+d e )oets( in )rose" &e $ou+d

    ha%e )athos( ut he anishes omast( and )roscries

    use+ess e)ithets" Indeed( Demosthenes and Cicero(


    $ho fo++o$ed his )rece)ts( ne%er aected the )oetic

    st'+e in their s)eeches" #The st'+e(# sa's Aristot+e(

    #must a+$a's e conforma+e to the suect"#

    Nothin* can e more mis)+aced than to s)[email protected] of

    )h'sics )oetica++'( and +a%ish M*ure and ornament

    $here there shou+d e on+' method( c+earness( and

    truth" It is the [email protected]' of a man $ho $ou+d )ass

    o fa+se s'stems under co%er of an em)t' noise of

    $ords" [email protected] minds are cau*ht ' the ait( and

    stron* minds disdain it"

    Amon* us the funera+ oration has [email protected] )osses4

    sion of the )oetic st'+e in )rose J ut this ranch of

    orator'( consistin* a+most entire+' of ea**eration(

    seems )ri%i+e*ed to orro$ the ornaments of )oetr'"

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


     The $riters of romances ha%e sometimes [email protected]

    this +icence" La Ca+)renede $as( I [email protected]( the Mrst

    $ho thus trans)osed the +imits of the arts( and

    aused this faci+it'" The author of #Te+emachus#

    $as )ardoned throu*h consideration for &omer(

    $hom he imitated( thou*h he cou+d not [email protected] %erses(

    and sti++ more in consideration of his mora+it'( in

    $hich he inMnite+' sur)asses &omer( $ho has none

    at a++" !ut he o$ed his )o)u+arit' chieQ' to the crit4

    icism on the )ride of Louis =IV" and the harshness

    of Lou%ois( $hich( it $as thou*ht( $ere disco%era+e

    in #Te+emachus"#

    !e this as it ma'( nothin* can e a etter )roof

    of Aristot+e2s *ood sense and *ood taste than his

    ha%in* assi*ned to e%er'thin* its )ro)er )+ace"


    Aristot+e on Poetr'"

    Where( in our modern nations( sha++ $e Mnd a

    natura+ )hi+oso)her( a *eometrician( a meta)h'sician(

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    or e%en a mora+ist $ho has s)[email protected] $e++ on the su4 7

     ect of )oetr'H The' teem $ith the names of &o4

    mer( Vir*i+( So)hoc+es( Ariosto( Tasso( and so man'

    others $ho ha%e charmed the $or+d ' the harmo4

    nious )roductions of their *enius( ut the' fee+ not

    their eauties J or if the' fee+ them the' $ou+d an4

    nihi+ate them"

    &o$ ridicu+ous is it in Pasca+ to sa'- #As $e

    sa' )oetica+ eaut'( $e shou+d [email protected]$ise sa' *eomet4

    rica+ eaut'( and medicina+ eaut'" 8et $e do not

    sa' so( and the reason is that $e $e++ @no$ $hat

    is the oect of *eometr'( and $hat is the oect of

    medicine( ut $e do not @no$ in $hat the )ecu+iar

    charm $hich is the oect of )oetr' consists"

    We @no$ not $hat that natura+ mode+ is $hich

    must e imitatedJ and for $ant of this @no$+ed*e

    $e ha%e in%ented certain fantastic terms( as a*e of

    *o+d( $onder of the a*e( fata+ $reath( fair star( etc"

    And this ar*on $e ca++ )oetic eaut'"#

     The )itifu+ness of this )assa*e is sucient+' o4

    %ious" We @no$ that there is nothin* eautifu+ in

    a medicine( nor in the )ro)erties of a trian*+e J and

    that $e a))+' the term #eautifu+# on+' to that $hich

    raises admiration in our minds and *i%es )+easure

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    to our senses" Thus reasons Aristot+e J and Pasca+

    here reasons %er' i++" Fata+ $reath( fair star( ha%e

    Dictionar'" B

    ne%er een )oetic eauties" If he $ished to @no$

    $hat is )oetic eaut'( he had on+' to read"

    Nico+e $rote a*ainst the sta*e( aout $hich he

    had not a sin*+e ideaJ and $as seconded ' one

    Duois( $ho $as as i*norant of the e++es +ettres as


    E%en 0ontesuieu( in his amusin* #Persian Let4

    ters(# has the )ett' %anit' to [email protected] that &omer and

    Vir*i+ are nothin* in com)arison $ith one $ho im4

    itates $ith s)irit and success Dufreno'2s #Siamois(#

    and M++s his [email protected] $ith o+d assertions( $ithout $hich

    it $ou+d not ha%e een read" #What(# sa's he( #are

    e)ic )oemsH I @no$ them not" I des)ise the +'ric

    as much as I esteem the tra*ic )oets"# &e shou+d

    not( ho$e%er( ha%e des)ised Pindar and &orace uite

    so much" Aristot+e did not des)ise Pindar"

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    Descartes did( it is true( $rite for 5ueen Chris4

    tina a +itt+e di%ertissement in %erse( $hich $as uite

    $orth' of his matiere canne+ee"

    0a+eranche cou+d not distin*uish Cornei++e2s

    5u2i+ mourut# from a +ine of .ode+e2s or arnier2s"

    What a man( then( $as Aristot+e( $ho traced the

    ru+es of tra*ed' $ith the same hand $ith $hich he

    had +aid do$n those of dia+ectics( of mora+s( of )o+4

    itics( and +ifted( as far as he found it )ossi+e( the

    *reat %ei+ of nature

     To his fourth cha)ter on )oetr' !oi+eau is in4

    deted for these Mne +ines -

    UU n2est )oint de ser)ent( ni de monstre odieu

    5ui3 )ar I2art imitd t ne )uisse )+aire au 'eu"


    UH2 )inceau cte+icat 2 artiMce a*re#a+e

    Du )+us areu oect fait un oet aima+eJ

    Ainsi( )our nous charmer( +a tra*tdie eut )+eurs

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    /CEdi)e tout4 san*+ant Mt )ar+er +es dou+eurs"

    Each horrid sha)e( each oect of ari*ht(

    Nice imitation teaches to de+i*htJ

    So does the [email protected]+fu+ )ainter2s )+easin* art

    Attractions to the [email protected] form im)artJ

    So does the tra*ic 0use( disso+%ed in tears(

    With ta+es of $oe and sorro$ charm our ears"

    Aristot+e sa's- #Imitation and harmon' ha%e

    )roduced )oetr'" We see terri+e anima+s( dead or

    d'in* men( in a )icture( $ith )+easure oects

    $hich in nature $ou+d ins)ire us on+' $ith fear and

    sorro$" The etter the' are imitated the more com4

    )+ete is our satisfaction"#

     This fourth cha)ter of Aristot+e2s rea))ears a+4

    most entire in &orace and !oi+eau" The +a$s $hich

    he *i%es in the fo++o$in* cha)ters are at this da'

    those of our *ood $riters( ece)tin* on+' $hat re4

    +ates to the choruses and music" &is idea that tra*4

    ed' $as instituted to )urif' the )assions has een

    $arm+' comatedJ ut if he meant( as I e+ie%e he

    did( that an incestuous +o%e mi*ht e sudued ' $it4

    nessin* the misfortune of Phaedra( or an*er e re4

    )ressed ' eho+din* the me+ancho+' eam)+e of

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    Aa( there is no +on*er an' dicu+t'"

     This )hi+oso)her e)ress+' commands that there

    e a+$a's the heroic in tra*ed' and the ridicu+ous in

    comed'" This is a ru+e from $hich it is( )erha)s(

    no$ ecomin* too customar' to de)art"

    Dictionar'" 9


    IT is $orth' of consideration that there ha%e een

    and sti++ are( u)on the earth societies $ithout armies"

     The !rahmins( $ho +on* *o%erned near+' a++ the

    *reat Indian ChersonesusJ the )rimiti%es( ca++ed

    [email protected]( $ho *o%erned Penns'+%ania J some Ameri4

    can tries( some in the centre of Africa( the Samo4

    'eds( the La)+anders( the Kamchada+es( ha%e ne%er

    marched $ith co+ors Q'in* to destro' their nei*h4


     The !rahmins $ere the most considera+e of a++

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    these )aciMc nationsJ their caste( $hich is so an4

    cient( $hich is sti++ eistin*( and com)ared $ith

    $hich a++ other institutions are uite recent( is a

    )rodi*' $hich cannot e sucient+' admired" Their

    re+i*ion and their )o+ic' a+$a's concurred in a4

    stainin* from the sheddin* of +ood( e%en of that of

    the meanest anima+" Where such is the re*ime( su4

     u*ation is eas'J the' ha%e een suu*ated( ut

    ha%e not chan*ed"

     The Penns'+%anians ne%er had an arm' J the' a+4

    $a's he+d $ar in ahorrence"

    Se%era+ of the American tries did not @no$ $hat

    an arm' $as unti+ the S)aniards came to eterminate

    them a++" The )eo)+e on the orders of the Ic' Sea

    are i*norant [email protected] of armies( of the *od of armies( of

    atta+ions( and of suadrons"

    !esides these )o)u+ations( the )riests and [email protected]

    G Phi+oso)hica+

    do not ear arms in an' countr' at +east $hen

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    the' oser%e the +a$s of their institution"

    It is on+' amon* Christians that there ha%e een

    re+i*ious societies esta+ished for the )ur)ose of

    M*htin* as the Kni*hts Tem)+ars( the Kni*hts of

    St" .ohn( the Kni*hts of the Teutonic Order( the

    Kni*hts S$ordearers" These re+i*ious orders $ere

    instituted in imitation of the Le%ites( $ho fou*ht

    [email protected] the rest of the .e$ish tries"

    Neither armies nor arms $ere the same in an4

    tiuit' as at )resent" The E*')tians hard+' e%er

    had ca%a+r'" It $ou+d ha%e een of +itt+e use in a

    countr' intersected ' cana+s( inundated durin* M%e

    months of the 'ear( and mir' durin* M%e more" The

    inhaitants of a *reat )art of Asia used chariots of


     The' are mentioned in the anna+s of China" Con4

    fucius sa's that in his time each *o%ernor of a )ro%4

    ince furnished to the em)eror a thousand $ar

    chariots( each dra$n ' four horses" The [email protected]

    and Troans fou*ht in chariots dra$n ' t$o horses"

    Ca%a+r' and chariots $ere [email protected]$n to the .e$s

    in a mountainous tract( $here their Mrst @in*( $hen

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    he $as e+ected( had nothin* ut she4asses" Thirt'

    sons of .air( )rinces of thirt' cities( accordin* to

    the tet 6.ud*es( ( ; ( rode each u)on an ass" Sau+(

    after$ards @in* of .udah( had on+' she4asses J and

    the sons of Da%id a++ Qed u)on mu+es $hen Asa+om

    had s+ain his rother Amnon" Asa+om $as

    mounted on a mu+e in the att+e $hich he fou*ht

    Dictionar'" >

    a*ainst his father2s troo)s J $hich )ro%es( accordin*

    to the .e$ish historians( either that mares $ere

    e*innin* to e used in Pa+estine( or that the' $ere

    a+read' rich enou*h there to u' mu+es from the

    nei*horin* countr'"

     The [email protected] made ut +itt+e use of ca%a+r'" It $as

    chieQ' $ith the 0acedonian )ha+an that A+eander

    *ained the att+es $hich +aid Persia at his feet" It

    $as the Roman infantr' that suu*ated the *reater

    )art of the $or+d" At the att+e of Pharsa+ia( Caesar

    had ut one thousand horsemen"

    It is not @no$n at $hat time the Indians and the

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    Africans Mrst e*an to march e+e)hants at the head

    of their armies" We cannot read $ithout sur)rise

    of &annia+2s e+e)hants crossin* the A+)s( $hich

    $ere much harder to )ass then than the' are no$"

     There ha%e +on* een dis)utes aout the dis)osi4

    tion of the [email protected] and Roman armies( their arms(

    and their e%o+utions" Each one has *i%en his )+an

    of the att+es of

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    murder" These )+ates of carna*e( desi*ned at a

    %enture( made his [email protected] M%e or si +ouis dearer( ut

    made it no etter"

    It is a *reat uestion $hether the [email protected]( $hom

    the .esuit Danie+ ca++s French ' antici)ation( used

    o$s and arro$s in their armies( and $hether the'

    had he+mets and cuirasses"

    Su))osin* that the' $ent to comat a+most

    [email protected]( and armed( as the' are said to ha%e een(

    $ith on+' a sma++ car)enter2s a( a s$ord( and a

    @nife( $e must infer that the Romans( masters of

    au+( so easi+' conuered ' C+o%is( had +ost a++

    their ancient %a+or( and that the au+s $ere as $i++4

    in* to e suect to a sma++ numer of [email protected] as to a

    sma++ numer of Romans" [email protected] accoutrements

    ha%e since chan*ed( as e%er'thin* e+se chan*es"

    In the da's of @ni*hts( suires( and %ar+ets( the

    armed forces of erman'( France( Ita+'( En*+and(

    and S)ain consisted a+most entire+' of horsemen(

    $ho( as $e++ as their horses( $ere co%ered $ith stee+"

     The infantr' )erformed the functions rather of )io4

    neers than of so+diers" !ut the En*+ish a+$a's had

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    *ood archers amon* their foot( $hich contriuted(

    in a *reat measure( to their *ainin* a+most e%er'


    Who $ou+d e+ie%e that armies no$ada's do ut

    [email protected] e)eriments in natura+ )hi+oso)h' H A so+dier

    $ou+d e much astonished if some +earned man $ere

    to sa' to him -

    #0' friend( 'ou are a etter machinist than Ar4

    Dictionar'" B7

    chimedes" Fi%e )arts of sa+t)etre( one of su+)hur(

    and one of caro +i*neus ha%e een se)arate+' )re4

    )ared" 8our sa+t)etre disso+%ed( $e++ M+tered( $e++

    e%a)orated( $e++ cr'sta++i1ed( $e++ turned( $e++ dried(

    has een incor)orated $ith the 'e++o$ )uriMed su+4

    )hur" These t$o in*redients( mied $ith )o$dered

    charcoa+( ha%e( ' means of a +itt+e %ine*ar( or so4

    +ution of sa+4ammoniac( or urine( formed +ar*e a++s(

    $hich a++s ha%e een reduced in )u+%erem )'rium

    ' a mi++" The eect of this miture is a di+ata4

    tion( $hich is near+' as four thousand to unit' J and

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    the +ead in 'our arre+ ehiits another eect( $hich

    is the )roduct of its [email protected] mu+ti)+ied ' its %e+ocit'"

    #The Mrst $ho disco%ered a )art of this mathe4

    matica+ secret $as a !enedictine named Ro*er

    !acon" The in%ention $as )erfected( in erman'(

    in the fourteenth centur'( ' another !enedictine

    named Sch$art1" So that 'ou o$e to t$o [email protected]

    the art of ein* an ece++ent murderer( $hen 'ou

    aim $e++( and 'our )o$der is *ood"

    #Du Can*e has in %ain )retended that( in 7G(

    the re*isters of the Chamre des Com)tes( at Paris(

    mention a i++ )aid for *un)o$der" Do not e+ie%e

    it" It $as arti++er' $hich is there s)[email protected] of a

    name attached to ancient as $e++ as to modern $ar4

    [email protected] machines"

    #un)o$der entire+' su)erseded the [email protected] Mre(

    of $hich the 0oors sti++ made use" In Mne( 'ou

    are the de)ositar' of an art( $hich not on+' imitates

    the thunder( ut is a+so much more terri+e(#

    B: Phi+oso)hica+

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


     There is( ho$e%er( nothin* ut truth in this

    s)eech" T$o [email protected] ha%e( in rea+it'( chan*ed the

    face of the earth"

    !efore cannon $ere @no$n( the northern nations

    had suu*ated near+' the $ho+e hemis)here( and

    cou+d come a*ain( [email protected] famishin* $o+%es( to sei1e

    u)on the +ands as their ancestors had done"

    In a++ armies( the %ictor'( and conseuent+' the

    fate of @in*doms( $as decided ' odi+' stren*th

    and a*i+it' a sort of san*uinar' fur' a des)erate

    stru**+e( man to man" Intre)id men [email protected] to$ns '

    sca+in* their $a++s" Durin* the dec+ine of the Ro4

    man Em)ire there $as hard+' more disci)+ine in

    the armies of the North than amon* carni%orous

    easts rushin* on their )re'"

    No$ a sin*+e frontier fortress $ou+d suce to

    sto) the armies of en*his or Atti+a" It is not +on*

    since a %ictorious arm' of Russians $ere una%ai+4

    a+' consumed efore Custrin( $hich is nothin* more

    than a +itt+e fortress in a marsh"

    In att+e( the [email protected] in od' ma'( $ith $e++4

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    directed arti++er'( )re%ai+ a*ainst the stoutest" At

    the att+e of Fonteno' a fe$ cannon $ere sucient

    to com)e+ the retreat of the $ho+e En*+ish co+umn(

    thou*h it had een master of the Me+d"

     The comatants no +on*er c+ose" The so+dier has

    no +on*er that ardor( that im)etuosit'( $hich is

    redou+ed in the heat of action( $hen the M*ht is

    hand to hand" Stren*th( [email protected]++( and e%en the tem)er

    of the $ea)ons( are use+ess" Rare+' is a char*e $ith

    Dictionar'" B

    the a'onet made in the course of a "$ar( thou*h

    the a'onet is the most terri+e of $ea)ons"

    In a )+ain( freuent+' surrounded ' redouts

    furnished $ith hea%' arti++er'( t$o armies ad%ance

    in si+ence( each di%ision [email protected]* $ith it Q'in* ar4

    ti++er'" The Mrst +ines Mre at one another and after

    one another - the' are %ictims )resented in turn to

    the u++ets" Suadrons at the $in*s are often e4

    )osed to a cannonadin* $hi+e $aitin* for the *en4

    era+2s orders" The' $ho Mrst tire of this man4

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    oeu%re( $hich *i%es no sco)e for the dis)+a' of im4

    )etuous ra%er'( dis)erse and uit the Me+dJ and

    are ra++ied( if )ossi+e( a fe$ mi+es o" The %icto4

    rious enemies esie*e a to$n( $hich sometimes costs

    them more men( mone'( and time than the' $ou+d

    ha%e +ost ' se%era+ att+es" The )ro*ress made is

    rare+' ra)idJ and at the end of M%e or si 'ears(

    oth sides( ein* eua++' ehausted( are com)e++ed to

    [email protected] )eace"

     Thus( at a++ e%ents( the in%ention of arti++er' and

    the ne$ mode of $arfare ha%e esta+ished amon*

    the res)ecti%e )o$ers an eua+it' $hich secures

    [email protected] from de%astations [email protected] those of former

    times( and there' renders $ar +ess fata+ in its con4

    seuences( thou*h it is sti++ )rodi*ious+' so"

     The [email protected] in a++ a*es( the Romans in the time

    of Su++a( and the other nations of the $est and

    south( had no standin* arm' J e%er' citi1en $as a

    so+dier( and enro++ed himse+f in time of $ar" It is(

    at this da'( )recise+' the same in S$it1er+and" o

    B Phi+oso)hica+

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    throu*h the $ho+e countr'( and 'ou $i++ not [email protected]+

    a atta+ion( ece)t at the time of the re%ie$s" If

    it *oes to $ar( 'ou a++ at once see ei*ht' thousand

    men in arms"

     Those $ho usur)ed the su)reme )o$er after

    Su++a a+$a's had a )ermanent force( )aid $ith the

    mone' of the citi1ens( to @ee) the citi1ens in su4

     ection( much more than to suu*ate other nations"

     The isho) of Rome himse+f @ee)s a sma++ arm' in

    his )a'" Who( in the time of the a)ost+es( $ou+d

    ha%e said that the ser%ant of the ser%ants of od

    shou+d ha%e re*iments( and ha%e them in RomeH

    Nothin* is so much feared in En*+and as a *reat

    standin* arm'" The anissaries ha%e raised the

    su+tans to *reatness( ut the' ha%e a+so stran*+ed

    them" The su+tans $ou+d ha%e a%oided the ro)e(

    if instead of these +ar*e odies of troo)s( the' had

    esta+ished sma++ ones"



  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


     T&IS artic+e ma' ser%e to sho$ ho$ rmich the

    most +earned men ma' e decei%ed( and to de%e+o)

    some usefu+ truths" In the #Dictionnaire Enc'c+o)e4

    diue# there is the fo++o$in* )assa*e concernin*

    Arot and 0arot -

    #These are the names of t$o an*e+s( $ho( the

    im)ostor 0ahomet said( had een sent from od to

    teach man( and to order him to astain from mur4

    Dictionar'" BB

    der( fa+se ud*ments( and ecesses of e%er' @ind"

     This fa+se )ro)het adds that a %er' eautifu+ $oman(

    ha%in* in%ited these t$o an*e+s to her ta+e( made

    them [email protected] $ine( $ith $hich ein* heated( the'

    so+icited her as +o%ersJ that she fei*ned to 'ie+d

    to their )assion( )ro%ided the' $ou+d Mrst teach her

    the $ords ' )ronouncin* $hich the' said it $as

    eas' to ascend to hea%en J that ha%in* otained from

    them $hat she [email protected]( she $ou+d not @ee) her )rom4

    iseJ and that she $as then [email protected] u) into hea%en(

    $here( ha%in* re+ated to od $hat had )assed( she

    $as chan*ed into the mornin* star ca++ed Lucifer or

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    Aurora( and the an*e+s $ere se%ere+' )unished"

    &ence it $as( accordin* to 0ahomet( that od [email protected]

    occasion to forid $ine to men"#

    It $ou+d e in %ain to [email protected] in the Koran for a

    sin*+e $ord of this asurd stor' and )retended rea4

    son for 0ahomet2s foriddin* his fo++o$ers the use

    of $ine" &e forids it on+' in the second and Mfth


    #The' $i++ uestion thee aout $ine and stron*

    +iuors- thou sha+t ans$er( that it is a *reat sin"

     The ust( $ho e+ie%e and do *ood [email protected]( must not

    e re)roached $ith ha%in* [email protected]( and )+a'ed at

    *ames of chance( efore *ames of chance $ere for4


    It is a%erred ' a++ the 0ahometans that their

    )ro)het forade $ine and +iuors so+e+' to )reser%e

    their hea+th and )re%ent uarre+s( in the urnin*

    ciate of Araia" The use of an' fermented +iuor

    B Phi+oso)hica+

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    soon aects the head( and ma' destro' oth hea+th

    and reason"

     The fa+e of Arot and 0arot descendin* from

    hea%en( and $antin* to +ie $ith an Ara $oman(

    after [email protected]* $ine $ith her( is not in an' 0ahome4

    tan author" It is to e found on+' amon* the im4

    )ostures $hich %arious Christian $riters( more in4

    discreet than en+i*htened( ha%e )rinted a*ainst the

    0ussu+man re+i*ion( throu*h a 1ea+ $hich is not ac4

    cordin* to @no$+ed*e" The names of Arot and

    0arot are in no )art of the Koran" It is one S'+4

    ur*ius $ho sa's( in an o+d [email protected] $hich nood'

    reads( that he anathemati1es the an*e+s Arot( 0arot(

    Safah( and 0er$ah"

    Oser%e( @ind reader( that Safah and 0er$ah are

    t$o +itt+e hi++s near 0ecca J so that our +earned S'+4

    ur*ius has [email protected] t$o hi++s for t$o an*e+s" Thus

    it $as $ith e%er' $riter on 0ahometanism amon*

    us( a+most $ithout ece)tion( unti+ the inte++i*ent

    Re+and *a%e us c+ear ideas of the 0ussu+man e+ief(

    and the +earned Sa+e( after +i%in* t$ent'4four 'ears

    in and aout Araia( at +en*th en+i*htened us '

    his faithfu+ trans+ation of the Koran( and his most

    instructi%e )reface"

  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    a*nier himse+f( not$ithstandin* his Araic )ro4

    fessorshi) at Oford( has een )+eased to )ut forth a

    fe$ fa+sehoods concernin* 0ahomet( as if $e had

    need of +ies to maintain the truth of our re+i*ion

    a*ainst a fa+se )ro)het" &e *i%es us at fu++ +en*th

    0ahomet2s ourne' throu*h the se%en hea%ens on

    Dictionar'" B9

    the mare A+orac( and e%en %entures to cite the Mft'4

    third sura or cha)ter J ut neither in this Mft'4third

    sura( nor in an' other( is there so much as an a++u4

    sion to this )retended ourne' throu*h the hea%ens"

     This stran*e stor' is re+ated ' Au+feda( se%en

    hundred 'ears after 0ahomet" It is [email protected]( he sa's(

    from ancient manuscri)ts $hich $ere current in 0a4

    homet2s time" !ut it is e%ident that the' $ere not

    0ahomet2sJ for( after his death( [email protected] *ath4

    ered to*ether a++ the +ea%es of the Koran( in the

    )resence of a++ the chiefs of tries( and nothin* $as

    inserted in the co++ection that did not a))ear to e


  • 8/20/2019 Voltaire VI


    !esides( the cha)ter concernin* the ourne' to

    hea%en( not on+' is not in the Koran( ut is in a %er'

    dierent st'+e( and is at +east four times as +on* as

    an' of the recei%ed cha)ters" Com)are a++ the other

    cha)ters of the Koran $ith this( and 'ou $i++ Mnd

    a )rodi*ious dierence" It e*ins thus -

    #One ni*ht( I fe++ as+ee) et$een the t$o hi++s

    of Safah and 0er$ah" That ni*ht $as %er' [email protected](

    ut so sti++ that the do*s $ere not heard to [email protected](

    nor the [email protected] to cro$" A++ at once( the an*e+ arie+

    a))eared efore me in the form in $hich the 0ost

    &i*h od created him" &is [email protected] $as $hite as sno$"

    &is fair hair( admira+' dis)osed( fe++ in rin*+ets

    o%er his shou+ders J his forehead $as c+ear( maestic(

    and serene( his teeth eautifu+ and shinin*( and his

    +e*s of a saron hue J his *arments $ere *+itterin*

    $ith )ear+s( and $ith thread of )ure *o+d" On his

    BG Phi+oso)hica+

    forehead $as a )+ate of *o+d( on $hich $ere $ritten

    t$o +ines( ri++iant and da11+in* $ith +i*htJ in the

  • 8/20/2019 Voltair